Love in the Time of Zombies
I have been stuck for a while not knowing what to write about. I pride myself somewhat on understanding that even the most banal and profane people, objects and events contain meanings hidden from casual observance. Yet, for some reason I just wasn't seeing them.
Then last night though I had a dream and for most of the night, it was pleasant. I dreamed that I was in love and that is something that I rarely even consider. The lady in question though was a few years younger than me. I don't think that her age was really that significant other than that it represented newness and a fresh start at romance.
She was appearing on a TV show and was racked with self doubt. I was on hand to support her and offer her encouragement. The best part of the dream was when she trustfully leaned back into me while watching others rehearse while waiting her turn.
I had to go do something and on the way out of the room someone gave me the side eye. I was thinking about it when I walked in front of a mirror in the hallway and saw my reflection in a picture hanging on the wall. It was the reflection of someone old like I am now.
The mood of the dream changed dramatically, I had dreamed that I was younger up to that point. My reflection strongly dissuaded me from that notion. In the dream, I started having a hard time trying to get back to where the lady was; everything seem to conspire against it. So frustrated, I left the building and trudged across the street to my hotel room where I spent the night sitting alone in the darkness looking back across the street out of the window.
I woke up at that point and took a bathroom break. When I returned to bed, I so much wanted to artificially create the ending of the dream wherein, the lady sent someone across the street to find me and bring me back to her side because she couldn't do it without my presence. But I couldn't bring it about. Instead I kept thinking about how the perception of old people's love is supposed to be more about trust, comfort, and loyalty than any real romantic substance. Talk about some Freudian bull shit.
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The dream caught me by surprise because of the subject matter. I haven't thought about love or being in love for over thirteen years which precisely the amount of time that has passed since my wife left me the second time. The failure of our marriage hurt me so bad that I didn't ever want to get close to another women.
Then there was the forgetting part. The only way I could handle shit back then was by acting like she didn't exist and had never existed.
That kind of stuff don't play real well in Kansas. It is a stop-gap measure something like an emotional band-aid, you know, one that works for a bit until it becomes overly saturated with blood and falls off while you are trying to write a check or something.
It helped though, and eventually, I got better and better at attaching enough adhesive to the bandaid to make it stick for longer and longer periods of time. Then one night I had another dream, actually there were two, where my subconscious thoroughly scrubbed my memory banks clean.
In one, I had to climb down the trellis of second story beach front hotel room to try and find her in the surf where she had appeared in a white bathing suit just minutes before. I could feel the water, the breeze, and the sand and kept calling her name over and over until I woke up out of deep sleep alone in bed with a sheet wrapped around my legs. Two dreams, that's exactly what it takes to erase a thirty-one year marriage.
I told myself I was good to go after that, but I was lying like a mofo. You don't ever over shit like that. I wrote somewhere that you don't ever bounce up and regain your feet, you just get used to the falling. I had to cut myself off from my past, had to let all of that shit go in order to move forward, but, like I said, it's been 13 years and as far as I've gotten is the Tachi Palace, a place I go to watch machines spin little colorful pictures around and around until I run out of money.
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I started writing this blog in order to get shit outside of my brain, so I could observe it with a more critical eye under the light of the sun and see if any of it made any kind of sense. I read a book once about the siege of Stalingrad when the survivors of the German 6th Army were put into prisoner of war camps where they had to put sieves into small sewage ditches to try to the catch undigested food in order to survive.
Gross as that is, it sounds a lot like what I was doing, running the contents of my twisted brain through a colander trying to pick out the undigested bits that made the tiniest bit of sense, then washing them off, placing them side by side and trying to create some kind of a diorama or something that would prove that my life up to that point wasn't just some kind of a weird dream.
In other words, I went crazy for a while. I wrote down shit in a fever with words just pouring out of my head like rainwater out of the mouth of a sculpted Greek monster. The situation wasn't helped much by the onset of tinnitus and the lack of sleep caused by it. I did manage to write my way past that initial bout with madness, helped no doubt, by finally finding a sleeping pill that let me dream through the night.
All I know is that I got a hole the size of Alaska in my heart and that the person who filled it best is dead. That and the fact I am such a hard person to understand that even I, who knows me better than anyone else, can't seem to do it all that well.
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The young don't seem to have it much better in today's world. They've been told that hooking-up is the way to go, and that marriage is not only outdated, it is oppressive. My God, what kind of a world are we creating. Everything has to be easy, even when it is not.
There is something truly magical that goes into the creation of baby. It just might be the most magical thing in the entire world, yet, we treat the process like it's something that even the stupidest people on earth can do, which is actually true, but then again, they can't write shit like,
"I'd go hungry; I'd go black and blue
And I'd go crawling down the avenue
No, there's nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love"
There is a difference in babies created only by lust and those created in an act of love. And there is a difference in those who appreciate the magic of love that went into the sexual act and those who only think of it as scratching an itch. The former bring light into a dark world, the latter rain clouds that block out the sun.
All babies are little seeds of light, but those who create them with a mindset that they are disposable and tiny nuisances without a soul, are the truly lost because they can no longer see the magic of life and only view a world with ash colored skies.
It's going to be hard in world that thinks of babies as disposable and polyamory, group marriage, or even no marriage are good things for true love to survive, but it will.
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Are we old people not supposed to feel the feelings that once took our breath away and made us walk like we had wings on our feet? If not, then why do when they show old people in love on television or in the movies, it is either terminably cute or comedic? This is true tragedy of aging I guess, the loss of being able to be young and in love.
I know that the love of older couples who have been together for years and years is also a thing of wonder and beauty, and that the young are deprived from knowing just how that feels. It's a strange trade-off indeed.
What about those of us who are divorced after long marriages, or worse, those of us whose spouses have died leaving us alone to rebuild our life on soggy ground? Are we really doomed to never again knowing the quickening of the first embrace?
I don't know, but it certainly seems so. That would be a damn shame, and I hope I'm just feeling gloomy and that I am fucking wrong. It would be too bad if all we get is just the one chance to fall in love for the first time. I don't mean that we should be like the Gabor sisters or Elizabeth Taylor or nothing, but I learned a lot from the failure the first time, and they were painful lessons purchased at great price.
I do hope the dream was just a warning, something to tell me that I need to wake the hell up and live my life the way that life should be lived.
I hope it was something like the scene from The Christmas Carol when that one ghost informs Scrooge that it's not too late to change the future.
I truly do.