The Strangest of Father's Days

     (I want to preface this posting. This is a writing of mine I expected to keep to myself. It was written the evening of Father's Day, 2010. At the time, I was single and not necessarily looking for someone to come into my life. I've lived a life never shying away from things that may make others uncomfortable, but, COME ON, these are my parents we're talking about here! Have any of you had a similar experience? I want need to hear about it.)

     In the scheme of chaotic things that make up my life, I need a constant that grounds me; something to keep things in a certain perspective.  For my entire adult life, this stabilizing force has been my parents.

     For those who don’t know my parents, my Dad is a man’s man. Blue collar to the core and devoted to Mom. He’s never cheated, he’s never raised a hand and he’s never called her a bad name. All this yet he still frustrates her to no end. The only reason she never left him is because he is one of those men that swoops in and unknowingly does an absolutely perfect romantic gesture that buys him more time. 
     My Mom on the other hand is hard core German. Rough but fair. She doesn’t put up with much and I’ve never met anyone stupid enough to challenge the 300 pound personality she carries in her 80 pound frame.
     They are proof; opposites attract.
     At this point there is a little more background that is needed before I can proceed.  You don’t need the details, so I’ll spare you, but here are the highlights. 


I "Luff" You!

     How often will we fall in love during our lifetime? Will we really truly fall in love as many times as we think? Or are we only fooling ourselves?

     How many times a day do we say we “love” something? “I really love that shirt!” or even, “I love the hamburgers at Five-Guys!” Some of us even, " watching reruns of Sex and the City!” Then, with the same auto-pilot temperament, turn to our significant other and profess, “I love you.”

     In most cases we really do love that person, but we also love that shirt and the hamburgers at Five-Guys. Because of this ambiguity, I came up with another word besides Love to use with my Soul-needle. The next time (last time) I fall in love – true love – I am going to hold her close, look deeply into her eyes and say, “I Luff You.”

     Silly? Maybe. But it’s something I’ve never said to anyone before. It will let that person know she has something from me I have never given to anyone else. I have to let her know that even though I love that dress she’s wearing, I luff her.

     I thought I had tasted true love in the past. I believed I held it right in the palm of my heart. I held it tight and didn’t let go for awhile. Everyone thinks love is elation and comfort and security. It can also reveal past pain and regret and grief. There’s a reason the heart is the symbol for love; because that’s where you feel the pain and exhilaration of love. Wives clutch their hands to their breastbone protecting their heart when their husbands pass away. Men pull their children’s heads to their chest to comfort them. Girls hold their hand over their heart while being proposed to; feeling the palpitations which prove to them it’s real. In good moments and bad, when love is real, the heart processes it.


Daniel and Sylvia (Part 3)

     Sylvia stood in the doorway of the bathroom inspecting the figure on the bed. The light filtering through the window gave his body an angelic quality. He had obviously reached for her after she slipped from the bed to use the bathroom, grabbing his shirt from the night before to wear. There was no need for modesty with Daniel; she wore his shirt to keep him close to her.

     She watched as he stirred, unconsciously sliding his hand over her side of the bed, still looking for her. The sheets were in tangles below his waist, revealing the upper part of his legs and butt.  Her eyes traced the muscles her fingers had navigated only a few hours ago.

     She had seen him naked many times before yet still couldn’t keep her body from reacting. She loved the thick waves of hair her fingers gravitated to every time they kissed. There were touches of gray peeking out and she teased him about it last night. His eyes, so at peace when he slept, sparked fires in her stomach when he caught her glance during the daylight hours. She swore he could see inside her, deep into the places she never allowed another to go.


Daniel and Sylvia (Part 2)

      The bank of six elevators lined the hallway just outside the entrance to Baroque’s. Three to the left, three to the right, like two teams faced off to play some mechanical blinking game. The panels on the last door to the left were beginning to shut and he dashed forward hoping he would make it in time. 

     As he threw his arm out to keep the doors from shutting all the way, a flurry of thoughts spun inside his head. He thought of how cliché he felt, running after the girl like in every chick-flick he'd been coerced into watching. When those predictive scenes came on he would wonder if it was really possible for two people to experience a love so strong they would actually run like a maniac down a city street. Now, he realized, he was one of those lovestruck fools.

     Even with all the thoughts and questions he had spinning in his head, the one he needed answered first was: What was she doing in his town?!


Daniel and Sylvia (Part 1)

     There was no doubt he was going to get in trouble for what he was about to do. Even knowing eyes were cautiously watching him, he wasn’t about to keep from doing it. For the last six years he had played out his forbidden act at least a few times each of those years and, quite frankly, it had become a bit of a game to him.

     Daniel had been frequenting Baroque’s on the top floor of the Ritz-Carlton since that day six years ago when he landed a position as a Sales Associate for a Medical Supply Company. Coupled with the final hearing of his divorce three weeks earlier, he felt the need to celebrate a new start to his life. A life he hoped would be full of happiness, stability, and eventually, true love; things which had been sorely missing for him. That evening, after getting the call he was the candidate hired, he tapped “Cleveland fancy restaurants” into Google and told himself the first result was where he would treat his newfound beginning. Since that first ceremonial dinner, this cavernous restaurant with its $50 steak dinners, minimalistic décor and patrons who come to rub elbows rather than to eat had become his celebratory hiding place. Anytime he earned a promotion or sold an account the rest of the office envied, this was where he came to do his private end-zone dance. He would always call ahead and ask the maître d, Marques, to save his table in the corner where the walls were windowed from floor to ceiling, showcasing the entire Cleveland nightline before him.

     Tonight, Daniel was sitting with his back against the line of windows which showcased the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Almost always, he would sit with his back to the other patrons so he could take in the horizon and pretend he was all alone in his temporary triumph. For some reason tonight he was in the mood to people-watch. Of course he ran the risk of being caught sooner with what he was about to do but he didn’t care. He took a quick look around, making sure no one was watching before reaching inside his suit jacket. He noticed as he reached for what was in his pocket Marques purposefully turned his back from him as had become their routine.


Ruby's Love Story

(This is an actual true-life story from about a year and a half ago. To this day, Ruby's commitment still emanates with me. It IS possible to find the love of your life and always be with them.)

     As I stood at the bus stop, impatiently waiting for the bus to arrive, I couldn’t help but notice the fluttering in my stomach. It’s an odd reaction for my body to have for a woman I barely know, yet here I stand hoping and praying she will be on the bus with an empty seat next to her. 
     Ruby and I met under unusual circumstances. Our relationship began a few weeks ago when she climbed onto the bus and, with no other seats available, I graciously gave up mine. Surprised by a chivalrous act in a day and age of un-chivalry, she appeared pleasantly shocked and thanked me before claiming my vacated seat.
     Last Tuesday, Ruby turned 83 years old. The first time I met her she was carrying two bags of groceries in plastic sacks I guess weighed more than she did. Her ebony skin carries a youthful glow which even through the creases of her years, give her a much younger demeanor. Always impeccably dressed, Ruby carries a certain nobility about her learned from the days of boarding schools and etiquette classes. She never slouches; her shoulders always back with a subtle respect always demanded in the most feminine of ways. This four foot-nine inch lady carries a sense of knowing her place in the world and she’s perfectly content with it.
     The second time I spent with Ruby was exactly a week later. This time when I got on the bus she was already there. Even though there were a number of other seats, we caught each other’s eye and with the recognition of the gesture from a week earlier floating between us. I asked her if it was ok to join her. She seemed rather tickled by my manners and said as much as I sat down.


What exactly is Romance?

     I posed this question the other day and was surprised by the stuttering and stammering which came back at me. While everyone seemed to have their idea of what a romantic gesture is, no one could pin down what Romance really means.

     Everyone wants their partner to be romantic on some level. Responses of romantic gestures people wanted from their partners included things as simple as opening a door for them to as complex as planning a romantic vacation and surprising them with it.  Coming up with things they wanted romantically was not a problem, getting them to answer why they wanted those things was a bit tougher. 

     It seems everyone claims to be a "hopeless romantic" but they are not sure why. Even I like to be on the receiving end of a romantic gesture. It may seem a little odd that a man actually wants to be romanced from time to time but it's true. It was during a moment of receiving such a gesture that I asked myself why it was so important to me.




     At last count, that is how many people we have weaving through this haystack called earth.  If we subtract out the ones not living in the USA, we can cut the number down to 310,435,839.  Of course no matter our sexual preference, we’re only interested in one half of the population so let’s cut that in half to just over 155,000,000.  This is the pile of hay we are left with in which to find our “soul-needle.”
     Why "soul-needle"? Because it IS like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Let's admit it... finding the one we are meant to be with is no easy task. We've all felt rather silly looking back on a past relationship, remembering the time we thought: they are the one.

     I’ve lived many years looking for my elusive “Soul-Needle”. I've had everything from childhood crushes which escalated into Puppy-Love to a 15 year marriage which ended in divorce. I’ve dated, rebounded, and bounced a couple of times before finally landing at the feet of the woman I know is not just the person I am going to spend the rest of my life with, but is the reason I have one…my Soul-Needle.