Matters of Little Consequence

With the Gorilla dead and buried, I continued keeping her blog warm seeing as how her posts had become sporadic in nature. In the early going of this particular arrangement, I felt really good about it. But as time passed and her posts became less frequent, I felt like I was just getting in the way, so I ceased and desisted. From there, things settled into a predictability that was likely driving us mad. We were passionate people playing out the string, and so it only made sense that the end was a matter of when.

By the time 2009 rolled around, I’d started a new blog and then trashed it in short order. And then I tried another one, figuring out something that looked and felt light years different from before. Rooting for Laundry was the predecessor to Drinks Well With Others. My writing had become crisper, more poigant and poetically honest to my writing bones. The Dame was such a magnificent Goddamn writer, it was a slam dunk proposition that she would push me into these Everest-like discoveries. Her influence provided me with with the muster to quit holding back. She taught me that good writing will comfort your soul but great writing will unleash it.

On a personal level, she resented the fact that I never brought up marriage in our second go round. The truth was, our first breakup had provided me the cautionary tale to which I was in no hurry to return. It may not have been fair to her, but there was the matter of self preservation to think about as far as I was concerned. And with that fresh perspective, it occurred to me on more than one occasion that I was plenty fine being single for the rest of my life if push came to shove off. Being a man of a certain age does indeed have its privileges.

I didn’t want us to go away, mind you. I simply didn’t feel an urgency to plant our feet in concrete boots, what with all the many variables we were both toting around. Not the least of which were our respective battles with depression. She wasn’t a crazy bitch who wanted to murder me in my sleep, even if there were times when I swore it was true. She was just a small town rich girl who’d lost her north star existence to death, domestic abuse and a shattered family tree.

It wasn’t her fault that she couldn’t make me happy. In the end, I left her scavenging for tiny little pieces of me, as if scavenging for clearance bargains. What it comes down to is, when you’re never happy, then you have to find a person who at the very least gives you peace of mind.

She wasn’t that.

We drifted in and out of delirious moments interspersed with insanely provocative scenarios and corruptible silences that only served to push us further apart. We believed in something, but we stopped being so certain as to what that something truly was. We were weighted by the debt of our mistakes, we were constrained by the indifference we wore in order to protect ourselves. As a result, our rhythm listed and our swim became fractured under the strain of it all.

Our love story became a double edged sword in which every precious yin begot a forgettable yang.

For every exhilarating tennis match where she kicked my ass, there was a stone cold shoulder moment that pushed us further into the deep. For every hot date night where we got busy lighting the match fantastic, there were nights when we didn’t talk at all. And for every romantic Italian dinner at a joint we found by accident, there was the return visit where she stormed out before the entrees arrived.

If you were to ask me for a microcosm of our time together, I would tell you it came some time after midnight on Easter morning of our final spring. We’d gone Machiavelli on the friendly drinks and with her kids away till morning, we decided to cook up our feast. We started things late night and finished them sometime after who knows what in the very early morning. Drinking and smoking and dancing to Elvis Costello and Wilco, Neil Diamond and Al Green and Aretha Franklin. Bickering and laughing and kissing in between the smoke and fire and ramble of clinks. And when it was done we had roasted lamb, a museum grooved ham, green beans with pancetta, cornbread stuffing, honeyed carrots, garlic mashed and a divine asparagus/tomato/mozzarella salad. We made ourselves mussels with blue cheese and some crumbled bacon for the trouble and we dug in, toasting our dirty, rolled up sleeves whilst clinking Sams. And then we fucked like mad and fell asleep.

We did Miami in June and as great a time as the Clevelander was, that Easter Sunday was really our last great night together. Because the zip code doesn’t make up the rules on a good time, yanno?

And before we both knew it, it was late August and our forever after was being called on account of rain, again, this time for keeps. I would spend Saturday on the couch, watching Ted Kennedy’s funeral whilst keeping company with one part coffee to whatever the fuck parts vodka and a couple packs of smokes.

You have to be a writer to understand that shit.

Next Week: The Epilogue

 

 

 

 

86 thoughts on “Matters of Little Consequence

  1. B,

    It is not a bad thing that you stopped writing on Dame’s blog. It had served a purpose for a time. And like you said, you both knew that the end was nigh.

    You never mentioned Rooting for Laundry! That said, the one thing that Dame gave you was your voice. Yes, you already had a voice, but as you say, you now had no reason to hold back. I kinda know someone who does that for me…

    I am trying not to laugh at the resentment regarding marriage. Did she not remember the first go-around? Man of a certain age – um… you were 43! However, that said, the forties are the great liberator.

    And I can understand not wanting your relationship to go away but even if you know she couldn’t make you happy. No wonder you just left little scraps of you.

    Nothing is worse in a relationship than when you have to try so hard. You push to create the good moments hoping they will make the lesser ones seem, well, lesser.

    Relationships like you are describing are exhausting. The highs are so high and the lows are so low that in between you flounder and fret and wonder why the fuck you are doing it in the first place.

    That was quite an Easter morning extravaganza. And maybe, just maybe deep down you both knew this was the last real hurrah. So you went all out with the food and sex.

    Almost too bad it stretched out till August…

    And I guess I’m a writer… coz I am beginning to understand that shit.

    Perfect. Absolutely perfect choice of song.

    Q

    Liked by 2 people

    • Q,

      Writing on her blog became a weird thing for me, and as you well know, I can do lots of very different shit tucked under the rainbow. Weird ain’t one of ’em.

      Rooting for Laundry had some great shit! And to think, I didn’t save any of it.

      The Dame gave me that and a whole lot more. I guess you have to be of a certain age to love someone as much as you hate someone as much as you appreciate someone as much as you understand someone. THAT, is what they hash over in the movies when they say “It’s complicated”.

      You know someone who inspires you that way? Hold onto the putz.

      She remembered it quite well, but it was lost in the translation. She thought our reunion was reason enough whereas I though it meant that we take summer classes.

      And men of a certain age. When DOES that whole thing start? I felt like I was there, then.

      That had always been a source of contention in relationships with me. The fact that I have never been happy, like, in my entire life. It was like “What? I don’t make you happy?”. And of course, the cliched “It’s not you . . .” that whole thing

      We did push hard. God, we were crackheads waltzing on the moon sometimes. Trying to maintain the craziness and all the while knowing it was impossible.

      Yep. As I just mentioned (above). We WERE exhausting as fuck.

      Food, smoke, beer, smoke, martinis, smoke, beer, smoke, food, smoke, sex, beer, smoke . . . There was a symmetry to it all. Maybe. Maybe not . . .

      We should have ended it inside that first November rain.

      You ARE a writer. You know full and well.

      I love this guy. He is my new Ray Lamontagne.

      B

      Liked by 2 people

      • Weird has many definitions – and so you did weird for a time. Till it was no longer comfortable.

        Funny how we do that Whaddaya mean you didn’t save any of it? Just kidding. We do what we do.

        It’s complicated is the mellowest term for what you two had. And I dunno that there is an age for that but maybe there are different levels with life’s experiences.

        I am. Fear not. He’s a good putz under all the snark.

        That translation thing. Too often we each have our own understanding of the language being spoken (or choose to ignore the other’s).

        I like to think it is the age where we don’t accept bullshit – unless we want to. And then don’t.

        That makes me sad to know that you’ve never been happy. And we can stop this comment there as we have discussed this. xoxo

        That level of crazy will do a person in. The exhaustion, both physical and mental just becomes too much.

        Yeah. That kind of symmetry ain’t the best kind.

        Yes, probably you should have but you know where shoulds go…

        I know, I know. I’ve had my brooding moments.

        He is now up on my listen-to-regularly list.

        Liked by 1 person

        • When it becomes strained, when you have to be cautious as to what you talk about . . no bueno.

          I know! Well at least I have my last two blogs in their archival caves. I learned, eventually.

          In our case, we were much too complicated. I mean, its one thing to have challenges, but when you start incorporating mandarin chinese algebra into the equation, it just ain’t gonna work.

          A snarky putz. Sounds like a gem. 😉

          It’s two incredibly different versions of the same story, it sure is.

          Bullshit isn’t something I was ever good with, but you’re right, when you get to forty you ain’t down with it. When you get to fifty you can walk away.

          What conversation? 😉 xoxo

          The mental energy was making me physically ill. I wasn’t sleeping, I was nervous eating, I was agitated and pissed off all the time. I was a mess.

          The Crackhead Diet. Cook a feast at one in the morning!

          The shoulds usually go to hell, that’s where they go.

          We all do. Even when we’re not the brooding kind.

          Thready.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Quite the journey though retrospective eyes. Besides the emotional journey, I also think about the blog journey – especially since all this happened before I entered the blogosphere – long before I encountered Cayman via El Guapo. Nonetheless, this post has left me with a combination of melancholy, satisfaction, and calm – therefore the perfect song. … BTW – as usual, your writing is out of my league. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cayman was stewing in his creative juices by this point in time. Did you know when I started Drinks, it was actually called “Drowning the Shallows” and my psuedonym was Declan MacManus- yes, the real name of one Elvis Costello. I wrote a few sappy and depressing posts and then trashed them and went for what Cayman would become known for. And then a fridge magnet got me searching for Drinks Well With Others, which was available. And then I rewrapped Marc Anthony.

      You’re too much, Frank! Thank you for the props, as always. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Delirious moments jumped out at me. Delirious…now that’s a word you don’t hear often, and it’s a great one. I also like, Matters of Consequence. Would make a great title for a book. Has a Vonnegut tone to it. More later.

    Liked by 1 person

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