Leaving is harder than one might think. Stay in one place long enough and you grow roots; and after you cut those off, you find yourself shackled by financial insecurity and the routine you’ve become so dependent on. But enough about you; let’s talk about me.

I’ve been playing in a band. A strong hold that has on me, when I’m facing a group of strangers, screaming myself deaf. Closing my eyes to feel the ebb and flow of pain… an emotive force of my own creation streaming through the body… raising all the hairs I own… the fire of all my hate and sadness burning through my innards, driving to a state of self-absorbed perfection. I open my eyes to see a flurry of arms beating a guitar, and listen to the fire burning through electric amplifiers. I find myself on my knees and know that those arms are mine, and know that the sound is mine, and know that this blood and fire are mine, and for that moment, I feel as though I am truly beautiful.

Like all things, the moment ends. I find that I have broken the pickups of my guitar. People keep trying to shake my hand after the show, which I’m trying to avoid so as not get the blood from my swollen knuckles all over them. I could not bend my wrist properly for several days and two weeks later I cannot knock on a door without pain to my hand. There’s always a price. There’s always a price.

I have a car that I cannot sell (as I needed to put more into it than it is worth) and that I cannot drive (doctor’s orders: I need to be seizure free for six months). It tethers me to the apartment complex like an anchor in a seabed. So I am now committed to employing a bicycle as my primary means of transportation. Along my path to work, there is a mountainous hill that must be overcome twice a day. Really knocks me on my ass. As I approach the summit, I am gasping for breath, and my thighs swell with lactic acid. But like any expedition of enlightenment, you are rewarded for reaching the end by being endowed with wisdom. As this is merely my bike ride to work, the illumination I receive is relatively mediocre… but certainly not to be ignored! At the very top of this monstrous hill is a bit of graffiti on the sidewalk, which plainly reads, “Vaginas are stinky.”

And every day I pass this piece of didactic wit, I think to myself, “Amen, brother. Amen.”

Beside my few remaining social obligations and financial commitments, the last link of chain holding me here is employment. I am in that awkward stage of my career where I cannot advance anymore with my present employer, and yet I also lack enough experience to get on with a superior employment opportunity. It would be more annoying to throw everything away than it would be to stay. For now.

I had a dream that everything was perfect. I was in white, in an infinite expanse, where I was connected to everything and yet retained my self obsessed individuality. I felt good like gods. Makes one muse about whether or not this is what we could have if not trapped by our hoarding of money, flesh, and relationships. Rooted in a life… a scant reality. Probably just a trick though…one thing I’ve learned if I’ve learned anything: There’s always a price.

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