Thursday, January 28, 2010
I know I should. I want to raise my voice.
Who attends my political party?
Determining the country’s fate by choice--
I wish it did not have to be dirty.
One promises a program called Bush Moon.
The other contradicts himself instead.
November nominates impending doom.
It seems we must all love blue, white and red.
Participants make you think they can fly.
But soon they start the futile missile rain.
I’m wary of on whom I can rely.
Hope for a leader who will break the chain.
And until then I’ll pray for surrender
to keep this melting pot from the blender.
“Gentle Dauphin, I am called Joan the Maiden”
St. Michael and St. Catharine selected a pristine maiden
to consummate a Divine mission.
The diminutive backwoodswoman
clothed herself in pallid menswear
and bore a sword from Robert de Baudricourt.
The godly auditory hallucinations’ provocations
led the maiden to the vanguard of 6,000 men.
Fortitude among the French forces intensified
following encounters with this virgin feud master.
Innumerable grueling duels later,
the war of ten decades was countermanded
by the defeat of the elite English.
Joan of Arc tramped into camps
to urge mercenaries to attend basilica
and mend their broken commandments.
Marching into the fray, she slew no adversary,
but carried a white banner ornamented with the depiction
of God blessing the fluer-de-lis.
In the end, Phillip “the good” apprehended the innocuous conqueror
before Saint John’s Day.
The resplendent spirit was reduced to ashes
for fallacious accusations of heresy.
Dismayed spectators of the scandalous soirée bellowed,
“We are lost. We have burned a Saint.”
The lips of the lifeless prey seized their last breath. “Jesus,”
became the resilient steward’s terminal susurration.
After an epoch, the church acknowledged their ignorance,
admitting the child’s innocence. Joan of Arc emerged
as the Maid of Orleans and an omnipresent peasant as St. Jeanne d’Arc.
Friday, 4:26 PM
He peeks around the curtain,
bright green eyes searching for his sister
amid the colored dots of faces.
“These thousand tricky tongue twisters trip thrillingly off the tongue,” they all recite
Twisting and turning his tongue, Justin prepares for his journey to Oz.
To his left, an imbecile stuffs his costume with straw.
To his right, a pig-tailed young lady kneels to soothe her yapping Scottish terrier.
Justin’s opening night debut leaves him searching for breath and composure as he rehearses again and again the lines of Tin Man.
Across town, a young woman, who has the most beautiful green eyes,
almost as bright as her brother’s,
passes the bowl to the left, to Matt, coughing and smiling.
Her sweaty apartment leaves the air in no condition to enjoy their game
of counting dominos’ dots.
“Ding-dong…dong.” Along with a knock.
“Oh, shit! Hide the bong!”
She unlocks the three latches to create a crack wide enough to peep.
Her heart beats quickly as paranoia runs through her veins.
She sighs as she realizes it is only the air conditioner repair man.
“Yes, sir, Boss, I just arrived” replies the benevolent Mr. Fix-It man into a rustic walkie talkie and then strolls inside the hazy apartment.
Behind his sturdy oak desk, Mr. Boss slams down the phone, and leans back in his chair as he closes his weary green eyes.
He thinks of his wife and her afternoon agenda, calculating the ideal time to meet up for a lecherous afternoon rendezvous.
He frets for a split second about the hazel shirt he left lying on top of their floral duvet,
he wonders if it reeks of her perfume once again.
Worry free almost instantly, he picks up the receiver and dials
the young blue eyed blondie who bares a perfectly placed mustang tattoo under
the freckle of her left thigh.
Minutes later Boss gazes around his gray drapes in delight at the sight of the tiny black mini skirt.
Mrs. Boss picks a hint of lint off the black wool of her skirt.
She diverts her compassionate emerald eyes to the empty seats on her left and right.
She busies herself with the gold theater program, running her fingers across her son’s embossed name, peering around and behind her,
willing just one of them to show up for his sixty three minutes of fame.
Boss follows the yellow brick road and then miraculously finds her way home.
She jumps to her feet and claps her hands loud enough for three
during Tin Man’s curtain call.
The Tin Man bows and smiles as if he has no heart.
But, backstage, if only for two ticks of the clocks’ second hand, his bright eyes become dim.
This poem is so old it has no title...
I CAME UPON A BIRD
IT CROSSED THE STREET SO BRAVELY
WOW, SHE’S GOING PLACES
YET, WHEN THIS BIRD
TRIED TO FLY
SOMETHING KEPT HER
WHAT IT TRULY WAS,
I’LL NEVER KNOW
BUT I’LL ALWAYS ASK MYSELF
WHY OH WHY
COULDN’T SHE LET GO?
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
It astonishes me that men seem to be so sure of themselves when they enter into surreptitious connections. I know not one man that has not eventually been caught.
Women are born equipped certain instincts. It is referred to most often as Mother’s instinct, but we all have it. It is the ability to read the face, behavior and tone of someone in our lives that is close to us and realize all the words they are not saying. It is how mothers know when their newborn needs food, not a diaper change and how we can read the face of disheartened friend and know whether they need a hug, an encouraging word, or a drink.
Instinct is also how we can tell when there is something more going on behind the eyes of our partner. Most of us will push it aside at first; rationalize and justify many bits of truth. Nonetheless, our intuition will eventually manage to overpower the portion of our thoughts that keeps us from crossing the boundary between prying woman to what many men refer to as “crazy woman.” We will begin to take the bits and pieces of fortuitous honesty and explore them on our own in a journey of discovery that will often lead to exactly where we did not want to go.
Whether by fated run-ins, purposeful encounters or within the reflection staring back at us in the morning light- in one way or another, we find ourselves face to face with the other woman.
For a long time I played the part of a blind woman. To this day, I cannot tell you whether I realized that I had created this canopy of unreality between my awareness of who I thought my boyfriend was and how he treated me versus the actual facts or if I was truly unaware of this distinction. I cannot tell you which I would prefer, either. There is one thing I do know now; there were many other women included in our bond that spanned 4 years.
Of course there were other girls around in the beginning of our dating game, before it became what I would describe as serious; that was to be expected for my age as well as the lifestyle I led. I was 19, attending college and worked as a waitress in my free time. Life was laid-back and fun and parties were not hard to find. Most often I stumbled upon them in my living room.
Ethan and I met at work. I still remember the first time I saw him, sitting on a bar stool. I thought he looked tall and Italian. I suppose I was half right. So many years later, I cannot remember the specifics that occurred before settling on the idea that we liked one another. However, I do remember the girl first involved. In fact, she stuck around for the remainder of our relationship in one way or another, often used as a pawn in his plays when he was feeling angry or insecure.
I suppose this should have been a red flag. But, obviously, I am good at ignoring those. And he was very good at saying what was necessary, even doing what was needed at times, to mend the current rift. In the beginning the supplementary ladies were few and added mainly phone calls and occasional flirtatious messaging to the relationship.
However, one weekend I left town to attend my sister’s graduation. I was somewhat concerned, but knew that he would be working and spending time mainly with my roommate and our mutual friends. Four months later I was made brutally aware of how valid this previous apprehension was. Ethan revealed to me that he and my roommate had slept together and both vowed to keep this skeleton in their closets. Their exchange damaged me in ways I will likely deal with for years to come.
Unfortunately enough, the timing of this revealed secret came when Ethan and I had been making progress in our twosome. Looking back now, I believe that what I observed as improvements in our relationship was actually Ethan engaging in a form of reaction formation, attempting to nullify his guilt and wrong doing by playing the role of a supportive, nurturing, thoughtful boyfriend.
I remember how odd it was that I felt nothing in that moment. No anger or sadness. More like it was something I had been expecting or deep down already knew and was now being vindicated. I decided I did not need to move out, that this was our business and would stay between the three of us and Ethan and I would continue to grow in our relationship.
I came home and my roommate had folded all my laundry, I suppose in an attempt to convey the depth of her regret. It did not work so well. For me, it made the whole situation seem real. Nothing was ever the same between any of us.
Ethan and I continued to date and had great things going on in our lives. By this point, we were intermingled in each other’s family traditions and holidays. He had promised to never cheat again and I believed him. The relationship between my roommate and I did not adjust so well to the hurt. We both knew it was best to go our separate ways, and swiftly, as the tension in our diminutive living space was unnerving and overwhelming. Ethan had months left in a lease, so we made a pressurized choice, and moved in with one another.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Everyone is watching us kids, waiting
for the Tick-tock, Tick-tock,
of our emotional time bombs
(We would explode into a thousand tiny confetti pieces
that sprinkle the ground where we used to be standing.
Our new aunts and grandfathers could gather our fragments up,
and toss them at the happy wedded couple as they leave.)
But Casey and I just practice our matronly march, up and down the stairs of the house.
I retie the white ribbon around her waist.
I've never been a big sister before.
It's not the new family living at Dad's house.
It's all the people who come with them.
Like my Grandma, I think that is what I'm supposed to call her, who fell in the snow today.
She has mean eyes.
And that Dad lives in Parker, Colorado.
That means I have to punch in eleven numbers to talk to him.
And I only get to see him every other Christmas and summers.
I guess there won't be anymore cheese omelets before school.
Mom sent me to a psychologist.
All I did was draw pictures of me and my new family.
It was hard to figure out where I was supposed to go.
Mom is dating now. Sometimes he stays the night.
He leaves his baseball hat on our couch.
I wake up in the middle of the night scared.
And her door is locked.
When I go visit my dad, his door always opens.
Charlene is the only one who wakes up.
She doesn't know the right way to pat my back,
or the song Mom made up for bedtime.
Now, I just put myself to sleep,
no matter whose bed I'm in.
I am used to being shocked by men.
And not in the, “surprise flowers at work” or “cooked dinner and cleaned house” kind of way.
I would like to say that I could pinpoint an exact moment in my past that this began, detailing some traumatic event involving wretched memories of my father saying he was going to buy me some extravagant gift or be present at an important event, but instead used his money to buy narcotics or flew cross country to meet with his mistress rather than making me feel important, but no such luck.
My parents did divorce when I was young, but I feel as if, for the most part, this situation did not disturb my ability to develop and learn to engage in fairly normal, semi-healthy relationships. However, I am beginning to wonder what exactly it is that is leading to my fairly consistent involvement in relationships with men than continue to stun the shit out of me.
The first moment of the day is a poignant point for me in defining the tone of my day.
One particular moment, on a mild Texas January morning, defined more than just the tone of my day.
My phone rings. It is an area code I recognize, somewhere in Colorado. I answer, expecting to hear the apologetic voice of a man. However, I am instead greeted with, “Hi, is this Meagan? This is Carol, Jake’s girlfriend.” Silence. “Well, hey Carol, this is Meagan, Jake’s girlfriend, how are you doing today?”
Jake was a man I met at my brother’s wedding. In fact, he was my brother’s best friend. We walked down the aisle together. There was an almost instantaneous connection between the two of us, although we both tried to ignore it. Everyone around could see it, including my family.
But I had a boyfriend; Jake lived in Colorado, I lived in Texas and, not only that, he was my brother’s best friend. Lots of boundaries to be crossed. However, weddings often cause unmarried individuals, particularly those in their late 20s and early 30s to act uncharacteristically. Add champagne and a whiskey and coke or two (or three?) to the occasion and it’s amazing what can occur.
Jake and I ended up riding down the mountain together that night. We kissed for the first time, and cuddled, watching old TV reruns. The next morning I woke up in my dad’s guest room and felt immediate guilt. I texted Jake and apologized for my foolish antics and explained I had a boyfriend. He agreed that the chain of events from the previous night was out of the ordinary for him as well, but we agreed to become friends and keep in contact.
From this moment on, our relationship was back and forth between friendship, flirtation and the desire to be lovers-all through phone and text communication. I ended my current relationship. Jake and mine’s level of emotional involvement with one another continued to deepen. I was falling in love with him. We discussed relocating. I was semi-hesitant and in no rush. He desired to move to Texas, and quickly. We decided to be exclusive, albeit long distance. Jake called my brother the day his firstborn son was greeting the world to tell him that he had feelings for me and soon planned to move 600 miles to be with me.
I visited Colorado for Thanksgiving to meet the new addition to our family as well as celebrate the holidays. Jake drove an hour and rented a hotel room for the night in the town where my father lives to take me on a date. It was amazing---nerve-wracking at first---after all, the reality was we had been creating this relationship over the phone, through texts; we were unsure of interacting in person initially. However, this night, along with the rest of the times we shared and were close enough to actually look into one other’s eyes and touch fingertips, was captivating, unlike other connections I had experienced.
I have a tendency, that I believe other women share, to create high ideals in the beginning stages of a relationship. Every love song I hear reminds me of this new interest. I begin to contemplate how the majority of my activities would be better with this new person in my life taking part. And the holidays---of course he will be the first man I have met who not only enjoys the holidays, from Christmas to Valentine’s Day, but he is going to participate, and make them special for me. Now this delusional state of mind is likely to last for me for about 2 days, give or take an hour. It was different with Jake. He, of course, did not fulfill every irrational idea I had within a span of a night, but the butterflies never went away.
So this is how it began. And included numerous conversations, loving words, plans, goals, tears. He said he loved me, wanted to marry me, wanted to move to Texas to start over with me. To have children with me. We looked for jobs for him locally, he met my friends, my mother, my grandmother. Spouted off specific dates in terms of his arrival in Texas.
Now at this point, most would look at this situation and say, this is too good to be true, this rushing indicates red flags, you are walking right into the most painful event of your life. But I guess I’m not most. I am not the first girl to jump into a relationship. I do not need a man. I like them, and once I have feelings for them, I have difficulty walking away, but when I’m single, I am happy. And I’m not the affectionate type, nor the type seeking out a partner to impregnate me and turn me into a housewife. I loved this man and for once I was willing to jump in, feet first, to what could be the most irrational and insane decision of my life. But he seemed to be ready to take the leap along with me.
I had been unable to get a hold of Jake since Christmas Eve. He had spent the weekend before in town with me, in Texas. Four weeks later, by mid to late January, I decided that, although I had been forced to move on from him due to his complete and utter lack of communication and, therefore consideration for my emotions, I was still curious as to what happened in the three days since he had been in my home, in my bed. I called his work to leave a message on a Wednesday night. My phone call was returned, from a blocked number. It was Jake. He did not say hello, he said “the phone calls have to stop.” I was floored and confused. I was unsure of what phone calls he was referring to as I had no number for him since the 24th of December and it was now four weeks later. He hung up the phone on me without an explanation. About fifteen minutes later my phone was ringing from a blocked number once again. Like a fool, I answered. “You and I cannot talk anymore, it’s creating problems with my girlfriend” said a voice that I knew was Jake’s but sounded nothing like him. “Your fucking girlfriend?!?!” I screamed into the phone. He hung up. I called my brother, hysterical. My friend showed up at my door at 11:30 with exactly what I needed. She sat with me and we talked and I screamed and I made myself another drink.
And then the phone call. I was thankful I had drank so late into the night. It made the conversation with Carol somewhat less painful, less real. “We’ve been dating since the end of July…he says he wants to marry me…I drove him to the airport, but didn’t realize it was to see you…we fight about you, I knew there was something more to friendship than this.” Silence.
“I’m sorry I had no idea you existed.”
But now it made sense. He wasn’t scared. And it all played out as he called me from her phone. She screamed at him, “Just say it! Why is it so hard to say it!?!” and then, this man I thought I knew, said, “I don’t love you, I love her” and handed the phone to her. As I sat in my empty bathtub, in leftover work clothes, tear stained cheeks and unable to make the heaving sobs stop, he handed the phone to her so she could comfort me.