Tim was mad at Karen. A girl I had not gone out with for very long, but an explorer and one who urged me to cut away that residual umbilical cord, which had been long attaching me to ma and move more than twenty miles away from home. "Take your head west young man!” Karen had urged me several times through late night conversations to move to Idaho, even though we were sort of going steady at the time and she wasn’t planning on shacking west with me. You see Tim and I had long been palsy-walseys, choosing to sit next to each other in the same Nashville Cats religious class ever since we’s babies.
Tim and I became quickly bored with religion class, hardly believed in miracles, and would have rather been outside. We stroked pencils against each other’s forearms, nestling in sensitivity in a seemingly sensible way; when my mother –still not yet fully rebounded from her postpartum depression - broke into the classroom to tug me away by the arm for a long intensive shaming about paying attention to religious miracles.
I connected with Karen through Tim’s sister. Both girls were salt-of-the-earth types. The kind that I usually fall for like a ton of goldbricks. That’s what another insightful friend plainspokenly told me years later, that I fall in love too easily. And that allowing myself to do so can become a very dangerous thing in some ways. Was that advice yet another priceless gift from an ex-lover? Someone particularly special to me, telling me with great embrace that I need to quit being such a Wagon-dazed hayseed and stop being stinking blind to the foul riding right alongside the fairest of maidens?
Was deluding myself, spiraling in love by attaching perfect horse-sense blinders, to overlook a girl’s marvelous errors, actually a kind act on my part? Or was overlooking another persons bloody red flags, cutting essential lifelines off within myself? At least if I was deluding myself, I felt as if I was feeling something. Better than living with the fool knowledge that boundlessly traveling as a planet without any sol is gonna be as good as it gets.
Karen and I used to take stunning nature walks along various eastern trails. Evening twilights, I led her down to the swirling
Karen had traveled with me on my grand-loop Goodbye tour before I headed west.
She was a sensible girl and on our romantic
I was pissed off at all the other guys, since time immemorial, who had screwed up my intensive innocent love chances, by gravely mistreating women who I had fallen for. It should be more simple: Pick a glistening girl, drag her lovingly by the hair, frighten off a few wolfs, scare a couple snakes, whack a few pterodactyls and show her what a protective man you are by lucidly dreaming with one eye open out under the stars in front of your recently drilled hot spring cave over Hatteras’es caped aurora.
Karen, after sensing this focused truth, I had been trying to convey, softly reciprocated, saying, “But I really cared about you, too.” Had we known each other for a longer period and allowed the relationship to more fully blossom, chances were that our futures would have been more closely intertwined.
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There were several times besides this, that I felt I was truly ‘in love’. With a dust of lust intermingling in the biological, drive somehow. How in the world are we to maintain those elusive wellness feelings resonating in our bodies, when they only come along about as often as Love American Style fireworks, every Fourth of July?
Maybe I am the butterfly poster child for naïve boy. About thirty years ago, I posted a notice up on a bulletin board at
He was onto something.
Does this same stain curse other cultures as well? Or is it only the American way? Again, I hated those other guys that had used the girls I fell in love with, for their abusive ways.
Andre the Giant says it takes two to tangle.
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I enjoyed falling for earthy women a couple of times. There was something about Mary.
I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but she was like a breath of fresh air, accentuated with natural vanilla oils. Soonafter meeting her, I discovered a butterfly alphabet poster much like this, hanging in Mary’s office:
When I expressed interest in it, she gave me a copy, which I still have. For several years, I used a similar poster to heal the wall in the unisex bathroom, where the boss punched his fist through the drywall after an ad-sales rep checkmated him in one of the senseless head games perpetually levitating around the office like innutritiously singed pieces of crumbly toast.
After Mary invited me safely into her secret garden, she revealed to me her esoteric knowledge about butterflies. She showed me how monarch butterflies and milkweed plants live together in perfect harmony. I loved this. We traipsed around vacant city lots with our collecting equipment - all within twenty miles of the Pentagon’s ground zero - and accumulated dozens of freshly laid butterfly eggs still attached to the milkweed leaves and cautiously took them back to Mary’s homemade incubator.
After the tiny eggs hatched we would service her terrarium by changing out the milkweed leaves, bringing in carefully selected new ones for the caterpillars to munch on and fashion small twigs for them to climb up to prepare their chrysalis transformation areas.
Before we would drift off to the sweet nectar of dreamy realms, she would whisper the kindest of secrets ever beheld into my dropsy ear. She was deaf too. But even this disability, she transmorgified into an advantage, by acutely focusing on her other sensibilities. Like Helen Keller, she could better peer into the crystal goodnesses inherent within people's hearts and sagaciously suggest what the best energy path to take might be, when chaotic overstimulation distractions went absent.
Once she told me that she was way up yonder in the black Dakota hills on a sultry day and threw her top down to the earth. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to her a dozen logging trucks rolled into the clearing, while she quietly surveyed for butterfly evidence. With a festive laugh, she told how when she spun about in the meadowdust, the loggers experienced a new sense of shock and awe that day when they beheld her without a top -appearing as an angelic pixie of the wilds. My heavenly Mary.
Often, I thought about how Mary’s and my relationship growing together was better than any childhood dream to which I had attached myself. The wonderful woman I loved knew every plant we discovered alongside creek beds and what usefulness each served. She knew volumes on every animal we crossed paths with and could even read minute behavioral peculiarities from glancing at a set of tracks.
Now I’m tracking solo. A limping Dilbert O’Sullivan, alone again natural athlete.
What a fool I was to not embrace her as my completing soul mate.
Will I ever meet somebody like her ever again?
Not if I don’t heal myself soon on the molecular level
But, is trying to do that too, just as impossible as praying for miracle in religion class?
Maybe I should turn to Tim and ask his opinion; he’s put himself through much of this same spiraling grinder.