Smart People Don’t Make The Police Nervous

Sometimes I like to walk into a room, climb on top of a table or chair and shout: “And so it begins!”

Please note that if you do this in a coffee shop you might receive the sort of response you don’t want to get…unless you are carrying a bat, mop or sword.

Not that I know anything about this from personal experience, but if I did I might have one heck of a story to tell you.

Where Are the Cameras?

He looked like he was about 25 or so. He was a skinny kid with a baseball cap, some tattoos and multiple piercings around his body. Thirty years ago he would have made people nervous, but not anymore.

That is because half the people you pass on Melrose look just like him. Kind of funny to look at someone who put so much effort into trying to be different and realize they are just another clone.

He was the first to offer a significant response to my challenge. No one cared when I climbed on top of the table. There were no looks from customers nor warnings from baristas to get down.

Blame it on Hollywood. No one notices the weird and unusual. It is just another day in the city.

“And so it begins” was the difference.

My voice is deeper than most. I don’t have to work hard to be hard and when I raise it slightly people notice. Maybe there was some sort of chemical in the air that went with it.

Maybe it was some sort of primal instinct responding to the challenge issued by the pack leader. I don’t really know. What I can tell you is that he asked me where the cameras were and rushed the table.

That was a mistake. If he had thought about it he might have recognized that I held the higher ground or noticed that my hands are made for hauling iron and his are for more delicate things.

But he didn’t and well I didn’t care. Why should I. I was the one who issued the initial challenge and I was ready.

I knew that he would swing at my legs and try to take them out from under me. I watched it all unfold like it was in slow motion. When he swung his arm I stepped aside and then slapped him on the back of his neck.

It wasn’t supposed to hurt him. That was a love tap. It was a wake-up call and it did all that I asked it too.

He went flying by the table and crashed into the couple who were sitting across from us. I watched him go face first into her ice coffee and giggled when he stood up with a nose covered in whipped cream.

“You mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!”

I know, it is not the most original insult but if it worked for the geniuses of Monty Python that is good enough for me.

Young, dumb and covered in cream roared something in return and came running towards me. It was a mistake. Not only have I watched lots of movies I have seen the videos of the guys who run with the bulls.

The reality is they are running away from the bull and not towards them. That is because when you mess with the bull you get the horns and that works just fine for me.

After all I am a Taurus.

When he charged me I stepped to the side again and placed a well aimed kick into his behind and sent him crashing again into a different table. When he didn’t get up I mulled over walking out of the joint with my head held high, but I just couldn’t help myself.

I climbed back up on my table and yelled, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!”

Moments later I was armed with a nearby mop and was doing my best to fight off two more young bucks, one of whom held a broom and the other a rather sad looking croissant.

Now I have to tell you that I felt badly for them. I am the guy who beat the flying clown and proved that a salami can be a fearsome weapon.

Anyone with a lick of sense would have ignored me, but not these lads.They had to follow in the sad footsteps of the pierced poseur and that mean they had to go down.

Let’s face it we men have egos and no one wants to gets their butt handed to them in front of some beautiful babes. I know that I don’t and there was no way I was going to lose to a guy who armed himself with a croissant.

Hell, I told Frenchie to just get it over with and surrender but he wasn’t smart enough to listen to common sense, nor was the guy with the broom.

Well it took about five more minutes for me to hand those fellas their just rewards for messing with me, but I did it. And then when it was done I made a point to check them for six fingers.

I figured if the police came I could show them the six fingered man and I would be ok, exonerated of all charges. Sadly neither one of them had six fingers on their hands.

What Makes A Cop Nervous

You know what makes a cop nervous?

Me.

Really, I do. You see they don’t like it when their Tasers don’t work on you, but what they hate even more is when you take their billy clubs away from them.

Unless you are prepared to face the consequences, try not to do it. They act like spoiled children when you take their toys from them. And the whining is simply awful.

So do yourself a favor and don’t try this in public.

I knew what I was doing and was prepared for the consequences if things went south.

But the music was playing and the beat reminded me of all of the years in the ring and all the time spent training.

Can’t say I was on a natural high because I had finished two cups of Joe that had so many shots of espresso you might as well have just injected the caffeine straight into me.

I figured anyone who accepted my challenge and came at me was fair game and that was how I played it.

Until that day I didn’t have a clue that a Taser wouldn’t work on me. When they shot me with it I figured that it was faulty equipment.

And the reason I took those billy clubs away from them wasn’t so that I could use them but to even the playing field.

If you want to fight the bear or the deer isn’t it more fair to give them the gun or see that no one uses one.

That is all well and good except smart people don’t make the police nervous because when they do things happen.

(This is a work of fiction that originally ran here. Minor adjustments have been made to it.)

The Mad Butcher

The thief cooked a pork roast, two cans of beans and drank two six packs of soda.

Presumably under cover or darkness they used my best skillet and a pinch of my best spices to prepare their meal.

Can’t tell you if they enjoyed their food or whether they toasted their ill gotten gains in my kitchen because their were no cameras to record the incident.

What I do know is what they ate because of the dirty cans and wrappers they left behind and the confusion about how they ended up in my kitchen.

Because I can’t tell you if their Pork Roast celebration was a fluke or if it was intentionally celebrated in my…Kosher kitchen.

I suppose before we go further I ought to clarify that while I keep a Kosher home the truth is that kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms don’t eat so they don’t care what they eat.

But if you go with the personification of objects a certain confusion might arise so I choose to nip it in the bud before it out of hand, to steal the bacon of it is truth as it were.

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For a long moment I stood inside the  entrance of my kitchen and tried to imagine what had taken place in there and why.

Blame it on countless hours of crime shows watched and this nagging feeling that I could be like Sherlock Holmes and solve the crime.

Bu first I had to use this visualization technique I had once seen on a late night informercial, one that could  help me lose weight and stop smoking as well as play amateur gumshoe.

****

Scotland the Brave is the first and only song I learned to play on the bagpipes.

For years I believed it was because my parents ran into financial difficulties and couldn’t pay the music teacher but it turned out not to be true.

It was because my mother believed that Ms. Mahoney, my Irish music teacher had the sort of feelings about me a music teacher isn’t supposed to have.

Or so I once was told by one of my grandmothers.

Some years after that my maternal grandfather cleared up any misconceptions I had about that and said mom killed the lessons because she was worried that Ms. Mahoney would have allowed me to teach myself about the finer parts and points of women.

It probably would help if I mentioned I was 17 when I took the bagpipe lessons with Ms. Mahoney, my Irish music teacher.

Ask me why I describe her that way and I’ll have to go into a 39 minute long story that isn’t relevant now but describes in detail why it is important to mention I learned how to squeeze a Scottish music box while being taught by the Irish woman I wanted to be squeezing.

Damn if I didn’t want to be the one responsible for making Mary Katherine Mahoney confess her sins to G-d or at least scream his name.

****

Mary Katherine isn’t related to the thief who used my kitchen to cook their meal, at least I don’t think she is.

I haven’t seen or heard from her in thirty years or so and have no reason to believe she was involved or is The Mad Butcher.

Still it is such an odd and unusual case it wouldn’t be more ridiculous or crazy if she was part of it all.

Really, the long lost music teacher who was the great crush of my youth would be exactly the person who broke into my home to cook a pork roast and some beans in my kitchen.

That would be the crowning moment of the general insanity surrounding my life. Really dear universe it would be the cherry on top of the sundae.

Might be fun to prove that Twain was right when he said Truth is Stranger Than Fiction.

Hell, all you have to do to confirm that is look back upon some of the recent events that led up to the Butcher’s arrival at my pad.

Fortune ‘Smiles’ Upon Me

Make no mistake about it, I never enjoy getting hit. I am not one of those guys who wishes that I could be an MMA fighter. I don’t need to prove my masculinity by stepping inside the ring to see who is the last man standing.

That is not because I am a pacifist or have any moral issues with hurting another human being. I don’t. Never have. Don’t go out of my way looking for trouble but if it finds me I am not always good about turning away.

I should be. It would be the smarter move to walk away. It would have saved me a lot of trouble but I am not that guy. I don’t play or consciously think about it. I just do it and when I do it is without concern for consequences.

Last Saturday night I went out for a drink. Didn’t have a particular destination in mind or a need to be with friends. I just wanted to have a beer and watch whatever ballgame might be on the television.

It wasn’t a night for small talk nor was I an angry or upset. I just felt like being among people but not with people.

I chose a local college bar. It fit the bill of what I wanted and was close enough to my place to not worry about how to get there and back. All I needed were my own two feet. That suited me just fine. Human powered transportation. Environmentally friendly, reliable, steady and safe, mostly.

Most nights it would have gone down exactly as I expected it to. I would have walked over, ordered my beer and burger and eaten my meal in quiet. This time I pulled the Joker out of the deck.

And I knew it.

Hadn’t been there more than five minutes when one of the kids bumped into me and gave me a glassy-eyed stare that told me he was too drunk to recognize that there are some people you just don’t mess with.

I didn’t say excuse me. He had bumped into me and frankly I wasn’t in the mood to kiss his twenty-something ass. I saw his two buddies and the girls they were speaking to. I knew that he was going to act like an asshole. I knew that an apology would have defused the entire situation, but when trouble comes looking for me I don’t flinch.

So when he called me an asshole I punched him in the face and watched him crumble. If this would have been a movie I would have been worried about his little friends who most certainly would have joined in, but it wasn’t and they didn’t.

I finished my beer and I walked out of the place. Not because I was asked to leave or was afraid of getting arrested but because the little prick soured me on the place.

Two blocks south of the joint a man stepped out from between two cars and pointed a gun at my head. He didn’t look like the speed freaks you sometimes see roaming around the edges of society. Didn’t look like any of the junkies I have seen at all. His eyes were clear and his hands were steady.

“Give me your wallet.”

His voice was flat and there was no intonation in it.

“I don’t have a wallet.”

For a moment there was a flicker of something in his eyes and then it was gone. He walked up to me, put the gun against my head and repeated “Give me your wallet.”

Make a note, don’t ever point a gun at me unless you intend to use it. I don’t take kindly to it and I don’t appreciate being threatened. I am not afraid of dying. I am afraid of being crippled by some jerk off who can’t shoot straight.

And when I get scared I tend to get angry.

So I reached up and wrapped my hand around his wrist and pulled the gun away from my head. When he didn’t shoot I realized what had just happened and I really got angry. One quick twist and a small step to my left and that gun wasn’t in his hand anymore.

Smarter men would have taken the gun and run away. Smarter men would have gotten out of there, but I proved not to be that smart.

Instead of running I took the butt of the gun and hit the guy in the head with it twice. “Don’t ever put a gun against my head unless you are going to pull the trigger.I hope that hurts motherfucker.”

And then I dropped the gun next to where he lay in the street and resumed walking home. Probably would have gotten there without incident, but he shot me. Clipped me on the  left side and put me on my ass.

Maybe I should taken the gun with me or fixed things so that he couldn’t use his hands, but I didn’t. Remember when I said that I pulled the Joker from the deck that night, well I think getting shot qualifies as one hell of a reminder.

The Joker

Some people have all the luck in the world and some people,well they have none. Me? I am somewhere in the middle.

Cop said that I should be grateful that I didn’t die and that I ought to go to church and say thanks in person. A smart man would have just nodded his head, but I am not that smart so I told him that g0d was for suckers.

Apparently my luck extended to finding the one cop that was easily offended but because I am not smart enough to keep my mouth shut I made it worse. I told him that of all people cops should know better.

“With all the bad shit you see you really have to be stupid to believe that some mighty being protects the murderers, crackheads and pedophiles.”

He might have let that go, might have given me a break but I took it a step farther and told him the guy on the cross was the model for the zombie shows. That sent him right over the edge and it is how I got handcuffed to a hospital bed.

“Getting shot doesn’t make you a hero, it just makes you another stupid jerk.”

I almost responded to him, but by that time I was more interested in getting the nurse to give me another shot of whatever would numb the dull ache.

I’d like to tell you that was the end of a very long day but instead it was really the beginning of a very long night. I told you, I pulled the joker in the deck that day.

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Mary Katharine made a comment once about bad boys and how they gave woman the kind of tickle they remembered.

I like to think that is what made me more interested in running towards trouble than walking away.

Maybe because it almost makes my stupidity seem less stupid, that it helps me become more noble.

I am pretty sure most people wouldn’t agree with that or see any sort of connection between the fight in the bar and my behavior but a man has to try or something like that.

Hell, every good hero has an interesting back story like the Mad Butcher…right.

Editor’s Note: Getting Shot Doesn’t Make You A Hero was integrated into this story as were additional fragments of fiction. Stay tuned, more to come.

Sometimes Trouble Finds You

‘She put him out like the burnin’ end of a midnight cigarette
She broke his heart he spent his whole life tryin’ to forget
We watched him drink his pain away a little at a time
But he never could get drunk enough to get her off his mind”

Whiskey Lullaby– Braid Paisley and Alison Krauss

The police tell you that the best thing to do is give a mugger your wallet. Don’t argue and don’t fight. Money and valuables can be replaced, but your life can’t. Unfortunately I have never been real good about listening to advice…from anyone.

We were older when we met but by no means were we old. Rather we were both old enough to have drunk deeply from life’s wine bottle and had more than enough life experience to feel like we knew something about ourselves and what we wanted. Neither one of us expected to fall in love and certainly not with the kind of passion that we felt. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it felt as if we had rediscovered that feeling you got with your first love.

The days were filled with magic and mystery. Sometimes I would stop what I was doing and just stare at her. The intensity of my gaze often made her look away. So I would walk over to her and gently lift her chin and tell her to look in my eyes. “Find your reflection in my eyes and you will see why I get lost.” She’d blush and tell me to shut up. And then I’d laugh and tell her that she just needed to accept that she was beautiful.

Sometimes she’d get teary eyed and kiss me.

But the thing is that when you have the kind of passion and intensity that we have it can come out in other ways…and it did.

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Sometimes Trouble Finds You

Sometimes you go looking for trouble and sometimes it comes looking for you. I can’t say whether I was or wasn’t looking for it because I don’t remember. When I left the house I was so very angry. Twenty some years ago I probably would have gotten in the car and gone flying down the road at high speed towards the closest refuge from whatever it was that I was getting away from. But not this time.

That’s not to say that I wasn’t spitting blood but rather maturity had taught me to go walk and clear my head. The park seemed like a smart place to go. It wasn’t quite 10 o’clock and the place had lights. I had been there a million times and never had a problem.

There were two of them standing on the grass. Just two skinny guys in t-shirts and jeans. One of them called out to me but I shook my head and kept walking- at least I have planned to.

Instead I found myself lying on the ground trying to figure out who hit me and how I fell. I felt a hand reach into my pocket and I grabbed it. Something hard and heavy hit me in the back but I didn’t let go…I twisted and pulled it underneath me…felt a body come down on top of me.

The strange thing was that the whole time I could hear her screaming at me and it just made me angrier.

We are wrestling this unknown assailant and I. It is not a holy experience like Jacob and the Angel. It is just Jack, the guy who had his heartbroken and some poor schmuck who is going to be savaged by me. He doesn’t know that the combination of fear, anger and adrenalin have made me numb. He doesn’t know that the shock of her leaving me has made me feel like I have nothing to lose.

But he is lucky because there were more than just two of them. The others pulled me off but I can’t tell you much about afterwards other than the cop that came to see me wanted to know where I learned to fight.

“You’ll take my life but I’ll take yours too
You’ll fire your musket but I’ll run you through
So when you’re waiting for the next attack

You’d better stand there’s no turning back
The bugle sounds as the charge begins
But on this battlefield no one wins
The smell of acrid smoke and horses breath
As you plunge into a certain death”
The Trooper– Iron Maiden

I am standing in a makeshift locker room located in an abandoned warehouse. A pair of headphones are on my head, my eyes are closed and I am starting to prepare myself for what is going to come.  It won’t be long before it is my turn to step into the ring. Won’t be long before I give the standing across from me the thousand mile stare. I’ll look through him and do my best to hide the butterflies in my stomach. I never mention those butterflies to anyone because no one cares and this isn’t the place for showing weakness.

It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that you never want the man who is supposed to beat you with his fists and feet to think that you fear him. You NEVER do anything to give him an ounce of confidence and you never show mercy. If you see his knees buckle you do something to make sure that he doesn’t regain his balance. Every fight is a moment in time and every fight is a message to the next guy you face. If it is possible to instill fear in him you have an advantage or so I have always thought. Of course it is ironic for me to say this and acknowledge the butterflies in my stomach but that is the truth.

Adrenalin is beginning to surge through me and I am doing my best to channel it. You don’t want to peak too soon or you’ll face going flat. So I stand here staring absentmindedly at the wall. I stand here listening to a mix of music. Much of it is stuff that I would use for a workout but there is a healthy dose of angry music too. I am turning inwards and looking for the darkness that lies inside me. I am searching for the places where I have never let go of things that hurt me. I am looking for the dark corner where my demons hide because soon I will call upon them.

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Find Your Pain

Sometimes it is hard because the images of my kids race past me. I hear their voices and see their faces. They are my contradiction. They make me smile and feel loved. They bring me hope and warmth but at the same time the reason that I fight is for them. I fight because we live in hard times where college educated men who have worked all their lives can’t find a job. My life is like  a scene from a movie except if I was the one directing it the lead would be a guy who used to work in a coal mine or a steel mill. He would be blue collar and fighting for a better life for his family.

Instead they got some jerk that looks like me and signs checks with my name. I can’t stop thinking about the kids but I can’t let myself be distracted. They can’t know about this. They can’t be told what their dad does to earn a living. I am already ashamed that I had to lie to them and say that I am out of town on a work assignment but I had to. If they saw me after one of these fights they’d be scared silly. It is not an exaggeration to describe me as battered and bruised. I have taken a severe beating more than once and the only reason that I have won is because I am too stubborn to fall.

So I lie to them and stay in cheap motels. In the dark of night I lie in bed self medicating with a fifth of whatever helps me sleep. Every night before I close my eyes I tell them that I love them and promise that I will come home soon.

Jimmy knocks on the door, walks in and interrupts my thoughts. He says that it won’t be much longer before it is my turn. The music changes to Breathe by Prodigy and I start to dance around the room. I start shadow boxing and work on getting loose. In a few minutes Jimmy will come back and together we’ll walk through the dilapidated halls to the ring. It won’t be anything like the professionals see in Vegas. There won’t be a big musical number or an entourage to accompany me. Michael Buffer won’t be there to give his trademark “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” either.

Instead there will be a sad looking ring surrounded by a blood thirsty crowd who doesn’t care much who wins as long as there is blood and a beating.

Jimmy’s back. I close my eyes and unlock the cages that contain the demons. Sometimes I think that I can hear them howl in anticipation but that doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is that sometimes I hear myself screaming too and the screams aren’t necessarily angry. Sometimes I hear something that sounds like pleasure. Sometimes I hear something that makes me wonder if I haven’t begun to enjoy this.

Something better change soon. I better find another way or get some sort of break because if this keeps up it is a guarantee that one day I will begin to enjoy this and I’ll lose that much more of whatever remains of my humanity.

Editor’s Note: I took A Mugger, Old Dumb and Stupid and The Animal Inside and wove them together to make this story.

I might play around with it a bit and make some additional tweaks and changes. Never hurts to test things out and mix things up a bit.

For me it is always about how to tell a better story.

A Confession About The Secrets We Share

Yeah, I have secrets. Not just one, two or three but somewhere close to a hundred. Not sure how or why it happened, but I know that it did.

Some of it is just because of how I was raised and some of it is just how it works, life that is.

People have secrets, even those who say they don’t really do. They might not realize it but if you ask the right questions you’ll stumble upon them.

Most of my secrets aren’t really important. You wouldn’t call them important but for the request of another. They are secrets I share.

Perhaps the reason they aren’t important to me is because they aren’t mine. Maybe it is a mischaracterization to lay claim to them. Maybe it is more accurate to provide a different answer.

I don’t really know and I don’t think it matters. I keep them because they are important to the people who asked me to put them in my vault. Those requests come from people I love and hold close to my heart so I treat their secrets like my own.

But the few secrets I call my own are big. They are huge and at times they have made me wonder what I got myself into.

There is one that sits in the middle of the ring that Frost wrote about. It stares at me with eyes that cut through the poker face I try to maintain.

It demands my attention and asks for a declaration of intention. This is not something I can just ignore or forget. It requires more because to pretend it didn’t exist is to dishonor it and that I cannot do.

For a long while I have ignored my gut and the knowledge that one day the secret would break free of the shackles I placed upon it and force me to face it.

I don’t want to say I am afraid of it because fear is a weakness and men don’t like to be weak.

Yet the only way to figure out why it bothers me is to look at it during the daylight hours. The day is coming when I’ll do that and then we’ll find out if what I sense is real and discover if I am going to end up where I always suspected I would be.

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It is hard to imagine it going any other way than that but not for lack of imagination or effort.

I did my part to keep my side of the street clean and dedicated my efforts to tending the garden we planted but sometimes life has other plans.

Don’t ask me to tell if it is fate, karma or coincidence because the how and why don’t matter as much as the what.

There are some things that you can’t ever outrun.

Some Stains Can’t Be Washed Away

More than twenty years later I am lying in the dark holding the phone in my hand listening to your voice- wondering how you found my number and why you called.

My heart is pounding and my mouth is dry. I feel like my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth.

“I am in trouble and I need your help. They’re back.”

And then the other memories hit me like a torrent of water and I remember why I had to walk away from the woman I planned to marry.

Twenty-five years ago the boys and I graduated from college and decided to travel around the world.

We started in London and gradually made our way through Europe and hop scotched around a couple of continents flipping between Asia and Africa.

The plan was to follow our hearts and go wherever they took us, regardless of whether it made sense. Logic was for school and since we were out of school we ignored it. Took a freighter one direction and then hopped on a plane in the reverse two days later.

Time was meaningless and so was money.

That was because of my friend The Duke. His real name was Chadwick, but he preferred to be called Chad.

It is a tossup as to whether he hated being called The Duke more than he disliked being called Chadwick.

The Duke came from old money. He grew up on a monstrous estate and lived a life out of a movie. His graduation gift was control of a trust worth in excess of $100 million.

So money wasn’t a problem and neither was time. The only real problem we had was that we were young dumb and stupid,

Took a trip to city in Thailand called Phuket only because it looked to us like it was pronounced “Fuck It.”

Our time in “Fuck It” was punctuated with lots of moments that should have gotten us arrested. Somehow the members of the great fraternity of young, dumb and stupid managed to avoid those particular problems.

Things didn’t get crazy until we were in Paris. It had to be Paris. I didn’t like the city, didn’t want to be there and would have happily skipped it.

But Young, Dumb and Stupid was overruled by the power of the penis. Yep, young horny men met girls and got dumber, or maybe I should spell it dumberer because it was really bad.

I still have the letter that started it all. A handwritten note with flowing cursive letters and heart dotted ‘I’s sent by the girl who Chadwick swore would be his.

If the jerk hadn’t been thinking with his dick he might still be here to help me figure out what to do now.

This letter is a stain that I want to wash away, but I can’t. I had just begun to believe that maybe it was over but now I see I was wrong.

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I dumped a trunk somewhere under the desert sky and now I need to find it.

 

Need to find it because I need to confirm that what was intentionally lost will never be found. Need to find it to confirm that it cannot be found.

Part of me can’t help but laugh out loud because I said this would happen. I knew that it was a mistake and now I want to kick myself for not forcing the issue way back when.

I let them convince me that I was being paranoid and that the desert knew how to keep a secret.

It is possible they were right.

It is possible they are still right but the problem is we can’t say with the sort of certainty that would make me comfortable that it is true.

And now a quarter century later when I have a 1000 times more to lose than I did then I have to figure out where my loyalties lie and decide what to do.

The funny part is that I don’t have to ask the question because I know what the answer is. The choices I made then aren’t bound or restricted by…anything.

There is no statute of limitations to rely upon.

And even if I were willing to think of hiding that is not an option.

Guess I better find my passport and start thinking real hard about what comes next because when it comes it will come in a hurry.

Parts and pieces of this story were originally published here and here.

The Hijinks & Shenanigans Of Angry Lost Lovers

There is a long history here, one that is deeper and more complex than meets the eye or so I used to think.

And then one day I sat down and listened to Ray sing his song and it hit me that it didn’t have to be as complicated as it seemed.

It only had to be as complicated as two people who said they loved each other would let it be.

But the thing was, or is that we let it become complicated. We took something that had a couple of wrinkles and maybe a small knot and let it grow harder and more difficult.

And then when you cut me free, told me it was done and over I tried hard to accept it. Tried hard to just let go and move on but something never let me walk away the way I wanted to.

Something made me hold back and then I discovered what it was.

We weren’t done.

For a long while I refused to believe it. Refused to accept that there was anything left but pain and anger, did my best to feed that fire because anger makes it easy to stay away.

But it didn’t work and thus it didn’t happen, walking away that is.

Instead I found myself sitting across from you, staring at you, trying to figure out how I could simultaneously be so angry and so attracted.

You refused to kiss me that night, but within a week we found each other’s lips and we…remembered.

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We remembered. We found each other again. We got each other back and swore that this time it would go the distance.

The Chance You Should Have Taken

That is how I looked at the very beginning, how I thought about those early days.

It is a massive and major regret of mine, that I didn’t do what my heart told me to do because I let fear guide me.

But I moved on past that because I can’t live out what might have been and I can’t go back in time to change it.

So I pushed back against the memories and did my best to move on, did my best to try to walk away.

Yet I ended up where I didn’t expect to be and that is how we ended up sitting across from each other.

That is how we ended up wrapped in each other’s arms promising that this time we would make it happen.

Heaven and earth moved, the angels applauded and then the devil got between us…again.

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Sometimes I look at the water between the lonely tree and I and think if I can figure out how to cross it I can get back to you.

Because if I get back to you, well you’ll push me away a time or two because it is the right thing to do and then you won’t.

You’ll kiss me and we’ll remember and we’ll go on from there.

We’ll find our way and figure it out because it is who we are. When our fingers are intertwined we know we are an unstoppable force.

It is only when they are separated that we forget and fading memories make it easy to pretend it was never as good or as real as we knew and know it to be.

My heart tells me it is not false hope or foolishness to believe or look forward to.

My brain says if it says if it is meant to be then it shall be. It says you don’t have to work for love.

But my heart disagrees, my heart says sometimes you have to work for the opportunity and then you just water the garden love grows in.

Brain says to never listen to a broken heart because they cannot be trusted, but heart disagrees.

Maybe it is because I have loved you for as long as I can remember and even when I probably should have let go, probably should have given up… I didn’t.

Remember the day I said I don’t love you, I fucking love you.

I do, because I remember the smile and how you said you do too.

And I remember you making me promise to never let go and how I agreed.

And so here we are…apart.

Maybe forever, maybe not.

Heart and head, at odds…again.

Editor’s Notes: Technically this ran on Medium first.

I published it the same day I wrote You Should Slap The Devil & Sleep With His Wife. It is another version of a story I have been working on.

Since my Medium blog isn’t self hosted I figured I ought to run it here too so that I could make sure it is backed up and saved.