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ali k

i tied one end of the rope to the tip of my prick and the other to the exhaust of my girlfriend's car. "hey," i said, "put the pedal to the metal"
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[ @ 5:51AM Jun 8th 11]
i've been having a hard time dealing with death lately. which, really, is a hard time dealing with life.
i've never had an easy time dealing with death, but it's especially hard lately.
the idea that someone i care about is there, autonomous and in and out of my life at will, taken for granted, and then next they are not. they weave through your days the way you've probably weaved through theirs, varying degrees from monthly coffee meetups all the way to daily hangouts. and then they are just: not. they are erased from existence with nothing but facebook photos and tiny paintings and scribbly letters and fabricated THINGS to stand in for them. it's so... sad. of course it's sad, but do you ever just really, really think about it? it's SAD. it's the most penetrating sad you've ever felt. there is nothing but sad at its center, even with all of the positivity we find orbiting in the gravitational pull of that sadness. it's dense, heavy, black, black, black, interminable sadness.

and it's hard. it's hard because i think about jasmine like that and i know i shouldn't. it's hard because my brother is somewhere in-between being real and being no longer real. how can there be souls, though i know that there are? if there are souls, where is his? walking the tight rope between his body and that bullet, microscopic fragments that he only kept part of. but then again i don't even know. have you ever had to help a nurse you've just met put Pampers on someone who used to put Pampers on you? i guess that's irrelevant, but i just keep thinking of his vague eyes and his twitchy not-there-ness and then sometimes those long glares into eternity where he almost seemed to be studying the act of studying and, then, all of the nothing that became apparent when i realized that he's not studying anything he just IS. i don't know if the fish that is his soul is belly up floating in his fish-bowl head, i don't know if some of it got scraped out when the bullet blew through, i just don't know. i don't know how that stuff works. it wreaks of death, it stinks of sadness, and those aren't the only things i think and feel but for fuck's sake this stupid fucking internet journal is the only place i could think of to allow myself to explore this negativity and desperate sadness because no one else will want to hear it. people want you to want to tell them what they want to hear when they know that you're suffering with stuff like this. they don't know what to say. i don't blame them. i don't want them to try. when they try i have to try to make them feel like they've done a good job.
this is all still happening. there's so much.

and it's hard. it's hard, too, because i see my own death. i'm getting nervous. i don't know when it's coming but i'm feeling it in the air. i feel like it's coming. i'm trying to ignore it but i'm also trying to do things that i know i'd like to do before i die but i'm not doing a very good job and today i found out i have high-risk HPV on top of everything else and i know it's just a matter of time before those cells start churning themselves into the cancer that will kill me. the parts that make me a woman and that make me an animal are the parts of me that will kill me. there are too many things wrong with my body. there are too many mysterious ailments, too many inexplicable symptoms, and it sucks, it FUCKING SUCKS because it's not fair because i'm trying to turn my life around and nothing i can ever do or say will allow me passage out of my body. how do you do it when you know you are a time bomb? with no clue as to when the time runs out? all the progress i could ever make is external and i hate it and it's unfair and sometimes all i want to do is fucking cry like a two-year-old child and have someone ball me up in their arms and tell me that they're feeling what i'm feeling and that they'll feel it for me and that they love me and i want to be cooed and encouraged to voice myself but it's always this struggle with people and the ones who don't make me struggle i'm too fearful to allow to see me that way because i know how easily people can get scared and leave. and the ones that i love i fear for because don't they realize that they'll die, too? don't they realize that they will? it's not paranoia, it's just the simplest truth: we all fucking die. it is not absurd to remark that death can show up unheralded. it does, every day. i know you can't live that way, fearing and waiting and constantly glancing over your shoulder, but how the fuck do i deal with all of this? in the midst of it all i'm always fighting for stasis, for the things that i desire most that are so simple but so hard to find for me. i'm still waiting for that time when i can look over the details of my life and feel content about what i'm seeing. and it's really fucking hard to push myself get there. and it's really fucking hard to imagine that i never will. and there are so many people in the bleachers booing and telling me i'm doing it wrong but they don't know. they really, really, absolutely just don't know.

i'm really keeping positive most of the time, but just because i'm good at finding silver linings doesn't mean i can disregard the motherfucker of a black cloud over me. i wish i didn't have to hide it, or tone it down. i wish i were allowed to express these things. but grieving in the wake of disaster or in anticipation of forthcoming disaster turns out to be one of the more socially unacceptable behaviors i've encountered.

man, do i hope i'm wrong. for someone who spends so much time trying to learn how to be right, i really fucking hope i'm wrong. i hope i live until 40 and have years behind me of giving myself the opportunities i deserve, the ones seemingly hidden from me now. you know: fall in love and create and build and enrich and expand myself. i hope my brother gets the pieces of his brain back that make him work so that when my mom commits suicide after my stepdad dies he won't get thrown into a nursing home to wallow in his shitty Pampers in front of a tv for the rest of his life with nothing to look forward to but miracle bread and refried beans. i hope my dad never dies. ever. i hope i don't have to keep all of this inside forever, i hope i don't scare all of my friends away by going through all of this. i hope i don't start dying before my parents do because i would feel too guilty. i feel guilty that i might die. the guilt tears me apart. i hope i can get rid of that, i know i don't deserve it. i hope i'm born again when i die and that all the love and desire and adventuresome thirst for existence that i have is cumulative.
bike rides and high fives

[ @ 11:48AM Feb 24th 11]
a few hours after i wrote what i last wrote, my brother put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. i literally flew down to florida as soon as i got the news, didn't get a chance to say goodbye to anyone. i spent most of january away from home-- most of my time in florida was spent shuffling back and forth between the hospital and my mom's apartment without doing anything else, barely seeing the sun. i flew to new york afterward and felt the immense disappointment that came with realizing that, other than two good friends of mine, no one seemed to care much about the fact that my brother was in a coma, that he had a hole in his skull, that he might be brain dead, that i realized through a series of opportune discoveries that my mother had post partum depression for the first 4 or 5 years of my life and that she abused my brother and neglected me at best, that i didn't love her, that i all the sudden was given the role of "rock" for my entire family despite feeling formless and puddle-like, that i was/am scared, that i was/am terrified, actually, that my life seemed to be unraveling in ways that i never imagined it would. people seemed to treat the news as if it were something incidental to my wellbeing, passive, something that i could discuss once in passing and then forget about-- like a bee sting, or a stubbed toe. no one wanted details. no one offered any intimate parts to me (that is, besides the two wonderful aforementioned friends that i am thankful exist) -- it was still the same impenetrable new york shell, this armor that everyone wears because they are too afraid of feeling anything.
it made me so thankful for the friends i've made in portland. sometimes you start to feel like you're not human, because you spend so long without the most human parts of human relationships. you lose yourself in the lack, the edges blur, and you wonder if anyone has ever felt that way at all-- maybe it's just your imagination, an idea you've made up, maybe you've never felt that way either, maybe you're just confused about what it is that you don't feel so you're inserting craziness wherever there is empty space inside of you. but just like some people can take your faith away, others can restore it. i felt like, as imperfect and new as it was and is, there were open arms waiting for me here. and there are; i don't know how i could have made it to february had there not been.

my brother has defied all odds and survived. not only has he survived, he has recovered to the point of making it out of a coma-- at least technically. he falls into trances most of the time, but sometimes he wakes up and is able to respond to rudimentary commands. for the first part of january we thought he was gone, but now we know he's still in there somewhere. it's scary to look at the bruised and bloody body of someone you've known since the day you were born and imagine nothing but broken neurological pathways, dimly flickering synapses in the darkness of a swollen skull. you feel so far away from them, you feel like there is no "them", but there is the body, pink with life, still living and breathing... the dissonance of that experience is something i won't ever forget. but we know that here's in there, now, to whatever degree. it must be so frustrating to wake up as a prisoner in your own body, unable to really move, unable to communicate. it is my nightmare, and i have it every night out of empathy. today we found out he could have an aneurysm, which they would not be able to fix. i won't worry about it until that matter is more than just speculation.

things are really hard. the worst part is i don't know when, if, or how much i am learning from all of these life-changing events. i know i must be changing, but i feel lost.

i'm trying to live my life alongside these tragedies. job interviews, art projects, long bike rides. the truth is i feel like i'm in a state of suspension between now and never. too cowardly to jump, too brazen and restless to turn around.

i wish i knew where to find myself.
01 bike rides and high fives

[ @ 8:05PM Dec 31st 10]
i am beginning a new year in the most charming city in america. i already have a pretty tight circle of room mates/friends and i've gotten as used to the rain as anyone else. there is still so much to want, to dream of, to pine for, and while i'm not all that close yet, i'm closer than i've ever been.

from my first day here i've been demanding so much of myself without knowing how to supply it, and it's been causing me turmoil. i'm learning to accept that despite all the suspense and strife that went into me finally making it here, just being brave won't change everything all at once. one would like to imagine that there is a big and final pay off, but that's not how things work. imbalance is unnatural. i'm beginning to understand balance more and more with each day and each new experience. sounds hokey, doesn't it? maybe it is, but it's been working for me.

i'm changing, reformatting, reforming, restructuring, rebuilding, reconstructing, and it's good. it's frustrating, scary, sometimes disheartening due to the slow pace of it all, but it's good.

i don't really believe in new years resolutions, especially since 2010 for me has been a year of constant resolutions. some fulfilled or in the process of being so, but most not. but i am quite resolute about making a life for myself that i can be proud of. i only ever want to be surrounded by creative(ing) people, punks and queers and people with big, big hearts. i want to be one of those people and never for a second doubt that i am, forget that i am.

there's so much more to say, but i'm not going to say it now. i have a zine in the works that will hopefully say some of it for me.

keep going, fuck your life, fumble for your goddamned dreams.
bike rides and high fives

[ @ 1:57AM Oct 28th 10]
i honestly don't know what i'm feeling
bike rides and high fives

[ @ 10:21PM Sep 20th 10]
jasmine died. she's dead. she was one of my very dear friends, not to mention the first and only girl i've ever felt i could love. she's dead; she was doored while riding on atlantic avenue last saturday, september 11th of all stange days, and knocked in front of a speeding bus. she's gone, and i'm moving to portland in a week and a half. i'm going to get a dog. first i'm going to get a job; then i'm going to get a dog.
cari's in town. she's rode her bike here from richmond. i met her in oakland. she's moving to new orleans. i just got back from philadelphia. i met a girl outside of cafe orwell today who overheard me discussing my driving plans with cari; she needs a ride to LA, but i think i'll be toting her to portland. pinkos might be paying for a uhaul for me if i stop in connecticut to pick up her girlfriend's stuff, and drop it off in seattle. i still don't know if this is happening-- that is to say, i still don't know whether i'm selling my stuff or packing it. we haven't found a house yet, either. well, correction-- we've found plenty of houses, but none of our applications have been approved. we keep collecting more room mates. we're up to 5 of us, but still no application approval. ryan's checking out a place tomorrow and we're all getting a good feeling about it. we're going to build a treehouse speakeasy, and then there's the chicken coop and the pond ecosystem idea and the fact that most houses in north portland have fig, pear, plum, cherry, or other fruit trees growing on or near the property.

despite the way i feel when my bicycle and i lumber up the williamsburg bridge in the middle of the night with all the lights and the breeze and the newyorkeverything seeping in all over-- how radically free i feel, if just for a few moments, while the two of us careen at full speed like one perfect greasy machine down through the dirty shadows cast by the grates on the bridge heading headfirst back into brooklyn, my heart beat reaching near-stasis again as i round the awkward turn that leads to the last downhill stretch of the thing, alert and hyper-responsive but really rather comforted by the familiarity of conquering the same challenge for the umpteenth time-- and despite how intimately i've come to connect these totally visceral but reliable experiences to my larger "new york experience", how i've come to weave these things in more tightly than the long and almost endless strings of terrible feelings and memories and bad, bad times----- late at night here listening to the trucks downstairs all sorts of choking and hacking and the hipsters upstairs on the roof all sorts of yelling and spitting i am more assured than ever that i've never been meant for this place.

it's time to go and get on with myself. head inward by heading outward. i could talk about it forever; leaving, that is. i think my ramblings on the subject will find themselves in zine-form sometime soon.

i'm really doing it, and it's more wonderful and liberating than i could have possibly dreamed... even though i've dreamt about it every night for 3 years.

fuck your life, fumble for your dreams.
bike rides and high fives

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