Forgetting

My least favorite part about breaking up with someone is the inevitable forgetting. Not the breakup itself, not the pain and misery of the slow recovery, but forgetting them throughout your days. The fact that they subtly slip through the cracks in your mind, only coming to memory when a certain song plays, or theres a certain part of the day you two shared a passion for. Yeah, you never forget them, how could you? But when you go through a day and realize wow, I didn’t think of them all day, it is easily more heartbreaking than the entirety of anything that they could have done to hurt you. You not only miss them, you don’t think about them.

The events of a relationship amaze me. You find a human, and there’s an immediate connection- even if it’s subtle or unconsidered. Then you talk, communicating in the usual way when meeting someone new. But slowly, gradually, you develop your own unique way of communicating, inside jokes are made, simple phrases are said to brighten the persons day- or even turn them on. The attraction grows, the thought of this person occurs more frequently. Suddenly you care about this person. This person is important. Their happiness and well being is important.

Then time goes by, whether a week or 10 years, it goes by. You become annoyed with them, they do something you can’t forgive, or something prevents you from progressing together. Whatever it is, you break up.

Single, again. Alone. Miserable. Without them.

Eventually at some point in the post-breakup process, you have to decide to either obsess or forget. You can’t fully keep their memory alive, and it is a real thing to remain in love with someone years beyond the last time you talked, but eventually you need to allow yourself to forget- or as most people call it: Move on.

My poor heart. I do not like forgetting, that is why I keep a journal. But to forget someone who made you feel like you could live a happy, fulfilling life regardless of what you accomplish, as long as they are there? THAT, my dear reader, is my idea of ultimate heartbreak.

 

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Internal Struggles (Am I Crazy?)

I drank my tea, finishing it while on the phone. I was in public, tear marked voice, the salty fluids welling in my eyes- everything  blurry, especially my mind.

“I miss her,” I softly spoke. “I don’t know why I feel the need to see her. I feel I have gone crazy.”

“What do you want?” The voice through the phone asked me. “Do you want to visit someone who fucked up and let you go, or do you want to continue doing what you’ve always wanted to do?”

A question I had been asking myself, but currently have no answer for. Maybe I am crazy for wanting to have time off to visit someone who, in all honesty, would probably resent me for doing so. Or maybe I’d be crazy to not try, knowing that I’d regret not visiting someone who made such a difference, such an impact, on my life. Do I die never having seen the face, been in the presence of, someone who means so much? It’s like God, except I know this person exists.

The thing is, humans are an interesting species. I’m thrilled to be one, though sometimes I wish I were a tree, or a blissful dog, or an indifferent cat; something easier to manage the life of. Spreading my wooden arms to catch the warm rays of sunlight through my finger tips, or chasing the grey object my human has thrown for me- “OH MY GOD THIS IS THE BEST!” Or simply “feed me, scum” as I poop in a box of sand, covering my feces afterward because I’m not a heathen.

Still, as I write this, I am curious to why my humanity feels so important. Am I supposed to become the failure of the ‘perfect’ love story, inspiring heartbreaking movies and books? Am I supposed to be the success story of a starving musician, putting myself behind music and lyrics to help someone alive after I’m dead to know they aren’t alone in their feelings? Or am I just here on Earth, existing, going through life dealing with my personal struggles, relishing in my personal triumphs, and drinking overpriced tea at Starbucks in a college town outside of San Francisco?

You see, I’ve always known myself to be complicated. To be a bit more “human” than I realize. I think too much, often times getting lost in whatever daydream I am dreaming of. Lately the intrusive thought I have lately is “am I making the right decision?” I am learning to just go, to take my steps and make my decisions without over thinking them. I called a friend to talk about my thoughts about a former love, about my current band, and about how I feel like I am going crazy at times. She was calm, assuring me that I am where I need to be. It comforted me. Today I hope to speak with my mom about the thoughts stated earlier in this post, as well as my brother. And to talk with my mom about the dreams I’ve been having lately, the ones where she helps me arrive to my destination, the same ones where I see my former friend in the last minute- the last minute being bliss. I have dreams that often come true later in life….. I’m not sure about these ones, though. They may just be my inner desire, my subconscious, showing itself in my dreams. The same dreams I wake up from miserable because I know they are just dreams, and I worry they will never come true.

So why don’t I chase them? Why am I here, at Starbucks, writing? I could ask my band for time off. Or utilize our time off in June… but then I would be moneyless, and probably more broken hearted than I am now. But at least I would have peace of mind knowing I made the conscious (or subconscious) decision to actually meet someone whom made my life better simply because they are who they are.

Now, I know love probably won’t blossom. That is not my intention… I just want to meet them. To put to rest the constant thought that I would regret not seeing them, even though visiting them would probably cause them immense anxiety. I don’t want to put that burden on anybody. Maybe I am crazy… or maybe I’d be crazy to not put forth the effort.

I still have the small bit of hope, but like I stated in a poem in the past: I have to suppress it.

Do I have to be normal?

Two Dreams, One Post

Another strange dream two nights ago. I was riding in a car on the prairies, a friend that I didn’t recognize other than their presence was driving. I was sick in my dream, as I am now. We were heading to a school. The point was to see the Sun (go figure). I was nervous, but feigned confidence as usual. After driving a few hundred feet my friend stopped the car due to the crowds of people he didn’t want to run over (ya know, like a normal person).

I got out of the car and began to run. I needed to find the Sun, even though I couldn’t breathe, I was sick, and figured she wouldn’t want to see me. I found her, she was with her 2 best friends. I approached her, hugging her and picking her up into the air. I set her down, told her how much I missed her, and she responded, “You have boogers in your nose.”

I said “Okay” and walked away feeling embarrassed. I walked about a half mile to where my friend parked his car, he informed me there was a bathroom nearby and walked with me to it. The bathroom was down a flight of stairs, about 50 steps total, into a dark New York subway like underground area. It was creepy down there, but I needed to blow my nose, get rid of the boogers.

In the bathroom the lights flickered, it was dark and empty, but I wasn’t afraid, though I knew I should have been. I went pee, blew my nose, washed my hands and face, then walked back up the steps.

I found the Sun in the middle of a field. She turned towards me and smiled. She approached me. I kissed her. Then she pulled me to the ground, where the dream turned sexual based off her control.

I will spare the brief details of the encounter, but I woke up feeling sad. All I wanted to do was meet her, the Sun, in real life. I never expected to fall in love, I never expected anything more than the hug she promised and hopefully a good time together. I think I scared her off by pressing meeting… oh well. We may never meet in real life. This breaks my heart more than most things I’ve experienced… but maybe one day we will. I hope so. She was one of my best friends.

Last night’s dream was mostly forgotten, but it was Christmas time. I was shopping with my mom, she asked what I was getting someone (special, I assume) as a gift. I said I didn’t know, but spotted a beautiful hand carved cabin (about the size of half a loaf of bread). I instantly knew it was perfect. I walked away from my mom and towards a conglomeration of tall, skinny “treehouse” like buildings. In the middle of these buildings a few people were playing Quidditch, but there were rope swings involved. The former girlfriend of two friends I had (she broke up with one for the other in high school, it was a mess) was playing. I assume the captain of the opposing team. She was there, and told me I was gonna lose because who I was looking for didn’t want to see me. I accepted her challenge, and set the tiny cabin in my pocket. I took off, and scored several points, making this girl eat her words.

“HA,” I exclaimed. “That was fun!”

After landing in one of the tree houses, I climbed down through the interior and handed the now boxed and wrapped cabin gift to the Sun. Her face wasn’t visible, but I recognized her figure and hair. I woke up immediately after.

Photo by Paul Hill 2017
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Stocksmile, The Sun, Family

Stocksmile started tour 2 days ago, beginning with Che Cafe in San Diego, California. The next night (last night) was Redwood Bar in Los Angeles, the same state. I have been sick since the morning after our kickoff show on February 15th in Las Vegas at The Griffin. It started out as a basic sore throat, but gradually became worse. Last night I felt the need to visit a doctor, but I decided to sleep on it. I’m glad I did, because it turned out to be a bad cold. Which, today, I am already feeling better knowing this.

I can’t help but shake this feeling that I need to write the Sun, so I did. I have a letter to her, one sparing my feelings and sticking to the basics: where my life is currently at. I love her, I miss her, but I needed to let her go. She found someone much more suited to what she needs, and I understand now; I am not who she is looking for. This is okay. I feel better having accepted this. But damn, I do miss her.

It was strange, and heartbreaking, to not speak to her the day I left on tour. She was in my life since before the band even needed me. She was my “pen pal” at the time, but when I had my doubts about auditioning, her words stood out to me more than anybody else I spoke to about it. Paraphrasing, of course, since it was over a year and a half ago, “You need to do this! It’s your dream! I don’t know much about you, but I know that this is what you want, what you are on this Earth for. Go audition!” I wish I could remember her words exactly, as I’m sure my paraphrasing is nothing in comparison to the real expression. Her words are the ones that kept my head above the waters of depression and self doubt. I owe her a lot.

A large part of me wonders if I made the right decision on continuing with this band. I feel that I did, but I also know that I sacrificed a lot to be here. I sacrificed a potentially good job, the love of my life, and a lot of other things I don’t want to think about. But I am a musician, it is how I have always been. I need to be here, even if this band fails. I will always pursue music, in one way or another. But I do want to be in love. I knew from a very young age that I probably can’t have both…

Yesterday was good, though! I wandered alone to Ocean Beach Pier, where I found a location called Dog Beach. There were lots of dogs! Later I met one of my best friends and his girlfriend at St. Clemente Beach, where we ran into the ocean. It was his first time being in the ocean, and I’m glad I was with him!! It was an honor, really. I probably shouldn’t have gotten in with only underwear while sick, but oh well! It was fun.

st-clementine-beach-underwear-jordan-jaeger

Today I miss my mom. I miss being a teenager. A child. I miss not worrying about the rest of my life, so I am doing what I can each day to progress and make certain I have value in the music industry. I’m going to make sure the bands stage volumes are on point. Last night we played a quiet set, but I could tell it was a lot less sloppy than our live performances. We have great gear, but are currently lazy in making it sound phenomenal. I will be certain to correct this.

I also miss my brother. I miss his smell, his voice, his embrace. I wish to hike with him, journey into the mountains, and escape the depression that he and I share.

But today, I am in Corona, California. Hundreds of miles away from my brother, my mom, anybody. So I will continue to slowly eat this apple, drink this water, and make sure I express my love to the golden retriever in this house that has taken a liking to me. She is sweet, and loves to cuddle. I, also, love to cuddle.

Catching up to Speed and Dreaming Dreams

I’m finding myself unmotivated today. I began eating junk food, and more food in general lately.  I crave a bag of chips, but I know better. I need to exercise, having strep throat has really set me back. I smoked the last 3 days, pot. I smoked to help against strep, which it did. But I become so lazy and lethargic. I am content to do nothing, and while I am sick, I still find myself abhorrently lazy. I know depression has it’s hold, but I can fight through it. Maybe I need to nap while listening to music.

Either way, this illness has me dumbed down. I am getting lost in daydreams. Maybe I should accept them and just sleep. So far I think I need to sleep.

To catch you up to speed, Stocksmile’s kickoff show was on Wednesday. It was good. I look forward to perfecting our performance and sound. People enjoyed our set, I feel as if they left impressed.

Jim Stone interviewed us, I don’t know if I like my answers to his questions, but I gotta accept them for what they were. The Ampeg 8×10 Sabe ordered for me came. Awesome guy to help me and the band out like that.

I think I will now sleep. Dream dreams of pretty things. Recover.

I Kiss to Let Go

She falls in love with words I’ve already said
But to her they are new, because they’re from him
And he posts pictures of all his instruments
I know she loves this

I wake up alone, as I always do
Except I feel alone, because I miss her
She wakes up, hopefully happy, to texts from him
“My life is better with you in it”

“Awwwwwwe, babe!” she’ll probably reply
Full of excitement for her new guy
And for her I’m excited, I hope she’s correct
When she tells herself “This feels right”

“I felt right about you” I wish I could say
“But look what happened. You walked away”
But she will contest “I’ve alway felt this way,
I told you we can’t be anything in the first days”

Yeah, yeah. I know, I know
But she felt right, too, at one point
“Oh well” I tell myself every day
But, honestly, the pain isn’t fading

It’s masked. I wear a stock smile.
I live harder than before, which means trying new things
Socializing more, kissing Canadians
But I want to kiss her. Just her. So I kiss them to let go.

Fuck Racism.

Tonight I dealt with racism. Legitimate racism. And I was not open minded to the other persons thoughts whatsoever.

You see, my brothers are Filipino, making them ‘brown skinned,’ which calling them that is entirely bullshit. I witnessed them deal with racism growing up, violently even. I saw one of my brothers get into a physical altercation because of it. I don’t understand, and have never understood, why hating someone because of their ethnicity is a thing. I tried for a brief moment to understand, but simply put: I could not.

I argued with this person. Eventually becoming frustrated with their biased and closed minded beliefs that I could not be in their presence. A new friend, Tom, explained that there are always people like them to exist, and those that remained in conversation are strong enough to listen, and study, this persons beliefs. I could not. I cried in front of them.

I cannot open my mind enough to hear them out, to try and understand why they loathe people based off the color of their skin, the origin of their background. I cannot.

I cried, several tears, because of this. Sobbing, bawling, whatever you wish to call it; I could not hold back my heartbreak and sorrow because of this person.

I love my brothers VERY much. I grew up with them. Was raised by them. Have learned the essentials in becoming a ‘man’ by them. So to deal with someone whom would have distain towards them, because of the color of their skin, is a task alone. One I did not have the patience for.

I am going to sleep, try to recover emotionally from the energy depleted by dealing with this person. I do not hate them, I just wish they weren’t set in their wretched ways.

I want to die.

I will be honest. I want to kill myself. I want to die.
I also want to go hiking, get lost, and learn to survive on my own.
I want to no longer exist where feelings, relationships, friendship, “responsibility” exist.
I want to be free from all of it. I want to exist alone. Outside of my over thinking, my depression, my fear of getting close to anyone- friendship or relationship.

I want to die. How pathetic. A few weeks ago I was excited because I DIDN’T want to die. But now…. I want to die.

I want to die.

Why? I am not entirely sure. Because I can’t help but fall for anyone who kisses me? Because I meet entirely cool and genuine people, and avoid feelings towards them like the plague?

I only consider 5 people in my life as a friend: My band, and my high school friend, and my “main bitch” who has been my longest friend.

I know I am more than my depression. More than my 3rd person view of myself. But some nights…. some nights I want to hike to a cliff, run, and plunge calmly to my death; head first. That is how I’ve always properly imagined my death. A death of my own choice. A death I had control of. A death in a beautiful place in which I find comfort. I want death.

Now, I know I also want life. But I do not believe I will find love. I do not believe I will find God. I do not believe I will ever be rid of my paranoid thoughts, nor be rid of my depression. And right now, I am fighting walking the few short miles to the nearest mountains, where I would lie down in the cold and try to sleep. Sleep away from the people. Away from the noise. Away from the ‘normalities’ that I have to conform to.

I just want to exist happily. I want the Sun. I want to hike with my brother forever.

I once said “Heaven is sitting in a car with my brother,” but that is incorrect. Heaven is hiking with my brother forever. I miss my brother. Tonight I could use a hug from him. He is one of the few people who truly understands me. He goes through the same struggles with depression, self doubt, self loathing that I do.

Tonight I want to be with him. Hiking. Talking. Laughing. Venting. Complaining. Crying. Anything. I just want to be with my brother. He is the only human being I know of that I feel happy around, even when I was in my most miserable state.

I want to die.

I want to die.

I want to die.

Why haven’t I died already? I’ve had enough opportunity.

My car crash when I was 6 years old. My bike accident where I crash landed on my head. Swallowing a concoction of several poisons; weed killer, bug spray, wasp killer, rubbing alcohol, gasoline, and several other chemicals I don’t remember the names of- nor do I care. My stepmom flooding my trailer with propane. When I tried to hang myself, my last attempt on my life many years ago. Tonight? I want to die. Why haven’t I died already?

I get that I am alive for a reason. I have “purpose” my mom claims. But tonight, I don’t see that. I am a lousy musician, I am a subpar human. I am a below average friend. Tonight I want to die.

Tonight I want to die.

I am crying. Not “ugly” not “pretty.” Just crying. Tears flooding my eyes, a few drops escaping my eyelashes. I want to sob. I want to bawl. I want to wail until I have nothing left in me but exhaustion, thus compelling me to sleep. And if I sleep, I will assuredly have nightmares. I will wake up to police sirens. I will make a breakfast of a 2 egg sandwich, either wheat bread or an everything bagel. Then I will force myself to rehearse, or adventure, or anything. Anything to keep my mind off stupid Canadian girls that kiss me when we’re drunk. Anything to keep my mind off girls that I could actually be into, but won’t allow myself because I am leaving in a few short days. Anything to keep me from slipping into the existential dread that threatens to consume my mind every day.

I am so tired of existing.

I spoke recently to a woman who believes there is existence after death. I don’t know if I believe this. I don’t know if there is life after death. I don’t know if there is a “God,” and if there is, I don’t think god is who the religion I grew up in suggests.

I want to know. I want to die. When I die, I will know. Or I will stop existing, which to me, is the closest thing to making sense, and my biggest fear (even though tonight I want death). But something inside me suggests I am wrong to believe that fully. One friend believes our energy is transferred elsewhere, claiming his son is the spirit his long deceased father.

I believe him because he believes it. Just like I believe my mom because she believes in god. Just like I believe my friend when she says her dead family visits her when she asks, because she believes it.

What do I believe? Why am I here? Why do I exist?

I had given most of who I am to make a relationship survive. I was not enough.

I made out with a girl when drunk, now things are weird between us.

I over think the talent of myself.

I just want to be happy all the time. I want to be happy. Why am I not happy?

Maybe I focus too much on “what possibly” rather than “this actually.”

Maybe I should end my life, end my misery and pain. Then MAYBE I would be ‘happy’.

Right now I am not happy.

Right now I want to die.

Valentine’s “Lame”

Despite all the girls for whom I wasn’t enough
and told me goodbye- I still believe in love
It’s a wonderful thing felt in different ways
Like love for a friend, your family, a place

And right now I have deep love for these eggs

I’ve heard some complain “I’m single today”
While others know it’s completely okay
I’m one of those people, to be loud and clear
Cause being alone means drinking more beer

Just kidding, I don’t like beer

I woke up to sirens, the feeling of dread
Not ’cause there’s no one I love in my bed
And not because I have no one to kiss
Though if you asked, I’d say that I missed…

My bed. And pillows. And dreaming of mountains.

Today I will venture like any other day
Exploring this city, and sing while I play
Cause today is Valentine’s, a corporate thing
Devised to spend money on glamourous things

But if you love me speak now, I want a new hat

So if you think love is a work of fiction
And sex is just a pleasurable friction
I commend you to the highest extent
I hope you get laid without money spent

(call me)

The Worst Night of my Life

Late September, 2016, I had arrived back in my home state, freshly off tour, a couple weeks after a difficult breakup, and utilizing my only housing option: A trailer in my dads backyard.

I love my father, but I do not like him. He is not a decent person, unfortunately. He loves me, in his unique and twisted way, and after the convincing words from my brother he decided to buy a cheap trailer and let me stay in his backyard next to the sound barrier between his yard and the freeway. I was grateful. And stoked, a cozy trailer all to myself? Awesome! Winter was setting in, but I didn’t care, I know how to stay warm.

The first day was alright… and just alright. He is a hard ass, my dad. The first words he said weren’t from love, but a strange sort of malice. The kind that suggests he doesn’t trust me as a person. “When are you getting a job? And that trailer cost me $400, you are going to fix it up so I can resell it and make a profit. And you will pay me $100 a week to live in it. No friends are allowed over, you are only allowed inside the house if you need to shower or shit. You being here makes Stephanie uncomfortable.” My first day back, not even an hour in, not a simple “I love you, son.” I guess it was to be expected.

I joked, replying that I stank and was going to shower before I started applying for work (I hadn’t showered in about a week). I didn’t let his words bother me, it was good to be back in Utah. I was looking forward to long hikes with my brother, lazy nights with my friends, and writing new music. Then the bombshell from my ex… “Kyle asked me on a date, I said yes.” This was fine, I knew her feelings towards him weren’t existent beyond just friends, plus we weren’t dating anymore. Yeah, I wasn’t thrilled, but I tried to be understanding.

The next night was her date, and a long night for me. She didn’t message me at all except for two times: “I’m off! Talk to you in a bit.” Normal. Then, several hours later, “The movie was okay, I have to pee so bad!” Then silence. Oh well, I tried to not assume the worst, I distracted myself by watching The Notebook for the first time (great movie). And eventually, clutching my phone in hopes to receive any word from her- anything at all- I fell asleep.

This is where my night went from not great, to horrible.

I woke up suddenly to somebody inside my trailer. Startled, but alert, I saw my stepmom in a squatted position messing with the trailer heater dials. Exhausted, and already tired of her as a person (she is worse than my dad) I ignored her, assuming she would leave after doing whatever sabotage she was up to. I was wrong.

“JORDAN!!” She screamed, obviously drunk. My blood curdled.

“What?” I calmly, tiredly replied.

“You need to pick your dad up from jail. He assaulted me,” she replied with a sick tone that suggests she was proud of it in a way. Being used to dealing with their shit, I told her to get out so I could get dressed. She was impatient. Less than a minute outside before she began yelling at me to hurry up. I don’t understand this woman.

We got into my fathers 4Runner, and she turned the music up incredibly loud. I turned the music down. She, bitterly, cranked the music again, glaring at me. I turned the volume down. She wasn’t having it. She blasted the music, and I became impatient.

“Stephanie,” I stated as I turned the music off entirely, “I am doing you a favor by picking my dad up this early in the morning (about 2 am). Please, no more music. I am tired and I don’t want to be here.”

Her response was another death-glare, accompanied with angry words, and that I ‘had no right to treat her like that,’ then turned the radio back on to full volume. I was done, I made a U-turn. She threatened me, began screaming every hurtful word she could think of (they didn’t effect me) and said I could take her to my dad or drop her off there. I pulled over, offering to open her door for her. She didn’t budge, only becoming louder and more aggressive.

I drove her back to the house, getting out of the car to escort her drunken self out of the vehicle, but she was quicker than me. She opened her door, ran to my side, and began to strike and scream at me. I tried to get her to tell me which jail my dad had been taken to, ignoring her assaults, but she refused. Instead she kept shoving me, punching me in the chest, hollering at the top of her lungs (at 2am) that I was a ‘loser,’ and that my dad and her talk about it all the time.

I replied, “Steph, I know you both feel this way, and I have for a long time. Get inside now or I will call the police.” Again, she became more aggressive. It was as if she were attempting to provoke me into hitting her, like I’m sure she had done do my father. Of course I didn’t do so, violence is not in my nature whatsoever, so I pulled out my phone and dialed 911.

I’ve never seen somebody run away so quickly. She was at the house door, slamming it shut, before the 911 operator could finish their classic line: “911, what’s your emergency?”

After inquiring if I could be transferred to the non-emergency line, the woman told me no and I called the line manually. I found out where my dad was, and I drove to the jail, ignoring the inclination that she was up to no good and rummaging through my trailer. After waiting an hour for his release, I discovered through the guards that he was being as loud and obnoxious as my stepmom. He trotted out proud and wasted drunk. “Well, it’s about time!” he chortled.

Yeah, yeah, I thought. “Lets just get you to a hotel.”

We didn’t make it far, he became calloused and mean after my asking which hotel he would prefer. He stated, among other words, “You can take me to my house or I will walk there!” I slammed on the brakes, in the jail parking lot, and said, “Okay, get out.” Hahahaha, of course he wouldn’t have that (understandably). After yelling at me for a short minute, I parked the car, left the keys in the cup holder, and walked away. I wasn’t going to deal with him. I recommended he didn’t drive drunk (promising I would call the police if I saw him do so) and I called my brother. He was drunk at a birthday party, so he was unavailable. I called my mom, she didn’t answer (I left a voicemail that caused her deep concern the next morning). Then, stretching myself to my final option, I called a close family friend. She didn’t answer either. I was unsurprised, it was 3:25 in the morning. So I walked. My moms house was only 8 or so miles away, and she would be awake before I arrived (probably). I was cold, I was tired. I just wanted to sleep.

After walking about half a mile I heard my dad calling to me. He had followed me. I was in a strip mall parking lot, security was driving nearby, so I motioned them over. They stopped, they didn’t head in my direction. I didn’t need them, but I was annoyed they weren’t going to assist me, just in case my dad became voilent. I heard my father call to me again, I could tell by his tone of voice that he wasn’t going to give me any more problems that night, so I walked to him. The security guards, after I already was walking with my dad, decided to pull up behind us.

“Is everything okay?” They asked in their cowardice, their car window halfway rolled down. My brother suggests I shouldn’t be bitter towards them, but I disagree.

I replied, annoyed, “Yeah. I called you over for a reason, but everything is fine now. Thanks.”

After getting back to my dads 4Runner, he requested I stop by his house and get his work phone and cigarettes. I obliged, dropping him off on the nearby corner. I went inside the house, Stephanie wasn’t there, but I couldn’t find his work phone. I assumed she had taken it. I went to my trailer to gather my few possessions, but to my dismay I found some personal items scattered in front of my trailer: an open, smashed bass case with no instrument inside. The pedals I used on tour drenched in water, rendering them useless. And a paint can lid. I became numb. I didn’t care anymore. I stepped inside the trailer, and it was a disaster. I don’t own much, but what I did own was upturned and broken. My laptop with a very obvious stomp print on it, my ukulele and bass were missing, my clothes strewn about, my bed half on the floor, half on the wall. I grabbed my cup of loose change, an unsent letter to my ex, the gameboy my drummer let me borrow, and a few clothes. I put them into my backpack and left, not caring to shut the door behind me.

I picked up my dad from the corner. I didn’t tell him what had happened. I was exhausted, already knowing it to be the worst night of my life. My heart was broken, my body bruised, my instruments missing, my possessions destroyed. I dropped my dad off at the hotel, he offered to buy me breakfast in the morning, but I declined. It was only 3 miles to my brothers house, so I walked. It wasn’t long before I received a phone call from the police.

“Jordan Jaeger? Yeah, hi. Officer ____ here. I’m with Stephanie, and she claims you stole her purse. Where are you?”

“Hey, officer. I didn’t take it. Like I told her, it is in her car where she left it last.”

A few moments of silence passed.

“Okay, thanks. We found it.” -click

I wonder now if that was an officer at all, or one of Stephanie’s whores she cheats on my father with in exchange for pills and booze.

Then I received a multitude of nasty texts and voicemails from my fathers work phone, the one she stole. I didn’t respond, but they included soulless insults, and threats to have my dad fired from his job over the assault. I rolled my eyes, and continued onward to my brothers house. When I finally arrived, I didn’t cry. I asked for food and lied in the bed he graciously prepared for me. I didn’t sleep.

After sunrise, my dad requested we bring his work and insurance checks to him. We reluctantly obliged, needing to go and gather the rest of my things regardless. Fortunately my stepmom didn’t find my records, nor did she damage my record player; my last bit of solace. We discovered that she had painted on the door of the trailer, failing to fully cover the words written in permanent marker “Sorry Too Late”. Evil words. Hateful words. Words only someone spiteful like her would write, and her attempt to cover them made it all the more comical to me.

We met him, my dad, in the parking lot of a Lowes hardware store. I gave the checks to him and said there was “x” amount there (my brother checked), and that I felt entitled for compensation for my destroyed possessions. Most everything I owned (the record player is a friends). He, in his strange mind, thought otherwise and proceeded to pick a fight with me. Egging me on, threatening me, saying anything he thought would get under my skin. My brother observed, being sure to remain close to him in case he actually tried to hit me. I knew he wouldn’t, he couldn’t afford another night in jail. I lost my patience entirely in that moment, and I yelled back, shouting the few words I never thought I would in response to the terrible things he shouted at me.

“Hit me! Do it! I’ll call 911 so fast that you won’t even have time to think about what you’ve done… Felon!” (my dad was in prison throughout my childhood)

I lost most self control, and realizing this I walked away. I went to the garden section of Lowes, smelling and feeling the different flowers, trees, and assorted plants. Nature is my refuge, the garden center was the closest place I could “escape” to in that moment. I needed to clear my head.

After a few minutes my dad drove off, my brother called me back. We went to his house, my ex had text me earlier in the day, distraught because she slept with Kyle. This effected me more than the horrible night given to me by my father and stepmom. The news hurt. I figured something of the sort happened, but I had chosen to trust her. I found out a miserable month later that they didn’t have sex. She was very vague on the details, though. I safely assume foreplay was still involved. My dad reluctantly payed me a few days later to compensate for my damaged items, having been guilted by my brother (thanks again, brother!). I found my ukulele broken in half on the freeway side of the sound wall, and my bass 2 days after the incident water damaged and hidden in the lot nearby my fathers house. The money eventually payed for my new (much better) Music Man bass, so this night and its outcome wasn’t an entire loss.

I no longer associate with my dad, though I am setting up a time to meet with him when my band goes through on tour. It may just be an invitation to my shows, but we will see. I do want to talk to him, tell him to his face that I need time before I will consider allowing him back into my life. A long amount of time.

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