Have you noticed how the world seems to be falling through our fingers like sand? Do you get the sense that the ozone’s hole has relinquished its atmospheric duties as we collapse within ourselves? It appears as though our protection is gone, our security infiltrated. Has life always been like this? So suggestive, so insensitive? I’m walking around in a world that is imploding and we are too indifferent to even notice. Our illuminated faces are robbed of emotion as the “powers at be” decide where our attention has detention.
I can’t remember the last time I was actually laughing when I claimed to be. We are simply all following the same program, the same formula for complacency. The beautiful people play out the “American Dream” on the big screen and we believe every word. We leave the theaters as we readjust our priorities in our heads, we want what they wanted. How sad is it that we are swayed by mere fables. We are affected by glorified wives tales, and somehow we swear to our own “uniqueness”. Perhaps the common thirst for uniqueness is in fact the poison to originality.
You see, as we all shuffle toward our own current, we look to our left and our right to determine our progress. By doing this we end up taking notes from his journey and remembering highlights from her dreams. We all end up in the same holding pattern. We crave recognition as we starve creativity.
Flipping through old photos I see it wasn’t always like this. Or at least, their disguises were better before our time. The black-and-white photos suggest something I do not recognize, something I may never understand or even live to see for myself. I guess I can chalk this mystery up to generational values. Morals these days, unfortunately they went from cornerstones to lawn ornaments. So easily changed, so quickly replaced.
I suppose I’m in search of stability, heck, I’d settle for some consistency. Politicians would be able to shake hands more often if they weren’t so busy crossing their fingers behind their back.
Could we go back in time? I would trade progress for loyalty without hesitation. Remember when our words were currency and rain meant growth? I’m sure it was near the time where saying, “I have your back,” meant just that. It wasn’t an underhanded way to get a better grip on someone before you threw them under the bus. I hate living in a land where people stab you in the back before they even shake your hand. There is no longer a need for footpaths, we’ll just walk all over each other to get where we wish.
It’s a matter of decency, it’s a game of conduct.
With every hateful word that we let slip through the loose gates that guard our true thoughts, we empale our livelihood. We tarnish our own name and throw our reputation to the dogs in the same blink of an eye.
Solidarity entices me as I calculate the damage left in our wake.
For now I’ll set a fire on my own.
I’ll use the sunshine, it’s considered obsolete to most. I’ll use its heat to set a flame to the earth. That greenery that offers us oxygen, that cradles us as we so arrogantly run around with our hands overs our ears shouting for immortality. Somehow, some way, this world will be repaired. Hearts will be mended and grudges will become bridges, I swear. Let our tombstones read:

“Lover toward the Creator and His creation. Repairer of Mankind.”




Welcome to the Phoenix, the hub for hipsters, learners and musicians. Tastefully hidden in the city’s downtown corner it attracts the curious and ferociously unique. The sent of coffee floats through the air with subtle hints of alcohol-bought amusement. We walk in and take in our new favorite spot.
Glancing around the shop we see handlebar mustaches, first dates by the fireplace and books recreating the Tower of Babel. Live music greets our ears and tempts the crowd to stay longer and no one objects.
This place has stories intertwined into every detail of it. The trimmings carry heartbreak while the floors hold record of adventures. Desperately clinging to the ceiling for safety, eccentric lamps brighten the room like an army of fireflies in the summer. The lights make her eyes shine while he takes in her ability to be oblivious to her own uniqueness. They are learning the others dreams and fears. Maybe we can check back into their story someday to see how it turned out. Meanwhile the man across the room is searching for security through knowledge. I can see that by his mountain of hardbacks and the ever present crease between his eyebrows. Straining to understand success, he flips the books closed and stares off into space to read his own story for a while.
Sitting here I see so many lives moving past each other but in this moment we all stop at the same oasis, and teach the other how to live.
He’s sweet and I like the way he smiles. His stories are accompanied by pictures from his phone and his jokes keep coming effortlessly. Who would’ve guessed we would be out until 2 am. But hey, we wear the night well.
The barista looks to be in his zone. Order after order, he quickly fills the once empty counter with drinks of all kinds.
3 Pearls.
2 Cafe Mochas.
1 Black coffee.
Each cup makes a cameo in the story of our lives tonight, I’m hopeful that they will live to see the sunlight in the morning.
A middle-age foursome walks in and I can’t help but wonder if we make them feel outdated. Our ombré hair, gauges and tattoos really do carve a line between the generations. They order drinks and fade into their seats, they comfortably chat about life as we young-ins plan rebellions and revolutions.
The sun is long gone but the deep sky offers the perfect curtain behind those windowed walls. The night makes everything seem so much brighter, richer with opportunity, when you compare it to the darkness that becomes our temporary neighbor.
Amid swapping stories we share our drinks so that we can tell our journals that we tried something new.
In comes another group of mess-makers like ourselves, and with them they bring a new wave of energy. They linger by the bar in hopes of nabbing the first open table but they fill their weight time with close conversations that eventually explode into reminiscent laughter.
Fighting to keep the flame lit the couple near the door talk through some disagreement that was born to them on the car ride here. By his body language I can tell he is the one who should offer the apology as he reaches for her hand from across the table. She unfolds her arms that created a barrier to accept his words, and their hands find solace in the warmth of the other’s.
Although my mind is wandering like ghost through the lives of these nomads at the Phoenix, I’m entirely wrapped into conversation with this guy sitting across from me.
Getting to know someone is easily the most natural thing.
Questions and answers follow each other hand-in-hand like school children in the halls.

Family, friends, food and faith.

He keeps me on the edge of my seat. I can’t help but let my intuition take over. He’s protective and confident.
Maybe we will blend like the cream in the coffee.
Maybe we will chase the future.
But for now, the Phoenix will be the starting point, the finish line lies beyond the hill.

“Why do we Love?”


Rummaging through the clouds I search for meaning.
I need answers and the earth is so barren these days. False hope has diluted the minds of the children and broken hearts have polluted the smiles of the elders.
Zeus must have left clues here.
I cry in a voice only deity could hear as I pull yet another cloud to inconclusive shreds.
“Why do we love?”
The very concept of love is ironic. We obsess over something that cripples us. We define our happiness by something that shatters us in the end. I wasn’t always like this, you know. I used to be a wide-eyed believer. I used to believe that love the the end-all, final score of life. Sure, I hadn’t been in love but lack of experience doesn’t blot out hopeful imagination.
I’m finding nothing.
I spent my whole life savings to make it this far.
After a failed attempt at love I couldn’t handle the questions my heart asked any longer. I needed answers, so that’s why I’m perusing through the heavens. I can’t go back to earth empty handed.
Breathless from my last cloud shredding, I sit on a star and think.
Is it possible to love without losing?
Sometimes our hearts want something that our reality isn’t ready for. Ever notice how moronic it is to hand a drunk person a glass? At what point do we acknowledge we don’t have the proper state of mind to care for such fragility. Perhaps my mind isn’t at the “Oz” part of the yellow brick road. I just can’t seem to understand love.
The star grows hotter beneath me as I realize I cannot afford to waste any more time. I climb higher into the sky and stumble across a supernova.
I remember learning about these in school. A supernova is basically a star that has collapsed within itself. It’s body becomes a coffin, how morbid. I turn away but am soon drawn back to the once glorious ball of light.
Love is like a supernova, it starts off beautiful. It illuminates your heart, it grants wishes and somehow that small speck of light begins to mean more to you than the moon itself. As time carries on, the star dims. You talk less, and the emotion changes. That star, that spark in your heart becomes faint. Desperation trying to fan the flames with promises you eventually have to accept that you can’t keep expect something to hang on for dear life when it already has it’s funeral arranged. Then that day comes,
And the collapsing begins.
Your star not only fades from change, but explodes. Every smile, crumbles. Every laugh is carried away by the wind and amid the destruction you are forced to sit in the front row. Everything you built comes crashing down, once you rely on something it is hard to believe it could give out just like that. Light should never end, and neither should love. The sound is heart-wrenching. It is as if you can hear his voice say, “It’s my job to protect your heart.”, through the demolition. You scoff at the memory and try to speed the process along by cursing at the dying beauty that once captivated you.
Nothing seems right about love.
As I shake my head, a tear falls. And them it hits me.
This supernova is beautiful. The memories, the happiness and the pain, fell together and created this mosaic of emotion that is breathtaking. Somehow it took the scraps of a hopeful start and turned it into a true sight.
Then Zeus’ clue was found.
I was right, love hurts. It flies you through the sky but sends you into a tailspin when it encounters trial. Some fight for it and some don’t. But all along I had missed something. I had missed the beauty of the end.
Looking around the stars were stunning but what held my gaze was the deceased star. With its bright, fluorescent colors swirling around, it prove to be quite incredible. The blue, that was made from the tears. The purple, that was the pride of love. It can really get to you, you can develop a royalty complex when you feel as though your world is entirely in line. The green was the color of his eyes. The yellow was the laughter and the red was the pain. Separate from each other, each color told a different chapter of the same story. But the death of the star was what bound the book together. It became the spine.
Sure, love can completely reshape who we are, but is that always a bad thing? Yes, we lose love, but does that mean we not longer serve a purpose? Certainly not!
It is here, at the base of this supernova that I find what I needed.
Why do we love?
Because no one wants to leave this world unchanged.


20140601-155748-57468241.jpgThere is nothing better than stepping back into your own skin.
Sometimes we seem to go through times in which we aren’t totally ourselves but there are always those people who bring us right back to who we are. They become our home base, an anchor for our true identities.
Dark from the absence of both the moon and the sun my crew set forth on a journey through the Caspian Sea. We had enough food for two months and enough liquor to ward off any pirates. The port and starboard held together the vessel in whom we trusted: the Seawater Serpent. Being captain of this ship meant I knew it from the inside and outside. I put faith in it, so I have confidence that she will deliver us to our destination.
The cold morning winds meet the warm water and create a dense fog. Sailing through it we reach land a few weeks later.
Desperate for adventure we seek the Fountain of Youth. Blazing torches and damp hems all in a shoeless pursuit of eternal adolescence. Leading them through a dark jungle we sing songs of lost love and pesky business.
We wake up in piles of each other. His arm is sprawled across my stomach and her feet rest on my shins. He sleeps with his face in the sand while he has his toes slightly in the waters. They are far off, all using the closest person as a pillow in some way.
Adventure hangovers are the best.
After ruining their perfect slumber with a song I wrote as I went involving “little lost boys” they laughed and rubbed their temples to clear them of the insanity that was last night.
While some went off to get breakfast she and I draw art in the sand with anything we can find. Designs of flowers that beg to be real cover the shore. Words act out a theatrical tale between the pebbley petals.
I dig my feet into the sand and fall into the jungle.

This is who I am.
Full of life in the quietest, boldest parts of me. I seek the long, overdue abolition of time and nights that incase you in your youthful ambitions. He tells me everything because we trust each other. He shared a hammock with me during our travels and with those nights he shared his heart in its entirety. We love each other so we have no boundaries. My crew and I are relentlessly shoving the boundaries of convention. Music, miles and mayhem. Sometimes I wonder how people live without our spark and I pity them. Life is too good to miss out on.
A massive fire lights the night for us.
We dance and sing like that is our sole purpose. He swings me around in his arms and kisses my head as he lets him take me for a dance. I laugh so much my heart seems full. She jumps from a pile of driftwood into his outstretched arms and we all clap as he catches her. Having fetched the drums from the ship we created the rhythm of heartbeats colliding into one steady sound. Raising our glasses and flasks we dare the sun to show itself.
Jumping. Tiptoe, heel, spin and smile. Soon enough we end up laying on the shore wondering what lurks in the unknown parts of the sea.

To live, supported by joy, is the easiest choice one can make. Find those who see you in your worst and still love you. Take their hands and run from the world that shoves you into a box that society has assigned to you. Don’t forget to grab your courage on your way out of town. Adjust the sail and pull the rusted anchor of your ancestry out of the water.
Set sail for sanity and salvation.
Inhale possibility and flirt with danger. It keeps that heart of yours pounding.
Now I must be off, the treasure map awaits us.

The Chronicles of a Stand-In Guardian Angel

20140530-212519-77119154.jpgThe way we live will determine how we die. If we fight through the struggles, we will be confident in how to be victorious in all things. If we let life steamroll us, we will simply be flatter and easier to dispose of.
The idea of life felt easy for so long but when the first storm hits you begin to question everything you’ve known.

The sky crackles and roars as if a monster lies behind its midnight shades of blue. Sounds of lead feet tramp around the atmosphere, stumbling into the ozone’s holes. The newspaper doesn’t shield all of the sky’s tears but it is certainly better than nothing. How does the sky remain so angry when it has tasted the happiness of sunshine? Here comes the pain. Heartbreak threatens to flatten you little by little like hail and suddenly that newspaper of your mother’s advice isn’t so helpful.
Quickly now, the storm is progressively getting more destructive. That puddle represents rejection. Jump it quickly or you will drown in its unforgiving waters. Water is deceiving like that, it makes you estimate its depth merely by look. That’s how it lures you in. Misery masked in artificial safety. Take my hand, dear, we haven’t much time. Strife beings to illuminate the sky in loud burst of terror. How did the heavens make something as peaceful as light become so menacing? The lightning strikes and you don’t want to be its victim. Come now, follow closely. It is headed for your family tree. If you aren’t on my heels, dear it will simply destroy it. Stop stumbling over those stones! They are laid out here by the Landlord. Stumbling blocks are made to derail you; to discourage you. The sky moans for relief from the pain of giving birth to such a storm, we must hurry before we find out that it is twins.
The sky’s tears pour in every direction, saturating everything it comes in contact with. Listen up, young one! You mustn’t let the insecurities soak you! If they make their mark on you they will only seep in more and more as you go along. The earth beneath you feet is beginning to shake, have no fear. Those tremors are that of once-earthquake-potential. The unrealistic standards and goals simply weighed them down. They never became earthquakes so now they live their lives on the silver screen of storms. Can you see how pressure crushes horizons?! Keep moving! No time to stop and stare! The house is just that way, I know you are scared and unsure of how you got here but this is life. The forrest of reality. It seeks to destroy you, my dear! Run now, run! Time is of the essence, darling!
I know its cold and my voices is crackling for the shouting but sometimes to be heard, you have to make sacrifices and you have to find a way to be louder than life; louder than the storm! Your grip cannot loosen. Hold fast to me and I’ll take you as far as I can, unfortunately the beauty of life lies in the struggles just beyond this bridge. Trees of poverty will fall hopes of crushing you, but you must be wise. Dodge the trouble as it begins to tilt, and yell, “TIMBER!” as a kind warning for those behind you. Oh and the bridge! There are some things you should know. Pick up the pace now, dear, and wipe the confusion from your face. Fear is crippling here. It will get you nowhere. What was I saying? (The sky seams to be imploding.) Treacherous rips being made in the sky keep us from hearing our own hearts. But the most important thing is to listen closely, you’ll hear it. After all, we always hear if we truly value what something has to say. THE BRIDGE. Right, the first board is rotten from the bottom up, it looks fine but it will collapse from your weight if you attempt it. That’s one reason why you simply cannot carry baggage with you. It will make you heavier and far more prone to disaster. Jump the first board, when promises are made they seem fine from your vantage point. They appear strong enough to hold you, but the lies and false motives creep in from the bottom, child. You mustn’t trust everything you are promised! Stay on track after that and you should learn as you go. Pick up your knees! You’ll be faster that way. They can’t keep you down in you rise above their plans! BERRIES! The berries are no good, stay away. They are sweet at first but they dry up your insides when you least expect it. Betrayal is a bitch when it comes to timing. It simply isn’t ever convenient. What am I missing? I don’t want to forget anything, I’ve taken a liking to you. Those wide eyes will get you far. I can practically see your hopes and dreams being fed behind those brown eyes. Stay the course! Don’t let your eyes wander toward those unruly men. For when your eyes leave the path, so your feet leave the path toward those dreams. Your grip on my hand has gotten tighter! (The rain seeks to make us her slave so we press on through the white fog-like hinderance.) That means you know what will help you survive. Keep your hands fixed to the projects at all times! Idle hands prove to be the best way to rob yourself (and the world!) of the greatness that is within you.
This lightening is hungry and we are a good meal if cannot outrun it! Curse the lightning, DO IT! There you go, you see. Strife cannot go where it isn’t permitted. Now the rain! Take care of the rain! How? Sing to yourself! Sing about how you love who you are. Dance to the rhythm this freedom creates. The tremors, now, the tremors. Don’t pressure yourself to be like anyone else. Just be you. You can be you and keep running at the same time now, come on. See that? Keep going the bridge is coming! I have to leave you now! I’m sorry. DO NOT take off your shoes. Laziness gets you nowhere! Run.
Run, my dear, RUN!
The storms of life will kill you if you give them the chance. Dodge the hail, it cannot meet a moving target. SING UNTIL YOUR LUNGS GIVE OUT. Silence is the workshop of envy, keep your song louder than the wining of entitlement! I know this seems hard, but you can only learn one way, child. Now go, remember what I told you!

As she runs ahead of me I see how fresh her slate is. Her life is totally sheltered from the storms, now she has to learn. My heart can only survive so many more of these sky tantrums, I pray my words live on through her. I will forever grab these childrens’ hands as they are forced into this forrest and I will help them find their way through it. We have to lessen the casualties and improve the quality of the journey.
So shout a solid, “SCREW YOU.” to the things that try to crush you, we are capable.
NOW IT IS YOUR TURN. Get up, my dear, start running.


20140523-144605-53165356.jpgSomewhere along the line we traded our individuality for lack of responsibility in creativity. Apparently since being an original doesn’t involve downloading an app, we have become uninterested in the whole idea. Can we blame ourselves for what the world has spoon-fed us from birth? Certainly not, but at some point we should have taken a fork with our own hand and decided what we believe.
The path of indifference is lined with naps and blank to-do lists so the classes fill up early every fall.

I could be a crazed nineties spawn or a rising diplomat for my fellow humans, I just want my generation to be remembered.

Will they study us in the school systems one hundred years form now? What kind of greatness lies dormant in us as we stare at the screen all day? It has been said that there is nothing new under the sun but that daisy wasn’t there yesterday. I don’t know about you but clothing lines and catchphrases simply aren’t enough for me. I have to justify this life I live, I have to leave my handprints in cement. Let’s not waste away like a life savings in Vegas. Pinky promise me that we’ll never let them put us into a box. Let’s me different. Let’s redefine youth. Could we retire to Florida someday instead of tearing through it every March? We become professionals in our recreational passions so we should be careful what we leave in the wake of our presence. What if we didn’t let them tell us who we are until we know who “they” are? No more cowering behind their empty pronoun, we’ll illuminate the cellar of false tradition.
There is something beautiful about the way we walk through life. But just because you two wear the same shoes doesn’t mean you’ll follow the Same Path.
I’ll take those “i’s” out of original and turn them in “me’s”. I’ll set the world ablaze with my own doctrine of originality and we will thrive under this sun. Let’s clear away the doubts and insults against us. That driftwood is simply hindering the strokes that will carry us to our destiny. Enlist in the army of world-changers and daredevils. We will plunder the kingdom of Impossible.

Rise up, unplug and get your hands dirty. This world needs us.

Step One

20140530-213752-77872609.jpgI’m incredibly explosive.
I know as soon as I channel it all in one direction there will be no going back, so excuse me for being so cautious.
I like being alone. Wait, correction, I like being alone until the sun goes down. When the light fades, we all become more vulnerable, it’s simply human nature. Perhaps Van Gogh first discovered that. Notice how some of his most famous works are set in the shade of evening? That’s because true art is found in universal commonalities, beauty is harmony. We learn to see better in the dark, we’re forced to focus our eyes more intently to separate our surroundings from our boundaries. When the light is re-elected into office every morning, no one worries about seeing boundaries, they’re too busy chasing horizons. Our need for others comes only when the day’s anthem stops and night’s propaganda begins.
I’ve walked on tiptoes around the topic for years now. What was once irrelevant is now terrifying close and I’m still getting the hang of walking normally to begin with.
Once it starts, I’m afraid my mind will lose the battle to my emotions. Like a crack in a dam, it could be fine for a while. Eventually the dam will break and I’ll be forced to bare my skin and sew my heart onto my sleeve. I already don’t like needles…
I hate wasting time.
So the journey begins here. Leaving behind all that held me to this place, I’ll seek to find the balance between wisdom and whims. I’ll walk this tightrope until I reach the other side. I apologize in advance if it rains, I get frustrated pretty easily. There won’t be any storms though. Why would I bring on thunder if it keeps me awake?
Slowly learning how to weed through the presented opportunities I’ll find my foothold on this mountain. The end result is that of legends, so what can convince me to back down?
I built this cabin out of the most “careful” materials, so if you need a match there is a store down the road. This place has kept me safe but I’m getting restless and I think it’s time to change my address. Risk is waiting on my RSVP and I can’t keep stalling so, wish me luck and stay close to your tv. You’ll no doubt see something newsworthy before our last day. This is my first step, the ground is full of promise. Every step I take flattens one accomplishment to make room for another. I’ll find the answer and send you a postcard from cloud nine.
It is so close. Mythology is on course to collide with reality and I’ll be the target.

St. Patrick’s Day Screw-Up


St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday so I’m seeing the town return from its fit of green hour by hour. The strangest thing happened to me last night, it all started with “Sweet Caroline”.

“Good times never seemed so good…”

The mixture of the melody and a vibrating end table told me my phone was ringing. Assuming it was a friend confirming plans, I answered without looking.
“Hi…is Tyler around?”
Confused, I reply, “No I’m sorry you must have the wrong number. Unless my dog changed his name to Tyler and was expecting a call.”
A deep, exhaled laugh fills his end of the phone, “He mentioned something about eating his phone on accident and told me I could reach him with this number. Apparently his upgrade isn’t for a few more weeks.”
This guy has jokes. Before I can catch myself, I start uncontrollably laughing. “Plus the buttons were too small for his paws, he said something about feeling like an animal when he tried to press them. I think it was hard for his self esteem.”
“Well he has struggled with that in the past. I once caught him chewing on celery instead of a bone. There was talk of beach bodies and Spring Break. I tried to help him through it.”
At this point laughter takes over entirely. Both of us add, “Oh my gosh” between laughs.

“So Tyler has never mentioned you, what’s your name?” he asks.
I proceed to jokingly give him the name, Arnold Palmer. “You must be pretty sweet then, Arnold. Well if I can’t get your name can I at least give you mine?”
What harm could it be to know this witty stranger’s name? “Sure, why not?”
“Drew. Mountain Drew. We have so much in common, beverage names are so rare these days.” Right as he said Mountain Drew he tried to suppress laughs but he couldn’t. How is he still on this roll of his?
Hanging up the phone I look at the screen and realize I’ve been talking to this man for three hours. Over the course of that time I changed my mind about my previous plans, ignored 6 calls and talked about nearly everything under the sun with this faceless someone.
I found out his name was Andrew, so Mountain Drew wasn’t too far off, I suppose. He graduated from my cousin’s alma mater and knows good music when he hears it. Our common interests are found in seventies jams, action movies and crappy comics in the newspaper.
We laughed, told embarrassing stories and found we put our faith in the same One.
Instead of getting wasted on watered down boredom we spent the evening exchanging experiences and expanding what we see as possible.
From here on we may appear to be only two people who recently followed the other on Twitter but somehow this accidental encounter splashed truth on us both.
We all have a common denominator. This world isn’t as big as we make it out to be, in fact, its shrinking everyday. And last night was a prime example of that. There is so much out there for us to find. Adventure and memories are simply waiting for you. All you have to do is answer the phone.



I write the word “Someday” as a reassurance that it’s on its way.
Capitalize the “S” because it will be an important day.
Growing weary in the waiting, keep your mind busy.
There is a struggle. No one said it would be easy.
I smile as I see the promise on paper,
I tuck it away in a trunk, just to keep it safer.
Skipping through the calendar,
The once faint sound grows louder.
Writing and waiting,
Bursting through the boundaries. No more gating.
Coming up behind me, the word whispers daydreams.
Shooting out one by one, bright and warm, like sunbeams.
Gaining comfort in the curves of the letters,
We’ll learn how to rebuild. It doesn’t ruin, it betters.
Adding some flare to the “y”
I drift off and let out a bashful sigh.
One day this state will be nothing but a memory,
I’ll sit under the stars and embrace sweet serenity.
This ink on paper will fight its confinement,
Our fate lies in merely stars’ alignment.
Words to reality is a process that tests you.
You have to decide what hope you’ll cling to.
When your let head fall, it tells of the character within.
What will you say for yourself when you were too busy pouting to win?
Look forward, the desire is at your heels.
Your dreams provided by the One who heals.
Keep your pen close, write until the page is covered.
You’ll only remember your dreams in your hands, you’ll forget how they hovered.

Drunk and Depressed


Stumbling through the door of our apartment complex she falls against the wall in search for stability. A plastic cup decorated in a well known beer logo hangs snuggly in her grip as she lifts it to take a sip. Her disheveled hair makes her look desperate and her glasses sit in a crocked slant on the bridge of her nose. Shuffling in my direction, the woman moves closer. I continue to look down at my mail as if I am completely unaware of her presence. Although the smell of alcohol clogs my throat, I focus my attention on being invisible. Despite my efforts, the smell gets closer and before I can leave a heavy hand falls on my shoulder.
The question, “What do you think of my glasses?” comes from a slurred voice to the side and slightly behind my ears. I turn with a smile and reply with a simple, “I think they look great.”
She begins to comb through her hair with her fingers and it flattens some of craziest parts. “Really? I lost my glasses and I found these outside. Are you sure they look ok?”
The two perfect circles frame her eyes and I notice how pretty she is. I place her in her late fifties, even though her dark black hair throws you off track for a second. The wrinkles that dance around her eyes suggest wisdom spoken in sarcastic tones and late nights of hard work. She’s struggling with something. It is as evident as the oversized black coat draped over her shoulders.
“Yeah, they are a great pair of glasses. And you know everyone is wearing circle frames right now. They suit you well.”
Just then a man in a similar condition slides through the door and curses it as if it tried to attack him. His white hair stands on end in several places and to be honest, he looks like the kind of guy I would be on my guard around, especially at night. He mutters something about the weather and points at nothing every time he uses profanity.
I have company upstairs, I should be going. As I try to make an exit, the woman goes off on another tangent. Politics of all things. Naturally the direction of our government should be discussed by people that are not in their right mind. It’s gotten us this far, right?
He starts yelling and that gets her rattled. Storming off he decides she is weighing him down. She bursts into tears as soon as the man enters the stairwell.
I try to console her while trying to keep my mail under my arm.
Amid the tears and exhausting exhales she finally blurts out, “My husband died two days ago. I don’t even really know that guy. He’s a jerk…”
Suddenly the company awaiting me upstairs fades into the most irrelevant parts of my mind.
I don’t ask questions. I don’t offer promises of happiness, I simply play the role of a quietly, comforting bystander. After what feels like the heaviest minutes of drunken grief, she silently walks away.

How curious.
Humans cope with pain by numbing everything that means anything. Widowed and wandering, this woman walked the city streets with an intoxicated stranger in an attempt to forget about the man that died with her heart in his hands. Using cheap beer to cover up the scent of the cologne that lingered on that jacket she wore, she sought to drown in the brewed boldness given to her by intoxication.
Two days after tragedy this woman was already “all in” the poker game of emptiness. I cannot even begin to understand the pain she must be feeling underneath it all. Don’t mistake my observations for judgment. I couldn’t tell you what I would do if my world collapsed around me. My heart aches within me as I trudge up the stairs to my perfectly intact world. It’s incredible how layers of drywall can separate joy from pain; mountain tops from rock-bottom. Tears in 21 while 15 celebrates an anniversary. How strange. Pain is like a trap in the deepest woods. It is well hidden and it always catches its victim off guard. From now on, I’ll stick to the city streets to avoid that same fate. I say a prayer for the mysterious widow as I reach my door. I pray that she looses that man and finds her happiness instead. I pray that her pain fades and leaves behind only extra strength to carry her through the coming days. Two days is too soon to have it all together, I don’t blame her in the slightest bit. Tonight, he and I will celebrate our special day in honor of the livelihood of the love that brought us together. Tonight, I’ll hold close the happiness that woman once had. For her I will never take this love, this joy, for granted. I realize it is fragile and rare. I tip back the glass of youth while remembering her face.
I envision sparks of hope invading her darkest nights.
I believe in you, whatever your name is. I believe you can be healed and happy.