Thursday, May 26, 2011

"If I don't, have you..." (what does that mean for me?)

Share my life, take me for what I am
'cause I'll never change all my colors for you
Take my love, I'll never ask for too much
just all that you are, and everything that you do
Whitney Houston, "I Have Nothing"

I was going about my evening doing the usual: procrastinating on this cover letter I've been writing for approximately eight days, listening to Pandora, and refreshing my Facebook page thinking, when my need-to-write desires linked hands with some able-to-be-articulated thoughts, and here we are right now, in the low-light, together, at last.

Since the lights are already low, let's not beat around the bush: I love singing. If you believe in past lives (I'm pretty sure I do), in my past life, I was a nightclub singer. Slinky blue dress with sequins, lying on top of a piano in a smoky room, one white light focused on me, singing my heart out to men who are infatuated with the way my voice makes them feel, but don't actually love me.* (Yes, even in my past life, I'm pretty sure that love was a torment to me.) That was me. So, whenever I get the chance to sing along to a song, particularly a ballad, I do. Pandora helps me out with this often, and the ballad that was given to me this evening was Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing" from The Bodyguard soundtrack.

Now, I was some type of child when this movie came out, but I vaguely remember it. Creamy looking black woman (Houston) and white man who is presumably her bodyguard, hence the title of the whole damn movie. (Costner.) I remember them being someplace where it snowed, and him picking her up and carrying her. (Or maybe it was a child who almost drowned? Shit, I don't know.) I also seem to remember that they aren't together at the end of the movie, on some Casablanca ish. (Go figure.) Anyhow, that's what I remember. That aside, I've always loved this song, and so my Pandora listening wouldn't be complete unless I sang along with Whitney as she belted out her frustration and pain. Being that you can't sing a ballad without enunciating and articulating, and henceforth knowing all the words, I made sure to pull up the lyrics so I could be on point with my singing.

While singing the very first stanza, I realized that I must have never known what the hell Whitney was saying. The first stanza of this song articulates something I acknowledged in a former post, and something I was ruminating on tonight via Twitter. I am starting to accept the fact that my fierce loyalty to my ways of thinking and my ideals may leave me perpetually without lifetime partner.** Just like how I talked about deluding myself into believing that someone will accept me just the way I am, I suppose I also have to accept the flip-side of the possible delusion, that being that no one will be able to deal with me as I am.

In the first stanza of "I Have Nothing," Whitney pretty much shuts everything down and gives whomever she's talking to the reality of her emotions: she tells the object of her affections to take her as she is, and to be a part of her life, but she's not changing any-damn-thing about herself for this man. She's offering her love, not necessarily as an option--she doesn't say take it if you want to, she says take. She tries to offer the reassurance that she won't ask this man for too much of himself, until she tells him in the very next breath that she needs everything that he is, and everything that he does.

This is my favorite part of the entire song. The rest of the song is still beautiful and melodic, but these words resonate most with me, and they are the strongest, and thus, my favorite. It's very cliche to tell someone you can't live without them, or that you have nothing without them--I'm sure at some point in your life, you've either felt this way, or told someone you felt this way. But to tell someone that in exchange for accepting the love you're giving them, they will be receiving someone not willing to change anything about themselves, and someone who expects damn near the world from them? Well, that's some type of resolve. Such that may very well find someone perpetually without partner, as it seems was the fate of Whitney by the end of her ballad.

Never changing my colors for someone is an ideal I find to be very powerful, especially after what feels like a small lifetime of having been a chameleon for the sake of acceptance, but I think it's the smartest route to accept the possibility that maybe my desire to not change my colors will ironically leave me with no reason to change my colors at all.

*--Who, do you love?/Girl I see through, through your love/who, do you love/me, or the thought of me?/Me or the thought of me? --John Mayer, "I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)"
**--before you say shit, stop: I don't care that I'm not that old yet, I don't care that you may feel that I have plenty of time, I don't care about any of the cliche shit that people like to say to you to try and talk you off the ledge of your emotions. Yes, I'm 23, and yes, I'm talking about love and relationships again. /rant. I am taking control over my own self-awareness and realizing some ugly truths that I would never have been comfortable acknowledging a couple of years back. Though I can acknowledge the fact that my loyalty to my ideals might not ever sit well with someone for long enough for us to have a legitimate future together, it doesn't mean that I'm wholly a fan of it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I can't help but think of how he touches me
as I sit in low light
trying to erase the thought
of the touch of his words,
snaking around my earlobe
slinking down my shoulder
creeping across the rise in my chest
trailing down the ring in my bellybutton
it pauses...
my passion rises
to meet
the thought
of your tongue
behind my kneecap

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Spinning, laughing, dancin' to her favorite song
a little girl, with nothing wrong
is all alone

eyes wide open, always hopin'
for the sun
and she'll sing her song, to anyone
that comes along

Fragile as a leaf in autumn
just fallin' to the ground
without a sound...

Crooked little smile, on her face
tells a tale of grace
that's all her own

Spinning, laughing, dancin' to her favorite song
Well she's a little girl, with nothing wrong
and she's all alone
a little girl, with nothing wrong
and she's all alone
(Seven Years--Norah Jones)

Six--not quite seven--years ago today, I was walking around the park with my family, my graduation cap and cords still on, proudly beaming to the passers-by who congratulated me for my accomplishment.

Six years in the past, I graduated from high school. I thought about it this morning when I was at work, and I said it out loud, as though to make it real. Six years. Where has that time flown to? Where is it now hiding?

It seems like five minutes ago that I was in high school, suffering through many of the typical trappings of adolescence--crushes, friendships gone awry, pimples--and some of the not-so-typical kind as well. And yet, here I am, an adult (I suppose). When you speak the ages (18 through 23, almost 24), it certainly doesn't seem like that much. But when I think of all of the things that have happened, and how different I am from that girl then, I am almost astounded.

Kind of wish I could go back in time and meet that girl, and tell her about the fantastic young lady she'd become.

Eh, no need. I'm pretty sure she figured it out.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I love me more than the thought of you

In examining this process, I understand more and more where I fail in the romantic game. I’m just not very good. Even worse is that I know how to be better but I just refuse to do what it takes because I’ve deluded myself into believing that a woman I am trying to convince as to my “wonderfulness” should accept me for who I am.

(Read more about Falling in Love, What is Love/Relationships on Naked With Socks On)

If you have never visited Naked With Socks On, go ahead and make your way over there. And then read the post from Rastaman. (From which the marvelous quote above can be attributed.) And then come back here. And then read my thoughts.

As a formerly diehard romantic, when I first fell in love with the ex, I truly thought he was "the one." I thought he was the one, and I half-way hoped, half-way expected we'd end up on a porch fifty years from then, sipping lemonade hand in hand as we told the story of how we met to our grandkids. Yeah. And when we began erasing our ties, it was simply a case of the right people at the wrong time.* But leave it to me, and I would have told you that life had ended, I would never love again, and that he was "the one" that got away. In fact, for quite some time afterwards, part of me struggled with the legitimate pondering of whether my chance at true love was indeed over. Sure, I felt he was the one, but the rational part of me, however small it was, was persistent in insisting that I couldn't have possibly exhausted my shot at love, all by the age of eighteen. I was too young, too naive, too dumb for that to have been my only chance.

I allowed my hurt time to exist and manifest (that's another story for another day), and came to realize that it was relatively improbable that there was only one person in the world who was meant for me. I do believe that there is a small number of people with whom I'll get along with well enough for it to turn into something greater, like a marriage. But even though I've grown older, as has my viewpoint, there is something that has not seemed to change about this entire equation: my relationship discombobulation.

For a long time (i.e. forever), I have stood by the fact that relationships and I simply don't agree with one another. I want companionship, it wants sex. I want sex, it wants friendship. I want forever, it wants tonight. I want tonight, and it wants never. Poetics aside, I usually always attest to the fact that relationships and I are always on two different pages. It's part of my acerbic humor, it is. How better to cope with something you see as a personal fault, than to joke about it often?

Lately, I've been wondering what part I've played in my perpetual disagreement with relationships. I used to say it was all its fault, but it would be remiss of me to not examine my role in all of this. Being as how I've done a lot work to reach a new level of self-awareness, I know that the problem isn't me being unaware of some ungodly trait or behavior. No, that's not quite it at all. It's the exact sentiment behind the quote at the top of my post.

Finally, I have reached a place where I have accepted damn near all of me. (And happen to like me, too.) The social smoking part, the entire bottle of wine consumption part, the irritability, the enormous heart, the worrying, the no-five-year-plan having, the I-feel-some-type-of-way-about-cooking-for-you, grudge-holding, fiercely loyal and loving part. There are a few things I know would probably benefit me and my relationship with relationships if I tweaked them. Sometimes I tell myself that I will tweak and change these things. But at the end of the day, I know I could change them if I really wanted to, but I don't. Because I love the traits and my embracing of them more than I love the idea of being up on the good foot with relationships. Maybe, quite frankly, I have deluded myself into believing that someone should, and will accept me for exactly who I am. Thus, since I believe in this delusion, I refuse to change myself.

After reading Rastaman's post, I am now genuinely considering whether or not this idea that it will all work out simply because someone will be marvelous enough to accept me as I am is, indeed, a delusion. Even if it is a delusion, it's one I believe in. Yes, I believe and hope within my heart that someone will come along and accept me as I am. Why? Because I believe I deserve it.

So, at least, if relationships and I aren't existing on the same page, I can't say I don't have an idea as to why.

*--he himself said this to me, in a conversation that has now been blurred by my own replaying of my memories. I'm not sure whether he said this to me when I was walking to the bookstore, but that memory is so strong in me that I'll believe that's when he said it. I believe we were on the phone, because I'm pretty sure I would have remembered walking with him. Regardless of how it played out, I remember it being a cloudy day in Gainesville, and I remember that classic line being dropped upon my consciousness. Now, I wonder if he was spitting game. Of course, my first instinct is to say no, but it would have been so easy to run it, that I can't be for sure that he wasn't, though my heart is inclined to say that wasn't a possibility. Life later taught me that anything, especially that which shouldn't be, is possible.

Monday, May 9, 2011

that moment when you realize it wasn't love, though...

I can't tell you when it happened, so I won't lie and tell you I know when. But I do know that when I laid down with you, my mind got up with him.

7:05 pm, summer

7:05 in a Florida summer's evening means that the breeze is warm and blowing relaxed through the trees, rustling the leaves to my pleasure. 7:05 means the sun is starting to lounge in the sky, illuminating my walls with orange sunray, broken into lines by my blinds. 7:05 is after-dinner conversation and Jeopardy; suds sloshing in the sink while I lean over dinner dishes. 7:05 is that first post-work margarita.

7:05 is the quiet storm; slow R&B making love to my ears; slowly sneaking up my earlobe. 7:05 is Florida brilliance, a first and last date in the park, resisting an inevitable end. 7:05 is the day's transition.

7:05 is memory. Past, present, future.

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