I remember being fifteen. That was a big year man, I was coming of age.
That was back before the stubble replaced the pus in my face.
I had less than half the wisdom, but almost double the weight,
growing up fully funded in a bubble and safe.
Dad was a class act, Mom was a saint.
My laundry was done for me and my lunches were made.
Let's cut to the chase;
there wasn't much trouble with me running away.
I got money and comfort and love in exchange
for next to nothing.
Never any tense discussion,
I never got it chucked in my face
because, yeah, they basically said it was enough if my grades
were A plusses and As and the snow and the leaves got shovelled and raked.
I'm saying months passed by without me cutting a blade
of grass
or scrubbing a plate
or glass
and it might be a little redundant to say
but yeah
I rarely dusted a vase.

I was up in my cave, pounding my keyboard,
bundling phrases into hundreds of pages
of this stuff, staying up til as late as it took to be done and click save.
Then I'd tuck it away in a hard drive and hardly ever touch it again,
because I had to get back to watching reruns of a game
show or rupturing brains
of aliens on the playstation with some guns and grenades.
Whatever, because back then they were all one and the same
since I was only judging by the fun that I gained.
Now don't get me wrong, I mean, I had my abstract aspirations
to become one of the greats, to get published and famous,
to be on public display but the assumption was hey,
I've got more practical concerns that are more urgent and more realistic
and therefore more important, so writing and drumming can wait.
I'll focus on all of that once I get paid
and graduate and get some stuff and a place
and some stuff for my place plus some stuff to replace
all the stuff that I've stuffed in my place
when it's dusty and stained or gets rusty and fades,
like, nothing insane, just some of the basics,
just a car and a credit card and an apartment and the money to pay for it
plus a relationship, because in high school finding true love was my main intent.
Or if not then I assume coming up with a way to get the fuck to first base was it...

Anyways, as a side note, you know what kinda sucked was the day
that my hard drive got abruptly erased.
Now, I wasn't depressed and I wasn't enraged
so much as dismayed. Lightly, slightly.
I mean, I was kinda just bummed for the day,
or something, in sum what I'm saying is dozens of pages never got recovered or saved
but I just shrugged and remained focused on what was at stake
if the English teacher didn't give us another quiz
so I could bump up my grade
because I didn't the study the day
before the last one and got a 70-something. What a mistake.

And now at twenty-four, I find it somewhat tough to explain
how I grew up and became
independent, took time and spent it putting so much stuff in my brain,
growing, living, learning, maturing, and gaining
all this discipline, structure, and strength
only to watch a cursor blink and feel disgusted and drained
and fucking ashamed because I've got nothing to say.

Look at me! I get up and get paid, I get drunk and get laid
and I rarely get cuts when I shave.
All the things the younger me was in a rush to obtain.
I'm a man now, I got a job, I live abroad,
I make my own policies and decisions
and I don't get nervous when I call to get a pizza delivered.

But if that's progress then how come
I feel a fraction of the fulfillment I felt before?

See, back then, using a vacuum was a challenge
and my only income came from asking for allowance
but with that said, I was the one who managed to put thousands
of hours into creating something tangible with prowess
and being passionate about it.
I let it slip from my hands though.
My priorities became inaccurate and clouded
and having seen how hollow manhood is without it
I realized what really mattered when I found it
and I'll be goddamned if I wouldn't sever my fucking hand faster than renounce it.

I am good at what I do
I am going to do it
and tomorrow I'm going to do it better than I did today.


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The Ups and Downs of Almost Dying

The autobiography of Kieran Block as told to Michael Belzil

Now available online and in select stores.

The Ups and Downs of Almost Dying