Monday, September 23, 2013


"You're gonna miss me when I discharge, AREN'T you?? I've been your longest client and the most engaged of ANY of them."

I just looked at him and grinned.

Because while both assertions are debatable
and we would have that debate
Again and again
We would have it
There is always a ring of truth to all his hyperboles and occasional allegations

And maybe I’d humor him on that day
with a simple ‘Uhn-uh’
Just for the little charge I know he’d get out of it
Like when he pokes and prods
Opposition-ating and Defying
(easier than Acutely Stressing)
his way through the sea of youths in a 24/7 shit show
a Disorder, if you will
saying with his Bx’s
what he can’t say with his words

I got thrown away before I could crawl
The one home that kept me couldn’t be bothered to keep me
from seeing exactly what Dad did to Sister
and then couldn’t be bothered to keep me

Every piece of rhetoric I’ve ever been given is that Family--
--is unending
--is safe
And every reality I’ve ever gotten is that Love is conditional

I am not secured 
And I am detached
And yeah, I am reacting
But this is where I was sent
And you’re the guy who got assigned
And you are not going to ignore me now.

Connections get forged through hard work
And yes--
And he was
Nothing if not hard work

So we agreed
That I would not ignore him
(not that I was planning to)
That we would hold each other mutually accountable
to our assignments

No matter the weeks after the full benefit of treatment
that turned into
of languish

For each one, my report to the County reading between lines in attitude
What I could not write out in words:
“Get him
the fuck
out of here.”

Lest his world become that much smaller
Which it did
Lest he have nothing else to do
Which he didn’t
But ruminate on the monsters in that world
which the local news was making all too plentiful at the time
and reminding him daily:


And what exactly can I tell him?

That didn’t happen to you...
it just happened.

But it did happen
to him.

That the monsters aren’t real?

They’re real
And under his bed is about the only place they’re not hiding.

More hard work
Entailing much immersion with stuffed animals
and me learning all of their names
and dedicated night staff tucking them in with him
(His idea)

More attachment
Making sure there were surrogate stuffies
for weekends and days off
(My supervisor’s idea)

Ritual (side)hugs
Never less than five to end a session
(His idea, supported by my supervisor)

All the while I aged in clinical years
a factor of 3 to 10
holding the social service’s hands
pulling over a finish line
what seemed curiously either like heels digging in or an immobile body slumping over


I don’t judge
I just make lots of phone calls
And occasionally curl up into a fetal position of my own in the middle of the office for all co-workers to see.*
Then I judge.

Because the longer he’s here
The harder to make the transition
The needed goodbye
The more difficult for it to be a healthy one
Because when exactly has he ever had that?

But there we were
On that last session
In his new home
a temporary, hopefully long-term, one
but one I fought hard for and knew I could trust with him
Less Stressing
Still occasionally Defying
But well on his way to Adjusting

Saying goodbye
(Not his idea)

“This is hard.”
All he could say.

“You’re ready.”
All I dared to say.
No less than five small hugs.
Then one long full one.

“This is hard.”
He repeated.
                       (for both of us)
     This time looking right at me.
His voice shaky
But secured.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

so there

That thing where I have a light fever
I’m teetering between consciousness
     and the extremely inviting third nap on a sick day

Suddenly it’s ten years ago and 700 miles away
     The last time I saw her in person

     It’s a random flashback
     I know it’s just a flashback
           And yet I am so there
                and can’t do anything about it

And I remember the last thing I said to her
     With the misguided intention of communicating
          That I am Standing My Ground
          The Line is Here
               This Thing I’m Trying to Pass Off as Assertiveness
                    Will Finally Make You See that I’m the One

When really I may just as well have been saying
     I’m Just Gonna Refuse to Grow Up For Just a Little Longer
               If That’s Okay With You
      I Hate Change
                and This Really Should Just Validate Your Decision 
                To Move On With Your Life

                But It’s Going to Take a Few More Months For Me 
                          To Find Other People and Other Sources to Focus On
                               Take One More Year For Me to Make
                                         a Superficial Gesture of Letting Go
                               Take Two More Years for me to Deal With This in its Totality 
                                         and Get Over You
                               Three More Years to Get Over It
                               Five More Years to Realize It was Never About You
                                         you were just the important person that got in the way
                                                   -sorry about that-

               Six More Years to Really Understand Letting Go
               Seven More Years to Really Come to Peace with That
               Ten More Years With the Help of a Light Fever To Help Me Realize

                              What a Really Dick Thing That Was to Say To You

That’s when I come to a second later
                    "What the hell was that?" I whisper
          and I panic
     wondering if I’ve done anything else with my life 
          for the last ten years
          hoping lessons were able to be learned through other avenues
               pretty sure that all has been well
               and all shall be well
                         by means of grace if nothing else

Fevers are terrible things
And yet

          The only reliable means of time travel I have yet to find

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

as though dead

“Do not be afraid”

Says the sound of many waters
Saying that death is a thing of the past
a key to be turned

And life is a certainty
Provided that you do turn that key

Now that is a fearful thing

But I've come to trust living beings in drag
Their faces shining with full force

Theirs is the most consoling of hands placed on me.
You'll just have to trust me on this one.

(from Rev. 1:12-20)

also, for Stuart