Last night, I dreamt of feeling helpless.
Just before I went to sleep, we spoke about your frustrations about how everything feels as if it is falling apart. You are worried about your family, worried for your friend’s personal safety, worried about your future because you feel everything is pointless and goalless, insecure and unsure about what path you want to take in life, gutted for your friends’ loss of a friend, who died in a tragic car accident recently.
As I listened, I could feel the anxiety seep through your voice over the phone. I tried to offer my condolences, tried to make you understand how much I cared, and tried to show you how selfless and giving and big-hearted of a person you were, and how unique that was. And how I couldn’t promise you that everything was going to be okay, because I don’t know for sure and that would be a lie, but how if you needed to vent or speak to someone or have somebody listen unconditionally, I would be there for you.
When we hung up, you seemed to be in a better mood and you even told me so. I suppose I was still worried for you, because these same exact feelings of helplessness, sympathy transferred over to my dream. In my dream, you were caught handling so many different problems; you had to fix this broken thing, you had to go declare somebody dead, you had this responsibility and that. You were anxious and I felt helpless. I want to call you right then and there, but I refrained.
I can still feel the pit of helplessness and I don’t quite know what to do. I just want you to know this: you are human. You are prone to these thoughts and feelings, and having no one to speak to about them is quite possibly one of the worst feelings that anyone could experience. It’s so painfully normal, such a common way that most people feel growing pains, and it’s really shitty sometimes but you will get through it and to the other side.
I want to show you how I am proof of that. I want to tell you how much emotional turmoil I went through, even with my “set goals” in life, how much shame, disappointment, anger I felt, how close I was to taking my life, especially in Korea. My struggles may not be significant or even noteworthy in the grand scheme of things, and sound juvenile, immature, and young. It honestly doesn’t matter, because I still went through it and it still impacted me heavily. I remember constantly asking, “How much pain do you have to feel, how much anxiety and fear and shame do you have to hold inside of you for it to be ‘enough’ for others to notice and consider it valid?”
I’ve never told anybody this. I’ve never shown anybody this side of me. Everybody knows who I am on the outside, and I’ve worked hard to make the inside of me as close to the outside me as much as possible. I want to lay bare my entire heart. I want to tell you how much of me was and still is dark and dangerous and full of pain. I want to show you how terribly alone I was until I met you.
I still feel your helplessness and I don’t know exactly what to do. I want to be your rock that you can hold onto when things get rough in life, just like how I often wake up sad in the morning until I speak to you, and your voice or your words become the rock that I grab onto in the treacherous waters of my mind. I care deeply for you and your happiness.
What do you love? What brings you joy? What mentally challenges you, pushes you to become an expert in? What pushes you to become a better person?
N & me, summer of 2013. Nothin’ but love.
Quick lil cover.
Quick cover of an old favorite.
Tribute to the great Ed Sheeran, who is an incredible songwriter. I still don’t have recording gear so this is about a year old… unfinished. As usual.
From my main blog.
Vocals done in one take, instrumental done in one take. I’m pretty sure this was recorded last summer, but who knows… it could have been last winter. It’s really really rough, and def not complete (hence why it is not on my SoundCloud account), but this will encourage me to post more of my stuff online for people to see, as N tells me to do all the time.
From my main blog. Enjoy!
Warm metal and concrete,
The blue of the dawn sky on a summer’s morning;
The 37.3 C rush of life beneath your skin.
I don’t ever want to leave this moment.
Without the haze of sunshine and the thick beads of perspiration threaded along the necks of dusty Coca-Cola bottles, will you love the words that bubble from the tip of my tongue just the same as when they used to be ashy and full of the grit that I frantically scrubbed away?
If they manage to crackle with the same ozone-scented promises that I made during simpler times, and if you are able to feel each rip in the atmosphere as the sun calmly bloodies the evening sky, then I want you to cradle each naked phrase between your palms, as carefully as you would a handful of ignited fireworks; gently, but boldly
without a trace
"Ode on Melancholy" - John Keats, one of my absolute favorite poems
And you, me. The rain
Trickling trails down your neck;
Framing the words
Caught in your throat.
I had a dream last night.
Remember that night me, you, and B spent at the beach in front of your house? That night, the moon shone so brightly that it made everything from the sand to our skin glow. In the parts of the world that refused to swallow the moonlight, the inky darkness was like liquid; I thought that if I dipped my toes in it, it would paint my skin black. And when the ocean waves crashed against our bare toes, do you remember how you hitched up your pants and walked out into the water, but I shook my head and refused to follow you in?
Last night, I dreamt that you and I took a rickety train to the end of the world where a whitewashed ocean met the heavens. Everything was too bright but I wasn’t quite sure whether it was night or day. It could have been both; it could have been neither. The water was a giant, churning mirror and the sky was the same color you see when you stare into the sun for too long, the hue of stinging exaltation and stupid bravery. Everything in front of me was so viciously bright that my eyes burned, but it felt like that same inky darkness from that beach in front of your house had a grip on my windpipe. I struggled for breath; I didn’t say a word. The air was so still and so charged. Everything smelled of ozone and sea salt.
It felt like at any moment, the sky above us would rip apart and we’d see oblivion. It felt like we were precariously perched on a razor thin tightrope, balanced between life and death, and I wasn’t so sure which side was more dangerous. Your eyes were the only thing keeping me from tumbling off the edge. It felt like my chest was going to burst, and when you hitched up your pants and waded out into the white water and held your hand out towards me, I took it and followed you in.
-YWL, Aug 2012
Twenty looms on the horizon,
a coy smile touching her lips:
‘Are you coming?’
Nineteen stumbles forward
bent double and breathless.
But a word falls unbidden to his lips,
huffed out in his sixteenth exhale,
almost a plea:
Twenty takes pity and they meet halfway.
They don’t kiss, they don’t cry.
It was all voluntary, after all.
The sun strikes a gong in the backdrop as Nineteen finally grins,
all teeth and no grace: ‘Please.’
I sat on my bed
writing out poems
when reality jarred my vision.
“The Hollow Men”, T. S. Eliot, 1925
I suppose a neat bow-tie ending to my trip is necessary, a sweep of a broad hand across vacant hardwood floors, gathering up stray dust. The rest of August will swing to a close with empty cigarette cartons and breathless laughs, perhaps a few wild scrambles into salty waters, too. Caution, washed out and tired from having been in the spotlight for too long, will take a few steps back and let the vibrancy of summer take center stage, preening and jutting out its chest, singeing the hairs of the
unlucky patrons sitting in the front row. August will pass with the tips of the fingers of my left hand donning a fresh layer callouses, the evidence of their rowdy reunion with the steel songs of my guitar. Am I expecting too much? I’d like to say this: expectation no longer exists; only unplanned road trips out to the hot, dusty sand-dunes and stolen kisses, dizzying and perfectly seasoned.