Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I'm sorry for the string of grim--but conveniently cryptic--posts I've made lately. In them I've said so much without ever really saying anything at all--clever metaphors about an imagined Fate, evasive allusions to hallways and doors and ends and beginnings.

The truth is that I want to die about half the time now.

The other half? I don't particularly want to go in those moments, but even then I'm convinced that it might be necessary and inevitable.

I came so close last weekend. There I was, three thousand miles from some place I call home, being feted for an expertise and an influence that I've done nothing to earn or prove. A literary agent who's sold no books--what do you call that? When these writers, these dreamers, these people who have invested so much of themselves in their projects, when they come to me and hand their hopes into my shaking hands, do they know they've climbed atop a dull horse? Of course, many literary agents are dull horses, at least at first. But the absence, despite my relentless efforts, of some other livelihood to truly sustain me in that interim, has filled my mouth with dead air.

And that's really not the worst of it, which, all things considered, is pretty significant.

Call it a weak moment.

But when the boy with the pretty face and clear eyes left, that hotel room felt so crushingly empty, empty not just with the loneliness of one night but with the parading void of the future. He kissed me before he went away and I wondered if he hated me as he did it. Then I wondered why he even wanted me in the first place.

I'll probably never have him. I'll probably never have anybody, which is really the larger point. He was just a beautiful someone I met in a strange city. That can happen to anyone, right? The follow-up is where I falter.

So there I was, with that terrible, aching chasm swallowing my stomach. And I thought, You have the complementary bottle of wine. Would it be so difficult to get some sleeping pills? I'm sure there's a store open. 

And if those pills had been there, I don't know what I would have done. I think, though--and I can judge myself fairly well--that I would have made a cocktail more delicious than all the others combined, better than what passed down my throat at any party or on any solitary night.

Instead I went to bed, and woke up several hours later, and wondered how long it would be.

The problem was in recovery. I guess the easiest way to explain what I mean is that when you have a brain disease there's just so much you don't know. You don't know how to be normal, true, but you also don't completely know what you're missing, and to a large degree you don't know of the limitations that are, and probably always will be, present.

Starting around when I was twenty--incidentally, the same year this blog was begun--I recovered so much so fast that I felt like I was on a roller coaster headed straight to Heaven. All of these things that had been mysteries before suddenly came to me and no one, my doctors included, really has any idea how the hell that happened. But I was happy.

I had friends, I had discipline, I had talent, and God did I have courage. I had courage to do the kinds of things that can hurt, and I did them because I believed there was nothing I couldn't accomplish. But I was a child. A teenager sees a little bit of life and is enamored with how worldly he's become, but a few years later he looks back and understands that he didn't understand.

I didn't understand. And the absolute worst part of recovery has been gaining the wisdom and insight to objectively assess my situation and comprehend the very daunting obstacles that neurological disease, psychological illness (because they are separate things), and a legacy of abuse actually present.

So don't think this post is a dip into the pool of self-pity. It's not. It's an acknowledgement of my keen-eyed appraisal of my own prospects, which just aren't very good. I still have moments of disorientation. I still face the vertigo of uncertainty. I still feel my brain slip. I am still unlikely to ever have a substantive romantic relationship, to ever know love or father children. And why would I want that? They could turn out like me.

I am happy that, if nothing else, I was allowed the golden moment of a false sun ascending through my sky and draping the world in a light of glory I thought would never be extinguished. It was false, of course--it always was--but it felt so real, and for one instant in what has been a genuinely unfortunate life I believed that I could have everything. I held that in my hands. Nothing can ever take that away from me.

But now the illusions are gone and the orb that burned so bright in 2009 and 2010 has blown out like a dandelion stripped of its silver ornaments. I see. I understand. And I want no part in it. I'm not going anywhere just yet, but I'm planning. You have to approach these things practically.

I don't know why I'm telling you this. I don't know why I do much of anything anymore. But thank you, I guess, for supporting me and believing in me, and for loving me, in your own way. It meant a great deal.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Onus of Fate

I guess he just caught me at a bad moment. Sometimes you've had enough, you know? Sometimes there are these people you're supposed to like, and you try because you know that whatever is wrong with them isn't their fault, but every now and again your tolerance snaps and so do you.

Whatever the reason, Fate picked a bad moment to appear in my kitchen.

"You," I growled. I was covered in billing notices and prescriptions and diagnoses and photos from the past, all things that reminded me of him and his malfeasance. "You...bastard. Why are you here?"

His eyes grew sad, the way they had before, but this time I didn't believe he was secretly on my side.

"You want to know the truth?" I asked. I was ravenous, hungering for a fight. I pushed myself up from the chair to reveal a body covered in red gashes and pale ribs. He grimaced in spite of himself. "I hate you more than any of the others. That's the truth. Because you stand there with that fucking look on your face, like you hate doing this so much--boo, hoo--but the thing is, you still do it. So what difference does it make?"

"BB," he halted. "The choices made for you were not mine. I was merely--"

"What?" I asked. "They were just your fate? Your fate? Fate's fate, now that's funny. No, you can't do a fucking thing. You're just the hopeless victim here, aren't you?"

"BB, we are all, myself included, given our challenges, but in the end even the greatest of those adversities make us into stronger--"

"BULLSHIT!" I screamed. "Bullshit, and you know it! What did any of this do?"

I gestured around at my house, myself, my brain, my life.

"Maybe if it ended, it would have meant something," I said. "But it's just one eternal mindfuck! And you did it. You did all of it! How can you stand here in front of me? You might as well have been the one did all of it. You're my father's fist. I never saw it, but it's always been you, you fucking worm!"

His supernatural face arranged itself into an expression of majestic affront. I didn't care. I so didn't care.

"You are raving and half dead," he noted. He wasn't criticizing. Just assessing. "Decayed. And drunk, always, even when you're not drunk. Drunk on bitterness. Drunk on hatred. Can you not see what you've become?"

I laughed, a long, brutal, trenchant cackle. I'd always been such a radiant boy.

"What I've become?" I smiled and my gums rained purple blood. "I'm not anything."

"No," he sighed, and his eyes shone. "Not anymore."

I hated that I started to cry then.

"I was, once, you know," I said. "I tried to be. I could have made it. But you took care of that."

"I took care of nothing," he said, his face stern. "I only--"

I stepped forward and punched him in the jaw with as much power as I could muster. My hand stung afterward but I wanted to kiss the pain.

He, on the other hand, fell back in total shock. I suppose it's not every day a millennia-old being gets socked in the mouth by a young man who is, all things considered, a specimen of utterly insignificant mortality.

"You did this," I said. "Just remember that."

His face darkened.


I hit him again.

"Get out," I whispered. My voice grew louder. "Get out, get out, get out! GET OUT! YOU'RE JUST LIKE THE REST OF THEM! I'M SURROUNDED BY WORTHLESS PIECES OF SHIT!"

I suppose that last bit was too much for his delicate sensibilities, because at that moment he vanished from the room. He wasn't gone for a moment before Cruelty materialized in his place.

"BB," she smiled. "Would you like a glass of wine?"

I smirked my approval at her ever-so-timely Skrillex haircut.

"Why, Cruelty," I said. "I thought you'd never ask."

She raised her vial of Merlot in a demented toast.

"Isn't it marvelous when you stop caring?" she asked with her shark's grin.

"It is marvelous," I agreed. "Absolutely marvelous."

I'm Still Here--Still Dipping, Dipping Low

I've been absent a while, guys, and for that I'm sorry. I just thought you should know that I am still here, even if it feels like I'm finally at the end of something. What is there to say when everything's the same?

The last month or so has been a blessing, though. It's been a revelation and has shown me the way to an open door that will terminate this endless hallway. Beyond that, there's been a blogger visit that was, dare I say, truly fabulous.

All those things coming soon. Thanks for sticking around.