shedding, rob, raison d’etre

Would that I could be Who I Am, shed this heavy black cloak of PTSD, insecurity.
These groups, classes are invigorating, instructive, cathartic.
They’re where I should’ve been twenty years ago.
Still, black clouds loom. Time, ghosts.
Wednesday is a creative, emotional, physical powder keg. From healing my chakras to documenting my city to expressing my soul.
I float ‘home’, thoughts and emotions swirling about, waiting to be labeled, ordered, filed. I crash without changing, eating, brushing.
Thursday I come clean to a Latina from Forest Hills.
Saturday I listen to the kiwi laugh. She and the music girl keep me company, keep me grounded, keep me Me every day.
By Sunday, ghosts have rendered me owned.
Monday, the lady with the cat eyes centers Me. And my ears sometimes bleed.

Sue calls on me to stay on book for her as she workshops a chunk of her one-woman show. Focusing on the page she’s given me, I don’t notice the piece slam into me until the next day. Rob – her deceased twin, my best friend in junior high and my once-probable guardian angel – is one of the characters. Years he and I were friends (eleven to eighteen), I felt I was his protector (if ultimately, not a good one) and so it jars me to witness him being her protector, caretaker, support – a sane and thoughtful savior. Her guardian angel.
The two of them like prisoners of war.
(Would that I had a sibling.)
Afterwards, she exhales. Later, she addresses me gratefully and I accept that I might’ve been of some assistance, emotional or otherwise.

The sixty-three films collected from storage gets whittled down to five – a two hour process, conservatively. Each one with its own personal and historical context. Its own pedigree of names, places, emotions. A seemingly random choice has myriad analytical reasonings. From early Ringo Lam to recent Van Damme. From Harry Langdon to Jane Campion.
Fry up some cereal, nuke a Lean Pocket, simmer some soup. Check closets for my father or the Son of Sam.
The DVD loads. Plays. Fitting like a glove.
Intimacy is everything. Movies are intimacy. Cinema has singlehandedly saved my fucking life.

improv, ghetto, redhead, last june

The child, an empty notebook – fill in the lines. The writing left difficult to decipher. What’s legible is devastating.
My script was flipped early on. It didn’t change Who I Am, but it changed every action. Thereby inexorably altering my trajectory.
Attend improv class. Effect twofold: excitement, lament. Same as aftermath of dinner convo with G.
Doubt ability to access performer. He lives in a cave in the middle of my body. ‘Improv’ entails accessing and exposing inner child. ‘Acting’ entails accessing and exposing scarred adult.
To say nothing of beaucoup body issues. Facial, in particular – so many imperfections.


Government, Feminism, Facebook, medical and technological breakthroughs mean shit to those of us in the ghetto. We are unaffected by the outside world, impervious to change.
A Libertine Black Lesbian could be voted president, an airport shuttling folks to Mars can open across the street, Japanese can be declared our national language, it would not matter – there’d still be piss in the elevators, baby brothers and sisters smoking weed or crack in stairwells, ‘mano upstairs would still hit his baby mama, and there’d still be at least one bimonthly murder, cop cars and meat wagon lined up on the sidewalk. Same as it ever was.
The ghetto is Everbleak.

She wasn’t mine but that didn’t matter. I kept lifting her, hugging her, kissing her. She would kiss me on the nose or the cheek or the lips and they were always slobbery ones. She was so light and I remember thinking I shouldn’t be picking her up so much. I wanted to make her smile. When she did, it made me smile. She smiled a lot. I wondered it if was bad for her developmentally that I love her so much. She ran down the hallway (patpatpatpatpat) and I noted what I was feeling (joy, elation). She had curly red hair and I woke up feeling like a different man. Unscarred, unafraid. Still sad.
There are a half dozen lives I should have been living all this time. None of them here.
If a dick doc or god or the fates told me I would never be able to make films, I would kill myself. And if those fuckers collectively told me I couldn’t raise a child, would I feel the same?

Complex PTSD. You’re laying down, reading Elmore Leonard – first book you’ve been able to get more than twenty pages into in two years. A click, a shuffle – something settles somewhere in the apartment, behind your head.
Someone’s inside. In a closet. Behind the shower curtain. Outline of a man, filled in black. You sense the sneer. See the knife.
Instinctively – it’s all instinctive, see – instinctively, you stop breathing. Curse yourself for refusing to keep a knife with you at all times.
You’ll fight, but it won’t be a match for his sheer malevolence. He’ll play with you. He’ll make you choke.
For someone else’s life, you’d take him out. For your own, you will acquiesce.
They used to call you Batman. With affection, little knowing their accuracy (i.e. you, a decade ago, lunatic vigilante). Turns out you’re an Elm Street kid. A Grudge child. But so too, you guess, was Batman. And this, too, is your cave.
June, sundown. It hits you – you live in terror.

now

Feel lucky, despite all that’s happening – and all that isn’t. 

If anyone should happen to be reading this, stop, get off the internet and out of your head and do something. This is your life. Stop pissing it away on Fakebook and porn. I have to be here, you don’t. Go make out, take a shower with someone, create something – Art, a new fuck position, a child – or just tear down the walls around you, get a sledgehammer, use your fists and break everything in sight. But do somefuckinthing. Different than what you’ve already done. And with more fervor. Something that actually matters – this excludes tweeting, corporate takeovers, pill popping, getting into heated ‘discussions’ on threads on forums online and I can go on. Life is precious and if you don’t think yours is then do that – end it. Mine is everything and it’s on a tether.

 



mirror, search

‘Your father is a murderer’ – I say it in the mirror so I can’t escape. And it all falls into place – the fear and loathing, the visceral response to first season of Dexter (we won’t even mention season five).
‘When your first chakra is damaged, then all the ones that follow are going to be skewed’ – I paraphrase Sally’s sentiment to me, sans the matter-of-factness and knowing and affectionate smile.
‘You really are the most beautiful soul you know’. This indecipherable locution from MSS.
‘You make it through this, you’ll have a book, a film and a couple one-man shows’. To myself.

 

 

No rest for the wicked. Up every hour – a constant since October. Dreams, bladder, ghosts in the apartment, hail against the window.
4:50 AM. Look father up online. But ‘JCB’ like ‘John William Smith’ in the Hispanic/Latino community. Plus, he’s probably dead – what I’ve heard all my life. His brother died decades ago from living a shitty life. Sis another battered basket case. Didn’t know of either’s existence until last summer. All three siblings had at least two kids each (haven’t seen my older half sister since I was two), ensuring the cycle continue. I’ve an impressive pedigree of abuse, on both sides.
Counter confusion with three-month-old texts:
‘This is all a result of a lot of trauma that was inflicted upon you, you didn’t create this. You need to forgive yourself, Jason. For being alive. You have every right to be here. Every fucken right. It’s a fucken travesty that you believe otherwise. You’re such a beautiful man Jason, inside and out, and you deserve all that life has to offer so stop punishing yourself. You’ve had enough punishment from yourself and from others. Enough is enough. No more. There’s a real fighter in you and I don’t think you would acknowledge or recognise that but it’s there.’
Instead of crying, I masturbate, then shower, sweep, mop, Windex, launder, masturbate again and scrub my cock of cum the way Lady MacBeth scrubbed her hands of blood. Finally, I relent to mercy and cook myself some cereal. ‘Are your kids getting enough Vitamin D?’ Wilma Flintstone asks me. ‘I don’t know, are your kids getting enough Vitamin D, you hypocritical, self righteous carnivore? Babies sitting around gnawing on raw T-bone all day, every day’ I reply, then feel bad and apologize – so what if she’s a little insensitive, she’s from another time and means well and I shouldn’t have been so defensive.
I take a deep breath and open the book I’m reading. Two words immediately catch my eye: We’ll see.
I hope so.

good

‘You’re a good man, Jason’ she texts, and instead of weeping, I set on proving her wrong. This I begin by facing the corner in which I receive two bars of internet and scouring Craigslist on iTouch for someone with whom I can degrade myself without contracting an STD. I flirt with a few – pretty eighteen year old in Red Hook wants a foot massage, ‘generou$’ geezer in Queens wants to watch a ‘genuinely hung’ guy stroke – continually thwarting my own efforts (oh, those warring factions of sense and psychosis). Next I compose, then post three ads; responses dire, I erase their trace. Eventually, fatigue, familiar left side pain and the bottom line realization that this is not my style overwhelm the urges and I move on.
Pausing to eye the Anais Nin volume – I know it might save my life tonight, but I don’t believe I’m worth saving, so I find another road to ruin. Plowing through it, and another, doubling back to try out darker roads I’d heretofore eschewed. Ferocious, dedicated and very sad, I punch through an hour, two hours, ignoring hunger, body pains, exhaustion, conscience, good sense.  Ignoring the child inside.
Eventually I end up spent on a cot in a bunker, walls literally crumbling around me. I text her I’m about to fall asleep but the ghosts are tagging me full force, so I get up and take some self portraits. They’re good but it doesn’t matter so I delete them.
Halfway through an episode of Taxi, I relinquish and doze. The dreams are always the same – family. I awake with scratchy throat, as if I had indeed just been screaming at them.
I piss for five minutes, return to the cot and the stuffed monkey AM made for me (‘Something that I think you should have gotten maybe thirty years ago’). I fall out again, images of my skin being flayed by a butcher knife. Try countering them with Marilu Henner’s eyes, but it’s not enough, so I start making connections: Marilu as ‘Three Fingered Annette’ in Bloodbrothers, Richard Price, Clockers, Keitel, Ferrara – six degrees of David Caruso. In time, I drowse (the dream – mother pregnant and I vehemently wanted her to abort it), waking up at dawn for another five minute piss – one more night down. How many left? Don’t think about it, Monkey says and I listen, leaving it at that.

excusable homicide

MRI, three x-rays. 
Abdominal sonogram Friday. 
Some minor solace and validation in dick doc flinching whilst reviewing last MRI (‘Looks like you’re in some pain’), after which I stabbed him in both eyes, pummeled him to death with my fists, urinated on his corpse and set fire to his office. Score one for the ailing.

go

DO NOT hold back here, no matter what you think the cost. 
If this is all you’ve got, make it fuckin count. 
There is solace enough in coming clean.