Feels Real to Me

Today is unusual because some of the clouds are distinguishable from each other. They have features and colors, instead of the usual complete opaque radiating grayness that sits overhead like warm artificial light, in an upscale furniture chain store. Sometimes I can’t believe that this sky is the same sky that I see. That the clouds are the same clouds that I live under (if Colorado had any clouds). It feels like another planet, one that I was built for, but left a long time ago. Ironically, here, in this tonality, heaven feels real to me. …

Accumulated

On my second day in Germany, I wake up bewildered and feel like half of myself. Before I arrive, I look forward to the moment when I can see my daughter again, dream about it for weeks in advance. And all of those emotions and feelings are correct and true. But once I arrive a level of exhaustion hits me that makes it hard to even get out of bed. It feels artificial in its intensity. Like taking a handful of Benadryl, and then trying to force yourself to stay awake. I blame it on the jet lag, but that’s not enough, it’s also accumulated sleep deprivation. Like coming-clean, once …

Lufthansa Blue

Posted on 2 min read

The plane lands into a pathetic little blizzard. It had been 60 when I left Denver, with a week of sun to come. The weather for Germany had shown rain eight out of ten days. It seems to be worse than that. I do a mental checklist going through the warm clothes that I brought. It’s mostly light fare: spring jacket, sweaters, too many V-neck t-shirts. I knew it would be cold, but I hadn’t expected snow. In my memories, it rarely snows in this part of the world. Of all the winters I’ve spent here, I’ve never seen more than a frost on windowpanes. I pull the dollars out …

Short Story – Coming Home, Part 3

Posted on 12 min read

The city is quiet, no one is out, and most of the stores are dark. I go to a gas station, because it’s open, and buy a cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito. It’s terrible and delicious, and I remember that there are good reasons to be here. The boy working behind the counter is young, maybe sixteen, and he stands attentive at the edge of the counter even though I’m the only person walking through the aisles. He wishes me ‘Merry Christmas’ as I walk out and I smile without showing teeth. When I get home my mom is already beginning to prepare dinner. She has the nice …

Short Story – Coming Home, Part 2

Posted on 21 min read

We ride the light rail as it silently moves through the city at night. The girl from this morning meets us downtown; she has combed her hair out in long wavy strands and looks very cute, and I feel a sense of pride for my brother.   We walk through the city and I’m alive, and with the cold everything is cutting and distinct. The streets are full of people, but I don’t notice them, except for the occasional girl in a skirt that braves the weather for the sake of her fashion. Sometimes I will have to step aside for groups of boys that move headlong. Occasionally they will clip …

Short Story – Coming Home, Part 1

Posted on 19 min read

(Written 2007) I wake to the sight of white. Lines cut across the white. Most of them are perfect squares but some bend and twist, searching for a destination. On these lines there will be things, things too small for me to see, but I know they are there and go about their lives in the same way that I left them.   “Welcome home, Mr. Scott.” The woman hands me my passport. “Thank you.” In the taxi the driver is quiet, which I’m grateful for, and I fall asleep with my head against the window. The taxi stops in front of a large brick house enclosed by a black …

Ultimate Sex Survey

Posted on 1 min read

In line for a coffee, I notice a free local Boulder magazine called Rooster sitting on a rack near the barista. On the cover is a wide-eyed drawing of a girl in a small referee outfit, cradling a baby that appears to be wrapped in a burqa. In the heading is written, “Ultimate Sex Survey”. The entire cover is weirdly sexual, and concerning, because I find it concerning. I can’t tell when this type of thing started to make me squeamish. When did sex start to make me awkward? It pours out of everything now, much as it did when I was young, but it seems so disheartening. A familiar …

Fucked Up Long-Distance Relationships

Posted on 1 min read

I’m drawn to relationships with people that live in different cities. To quote True Detective, “You know how it is. You want a wife, but only half the time.” And for me the distance provides me with everything that I want in a relationship: intimacy, without the commitment. Yet beginning a relationship in a different city is a doomed proposition. It leaves only two exists: too fast or too slow. You’re flying all over to meet up, and it’s all fun-drunk-good-time sex filled weekends. But that’s too much work for hotel sex, and the inconvenience of the situation causes it to suffocate. Or it develops rapidly; in which case you …

A Happy Day, Then You’ll Pay

Posted on 1 min read

What is it about alcohol that leaves me in a dire mood the next day? I never used to feel the depletion of dopamine, but now Elliot Smith lyrics pound in my head next to a dehydrated hangover. ”A happy day, and then you’ll pay.” There is positivity in the recovery. A creativity in the dark mood that infects the day after. Is this what it means to get older? I feel better at 31 than I did at 30. And I felt better at 30 than I did at 29. But now there are intrinsic changes happening, even while the core muddles on in the same way it has …

Dream

Posted on 1 min read

She holds my face. Looks at me. Kisses me on the cheek. And then kisses me on the other check. She repeats this a dozen times. I wake. It’s a memory that has infected my dreams. As I lie in bed I imagine that moment, think of it over and over again. Then my thoughts leave my daughter, only for another memory to bring her back. And I feel regret that my thoughts ever left her at all. …