Letting Go, Hanging On, As Long As You’re In The Game

So many talks with the dead, even see their faces in cars, walking on sidewalks, sometimes blatantly in the person in front of me. 

Too many memorials, wakes, midnight phone calls, strangers by one degree telling me in the street some dark news about someone I love, hardening these veins like concrete in my hands. 

Every day, Every year, these bones become more and more invincible.


Breathing: Power Overlooked

Sometimes I forget to breathe. I often catch myself holding my breath as if I were in some grade-school contest to see who doesn’t pass out first. Or who does pass out first. I can’t quite remember the rules.
Breathe, Cooprider.

Well past 100 on the 405 loop, all I’m thinking is that the steel separators are a little sketchy and this particular curve will undoubtedly one day result in either a hefty ticket or permanent toe tag but I hold my line and it all smooths together nicely. All the while not drawing a single breath.
Breathe, Cooprider.

Finding myself in a crowded room thrust solo into the throes of networking groups of go-getters all intertwined yet divided like chatty, smiling galaxies tightly holding drinks and trying to hold attention. My anxiety hits a peak and I stand, surveying the landscape as to find the shortest distance between my shoes and the nearest cocktail, or better yet a familiar face to pretend to be excited about. All the while not exhaling once.
Breathe, Cooprider.

This human has upset me. Whether it’s a ridiculous argument with a colleague or some emotional meltdown brought on by a woman who knows my buttons, or maybe an extraordinarily rude individual who was itching to be publicly reprimanded, these moments sometimes literally steal my breath. Through rage and impulsive frustration my body just ceases to take in oxygen.
Breathe, Cooprider.

A kiss. A hold of a hand, a moment in a crowd with the right single woman, a glance across a room or a hard gaze 6 inches away, there are times when my brain and body relinquish to the moment and sometimes I just forget to breathe.
Breathe, Reid.

Do exercises, do whatever it takes to remind yourself to BREATHE.

You’ll live longer. You’ll definitely think clearer, feel more powerful and be way more smarterer than the person who never thinks about it.

Breathe…or die.

5 Twenty Something 2015

This is a work purely of science fiction.

Finally now and sincerely, soooooooooover it.

If you want to feel something that makes you fully real then you need to have someone either truly love you or completely destroy you. There is very little that lies between being adored and being betrayed. It’s just empty space filled with commuter traffic, banality and television.

Just when I thought I was doing the right thing, the noble thing, the difficult thing, just when I considered myself an advanced creature in thinking that I could somehow salvage this inevitable separation, my ankles were grabbed by both my girlfriend and my best friend and I was quietly but violently dragged to the depth of a lonely hell I hardly expected life could conjure.

The constant reminder that she dove into his disgusting dirt musk is slathered across his forlorn face like a wet paper bag, downtrodden and used up. Sharing close quarters with such a sad awkward child whose decision to take advantage of a struggling relationship is like having to stare at your rapist as he’s tying your shoes. Listening to your molester mouth-breathe over your shoulder, malodorous and unkempt.

At first I repeated in my head conversations with both of them until I was dizzy and nauseated. Lobbing questions and shaking my head in disbelief, just wanting a morsel of an explanation, a sliver of closure to define my demise in a way that was tangible so I could then begin my recovery. Healing is nearly impossible without a reason “why” and the unknown only delivers despair and creates an uncertainty about everyone around you. Not one word was ever offered to even merely regard their decision as one that could cause me to leap off a building.

(23 shouldn’t have baggage. 33 shouldn’t have laid a hand on a woman that was a bad decision for innumerable reasons. 40  however, knew that eventual torture was going to be part of the deal with 23. The only surprise was the sheer degree of the apocalyptic havoc that would be wreaked upon him when he learned that they were already together during the breakup. Harsh. Fuh-king harsh.)

“If I had known how you felt about her I wouldn’t have done anything,” he mutters. My god. How can someone be so impossibly oblivious about relationships that their rationale is based on the idea that their ignorance of someone’s feelings justifies being a complete and selfish c___? No one is that impossibly oblivious about relationships.

“I really, really like her. It’s not fate. It just happened.”

Yeah. Just happened.

The risk of losing one of his most loyal and unconditional friends apparently was nothing compared to the quick reward of a moment with a furious beauty. A concept that is absolutely not lost on me so I completely understand it but it surely doesn’t make it ok.

She isn’t innocent by any measure. She is absolutely culpable to the point of ridicule but to insult a young girl is classless and petty. She isn’t stupid in any respect, her inexperience however, is not an area to be taken lightly. Her passion is unmatched, her love for those who treat her right is solid and her unbelievable wit and cunning humor is only out shined by her physical elegance and long lines of soft skin that seem as if they could wrap around the world and make it beg to die.

She is though, believe it or not, vulnerable. Open to suggestion (despite her brash belief that her savvy outweighs her gullibility), she is prey to those whose dark and brooding self-loathing is their defining characteristic. However, those qualities will eventually wear out to become quite exasperating and sadly unbearable. And then once her ability to absorb and nurture such absurd, tragic and self-aggrandizing traits wanes, she’ll be finished. It will be up to her how she ends it but be assured, it will be her to return to what she loves: Herself when she’s with a man who makes her royal without dragging her down. Her decisions are hers alone and the desire to freely be herself will dictate the future of all those around her.

So here I am, left alone to my twisted devices, digesting karma and reasoning like a man salvaging his discarded honor. Realizing that chivalry is defined by how you carry yourself and how treat a woman and everything else is just fodder.

When you soil or steal a woman from a good friend your insecurity reveals its face like a shadowy murderer hiding in plain sight or a casual sexual assault by someone you trusted.

He had to paw his friend’s woman because he was unable to find one for himself. His lack of dignity and character now dictates every step for the rest of his life because no matter what he will do or try to erase his indiscretion he will be forever plagued by the pain he delivered to someone who would have always had his back. The same back that will one day billow in the wind as it clamors for support. It will buckle and break beneath whatever situation arises because there’s no strength of integrity to give it any purpose, merit or respect.

Life always has a way of righting its wrongs and shaking malevolence off its back with either a devastating earthquake or an unseen sock in the jaw.

Fasten that seatbelt, motherf____r.

5 twentysomething 2015

Infernal Internet

I want to atone for my huge lack in judgement by posting anything on the internet that was in poor taste or exhibited negative light towards….

It will never occur again and it makes me sick with regret that it ever happened at all.

It was fueled by emotions and I now have those emotions in check.

I don’t want pity or special treatment, I just want you to know how I’m feeling and I was informed by professionals that it was best if I spoke with you about it.

I also apologize personally to you because I know it upset you greatly and please know that I am sincere in my desire to rectify my mistakes and assure you that nothing like this will ever happen again. I honestly am sorry.

I want….to be an effortless, beautiful place where love, fun and laughter dress the day and where back biting and petty drama fall by the wayside.

Untitled. Unrequited. Unbridled. Undecided.

The breath she steals and the glances she shoots quickly sweep across the room like random death and feels like a slap on bare skin or the fierce blow of a blast furnace.

Asks me to take her, own her, smother, pull her hair like a mad, torn lover, from behind she pushes against me and she juts out, lithe and sultry, and I struggle to keep my hands off her. Pin her down and push the moan from her lungs and I’m fighting every impulse not to tear into every inch of her writhing body. Like a sleek reptile dipped in a reckless river, she is the purest animal reacting to a ravaging, primitive human action.

My mouth cannot stop trying to swallow her lips, I’m doomed to be indentured by her eyes, power and slithering hips.

Aggression gives way to concession as it becomes key to salvation from her keen insight, her sharp, poignant answers and observations that leave most in the dust. Her age is a number distant and arbitrary and despite being unable to ignore the arithmetic, I relax knowing that math has never been my best subject.

Favorite Letter to Date

Dear Minh,

Now, I’m all set to go. I have ten days to pack a small bag. I’m planning to leave the Chinese painting on glass that I got from you. It’s too much trouble to lug around. I’ll find a good home for it so that I can visit it once in a while. I already left my vase in Jinan ten years ago, and I don’t know what happened to my other possession, an Olympus film camera. So, when I get home I’ll be down to you and Roo, if that’s all right with you and Roo.

I’m going to miss China, but I can console myself with plans for returning someday. At the same time I’m getting quite happy thinking about seeing you and doing a bunch of things worth doing in Oregon, like breathing clean air! I’m planning to become great buddies with Roo, taking her to the park when you’re at work.

These are the things I hope to do:

Writing one hundred Chinese characters every morning.

Doing some kind of service such as your reading to and befriending hospital patients.

Learning something on an ongoing basis, such as Vietnamese cooking or bonsai cultivation.

Exercising in a gym or pool regularly. Participating in sweats at a sweat lodge or a sauna.

Learning how to juice fruits and vegetables and cleanse the body.

Visiting “family” and Frederico and Scott regularly on a weekly basis, which will take months to do.

Writing regularly.

Practice yoga and bliss, and finding an educational t.v. station or dvd or website to practice & improve my yoga.

Helping turn Roo into an assured and serene pooch.

Playing in a T-ball league with seniors or little kids.

Love, Dad