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Don’t Mistake My Listening To You For Caring About You

wpid-1403024332997.jpg

My disposition after another failed date.

The white webbing between his fingers stretched to transparency; his  knuckles, flattened into the hard flex.

His eyes were fishbowl large, his gaze, intense. The tightness around them signal extreme vulnerability, loneliness, fear of abandonment.

My eyes returned to his hands bracing his dinner plate. Pleading hands, but not for me.

For her.

For her to come back to him.

His meal is getting cold, but he hasn’t broke a beat yet. I smile a feint of solidarity.

Again with this shit??

Vishnu is laughing his blue ass off…

In the last few weeks, I’ve been on three dates; lady, guy, guy – 20s, 30s, over 55. And every. Single. One of them. All about the ex/maybe ex/whatever the situation. Mind you, the pretext was “we should hang out” “I want to get to know you better” “we haven’t had a chance to talk with everyone else around” so I was under the silly assumption that the date person wanted to, um, get to know me. Nope! Apparently I’m shaped as a dumping ground for relationship baggage, and here comes the frontloader with a hefty pile of bullshit.

I shouldn’t say that. It’s not bullshit. Each displayed sincere emotions towards the person that has “wronged” them. Unfortunately, I lack empathy, and while I know how to deploy it, I just don’t feel like exerting that level of energy on someone’s one-sided, unjustified boo hoo moment.

Girl date engaged me because I came off as strong and someone who can solve problems. One of the guys noted he could be himself around me. The other liked that I am an excellent listener.

Of course I’m an excellent listener. When you have representatives from the Department of Transportation sitting across from you explaining why a route expansion in a disenfranchised neighborhood would be a “difficult endeavor,” you become a skilled listener.

When a political profiteering group disguised as a non-profit organization pleads their case to earn a large grant that you’re tasked to distribute, you become a skilled listener.

When you’re eavesdropping on the two highest ranking officials operating a large campaign in your district, you become a skilled listener.

While I never will qualify to be a relationship expert, I seem to be an emotional intelligence expert. Every person who engages in a committed relationship with another person is going to experience emotional challenges. As the years progress, changes in values, ideology, philosophy will occur individually, and that may cause some fissures in the relationship. But once those values, ideals, etc. start veering away from the foundation of the relationship, well, it’s natural to feel you’re grasping for the ledge, as the fissures now widen to chasms, separating the two entities from each other, compromising the foundation to near collapse.

In other words, time influences commitment status.

Lemme dare to quantify it: for every 3 years into a commitment, vulnerability exponentiates by 2. So a committed relationship of 3 years won’t have so much of a vulnerability, but a relationship of 15 years would be heavy on emotional vulnerability.

Back to the dates…relationship length equals 3 years in, 6 years in, 14 years in, relatively. Me? Neither of them asked about my relationship status at all. And why would they? I could’ve been wearing a huge blood diamond on my left hand, dressed in a wedding gown, neither of them would’ve gave a shit. They were so into their problems, they didn’t realize there was an opportunity sitting across the table. A wee part of my insides bitched, this is so unfair.

The insecure person’s constant fonting is a popular method of clubbing the earfucked victim into submitting to pity sex. I don’t do handouts! So for each, the evening ended with their expression of appreciation for my listening, then a predictable offer I immediately refuse, followed by me going home, to my bed, alone…

 

In Search of the Ultimate Snog

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone Awkward Kiss on SNL

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone Awkward Kiss on SNL

SUMMER IS HERE!

Which means more skin, more outdoor activities, and more bad decisions!

Last summer I invested in online dating, validating my hypothesis that online or offline, crazy be crazy. This summer, I’m gonna save my money and do something simple…

I’m gonna pull random make-out sessions. Think of a drive-by shooting, but instead of filling you with bullets, I’m just gonna grab your face and fill it with my tongue!

Here’s why.

1) Ayn Rand said so, and The Ultimate Warrior backed it up. On Objectivism, my favorite wrestler defined (source OpenCulture): “In essence, a concept where man is a heroic being, and his life is an end in itself, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” In quick, text-able interpretation: I’ma get mine. 

2) Time’s too short, baby. Guys have zero game, terrible conversation skills, and they wouldn’t recognize an open if a neon blinking arrow was hanging over my head.

2) It’s the closest they’ll get to live porn. American males acquired their sexual “technique” from watching hours upon hours of porn, so they expect a woman to put her mouth on his body part within 8 seconds of meeting. Holding a pizza pie would be a bonus.

 

“The Random” does present its challenges. These are the ones I’m wary of:

 

1) Smokers. Everybody smokes. EVERY. BODY. SMOKES. And not good tobacco…CIGARETTES. Have you ever kissed a person who smokes cigarettes? It’s like licking the bottom of your mom’s kitchen garbage pail she’s been using to throw away YOUR diapers. Blech! So if I see a guy I wanna Random, I gotta check for box-shaped bulges on his person, as well as how frequently he steps outside the venue.

2) Girlfriends/Wives. There is an innocent way to pull a Random on a married or committed guy; make out with the chick immediately afterward! Then they’ll both be alright with it. Unless the G/W is a Smoker, then it’s a sacrifice for the payload. But then you gotta consider…

3) Insecure Girlfriends/Wives. Is she a human blood pressure cuff, darting evil eyes at every passing uterus? Is she constantly reading over his shoulder or trying to take away his phone? Is she pounding down the brown liquors? These situations make for primo Random targets, especially if he’s sexy and visibly annoyed with her. If all relays signal a go, then the moment she takes off to the restroom, I enact OPP, just like Naughty By Nature taught me.

 

There’s special considerations, but they require closer proximity, thereby cancelling the drive-by effect of The Random:

 

handy

How I narrow down prospects…

1) Lip Condition. My first beyond-eww-groadie-and-now-liking-the boys kiss was terrible. His full, rosy lips were chapped along the bottom, and although he was measured and passionate in delivery, all I could feel was my face being sanded down to a pale sheen. Since then, I’m very aware of a man’s mouth. First his dickprint, then his mouth.

2) Height-distance ratio. The key to a successful Random is to be able to run up, get my arms around his neck, and pull him close in one clean move, increasingly difficult if he clears a full foot or beyond.  Failure to be smooth means he is calling the police and charging me with assault. So be courteous if you’re 5′ 11″ and over and position yourself near a chair, or even better, a set of stairs.

 

NOW LET THE GAMES BEGIN.

 

 

 

 

 

Standing On My Toes To Kiss Him

This poem is bringing a lot of hits to the blog; thanks! Glad you like it, and since you like it, why don’t I voice it for ya?  Let’s do a follow along…click on the link to open another window, come back here to start the video, then read along with me. Enjoy!

 

Tulsa in 19

[WRITING PROMPT: Three times last week, Tulsa OK came up in conversation. This is a timed 15-minute based on the phenomenon]
 

“Tulsa? Why Tulsa?”

“Because that’s where I’ll be…”

Immediately I’m hearing George Strait singing, ‘Amarillo By Morning.’ This jackass. The balls on her, really.

“Did you hang up on me?”

“Thinking about it.”

“Don’t be so sore, dammit. I can hear you grinding your teeth; stop that already.”

She used to listen to me grind my teeth in my sleep. Denise, Deneser, or just Neeser to our crew, would wrap an arm around me and talk into my ear to stop me from destroying my dental work under stress. Neeser, the way she smelled, her skin seemed to bloom springtime with every laugh, every shimmy, every quake I gave her in bed. I missed her so damn much, but I couldn’t let the fact she left me for HIM, go. So I slap her with it.

“And what about Bernard?” I overemphasize his name, in case she wasn’t sure I was being sarcastic.

Her antagonized sigh carries over the phone and hangs between us, a rope bridge joining two steep cliffs, neither one of us trying to cross first. I hate that I’m being an asshole, but how else is she going to know she hurt me?

“It was over a while ago, babe. Went to Cali, came back to Lawton, and shit just…” Neeser’s breath indicates a painful, maybe volatile break up. Now I really feel like an asshole.

I hate to hear her hurt. I can do something about it, maybe. “So. Tulsa?”

Neeser’s voice lights up. “Yeah. Come see me.”

I open another tab on the browser and search the distance from Macdill AFB to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“Tulsa in 19…”

She makes a weird whimper into the phone. You wouldn’t think an Air Force officer would make such childish noises. But it excites me, it makes me feel she cares, and that’s all I wanted. She and I fit so well, but we let the world get in the way. Life’s too short for the bullshit, right? But…wait. What if I’m jumping the gun here? What if I’m making all the effort and it’s just a flash in the night for her? Here I am, trying to rekindle something magical, something true and real. But what’s in it for Denise? A conquering? A, ‘I-told-you-so’?

As she talks to her parents on the other line jaws on about her parents in Tulsa, I look at the map for the impending road trip to my long lost love. Through Tampa, hit Tallahassee, Montgomery, Birmingham…

“My parents want to see you when you get here,” she says mockingly. Her parents, so sweet and naïve, letting two young women share a bed in their home like that wasn’t gonna lead to anything.

“Sure, sure.”

“So you’re coming? Please say you’re coming. I dyed my hair red; you’re gonna love it! When are you coming? My leave starts Thursday afternoon…”

My fingers stop moving at Memphis.

“Oh.”

“Oh, what? Why do you sound all serious now?”

I flub my lips, lean back in my chair, and cross an arm over my chest. Memphis. If I go through Memphis, I’m gonna have to stop. To rest.

To see him.

 

 

 

Ascension To Love

The dreamscape delivers.

With an exhale he resigned to his fate, not in the matter of settling, not in the matter of right-for-right-now, but knowing, ever so clearly, ever so authentically, that she, the woman sitting two seats to his left, is The One.

That they met amongst friends was a save; he could inquire about her, inconspicuously, and find more than one person who could, in real time, vouchsafe for her availability.

Availability. Because all this time, he had availed himself, but never found the right fit. The right arm to link around his, in the present, in public, to proclaim, this is real. A big man, an athlete, so society deemed him only qualified for the vapid and unrestrained, the daddy worshippers, the gold diggers. It became not just tiresome, but depressing.

As cliche as it is to meet someone at a wedding, it feels right, even rewarding. Her happiness for the couple is genuine, and she is void of that defeatist burn the other women are emanating. She speaks softly but laughs loudly, and that combination from such a tiny woman is strangely desirable. Single? Yes. Kids? No. Dating? No time. But then she blurts out, “Would you like a girlfriend?” followed by a quick reddening of her throat. How adorable!

The person to his right lifts from his seat, and she immediately takes it. “I can’t get over how good you look in that blue,” she delivers with sincerity, eyes dancing with fascination. She looks as if she wants to confess something, but holds back.

He nods to himself, then, in an ever so faint declaration, says, “You have my heart.” He looks down to her and sees her smiling widely.

She nods, “Okay.”

Her small, naked arm finds the keyhole his arm makes against the table.

“I’m Samuel.”

 

Then I wake up.

This was one of those rare, two-parter dreams, where one segment played out a night ago, then finished two mornings later. And the guy, Samuel, looks just like David Gandy, but that might be because I was reading GQ magazine.

If you’re out there, Sam, looking like David Gandy is a plus, but your authentic self is way more desirable. Here’s hopin’!

A Tale of Two Brians

[Writing Prompt: Revisit a famous book title, time = 30 minutes]

NOTE: I actually got choked up writing this. Dayumn.

chaiteas

The tea shop seemed the ideal place to have Brian meet me. After all, it’s where he was Skyping me from all afternoon two weeks ago. I sat, legs pressed together tightly, with two chai teas, one for him, one for me.

And hark, along comes Brian.

This time around I’m going to approach the opportunity for a relationship thusly: don’t be too abrasive up front, let him drive the conversation, and, by all means, don’t roll out the ultimatums before the check is paid. He smiled his shy smile of relief, and I complimented him back with my appreciative, wide grin.

Brian proceeded to chastise me, accusing me of avoiding him these past few weeks. Although I tried to defend with thoughtful retaliations, his peaked eyebrow of disbelief suggested I give it up. He reached across the table, motioning for one of the teas, when he stopped and asked which one was his. I flirtatiously suggested he check for the lipstick smudge. Brian sneered at my sarcasm. I like that he likes that about me.

He knows what I do for a living, he’s read my blog. We haven’t talked much about him, other than where he lives and what his plans were for the holidays. So now, I ask him, what do you do? Surprisingly, he doesn’t give the straightjacket answer of his employment, but offers a sigh, then, “I like to drive the Carolina coasts, go camping, fishing. Sometimes, just hang out in the woods for hours on end. Oh wait, you asked me what I do? Like, for work? I’m a truck driver.”

The first part of the answer was the answer.

The next day, same tea shop, different Brian. Why I parsed out these dates like this, I don’t know. Zealot for ironic entertainment, I suppose. And entertainment for Christine, the tea shop owner. She’s happy to see me not only up and about, but courting the boys. Christine, no children of her own, dotes on me like a child. I love her for it.

This one walks in the place like he owns it. Brian’s tie has flitted over his left shoulder due to the gust he passed through. We met in an old school fashion; he saw me loading my car with groceries, stopped to compliment me, and in a classy, keeping-it-together fashion, handed me his business card, suggested I call whenever I can, shook my hand, and walked off. High school hunk cool.

I won’t get into comparing the two. Physically already, they differ greatly. I’m trying to stick to the ol’ Dr. King adage, judge a person not by the color of his skin, but the content of his character. Seated in the same corner, same table, I motion to leave my seat and meet him at the counter. Brian bellows across the small shop for me to keep my seat, and asks what I want to drink. Dealer’s choice is my response, and he offers a crooked smile as he retrieves a leather wallet from his suit jacket.

Same tea shop, same table, same question. Brian launches into his resume: undergraduate degree from THE Ohio State University, graduate degree from Stanford, been in banking since he graduated, member of such and such fraternity, such and such business society, and is considering running for local council. I attempt to be playful and ask, “But what do you do, Brian?”

He looks as if he saw a ghost. I’m forced to explain it was a joke. The laugh he offers in response is as stiff as his starched buttoned-down shirt. I sip my honeyed green tea to fill the awkward silence.

The first Brian noticed me across the room at our mutual friend Gary’s house party. He observed someone cool, collected, happy where they were in life, but also, lonely. That he saw my loneliness from across the room made me think twice about my own perception of comfort. When was the last time I engaged anyone for other than a feature or a human interest piece? I realized I was keeping the possibility of a relationship at a strong arm’s length.

The second Brian saw me in that parking lot, then again in the downtown Tampa commercial building pretending not to be looking for him. He’s very present, that Brian, very hard to avoid his energy. He smells of power and vigor. Brian is very much in control. Yet he sends me the wackiest, soft-hearted text messages throughout the day, sometimes just a, thinking of you. I imagine he’s sitting in a meeting somewhere on the upteenth floor texting me when he should be paying attention. This Brian brings out my insecurities. What does he want from little ol’ me?

Both tea dates were very successful, and so I call for a second round with each. This is no dating show, but this is the first time in years I’ve had more than one suitor, and, let’s face it, I’m no spring chicken. If there is such a thing as a possible commitment out of one of these Brians, we’re going to figure it out now.

Second Brian goes on about his recent weekend on South Beach, making sure to cut in a, so wish you could’ve came with us! every few sentences. My local coverage doesn’t allow much distance travel, but I enjoy listening to him talk with an air of relief. He’s got a high-stress job, it’s a rare moment when he gets to leave the building, let alone the county, for more than one day. Even with his effort to include me, I get the sense he’s trying too hard. As if, he’s only doing this for show, until he’s certain I’m willing to be his and his alone. The possessiveness sneaks out in just these tea shop interludes: the way he orders for me, the way he calls over the other patrons to have Christine service us, the way he frowns when I take a quick call from my editor. Makes me wonder; what’s it like with Brian when there’s no audience, behind closed doors?

First Brian meets me at the tea shop an hour before closing. I’m nervous because I want to decide between these two wonderful men today. I’ve already ordered our teas, but he motions towards the counter case and picks a coffee cake for us to split. Christine asks if he wants it warmed, and he charms her with his silky, Southern-drawled, yes ma’am. I shake my head as I watch the old bird gesture a 20s era swoon. First Brian is filthy, and he notices me noticing his appearance. He enters into a rapid apology, explaining he spent the day helping his landlord repair a step on her patio. I am endeared, but keep my frown.

Here goes nothing, I think as I kick out, pull up my jeans, and show Brian my prostetic legs and matter-of-factly explain how I lost both when our Humvee rolled over an IED in Iraq.

When I did the same move to Second Brian, he gasped and said, “I’m so sorry, Kenneth. I didn’t notice you were crippled.”

First Brian stared a bit, then asked, “That’s not gonna stop you from going hiking with me, ain’t it?”

Since You’re Not Busy…

Perhaps you need to look busy right now. Perhaps you have a relative in the vicinity you need to avoid. Whatever the reason, let me offer you a pleasant distraction, in the form of the top 3 popular blog posts of last week:

Guaranteed Misery

You Don’t Have AIDS

Han-Yaa-Say-Ohh!

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Guaranteed Misery

[Photo courtesy of @sturdyAlex]

If you’re wondering what kind of person I am in a relationship, pay attention to the blue felt pen writer’s responses. Pretty much my dating philosophy.

iheartfriedchicken

Worte von ein gebrochenes Herz

Words From a Broken Heart

On our afternoon walk, Bobby and I came across a scattering of torn papers. Soaked from yesterday’s scattered showers, now dried by today’s warm lovely sun, I was intrigued to find the penwork on a few sheets still legible. I gathered them, and the edge of an envelope, and figured I’ll exercise a reactionary writer’s prompt: read each piece, and try to decipher what this message was all about. Kudos, by the way, to the person who tore this and the person who penned this, because I was convinced people did not correspond by mail anymore. So thanks to you torn lovers for keeping the fundementals going.

Let’s see, here’s piece #1:

Alright. Barring the abject misspellings of “stomach” and “juicy,” this clearly is a description of what this female misses about the male receiver. So I can determine a woman wrote to a man about a fantasy or a rememberance of the last time they connected in primal bliss. Or, this person is dictating what she observed in a film and is sending down recommendations to her lover. “Tooting it up”? Huh.

Piece 1

Here’s piece #2:

Interesting. Piece #2’s left side joins with Piece #1’s right side. Aww, now this is sweet. While she’s busily pouncing, she’s expressing her love for him. She puts in so much for him. How much she cares. How much she seeks his love and appreciation through her female viaduct. This is a very young, very naive woman.

Piece 2

On to piece #3:

She anticipates waking up and being able to continue in sexual congress with the reading male, good for her, she’s all about endurance. Hope she’s in shape for all of that. “Can’t wait till you” captures me. Is it hope that the sexual transaction leads to increased respect and love and his inevitable asking her to be exclusively his? Can’t wait until he proposes? Can’t wait until he leaves his wife? Can’t wait until he sees the baby you two made together and he never sees because he doesn’t plan to account for it? This sliver of desperation, I can roll on this forever.

Piece 3

This is piece #4:

Oh, I am experiencing her forlorn state. She misses him. He’s no fantasy; they’ve had a connection. They’re involved. Or they were involved. There’s “can’t wait till” again, so it makes me think they’ve got a distance and time between them, but these two will be physically in each other’s presence once more. Well, hmm. I did find this letter ripped up along a common trail. So she’s hopeful and optimistic, and he’s already moved on.

Piece 4

Piece #5 is simply the word “Muah.” Kisses. Optimistic kisses from another time zone, falling upon oblivious lips.

Piece 5

On to piece #6:

Wow. The way this was torn, it makes for a delightful little 7/5/2 structured poem! Too bad I can’t claim authorship. Powerful, in and of itself.

Piece 6

And finally, piece #7:

Ah. Piece #7’s right side aligns with Piece #4’s left. This makes things a little more clear. The heartsick girl works nights. She “thinking bout you all in my feelings.” Huh?? Here’s the intriguing line, “wishing you’ll just be there when I walk…door.” He left her. Ah. “But I know soon or later…” there’s that optimism again. I’m rooting for this chick, really. She might turn him around. Sure, he opened this letter on the way to his side of the lake, got frustrated because he actualized his feelings for her, all which are true and authentic. He misses her too. He wants to tell her he loves her back as she’s riding him, he wishes he didn’t leave. She wants to wake him out of his sleep and profess her love with an interpretive sexual interlude.

Piece 7

Give her a chance, mate! This woman’s committed to the game. And she even took the time to make the exclamation point a heart after the word Baby. That’s requited love, bar none.

Soothe that broken heart, fella. Life’s too short.

How To Spend A Hot Summer Day

Original Post Date July 03, 2013 at 10:29 AM

The author beats the heat by walking down memory lane. Two original poems included!

We are well in the throes of Summer, and for me, that means limited outside time. Which I kinda master. As a writer, I’m naturally inclined to be a shut-in.

One recent afternoon, while aiming a fan at me and setting the A/C to Ice Rink, I decided to visit my poetry archives. Ain’t cloud computing grand? The entire hard drive of my old laptop, without having to dust the old box off! Five hours later, I was still going through files, laughing at some, shaking my head at others, even offering an outburst of, ‘Dang! That’s good stuff!’

The rest of the evening was spent organizing what turned out to be eight years’ worth of unpublished musings. Pretty much all of the Naughties. I found one I had performed in 2005 for friends in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It’s better in spoken word than in print because of a routine that goes along with it. I’ll set it aside and find an open mic to re-introduce it at.

The ones that had me cracking up were the poems that were in reaction to relationships at the time. So much time has passed, and yet, in reading these passionate pieces, I remembered who it was dedicated to, even surprised I can remember some of their full names.

It’s significant to run into these “love” poems, as I’ve recently commenced dating again. But it’s nice to see where my head was at then, and perhaps, if the dating season deems successful, I’ll be writing love poems again. I can hear your “awwwww”…stop it!

It’s vacation time for lots of you, so I wish you safe and fun travels. Here’s a couple of original pieces from the archives for you to read, as you wait for the trolley to pick you up from the parking lot, and escort you to your theme park of delight:

(From the “I Hate You” Folder)

All Gone Wrong

I am so disenchanted by you

Unthrilled

Nonplussed.

Not so long ago did I quiver at the thought of your name

And now…

You’ve proved yourself to be

the type of man I wish I never was attracted to

That I regret giving my body to

That I would never allow the hope of being a wife to

Thank you

Unsatisfying taste in my mouth

I liken you to lichen

Building thick and burdensome against the mighty pine

Be gone and

be a man and

by all means

Let me be. 

4.25.2006

 

(From the “I Like You” Folder)

Forgive Me

Forgive me for being so forward
that night so long ago
when I asked you to lie down for a while
when your hand was wrapped around
the door knob
 
You see, all I wanted was an instance of
being a part of you
wrapped in your arms
and becoming one like
Voltron
 
where we would be more than two individuals
in like of each other
we would be two individuals
in search for one another
 
We could be the two
that others boo at
that others sneer at
for being oblivious to our surroundings
as we grace ourselves in mutual
sexual
bliss.
 
Forgive me for being so forward
but I needed that opportunity to know
that the emotions I felt between my lungs
between my eyes
and between my thighs
were even-keeled
with yours.

 10/3/2005

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