My mind

I want to welcome you to my mind.

It’s a dark thing, but I’m finding light. It isn’t light through the darkness either. There are just areas where I wasn’t in control.

I have control now, come I’ll show you the rest.

Tons of area to be creative. Tons of space I’ve wasted… time. It does seem to slip away, where does she go…

But we have time now, take my hand. Please.

I’ll show you the areas where light seems to grow.

You’ll like that.

You’ll see the darkness no more.

You’ll believe that…

If you shut yours eyes you’ll see it too. A tour of darkness for me and you.

-OM

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@smokendust

Rain

I figured out what rain was when I walked beneath your cloud. I walked around and saw droplets falling without a single sound. I knew I had found your sadness when tears washed upon my eyes. They felt like my tears feel when I cry sometimes. That’s when I realized that we were crying as one. It wasn’t rain at all I felt, I was under the sun.

-Opinionated Man

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Fog of War

One day it won’t feel like I walk through the fog of war… anymore.

I’ll stand beneath the sun and shine.

I hope for that day constantly. I struggle forward, let me put down my sword.

Maybe then I won’t see what is beneath me.

Crushed dreams, little pieces of me… it seems.

Parts of the war. I see pain, I know pain.

It makes me wonder if I could handle peace.

Truly seeing all of me.

What would happen if I could see.

The man I am meant to be.

-OM

44.1

@smokendust

Chapter 1 Page 2 RD/Trash

I had family out there. Real people. Not the family of your imagination or the family you would stubbornly conceive mentally because every adoptee has done that. I had proof that two people existed that were physically related to me and I finally had an answer to why I was adopted, but it only brought more questions. It brought another feeling, a feeling I was fighting to be fair. Why did I suddenly feel so angry? Maybe she couldn’t have taken care of two children and my sister was older. Did that matter to me? I wasn’t sure exactly how I felt, but I couldn’t deny the growing feeling inside.

My thoughts were interrupted by a gentle hand on my shoulder. A reminder once again that I was sitting in the office at the orphanage I had been adopted from when I was three years old. The starting place of my journey in life until this revelation which now showed that path to the past was much longer for me than I had previously known.

The director of the orphanage placed a second book in front of the eyes I only wished to shut. As he flipped through the pages I could tell, even though it was written in hangul, that it was some type of guest log from the numbers and what looked like addresses with them. He finally arrived at the page he was seeking and dragged his finger until he reached a box near the middle of the page.

“This your mother’s entry when she signed out for your sister. Her name is Kim Ie Soo and she listed her address as well which is procedure for signing out a child.”

The words “she listed her address as well” instantly stood out to me and I starred at her name. I said her name to myself, not daring to speak, and I instantly wondered if she was still living there with my sister. Was it really that simple? Could I find the answer to my personal mystery within a few moments of discovering it existed? The hope must have shown on my face because the director paused before hurriedly speaking again in broken English.

I can take you there.”

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man

44.1

@smokendust

Chapter 1 Page 1

I look down through my tears at a trail of tears leading to a photo. My sorrow draws a line from the photo towards the one taped above it. I hear the words again that have impacted me so, that have made me want to flee.

He says that this photo above yours is a picture of your biological sister. Apparently your mother left both of you on a street in front of a police station. After the officers brought you here your mother had a change of heart and came to retrieve only your sister. I am sorry you had to find out this way.”

They are words that will replay over and over in my mind as long as I have a mind to play memories in. My Korean translator was as kind as you can be while shattering the only world a person has ever known. I was eighteen years old and about to go off to college after the summer was over, and what was supposed to be a fun vacation touring my motherland had just transformed into a horrible nightmare I couldn’t wake from. I felt like everything I had known about myself had suddenly been erased as these strangers began to tell me about myself.

As an adoptee you often find your life is held between the sleeves of a manila folder. As long as you know what that folder contains your life is less of a mystery and is instead simply difficult… as life is for everyone. It is when missing pieces of a puzzle you never knew were missing pieces begin to show up that you find your course in life is altered. I thought I knew everything there was to know about myself and my life because I had read that folder and knew what it said. I never imagined how much a single sentence could mean to me.

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man

44.1

@smokendust

Hoping to Die

There was a time in my life when the land was covered in darkness. It did not matter what time of the day it was there was simply no light. I walked the world a ghost and prayed to any god that would listen that he or she would simply end it for me. I wanted to die. I wrote the below poem in remembrance of that time of weakness.

And there they lay. The tools of the day. A razor, a pile of pills, and a bottle of Tanqueray.

I have stared in the mirror for hours. All have gone to bed. With each tear has come resolve. We may as well end it all. I hate you. With a hand I gulp the pills, the bottle is already near. I gulp death’s companion. And to the left are the backup dancers.

A letter to someone… I hope… anyone?

Never there is a reply. I say this aloud now as the razor cuts once, twice, thrice… and as the ice cold water washes away my sight. I feel life fleeing from my nearing empty vessel. And suddenly a wrongness, a surrender of an opportunity? I do not know.

And as the light flees the coming darkness, all I can do is embrace the growing warmth.

People fail to realize that there is depression and there is suicidal. To me suicidal is the point you reach when you just don’t care. You could give a shit less about heaven or hell, they are one and the same because your life has become a living hell. It doesn’t matter how many “do gooders” speak soft words in your direction, you only see darkness.

I remember well that time still to this day. The feeling of that night, sitting online and telling a few “close online friends” that I just didn’t care. That it was time to see what the next page brought. I remember a feeling of finality when I shut down my mother’s computer. My steps were almost light as I walked slowly upstairs. Neither asleep, nor really awake… I walked like a man in a daze to my bathroom. I starred at myself in the mirror for what seems like hours and in those precious minutes I decided I was ready to die. I made that choice. I took those pills and I drank that bottle to the head and I remember smiling. Because finally I didn’t feel so cold anymore. The warmth of death was my friend that night and I was ready to receive him.

It changes you… that type of experience. It is nothing to brag about and many might feel ashamed of that type of weakness. To feel ashamed of being human is a shame in itself. I was human that night, but I am lucky my humanity failed to die.

-Opinionated Man

Jason C. Cushman

@smokendust

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