A Sea of Broken Windows

In the intensity of people you’ll often times find a misaligned suffering in which if you’re not careful could pull you under.  An amorous disposition here would likely result in a near drowning in the immortal songs of Jeff Buckley.  You hear the warnings of lifeguards, you see the no swimming signs, and for a minute you stand with apprehension and watch the sea swell and then break upon the shore.  The velvet of the sand beneath your feet massaging from ground up and basking in the sun of contentment should be enough to keep away a vehement desire to swim in an erratic ocean.  Digging your feet into the sand, there you go, running into choppy waters.

The mightiest of all emotions, passion, overwhelms reason every single time.  I’ve told people that there was only a small but significant window of time in which your mind has a chance to save you before you fall into the abyss of love.  But, at that juncture freewill is rarely exercised so you tumble downward.  You would think, I presume, since those are my fighting words that I would be exempt from love foolery.  Alas, I am not.  I am clumsy at best and vying for a second-coming of naivety.  Despite this awareness, I break windows. I just hope the cuts heal in time to collect the sea glass.


Monkey Minds were not harmed in this blog post.

My therapist tries so hard to get me to admit that something…anything, really…hurts. I, of course, opt for closed-off buzz words like ‘annoyed’ and ‘disappointed.’ Those words that seem to ring with strength over weakness. She prods for my recognition of hurt as a feeling week-after-week, as I squirm in the uncomfortable lobby-like chair. Humanity’s friend, avoidance, kicks in but instead riddles me with trivial obsessive thoughts which is what brought me there in the first place. There, the sterile room with the only identifying element being the faux Van Gogh’s hanging on the wall. Her chair, the one I sit in, is uncomfortable and entirely impersonal…am I like her chair?

This monkey mind of mine has stuck around much longer than usual, and my true self stands outside the atrium knocking on the glass. I see you, I do, but I’m busy swinging from branch-to-branch. After all, it’s much more fun to climb trees than to fall to the ground.

The two women that know me best – my mom and wife – tell me frequently that I put more energy into those that don’t deserve it versus those that do. I wish I could say this wasn’t true, but it is and I know it. I suppose there are those times in life when you know exactly who you are, and insight and intuition are shining lights. Then there are times when you have to really work to see any light, and that’s when you change the batteries in the flashlight. It is then when words like ‘hurt’ lurk like a monster in the dark. I’ve never been scared of the dark, but after standing too close to monsters I do search for that flashlight.

It’s like REM sings, “Everybody Hurts Sometimes” and if I think about it…’hurt’ does sound more impactful, doesn’t it?

From The Archives: Strangers On The Train

A rather large African-American woman got off the (F) train headed to Queens at 21st-Ely, and I took her seat.  This beautiful, soft-spoken, mild-mannered girl also took her seat; two seats made from one.  I was writing and perhaps the mild-mannered girl saw the passage in my notebook about my recent battle with depression or perhaps she simply wanted to reach out.  Either way, she pointed to my exposed inner wrist that displays my “Jeffrey” tattoo.

“Did it hurt?” 

Thinking of all the hurt, grieving, anger, sadness, and emotions behind everything that lead up to commemorating my deceased brother on my wrist, I replied, “Yes.”

“Oh,” She responded while looking me directly in the eyes.

I looked away from her and stared straight ahead watching the darkness pass by through the train window.

“All tattoos hurt, I suppose,” I explained with less depth.  “I guess this hurt the least because it means the most.”

It occurred to me that connecting had become uncomfortable to me.  Perhaps I had been traumatized and feared loss.  Perhaps I was insecure.  Regardless, we talked the remainder of my train ride about work, tattoos, piercings, and Queens. 

“This is my stop,” I interrupted the flow.

She smiled with such a humanitarian energy, “Take care.”

Knowing I’d probably never meet her again I looked back and replied, “Good luck.”

As I walked up the stairs at Roosevelt Avenue, I felt a warm and hopeful energy fill my soul.  Such a short-lived but genuine interest and connection between two strangers felt so good; human connection.


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