lost

The Devil and God Are Raging Inside of Me.

Ten years doesn’t seem like a long time. When you still refer to everything in the past as 2006. Ten years ago, man. Ten years ago. 2006 was such a pivotal year of growing up for me. I find myself going back to that year in photographs, nostalgia, and through listening to albums that seem like came out yesterday.

Ten years ago, I sat in my parents guest bedroom, staring out the window. I laid in my bed watching the clouds go from grey to slate. Hearing every cloud rupture with anger and sadness, as the rain fell from the sky. In a room I didn’t grow up in. In a room, I felt like I kept coming back too. I was in-between places, still trying to figure out what I wanted. This wasn’t home but Fresno wasn’t home either. Where do I belong? Where do I fit in?

Ten years ago, I didn’t want to go back to school. Even though I knew getting older meant it would be harder for me to do things. My odds were against me. I was finding myself fearful of people and a fear of my peers is what always told me not to go back to school. It takes me 10 minutes to get out of my car to do simple tasks, without feeling like the world was against me. I didn’t realize I was sick. I didn’t realize that this wasn’t normal.

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Ten years ago, I let the wrong people in. I let people hurt me. I let people use me. I let people cloud my judgement of what good really was. Instead I harbored a pain so great that caused me to cut open my outsides, to understand what my insides were feeling. I was burning in this vessel of a body, with this need to please everyone. To be there for everyone, while people have done nothing but watch me fade in the background.

Ten years ago, I thought I was going to marry a variety of different people. A drummer in one band, a bass player in another. Plotting how one day they would look at me differently then they had in the past. That I wouldn’t be self-conscious. I wouldn’t be awkward. They would look straight into me, as I have looked up at them, many times before.

Ten years ago, I feel in love too easily. Always someone different. Always people I shouldn’t have loved. But I wanted to love as I always felt in the deep depths of my heart. How they play out in movies and we see on the big screen. I was hopeless in wanting something I wasn’t prepared to understand. In a way I used people. I just wanted what everyone else had. A hand to hold to keep themselves from falling apart. Because sad was better than lonely. And now I can’t remember the name of the first boy I kissed.

Ten years ago,  I wanted amazing things to happen to me. I wanted to stand in an open place and watch life happen to me. In a big city, miles away from my mediocre small town. Far from the same people I see every day. Maybe if for once instead of running, I would finally allow things to happen. Watch love open doors, see my careers unfold, watch myself change from strange into something beautiful. I waited forever for things to happen. I waited for people to move. I waited for things to happen. I waited too long and feel as if I am running out of time.

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Ten years ago, an album came out that changed my life. I didn’t think it would. Many albums come and go and still I remember this as if it was yesterday. From the weather changing from the warm fall days to the chill of cold of the soon to be winter months. How it felt wrong to buy it from some mass production corporation, how I needed to purchase the album how I had purchased all their albums. Straight from the band, straight from the source. How I ripped open the package and watched my life change in front of my eyes. No one understands how that feels. How something so simple as opening a padded envelope could change your life in so many magical ways. How I needed to get out of my house and play every song loudly. Loud enough to where my insides would wake up. How every cigarette I smoked, I exhaled out the smoke and watched the smoke slowly leave my lungs open to the cold air. The rain kept falling, as this soundtrack continued to play. How perfect this seemed. My favorite band, playing the songs that for that moment I didn’t understand. It didn’t matter how many times the windshield wipers wiped my windshield clear, the rain still managed to leave a mark. Which is how I feel about this album. No matter how many times I try to wipe this away, a small mark still remains. I could write forever about every line in the songs. I could. I have. But today, I want to live in it’s memory.

Ten years ago, I didn’t understand. Ten years later, I finally know. We are not suppose to fit in. We are not suppose to be normal. Sometimes you don’t realize how bad you’re hurting until the years pass and you become someone else. Someone completely different then the person you were ten years ago. Its hard to come out of the darkness and back into the light. It’s hard to understand that even though we feel completely alone, we are never truly alone. Even when you think you can’t start over, life throws you something completely unexpected.

Today, I watch the rain fall from the sky to the tops of each tree and rooftop, from some place far from home. I think back on those memories. I think back to my sentiments and feelings.  Ten years ago, I had no idea where I was going. I stopped believing in love. I stopped believing in myself in the years in took to get here. I stopped wanting to marry the boys that would never love me. I stopped dying for a hand to hold. Ten years ago, seemed like such a long time ago. Now, I sit here wondering what happens next.

Ten years ago, man.

10 years.

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Crusty Old Chuck Taylors.

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If you could walk a mile in my shoes, oh the stories you would see, the places you would go. It’s weird to think of shoes as a part of a memory. I tend to find myself attached to every article of clothing as a living breathing thing. My chucks are no exception. They’re more than just a pair of shoes, they are an extended part of my being.  Maybe it’s not the miles in the shoes, but the memories of where they carried me.

I wish I could tell you how I was first magically drawn to these shoes. How their magnetism attracted me to them but telling my secrets takes away the magic. Takes away the purity of what you feel once you lace up your first pair of converse. To me, my chucks were my shield. They were my super hero alter ego. Every time I wore them life happened, every experience my chucks were there taking in the moment. They were my snapshot into some of the greatest and even some of the saddest moments of my life. They have taken me to great lengths of the world. They have travelled with me from beyond the states and across the borders. They have seen the lightest happiest moments of my life to the deepest darkest moments of my soul. Its funny how a pair of shoes can carry a soul and still keep you planted on the ground. Every time I laced up my shoes, I felt every bit of my history reappear before my eyes.

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The stories they can tell you from every mile I walked in them. From every venue, to every dark corner of the city, to the arms of loved ones and fallen foes. I loved and I lost, in these shoes. I lived and I breathed, within every mile I walked in these shoes. I’ve picked myself up and reinvent myself and still I carry these shoes with me. They’re a nostalgic part of being young and stupid, and they’re also my growing up and moving forward. I could have an endless supply of chucks, in various styles and colors, and still I stick to my battered down black low tops from my teenage angst years. Still I keep them as a part of who I was and no matter how broken they look, they always make me feel whole.

Looking at them battered, crusted and lived in, I don’t dare let them go. Because letting them go, lets go of the stories that are held together in the holes of the canvas. Letting them go, lets go of the tears the soles of the shoes caught upon the pavement. There’s something beautiful about watching something unravel before your eyes and thats how I feel about my chucks. I will wear them until the laces fray and break apart. Until the canvas becomes unglued, until the soles can’t hold me anymore. Until my feet can’t feel life within those shoes, I won’t dare let them. Because only when those shoes are finished is when a new story begins. Only then will I find a new story in a new pair of chuck taylors. Until then, I will live in the lifetime of memories until these shoes complete disintegrate.

Until my shoes can’t carry me is when I finally let my chucks go.

Until then.