in which a boy forgets his purpose…

From the Diary of Sir Marshmellow Trowell


This cigarette isn’t going to smoke itself. When I peer at the calendar, the fucking thing assures me a full week has passed since our explosion without any kind of resolution or discussion. Instead, it feels like one of those never ending days comprised of mini-days and nights going on and on, constantly trending towards oblivion but not quite getting there. Any punctuation of this discouraging equilibrium is muted; maybe I’m a balloon, but the pinpricks don’t pop my thin skin. Air doesn’t blast outwards, maybe because our inter-relationship is another empty holster, another empty hand.

We can’t discuss all the fucked up decisions that were labeled “insurance policies,” only to find out it’s still possible to radically alter that old time serotonin high AND pay the price for my intransigence in blood. Insurance my ass. Funny thing is, the blame should go to the dumb asshole who purchased the policy, and that useless fuck is me. I don’t mind bleeding, but with no way to stem the flow, it can only end one way. (We could jump back into that whole mirror thing, but I feel like we covered that already. I don’t know, go find that poem if you really want too. I’m in no damned mood for sentimentality.) More than a granted wish of easy money, I wish only to see my angel rise up the stairs and announce her presence with a voice that could boil a heart and eyes that could still a bolt of lightning.

Back on earth, the song remains the same. Can’t get it off repeat; the button must be jammed & the universe just keeps moving. Seditious history is remembered as a series of moments masking forgotten hours of weighing evidence prior to summary judgment and deep kisses. As the day darkens into evening, my eyes close in protest while the mind keeps building conscious reality composed mainly of “best guesses.” The results, while partially incomprehensible, carry little true meaning. Such is the nature of subjective experience. Like everyone else I’ve ever met, this ignores the weight of reality on such flights of fancy as emotions, pride, and what we might exuberantly call logic. Well, you can’t win ’em all. Hope springs eternal except when all seems lost. That would be folk wisdom, or what passes for such these days. What do I know?

All of this rambling psychological bullshit is as useful as a warm blanket on a cold night. I’ve been hard at work convincing myself that this is The Way Things Are Supposed To Be. The phone doesn’t bother to ring, and when it does it’s never the right voice… if you had any idea of what I needed, would you still be observing radio silence and trying to leave me on my own? Who knows except the empty bed and silent room? I’m fighting back, but the going is slow and as I said earlier, there is no chance to win. I just can’t give up without some kind of fight, no matter how selfish and counter-productive. Denying an urge to completely let go gets hard. Without TDQ’s helpful friendship, I’d be fighting alone. My commitment, my loyalty to de Quincey’s main idea remains as strong as ever, even if the eyes-half-closed contingent won’t give up on needling another momentary escape out from an impossible grasp. Despite being repeatedly told there are limits to everything, I know it’s an excuse to ignore the ignoble truth that escape is not available on demand, rather a method to combat those imprisoned by time & tide against their free will. Freedom is in the locks of hair hanging down from a voltaic beauty above the neck of Athena. At her temple, while sacrificing my busted frame, I keep looking around desperate to lay eyes on Athena’s form. So far… nothing. Continually disheartening to think she’s appearing as someone else’s angel when all I really need is that smile binding me to her.

With all of the concrete markers slowly assuming the shapes and contours of a bricked-in asylum, what used to be smooth skin smelling like an angel or some divine prescience is now a padded room where those locked in must give up their most precious delusions of grandeur or otherwise. This is all in the name of good mental health, a movement nobody could deny without sounding crazy. Amidst these strict sects of classifications and rules, it is never possible to resist the will of the larger movement. I’d just as soon carve off my leg than admit that my hands are tied and there are guns pointed at my chest, but there is no winning in a situation like this. No winning. Fight like a mongrel dog, love like there’s never been anything so important in your life, kick and scream and spit and punch and when the dust settles & the lights go out, my bed is still empty and cold.

Any manner of training distinguishes the torch bearer from the torturer. My own mounting frustration with such a pathetic inability to alter the course of events feels like sticking a hand in boiling fry oil. I’m just another spectator watching some numb fuck get his heart kicked out after innumerable promises to avoid this exact fate. The good Doctor tells me it is the natural inclination of my darling dear is to move in a direction away from this psychotic fool toward safety. The feeling of my angel slipping away is too much to take, yet my hands are still tied and my mouth mutters all the wrong words. Cut me, stab me, shoot me, bleed me out but give me some hope that the hand holding the guns or knives is yours. If that is the only way we can touch, I am ready to bleed on command.

Clambering on the cusp of such a serial rerun, I got a good god-damn idea of what not to do. If only the answer demanded could be found as easily, or applied as briefly to salve everyone that’s been lost and never found. By now, the devolution of such a fine personage hurts doubly; being an unreformed & unrepentant cripple doesn’t leave much room for desire on behalf of an angel, and nobody is searching for my eyes in any kind of crowd. All of this is really to say the ice cubes have melted in the glass; is there any way back? Without analogies to get me through the night, every poem I’ve ever read or written hurls insults in the dark; deep accusations of some kind of base-rate failure to support and maintain the love that dug so deeply below the skin. Everything seems an aggressive cross examination; I have no answer to give you except an apology, no idea on how to proceed into my empty bedroom night after night without sensing the lifeless sheets and uncreased pillowcase. Whatever is left of my confidence wanes, draining out with no support system to help maintain some small supply to be used in an emergency.

A mirror tells me there will be no talking in the end, no time to fix everything broken. I stand on an empty and silent plateau. This isn’t the first time I’ve been left behind; I am a ghost that rides every kind of breeze without any ability to maintain the beautiful, the kind, the love; once so easily found in the movements of a lithe dancing girl and her voice on the phone reaching out to me, surrounding me by the soft feathers of everything I needed.

It’s been a week without my angel’s voice, and knowing there are more weeks and months to come before finally accepting everything has been lost. I only want to wake up to find out it’s all a dream, that Athena is still sleeping peacefully by my side, smiling and keeping me warm. In the cold darkness, everything looks like Athena except the empty half of the bed. The insurance was a fraud, and another crippled wreck tries to walk without support only to find out that it’s impossible to do it on my own.

You were the best, and I’m terribly sorry I let you down. No matter whom Athena finds herself next to, I will go to my grave believing it was me that should have been lying next to her, talking of Persephone and laughing about the hole in Zeus’ head. All of this, and I won’t wake up to see you. Not in the darkness, and not in the light. Pacing the cage is the best I can do, and that won’t bring you back.

If there is a silver lining, it is only this; I’ve been tossed aside so many times, losing everything again and again. Be it the beautiful Athena or the frenetic Hera, I have to play the part of Hephaestus, swinging the hammer under the mountain. For a short time, I knew Athena naked and perfect. For a short time, Athena knew me intimately. Now, I’d give anything for a half hour or even a few minutes to tell her, fac-to-face, that I should have said yes when all I said was no.

I cant fight. I can’t argue. This is what I deserve, even if it ain’t fucking close to what I want. Hey Athena… you were right, and now you’re gone and I am destroyed. Tonight I’m crippled inside and out.

6 Responses to “in which a boy forgets his purpose…”

  1. woah… this is powerful. i just went through a breakup and it’s speaking to me. thanks so much for being real. i mean it, thank you.

  2. Thanks man, I appreciate the comment. Yeah, hasn’t been the best of times lately, but like I tell everyone else, if I get a few good poems or some decent prose, I’ll let my heart get broken anytime. It is not the easiest way to live, but you gotta get emotion in there somehow. Honesty and the ability to know when to use a broken heart or when to let loose with absolute joy are important qualities for any piece of creative writing. Thanks again man, I will be writing some poetry later tonight.

  3. If we were lucky, as children we trusted that a kiss on a wound from someone who loved us made everything all better. That is all it took – we could then face the world. It seems to me that an angel or a voltaic Athena would only take physical form in the presence of someone with a heart that truly needed them in his or her life -not wishing to crash, burn, and all. Perhaps I am obtuse, did you or do you sense such inter- connections in your life?

    • I had to sit back and think about your question for a while. I suppose you could say I’m stuck between wanting to experience the highest concentration of the greatest amount of emotional extremes and not wanting to get stomped on when things go wrong. The imagery of Athena (both voltaic and otherwise) and Hera illustrates two different approaches to love & beauty that both end in the same place. Putting myself in as Hephaestus allows me to mourn the loss while placing the experience of loss in the greater context of living. Hence my prior explanation; We invent what we need when what we need isn’t available.

      • Very deep. Voltaic caught my attention and I forgot about Hera and Hephaestus swinging the hammer under the mountain entirely – sorry it was late. Well the many became one for the sake of harmony. And that still leaves the angels – perhaps with wings folded so as not to draw undue attention. But sometimes they are drawn to those who need them – muti-taskers they are by nature you know.

  4. No worries. The hour is always late in some sense of the words. The idea of the many becoming one is both exciting and scary. In baring my own emotional frailties in public, I have to acknowledge that each little piece of me that is hacked off and lost is there for all to see. I don’t want to hide from the repercussions of any of my experiences, be they joyful or painful. Like I said before, the problem comes when the negative overwhelms everything else and it becomes necessary to protect your “self” or let it be ripped apart. Check out “The Idea of Order in Key West” by Wallace Stevens for more on that idea. He does a better job than I COULD when he opens with “She sang beyond the genius of the sea…” Thanks for all the comments, I really appreciate the notes and ideas.


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