Posts Tagged ‘fondly’

foreword

September 30, 2015

So what the hell is this? Where the fuck am I?

Who am I?

That’s the biggest question, and one I’m not too sure will unfold within the narrative. Life doesn’t always bounce between plot points with an indie soundtrack and well thought out end. When you look back, what do you see? What do you really have?

Moments are what we have. Brief instances where we can remember that smell, that feeling…Sharp moments that are little more than flashes. We piece these moments together by living within them.

This isn’t the meaning of life, but perhaps it proves life has meaning, if for but a moment.

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Fondly: This is Exposition

October 16, 2014

fndlygrphc

How did I get here?

How did I end up in a van full of sideshow freaks and burlesque girls? I wasn’t a part of this world—I wore suits and manipulated the public’s idea of needing.

Of wanting.

I was neither artist nor musician, my wife made sure of that.

But there was something about her. I was attracted to her; less like a bee to a flower, more akin to a moth to the flame.

So I got in.

Work would understand, my wife would not.

I didn’t really understand it either.

Truth be told, I was just happy to feel something again. Something other than remorse and loneliness. Something other than resignation and defeat. Even fear felt better, at least when coupled with big blue eyes and a smile that worked more effectively than a cattle prod turned up to eleven.

How quickly and easily the unassuming romantic can be swept away by a soft pair of lips—wrapped up between the legs of an idea far more pure than any one person.

The moment I got in that van I knew; I had a lot of decisions to make—a lot of changes to contend with, save for one.

One choice was made obvious and clear, for once you jump down that dark deep hole you simply must chase the rabbit all the way to the bottom.

Jumping head first ensured I would fall, never once thinking about the abrupt landing waiting just below.

I was too busy feeling weightless to notice my stomach drop.

Just where were we going, anyway?

Fondly: Table for one.

September 18, 2014

fndlygrphc

In my reckless youth, living up to the cliche by searching the vast map of Europe for myself, I never had a problem being alone, free to witness or interact as I pleased.

More to wit, I once relished such exercises.

I could fall in love with a stranger and live out my life without saying a word or lifting a finger. I could fall into the shadows and watch stories unfold, or develop my own.

Somewhere along the line that stopped. With little warning and even less fanfare, going out with others became a chore, unthinkable alone.

The outside world didn’t change, but sadly, I had.

But then, lets be clear about something; having worked so diligently at honing my skill and rank of functioning alcoholic, sitting alone at a dark bar, staring into my old fashioned, was an entirely different exercise.

I could drink alone like a professional. What I could not do is sit down at a table for one and dine alone.

When I sat at a bar I was never alone. I wasn’t in a bar, I was in my drink—in my mind. I was at home.

Dining alone, however was an altogether different thing.

Perhaps it harkened back those lonely moments, sitting at a high school locker, a brown paper bag and book my only lunchtime companions. Such invisible spotlights can be rather blinding.

Perhaps I didn’t like the reminder that I was, indeed, alone. The reminder that the only better half I possessed was merely the left or right side of myself.

Or perhaps I simply didn’t like eating alone.

“How many will be dining tonight?”
“One.”

Fondly: Catch and Release

June 17, 2014

fndlygrphc

 

 

 

It was the same every summer.

From our first to our last.

It didn’t matter where we were. It didn’t matter who was watching or what lengths she had to go through to do it.

It wasn’t officially summer until she did it.

I remember one in particular. It wasn’t at the beginning, nor close to the end. It was nestled somewhere in the middle, when things could go either way.

Before they went this way.

We sat on the back porch of our home.

It wasn’t the first summer evening we sat out there, drinking good beer and scratching our dog.

Then she saw one.

And then another.

Suddenly our yard was an all-natural, eco-friendly dance club.

There were lightning bugs everywhere—some call them fireflies, but we never did.

I watched her jump out of her chair, and run down to the yard, barefoot and in her PJ’s. She lunged, and then paused. She waited and watched for them to show themselves for that split second.

And then she caught one.

I watched from the porch as she whispered something into her hands, occasionally illuminated through her fingers by the nervous blink of a captive audience.

And then she let it go, watched it fly away and came back to the porch.

As she sat down, she told me, “I named him Herbie. Summer can begin.”

She took a drink, and I looked at her.

This was the part of her I fell in love with.

Sadly, it was just one of many pieces, and we had become very different puzzles.

I still catch a lightning bug every year, whisper a name and let it go.

Sometimes, that’s all you can do with something so wonderful.

 

newestrings

Fondly: Spoonman

May 29, 2014

fndlygrphc

 

My wife didn’t like us to touch when we slept, or most any time we were awake for that matter.

She insisted we buy the largest bed possible to avoid such atrocities as one of my legs drifting over.

I had no idea what I was missing, until her. As we laid in my much smaller queen sized bed, she whispered quietly in my ear nine words I never knew I even needed to hear, until she said them. Nine words my wife would never say, at least not to me.

“Do you want me to big your big spoon?”

I said nothing more than a faint, barely audible “yes.”

Then I felt her leg wind into a tangle with mine, an arm tucking gently around my torso. I felt her beautiful, young body press against mine, until I could no longer tell where I stopped and she began.

Her breath was warm; steady, soft—a lullaby sweeter than music.

It really felt like she wanted to be there, melting into me. I believed it with all of my heart, as my brain screamed obscenities and called me a fool.

But to be loved in such an open, warm way made my mind’s opinions moot.

It was everything I ever craved in my previous life.

Everything I never had.

I never wanted to sleep any other way ever again so long as I lived.

I did my best to enjoy the warmth and intimacy of the moment; I tried to ignore that nagging feeling in my gut that there wouldn’t always be a spoon to help reassure me of my choices.

But there was for now.

Fondly: Awake

May 29, 2014

fndlygrphc

 

I used to lay awake…in a cold bed, next to an even colder woman. I would lay there and think about everything. I would think until my mind was overwhelmed and confused—turned inside out and tangled up.

It always started with the same thought:

I should leave.

This isn’t my beautiful wife. This is not my beautiful house.

How did I get here?

More to wit, what would happen if I left?

I would lose my house, my TV, my couch and over-priced dining room table.

I would lose 13 years of memories shared.

I would lose my dog.

I would be alone.

Possibly forever.

 

Alone.

 

What is alone like?

I wondered, and then pondered…

And then I had an anxiety attack.

I had never been alone. Not really.

Siblings and parents, roommates, a girlfriend and then a wife.

What if this was my one and only chance? What if I left and never found another person to share my life?

Nobody to talk to—nobody to spend holidays and weekends with, regardless of how those weekends were being spent.

It scared me. It scared me enough to stay.

And now, even after leaving, I lay awake, listening to the deep breathing of another warm body slumbering beside me for no reason other than a simultaneous fear of waking up alone.

Perhaps I needed to learn how to be codependent on myself, for a change.

Fondly: It Must Be Love

May 4, 2014

fndlygrphc

 

Madness. It had all fallen into complete madness. A freefall.

 

I had jumped. I needed to for the both of us.

 

It wasn’t always so bad—our life together didn’t begin with such bitter resignation.

 

We used to enjoy one another’s company.

newestrings

We spent our honeymoon in London, or more to wit, inside various pubs of London. Drinking was one thing we still had in common, if little else.

 

It was our last night before returning to reality. We spent it in our favorite local, just down the road from our hotel. We had gotten to know the regulars and bartenders, by face, if not name, through repetition and an open invitation to converse with anyone willing to talk.

hrvys

I bet the wife I could get the bar to serenade her, without asking. The prize, one pound coin.

 

And eternal respect for my charm.

 

I finished my pint, walked to the jukebox and selected the proper song, before making my way  to the bar for a refill.

 

I selected It Must Be Love by Madness. I’m fairly certain everyone in England knows this song.

 

As the song began, I noticed the regulars tapping their fingers, and bobbing their heads, gently to the intro. I began to sing along quietly, just loud enough for the people next to me to hear.

 

When the chorus came around, a burly, bearded old Brit with a cane and a can of snuff stood up and wailed out the chorus with everything he had. His eyes were closed, his face red, his pint was swinging along, spilling onto his had and the floor. That was enough to bring the rest of the bar in for the next chorus.

 

I walked over to the wife and took her hand. She smiled and blushed, a growing rarity as the calendars turned. I lead her to the center of the bar with the drunk, singing patrons all around her. I winked, and rejoined the chorus.

 

I still have that pound coin.

 

What I felt once upon a time; It must be love.

 

Madness.

newestrings2

Fondly: When I Was Your Age…

April 1, 2014

fndlygrphc

 

“When I was your age…”

 

When you’re dating someone 13 years younger, this is the moment your relationship changes.

 

It strikes a nerve—in both of you.

 

Suddenly, one of you feels young, while the other, extremely old.

 

It reminds you both that your love isn’t wildly accepted by the outside world, and maybe, the inside one as well.

 

It doesn’t change how you feel about her, merely the situation.

 

newestrings

Why couldn’t we have both been born in the same generation? Why did Grunge happen when she was four, while I was rebelling in college?

 

Why didn’t our nostalgia match?

 

Our passions were the same, and every bit as intense.

 

But she was still searching for something I had found.

 

When I was her age…sigh…I was every bit as passionate as I am now…and every bit as lost.

newestrings2

 

Fondly: Well-Aged Inapropos

March 19, 2014

fndlygrphc

“You’re the first grownup I’ve ever dated.”

Ouch.

I’m pretty sure she meant it as a compliment, but it merely made me feel old, and it made her seem really, really young.

When a woman dates a younger man, she is called a Cougar.

When a man does it, he’s a lecherous, creepy, dirty old man in the midst of a crisis of some sort.

Given that most women mature faster, and develop rational thought, that seems a bit unfair.

Given that I act like a 15-year-old in my thirties only proves a point of compatibility.

newestrings

I’m sure when she told me that, she meant it as a compliment. I’m sure she meant she’d only dated boys until now—boys with fast food jobs, and a strange obsession with video games.

I had already caught myself starting a sentence with, “When I was your age” far too many times, as I searched for our level of equality.

But at her age, she was merely searching.

When I was her age…I was too.

newestrings2

So why did I expect her to be different?

I didn’t even know how old, or perhaps young, she was until well after it was too late. I didn’t ever even think to ask. When your soul finds something that feels right, age becomes inapropos.

So does a house, a wife, and pretty much everything else.

ashtry

Fondly: Closer than Cheek-to-Cheek, and Slower than a Grind

March 9, 2014

fndlygrphc

The kitchen was dark, save for the fluorescent bulb, flickering above the sink.

I don’t know why we were even in the kitchen, and I couldn’t tell you if there was any music playing.

 pollbk

I can’t dance.

I’ve never been any good at any variation of it. My sister tried to teach me, during my awkward junior high years, and that was enough to know I was born to be a wallflower.

But we danced, regardless.

Close.

Closer than cheek-to-cheek, and slower than a grind.

Her warm breath hit my ear, my neck. I could do nothing but close my eyes and breathe her in.

I had never been more in love, nor as afraid in all my life.

And I sure as hell wasn’t ready for the song to end, whether it was ever playing or not.

 newestrings

Fondly: From the mourning

August 22, 2013

fndlygrphc

“I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you…”

 

She whispered it over and over again in my ear, neither of us letting go.

 

Neither of us able.

 

It was the dead of winter, the point that beats down the last of us standing, driving us inward—driving us down. It was overcast inside as much as out, as nothing but gray crept into the bungalow through the curtains. The cab idled out front, its lights on, the trunk already open.

 

She had spent her last night with me, not him.

 

That meant a lot. Or at least it meant something.

 

We held tighter, as she continued whispering the same phrase, over and over.

 

“I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you…”

 

So many times I started to believe it.

 

So many times I wanted, more than anything, for her to stay.

 

But she had to go, and I was the one who convinced her as much.

 

So I closed my eyes and listened to her mantra, feeling her warm breath in my ear, each word a kiss, each word, mounting proof that ours’ was a tragic tale, more so than a divine comedy, unless it was one of errors.

 

“I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you…”

 

newestrings

 

Fondly: Half a world away

June 25, 2013

fndlygrphc

I wanted to be there—in person. Holding her hand, taking her to dinner, feeling her big spoon. I wanted to get in my car and drive through the night, just to fall asleep next to her.

Sending her a gift in the mail wasn’t enough.

Video chatting while she got ready to go out for her birthday with someone else just wasn’t enough.

But she was half a world away, in the pines, which was all I was left with until she returned.

The hard pines.

I was having a difficult time living without her. It was almost as hard, I would one day learn, as living with her.

And as she spoke—about people I did not know, adventures I would not have, I watched; her eyes, her lips. I couldn’t tell if it filled me with an overwhelming joy, or a divine longing and sadness.

And this is where the hard pines are bred. It goes beyond longing, to the point of heartache, with little moments of rapture in the mix.

I suppose I was still the loneliest man she’d ever kissed.

We had only just begun; did she run away out of fear? Was it her conscience, the pressure, or had I simply called her bluff?

For all I know, a simple lyric from a song could have done it; she was easily influenced—by nearly everything.

She called it a search for destiny; for a sign from the universe. She hadn’t lived long enough to learn just how indifferent the universe really is.

It’s a narcissism reserved for the folly of inexperience and those that somehow stay lost, regardless of time.

It justifies every bad choice they make.

But she reassured me I was the only one. The way she looked at me—into me—as she said it allowed me to believe, for just a moment, that I wasn’t just another one. Regardless of my gut feeling or my ability to read people, a talent I tried to reserve for my day job.

I liked to believe I used my powers for good, rather than evil. Even if it was a mild form of public manipulation. At least in advertising, we didn’t try to kid ourselves. We embraced it, rather than ignore it or justify it. In advertising, we were at least accountable for our work.

But I digress. Blinking lights.

She was half a world away, and I was on the other side. Deep down, I had a feeling that even if she hadn’t gone looking for the universe—even if she were in my arms, she would never really be here.

I just had to ignore it.

mtchmid

Fondly: Lines

June 14, 2013

fndlygrphc

I remember her feet, wearing her gloves, on the dashboard and thinking to myself, this isn’t real; this is a movie I’d write for myself.

We talked, we sat quietly listening to songs—our songs…We stopped at every state line and fucked. In fields, church parking lots, abandoned gas stations…

She moved me to her seat and found her way to me—back arched, sweat rolling down her ribs, past her tattoo, onto my chest. Every stop left a new nose print smudged onto my windshield, reminders that would last far longer than her orgasms.

Was this real? Was this right? Was this simply fucking across state lines?

I didn’t know, I just knew to take every moment.

She had taught me both the idea of love, and detachment.

As a result, I never knew how I really felt, outside of a deep, dark longing.

But at least, for a brief moment, true or not, I felt like a man. A man that was wanted—craved. Capable. The man I always pictured myself to be, in the deepest darkest corner of my subconscious.

I knew it wouldn’t last, but it didn’t stop me. I knew we wouldn’t, but that didn’t mean that we couldn’t.

Except we shouldn’t…

…and I wasn’t ready to face that simple, overarching fact.

Love. You don’t know if you really even have it until you realize that you never actually did.

It really is amazing how easily an orgasm can be confused as such, in any state, across so many lines.

mtchmid

Fondly: My best impersonation…

April 25, 2013

fndlygrphc

She didn’t mean anything, and a small part of me felt bad. I did it because it was easy.

I did it because I could.

I did it because it had been a while since anyone threw themself at me; even longer since I could do anything about it.

Even longer still before I actually did.

And once the seal was broken…

 newestrings

She could have been one of a half dozen women, and within a few weeks, she was.

She was older, younger…A mother, a student, a hipster. Big boobs, small boobs, covered in tattoos and pure as summer dew.

She was a cowgirl, a missionary, a dog, and a half-dozen other positions I was probably too old to be doing, but did nonetheless.

She was crazy, intelligent, gullible, independent, needy, fucked like a badger, great at blowjobs and an awful lay, all rolled up into a series of tests of my drunken charm and ability.

More than anything, she was a little reminder that I wasn’t as worthless as I had been feeling.

As I was made to feel. By her.

 pollbk

They didn’t matter, and I didn’t care.

So I did my best impersonation of the man I was when I was with her.

It was, at least, enough to keep them coming.

However you want to spell it.

ashtry

Fondly: Corners

April 22, 2013

fndlygrphc

All that was left was to pace the floor chasing old shadows, waiting to find her things in every nook. Her hair bands and bobby pins, pieces of fabric and sequin from her costumes ripped off and left in a pile on the floor, all waiting around every corner.

They used to make me smile and think of her fondly. Even though she was five hours away, these things used to make her feel close.

Now, they were the ghosts of Christmas past, left to haunt my soul for god knows how long. Every space she once inhabited still somehow held a piece of her.

I wanted to curse the heavens, and punch a wall.

Songs I could never listen to again, warm moments made cold.

All that was left was to pace and think, and hope. To hope she remembered the love. The love I gave. A love she would never feel again. Not from the next guy, the guy after that, or anyone else.

Not like that.

Even if it wasn’t enough, it was something.

I wasn’t ready to jump in front of a bus, but were a bus to jump out at me, well, I was indifferent to the idea.

So I paced.

Eventually, rather than fearing what was hiding around all those corners I was going to have to figure out how to turn one.

But not today.

mtchmid

Fondly: Stem

April 16, 2013

fndlygrphc

I felt like such a fool.

Wandering around, alone and helpless, desperately trying to save, or at the very least salvage what was, by this point, little more than a stem.

It was a rose when I bought it.

I was flustered, I was frustrated and I was hurt. But mostly, I was lost in a city that would never be mine, searching for a girl that was just the same.

Cold, confusing, and utterly charming…

…and probably, ultimately, unattainable.

Though the same could be said of me, most of the time.

hye

It wasn’t that she couldn’t wait, or couldn’t help me find my way…It was that she didn’t seem to care if I did or not.

I knew she was distracted. I knew how she got before performing. My rational side was quietly telling me not to read into anything. Not to look for a hidden meaning or sign.

But those blinking lights always screamed quite the opposite.

And hers were blinking, too, maybe even brighter.

So we fought. By way of overtly concise cell phone conversation(s) ending with us taking turns hanging up on one another, and increasingly sardonic texts. It wasn’t the first argument, and probably wouldn’t be the last.

At least I hoped not.

I hated it. I knew what was happening, and could only watch from the back of my head, as things spiraled further out of control. Every time one of us responded, it only escalated more. She was nervous, and I was scared. Our lights were blinking out of sync.

I knew this would affect her, her performance, her mood. It was affecting me, too, and I hated it.

Worst of all, it would have an affect on what little time we had together before I had to make my long, lonely, midnight drive back home, probably still unsure which one of us was the asshole.

The truth neither of us could see, is that we were both the asshole; we were both being selfish.

I just wished I could hit some magic reset button.

I felt so lost, so helpless, as I relied on the kindness of strangers, a rare trait in this city.

I started having a panic attack as I desperately made my way to her.

I was helpless to my location, my emotions, and situation at large.

You would think I’d be used to being so lost by now. That, is, after all, how I’ve spent the majority of my life.

mtchmid

I arrived just in time to see her for a moment, before she vanished backstage to wait for her turn to perform.

Our eyes met through the loud, crowded lobby as I stood there, holding nothing but a stem.

It was a rose when I bought it.

She looked down at the stem, then back into my eyes.

She smiled and squeezed my hand. Once. Twice. Three times. It was our secret, private way of saying, “I love you.”

Perhaps this is why I loved her so much—I didn’t feel lost when I was with her.

I felt like I knew where I was, and more importantly, why, if only for that brief moment we were together.

I handed her the stem and squeezed her hand.

One, two, three, four.

It was a rose when I bought it.

rings

Fondly: Brick

April 14, 2013

fndlygrphc

Lately he had been feeling like an outlaw on the run, though he was only fleeing from himself. Seeking refuge in the dark, wishing for the light, he carried on by struggle and force, a natural instinct that left him exhausted most of the time.

He didn’t feel like this because he wanted to, or had to, merely because it’s all he knew these days. He didn’t know why. It wasn’t an unfamiliar feeling, just hard to understand…And lately it was a far more regular one. It was becoming the new normal, this season’s new black.

 

Sometimes he wished he could just shut down completely—hibernate like a bear and wake up when it was warm again.

He wasn’t a coward, he wasn’t afraid to try, effort is all he had most of his life, even when it fell unbearably short time and time again.

mtchmid

Every struggle was a brick.

 

Every time a friend told him to keep his chin up, another brick.

 

The closed doors, empty hallways—more bricks, building a wall so high his view of the sun was blocked. A wall so great he couldn’t see the top, and didn’t know which side he was even standing on.

If he could just make sense of it all perhaps he could break down the wall, but even he didn’t understand why he had to feel like this. He couldn’t Googlemap his soul. All he could do was wake up tired, disappointed by the fact he woke up at all, waiting for the night to return so he could attempt to sleep once more.

All he could do was force a smile for the world around him, so nobody gave him another brick.

newestrings

Fondly: Tracks

April 11, 2013

fndlygrphc

He saw it coming, like a train off in the distance, lumbering, rumbling, roaring toward him, smoke billowing, as moans and screams rose up like an echo.

But he dared not step off the tracks. He dared not look too long nor dwell upon the earth as it began to move ever so slightly beneath him. Instead, he turned around and stared off in the other direction, at the open tracks, the blue skies, the silver clouds hanging like half-dead helium balloons up ahead.

He stared miles off in the distance, and did his best to keep his balance, as he walked.

Looking back only reminded him of what was coming. Knowing he was about to be struck down would only make it hurt longer—hurt more.

And stepping off the tracks was out of the question, for without them, he knew not where he was headed.

He only hoped there wasn’t another train, just around the bend.

tw

Fondly: Shift, settle, creak, pop and moan…

April 6, 2013

fndlygrphc

There was no avoiding it. I had to do it sooner or later.

Besides, it was a full day and I was tired.

I had slept alone plenty in my life, but I had never slept alone in my own place.

 

I had never had my own place period.

 

Laying down in what was to be my bedroom going forward felt like some sort of metaphorical final nail in the coffin housing my former self. My former life, now a strange montage of memory left waiting to become fond.

I was scared.

I missed my dog.

This was it. Here I was. Unfamiliar walls that would become common, just as my new life would become merely my life.

I crawled into bed and tried not to hear the strange creaks and ominous noises emanate from the darkened bungalow just outside my open door. These were all new phantom noises I could not yet explain. I knew every shift, settle, creak, pop and moan that came from the home I left. Time gave me that.

A bright beam of light from an alley street lamp cut through my back window, hitting my face. I could see the light, even with my eyes closed.

I rolled over and wondered if she was sleeping in the middle of the bed yet. I wasn’t. I didn’t know how.

The light was still attacking me, even with my back turned.

I wondered what side of the bed she slept on, or if it would ever even matter.

It didn’t matter where or how anybody else slept. This was my room, my bed, my home. I had to learn how to sleep for myself.

“Mental note,” I thought, “Buy some curtains.”

newestrings

Fondly: Famous last word Pt. 2

March 26, 2013

fndlygrphc

 

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to go. I sat for a moment, in shock. Outside she sat in her car. Maybe she was crying, maybe she was calling another man. I didn’t know. Suddenly, I didn’t know anything at all.

 

I wanted her to either come back inside or just drive away.

 

She did neither.

 

So I sat. Numb. Trapped inside my head.

 

I just wanted to go home. But I didn’t really have one.

 

Not anymore.