Tag: marriage

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.

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right and Three Lefts Will Get You Nowhere (in bed)

“You didn’t do anything wrong,” She said. “I’m sorry for making you feel as if you did.”

I can never kind of. My heart is so often in a space of obsessive dedication or completely bankrupt of a feeling. I wonder how strangers do it, and wince at their ability to feign interest or sadness with a sort of quiet mix of pity and admiration. It takes talent to appear good without being so, damn what Plato said, and I wish I could pretend to care about the excessive acclaim people place on their trivial and self made problems.

“It’s been a hard week. A lot’s been going on,”

Be kind, I’ve heard it said, because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

“I’ve been drinking too much and trying to figure this out. I didn’t want anybody to see me like this.”

But some fights weigh heavier than others. Try whining about your boss or cell phone coverage and see how much Atlas shrugs.

“He destroyed my whole apartment, Noel.”

The way she says my name is devastating, leaves me aching and reaching for her like that first cigarette after work. I’ve read that saying a persons name for emphasis is a social trick, how we’re conditioned to turn our heads and attention, listen closely to whoever utters it. Who must obviously know and acknowledge us, and by extension, deserves the same.

“I’m sorry, I haven’t even asked. How are you?”

I’ve never been a fan of emotional cons, and I know all about Pavlov’s dogs. Lucky for me, I’ve always been more of a cat person. You might say my name a hundred times but I won’t so much as look at you until I absolutely feel like it.

“My aunt died but I couldn’t make it to the funeral, and I can’t figure out if I should quit my job or not. Shrug life, I guess.” I said, because comedic deflection is kind of my specialty.

She pauses on the phone and makes an audible sigh, a sign that she’s internalizing what’s been presented. The next words out of her mouth I know are I’m-So-Sorry, but, I wonder, is she really? Staring at the door frame he’s torn down for the fourth time. Her mind racing to make excuses and justifications I won’t bother to pay much mind to.

“Its been hard for both of us,” Is all she said. “How are we going to get over it.”

And in the background I hear a click of a mousepad, and I imagine its probably for the number to the locksmith she always forgets.

I can never kind of. My heart is so often in a space of obsessive dedication or completely bankrupt of a feeling.

To be between her and a failing marriage is a place I’m all but unfamiliar to. My All-Or-Nothing is something of a gift and a curse that way. How many relationship hang ups have I profited of? How many times have I felt the thighs of disatisfied army wives only looking for a shoulder and bit of understanding? Enough for me to realize I am no Casanova or protagonist, but a short escape for those with nothing to lose, twisted hearts, and a bit of time on their hands.

“I guess we’ll figure it out, Kate.” I said.

Because who doesn’t love a game of cat and mouse.

 

‘Til Death Do Us Part’ Sounds Like Less Like A Promise and More Like A Threat

“I just had a shower that was wonderful,” Karina said. “But there’s something in the air that troubles me. This feeling that, tonight, there’s something a little off about you. A thought that’s invasive and makes you act this way. It sounds like…crickets from my window, and it’s not alarming, but it’s there.”

How had she learned my moods so quickly? There’s always a silence in me that’s not so quiet nor my own- full of crickets, left-over sentiments, bubble-gummed sidewalks and marooned moonlight. The phantoms and faceless anxieties I am perpetually facing are nameless, despite the labels and disordered name-tags; are large as the clouds and just as vague, hard to pin into anything so definitive and limiting as a sentence. Tonight’s specters are Friendship, A Sense of Belonging, Suffering and The Much Less Fortunate. With a special guest performance by Empathy & Minutiae. Analyzing the underlying message beneath the most complex social cues and feintest text just saying ‘hey’.

“Call me when you have the chance. I have something to tell you later, even if it means we’ll never speak again.”

I like to over-think because emotions are so unreliable and sticky: like children’s hands at birthday parties. Reason makes much more sense and I love to overanalyze a feeling, but I’m a sucker for attention. Give me the slightest piñata string of affection, and I can get more than just a little hung up on being the helpless one in a relationship.  And being the self-bruting masochist that I am, a part of me quite enjoys it. I already know Karina has to confess that she is already in a relationship, but I’ll not let misery have me this time. And rage can exit stage fuck-off, because I already know from all those tires that I’ve kicked that it’s impotent. That nothing ever comes from it.

My mother once told me life is much like a chain- that we are smithed and molded to fit one another like the links on a fence.  She meant it in a very old and semi-Catholic way: a butterfly effect that says what each of us are, at birth, is inherent- and thus what we are will inevitably attract only a certain type of person. A personality that connects. I never believed her, but if this was true, my maker must have made me as the ideal third for cucks.

“Is this because I forgot your birthday?” I said, because strings of the heart were made for tugging. “I’m sorry I didn’t listen, I’ve gotten too comfortable with you. We’ve only just recently met but for some reason it feels like we’ve known each other for so much longer. As if this was something we always did.”

Only women of a certain disposition find my demeanor type appealing – and whether they were bored, out of love, desperate for attention or a despot, I couldn’t say. And even if I could, it wouldn’t be my place to judge.

“That made my heart sigh,” Her text said. “How do you phrase what I want to say not knowing that I want to say it?”

Because I love you, and my endings are written clear across the chain-link.