The 10th Hour

What you are about to read comes from a part of my life and a piece of myself that I have kept hidden from virtually everyone. Things will begin to add up, and those missing variables that sum up a fraction of the equation that is me will be solved for some of you. Just like that, you’ll see a line, a series of letters revealing parts of me I have shown to only a handful of people, most of them gone now. It’s such a daunting thought, so invasive to think that people, strangers and friends alike, are going to be introduced to some of my demons. Hell, you might recognize them. You may have even given them names.

It all happened months ago, during a road trip I took with my younger brother to Northern California, in a sleepy forest town called Arcata. I was laying down in a cozy apartment at four in the morning during the tenth hour of a hallucinogenic trip under the influence of LSD. I shine emphasis on the state I was in for two reasons,

1: These lines follow no structure and evolved in an entirely organic matter. It’s simply a stream of consciousness spurned on by the effects of the LSD which, while they are mind altering, do not alter your present state of self awareness (on the contrary).

2: While under the effects of LSD, I was able to think in a manner which I had never been able to before. This new found thought process allowed me to remove myself while exploring myself (I can’t explain it any other way)–which was necessary–considering what it was I was going after: the root cause of a very real depression that still beset me.

I was able to see parts of me that I had hidden away and forgotten. Thoughts I had grown afraid to entertain, the memories I had sought for so long to drown; I brought them to the surface and found that I was not afraid, for how much more harm could they inflict on me now that I hadn’t already endured? There came at this time, a very strange kind of acceptance: I saw my life as it was, still effecting my life as it is, and going on into what my life would be.  It had to stop somewhere. To me, that meant acknowledging my pain, my hatred, and my sorrow and the child that was. For, instead of choosing to accept them as very crucial parts of myself I needed to recognize, I chose instead to forget them.

So, I remembered.

I beheld it all, all that I was running away from, and found some sense of peace at last that was born out of a sense of understanding I had discovered in an altered state of mind. I saw that I was only the cause of an even greater effect. A link in a great chain whose line had endured for generations. People who hurt others because they could not understand their own pain. The loveless who secretly weep and obsess over the one thing they cannot seem to ever posses. I was born with abandon to people who had also been given very poor hands in life, born with no clean slate to speak of. What I endured at their own hands, they too had suffered once, for suffering was all that they knew. In that respect, they had given me all that they had ever had.

Confronted with that profound truth it was then I felt, for the first time, actual empathy for the people that had wronged me. Not only my parents, but everyone who’d ever done me harm. And then everyone I myself had committed crimes against in some fit of anger or some preposterous notion of revenge. All those people who’d been refused a greater love, all reaching for the same thing at the center, the very thing we all orbit around, we are all connected to that. This great web that unites us all…It all just made sense in those precious moments in a way I may never be able to truly describe. Someday, I will try.

In that place I had found the key that would move me beyond my circumstances. Then it all poured out of me, like a river. This body of work remains largely untouched from it’s original conception save for some minor revisions or lines I needed to add for a “sober” or “unaltered” mind to make sense of all of this and also, it’s structure, which I have since changed to present the lines at the pace I would like them for them to be presented. This piece evolved with no design in mind, the words simply took me where they may.

I wrote this for no one, though it is for everyone.

the 10th Hour

I need you to know I am not well

and the truth is

I haven’t really ever been.

Not for a long time.

I can blame this on the way I was raised and I have for so long

How my Dad beat me because his Dad beat him when he was young

because we come from a long line of Soldiers who couldn’t make sense of war

or how my Mom didn’t love me enough

because she was the last of eleven children

born to already tired parents and wasn’t raised right

so she didn’t know how to raise me

and when I got grown and grew bad she abandoned me

because her God told her to,

but the thing is every addict and every selfish sob story

plays the same damn cards and never takes some goddamn responsibility!

People have had it worse then me.

Some people didn’t and neither of that matters

because none of them are me and I am not them,

but still we need to find some sense of understanding

and find camaraderie in our suffering

and let that hunger in us that’s never filled

be filled with something good for once

and maybe then our stomachs would cease to growl.

Sure, some of that I never had any control over

and I was just a little kid

who didn’t deserve any of that

and no one deserves any of that at all

and it fucking hurts like hell

when the people who are supposed to love you the most hurt you like that,

you are goddamn right it does!

And I took that hurt and that pain

and crafted it into a fucking shield to survive

and how I survived

but my strength that served me then

is a weakness that cripples me now.

That shield has since grown into a wall from all the bones

of the bodies thrown against me

and now no one can get in

and I am lonely

and I don’t want to be alone anymore

but love is the scariest thing to me

because I have seen what it can do to people

and it hurts every time I try and make it happen for myself,

but I am trying to confront my fears and it starts and ends there.

A whole mesh of seasons unfolding

that I hope will bear at least one good harvest.

It hurts

but that was a long time ago

and I am no longer a helpless child

and they are no longer who they were

and everything changes.

So blaming other people, that just arrests you.

You stay ever the helpless child.

Haven’t you cried enough?

For once shed your tears for someone else!

Because now you know what hurt is.

Because now you can recognize it.

And so many people are hurting.

And they are hiding it with painted masks and excess

and nothing gets better,

they just wait for it to go away

and it won’t go away

because it’s a part of them now,

well how do they fix it?

Love.

Love.

Love you gotta let it in.

Someway.

Somehow.

This is all on me now

and that’s just the damnable misery of it all:

knowing I can’t blame anyone anymore

and I alone am the sole author of this story

and I am just learning how to write

and I guess you can call that a strange sort of strength all on it’s own

but it’s just the beginning

and I didn’t really have one,

not like a “Once upon a time,” or anything,

so I have to start all over

and I don’t know that much but I am learning

and I am learning so much watching

but I know I need to participate even more.

Because you see people like me,

we have to know that this all has a meaning,

that there is something behind all of this,

there just has to be some meaning behind all our suffering

and we know that we have to find something

and we can’t settle for anything less than real

because in spite of it all

we still hope

and we still dream

of love,

of a real kind of love.

The kind that accepts

and understands

and knows

and heals.

Cause I need to heal something bad.

Can’t you see it?

I see some people that find happiness in the most mundane things

but really nothing is trivial

and they smile anyway

and everything is relative

but I still wish that I could be that simple

but my life permitted me no ignorance to procure that kind of bliss

so it has to be something so much more

and it’s a curse I think is really going to bless me.

I know I can find a way to make it better

because it has been better

so I can’t go yet

because I have barely seen a fraction of anything

and I have to make it all worth something.

I need to find something

and I have been going mad just to trying to find what that something is,

something I know is going to save me,

from myself

or the world

or both,

but I don’t know what it it is I am supposed to find!

I guess I will know when I find it.

It’s looking that gives me purpose.

It’s the search that makes it all worthwhile.

Because I don’t know if it’s just around the next bend of the highway

or the next turn of the page

where the author may have wrote something

that makes you feel like they wrote it just for you

to reassure you that you are not alone!

Someone has been there, where you are before

and they came out of it

and it’s there in the pages of history and poetry

to make you write something beautiful now

and give back that same gift!

It could be in the face of an unconventionally beautiful woman

sitting alone in the window of a cafe

looking over the menu for the seventh time

cause she is waiting for something big

to walk in through the door on a lonely night in Brooklyn.

It could hit me in a shoulder high crest in summer time

and cradle me in it’s salty truth like sunlight holds the pacific at high noon.

Or I could make it out in the shadows of the clouds

floating along the unfurling valleys below me

as I fly overhead and overwhelmed towards some strange new land

in which to lose and find myself.

It can be in the smiles of my friends,

behind a patient glass of wine in Summertime

where we talk real good talk of all the good things

we will do in good time

cause we want to be good men to not even really good people.

Perhaps it’s in the ivories of a piano

hidden away in an old house you just have to play

because no one has played it in years

and it was meant to be played

and You and I were meant to be loved!

It can be in the leaves falling in Autumn

reminding me beautifully and morbidly that life is still magic,

even when it’s ending,

but from that fleeting end Springs a new beginning

and the world will soon be green again.

Maybe it will be illuminated by a full moon on a white beach

that causes the blood to boil in our veins with passions beyond our understandings

and spurns us on into that ethereal world where the tides meet the skies

and you can’t tell if you are swimming or flying

because sometimes the stars align and anything can happen.

What if it’s in the arms of a woman who’ll fall for and into me,

touching me in a way that’s more than physical

and I don’t tremble at the thought of surrendering

because maybe this time it’s a victory and not a defeat.

I could find it one tiny raindrop in a storm that fell

not one second before the precisely perfect moment

upon a window in November

and reminded me in it’s following symphony

how truly wonderful this world can be

in the morning, and at noon and at night

and every day there after.

It can be anything.

It can be anywhere.

It can be anyone.

So I am going to stop looking for excuses and start searching for this.

Whatever it is.

Because I am not going to find it sitting here feeling sorry for myself anymore.

Because I want to be well

and I want to be whole

with all of what’s left of my soul.

It’s out there.

Somewhere.

Waiting to meet me on some unknown platform and

slowly I am moving towards it,

I can feel it.

– I

November, 2013

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One thought on “The 10th Hour

  1. the preface to your post adds a great precursor the staggering amount of information and emotion. the content itself is brilliantly illuminating. ’tis like we have moment in the fabric of your mind. still very inspiring to read your words. the sheer danger of wanting to feel accepted and cherished is validated by your decision to share this with us.
    Thank You HOWl

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