Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Lovers and Friends

I walk solitary, up to my house in the dark of night. The strange thing is that my house is surrounded by nothing. There aren't any other houses around, no taverns, no stores. A crow flies overhead and caws once. It is as if I'm walking through nothing but abandonned trenches and gravel from a war so long ago that time has killed all the soldiers that it left behind.

As I approach my front yard, I can see the slippery naked bodies of two men under the moonlight. Their skin looks like the texture of lung, and they are smeared with mud, it being cold enough to see their breath puffing up above their oscillating shovels. One of them coughs and hacks but pushes harder to dig faster, neither of them look up or notice me.

I mount the stairs. It smells of vanilla and lavendar but on the door is a gargoyles face, wearing an expression of disapproval. I knock but no one answers, so I push the door slightly, and it squeaks open. I walk in. A man wearing a plaid flannel shirt with pens in his breast pocket and a toolbox of some kind in front of him meticulously and self-absorbedly busies himself brushing out the eye-sockets of a human skull. There are all kinds of rocks and skeletons and even some test-tubes filled with various coloured liquids. Then turns it upside down to get at the temporal bones. He is smiling and peering down through the bottoms of his bifocals, then, without turning, he gives an eccentric little laugh and says: "you are just about in time."

I don't know who he is or what he is doing but I'm still thinking of the men outside. "What are they doing?" I ask. "No need to worry." He says. "We are doing some excavation to find the heart of your heart." "The heart of my heart?" "Yes" He explains, "It is what controls you. It is what keeps your dreams and wishes strong. Without it you will be left behind. Impermissible. Carbon dating should reveal that your heart of hearts has been buried under memories and ideas that have undergone a dramatic cultural shift, forcing a top-down processing halo effect of your true feelings. In other words, your actual heart has deteriorated so much that it has given your heart of hearts quite a battering. At the moment there is a dangerous chance that the charge on your heart of hearts is leaking to other members of your species, giving them violent epilepsy. That is why it would not be sufficient to leave it completely autonomous unless we were to fertilize the entire area, which would interfere with the magnetism you'd feel naturally. In other words, you'd feel too drugged up. So, instead, I have summoned you here to commiserate with your heart of hearts personally. Even when I take off my coat as a palaeontologist, I still have a human-like interest in seeing your reaction. Please follow me."

He took me through a long hall, dimly lit by a single bulb, hanging high above. I heard groans and muffled talking. There were voices that sounded as if a man were beating a woman. She screamed "Stop it! Stop it! You animal!" I started feeling worried again. I feel bad for the woman. As if sensing my unease, the man turned around and said: "those are the hostels of sick hearts. Trust me, you don't want to end up like them."

Somehow we got to the front doorstep again. I heard the man hacking away again and then one of them shouted "Ho! There it is!" There was a clinking of shovel as if it had hit a metal box. I noticed that the men who were digging had gone quite a distance. I looked into the mouth of the hole and saw only their eyes gleaming way down. The man beside me put his hand on my shoulder and said "It is time." There is a blinding light from inside the hole, becoming exponentially brighter as my eyes go through superhuman adjustments. I see flashes like sparks of fire, children laughing, and the roots of flowers sucking up the water from trenches, so loudly it crowds my ears with noise. Then the sound of thunder shoots up through me and I feel like I'm getting punched in the stomach.

BANG! BANG! BANG!

I shot up from my bed and realized that someone was knocking on my door. Oh no! It's 7:10am!!! I've slept in!! What the hell was I dreaming?@% Did my alarm even go off???I'm already supposed to be at work. I ran upstairs and told my driver I'd be there in a minute. I put on some pants and my big heavy workboots, two T-shirts, and ran out into the car.

At work I am a mess. I am the slow one and I feel like a crusted wench. Because of my sleep deprivation (no more than 4 hours of sleep for about a week straight) I have to watch myself that I don't fall asleep standing on the swing-stages. I've seen the injuries I've inflicted on myself increase statistically as my amount of sleep has decreased. This week I've butted heads with S, smashed my elbow into the steel shed, clocked my shin on some swing-stage pieces and grinded through my work glove and into my finger with a grinder pad on a swiftly revolving motor.

I am working with S, who's house I'm supposed to go to after the shift to watch a movie. I feel moody though, and tired. I tell him I can't. I know he's not pleased with my lack of coordination today, nor my muddy thinking. Yesterday I was so energetic in my manic state, doing the inane and amusing things like slo-mo-Bono: singing U2 songs in slow motion with the low-pitched voice of an impeded record player. I would take a running leap over the balcony panels, effectively performing something that looked like a roundhouse. Today I am more down though. I just feel down.

I am listening to Michael Bublé in my head. Considering that I lost most of my CD's and my knapsac, it's much more convenient and portable to just play songs off of your brain. He's singing: "I'm just too far, from where you are, I wanna come home...." I'm stooped over a crack in the concrete slab. Then I think about love again and I feel my chest constrict.

My baby was the best. She was the smartest, the funniest, she was gorgeous, she had style, she was well-mannered, she conducted herself like a god. That's the thing that hurts about it. She's not mine. She never really was my baby but to me she was because I always felt like there was that possibility. I'd be so wired at the end of my day just to go talk to her, and she'd always be there for me. The problem was she was wise enough to see that I wouldn't cut it for her. We liked each other in a way that couldn't ever be broken, but at the same time, it was too unestablished to properly express either. I loved her in that young, naive, unstable way. The kind that makes obstacles for itself. The kind that's not coordinated enough to give proper respect. It's a desperate love. Often women are interested in having me around. They enjoy what they see as flattery, then they feel pressured by it, they lose interest, and offer up friendship as a parley.

She told me that she's seeing someone new. You might ask: who isn't? I saw someone new today. She was wearing sunglasses and walking to her car carrying a bottle of French Cross. This isn't what she meant though. She meant: there is someone else who takes priority over you, someone who romances me like you don't. Someone who can offer things you'd only dream of having.

The point is, she was honest. Whether or not she said the exact words, or told me the first time I was suspicious she was seeing someone else that in fact she was at that time, I had guessed correctly what it was she had to tell me. It's not like it was easy for her. It's wonderful for her to meet someone new, and she deserves a good man, a good head-on-his shoulders kind of man with a sweet heart and a couple good jokes up his sleeve who can treat her properly. I can't be him. It would be pointless to try. I would have wanted her to love me but I'm just not that skilled. I'm not going to lie. I have trouble picking out birthday cards. I know how to ride a bicycle and get places fast in order to exploit myself for my muscle power. I like to play guitar, watch TV and entertain people, but I don't have a career in aquisitions, real estate or marine biology. I like curry, Jeff Buckley and fine whiskey. Some women are a little more complex though. They are a little more difficult to operate than a jack-hammer.

The time is just weaving by and I think of all the crazy things she says and I get a lump in my throat. There is nowhere to go to be alone on the balcony working with someone else except in the corner. It's not that I won't hear her say those things again, I guess I'm just getting used to the idea of things being different because I don't know that difference yet. Yes, I am unlearning. I've done it before.

Slowly throughout the day Michael turns off and switches to Britney Speares. It is a relief to have light music, the kind that reminds me of my ex, the one that suddenly unblocked me the other day from MSN, after having not talked to me for close to a year, only to tell me to send HER an email!!! Well, "sometimes I run, sometimes I hide." Right. That must be what she was doing.

Anyways, I guess through all this mulling I come to the conclusion that being single really is a lot less of a stress-factor on all other peripheral issues. Since I don't have to increase my offspring just yet, or become anything other than a perverbial "Daddy" to someone, since I have no one that's really touching my life right now other than the meaningful friendships I've gathered from the failed relationships, I can see that as success. It's worth it to keep those relations going even stronger. They may not be passionate in the same way, though they are caring.

My grandfather knew the importance of friends. He was the most generous man I knew. He would always have us over to play board games or just talk about school or whatever. He'd give us a cookie. He lived just next door. He had a plaque in his house that read:
"There's a little cozy corner
In my heart all tucked away
warmed by the light
of friendships' smile and song and laughter gay,
A little sacred nook I keep for just a favoured few,
but there is always "open house" within that place for you."

It is like that for those of you who actively read me, read my thoughts, think about what I'm saying, converse with me, even engage in argumentation with me. If you understand me even just a little, you know that I don't really discriminate or split hairs about just how many I can have to favour exclusively. I like all different sorts of people, and it is not so much a type of person that I like as a person who can be upfront about who they are. I know it's not easy either to "just be real". Anyway, all I'm saying is don't be afraid cause if you are I'm sure there are other humans can relate. I think that that is even more of a point of relation as our earth globalizes, but that is another discussion. To put it to you straight: my blog is always open. Come in and make yourself welcome!

7 Comments:

Blogger Candace said...

That was quite a trip you took me on. You are a very talented writer.

12:56 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad post. No one (including me) knows what to say in the face of sadness. ~c

1:48 p.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

misfit- I know my writing is a little wild sometimes. Don't worry, I don't always write in the abrasive semi-vague way. A Canadian politics article about Belinda Stronach is on it's way.

"~c"? Are you my sister???

9:09 p.m.  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence.

9:17 p.m.  
Blogger J said...

Hey Bear, sorry to hear that you're hurting. We should wallow over fine ales soon.

I've been listening to Michael Bublé myself these days. I was telling my coworker that the 15 year old version of myself would kick my ass for listening to adult easy listening. But it's good stuff.

11:25 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes I am your sister. my friends want to comment but only if you write about something less serious. guantanamo is too daunting for a first introduction.
~c

3:14 p.m.  
Blogger joe said...

michael buble is fab. this post is touching, twisting, triste and telling. I like the dream like flow to your welcome at the end. cools to ya.

10:29 p.m.  

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