At a little after three AM this morning I found myself looking over my shoulder as I walked down a street in Brooklyn between 5th and 6th Avenues. I looked at a man who watched me walk away and did nothing to stop me.
This morning I sit here and think over my life, the choices I made and the destinations those choices brought me to. I think of all the cliche movies and the lines one can pull from them to liken the emotional turmoil to something less threatening. The funny thing for me is that the movie that comes to mind is Forest Gump, in particular the character of Lt. Dan, the poor guy who was missing his legs. He had a beef with God because he felt as if God shit on him and on his life. His resolve was found at the top of a mast, in a driving storm, daring the lightning (and God) to strike him. He came out on the other side whole and better. I feel that way about love. Unfortunately for me, I do not feel as if I have ever come out on the other side as whole and better. I sit at the top of that mast and dare the lightning to strike and strike it has and whole I am not.
I’m not a smart man…but I do know what love is.
Love takes effort, not work. Love is allowing yourself the potential of hurt because you believe the other person is worth it, even after they hurt you. Love is standing in the rain, allowing the sins of your past to be washed free as you turn your face to the sky and let your defenses down. Love is a luxury that should be left to fools and poets.
I sometimes think that the surface area of my heart must be enormous because the scars there are numerous…some deep, some shallow, some which ache more on a particular day…all in a new spot, never overlapping. I have asked myself why I allow it on more than one occasion. Hell, I am asking that question right now as I sit in my living room, with my wet hair in a towel and my eyes puffy from the lack of sleep and the plenitude of tears. The answer does not come, it never comes.
We have been spoon fed ideals through literature, cinema and the media. We have a picture in our head of what love is supposed to look like and how we are supposed to find it and what we will feel whenever we have it in our grasp. But I have never encountered one person who has had it fall into place just as depicted in some cheesy film. I think of my Grandparents, separated in life only by death. I think of their fifty plus years of marriage and the love they had for each other. THAT is the fairytale that I want. The real one. The one that has eluded me. I want to grow old with someone I can tolerate, someone who understands me, who can tolerate me and all of my shortcomings. I want to smile across the table to a man who knows me, who sees me and who loves me anyway.
But this morning, more than any other that has come before, I feel that my resilience is fading and that recovery will be harder and cynicism is peaking.
Here I am, at a crossroads and am directionally challenged.