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Last year she quit her job, sold her belongings, and moved to another state. Now she’s back again, and we’re here pretending nothing happened – no man broke her heart, no time has passed, she’s just living in a different apartment now, working a different job – slightly shifted but the same.

In my dream they stood naked in a field. In my head he sings to me still, though I haven’t seen him in years. He sings, he sings, the sun goes away behind a cloud, my eyes disappear beneath their lids, water swells over the earth.

You want to listen to his music pre-2017, Bob Dylan in his early years, my music in the future, if there is one.

My professor said all humans seek recognition. It’s the only way we can know ourselves – to see our self through someone else.

It isn’t real life, he said. It echoes at me through the years. It isn’t real life.

What are we building now? The houses of our past has crumbled. My mind is crumbling. Must we always make something more?

You are still alive out there, somewhere, though I haven’t seen you in years.

My old Philosophy teacher doesn’t want to vote for Bernie. But we all already knew that there is a limit to the usefulness of Philosophy.

The strings we left dangling may yet be tied back together. All we have is the time we have left to see what happens: what dreams we will dream, what music we will lose and find again, what people will fade away or come back, what all we will build and tear down.

I wonder if I am a good writer, or if I have ever been a good writer, or what a good writer is, or if they have ever existed, or if they can exist.

Maybe I used to be good. Maybe I just used to think I was good. Maybe I’ve always been chasing some past version of myself that never actually existed. Maybe we all are doing that, right now.

The wooden bookshelf in my room has absorbed the scent of the frankincense incense I burn almost daily, becoming one large incense stick itself, one sure to burn down your entire apartment complex if lit, since it can’t fit inside the small vintage incense burner your dad gave to you or you stole from him, one or the other, one and the same.

I pick up one of the few books I have here, philosophy of happiness, read a page, put it back down, wonder what Athens looked like covered in thinkers.

The shades are often drawn, blocking out most of the sunlight. Summer has ended, over, finished, until the next one, if any of us live that long. Autumn began a few days ago, of course nothing really feels any different other than the change in the weather and in necessary outdoor wear. I wonder if I’ve changed in the year I’ve been in Europe. Surely. Maybe. Is it human to think so or human to think I’m exactly the same?

His crazy rambles make me crazy. I want to scream right back at him – SHUT THE FUCK UP! STOP TALKING TO YOURSELF! I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOU ANYMORE! FUCKING FUCK!

It’s raining today. That makes it different than yesterday. Life just slips by, one day into another, season by season, long pants by short pants.

We are animals – it’s important to remember that. We’ve created all of this – thought it up, dreamed it out, built it up. It’s not real. Is it?

I can’t keep sitting here listening to the rain, I’ve got things to do. We all have things to do. We made them up.

I think I will sit here by the window in the sunshine with my plants a bit longer and listen to the rain with them. I’ll light an incense cone and watch the smoke crawl up towards the ceiling.

This isn’t meant to be anything. Maybe one day – one season, one summer, one year – I’ll make something more.

It’s due to rain straight through until morning. I’ll be here, at the window.

 

 

I miss the smell of grass cut from your own yard, way in the back where the neighbors can only just hear the sound of the push mower, a little buzzing noise from a motor unseen. Cut the grass around the apple tree, newly flowering, around the old car, left slowly rotting.

I have been eating too many cherries this season. They are deep purple-red, sweet, tart, juicy. One tastes like soap. One tastes like the sour apples I bit into too early in the summer – tart, bitter, sour, green. Not ready yet.

No longer mine – the grass or the apple trees or the push mower, or the land that held all of it.

The grass still grows there – and is cut. The apples grow, ripen, fall, rot on the ground in the shade, or are nibbled on by deer, raccoon, fox, squirrel, rabbit.

The stream will trickle by, as it did before I arrived, and long after I am gone and gone forever.

The sun beats down brightly here, but it is empty warmth – a smile without friendliness. Much is missing. The blue sky smiles sadly at me, the clouds offer their best wishes for future summers full of smells.

 

That bite of orange tasted like donut and she glanced down. Nothing really makes sense this year. Her luggage is off on an all-expense paid, unplanned and unwanted vacation, somewhere out in the big old world. Your breakfast is getting cold. She doesn’t understand the ratio of coffee grounds to water in a french press but she keeps trying anyway. Maybe one day she will have whatever it is she is still looking for. I should buy potatoes. Someone ate all of my cheese while I was gone. What a year it is already. We are killing all of the butterflies and everything else that doesn’t give them money. He is still no good, a quiet broken yellow man. We keep making new things and ruining our ancient planet. I’m not as sad as I thought I would be to lose objects from the past. It isn’t the things that matter but the memories of them, and you and I continuing on afterwards. My computer remembers all of my passwords for me. The mail system in the country of Germany sent back 4 of my Christmas cards because I didn’t put enough stamps on. Sorry, you’re not getting a card this year. Last year. It’s over now. She adds butter to her shopping list. That’s all we do is wash the same dishes over and over and over. They liked my poem that took me 10 minutes to write. Even my teacher had nothing bad to say. I smiled at them and grinned at them and said, “thank you.” If I lose everything I think I will still be myself. I’m not that attached to anything but anyone and everyone. You need to make a list of what you want to do still with your life. To-do. The fish walked out of the sea. I walked out of the airport. The moon had a target on it and now nothing and everything does. Beautiful baby. Dead flower. Frozen, half-eaten, garden leek. A rabbit snack. The status of our childhood tree. Can I please have my luggage?

 

The road is carved through great, dark, blue-gray mountains lined with white. The boy who drives the car is you, but he is not you. He is younger and looks like someone you have never looked like. He is driving and he loves me again. I don’t know where we are going. All I see are the mountains and the face that is yours but doesn’t belong to you. I don’t wonder, I just ride.

Your brain, left unguarded by sleep, free from ego, not bound by physics, time, history, or the beliefs of others or yourself, can give life to the only magic we are capable of.

My magic was peace, resolution, love, acceptance, forgiveness, the beauty of nature.

That boy never existed and you never will again. You are some magical thought that has passed.

He lives in a world where he does not wake up. He has been dreaming for a decade.  At least I know where my blue mountains are and how to find them when I wake.

My memories of you are living with dreams now, in some beautiful work of art I am glad to experience while resting. Let it be some soft beauty instead of harsh ugliness.

You make me want to paint great, dark, blue-gray mountains lined with white.

 

She is not allowed to love anyone else but me. Even after two years. Even after months of awkward struggles for conversations. She is not allowed to move on. She is not allowed to get over me.

He sends me music like he did years ago like that will mean anything. It is falling on deaf ears. I will never hear you again.

I often wonder what part of humanity makes us like this. If it is biological or social. If she wants me to keep loving her because of ego or loneliness or mating possibilities, or all of the above. And I wonder why I wasn’t good enough in that moment, and if I would be now, or later, or never. And what makes that be so, is it biological or social?

At least it is all interesting, this life. Even the terrible parts. Even the boring parts. It has all been done before but never by you. It is old and new at the same time. And it is different and the same. Like the love she has for me. It is still there. It is still secretly, secretly waiting. But ends come. Ears stop listening. Another one is coming soon.

Music plays in my head. It is some classical song my brain has dredged up from somewhere.

I am thinking of that day. Classical stories and classical music and classic heartbreak. It will never be the same. That is good and that is bad.

I don’t know if all of this is boring and wasteful and pointless. Isn’t everything? It might be good. It might get better.

Maybe it is mortality. The end. The no going back. The finishing of some young story-line. The realization she doesn’t want you anymore, or ever again. The death of some thing, some chance, some hope.

“Sushi stop is good,” he said. But I don’t like sushi. And he doesn’t like me, I think, while my brain writes it’s own versions of classical music. Who’s to say it isn’t?

 

What the hell is his middle name? I thought, suddenly panic-stricken, elbow-deep in a filing cabinet at work. I stared blankly at the air in front of my face but couldn’t remember a thing. What does that mean? Shit! I don’t forget middle names. Middle names are my thing. That can’t be a good sign. He hates me already and now I’ve forgotten his middle name, this is not going to end well.

But later, at home, I remembered. The J name that he was embarrassed to tell me because it’s from the bible and his mom was really religious and it shouldn’t be anyone’s middle name but it is his.

Driving home I thought about brains and how it’s ridiculous for me to be upset at him because people are just lumps with electricity and heartbeats and it’s amazing we can get along at all any of the time, really.

I think about how I sent another person a song earlier this week, and he replied back that the piano player was lovely, and I think about how that made me want to be an epic piano player. I wanted to go learn the damn song by heart so I could play it just as good. And I didn’t want to learn it to make this person like me more, but because if he thinks something is wonderful then it must be. And if I want to be a wonderful person, I should try to be better. He makes me want to be a better person; whether or not he knows about it doesn’t matter. Which is a strange feeling and thought to have, and it may have made me cry in the middle of an LA traffic jam one night because it was beautiful, and I always cry, and sometimes I cry because things are beautiful.