the tight coils of our minds,
Each song in its own way.
I intend to leave this world
a towering lotus.
Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.
Eve Ensler (via pushtheheart)
I have. All of the above.
i learned stick today. im driving to the redwoods tomorrow with my dog. overcoming fear, for the mother fucking win
I learned to ride a motorcycle and drove out far into the Oregon countryside.
A girlfriend of mine who got to know me very well once asked me, “Why do you have to write everything down? What are you afraid you’re going to forget?”
That simple question hit me harder than I expected and I almost cried when I answered, “Everything.”
I realized in that moment, that I was absolutely terrified of being old and losing all my memories; of standing near the Exit Door of my life and wondering what I had done with all that time. It is for that reason that I love the scars I get, the same way I loved her scars - because they reminded me of how fragile, and yet, how strong I can be. When I die, I want to have a tapestry of scars so I can look down at my flabby, naked old body and remember exactly what I did with my life.
Does this cloud look like a duck?
More car rants can be found here: kirkseymour car rants
I have died and transition into a bright, greyish-white room outside of the blissful and eternal fields of heaven. Somehow all of my family is able to watch me through the walls. There is a gentleman in the room behind a desk who explains to me that I am to make a final judgment of myself before passing through to heaven. He opens one of two doors in the room to reveal an endless, rolling desert of silver sand that is lit by permanent moonlight. I step just through the door and into the cool, still air of the scene. The man from the room gives me a smooth metal shovel and instructs me to add what I feel is the weight of my sins onto a brushed steel scale that he’s withdrawn from under his desk. I proceed to scoop a heavy portion of sand onto the scale, occasionally checking its size against my feelings of regret for those that I’ve wronged in my life, including myself. When at last I gauge the pile to be sufficient, the man scoops it into a large sack made of a heavy white cloth with a pull-string on top. To my astonishment, not a single grain of my sand is left on the scale or has been spilled on the floor in this process. He hands me the sack, which is considerably heavy, and ushers me to the second door of the room. Upon opening it, I’m met with what seems to be an infinite mountainscape covered in night. The man says to me, “You must climb to the top of each mountain and scatter one handful of your sand to the wind until the very last grain is gone. This is the task you have chosen for yourself and only when you have completed it will you feel free of your sins.”
I’m saddened by the task ahead of me, but it is strangely fitting for how I feel. I look above the walls to see my family and loved ones looking disappointed and pained at the duration of time that lies between this moment and when we will at last be able to embrace. Somehow even in the afterlife, time holds a strange power over us; its unshakable chains unfortunately seem to be the only way our conscience can make sense of existence. I set out on my task and after soaking in a long moment of self-pity and shame, I pause to shake off those last petty feelings and renew myself with a profound gladness to be doing anything at all.
I’m driving along the south side of the Pineview reservoir in the Ogden Valley, the water is muddy and somehow flowing like a river. We park the car near one of the inlets and hop out. I’m with several people I apparently have known for a while, but whose faces won’t come to me. We’re all in our late 20’s and haven’t been up here to the valley in ages. We roll our pant legs up to our knees in false hopes that they won’t get wet and peel off our sweaty socks. The water is frigid on my toes as I dip a few in to test. I pull the canoe off the top of our car and slide it down the rest of the gravel hill into the water. My two friends step cautiously down beside me and we all hop in.
We start paddling up the inlet and gain a lot of speed despite the muddy gushing in the opposite direction. One of my friends hops out the side onto the bank and challenges us to a race. My other friend hops out on the other bank and nods in agreement. We stare each other down and then tear off as fast as we can. I paddle furiously on one side and then the next; brown ice water is pouring in from either side as I crash through cresting waves. They both are leading me by a bit until some trees reach across their path and out into the river. I maneuver around them quickly and gain some ground on them. We occasionally look at each other to make sure we’re all still doing alright and then follow it up with a competitive scowl to show that we’re not soft.
I finally reach the end, which is the base of a mountain; there is a massive steel pipe jutting out that’s spewing all the water. I pull off to the side of it just as my friends are arriving in frantic exhaustion.
“What the hell..” one of them asks and then breaks for a breath, “the hell is that?”
“I have no idea.” I respond.
“Looks like it’s some type of outlet for an underground river or something.” The other guesses.
“Hey look, there’s a door!” Another friend points out.
There’s a very old-looking double door with a push-bar on either side like the kind they have in high schools. Despite the apparent age of the door, it doesn’t share any of the moss growing rampant all around it. We look at each other for a moment to judge our collective fear then decide to head inside in spite of it.
Upon opening the door, we’re hit with a wall of warm steam and can hear some older men talking back and forth to one another. It’s dark as we first enter, but after turning a corner we can see that we’re in a locker room with a bunch of old men. A few of them turn to look at us, but most the others just continue about their business. I instinctively go to one of the lockers and find some clothes in it that look like ones I would have picked out, but I have no recollection of ever purchasing them, let alone putting them in such a strange place. I look over to find my friends at nearby lockers holding clothes in similar amazement and confusion.
Since we’d all gotten wet on the way, we decide that we may as well change into the clothes even though we don’t know who brought them here or how they knew we’d find the place. About halfway through changing though, the room darkens and a black and white films starts to play against a group of the white lockers on the far side of the room. All the men stop what they’re doing and slide the benches into rows in front of the film. My friends and I temporarily keep changing, but the room has fallen into complete silence and some of the men look annoyed at the noise we’re making. We decide it’s best to not disturb these odd hosts and join their ritual instead. Some wavering old piano music starts playing as the title screens flash against the lockers. The scene opens on a young girl, probably 8 years old, dressed as a shopkeeper who is pacing about in front of the register of a candy store.
“My, my,” she says in a forced low voice, imitating an old man, “all this candy and no customers. How am I to pay the bills when I’ve got no customers?”
She continues pacing with a hand on her chin and the other squarely on her side. The camera pans to show all the candy in beautiful rows, arranged in bouquets, and in the hands of little display dolls. There’s a close-up on the top of the entrance door just as it’s pushed open, ringing a bell on a string attached to it. The shopkeeper girl was slouched in a chair with her chin on the counter, but perks up at the sound. She peaks her head around the corner to see another girl who is a bit older, maybe 10 or 12, but dressed to look very young. She is dolled up in a Sunday dress with knee-high stockings, shiny white shoes, and bows in her hair. The girl is carrying 7 bright balloons of varying sizes and looking around the shop curiously. The shopkeeper girl gets a devious smile on her face and continues to watch the other girl.
The girl with the balloons skips around a little and stops in front of a lemonade dispenser that was set out for customers. She grabs a small cup from a stack and starts to fill it up.
“Ha-HA!” The shopkeeper girl quietly exclaims, “She’ll be sure to buy some of my candy if she’s drinking my lemonade.” She rubs her hands together.
The cup of lemonade gets about a third of the way full and then the spout stops pouring. The girl closes and opens the spout a few times and then starts shaking the whole container.
“Oh my, oh my.” The shopkeeper girl frets, then decides to head over. “My dear girl,” she continues her deep voice, “let me help you with that lemonade.” She grabs the cup from the older girl and throws it into a nearby waste bin. She pulls another cup from the stack and turns around to a different lemonade dispenser that is more full. While she has her back turned, the lights in the shop start to flicker and the music turns into a loud atonal violin piece. The balloon girl starts to grow very tall and hair sprouts out from all over her body. Her faces stretches into a rat’s snout with two sharpened teeth popping out the front. The balloons start to pop rapidly as the electricity in the room builds to a critical point.
“I’m not a dear girl,” she growls. “I’m a monster catcher and I’ve GOT YOU!”
The shopkeeper girl turns back around in real horror and screams at the top of her lungs. She has the fear of death in her eyes and she scrambles to run away from the creature, knocking over candy displays and shelves. The monster corners her and moves closer with claws spread in anticipation. The movie slowly fades to black as a blood-curdling scream echoes throughout the locker room.
The movie clicks and flaps to an end and the lights go back up to a normal level. The men are applauding furiously and nodding at one another in total satisfaction. My friends and I are appalled and horrified so we quickly finish putting our clothes on and exit out a door on the opposite side of the room. There’s a long, cold corridor that starts out as brick but turns into wet rock and mud with roots coming out of it. We run as fast as we can to get to the end and burst out finally to find ourselves amongst some well-groomed hedges and neon-green grass. We spin around in a confused wonder and then see it, towering thousands of feet into the air, the office building where we all work; not in the life that we came from, but in the life that we stumbled into. We all drop our heads from the sky down to each other. We nod in acknowledgment of the unspoken fact that we’ve been out too long and need to get back to the office. We navigate past elaborate hedge sculptures and giant, marble fountains. We exit the garden, cross the stretch of road that only goes about 500 feet in either direction and then enter the daunting building one by one with defeated automation.
I’m running along a darkened hillside, spotted with sleeping oak trees. There are several others with me, I think they’re my friends. We’re all very happy and headed somewhere very important; it’s as though we are all about to go on a wonderful vacation and cannot wait to depart. There’s a dim light coming out of a slit in the mountain up ahead, we all assume that is our destination. Before I know it, I’m in a cave that is lit by one bright studio light on the ground, I think someone is taking pictures. There is a heavy, prickly rope around my neck which I am tightening as I lay on the ground.
“Will you turn on the music?” I ask the other person who is in the cave.
“I’m going to wait until you’re closer.” The person responds.
“I’m pretty close.” I manage to choke out.
“I don’t know…” The person teases and snaps a picture, “maybe I won’t play the music at all.”
“NO!..” I wheeze as my eyes go bloodshot, the rope too tight now to undo. “It’s all that I want, just plAY it, plEASE!”
The person laughs (I think it’s a man) and snaps another photo. “Okay, fine… I’ll play your music.” He lifts a small Walkman cassette player and presses the Play button down. I’m soothed by the beautiful music that starts to play; it’s something from my childhood. It wasn’t at all what I expected it to be, there was a moment of panic then … nothing, absolutely nothing.
The next thing I know, I’m walking along the sidewalk at my old apartments with my mom and aunt. We’re observing the the beautiful day and the families playing on the grass though my vision appears to be somewhat blurred and hard to focus.
“What’s wrong with my eyes?” I ask, rubbing them and blinking to try and clear them.
“You’re just not used to seeing.” My aunt says to me. I blink a little more but it doesn’t seem to be helping.
“I’ve had them my whole life, why wouldn’t I be used to them?” I ask, not expecting an answer I’ll understand. My aunt touches my shoulder and looks right at me, she’s glowing.
“You had eyes your whole life, but now you’re seeing for the first time.”
I take a second to ponder these words, what does she mean- ‘seeing for the first time?’ Then it hits me like a cold fear - I’m dead! How long have I been dead? Is this heaven? I’m not ready to be dead. My mom and aunt are dead too? How did they die? Why am I here? What am I?
My mom and aunt must have notice the panicked look on my face because they both moved closer and tried to calm me.
“It’s okay, honey. We’re all safe; everything’s fine.” My mom says.
“Yeah, it’s really alright, there’s no reason to panic.” My aunts agrees.
“No reason to panic?!” I ask frantically, “How can I not panic? Nothing is right, we’re all dead.. we’re .. we’re .. not alive, we can’t do anything!! It’s over, I didn’t get to do all I wanted to do!! This is NOT ALRIGHT!!” I’m crying, they look sad for me, like the way doctors look at crazy people. “WHERE’S MADI??!!” I demand. They look at each other skeptically.
“Kirk, you shouldn’t bother her. There’s no sense in it now.” my mom dissuades.
“You can’t stop me.” I say and without a second thought, I’m flying. I fly high above the town, then the mountains, then the clouds, pretty soon I can see the entire state. I look around, half-expecting to see her waiting on one of the clouds for me. A strong feeling pulls me to the west and I start to follow it, the direction is loose at first but gets sharper and sharper as I speed faster and faster to my destination. The clouds are thick and I’m having an even harder time seeing now. After what seems like only a couple minutes, I break through the clouds and I’m high above a fairly large city with skyscrapers freckled throughout it. The sun has broken through a crack in the clouds and is illuminating a vintage-looking yellow brick apartment building. I swoop down out of the sky and come right up close to the bay windows that make up the the face of the building. I’m searching, scanning desperately for the only part of me that I feel is still alive. Then, illuminated by the only sliver of sun that’s left, I see the face that I loved with my eyes and am only now seeing for the first time.
“Madi!” I shout, almost forgetting that I’m dead. She just sits there in the bay window, staring sadly into the dwindling sun. I move through the wall and sit next to her, though it’s more of a controlled float then actually sitting. I stare deeply into her gorgeous blue eyes and try to speak again, “Madi?” Except I can’t hear the echo of my voice in her apartment. I look closer and see that she’s older by a couple years, in her mid-to-late twenties, but still as beautiful as the day we met. I can’t help my impulse to touch her so I extend my hand and stroke the side of her face; my hand passes right through her delicate cheek. She gasps and looks directly at me which causes me to freeze, partly with terror, partly with confusion, partly with an inexplicable joy.
“Can you see me?” I ask. She looks around with her eyes but her face stays straight until she gives the slightest nod. “REALLY?!” I ask excitedly.
“I.. I can .. feel you. Are you there? Am I just imagining you?” She asks and moves her eyes away.
“No! I’m here! This is GREAT!” I scream. “You can still see me! We can still be together! We don’t have to be alone. Oh I’m so glad you can see me!” But despite my joyous expression, her face starts to contort and tears slowly stream out the edges of her eyes. “Oh honey, please don’t cry, it’s going to be alright.” I say, and try to rub her back to console her. All of a sudden she springs up and looks back at me.
“WHERE DID YOU GO?” She cries, not trying to be mean but having a noted amount of malice in her voice.
“I, I don’t know,” I stumble, “there was some important place I need to be and ..” but she interrupts.
“WHERE DID YOU GO, KIRK, WHERE DID YOU GO?” Her voice cracks and her extreme sadness frightens me away to the middle of the room. She doesn’t seem to notice where I went and looks around for me for a moment then drops to the floor and continues to cry. “Where did you go?”
I start to ask myself if she even saw me at all; maybe she thinks she sees me all the time and it makes her sad. Whatever the situation, I’m obviously making her upset by being here. “Oh god,” I think, “am I haunting her?” I don’t mean to make her sad but I can’t help but coming here, maybe I’ve been here before, I don’t remember being here… How many times have I done this? Why can’t I remember?
“I am haunting her.” I think. “And I’ll never be able to move on, to learn from this new world, until I give up trying to live in the old one.” It’s such a depressing thought; to leave behind everything I’ve ever known and loved. To never have another physical experience, to taste, to smell, to see, to hear, to touch nothing ever again. I breathe a heavy sigh with the lungs I don’t have and float back over to Madi and crouch down to her ear. “I’m sorry,” I whisper, “I’m so sorry that I left. Sorry that I didn’t say goodbye. Sorry that I can’t be here for you right now or here for you in the future. Please love again, please don’t be haunted by my memory.” She quivers and is breathing in short, sporadic bursts. “Cherish our memories. Don’t fear them. I love you.”
She turns her face to find mine, her lips slide right to where mine would be and, for a moment, I can feel it.
I immediately start to drift away, as though a very powerful wind came rushing through the closed window. It carries me up, up above the apartment, then all the buildings, then into the clouds. I look up and see there’s a dim light behind the cloud I’m heading toward, glowing like a flashlight underneath a blanket, I get a strong feeling that this is my destination, then evaporate into it.
Hugging a good friend is like warm water on cold hands.