I'm wishing. And thinking. And dreaming of you. You step out of the background, when I'm weary and wanting, to offer your hand. And your heart. And your lips. And everything else. And I'm crying. I'm weeping. I'm seeing your face, but know it's a long ago flashback. My dream is some other guy's reality. You holding his hand. Sharing each other's secrets. Having the same wishes for the future. Making love. I've seen the scene. I've lived the movie. Each time the lights go up as the curtain comes down, I'm alone, no one around. I shuffle out the exit, searching for an entrance. Wanting to make my own movie with you. But the script changed a long time ago. Pages were cut from the final draft. Didn't matter anyway, anymore, I'd have been left on the cutting room floor. It's yours and his film, and I'm no more than a lonely man sitting in the balcony, watching your life with another guy, wishing I'd been somewhere in the credits, hoping I'd be the start in the sequel. But there's not going to be a sequel, and I'm not movie star. I'm just a guy in love with a girl. Watching from afar. Wishing...
Technology is a disease. Killing its way through our lives. The battle began decades ago and now we are losing the fight. It's infiltrating our minds, turning us into extensions of metal and silicon and glass and mechanical parts. We are no longer skin and faces, and expressions and voices and intonations and slumping shoulders or arms raised in fury or exultation. We are screen images, some small, some large, nearly all forgettable. We have lost the animal nature within us, the one that instinctually knows how to survive the searing sun and horrific tornados, and biblical floods and limb-numbing frigid cold. We no longer love by touch, by nuzzling ourselves against a lover's neck and breathing in their essence, or sensing them turn rigid as we caress the soft inside of their thigh, or experiencing the thrill of that first kiss with a soon-to-be companion where intimacy is everything and, for a time, nothing else in the world matters. When your mind can focus like at no other time, when you are so into the moment that you understand what's happening in your muscles, and on your skin, and the swirling thoughts dancing in your brain as you smell and taste and feel the lips of another human being and you hope and pray that every inch of their flesh is running on overdrive as much as yours is, and your only wish is that this experience lasts as long as possible.
I step out into the sun, eyes hazy from a restless sleep, mind struggling for balance. To my left cries a tomcat, pleading for his next feline conquest, while tall oaks stretch through a turquoise glimmering sky. A puff of warmth settles upon me, sending subtle sweet shivers rippling along my skin. I am nourished, I think, but it's going to be a long, lonely day if I don't find my way back. Two nurses, clad in black, shuffle past me, bowing their heads out of concern. I call out for help, but help is a long time and sad place away, And, besides, I've never been particularly interesting to nurses or nuns, nonetheless. Lift your head to the sky. Lift your arms up high. Find the life that suits you right. Never believe you can quit the fight. I've got no time for questions, and I don't bother learning the language. I just spin in a circle, and shout at the tomcat to stop the barbecue from being so hot that our sustenance is engulfed in flames. Then again, a rainbow ain't nothing but colored light if all you find is fool's gold.
I've given a lot of thought lately to dog owners' relationships with their dogs, or obviously more specifically, my relationship to my first dogs, Daisy & Sara, and now, to my two-year-old German Shepherd mix, Gracie. People in the dog world typically say that their dog is a member of the family, which is certainly true, since in a very real way my Gracie has access to my life, my home, my car and my workspace that a family member would have. And I certainly value Gracie's life and well-being more than I value my home, car, workspace, etc. (even though I 'love' all of them quite a bit). But the rleationship with a dog goes much deeper and is in many ways more profound. I had Daisy from when I adopted her as a three-month-old pup to the end of her life--which I witnessed intimately--and through those fifteen years her personality obviously changed from puppyhood to adolescent dog, eventually to elder dog, yet her desire to be around me, or next to me never changed. For Sara, who I adopted at age one, and whom I had until she passed rather suddenly at age 13.5--also which I witnessed intimately--she, too, mantained the same personality, and desire to be around and with me (though she was far more aloof than Daisy). Gracie, it is obvious already, wants or needs to be around me even more than my first two. That may be a matter of she has no other canine companion, as Daisy and Sara did for 12.5 years, but I think it is simply more a matter of her personality. And because of this, in a sense, Gracie is more a part of "me" than simply a family member. I mean that, in this way: I must obviously tend to all of her bodily functions, by taking her for walks, her health needs, by taking her to the vet, her nutrition needs, by feeding her and giving her water, and, of course, her social development needs, by bringing her to the park to play or meet other dogs. Her needs are an integral part of my daily calendar, so in a strange way, they are a part of "my" needs. I can not ignore or abandon those needs. Ever. I can have a stand-in, as I sometimes do, with a dogwalker. But Gracie (as was the case with Daisy and Sara) must be taken care of. Now, I don't intend in any way to say that having a dog is as hard or as much work or comparable to having a child--though I don't have children, I know this is not true. However, at many stages in the life of a child, adolescent, and teenager, he or she can take care of their own basic needs, and often have their own interests or desires, whereby the parent is not their sole focus. For most parents it's bittersweet that their child is evolving and getting older, but also that they are "breaking away." I haven't seen that with dogs, in general, and with my dogs, in particular. In the case of Gracie, of course, she loves palying with other dogs and can be fixated on a squirrel or some other animal she sees, but when we are at work or at home, she likes nothing better than to be next to me.
[To be continued.]
From my window I see you. I watch you. I know you. From my window, we play games. And we go places. And we fall to the ground together. From my window, you tell me secrets. And you tell me the truth. And you understand meaning. From my window, we live a life as one. We live a life under the sun. We live to be together forever. From my window, you know everything about me. And I tell you my deepest fears. And I tell me stories about where I've been to. And the things I've done. From my window, I give you my heart. And I give you my soul. And I pledge my life to you. From my window, we share ourselves. And we build a family. And we have hopes and dreams. From my window, we laugh and sing songs. And we dance and hold each other long. And we kiss when we want to, all the time. From my window, there is no pain. And there is no hurt. And there is no wrong. Everything's right. From my window, I dream of you. And you dream of me. And our dreams will carry us 'til our dying breaths. From my window, I call your name. From my window, I take the blame. From my window, there is no one outside. From my window, I think I lied. From my window, you are gone. From my window, I have died.
She's looks like a real bitch. Sitting there, latte in hand, reading the Wall Street Journal for everyone to see. Dressed to the business nines. Plate of half-finished escargots in front of her, Nova lox brioche to the side. High-end fashionable handbag on the table for everyone to see. Oh, sure, glance my way. I'll smile back. Looked away just as fast as you could, didn't you? Like I'm some kind of social dirtbag. Keep reading you're damn paper. Like I even dared to look at you. I swear I can see behind those goddamn expensive sunglasses. Eyes filled with obnoxious self-importance. The whole world watches you. The world world moves for you. Because you happen to have won the hi-cheekbone, long-limbed body lottery. Big friggin' deal. Chicks like you are a dime a dozen. Nothing special. I'll keep smiling. No big deal. Costs me nothing. Bet you wish you could be rid of the peons sitting at the other cafe tables, so close to you they get to breathe your same air. How intrusive on your personal space. Don't glance at me again. Don't! You're not special. Oh, sure, get up and leave. Typical. Get up and pass by me like I'm just a piece of--
"Hello," she says. "I'm done with this, if you like to read it." She taps the newspaper.
I look down.
CALL ME is written. Followed by ten digits.
"I will." I sputter. "I will..."
Let's run together in the fields that stretch to the horizon. Let's dash through streams and jump through puddles, and dance our way toward the setting sun. Let's walk beside each other all day, until our legs grow weary, so we can sleep in the shade of a pleasant tree. Let's dream of what we'll do tomorrow, while we remember what we did yesterday, lying shoulder-to-shoulder right now. And we'll giggle. And laugh. And paint pictures in the clouds as they pass by. And we'll be free within our minds, free to move about, free to live as we want. Free to love, free to like, free to decide. And we'll live, expressing joy, expressing choice, expressing feelings. Let's run together on the grass lawn of the magnificent mansion we built together from our thoughts and our love. And let that mansion in our minds stand the test of time. And let us play as children when we want, and love like teenagers when we want, and live with like adults when we must, and die like elders when it's time. And let us always be together, even when time and distance separate us.
I watch you when you curl up beside me. I watch as you dream of chasing dreams, ageless and timeless. I watch your legs twitch and stretch, and whimper becomes a sudden howl. I see you strong and athletic, running with boudless energy. I see you standing beside me, as we walk towards the setting sun. But time moves more quickly for you than it does for me, and I soon much slow to help you keep up. Until you've become aged. And we slow together. And we comfort each other, watching the months pass quickly. Until your cradled in my arms. And the tears well up in my eyes. And my breaths are full and halted from tears, while yours are shallow, just whispers of breath. And your eyes are closed. And your legs don't twitch anymore. And they don't stretch anymore. And I hold my friend for the rest of time until the sun has disappeared. And I hold your head. And kiss you goodbye. And you give me one last nuzzle. And I hear the last of your breaths. And I cry. I wail. I burst open from pain and sadness. And I curse the shortness of your life, but thank the Lord that you lived that life with me. Beside me.
It's amazing how life can get in the way of writing. I hadn't been able to do my daily ten-minutes for almost a week now. Part of it was because I was feeling exhausted from a long season of helping coach wrestling at my alma mater, Millburn High school. Part of it was because I'd get home too bleary-eyed and mentally fried to even try to come up with something coherent. Work was very busy, too. And, of course, there are the little things that need to be done in order to be a functioning human being that take time, money and effort, and also take a priority over writing. But enough bitching and moaning, here I am, at my computer, typing onto screen what I'm feeling inside my head at the moment. And while it may not turn out to be very interesting, or usable for a short story I may decide to write, it's always nice to get inside my head and let thoughts pour out as quickly as I can type them. I expect to get back on the writing horse starting today and finish a short story I had been writing ten minutes at a time a few weeks ago. I think it will be interesting to see if I can make it as clever as I imagine it in my mind. Sometimes that is hard to do. I write by seeing a kind of movie in my head, then try to put it into words. Obviously, that doesn't always work, but when it does it makes me very satisfied. In the meantime, it is worthwhile to mention that I've spent a lot of time thinking about the sport of wrestling and the physical mechanics of wrestling's moves, and I think that process actually helps my writing. Not because I'm writing about wrestling, but because I am using a part of my brain that seems to help with words and language,, and my ability to create stories. 1:28 left. I'll leave you with this. I am working on the lyrics to one song in particular that a musician in the UK was able to put music to, and now we having a metal band singer in the US sing it. I find the entire process exciting. I love the music. I hope to love the vocals, as well.
Alfred C. Martino
Updates from everyday life as seen by me