I remember having a friend who I’d ride for,
I remember having a friend who I’d die for,
I remember having a friend who never appreciated that,
And told me he was sorry that I’d committed so much,
I remember losing a part of myself,
Remembering the promise I had told myself,
As the realization (and the day), began to dawn upon us,
I felt the bitter reality hit me harder than any drug,
Permeating into my bones,
Taking away my resolve and control,
I remember hearing myself say that it was okay,
That we were men, men who had control,
Men who made decisions, not being controlled by such,
Such petty self-interest.
Had I drank more?
How was I not the one puking behind the trees?
I don’t remember where we went after we decided that home would never be enough,
I couldn’t summon any memories of better times,
And for the life of me, in the energy of the moment,
I was at a loss for any tangible reality,
That led to the continuation of the friendship.
It was instinct, reflex, reality coming home to roost,
I made no decisions about where we were heading,
I just led on, into the end of the night.
Maybe if the alcohol hadn’t been involved,
Maybe if either of us had the drive to hold the other accountable,
But I don’t think I would have ever let that be an option,
And why would I take your advice, if you had given it,
Why would I have been sympathetic?
I had to come back from where I was,
You had to keep going from where you were.
We were chasing the same dragon,
Being hunted by everyone in the world,
And we moved so much more swiftly when we had the belief,
That there was a purpose in our mutually self-destructive habits.
I still hold hope,
The same hope I hold halfway through an album,
Hoping the songs get better as the playback timer counts down.
I know you decided to put your life before me,
I accepted that awhile ago,
I guess I just want a little sympathy,
As the story you put back on the shelf,
After reading awhile and realizing,
Your time is better served elsewhere;
Just dog-ear the page and come back to me later,
Textbooks have always had a bigger marketing budget anyways.
The most memorable part of the day was in a 7-11 parking lot, somewhere in the heart of Woodland Hills west of the Golden State freeway. Even with perfect vision he couldn’t imagine anyone being able to focus on the road here. The amount of flashing lights and oversized advertisements screaming for anyone’s attention (and through their visible dilapidation, not accomplishing the task) would be more than enough to cause an accident. Is there even such a thing as visual stimuli overload insurance? There would definitely be a market.
It’s funny how all of the 7-11 clerks are mostly the same. Backtrack- he doesn’t really know what 7-11 clerks are like anywhere else but here. But there’s always a brief moment of personal respect before it is stamped out in favor of ‘professional etiquette,’ or talking aggressively in well-structured sentences with poorly pronounced words. He gets it. It’s the same face he was paid to wear for a while when he was employed at a business where the monthly income was tied directly to his personality.
There’s nothing unique or special about the moment he is realizing has descended upon him. The clerk says ‘thank you’ in a mild condescending tone, offers no bag (policy? frugality? laziness?), and he bears no memory of his footsteps from the counter, across the parking lot, and into his car. He sits there for a moment, cracks open an energy drink and contemplates sitting here and watching the storefront as his Saturday night activity.
The piney flavor of his chosen IPA washed down most of the emotions he was choking on as he read his touchscreen. He wonders why more people aren’t alcoholic, if it’s this easy to put aside your problems. It’s certainly easier than succumbing to the self- triggered panic attacks he’s all but forgotten from his high school years.
The screen glared back at him, waiting to do its job and then be put back to sleep. The gnarled fingertips hovering over it were motionless, waiting for a cue from the nerve center that was currently in turmoil. Clicking the screen off, he exited of the car he was sitting in and tramps inside his room.
The larger laptop screen greeted him with an even harsher glare, mocking the lack of words or substance flowing in any direction at all. Pulling on anything he manages to grasp for more than a moment, ideas began to form in barely familiar clumps in his head. The words begin to appear, letter by letter, egging him on to try and do more, to go faster, to showboat; to diminish the raw immateriality of what he’s actually feeling.
Which he does without pause- there is no rhyme or reason to his life, why should there be here?
I know it can’t be healthy to sit here every day,
Amidst the once- valuable lessons others have learned from,
Hearing promises from others,
Who’ve ‘been there.’
I’ve watched freshman looking half my age move past me,
I’ve been told to pull my head out of my ass,
Through all of it I just wanted to find a friend,
So I can go home.
If I find a career, great,
If I make millions, so be it.
I’m doing this for my best friend,
I might be doing it for my health,
If that’s the case,
The only friend I have is myself