Straight Up

The self portrait above is part of a larger painting (oils 4'x4') that is currently stored under my bed. I intend to use this graphic on the T-shirts when I finally get around to printing them. These are the basic contours of my face as well as my personality. Black & White, all or nothing. I like the simplicity of it.

Give it to me straight up, no frilly elaborations on what you think but think you can’t say to me because you’re afraid of what I’ll think of you. Give it to me straight up, hold the ice and the lime, hold the little umbrella and the Coke, hold the sugar and the milk. Hold all the extraneous bullshit of pleasantry. Hold the politeness because there’s no nice way of telling someone that you don’t love them anymore.

What? You find me intimidating, aloof, strangely indifferent, you wish you knew? What happens when there are no answers to be had? What happens when the night is endless and you’re trapped? What happens now? What happens to all of us once we’ve disappeared? Sometimes it’s as easy as realizing that there’s no cosmic punisher. That we do not need to suffer to learn lessons. That there’s no grand circular wheel with the word fortune carved on it. Maybe all we have is this mortal coil, this skin that we live in, the skin that eventually wrinkles and rots. Maybe we can’t be saved by helping the old lady cross the street, or by going to church or doing things right. Maybe the only way to save ourselves is to follow our hearts.

There’s no good reason for me to punish myself, to be some sort of martyr. There’s no reason for me to overdose on guilt and pain and negativity. Don’t try and spare my feelings as they’ve already been crucified…waiting to be resurrected by a higher

power…love…as it descends from above and fills me with joy. I am seeking the impossible…I am seeking that overwhelming surge of emotion that comes from knowing you’re one with another person, the knowledge that you are inseparable as your every waking thought turns to them and fills you with passion and inspiration. This feeling is so rare. Everything else is imitation.

Walking these streets, I’ve seen a million faces. I’ve worn the mask that grins and smiles. I remember getting drunk on that summer evening so far away from home…in the arms of strangers…thinking they were friends…the Tequila burning in my stomach. I remember as hands slapped my face back to consciousness, remember drinking because I felt alone, like no one loved me. I was wrong. The feeling was so total, like the aftermath of an earthquake as people sift through the rubble trying to find something they recognize. I remember sinking my face in the sink, feeling the ice cold water dripping down my dress, soaked in liquor. Then the world went black as I collapsed on the mattress of an upstairs bedroom.

The significance of that day: It was clear that I had lost faith. That I had lost myself somehow. It was a sign that my spirit needed help, and I ignored it. I was blind to see how I had hurt you. I was blind to see how I had hurt myself–a series of cuts that bled us to death. What does it matter now? Now there is total freedom. We don’t need to keep the wounds fresh. We can just close our eyes and heal. My desire for acceptance has taken me down the darkest roads I’ve ever known.

Loving myself won’t be easy, but I will try. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of happiness. The cycle of repentance must be broken. I have to stop lashing myself, have to stop pouring salt on the wounds. If I am not prepared to love myself how can I hope to love another? I have so much to give…time to give myself some.

So hold the flowery words. Hold the flowers. Hold the candy, hold all the fake smiles. Hold the hypocrisy. Hold the tears, hold the monologues. It’s all the same. Only the names have changed. Hold the memories, hold the past. Hold all the things that will make us regret. Hold the engagement ring, hold the wedding vows. Hold the water from crashing into the sand. Hold the Earth from spinning, hold the rain from falling, hold the sun back and give it to me straight up.


When life hands you lemons, make yourself a Margarita.


Ingredients: Lots of Ice, a bottle of Sweet and Sour Mix, a big bottle of Tequila, some Triple Sec or Grand Marnier The Secret Ingredient:

Lime marmalade and of course, a blender

How to make it: 1. Start with the Sweet and Sour mix. While pouring, count to three (a three count)

2. Now a six count of tequila 3. A two count of triple sec

4. Add three big tablespoons of lime marmalade 5. Whip up this stuff until thoroughly blended (about six seconds)

6. Now add enough ice to fill up blender three quarters full. Blend on the highest speed until frothy

7. Pour yourself a cup to make sure it’s perfect (it will be), then share the rest!


Warning: Tequila does destroy brain cells.