Friday, June 29, 2018


…How cute is that?  To believe in one’s self again while staring at a sunrise that isn’t really there.

…I called you to come carry me up, but you swallowed me whole instead.

…I’ve left my panic everywhere, faint traces of it eating away at everything.

…I’m tired of abstraction.  No one says what they mean anymore so that everything becomes an unsolvable riddle.

…There’s a special edition of TIME magazine with the title “The Science of Happiness” sitting on my office floor next to me.  I bought it, like a week ago.  I wonder why I haven’t read it yet.

…I want to suffer for as long as I can, because it means I am living.

…We’ve all seen what bodies can do, and it’s not pretty, but it could be.

…I never know how stressed I am until I realize how much damage I’ve done to the insides of my cheeks from chewing them.

…Sometimes people can’t even agree on why they disagree.

…Please do me a favor and fall in love with distance between you and the next person.

…I like to eavesdrop.  I like being a voyeur.  Other people’s lives always seem so much more interesting than mine.

...“I have the New York Times, and fourteen dimes, and answers to the most profound nursery rhymes...”  Robbie Benson and I are probably the only two people on the planet who know that lyric, and he could well have forgotten it by now, but it’s presently running through my head.

…Right now there are two people standing up in boat, fishing.  It looks about as fun as jail time.

…I’m not a big fan of “Love ya.”  Either say it and mean it, or don’t.

…I wrote some very strange things yesterday, strange even for me.  I wonder if I’ll be brave enough to post them here someday.

…Yesterday the house was so quiet that I thought it was talking to me.  I didn’t answer back, though.  At least I can’t remember doing so.

…I’ve never met a bridge I liked.  They all seem like they want to kill me, collapse right when I get to the middle of them.

…When I was in the corporate world, I was a lot more decisive.  I’d have to make fifty to a hundred decisions a day.  (Really, I’m not exaggerating.Now I can’t even decide what day it is, or if I’m glad that it’s that day.

…If I’m sad, will be sad with me?  Your answer will tell me a lot.

…People think I have an eating disorder.  Maybe I do, just a little.  But it’s not like I never eat.  I eat if I’m hungry.  I’m just not hungry very often.

…Some people have complicated relationships with their body.  Maybe I do, too.

…This is not a safe alternative to cigarettes.

…There you go again, sitting on the fence when it’s electrified.

…I don’t believe in ghosts, but I’ve felt like one plenty of times, and wished I was one lots of other times.

…I wonder if everyone has secrets they’re too afraid to share, or if it’s just me.

…I wrote a story about secrets called “Written In Stone.”  It’s (shocker) pretty dark.  It’s my son’s favorite.  The other day I got two separate notes about two different stories of mine that people really liked for some reason.  They weren’t even close to my best stories.  I guess that just means everyone has different tastes.

…One of these days, on a long run, I might not make it back.  But couldn’t we all say that?

...“God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy...”

…Roadkill is like the sun: if you're smart, you never look directly at it, you look around it.

…My brother had an ant farm in an aquarium for a while when I was young.  It was like staring into a fire, so mesmerizing.  Those little guys are sure industrious.  They never stop moving.  They make me look like a total slacker.

….Christine Schutt…. Wow.  And people tell me I write dark stuff.  Sheesh.

…It’s been a lucky couple of weeks.  My depression’s been out of town.  I hope it hasn’t been hassling anybody else.  Fuck you, depression.

…Tomorrow I’m going to run to the moon and back.  I’ll try to catch you a star or two.

…Dear God, give me clarity of the mind, and take it easy on me, if you can.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


…Listening is such an important skill.  Everyone loves a good listener.  I know I do.

…RBF.  Resting Bitch Face.  That’s something you don’t want to have.

…It does matter.  All of it does.  Even the painful things.

…Maybe you can’t see it, but it’s still there.  I promise you it is.

…Maybe I forgot how to do this, how to live outside myself, taking deep breaths with my fingers crossed tight.

…Sometimes when I’m distracted, the moon grabs me by the wrist and says, “Listen, you little shit.  Pay closer attention.”

…I said a prayer for you today, even if you might not need it.

…Sometimes it chooses you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

…Everybody fights for a little bit of light.  That’s just the way it has to be.

…For a time, when I was a kid, there was a Sacajawea clock on my bedroom wall.  I don’t remember where it came from and I sure don’t remember buying it.  It’s big, bark brown eyes moved sideways with each passing second, like metronomes.  It was a cute clock during the day, but at nighttime it was pretty frightening.

…It’s kind of amazing how much a dog will love you.

…I used to play dead on the playground. That way none of the other kids noticed all my holes bleeding, a rack of birds pecking my skull into chunky bits of red confetti.

…I don’t know if you can see my starving shadow from where you are.  It’s the epileptic one with no place to hide.

…For many people, loneliness is the sad reality of life.

...I love most everything you bring to this, my friend.
…When I was fifteen we moved again and I hated my Dad for it because I had a girlfriend I was madly in love with.  On the long drive to the new place, he kept saying how I would have lots of other girlfriends.  I kind of also hated him for saying that, but you know, parents have been around the block a few more times than their kids have.

…Red and Blue states.  I wonder who came up with that.  I don’t like the sound of it.  It makes us sound so divided, antagonistic even, like we’re at ideological war with each other.

…I always end up saying “who cares” when I mean to say “I care.”  This is not my only flaw.

…Sometimes I pull my body inside out and it doesn’t seem to mind.

…I know this sounds silly, but I think it’s really sad that people have to die.

…People were very lovely yesterday.  Every one of them, each in their own way.  If you think about it, most people are lovely.

…It’s not hard at all to remember how small I am.  All I have to do is look at the lake, or the blush of clouds hanging over the lake.

…The trick I used to use in order to subsist is no longer reliable, but it once was pretty adequate.

…My worst habit is I keep all of my thoughts in my head and let them live unorganized among the feelings instead of writing them into rooms were they can lose mass as they gain meaning.

…I’ve been reading a lot of people’s pain lately.  They just put it out there, for any old person to see.  That’s pretty brave, but then I guess I do that, too.

…Life can get tricky and complicated.  I need to be better at tricky and complicated.

…“You make your plans, then you hear God laughing.”  Yep.

…“Everything’s going to be a lot easier from here on out.”  Nope.
…Is that for here, or to go?

…My church is your church, and we should go together.

…If you smiled like that every day, it’d probably never rain.

Monday, June 25, 2018


I will be a lot older than nine or nineteen tomorrow, but I won’t feel like it.

…In spite of everything, the tiresome mess, I think it was worth it.  I definitely do.

 …The stars so still are never really still.  They shudder and quake most times I see them, as if it’s me who makes them anxious.  

…I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’m not done yet.

…It’s easy to kill a bug, even a tiny bug, or a spider, and not feel one drop of guilt, not give it a second thought.  I wonder if that’s what it’s like for the universe when a child dies before it should.

…If I tell you nothing else—Thanks.  Thanks so much.

…Some people tell me I scare too easily, and I believe them.

…I like people with a positive outlook, but too much of anything can be a little too much.

…I like to believe that anything is possible, but there are some things a person just can’t survive.

…Put it all together, and depression is a tenacious and scary condition.

…It’s good to remember that every little pebble isn’t a boulder.

…It’s important to be something, to want something, to exist outside yourself.  The other option is pretty bleak.

…I’m not afraid to fail anymore.  I’ve spent all these years getting pieces published and winning contests here and there, and still I wondered why I wasn’t happy.  The more I succeeded, the less fulfilled I felt.  I kept waiting for the time when success would finally fill me up, without realizing that success was never going to be enough.  I was missing the point all along—to embrace the things that truly brought me joy: the pursuit, and the sharing of that pursuit with others.  I get to do this.  I get to write.  Right there’s the happiness.

…Some people are better than others at letting go completely.

…I threw so much away yesterday.  Piles and piles of detritus.  Those old thoughts I was holding onto.  Embryo dreams.  Butterflies and beeswax.  But it kept regenerating, gone one second, then right back the next.  It’s amazing how stubborn trash can be when it knows it’s not trash, but something invaluable.

…I think I’ve selected a shelf too-high up for this brain.  I mean it’s pretty hard to reach most days.

…I’d tell you to walk in my feet, but they’re all I have left.

…“I wake up in the morning, looking at beautiful vistas, and I’m doing interesting things, but the truth of the matter is I’m alone for most of that time…  Loneliness is something I’ve become very comfortable talking about.” Anthony Bourdain

…I’ve tried to talk about comfort, but how do you describe a color you never see?

…The thing about a last goodbye is you never know when it’s the last.

…This is the closest thing I have to a diary, and it’s not even a diary.  Wonder what that means, why I ramble and spill so freely?

…It’s impossible to live unless you’re crossing somebody’s line.  Just try it and you’ll see.

…There were so many boats and jet skis out on the lake yesterday.  The sun was unencumbered.  The sounds of summer rang out over the water.  It was a joy, just to sit there and watch and listen, to feel glad that all those people were living life.  Is that what happy looks like?

…Each day I watch my resolve melt, like acid tossed on skin.  Such a weak boy.

…Yesterday I had a conversation with you in my head.  It was pleasant and agreeable.  Nothing was broken this time.  You seemed resolute.  You nodded a lot and tilted your head like a curious fawn on drugs.  In the end, you seemed amused that all this was taking place in my mind, as if you knew how crazy I was all along.

…Life isn’t always easy, and many people are insane.  But you either do the best you can, or you don’t.

…My phone almost never rings.  Now, when it does, I get a little nervous.  It reminds me how much a life can change in a few short years.

…Sometimes it’s tough to be a fan--a fan of anything really.  It’s too easy to get your heart broken, time  after time, when your team keeps on losing when they should have won.

…We have sweet and tender goodbyes.  We have mean-spirited goodbyes.  Maybe we are not quite ready for goodbye.

…It’s really hard to hate anyone when you don’t know what they’ve been through.  Actually, it’s really hard to hate anyone at all, except maybe (…)

…In case you can’t tell, I’m trying to get you on my side.  How am I doing?

…It’s impossible to feel sad listening to kids giggle uncontrollably.  I should probably look for that soundtrack.

…There actually is a point where nothing can possibly make it any worse than it already is, and will be, so why not talk?

…What do you do when your ego asks for a divorce?

…If it’s clean, there’s absolutely no body of water that isn’t utterly beautiful, mysterious and soothing.  Give me a lake, an ocean, a river and I’ll be just fine. 

…I could probably tell  you all my problems and you could probably be a fantastic listener, nod and gasp a lot while authentically trying to sympathize, but, afterward, those problems would still be sitting there on my chest like a fleet of riverboats, churning black liquid squids, leaking oil, treading water and going nowhere.

…I still miss John.  I wonder how things might have been different, but then that’s a lot like imagining a world where JFK was never assassinated.  But I guess it’s okay to wonder.

…This is what we’re supposed to do—forgive each other.

…Do you think you could apologize to me some other time?

Friday, June 22, 2018


…We’re not all afraid of the same things, which is why it takes a lot of imagination to empathize with another person who’s being vulnerable.  I learned that yesterday.

…We wring the pain from darkness and call it wisdom, but it’s still really just pain.

…Talking to yourself too much can be a cause for concern, and it can also weaken your negotiating  powers.

…Everything gets broken in the end and it’s never stronger in the broken places.  It’s just broken.

…I wrecked my car.  I got a new one.  I like the new one way better, even though it’s kind of ridiculous—orange and black, orange seatbelts, orange trim inside.  At my age, it’s probably time to start being ridiculous.

…Envy is a chip on the shoulder.  It just sits there gawking, it’s mouth wide open and slobbering down your arm.

…If you don’t have people in your life who are important to you, then accomplishing big goals feels less than meaningful, even though you should be wanting to accomplish them for yourself.

…There are things I should have done, things I should have said, things I should have said differently.  I can keep replaying those over in my head but it’s not going to change a thing.

…Sometimes my bones fall down.  Sometimes they tap, sometimes they rub themselves together and make a fire.  I just never know for sure what these bones are going to do.

…What is it like for you, when you get like me, so far under the floor that there’s no ceiling in sight?  Or maybe you never do.

…Missing things, or someone, is lot like watching a dog run around in circles, trying to catch its own tail.

…A girl singing on stage last Sunday wore a shirt that said Strong Is Beautiful.  I never thought of it that way, but I think I got what she meant.  Me, I always thought vulnerability was beautiful.

…On yesterday’s run I saw so many rabbits that I thought I was hallucinating.  One even looked like he stopped to wave at me before hopping away.  And then later there were two deer sloshing around in the lake.  We chatted for a while about how important it is to pay attention and be safe.  I hope they heard me.

…And maybe it means nothing, but I have to say I think of you often. 

…Somethings are so covered in need that they shimmer, and still no one notices.

…There’s something about a windy day that makes me take a closer look at what’s outside my window—everything pushed around, rattled and slanted, holding on tight and hoping for deep roots.

…Some people have an ageless resilience towards suffering, and I’m in awe of that.

…I saw a woman with a long smile on the trail the other day.  She was as old as a redwood, frail as a twig, with a hitched shuffle in her gait as she trundled along, hunched over.  That woman looked like she had it all.

…When someone tells you they’ll be a figment of your imagination someday, that person is really just speaking for themselves.

…“Len Kuntz is one of the main reasons I keep writing.  And reading.”—Someone actually wrote that yesterday.  Sheesh, are you kidding me?

…The things in the rearview keep getting smaller and smaller to the eye that once saw them, but they’re still there, larger than life, maybe even larger than that now.

…I’ve only been to a palm reader once in my life.  She puzzled over my life line and didn’t bother hiding her concern.  I think back on that from time to time when the day takes on a darker shade of gray.

…And still, there was that woman with the long smile.  I hope I see her tomorrow.  I hope we’ll both be there.

…Dear God, I hope you have a great weekend and perform a lot of miracles.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


…Tonight the ghosts are a little over-stimulated.  I can hear their stomachs growl, feel their sheets tighten around my neck.

…Not everybody likes laying their guts out on the table, but everybody wishes they were with someone who would.

…Tornadoes hop, they don’t just land in one place.  That’s how I know it’s not elephants stomping around the house.

…If we’re being honest, aren’t we all just trying to be seen, to matter?

…Don’t be nervous to go for it.   You’re here for a reason.

…Just because you understand the mechanics of what keeps you alive, that doesn’t mean it’s any less than magic.  After all, everybody’s kept alive by magic.

…So, not even is the whole situation horrible but my guilt makes it worse.   

…Are you lonely, and if so, what do you do about it?

…Farther or further?  I never know.  Father?  I had two of them and still don’t know.

…When I think I’ve gotten to the darkest point I could ever reach with my writing, a shovel appears, dirt starts flying up over the steep hole and I drop down farther.

…Now’s a good time to think about something else, but I’m having a hard time.

…You can’t keep things the way they are.  They change.  They go away.  There has never been an exception to this rule.

…If you have to ask, “Was it fun for you?” chances are it probably wasn’t.

…It’s important to remember when you get un-friended or blocked that there are other friends out there and that the friend who un-friended you probably wasn’t really your friend to start with.

…Sometimes I don’t even recognize the world we’re living in.

…You want to learn how to fit in with people, you have to learn how to say you’re sorry.

…The fact that you think you’ll be fine only proves how fine you will not be.

…It doesn’t matter what I think, it only matters what you’re going to do next.  

…Everything is pretty understandable if you take away what people do to you and the shapes they assume and what they do to you.

…Some people just have to have the last word, so I usually let them have it.

…“To a man who is afraid, everything rustles.”  Sophocles said that, and I believe him.

…Memory is the resurrection that keeps you rooted to the past.

…Trusting your head, or trusting your heart—isn’t that the ultimate guess?

Monday, June 18, 2018


…Sometimes I don’t know what I need until I need it.

…The only thing is I don’t know where to start.

…It’s easy to miss someone.  It’s another thing to do something about it.

…All these years have passed and there are still people who have a different version to tell.

…I am pretty gentle if you have enough patience to get through all the layers.

…All this shuffling from place to place often feels pointless, yet I keep doing it.

…Can I tell you how unbearably cold this room is?

…I don’t punish my nightmares for being nightmares, but that doesn’t mean I like them.

…Let’s go to the edge and look at it.  Let’s be that brave.

…Money talks but people don’t always listen and some people don’t even wear deodorant.

…We all have to fight to conquer our demons, but for some of us it’s hard to come up with right strategy.

…My skin isn’t all that thick.  I can’t be touched just any way and not suffer.

…It’s difficult to answer to ambiguity.  It’s hard to know if it’s even worth the effort.

…The last word always rings in the ear even if the eye is empty.

…I know what it’s like to be in the throat of something that very much wants to swallow.

…Look son, you can’t go around in circles all your life.

…Sometimes my own thoughts threaten me with extinction.

…I don’t always back on and ride the horse.  Sometimes I send it to the glue factory.

…B.B. King gave some good advice: “Remember, everyone has the blues."

…Hey, we all have to tell a story somehow, even if it’s not always true.

Friday, June 15, 2018


  The Things They Don’t Tell You About Real Horror Films

I hear someone in the bottom of Mother’s voice box rearranging furniture again, toppling the warped grandfather clock, dragging the toe-clawed bathtub across the ceiling while the light fixtures sizzle, burst and sweat red-black-red.
I’m in a bathtub myself right now, holding breath, which is holding time, which is holding nothing, holding the quarter-shaped stopper with the rusted metal chain, holding it down and tight so the water won’t escape, drain and expose me. 
My other hand is holding onto the neck of a faucet spewing sour, lemonade-looking water across my knobby knees, which, most times, flash a NO VACANCY sign with bulbs that need changing.
Now I hear my father herding bulls across the kitchen counter, using a heated prod, no doubt.  Dishes fly and clack.  Cupboards crunch.  Every room or seat or safe space I thought I knew goes inside out, turning cannibal, and just before I feel one sink its teeth into the back of my neck, there’s a sudden outage.
What a relief.
What’s a horror movie without the dark?