A Letter

I’m sure you don’t care,

And Dad is gonna throw this letter out when he knows it’s from me. The people who I’m living with tell me that parents like you don’t deserve an apology. But you’re my family. And even if you can’t love me, having a family is really important to me. I still love you, if only a little bit in the heart that you ruined.

You’re not getting a confession. I can hardly say it in front of a mirror without smashing it, and Eli tells me he can’t afford any more for me to break. I’ve tried. I’ve tried, and the only reason I can’t say it is because some part inside me still holds the words that you said the day my brother left. “You never speak like that in this house.” It feels like I’m back in my room, listening to you guys argue over who I have to be, and I was sobbing with my forehead pressed against my mirror, trying to look myself in the eyes but I couldn’t because I knew what I was, and I knew that you didn’t want me.

But I’m not here to blame you. I’m here to say that I’m sorry. Everything I’ve done for the past month, trying to get past this, it’s been hard. I’ve felt invisible, like a piece of me was left standing on the front porch waiting for me to come back home. I don’t know who I am. And for that, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not being the model son that you wanted. I’m sorry for giving you something you didn’t want. I’m sorry for not living up to your standards.

I wake up every day, wanting to run back to you and say that I’m sorry, I guess I don’t know myself after all. I want to say that I like girls. But wanting something like that..? Isn’t that kinda like stabbing myself in the back? I’ve been through too much in the past year, and I wish I could say that the reason I disappeared was because I was searching for who I was on the overgrown footpaths we used to walk on when I was a toddler. Some part of me has to be there, but it has to stay. I can’t put myself back together, I can’t take back the pieces from when everything seemed okay. Wanting to cut my veins open to drain the mistakes from my blood isn’t an option. Maybe you wish it was, but that’s like asking your kid to commit suicide. But I suppose you’re one to do that.

The memory of me might go away forever, or it might not. I won’t ever forget you though. I wouldn’t dare. You raised me. You’re my parents. How can a kid forget the people who made him, even if they don’t want him?

This is me. I probably won’t ever be able to fully accept it, maybe you marked it too deep. Eli’s helping, but that might not be enough. He filled a void, but not the one you left.

Who am I? I feel like I don’t know myself. You called me confused. I guess I am.

Burning Up (Hand Me The Lighter, I’d Like To Give Myself Scars)

These wings may give me flight,
But your love will always be my burden.
Stick a needle in my eye,
But I know I’ll never truly leave you behind.

What use is oxygen if you can’t see people breathe in?
I’m falling over cliff edges, I know you won’t regret it.
Stick a needle in my eye,
I’d rather go blind than never see your light.

You’re the alcohol I need, the drugs I breathe.
And even when the spark in my heart…
You’re the alcohol I need, the drugs I breathe.
Flickers out.

You can drag me across these burning embers,
If it meant I could hold on just a little bit longer.
And I’d rather pluck my own feathers,
Than forget you forever.
And I’d burn myself up, burn myself up.

Spread your ashes, light me a path.
I’ll be your oxygen, you be the flame.
We can give us up to each other,
Like this is our first surrender.

You can drag me across these burning embers,
If it meant I could hold on just a little bit longer.
And I’d rather pull out my own feathers,
Than forget you forever.
And I’d burn myself up, burn myself up,
For you.
You can drag me across these burning embers,
If it meant I could hold on just a little bit longer.
And I’d rather pluck my own feathers,
Than forget you forever.
And I’d burn myself up, burn myself up.

I did this all for you, I did this all for you,
I did what I did for you, I did this all for you,
You can drag me across these burning embers,
If it meant I could hold on just a little bit longer.
And I’d rather pluck my own feathers,
Than forget you forever.
And I’d burn myself up, burn myself up.

And we’re dying out like a flame underneath a jar…

You Don’t Need A Coffee, Darling, Because You’re Already Awake

A train car that was recycled into a diner. The town itself was like Sleepy Hollow; tired people nursing cold cups of Starbucks coffee while trudging around in winter boots, fighting to make their way through mounds of sludge left over from the winter snows. Miller’s Diner was like a world for the awake, as much as people loved to overlook it. The outside appearance of the rusting train car turned eatery was enough to make you want to run home and throw yourself at your mattress, but inside was a different story.

When he first walked into the diner late on a winter night to take shelter from a snowstorm, the small, narrow car had been empty. A young woman with copper hair was behind the faux marble counter, preparing a pot of coffee in a French Press, the steam curling over her oval face as she poured the dark brown liquid in a small, white mug.

“It’s really going out there isn’t it?” She directed the question at him, as he was the only other person who appeared to be in the building. He nodded, shuffling his feet on the worn red carpet that had almost lost its color, morphing into a dirty burgundy from all the shoes that used to walk on it before the place turned into a ghost town.

“Sit anywhere.”

He chose a booth in the far corner, next to the window. The leather of the seat was cracking, the foam inside spilling out. Day glow lighting wrapped around the upper storage compartment, where people once used to place their suitcases and whatever else they were taking with them on the train to wherever they were going. They shined back at him in the grime covered window, blinding him and making his eyes automatically tired.

But he was wide awake.

“What can I get you?” He turned back to the woman, who was not holding a pen or pad because she didn’t need one.

“Coffee,” was his automatic response, as he was always exhausted anywhere he went. But tonight didn’t seem like the night that he would need the bitter, energy filling drink that he so often craved.

Almost reading his thoughts, the woman leaned over, and said, “I don’t think you need one, honey.”

He gulped, looking past her and tracing the silver lining of the edge of the bar. The dirty glass fridge in the far right corner held different types of cakes, and he licked his lips.

“Just a water’s fine.”

She nodded, retreating back to behind the counter. He resorted back to looking out the window, watching the large snowflakes pelt against the window. The roads were covered, the plows having not reached the streets yet. The apartments lining the sidewalks were dark, and the streetlights no longer lit up at night, because the city never bothered to replace the bulbs.

The glass was placed gently on the table by a manicured hand, and when taken away by his hand left a culaccino. He traced the circle of condensation with his eyes, the faux granite tabletop of the booth hypnotizing him. He took a sip from the glass without using a straw, as she didn’t give him one, and stripped the building down with his eyes. The random antiques and contraptions that he couldn’t even name sitting on the storage shelf caught his attention, and he wondered what it was like when they were used. Wooden carvings of animals, fruit. Old clocks, stopwatches, an old typewriter that he can picture falling right through the wood. An old dial phone. Hand blown vases and jars filled with fake flowers.

Paintings of old landscapes, copies of originals that were painted from the first people to set foot on American soil, were littering the walls where there weren’t windows, and a chalkboard that had the days specials written in yellow was sitting right next to the bathroom doors.

“Can I have a cup of New York Clam Chowder, ma’am?”

The woman disappeared into the swing door leading into the kitchen. He turned back to the window for the third time.

Who’s Telling Me The Wrongs And The Rights?

Pressure cracking glass.
Stars scatter the floor.
I’m running out of tries,
And my blood is running down.
I want to know something for certain,
Instead of always having to guess,
But telling myself who I am is harder than it seems.

Finger prints cloud the figure,
Standing over my shoulder.
Scars litter my body,
From the wounds I caused myself,
Because I can’t admit correctly.
And someone come to tell me who to be,
Because I can’t answer for myself.

I’ve been knocked into the sand,
But nothing can come close to being tossed around.
Lies have been passed through my thoughts,
Judgements made on the people near me.
And can anybody answer my prayers,
About which truth I’ve been told?

It’s always hard to find yourself,
When you’re lost in the opinions of others,
And I know the people who are supposed to lift me up,
Can only drag me down,
Like an anchor.
But maybe I’m the one doing to wrong here,
Because I never said the truth to myself.

Who do I see in the mirror?
What do I see in the mirror?

…A liar.