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.
Many were the birds that called it home
as it grew strong and tall.
It was a sight to rival your beauty.
It died when you left.
The birds moved out,
the branches drooped under the weight
I could not bear to uproot it,
for the hope that you might return
and save us,
but the tree begged to be
released from its pain.
So I swung.
Each hit killed a memory,
a promise unfulfilled.
The Oak fell with a sigh of
I fired the wood
in the hearth that should have been ours.
The stench of burning hope
clogs my nostrils.
The fire is cold, uncaring.
It burns because it knows
no other way.
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.
For thirty years
you were by my side.
Through every change,
you never complained.
You never told me I was foolish,
or called me names.
You only wanted me to touch you.
For thirty years
you traveled the world with me.
Australia, Sri Lanka, Mexico.
You never asked why
nor wanted to go home.
For thirty years
you were my friend.
Whenever I was sad
You would let me hold you
and you would sing my tears away.
You never asked for anything
except to be kept warm and safe.
Now after thirty years
you are gone.
Packed up and shipped off
to a new life, a new world.
I said goodbye the best I could.
For thirty years
I loved you,
and never knew how much.
My friend of thirty years.
Now a little rant if you will indulge me. The last couple of years has been pretty rough, my mom passed away a little over a year ago, my son quit college and came to live with me again (is good and bad), my dad moved to Texas then had a stroke (he is doing OK now), I lost my best, best, best friend ever (I still have not recovered from that one) and yesterday I shipped off my guitar. I had her for thirty years. It is funny how we get attached to things and sometimes don’t even know it. I was all excited because I got a good price for her, but when I left the packing store I started to cry. Thirty years have gone by and one of the only things that has never changed was her. She was always with me. I was never very good but she didn’t seem to mind. She just waited for me to play. I know it is silly to be so sad over such a thing but it means that my life has changed, yet again. Never again can I go home and play till my fingers bleed (yes I have done that). I have never had a time when I was still sad after playing her. I know it isn’t really the guitar but the memories and the fact that I am just that much older (still not old yet but I can smell it coming). I do have some wonderful pictures of her so I will be able to remember. Well thanks for letting me rant, I wish I felt better. Life is what it is and mine is really not all that bad, I’m just a sentimental man (sounds like a song). And to my friend (you know who you are), please come home. I promise no more rambling like this one (well not until the next time I ramble).
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?)
I had Chinese for lunch today. The noodles were perfect, the chicken tender. It was the same as it has ever been.
Yet…it fell short.
I sat in the same spot I always sit. The owner came over and asked me how things were, as she always does. She asked about my son, my job…my girlfriend. I laughed and said “I don’t have one of those”. She made some comment in broken English that I didn’t quite catch, then laughed and walked away. I smiled and noticed how cold I was. I choked down the last of the eggroll and wondered why it tasted so bitter.
Looking over at the spot where you used to sit, I realized that the food had tasted good all those years because of you. You seasoned it with your laugh. It was never the food, it was always you. I loved to sit next to you and watch you smile, a smile so bright it warmed my cheek. It lit up every room you ever entered. I noticed how dark the restaurant had become.
I sit here, alone, plodding through some chicken dish loaded with vegetables. You always told me I needed to eat more vegetables. I absently rub my cheek wondering where you are. I am sure that somewhere someone’s cheek is warm. He is eating the best meal he has ever eaten in his life, but he doesn’t quite know why he thinks that.