I have, in the past couple of days, cleaned my apartment from top to bottom, written four new songs, gotten ridiculously drunk, wasted time on a number of silly little endeavors and tried, in vain, to sit still for more than ten minutes at a time. I average about three to four hours of sleep per night (which is a rather relative standard; my cycle is very much akin to the nocturnal persuasion and I tend to sleep during daylight hours) and my energy levels are constantly boiling dangerously close to the brim. I've actually entertained the thought of getting a part-time job just to balance myself in the grip of this flux.

I want things to move faster and faster, but coming to terms on the direction is nearly an impossibility. Every minute of every hour seems like a small eternity, even when I'm hard at work. There is so much drive and ambition inside I'm bursting at the seams. I need to funnel my way out of this chaotic state and find something time-consuming and worthwhile in my crosshairs. Taking concentration by the throat and subduing it to my will has been about as easy as cracking cold fusion.

My mood could be a bit better, I must admit. I've recently made a habit of spending a moment or two collecting myself before leaving the comfort of these walls, as my impulsive nature has rarely been as unpredictable. Being removed from the wheel of daily social ins-and-outs may be the prime culprit here, but there are of course other factors. I spend far too much time thinking about people who, I suspect, aren't returning the favor. Well, I suppose I've given too much thought to certain people altogether.

I know I tend to overthink things and I'm capable of blowing the aftermath of any scenario well out of proportion. Believe me, I know. Distance and cold shoulders have a tendency to give my imagination ugly demon wings. Perhaps I am indeed seeing monsters where there be but shadows. Still, I must admit, having delved quite deep into my past adventures during these nightly sessions of introspection, I've recognized a delightfully hopeless and bittersweet pattern which I seem to be following yet again. Everything reminds me of an old lyric I wrote seven or eight years ago.

Hey, I'm a sucker and I know it well / I know it better than anyone...

While I would wager that my wisdom is substantially greater than in those days, ignoring the lessons of yore requires surprisingly little effort, no matter how much time has passed. A sucker indeed. Yet would I want this to change? No. I'm much more comfortable in my own skin these days, not to mention the fact that I truly appreciate my willingness and courage to dive in foolhardily, headfirst and steadfast, even if the bruises ache as much as before. My threshold for pain seems greater.

Nevertheless, it can be aggravating. I didn't ask for much, but it still seems to have been too tall an order. I dislike being the underdog on the battlefield of affection more than nearly any other discomfort I could fathom, yet that seems to be exactly the bag I've stuffed myself into once again. My attempts to introduce warmth invite a counterforce that feels cold and insulting in equal measure. My logic, flawed as it may be, can't comprehend this response. I feel like I'm being toyed with and it makes my blood boil. I'm worth more.

It's not without its ironic undertones, but that serves to provide little beyond feeding my cynical nature. Hearing my voice drowned out by the surrounding noise or letting it sink back down my throat gives way to the question of how much reciprocity I can be left wanting before I shut down completely and give up on trying and caring. It's a cold thought, but one I can't ignore. Feeling like I'm being overlooked has that effect on me. Always does. I am not without pride.

Sometimes my musing brings up the question if I'm simply an inconsolably naive straw man with blind innocence shrouding my view, offering a lit torch to someone and leaving it up to them whether or not I burn. The idea that someone would have even a tenth of such power over me makes me gag. My mind shifts from pushing forward to walking away within seconds. I can, however, find peculiar comfort in knowing I'm alone in this, which does make it easier to find strength and resiliency inside. Having none to trust in or lean upon but myself is a surprisingly solid foundation.

I wrote something about my hopes a little while back. Reading it again now, after the haze has all but dissipated, it felt good to let those emotions wash over me in hindsight. Unfortunately they now carry a somewhat stale aftertaste. They are past their due and the corrosion of certain realities is slowly setting in. This is all part of another lesson I'll most likely let myself look past in the future. That's the dreamer's disease: seeing your desire, in all its technicolor splendor, drying up and rotting away under the streetlight.

I still look back and smile. Well, I think I'm smiling. My heart might've whispered a little white lie in my ear, but even if that's all it was, damn it, it was a good lie. A beautiful one. It's hard to think about those faint flashes in darkness without feeling like the jester slipping on his own banana peel, but there's certainly nothing wrong with being hopeful in the light of a new dawn. When that hope transgresses over the boundaries of naivete, however, is when the alarm should go off with commanding volume. Unfortunately I don't seem to own one of those devices. It stands to reason I wouldn't want one anyway.

Perhaps I've let my imagination fly too far and its wings will eventually be scolded by the heat of the sun. Perhaps I've painted pictures behind my eyelids with very little touch base with reality. Perhaps I am indeed no more than something to be toyed with and then tossed to the side. It's not as if such things haven't happened before. At least I can say with moderate certainty that I don't seem to fit into the grand scheme of another's discord, no matter how much I would've wanted the opposite to be true. It certainly burns a bit, but also clears my view of excess dirt. A sobering dose.

I would, of course, like everything I've just said to be proven wrong. I am only guessing, after all, educated as the guess may be. My optimistic bone is rarely stroked, but that doesn't stop it from craving for that tender touch. Still, I do deserve better. That is simply non-negotiable. I reckon the world owes me at least one sorry fool to fall head over heels for me. If for nothing else then at least for symmetry's sake. Should such events come to pass, I truly hope I'll remember these words and be wise enough to mirror them against my own actions. The hand holding the torch can wreak quite a bit of havoc if left to its own devices.

To bring yet another uninsightful and mystery-clad soirée into my sorry existence to a close, I'd just like to point out one thing. I've been hearing quite a few rumors and assumptions about what and who I'm talking about. These have ranged from the hilarious to the downright absurd. Trust me on this: you may think you have it pegged, but chances are you're dead wrong. If you really care enough to want to know, why not ask me directly, you silly little weasels.



I've begun writing this down many times in my head. For a while there I considered not saying anything, but for reasons explained below, I feel I must purge myself for fear of some unknown twitch or stab stealing my legs from under me when I least expect it.

As my older entries have divulged and the people close to me are aware, a long relationship was put to sleep some time ago. Intimacy was the first to go, affection was soon to follow and finally we were merely two close friends sharing space under the same roof. As things passed a state of no return, we took the difficult step, departed on amicable terms, mutual warmth intact, and went our separate ways. For a while I thought we'd both moved on with ease and the pain shifted quickly to mild discomfort and finally disappeared completely. Unfortunately there was more to this story, something which I was made aware of a few days ago.

For the last six months of said relationship, there were, shall we say, more than two people involved in concocting the cold breeze lingering in our shared domicile. I really don't feel like going into detail, but you get the picture.

And the end result? Confusing.

I will now admit to something I never thought would pass my lips: I don't care. Six years worth of memories have been stolen from me, tainted and soiled beyond repair by another's infidelity, yet it hasn't fazed me. Each corner of my heart is intact and the string holding my back skyward is as stiff as before. I'm not saying that because I'm shielding myself or because I want to snap back with passive-aggressive swipes. I'm saying it because it's true.

I've felt the strangest stings of guilt in the last few days because of it. This level of indifference simply doesn't feel natural. It's the first time I've had to encounter something like this (which is not to say such things haven't happened in past relationships; one can never be too sure), so I'm a bit of a tourist in all this. But I'm sure it should have affected me more. Unless...

Part of it is because I knew. Not conciously, not in a way that would lend itself to dialogue, but I knew. You can't live with someone for more than half a decade and not see it in their eyes when there's something tossing inside like a caged animal, completely torn between wanting to be released and staying in its sanctuary under lock and key. Part of it is because my desire had waned to no more than a faint simmer, something which I believe - nay, know - was a shared emotion. Part of it is because I've moved on to new things with virtually no growing pains whatsoever - another sure sign that things were well and truly over before the deal was finally sealed. Part of it is because the relationship had shrunk to a friendship, and no matter how hard you try, a mere friendship cannot function as the sole sustenance for a romantic relationship. Unfortunately that friendship is now destroyed, but that seems to be the only thing troubling me during the quiet hours in darkness.

In a striking quip of irony, Shadow Dialogue has once again played a part in this. My recent entries have painted a picture of a joyful and lively gentleman enjoying, among other things, the company of the fairer sex while waxing poetic on the lightstorm inside. It all served as some kind of catalyst for the burst of honesty that followed. My former lifemate had, after all, gone through similar experiences and (e)motions, but each heartbeat and soft touch was tinted with hues of guilt, deception and secrecy. My moral high ground is shaky at best, but at least I could walk away from the ashes without a myriad of lies pushing my shoulders to the ground. Honesty certainly has a destructive nature, but the ruin it leaves behind can also serve as fertile ground once the dust has settled.

While my words might paint a picture of inner peace & understanding, let's make something clear: I can never forgive her. This is something that will, in some way, haunt me for a long time to come. Perhaps for as long as I live. I'm not expecting or demanding retribution, but a pound of flesh is owed. Not to inflict more pain to the other player in this story, but to serve my sense of justice. That, if anything, has been violated.

Whatever insight I can draw from this is beside the point, an afterthought at best. I would've never wanted things to end on such a note, as there is no doubt in my mind it will cast a shadow on every word my heart speaks in the future. With this turn of events my trust in people is completely, utterly and thoroughly destroyed. It is smashed into so many tiny pieces it's no more than a pile of dust. I'm genuinely worried if and when infatuation turns into something deeper in the future. Whatever my reaction may be, it shall come shrouded in complete mystery.

I'd like to say this will strengthen my heart and make my skin thicker, but it won't. And I don't want it to. Goddamnit, I don't want it to! If I'm into someone, if my heart burns for their touch and my eyes light up when I see their face, if I'm into them full-steam, no holds barred - so be it. I am certainly aware that I can drive a woman into a corner by a mere glimpse of the passion inside, get her on her hind legs with the warmth of my words and drive her headfirst into the snow by being such a hopeless dreamer. And you know what? I wouldn't change that part of me for all the gold of the gods of the sun. Whether or not that's a quality worth praising or hiding isn't a choice anyone but I can make. I choose the former.

You know what? I'm actually a pretty fucking awesome guy.


Row, row

Quiet eludes me. Hammering away at some new shelves tonight I found myself unable to control the halestorm of strange, bewildering thoughts rummaging in my top floor. For a moment I thought I'd found a serene moment among physical chores, but it was not to be. I'm not complaining, but I'm growing tired of tracking down my concentration and nailing that fucker down for at least a microt. Sometimes I feel like I'm simply ill-equipped to handle emotions that haven't given enough clear indication that they're about to hit my screen.

This is all a sum of its parts, of course. Having lived in a somewhat stagnant world of knowing exactly what tomorrow will bring for so many years, these days each new dawn is a question mark. Being a single man with no day job and very little to tie me down is a lot to get used to (again) after such a long stint in the safe haven of security, not to mention resting upon the welcoming arms of self-imposed mediocrity.

As the more astute among you might have deducted from my previous entry, I'm a bit sweet on someone and it's playing hell with my already warped mind. Don't get me wrong, though: things are way, way up in the air and everything could dissolve before you can say "chemistry". I certainly wish it wouldn't, but you can never be too sure. I'm afraid I'll get burnt - as has been the norm in such situations in the past, albeit a distant past - and that friendships will be scolded beyond repair in the process, but I also want to see where this leads. I hate being vulnerable, but I also know that the safest option is always the least rewarding. Such notions have formed a strange balancing troupe in my head and the havoc that's ensued is quite a lot to take.

A buddy of mine and I had a heart-to-heart of sorts last night. Very little detail, very few words akin to true emotion and even less barebone honesty, but a fun little exchange of surprising twists and unforeseen turns behind the veil, straight from the horse's mouth. It was quite refreshing to talk about the elusive beast of relationships with someone taking notes from a very different kind of operating manual than yours truly.

Later, lying on my somewhat uncomfortable couch chasing sleep's slippery tail, I counted faces as some would sheep. How delightfully bizarre and surprising my world is; at least in terms of the people inhabiting it or making sporadic sojourns into my comfort zone. I mused on how small and thoroughly entagled all these circles of flesh and heartbeats are, their bounds drawn by desire, opportunity, chance and mere luck of the draw. I often marvel at how people find each other in the night. The protagonist in these stonewall lullabies bathed in smoke and streetlight is more often than not myself, yet I confess I'm none the wiser on what kind of turn the script will take on the next page.

A long time ago I had a dream about the nature of the social animal; of how everyone's lonesome struggle adrift upon the sea of time leads us into the arms of one another and how the ripples we generate with every single motion turn splashes into waves and waves into roaring tides. A bit of a naive notion, perhaps, but bear with me.

In the dream, I sat in a rickety rowboat under moonless skies in inky blackness. In spite of the darkness I could see the everclear stretching limitless around me, beyond sight and understanding. Endless. I heard voices nearby and afar, a veritable choir of human sounds, each familliar to me. I took to the paddles and began making my way towards a distant voice that filled me with warmth. She is there. Off I went.

As the surface of the sea began to writhe and breathe restlessly under my slowly drifting vessel, a myriad of colors and shapes escaped from all around me, filling my view. These are... mine? While I did not understand their nature, I knew these violent bursts of grandiose energy were my doing.

Each push, pull and turn I took generated a trail of light into another direction around me, and while I couldn't see their impact, I knew they would find their way to another lone soul. Perhaps a stream would disturb someone's enjoyable standstill, perhaps one would guide another towards an unforeseen tomorrow. Perhaps the ripple would turn into a tide and swallow someone. It wasn't up to me to guide the will of the sea, merely to make my own way upon it as best I could.

We row in solitude upon black seas of wild energy, driven by Ishmael's will and endlessly tempted by the sirens of desire. May your hand be guided by love and may you find, as I have, a bittersweet sense of serenity in knowing how wonderful this endless, terrifying journey in darkness can be. It won't dull the blade's edge when it pushes past your ribs, but there is something to be said about recognizing, understanding and perhaps even appreciating those force(s) that push you towards those warm voices we chase in the night.



The storm continues. What a delight. Overpowered by the foaming seas under an angry, spitting sky, I find myself looking up and laughing. Mouth full of salt water and eyes forced shut, my laugh still echoes in the night.

Had dinner with my ex yesterday. She thought I was a nervous wreck for some unnamed reason, since I couldn't stop blabbering on over the table. About? No clue really. My guess would be random jolts of absolute bullshit. I honestly didn't even notice that my mouth was going on and on. As I made my way home later I kept cracking up about how much of a goofball I must've seemed.

Strange things are afoot. Surprising, beautiful, dangerous things. The first two are self-explanatory to those involved, the third a necessary evil on a road peppered with pitfalls. There is quite a lot on the line. A lot to lose in the greater scheme of things, even if I'm not entirely sure what that would be.

If I'm able to find a moment of peace and clarity, it is swiftly torn apart by biting sensations of fear, joy, confusion, fulfillment, insecurity, you name it. Perhaps I'm setting myself up for a fall, perhaps I'm reading too much into it, perhaps the dreamer in me is already neck-deep in quicksand, perhaps the little poet boy is two steps away from the gallows yet again. But perhaps doesn't have a place in my vocabulary right now. I'm having a hard time giving a rat's ass about what anyone thinks and finding the experience quite envigorating.

I fight the urge to allow reason over the threshold with tooth and nail - this is the heart's domain. You shall not pass. I dig myself a quiet hole for contemplation, only to let the shovel fall with the realization that my mind has already wandered aimlessly to some other location. Off to catch the bastard, then!

Flashes of soft shadows and softer whispers, quivering bodies and hearts beating wildly. Of secret smiles and stolen moments behind the curtain. Sanctuaries in the dark, where you need not remember your name. Of moments of impenetrable intimacy amidst a sea of bodies, sound and light. Of wavelengths and words that made me want to lose control. My heart feels a small stab and I inhale violently. Terror grips me. Then my eyes open and I exhale with a smile. I am alive. Where are you? This is your doing as well. Tell me what measure of thanks you are owed.

I hope I don't fuck things up or drive any moment into a collision. I hope my mouth and usage of said weapon won't derail the train before it has left the station. I hope I'm not being pegged the fool, parading in the parlor with a paper crown and delusions of kinghood. I hope my heartbeat is understood for all its strength and fragility. I hope things will align themselves without tissue tearing and I can offer and receive a measure of something without threat or worry. I hope my lips won't tremble if I'm offered a kiss. I hope my words are heard by more than ears. I hope I'm allowed to feel warmth without knowing it's my own blood warming my exposed skin.

I hope...



The wind howls like a whimpering ghost behind the windowpane. My throat is sore from growling all morning and my eyes have a beautiful reddish tint due to lack of sleep.

Sometimes inspiration grips me like raging wildfire, igniting everything in my view with grandiose golden hues. Spiriting me onwards until my blood roars. The urge and the drive are tremendous, but resistant to the element of control. I tossed and paced around the room for hours until I finally managed to lock myself in the studio. After the long stint at aimless tinkering and doodling that followed I was finally able to get some work done on The Stranger's new material. I still feel so damn energized I'm surprised I'm able to sit still.

Sometimes the storm inside my head gets so furious I find it nearly impossible to channel it into my creative output. It feels like my heart is swelling to twice its size and my eyes burn with every sweet spark of light and dark that mold my brainwaves into streams of creative current. I don't know how to fully describe it, but it feels like the brightest light imaginable pouring out from my essence. It is a mad, grand emotion.

I feel so good it's almost ridiculous. Like I'm some sort of caricature of myself, buck-toothed, huge-nosed and all. If you're reading this, I'm pretty sure I'm in your debt in one way or another. My eyes are finally starting to open up to how many wonderful people I have the privilege to call friends. The Finnish language has more synonyms for "friend" and the emotional depth differs, but that is beside the point. I am loved and appreciated and I feel likewise in return. All I really needed to do was to let these emotions ride free. I'm absolutely horrible at trying to express my appreciation, so I'll cut the attempt short before syrup starts oozing out of my screen (or yours). But you know who you are - thank you. It's been quite the joyride these past couple of weeks.

That - not to mention a conversation or two with people whose opinion I hold in high regard - has also made me ponder whether or not I'm handling this journal business with reason. People have told me more than once that while they know the man behind the words, they simply can't recognize him from what is generally on display here. Having looked back at my entries I must agree. Shadow Dialogue has, for the most part, become somewhat of a sewage valve for the excess dark matter of the undersigned. This was certainly not my original intent.

To be honest and blunt with both you and I, these little linguistic exercises have very little value as a one-dimensional reflection of a pale and bleak glimpse into my world, so I will at least attempt to turn over a new leaf by not waiting around to have something to complain about before I pick up the proverbial pen. I assume (most of) the people who read this have at least a measure of interest in my personal life and/or have a place in my heart, and I feel I'm doing everyone an equal disservice by providing little more than eloquently illustrated grayscale imagery with very little contrast and vividity. I'll try to work on that.

Perhaps this warm breeze will blow away, perhaps I'm just a big softy at heart. Don't worry, I won't burst into butterflies or start channeling Fred Astaire. But if our paths have crossed in recent times and we've shared words, smiles or something else together, make no mistake: you've played a part in this. My gratitude is all I have to offer.


Revelations under black light

Tonight, I broke down and cried.

You might not think much of it, but to me it was like lightning ripping through the bottle. The last time tears have rolled down my cheeks was a decade or two ago. I honestly can't even remember. Through the years I've often pondered if I've forgotten how to cry at all, but to my surprise and relief, I now have my answer. As my head fell into my hands and a soft burning sensation filled the corners of my eyes, all I could think was: "This is happening. This is really happening."

The catalyst? Something as simple as a song; one that would probably mean next to nothing to you, especially after I've built it up to such degree. A song that spoke to me - to her - with words I hadn't been able to find, words I didn't want to utter... yet words I felt were written with my blood, standing as an audial mirror forcing me to dig deeper and, by effect, tear down a wall inside. A thank you disguised as a farewell, dressed in a eulogy. The act of unravelling gave way for something to flow unrestricted again, tearing itself through the cracks of this stone carcass I've unwittingly allowed time to construct around my vital organs. A painful yet liberating experience.

Though we hadn't felt the tender thorns of romance for a long time and I'm genuinely glad we can both continue our search for whatever lies beyond the horizon, I am absolutely terrified that time will gnaw away at the foundations and I will lose my best friend. It frightens me more than words can describe. As a result, my insecurities have ushered me into completely uncharacteristic, weirdsville-esque situations on a handful of evenings out and about. No doubt a byproduct of the walls and support structures of yesterday crumbling down and re-forming around me, but surprising and bewildering nonetheless. These sporadic excursions into the Twilight Zone have yielded positive and negative experiences, but they've been equally strange and alien in nature. I'll leave the gory details out for now, but let's just say I don't trust my self-control to stretch to its normal extremes during this time of shedding skin.

There is a lesson here - nay, more than one. Some discovered, some still locked away and others hiding in plain sight. That's the reasoning, if any, that shepherds me through the wilderness of my heart and grants me at least a measure of stillness in the midst of all this. I am a half-blind explorer charting treacherous terrain, an inept translator lost for words at the center of the myriad of my own nerve endings locked in incomprehensible dialogue with one another. One emotion confuses another, giving way to more questions that continue to stir the pot.

While I may be somewhat apt at exploring the stormy seas of my inward turbulence and subsequently recollecting the path I've tread for the edutainment of myself and others, I am an absolute novice at showing emotion. It's certainly not a macho thing or some such; my operating manual is simply filled with too many dead end solutions, wordplay and meaningless bravado for even myself to decipher the bottom line. From the cliché of being in touch with one's self has been erected a thicket of truly unconquerable terrain. What I know of myself I have often deducted and reduced from discussion with myself alone, often neglecting how important it is to have faith in the rewards of being bone-bare on the outside as well.

I certainly need to educate myself on where, when and to whom I open up to, but the pickings available to me are honestly too slim to fathom and sometimes I simply can't help myself. At worst, it is quite a sad sight - my tongue tries desperately to hide itself or my fists tighten in front of the keyboard, while I slip into a labyrinth of cold aphorisms and half-truths as I try - truly, truly try - to shine a light upon the bleak landscape within for others to see. My voice seeks comforting echoes, but is generally met with such disdain I want nothing more than for these shells of humanity around me, weighed down by gravity alone, to be swallowed up by the sky's hungry jaws.

Perhaps this lesson offers no depth beyond the indifference that seems to surround me like the river Styx flowing through the streets, alleyways and living rooms I pass by. Perhaps I am an alien in your world after all, simply ill-equipped to sustain myself in this climate. I don't know what to make of it all, but then again, the highest steps rarely divulge their secrets until you've climbed well past their height.

People shroud themselves in crushing disregard, stop pedaling and sink into the milk of featherweight trivialities, wrap their exposed skin in the comfort of the heartless and fill their eyes and ears with the tempest of white noise readily available to all wanting. And this I can say with all the might left in my heart - I will NEVER become one of you! I can breathe a little easier after such realizations, but it comes at a price of feeling even more like a fish out of water.

Most believe that the pale light is comfort enough and succumb to shiver in its depleting warmth, but for us blessed & cursed with wanting to peer beyond its harsh halo, it can be a very lonely existence.



We talked, briefly. Then the realities we'd finally come to grips with and uttered with shaky conviction strangled the air from our lungs and left us to dry heave yet again. Regardless of how little was said, each word still reverberates in the air like the echoes of a lonely voice from a mountaintop.

Her face contorted into nervous smiles and I suppressed not only my anger but my love for her, wilted as it may be. I tried to reconcile with myself to find some hidden jewel of resolution in all this angst and disharmony, only to find myself once again locking horns in a war of attrition between my slowly bleeding heart, the distance my thoughts have already travelled from this place and my own inability to find the mouth of this maze.

Words spun around the two of us and were left suspended in the air as blank and half-hearted statements of the stagnant status quo. A frozen prison we're both the manufacturers and prisoners of, wholly aware of these facts to boot, yet hopelessly lost on how to escape this predicament. Other than, well, abandoning everything. But after nearly six years, how can you let go without your flesh tearing off?

Perhaps there is still love here, but it's been cut into small, unrecognizable pieces and torn asunder, locked away in little boxes that litter our shared corner of the world. They are lost in a sea of similar boxes, hiding unspoken truths, slowly growing frustration, questions silenced by fear, words of endearment never uttered... So many things locked away and left to clutter the space around us. Between us. There is a very real wall here, a very substantial construct; one that stifles any attempt to speak freely and discourages the very thought of overcoming it by its sheer height. Make no mistake - all of this has been in the making for longer than I care to admit, but it's nearly impossible not to be crushed by the memory of how beautiful it all was somewhere in the annals of yesterday, no matter how sour and lifeless our gardens of stone have become.

Now I find myself living in an even quieter home with words drowning in sand before they pass through our lips, the only exception being that we've now established, vocally, that the breaking point has been reached and neither of us can draw the rabbit of salvation out of the hat. The heartbreaking feeling of warmth disappearing from our shared life is only emphasised by our civil and cordial behavior towards one another. It seems so contrived my spine twists like a headless snake.

Once, we were perfectly matched and beautifully aligned, more so than just about anyone else I've ever met, but no matter how many bonds we tied between us over the years, they are all crackling and snapping apart under the freezing cold. I doubt neither of us could truly pinpoint the whys and whynots, but it doesn't really matter at this point. We've come to a crossroads we simply cannot pass without pain and trial by fire. As hard as I've tried I can't see a way out of this.

The singular realization of how alone I truly am washes over me like an angry flow of mud while I sink under the surface by the weight of my own inability to find clarity. I feel numb, almost paralyzed. Writing these words down seems to mend my condition in some strange momentary way, as if I were applying a quickly dissolving bandage over an open wound. It's a remedy no matter how hollow, but one that is constantly overshadowed by an crushing sense of loneliness. That all this hurt disappears into a gaping black void of indifference and I'm simply a sucker for wanting to find something more. What I'm providing here by pouring my heart out, no matter how profound and heartfelt from my perspective, is nothing more than social pornography and a secure, distant window into my suffering. Reality TV down a notch (no moving pictures). I have no friends to call and there is no one to offer me any kind of sanctuary or comfort. That is not a call for sympathy, merely a statement of fact. I'm so tired of being strong in silence, strong on my own. Tired of being so completely fucking helpless to mend the situation in any way.

I have to gag myself so I won't start spreading discomfort by wallowing in my woes via whatever social channels are available and around me. I dread the notion of voicing what I'm going through, as I fear it would be nothing more than an invitation for ridicule and apathy to slam the door in the face of my silent search for compassion. Then again, would I deserve more? I find myself fighting a losing battle against an unbelievably idiotic yet frightfully strong sense of my self image. I don't want to come off as a whiny little bitch, so what do I do? Shut off. Clamp down. But then again, who would I open up to? It's a rusty merry-go-round rife with irony and jetblack humor.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

It's pathetic, isn't it? I can't even muster up the strength or conviction to open my mouth anywhere but surrounded by this blank space, groaning bitterly at the great unknown like a teethless alpha male shaking his fist at the mirror. As the prospect of isolation looms in the not-so-far distance, I find myself growing so angry at myself and how I've left so many of my better angels to wither at the wayside. Just about every relationship I've been able to build and maintain feels like little more than a fair-weather friendship and I'm locked in a complete standstill between my inability to trust and my quest for companionship. I suppose it's not all entirely my fault, but I can only speak on my own behalf.

Perhaps I'll continue the dreamtale one day. Perhaps not. Inspiration eludes me and I it. For now, it's for the best, as drawing even a breath of imagination comes at a high cost as every emotion I strip bare is instantly surrounded by shadows and thorns. All I seem to be able to do is let my conscious self fly away while trying to dig myself a little hiding place in oblivion. I feel like a complete coward. Perhaps I am nothing more.


The strangest dream, part I

I looked up. The sky was as blue as the Mediterranean sea, as soft as the softest pluck of the string in the most soothing love song. In the horizon, far beyond any length of distance I could imagine, a slowly moving torn blanket of clouds lined the edge of the world. As I watched it flow gently from one reach of my view to the other, I imagined an endless stream of formless nomads walking towards a land undiscovered. One they would never reach, eternally thankful of the everlong journey.

I peered down. I stood in black water that seemed to stretch beyond the furthest floor of the deepest point, flowing up into the sky on the other side of the world. It looked like a sleeping sea bathed in moonlight, quiet and calm yet so unyielding and impenetrable. So close you could reach down and pick the stars from its surface, yet so vast and mysterious you could never find its hidden treasures. An invisible enigma hidden in a glass jar. Your heart could freeze in awe as its immeasurable ends whispered silent truths about how small you truly are.

Yet I hadn't sunk beneath its waves.

The waters began to twirl and writhe as if trying to hide some ancient unquelled turmoil beneath a masque of slumber. Trickles of water flowed over my feet and between my toes like little serpents, silky and playful. I let out a shy, muffled laugh, yet grew quiet quickly as I realized no echo came to meet my voice. As I looked around for land to no avail, the dead wind swept to life, carrying a greeting.

"So you found your way."

A disjointed, furiously reverberating voice spoke with soft words from afar and close by, yet I saw no one. It was as if the voice stemmed from the sea, from the sky and from my own body, resonating wildly around me like a jolt of light shot into a room of mirrors. My head swung with fast, curious thrusts as I peered in every direction, then again, then once more for good measure. Only the still skyline was gazing down upon me.

"Yes," I replied with a trembling voice, "I believe it was the jackal that guided me here."

"Ah, that playful wretch," said the voice. "A hard one to tame, yet never a hair's length less than exactly what it is. Perhaps that is the lesson you seek here."

I looked around again, searching for my hidden companion. Then I suddenly realized something: the sky was as bright as a summer afternoon, yet the water was as black as midnight. Locking eyes with my reflection upon the water's surface I shuddered with shock and shouted: "Why is my hair gray? And my skin, why is my skin so pale?"

"We do not understand your 'colors' or 'time' here," the voice replied. "These things are alien to us. What we make here is what you make here. You guide us and we deliver as best we can."

"Perhaps this day finds you feeling gray and pale."

I rubbed my cheek and shook my head in confusion. Looking down to see if I had truly seen what I thought I had, it occurred to me that my right eye seemed to be glimmering. I crouched down and opened my eyes as wide as I could while exchanging bewildered looks with my reflection. As the faint sparkle grew and grew, I realized it was something rising from beneath the waves.

"He will help you," the voice said. "Have faith."

I stumbled backwards as a small human body flew from the splashing water and took to the sky with a trail of spatter in its wake. It tossed around and shook aimlessly like a leaf caught by strong wind, like a bird escaping from a lifelong cage. Then it suddenly stopped, turned and began descending towards me. Dripping wet, the being was white as ivory and stood no higher than the length of my arm, crowned with hair so golden it looked like fire in slow motion. It had no eyes or lips, no curves to carve or fill its body, no lines or wrinkles decorating its frail little shell. But in the strangest way... it seemed familliar.

A low, tender voice crept from where its mouth should have been: "Skin. Call me Skin."

I tried to reply: "But..."

Silencing me with a swift gesture of his hand, Skin sunk back under the waves and said: "First and foremost... first things first."

A flash of burning pain slashed my back as my body began to twist and contort uncontrollably. I lunged forward as my head pulled back violently, then the other way around. Grasping at the emptiness around me, I could only hear my teeth grind as my sighs became groans, then screaming. A rush of warm blood spilled through my skin and onto my back as the sound of ripping flesh and crackling bones made my stomach turn. My cries turned into a bellowing howl as my spit and tears trickled down, creating small rivers of spiraling technicolor nightmares with the streams of blood running down my arms and shoulders. I fell to my knees whimpering. My hands sank under the surface and the cold water shocked my senses.

I forced my eyes open and saw the silhouette of giant red wings pertruding from my body. Skin appeared again, twirling his hand like a magician at the apex of his most prized illusion.

"There. That's better."

Steeling myself, I lifted my head and stared at him. In his faceless face devoid of expression I saw a mirror for my own determination, spiriting me onward. My mouth widened into a ferocious snarl and a final tear ran down my cheek as I willed the wings to move. First a small wave, then longer strokes, then smaller sways again. My heavy breathing grew like a crescendo of white noise, so thick in my ears it sounded like the murmur of angry thunder.

Each motion whipped my shivering body with sharp agony, yet the pain was slowly becoming bearable. I clenched my fists so tight my nails broke the skin. I arose from my knees and then, ever so slowly, off my feet.

Skin signaled me to follow. Without hesitation, I did.


Ride free

My feet stomp wildly. Thoughts erupt, zigzag around and through each other, disintegrate into dust clouds of new creative life like jolts of electricity from a Tesla coil. I am Hansel and Gretel and every corner of this house is built with the sticky sweet sugar of inspiration. Perhaps the wicked witch is the bitter sting of failure and disappointment, perhaps she is merely time. For now, her kettle remains cold nonetheless.

This is the 4th official day of my sabbatical after deciding to leave my steady day job and handing in my resignation after months of deliberation. Having the time to focus nearly full-time on music, writing et al is a monstrous engine of limitless horsepower in perpetual motion, replenishing and strenghtening its energy with every move that drains it. I feel so charged and overpowered I fear for the endurance of my human shell. I could truly explode from joy.

While the amount of support and warmth my decision yielded caught me a bit off guard, I don't think anyone truly understood my motivation for cutting my ties with the ebb & flow of nine-to-five. Then again, how could they? I'm probably the worst person on the planet to keep others informed of my creative work and aspirations, not to mention the fact that even talking about my endeavors is more often than not a mountain I find ridiculously perilous to climb. Ridiculous because I'm fully aware of how warped I've allowed my perception to become.

Never mind the fact that creativity is in a very tangible, literal way the air I breathe and the sustenance that keeps me on this plane of existence - very, very few have been privy to even a gazillionth of how thoroughly art and the tempest of its creation embodies and entangles my being. Substantial and etherial alike. For this, I stand ready to take the blame, though I would like to point out that there are alleviating factors.

I have a very thick yet elastic game face - one that I've had time to craft and re-craft over nearly five years - and there are a handful, nay, a thimbleful of people who've ever even had a glimpse of me in my most naked shape. That of the freerider upon inspiration's wave.

It's an existence upon incredibly liberating, fulfilling and rewarding waters, not to mention something I'd gladly share with the world if given the chance. Unfortunately unchained and undiluted passion can also be an overwhelming force, something many are ill-equipped to handle. Thus it can sometimes be met with surprisingly vigorous countering forces, albeit they manifest in many different forms.

There is simply a myriad of people around us who never want to be reminded of the fact that their heart carries a beat. Its rhythm is counter-productive, because the cog in the wheel has no place for the free flow of blood or inspiration.

After 31 years I'm pretty confident in saying my wavelength is on a completely different frequency than just about every person I've ever met. I can make people go into emergency shutdown mode by offering just a sliver of a view into the fire inside, so for the most part, I tend to keep it away from prying eyes as modus operandi. Perhaps the language barrier has grown so tall and wide that even the thought of traversing through it is too foreboding to entertain, or perhaps I've never been skillful in that art in the first place.

As said, finding one's self separated by untouchable glass from the rest of humanity is fruitful ground for both mirror-gazing and fingerpointing. I'm extremely wary of opening myself to people who've been exposed to some facet of my outward self (indeed, I'm probably talking about you as well), because even though opening that door would probably feel like a new licence to breathe, it's also a state in which I feel most vulnerable. It requires a degree of mutual trust I'm almost pathologically unable to award to anyone.

Seeing another's eyes glaze over as they rummage their brain trying to reroute the converstaion back to the safe haven of banality is a hand that's been dealt to me times aplenty. Perhaps I've given up on trying to find a common language with the rest of my species or perhaps I've allowed others to see only a small piece of my puzzle for so long it's become habit. Perhaps you see me as a senseless dreamer while you valiantly carry the crushing weight of routine like a sparkling badge of honor. Perhaps I need to buy some paper mache and build people who don't drain their souls daily by awarding more time for apathy than ambition.

If your sarcasm alarm is blinking at this point, congratulations - we're one step closer to having found a shared language.

I'm sure there are subconcious efforts to give the faceless crowds a glimpse into my world through this journal for example, so I guess I'm trying at least. The ironic thing is how much mere words scribbled down on weightless pages in an online journal can shake & stir things up, for better or worse. That's one treasure chest I can mark on this endlessly expanding map - how destructive a force perceived reality can be when poured out unfiltered through one mouth.

Riding freely on the train of thought - yours or another's - is like velvet quicksand. Miraculous and horrifying at the same time. Perhaps that is why so many of us are content to tiptoe around the deeper regions and settle for the oases scattered around the wilderness. Places that offer safety and stability, yet are significantly lacking in awe and wonders. That is a sin I believe we are all guilty of, though certainly not in equal measure.

Strange as it is, this little creative hole in the ground I've dug for myself has made me ponder about both ongoing and possible future collaborations with others and I'm happy to report I am awash with surprising optimism. As work progresses on my private, personal artistic endeavors (The Stranger currently in the forefront), it's hard to look past the prospects of working with other wild stallions on a larger scale again. The inevitable disappointments and dissolutions will have significantly less impact as I now have an immeasurable amount of time to work on anything and everything without the constant need to micromanage and delegate the hours I have to distribute on any given day. If things fall through, I won't have to look back on all the other things I had to put on indefinite hold while trudging up the hill to meet a brick wall. My spiritual well-being will benefit from this immensely.

Oh, and if you spotted the Bill & Ted reference, chalk down another landmark on the road towards mutual understanding.


Broken compass

The sharp tip of irony's spear has pricked my tender tissue yet again. Indeed, consider me thoroughly pricked.

Just as I got done howling from the rooftop about how the band dynamic had been steadily losing its appeal in my eyes, I find myself at an apex of new possibilities of just such persuasion. Ones with not only plentiful musical potential, but a veritable house of mysteries as far as social relations are concerned. A group of gents, yours truly among them, who know one another only vaguely and on face value, yet play together as a well-oiled machine nearly effortlessly with half a handful of rehearsals. Very few ensembles can match our instinctual compatibility as a unit of resonance and harmony; certainly none that I've ever been a part of. I would be stone cold mad not to at least consider the possibilities such a gathering of minds might come upon in the short or long run.

But then we come to the mother of question marks and one Jason Doyle Ward begins to backtrack on his hind legs instinctively and at once: are we socially compatible? Is there enough musical common ground? Will personalities clash and matters of taste become beachheads? Will my love it or hate it vocal sound cause some sort of rift as it has done before? Will people tame their egos in favor of a healthier atmosphere yet to the detriment of the music? Having had little personal interaction with the rest of the quintet makes these questions echo and resonate even more wildly in my top knob. My faith in the human blueprint has been shattered more than once and, truthfully, my estimate of who is and isn't trustworthy has been proven little more than a broken compass, a complete hit-or-miss endeavor, on many an occasion.

My scepticism, well-founded as it may be, makes me cringe and want to rise against my own instincts. There's something here. It could work. It deserves the opportunity to come to fruition or fade to black without being nipped in the bud. It is certainly not my call alone, but I'd wager all of us feel the same way. But - and this is a very substantial, life-lesson but - if I allow optimism to creep in and find it yet again unwarranted as everything turns sour, it'll only serve to alienate and embitter me that one step further on my way to becoming a joyless recluse detached from the stream of humanity. But we'll have to see if this tree bears fruit before beginning construction of the garden. At this point I'm just pissing in the wind, though I must say it's been a delightfully enjoyable wee!

While the past weekend offered a rich reservoir of positivity with no more than a teaspoon of negative vibrations, I find myself musing on the petty nature of some people. People I've come to know through various experiences and instances to be extremely needy for attention yet having very little to justify why we should all stop and stare. I know the type all too well and I'm sure you do too. One or two tried to gnaw away at me because they wanted the spotlight that happened to shine down on me for a microt. Another tried to take pot shots at me because they wanted to be in charge of a certain situation and felt somehow threatened. I see through it, because I want what you have is a mindset not unlike albino eyes - you can't mask that, at least not with amateurish manipulation, paraphrasing and other schoolyard tactics. Not with me in the room. I'll find you in my crosshairs just as quickly.

All that aside, last weekend's adventures were the best time I've had in months. The ride ended too quickly, but isn't that how it always goes? Unfortunately I fear it was also merely a brief breather before I find myself trying to decipher the lay of a strange, increasingly alien landscape once again. The landscape of a relationship falling apart.

This is the first time I've openly admitted this to myself and I'll be brief about it, as wallowing in what-ifs will do more harm than good. I don't believe I'm doing anyone a favor by writing this down, but I have to at least attempt to shift some weight off my chest before I buckle under the pressure.

I feel more and more out of place and out of control as the silence amasses and builds up to a wall of white noise. At some point it will overpower me and something will break. Our home doesn't feel like a home, but a shelter for two people who don't share a life any longer. We find solace in temporary jolts of love and harmony before drifting apart again like two pieces of driftwood floating around a seemingly placid lake. What makes it even more heartbreaking is I don't have the slightest idea how we got here. It seems to have slipped from my fingers without me even noticing. The lights are broken yet if I attempt to find my way out of this black space, I'm greeted with hollow words in the darkness about how nothing as changed. But it has. Something is amiss. Something has disappeared.

She doesn't listen to me anymore. Her attention is elsewhere and her focus hasn't been further from our relationship in all the years we've endured together. The aspects of our shared life seem to be little more than a chore and a nuisance to her, which serves only to aggravate me to the point of combustion, pulling the rift wider. My voice, my presence, is merely a distraction from more inspiring and intriguing affairs. A distraction most often met with disdain and indifference if I try to acknowledge said fact. Whenever she vehemently denies it all, I find myself unable to ignore the emptiness I see in her eyes when she looks at me. I am a vessel to fill the empty seat on the left, someone to ring up for groceries and sleep next to. Someone to be there, because someone needs to be there.

My presence interferes with some sort of new-found existence I have no part to play in. When I try to open the door I'm shrugged off and assured everything is all right - with no attention paid to the fact that I don't agree. Everything is not fucking all right. Not by an inch or a mile.

A friend of mine told me we're nearing the "famous" seven year crisis, whatever that means. I refuse to be a statistic, yet I fear we are indeed on the brink of some unforeseen peril that may well tear us apart. My heart feels strained and punctured, yet I also feel increasingly aggravated by being constantly ignored. She is not here. She has better places to inhabit, whatever and wherever they may be. We break apart piece by little piece, yet her composure stays intact. All this under what I can only assume is the assumption that I'll be here no matter what. That my endurance in the face of growing distance will remain unyielding and everlong.

It won't.


The Stranger is coming

Yes, yes. I disappeared for a while. I do that.

On a somewhat uncharacteristic positive note, the downtime from being socially noteworthy has been spent sipping deeply from the creative pot. Well, I should say the creative pot with great enhancement by my technical aptitude (in terms of studio tech and the tools at my disposal) that's been growing with truly surprising leaps since the last time I took note.

Bear in mind that I've considered myself at the very least a reasonably skilled mixer and producer - the ever-expanding space for growth always factoring in, of course - yet by having delved deeper into the production side and poking my nose into unfamilliar territory as deep as my honker will allow, my triptych has grown in appearance, style and grandeur without me even noticing it but as an afterthought. It's been a spectacularly fruitful accidental re-enactment of one doctor Frankenstein at the office, with the fruits of my musical labor serving as willing guinea pigs for their own betterment.

I've gotten lost in the mix, bewildered by the balance and perplexed by the plug-ins - and come out twice the wiser and thrice more unbound on the other end. I've taken my sweet time twisting, squeezing and poking around with every single nook, cranny and rock's underside, finding myself both rejuvenated by new discoveries as well as validated on certain musical choices that survived scrutiny by my brand new eyes. It's certainly always the human hand that grips the strings of the heart and one should always remain mindful not to let the carousel of knob-turning take over the entire carnival, but having an expanded armory of tools as a support structure for one's artistic vision certainly has its comforting appeal. After all, this is construction of self-sufficient worlds, from song to song to song. The surrounding architecture and atmosphere are less impactful if the air tastes funny or the sound of the birds isn't in tune with the entire experience.

I feel like I'm finally coming into my own as far as a producer of my own material, not only as an over-experienced, underworked developer of Ward 13's signature soundscheme. I'm putting up flags where shortcomings are found and addressing them accordingly, rather than working around the holes in the canvas and trying to make them part of the piece. Shifting focus from polishing a collage of details to scuplting the big picture as a truly cohesive whole has been more of a technical excersise than an artistic accomplishment, and I believe my art will improve from it.

The recognition of my own progress is much akin to when I finished Ward 13's first demotape back when the new millenium was taking its first breaths. It was a first on many fronts and a feat I single-handedly pulled out of my ass without so much as a clue or treasure map to rely upon. As was the case then, I haven't felt this... educated in quite some time.

Much, if not all of this has to do with the fact that The Stranger has finally kicked into gear. It is time indeed. Time indeed.

I've placed my personal musical namesakes on the back burner countless times to accomodate other, less fulfilling projects undertaken with other individuals. Projects that, I might add, have crashed and burned mainly due to internal tension or lack of true enthusiasm - essentially, because of people. Ironic, because collaborations have never yielded the same spiritual rewards as musical journeys set forth and guided by none but my own hand. Honestly, why did I bother?

After all the band debacles and joint ventures gone awry in the last few years I've finally come to the rather joyful conclusion that I will have all other endeavors play second fiddle to my solo projects. They are now top priority. Ward 13 and The Stranger will take precedence over all collaborations I may take part in. Having sealed this deal with the man in the mirror I can say it's a pact long in the making, solidified in no small part by my growing expertise in the field of audio design. I feel more confident than ever as the holes in my game get plugged one after another and the need for others' involvement disappears deeper into the mist.

I am done with compromises and politics, musical halfways, dodging backstab attempts, ego soothing and the air hockey of manipulation. All of that has taken far too much time and energy away from what is and should always be most important - the creative work. The only partnership I have in the works is with one of my oldest friends and is a two-man operation, so I have faith it'll come to fruition without any drama whatsoever. That also means my plate is filled to the brim and I am gleefully unable to attach myself to any possible doomed voyages lurking in the annals of tomorrow.

As with Ward 13, I've come to realize The Stranger cannot exist in any other form than as a solo project. While it has clinged to life under many a name and with a myriad of people involved at any given time, the creative part has always rested almost solely upon my shoulders and the other members have disappeared no later than when they've realized this isn't just a fucking pastime hobby for me. One might muse that I've simply had bad luck or even worse taste in bandmates, but whatever the reasons, they are beside the point and off the radar from hereon.

Mixing and producing Ward 13 has always been an excursion all its own with a very different face forward than, say, any project I've been involved in that incorporates electric guitars on a heavier regimen. Whereas W13 is essentially very ascetic, bare and minimalistic, the metallic aspirations of the undersigned have always tended to strive for wallowing, surging proportions challenging even W13 on the schizophrenic front; forging the epic with the sparse and the massive with the low-key, not forgetting the hot/cold, stop/go interludes that always seem to make their way into whatever I write. As such, getting them to sound the way I've envisioned they deserve to sound has been like traversing an ocean of liquid fire surrounded by an acid moat atop a steep hill covered in ice. Yes - hard.

However, with the acceptance that The Stranger will never be a band in the traditional sense has come a new kind of confidence. From the songs and hatchlings now either finished or still gestating, I'd have to say The Stranger is some of the best material I've written. Every bit as unique as Ward 13, though I would never compare the two. Still, now re-envisioned as another kind of vessel for my vision, it has proven to be a primus motor of pure inspirational fire & lightning and an outlet I've been sorely missing. As an experimental subject in the studio lab it has offered a thorough, point-to-point learning experience equally rich in inspiration and enlightenment. If vision and technique are weapons, I'm arming myself to the teeth times two.

Understanding that I am another step toward being a truly self-reliant musician and producer is, in a word, liberating. As the appeal of being a member of the pack wanes in the face of having absolute - absolute - artistic freedom, I feel less and less melancholy about not being surrounded by a group dynamic. I feel better than in months, because I know with increasing certainty that I don't need anyone else to achieve what I'm striving for and my priorities are now fine-tuned to best serve the creative energy inside me begging to be released.

Joy in solitude. Welcome back, old friend.



There is a disconnect inside. A rift that upsets the balance, a stone in the stream disrupting the flow. Pieces of an endless puzzle, factory-installed with one piece always missing, scattered to the four winds. Eyeless, mouthless shapes wandering in a neverending blank space, desperately searching for one another by aimlessly clutching and grasping at the darkness around them.

Sometimes I feel like the voice inside me, the one that translates into creativity, is a very real, tangible being with its own visage and imprint, yet wholly ill-equipped to communicate through any other means but by using me as a medium. There is a current of energy inside me, one I funnel outward to the proverbial canvas through the eye of a needle. It is never exact, never precise, but never aimless. Ideally the exchange is instinctual, but I've grown into a bad habit of adding too much thought to the process. That's where it becomes complicated: the communication becomes muddled and distorted, like conversing over walkie-talkies and the signal keeps breaking. Over-simplifying it would be to say I don't always understand the man in the mirror, but it's more concrete than that. More... otherworldly.

We co-exist. He, she, it... is a shadow over my shoulder, a whisper in the wind, an ocean of faint sighs, a dream. It is something inside me, a home away from home, yet strange, unknown and formless. A wall between me and the world, yet an undepletable, bottomless well. My own construct, to which I'm always a visitor.

It is a strange essence to both nestle and inhabit, one I've often pondered upon. I can't deny that it hasn't made its way into my output. After all, Ward 13's phantomusiq is essentially a parable of purgatory, starring a man with a split personality wrestling with his demons while his better angels take shape only to be cut down by the darkness that consumes him. His Hyde, the co-inhabitor of his physical being, the shadow on his shoulder. The irony is rife with the pungent stench of poignancy, I know.

Where he and I differ is how that part of our being manifests itself. I can get lost in the murky waters of my soul if I choose to relinquish control. Otherwise it's frightfully easy for me to be conventional, blasé and mundane, even if I'm fully aware that it's nothing but a facade for the sake of others. It is a guise I wear for necessity's sake.

My creativity, though, has lately had to brush up against a stonewall of conformity and pre-programmed expectations, partly losing focus in the process. I feel like it's somewhat lost without its leash, no matter how joyful to be rid of it. I've found myself unnecessarily complicating the process by adding exuberant amounts of reasoning and motive to the flow of progression. I.e. trying to find the why in the what. It's probably due to being involved in collaborative rather than singular musical enterprises as of late, but the after-effect is unsettling and unwelcome nonetheless. It is a terrible, terrible mistake I've allowed myself to make, but luckily somewhat of a recent development. Lucky in the sense that something freshly learned can be done away with without it leaving a lasting mark.

You wouldn't believe how much I loathe and detest being questioned about subtext, underlying motives, hidden agendas. Surprisingly enough that tends come up quite a bit, supposedly because I can be a rather cryptic fellow. Still, having to explain myself - the ignition, process or outcome - would be like sticking needles into my eyes. So I decline, often in a very forceful manner. Or I simply sit and simmer, hoping the message gets across via the wavelength of silence. I resent the dissection, the breaking down, the afterbirth analysis of my creative endeavors. It's like trying to rate your orgasms on a scale based on obscure graphs and pie charts.

That's why working with others can be such a chore. Things get talked to death and everything has to have a purpose. Even the void must be decorated with a sign that says "This is a void". Chasing the dragon's tail only to strike it down and peer into the beast's jaw is to deny yourself the mystery of the journey itself. Trust me, dear friends and foes: we are all in much more dire need of mystery than illumination and exposition, even if we don't know it.

Aaanyways... Speaking of the three-fold elseworld that begins with phantomusiq, I'll give a little insight on the following two chapters next time around. Shadow'd and Deathwork, respectively. It was my intent to bring all that up in this entry, but look at me drift off again. As said: never exact, never precise, but never aimless. Pollock would be proud.



News of Paul Gray's passing hit me pretty hard. Slipknot made an unforgettable impact on me with their debut 12 years ago and I've been a fan ever since. Wow. Twelve years. Hard to wrap my brain around the fact that it's been so long. I'm listening to the aforementioned album while I'm writing this down and it doesn't sound a day old. The impact isn't colored by nostalgia one little bit. It still has force, momentum. Relevance. As do all the albums that followed it.

I got a chance to interview Corey Taylor back when Iowa was released and remember vividly how impressed and taken aback I was by his sincerity. I was just a twentysomething buck from some Finnish metal magazine with a busted tape recorder, but he had no reservations and spoke openly about anything and everything. Painful and comedic subjects alike, all was fair game. Aside from him only Kris Rygg has made a similarily resonant impact across the proverbial push-pull table. As I recall that's the way I've always viewed the band, both in terms of their output and their demeanor (as far as one can perceive that from a distance). Brutally honest. Candid 'til it hurts.

They're also a prime example of sincerity gone awry. I'm still amazed and bewildered how many people think of their music as childish or tied down to adolescence because of its raw, uncompromising and honest nature. Not because those people don't have the right to think so, but because they're under 50 and generally speaking in a mindframe that should be well distanced from that old Everything after The Beatles has sucked line of bullshit. Being a dismissive, disconnected and hogtied little lemming in line with the others is something that always gives me chills when come upon in people of my generation or younger.

It's easy to be sarcastic about the band. Slipknot always hit stage in their trademark masks and overalls, rarely touched upon subjects outside the far end of the negative spectrum, all the while exuding a level of threat and aggression rarely experienced, pulling everything off with zero irony. They inspired a following that must've been off-putting in its intensity to anyone on the sidelines. They were and are an easy target for those who aren't equipped to handle that level of intensity without diluting its effect by introducing levity. Being a 9-piece big band with masks, overalls and assigned numbers is a wealth of chinks in the armor for anyone willing to poke through. Let's be honest here: most fuckers simply can't process another's passion - never mind their quirks and obscurities - if it isn't followed by a wink and a nudge.

The fact also remains that they became a huge phenomenon and that, if anything, divides people easily. Opinions gravitate to either extreme to become alignments, points of assault, beachheads. Reactions and responses compete to topple one another and before you know it, you're spewing rhetoric and cheap shots in a pothole on either side of the barbed wire fence. We've all seen this story arc play out.

I speak of the band in past tense not because I believe they're done for but because this is the end of an era. I doubt their path is at an end, but certainly an unmistakable staple of the sound is now gone. It may tint my view of their future releases, as I'll no doubt pick up on something being amiss and potentially be unable to look past that. Gray was an essential part of the band's songwriting nucleus, more often than not the primus motor, and the imprint he left behind may be irreplaceable.

Rest in peace.


Everything's ambient

For whatever reason, I've been unable to get a good night's sleep all week. Thoughts race around in my head at breakneck speed and though I've awoken more and more tired from morning to next, it seems I'm unable to relax. I've averaged about 2-4 hours per night. Caffeine is burning my guts and my concentration breaks like a twig countless times a day. I have to steel myself not to slur through my words or forget where I was going. It's a pretty novel experience, something like walking around in a glass jar that distorts your field of view. Or perhaps some sort of stretchy see-thru enclosure, bubble wrap esque. Not that I'd know.

I have absolutely no idea why falling asleep is suddenly an icy hill I'm climbing with rollerblades on. It's not as if I'm so deep in contemplation or weighed down by heavy air that I can't switch off. Quite the opposite in fact. After the recent myriad of different tribulations and downpour I actually feel sort of balanced. Cleansed. I've rattled some cages, yes, but regardless of what I wrote before about putting bridges to the test, it can have a surprising after-effect: strengthening the structure. It's a possibility, though not exactly a horse you'd want to bet on. But it can go that way too, which is reassuring. Having less on my plate also means I don't have to stretch myself as thin. So all things considered my sleep dep is a mystery fit for Poirot.

I've been drinking way too much lately. During the past year I've sort of fallen into a routine of having a few and then a few more on a weekly basis. A regular band rehearsal regimen will accomplish this in a flash. Pretty much par for the course in the country I hail from and the circles I'm privy to, but for me personally it's been a year of being well out of the realm of ordinary. I've entertained the thought that the alcohol has had its fangs deep in my drama queen mood swings of late. There has to be more to it, but it's no doubt been a contributing factor.

Under the influence my personality doesn't change, but it becomes more pronounced. I get dislodged, unhinged very easily. Even erratic at times. My center of gravity keeps eluding me (no pun intended, really). It's punctuated by a false sense of being in control. I feel like the situation is mine to master, yet something else is wearing my skin and directing the flow of words and motion. I don't like waking up to that, nor is it a comforting feeling to wonder if dodging the bullet of some sort of unforeseen excess has been mere luck & chance. It does no favors to one's psyche to deal with this as an afterthought.

I'm not much of a drinker, never have been, and I miss having the opportunity to pass the time in the company of others without a nagging need to pop, hiss and jug. On my part or theirs. Generally I can go for years without a drop, but that also means having next to no social life whatsoever. This is Finland after all. As I've said before I do still feel like a tourist in the realm of normalcy - the ebb and flow of social interaction included - but that also means there are a lot of traps this tourist still wants to get caught in.

I think about crap like this way too much, I know. That's probably a major player in this particular game.

Still, it's wonderful to see the populus transform come summer. Unless you live in Finland, you could never even begin to imagine how much this land of sullen shut-ins and sit-next-to-me-on-the-bus-and-I'll-eat-your-fucking-children mentality changes as summer sets in, like someone flicked a switch. No, really. It's like dropping a dime in a jukebox. As if the whole country is bipolar or schizophrenic. For nine months of the year people act pretty much as the generic cookie cutter stereotype Finns you might've seen or heard about. For the three month spread in between, however, we are the loud, energetic, joyful band of buffoons you normally might glance upon at hockey games. I have a hard time imagining another nation who'd endure such a twist & shake collective personality.



I'm an alien, man. I don't understand anyone's anything.
- Henry Rollins

My previous entry set in motion a chain of events that resulted in me removing myself from the band I'd been playing with for about a year.

I took a timeout for the weekend to weigh in my options. I needed time to process everything with a clear perspective. After an open exchange I felt insulted, hurt and unappreciated. Ironic, seeing as that was probably the exact emotional response my words brought forth in the guys. Too much was already said and done to push any further as a team, so after careful thought I decided to take my leave. There's more to this story of course, but that's water under the bridge now.

I tended in my resignation over the phone. Organizing some sort of round-table farewell would've ended in contrived smiles and plastique well-wishing, which would have degraded us all by being obviously less than heartfelt at this point. We were all tired of talking. Tired of hearing each other speak.

I feel strangely comfortable with the whole thing. I leave them a stronger musical unit than they were before I entered the fray, and I can draw a sense of accomplishment from that. I wish them well and hope they find what they're looking for. I hope it pans out. I couldn't bring myself to say that if I knew in my heart the sentiment wasn't genuine. I hold the gents in high regard even though I battled a sense of being a visitor, an outsider for my entire stint with the band and never really allowed myself to grow roots. In some sense that was part of the appeal. To chart unfamilliar waters with no real sense of direction.

On the upside, being somewhat distanced means I move away from it all with surprising ease, a sense of relief even. I wish I could say there are absolutely no ill feelings, but I believe the situation was manipulated and while a lot was said, even more remains untold. Perhaps I intruded upon some perceived territory. Perhaps my influence caused a power transfer that wasn't welcome. Perhaps I stripped the rehearsal space of a sense of home away from home by introducing work ethic at the expense of having fun. Perhaps I tried to set goals that seemed over-reaching. I don't know. I'm guessing. I'll never know for sure.

But it doesn't really matter at this point. They go one way, I go another. Whatever baggage I leave with will fall off in due time. I have a lot of history with one of the guys and he remains one of my favorite people on the planet. I'd like to kid myself that this won't affect our new-found relationship, but without some sort of "social glue" to keep you on each other's radars it's so, so easy to fall out of touch. I hope our paths will cross from time to time in the future.

I'd have an easier time coming to grips with the aftermath of my departure if I didn't feel like I've wasted my time. Almost a year has passed and I don't play any better, sing any better, interact with people any better... I come away from this none the wiser and it's entirely my own fault. It's time to lock myself into the HQ, slip on the ol' lab coat and begin brewing strange musical concoctions on my lonesome again. Hopefully I'll prove myself wrong in the process.

More and more I second-guess the nature and very worth of these entries. While the original idea(l) might have been pious and spiritually rewarding, my words have served to only widen gaps and alienate me further. The line between honesty and hostility isn't thin, but it's become blurred enough to confuse even the writer himself. One could argue I've set aflame bridges that weren't sturdy to begin with, but smirking "Well, they weren't built to last anyway" while watching the flames rise is a stance I've taken before and I know exactly where it leads. Straining relationships to the breaking point just to see them swing in the wind is an arrogant, ignorant errand.

I've certainly ripped a great deal of dark matter out of me by pouring my heart into this journal, but that energy has disintegrated into the air around me and I find myself surrounded by a cloud of negativity. It seems to have impacted everything and everyone around me. It wasn't my original nor current intent, but I need to reap what I've sown and try to grow in the process.

Purging the septic tank on your front lawn has one effect and one alone: everything in and around your house will smell like shit. I need to get my creative juices flowing full-steam, lest I wish to suffer the odor of Eau de Buttcrack for a long time to come. I plan on getting busy immediately.


A cabin in the woods

I see a wall and I want to punch through it. I think about tomorrow and my thoughts darken.

People around me keep letting me down. Turning their coats. Slipping from one skin to another, making me question whose face stares back at me today. Their wavelength is so alien to me I feel like I'm tapping morse code in front of baby seals.

By comparison, yesterday was far better. The day before that trumped the lot by a mile. Before that - I don't know anymore. It's lightyears behind. I don't like where this is going.

I don't know how to respond when people I like turn on me. I don't handle it very well when my appreciation and affection is met with aggression, scorn or disrespect. Even if it's merely overlooked. It's a pretty selfish viewpoint, I know, but I won't apologize for it. I feel hurt and insulted, because I consider my offering a rare gift. Something bestowed to a limited few.

Respect is the most valuable commodity I have to give. Warmth and camaraderie are in bigger supply, because at the end of the day I'm perhaps even a surprisingly gregarious fellow. But don't think for a second I would waste my better angels on people I wouldn't raise above some kind of invisible bar. If this is neglected or indeed unrequited, it's never forgotten. Ever. I will never look at you the same way again. This I know of myself beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I expect them to fall and they fly higher. I wake up a surprise richer and an old thorn poorer. My anticipation grows. I expect them to soar and they hurl down, dragging me along for as long as I allow them to. The cynic within merely raises an eyebrow and retorts; "what did you expect?" My heart grows a spark dimmer. It goes from one extreme to the other and in the end I always feel naive regardless of the outcome.

The coming four days will be spent recording with the band. God, I hope it doesn't end up the fucking train wreck I anticipate it will. Perhaps I see more than is there, but it does feel like the energy has dwindled from a flood to a trickle and it dampens my spirits. From anticipation and drive to an almost pacifying sense of offhandedness and unenthusiasm. Indifference even - my nemesis. This paradigm shift is counterproductive and unwelcome, not to mention a surprise guest, yet I feel it taking hold of me like a virus spreading from carrier to carrier. It bumps me off kilter. The light is green yet the sloth, turtle and snail in the car in front won't budge. Either I'll turn around, pass them by or we'll have a fender bender - the gas pedal beckons and I long to stomp on it. I can't - won't - drag this cart of stones on my own, not unless it's solely mine to carry.

Some days I want nothing more than a cabin in the woods, offering no more than meager accomodation for my art and expression. Those days have been growing in numbers lately. It isn't the first time.


Sand and shovels

Sometimes I want to hurt them.


Aggression swells and storms inside me like enraged water pounding against the wall of a dam, grips my jaw forcing my teeth into a grin, twists itself around my body and tightens its hold like a coiling serpent. It makes it hard to breathe, yet it feeds me.

Sometimes I want to rip people in two. See them flail helplessly as the blood escapes their corpse like a river spilling onto the embankment in hard rain. No antics, display of skill or combat tactics. Only guttural, primordial violence. Savagery. My spine tingles with warmth as the images pass my view: gushing blood, cartilage moaning in sweet crackling agony, skulls fracturing into shrapnel, skin tearing from snow white knuckles...

Violence is not in my nature, but sometimes... sometimes I wish it were.

All I see around me are cowards draped in insecurities, hiding behind profiling, stereotypes and a megaphone melded into their hand to ward off any possibility of vocal intrusion. Turning from whispering to screaming and back, ears red with blood, the white noise overbearing and overpowering.

People sedate themselves with fundamentals, the blank slate, the black & white. The whatever man, whatever. The empty bliss of subtracting freeform thinking from the mix, opting for a funnel of borrowed knowledge and hearsay inserted into the receptive canal. Easy to swallow, easy to digest, easy to flush down the toilet and forget. Though I suppose that's the point. To exchange growth - admittedly often a steep slope - for a smoother ride, allowing oneself the luxury of having no viewpoint whatsoever; especially one that might contradict that day's atmosphere around the water cooler. I mean, who in the world would rather have an opinion their own than sail the gentle socialite seas on a dead calm? Oh, I couldn't imagine.

Must be a true blessing for those taken aback by the very notion of reflection, imagination and a wide lens perspective, not to mention correspondence and exchange. Unbeknownst to most, however, is that sedative's quality to quickly turn addictive. The veil before your eyes grows into a comforting padded cell protecting you from the wicked world. That's when you know you're in trouble - when you've become addicted to ignorance. When you find comfort in knowing you're none the wiser and the void inside turns deceptive and you feel like you're filled to the brim. When you're content being an empty vessel. Then again, I guess you wouldn't notice anyway.

Someone once asked me if I was worried that homosexuals would try to recruit me, should I find myself in said company. This question didn't pass through the lips of a child waving a sand shovel, but a grown man, on the outside every bit as knowledgeable of the ways of the world as one might expect. Yet thoroughly dumbed down by his own insecurity, thus rendering him halfway paralyzed and tied to a leash he needn't garb. I certainly understand the concept of fear's numbing quality and can empathize with how it would be easier to sort through the muck by sipping a cocktail of ignorance, wanton paranoia and judgement. But it certainly does no favors for belief in mankind to find yourself wondering how the fuck some people can work through dressing themselves on a daily basis, never mind the fact that they stumble onwards with sheer blood curdling stupidity.

I suppose I shouldn't complain. I certainly don't flatter myself thinking I split the skies the sharpest arrow from the quiver - I'm just a guy who responds rather with what the fuck than whatever. The state of complacency irritates me almost as much as the act of giving up. Still, recent times and encounters have proven at least a chunk of my cynicism unwarranted. They say a pessimist is never disappointed - which I would disagree with - but switching stance to the optimistic (gasp) I would have to contend that expecting less and being met with more does offer a jolt. One that seems to always catch you off-guard. These last weeks have come a-callin' with a hefty amount of surprises, good times and inspiration. Then again, perhaps that's the point?

Optimism scares me shitless, because when that castle slips through the clouds and crashes, it makes the setback's bite sting twice as hard. It makes me remember why I wanted to hurt them.

Hurt you.



No, I don't think I'm better than you.

I take time to formulate my thoughts and ideas. In hindsight it's an exercise thoroughly bathed in selfishness, because I don't consider its impact or resonance. A fair example being this blog. I don't see myself parading to an audience; rather, yelling into a black hole to soothe my own desire to have a voice and have it be heard. But not by any one person or group - none stand out. Faces don't stare back at you from the void. It's lightless and deep, but not devoid of echoes. Far from it. Sometimes they startle me. But only because I tend to forget to acknowledge their presence. That they're there. Regardless of me. In spite of my voice. And indeed because of both.

This applies to music as well, even moreso. What people may think of Ward 13 or other projects I'm involved with is an afterthought. Their appreciation of my endeavors (or lack thereof) is such a small blip on my screen I sometimes have to ponder if I even grasp the very notion of what it means to put a piece of my soul out there for others to hear. The act itself is both 10 tons of grandeur and a weightless, formless mass of nonexistence. Vague and detached on a Lewis Carroll scale, I know, but that's who and what I am. It's not that I wouldn't want people to experience my output; I do. Very much so. It's just - what?

I suppose I feel like I've done my part; swum a long mile and dug deep in deceptive ground, by some miracle chauffeured the internal struggle to an end meaningful enough. Nor am I particularily comfortable trying to pimp my children to a mass of bodies overly complacent and indifferent to begin with. That's part of the reason why a pretty substantial chunk of my social circle are completely unaware of my creative side altogether. That's why Ward 13 doesn't have 'fans'. I don't bring that out in people. Never have. Wouldn't know where to start if I wanted to.

Working alone will always hold special appeal for me. In groups the question of what others will think of this & that is raised alarmingly often. My spider-sense on this issue tingles more violently nowadays. Your opinion and intake of what I put out there may have weight, but never true value. Why? Because we don't share the same skin. This is a mantra a creative spirit should meditate upon daily. Rigorously and vigorously. I shit ye not.

I consider the strings and strains that fuel my fire to great extent. Though I don't think of myself as particularily egocentric, being a creative spirit and remaining truly unbound in that practice requires a stiff stance and a heavy helping of irreverence. It also helps if one is capable of selective deafness. Hardy har. Remaining steadfast in having faith in yourself is a walk in the park right up until someone pulls your IP into harsh light and exposes it from another, wholly alien perspective. That's when you find out how well you're built on the inside. The choices are plentiful - let it wash over you, hang onto it for reference, build a cage for it inside yourself, wave and snap like a dry blade of grass, go into emergency shutdown...

More often than not I despise the whole notion of coming to a compromise, because in essence this usually means you're halfway somewhere. Halfway doesn't lead anywhere but backwards, nor is it a very appealing starting point for new exploration. Halfway will never shake the foundations, crack the earth or carry you to the stars. It's just... there. A place to get stuck in. A grey mass, the end result of butting heads, push-pull and sacrificing the essence of the flame for a faint spark that can neither ignite nor offer warmth.

I hate - hate - the notion of compromise because it shifts focus from the creative process to the realm of social norms and restrictions - thereby diluting the flow of inspiration. A hindrance from another world of expression and exchange; one that should have far lesser a foothold in the one we're speaking of now.

That's why I can explode or cave in very easily if met with outright negativity or unenthusiasm without constructive goals. I see no contribution or worth, as it were, in outright dismissal. Some do, supposedly because it cuts down on the point-to-point and because tending the garden goes faster if you don't take the time to differentiate between the weeds and flower blossoms. I vehemently disagree.

If I truly feel it in my head, heart & gonads that an idea, route from A to B or modus operandi serves a purpose and should at the very least be explored, a countering viewpoint of another tends to struggle for validity. This is when I become protective and often very confrontational. I dislike the proverbial light bulb above my head being covered by another's lack of enthusiasm to an almost pathological degree. It makes me rabid, because it upsets my notion of balance, of flow, of the nature of chaos, of turning coal into a gemstone by sheer will. This is the way I see it. In that, I am an absolutist. But only on things I feel passionate about. Things that fuel my fire. At least for me passion and inflexibility go unnervingly well hand in hand. On this, I'm trying to mend my ways. Confronting the unstoppable force with an immovable object is by design a destructive enterprise; creativity being firmly planted on the polar opposite.

People are so frail. So delusional. Going to excesses to develop a web of comfort blankets and safe zones, their antennas set to high for any signs of threat or betrayal. I fill those character traits better than most, but my motivations lie elsewhere than in (sense of) self preservation. I don't shy away from the real or conciously seek to take time out from my mind to curl up in the arms of a clawless beast. I rarely get offended, as my ignorance explored at length above (mind you, not arrogance) means all the fecal matter thrown my way won't reach the top of the tower. This river runs deep and shouting from the shore rarely reaches the bottom - and even if it does, it's never untouched by the surrounding wall of water.

I'm protective of my output not because negativity offends me. I'm protective because my output can't defend itself.

Understand this difference.


Poetry of the broken hearted

I busted a shoplifter last night. On the train ride home I started pondering what kind of day-to-day these people have. The ones who go to department stores with a 'shopping list' and a bag inlined with foil. How their grind goes. When there's no struggle, when comedy and drama and an internal musical score have subsided to give way to the everyday; even if that everyday is a step away from the norm. It's still grey and tasteless, mundane and repetitive, spotted with occasional glimmers of hope, tragedy... whatever.

I imagine it's something like this: get up at the crack of dawn sweating & shaking, grab a cup of coffee and pipe down a half dozen cigarettes, shoot up or pop in or inhale, make some sort of battle plan for the places you're going to hit that day, muster up the courage and hop to it. But after that? What's the grind like for people who are in, but sidelined? The world is faceless and the concrete ever so cold, no matter if you lay down in your own bed or in a jail cell.

A colleague and I got to talking on the subway about the nine-to-five of people on the outskirts. Certainly it differs from person to person, but some guiding lines and idiosyncrasies certainly have to persist. I suppose I was mostly talking with myself in front of a participant, as I was genuinely tripping out pacing through the sights & sounds of this world through the eyes of someone whose viewpoint is so completely askew from mine. They clock in and clock out, but the motions in between are so very different.

We got to talking about prison life, at least in terms of how it's possible to try to relate to it via tv, books etc. I remember marveling at the fact that all the interviews I'd seen with prisoners had a strong, crushing sense of perceived normalcy. That to them, their grind rife with inflexible routine, constant violence, degradation and solitude was utterly and completely unspectacular. Everyday. At least on the surface it wasn't about adapting. It was the way the world around you bound you in its arms - if you stop struggling, you breathe a little easier. I think I said It's hard to comprehend, because to them it's so common. No drama, no bravado, no aesthetic. I felt very naive there and then, but only because I didn't let my thoughts form into a clearer string of words.

I am a stone cold romantic at heart. A poet. I want the morning sun to rip me in two with its beauty. The rain to write arcane memoirs upon the stone it beats against. I want setbacks and disappointments to strike my bones with harsh, resounding impact. For the beast of passion to roar in blissful freedom, with fast feet and unbound. I want the world to be music.

But it isn't.

The grind, the norm, the day-to-day scares, bewilders and angers me above most anything. I've literally had instances where I've felt like a part of my being - something invisible, untangible yet precious and completely irreplaceable - has been ripped from me while succumbing to a life behind the bars of comforts and security. I've been a visitor in the world of normalcy for four years now and the guest shoes fit so well I sometimes worry if my legs will give if I'm barefoot again.

Poetry runs in my veins like wild liquid fire. Or it did. My creativity is growing more and more subconcious and unconcious, and it terrifies me. It paralyzes me, because the hole is getting deeper and I'm the one holding the shovel. The distance feels like an out of body experience because, essentially, I know with every fiber of my being it's unnatural. Creativity is my essence, my license to breathe, yet it has to compete for attention and living space with lesser entities. I hesitate to grab hold for fear of tearing it to shreds. I dread to pull it closer for fear of contorting it into something shapeless by my overpowering grasp. I hesitate to let it wash over me, because when I leave that world and enter the one we co-inhabit, it breaks my heart. Breaks it every single time.

I'm so goddamn tired of being broken hearted.


Truth of the day

Emotional lightweights. Soft skin. Balloon egos. Wave something sharp in their direction and wait for the pop.

Don't read my words if you can't handle my truth of the day. It's a viewpoint through two eyes, ever evolving and furthest from anything absolute. Furthermore, it should have no bearing on your self image. If it does, well, that's your cross to bear. Don't get it twisted - it's all yours.

But don't put words in my mouth or intentionally misread what I've laid down to fuel your own insecurities. That's... unjust.