A Boy on a Boat (Poetry)

Ahead of me:
I sit at an office for years and years
To do shit I couldn’t care less about
While the shit in my bowels churns and burns.
A billion sounds slap me in the face.
A billion gazes pierce me.
A billion colors overwhelm my mind.
I force myself to speak although I want to be left alone.
My father dies.
My mother dies.
I live in an unkempt, dirty, stink-ridden hole.
My health slowly crumbles away.
My body breaks down.
I either pay someone to wipe my ass until my heart stops,
Or I muster the strength to hang myself.

Behind me:
I’m surrounded by kids that I can’t understand
And that don’t understand me.
My mother drags me by the hand
Down the steep slope of our street
Because some kids have taken my brother’s ball.
I listen to my mother berating my father
With a voice like nails on a chalkboard.
I don’t know who I am.
I don’t understand what’s happening inside me.
My grandmother drools on my mashed potatoes.
I get a thousand thermometers
Shoved up my ass.
Someone films me as I take a shower.
My mother slaps me in the face
Because I slapped her pregnant belly by mistake.
My father forces the bathroom door open
And finds me with my head under the water.
I watch as some older kids push my pal
Facefirst into a tide of soapy foam.
I hide behind a car while my pal lies on the road
To find out if the next car will stop.
A kid calls me a fat ass.
A kid points out that I have tits.
A kid points and laughs at my dick.
A group of kids take turns punching my shoulder.
That girl says we are now dating,
But the next time she approaches me smiling
I pretend I don’t know what she’s talking about.
I need to be alone but I’m an unwanted guest
In my older brother’s bedroom.
I need to be alone but a narcissistic cousin
Pushes his way into my bedroom every weekend.
A gypsy kid brings his whole family to threaten me.
We find my sister electrocuted,
Her forearm blackened up to the elbow.
That classmate likes me, but I say something
And she never talks to me again.
My sister yells until my mother gives in.
I hide my stuff or else it’ll get stolen.
I want to call the cops because my sister’s boyfriend
Is dealing drugs under our balcony.
A myriad of pimples colonize my face.
That girl I like wants someone else.
A guy pushes his way into our rented property
And threatens to kill us with a broken bottle.
An older guy beats me up in front of a hundred people.
I spend an eternity in the dark between floors
Of random apartment buildings
As I wait for the hours to pass.
I wander through Donostia like a zombie
During the hours I should be in class.
My eyes hurt, my nose is bleeding.
A guy that wanted to hang out glares at me like a spited lover
In classrooms to which he doesn’t belong.
Someone turns his or her back on me
Because a different guy goes out of his way
To poison everyone against me.
I talk to the therapist for forty minutes
Then I pay her as much as I would make in a day,
And she says that my depression
Is just the result of a major depression.
I refuse to return the calls of that basketball player
Whose firm ass I still feel in my hands,
Because I like her too much
And she will end up abandoning me.
I confuse this girl for this other girl
Then I date her for years.
I need to be alone but I have to go out with my girl.
I cry in silence while she smokes in the bathroom.
A classmate insults me in every class for two years,
But the teacher tells me to ignore her because she’s troubled.
My girl sits next to that guy instead of me
And gets mad because the evening goes well.
She says she’ll destroy me if I make things difficult.
I find myself wandering to known spots
And hoping that she’ll show up.
I can’t get out of bed.
I don’t know what day it is or how old I am.
I take her calls because I miss her.
She gloats to me over the size of her new man’s dick.
I go to college for a couple of months
Until I realize I can’t do it on my own.
My childhood pal either overdoses or kills himself.
I have a tumor in my head.
I find myself filling bottles with my pee.
My body gets covered in stretch marks.
The shrink tells me I’m autistic.
I wade through the mud of another depression
While I yearn to die in my sleep.
A smiling HR drone tells me I do good work
But I won’t work well in a team.
I go out but I can’t wait to run back home.
My head feels like it’s been filled with lead.
My skin is the same color as the gray sky.
I see nothing but clouds outside;
The color has faded from every tree.
I get excited enough at her concert
That I realize how much of a retard I truly am.
A young social worker gets flirty with me,
Then she dates someone else
And steals glances at my receding hairline.
A pitbull breaks my cat in half,
And I watch her eyes popping out
And her tongue protruding
As she agonizes in excruciating pain.
I don’t understand anybody in this writing course;
They’d prefer if I weren’t here.
I write two novels that nobody wants.
The people I work with stare at me
And sling countless words my way.
I refuse to see my cat’s decomposing body
Because I don’t want that image in my head
For the rest of my life.
I write another novel that nobody wants.
I break down, I can’t write another word.
I spend days staring at the wall.
I’ll be thirty seven in a month.
The sun is out, I am cold.

(In a hotel with my name on a plate,
The woman at the check-in
Tells me the weather is nice.
I’ll walk down to the beach
Where the sun’s never-ending rays
Will warm my skin and my bones.
I’ll see the children running in the sand.
The sun will glint off their golden heads
As the blue waves roll in from afar.)

I’m a boy on a boat
Floating along a river.
The boat sinks.
I drown.

I can’t do this alone.
I have always done it alone.
I have never been able to love
Even when I tried my best.
I have a hole
Where my heart ought to be.

My life has been nothing
But an accumulation of pain
And disappointment
And mediocrity
And uselessness.

I find myself wandering through my place
Like a ghost that can’t die.
The only thing I want to do
Is fall asleep.

Writing can’t save me,
But it can deceive me into believing
That these words I type
Are worth forcing myself to breathe
For another day.

Author’s note: five in the morning, listening to Japanese shoegaze.

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