Heading back again across county lines a bitten straggler. Just a dirty, exhausted Boulevard Boy limping back to where he doesn’t really belong.
Not the homecoming once imagined. That foolish ideal was born years ago––an unearned right surrendered to the whims of violence. But in those adrenaline tainted moments of its birth, just the idea of that ideal was enough to help keep me alive. Because it meant that in some improbable way, I was actually wanted. And that everything I had sacrificed somehow mattered.
But then came that night when I should have died. That changed everything. And afterwards, not much else seemed to really matter.
Somewhere between those extremes, I was left an intimate trespasser. A sweaty nightmare dreamer comprising more broken words than durable substance; a well-intentioned gentle disaster crumbling soft again in the companionship of Clinton County.
The distance across a table feels like a familiar ocean. The one reflected back up during that panicked transatlantic scramble away from the scourge of Semtex-fused solutions. Thirty-five thousand feet wasn’t high enough to escape; thirty one years hasn’t been long enough to forget.
That disparity leaves me desperate in the twilight of my experience to somehow bridge the gaps. But bridges are easier to burn than they are to build.
And she always kissed me best inside the flames.
We danced there once. Our typewriters helped keep the time. And the hours melted off the clock from the friction of shifting playlists as the mighty Ohio flowed west below us.
She had every intention of touching the restorative approval of her god. But tripped instead into the rhythms of a counterfeit literary devil. She found herself captivated by the words, those Elite-faced confessions bravely pounded into the page.
That has been the pinnacle of my personal achievement, writing my way into her head. And, into her
pants heart. But, it is also my brightest regret.
Because she deserves better.
Deserves something more than skeleton of man who squandered the vigor of his vitality on a cause that ultimately didn’t mean a fucking thing. A cause still triggering twitchy nightmares. And the memories of hasty goodbyes said to carved Connemara marble before boarding that damn plane.
I want to assuage the peculiarities of her temperament; I strive to absorb the totality of her resentments. It will make us better. And I deserve to take the hits.
Together, all things are possible.
On my own, I doubt I will survive.
Maybe somewhere between the two we can finally build that home.
We just have to forgive ourselves first.