My Life Story: A Prequel (or Orphic Distraction)

I wrote this a while back and recently reworked it – new clay, new vision. You won’t get the orphic reference until the end, but I insist the entire piece is merely a riff on inverted reflections of lyrical cubism in a variegated temporal dysphoria as seen through orange glass during a supernova hurricane of the soul.

Head of Orpheus on the Water or the Mystic - Odilon Redon - 1880

Dead.

I am…

punched in the back of the head on the track during off-season. I’m thirteen and running in a white t-shirt and light grey warm-ups and tears are streaming down my face. A cadre of ne’er-do-wells defends me from the attacks of the hillbilly fuck whose daddy beats him, but I disdainfully brush away their pity, and I run until my asthma attacks me and I collapse on the track. I can see my house just across the street and think to go home is even worse. And I am …

death on five horses. Blades descend. I live in tents and roaches crawl over my skin. The rats eat my pet spurns. I suffer and love the pain and I start to lean. I start to lean towards the hillbilly death machine. I intersect myself with returning soldiers, newly integrated into society with tales of atrocities. I politely decline a continuous stream of meth, but my resolve begins to break down. I catch my hand extending, but then a little boy tells me how he “stabbed an Iraqi in the face and couldn’t stop, and then raped the corpse because someone from that village killed a guy I was in basic with” and he pulls from the bottle of vodka, and i see blood flow back down the bottle neck. And I am …

a greaser – candy cigarettes under a tight hanes. A girl who will be a broken woman hangs on my shoulder for pictures that will be black and white and faded. Behind the shades I am eight years old and raucously addicted to the unending pursuit of being a god damned supergenius. And I am …

not yet me, but I am close. I am thirty-five years old and reading comics again. I am in love with the infinite, and I find the infinite in a single person that I now share my life with. I am embracing the television shows I should have enjoyed twenty years ago when instead I was watching garbage. I can see all that I had the potential to be, and all that society doesn’t want me to be. And she loves me and supports me, and thinks I’m amazing, even when I’m not. I quit smoking and drinking so much, and I do it for her to show her that I don’t need those things anymore because I have her. And I am …

no one in a sea of teenage angst – a face in a wall of brighter faces. At fourteen, I endure duct tape turbans and become intimate with the bottom of trash cans. I imagine the word “spurn” as a physical entity, an urchin-like creature used by the opposite sex to constantly remind me of who I am not worthy to consider myself a possible suitor for. I start to enjoy the spurn creature and let it feed off of me. And I am …

still eight years old, burdened with cheap glasses my parents cannot afford. The lens are heavy, a result of reading too much at a young age. The glasses wear me down until I’m groveling at the feet of humans desperately in need of someone to feel superior over. And my popularity wanes, and the candy cigarettes were eaten long ago, and later I’ll want that broken woman. And I am …

an adult by some standards. Eighteen, but not free to do as I please. I operate on a pinball table of things to do – ramps to climb even though I don’t have the momentum, bumpers to rattle my senses, and I’m paddled, and paddled, and paddled, and paddled, by the patterns of everyone else but me. The glasses are gone, but the scene is blurrier than before. Jesus is there for me, and so is vodka. And I am …

back in the real world at twenty-five. My friends are building families, smoking pot in the small yards of their cookie cutter houses, bragging about their Rangers tickets, and reciting the internet meme of the day to weed out the has-beens. They’ve lived the life and are quick to act shocked when they ask what I do these days and I say “I want to write forever”. I start a new collection of spurns. My phone becomes my glasses. I try to make friendly with the natives and it turns into the track again, and I’ve got an Apple logo-shaped bruise on my head. The message of the day is “this is what you could have had before it was too late” and it suddenly comes back to me that I used to have potential but these people beat it out of me to keep me below them. And I am …

failing miserably. I’m twenty and I follow my friends to college, but never enroll. I roll down hills in the nude and collect grass clippings to decorate my collection of spurns. My friends follow the directions, and I follow a plastic table and chairs off a second-story balcony into oblivion. Glass tables break underneath me, I swim in blue curacao and vomit fish and chips into someone’s lovely fern … err, wait … into someone’s face. My fingers are yellowed from the hanging butt, forgotten in between the middle and forefingers. I see many beds, and none are mine. Women ask me to smile, and I tell them to make me. I take what people give me to smoke, to eat, to swallow, to binge on, to devour, to imbibe, to dive into, to hit, to bleed over. I spin in crowds of knife-wielding college kids and we spin to the sound of heroin on guitars, pills played on Wurlitzers, a marijuana fucking hoedown on the frying street. And I wake up with people, and I wake up with guns, and I wake up with mustard mustaches and have to jump out windows to flee authority figures and angry boyfriends. I rip my flesh on chain link fences and cure the wounds by pouring Taddy Porter over them. I sit in apartment rooms for hours waiting for deliveries while wigged out hillbillies trade guns and play xbox on futons. The parties bleed into each other and my friends wean themselves off the vomit spirals, but I keep going. I’m backstage and commanding attention. I ride in a car and fall out the passenger side into traffic and I remember flying naked through a cul-de-sac with a rose in one hand and a flaming fucking dildo in the other. It’s a thousand degrees at festivals and I roll over people and suck my own brains from the parasites that feed off me in the grass, on the blankets we bought in San Antonio. And I wonder where my car is. And Austin beckons and I answer. And I am …

done with this shit. And I leave that place in a boat full of my belongings. I have nearly sunk too low to leave, but I make it. And I am …

holding up the bar. Thirty years old and I find a nice column to lean against and I begin to write. I smoke a pack a day and I love to smoke. I am “that guy”. My bar tab is named “Dude” and its perpetual. I am a regular and regularly beyond those that sit next to me in the dark. I find enemies and nemeses and allies and occasional bodily collisions, and I write everyone down in a little book. I become a writer. I see the chapters written on people’s faces. I see the stories in their wasted lives. Scotch is my friend. I wake up in my car at 4:00am and vomit fish and chips out my window. I am nostalgic. I daydream of running naked through laundromats, and china shops, and Christian bookstores. I am finally me again, but I am alone. And I am …

furious. I destroy a few lives and wreak havoc in the suburbanite warrens of lassitude. I crush them. I am an agent of chaos, operating on the sly, beneath the radar, and I ruin people’s futures with my strategies. The world has become a chessboard and I am undefeated and beyond the skill of anyone I meet. No one sees this in me, no one knows what I have allowed to grow inside. I breach security to write soliloquy on the inner chalkboard of people’s mind with sharpies. And I am …

waking up. I meet regret in my closet in the house that I share with my father. I commit one last crime against the suburbanites to free a caged bird whose song is no longer appealing. I start to realize that I am still not myself. I think I’ve locked myself away, deep down. I have lost that key. I wonder who the fuck I am. And I am …

five years old, or maybe six. I’m learning how to swim. I’m hanging off the end of the high platform over cold water. I’m seeing girls laugh at me. I’m scared. I’m embarrassed and ashamed. And I am …

happy at last. I start to think I’m halfway through my life, but I think instead, “fuck that … my life’s a third of the way over. I can live to be 102.” And I start to plan, but I need the old me, the old me I was supposed to be, to come out again. I can be him now that I’ve found her so close. I can geek out. I can indulge in DS9, and Pete and Pete, and Doctor Who, and Keeping Up Appearances, and Legos, and video games. And I am …

pulling my old self deep from the chasm within. I’ve found the key and rescued him, and cleaned him up, and given him a palette to work with. But he’s moving ahead of me – I’m distracted by couches, and good food, and beer. He’s at the gates and he looks back. And I am …

alive.

9 thoughts on “My Life Story: A Prequel (or Orphic Distraction)

  1. waking up to read this, without fish and chips and broken bottles. I am.. captured by the blackness, diving into it and coming up, refreshed, interested, taking the key and opening the gate for the self, again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s