I pulled out the old photo albums
but was afraid to open them.
It would be like
tearing the bandage off a fresh wound
and sticking your finger inside.
There would be warmth,
but the pain would be unbearable.
So I leave the bandage
over the wound that should have healed
and stare at it from across the room.
It’s been three years,
and still I cannot speak your name.
I give nicknames to those who share it.
They think it is because I hate you.
It is because I still love you.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you,
some days, I think of nothing else.
I have tried to move on,
but there is nowhere for me to go.
The hill where I used to sit,
waiting for your visits,
is gone now.
The cave I called home
I wander the wilderness,
lost and afraid.
Even if you wanted to come home,
you could not find me.
John Mayer sings in the background.
He too, is “Dreaming With a Broken Heart”.
I should turn it off,
but the tears make me feel close to you.
It may seem as though you ruined me.
I didn’t exist.
for a moment in time,
I was loved.
I am stuck between two worlds. Between the world of who I was, and the world of who I may now become. Gone are childhood aspirations and dreams. Gone are the friends that would have traveled with me to the stars. Ahead of me the way is open to a thousand roads, each leading to a future I never envisioned. Yet I am stuck. I don’t know which road to take, nor even how to begin. Ahead of me there is everything, and nothing, my dreams and my nightmares. Time and life keep moving as I stand still, afraid to make the wrong choice, or perhaps more afraid to make the right one. Today the roads that lie ahead of me are what they are. Tomorrow they will be different. It is up to me to take the first step, but my feet will not obey. My heart sees me as I was when I was young, full of life and eager to tame the world. My mind sees me as old and afraid. My feet don’t know who to listen to, so I stand still waiting to make my choice.
Where does one turn when hope has died? When faith has abandoned you?
What is there to do when what you have believed in all your life is gone? For years I knew what I believed in, what I stood for. I have given up jobs because they went against what I knew was right. I have ended relationships because I believed in something bigger than my happiness. I have ended friendships because I was asked to make a choice. I don’t claim to be a saint, over even a good man. Through the years I have failed more than I have ever succeeded. I fall short every day. Still, I always knew in my heart what was right. Now, after years of trying, I am not sure I know anymore. Where do I turn now? Where does one go when everything they have lived their lives believing in makes no sense anymore? Were all of these years a waste of time? I used to know, with all my heart, how things would end. I used to know that in the end everything would work out the way it was supposed to, right would win, evil would be locked away and all would be as it should be, not that I would make it to Heaven, but still, it was how it was supposed to be. Now, I am not sure which side will win. I am not even sure if there are sides. In the end, if there is an end, will either side have won? I would end my life now if it were not for a very small part of me. A part that holds on, however loosely, however shakily, to the dying hope that my faith was not misplaced. The hope that it will all be alright. I know it won’t be alright for me, my day has come and gone. I will live out my time, however short or long, and pray that you, whoever you may be, will not lose faith as I have done.
The old man sits alone at the end of the bar. A mug of beer, half full and half empty at the same time, sits in front of him. He stares into the mug and in it he sees his past. Fifty years passed him by in the blink of an eye, and then again another twenty. He tries to drink away his regrets but every sip leaves him thirstier than the last one. The bartender smiles lightly at him as he orders a shot of whiskey. He never drinks it, only inhales the aroma of lost days and abandoned dreams. He spins the whisky on the table in a ritual that only he understands. I watch for a moment, then turn back to my conversation as he orders a second beer. My friend and I talk of nothing, and everything, of meaning and nonsense. A beer or two later I remember the old man and look back to see if he is still there. He is, and he isn’t. His head rests on the bar, a sad smile on his face. The bartender is in a panic. She franticly dials the phone but it is too late. He is there but gone. He died in the only place he ever truly called home. I shed a tear for a man I never met, but knew so very well.
(I promise that one day I will write something a little less…um…sad(?), but for now I will stick with what I know well).
I was deeply in love with a woman. Well I should say I am deeply in love with a woman. A beautiful, smart, kind woman that lights up the room when she enters. She is my everything. Or, she was my everything. I devoted my life to her. I gave her everything I had. It just wasn’t enough. She taught me more about life than anyone. She taught me more about myself than I care to know. The time with her was the best I have ever had in my life. She made me feel loved, cared for, wanted, even special at times. Life however, has other plans for a soul like mine. She is gone now. I am left alone. I wander through life with no purpose, not knowing my direction, or my destination…not caring. I find myself returning to the places we used to visit together. Not a wise thing, I know, but I know of no other place to go where I can still feel her near me. I remember the times we spent chasing sunsets, and the afternoons under our oak tree. The pain is nearly unbearable but I would not trade a single moment with her for the release of the pain.
I squandered much of the time I had with her. I wasted precious moments fixating on trivial things never thinking that in the blink of an eye she could be gone. The hell I endure now is the hell I created for myself. No one can take it from me unless I choose to give it up. I used to think I knew many things and was certain I knew what was best. Now I know only one thing with any certainty at all. I know that Hell will be a welcome relief from the pain that I feel now.
I took a trip back in time today and made myself sad. It wasn’t intentional, this time, it just worked out that way. I traveled down roads I have not been on in years. I thought of faces I have not seen in decades. I recalled regrets that I thought were long dead.
The roads were the same as I remembered, straight, rough, a curve here or there. They traveled to places I called my own in my youth. There were more houses now then when I was young. As I drove, my mind wandered back through time. Passing one house, I saw myself standing in the yard, guitar slung way too low, trying to keep up with the real musicians, hoping she didn’t think me foolish. I can’t remember her name now. Further down the road Jennifer’s house passed by and I was instantly transported back to the high school library. We sat on the floor between rows of books, talking of what would come next in our lives. She smiled at me and gave me a memory that has lasted three decades. I wonder if she is as beautiful now as she was then. I wonder if she is still alive.
Next I turned towards the south and thought of all the times I had in that direction. I remember the hills and the woods and the stream and the girl I didn’t give a chance to. I remember the waterbed and how I wish I could go back and make things right. Though I would never have admitted it to anyone, I was afraid that I could never live up to her expectations. I was right. Thirty years later I had a second chance. I’m still a coward.
I thought of the games we played and the friends I had. In all that time I know the fate of only two of them. One married into the family. I hear of him only through the grapevine and speak to him only at funerals. The other one is a regret that will last another lifetime.
The trip lasted a little over an hour. It brought back many memories and many thoughts. I cried tears that had dried up years ago. It is a trip I don’t wish to take again anytime soon.
(this is pretty much how I spend my weekends, anyone got any better ideas?)