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The Raven




10-30-2019 05:49 pdt

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Turn


Thirty-five years ago I worked in a butcher shop. That was my first genuine job with a paycheck and responsibilities. I started there a few months after finishing school for the year. My boss was very nice and had hired me as a cleanup person and to wrap meat orders. I did very well for quite a while which prompted him to begin teaching the art of understanding and cutting meat as was done for decades. While I worked there, my associations with customers showed me a cross-section of the city and I met many throughout the year. Upon reaching the beginning of the next school year, my hours aligned with the same and I started to work more on weekends to help him fulfill larger orders. As my skill in being independently able to work increased, I was trusted more and more to take on the tasks he tossed at me. I never batted an eye and continued to improve and work on all aspects of that art form.

In the fall I was very happy to be working there and seeing the regulars come in weekly. By the start of November we were taking orders for fresh turkeys to be picked up the week of the holiday. The look and feel of the shop coupled with cool, overcast weather reminded me of the holidays spent with family for years. The two days leading up to Thanksgiving were hectic but very rewarding. People were in the holiday spirit and excited to be preparing their family gatherings. I was, as well. Our day usually consisted of the same group along with appetizers, punch, football on the television, and lots of time together. That week was no different. The atmosphere within the butcher shop brought me feelings of home and the warm glow of the fireplace. Lots of pleasant conversation with those picking up their birds and plenty of good wishes. By the time my own holiday came along I was already fully warmed from the inside out. I loved it, always.

After that week, school and part-time work carried me to Christmas. Lights, trees, family... The whole picture all over again with those familiar people. Those days out of school and working within the holiday environment brought me bliss. And then the big parties with family and friends. Just wonderful from beginning to end.

The year is rolling into that season right now and I do not know what to think. Those memories warm me and stab at my unhappiness which leaves the possibility of the past enjoyment returning seemingly nonexistent. I am still going to try, however the battle feels more uphill now than it has in a decade. Thirty-five years ago there was hope. Now? I just do not know. Obviously the time has changed and cannot be as in the past. Rising to the holiday season has not looked or felt the same in a very long time. The weather usually slams me a bit before actually cooling for the remainder of the year, too. Just a little spike, but enough to piss me off and make everyday life quite uncomfortable. The fall season ends up a touch shorter due to the temperature rise. As of this morning, more than a month of fall has burned away, which means another section of me has been ruined. I need to be able to find that comfort toward the end of the year. The more the warm weather hangs on, well... The worse the wall at the second day of the new year feels. Memories of the times mentioned above are now combining and forcing me to realize that such an illusion in life can only be rivaled by the other one. That's right kids... the goblet.

That dream is also gone for good. Fuck me. Whatever the fuck happens, I no longer have that option.

So, the past haunts again, just like in eleven and right after I chopped the world into two horribly disfigured sections. The one I occupied became a haven for negative thought, suicidal dreams, and my awful cutting toward others. I basically put them aside in favor of my own fucking selfish delusions. Shortly thereafter, thoughts of the family holidays, sights and sounds, and those scents of the season began to look alien. I realized that the rift created by my decisions had effectively cut those pleasurable times away from me and tossed them into an incinerator. Destroyed, and never to return. Oh yes, I have tried to recreate such atmosphere on occasion, and even went as far as joining what is left of my family after all these years just to feel some of that past magic. Nope. Nothing. I fucked it all up for good.



604



My family is much smaller and terribly fragmented now. Others drove those occasions into the places to which I had become accustomed and throughout years felt like the norm. I realize now that the adults then were likely going through similar feelings to mine now. I do not know for certain, however the possibility cannot be denied. I am currently older than they were in 1984, but no wiser. Things change so slowly that maintaining some kind of understanding over a long period of time requires either strict attention or a journal. I did neither of those. Oh, wait... This? No. In the beginning it was to be a daily or weekly journal, however years later it turned into the worst type of outlet imaginable. Look at this. Thirty-five years ago I had no idea that my life would be shit other than writing here. Now?

We are into October and the weather has cooled. That is one positive. Another 'up' is the aforementioned shorter duration of daylight. This brings comfort of a sort, however it will only last until the second of January. Yes, my birthday is during January. I do not give a fuck. As a child, a birthday meant gatherings, cake, presents, and fun. Now it is just another day speeding the fall. Nothing helps other than the cool weather and more days off work than the remainder of the year. I have felt this way in one manner or another for many years. In 1984 the focus was on family gatherings and holiday meals. In 2019 the situation is radically different. Here I sit at the fucking editor with morning coffee. Sound familiar? It should. I have little else to keep my head above the soil.

This was supposed to be an outline of the gradient between then and now. Yeah. Whatever.

Yesterday I continued the push which was mentioned in the last entry. Things are going out the door at a decent speed which means more space. Cleaner lines. Installation of devices which have sat and collected dust for months. Even more space along with the house looking more completed. That is good, but my head is not. Too much in there, still. The situation -- for lack of a better term -- is not allowing me to concentrate on anything for very long. I find that thoughts of that mess creep in often and slow my progress on whatever is in hand. I had hoped to have much in order so that the season can become more of a focus rather than the work. No way. The brain will not stop. At. All. Something has to be forced. And now one of the cats is sleeping on my lap and I cannot reach the coffee. Damn. Yes, the situation. Or, should I say another situation. They are combining and turning me into a ball of concern. I know not which way to turn. Turn. The turn. No, not that turn. Just... Fuck no. Do not ask. In fact, do not speak with me at all.

I am feeling squeezed by the burden of this current situation. It is not quite a conundrum, but close. There are still possibilities for an out... An escape to the quiet. That may not happen, though. Life is too different for me now to simply do as I wish.

Turned. Churned.

Another mess with a title. 'Flip' was a bitch session the likes of which has not graced this space in nearly a year. A continuation of such a tale seemed unlikely, so the turn of the hand is what drives this forward. The turn. Not playing cards, for fuck's sake. Not that type of turn. Use your fucking head. Flipped out just weeks ago. And then that Goddamned situation pressing down on me like a bulldozer sitting atop my shoulders. Work, relaxation time, sex, and that ongoing issue trying to keep my head out of the flame. Or the basement. Either. Both? Maybe. These last few days have been up and down. Lots of free time to work around things I have left by the wayside means a tiny bit less pressure on my head, although on the other side, the free time means more available thinking. Too much of that is not good. Not only does it lead to the brain taking an all-expenses-paid trip around the world in eighty minutes, but it also means the pressure floats out there awaiting some sort of resolution. That is another facet of this horribly uncomfortable period that will be explored down the page somewhere. Nothing is good. I cannot focus, I cannot push. All I can do is continue to turn and face whatever is yelling loudest. Turn. Over there. Not flip, that is done. The turn is happening as these words hit the fucking screen.

Turning away. Turned? Turn. Some fucking thing.



621



Thirty-five years. Back then I was unconcerned with most parts of life, choosing instead to focus upon the seasons. I was not as sensitive to the temperature, either. That grew over years of living in various climates. The final three months of the year generally bring memories of those big, family gatherings and the fact that I could always count on them. Ten years ago next month was the holiday which -- little did I know at the time -- became the last. The ensuing months had me up and down more than ever in my life with the loss of those holiday occasions and all familiarity in my world gone. I did not know what to do and ended up running around seeking comfort and anything which might help alleviate the difficulty in knowing I had ended a wonderful era in favor of shiny objects. The contrast between 1984 and the present is now stark and unreal. At times I can hardly fathom such a gradient, partially due to the passage of time. Everything seems normal, stable, as if I have been living in such a place for decades. Years here have provided some fluidity, work, activities, and projects. The storm inside pays no mind to those parts of life, though. That fucking thing just continues to build regardless of where my head may reside.

Descent. Turn.

More and more.

On my way to the work vehicle across the street from our job there was a woman walking her dog. She paused near a tree, and as I approached the door I heard, ‘morning’. I looked at her and saw a smile. ‘Morning’, returned by me. A smile. And a smile back. I glanced over more than once as I boarded my passenger seat to find her still looking at me. Bigger smile. I continued to look toward her mass of hair as we began to back up. Once more... And I waved as the thought entered my head that perhaps I should have said something. She waved to me in response. It was a moment. Now gone, but still there. We drove a few blocks, turned east, and seconds later rolled to the freeway as her face swirled in my head. At no time did I feel distress after leaving, only wonder. There was no room for worry over a possible missed opportunity to speak with her because the exchange was pleasant and felt like that had been all which could have taken place. Besides, what was I to do? Ask for her phone number for further conversation? Tell her that I have an obsession which drives me to seek things? Ridiculous. To be honest, I would not have the words anyway. Countless times in the city have found me looking, finding, and dropping through the floor over knowing such forms are there but constantly out of reach. That morning of the smiles and wave was the only time I gestured further. Could something have come of it? There is no way of knowing, and the fact that she returned my wave only further cements the gradient between my mind and the reality of society. Yes, another gradient. Different than the time to which I referred above, however still a facet of the grand scheme that is me. That was our first visit to the new job. Soon we will be there for many days. Will I see her again?

Back to thirty-five years ago.

Nothing was going on. I dreamed just like anyone else, but there were no connections. The idea of being with a woman was very simple yet felt impossible. The desire did not amount to much -- unlike the present -- remaining ruled by a distinct lack of availability and my fear of doing something wrong. Many people are fairly awkward at a young age and I was no different. There were scattered images in my head of things I wished to see and experience, but at that time none of those were discovered. Zero. The desire was there. I did nothing for years because I did not know what to say or do. Isolation. Cut to just a few years ago when the possibility of complete exploration and the desire being fulfilled by the most beautiful woman I had ever seen came to light. Wow.



651



Throughout the years leading up to the girl at the car wash, I glanced and considered the shapes I saw from time to time. Nothing was very defined then, nor was I able to understand why the focus began to sharpen. I was not looking at them with the same eyes, intentions or daydreams. I was seeing the lines. Where that began has been explored here far too much so I will not go back in such a direction with this entry. Just the contrast between the early years of those big holiday gatherings and the dreams they held, and the sight and subsequent latching to the Raven and Her never-ending thrall upon my heart and mind. For whatever reason, the lines were not there in the past. Just the dream. I do remember fixating upon someone or something more than once, at times nearly losing myself outside reality. The world was not within my understanding at all, and when it came to women, well... Nada. Just me and my imagination.

The Raven, Andrea, Eleanor. And the other one.

I did not understand Her. Why me? And with my deviant sense of need? She didn't care and desired me from the word go. That day in the office when I was introduced to Her and fell off the edge of the world as Her jet-black hair created patterns of beauty the likes of which I had rarely seen is burned within me. The jeans, boots, and all that made Her so beautiful are still imprinted. From the sordid past of me never approaching a woman to decades later when She took a seat next to me and expressed Her desire to jump me is a stretch of time unlike any other. The differences are glaring and sharp. Where did that woman come from? And again... Why? Turn? A turn of events? Perhaps. Andrea was a fucking goddess of the highest order and still She was overwhelming to look upon. That was four years before meeting the Raven. Other than one inch of height, those two beautiful souls were quite similar. When I met the Raven my head exploded over the look which brought me back to the first time I laid eyes on Andrea. When she walked up the aisle toward the front of the plane... Well, you know. Cut to a few days later and we were fused from within. The Raven and I were locked after just two hours. Was it their looks? Partially. The conversations became very meaningful very quickly and I could not help but dive head-first into both of them. Similar souls, similar appearance aligned with my dreams, and wonderfully big, emotional eyes like windows into the meaning of life. I could not help but lunge at both. Ellie? She was right there after one of the worst falls in my sordid existence. She lifted me while simultaneously drowning into my arms. That girl and the connection we shared could not have come along at a better time. I loved every second of Ellie's affection and understanding. After leaving the goblet and throwing myself at Natalie, the forms within me began to take a set. They solidified before I ever imagined a goddess such as Her. Again I went with my desire but at no time did it make sense. To this very second the reasoning is absent. I tried.

Now look at me.

And the other one. The unexpected goddess. Warm, beautiful, wonderfully open and understanding, and so very sweet, constantly. She lifted me at times. In the beginning I failed to understand why she latched to me and that led to thoughts of the Raven and others. Parallels, historic combinations of feelings regarding the emotional and physical nature of love, and the knowledge that I was still a viable human being after so much trauma throughout a period of years. She helped me to realize that I was important in every way. Each visit brought bright eyes and wonder from both, leaving me to believe somewhat that I matter in more ways than I had thought for years... Relevant, human, and a part of the world which would leave a void in my absence. She was wonderful and I felt whole.

I mentioned beautiful...



664



The woman was beyond gorgeous. The numbers and sequences which make up all of the aspects that I have studied for years were there, and often right before my eyes. The first time she granted me the opportunity to gaze without restriction was unreal. She was slender to the point of carrying the radii of my life, but her narrow waist and hips appeared unusual when compared to everyday shapes out there in the world. I stared many times while carrying thoughts of her within. I had to keep everything out of the light of day for fear of alienating others. Fuck them? Well... Yes, that is normally the process, however this particular beauty was close. Very close. Care had to be taken while near her. Throughout a long period of time I began to appreciate her on more than one level. Soon? Desire.

And then that fateful day when those big, emotional windows looked up at me and I lost myself within her loving gaze.

Turn.

Yep... lost. I fell down a bit in the beginning, and then later things became more than I had considered possible within the life I had built. Years of dreaming about all of the others -- including the Brunette and her endless loving care toward me -- piled the things in my head that I was no longer willing to live without. The Raven cemented those feelings and helped me to realize that perhaps I was not a pile of shit after all. For me to listen to anyone's opinion is a fucking stretch like nothing else, but the Raven meant the world. The other one? Similar, to the point of bringing Her to mind while I was with her. That may sound odd, but if you have read here at all during the last few years it will make perfect sense. Simply put, the other one had entered me as quickly as the Raven or Andrea. Her huge eyes expressed more than I can put into words. When that took place? Out of my mind, instantly. The desire to snatch her up and run to the fucking hills entered my head daily. I could not help it. Her embrace felt so loving that I wished to live in there forever. And then...

Issues turning. The clock turning.

That's right. All those beautiful words and descriptors slammed out of control by my fucked up self and building another bridge before blowing it to hell. Fucked. Up. Completely. The woman was wondrous, loving, caring, helpful, considerate, understanding like no one since the Raven, and still more. Another Andrea with darker hair. Unreal. The clock felt like Jupiter sitting atop my life. And I could barely think while she was in view. The distraction of her needs and beauty pulled me out of time and tossed me into a vat of love. No mind's eye, no clear thought, no nothing other than being drawn out of myself and into her warm embrace.

Turn. Switch?



452



Turning? Turned? My turn? Where the fuck was I going with that? Ah... the differences between 1984 and 2019. Those years of yearning with no pathway broke me down more than once. The result of such conditions affecting me for a very long period of time drove the idea of escape deeply. Add in my early years of being tossed into the adult nature of the Nevada gaming culture and you can see how something like this may have been grown. Like a massive fungus. Heh. Imagery out of control throughout my entire life, years of yearning, and then there I was with seemingly endless resources and the flight mode apparent. I ran to it. Ran, as if there was a calling more powerful than the hand of God himself. I drowned, sank, and eventually engulfed myself within the warmth of the obsession and heroin, suicide on my mind the entire time. Each moment had me either throwing myself into the comfort of a woman’s arms or dreaming of the next right turn which could end my thinking, or the sum. Every single time I found that badly-needed solace, it did not last. I threw myself at them. All of me. At the time I thought my need was stronger than anything.

Turn. Buried. Fucked. Nearly gone.

The Raven asked me more than once over a period of mere months to promise Her that I would carry forward no matter the circumstances. Andrea did the same, years earlier. And those words were just moments before she exited the Venetian, carrying with her a part of myself that will never return. I think of her daily, just as the other Her. I do not know if I can keep that promise, and considering the fact that She is gone, I am no longer inclined to promise anything to anyone for any reason, any fucking time. I may break it, and soon. The reasons for drawing breath are diminishing along with my need to be in a place that seems nonexistent. During the days of the bar in Pleasanton, I struggled to leave each night out of fear. Alone. At that time the place in question was different -- like narrower -- but still elusive as hell. Triple contrast. 1984, 2011, now. Where did that middle year come from? Well, that has become intrinsic. The one which now defines all other periods and brings them into focus. 2015? Don't fucking ask. Just read it.

Pressure. Not just a title anymore as things have progressed beyond the past writings which either outlined or touched upon the subject. In the mind, analysis is nearly constant. I cannot figure out why things work the way they do. Even after reading extensively, asking questions of professionals, and sitting with a head full of productive sentences toward myself, there seem to be no clear explanations as to why the sympathetic nervous system works the way it does so often. One aspect is fairly straightforward, and that is the idea that I have considered this part of life for so many years that my head is accustomed to worrying, calculating and yearning. The analysis is constant. While alone, I have the space to think of the whys, but when among other people I find that my brain gets tripped up over and over. Sometimes I cannot stand to hear or even be nearby when some subjects are discussed. Other times the difficulty remains far enough back to allow me relaxation. The latter is becoming more and more rare as the former takes me from sense. I run. Escape, turn, out, isolation. That's right, I just run the fuck out and away from those places. They enjoy the silly shit and I have to get away for fear of not recovering.

To make matters worse, I am in the extreme minority. No one. Just me.



652



More and more those situations with others come up while outside the home, and more I am effectively pressed to stay alone for fear of my mind having trouble dealing with feelings. Society has become one giant rock against which I cannot push. It is immovable.

The commercials keep derailing my thinking. Not surprising. Lexus is murdering me with their slew of tall models. Whatever. They are not real. Sometimes I need to just ignore anything aside from the primary content on a given channel. The fact that I watch premium networks and movies almost exclusively is not a surprise. At one point not long ago, I fell hard over some of them. Just a split-second glimpse and I could hardly form a sentence. That familiar torment took over and my position as unable to learn hurt me. It still does on occasion. The models featured in some commercials are difficult to forget, just as those visions in the big city. There were mornings which slammed my brain so bad that I nearly left the jobs. The worst of those was years back while on a long-term project. We sat with coffee until being allowed to enter the prime property, and as I approached the door there was a woman walking toward me with a smile. I fell quickly, after which I received a message from the Raven that She was not well. With my insides twisting into knots, I made the decision to run from work immediately and take public transportation home. I cleaned up and ran to Her. I ran. Nearly three hours later I was lying in Her arms feeling somewhat better. The image of Her that day is burned within me. Just like the commercials, I still see those lines daily. Her lines. Yes, those lines that have ruled and defined my years. Fuck me.

The routine is about to take over. I do not like it, but I am at least accustomed to the way the days must operate. My comfort is dependent upon the work and the weather. I benefit from the work, for the most part, and when the routine finally comes to an end I can think straight. The weather is another issue entirely. It affects the routine and every other aspect of life. My comfort depends upon acceptable conditions and the weather tops that list. Honestly it is not that close. There is time. I can think straight about things for a little bit before being thrown into the mesh. Or the mess. Or whatever the fuck it is.

None of this makes any sense anymore. Fuck it. The thirty-five year comparison went to shit up there somewhere.

Turn? What does that mean? Clock hands turning? Me turning away from others? The opposite? Keep asking.

Soon? Drop."



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