There is a refusal inside of me to burden you with the world tonight. There are enough words being shouted about the day and age we’re suddenly forced to live in. Instead, I will burden you with my tiny glimmer of hope. Dammit, it’s not been stripped of me yet. I won’t let any man seize the days my heart holds firmly in its grasp.
Drive around a gray, cold dusted land. A few times a week, I pass my town’s rundown amusement park. I had my first job there. I stood in front of the people walking in with gleeful anticipation on their faces. The cotton candy mixed with funnel cake smells welcomed visitors in the opening hours. Pronto pups placed properly on sticks, smothered in mustard. Dripping with delight and smeared on children’s faces. My scalp would get sunburned from standing at a novelty cart selling souvenirs representing their last memento from a fun day. Coal miners planned vacations to this park.
We were all kids operating the rides, spending our breaks making out behind a wooden rollercoaster. Breaking up and throwing a class ring off the “Thunderbolt Express.” Searching in the off hours for that ring because I loved a boy. I spent hours digging through the dew-covered summer grass for his ring.
My senior year of high school came and I parted ways with my first love. We grew up and moved along.
After the amusement park, I went to work at a cafe. My best memories of my youth seem to be those of slinging burgers and baked steak meals with friends. Going out back to smoke a cigarette even though I didn’t smoke. Talking about Pearl Jam and The Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones. Meeting up after our shifts had ended, drinking my way through college. Those friends were there when I called off work because I was going to get “hitched.” They held my hand when I filed for divorce a few months later. Some friends live forever young in a heart, in a memory.
Yet I’ve kept aging and took other jobs along the way. Took work wherever would pay the bills. Kept my nose in college by the skin of my teeth. Met a boy.
On the night I met him, I called my friend from the cafe and told her, “I met a boy. I like him a lot. He’s cute and funny.” I rambled my way through that phone call intoxicated on gin, vodka, and high on love.
I married that boy.
On the horrible nights where I think he may be my greatest mistake, I remember a drunken night. I flashback vividly to the night I first touched his hands, his skin, and he touched my heart. There is an emotional flood overwhelming my stomach and my heart. He is my love. I can tell you exactly how each butterfly danced wildly in my stomach when he first kissed my lips, and then kept kissing them all night long. Nothing can or will ever replace HIS kiss. Perfect from every angle.
“You’re my kismet,” I once told a boy who I had just met. I knew then. I know now. There are no mistakes or coincidences. There is fate, and it rains down when we least expect it.
“Give me your number,” his words asked well over 20 times in that one pivotal, life-changing night.
When the sun rose and time beckoned me to my cafe job, I gave him those numbers. All in a row. Fast. No repeating. He either got them or he didn’t.
I didn’t need his love, and I still live by the rule that I don’t need his love or any other for that matter. But damn, I waited for seven nights by the phone for him to call. Every ringing sound from my wireless landline sent my heart into elation thinking it could be him. Finally, there his voice sounded on the other end.
This is where our story began.
He’s loved me through my absolute low down, rotten worst times. I’m committed to loving him through his mealy, maggot-infested days.
Mates. First Mates.
That’s what we are. We sail this ship together. We can’t operate the boat without the other one. Neither of us know how to live without our other half. I need his sarcasm to bring my head out of the clouds. He needs me to fly high into a land where dreams exist, and occasionally do come true. His nature is pessimistic. I’m his eternal optimistic sunshine. When he throws in the towel, I pick it up, clean it and say, “Here’s your towel back. Start again.”
I’ve faced a lot of rejection in my time.
None has ever broken me the way his rejection broke me. I’m stronger than I believed. I’m his persistent, resilient wild flower. Coming up through the snow, begging for sunshine, and surviving off minimal nourishment. A reclusive, rum soaked writer who never wanted to be read. That’s the brooding constant burden. I’ll take what I am over the current problems of the world today. I’ll remember a love story until my eyes flutter their last wink and close in their final rest.
Some love stories are limitless. They’re the energy ebbing and flowing constantly forcing a person to climb higher. Creating a magnitude in the likes of which love has never seen.
There is two people struggling in adulthood to get by, that’s my world today.