Posts Tagged ‘love’

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

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My Blue Heaven, Pt. 2

June 16, 2014

I am not a handy person. I’m more of an idea man.

 

But after four years, it was time.

 

Time to claim my yard and create my own personal Blue Heaven.

 

I have always loved sitting out back, usually on the top step of the porch.

 

But. I rarely went down the steps into the yard.

 

It’s uneven, ugly—grass won’t grow in parts, and the patio area was too small for much of anything beyond a chair.

 

A. Chair.

 

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So I planned. I planned a budget, and a strategy.

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I raked and dug and broke the earth with my bare hands. I broke rocks until my arms were sore, my back ached and my hands bled.

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I shoveled and leveled and laid each piece of the patio down, one tile at a time.

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I built, I assembled.

 

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And then, I finished.

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Sure, there are tweaks to be made, plants to be planted, a grill to assemble still, but by and large, it’s finished.

 

And as I sit out here, in my own private bar patio, coffee house, living room and office—My Blue Heaven—writing this rather bland post about Doing It Myself, I feel proud of what I made.

 

I am content with where I am—A satisfied man.

bky7

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.

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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.

 

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Nocturnal Admissions: Thoughts as simple as a kiss…

November 27, 2013

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I’ve been sitting in that rather strange place tonight. Trapped between deep thought, a million stories to be written, and the simple lack of alertness to do justice to the prose.

Tonight, my mind has been coming back around, again and again, to the kiss.

The first kiss of any relationship.

The second, the third, and the 300th.

You can tell a lot from a kiss. The first one, usually desperate, awkward or accidental is merely a leap together. The risk that, in that moment, you both are willing to take.

But the ones that follow, as your lips learn each other, fitting together like pieces of a puzzle—those are the ones that matter.

I have kissed many a beautiful young woman in my lifetime, but very few have been the type you think of days later; months later—years later.

It’s more than love, more than intimacy. It’s passion.

It’s a whisper in the ear, over and over again, reminding you that you aren’t in this alone. The warmth of a big spoon, stirring, stirring.

When the lips fit, as if they were designed for one another, it is a rarity, and presents a far deeper connection than three simple, often misused words can.

When the lips fit, the souls tend to follow, even if the heart cannot.

mtchmid

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

An Eloquent Regret

October 25, 2013

rs

I wish my words were stronger

I wish yours were for me

I wish you’d held on longer

And I wish I’d set you free

But wishes are just poetry

An eloquent regret

And the future is unwritten,

Another past to happen yet

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Fondly: Commuting to the apocalypse

August 8, 2013

fndlygrphc

It was just beginning to rain. Light, gentle. It barely got him wet. The overcast sky seemed to fit his mood. Apathetic and indifferent. He sighed, then unlocked his car door.

He didn’t start the engine right away. He just sat there, looking straight ahead, the street already devoid of neighbors’ cars by virtue of the daily commute.

He would not be talking to her throughout the day. He would not see her after work. They wouldn’t snuggle up on the couch together watching something mindless, more background for the togetherness than a form of entertainment.

He was alone, and it scared the crap out of him. He had never been alone before in his life. But he had a feeling he had better get used to it.

mtchmid

He took another deep breath and sighed again before starting the car and joining the other worker bees. He left the radio off. He never moved in silence.

There was already enough noise in his head.

The rain began to pick up as he got onto the highway, but he didn’t turn on his windshield wipers. He didn’t care. He watched the drops getting bigger, falling harder.

But he didn’t care.

Then he closed his eyes. He wasn’t trying to die, he just wanted to see if the universe thought differently. He accelerated. He could hear the rain, his engine roaring, occasionally the rough sound of the car hitting the shoulder of the road. He kept his eyes closed and pushed forward, the rain turning into the sound of static in his mind. His heart began to pound.

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But.

The universe didn’t want him that day.

Or perhaps, it merely wasn’t paying close enough attention.

ashtry

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: Because I could…

May 14, 2013

fndlygrphc

I stood at the edge and looked out at the sun; hot, orange and far, far away—slowing sinking behind the city skyline. It wasn’t as congested and “majestic” as her city, but I loved it all the same. The silhouette of the Arch, rising up amid the old brick buildings. I never got tired of it.

Jazz was born over those bricks. Hearts were broken over those old buildings.

I stood on the roof and took a drink. Top shelf scotch. I swirled it around, re-mixing the sugar sitting at the bottom of the glass with the melting ice and took a deep breath.

It was all about enjoying the view and not drinking too much, while I waited.

It wasn’t my turn just yet. They were still a little too sober.

Business is one thing, ideas are another. One keeps the accountant happy, one proves we’re different than the others. Better.

mtchmid

I lit a cigarette and leaned on the rail.

I felt good. Damned good. My suit was tailored, my drinks were free and the setting allowed me to wear sunglasses, protecting my worse tell—my eyes.

I also smiled when I lied.

In my mind, I had already gotten away with it, before I even finished saying it. I never got away with it. So I quit lying. I didn’t need to.

I just had to be who I never knew I was before I met her.

 comedy

It was somehow easier when she wasn’t around, so long as I didn’t think about the fact that someone else was probably inside her while I drank and schmoozed and patted myself on the back for my life.

But I didn’t know. I never did with her, until I did.

She only told the truth after I’d caught her in a lie. And right now, she was many state lines away most likely acting her age.

ashtry

I looked across the rooftop bar, and watched our clients. I listened to their conversations, and watched for their ticks. Their tells. The uncomfortable shift when a subject was brought up that shouldn’t be. The half smiles that came with each new cocktail. The flicker of the eyes when something clicked. By the time it was my turn, I’d know what to say, and what to keep to myself.

It was not unlike the game we play for love.

By the time it was my turn, I would already know how to convince them my great idea was theirs, stepping over the other creatives to ensure it was my strategy they wanted to put into place. They were better strategies. It wasn’t manipulative, it was being smart. It was protecting the client.

Or so I told myself.

It wasn’t lying. That was out of the question. It was merely consideration.

Calculated strategies are far easier to stomach than selfish manipulation.

 pollbk

The bar was open, and I had no plans of going home at the end of the night.

Below the bar, about 10 floors down was a room, paid for by my company. I had no intentions of going any lower than that after the schmoozing ended. No intentions at all…

…Unless you count the fact that the room was for one of our clients, and she had already made it clear, I was welcome.

I didn’t even want to. I just wanted to know I could.

In the end, I never did. In the end, I always took the long elevator down at the end of the night, a happy client settling in, buzzing with booze and a refreshed confidence in what we do, wishing I had stayed, though thankful I had left, most likely thinking about what I would have done to her, had I stayed.

In the end, I just wanted to know I could.

newestrings2

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: Zero Visibility Part 1

April 19, 2013

fndlygrphc

What it really boiled down to was this.

I had never been in love. I had loved, but I had never been so undeniably in love. The passion—that end of the world feeling of being apart. The pain of the truest yearn.

Desire in its most honest attire.

I really didn’t know what to do, how to feel, other than like a man atop a building who truly believed he could fly.

And now I was jumping off the ledge to find out.

I was driving through storms for this. I squinted my eyes and did my best to get there as quickly as I could without dying.

newestrings

It was done. It was actually, officially done.

I threw my life in boxes, bribed my friends with pizza, beer and pure desperation, and created my own, new world, ready to be filled with this.

We had waited. I had waited. I had to.

I wanted her. Every part of her. From the moment I saw her walk into that bar, my life, I wanted her. Not in the easy, carnal way. I wanted her.

But not like…that. I didn’t want to be that guy. She was not the other woman. She was the only woman.

The only one that mattered.

This would not be a small “what if” lurking about in the shadows of my mind just before slumber for the rest of my life. This was a story that was in need of unfolding, whether there was a happy ending or not.

So I waited.

I did what had to be done.

And now, it was done. It sucked. It hurt. It was the beginning of a long, long process to survive.

But now, I could drive through torrential downpours and zero visibility like a man on a mission, with a clear conscience.

I thought about my wife, sitting alone in our house with our dog. Maybe she was crying. Maybe not.

Definitely drinking.

I imagined the house was silent, save for a sob, sigh or spill.

I had never been the one to do the leaving before. This was all new and confusing. This sudden freedom. Being alone to make the choices I wanted, rather than resigning myself to the choices made for me.

But I wasn’t really alone. I had a safety net to break my fall.

It was a two-hour drive…I’d driven longer for less.

I leaned forward, squinted my eyes and stepped down on the gas pedal.

pollbk