Tag Archives: life

love and imperfection

People will always let you down.
Love is seldom forever.
The hurt will always come.

I don’t want to know one part of those closest to me.

I don’t want to see just one facet, one side of them.  I want to see the ugly parts as well.

The whole picture, that’s what I’m after.  The multi-layered biopsy of the soul.

I can’t be content to hear things like I love you and I would never hurt you anymore.  Too often these sentiments have turned out to be lies.  Maybe they weren’t intended to be lies, but time always tells the ultimate truth.

Perhaps this stems from my childhood.  From never hearing I love you out of my parents, from never feeling at ease in my own home, from living with near-constant chaos and animosity.  Or, perhaps the root of my insecurity can be traced to my failed marriage, or the many lovers who followed in quick succession that promised me the world and gave me shit, or who promised nothing and left me empty.  Maybe – probably – it’s because I just lost something precious that belonged to someone I love dearly.

But, as Kurt Vonnegut once said, we are trapped in the amber of the moment.  And in the amber of the moment, I am insecure.

I find ways into the secret places people where people think they have their privacy.  They assume that just because it’s password protected they have an almost god-given right to absolute secrecy.  So they say whatever they please, with no thought for consequences, and there I begin to piece together the less desirable truth.

I wish there was a way to become more accustomed to betrayal, but it’s like that feeling of vertigo you get when you take a step expecting solid ground and find air: it’s always unexpected; the heart always skips a beat as the body panics and tries to work out a way to minimize the impending damage.

But I don’t mean to say that I can’t see the full scale of the bad and weigh it against the good.

An ounce of goodness is worth a great deal more than an ounce of badness, and so in the end it becomes a calculation of risk.

Recently, I learned that the badness drastically outshines the goodness in one of those people who are supposed to love and care for me unconditionally.

I’ve also begun to piece together a picture of someone I want to love unconditionally.  It’s hard, though, because the initial feeling of euphoric love wants you to believe in fate and synchronicity and meaningfulness, and it’s hard to feel that blind euphoria erode into a clear-sighted but happy contentment.

In the amber of this moment, I am scared.

I know time will reveal what the amber hid from my sight.  Betrayal is almost sure to follow.

Because hurt is inevitable, people will always let you down, and love is seldom forever.

The trick is to find a balance between love and imperfection, to see things for what they are and nothing more, and move forward the best way you can figure.

And hope.  You also need hope.


there is no why

Religion is based on an ignorance of nature and psychology.

Long ago, people wondered why it rains, or why people die.  They felt grief, and consoled themselves with the idea of an afterlife.  They saw the sun move across the sky and wondered who put it there, and how.  Life all around and no explanation as to why.  A man once said Homo sapiens wasn’t an accurate description of humanity, but rather Homo religiosus.  Not the upright man, but the religious man.  All over the world, throughout history, there is a religious up-welling that permeates the development of human society.  But as we move forward and expand our knowledge of the world around us, we don’t need God to tell us why.  Indeed, the most commonly heard argument for God is “someone had to put all this beauty here for us to enjoy!”  But really, it’s all chance.  We got lucky.  We evolved out of primordial gook out of sheer luck on a planet that wasn’t too hot or too cold, had just the right amount of gasses in the atmosphere, and the right kind of stuff growing along side us.

Someone asks, Why me?  Why am I here?  Why did my marriage fall apart?  Why did my child die?  Why did my car break down?

They say, Everything happens for a purpose.  It’s like mommy kissing a boo-boo: you think it works, so in your own head it does.

There is no why.  There is no purpose.  There is no grand design.  Life is a series of accidents we happen to get caught up in.  Sometimes happy accidents, sometimes lamentable ones.  The human experience is a series of cause and effect, consequences to our own actions or actions taken by others that we must deal with.

The secret to life is there is no damn secret.  Life is what you make of it, it only has the meaning you give it.

Love is important.  Love and sex and happiness, those are the key to making the most of it.

Everything else is up to you.

D. H. Lawrence and The Muse

All people dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in dark recesses of their mind wake in the morning to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, for they dream their dreams open eyes, and make them come true.
– D. H. Lawrence

The wind blows, chill biting my lips. Street lights cast ghostly orbs of sterilized light against grimy shadows that crowd closer to the pale mirage of warmth. Music in my ears, and I am chasing my muse through abandoned alleys and desolate roads in a sleeping village. He is always the same, sitting just beyond the light, eyes and shoulders heavy. Footsteps echo against concrete glimmering with frost. Breath comes in deep gasps, legs burning, puffs forth evanescent steam. He is pale and lean, blue eyes beg to be brought to life. Pencil to paper, finger tips to keys, I lace words with the drug that sustains him. In the night, in the dark, where secrets hide in shadows and kisses rise like steam, I chase my muse, scrawl my dreams. But the inevitable daylight breaks through, dispelling the cover of darkness, and he is gone. And yet not, lingering still, in the spaces of stolen time. One day I will bring my muse from the shadows. He will not disappear in the dawn, and I will sleep soundly through the night like the rest of this tired place. Eyes wide open, unafraid, we will blaze brightly even against the glare of the midday sun. But for now I wait, content in these nightly visitations, occasional day time touches, future wishes.


Become entwined. Become intoxicated. Don’t second guess it. No questions. Let it ensnare you. Get tangled up in a touch, a kiss. Feel another heart beat under your palm. Allow yourself to be defenseless, vulnerable. The hurt will come. Oh, it will come. But don’t think about it, don’t let it stop you. Take the risk. Own the mistakes and every bad decision. Suck every moment of pleasure out of a smile, a laugh. Live, damn you. Do not simply exist.

Deify plums.

Nobody’s going to like what I have to say here. I can sense it already, even as I sit here writing this, hours before even one person will read these words, I can almost feel the disapproval. The first time I wrote down the words “sex is not some kind of sacred thing” I felt disappointed in myself. When I was a girl, I thought true love and the mysterious act of making love went hand in hand. I was taught in church that sex is something to be shared between two married people. Not so long ago, when I still believed in the God of the American church, I cringed at the thought of not having saved myself for my husband. But now that I’m free of that dead God, my childish dreams, and my marriage, I’m beginning to see things I once held to be of the utmost importance in a new light: my son will be my son no matter what happens between his father and I. Love is seldom for ever. Marriage is the most foolish decision a person could make at a young age. The God being praised at the church I was saved in is dead, or at least quite senile. Sex is not some kind of sacred thing.

I’m not going to delve into my personal affairs as I am wont to do in situations like these. If I could just open up the flood gates, so to speak, and spill my confessions for the world to read, I would. Without a moment’s hesitation. I am not ashamed of my decisions. Not proud exactly, but not ashamed. But it’s not just my confession to make. Another life is tangled up in mine, so I shall tread carefully.

Life is cold, random, and utterly without any meaning aside from the meaning you give it. This isn’t to say I don’t believe in God. I do and I don’t. I don’t like to talk about it. My point is that one day life might go fine. It might be just swell for a long time. And then, one day, you wake up to find that the world has come crashing down around you. The house lies in shambles around your bed, insulation and support beams have crashed down onto your vanity, roof shingles lie on your dresser. The walls have fallen in, and in the distance you can see that the hills have crumbled, and beyond that the mountains, and the wind carries on its back the hot sand and dust from far away deserts. In those moments when the reality of the calamity has begun to take hold of your senses, when you realize that there is no going back – broken windows cannot be put back together, splintered wood cannot be repaired, and you are too small to put the mountains back to rights or build back up the hills or stop the wind from blowing – you can either wonder what you did wrong or dig out the dust pan, the broom. Start filling trash bags and tossing them aside until you uncover the foundation and start again. That is what I mean when I say that you need to live, even of life kinda sucks. Part of living is facing a calamity greater than what you think you can handle or understand and hacking away at a solution as best you can.

You share this life with other people. Most of them, virtually all of your fellow human beings, will pass by you without making the least bit of a difference in your life. And then some times you meet someone who does. Maybe you fall in love with them, maybe you don’t. But here comes this person, this completely separate life form with his own experiences and ideas and pet peeves and hopes and dreams, who makes you feel just a little more alive than you did before. Suddenly the fine threads of your completely separate existence become intertwined with that person’s at the most distal ends, and the longer you stay close the more tangled up you become, until your heart aches and you find it hard to make sense of what you’ve gotten yourself into.

But I digress.

My point is, people are flawed. The concept of love is a silly thing when you get right down to the bones and marrow. It requires you to believe that another person could be perfect for you. Your life and happiness could be made more complete, more valid, if only this person would be your forever love. But that person will hurt you. Let you down. And the closer you get, the more it hurts to be hurt. Now, don’t get me wrong. Being hurt is part of life. Embrace it, just as you would embrace bliss, happiness, contentment. Learn and grow from it. But don’t be so silly as to think that a person who hurts you again and again, or someone you can’t help but hurt, is the person you’ll love for the rest of your life.

I learned this lesson with my marriage. I was silly enough to marry young to a man I liked to do drugs and have sex with. I figured it was the next logical step. And after that, I would have a baby and settle into adulthood. But let me tell you, there are many, many days in adulthood. The hours move slower but add up faster, and gradually the realization begins to sink in: this right here is the rest of my life.

I will say it again, sex is not some kind of sacred thing. Sex for the sake of having sex is silly, promiscuity is reckless and dangerous. Two factors should always weigh heaviest when lust takes hold of your senses: trust and desire. Trust, unlike lust or happiness or anger, isn’t something that just happens. It takes time to build, and it should never be taken lightly or given freely. And you must also desire to share that closeness, not just once but again and again. Sex should not be a means to an end, but rather a natural part of live and living. It is the most beautiful, chaotic, wonderful thing we are capable of creating, and the basest of human instinct. Without it, there would be no life. Love is not a prerequisite, either, or at least not that forever love that makes two people promise one another the stars.

If I could give you any advice, it would be this: own every moment of your life. Make mistakes, go into everything you do heart first, and sort out the resulting problems head first. Friends and lovers come and go, and so does money and comfort, just like summer gives way to fall, and fall descends into winter. You could die tomorrow. Shit, you could die today. And so could your mother, or your brother, and every person you love. Don’t hold grudges, forgive again and again, don’t concern yourself with material things that will most likely outlive you anyway, and never be afraid to fail or get hurt.

Let the smallest threads of your existence become entwined with other people’s. Never stop to wonder what could have been, or what should have been. And don’t look too far into the future, either.

Life might be chaotic and cold, but living is what you make it. I’ve chosen to make my life my own. I’m done being the supporting character in someone else’s story.

Someone said that the act of writing fiction is like making a million confessions to crimes you’ve never committed. In the future, The Midnight Disease will include bits and pieces of my work in progress: Lucky Number Five. It’s a romance of sorts, I like to think of it as an anti.-romance. I got all energetic about the three thousand or so words I’ve pumped out in the last few days, and perhaps the themes of what I’ve written influenced this a lot more than I meant for it to. But whatever. I hoped you loved this, or hated it. Keep reading and you’ll get more of the same.

[ my muse today was Gabriel Gadfly’s Breaking and all of the words scrawled in my journal since last friday. devil his due.. ]

Flash Fiction: A Brave Man’s Death


Tonight, she’s sitting naked in a dry bath tub with a glass of wine in one hand that she’s using as an ash tray for the cigarette in her other hand. She’s naked, but not in a skinny, perfectly sculpted way you want to read about. Her skin is pale and imperfect with pink blemishes on her thighs and arms. Her breasts are supple, but they droop prematurely with the wear a child puts on a woman’s body. Below, her stomach is stretch marked and a little saggy from all the weight she’s been losing since she decided that food can’t possibly taste as good as skinny feels. Her hair is a little greasy, and she’s raked it in front of her face because she likes the way her tears soak into the dirty blonde strands. Her mind is taking her to dark places with copious assistance from the pot she smoked and the wine she imbibed because it’s New Years Eve and she’s alone in a bath tub getting plastered while the world outside of the bathroom pulses with sex and hope and new beginnings. She dunks her cigarette in the half empty glass and lets it slip out of her hand over the rim of the tub where it makes a delicate shattering sound on the linoleum. She sinks down the side of the tub, curling herself into a ball around the Sharpie pen and college ruled notebook that put her in this position in the first place. Inside the notebook she’s creating something that she hates but refuses to give up on. She’s created people and settings and conflict and love and hatred and plot and form and voice, and somewhere within those pages she’s seen something of herself she hates, and loves, and resents. Her work was a lover and then a mistress and then an enemy and then a torturer and now a wild, snarling beast that creeps into the dark corners of her mind and gives them power they haven’t had in years. The darkness becomes more complete as she slips away into unconsciousness, and for a while she’s at peace in a drug and al alcohol induced, blessedly dreamless sleep.

She stirs at the sound of broken glass scratching across the floor. A hand cradles the base of her neck, gently lifting her off of the bottom of the tub. Another hand props her knees up enough to cradle her thighs in the crook of an elbow, and she’s lifted up and into a warm embrace, her writing things still clutched in her hand. Her hair falls away from her face and she feels the brush of a short beard against her forehead, the press of lips that warm her heart. He carries her into the bedroom, lays her down, covers her up, and lays her writing things aside.

“Is it finished?”
“Yes. I hate it.”
“You always hate it. I think you hate the process more than the writing.”
“Same thing. Where’s Julian?”
“Still at his friend’s house. He asked me to call him and let him know you’re okay.”
“He knows me too well.”
“He’s lived 16 years with a writer for a mother, he knows you’re a wreck toward the end.”
“That’s the last one. I’m done. This is going to kill me.”
“Probably it will kill you, because this isn’t the last one. But at least you’ll die a brave man’s death.”

She smiles and presses her palm against his cheek, closes her eyes and recalls a similar moment a life time ago in a bed with this man, both of them younger and more stupid and reckless. A time when her life was crashing down around her, disintegrating in the tumult to make the space where they laid the foundation they built their lives on. And there it was again, the synchronicity that plagued her, haunted her, motivated her as one track on a randomized playlist faded out and gave way to their old song, You and I, and she felt as if she were in two moments at once, broken but on the mend with this perfect, wonderful man. She pulls him down to lay with her and wrapped in a feeling of security that only he provided, she curled herself up next to him and fell asleep.

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