of all the ways i'm killing myself this is by far the slowest.

i haven't been as faithful to this new medium as i would like to. things have been so hectic lately in all facets of life, change has been the only consistency. shit's been hitting the proverbial fan so often as of late that i've found it more therapeutic to escape reality through reading with every free moment than to try to rehash it all in my own inadequate words. i can't justify trying to get it all out if i feel i'm not up to the challenge of getting it all and getting it right; do it right or don't do it at all. and if life is what happens while we're making plans then lately i've been living way too much to write. i'll have to backtrack some and fill in the gaps in these next few weeks as the time presents itself. tonight's a good time to start since the days have been feeling longer and the nightmares more frequent and vivid; that, and the catalyst is staring right back at me beckoning the other nine bare digits to beat the keys. (my bukowski tattoo just twitched.)

todays his birthday. todays his birthday and i won't be seeing him or calling him. today's his birthday and i won't be seeing him or calling him because i haven't seen or called him since two weeks after thanksgiving. it's the longest stretch of time i've gone without speaking to my old man, but i've gotta stick to my guns this time until he comes around. after that last fiasco where he preached at me via fire-and-brimstone speech #337 for telling him i wanted to go back to school and get my teaching degree in english i can't justify turning the other cheek anymore. that punch was landed too well to roll with, father or no father. lately i feel as though i'll be sentenced to the latter for longer than i'd like to be. it breaks my mom's heart every time she asks if i've heard from him and i shake my head. she's well aware of his stubbornly fanatical religious psychosis, it's one of the main reasons she left him when i was seven. these last few years have seen an increasingly strained relationship develop between my dad and i, toes curled in my shoes and teeth clenched during awkward, repetitive, dinner conversations at cheap diners. i'd come home from our weekly night together and she'd see me shaking, fuming, aching to have a somewhat normal relationship with the person whose seed spawned what lies before you. she saw, but now i realize she never understood. but here i go jumping the gun again, we'll get to that later.

my mom noticed i wore the ring he got me today, which i never do. he got it on his crazy pilgrimage to israel last fall. it has my first and middle name in hebrew on it, even though we're not jewish and i can't read it. i wore it with the words facing me today so i wouldn't forget who i am. i wish i knew. i think i do sometimes, but then again i think too much. symbolism plays too large a roll in my life.

i got a few calls from restricted numbers today at work, and one from a cell number i didn't recognize. it was probably him calling to wish himself a happy birthday and ask if i want to go out for dinner. i didn't pick up. i couldn't bring myself to do it. not until he changes.

maybe i'm a bad son for not bringing myself to dial that phone today, but i told myself i'd learn when to stop calling people on birthdays when it wasn't appropriate. i had to call her one last time on hers to tell her i still care, but that's all. i sure as hell won't be calling the other one on hers in a couple weeks. i know where to draw the line now. i'm still working on how to avoid crossing it, though.

i told my partner at work everything today, at least when it comes to my old man and my ex. he asked and i told. i objected at first and said he'd just make fun of me, as a precaution. he laughed and said i knew him well, then asked again in a sincere voice and i let loose like i wanted to. he's the closest thing i've come to a roll model in years, every day i wish i could tell him everything i want and ask him honest questions without being judged. i told him how she walked out on me when i needed her most, when my dad wrote me the letter and i responded and was about to deliver it. and how weeks later when i said how much it hurt that she left me then she said that at that moment she didn't care about me or my old man. and how i knew right then that that's no relationship i want to be in, because no matter what you're always supposed to have the other person in mind. and that i'd never forgive her for that. he agreed and said that's the most selfish thing he'd ever heard, and i believed him. i wanted to believe someone so bad, and for someone to believe in me. if only for a moment, if only for a sympathetic second.

my shower after work felt better than usual. the hot water cleansed more than the dirt off somehow. there was a spider in the corner where the ceiling met the wall that kept flat against the wall to avoid being seen. it didn't know that i was no threat, that i refused to kill spiders for her and it made her mad. i justified it by saying that spiders kill other bugs. but i didn't realize that one problem doesn't always solve another. the irony is that the big lump on her leg she had for the last week we were together turned out to be a spider bite. another mistake i could have prevented. another mistake proudly made, and all in the name of knowledge.

the face on my arm, it's no ones. it's just supposed to mean she's out there. and shit, maybe i've already found her. the problem is that i keep looking too hard to see.

i'm so drunk i can't even proofread. sad. teacher? no. plumber. bachelor. bastard. for life.