Jefferson County Skyline
October had been hard. November was harder. It was a haze of Hells Bells and broken dreams.
Picket fences fell and heartstrings were frayed. We lost ourselves,
In grief and strength and something people might call courage.
I saw your eyes that night. Angry and Hurt and all I'd done was search the room until yours had met mine. A steady nod.
From you to me.
I shrugged it off
Straightened my spine and dismissed the awkward tension.
Awkward and scared and confused.
It wasn't what we'd planned
Who wanted more awkward goodbyes or backroom fucks?
"You'll figure it out," I thought. Some after thought on a Louisville night.
I looked at her, teary-eyed and desperate to draw me back.
Lucero was playing, when I stepped away.
Two songs before, I was holding a drink. Some Percocet dream of forgetting October and getting through November.
She was holding onto me as the band struck an AC/DC chord.
Tear stained eyes and too much regret,
I shrugged her away.
She'd missed the moment, I thought.
and I had ran to you. As if all could be forgiven. Forgiven because you understood the guilt inside of me.
Because you accepted that October had been hard, that it had splintered off inside of me.
Like a boomerang of helplessness and defeat.
She was searching for me through the crowd and I was pleading with the disgust in your eyes.
The stage door closed and I was alone in my madness.
I ordered a Woodford, double shot, and I doubled down.
Louisville suddenly seemed messy and too far from home. Too far from that guitar shaped Tombstone, in that family plot...too far from the numbing ache in my ribs
And too close to forget.
So a threw another back and walked out alone.
Just me and A Jefferson County skyline.
A rattled mind and reefer in my hand.
I was coming up around Louisville
Wired out and wired up.
Just myself and I and a fragmented Mind.
I-65 looked cold and lonely,
Grey and barren,
Lost travelers fading in and out of sight
Evanescing dreamers perhaps
Losing their way in the
Staggered, illumination of tail lights
And the blinding reflections of exits untaken.
I let myself drift off into the interstate sounds,
Engines revving and purring
And the soft steady sounds of a Carolina boy
Seeping in and out of an amped up stereo.
I lit a smoke and gave in to the fuckery of my brain.
I could feel State Jail 84f approaching.
A mechanical mess of sabotage and fear.
I'd caught the white line fever and
Ran away from things I loved,
From things I hated...
But most of all, I was running from me.
I'd Monsterflipped in some suburb in Franklin.
Sat down on the sidewalk and watched the stars fall out of the sky.
It was like an astral shower of everything that was wrong and everything that was right in my world.
It all rained down around me.
There were moments of amusement and moments of pain
And there were moments that I wished you were beside me.
So distant now
That it's hard to remember.
Four hours and a lifetime ago, I think.
The amphetamine dilemma solved itself
And I headed out.
Or headed home or something akin to home.
There was this farm out in Jefferson.
Roads and fields I'd known in my youth.
I was looking for safety and shelter and
The me before the Moloko Plus had taken hold.
I'd taken the turns without knowing
Right, right, left.
Dilated eyes fighting with the chaos within.
I reached for for the pipe,
Just to take off the edge
I was still choked on the bud
When my high beams hit the drive.
That wrap around porch,
The hangar to to the the left.
I could smell the rolled hay
Dancing in and out of my Nashville green
I fell back. Smooth leather embraced me.
And suddenly...it didn't matter where I'd been, it didn't matter what I'd done...
It didn't matter who I was now.
I was suddenly Junior League dreams and English jumpers.
Just a fading photograph of a life once lived.
It was only smoke And ashes baby
I timed out in Chattanooga, with an amphetamine high and a sinister look. She looked down and all around until her eyes met mine.
There was a smile on her lips and I watched it turn. Something like disgust or anger or hurt.
I wasn't saving myself this time, I thought.
I thought I was saving her.
"I was there, you know?" I let the sounds of Van Morrison cut out the words. I drifted off and around...to happier times. "In that bathroom stall," she said. I heard her words cut through my veins like a Black Tar Down.
She reached for my hand and I pulled away. Serpentine and smooth.
I moved back...away from the comfort of her touch.
"Run!" I thought...
But...I was frozen. Something in her eyes. Her brown eyes had grown black and bleak.
Maybe it was frustration, maybe it was me?
I dipped my head And tried to leave. Her hand caught my shoulder as I turned away. There was a pleading in her voice. Something gutteral and raw.
I wanted to stop. I wanted to fall into her, I wanted to let her love me. Fading thoughts, I whispered, in a fading mind.
I muttered something as I heard her cry. Like a bullet ricocheting through a brittle skull, hitting brittle bones.
Crack. Crack. Crack.
She called my name, one last time.
I looked back, just once, and saw her lonely and defeated. I shook my head as the elevator dinged.
I heard her door snap shut. It wasn't an angry slam or a dramatic end.
It was just me saving her from myself.
Silver Springs and Xanax Dreams.
He said, "Who cares if one light goes out...in a sky full of stars." And I leaned into you. A distant voice on a distant line. My voice cracked and the tears fell and your slow southern drawl soothed my ears.
Through the Miles and the oceans and the white line dreams. I toppled down. Something like a game. Dominos click clacking as they fall.
"I hear the destruction in your voice," you say and I take a draw and shake it off. The Mollys wearing thin and my minds wearing thinner. Just an aching bottle and a xanny to my name.
I hear your words like a muffled sound, crackling like an old ass vinyl in my ear.
You called my name and they called you out. Whipped and abused and used.
"We're both the same," I think and then I shake it off. Crush it up, push it down...our tracked mark scars show a different world, a different us.
Soft Gibson strums melt me down. Burnt up spoons and burnt out dreams. Some black hole destruction of the soul. You say something low and I wanna ask. Tonight I'm too crossfaded to care. Something about love or gratitude...its all just fading words in self-destructing mind.
Aching brain, half-assed thoughts...I try to focus. I try to focus on your words and your love and your wisdom. (So wise beyond your years.) And I wonder how you learned so young, so fast and I'm still here... fighting against everything you know, everything you love, everything you are.
I mumble something about being worthless and I shut out your response. I can't hear the good, I can't hear your words. Just once, I wish I could see me the way you see me. You make me so very fearless and strong. An idea, a carefully perfected image of something I'll never be.
Sometimes...just sometimes you make me believe my own lies. Tonight though, tonight I'm numbed out. The pills from the plug went fast and hard. Leaving me confused And brave and unaware.
"Talk to me," you say. There's a pleading in your voice. I should react. But, I don't. I just breathe in deeply and load another round. I want to say I miss you. Maybe that I'm lost without you. I want to say I need you. I'm silent instead.
I see the dominos falling. Click, clack, click, clack. A quiet exit to Silver Springs and Xanax dreams.
I heard a song from a band that saved me
I broke down north of Dahlonega,
In the Georgia heat.
With a broken heart and an ounce of weed.
I rolled a joint and took a draw and I settled back.
Another fuck up in another town. I found the flask in my console and drank it down. Roll backs and Ubers and Oregon bud. The driver was young. Dark skinned and bored with life. It was evident as we spoke our hellos. I took a sip from my flask and settled on the nearest bar. The ride was quiet, for the most. He said I smelled like weed and Chanel and I handed him a bud before I slipped away. A small smile and a nod and I found myself alone.
Trapped back in my mind. Too much inside to sort out. Intrusive thoughts and my mistakes. I wondered inside the bar and ordered a Woodford and a Black and Tan, a perfect Chaser to another lost day.
The band was playing, a backdrop beat. Some soundtrack to my life. I was studying the walls, portraits of random souls...they'd probably passed through and found their home here. Scatter phrases on the wall, in too many hands to count. Their words say their like a ghost of what had been.
I was lost in another time when the rhythm caught my ear.
I turned away. Some makeshift band from out of town. But...the harmonica drifted into my mind. A soothing sound amidst the bedlam in my Brain.
The frontman had a drawl... something Appalachian and raw. It brought me home...back to the foothills of my youth. I ordered another round and let the music have me. It turned my heart inside out and stroked my open wounds. Healing me from some unknown tug a war. I didn't know it then but it saved me.
Muddled thoughts of Living Fast and leaving a good looking corpse
She fell off the earth as she stepped away. A one line goodbye and that's all she would say...
I stood there, a makeshift soldier broken and bent.
Dipping in and dipping out. Euphoria and pain feel the same when you're free, a distant thought, in a different world. Drunk and unaware.. Just broken bones and shifting thoughts.
The Reaper grew anxious, as my breaths slowed. A sudden crisis inside a muddled mind. It was too easy to go, there was chaos and fear and mumbles words of "I love you..."
Death stole my breaths and stepped away. Like something weak, He faded away. Into the darkness of Nowhere, Kentucky.
There were lights and there were voices. Colliding into nothing and fear. Someone somewhere, between heaven and hell and Here...held my hand and drew me back.
Drew me back from the starlit skies and the candy colored fear.
The blood was crimson and dark and matted through my hair and it dripped into something obscure and beautiful and lost.
I felt you leave, before you left...
Running Crazy With You Through the Night
I said something about Immortality
As she packed a blunt.
She was young and lost inside herself and
She somehow fancied me wise and somewhat noble.
Her hazel eyes were strained, exhausted and stoned.
Some irreversible confusion had settled around the darkened lines. She was perfect and I was gonna hurt her and I knew it.
She didn't seem nearly as convinced.
But...I was bad for her and I'd made that clear from the start.
I'd seen her a year before, drunk at the end of some stupid night and some makeshift bar. She was feigning rebellion in some faded black V neck. I'd taken off her off brand Ray-Bans and handed her my Versace's. Some sordid, calculated line to get her back to my room. She'd smiled then and reached for my hand.
I'd lied about the engraved elven band and she'd laughed...some naive, innocent giggle. Uncharacteristic of the tattooed, hardass exterior she produced. But, I let her fingers fumble with mine, for a moment... before she drew it back and glanced awkwardly around.
And here we were now. Her eyes meeting my glance in some bizarre sense of shame and tension. Some Madonna song as the soundtrack and I knew I'd fuck her. Even with my bruised jaw and her ashamed eyes and all our lies.
Sunrise, cumming and discretions
She asked me to see the stars and I had nodded in an absent trance. There was too much noise in my ears and too many lines in my nose. But, she wanted to see the southern skies through my eyes. And Williamsburg mountain wasn't a hop skip and a jump, but she was there. An hour drive to heaven and peace and her wrapped in my arms. An hour drive to show her something in me, something unsettled...yet rooted and wild. And so I lit a joint and slid in shotgun. A far cry from the noisy bar on main street.
She took my joint and I took her hand. Feigning for a cigarette, I fumbled for my dispo, just to take a hit. Needing something. Something more familiar than the sound of her voice, singing quietly along with the silky tones of Lana del Rey.
*We were Born to Die or we were immortal.
Tonight nothing made sense *
The roads were empty. 2 a.m and counting and her hand was on my inner thigh. Resting easy and comfortable. We turned the curve and shifted down. The hum of the engine and the softs sounds of the radio melted together, into some melodic hum...with fireflies and crickets and the sounds of the Appalachian Mountains, swaying in and out of my mind. Torn and broken, addled by drink and drug...
I felt her lips against my neck. Warm, soft and inviting. I pulled away, for a moment.
A tinge of guilt.
And then I pulled her closer, kissed her deeper before I let the walls rebuild...
I stepped outside and she followed, sheepish.
I pointed out the constellations,
As her hands slid beneath my shirt. A sudden give inside of me...and I gave into to the softness of her touch, calloused fingers exploring my skin. I leaned into her and gave in.
Naked flesh finding naked flesh. She was warm and wet and ready.
And the quiet moans, as I slid inside of her, seemed to echo through swaying pines.
We watched the sunrise from the hood of her benze. Lost somewhere in the coming sun and our discretions.
Ashes and Embers (or “Why don’t we run?”)
There was a glitch, somewhere in the system. Broken codes and broken words. We were torn and thrown down. Just bare now, raw and naked and confused.
Our bloodshot eyes matched the burn down of the Nashville sunset. Stoned out and staring hopeless and bewildered at the southern sky.
She had asked me to go. Then asked me to stay.
Whiplash and uncertainty settled in. Shading the balcony with comfort and dread and fear.
We weren't the villains here, I thought. But, we weren't exactly the heroes either.
She picked aimlessly at the strings of an old ass Gibson as I tried to roll a joint. The sounds of the city were familiar and foreign all at once. The unanchored traffic beneath us, distant horns and distant sirens stirred into the velvet tones of her guitar and the coarse softness of her Appalachian tongue.
I needed to go and wanted to stay. I tried to detach, to disassociate, to turn down the volume of my mind. Too many thoughts of Decisions and deceit. I was lost out there beyond the sunset. Trapped Somewhere between her hazel eyes and home fires burning...I'd checked out.
There were Virginia nights and dank ass weed and visions of Kentucky summers and streetlights and sneaking sidewalk kisses beneath their iridescent glow.
She was beside me before I'd known. With her arms lashed around my waist and her head against my chest. I dropped my guard and leaned into her hold. "Why don't we run," she said, whispery and quick. Her words drifted off into the Nashville noise.
And we both stood in silence, acknowledging the cowardice and fear between us.
Worlds were folding in, imploding around us. Those home fires we had stoked with gunpowder words and gasoline lines...they were burning down now.
Nothing but dying embers and ash.
We'd made little effort to revive them, I thought.
Maybe we lacked the drive to save ourselves...to save ourselves from the approaching days. Our pasts were closing in around us. You could feel the end drawing near. Clingy and thick. Everything we had known, everything we had loved, disappearing into the smoke, deep and black and cleansing.
We'd fucked that night...on the balcony, where just hours before he'd held her. And we knew, even then, that our ecstacy would be their demise.