Trials

I realize now that I have been approaching life in the same way that I had been trying so desperately to avoid. While listening to The Roots and Kendrick Lamar (excellent brain food), I saw how desperate I truly have become. I have been wading through this swamp for the past 8 years of my life with no purpose and direction, losing grip on the values that I had been taught throughout my childhood which has caused me to lose every inch of humanity that I had left to spare. I run through darkness in search of a light that I know never even existed all the while clinging to those around me like a parasite, though the relationship is never a symbiotic one.

The biggest flaw about my personality type is that I thrive on the existence of those around me. I live life through my accomplishments with great pleasure, only to find myself alone due to the process by which I desert those closest to me. My adoration for love, companionship, company, friends and family has been nothing short of sinister, feeding off of the empathy that I can sense in others as if it were a cheap perfume they bought at the local department store. I see through the masks and troubles, pinpointing flaws with such perfection that it becomes almost unbearable to resist the temptation of taking advantage of those flaws.

In my calculating, analytical being, deep down somewhere in here there is a man waiting for that one woman that I am unable to manipulate like those that have preceded her.

No, scratch that.

I’m not proud of what I do/have done. It’s not something I do out of sheer enjoyment or for the thrill. It’s a major personality flaw, and I don’t want to do it anymore.

I’m waiting for that woman in my life that will change what I have become. The one that I can look in the eyes and tell her all of the awful things I have done to other women without any judgment or harsh criticism. I want her to understand that I don’t want to do it anymore, that I want to…need to change. The burden I bear is one of a man that is without love and compassion, one that turns a blind eye to the tears of the loved ones around him.

And I’m tired of it.

Is she out there?

A Realization

Get ready for a ride with this one. It’s going to be a long story about a short span of history in my life:

About 9 years ago if you had seen the type of person I was, you would have been disgusted (by the standards of good Christian living). I was smoking, drinking and pursuing any carnal pleasure that the world had to offer me, except for sex. Why I chose to save myself was a decision that I knew was right, but I could not explain to you why it was. Anyway, getting back on track here;

I was trying to please myself in every way possible without allowing my grandparents (whom I lived with since I was 13) to find out. You see, I grew up in a Christian home, and something about me just wanted to escape from that with every lasting breath of me. Nothing about the home was oppressive, and they in no way tried to force my hand in religion. It’s just that something in me wanted nothing to do with it. Yet I still went to church every Sunday with them, and left relieved and alive somehow.

One Sunday, I saw a young girl that I had had my eye on for a long time, and I remember seeing her mother (who I referred to as the dancing woman in black) with hands raised in the front of the crowd. I recall thinking that I thought it was foolish to look like that all of the time, but then again I was young and didn’t understand what exactly was going on. Later that night during our youth service I saw her again. I recall her being a part of the same small group for that evening. We were all talking about purity or something to that affect, and I could not keep my eyes off of her.

About a week later after Baseball practice, I remember getting the urge to stop somewhere to grab something to eat. You see, this was out of character for me. I didn’t (and still don’t) go to new places alone. There’s something in my mind that creates a very specific type of fear when I go to places I had never been, even places I venture often with others. I just simply do not like going anywhere alone. So back to the story;

I gained enough courage to go into a little place called Kyoto Express. I had never been there before in my life, but that day something felt different…very different. So I walked out of my car still in practice attire and entered the restaurant without a clue of what I wanted to order. I nervously waited in line peering at the menu in hopes that no one was actually looking at me. When it was my turn to order, I played off my nervousness by making small talk with the cashier…

When I realized who I was speaking with. The woman I had come to liking at church was the same one taking my order. Queue the dramatic music and sweaty palms, because I had just lost all ability to speak in that one moment.

I remember fumbling over my words as I ordered, then to break the tension I quickly said:

“Hey! I know you. You go to my church!”

“No, you go to MY church.” She quickly replied.

And then started a great friendship and relationship all in one that would change my life forever.

Why do I say friendship and relationship at the same time? Because that exact moment in time created a lifelong friendship with a family I never expected to know, and a lifelong relationship with a God I knew even less.

You see, over the years I have had my follies. During my time in Korea, something within me decided to abandon everything that I knew about the Love of God. I ran away, I fought kicking and screaming, I turned my back on the woman I came to love unconditionally with everything I had (her sister, long story). I hurt more people than I care to even think about in my torrential downfall, all the while refusing to believe that there was a God out there.

So where am I now? Why am I writing this to you all?

Because I am here to tell you that no matter how hard and fast you run from Him…He will never leave you. I am 26 now and it has taken me almost 6 years to realize all of this. And to those who have been patient with me, talking with me on Facebook as I cried out in desperation for clarity in my life…

Thank you. Thank you for proving me wrong in believing that you would turn your backs on me. Thank you for showing me a love that I thought did not exist.

Am I back to where I was before? No, not by any stretch of the imagination. But I will be. With guidance, help and initiative, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I Remember

I remember what it once felt like.

Being the used. The manipulated. The experiment.

I remember when I used to be the one that foolishly fled into the arms of the first woman that paid me any attention. How I lived off the the energy they fed me;

“You’re so mysterious.”

“Why don’t you ever smile?”

“You always look so serious.”

“You’re young, but your eyes show wisdom.”

I remember how it felt when those words rang through my ears, reminiscing about the last girl that told me that, instead of the woman in front of me. I would literally live to hear their confirmations, their adoration. The way they pined over every words I said because I “Have such an articulate way of speaking.”

It was after I noticed this pattern that I slowly changed from the used, the manipulated, the experiment, to the user, the manipulator, the one experimenting. I began to notice that I could use all of this to my advantage, that I could manipulate someone just by saying a few phrases. It was then that I realized I could make an object out of myself, because I couldn’t be a person and allow myself to do these things without any moral consequence…No, no I could not.

So I displaced my morals, my beliefs, my realities with that which was an intangible thought…a memory. I never revealed who I truly was. What was the fun in that? I rejected conscience and regret, and I accepted that I viewed myself as an object of their obsession.

And I embraced it proudly.

A few years passed, and I had perfected the art of manipulation. I would answer their everlasting questions with answers that wouldn’t compromise my integrity, but would still appease them.

Articulation and Manipulation: My two greatest weapons.

Let them ask. Let them come and ask. I have an answer for everything. And when the questions get boring, and the obsession had bloomed, I left them. Left them alone and wondering just what in the hell had happened. Then they saw me for who I really was:

A monster.

But what did I care? They were out of my life forever, and by then I had ceased all communication with them. Easy come, easy go. There are more out there like her.

And I found her. The one that did to me what I thought was impossible.

We had it good. Oh, we had it so good. I was just as enthralled by her as she was with me. The questions never stopped, and the obsession just grew and grew and grew.

I was so stupid. I saw the patterns and I still came back every time. She lived off of the moods I set for her. I was the voice of reason, the calm of the storm. She was such a chaotic person, and I knew that I could feed off of that forever.

Until the night she said she was done with me. No warning, no heart to heart talk…

Just done.

I drove home, 2 hours of listening to my band, almost at the brink of tears. And then it clicked:

She….was me. Everything that I had perfected over the years came crashing down in front of my eyes by someone who did to me….what I do to others. She said all the right things, answered all the right questions…and I failed to see my own pattern within her.

Months passed, and I still could not shake the pain. No, it wasn’t the pain from her leaving me…it was the pain that set in when I realized just exactly what it was that I was doing to people. I watched women cry in front of me without any guilt or remorse. I stood and listened as women yelled at me because I didn’t have a heart and I just shrugged it off as if it didn’t bother me. I watched as women packed their things and left my house in tears, begging me to talk to them their entire way out. I read the sobbing text messages I received pleading with me to give them a second chance, as if they were the ones at fault.

And now….now I know what it feels like to be human again. I swear…on everything that I am…I will never go back to being that person. I will never again become an object, a heartless shell that feels no remorse for the pain I’ve caused others.

2 years later, and I’m here….not giving any woman a chance to take off the porcelain mask that I wear, in fear of what they might uncover…

In fear that I may become that person again.

Love and Loving

“This spot is perfect” I say as we break through the treeline into the clean cut valley.

The grass here is near perfect in color; A small hint of blue mixed in within the green. The top layer kisses our ankles as we set the small flower covered quilt we had bought just the other day down. You let off a small giggle as one of my corners folds over itself.

“Having trouble there, dear?” You ask with a small grin.

I pause for a moment to appreciate this smile. I love seeing the sun shine upon your face when you’re happy. It’s almost as if your very beauty outshines even the light of the sun.

“No more than usual. I haven’t had much practice laying blankets down on grass, you know.” I reply, smiling back.

You smile again, turning to retrieve the other blanket from the bag we had packed, along with the book you had chosen, and the pillows. I take the small camping lantern off of my belt loop, placing it on the ground behind where our heads will lay.

“It’s such a beautiful evening tonight, don’t you think? It’s possible that we won’t even need a blanket to cover us.” You say as you continue to dig through the bag.

“Well you know I’ll need it. I get rather cold at night, no matter what the weather chooses to do. Of course, I’ll have you to keep me warm either way.” I say as I kneel down to set the lantern alight.

“You will, will you? As I recall, you’re the one that sleeps like a heater at night. It might be me that needs keeping warm. Why do you think I’ve kept you around for so long? Now come, sweetheart, don’t let that bother you.” You say as you lean in, kissing my forehead as you can tell my frustration was building with the lantern that would not light.

“Yeah, I guess I’ll try it later. We have another hour or so of sunlight anyway. I’ll look for the lighter later because these matches don’t seem to be doing any good. What’s the book tonight?” I ask.

We’ve purposely set aside days like this so we can bond more as time goes on. The idea was first thought of when our date night dinners started to become an expensive venture, so we agreed upon one night a week that we would spend together reading a book of our choosing. Sometimes I would pick, sometimes you would, but we both agreed that we would not change books until our current one was done. The site, however, was always a surprise to one or the other, whoever did not choose. Last week you chose a beautiful pier out on the harbor where we sat for hours after the sunset, just listening to the ocean and feeling the cool breeze flow over our skin.

Tonight I chose this valley. On the side we came from a large, lush forest filled with dogwood trees famous to the region. On the other side, a magnificent snow topped mountain range. The valley was filled with colors upon colors with the many different varieties of flora lining the ground, all flowing in the breeze.

“It’s a new one I picked up the other day called Redeeming Love. Have you read it before?” You ask as you get comfortable next to me, adjusting the pillow to support your head better.

“I haven’t, but I trust you. We haven’t disappointed each other yet. I have a feeling I will be the one that picks a book off kilter here.” I say as I smile, leaning in for a small kiss.

“Of course you will be honey. You always are.” You chuckle as you return the kiss.

To be continued…….

Are You Alone?

Last night I found myself listening to Coldplay while enjoying the night sky, pondering on just about anything and everything when something occurred to me rather abruptly:

Are we truly alone? Not in the sense that I am raising a question about whether or not there is other life out there; But are we, as humanity, truly…truly alone? If not, then why is it that we seek out that which we feel would make us complete?

You see, this reaches far beyond the typical “I’m alone because I have no one to come home to” status. Sex, drugs, alcohol, running, writing, music…Whatever your vice may be (and their are more than just negative vices, fyi), why do we feel the need to run to what we know cannot fill that gap? I suppose if we knew what was to go in place there we would actually not have any of these behaviors, but we never realistically know what needs to fill that hole.

Or do we?

Are we just so enthralled with the fact that we NEED to be complete somehow that it drives us to the brink of sanity? That we become so involved in our own gains that we really lose sight of what is slapping us square in the face?

I knew a young man that had everything he could possibly want in his life:

A successful job, a loving wife and children, no debt, beautiful home…but he had an addiction that he hid from his family. I actually wrote a book based on his life, just in the fiction form for the sake of saving face. I named it “Giants Do Fall”. I watched his addiction slowly crack the foundations of a man that I once viewed as strong, crumbling all of the possibilities laid before him, destroying what I thought to be unbreakable. Though he is long out of my life now, I still think of him every once in a while. Could I have done something to prevent his downward spiral into the abyss that he created? Could I have stepped in to help a friend that was truly hurting deeper than his eyes would show?

Probably.

But I found that you cannot help one who isn’t willing to take the outreached hand. I constantly reflect on the lives I have come across and influenced for the better, and for the worse. I’m fairly certain that, because of what I am, I have caused more disdain and remorse than joy and peace…

But you know what?

I’m okay with that. Why?

Because I too am searching for that gap to be filled in my life.

Enraged Motivation

So, this might be a little confusing, but it’s meant to be that way. Maybe you’ll catch the tone and metaphors, maybe you won’t. And no, I’m not suicidal. These are just stories guys:

I stand, then I fall. I look up at the stool which I was sitting upon, watching it rattle from side to side as it finally come to rest from the disturbance I caused it. I can feel the burning of unfamiliar eyes aimed at my direction as I try to rise once again. On one knee, I balance myself upon the stool, my legs weak, mixed with a lack of circulation and an altered mind. I sit again, looking around at the faces carefully avoiding any eye contact with me. I can feel my face burning as I order one last round, only to be denied another taste of bitter satisfaction. I lay my head down, trying to gather my composure as the world around me spins in a horrible vortex with no intention of stopping.

Then…Darkness.

That incessant ringing in my head, always every morning. I roll over and realize that it’s the alarm I had set for over an hour ago. I really have to stop drinking the pain away. For the third time in two weeks I will be late for work. I sit up on the side of the bed, resting my hands on my knees as my mind clears itself from the spell of slumber and alcohol. I stand and walk into the washroom, grabbing my toothbrush and suddenly remembering that I had ran out of toothpaste over 2 days ago. I grab the bottle of mouthwash resting on the back of the commode and pour it on the toothbrush as I had before. I figure it’s better than nothing. I rinse, wiping the remaining sting from my lips, pausing to look at myself in the mirror. What have I become? I’m staring back into the eyes of an empty soul, the darkness reaching out to me as if to pull me into the empty void that was already a part of me. I lost my well-paying job, lost my wife. I might as well have lost my life to this addiction. Though I never learn, and I continue to pour every dollar I earn down my throat, never to be seen again. I turn on the shower, removing my shorts and climbing in. Maybe the cold water will wake me up a bit. I close my eyes and imagine what my life could have been before my breakdown…

Then…Darkness.

These telephones wear at what very little sanity I have left within me. Their constant ringing keeps my head from acquiring any amount of clarity as I have to answer each and every call that lands at my desk, only to hear yet another bitter customer dissatisfied with our services. How I landed such a position in this miserable cesspool of damnation is beyond me, though I can only blame myself for the destruction I caused within my soul. I sit, shuffling through the stacks of paperwork that have begun to tower on my desk, searching for certain names and cases that could be easily solved. Most of them dated back over a year. Standing to stretch my legs, I peer over my cubicle at my fellow employees. Look at them…All worker bees and drones working to reach an end that will quite possibly never be in sight. Then, the lunch chime sounds out loud informing us of our 15 minute break, only enough time to open our lunches, stuff our faces and hopefully keep down in our stomachs. I wretch at the thought of such a simple, devious scheme the employers have worked up in an effort to pinch every amount of time possible to save money, while I work for less than minimum wage even after 4 years of dedication. I lay my jacket over my face as I lean back in my chair, hoping for a moment of rest.

Then…Darkness.

Pouring another glass of whiskey, I continue to walk around my apartment in contemplation. Is anything ever worth it anymore? I see nothing but despair and pain as I wake every morning, only to repeat this miserable routine that I have come to embrace without hesitation. I pause only in brief to glare at the polished black .45 resting on my nightstand. Mind spinning almost uncontrollably, I sit on the edge of the bed and continue to stare at the weapon beside me. What am I contemplating, and why? Who would miss me, and who would even know if I were to drop off of the face of the planet in a foul, heaping mass of blood and sinew sprawled across the floor of my bedroom? I often torment myself with thoughts of happiness and peace that I once had in my life, only lost because of such a selfish, damnable addiction that has literally destroyed everything I have ever worked for. I down the rest of the whiskey that is left in my glass, then the bottle, half full, follows shortly after. My entire body burning from the poison, I quickly grab the pistol and rest the barrel on my forehead. I have found myself in this position before. This night is no different than any other. I pull the hammer back and place both of my thumbs on the trigger, grasping the butt of the .45 in both fists. The adrenaline rushes through my veins as I slowly increase the pressure of my thumbs on the trigger. I take one last deep breath and force the trigger against the back of the well.

Click…

Then…Darkness

Passion

I walk in, eying you from the very moment you met me at the door. The heat from the fire that blazed within you radiated throughout every bone in my body. With only a long, dark blue tee to cover your figure, I watch as you traverse the stairs into the kitchen, swaying your body so fluidly that my mind is captivated at the thought of connection.

Shaking myself from this dream, I follow you, heart pounding so hard I could hear it drumming in my ears. Shaking with excitement and anticipation, I walk beyond your standing and lean against the counter, eying you even further, building the courage to do as I aimed. Your arms crossed, leaning against the door frame, you stare into my eyes with a burning desire that could only be matched by the actions that were to come.

“So..”  You remark…smiling so deviously that I can only help but smile right back.
“What’s up?”

I know the question brought before me is not one that needs to be answered with words….

You turn to walk away, heading down the stairs.

Walking directly behind you, I spin you around at the foot of the stairs, pinning you against the wall between the front door and the stairwell. Our lips meet as I force my body against yours. Kissing passionately as my hands travel beneath your shirt, I lift you up, meeting you eye to eye as you wrap your legs around my waist, the force of our movement knocking over the stand that sits in the corner.

“More room for us…” I say between breaths, lifting the dark blue tee over your head to reveal the naked body that is underneath.

I leave the locking embrace of your lips, allowing mine to freely travel your form….

I kiss your neck, biting you slightly as you lean your head in the opposite direction, breathing heavily as my lips lock on to your skin. Still pinning you against the wall, my teeth rake your skin as I travel to your breasts. You let out short cries of desire as I gently bite the areola of your nipples.

Pulling my face to yours, we lock lips yet again as I begin to remove the pants from my body. I continue on, biting the other side of your neck as the nails of your hands begin to rake the flesh of my back through my blue and silver shirt. Tearing the shirt off of my body, you whisper into my ear words that I can not understand. Before you finish the thought, I force myself inside you without warning….

Leaning the back of your head against the wall behind you, you look up with your mouth open in surprise, closing your eyes as you let the flow of emotion and desire overtake your body. I continue to thrust as your legs squeeze tighter and tighter around my waist, almost as if to lock me into position.

Removing your nails from my back, you grab my face and kiss me with such a passion I had never felt before. I bite your bottom lip as I turn toward the stairs, you still clinging to my body as I force you off of me.

“Stay there.” I demand, turning you around and lifting your right leg to rest on my hip. Bending your leg to wrap around my waist, you grab hold of the railing of the stairs with your right hand, and rest your left against the step as I slide inside of you again. Your left leg begins to quiver as the motion of me thrusting in and out of you finally brings your right leg to the floor.

I grab hold of your hips, slowing my momentum as you catch your breath with only your elbows resting on the stairs. I speed up yet again, causing you to slap the stairs in a vain attempt to grasp at something…anything. Your hand finally meets contact with the railing again as your whimpers turn into cries of passion as your body begins to tremble in ecstasy.

I slip out of you, grabbing your hand as I lead you to the bed downstairs. I toss you onto the rigid frame, pulling both of your legs over my shoulders as I enter you again, thrusting harder and faster than before as my hand meets your neck in a firm grasp. You return the gesture and grab hold of my neck with one hand, and holding tightly onto my shoulder with the other. You continue to cry out in pure bliss as your nails dig into my flesh.

My breathing grows rapid as I begin to approach my breaking point. You feel the pulsing inside of you as I begin my rapid ascent into the ecstasy that you have felt during these intense moments.

I pull out, throwing each of your legs to my left and right as I release myself onto your stomach.

Regaining composure, I lean in to kiss you, your lips immediately locking onto mine again. I lay down next to you as you venture off to clean up, only for you to return as ready as before.

Shoving me on my back, we begin our passionate dance once again as you mount…..

Lexana

Spin the drafts slowly in torment as I seek you out.
I tend to think it’s nothing more than a proverbial
Sign of the times to come, but then I think to myself
That they have already come to pass. “Why is your
Language so cryptically calculable?” I ask as the sweat
Continues to soak through my skin. Your revelations
Have never meant anything to me until now. Speaking
In tongues that I have not been familiar with, you continue
To allow the raging thoughts spill from your tongue so
Fluidly that you actually start to believe them. I don’t
See the reasoning behind your explanations anymore,
But what I do see is a vain attempt to convince yourself
Of what you are saying. “How long do you think you can
Keep this up?” I think aloud, reading your facial expressions
As I begin to see that the wall you have built to keep me
Out was never solid, but made of clay. You choose when and
Where to begin the constructs based on the situations you find
Yourself when you are with me. And there it is again. “I see
This time that your wall is a little more fragile this time.” I say to
you, looking above and below it for the weakest point in
The structure. “Of course it is.” you reply in disgust as you
Continue on hand and knee to build as fast as you can. “How
Else am I to allow you to break it down?” This statement bewilders
Me once again. I find myself pondering the meaning behind
What you said. You want me to break down the wall, but you
Still want to control when and where it is built. I see now that
You only want to let me breach the wall for brief amounts of
Vulnerability, only to drag me beyond the barrier once again
When you have had enough of me. “I see now.” I state, peering
At the trail of broken debris we have left behind us from the
Previous walls you allowed me through. Tiring from the thought
Of yet another wall to break through, I begin to walk in the
Opposite direction of where you are still constructing your
Malleable barrier. “Where are you going?” You ask, pausing
Only to stand and look at me in a disgruntled confusion that
Is only to tire me more. “I’m walking away from this.” I say,
Only turning my head over my shoulder as your voice begins
To sound more distant with your final reply. “For ever?” You
Ask, looking around you at the half built wall behind you.
“Perhaps.” I retort, stopping to turn around and face you.

“Or maybe until you at least run out of building material.”

Temptation

My thoughts betray me. An invitation,
If only jest, I realize a moment lost.
Your long brunette hair rests upon
Your shoulders, kissing the nape of
Your neck. How I wish, longing to share
It’s place as you speak. Gestures unseen
From the lack of vision, we banter and
Play, teasing with the phrases of a
Desiring effect that we have yet to breach.
If only…
With a soft hand behind your neck,
I pull you in for embrace. We hold, then
Release, eyes locked. Perhaps we are
Lost in gaze, or waiting in anticipation
For the first move.
If only…
One more embrace, and the barrier has
Been broken. Releasing our reserved
Energy on one another, we tangle in
A dance yet to be interpreted. We’ve
Loved, we’ve lost. Yet none of that
Matters now. Worry, blame and regret
Escapes our minds as the skin of our
Bodies slides together.
If only…
I then awake from my dream, you
Patiently awaiting in the door as the
Sound of my cars engine hums in the
Summer night. I approach, as nervous
As before…
If only…

But not…

“Here’s your ice cream”

Fighting Prayers and Solitude

Spacing out between the lines of ecstasy and remorse,
I see the bending thoughts that were never meant to
Come to light. Every now and then I can smell the breath
Of winter as I get chills across my skin from the bitter
Cold winds that sweep across these plains. I continue
To tread across the frozen blades of grass that shatter
Like glass under the callused pads of my feet, my vision blurred
From the tears that this storm has brought about. My only
Guidance, a light far off in the distance, fades in and out
as if to toy with my mind, luring me into the shadows
Like a wisp. How I came to be in such a position I do not
Know. I woke this morning, sleeping bare with only a soft
throw to cover my flesh in the middle of this despair. I
Know not of when or how I arrived in such a predicament,
But this much I know; I am not alone. I fear I am being followed,
Or am I being lead? I do not know now, my eyes are nearly
Frozen shut. The sound of anothers footsteps near me is
Fear manifesting itself in a tangible form, or perhaps I am
Hearing the echo of my own torturing thoughts chained to
My very soul. I do not know anymore, nor am I to care.
This light is my only hope now, yet it seems to get no
Closer. How long have I been wandering? How long have I
Walked this path towards salvation, only to be further
Removed than I once was before? Am I forsaken? Surely
I have not been abandoned, left alone to die here with
Only the cold as my comfort.

And now I know. I am not a man. I am not who I once
Was. I am no longer a figure of the human race that has
Come to understand itself. This light….This light is only
One of the hope I could have had. I have been lost for
An eternity it seems. And now….now I remember….

I am Cain