I am a bore. I have no desire to go to bars. I have no rhythm so you won’t find me on the dance floor. I hate strip clubs and don’t find strippers appealing in the least (in fact, I don’t really have the need to have my worth measured by how many dollar bills I am willing to fork over). I never liked eating at Hooters, and never go to places for the attractiveness of the women in attendance. I don’t get high, in fact I don’t use recreational drugs of any kind. I don’t want random sex with random people, I am happy with the “someone who loves me” providing me with that not-so-simple pleasure. I can find a simple one-on-one conversation as stimulating as any group debate, and find intelligence and wit as attractive as curves and her beautiful brown eyes. I love long walks on the beach, sometimes to allow thoughts to drain from my mind, but would love the conversation about those thoughts (or thoughts I have yet to think) with someone else who also needs to drain.
I love the clean air and the mountains. I do love the beach, although I find the vainness there sometimes to be a bit much to bear. Still, when I see her on the beach I can see that sometimes a few pixels of beauty added to the big picture can certainly make it better. Yes, my Brown-Eyed girl makes the beach a heaven and a haven. As I get absorbed by the magnificence of the ocean, the give of the sand, the calming sound of the surf she brings me back to the reality that there is beauty in people too. They aren’t always just vain, or angry, or pretentious. No, sometimes there is just an awe-inspiring beauty in people that causes you to lose your breath. I have that in my Brown-Eyed girl.
The mountains hold a special magnificence for me. The air is clean, and nature has a certain energy there that makes you feel truly alive. I don’t feel this as much in the mountains of North Jersey, but I can tell you that I have never felt more at home than in the mountains near Boulder, Colorado. It was like a strong North pole to my South. There was something about that place that just would not let my soul leave. My body is home, my heart is here, but my mind is always wondering back to that place where my soul felt alive. I can show you the spot someday. A spot where the view would take your breath away and the environment would steal your soul the moment it had found this “heaven”. I can only imagine that in standing there with my Brown-Eyed girl and our babies that I would become a monument, unable to be unearthed and unable to be moved. Such is the love I have of that place.
I love, yet I hide it very well. I have become quite adept at replacing love with anger, a lesson well taught by some who professed to love me as a child. I was stolen from my father in my toddler stage, lied to about him right up into my 30’s, abused, beaten, and made an outcast by those who were entrusted to teach me how to be a man and a loving husband and father. The politically correct thing to say here is that “I can’t blame them anymore”, after all, I am a grown man with ideas, thoughts and emotions that should be under my control. I can’t lie like that anymore. My “teachers” failed me and so I fail others. I have had to try to relearn everything through the tears of those I love. I never knew the effects of the torturous lessons of my youth until I brought them to bear myself.
Yes, I thought I was different than them, that I had risen above their behaviors to be the man they said I would never be. Boy was I wrong. I was just like them even as I hated them (and in hating them I was just like them). I would tease myself as to feign control over a life spiraling out of control. When I felt threatened, I would seek greater control, often by pretending I was something I was not. I would react violently. I would cheat (or pretend to cheat) in order to find a reaction that proved my worth. I never felt wanted or needed until someone was crying over me with the pain of betrayal. I betrayed them as I had been betrayed. I never felt good enough, strong enough, or smart enough. Man, was I one fucked up individual.
After a long journey walking barefoot on broken glass, red-hot coals, and thorns the size of 9-inch nails (often on the backs of those I love more than life itself), I find myself here alone in a room allowing inspiration to flow through my fingers. I close my eyes and see my Brown-Eyed girl and know that I worship the ground she walks on, and that no woman can dare come close to the magnificence this woman has achieved. I could never imagine being with anyone else. I’ve tried in those moments of intense fear and insecurity, but ultimately through whatever God there may be and whatever voice in my soul shouting reasonableness at the madness I have seen that there is no one who can compare to her in my life. I have never strayed from this woman, even in moments when that angry little man inside of me wanted to in order to prove that I could. I would simply close my eyes and see her, and realize that the Universe itself had sent her to me if for no other reason than to save me from myself.
So I am a bore, yet a bore content in knowing that the right path is underfoot regardless of where it takes me. I have a beautiful partner I have failed. I have failed in not conveying the love she inspires in me. I have failed in only showing the angry little man to a person so worthy of the real me. I have failed to not give her the proper place she deserves in our lives. Through the many trials, I have found that the angry little man can’t be beaten with anger and meanness. No, he thrives on those emotions. That angry little man is beaten by a small boy who loved everything and everyone he ever met. I can remember him as vividly as I can remember the footsteps that preceded his dormancy. He was happy and laughed often. He loved with a passion, shared all he was with a passion, and enjoyed life with a passion. I know the boy exists whenever I stop to help someone I don’t know (or even someone I do know). I hear him in my laughter or in the joy I find making others laugh. I can feel him when I stop eating when I am full. I can see him in the hand that strokes my Brown-Eyed girl’s face or hair, or in the hand that holds hers as we walk along a path. I can sense that boy as my children sit on my lap or give me a hug. He’s there…and he wants OUT. The angry little man says “let him out and you will suffer as you always have”. The better part of me replies, “yes, I have always suffered, even in his absence, but now is the time for the suffering to end. Not just my own but of those who love me.” See nothing brings pain home more intensely than when you cause it in those you love. Nothing.
And that is me, a man who has suffered and caused suffering; a man who simply wants it all to end and allow the love that is to flourish. It may be too late for some, only time will tell. But in the long view I have of the twisted path that I have journeyed I see that it all has to end for me. My hands hurt. I see the scars on my face and knuckles more clearly now than ever. I see the stretch marks caused by the years of abuse I have leveled against myself. I feel the aloneness caused by the years of abuse I have leveled against others. It has to end for me so that it can end for those who want to be close to me. This isn’t a ploy or a game, it is the END of the game I have been playing since I was 9 years old. It is the destruction of an angry little man who does not allow the spring to come. It is the silencing of decades of abuse, half inflicted by others and half inflicted by self. Others who shared my childhood can continue their fantasy, but for me it all must fade to black. I am sick of it, I am done with it, I need something better.
Oddly enough, I always felt that my best inspiration came from periods of intense despair. Frankly, I knew little else other than intense despair, so I have no basis to understand if this belief is real or not. If it is true, which I now doubt, then I beg never to feel inspired again. Somehow though, I believe a new type of inspiration will arise, and that in each moment of joy I will find an intense need to share. Why? Because we all could use a little joy, even if it is nothing more than your boy say “you are my bestest Daddy EVER!”, or in having your partner say “I love you” for no reason other than "because". Those are JOYS, and they are awe inspiring.
And now that I have all of this off my chest I can simply say…
"FADE TO BLACK"
©2011 Thomas P. Grasso All Rights Reserved ☮ ℓﻉﻻ٥ ツ