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[personal profile] jpeter
dim sum for dinner, $35 1hr parking. my father cries, my dog whines, my mess of a mother out scouring the west. we're forever slipping into furrows of lost time - together, apart, it doesn't matter. i look at an envelope and wish i could change my name. i miss you, it's cold in here. the radiator's never worked. this isn't a slint song. where has everybody gone? i don't know what year it is but my body is older than i remember. i look at the skin on my father's hands, thin as paper. i was 5 the last time i really took stock of his hands. life was simpler then. mom was intact. it seems my hands are like his now and i've lost 20 odd years. wish you were here so we could dig things up. love is an act of writing, it holds things together. sometimes its not bold enough. i haven't walked down waikiki beach since i was just a boy. dad's too old now to pick us up and spin us around. he no longer walks with us to the park casting shadows in front and behind the sanitized streets of evanston as if bodies weren't just speckles of paint. hawaii was probably a high point, the best in a series of brief attempts at peace. in my hood there are no parks, there is only the constant intimation of our death, a pendulous rumble passing through sheafs of time and memory bursting with people you'll never know and sounds you'll never hear. and too many city lights cascading through tears, mirages of people and places that never fully materialize. just colors, sensory pleasure running off track, nothing more.

dad: i don't remember a time when mom was ever happy
me: you don't remember ever hearing her smile?
dad: i don't remember her ever singing a song

it is hard, having memories of a person who's gone who only you miss and knew. and what is this thing in her place? what do you call it? sadist, narcissist, postpartum psychosis, can you add them all up and give it a name? can a person without meaning be a summation of labels? an empty set of inclusions and exclusions. the sight of an eye dithering and dilating.

most of the few happy memories i have growing up were moments of stillness, moments of shared silence with friends when we seemed to dip for a moment out of the tidal thrust of ordinariness. pausing to watch the sun set over the chesapeake bay, huddling in our coats, listening to the sound of water worrying the pier. t.b. and myself laying out under the stars in our sleeping bags, staring at the sky. my father like the wind at my back. watching the world through a car window at dawn. sunlight passing soft hands through the trees during the magic hour.

my mother singing while cooking christmas dinner. mom teaching me how to build a snowman, how to dig holes in the sand, how to pray. by the time my brother and sister were young enough to remember, that person was already gone.


this thanksgiving i am thankful for my father's life, my dog's life, xbox360, literature that once moved me, films that still distract me, all the awesome parties and music and people over the years that have shielded me from uttering the word "meaningless" at the mirror
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jpeter

March 2016

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