Posts Tagged ‘loss’

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: 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

Love songs and relevance

January 12, 2014

lv

 

She made love songs relevant again. For the first time in more than 10 years.

 

Ours was a love story with a very defined soundtrack.

 

And now.

 

Songs that once filled me and made me float are a heavy weight tied around my ankle.

 

Songs I love that I can never listen to again without mourning.

 

But she made love songs relevant again.

 

And someday, I will find a new song, as relevant as the past.

 

Because kitchens were made for a slow dance.

 

45

Fondly: Not for me

November 4, 2013

fndlygrphc

She climbed onto the sink, her towel falling to the floor, her back to me.

 

She was putting on her makeup for a show; I was merely admiring the view.

 

She leaned in closer to the mirror to add her eyeliner and fake lashes.

 

I looked at her feet. They were filthy.

 

I had neither seen anyone, nor anything more beautiful in my entire life than in that moment.

 

But she wasn’t doing it for me.

 

And she had no idea what either fact did to me.

mtchmid

We all lose.

September 29, 2013

rs

I don’t write love songs.

The world has enough of those.

I do write about love, but only in the perspective of loss.

Because that’s universal.

We all lose.

But not everyone loves.

cliche

Nocturnal Admissions: Kindling at the Ready

September 27, 2013

len1

I have had a rather strange week. Strange only in contrast to the week prior, full of professional oddity and the type of strange that has somehow become my norm.

This was an inadvertent, self-imposed variation of a semi-solitary confinement of sorts. I didn’t try to cut myself off from the outside world, save for brief moments of self-supposed wit and charm via the social satellites of love…

I just did.

I’ve mentioned in recent posts that, save for poems and short chapters, I have been a bit at a loss for words.

It’s not that they aren’t there; there are simply far too many. Far too many unfinished chapters and half-started explorations stemming from a mind that moves faster than the hand, whether by ink or keyboard.

I am, by trade and reputation, an emotional, passionate man. I am learning from experience that I am best admired from afar, lest you see the unavoidable truths of the temperament found within me; found within a complex man in search of simple things.

I am, by trade and reputation, a tornado.

But this week, without planning such, my emotion has been vacant, my passion focused and quiet. There have been brief moments of contentment, longing, angst and melancholy, but they only creep out like a soft light emanating from underneath a bedroom door.

Without trying, I’ve spent the week in a cosmic ambivalence, by and large, shrugging the universe off in trade of simple images that say more than my words ever could.

More than they ever should.

Loud images, in a quiet place, my mind focused on nothing but.

icarus

It is an artist’s burden to feel so damned much all the time. It allows us to display these emotions, explain them, or at least show the world they exist, so they can feel them too.

Or perhaps, know they aren’t alone.

Without, of course, the privileges and benefits of slowly going crazy as a result.

 pen

Emotional ambiguity. To exist in this state for too long is a tragedy for any man or woman. But for me, right now, it’s kind of necessary. Even were it not, I am here nonetheless.

I’ve thought too hard. Longed too hard. Spoke too hard. Loved too hard. Lost too hard.

Sometimes I drink too hard, and perhaps I simply live too hard.

It can make a man tired.

 newestrings2

Sometimes, when I feel everything, I need a little time to feel nothing.

But.

It’s a farce. Deep down, I know better.

Hard as I may try, to stop feeling altogether would be to stop living.

And regardless of how one lives, for this brief moment in time, we are alive.

Perhaps this emotional dissidence is merely a temporary calm before a rather large storm.

The biggest blazes all start with a spark, and I am but kindling at the ready.

mtchmid

Do You Remember…?

September 18, 2013

rs

Do you remember?

How it felt?

I do.

Every inch.

Every drop of sweat.

Every scrunched eyebrow, moan, curse and scream.

I remember it all.

And I remember why it mattered.

These are but moments, rife for nostalgia.

But I remember, nonetheless.

newestrings2

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

 

I Dunno

August 14, 2013

rs

It came on by mistake.

I thought I had deleted it.

but for the first time since,

I let it play—

I let it go.

And for the first time since,

I dunno…

I remembered how I felt the first time I heard it.

newestrings2

It doesn’t change a thing, because we do indeed know.

But I smiled anyway.

For the past.

I smiled for the hope.

For the chances taken.

It changes nothing.

But I smiled nonetheless.

smoke

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: 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.

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