Love is not the problem. It's that damn expectation. Expectation worm holes you straight to disappointment and then - Booray! Disappointment trumps love. (I use the word Trump loosely)
“I’ve never loved you more,” says my husband from the porch of the apartment he now lives in across boulevards and broken vows.
I should have known we were a doomed "cougar wife" couple when Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins blew up. I’d already crossed the halfway marker between immortality and rotten figs. My soon-to-be-ex had only just left the gate of mid-life cliches. As I stand here looking, there's a woman in the mirror, but she doesn't reflect the girl within my heart.
I think about a boy. The first boy I loved. I think about him and he is here. I want to hold him and make him laugh. I want to drop acid in the middle of a horse farm off Parkers Mill Road. I want to run away together across state lines, and play house. I want to feel that there's all the time in the world, so why hurry. Ah, the boy to whom I was connected long before we ever met. The boy to whom I'm still melded to all these years after they pulled his beautiful, breathless body from the depths of caribbean nights.
How do you know if you're having the life you're supposed to be having? Sliding doors. Gone instead of stayed. What if you had turned left instead of right? In two days I'll be heading to the land of our 8 track love story. I’m headed where mimosa blossom dreams slime the blacktop roads. I’m headed to those ribbons of freedom we hurried down on our way to all grownup and run away donkey carts. And I think about the smell of burnt concrete after a Mississippi rain. I think about Natchez Trail love-making at the no-rest rest stop. I think about that little girl who discovered us on the rock just below the bathrooms and how she screamed for her mommy. I think of the way we laughed til we cried but didn’t stop. Couldn’t stop. Even if the clay body bones we walked around in were oblivious, the dragonfly parts of ourselves knew. We knew - that forever was a gift we had not been blessed with.
It’s almost Mardi Gras. I wish that you would call me. I wish that you could call me. I wish that just once more in days ahead, I could run my fingers along the trail of rabbit fur that ran down from your navel. I think, ‘if only’ sometimes when I don’t want to. I think ‘how dare you’, sometimes when I don’t want to. I think wow, as I pick at the thread of you that is still dangling off my blue jean life. In my thinking snapshots, the ones inside my head, I linger. There they are - the eyes that see me, but can’t go back.
I have your cowboy hat. Did you know that I kept it? It hangs on a lamp over my desk. It has stopped smelling like you though. I’m not sure when that happened. Somewhere between husbands I think. Sometime between love. I kept our rope swing promise by the way. The summer I turned 40. I knew you couldn’t be there. I just wanted to keep my word. Wanted to honor the mustang. I miss the mustang. I can almost taste our mustang. Do you think about me? Do you visit? Is my stubborn, ever more cynical, self unaware? Are you the dragonfly? The one I keep looking for. The one that only appears when I am not on the hunt. The next time will you land? Land and let me hold you. Just for a second.