Tag Archives: love

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.

A Word on Love

A Word On Love



Love is…

Oh my.  It really can’t be contained in a simple phrase.

Let’s get this straight though: I’m not talking about the love you feel for your friends, or your family.  I’m talking about the love you feel for someone you’re dating, or engaged to.  (But not that married kind of love.  That’s a horse of a different color.)

First of all, most of all, love is one force felt differently depending on who it’s directed at.  Like that line from that song goes, you never stop loving somebody, you just start loving somebody new.  My love is, was, and always has been my love.  A unique brand, you could say.

Love is also chaos.  That’s probably love’s most important characteristic.  Love is a thing so unpredictable that it appears random because of its great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.  To think that love is something that can be understood is utter bullshit.

Love is seeing an imperfect person perfectly.  In that way, it’s also a paradox.  It tells us that the person we love is, in their own way, perfect.  But people are, in no way, perfect.  Love is knowing this and not caring.

Love is irrational.  It doesn’t care about what people think is a reasonable amount of time to cultivate the feeling.  It springs up at you at the strangest times, under the craziest circumstances.

Love doesn’t care how old you are.  I was in love when I was in third grade.  His name was Mike, and I was pretty sure he was the greatest thing since chocolate milk at lunch time.  And my grandparents, I’m pretty sure, will still be stupidly, adorably, hopelessly in love if they live to be a hundred.

Love is longsuffering.  It can take a lot of grief for the sake of the greater cause.  It’s the heart that gives out.

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
-Lois de Bernieres 

Love simply is.

Flash Fiction Challenge: One Small Story in Seven Acts

Chuck Wendig’s FF Challenge of the week is to write a shorty story of roughly 1,000 words consisting of seven acts.  The seven act structure, as he outlined it, goes a little something like this:

Behold, a rough seven-act structure: Intro (duh) –> Problem or Attack  (duh) –> Initial Struggle (character first tussles with source of  conflict) –> Complications (conflict worsens, deepens, changes) –>  Failed Attempts (oops, that didn’t work) –> Major Crisis (holy  goatfucker shitbomb, everything’s gone pear-shaped) –> Climax and  Resolution (duh).

When I read the post, I felt a little intimidated.  So far my fiction hasn’t amounted to much more than short little blurbs barely passing for fictional narrative.  This challenge requires me to actually write something structured with a tangible beginning, middle, and end.

I immediately began stressing over what to write, which was just plain silly, because even Chuck himself told me once to quit giving so much of a shit.  Just write, the words will come.  It’s not rocket science.  Shit, even The Wonder Pets uses a seven act structure, so I figure if they can do it, I can do it.

Inspiration for this came from a text messaging conversation with a good friend of mine.  We were talking about adulthood, and how expensive it is, and how it really just doesn’t get any better.  (As twentysomethings of the boomerang generation, we tend to brood over such things.)

So he suggested we rob a bank.

And I said, fuck yeah.  Screw Romeo and Juliet, we’ll be Bonnie and Clyde.

He pointed out that they had much better clothes, and they weren’t some sissy fairy tale.

To which I replied, shitchea.  And they died better, too: multiple bullet wounds to the body after a high speed chase.

So I told him to meet me in Perrysville that evening.  We’d rob the Perrysville bank, steal the PPD’s Charger, and drive until we hit water or they started speaking Spanish.

Of course, we didn’t rob the Perrysville bank.

But I did figure out what to write about.


The Getaway

We met in the parking lot at the Pottery.

“What do we do now?”

I shook my head.  “I have no idea.  But I think we should steal the Charger first.  You know, that way they can’t chase us.”

“Good point.  Shall we?”

And so, hand in hand, we walked down the road toward the police station where the Charger was parked.

“This stupid little town doesn’t need a charger anyway.”

“Agreed.  They’ve got, what?  Two cops on the force and a dispatcher?  Come on now.  Huge waste of taxpayer money.”

“Exactly.  Time for the taxpayers to tax some ass.”

When we got to the police station, the Charger was parked across the street.  A block away from the bank.

“Are you serious?”


“Look.  They keys are on the seat.”


“Yuh-huh.  They keys to the mother fucking Charger are in the mother fucking passenger seat.”

“That’s Perrysville PD for you.”

“No joke.  So what now?”

“You drive the car, I’ll go do this thing.”

“Are you sure?  All by yourself?”

“We don’t really have another choice.  They’ll hit the panic button in there and then the first thing the five-oh will do is rush for his sexy Charger.  If it’s there, he’ll get in it to drive over here because he’s that kind of an ass hole and then we’ll have to get an armed police officer out of our getaway car.”

“Good point.”



“Go.  Aim for the bushes.”

I waited until he was inside the bank to get into the Charger.  And then I realized that we failed to sync watches or something, because I had no idea how long it took to rob a bank.

I got in the car and drove off casually, peering inside the bank windows as I went.  He was standing off to the side, looking at his phone.  Sizing things up.  I did the only thing I knew to do and parked the Charger at the post office, just far enough into the parking lot so nobody would notice it, and hung on the street corner for any sign of a getaway.

Finally, the door opened and Jack burst out of it, holding a plastic bag that didn’t appear to be holding a small fortune like we thought.  I jumped back into the car through the door I’d left open and slammed it shut behind me, and before I knew it I was screeching to a halt on the road beside Jack, and he was jumping into the car.

“How much did you get?”  The adrenaline was choking.

“Fucking five hundred dollars or some small shit like that.  Fuck.  We won’t make it on five-fucking-hundred dollars.”

I made a right and sped down the road, thus far free of pursuers.  Tunnel vision seemed to overtake my senses as Jack wrapped the GPS antennae in the car in aluminum foil, and covered the dash around it with the foil for good measure.  Now the only issue was the “Perrysville Police Department” decal on the side of the car, but that wouldn’t be an issue for long.

I tore up Red’s driveway like the proverbial bat out of hell and almost didn’t stop in time to avoid smashing through his front porch.

“He’s not here.”


“That mother fucker’s not here!”

“Shit.  Shit.  Shit.  What now?”

“Well we can’t take this any further.  We’ll take the Honda, it’s gonna get better gas mileage anyway and he just finished fixing it.”

“That’s Stephanie’s Civic.”

“Yeah, and now it’s our Civic.  Let’s go.”

So we went.  Jack drove long into the night until he couldn’t keep his eyes open and I snoozed in the passenger seat.  I woke to the glow of neon lights at a cheap motel somewhere across the Kentucky boarder.

“That was a mess.  We shouldn’t have done any of this.”

“Too late now.  Let’s just get some sleep, okay?  You’re tired.  You’ve been driving.  Come lay down with me.”

“Hah!  That’s just like you, thinking about sex when you should be thinking about something more important.”

“We just robbed a bank, Jack!  Of course I want to be close to you right now.  Thinking about today isn’t going to change what we did.  We’ve been talking about this for weeks.  You could have backed out and you didn’t, and it doesn’t matter now because we’re here and it’s done.  So please, come to bed.”

“No.  I’ll be back.”

He walked of the room, slamming the door behind him.

I began to cry.

I fell back asleep.

I woke up to the door crashing open, and Jack falling into the room.

“Jack!”  I scrambled out of bed and knelt beside him.

Blood, so much blood.

“Love you,” he hacked.  I thought of his face before he slammed the door, I thought of the feel of his hand walking down the street in Perrysville, I thought of making love to him yesterday morning.  I thought of never seeing him again.

“I love you,” I managed.  “Don’t go,” I said.  I ran my palm down his body, feeling so many bullet wounds.

I could hear the sirens.

I felt the gun still clutched in his fist, still hot from being fired.

“I love you, I love you,” I said.

He wasn’t breathing anymore.

I stood and cocked the pistol.  It felt wrong in my hands.

A man’s voice over a megaphone tells me to come out slowly with my hands in the air and there won’t be any trouble.

I stood, faced my end.

I ran out of the motel room, firing the gun at random.  I don’t remember any pain, only blinding lights and then nothing.

And then, everything.  The wind on my face, grass beneath my feet, the shade of a nearby willow tree, the smell of spring in my nose, the song of birds.

His hand in mine, his lips on my forehead.

“We did it,” he said.  “We got out of that damn town.”

I smiled.

998 words

1/17/12 Was A Bad Day

If I could do today over, I wouldn’t.

Here’s a life lesson for you, so mark this down and take it to heart: never, never, never mess around with a married man. Even if his wife tells him she would rather have aborted their children than be married to him, even if he starts sleeping on the couch, even if he promises that a divorce is well on its way, even if he’s already started moving his things out of the house, even if he’s talking to land lords about moving closer to work, even if he’s really good looking and a total charmer — no bueno. If there’s anything shiny on that left hand, walk away. Better yet, run away.

The thing of it is, people lie. They lie to people they care about, people they hate, people they don’t even know. They lie to themselves. Sometimes they think they’re telling the truth at the time, but in hindsight it was clearly and always a lie.

What I’m trying to say here is, nobody is ever entirely blameless. I shouldn’t have flirted. He shouldn’t have pursued me after I walked away. She shouldn’t treat her husband like a yard dog.

But, it’s whatever. We’re moving on.

I moved in with my mom yesterday. It’s a relief, really, to be around people again. Being alone too much really took its toll on my senses (obviously). My parents are chill about it so far, which is great and a huge relief. I’m back to doing dishes after dinner and holing up in a room by myself most of the day. In a way it feels something like being a teenager again, and I’m completely fine with that at this stage in my life. Maybe it sounds weird, but there’s something innately comforting about opening up the fridge or the cupboard and seeing so much food. If there’s one thing that’s always been true about my mom, it’s that she’s got enough food stored away to feed a legion.

No, you know what? We’re not moving on. We’re backing up.

Let’s get a few things straightened out, hm?

First, I left Spike because he was toxic. There’s only so much negativity, hatred, and anger I can tolerate without becoming the same. My life with him amounted to waiting for the next fight. People said, oh, you should have stuck with counseling. You should have given him a better chance. No. It takes two people to make a marriage work, but it only takes one to decide not to keep trying to breathe life into something that’s been dead for too long.

Furthermore, I love my son. I have him three days a week, and during those three days I am the best mother I can be. The other four days of the week, he’s with his father. That’s part of a divorce: going days without seeing your children. Those other four days, I am me. Completely, utterly, and irrevocably me. That’s my time to live. But on those days when I do have him, I’m a mother. Through and through. My personal life never effects my ability to love my son.

Most of all, I’m not a bad or worthless person. Sure, I make mistakes. Sometimes, especially lately, they end up being big ones. Well-intentioned big ones, sure, but good intentions or no the mess is always there. And sure, there are casualties, innocent bystanders that get caught up in the wake of my blunder. I’m not saying I’m a perfect person, and you’ll never hear me claim to be a saint. But the bad things that I’ve done don’t define who I am. How I handle the mess, what I do with the knowledge I gain from the consequences of my actions, that defines me.

I can be cold. Oh, so very cold. My heart can simply turn to ice.

I can also be hot. Very, very hot. I can make your heart melt in the palm of my hand.

I can go from hot to cold in a moment’s space. That’s a bad thing about me, the one thing about myself I don’t care for.

What do I like about myself? Plenty of things.

I like that I’m confident, I like that I’m a little cocky. I like that I can be a dude about it. I like that I don’t take shit, that I can walk away from an argument without some overblown sense of pride tripping me up as I walk.

Look, I’m 21. I’m still young. Most people my age are spending their Fridays at the bar, or running drugs, or working on degrees, or just now thinking about having a family. I got married a few months after I graduated, moved to California with the Marine Corps, had a baby when I was barely 20. I’ve had a very different walk than most people, and all I’m trying to do is iron out the wrinkles while I’m still young enough to bounce back. That’s it, and that’s all.

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.

in which MC KatieLea spits derogatory rhymes (poorly)

It doesn’t work if you say it out loud. So don’t try.
Written in the style of broken prose left over from my ’06 poetry binge,
and to a soundtrack of masterful rhymes from Lil Wayne.

Reader discretion advised.

I’m laced
eyes are a sedative
can’t get enough of this.

I getcha high
higher and higher


heart thuddin
sternum vibratin
vision tracin

euphoric euphoria
part your lips and sing it out:

and don’t worry about him
he’s just hatin
can’t handle it
my empowerment
he’s fake shit
thought he could run my shit

well run and tell him this

miss Katie Lea’s on the prowl
and there’s no stopping it

so tell that fake bitch
to run and hide her man

oh wait
too late

already got him

too bad for her
and too bad for you
runnin your mouth like I’m a slut

yeah I heard that rumor flew
it ain’t true

sluts fuck, real women make love

and if you don’t believe that, believe this
my love life’s none of your damn business

don’t get me wrong though
I don’t waste my time on
thinkin about little boys with delusions of manhood
who hit women

that fish ain’t swimmin
that bird ain’t flyin

and I ain’t lyin
when I say I’ve got this shit on lock down
done gettin knocked around
through with the drama, sound
of little boys tearin me down
makin me frown

takin the power back
takin my smile back

the love I’m laced with is like a motha fuckin heart attack

so I’ll say it again,
one more time and loud so you can hear it
if you don’t like the sound I’m makin
learn to fear it
cause I’m not leavin
I’m not hushin

the midnight disease cannot be cured
cannot be silenced
I will be heard
no matter how absurd
or how violent

best believe it,
love it or hate,
keep comin back
you’ll get more of the same


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