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Tonight

and tonight, I couldn’t have been any happier to have known you.

Because tonight, you have exhibited in all your splendor

what it means (to me) to be alive.

But now you, you will no longer have that chance–

to be happy to have known anyone–

because you,

You are breathless, timeless, hopeless.

and you are gone.

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Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Snippets of Life

 

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His Eyes, Her Eyes

If I tell you nothing else, I want you to know this: I will love you until tomorrow. The sweetest words a stranger could say, she thought, as they fell into bed– fell into love. Tomorrow never comes. The love that comes in fairy tales and is awoken by a kiss. She, too, would surely be awoken by a kiss tomorrow morning. The sun shinning in behind him, a perfect smile to awaken to. She has seen it at least a million times in music videos, commercials, and movies. Now she too, will spend her life happy.

If I tell you nothing else, I want you to know this: I will love you until tomorrow. Tomorrow isn’t that far away, he thought, since it wasn’t even midnight yet. And they fell into bed– fell into lust. I can wake up tomorrow and be home before breakfast. That is, if I can make it out before she wakes up. I bet I can even be quiet if I wake up still drunk. He has seen it at least a million times in movies, and a million more times in life. And now he too, will spend his life happy.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Snippets of Life

 

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Fallen Castles

If I tell you nothing else, I want you to know this: I will love you until tomorrow. Today was hard. Today was not worth fighting for. Today I am broken down, exhausted, and falling down, as though someone grabbed my core and shook me until I was no more than cement ruins of the castle that once stood where I stand now. Tomorrow it may rain down on this once-was-castle, but I’ve always said I love the rain. I’ve always said I love you more than the rain. But rain falls and sunshine dries it up like the perfect antagonist would. Tomorrow may have rays of sun shine down like a spotlight on this once-was-castle, but I’ve always said I love the sun. And I’ve always said I love you more than the sun. But the sunshine is so easily blocked by the rumbling of black rain clouds, the perfect antagonist. You and I both know that today was a hard day. And though I may not love you today, I can promise you this: I will love you until tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2012 in My "Love" Life, Snippets of Life

 

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Running in Circles

Here I am, full circle back to you. My bags packed, I left you. Reluctantly at first, but then I felt free to run. So I ran. I ran and I danced. I didn’t dance with you because, even though you knew you couldn’t dance and only kind of liked to dance, I didn’t like when you flailed about so helplessly. I’m not helpless, and I never was. I told you that. That is maybe why it was so easy to walk away. I found out that you walk a smaller circle than me. You made it back to remind me that I once said “I love you.” I reminded you that you once said you loved me, and at the same time reminded myself that was then. This is now. And now you tell me you still love me and you were stupid to let me go. I didn’t want to tell you, but I did anyway. I was walking in line with another, someone who was able dance. He made me smile like you made me smile. I sent you walking away, bags packed, out on another path. It took me too long to realize that his path wasn’t right. I found out he was good at focusing on us, our happiness, our dancing, our mirror lined tunnel. When I see light at the end of a tunnel, I think sun. Life has told me there will be sun at the end of a tunnel, so I ran and danced on, forward through his tunnel. One day, I heard a rumor there was no light. She told me she was in the tunnel, too, and there was no light at all. I didn’t believe it, so I looked hard. I looked so hard I saw there was no light. The light shone in from the opening of the tunnel, the path I came from. The path from you. I ran back, panicked, to see if you were still standing at the opening. And not surprisingly, you walked away. Now again, I felt free to run. I didn’t run quite so fast this time, being careful that I didn’t fall or disrupt someone else’s track. I’ve been running for a long time, and I feel like I’m getting tired. And here I am, full circle back to you. Have you come back around, too? And now its me telling you I still love you and I was stupid to let you go, even if you can’t dance.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in My "Love" Life

 

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Wear Your Heart, Boy

 

I haven’t shared my love for other people in a while, but when I came across this, I just couldn’t help myself. Enjoy.
The Boy with His Heart on His Sleeve and the Girl Who Never Tried to Fix Him
by Max Andrew Dubinsky

I was born with my heart on my sleeve. When the doctor handed me over to my mother he told her to be careful. “He’s fragile,” he said.

Mom cried when she held me, overjoyed at the prospect of raising a son who would be so in touch with his emotions.

My father sat in the corner, shaking his head, already disappointed in me like I had any say in the matter, like I wanted to be born this way.

“It’s not all that uncommon of an affliction,” the doctor tried to reassure him. “Lot’s of men carry their hearts on their sleeves.”

“I think he’s beautiful,” mom said, tears still in her eyes.

When dad had his buddies over from work for the big game the following Sunday, they stood around my crib, shaking their heads and consoling my father with pats on the back, clinking beer bottles together.

One friend informs the men, “My wife says society deems it’s okay for men to be this way, says the world would be a better place if more men were born like your boy here.”

The men only stared.

“My wife,” he shrugged, “she reads a lot. Is always getting these crazy ideas. But still…”

“The doctor,” my dad told them, “said this isn’t that uncommon of an affliction.”

Mom hates when people use that word. Affliction.

I asked her how we should describe my condition then.

“You’re just more vulnerable than most,” she said with a smile one morning cooking eggs and cinnamon toast.

Just once I’d like to not cry when the sun sets.

I was taken advantage of in school. The kids knew I was different when I’d still show up to class in turtle neck sweaters at the end of May.

I cried every morning I got on the bus, leaving mom behind in the driveway like it was the last time I was ever going to see her.

In high school I had no problem dating, but none of the girls took my marriage proposals for serious affairs.

“What about college?” they’d ask.

“We’ve never even been to Europe,” they’d say.

Forget Europe. I’m going to college wherever you’re going.

My condition isn’t for the meek or the weak of stomach. I’ve loved and lost and lost again, more times than any one man should. It’s hard to find someone when you can’t keep your cards close to your chest. What’s the point of keeping anything close to your chest when the very thing you’re trying to conceal is exposed and dirty and bruised for all to see? There’s never been any element of surprise in any of my relationships. I meet someone, and she knows immediately how I feel.

But you, you were different. There was something so understanding about you in the beginning. The day we met you had your hair pulled back and wore that awful orange jacket you picked up at the Goodwill, and I was wearing a sweater that day. So you didn’t know until it got too hot in that coffee shop and I pushed my sleeves up. And when you saw who I really was you said you were glad I wasn’t like the rest, and I asked what you meant and you smiled and said normal is so boring.

But you were a machine, and I was a boy with his heart on his sleeve.

I was relentless and you were unresponsive.

“This has tragedy written all over it,” I used to say to you again and again.

And you would tell me to stop over-analyzing everything. “Just enjoy the moment.”

After you left, I decided to try and see if I could live without it.

Without my heart on my sleeve.

So I cut it off.

And I put in a box.

A safe place.

And I hid the box.

Where no one could ever get to it.

No one but me.

Eventually, I forgot where I put the box.

Eventually, I stopped thinking about the box, or even wondering what life was like living with a heart.

Things were so much easier.

Then I saw you at the bar with his arm around your waist and your hands in his pockets and his lips on your ear, and I felt nothing but the place where my heart used to be.

I felt it tingle. I felt it crawl. Then I felt nothing at all.

And that felt nice.

Then she came along.

There was something about her. I couldn’t quite figure it out. Until she pushed her sleeves up and I saw the scars. The same scars I now have.

I asked her where she put it. Where did she put her heart? Did she throw it away or give it as a gift at Christmas?

“I put it in a safe place,” she told me. “Where no one could ever get to it.”

No one but her.

I wanted to tell her things I wouldn’t normally say. I wanted to do things I’d never be caught dead doing.

And when she asked why I acted so strangely sometimes, I informed her that I couldn’t remember where I put my heart. And for the first time in my life I finally found a use for it.

She smiled and offered me hers.

I shook my head and I pleaded with her to take it back.

“I can’t accept that.”

“I won’t know what to do with it.”

“It’ll only end up bruised, hurt, and worse off then before you left it under my care.”

She said she was willing to take the risk.

I tore through my closets, my car, my pockets, but still, I could not remember my safe place. I had to give her something in return, but nothing other than my own heart seemed good enough.

Finally, one night when we were alone in her apartment, she told me it was okay.

“Your heart,” she said, “you gave it to me. I have it, and it is safe.”

I asked her how this was possible.

She looked at me like she couldn’t believe I’d even ask such a thing. A look that wanted my trust. She put her hand on my arm, where my heart used to be. She touched my chest where I now kept hers, and cared for it as though it were my own. “You still cry every time we watch the sun set.”

 

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Have You Heard Me At All?

Courtesy of the Southern Nevada Diversity Roundtable website

The difference between you and me is that I know what I am thinking. I know where I have been, and where I plan on heading. I know, most of the time, how I feel despite not being able to express it well. You, on the other hand, could have come from anywhere.

We had a long group discussion on cultural competency today, which I found to be eye-opening in a respect completely different from most people in our class. We talked about expanding our knowledge of other cultures by reading books, meeting new people, volunteering in locations that we would otherwise not go to, blah blah blah. I was shocked to find such ignorance in what my peers were saying. I do admit, though, this ignorance could be directly related to naivety. But I wouldn’t know, because I am not them.

People talked about having friends from various cultures. They shared uncomfortable moments they had during a wide array of experiences. We recognized that we should go out of our comfort zone to further our cultural diversity experiences, and we discussed the internalization that is required to truly gain from times such as these. Our class reflected that our actions are not necessarily perceived as they were intended. How could we know what you were thinking?

Yes, all of those things are true. However, I feel as though a vital piece of our discussion is missing. To know one person is to know one person. It is not knowing a culture. To immerse yourself in a new culture for a day, a week, a month, is to flip through a history book in 20 minutes. Did you learn? Undoubtedly so. If you look back at the same pages, could you learn more? Sure. Do you know that culture, that language, those customs? Not a chance.

“But,” you say, “but I had an open mind! I reflected, I didn’t judge, and I treated a person as a person. I learned. I am always learning.” Did you forget, my friend? You only know in certainty your experiences. And those experiences are interpreted in a vast number of ways by others who experienced similar, or even identical, events.

Cultural competency isn’t about seeing the differences and reacting appropriately. Cultural competency is recognizing there are not differences that separate people, but understanding that our differences bring us together, even if disguised as being conflicting ideas.

How does one teach that? How do we get a firm grasp on an idea that is so vague? An even more difficult perspective: How do we implement into our daily lives a concept that is so vague?

The answer: We don’t. Even if we grapple with the idea of becoming culturally competent, we inadvertently become selfishly wrapped into our own comfortable experiences that are so commonplace we expect other people to think similarly, to act similarly, and to react similarly. Adding to that notion, in my experiences, I have been told to fight for what is right. I have been told to fight for what I believe in. I have been told not to let anyone change who I am, because I am perfect the way I am. I don’t know about you, but I find this is to be a cesspool breeding ground for ignorance and hate. If I fight for what is right, I may be fighting with the Taliban. I may be fighting for the red, white, and blue. If I fight for what I believe in, I may implement laws pertaining to eugenics in hopes of destroying entire races. I may fight for keeping individuals of color off buses. I may be fighting for gay marriage. I may be fighting in the name of Muhammad. If I am perfect the way I am, and have no flaws to change, I am not looking at what others do well.

While you may argue that my examples are extreme, I may agree. I may even be trying to prove a point. Where is the line drawn separating extreme from not extreme? Would you draw the same line as I would? If I were on the other side of the line, where would I have to stand for you to become defensive or even intervene in some way? Is there a point where you stood that I would consider using my constitutional right to free speech or bear arms or my god given right to shun you and wish you to hell? Is there a point where we might drop both you would drop your defense and offense simultaneously? Maybe, but I am me and you are you. You could have come from anywhere.

Have you heard me? Have you heard me at all?

Have you changed? Have you changed at all?

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in My Inspiration and Motivation

 

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Romance

romance is less than common

and hearts are less than real

knowing this courage is less than bold

but in these familiar cold rooms

the danger is real

it should hold me back

the fright is real–

too late to turn back

kisses are fake, nothing has changed

the sheets are different

yet the pains the same

After you leave I stay in tears

knowing all to well that

Romance is less than common

and Hearts are less than Real

Defeat is too Easy

and Hate is far from Surreal

 
 

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