Raw With Love by Charles Bukowski
little dark girl with
when it comes time to
use the knife
I won’t flinch and
I won’t blame
as I drive along the shore alone
as the palms wave,
the ugly heavy palms,
as the living does not arrive
as the dead do not leave,
I won’t blame you,
I will remember the kisses
our lips raw with love
and how you gave me
everything you had
and how I
offered you what was left of
and I will remember your small room
the feel of you
the light in the window
our morning coffee
our noons our nights
our bodies spilled together
the tiny flowing currents
immediate and forever
your leg my leg
your arm my arm
your smile and the warmth
who made me laugh
little dark girl with kind eyes
you have no
knife. the knife is
mine and I won’t use it
So its been a year since you happened. Twelve whole months have passed since I met you, and though we’ve spent a majority of that time apart I would lie if I said I don’t sometimes miss you. Just a year ago, my stomach was aflutter. I couldn’t stop smiling at the thought of you- your warm touch, your comforting embrace, your sweet kisses. I still hear echoes of your voice from our daily calls, resonating in the corners of my mind as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep. You were my first challenge, I met my match. I wanted to stop playing the game, in hopes that maybe something real might emerge. Alas, insecurity and uncertainty kept me going in the same old habits, same tricks and techniques to restore my crumbling ego. Maybe it was the distance that separated us, maybe we were at different stages in our lives, maybe I couldn’t thaw the cold exterior fast enough to show a warm heart. Maybe.
Although the wounds have healed, a scar remains. Instead of being a reminder of past pain, its a sign of inspiration. Regardless of prevalent numbness, remains an intact heart still capable of bearing emotions- compassion and hope, sadness and joy, love and pain. That in itself is worth the disappointments, the turmoil, and the suffering that comes as a part of love. It’s worth living knowing that maybe I’ll feel the same with a better match, my match. Inspiration to live in turn is worth writing for: searching for that person, or maybe persons that will irrevocably change me without notice. Its time for new chapters to be written of the long journey ahead, with pages filled with new characters, new encounters, and new possibilities alongside the promise of tomorrow.
With that being said, I bid adieu dear old love.
Strangers, that’s all we were. Two people that happened to meet at a point in time through different circumstances. I come from from a world so vastly different from yours, yet something out there conspired to bring us together for a brief period. It started with innocent conversation, nothing deviant from the norm. After the initial pleasantries, we remained in parallel pursuits. It wasn’t until recently that our paths collided once more, but this time things we different, we were different. I was recovering from a broken heart, while you were just coming into terms with yours. We’ve known each other for quite a while, even working within close vicinity of one another, yet you were out of focus until that time.
I never really knew you. I had an image of you created in my head upon our initial meeting: typical pre-med with the inflated ego to complement. That’s all you were for the years prior. It wasn’t until you were broken, just as I was, that I saw you. With your walls shattered, your ego broken, and your mask set aside the only thing left was you sans the image you built for yourself. I saw your passions and the things that make you tick. Your quirks became endearing and I began to grow attached to our little conversations- the good morning texts and sweet good nights. We were two lonely people trying to make sense of the world around us.
Maybe that’s just what we both needed at the time, someone to make it seem like things are still okay. Or that we were still capable of being wanted even if our object of affection no longer does. We knew we were incompatible. We knew that whatever we had was transient and ephemeral. When it was over, I first felt a great sense of longing, as though something was missing without getting a text or a message from you.
As time passed, the sense of gaping emptiness closed in and I was whole again. I haven’t thought of you since our last tryst. The last kiss was my goodbye. I didn’t bother attending your going away party knowing you’d put on that mask to hide yourself becoming a false image of the guy I almost liked. I’ve boxed away and locked up all the previous emotions and sentiments I had to make room for whatever the future holds with someone else. It wasn’t until you texted me after the party saying how sad you were not to say final farewells that the floodgates opened again. I don’t miss you like I used to, I don’t long for the texts, nor hope for your call. But I do wonder what could have been.
What could have been if the timing was right. If we both figured out what we wanted and went for it. If we set aside our fear of rejection, stopped playing games, and gave up that damn pride. Then what? Would our little stolen moments amount to something more than their isolated incidents? Maybe one day we’ll meet again and realize what we could have been and give it an honest try then. Maybe you’ll still think of me, maybe I’ll still think of you. Maybe. I guess we’ll never know.
Is it possible to truly be friend with exes or former flings? Can you really go back to just being friends after all has passed, the good and the bad? Is there such a thing as friends with exes or do we just end up being ex friends?
A year ago, my two good friends started talking to each other. They had been friends for years, but it wasn’t until last year when things started to escalate from platonic friendship. They were happy for the brief moment they were “together,” but other circumstances complicated their romance. In the end it didn’t work out. It was hard seeing my friends avoid all contact after being through so much. I knew both parties were hurt, even though others think otherwise. They remained civil around social settings, pretending nothing ever happened. Time passed and I thought they were back to the state of being friends again. I was wrong. One friend confessed about still having lingering thoughts about the other person. I think the feeling was mutual. Today my friend informed me that the other person deleted them on Facebook. It seemed like my other friend wanted to completely sever whatever remaining ties they had left. After a year has passed, I thought it surprising that this is happeningnow rather than immediately after their end.
From personal experience, I know it’s hard going back to the state of equilibrium. I’ve never had official exes since I’ve never been in a relationship, but I’ve been through pseudo-relationships- spending every waking moment talking to that person, thinking about them, and doing things couples do without officially announcing it. After it didn’t work out, I felt broken. Though my defenses have been knocked down leaving me vulnerable to anything. It was hard even being friends on Facebook, everything he said or did devastated me. He was moving on with his life without me while I held on to a glimmer of hope that he’ll pursue me again. I couldn’t heal when seeing his activities was like tearing at the sutures of my heart. I resorted to blocking any visible reminders of him, but I didn’t want my pain to be obvious for people to see. After the initial effects of our demise, I masked pain with a volume of men I knew I had no future with. It soothed my ego knowing that others can still want me even if he didn’t. Eventually I got over it, and finally came to peace with reality on my own through introversion and a time of solitude.
It’s also been a year since it all happened for me, and I can’t say that seeing pictures of him happy doesn’t affect me. There’s still a tinge of pain that echoes in my heart though not as resounding as before. I don’t think I’m alone with this sentiment. When you encounter someone that you once cared for, the feeling never fully goes away. The physical presence may be gone, and the longing may not be so severe, but there’s a ghost of a memory still present in the corners of our minds. It looms in the shadows of our consciousness resurfacing when we least expect it. It’s a tragedy to feel like strangers again for a while. To pretend that the little things that used to make us so happy was all just a dream. To deny that us and we never existed, and that it was always just he/she and I. Eventually after ample time when wounds have healed, it may be possible to reconnect and try to forge a friendship, but the history can never be erased. Who knows, maybe it is possible to be saved from the fate of losing your former flame. Maybe after finding a better match for us all the haunting memories diminish and eventually disappear. Whatever the future holds, only time can tell.
Is love ever enough to keep people together? Is it enough to sustain a relationship tearing at the seams because of the insurmountable differences between two individuals? These are questions posed in the romantic-comedy movie Celeste and Jessie Forever starring the talented Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg. Since Jones co-wrote the screenplay for the movie, the role of Celeste suited Jones perfectly, playing a successful type-A know-it-all coping with the effects of a dismantled marriage. Samburg’s role was also well-tailored for the role, playing a man struggling with the responsibilities and consequences of starting anew.
It’s constantly compared to 500 Days of Summer. Both movies are stories aboutlove without being a love story. In a sense, they’re both loved stories, the after math of love gone awry and the casualties of unrequited love. Although I loved both films, C + J Forever edges out over 500 Days of Summer. Unlike the latter, the former gives a more realistic depiction of the complications of breakups. Regardless of how unscathed two people want to be after breaking up, one side is always going to be more battered and bruised as a result. It’s rarely a completely mutual decision to part ways with a beloved.
The lovelorn’s pain is concealed under a veil of denial that results in a series of poor decisions that leads to regret. After which point the lovelorn addresses the source to the reckless behaviors and tried to finally mend wounds of of a broken heart. However much the lovelorn wants to reconcile with the beloved, it’s not enough to look past the staggering contrast between the two. Sometimes love simply isn’t enough. Two people can love each other with great passion, but circumstances prevents them from being together. When two people are fundamentally different, no amount of compromise can ever compensate for their irreconcilable differences.
In the end as two people walk away into their separate paths, they’ll always share a special history no one can ever take away. Sometimes one party lingers in the remains of a fallen relationship while the other walks away. In the case of C + J, Celeste undertakes a journey towards recovery alone, as it should be. Letting go and cutting loses hurts, but its better than lingering in the remains of the past and holding on to un-reciprocated feelings. After years of being a part of an us or a we, its pertinent to rediscover yourself, and be sufficient enough to make yourself happy regardless of who you’re with.
Over all I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It was a poignant look at love and its after effects. The script was well written, it was sharp and smart without being unapproachable and unrelatable. The cast was well suited for their parts, with the ensemble shining even in the short amount of screen time they’re given. I would highly recommend it, and am planning on watching it again in the future.