Tuesday, October 13, 2015

You take the medication and you feel better.

You feel better and you get your work done.

You get your work done and you learn how to enjoy yourself again.

You take the medication and you forget.

You forget how bad it can be.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I have found and reserved my apartment for my move to Indiana next weekend.

I am excited to once again be surrounded by engineers during my time at Purdue, and I am looking forward to my new field of study more than ever.

At the other end of this, I will be a doctor.

A doctor and an educator.

But now that I am leaving Baltimore again after only two measly years—most of which was spent in either an office or a classroom—I wonder if I actually have any idea what I am doing with my life or if I have just learned to maintain a convincing facsimile of confidence and competence.

I am ready to stop this nomadic "move away and start over every two years" act. At least for a while. The deposit on my rent for next month has made the move tangible. The change is no longer theoretical.

I know that this is the right decision. Even if I have to endure a year of not having a balcony on which to enjoy the occasional tobacco product.

But I find no shame in admitting that I am terrified.

And strangely sorry.

Sorry that I have to leave again so soon.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Urgent need for whiskey.

Stay away from that screen and put down the controller.

Water in the glass instead.

Too much at stake to let it take over again.

One more week and I'll have my degree.

Just one more week.

Two pills every morning to smile through the desolation.

And get the work done.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

I still catch myself worrying about cabinet space when I unload the dishwasher.

She took her dishes with her when she left.

But I still put everything in the same place.

Glasses crammed together on a half-empty shelf.

I keep glancing out the window.

Waiting for her headlights around the corner.

Wanting and not wanting for her to come home.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cold air bites at my face.

The silence of falling snow.

Crosshatched buckram on cardboard against my hands.

Paper between my thumb and forefinger.

Flecks of tar and oil form at the end—at the ember.

Charred tobacco.

Unmelted ice clinking in the glass.

Ethanol burns my cracking lips.

Fibrous rustling as I turn the page.

The ember flares.

Warm ash on my jacket.

Tar and oil and ink on paper.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Toast and tomato and pastrami and a fried egg for breakfast.

I eat to the sound of the McElroy brothers.

Old episodes.

They remind me...

They remind me of sipping Jameson.

Of her hand unbuttoning my shirt.

Her tenuous grasping at my zipper.

Of my semi-restrained reciprocation—my passivity.

Waiting for her to make the mistake.

The brothers joke about sneaking a kitten through airport security.

I laugh at the computer on the side table.

She smiles at me, startled by the rarity of the sound.

Her hands return to my chest, the tension gone from her fingers.

Not tonight.

Not yet.

I wake up next to her at 6:12 AM.

I am going to be late for an appointment.

Two tomato slices left on my plate.

I finish my breakfast and sit on my porch and read a good book for four years.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Step 1: Feel entirely hollow.

Step 2: Load up on anti-depressants and stimulants.

Step 3: Feel entirely hollow, but get the work done.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Eating at an old favorite restaurant.

Grey skies through the windows.

Beer with lunch.

The glass is heavy in my hand.

Cold against my lips.

She is leaving at the end of the month.

She is leaving and she is taking our life with her.

I have so much work to do.

So many expectations to meet.

So many commitments to fulfill.

The glass is heavy in my hand.

I think about putting new fluid in my lighter.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sitting in a coffee shop with nothing but this pen and my journal.

It's been a while since I just sat down and took some time to unplug.

I need to do it more often.

I need to get back to my writing.

Back to the habit.

Back to the inebriation.

Back to the coffee and the time alone and the introspection.

It feels good to be home with my family.

To be away from her and the ruins of our life together.

Away from all the lost potential.

Away from the tension and the shame.

A table of men to my left discusses the merits and technicalities of baptism.

I often forget how little I belong in this town.

It feels natural to come back; I know this place well.

But I could not be further from the average demographic.

And yet...I feel oddly at peace here—soothed somehow by the familiarity of it all.

Perhaps it is a matter of perspective.

Coming home helps me remember the magnitude of my accomplishment.

When I am there, surrounded by my peers and colleagues, it is difficult to feel special.

And that is good.

The quickest way to destroy a scientist is to coddle him into a sense of superiority.

But coming home helps me really think about what I have done.

It helps me remember how hard I have worked.

How much I have risked.

How many sacrifices I have made in the pursuit of a life that has the capacity to make a difference.

I have really turned myself into something.

I don't need to be constantly reminded of that.

But sometimes it is nice to see it in context.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The most difficult part is trying to convince myself that I don't care.

That I have done my best and that I deserve to let go and that I just don't care what she does anymore.

That I don't care whether she tells me the truth or not.

That I will be okay as long as I can just bury myself in my research.

That this anguish does not infect my every thought.

I can't focus.

For weeks now.

Even the best distractions are unusually short-lived.

I can't do my work.

I can't read.

I can't pay attention to my video games.

God damn it, I don't even want to cook anymore.

I can't get it out of my head.

Every time I see her.

Every time I hear her voice.

Every time she touches me.

The thought of her with him.

Of all of the ways that they have shared each other.

It tears away at me like shards of fiberglass suspended in my bloodstream.