Posts tagged with "women"

This is a picture I didn't take

Of you, arms up and chest out, body crash­ing against the surf. Top pulled back into place with each wave, bot­toms adjust­ed as need­ed. A splash of rain on a flower soon to bur­geon.

In that instance I became aware of what was hap­pen­ing in myself. I could look at it clear­ly, and saw it as it was because it was already there, part of my expe­ri­ence in that moment, for bet­ter or for worse. I allowed myself to be exact­ly as I was with­out fear or shame. Detached yet present. Mindful to how I’ve longed to feel this for some­one again, and how I’ve nev­er ful­ly sur­ren­dered myself to it until now. A rea­son for the lyrics in the awk­ward smiles, the molto crescen­do in every inci­den­tal touch.

This is a pic­ture I did­n’t take of you, a mem­o­ry from which I can’t seem to look away. A moment I car­ry with me to remind myself that I can love again.

found and lost

I don’t know how to tell my friends about you. What am I sup­posed to say? That all we shared was some tea and talk and those four hours are rea­son I still believe in chem­istry after all the prac­ti­cal fail­ings of my past rela­tion­ships? And how do I bring you up, now that it’s been so long I won­der if you even remem­ber me?

Perhaps you would­n’t be in my mind so often if Green Eyes was­n’t one of my favourite songs. It always takes me back to those days on the mend, when all I had was your broth­er — singing with a voice like it was soaked in Scotch and left to dry on a line in win­ter — to give me some­thing new to love. You were the one to give me some­thing to be excit­ed about when it felt like noth­ing mat­tered any­more, and just as much became an inex­tri­ca­ble part of that time.

That’s why I haven’t for­got­ten you. That’s why I nev­er will.

I can still see the cav­a­lier way you’d toss your curly hair over your head every now and then, as if you were per­pet­u­al­ly decid­ing how best to wear it. I’ve come to appre­ci­ate that kind of casu­al come­li­ness, and the fact that you were so unaware of it made it all the more endear­ing.

We were sup­posed to start a band of our own. I’d pick up key­board or cel­lo if you want­ed to stick with gui­tar, we’d do cov­ers of Andrew Vincent, open for house shows, and get signed to Kelp some day. Instead, all I have is a pic­ture of you danc­ing at the Raw Sugar, and what if for­ev­er on my lips.

I may hard­ly know you, but the truth is I miss you. I still want you in my life. I want to know where you’ve been and who you’ve loved, what you’re danc­ing to and how else your cre­ativ­i­ty has tak­en form. But all I can do is won­der if our paths will ever cross again.

thanks for the trouble you took from her eyes

That lit­tle fur­row was there because you weren’t. That’s why you nev­er saw it, of course. You must think I hate you cause it was the only thing I could­n’t help her with myself. But I could nev­er hate you. You gave her what she want­ed. In the end, that’s all I real­ly want­ed too.

I knew it was seri­ous when I saw your umbrel­la under her bed, back when she hid those kinds of things for my sake. You nev­er real­ized she only took it as an excuse to see you again (not because she was par­tic­u­lar­ly scared of get­ting her meri­no socks wet), the same way you nev­er real­ized how easy it all was for you. That was a sign that you were the right one. I knew it before she did.

If only there was a bit of mys­tery left in you. Instead, I had you pegged by the sec­ond night, and all I can tell peo­ple is that you’re a nice guy, when I want to say you’re an artist, a lover, a fight­er, a wor­thy rival, a slay­er of inse­cu­ri­ties, a break­er of bar­ri­ers, a tes­ta­ment to testos­terone, a hero among men. She deserves more than the painful­ly pedes­tri­an life you’ve giv­en her, but I know she’s had enough of heart­break to think that nor­mal is hard enough to come by. And so I’ve learned that a per­son­’s hap­pi­ness is all that mat­ters, not the dreams you have for them. I guess it’s hard to give up those dreams when you’re part of them your­self.

I want to say I’m leav­ing for some noble rea­son of great impor­tance, but it’s real­ly because there’s noth­ing left for me in this lit­tle town. I used to believe I could escape; even­tu­al­ly I real­ized you can’t out­run your mem­o­ries. Now I’m just try­ing to fig­ure out where I belong. She was all I knew for so long, and now that life is gone.

And so I must tread care­ful­ly with new lovers; it’s impos­si­ble for me to tell my sto­ry with­out that part of my past. That’s why I won­der what she told you about me, about us. About los­ing feel­ing in her face and let­ters you would­n’t know how to write. If she inten­tion­al­ly left any­thing out, or whether our time was even worth men­tion­ing. But the past is still the past, and that’s the only rea­son I can write a let­ter now to the man who saved her with­out ever know­ing it.

missed connection

(I was going through some old e‑mails when I found this missed con­nec­tion post I wrote years ago. Aside from get­ting in touch with the per­son I was writ­ing to, one per­son replied, “I am not her… but I read this page hop­ing that one day some­one would post some­thing this nice about me after a ran­dom smile exchanged on a street cor­ner. Well Done.” Don’t we all.)

I was walk­ing north on O’Connor around 5pm yes­ter­day, lost in a thought, when I turned the cor­ner and saw you look­ing at me.

You gave me an unin­hib­it­ed smile, the likes of which seemed to con­vey a strange famil­iar­i­ty. Like we had seen each oth­er at an office par­ty but were nev­er for­mal­ly intro­duced, so we knew of each oth­er’s exis­tence but were too shy to be the first one to say any­thing, and rel­e­gat­ed our com­mu­ni­ca­tion to giv­ing each oth­er quick glances when pass­ing each oth­er in the hall.

It made me think of this line that Emilio Estevez says in St. Elmo’s Fire:

There are sev­er­al quin­tes­sen­tial moments in a man’s life: los­ing his vir­gin­i­ty, get­ting mar­ried, becom­ing a father, and hav­ing the right girl smile at you.

Okay, so maybe Joel Schumacher got the entire con­cept of St. Elmo’s fire wrong in the movie, and sure, Andie MacDowell’s role was as chal­leng­ing as putting but­ter on bread, but she was per­fect for it. She had a fresh face with the right amount of charm and mys­tery to be the love inter­est of the guy who played the pop­u­lar jock in The Breakfast Club, and for a moment yes­ter­day, YOU WERE THAT GIRL. If that makes me the crazy, obsessed wait­er-cum-law stu­dent then so be it. At least I was­n’t the wild frat boy with a bas­tard son who could­n’t hold his life togeth­er that Rob Lowe won the Razzie for, right?

You were the girl who defined one of those four quin­tes­sen­tial moments, and it came at the right time, as I had just spent so much time curs­ing Ottawa for hav­ing such incon­sid­er­ate dri­vers and inac­ces­si­ble down­town park­ing. I was the guy you smiled at who prob­a­bly lives a lit­tle too vic­ar­i­ous­ly through 80s com­ing-of-age movies cause I was nev­er cool enough to have any “real” prob­lems, and your smile stopped me in my tracks. By the time I gained the clar­i­ty to turn around, all I could see was you walk­ing away, in a long black coat, black hat, with red hair.

All I need now is to lose my vir­gin­i­ty, get mar­ried, and become a father. Maybe you could help me with those too.

the things we carry

I can’t fig­ure out why I’m so moody late­ly. Maybe it’s been too long since I smelled the wood of my gui­tar. Maybe it’s the fresh Autumn colours that tend to mag­ni­fy my emo­tions. Maybe I’m feel­ing over­worked, over­stim­u­lat­ed, and too rarely under­stood. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a moment to myself in what feels like weeks, with so many feel­ings of lone­li­ness amongst so many peo­ple.

Autumn stream


I always think of exile in times like this, and in par­tic­u­lar, a stan­za from Yevgeniy Onegin:

From all that to the heart is dear
then did I tear my heart away;
to every­one a stranger, tied by noth­ing,
I thought; lib­er­ty and peace
would serve instead of hap­pi­ness.

Luckily, I’ve been read­ing The Poisonwood Bible, which reminds me that the only prob­lems I have are first-world prob­lems, and that I’m rich in ways many will nev­er be.

I find it amaz­ing, the immen­si­ty of it, how any sin­gle per­son can be respon­si­ble for a tome of such rich sto­ry­telling, obser­va­tion, and wit. It’s the only book I’ve picked up in years, and I only start­ed read­ing to get into her head as much as pos­si­ble (and piqued by my curios­i­ty on how she could describe a sto­ry of the Belgian Congo as sexy). Unsurprisingly, her favourite char­ac­ter is the strong, faith­ful, war­rior daugh­ter. Mine is like me too; the dark, brood­ing, intel­lec­tu­al child, dizy­got­ic twin to hers. It makes me won­der if lik­ing one char­ac­ter over all oth­ers is too often an exer­cise in van­i­ty.

In the end, Onegin real­izes he was wrong about exile, that he could­n’t fill him­self with empti­ness to replace the sad­ness, some­thing he only fig­ures out when he finds some­one worth lov­ing. That’s what’s pulling me back too, keep­ing me ground­ed amongst those dark moments of untem­pered emo­tion. I car­ry the image of her smile with me, the only thing as dis­tin­guished on her face as her Spanish eyes, and the rea­son I call her Cheeks from the way the flesh pulls up to round her face. I’ve stud­ied this smile for so long that I can see it every time I close my eyes, and with that, I car­ry a strength of my own too.