how to wait

The air is calm and the night arrives,

A Summer hour rolls into the next,

it is quiet, warm, 

but you might hug yourself from time to time,

and the stars hang above.

The whole sky above you, it seems that way,

from this perspective, 

but we are floating, in a vast expanse, 

The closest thing to us is the moon, 

everything else is our creation,

sattelites that track every mile, every tilt, 

my slow movement through space and time.

To wait an eternity, one must forget?

dissociating Ledimir

The man I am, his name is Ledimir. Ledimir didn’t want to ride bike today. After back-to-back days of 50+ miles, he was exhausted. His legs were shaking, his mind grew comfortable in rest. But he set out to ride 5 miles. He has been searching for consistency, to find the strength in himself to show up day after day. 

To his surprise, 2.5 miles went by before he even looked down at his mile tracker. So he put his head down and pedaled onward on the 4.5-mile loop in his base. He now knows this loop like the back of his hand. He can probably do it with his eyes closed, but there is something about the repetition, the sameness in each lap that has awakened something in him. Perhaps this is his Sisyphean task, to carry the boulder up the hill, watch it roll down, and head on back to retrieve it. 

There are no distractions – other than the audiobook playing on his phone, his mind is focused on one thing, pedaling forward. He thinks about the other people in his life, sometimes the pressure to impress and appease is too much, but on the bike none of that matters. He knows that he owes nothing to no one. 

He thinks of grieving, loneliness, the thoughts that elude him in his waking hours. He is deadly serious, but also joyful and having fun. Sometimes he speeds up to get a new max speed, changing gears as if it were second nature. He is building a bond with himself, with his bike, with this sport. The writing exercise he is doing today is a practice in dissociation from the ego. I am not tired, Ledimir is. But Ledimir will push forward, and he will write these pages. 

Tomorrow he plans to wake up early. His alarms are set for 0400, and he will begin his rides again. The night rider, the early morning rider. There is something in his wait, and he will have to journey on. Good night my Canadian-New York friend for whom this challenge is. I wish that you and Ledimir may meet again soon. 

time does heal, i think.

When she told me that she found love, I felt genuinely happy for her. For a large part of my life, I felt as if she were the love of my life. It wasn’t surprising to think why despite my never having expressed those feelings to her, or perhaps only expressing them at the wrong time. But I truly did, and do, love her as a person. 

We met at a young age, but always there was some unspoken understanding that we would be there for the other. Her for me, me for her. And young as we were, we honored it pretty well. In our hardest moments, we were there, often with confusion about the feelings we felt for each other. Or, what I can say with more certainty, the feelings I felt for her. 

In every relationship outside of ours, I felt uncomfortable with being her friend and I drew distance between us. This is among the many mistakes I have made in the relationship department. I did it as a matter of respect, because I knew what I felt then, but when I look back it was a horrible justification to be a terrible friend. 

But even when we didn’t speak, I still thought of her frequently. As her birthday approached, I thought about her and wondered where was she in the world, did she have good friends around her, was she happy with herself. Her birthday is shared with my cousin Eli. They were both born on March 22nd, and so I never forget it because both are important people to me.

I realize now that growing up, and making mistakes, is a part of life. But even having that knowledge one goes to question why it should hurt so much to make those mistakes. Despite it being a natural part of the process, it really is something we cannot grow used to bearing in our lives. 

I have to forgive her for the moment when I felt she broke my heart, but I also have to forgive myself for having treated a friend, a person, a human being as a commodity. Someone to nurture me, to love me, conditionally – based entirely on my conditions. But I do not feel unlucky. It is impossible. Because seeing her happy makes me so happy, and she is very deserving of love, but also so much more. 

What I am happy about is the experience of new love, the renaissance in her career, her growth and blooming into the person she is today. I would be lying if I said that the person she is today is better than any version of her past self, because we shouldn’t make those comparisons. Her past self is as lovable as any version. And if I could, I would go back in time to all of the moments when she felt alone and I would be there, close by, for as long as I could. 

I spoke to my friend about her, and how he also deserves happiness. But more important, a dedication to forgiveness and acceptance of self, past, and others. We all struggle through life, but even when it feels like its all doomed, there is hope. Hope that we’ll cope, but even more than that, hope that we will smile a wider smile than we ever have. 

Today, I sat across from my Master Chief, and he said to me that any path I take will lead to personal success. He isn’t a reader of palms, but it became clear like a crystal ball that there are people who believe in me. But do you want to know a secret, that even I didn’t know? I am one of those people, and I doubted it so much. 

At the moment, I feel incredibly proud of the choices I have made. I have created a life for myself based on one simple premise, I know myself better than anyone else. What does this mean exactly? I will trust myself to make the right decisions, and I understand that I am more reliable and resilient than I have ever let anyone believe, including myself.

Today, I pushed myself to go bike riding despite fatigue from last nights ride. I am thankful for that decision. I went so fast, and I rode almost 35 miles. This isn’t a number I am accustomed to reaching on these rides. 

Anyway, things feel good lately, and I am perfectly fine. 

talk to me about fear.

There is no mistake, and let there be no confusion, I can do anything I desire in this world. 

The doubt that has existed in my mind has many origins, and there is so much sincerity in my efforts to handle these doubts in the humblest manner possible, showing care and concern for the feelings of others and the impressions I will make on their lives. However, it is now clear to me that the origins are nothing but fear-based parasitical thoughts that have nurtured themselves on my own doubts and lack of confidence.

I was bullied as a child, sexually abused, raised in a single-mother household, and exposed to a world of crime and disillusionment, drugs, and lying. But I am not a victim. 

I have been lied to in relationships, deceived, and thought to feel like I was not good enough. The one that made me chuckle was when I was told I would never find someone as good as that person. Here I am, though, and I am not a victim. 

I am a hero, having overcome the sirens who have wailed to bring me down, I stand heroic. I am not afraid, and I am convinced that I can really do anything I want in this world. I am a great leader despite all of the circumstances I mentioned, but also because of them. And nobody will trust a leader without a limp. 

That is the difference, and I see it all clear now, that I am not afraid to die in order to do what is right and serve in the highest capacity. I have gaps in my resume because I prefer to not have something given to me if it requires lying in order to obtain it. In all of my fear-based actions, I found courage. 

I committed myself to box, 4-5 hours daily, 6 days a week, for 2 years. Each session included thousands of sit-ups, sweat dripping from my forehead, blows shaking my face, taunting my consciousness, and bringing me closer to myself.

In my room, I found myself addicted to pornography. There was no escape, as I found the opportunity to search for something in the smallest moments of silence. I did not want to face myself. I did not want to come to know this addiction because I was a coward. I lacked confidence. 

I ran away from relationships and judged people who are now away and apart from me, but I am grateful for their presence and relieved for their absence. I have seen that I can do anything I put my mind to, and I will devour books even if it takes me twice or three times as long to read them. I will show up early at my workspace to learn how to code in Python or R, and I will stay long after everyone is gone.

I am relentless. I will not stop. I will not lose because I am not afraid to lose. When everyone gives up, wants to switch teams, and wants better opportunities and the culture sucks, and the job is too hard, and the hours are too long, I stand calm. Because I have trained for this my whole life.

I let go of material possessions, all of what I had worked for. I didn’t need it. Then I fell into the trap of materialism again, and now I teeter back to what I know. I am best when the weight of life approaches zero. I am limitless as the weight of my belongings approaches zero.

I will not be stopped. Never. 

On the subject of child sexual abuse – it happened to me. I pray for anyone else who has gone through these sorts of violations. As a man, it is hard to speak of these things, to acknowledge them, to come to terms with them. Because you feel weak and afraid. But there is nothing in the past that I will give the power to haunt me. And now, I have the power, be very afraid. 

remembering ash.

I remember afternoons with Ashley. In her home, I felt at home. The hours would pass as I lay spread across the carpeted floor, studying the books on her shelf. There was no more calming feeling, and I felt truly loved. Not just by her, but by her mom, her sister, her Dad. 

For reasons I don’t understand, we don’t appreciate things very much when we have them. That is a lesson that no matter how many times you are told, you won’t understand until you experience it and look back. 

I never had any doubts about Ashley, even though I can say I am a chronically jealous person. But her love felt genuine. The only thing I doubted was my ability to make her happy, and perhaps hers to make me. As I have struggled with depression and self-doubt. But beyond that, it was perhaps the purest love. So today, I want to write a little bit about my favorite days that I shared with this beautiful person. 

We went on a hike somewhere in upstate New York, I remember it was still icy at a point, and I slid down the hill on my butt. I could have died, and I was known to give her mini-heart attacks because of my impulsivity. So I got to the bottom of the hill so fast, and then I waited. I remember seeing her figure when she slowly trekked down. From a distance, I marveled and thought to myself, I am going to marry this woman. 

As I write this, I have no doubt that Ashley would have made the best wife. We have similar mindsets when it comes to competitiveness. She really is a beautiful soul, a writer, someone who hasn’t had the easiest path, and so much of she reminds me of me. I think I just wasn’t ready because I was also scared. Besides, I’ve never really understood what it meant to love. Or, I’ve really struggled to put it in practice. 

Maybe one day, I will know. But I am happy knowing that I came this close. 

Today, my friend told me I should stop thinking about what went wrong in relationships and think about what went right. Well, I felt loved, a part of a family, brave, handsome, cheered on, smart, supported, understood. 

Today, I am grateful, and hoping to provide all of those things for myself.

call me when you get this

The silence again appears, and what can I do at this point? 

Here I am facing the mirror, asking if there could be any justification?

But the choices were made, I made the bed now I lay in it. 

All sorts of mannerisms and expectations, all kinds of reasons for no relations.

Break out into anger, a scream, a whaling of thunder, a deep sigh, then collapse.

I don’t get it, how they say I should relax when the…

situation ain’t changed. You can never tell me what’s the right way or the

wrong.

If all I ever bring with me, are the list of regrets I composed, will I be able to sleep when alone?

In my dreams, I go home. Wake up on the floor where I slept, vacuumed and swept. 

Still lint-y, I think how did I find the courage to write – the process to think of the things and pour them out when they kept me up at night.

When we sold things on Poshmark, I’d walk down to the post office to get them sent. It ain’t much, but maybe $40 from their pockets to ours. We coulda lived on that for hours. Now all those people bore me, ignore me, they used to adore me. 

I ain’t feel adored in two months now, conversations are like tweets and news reports. This person got surgery, other got cancer, other turned out to be quite the dancer. Some people I guess I must have unsubscribed, or maybe they did… but what now?

Remember the time I ran down 164th street and Riverside, I burst into tears. No one saw that coming, they think they understood. There is a sea of thoughts under the hood, I didn’t get known for no good, just existing on that level. 

Baby, I danced with the devil. Known angels and demons with all of my scheming, dreaming, is what I meant. Life taste sweet like curb cement, or pavement, or sediment, or arguments. 

Breakfast at Tiffany, we could wear suits for the night at the symphony. I always wanted to feel how rich, white people feel. But maybe that ain’t really real. Maybe I’d feel like more of myself if I wanted to deal with myself. But ain’t nothing good in the moment, not the dental and sleeping hygiene, not the base aspects of mental health. 

The TV shows death from an ocean away. If I were to learn teleportation today, I’d be in those places when I think – and how long will I last? My fate protects from the times that its cold. I made some shots and missed some shots, shooting hoops at the gym. Making peace with myself, waging war on a whim. If it wasn’t for him, me, the him and me guy. I don’t think I’d have the faintest idea of why?

Nor less who.

Nor less when.

What? Where? don’t pretend. I never pretend. I always pretend. I might self-extend. Overreaching. Once again I face the two am or 4 today, the same other way. Leaving and arriving. Subsiding. Residing. Reciting. Some part of it is truly exciting. 

What am I doing? All of these questions. All of these questions. All of these questions. Call me when you get this.

a new day

Marking a new day today, one to smile, feel clean and happy as I move about. 

The plan, coffee at the favorite place, studying for the advancement exam, being kind to myself. 

The black mirror consumes me, so I must shut it off, embrace solitude, loneliness, await it as it comes. It will undoubtedly arrive, and I will have no choice but to welcome it again. 

That which you run from only stays with you longer. 

Last night I called her, but there was no answer. Part of me thinks, Thank God. The other part… 

I had a dream too, our relationship floundered while on vacation. I felt jealous as she spoke with the tour guide. Possessive, even in dreams. Though in recent dreams I have also been courageous, brave, heroic. So maybe I should place focus on those more.

My writing doesn’t appeal to me. My writing equals my lying because there are things I don’t want to address, I don’t want to explore. Why does the past weigh so much? Like a dumb elephant. 

That 7-mile run killed me. Am I about to get old? In less than a year I will turn 30. So who knows what that brings along with it. Maybe slower mornings. This one can be slow if it wants to, I don’t mind. I won’t say anything about it. 

A month from now the journey will take place in another place. Here is to hoping that is a good thing. Writing is my own salvation, to place the hopes of life on other people is selfish, and delusional. 

A new day today, to smile, feel clean, and happy as I move about. 

another day

The sun was high when I began my evening run. In the unbearable heat, I slowed down to a walk. Better to do this than to pass out on the pavement. At 3.5 miles, it became a wiser decision to stop the run, cool off in the gym, shooting some hoops. 

My wrist still aches from the basketball tournament weeks prior. When I shoot with my dominant hand, I feel a slight discomfort. Shooting with my left hand is becoming increasingly comfortable as I train the mind to make adjustments. At first it was nearly impossible to do anything with my left hand, but over time the dexterity has improved and I have questioned whether or not I am a natural lefty. Could I have been taught to be right-handed and merely adjusted very well?

As the evening came, I found the energy to run again and finish off 7 miles for the day. Earlier today, I watched the movie War Machine. It’s about Gen. Glen McMahon, a, I believe, fictional general who was tasked with handling operations in Afghanistan toward the end of the world war. This is irrelevant, but it struck me that he runs 7 miles a day, every day. As I re-design my life, that is a neat habit to adopt. 

Tomorrow morning, I will try to get up early again so I can run. I would like to do 7 miles, then swim, then morning PT. I am excited for the day. I am grateful because I ran today, and I didn’t give up on myself. 

a new friend.

There is a spider living in my sink. I am of the conviction that this spider and I have come to some agreement, perhaps to live and let live. When I shaved in the morning, spider climbed the side of the sink bowl so as not to get splashed by the running water. I rinsed my blade with extra care not to wet spider and cause its death. The spider living in my sink, it hasn’t made webs or set up territory in any distinguishable way. But as I walked back around, there was spider. 

I have to wonder if it is a he, or a she. Although part of me believes that this is most certainly a male spider. Men have weird habits, and this spider, seems to have some too. But what does he know, and what does he think, when he sees me towering above him, ready to turn on the faucet that spills danger by the metric ounce? Does he know that I have decided not to be the bearer of his death, as much as I could, or does he think that I may turn on him? How does one develop trust? Can spiders trust?

I don’t trust this spider. I have what is called arachnophobia, a technical term that describes an innate fear of his species. If we could talk to each other, I would mention how afraid I am, but also how curious. At times, after I am finished with brushing my teeth, I peer in closer to examine his features. He remains still, and sometimes crawls around the bowl, but he doesn’t move fast. The faster he moves, the more terrified I should become. 

What I noticed first are the distinguishable features that help characterize him as a spider. Eight legs, those two little pincers, and a tiny body. I am sure I can get a more detailed microscopic view with a better lens, but this is all of the identifying information that I need. Then I return to my room. 

I don’t think about the spider when I go back to my room to read or write. It barely crosses my mind. However, when I turn back to use the bathroom again, I wonder if he will still be there, waiting. I don’t presume he thinks too much about me, nor what I am up to when I am gone, but does he feel surprised when I come back? All of these questions to ask, have I made a spider friend?

One never thinks to make friends with an insect, but maybe a constant presence and frequent interactions is the beginning of friendship. In any case, hi Spider. Nice to meet you.