Endless Scene

Written by Parker Gray

When I think about all the things that have gone wrong in life I never see you there. I think about the times I wanted to quit and the times I probably should have. I think about the times I didn’t even know who I was looking at while standing in front of the mirror. I often think back on the last ten years and I feel as though I’m watching a movie of someone else’s life. I don’t know the main character anymore but I seem to recognize the rest of the cast. Faintly. But still. I never see you there. The movie is filled with disappointment and pain. I see resentment and failure and for the longest time, the credits would roll and I’d cry. I never saw your name.

When I think about all the ways that life is no longer what it once was, I see your face. I think about how tired I am at the end of every day and how I never want to quit. I close my eyes before I go to sleep and I see you there. Time is passing slowly as my weary mind wraps itself in thoughts of days to come. I do not wish this time away because I have seen too many movies to be so foolish. I have learned many lessons and I know any struggle that lies in front of me during this time is merely just another test I must pass. I write a list of things that matter – things that keep me going. Your name is there.

When I think about what used to matter most to me, I laugh at what a pathetic soul I must have been. Thank god you were not there. What a sorry excuse for a human being I was and what beautiful things my eyes did not see for I was so blinded by detrimental pieces of nothing. Faceless beings and deep scars in my skin are all that remain from time I have wished away. I hate these days because you feel so far. But I will never wish them away. I will never resent a day that I am so deeply connected to you. When the universe wants things to happen, they happen. And we happened. We are happening. And when you come home and knock on the door, I will graciously open it and see you there. I will replay these days in my head when you’re fast asleep next to me, and it will become one of my favorite movies. The credits will never roll and the soundtrack will never end, because at some point during some forgettable song, I’ll eventually drift off to sleep too. And when I wake up, I’ll see you there.

Alive in the Night

Written by Parker Gray

My best work has always come alive in the nighttime. I was a night owl as a kid, hiding under the covers with a flashlight, trying not to get caught reading a book after my mother had already told me to put it away and go to bed. Pulling all-nighters in the upstairs playroom with my brother, just trying to beat the last level of Donkey Kong — fighting to stay awake long enough to ensure that we would one day see the final episode of Gilligan’s Island — desperately wanting to know if they’d ever be rescued — If I’d ever be rescued? 

We’d sit on bean bag chairs for hours with our childhood best friends, brainstorming ideas of how we could trick the tooth fairy into leaving us money for popcorn kernels doused in red food coloring… so elegantly disguised as real teeth. But we were just kids. We woke up one day ready to join the world of sleepovers, a night out when parents retired to bed before us, and expectedly so. These nights produced incessant laughter, new friendships, and stories that were only to be shared amongst the primary attendees. These moments in time inevitably molded us into full-blown teenagers. Staying up late as teens, watching pointless pop  shows with the closed captions on and the volume down low — trying to avoid getting caught at an ungodly hour on a school night. 

While breaking the rules in order to somehow sustain relevance in a world none of us fully understood, we, as a group of youths, became more important than the amount of sleep one may have warranted during a crucial developmental time in our lives. Before you knew it, you were an adult and the guidelines had changed. Expectations became firm and ultimately ubiquitous. I have found however, that the pattern has since remained the same for me. Everyone is asleep and according to the commonality of our culture and the status quo of expected behavior throughout adulthood, I probably should be too. 

The designated hours of sleep are dictated by society and the mainstream stance of what is the “norm” as opposed to individuality and spontaneous eruptions of creativity. I beg to differ though, as some of my best work has oftentimes been created in the nighttime. Some of my fondest memories and ideas have formulated during the late hours of the moon’s reign — bred and exhumed effortlessly during the hours of suggested sleep…. each one precisely outlined with specific intentions, illuminated only by the darkness and the silence they carry.

Just because the social order of a proposed culture shares a common, unwritten understanding that we as a community shall operate on a congruous clock in order to be successful — does not mean it is the only way to advance. We are born individually, and, therefore, cannot be held to a generalized standard of success or proposed attainment of any predisposition, which includes universal accomplishment or proficiency. We are all designed to seek and understand life on our own terms, at our own pace. Productivity has no bedtime. Success has no timeline.

The Realization

Written by Parker Gray

There’s a moment each day that is unlike any moment you will ever experience again. It’s the moment just before you open your eyes. You begin to understand in your conscious mind that you are awake and no longer dreaming. You are still under the spell of your dreaming mind, though you begin to slowly accept waking up. In this moment, every single morning, you are reborn into whatever it is you choose.

Every morning when I travel between my subconscious and the state of consciousness, I am unaware of any bodily function. I am not in complete control of my movements – I am unaware of my breathing. I can’t even say for sure whether am in control of my feelings. I’m simply at the mercy of the universe channeling me towards whatever the day holds for me. Whatever the future holds for me.

At any given moment during this time, I make the choices that perpetuate my life. Thinking about it now, writing about it, telling you about it through these words, all feels very surreal and overwhelming, as I know this time period is only a matter of seconds…for after that, I am fully awake and on my way to existing in reality again.

Every morning when I take this journey through seconds, I see your face, I whisper your name internally, and I force myself into motion. I find myself no longer pondering the realms of possibility or deciding against even the slightest of movements. I simply travel to you, wherever it is that you are in your dreams, your reality, your heaven or hell, and I find you. I find you and then I move. And even if you cannot feel it when it happens – every morning during this time, I move closer to you. I pull you to me through behaviors and words, through actions and senses, and I continuously act.

Really, without wasting anymore of these blank pages, I thought you should know that during the moments when I lack all control, I choose you. So when I write to you, please know  the distance between us will never stop me from telling you how lovely you are to me —  how I’m so intently set upon making you the happiest person alive for the rest of your life. Loving you has become second nature and I simply cannot wait to choose you again and again,  until there are no more mornings left in my journey.

I Find You There

Written by Parker Gray – Portfolio

It’s the cold days that get me. They deepen the embers of the burning remains of my heart. They leave me empty and alone. Yet, somehow they fill me with hope and the unusual sense of some temporary bout of belonging. The piercing jolt of the cold, it brings me to move – motivates me to stay warm, to stay positive about the comforts of the earth and all it encompasses. I find traces of serenity as I recall the paths I’ve so aimlessly wandered during my days. I find you there. 

It’s the hot days that get me. They leave me cold and hidden from the world. I melt from the inside out, and turn graciously to a pool of blue clarity. It seeps from every part of me until there’s nothing left. These are my least favorite of days;  the warmth reminds me of how cold I have become. How explicitly sharp I feel, like the jagged edges of broken glass – like the pieces of me and the darkness of my past. Yet I find a sense of regularity in the humidity of the day and I’m overwhelmed by the unknown rise of comfort that consumes me. I find you there. 

It’s the long days that get me. They drag on as if they know my soul and see through my eyes. These are the days when I search the world for the visions I once held so dear. These are the days I dream – quietly, alone, and to myself. I’m lost in the beauty of purpose and fate, while I struggle to associate with anything that seems real. My dissociations with life stem from everything that is broken, battered, and destroyed – like the innocence I so desperately miss. I’m left with only the bitterness of truth. It is raw and it is beautiful. It reminds me of you. And I find you there.

Absence of the Unknown

Written by Parker Gray – Portfolio

I hope no one ever calls you pretty. 

You were meant to burn down the earth and graffiti the sky with particles of light – particles of yourself, particles of matter. You matter. Don’t ever let anyone simplify you to something as elementary as “pretty.”  Not even me. 

You will never be pretty. You will be the storm that rages and causes the waters of the sea to rise and propagate violently. You will be the rising sun when light is the only cure. And similarly, somehow, you will be the moon – controlling all that exists through some unparalleled paradox. Accompanied by only the greatest division of life and death, you will be remarkable and breathtaking. You are remarkable and breathtaking. 

So you see, I hope no one ever calls you pretty. For they will never know how they have sincerely disgraced you and all that you are by generalizing you with such blanketed conformities. You weren’t meant to be pretty. 

And if I promise to always see you as the stars in the sky, the ones you cannot see, will you promise to fight like hell to hear the wind when the walls that surround you have all been boarded up? 

You deserve the love that most people don’t believe in anymore. They’re all so pretty. And you weren’t meant to be pretty. 

Seeing Gray

Written by Parker Gray – Portfolio

There is something to be said about the rarity of the night. The way individualism separates the moon from the earth – the way you only know she’s shining when you need her – when you see her. The complexity of the galaxy and all it encompasses consumes me and revolutionizes my every waking thought. It torments my mind and creates a breathtaking dimension inside of me unlike anything I’ve ever known – unlike anything I will ever know. I’m falling.

There is something to be said about the clarity of the day. The way the sky is never-ending and our lives are mere predispositions of nature’s course. I carry this innately destitute feeling in my soul, longing to discover any and everything that could lead me to the edge of fiercely false promises. I’m chasing shadows feverishly down a path, mislabeled by the night. I’ve bathed in crystal blue streams only to return worn and desensitized to the life I was so anxiously seeking. The reality of my existence feels like diamond rain on my skin, rewarding and sharp. My capillaries scream and my lungs collapse. I look up at the moon. I need her. I’m falling apart.

There is something to be said about the tide. They change the course of our very existence without us realizing their presence. I’ve spent years swimming against the current, fighting to break free of the tides that embrace me, the tides that control the movement of my soul. Too sane to live, too strong to die — I am driven to acknowledge that the tides have meant me no harm – they are controlled by the moon and have had no hand in my struggle. At some point, I made peace with the universe and all it has done to me, for I am staring into myself through the reflection of a body of water I’ve not yet identified. I graciously bow out of the fight. I feel myself giving up. Instead, I kneel down in the sand under the black night sky. This beautiful moon looks down on me, mirroring everything I have felt. I lay bare in the water and give myself fully to the tides, for they have brought me to you. I take one last look at the moon – her reflection is your familiar face. And for the first time, I am whole.