Eulogy [prologue]

It was one of the most intimate moments we’d ever shared.

I forget what I was in line for.  I guess I had tuned out all the other people.  I do that sometimes – the noise and the buzzing feeling I get in social situations lead me to focus on something else, something smaller, less loud.  Staring at a penny that looked like it might be glued to the ground by my foot, hands in my pockets, I waited in the line.

All of a sudden someone brushed up against me.  Not like when a stranger passes by and grazes an elbow, more like when you back yourself into a wall.  Only this time the wall had backed into me.  Someone was behind me, someone big.  I could feel them, their warmth covered me like a blanket.  Hands – rougher than mine and calloused – slid into my pockets behind my own.  A head rested itself on my shoulder.  I could feel a bit of stubble on the side of my face, hot breath next to my cheek.

It was sweet, not salacious.  It was familiar, and I knew it was you without having to turn around.  What I didn’t know was why it was you.  Why were you there, standing in line with me – with me and in the middle of all these other people?  It didn’t make any sense, and I thought about questioning it but stopped myself.  It didn’t need to make sense.  I’d ask questions later.  For now, I just wanted to stand here staring at a glued-down penny, your big rough hands nestled behind mine in the deep pockets of my overalls, your head on my shoulder.

We didn’t talk. The line didn’t move.  The wind didn’t blow, the birds didn’t sing.  Nothing happened and at the same time, everything happened. We stood there together, me with you and you with me, hands in pockets.

A millisecond later I was startled awake by the loud creaking of my bedroom windowsill.  These windows get to complaining whenever there’s a thunderstorm like the one tonight. It’s hot and raining heavy and the wood is moving around under the pressure.

I smiled at the absurdity of that moment.

A finger-snap ago I had been happy, in a sunny place feeling warm and secure, and just as I’d begun to thank my lucky stars or guardian angels or whoever was in charge of this sort of thing, I had been jerked back.  Back to a cold lonely bedroom on a rainy night, back to lonely insecure darkness. Back to what was real.

It was one of the most intimate moments we’d ever shared, and it was a dream.

This is the nature of us.

 

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Flava Flave Out

A woman I know is getting divorced.  Well, her husband is divorcing from her.  He blindsided her after 20 years together, 16 of them wedded. I am angry for her and I am sad for her but more than that I am excited for her and hopeful for what she will be without him.

I know divorce is hard, but I think regret is harder.

Today I took a nap and I had a dream that the girl he (the husband) has been cheating on her with (because of course, he is) was insanely tall and predictably vapid with platinum blonde hair in a harshly-parted pixie cut. She was, despite her stature and chiseled features somehow not at all model-like or beautiful, and she appeared to work as an attendant at some kind of water park.

I woke up smiling because I would be endlessly amused if this is accurate. I hope it is.

I hope this human Scooby-Doo left his gorgeous, articulate RN wife, who is soon to have her PhD in Psychology, who is also a brilliant painter, journalist, and radio personality, for a thinner, less-worn (for now) albeit easily as difficult to understand when she speaks [even though English is her first language] version of mid-2000s Brigitte Nielsen.

He deserves that.  He deserves at least that.

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I guess all the good ones are taken.

 

Novel

I just completed my 10th book of the year.  I’m really just writing this post to remember some things that “stabbed me in the front”, like a true friend does. [That’s Oscar Wilde]

The book is Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  These are only excerpts from the last 130 pages or so, as only today did I have the presence of mind to mark things that struck me as exceptional or true or painful or noteworthy.

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Daisy: Here’s a lesson for everybody, take it from me.  Handsome men who tell you what you want to hear are almost always liars.

Graham: But music is never about music.  If it was, we’d be writing songs about guitars.  But we don’t. We write songs about women.  Women will crush you, you know?  I suppose everybody hurts everybody, but women always seem to get back up, you ever notice that?  Women are always still standing.

Billy: …and I’m trying to put the morning out of my head. But I’m losing my mind because… well it was complicated, obviously.  And then, you know what I realized? It wasn’t very important. How I felt about Daisy.  History is what you did, [emphasis mine] not what you almost did, not what you thought about doing.

Daisy: Songs are about how it felt, not the facts. Did he do anything wrong? Who cares! Who cares! I hurt. So I wrote about it.

Billy: …and I stood there next to him and my brain went, “I could push him in”.  And that terrified the hell out of me.  I didn’t want to push him in, I would never push him in but… it scared me that the only thing between this moment of calm and the biggest tragedy of my life was me choosing not to do it.  That really tripped me out, that everyone’s life was that precarious. … That’s something that has always scared me. And that’s how it felt being around Daisy Jones.

Daisy: I wish someone had told me that love isn’t torture.  Because I thought love was this thing that was supposed to tear you in two and leave you heartbroken and make your heart race in the worst way. I thought love was bombs and tears and blood. … I thought love was war. … I didn’t know it was supposed to be peace.

Billy: Some people will never stop being themselves. And you think that drives you crazy but it is the very thing you will think about when they are gone.  When you don’t have them in your life anymore.

Billy:  We were two halves. We were the same. In that way that you’re only the same with a few other people.

Daisy: I can’t think of any two things that make you quite as self-absorbed as addiction and heartbreak. I had a selfish heart.

Billy: It became so perfectly clear to me that I had been holding on tightly to the possibility. The possibility of Daisy.  And suddenly, I was having a very hard time with the idea of letting that go.  Of saying, “Never.”

Camilla: You know what I decided a long time ago?  I decided I don’t need perfect love and I don’t need a perfect husband … I want mine. I want my love, my husband, my kids, my life. … Things don’t have to be perfect to be strong.

Graham: It’s the ones who never loved you enough who come to you when you can’t sleep.

7 years bad luck

I saw this Instagram post today that said,

“You are not a reflection of the people who are unable to show up for you in the way that you need.”

And I felt it, so I’m writing it here.

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