He had a rough beard, popeye arms, and a red Chevy. He was a stoner and a stone mason. I had a tiny, strange love affair with his silent and troubled roommate. That’s how we met. Our first date was a long drive to a spot that he liked to hunt. Up until recently I thought back on this time with a little laugh, how we fool ourselves into things just because they seem exciting. And utterly wrong. I spent two plus years being utterly wrong with this man. He was Catholic and used to tell me that if I ever entered a church the walls would come crashing down. We slept in his childhood twin bed with our two dogs until I threatened him with violence. He was a passionate, lovely guy, who used to shout, “Look at my girl! Shining like a diamond!”, every time I walked into the bar he held court in. It was never meant to work. I have always needed the attraction to travel the entire body, from the flesh to the mind to the heart. Two weeks after I moved from Cannon Beach to Bend he made himself a baby. Or at least planted the seed. His daughter is maybe 7 and we are still friends.
There is always the question of where you sit on a first date in a truck with a bench seat. Too close and you seem eager, too far and it’s cold. I sat about three feet from him and my door, equally. He asked me if I wanted to hear his favorite love song. Yes. Yes I did. And out of stock Chevy speakers blared “This Love”, the Pantera ode to falling out of love. Maybe I fell a little bit in and out of love with him at that very moment. But that is still the song I go to when I need my hurt to turn into anger. I am finding that anger isn’t always such a bad way to move through pain.
Two days ago I sat through two tattoos, one on each lower thigh. My intention was to tack the physical pain to my mental struggles, move through it, purify it, and free my heart. I had a playlist of songs that needed to be freed from memories, I need this music back, untainted. Instead I put “This Love” on repeat. I know every word, every riff, every scream. Inside and out.