Only With Coffee And Hope

I’d like to keep this brief, but at the same time I wouldn’t mind venting the morose mess of existence I admittedly feel.

Too often.

My skepticism of how school serves as a tool for betterment, or in my reality, believing it to be a crutch to keep me grounded and submitting to the flow of normalcy – succeed, work hard, accomplish your dreams. The melatonin hasn’t helped. The doses have been random, but I still enjoy passing out after a null day of classes. Dropping alone in my room, my quiet bed embracing me. It feels like a running gag of routine and an almost-desperate need for silence, and a stopper to the masses called college students. Even if I’m one of them, feeling comfortable anywhere, even at home feels…unlikely. So far, it feels unlikely.

Like a wound, refusing to let me go. Strength in the form of trembling hands.

So far, I’m still alive, even if wanting to occasionally end my young self. Some friends say I have greatness in me. Some say I don’t give myself enough credit. My father used to say that I had the world by the balls. I only want the world to let me sleep and not think so goddamn much but instead I’m always wanting to avoid sleep and avoid people and avoid giving a damn because I keep giving a damn because I care about others even if they care not for me and I just want to be okay, I just wan-

To mean okay.

Only with coffee and hope, lately. The lifeblood of an English major who feels not enough of himself to do any good, or to make any ounce of credible pain worthwhile like Bukowski – is my life crappy enough to be considered a blessing? Have I earned the right to say how I feel and let my words be stolen through the minds of others, their varied thinking from what I write? The beauty of my property becoming more than sweetly aged paper? The privilege of being remember?

Or am I just relevant because I haven’t chosen to leave yet. Or afraid to leave. Or just holding my breath as I type another sentence out with a fair amount of dignity. (Or not)

Or hope. Or resolve. Or because I’m still here. Still afraid.

Still tired.

(Still trying)

4 Replies to “Only With Coffee And Hope”

  1. Hey Steven,

    I struggle with a lot of the things that you struggle with too, but I don’t really like coffee–unless it’s Bustelo–and hope is overrated nowadays.

    I recommend “No Longer Human” by Osamu Dazai. It is a semi-autobiographic novel by one of the greatest writers to come out of Japan in the 20th century (Post WWII). “No longer Human” is considered Dazai’s masterpiece. It deals with a lot of topics such as depression, isolation, self-conflict, communism, and capitalism. One of the main questions that the main character (Ōba Yōzō) asks himself is, “Have I earned the right to say how I feel and let my words be stolen through the minds of others, their varied thinking from what I write?” And this is the exact same question you asked yourself in your post. Warning: it does not have a happy ending because the author committed suicide, but it weirdly helped me understand somethings about my own life.

    I feel that sometimes as writers, we feel like we have to stick to one emotion all the time in order to write well. For example, maybe a writer can only write when they are angry or sad. In order to break away from certain emotions, I would recommend purchasing Pablo Neruda’s “Twenty Love Poems And a Song of Despair.” Neruda is a master when it comes to writing about nature and in this collection he takes things that would be considered ugly and makes them beautiful. Depending on the point of view of the reader, the poems can be considered having the central them of love, but it can also be something else. I’m recommending this to you because maybe it will help you get of your “running gag of routine.”

    A poet that I have been following online for I don’t know how many years is Ocean Vuong. I recommend Voung’s collection, “Night Sky With Exit Wounds.” Now, I must admit that I have not been able to purchase this collection because of how money works, but I have watched a lot of videos of Vuong performing poetry. I recommend Vuong to you because he talks about a lot of what you talked about in your post but also discusses being an Asian immigrant (Vietnam) and homosexuality. Also, Vuong writes and speaks with this sort of soothing voice which juxtaposes some of the not so soothing topics of his poetry.

    1. Thanks again for the response Diego, it’s very insightful!

      I’m also glad to see you in my class – knowing we’ve had Dr. McCoy before and your liking of The Smiths. Either way, thank you for the info! It’s much appreciated.

  2. Hey Steven!

    I’ve been there man. I found writing to be the way to drop the weights I carried, every so often.

    For inspiration, I’d suggest “I Wrote This For You” by Jon Ellis. It’s this beautiful mix of deeply emotional poetry and photography. Since you seem to be pretty in tune with your emotions I feel like it’ll be a good fit.

    Also, listen to the album “Arrival” by ABBA when you’re feeling low. The music is so happy. It lifted me up from where I was many a time. Also there’s something poetic about playing happy music while feeling at your lowest. It’s an interesting emotion felt.

    This is a painting you might’ve heard of, but it really resonated with me back then. Van Gogh’s “At the Gates of Eternity”.

    I enjoyed your writing. You do have talent, Steven. Can’t wait to hear more.

    1. Thanks David, I’ll looking into Ellis’s work. I’ve been wanting to read some of his material, same goes for Abba. As for Van Gogh, I was obsessed with him for a while so yeah I’ve definitely heard of that one!

      I appreciate the comment, David! 🙂

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