He Told Me to Stay With the Books

He was eating two slices of pizza. I guess he didn’t like crusts because he left them on his plate. He was very meticulous about eating every bit of the pie but the crust. 

“Stay with the books,” he said, “Working in healthcare is a rewarding job that pays well. And you really get paid for the amount you’ve truly worked for.” 

Despite the fact that he didn’t. He “didn’t make use of his business studies degree”. His uniform differentiated him from the other hospital staff. Nevertheless, he took pride in his work as a housekeeper for the hospital. The housekeeper’s role, by his definition, was to clean up after people and make their healing process a little more comfortable. 

He didn’t wear scrubs nor a lab coat. But he put his son through neuroscience from a university. The son lives in San Francisco and dresses nicely. “Real dandy. Like a new person”

He hopes to visit him one day. He’s never traveled out of this state. His second son just made it into varsity football at school. The other one’s seven but he hasn’t been able to see him for the last five years. 

He told me to stay with the books and make it big. He tols me to stay with the books so that I could be free. He told me to chase after happiness. 

He told me, “Don’t be like me.”



It really doesn’t take much to relapse

Just one drink

Just one smoke

Just one touch

Just one kiss

Just one thrill


The binging doesn’t start immediately

You try to fight it off

But that one drink

That one smoke

That one touch

That one kiss

That one thrill


Can’t get it out of your head

Can’t stop the feelings

Can’t stop the wavering


I’ve been good. This was a well-deserved reward

I deserve this. I’ve been clean for so long

Oh I missed this so much

I can breathe

I feel alive

Fuck it


I’ve always been this loser

Your norm, my luxury

Summer trips are your norms

They’re merely distant luxuries for me

Your grandiose house is your norm

My rent for this shack is a luxury 

Your cultural experiences are your norm

Being able to mimic it via internet is my luxury 

Your carefreeness and happiness is your norm

Reality orientation and knowing my limitations is my ball and chain norm


I get jealous

I used to not

Too busy with hell

Without the time to look around

I was always sprinting for better

Now I get jealous

But I don’t sprint anymore

I go for the long run

Because sprints aren’t gritty enough

For the long run, it’s all about the grit

I forgot for a while

Jealousy does blind you

Time does dull you

But facts never change

And that’s all the motivation I need for my grit


The idea of feelings being confusing and jumbled up always seemed so cliché

You own your feelings, I thought. But really, what can I say 

Sometimes we become the fools that we admonished

Or the monster that we so despised

Sometimes, a small kindling can cause an unexpected divergence

Just an Arm’s Distance

Covers on, too hot

Windows open, too cold

Volume a notch up, too loud

One down, too down


So then a middle ground-

Stick out a leg

Open the window just a crack

Muster up all your willpower, you lazy

and slide that volume bar to the middle ground


Too honest, too brutal

Too fake, too disgusting

Too close, too painful

Too distant, too lonely


So then an arm’s distance-

Stick out an arm

Keep an arm’s distance

and the damage is only that arm’s distance


Just an arm’s distance-

What I use to keep myself from getting hurt