Scars and Romance

So… Where to begin? Where to go?

I went to NYC this past weekend. I stayed with my oldest friend’s ex-fiancee and her live in boyfriend. On some level I just went to go see a hot Swedish chick with long hair and beautiful eyes whip her head around to some amazing heavy metal. Apparently the universe would offer a series of amazing gifts.

The first night, was the metal show. It was nice. I love metal shows because the audience is authentic and un-choreographed, no matter how staged the band seems. I’ve been to a few shows over the past few years and it has been great for me. I’ve spent years trying to find things that feed my soul and erupt as unbelievable sparks of joy from the unknown corners of my soul. Finding those things is the greatest accomplishment a man can ever achieve. Do you know what makes your heart sing? Apparently Elize Ryd makes my heart sing and sometimes she just makes my eyes go a little googly while she sings. What an angel, what a treasure. Oh, and I may start celebrating her Birthday, because it happens to be today.

The second night was odd. The day was frustrating as most of it was slept away. I haven’t been on vacation in years. I haven’t been free in New York City for years, so sleeping the hours away was near painful, but I needed it. A groggy wake up in a rainy city is something I missed. I woke up 3-4 times to the sound of wet tires tearing themselves from the concrete and rapidly marrying it on the other side. It really is a beautiful sound. It reminded me of a few weekends I spent doing little more than sleeping and waking up to a beautiful woman by my side as that same sound played outside.  This time, I was alone on a futon in the guest room next to a broken potted plant, a 5 string guitar and a copy of Atlas Shrugged.  The sound was just as beautiful.

Also, It is amazing to wake up surrounded by things that have their own stories.

Eventually, we went to Strand book store. I had a wonderful woman who was as into looking for books as I was and we just flipped through used books without looking at a watch or caring about the time.   We just looked until we were done, with the excuse of finding a used copy of “Love in the Time of Cholera” for my sister, because she is a crazy romantic and it would mean the world to her if I would find her a copy. It meant the world for her that I looked. We found funny books and showed them to each other and made jokes about who we really are. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?

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After that, we took a stroll down some apparently random streets, just chatting. We stumbled into this little jazz club. As we entered, a hoity toity gentleman asked if we had reservations because it was a Saturday night. Of course we had no reservations. When you are stumbling around Manhattan with a beautiful woman you’ve known for a decade, what kind of reservations do you need? Well, he just happened to have one table in this jam packed place. It was 2 feet from the “stage” which was just a corner where the band played. It was a tiny table for two and I could touch the guitar from my seat. A lovely woman with her hair drawn back in a long black dress walked over and handed us some menus and asked what we wanted to drink. We were unsure, so this beautiful woman in her long black dress kicked her hip to the left, and raised her left arm over her head and in a comedic move out of some fitness video, she purred in a soft French accent, “Well when you figure it out, just signal me like this.”

(The girl in the video was actually our waitress, the at the end of though night she did serenade us with “La Vie en Rose”)

Looking at the pricey menu, we opted for water so we could regroup and figure out what we wanted to do. Well, when a beautiful woman wants a night out, that’s what we do, so eventually we opted for a cheese plate and a ridiculously priced bottle of wine. She’d been talking about wine and is a lover of cheese, so whatever. We nibbled on cheese and bread and figs and walnuts while sipping wine with Jazz music being played live at a table for two. A more romantic chain of events is beyond my capacity to plan.

And in all of that, there were no sparks. Not that I was hoping for or expecting any. To the contrary, I love her to death and think she deserves the universe, but we’re not the right people for each other. What was surprising and amazing is the fact that I learned that I like wine and cheese and bread and figs and walnuts and whatever that strange spread was that occupied the corner of the plate. I had been avoiding these things thinking they were about romance. I’ve been waiting for someone to arrive and to share these “romantic things” with. Even as I realize this and write this post I can’t help but laugh at the silliness of that statement. There is no romance in cheese; there certainly was mold in the Bleu, as there should be, but no romance. There was no romance in a bottle of wine shared at a table for two in a jazz club.

Looking back at life, there was plenty of romance in forgetting the milk. There was plenty of romance in a million silent moments. Sure there was romance over wine and cheese, but I am happy to know that it didn’t come from there. I am happy to see that I have felt that way about people, even my ex-wife. I am ecstatic to know that all those ancient feelings of love are just signs of what my heart can do and not the side effect of alcohol and cheese. Sure I loved her. I loved her with every fiber of my heart and soul. I don’t know that I will ever love anyone more than I loved her. I gave her 100% and I will not be some sheepish coward who promises a girl that I will love her more than that. I am certainly not hung up on the ex-wife or anything, just not ashamed that I did love her. And now I know that my heart is capable of infinite love and amazing romance. I know that whomever I have loved in the past is in the past and am fully capable of loving someone in the present. I am capable of walking forward, fully healed and unashamed of the flames I have walked through for others. I can certainly love someone infinitely and eternally. I am capable of loving someone completely and there will never be more than that.

My scars are my own and you know what? Chicks dig scars. I am not afraid of the ones I have. I am not afraid of the ones I may get. The ones on my heart have faded, but they are there. They are a tribute, not to a girl I once loved but a tribute to the man I once was and the boy I want to grow into. So today, on what would have been, but probably never should have been my 8th wedding anniversary, let me say that I have found the immortality and invincibility of youth, though it is tempered by the eyes of an old man. I have felt pain and wallowed in misery. I can see the world as if I hadn’t. I may have scars from years of not learning my lesson and not being careful in letting my heart love, but I am proud that I have not learned that lesson. I never want to. I want to love easily, like a young boy. I want to forget the scars. I want to forget the milk.


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