Tag: marriage

A Man Can’t Live Off Of Cupcakes

One neon purple stage, mascara studded women, seven rowdy young men and a lucky Groom-To-Be.

John, sensible and thoughtful John, was settling down with a chipper Vietnamese girl he’d met on holiday two years ago come Spring. Tonight we see him off with too much alcohol and feminine qualities, of the nude variety, doubts on marriage. The male prerogative: just one chick from now ’til forever?,’ is a vehement reprimand on settling down, so we slap his back and call him a fag for the very human desire for stability.

It’s all just a ceremony before he’s gone to the doghouse, the wife, the old ball and chain. Another man down with an arrow to the knee, and while all the idioms are there, the feelings don’t seem to sink in.

In three weeks John will still be John- our John, whether at the altar or the pubs. We talk about old times, share a few looks to the women bending every which way. They have names, but we forget them, either out of respect or because of how little they really meant, so we dub refer to them by their epithets: Left Tits, Yoga Pants, Sesame Street, Brooklyn Bridge and Coyote Ugly. Ivan complains we’re down to a four man team, and while we joke the night away I can’t help but wonder: what ring, what woman or family tears any fabric any worse than time, or distance?

And though I say nothing else but watch the night with a smile, John and I exchange a glance that tells me we have an understanding.

“You scared?” Is all I ask. He takes a moment, then shakes his head.

“Nah, I’m ready.” I nod along and shake his hand, join the rest for the moment we both know about to come.

Ivan, lumbering and brutish Ivan, seemed to forget us all as he stood closest to the stage. Every now and then his deep baritone cat calls echoing through the room along with butterfly kisses, laced in ten dollar bills and 90’s TRL level “WOO’s.” The nights main courses dance and pose, tug and heel on the thin thread of a green paperback leash. Like dreams they came and went, soothed and whispered, body shots and oh-honey-that-cost-extra’s.

Eventually Ivan gathered us together, another circle, another toast.

“To John!” Then down the hatch, bitter shots all around. Then with a wave comes in tonights bride, Blonde and clad in nothing, dragging a somber looking John away.

“This one’s on me Johnny!” Is all that Ivan says, and some of us laugh without saying what’s happening. But we know. We all know.

That back room door opened and closed, we slapped backs and watch Tits and Tramp Stamp strutting skin and sex like nothings happened, but deep down we all know. A small objection lumps in my throat, but I wash it down with another beer and stare straight ahead like a fool. Tramp Stamp’s areolas tilt and almost seem to ask me why I lose my voice when moments are so critical.

Five, ten, twenty minutes. An eternity when you’re on the other side of a waiting room. Close to an hour later we’re all winding down but John is nowhere to be seen. We hear a creak, the back door opens, Blonde emerges wearing a grin, hips and eyes batting triumphantly. The boys are a riot, a series of firecrackers cackling, while John comes out limping, belt haggard as his face marching toward us. He face lean, thinner that he usually is, eyes cloaked in shadows and fringing on regret. Another circle, another toast. More cheers, more jokes, more prods and laughter, but John is solemn as a vow. His blood red eyes meet the group, a stun silence gives way to whimpers.

“I fucking love my wife man, I-…fuck.”

Nobody says a word. Nobody is sure of what to say. We look to one another like we’re clueless, like we don’t understand the cause or what to blame. But we know.

Deep down, we all know.

If Your Husband Gets Home Early We’ll Be Nicked At Six (aka 20-Love)

Dianysia doesn’t speak, she purrs.

When I stared into those bright, cloudy pools of milk and caramel she calls eyes a dark desire fills my heart and all extremities. Like burning alive, but on a smaller scale, and there was no lie in that fire. My nerves tingled in a calm excitement and I became painfully aware of my own senses, sensitive to the slightest touch that tethered us on the springy mattress. Swathed in the pale moonlight and sunrise in her eyes, pulled and forced towards her every word like a marionette by a string.

“Do you have a wife?” She asked me casually, and I answered no. “A girlfriend then,” she pressed, and in the soft intimacy of her legs wrapped in mine, I confess to so-and-so’s.

To my heart having grown brash, bitter and unstable. That I didn’t trust these whims and so called feelings, because they’d betrayed me, and in their wake I found less beauty in life and even lesser in myself. Sentiments leave a wound and I’d never been able to resist a scab, yet it was in that flame of deception and lies that I was tempered, and I was surprised to find my mettle too strong to be extinguished or emolded.

“There’s something in the way you look at me,” she began. “I don’t think anyone’s ever looked at me like you do.”

Outside the burros were crying to the dry and arid sky. A cricket chirped, two coyotes wailed at the moon, and between the bitter thyme’s of guitars whining at the night air, it began to rain. Began to wet the still and thirsty earth so yearning for its due.

Dianysia mewled and I feel her warm heart thump against the imprint of my palm, the crease and edges of her skin smooth and told a story to my fingertips like braille. It was five am and soon a cab would call me down to home and other sunsets, and the notion numbed me. I couldn’t bare the thought, to leave her side or moment unfulfilled. But what did it matter that we lay together, when sleep would tear us apart and a dream will keep us separate.

Being Domesticated Is The Slowest Kind Of Suicide

Pathmark aisle misconduct, condescending at the magazines lining checkout. Pointing at other customers that look strange, or take twenty minutes to get their debit card out at the counter. It’s a woman with a purse the size of my impatience, she rummages through her bag and takes out an entire liter of seltzer water while I fight the urge to scream What-The-Literal-Fuck.

Behind her is an old couple standing desolate in marriage, still and confident in a silence only too much time together affords. One more person back is a boy with raven hair down to his flannel shirt he definitely got at Hot Topic – black nails, guy-liner, and a septum ring. The kind of kid you could tell does molly or LSD and definitely had a falling out with Fall Out Boy.

“You’re so judgmental, stop,” She says, and I make a face. “…maybe he likes Panic! At The Disco.”

I’ve been domesticated and it’s the slowest kind of suicide. My love used to be in a lonely street and empty parking lot, counting the grey tiles of the sidewalk and dingy lights of apartment windows. Empty sirens of the fire department whining down Broadway. I was mad and roaming, rabid and a little moody; roving Amsterdam for a fix, thigh, or feeling. Hardly a name, I dove into every speakeasy I could find in Manhattan. What I was looking for, I couldn’t say, but every night I thought I found it. In a strangers laugh when I said ‘you remind me of Tom Selleck,’ or the way a woman looked at me with disgust or elevator eyes. I tried to make love and friends quite endlessly, but then daylight would break and that victory, touch, or feeling would melt away from me like a dream.

“Gross, what was that?” She asks.

“What was what?” I said, hiding behind a grin.

“That thing your face did.”

My smile was a kind of sob nobody heard or could understand, a nightmare I share with May over dumplings and teriyaki sauce, or that bar with little pink umbrellas she likes to twirl and put in her hair. Johnny Utah’s, I think. Or was it Connolly’s?…Just some other pointless place to meet like a round table and discuss the immaterial but crucial happy accidents of our lives. I could give a list of what you should expect of her as a coworker, and if someone asks why I look so angry May could answer in numeric or alphabetical. It’s strange, how in the inconsequential we’ve found the pattern of each other. Not by some deep or alarming gesture, but with space, patience, an open heart.

“You mean smile?”

“Yeah, don’t do that again.”

“I’ll have you know my mom thinks I”m very handsome.”

I look back at my Bukowski, my era of erroneous, and I think I simply broke down in unrealistic expectations and the company for it. I mistakenly thought the onus of happiness was a burden, something to be waged and fought for. So I roamed for romance, thirsted for touch, lusted after the lack-luster and fleeting fulfillment of friends and flesh because I had a deep and awful yearning I’d yet to give to another person. And I was worried this rare and strange fruit I did not know how to grow might go unused and unfulfilled, left rotting in the dark cellars of my heart. Anxious and a little desperate- I gave it to any pretty face or fiend willing to take it. I was afraid, and over loneliness, I preferred to go bankrupt on a feeling.

“Never said it was ugly.” She replied.

“Then what is it?” I asked, and she thought for a moment.

“You’re always grumpy, like you’re constipated or that! Laughing, yes. You’re either mad or laughing. So when you smile its like this weird in between that’s not natural.”

But life is not a victory march, and much less a destination. Happiness is not a place or moment, but a pursuit. So when May tilts her face and I ask her what she’s thinking, with her smile wide as Sisyphus coming down to his boulder, I’m reminded that desire to throw myself against a wall is selfish and destructive. I remember that since September I’ve been living for more than myself.

“I know it sounds funny, but your laughter, it’s the most honest part about you. Like it comes from somewhere so deep inside of you that…I don’t know. I just like it better than whatever the hell that other thing was.”

“Some of the doctors said I was the best looking baby they ever delivered.” I replied, because the line is moving, and we are in Pathmark no matter if we are somewhere else.

“Can you back up a little? I don’t want anyone to know I’m with you.”

Hey Baby Are Your Parents Pilgrims? (Because It Looks Like You’re Settling)

Sandy asks me why I’m so quiet, and I don’t know what to tell her. Lately I’ve felt a lack for words and feelings although I’m pretty overstocked on both. I suppose I could be hoarding sentiments, saving them for a rainy day or bright eyed Jane on the subway. And I hear the tip-tip-tip-tap-tap-tip drizzle against my window sill but when I stare at the shelves then back at Sandy I just can’t bare to part with a single phrase or hug or Good Morning Beautiful. I’m overflowing again with so many thoughts in my head, but they don’t race any more. Instead they’re sluggish and relentless – dragging their feet through the recesses of my day while I’m in the shower or silently consoling strangers on the train. This afternoon I made a best friend and we carved our names on a tree trunk just outside of town although he doesn’t know it yet.

Sandy knows it though, I think. She knows too much sometimes.

And normally stuff like this is fine because I’ve always kind of lived my life with head in the clouds (and between warm legs,) just musing for amusement and just going through the motions with my body on autopilot. I’ve forgotten what the sun feels like so now I’m restless and sticky and asking what this thing dripping down my brow and heart is. Sandy says its pulp, and then I wonder if she’s calling me a fruit or something she can squeeze dry. I guess human adaptability can also be a pretty terrible thing when you think about it – becoming so used to something that the opposite feels like a threat. What a strange notion, to consider that I’m not used to happiness. It’s such an off term also if you read too deep into it like I always do: used to happiness. Used to it.

Happiness is using me, so happiness must be conniving.

So I’m far from melancholic, far from lonely, far from Moloch, far from observations of human desolation, but I’m never far from Sandy. And I’d rather not write about love if it ends well, to be honest, although that’s exactly what this disease is. I know it, but I won’t ever say it. Not ever. There’s a certain level of defeat that goes with that statement, and I don’t really mean in a sense of being ‘vulnerable’. It’s defeat because I feel I can still do better. My hormones remind me often – super models, and that girl who turned me down in secondary school, and that cutie on the third floor with the red hair and bitter eyes: they’re all as appetizing, have infinite possibilities and maybe friends that are probably even more attractive and more quirky and have even more strange and fascinating habits I can poke fun at over lattes and orgasms.

But they aren’t Sandy. They’ll never be Sandy.