Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sleep, my old fickle lover, found her way back to me and cradled me so. But then she was gone again just as swiftly as she’d touched my eye. I had no one to wake up to except the angels. The house was dark and cold and eerie in the late March night. The dream I’d just returned from seemed pointless to remember and I told the vision so by turning my nose up at the open journal resting on my nightstand. My mind was still fixated on the dream of Daniel. Not really on Daniel himself per say, but I was fascinated by the way I related to Daniel’s angels, the way they seemed to be reaching out me. Probably because they knew I would listen to them better than Daniel does. I like his angels better than I like him.
I got up and clumsily wandered to the bathroom in the dark, came back and looked blurry eyed at the digital clock. It was 2:44 AM. I expelled a perturbed sigh and collapsed back into the purple sheets. I tossed and squirmed for about twenty minutes, unable to fall back into the arms of slumber. Then the phone rang out through the blackness. Daniel.
“Hello.” My voice was clear and alert.
“What’s your last name?” Daniel’s voice sprang into my sleepy ear. He sounded more controlled, but still just as drunk as ever.
“You called me at 3 am to ask me my last name? Are you insane? Why do you want to know my last name?” I wondered in huffy protest. “Usually people only ask me my last name when they’re trying to stalk me.”
Daniel laughed nervously, then the gears in his head slowed and he decided to change the subject. “I know it’s 3 am, it’s late, but I’m coming home from Riverside and wanted to see if I could stop by.” He began trying to sweet talk me. He teetered to sound more grown up, like he was intentionally trying to deepen the sound of his voice. I was so excruciatingly tired that I paid it little thought.
I groaned and then unloaded. “You are lucky I was awake, otherwise I’d be blessing you out right now. What is it with you? What is your impolite fucking deal? Can you only hang out with me when you’re drunk? Am I your ugly last resort or something? How many other girls did you call before you called me?” I interrogated firmly. All reasonable questions.
“I didn’t call any other girls before I called you.” He lied. I knew he was lying. The bars had closed over an hour ago. What was he doing for an hour before he decided to grace me with the neon rave ring? I’m not stupid. I’ve played the same game with other people that Daniel was playing with me. I always lost. Either a good man or a good friend or a good something, I always lost by lying and rudely skating on other people’s kindness and hospitality. My heart began to pound faster, more heated in fury than in narcoleptic love.
“I’m sorry I’m always drunk when I come by.” He stammered. “I promise we can have some kind of intelligent conversation this time. I wouldn’t want you to think of retaliating because I only talk to you when I’m drunk.” He muttered sarcastically out of the good side of his intoxicated mouth.
“Why would you say something like that to me?” I asked briskly. He had totally raided my blog, that filthy, scandalous worm had infiltrated it somehow. It probably got to him that I read him so well, as unorthodox a man as he was, I still read him like he was a schoolyard sign for illiterate children. It wantonly flustered him that there wasn’t any kind of mysterious quality for him to hide behind when it came to me. He was irreverently transparent. His beguiling attraction to me was heighted to all new kinetic levels because I had him figured out.
But I still humored him. “Daniel, you don’t have to try to impress me or falsify a front of being some kind of philosophical conversationalist if that isn’t who you are. I want you to feel like you can be yourself around me; that’s the most important thing, I want to know who you really are.” I cooed sincerely. Then my tone stiffened abruptly. “I just hope who you are is not this drunk, lost little boy who creeps into my house in the middle of the night to get a fast flesh fix just because you feel sorry for yourself and need attention.”
I didn’t want to hurt him, his feelings or his heart. I only wanted to be straightforward and hopefully bring out a better side of him. I wanted to coax out the Daniel who’d been playing with me in the dreams. I was smitten with that version of Daniel, the more well-mannered and evolved grown up hiding behind his profane pan complex. This Daniel, the slippery when drunk Daniel--was robbing himself of his own divine potential. I empathized with this boy regardless. I knew exactly what he was going through. I was all too accustomed to the noxious lifestyle Daniel was living and I certainly didn’t envy his precarious footsteps. He was a walking landmine. I wanted to take him in whenever he’d let me, just so I could try to get through to him somehow, so I could diffuse him before he expired or crossed any more wrong wires. Archangel Michael had enlisted me to do just that. Problem was, much of what I had to say came from the contents of the dreams, and/or from conversations between the angels and I. Men who are born and bred in inescapable realism scoff at the legitimacy of my abilities and refuse to take the matter seriously until it’s too late.
“I can see myself marrying a writer.” I heard Daniel think over my asphyxiating thoughts.
“What?” I squeaked.
“I didn’t say anything.” He claimed rapidly on the other end of the line.
“You need to be careful what you think; about me or otherwise.” I warned. “I find out one way or another.” I paused and waited. I heard his teeth clamp and the sneaky lines on his milky forehead vanish. “And while I’m at it, do you not like it that I’m a redhead? Are you opposed to the idea of spending time with a redhead? Is that why you just use me like a redheaded slut when you’re trashed? Do you only come over here at night because the darkness hides the vividness of my red hair? Is my colorful soul too much for you to handle??” I tried to steady the anger sweltering on my tongue. I could tell Daniel’s face was grimacing on the other end of the line. Bursts of heavenly wind beat at my cheeks. Archangel Michael was swatting at me, trying to make me stop being a bitch. He failed.
“Do you not want me to stop by?” Daniel tried to alter the line of questioning.
“That’s not what I said. And you didn’t answer me.” I snapped, irritated. “If you don’t like it that I’m a redhead, then don’t linger about in my house and pretend to care about me and then walk out of here and berate me based on my looks. You’re just another demon of man to neglect the essence of all that I am. I bet you have no idea what I even mean by that because you’re calling me at 3am with one sad idea raging through your loose pants anyway.” I paused to breathe. My nostrils fanned out. “Take it up with God if you hate redheads.” I ordered. “I’m sure God loves redheads just as much as he loves ignorant idiots like you.” I closed my eyes and prayed to hear the receiver of Daniel’s cell slam shut so I could go back to sleep.
“I don’t have an issue with it.” He replied shortly. I knew he was making sewage faces and taunting me.
“You are so full of shit.” I snarled and squinted green eyes like a cat staring into the sun. “Are you sure? Because I sure the fuck don’t want to contaminate all of your perfect blondness with my gross gingerly untouchable disease.”
“So I can come over?” His voice curled like smoke with no room to float. I pictured him speeding in his silver car, making his way over the hump of the very same bridge I’d been cruising on when I’d realized I’d forgotten to give him my phone number. The agony of that mistake had further and further healed with each virile word he spoke, with each time I got to see his face again. I relented. Not to him, but to the angels.
“If you’re not here in 20 minutes, I’m locking the door and going back to sleep.” I said stubbornly.

I let him inside shortly thereafter. The house didn’t rumble when he walked in this time. He was just over six feet tall, skinny, but composed in his body. His blond hair hung down neatly on his shoulders, but his face was just as grizzly, untidy, and as prickly ginger as it could be. He smelled crisp, like bottled cleanliness. He was more subdued than normal. His posture had taken a hit and his shoulders were slumped, presumably because I’d gotten to him and made him question his spine. Good. Someone needed to.
I felt like a dork walking around in jeans and a green tunic at 3:33 in the morning. I don’t know why I’d bothered to put street clothes on. I should have just stayed put in my obscenely loud fleece pajama pants. I usually love my hair, but now I felt like I was hideous to him and it made me want to scalp myself. Maybe he’d like me better if I dyed my hair blond. I suppose it’s more his problem than mine, I had always enjoyed being the only redhead in a room before; I really didn’t want to let one na├»ve little boy ruin that joy for me. I suspected him to be the tasteless type who’d still be cracking crude jokes at my funeral, right after I’d died from being a fair redhead with progressive skin cancer. “That ginger skank is probably doing the ginger jive in her ginger hell right now.” I’m sure I’ll hear his evil little laugh echoing all the way to hell.

I was cold to Daniel for as long as I could stand it, arms folded brazenly, little eye contact, and even less touching. My words were short and selective. The frostiness gave me some kind of stupid rush, being standoffish offered the comfort I did not want to try to find in his arms. I really didn’t trust him, no matter how much I wanted to make him feel loved. I wondered if he was only here because he had no other place to go or because he had something to prove. The somberness on his face told me that he didn’t know if I loved him or loathed him. He acted less like a savage lion and more like a frightful baby deer, a deer about to be shot by an irate ginger snap. He was even more adorable when he was vulnerable and I was profoundly unnerved by my ruddy attraction to him. I purposefully kept my face aimed away from him. I felt his eyes measuring me like blue teaspoons and I hated it. I suspected he only came back so I’d write about him again, so he’d have some sick way to see how women react to him and his strange, unpredictable behavior. So he could see himself through my eyes. Being exposed to the inside of my head probably bombarded him with emotions that he explored very infrequently or had tried to repress with beer and weed. Maybe the exposure would serve him well, if he used my misfortune and angelic tendencies to become happier, to reconcile his bad habits. I predicted he’d continue to use me in the process.
I was right. We had the angriest kind of sex you can fathom. His lips were softer and impetuously racy. He kissed me differently, like he wanted to be kissing me this time. Or he was kissing me with vengeance in his heart, just to confuse me further and lead me on, straight into my own loveless death. He was more mentally into sex, or so he let me believe. The fluidity of his thoughts got me off. The unison and mirror of our thoughts got me off harder. Afterwards when he smiled in the glow, I rediscovered a different form of joy, a joy that only comes from making another person happy. He wasn’t in a hurry to leave. I wasn’t in a hurry to kick him out. Once he finally started to collect himself to go, I asked him to snuggle with me for five more minutes. Blue flames began to soar through his eyes and he smirked at me real devilishly and then agreed. His smile was slyly victorious, but I didn’t care, I wanted to let him win. I knew winning would please him. I wanted him to be pleased with life. I wanted him to be pleased by a few moments of life with me.
There was something inside of me that didn’t want to let him leave at all. I reasoned it would be bad for both of us if we ever separated again. He sandwiched my petite body back into his arms and began to talk serenely. I like to listen to him talk. When his thoughts bound out of his mouth, it helps him sort out the unresolved ordeals he’s been trying to avoid coming to terms with. He probably said things to me that he hasn’t mumbled to himself when he’s alone in many vacuous years. He makes me think about the more damaged pieces of myself that I’d killed and buried years ago. Years ago when I was alone in self-destruction, before I ever knew the chemical fire in his eyes and the lost child in his soul. Before I knew the grace of letting go and the grace of giving in.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I was taking a dreamless nap around 5 pm on a Thursday afternoon. Suddenly my light sleep was interrupted by a slow creak coming from the front door. I opened my eyes and stared blankly at the ceiling. Aurora’s sprite voice traveled up the stairwell and filled my room with the energy of glee. Her friend Dina from across the street had returned with her. I listened closely to the girls and grinned, shifting under the sheets and contemplating the long hop out of bed to go make them some popcorn.
“I’m going to go check on my mom.” I heard Aurora say. My heart quivered at the delivery. An innocent six year old was talking about checking on me as if she knew I was dying, like I was a constant critical mess. I tried to protect her from my messiness, from all the gray clouds in my head. I guess the charade wasn’t faring as well as I’d thought. It wasn’t her fault. Partially it was just a downtrodden time, another time to regroup. The other tiny part of weight in my soul was that I was still all eaten up by what Daniel had said to me a week earlier.
The night he’d come over, Daniel confessed that he was basically terrified of my child. He was just being honest, but it made me so sad, destroyed even. I didn’t know how to put him at ease or alleviate his concern. I cried in the bathtub for three nights in a row because I felt so secluded in trying to raise this child and date these timid, fearful men at same time. I’m fooling myself if I act like I didn’t have a blast with Daniel. I did. I have never woken up laughing so hard before in my life. I just believe him to be an insensitive bed hopper and I get defensive when people treat my life condition and my motherhood like it’s something to fear, like it’s a negative, only to excuse their own addictions. I could write him off, the mother in me was pleading to never talk to him again. But I kept dreaming about him. I don’t fall madly in love with every man I dream about, but it makes me far more sensitive to them, more willing to climb unsteady limbs to chance the strength of the wind. The dreaming and my mommy hood are my only weaknesses. Most of the generic tards trying to pass for men don’t spend enough time with me to ever become a liability or even understand what’s important in the scheme of my life.
It’s such a raw and ravaged topic; single parenthood. I managed to conceal Aurora from Joshua for two whole months. Once he found out about her, once it was all out in the open--- he never came back. It shreds me still; it pulls the most fragile pieces of me utterly apart. I tried to talk to Daniel peacefully, as directly as possible, to prevent the exact same thing from happening. I was well reserved in opening up around him anyway. But I begged him to not let Aurora be the reason he avoided me altogether. It was probably a waste of air. Maybe he just didn’t really like me to begin with. Maybe he found too many soot stains on my body from all the other places men had burned me. Maybe I tasted like a leftover turkey to him. After all, I was just a chew toy and Aurora was just a convenient excuse to write me off as another pair of tits. It infuriated me, for Aurora’s and my sakes. I can’t even keep steady male friends anymore; I sacrificed most of them one at a time because they were all weird with my being a young mom.
Daniel was a lighthearted man, a man of bold humor with a pinch of sweetness. But the no-nonsense grown up in me, wanted to tell him to grow a pair and face me so I could knock the womanizing scamp right out of his deranged ego. It was only destined to destroy him. Being an irresponsible dick swinger could be seen as a far worse way of life than my way. There is nothing unsightly about being an independent mother with a child, making sacrifices to care for another. It’s not a negative arrangement by any standard of God. But men who are blind in one eye cannot see that Aurora saved and blessed my life, I simply would not be alive if I hadn’t conceived her. And those MILF hunting men wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to use me and fuck me and pour me out like bad milk if that child hadn’t been born. You’d think they’d stick around long thank her properly.
If I were still enjoying all of the MILF use and single serving consumption, it would be one thing, but it’s reached a point of sheer humiliation, a point of retaliatory contempt even. I would never venture so far as to take this out on a single man, oh the contrary, it’s the case by case basis that I am far too tolerant of. Only now I’m exceedingly leery of entangling happiness and laughter with types like Daniel. I tried to talk to him about all this one night when he was sober. I invited him to return and be mellow with me, to be sober with me. He did not want to give me the clear-minded time of day.

I remember when I was twelve years old, traveling up in Canada on a church mission trip. A few of the boys my age began to swoon over these blond Canadian girls. I made the mistake of expressing discontent, maybe it was teenage jealousy, who knows. Jealousy is something most reasonable people outgrow. I guess I hadn’t accomplished that feat back then. About those Canadian blond geese though, I recall posing the inquiry to the guys, “Why do you like them? You don’t even know them. We are leaving Canada tomorrow and you are never going to see those girls again in your life.” A mean, portly looking boy put me in my place real fast.
“What makes you think we’d like you over them, Jessi? What is there to like?” He started laughing as he scanned his dirt obstructed eyes down my lanky body and then slapped snobby high fives with the other boys. In what I interpreted as compulsory cruelty, they laughed at me for nearly five minutes. In the midst of a church trip, no less, a net that’s supposed to be free of this very type of exclusion and mockery. I looked down at my then very flat chest, cringed in my own awkward skin and became flushed with embarrassment. I wanted to piss myself away and crawl into my flat-chested grave and die. Before I died though, I wanted to swat the beam out of that fat kid’s eye.

Such corporeal downgrades have produced the very repeating question I’ve been confronted with throughout my life; “Why would anyone ever love you?” Um hello, I’m Mary. Does the phrase “love one another as He has loved thee” not mean anything on this slut, visual stimuli junkie of a planet? Moreover, the question should be, “Why not love perfect strangers and imperfect friends when you have the chance to do so? Would it be too nice or strenuous to bother befriending people who know the face of rejection well?”

As Aurora’s miniature feet slapped up the wooden stairs and entered my room, none of these venomous memories, male hang ups, or singular fringes mattered anymore. There she was---the one person who had loved me unquestionably her entire life; Aurora, the Princess of Angels. I sat up in bed and greeted my winged darling.
“Hi baby! Are you and Dina having fun?” I extended my arms and waited maternally for her to hug me.
“Yes Mommy, we are going to go into the backyard and play on the swings, I just wanted to let you know I was back from Dina’s house.” She wrapped her little arms around my ribcage and squeezed me. I kissed the top of her head and ran a few fingers through her long brown hair. She leaned up and gave me a quick smack of a kiss before spinning back around and dashing out the door. I didn’t have much time to breathe or thank God before the phone summoned me with a standard ring. I checked the caller ID. It was Daniel. Oh God, what does he want now? I thought he was done tasting this mermaid and went onto greener seas to sample the flavors of plainer fish.
“Hello.” I said, not even trying to disguise the tone of defeat in my voice.
“Don’t go anywhere I’ll find you!” He announced in a bad female imitated voice, trying to sound all like that psycho redheaded chick in Wedding Crashers. He had previously insinuated I was like her, I guess because I have red hair or because I was affectionate with him when he came around. I didn’t know if he was joking for the sake of making me laugh or trying to have a laugh at my expense.
“Oh God.” I moaned and rolled four circles with my eyes. “What is it Daniel?” I asked impatiently.
“I’m better than salt.” He bragged at warp speed.
“Huh?” I pretended to be unenlightened. What a nosy stalker.
“You heard me. I said I’m better than salt.” I sensed a tiny hint of injury in his voice, concealed by gallant pride.
Drawing from the psychic well, I splashed him with my retort. “Yeah if you’re better than salt, then I imagine I probably ‘like you better than you like me.’ Sound familiar jackass?” That arrogant, stringy blond headed douche had accused me of liking him more than he liked me, I heard him pompously running on in his dull attempt to fluff his blond hair into the next drunk fling to fruit town. He had telepathically attacked me to death saying that shit. Every split second he wasted thinking of me, he was all “She likes me more than I like her.” The fuck I do, guess again and reverse that you abominable horse head.
“I’m just teasing you Jess, lighten up. “ I could sense his face soften as he smiled in the mirror of his own conceit. “So when are you going to let me take you out to lunch Jess?” He continued.
“When you become blind to every other pair of tits walking around in the world and learn the meaning of forsaking all others.” He didn’t want to take me out. He was just toying with me again. Squish, squeak, squish.
“So next week is good? “ He chuckled like a goat.
“Next lifetime when you reincarnate as a blind man, maybe.” I cracked hotly. I uncrossed my eyebrows and tried to be serious with him. Not an easy thing to do with the Vince Vaughn wanna-be. “Listen, all joking aside, I’m glad you called.” I cleared my throat. “I had a dream about you.” I said in the voice of the psycho chick from Wedding Crashers.
Daniel roared into laughter. “Here we go again, you and those pretentious dreams.”
Watch it pal, the dreams are one of the most important pieces of my life’s work, don’t knock it till you try it. Guarding appreciation for what makes you happy and garners satisfaction isn’t merely a preventive way to survive; it’s just sensible and wise and rewarding. Daniel’s jerk syndrome is somewhat threatening to that ideal. I’m quite sure he’s winsomely determined to suck the respect out of my panties and drain the integrity out of my naked dreams and then leave the scene of the crime.
“The dreams are only pretentious when your icky face shows up.” I spat. I despised him for being closed minded and only regarding his own stupid interests, memorizing bad movie lines being one of his dumb hobbies. If I’d thought he’d actually read up on the mechanics of the dream state, I might care what he thinks. I don’t. I was just trying to help him, do him a soul favor by relaying the damn dream message. I have a “don’t shoot the messenger” type of gig with my abilities, but most people are too blockheaded and self-seeking to be receptive. Fortunately I don’t give up easy.
He started singing some bad rap song to try to throw me but I swiftly cut him off. “Just hear me out before you go all American Idol. I was dreaming and I saw you riding on a skateboard. You were right outside the cabin of a boat I was in. Seeing a skateboard in dream can mean one is attempting to dodge life’s burdens and ignore difficult issues. My guess is, funny man, that you use your fine potty humor to avoid the seriousness of everything.” The silence greeted me. I thanked the silence, tossed the image of Daniel’s sharp blue eyes out of my mind and continued. “The other thing, well…” I hesitated. I had seen us in bed together but I didn’t want to disclose that part of the dream. I quickly figured out a way to omit the minor detail.
“Errr…I saw us looking up at this beautiful pine ceiling and then one of the pine planks fell out, landing right between us. In the dream I said to you, ‘That must be a sign, I’m working on the wood floors, only my floors are oak and this is pine.’ We said ‘pine’ simultaneously. Pine in dreaming pertains to natural abilities and one’s bonded relationship to nature and naturally inherent talents.”
I was uneasy and dumbfounded by seeing such meaningful symbolism in Daniel’s dream presence. It made me feel way too close to his higher self, close in a way I knew I could never fully admit to him now--especially because in the dream, we were sprawled out in bed together when the pine had appeared. Bed means intimacy. I felt like the images and impressions signified how natural he and I are when we’re together. I wanted to eat that page out of my dream journal and never give it a second thought. I will be damned to a chauvinist's worst version hell if I ever like that clownish, blond nut job more than he likes me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Love is like a rainbow of colors that come out more vibrantly when the sun inside of you shines through bad weather. It’s pathetic; fertile optimism, the desire to keep expressing these colors, to keep shining. Like the song, this little light of mine, it has a way of bleeding into the ever-morphing fantasies and never dying. The fantasies come to life from there. The lives coexist in my head. There’s always plenty of room for the realistic optimism and childlike compassion for happy endings. Beginnings can be just as happy. As a rule, the beginnings are always happier, unless you’re at a massage parlor that is. Then beginnings are just awkward.
I didn’t have any hopes or prayers about longevity or making it to any kind of pot of gold with this latest bed buddy, if you can even call him that. He was more like a bed moth; a field bug that thinks your home is a place to lay eggs and chew sweaters. Curiosity claimed the resolvedly unsociable poet in me and I let that curiosity give faulty green lights. Truth was that I was bored with being alone and in boredom, one succumbs to watching moths flutter around lights while coming up with mushy sentiments about hopeless rainbows.

So one Friday night, while nursing the insomnia and laughing at moths trapped in the lamp shade, my phone rang. It was precisely 2 am, closing time, last call for ass. It was this guy Daniel, the mystery blond in my dream journal.
“Who is this?” I demanded.
“Pretend like I’m Layne Staley.” He croaked.
I didn’t want to pretend. I know Layne enough to appreciate other people for who they really are. But I knew who I was talking to now.
“Daniel. How are you?” I asked gently.
I was surprised and amused he had called so late. In unpreparedness, I went with the route of acting like a bubbly twat. Acting; it’s a necessity when dealing with men who think they are God. The realist in me was rolling hapless eyes and thinking of slapping him for not attempting to communicate during daylight hours, prior to the ungodly intrusion. We got the initial quirks out of the way. Daniel rambled on drunk and basically invited himself over to my house for some kind of afterhour’s party. My need to mother and spiritualize misguided men went strangely and smoothly along with his late night impulses. Here’s where the faulty green light begins to flicker. But the more moths the merrier and hell, I was awake anyway.
Less than an hour later, Daniel barged into the house and started to talk all damn loud. His voice isn’t irksomely high pitched but it has a squealing quality to it that reminds me of a cross between brand new brakes and the chirping male cardinals in the back yard. I love those birds. This boy, I don’t know. I shushed his flow of chipper with a sharp hand motion over my mouth, pointed up stairs, and made sternly perturbed eyebrows at him. Aurora was out cold. I reckon a bull horn couldn’t stir her once she’s out, but I shushed him more because my ears were still all sensitive. I soak up everything--every feeling, every sound. I agreed to let him come so I could soak up his uninhibited energy. So I could connect to something besides isolation. It’d been deafly quiet for hours and hours in that house until he rang me. I wanted to see his face up close again. It’s an abstrusely triangular, diamond shaped face, but a scandalous face to say the least. Layne’s face is much rounder and trustworthy, whereas this kid has “sneaky bastard” written all over his forehead.

He managed not to crack any infantile jokes for the first few moments after sloshing through the door. Maybe because he had a three foot bong in his hand and he didn’t want to laugh at his own slapsticks or make any sudden farcical statements that would cause him to lose an already instable grip on his prized smoking device. I strode into the den. He practically skipped. I’d cleaned the white tile floors hours earlier in the day and the entire house still retained the scent of oranges and pine sole. I savored the smell of clean and almost tried to just ignore that he was there for a few seconds. He kept on talking at ninety miles an hour, making selective deafness impossible. I glared at him to let him know I was listening but perplexed by his inability to shut up. Finally he put down that dang bong and wasted no more time in hugging me. For a few blessed seconds of stillness, he stopped talking. It felt natural when he hugged me, when he touched me. I almost resented how much I enjoyed it. Without warning, he lifted me up and started spinning me around like he wanted to take me for a ride on the blond carousel. It thrilled me. I wrapped my legs around him and pressed my nose against his dullard hook of a nose and let my face sweep his face until I gave in and kissed him. I kissed him more to prolong the silence. He ruined it and started apologizing for the foul stench of beer, but I ordered him to shut up and kept on with the kissy face. I love his nose, I have been turbulently aroused by it since the moment I digested its matchless shape. It looks as broken as mine and it’s easy for me to love broken things and broken people. I’m the same sort.
We sat on the couch, sunk in all gooey eyed at each other. His eyes are like blue barrels of beauty. The vibrancy of the blue resides in a cosmic spectrum of its own splendor; I’ve never drank a color quite like it in my life. When I close my eyes, I still see the radioactive hue of his eyes. God must have gone crazy dabbling in cans of light until he found a color perfectly arresting enough to paint on the eyes of that man. He pulled me onto his lap. It was all way too fast, like teenagers in the back of a car. The thrill suddenly vanquished, replaced by valiant logic. I didn’t know anything about Daniel. I just knew his face was scandalous, his eyes were too blue, and I felt like I missed the ship with him once before. The delayed navigation of that ship was the only reason I didn’t punch him in the ribs.
I tried to spark some kind of intelligent conversation, but he extended mindless hands and started grabbing my boobs, making his lewd intentions known. I was so horrified that I gave up trying to speak, my lips turned numb and heavy until I didn’t feel like moving them at all. He kept feeling up my chest. It made me feel all slimy and uncomfortable, like the doctor was checking my breasts for lumps. He made no honest effort to kiss me back and it became more evident that my boobs were just some kind of squishy toy to him, like a dog slobbering on one of those squeaking squirrels. I was so alarmed by his lack of censor, by the absence of the respect filter, that I couldn’t muster a word. My face was torn in taut confusion and bore little sign of life. The joy in my eyes drained out into a green glob of stale gum. I’m pretty sure I choked on it as my throat began to constrict and get scratchy. I studied Daniel carefully and read his thoughts. I was not impressed by his thoughts. He struggled to keep his eyes open, but his hands kept sweeping over my skin like a razor. His skin was like sea foam, delicately white and clinging to the grains of sand on me. I tried looking at his eyes as some kind of courtesy but he didn’t look back at me much. He definitely didn’t look at me like Joshua used to. The strobe thought of Joshua made my stomach erupt into anguish. The anguish rapidly spread to my heart and began to burn like battery acid. I hid it well. I wanted to tell Daniel to stop touching me. I didn’t give a fuck how blue his eyes were. He didn’t give a fuck about who I was, he hated it that I was a single mother and I knew that and it made me feel worthless and depraved of meaningful affection. At least Joshua kissed me like he had a heart. The boy next to me had some kind of heart, but it was like one of those wind-up timers that tick artificially loud, reminding you that it will ultimately stop and ding. And then the timer will grow legs and leave to piss off another unsuspecting person, merely by reminding them that the window of time exists and it brutally stops when the timer says so. In this case that moment unfolds when the blue-eyed boy sleeps of his alcohol, locates his clothes, and stumbles out of my house and onto the next squishy toy. There is no discussion or compromise about it, the timer has the last high-pitched laugh as he’s ignoring the sight of your house in his rear view mirror. Tears and common sense do not stop these kinds of timers. They are oblivious to the people they use, hurt, and harass with that annoying ticking sound. I’m pegging him for a Virgo. My father is a Virgo and I know he didn’t look in the rearview mirror when I was 11 and crying. Dad was more concerned with his middle-aged clock telling him it was time to leave.

Because I felt so puny in the world, in my own house, so malnourished and indignant in missing Joshua, I let Daniel and his ticking arms keep grabbing at me. Part of me wanted to cry and crumble and make a scene in front of him, to demand he leave and let me be, leave me with some kind of celibate order. How could I not care about myself, about my own boundaries? The last thing I wanted was to play the part of the vulnerable woman, but I fit the description perfectly. I was a single mother, famished and forlorn for any kind of positive male interaction, human interaction with other angels in matter. I’d been locked in my writer’s studio for three weeks solid, pounding away on the keyboard in a nerd effort try to distract myself from noticing how much I was decaying inside from the cancer of my own despair. I couldn’t pretend I didn’t know why it was terminal. I was drowning in devastation, reeling in the absence of Joshua. Every time I revisited the memory of kissing Joshua, I burst into trembling tears of liquid love. I cried because I connected to him and I barely connect to my own stubborn self. Daniel seemed like a nice way to find recovery, a way to figure out how to laugh it off instead of crying. For that I’m thankful. But I still think he’s a sneaky bastard with a scandalous face.

Seldom do I acknowledge that I’m similar to everyone on this planet; that I’m made of the same soul substance. I probably have a scandalous face too. Behind it, I don’t admit that I need love like every other person; that I yearn for consistency and serial monogamy. Usually I am too busy trying to offer and provide love to my loved ones to bother with such puritanical projections. But when Joshua was here, the cynical romantic outlook and humane denial changed. I changed. I wasn’t a lone polar bear pawing at the ice of the universe anymore. When he was here, there was no more needing, no more urge to ice fish. I stopped craving a missing piece. It was like the needing never existed, everything was fulfilled. I didn't trade my love for Jesus for loving Joshua, it just enhanced it all so beautifully. Joshua put the salt in the mermaid shaker. Daniel was just putting filler rice in it so it wouldn’t clump up and stop shaking again. Either way, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, but you have to keep sharing your salt and shining through the storms.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My mind shall set me free
When sense affords such luxury
Fragile nerves like broken brains
Weepy heart, death conquered you
Before it came for me

Seeping in the smell of flowers
Even the boldest of bees are few
Never dreamed to buzz
Closer, closer to me
now I'm further, further from you

Half used and wholly abused
Yet never gone to waste
The emptiness I further refuse
but it never says no to me
An old ragged heart is all I have to lose
Once the mind can no longer be used
Some lives are destined for disaster
They say it strikes in threes
Slave to a wicked master
Consumerism won’t let the others be
anymore than you denied the love in me

The mind links the chains of destiny faster
When there are fewer demands than needs
then the personal lists heeds

for ages of angst and teary sighs
i thought I needed a twin soul
Aquarians in crime
but the God in him said no

perhaps I was not as becoming or furl
as the ritual of bouncing into bed
with forgettable girls

When your title is worn
By the judgment of this world
humbleness strikes me
Fanning condemnation behind a friendly face
Slave and master presume in uncaring haste
no man shall ever stay long enough
to master the meekness of me

Another unspoken angel psalm
Held in quiet distaste
loudly, he dismissed the love for common lust
Reserving all judgment until the mind is calm
when one night stands stop being enough
the scales of the body ash to dust
finding love without grace
just a naked sun in my palm
With only one soul to waste

(c) Jessica Robbins 2010