Sitting in a bathroom on a closed-lidded toilet
listening to music, and singing along,
because it’s the only place (or at least the best place)
in my New York City apartment
that I feel that people are least likely to hear me singing.
Sometimes I need to sing.
Sometimes I need to sing sad songs about questioning identity,
because I can’t come up with music and words on my own.
It hurts when there are artists that have helped me,
and then I realize they are bad men.
Great artists, but bad men.
The art gets taken away.
The old wounds reopen.
Make me think hard again about really being alone.
Make me feel like the lonely only again.
I then question again am I “special” or “crazy”.
Am I “stupid”, “naïve”, or “wise”.
Am I “useful” or “useless”.
Am I “living” or am I “alive”.
Do I exist somewhere else?
Do I, or have I, live (or lived) in another place or time?
It’s sad that the only thing going for me is being a “good man”.
It’s sadder that the only thing other men don’t have going for them is the same.
Questioning sanity, and “goodness”, and wondering about the nature of identity,
makes only pain feel acute and real.
Question everything was a simple lesson to learn…
holding onto logic / sanity proves to be difficult.
So I’ve tended to look to others
that I think are like me,
to see how they cope, to see how they hold on.
Then I think I learn things,
then I find out they are not like me,
then I start over again.
I don’t know how to teach myself these lessons.
I only know how to look outward.
But always have been left with false hopes.
How do I know what I am?
Am I a human?
Have I dreamt my days?
Have I lived my dreams?
Is this my doing?
Have I been love?
Have existed that way?
What is that thing in my chest and belly?
Besides the heartburn it feels a bit like love.
And both keep me up at night.
The songs always end
and I fear if I play another,
another man might hear.
So for fear of being seen as the other,
And allow myself to feel angry
at the world that has brought me
to feeling angry.
Maybe I should order some food,
Maybe I need more vitamins,
Maybe I need to go for another walk,
Maybe I need to start running again,
Maybe I need to shut the fuck up,
Maybe I need to never speak again.
I don’t know how to continue
and I miss being able to go to someone with answers.
I miss Grandpa.
I miss being with a truly good and wise man.
He taught me how to play the music.
He taught me so many things
that I’ve let the fear take away from me.
And I still want to be like him.
And I have so many questions now,
that I never thought to ask him years ago.
And now I can’t and never can.
But life continues sometimes,
and I can always sing in my head,
I’m allowed to mouth the words while lying in bed,
or working at work,
or walking down a street in the dark.
But men can only sing in isolation,
can only cry alone,
unless they don’t fear.
But I am fear,
and everything else seems to be just leftovers.