Sunday, May 11, 2014

This is a love story

This is a love story.
This means that this is not a happy story.
Nor is it a sad story.
It is a life story.

She marries her high school sweetheart.  They get a home, and settle in.  They paint the baby's room.  The baby is conceived, and born, but never sees a day.  Then the next.  Then the next.
She weeps for them.  All of them.  Her children that never were, but always are.

And life goes on.
This is a love story.

Another mother.  Another place.  Her fourteen year old daughter hooked to wires and machines.  She will not see fifteen.  She will, while distinctly faced with her own imminent mortality, be her mother's strength.  She'll also wonder what it feels like to die.  She wonders what it feels like to kiss.

And life goes on.
This is a love story.

A different man.  Another home.  He holds the hand of the man he loves, as his parents cry, and weep, and rain hate down on them, for being filthy.  For being perverts.  For bringing shame.  They wish he'd never been born.    He holds his hand tighter, knowing it will fuel their hate, but it's where he finds his ability to continue breathing.  Because you see...

This is a love story.
And they are in love.
And life goes on.

They share a cigarette under the moon.  With them, it is always the moon.  They can never be.  It's  complicated.  Isn't it always?  Everything is easy.  Nothing is simple.  He hasn't seen her in years.  He may not see her for more.  But there is this moment.  They are at least granted moments.  They are few.  There are never enough.  There never will be.  There could not possibly be.  So they must learn together, to take each moment.  Each rare chance, and create eternity.  And thus they learned to freeze time.

Every true love story,
must freeze time.
Because, the greatest horror,
and the greatest remedy,
and the only truth...
Life goes on.

She sits in her chair.  The blanket on her lap.  Her wrinkled hands gripping the paperback with torn corners. Her eyes are tired, and she rests them by looking away from the words.  She sees the picture on the wall.  "Goddamn you." she says to the man in the photograph.  The man in the ground.  The man who gave her fifty years, and left her alone for her last.  She misses her children who sometimes visit.  She misses her grandchildren, who send her cards.  She misses everyone who's come and gone, and sometimes come again.  No one she misses more than the old bastard in the photograph.  The conversations they had a thousand times, and she wants nothing more than that same conversation number one thousand and one.

This is a love story.

The high school sweethearts drift apart and away.  He leaves, and she's left to drift upon the rock, with worn out shoes and broken heart.  All is lost, then all is found.  A new day.
A new love.
A new daughter.
A new daugher.
Children, and light and laughter.
Because life went on, and love keeps happening, and the better things really do, on occassion, come to the fighters, and the dreamers.
She is happy.
She is fresh.
And the names of her babies are still, and always, remembered on every tear.

The girl in the bed, with wires and machines, has a visitor.  He tells her of her other friends who haven't come to visit.  The things she's missed in school.  When he looks at her, it is not with pity, or fear, or sadness.  He looks at her as he always has.  With warmth, and kindess, and she knows in her dying heart that she has loved him since they were in elementary school, and through all of her cruelties to him, and his to her, he's been a single constant in her fragile life.  He has to leave.
She gets her kiss.
Although in just a few weeks, she will be in a box...
Right now...
In this moment...
She is on the clouds.

This is a love story.

And the couple under the moon, have frozen time.  Now they are in bed.  Now he's holding her.
Now she's asking...
"What is the first line of our story?".
"He loved her infinitely.".
And now they're dancing.
And now they're laughing.
And now he's holding her beside her car.
And with the goodbye knife she stabs him.

She sits in her chair and smiles at the old fart on the wall.

He holds his hand, they hug, and put the ugly words behind them.  They kiss, and make love.

She's with him.  Posing for the engagement photos.  She looks into his eyes, and feels her yes.

She watches her leave, and knows all the words she should say to keep her from walking out, and doesn't say them.

He stands at his mother's grave, and cannot see through the tears.

She signs the divorce papers.

He signs the marriage license.

They sit outside a bistro sipping coffee in the new city, and after forty years together, he looks into her eyes for the millionth time, and feels his yes.

She sits on her bed, with music in her ears, and dog at her feet, and wonders why she can't just say it.
Just say it.

And all these little love stories
And all these little interludes
And all these little

They dance in the rain.
They kiss in the street.
They watch with pride at graduation.
They weep
They sleep
They hold
They laugh
and cry
and rejoice

Freeze time.

And before she drives away.  After the kiss.  After goodbye.  After that final reluctant break of shaking physical contact, but just before she closes the door...

Be love.

Not in love
Not I love

This is a love story.
Which means it is not a happy story
or a sad story.
It is a life story.

Feel your yes.
Steal your kiss.

Be love.
Be loved.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Grandpa's handbag

Do people still use calendars?  I assume they must, because at the end of each year I see all those calendar stands.  I imagine the stands wouldn't exist if people didn't purchase the product, but still...I wonder.  Do people still use them?  Like...put the chart with numbers on the wall...pick some significant date, circle it, and then x out the squares in some sort of ritualized countdown with a sharpie and anticipation?

I wonder about this.

I'm not sure I've ever owned a calendar.

Oh sure I have a calendar on my phone.  I have a clock on my phone too and don't own a watch.  Sometimes when I do a show, the stage manage will give a me a calendar with a rehearsal schedule on it.

So I wonder.  Does this happen?  Do people do this?  Or has the digital age taken from us this hallowed tradition.  Or was it ever?  I honestly don't know.

Wedding rings are weird right?

We use slave labor, sometimes at the price of limbs and life, to dig relatively worthless rocks out of the ground in Africa. Then we shine those rocks up, ship em across the ocean where they can be evaluated and given false value based on just how shiny they are.

Then we strap those shiny rocks to bands made out of "precious" metal, also given false value, so that all the boys and girls can go to the stores, look at these shiny bands, with the shiny rocks, and choose together, and pay the exhorbitant fees necessary to purchase these pieces of jewelry, that they will later strap on to one anothers fingers as a declaration of state sanctioned, and licensed human property. We somehow think it romantic when one partner says to another, "I'm yours."


And then, we all recognize these little symbols of property, as such.  We do.  I'm not interested in the least in pursuing long term romantic interaction with another person, yet every single time I meet someone new of appreciable age, I look for the ownership ring.  I don't care if a person is available or not, I still look.  We are trained to do this.  It's natural.

We don't like to call it ownership though.  We prefer the word "tradition".  Tradition gives the word some sort of meaning.  We're carrying something important.  A tie to our past.  A hope for a future.  Tradition has value.

Or so we've been told.

Tradition.  The baggage of dead men, that for some reason, we feel compelled to pick up that the claims counter.

Funny thing is, with all of our science, and history, and anthropolgy, and archeology, and probably many other ologies as well...we don't know how marriage started.  Which culture had it first?   Where did it all begin?  It's been around forever and ever, and we don't even know why anymore.

One prevalent theory is population control.  Not necessarily numbers, just...recognition.  Since marriage predates paternity testing by, say oh...10000 years or so, it used to be a bitch knowing what guy was making what babies with what women.  If you could assign a guy to a girl, or a few girls, it made knowing whose kid was whose a little bit easier.  Or in other words...not to control the number of women men slept with, but just the opposite.  Don't let the woman fuck around, with more than one guy, and you know whose mom she is.

Funny thing.  I read something somewhere that may or may not be true, 35 percent of the population STILL doesn't know that the child they play parent to isn't actually theirs.

This theory is rooted in probability, or at least some degree of liklihood.  We don't like to think about this particular aspect of "tradition" though.  It's not romantic.  It also suggests that if it actually is true, women should be the most anti-marriage people on the planet, instead of the biggest spenders in the industry.

So now we're engaged in a great civil war.  Where half the population believes that a small percentage of the population should not be entitled to the rights and privaleges of that specific tradition.  The other half of the population believes they should be.

Those against it, base their beliefs in an entirely different tradition of mythology, worship, and magic minded nonsense.

Those for it, base their beliefs in a supposition of justice for all.  Another premise that has never, not once in the history of mankind, actually existed.

Has anyone considered the possibility that the subjugation of rights is, in and of itself,one of our most hallowed traditions?

Just a thought.

The baggage of dead men.

The true value of a diamond is practically worthless.  It's a rock, and not even a really rare rock.  But with a bit of spit and shine, we give it false value, pretend it has meaning, and wear it on our fingers, regardless how much blood may have been spilled for it.

The true value of any basic human right is inestimable, but with a bit of spit and tarnish, we will demean it, label it, and toss it away.  Regardless how much blood may have been spilled for it.

And we do this all in the name of tradition.

The baggage of dead men.

I don't own a calendar.  I'm not sure I ever have.  I have never connected to that tradition.  I had a wedding ring once.  I was married for ten years.  I lost my ring within the first three months, and never had it replaced.  I just couldn't connect to the tradition.  It didn't mean anything to me to wear it.  It didn't mean anything to me if she wore hers.  I believed her when she told me she loved me.  I didn't need the symbolism of the ring.  I never felt that when she went out without me, she needed the symbol to indicate to others that she was my property.

Who knows though.  Perhaps it was the complete ignorance of the tradition, contributed to the end of the relationship.  I doubt it, but it's possible.

I seem to work sub tradition.

I don't really connect to any that I can think of.  I mean oh sure I put my shoes on the right feet, but mostly because that's the way my feet are built.  I wouldn't wear shoes at all, if evolution would have just given me leather instead of skin on the bottoms of my feet.  I can do all the things that people do, but I do seem to have a difficult time finding meaning in the things that other people put meaning into.  I don't find value in almost all of the things that I was told my entire life, I was supposed to place value in.

It's lonely on the outside.

People talk about the things they do.  The things they care about.  The things they want.  I recognize these things as nearly universal desires in the species, and I desire none of them.

To settle down.
Settle in.

None of these things really have any appeal to me.

Sometimes I think I want that whole "someone to talk to" thing.
Sometimes that thing where I can trust someone to hold my secrets, and my things that mean something.
Sometimes I think I thought I was...

I'm either very far ahead..
or very far behind
the curve.

The bus of humanity pulled away, and I'm still standing on the curb.
Chasing the bubbles I blew out of the little plastic wand.

And yeah, it'd be fun to have someone chase bubbles with,
but the reality is
if I did
Eventually that person will be really pissed off, and start chasing the bus, to see if they can still get on.

And I'll still be having too much fun chasing bubbles.

I'm pretty sure that I will never care that the bus pulled away.
I'm never going to mark calendars.
I'm never going to care about diamonds.

I know how to paint on my smile, and pretend I care enough, to keep the people around me comfortable.
But if they know me...even just a little...they'll know that I don't.

I can't bring myself to carry the baggage of dead men.
I have given up the idea that I'll ever have that person to chase bubbles with.

But as pathetic as that sounds...
as sad
or lonely know...

It is impossible to chase bubbles and be sad.

I have simply found what works for me.
My public face may be a continual exercise in social lubrication,
but my inside face is actually laughing.

Almost always.

I have found my happiness.
In my solitude.
Yeah it's got its downsides.
It truly does...
but then again...
what doesn't?

I'm not carrying the baggage of dead men.

Which means I've got a lot of room for dancing.
And by god I do.
And by god I'm gonna.