Surreality.

Every day I see people who knew you in life, sometimes running into them for the first time in decades; and, they inevitably ask about you as if they expect to find out that you’ve moved away to Canada, like you always threatened to do. The news of your short battle and premature death unfailingly drops jaws all the way around, and I regularly find myself in the position of having to firmly convince someone that you are dead and gone: a highly dissatisfying instance for me.
At least once a month I see a dress or a couch or a set of dishes that oozes your still lingering essence, and this essence permeates my existence for some time – maybe an hour; maybe a day…and as much as it stirs the burn of the embers inside the firepit called Pain, I greedily and secretly lean into the heat because it’s the only way I feel like I still know my Mom. Like I still have my Mom.
Every single night I walk my dog down the street your house is on. Although somebody else lives there and its appearance has been drastically altered since you died, I sometimes see your faint ghost on the front porch doing a crossword puzzle. I see your ghost watering the lawn too, or occasionally it even excitedly waves a hand at me from across Camden Avenue in the darkness.
I catch myself more frequently spitting out random statements and sayings that were always unique to you, alone.
Things like,

“In like Flynn.”

Or I sing stupid bits if stupid songs like,

“Here we come,
on the run,
like a hamburger on a bun.”
Or,
“Jonathan Joe had a mouth like an O”

I know its really you speaking in my voice, but I wonder what any of it means.

I often thank the Gods that you and I were able to at least scratch the surface of our reciprocal amendments to each other before you died so horribly fast and miserably. I’m continually thankful that I was able to thoroughly explain myself to you after all was said and done between us, but before your brain got so full of metastatic tumors that you were unable to comprehend me. I’m ever thankful that your passing wasn’t during any of our many former years apart, and that I was there to hold your hand when you asked me to be, because I can vividly remember that you were afraid, truly afraid. You never lost face though, you remain a bonebreakingly strong idol of my candlelit shrine. And no matter what else life throws at me, I will meet my last day on Earth with your smile on my face and your strength in my bloodstream. And, while your death killed off parts of me and stole any comfort I knew in the big, bad world, I haven’t let it burden me.
Though, I still bitterly wish we could have had Christmas in Sutter Creek, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Every single day passes with a strangling sense of your absence. And some days, I find you staring back at me from a mirror or the reflection from a storefront window as I pass. The tiniest and subtlest bits of your essence still trickle from the hole that losing you that way has left in my heart.

Flounder.

I’ve been circling the moldy, plankton encrusted bottom layers of life; feeding off of the slowly sinking debris that once littered the surface layers: the leftovers of a long-ago feast that I attended up there.

My vision has adapted to the murk; my breathing has adjusted to the oxygen depletion of dangerous depths and harrowing heights; my skin has settled into the wrinkled prune-esqueness of an over-long bubble bath; my hair now growing shafts of seaweed and tangly kelp in place of it’s natural fibers.

I’m a flounder, living with a great white shark who is lazy with a eating disorder; I am stuck in the suction of his hefty submerged wake; I am seemingly happy to gobble up the chunks of shit that fall from the sides of his razor sharp bite as he chews incessantly; I am his shadow down here.

There’s A Reason.

There’s a reason why Trump’s not welcome here in the wake of such a deadly, longstanding tragedy;

There’s a reason why I want to spit on the people here in the South Bay for wearing face masks, as if we have heavy smoke or bad air quality, in comparison to our northernmost counterparts.

There’s a reason why the death toll continues to rise even so long after the fact when we finally have the fire at 98% containment.

In loving and hopeful memory of Paradise and Magalia, California: two of the formerly best places to camp with friends and family, hide from the law, grow large scale killer weed, or just relax in the buttes.

The Wrapping Up of Such Sadness.

It’s been 16 long and theiving months of it all; and now that it’s over and my mama has passed away, it feels like a dream: halfway surreal and traumatic, and halfway a street that’s enveloped by fog too thick to navigate.

It’s over.

It’s over.

All I can say is that it’s over.

..and the torment is wrapped up. My mama has lost the fight.

Futile. 

I’ve never felt so alone.
And, Ive spent my life feeling alone.
…didn’t know this kind of alone was even possible.

Pins and Needles.

My fingertips are pins and needles,
That tuck the hospital corners of your world,
and smooth the blankets of your mind,
It’s chaos, come to adjust the pillows ’round your heart,
Anxiety, come to massage your broken hands,
See my sparkling, salt encrusted crown of worry,
Ever thickening with hardness,
Never weakening with softness,
My fingertips are ten tiny doorways,
That seek you out, thus desperately
It’s a welcome party sporting shotguns,
It’s death, come to holler in the deafened ears,
Life, come to go away again,
See my hate-infused senses trying so hard to love,
Ever faltering with drunkenness,
Ever drinking in this emptiness.