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Keep Running

R T C

I was on top of the world when you suddenly showed up at my friend’s place one evening. You had all your belongings in your car and your pet chihuahua on your lap. I miss that little bitch. I quickly introduced myself and we made small talk. You came from Illinois of all places without a solid plan or money saved. I’ll never understand that about people who are looking to start anew. Seems things in your life were unbearable and you wanted an escape even if you didn’t have the means to. You didn’t tell me at first until we got close, but I could see if from a mile away.

We saw each other everyday and partied constantly. I wasn’t trying to like you, but you were something else. Tall, pale, and a charming personality that made socializing easy. We danced a few times every alcohol fueled rager or drug induced binges. I’ll never forget your reactions to my sheer directness towards you. You could not handle it without doing something childish — exactly like how a little girl would of reacted to a surprise. It was cute.

Eventually, our lifestyles and friends we associated with began to creep up and overtake our lives. I’m partially to blame for the mess, but we both knew we shouldn’t have sneaked off together that one day. It was exciting and I couldn’t have cared less if anyone found out. But he did and that was soon the turning point. Chaos.

We went a few weeks before we ran into each other just outside 7-Eleven. You were walking your dog — fuck I miss that little bitch. I was surprised and we caught up. You didn’t want to be seen with me so we rendezvoused at my place on Sabado. You told me you were looking to run again and this time to Nor Cal. It made me sad, but I knew it was for the best. Isla Vista is fucked up, but you didn’t need me to tell you that.

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All your belongings were stolen just a day or two before you were going to leave. But that was to be expected when you lived with druggies. You cried a ton and I did whatever I could to make it stop. You broke down in front of me and revealed just how sad you were deep inside. How your mother was a drug abuser, how your sister died recently, how you wanted to escape, and just end it all. It’s unsettling to hear someone tell you how they want to drive their car off a bridge. It all made sense. You poor thing. I gave you all the money I had in my pocket — a few hundred at least and said to just go — leave now and not later.

So you did. The next day came and you arrived at my door to say one last good bye. I gave you a letter I wrote the night before and my other phone number that no one else knew about. Don’t give up it said. Life may be far from perfect, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. One long hug and a quick kiss later, you drove off from my apartment and that was the last I ever saw you.

We’re all running baby. Some faster than others. You walked fire with me and got burned. I sincerely hope you’re doing better now.

Later world.

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Admiring from Afar

H I B

I was walking out of the UCen with my laptop in one hand and the other to adjust my hat. I was dressed to the nines as some would call it. Not for any special reason, just because I felt great that day and I tend to get more work done. Black vest, white shirt, skinny tie, black jeans and a fedora — surrounded in a sea of board shorts and yoga pants. Give me a break. I’m not surprised I caught your attention. I’m surprised you ran up to me to introduce yourself.

“Hi! This is going to sound totally weird, but I’ve seen you before. You’re always dressed up with a fedora. Do you want to like hang out some time?”

Naturally, I was pleasantly shocked someone noticed my outfit across multiple days — more so you had to run up to me before I got away. I loved that. I played it cool and added you on Facebook on the spot and also asked you for your number. You obliged with the happiest look I’ve seen all week at the time. You reminded me terribly of my ex — but only much more genuine.

We texted soon after the usual getting to know you questions: what year are you, where are you from, what’s your major, etc. It was a weekday and we made plans for a hangout at Freebirds. I offered to pay for you, but you insisted I didn’t. We hit it off, if I recall. You were enthralled at seemingly everything I told you and never broke eye contact. Impressed is best to describe it. You went on-and-on about how your dad was an alcoholic, but I passed that off as being a bit nervous meeting somebody new.

I walked you home after and hugged you good bye. I never did hang out with you a second time. Not that you weren’t a nice girl — just that I was busy more so than anyone else trying to cram four classes every quarter. I blew off more than a few of your messages and texts. I at least owed you a reply, but I didn’t. You naturally got the message I wasn’t all that interested — I’m sorry. Seems I only realize now I was a bit of a jerk.

Later world.

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Sobriety Blows

I’ve gone 9 months without alcohol. Not a beer. Not a shot. Nada. It’s a big milestone considering how much alcohol has been a part of my life these few years. Drinking is always fun… Until it becomes a problem and you’re shaking without it. Waking up restless and covered in sweat was probably a sign I had a serious problem, but who’s going to tell me no? I’m what’s called a “high functioning alcoholic”. I’d have a beer in the morning and several after work. You can surprisingly get good at this the longer you keep it up and find some excuse to drink. If you hate your job and have depression, shit is like a walk in the park. You’ll tell yourself you can stop anytime or something similar.

It’s not that simple. I can see myself walking into a liquor store to pick up a $20 bottle of Svedka and just having it all to myself for the entire night or God forbid — day. Give me two Xanax and shit — we’ve made it a party. It’s the best feeling when you’re on one or two. Your thoughts stop bothering you and for just a few hours, your head is as calm as the morning sea. Bliss.

It’s cheating if I or anyone goes this route. Life is inherently challenging, difficult, and riddled with sadness by design. We want control even though it’s all out of our hands. Does knowing that make it any less shitty some days? Not a chance. But you wouldn’t know how to live life if it was just you and a few empty bottles.

To three more fucking months.

Later world.

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9/16/2018

I’ll never understand what you saw in me that year. I was far from charming or filled with confidence — sad even. I always let you take the lead and make plans. I was there for the ride, but I loved every minute of it. I fell for you and the city we explored — suppose that’s why I’m so fond of it til this day. You didn’t love me for what I had and what I bought. You looked passed my arrogance, my problems, and gave me a chance. Some days I wonder what if we met now and not earlier — if we would of worked out and found happiness together.

Had I been who I am now, you probably would of fallen for me — head over heels as some would call it. You took a piece of my heart, never gave it back, and I still wonder where you are. Memories fade and time is best not spent to dwell on my thoughts. All I do is dream and reminisce.

It was only fitting one day you would of have a change of heart. It’s a common theme with life, relationships, and myself. One day you’re gaga for someone and crazy for them and the next day you’re not. I don’t think we fell out of love. Just the timing wasn’t there and we had a lot going on behind the scenes. Part of me thinks if we met again, I could sweep you off your feet and continue where we left off. A guy can dream.

Cheers to love. Toast to sorrow. If there’s a heartbeat, go on living.

 

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Past Failures

I found one of my old dusty binders and was surprised to find my early college class work still stuffed in each pouch. Classes I took at PCC in 2010 and 2011 all there to see. I suppose it’s only fitting today would be the day I rediscover it. I failed all my classes 2010, only to make a remarkable turnaround and ace everything in 2011. When you already hit the bottom, the only direction left is up.

38% “Work hard!” – Japanese 1 (2010)

51% “Work hard!” – Japanese 1 (2010)

A+ Keep it up! – History 7A (March 2011)

PCC was the hardest part about college. Taking two buses from Alhambra everyday took over an hour. I don’t miss that shit even for a second. What’s worse was when the weather was a total bitch and did everything to keep you from going. Heavy rain and crazy 100+ degree temps was a sign the world was fighting back against me. Had I not dicked around and struggled so much in Pasadena, I would of never figured out how to study or better yet — give a shit. Having your academic advisor struggle to find a reason needed to see you for the forth time in a year when you have a 3.7 GPA was comical.

Transferring to Santa Barbara and taking classes there was trivial. Like, come on. There’s a fucking beach just blocks away. I made it to paradise and it was my home for two crazy and fucked up years. I always found it amazing when some of my friends told me they didn’t pass or get into the major by some stroke of bad luck. I probably tried one third as hard as I did in Santa Barbara and still found it to be a piece of cake. How I managed over 200 units in that time isn’t a miracle by any stretch of the imagination. I wanted to out do myself and succeeded. Double majoring was brutal, yet so satisfying. Coupled with interning for CALPIRG, holding a job for the Daily Nexus, drinking constantly, and partying every weekend — some people didn’t think I was human. It’s good to be busy, but it’s even better knowing you’re doing more with your time than the next guy over.

Everything has gotten exponentially easier since then. I’ve switched jobs about 8 times in the time since I graduated. Gotten laid off twice. Left and quit on my own free will 6 times. I worked for Hulu. I’ve had 5 marketing jobs, 2 customer service, and 1 as a project manager. Life cannot keep me down and I won’t ever let it. You can either love me for the person I am and travel with me thru the storm or sit on the shore as a castaway and watch me set sail. My aunt and uncle from China consider me to be a huge success. Maybe they’re right. My foolish goal of wanting to just impress my grandma has far out grown itself and manifest itself to my inner drive to succeed for the sake of myself. I’m selfish and I love it. I’m an asshole more than half the time, but you’ll have a hard time convincing me it didn’t get me where I am. The lord can only do so much. For everything else, you have to fight for it.

Not that I’m complaining, but fuck me is life boring some times. That’s the problem right now. Life has gotten easy, goals have been met, and I’m not challenged anymore and not for a long time. Maybe Garza is right and I need someone that can keep up with me — my partner in crime. I have yet to meet some who fully aligns with my goals and passion for success. The need for self-fulfillment is rare in people. Mines burn brighter everyday and with each passing night.

You can love me for it now and I’ll let you, but if you’re not where you want to be and don’t know how — sorry baby. Bye bye birdie. I’m gonna miss you so.

Later world.

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Still Friends

——

Speak what’s on your mind. The only regret is what you didn’t get to say.

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T-Minus +12 Hours

In a little over 12 hours, I’ll be taking an Uber in the morning to Pasadena to get my eyes lasered. I arguably have the best guy in town to do the procedure and it should be a bit comforting knowing my eyes are in good hands.

I’ve worn glasses since the 8th grade and tomorrow it ends. Come to think of it, all my hopes and dreams seem to be a reality. I suppose I have my ambition to thank for that. There’s no limit to what I can achieve when I’m fixated on my goals. Never stop chasing. Eventually, you will catch up.

Cost for 20/20 vision: $5500 fucking dollars. Thank God for 0% financing. I don’t think too many millennials can say to themselves, “Yeah, I can afford that.” I’m really fortunate I can do this all by myself without any help and should never forget that. Stay humble.

Later world.

P.S. this will either make me more confident and/or a bigger fucking asshole. Sorry, not sorry.

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Beauty in Death

There’s something quite beautiful in seeing death. For the all the greivences it brings to you and your loved ones, it stops and make you think of them even more. Days of happier more blissful times that have long gone. Those times of being young and care-free with you and them — perhaps with an ice cream in one hand while the other holds there’s. You value those fading memories more and you try to keep them for as long as your mind will remember. It’s the connection that remains of you and them. Something so personal and intimate you couldn’t bare the thought of forgetting. Two lives sharing the same moment in time is what makes living special — a relationship.

Unfortunately, death always has two stories to tell. The guilt it brings and the what-ifs of one too many. We’ve all done this. It’s the nature of living. We wished we could of made more time for them when they were alive — that we listened more intently and held on just a little longer. Every goodbye never felt like it would be the last, but that’s the thing about death — it’s strikes when we least suspect it, tormenting and playing with our emotions. The pain it brings lasts forever and the memories too. We fixate on the past for the comfort it brings, yet we fear the future due to the uncertainty of the next stop. All tears dry up eventually.

There’s comfort in knowing that someone is up above inside the pearly gates of heaven — looking down at you. If you’re one to have spent a lifetime with them, you’ll find solace knowing they’re there waiting. Death separated you from your loved ones, but it reunites you when it’s your turn.

We all need to live now and not later. The future is always uncertain, but it shouldn’t stop you from the present. Past, present, and future are just that — a training coming and going.

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2 Minutes to Midnight

They say dreams are a message from your subconscious — that they reveal what’s bothering you inside. I’ve had the same two dreams this year and I suppose there’s a lot going inside my head than I realize. It’s like my inside voice is constantly shouting and battling my subconscious. It’s mentally exhausting and I wish there was a mute button to give myself a break.

In one of them, I’m running in the darkness. It’s usually a forest with nothing to guide me. I’m looking for something. Off in the distance is a light. I can’t make out what it is, but I’m trying to find it. It’s almost like it’s trying to escape me. It’s cold and windy outside and there’s no signs of anyone else but me. I’m alone. I trip and stumble a few times, smashing my body into the ground. I always manage to get up, but I’m slowed down considerably. I never do find who, what, or where the light is, but I keep chasing it.

The other persistent dream is morbid. I’m standing on the side of a cliff. It’s one of the popular ones everyone goes to in Santa Barbara. I’m peering off into the distance and admiring the views of the ocean. I can hear the ocean waves cascading and impacting the cliffs below. I’m here for what feels like hours, as the sky darkens and the ocean becomes less and less visible. I inch closer to the edge and jump. I can feel the wind hitting my body and the smell of the water coming closer towards me. Just before impact, I wake up. My chest is pounding.

Someone give me a bottle of vodka and 2 Xanax, please…

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Untitled 9/10/2018

My beloved Kay

How many years have you gone?

The twilight era of the moments past

such a time could never be,

Search into the darkness

cold, windy, and a breeze

Find my candle light

and hold on til the winter’s eve

For many years I’ve longed and searched

that time of yesteryear — love forth you and me