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The Blotted Blemish

Sometimes when the crash is too intense, one has the option of simply losing themselves. That’s what I chose to do. After my dream was over, it was easier for me to lose track of time, to ignore the event and place one foot in front of the other in some lackadaisical semblance of, and attempt at ‘this too shall pass’.

School is a fantastic way to simply plow through days and nights. Children laughing (or fighting) helped to grease the passage of time, and just plain old ignoring it saw the night/day axis blur for a few months. Determination to rebuild new dreams – if only for spite, bolstered defenses. The biggest casualty lost was my faith. I thought “is it faith or luck’? Turns out I now believe more in luck.

Whatever the method I chose day-to-day, brings me back here once again.

My Big 5? I am a workhorse where I am right now. School is where my heart is and I’ve an ‘A’ average and am trying, despite severe money woes, to stay pat. Dating … not so well. Faith has been released to the wind. Accomplishments come steadily, but so slowly.

Time has moved and taken me with it. Still here. Here again, moving up.

The sun has risen again.

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The Amount Of Time – Turned

It’s mainly about grasping the gift.

Before I even turn the knob and open the door inward, before I pull the key out of the lock I have a smile that tightens my face. Stepping in I take note of the pugnent apple and cinnamon candle scent that remains still alive, drifting lazily throughout the apartment. She had brought it over with a red bow tied around its girth and placed it center on the table and lit it right away. Tonight there was a note leaning against it, a folded sheet of expensive parchment that when spread open announced “This weekend can’t come soon enough”.

The warm, illuminating lamp light revealed the scores of changes, many of them subtle, that she has made since we’ve been dating. Irregularly spaced framed photographs have been replaced or rehung in new locations in order to mix tastefully along with new artful prints, and a newly installed corner shelf holds an African Violet that she had saved, newly budded with red points and a tender, new ivy plant, its vines full and cascading. Bright and boldly ornate contemporary throw pillows have been strategically placed on the sofa, love seat and chair giving them a new look and a quick glance make them appear not my own.

The windows are graced with thin, white horizontal poles, newly installed also, upon which hang differing lengths of shepards canes that hold plants of all colors – some I had never seen before, a new rug centered and fixed attention to the living room with its red and light brown pattern and a green wire room divider had been chosen for the wide space of white, near the door, and had a leaf pattern that now hold additional hanging pictures, in framed lockets, of my children.

It had taken some getting used to, the orderly yet comfortable ambiance that had taken hold here. The new and inexpensive backsplash gazing from the stove, the countertop that was converted from a catch-all to a colorful and functional area of culinary inspiration, the bed was given additional height by the twelve inch posts put under each of its four corners, the shiny and satiny feel of six hundred thread sheets made me feel more comfortable with the fact that they were a shade of deep, heart red, and the wide-eyed astonishment that I first had as she laced and looped the multiple tails of a vividly adorned kite (of all things imaginable) between drop-ceiling tiles, was replaced with excitement and contentment at being led out of my stulted knowledge of decor as she tied tiny strings to the body, which let it hang and float just inches from their anchor.

The note, still held in hand, had a post script. It said “Turn on the TV and play the video”. I noticed that the disk player was open and a disk placed into it was labeled in black marker “Play Me”. I sat on the couch, the middle cushion, the one with the most comforting give to my frame, and with the remote control, pressed ‘Play’. She had turned the recorder to herself and I could tell from what she wore that it was recorded the night before. I could hear water sizzling in the background and knew that it was recorded while I was in the shower. She was giggling as she spoke.

“I want to tell you that I am so happy that we’ve met. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve laughed so hard and for that alone, I thank you. I find myself thinking about you all the time now – at work and at home. I guess that I simply want to tell you how much you mean to me and that I’m glad that we have each other. And I’m looking forward to seeing you this weekend. Bye!”

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I Just Kept Writing

Is it uncool to admit that one is looking for love? The FWB thing is something that I’m simply not attracted to. Is it taboo to be actively seeking out someone who has taken care of themselves?  Have all the clichés been written out too many times to have meaning anymore? Going for walks on the beach, sitting by the fire with a book, watching my favorite movie, jeans to a little black dress, snuggling on a coach all seem unnecessarily mandatory when ads are posted and get glossed over quickly.

What happened to the stomach-tightening thrill of a second date with someone who actually matters and is elevated beyond a time-filler? The anticipation of perhaps touching hands over a coffee and a smile that, surprisingly to you, and unknown to her, gently warms the thin, brittle frost that has chilled your heart? The nervous preparation before seeing someone for a second time that includes taking a much too long shower, spending twenty rewarding minutes achieving a close and careful shave, taking out the barely used ironing board and remembering how to smooth out wrinkled clothes, going to the mirror more times than you can last remember to see if everything fits and matches, tentatively splashing on an expensive and stylish cologne, and inhaling deeply many, many times throughout the process to remain calm even as you feel your mind racing.

Is it unrealistic to seek out femininity? She that is comfortable with the graces of being a woman and does not at all feel the need to “fit in with the boys”? A woman who walks with dignity, confidence and agility, who speaks whole, articulate sentences sans curse words? A woman who loves herself first and knows that it is arguably the most attractive quality about herself? Is there a woman who is chic without bold pretentiousness and who has the realization that tastefully adorning her physique is among the strongest and most alluring of all items in the arsenal of love that she possesses? A woman who can remain distinguished even as she’s engaged in playful flirting, is there one who can claim that title?

There is not one among us who can successfully argue that they are a shining diamond. We have all done things that we are not smirking about anymore, we have all said things that have caused us shame in the aftermath, we have all been mired in wrenching heartbreak and we have all spent mandatory time and effort in a relationship that has long ago lived out its usefulness. But, are there among us, some that have taken the time, perhaps over a period of months or years, to meditate over our mistakes and who have consciously made the diamond solid decision that it is not the person we were meant to be and whatever the consequences, or the temptations, to never, ever, even for a momentary breath, allow ourselves to slide backward and downward to that disgraceful plateau? Is there no greater gift to humbly offer someone than the gift of unwavering respect?

Is there room in our heart for a relationship that doesn’t include ‘the fairy tale’? Is there a workable crevice somewhere in our soul that staunchly will not include a checklist of absolute must-have’s this time around? Are we committed enough to hope for symbiosis instead of doggedly holding on to the tenant that we are not going ‘to settle’? Is it mandatory that someone already have achieved all their dreams as a person, are they looked upon as stumblers, or are we willing to give of ourselves our vast, rich experiences and enjoy guiding another toward achieving that dream? Is there any joy left in a heart for the experience of joining as one in the hope of attaining a new, adjusted and common goal? Is there passion enough remaining in our thoughts that no list, banal phrase or ragged and misplaced sense of entitlement could overwhelm the ravenous hunger of brilliant belonging?

Is it impossible for a man to admit that he has made fantastic mistakes? Is it conceivable for a man to admit in conversation that the thought of endlessly dating in a stuttering stream of misguided relationships has made him not less, but more lonely? Can a man have a greater sense of being unfulfilled after the empty parade than to decide to be alone? Can a man adore without smothering, express tender vulnerability while retaining masculinity, admit acceptance of others without lowering standards and expectations and remain committed to only one while continuing to be independent? Is there a man who believes through painful lessons learned that no matter the cost, the penultimate prize is the person who will help brave darkened discourse, tumultuous events that are set into whimsical place, and haphazardly skewed ancillary views?

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I would feel …

It’s an overcast, grey, empty streets glossy from rain, chilly, messy apartment, nothing to do day here in my building. I’ve a self-imposed schedule that will bulk up my time, but you know what would make today meaningful?

The thrill of a phone call from my children. More pulse deafening than any various form of contact from anyone else, seeing the incoming number on my cell would jar me into splendid joy. I would know how my oldest did on his Learners Permit test on Friday. I would know how well my middle one felt he did on his Thursday at school when he had multiple tests. I would hear from my daughter, in her little girl voice, what she and her friends have been doing this weekend.

I would feel that I belonged.

The low voltage of steady, streaming, hair-raising electricity conspiculously felt sizzling between myself and the woman who I felt I would never finally meet. The comfort nestled deeply and securely within my soul, during a moment when she doesn’t know what I’m thinking, understanding with bright, iris cleansing clarity how fortunate and thankful I am that she has made the conscious decision to spend precious and unretrieveable seconds, minutes and hours with a guy like me. The silent promises I would keep armed and barricaded within my heart, the sacrifices to the belief in love I would be willing to endure and the chastity of single thought romance I yearn to happily embrace would all conspire to melt the vulnerability I feel with the touch of someone who is simply there and the susceptibility to widen arms to those who extend them in unison.

I would feel in love.

Swing and a Miss

The woman who I gave a secret box of chocolates to on V’day? The one that I inhaled a deep breath for in order to not let the moment slip away and in a gutsy move ask her out? She never called!

What’s up with that?

I hadn’t heard from her after I wrote my number down on that napkin last week, so I did something I hardly ever do. But, it’s something that I do now with a “Hey, you can’t sail if you don’t at least get on the boat, right?” attitude.

I went to her section of the building, into her department and found her there cleaning up her area. She smiled and we said a mutual “Hi” and I mentioned that I had this coming Wednesday off – how about we go out for either brunch or if it were better for her, dinner somewhere later that night? She said that sounded good but she needed to be sure she was free and she would call me. I was heady with delight.

Well, here it is Friday, two days have passed since Wednesday, and she still hasn’t called. And I’m not used to that.

I thought, “Hey!”, I at least deserve a phone call saying no thank you! Polite rejection is just part and parcel of dating anyway and no harm done. But, not calling at all … I have no tolerance for that.

I thought of going back up to her and in a good-hearted and light way asking if she lost my number. Or maybe she’s been overwhelmed? Or maybe because I’m so new to her she’s a bit shy about a three-day weekend B&B somewhere in the Berkshires and maybe I would be willing to tone it down to a one night stay at a Holiday Inn in the burbs?

But, these days, there’s a fine line between doggedly pursuing the romantic vision in your heart and having a restraining order taken out on you and being labeled a stalker.

So, like a thread being carried on a brisk and billowy wind, I’m letting it go.

Nice guys finish last? No, more like nice guy went over another obstacle.

Who’s free this weekend?

Batter up!

Categories: Dating Tags: , , ,

Mental Confetti

Anybody can have, and is allowed, a bad, bad day. But resilience, perspective and determination are formidable tools that have sprung up in the wake of planting seeds and are indispensible to moving forward.

Much like exercise, being in school has the capacity to boost self-confidence. Especially when everyone wants to team up with you because of your grades.

Yes, I did fall off the wagon with smoking. But, I’ve resolved to get back in the ring and overpower the demon.

I am hardly able to fathom that the little boy who fit snugly in the crook of my arm at one time (and who pooped in it) is going to be sixteen on Sunday! He once told me that he’s getting old. Imagine that thoughts that I had as his Father.

No matter how hard I try to keep up, the mail stack on my junk table grows out of control.

I’ve been in my apartment a little over two years and it still looks bare on the walls and naked around the windows. I need inexpensive ideas and a method of making them look something other than walls of white and stark panes. I have a few pictures here and there, but is it because I’m a male that I haven’t even a modicum of decorative flair?

After all this time, I still love to play my guitar. I recently dragged out some old Creedence, Concrete Blonde, Four Non-Blondes, Bad Company, James Taylor, Beatles and a mess of various artists. It’s all pitch perfect and I make a great session player. Ah, the skills I’ve acquired and excel at – all of which can’t make a living!

I’ve teamed up with a lucky woman at work who has a history of winning on scratch tickets. I’m not a gambler and never had the proclivity to spend money on gambling, but we’ve won over $1,300 in three weeks. I’ve got a feeling …

I hardly see re-aquainted girlfriend. We talk every few days on the phone, but with opposite work schedules it’s difficult to have what you would call a relationship.

My ‘secret’ gift of chocolates that I gave to someone at work post-Valentine’s day is no longer a secret. I never see this woman because she’s on an opposing end of the building, works in a different department, has hours that most times are ending at the beginning of mine and only comes to my end infrequently to keep an appointment with someone who needs her. So I haven’t seen her face to face in a few weeks. But yesterday as I was walking down a hall to fetch a cup of coffee, there she was walking toward me! An impromptu conversation ensued, I apologized for the candy-gram if it made her uncomfortable and I hoped that she wasn’t offended. She was not. She was flattered and said that she should have shared it with me. We talked small talk for a few minutes and parted with a ‘see you later’. I turned, took a small step, turned around again, took a big breath and said ‘Wait’! I asked if she’d like to get together for a cup of coffee, or a drink or a trip to Jamaica. She laughed out loud and said she’d like to get that cup. She asked me for my number and I wrote it on a nearby napkin. As I wrote she remarked that she could tell that I never gave my number out at bars. How? Because I didn’t write softly enough to prevent the napkin from tearing in places. I’m looking forward to the call.

I’ve been wakened a lot recently by charlie horses in my left leg. What, I’m going through a second puberty?

I told an eighty-two year old woman in a wheelchair that she was beautiful. She shook her head no. I repeated that she was beautiful to me and she replied “Is it because my lips are so full?”

Monday’s Over

Thankfully!

It’s not that I was annoyed or fed up with hearing and seeing everything V-Day related and the blatent commercialism peering and gloating at me, but it was more about not having that one soul – that one miracle, to join hands or lips with.

There are a few bloggers out there that are going the online dating site method to find that someone unique but not having much luck so far. I did do that for a while but found it bereft of warmth and personality. Maybe that simply means that I had no real luck at it. However, many others have found it a boon and have successfully met mates of great warmth and pleasing personalities. Like anything else, maybe it’s just the luck of the draw.

It’s tough for any of us that are not willing to go to bars spewing seed money at random red dresses, or those of us who have zero interest in a Yoga/Thai cooking class, or feel awkward holding melons and cucumbers in the produce section and with a grin asking a single soccer mom for shopping tips.

Sometimes it does bother me writing about the weariness and the general blasé attitude that comes with continuing the quest of looking for love after relentless searching and restless anticipation. The nights of simply looking down at the city – not necessarily thinking about anything, but bobbing up in the consciousness every so often the thought that it would be so much easier to bear another day and night alone knowing that someone holds you close to their heart and may be looking at the moon at the same time you are.

Or, perhaps they’re wondering, and hoping, that you are thinking of them and softly smiling with eyes closed.

The day after V-Day, when all the candy was on sale at Wal-Mart, I bought fifteen dollars worth of left behind, 50-75% off, odds and ends. I especially concentrated on those boxes of candy hearts with the little sayings engraved on them and made sure that every single woman in the building received a box of them along with a hearty “Happy Valentine’s Day” cheer from me. It seemed to made them all so happy and that, in turn, made me smile.

I did manage to sneak a very small six-pack of dark chocolates to a special someone. The delivery tag said “From – ?”. I’m letting it brew. Hey, you can’t sail if you don’t at least get on the boat, right? Do you have a boat?

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