so bad. They just do. I say stuff like that all the
“I just want her to find real peace!”
There I am
having my morning coffee, spouting that one off.
“Oh, look. She’s dating someone. Hey, he
seems pretty cool. Man, I hope they’re treating each other right.”
You know how
it is: When the time comes and the toxic dust storm has settled, I like to
think I’ll say AND feel the right things. It’s not uncommon. It’s human
nature. Unless we were married to someone who was whooping our ass or cheating on us like a disease, more often than not we tend to tell ourselves we want the
best for our ex.
We get off
on feeling kind. We get stoned on our own goodwill. And we have this insatiable
need, this fiendish desire to wish our exes eternal happiness in a raging fit
I even tell
myself that I will feel internal peace, and that of course I will say crazy crap ("I just want her to be happy" ) to myself when some mutual
acquaintance just has to email me and tell me that they saw my ex having drinks
with some guy in some old bar:
"They were joking and laughing.
"He looks exactly like JFK Jr. It’s
f**king unnerving, actually.
"I know she saw me, man, so I had to
go over to say hey. Turns out the guy (his name is Mika) is a children’s heart
surgeon. He saves kids’ lives on a daily basis. He bought me a beer so I hung
out for a bit.
"Jesus, was she smitten. They both
were. Holding hands right in front of me and all that. Little kisses. Jesus. It
was awkward, dude. It was like being the third wheel to someone else’s feverish
beginning, you know? They looked like one of those enchanted couples in one of
those boner medicine commercials on TV. Except this guy was way too handsome to
need boner pills.”
email won’t be that harsh. Hell, who would even send me an email about that
anyway? It’s all in my head. All of it.
I just want
her to be happy.
You don’t think for even a split second that you reaaaaallly, really want your ex to be all high and happy forever, do you?
how or where this whole idea of wishing blessings and fortune down on your
ex-wife or husband ever came about, but it’s a bunch of bullshit. It really is.
We need to move on to the best of our abilities and that’s completely
understandable, right? Right. And when we have kids with the ex, well, it makes
a ton of sense that we actually would hope they remain in reasonably good
health and spirits. At least until the last kid is out of high school and can
fend for themselves. At which point, all bets are off and may the best ex
outlive the other one in a stunning cavalcade of success/riches/sexy
partners/published novels on the bestseller list/a body that just gets more
rockin’ with age and so much wisdom and centeredness that the other ex, the
LOSER, ends up wanting the old ex back because he or she (he, probably) has
proven to be like this unbelievable human with borderline superpowers when it
comes to living life the way it is meant to be lived: as a cool person with a
lot of friends and money and lovers and cars and helicopters.
right, I said it: Helicopters. With a z-sound.
Be the ex
with the helicopter hangar.
The following is a general
discourse aimed at anyone and everyone, but mostly at me.
something tinged with competition or what?
true thoughts, the ones we REALLY think yet bury under heaps of
psychobabble strata, maybe these thoughts are the ripened fruits of our
lingering pain over losing love, even if it was a love we didn’t feel anymore.
Even if it wasn’t love at all in the end.
and hard about this, my friends. What devilish intent lies just beneath the
rippling surfaces of our Internet Buddhist malarkey?
When we tell
ourselves "the lies," that we sincerely wish our formers nothing but love and wonder and discovery (and even brilliant sex
with someone else!), and even when we feel so confident and heightened enough
to spout that stuff out loud—so other humans can hear it and raise their
inner eyebrows in double rainbows of lip-biting disbelief—what do we honestly
think we’re doing?
Love brings out the best in all of us. And it hacks up the worst, too.
preposterous to ourselves, do you know that? We punch ourselves in the face
because we say we deserve it. But really, we’re getting addicted to the sting. You
don’t think for even a split second that you reaaaaallly really want your ex to
be all high and happy forever, do you?
that it isn’t possible. Anything’s possible, obviously.
But c’mon. This? This stuff?
what I just said. It isn’t
possible. We’re not that kind. Love is love, and then it isn’t. Love is
forever, they say, but that’s not necessarily true either.
thrust your happy horseshit in mailboxes where it doesn’t belong. There are
laws against it. Universal laws of sadness and blues and rejection and envy and
distrust, galaxy-wide agreements between interstellar forces of emotion that
simply deny us the ability to truly/deeply/seriously/committedly wish our best,
day in and day out, for someone who we used to kiss under the mistletoe and who
now kisses another!
yet it’s impossible.
who you are, no matter what you tell yourself, the truth is this: Deep down, inside of the dank, candlelit dungeon where the REAL YOU spends most of your
time, eating mildewed mouse bones off the damp prison floor, cackling loudly at
the voices in your fried-egg brain, and peering through the cold, steel bars
into the vast void of darkness that stretches out for miles and miles, offering
not even a tiny glimpse of true calm or dignified existence, you, my
kind-hearted friend who everyone loves and cares for and who sets an example to
human beings everywhere with the way you live your life, even in the wake of such
human tragedy and heartbreak, YOU, down there talking to yourself, are quietly
hoping against hope that you end up with the JFK Jr. lookalike.
what your sexuality or any of that Earthly nonsense.
off-base here. I might be off-base.
off-base. I admit
But it feels
good to peer in the abyss of my own guts sometimes, and to reach down into the
slime and take my own bloody beating heart in my hands and just massage it with
unthinkable possibility now and then. It isn’t witchcraft, but it’s very, very
close, indeed. Love brings out the best in all of us. And it hacks up the
Me? I need
to flirt with both sides. Because it feels good and I need to feel good.
Because I’m an honest man and a goddamn liar, all at once, all the time.
because "moving on" isn’t some kind of Pop-Tart you sink into the toaster just
so it can come back to you in a minute, all hot and ready to roll. It takes
time, people. It takes kindness and compassion. It takes patience and rivers of
now and then, it takes being an asshole and getting off on the feeling, even
just for a few seconds. Just until you get back up on your lumbering, beautiful
elephant of good intentions; your thoughts and words, so pure and giving.
Hot piles of
steaming elephant crap, covering every inch of rough road you’ve traveled so