Tag Archives: love

Ages and ages hence, I shall be telling this with a sigh

On Sunday mornings, the bedroom blinds rise and fall in the soft, yellow breeze. Piano keys inflate a somber, life raft melody, and I drift off. These tectonic thoughts of mine shift so quickly. There’s little time to acquaint myself with the person I’ve become or am becoming.

Six months ago, I didn’t even know him. I’d read about Big Sur, but I’d never planted my feet at that Pacific precipice. Six months ago, I hadn’t ferried from Sausalito to San Francisco or walked Rodeo Drive. That was someone else’s life.

Six months ago, I spent my hours running along Woodlawn Avenue in Catonsville. I enjoyed looking at the old Victorians back there. Each one, a dollhouse with petite turrets and mansard roofs, freshly iced with Christmas lights. In window cutouts, mothers heaved toddlers over their shoulders. Elderly men ticked through newspapers, exasperation on their weathered, roadmap faces. The street was lit only by endless, window illuminations. I followed the pockets of light like breadcrumbs into the dark. What was I looking for then, if not for him? Dead leaves fluttered across the vacant road, and the boughs of the trees twisted overhead like arteries.

Six months ago, I found happiness in a tiny, electric green Ziploc bag. Happiness was $20 and it stuffed my head with clouds as the snow fell. I drifted off on those Sunday mornings too. Sleeping for hours and hours. The sounds of truck engines and children’s laughter outside reminded me how detached I’d become. So many Sundays spent in a hazy daydream. I remember the way the bump of brown grit looked on our granite countertop. There was a solace I took in the ritual of breaking each clump with my driver’s license.

But, now that love is here, and I run in the light, and happiness comes without a drug deal in a Baltimore alley, my life is more fractured than its ever been. Every heavy hour that passes without him is an ailing desire I cannot satisfy, and every Sunday morning is an idle invention of time. 

“If You’re Going to San Francisco…

be sure to wear some flowers in your hair…”

Life is exceptionally good right now. In fact, my quality of life is downright enviable. Just to rub it in (in case I haven’t adequately done that yet), I’m writing this blog from the deck of my apartment in Carlsbad, California, okay? The sun is resplendent and my skin is glittering with this beautiful, bronze sheen I haven’t had since I was a kid. I’m living out the kind of perfection that others spend their whole lives dreaming about, before dying without. But, what I’ve (miraculously) stumbled into is more than just the financial means to live in paradise for the coming year. My luck incurred a superior fortune because what I’ve found is not money. And, it can never be depleted. 

I won the life lottery.

Suffice it to say, this fortune was entirely unexpected, which is part of its wild beauty. It has also been quite secretive because there are (unfortunately) several people who would love to stomp out this beautiful fire. I don’t much enjoy the secrecy, but I think when life proffers some new, delicate bud, it’s your duty to nurture it and shelter it from harm (as mentioned in my first blog). This time in my life has opened my eyes to truths about myself that I somehow missed for the past 25 years. Opening my eyes has been involuntary though. Love unhinged each lid, and I exist in this divine daze. I bicycle around Carlsbad, and inhale the aroma of so many beautiful indigo and magenta flowers. Pigments explode, foods have never tasted better, and I don’t even recognize my reflection anymore. I’m a different person. After years of depression and darkness, it’s like I staggered, by accident, into the light. Into love– and, with a scientist of all people.

Falling in love with a scientist would be utter, artistic masochism were we not (and I don’t say this crap lightly) some cosmically ordained coupling. Fortunately, I’ve a penchant for light masochism, and so, as he put, we are this great “cosmic confluence.” His love is a steady mirror that elucidates all that I was missing before. He gives me everything I need to live and love my life completely. I hope I give that to him, too. And so, we share this perfect, untouchable love. With the lure of logical brilliance and calm, he calls me out of my poppy fields of poetic desire . With Hirsch funnels and Erlenmeyer flasks? It’s silly, I know. But, I think I shake and rattle him out of the rigidity of a black and white life. Together, we share the most profound love of the Pacific Ocean. Even if he is calculating the time between waves, and I’m devising metaphors for “the ebb and flow of my life,” we’re both adrift in our inextinguishable passion.

He undoes me.

I incite earthquakes of mass destruction, and he stands still. I fall back from all of that chaos. Right into him.

 

Fractions and the Weight of Love

“What happened?” his voice pleaded, cracking. “Is there somebody else?”

“God, no!” I cried too soon.

“Then” he choked back sobs, “What is it? Why would you ever leave us?”

I sat alone on the love seat of our attic apartment, cupping my phone in a cage of fingers. His words came out of the speaker, but they fell to the floor. My half-heart hung from the gallows in my head.

Trucks blazed by on Route 695. Their headlights cut the empty room up, illuminating the place before asphyxiating it in darkness.  Sputtering engine noises consumed the carnal silence.

“I wanted to marry you, Ashley.”

It was never clearer to me that his love, in all its temperate complexity, was not mine to keep. When we met, I had nothing but negative experiences to compare my conflicted feelings to so I thought that love must be languid like him. His love was gentle, so I allowed myself to climb to a safe summit with him. My love was tepid. The irrepressible volatility in me, the need for control, quickly overthrew him.

Our love story was a broken lullaby that left me slightly restless at night. Decembers gave way to Decembers and, for years, I talked and tossed myself into a light sleep. I took Xanax, and laid stiff with my back boarded against him.

But, every night, he reached for me through cold sheets. His hands were warm, but my body was cold. In all of my listless melancholy, my rigidity softened in the reach of his embrace. He was an angel that I slowly starved.

The erupting truth of us came out of me all at once. It was inescapable in the end and deluged us. It was a gospel that leered at me from the beginning. Taunting me after so much time. My selfishness infuriated me.

“I don’t love you, Gerrod.” I said, “I am so sorry.” I let myself fall into an ocean of fully realized deception.

“What do you mean? You love me,” he cried weakly, “You know you love me.”

“I love you. I do.” Violins played in my voice as I struggled to bury our emaciated relationship.

“But,” I broke, “I am not in love with you.”

This was too much for him. The phone line went dead.

The proceeding silence was electrifying. My emotions revved through me violently. Relief and terror dueled as my brain processed this final, slicing detachment. I was ready.

I lay baby’s breath and white lilies, pallid like our grief, at our gravestone. They were colorless, but beautiful.

Our last words summoned passionate tides that seized us, then released us. There was a sense of dispossession, and of balance. In the end, his jagged, grasping love for me didn’t prove as incisive as my soft detachment.

The rest of the callous world took no notice of our break-up. People were unaware of our tiny corner of love that ruptured, then faded. Life went on without mournful silence or penance for the three years I spent with the softhearted man I never truly loved.

Three years of walking through the snow-covered playgrounds in Maryland.

Three years of frozen yogurt shops, and drugs.

Three years of laughter, and fights.

Three years with this wonderful man before I fell completely and utterly in love with someone else.