07 September 2015
at least in this hemisphere
I fear the physics of inevitability —
I am drained.
gnaw at the meatless bones,
like an inside joke,
proving only how fragile,
is my soul.
the undead, chained to impotence
by an insatiable hunger,
for one last chance
to do more than merely bark
at the mailman
unfulfilled myths within myths,
I long for a forever place,
night to Queen’sbishop’s seven,,
seeking refuge from myself.
in momentary madness,
as the bugler sounds retreat,
to die a prisoner
in this push button paradise
06 September 2015
I always knew. I guess deep down, everyone knows. We try to stay busy, distracted, hoping perhaps that if we don’t slow down we won’t have to think about it or face it. I’ve filled up my life with as much as I possibly could,.This and that activity, more and more responsibility, more social events than I could squeeze onto my calendar, hobbies, recreation, leisure, family and friends, clubs and charities. You name it and I either was involved, or at least had been at some point.
… in less than 27 days
The thought insisted itself somehow, despite my every effort to not think about it. It was like the foundational joke in advertising, tell them not to think of pink elephants, and we guarantee their first thought will be … All of my busyness amounted to absolutely nothing. Oh sure, it sort of worked, for a while at least.
Don’t get the wrong idea, I do not have an obsession with it, or that morbid curiosity that I sometimes encounter in others about it. I admit it crops up in my thoughts from time to time, but I don’t dwell on it. We all know it is inevitable, right? That doesn’t mean I have to think about it or focus on it. I can’t change it. I know it comes to all of us at some point and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it.
I am always amused whenever I hear about it happening to someone else or read about it in the papers or see something on TV. The emphasis always seems to be on it happening suddenly, or unexpectedly. It might be a little crass to make fun of that, but come on, does anyone really plan for this to happen? Does it ever happen without being sudden or when we expect it?
… in less than 27 days
We spend so much time and effort trying to avoid it, to not think about it, to somehow pretend, but we never really fool ourselves. It is coming, for all of us. Those little reminders inside of our heads, those unguarded moments when we find ourselves thinking about itcannot be completely avoided It happens and “it” will happen. The sooner we accept that, come to terms with it however we can, the better off we will be. It makes no sense to live our lives as if it won’t somehow happen to us,. Bravely pretending we do not care is never really a solution either. No one else believes that, and honestly, most of the time, we would be better off if we didn’t try to be delusional. Fact one, it will definitely happen. Fact two, fact one cannot be changed.
… in less than 27 days
I should be prepared, after all, it should never be a surprise. I shouldn’t expect anyone to make a big deal over it. I might get mentioned in a couple of sentences in the paper, a few vital statistics shared with the rest of the world, mentioned, and quickly forgotten. We display the condolences and try to show appreciation for the well wishes,. Some observe a period of mourning, grieving something lost, real or imagined. Others prefer to celebrate, to focus on the positives.
Up until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn’t given it much thought. Then someone had to bring it to my attention. Just a remark, a teasing poke with a sharp stick, but it was enough to worm its way into my brain. Pink elephants … in less than 27 days. What the hell, it is not like I am dying or something. Happy Birthday! Yeah, whatever.
04 September 2015
“So you know what this is?” Holly beamed , holding up a thick clap folder . I glanced back at the clock on the microwave, and returned my unfocused gaze to her.
“of course I know what that is,” I lied, “I’m just not as blaisely familiar with it as you aer, after what, your fourth or fifth time around?”
She smiled but I could no longer tell if she meant it as the super model ‘I can get anything I want’ one, or theg hyen’sa, ‘I could devour you and there isn’t a damn thing you could do about it’ sneer.
“You were my fourth Bry,” she replied, overly emphasizing the past tense.
I hated it when she didn’t use my full name. Bryce was my replacement, conveniently only three days after she had reached her agonizing decision to end our marriage, once and for all.
Holly slapped the envelope against the door and I instinctively grabbed it before it fell. She forced her way past my arm and headed for the living room, instantly taking in every possible detail and judging me for it.
“Come in,” I muttered almost silently and let the door softly close.
Neither of us sat down.
“Are you trying to grow a beard?” she asked, noticing my five day straggly growth of facial hair.
“It’s the McDreamy look,” I retorted, wondering if she would even catch the allusion . She didn’t, or if she did she made no visible sign of recognition.
“I should have burned that disgusting robe when I had the chance,” she commented with obvious disgust. “I can’t believe that you are still wearing it.”
I stood a little straighter, taller, like a peacock who had just been noticed. I was wearing white, calf-length socks, solid black cotton boxers, a white Hanes A shirt that only accentuated my firm pectorals, and my red and white vertical striped housecoat that I had since my college days at Northwestern.
Holly was immaculately dressed for maximum effect, dark, alluring, and about as sensible as any woman trying to get noticed above all others. Glossy high heels, black silk stockings, black dress slacks that drew every breathing male’s attention and light peach camisole that left little to the imagination, even though she was wearing a lightweight blazer. I sighed, distracted by memories, by wishful thinking, by …
“Please tell me you are not just moping around, wasting your life away now that I am gone?” Holly asked with almost a hint of sincerity.
Opening the envelope, I gruffly asked, “Where do I sign?”
“don’t you want to read it first? Before you sign?”
“Nope!” I said, searching for a pen.
She held out an expensive looking pen, which I took from her without pausing to wonder where it had come from, after all, she carried no purse to accessorize her outfit.
“I came prepared,” she stated, almost apologetically.
The papers were in legalese, but all of the places requiring a signature were already marked with a pronounced “X”.One by one I signed those blanks, feeling like another little piece of me died each time I did. Holly was babbling away, nervously. She always did talk too much and too fast whenever she felt uncomfortable or was trying to hide her true feelings. It was an obvious tell that any poker player would have identified after the first two or three hands.
“Are you even listening Bryan?” she demanded in that tone that was both spoiled Princess and demon—possessed wicked witch rolled into one.
“Yes, darling,” I smirked without looking up from the page I was signing.
“Goddammit it would be nice if you listened to me at least once in our relationship,” she half pouted. “This does concern our Siss you know.”
She was referring to our two pugs, Syd and Sid, or Barrett and Vicious respectively.
“I’m sorry, I was focusing on signing everywhere I was supposed to.” I tried to sound sincere, but actually I did not care. I never wanted the dogs to begin with, even though I got to name them. Holly didn’t have a clue who Pink Floyd were or the Sex Pistols. She just thought it was cute that we called both dogs Syd. She liked telling people at parties that these were our Sids, a play on kids, as if she were clever or something. She showed off pictures to anyone who would look and talked about everything the dogs did like they were our children.Her children. Her dogs.
She was still talking and I refocused my thoughts to enter the conversation.
“If you want one of the sids to stay with you, or both, sometimes, not all of the time, I would be okay with that.”
I looked up from the papers, into her eyes. She had not really asked a question, but she had paused and the silence was uncomfortable. Quietly, I said, “No, the dogs were always yours. It’s fine.”
She nodded, acted like she had more to say, butthen nchanged her mind. At some point, she had moved closer. She was looking down at the pen hovering over the final page, the final signature, the one where I agreed to plead No Contest to everything that had come before and sign off on everything, including her.
,Somewhere in those few moments, something had changed. Her triumphant haughtiness, her gloating superiority, her careless nonchalance had been stripped away. My own deep wounds and anger had been soothed by an unobtrusive inner stream of stillness, an ambling creek in the middle of a secluded wood. She was no longer the enemy or the demon with all of the evil connotations and images Icould conjure up.
“Are you going to sign?” she asked timidly, her voice only barely betraying unspoken feelings.
“What?” I asked looking up at her. I had heard her perfectly, but it was instinctive to ask her a question instead of answering her too directly, too honestly, too …
I signed, slowly, legibly, but without hesitation, then neatly put the papers back into the envelope and handed it back to her. I returned her pen, not lingering as our fingers touched. No one spoke as I walked her to the door. She turned and faced me one last time.
The papers were signed. Some Judge would review them, sign his Final Decree, and grant us a divorce. No lawyers, no bickering, no dispassionate division of what’s hers and what is mine, no questions over custody or visitation, or anything. She wasn’t even asking for alimony. It would simply be over.
“Goodbye Bryan.” It was sincere, closure without venom or regret. Holly turned and walked away, without hurrying or slowing down.. She never looked back. or heard me say goodbye to Syd and Sid, … or her.
09 August 2015
(for Tammy … with love, one last time)
Far too many hurtful words
from two hearts, broken.
Silently, I listen, weep.
23 July 2015
Even the purest
must, necessarily, be
tainted by our flaws.
11 July 2015
I must forget, I scold myself severely,
yet, although I understand myself quite clearly,
I find that it is impossible to do.
The more I try, the more I think about you.
I have prayed through a litany of techniques,
old, tried and true, or fanciful and unique.
If only I might be absolved of this debt –
I must forget.
My mind, at times, seems so easy to distract,
my heart a bit more difficult to retract.
I simply cannot understand this at all,
it shouldn’t be this hard to erect a wall,
impenetrable, and never brought to mind,
let no thought of you ignore my Keep Out sign.
Perceive no choice, nor promulgate regret –
I must forget.
03 July 2015
Each hero embarks, the quest like a fire,
to answer the call, fulfill the desire,
Ambiguous meanings tease mysteries
with plans within plans, like tangents to seed.
Journey’s a process, uniquely designed,
dross from the gold, discarded, refined.
The Grail is the same, ‘though different for each,
learning is subtle, not so what we teach.
No followers unchanged, regardless who leads,
no ground left fallow, no Truth unreceived.
Be strong, take courage, so many before,
dared ask the questions, created the lore.
Each of our stories, the journeys we live,
enlarges the mysteries, and the myths.
Heroes are those who go and return,
changed by the journey, by what they have learned.
We still need heroes, there are debts we still owe,
to all those who went so we too might go.
My journey’s in words, but what will yours be?
Be someone’s hero, be yourself, simply be!
30 June 2015
The Oracle said I should get to know me
but each time I look the mirror image flees
I’ve turned on my Shadow, trying to see,
but caught naught even a faint glimpse of me.
I’ve asked every question, answered a few,
sought the opinions of anyone I knew,
from the outside in and inside out too,
I’m afraid it’s impossible to do.
I’ve studied the theories, walked every path,
tried science, religion, Hell, even math,
but knowing myself I simply can’t grasp,
(methinks the Oracle may have just laughed).
Beginning, and End might all be the same,
and knowing myself, a game to be played,
perhaps the Oracle shouldn’t be blamed,
I asked the question, I kindled this flame.
30 June 2015
I dream of endless Fridays,
where we’re loving in the moment,
not rainy days of doubt and fear,
when love’s destroyed by inner torment.
I dream of soft and tender touch,
when fragile words need not be said,
when our hearts released from what once was,
bravely speak the truth instead.
I dream of understanding why,
our worlds are never black and white,
of living in the in-between,
two idiots, together, sharing life.
I dream not of perfection,
eight or nine good days out of ten,
but through each moment life will bring,
you’re simply with me where I’ve been.
Too often castles in the air,
breed nothing but fairytale dust,
but I dream with eyes wide open,
choosing still to believe in us.