The Black Pot and Kettle

“It’s become so obvious. You are so oblivious to yourself. You’re tied in a knot, but I’m not gonna get caught calling a pot kettle black.” ~Wilco

I just finished reading Porcelain, the first memoir by Moby, and it was absolutely fascinating. I didn’t think I had any preconceived notions about him, and yet my mouth was open nearly the entire first half. What hit me the most was when he talked about all the random sex, all the one night stands he had, being part of the raver scene in NYC in the 1990’s.

One liaison bled into the next on the page. Maybe I’m just not used to people being so open about their sexual experiences, or maybe I’m just shocked at how many people become part of a scene, not knowing what it entails, and yet it gets grafted onto their ideals in bits and pieces until the scene is indistinguishable from them. They become like interchangeable bodies, not even names at that point, not even human beings by then, just robots programmed for these kinds of relationships that aren’t real relationships.

I often read a poem to my English 102 students; it’s by Sharon Olds, and it’s called “Sex Without Love.” It says, “How do they do it, the ones who make love / without love?” The idea is that even the words we use to describe sex aren’t always adequate, that they are often not up to date with how society is defining the entirely physical relationships. I guess to me it’s always been this feeling of, “Can you separate these two parts of yourself, the physical and the emotional?” Continue reading “The Black Pot and Kettle”

Advertisements

300 Writing Prompts: #148

“Write about a piece of jewelry you own. Where did it come from? When do you wear it?”

This one isn’t too tough, but only because I have never really owned that much jewelry. Growing up in a strictly religious home helped me in that regard, as both my mother and my sister had minimal jewelry (if any at all). It was all about the “temple of God,” or what you had on the inside, that was supposed to really count. Which was why it was funny that, despite this directive, we were decked out to the 9’s every Saturday at church service. Quite funny.

Anyway, as I’ve gotten older I’ve felt the need for a little outward adornment. At various points in my life I’ve had a couple necklaces (I guess guys should call them “chains,” but they really weren’t), a couple bracelets (one of them was a faux Livestrong one that left a green ring around my wrist), and a few rings, for good measure. While the necklaces, and the bracelets, are pretty much long gone, festooned on the island of my history, I do still have two rings.

Sorry, Golem, not just one precious.

But yes, really, only the latest ring is precious to me. Continue reading “300 Writing Prompts: #148”

Sunday Shuffle [2.0]

I got my first CD player the summer between 11th and 12th grade. I was doing an internship, making my own money for once, and when that first paycheck came in I felt RICH. I don’t even remember how much it was now, but I was decidedly not rich. I just felt like it in the moment, the way you do when your mom’s still paying for everything so you can focus specifically on your wants.

That was me.

And what I wanted was a CD player. I already had some CD’s, one I won from a radio station contest, and another couple I bought in anticipation of the CD player. It was the early ’90s, so tapes were still very much in vogue, at least where I came from. If you had CD’s you were on the cutting edge of tomorrow. I wanted to be on that edge, but I would have to be able to play them.

So I went to Sears and picked one out. It was a single disc player. I mean, I was suddenly rich, but I wasn’t so rich my eyes weren’t bugged out by the prices of the multi-disc changers. Besides, I thought eventually I would trade in my single for a multi, so why not start small? Continue reading “Sunday Shuffle [2.0]”

Love Lessons

“This old heart of mine, been broke a thousand times. Each time you break away, seems like you’ve gone to stay.” ~The Isley Brothers

I am no love expert. I feel like I should qualify that first. Love is not always sunshine and roses. I feel the need to qualify that second. Because, while love can be the most beautiful feeling in the world, it can also be the most confounding, the most frustrating, the most devastating at the same time.

For me, love has been several roller coasters, going everywhere but never really stopping. And it’s taught me a lot, in its various incarnations.

  1. Unrequited love is the worst. Having feelings for someone who doesn’t share those feelings can drive you insane. Keep in mind, though, that unrequited means they know of your love for them but do not reciprocate. If you love someone but keep it to yourself, it doesn’t qualify in this category. I’ve learned that it’s best to be honest, to get it out there, because keeping it in doesn’t help.
  2. Love has expectations. It’s interesting to me when people say that love doesn’t expect anything from you but to be yourself. This isn’t true, specifically because most relationships are doomed by a lack of communication. When you love someone you should stretch outside of your comfort zone at times so you can understand each other.
  3. You can’t force love. No matter how “great” someone looks on paper, no matter how many of your friends think you’d be perfect together, it’s not about paper, and it’s not about friends. It’s about how you feel inside, and you can’t make yourself love someone you don’t love. Yes, you can cover over your true feelings, but eventually they will come out, and regret will set in.
  4. We don’t stop loving people. If it’s real love, it doesn’t just go away. Sometimes it can morph into a different level, or it can be put on the back burner because of the actions of the individual. Often, love isn’t enough to keep people together because there are so many other factors that influence that, but the excuse that “love died” is not true. If you feel that way, then you never loved in the first place.
  5. Don’t mistake lust for love. In true Romeo & Juliet fashion, too often we are struck by the newness of a situation, we are overcome with emotions that are attached more to our libidos than to anything else. It’s easy to think this is love, but it’s really love-adjacent. It’s really one facet of a multi-faceted emotion, and often times we can have lust without love. Beware.
  6. Love needs cultivation. Just like with anything else, if love stagnates it can be detrimental to you overall as a person, and to your relationship. Taking love for granted, settling into routines where you aren’t receptive to the other person’s needs, is easy to do. It’s one of the reasons love isn’t enough by and of itself. You need to show that love instead of letting it settle.
  7. Love can be harsh. Because we can’t choose who we love we can get ourselves into situations that are detrimental to our overall mental, physical, and emotional health. I’ve seen it time and again, people who are in dysfunctional relationships because they love that person even though they’re being mentally, physically, or emotionally abused by that same person.

Love is so powerful because it tugs at our heart strings. It’s the kitty in the shelter we just have to bring home with us. It’s the book we can’t stop reading even though it’s 4 in the morning. It’s the twisted sheets, the notes under windshield wipers, the pop-ins just to say hi, the shared tacos, the phone calls that never end. It’s everything. Except that it isn’t. At least, that’s what I’ve learned so far.

Sign Language

The sign by the pool says, “No diving under five feet,” and I always wonder if it shouldn’t be six. I always wonder if no one should dive at all. But I don’t say anything. I don’t want to disturb anyone, even from getting a cracked head.

I sit there on the edge, staring at the sign, feeling drowsy because chlorine always makes me drowsy. I will probably drown someday if I stay in the pool long enough. Maybe I should have my mom check the box so I don’t have to swim anymore, like she did with gym class.

The others splash about in the deep end. The sign over there says, “Only with a lifeguard present,” and I imagine the skinny high schooler standing up and saying, “I’m present,” when he sees the sign. Of course he’s reading a book, it’s Moby Dick, but I don’t think that’s allowed. There should be a sign to tell him that.

“It’s your turn to swim, Thom,” Miss Myrtle tells me. Her hand is on my shoulder. I don’t like it when people touch me without asking. I don’t like many things, but Miss Myrtle smells like the beach, and I forgive her for it. It’s not enough to make me swim, though.

“Thom, we go through this every Thursday,” she says, when I don’t speak up. Continue reading “Sign Language”

Caught in the Middle

“Reckless abandon wrapped in common sense. Deep water faith in the shallow end, and we are caught in the middle” ~Casting Crowns

I stood on the edge of a future fraught with possible landmines, I had no idea if I even wanted to jump, and who would have blamed me for standing still? Believe me, I was the last person to know what I wanted in that moment, in the pause that seemed to stretch into forever with how long I waited it out.

Looking back, I was hoping a decision would be made for me, that things would be packaged up and all I would have to do is put the bow on it. But that’s not how life happens, not often enough anyway. What life does is it waits until we’ve finally made the decision, then it changes our plans, whether we like it or not.

So what was I waiting for?

You could say I was always the one to look before leaping anyway, that I would generally weigh all possible options before wading in, or I wouldn’t wade in at all. I can’t tell you how many opportunities passed me by while I was sitting there waiting to make a decision (or 20).

I’m not sure if it was being careful, meticulous, or just indecisive, but it seemed to work relatively well for me. Continue reading “Caught in the Middle”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: