Tag: Ex

I Love You (*EXPIRES 04/10/2013)

This City Is Alive. Can’t You Feel That Pulse Vibrating On Your Sole? I’m not sure if you mean sole or soul, but either way I’m nodding along, feeling my way down that soft hill just where your spine dips and your back ends, and I can’t begin to imagine what else a hand is for. That’s when I get your back hand.

Don’t Be An Ass, Just Stop, Listen.

And we pause for a moment to feel the wind and vague aroma of pretzels whisper and whisk us away to the promised land. You hear a voice in an empty street, I feel the whisper of midtown traffic. What’s with yours? The Fuck’s With Yours? We laugh it off, but in retrospect, that difference turns out to be so tragic.

It’s barely sundown but we’re near halfway done with this town. Flannigans, your favorite place, Oh My God You Remembered! Open balcony and buffalo wings so good They Must Have Got Me Pregnant. But I’m just gunning for sympathies. A last stake and a blunt mood while you blunt moods, swinging this weeks crush down my face like another God damn meme. Oh, I bet he’s a fucking prince. Works where? You don’t say? Shut up and order me a drink, I can do without the Me-and-Him while I’m mapping out your decolletage. I’ve got a heavy heart with heavier thoughts, but if you want to brag I’ll allow it, because the way you say my name still makes me useless.

Go on then, I said. He sounds so great, please show me.

And you go reaching for your phone, flick, swipe, flick, turn page: Facebook gallery of couple-selfies so synonymous with our generation. Too close for comfort in those comforts, vacation photos where you hide your feet in the sand because I know you’re too self conscious. He’s grinning, so damn winning, Joe-Yale jaw and an All-American gleam as he’s leaning on his side to your open arms and open-ended’s. And anybody else would say in dears, Awe, Well Now, They Must Be So Happy.

And yet, just like that, here we are. And yet, just like that, there we were: mourning in the morning, even by the evening, smoked in the dusk, and I’m the dew to meet the sunrise. Smell me, taste me, feel me, breathe me, breathe me. Inhale. Inhale. Tensely, deliberately, you ask for your iPhone charger while I am none the wiser and glimmering of you.

We had the whole of a sleepless town to dance around and be depraved in. The music was calling, your hips responding, three missed calls on your neck where my lips felt they had a part in. (Near)missed connections in the way you said my name like a taxi cab confession, soft and blatant but underhanded, so our manager had to ask Can’t-You-Wait-Until-I-Get-You-There? And we laughed about it later. while you were wearing my shirt and I played footsie under breakfast because, fuck, do I wake up ready.

Because last night is so distant and never enough. And I have these damn instincts that won’t let me let it up. But I’d be remiss to not reminisce in the way you smiled when we spent the day and I locked the door. To keep everybody out.

Or maybe forcing us in.

Tinder With Your Ex Is A Wildfire (All You’re Left With Are Ashes)

On rare occasion, I love being wired as a man. Where at a glance I can forget women bite their nails or have bad dreams, and for a night or afternoon are fun and fresh as snow.

There are degrees of sex, and Sheila’s had a thoughtless and intimate excellence. She removed her top, threw it to the side with a careless confidence that left me awed. With the fluid wave of her bangled and slender wrist, she cast aside any remaining notion of neglect or lingering resentment between us. With the stroke of her warming touch and kiss it no longer mattered why-weren’t-you-there or never-called-me-back. I forgot all rhyme and reason to why her being here was a bad idea.

Lust, although a primitive emotion, makes a lovely anesthetic.

Hesitance gone, caution numbed, I closed the breach between us and found her excitement waiting like an old friend. Our hands and lips, once so familiar, explored the whispered wants of each others skin once more. Silked and shuddering, we dissolved to a desire that was a devastation of man and woman, of what was expected or instilled in us. A thousand years of evolution torn asunder, become nothing to the nurture Nature had adorned us in. The windows shut and doors barred in- for a time the world had no place or say in anything. And in that freedom our instincts made demands that we surrendered to.

Her honey-darling skin was a temple that took me with open arms. She was a poem, a fire, a mountain in the distance that shook and filled me with a burning wander-lust. Such supple breast and forgiving lips, she accepted me entirely with a hushed thrill and gasp that simmered as our bodies found rhythm.

I laid her across the mattress, her hair long and tangled like Medusa- the ancient hymns and sacrifices of the Greeks and Incas riddled along the veins of her skin like snakes. I ran my tongue along these secrets and found a magic I’d only read and felt no part of. At times and touch she folded under my caress and presented herself like a gift, waiting to be loved and intensively undone. Her passion came in tides and suddenly she would revolt, rise and take control. Eager and commanding, she left me powerless and quaking under the demand of her wild search for her fulfillment.

Our highs peaked, settled, then took wind and climbed much higher. We gave and took of one another until there was nothing left to be given. Consumed by consumption, a gentle tide came like an earthquake and swept our frenzy to exhaustion. And as we lay catching our breaths, I traced my love into a poem on her back in fingerprints.

“I’m quitting soon,” I said, and she took it to mean the cigarette.

“Good. You know I hate that it lingers.”

“Like my affection,” I said. But she didn’t move, scoff, or breathe.

“You’re so heavy,” she said finally. “I worry that I can’t keep up. That you’ll get bored eventually with someone like me. Some day you’ll up and leave and you won’t look back. I know you don’t. You’ll leave one day like I’m not enough, like nothing ever is.”

They say there are times life presents us moments of greatness that define us. Where what we do will shape not just your life, but the world and those around you. In my bleeting heart I felt it to be one of those moments, and in that moment I was speechless.

“You’re terrifying,” she said.

I nodded and stared absently at the short distance between us. While the reality of one-and-only has always remained for me a distant implausability, for a touch and moment she was mine, if only for the night and orgasm. The night done, we picked up the fragments of ourselves scattered about the room like clothes. And despite the withhold we both know we’ll find ourselves here again, in a month or week or decade thereafter. Two torn souls tearing a room and each other for satisfaction.

The smoke may clear, but the dust, much like our hearts, never does quite settle.

I’m Sorry I’m Not Sorry, But Genuinely And Not The Way Assholes Say It

“A little early for you to call…I’m scared to ask, are you drunk?” She said.

“First of all time is a human construct, secondly it’s got to be happy hour somewhere, and lastly no I’m not.”

I lack the grace to remain kind in cruel situations. When I was five there was a lizard collapsed on the walkway of our front porch. A tiny, wounded, almost lifeless thing with black spots across its back that didn’t dart or scatter away as the other lizards usually would. I knelt down to take a closer look and saw something wet was beginning to dry on the pavement right below it, the small, spotted sides expanding and contracting the closer my body came as I waved the flies away. Two large and helpless eyes staring back at me, desperate and panicked, a strange green liquid that seemed to leak from everywhere around it.

“I don’t believe you, but hi.”

“Hi! Thanks for not asking how my weekend was. Fucking annoying, when people ask questions that don’t really mean anything and it’s just filler when they can’t think of anything to say. You know what I mean?”

I felt sad watching it, and while I don’t think I understood exactly what was happening, I had an idea. As far as an idea can go. Pain is something we can identify, even at an early age, but can only ever understand within the context of ourselves. Through experience. How often do we disregard the warnings of our parents and predecessors because, well, fuck them, and what the hell do they know?-aside from more than us. And fire is hot, sure, but how well is that really known until you burn your finger and it stings for hours no matter how long you run cold water on it? There is empathy, I guess. Being sensitive to the aches and torment of someone other than yourself requires an incredible and noble kind of intelligence. But…just how far does empathy really go, or matter? I imagine it means little, that beautiful understanding, to the sheep and lambs put out to slaughter, bleeding to death or eaten alive.

“…you don’t, but that’s fine.” I said, after silence was my only answer. “Anyway how’s your father doing?” .

My mother called from the car, and thoughtlessly I stood and ran towards her. I sat in the backseat staring into the walkway where the flies grew brave and began to cover around a very specific spot. Two crows came down to the very place I was kneeling, and as the car drove off, all I could see was their violent pecking at the pavement with their long, black, terrible beaks. What I could have done for him, the only thing I think could have eased the pain and suffering of that lizard, still haunts me.

“He died last week,” She said.

Sorry I’m Not Sorry, But Genuinely. (aka Room 4201)

Gail is laying in the hospital while I’m standing on the brink. Burning bridges all weekend as I cross them, and if I ever make it home on Sunday, I’m lighting candles by the beach with starry eyes fixed on the shore. No green lights across the bay, because weekend are a myth and every day is Monday. Just a vague memory or six burning bright against the flames.

Some wounds only heal over time, but those scars are here to stay.

I watch her lay there, lifeless, and understand why there are so many sleeping beauties in fairy tales. But now she is no Belle or Snow White with seven dwarves. She’s only flesh with tubes and wires, some flowers and Get-Well-Soon balloons hovering a bedside. A bracelet her favorite nephew made when he turned six, no makeup and dark purple pavements just above her cheek. Serene, beautiful and peaceful, despite the hazmat ambiance of a hospital room. Hashtag #Iwokeuplikethis, and she looked just as perfect as the first time we made eyes and I just knew she was going to be something.

“John? Where’s John,” A weak voice, two notes shorter than a whisper.

She is surprised to see me standing there at first, but then she flashes that familiar smile so unquestionably unforgettable. Fun and full of memorable, something that never quite loses it’s glow, like watching someone trip or stumble in public. Yet there was a certain kind of sadness in the curves of her lips, in every moment of her happiness, like when you reach for a box of cigarettes and find only one soldier left. A frown formed, only, it was shaped upside down. Like when somebody says they miss you, but you don’t really feel the same way. A half hearted exchange, overdone, overkilled. Packed like this paragraph filled with too many similes.

And that’s what she does to me – filling me full of phrases and cliche’s I hate to see other people be a part of. As if our experiences are the same. As if anyone has ever experienced this pain that is so unbelievably mine.

“I must look horrible.” She says.

You say it like it’s something new.

“And you’re still a jerk. Do you still write?” She asks, and I say yes.

“Show me,” She pleads. And I do.

“You write a lot about girls.” I pause and nod.

Most of them are shades of you.

“What about that night?” She says. “Remind me how it went.”

It was snowing, and I met you at the movie theater wearing a suit.

“Why were you wearing a suit?”

Because my other plans cancelled. I was going to…a club, I think, and the birthday person caught a cold or something, and the whole thing was cancelled. But I spent a lot of money on that suit and I still wanted to wear it so.

“Ohhh, so in other words, because you’re an ass.”

Yes. Because I’m an ass.

“How old were we?”

I was 20, I think? You’d just turned 18.

“Pedophile.”

So you just turned 18, I was wearing a suit because I’m an ass-

“And a pedophile,”

Yes, right, I was an ass and a pedophile, and we saw that movie with Jessica Alba about her eye. She could see the future because of it, and at the end when she gets stabbed in the face some guy in the back of the theatre yelled ‘Bet you didn’t see that coming bitch.’

“I remember that.” And she laughs.

We stayed in the food court talking about your little brother and how out of place I looked in a suit. You put on my tie, so we could match, and when we were getting kicked out at around 3a.m. you straightened your tie and told the security guard- ‘Expect to hear from my attorney.’

She smiles and grabs my hand, I stand still and uncomfortable.

“What made you come?” She asks.

“…you’re dying.” I say finally, because it was something I needed to hear myself say.

“Don’t you always say ‘we all are’?”

“It’s different now.”

“You still love me.”

“I’m not here to win you back.”

“I know.”

She died on a Monday.

“I Love Seasons” Is A Pleasant Way of Saying That I Can’t Even Commit To The Weather

Fall brings out the optimist in me. As the trees tinge yellow, red, then an inevitable dark and muddy brown stomped lifelessly into the mud and sewers of the sidewalk, I get a little giddy. Autumn is a reminder of how beautiful the death of things can be, that life is but an episode among a series of joys, woes, and cosmic indifference to both. Don’t get me wrong- the syndication is a good one, a classic as far as I’m concerned, but always on the brink of being cancelled.

The Arrested Development of existentialism, in so many more ways than one.  

For me, October is a time when the air is always thick and wet, loaded as sentences and on the verge of rain. Where my nostalgia goes into overdrive and I’m overrun in moments that are bulging like clouds, but just as empty and easy to navigate. Standing near the bus stop the first day of school with a oversized Dragonball Z hoodie, and power level at an underwhelming under nine thousand. Kissing Tiffany in Bryant Park while something under our feet crunched loudly, and made the world smell like skin and an end to childhood. Sundays saying goodbye to my father after another awful weekend sharing a bed in his shitty little bedroom apartment.

The experience is a winter wonderland of wondering where all that time has gone, but I don’t want to come off as a nihilist. To be honest, as I get older, I no longer look to the past as often. But when I do, I look back at it all much more fondly. I want to reach out and call someone I haven’t spoken to or of in years, just to remind Tiffany, Kevin, Jimmy, Corina, or hell, even my father, that at some point I loved them dearly.

But sobriety makes empty feel like more than it really is, so I let those sentiments wither with the foliage and double down on the idea that I’m taking the weather too personally. I’m an optimist, and while it’s all going to hell, I’m not so obsessed with disappointment to not look forward to what might come after Winter. I’ve come to terms with the cup half emptied and don’t care to bother where the other half is gone. I want nothing more than to enjoy what’s left of the bitter coffee, jacketed weather, wind snubbed cigarettes and I-Miss-You texts the season warrants.

“Unca Chino, you’re sleeping and awake again,” Xavier said, a little four foot anchor keeping me from ballooning to those far and dizzying heights.

Luckily I spend these days too busy babysitting my nephews to spend it self mutilating in alcohol and scabs that have long-since healed. It was around 9PM, I remember, and after an obligatory afternoon playing catch and pretend body-slamming them on the collection of leaves we spent all morning gathering on the lawn, I was tired. I ordered a pizza and plugged them into a movie and video games while I brewed coffee that came out especially bitter. It was drizzling, and the raindrops ricochet against the window sill started to say something my mouth and heart could only mumble. I’d had a disgusting dream about toilets, teeth, and spiders, and the dreary sounds of wetness from outside made more sense of it than I could.

Rain speaks to me, the same way it speaks to you and every other writer this side of the century. We aren’t special. It’s not so strange how nature can make a noise that nears closer to truth than anything words can make up. There isn’t more honestly to life, vague sounds just allow for more projection.

“Shower time losers,” I said. “First one that doesn’t smell like feet gets ice cream before bed.”  They dashed up the stairs and I leaned my ear closer to the window.

There was another sound besides my melancholy that drew my heart and curiosity closer. Howling, is the only word that came to mind. Howling and guitars. The running waters from their baths upstairs gave me an opportunity, so I used the chance to sneak outside and satiate my greater habits. Cigarettes and busy-bodying.

I took to the driveway where the sound was closest, casually lit a stick of reprieve and sullied along the hedges. Those Jones-town bushes parted and gave way to the neighbors house, a cozy two-story suburbia, complete with a overly playful dog and little balcony facing my sisters house. That was when I saw her.

…Ah Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in.
Are you aware the shape I’m in?
My hands they shake, my head it spins.

She was moonshining on the porch with a bottle of bourbon, her voice trailing along the sad bluegrass like static against the mini-speakers . A playful little beagle with a wet and button nose started whining at my jeans and cigarette smoke through the gate dividing me from her porch. His searching eyes much sadder than whatever guitar strings she sung three beats off key. I couldn’t see her very well, just silhouettes and blonde streaks my mind filled the blanks of.

It was so cinematic- single guy, cute dog, and a drunk white girl waxing lyrics at the moon; shipwrecked on a second story balcony by some emotional disaster. The pretense was a bit pretentious, even as I was living it, but they say that life imitates art, so I was comely to the cliche of it all. Reached down to scratch behind the mutts ears and whimpers to remind him of what a good boy he was.

“Is that The Avett Brothers?” I asked out loud, knowing full well that it was.

“I thank so,” her accent said, a bit surprised and to my enjoyment.

I let the silence build and focused my attention to scratching where his tail wagged the wildest. Too many words are the enemy of mystery, and the few we shared I carefully loaded to be as exciting and interesting as they could be. My father was a dog, a trait he handed down dutifully to me and my brother. Don’t talk so damn much, he used to say. All these men think the way is sweet talking. A woman likes a man that knows when to shut the fuck up.

The proof is in the pudding, and I’ve got enough step-brothers and sisters to vouch for whatever his methods were.

That woman, she’s got eyes that shine.

Like a pair of stolen polished dimes.

She asked to dance I said it’s fine,

I’ll see you in the morning time.

They say you can’t make sense out of a sentiment, but I can quantify the fuck out of a feeling. For instance, I started following some girl on Reddit that only makes quotes with little accents over the i’s and n’s. I don’t speak the language or understand a damned thing she says, but I damn sure like seeing it. Might be Italian, I think, or Spanish? I can never tell which, and to be honest, I would much rather never know at all. Ambiguity is what makes whatever the hell she’s saying so alluring, and a translation would be a mutilation and only ruin the magic. The not knowing is what makes it as fun as coloring books.

That’s why people watching is only fun with strangers.

“When I was in Tennessee, that’s all I heard between the bars.” I said. And her silhouette either nodded or examined me critically in response.

“My friends can’t stand it, but I really like some country songs.” I added, even though I didn’t. A bad habit: playing a game of two truths and a lie but not telling anybody.

I used to tell myself the horndog gene doubled down on my brother and skipped me. It was practically tradition that every Christmas the family gathered to hear one of the crazy situations and women Joseph got himself into over the years. There was the wife that flew him out to Miami just to bone him whenever her husband got too drunk and fell asleep. Threesomes with cousins who he admitted to me were actually sisters, but didn’t want to gross mom out.

“My parents use to play these songs when we lived in _________, and I hated ’em. Now it’s all I ever listen to.”

“Where’s ___________?” I asked.

“Kentucky,” she said. And I smiled, because destiny has a terrible sense of humor.

“So is that Jamison, Old Grandad, or Jim Bean in your cup?”

She laughed, a dry and raspy thing, bordering between the crisp and crunchy stomp of an Autumn leaf. Or smokers lung.

“You Rey’s brother?” She asked.

“No, the other ones.”

“Babysitting?”

“Those boys are too damn old to be called babies.” I said.

“You want a taste?” She said, raising a hazy outline of the bottle she was drinking.

“Not yet,” I said, and the image of my sister finding out flashed before my eyes the way movies say your life does right before you’re dead.  

There was a long pause in the chilled and country New York air, filled only by honking cars and the beagles front paws scratching against the gate for my attention. His breathing heavy with huffed intentions of trying to get over the waist-high barrier between us.

I’m old enough to know the quick wiles of young women. Dumb enough to have experienced the fleeting fancies of the older ones. And oversexed enough to not give a damn about the disasters brought by both.

Her darkness, even from a vague distance, felt so warm and familiar. Comforting- like your room with the blinds are shut tight and it’s an annoyingly sunny day outside.

“If you hear country, I’ll be out here.” She said.

I waved a silent goodbye, gave her pooch some goodbye rough-housing, and sauntered back inside. Xavier was huddled in his 3DS and Ian was coveting an arms race of nerf guns by his bedside. They’d forgotten about the ice cream, and thinking about what awaited outside, I pondered doing the same.

Wondered if these violent delights always needed such thigh-ish ends. If I could break myself from doggish genetics and spend all night with two kids hopped up on ice cream. If I could abort these veins and be more than these base desires. Or are these speculations as sour as the bourbon that could be overflowing my cup. I wanted to be sweet as the mood it seasons and affords, easy as the Hello-Is-That-The-Avett-Brothers I’m showcasing in glassed smiles. It’s a weeknight and she might have work in the morning, but then again so do I. Is it worth getting started on tonight and well on my way to hating myself tomorrow? With alarm clock reminders nagging my pocket, the world knocking violently, trying to abrupt the bluegrass dream. Responsibilities begging at me, like a puppy scratching at the door.

After all if mistakes are what we call experience, then a man is made of them. So if I were to go, I would not be irresponsible. I would merely be building character.

Oh, those empty hours where my righteous rises from the deep. Do I have to? Choose, I mean. Between the calm or the storm. Can’t I be both? Loud and quiet, like the eye of a hurricane.

“All right boys,” I yelled.

 

“It’s time to-…