Matters Of Little Consequence

Into every life, a little rain must fall. So bring some olives . . and vermouth. 

She could write the starch into a martini with the kind of intuitive manipulation of words and space only a born writer comes to know. And for the rest of the summer after my visit to the windy city, I tried to keep up with her wicked divinity as if I had a chance. I’d never tried to match wits with a writer before she came along, but I couldn’t help myself. She was larger than life when she got to hammering away, making copper laced pastries out of the penny for her thoughts and platinum out of tinfoil minutiae. And when she went deep, she was Mary Shelley in knee high boots. I wrote like a maniac but really, I was playing checkers.

She was playing chess.

The Gorilla was an ass kicking mosh pit of a freak show by now. We had t-shirts made up for the local bars, we had a sparring match with some loose change writer who trashed us in a piece for the Philadelphia Inquirer’s website, and we started talking up a podcast. Having the Dame frequent our place mattered more than any of it. For me. Dan didn’t mind in the least since she brought followers. Smart minded peeps who were eager to peek in on the unlikeliest of lovebirds singing their misbegotten songs of love in between rants about parking lot hegemony, Westboro Baptist bumper stickers and Panic at the Disco sex.

As with every love gone wrong song, there were warning signs. Some were post-it-notes while others were banners, and then further along, the shit went full neon. Early on, it was a harmless series of speed bumps that, standing alone, were like zits on a moon beam. Stuff like . . how agitated she became when I took my kids to Disney World shortly after returning from Chicago. And later on, when she used my term- harsh my mellow– rather pointedly, in a post. And how she would call me by my last name whenever she got pissed at me.

The more rodeos you’ve been involved in, the more adept you become at wrangling up the meaning of the most seemingly innocuous circumstance. And it doesn’t hurt one little bit when you’ve been raised by women who taught you the formula. For example: Using my term- harsh my mellow– in an obviously derisive manner was a passive aggressive jab at my super cool (pretend) veneer. See, certain phrases center my room, much the same way that rug did for the Dude in The Big Lebowski. And the last name thing? It’s roll call, Boss Cop stuff. These weren’t warning signs so much as pesky little drips, but for the purpose of context Imma call them the post-it-notes stage. We’d not yet graduated to banners and neon. We were in love, after all.

By the fall, Dan was contemplating taking a break from writing on the blog. Never mind that we were directly inside the eye of a hurricane that hadn’t achieved jack shit yet. My particular opinion was Thank Fucking Christ, since he wasn’t contributing in any kind of meaningful way. Shit, the fucking guy wanted a podcast while we were still burnishing a destination. And he’d started chatting up a brand spanking new look that he and his asshole friend Richie had been working up for the blog.

To that point, me and Dan had navigated the appreciable divide that separated us quite well. We did so by creating a satire hotel, replete with low class amenities whose peculiar renderings both shocked and amazed our visitors to such an extent that we developed a healthy following. But the truth of the matter was, me and Dan weren’t friends in the “I’ll help dig the ditch for your mistake” sense. He was NRA and I was NWA. He was military documentaries and I was a romantic comedy junkie. He was a half ass writer impressed with our numbers while I was a writer impressed with writers who gave a fuck about writing.

I wrote Dan a tongue in cheek come back soon post in early September and then little more than a week later I followed it up with a post celebrating our 300,000th hit. That one was my door, hitting his stupid ass on the way out. I wanted to score another 100 thousand hits before he decided to come back, just to shut him up.

“You do insane numbers,” Dame said to me one night while we were chatting up life’s box scores over Sams on a phone call whilst watching a movie together.

This woman was an IV drip of Carly Simon Kung-Fu Theater. She could turn a simple word into a plum bath, and she was talking to me about numbers that didn’t count for anything. So I told her what I really felt as if I was stepping foot onto Venus, with sandals and a 3-wood.

I told her she was the medulla to my oblongata, the Cher to my Sonny and I told her how I wanted to fly her in a Winnebago all the way to Kathmandu. And okay, so I didn’t say it that very way. But I felt it, more strongly than that. Because the blog and her notorious ex-husband and the distance of seven hundred and eleven miles that separated us didn’t mean a blessed fig newton to me. All that was ever going to matter to me was the smile that launched me into orbit every time it looked my way.

And then the banners made the scene, with the neon glow of something wicked trailing close behind. And then November turned to rain. And that’s just the way it goes sometimes. You get all dressed up in this magic carpet ride of a future, and the next thing you know?

There’s nowhere else to go.

 

47 thoughts on “Matters Of Little Consequence

  1. Beautiful story, Marc. Those November rains get me every time. Every love I ever lost came to a head in November. I had one occasion to get a cab in New York in the rain finally. My ex and I had to wait for over twenty minutes. We were going to the Pierre for a farewell to me party (a long story but I was being “retired,” at fifty) and the rear window of the cab was missing. The seats were soaked, and the rain came in the whole time. We finally got there and looked like we had taken a dive into a pool. That was the last straw. The party turned out to be a twosome farewell to me: my company and my wife. I certainly have cried over the memory of that night.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. B,

    … I’ll bring the olives and vermouth because you already have the vodka or gin?

    Maybe she could write the starch into a martini… but when you use terms like that one, or “making copper laced pastries out of the penny for her thoughts and platinum out of tinfoil minutiae” I’m thinking you have underestimated your own creating a vision out of a jumble of words that you have made into a symphony. (See? I can’t fucking do it. It sounds ridiculous.) I will say, however, maybe, just MAYBE at the time you were not the writer you are today. But I sincerely don’t believe it for a second. You admired her because, guess what? You were as good as her. If not better.

    The Gorilla went to a level I could not even imagine.

    We can’t see the warning signs because we need to learn something. Or we are just not willing to see them because we dismiss them thinking we are seeing things that aren’t there (even if we know damn well they are). Though, honestly, being agitated because you bring your kids to Disney is something that would make me wonder what the hell? Using your surname when pissed is something many people do, so that’s easily dismissed. Using your expression pointedly is definitely throwing a dart – one that could be negligible but hindsight and all that.

    And yes, the more rodeos youève been involved in, means the more times you’ve fallen off that bucking bronco which has taught you that what you need to either: 1) stay seated or 2) get the fuck off the horse! Phrases that centre your room… yep. I get it.

    There are many who see too big before they should. But let’s face it. It was YOUR writing that was holding things together, right? Podcasts are a whole different animal than blogs. And you guys managed to stay together (so to speak) for how long? 300,000 hits? How do you say it? Holy fucking frijole! And did you? Hit another 100,000 – even if you didn’t give a shit about numbers?

    So… you bared your soul to her, offered her your love so she could have the ammunition needed to destroy you. My heart breaks for you. Because there are people out there who don’t deserve our love and I am sorry she was one of them.

    Outstanding writing and thank you for sharing this most personal story.

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      I always have both, just in case.

      No, not at all. See, understanding someone else as being the peak doesn’t mean I ain’t seeing myself as something less. At all. I just think in society, we take it as a sign of weakness when someone says “Oh, they’re the best”. Nonsense. That’s insecurity, and I don’t dig on insecurity. She was a writer on par with anything I’ve ever read. And what it really comes down to is, would I draw my literary guns if she wanted a showdown? Absolutely. But I’d be sweating. Mightily. I think ego is healthy, but I think being truthful is healthier. I thank you for your loving props. And I believe it. I just know that I ain’t got to say it when proving it is so much easier.

      The Gorilla would still be a thing if not for a LOT of really fucked up shit to come. Sometimes I wonder if I should have kept it going, and then I realize it was best to put it to sleep.

      The former and the latter yes. But Disney spoke to her fractured family history, and harshing my mellow that way was a poison dart indeed. As for my surname, there is palenty of context. Such as gin. Ice hitting a glass. Tone of voice. Let’s just say that would have required a whole ‘nother post to explain. But when she said it? It was dead to rights anger happening.

      Or just change everything. Understand yourself in a different way. One that only has to be logical to your living space. And if you can, it’s where you find the peace.

      When we broke up the blog, we had accumulated over 900 thousand hits. The fact that I didn’t wait out a million? No biggie. We would have easily surpassed that. I became very familiar with stats at the time, because once Dan took his break, I was intent on kicking some ass just to prove that all his networking BS wasn’t gonna hold a candle to balls and writing. He came back quickly, because he knew I was going to find another writer and move on. I wish he’d stayed away for a couple months. Nowadays, the only time I know about my stats is when I get that “stats are booming” icon, LOL.

      Thing is, she didn’t break my heart. Not in the traditional sense. She did change the way I look at life and love forever. So she got that, But it wasn’t a win for her. It’s complicated.

      Thank you for reading it. I’ve certainly glossed over and fast forwarded a lot of stuff here. And mango . . there is still the meaty part of the beast to come!

      B

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I figured. Just checkin’, in case you needed me to make a run.

    That’s good. I know this of you so I must apologise for even suggesting you thought that. And sweating as you draw your literary guns is a good thing because it also means you are not so cocky as to assume. A healthy dose of ego is necessary to push past boundaries, I think. And proving it is way better than just boasting.

    Hmm. And maybe I would never have met you! So, I’m cool with it being put to sleep.

    Yes, well. Some people can’t get passed their own shit. I would have been silently moping rather than losing my shit, But that’s me. Oh. I get it. Tone of voice, context.

    Yes. These rodeos are steps to change.

    Wow. Those numbers are surreal to me. That competitive streak in you was fired up whilst he was gone. If he had stayed away a couple of months, it would have become more yours only, or, as you said, you would have found another writer to share the load. We will one day have to dig into why you seem to need to have even if in name only, another partner on your blog 😉 I couldn’t tell you shit on my own stats. I’ve no clue.

    Yes, she did. She ruined your views on love. It’s not a win for anyone.

    Well, you know me. I’m your number one fan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Full bottles in fact. The bourbon is a quart low, but so it goes.

      I agree. I think there are a ton of writers out there who regale in being the next great American writer, without really knowing what it means to write. Listen, I ain’t the authority but the difference is? I don’t profess to be. Just do what your soul and your gut and your heart are telling you to do. The words will figure themselves out.

      I think it would have taken on a life of its own. And that me and Dan would have killed each other in the process. He thought he was Mr Big Shot. For a fucking blog that, while it was doing crazy numbers, was just a fucking blog, yanno?

      To this day, the clink of ice hitting the bottom of a tumbler sends shivers up and down my spine.

      I like partners in crime. So in the event Vera Farmiga ever read this stuff and was like “Oh my God! This HAS to be made into a movie and I need to be the leading role! ” Then my partners can be the faces of the blog while I work behind the scenes, 😉

      Ruined. Torched. Incinerated. Take your pick. But I hope she’s happy. No seriously. I do. Again . . complicated.

      You really are. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • So it goes.

        That is the goal of many. You are not the norm, Marco. And boy do your words figure it out. Holy shit. You definitely go with your soul, no doubt about that.

        Yes. Well maybe not back then, but today you can actually make a living at blogging when you have numbers like that.

        Oh my. Must be why you drink your bourbon neat 😉 No ice clinking. Should I ever make you a drink, I’ll make sure I add the ice gently.

        Fine. Partners in crime then. Vera might say fuck you… you have a new girl 😉

        That sucks. However, I completely understand you wishing her well. It’s how I roll. Mind you, I’ve never been in such a wild situation but still. It would serve me no purpose to wish ill.

        Gah.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think writing, for me, came from a dark and hopeless place. That was the genesis of my relationship with the stuff. So the soulful aspects of my writing come from that. From needing to express something from the bottom of a well, and push it hard so it sees the light of day.

          We could have for sure. To which I shrug and say oh well. Hopefully it annoys Dan, though.

          It’s, as the kids would say, a trigger. Buahahahaha!

          Yeah, I would have to quick hide SMG from her. Or the deal is off!

          You go from loving a person more than life itself to hating a person with such a passion that it makes you ill. To nothing. Just that. Nothing. As if someone took away your ability to feel. Of course, she didn’t. No one an. Which is what I learned on the flip side. Alas, I don’t think the woman would ever be truly happy. It was something we had in common. When we were in that perfect place, we were high on something. But even then, we weren’t happy. Which is why I wish her happiness, since, yanno . . it would mean she broke through on her norm.

          Liked by 1 person

          • And I think you are one of the lucky ones who found a way to deal with the dark and hopeless places. You have honed your skill well and frankly, I believe it is a natural one.

            Oh well! And take that, Dan!

            Serious trigger.

            Yes, you will have to!

            I can only imagine as I’ve never gone that deeply. I just can’t. She took away your ability to feel temporarily. Because I think you need to shut down to heal or regroup. And some people will never be happy. My mother is one of those. Doesn’t stop her from being a good person but happy? Nope. And yes, wish her happiness as you should wish it for yourself.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I think it’s a natural one as well. Certainly provoked into being, but that became a very good thing.

            Asshole.

            I am woke! LOL

            Vera would never understand. After all the time we (I) shared together.

            It’s all about learning a different way when the way that is supposed to work just never has. I think what it allowed me to see was that I never was that person who believed in tradition and convention. After our first go round, I changed my outlook. The second time around, I never once imagined we would be married some day. I hoped we would be together, sure. But marriage had nothing to do with it.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Not all have that avenue, or see it as one that could help them so you are lucky (as are we, coz we get to read you).

            Yep.

            Maybe, she would. Nah, Women are vindictive – well most of ’em anyway.

            And there is nothing wrong with that. Marriage is an institution imposed upon people by others who believe they know best. I know I don’t see myself ever doing it again (did it twice already). Wanting to be together doesn’t mean marriage has to be part of the deal.

            Like

  4. Thank ya . . thank ya berry mucho.

    Women? Vindictive? I’ve no idea what you are talking about. Buahahaha!

    Marriage puts many IN to an institution, LOL. Yeah, I’ve come to the conclusion that when marriage talk makes the scene, unsolicited, it’s usually because the relationship I’m in has bucco challenges. It’s like subterfuge, to bring marriage into the equation. Which is not the same thing as wanting to be married, at all.

    Like

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