Inauguration

Inauguration;
I won’t lie, I was nervous,
while legends stood before me,
the same ones I used to work with.
They looked upon me, cautious,
as their eyes said you deserve this,
but my mouth whispered I’m stuck,
and maybe this is not my purpose.
True to my word though, I now own a Quick Stop,
which owns me, and I’ll owe it for the meals
on my table, for the wheels on the highway,
and for the company in the passenger seat,
which hopefully leads to a castle’s driveway.
Imprison the punishers of passion, and
to the dreams that seem like mirages,
know that visions don’t vanish in waiting.
My career is a red herring; my year off,
it came and went, and now I’m back to
working the 6 AM shift, but I’m my own
boss now, and that’s a laughable notion.
They say the best is yet to come, and that
this is just the first step in my own world,
but dreams aren’t meant for your eyes only, or to be
confidential, and self-destruct upon seeing them.
They’re meant to be realized, they’re meant to
be cherished, and they’re meant to be survived on,
and not survived by; not as your last will, and certainly
not as your testament, because it exists because of you,
and not because you tested it, and maybe failed to an extent.
Life is an open road, and I’ve thrown my GPS out the window,
because the accent didn’t suit me, and the directions seemed worthless.
In the last few weeks, I’ve grown tired of my signature,
and have had titles follow my name after a well placed comma:
Owner, Director, Manager, and President;
inauguration.

Definitionus

My text just read, Smile; I haven’t heard your voice, or seen your face in some months.
Your text back said, Needed that today, so I called you, and this is what I found out:

We’re both scared of what the future holds, though I suppose yours is more recent, but
even a year later, you’ve helped me come to terms with where I’ve been, and where I am, and where I’ll go, and if you’ll come with me, either on the campaign trail or being abroad teaching, or selling people houses while studying information technology, but never once forgetting that I’ve always wanted to make those movies. We don’t have to talk for days or weeks, months even, and it’s been almost a year, but when we do, when we finally do, it always goes long, more than sixty minutes. I’ve realized that I missed it, but this time, there’s no subtext; just context, just friendship, and just all the things that I sorely missed like, you laugh at me a lot, whether it be for my driving or that I actually go to the gym, or that we actually have the same stomping grounds, and that we both teared up when they teared it down, and refuse to go back just for fun, and the only time we’d be there is if we were racing, trying to find the fastest route to reconnect among friends who’ve since become much too busy with life, work, homes, and hearts.

Switch gears, and we only talk through email because you don’t have a phone yet, but it’s made me come to terms with the fact that I only belong in your inbox, alongside attached Word documents, and the occasional witty line that you reply to using one word answers in an all lowercase font. You were once the runner up, and sometimes I think you still might be, until I realize how different our backgrounds are, considering I’m a surburban kid not used to skyscrapers, and you’ve moved from sprawling city to city. The truth of the matter is that I wasn’t in your past, and what little I was present, your future will erase that, because I am no longer in college, because I was never the smartest, because I am not booksmart enough about philosophies and mindsets. You deserve someone like-minded, who knows when to open and close his mouthpiece, and not spout scripted dialogue that’s too right-wing/left-wing, but he-won’t-actually-eat-wings. I’ve always been good in moderation, not seen every day, but still be the basis for the butt of all jokes even when making them myself at the expense of others’ nations, even though I’m not a citizen, upstanding or otherwise; I lack globalization.

You were both my toe-to-toe legends, the Ali’s to my Frazier, but the Thrilla in Toronto was a part of another trilogy that didn’t quite deliver on the promises of what I’d hoped it be, but it did give me the two of us, and the two of us, alongside the group later known as the crew of us, so I can’t complain when it gave me everything I wanted that was as close to fame. Every night I drive by the same purple house, but tonight it was bathed in a green light. No significance anymore I’m sure, but it’s good to know the albatross is alive and well. I repeat, the albatross is alive and well, but for the first time in a long time, it remains soaring as I continue sailing away; from it, for it, and forever redefined, as a dictionless, directionless delusional debonair that’ll never marry ’em Webster but keep trying to web search those blog posts, not knowing that I am Jack’s Thought Catalog, and this is his “Smirking Revenge, Complete Lack of Surprise, Broken Heart, and Inflamed Sense of Rejection” (thanks Fight Club for that works cited) all rolled into one because he no longer finds them to be the one; just me, myself, and this paradox lost among this subtle water, enjoying the company of [name’s been dropped].

Fan Mail

My mom says I’m confused about the career paths I won’t choose, and in the last couple of weeks, I’ve been told I’m in the wrong field repeatedly. I no longer have a wardrobe, or outfits committed to a podcast or a sketch show, and I’m finally on the independent scene, but it’s for my own business, not film festivals. I watched a girl fix her hair and put on makeup on the GO bus. She no doubt had someone waiting for her at the last terminal. That would explain the flowers next to her atop the empty seat, and the constant smiles she gave to her screen every time her phone rang. I think that’s when it finally dawned on me; go ahead, cue her last voicemail:

You’re always talking about the future, and what roles we play in each other’s lives, but you don’t know anything. You don’t know where I fit in, or even if I fit in. You only think you do, or think that you want me to, but the truth is, you don’t know anything. You can’t just assume that you want to be with me, or that you could be with me, without so much as talking to me about it. You plan all these elaborate scenarios, and stories, but you don’t know anything beyond your own thoughts.

Who are you to define me? You think you know me so well? Just because we shared a bed, you think that you’re my best girl? You are though, I think that’s what I regret most; that I was given an open chance to turn “the only” into something special. Instead I hit on Hilarys, that’s code for girls who are out of my league, when they’re in love with Trevors (the brothas that actually be on TV), and Uncle Phil keeps throwing me out of the house so, I guess I’m living up to my namesake (finally). I was ripped in half by Megatron, defined an entire musical era in New Orleans, and I was Warner Bros.’ first talkie, and since then, I’ve never stopped talking; go ahead, cue his last text:

I like the art, but I don’t like the artist–that includes you Jas sitting on your high horse, thinking that it’s okay to keep writing nonsense, but never taking the time to ever explain your content–I’m not sure if it’s literal, or even metaphorical, or if this random she you speak of is even real or not. Who do you write for? Who do you talk to? Do the lack of hits ever seem to bother you? You’re surrounded by talent, and you’re the exception to the rule that this site couldn’t go on to exist without you. Do yourself a favor, and get lost from this paradox.

What would you rather see me writing? In three different languages, I’ve exhausted poetry. I want to go back to writing scripts about comic absurdity, but I’ve no longer got the laughs to justify what I once called wit, or a cast of colorful characters that would perform every last skit. I’ll soon be competing with my own territory, while still being lectured about my behavior, wondering if I ever really grew up, or if I’m still the same age as before I moved here, and became the designated driver. It’s like they’ve all forgotten all those parent-teacher conferences, of hearing that “your son is smart, but we can’t handle all of his creativeness,” though I guess it kind of makes some sense, that what worked in middle school won’t fly sitting in boardrooms, where they don’t want to see me stand up for anything other than PowerPoints; go ahead, cue their last email:

I had a great time with you, you’re the funniest dude I ever met, and the only guy I know who could balance work while making Seinfeld references. I didn’t know we had such an impact, I better be in your page of Thanks when you finally get published. I appreciate your knowledge, insight, and comic relief. Going forward, I wish you nothing but the best, and I hope that our paths soon cross again.

Happy Endings

Three weeks ago, I didn’t know any of you,
except by the attributes given to us by a bingo board,
where one called herself “brown eyes,” while another cited “red shoes,”
and I was the self-proclaimed hater of brussel sprouts (or maybe it was broccoli).
When all was said and done, Costner asked me if I had a unique hobby, and all I could muster up was an “I suppose,” and that was all you heard of me (at least for that day).
Since then, scented marker battles have ensued,
as we shielded the flip chart with our bodies,
as intruders tried to make cherry lines atop our mint colored words.
Matching tops and expressive personalities became a common occurrence,
rather than a rare combination, and “hey me” became a not so secret greeting,
even when we were two feet apart, and not supposed to be speaking.
Han Solo vests, matching socks, and polka dot dresses collided
with magic carpet shirts, a magician’s tuxedo, and a referee’s outfit.
Downtown party bus after dinner at the CN Tower,
I switched desserts multiple times to avoid all the song and dance,
only to find myself translating Hindi songs to unsuspecting victims,
and to a bus driver who endangered lives on a daily basis,
and never said “you’re welcome” even when we all said “thank you.”
We had all the world’s stress in the palm of our hands,
and life was an easy button directly at our fingertips (unless it was in French).
We learned to be BOS’es with boxes stacked up with binders,
full of office supplies that we’ll probably never use again,
except for maybe those multi-colored highlighters, or trademarked water bottles.
We were nicknames gone rampant, we misused, and asked too many questions,
like those pesky neighbors dumping all their stuff behind the garbage bin.
We cared about percentages, profit margins, and competing for excellence,
complete with access cards, and repeat lunches,
though we never did get those sandwiches again;
here’s an apt time to shout out to Scottie Bippen (spelled and said with a B not a P).
I’m headed back to work tomorrow, as I’m sure you’ll all do the same,
but I can’t help feeling that I don’t want this to be my new routine,
because I was already at a branded site that I would love to maintain,
if only you could all come along after this last stop before the real world.

Iss musaafir ke saath chalne ke liye shukhriyaa;
For walking alongside this traveler, I thank you for the company;
afsohs keh hum raasteh mein izhaar naa kar sakeh joh baath zubaan par thi. 
regretful I shall remain about those words that I never shared along the way.

you can call me frankenstein.

Kicked out, burned out
No respect I’m turned out
Lungs smoked out
Heart strings choked out
Tell me, you think you have it bad now?
Cause I’m drinking til I pass out
I’m not a doctor, but diagnose this
I’m thinking I need an overdose, quick

You’re think you’re invincible?
What were you before me? Invisible.
Sorry I made my own monsters
What happened to all your long stares?
I don’t think you belong here
But what do I know, this isn’t my year
Come back on my team, player
And I’ll give you the future, soothsayer

You pour your regrets in me
While still forgetting me
Only a lightning rod usage
Lone survivor in God’s wreckage
I try so hard to please
I mean it’s my fault you’re diseased
Cause you grow like cancer
And I’m forgetting what my plans were
I thought I made it out alive
But the second coming has arrived

So hold on hold on Mr. Fair Weather
You think you can fare better?
Being there isn’t the same as drinking there
Why am the one overthinking here
It’s not like you’re a sell out
Cause that’d require worth, nah,
you can get the hell out

I know, I know you’re so chill, man
Wrecked so bad you can’t even stand
You get brain like zombie thanksgiving
You dish’s pain and you keep on giving
I’ll find a way to end you though
Ill put you back where you belong, below
Even if I let you chose
Think, what have I got to lose

You think all I know is how to fuck
Ya you forgot one part, it’s fuck you up
Like me, you’re shit out of luck
Let me teach you how to not give a fuck
And I know I have to make it
Cause I’m done putting up with the same shit
Break free of my catch 22
I’m done trying to have you

Trajectory

Late shift, night drive, calm skies; lights on the road keep following me home, so I don’t need a chaperone, I’ve got a GPS on my phone, but its battery’s almost dead, wasted traveling on closed roads, in cold circles with a warm friend, pedestrians, and locals. I go to weddings, less to impress, and more to dress up like a Reservoir Dog, a Mr. Brown trying his best to be a Mr. White, but I’ll always be more Quentin, and never be Keitel, sitting at the kiddie table getting weird looks from a four year old, who doesn’t wish to share his markers or his coloring book, as I watch my best friend get married, and later make a toast; head table’s full of Rum and Coke.

Calm skies, and I wonder where you are, probably looking out at skyscrapers from your balcony window. I don’t like living in cities that aren’t near home; it’s a fear of getting lost in the fear of the unknown. Seat belt strap makes me feel like Leonardo, but I’m no longer a leader, my katanas rest on the dashboard. I wish Canada had more flavors of Snapple. I hope wherever you are, that you’re looked after. Calm skies, and I no longer wish to wonder. You’re an Earth angel, I’m the Devil’s advocate, trying to lay the ground work, only to find out that the game is rigged; we were always a Super Mario glitch, didn’t help that you never blew on it, so I pause on your screen, and then I quit.

A bandaged nose will always remind me of Chinatown; that’s not racist, that’s just Nicholson, that’s not creepy, that’s just Polanski getting inside my subconsciousness. You never heard me, and I never listened, we both needed therapy, but we liked all the dramedy. I’m in love with the first lady with all her no’s and all her maybe’s, she says she doesn’t want to lose me, and I tell her she doesn’t have to worry. I’m not the same me as last year, I have the same dreams I once feared, but I’m different now because she’s near, and reality is better than it appears. It’s better than twenty year old’s showing off their passports, while I’m showing off my asshole personality; it’s complex, because I’m probably the oldest looking dude they ever met.

Run wet fingers through my hair, but no one’ll see it, that’s a relationship that stays between me and my mirror, where I look at me, but I know that he’s not there. My trajectory was tragedy until you inspired me to not care. You know what’s really hard? Reunions. I’ll probably never get the cast to come together from my favorite show. Now I’m left to watch old wedding videos, where the only special effects are the time and date on screen, alongside colorful text next to familiar faces no longer found in digital frames, but confined to negatives tucked away in albums from the past. People always want their outcomes to be better than their output on what will always be their outlook of the things they now outgrow. I used to read the lines on your hand, now the only lines I read are formed on tables by my bedside, atop unfinised scripts and unfulfilled wishes.

Anniversary

When I was young, and people went on vacations, I traveled up north, and went up to see my cousins, because they told me friends weren’t important, so I guess I never bothered to make close ones. So it was funny when we eventually kind of fell apart, that drifting away from family seemed so painless, and all the drama caused seemed pointless, but at least now I have best friends. My neurologist said that I’m finally happy, and on the road to recovery. She asked me what the big change was, I told her I was finally getting sleep. I haven’t had a migraine in a long time (excluding heat or hunger), and this is probably the happiest I’ve ever been since last September. I guess it really is all about perspective.

Who the hell are you, and what have you done to Jack? 2008 called, it wants its hope and change back, with no receipt, you are not worth the refund; you’re a shadow of what you once were, you’re just a painful reminder of the division that you caused with everyone. A year ago, you wrote of reboots and ransom notes, about never eating cake because they said you couldn’t have it too. You spoke of dreams never coming true, both the ones you were having, but also the ones you were forbidden to. It was an overreaction, your doc never happened, it never came to fruition because of a sidetracked mind focused like a looper assassin; like a lost generation; like the things that should’ve remained deleted, and never had any quantum, so be quiet, your people make it sound like “chud up,” which is kind of like the double negative motto of Barney Stinson. You’re a failed Coen Brothers’ film, ladykilled by intolerable cruelty, and your idea of c’est la vie is driving a CR-V. Scrapyard the Altima, save the date, come back to us, this site runs on your spite, you love to hate anniversaries.

I admit I used to be lovesick, but now I’m just a Sikh boy. I watched silently as war broke, as dreamers were slayed by loving glances, not meant towards them, a drama queen’s advances; it was simple, yet complex, but a failure nonetheless. I was always lacking sympathy for the timeless, and only finding fear of a timeline disrupted because of a failed mindset. Looking for a revelation, I took solace at the red door, prayed for intervention, and now I’m asking for a clean slate from everything that I’ve written. I’ve finally reached the pearly gates, survived the autopsy, now I’m rising like a phoenix, with this collaborative combating sickness. I was drowning in subtle water, now I’m searching for meta balance, hoping that these inside jokes turn me into an insider, who lives his dreams from the page to the screen, and doesn’t know what’s real or a filmed memory.

przeznaczenie

all that chemistry, all that chemistry
even in our autopsy, even in separate cities
and being together all toxicity
in each timeline, a catastrophe
why do you know me so well
why can’t i know myself
all my looks i know are telling, all your touches you keep selling, let me pick this love apart. let me steal your beating heart. i know we’re bad for each other, so bad i know we’re right for each other, we’re mad -ly in love? no we’re just mad. a disease i can’t get rid of; the price i can’t bid, love. the one face i hid, enough. i dream and you’re saying you want me back, i wake and you’re saying you miss me. i’m asleep and you’re telling me you made a mistake, i’m awake and you’re telling me you can’t wait to see me. you say i should come back, what does that mean – are you over me? or will you be under me? “come back” you tell me, what does that mean? does that mean you’ve moved on? or that you miss me?
i’m finding it harder to believe that you don’t feel it too
that what we’ve had or have is true,
that every “you” only means You,
even if we keep saying what we had is through.
when we’re together cities burn and hearts catch fire, villages flood when we desire.
hold me, I just want to feel safe. for this exact moment, i’m awake. we let our paths cross and rewind as you put your hand in mine and we live in the now, safe from time now we start over, i call you friend we both know how this ends. you know you fit best next to me, so let’s stop lying and let this be.

i’m trying my best not to relate to movies no more
i’m trying my best to live in the real world
but how can i when you’re a silver lining
how can i stop meeting you in montauk
how can gatsby stop breaking my heart
when we are one in the same,
where me fitz and lana are our own version of the breakfast club
but detention never ends
and the weight of living isn’t an albatross
but a sinking ship on the horizon
you know i rode to earth on the backs of birds
how can i be both the prince and the rose
full of pride and ephemerality
but each step brings me back full circle
while each step brings you back to me
you’ve tamed me, you’ve slain me

I have been waiting my entire life
for you to catch up by my side
before I hop the train to farhampton
I just need to see your face again
schicksal, I whisper as I leave
you laugh like I’ve made a mistake
i’ll try again then, przeznaczenie
all this chemia doesn’t go away

Morning Sickness [feat. Ani]

how could I ever close my eyes, how could I ever turn off my mind, if each image projected onto my eyelids is still you, and it’s 4AM and I’m miles away and you’re sleeping home, dreaming safe, and I’m lying here watching the neon of my clock tick my minutes away, the minutes that don’t matter because you’re not here anyway, tick tick tick, but it’s digital, the ticking’s in my mind, it’s metaphysical. how are you my ghost when you’re alive, how can I miss you when you’re by my side? love lost is not love at all. it’s making me physically sick not to call. but the unknown trumps the unwanted truth. I don’t want to know if it’s no use, for me to base my world on a shaky future, that exists 13% of the time, if I’m lucky, for sure. hey man, get in line. the first time machine is mine.

No, I’m sorry, but DMC went bankrupt. Clocktower didn’t exist, it was always on the backlot. Now I’m backtracking, my heart’s set on flashbacking, and I’ve got my time circuits on with my flux capacitor attacking the infinite futures in which I’m just an analog romantic in a digital situation, no texts, calls, or relations. Ship already set sail, it’s a difficult navigation, where SnapChat’s not a substitute and it’s starting to become a nuisance, to really express my feelings when there’s never an absolution. Your future’s not Parkinson’s, though much love to M. Fox, but his family ties are making you become a has been. I wish I could dream it off, I wish I could sleep you off, I wish I could reap the rewards had I kept you in my life, but now I know it’ll always be me and my total loss.

Hey now, this isn’t a suspension of disbelief. At least there’s a possibility in my reality. Foundations to run back to, and no I’m not trying to attack you. I tried to cold turkey it, I swear I tried to quit. But it’s like picking up a book you left ages ago because you couldn’t handle the ending, except this is a choose your own adventure – finish line, pending. I don’t model my life after any m-fox, Michael or Megan. My only problem’s with the box, and letting the cat out again. Trust me, I’m not a has been; especially when, the universe has only afforded me the flaws of monsters and men. Trust me, I don’t need any lessons alienating people and losing my friends. Though it’s funny you mention my shaky hands, or do you mean my shaky plans? Because I really can’t sign any more leases, the loans on my heartstrings could be my thesis. I’ve spent two years writing about Schrodinger, only to realize I was wrong about Winger. I don’t need DMC to tell me to run, I’ve been marathoning since day one. Okay so I’m not completely innocent, I wish his paternal umbilical cord was spent. I’m not above wishing manipulators into comas, or turning see you laters into temporary homes, ah, well I guess infinity’s not infinity and snapchat and whatsapp aren’t new to me – no it’s not a substitute, but then again what’s the use? There’s no such thing as a clean break, a new beginning. So I might as well keep score, and hope that soon I can go back to winning.

I don’t choose my own adventure, I write my own literature, and I hope I can connect to, but I only further disconnect her. You’re right, she’s not my reality, simulation, or otherwise, and I would know, I’ve run them all with clarity, precision, and love in my eyes; but it’s my demise, and I am truly happy with it. No cold turkey, or Ninja Turtles’ sidekick, the only fox I am is Mr. Fantastic. He was voiced by Mr. Clooney, who’s trajectory I’m following, I bet he’s never had a problem communicating with his sex’s opposite. Facebook purge, I am not familiar with it, though if people get rid of me, I probably wasn’t worth the bandwidth. You keep saying “Trust me,” and I do wholeheartedly, but I fear half-heartedly that you’ll leave me with no-heart-in-me. I was always the box, and the question forever confined in it, but you were the answer to “dead or alive or nonexistent ” I’m no longer wanted, no one gets the bounty; take my name off the milk carton, cats don’t even drink me. I’ve been in the real world for close to a year, and I don’t have a job yet, and I’m told writing doesn’t pay the bills, so I should stop with this bullshit. I’m pretty sure I’ve rented out my flatlined heart twice before, and they’ve only come back broken every time with a ruined safety deposit box down by the shore. She’s become my tabula rasa, I didn’t ask for a clean slate; I was just trying to play for keeps, but she kept keeping score on me–of all the times she laughed and cried, and all the times I made her angry, and all the times I was never there, and all the times I was nowhere else but by her side still feeling lonely.

i could’ve easily told you rent-a-heart’s not lucrative, switch to stealing them, status: fugitive. god i wish my heart would stop beating, that it would stop his misleading, cause each time, it kickstarts my pulse, only to come back again, results? false. i’m forgetting how to talk without drinking, i’m too caught up over thinking. tabula rasa? man there’s a reason latin died, i mean who thinks anything is bona fide? okay scratch that delorean, I don’t need to relive the past again. as long as it’s not a streetcar, because that’s my yellow card. give me a penalty, take him away from me. yelling for stella while depending on the kindness of others? i wish i had their help now. where art thou, o brother? i mean i thought the albatross was mine, when we had a skype date on valentine’s, and i made the cat wait patiently in the other room, if only i knew what i had that soon. same night we watched 500 days of summer, and we thought we had our roles set. you still think i’m zooey? yeah, take a second guess. i’m the hero of the story all right, tmnt off in the night. spare me the opposite of batman fight, both me and gotham need our dark knight. the real world’s overrated, two seasons in new york? both outdated. yeah, fine i’ll admit it. i know all we are is disjointed, or sure, just full of shit. i wish it were that easy – to put his face on the carton and have someone bring him home to me. since when did these cats gain agency? i let him walk into my condo without a key? i’m thinking this is no longer my story. the second i became a carnival prize, some kind of glory. he never learned love’s for two, not three. or four. no wait, you’re right. i’ll stop keeping score. here’s the grand finale – my entire life is a failed pep rally.

Rent-a-heart? Swag’s missing. And Haverford? He was with the worst. I seem to have a thing for them regardless of which show I’m in, and I always wish to be renewed for a new season of me and you, though all of our finales end too soon, cancelled early, with a posthumous following like The Last Tycoon. Cause of death? Involuntary manslaughter, watching our Dundler Mifflin end was the real Scranton Strangler. I’m trying to forget last Valentine’s, but all I can remember is when you resigned. Knowing what you know now, and knowing what I knew then, would you have acted differently? Would you have thrown it all away? I almost did, of me and my dream, of me on the screen, where I’m the writer/director of my own team. I never had a budget, and you want to talk indie work? I’m the Indian Clerks: Dante insecure, and happily a Randall jerk. I grew up in the real world, and it ain’t so scary, though I had the benefit of a quiet suburb in New Jersey. We didn’t have streetcars, I hated being a mallrat, and I never thought I’d fall for Zelda as a tomboy. She wasn’t a Paris wife, that would be the wrong city. She wasn’t in my sights, that would be the wrong country. My scope’s no longer at the ready, even while drones fly nearby, but warfare seems stupid when love’s on standby, because love’s not worth it, because love’s on lockdown, because love’s just jealous that I’m happier without it. So why am I so excited? I wasn’t even invited to join in on the festivities that don’t include me standing atop a wedding cake, or you throwing a bouquet to a crowd of girlfriends I’ve never met, though I’m pretty sure they know me, I’m pretty sure I’m infamous – damaged goods in a ruined dress, now six months later with morning sickness.

AA

Help

http://igg.me/at/dartmouthinjustices/x/3224286

This week instead of the usual post, I’m presenting my Indiegogo.

Essentially this is the story of why I’m afraid of walking alone at night or around Dartmouth in general. It’s also why I’ve stopped interacting with people.

Please, please share, it’d mean the world to me.

-A