Today Was a Good Day.

It’s raining. Again.

It’s become a running joke that I always get caught in the rain, mostly because lately I’ve been waking up 10 minutes before I’m supposed to leave for work and don’t check the weather. I haven’t seen You in two weeks and I’ve already declared I can’t this weekend, either. I’ve passed 60 hours again. My coat is drenched. I’m starving. I’m too tired to eat. My mascara is under my eyes and I don’t care. At least it’s Friday. I only need enough energy to run home from the train station.

You are waiting at the bottom of the station steps. With an umbrella.

I am not relieved.

It is common knowledge within my circle that my life, while together-looking, is mostly held in place by silly string. You are about to walk me home and view the proof, a house with the sort of neglect that shows from weeks of only being used for sleep. I only entertain when I am ready.

“If you don’t hurry up and open this door, woman,” You chuckle.

I rush in attempting some hospitality, moving the clothes aside on my couch and asking if you’d like a drink. Grateful for the walk home but hoping your visit is brief, so I can get back to the business of crashing. “Don’t do that,” You reply.

“Do what?”

“Anything. You’re done for today.”

It is only then I noticed the bag on the table. “It’s pho,” You announce. “Figured by now all you could handle was soup.” You wash me a plate, and finish the rest of the dishes while I slurp away at the table. You tell me how your days have gone since we’ve last seen each other, as we both know how my days have been. This is nice. I still hope you go home soon. I have nothing to offer you in gratitude.

“Hey, listen,” I meekly offer. “This is awesome, thank you. But I’m not sure the me you’re looking for is the me you’re gonna get tonight.” Your amused and exasperated sigh brings me the first smile I’ve seen in days.

“Woman can you please just get ready for your bath? The you I’m looking for is you.”

Who nurtures the nurturer, indeed…

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From the Drafts Folder: Naked

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem.

I am addicted to the Me I am when I am with You. Your eyes a bottomless pool of Black need; I see Me. I am Wit and Confidence.. I am Brevity and Beauty. I am a capsule wardrobe, heels my only option. Amazon; brazen, fearless. And yet still You enjoy piercing through and reaching the tip of my soul. A moment scattered and brief. You remind me you can, then allow me to reassemble the pieces.

“‘I like you.” whispers the light peeking thru the crevice. You carefully seal it shut as you kiss my forehead.

“I like leaving you naked.”

 

From the Drafts Folder: Well if You Liked it, Then Why….

“You make me happy.”

I had nestled into the only soft space on his body, right below his armpit, and settled in for the evening when the words slipped out. I froze, knowing what it meant.

“You make me happy.” he echoed. “That’s why I like spending time with you.”

It was then I started the countdown, because it was only a matter of time.

T-Minus First Exhale.

This time, it didn’t even make it past the month before I got “the talk”.
“Listen, you’re wonderful. I’ve ever felt more at peace then when we hang out. You are going to make a great wife. It’s just so fast.. I just got out of a relationship two years ago and I didn’t expect… I just need time to…”
**sigh**

At least this time I got the dignity of an explanation instead of a complete MIA.

It seems intimacy is at a premium these days.

Photo Credit: DeviantArt

From the Drafts Folder: Fear of Flying

” Only unrequited love is romantic.”

~Vicky Christina Barcelona

We sat on the train in silence, attempting to absorb the news.

A malignant brain tumor. A three-month chemo cycle followed by surgery. No certain outcome.  A dream deferred. We had almost made it out of the station before he collapsed from the weight of his future. I leaned into him as he sobbed into my chest and whispered, “I’m not going anywhere”. I was terrified. I had no idea what I was signing up for. I just knew my heart could not leave.

We had been seeing each other for only two months.

Don’t look at me like that. Trust me, loving a dying man is easier than you think. After all, you already know why at some point you won’t be together.

For as long as I can remember, I operated from a point of loss. I was born into an older family, and had been to more funerals by my fifth birthday than some will ever see in their lifetime. I had long grown accustomed to the concept that everything you love eventually goes away. There is a certain safety in knowing the end before it begins, and there was where I functioned best.

By this point, It had gotten to where I actively sought out the doomed. I didn’t notice it at first. I pegged myself a “hopeless romantic”, mused on how “you can’t help who you love”..except it seemed I always found myself in the most non-viable of situations. Men already in relationships. The emotionally unavailable. Shoot, the terminally ill. It was as if I could only fully feel when I knew deep down that the love would not be returned. Forever was not a language I spoke, and unrequited love is easy. You have the freedom to love as hard as you want without any of the day-to-day legwork that makes lasting love possible.

It wasn’t leaving I was afraid of. It was staying.

Photo Credit: DeviantArt

From the Drafts Folder: Letters to My Son; on Manhood and Value

***Editors Note: Free-form writing has immense value in assisting with the formation of complete stories. Sometimes however, the thoughts never complete themselves, even though the viewpoints still have value. With that spirit in mind, I thought I’d occasionally toss up a few and allow you to form your own neat ending. This post came about from a discussion on the definition of manhood, where I wondered how I would pass on the lessons..

What is “manhood”, really?

What does it mean to be a “real” man? These questions plague my generation as the feminist movement seeks to redefine women’s role in the world. And while women have enough on their plates and certainly cannot be held to the task of fighting for equality and hand-holding our male counterparts through the process, men are increasingly feeling confused and left behind in an effort to re-define manhood in a world where women are becoming increasingly self-sufficient. And, as I am now at an age where I have to contemplate how I would lead my son through this quagmire, I first wonder if we are even asking the right questions..

Is our issue at this stage really defining “manhood” or womanhood”, or is it communicating value, to ourselves and society at large? Is the issue our self-perception, or the ability to get others to agree with it? What about us causes our stock to rise in the eyes of others? Is it looks? Money? Emotional Intelligence? Dexterity or functional skill? Ability to protect and provide, or nurture and support? What are the things that show our importance to the world? Our value?

Well, son, I can show you what I value in a man. I can tell you what society values in a man. I can show you what women in general SAY they value in a man. And then I can tell you to decide what it is you value in yourself.

However, to find a large group of people that value you for the things you value in yourself is rare. You must learn to not take this reality of life personally, and work to develop yourself as a whole, self-sufficient person. Understand value means different things to different people. The most successful people at communicating value are flexible and able to show off the many great things about their personality in a way their audience can understand. You can switch aspects of your personality to the forefront and still be true to your core, the way I may wear a skirt on some dates or pants on some job interviews. But I work my best to stay true to what I value in myself.

For example, perhaps you find yourself in the company of a woman who values a “take-charge” personality, and you are rather reserved. You can choose to go against your core, or you can “take charge’ in an area where you excel. Bring her into your world and show her something you are good at, perhaps a hobby or a detailed explanation of your work, something that shows an area where you lead. Even something as simple as assisting her with a project that shows your strengths (hi, Ikea furniture!) can communicate your leadership skills in a way that does not compromise your core.

The beauty of the time in which you are coming into is there is no “script” anymore. Besides, the old script was killing people, anyway…

Photo Credit: DeviantArt