Archive for December, 2012


Posted in Uncategorized on December 30, 2012 by darryl zero

Sitting on the bed, hair spilling over my headband and falling in a hundred different directions, I savor the bad taste in my mouth and suddenly realize I’m fully dressed, missing only a pair of shoes, and the ache in my muscles feels less like a trophy and more like a warning, and the argent sunlight is less of a promise and more of a tether.

Running out of reset buttons.


A revised verse, in light of events leading up to its recording.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 23, 2012 by darryl zero

“Infinitely bright and warm, I quicken my breath and release, and expand, and the truth burns away the belief that my fear and my nothingness will catch me; nothing can cushion this.  So given, so revoked–so taken, the ‘me’ and the ‘you’ away; I’m a light, I’m aloft as my back is an arch.  I’m here, I’m perfectly alone.”

en el aire.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 23, 2012 by darryl zero

Sitting in the lobby at the gym, locked in an unintentional moment of self-reflection and assessment, the understanding that I have, in fact, done exactly what I was afraid I would do setting in with a resonant THUD, the same thing repeats again and again: “CHANGE. NOW.”

Have to stop, yo.

It has begun.

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2012 by darryl zero

It was merely raining when I got up stairs; watching the precipitation, and the cars blow struggling to get their way through it, I tried to feel a sense of being above it all (as I was literally), a if the space between me and the ground was in any way remarkable and not just good fortune that I happened to have a job in a building.
I watched the streets below as I ate, happy enough to be warm, fed, and paid, and hoped offhandedly for a day off tomorrow. As if on cue , the snow began, rain congealing just past the sleet stage, descent slowing even as the rush hour traffic did the same, albeit for different reasons. With a few more hours left in my work day, worrying about it became as pointless as whether or not I’d have to work. One of the lessons you learn as a bus driver; worry about the trip you’re on, not the next one, ‘cause there’s plenty to worry about in the here-and-now and you don’t want to miss something important.

8:14 (81)

Posted in eight fourteen on December 19, 2012 by darryl zero

The screen goes red as the page reloads, sending the burst of light throughout the darkened room I can’t bring myself to call “mine,” and for a few blissful seconds, I’m back in the living room of that house I couldn’t bring myself to call mine, sitting on the couch that had been my sister’s, looking at a woman’s face, lit by the barely-there light from some source lost to time and too many other sad memories of losses, and the angles that would come to define her in my memory of her face, of her touch, of the shape of her body and how it all fit so seamlessly against me and mine etched themselves onto every surface of mine they possibly could.

I miss her so much on nights like these, when I pretend to be alone, when I pretend that feeling alone like this is better than what the tangled jumble of threads and cords that is my brain relaxes for a second and the whole mess immediately falls slack and neatly organized, and the snarl that has accompanied every burst of thought or emotion since that night softens to a whisper in my ear, that same whisper that tells me every truth from which I have ever tried to run, that same truth that gave her a name back in those years in which I couldn’t talk about her freely, Allie, my Allie, never mine but never far from my mind or heart, etched into the very makeup of me, supplanted in my attentions but never, ever in that deep, irrational, illogical, stupid love and devotion that I developed as a child for all the things in life that never last, the songs and movies, the attention of my father, the happiness in a place that was too flawed not to be perfect.

Allie, my Allie, my beautiful beautiful truth, the only woman for whom I would do anything and, yet, the only woman for whom I did nothing, and knowing that the whisper is back, finally, carrying a different name on its susurrant non-voice, tells me I am destined for the same inevitable, painful understanding.

I am forever afraid to want, because wanting something immediately marks it as something I cannot have.  I am forever afraid to love, because loving someone immediately marks them as someone who will not love me in the way I need them to.  I am forever stuck feeling nothing, because if I do not feel nothing, I am either afraid, sad, or angry, and while I can take the ebb and flow of these pains in stride, they are still fear, sadness, and anger, and they are only useful when they do not govern my every move, and at least I can still function when I feel nothing.

Time’s up.

8:14 (80)

Posted in eight fourteen on December 12, 2012 by darryl zero

I can’t remember exactly when it was that I became so obsessed with the past, but my earliest memories on the subject tie into living in Hawaii and hating it.

Don’t get me wrong, the present has never really held much appeal for me.  I eat my food like it will run away if I don’t put it in my face as immediately as possible; I suck down water, coffee, tea, any beverage I order with the speed and intensity of a man just come in from the desert.  I study reviews and articles about television shows and movies I’m currently watching (and, in some cases, have yet to watch).  But the moment the present stopped being interesting was when we moved to Hawaii and I realized everything was different, too different for a conservative little kid like me to assimilate at such an age, especially when I was trying to emulate my father.  It’s weird; I can enjoy and appreciate the things I did back in Hawaii now, but at the time it was all about the intensity of the unpleasant.

Sex is somewhat the same way for me.  Ever since I lost my virginity, I’ve cared less and less about the actual act of sex itself and more for the lingering feelings, endorphins, serotonin, what have you, and the feel of a woman’s heartbeat or skin, the smell of her hair and sheets, and the thought that there isn’t anything to do in the moment but just enjoy her, and how beautiful she is, and how it’s a miracle that she even talks to you, because you’re just some nerdy Black kid from some town in Iowa that she’ll never want to see and there’s a fucking universe in each of her eyes and you will never be able to hold onto her, she will be gone, and all you will have left is the memory of a time in which you’d actually succeeded at making that perfect thing notice you.

It’s a habit I’m trying hard to break.  I try as hard as I can to feel as if there’s something to which I can look forward, as the present pretty much is a wash the moment I get up.  Not even the exercise, my daily routine, my only success of the day, is anything other than a coin in the bank of my future health.

Time’s up.

8:14 (79)

Posted in eight fourteen with tags on December 11, 2012 by darryl zero

“She likes you.”

The words in the window came from two thousand miles away, but I could just as easily imagine Abstract saying it, her voice as breezy and calm even as the determination and furious energy coursed through every word she said.  We’d conversed offhandedly on the subject a bit before I left, before everything changed and before I realized exactly what was going on, and I felt rather stupid waiting until today to explain it to her, with what had happened and what had occurred to me.

It’s easier to think about it specifically, for once, which I think is the surest sign that what I’m feeling is real, that the revelation-that-wasn’t (or wasn’t supposed to be) is something that sneaked up on me and completely waylaid me.  The emptiness comes and goes–coming only when I remember where I am, going as the complete rapture of realizing I was where I was actually sets in, and to think it happened in fucking Portland, fucking Portland, completely destroys me all over again.

And yet the thought of destruction reminds me of exactly where I’m at, walking the edge of the knife’s blade as it is, entirely too present and there when I really should try to be nonchalant.  That affectation has gotten so much easier the older I’ve gotten.

I ran into a brother in the showers at the gym today; he mistook me for someone else at first, someone who apparently went to Iowa State, because that’s what he asked me.  He was a nice kid, probably ten or so years younger than I, who’d dropped out of school for whatever reason in the middle of the year but was realizing he had to get back into the swing of things for him to be able to ever leave Iowa.  I explained why I was there at the gym so often, detailing my (flagging but still determined) plan to avoid dating in any serious way by adhering to a strict gym regimen.  As we were leaving, he looked at me with the sincerity of youth, and asked:

“so, like, not even sex or anything?”

I grinned.  “Well, I get mine,” I said, “but I’m thirty-two now, so it’s not really something I have to have.”  But there’s that something else, my brain muttered, that thing you know you felt, that thing that gets you in more and worse trouble than anything your dick does, and you’re letting it happen again, you stupid little boy, you will never learn, will you?

time’s up.