Sunday, October 20, 2013

a minor

[I can feel his fingers upon the keys. His touch takes me back, takes me away and elevates me. He caresses them, assures them they are each his. He looks up and dedicates every minor chord to me but I ask him to pick only two. The two that always remain on my skin and penetrate through my deepest fears. The two that only he can play just right. His hands - always with such beautiful timing.]

When we were young he would sit me on his bed and just play. He would play for hours and I would sit there, feeling. He never once asked why I was crying because he knew, he knew it was his chords, his hands, his touch. He had the music and I had the words. 
We wouldn't sleep. 
We wouldn't eat.
It was just love and music because when you're that young, that's all you need. You live off of scribbled pages and lost notes. You live freely and without time constraints but time still goes by just as quickly. So soon enough your stomach aches as mine did and I grew restless. I began to resent two of those black keys and asked that he never touch them again, to stop calling them by name even. I touched his bare shoulder and begged for him to turn around. I didn't want to sing anymore. I couldn't even bring a horn up to my lips without the taste of salt. 

"Perhaps we could just have a walking base line that we could fall asleep to tonight."

 But we didn't sleep for days and his eyes grew dark. His back still turned and those keys continued to mock me. My head was throbbing and the sound only grew louder and louder. He changed the time signature and made my heart skip a second. He played with the pedal and slapped my pain to the ground. It was never just the two of us. It was always the keys. It was always the love of vibrations. I was a simple bridge that provided all the necessary words to explain what those beautiful harmonies could do to your body. I always wondered what would happen when he ran out of notes, but it was the words that ran out first. For when I left through his window, I never again had anything to say about the beautiful boy and his black keys. Keys so dark they matched his hair and the darkness of his room. Keys so powerful that they possessed his deepest love. Keys so beautiful, that they never allowed him to truly see me. 

With intimate passion
you caressed each key
In ways I only dreamed
you'd ever touch me 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

chasing: reflecting on the long beach marathon

Coming up to mile 6 I had a wicked rad crowd cheering me on with members 
of Further Faster Forever and #TeamIGotYaBack. Bill ran with me for a bit
 as Joshua, Michelle and Manny stayed behind cheering. Bill sent me off with 
"Go get it" and that's where the race started.

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." 
T. S. Eliot

 It's Saturday morning and I have a cold. One that I am desperately attempting to remedy with a potent mix of organic ingredients all mixed in my hydroflask. I will lay in bed throughout the day and go back and forth on what I'm setting out to accomplish and why I want to desperately toe that line. 

Race Morning: still sick
I woke up to an empty apartment and a clear head. I set Pandora on my Jay-Z station like I do every race. I visualized the first two numbers I hoped to see on the time board and piece by piece put on my race necessities. I packed a bandanna and a sweatshirt for afterwards. I loaded my car and drove the 30ish miles on the empty freeway. What am I chasing, exactly?

I'll spare the unnecessarily embellished  details. 
I started out 30-50 seconds per mile faster than I had promised myself I would and I kept slowly speeding up.  My pace leveled off after mile 8 and I would look down occasionally at the sharpied splits written on my arm. I passed mile 13 and I was thirty minutes ahead of schedule, not part of the smart plan.
     I hit mile 17 and at this point I know it, but I try to deny it; I feel fatigued. 
I cant get down any more Pocket Fuel. My GU wont go down either. The mere feeling of it on my tongue makes me want to gag. I look for pretzels and when I finally find them I snag a few. Pop 'em in, chew... but can't swallow (yes, that's what she said...I know). I leave it in my mouth and try to wash it down with liquids but it's pointless.
    So... no calories. 7 miles to go with nothing to fuel off of. At this point I switch to powerade, thinking it's better than nothing. My right arm starts to tingle and I shake it off. Mile 20 comes and all I can think is "This is it, the last 10k, your fastest splits"  I speed up for maybe ten seconds and level back off at 10:10-10:30. That wouldn't be so bad except, I keep slowing down. I take a walk to shake it off. Try again... nothing. Now I'm in my head. 

I hate the road at this point. I start resenting the flat endless inches for that's all I could focus on, not miles. My mind stops and runs clear for a split second. 
I think of Scott (@runrevolt) and his blog post that weekend. I think of his words that burned at that moment, As the individual in the center of these polar opposites, I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know if I’m good. I don’t know if I’m bad. I don’t know where to place my efforts, where to concentrate my emotional energies, where to even begin.
 I breathe deeply and think about this. I close my eyes briefly and visualize his health. Then I think of my own self inflicted pain. I'm mentally here when I catch sight of Jack. He begins to talk and stays running slightly ahead. Merely listening allows me to disconnect my mind from my body, and so I run. He stays with me up until the last quarter mile and I finish. I stop my Garmin, already knowing what it reads. There was nothing glorious about the finish, but that's because I didn't allow it. I ran hard despite my circumstances and I pushed every chance I got. I set out to run a hard race and I finished. I honored those who are injured and sick and no longer with us. I gutted myself on that course and that wasn't enough, on that day, for my timed goal. 
     I PRed at Long Beach by 16 minutes and I had one hell of a ride. I saw friends on the course and I kept others in my heart and thoughts. It's a race to be proud of but for days there was a heavy discontent in my heart and on my mind. One that I couldn't understand. One that I couldn't shake.
So, I'm left with this:
When we go chasing numbers, if not done right, it takes us away from the real reasons we do this, the real joy.  I've kept on running because it purges all my toxins, literally and figuratively. It boosts my confidence and mood. It mellows my manic thoughts and it strips me of everything I carry. I run because I know that there are people in hospital beds that would switch instances with me at any point of my suffering. I run to honor the gift of my legs and health. I run to inspire those around me. 

 I run to find myself. 

This doesn't mean I will stop chasing a time or distance. It means that before chasing anything, I must always remember the joy in each chosen stride. 

As for being sick, I'm paying for it now. My immune system probably crashed and my cough has been progressively worse. I feel incredibly tired and slightly irritated. I am still ridiculously hungry but my throat feels like it's been stripped raw. And, I'd do it again if given the choice. 

Monday, October 7, 2013


i try to recall every word that you speak
because every word that you speak is so sweet
and i try to recall - as i walk through the darkness - 
of the abandoned promenade streets
my head is spinning with the spin of a few drinks
and every drink is a new spin - on the words i can't keep - 
so i stumble and i wonder, how you stumbled home
i stumble through the night, cold and alone

I found him one night; alone and shirtless with two open wounds on his back. He had rough dark skin from days spent out in the sun, roaming in his own despair. In all those years, I never thought of asking him for his name, so I just called him my dark angel.
Despite the bloody mess of his back I couldn't help but notice his hands. Long, strong fingers and veins that appeared to glow under the moonlight. His touch would eventually make my heartbeat race while  my mind buzzed with incomprehensible thoughts. Colors would blend into grey shadows and all I would clearly sense after that would be sounds and smells.  
He told me he was in love with the water. "The waves have carried me to you." He'd whisper. He could never really tell me how he ended up on my side but I trusted him, trusted his smile, his shoulders. Night after night I would wait as the sun finished setting, knowing he would arrive shortly after. Days and weeks passed and I fell deeply in love with my dark angel. I might have manifested his appearance but his decision to keep coming back was his, I think. 

Perhaps I jumped too fast.

Maybe it was the way his lips tasted of salt and how it strangely reminded me of blood. It could have been how I could finally sleep without the sheets covering my feet whenever he was there. Or, how my hands fit perfectly into his, and how they never felt too hot. Regardless, I jumped. Jumped into and out of bedroom windows and out of closet doors. I jumped and fell away from the bruises and the scars. I kept falling faster and faster, away from every punch and broken mirror. I jumped into a wave of constant crashing pleasures and desires. I jumped into what I had envisioned, wanted, and created, long before I ever met him. 

The dark angel roams. However, he has other window sills to trace with his long fingers. He will forever claim the sand and waves in my mind. The smell of the ocean will be his for as long as I can hold onto and every crashing wave upon my shore will be followed by a sigh of anticipation. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

a beginning, of sorts

The first time I went on a writing binge was summer of 2000; I was twelve years old. I diagnosed myself with what at the time I thought was, "the worst heart break the world has ever known". (That title came straight from a poem written that summer) I spent every waking moment writing, rewriting, rereading and moping around. One late night I noticed a sort of wart-looking piece of skin on the left top part of my right middle finger. My first callus. My first broken-heart-induced callus. I would never be the same, and that callus would only get bigger.

As a child I often had phases of feeling alone. Not lonely, but alone in the things I knew, the things I believed, and the things I understood. I don't exactly remember when I started writing but I know that I always kept a journal of some sort. My mother always ended up coming across my journals so in hopes of finding privacy, I would write short poems on tiny pieces of paper and hide them in boxes under my bed. This would be a growing habit until my early adult life and the journals kept piling up. The person I was at home was drastically different than the loud, outgoing energy ball everyone else knew. But on paper, I was always the same. 

Writing and reading were always my escape. Whether it was from pain, rejection, loneliness, over-socializing, exhaustion, uneasiness... I always came back to this.

So, this is my first attempt at a blog, since I've always been a pen and paper type of gal. 

*Side note: Until this day, I still find random sheets of paper when I clean out my car, move, or visit my mother's house.  

"Life is a beautiful flower
It blossoms, then wilts and dies"
-2004 excerpt