Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Song of my Soul

Sitting at my desk filled with empty beer bottles lingering from two weekends past, I write. Thirsty but dignified. I kept the cans as a souvenir from my last trip, the trip I took down memory lane, the same trip I’ve taken every weekend since I was sixteen when I tasted my first strawberry wine cooler and was left with a raunchy aftertaste so strong I feel its sin on my tongue eleven years later. This trip ended differently, no fights, no mistakes, no regrets, but still I’m more bruised and broken than ever before. I didn’t know this was possible, but I suppose enough liquor can break anything down until almost nothing is left, and that’s about where I’m at right now. Still, I’m proud I made it back from this trip, because I am alive and so are you.

Sitting at my desk filled with these costly souvenirs, I let the thoughts of my soul flow out in the same thoughtless melody as the song blaring on my ipod. I don’t know what’s louder, the music radiating out or the music penetrating in; at the end of the day, it’s all the same. This song has always been my favorite, but I’ve never quite understood the words and I’m bothered by that, until I glance at the life lyrics I am writing, and see something much more disturbing. Closed eyes, humming along to a rhythm I have never heard before, I write with reckless abandonment, not caring where the next word ends up, whether it hangs on to a comma that never comes. Ironically, this story of my life parallels the story of my life. Still bothered, I continue.

Humming along to the rhythm of my insanity, I am carried to a new place of my past. I am five and there’s a song playing on the radio, not like the favorite one that primed me before the vodka and cocaine 20 years later, but the song that plays like a broken record, spinning one notch slower than my broken childhood, replaying the screaming and biting as to not miss a scratch. I see her mouth watering and all she wants is to taste a bit more carcass, because that’s all she knows. Horrified but not surprised, I take my portable radio, go into my room and turn it up as loud as I can stand it, till my ears are ringing and she’s beating on the door for me to turn it down. I guess she wants to be the loudest thing in the house. I’m fading more and more with each day and each minute, but somehow the music brings me back to life. One day it would take more than music. It would take alcohol and sex and pills and two trips to the ER to tell me that I am alive and that’s the way I was staying. Oblivious to what my future holds, I close my eyes and keep singing.

Hours pass. Sitting on my bed with Mickey Mouse and Raggedy Anne, I’m left with the sober reality that she is crazy and he is only a few steps away from walking out the door. And the truth of the matter is, I want him to leave so I don’t have to start hating two people. It takes a lot out of you hating a person when you are only five. And even if I wanted to, I don’t think I could hate anyone more than I hate her. I’d soon learn that wasn’t true and I could hate two people, when I started hating myself. And that’s who I hated the most. She finally came in second.

Sitting at my desk, I am 27 and the music is blaring. Always like you to revert back to your childhood. But this time I have my earphones in because I have neighbors and I actually care if they think my music is too loud. The music carries me through my writing, offering me its support beat for beat, word for word. I don’t want anything to hinder this moment that has been shut up for too many years, this moment where I finally make myself heard over the wall of silence built brick by brick of shame and guilt. Silence no longer deafening, my soul sings to a new tune...

I am singing, I am alive, and I am glad.

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