Spotless

I try not to think about her, and this seems such a horrible admission.

Once she shared with me the last good book she read, called Kissing In Manhattan. The library had a copy available. I liked this girl a lot, had for a long time, so I wanted to savor the tale.

The story revolves around a hotel, each chapter a displaced vignette, some tied together from earlier in the book, some stand alone, but all stories are related to the building.

That was two years ago. I enjoyed the book so much I bought a used hardback copy (it was out of print). Nowadays I ride to work, mere blocks from two consecutive streets bearing names of elements in the book, Rigg and Otis.

No matter what kind of hypnotherapy might ever be practiced on me, I could never unremember little details like that; coincidences usually mean something in my world. It’s how we met, really. I was deleting pictures and preparing to leave Facebook and she made mention of my socks (in a picture), or maybe I said something first about a shared sentiment regarding small talk (we both detest it), or that thing about The Smiths. I don’t know for sure, but half an hour later and I would have been gone.

But my timing is off, so far so, I sometimes wonder if the whole thing was in my head. What seems to have had no impact whatsoever on her moved my world quite a bit off-axis. I don’t go looking for life-shifts that extreme, but cannot vouch for why else they might happen. She pretty much ruined me for anyone else, and that’s not her fault.

It’s all a part of my ongoing grudge with Fate.

A Few Favorites

lightly flavored pumpkin spice coffee after a hard day at work

Lips Like Sugar at a red light with windows down; a fellow motorist smiles at me, and for a moment I think this stranger might understand why I sing

the first puck drop of hockey season

highway 9, descending from the bend through rays of morning sunshine flickering through redwood branches, tucked and rolling on two wheels and dressed in my best kit

Listen

“Do you remember my dog?” she asked, smiling.

Believing she was right in front of me again was difficult. Her dog liked me, but dogs like that typically like everyone who isn’t mean.

Not much gets by me. In everyday life I try my best to be aware of what’s around and to listen below the surface. One thing I’ve noticed about women in particular is, if you remember her name, she’ll respond with a smile and conversation will likely be a little more open. This occurs with men too, but not in the same way. This is not a tool to be used or a trait to be exploited, it just means you’re paying attention, and paying attention isn’t that difficult unless ulterior motives or selfishness get in the way.

Every little nuance, every curve of her face and her body, every scent, every sound, and every ray of light to dance upon her skin remains in my memory, so when she asks if I remember her dog, I smile and say, “Yes, I do. I remember everything.”

But this was only a dream; an amalgam of memories with ad-lib dialogue and a heart suffering one more bruise upon waking.

Clipped

Left foot

A co-worker asked why I wear clipless cycling shoes for tasks that require a car and not a bicycle. The truth is I own two pair of sneakers which are both at work (my other job, at the bike shop). This leaves me with a pair of faded red Chucks and some dress shoes.

shoes

And a whole mess of cycling shoes

The shoes are comfortable as the sole is stiff; my feet appreciate this feature, or maybe I’m just used to it, I don’t know. The sound of hard plastic treads on the floor with a faint tap from the cleat makes me sound a little bit like a cowboy if you don’t know what’s coming.

Except for that one time after hours in the post office foyer. I’m not sure I even made a sound during that exit.

Shadows

Some days are worse than others, and those are the days I don’t think of her.

Frankly, I don’t know why I write about this. No one understands except the paper on which I scrawl little poems wishing desperately to be read. Perhaps I write in hopes that someday the words will resonate with souls curious to know how love appears before it blooms.

Beauty is everywhere, in youth, in maturity, in the physical, the emotional, the spiritual. She has them all, maybe not all at once, but certainly in the right order.

The sharpest memories cut the cleanest, and clean cuts make deeper scars. I remember every little detail from my youth about this feeling. Imagine, sentiment lain dormant for decades lurching into motion without warning, within a man who didn’t understand until later in life that not many people feel this deeply.

But how? How can anyone not feel like this?

Yeah, I think about her nearly every single day. It’s all what’s left of me, of what used to be me. She once asked if I was melancholy – I was. I am. It’s not a phase, but rather a state of existence. Melancholy fills the space where hope once was; melancholy possesses no mass, and thus presents as emptiness. With every passing minute, those few happy moments become a tinier subset of my collective experience, which is why the emptiness appears to grow as I watch from the safety of that past.

Big hearts are easy targets and Fate will inconvenience herself just to run me down in the shadows.

Only Once

at one time
i knew how to write
about the simple and pleasant things
holding hands on autumn walks
naked bodies wrapped
in flannel sheets
on rainy sunday mornings

at one time
i dreamt of these simple things
and maybe those dreams
were to keep alive hope
that my future might include
such wonder

at one time
i saw a face
after so many years
and would swear on
everything good and holy
only a day had passed

at one time
my heart feared nothing

at one time
i lived

at one time
i loved

at one time
i died…