Lessons From Lovers Past

The One Whose Heart I Broke

I learned to skateboard with your hand in mine. You taught me how to bare my soul without saying a word and how to get lost in the milky chocolate of your eyes. I learned to roll a joint and drive a stick shift with your watchful eye on my every move. You taught me how much words can mean, and how much more meaninful silence can be, punctuated only by the sound of your heart beating. I learned to not expect a phone call when you were gaming with your buddies. You taught me that breakups are never straight forward, and that “I’m no good for you” sometimes means “my friends don’t like you.” I learned that moving on after being dumped ruins second chances. You taught me to say “I love you” when I feel it, not when it’s “acceptable” to. I learned that sex with your ex is always a bad idea and leads to sticky situations forever afterward. You taught me how much it hurts to break someone’s heart.

The One Who Got Away

 You taught me how to play poker, how to change my car’s oil, and how to do a wicked smoke show in the school parking lot. I learned how to play Halo and how to make friends with almost anyone. You taught me how to whole-heartedly pursue the things that make me happy and to leave behind those that don’t. I learned the “rules” of Catholicism, of UFC, of that ridiculous drinking game we made up and couldn’t remember the next morning. You taught me how to truly miss someone – someone who wasn’t physically far away, but was emotionally distant. I learned that no matter how often you let me go, I’d always come running back when you beckoned. You taught me how many people can get hurt in an off and on “relationship,” and how much it hurts that you would never refer to us as in one. I learned that once I stopped going back to you, once I pretended that I didn’t love you – we actually made great friends. You taught me how much it hurts to see someone you still love, years later, dating one of your closest friends. I learned that, 10 years after we last spoke, Kokanee beer, black mustangs, and “Speedfreak” by Motorhead will always take me back to the front seat of your car on the night you told me it was over for good. You taught me that sometimes, what we can never hold on to is what we want the most. I learned that there are people you will never quite let go of.

The One Who Fathered My Child 

Because of you, I learned to stand on my own two feet. You taught me how to drink and smoke more pot than I ever thought possible. I learned that in moments of intoxication, the most mundane experience can be otherworldly. You helped teach me that a mother’s love compares to nothing else on Earth. I learned that no good deed goes unpunished. You taught me that it’s okay to walk away when you realize you’re on a crash course to disaster. I learned to hide my bruises and to make up convincing stories for those that were impossible to cover. You taught me how to duck and cover, when to stop talking, how to plead for my life. I learned to take a hit and go right back to washing the dishes without waking the baby. You taught me that your cocaine use was “no big deal” and something you “had under control.” I learned how to recognize your actions when you were using – the way your eyes would take on that funny glint, how you’d clench your jaw, the unexplainable rages. You taught me that I was worth more than your abuse and that loving someone can mean leaving them.

The One I Thought I’d Marry 

You taught me how to swap out the rear differential in a Toyota Supra. I learned how to start a fire, how to open up and let someone in, how to speak of the unspeakable moments in my past. You taught me to let loose once in awhile, to have fun, to not give a single fuck about tomorrow because the night was young and worries were for the old. I learned how beautiful the stars are on the top of a mountain with only a blanket and your arms to keep me warm. You taught me to hold my feelings in, to never voice them for the fear of being called “crazy,” no matter how valid they may have been. I learned to fear a breakup with every fight because your solution was always to walk away for good. You taught me that my best was never good enough, that no matter how hard I tried to be who you wanted me to be, I would never stack up to the standard set by The Love Of Your Life who broke your heart three years before we met. I learned that being  friends with your ex sometimes means you’re still sleeping with them.

The One I Never Meant To Love

I learned the rules to football – CFL and NFL – and how to be an awesome chaperone for 13 year old boys at midnight releases. You taught me how to ride a dirtbike – first with your arms around my waist as you tried not to cover your eyes, and then on my own. I learned to ask for what I wanted from you, even if you never seemed to deliver. You taught me the beauty in a good morning text and a goodnight text and a million little “I miss you”s in between. I learned that you never really stopped with those texts, you just started sending them to the girl you were cheating on me with. You taught me to never let a man borrow my Darth Vader mug, because I still haven’t got it back. I learned that your family didn’t know we were dating – that they disapproved of me even as just a friend. You taught me to be ashamed of us, to stay hidden so that you wouldn’t have to tell your friends your girlfriend was a feminist. I learned that no matter how much you love someone, they can be done with you in a split-second. You taught me that sometimes relationships end months before we say goodbye.

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Dear McFly

Dear McFly,

I know I said I was done with you and that I never wanted to speak to you again. Truthfully, that hasn’t changed. However, I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and, well, I kind of owe you.

You see, when we were together, you never gave me anything. Not a scrap of affection, an invitation to dinner, a suggestion to stay the night… nothing. Unless I asked, of course. I hated it. I felt like you should have known what I wanted, what any woman would want in my shoes. I was hurt that I had to ask to get a hug. I felt like a burden.

I was only half right.

True, you really didn’t give me what I needed, and frankly, you didn’t want to take me out in public for a reason. I’m still not happy about that. But, what you did give me was more valuable than I could have even imagined.

You taught me to ask for what I need, and to leave what I’d like up to chance.

So when I need Jedi to hold me, I ask him to. And when we both have an overnight babysitter, I’m not afraid to ask him if I can spend the night. Maybe it’s because he’s not such a self-centered jerk, but it seems that when I ask for the things I need, the things I’d like just fall into place.

You also taught me a valuable lesson about what I will and won’t stand for in a relationship.

In six months, you never once told people I was your girlfriend. You only wanted to hang out with me at home, away from where people could see us. You were ashamed of me, and I still am not quite sure why.

Thank you for that.

That might sound a little crazy, but hear me out. Thank you for making me realise that your issues with relationships extended far beyond anything I could have ever caused or solved during the course of our relationship. Thank you for showing me what it feels like to be a dirty little secret, and for making me acknowledge that I am worth so much more than that. Thank you for breaking my heart again and again and again. I would not have what I have now if I had not gone through the hell that was six months of dating you.

Thank you, McFly, for being the biggest douchebag I’ve ever met. And thank you, Universe, for bringing me my Jedi dream man, even if I did have to kiss some pretty big frogs first.

– T

Music Monday – January 28th, 2013

Dirty Water
– Real Friends

If you wore your personality on your skin
No one would take a second look
You were shallow when we met and you still are
The water won’t be coming down any time soon to change that
The loneliness keeps me warm at night
And that’s okay with me, I’d rather be alone in this bed made for two
Than listen to you and your judgement

Don’t act like you’re better than me
We’re both fools lost in this cold world
You may not fall as much as I do but if I look close enough
I can find the scars on your knees, I can find the bags under your eyes
That carry too much for you to handle

I’m starting to think that you’re the reason why everyone left
So stop pointing your finger
You don’t even really know me, not at all
You don’t even really know me

Don’t act like you’re better than me
We’re both fools lost in this cold world
You may not fall as much as I do but if I look close enough
I can find the scars on your knees, I can find the bags under your eyes
That carry too much for you to handle

I said I’m selfish, I’m a liar and I’m broken
Shit runs through my head everyday that I would never tell anyone

You’re just like me
The only difference is that I’m honest enough to scream my thoughts
In the lines of this song

R.W.K.

I began forgetting you slowly.

At first, it was tiny memories
That fell by the wayside:
The sound of you closing the bedroom door
Your bare feet padding across the lineoleum
The whispered “good night” as you wrapped yourself around me
And drifted into oblivion.

Next, I forgot how you looked in the morning,
Tousled hair and sleepy eyes,
That sexy, half-awake voice
And, yes, even your morning breath
(Which, truthfully, I was happy to not recall)

After the first few faded memories, forgetting picked up speed.

I forgot your favourite football team (Lions?)
And your favourite milkshake (strawberry? definitely strawberry)
I forgot the way you’d say my name
And the crinkle by your eyes when you really laughed.

I forgot the feeling of your arms around me
And the tickle of your breath against my cheek.
I forgot the butterflies you gave me
And the million sweet words
And the seventy-five unpleasant ones
(Because we did fight once or twice)

Slowly, you faded
Then all at once you were gone.

Now, although I know your eyes are blue,
I cannot recall their depth.
Though I know your lips are soft,
I have forgotten their touch.

And although I know I loved you
I cannot remember how
or when
or why.

© T. Kalau 2013

On Love and Loss

“December 24th and we’re through again.
This time for good I know because I didn’t
throw you out — and anyway we waved.

No shoes. No angry doors.
We folded clothes and went
our separate ways.

You left behind that flannel shirt
of yours I liked but remembered to take
your toothbrush. Where are you tonight?

Richard, it’s Christmas Ever again
and old ghost come back home.
I’m sitting by the Christmas tree
wondering where did we go wrong.

Okay, we didn’t work, and all
memories to tell you the truth aren’t good.
But sometimes there were good times.
Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep
beside me and never dreamed afraid.

There should be stars for great wars
like ours. There ought to be awards
and plenty of champagne for the survivors.

After all the years of degradations,
the several holidays of failure,
there should be something
to commemorate the pain.

Someday we’ll forget that great Brazil disaster.
Till then, Richard, I wish you well.
I wish you love affairs and plenty of hot water,
and women kinder than I treated you.
I forget the reason, but I loved you once,
remember?

Maybe in this season, drunk
and sentimental, I’m willing to admit
a part of me, crazed and kamikaze,
ripe for anarchy, loves still.”

“One Last Poem for Richard” by Sandra Cisneros

 

It’s true, I admit it. Boyfriend and I are done. Have been for awhile, actually. While the Titanic sunk beneath me, I stood on the deck praying for a miracle, all the while knowing that deliverance would not arrive.

Everything was perfect, and then it wasn’t. Looking back, I can’t pinpoint the precise moment where it all started to unravel. Maybe it was the first fight. Maybe it was the second. Maybe it was when I stopped buying his groceries and cleaning his house because I only had the time and money to take care of myself. Maybe it was all of these things and maybe it was none of them. My perfect faerietale turned into something I didn’t want. My prince became an ogre… and I wasn’t about to stand for it.

I could do a lot of finger-pointing at his issues with his ex, or his questionable nights out with random girls, or his hidden sexist agenda that appeared five months in. But the truth of the matter is – I miss him.

I called it off. Yes, I’m the bad guy there. It hurts to know that someone you love is not right for you, was not right for you from day one and will never be right for you. It hurts to know that you, once again, gave your whole heart to someone who wasn’t able to treat it the way it deserves. It hurts to know he’s already moved on.

But now… now I need to live my life for me. I need to take care of myself. I need to mourn. And I need to make sure that the next time I give my heart, he’s playing for keeps.

Music Monday – November 12, 2012

All Too Well
-Taylor Swift

I walked through the door with you, the air was cold
But something about it felt like home somehow
And I left my scarf there at your sister’s house
And you still got it in your drawer, even now

Oh, your sweet disposition and my wide-eyed gaze
We’re singing in the car getting lost upstate
Autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place
And I can picture it after all these days

And I know it’s long gone
And that magic’s not here no more
And I might be okay
But I’m not fine at all

‘Cause there we are again, on that little town street
You almost ran the red ’cause you were looking over me
Wind in my hair, I was there, I remember it all too well

Photo album on the counter, your cheeks were turning red
You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-size bed
Your mother’s telling stories about you on the tee ball team
You tell me about your past, thinking your future was me

And I know it’s long gone
And there’s nothing else I could do
And I forget about you long enough
To forget why I needed to

‘Cause there we are again, in the middle of the night
We’re dancing around the kitchen in the refrigerator light
Down the stairs, I was there, I remember it all too well

And maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much
But maybe this thing was a masterpiece ’til you tore it all up
Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well

And you call me up again just to break me like a promise
So casually cruel in the name of being honest
I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
‘Cause I remember it all, all, all too well

Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it
I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it
After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own
Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone

But you keep my old scarf from that very first week
‘Cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me
You can’t get rid of it ’cause you remember it all too well, yeah

‘Cause there we are again, when I loved you so
Back before you lost the one real thing you’ve ever known
It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well

Wind in my hair, you were there, you remember it all
Down the stairs, you were there, you remember it all
It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well

It's About Time

It’s been months since I actually took a few minutes to blog, so here’s a brief timeline of 2012, since my last post:

April :: gave up on giving up on Boy. We started texting. Found out a good friend’s brother was secretly in love with me.

May :: went on a date-type thing with Boy. Stayed up all night talking to him. Kissed him. Got epically blown off.

June :: met a new Boy. He let me drive his brand new truck less than an hour after meeting him. We became inseperable. Baby girl graduated kindergarten. New Boy and I went on a date. Spent two Fridays in a row talking till 5am. Had our first kiss. I got drunk and tried to seduce him. He insisted on sober consent. I confessed my rape to him. He held me and let me cry and never once blamed me. I started to fall for him.

July :: Boy met kiddo. Boy and i became official. I turned 27. Boy turned 34. Boy met my parents, brother and grandma.

August :: random summer fun with kiddo, BFF and BF. I don’t definitively remember any of August.

September :: BF and I survived the first fight. I ran my first 6k, as a fundraiser for the women’s shelter. Kiddo started grade one. I survived my rapist coming back to work. I realised I’m in love with boyfriend.

October :: life continued along well. Boyfriend and kiddo and boyfriend’s kiddo are all fantastic.

Life is so good right now.