Friday Night

Posted: April 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

The scene creeps in so slow,
Like a reluctant fog,
Now the reckoning and woe.
Desperate measures,
As the sleepy village of this mind
Comes alive in ice cold sun.
The darling of savage grace,
Wallowing in his pathos,
Bellowing for his bride.
Next time Mr. Moonshine,
It’ll all be fine…
Eating away the hours,
And rescued for a plunder,
Kiss curl hanging dear,
Welcoming smile so near –
‘Forget me not,
In your Byzantine perambulations.’
Black the scream,
At the Edenic apple seen,
So she told –
Oh pure bizarro gold.
Maybe then I need more,
Than just a little grace and understanding,
If I’m to make this endless mile,
Touch that vaunted smile.
Solitary confinement now,
Eking out the milliseconds,
The shame and the strain:
And loving you,
More than can be true.
And hoping beyond hope.

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This poem was written in the aftermath of one of my infamous and decidedly dangerous drinking binges. It went on for about ten days – about usual, and started on a Friday night. I was feeling very, very sorry for myself – I’d just turned 45 (I’m now officially middle-aged) and was contemplating my great love interest of the past six months or so, who I’d been in close and intense communication with: she’d severed all lines of communication with me…

Maybe it was the right thing to do. But all those many times she’d assured me she loved me. And the many times I’d told her I loved her – she was the first woman I’d said those words to. Didn’t our words mean anything anymore? Was it all make believe? We didn’t even make it to a face-to-face meeting – she would find excuses from somewhere to put it off. For a time I was the beloved, her twin flame – we talked of having a child and living together in blissful concubinage. But towards the end, I had morphed into a ‘pitiful wretch’, and a lying, vicious misogynistic bastard to boot. I was the Serpent in her Garden of Eden, and she wasted little time in conveying to all and sundry just how bad and sad I was. Yet she seemed blind to the things she’d said and done which really hurt me, and blind to her double standards. But I was willing to work through these things with her – our shortcomings, our mistakes, our skeletons in the closet – such was the esteem I held her in. Then I was expunged from her life just like that – all lines of communication severed. How could she do that after all that time? After all the emotional and psychical investments we’d made? All the dreams we’d woven? We’d declared our love for one another many times. Was it all just make believe? Were we just in love with the ideal of love, hastily fastening that ideal to one another until reality ruptured the mutual fantasy? Perhaps, but when have there been roses without thorns? Isn’t there always a price to pay for love? I thought she knew that, had accounted for it. I still believe I love something essential I beheld in her. But I’m falling into a perennial trap – blaming the other for the breakup. I was guilty of much. Said things that should never have been said. Relationships require constant tenderness and this can only come from being and staying in empathy.

Anyway, such was my mental perturbation and downheartedness as I set about a second bottle of wine that Friday evening. Things could have been a lot worse that night. But whether it was mere coincidence or something more – like synchronicity – a stranger turned up out of the blue and befriended me. I was made to feel someone again, plus I was introduced to Joni Mitchell – singer, songwriter, and poet extraordinaire. Despite this, I continued drinking hard for the next few days. I’ve had a self-destruct button for as long as I can remember. Perhaps I’m just addicted to pain? Or taking things to the brink? Things go wrong, or not according to plan or what I’d hoped for, and I feel that I have to make it that much more worse. And then of course I feel ashamed and at loggerheads with myself.

© Stephen. J. Oram

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