Lies
bradleypettway
     Lies are a funny thing.  I have always carried pride in the fact that I could not lie to save my life.  Take a second to read that again; and realize it is in past tense.  I have found myself gaining a horrible trait.  I have found myself becoming something I have always resented.  I feel the same retching pain in my gut that I have come to experience in the more recent years of my life.  I guess I have been in this morph for that long.  It started with me lying to myself, which is pretty insidious.  

     Its bringing itself back, the feeling.  I have a tight stomach, food doesn't taste good, and its a sense of guilt.  The self-realization of that is a shock like cold water on an even colder day.  When your foundation of morals are attacked (by none other than yourself) where do you go? Morality is a beautiful compass; you never have to wonder where you travel.  So now I'm standing on unfamiliar territory...  

     I have been on this path now for 2 years, and sometimes its better than others.  The stress mounts, and I find myself in a similar predicament to Atlas.  How much weight can someone carry before your knees break?  It accumulates, and it doesn't disappear.  When you find yourself in these situations, its the simple things that ruin you.  You forget to lock the door, feed the cat, eat, sometimes its even hard to breathe.  Its the pre-occupation of your mind, you forget who you are.  

     This may sound like a simple hurdle to overcome, but there are different sevarities in lies. When you lie to yourself, and others..... Secrets... ha......  You find yourself in a odd place.  

blackout
bradleypettway
     I dont feel articulate today, so Im just gonna spill it.  Red ink has been bled to this paper for too long, trying to perfect who I am, and in regards to my aspirations (to who I want to be).  A pool of ink fills the paper before I can write a single word.  I want to have my words paint a picture that does not yet exist, but I delete them before they become full thoughts.  Thoughts cloud my mind to the point where I cannot, no wait, can't form what or where I want them to go.  My mind sometimes feels like its in grid lock, conflicting ideas stuck at an intersection... So my reasoning breaks out a baseball bat and smashes the window of feelings.  And while that should make me feel free, the confines of this is parallel to a jail cell.

     So I crumble up the piece of paper, and start at the beginning.  After all, where else does one begin?  I reach down and remember my first memories as a child.  I start at a lake fishing probably 3 years old.  I wish I could travel back in time and do it all over again, but then again, who doesent?  Not at fishing, just life in general.  There is always something that someone wishes they could have a fresh start at.  Whats yours?  After all, we write not only to vent, but someone can read our own testaments, right? 

     There seems to be a rut that everyone gets stuck in at least one point in their life.  And while I am not in that place right now, it feels like I never left.  Theres a part of me left behind that I wont ever get back.  There is no choice but to move on though.  That is what eats away at a mans soul.  The slow degradation and emotional decay that occurs.  At times I am so involved with my own thoughts I forget what day it is. 

    

Do you make the jump?
bradleypettway
While I was eating at the table, I found myself thinking about you... Not because I miss you, I just bit into something foreign and distasteful... Im sure it was just a coincidence.  Food just doesn't taste the same anymore...

     So its pouring in Los Angeles? I guess we have cried that many tears together and it hurts enough to let go, but sometimes I feel like holding on and while that seems contradictory, I would like to propose the idea of you standing on the edge of a building, the cold wind ripping at your face.. Do you make the jump?  Or do you hold on? I have heard that biologically, your body produces so much adrenaline that it feels like hours until you smack the pavement..  This is all of course metaphorical and I find myself standing at that metaphorical ledge asking myself this question.  Should I jump?  Once its done there is no more of a chance for you and I.  I have this fear that once I commit to it, it will be to late and I will be left to my own fate.  I guess there is no other choice really but to commit but I guess that was your problem in the first place..

    So months later here I stand, but I ask myself that question everyday.. Should I jump today?  Theres a mask that Ive been wearing for so long that I am not sure which one is really my face. I have to touch things to make sure they are real so everything non tangible is in question, Is it real?  Trust, Relationships, & love are floating question marks,  and Im sure I am not the only one, but Im thinking this time is different, it could work out.  And I dont know who Naive is, but she keeps tying my shoelaces and I keep falling flat on my face.  So I try to work on who I am, not who I think I am; and that takes some serious thought...  

     Im praying for a sunny day to take me to a better time, where this is all behind me.   I will chase the sunset until I fall under a starlit sky.    While my thoughts are sporadic, it all makes sense to me, its just getting it on paper, because my unclear thoughts clutter the page as they swan dive from my brain to this paper. 

    


Writer's Block: Cool places
bradleypettway
What's your favorite city or town that you've visited? Why do you love it?


      Its funny, I grew up in NYC, I lived there 20 out of 24 years of my life.. Its not NYC. I love so many places though, and NYC makes the list, but the number 1 place Ive always loved was Jacksonville FL.  The beaches are amazing, the weather everytime ive gone was amazing, the people warm and receptive.. Just an all around great place, very tropical.  Savannah GA makes the cut too, Tybee Island is wonderful as well as the life in the city. Savannah has a very antique feel to it and at times seems like a small version of NY.. Its claims to be one of the most haunted places in the US, but the only thing that ever haunted me there was the booze filled nightlife.

     I have yet to really travel west, although I dream of what it would be like to live in CA.  Im sure I have misconceptions about the life, but I am told its pretty much dead on (what I express when I think CA, all the stereotypes) and I dig it.  Id love to go to Santa Monica, Los Angeles, anywhere socal really.  Im a big fan of beach areas, Im a sea creature. 

     When it comes to NYC, I love it, but for its own separate reasons.  There are beaches here (despite popular belief), but thats not why I love it. The concrete is my home, i didnt really know anything else except city life until I moved out to explore.  The city was safe to me because its what I knew.  The graffiti is comforting to me, the bricks on every block, the construction, the police sirens, the air, buses passing by, the subway heard from underground, the crowds, etc. Its just so easy to get lost, blend in, and pretend you dont exist for a while.  All those people, and not a single one of them wants to bother you despite the fact that you are bumping into people, standing still, it doesent matter.  You dont have to converse with people, the streets talk to you. The couple staring at the map down the block; tourists. Its written all over them, who breaks open a map in the middle of the street? You could be a little more discreet, and do that at a coffee table, or take it one step further and use an app on your phone so no one knows you are the easy target.  The bums on the corner all have a story if you have the time to listen to them, most just assume they are all crazy, and why not listen to them? They are human just like you, and they more than likely had a beautiful life up until something tragic happened, so why not help out the less fortunate?

     How about the people who give him money? Do they say something? Or the people who turn their head? Isnt it sad that these people are in your face every day in the city, and you refuse to even acknowledge these problems exist? Some see these people every day on their way to work, sometimes their face is more recognizable than someones face at your office building, and yet if he asks for any spare change, not even a dollar, you cant part with that pocket change thats been annoying you for the past 3 blocks? Yea, the street can speak to you... I love the city, its an intimate relationship that cant be explained.   Then again, NY isnt on the "visit" list for me either. Its what i know. 

(no subject)
bradleypettway
  Its early. I feel dirty, the layer of film on my gums, my skin feels oily from last night and my clothes smell of cigarettes.  I don't even know how I made it home.  I don't drink anymore, but I still go to bars with my friends. They usually stay until closing time, ill drink water all night and participate in meaningless conversations. I don't know how I used to do it, the smoke is irritating to my eyes, people are loud and obnoxious, throwing up all over the place, etc. I end up driving a bunch of people home that I didn't intend to.  I'm glad I can be there for them, they are still my friends.

     I'm exhausted but I don't dare move from this table, I'm frozen in a state of heightened conciousness, or I'm just exhausted, and I think I am...  My head is filled with thousands of thoughts racing back and forth, too indistinct to really grasp a single one. Its hard to concentrate sometimes.  This happens often enough but its not constant, so i don't consider it to really be a problem.

    I don't really know how long Ive been sitting here, I just know that the sun was over my shoulder a second ago and now it peers through the window and onto the wall. The picture frame is shining in the corner of my eye (kind of like the person you know is staring at you), but I just don't care enough to move. As I stare down it seems like I'm focusing on something very far away, maybe wondering what the bottom of the house looks like. As things start to come back into focus, I realize that my colorful cereal has turned into a rainbow of shit and sitting in spoiled warm milk. I wasn't hungry anyway... I'm not too much of a fan of cereal to begin with, I guess its just following an expected routine? Living a life of white fences and greenest grass, bbqs in the backyard and watching little league baseball at the local park? None of that ever really mattered to me, so why do it now?  I guess I'm just trying to change my life, if its a good enough life for millions, they cant be wrong(or was everyone else in my shoes at some point and wanting something different and that's how they too have become a cardboard copy of the American dream)...

    As I stare down this bowl of swirly rainbow shit i start to see my reflection, and my stomach begins to turn.  I start to get sick almost immediately, so I run to the bathroom and vomit in the sink. I couldn't make it to the toilet in time. For a second I feel relief, until I lift my head only to see my reflection staring back at me again. It feels like I cant get away from myself sometimes. My stomach is in knots and I'm left on the bathroom floor in agonizing pain.

    I have found that there's a certain comfort in a bathroom.  Its quiet, and there's really no memories formed in a bathroom. Its a blank slate, a room of salvation. I sit and reflect on the bathroom floor, wondering what I'm doing with myself. I stand up and realize that my eyes are bloodshot, my throat is dry like I ate sand, and I am really pale. I have lost 15 pounds since last month... I barely look like me.  Maybe I should take a shower, I feel gross anyway. I turn the water on and get undressed. The water is warm, so I step in to the shower. I start to drift in thought again.. I want to stay in this bathroom until I start to feel better, and I don't care how long it takes.. I just want to feel better, even if its just for a moment. I turn the water hotter, just enough that i can feel the sting. Its enough to make my muscles relax. It feels nice, but it doesen't last long.  Sure as shit the pain comes right back, my eyes feel swollen, and my gut feels like I have a rusty bayonet lodged in it.  I turn the water as hot as it goes, its scolding hot. I can hear the pipes screaming from within the wall, and my skin feels like I just pressed it up against the hot tarmac. It burns real bad for about one second, and my skin feels tight on my body now. I feel the previous night and all my worries peeling off of my skin and I envision it being flushed down the drain.  I forget about everything for a little while, just in that moment. One day I will be able to let it all go.  When you look at it that way, its a sign of progress in its own fucked up way. 

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