Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Two Birds
Once, we flew together

The minute I saw the oversized, blazingly white new pickup in her driveway my heart sank into the sidewalk. "No, no, no..." Involuntarily, I kept walking into the propeller blades of doom. But I dare not cry in the Saturday morn sun, not on the day when rejoicing masses embrace their two day parole. I dare not crumple and die. Who drives this mechanical monster so boldly parked in hers the most precious real estate of all?

The kind who can step up to her plate.

Sky Tree

My feet refused to move further. I stuck my hands inside my jacket on this brisk Autumn day. But the real cold came from inside. End of the road at last, discarded like an outgrown toy. Suddenly I had nowhere to go. I don't belong in this neck of the woods anymore; from invited visitor to trespasser.

But I knew this day was coming.

She'd been hurt - grasping and clawing at the universe in confusion. The bloody divorce flipped her world upside down, dumping her into a dark hole, questioning who she really was. How shattering the sky when the universe grants your wish and your wish brings heartache for the ages.

Bridge Distorted

We were both left on the scrap heap of countless souls wandering aimlessly in the forest of endless trees of sameness. For me, this is my final destination, a place long known. For her, a new and unnerving ordeal. Emotional injuries engender shivering shock too. She'd rebooted into safe mode, the spice of life gone. She clung to me to tell her it would be alright. I clung to her to carry me out of the woods.

Our communication link was the game of Othello. "A minute to learn a lifetime to master." Being such an easy distraction, we forgot our troubles as I taught her basic strategy and rules. I am an expert in the game and she enjoyed relying on me to carry the load for a while. I was most happy to do it!

Trick is to end up with more of your color than your opponent.
Black has actually won this game using a "stoner" move.

In real life she was far outside my social circle, she of ultimate class without even trying. The game was my ticket into her world. During her time as a prisoner of doubt, the camaraderie was a vital support beam to give her shelter until she could rebuild her house. Each day I saw in her the acceptance of lessons to be learned. Maybe our Othello games were a metaphor for that.

Sometimes I'd back off on my game a bit - subtly so she wouldn't notice. That gave her a fighting chance, her mind fully concentrating on the board, her unadmitted pride dying to beat the "superior" player. This focusing of energies allowed life to slip in the back door without her noticing. Life truly is what happens while you're busy making other plans.

God, was I proud of that.


I couldn't do the "other things" with her. Some took her out to eat, to dance and drink, to local socials and other small kisses of life. I imagined what it might be like for myself to take her to a movie but we just did not fit together like that. Maybe neither of us wanted to face the other was not as we dreamed. But I knew I wanted far more than just a board game - but exactly what?

Yes, I noticed the fine shape of her brown legs stemming from below her robe she sometimes wore answering the door. I just wanted to fall into her. Her warm brown eyes were like fireplaces on a winter night, a wholly delectable woman! No, her charms were too much to be unattended for long. But again, I couldn't picture me as the man for the job. Not that I didn't want to apply.

Bridge Too Far

Time was running out in great panic for me to make my move to stay in her life. Dreams of separation assaulted me, the Day of Revelation nigh. She'd be moving on and I left behind. What card had I left to play? The endless forest would come to claim me once more. God truly is a jealous God, ruthless in the need for love.

Nowhere Trees

Now that day had come. A carload of screaming girls drives passed me as I scream inside my head. Inside her inner sanctum the white truck driver be, no doubt enjoying her irresistible charms, her golden smile and dancing laughter. Fruits forbidden to me. I wanted to believe I was imagining it all, just to march across the street and knock on her doors as always. But something told me that truck had been there long before I got there - like all night before.

At last she stepped back into the saddle.

Condom Trail

What a frightful feeling to be sentenced to walk back to the scrap heap. No lawyerly tricks could save me from this judgement. Back I go! Back to where the birds pluck at your eyes if you dare fall asleep. Back to where when you die only contempt is shown for your carcass. I looked down at the now meaningless board game tucked under my arm and laughed in mirthless mockery. May as well throw it on the scrap heap too.

Path Divide

No, I don't belong in this neck of the woods anymore. I walk in foreign country. Making the stilted, bitter march back my small, desolate pad, I tried to be happy for her. But I could not. That's how I knew I was not a real man - and only a real man would do for her. I couldn't get passed thinking of my own needs and how I wasn't nearly done getting what I wanted from her - or what I wanted to give to her. Shit! All over now! Shutting the door to the castle wall the tears let fly at last.

Trees Light

My old friend suicide came swooping back in, delighted to see my return to ill health as it gripped my heart with its barren, lifeless claws. I ripped the phone out of the wall and buried my face in failure's sobbing pillow. How many more times? Why is it I always keep missing the answer? Why does success seem as far as the stars? I think too much of me when I should think less and I think less of me when I should think more.

Trees Dark

Ah, well, too late now anyway, right?

I could hear the accusing voices awaiting me. "You're just feeling sorry for yourself." "Get up and do something! Make something of your life!" "Grow up and stop having so many feelings. The world is a dark and abandoned place." I moved nary an inch, covering my head with a blanket to protect me from invisible wasps.

Solo Bird
Flying solo again, naturally

Later, I dared to check the Caller ID. She had called three times wondering where I was! But wait, she was gracious like that, don't take it personally. I don't want to intrude on her flowering life. Fucking beats Othello any day of the week. I know which one I would choose! Best take it on the chin and go down for the count. Then I saw this email:

Harry, where were you today? You didn't call or leave a message. Please respond the minute you read this so I know you're OK. It may be just as well you didn't make it. I had a pipe break in the middle of the night and had to call a plumber who took hours fixing it. Spent all day getting the house back in shape. Your not showing up made it even worse!

Please, please clue me in when you get this. I can't let anything happen to you before I beat you straight up! (You thought I didn't notice when you take it easy on me). Hope all is well.


No comments: