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It was two years ago that I started this job, the day I first saw you as well as your birthday. That's a lot to squeeze into twenty-four hours. I haven't talked you in six months, but letting the day just pass by unnoticed didn't seem right to me for some reason. So, I went out, got you a card and left it on your desk first thing in the morning. It read...


I thought for a long time,
about what to put here.
I wrote many drafts.
So many thoughts and feelings,
I wished to convey.
But none of them,
seemed appropriate,
written by the hand,
of the stranger that I've become.
So I think instead,
I'll just keep it simple,
and tell you that I truly wish you the best.
Have a wonderful birthday,
but above all else,
no matter what,
don't ever change.

Still not quite sure what to put here,

You wrote me an email thanking me and told me it was very sweet. The conversation didn't really go far from there until a couple of hours later. You asked me how I liked my new place and we tip-toed around topics we wanted to delve into, but were too scared of the answers we might find.

I grabbed up enough courage to ask you if you were dating anyone and you told me that you weren't, because it wasn't high on your list of priorities at the moment. You never asked whether or not I was seeing anyone and that could be taken either way. Then, for some reason, I asked you out for lunch. You accepted and we made tentative plans for the upcoming Saturday.

You took the rest of the week off, so I didn't see or hear from you, not that I was really expecting to. Saturday came and I was running errands, watching the time until our rendezvous. I got the text message asking if we were still on and we decided on a place we used to frequent back when...well, you know.

I arrived first, as is usually the case, my mind still reeling because you didn't cancel. I look up in the rear view mirror just in time to see your car pass by, making a knot twist inside my stomach. Suddenly, I wished I had cancelled.

We unceremoniously meet at the door and are seated at our table in less than a minute. We place our order before I let myself look at you. Your hair was worn casually and you had on a white wife beater. I couldn't believe you were actually sitting across from me. It's so weird how things play out.

We make a little small talk, a lot of small, awkward silences and you don't look at me the whole time. Your eyes dart above my head, at the table, the screaming baby across the restaurant, anywhere but into mine. Again, this can be taken either way.

The food arrives and gives a little more reason for the silence. The whole time I'm not sure what I think or feel about everything. I had pictured a hundred thousand different ways a situation like this with you would go down, no sexual pun intended. This just wasn't one of them.

The waitress brings us the check and after it's paid we just kind of sit there. As always I'm not sure what you're thinking. I don't know if you want to spend more time together, or if you just want this little adventure over and done with. I hate how you always make me second guess myself and everything around me.

I open my mouth as all the words I rehearsed escape me. Instead of easing my way into it, I simply say, “I'm sorry things got weird between us.”

“It happens.” You shrug nonchalantly.

“Yeah, but it shouldn't. I've changed a lot, now.”

“I can tell.”

“The irony of it all is that this is the guy I should have been the whole time. It took losing you to become that.

“Usually how it works.”


“I was angry with you for a long time.”

“I could tell, but I never figured out why.”

“Because it was easier.”

“Easier than what.”

“Admitting the truth. It was easier than admitting I missed you, never got over you. I just didn't want to be hurt anymore and anger filled that gap quite nicely. I want you to know that I don't harbor any of those negative feelings anymore.”

“Good, then let's just move forward.”

“Move forward?”

“As acquaintances, friends is kind of a strong word.”

“Jesus, that's a little harsh.”

“Don't you think it'd be weird if we tried to be? Don't you think there'd be problems?”

I nod, “Yeah...probably.”

I tell you I don't want to keep you and I walk you to your car. We don't say a word as we hug and go our separate ways. The whole thing only lasted roughly thirty five minutes and it ended just like we did; bittersweet.

I think about all of it on the drive home. Everything from two years ago to now. You weren't the monster I made you out to be. All I ever saw was my side, I'm sure I was just as nasty from yours. This was the first time in a year I left you with my head held high and that's gotta count for something. I hope that if you aren't happy now, that you be. A part me is also sorry that I couldn't be the one that helped make it happen for you, but I know I'm not. For the first time I'm OK with that. It's time to move forward.

The big news

I'm attending a writer's conference next weekend and that comes with one amazing benefit...I'm allowed ten minutes with an agent to pitch my book. I know it's a long shot, but I can't shake this surge of excitement. It's also made me realize that I really need to get my name out there. This is where I'm asking you for help.

If there's anything on this blog that really spoke to you, made you feel something, I'm asking for you to print a couple of copies of it out. Somewhere on there, put this blogs address Now, fold it up and on the outside of it, write a note to a stranger. Decorate it, make it your own. Then, just leave it in a public place. There's not a lot to it, really. I'm starting it this weekend and I want to see if it will spread. It would honestly mean the world if you would help me out with this. I can feel something big is going to happen, it just needs a little push. Guerrilla marketing...keep an eye out.

A moment of your time?

Ask yourself this question, who am I? If you've already answered it, then you haven't thought about it long enough and your answer is incorrect. Now, let's delve a little bit deeper.

Are you the person that people see while you're sitting in a classroom? How about family reunions, where you pass through an ocean of people, making small talk with strangers that only pass as relatives because of a few similar strands of DNA? How about the version of yourself that you see while you daydream, the fantasies that you live when life just doesn't fit the way that you want it to? Are you more yourself when you are getting lit with some friends at five A.M. on a Saturday, simply because society tells us that it beats the alternative of sitting alone at home on the weekends? Speaking of being alone, do you feel and act differently then as opposed to how you are around others?

The point I'm trying to make with all this...well, there isn't a point. Not really. I just want you to think about it. So many of us are content with the image we have of ourselves. We don't want to grow, to question things about ourselves, because we might be afraid of the answers that we may find. There are so many expectations, set on us by ourselves and others that we believe we must live up to. What makes us successful? Is it the amount of money in our bank accounts, or just the satisfaction we feel when we lay our heads down at night. That is, if we're able to even find enough peace to dream.

I don't think any of us can know everything about ourselves. We will never really have an idea about who we are and that's a scary concept to grasp. However, it doesn't have to be. Asking all of these questions about ourselves is one of the most beneficial things that we can do. Break away from the emotions, all the bullshit really, and get down to the core of it all. This is where we grow and make strides towards the people we'd like to be.

We're all going to have bad days, that's inevitable, but if you find that the majority of them are that way then something is wrong. It's just one of the cycles that needs to be broken. Comfort, while divine, is also detrimental. You don't have to be what you think and others expect. A little introspection never hurt anyone. Just something to keep in mind.

For the best...

"What exactly is it that you want out of life?" If you couldn't hear the pleading in her voice, you could definitely see it in her eyes. She desperately needs this from me right now and she's fighting back whatever tears she may have left.

I pause for a long time, considering her question, before telling her that I just don't have an answer to it.

"What do you mean by that? It shouldn't be all that complicated. Don't you have any kind of dreams you want to follow? Do you want to get married? How about kids, do you want them? Do you want any of that you even see a future with me in it?"

This is where it all gets complicated I tell her. She doesn't know how it feels.

"I don't know how what feels?"

I can't want something from life when I'm not even sure that I'm alive to begin with.

She just stares at me.

It's like this, I tell her, sometimes it's like I'm living in the past, present and future all at once. I can't look forward, because I'm stuck watching what's come and gone. The now is overshadowed by the later that I dream of having. As a result of this...I miss out on everything. Instead of feeling anything about the events that are occurring to me, I just feel like I'm on the outside. A voyeur. Just saying it doesn't make any sense.

" doesn't." This is where I want to hold her. Tell her that I'm OK, that we'll be OK. I want her to know that I'm more in love with her than ever and that a future without her is just not one worth having. But I don't. I just look at the ground a lot, intensifying her insecurities. This all has to be done. I just tell her I’m sorry.

“You’re always sorry. That’s all you ever say. You apologize but you don’t change anything. I can’t keep going through this. I have to know that it will get better. I need to know that I’m not wasting my time.”

I don’t answer her. I just stare at my feet. I can’t look at her. Not now, not when it’s so close.

Davlin, please look at me.” I do and she meets my eyes, staring through them and seeing my intentions. “Please…” she implores, “don’t do this.” She stands up and goes to the door. “If I leave now, I’m not coming back. You do know that don’t you?”

I nod and take one last look at her. This could be the last time I see her face and I wish it wasn’t like this. I don’t want my last glimpse to be of her so heartbroken. She’ll be torn up about this for awhile. Over time, though, she’ll get better and find the person that she deserves and deserves her as well. She will be happy, but that can’t happen as long as I’m still in the picture. I know me. I know how I am. She wasn’t the first and won’t be the last. She’s right, I don’t do anything to change. That’s why things always end like this and I pray for this to be the wake up call that I’ve needed for so long. As the oncoming months pass, she’ll grow happier and I’ll only get worse until I hit bottom one more time. But if that’s the price for her to smile again, I’ll pay it happily.

“Well?” she asks, no longer able to contain the tears. I stare back at my feet and hear the door slam.

“I don’t want to be worthless. I want to be different. I want to be happy without feeling this compulsive need to sabotage it all. I don’t want to be hurt anymore, nor do I want to hurt anyone else. I do want to get married, I do want kids, all of those things we talked about and, yes, I want all of that with you.” I’m finally able to admit, ten seconds too late.

Blah blah blah

Been a rough week. I haven't slept much and I find some of my old thoughts and habits gradually coming back. Whenever I'm like this, I don't want to be bothered. I don't want to be around, or talk to anyone. The sad thing is, this usually happens when a lot of people have started to care and rely on me. This is when my stock drops, so start selling your shares as fast as you can.

I find myself on the brink of tears at work and to the point of violent rage outside of it. There was a time when I talked to people about this kind of stuff, but the reactions I recieved have made me shy away from doing so. They don't understand how it works. If I'm ok on one day, that doesn't mean that it'll stay that way forever. Relapses are inevitable, because this is a cycle that will turn in my head until the day I die. So, when I get low again, they give me that look that says "here we go again".

It just scares me. I'm terrified of things going back to the way they were last year. I barely survived it. That's another thing that people won't let me live down. A friend of mine will point out how unbearable it was to be in my presence. Says he has a right to joke about it, because he put up with my behaviour. Fuck that.

I've tried all week to write something down. I could only get about 2 1/2 pages of a short story. In these moods, blogs like this are all I can get out, but I'm sick of doing them. I don't wanna bitch or whine about my problems and it feel like that's how they come off. When I'm like this I have absolutely no confidence in anything that I do, especially writing. I'm not even looking for any affirmations, believe me, they wouldn't do any good.

One thing that has changed, however, is I'm no longer embracing these emotions. They're being kept back, but I'm not sure if that's because of me, the meds, or some combination of the two. That's what makes me uneasy about being on prescriptions; I'm not entirely sure what's real. Was that smile genuine, or chemically enduced?

But being off of them is also unsettling. Though it'd be nice to have an extra $150 every month, is that the price that must be paid in order to keep me from reverting back to my old self and succeeding where I've failed so many times before? It just sucks when every answer to these questions could result in a life or death situation due to a moment of weakness on my part.

"It's hard to be the better man when you forget you're trying.
It's hard to be the better man when you're still lying."
Brand New

Mafioso's Requiem

Just one more job. That's all I have to do before they let my brother go and we can put this whole thing behind us. There are three outcomes that can happen; either I'll be gunned down in the streets, my boss will do me in after I've completed my mission, or I'll actually get the happy ending. Either way, it all ends tonight.

The taste of Natalie and Grey Goose still linger on my lips and I wish I could keep them there forever. I switch the radio to an old jazz station as I take the on-ramp to I-90. The traffic is all but non-existent due to the early morning hour. This is when New Haven always looks the best to me; under a curtain of blackness and abandoned by all the people that make city living so unbearable to begin with. 20 minutes from my destination and I start to get anxious.

Over the last six months I've done some horrible things and not only enjoyed doing them, but profited off them as well. Hijacking a school bus to hold a rival drug lord's kid hostage bought my fancy loft uptown. And that's just one of the things I'm willing to admit to. I'm not even going to tell you what I had to do to pay for the car I'm driving right now.

Little beads of sweat start to fall down my forehead and sting when they land in my eyes. My nerves are completely shot. The soft music is doing nothing to calm me down, so I roll down the window to allow the warm summer breeze to wash away all these ill feelings. 10 minutes away now.

My breathing grows shallow as I take my exit. OK, I can do this. I HAVE done this. All I have to do is kill one man, that's all. It's no big deal.

Christ, listen to me...this used to sicken me. What have I become? With each squeeze of the trigger I've lost more and more of my humanity until I'm left cold, soulless. Will I even be able to go back to a regular life after this?

I pull up across the street of a nightclub that's owned by my target, put the vehicle in park and shut off the engine. Nothing left now but to wait. I could feel the cold steel of the 9.millimeter under my coat and it gave me some relief. After 45 minutes pass he comes out of the club. He's got two bodyguards with him. Alright...let's do this.

I step out of my car and reach into my over coat. I aim for the guard on the left and his brains rain out behind him before they even know I'm coming. My target's eyes go wide and he runs for his car that's been parked out on the street. I hear a slight whistle as a bullet misses my ear by centimeters. A second plugs me in the right shoulder and a third clips my left knee. I go down.

I'm laying in a growing pool of warm blood. The guard is laughing as he walks in my direction. I pick my up my gun and scream in pain as I raise it towards him. I aim for a gut shot but I'm a little off. It hits him in the groin, instead. He crashes to the ground and starts crying in the street. This makes me smile. I'll let him live.

I reach into my pocket and pull out a bottle of pills and take three. I automatically feel the effects as I get to my feet. My target is still standing outside of his car. One of his men has the keys. Due to lack of options, he starts to run. I hop in my car and take pursuit. He doesn't get too far, about a block or so, before I'm right behind him. At the last second he dives for the sidewalk and I only clip his legs. I can hear the sound of them shattering over the engine.

I stop the car and I hear the sirens as I step out. I walk over to him, he's already given up trying to crawl away, and kick him onto his back because I've grown fond of being the last thing people see. He starts to beg for his life and I put one between his eyes, cutting off his spiel.

A gasp brings my attention upward. Two hookers are staring at me with their mouths wide open. I feed them each a bullet to make sure this little scene stays our secret forever.

The job finished, I climb back in my car just in time to see 2 cruisers in the rear view mirror. I crank the engine, put it in drive and speed off. In my haste I forget to buckle my seat belt, which will only add to the ever growing list of offenses. My car jerks to the left as one of the cops tries to side swipe me from the driver side. I grab my gun, stick it out the window and unload until it runs dry before replacing it in my coat. In the rear view I can see their windshield explode and the cruiser crashes into a huge display window of a thrift shop.

The one on my right becomes more aggressive and starts to plug holes into my car's frame. I jerk the wheel in his direction and his cruiser gets pushed inches away from the curb. He's looking at me and yelling and if he was paying more attention, he'd have seen the pickup that was parked on the street in front of him. One second he's right beside me and a sound of impact precedes his disappearance.

I crank my neck back and watch in disbelief . I see the two vehicles have become one and I start to laugh. "Oh, my god! Ha ha! I'm gonna make it! I'm gonna..."


I wake up in the street and it hurts to move. I cough into my hand and pull it back to reveal bloody mucous. Four shattered ribs, a collapsed lung, fractured skull and god knows what else. I take the bottle from my pocket and take the last four. I stand up, brush the glass out of my hair and try to piece together what happened.

Apparently, while looking behind me I didn't see the telephone pole. The impact threw me about 25 feet from the windshield. It would have been more had I not smacked that mailbox. I can actually see the indention of my skull where it collided with its side. Cool.

A bright light shines over me and stabs daggers into my eyes. I look up and stare at the helicopter hovering above me. I can't hear the rotors. I've gone deaf. I pull the gun from my coat and run into a nearby alley.

I don't realize it's a dead end until three cop cars have already blocked off my only way out. I eject the empty clip and look up with blurry vision. Ten officers have their weapons drawn and they're shouting words that I'll never get to hear.

I slam my last clip into the gun, look up at them and smile. One way or all ends tonight.