Sometimes guys go too far when they’re trying to be attentive or helpful to members of the opposite sex that are important to them, be they girl friends, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, whatever. A lot of times we’re not really trying to impress you, it’s just something that comes naturally to us. I’ve tried to explain this several times to my LMF (liberal-minded friend - you know who you are), but this quote from Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher does the sentiments of every guy more justice than my own words ever could.
"Seems to me there’s somethin’ you don’t know about men, and that’s that we can’t help this shit. I mean, I dunno if it’s genetic or if it’s to do with what we get taught, or if it’s just ‘cause it’s expected of us — but it’s what we do, okay?
'Cause to help a girl when she's in trouble, or stop her from getting into trouble, is just the right goddamned thing to do.
An’ I know you’re as smart as me, an’ as capable, an’ my equal at just about everything — I know you’re empowered, or whatever the hell you call it — but I swear, I even think of a single hair on your head getting harmed an’ all that bullshit goes right out the fuckin’ window…”
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Reading your old poetry is like seeing an old photo of yourself: it’s you but not quite, decked out in what was your signature style back then, all proud to just be there. I dug up some of the stuff I wrote on Multiply (late 2007 to early 2009) and chose the ones I like best.
If anything, it’s a nice trip down memory lane.
Division of Desires (January 4, 2009)
I like how we share the love of a Scotch and Coke, no matter how unwomanly your other friends think it is.
How, in the middle of the night, you force yourself to wake up and knock over your phone and keys in the frantic search for a piece of scrap paper on which to write down your dreams. You say it’s because you’ll never have the same one twice, and I agree completely.
When you bite your lower lip, each time you’re in deep thought, there’s a charm that recalls plaid dresses and silk stockings and a time of crooners and dames and darlings and dears.
And I love, with no pretension, the childlike quality with which you cry, because for a moment, I know that there is an imperfection to you that your perfection needs me for.
Bedtime Stories for the Brokenhearted (December 27, 2008)
I am starting a collection of the things that you find beautiful.
Trinkets and bangles (most of them pink), busts of musicians and miniature clowns.
I think I’ll place them on the top shelf, where your mystery novels used to be. I remember your sleepless nights that turned into ours; you’d dash out of bed, turn on the lamp that lay beside the bookcase, grab the nearest book and read the first passage that’d catch your eye.
You’d sit there, naked in the lamplight, reading in a voice fraught with fascination.
That night your voice wasn’t quite the same, and when I woke up all the mystery novels were gone. I think that depressed me more than your empty closet.
I do hope that you’ll come back one day, if only to find that there’s no more space for your books.
My heart that you once warmed every night has been rendered cold by the piercing stares of our perverse, conjugal collection.
Three Towns Back (December 8, 2008)
How amusing it was to watch your hands fumble at the frayed ends of my jeans as we lay on my tattered couch
Your head across my knee, my hand on your back, my fingers tapping away like little dancers to our song, deafening in its comfortable silence
You whispered “Let’s go someplace,” and I asked “Where?”
You said “Anyplace but here” and I put the couch in drive
We sped down long, wide, country roads, cows and chickens and open spaces of green and brown to our left and right, the blue (and later orange) of the horizon straight ahead
Carly in our heads and Joni in our hearts, we let the wind blow our hair and pain behind us, your cheeks turning pink in the breeze
You screamed “Stop!” and I said “Here?”
You said “Right here” and I set us down gently
You refused to lie across my knee after that day, citing irreconcilable differences and other big words
I think it was more like we lost pieces of ourselves three towns back.
When I Am Old: A Birthday Poem (October 18, 2007)
When I am old and out of breath, And scared to death of a flight of stairs, And losing memories here and there, With more of white than blackish hairs,
I’ll take whatever thoughts I have And tie them down to keep them still. I’ll secure them well with glue and tape, And watch them from my window sill.
For if my vigilance should ever fail, And carelessness should take the reins, I’ll have to quickly run outside To catch my mind’s fragile remains.
But should they manage to fly away And join the ever-changing breeze, I’ll have to care for all that”s left, I shouldn’t never ever sneeze.
Morning Escape (May 25, 2009)
She makes me laugh like a wild hyena baring its teeth in the wilderness She makes me cry like a newborn entering a world it already wants to leave
I am awake when she loves me, I am asleep when she leaves me And I am never to know the pain that she wished me to feel For that I am suicidal, for that I am homicidal
I make a blanket out of tears, a quilt out of forgotten magical moments It makes me remember the parts I wish to forget, and forget the ones I wish to remember
Mad hatter porcelain figures fall from a table made of old, old oak Blood flows from Venetian wrists draped in Roman robes
It is clear that the dead are no longer drawn to their fellow dead But are rather lustful of those who remain in the living Dancing, driving, making love Unaware that they are being undressed by eyes that fall from their sockets like ribs off white bones
And the beat goes on as it has for thousands, no, millions of years And we are unaware or indifferent, gyrating to music that no longer stands for anything
Finally she is gone Finally it ends Finally I am free to begin
“Perhaps we don’t like what we see: our hips, our loss of hair, our shoe size, our dimples, our knuckles too big, our eating habits, our disposition. We have disclosed these things in secret, likes and dislikes, behind doors with locks, our lonely rooms, our messy desks, our empty hearts, our sudden bursts of energy, our sudden bouts of depression. Don’t worry. Put away your mirrors and your beauty magazines and your books on tape. There is someone right here who knows you more than you do, who is making room on the couch, who is fixing a meal, who is putting on your favorite record, who is listening intently to what you have to say, who is standing there with you, face to face, hand to hand, eye to eye, mouth to mouth. There is no space left uncovered. This is where you belong.”—Sufjan Stevens (via translucencies) (via colorfieldsandwagonwheels) (via vincentnicasio) (via tinyparcels) (via themorninglight)
Yesterday I was reading a book of 6-word stories that Anna lent me, and every so often I’d be inspired enough to write down one of my own. I waited ‘til I’d written a total of 26 before posting them, because that’s the age I’m gonna be come October, and it also happens to be my favorite number. I’ve got two M’s in my name, and M is the 13th letter of the alphabet, so there you go.
These 6-word stories aren’t all me. Some are, some are partially based on things that have happened/are happening to me, and others are NOT ME at all. Still wondering what to do with ‘em. I kinda wanna make a blog dedicated to writing one of these on a daily basis. (“2,190 words” as a title? That’s 6 words a day x 365 days)
Anyway, here they are.
1. She’s happy not knowing the answers.
2. Day starts and ends with reruns.
3. Childhood was boring. Adulthood won’t be.
4. Like my father. Not him exactly.
5. They shared a passion for words.
6. She’s the best kind of crazy.
7. Couldn’t finish novel. Wrote ads instead.
8. Conservative Catholic parents. Deist liberal son.
9. No one’s coming; he still cooks.
10. “You drunk enough?” “Not even close.”
11. Sought religion. Found temptation. Married it.