Voldemort had the Right Idea

the-dark-lord-collection

I think Voldemort had the right idea.  Not the whole, evil-wizard-genocide- thing, but divvying his soul up into Horcruxes.  He split himself into seven different pieces, so no one singular event could ever destroy him in his entirety.  And while that may seem like an obvious ploy to stretch a four book series into seven, I think the sensibilities of He-that-must-not-be-named are pretty sound for the dating world.

Because when I review my life and I think about the moments that were most likely to kill me, aside from one bad car crash and that one distinct (but possibly fictional) memory I have as a child about almost falling into a volcano– the rest of them were all relationships.  It’s the post apocalypse of a failed relationship that was most likely to put a rope around my neck or a bunch of pills and whiskey in my belly.  And it’s silly and stupid now looking back on all that emotion or angst (thank you Xanga for saving all those fun memories), but at that time I was wrecked.  And I’m not the only one.  Everyone I talk to has some big battle-scar from where someone carelessly ripped their heart out.

And it’s silly, because we learn about love and dating completely the wrong way.  We’re taught at such an early age that there’s just one person out there, one person you fall in love with and marry and that’s it.  But that’s the over-simplified end result.  That’s the finish line of a very long and lonely journey; I’m talking Lord of the Rings three movies of walking just to get a ring… hey that movie makes sense on a dating level too!   Nobody ever bothered to explain that all the couples I saw growing up were the evolutionary survivors over many bad dates and dead ends.  They’re the finalists of the super-championship-playoffs-bowl of a very long bracket game of “dating, destruction, and dysfunction” (which coincidentally, sounds like a really great book title).  Parents never mention their crumpled-dance-cards, or sordid past because “mommy and daddy and a few other boyfriends and girlfriends before we met” is never a good bedtime story for anyone.

And all the books, tv, and movies aren’t any better.  They teach us that love is this magical absolute all or nothing event.  It either satisfies you completely, or destroys you entirely.  There is no middle ground.  You’re either standing in the pouring rain with a boombox raised high overhead, or walking down the aisle in a white dress, with the handsomely rugged man waiting at the end.  So we go through life throwing our whole hearts at other people, screaming “Love me, damn you!  Love me!”  And if that person isn’t throwing their heart at you, at the exact same time, with the exact same velocity– it ends like a really bad game of water balloon toss.  *Splat!!*

Because I really think Voldemort had it right.  Split your heart up, so no one person can kill you.  Everybody who has a possibility of happily-ever-after gets a piece of my heart (yes this includes you cute girl at the Gelato place).  And if you fuck it up, well you get your piece taken away, and I remain more or less intact.  But if you do well, eventually you get a bigger piece.  And eventually, one girl is left holding all the pieces… like the end of a really long Monopoly game where she has Boardwalk AND Park Place, and everyone else just has a railroad and one of the purple properties.

I still want the forever and happily ever after do-or-die romance, but at least now I have a system where I can figure out if she’s worth the dying part.   Because I’m not expecting anyone to give me their heart lump-sum anymore.  But I haven’t given up hope, that eventually I’m going to have all of someone’s pieces, and they’ll have all of mine.  Like Backgammon.

Love is like Backgammon.

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As the Dust Settles: The Matchbox Racer

We met and loved, in a whirlwind dust storm.  I was stumbling through the wake of the girl with the orange dress, rubbing hot ash from my stinging eyes, and you were fresh from your own trauma’ed life, so much so I could taste His name on your lips every time we kissed.  But being with you was familiar, so comfortable, like my old alphabet quilt hand stitched by my grandmother before her sight and needles became too weak to sew and see.  So we saw each other through.  You leaned against me, and I leaned against you.  And suddenly we weren’t two torn and tattered sails whipped by the whims of the wind anymore, no– we were a pup tent; where your damage ends, my damage begins.  And we lay curled below the canopy’ of you and me– nestled in the afterglow.

We fit.  And it worked.  When He called broken and bawling at two am, I didn’t get jealous.  When my phone went off, you didn’t go through it; you just let it ring.  Your bed was softer than the rack I’d been stretched across.  My jaw unclenched.  My fist-shaped-heart unballed.    And I never laughed so hard or so long as when I was with you.  You joked once, how I always stroked my chin like I was getting ready to be a wise old man; in truth it was the unfamiliar shape on my face clinging to the corners of my eyes and cheeks.  Smiling.  Me, smiling, something I never thought I’d do again.

You carried with you a history the scribes of my mind had all but forgotten.  Like the Matchbox Racers of our childhood, on our knees through cobblestone courtyards, and across wooden pews turned raceways.  In truth I don’t remember this at all; but the way you described me through your eyes, through your eyes like I was something worth beholding.

Church Pews

But it was too easy too quickly.  And I began to worry that we were both dancing in someone else’s ash filled shoes– still warm.  So I went out into the wilderness to explore.  And since then I’ve slipped in self-esteem puddles and slept under unstable bridges, I’ve been bruised and I’ve gotten stitches; each encounter more unremarkable and obtuse– each traveling companion never measuring to the mettle of you. No one makes me laugh the way you do.

And I bought these for you months ago, thinking how fun it would be on our hands and knees in the stone courtyard laughing like we did more than a decade ago as kids.

But they’ve just been collecting dust:
Matchbox Racer

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Be Good Bait

If there are plenty of fish in the sea… I am the bait on the hook.  I am the collective product, my appearance, my aspirations, my mind, my writing, my family, my spirit and my soul all boils down to one tiny mouthful that either interlocks us together forever of causes you to go swimming by.    So the question is: “When we are standing eye to eye do you dare venture a bite?”

I need to Be.  Good.  Bait.

And I need to go fishing in the right places.  Because when the girls start calling me “cute” instead of “clever”, I’ve done something wrong in my endeavors’  Because everyone who loves me is a reflection of who I am.

I need to excel in absolutely everything I do.  So when our paths intersect I need to be a flavor you absolutely can’t resist.  And I don’t mean purely aesthetics, I mean to the core of me I need to be someone worth risking the hook and the lure, the dry dock and the cold floor.  And I’ve learned a lot these past few months; what it is to be greedy, and what it is to show mercy, and what it is to walk away.

Be. Good. Bait.

I need to be the kind of person you see, husband, father, and future all in the same glance.  I need to be provider and purvayor of passion both encapsulated in the same man.  Because there are plenty of fish in the sea,  I’ll be damned if I let you miss what we could be.

So I will, Be.  Good Bait.

And wait.

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The Siren Sings Back

You speak my words
back to me so sweetly.
Folded, and twisted upon
themselves, completely.
Be you song bird?
Be you lark?
Hatched from an ivory egg
with my name-song in your heart?

We are not the product of our circumstance.
Nor are we the summit of our birth.
No, we are at best–
— actions and words.

Should you strike untrue by an inch
you strike Untrue by a mile.
So take heed, and take aim.
May your arrows never stray.

Because we lay naked and adjacent
not just as vessels,
but as souls.
And the lines where I end and you begin
have blurred.  

And if you bend the light round’
the halo on your head,
to blind my eyes instead,
you’ll find a lonely century
without me.

Kira and the Poet

Oh, you.
You were my first real fan.
Oh, there were girls in short dresses
who batted their eyelashes
when I told them I was an artist
of sorts.

But you…
you were the first one to’
know me from nothingness
solely on the merits
of my open words.

You reached across the darkness
with the depths of your curiosity
and were all the more enamored.
And like the moth to the flame
I singed your pretty little wings
and pinned you up with the rest of

“Them” 

Because Darling, 
This is how beasts like us end.
Not in triumph, but in dust.

I saw the money in your parents,
and the cuts’ along your arms
and I was familiar with the nectar
of your poison.
Were I a boy ten’
years younger,
you’d be more than enough
to bring me down to me knees.
And I’d rip out my heart willingly,
for you to wear round‘ your pretty
neck as I lay clutching
the open cavity of my chest.  

But today,
you’re a pleasant memory
to warm me
like the lingering whiskey
in my glass.
And the ice is melting faster
than expected.

Bump it with:

The Escape Hatch and the Fire Axe

Today, I am the Escape Hatch.
Temporary-distraction of
digital parchment correspondence.
With the flashing feathered quills,
promising flesh and thrills
through the wireless ansibles
over the hills
and through her heart.

I am the Escape Hatch.
Cotton-comforter-confidant
where She lay bare and recanted
stories of her ill-fitted tilt-stitch-world
where the crooked seams
somehow aligned between

the twisted sidewalk
and her heather-blue dreams.

With each tenuous step
under the cloudy dander white lines
floating through the irreverent skies
as our gazes are fixed on the ever-growing

crack.

in the ceiling.  

I am the Escape Hatch.
Cold-steel-shield and He is the Fire Axe
surrounded by uniforms and flashing
lights after he razed her possessions
and left red marks around her neck
in his obsession
to make her
love-  him – back.

He may not know my name,
but he knows what I am–
The obsidian obelisk
a midst the crops of his happiness,
and he can neither turn me
nor’ till me

so he burns her fields instead.    

I am the escape hatch.
The final twist it took to seal her
entirety for eternity on the other side.

Until the rain ran past
the red rust in the hinges
reduced to ruin,

and the handle immovable,
and the decision, irrevocable.

Goodbye.  Adieu to you.  

 

Bump it with:

The Time Traveler’s Mistress

You’re exactly what I would’ve wanted ten years ago…

I began 2015 making a new friend.  Texting on my glowing screen as the champagne corks popped as loud as the fireworks and smoke filled the air with the new year.

Eighteen.  Red hair and fishnets, band-aids over her nipples because bras are too restricting, she knows her way around a six-string, and she can sing better than most girls on MTV.  And she writes, beautifully.  But most importantly, she’s into me.  You are exactly what I would’ve wanted ten years ago.

I have not yet stumbled across the point-of-no-return of thirty that brands me permanently’ as an adult.  ‘I’m still young’ I keep telling myself.  And by god I am going to do this.

I can smell the damage on her like a slow gasoline leak.  Its invisible acrid-sweetness permeates into everything she does, every decision she makes.  Wealthy parents who bought her every advantage except for self-preservation, a sordid past of boys with bad intentions, and most importantly– an affinity for assholes with fluffy hair and brooding dispositions.  That is the biggest crack in her windshield-world view, bending and refracting the burning light of my own failures and self-loathing, and illuminating me into something artistic and sparkling.  This is going to end in flames, but it’ll probably be fun most of the way down.

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I’ve always wanted to use this picture in a post.

And in a way, we fit.  Me trying to wrench back the hands of time to ten years ago, and her trying to grown up enough to match my stride.  I get a snap chat.  I Learn what “bae” and “fleck” means.  I use them in conversations, sparingly.  I keep hoping her youth is going to rub off on me like two crayons banging relentlessly in a pencil case tossed down a flight of stairs.  It wasn’t too long ago she was toting a lunch box and clutching crayons in her tiny fist.   I push the thought from my mind.

She wants to play backgammon at all hours of the night, until I’m burned and chaffed.  I wake up and she’s already started a game with my unconscious-petrification.  While driving, while hiking, while she’s on the phone with her parents.  It reaches the point that I’m dehydrated from match after match, where the sparks that usually ignite are unable to catch, and all those commercials for little blue pills that I once laughed at, now begin to terrify me as an imminent future.

morpheus-offering-the-pills
“…if it lasts for longer than four hours, please seek medical attention.”

I’m startled by the realization, our symmetrical bodies thumping in rhythm is not enough.  I want good conversation.  I want to drink wine at the beach.  I want a future that extends further than class and maybe finals week.  She makes me feel old.  Her problems: parents, friends, school, seem minuscule compared to the ever looming “oh shit what am I doing with my life?”  And I find myself chiding, scolding, and giving advice more than being a partner.  And then it hits me: holy shit I am her surrogate-fill-in for her father.  I am daddy issues banged out with handcuffs and hickeys, and maybe that’s why she really likes spankings.  And I am everything wrong with a lot of things.

But it was fun.  And I’d probably do it all again.

…If I were ten years younger.

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