Cheddar or Brie?


My only hope is that confusion is a prelude to clarity.

I find it unsettling.

The inability to simply sit and keep myself company.

It must require some kind of prerequisite upon entering maturity, like I forgot to check that box on the application for adulthood.

It must come natural to normal people.

Needless to say, I now have to work for it.

Recognizing a feeling.

It sounds so elementary, doesn’t it?

What is the difference between a thought and a feeling anyway?  It’s like a tomato.  According to experts, it is a fruit because it contains seeds?  But who eats them as fruit?  It’s a fucking vegetable. I don’t care what’s printed on the USDA sticker.  Eggs are in the Dairy section aren’t they? I always thought they were dairy.  I was wrong.

This shit is life shattering for some of us!

Silence is irritating. Unbearable. (not as disturbing as the dairy/veggie thing, but it’s a close second).

It is essential for me to have noise.

It quiets my voice, conveniently quieting my feelings.

And I am not referring to the music being just loud enough so people cannot hear me talk to myself.  I mean that I like the music, the TV, the fan, loud enough to distract me from myself.

No talking required.

I have discovered a parallel, or rather, a dichotomous struggle between feelings and consumption.

Consumption: the act of consuming, as by use, decay, or destruction.

That definition resonates with me.  It fits.  Like it’s the mold I left imprinted on my mother’s uterus on the way out. I could give lectures and presentations in prison about that word.

Feelings? I don’t know that definition yet.  But you’ll be the first to know when it knocks me upside the head.

Void of feelings, I quest to consume.

Over-stimulated, I self destruct.

My cup runneth over.  But with what?

The static I hear in my head?

Can I change to what’s behind door number two please?

If these are feelings, I don’t want them.

These inconveniences change faces just as quickly as my neat printing turns into creepy cursive, then abruptly changes to an indecipherable scribble.

Just as I struggle to read the very words I write… impregnated by reflection… birthed by my own brain, body, mind, and mouth…I struggle to catch my feelings, but as soon as I catch one it’s gone and another appears.


I feel like I am reaching up into the night sky trying to catch a shooting star.

But I am too late.  I keep missing them, the stars.

Oh wait. Are those feelings?  I know that one!  Shit.  It’s gone. I let it slip away.

I’ll sit and wait for the next one.

Unfortunately, there is no schedule for feelings. I am not a bench at a bus stop.

The next thought comes in the form of a dust bunny.

There are hundreds of them, running away from me, sliding across the hardwood, mocking me as I plunge and miss like I am playing whack a mole.

This is my head though, and whack a mole hurts!

I don’t think I could catch a feeling with hundred mouse traps.

I’d use the wrong cheese.

I would imagine their seduction to be  a mild cheddar, whereas I would foolishly lure them with a pungent brie.

The mouse traps would sit untouched, and my insides would become reduced to a rancid cavern.

Like the stale reek that slowly creeps its way under each bedroom door after a night of crack and cigarettes.

What can I consume?

What is left?


Expired Children’s Tylenol.

Stale donuts.

I find myself tearing my drawers apart, searching the cupboards.

I always stash my treasures…

So I can surprise myself later.

Like finding a $20 dollar bill in the jeans I haven’t worn in over a year.

Adding to my affliction, my hands come up empty.

No small round spheres, no little ovals with precious engravings, numbers that give me chills of excitement….

Vicodin. Percocet. Oxycodone.

Why the hell didn’t I save any?  I always try.  It never works.  I swallow them knowing I’ll need them later.

Welcome to the brain function of an addict.


Stripes and plaid.

Lawn chairs and SPF 7.

Size 6 jeans and Taco Trucks.

Driving to West Seattle with the gas light on.


I’m living on the edge now.

Is there a feeling describes that?

A word?

Fuck, I don’t know.


I search my bookshelves and forgotten 3 ring binders for that ‘feelings chart’ I know I have somewhere.

The one I received on my last day of treatment as I rolled my eyes and threw it aside.

You know that 8×10 piece of paper?

The one with the round faces and matching emotions stamped underneath?

They print those those out somewhere for people like me.

In some non-decorative office in the corner of a building in an industrial area.

You know those buildings with no name or logo?

Just a number for the postal service.

The placard next to the elevator would read… Headquarters “Survival For Dummies.” Suite 330.


If I could find where those feelings charts are made, I’d be okay.

My brain would be healed.

I’d keep one posted on the fridge.

I have seen them at normal people’s houses.

I guess it’s supposed to be funny for them, not a life or death implement.


Maybe I’ll keep one in my purse for emergencies.

And Ill keep the rest, a big stack, for consumption.

Remember that word?

I used to eat paper when I was a kid.

Didn’t we all?


This feels and sounds awkward to me.

I’m uncomfortable.

Hey wait.

Is that a feeling?

Does anyone have an emotions chart?

feelings chart


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