Tag Archives: heroism

She Hates Numbers

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Heavenly Dances, Heavenly Intimacies, a short story

illustration heavenly dances heavenly intimacies

Heavenly Dances, Heavenly Intimacies, a short story

“Isn’t there any heaven where old beautiful dances, old beautiful intimacies prolong themselves?”

Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier

How can I be “dead” to any of the men I once loved?  They are not “dead” to me.  Not even H.  How can I be “dead” to H.?  They — even H. — are each as alive as when I was with them; as alive as the first time they touched me, whether tentatively or with confidence; whether softly or roughly; whether with passion or mere lust.  It is shocking and appalling how H. lurched so radically to the right after 9/11.  He began that journey to the Tea-Party-Mad-Hatter-Neocon-Bill-Buckley-Wall-Street-Apologist-Fringe-Brainless-Faux-News-Right when Ronald Reagan was shot; I was with him the very night it happened.  We had a short affair, right then, because we started thinking the end of the world had arrived and we decided, like the crazy college students we were, to get married to celebrate our courage in the face of chaos!  I realized very early on (but still way too late!) I was embarrassed to be seen in public with him.  Did you ever start seeing, and marry someone whom you later realized you were embarrassed to be seen with?  Perhaps the person in question was “dorky,” “geeky,” dressed “badly,” or had questionable “taste.”  H. readily admits he was a “dork” in high school.  He was on the debate team; need I say more?  When you can’t bear to be seen in your lover’s/spouse’s/significant other’s/partner’s company, things usually don’t work out.

Still, I put in ten dutiful years, trying to make amends for my mistake in marrying H.  The second he started making the big bucks, he dumped me.  He left me for my best friend!  I guess I deserved it, not taking control of my own life & filing for divorce two weeks after we married.  And I guess I deserved how my ex-best-friend S. ruined me, as she subsequently did.  She was in charge of the whole group we had socialized with:  dictating how everyone in our “circle” should think, speak, act, or react.  H. was dead wrong about most everything, but, to his credit, he was dead right about her.  At the time I thought him merely woman-hating, but I see now, even though he did hate women, there was something more than simply being a “woman” he hated about her.  He was covering up the fact he loved her by pretending to hate her.  Now, I have no desire to see her, not ever again.  She is definitely “dead” to me.  Yes, I understand intellectually, a living death (call it shunning) can happen to anyone.

The upshot of all this boring history?  I’ve been waiting for something a long time.  I can’t blame anyone but myself for my unhappiness, not anymore.  There is something dispirited inside me, something empty, drained, and beaten — something sick, something tired, something that has surrendered.  I gave up, when?  When my first ex-husband arbitrarily said no to children, breaking his solemn vow.  When I realized I couldn’t find happiness outside myself — not with an old love, not with a new love, not with any of my subsequent husbands, my friends, my eventual children, or my family.  Yes, to casual acquaintances and virtual strangers I am “happy, happier than I’ve ever been.”  And it’s true!  I’ve never been this happy, this contented, in my life.  Yes, there are still problems.  My oldest son is still half the world away, fighting an endless war on behalf of my “country.”  My youngest son still has an ignorant, racist, rabidly conservative father.  I am getting old.  My face is melting.  My neck is turning into a wattle.  I am drooping.

Still, I cannot imagine any of them, the men I have loved or made love to, being dead to me the way my former best friend, S., is dead to me.  Yet that is how they must feel about me, the way I feel about her.  Wanting her removed from my memories.  Wanting never to have met her.  Not missing anything about her.  She wants to see me, I heard from a mutual friend I still speak to.  I don’t want to see her, or even see the mutual friend.  I don’t even want to get as close as that!  Because of reasons.  Top secret, NSA, DOD, CIA, FBI, SEC, IRS, FDLE, GPD, ACSO reasons!  No further comment!

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She Finally Had Enough, a short story

illustration she finally had enough

She Finally Had Enough, a short story

One fateful, thunder-stormy, early summer, north central Florida evening, this thrice-divorced, somewhat neurotic, fairly attractive for her age, fifty-three year old woman suddenly and completely unexpectedly decided she’d finally had enough snuggling. Not just enough for the moment, the hour, the day, the week, the month, the year — no, she’d finally had enough for an entire lifetime. From February 15th to June 15th, she tortured her brand-new, super-hot boyfriend (who had long, luxuriant, ginger hair with a couple of silver strands mixed in to add visual interest) with so many snuggling demands, and he was so kind, so generous with his snuggling (and other) abilities, which were, shall we say, subtle, complex, and mature, as well as multiple in nature. If you get the hidden meaning. No pun intended. That’s a damnable lie. Every pun intended, and included for general salacious effect upon you, dear reader. Deal with it! Go get your own damned snuggling, right this second, from whomever it is you most wish to snuggle. Maybe it’s your wife, your husband, your child, your parent, your neighbor, your bitterest enemy, your dearest friend, maybe it’s Adolf Hitler or George W. Bush, or your dog, or the armadillo that’s digging a big trench next to your driveway and gave birth to a litter of babies last week, maybe it’s your hippie nephew you’ve taken into your care who’s living in your former mother-in-law suite, whoever. Maybe it’s the lonely woman eating at the take out Chinese restaurant downtown, maybe it’s the funky bartendress at your favorite liquor lounge, maybe it’s the espresso maker at your local coffee parlor…. See the picture? Find yourself somebody to snuggle and leave me the fuck out of it!

So anyway, in four short months this awesome dude donated so much snuggling to the fifty-three year old woman that she’d finally, finally, finally had enough. And just like that, she never needed to be snuggled again. The teletype machines couldn’t spit out enough copy; she was nominated for International Lifetime Snuggling Achievement Woman of the Year, the Decade, the Century, the Millenium, in whatever year you think this could happen in, whichever is your favorite year, whichever year of the cat or rabbit or duck or dog or snake, whatever year you want to choose, pick the year you were born, for example, or the year in which you’ll die, whatever year gives you the most satisfaction. Because when the Stones sang, “I can’t get no satisfaction,” that was a vicious lie, a piece of propaganda promulgated to make women everywhere stop expecting said “satisfaction,” and to make skanky little slutty Mick Jagger seem more handsome and powerful than he actually was. The Beatles will forever kick the Stones’ lame asses. Forever and ever, amen. No matter what cowards who enlisted in the Coast Guard to avoid being sent to Vietnam might think. Cowards can’t be trusted. Ever. And that’s my final word on this subject. Forever and ever, AMEN.

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edward snowden & me

illustration Edward-Snowden and me

the act of confession benefits the penitent; not the confessor. it is not always appropriate to tell the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing BUT the truth. they crucify people for that, both then & now. just how brave am i? time will tell. was edward snowden being brave? or just being a criminal? time will tell. he needs clarence darrow to reappear on earth, i know that much. being a lawyer is in my DNA; it’s not what i do, it’s what i AM. sorry about that. it can’t be helped.

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on contemplating your death, a poem

illustration on contemplating your death illustration on contemplating your death brain image

ON CONTEMPLATING YOUR DEATH

 

(originally published in the Panhandler Magazine)

 

This is not heroism, this slow

nod to absolutes, numb acquiescence

to facts.  I perform the worst

 

sort of cowardice: cutting the lines

free before it’s over. I can feel

the steps away from you, the slow

 

casting off from love, the mournful

horns, departing from this foggy

land of illness.  When you didn’t

 

know me, when your hands danced

above the forgotten teacup, squeezing

a lemon primly into thin air,

 

you had a kind of ruddy stubbornness

I was shocked to see.  After that,

your pale and knowing return was

 

anticlimax.  You had gone another

way, in your blue cap, your skin hot,

glossy as if with fever, the surface

 

papery-soft but no longer familiar.

I hoped you were angry once more,

even as you slept.  I expected to

 

cry more, to feel something else,

to be more like you.  Nothing here

is how I imagined it, not this slow

 

nod to absolutes, not this languid

overflow of salt water — aching

bones, a past no longer claimed.

 

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