Personal

Of Love and Nerds

Photo by KoolShooters from Pexels

For the sake of my mental health, I decided to go for walks. This isn’t a new thing for me; in the past, it was what I did almost every day after work. It started off as something more serious – I’d walk and began pushing myself further until it was a sprint, a job, a run.

These days though, I walk in hopes to build some strength back in my lungs.

And, of course, to people watch.

For those wondering, people-watching is essential to creative writing – be it fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Jose Skinner taught me of its importance, though it had been a pastime of mine for some time.

When you observe your surroundings with a creative eye, you register things that would otherwise be overlooked. The way a young wife moves away from her husband when he sits next to her. Or how a child darts across the street while his mother scrolls across the screen of phone. Or the mannerisms of a young couple.

They paid no mind to the scent of rain that lingered in the air; they were more focused on studying each others smile. The groove between their hands, their teeth. With the first drops, she pulled him into the open space. They wrapped their arms around each other.

It took me back to a moment in life. One taken for granted. When a girl pulled me outside to kiss in the rain.

Continue reading “Of Love and Nerds”
Personal

A Letter to 38yo Me

Photo by Jill Burrow from Pexels

Did you ever believe that you’d live this long? As a child, we used to map out our futures. What we’d be like as teenagers. In our twentysomethings, batting away quarter-life crises. And we’d imagine being 32. Then it was just dark, unplanned. Nothing lay beyond its horizon. It is uncertainty whether we thought our story came to a halt at 32, or if our imagination was limited. This Saturday, we will meet for the first time and we will have outlived our expectation by six years.

Continue reading “A Letter to 38yo Me”
Personal

The Good Ones

Something nagged at me today. I had a conversation a couple years ago with some stranger online. The conversation turned to past relationships, I remarked how I’ve managed to remain friends with most of my exes. Granted that we’re not all bosom buddies, but we can hold a conversation without suddenly breaking out in a rage. Half the time, it’s like we were never into each other in that way.

I’m a proponent of remaining friends with a former romantic interest. There are a few obvious exceptions to the rule. If your ex happens to be a manipulative, abusive, or toxic dick asshole*, then it’s best to cut that person out of your life to the fullest extent.

However, if the relationship ended on good terms, I don’t understand why being just friends is taken off the table. Of course, it isn’t an easy or quick transition. There is a sense of rejection no matter how mutual the break up. Time is needed to heal. There are tears. Days of pondering. Trust me. I know. Depression alone is a dizzying roller coaster. Throw in a heartbreak and you have a ride that’ll leave you puking up your bowels.

“If you can be friends with her, then you never really loved her,” said the Tinder profile pic**.

“How so?”

“It’s just plain truth,” she replied.

We’re taught several misconceptions about love. One of the greatest being that love is easily defined and pigeon-holed into a single idea. The true love lie. Believers flock up religiously to yell into the void: “If you really loved someone, then you’ll love them forever.” Thing is people change. Who you fall in love with isn’t necessarily the person you end up with. Or, in several cases, the person you fell in love with remains in stasis, a case of arrested development.

You grow apart. You become two puzzle pieces forced to fit the other.

“Yeah, ok, but if you’re still friends with her, it’s obvious you still love her.”

And I do. Just differently. Love is something fluid. Like gender, it’s not just a binary idea that you can bend to your will. Romantic love can evolve into platonic love. And the reverse is just as likely.

“Ok. But you obviously want to fuck her.”

“I don’t have sex with my friends.”***

It’s years later. It’s earlier today. We’re in the waiting room when the lady looks at both of us and smiles. “I like how you two get along so well. I’ve seen a few divorced families and I wish they could get along as well as you. You’re one of the good ones.”****

When we’re left alone again, she turns to me and asks, “Have you established anything with V?”

“No. We’re just friends.”

“Like friends, or people who say they’re just friends but do boyfriend/girlfriend stuff.”

“Define boyfriend/girlfriend stuff.”

“You know….”

“I mean, I’ve done a lot of boyfriend/girlfriend stuff with girls like Miranda. She used to make me carry her pads when we’d go to Walmart.”

“Yes. Something like that.”

“No, I don’t do that with her.”

“Well not that that, but you know…”

“I pay for everything. And we hang out almost every weekend.”

“See stuff like that.”

“But she wasn’t really that comfortable with the whole me paying for everything at first.”

“Are you ok with being just friends?”

“Yes. And no. I don’t know.”

“I asked Shaun about her.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. He’s there sometimes when she is. So he was talking about her and you and him. And I asked him, ‘Shaun, who’s V?’ and he said, ‘Daddy’s girlfriend?’ Like he didn’t really know. I just thought you should know that.”

Something to mull over, I guess.

*Thank you Crissy for that phrase.

**It wasn’t Tinder. I promise. But for the purposes of this post, it was most definitely Tinder.

***This may not be as honest as I had intended. It also goes without saying the conversation halted shortly after. We unmatched and went our separated ways.

****This quote is heavily reworded, paraphrased, and may not represent the quoted 100%. However, because some elements of my personal life shall remain personal, I took the liberty to rework this into something that fits the post. If you don’t like it, suck it.

Addendum: Another lie that we’re told is that we only have so much love to offer. As if we can’t love people equally but differently. This idea was in the original post, but WordPress crapped out and erased a good chuck of my post. I left it out because the subject turned. I’ll visit it again later.

Music

“Ocean Pulls Me Close and Whispers in My Ear”

Photo by Luna
Photo by Luna

Formerly the natural state of man was not what it is now, but quite different. For at first there were three sexes, not two as present, male and female, but also a third having both together… Next, the shape of man was quite round, back and ribs passing about it in a circle; and he had four arms and an equal number of legs, and two faces on a round neck, exactly alike; there was one head with these two opposite faces, and four ears, and two privy members, and the rest as you might imagine from this. And why were there were three sexes, and shaped like this, was because the male was at first born of the sun, and the female of the earth, and the common sex had something of the moon, which combines both male and female…

[…]After a deal of worry Zeus had a happy thought,…’I will slice each of them down through the middle!’ […]So when the original body was cut through, each half  wanted the other, and hugged it; they threw their arms round each other, and hugged it; they threw their arms round each other desiring to grow together in the embrace, and died of starvation and general idleness because they would not do anything apart from each other. […]But Zeus pitied them and found another scheme; he moved their privy parts in front, for these also were outside before, and they had begotten and brought forth not with each other but with the ground, like the cicadas. […]So you see how ancient is the mutual love implanted in mankind, bringing together the parts of the original body, and trying to make one out of two, and to heal the natural structure of man.

–Plato, Symposium

Hedwig and The Angry Inch

Doldrums

Finding Lovecraft Sexy

Love is a stairway?

“It’s weird how quickly you all say love down here,” Miranda said. Those might not have been her words, verbatim, but it is the gist of her point. And this was several years ago, when the world was still in front of us and we didn’t worry all too much about the future. When things were good between the both of us and before our personalities mucked up a good friendship.

We were sitting on Lydia’s porch as she and Jorell vanished somewhere. And they were the reason Miranda started this conversation in the first place. The couple had just formed a union and already they were throwing around the word love like candy on Halloween. And I couldn’t argue against her, nor did I want to agree with her. I was a guilty party of the love fiasco. Everyone I knew then was.

“Love is built up in stages.”

Several times in the past, I’ve been asked the same question over and over again. It’s the Haddaway single, minus the “baby don’t hurt me.” Everyone always wants someone else’s definition of love. Not because they’re too stupid to define it themselves, or because they honestly don’t know, but because love isn’t an easy thing to define. Even I find it hard to explain what love is, as there are several different types of love.

The love you have for a good book. That you carry for a good friend. The bond between a family. The type that cuts you deep in high school. The sort that makes you call the girl a funny name in elementary.

One of my former creative writing professors once told El Senor the reason he married his wife (and I’m paraphrasing here), “After years of searching for her flaws, I turned up with nothing. So why not marry her?”

Us, lying in bed, playing Every Word on my Kindle. Wasting the day in each other’s arms. Watching a movie together. Me, reading from my Lovecraft collection, she asks, “Do you have to read that sexy?” “It’s Lovecraft. I don’t think it’s supposed to be sexy.”

Just knowing that when you wake up in the morning and seeing her face, everything will never hurt again. Knowing that no matter the amount of bitterness you hold towards the world, the only thing that really makes you smile, laugh, feel even an ounce of happiness, is lying next to you.