A Different Woman

He says I’m unlike anyone he’s ever met before.

I respond, “you must not have met many women in your life.”

He shakes his head, laughs and studies my face in disbelief at my thoughtless response.

But I know what he’s talking about.

I don’t swoon or squirm over his highly paid medical job or that he’s the 2nd youngest person in his position at work.

“I just bought a Benz,” he says.

I crinkle up my nose. “You really should have kept the Jeep. Summer is coming up and now you have a car when you could have had a roofless Jeep! What a mistake.”

I think he finds me amusing, despite our age difference, at how little I care over things other women might.

“I’m going to be quite blunt with you,” I laugh. “I don’t care about your money, or your degrees, or how big your muscles are, or your expensive cars or the famous friends you have. I want to know your soul. Does your soul connect with mine? Because when all of that other stuff is stripped from you, what is left? That’s what I want to know.”

And to be honest with you, I don’t think that at 32 years old, a woman has ever said that to him.

-HK 2/25/17

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Old Soul

He says he likes me because he knows deep down past my exterior that I am an old soul.

I tell him, “you don’t even know me; what do you know?”

But I know he’s right.

And I’ll never admit it.

Because if you know anything about old souls you know we believe in romanticism in everything we do, in everything we see.

And it’s much too soon and too dangerous for him to be so sure of that part of me.

-HK 2/20/17

First Poem of 2017

My friends laugh at me because it takes me 20 minutes in the chipotle line to figure out what I want. It’s because I’m not really sure of anything in this life. You tell me you’re the same way, indecisive.

But for some reason, I’m so damn sure about you.

They laugh at my clumsiness but when it comes to you.. I hit the ground running as I tripped, slipped, stumbled, and fell for you willingly.

I’ve been taught about the dangers of drugs, especially with this addictive personality of mine. But they never told me in DARE that you’re able to become addicted to the sound of someone’s voice. Don’t they know the long term effects are so much more dangerous?

With my left hand I’m pushing back the past and with my right I’m hanging onto the future all in hopes that being this vulnerable, you will run into my open arms.

You tell me I’m no romantic, as I daydream about my head on your lap reading for the sole purpose that I can always look up at you and take you in every chance I get. 

You tell me I’m not really into feelings, the emotional type, but my heart races and my head spins thinking that maybe, just maybe you feel the same way.

-HK 1/6/17

You Will Fall in Love

You will fall in love with someone who annoys you, whose orgasm face looks and feels pathetic. Despite all of this, there’s something keeping you drawn to them, something that makes you want to protect them from the harsh world. What you fail to realize, however, is that you are the harsh world. You aren’t their noble protector — you are someone to be protected from but it takes a lot of dates, a lot of nights where you question whether or not you are actually a good person, for this to ever resonate with you. When it’s over and whatever love is left is put back in the fridge like a sad plate of leftovers, you will finally understand that you have the power to hurt someone. You can either hurt them or love them and it’s up to you to decide what kind of role you would like to take on in future relationships. What feels more comfortable — being the one who loves more or being the one who’s loved less? You will fall in love with someone who’s cold and always seemingly pushing you away. When all is said and done, they will be forever known as the one person you couldn’t get to love you. Unfortunately, it will hurt and sting worse than the good ones, the ones that chopped up your meat for you and picked out an eyelash from your eye and were nice to your mother, because love often feels like a game we need to win. And when we lose, when we realize we couldn’t get what we ultimately desired from a person, it makes us feel like a failure and erases all the memories of those who loved us in the past. It’s a permanent smudge on your love resume. You will fall in love with someone for one night and one night only. They’ll come to you when you need them and be gone in the morning when you don’t. At first, this will make you feel empty and you’ll try to convince yourself that you could’ve loved this person for longer than a night, but you can’t. Some people are just meant to make cameo appearances, some are destined to be a pithy footnote. That’s okay though. Not every person we love has to stick around. Sometimes it’s better to leave while you’re still ahead. Sometimes it’s better to leave before you get unloved. You will fall in love with the old couple down the street because to you they represent the impossible: a stable, long-lasting love. You’re trying to get someone to like you for more than ten minutes. A monogamous “never get sick of ya” love seems unfathomable. “What’s your secret, sir? Do you just say yes a lot?” You will fall in love with smells, the good and the bad kind. You will want to wear your lovers shirt because it makes you feel close to them and you’re okay with being that PSYCHO who is legitimately sniffing their shirt in public. You will fall in love with sweat, certain perfumes, the smell of the season in which you fell in love. This particular love smells like fall. It smells like Halloween and a roaring fire and leaves and fog and mist and candy and food and family and whiskey and sex and the lint that collects on sweaters. When it ends, if it ends, you will never experience another fall without thinking of him, her, it. The memories will stick to the ground like a mound of leaves and will only dissipate when the weather drops. You will fall in love with your friends. Deep, passionate love. You will create a second family with them, a kind of tribe that makes you feel less vulnerable. Sometimes our families can’t love us all the time. Sometimes we’re born into families who don’t know how to love us properly. They do as much as they can but the rest is up to our friends. They can love you all the time, without judgement. At least the good ones can. This is where I’m supposed to tell you that you will fall in love with The One, a person who isn’t too cold or too nice. Their “O” face is perfectly fine and they’re not afraid to show how much they love you. This person is supposed to wait for us at the end of the twentysomething road as some kind of reward for all the heartache and loneliness. We deserve them. We’ve earned this kind of love. So fine. You’re going to fall in love with The One. You’re going to fall in love with someone who will make sense beyond college or a job or a particular season. They’ll make sense forever and won’t ever want to leave you behind. I’m telling you this not because it’s true but because it NEEDS to be true. Everyone is entitled to this kind of love, so why not? Have it. It’s yours. Blow out the candles on your 30th birthday, holding their hand, and let out an exhale that’s been waiting for ten years. Do it. Now

-Ryan O’Connell

Shattered

“It’s hard to love someone who’s shattered. Their self image is cracked, seen through tear-stained eyes, and their hearts are never full, always hungry. These people are sick, though they never admit it. They grapple with themselves in a fight that they try to make look like a dance, even though they have yet to fool even one person. The shattered ones are not whole. I am not whole. 

I have puncture wounds and battle scars, holes and bruises, none of which seem to heal. I am covered in blood, most of which is my own, and I can never wash it off. For me, love is the knight in shining armor that never recused me from my tower. And when I thought it did, it was just a witch in disguise. My princess dress is a pile of shreds, and my castle is a crumbling nightmare. My dreams came undone as I did. 

People think it is easy to love someone who’s shattered. That if you wear gloves, you can pick up the pieces easy, and a little superglue will do the trick. But how does glue work to tie pieces of heartstrings? How does a bandaid hold together wounds that span a canyon? How do you fix what is broken?

What is truly broken, is beyond fixing. Most people never realize that. They spend their whole lives looking at shards of glass, but while trying to glue it back together, they fail to see the beauty it creates in the sand. 

I am sorry I am hard to love. I am sorry I am not the perfect picture that you wanted. I am sorry my edges are rough, and that my character suffers from the PTSD of my past. 

I am sorry I’m a bird stuck in a cage, where the bars that hold me are my own wings and feathers. 

What I’m not sorry for, is that I’m not changing. I am bruised and battered and fucked a thousand ways to Sunday. But that makes me different, and that is something I won’t ever apologize for. 

Maybe the problem isn’t that we are shattered. Maybe the problem is that no one can see just how beautiful that makes us.”

-anonymous 

The Color Yellow

He guessed my favorite color on the first try.
But between you and me…..I didn’t even have a favorite color until he yelled out yellow!! He was hella excited and smiling like a little kid. So I told him that he was right and I haven’t seen yellow the same since. It’s in everything and I can see it everywhere.

-anonymous