I live in a studio loft in Taichung, Taiwan.
But I’ve lived in many places
in many ways.
Oh, how I’ve lived.
I’ve lived in Alaska, in the Great North Woods, in the Great Plains, in the shadow of the Rockies
in North America, in Europe, in Asia, in Africa
in the city, in the country
in houses, in apartments, in motels, in tents
in prisons of my own construction
in the arms of a woman
in willful ignorance
in the past
in order to forget what it means not to live.
I’ve lived through more than 30 years
through good times and bad
through broken hearts and broken bones and broken dreams and broken teeth and broken homes and broken promises and broken silences and broken records.
I’ve lived under big skies, under small skies, under skies that flash and boom, under skies filled with millions-of-years-old light
under false pretenses
under the influence
under the weight of my father’s expectations
under the watchful eye of my mother
under posters of sports heroes and rock stars
under the impression that Santa Claus was real
under God, indivisible, for liberty and justice for all.
I’ve lived for myself
for the moment
for the future
for days and days and days not knowing what I wanted
for that day when all of the shit would just stop
for long enough to know that living is an end in itself
for too short a period of time to even pretend that I know much of anything.
I’ve lived with family
with my head in the clouds
with the smell of sex on me
with last night’s clothes still on
with a sense of purpose
with a sense of dread
with a sense of entitlement
with a sense that I didn’t deserve anything good for myself
with a bitter heart
with false expectations
with the misbelief that Jesus died for my sins
with more questions than answers
with a body not of my own making
with the entire knowledge of mankind at my fingertips
with the feeling that I wasn’t actually living my life.
I’ve lived without a place of my own
without a dime to my name
without a purpose
without a God
without anyone I really cared about
without lifting a finger
without a care in the world
without giving a fuck
without a good pair of sunglasses
without a reason to go to bed
without contracting an STD
without knowing how long I would live for
without hesitating to maim and kill and destroy
without a love that was my own
without a reason to keep living
without knowing why, exactly, it hurt so goddamned much.
Oh, how I’ve lived.