Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Black Lights

Years ago, one of my dearest friends came to visit me for a few days. After several late into the night discussions about our respective loves (sufficed to say, there have been a few personnel changes since then, the term another friend of ours used in lieu of break-up), we started to laugh hysterically. It's so much easier to have a friend, she said. I don't stand around in the shower thinking, "Am I being the very best best friend I can be? Is there anyone else who would be better? How long can this friendship last?" We concluded that our only goal was not to be talking about the same thing this time, next year. As is true to my sunny happy disposition, I believe that most romantic relationships have a Sisyphean quality to them, the pain of having the same fight over and over again. The fight changes depending on the couple, but once you start having it, it's all variations on a theme from there. You love your writing more than me (bingo, pal!), You can't commit (hey, I'm the same astrological sign as George Clooney and he's had a very long relationship with his pop-bellied pig, Max, until his recent death), and from my side, You don't understand my life (in retrospect, this seems a tall order for anyone -- who can truly understand someone's constant fear and misery, the state I was in at that time), and You don't do enough, don't love me enough, don't fill in whatever blank I had at the time. Add to that all the garbage you bring from the last person who didn't love you enough or loved you too much or abused your goodwill and sent you to listening to Janis Joplin's "Ball and Chain" every single day for a year. Not that I know anyone like that.

It all seems so dreary, there on the page in black and white. Muhammad Ali said the toughest fight he ever had was with his first wife. And I think about my pact with my friend to change our conversation. Hoping that time itself would change everything. But we had to change ourselves and get sick of carrying the same fucking rocks up the same fucking hill. What I know about relationships can be boiled down to this: we have a deep ability to persist in matters of the heart despite repeat damage, inevitable decay, and ill fits. We want to believe in change and that loves returns. But it doesn't, not really. What does happen is that we can get hit long enough and hard enough that we start to see stars. Boxers call this the black lights. You can't see anything but what's right in front of you. I suppose that's as good a place to start as any.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
A fighter never knows when it's the last bell. He doesn't want to face that.” Sugar Ray Leonard

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: Burnin' John Lee Hooker

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Birthday to Mr. James Gandolfini, Tony Soprano, Original G! Whether you're Tony, Jim Jones, Ernest H., or anybody else, you're the coolest ever!


Charles Gramlich said...

The same fights because we are the same people. It takes decades to change, and the change only occurs then because we age out of the concerns or emotions we once had. Doesn't bode well, does it.

Whitey the Bear said...

You can come over for a grilled salmon steak or a plain old filet mignon anytime, Michelle. Please feel free to bring Grouchie. You know where I live. I'm just north of the Woods.

Brian in Mpls said...

Thats why when I see that pattern happening it is time to leave because I have learned there is something there that is too different to mesh...

Do you have a personal photographer that follows you around or do you take those yourself. Either way it is an exceptional eye and subject.

The Amazing Randy said...

Put into a trance when he saw the ghost of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Anonymous said...

people are poorly equipped for relationships. No wonder considering the vast realm of bad examples surrounding us.

Its the innner demons that haunt us the most and do the most damage to a relationship.

Fight the right battles and you have half a chance of winning the war.

Yeah, that anonymous

the walking man said...

I have always felt that any two can make a long term harmonious commitment to one another. As time passes it is like Charles said you age out of the need to bump and chisel at each other.

One day you wake up and look at your partner and realize that he/she is somehow more beautiful than they were yesterday,once that happens your life is not without passion and good sex but it is without two people at odds, both come to realize that even though they have been together for a long time they ARE NOT conjoined.

That there is space enough in the heart and mind for the other to be whatever it is they are without being a threat to their masculinity or feminine ideals.

That's when you know you are sleeping with,sending goofy e-mails too, having dinner with, going to some stupid opera with, living your life with your true best friend.

But hey what do I know I write fiction. I just fit the facts in as i have too the rest is purely my opinion.

much Peace


Paul said...


eric1313 said...

"...I believe that most romantic relationships have a Sisyphean quality to them, the pain of having the same fight over and over again."

Ahh, Sysphus' lament. That's true; thus for years, I pined for a dragonlady. Jenni could be mean and violent, but she was still my little blonde angel and first love.

Walking her home at night and hoping her dad wouldn't notice the redness on her face from my stubble. Damn. You know how that is.

eric1313 said...

Thanks for the memory jog. I posted a poem called Draconian Smile, my current post, about her.

Now the good is flowing back to me. I love that. Thanks, m.

You're a goddes of the pen and glad I am to have your work to read any time.

John Ricci said...

My Dear Michelle, Lovely posts and views as always. I raise my glass to Tony Soprano, Original G, and to your heavenly vision. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams and of course a vigorous and tender Bravo to you!

James "Jamesy-Poo" Gandolfini said...

Hi Michelle,
I appreciate the well wishes, and kind words. But please do not get any ideas- as I have told you many times before, I am a closet homosexual.

Your hero,

da randmeista said...

Who is this "Paul" fr00tcake?

What is the purpose of these fecal spatterings in the comments section??

Anonymous said...

what the hell is that on your arm?

Ropinator said...

I have always supported friendship instead of love. Friendship can last for ever but love can rarely.

RRN said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Campus police said...


Michelle's really polite, so I'll answer for her.

Some my space degenerate drops by daily to assuage his futile existence.

You see, we believe he shot his penis off, or somebody else did, and he's like a soldier with no gun--pretty useless in the grand scheme.

The man said...

Kidding! We know who he is.

It's a matter of time before he is destroyed by his chosen nemesis.

Anonymous said...

Campus police....

I wish I knew what it was you are talking about and why it was directed to me. I guess it is of little consequence to me.... But still , I can't help but wonder what it is you are talking about.


Anonymous said...

What is it exactly that you are "answering for her" ? I don't remember asking a question.