A dark and cold room with shadows moving and a glass case in which a skull sat lit up with blue light and electric light arcing through the air and I put my hand in the case and picked up the skull and then the blue light and I was suddenly in a car on the freeway, felt like California, the skull in my lap and palm trees on fire and cars stopped and crawling and then my father standing in a cul de sac with my dog and the trees are still on fire and someone hands me an apple and I bite into it and it tastes like BBQ and then I’m in REDACTED and I can feel bullets tearing through me and I can taste cordite and my ears are ringing and I can feel blood in my eyes and then the blue arcing light again and then I’m sitting up, face heavy and heart so so so slow.


Always on for the journey, for the adventure, for whatever experience is out there waiting for me, ready, willing. This has always been a truth and will probably never ever stop. I will go. I will be open. I will witness. I will remember.


I never took LSD. I babysat a ton of my friends who did it, but I always stood by this idea that anything a biker could make in his bathtub had the potential to kill me. That’s a goddamn lie. I did my fair share of methamphetamine when I couldn’t find cocaine. LSD freaked me out, caused me to sweat when I thought about it, got me believing that it would fuck with the weird way I already witnessed the world around me. I took psychedelics that occurred as naturally as possible in the world—mushrooms, peyote, tried to get my greasy paws on a Colorado River bullfrog to lick—but they didn’t really take me outside of my body, away from my consciousness. PCP was fun, but after a while it became boring and predictable. I’d get all kinds of warm inside and the world would taste like iron and dirt and the sky would be amber and the nerve-endings in my body would feel like they’d been in a hot tub too long and I would find myself doing things/saying things/acting like a goddamn lunatic, but I never went to another realm or plane.


I have spent the majority of my adult life hiding myself. Hiding the things that hurt and burn and cause violence to rise in me. Hiding my fear and my reluctance. Hiding just about anything and everything I can from the light, from the faces, from the camera, from the song.


Death always seems to keep coming around to remind me that I have a lot of work to do. Always happens when I am getting too comfortable with things and always happens to someone I didn’t see coming. Two weeks ago I lost my [step]brother, and it wrecked me. Not only did it wreck me, it took me all the way back into my father’s death and what we shared during that experience, and the inside of me turned from a semi-solid and secure thing into a thing composed of hot jelly and sad. I keep flashing back to moments of recognition between my [step]brother and I, moments when we would look at one another and communicate without speaking, knowing full-well what was happening to my father and what we needed to do for him.

This death, though. This death has forced me to confront so much of myself that I had buried. For years, I was jealous of my [step]brother and his brother. They got to have my father as a different man, a man without anger, a man who didn’t intimidate, a man who was supportive and kind and loving, a man unlike the father I had, but so much closer to the father I always wanted. I never witnessed a single moment that had my father be anything but good to them, even if/when it was totally warranted to be otherwise. Never heard a lick of criticism, the kind he always threw my way and cut me. They had relationships with him. I had history. I had anger. I had rage.


It’s not like I have never been in a trance state before. I am capable of achieving it through making music—repetition to the point of muscle memory taking over can lead me to a place of deep calm where I drool and lose time/space—and I have achieved it through breathing/meditation. But the experience of being guided into a trance through hypnotism was something heavier, something involving trust and care, things I am reluctant to receive/give. Even when I was going under, my body still tried to fight it off, tried to stay present. But when I went? I went deep and fast and shot from place to place and scene to scene and I still see my father standing there with my dog, palm trees blazing, skies red and dark with smoke.


I don’t know how to define manhood. I can barely define adulthood, let alone the set of weird ideas and structures in place that constitute manhood. I am a man, yes, born like this. But I have nothing else to base anything off of to complete the puzzle of manhood. What does it mean and how does it work and no, I do not know how to change the brakes on a car and I do not know how to rewire the electricity in a home and I sure as shit don’t know how to deal with all of the violence. I know I have violence in me, I’ve been tamping it down for as long as I can remember. Now I am in therapy again and my therapist—bless him, he is angelic—wants to do demolition on all the walls and do the work on the violence, unwrap the mystery of manhood.

How the fuck?


I haven’t laid hands on another sentient being in a long time. It used to come so easily, any problem solved by spilling blood or intimidation or a wink that said “think twice, I’m ripe to throw.” I barely even raise my voice now. I live in a world wherein my size and my stature create space. I am so very aware of this and have been for a long time. I am aware that when I write of the violent world that brought me to this place I am now can frighten people, can cause trepidation in day to day dealings. I am aware that my privilege is a real thing, a thing that blots out the sun, a thing that makes me sick, ill, unruly. I know that even when I am trying to help someone, it can be scary, can be panic-inducing for the person I am trying to help.

I am aware of how broken I am.


Always on for the journey. Always.

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