Secrets of the Past and Future

So you may already have read that last night Amy and I stayed up way too late (for her) while she questioned herself and her relationship with the man who will forever be known to me as “Cute Boy”. Cute Boy is older than Amy and, well, really makes her socks go up and down. They were at the beach Saturday and he had passed on a kiss, then he didn’t return her call.

I don’t have a label for our relationship anymore. It seemed like a big brother kind of thing until the details got uncomfortably intimate. (Are there girls that talk about that stuff to their big brothers? I’ve never had a little sister, and she’s never had a big brother, so maybe we’re just doing it wrong.) I’m clearly not her big sister; I’m not that far gone. Maybe big eunuch. I heard details about her sex life, enough to make me wish I had a sex life, and to be honest the subject filled me with a tingling down under, the expression of which would have completely destroyed the feeling of the night, and undermined the trust she has in me.

And there’s the wacky thing. Amy trusts me. It’s pretty sick, I know, but there it is. She trusted me enough to blow the dust off poetry she wrote years ago. The last thing in the world I want to do is betray that trust. It’s a treasure to me that I will never allow a tingly feeling to undermine.

Here’s something I can tell you, though. I don’t know if it applies to all women, but I bet even if it doesn’t translate exactly there are similar rules with most women. Amy has a date count. She has rules that she (usually) follows to determine how far things are going to go on a particular date. Cute Boy got his date counter reset last night; now he has to climb the mountain again. Too bad for you, Cute Boy!

All that is an aside, and here is an aside to the aside. Pardon me while I step up onto this soap box… *ahem* Testing, testing, one two… Well, then: Being in a relationship is hard work. If you’re not ready to work, stay away from relationships. Don’t fool yourself. Don’t tell yourself that this person will change you. Only you can change you. That’s a two-way street—people who try to change their partners generally end up unhappy also. I’ll say it again: If you’re not ready to work, don’t waste some good person’s time pretending that you’re interested in spending the rest of your life with them. It’s just not fair to anyone. Personally, I’m not up for working that hard.

Right, then. Back to the intended subject. Everyone can write, but not everyone does. It was a scene right out of some heartwarming movie, Amy and I sharing poetry and deep thoughts. Amy has written some really good stuff, although perhaps too much of it has been squeezed into Rock ‘n’ Roll Lyric format (RnRLF). There was good imagery and great honesty in what I heard. One poem in particular stood out; it was the poem she had originally wanted to read for me and rightly so. The rest were discovered (to her great delight) as she searched for the one. The one stood out. It was really good; showing a facility with language, an ear and a voice.

She has another friend, a confidant and advisor, who will be here for her long after I’m gone. But honestly I don’t think he sees Amy for what she is, and certainly not for what she could be. Perhaps I’m jealous of his most exalted big eunuchness that will live past my own; perhaps I’m being overprotective of a woman who can certainly take care of herself. There is no doubt that she’ll be fine without me. But last night, staying up late and talking, she told me she was glad I was there. I think that’s because I believe in her no matter what. Whatever the reason, it meant a lot to me when she said that.

Amy has a series of journals with her writing in them. She changes books not when they are full but when she is starting a new chapter in her life. She hasn’t written anything in years. Today I bought her an empty book (agonizing over the correct choice). In the front, on the page the book naturally opens to, I wrote:

the beginning an end
the end unwrit

I hope she thinks about that before she turns the page. I want her to think that this is the beginning of something for her, so she will feel the freedom to express herself. I want her to leave her doubts and regrets behind. Overleaf I wrote:

Here’s a place
to put your shit.

Can’t get too sappy.

17 thoughts on “Secrets of the Past and Future

  1. I just did a search on Philip Seeger in IMDB. There’s a place where I could put a picture of him, and I almost did. Then I figured that maybe the pictures I had would make him look “unprofessional”, so I stopped myself.

    For now.

    Hey, bro! You want me to put a picture of you up there?

  2. My mother gaveme a book and wrote Whitman’s “What lies behind and what lies ahead are little compared to what lies within.” That was the best inside of a book I have ever gotten.

    I sometimes get tingly feelings too. I then run to the toilet…where it usually burns…Is that good?

    Do I need to see a doctor?

    Maybe I’ll stop by webMD..

  3. Jer, those inscriptions in the book you gave Amy are absolutely perfect.

    Meanwhile, I’ve had a memorable day … a much-too-close encounter with lightning that left me briefly deaf and blind, blew one of the cats off the windowsill, and put my TV into a coma.

    I knew I had some reason for not wanting Pat to put up a flagpole other than not wanting to look like a flag-waving knee-jerk conservative.

    Funny thing is that an experience of this sort is supposed to make one think about the value of life in light of the shortness thereof. In my case, what was I thinking? “How the heck am I going to get this TV repaired?”

  4. I imagine the TV became important after the sudden envelopment in the power and beauty nature wields. I had an experience like that at boy scout camp, up in Frank Rand. It was the Red Arrow initiation weekend, and we had to sleep out doors sans tent et al. Dang, brighter than day! Tree crackin’ close! It was frankly awesome. Plus, we got to go sleep inside, and to eat bigger rations of food the rest of the stay. I do have to admit, as hard as I tried, I did talk.

  5. If they let you (the rules of posting in IMDB are pretty dang tough! (Wish I knew enough web punctuation to get that ‘dang’ to italicize itself.)) feel free to put up the photo. Haven’t seen Hellboy yet, it’s not out here yet, but am looking forward to it. IF it’s for rental, should be here soon enough. Hope they have some sort of party.

  6. Well, it turns out it easy to put a photo up on IMDB. You just have to pay them.

    Jesse did an excellent bit on using html tags in these comments here.

  7. When I saw Carol Anne’s comment, “blew one of the cats off the windowsill, and put my TV into a coma.” I thought of the old Monty Python bit.

    What a penguin dooing on the telly?

    And now the penguin on your television will blow up.

  8. Actually, I was able to bring the TV out of its coma (in the process disregarding the owner’s manual’s instructions to “unplug the television and call service immediately,” which would have been difficult given that the nearest service is hundreds of miles away), with the result that I was in a coma for the rest of the day. Now my remote needs new batteries. Ah, such hardhips I have to endure, 50 miles from the nearest traffic light, 70 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart.

  9. We had lightning knock out our TV, a few years back. Made the computer monitor really funky, like op-art. The repairman waved a funny lookin’ degausser over the monitor and it was fine. The TV had to go to the shop, where it took an inappropriate amount of time to fix. When we got it back, it works just fine, except they aimed the spread of the screen too wide. It’s hardly noticable, except when there are subtitles:

    ay it Sam, Play it for me like you di

  10. The really funny thing was that, since the lightning struck the flagpole rather than anything connected with house wiring, there wasn’t an electric surge — I had a lot of more sensitive equipment than the TV that had no problem (and of course the TV and everything else is protected by surge suppressors). It’s just that the blinding flash overwhelmed the TV’s infrared remote-control sensor. (I later discovered the flash had affected other components, just to a lesser degree.) Essentially, my entertainment center was dazed and confused.

  11. Of course, there’s no end of philosophical tangents.

    Manfred Mann: “Blinded by The Light.”

    Saul on the road to Damascus.

    When Pat and I got married: The pastor who would have officiated at the ceremony got struck by lightning, so we got the associate pastor instead.

    Strange things lightning does.

  12. So here Jer And everyone who wonders what he heard to make him think that I can write

    Still waiting still wondering

    What’s wrong with me

    it runs through my veins

    reminds me of my mistakes

    laughs in my face

    Still hoping still wishing

    that it won’t be like this

    a rancid bliss

    a suicide kiss

    that the end is near

    Still straining still screaming

    at fairy tales like god

    the tooth fairy’s a fraud

    your lies burn beyond

    Still crying still denying

    looking for a reason

    of what I have done

    my feet won’t run

    I deserve what I get

    Still living still dying

    still breathing your air

    I hope you don’t mind

    that I’m wasting away

    only here a few more days

    Still coping still trying

    still wiping up tears

    giving in to my fears

    afraid of who I am

    what I’ll be


  13. There is strangeness here, and not of a human nature…wasn’t this friggin string called something else before? Dang. Hold on dang !

    Thanks for giving up the poem. I seem to believe I had asked at one point to hear the poem, but the evidence seems to have vanished. That is the truth, as I know it, in my mind, right now.

    dang !

  14. There was a really excellent Jim Belshaw column in the Albuquerque Journal a few days ago about poetry. Turns out Peggy Pond Church was quite the poet (although most of what she published was prose), and her daughter and a co-writer have just come out with a biography/anthology that includes a lot of excellent, previously unpublished work. I’ll try to remember to forward the clip to people who might be interested.

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