Blank faces in a sea of blinking eyes (Or how a love story becomes a eulogy for a fool.)
For someone who loves being around people as much as I do, it seems that when I’m most happy is when I’m alone.
In my own misery.
Where I’m able to confess to myself at my lowest points that maybe I’m not who I really think I am. (And what good is it to lie to yourself?)
Here’s the naked truth of the matter.
I have been writing my own love story since I was thirteen years old.
And it’s time for that to stop.
I don’t know when it happened, but at some point in my life I turned into a romantic. All I really wanted was to be something to someone.
(And it happened. I became someone to someone. Perhaps this is where the love story began? I think not, but perhaps this is where I’m letting you go.)
I became a friend. Then I became a boyfriend. Then I became a fiancé. Then I became a husband. Then I became an enemy. Then I became an estranged husband. Then I became an ex-husband. Then I became a boyfriend. And a fiancé. And an ex-fiancé. Then I became a bar fly. And then I became a drinker. And then I became a friend. And then I became a boyfriend. And then I became a future husband. And then I became an ex-boyfriend. (And somewhere in between I had become a hooligan, a hipster, a hillbilly, a quasi-Mormon, a quasi-Presbyterian, a faux-hippie, a quasi-Lutheran, and a scoundrel.)
My love story needed an enemy. And I knew that enemy better than anyone.
The enemy was my mistress.
And my mistress is myself.
It’s in the darkest of night that I find myself there. Alone. And happy.
Wrestling with myself and my self-doubt and holding on to the past, I forgot how to live in the moment and breathe. To take life as it comes, one day at a time and stop, for the love of God, trying to force the future to be what I wanted it to be.
It’s only then that I realize that my life as a movie, or a television show, or a book, or a song doesn’t exist in any other form. That my dream of running off into the moonlight with the woman I meet at the St. Louis Arch and follow all the way to Broadway is simply a fairy tale.
That my life is what it is going to be. At some point it become an orchestra of out of tune instruments playing along to the ticking of my watch.
At other times, it’s nothing more than blank faces in a crowd of blinking eyes. (They see you, you see them, but no one really cares if they see each other again.)
It’s falling for the angel on the ferris wheel while I’m on a roller coaster of dreams and bad decisions with my head in the clouds. (No matter how beautiful she may be, she’s out of reach and you’re simply out of touch.)
It’s the hallelujah chorus sang to the tune of “Freebird”. It’s a rusty bucket full of silver dollars from the wishing well of my youth.
It’s dancing a waltz to the church bells at noon.
It’s a stranger I remember from a past I never had.
Life is unsure, uncertain and beautiful at the same time, and that’s why I must enjoy it. I must enjoy the brokenness. I must laugh at the rain, welcome the moon and chase the sun until I catch it.
It’s why tonight I must kill the fool who sleeps with the mistress of himself.
The fool who has one foot in the quicksand of the past, one foot in the uncertainty of the future and not realizing there’s nothing in the present but an asshole with nothing to stand on (or for.)
It’s tonight that I lower the coffin into the ground, wet and muddy from the tears of a thousand weeping memories, of wanting the dreams of my youth clouding the judgment of today.
Inside that coffin lays the regrets and mistakes, misjudgments and a thousand shattered glass hearts, broken by a man who shall be no more.
And it’s not that I can truly become somebody to someone. I can finally become someone to myself.
Who may that be? Time will tell. But it’s time to breathe. Time to let the rains wash away the dirt that remains and sing along to the tunes that I’ve be hearing for years.
It’s time to venture down the rabbit hole of my mind, where Patsy Cline dances with Garrison Keillor to a Tom Waits song.
It’s where the dirt of my grandfather’s farm becomes more than just soil, but ashes of the family who has died and gone.
It’s when there is time to get off the roller coaster and let the angel ride the ferris wheel and know that maybe you’ll get to meet her at in the funhouse.
Who knows what the future may bring and quite honestly, who cares?
Tomorrow is just a day that will soon become a yesterday and today is already fleeting.
Don’t let it get away without your kiss.