Dancing With Ghosts

There is a voice in the back of my mind whispering I shouldn’t be doing this. I shouldn’t be writing these words down, they should be kept hidden away, swallowed by shadows and forgotten.

A voice which tells me I am a fool to share what I m thinking tonight. I should remain silent. The child seen but never heard.

Yet I am going to let these things flow from my heart onto the screen. I am going to share them tonight even though I may regret them in the morning. I am going to let the words run. Black tears shed in silence. An echo to a scream never voiced.


I find myself surrounded by shadows and ghosts. Echoes of words whispers long ago, swallowed by the relentless rushing of time. I close my eyes and I am returned to by younger years. Times spent in the local roller rink, the music blasting, bodies in constant motion. A soul alone in a crowded place.

The radio playing out of sight, the melodies floating on the listless Summer air. A song I have heard too many times; I know the words by heart now.

… Standing on the roadside, looking out across a perfect blanket of snow and just wanting to lie down and sleep, to slip from this side to the next, finally being the perfect child.

Of sitting on a bed, cold steel and wood across my lap, the tap, tap, tap, of brass against brass as my hand moves in a mindless patten, wondering why I am hesitating.

Standing on a cold Atlantic beach as the waves are washing across the sand, wondering if it the wind pushing the sea or the sea pushing the wind.

Thinking of the pile of little white pills waiting for my return, the cold blasting through my skin, turning my bones to ice.

I think of the times throughout my life when I walked alone, down neighborhood streets or over the levee. The times spent sitting on a wooded hillside wishing I could fade into the shadows in which I sat. Standing at the rail of a ship at sea, watching the moonlight shimmering across the endless waves and wondering at the quiet… 

Time and time again I would turn to look at the world around me and it would seem as though I was watching through a wall of glass. Something there could never touch me. Not the way I wanted to be touched.


A short time ago I again had the feeling of hopelessness and uselessness wash over me and I thought, for just a moment, I could become that again. It was there, just beyond my grasp, all I had to do was give into it.

It was then I had to question myself. Am I still the same person? Could I return to what had been? If I could; if I really thought of myself not as I am at this moment, but as I have been, how some small piece of me still seems to be, what does it mean?

Has everything been a lie?

I still find his name on my lips when I least expect it. A bitter, metallic taste on my tongue.

If I can close my eyes and see, hear, small, and taste that past, have I really changed?

I’ve looked in the mirror. I’ve seen the pain behind my eyes. Every memory is a razor seeking to reopen old wounds.

I think of all the things which come to mind when I think of how I have thought of myself over the years. The memories, the thoughts, the wishes, the daydreams… the tears. Oh so many tears. For myself, for the love I never thought to find. For the loneliness which twisted through my guts like a serpent. My heart pounding so hard my chest ached.

I wonder if I made something out of it that it never was.


I thought to write more but my words have run out. Only silence answers my call.


In some ways I do feel regret for these words. They are a burden no one needs to share. They are my weight to bear. Yet I cannot take them back, as much as I wish to do so. Even now I am fighting the almost overwhelming urge to press delete, to tell the computer not to save, to let all of this vanish in a pixilated puff of smoke.

I feel, even now, I have already overstayed my welcome, leaned too heavily on those around me… That I am a unasked for burden and for this I apologize.

It isn’t much really is it? Three little words so often spoken carelessly…

I am sorry.

Reality Check

There was something which brought things into perspective for me today, I had reason to travel to two of the areas which received tornado damage late last year, Pekin and Washington, Ill. Some time has passed and it is easy to put the trauma behind you… until it is staring you in the face again, as stark and raw as the day it happened.

Damaged roofs draped in blue tarps, foundations standing bare, and even empty holes where houses use to be. In Washington I saw a tree wrapped with siding surrounded by shattered timbers and piles of rubble. The damage stretched as far as I could see and looking at it I was amazed there were only three fatalities. 

I’m not making too much of this to say it really puts your life into perspective. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or how much your annual income is; it can all be taken away in a second.

I only looked in from the outside, I simply could not bring myself to see any more of the devastation. It is simply too heartbreaking.

Tornado devastates Washington Illinois 3 1


From Washington, IL


11 17 13 PekinTornado3 038

From Pekin, IL