Do You Know ME
My greatest fear is not being recognized.
Not being noticed for the great things I do.
Not being noticed for the things I write to you.
Not being noticed for the way I sing my songs.
Not being noticed or should I belong?
I have spent my life trying to become someone.
Trying to show the world, I could be the one.
I've published several books,
I'm a supervisor on my job.
What else do I need to do to
create my own blog?
My biggest fear is failing on all I've tried to achieve,
My biggest fear, losing faith in what I truly believe.
Act I, Scene I
An actress, an empty stage and a single light centered in the middle of the stage.
Shining on our actress, ready to perform. She stands up straight, shoulders back, expression focused and concentrated. The audience is empty as well,
only except a guy in the third row. He's here to audition, a notepad on his lap.
A professional expression on his tired face and maybe a bit bored. But that is irrelevant to our story... the man coughs slightly, encouraging the actress to start.
So J, what will you be performing for us tonight?
(He asks politely, looking at his watch.
The actress, notices it and clenches her fists...)
I'm here to show the "stages of pretense" I'm quite famous for the act of pretending and fooling my heart...
Oh, I see. Then begin, the audience awaits.
Yes, of that I am aware... Act one... People often ask me... How are you?
How do you feel? That's when I use my pretenses like this...
She looks at the space before her, body language shifting and changing until it falls into the role. Concentration disappearing, replaced with the softest of smiles. Her posture relaxing, her eyes losing their edge. A single spark filling them from inside. She gives a nonchalant wave of her hand and enhances her smile so it almost reaches her eyes.
Oh me? I'm just fine, never better and how are you?
(The actress freezes at the last word and loses the smile,
a pained look instead of the fake modest one)
...and then they leave, and I am left with myself. Playing pretense, even when alone... Because I no longer know the person that I once was.
(The actress looks up and waits for the review.
The guy in the audience filling in his notes)
That was great J. Very tasteful and engaging...
Do you want to see something more?
No, my darling... that will be all.
Yes, of course, I understand...
Oh, and J, my dear...
How are you feeling today?
Me...? Why that's a silly question to ask of me... As always, I am just fine...
The lights dim and the "audience" leaves. Our single actress, leaving as well...
Walking down the stairs, her back once again strained,
the smile faded away, just like everything else.
Alone one night at a bar, I spied a woman from afar,
and pondered the thought of approaching, and many topics i could be broaching, discussing the weather and what she wore.
When a shrouded figure dark and frightening, grabbed my arm, his grip tightening
frightening me to my core.
"Dont you move, stay right here," he hissed and snapped into my ear
"You would fail, you'd be rejected. Wouldnt you rather be respected? Stay here where you can stay a self-respected bore."
And then he reared back and laughed, satisfied at his perfected craft
of preventing me from risking more.
The next day i went off to work, my boss was proving to be a jerk,
and i was considering applying, for a job more satisfying, and hastening my way out the door.
When something seized upon my wrist, a shadowy monster snarled and hissed
and stopped me from typing anymore.
"You're not good enough," he spat. "You're safer staying where you're at.
Why venture out on a skinny branch, when you could stay in your current circumstance.
Stay here where you know what's in store."
I thought of the monster's advice, and why i was content to pay the price
of allowing fear to close an open door.
It’s not real
Rubble and destruction are all that remains of what was a thriving metropolitan area. The windows are blown out from the few buildings left standing. Trains wrap around the car-less city streets in an unorganized fashion but they are silent. There are people but their presence is only physical. They move as if the city was never destroyed but their souls are gone.
I am not unsettled by the eery environment, nor the roaming ghosts, nor the end as this seems to be. I feel full with purpose. unbothered by the lifeless shells. I am alive and my soul is full, with him by my side.
My love and I wander the abandoned city boundlessly. The light is golden from a suns rays beaming through the smoggy sky. We sit on the train tracks. I see him, glowing with warmth amidst an otherwise grey world. I feel not an ache, nor sore, nor negative thought. I am happy in the truest sense of this word’s meaning.
Hunger, thirst, and desire of any sort are all satiated by the most powerful force, true love.
I never want to wake up.
But I do, and here I am, awake. In the bustling city. It is cold and windy. I'm achy and fatigued. Though it seems as though there is life and energy crawling in every corner, I feel empty. I’m a shell. Walking and moving, with the absence of a soul. I don’t exist.
I long to return to the desolate city. in this place I am alive, with him by my side, even if it’s only in a dream.
My greatest fear is my reality. A world without him.
Years to Months, to Days, to Hours, to Minutes, to Seconds, to Now
Looking back on a reckless life,
both shot and stabbed,
hit by a car,
fallen from a third-story window,
bones mending slowly,
feeling life will be as twisted
as the bones and muscle housed by flesh.
But that isn't what I fear now.
Two marriages, no children.
Sadly, always wanted to be a father;
One marriage good,
the other, hell incarnate.
Batting 50/50, not so bad.
Single now, happy, content,
at least I think so.
But none of that I fear now.
Decade after decade rolled by.
you think you will live forever.
you laugh at the things said at twenty.
All that in the middle are lessons learned.
Age is what it is;
we are all born to age,
so death is commonplace;
None of this I fear.
What do I fear?
it was my heart attack and five surgeries,
if I could walk away
from an antiseptic room on my own,
but when I finally did,
the fear was gone,
for it was not yet my time,
and it made me appreciate
what life brings us.
Now the story unfolds,
and call this a silly fear;
but it could happen, can happen,
and somewhere it did happen.
My greatest fear is to lose two things:
and the hands I use,
to put the words of my imagination to paper.
I have been through much, and survived.
To lose those two things,
is a battle I could never win.
(The photograph is me on my first birthday. I chose this as a connection of the first and last word of this title. Looking back, even then I had a look of a person unafraid to question anything. Damn I was a sexy-kinda thing then!!)
You Must Be ’This” Tall To Ride This Ride
As a child I was encouaged,
"Reach for the stars!"
"You can do anything!’
As a teen I was admonished,
"Make an effort!"
In college I was rated,
"B-minus, poor syntax."
"84/100 - next time don’t round down."
As an adult, I am worried.
"Babe, the garage door is making a bad sound."
"Your son is autistic."
I only have so much time, so much money,
only so much of myself to offer, only so much to give.
Is it enough
Am I enough?
I was wasn’t the fastest kid on the swim team,
wasn’t the best bass player in the orchestra,
wasn’t the lead in the play,
I made my peace with that.
I did my best, but someone was better.
What if my best as a father, or a husband, or just as a human,
isn’t good enough?
i'm in a cave
a dark, dark, cave
rendering my sight useless
that i can't even see myself
so i stay crouched
to reassure myself that i
out of the darkness comes a ripple
breaking my tide of thoughts
and i run
to the place
where i saw the light
only for it to close back and
leave me alone in my cave
for a light, or if too much,
then a person
by my side.
i'm stuck in the cave,
and i'm crouching,
Trying to hide,
so that i may be able to escape
being eaten by the monster
that is called
I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe.
I press my arms out to the side, and after about 2 inches I feel cold, unyielding metal.
I can’t move.
My breath quickens and then I realize that I only have so much air, and I’ve probably used most of it already.
I don’t have long left.
I’d know how to break out if it was wood.
But it’s not. It’s metal.
I remember reading about people who’ve been buried alive.
They’re found with their hair pulled out, their nails bitten almost off, and with contorted skeletons.
I can’t escape.
I push up on the top of the casket, as hard as I can.
It doesn’t even budge.
I’m buried alive,
and they won’t find me before it’s too late.