I fall, layer after layer, within an infinite starlit vacuum, as Alice so gracefully down the rabbit hole. Through web-laced sheets of time tangled in wilting veils of shame, of those other days. Those days the first bricks of the Great Wall were laid.
An inscription carved upon each stone, a tribute to the memory that otherwise would be left solely to my telling. They have staked claim.
The pin prick. The thorn in his paw. My hand. Boy, crucified.
In a vacant room, a crowded room, sometimes voices in my head. A dog curled on my back, resting against protection, safety in familiar scents. She melts gently, the pup, now a little black girl with pink hair ties. Scattered visions.
Door beyond door, shut; locked. Blurred yellow stripes down the street are cast aglow by beaming headlights. Hands grip the wheel. Dark, dark night circles the frame. The smell of pot stimulates atmosphere, clouds of thin fog populate our car.
Aimless and stoned in Tallahassee.
Spinning circles around oblivion, around something that would eventually fade to nothing until nights like these. When little volcanoes erupt. Seismic shifts in spiritual grounding, surfacing.
How deeply the yearning can reach.
But tonight, tonight I long for touch. To be touched. Held in the arms of my mother who could strip away the ugly ache. The ugliness that brews. The shortness of breath stirred from untraced anxiety.
Those nighttime drives to nameless destinations, where nothing but street lamps and headlights illuminate the world, those were the drumbeat of revolution. Traveling through our own Galaxy in freedom, in oceanic mystery, gone. In those stretches of time, it didn’t matter that I grew closer to the ledge. The edge of safety. There was security in the aimless discovery of self, the 55 mph journey into college stained, naive exploration.
It is the reoccurring search for escape. From the uncomfortable, the lonely, lost desire and rotten skin. The neglected embrace, a tenderness still wandering in his own dark wood.
Four day nonsensical associations. My eyes tear, a sharp burn in the right one. Rocking my leg side to side as I lay in the unmade guest bed amongst piled boxes and furniture. In a room that feels warm, the air tightens, no light but a cell phone glow. Runny nose.
One heartbeat from the brown Honda Accord, sailing along midnight off-roads, still fresh from the nest with glowing promise and debilitating curiosity. A need to trail every dark path.
To be an eel, hung, hooked, stripped of my skin. To be the martyr, the savior, tied and bound, arms outstretched, whipped till the very burn lifts the burden of existence. Till the change occurs. Till I am lit aglow. When the flame of my flesh transforms to a white heat, when only then light passes through my soul and I can disappear.
And then I blinked.
We woke up back in our bed in Fort Lauderdale with only the whisper of a dream from weeks abroad.
I believe the expression is: the honeymoon is over.
Emma and Max were mini monsters who had somehow developed springs in their legs while we were gone. Our two dogs ran in circles then jumped to face level. Their excitement was uncontrollable. Either they missed us terribly or they were exceptionally hungry.
I feel a change in the day to day. A stress has seeped away, like my psyche took a turn in the car wash. At work, home, dealing with family or friends – I sense a stillness that has rarely emerged before. A calm, almost withdrawn feeling like I have wiped my hands clean. It could be from the marriage, the weeks overseas, the settling of all the plates we had been spinning for months.
Or it could be a step.
A growth spurt at thirty-one.
A gradual incline toward the next chapter.
Or jet lag, I guess. Could be jet lag.
But maybe this calm, this natural fit into a new coat, is something from above saying, You’re ready for more. I’ve swallowed that extra dose of responsibility, tasted the beginning of another side, and it is something new. Exciting.
This desire to get these thoughts out, to reach a larger audience, only builds. To step into the spotlight I know has been waiting. I feel ready to begin the next journey, the next phase of my path. The energy is growing, the vibration is high.
I don’t know the exact purpose, the destination, or how to get there. But I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now.
I’ve always been scared I was not where I should be, like I keep missing some boat and get stuck in places until hopefully I can make the next one.
I should be famous by now.
I should have a book written.
I should be a father.
Should be contributing more.
Should be richer.
Should be wiser.
My entire life. Should be.
But maybe I have always been exactly where I need to be. Because it got me here. All those choices, the days passed, boats I supposedly missed; they led me here. To writing these words as I embrace a new day. As I allow an earned sense of confidence to drape my body like a thin, transparent skin. It’s a feeling of security. A trust that things will work out how they are meant to be.
Not how I think they should be.
In this moment. Seven something in the morning, lying on the couch in our study at home, sea salt lamp casting an orange glow in a slowly brightening room as the sun creeps from the stars, scribbles on a journal purchased in Naples, Italy.
I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now.
And if someone, one day, is reading these words – you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now.
I allow the pen to trail, ink to dance on cream-colored paper. Soaking into the fibers like a boy parched in the desert. My only point of reference is Nevada, the outskirts of Las Vegas. But it would be a place more desolate, removed. Somewhere for the mystics and seekers.
The ultimate thirst.
A burning desire has ignited, the onset of internal flames that brew in the belly. The spirit center.
I am here.
The daily routine has become mechanical. My heart hungers for greater. For a dream.
Body outstretched, lying in a field of wet grass. Blades of soft touch are a pin cushion on which I melt. Blue saturated evening, maybe early morning, when the calm is an aimless day at sea. Floating in a vast stillness of meditative contemplation.
My body lifts by the force of unseen hands, pulls me into the place before the clouds.
The threshold of awareness.
Lying parallel to the ground below, held by two silk threads from God knows where. Submerged in atmosphere. A cocoon-like incubation until hatching.
Biological cosmos churn for the day, the great collide, of desire and destiny. When cellular constellations form the roadmap of destiny.
My blue goldstone.
All this chatter, internal dialogue.
Back and forth monotony. From the very first to the most current, has been the same. Mourn for what is not, hope for what will be, weep for what was. The nature of things.
It is time to break the cycle.
Or at the very least, find gratitude in awareness. For this life is no longer my story, but a reflection of the mirrors around me. The signs and symbols, the words of something greater than I, the people and messengers, the vessels and saviors who are born and die for their singular purpose to find – what? Atoms, molecules, bouncing off each other as blind little bats flying in circles into one another. The retelling from one channel with hopes to maybe make some sense of it all, or a difference in the world. To pass it along.
These random visions, fragments, might be something worth sifting through, mounting on a shelf for future reference. One day when the dots connect. When the next veil is lifted and my eyesight is a bit clearer. When I realize that the monotony was not so monotonous, but my mind had become an untended garden.
It is my responsibility to keep fresh.
To find the plateau of acceptance and make it my home.