Archive for category love

The Moments In Between G-uno

He was staring at the rain as it pounded down onto the glass. It wasn’t as though he’d never seen rain before, but more that he understood it might be the last time that he would. I watched him from the doorway of his room. I was familiar with the deafening sound of the silence that takes over when a person has reached the acceptance of the end of their journey in this life. The difference for me this time was that I had not accepted his end.
He turned slowly to look at me. His face was drawn, and pale. His presence in the room was so large even as his life force diminished. I could not even force my everything is okay smile. We knew each other much to well to even make the attempt. My throat ached from trying to hold back my tears. He walked towards me holding out his arms, and like a little girl I fell into them weeping uncontrollably.
I wept because I could not take away his fears. I wept because I knew we had reached an ending point, and although he had accepted his journey’s end he was not ready to leave. I wept because I was making him be strong for me, when I should have been being strong for him. Mostly I wept because I didn’t want to let him go.
Love pours through tears. It is so powerful that there is no longer a need for words. It takes over every aspect of your being, and in the moments in between you know that you have been a part of something more beautiful than anything you have the capability to imagine. You have loved unconditionally, and you have been loved equally back. I think the secret to life is the moments in between.

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the hippy moves (g2)

The Hippy and her pornstar have recently decided that moving back to their home state will be much better for them when the baby comes. He will be in a better position to be promoted as his company is based there since she will be unable to work for a while and both of their families are nearby for emotional and possible babysitting support.

The Hippy comes from a “salt of the earth” family that struggled at times to make ends meet. Her dad had a tendency for violence and a bad temper and her mom bent over backwards to appease him. She knows she is a people pleaser directly due to this.

The Pornstar had more a spoiled brat, men are manly men, kind of upbringing with an emotionally abusive mother. This has made him cynical, brooding, bitingly sarcastic, and distant.

I relate to him more since my upbringing more aligned with his, not the wealth, not even two parental figured, but the emotional abuse I completely get. It’s the part that helps me translate him to her.  Just below the surface of those biting remarks lies a person who desperately wants her to stay with him forever and loves her very much. Sadly, its written all over his face only when she isn’t looking.

She was starved for acknowledgement, for doting, for expressions of affection. In trying to obtain these things, she was slinging some pretty biting shit to him too, even going so far as to remind him she could do better. She doted, she catered, she ego-stroked, but when he was less than forthcoming in a manner she desired, she would get desperate and then it just got rude.

um, ouch?

It’s weird when you have to tell an adult “how would you react if he said that shit to you?” She admitted it would kill her and I had to point out that by doing that she was making it all worse, he would just sink his heels in and tell her to go. It’s what I would do.

This guy is a stud in her eyes, she thinks of him as the hottest thing on the planet. It’s adorable to witness the two of them.

But their ability to communicate… dayum.

I told her that first and foremost, never treat the person you value most like shit. I have never understood why Grand spent more time doting on strangers while treating their family like crap.

I then talked to her about the language of love… yeah, try not to gag. I told her that my cousin and his wife would always get pissed at one another because they spoke their affections in ways the other didn’t notice.

My cousin would buy expensive jewelry for his bride, stressing over every single piece while his wife just wanted him to take out the fucking trash without being asked. Her life was too hectic and busy to wear jewelry except on really rare occasiona so she saw the jewelry as yet another jab of something else that was not much use to her.

When I was laughing at one of their arguments and pointed this out, they both seemed kind of stunned. But I think later on they started paying attention to one another’s methods a bit more.

I pointed out the same kinds of things with Hippy. He was showing it in his own way as we got to talking about, just not the bullshit they have on rom-coms, which is more what she was wanting. Let’s face it, that shit just ain’t realistic.

They both were trying their best to show their affections. But again, they weren’t appreciating the ways one another did it. So I told her, “express a few to him on his level, something he gets, and maybe he’ll start reciprocating and noticing yours.”

Did any of you ever have a miscommunication with your love languages?

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the little ones talk sex (g2)

Inevitably in my family if we get together long enough, the dick jokes and dirty innuendo come out. We have a small subgroup among in my family who will declare loudly that everything we say is awful and we should be ashamed, but secretly they are right with us and we usually take a jab they might need to get some.

I don’t know if they feel some parental obligation to fight it, or if they just want brownie points to keep them out of hell.

It was no different with my little cousins. I’m not sure if its due to the fact I recognize them as no longer the darling cherubs of their childhood, but young adults on the adventure of life or not, but I’ve never felt the need to scold them for anything they wanted to say, except perhaps the sibling hate speech to one another. I’d love to carve that out like cancer. They’ve never held back either.

As the evening progressed I kind of wish we’d migrated to someplace involving couches and coffee and/or wine so the chatter didn’t have to ever end. The topic of sex and relationships of course came up. The little sister firmly declared she didn’t care for sex and would rather not do “that” for the most part.

My quick reply was of course that she must be doing it wrong, which seemed to be our eldest aunt’s problem as well.

I might be biased…

No, no… I’m not. Little sister is fucking gorgeous and has suitors from both sides of the fence that would be more than happy to lick the bottom of her boots if she asked them. She has no clue the vast power she possesses. In this, she is much like her half-sister. The difference being is her half-sister does understand her power and has used it quite a lot in her life, often to disaster, and only toning it down in recent years.

Don’t get me wrong, the older sister is beautiful, tall and graceful. But there is just this something some people possess that seems to render those around them completely subjugated. Helen of Troy would have HAD to be one of these people. I have about three cousins (suspect four, but that one keeps it firmly under control so I cannot verify), all female, who have this ability as well.

The older sister seems to be exploring her oats these days. I see a ton of myself in her while she spoke of some of her relationships and alluded to conquests. She wants so much to open her heart to something real, and from the sound of it, to one in particular, but she is equally fearful of being rejected so she keeps this wall up. It bites you in the ass when you cannot be vulnerable, you just come off as ice cold because people eventually get tired of trying to get over that wall.

I had to smile because some of the things were almost verbatim to things I’d declared at the same age, so utterly convinced I’d had this relationship shit all figured out.

I hadn’t a clue.

By the time I could even think of how to respond, it was time to pack it in and leave.

If anything I wish I could tell her that you cannot make your heart tough enough to withstand the hurt of having it broken if you don’t expose it to the possibility of having it loved thoroughly first.

Building walls, only turns what’s inside to mush… useless and unspent. Exposure is what makes it more malleable, adaptable, bendable… not breakable.

You never really regret trying. You regret when you don’t.

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the little ones complaint (g2)

I asked my two little cousins if they’d seen their elder sister and the tone just darkened suddenly. The last time I’d seen them all together, things were pretty good, they were even acting much like full siblings, only with less “I hate you”, “I wish you’d die” that I’d seen between the two younger. If anything, their elder half-sister was shutting that stuff down.

On a sidenote, sibling behavior freaks the shit out of only children like Spawn and myself. We would never talk to anyone the way we hear siblings talk to one another. I’ve never understood if this is just normal stuff, or not enough intervention from like huge guys named Guido, floggings, duct tape, etc. 

On another sidenote, it freaks the shit out of people with siblings the way only children will talk to themselves. It helps us resolve things going on in our lives, but how in depth we can get really makes people think we’re nuts.

When both girls didn’t say anything, I asked again. Apparently, Knievel had indeed visited recently but it hadn’t gone so well. I cannot help it, the fixer in me pushed for details and I wanted to understand the hurt look on the younger sister’s face.

Then the older one pipes up and says “Apparently, she wanted to blame and punish us for having the father she never did.”

My heart sank. I’m often in awe the perception especially the older sister has about things but this is one of those moments I wish it wasn’t so good and they just thought she was being a bitch.

I did agree that the person their father was before their mom was completely different than the person he became when she was a factor, but it was utterly unfair to take that shit out on them.

I apologized for her, which I know means nothing. I was both angry at her and for her simultaneously. She didn’t deserve the shitty parents she got, and it had to be an epic slap in the face when one of them really bucks up… for his other kids. But at the same time, it is completely out of fucking line to get mad at them for that.

But its hard to take it out on the source of the discourse when the dumbfucker is dead.

We talked a little about their dad after that. The older sister isn’t quite as venomously angry as she used to be, and his pedestal with the younger seems to have whittled down a bit. I went over what little I felt I could without either shitting on him or giving him more credit than he was due. I did talk about his lack of impulse control and how that seemed to play a factor in much of his life, how much of a ghost he was before their mom. How much more focused he was with her…

I looked at the older one when I said it, but I told her she needed to call her sister out on her behavior. Let her know her feelings were justified, but she was unleashing them on the wrong person. Put her foot down that neither of them deserved to be treated that way.

But don’t write her off.

She’d been written off enough.

Other than her mom, they were all she had.

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culture with the little ones (g2)

When I was having dinner with my little cousins, we talked about so many things that I believe there were at least 4 conversations running simultaneously the entire evening. The youngest even enlisted us in playing a cellphone game that worked kind of like charades in reverse. You hold your phone to your forehead outward and everyone else is supposed to give you hints without saying the word or phrase on the screen.

The youngest blazed through the music category and wanted me to try.

I love music.

With how many posts I have made that involved a video, or song reference, I’m sure you’ve figured this out. The only group I have joined on any social media has to do with music, mostly indie/alternative.  I played three different instruments growing up, I listen to college radio because I think its awesome to listen to dubstep going to work, then spanish rap on the way home, for example.

My hunger for music has only increased with age, contrary to what psychology/sociology doctrine says I should be. When I first interacted with Pandora, I was in heaven… a genome project for music? What the hell? I plugged in a few songs I could think of off the top of my head and it played completely different shit that I totally loved. I plow through my Spotify weekly… well, weekly and add anything I like to a current playlist to get me through work. Any band I like two or more songs of goes on a list of things to purchase an album… or two. I’m the revenue online music sites can’t track.

Spawn and I go to the local music store that still specializes in records and spend an ungodly amount of money and take out stacks of stuff. I am so connected to them via social media, I send them instant messages to request stuff I know they will have to order so it will be there when we get there. They show me stuff when I come in they think I will be interested in. They are my people.

Yes, I still buy CD’s. I figure when I make my first mill, I’ll invest in albums again and the stereo system it would take to make me happy, but I like the liner notes and inserts regardless. We listen to each in the car until we’re tired of it, I burn them all when we’re done so I can access them online or burn them onto mix CD’s for road trips.

I have a system, man.

I love music.

I also sincerely believe that my former spouse only owning two albums, one of them being a soundtrack, should have been sign enough to run the other way and I was just being stupid.

It was the elder of the two who piped up and said “pick a different category, they’re not going to know that crap.”

I asked what kind of music they thought I listened to. I barely see these girls anymore, which kills me, so I made no assumptions of them knowing my musical taste or taste in anything really. Hell, most people who did know me couldn’t tell you what my music tastes are.

The eldest responded immediately with, “eclectic, very eclectic is your taste.”

They really couldn’t be more right. I actually thought that would be to my advantage in a music category, but apparently they only put current music on the Gaga front and any other female singer willing to wear plastic and pasties to cut a record.

The older sister was right, I didn’t know anything about the current stuff they played in that music category. I could only nail it when they played stuff before 2k or the 90’s and earlier. The younger sister knew all of it, from classic rock on, she nailed it all. It’s not that I don’t listen to recent stuff either, I just don’t listen to recent “popular” stuff apparently.

I truly cannot tell the difference between almost any of the female singers that are currently being gushed over these days. It all sounds exactly the same to me.

The older sister and I share a mutual love of books. One of my most favorite gifts ever is when she gave me The Perks of Being a Wallflower. At the time, it was one of her favorites and she was the same age as the protagonist. I loved it as well. Probably not least of which due to it being set in an era I was growing up and experiencing some of the same things. We talked about our current reads and made mental notes of ones to check out from the other’s coffers.

Spawn was mostly silent throughout dinner, looking exhausted and overwhelmed. I often wonder if they might be a little closer to what good relatives we do have if they would just give a little more input into the conversation or reached out just a little more. However, I wasn’t much different at that age, just preferring to listen because I felt nothing I said would be interesting enough to contribute.

I sincerely hope that isn’t the reason for Spawn’s silence.

Little sis loved picking on Spawn on about this, to which the older sister would immediately defend them. I found it amusing. I’d always operated under the assumption that Spawn would talk when they wanted to and not a minute before.

The older sister also went to the school of fine arts that Spawn wishes to also attend, only for the cello, which Spawn has been playing too and loves. I doubt either of them have discussed the commonality at any point ever unless I brought it up.

The younger is putting aside her dreams of being a DJ to become a professional student. I would love this. Get up, learn shit, go home. If I could do that every day, I would be in heaven. I get the sense she is just feeling really directionless whereas her sister was very driven and had solid goals. In this area, I empathize with the younger sister more. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, I just know I’m not doing it.

 

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dinner with the little ones (g2)

As much as my antisocial tendencies govern most of my actions, I thoroughly immersed in enjoying the company of my two littles cousins. I even started remembering a me that actually enjoyed going out and spending time with others regularly.

I look at these two grown lovely ladies and their free flowing banter and sharp wit, and with a certain expression or just how they would say something, they would transform to two toddlers fresh and crisp in their Easter Sunday best, spinning in the foyer to make their dresses fly up. Golden ringlets, chubby elbows and a laugh that can never, ever be duplicated by anyone past the age of four, completely full of nothing but sheer joy.

It makes me ache in a nostalgic way. It reminds me how little I see them, how much I missed, moving around and completely focusing on my own shit. It makes me wonder if their half-sister ever has these regrets as well, ever looks at them and feels a pang for the time gone forever.

I ponder the days when their half-sister and I were nothing more than gangly, awkward kids ourselves, then young adults completely convinced of our intellectual superiority and ready to take on the world, bent on making it our bitch or just making it better and being nothing like our parents or any other adult we met while doing it.

It reminds me of a time when the little cousins first met Spawn, fresh from the hospital. They rigged up a laundry basket as a makeshift crib and just cooed over them like the most awesome thing they’d ever seen.

Now Spawn stands between the two in height, and is still growing.

I finally get the need to want to watch films of the past over and over. It’s not that you wish you could go and relive it all, but maybe just visit. Get a little more connected. Slow down and give a few more hugs, listen a little more attentively, be more in the moment. It’s a shame you have to get to a certain age before you fully understand that and so much is already lost.

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the dad who never was…for her (g2)

One day after New Year’s, one of my little cousins contacted me out of the blue and asked what we were doing. I say “little,” but she’s in her twenties and quite tall. Her ADHD sister is just into drinking age and as their mom says, “works a million jobs.”

I also say “little” since most of my first cousins are around my age, middle age… the sag-starting era when then there’s almost nothing left that’s perky or buoyant and its all downhill from here. These were the last of the first cousins and they are closer in age to our children than to us.

I babysat the older one when I was still a teenager during the summer while their mom ran around and did her high profile corporate thing. Their dad is the one who is my blood relation and I probably would have traded him for their mom in a second if that were possible. He died a few years after my mom did.

He was a phenomenal cook and really a genius. We have a lot of high IQ’s (his was in the mid-160’s) in our genetic line, but the ability to apply this to something substantial or fulfilling seems to elude most of us. I include myself in that. He especially was mostly a financial drifter. Before he met their mom, I don’t remember him ever having a consistent address, job or phone number.

I do remember the “work camp” gran took us to every Saturday afternoon for a few months to bring him a picnic basket and have lunch with him. He wore a jumpsuit like everyone else, their “uniform,” but wasn’t allowed to leave the premises. I might have been about ten at the time but I do remember the razor-wire fence. I asked a lot of questions and didn’t get a lot of answers. It was the most permanent address I’d ever known him to have and I’m not sure when it finally dawned on me, years later, it was a prison.

He also lacked a lot of impulse control. He was never motivated by greed so much as curiosity. The type who would break into a school and steal shit, just to see if they could, or steal a car and go on a joy ride only to get bored and move on to something else, never remembering where he left it behind. He had a lot of run-ins with the law in his youth, and it ended up haunting him into adulthood.

His eldest kid, half-sister to the two little ones, is three months younger than I am and looks more like my mother than I ever have (I unfortunately got the Grand genes).

Her young mom was about seventeen when she was born, did the best she could, but smoking pot and teaching your kid how as a bonding experience isn’t exactly what I’d call an ideal environment for a child. Combine that with the impulse control of your father, and it was a recipe for disaster.

It’s weird, but I always felt like if I’d not been around, she might have had a better chance because maybe Grand could have taken her in instead. But then, I’m not exactly sure my childhood was better, so much as just different. I was raised by a crazy person, her mom was young and broke. It’s kind of a toss up. Personally, I would have given anything to have had my mom instead. So maybe I have this all wrong.

Her dad, my uncle, wasn’t much a part of the picture. Even when his eldest would come to visit, she stayed with gran and me. She might have lunch or dinner with him once or twice, or have an afternoon, maybe once overnight, but for the most part, he was a ghost.

When my cousin, who I will dub Knievel, was around, I knew we were both going to get in a lot of trouble. I just hoped to the keep out of the law side of trouble, though we brushed against that one too.

For some reason, I could never deny her wishes, I remember arguing logic with her many times, but I also remembering doing whatever it was I didn’t want to do anyway. I have never been prone to any kind of peer pressure, in school or otherwise, but my cousin could make me cave like a souffle during a stampede.

I smoked pot the first time at fourteen from the pressure of said cousin. I remember how terrifying some of the shit we pulled was and sometimes, the rush of it. I could never, ever be like that my entire life, I would have caused myself a heart attack before college, but it broke my safety shell in a ton of other more beneficial ways in my interactions with other people.

Maybe her and her dad were seeking the high of it. Maybe life is just too dull and muffled for some and they don’t know a better way to seek out any kind of sensation. I can’t imagine feeling like life on its own just wasn’t enough or I just wasn’t able to make contact with it as everyone else seemed to. She grew out of it eventually, well mostly, but not before paying a price that will stay with her forever.

I hate to put it this way as well, but she was a terrific liar. She could talk herself out of a speeding ticket in no time, and probably convince them to give her a siren led escort to her destination. She could wile her way into any place with a simple hair toss and a few words. She is the kind of person who could spin and weave a tale that would put you in the midst of an epic adventure. If she was the one recanting the Lord of the Rings, she’d make you believe it all happened in downtown New York ten years prior. Or yesterday.

To this day, I tell her she should write, and keep writing. She laughs, perhaps from lack of self-confidence or she really just finds the idea amusing, but I cannot imagine not being one of her biggest fans if she’d just try.

Her dad… Her dad met what would become the mom of my little cousins and became the dad Knievel always wanted, deserved and never, ever had. He was doting, carted them around, was proud and attending, showed up, bucked up, and grew the fuck up…but by then his eldest was long grown up. He wasn’t picture perfect, but he was a lot more than he had ever been before.

Ever have times when you feel guilty for something that has nothing to do with you?

I felt guilty for being his blood family.

I felt guilty for being born.

I felt guilty even though I had a mom just like him. Absent.

I felt guilty because she didn’t have what she should have had from either of her parents.

My aunt was the exact opposite of what fairy tales lead you to believe. She wanted her new stepdaughter around, often. She tried her best to glue back all the broken bits of what gran had destroyed. If there was a center of gravity by which my familial remnants orbited, my aunt would have been it.

I watched as Knievel tried so hard to both rail against this new element, and simultaneously try to embrace it. She was getting real face time with her dad for the first time in her life, but only by the influence of someone that wasn’t her. My aunt was just impossible to hate, my cousin was truly loved and for the first time in her life, spoiled by her. This didn’t change when my little cousins came along, perhaps the demands for her presence were even more. It’s got to be a turmoil of mixed emotions. That feeling of being an outsider, of feeling like you’re intruding, even if you’re being emphatically welcomed.

You weren’t wanted by the ones you wanted before, why is it different now? Why wasn’t she enough to at least be around some?

Now that he has passed, my aunt has still not changed, still tries so hard to stay connected to her stepdaughter, sometimes she’s successful, sometimes not.

I wonder how much things might have been different had my uncle said he was sorry about anything, even once.

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