the rock will set
the stone will fall
the iron will encase
the thorns will protect
the ice will numb
time will dull
I have lost my skin
and all the nerves once held
now dangle raw and exposed.
The light of day. Hurts.
The cool breeze. Hurts.
The dream in sleep. Hurts.
The dark of night. Hurts.
The taking in of breath. Hurts.
The opening of my eyes. Hurts.
The laughter of others. Hurts.
The beauty of the sunset. Hurts.
The pattering of the rain. Hurts.
The dull pattern of life. Hurts.
The memory of you. Hurts.
Now dangling raw and exposed
the nerves no longer held
For I have lost my skin.
“You have a beautiful heart”, she told me. I’m not sure why, since it made no difference.
But, you are about to slice it into tiny pieces.
“I’m sorry I have to cause it pain.”
Then don’t. Stop right now and don’t say the words. Not those words. Say the ones that will keep it beautiful.
The thing she missed, the thing she never seemed to understand was that she made it beautiful. Really it’s a scarred up ugly old thing. A beast that she touched and, like a miracle, all the scars went away and it was as fresh as the day before it fell in love for the very first time. Before that first girl dug her claws into it and squeezed with a vicious little smile on her face.
From then on, I knew that love was not a game I would win.
Everything has been completely backwards. When I loved I lost and when I didn’t care they were all over me. Why in the hell was it like that? The only conclusion I could reach is that romance, like everything else, had been dumbed-down. Instead of words written straight from the heart, the effort of letting Hallmark speak for you is all that a man needs now. Buy her a card hundreds of others could buy, grab some flowers that will die before the week’s end. Clumsily compose a few words that were aimed more at creating guilt and manipulation than passion. Whatever. It’s an “A” for effort even though it’s the emotional equivalent of a burp. I was left in the same dust as Shelley and Lord Byron, despite my being alive now. And the little ashes of me were blowing away in the wind.
She stood there and looked at me, what she felt in her heart at that moment as enigmatic as the Sphynx. A mystery that I would never solve.
“Well, later, I guess”, she said quietly, then turned and walked away. With every step, as she grew smaller, I felt my heart grow smaller. It began to fall in upon itself and then implode. I was left confused and bewildered by her leaving everything she professed to desire. Generic: 1,350,072 Genuine: 0.
Hello Emptiness, my old friend.
“I knew you’d be back”, smirked Emptiness. “You’re such a fool.”
I knew Emptiness was right and vowed to never again tear myself inside out for anyone. I would bottle it all up and never take the cap off. There was no vessel out there worthy of pouring myself into after all. I was tricked yet again. I saw crystal when there was only plastic.
Yet, I also knew I was full of shit. Deep inside me there was still that tiny small ember I can never extinguish. One that still longs for the breeze that will fan it into a flame yet again. I even hoped it would be her, that a sudden epiphany would strike her heart down like a bolt of lightning and bring her back to me, electrified by the realization that only wrapped in my arms would she feel the passion she was looking for.
But reality set in. “Later, I guess”, she had said but it felt more like goodbye.
So regretfully I turned my eyes away from the spot where she had disappeared and thought bitterly to myself –
“Fuck my beautiful heart.”
I knew I was in trouble when I saw that Cupid had traded in his bow and arrow for a bazooka. Fuck. And I had just bought that armor plated vest.
” Well screw that little fucker”, I thought,” he’s not getting me again.”
So I shot him first. Double barreled blast right in his fat little face. And that, your honor, is how I killed love. It was self-defense. Him or me, and it was never going to be me.
Yet again. Here I am. Slouching in a darkened room staring out at the heartless black of night. Stars twinkle. Cold light from the moon falls through the window. I ponder the ridiculousness of where I find myself. Questions race through my head. Unanswerable questions. Or perhaps the answers are too horrible for me to acknowledge. So I pretend they are unanswerable to avoid looking them eye to eye. I take out my heart and hold it up in the light of the moon. Twist it, turn it. Admire the scars I have built up over the years. The scars that give truth to the idea that love hurts. Someone once said “You teach people how to treat you.” I understand. I’ve taught people to treat my heart as a target for claws and blades, slings and arrows. Whether intentional or not they’ve raked its tender skin so often it can barely be recognized through the scar tissue. Time may heal all wounds but the scars are a mother fucker. I know that I have put it out as a target and by doing so I have given permission to fire. You’d think it wouldn’t feel anymore. You’d think it would be numb from the constant chafing. And perhaps, hopefully, it will be after this last time.
I sit it on my desktop. Then I reach in to the gaping hole that is left and I pull out what I feel for her…I reach into my head and I pull out the memories, scraping around to be sure and get every last scrap. Nothing can be left. Nothing. It must all burn. I sit and stare at the pile of uselessness that sits before me. Every sweet word, every wasted gesture. I hold my hand to my mouth as I ask myself again and again and again why none of it mattered? Why does it always happen that I want to give it so badly and so freely but it is never taken in a like manner? Appreciated, yes. Remembered, yes. But never reciprocated. I am a brightly lit being, consumed with fire, a conflagration that will only take the fuel of her heart to turn from blue and cold to red and hot. Perhaps that is why she shied away. She feared being consumed by a wildfire she had no idea if she could control. I suppose I’ll never know. I can only wonder at the smoke I see from afar as she fans her own fire, attempting to coax the ragged embers and green wood into a roaring heat. In time, in time. Regardless, her back is turned away from me as she concentrates. I’m not even casting a shadow for her with my radiance.
I strike a match and hold it out towards my little pile, ready to say goodbye as I turn it all into ashes. Turn, turn, I send silently towards her with all my might, hoping desperately that she will stay my hand, because I know that I really want to keep it all inside of me. I don’t want it to burn, but the blue flame hurts too bad. I can’t go on being consumed by cold fire. I have nothing to hold on to. No burn of my lips from her hot kiss, no searing of my skin from the heat of her touch. One last breath.
She will not turn.
Suddenly, I laugh at myself. I realize once and for all I am the king of fools. No, the patron saint, even the God of fools. I deserve a place alongside the rest of Olympus. My own mythology. There Aphrodite will laugh at me for all eternity for daring to think that I could ever find the one I was meant to burn with. I am not blameless. I have turned away from others who did offer me a flame. I haughtily decided that they did not burn brightly enough. That will also be a part of my story. Forever searching, forever not seeing those who deserve for those who do not deserve. It will make fine theater but I wonder if those who come after will truly understand the misery of that existence. I hope they learn from it because I doubt that I shall.
I touch the match to the pile. It burns slowly, as if as reluctant to go as I am to say goodbye, but soon there is a pile of ashes. I scoop them up into the palms of my hand and carry them outside. I look up at the moon. She looks back at me, cold and uncaring, but I am used to that. She holds no pain for me. We have an understanding the moon and I. I hold up my palms and open them slowly. The breeze catches the ashes and takes them away. Not far enough I know. There will be ashes for me to tread on until time finally buries them under the dust of its passing.
I watch them fly and turn back inside. Already I can feel everything I took out of me growing back to haunt me yet again.
I’ll pull tight the reins of my heart and no longer let it run free and wild across the meadows of love. It has ran its course, and worked itself up into a breathless lather, chasing the wild ride of happiness. Now it is time to take off the saddle, brush it down and then set it out to lonely pasture. There it will rest and graze and perhaps raise its in head in remembrance whenever it hears the pounding of hooves off in the distance as others fly by – joyful and free.
All I can give are words.
And the words that I can give may only be read instead of heard. But if my words might entangle with yours, as if they were our surrogate bodies, and get to touch, feel, and take in the scent of you that I can only imagine, then I send them off gladly. I will try not to be envious of my words as they bask in the glory of your gaze. I will hope that they flow from your eyes to your heart and there inscribe themselves so that you may carry them with you wherever you go. Carry them like a book of love that you can open and read whenever you need to feel the warmth of knowing someone out there is thinking of you.
But, will your eyes ever meet my words or will they exist here forlornly while you pass them by unknowingly? Will you ever know how the sight of you launched a thousand ships in my heart only to have them crash against the reefs of time and distance, where I am left with the wreckage of ‘If Only’? That time, that distance, that space, as vast as it is, closes around me until I can no longer breathe and only the softness of your lips can bring me back to life.
I woke up with a start. For a panicky moment I had no idea where I was, who I was. The world seemed to be split in two, like double vision. There was me and there was a reflection of me, slightly off and blurry. Then it passed and everything merged into normalcy.
I got out of bed, did all the usual yada yada morning stuff and went about my business.
I met a girl. We decided to go out for drinks.
The date – if you want to call it that – started off well. The usual chit chat, etc. But as it went along I was shocked to see that she was becoming translucent. The more she talked the less substantial she became, until there was barely an image of her at all. Her words, as empty and see-through as she had become, echoed listlessly through the room and entered my brain only to die quickly. My unsympathetic ear murdering her meaningless babble before my brain could engage.
Over time the whole world for me became populated with ghosts of people, moving around, doing whatever, pretending to be something. Pretending to be substantial. But I saw right through them. I moved through their world, longing for someone real to touch.
Then I saw her. Standing, holding hands with a blob, vaguely shaped like a man. Where their hands met he gained some sort of meaningful shape but the rest of him was lost to me. Extraneous. I tried to say hi, but the blob moved in my way, blocking her off. Making her a blurry image. I know she heard me, but she ignored me. So I moved around until I saw her clearly again. Hi, I said. And smiled. Again she ignored me, but this time she grabbed her blob’s hand tightly, kissed him warmly while looking pointedly at me. Hand in hand they walked away
Disappeared, laughing and happy.
I looked after her longingly for a bit, then turned away to live my life amongst ghosts.
Lips meet…eyes lock…skin on skin electricity…heart pounding… she tastes and smells so fucking good…it’s almost a dream-like quality that you are lying there naked with someone you have basically been obsessing about for a time..
you want to kiss her from head to toe and enjoy every goddamn second….get lost in her hair…entangle your bodies and hold her so close it’s like you are trying to merge into one being…. you try so hard to memorize every touch feel and sound…or freeze time….
but you can’t..and being only human there must be an end.
I knew from the moment I looked at her face and she smiled at me that I was heading down a path I shouldn’t walk. But I convinced myself that maybe this time things would be different. I felt quakes and trembles in places I had thought long dead, like a dormant volcano stirring its mighty way back to life. And like the volcano soon my veins ran hot like lava as I smoldered towards an eruption I could no longer control. I found myself helplessly entwined in her hair, the scent of it holding me as much a prisoner as any bars of metal could ever manage. I drowned in the pools of her eyes and felt my breath leave my body as the last of my loneliness suffocated and died. The taste of her lips and the touch of her skin were intoxicating and I reeled helplessly, drunk from too much love too fast. As the old song says “Love is like oxygen, you get too much you get too high”.
And then it was gone as if it never had been and I was left wondering how you could be so close to someone, feel so much so intensely and then with but the simple, heartbreaking word goodbye you are once again strangers. Even were we to stay “friends” I would never again know her the way I once did. Someone else will fill the void for her and me in time and then we will just be the other’s faded memory, perhaps looked back on with fondness, perhaps with regret, perhaps with anger, or even more sadly, perhaps totally forgotten. And every moment, every kiss, every touch, will be truly gone. Forever.