Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Verbal Vomit (Valentine's Day)

Dear Hallmark:

You've fucked it all up, you know.

You've taken the most amazing, messy, beautifully human emotion, romantic love, and forced it into a red, heart-shaped box of candy and attached a cheap card that contains a stranger's words.

Thanks a lot,

Romantics Everywhere

Here's a tip: if you need the calendar to roll over to February 14th in order to express your emotion for someone, or they for you, you're sort of fucked.  

Love is for every day.  


Because when you're in love, when you are truly oh-my-God-this-man/woman-absolutely-changes-my-whole-outlook-on-the-world in love, you can't shut up about it.  You can't STOP.  You can't stop kissing, you can't stop touching, you can't stop melting into each other, you can't stop praying that, somehow, you have taken the way you feel inside, the way you see him/her and, through all of that kissing and touching and talking and connecting and melting, found a way to show it to that person.  To give it to them.  To let them see themselves the way you do: perfect. Amazing. Beautiful.   

Any asshole can say the right words.  Any two people can put their mouths together and kiss, any two strangers can fuck.  They can even hold each other after and fall asleep in each other's arms.  

That's just company.  That's just the temporary antidote to loneliness.  

Because the good stuff, it's not in the cards, it's not in the flowers, it's not in the box of chocolate or the sex or the gifts or the dinner or any of the motions so many people go through.  

It's so much simpler than that.

It's in the way someone looks at you.  It's a thing that you can't force or fake, a thing that bubbles to the surface in the most honest of moments.  

Some need alcohol or the vulnerability found in sex to get there.  

Others of us live there constantly, like an exposed nerve.  Lucky me, I have no walls to hide behind (no walls to seek protection behind, either).

It's soft and it's vulnerable and it's scary and it's true and it's what this whole crazy life is for. 

So today, on Valentine's Day, save your money on the borrowed words of another, on the flowers, on the chocolate, on the dinner.  

Just look into your beloved's eyes and say your own words.  Look into him.  Look into her. 

And then, when that person asks you, "How is it you can still make me feel like that?" you can give the only answer you know:

Because I love you. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Up Above The World So High

The window is so cold against my forehead that it hurts.  But that's okay, I've been drawn to things that hurt lately, short little bursts of pain that feel like a quick release, a puncture wound through which some of this thick, black ooze can drain. 

That's fucked up.

Yeah, thanks.  I know.

But here I am, head pressed against the glass.  My breath is warm, it makes a small patch of fog on the window.  I draw a line through it.  I breathe to fill it in.  I draw a heart.  Breathe.  Fill it in; watch as it disappears. 


And that's what draws me to the window on this dark, cold night, a search for All Things Gone. 


They say that all who wander are not lost, so I  look up to the night sky for a fixed mark, something familiar to ground me and make me feel that maybe I, too, am fixed upon this earth.  Not floating.  Not lost.  I find the moon, but I know better than to trust the romantic swayings of the moon: "o, swear not by the moon, the inconsistent moon." She's fickle.  She'll change her mind and pack her bags and head south for the winter.  She'll betray and lie and hurt you again and again.  Enough of that. 

I look instead to Orion, boldly sitting in the southern sky, and I imagine him guarding over my house, a fierce protector while I sleep.

You know, a shrink would probably have a field day with this shit. 

Yeah, thanks.  I know.

One night about a week before my father died, I stood at this same window and took in these same stars, this same moon, this same sky.  I felt, for just a moment, my own place in the entirety of the universe.  It was as if I could grasp everything that had ever come before and everything that was yet to come, stretching out in all directions everywhere, and I felt my very small but definite place among it all.  It was one of those ideas that, as soon as you try to make it tangible by assigning the words necessary to describe it, scatters like a shattered thermometer, bleeding drops of  mercury that dance and bounce before you but will never again congeal to form one uniform idea.


I want that peace, I want that understanding, I want that knowledge I felt in that moment.  I can't find it. 

Where are you? I whisper at the window, toward the sky because They say that's where Heaven is and that people go there when they're not here anymore.  Where are you?  How could you leave me here?

Where are you? my heart screams as I lie alone in bed at night, looking over the charred remains of my life.  Where are you?  How could you leave me here?

Stupid girl, you're not going to get these answers you're looking for.  

And you're asking all the wrong questions.

Yeah, thanks.

I know.