I was 24 once. What a nightmare that was. Daaaaamn. So there I am, you know, all 24 and whatnot, doing cool and important things, in and around cool and clever folk, you know, mostly. Boy, the days we had…and then, I was killed.
Was me that did it. Set myself right up; tail wagging, tongue dragging, mind losing idiot completely in love. Or, in stupid. I mean, I just came off of one of the best, but, completed, relationships I have ever had, so fulfilling, warm, and real. And now here she was: Hollywood.
I was all done. Everything was new, my face hurt from smiling, her laugh was ambrosia – I climbed to her up 3 flights once and she said, “oh, my, you’re 100 feet tall!” before she swooned into my arms.
The tale of my woe becomes worse when the details are laid bare. (Fake name) was more than a little instrumental in the ‘completeness’ of my prior relationship. She didn’t break us up, we did that, but she certainly let it be known that it was a fine idea. Oof. We lasted a month and then I was killed. She looked right at me, disappointed, after lunch that one time, and said: I think we should break up. I didn’t hear anything, though. I saw: disappointed, and then there were words and facial expressions and a slow departure and I knew what had happened and that I was now dead.
All the stuff I had heard, what I had read, dreampt, disbelieved – it was all true. I was back in basic training not being able to lift my right arm by its own power in order to shave…. All the bittersweet and ugly things showed their stain and that fed the misery. When your romantically inclined heart is shredded the first time you really think you might actually be ‘in love’ you are kaput. You are dead.
When I finally recovered, I was kind of grateful for the experience. It’s a little kooky, I know, but, I have always understood that you can’t make a cake without breaking some eggs. I knew that I was young and I knew for damned sure by this time that life was not fair at all and the lumps can be as sweet as the pleasure, for their reasons. But, It still hurt like nothing had. Until something equally horrible happened decades later, it was the longest and bleakest 3 days of my life. In fact, it was so gross and horrible, I wrote a poem. I wrote a love poem.
I am cliche.
This poem stayed rolled up and stored among my things until a few years ago when a woman I was dating decided to frame it and mount it on the wall going up stairs. I took the picture. It’s interesting – I just read this thing for the first time since I don’t know when and it’s definitely clear I was outta my head. It’s working title was: Orion’s Big Toe. It’s still what I call it.