Poem of Opposites

Poem of opposites

Traits list- Strong, healthy, hungry, outside, late, crazy, messy, a good driver, allergic,

romantic, detailed, itchy, anxious, guilty, sincere, honest, judgmental, argumentative,

stubborn, courageous, outgoing, afraid of commitment, emotional,

constipated, worried, wise, losesome.


This is like…a poem…I guess.

I have always been strong.

In 4th grade I did the most chin-ups in class, in 9th grade I tied for the most.

This is how I am weak. I can only do a 1/2 chin-up now.


I have always been healthy.

Last easter/spring life was rough, I ate 5 bags of chocolate eggs.

The kind with the candy shell.

This is how I am unhealthy.


I have always been hungry.

Sometimes, I forget to eat if I am hyper focused.

The brain food becomes stomach food.

This is how I am full.


I have always been on the outside, apart.

Kind of like a witness and a watcher.

Until, I start talking, conversing,

this is how I am on the inside.


I have always been late.

I think about too many things ahead of time, over-planning.

This is how I am early, I am there already.

I, ahem, have always been crazy. And I write.

This is how I am sane.


I have always been messy, but I clean my plate.

This is how I am clean.

I have always been a good driver.

When I drive too much I fall asleep at the wheel,

and I don’t  give up control or let others drive.

Once, alone, I nearly hit a semi head-on.

This is how I am a bad driver.

I have always been allergic.

Allergic to grass and bananas and avocados.

I still eat food, this is how I am not allergic.


I have always been a romantic,

until my heart is broken afresh.

This is how I am a cynic.


I have always been detailed.

When I do math, I round up and down and all around and estimate liberally. Close apparently counts in more than just horse feet and hand explosions.

This is how I am not detailed, big picture. There is much and many more about me that is conceptual.  


I have always been itchy. My skin lives in a constant state of drought, even in a temperate rainforest.

For a year, I used to put coconut oil in my hair and on my hands and other limbs.

This is how I am smooth, this is how I am silky.


I have always been anxious.

Sometimes I fall in love. The care for another takes over, the reassurance that it is actually possible for me to be loved.

This is how I am calm.

Sometimes I remember to breathe or think of the Rocky Mountains of my home or the waves on the ocean, the trees in the forest, the rain and the clouds, the fog, the river.

Sometimes I remember to love myself.

This is how I am calm.


I have always been guilty.

In 8th grade I was “voted” most guilty. In 4th grade I flipped off the teacher in the class across the hall, both hands, tongue out, taunting and leaning back.

All this done to her back. I was caught. She said, “I know what that means.”

I didn’t know what it meant.

This is how I am innocent.

I didn’t know what it meant ’til 7th grade when our teacher told us,

“Fornication under consent of the king.”

This probably included the first night fuck rights kings and nobles

had over the marriages of their people.

Still, until then, I didn’t know.

This is how I am innocent.


I have always been sincere.

When I apologize to my parents for not meeting their expectations, sabotaging myself,

and purposefully squandering my mysterious potential,

This is how I am insincere.


I have always been honest, too honest.

In 9th grade I went snowboarding during swim season and got raccoon face from goggles and not wearing sunscreen.

This was forbidden during the season, because we could be injured.

I felt guilty and was sure that the coach would’ve found out.

So I owned up to it. All American at 15 and a freshman, I missed out. Even if it was a fluke, it would’ve been a great thing when applying for college.

I used to think that would’ve changed my life.

This is how I am dishonest.


There are plenty of other examples of dishonesty.

Once I told a girl on Tinder that I look like James Dean.

I do not, this is how I am dishonest.

I also posted on Linked in that I founded and ran a publishing

company in a desperate effort to get any interviews at all.

This is how I am dishonest.


I have always been judgmental.

I cannot abide rich people and have very little innate patience for people who cannot say what they want, the hinters waiting for you to offer.

I don’t want to guess your words for you and

I cannot decipher your facial expressions and subtle hints.

The wealthy who see themselves as the underdog, I see through your coat of lies.

There is more so much more.

If I hear your story and you hear mine,

this is how I am understanding.

I have always been argumentative. A heavy converser, it is annoying.

When I remember to listen, to pause, to understand.

This is how I am understanding.

I have always been stubborn.

A great way to stop me from doing something is to tell me to do it. This used to be worse.

When I stop and puncture the ego and cast off the need to do it all myself.

Then I am agreeable.


I have always been courageous.

When I am depressed, I lose my energy, ability, my life.

This is how I am cowardly.

Though the opposite could be said, since making it through all of the darkness takes courage.

When I don’t go outside for 3 or more weeks at a time in a series for months.

This is how I am cowardly.

I have always been outgoing.

When I am new to a place, I am not.

This is how I am shy.


I have always been afraid of commitment.

Until I fall in love.

This is how I am a friend of commitment.


I have always been emotional.

When I cut a tie or emigrate from a place.

This is how I am stoic. I am stoic in space.


I have always been constipated.

Hard pooping was a constant in my life for years. When I traveled as a baby,

when I was in school, it was always hard.

There were so many enemas at home, in the hospital on the street, not really there.

That is why the coffee enema joke from Futurama always gets me.

Then I stopped eating dairy and started eating beets and oatmeal.

This is how I poop.


I have always been worried.


In 4th grade I could not sleep at night. I was anxious. I had just moved to a new school and I felt like an outsider, we also moved out NE very far from our neighborhood. Makes sense right? Wrong. I was worried about which high school I would go to, 4 years before that would happen. Who thinks that far ahead as a ten year old? me. In 5th grade me and casey drew a dick on Abe lincoln. In 6th grade we got lockers, it was a big deal. Jordan Connor slammed my head into a locker for some reason. And I fell in love with Lindsay and we went out and she broke up with me, a cycle that lasted three years. In 7th grade my friend brenda and tracy and joe played strip wall ball in the gym. Joe is gay he has a very tall partner now. In 10th grade Joe and Mike V. and me got drunk on McCormick’s Vodka and Mountain Dew in the parking lot next to my impala at lunch. Joe passed out and fell on his face in Biology. Mike is, well it is not my place to say anything here, there are still things that are kept inside, not whimsically written. Especially other people’s lives. I am not sure how we played strip wall ball or what it entailed. I think I combined tales of strip poker and my love of wall ball. And I don’t think any of us got near naked. I spent 2-4 hours a day more naked than that in a pool, in a speedo. Still, the memory was etched in all of us. So much so that an old letter from Brenda she wrote when I moved to WA is signed, “strip wall ball 4 eva.”

This is how I am not worried.


I have always been wise.

I am not really sure about this one. When my emotions get to involved in a situation, I have a tendency to excess. Emotions are not always bad, they can be a light to guide through the dark days of life. Excess emotions though confuse the compass. Excess emotion, excess alcohol, excess romance, excess sleep, excess awake, excess work, excess workout. In 9th grade I mowed I “heart” lauren into our lawn, Lauren was my date to homecoming, I met her once before that. Excess romance. I have taken 3 yogas in a day multiple times, more than 10, I think. On two of those occasions I wearied my body so mightily that I vomited excessively and barely made it home before I had to sleep it off after replenishing electrolytes. Once I did the same thing, just without the puking. My workouts are more than 2 hours or it is not worth it, they often last 3. In one night I have consumed 4 different brands of Irish Whiskey. Jameson, Tullamore dew, Powers, and Bushmills. All chasing the past excess, I am not even including the numerous fifths drained in college. I blacked out 4 times in 2013. I was 27. I wasn’t even drinking often. It was about once every 2-4 weeks. One wedding, one halloween party at high altitude, one St. Patty’s day, one New year’s in NYC. A tendency to excess and it is sneaky, but Jameson is nearly always there.

Emotions rule in drinking and eating. I have a child-sized esophagus. It wasn”t a problem when I was a child. Pills over 400 MG get stuck in my throat. Steak and even apples can get stuck for hours and have.  In a way, the choke point might make me healthier. It forces me to eat slower, to constantly chew my food to near completion. The fear of the pain of obstruction or at least the awareness of it guides me, the fear of the one time surgery for it when I was 18. Liquid slides through easier. I over drink water too. When excess is in control, there is trouble. Excess taking over is disaster, be it blackout, esophageal, or workout. In High school I was cyanotic after a tough swim practice done with my first hangover. I had blue skin.

This is when I am unwise.


I have always been lose-some.

Lost my friends time and time again. Moving city, moving states, back and forth. Magic moments turning to disaster. Lost opportunities in school, college, life. Lost love, undeveloped, gone before discovery. Driven by external forces, burning out to soon. A swoon, a faint, a feint to one side turns into a fall. The fall long, morphs into a float. Surveying the life behind me, perspective is gained. The float now turns into a dive. A dive into empathetic waters. The water cools the fire, soothes the itch, maintains muscles, nourishes health, slates thirst, fills my belly, slows down time, clarifies sanity, orders my life, drives my soul, blesses my sneeze, heals my heart, shows the big picture, details my skin, soothes my itch and my anxiety. It washes away the guilt of a haunting life. The sincerest friend, it is 70 percent me. Water tells the truth. I float in the truth, swim in it. It judges me pure, pure enough, floats away arguments, erodes stubborn rocks. To swim is courage, I go out further, no fear here, I commit, head down and forward. Waves of emotion are accepted here. I poop free in the sea. The calm water and gentle undulating waves whisper wisdom. I transform into a dolphin and finally understand true joy. I crash and dive and spray my way to my new friends. At one with my herd, at one with my true self.


This is how I am winsome.

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