swollen
deb my heart seems so empty
sometimes-
and so big
but achingly empty
without you

i need you here with me
010325
...
~gez~ i think i have found someone who has similar thought trails to me. maybe slightly more dedicated 020821
...
Aimee my feet :( 020821
...
werewolf Swollen


Ian was tired, he rubbed his eyes. His left eye was sore and there were patches of raw skin on his face. He tried to think about what had happened. Had it all really gone down like that?

Ian had seen the knives pulled, but it was all far from him, he had been busy fighting with this one guy about his own size, with short cropped hair and a stocky muscular build, but nothing Ian couldn't match. The only thing intimidating were some sort of tribal tattoos only leaving off where his immaculately clean tank top began. Ian had been caught off guard by the boy, who had grabbed a bottle of half emptied alcahol and attempted to break it against the unmoved base of a streetlight like in the movies, but had only affected a large clanking noise. Ian had heard it and turned in time to see the boy as he advanced through the streetlight's unmoved light swinging the bottle in a fierce overhand right, his whole body torquing towards Ian. Ian had turned enough to catch it flat and square on the front of the face, the broad point of the bottle meeting the convex point of his left orbital bone. In that moment time slowed, or his mind sped up so that he could flinch not just at the bottle, but at the spray of warmth checkering his face, and then feel the uncontained blushing pooling under his eye and then dripping into his mouth rusty upon reentry from the brief air into his body. Ian staggered; the blood was flowing too fast to do anything that wasnít drastic or stark, do anything but admit loss of sterility and control, and something about feeling his boundries flowing open like that affected him, and he felt his teeth clench, and his fists tense. The boy had taken his time to cock back a heavy shot upon seeing how stunned Ian was and one of his other friends was goading him on. Ian could hear nothing, but he ducked and shot in for his legs like he had done so many times at practice when he had been on the wrestling team a year ago as a sophomore before the coach had lost patience with his attitude and cut him. The coach had told him then that he was ďpissing away talent that other kids would scrounge the urinals for if he wasn't using a metaphorIan shot in, scraping his own knees on the concrete in the process and lifted and turned the boy's legs, who made a broad arching with his hands as his legs switched places with them in a blur of sky and ground and his head bounced as the concrete released the voice of his skull. And ian had punched him there on the ground untill his arms were tired, untill his hand hurt and then he switched to hitting him with the side of his hand and then the back of it. That was when someone tapped him on the shoulder, he looked back and saw it was his friend, who upon seeing his eye grimaced, but then continued running. Ian stood up and followed and looked back just long enough to see three or four bodies lying in haphazard positions like marionettes when the strings are released and nothing else, and then ran after his friend, barely making it in the car before it peeled off, it's loud screeching the last aftershock of the fight, and unbearably starkening the ensuing silence. Ian noticed then that Jens was not with them. He thought he Jens had been one of the ones to pull a knife. He was their leader, he was the one who set them up with the jobs transporting stolen merchandise or selling drugs to other kids and the like. He always said that they worked for the F and M trading company, F and M standing for Felonies and Misdemeanors. He was older than them, but only by a year or two, and he had liked Ian a lot. He had called him the professor as a nickname for how scientifically Ian talked about marijuana. When they got to Ian's house to drop him off, the kid driving said with a nervous laugh, "put something on that eye bro or you won't have enough blood to get hardons for that pretty girlfriend of yours"....and then "see you later professor" as if in some bizarre tribute. When Ian walked into his house, he left the lights off so his mom and sisters wouldn't wake up, and turning the corner, in the darkness of the kitchen he saw the vague outline of a figure sitting alone brandishing and jingling keys towards Ian as if he understood. Ian was too tired and hurt to move in a manner that reflected his internal smoldering unease.

. . .

"Are you feeling okay? I brought you some more ice" Kira said as she craned only slightly to kiss Ian's neck which was open and perfectly still as his head looked straight on past her and past the window to a horizon he looked at with some anger, as if he knew it, as if it was a familiar rival.

He had skipped school and waited for most of the day her to come home from it, and then work. He had waited patiently on her front porch the whole day much to the discomfort of her older father who threatened to call the cops. So Ian had walked over to a porch across the street and waited there. Upon arrival she asked him the usual questions, "where were you? what happened to your eye? what are you doing? what are you going to tell your family or your teachers" "There was a fight. I got cracked with a bottle of hennesee's. I was waiting for you. I'll tell them that if they don't want me getting in fights maybe they shouldn't make me live in such a violent neighborhood...just kidding...i don't know...i'll say i was playing baseball and you walked by and made me lose my focus because it was spring and you were wearing little tiny shorts...and i took a stunning popup to the eye" "Shutup" she said, not smiling so much as grimacing, just like his friend had. Ian rewithdrew into silence, and walked into her house, she followed, getting ice from the kitchen.

. . .

"I think i'm gonna tell my father" Kira intoned imploringly and draped herself over Ianís seated body from behind. "You sure that's a good idea?" Ian asked sheepishly as if to himself. "No matter which way we go with this, i should tell him, i'm not afraid, i love my dad." Ian looked blankly on and shrugged languidly. Kira stood up suddenly and walked to the window, which kept a gray sky and gray streets simmering in the background of their conversation. "You waited all day to talk to me and now you aren't talking, i'm not feeling so great, and i don't have the energy to be both of us, so how bout you talk for you?" Ian never broke his gaze with the window constrained horizon and after a pause and a couple of false starts spoke; "My dad was waiting for me in the dark last night when i got home"... "You never told me you had a dad"... "he wasn't much to talk about" "what'd he say to you?" "not much, nothing you'd understand, i barely did...he saw my eye, asked me if i was mixing it up, asked me what happened to einstein, told me maybe it's just as well, something about no one in our family ever being responsible for the atomic bomb or legacies that can fit on a napkin."
"Oh" was all Kira said. "Yeah, maybe you can make more of it than i can" Ian joked and made eye contact.

. . .

Ian slept with Kira that night, unbeknownst to her old dad, who was busy wheezing the thin walls out of existence. As he held her, so assumptiously asleep, Ian felt full of strange longings, he felt lonely even though she was right there beside him, like he missed her even though she was there. It was as if he had all these old unresolved questions, and that even now with her, even in her arms, even though, and yes he did love her, he still had a shudder of solitude because there was simply too much to tell her, too much to address, more than anyone can address or ever has. He thought about his father, and he thought about how still the night was. How still the night always was. All of those still nights, just like this, and again they took on that waiting, the waiting he had known night after night as a child. Waiting to see the solitary figure approaching from a distant street and walking stately, slowly to their house, always to their house. Waiting to hear the door shut in a certain way, waiting for his mother's light to turn on, waiting for the cadence of their raised voices and silence to fall asleep to, to the point where he cold barely sleep without it, because it was the last place things could go, and without it, he'd just feel tension waiting for it.

He remembered other things. He tried to sleep but could not, he turned from side to side as if to give each ricocheting thought room to escape, but he was confounded, feeling each strike of a wild shot on a pool table with no pockets. He remembered every Saturday night his father would watch a horror movie on channel 36 with him before sneaking out. And every Saturday he'd give the same lecture...."those b-horror films, all the same, they live in assumptious joy blah blah, then the unspeakable horror arrives etc etc, and then after fighting it, they return to joy, right in the horror's face, only this time it's earned....a bunch of shlock, but people can't seem to get enough of it, even though their real problems are probably ten times worse, chasing them from everywhere, not hiding behind one doorAnd Ian would nod enthusiastically in a manner he would learn to fake in grammar school when the teacher went on and on about ancient egyptians even though she had clearly lost him when she had brought up pyramids and he was way too into imagining building one, stone by stone to have heard her.

Other memories came in a fitful sleep. He remembered sitting in his room listening to the soviet national anthem which was on a record of national anthems his father had bought him from some discount store. It was his favorite song as a child. He'd listen to it over and over again and even though he didn't know at all what the words meant, something in their voices got through all the same, they sang in the way people in this country talked when they had something particularly beautiful or important to say. He'd imagine them singing many different words, but no matter what they were, the singers meant them, they meant them proud, they believed in them. His dad would always laugh at him..."it's strange you like that song so much....didn't work out so well for Mother Russia eh boy? It's gotta hurt even worse when you've got a national anthem like that eh? A whole lot more to live up to." He laughed hoarsely and gestured broadly to everyone at the table, but Ian remembered his mother just looking at his father with contempt. But struggling to remain oblivious he would always continue whatever he was saying. "I mean...having to stand in line for bread...imagine that...a man having to swallow his dignity and stand in line for bread.." and he looked at her with a look Ian didn't remember having seen before. "having kept from him the one thing that keeps him alive..." he'd chuckle and Ian's mother would abruptly arise..."ian honey get ready for school" while containing an angry smile.
. . .

Ian opened his eyes, the clock switched from 2:30 to 2:31. In the corner of the room he watched Kira's cat's tail switch back and forth from left to right, and suddenly as if it had jumped, the clock read 2:32, he was tired and unable to tell how things had gotten from one place to another, lost in the constant switching of each moment, in the cat's tail. The cat let out a yawn. Ian thought about how he used to love school.
On the rare occasions his dad woke up before noon, telling ian's mom in a singsong voice "that this time was when he was landing the big job, landing so his feet were firmly planted and cemented to a new beat", he would ask Ian about school...and Ian lived to tell him, and even though sometimes it seemed like his father wasn't paying attention, his voice would be enthusiastic and sweep Ian away: "What are you studying in school boy?" "lives of famous scientists dad...we're doing einstein...we just finished newton" ďYeah...yay for them...they made our lives a lot easier you know...i mean...we would've only had cookies, and what would i've done if i wanted fruit and cake?" When no one would respond quite how he had hoped he'd go on with his inquiries. "So which one you like better?" "Einstein i think, dad..." "See look at you boy, so smart, i bet that's the right answer! But get this, i know something even einstein didn't know..." "what dad?" "your name!" he'd say and laugh loudly, clearly dislodging crust from his throat and lips and shaking it unseen into the air. "it means "the curious"....i picked it."

. . .

Ian laughed and thought about how he knew now he wasnít as smart as everyone had thought he was. After all, he wasnít a sailor or an astronaut let alone a space pirate like he thought he was gonna be. He let out a small laugh and a sigh. Kira moved suddenly as if in a nightmare and Ian pulled her closer to him, seemingly disinterested in the possibility that it might wake her; she snuggled in without so much as a start from sleep, and her voice issued light sighs as if they had escaped from her dreams, before her lips let out a soft smack and she was still again. Ian squeezed her gently as if to reaffirm her actuality. He wondered if his mom would be waiting for him. He hadn't told her about dad. He wondered if she'd call the cops to look for him again. He laughed inside his head when he thought that the cops probably wouldn't be interested in him as a runaway as much as other roles he'd played. Ian considered for a second that his mom hadn't even called anyone, that his uncle had told her not to worry or that boys will be boys like he always did.

He remembered the day his uncle came to him. This was when he had started coming over more and more. Ian had been sitting in his room listening to the soviet national anthem. His uncle sat down to him and explained to him about his father. The drugs, the unemployment. How it'd be best if he went away. He was told his dad had already agreed. He'd already left. Ian asked if there was a note or anything, but his uncle said no. A day later Ian had seen a note on top of a cabinet and thought for sure it was from his dad, but when he asked his mom about it she said it was only some money they were owed.

. . .

Kira rose and fell in breath on his chest, expanded and retracted, each breath on the verge of going on forever in it's inhaling or exhaling, but returning, like the sun would in a couple of hours. He looked out the window, there was a part of him that always expected to see a solitary figure walking from the horizon. And yet when he saw his father in the kitchen the other night, he had sat only briefly and then walked to bed, it was all too close, it had made his good eye dizzy.

Ian remembered the last time he talked to his dad, weeks after his uncle left him in a room filled with the thick voices of russian men who seemed to know what had just happened. He had heard the gentle thunk of a stone at his window and immediately wanted to go to it, no matter who it came from, just in that something about it hadn't frightened him, a miracle for how easily he was frightened as a child: by the sound of older kids, gang members fighting in the streets, or cars uneasily dragging silence and darkness on all sides of them, those washes of light and mystery, or by the goings on of endless horizons should he peek out the window, figures cloaked in shadows defeating the distance which to ian as a child seemed stifling, still did. And Ian remembered looking out and seeing his father there, removing all danger from the night with the easy air of a clown, because if he was surrounded by danger, he didn't know it, staggering and negotiating his lack of balance with psuedo dance moves. He had called to Ian...a long winding, broken monologue...."boy, come on out and see me, come on, you like adventures, we'll go away together and do our own thing, buy a farm, and you'll be a scholar. I'm gonna show you what kind of father i am, and will be, and what kind of father i always was beneath it all. Don't believe everything your mother and uncle tell you about me...most of it maybe...but not all of it. That brother of mine is jealous...cuz i could run faster, jump higher, math better....i was captain america with a phd compared to him....but he worked hard and look where it got him..." he trailed off sadly. "Ha" he shouted indignantly and suddenly...."but he didn't have you, it took someone with fire, dangerous fire to create a world changer like you...someday someone will ask their son who they like better...einstein or you!" he had said and laughed so loud a light went on across the otherwise dark and stirring street. It was quiet for a while. Ian wouldn't of gone out still because he was afraid of his uncle sleeping only rooms away who wouldn'tíve threatened him, but merely treated him as if he wasn't of consequence even more thoroughly, however when he looked out the window he did so just in time to see his father collapse. Still he had to leave the house, walk down the hall and down the stairs with utmost precaution, at a snail's pace so as not to draw the attention of the apartmentís weak and embittered guardian floorboards. Ian still could remember precisely those long moments of antcipation, what if he was too late? What if his father had left? Each complete step was marked by a paced exhalation. He got out of the door and his father was still there talking to himself and thrashing mildly, his words a blur. Ian remembered not exactly what he told him, only that it was something along the lines that he missed him and knew he'd come back and wondered where they would go, and that he'd heard everything he'd said. Ian also remembered how empty his father's eyes seemed how much his words didn't seem to be reaching him. But he had thought that if he could speak bravely, he could get through the way the soviet national anthem got through to him, and so he talked just the exact way he heard those voices, with everything in them, the courage, the pride, and also that something else, that something he had yet to identify consciously, but now knew, lying in the dark with Kira warm and sweet smelling so close to him, was aching. His father's hand reached out to him in the night and ian knew that he knew he was there and ian voiced their secret anthem, the anthem of a dying country, held anew, held eternal by voices who intended it. Held eternal by anyone who had heard it that night, or other nights echoing off the artifacts of a crime scene, a tender backwards nativity scene, echoing off the parked cars and surrendered struggles of an empty street. His father was not dying, or dead, but Ian remembered that he had talked as if he was, not even knowing what it meant then. He had began to get nervous at the signs of daylight and snuck back into the house. His eyes struggled to stay on his father lying there, but his eyelids grew heavy and hours passed and he eventually fell asleep. When he next looked out his father was gone. He hadnít seen him leave that time, but he had seen him leave this last time after the fight, he had let him out after saying that "mom wouldn't want you here" His father had just looked at him blankly and said, "i just came to drop off the key, i'm surprised you didn't change the locks" None of the questions he had imagined asking were answered.

. . .

The clock now read 3:40, and giving up on sleep, Ian tried to navigate the labyrinth in his mind, tried to unify the various selves that wondered it and all went by his name. He felt almost dirty that his name was still the same as it had been when he was younger. He didn't know what to do next. Maybe he'd go after those guys that got Jens and kill one of them...maybe he'd go to prison. Maybe someone there would show him what no one else could, because they'd been there. Like Jesus in a big orange jumpsuit. They'díve seen both sides of the system or something. Maybe he could talk to the person who had started their gang, if he was still alive, and he could ask him why he started it, or if he had. He surrendered to sleep as if it was fate.

. . .

Kira awoke Ian with a kiss on the corner of his lips and one on his purpled eye, where the ringlet started in, and after smoothing his hair for a while said gently and firmly, "I'm keeping the baby Ian." She had said it plainly as if it meant good morning. "i know, i had a feeling you might"

Ian thought about how he had never really had a plan, he remembered the image of last night, and his spiritual guide waiting for him in prison, now looking a little more tired. He imagined what the face of a child who was him in some way, who was his father some way would look like and he shuddered. He remembered the way his fathers face had seem smooth, free from expectations, sad and hopeful at the same time, just like a newborns, and he thought, maybe i can learn as much from a real infant as a reborn one. He thought about Kira, whose kiss felt like sweet suicide, from whom each breath closely apart felt like rebirth. He thought about how heíd never had a plan, and decided in that to plan on planning one. He thought: Maybe it wonít be too late, maybe i can find my dad and he can be a second chance grandpa, maybe iíll give him that chance, itís what my prison bound spiritual advisor would want, iím sure of it.

Ian hunched up on his elbows and put his ear to her stomach. "let's hope it doesn't kick me, i'm ugly enough as it is." "silly, it's only been three months, i don't think it even has feet yet." "I knew i should've paid more attention in biology...it's just, i was thinking of ways to get in your pants" he said and laughed as she pretended to hit the bruise that was slowly losing it's swell. "Plus, this kid is gonna be a quick one, i can tell." "I don't think my dad'll want you staying here, especially after i tell him." Ian thought of the sad look on his own father's face when he returned the keys. "It's okay, i've got to get home anyways, i've got homework to do."
021205
...
suicidalchinadoll swollen lymph glands characterized my graduating year..
strange memories.
mostly of sleep
and delerium
and nearly failed diplomas
041024
...
nom four days ago i ate some peanut butter
and two hours later i noticed my head
060420
what's it to you?
who go
blather
from