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Because I Think I Love You

Of all of the things that can happen in the world
Falling in love is the best and the worst
If you don’t know whether you are in love or not, you aren’t
but you can be
If you feel like you are in the midst of love, you are
but you may not be
And in this quandary of yes and no is where I find myself with you
with the maybes floating like dandelions in the summer
Is it possible to love someone you don’t really know?
Yes, because I love you
I love how you use only just enough words
Conciseness dominating the verbose
Your silence hiding thought, depth and suspense
Holding its next reveal with anticipation
I love your quiet elegance
Draped seemingly without care but always impeccable
I love you, or I think I do love you
Because you never leave my mind for long
A stretch of time only reaches so far and turn the leaves color over so often
Before I think of you and smile as it were yesterday that I thought these thoughts last
Do I love you still then?  Or did I ever?
Can you love someone you never did but only realize it after?
These cravings never known until well beyond the time they should have been felt
This appetite now present when the hunger should have been long ago
Or were they known all along but hidden in the lulls
And when they rise back like a heat wave unable to remember a time without the humidity
The only way to cool myself is at your lips
The only breeze coming from your words
Do you love someone if you don’t love them all the time?
Every second of every day you’ve known them.
I believe its possible because I have loved you
And then I haven’t until I have loved you again
And even though you will never love me and my love for you will never be more than an idea I think I might have
I will love you every time I see you and I will remember it as if it never left

Way Back: Halloween

Hat tip for the nod to Elvira on the header picture.
I’ve never been a big horror or scary movie fan but I remember seeing her ridiculous movie and not hating it.  I believe I didn’t catch it until it was thrown on TV during the mid 90s as filler stuff on TBS because I just looked it up and it was released in 1988.  I couldn’t tell you a bit about it except the creepy dude at the end.  The flash dance type dealy where she got doused with what…oil or tar?  And her fast talking.

This is just me rambling on about Halloween.  Or, more specifically, Halloween when I went Halloweening to procure candy for consumption.
Has anyone done a calculation on how much a Halloween costume costs and how much candy you get and see if it evens out?  I wonder.
Anyways.  Halloween.  Yeah.

I’m not big on Halloween.  I was never one of the people who loved the decorating (probably because my parents never did) or getting dressed up (those plastic masks were a bitch and those little rubber bands to keep them on your face always snapped).  But I’m always down for some candy.  Mini butterfingers are the best.

I remember seeing Hocus Pocus and Earnest Scared Stupid.  Beetlejuice was always fun to watch as well.  Halloween Halloween Halloween.

I think the lack of actually caring about Halloween is why I don’t have some kind of poem or story to write for it instead.  I just don’t really care.  So why don’t I just treat it like any other day and write something else?  Because!  I didn’t think of that.  And it seemed quietly lazy once I did.  So why not be openly lazy and just write a post about why I don’t really care about Halloween?  Much better.

One memory I do have from Halloween is kind of funny.  Okay probably not but I remember it being funny.
Towards the end of my Halloweening age I didn’t feel like wearing a full on costume (see above: plastic masks, rubber bands holding them on).  So I bought a werewolf mask.  it was neat.  Grey, fully over the head hood type mask.  Hair.  Snarling mouth.  Just neat.  I wore it around our neighborhood.  I must not have been too much older then 10 or 11 though because I think my mom was with us because my little brother would have been about 6.
So I think at one point I took it off and just didn’t go up to the houses and was just standing on the sidewalk (HALLOWEEN!).  Then I put my mask back on to go to another house but turned around and there was a little kid standing there.  He must have been no older than 4.  I can’t remember why I turned around and looked at him but I did.  I didn’t growl or say anything at all that I remember either but I do recall he started crying.  The extent of the tears and crying aren’t recalled (GREAT MEMORY!) but they were there.  I mean, I felt bad.  I wasn’t trying to traumatize the kid.
What sticks out a little more though was when we got back home and my mom was teasing me about it.  How she was laughing that I scared a little kid.  What kind of sadistic mother do I have?!

That was probably the “best” memory I have of Halloween.  There are other ones…you know what?  Why don’t I just do a list.  We all like lists, right?

  • My mom being pulled over by the cops because too many kids were piled into the car and didn’t have enough seat belts.  We were just driving down the road but one of the dumb kids (older brother’s friend) stuck his head out of the sun roof and was being obnoxious.
  • The day after Halloween going to school and seeing all of the scattered candy that was dropped out of bags in the gutter.  It must be what the day after mardi gras looks like in New Orleans…somewhat.
  • My wife, before we were married, being disgusted that in my later years (late teenage, well beyond trick or treating) we would shut off the lights and hide inside on Halloween.  She was surprised we were never egged.
    • She did get me to give out candy one year because her disgust was too much.
  • California Halloween’s are better than most other places because you can do things like go as someone with short sleeves (or, for example, girls can go as tinkerbell) and not worry about it being too cold and have to ruin the costume with sweaters and jeans.
  • The candy dump at the end of the night.
    • Sorting the candy.
      • Good stuff in one pile
      • Garbage stuff in another
    • Looking for those cherished full size bars
    • throwing out any fruit
    • wondering why I have a few dimes
    • cursing the people who gave out cans of soda
    • pencils?  seriously?!
      • I have to say that, and I don’t remember this being a thing in the late 80s and early 90s, but getting chips for Halloween is lame.  Maybe its just me but…come on.

So yeah.  Halloween.  Go uh…go….gadget?  I dunno.  Whatever.

 

Way Back: That Thing You Do

Do you know that thing that you do?
That thing with your mouth.
When you’re looking at something that you really want.
I’ve noticed it. I’ve noticed a lot but this in particular.
That thing where your lips part and you slowly inhale.
Then they close again tight.
It controls your entire upper body.
Your eyes close and your head leans back.
Your shoulders lift.
I want to be the thing that makes you do that.

Read To Me

Lazily sprawl yourself on the couch with a book in your hands;

dress at a minimum

exposed skin

eyes on the page

lips at the ready

And read to me with a voice that’s experienced the words;

pause where you’ve been touched

gasp when you’ve been tasted

inhale when you remember their scent

help me experience it through your words

Tease me with your limbs and your lips;

stretch your legs out long

roll your tongue and

purr your lips

but hold your arms tight as you grip the pages

Read to me as you lay half naked across the room;

make my pulse quicken

my eyes focus

my back straighten

and my breath stop.

Last Cigarette Of The Night

I wrote this last year after perusing tumblr.  I saw a sign or note or something that read Last Cigarette Of The Night and an image of a woman sitting at her window smoking came to me.  Then a story filled in after and I wrote it in probably 20 minutes.  It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever come up with.

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Way Back #5: Being A Parent

A few years ago I wrote the following short story with the intention of entering it into the CBC literary prize contest.  It was for creative non-fiction and I thought I had a great story to tell and thought it would be really good practice.

I had finished the story shortly before February but wanted to edit a bit more before submitting it and since the deadline wasn’t due until the end of the month I figured I had plenty of time, or so I thought (more on that in another post for another day).  There was an edited, nearly finished copy as well that had been whittled down to fit into the 1200-1500 word limit outlined by the contest but I like this, original, version better.

 

Being a parent

As a teenager, as odd as it sounds, I had thoughts about wanting a bigger than normal family.  I would venture to say that typical teenage boys don’t think about things like this but whenever we would go visit my Mom’s family in Wisconsin it had an effect on me.  She had a lot of brothers and sisters and there were so many cousins running around at any given time it was like a mixed-age classroom.  I loved going back to visit because there was always someone to play with.  Although I had two brothers, they were flawed in my eyes.  I saw my older brother as selfish and mean and I wanted nothing to do with him, and who wants an annoying little brother when you’re 13?  Having a bunch of cousins to run around a quiet little town with was the highlight of each summer we made the trip.

So I had told the first girl who I had known long enough to actually broach the subject with that I thought five was a good number of kids to have in a family.

“Fives a big number,” she told me, “double the size of the nuclear family you always hear about.”

“Not quite.  I think it’s something like 2.3 kids,” I always had to throw out random pieces of information even when I wasn’t sure about it.

“What would we do with .3 of a kid?”  She was ever the pragmatist.

“I don’t know, tie it to a bear?  Then it can move around and defend itself,” I, on the other hand, could never stop making silly comments.

Just because I thought it and said it doesn’t mean I really knew what having five kids meant, or even what a large family was.  This idea was just something I thought I wanted at that time, just like I thought I wanted to drink five Dr Peppers and eat an entire pizza while watching football.  It seemed like fun no matter how bad it might be for me.

Our first child was unexpected to say the least.  I had met the pragmatic girl in an on-line chat room and we chatted and talked on the phone for nearly a year before I flew across four time zones and into another country to see her.  We were both young and have admitted to each other several times that we were stupid as well.  We didn’t use a condom.  We didn’t even think about it.  The consequences never entered our mind for a second.  So when she called me from University at York in Toronto and told me in tears that she was pregnant I didn’t know what to say.  I asked the stupid question that every young male asks the girl he had unprotected sex with, “are you sure?”

She then recanted a conversation she had with the customer service agent for the pregnancy test company.  She told me that she called the number on the box and told them she might have affected the results of the test.  The customer service agent asked how she thought she might have done this and my now wife said probably the most ridiculous thing she has ever said, “I bumped it a little while I was waiting for it to finish.”

The customer service agent responded with the comic timing of Johnny Carson, “I’m sorry miss but no amount of bumping; shaking, tilting or jostling will change the result of the test.”

The pragmatist inside of her died a little after that conversation.  She was pregnant.  We both were.  Half a year later a six week early boy was born at 4 pounds, 6 ounces.  We weren’t married and I wasn’t even living in the country yet.  We had only actually met in person twice.  I saw my son in person for the first time at his original due date when he was two months old.  I moved there seven months later and became a permanent resident seven months after that.

Our second child was planned but not as easy.  My wife has an irregular cycle meaning she doesn’t always have her monthly visitor.  Sometimes it doesn’t come for three or four months at a time.  As a guy who doesn’t know much about a woman’s cycle this would seemingly be a good thing, however for getting pregnant it can be a nightmare.  Thankfully we didn’t suffer like a lot of couples though.  After a few doses of fertility drugs we got a positive and it stuck.  My wife was worried though because she always wanted a girl.  We had a son.  I had two brothers.  My older brother had his first child 10 months prior to my first child and it was a boy as well.  My dad had a list of brothers and my wife was psyching herself up to the idea of never getting her girl.

The worst thing to her is being blind sided by something, so one day when we were out looking for baby items she saw a baby predicting product.  It claimed to be able to predict the gender of the baby based on the urine.  If it was green it was a girl and orange was a boy.  The store owner claimed the only few people who used it said it worked so we put down the fifty dollars and gave it a try.  It was a fifty-fifty shot either way, why not try for peace of mind?

When the crystals started to form the cloudy coloring of whatever mystery gender box we purchased we put it in every possible form of light we could find to make sure of the color.  We put it under the dull yellow of the incandescent bulb, the bright white of the neon bulb and finally natural sunlight on our window sill in our bedroom.  Each time it was the same color and we became proud investors in the color pink.  A short while after that we discovered that Halifax had a 3D ultra-sound gender predicting office and we decided to give it a shot.  They confirmed it.  The next January we had a 6 pound 8 ounce baby girl, a six year old boy and a beagle.

By this time my wife was a pregnancy professional.  She read up on everything and was the most informed person I had ever known on any topic, almost to her detriment.  Subway sandwiches were taken off of the menu because of the chance the meat would have listeria.  Eventually she reasoned it out that as long as the meat was steaming hot out of the microwave then the bacteria would all be killed and she could eat Subway again.

She knew the age when women started having the risk of birth defects and miscarriage and she was getting worried as her age slowly crept closer that she wasn’t ready to finish having babies.  We decided to try again, with fertility drugs.  Once again they worked fairly quickly.  We bypassed the cloudy color crystals and went straight for the 3D ultra sound.  My wife had almost resigned herself to the fact that she was never going to have a girl so she was incredibly happy with the one she had, so much so that she was hoping for another boy since our son was now 10 years old and she thought it would be nice to have a baby boy again.  Unfortunately for her we were having a girl, but she was just as happy.

The day before my 30th birthday we had an ultra sound scheduled to see the progression and get the measurements and all of that fun stuff.  We went in happy.  That weekend we were going to a little fishing village to have lobster for my birthday and enjoy the cool breeze from the harbor.  We had never had to see the radiologist before so when she came in my wife was worried.

In the worst 24 hours of our entire lives we were told something was wrong with our baby during the ultra sound and sent home.  The next day we had to meet with a doctor who wasn’t our normal family doctor and heard that our baby had no brain activity.  The fluttering movements my wife felt and the heart beat we both listened to regularly on her home use baby monitor were merely reactionary and the baby wouldn’t live outside the womb.

The baby had what is called trisomy 13, a genetic condition that had a high fatality rate.  My wife wanted to carry to term and deliver naturally and let the baby have her own chance but everyone else didn’t think it was a good idea.  I don’t like to think that we pressured her into it but that is what it was.  We all told her what we thought was best even though we knew what she wanted to do.  We were only looking out for her well-being in the long term and just thought it was easier.  She caved under all of our suggestions.  We had to wait nearly 3 weeks.  I never cried harder in my entire life than I did the night our baby was born.  She was 23 1/2 weeks old.  Finley Grace was born on August 18th at about 10 pm.  She died August 19th just after 1 am.

We tried again immediately after although it probably wasn’t a good idea.  After getting pregnant again fairly quickly, she didn’t want to not be pregnant on Finley’s birth date; we went into the hospital on New Year’s Eve due to bleeding.  My wife was in tears and nearly hysterical as we walked into the emergency room.  A woman with no noticeable limp or affliction slipped in front of us and was determined to get to the nurse ahead of us to be seen.  My wife was bleeding and visibly upset.  We had a miscarriage and spent our New Year’s Eve in the emergency room.

A few months later we were pregnant again.  My wife was determined to not let that be the last memory of being pregnant.  Nervous the entire time and not caring what gender the baby was this time we told each other we weren’t going to find out.  We couldn’t stick to that though.  We had to find out, after everything that happened knowing the gender and knowing everything about the baby as soon as we could, to know them as long as we could seemed more important.

I’m not a big believer in fate but when we found out our new baby was going to be a girl I still have this feeling that it was Finley.  That she was meant to be here with us and nearly eleven months later Harlow Grace was born at 6 pounds, 8 ounces.

We were done having babies.  I said were done and she thought she was done.  We weren’t done.  Again we were careless.  Or apparently I was careless because I did not follow the pull and pray methodology properly.  The last two babies were only able to happen due to chemical intervention.  What were the chances of a fluke occurrence happening again?  The chances were pretty good apparently.  The sixth member of our household, Jude Benjamin, was born in December of 2013 at a whopping 6 pounds even.

Each middle pregnancy, all girls, needed fertility drugs to happen, so you can guess that our little “oops” was a boy.  Book ends we like to call them.  Now with two boys and two girls we finally decided our family was complete.  What more could we possibly hope for?  That is until the term “tie breaker” entered my wife’s vernacular.  I believe part of her desire to possibly have another baby is due to comments along the lines of “you’re not having any more are you?”  It’s uttered more often than you would think by complete strangers and even family.

I’m completely fine with the family as it is currently constructed but my wife also said something a few years ago that really makes sense and applies to our family quite well.  She said that it might seem like a burden or struggle at first.  The idea of another baby might seem daunting but once it’s here you love it like it always has been here.  Our family should have never happened the way it did.  Our family possibly should have never happened at all except for a fluke occurrence of irresponsible young people.  But we did happen and we made it work and are the better for it.

Being a parent isn’t easy.  Giving up the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want is a lot.  Figuring out how babies work is like watching a Japanese game show, it’s loud and usually messy and often doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Chasing toddlers around a friend’s house that doesn’t have kids should be an Olympic event.  Getting your kids to school in the morning and giving up your weekends for birthday parties and activities is a never ending climb.  But on a random summer evening when you’re sitting down to enjoy a bowl of ice cream and your 2 year old daughter wanders over to you waddling like a penguin and looks up at you with her enormous, beautiful brown eyes and you know exactly what she wants.  Then when you take the spoon and give her the first (and last) scoop and she thanks you with the brightest smile you’ve ever seen, you remember that being a parent isn’t easy, but it sure as hell is worth it.

Way Back #4: Art for Arts Sake

I wrote this five and a half years ago.  I was trying to be sly and clever and think I got a little wordy and pretentious.  It kind of holds up though.  I liked it enough to save it all this time.

********

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Way Back #3

This one’s about a girl.  Go figure.  Even 10 years ago I was still pining.

 

How bad do you want me to see your smile
You don’t even have to ask
Just promise not to take it away.
Of all that is forgotten
your lips perched in a smirk wont be
flower in your hair
draped in white
enchanted
later, all eyes on you
a question
an answer
an offer rejected
an ego denied
a mistake made
how do you apologize
for something you knew you couldn’t do
how do you fix something
when you’re not sure how it broke
or if it ever worked right at all

Way Back #2

This…this I don’t know what this is.  I was a terrible writer then.  I’m not even going to debase myself and say I’m not way better now.  This was just off the wall, bizarre nonsense that would come jumping out of my head at random.  So enjoy!Read More »

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