September 17, 2011 at 3:29am
High on you
You are my drug
You do not sustain
I’d crucify myself
Before I’d let you go
(she looks up and smiles, long black hair spilling across my chest)
(our fingers interlacing, enclosing, inseparable)
Against a world closing in
Can there be meaning more than this:
I preach distance to you. I inflict it
on myself. I invent barriers like age-gaps
and bad-timing. But only now, in writing
this poem, do I learn how the word
distance can magnetize lovers.
You obey my demands. You don’t
call. We don’t speak, but you find
a strand of my hair in your freezer
and I still write with the taste of
you in my mouth.
— “The Space Between,” Elena Georgiou (excerpt)
(Source: poetrytumblr, via iwillalwaysbeyt-deactivated2011)
September 3, 2011 at 9:46am
Reverberations in the dream world
I’m in my mom’s house. There’s a goat in the attic. Maybe I took the goat there. I feel responsible for the goat. As I’m watching, the goat slips outside of the house through a small gap in the wall. Miraculously, the goat doesn’t fall down the outside wall, which is now on the edge of a cliff.
My daughter Erika is in the house. I look down into mom’s living room (presumably from the attic). I see puke or pee pooled along side, and behind, the couch. I ask Erika to clean it up. She argues with me.
I’m in my ex-wife Lisa’s house (which used to be my house, before the divorce). Lisa and her new husband Ray are there. I spill something on the floor, really fine dust. I have a feather duster. But as I sweep dust fills the air and we can’t breath. I get dust all over Lisa. I apologize. I’m afraid Ray will be angry.
Ray performs a sorcery trick, involving flame and a wire contraption. I pick the contraption up and joke he could use it on me. He takes the contraption and pretends to harm me with it. We walk to the door together. He’s laughing. He has his arm around me. When we get to the door he kisses me—a long kiss. I’m complicit. When we pull apart our lips tear a little. But instead of blood, I have a little piece of his lip stuck to mine in the shape of a heart.
Suddenly, Ray is a gay prostitute, with a chiseled face, and full lips. He’s super thin and wears a leather jacket.
I’m back in mom’s house. Dad has passed away, but he’s reading in bed, just like he always did. I realize I might have dropped my son Kevin at a baseball game earlier, and forgot to pick him up. I want to ask dad for help, but he’s ineffectual. A specter. I try to call Kevin’s cell phone, but I can’t remember the number. I misdial a couple of times.
I dial a number I’m pretty sure is his. A woman with a foreign accent answers. She knows who I am. I’m really confused. The connection is not good. I’m only getting every other word. I tell her I’m sorry to have disturbed her, but I meant to call my son. She says she knows. She says Kevin doesn’t want to speak to me. She says I left him at the ballpark well past when all the other parents picked up their kids. She says he was waiting there all alone. She says he doesn’t want to live with me anymore.
I’m angry at the woman on the phone. I demand to talk to Kevin. I threaten to call the police. I want to call the police, but I’m afraid they’ll take her side. I hang up.
September 2, 2011 at 9:55pm
Pulsating Technicolor light show
It’s been a week since Tracy headed east to graduate school. I’ve been single before. When I was married it’s all I wanted. But things are different now. I don’t want to lose Tracy.
True, she can be a pain in the ass, stubborn as hell, immature, and self-centered. Rationally speaking, our relationship was unsustainable. We weren’t progressing. After living with me for five years, spending her days home shopping on the internet with my credit card, she told her parents she was single, living with girlfriends, working for a professor at the university (hmmm). Her parents live nearby. When she’d go home for holidays or family events, she’d disappear from my life. When she’d come back, she’d disappear from theirs.
A couple of years ago Tracy and I flew to Australia. She neglected to tell her parents she’d be out of town. When her parents couldn’t reach her by phone or email, they drove to her last known residence—the apartment she lived in three years before. Luckily, her friends still lived there, and were themselves well practiced at shamming parents. It was a close call. We were one slip-up away from an international incident. Me on the front page of the newspaper (“Sick Professor Kidnaps Young Student”) and on the lam from Interpol.
Her parallel life was a source of conflict, and sometimes it got physical. Our fights were like our sex—raw and animal, a WWE match. She’d slap me hard. I’d take her to the floor. Often as not they ended with us fucking. Afterwards, we’d be back to status quo. Denial is a very powerful thing. My kids—and even my mom one time—heard these fights through our all-too-thin walls. If I could have given my kids anything, it would’ve been freedom from parental conflict. I will be reincarnated as an ant.
Last night I wandered the streets of downtown Melbourne. Couples and friends spilled in and out of bars, pubs, and restaurants. Trams, cars and ambulances raced and clanged to destinations unknown. The crush of partying humanity and pulsating Technicolor light show perfectly complemented the dark emptiness inside.
September 1, 2011 at 7:48am
Love cannot be wrong
Tracy came home with me on our third date. We went straight to the bedroom, locked in a deep French kiss, and tore off our clothes. The next night she was back, and the night after that, and within a couple of weeks I gave her my key and she moved in. We did everything a couple discovering each other does, and we did it loudly and all the time. We broke the dining room table, stained the furniture and carpet, and concerned the neighbors. A woman passing by my window heard Tracy in the throws of a loud orgasm and yelled, “Hello in there! For god sake, are you alright? Should I call the police?” We cupped each others mouths and giggled softly. Like kids hiding from a parent.
Those first few months were the sweetest and—understanding full well the irony—most innocent time in my adult life. They made viscerally real what was previously just a liberal philosophy. So long as no harm is done—and God knows harm is done in millions of purportedly “normal” relationships every second of every day—love, in its various and sundry forms, cannot be wrong.
August 30, 2011 at 9:31am
Our first date…and first kiss
I picked up Tracy after work, took her rollerblading along the shoreline, and then to dinner at a sushi joint near the beach. From there we drove through the night to Long Beach in my convertible with the top down. The streets in downtown Long Beach were closed for a festival, so we abandoned the car and headed into the city on foot. We came across a band. A few people were dancing in the street. I grabbed her hand, she slid into me. We danced slow and close. After the dance, she hooked my arm, and we walked on.
At First and Pine in downtown Long Beach, I executed what is probably the finest act of my life. I wrapped my arms around Tracy, dipped her low, and gave her a long deep kiss. To my surprise she went along. When we came up there was clapping and whooping and yelling all around us—from people on the street, people sitting in restaurants, people in passing cars, the homeless, the well-to-do, heterosexuals, homosexuals, blacks, whites, Hispanics. Everyone stopped what they were doing and came together in a bleacher stomping Rodney King “Can We All Get Along” celebration of our first kiss.
August 29, 2011 at 7:35am
bright white line
I am my bright white line
My bright white line is me
But you don’t think in lines, my love
You think in curves
In loops and three dimensional spirals
topologies in space
You take my bright white line and toss it in the air
swirl it around
You split my bright white line
into parallel universes
I protest on behalf of my bright white line
you laugh, my love
I fight for my bright white line
you fight back, my love
If I gave you my bright white line
would you lose it
when it fades?
August 28, 2011 at 4:48pm
I met Tracy at SBUX
I met Tracy at Starbucks. She was working her way through college as a barista, and I was a permanent fixture of the coffee house, writing papers on my computer and avoiding the office. Her quick wit, broad smile, and musical laugh made Tracy a favorite with the customers, particularly the older male set. She has a model’s lanky thin body, long black luminescent hair, and a sweet face that looks Hispanic from one angle and Asian from another. A genetic kaleidoscope from her Filipino parents.
Tracy and I locked eyes for the first time, ironically enough, when I was canoodling on the couch with Pilar, my Chinese girlfriend at the time. Pilar was a fellow professor at the university and ten years my junior. On this particular day she was dressed like a teenager in a flirty little miniskirt, strappy heels, and low cut blouse. As we laid interlocked on the couch, I looked up through a tangle of Pilar’s bare arms and legs as Tracy, who was sweeping the floor next to us, shot me one of her million watt smiles.
The sexual equivalent of Hannibal Lecter
My girlfriend and I met five years ago, when she was 20 and I was 45. I am a university professor, but before you rush to stereotype us with the worn out cliched porn sequence running through your head, let me just say that we worked in a quirky cobbled together post modern California divorced family sort of way.
It all started out simple enough.
Ex-wife in my eyes: Old, marmish, likes to eat at the Olive Garden.
Girlfriend in my eyes: Young, sexy, likes to seductively lick lollypops.
Me in ex-wife’s eyes: Devil incarnate.
Me in girlfriend’s eyes: Sugar Daddy, intelligent, a solid fuck.
Girlfriend in ex-wife’s eyes: “She’s younger than I was when I married the bastard twenty years ago!”
Ex-wife in girlfriend’s eyes: Old, marmish, likes to eat at the Olive Garden
Girlfriend in daughter’s eyes: “When I get a little older, can we go clubbing?”
Girlfriend in son’s eyes: “When I get a little older, can we date?”
We all settled into an equilibrium. My girlfriend moved in, and we spent the first year in blissful coitus, separating only for crucial activities like kid pick-up and drop-off, court hearings, dinner runs, and an occasional phone call to work to forestall termination.
My ex-wife launched a series of legal cruise missiles aimed at getting the divorce court to certify I was the sexual equivalent of Hannibal Lecter, a moral degenerate to be kept from civil society at all cost.
That was five years ago.
Today—two abortions, a million dollars, and five years later—my girlfriend packed up her clothes, turned off the lights, and shut the door on our home in southern California.
As I sit here, thousands of miles away in Australia, I have to ask: what have I learned?
Is there some gem that can be sifted from the smouldering ashes of my life? Some enduring nugget of wisdom I can gift to eternity?
I seriously doubt it.
But if it’s out there, somewhere, I’m sure this blog will find it.
Basic Laws of Nature
There are Laws of Nature not even Newton conceived. Or maybe he did, but forgot to mention them in Principia Mathematica.
I found out the hard way that one immutable Law of Nature is, if there is a 25 year age difference between you and your girlfriend, don’t even think about marriage.
Or as an Indonesian cabby told me on a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride back from the Melbourne airport, “you can have a lot of fun, but don’t think with your heart. Think with your dick.”