Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009


Sometimes, when you have so much to say, it is easier to do one of two things:

1. Say nothing
2. Allow someone else to say what you might have tried to say because they are infinitely better.

I have done both. My silence is deafening, and it is not because I have nothing to say. It is rather, that I have so much filling my head it is difficult to download a coherent sentence/thought process of intelligible value.

During this time, these times, the words of others strike me. Today, it is these:

"Human beings, by their nature, tend to create that which they most fear. Always choose wisely."

"Never allow someone to be your priority, when you allow yourself to be their option."

Finally, because today is dark, windy...a little hunter s. for your mon-daze:

"Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish—a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow—to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested . . . Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll."

~hunter s thompson

Lest I remind you.....or perhaps I should just remind myself:

"Just because you don't know your direction doesn't mean you don't have one."

~Battlestar Galactica

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cuttin' Grass

I've been out cutting grass, he said.

We mow here, we don't 'cut grass,' she said.

Mowing? Isn't that what cows do? he said.

No, they chew their cud. And shit pies, she said.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Baby, Playing Football

Yesterday at approximately half past two in the afternoon, my baby donned full football padding and took to the field in his first tackle football game of his little career. I'll admit it, it was completely and totally surreal; my kid, out there playing on a full 100 yards of newly laid turf, all geared up shouting audibles as his team's QB for all the world to hear:


Except each time, the hut came out a little more like a high pitched squawking bird than it did a little man.
And each time my dad and I couldn't help but look at each other and laugh our respective asses off at the hilarious absurdity of it all: grandpa, daughter, son....three generations tied together by sports and one prepubescent, very high pitched HUT!

P.S. He won. He scored. Life was good at Chez Ali last night. Real good.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Battered But Not Broken

He's more bad-ass than pushover: bald headed, wears black, rides insane amounts of miles mostly in solitude on a motorcycle, has a penchant for trivia, a quick smile, but just as readily will curl his brow and scowl in disagreement if he doesn't like what you've said.

His eyes dance and yet pierce through you during intense conversation and still, there is always a gorgeous abyss of gentle that flows just beneath the jagged surface. He's as likely to drop an f-bomb as he would plant a kiss on your mother's cheek, and yet, he'll litter his diatribes with the intense animated desire to punch people who piss him off. He peppers conversations with bits of silence that let you know his words are always well chosen, and sometimes the silences linger, because he’s inaccessible in thought.

He has allowed me at various times throughout the past decade to peek beneath his tough exterior and see pieces of his heart. It’s the sort of carte blanche access a girl gets as a friend and not a girlfriend; the in your face, flip you shit for your indiscretions and make fun of you for your vulnerabilities friendship. Easy, laced with humor and deep seeded, like family.

For all these reasons and a thousand others, I am and always will be insanely protective of this man. The idea of anyone taking advantage of his rich, rare balance of goodness, humor, and tender laced bad-assedness seems akin to drowning a baby kitten. I don’t intend to allow it on my watch, even if his heart is, fifty seven times bigger than his head and sometimes he needs beaten with a stick.

He and his ex-wife share two stunningly gorgeous kids, and as he says in summation of his failed marriage,
“relationships do not become stronger by having children. Children, in all their beauty and wonder and awesomeness…they expose your weaknesses.”

In their case the fissures and cracks started to splinter out long before the first baby was born, and hence, despite both their best intentions, they were unable to withstand two quick and difficult pregnancies, newborns, transitions, babies, his business, her job, the late nights, toddlers, insecurities, subsequent anger and everything that goes in between… divorce.

They broke.

He left her in the home he built for himself long before her time; she lives there now with their two children while she picks up the pieces, her pieces, gathers for herself a better education, moves on.

Eventually, he will move back. In the meantime he splits his time between two other homes, one of convenience and one of comfort for his kids’ sake/visits, neither of them fully his own. He lives in the midst of full throttle chaotic transition with no end in sight for years, possibly more.

She ‘cannot’ work because she is in school and so he financially supports them all willingly, without complaint, and well above and beyond what any court would require because as he says, “It will be better for all of us later, I hope.”

Yet in his house, the one he built himself literally, figuratively and otherwise, hope is fleeting and anger triumphs over grace.

Intense emotions bubble up and out of every interaction she has with him: she yells and belittles him in front of their kids, she cries, she constantly, without abandon and by jaw dropping means invades his privacy, and yet she continues to depend wholly on him on a whim, and in that same whim, he will without complaint alter his schedule, the visitation schedule, the financial schedule, his work schedule to suit hers, no matter the inconvenience to him. He goes along with it without outward complaint, instead focusing on being thrilled to spend more time with his kids, even if it means that more nights than not, he sleeps three, maybe four hours on a good night.

I sit on the other end of the phone, taking it all in, note that he’s growing weary, distant, more exhausted and now teetering on the brink of anger, cracking all the time.
He pulls me in and pushes me away subconsciously, acquiescing when I prod for more.

He works till 2 a.m. Shows up for kid duty at 6 a.m. She fails to tell him for the second week that she doesn’t actually have to leave. He literally falls asleep telling me.


Soon after his marriage ends, he escapes to the comfort of a woman. As he tells me, she is a lovely soul, two kids, similarly challenged although by different circumstances lost post divorce and in need of some help.

They share comfort during a mutually vulnerable time.
She needs help. He, I am guessing, finds purpose in being needed and the escape from his own reality. “First it was a phone, so I put her on my line,” he says. “Then one month some cash, so I helped her out.”

Slowly, surely, he finds himself, regains his footing, his generosity ridiculously overextended, the relationship breaks.

In the same conversation about the ex, the one where he falls asleep, he tells me this woman also called that day, wanting to see him for dinner and then calling later wanting to be sure he’ll pay.

She’s broke.


These are the life lessons of relationships. I get this, embrace it even, because in many, many ways, his lessons are mine. We joke that it is easy for me to point and laugh at his indiscretions because they are easy to see; they are also my own.

I also wholly subscribe to the belief that there are two people in every relationship, and largely one’s ability to move on depends not on the other person’s failures or faults, but wholly one’s ability to stand in front of a mirror buck naked and look honestly and accurately at their part; accepting wholly the blame for what they owned in the union’s failure.

In these two cases, I have heard only one side of these women’s stories and it was not their own. However I have stalwart trust in his perception of reality, no reason to doubt his intentions, as I have sat and listened again and again, to him taking the blame often times for ridiculously more than his part.

I have also, in his most vulnerable moments blurted our obscenities at the atrocity of it all, and expressed an interest in shaking these women silly, for first, taking advantage of him, but second and most importantly, for seeing nothing that they own, for not taking responsibility for their part.

The other parent available 6 a.m. to help? The other parent to financially support me and the children while I attend to school? The other parent to want actively to fix the relationship, despite it’s brokenness as a union, for the sake of the kids? The ability to email a schedule, have my ex- say, okay, no problem?

Yesterday I sat, again, phone pressed to my ear, mouth ajar listening as all his exhaustion and honesty and vulnerability as it bubbled out and I told him he was reducing himself to the level of a marionette puppet for these women, and to please stop before it killed him.

And then I hung up and felt like a grand pile of poo.

Sure, I feel confident in telling him this, insisting to him that he take better care of himself, even for in a round about way asking him to look at his part in being taken advantage of, but in the end, all I really want to do is I want to grab these women by the shoulders, shake them, and yell and scream that they, they are the ones who ruin the last of these rare men; the ones that bring with them the gifts of their unabashed generosity, caring, and commitment to their children.

These women are without grace, without ownership of their part, and wholly put themselves in a position of entitlement. They don’t own their shit. And because I don’t know either of them and because he called and told me two more stories…I went postal on him.

Sure, we laughed about it. Both our visual minds, him dancing around like some puppet suspended by strings, but it was a poignant, strong, and awfully misplaced message to throw him all his transition, his tired change, his exhaustion, his frustration, coming to me for support.

It was especially awful of me because when I own my part, I can fully and readily admit, that all I ever dreamed of…was finding and then keeping a man around of his beauty, character, tenacity and strength. One who despite his human brokenness, failed relationships, painful life punches... is still there offering the upmost respect, unequivocal love and support to that woman, the mother of his children, his children.