"A good example is the best sermon." - Thomas Fuller


July 22nd, 1995

It pushed into my gut like a knife and bloodied my mind with thoughts of death. It did not knock on the door. It did not wait for permission. It only took.

My hands are trembling in my lap. They shake uncontrollably. No power of my mind can overtake their reckless path. They pull the blade from it's sheath and I stare at the shiny surface with childlike wonder. So this is it, I think to myself.

My mind turns for a moment. It is almost calm. Almost. I stare at the phone, but it seems as useless as my hands. I stare at the phone and I want to pull it from its protective hinges and dial towards the outside. I stare and I know that there are no numbers for me to dial. I know that there is no one who will listen.
My heart is beginning to bubble and rise again. The fever burns holes into muscle forcing a tear from my straining eyes. The phone blurs into imagination and I return to the reality that I must face with masochistic non-chalance. Cells begin to break and shatter. My mind knows no other course.

The candles are lit. The incense is burning my soul into ashes. I wait for the answer but no one knocks on my door beside it which is contorting my energy into a heap of broken twigs.
Getting up I am amazed I can control my legs. I painfully force my arms to give life to the music. The stereo plays. I turn it up. It is not enough to cover my intruder so I must crank the volume past my hearing's thoughts.

Music screams bold and loud, bouncing the fat of my body about. But the damnation claws onto my hairs like lice. I can not get away.

My fist crashes into the wall and creates a brief silence. One second. It's enough for me to wish. To hope. To pray for something other than what I know must become and be.

But it pounces on me with renewal. It pounces like a cat, playfully jokingly with my hands and legs, tossing me back and forth in a room no larger than my skull and yet bigger than the entirety that is. I am bleeding and can not even reach to stop the bloody trails. It does not even let me clot and fall to the ground in fatigue. I am it's slave; it my master.

It forces memories before my eyes so that I must see all of the hurt that has been, and all of the pain that will be. It shows me the abscess and laughs disheartingly. It knows no boundaries around my soul. It has no compassion for me or anything these hands touch. It can only tear like a dull pair of scissors.

Why must it pass the poison river? Why must it analyze until all analysis is useless? Why must it pick my scabs away only to replace them with even larger emptiness than imaginable?
Where has the happiness gone?

I'm falling on the floor in slow motion, my body caught in a wet mass of air. Every sensation is as clear as a diamond sharp, yet I can only feel the sting. What I feel is real and yet it is at the other end of a massive lake in someone else's body.

Help me.

I begin to rock like I am an old dying man sitting in an antique rocking chair, overlooking life. Contracting my muscles I hope to force it through the pours of my skin. The sweat will carry it far and away. A shower will take it down the drain. All that pain will go away.
And so I rock back and forth. The shear volume of my movement seems to cause it trouble. It looks around for a way to fight back. It finds it.

I'm walking to the bathroom now. The blade is still resting between my fingers. The water is hot in the shower. I fall down because I have forgotten how to stand. The falls begin to burn my legs and in steaming anger it comes back to wrap around my neck.

And I begin to scream. "Ahhhhh!!"

It echoes back to me. It does. And it's laughing again.

It will not wash from my skin. It will not come out my pours. I have to get it out! I have to cut through my living flesh and let it breath. There is no other way.

But it hurts. The edge bites my skin. No, it does not have the same intensity as the other, but I know it can drive the masochism away. So I cut. I cross patterns into my only clothing and watch the blood burst into streams. My life flow down the drain in a rush of sadness.

But I do not die and am left alone, lying in a hardening bathtub with cold water pummeling me into ice. I lie with no hope but sleep.

I crawl from the tub and onto the floor. The cuts sting now, my reward for trying to die. I do not touch them, but let them continue to bleed down my arm, a reminder that I am still alive. My arms and legs gradually pull my drained body towards superficial warmth and I cover myself with naked blankets and feel the emptiness grasp at my chest again. And now I lay back with my eyes teary and let it. I just let it because I don't know what else to do.

Sleep does not come. It never comes. Please someone, bring me that which I need. Bring me sleep and comfort and warmness. Bring me understanding and kindness. Bring to me love that would drive this poison from my veins!

God, please help me. Hold me and never let me go.

No rest though. The sky is dark. It laughs at me as I try to go away.

into my gut like a knife and bloodied my mind with thoughts of death. It did not knock on the door. It did not wait...

July 24th, 1995

Only in death is loneliness the norm. But in my life it is the nightmare that haunts me very day. It is the cougar that I can not run from.
I heard a saying on Kung Fu, The Legend Continues. The main character, a Shoulin priest, walked away from the temple he had taught at after it had been destroyed and he thought his son killed. The Old One stood beside him and asked him why he had so sad. The priest answered, "The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow."

Likewise, I have always felt the extravegence of emotion. I have followed a trail to the highest clouds and I have fallen to the depths of Hell.
We both understand that where we are on this ladder of emotion is our own choice. It is also a choice based on our understanding of the universe; but before true understanding can be paramount, one must have all of their life needs met.

Kain, the Shoulin priest, had his needs met. At one point he had food, water, and shelter. Then companionship. The pyramid of needs was met. At this point he was able to learn of life, undetered by triviality. He gained almost total control of his walk up and down his emotional ladder.
I have also had my needs for food and water met. And for most of my life I have had the need of shelter met. But several years ago that need was not met and I did not know if I would be sleeping inside or in the Eugene rain. Because there was no foundation for my pyramid of needs to grow on, I was held at this very lowly level.

When I finally met my needs of food, water, and shelter, I began looking for companionship. My quest, which has filled years and years of my life, has for the most part been a failure. Here and there I have picked up a piece of something, only to loose it because I did not fit the needs of that particular piece.

When I go into a relationship there are certain things I am willing to give. I want to give unconditional love. I want to share my knowledge. I want to laugh with this person and cry with this person. I want to give this person my trust. Mostly, I want to accept this person for who they are, not who I want them to be.

Granted, I want them to be something. I want them to give me all these things in return. Not in the same way, though. That's what makes people exciting, we all give in different ways, and we all like to receive different things.

But if there is one thing I have noticed over my twenty one years living on this Earth, is that when I give out 100% of my being, I am usually only returned 10% or less. For example, if I compliment a person ten times in a week, I may only get one compliment in return.

And if I do not compliment anyone in a week, I am most likely to be ignored all together.

What do I mean when I say, "Compliment"? Well, a compliment is any time I call a person wanting to talk to them. It is any time I invite them over or out. It is any time I say I like their hair or their taste in music. It is any time I think they are special. It is any time I give them a hug. It is a kiss. It is a look. It is every obvious thing I do to communicate to them that I know that they exist and I enjoy their company.

As stated above, it has been my experience that unless I give others enormous amounts of energy in the form of compliments, I will receive little if nothing in return.

Certainly, there are exceptions. Sometimes I get more. Sometimes I receive enough to bubble my insides up and make them warm. But this is certainly the exception, not the rule.

I am in pain now. Again. And if there is one thing that I think I have learned, it is that being a nice guy is not worth the struggle and the pain.

So what does it take to be a nice guy? Well, first, one must be a guy. Next, one must find enjoyment in giving pleasure and happiness to other people. Finally, one must have few, if any, other people to spread pleasure and happiness to. This road block will make the nice guy nicer, when he gets the chance. This is because all of his positive energy builds and builds until it gets a chance to flow like a waterfall over whoever wishes to except it.

One of the laws of the universe that creates a nice guy is the fact that he does not usually have those qualities dubbed "Attractive" by his given society. Granted, the nice guy is often good looking and has an interesting personality, but he is almost never considered a candidate for a top rung friendship.

But sometimes he is. Why? Well, someone sees the nice guy and wants to hang around him. They feel safe around him. And then they begin learning about him. They learn that he is often intelligent and talented. They learn that he has an intense need to care for other people and wants that in return.
And they also learn that he is a human being with an amazing amount of pain built up from being alone all of the time. Granted, the nice guy is never truly alone in life. He is considered a friend by many people. But he is never anyone's best friend, although he yearns to have one.

He is adept at hanging around people.

Since the nice guy's pain builds up and up, it bursts every now again, as is consistent with the natural rhythms of his psyche. Usually it is unseen.
But there are times when it is, and these are the worste times for him. It happens when he meets a friend whom he feels he may one day be connected to by an almost spiritual link. It happens because, although he has met a person he loves and cherishes, his needs of companionship have not yet been met. It also happens because he is a nice guy, and part of that equation involves his honesty. He must not lie about his feelings.

And so, this new friend who believes the nice guy to just be a really nice guy, sees in horror that they have emotions so negative that they could paint the sun black. And instead of seeing that it is because the nice guy has not forfilled his needs, they are fearfull and believe that this is the way it will always be. And often, without little attempt at empathy, compassion, or even communication, the new friend walks away. Their reasoning is that the nice guy might be better without them or that they cannot handle the stress, so they should leave; someday he will meet someone who can forfill his needs.

What a story.

I believe I am a nice guy. I have been loving to so many people. But when the time comes, I have found so many of these new friends to be the all too common fair weather type. And it amazes me! Even when they have had emotions as ugly as hurtful as I, and even if I have comforted them and helped them through these times, I find that I am judged as worse. A double standard of hurtful proportions is imposed on me.

"It's ok for me to hurt, but it is not ok for you to hurt," is the subcounscious message usually received. "If I am in pain you should stick by my side because you are my friend. If you are in pain, though, I will leave because I have enough of my own to deal with."

I can say this about my life. I believe I have felt more pain than most of the people than I have ever met. I have experienced severness of cruelty, anger, and depression. And I have had to live with it as it occurred over and over and over again, totally outside my control.

I have withstood more constant pain and anguish than any soul I have met, and yet everyone runs in fear when they see only a moment of that pain in my own eyes.

The thing that drives me absolutely up a wall is that when I see other people in relationships, and they are not feeling good, they will attack each other with either verbal or physical violence. I, however, have reached the point where I keep most of that violence to myself. Over 90% percent of my angry thoughts I let extinquish. When I am feeling depressed an suicidal, I will only make a few off hand, negative or sarcastic remarks, when anyone else would make many.

In this way, I feel that I am so much better than all of you. You who would yell at me for the slightest misinterpretation of my actions. You who are continually ignoring who I am and what I want out of life. I do not abuse you when I know it is I that am having trouble with my thoughts an feelings. I accept these as my own.