Friday, May 25, 2007

An Empty Tank Of Gas

One of my friends, on the verge of divorce, said, Marriage is a lot like torture. The worst part is there is no end in sight. Even a marathon has a stopping point! In the midst of one of the most grisly parts, the division of the things, she'd hidden beneath her desk as her husband sold their washer and dryer to a stranger. It had been the thing she had always wanted to have at home and now it was gone. The specter of the grim laundromat loomed large, haunted by broken men with sad eyes, nursing cheap cups of coffee. My friend, a delicate doe-eyed beauty, said, I never even really loved him and now he's sleeping with someone ten years younger. We spent a lot of time the summer of divorce talking about the end of the things, the nature of loss, and why she couldn't stop sleeping with this horrible man named Pat who I referred to as Pat MIA because he couldn't be found for days on end and would show up at the worst possible times hoping for some loving. The term booty call had not yet entered the lexicon -- in those days this practice was referred to as being an asshole who couldn't commit. I had no idea dating was so horrible, she said.
One of my ex-boyfriend's toasts when he was drunk enough to feel sentimental was, Till the wheels come off. So it was for my friend when her hoopty of a marriage broke down. You can drive for a long time on an empty tank of gas, get out in the middle of nowhere. You step out when the car stops, try to get your bearings. Maybe you're somewhere far from where you started, more likely you've driven in circles. But whatever the case, it's strange to stop moving and stand on your own again.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"A lover teaches a wife all that her husband has concealed from her." Balzac
Cocktail Hour
Drinking memoir suggestion: The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion
Benedictions and Maledictions
Congratulations to my beloved Pistons for winning again at The Palace! Same score as last time (79-76 so close, so close!) -- to quote RIP Hamilotn -- If it ain't rough, it ain't right. Happy Friday, friends!


Red Auerbach said...

That's why RIP wears a Halloween mask!

Charles Gramlich said...

The vietnam sign is kind of freaky.

eric said...

I'm still the typo king, baby. The RIPster knows. Ask him.

Good post--heartbreak, drinking and really poorly thought out toasts. Loved the booty call, non-commiting asshole part. Everybody nowadays is either an octupus or one of these culture of non-commitment types that you spoke of. Keep the faith.

General "Mad" Anthony Wayne said...


five minutes before class--
fundamentals of physics
I keep trying to write
anything to save my soul
from the pull of the
irresistible forces gathered
at the bar across the street

one stanza in
and a woman in magenta blouse and jeans of black on black
sits down, turns, watches my hand.
She asks me what I'm doing.

I'm a writer, I say.
I hope I won't disturb you.

She smiles and tells me
she won't bite; that
I'll keep her good company.

She wants to read what I'm writing. Her eyes are on my page
looking up at me
I told she could read it,
as soon as it's perfect;

Kafka was right.
So I turned up the heat
trying to make diamonds from
the gathered rough all around me, inside me, from inside another--

all at the request of a magenta rose
from physics class lectures
have just started
about gravity's attraction
something physicists say
is the weakest force
known to man

She turns, asks me if
I'm finished writing
I nod, look down at the words
dancing in front of my face.
I tell her I'm still
waiting for the poem, too.

a Kmart version of d.h. lawrence said...

What a lovely string of pics you've had, gorgeous one. Today's pic is heartbreaking in its beauty. Yesterday's had just welded it back together, too...

the walking man said...

As soon as she admitted to herself that she never loved him anyway, the tank was empty and she stopped at that moment to either learn to stand, fall or move.

Having been on the other side of this coin I realize I see this tale from a different perspective, but I have no sympathy for the protagonist here which is not the husband but the one who stayed with a man she didn't love and then whined when her washer and dryer were sold.

As for the Balzac quote that goes two ways, but if one partner or the other tightens the lug nuts once in awhile you know what...the goddamn wheels never will fall off.

Men are not the only assholes that won't commit.

Sorry Michelle i have read everything you posted since you told me about this spot; this piece hits a 25 year old still very sore spot with me.

somebody said...

Hidden Truths

Next to me, at the brightest part of my bar
a bent old man with a face that was hit by a hammer when he was 12

sips green label Jack Daniels from a glass, watching the shorts ride high on the suburban nocturnal wildlife roaming the gratiot corridor

next to him a picture of his wife
with her own barstool in front of her
she watches him the entire time
unspeaking but knowing all hidden truths

he wishes he was young
enough to run with one of
the velvetine floor walkers
to their car for a blowjob

He wishes his memories were alive, and his wife--dead since my own birth over thirty years ago--was eighteen so he could make the rest of these coraled snakes blush from what he knows to be the only true love that god ever created.

he cathes her gaze
a quiet rembrance
unspoken prayers
against desire,
a bottle of alcohol
and the often bitter pill


severed limb of the heart
rotting in this relentless season

Unspoken prayers
are hard to kill
but will die this way
in this heart's longest winter

DH Lovecraft said...


The dead will always be sought after by those who are still trapped under glass in the sun.

And we are never without them, quietly observing or unraveling our many tangled threads always seeming to come accompanied
by a picture
or a bottle
or other fitting vessel for souls to be carried by their mortals
as they walk in still life
away from the light

eric said...

Sorry for the morbid jag I got on just now, m. It's therapuetic, on a writing and psychological level. Not to mention that I'm still hungover with your writng from yesterday.
Today is good, too!

Opiate of the pizza industry said...


usually it's been awhile
you try to make it last
trying to create
a finer substance
laced on the paper
lips lingering over places
twisted, gently
to shape
and to taste

the difference is
that the fire
is the end process
not at the beginning

unlike bold love
unlike poetry
on your open lips

as I remember
through the smoke

realbigwings said...


McMurphy said...

I talk to a silence
that finds its voice
when I'm sane and
gives me a reason
to find who I am.
The wind blows
through the oak tree
outside, knocking a
branch through my roof
my bed is soaked with
sweat and rain.
Animals live here.
I can't stay here
again, not tonight; the
room at the Fraser Motel
smells musty and steril.
The silence there will
talk to me, of all the
times that I wasn't
there alone. The only
sound will be the heart
of lust and the walls
telling the stories.

Susan Miller said...

"it's strange to stop moving and stand on your own again."

Amen, Sista. Strange but nice.

JR's Thumbprints said...

RIP Hamilton's quote can also be applied to most marriages -- If it ain't rough, it ain't right. I guess this could be perceived as torture. As for my "hoopty," at least now I'm car pooling and the wife has more money to spend.

Paul said...