As like my poem “Last Time” I am going to let this piece speak for itself first — and allow whoever reads it to not have their perception of it affected by my own until after it has been read.
Of Worthlessness & Worth.
I forgive you.
Because you’re worthless.
You took something from me.
Because you’re worthless.
Something I can never get back.
Because you’re worthless.
I’m a better person now.
Because you’re worthless.
I have perspective and understanding now.
Because you’re worthless.
You are worthless.
I hope you become of worth.
This world needs more of that.
I hope you become of worth.
Bitterness is a poison.
I hope you become of worth.
My wish for you is to learn humility.
I hope you become of worth.
People do not need the pain you are capable of weaving.
I hope you become of worth.
I will never stop loving you.
I hope you become of worth.
This poem has a bit of a double meaning for me. I have written it to represent my journey about a betrayal from one of my very closest friends of whom I cannot any longer give myself to. They hurt me too much, and in a way where as egotistical as it sounds; they do not deserve my presence. Ever again.
This poem also represents me speaking to the woman who molested me in pre-school. I have not been able to express anything about it in writing since I first remembered of the ordeal in high school. It has taken me this long to write something towards her.
As usual, this piece has given me great release and closure from these experiences. I feel I can properly move on now.
On a more positive aside — this is the very first thing I have written in my new book for poetry. It was purchased during a friend’s birthday at the Renaissance Festival this past weekend and is pictured in the featured photo. 100% handcrafted paper and hand treated bound leather. The mermaid on it made me think of Megan and how little girls regularly tell her she looks like a mermaid with her blue hair. The book just spoke to me.
I felt this piece was the perfect starting point for this new book, and for this chapter of my life where writing is once again a part of me. I feel whole again.
Sometimes going a good amount of time without writing is helpful for me to create a piece that I am truly proud of and means a great deal to me.
Just recently spent a lot of time with Megan’s family in Minnesota for the holiday. Had to work a decent amount (about a normal work week) while there. Whenever I did have free time it was spent with them, every moment. Even if it just meant reading while in their presence and speaking when spoken to.
Felt like I got considerable time with them, and got to thinking about what they mean to me and how they make me feel I mean to them.
I was inspired, and so wrote again.
Shower of Love.
This is about my family.
Not the one born into.
The one who accepts me.
They shower me with love and hugs.
Introduced into their life at first,
A former criminal.
Acceptance was not given immediately.
Rightly so, daughter hadn’t need more tragedy.
Respect from me freely given, they had something wanted.
Something prepared to earn.
Years later, different lifetime.
Feels as though we’re different people, together.
Family. Melded & complete.
Showered with love.
Often respect & love have to be given, in order to be earned.
Just thanking my lucky stars to be given a chance.
Benefit of the doubt,
after safety became non-concern.
Family is my strength.
I grow as it.
More comfortable. Happy.
This is about my family.
Not the one born into,
of which I cannot express gratitude in words — yet.
Feeling like the story about this poem is much more interesting than the poem itself. My friend Dave that I met in Hawai’i while we speak infrequently now, is like a brother to me. He ended up having to go back to Maine before our first semester completed.
A few nights before he left town us and the rest of the Ohana went out for a night of fun. Dave and I decided that we were going to hold on to one cigarette in each of our ears for the whole night. To see if we could make it last.
Both of our cigarettes made it — discolored from sweat, though his broke in half. I remember sitting on a log after nights’ end watching the sunrise. I believe we were all together at that time. Myself, Jack, Kainoa, Kisa, & Dave. Gavin & Neal were not a part of the festivities yet, unfortunately. While sitting on the log I pulled out my pen and wrote this poem on the cigarette that had made it through the night with us.
I read it then and there to Dave, and smoked it by myself fairly saddened — after he left the island.
Cigarette for Dave.
Here’s a cig from me to you,
It wasn’t the last, nor one of the few.
Just remember when it’s over, it’s not through.
Yo guy, hit me up when you need a true crew.
— To my Maine-iac in brotherly arms.
Dave and I chatted just recently about getting back together again one of these days, or in Valhalla. Whichever comes first. I can’t wait the give the asshole a giant hug.
Megan is an Extrovert — with introverted tendencies. I am an introvert, which I have written about a few times. This means that we’ve literally had to work with our marriage counselor about talking, and how much of it I can handle.
How to properly express myself when there has been too much talking and I need to take a break from it. Likewise, for Megan to see this as not being a slight against her and to be able to respond calmly with understanding in kind.
True communication. Recognizing, at base, who each other are as people so that the small things that pile up on a day by day basis do not tear us apart from the foundations. True love in that fashion as well. We love each other with such depth that we want to continually work to communicate better, and reduce the daily friction that occurs between people.
One of the ways we do this is by experiencing things together in which we are not allowed, or cannot easily talk.
Something that we can then have an entire conversation about afterwards that I am not only engaged in, but am incredibly excited to jabber in detail. Movies either at home or in the theater, musicals, plays, and I’ve even dragged myself to some ballet with Megan as it was Swan Lake, after all.
We do plenty of experiences with talking as well, usually to a bar or a sporting event. I really like to listen to people talk in public. Some people call it eavesdropping, I call it observation. So when Megan and I are in a place where I feel like people could and would be doing the same to me, I don’t like to talk very much. I’m a fairly private person in public. Loud spaces make me more me — I’m willing to speak my mind more freely when the evidence in front of me tells me I am much harder to be heard.
Funny to write about being a private person in public, considering all this private information I am writing about myself for the world to see. Though, when it comes to representing myself in writing, I’ve pretty much been free with myself online since before my teens. Also at least, when it comes to who I am as a person — I don’t mind people being able to read it. My thoughts can be edited here — I’m bad at editing my spoken word at times.
Back to experiences, though. Ones where Megan and I don’t get to talk much. I’m going to write a sentence now that I think some people have a hard time understanding — or it will offend them.
Every time I get on my motorcycle I am comfortable with the idea that it may be my last time.
Megan and I haven’t spoken about it yet, though I am sure we will before this is posted in the morning. I am fairly positive she is comfortable with this now, too — and I never begrudge anyone who isn’t. You have to be to get on one of the things. If you don’t think about that decision before getting on one, you should.
Recently Megan and I truly started riding together. I have owned my motorcycle for four years and crashed it twice. Once my fault, the other not. It’s been two years since my last accident. I learn more through my accidents than anything else, and I learned a lot from those.
Don’t think I am a newbie, either. I grew up riding dirt bikes with my friend Jake in his back yard. Took the motorcycle class, got my endorsement, and then rode a moped for a significant amount of miles in Hawai’i before I got wasted and it got stolen.
Riding a motorcycle is like the rest of life, you can be cautious, but it is just as unpredictable.
So to have Megan finally comfortable, so comfortable and trusting she closes her eyes on rides, means the world to me. We do not ride dangerously, we ride extremely defensively and can count out by number when we get home how many accidents we avoided — as well as where we could have died had we not been aware.
We go on these rides together, sharing an experience that no one else will ever get. We see the breathtaking Colorado landscape and sunset — carving in the curves along it.
Knowing full well that if this is our last, it’s our last together.
That is one of the very best things about riding my motorcycle with Megan. It is an experience we share together where at any moment, we could both perish. I know that sounds terrifying to people — but I have have found that being scared of death itself is a great way to not actually live. It’s a great way to hold yourself back from things you want.
When Megan and I get on that motorcycle together, we are comfortable with the idea of Death taking us under its cloak and never letting go. We’re not asking for it, we don’t want it. We sure as hell don’t spend the entire ride worrying about it, though.
No, it’s that slight level of fear that is needed to ride and stay safe. The one that can be acknowledged but conquered. With warm air flowing all around, and a rumbling engine beneath. It’s that feeling of taking back some of the choices life makes for us, and making a choice for ourselves. Doing and experiencing what we want, because it makes our daily life more enjoyable and brings us closer together as people and as a couple.
Riding is one of the many things Megan and I do as opposites so that we can communicate better and enjoy each others’ company better. It’s quickly become one of our very favorite things to do now that Megan is so much more comfortable than she used to be.
Now we can go through this year’s catalogue to pick out a better seat and louder pipes for the highway — because the thing is completely paid off! I wrote about catharsis and football, how there are things that give me great release. I just feel better about life after a ride. Not even football compares to how happy and complete I feel as a person — when Megan is on the back of my motorcycle and we are riding through beautiful scenery.
I’m really happy that as the years go on we are still finding new ways to properly enjoy and appreciate each others’ company. I look forward to seeing what rides we map out next in life.
Previously posted part two first. Didn’t know if this one could be found or if I wanted to. This is one of the angrier things I have written. From my angsty teenage self with unrequited love that I felt I deserved.
I don’t believe the person who I wrote this about has read it, and we aren’t in touch so I’m not sure if she ever will. I certainly don’t hold on to these things anymore.
Stubborn Heart Part One.
No. Fuck you, Kei.
I was always there for you! Day in, day out!
Waiting for you to come through my door and tell me you needed me.
You never called me! You always had bullshit to do, I had to put forth the effort.
I wanted to see you, I never gave you any reason to be mad at me before!
Then, this one friggin’ time I blow up at all the shit you throw in my way…
you never wanna speak to me again?
Well fuck you too!
I’m sorry I got tired of hearing about your sexcapades.
I am in love with you ya know,
that shit hurts.
It hurts to think about you sleeping with some guy,
seconds before I pass out.
It sucks that your face clutters my fuckin’ head!
So filled with emotions revolved around you!
No, fuck you!
How many times did I tell you how I feel, huh?
You just brushed it off like I was some stranger!
I wasn’t the only one to confess my love for the other in a drunken phone call.
But you never wanted to talk about it.
So as I lift these chains off my demolished, debilitated, destroyed heart.
I gave everything.
I lost everything.
Used to think I was empty without you,
you know what I realized?
My life is full.
I have family, friends, and myself.
I don’t need you, guess I never did.
So you know what?
When you want a real man in your life, call me, I might know someone.
But not me, that train left today.
March of 2008, my Grandfather died. This is the first loss I truly felt of someone who I had known throughout my entire life, extremely closely. I had lost others but this was the most impactful for me, expected or otherwise in my life — at that time.
Not the least of which because I was at a “job fair” with some friends and got the phone call while there. I raced home to see my grandfather lying face-up, dead, on the kitchen floor. All the same things he was usually wearing. Glasses, pocket protector, plaid shirt, jeans, velcro shoes, and his belt.
There’s a story that is going to be written about that belt. Suffice it to say I took it off his still warm corpse and I am wearing it as I type this out. There’s a lot more to it than that, though. Unfortunately. That, however, is for another day.
This poem is what I wrote about my Grandfather and shared at his wake. It still makes me emotional.
the History Channel,
and a three hour conversation that came from saying you wanted cheese on your burger.
Some of the best memories in my life involve that man.
He will be held in my hand,
heard in my voice,
worn on my waist,
and seen in my pupils.
When I look at that pink building, Gramps.
I’ll hear you, just like I can hear you hollerin’ as I open some pudding.
And I’ll remember,
one of the best men I knew, was proud of me.
No long article today, didn’t have the time as there was real work that pays the bills to be done. New poetry, though!
Had a conversation with a friend yesterday. I was being supportive but truthful. He wasn’t exactly happy with me but I wanted to tell him I care in the only way I can, honesty.
I told him I love him and care about him multiple times, regardless how angry he may feel at my words. He didn’t walk away from the conversation and we ended it on, I feel, really good terms.
I got to thinking about how often I use the word love, which is quite often. I love to use the word, and I mean it when used. This is about being more free with the use of the word love. The kind of difference I think that can make.
A word held so close to the chest,
it’s as if it was directly in tune,
with your heart’s,
What if we didn’t hold it so close?
Sure, a higher chance of being morose, romantically —
what if we toss that stance,
Love of family and friend,
let it be free,
allow it to support,
give it a lend.
There’s a lot more can be done with a kind hand,
You just might find in due time,
if you give love a send,
Catharsis. One of my very favorite words. Football is something that gives me great catharsis. Right up there with being tattooed, & riding my motorcycle. I love to watch football with my family, or even entirely by myself at home. Because of the great catharsis it gives me to get emotionally invested in my team and the game — and give in to those emotions entirely during it.
This is something I wish I understood more when playing ice hockey. I’d like to have been more emotionally invested in the game, anything, in those times. Though I guess when you don’t understand emotions at all it’s hard to understand your own — as well as when and how to harness them.
I really wasn’t the biggest football fan until turning nineteen, going crazy, meeting Megan, & starting mandatory therapy. Now, I was a Broncos fan — since the start of the 1997 and Super Bowl XXXII winning season. Which was when I was getting Sports Illustrated Kids in Andover. Many articles about Terrell Davis & John Elway, my then idols, were consumed. I was also eight years old and had spent a fair chunk of my life outside of the US playing soccer as a goalie on concrete during lunch. My first real exposure to football that I can actively remember was after moving to Andover, and watching Super Bowl thirty-two on the fancy big screen.
I went to a number of Broncos games and CU Buffs games growing up. Relatives will tell you I’ve also been to a handful of Patriots practices at Gillette field, don’t believe them. Not a word, I won’t admit to it any longer.
Football just didn’t click with me, though. Elway’s retirement and Davis’ subsequent injury-forced one are the first real heartbreaks I can remember. Aside from losing my great-grandmother, Nana. So I kind of forsake the sport for a good amount of time.
It just awoke in me one day, though. I can’t even remember what caused it.
My brother has given me a hard time and tried to postulate that it was because of the Tim Tebow season. However I have fine evidence of me watching the Broncos have a grand ol’ time fielding Kyle Orton — and watching that garbage fire of a season before 2011 when he was thankfully replaced part way through. I remember really disliking Josh McDaniels as well.
Of the ones I have seen, that 2011 season is the most hilariously successful season the Broncos have had. Watching that glorified halfback attempt to hit the broad side of a barn for three quarters, then have the defense & Von Miller’s Defensive Rookie of the Year season — keep it close to save his butt. The guy continued on to pull out some halfback/quarterback nonsense, to win the game.
It must have been so infuriating for the opposing fans. Then there’s that wildcard playoff game against the Steelers. Where the Broncos won the first overtime game with the updated rules in league history — on the first play. On a Tim Tebow pass of about 15 yards to Demaryius Thomas who took it to the house.
What I really want to talk about though is the stadium experience, that’s my favorite.
There’s absolutely nothing like it for me. I have been to a lot of places and experienced many different things, going to a live NFL football game is one of my very favorites. I’ve certainly found it to be one of the greatest natural highs there is for me. Even starting with waking up on game day. Megan and I, or anyone that I go with, typically make a whole day of it. It’s a vacation, for that day, to Mile High and the surrounding area.
Orange, a sea of orange as far as the eye can see is something that just gives me such warmth and comraderie. I feel like I am a part of something that is just in general positive and fun. I’ve met and shared so many laughs with strangers whose faces I will never forget and names I will never remember.
Usually we sit in the five-hundreds which are the highest section up. I prefer to sit in the center field and those are the most affordable tickets for us at this time. I also like to be able to see the whole game. As long as I can read the numbers I am good, and there’s not a bad seat at Mile High for seeing digits effectively. It’s live all-22 film, I will never get enough of it.
That’s what’s so frustrating about watching the sport on TV sometimes. They spend so much time focusing on the football and the quarterback that you honestly don’t see all that much. There’s been so many times now I have been at a game and I see a big bomb in our favor or theirs before it even happens. I love groaning or gasping before the ball is even thrown — it’s exhilarating.
Speaking of exhilarating, let’s talk about the crowd.
That’s where most of the catharsis comes from. Starting with the walk up the ramps to the five-hundreds where I can see the crowd below and there’s just such anticipation that can be felt in the air. The excitement is palpable and invigorating! It just makes me feel satisfied with life. That I am at a place with all kinds of human beings just trying to get through this chaotic journey of ours. This is something we all share — regardless of religion, political beliefs, or any other such thing that causes people to not like each other for whatever reason; we share this. We are all football fans and share a love of something together.
Of course there are always jerks that either drink too much or take rivalry too seriously. However, for the most part the grand majority of the crowd I have found to be good respectable people looking to have a good time. I’ve had great heckling sessions with all kinds of opposing fans where we end the game no matter the score with, “good game” and shake hands.
When kickoff — kicks off, that is when I get to release any frustration, anger, depression, or any other in a breadth of emotions that just need release.
One of my favorite things about Mile High is not only how loud people are with their vocal cords. It’s the stomping. You can literally feel it throughout the stadium. From what I understand it isn’t anywhere near what the experience was in the original Mile High — but it’s good enough for me.
I get to roar at the top of my lungs. It’s absolutely liberating in the best of ways. My parents always taught me not to boo excepting very particular circumstances, and not to curse because there’s always going to be kids. So I end up yelling things like “Get him! Saaaaaaaack! Pansy! Laaaaamo!” or I just yell with all my might. Sometimes I will go so hard I almost pull a muscle in my core. I have before, it’s not fun — but it is at the same time. I do slip up and say nasty things sometimes, I try not to though.
Even when we lose, I feel better about life after a football game; that’s true catharsis.
I think these are things we need to find, escape — release. I’m learning as I get older that true experiences are meaning more to me too. I absolutely love video games and comic books, but there’s really not anything like actually going out and experiencing the world. Doing something with my body and with other people. It’s making me feel more connected and less of a meaningless speck.
At the end of the day because I am quite a bit of a nihilist (sans the rejecting moral principles portion) — I still think I am a meaningless speck, on a meaningless rock, in an ocean of so many meaningless rocks and stars that if you tried to visualize the number it would wrap around the Earth many times over.
But, in a way, isn’t that what makes life and this existence beautiful?
That if all I have, is this and these experiences? That I do what I can now because there is nothing, and no one after? It makes me feel pretty optimistic, really. The fact that I am happy and enjoying my life. This website in a morbid kind of way is meant to be my mark. Regardless of if people like this or want to read it, find meaning or not — I am finding meaning in it.
Just like football. What football means to me is that it is absolutely a part of me. It gives me great catharsis and happiness. It allows me to push on and appreciate what I have when I wonder, truly, if anything myself and we as a species does matters. Because honestly, from what I know about space, stars, time, & the universe — it would go on without a sneeze if we disappeared tomorrow.
That makes football, and life, so spectacular to think about for me. I’m really happy I get to experience these things, with people I love. That is what the meaning of life is to me.
This isn’t something I was intending to write yet. I’m going to be honest though, I was drinking and I got to thinking about him so couldn’t help myself. Don’t worry. I don’t write inebriated for the most part — I will start a draft, close it, and finish it another time as I am now.
My Pops, my Dad, my Father, my Hero, my Man, my Idol, my Map; has saved my life.
Probably more than I can recall. I’m sure he knows more than I do. This is about the one time, though. The one time he had a conversation with me that I know he remembers maybe more than any other.
I’ve heard it a lot of times from his perspective, but I’m not sure yet I’ve shared it from mine. This will be the closest in the timeline yet that I have written about — to when I lost my mind.
I was still in the mental hospital at this point, Kahi Mohala. It is a facility that I volunteered (was deftly convinced) to put myself in after being bailed out of jail, in tow of my Mother. I remember trying to hide from the “Yakuza” in the car seat — backed all the way down so nobody could see me, on the way there. It wasn’t even just on the way there. We stopped at another facility beforehand that didn’t have the capacity? Or something. Before that we went to the Punchbowl memorial. That is when I remember realizing I was being “followed”, though it wasn’t even the tenth time I’d made that realization in the preceding few days.
If you go to the memorial today, I remember signing the guest book. It was 2008. If the page is still there I may have signed it Trevor, Trayber, Travor, Trebor, or otherwise. It would have been December 24th.
That and my soap totem are a story for another day, though.
I remember my Pops and I sitting in some furniture. It was on the other side of some glass, with an enclosed garden beyond it. There was a, if I remember, budless tree surrounded by rocks within the garden.
I sat in the chair, facing parallel with the glass on its right side. I cannot remember the color — but the pattern was raised, and consistent. It created a sense of comfort.
Pops sat nearest to me in the corner of a sofa. The sofa was placed in a ninety-degree rotation of the chair, facing to view out the glass. It was of the same fabric. I need to place the scene very deliberately because that is the last I can remember of it.
Everything else I can remember is the pure intensity in his eyes.
I wrote earlier that I was deftly convinced to volunteer myself unto this place. It couldn’t have been seventy-two hours after that — I decided I was perfectly sane and should be released. Pops’ entire mission was to convince me not only to stay, but that I wanted to stay, and he succeeded.
He remembers the exact words he used with much more lucidity than I. What is in my memory though is that he made me feel like I needed the people in that place. Not only for my future as a functioning adult in society, but as a person.
Pops remembers convincing me to stay because I needed the doctors to tell the lawyers and the judge that I was just some kid that made a mistake and needed to learn from it. I remember him convincing me that those doctors, and those nurses, actually had my best interests in heart.
That I was safe. That I was where I should be and that I wasn’t okay.
It was like a pinhole camera. My Dad was the light and he found his focus, holding on for dear life — my dear life. I was not at this time capable of looking outside my insanity. I was still bopping to random Beyonce songs on the radio and drawing really uninteresting tribal shapes thinking I was some sort of messiah.
He broke through, though. I can only explain how by the intensity of the love that he had within his eyes when he spoke to me. I’m not sure I have ever seen so much concern and care in a man’s eyes before. It makes me feel like a better person just thinking about it now. The connection he made with me, and with his eyes in that time — legitimately brought me into a moment of true, realistic, clarity.
I don’t remember what it looked like, but I know he does. He’s told me about it. That he could see my body language, facial expression, and own eye contact — return to normal for just the slightest of moments. Enough for it to register.
It wasn’t shortly after I went into an existential conversation about how the Devil & Angels live among us and I am a combination of them both realized — or some such nonsense of the like.
I stayed, though. Without much more complaint or argument.
Details of my time in there are still rather fuzzy for me, but I did stay, and did behave; as well as have a number of the patients enjoy spending time with me. I did the activities and talked about my feelings and must have balanced out a bit — because I was out a week or so later.
Another powerful memory I have about that place was leaving it. I can remember how satisfying it was to finally smoke a cigarette again. To smoke it just outside the premises before getting in the car with my Mom to a hotel room. It gave the experience such finality to me, at least the Kahi Mohala portion of it.
I still wasn’t right for a long time, and I’m not sure if I ever will be. There’s definitely a lot less wrong with me today maybe than ever before in my life. I owe a lot of that to all the support I got from everyone throughout the ordeal.
In this piece though, in this moment in time, I owe it all to Pops.
Thanks for being there for me, Dad. Thank you for finding a way to get through to me that day. I’m not sure anyone else could have.
Music is something I have a very personal relationship with. So personal I very rarely share my music interests with others. So personal that I have stopped listening to entire genres of music because I could not control my emotions or desired actions while listening.
Music is so personal to me I literally feel it inside of me. My favorite thing to do during my substance abuse days was to sit by myself in nature, on LSD, and listen to music. To let it absolutely consume me. My every atom. That is, to this day, my favorite experience in life. I don’t know if that will ever change.
I’m starting to finally be able to feel music again. I can listen to Metal again which is fantastic. I’m actually going to a Slayer & Lamb of God concert this summer with my cousin, Ryan. Well, Megan’s cousin, but he’s mine now too. I don’t think of him as anyone but my cousin, and family. That’s why I am comfortable with going to this concert with him. This concert in this genre of music that means so much to me.
After I went crazy music was dead to me.
Completely, utterly, unquestionably, dead. I could not feel it inside of me. It gave me no pleasure. People would try to share their music with me and I would pretend to care. I couldn’t listen to anything. Not the Rolling Stones, Faith No More, Metallica, Tech, Rage, Queen, Tribe, Common, Zep, and on and on and on.
It’s one of the worst experiences I have dealt with — and it lasted years. It really wasn’t until the last few months where music made me really want to move around again. I’ll never be much of a dancer, but I’m saying that I wouldn’t even tap my foot to a beat at this time.
There were spurts, surely. But it wasn’t as deep or as consistent as it is right now. I’m open to and discovering new music. Something I haven’t done again until recently. For the longest time I was either listening to sports radio or film scores — as I never lost my love and emotion for film, so their scores were a form of music I was still capable of connecting with. Kind of a funky roundabout, but it really helped me cope with the issue for a long time.
It’s Metal and my love for Paul Perkins that has brought music back to me.
My cousins Kevin & Paul are the biggest metal heads I know. They were just finally getting myself and my brother into it right before I went insane. Alan went on to become just as big of a metal head as the both of them. I, on the other hand, could not listen to it any longer. I was too angry and it put me in even more of an angry place. Even when the songs weren’t inherently angry! Something like Amon Amarth’s Live Without Regrets is just super optimistic and inspiring.
Unfortunately Paul is no longer with us, but I like to think that part of the reason I am able to really connect with music again is because of that loss.
The journey of me being able to connect with music again can be traced back to a trip myself, Alan, & Kevin took to a record store in San Francisco while visiting Alan together — not very long after Paul’s passing.
This was the first exclusively vinyl store I have ever been into. My brother is hugely into collecting vinyl records like I am with physical movies, so he was super excited to show us his digs. There was a great smell in there. Like the kind you get when opening a brand new paperback book. It just wafts of creativity awaiting consumption.
Rows of boxes with hand-written cardboard signs denoting genres, sales, & price ranges. Records just littered in organized chaos, awaiting fingers to eagerly rifle through them. It’s here that I just went off on my own and started looking around. Alan wanted Kevin and I to each pick out something so we could listen to it together. Alan, Paul, Kevin, & I spent many hours solely listening to music together. Music was our language. I just wasn’t feeling it, though. I didn’t know what I was interested in picking up — because I wasn’t interested at all. I just wanted to get out of there.
Then I watched them look through the Metal section, and walk away from it without anything in hand.
I thought to myself “Well, if there’s nothing interesting for them, maybe I can find something.”
That’s all it took. I walked over to the left most box in the section that was facing the wall and started flipping through each record. I’m the kind of person that loves to judge a piece of artwork by the cover chosen for it. If you don’t put effort into your presentation then don’t expect me to put effort into what is behind it. “Don’t judge a book by its cover” has been far more relevant to me in life when it comes to people than when it comes to actual books.
And then I saw it, Tempest, by Lycus. There was something about the album artwork that just spoke to me. It felt like something that if showed to Paul he would not allow me to put down. He would grab my shoulder vigorously and bring his head close to my ear with a “Duuuuuuude! That’s wicked!” So I called Kevin & my brother over and they did something really similar. It was everything I wanted it to be.
Lycus is a specific kind of Metal, Doom Metal. It’s very melodic, deliberate, and patient. There’s a lot of chanting, and it just had a way of worming into my bones when we listened to it. It’s a kind of music that really allowed me to embrace my torture and grow with it rather than fight it.
Since the three of us first listened to that album my connection with music has been like a tarp full of water with a small tear in it. It starts as a small drip, but as it continues to rain, and slowly drops — that rip ever grows.
I realized today after having reconnected myself with music like Bullets & Octane, Coheed & Cambria, and even the original World of Warcraft scores — the tarp is almost entirely gone now.
I can bask in the rains of music again.
It’s a really liberating thing to be honest. I missed it quite a bit. I’m pretty sure human beings as a species in general share this same connection with music that I have. So you can understand when I tell you that having music dead to me is maybe the worst thing out of this journey that I have experienced.
The greatest gift I can give Paul in his passing is what I am doing now. I am using his loss, and my heartbreak from it to make me a more complete person again. It’s what he would want. He would be so excited to hear that I am going to the concert this summer. I only wish I didn’t have to carry him with me and that I could actually have him there next to me.
Thank you for inspiring me, Paul. Thank you for bringing music back to me. I miss you.