Life as an Extreme Sport

Missing J

Oh, when I’m lonely, I lie awake at night and I wish you were here. I miss you.

It’s been a year, and yet I still see you. I see you on campus and walking down Broadway, I see you paused in front of a store, head tilted near verticle. Your shape, your form and movement, everywhere. And it’s never you, and it never can be and never will be you. I wonder when I will adjust?

I sat for a long while outside The Paper Zone, just staring at the Krispy Kreme. I hadn’t known it was there, or I might have skipped going. But I didn’t, and I did, and so I sat. I thought about dinner at Outback, a nod to tradition, but knew I wouldn’t make it through without breaking down. In fact, save two hiccups during the day – and not while facing Krispy Kreme – I didn’t break down until bedtime, now. And now I can’t stop crying.

I miss you.

I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive you.

This existance of ours is as transient as autumn clouds.
To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.
A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,
Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.

What is born will die,
What has been gathered will be dispersed,
What has been accumulated will be exhausted,
What has been built up will collapse,
And what has been high will be brought low.

The only thing we really have is nowness, is now.
-The Buddha

parental love

My father is cute; he just recently started signing his emails:


It’s like those two extra letters to type are just too hard. It’s typical for my sort of emotionally repressed Dad, who just started giving grown-up me hugs about two years ago, when I just said “fuck it” and started insisting on it, but I think he likes knowing that I want the hugs, and it makes me smile to see this small bit of affection on his part.

The ways our parents choose to express their love and care always amuses me. My father is your stereotypical male who likes to fix things; he always comes here with the goal of making my house more functional. Better living through carpentry and ingenuity! Mom, on the other hand, is all about shopping. She buys and buys because she can, and it shows how much she cares. Only recently have I learned to be careful about expressing that I like something, because she’ll automatically go try to find it in my size. In fact, Monday had us getting in a fight over whether she was going to buy me a jacket; although it looked great on me, it was priced higher than I thought it was worth. Mom agreed, but after we looked around a bit, she thought it was best we go back and get the one that fit perfectly. We ended up resolving it well (I managed to get 25% off the cost, putting it in a range I was okay with), but I still found it funny – fight with Mom over how she’s going to spend her money on me.

It’s not really about money, though, and I have to remember that. It’s about love. And Dad doesn’t really think badly about my house, or my health, or anything else. It’s just that he communicates over fixing things (this email he just sent that brought a smile with the signature? He wants to look into switching me onto their family cell phone plan, to see if it will save me money). For Dad, fixing things and making life easier is also all about love.


We come around the bend just right, and there rising behind the freight cars is the mountain burnished coppery rose in the setting sunlight. On my left, and out of normal position, Tahoma is a tangible symbol of home. Seeing her brings about a sort of peace, a belonging. She doesn’t radiate threat, but reassuring there-ness, an anchor in a world of movement.

Tahoma passes the time on a scale greater than we can see; for her, we aren’t even pixelated points in a time grid. We are so small, so fast and quick, live passing by as she barely moves; we are insignificant in her timestream. But in ours, she is a presence hard to ignore. Rainier for a man who never met her, goddess of the snowy peaks who comes and goes for those who lived their lives in her shadow.

I have lived my life in her shadow for six years, and she has imprinted herrself on my soul. Wherever I go, I end up, Tahoma will always signifiy a small bit of home.


I should sleep, but I can’t. It’s a combination of coffee and spinning mind that’s pushed me to body-tired but mind alive. I somehow found myself walking down memory lane, bringing up pictures, literally and otherwise, of people I’ve not talked to in a dozen years or more. People who were so influential on my life, vanished like the ephemeral memory they’ve become.

It’s time for me to get my data from Michael, so I can weed and walk through the past again. It’s information that tracks me, my damage forming, from innocence to wherever it is I am now. I think it’s important I use that in this upcoming project, although for what I don’t know.

Is there a point where this wall didn’t exist, ever, instead of being something that falls but springs back up as a protective at the slightest provocation? Always the odd child out, but this arms distance from everything and everyone, can I really trace that to being thirteen and sad? To death and heartache and solitude and love and pain and all the cliche’s of early teen passion? Have all my experiences since then just served to reinforce the walls he helped me build? At times like this, it seems so clear, so likely.

How do I deal with 16 years of living like this? How do I tear down the wall? Maybe the answer is to start writing again. Maybe the answer is a letter, a letter to each of them. Raven black hair, huge hands that won’t leave me alone, sly smiles stolen in secret, red braids flowing free, shy grey ghost and sexy rockstar…

It seems that only the extremes and elements bring me to this point where I can stare into my own personal abyss.