the shape

the new year’s day,
when the roof caved in. the film
moved me from tears to an
unending sense of
absolute dread and nothing was
the same after that.
guilt, a steady piercing ache
humming in my head like the
emergency broadcast system.
electric and sour.

the bar,
silently sitting staring and
stirring my whiskey rocks, i can recall
that exact moment i knew we were
done— an albatross deep in my chest
years later. my shame is
immeasurable and trying to piece it all
together now feels futile. but as i find
myself again, ounce by ounce it
dissipates.

another frightening dawn.

haunted

i used to love the way you said
my name, softly with a smile and then
intensely. now you won’t
say a word and i burn for you—
your lewd, often sweet voice over
the phone and
your growling. gripping me in
your arms and not letting go as
you ruin me, wantonly staring me
down like the barrel
of a shotgun— execution style
out back at the woodshed. guttural
groans as you explode, loosening
your grip on my neck with each hot
pulse. my eyes roll back as you
deliver your final pumps, me clenching
all around you in ecstasy, needing you
deeper still. clawing at
your back as you devour me and
nothing else mattered. seal it
with a kiss.

take me back i am begging you
to that bed, to that man.

what remains

prying emotions with forceps because i
cannot properly Be. i know that
parts of me remain, lost in
the murky broth of my mind. i write
and i scratch and i yell and
i sob into the void begging to be heard
and told i am not alone. a warm hug
to carry, a forehead kiss. an inviting
hand, a waist grab. it’ll be okay.

did any of it happen? was any of it
real? i could touch you and breathe you
and feel you so deeply, feel
your hazely eyes searing me up
and down, hot and heavy. i miss you
at all hours, raw and beating.

were you genuine when you said you
wanted me? or was it just for that
particular set of weeks until it was
time to turn me into a ghost.
and for what, to preserve
your fragility at the expense of
authentic warmth? reduced to a
punchline, a comment where
i once Was. i will win no accolades
for hiding my heartache. i have been
stripped of what little poker face i’ve
ever had. you used to turn me inside
out. my days are numbered, now.

it will boomerang, darling. it
always does.

series of mom issues # 1

i’m afraid i’ll forget your voice but
it lives on in rerun criticisms and old mobile
phone mailboxes. home video from before
it all went to hell and i grew into
someone you could not grasp.

those 24 years we shared were Far
from perfect but
they were ours. you loved me
but did not always like me, something
we have in common. we share
expressions and attitudes, though i
am softer. i wish you
had been softer to me. maybe i would
not be so insular, would not have
hurt people
as often.

you built walls with skill as i do,
emotions held
furtively close to the
chest. my walls will never be as high,
by design. a promise i made to my
self, age fourteen. who knew you would be
gone in a short decade.

i wonder where you are, now.

Mad Men s5e5: Signal 30

“Look, I’m just trying to tell you because I am who I am and I’ve been where I’ve been that you don’t get another chance at what you have.”

“Brave words for a man on his second time round..”

“Yeah, and if I had met her first, I would have known not to throw it away.”

Strap in, kiddos.. this is a good one. Lane tries his hand as an account man and fails miserably, but ends up punching the shit out of Pete. Kenny’s still writing, and this time it’s bizarre sci-fi! Don might actually be happy with his life, and the now-suburbanite Pete’s yearning for more as usual during his driver’s ed classes.

Now, it’s no secret that Pete has idolised Don since day one. The gorgeous wife and house in ‘the country’, kids and all the accompanying junk, suavely banging around and doing whatever it is that Men(TM) do.. Pete admires him, wants to be him. But when he eventually tries on the swinging dick Don of yore, he feels totally dead inside. Is that all there is?

image courtesy of Lesbohemia

On the other hand, Don glimpses his former life via Cos Cob Casa Campbell and feels claustrophobic as hell leading up to and during the Saturday night dinner party. Don’s more casual references to his past are enlightening– the horseshit remark to Kenny, etc. Maybe he’s finally starting to accept who he is now that he’s been honest from the getgo with Megan and she didn’t run for the hills.

Kenny’s wife Cynthia blows up his spot at said dinner party, outing him as a writer (still!); a point that Pete blabs to Roger later on. Proud as ever, Cynthia describes his story about a bridge between two planets, and how all it takes is one bolt being removed by a sassy robot to fuck it all to hell. Sort of sounds like Megan to Don in the office and at home, in life.

Megan bridges the Don to the Dick, and it seems like they work pretty well together and he knows it. He appears to be a different man now that he’s not married to Betty, on his way to ever improving and self-awareness. Megan’s sunny disposition certainly helps. Don implies as much to Pete in the post-Jaguar hooker party cab; he knows what he’s got with Megan is special and isn’t aiming to send it all to hell like he did with his first marriage to Betty.

Plus, he’s always liked Trudy (and this is saying a lot as Don doesn’t really like anybody), and everything looks so picturesque on the surface, so seeing Pete gleefully follow a ~lady~ to her private room must have been a little jarring. He can see that Trudy’s a rare lady, and that Pete could easily fuck it up and not even begin to fathom what he’s lost.

And let’s be real, anything less than too many high-fives putting Pete in the hospital was going to be disappointing with his mentality, so he took Don’s silence as some sort of quiet disapproval. I mean, the whole conversation and Pete’s over the top offense at Don’s lull was entirely based on his own projections. All Don did was say he hoped Pete didn’t keep making the same mistakes that he did, which is entirely valid. He even did that Man(TM) thing and absolved Roger from banging around-related guilt by saying “he’s miserable”, as if that’s some sort of excuse, but eh.

image courtesy of BurnThisMedia

Let’s backtrack for a hot second and yap about Lane and his shit. His wife Rebecca is still unhappy being in Manhattan, pining for Crown & Country, bringing reticent Lane to a British pub to watch the World Cup. And hey, England won in 1966! So it’s not all bad. Striking up conversation with her friends, he stumbles into a potential Big Deal Account with Jaguar cars (and the secretly enormously dirty old man Edwin). For a smaller agency like SCDP, having a car makes them a major player on Madison Ave.

Edwin is hesitant to really open up, and thus Lane fucks it up on their business dinner. Pete, Roger, and Don try to set it straight with lobsters and a casual visit to a classy whorehouse, at Edwin’s creepy “I LIKE PARTIES” open door. Don sits it out, casually referencing his upbringing to the madame of the house. Big stride for him not being so deeply ashamed of his impoverished childhood, I guess.

image courtesy of IMDB

As Pete’s the guy who’s always wanting, his lady of choice runs through a couple of scenarios before landing on him being her King. He’s always wanted more of what someone else has no matter what it is, and shit he plainly can’t have like that naive teenager in his driver’s ed class. Besides being entirely creepy, an age appropriate (and smokin’ hot) dude pops in and sweeps her away anyway. Another blow to his fragile masculinity, on top of when Don deftly swooped in to fix the exploding sink at casa Campbell, to the ladies’ applause.

The true crown jewel of this episode is the partners meeting. That absurd hooker party blows up in Lane’s face in the form of CHEWING GUM [left] ON [Edwin’s] PUBIS, and he challenges Pete to a fucking fist fight in the conference room.. and proceeds to kick Pete’s ass.

Talk about a literal blow to Pete’s manliness, good godDAMN. Just as Lane struggles to feel relevant at SCDP in the day to day, Pete also wants to mean more in life. In the elevator, Pete tearfully admits to Don that he feels he has nothing. To see someone who is that cocky on the reg be reduced to this crying, bruised mess reminds us that everyone’s got their own shit going on below the surface.

Thanks to Pete ratting out Kenny’s writing to Roger (who predictably was less than pleased with Ken’s attentions being divided), he’s gotta come up with a new pen name. Kenny’s final scene with the monologue overlay gave off a sense of hope, in a way; deffo glad he’s sticking with the writing and finding that meaning in his life.

While Kenny and Pete have always have been at odds in the office (even though Pete is winning account-wise at work), Kenny is absolutely more fulfilled than Pete is at home which of course means a lot more in the long run. It’s something that Pete hasn’t found yet, because he’s missing the damned forest for the trees. So natch, he tries to undermine Kenny’s other professional pursuits. Woof.

I guess it was only a matter of time before Pete got punched in the mouth at that office.

The Man with the Miniature Orchestra, by Dave Algonquin.

There were phrases of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony that still made Coe cry.
He always thought it had to do with the circumstances of the composition itself; 
He imagined Beethoven, deaf and soul-sick, his heart broken, scribbling furiously while death stood in the doorway clipping his nails.
Still, Coe thought, it might have been living in the country that was making him cry..
it was killing him with its silence and loneliness.
Making everything ordinary too beautiful to bear.