“If I get it all down on paper it’s no longer inside of me
threatening the life it belongs to”


Holidays bring up memories in some form for everyone. And I don’t care what anyone says – each and every one of us who can still feel in some small, frantic way, will have one Pang. Whether it be momentously loud in the middle of a roomful of people or soft and sinfully quiet in the dead of night.


That twinge when you’re looking at one thing and catch something out of the corner of your eye…think you see someone who’s so long gone that when you twist your head to see the nothing that had been there you pause…because you know they were there just a moment ago and shouldn’t have been but oh…please…


Walking through a crowd and suddenly you think you hear a voice you’ve longed to hear again call your name but…no…no one familiar is there. Just a sea of random faces and expressions who have and want nothing to do with you, and they blend and become Legion with a voice that sounds like the Tower of Babble right before God said “SHUT THE FUCK UP ALL OF YOU!” but they didn’t…they just spoke in different tongues…


When you realize you’ve admitted to someone you’ve recently met that they remind you of someone else who you adored loved cherished because their soul glows just as big and bright and loving…and you haven’t done what you promised to their daughter and write about them so that the grandchild they knew for just a short amount of time and the grandchild they never met because life can be so fucking mean unkind cruel could maybe understand the Grandmother who brought the woman they call Mom into their world taught most of the others they call Aunt or Uncle to be the good people they are regardless of the fact that some of us are still fucked up in our way…she did this even though we weren’t bloodkin but she treated us as same…

Even The Prodigals among the bunch…




And you can’t say the same for your own Mother. Because what she taught was hold it in hold it in wear the fucking mask fake it you won’t make it but fake it anyway because hey it works…until you wake up in a cold sweat at night hearing the aria from La Bohème in your head and you know that mask she wore was off because it’s now suddenly 3:00 am on a school night and she’s hammered listening to the aria at volume 43 because she’s wishing the man she fucked was still there and you’re just that god awful reminder of love’s labor’s lost to her on some level…

And the last mask you ever saw on her comes with a sound that triggers you when you hear even a hint of the


And the lips that used to yell at you call you stupid holler at the TV tell you to take a letter to the Olympic committee laugh like the devil himself when she was happy and sometimes if you were lucky when you were older say the words “I love you”

…are sewn shut.






And you hold out your hand…a hand that changed diapers for your grandmother and mother…a hand that clenches so tightly sometimes from the anger that you manage the way a fireman on the old steam locomotives managed the boiler so that the engine didn’t blow skythefuckhigh…

And sometimes he wasn’t good enough, and it blew skythefuckhigh…leaving mangled bodies and twisted steel and damaged goods flung across the landscape like a child flinging a handful of sand  and laughing as she does…

And you hold out your hand…fear unnerving cold deep in your gut because you know you’re disobeying and not wearing the mask you were taught to wear but Christ it’s stifling not you never been you you were never meant to be masked so hard to breathe in it let me be let me be let me be me I know I can do it…

…damaged goods decidedly but decidedly good still and all…

And…and you hold out your hand…

…and breathe.


“And feel like I’m naked in front of the crowd ’cause these words are my diary screaming out loud
And I know that you’ll use them
However you want to”



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