Bad Autumn

 

Snapchat-614488376 (2)

Weird autumn‘, she said through a mouth of smoke. I clung to the railing holding a sweating water bottle to my head. ‘Yeah, weird autumn‘, I said back, sucking on the fag end till I felt the filter fold.

We stared at the farce of trees dotting the outside of the park, the brown streaked like hands of leaves billowing as if pulled by an ocean current. Invisible lines of force exerting itself on nature, leaving the sidewalk cluttered with the remains of photosynthesis, life and death… She left me with a thought before she left for good. You only see the seasons change 80 times… If you’re lucky that is.

That’s eighty autumns, that’s eighty times to dress up as your favorite monster. eighty excuses to try that new coffee that’s a little too pricey, but hey it’s colder now so treat yourself… Eighty times to see the world spin by those invisible lines of force. Time.

It started like most autumns do, with the malaise of winter eating away at the  niceties of summer. The hot washed days of late sunlight that hang in the air, the fat burning, spoiled ice cream that melts with life onto and off the pavement. Where sex feels great because that fever is so bad and skin melts in your fingers. I want to say it was a good one, I want to say I did something interesting or I surprised myself. Or that I made a connection for life, that I found something in someone that made me go oh… Another one of me is out there, just over there, probably too wrapped up in their interior life to imagine me also wrapped up in mine.

I have a spot, not far from campus, there isn’t a bench but a short wall I’ll sit on. Sometimes hipsters or teens will climb the statue in front. Play pop songs from tinny phone speakers or dare each other to jump off the top. Though the sideshow of kids isn’t why it’s my spot. It’s the apartment buildings the break up the skyline, the little grey boxes that swallow patches of blue behind them. Not filled with metal, machinery and office equipment. But people, their lives, their belongings, and inside one of those apartments, actually all of those apartments is a person. A person that’s just as much of a person as you, or me… One with a history and a present, and a future. You might never know it, likely you won’t. It will just happen around you, more little invisible lines.

They say psychopaths aren’t convinced other people have interior lives. Voices and consciousness, understanding, thought. They believe they are uniquely intelligent in that regard. Moments like this remind me of the overwhelming scale of it, how mind numbingly painful it is to remember every person is in fact a person just as complicated and fucked up as you. I can understand switching off from that, it’s horrible at times. Complicated, messy. I’ve known people who ignore these facts, sometimes if you just don’t want to think you’ll numb yourself with distractions. Sometimes it’s people, friends, family, others alcohol, drugs, cigarettes. Things that help eat away at those feelings, those thoughts that are so all consuming they feel more like bear traps grasping at your ankles. Pulling you down and under into the darkness until there’s… I don’t even know what there is down there, it’s inarticulable. It’s just everything and nothing, solipsism and empathy and imagination and insecurities.

I think I got distracted here. Autumn I love, but I don’t like what it’s done to my life. To realise that one of the few people who might be, in some regard, even mildly responsible for your wellbeing, is in fact, a really rather fragile individual is pretty disturbing. I don’t like looking after the sick, it makes me sick too. It makes things hard and it ties you down, and I’m afraid of being tied up. I like the freedom to flake, the freedom to bounce, because if you don’t care about showing up, no one cares if you don’t. Yeah it’s a two way streak and it builds resentment, but hey, if it stops me from throwing up in the sink every other night with panic… I’m not gonna stop it.

Bad Autumn, weird Autumn, I am too a fucked up series of seasons that change. I’m spring, summer, autumn and winter, though my patterns of change are inconsistent. They’re striking and sudden and rarely make rhythm. What are you feeling today, the cold bite of winter, where you’re a little short angry and depressed. Or maybe spring today, I’m hot and bothered, and anxious and eager. Just a ball of unfocused yellow messy energy. I’m bipolar.

I hate it mostly, I never have one stage, I never have one calm moment. Everything is always the best or the worst. There’s no middle ground. When I fall in love it’s everything, the world the movement the universe it’s all love. When I fall out of love it’s nothing, it’s nada and it’s like it was never even there. It’s that extreme with everything, and I don’t have a balance. I try, I swallow pills, and attempt to meditate. I sit crossed legged on the floor of my room. Though I mostly end up drinking from a hip flask, listening to bad punk rock and staring at the ceiling.

fuck dude. fuck.

Snapchat-294548712

Advertisements

Origami horses don’t have real saddles:

The city is a pretty great place, if you want to do coke on the shelf of a bathroom stall that is, or talk to the homeless tell you a deeply troubling story about the time he was molested when he was twelve. Like… I didn’t really try hard for insane things to happen in my life they just sort of did.

I hate saying this but I get a little anxious at the thought of seeing old faces from a life I don’t recognize anymore. I was at a train station and ran into an old roommate, I didn’t even recognise him, even though just months earlier his pet snake had gotten out and had been living under my bed for several weeks without my knowledge. Yeah that was a pretty scary discovery. I didn’t know what to say to him, I asked after the snake, George and got a smile and some throwaway reply. Despite the fact we boarded the same train we didn’t continue to talk, we even sat two seats apart but we just let that awkward silence settled on the both of us. I guess we had both silently agreed that the end of our relationship in any form was the best for the both of us. I think in that moment, that moment when we knew we would never speak again, by choice or accident, that I understood him more than I ever had before.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot, the power of leaving. A website I used to frequent recently closed its doors for good and it felt like a nice closing chapter for me. I don’t like being depended on much, relationships, especially romantic ones make me uncomfortable. I’m not sure if I can sustain anyone I have, it’s something that sits and rattles in my head like ”is this actually healthy for me?”.  I think I might have another one of those moments soon, those mutual glances when we acknowledge this is the bridge and it’s burning and we’re not fighting to save it. Maybe in that moment, stripped down of all artifice, all assumptions and ideas of grandeur or perceived good, when you really see a person tear out your heart, then and only then will you really know them, every inch. You’ll wonder too in that moment if you convinced yourself that they were never this person before, but in truth you know, you both were just going through the motions. The fancy dress facade you use when you want someone to love you. When you want someone to be something and make you something to.

I had a bad moment in my life when I treated a series of women really badly, I was working through some fucked up shit and this resulted in a really aggressive series of bad entanglements. In a way though I was kind of okay with being the bastard at the time, because being the bastard is easy right? It makes you unaccountable. If you’re the asshole, you don’t have to live up to any standards cause obviously you’re the asshole and you’ve always been the asshole. I’ve had people tell me I’m the best person they know, or stupid shit like, I’m the most important thing in their life… In truth I cringe a little when I hear those things, I feel so disconnected from those words. From those feelings. Maybe I do have a dissociative disorder or something. Sometimes I see things and I think things, I get overwhelmed by the idea that I’m different. That I’m just not the same I can’t function like others. I know it’s arrogant to assume these feelings of, well… Not belonging are unique to me, I know they’re not. It’s just hard to have that perspective in the moment though.

I guess it comes down to fear right? That’s what it has to be? I have this special nervousness attached to questions pertaining to how I am or what I’ve done. I’m turning 22 soon. Just a couple of days now. Maybe I’ll feel something then, but right now I just can’t sleep. I’m staring at the ceiling thinking of people I haven’t seen in years, reliving moments so strongly my chest tightens. I can’t help but wonder in the darkness then, if they too, wherever they are share those same memories, those same thoughts. I don’t know if it’s comforting, or even…. Uncomforting to know either way. Maybe I’m the crazy one who just can’t grow up, leave my mistakes behind.

I have no answers if I’m doing the right thing, if I’m being the best person I can or if I’m just floundering in the darkness, trying to grasp onto something that explains my unraveled mess of a psyche. I don’t really know how to end this, I don’t really how to move on, change my mind set and come back to being… Happy…

Maybe this year, the oldest and the youngest I’ll ever, ever be will be the turning point. The moment when it makes sense. I think I need that hope to hold onto right now.

If you’re out there, thinking, feeling something for someone, maybe you too have your own little person thinking back about you, writing some dribble on a blog post because they can’t sleep.

-PB

Feeling Something Right?

screenshot-123

Time is wasting, youth is fleeting, you’re dying. No really. You. Are. Dying. Every second you waste reading this sentence is another you will never get back. You may laugh now, scoff, make humorous gestures, but the truth is you know, and you fear it just as much as me. You’re going to die very soon, your youth, which once seemed an endless consistency in a world that spilt out of a firmly smiling mouth has begun to crumble and will soon be gone forever. Spent, wasted, dead.

What the fuck should we do then? Fuck if I know, seriously. I expect people to feel the same way I do, hold the same beliefs I do, yet I do nothing to advocate or support either of them. I arrogantly assume that simply believing in them is enough. That old adage, we all know, if you don’t film it, it didn’t happen, has a sort of profound relevance here. If you didn’t preach it, you didn’t feel it. So yeah, no matter how many hammer and sickle pins I stick on my designer jacket I’ll never crush the mighty bourgeois.

The last year’s been pretty drastic for me and I think it’s made me a far more confident but ultimately fragile person. Despite a few successful and unsuccessful forays into the dating scene I still found intimacy a deeply difficult challenge. I think I took The Cars song, Just What I Needed, a little too literally. Because I really do sometimes feel like I need someone to love to validate myself. I think that one made me very awkward in a lot of cases, that and the confused mix of booze and oxycontin led to many bumbling nights of exploring shaking hands and LED lights flickering like we were running the sesh life.

One particularly attractive Austrian girl appeared in my Kitchen one evening and after consuming an entire bottle of fireball to myself, yes every last drop. I began mocking her home then proceeded to black out. I woke up and she was in my bed with me, although we didn’t have sex she just stayed over. Apparently, though I had been performing the Nazi salute while telling her to shut up and help her Führer undress. Which she did but only because I had vomited on myself. Yeah, it was a good evening…

I think I quite immaturely I let my insecurities dictate my understanding most of the time and instead of maybe being a bit more confident and seeing it through I chicken out. I mean… It feels like I chickened out…

I think it’s been quite dangerous for me because I’ve been in physically abusive relationships just to feel it. In those moments you don’t want to not believe the person doesn’t love you.

I don’t know I don’t really know what to do with this blog anymore. It was a tool that filtered my life at a very different time. It was something for me to focus on when I had nothing and no one else too. I’ve spent a long time trying to find the right thing to post, I’m not sure this is it, but either way I’m writing it so I guess it doesn’t matter if it’s right or not. I guess my point is that the words I write on this blog don’t help me anymore. They are someone else’s now. Maybe they’ll help or do something for the person that might happen, by some awful mistake stumble upon them. All I can ask from this place is that it keeps its promise, and my life is never like it was before. I don’t need you anymore, and I never want to again.

 

Thanks for the bruises.

-PB

Music Musings: Fergie: M.I.L.F $ or SHILL? 

(Suggestion: Stay away)

Fergie isn’t just flying free from the shackles of oppression that the Black Eyed Peas held her back with. She’s also smashing the societal expectations of Motherhood. Her new Trap single M.I.L.F $ is changing a word that’s stigmatised a lot of people, turning the rather lewd acronym into an equally lame one… ‘Moms I’d Like to Follow’. I admire the place this is coming from and I think music is a powerful medium to express such sentiments as controversial imagery has been fuelling popular music for too long. Though I’m convinced that Fergie’s goals here weren’t met in the way people are saying they are. Because what Fergie is saying the song is about and what it really feels about doesn’t line up.

Got MILF is a pretty smart way to reboot a solo career after lingering in a group for the better part of ten years. I don’t think I could ask anyone I know to describe ‘Fergie’s sound’. That’s the sort loss of identity you have when you work in a group for as long as she has. I suppose too there are parallels that suggest it’s the same sort of loss of identity that can happen when you become a mother. Something she recently became herself. Fergie said ‘that Society tries to tell moms what they should and shouldn’t be’. Though, I think what her music video suggests is that as long as you’re conventionally attractive and are willing to wear nothing but lingerie, pour milk over yourself in leathery outfits, have a super skinny waist, flawless skin, no fat left over from pregnancy, no stretch marks and no scars from a possible C-section or… Well the list just kind of goes on. The point is that she’s drawing pretty strict lines here about what a mum that should feel empowered and sexy should look like.

Do you see how her message seems kind of incongruous with the rest of the song? How she wants to laud and celebrate Mum’s and their chance to get theirs and feel good by reserving that right to those who society already deems attractive and deserving? It feels kind of like having your cake and eating it. Decrying the sexualisation of women and then reviling in the imagery for the sake of your music video.
Now I’m not one to suggest Fergie’s cause isn’t legitimate and I’m certainly not the first to criticise her… But, you have to think about the fact she’s an artist who hasn’t performed solo for a long time and needs something to grab a bit of attention. Because let’s be honest here, M.I.L.F $, with its flat generic sound and boring explicit ‘can you believe it‘ lyrics isn’t exactly the reason anyone came.

Jordan-Barrett-2016-Fergie-MILF-Music-Video
Controversial music videos have become very popular. I don’t think the fact that YouTube views count towards the billboard’s chart is pressed hard enough into our collective consciousness. We saw the outcome of this in Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines in 2013. It was so edgy it made over 11,000,000 hits and I’d argue a lot of that was to do with its racy music video. Though fortunately that song got a lot of backlash, and I’d like to think MILF is a step forward, for the marketers at least. They learned that they can spin the video that glorifies the imagery it’s criticizing by claiming it’s some sort of progressive move by the artist against it. Then, groups will defend it as doing just that when in reality, well… They got played by a marketing bit. You went away and talked about it and generated traffic for her video, her name, and her Fergalicious brand.
That’s why Fergie filled the video with powerful female role models like Kim Kardashian. A woman made famous for a sex-tape and successfully cultivating an entire career out of her buttocks. Props to Kim regardless I mean if only I could do the same I wouldn’t be spending my time writing about Fergie videos.
I guess the real crying shame here is that Fergie bet on the wrong horse. I’m not here talking about an amazing song with a hell of a beat and catchy chorus. No I’m here ranting to you about some crusade. She sold out her chance to really explore something creative and great for some weird 2edgy4u ploy and I just don’t think it’s worked out for anybody. I want to be here talking about a great song, but Fergie either isn’t capable of writing one or she doesn’t have enough faith that her song alone would be worthwhile.
I think I’d much rather M.I.L.F stood for Music I’d Like to Forget.

Music Musings: Elvis Depressedly: California Dreamin’

a2837218663_10

Elvis Depressedly: California Dreamin’                                                                                                                                 (Favourite Track: Angle Come Clean)

Is not exactly a name you can drop in a casual conversation about bands. You can’t nod and agree with that stranger you’re stranded with at this party that ‘yeah that Blink 182’s new album wasn’t ‘’that’’ bad’… Then talk about the kind of music that would typically characterise that of a depressed angst riddled teen. At least not without garnering a few strange glances, but hey that was going to happen anyway. Though in many ways Mat Cothran and Delaney Mills’ sound has always sort of embodied that awkward sideways look.  Despite the impenetrable appearance albums by lo-fi, hipsters that use random apostrophes have, the music in Dreamin’ is pretty casual easy listening. It’s an appropriate sequel to that stage in your life where you were just cutting your teeth on cynicism and introspection. Maybe you grew your hair out or became a communist or even tore down your Sonic the Hedgehog posters to show two fingers to the man. Despite however old I get, actually maybe because of it I feel a growing insatiable need to not forget that stage in my life.  California Dreamin’ is at its core a good excuse to remember.

The album is a bit of an anomaly in their repertoire. Most of it salvaged material from previously unreleased songs recorded inside seedy hotel room’s way back in 2013. The sound’s considerable stripped down compared to their recent releases and the production values are terribly low. It takes away a bit of the punch Cothran’s delivery typically has though that’s par for the course in this indie lo-fi genre. The distortion and thin vocals give the album that comfortably twee campus radio twang that you might hear drifting from a dorm window or screeching from some junk car owned by a hippy slacker. The vocals, are dreamy and a little poppy and though the lyrics are Elvis Depressedly ‘sad’ ™ it retains that raw intimacy that makes their sound so compelling.

The sound of Elvis Depressedly much like my angst is not unique as it once was. Teen Suicide, who have just been resurrected by Depressedly’s own record label Running for Cover had a much stronger release with ‘It’s the Big Joyous Celebration’ just two months before. Teen Suicide also wins in the edgy band name category. Though maybe Depressedly can claw back some cred with a few more random apostrophes and even an umlaut thrown in for good measure.

 

Still a special place remains in my heart for Elvis Depressedly. When I first heard the album it was like I had heard it before, like I knew it. Not literally of course but it reawakened that teen edge in me. That nostalgic list of songs I’d listen to on repeat and soaked in. It’s an album that couldn’t be further from a solitary experience. It’s so mired in the past work of its creators and their influences. To consider California Dreamin’ as that alone would be a discredit to what the band has transformed into. Their last album boldly claimed that ‘the sad songs were over’, which in a shameful way was disheartening. Because I had the misconception that sad is kind of all Elvis Depressedly ever is.  I think California Dreamin’ proves me wrong.  The album is the fleeting feeling of hesitant hope that can follow in the wake of devastating depression. Elvis Depressedly was never ‘just sad’, they were always just themselves.

Listen to the full Album here: (Cost: name your price)

Polly:

IMG_0880

My Mother had three boys between two different men, all of whom have nothing to do with her or their offspring. Elaborate tales of why spun across dining tables, as if the why’s matter and they bring comfort. Because really there’s no reason why things happen, they just do, but it’s a reality we hide from children. Like they should be privileged to live in this frame where rhymes make a rhythm. All this fancying, this bone breaking theater  leaves us with, is not some optimistic vision of the world, our future, our place in the universe spiritually or materialistically, but an aching hole and hunger, a wound dying to go back to that time, that lie that seemed so real.

I’ve been alone most of my life, unable to connect to the many colors of my family. The first a neurotic mess crippled by a perceived wrong, addled with aggression and a an abrasive sense of justness. The second an unperturbed liar, a narcissistic capable of hurting so easily; and the worst, the last one thrown out, a flavorless fuck incapable and lame. Vile and hurtful. Not even aware enough to describe themselves as anything more than a pitiful excuse for a person.

I grew up confused and I sometimes day-dream about my death. Who would mourn for me, pour water on my grave, breath heat into the soil? It’s a small list and gets smaller still. I try to imagine when my bones will be bleached and if anyone will write for me. Will anyone love me then.

That day, the heat was terrible, but I perched under that tree, scared of what I might find. A terrible fear that I didn’t know what to do with. I was bad to that dog. I hardly ever took her out, forgot about her, didn’t stroke her enough share with her… Now she was sentenced to death, and all I was faced with was the miserable things I had failed at. Not a good memory in sight, and I wonder if she knew that…

I didn’t want to look at death, at suicide, because I imagined that I, through action or inaction had helped those seeds grow and those wounds fester…

Or maybe it was the powerless feeling that unsettled me so much, a lack of confidence to change the world. A time where those lies I had as a child would be so handy. Where I could spin yarns like my mother and brothers did, lies about how things are, and why they happen. Feed that wound, not only in someone, but in myself. Was it easy to do? I don’t even remember it, maybe no one does, maybe it’s natural, inert in us to sooth like that, with fiction, but it never does sooth, it only furthers that extension.IMG_0798

The strain she has. I can’t reach around it, not with words, only with my arms. I want to feel the re-verb of her chest open and close. I want her to feel me dying with her… I just… Want her not to hurt anymore.

An overdose of anesthetic, it seemed so easy. A cardiac arrest and complete failure of the respiratory system seizes the body. . Her paw, listlessly hangs off the table. it’s movement, not governed by the force of her body, her might and muscle, but by the force of gravity. The line break between life and death. The snap of the fingers, that warns you she’s dead; and it awakens a primal, cave like fear. A want to leave it, images of carcass I’ve seen on the shore. rotten and eaten sheep. Bloated ribcages exploded and open. the gases once inside having grown and burst, popping the body like a balloon.

I picture my hands, as I lifted myself off her plunging into her rotted rib-cage, getting stuck on the bones and congealing blood…

yet the worst part, was that I left her there, on that gaudy stainless steel frame with a rubberized black top that’s convenient to clean.  It’s such a fucking indignity, it offends me to see that, her paw so, dead. Her eyes sit open but they are still, she’s dead. I tried, before I left, to…

Put her paw back, to leave her in a more, peaceful position, as if it matter, but every time, it flopped back, and with each attempt, I grew just a more numb until it didn’t even matter any more.

She was dead. When A second ago she was driven by this urge to exist. The cells inside her dividing and copying themselves, growing and living and mutating. The urge to live, the divinity of self-interest. Matters to us all, matters to me, but when this dog, this unloved dog died on that table, me clutching her shaking form was I respecting that?

Yet I still ask the woman I love, who wants to die, to live. I lie and say I showed that dog a mercy, when It wanted to live and to live with, a cruel joke.

I held that body.

That dog of matted hair, stinking the way she always stank, hair coming away with me, playing in my fingers on the drive home. The wound in my stomach growing till the point of vomit.

When I held that dog on that table, that awful terrible table, I imagined you in your coffin. Me, being unable to love you. A stranger to your family, a stranger to your husband, a gritted eulogy, where I would introduce myself as a colleague, unable to say the things I could never say again. The threads of me that bleed into you severed, broken nerves that would never heal or leave. A brain too dumb to recognize their deadness, always sending signals to those frayed corners going nowhere. To big, to colorful and hungry to let anything else grow. And to you, that you would leave without me, perhaps I am not intended to see. To know of… Yet my whole being just wants it, to hold you all the time, and when I picture your body that urge is so painful, so sharp.

IMG_0615

I held a dead body that day, I didn’t want to hold yours, not because I wouldn’t, because I would, I’d’ never let go, but I wouldn’t want to live in a world without you.

I wish I had, some profound point to leave, some moment of clarity when it clicks and makes sense, but that would be another lie for another child. Because there isn’t one.

It’s you and me, our lives, our memories, our moments. Each second passing irretrievable. I say that I love you, because I know that each second that does pass with you, I don’t want to retrieve, I want to preserve.