I Think It’s Not Leaving

I was thinking about it this morning, it has been almost 5 years since it happened. I reflect on how I have changed in that time and how I have not.

If I had told me 5 years ago I would still think about it as often as I do now, I would not believe it.

Why can’t it seem to move on from me? Like a sickly sticky shadow these thoughts cling to me.

I think about being a hero all the time, that if a shooting were to happen I could step up and even if I got hurt, it was for something. The pain right now feels meaningless, pointless and empty.

It’s been 5 years, it makes me feel old thinking about how long ago it was. Shouldn’t five years have been enough time? Five years is half a decade, that sounds like enough time to get over anything.

I guess not.

Maybe I’m just doing it wrong.

Yeah- that is probably it.

Maybe in another five years things will be better.

Another Nightmare

So I had a nightmare the day before, I woke up at 7.00 AM drenched in sweat. Now normally I don’t remember my dreams, but this nightmare was so vivid that I for a second felt it had actually happened. The feeling of relief when I realized none of it was real was near ecstasy.

He pulled a gun on me, I knew he would and I grabbed the barrel. We wrestled over it, I was desperate to keep the tip from pointing at me. I pushed it away before he gave me a big smile, the dark eyes looking straight into mine.

“You didn’t think I just had one did you?” He said.

It all seemed like a game to him, he sounded almost cheerful. He reached into his pocket and pulled out another gun. We struggled again, my right hand and left hand struggling to keep both of the vicious tips away from me.

Impossibly another gun came out.

Another.

Too many of them, I didn’t have any more hands.

When he shot me in the leg, it felt numb and warm. The blood rushing down like a waterfall. That is what I remembered, that slick and warmth running down my leg. Running down my cooling body.

I was a cooling down husk of a star.

 

Hooks

There are days where I sit and the mind wanders off.

In these moments the hook gently nudges against me. I feel it poking at my shoulder blade as if sniffing out some weakness. The tip punctures through, a bright bit of metal poking out.

Then it is gone.

Leave me alone bright hook, hook that taps me when thoughts grow dark.

The stormy clouds roll over my head and the hook jiggles on the line inches behind me. I glance back to see it, yet it is gone.

I think about turning around suddenly and yanking on that line, pulling down what shouldn’t be there.

For now I leave it there, following and waiting in my sunshine steps.

The Dot

Just a dot.

Bound to the surface and quite in the role of the watcher. I found this little dot, passive and staring. In my mind I saw little eyes, pondering. A curious and intense beam, just waiting for my next move.

Who are you little dot ?

It pulled from the wall and plopped onto my desk to my surprise ! It twirled and sparkled, the light catching edges. A dancer it seemed ! Down from the top and bounced key by key, with little imprint it shimmered along.

Lifted by a breeze it fell to the floor, the thickening jungle of fibers quivering as if alone. The dot pivoted through , streaking its path. I followed with close breath and a quick laugh. It plodded over socks and close to the door. Waiting and spinning, almost as if anxious.

The lock plonked

and the door creaked

and the dot squeaked.

A brush of the breeze and straight out the door, my eyes searched and meandered , but could see the dot no more.

When thoughts faded

I find it amusing, funny the tumultuous crowd that each one by one over time comes in through the door, through the peeping window. Each greeted enthusiastically with a smile that stretches my face to breaking, Handshaking for each and the art and rhythm of human companionship that followed. We laugh and share a forlorn experience, we relate. When they leave , the farewells are bid with enthusiasm and a heavy pronounced sadness, a thick pregnant woman forcing each syllable. Then the door opens and shuts with a iron clad finality, and the lock clicks, as if we were never friends at all.

The mind itself

I love that feeling of floating , one that edges on my perception. It’s there when I’m sick, as if my mind itself was struggling to be rid of my own body. That faint and strange perception of space that seems twisted in comparison to reality. The feeling that my hands are five thousand miles away from me, that they are connected only through some vast network that stretches farther then they eye could see.

 

When I have the flu, and my head pounds with a throbbing drum, I see a planet. It is dry, unremarkable and small, about the size of a city. Small dry shrubs and trees dot it, it almost seems that I am floating right above it peering down as a bird. Then I start to move straight ahead and towards the edge, I keep going around and around this planetoid, some strange feeling of vastness overcomes me from my peripheral vision.

 

I wonder if such a place exists, where we float above it endlessly, watching life pass by ?

My Little Robot

My little robot stands like a giant, breaths like a dog that has Arthritis
My little robot, made in a big steel box, shaded and shaved from metal
Bits to outside trimmings. My robot talks with beeps and mechanical whirs
I speak to my little robot, and it speaks back, but hears nothing of what I have to say

Shrouded in Mechanical suspense, it patrols in front of my bed, outside the house with sensors that have never shed tears, or squinted at the sun. A compact unit that looks up with bright eyes, bumping around my kneecaps.

I call my little robot Ben.

Ben likes nothing, maybe to sit out on the lawn and play robot games, but as far as I know, Ben likes nothing. Next to my nightstand he is vigilante, propped up against the world, right before I wake up gently pulling me to life.

On my birthday, a cupcake sloppily slumped next to my breakfast. For Christmas, a precision wood carving of half my face. The day I lost my job, a beeping and clicking rendition of my favorite song.

They say he can’t
Breaking and facing that lamentation that rings so true
My little robot can’t feel, can’t plea for help
My little robot still patrols while I sleep on cardboard in an alley
My little robot watches while I lose my mind

The rain still sings when it falls. Crumpled bills and thoughts start to collect around me and before I know it there is a mountain. I think I can hear the universe breathing, while Ben makes shapes and structures out of old cans. Ben is still there, a clear and simple box and those gauges and lights that look like a blurry face if I squint right. Ben doesn’t squeak the same way, Ben doesn’t beep the same way.

My little robot is fading. I had a sudden and stabbing moment of clarity. With not enough money to mangle my brain, I looked down and saw this rusted and fading box. Ben with a light missing and a switch gone. He never looked this way, never before. I fell to my knees and cradled that little body. The beeps that were so familiar were so slow. A crunching, bumping mechanical ruckus that rattles with violence. Ben flickers and with a last ebb of energy, starts my favorite song.

My little robot was human.

My Metallic World

Metal is fascinating, how it can it can transform from something shiny, smooth with rivets to a rust consumed chunk of age. Metal can portray how fragile and brusque life can be, how time starts to consume us all. 

 

 

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Little bits that meant something to someone, where did it come from ? What has it seen and who wanted it, who gave it up ? Who loved it ? 

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Discs that shine in neat rows, that give a calm rigidity and order. How long will it be until they are nothing more then refuse ? Nothing more that filings that sparkle under an older sun. 

 

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It reminds me of something tougher and sweet, then tender but firm embrace of a mother. The heavy stance against a billowing wind, and towering wave. They stand there with such assurance. 

 

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How does our world reflect us? Every object announcing our strife, or luxurious minds that try to keep pace with whirling galaxies. I want to see something more then just a slender, mold-made bit of metal, more then just a part of the landscape. Metal is part of our human legacy, existing as a mirror to our aging selves, giving small hints at what we give meaning to. 

Come and watch with me, watch the metal bud and flower. 

 

Flying Forever

 

They forced us to fly; in the beginning we enjoyed the wind ruffling the tips of our wings. Then the days grew longer, where even the sunsets ached to dip beneath the horizon, and we still flew. In the beginning they pretended like the choice was ours, that the vast sky’s under the stars were our domain. Viktor would make such elegant  spirals, those spirals mocked our twisted fates but we continued anyway. One day, a day I knew would eventually come, Viktor tried to  leave. I watched from the deck as he pounded the air furiously, every ounce of his being trying to get away. A big gun turned towards him, just one gun. The long snout tilted up and it screamed with a blast of fire. I still remember the angry recoil and the wave of faint heat. Moments later, Viktor was struck in a blinding puff. He fell straight down, fast , into the cresting waves. At least Viktor died flying, feeling the breeze whispering around him, soothing him to his death. Even after this, they told us to keep flying. We flew in unsteady circles and swatted at the airs with lethargic sweeps. In the evening, the menacing shadows thrown were thrown off of steel and guns onto the flight deck. We landed completely exhausted and they told us we did well. At night we slept restlessly, dreaming of sky’s that stretch to the other side of the universe. We flew at their command and the days all grew close together and intimate.  Every day, the ship got a little closer to a distant shore. One morning we woke and the deck faced a blackened and pot marked beach. Then they asked us to the deck, we all piled into a small boat and were transported to the heavy shore. They lined us up and I quivered. It wasn’t some dark intention, a cloaked dagger yearning for blood, they didn’t bring hot fires over us. They freed us. Just like that we were all free. The trees slipped in the wind, the sun winked as it descended and the clouds masked the ceiling of the other side of the universe. I didn’t know what else to do, so I jumped up into the sky, and I flew.