A Eulogy

My Trusted Agent closed down his blog over a year ago because instead of catharsis, it fed a dark, destructive need. But sometimes he needs to get it off his chest. So I offered to ghost-publish his e-message in a bottle…

 

I drove by a familiar spot in my past. (It’s been awhile)
Just a random restaurant with a private parking lot.
What made this place special
that I would meet “Marti” there from time to time.
We were like two teenagers in heat. Kissing, grabbing at each other and when possible,
fucking like crazed rabbits.
I met Marti while on a business trip a 1,000 miles from home. I was still recovering from a recent death  of a close family member.
We were both in a dry spell in our marriages.  We filled a basic need for each other.
No promises, drama, plans or chains.
We made sure each one finished, at least once.
When it rained was the best.
The droning on the windshield, and the extra layer of privacy made it even better.
We would meet at my office after hours, at each other’s house when everyone was away for several days.
We were a perfect “fit”.
Our rhythm was always spot-on.
Whispers and moans, encouraging each other to do this and that.
Complimenting on how something felt or how long it had been.
When she was on her knees, she was shaped like an elegant musical instrument.
Her hips and back were a thing of feminine artwork.
The line of her spine and dimples on her lower back were burned into my mind.
She tasted sweet.
She always loved it on top.
I mention this not out of cheap sensationalism, but in the fact she would hit her perfect spot and would come several times. She would roll her head back with her eyes closed and had a half smile on her face. Sometimes her face would contort and she would gasp from the tremors and convulsions in her body. She would always tighten up. Her wetness was always just right.
She knew exactly what felt good and how to get there. It was a goal and she was determined.
She was one of the few women with whom I could go twice around with without stopping.
It was like fucking the Sun at times.  The warmth and danger always present.
We drifted apart as life got in the way. We had our own lives to focus on.
A few years later we managed to catch up. (Years before that these calls/texts would lead to on-the-fly hookups)
She told me she had major heart issues and surgeries.
I wished her well and said goodbye.
Today as I drove by that parking lot, I looked her up online to see if she still worked at the same office (I just wanted to say Hi) and that’s when I found her obituary.
How do I grieve for someone I should have never knew or touched?
I’m empty.
These days I’m trying to be a good person…husband…
But this is such a sudden hole in my past. Like a page ripped out.
I feel ashamed at the same time.  A familiar guilt of not deserving certain people in
my selfish life.

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“I am getting older. And it’s starting to show” The Broods

“I don’t want to wake up lonely
I don’t want to “just be fine”

A line in this song made me think of my father. My dad passed away in 2004. Just before Christmas. Suddenly. Three days after his 45th birthday. Ten years and I think I miss him more than ever. That was the mark of a real blow to my faith. Because I BELIEVED my father would be fine! Faith that should have moved a mountain, according to what I had been told.

My father reminded me of what I deserved. Better than what the men I had been settling for were willing to give. I try to keep his advice in mind but…

There is a new guy at work. Special Forces type of course bearing the mark of the recently retired: mandatory facial hair and a haircut that was now brushing the ears. He made himself known immediately. Alpha-male type who is looking for an in, like ‘him’ when we first met. I feel his eyes on me in meetings. And when we do talk in passing, there is an intensity—a predatory challenge in his gaze. It’s blatant to me. Does he sense the passivity and vulnerability in me? He doesn’t wear a ring but neither did ‘he’. It means nothing. With or without the ring, it means nothing. He remarked that he liked my ‘rockabilly look’ which I found odd because it has been months since I wore crinoline and victory rolls to work (too tired to bother in the morning these days). So I dress conservative out of laziness but he picked it up somehow. I laughed and told him he had a ‘look’ too. Pale blue collared dress shirt the same shade as his eyes, pushed up the forearms to reveal full sleeve tattoos. You can take us out of the uniform and dress us up but we’re not fooling anyone. He was exiting his truck when I rolled into the parking lot with the new Gerard Way album playing so loudly that his teeth were probably rattling like mine. He waited to open the door for me and in the span of a short conversation said (not asked. Said.) “We should go to lunch sometime”. I said “Not unless youre talking a sandwich from the base gas station. I only get 20 minutes for lunch.”

“We’ll figure something out” was his confident, off-hand reply. I almost want to tell ‘him’ about it. I tell ‘him’ about my other dates sometimes like “See? I’m not waiting for you” (WIN!) and then in the same email, admit that none of them stand a chance because he’s all I can think about is him (FAIL!). The SF community is so small, they probably know each other. So no, I wont mention names. Although I would love to say “You have some competition”. Except that he knows it’s a lie. I pray for the day that it’s the truth.

Because my dad told me I deserve better.

“I will not always love what I can never have. I will not always live in regret.” ~Jimmy Eat World

My fever broke today. It only took 7 weeks.

A half a tab of Xanax and a glass of water by my bed, just waiting for the alarm to go off and my anxious heart to start thudding.

But today, I got out of bed without it.

And I made it to work without it.

And I made it through work without it.

Day 1.

For all my prayer and meditation and hinting and begging and writing and crying… all I got in return was Silence.

So I wrote to you, perhaps the last handwritten letter.

You never gave any indication that you read any of them and it hurts me to think that you might have let them stack up, like an obligation or a homework assignment that you kept putting off.

I hoped to never regret you. I had hoped I meant as much to you as you did to me.

And I told you I love you. I didnt say it to make a play for you. It doesn’t matter that you’re married and live 1,000 miles away. It doesn’t matter if you’ve changed your mind, or forgotten what you loved about me, or that I was just a crutch to lean on, a means to an end, to be used and be discarded as soon as I was out of sight. It doesnt matter that/if you found a new crutch as soon as I was gone. I fell in love and I’m not ashamed of that. I don’t think it is ever a bad thing to love someone or to tell that person that they are loved.

I also re-joined online dating sites; I didnt tell you that in some sad attempt to make you jealous. I told you that to alleviate any concerns you may have that I could potentially turn into a ‘stalker’ and cause problems for you. Even I have a little more pride than to chase a man who doesn’t want me. I know even if you do slay your dragons, you have no intention of ever coming for me. So I’m just trying to press on, pray for you, pray for me, pray that we both find what we need, not just what we want.

I want you. I expect I always will. Because you were a lightning strike and that hasn’t happened to me in many years. But I won’t wait for the Never.

I hope that I still cross your mind sometimes and you think to drop me an email to let me know you’re alive and well. You said you would. But that was weeks—an eternity ago, when you promised that.

I’ll never look at a full moon the same.

I love you.

“Tell me you love me. If you dont, then lie to me” -Coldplay

I have some friends that I know I shouldn’t confide in because their brand of “comforting advice” is “If it looks like a duck, hes fucking someone else”. Its more harmful than helpful. Hey, you’re supposed to be talking me down from the ledge, remember?
Im not saying close your eyes to the obvious, im saying close your ears to the rumors. Until there is proof. Id like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt but Ive been burned once or 20 times (who hasn’t?) and Ive always struggled to keep my suspicious nature in check. Note to self:  Do not crucify everyone for the sins of a few.
Have you ever read The Life of Pi? I never saw the movie so Im not sure if that counts but at the end–and Im paraphrasing– the boy is telling his story to the authorities and when they admit they dont believe him, he pointed out, “Does it really matter which version you believe? The story ends the same either way.”  That is the lesson I took away from that book and the lesson I choose to apply now: it doesnt matter if the rumors are true or false because the story ends the same way: It just ends.
Human Nature is a coin toss. You choose who to believe,  who to trust.
The script on my wrists remind me:
Blessing. Lesson. People come into your life to serve as one or the other. I told G-d long ago that I didnt need any more Lessons. What I need is healing and grace.
But until that delivery arrives, I’d settle for a refill of Xanax.

Unhappy Birthday

I awoke at dawn today. Got up, made coffee in an old, chipped Japanese dragon mug, and sat down at my computer. The Facebook ‘birthday wishes’ were already pages long. Acquaintances come out of the woodwork when they get that reminder and if they take a moment to write on my wall to wish me a happy day, I appreciate the thought all the same.
But within an hour, I was sobbing uncontrollably. I shed no tears for 30 years until I hit a wall and now Im the most dehydrated person I know.
I could handle coming home to a house full of cockroaches and ants and which reeked of cat urine. I cleaned for 10 hours. Even the backed up garbage disposal and broken dryer, I could handle it. My car which had not been driven in months sat with a dead battery. Fine. The yard looked like jungle so I mowed. But when I woke up this morning and the toilet handle broken off in my hand, I put on my shoes and added a note to the laundry list of chores: Home Depot; fix toilet. That’s when I lost it.
I dont want to be here. I look at my clock still set for Kabul time: nearly 5pm there. Everyone would be headed to dinner soon. Friday night was “Surf n Turf” or what I deemed “Suck and Suck”. I could have anything I wanted for my birthday dinner tonight but I wanted nothing more than to be sitting amongst the people I just left behind in that smelly, hot chow hall.

Prepare for the trail to grow cold, my friend Z warned me. It was the first thing I read upon landing back in Tampa and the last thing I could handle. The closer I got to home, the heavier my heart. Prepare to be forgotten.

I am not proud to lean on the crutch of Xanax but considering I can milk a one month supply for 18 months, I am by no means dependent. Still, there is a nibble of shame that comes when I split the pill in half and swallow. I just need help getting the emotions under control at times like this.

In the nights before I left, we spent hours talking. Aware that time was running short, there was a sense of desperation, a need to ‘get it all out there’. He saw a strength in me that I havent felt in years and I didnt want to correct him. No, I didnt want to disappoint him. Even now. It would be easy to slip ito a drug-induced coma and crawl back into bed but that is not what strong people do.

My mother asked what I wanted for my birthday and I replied “The American Lie”. She looked at me quizzically. “Oh it’s okay, mom,” I shrugged lightly, “There’s always Santa.”
It doesnt help that my friend is in a full-on panic mode because her husband is in Iraq and unable to come home to participate in the next round of in-vitro. It’s hard to stomach because she is three years younger than I am and married. If her odds are bad, then mine are infinitely worse.

I fell in love with a married man once before. In 2007, in Iraq. It was another one of thse “Stay together for the kids” types of marriages. Still, we didnt touch each other until the night before he got on the plane to leave, he kissed me. I cried hard alone in my room afterwards. My question to G-d is, what was His intention? Was it a test for us both? Did I pass in 2007 and fail in 2014? It feels no different. Loss is loss. And was it ‘wrong’ for Bryan to leave his wife of 20+ years in order to marry my friend Leah? Was their marriage not sanctioned or blessed because of that? I have a hard time believing that. Bryan’s first wife did not abide by her duties as a wife; didnt keep up her end of the bargain. I have read that G-d abhors divorce but in certain circumstances, will allow it.

For months, I kept him at arms length. I knew I couldnt keep him as he was never mine so the heartache was an inevitability that I eventually accepted. But better to ache for what I can’t keep than regret what I missed. For a few days, we were happy.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a toilet to fix.