Monday, April 28, 2014

remembering our anniversary

holy shit.  I would like to swear more, but I'm holding myself back right now...

Inside this week, the date will pass where, 9 years ago, we married.  I thought, ahead of time, about how hard it would be to come to the first year anniversary of his death.  I took that day off work.  But somehow, I forgot to think about 9 years ago.  13 years ago, we had just barely met.  What a funny thing that meeting was...there was me- previously promiscuous, willing to open my heart to any dipshit that came along.  I had finally decided to quit smoking, stop drinking the way that I had been, and stop trying to pick up guys at bars.  In fact, I had decided I needed space from guys...I figured I'd take a year or so and figure out how to do things starting from a better place.  A literal week later, John and Charles did their show at my school.  He and I spoke for about 3 hours after the show by his truck.  For the next several months, we talked every night for 2-3 hours, we saw each other on weekends, and things inside me shifted.

 He had been something of a serial monogamist.  He was in a place where he wanted to experience fooling around, and not find another girlfriend.  So we reversed roles, back to the typical gender specs.  I finally emailed him that I needed something more, and that I would do anything to not lose him so we needed to fall back to just being friends.  He responded in a way that no one ever has with me before.  He didn't say "okay", he didn't walk away.  He told me that the thought of losing me was awful and that if it was a question of just being my friend, or having me as a girlfriend, he wanted to commit to me.  I read that email a thousand times.  I printed it and kept it in my "happy box" for years, till that box disappeared in one of our moves.

I remember exploring his chest and belly that year.  Learning him.  I remember watching Eddie Izzard in his truck and long Sunday afternoons at trampoline meets where I had almost nothing to do, but couldn't imagine being anywhere other than with him.  I remember when I moved and had my video camera, shooting him after he had helped and we had, um, well, touched...and saying he was the man of my dreams.

I remember being in Australia a few weeks later showing that clip to some of my fellow travelers.  He was silly and smart in a strange way...he was passionate and a great listener.  He was responsive and loving.  He was busy...and while I was in Australia, he was doing dive shows, first at Knoebles and then in Japan...he couldn't contact me as much as I wanted and when I got on the internet kiosks to check for messages, if he wasn't there, I broke a insecure.

I remember when we went to London.  I was the announcer in the dive show and he set himself on fire so many times.  I loved the microphone...I loved the show...I felt fat and out of shape and awkward in comparison to all the athletes in the show.  We fought pretty intensely in that hotel room of the Swan Hotel, with no screens in the windows and crooked hallways, steep creaky stairs, on the banks of the Thames.  I thought we might break up.  And I had just bought a townhouse, my first home, in Frederick.  Plus I didn't have a job in the county.  It had been so easy getting a position in Charles County that I had my pick of schools.  Consequently, I didn't worry too much about finding a job in Frederick.  It turned out that that particular assumption really made an ass out of just me.  In London, I called obsessively to find out about a job and when I finally heard about an interview, I had to ask to leave early.  Dana Kunze, the owner of the show and one time Guinness Book of Records high dive record holder, broke character and said "good bye" to me in the show.  John had worked with him for years and told me he had never done that for an announcer before.

That year I worked part time teaching 4th grade, as a nanny, and then at Sylvan Learning Center.  And during that year, I finally asked him to live with me.  What a fight that was!  He traveled so much with his trampoline shows, he just wanted a place where he could come home and just be a mess.  I remember sitting on the steps of my new townhouse, crying and asking "Why can't that place be with me?"

He finally caved and said okay...and boy was he a mess.  And oh, how happy I was to have him with me!  To know that when he was home from a show, finally I would be his safe place.  His haven.  The one he came home to.  I'd been alone so long...and it was finally the perfect form of freedom, to have him there with me.

From the time I was a small child, my life has shown me that love was possible, but that it often hurt, was messy, unclear, perhaps even broken.  With apologies to my mother and grandmother, who raised me, and my father and stepmother who were always in the background and who have helped quite a bit over the last eight years or so, I have never ever felt trust inside love.  John WAS that for me...he was annoying and difficult and I never truly believed he loved me more than diving and trampoline.  He was disorganized and always insisted he was ultra organized.  When I thought of making love with someone OTHER than him, it hurt things inside of me that I couldn't name, that I hadn't known existed.  Every time we made love after we had kids, we asked each other why we didn't do that more often, as we were so good at it...

If I could crumble my heart and soul like fish food into an aquarium, I would...I know I need to start over.  I know I will hold onto him, no matter where I go from here.  I know that I have the strength to do this.  I don't care about any of that right now.  I care about our story.  I want it to live forever.  I want our love to live I am extra glad for our kids.  But I need to remember that they are very young.  And that in order for them to truly live it and embrace it as part of who they are and how they came to be, I carry a great responsibility.  I have to tell the stories, I have to keep his heart in mine still beating in that special way that it only beat for me.  I have to bite my tongue, find a way through this hell.  I will NOT let go of him, damnit!  I will move on, but he will always be loved, remembered, and honored in my house.  He is a huge part of me, my love, my hope, my belief, my everything.  No matter what comes next that will never change.

I love you, years ago, while you were dying, now, and forever, John.  I do.  I do.  and I would again, a thousand times, knowing all that was to come.

Friday, April 25, 2014

mistakes? desire that cannot be denied

If clouds were real…
Passion or love
Desire need and loneliness
Magic and moments and bears and signs
Even though you do not believe
The past is finding me
Lost and circling
I imagine
I have
I feel your weight on me, pressing me into the bed
I have nothing to compare this to
No magical metaphors and I must say
I hate
The romanticism that pervades these things
There is nothing romantic
About farting like a Clydesdale, or changing tampons
Morning hair and morning breath and a face bare of makeup
Of loving someone who does not belong to you
Of not being able to let well enough alone
I need
No one
I do not want to be alone
And you are so much more than I ever dreamed

At one time, it became apparent
What I wanted
More than anything in the world was

To be 
CHERISHED.  A simple word
With such power
To cherish
Which is to worship, which seems unwieldy
But to be wild about, to prize, dote on, adore…
What a woman wants…your arms
Like a strong foundation
Your lips
The perfect kindling
Your special parts pulling mine to you
With no strings or ties or rules or regard
For anything
I feel as though my feet are plugged into the heat

Of the Earth’s core
My heart sings the silent songs of each dead star
Still making our sky magic.
I know
So much of the underside
Perhaps it is foolish, childish, selfish
Perhaps I just don’t
Give a damn. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

naming the namelss

We all
have the power
to turn things
to fragrant pink flowers as soft
as cherry blossoms

the trick is to recognize
that death lives
beneath life

My eight year old son
asks about heaven
at least
once a week
and so I think about it
So sweet to contemplate
too hard
to hold onto
it is mist and fog and energy
sour and smooth
mixing together
the peepers AND the worms
colorful sidewalk chalk flowers
beside small smelly carcasses
and decomposing trash

it is silence inside screaming
inside a motionless mound
of scarred sore brain cells
cut and sliced
devouring themselves by the moment

it is frozen smiles of ink and paper
and stolen, illicit passion
while still having
to take the trash out
and check the mail
walk the dogs
change the litter box
pick up inside piles of poo

Small warm soft clinging
and tantrums
in the principal's office
throwing glue and pencils and breaking crayons

The real-ness of heaven
hurts and swallows things
with a mouth as big as the world

The dream-ness of heaven
lies in the belly
of an unknown sea monster
who can never truly surface
but who swims
with the grace
of wind through the willow trees
and the babbles of brooks.

It's all the poetry of the moments
between battles about dinner
and diapers and holding hands
and tears that have

no name.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sometimes A Melody

There's a hollow inside
that no one else is meant
to hear
yet I wish my words
to notes
because sometimes music
meets you
in the silence
beside tears...

A tune
can trick you, touch you
when there is a deep
chill in the night air
that holds you

are magic
That's true

but in blue glass
of far away traffic talking
and peepers peeping
and the soft silence of moments
that might have

It's the melody
that meets you

where no one

Where hearts hold hands
and toes never
touch the ground and lips...
lips only dream

of dancing.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

angels and smiles

ah, my angels, my loves...
there are ideas that you get, better than those your age
and gone
and empty places.
for months I've looked into your eyes
heard platitudes
about what should matter
and I drank and cried
and felt and ached
and I have looked at you all
my eyes
connected to my soul, my heart, my toes
to everything
and you three
you are the ties
that bind
you are the ribbons
of the knot
that was tied

there's a song
so sweet, so lovely
embracing the mess and holding
the love higher
no mirrors
because it isn't about now
or looks
or perfection
it is

we are, together
imperfect in our haves
and have nots
and I wonder if you know what I want?

I want you to see the sunset
through my eyes
hear the sounds of small creatures
to feel the burn of muscles in legs
as you climb to the top of something
so large
everything spins when you get there
I want you to know the coolness of the kiss
of wind on your skin

I want you to KNOW
you keep
my heart

when there is nothing else

which makes me smile....

Sunday, April 6, 2014


sometimes there are momentary gifts that
from the outside
don't make any sense

I'm in a field
It's lovely and clear, with tall grass
perhaps there are daisies
way too many dandelions for any HOA
and I am bleeding
from cuts
deep and long
like I have been attacked
by a bear

and a voice from
somewhere secret
whispers to me
"you are amazing"

and it's like a shadow
took my hand
for a moment
and one slash heals

the silent sound slips inside my ears
from every flower petal
insisting "you are beautiful"

and cuts that are covered
begin to scab and

There is still
no one

The field rustles in gentle breezes
Peepers sing from an unseen pond
the pain
is still
but healing holds me in hand
as the wind whispers

making sense
doesn't matter as much
as making connection
sharing hope
healing wounds

Perhaps making sense
is over rated.