Sunday, March 25, 2012

THE DREAM OF A COMMON LANGUAGE

XIII


“No one has imagined us. We want to live like trees,
sycamores blazing through the sulfuric air,
dappled with scars, still exuberantly budding,
our animal passion rooted in the city.”


In junior high my Mom would set me up with a math tutor because I was struggling with fractions. Sundays I would go down to the Student Center off Warren and young woman who was prolly a junior, would tutor me in … wait for it, ALGEBRA (but really, it isn’t a problem subject for me… honest!). One day among her own books she had Adrienne Rich’s “The Dream of a Common Language” among them. I had no idea of who she was or where she was writing from or maybe I should say ‘for whom’ she wrote, but I know that I liked the way she wrote.


Somewhere out here on the interwebz I had ran into quotations of her poems and shards of the memories came back to me, particularly of one poem from her collection of love poems. I only halfway kept up with her work, becoming distracted by my boxing career as well as my angsty teen-era life.


Somewhere between re-readings of “The Inferno”, “1984” and attempts on “Atlas Shrugged”, I found time to have run across “XIII” by Rich and in looking for it for this entry I also notice “XII” and see how interconnected the two poems are, and if I am not mistaken, they all are connected in telling one story in 21 vignettes.


As nice as Ferdinand was, you are aware is still a bull, right?


Do I deserve anyone’s sympathy or pity? Should I be scorned and shunned?? Who knows and who is to say, and more importantly, WHO CARES!!


Nebraska feels as though I am spinning the story between us and only telling part of the story. I don’t know what part of the story she expects to see… because I only have one reporter giving me the story!!


She additionally feels that I am being flirtatious on Face Book and that I have not talked about me putting my profile out on a couple of single websites. I don’t know what she thought regarding ‘us’ after I got here but when we continually butted heads on minutiae, there came a point and time where I made a unilateral decision about my personal life and a few months later, our relationship, I told her where I was coming from in no uncertain terms. Things never got better between us. Before I get lost, I have already talked about my Face Book page. So what, I am here trying to win back one of my sister’s young friends? One of the few blog followers who follow my obtuse status updates? What?? If Skye had opened lines of communication between us, I likely would have deleted my profile!! There is the spirit of what I post on Face Book, which I hope is irreverent, occasionally witty, and makes people think for a second.


As far as the dating sites goes… I see it like this. A cat moved a million miles despite having crap happen, could-have-been-better timing, underfunded and still could not get beyond “let’s see” with a woman. I did think that things were going to be a little more definite between us than that. Meanwhile, since we are in the ambiguous “let’s see” zone, I did not think that I was violating any rules and I definitely did not feel that I was transgressing any of my own personal canons by putting up the profiles. As to “why” as far as putting them out there… well, “If a man has a why to life he can bear almost any how.”


THE RULES BREAK LIKE A THERMOMETER


Maybe there is a small contradiction in my having a profile up, especially since I have spoken on being able to talk to a woman IRL just as easy. But as far as I am concerned there isn’t.


When I was struggling with my emotions when I was with Mookie Dee, it wasn’t because I had a want for anyone. After all, we were engaged and though times were going to be a little choppy, we could have pulled through had there been a “we” as the core of our relationship. So I had an emptiness that was created when she quite literally stepped out of our relationship. The same thing happened when I was married. Did I really want to just whore myself out, being a married man still running the streets? No, what happened was she was very unstable and I turned to someone that I knew, the Fly Skimmie. Because she was a jealous person, likely due to her self-esteem and how full-figured women are seen, she always had problems with me being in condition and being “noticed”. But I wondered if I could have loved her more, made her feel better about herself so that she could have seen how much I wanted to spend my life with her. Because, after all, I had been doing all right single and I was willing to go out into the unknown with her.


The rules break like a thermometer,
quicksilver spills across the charted systems,
we’re out in a country that has no language
no laws, we’re chasing the raven and the wren
through gorges unexplored since dawn
whatever we do together is pure invention
the maps they gave us were out of date
by years…


These are the words that bring me back to this poem. Because I don’t want to “sprinkle salt” on those who do have their rules written in stone and expectations laid out before them. I have shared them with only one person in my life, one that ever was called a ‘significant other’ by me. When I was in college I felt that I was indeed running out in a land that no man, at least sane, had been out before me and when I was doing my roadwork from one end of Greensboro to the other, to my craptastic apartment, and I think about how glorious I felt at the end of my day. The pronoun “we’re” did not complicate things for me because I can’t remember not thinking of myself as a “personality collective”. Also I had figured out what she had been talking about in her poems and was unfazed by the homo-eroticism, because art appears as it is to the beholder as it appears, right?


Even in the best relationships there are periods of uncertainty where everything is obscured and insecurity. You make things up as you go along, improvising when necessary. But while the idea of being out in the unforgiving country (when you are entering an unknown place, the country is almost always ‘unforgiving’) doesn’t intimidate me, for others, I am not so sure that it doesn’t do just that.


WHY NOT TAKE ALL OF ME?


Okay, I am not perfect. Nor am I an angel because I haven’t broken any laws of the court, I have bent (some QUITE badly!!) a few moral ones!


I don’t know what I am supposed to say because while I know I can be at least a jerk when I want to be, there are a couple of nagging questions that haven’t been handled between us. But those are things that will remain between her, me and if they aren’t resolved, then whatever.


You only call me when you’re feeling depressed…
But when you feel happy I’m –
So far from you mind …
My patience is stretched… my loyalty vexed… ahh
--You’re losing all of your friends


Treading carefully, again I am not trying to paint a picture of my crusader-like sacrifice. But I do think that since the act of sacrifice is independent of the merits of that which is being sacrificed for, it should not be whether or not Nebraska and I get along as the measure of my contentment with my move to Omaha.


Something that I am “inventing” as I go along is to remain in my own light and see what comes of it. Right now I have a little momentum going to where I am so determined to go. My decision is based on experience, is to rely on the best predictor of future performance, which is past results.


Man! That was a lot of “righting”! I should get back to spouting more banalities after today. Whew!

3 comments:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

You need to do what you need to do for you (lots of "o's" there). Hope Nebraska comes around, but if not, keep yourself out there.

LceeL said...

I think the phrase is "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do." There ain't nobody in your shoes except you - it's your life, you gotta live it and ultimately, it's your responsibility to do the best job you can for yourself. (I know that sounds like a VERY Republican philosophy, but keep in mind the context of conversation, here. This is in regards to emotions and emotional relationships.) Be cool, man.

♥ CG ♥ said...

I like the guys responses :-). As they've said, take care of your best interests first and the rest will fall into place.