There is a lot I wish I could remember, and so much I want to forget. Earliest memory for me? At least that I recall with some vivid clarity, was sitting on the dining room chair, maybe 3 maybe 4, coloring my day away, content as can be, when lo and behold I decided to fall off the chair, and into the china cabinet. The bottom doors had these artsy fartsy knobs that came to a point, and sure enough, that is where gravity chose to deposit the back of my head.
I have the scar and perma-bump on the back of my head as a reminder any time I run my hand over the back of my skull. Apparently there was a lot of blood involved, as my poor mother was freaking out, had called my dad, in case any brain matter decided to seep out of the gash, I could be rushed to the hospital. Such a fuss made over me that day! Then I remember my father looking at the china cabinet with seething anger, and I may point out, I had to agree with the target of his rage, those decorative, pointed knobs on the doors.
If you go to my parents house, the knobs are still off those doors to this day. I believe he unscrewed them and tossed them a country mile into the woods, but the angry beams of energy shooting out of his eyes may have just melted them down into a puddle of molten lead or whatever.
I can recall the day my dad took my brother Tony out for some extra batting practice, he in Colt League, meaning I was in Mustang possibly? I was ordered to right field, that spot for the worst player since no one at my age ever went opposite field, and lefties were a rarity. Problem was, I knew I was good, and the prudence of the decision had nothing to do with ability, but the 10 year age difference. I was just like my German Shepherd at the time, Benson, who accompanied the family on these trips to the park as he loved to field the balls as well. Benson’s problem was he thought he was a 3rd Baseman and that TOny was going to bunt every single pitch, so he would do this creeping up the line thing every pitch.
I saw him catch actual baseballs cracked with aluminum bats no more than 15-25 feet from the batter’s box. Worst he got was a bloody mouth here and there. Certainly, me armed with a glove and hands, I could catch my brother’s hits. Following Benson’s lead, I would edge closer towards 2nd Base from the outfield grass. Just like Benson as well, I would ignore my dad screaming at us to back up, or do the patented, retreat 10 steps, advance 15. I am not sure who I wanted to prove my abilities to, my dad and brother, Benson, or perhaps myself.
With the crack, no ting of the aluminum bat, Tony had lined one right at me and I was not deep in the outfield like I was supposed to be. Maybe the quality of Washington Park’s fields outside of Pony Stadium has drastically improved, but probably not. About 20 feet from the infield dirt, I got down to catch the now bouncing ball, when it hit some imperfection in the outfield grass and leaped into my eye. Benson no doubt appreciated that, instead of taking the easy human route of a glove on my hand, I used my face to knock it down. Everyone else was freaking out, as I laid staring at the sky, more blood from the stitches on the ball ripping at my skin around my eye socket as well as the sheer splitting of skin hammered between bone.
Again, I came home, with some odd bit of pride that my eye had swollen shut already, while my mom had a heart attack at the appearance of my face. So many earlier memories that I can actually recall are just plain traumatic. Paralyzing fear and intense pain seem to be my brain’s dictation machine. Almost drowning at a public pool, the first time I rode a roller coaster at Kennywood, way under the bunny height requirement for the Jack Rabbit. Humans apparently turn green.
Always trying to prove something, always taking chances when I was so ill-prepared. As much as I wish I could forget all of these things, I am doomed/blessed (depends on my outlook for today!) to recall them and more importantly, piece how they have affected my life as Igrew up and matured.The lessons taught in childhood often are just a boy’s mind’s knee-jerk reaction. Fear guided me, pain was to be avoided.
Back to the fast-forward button, oh how I love to use it to get me to today. A few months ago, I was faced with a decision, one where it was pretty simple, say nothing and just continue existing as status quo, or take a risk and tell someone exactly how I felt. For the first time possibly EVER in my adult life, I made a decision based on faith rather than fear.
We all are dreamers to some extent, and while the wants and desires of a dream vary widely, we all want to paint our futures in such a way that the Louvre will want them hung on their gallery walls. We all seek happiness, just have differing ideas on what defines it. I feel blessed that I have other childhood memories, that of my mother’s parents, and their beautiful unconditional love being imprinted into my brain. When my grandma fell ill, my grandfather did the best that he could to take care of her, even while he suddenly went from extremely healthy to facing his own medical issues. My grandma passed away and a mere month later, my grandfather joined her once again above.
What must that kind of love feel like? To actually see a poet’s words or a lover’s moonlit confession of I couldn’t live without you play out in reality. To have someone so connected to a body, mind, heart and soul that one’s death is crippling to the others’ health. That made me a hopeless romantic, that set me out on a quest that had you asked me in October or November, I would have told you is dead in this age. That kind of love is not out there. Or so I thought.
Putting faith in myself, that my words would come out right, that she would understand where I was coming from and share the rolling of life’s dice, that was the epiphany of a lesson learned. Now it’s 2:30 AM, and I can’t sleep, wrapped around memories that might as well be a Blu-ray in my mind’s eye, except that I can taste her lips, feel the softness of her skin, hear the quickening of her breaths, and smell her perfume on her neck.
I am not sure the correlation between finally having these incredibly mind-blowing, beautiful memories be crystal clear in my head, while the recent tragedies have faded away, but there has to be one. Time has come undone, where the days between our time spent in each others’ arms now feel like months. It’s beyond weird, how seconds can fly by yet freeze in relationship to us. How minutes can’t line themselves up to form hours when it was only 5 days ago.
That love, where the other person is a part of me, is here in my face. Where a simple touch binds our souls, quickens our pulse, and produces the purest of joys from deep within our hearts, it is ours for the taking. It keeps on growing, day by day, and the connection, the meaning, all of it is perfection.
This is the future I dream about. The one that gave me the strength to just say,so you know, I really like you and I think we can be spectacular together if given the chance.This future though, it needs redrawn. I underestimated just how exquisite a kiss could be. I misjudged the radiance of souls uniting, the sheer divinity of our shared love. We bend time, we warp space, together even when we are miles apart. So, really, I don’t know how to paint something new, something so angelic, because my dreams have no basis for the power of our reality.
I’ve never known any of this. She is beauty and grace personified. She is the dream, the defining of my existence, the answer to every prayer. So rather than try to explain, I take it all in, blown away by how easily she exceeds my wildest dreams. All of this possible because I listened to my heart, put my trust in faith, a lesson learned after living through blessed mistakes. Never again will I let fear corner me, and force my hand. Never again will I be scared to risk it all just because I might fall short.
Life is for living, and not a second too soon!
“To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” ~Bertrand Russell