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.