Ghosts

There is no good time for anything. No good time to say “I love you”. No good time to say “I don’t love you”. No good time to break up with someone, to ask someone out, to have a baby, to adopt, to marry someone, to have a wedding, to die, to tell someone you want to die, to leave a job or a home. There is no good time to move on with your life. Just as there is no good time to move on from this world.

Just recently I decided to travel back to a place that I hate. Winchester, Virginia. On a mission I have been curious about, but softly avoiding. Get medical testing done. My secondary mission was to visit my family and friends. I missed a few on the latter. The reason I hate going back to the place I was raised is because it’s full of ghosts. The type of entities whose hauntings would invoke insanity. I have many. One ghost in particular I had to visit. Wanted to, actually, because he was a dear friend of mine. I knew him when he was about 7? Maybe 8. Either way, I knew him and his family since the first day they moved up the street from me. My family and I helped his family move into their new house. We would play around the boxes of toys, kitchen supplies, bedroom sets; just forts of cardboard were our playground. I was about 12, I think. I hate the fact that so much of our time together are just ripped up pieces of paper floating through the fog. It’s like my memory doesn’t bother to remember the little joy I had as a child.

I do, however, remember the colorful shields and wooden swords we would fight with in the basement of his parents’ house. One shield was blue with a grey castle, another had a lion imprinted on a red background, and there was a green one. I saw them just last week and even now my memory is slipping. I had sat in the brown, suede, lounge chair of the Ballard’s home. My eyes focusing back and forth from the shields and swords resting atop the mantle of the fireplace to Mrs. Ballard’s eyes as she quickly voiced her concern of me finding a job at the school I dropped out of in order to go back. I visited the Ballards not only to catch up with them but also to check on them. It’s only been two years since the loss of their first and only son, John David. Whenever Mrs. Ballard came across a sentence when she had to mention her son or his passing there would be a pause. As if she was a video that had to buffer. That feeling I understod. I’m currently feeling it with every key stroke.

The Ballards were happy during my visit. Well, I guess I should say more at peace. I wasn’t there two years ago when they had John David’s wake and funeral. My mom told me it was lovely. Many of the town’s residents as well as the students were in attendance. Some people could see it as proof as how small Winchester was. I like to see it as how many lives were impacted by John David and his family. Mr. and Mrs. Ballard chatted with me for about an hour as they gave me an update on their children. Their oldest daughters were in college, but I did get to see and talk with their youngest, Kat. There was shock in my eyes when that five-foot-three, just-barely-went-through-puberty girl hugged me with so much warmth and positivity. Her brunette hair touching her shoulders just like her mother’s. Except, a little more straightened. Last, clear memory I had of Kat was when she was a toddler. It delighted me to hear about her life and how she was supporting her brother’s charity foundation. She was trying to get a support group going at Handley High for kids going through the same thing John David did. I knew right then that she had a bright future ahead of her.

In return I updated them on my current adventures. My writing projects, my search for a writing job, discontinuing college, they were the only loved ones I visited that I didn’t talk about my medical mishaps with. Which was nice. After Mr. and Mrs. Ballard walked me to the front door, I made a request. Mrs. Ballard hugged me after I asked to visit John David’s grave. I had expected to go to the cemetery the next day to pay my respects, but there was no need. I followed Cathy to the front room. I slowly approached the east corner where a tan, lightly warn desk had been. Actually, it might have been a covered piano. Apologies, my memory is actually remarkable. Just in other areas. Definitely not when it comes to visuals. Anyway, I approached a clear vase on top of some tan, lightly warn object. To the right of the vase was a family photo. To the left was a green bag with a furry texture. The yellow laces of the bag were loosened enough to reveal a white box. Mrs. Ballard told me it was biodegradable. She said cremating their son was better for the environment.

So many questions ran through my head before that moment, but after feeling John David’s presence first hand all I thought was, “I hope you’re at peace.” I thought to myself that I had no clue why he would do it. At least, not specifically. I can only understand what it’s like to be in that state. To feel alone amongst the smiles and laughter. To want to leave but always putting it off because deep down there is a whisper of hope. To not having anyone to talk to but the darkness. I know that feeling all too well.

I’ve heard people say that it’s cowardly to commit suicide. That those who did would end up in hell. That those who were brave continued living. Honestly…I’m not sure which is braver. Living in a world you aren’t happy in…or leaving for one you hope you will be. I think you must be pretty damn brave to commit to your ideals despite what others may think or say. What I am sure of is that John David is not in Hell. That kid is way too good to be in a place like that.

I, on the other hand, am destined to go to Hell. I’ve already tasted it with my own soul. I attempted suicide when I was ten years old. It was also my last attempt. I didn’t do it because I was brave, just like I didn’t choose to live because I had suddenly become more courageous. I stayed alive because I saw something, someone who convinced me to live amongst the cave of demonic voices giving convincing rebuttals in favor of the contrary. If you’re not one to believe in magic, you are welcome to believe that I had a hallucination – I was an insomniac – or that I made it up for some psychological reason. I don’t care. I know what I saw that night. I know the conversation I had in the kitchen of my parents’ home during the witching hour. I remember pointing a large knife with a black handle to my heart. The lack of tears running down my face, the voices in my head egging me on as I calculated the perfect angle for the knife to swing into me for a quick death. The cold, white tile floor holding my bare feet in place. The blank stare I held in my eyes during the entire affair. The blanket of despair and dread encompassing the entire house. That night is an image that remains ingrained in my memory. It has always been easier to recall the darkest moments of my life.

January 10th was my first, full day back to Winchester. One of my best friends since middle school, Jose, took me to brunch at a Chinese buffet called China Town. He knows Chinese is my favourite type of cuisine. The combination of simplicity and the delicate handling of ingredients and spices is fascinating as well as delicious. Fried rice might be my last meal, but I’m still deciding. At the restaurant, Jose and I did what friends always do. Talk about relationships, reminisce about the past together, talk about our near futures, express problems we have, joke about each other and our other friends, share tales of our time apart from one another. The usual. A popular topic when it comes to me, in particular, amongst many of my friends is how my love life is going. To many, I’m considered smooth and a bit of a womanizer. I always laugh at such remarks because they could not be more wrong. I’ll admit that at times I can be as silver-tongued as Justin Timberlake, but definitely not a womanizer. I’m more of a Peter Parker when it comes to women. I’m always surprised when a woman likes me. I’m always unsure that it’s true. I am always nervous. When I do hang out with a woman that is interested in me, I always fuck it up in the most idiotic way possible.

In fear of ruining something that makes me so happy, I take my time with relationships. So much, that my friends accuse me of taking too much time. This is the topic Jose and I had landed on. I admitted to him that I take my time, but for a very good reason. Jose continued to stare at me with a questioning glance as he hovered over me. I don’t remember why he was standing right next to me at that moment. I could see through his glasses that his eyes were ready to pounce with a retort against anything I was about to say. He was probably waiting to see if he needed to assist his retort with a slap upside my head. I said to him, “I take my time because I think the woman I date deserves to know about my past. I just think telling them everything at once would be too much and she would get scared of me and leave.” I paused for a moment. “That’s why I don’t tell anyone about my past. Not even friends.” I’m sure Jose saw the disappointment in my eyes so he didn’t hit me. Or the fact that he could’ve just didn’t cross his mind.

Instead, he said, “But you told us.” The “us” he was referring to were Sam, Andrew, and himself.

“Yeah, but that wasn’t until right before I left for college. I knew you guys for years and trusted that you wouldn’t leave me afterwards,” I said. I knew the guys for about 6 years before I told them about my past. they were the first to ever know about that. A couple days later I left for college. No, sorry, Sam knew before the other two.

I told Sam one night during the summer before college as we sat on the hill behind our high school. The moon was full, the grey clouds cascaded through the midnight sky. I told Sam my story in the form of a third person point of view narrative about a lost and depressed boy haunted and tortured by demons every night. Which was true. At the end of the story, the boy stopped his attempt at committing suicide because a mysterious, new voice in his head convinced him not to. But the boy did not live happily ever after. He had gotten rid of his soul and murdered all emotions. The girl he saw that night stayed with him until the boy made real friends and learned how to live life with the emotions he originally wanted nothing to do with.

As I hoped, those three guys continued to be my friends. However, I never did and still don’t expect that behaviour from anyone else. Especially, new friends. I have hope, yes. But I don’t expect anything from anyone. I understand if learning all of this ruins some of my friendships. I’m not doing this for that reason. I also don’t feel obligated to talk about this. I am writing this because I hope that my past, knowledge, experiences, mistakes, learned lessons might help someone else better improve their own life. Whether they be friends, family, or strangers, hopefully talking about my life will help them with their own.

The night I tried to take my own life, the spirit that I spoke to told me this: “I honestly don’t care if you live or die. It’s your choice. You can stab yourself in the heart and die alone now or you can keep living in the hopes that your life will eventually get better.”

I asked the girl, expressionless, monotone, “Is this supposed to be a pep talk?”

“Take it how you want it,” she said.

“What if my life doesn’t get better? What if I’m without friends? What if years from now I’m still not happy?”

“Why do you idolize the characters you watch in cartoons? Or the ones you read in those books? Why do you want to be the superheroes in your comics? Why do you spend all day daydreaming of being one of those characters? Of saving people? Of having a better life? Not giving up on themselves is something they all have in common.” I thought about her multitude of questions. I imagined all of my heroes and all of the characters I wanted to be and asked myself why I liked them so much. And she was right. Whenever I watched or read about them and their adventures, I would always get this feeling of resilience towards my own obstacles. My own villains.

“I…I don’t want to give up. But I’m tired. I hate feeling sad. Hate the voices inside my head. I don’t want them to torture me anymore. I don’t wanna lose control again and become them. I don’t have a reason to live.” Around this point in the conversation, my new silver haired, purple eyed friend sat in one of the black wooden chairs at the dining room table.

She sighed, “So don’t live for yourself.” I had no idea what she meant. “All of your heroes fight for other people. Do that.” I asked her who. “Who do you wanna live for?” She asked as if that was a simple question. I pondered it. Most importantly, I pondered who I was actually capable of helping. It’s not like I was strong, athletic, talented, intelligent. I just had my experience to go on.

“I wanna help the people like me,” I told her.

“Even if it means you’ll be sacrificing your own happiness?”

I nodded. “As long as I can help others be happy, I don’t need to be.” I didn’t feel confident in my answer, but I was committed.

“Okay then,” the girl said as she stood up and walked toward me. “I want you to make me a promise.” What sort of promise could I have possibly made to a girl from another world? Possibly even a hallucination? I just stared at her. She stood five feet in front of me. “Promise me that you’ll never commit suicide, not even attempt it.” I immediately wanted to say no. I wanted to tell her she can get out and never bother me again. Present me would have told her to suck it.

“Fine,” I told her. She leaned in closer to my face. A brilliant, golden aura started to glow around her.

“Promise me,” she said. My grip on the knife loosened and I let out a sigh.

“I promise that I will never attempt to commit suicide…” I paused for a moment. Once my thoughts had buffered, I told her, “…and that I will live my life in order to help others just like me.” The girl gave a smile. I found her odd and not funny in the slightest. But also magnificent. “Are you leaving now?”

“I think I’ll stick with you for a while. Help you out. Clearly you need it.” She wasn’t just referring to the voices still plaguing my mind, but my personality as well. I felt nothing. Wanted to feel nothing. It was easier that way.

Over a year ago I took a nonfiction workshop where I had to write a journal entry about why I wanted to be a writer. One of my first reasons was because I wanted to write stories that would help people learn how to improve their own lives. To inspire others to live out their dreams and to not give up on themselves. That’s true especially with this story. But I’m not being totally selfless here. I write stories and am choosing to be more open about my past because it helps me remember my roots and the lessons I have learned along the way. I keep telling my friends that looking back at your past and accepting it is how you can move toward the future, but I might as well just be talking to the wind. As Professor Josh Wilson told me, “show rather than tell.” So here I am.

I am definitely not the same kid I was back then, but that kid is still a part of me and I can’t ignore him or reject him any longer. He was a ghost nobody loved nor payed attention to. He was invisible to everyone unless needed. His imagination gave him insomnia, hallucinations, and tortured him almost every night. But no one could hear his hollow screams. Now, I am more or less in control of my imagination. I have people who care about me, I understand my emotions and how to deal with them, and I enjoy my life. I’m still kinda a ghost, I’ve made terrible choices in my life that will haunt me forever, but I am happy. I’m glad I didn’t kill myself twelve years ago because, let’s be honest, my sickle cell is gonna kill me by the time I’m 45 anyway. I feel like I have a soul again, however tainted it may be, but it’s mine. And I will live with it until the day I can finally rest in peace. Until then I have to keep my oath to death.

Thanks for reading chapter 1 of my new autobiographical series. I will post more in order to explain…myself, I guess. I’ll go into more detail about my past life, the lessons I’ve learned, the people who have impacted my life, my family, friends, relationships, and my misadventures. If you have any questions about me, my life, and anything in this post, just email me or something. ‘Till next time.

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So…Poetry?

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I implore you
To explore the inner workings of my head
For this is what you’ve been waiting for
For me to wake from my bed
–  Eliasaph Maze Anderson

I am fully aware that I have been slacking on updating my blog and I deeply apologize, however, as a future professional writer I have become much more serious on how I want my writing to sound and look and to be read. Therefore, I take more time to write stories I would usually write in a day for the shits and giggles. So stay tuned for those wonderful treats because I am finishing up last edits on many projects as well as starting many more. However, today is all about poetry. Most of these poems I wrote at the beginning of this year while the last two I wrote in the past week. I wrote these in many different styles, moods, and degrees of “abstractness.” Also they vary in how well they’re written. The first was written to be terrible, so have fun with that. And my poem “Fools” can be read with the title as part of the poem or without, which is why I didn’t put the title in bold. Alrighty, no more disclaimers, have fun reading, friends. Be back soon.

 

Deliciously Bad Poem: Sanctuary

Coffee & coffee how I love thee
Books & even more books, so many to read
Movies all day satisfy me
And chili cheese dogs are thy feeds.
Groovy smoothies and rad tunes can be had in the kitchen
Gaze at the stars through the spectacular, amazing skylight
Which has been dubbed bitchin’.
I can do whatever my heart desires
I can forget all of my worldly troubles
For I am the key to my own wicked inner sanctum
My Sanctuary

 

Fools

Belonging wraps her arms around them

Hallucination

Sparks twitter around the clouds

Lightning yearning to dance

Suffocation

Broken fragments of red glass occupy sacred ground

Cuts are inflicted, but no scars show

Hollow

Rogues howl to their goddess for providence

Only to have a shadow’s breath whisper by

Loyalty

Men scurry through the wilderness into the clearing

Wolves waiting

 

Happy Days

The wheels turn on the rainbow road

My soles keep pushing clockwise

My will refuses to slow down and take a breath.

Cars zip through the Sahara as I follow

With my body seventy percent evaporated.

At long last, a decline appears and my body freezes in the plastic negative

My brain’s natural helmet rests on the bars of the metal ram

The tumbling rumble of the rumbling tum would not cease like

A lie being swished around a building of spies

You have reached your destination, my internal gps

One small step for man, though man has had one too many drinks of low spirits, man leans over towards the grass.

Red waterfall spews from my mouth with white chunks of mystery meat.

Vile as it may be, it smiles as it droops toward the sidewalk. I smile back, sincerely. The first one in months.

Up, once again I vomit

Joyful cries of children

Visions from childhood days of pancakes made by mom and naps in grassy fields

To feel bliss like that again makes this a successful day

 

To Feel

After months of submitting to the monochrome motions of the escalator of life, I have been able to run up and down the stairs. Laughter that lasts longer than NCIS, a zip tie wraps around the already swirling whirlpool in my stomach, slowly closing the knot upon itself, I might just die, as long as I continue to feel. Darkness begins to consume the periscopes attached to my face, but the care-free bliss that toasts my heart and sets my mind at serenity lets my soul fly alongside the musical notes of high-larity.

A mystical jewel rolls down my face as I remember that the funniest joke in existence…

Is me

 

Tiny Encyclopedia

I see you wave at me from afar and Technicolor embers burst out of my eyes

That dopey U appears.

As I sit at the table with a sixteen ounce cup of dark brown bean water, working on my new story, I find it trying to not gaze at those brilliant rays of light emphasizing your finely sculpted features. Two spoonfuls of sugar. A smidge of cream.

Burnt cocoa locks cascading down your white mocha shoulders

Rose gloss enticing your victims to lean in for their last meal

Even those bronze plates you use to glare at me when I make a jester’s joke shifts to gold in the right light

You don’t find me funny          but my foolishness amuses you

Talking to you is like speaking to the Mexican Sandy Olsson with more Sriracha

You catch me mesmerized by this elegant painting and tell me

You’re flattered but not interested in an unusually familiar deep tone

Blink and blink but Eugene’s clone is still in view        Pupils roll toward the sky

The mirage is gone

I glance at the tiny fluorescent screen and see you’re still waving

 

Dogs

How are we different

You and I?

I call and you come running, you call and I’m already there.

We both walk side by side without a chain to keep us from going too far, no matter what fabric it’s made out of

You could take a trip to Siberia and back if you desired and I wouldn’t mind

As long as you returned to me, I wouldn’t even need a souvenir, I just want you

Near, beside me, on the couch watching TV

I trust you and hope you trust me. I suppose you do because your grey and black fur is the infinite evidence that proves you lie with me at night

To protect me

From pain.

I may have bought you but you are not my slave or pet, you are my friend

In the truest sense of the word

You’re my

Wingman, but you’re getting all the numbers

You rigged the game, you mixed-eyed bandit

Change it back, so I can bask in fame.

Though I paid for you and you’re free to leave

Do you stay out of respect or obligation? Fondness or pity?

Am I your master or are you mine? Is anyone in control?

You bark for me to muzzle it as you stare at the vast and endless array of clouds

You’re fascinated by Mother Nature’s coloring of the floating cotton balls you love to eat so much. The navy blue splashed on top of the orange shmears accompanied by the pink accents.

Even you can’t look away from the visually delicious buffet of the world.

You’re right, there is no difference.

 

There’s a Difference

By

Eliasaph Maze Anderson

I want you
Not need you
That’s the difference

If I needed you, I wouldn’t care for you
Carry you
That’s the difference

I wouldn’t feel for you
Feel with you
I’d be bare with you
High with you, not driving by for you
Not being there when you want me to
That’s the difference

If I didn’t want you, my dreams wouldn’t involve you
Our bond wouldn’t be anywhere close to true

That’s the difference

 

Pay No Mind

By

Eliasaph Maze Anderson

How can I advert my eyes when you look at me like I am the only one at the bar?
A spotlight emphasizes my importance to you as if you are the only one to take the time to relight my spot on the chandelier.
I sit and stay and stare at the door after you leave me to myself,
Though my tail only flutters for the one I adore.
Clocks will tick, phones won’t ring,
Imagining angels appear in the audience as you sing.
My head drops down to the floor the same way a student sits their head upon their desk

My mind delves into what it deems best.

You pay me no mind like a free month subscription to Spotify premium
Chilling with friends and they ask you, what do you see in him?
You tell them, you don’t know
If you knew then you would care enough not to disrupt the flow
The flow of electricity you and I get to see and lose ourselves to while our souls travel across dimensions to a sanctuary
No one knows
Where I can be alone, but not with you
You may like the view, but nothing else
And it may not be what you’re thinking, but you’re also not speaking
‘Cause you pay me no mind
And it’s been a long time since we’ve spoken, yet you’re unable to tell me real quick that you’re feeling broken,
So go away
Or that you’ve been spending time with friends drinkin’
Can’t talk today

I want you to be blunt
Let me know it’s gonna be a few months
So I should sit back and keep smoking my blunts
Have my friends sit me in a corner and place on my head a hat that reads dunce
More than once
Spend the time thinking of how hard I fell for your magic like a romantic for Shakespeare’s tragics
I was warned not to let the idea of you into my bed, is what they said
And if I looked around and listened
I could hear other sweet sounds that make my eyes glisten
And like a clown, I smile
Send you a text and star gaze at the Nile
Check my phone and find my message idle

I could be in a tomb, solving a mystery with Scooby-Doo, unlike the rest of the gang, I’d continue to think, where are you?

Because I refuse to see the clue
Right in front me
I’m unable to set my mind right
But I have to see
‘Cause in hindsight
The thought of you makes my heart bite
Yearning to be held tight
And I get other calls
But I wait for yours
Because I’m patient
And hesitant to close doors
Especially, one so fantastic
It’s authentic, not plastic, I know for sure

Though your impending goodbye scares me
My world is not asunder
Like an Egyptian cat, I’ll shake it off and continue to be legendary
But you pay me no mind and that drifts me to wonder

 

 

I’m Still Awake

Hey, Everyone. To those who still read this blog, I am here to say…I’m ready. I’m back, I’m alive, and I’m ready to get back to what I love doing. Writing fun stories. I have spent all summer on one giant and epic story that will probably run till the end of time. It’s the story I’m choosing to make my return with because it’s about life. Not just life, though, but my life. I’m going to share with everyone what I learn and have learned from life from my perspective with everyone that I know, have known, or come across on my journeys. Couldn’t I just write journal entries on my life? Yes, whoever is asking that question, I could, but that’s a little more personal than I would like and my way is more fun. Also, I already write about my life in a journal, so that would be redundant.

Anyway, I would like to tell everyone where I am at in life and it’s sort of a weird place. Albeit, it’s my apartment, but it is also a place of peace. I am going to school, earning my creative writing degree, working at my kick-ass job, the Raging Sage Cafe, as a barista, and paying bills for my cozy and cheap condo with my 2 roommates and I am sincerely happy. I am at a happy and nervous and exciting place in my life and I honestly don’t know what to do but to keep walking and explore. This condo I’m living in is officially my first apartment and I ended up in a very nice place for how cheap the rent is. It became even nicer after finally got a bed after the first month here. And then it became even better after my roommates and I bought a kitchen table and a second couch. I like to refer to my new couch as my napping couch because, well, the obvious. Ever since we got the couch, I made it my mission to nap on it as much as possible. When I come home from class, sleep on the couch. Come home from work, sleep on the couch. Finished homework at four in the morning, I might as well sleep on the couch because I got class at eight.

Speaking of which, it’s 2 a.m. and I’m still awake. Why? Because one of my roommates had a barbecue today, which turned into a party that lasted until 12:30 and my place was a mess. I’m not mad or anything. I had a ton of fun, actually. I finished work late, so I missed the BBQ, but I enjoyed the party. We watched Pokemon on Netflix and played drinking games – with the good beer, thank the gods – and played volleyball and Cards Against Humanity. I had a blast. It was the first college party that I didn’t regret going to. That wasn’t just a waste of time. My roommates goofy friends and the laid back and geeky atmosphere of the party reminded me of hanging out with my friends back on the east coast and our laid back, geeky activities. But without the alcohol. After everyone finally decided to leave, so I could sleep, the apartment was a mess. chips and dip all over the table and counter; Cards and various empty beer and vodka bottles on the floor; leftover lettuce and tomatoes on the kitchen counter and dirty dishes lying around. But guess what? We had one roll of paper towels left; a swiffer and wet jet, but no pads; no broom or dustpan; and we were out of trash bags. So, being the only sober and conscious person, I walked down the street to the grocery store and bought all the cleaning supplies we needed. Needless to say, my apartment is clean once again and I can now go to sleep without any worries. The best part is is that all the food and drinks leftover is mine to devour for the next week. And no, not the booze, I mean the sodas.

Anyway, after all of that, I successfully received the notes of edits on my latest story from my second editor and am ready to publish part one on here. However, before I just come out with my story, I wanted to make a not so brief introduction. This was all just to let the world know that I am still awake.

 

If We Were Having Coffee…

If we were having coffee, we’d be in my favorite cafe, The Espresso Bar, and I’d be drinking the best chai latte I have ever had called the chai way to heaven. It’s the chai latte of the gods. We’d sit down at the table in the middle of the dining area with the chess board. The best table in the house. After we took our seats, I’d tell you why I haven’t written any new stories in the past month. For those who truly know me, you’ve seen my serious face. I don’t show that face very often because it is the side of me I hate to bring out. Many terrible memories come with my serious, no bullshit personality.

I would look at you with my serious face and tell you I’ve been busy lately. That and I’ve had a bit of writer’s block. I would tell you that I have relapsed into the darkness. You would then put on a questionable look or if you know what I’m talking about, a look of concern would appear. I would continue my story nonetheless, not caring if you understood me or not. I had recently flew back to my parents place in Virginia. Winchester was a place I used to call home, no matter how much I hated it. I’d then tell you it was the place itself I hated, not the people. I went home for one reason and that was to help my friends. For the most part, it was a pretty good week. I visited my favorite band director and got tips on how to play the bass guitar. I spent a few days with one of my best friends since middle school. And those who know him, know that this friend can be a bit of an ass, however, I enjoy hanging out with him because no matter how bad he may treat me or how much he insults or makes fun of me, I know that he will always have my back. He supports me in almost all of my decisions and is completely honest with me. During my trip he did something I, nor anyone who knows him for that matter, would expect. He gave me an early birthday celebration and bought me a coconut cream pie, my favorite pie, and a Legend of Zelda journal to write in. This is the same friend who has known me for 10 years and never remembers when my birthday is. The last time I asked him when it was he thought the month it was in didn’t even exist, so the fact that he did that was a big deal to me. It meant that no matter what, our friendship would never wither away.

As we sit there sipping our drinks, I would then remember that I went too far off topic and get back to the main story. I was glad and flew back to see that friend because he was one of the people I was worried about, but not as much as some others. I spent time with 3 more friends during that week. One goofy guy who was down on himself last time I saw him because he didn’t believe in himself. He felt insecure because he felt that what he wanted to do with his life wasn’t as meaningful as his other friends. He wanted to be in the FBI while his friends wanted to be engineers. I told him that he shouldn’t feel bad because what he was doing was kickass and just as important as his friends stuff. I mean, he’s going to be a cop. That’s not only cool, but a noble and courageous profession. In return for lifting his spirits, he made me feel better about myself for some problems I had been going through. That weekend though, he had been as happy as can be. He had some girl troubles and we talked about it, watched a movie, and left him in good tidings. The last 2 friends were harder to help, I’m afraid, and I would soon tell you about the reason I’ve been so down.

The next friend of mine was a guy I love hanging out with because we get along so well and I feel like he understands my pain more than most. He was a bit depressed because of his college classes and he was having trouble with this girl that he was crushing on real hard. He loved spending time with this girl and became sad when she suddenly stopped talking to him. Turns out that girl’s sister had just been diagnosed with a serious illness and was deeply distraught. Not knowing that girl’s family struggle at that time he asked her something he regretted because it made him seem like a dick, which made him ashamed. We spent a lot of time together that week, however, when I left he was still in bad shape. I failed him. He also helped me bring happiness to another friend that week. A girl who fell so deep in the abyss of darkness that she made a bed there and slept in it all the time. She didn’t want to move. I don’t blame her all that much because I was the same way in my childhood. Except I walked through the darkness, instead. Even found the edge once. Almost jumped. This girl’s father had just died and she had no one to talk to. She had no real friends. On top of that, she hurt herself and was the most insecure person I’ve ever met. She had no self-confidence whatsoever.

I would ask you, “Have you ever met a gorgeous girl who thought they were ugly?” That was my first time and no matter how much I told her she was not ugly, she didn’t believe me. One day in that week, she had skipped school for a few hours, yes, she’s in high school, and my other friend and I drove her around town. We had a good day. And I could tell she had a great time. But her happiness was temporary. The warmth we showed her, the amazing light that overcame her darkness whisked away just as fast as it came. I failed her as well. I flew back home to Tucson knowing that I had failed to help 2 of my friends. I had the warmth of the desert sun on my back and felt cold.

At this point, you would probably tell me that I shouldn’t feel bad. I tried my best and that’s what matters. That I told them what I felt they needed to hear and now it’s up to them. Well, I would tell you that that’s bullshit. You may tell me that their problems are not my own, but to me, that not true. I don’t see it that way. I see it as my friends are in pain and I need to do everything in my power to make them happy. Even if it makes me sad. I have this ability that I’ve been cursed with since birth. The power of empathy. I feel the emotions of others and my emotions are affected by them. This past week, I had a chat with a friend about her depression. She didn’t show it, but she was so depressed that she wanted to cry and I knew that because I spent much of that day with her and even though it wasn’t a bad day for me, I felt stressed and empty inside and felt like crying.

As I finish the rest of my chai tea and take a moment for you to take this all in, I would tell you about something one of the most influential people in my life had said. This person is Cory Matthews from the TV show Boy Meets World. He is now in the hit TV show Girl Meets World. On the show, her taught the audience and his history class the secret of life. And that secret is that people change people. I would explain that people’s lives are determined by those who surround them, and that people’s happiness, love and strength come from others. That secret is like playing guess who with someone you barely know. It’s like trying to solve a riddle on the app of your phone. It’s like playing ‘Who’s That Pokemon’ back when you were little and you barely knew any of the Pokemon. Once you saw the person’s face, or spent points to automatically answer the riddle, or waited for the commercial break for them to tell you what Pokemon it was, the answer seemed so freaking easy. It makes so much sense right then and there that you feel like an idiot for not knowing it.

I would tell you that I live a complicated life. Not just because of my own problems, which are more than I care to admit, but because I take it upon myself to support the lives of my friends and family so they can live one filled with more joy than my own. Am I a good person? No. I’m just a dumbass who doesn’t have anything better to do. A guy who’s soul is tainted by guilt and sadness that he feels he will seek redemption by helping others. Actually, that’s not very accurate. Is my soul tainted? Yes. Have I done bad things. Yep. Do I seek redemption? No, I don’t care for that. I just feel that helping others achieve a joyful life is the right thing to do, so I do it. Meanwhile, in doing so, I have ended up making myself feel a little depressed and it’s affecting my school work, my writing, and my time with my friends who do nothing but make me laugh.

At this time, I would stare into my empty cup and wish I had enough money to buy another. I would then lighten the mood by putting on a smile and telling you about this cute girl I met on my flight and about the fun time I had with my parents and my old boss at the museum I used to work at. I would look and ask you for advice on what I should do and finally realize that you were never there to begin with. That you were just a figment of my imagination. Then the entire cafe would dissipate into the air and leave me back in the tiny park next my dorm. I had been staring at the stars when I drifted off to sleep around 4 am. Then I’d walk back to my room and go to sleep for another few hours until I had to get up for class. That dream would be pushed to the back of my mind, soon to be forgotten.

I apologize for my readers for not posting a story this time, however, this technically was a story. I usually would never share any of these things with people I thought couldn’t handle it, but I know not many people actually read my blog, so it wouldn’t matter anyway. And that it is my blog and I don’t really care at this time to reveal a bit about myself. This is something that I needed to get off my chest and hopefully, in doing so, some people have gained something out of this story. I have no idea what that should be, but I have this strong vibe that this post might be a tiny bit helpful to someone somewhere besides myself. Expect plenty of new stories to be posted this month and my usual joking self. To my friends and family…thank you.