3:40

And why am I awake?

If tomorrow is where promises await, 

why can I not wait? 

Impatience grabs me by the throat,

firm gripped like a baseball bat, 

I couldn’t even tell you where I am at.

Because in all seriousness, I feel I’m lost.

I feel I’ve wanted to move past this pregnant pause

but birthright adolescence won’t exhaust

I’m supposed to be past this stage

where every little anger blooms to rage, 

and thoughts remain blanked like a newborn page

I’ve filled notebooks but I have no words.

No more left to share, no quotes, no blurbs.

Just utterances, oohs, ahhs, errs…

Him and hers, and theirs and ours.

Midnight comprises the same lonely hours,

who wants to buy the whithered flowers?

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. 

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.

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. 

roma l[e nil or ac]aba

I write more in times of desperation, like I am surfacing for a breath of cold, lung-expanding air. 

I write more in times of necessity, there is a Dickensian component to the desire to write that exists within me. 

I write when I am sad, mad, annoyed, lonely, reclusive. Not when I am happy, and that’s sad. So I want to write about it. 

I almost called you. I could say that after all of this time I finally missed you, missed having a friend to talk to, a voice that felt familiar that I could turn to when life got hard. I almost dialed the number, I had it there, all I needed was to press the phone button and call, and then I didn’t. Because what if the food you ordered was for you and someone else? What if I called and you had moved on? What if… you know, I remember a time when I lost my backpack in Brooklyn. 

I remember this moment because earlier that day my teacher gave me this really cool hilighter that I was so excited for. I was sitting on the platform, waiting for the train to arrive, and when it did, I got up from my seat and walked into the subway cart. By the time I noticed what had happened, the doors had already closed and the train was making its way to the next stop. 

I held onto the hope that my backpack would still be there with the highlighter and my notebooks and my other pens and pencils and whatever else I carried, but by the time we transfered and took the train back to that station, it was all gone. I asked the teller if she had grabbed it, but she said no, and I never saw that backpack, nor the highlighter, again. 

So that’s what happens sometimes. And I almost called you thinking that you would be there still, that you might have waited for me, but that’s just plain foolishness. I won’t call… I won’t know, and that has to be ok. That you may have moved on already, and that my love is not for you as you are, it’s for who you and I were. And I long for those times when I could rest my head on you and feel like things would be ok. 

Loving is the most painful thing you can ever experience. I’ll warn my children and grandchildren about that. But boy does it give life meaning…

unfixed

I am completely lost. I hate that so many sentences I write begin with the letter “I”. I don’t feel I am committing energy into the relationship. I felt almost a feeling of betrayal when she made it seem so easy to fall back. 

She said, “I wonder if you tell every girl you love her.” Or, “I wonder if you’re like this in all of your relationships.” 

What is it that makes me enamored with a perfect stranger? Seeking to place the love that I hide from myself into another passing vessel, as long as they’re cute, as long as they’re interesting.

When I said I love you, did I mean it? If you have any form of doubt now, that means you didn’t. Love is a game that everyone else seems to know the rules to, except me. I wanted to make this blog so that it could move me to becoming a happy person, still I am unhappy, and not closer. Although some days I really feel like I am. 

Today I woke up feeling terrible. I don’t even want to look in the mirror. Energy, so precious, so necessarily protected because the chemical imbalance is like water boiling. I am unsteady. I am just going, and going, and going. Sometimes without a question as to where. 

I notice I don’t say a lot when I am in crowds. An eight person dinner and I barely said a word, instead I looked distantly toward the waitress, the bike messengers, toward the inside of my mind again. 

Animosity, the need to prove you are who you are, my trusting nature gets exploited or ridiculed. I am an idealist, and the negative spiral starts. Hurting yourself, emotionally, because maybe you are not the good. But you knew that. And you knew that you were not the bad, and Grandma has had a surgery and you have not called, and you have not wondered. Your mom hasn’t called you, but neither you her. Your sister doesn’t answer your calls. She says she is going through something in her texts. You don’t answer her messages, you wanted to say you were going through something in your calls. But we will leave the words unsaid. 

The angst of if this flight goes down as we rumble and tumble due to turbulence. You are the turbulence. You are the unsettled. You are struggling! AND you need help. 

For some reason your friend blocked you on instagram and you were just going to show your other friend that you thought it was cool how they were into cycling as well, but then you found out. And your page is private now, and you’re slowly removing people that you follow because why did I follow them? And why am I unfollowing them? And why am I spending so much time on this phone doing absolutely nothing. I am not inspired. I am more depressed.

I read 20 pages from a book yesterday, and all I could think about was how inconsistent I am as a reader. And I hate it, and I don’t know where I am going to be, and I don’t want to be here. I want to be distant, alone, and I need that for a while. 

Why am I writing this? To who am I writing this? Its for me, I think, it’s for me – like all of these decisions are a fight for myself, and suddenly I am a victim, but a hero, and this divided identity is what is breaking me apart. Living in New York, but also in Gulfport, but also in the past, and in the future, and away and here, and never in ONE PLACE. 

It’s spilled everywhere, my self, and I am just moving it around, and as I grab it to collect it back, so that I can have myself to me again, it slips right through my fingers. 

in the dallas, in the texas

From a certain angle, you could frame the picture as if we were dining together. But we were sitting at separate tables. Dining alone at the Dallas International Airport, waiting for our next flight, for the giant, flying bus to drop off its passengers so we can take our seats and continue our journey through life. 

She has a life outside of this moment, and so do all the people who pass by, flowing eastward or westward, towards gates C23 and above, or C21 and below. These airports are small metropolis’, cities in their own right, ports. Air Ports. I believe that I understand the meaning now, because this is not a place to settle down with your family, and this is not where your child will grow up, assume a moral standpoint, become a man, or woman. Instad this is the place where your child will spill his Shake Shack smoothie all over his t-shirt, and because your belongings are being journeyed across the world separately, you will have to rush him into the bathroom with the little white man on it, sit him on the sink, and desperately try to return the shirt to some form of normalcy. Except it won’t return, but you still try, and he still cries because in all of this displacement, the gravity of that shake made him feel centered, as if he had arrived, somewhere. 

I don’t know if this counts as a visit to Texas. I sure would like to mark it down as one of the places that I’ve visited, and maybe I can say that I’ve made my way through all 50 states when I am old and wrinkly. But being here this brief, maybe an hour, and eating an Airport taco, I am not sure that would really count as visited Texas. But what really does count? I have been in Gulfport for upwards of a year now, and I can barely name 10 streets, 10 restaurants, 10 famous writers. I am just kidding, I grew up in New York and I couldn’t name those things, but one day I would like to. 

What is it like to truly know a place? Maybe its to recognize when something about it changes. Did you see that new store that opened up in Harlem on 137th and Lenox? The Starbucks? Yeah, it took the place of Mr. Albert’s old corner dry cleaners. Now there are people here who weren’t here not that long ago, but they live here now. 

I am regretting those tacos that I bought from Papadillos at the airport. Late meals are hardly ever satisfying. Come to think of it, is anything late ever good? Late text messages, late phone calls, late responses… Ok, that’s a different thing. But here I am, and I don’t even want to respond to anything. I want to walk this entire airport, and maybe live in this in-between thing I have going on. The feeling that I have arrived, but I will not stay, but that it’s not permanent. Part of the existential crisis I face is that I have this feeling regularly even when I am not travelling. I am not really home in Gulfport, but I am not not-home. In fact, it seems so impermanent precisely because it is, and that’s the truth about all of these places I frequent. Maybe one day I will be settled, even if its some sort of rotational settling, like how the Earth and Sun agreed to stay close, even though they’re not entirely together. They’ll revolve around each other, doing their little dance, until the sun, like all stars do, dies, or absorbs the Earth. The continuity of the Earth will necessarily be independent of our own. Even if we “destroy” it, we won’t really destroy it, we will simply make it uninhabitable. 

What’s the difference? I am still here, but I am uninhabitable because of past hurts. I am just kiidding. I have a penchant for the dramatic when I express myself, and sometimes I wonder what will people think if they read this a few years from now. Will they take it all as truth? The Truth! I hope not, because I cannot describe a harder thing to define than the truth. It’s like grabbing water from a river and saying this is the truth, and then pointing to where you grabbed it from… an area that’s already filled with more “truth” and then you pour it back, and it’s part of the river again, but if you try to grab it once more, it will be another version of the truth. Never the same. Somehow this is unsettling to people. 

I want to argue that there is no such thing as truth, but people say that the truth is worth dying for. The unexamined life is not worth living, ie, the life worth living is that in which we seek the truth. But who can find it? 

note to me

Please don’t let the dreams die, Ledi. 28 was the hardest year for you, but despite all of the challenges you found success in many areas of your life. 

Now, you must embrace the difficulties and challenges ahead like never before. Don’t give up. Simplify your life, no more bullshit. No more excuses. Let them say what they say and think what they think. It is going to be fine. It is going to be more than fine. This is a major part of your journey, so think about what you want to do at this point. 

Don’t pay attention to what could have happened, who could have helped, or who you would have wanted to stay. Let it all go, let them all go. Accept this moment, this reality, and love that part of life. 

Enero

Hace frio, hace mucho frio.

I find warmth in my mother’s arms. She holds me tight. Her creation, I am. She birthed me on her 24th year, brought me into this world to show me life. We held hands together and she would share her dreams with me, of owning a house one day, of utopian freedom with our own backyard. More than anything, she showed that she had something to prove and lugged us around on her work days. 

Her face lit up at our parent-teacher conference. She would meet the person who was charged with educating me, one who would introduce new concepts, ideas, that I was quick to devour. My mom was proud of what I could do with my mind. 

Mom walked us down groceries aisles, where we loaded up our carts with gogurts, chips ahoy, ramen noodles and soda cans. She carried the load for us, helped us stay together, even when everything threatened to break us apart.

On her hand she has a small black dot. My mom held my hand a lot, and she showed me closeness. She was tough sometimes, and she wanted to make me stronger. When she was fed up with my messes, she would launch my shoes to my door. She made a statement that way. 

Mom loved to play her music loud when she cleaned, but I didn’t like dancing with her. Although my sister did. They danced in the living room, la sala, and they never tired. She could dance all day, they both could. 

Another thing mom loved, dulce de leche cortada. This was her favorite dessert. She would have a spoonful, then give me a spoonful, then my sister, and then her again.