Music Is Not to Be Trusted

May 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

The music lied to me. Well, really, I misinterpreted it. I’d come to recognize mere infatuation by the insipid pop songs I’d allow to come to mind: True love could not be represented by such facile pap. I heard none of that while working with Herself. That might have been why it took me so long to recognize what I was feeling. What I hadn’t understood (or chosen not to) was that what I was hearing was not also an indication of how she felt toward me. It was enough that I was in love. Surely that was all she needed to know, all that was necessary for her to accept and return the feelings. I knew better even then, but the doubt that arose I tried to attribute to my natural pessimism and cynicism. More than ever, I wanted this feeling to be real and requited. Mostly, I heard XTC— “Beating of Hearts,” “Wonderland,” “Love on a Farmboy’s” Wages,” “Great Fire,” “Earn Enough for Us,” “Rocket from a Bottle,” “Love at First Sight”–never letting myself believe she didn’t hear seagulls screaming “Kiss him! Kiss him!” “Sgt. Rock (Is Going to Help Me)” was  the last song I played before leaving for what  ever afterward I’ve called The Trainwreck. He was no help at all. The only XTC I could hear after that was “Me and the Wind,” but that was wishful thinking on the other end of the emotional scale. Music is not to be trusted.

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No One Else Has to Know

May 25, 2012 § 3 Comments

Fantasy keeps me warm, and the better I can imagine it the warmer I get. My imagination is fine, but I’m not feeding it enough reality; it has to fall back on old fodder, the bitter and the sweet. A spoonful of sugar gets it down: It’s all about serving a better attitude to the memories, which are all fantasies relative to many other relativities. Herself is the star of every show I’ve put on. The fantasies are private now, but I published them long ago. They are still good. Better. Nicer. More appreciative. (More humble?) I am redefining “living in the past”: It’s pushing me forward. She is on my mind because I want her to be. She is a product of it, or nearly so. She’s not yet a fiction, but she still works well in a fantasy. She said,“I don’t like you writing about me–like that.” Now I will respect it, if with a great deal of temptation to do otherwise. She can keep me warm in private. No one else has to know.

Walking in Circles and Never Laying Down

May 22, 2012 § 2 Comments

If I can’t tear myself out of this caul of hope when I leave the apartment for entertainment, then there really is nothing for me to do. Nothing’s changed within that equation since The Trainwreck. Desperation to replace her becomes the reason to crawl Carytown, so I stop going. It always comes to that. Then I go stir crazy waiting for something to happen, desperation building as much on the need to get away from the memories of her as on the need to find something positive to hang my heart on. Pursue, retire, repeat. If I didn’t pursue I wouldn’t tire. Inertia doesn’t sit well with me, as too much time with myself can be too much time spent licking old wounds. Then I try to get away from them into the city. The cycle travels around the stillpoint, and I can’t break from the centrifugal force to spiral into it, caught up in the wrong pursuit, or in pursuit of pursuit itself–the dog walking in circles and never laying down.

I Can’t Finish That

May 18, 2012 § 2 Comments

What is hope anymore? In my bitterest moments I curse its mocking, but what would life be worth without it? Cruel question. I could say I wear hope on my sleeve, as I sometimes do my heart, but it’s really on my back, and it looks curiously simian. I don’t know what it feeds on, but it seems to get enough of it. Am I on its back? Some days, it carries me to the next day and around each corner. I suppose it knows what it’s looking for. I haven’t a clue, and “hope” is losing its meaning. If I could shove hope behind the usual diversions of life…. Who am I kidding? I can’t finish that.

In My Pajamas

May 15, 2012 § 4 Comments

Getting to know myself has required a lot of time alone, but I have no intention of becoming hermetically sealed in my apartment. I bore myself sometimes. After the movies, books, music, and writing, there’s still no one there to talk to about them. I talk to myself, but I always know what I’m going to say. So I go to Carytown. It’s crowded, as a city street should be, with lots of shops from which I might actually buy something, but I’m just looking for conversation. I never know if I’m going to get it, but I know early on which it’s going to be. The first person I have opportunity to talk to is the bellwether. The sooner I get out after my morning coffee, the better chance I have to ignore my shyness. The conversation doesn’t start if I don’t initiate it. Some days I just can’t do that. It seems that on those days no one talks to me, either. Is it just that kind of world? or do I look like I don’t want to interact? Give me a couple more choices. On those days I want to think that if I stay out there a little while longer something will happen, but all that happens is I get home much later than I intended, feeling I’ve wasted the day, made no progress at all in my socialization, and dug myself a little deeper into my loneliness. Sounds like something I could have done at home in my pajamas.

Fear of Too Late

May 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Caution is pregnant with danger. To fear is to validate menace. I’m afraid of much of myself. Among the many things of which I’m capable are plenty of which I wish I weren’t. Diligence is exhausting. In the big world these are not bad things that I’m trying not to do, but in the context of me I can’t afford to do them. I know where Herself lives, and it’s not far. Often, I conjure reasons to go there, but I have rules: I will do nothing that deliberately puts me in a position to encounter her. Her home is not “on the way” to anywhere else, and I cannot contrive it to be. Those are the laws and I’m the sheriff, but I’m also Ernest T. Bass. Once, and for a long time, there was no sheriff, and the laws were written in the sand. I’m grateful for the progress, just not the responsibility. I’m up to it but disappointed I have to do it. Still: progress. And it gets easier. I don’t forget that there is nothing to be gained, but I often choose not to believe it until it’s almost too late. I’m afraid of being too late.

A Tux and a Coma

May 8, 2012 § 3 Comments

The stillpoint has always eluded me. If I’ve ever been in a moment it was too brief for me to notice. There is never a time when the thoughts aren’t layered over the here and now like a clear contact paper and moving the reality to a blurry background. It’s exhausting and more than annoying, with my mind inexpertly creating the reality before me. It’s a life without peace of mind or soul. In my twenties, when my responsibilities included nothing more than work and my daily bread, I studied zen, but came only to understand it, not to live it (the perfect embodiment of any book about zen): I could only talk the talk–a shabby pretense of serenity. I could no more then than now talk myself out of my loneliness or convince myself that all I had to do was let “it” happen. How can I believe in any of that? If it’s true, put me in a tux and a coma and wake me when the love of my life shows up.

Where Am I?

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