Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stripper funerals, indecisive vowels and feral cows

My pre-teen aged niece posted something on facebook about missing someone so much she wanted to write “I miss you” on a rock and throw it at their face., so they would know
how much it hurts. It made me laugh, and then it made me think of you. There’s
nothing to be done now, I’m damn good at closing a door and putting a dresser
behind it. I know it was unfair, me leaving the way I did. I know I owed you
more, you deserved more. More proof, if anyone needed it, that I don’t always make
the best decisions at 4 am. There wasn’t even a bottle of Jack Daniels in the
room, at least not an open one.
What I managed to do was talk myself out of this situation, this (potential) relationship by isolating the faults in myself that convinced me that whatever a good person (in this case,
you) might bring to my life, my inadequacy is going to screw the pooch, as they
say. So I start bailing, back pedaling, just plain running away. It seems I’m
hung up on wasted time. I don’t’ have to look too far back into my past to see where that originated. I’m sort of stunned by the urgency of it within me though.
If I’m honest with myself (and why else would I be writing at this hour if not to be
honest) this one really sucks. It’s just not that often I find people, any
people, but especially men that I connect with on multiple levels. I’m ashamed
to say, it was just too much for me. After all the crap I gave you about
refusing to look at the end before we even got started, I exited, stage left,
because I could see the heartbreak that was in store for me. I woke up that
morning, not because you called, but full of a sense of dread, full of just how
bad it was going to be when your calls weren’t what woke me.

I tortured myself for a couple of hours, thinking and writing, trying to tell myself that
the ride would be worth the fall, that I’d take the 10 minutes, 10 weeks,
whatever, of happy, but I couldn’t get my head there, my heart was already at
humpty-dumpty post fall. And I had no faith in the king’s men.

Not too long ago, I wrote myself a little love letter, and it was all full of hope and
happy things. Where that bitch went, I don’t know, but she seems to have packed
and left for the coast. She better come back sunburned thorugh, because there
sure isn’t any sunshine here.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Polka dot engine block*

Once, seeing me hurt, a guy I knew dragged me out to the parking lot, tucked me into his red, 2-seater, death trap and took off, flyingup Hayfield Road. Driving with one hand well above the posted limits, digging a roach out of the car’s ashtray with the other hand, Fred assured me that laying he cause of my pain on a staircase and jumping on his knees would solve everything.
All he needed was name.

I don’t know that I’ve inspired such ferocity in anyone since – and I don’t really know why I did in him, really, as we weren’t that close. Touched even in my current state of hurt (and fear) – I still was able to recognize that his wasn’t exactly a healthy, much less normal response. I only remember bits of the rest of the car ride, and believe I spent it trying to calm him down and prevent life-long orthopedic injury to the person who hurt me that day.

Fred returned me in one piece, and while I never gave him that name, it is his threat that returns to my head when people I love are wounded in the same way. Fred was abandoned by his parents, left on the streets when he was in grade school, in and out of foster care, eventually returning to
live out most of his adolescence on the streets of Baltimore. Abused his entire life in virtually every possible fashion, Fred believed in violence. Not as a solution, he was too smart for that, but that it gave temporary relief to the mounting pressure in both head and heart, there was no denying. He told me that day, that he believed he had nothing left. All the feeling had been beaten, starved, belittled, or neglected right out of him. All he had left to offer, Fred said, was defense of those who could still feel. He wanted to save in others what had been stolen from him. There was no dissuading him of his belief that he had nothing left, I tried for all the years I knew him and there was never a flicker of hope in him. This was maybe the saddest thing I have ever seen.
He disappeared from my life almost as quickly as he appeared.

This morning I got to thinking about Fred. I wonder if it was easier to never have any expectations, except possibly to expect the worst of people, than it is to have expectations dashed, to be disappointed in those who do the dashing? Would that be easier to live with? I realize I’ll
never know the answer, unless I find another Fred in the world, because at least for me, hope may take the occasional day trip, but it does indeed always return.

I think of Fred more often than seems necessary, and often wish I knew where he was, or if he’s even still alive. Some part of me knows that if he never found hope for himself that is likely the very thing that killed him.

*Fred worked as an auto mechanic, once when he had my brother's car, he painted polka dots all over his engine block. It's the only memory I have of Fred doing something not out of anger.