I surrender my shore. Break against it. Crash with your waves, crash and wear away my days.
Crash with sorrow, crash with pain. Retreat and leave my land changed. Lap at it with calm awe, and tear it away in stormy rage. I will build no sea wall, no defense. Carve me, shape me. Swallow me in swirling white foam.
And as I slowly erode, I will know that I am home.
That’s all I could write after having a few beers with my friend Kevin on Tuesday. He has ALS.
Last week I lost two friends. Dee died on Monday. Todd died on Thursday.
Last week can go suck itself in a sombrero.
As an exercise and ritual, I’m supposed to write five things I’m good at before I write. I’m supposed to do both every day. I try, until I don’t. I’m much more consistent with punching myself in the balls until I vomit. I don’t like the exercise because it makes me confront my darkest fear: that I’m not good enough, that I am not worthy.
It’s a feeling deeply rooted in the affect of having an absent father.
This fear is a supermassive singularity and nothing escapes it’s gravity. When pressed to think of my good qualities, I can’t. My thoughts get sucked away into dark oblivion. And then I panic.
It goes like this:
“Okay, what are you good at? …umm, shit. Come on, it’s not that hard… …umm… OH FUCK I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S THIS HARD WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME.”
Last time I talked to Beck, my writing coach and editor, she asked me to tell her five good things. We sat in silence on the phone for a while and I started to tear up. She should have drove the 3000 miles between us and pulled my teeth out with her bare hands, it would have been easier.
“Okay. Let’s have fun with it,” she said. “You’re fucking excellent at procrastinating, right?”
“Hell yes, World-Class,” I beamed.
“Woohoo! What else?”
“Beating myself up.”
“Yes you are, my friend. Next?”
“Being aimlessly rebellious…”
“YES. Go Cab,” she cheered.
“I’m terribly good at not planning.”
“YAY,” she roared. “One more!”
“FUCKING SWEARING,” I said, laughing.
“FUCK YES,” she declared triumphantly.
And then I was smiling. I wrote a thousand words after our talk. I know it’s not much, but my words are measured like dog years.
Embrace your demons, celebrate your sins. Try something out of character.
Laugh at the wonder of it all
Laugh so loud you break the fall
And you see the gathering clouds
Cry at the sadness of the world
Cry so long you break it’s cold
And you hear the gathering sounds—James, Sound