Facebook Photo

While I was looking at your Facebook photo, the one where you look so happy, there was one second when I no longer wanted to be me and instead I wanted to be you.

For a second I wanted to be you.

I used to look through my old family album as a kid wondering who the hell were those people. They were smiling and touching each other. We didn’t smile in my family unless someone had a camera pointed at us. If you saw someone’s teeth, it meant they were gonna bite you or they were taking them out for the night and putting ’em in a glass.

And all that touching in our family photos. We didn’t touch each other normally. Not in any sort of loving way. I didn’t even know what a hug was until the girl next door saw me crying on my porch one night when I was 10 and she threw her arms around me to cheer me up. And I was all like, WHAT SORT OF MAGIC IS THIS?

Yeah. I didn’t get hugs as a kid. Cue the violins. But that’s not my point. The point is that photographs lie. And my real family wasn’t a happy family like that fake family in my family photos.

So believe me when I tell you I know that photographs lie.

But still you look so happy with your friends and so sweet there with your family and in that selfie you look so beautiful. You look amazing. Look at that smile. For a second, you know, I just wanted to be you.

And I’m assuming that you have the same problems as everyone else. You’re not always happy. And you have the same troubles as everyone else. You’re not always smiling. And you probably have some concerns that no one else has.

So who am I to say that your life is better than mine. (It is. believe me it is) Or that you wouldn’t maybe want to be me instead. (Oh my god WHY?) But for a second…

And I don’t regret my past or my present. I am, at this moment in time, the happiest I’ve ever been. The healthiest I’ve been in decades. And my life has purpose and meaning and yada yada yada.

But just give me a second.

Here I am on your vacation. And it was perfect.
Here I am with your family. We’re incredibly cute together.
Here I am with your friends. Having a good time. Wish you were here.
And that’s us when the lighting is right and we look amazing. Just kidding. we always look like that.

While I was looking at your Facebook photo, the one where you look so happy, there was one second when I no longer wanted to be me and instead I wanted to be you.

And that second, the second that I wanted, was the second when that picture was being taken.

Okay I’m done. You can have your life back.

Thank you for sharing.

– Mel

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Quest’s End

The Divine Cosmos

Quest’s End

It is then I saw him
Prostrated three times at the feet of my lord
And presented the question
The question that had been soaked
In the contemplations of my entire adult life

I put before him the ultimate query
Questioned authority
Questioned divinity
I sought the answers
So many others had

Searched for it
Suffered for it
Bled for it
Died for it
But I alone stood before him
And he alone could answer

I phrased it perfectly
I’ve always been good with words
Fearless
No hesitation
Doubtless
There would be no misunderstanding
I bade him
Explain it all

And he did.

He answered the question
My question
To my complete satisfaction
And perpetual bliss

He said,
“Why do you ask?”

And that’s all he said

And that’s all
I needed to hear.

– Mel

Avengers: Infinity Wars Trailer

yeah

um

yeah

Oh my god

The hairs on the back of my arms are standing at attention.

I can’t breathe.

um

WOW

Just wow.

I got nothing to say except (I know what I’m doing on my next birthday) yeah. That’s right. Happy Birthday to me.

And of course…

“Get this man a shield!”

Oh my god.

I’m done.

–  Mel

Exhibit A (Try Not To Stare)

Mel Rook & The 3 Higher Trainings

I am on exhibit at a Zoo

Children stop and stare
Wishing they could grow up
But not grow old.

Adults pass by quickly
Knowing what it’s like to grow old
But not grow up.

I wait to be fed.

I am on exhibit at an Art Gallery

The guide calls me an important work.
Signed, Certified and Numbered.
A Limited Edition.

The plaque reads:
Unknown Subject Number 3,471,955,134.
Unremarkable.

I am on exhibit at a Theme Park.

I am an animatronics display
Showing the perils of drug use,
Not staying in school
And not taking life seriously
While playing with fire.
On a track and on an endless loop
Until it closes for repair.

I am a ride with no line and no ticket
And only room for one
A ride that is at times
Thrilling,
Romantic
And fun
And at other times
A straight flat slow trip
From one side…

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Photos From Around The Block: Village Halloween Parade (No Fear 2017)

I took a wrong turn and ended up in the Village Halloween Parade.

Took some pictures.

Suffice to say, everyone was smoking lovely out there.

Seriously. I got buzzed from the contact.

To the pics…

A cat, 2 mice, a flash, a Mario and a runaway bride

Wonder Woman and The Punisher. (because that makes a lick of sense)

Three Witches and An Unfamiliar.

That’s a great pumpkin. (just not THE great pumpkin)

“Yeah Yeah. Somebody stop me from posting to Instagram. I heard it.”

Damn, Grandma. You scary.

This Guy.

Dino Roar.

Empire State.

The stuff that dreams are made of. (Nightmares)

“Excuse me. May I eat your child?”

He’s right behind you.

Don’t mess with this gang. They will fuck your shit up.

“I can’t believe that guy let me eat his kid.”

Faerie Magic.

There was some politics out there. Gun Violence, Trump, The Usual.

Gun Violence IS preventable

This little cutie.

The Dump Trump Balcony

Now that’s a party.

Old Man Sam (is nobody’s uncle)

Heavy police presence after the incident downtown.

There were some Jedi mucking about with lightsabers.

Light vs Dark

No Blasters! No Blasters!

The Jedi Council

The Sith (There is always two)

There were some weird demonic pics I don’t remember taking.

The moon’s reflection.

Ghosts in the trees.

The most demonic house I’ve ever seen.

there were a couple of Neon Warriors.

Light Armor (get it?)

These guys looked cool. And they were very tall. Like really tall.

DSC_0673

DSC_0674

DSC_0676

And of course there was this guy.

With the lonely evil eyes.

That’s all I got.

I hope you all had a Happy Halloween.

-Mel

Maybe?

Maybe
Really maybe
There is only
A finite quantity
Of souls.

Far fewer still
Than bodies
And yet none
Not one without
Would go alone.

Maybe
Thick rich souls
Are spread wide
Across the worlds
Like jam.

Shared
Then shared again
Dealt like cards
Split in two
Into four
Or more.

Maybe then
The truth
Of soul searching
Is not a search
For the soul
In ourselves

But a search
For ourself

…in others.

Maybe?

-Mel

My Younger Self

I feel so much younger than my younger self.

He struggles with tensions and tenses and stresses and angst. While I breathe easily. Enjoying the natural in and out. Needing only to remember to smile.

He was always older than he seemed.

He is fifteen, ordering whiskey in a dive bar. No I.D. No need. “Get this man a drink.”

We clock the time together. Uncertain of the duration in a single second. Relative or inconstant. A breath. I go in as he goes out from anger to sadness in an exhale. While I smile between the ex and the in. Between the ins and the outs. Between the heartbeats and the seconds. We clock the time together.

I know less now than when I knew nothing. No pride. No prejudice. No expectation.

Less impossible futures with many more possible pasts.

Less impossible futures with many more possible pasts with pose-able parts and indispensable lessons. Flights of fancy rerouted and stories re-watched rewound rewritten or simply reinterpreted.

I can remember more than he has ever lived.

And not just the time between him and I. The clock we watched together. But the space before him. Behind him. Flushed with memories that he could not recount. More stories in the blank spaces. More experiences. More lessons. And more lives beneath those. And more lives beneath those. And beneath those and those and those.

We run through tales at bedtime (his bed not mine). My bottom to the cushion (his head not mine). His fear subsides as I re-tell him the stories that make our pain seem more subtle. And our dreams seem more accessible.

Because in every dream and every story in every life, in every book I’ve read, written or heard, he is every character on every page.

My younger self is everyone I’ve ever been or dreamed of being.

He is every character.

And I am every word.

– Mel