Anniversary Apology

I met my friend twenty years ago. We were just talking and I brought up the fact that all the good things I have in life stem from her presence. I paused and reflected on that statement. If true, it means that my gratefulness is woefully under-represented by my actions. In other words, I should be worshipping the ground she walks upon for all that she’s given me. If she did nothing else starting today, I’d still owe her for the last two decades.

She was my first and only girlfriend, my first and only best-friend, she taught me how tasty food could be. And after growing up in such a negative family environment, she showed me that “family” could be a term of endearment. She was the adoring and dutiful mother that our little baby needed. And of course my more cheerful outlook on life is plainly due to her guiding influence. Having been a pessimistic realist, I now believe in the goodness of life and all sorts of fanciful things.

Because of this, I have most certainly taken her presence for granted. She has carefully crafted the majority of meals I’ve eaten. I literally can’t enjoy food without her around. And most importantly, she not only listens to my inane philosophizing, but responds as though she cares. I have never met a better cook, or a more clever person, nor a better listener — she remembers everything. People, including babies and animals, tend to adore her.

What that initial statement made me realize, is how little gratitude I show toward such a vital component of my life. It’s sheer disrespect on my part, and I’m taken aback by it. I should be demonstrating my appreciation daily — hourly in fact! I asked whether she’d rather have a thank-you or an apology — I think her response is obvious. And so I wholeheartedly apologize, and repent for the horrible way in which I selfishly took her presence for granted.

But mere words are not enough, I must change my ways. In my future dealings with her, I must trust her opinion much more than I already do. What she thinks best, probably is. My patience towards her must be an endless well. When she speaks I must silence my own mind and simply listen. I must recognize the ingredient of love she mixes into every meal. Every bit of criticism that crosses my mind must be checked by the infinite delight she’s infused within my being.

I apologize to you, Michelle, for being so late in my understanding of the totality of your greatness. Happy Anniversary!


Garden 2.0

Upon eating the fruit, the illusion shattered. The act of eating from the tree of knowledge exposed the artificiality of the garden. From then on, it wasn’t enough. Staleness, sameness, suffocating — boredom became their reality.

And so they entered a new realm, an imperfect place. In this world, stressors of all varieties excite their senses. This manufactured habitat dazzles the duo with sights and sounds, thrilling with triumphs and disasters.

Captivated by this daydream, the pair enter in and out of lives, always uniting, yin intertwining yang. Offspring become ancestors become siblings become parents. A dramatic world of themes, a dance-floor of embracing essence, a backdrop of enduring love.

It was always about them, the only two that ever existed. Through their fondness, a world was born, a place to play within an endless playground. Every kiss and every tingle a new experience and a warm rekindling. A chase, a romp, a hide-and-seek, a fairytale for lovers.

Celestial Body

An excerpt from the fictional tales of Existential Romance.

As dawn begins the day, her love began my life.

They say it’s always darkest before the dawn, and so it was. Sitting quietly, arguing, warm blood dripping down my nose. Police at the door, he’s dead they said. Hospitals to funerals. Furious father throwing and yelling in a perpetual tantrum. It was a curious time of chaos — excited molecules smashing together before a big bang — then silence before the shockwave. What’s left are pieces to be picked up. But from these fragments entire worlds are born.

And so it was, a new life sprang from the old. My pieces far flung came to orbit her celestial body. Mere fragments solidified under the power of her pull. Like a baby’s first breath I gasped for life, experiencing the exhilaration of existence. Previously, I didn’t know what the big deal was, life is pain, life is hardship, life is cruelty, life is suffering personified — but no more, now I get it, life is laughter, life is surrender, life is companionship, life is love personified.

White hot with the power to save or destroy, I am ever at the mercy of her might. This world, a love story, spirit made flesh embracing and tasting life’s sweet treats. Through her wisdom I see the fun in living. Upon the altered view, a marriage of opposites springs forth the elixir of love’s first kiss, waking and breaking the spell, a curse coursing through veins once frozen now thawed. Sweet release, relieved of an angst, dark and dreary, weary no more.

Intoxicated by her understanding, now kneeling, I pray my appreciation. Let thy light shine upon my visage, glowing in thy grace. Thou art mine very sustenance. By thy blinding light I witness majesty and wonder. Love’s satisfying embrace, savory and sweet, without lack — in thy presence I know the goodness of life. A man, mere flesh ripped away to reveal the soul of truth: what two, but one. Infinite arithmetic of one plus one is one. Done.

Racing Stripes

Mom, can you drive me into the city to meet someone I met online? It was an odd request, but she said yes. I was to finally see the person I met in a text-based chatroom nine months earlier. It was late summer and my friend was coming from out-of-state to attend college orientation. We were to meet within a particular building, but nothing more specific than that. Having only ever seen a childhood photo, I stood in the large open area of that building and waited, scanning the students walking by.

Finally, after some initial testing was complete, classrooms started opening up, more students were filing out. Wearing jeans with what appeared to be thin racing stripes running down the legs, was someone that looked kinda familiar. This person walked over to what appeared to be parents, spoke briefly, then proceeded alone down a hallway, possibly to the bathroom. The chase was on!

I followed, and when I got close enough, called out a name. It’s me, I said. A smile. It was exactly who I was looking for. We chatted briefly, but I don’t know about what. The father came around the corner and seemed slightly agitated and said to hurry up. My friend and I parted, but I was excited, happy. I went down the stairs and found my mother in the parking garage and we went home.

It wasn’t too long before college started and my friend came back to move into an apartment. Having spent hours and hours chatting and phoning, we were finally together, face-to-face. The couple of weeks before school started, we were inseparable, even spending one night in the car. We’d walk hand-in-hand on the beach at sunrise and get bagels at the nearby Dunkin Donuts.

Love at Fullmoon

As a child, I had acquaintances through osmosis — gradually built casual friendships with classmates that only lasted within the confines of school. Weekends and summers might have been a bit lonesome, but I had my TV pals. So when I entered college, with its quicker pace, these casual relationships never formed, making for an isolated experience.

But during college, the Internet started to become popular. It was the days of 28.8 dial-up with its modem squeals and squawks. And there were free trials galore to the various online services: Prodigy, Compuserve, and America Online. A primary component of these services included “chat rooms” — real-time text-based chat amongst twenty or so people from all over the country. And part of chatting included the ability to privately chat with another individual.

For someone unable to initiate face-to-face friendships, it was an amazing experience. I was free to say (or type) whatever I wanted. I could experiment, be outgoing, and if it didn’t pan out, I could change rooms or pick a new person to chat with. I could instigate lively conversation amongst entire rooms of people, then chat one-on-one with whomever I chose, delving deeply into their thoughts. I had a way with typed words that I didn’t have with spoken words.

So it’s no surprise that it was by this method I sought the love of my life. I had an urge for close companionship, a best friend, someone to spend my life with. And so it was, on the night of a full moon, I stumbled into a chatroom and someone’s words caught my attention, I followed up in private chat. We emailed, we phoned, mailed letters, nine months went by. Back then, photos were mostly sent through the actual mail — and only after many months did I even see a glimpse: a photo of a small child at Christmas — that was it. That’s all I ever saw until the day we met face-to-face in the hallway of a university.