12:20. GMC Classroom. Half empty Blackbird Coffee. Macbook Air. Barefoot shoes. Hat off. Right knee bent. Standing. Red and black flannel. Sleeves rolled up.

 

Listening to J Cole’s “4 Your Eyez Only.” About a man father daughter struggle hustle love desire. About a father and his daughter fight love hard yes.

 

Met a student at Blackbird and wrote about the broken parts of our heart and tried to piece together what they mean and how the ripples wash up on us years later and the salt that packs the wounds. I said the writing needs more scene, more place, more details. Because that’s what the MFA program taught me. She said, and I paraphrase, I don’t give a damn about all that because this is for me, not for the reader, this isn’t about what makes this easier or more clear or more lurid or more swallowable for them, this is my art. I sit back and fold my arms across my chest and I stare at myself and I smile and frown because how quickly I swallow and digest what the Master’s degree has taught brainsmashed me and how sinister it is to see someone 10 years younger. The energy is in the unbound. The energy is in the unbound.

 

This is my art. This is my art. This is my art.

 

I called my sister who recently separated from an old version of herself. I told her I’m addicted to learning about nutrition and she said like what and I said like coffee has the highest amount of antioxidants because of chlorogenic acid and she said woah and I said yeah want me to send you some podcasts and she said yes.

 

I had a nightmare last night where me and Kate and the baby were having dinner with the in-laws and it was at a bar or restaurant or something and they offered the baby some crackers that were processed with bleached refined flour and canola oil and other filler American bullshit and I was like no nope negative on the crackers that’s why 1 in 3 women die of cancer and why obesity is like 40% of the population, it all starts with those bullshit crackers and this was a nightmare and in the morning I told Kate about and she said don’t worry about it Ryan, I’ll talk to them if it becomes an issue, but it’s not an issue yet, so don’t worry about.

 

Hi my name is Ryan and I excel at worrying about things that aren’t even an issue yet.

 

I left a tip at the coffeeshop today. This is Day 3. Working on a trend.

 

This is the second day in a row I took my hat off upon entering Georgia Military College. Even the most metal among us bend when our supervisor says hats off or find another job.

 

The refrigerator is full of food, because Kate went to the vet yesterday because the cat wasn’t eating or drinking or pooping and while she was on that side of town she stopped at Kroger and got beets and apples and more flour and more nuts and I came home and was like huuuuuuuh heart attack why all the food, and my words came back and grabbed me by the throat and squeezed my neck and Kate was like Ry why is the food a problem, you’re advocating healthy eating, but it’s because I’m crazy on the inside.

 

I have a very strong sense strain sickness of crazy and all the writing in the world is me punching a bag that’s swinging back and forth like the hungry boxer who thinks he can go glove to glove with goliath.

 

Do you understand. Do you understand. Do you understand.

 

By reaching out, we reach in.

 

My mentor says I go to fast.

 

Should I slow down?

 

Am I texting while driving, waiting for a crash?

 

Am I blur blind missing the blessings in front of me?

 

At a certain point we spit out all the venom. Or we go inside and we transform the molecular venom of past trauma. And we make it normal cellular tissue. Or if we don’t, then our cancer eats us alive. Fat people need to lose weight. And traumatized people need to let go.

 

Either way it’s all a quest to be lighter on our feet.