vagabonds,
I love you
free,
far from the shotgun and the cage,
fugitive
corollas,
this is the way
I love you,
ungraspable
Pable Neruda

This day, last year. Out of my head. I posted an ad on Craigslist that read: Looking for a wacky sidekick. Please don’t send a picture of your dick.

Amidst the dozens of dick pics, this:

How are you at zen gardening?  Can you sing? Pelt windows with pebbles?What do you typically wear on a camping trip?

Reason I ask is, if your going to be someones sidekick, ya got to know a few things. How to stitch a mexican wrestling mask, where to find 4 pints of o negative at 5 am, ( $126), how to palm and dupe a key with a cut of soft soap and a pocket knife, the proper care and feeding of a pony, chords and lyrics for several mariachi songs, the proper steps for chanoyu of how to count the numer of intersections crossed while riding blindfolded in the trunk of a cat, how to sharpen a lance, repair windmill damage, to drink from the very belly button of life….to be; that belly button

Star gazing.

Delighted, I replied:

At this point in time, I’m not incredibly adept at zen anything. I can sing if you have earplugs, and that won’t stop me if I like you enough. I prefer to leave windows alone, they never did anything to me. I typically wear pajamas on any trip, as much as possible. I’ll leave the stitching and the blood finding to you, but I do know how to care for a pony. Can you teach me to play the ukelele? I’ve never been in the trunk of a cat before. What’s that like? Windmills, like windows, are best left unmolested. I prefer to drink from dimples, and be drunk from

Star gazing.
And so on…leading to a night of post-curfew park-invading as a first date. A solstice spent alternating shivering, skygazing, and sexing in crystalline campsite air. Valentine’s day poetry reading..and the longest shortest most dynamic relationship I’ve ever had. A blessing and a curse. A wonder and a catastrophe. It was surprise foot rubs in restaurants and jail support, library love letter scavenger hunts (Tucked in among Neruda’s “Ode to Birdwatching” (“from a throat (of time) smaller than a finger”)) and midnight manic bedroom Karaoke and millions of ADD conversations, the day we agreed to say nothing, and the night you made me read Grapes of Wrath (“I didn’t tell you you could stop.”) while you leafed through my pages, hikes in woods and amazement and dread. Overwhelming, but ultimately tragic. With an ending so abrupt I got whiplash, though months later I was thankful for the clean break. Knowing now what I didn’t know then. I was spared the gory details. I got the beauty and the light. The dimple and the bellybutton. I got windows pelted with pebbles. I got a true wacky sidekick.
Or maybe I was the wacky sidekick.
Either way, I still think of him fondly, even though I never learned to play mandolin or ukulele.
Happy anniversary to the one that (thankfully) got away. Thanks…for everything.
Love,
Yr innie.
***This story deserves a rewrite, or at least an addendum. More than sidekick, more like kick in the side, the unwritten/unridden tide. The love of my life in the blink of an eye. All the words you said to me flash back like back lash like climbing to the top of that hill, in the days I had to remind myself of your gentle reassurance as a pinch to be sure this was real. It was real, right? Because of, or in spite. Your two wrongs made us not right (I’ll stop myself before I use the word “delight.”) Our orchestra became lullabye became jazz became dirge, with middle of the night ecxtatic crescendos throughout. It was the runaway train of my existence. Proving once and for all that eternity has its place. Prompting me to write:

Usually my relationships die like Elvis

on the toilet.

This one

Kurt Cobained – offing itself

before it had a chance to become what it swore it never would be.

***

…I still miss him, but I’m glad he’s gone.

 
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