The Warrior’s Question

Maybe I should not ask this of you
Yet I feel I need to make things clear
Which path do you wish to choose
Choosing the path of the friend you get my shield
Support as much as possible and defend you as a member of my tribe
Or the path of something more
My sword would be yours
I will fight for you
Fight until my last breath
Fight every day as my best
Fight even after death
I would give you everything and anything if you wanted it
All you need is to choose
Someone who is merely in your corner
Or someone who will die for you

Tears of Pressure

Moments like this
Find us staring face to face
Eyes diving into another
Souls melding
Aches unintentionally soothed
How or why does this happen with us
It isn’t like we are making an active decision
Trust me if I could that would solve so many issues
But there is no magic button to press
Just two souls that cried out to the world
Two souls that answered
There is a certain magic in this
Someone might be foolish enough to label this as love
In this I do not know
I do know as each day passes by
A line we never knew draws near
We might inadvertently cross it
Or recognize this boundary of our friendship
Part of me hopes that we do
I enjoy though just being your friend
I am humbled to be trusted by you
Yet I cannot deny I have entertained that idea
That I wonder what may lay on the other side
Yes it could be a grand mistake
Then again it could be something greater
This is a choice that is set in front of us
If we are brave enough to take it
I am content just to be terrified
Yet wonder if you have these thoughts as well
Does your heart beat just happy and content
Or yearn for something more
To entertain a notion so unthinkable
A relation in which we sacrament

Friend or Faux

I apologize if I sound angry
But I admit that in which I don’t understand
How is it you cannot talk with me
Why does this cause you so much anxiety
I can’t believe it is just because you are a girl and I am a guy
People are allowed to be just friends
I will not take that as an excuse
You certainly know why
Yes I am not blind
I see you with him

To be perfectly honest
This makes me feel like a failure
Like I am causing some reason to not be trusted
So I am left with questions
Is it because he is the mistake
The one you cannot talk about
The one you cannot let go of
Or are you terrified that if you open up and trust in me
That I could become a mistake as well
I realize you can protect yourself
Simply by being so distant
Yet how can a friendship grow or remain
Without any real interaction
I am a big kid
I know there are lines that shan’t be crossed
But hey, we can’t cross them if we don’t draw them
I know from the outside
My situation can look bad to others
But it never was because of you
It never will be
Being real
It helps me get out of my head
I enjoy helping others and being a friend
Frees me from my own misery
At least for a brief moment
I just don’t understand
So all I can do is complain
But in this endeavor it is all on me
I will carry that blame.

One Step Closer

 So close today
Enough that it was in each other’s eyes
That desire to reach out and tell all
Push beyond the limits of comfort and anxiety
I am painfully aware that you want to my friend
To have that soul to trust yourself with
Yet faith is hard to believe in
When other relations fall apart into nothingness and dust
I will be here for you
To listen to everything that you trust to me
Take in all that you wish to share
A self-contained record of your story
No judgement to be had
Just understanding and compassion
I have been you too
In you I found a person so surprising
An organic friendship that came almost from above
Walking a path we never had imagined
Yet becoming the friends that we are
I wish I could silence the voices in your mind
Bring peace to your most wonderful of hearts
One day if I am blessed enough for you to trust in me
I will do my best to help you put back together all your parts
You and I have had more than our share of heartbreak
So trusting in another can be hard
Yet we will do so because it is our nature
We love to love no matter the consequences
We are who we are
I do not know where this story will lead us
Yet I feel I know how one theme will always be until the end
Better days will come no matter where we go
For still we walk with love in our soul
Is there anything more precious, that I can want for my friend

Mind’s Eye Demon

I wish I could quiet that voice
The one that whispers in your ear all day
The one that keeps you awake at night
I wish I could silence those condemning views
Negate the self-doubt it imposes on a soul
The perception that we are weak and inadequate
I want us to find our peace
Happiness of heart
Joy of our own being
We deserve to realize
That we need to serve ourselves
Our true selves
To be happy
All this baggage of meeting expectations
Conditions that others expect of us
Or that we feel we owe others
We need to find a way to let it go
This mountain we are toiling under
One day shall fall aside
On that day my wonderful friend
We will get off the ground
And rise

Gotta be honest with me

I had been planning this out, thinking that only my last few relationships are worth merit.  Upon a bit more introspection, I feel I should do as complete a listing as I can.  Both for posterity, and also as a record.  A sort of, partial autobiography as you will.  Maybe this will show some insights as to how I am or have been, or even a deeper meaning others might see that I cannot.  So, here we go.

I tried really hard to nail down the first time I think I liked a girl.  To that enterprise, I go back to 10th grade in my Spanish class.  There was a girl there who was an 11th grader, and we talked and were cordial in class.  I do remember one day being brave enough to slip her a note asking her if she might want to go our sometime, or even talk.  My number was in said note, but after receiving it, she became slightly odd and distant.  Still friendly, just, something changed.

Later that year I gathered up the courage to ask a second girl, again by note since I had confidence issues.  She at least responding with she liked me as a friend, but had started seeing someone sooner than me asking.  Luckily, things didn’t change between us

So I had a few false starts to say the least, and I don’t recall ever asking another girl out while in high school.  That included other girls asking me to take a friend of theirs to homecoming, but I just felt awkward about that experience.  Looking back, maybe I should have just to start breaking down that awkwardness I had, but no sense lamenting over that. 

I feel my biggest regret was never asking Brenda out though.  We were good friends throughout high school, and worked on a few classes together.  I remember spending time with her on the phone trying to figure out Calculus for hours at a time.  Never at that time could I have asked her out, as I did know about whom she was seeing, and was a sounding board for issues and a guy point of view.  Even after they broke up, I stayed silent.  We did make plans for after graduation to get together, but the timing just never seemed to work out as we both had something going on.  I do remember really liking her a lot though.

The first girl I went on a date with, would be Tina.  We met in the days before the internet, back when dial up was the rage and a thing called Bulletin Boards were the main online areas.  It was like a small email/interaction service with mail and games and such.  I remember talking with her for months, she broke up with a boy she had been seeing, and one of us one day suggested getting together and doing something.  So I remember doing all the primping preening things, washing and waxing my truck the day before and picking her up.  There was some anxiety as she was only 16 and I believe I was 19 at the time.  She hurriedly introduced me to her mom and then we were off to dinner and a movie.  We did have a good time, but in my inexperience, I never made any kind of move or even touched her if I recall correctly.  I took her home, and we said our goodbyes, never to date again.  Side note, we are still friends, and she is married to a friend of mine as well.  So I feel it’s a win no matter what.

The second girl I went out with was Michelle.  She lived about an hour away, and we were introduced via mutual friends.  We actually went out a few times, but with no physical interaction I recall, other than the night I broke up with her.  Things were progressing, but it was so fast and so overwhelming back then that I mentally couldn’t cope.  She kissed me that night and respected my wishes.  Is it sad that my first kiss really was a last kiss goodbye?  Maybe I was an idiot for not hanging in there longer, I do not know.

Allison is my first sense of ultimate heartbreak made even more ironic in that we never dated.  Al was one of the ‘boys’.  She dated my best friend Jeff for two years before they eventually broke up after school, but still was a member of our club of friends.  Her and I did spend a lot of time together talking, and joining us on our adventures.  I knew I liked her, but I never knew how much.  I remember when we decided to get the tension out of our system and kissed for the first time.  It was intense, but the timing was terrible.  You see, she had a bf at the time, and a week later he asked me if I would be one of his groomsmen because he proposed to her.  I had to get back to him on that one (honest, I never answered him).  I sat out their wedding, but did man up and go to the reception.  Their marriage only lasted a few years, yet her and I remain close friends.  I remember going to visit her after she had moved to Columbia, and that night asking her to consider dating me.  I went all in, hard, and she said she couldn’t.  Somehow I managed to make it home, but I don’t remember the drive.  Just the uncontrolled tears and sadness, interrupted by me telling myself out loud to breathe and remind my heart to beat.  That night was terrible and we didn’t talk again for years.  Eventually we did, and we have moved passed that (well, I needed to move pass it as it was my issue).  Now she is in SC married to a man whom is a mixture of myself and other of our friends.  We still do talk, deeply about things.  She is one of my best friends.

Rebecca is my one that truly got away.  We randomly met at a gathering of friends one December day if I recall.  Fun fact, she was actually dating an outlier of our friends.  He showed up with her at the Olive Garden, and then proceeded to disappear to the bar and left her there (a 17 year old girl) to cope with all of us yahoos (all in our mid 20’s).  Luckily, we are a nice and friendly bunch.  Eventually we all had dinner, and I believe it was Tina who noticed that I was interested in her.  Heck, I don’t think I knew at the time, but Tina is a smart cookie.  Tina invited her to come out with us in the future as we did do the weekend ‘Friends’ thing of going to movies and such and had got her information.  I feel it was two, but maybe three weekends later Tina and Scott picked her up and went out with us to the movies and dinner.  After the show, I offered to take her home as at the time I technically was the closest to where she lived.  She accepted, and we ended up going for a drive all the way to Baltimore first, before coming back to Lemoyne.  We chatted the entire time, recalling our lives story and sharing our views on things.  We just instantly ‘clicked’.  She gave me her number, and honestly, we were rarely a moment apart afterwards.  Not that we technically dated or had a relationship, we just, were us.  Two kids learning a lot about who we were and where we wanted to go.  She helped me move to my first home in Mechanicsburg, and spent time with my Grandmother and my parents.  Perhaps foolishly, I taught her how to drive, even going through tear invoking fog on 15 one night.  Definitely foolishly I supported her ‘dating’ a boy closer to her age, but she still always came back to me.  We never kissed, but held hands and each other at length.  There was my birthday where she went over the top with things, but the card was the best, in which she wrote how she feels like we are a old married couple, just handing everything in stride and being our rocks.  I remember skipping work one day for us to go to the beach, where I should have asked her the questions, but was knocked off course by her telling me of her choice to join the AmeriCorps and move to San Jose.  I was in shock, but I respected her choice.  I made her a last mix CD to think of me and gave it to her the day before she left.  I knew if I saw her off I would break down.  We remained friends, even over long distance.  While she was there I met my first wife Holly, but she did return a year or so later.  Because of how Becca and I were, Holly’s jealousness came to bear and I had to stop being her friend.  That talk with her on the swings, well, it killed me that day.  Looking back I should have known how much she meant to me, and honestly, she still has a special place, warranted or not.

Holly I met at Tina and Scott’s wedding.  She walked up to the head table where I was and calmly asked if I wanted to dance.  I accepted, and we enjoyed ourselves, eventually giving each other our information.  Her parents were also there and rode with her, but had to leave early to take care of their dogs.  She asked me if I would mind driving her home so we could talk and enjoy the reception more, and I accepted.  We did take a long ride home, culminating at one point with her quite pointedly asking me if I was going to kiss her or not.  And kiss we did.  Note to self, this would be kissed girl #3.  Eventually I dropped her off at her parents later that night.  We then dated for a little.  She was my first time, and I wasn’t ready for that.  Nothing pre mind you, just that I never made it to happy town.  Anyways, she asked me about two months later if I would go with her to visit her sister and brother in law in Seattle over Thanksgiving, which I accepted.  She didn’t know, that while we were there, I had my Grandmother’s ring resized for her.  When we got back, I dropped her off at her home, and went back to mine to pick up said ring.  She was happily surprised when I returned that night, and asked if I took care of the things at the house that I needed too.  To which I replied yes, for that is when I went to adjust my shoelaces, and also said I found the courage to ask you to marry me.  I remember the excitement of that all.  The planning thereafter and the selling of my home and purchasing of our home in Elizabethtown.  It all was a blur though, to sudden, too fast.  I never really had my feet down to process what I was getting in to.  Little did I know how possessive she would be and later how secretive and resentful of me she had become.  I had a very low time and called SEAP for some guidance, to which they set me up with a counselor.  I didn’t know she was listening in until she confronted me immediately about it when I was off the phone.  She was happy I was going for help, but she was offended that my relationship with her wasn’t one of my top three issues.  In my defense I did not know she felt like that at that time.  So I went into therapy, and she started spending time with a friend of ours.  I feel my time there was well spent, but when I asked her if she wanted to come with me she bluntly said no.  We tried working on things, but it just death spiraled till the day I broke.  See, she did a good job of nit picking things apart and one night I had enough and bluntly told her she should be grateful I was me and no another man, because someone else probably would have tossed her through a wall or something.  She said oh, so you want to hurt me now too?  I said no, but I am not going to let you push me to become that person.  I moved out the next day.  We did meet one last time to sign the consent to divorce decree and I asked if she was sure she did not want to try and work on things.  She only said we were broken and there is no going back.  So it ended.

I moved home, then dated and moved in with Cambria.  Cambria is a sweetheart I have known since high school.  Honestly I always thought she and I related well, and more than likely we would should still be together till this day.  That ended though with me, under advice from my attorney, moving back to my parents while setting up custody arrangements for the first time.  I always intended for us to not go our separate ways while this worked out, but, she could not accept that.  We stayed friends, even thru her unstable Army man time, and even today with her on again off again relationship with a man, which in my opinion, is merely using her and biding his time.  He treats her like crap, and I do not make any bones about it.  Last I knew she kicked him out, but I do not know if that will remain that way as his pet and other things are still there.  Sigh.  She never understood that I could simply with other women as well, and did enjoy their company too.  Not that it is a severe failing, but a lesson I eventually tried to forget.

Once home for a while, I ended up with some good friendships with women, that were not a dating relationship per say.  I am still best friends with Melanie, and good friends with Danielle, Jessica, Nicki, another Melanie, and Lisa.  It was also in this time that I met Sue.  Sigh, she verily is my #2.  We had actually know each other for years, but finally got a chance to talk at this point.  At that time, she was newly divorced as well, and just wanted a friend.  Our friendship started off innocently enough, just quick talks, then lunches and walks over breaks.  We never held back anything and grew together so organically and so strongly, that we would randomly know when the other was sad or in pain.  We definitely had a strong connection, which was tested the one day when she came clean and told me that she had been seeing someone.  She didn’t want to hurt me and truly enjoyed the fact that someone could just listen and understand her.  Now I had before that, asked a few times about doing something, but the timing was never right for some reason.  Looking back I should have seen it, but it took this act of honesty for me to truly know.  We stayed friends, but began secretly seeing each other late at night.  Not that there was an immediate sexual connection, but I am not saying that there were not moments of starting things to then stop.  Eventually she even agreed to accompany me to one of my best friend’s wedding and we had a great time.  This played out a few months more before one night, I sadly asked that she make a choice because I needed to know if we were ever going to go somewhere.  She chose me.  The following day I had to let her know I was wrong in making any demands and it wasn’t right.  She and I could continue, or we could just be friends.   I don’t think I ever received a full answer other than we grew apart, not do to me wanting or trying.  The time just never worked out.  I need to accept this.

Lastly, we come to Amy.  I met her in the summer.  Or rather, she reached out to me in August I believe via Facebook and I returned her message in October I believe.  We met for our first date, and got along relatively well.  Maybe to well as I had us break up a few months later due to fear and anxiety of making a mistake to rush things again.  We remained in occasional contact, her telling me about the man she had met and their issues, and me just relating with how work was and life in general.  She broke up with him, and she and I started to date again.  Feelings did develop, but I did pump the brakes more than once.  Although I still do wonder if things came to a head due to her daughter asking me one day if we were getting married or what?  Things for the most part were okay, although we never did live together at all before getting married.  Heck, even the first month after being married we were apart as she lived with her daughter while I moved into our first apartment.  Things had been good, but slowly, I feel we started to drift apart.  I didn’t notice at first, but to me, our differing schedules slowly fomented some conflict, as we had different sleep schedules and adult time faded into rare occasions.  Throw in some vastly different expectations as being parents and responsibilities we all should have, and we end up where we are right now.  Extremely strained with her wanting more from us, and I, sadly, unwilling because I don’t know how to fix things.  It is only a matter of time I fear until something breaks one way or the other.

I would interject my friends Charla and Jenn at this point, but Charla is far away in Colorado, and Jenn, hmm, honestly, is extremely Sue like in many ways.  Only time will tell with her, right now I would love to be her friend and be able to know her entire story, but that is up to her to decide.

A friend indeed

I realized something over the weekend.  Something I swore I would not lose track of.  Something that is a deep connected part of who I am. 

It only took a severe crisis for a dear friend of mine.  This friend had a severe bipolar episode on Friday (which was heightened by not taking meds and drinking), called me frantic on the phone, and begged me not to call the cops or to overreact myself.  I implored with them on the phone that I would not, just to stay put and I would be there as soon as I could.  Sadly before I could get there, they got into a car and disappeared.  I was in contact with their spouse to be a help, and did not find out until Saturday (nearly 20 hours later) that they had wrecked the car, assaulted an officer who arrived on scene, and currently is still in the hospital under observation.

I did try to get there but was too late.  Yes, this does weigh on me heavily.  Those twenty hours I did fear the worst.

Yet, the worst, was relating this story when I got home.   See, my friend was a girl, and my wife immediately became jealous because I was worried.  “Who is this person?  Why haven’t I heard of her?  What does she mean to you?” 

Yes, I realized my failure was in not being open about who my friends are.  At the same time, I also know that me having female friends is a problem for her and always had been.  Yes I can seem a little weird because I haven’t said things about them, but I know how she would react.

What I really didn’t realize, is the toll of not openly embracing these relationships would take.  I feel I am a good friend, and I do not require an intimate relationship to be that.  But, from this point forward, I am not denying who I am and who I talk to.  Yes, I have female friends.  Yes, they all are dear to me, and I will help them if I am able.  Just as if they were one of my male friends.  My friendship should never have stopped because I was in an involved relationship.  Either that relationship understands me, or it isn’t meant to be.  That is how I wanted it to be, and had initially asked for it to be, but I buckled under the pressure initially and decided to store things away.  No more

I got to be me, and embrace that.  Without it, I was slowly driving myself slightly askew.  So yeah, I am definitely adding this back into this year of rediscovering me.

Hazel Touched Reverie

 If only you could see yourself
The way you should be seen
You are much more than your pretty face
Those intoxicating eyes of green
You are so much more than your figure
Which anyone will adore
You are much more than your hair style
You could let it fall to the floor
So much of you it radiates
From the brilliant soul within
How you care for everything
How you want all others first to win
I knew the first day I saw you
Even then I drowned in your eyes
Then the day I met you
Blessed to know the woman inside
It has been a slow walk together
Cautious we became friends
Slowly sharing our hopes and dreams
Sadness over life’s end
I wish I could show you
How much you are my dear
You are so much more than a broken soul
One in which others demean and fear
In you I have found a spirit
One that blazes so pure and divine
One that touched me so deeply
I jealously wish you could be mine
But no I only offer friendship
It is the one thing I can share
If you wanted more than that
Well that question is for you to dare
I am blessed to be your friend
Know in your heart this is true
And I want for you what I always wanted
For you to be good with you

Denial of Youth

Shock and awe
World turned asunder
Reflecting of days
Memories with you
Can we find the courage
To leave all our hurt behind
Meet each other anew
Maybe this time
Learn to be a friend
I feel back then
Before it all went wrong
We moved to fast and too deeply
Missing that important first part
Not allowing true knowledge and respect grow
We only wanted to succor our bleeding hearts
I want to let that hurt go
I hope that you can as well
Find a new beginning
Built on our past loves sepulcher
Not for just you and me
For the both of us
And her

A Sickness of Butterflies

Words I never would have chosen for
My depth of character
My amount of love and care in my heart
My simple understanding and comprehension
Here I am
Terrified these qualities scare you away
Make you feel unworthy
Barely worth my time
Oh, my darling beautiful soul
You are
You are more than you will ever know
For within you I see a reflection of how I feel
And honestly
It scares me
That I am unworthy of being
In your presence
In your gaze
In the conversation
In your thoughts
Your hopes and dreams of what life should be
We can crack the door
Or leave it alone
The entirety of an idea
Between simple friends
Or a step towards our home