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Patrick Austin Sep 2018
Our Backgrounds before we met...

I'm an only child born in Montana in 1983, from a divided home. Parents divorced at seven, Mom was unstable and unfaithful. Dad obtained custody of me and we moved to Oregon Coast to live with my Grandma. I had unhealthy visits and relationship with Mom thereafter. My Grandma died at 12 and at 13 my Dad remarried an alcoholic woman, I had a strained relationship with them until adulthood when she stopped drinking. I had exposure to trauma; alcoholism, mental illness, verbal abuse and juvenile troubles. I rebelled by using drugs in my late teens and early twenties, I lived on my own for a few years after high school but had little direction.

My bride is the eldest with two little brothers, parents stayed in same area of Portland during childhood with lots of family support and her parents stayed married. They had Christian values but some anger and anxiety issues at home. She was sexually assaulted at 17 and never had good closure with this. She told me her parents didn't provide her enough help with things like this growing up. Status quo was the backbone of the family dynamic, challenging emotions were discouraged. She rebelled by being reckless with herself, financially and sexually. She decided to join the Navy at 19. She lived alone briefly, but mostly with Grandparents & Parents before our marriage.

I loved how we both grew up reading Archie comics. No other girl I had ever met had that in common with me. I think we wanted a surreal life like the one in Riverdale.

2002

She and I were 19 when we first met in my home town on the coast at an arcade. We became friends and secretly liked each other. I was too nervous to ever make a move on her. We traveled together, she stayed with me, we used drugs together and drank at times. One night she drank too much and had *** with a guy I knew at a party. I was devastated by this. She was Navy bound and I didn't see a real future for us. The next morning she left and I didn't talk to her again for two years. I figured she would be gone with the Navy soon and that she must not have been interested in a relationship with me despite the time we spent together.

2003

I was depressed about this rejection. I dated an older woman who was interested in me but was no substitute. I eventually moved to the Portland area to work and live. I still had few plans and was lonely, in or out of the few brief relationships I attempted. I never found someone that I felt safe with or had a true connection, let alone true love. She ended up not following through with the Navy and continued working her way up in her job at the call center. She attended community college and dated a few guys. She dated one guy for a couple of years who was not a good match for her but stayed with him off and on despite issues. His family was wealthy and treated her well. He slept around on her as did she. At one point he gave her an STD. She also had an ongoing affair with a married man in the military that she went to high school with. He had a child and a wife with mental health issues. She was still hurting a lot at times and not always doing well.

2004

She reached out to me via email after two years of no contact. We emailed back and forth a couple times over the next few months. We talked about meeting up. We spoke on the phone and eventually met up in Portland. We had an amazing night getting to know each other again and work past the confusion of our earlier days of friendship. I realized that she did in fact like me before but since I was timid and trying to be proper and take things slowly she didn't understand my motives. She apologized for her actions at the party as well. She claimed she was in a really messed up place and was making bad choices at that time. Getting our feelings out in the open was good and she appreciated my attitude towards being slow to make moves on her when we first met. I was worried about falling for her based on our history but eventually I was determined to give it a shot. We soon after starting dating and being intimate. Our love was extremely powerful and beyond all others we had both experienced. She broke ties with other suitors and shortly after we talked about marriage and started planning a wedding for the next year.

I remember when we first held hands. We were so shakey and she was quivering on my couch as I had my arm around her. We felt so safe with each other. We could finally be ourselves and do what our hearts desired. We knew we were on to something new and so amazing. We were so patient with each other as we navigated our new love and emotional thresholds.

I remember when we saw Matisyahu in concert together. That was a once in a lifetime experience and a life-changing moment for us. I feel it set the tone for things to come in our future.

I remember how creative my proposal to her was, in the Arcade where we first met. I hid the ring in a prize container from one of those claw machines. Pretending I got the ring from inside by reaching into the machine on one knee I was so nervous and wasn't sure if I could pull it off before she caught on. She looked so shocked and surprised. I was so excited she said yes! We took pictures in the photo machine and had burgers afterwards, I'd do all of it all over again just to see her face in that moment.

2005

We found an apartment for us in Portland. I moved in while she was still living back with her parents until the wedding. She had to change her number because the married man she was previously involved with kept calling her about changing her mind about marriage and continuing their relationship. She was offered a job in Denver and we decided to move away together after our sandy wedding in Cannon Beach. I still had a very hard time and was embarrassed with my past history with her. Many of my friends knew what had happened at 19 and how much it hurt me but I was so crazy about her I think I tried to pretend it didn't happen or that it was not a big deal because we were younger. We got married and moved to Colorado soon after. We made friends at a church, I became more active as a Christian and really loved being married. We were very involved in keeping spirituality in our marriage. I began to notice her poor financial decisions and practices more. This caused conflict but we always tried to communicate and work on things.

I remember when we went down to my folks for New Year's in 2005. We sipped tea in my Datsun as we drove to the coast over the snowy mountain pass. We told them of our engagement. We were all so blissful and excited. We never knew what was to come. We didn't even know about the opportunity in Denver yet. Our story is amazing!

I remember when I wanted to go see her in Portland and the roads were iced over. I left my car at a park and ride before I caused a wreck. I took the light rail across town then rode a bus to the Eastside shopping mall. The bus to her house was not running because it wasn't safe so I walked the rest of the 4 Miles sometimes having to crawl on my hands and knees to make it up hills in the ice and then I finally made it only to just spend a couple hours with her and fall asleep on her parents couch. Her Dad drove us back the next morning to my car so I could get to work. It was all worth it just to see her for that little extra time. I would have done anything for her.

I remember when she was interviewing for the new position in Denver? I drove all over Portland trying to find little toy cars to help with her illustration about how a team is like a car having all four wheels and how they work together to accomplish a goal. I was so proud of her for giving it her all and succeeding at earning that position. Now that I think of it, that car analogy applies to our family and us. We all need each other to be better and keep on track and be a team. I am so motivated by that and our boys. I lose my way without that and I want to be her reflection and motivation as she has been that for me. I truly thought we brought out the best in each other when we were together.

I remember when we were given tickets to see Fiona Apple. That was so spontaneous and a great way to kick off our time in Denver together. We always used to watch our same movies over and over again. Like the Friends DVDs and White Christmas every winter break and The Wedding Singer. We walked everywhere and lived simply. "I wanna be the guy, who grows old with you"

I remember in our first Denver apartment when we took baths together in our claw foot tub in the big bathroom. We put a board over the top and played cards. I liked playing Uno with her in bed too. She was so funny being slightly color blind and in the dark, mixing up the greens and blues. We played Uno in Breckenridge too at that cool bed and breakfast in the fall.

2006

We had continued fun and adventure in our new home of Denver. She was doing well as a trainer for the bank and I started working in health foods. We went camping in New Mexico a couple times with friends and we both took individual trips to Oregon as well as one together for her uncle's wedding. We had marital spats on occasion but always bounced back. The issues we had seemed like part of a normal marriage and were far better than what I had grown up around. I realized that marriage was a lot of work but I was up for the task. She occasionally became aggressive throwing things at me or breaking things during conflict.  I believed I was the problem and tried to change for her in many ways. With two incomes we still had trouble making our bills at times. She had debts that I never knew about that started to catch up with us but I took care of getting them settled and we paid off her car and traded it for an older Volvo Wagon that we both loved, I even had it repainted her favorite color for a birthday gift. Overall things seemed like they were progressing in a positive way.

I remember when we saw Midnight in concert in Boulder. That was the peak of our hippy days. We were alive with pleasure in our healthy vegetarian diets and practices living in a time and place like no other. I want to be like that again. Reggae was our music. We had much in common.

2007

We really fell into our roles in our marriage and the community; church and culture, friends etc. Things seemed very balanced and appropriate for us at that time and that age (24-25). We had separate bank accounts and jobs. I had money in savings. We started the process of buying a house so we could invest in something. She became pregnant shortly after. I embraced the challenge with positive energy but we were both in for a big change. We started having more fights. I didn't have many friends and would write to old friends via social media just so I could to catch up and tell them things were going great with being married to make myself feel better than I actually did. She hated the dawn of social media and also felt isolated I'm sure. She felt I should be doing more for her and I didn't know how to do what she needed but I failed to ask a lot of the time. After one argument, she left the house. My instinct told me to look at ******* and ******* as a retaliation. I had not done this much once we were married because she always met my needs but when things were difficult between us I felt more emotionally isolated. She walked in and realized what I had been doing. She was very upset, and because she was pregnant, thought I was not attracted to her. The truth is I found her even more beautiful and in fact when I looked at ******* I tried to look at women I found less attractive than her so that I feel good about what I have. I mostly fantasized about how these women were more submissive and loving than her. That is the part I needed to feel good about and feel better about myself with because I felt very dominated and controlled. She has never forgiven me for this and I will never stop feeling sorry to her for my brokenness. During one particular argument that year she was getting close to being violent towards me again and I pushed her away on the chest with my fingertips. She got very mad and said I hurt her. I immediately felt terrible and apologized. I never let something like that happen again. I have always avoided violence towards others especially women and of course her. I was defenseless against physical and emotional abuse.

2008

Our eldest son was born at the beginning of the year, it was a traumatic birth for everyone. We wanted a natural birth with a midwife but we were transferred to a hospital and she ended up having an emergency C-section, nothing went as planned. We had a really hard time coping with the emotions of this experience. A lot of buried feelings and trauma from both of us started coming out. We moved a month later into our new home outside of town. No more walking or biking to places, we had to drive everywhere. This house was next to our friends from church. We thought this would make us feel less isolated but we didn’t really have the community with them that we had hoped for. They were upset that they didn't have a child of their own yet and being around us might have been hard for them. My wife stopped working and stayed home with our son. All these changes made for a very difficult time. I did my best to support them but this was the first time we shared a bank account and needed to follow a budget more than ever before. We had no debt at the beginning of the year with money in savings but then the hospital bills put us down about $7,000 and rising with new home and moving expenses and baby needs. My job could barely keep up. She and I had a hard time adjusting. We could not afford to travel home to Oregon and visit family as much and we felt more and more isolated. She started showing me more signs of instability, locking herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives and scraping her legs which continued off and on for years to come. Talks of divorce and suicide threats seemed to happen more than before. I felt responsible and tried to fix her ever changing issues with me.

I remember when herr ******* were full and swollen with milk. It is so beautiful the way she could feed our babies. I wanted her in every way, our bodies belonged to each other. I was there for her and our shared pleasure. I loved it when she told me that she was mine in the heat of passion. This spark could only be a bandage for so long but I didn't know that yet.

2009

I tried to promote within my company but was not selected, they were cutting budgets and employment all around me. I felt worried about our future. I had always thought the military might be a good opportunity and could move us closer to family back home. My father-in-law encouraged me to look into the Coast Guard. I felt this would be a good way to get moved closer to Oregon.  I ended up joining the Navy because we found out we were pregnant again with our second son and that was the only way I could join a military branch. She worked off and on as a nanny and later in the year at a coffee house working nights. We barely spent time together and when we did it was a lot of hard conversations or arguments about finances with making up intimately in the middle of the night between times of caring for the baby. She once scratched my neck with her fingernails during an argument. People I worked with noticed. It was a hard time and we knew change was on the horizon with jobs and moving. We did visit Oregon that summer though and had a great vacation at the beach with a borrowed 4x4 and staying at a hotel and picnicking out of a cooler as well as going to her brothers wedding. I was 26 and about to join the Navy to provide better for my family at all costs sacrificing myself for their benefit because I would have rather died than look like I didn't try my best for them.

I remember when our babies would kick and move around inside her belly. I loved laying by her and feeling her tummy. I would hum to the baby and hear them move and squirm. I loved giving our boys baths when they were babies too. We had our little bundles of our love, wrapped in a towel in our hands, so tiny and vulnerable. I miss those days and want to remember them with her, aside from this state of melancholy.

2010

The Navy recruiters would only take me if we rented out our home and had her stay with family during boot camp and training. We moved to a furnished apartment in Denver and put our things in storage. She was 5 months pregnant and our eldest was two. I shortly after was let go from my job. Our second son was born in April. I got a contract with the Navy at the last minute but didn't leave until August. We sold our beloved vehicles and lived off retirement funds for six months and moved down to Florida where her parents had just moved out of the blue for work, to stay with them until I left for boot camp. I applied for temporary work in Florida at a dozen places but had no luck in my three months there. I took care of our eldest a lot while she took care of the new baby. Being in Florida was a culture shock for us but we had our moments of romance and made the best of it. Eventually I left for boot camp in August. It was really hard and sad to be gone. She stayed in Florida and came to visit me with the baby at boot camp graduation in October. I then went to Connecticut for five months of training. It was also hard but at least I could call home every day and be in the same time zone. I visited Florida during the winter break and saw my boys and her. We went to Disney world and had a great time on her parents. We also made a romantic home movie I could enjoy while away from her. I flew back to Connecticut and tried to make the best of things. My roommate was very abusive of substances and I resisted the temptation for a long time but the threat of being submarine service bound and missing my family pushed me to drinking every weekend and getting messed up to escape before I left.

I remember when we drove to Key Largo, Florida and stopped at a crazy bird wildlife center. I remember our oldest was so amazed hearing a bird say hello back to us. It was so foreign and fun there. I am glad we all shared that experience together.

I remember our trip to the citrus grove in Florida. That was such a great day for our family. I always look back on that with really fond sentiment. I felt like I was in a beautiful family music video with them.

2011

I finished Submarine Training and got orders back to the Northwest. The plan was all coming together. I arrived first and bought a car and got our items moved from storage in Denver to our townhouse rental in Washington. She and the boys joined me a month later. I didn't report to my Sub for another month as they were at sea. She became pregnant again with our third son right after arriving. We had just bought a small car and were not planning on another child. Towards the end of the year I was working a lot and having a really hard time, being bullied and treated poorly at work plus our financial situation was still very difficult. Adjusting to the military was hard among younger men being 28. I dreaded each day in that environment but I tried to endure it for my family. I went to sea for a couple months at the end of the year stopping in Hawaii and California. During this time She reached out to her ex married affair partner after six years of no contact. She didn't tell me until later. She said she needed closure with him, we were not in counseling yet but she decided this was appropriate. I flew home early from sea and wanted to surprise her. The stress and trauma of this quick transition home after being to sea for the first time (which was also traumatic) made me want to drink and get messed up before flying. I arrived home and surprised her but I seemed off to her which I was but didn’t explain why, I have never done that since. I got to be home for two months almost work free while we celebrated the holidays and prepared for the new baby to be born. She started getting more involved with a church and building a community for us which was great. Our financial struggles almost led us to foreclosure of our home back in Colorado but by the grace of God we got it sold with a short sale just in time.

I remember when I came back from Hawaii and brought her a beaded necklace and she wore it naked with her big beautiful pregnant goddess belly and we made passionate hippy love together. I want to grow out my beard again and spend my life making hippy love and feeling free again.

2012

Our third son was born in January. It was a very positive birth experience and much less stressful than the other two. Shortly after I flew out to finish the other half of the deployment I had missed. I really focused on being positive and spiritually connected by reading my Bible at sea which was helpful. I called her when I arrived in Japan halfway through being gone. She was upset because she tested positive for an STD while trying to get on birth control. I became suspicious of her yet she was suspicious of me. We both got tested again and I was clean, she told me she had a false positive after all. This put a big strain on our trust, especially being so far away. This forced us to be honest with each other about some things such as her contact with her ex lover and my drinking to cope. We were both very upset until I returned home and we could start some counseling to work through things. Forgiveness seemed to be difficult for us. It brought up hurts of the past when we were 19. She also had severe postpartum depression that became worse after each birth. I was still having a hard time with work and the submarine environment. Our church friends tried to counsel us but it was not the most helpful. My submarine was scheduled for extended repairs and not going to sea for three years, I would be transferred before the end of that period. I used this time to bond with her and my boys. I wanted to get better involved in our community and do volunteer work and side jobs to earn extra money. Our boys were all given diagnosis's for autism which begun to fill our lives with appointments and challenges for years to come but we were a good team in dealing with all of it. It gave us something to work together on but took our focus away from working on our own personal issues and relationship with each other as much as we should have.

2013

We had new years with both sides of our family in a snowy mountain setting in Oregon. It looked like it was going to be a great year until her Grandpa passed away suddenly. It ripped our entire family apart but especially her. He kept the family grounded and she was very close to him, he really loved all of us. She and I started going on dates again because we had Navy sponsored child care. It was the beginning of a really good thing for us. Tragically one night after a date we were dancing with the boys on the patio and I tried to pick her up and I lost my balance and fell on her, breaking her collar bone severely. She needed surgery and was very mad at me for years to come. She has a scar, a metal plate and numbness in her chest. We worked through it with our community from church but she still is very mad at me. I feel more terrible about this incident than she could ever know. I would lose a finger in place of that incident if I could. I continued having a really hard time in the Navy and I didn't want to stay in but She insisted our boys needed care only the Navy could offer. She also said she would divorce me if I ever left the Navy. I took this threat seriously even though she assured me later that she would never actually do that. Against my own convictions I reenlisted because I wanted to do the best thing for my family. We moved into base housing at the end of summer and didn’t go out to do things as much anymore. The house was nice but it ****** us in, we also had less community with people around our home. I started volunteering at church more and doing work with special needs people. I felt like I was doing good things and that I had purpose all around. I think she appreciated this about me.

2014

We started seeing a professional counselor together and individually. It became a regular event. I worked on myself and she worked on herself. I had a lot of issues with my Mom and eventually broke off communication with her for my own well-being and the betterment of my family. I got past a lot of the bad feelings I had. She worked on her traumatic experiences and our relationship dynamics. Just when things were going well I got a new boss who made things hard for me and others at work and I started messing up more. I got in trouble for messing up a job at work and was given strike one on my record. She lost respect for me as a provider but I tried to stay strong showing her that I would continue to do my best.

I remember when we had an appointment in Tacoma and we had a brunch date together afterwards. She looked so beautiful that day, I took her picture and was so proud to enjoy  huevos rancheros and momosas with her. I remember going to the Tacoma Art Museum seeing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, we have a great time together doing new things and feeding each other's interests. I loved laughing with her too, sometimes we just bust up like nobody's around. I loved the sound of her laughter. I loved watching Portlandia with her, it is so funny to remember the funny place where we became close and be able to relate together.

2015

I kept working hard and being involved with family and appointments for my boys and her. I still maintained my volunteer work and part time side jobs. I got strike two with the Navy for messing up again... I had just gained orders to leave the sub for local shore duty. I could not get out of the extended repair situation soon enough. She was very disappointed in me and not so understanding. I worked through this situation with our counselor as did she. He always told her I am a good man and that I do a lot for her and the boys. It's true, I care more than anything about them, I made mistakes and I feel bad especially when I cause my family stress. I left for shore duty in April. It was a hard time adjusting to the new routine but eventually we seemed to make it work. That summer we took a trip to visit Texas where her parents had just moved from Florida. We spent a great night together for our 10th anniversary in a hotel in Texas and went dancing. We had a lot more time together as my work schedule was less. The more people we had in our home working with our kids on issues the less useful my input seemed. I was not included as much in making family decisions because they all seemed to happen while I was at work, despite my objections. We tried to get our budget under control but she still had anxiety discussing spending. She continued to struggle with depression and was put on medication because she had still been harming herself. She was put on Prozac daily and anti anxiety medication as needed. He family members were not very supportive of medication which upset her but I always tried to be supportive in seeking help and continued care for both of us.

2016

We had a busy routine of kids in school now and home school and preschool and appointments for all of us. She wanted to go to church less and less. I started drinking a couple beers at night almost every day. I tried to mask my stress from her mood swings. She decided not to go to church at all anymore and focused teaching the boys about Jewish traditions exclusively which was hard for me to adjust to and confusing for the boys. I loved her and wanted to be supportive. As usual I was submissive and removed myself from the Christian church and some friendships. I feel like we lost our community at that point. We searched for a good place to have a new community with Jewish people but it was like starting over. I felt like I converted to Christianity for her when we got together and now I had to convert again, either way I would have done it for her because I loved her that much. The kids were confused by this change. After trying and failing at many synagogues we finally found one that seemed right for us.

2017

We finally had some money in savings because I kept it a secret and ended up planning a trip to visit her parents in Texas but it fell through due to lack of military flights. Instead we spent three nights away in a nice hotel resort as a family in February. We had three days of pure family time. Playing Battleship and other games in our room as a family, watching movies and eating at all the different restaurants and getting room service. Going swimming everyday in the foggy pool. I love our family and how we can have a great time together doing nothing but at the same time so much. That was so peaceful and relaxing. I wanted to keep doing things like that together as a family before our boys got too old. Shortly after this vacation she wanted to go back to school, then we bought a third vehicle so she could. Shortly after this she changed her mind about school and wanted to buy another house instead. I went along with it to please her and we practically killed ourselves trying to get the move accomplished with not much help or money. We had a good year over all. We got away for a romantic anniversary together in the summer. Just before the boys were going to start public school in the fall, her parents moved back to the area. She had anxiety with this and cut off contact with her parents and brothers for a while. Her Dad called me very upset and I tried to keep the peace until they reconciled. I was doing better with work and made up for lost progress as well as making arrangements to change jobs in the Navy to something more fitting. Since the boys started public school, I planned on leaving for Navy training in my new position after the beginning of the new year when they would be at a more settled place in their routine.

I remember when we went to the Olympic Club for our anniversary and we stayed there for a night away. We drove the long way through the countryside talking about new music that she wanted to share with me and she made notes of it on my phone notepad. We brought our own cooler and picnic that included Session Lagers and chocolate. We checked in to our room and made noisy bohemian love on the edge of the creaky bed in our small European room inches from the door. Then we went to the theater downstairs and watched the late showing of a really interesting Sci-fi movie "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". We took showers and slept sweetly together. We made love again in the morning before we had a delicious brunch outside on the patio. We took the long way home and drove around on new roads and found our way out of cell phone reception. We figured out the road less traveled to get back to our home. We loved being alone and away together, just one night can make such a difference and mean so much.

I remember going to the Forest Theater to see Tarzan with our boys. That was such a great time. I would love to get our boys into theater and go see them someday. I wanted to keep our dreams and goals together alive and not lose opportunity and fall short by losing our partnership.

I loved going camping in Seabeck. Loading the truck with all our gear and getting away. Archer got sick from the cowboy caviar and I had to clean him and the tent up in the night. I was glad we had each other to be a team in our marriage in that situation as with all the other times. These sorts of things are what escape a person's mind when they are determined to get a divorce.

2018

We had a lot less money than the year before, again buying a house took its toll on finances as did the boys school and after school activities. I stayed very involved taking the boys to appointments and sporting practices. We stopped going to synagogue but tried to practice Judaism at home as much as possible, which I was very supportive of and involved with. She was still depressed and talking about suicide at times. I encouraged her to get help as I always had. Eventually she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and manic depressive by a new provider. She started taking new medicine for this and was worried I would want to leave her. I assured her I would never leave her and that I always wanted to work on things with her and help her. I left for training in Mississippi February 8th. It was going to be hard but I thought it might be good to have some time apart from each other to miss one another and reflect on things as well as prepare for times when I would be away at sea. I got in trouble in Mississippi for giving junior personnel a ride and being negligent of people who might be underage and possibly drinking, this became strike three. I never thought this could happen. I became recommend for separation from the Navy shortly after and was stuck in Mississippi for six months instead of six weeks. She was supportive through most of it but seemed to fall into hopelessness. Money was spent by her that we didn't have without discussion. She quietly leased appliances and tires and purchased a vehicle as well as having a secret bank account and email address. I discovered through our insurance company that she wanted to leave our policy for divorce. I didn't know this and she had even told the boys she wanted a divorce before I even knew. I was caught off guard and confused. I kept trying to communicate and reason with her but she didn't want to talk. I refused to give up and wrote emails and a letter but it only seemed to push her away further. By the time I left Mississippi she had filed for divorce and a restraining order against me saying I was unstable and a threat. I couldn't return to my home. My whole life fell apart in just a couple months. I found out she had been talking to other men in the Navy and keeping more secrets. I assumed this was her way of taking control during a difficult situation. I really needed her support during this hard time of transition out of the military. I became homeless, jobless and without my family in a month. I prayed to God that given time things might change between us but it was of no use. Bipolar had consumed whatever was left of my bride and there was no turning back.

I felt that our love was not one to be cast away. Other people might not understand or agree but what we had was truly special. We may have surely needed some time and space to get counseling as well as reconfigure and repair our marriage but I didn't feel like our relationship was irretrievably broken. She was so important to me and I thought she was the love of my life and would always have my heart. I wanted to be her partner in love and life, watching our boys grow up and being there to support each other. Being that she is Bipolar I knew she will need a lot of help and I was more than willing to assist her in making sure she was taking care of herself and not throwing herself into harm's way, ensuring she sticks with a plan we agree to for consistency. I cared about her deeply and had much compassion for her. I didn't believe she was thinking this through or thinking about the future. I really wanted to look at the long and short game with her, neither seemed appealing to me if we progressed but here we are. Things are not going to be easier. She will still have to face her problems and deal with me on a regular basis for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. She can believe her lawyer when they promise she'll get the moon and stars out of this in the end but they only see half of the story. Above all they want our money. It would have been good for her to face me in person and tell me she wanted to divorce and we could have started talking about it with a counselor to figure out how that could even work. Instead she chose to avoid as much responsibility for her actions as possible by doing everything in my absence as if I am not a real person. I had to find out about it from our insurance company and was last to know.

Immediately after I hear the word divorce I looked into her cell usage history and find she has a new military boyfriend that she talks to 20-30 times a day. She felt she owed me no explanation for this and it was none of my business. A mature person would have let me know about this months before and I would have seen it coming but there was no sign until it was seemingly too late. She strayed down a dark path and never turned back.

Her proposed parenting plan was cruel and had no thought put into it. Two hours a week with supervision, no holidays but father's day? She said she’s not trying to keep me from the kids but this is the exact opposite of what she’s saying with the paperwork she filed. She seems very mixed up and still you continues to make rash and sudden choices. Like a completely bogus restraining order against me that contradicts so many facts she has stated herself on record during my Navy retention process. She was so bold as to want to change her identity and even put it in ink on the divorce paperwork as well to a whole new name. That is not the actions of a stable person. She has since changed her mind again on that just as quickly as everything else in her recent life choices. I can't trust that any decisions she is making right now are for the right reasons or that she is of sound mind. I have never seen her so conflicted and confused, grasping at straws and running scared from herself.

Using the legal system so carelessly and going back and forth makes me feel like she is not ready to be making big choices and changes for her and our family. It is very unfair that she can’t consider my feelings on things and what I wish for the boys as well. Very reckless behavior. She can’t anticipate that the day would come where she has to face me and talk to me like an adult. She wants to hide behind the legal system which only leaves much to be unresolved. Ghosting me is not really an option in a marriage of 13 years with children.

Having relationship conversations is too difficult for her at this time and she would rather avoid it and skip to divorce because she thinks that will somehow be easier. I suspect she knows she is making poor choices, possibly out of fear and lust for something new and less painful than the reality of things right now. Our marriage was nowhere close to divorce when I left. She was sad to see me leave and woke with me at 3:30 am to say goodbye, making me coffee and cookies for me to take with.

Our community and accountability seems to be gone due to the continued trend of isolation that she is drawn to. The God fearing loving committed wife I thought I had is gone or trapped inside a terrified shell of herself. She cut me off from her family members and I can't discuss my concerns about her with them either. She only seems to have community with those who are not going to discourage her from these destructive choices.

I understand we have had issues and struggles but we are no worse off than other couples during challenging times. I think that because we loved each other so much it just hurt more when things got hard. I can't accept or believe this is justified or the right choice based on the positive trend we were on before I left. This was the longest break we have ever had from each other and I think she just needed someone to be there more for her, no matter who it was. Time can heal all wounds and I hope that is true for our relationship as co-parents.

She still refuses to tell me about why she wanted a divorce or talk about anything beyond caring for the kids. I have fought the restraining and I can see my boys again but I am still not allowed to my home without her permission.

I have risen from the ashes in just a couple months. I rent a room from a nice couple from our old church and obtained a good paying job while I continue paying the household bills.

This is a really hard time, this difficult spell could have been a tool to better our relationship. I wanted to experience more beautiful memories with her. We had so many more beautiful memories and dreams left to create. This is what marriage looks like to me now as I lower the casket.
This is a timeline of the major events during my 13 year marriage. Amidst the reality, I injected all the lovely memories that refuse to leave my mind.
BR Oct 2016
Biking is my only Medecine for me
Fast through the cold wind
I can't even feel my fingers about to fall off
When I bike I'm in the present
There's no past there's no future
Just keep on biking
Go fast
Gliding with the wind

I just wanna bike away
the lads are in tandem, biking well together
the lads are in tandem, biking well together
such is their dedication, on spec 24/7
such is their dedication, on spec 24/7
such is their dedication, biking well together
on spec 24/7, the lads are in tandem

they've a task to do, preserving their allotment
they've a task to do, preserving their allotment
strength and resources they expend, their energies focused
strength and resources they expend, their energies focused
preserving their allotment, strength and resources they expend
they've a task to do, their energies focused

the territory they range, both seeking thoroughness
the territory they range, both seeking thoroughness
again to-day they're in unison, their labors may yet pay off
again to-day they're in unison, their labors may yet pay off
again to-day they're in unison, both seeking thoroughness
the territory they range, their labors may yet pay off

both seeking thoroughness, they've a task to do
again to-day they're in unison, preserving their allotment
biking well together, they're labors may yet pay off
strength and resources they expend, the territory they range  
on spec 24/7, the lads in tandem
such is their dedication, their energies focused
Jimmy King Sep 2015
I felt biking up hill today fairly alive
And then I sit in stuffy dormrooms or walk through hallways
I crouch at desks to copy and paste old thoughts
I jog from toilet to shower to make it to class on time
And still I am three minutes late, like I
Wrote in my little notebook that “I have to stop
Letting my desire for something supersede my feelings for the individual people in my life”
But even as I wrote it
Pissingdrunk against the side of my friend’s pink house
I didn’t know what I meant, scribing only
So that I could figure it out later:
What the hell I meant by ‘desire’
What the hell I meant by ‘something.’

I felt biking up hill today fairly alive
And then I’m called upon to have opinions,
To finish my homework
To take out the trash
Or
To define ‘desire’
To define ‘something’
And then to flip the supersedence around,
Yes I am called upon by myself and myself only
So I’m not gonna finish my ******* homework today.
I’m gonna let the trash continue to rot.
I’m gonna define ‘desire’ as a product of rational society
And I’m going to define ‘something’ as the oppressor class
And I will fly past these nets
Like a proud and bold Icarus to
Sit on my bike

Remaining and lingering
As I move through temporal space.

And then I will love.
I will be loved.
I will be subject.
I will be humanized.
From an axiological point of view,
Anyway.
Donald Berwaldt May 2014
You make me smile…

When I hear you
When I see you
When I'm with you
When I kiss you

When you kiss me
When you miss me
When you're with me
When you lift me

When we're texting
When we're talking
When we're biking
When we're walking

When we're going
When we're staying
When we're moving
When we're laying

When you smile
When we smile
That's when I smile

            …all the while.
Robin Carretti Jul 2018
A-Start the best part*
A-Healthy heart breakfast

Not so fast slow down of prayers
Just come and arrive
Sheer whispering Dress Aline
shapes of water are mine

The Green Gables sweeter lime
The twins whisper in doubles
The pink fur Hello Kitty
My best of the cattle in couples
Meet her friend the Furry Sable

The loud whisperers stealing hearts
Of sleepwalkers
They call her the wanderer
He whispers and she's the keynotes
"Her Real Estate' A-Steal for her estate diaries

But their children love to whisper

The crayons Highlights of the wonderland
Building more Ancient dreams

Stealing the grapes of whisper escapes
Like  A-dream planted to remain
A steal cannot take that away
Even if it's you're last meal

Walking with the one you love for miles
Come on baby light my fire
Whispering Morrison door to save
A dream to give the world peace
Like wishing well pulling the rope

Whisper could that be your prayer of hope?*
The guitar the invisible impossible star
And he steals another dream  
Whispering shadows pass like clouds

Australian Malamutes doing the salute *

Got strung along
And lost you

*A-STEAL for an eye for an eye
     HEART
  just give a life

Whispering over again wasn't
the way to play smart
Losing my voice
How to trust someone's words
So hard like the concrete
The abundance of food
Ala carte or Dente

A-Steal dream putting it
into your mind

Whispering Falltime Women in her
Acorn-SHOE* prime time
Walk-in closet Godly light
Like the Viking of swords
Knight

Where to go who will ever know
Not a pin drop of a slight whisper
Clasping or gasping for air
The Holy Water was left

For the delicate minds
of the deer
That light talk of resistance
Lips of acceptance

With her silken pillows
Tied their dreams
Sopping wet rain
The French soothing whispering rainfalls
Wearing her trenchcoat
Whispering her sugar words
He could find me peace
to my river
Like two peas in a pod to float
A Steal how love can tweed his coat
My difference is hearts like "
Owl Hoot"
Just feel you know what's real
Often told the end is truly the taste
to breathe
Even if you are deep inside her dream
To justify her means
Like the Queen to the Diplomat
The highest authority

You almost felt only your whisper the priority
The Aristocrat cleaning up your
bad dreams
*High beams a spoiled love
Like a *** for the Tat

Not the fairytale Dr. Seuss
Cat in the Hat- or the desperation
of one last whisper
Up the sunrise eyes are speechless
The Astral my Goddess
You are the creature of the night
Shining the light never ending the battle night

Smells of baked cake through your nostrils
Rocky mountains of Colorado dreamy caves

Hearing  sounds but living in the distance
The romance blinded like a ghost
winning out the odds

The Even lovers like the Gods whisper
Canadian waterfall talking love deeper

Doing Pilates what *Yogalates loving the
yodeling dreaming watching him the diver
Going dirt biking just love the dreamy feel of hiking

"Hearing Attention ****** in the Summertime"

All blue eyes what a dreamer
The good Earthly brown so worthy
The Cafe Eyes

A steal dream like a spilled milk
Our cat "Jade Eyes" did I hear you
correctly an heir?


Summer the Kings speech air
The assembly line
Good and the bad memories
The years getting away with ******
The law of attraction what a steal in order

Erasing someone's scent
A- million stars you found your truth
Looking outside of your dream
Was your *Godly
tent
Whispering has many advantages and its amazing to see someone in your dream like your lover the mountains hiking or dirt biking and the change of seasons to *******
A bicycle is the most efficient transportation machine.  A little input and I’m gliding, moving a useful measurable distance but more than that. I like going fast enough so the wind in my ears is louder than my thoughts.  On a tough day I like riding until I can be grateful again; sometimes that takes a couple hours but every ride is a good ride.

My youth’s independence was a banana seat Huffy pulled from an under-appreciated pile of rust in the back of St. Vincent’s Thrift Shop.  No school bus meant riding to school, the first 45 minutes of every day in all weather. Afternoons were exploring detours; summers were expeditions to the city limits, sometimes beyond.  I needed an upgrade for high school; I found a spotless antique 3 speed Raleigh, the cultural English workhorse collecting dust in an unlikely garage for $50.

I kept it through two foster homes. The first one kept me busy with farm chores, but the second was back in town. There, I had the bike back, and as an aside, they had a phenomenally sophisticated wall sized sound system: reel-to-reel and amazing headphones. I would forget myself in records: Sgt. Peppers, Genesis, Yes, etc, and another favorite. Just a guitar and piano instrumental album with a simple melody called Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter. Something about that one song in particular I heard faint glimmerings of contentment that was denied to me.  I would replay it to cling to this hint of a simple happiness I didn’t understand; that if it was in the song, it was somewhere deep in me.
Without a car for 10 years, one used 10-speed or another got me to various eccentric jobs.  

Fast forward to the life-changer, after a divorce. Needing to reconnect with myself, I searched for a decent bike. I found it hanging dusty in the back of a cluttered boutique shop smelling of tire rubber, quiet with racers’ confidence. They had a Lemond thoroughbred on consignment, assembled custom 5 years earlier to race. It was slightly outdated, but a dent on the top tube put it out to pasture. It was steel though, so rideable enough for me.  My entire $300 savings and it was mine. Then I discovered the special pedals needed special shoes, so another month saving for those.  I wasn’t going to wear those silly spiderman outfits, until I started to ride more than 10 miles and my **** demanded it.  And those pockets in the back of the shirt were handy.  I met a friend who taught me how to draft: my skinny wheel a few inches behind the bike in front at 20 mph, to save precious energy in the slipstream. Truly dangerous, vulnerable, and effectively blinded; but he pointed at the ground with various hand signals to warn of upcoming road hazards. I was touched by this wordless language of trust and camaraderie. This innate concern is essential to the sport, even among competitors, so it seems to attract quality people I liked.  My new life expanded with friends.

I discovered biking exercise could stabilize the life-long effects of brain injury, lost some weight, grew stronger, and started setting goals.  First longer group rides, then a century (100 miles in one ride), then mountain biking: epic fun in nature, unadulterated happiness.  Then novice racing, then the next category up with a team, then a triathlon.  It became an admitted obsession but I won a pair of socks or bike parts every now and then.  Eventually tattooed two bike chains around my ankle, one twisted and the other broken.  I loved the lifestyle, and had truly reinvented and rediscovered myself.

A 500 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles with fellow wounded veterans helped dissipate the old shame from the military.  I had joined the ride to raise money for a good cause.  I respected the program and knew personally that cycling had changed my life.  They turned out to be inspiring, helping me more than I could have helped them.  Some had only just started riding a bike for only a few weeks, some were amputees fit with special-made adapters on regular bikes, some had no legs using hand cycles.  They all joined on to the task of riding 500 miles. No one whined, and helping each other finish the day was the only goal.  While riding with them, I began to open up about my experience.  I found a few others who also had TBI, and we could laugh about similar mishaps.  The other veterans didn’t judge me about anything, like when I was injured, the nature of my disability, how much I did or didn’t accomplish. I had signed up just like them, had to recover back to a functioning life just like them.  It was the first time in my life that whole chapter in my life was accepted; I wasn't odd, and they helped close the shame on that old chapter.  (Thank you, R2R.)  The next year I took a 1500 mile self-supported bike trip through western mountain ranges with my husband and soulmate, whom I had met mt. biking.

There was one late Spring day, finally warm after a long winter, when I just wanted to ride for a few hours by myself.  No speedometer or training intervals, just enjoy the park road winding under the trees. I had downloaded some new music on the IPod, a sampler from the library.  I felt happy.  Life is Good.  Rounding a bend by the river, coasting through sunbeams sparkling the park’s peaceful road, my earphones unexpectedly played Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter.  I hadn’t heard that simple guitar tune in three decades.  My God, time suddenly disappeared.  I was right back in the forgotten foster home, listening for the faint silver threads of the contentment I was feeling at this very moment on the bike.  The full force of this sudden connection, the wholeness of the life and unity of myself in one epiphany, brought me to tears. I found myself pouring my heart into praying hang in there, girl, hang in there, you’ll find it and I felt my younger self hearing echoes of birds singing in new green leaves.
Rebecca Maxine Apr 2013
Blowing hair
Fast bike
Nice trail
Tired lungs
I wasn't sure where to go with this.. but I just took a wonderful bike ride and wanted to say something about it, so...
g clair Sep 2013
in the middle of a dark night
no moon or street light
and  I could hardly see the road in front of me
but it was free
and so we settled
and thus we pedaled
more then 30 winding miles
into this wilderness of isles
or so it seemed
so very mean, just like a dream

he said "continue ,
for it is in you
and we can make it to the place
within an hour, at this pace."
his plan was brutal
I'm not a poodle
but I could truly smell the sweat
and feeling hot and sopping wet
it was no fun. at. all
and like the day y'all
so very done
again not fun

and it is true
that maybe you
would think ahead and plan the weekend
get a room and buy a map
none of this crap
(but I'm a sap
and went along with his idea
for I had hopes for us last year)
and so we learned
the hard way burned.

Well I could barely,
i say just barely
make out the single line white striping
while he's right behind me griping,
"can't you speed up?
we're gonna meet up
and the collision won't be pleasant"
not that pleasant was he were
so very DER!

it's so ironic, perhaps moronic
for there were headlights
coming up the hill in front
and to be blunt
they had to blind me
oh please don't mind me
for I quickly left the scene
right off the road
and with scream
into the blackness of a pitch
which sent me down into a ditch
a steep ravine
so very mean
and then the bike no longer able
to remain beneath my seat
after that drop
the roll to stop
landed on top
and not so sweet
so very beat
I said '"oh sheet"

I was not laughing,
nor was I crying
and but more like " could it be
dear Lord that I am dying?
Oh my God, excuse the curse
so freaking odd, though i've seen worse
and though my body's somewhat shaken
not a bone or tooth was breakin'
and I'm fully wide awake and
not a pain or any ache~
so very odd
it must be God.

and there I lie
perfectly high
my eyes wide open couldn't scope but
in the darkness I could *****

the rock beside my fallen hide
and in a moment not an omen
he said "Gee!"
"Is this your knee?"

I said: " Hey Mr. Moulder,
you've got my shoulder."
"I should have driven in the Bently"
and as he pulled the bike off gently

asking how these things do happen
"nevermind, just lets get snappin"
and we made it to the youth hostel that night.
In between   (a poem)
.
my mind struggles against its own illusion
nightmare tumbles out into still morning
light is heavy,
a fog of echoes...
and I am caught
.
day dreams the sunlight
dreams light the day
and I am caught in between
mourning echoes...
like a stillborn ghost
who can't take a breath in the present

….
  
I live on a tropical island and just want to go surfing with my husband, but the nausea in the early morning as I try to eat  breakfast and drive with him to the beach is so uncomfortable.  Day after day it makes even surfing a chore, and I consider not going anymore.  Background anxiety and unreasonable irritation interferes with our marriage, frustrates him enough to want me out.  

For me, a trip to the grocery store or meeting a group of people awakens the same dreadful fear as rockclimbing a cliff. Perspective has been lost in the extremes.  I try to gain some control over this hindering nuisance, seeking situations that bring the same surges of adrenaline so I can learn to master it.  If I can just push past the avoidance that would keep me inside doing nothing, if I can just ignore the feeling I want to throw up, if I can just get out there, I am rewarded with life’s potential beauty eventually.  Many days I do enjoy the thrill of mountain biking or connection with nature when surfing, but there are too many days of internal struggle that reduce what should be enjoyable to a relentless chore of wrestling inner demons.

The VA offers a few sessions of marriage counseling, and the doctor begins to explain PTSD.  ***, I’ve learned to cope with an unreliable brain, but now there’s this?  From what I understand (and that’s just me, an amateur philosopher) Sometimes the brain is so traumatized, that the memory is literally sealed off, encapsulated, protecting it from changing.  If later something happens that is similar, the brain triggers avoidance responses as a take-no-chances survival mechanism.  Literally the brain is protecting one’s self from one’s self.  This all-or-nothing strategy works fending off potential dinosaur attacks, but in our complex society, these automatic avoidance behaviors complicate functioning and well being.  Life becomes an attitude of constant reaction instead of motivated intention.

The website for the National center for PTSD says.  “After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping. If these reactions do not go away or if they get worse, you may have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.”  

“Common reactions to trauma are:
• Fear or anxiety: In moments of danger, our bodies prepare to fight our enemy, flee the situation, or freeze in the hope that the danger will move past us. But those feelings of alertness may stay even after the danger has passed. You may:feel tense or afraid, be agitated and jumpy, feel on alert.  
• Sadness or depression: Sadness after a trauma may come from a sense of loss---of a loved one, of trust in the world, faith, or a previous way of life. You may:have crying spells, lose interest in things you used to enjoy, want to be alone all the time, feel tired, empty, and numb.  
• Guilt and shame: You may feel guilty that you did not do more to prevent the trauma. You may feel ashamed because during the trauma you acted in ways that you would not otherwise have done. You may:feel responsible for what happened, feel guilty because others were injured or killed and you survived.  
• Anger and irritability: Anger may result from feeling you have been unfairly treated. Anger can make you feel irritated and cause you to be easily set off. You may:lash out at your partner or spouse, have less patience with your children, overreact to small misunderstandings.  
• Behavior changes: You may act in unhealthy ways. You may:drink, use drugs, or smoke too much, drive aggressively, neglect your health, avoid certain people or situations.”   It lists four main symptoms: reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind of the event, feeling numb, and feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)”

Four words strung together: Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  They’ve become a tired cliché, exhausted from the endless threat of random cruelty camouflaged in banality, weary of the weight shouldering back the wall that separates death and gore from the living.  Living was a reflex beyond willpower and devoid of choice. Control was self-deception.  The mind was so preoccupied with A: survival, B: sanity, in that order.  Rest was a cruel illusion.  The tank was drained, no room for emotions ditched.  Empathy took too much effort, fear was greedy.  Hopefully they can be remembered and found on the other side, if there is one.  Sleep deprived cells were left hyper-alert from the imminent, shot up and addicted to adrenaline.  Living was Fate and Chance, and meant leaving that time and place sealed in forgetfulness.  

Now PTSD is a worn out acronym, a cold shadow of what it feels like.  I try to think of something more personal that can describe the way it randomly visits me, now resigned to its familiar unwelcome influence.  It steals through my brain, flying ahead of me with its own agenda of protecting sabotage.  Its like the Guardian Trickster of Native American legend.  Its an archetype but real enough to make mistakes: Chulyen, the black raven.

A decade after the ER, contentment is found in a garden of slow tranquility as a butterfly interrupts a sunbeam.  My heart fills with bittersweet as I’ve finally found something I love and want to keep.  Just then Chulyen’s grasping black claws clamp my heart with painful arrhythmia and it fills to burst, tripping in panic trying to recover its pace.  The sudden pain drops me to my knees, in the dirt between fragrant lavender and cherry tomatoes.  Pain stops breath and time and makes me remember the ER, when my heart rebelled its ordained purpose for a week.  I had tried to throw my bitter life back in God’s face but He didn’t take it.  Now that I have peace and a life that I treasure, He’s taking it now.  The price for my mistake is due.  It was all just borrowed time and I’m still so young, my children just babies.  God with a flick of cruelty reminds me not to put faith in the tangible, especially when its treasured.  The sharp claws finally relent and I can breathe, looking up with a gasp and the Raven takes flight overhead leaving a shadow.  Bright noon warmth, unusually heavy and foreboding, seems to say ‘there will come a time when you will not welcome the sun.’   Doctors run an EKG and diagnose ‘stress’.

The bird perches on my shoulder two more decades later, always seeing death just over there.  So I sit on the porch just a little longer and check my list again, delaying the unavoidable racing heart and rush of tension when I fix the motorcycle helmet strap under my chin.  I know all those stupid drivers have my life in their cell-phone distracted hands and hope my husband knows how much I love him, and my daughters too.  

Chulyen wakes me at 3:00 am when autumn’s wind aggravates the trees.  His rustle of black feathers outside unsettles summer’s calm night.  He brings an end-of-the-world portent that hints this peace is just temporary, borrowed.  Tribulation will return.

Ravens are attracted to bright shiny things.  Chulyen steals off with treasures like intention, and contentment.  I don’t realize they are missing until occasionally I find myself truly living in the moment.  I guess that is another reason why I crave adventure, for those instants and epiphanies that snap me out of that long term modis operandi of reacting, instead of being.  The daily list of ‘I must, or I should’ can for a brief while become ‘I want’  and I am free.

My companion the black bird perches relaxed in the desert on the gatepost of a memory.  A bullet-scarred paint-faded sign dangles by one corner from rusty barbed wire:
    No Trespassing    
    That Means You
I have a haunted idea what's behind the fence.  Chulyen implies the memory with a simple mistaken sound:
a Harley in the distance is for a second the agitating echo of a helicopter...
or those were the very same words they said when...
or I hear a few jangling clinks of forks in our warm kitchen...
hinting a cold cafeteria at 5:00 am smelling of fake eggs and industrial maple flavored corn syrup,
and everything else that happened that day...
My cells recollect, brace with the addictive rush of adrenaline.  But the raven denies access to the memory, distracting with discomfort.  I trip and I fall hard into the gritty dirt of irritation at the person who unknowingly reminded me.  Anxiety floods in along with fatigue of the helplessness of it all, back then and still now.  I can't go further.  Chulyen’s tricking deception says Leave This Memory, you never wanted to come back.
But I already knew from just recognizing the bird patiently sitting there a sentinal,
recalling every other time he tricked me with nausea and depression.
I tried to tell myself again that behind that gate,
the past has dried up from neglect.
Disintegrated into dust,
Blown away,
doesn't
exist.



After everything else, how to work through this?  The VA gave me a manual, a crudely printed set of worksheets with a government-looking blue cover page:  Cognitive Processing Therapy.
“In normal recovery from PTSD symptioms, intrusion, thoughts, and emotions decrease over time and no longer trigger each other.  However, in those who don’t recover, the vivid images, negative thoughts, and strong emotions lead to escape and avoidance.  Avoidance prevents the processing of the trauma that is needed for recovery and works only temporarily.  The ultimate goal is acceptance.  
There may be “stuck points”, conflicting beliefs or strong negative beliefs that create additional unpleasant emotions and unhealthy behavior.  For example, a prior belief may have been “ I am able to protect myself in dangerous situations.”  But after being harmed during military service, a conflicting belief surfaces, “I was harmed during service, and I am to blame.”  If one is ‘stuck’ here, it may take some time until one is able to get feelings out about the trauma, because one is processing a number of rationales.  “I deserved it because…” , or “I misinterpreted what happened, I acted inappropriately, I must be crazy…”  The goal is to change the prior belief to one that does not hinder acceptance.  For example, “I may not be able to protect myself in all situations.”

(chapter continues with recovery methods)
Priscilla Little Jan 2014
The sound of a zipper brings my jacket to a close. I make a few alterations to the helmet so it fits snug on my head. Gripping the handles for lift off I let go of the world. My legs are the power source running the machine. On and on I go, peddling in the morning sunlight, flying through my forest. All of my senses are at attention ready to focus on the dangerous surroundings. One false move and a moving barrier could knock me off my horse leaving me with no race to win. My bike and I move as one harmonious being traveling through a world of woe with not a care in the world.
Lacey Clark Oct 2018
Raised faux-religiously in a catholic school by convenience of neighborhood (though, I loved the plaid and I wanted to do Eucharist but my mom explained I wasn't catholic, so I dabbled with the hymns and cursive) by my two gay moms and some 'extra kids' (fostering, etc) in Spokane. Homeschooled later (and seriously religiously, Vacation Bible School, NO HARRY POTTER and no saying 'stupid', a lot of neighborhood scootering) by uncle auntie and my two home-made and hilarious cousins (siblings) in Nevada. another private school in the Wild West with my grandpa and grandma (maybe religiously? they took me out to Mexican dinner religiously). And scattered across the West, Mid-West and South for all the rest. Public schools interwoven and equally traumatizing in between states.
One school in florida was known for fist fights and head lice. I kissed my first boy there. and girl. I left for what I thought was summer vacation and never came back. Another accidental move.
I had been squeezed in-between the palms of each coast for high school (plopped in the midwest).
In Wisconsin, I popped like a pimple and broke some major skin. Tried to end my life a few times. Psych ward after psych ward. Pills. Pills. Pills! A nurse took me aside and said "i have hope for you" and it was the first time i felt seen. met hard drugs to replace the cutting- they felt like long lost friends. Easy to pick up.
And recovery was like feeling your face after a satisfying shaving... and not a scratch since.
Now gliding along the West Coast in Academia's matrix. Politics and community engagement and the center. Clean. In the Heart of the City. Biking with helmets. Shoebox studio apartments. Nose in book, nose in food. Day job with a class of kids who I love and who love me. Space to grow, assess, reshape. Optimism. Peace. Stability.
Corey Feb 2017
I.
I sleep longer, harder, and better than I have in years. Without having to stay up by the phone in fear of a late night emergency call. I have the time to sit down and read the many books I've bought but haven't had time to read. It's the little things that bring the most pleasure.

II.
I'm focused on more important things. Myself being at the top of the list. Second being my family, then my friends. Relations no longer a small slice of my life because you took up such a large section of the pie chart. Instead, the empty space fills with more intimate friendships. How unexpected it was to see new relationships begin to fill the gap.

III.
I focus on my own problems rather than hide them and worry about yours. My problems, my fears, my illnesses take precedent over all people. I allow myself to fix myself rather than fix everybody else. I come first, others come second, and I've been so much better because of this.

IV.
I can look back and happily reminisce of our time together. I can let my hair grow out long without you saying I need a haircut. I can talk to whomever, whenever. I can leave my phone at home without worrying about what you think when I don't respond. I think of my childhood and reconnect with my lost love for climbing trees, biking the streets, and wading through creeks.

V.
I was asked the other day by someone I barely talked to in school, "You were dating that girl right? What was her name?" I replied. Then he asked for your last name to which I dumbly stood there trying to remember it. I had forgotten your last name. 500 days after we'd broken up and I couldn't remember. When it finally came to me I felt stupid for having forgotten it. But perhaps that's what happens when you've lost a past love.
I can still write about you 855 days later. I no longer write through sadness but through nostalgia. I still find inspiration in our time.
Jonny Angel May 2015
Soon I'll be scaring the Blue Herons
fishing on the shore
as I ride around the lake
at lightspeeds
watching the sunrise
and listening to Zeppelin.
Alleluia...I can't wait...
"do you live here?"
said a woman labeled white
and bred to prejudge the spectrum.

a woman I had greeted thrice
previously,
and offered a ride
on McGarrity.

her dog
of mixed pedigree
glanced at me,
eyes glossed with shame
as if he sensed my pain.

he tugged on the leash,
eager to be rid
of the tension,
or her....

i couldn't tell.

so I swallowed my nuclear option
and biked on.

~ P
#BikingNearLake_Dow
2/10/2017
Autumn Oct 2014
I stuck chickens in my baggy tie dye shirt
nuzzled on the couch, coffee in hand.
I enjoyed a deep conversation with a willow tree
and asked how it felt about the other species.
I slid cookies in the back pocket of my tattered jeans
before biking through the morning air.
I smiled at old Ted in the nursing home
with a wink, he smiled back.
I dribbled the basketball with the strong scent
of campfire coming from my backyard.
I danced in the shower
the warm droplets falling on my skin.
I smoked in the sparkling cove
with strangers that became my friends.
I flew off the high rocks
and submerged into cold crystal waters.
I looked into those faded blue eyes,
and chuckled cause' we do that.
I balanced on the fallen limb
and hopped up onto the beautiful stump.
I giggled with my sisters
cause' we made some really mean jokes.
I ate spaghetti with my friends,
and laughed so hard we choked.
I tumbled over tree roots
got back up and kept on trailin'.
I thanked God for this life
and he said you're welcome.
some things I like in random orders
Ron Gavalik Jul 2018
On the bicycle trail, a middle-aged
woman in spandex biking gear
had her bike flipped upside down.
I dismounted next to her.
“You need a hand?”
She kept her eyes fixed
on her bike wheel. “Why do I need
your help?” Her voice was filled
with contempt. “It’s only a flat.”
I didn’t respond.
Pedaling along the river,
I made the decision
to keep offering assistance.
Someday I’d need it.

-Ron Gavalik
Dig it? Hit my Patreon. Patreon.com/rongavalik
Matalie Niller May 2012
Speak to me in a Russian accent
sound all angry and mean
then buy me a puppy named Tobias
and cuddle fer hours et hours.
I like 'em gruff
and dorky and sweet
and badass and lovely
and secretly love to write poems.
Do they tear up during The Notebook
and still love mountain biking and rock climbing?
Can he laugh at my weird jokes
and tell some of his own?
Maybe.
Mitchell Duran May 2011
She yelled from the bottom of the stairs

"What the **** are you DOING!?"

My neighbor, Mr. Monroe with the mustache, ring on every finger and a parrot that talked, pressed his face to the glass to look down at her.

"What the **** are YOU looking at?"

Mr. Monroe quickly went back to his day time soap operas and corn flakes. He never left the house because he believed their was going to be a grand earthquake where everyone that was outside getting food, shopping or at the beach, would die. He told me he believed that his house was a fortress and that God or mother nature or what have you could never touch him if he just stayed holed up in his room with his corn flakes and bath robes and old Sunday newspapers.

"HEY GUY, LET'S GO!"

I gingerly stepped out of my place. I stared up at the sky which was blue spattered with white clouds that were inching slowly toward the ocean. It was a beautiful day.

"******* FINALLY. What were you DOING?"

"Just getting myself a little more ready then usual."

"WHY?"

"I'm nervous or something."

We were headed to a dinner with my parents. I was going to introduce them to Alice and wanted to make sure all my pampering was in order, my mother could always tell if I forgot to comb my hair or use deodorant, my father didn't care. I walked cooly and lightly down the stairs.

"Well you smell like a laundry mat people have been drinking and ******* in."

"Thank you baby."

I kissed her on the cheek, waved up to Mr. Monroe who had gently re-placed his face upon his living room window, and headed to my car.

---

"So what you are you gonna' say to them about me?"

"I'll tell them we have a lot of *** and like movies."

"Really?"

"I don't know. Why not?"

"Seems strange."

"Were strange."

"What if we get married and they say that at our wedding and its awkward and my parents get mad."

"I'm not thinking that far off."

"Well you ******* SHOULD!"

Alice opened the window and stared out at the ocean which passed by with blinking blue reflective lights, beach combers and sand dune cops. There were many surfers wading in the light blue water waiting for the NEXT BIG ONE. I thought it was funny how they could sit out there for so long, not doing anything, and call it some kind of religion. I liked the idea of doing nothing and it saving you, I wanted to join but I was afraid of sharks.

"Do you want to get married to me?"

"No."

"I wouldn't either."

We drove down the highway but hit a big block of heavy traffic. We were gonna be late.

---

By an instinct I acquired either by fate, magic or the hand of the GOOD LORD, I ordered a hamburger with curly fries. The waiter was a young kid fresh out of college with a messy head of hair and a slight limp stuck on his right leg, he said it came from a biking accident but the kid looked like a scrapper.

My mother was alone on the other side of the table while Alice intensely examined the menu. There were clouds in her eye not of insecurity but of determination for my mother to accept her and pull no punches, when she wanted something she got it, like me.

"To start I am so sorry about your father not being here. He didn't come home last night and I haven't heard from him all morning so I suspect he forgot and slept at the office to get an early start on this Friday morning."

"It's fine Mrs. Kindle. I just feel so BAD for you."

"No worries. It is sweet of you to say though."

"Very sweet Alice. Yeah, I'm sorry Mom. Dad's an *** like that sometimes."

"Yes he is."

The water was warm when the waiter brought it. I hadn't looked at the menu but everyone was ready to order. I was thinking about my father all holed up in his on-site construction office, sweating over blue print over blue print, re-examining every last comma, every last note until it was "perfect". He had tried to get me into the business but I always hated a path that had already been trampled and organized upon, I didn't see the point.

"So how did you guys meet?"

"We actually met at one of Joe and Abe's parties."

We actually had met at a hot bar with loud music and cheap drinks with the wind ripping men and women to pieces outside and the bar man said we looked like we would make a good couple but we had never even looked or talked to each other but because this one little bartender in this one little hot tiny bar gave us the idea that maybe, just maybe, we would be good for each other I bought Alice a drink and then, thinking it would be funny and how she hates cliches, she bought me a drink and we got very drunk within the dark heated bar with the people swinging back and forth with the loud quick hipster electronica madness that spun all around us invisible in the smoke and the liquor and the cigarette smoke and there, in that dark steamy bar, we talked and talked and talked until I got a little drunker then her and she took me home, which we laughed about in the morning after we had drank a couple glasses of wine and tried to have *** but were both to drunk to talk or have *** or even kiss for that matter, we fell asleep on top of each other's faces and both of our necks were twisted and hurting in the morning.

"We call it "Our Spontaneous Romance".

"Very funny."

"Alice, do you know what you want yet?"

Alice, keeping her eyes down on the menu not looking up for a second.

"Not quite."

My mother shifted in her seat, she was getting anxious because she wanted to eat and she was worried about my dad. He'd been "busy" with many "things" that he "didn't like to talk about" or was "too tired to talk about" and it made my mom shift and silently sigh after every conversation either about the subject or related too.

"I'm going to have the soup and the sandwich"

"Turkey sandwich and salad for me."

"Healthy."

"Have to be."

"One sec..."

"OK."

"No rush."

"Mashed potatoes and gravy and ribs, that's what I want."

"Very nice..."

"Very nice."

"Thank you."

Alice was nervous. She ate mass amounts of food when she was either nervous or in tight confined places where she needed to converse but had absolutely nothing to say, the large order was her scapegoat and she would later blame it on *******, anxiety and depression, half of which was probably my fault. Alice didn't want to meet the parents, she thought it pointless, a waste of time and pushing towards something that may not even actually happen. She believed being invisible in a phenomenal world was the only way to go through life and in some respects, I agreed with her but also, I knew deep down, she was a little crazy, as was I.

---

"Thank you for meeting Alice and I for lunch Mom."

"Not a worry at all, I'm sorry about your father."

"I'll talk to him later."

"It was very very nice meeting you, very nice."

Alice and my mother shook hands cooly and suspiciously underneath the 3 o'clock sun. They hadn't talked much at lunch and I honestly didn't know how it went at all, they spoke about their food and that was it. Perhaps they neither hated or liked each other, maybe they were simply indifferent towards each other's presence and what they meant to me at all. They smiled, Alice waved as did I as my mom drove away down the hot black top. Alice, still waving said.

"Horrible, that was just horrible."

"I thought it went right as it went, neither here nor there."

"We didn't talk about anything but the food."

"Maybe that's all there was to talk about, some people meet and have absolutely nothing to say to each other, happens more then you think."

"Sounds right must be right."

"Let's go."

We both walked to my car which was boiling hot inside, the kind of hot when you enter when one wishes they couldn't breathe. We quickly opened the window turning on the radio listening to an old blues station for a second. I but the gears in reverse and slowly backed out of the restaurant parking lot as Alice neatly put on her dark sunglasses and rubbed sun tan lotion on her face, leaving a small patch on the tip of her nose. I paused the car before entering onto the main road.

"Let's get married Alice."

"I was about to say the same thing."

I pulled onto the main road home, nearly getting in an accident with a road biker who shook their fist violently toward my gleaming fender. I lightly smiled, embarrassingly laughed to myself, merging on. We were off.
BR Jun 2017
Summer's dripping slowly in
Covering the city with a thin layer of green
The blue sky letting the sun make your skin sweat

I wake up
Mind cluttered
Face stubbly
Kinda hungover ? Or am I ****** ?

Get up ,get dressed ,wash up ,eat
And I'm off
Both feet glued to my pedals
Mind focused
Mind cleared

I'll bike away
Bhill May 2019
Riding...

Riding bikes in the mountains is fun
Riding bikes in the desert with sun

Riding the trails up and down
Riding the trails around and around

Riding the trails north and south
Riding the trails with dirt in your mouth

Riding the trails east and west
Riding the trails with no time to rest

Riding the trails with pumps and drops
Riding the trails with sand and rocks

Can't get enough of this crazy, crazy romp
The more that you learn, the more you can stomp

Brian Hill - 2019#126
Inspired by my craze over MT Biking
Brittany Aug 2010
I love....

butterflies. movies. music. my family. my friends. my wii. chocolate. ice cream. chicken. lemonade on a hot summer day. watching tv. talking. God.  my computer. my classroom. my job. my sister. my mom. my dad. my grandma. my grandpa. love. working out. playing the flute. driving in my car listening to music. walking. biking. sledding. the first snow. chap stick. sleeping. dogs. my house. my roommates.

you.
Tony Novak Sep 2013
Hello
this is a short message
written this Sunday morning
on March the first

the rain keeps coming from the west
non-stop for two days
risk of flooding
government says.

I miss you - had another dream
driving in sunshine.
It's the sun I miss
mostly - and then of course
there is your friendship
to treasure and to hold.

I hope you're having fun
on your quad.
They say four wheels
are better than two
I'm not so sure
how could you
have Zen and the art of
quad biking -
impossible?

I see you have given in
to peer pressure or whatever
and made your modest entry
in the ******* book
I had a quick look.
It looks
OK.

Now I suppose Twitter
and MySpace
where you can compose
even wittier
sayings.

You're a true master
of Wisdom
with a capital W
But it is not that
you struggle to say something
wise
it comes spontaneously
best when blurted out
immediate response
like:
"they throw babies in dumpsters
in your country too, Janet?"

She'd never forgotten it
as it
was such a strange and powerful thing to say

by the way
I googled your name
and you have loads of coverage
mostly under AHEC and Best.

This is just a few short lines
to say you are on my mind
and in my heart
as always
yours
me.
Lynn MacKinnon Sep 2014
Fall in Miami is nearly here
It's my favorite season of the year
Cooler the weather soon will be
Crisp air, fresh smells, energetic cats we'll see.

Time to plant my seeds to grow
Vegetables, herbs, all organic we sow
Trees still green, light outside after dinner
Walks, badminton,  biking all a winner.

Halloween fun coming soon,
The stores with holiday supplies since June
Door bells ring, children call “trick-or-treat”
Scary costumes and mounds of candy to eat.

Buy a pumpkin and carve evil, smile fake
The seeds toasted, fruit in an aromatic cake
Shriveled pumpkin in my compost bin
Organic matter to start all over again.
Written October, 2009
Lalin Mar 2015
The Sun Is Shining Today
The Storm Has Finally Stopped

a statement says:
<we have done something yesterday
nothing like our best
just something
to stop that storm>
the statement returns true as fact

inconsequent gestures of nature
we weave
to serve an unknown wish
-made of numerous physical and non-physical senses-
so that fabric of a network  
evolves  itself
materializes sense
sense to fabric
fabric to sense
scientifically improbable it remains

an infinitesimal loop
unwinds when you are not there
runs within an ideally operating closed circuit
remains invisible to the factual eyes of daily lives

an etheric vitality
materialized by our definable senses of touch, of smell, of see, of taste
and some of yet undefined ones
- possibly  assigned to maybe a Poetic Variable-
executable within that program of simultaneous causalities only.

So then Only then
When You Combine the patchy Network
of Things
of Beings

You Can Dance Them
Sing Them
Play Them
Make Love To Them
Become One With Them
Compose Them

but

All these on condition that
it remains as an unpacked gift

Without telling to Yourself  
or to Others
or to That Storm
because
You Don’t Even Have An Intention To Stop The Storm
All you do is Wish for Sunshine so you can maybe bike tomorrow

But again

How important is it really that biking tomorrow ?
I mean when sighs and cries whirl around?

a statement says:
<you can’t stop wars by fights>
the statement returns true as fact

And

if I know that
you can stop storms by touches

touches to smells
smells to lights
lights to metals
metals to elements
elements to stars
stars to flights
flights to a breeze on my fingertips
breeze on my fingertips to an auric kiss

then

I think maybe it is **** important to keep a seemingly futile wish to bike to a beach of my dreams tomorrow
so that I can be blown away on a broken December day
and let my long hair collect dune corrals  made of cosmic ray

Huh So Yeah

I can Stop Storms if I want to or Create Some!
- not because I need to for my own sake or think about it.
...as written on 11 Dec. 2014:  I think some poems have capricious spirits! This one did not allow me to post it until I would bike to the beach. I have done it now after my winter procrastination and the sun was shining this whole weekend :)
Nicholas C Feb 2014
Arduous late Winter
woes amplify in February
false hope

We’re all sick
of constrictive clothes
and cold climes conducive to staying in

Cabin fever running rampant
45° t-shirts & sunglasses
everyone driving with their windows down  

Hoping Vernal rituals
performed early will
hasten Spring’s arrival

I’m done
fed up
ready to move on

Going crazy in the cold
writhing to get moving unimpeded
by frigidness and snow

I’m ready for Spring
for Summer
for Fall

I’m ready for the scent
of thawing soil in the air
biking in the Sun, verdance, and flowers in bloom

I’m ready for grass between my toes
Fireflies, crickets, peepers
and warm night stars


I’m sick of frost reddened runny raw noses
sick of numb fingers and toes
and having precious few daylight hours

I’m sick of combatting glacial winds with layers,
of treacherous icy apathy,
and dreary bleak boredom

I’m sick of not being able to sit on the ground
sick of long pants, long socks, long sleeves,
and silent stagnant long nights

So, despite the fact
that I’ll pine for January
every day over 90°

Despite the fact
that when mosquitoes swarm
I’ll wish a frost would **** the little *******

and despite the fact
I’ll get just as fed up
with temperate seasons

I still want Spring
and then Summer
and then Fall

But February brings false hope
and despite the lengthening cheery sun
months still stand

between us and t-shirt weather
mild nights, grassy hills,
  and emancipation from an inclement icebox atmosphere
Ariel Baptista Nov 2015
Hair burned into beautiful submission
Face acrylically defined and chemically composed
Adornments meticulously chosen
Scent tested and approved
Smile practiced and performed
I am a porcelain doll
Sipping tea, at 6 am in the quiet of a sleepy-city apartment
Porcelain doll dainty wrists
Washing dishes, feeding cats
Folding linens, singing hymnals
Praying for peace and safety
Porcelain doll knitting sweaters
And folding paper cranes
Reading poems, setting tables
Wearing cardigans and pearls
Porcelain doll decorating cupcakes
Lighting scented candles
Watering potted plants and humming childhood lullabies
With my porcelain painted lipstick mouth


But lipstick can be dark
Eyes lined black as city alley ways
There is anger at injustice
The world outside the confines of a pastel doll house
It’s messy
It’s hard
It’s iron and concrete and coal
And I am too
Biking through the brick metropolis
Sunglasses and headphones
And anarchist literature
Evenings spent sprinting through the smog
Heartbeats synchronized to the crude drumming of the city
So hard to impress
I’m on the metro
Eyebrows structured and defined
And adorned with a calculated air of apathy
See me social justice march
Down highways with fervently entitled youths
See me armed against misogyny
Until my peers learn to better conceal it
See me smoking cigarillos
Drinking black coffee
Breathing the tainted air of the city that birthed me
And chanting manifestoes.

But my manifesto can be love
And love can conquer anger and fear
And hatred
Love can reconcile, it can erase timidity
And it can abolish resentment
Let it wash my face and take the need for vengeance from my spirit
Let it replace the thirst for power with thirst for truth.
I burn incense
And wear long skirts
Naked face and braless lazy days
Reading pacifism in the park
I walk far to find pure air to breathe
I sit and deconstruct my dichotomy
Under a wise and ancient tree
I trace myself backwards and forwards
I meditate on the paths I have traveled
I cry for the things I have seen
And for the things I have done
I contemplate transcendence
I drink wine and listen to folk music
On the terrace of my home
I bike barefoot to buy Indian takeout
And eat it in silence on the floor of an empty room

I think only of death
And resurrection
Of betrayal and redemption
Of opposites and compliments
And how to progress in knowing how divergent pieces of myself can learn to harmonize
I think about minimalism and materialism
Sentimentalism
And swords and pens
And how this race I run was rigged from the start
I think about blackberries
And the complexity of their literary and symbolic significance
I think about the number seven as I see it reoccurring in every possible sequence and equation
I think about God,
And TS Eliot
And If I dare disturb the universe
I think about porcelain dolls and ****** activists and ***** hippies
I think about war and peace and politics
About corruption and poverty and imperialism
About western ideals and conspiracy theories
And communism
I think about being radical,
And how both sides of this ideological war are defined by fear
And I think about love, as radical but defined by the absence of fear
The absolution of fear
And how I am fairly certain it is the answer
I think about the inevitability of art and war
how they create each other
how they destroy each other
inspire each other and annihilate each other
and how there is nothing that is innocent.
I think about pain and privilege
And stacked decks of cards
I think about dreams and nightmares
And prophesy.
I think about the darkness within me
Tendencies to lie and manipulate and steal
The darkness that I know could make me very great
But alone in the ashes of the world
I think of the curse of wealth and power
And I try to evaluate my motives
And the driving force of my ambition
But I don’t know.
I think about grace and all the things I don’t understand
And toil and fate and destiny
The shape of these things, their origins and culminations
And what this black box of secrets contains.
I think about so many things,
Until everything I was on the outside is gone.
My body is gone
My painted face and sculpted hair
My varnished nails and pierced ears
All my clothes and appendages and freckles are gone
My blood evaporated
My brain an invisible energy in the wind.
My home and street
And city
Are gone.
And even in such complete concentration
When it is only my essence and nothing else
And I transcend throughout my past and future
When I am spread thin
And stretched into the corners
When I fill the cracks and crevices
And melt into the pores of everything
And my spirit is awaked to a dimensionless reality
Even then,
Scio Nihil

I know nothing. .
It's long but an accurate depiction of how my brain works. Written this summer back when I had to much time to think about everything.
Coop Lee May 2014
cracked nose &
watching moose beside the river,
on video,
he cocoons himself
in room and drug elementals.
boy pupa.
boy biking thru fog
& urban light.
city mystics, city-wet faces.
primates.

he works the grill and grins
in back. lollipop jar.
he pours grease into trap or teeth of great beast.
bucket cathedral.
corpse of bird,
decomposing in the alleyway ravine.

he packs luggage for the exodus
to northern california.
wicker owl
burning in the woods on a solstice
drunk, or moon.
the fire & the girl & his tongue to her neck.

bathe;
drain the dirt and blood of weekend off
to porcelain.
combed hair.
to appear in the lawn of withered fruit.
he wheels his father to the zoo. the old man
is bent beneath a blanket and tapping his fingers
for elephants.
Daniel Regan Jan 2013
Tattoos covering a man that speaks of his soul
A dog with a playful heart and loving tongue
Miles of dandelion covered fields and poison ivy infested forest
Mud covered boots and worn out running shoes
Smoke rising from a chimney and an open door lifestyle
Swings swaying in the wind connected to a cat-**** infested sandbox
A pond with fishing poles in the dirt and a splintery dock
Paint stripped basketball hoop without its net ripped and torn
Rocks and logs surrounding an overused fire pit
A lush garden with every kind of bug and animal
Another dog with his wise years found spotted on his nose
An old, leathery glove with its seams falling out
Scratched and scorned arms from 4th of July bottle rockets
Mom and dad a quick walk just a mile down the road
A 1962 Corvette Stingray parked next to the dusty van
Two cats sleeping the day away on the porch
A trampoline with rusted springs and a sprinkler underneath
The grill cooling from an afternoon of burgers and hotdogs
The brother flying in from Colorado after a week on the slopes
Rock and roll blasting from the house that can be heard for miles
All the windows open to take in the summer air
Every pillow and blanket carefully positioned to make an epic fort
Bikes hanging in the garage next to the bin with every ball you can think of
An over used washer and dryer next to the hallway with endless pictures
Half finished schoolwork on the table surrounded by the crust of a PB&Js;
Rooms with unmade beds and works of art mixed in with stuffed animals
A sister biking in from the town just beyond the nature reserve
Wrinkled hands and dirt filled nails contrasted by a gold ring
Nerf bullets covering the floor, windows, and fridge in the kitchen
Chalk covered black top from the garage to the street
Lego towns and spaceships covering the coffee table
A whiteboard with math equations and tic-tac-toe fighting for whitespace
A wall full of board games missing a die here or a figuring there
Newspaper clippings, pictures of nephews and nieces, and report cards on the fridge
Coffee *** half gone, cereal bowls in the sink, and the oven on for some reason
Bike ramps with caution tape and under construction signs scattered in the garage
Firefly nights that have to compete with the millions of the stars in the sky
Flashlight filled ghost stories in the family tent with mallows and chocolate bars
Lazy afternoons with a good book ending with an even better nap
And a mailbox, surrounded by tulips, on my little patch of heaven.
JJ Hutton Nov 2012
Strange to be a few barstools down from you at O'Brien's. Yet, a decade away from you in time. Tim is handsome. I doubt that means anything coming from me, but I didn't exactly talk to him. Not much else I can say. You're still out of his league. Always dating down. Thank you.

When Tim went to the bathroom, I wanted to cut through the smoke and tell you I love you. Not in a gesture of romance. Not in an act of heartbreaking bravery. Really just to say it. I haven't said it to anyone in such a long time. I love you.

Before I saw you, I went to visit my sister at the hospital. Jessica switched to the night shift last week. She gets the pleasure of telling cranky old men no more Vicodin, and in act of mercy, God grants her a week of sunrises to be viewed from the wide windows of the 13th floor.

The nurse tending the desk told me Jess was making the rounds. I creeped into four or five dark rooms before I found her. Might've even woken a bald woman in an iron lung. Do they make iron lungs anymore? Looked like an iron lung.

Anyways, I found her in a room grabbing a meal tray and putting on its "kosher" lid to be trashed. "Hey, man. Henri, this is my brother Josh. Josh this is Henri," Jess introduced. I shook his hand.

He looked up at me through black, thick-framed glasses. Henri had one silvery capped tooth that became visible when he smiled. The smile crumpled and wrinkled his face like an old newspaper.

"If you want you can just stay in here," my sister said. "Henri's a cool guy and I need to go grab his sleeping medication."

I told her sure. Sat down next to Henri. He looked to be in his early sixties. Very lean. Sharp jaw. Large knuckles. If he ever stepped in a ring, I bet he made a hell of a fighter.

Henri removed his glasses. Placed them in his lap next to a collection of Chekov stories.  I told him I really liked Russian literature. No matter a person's class they always seem to have servants. A butler to tell them their molding slice of bread was ready, and a maid to serve it.

"I feel just as lucky. Your sister has treated me like I just walked in from Hollywood Boulevard." I asked him what he was in for -- like it was prison.

"Fractured hip. The most cliche of old-timer injuries. Not proud of it," he laughed softly. "I have been biking across the country and a little white sedan didn't take much notice of me -- well, until after they hit me."

****. I asked why he was making the journey. His wife died in the summer. His life stopped. "Life is measured in the stops," he told me. "When your job, your hobbies, sometimes even your friends all become irrelevant and time doesn't matter -- you've stopped. I locked myself in our house for a month. Told the kids I didn't want them to visit. I got the best woman on the planet. I don't feel guilty for taking her. Because believe me, I had to earn her," he looked to the side for a moment. Staring at the black television screen.

Then he told me that life may be measured in stops, but greatness is measured in starts. Journeys. I thought you'd like that, Ms. Anna. Henri then asked me that terrible question, "got a wife?" as if to make sure the conversation didn't center on him.

I told him I had gotten a divorce three years ago. He asked if I had moved on. I confessed, I've hobbled. His heavy brow grew heavier. His hands pulled the bed table to the middle. He asked me to hand him a pen off the dresser. He uncapped it. "What year were you born?" 1986.

"Okay, and you were divorced in 2009?" Yep. "And you haven't started over?" Nope. Henri wrote something on the napkin and pushed the bed table to me. With a shiver, a weight passed through me -- going upwards. The napkin read,

"Josh
1986-2009, 2012-"

"Don't waste three years of your life again."

I only went to the hospital because Jess has a friend she wanted to introduce me to. Her name is Macie, I think. Macie called in sick. I'll call it a fair trade. I've written too much again. I hope you read this late at night, and when you awake, I hope the coffee tastes new. Your newspaper isn't wet with rain. I hope your journey starts or restarts. You deserve the same unknown energy that seems to be coming from under the concrete.
He smelt like smoke
as he leaned away from me,
texting himself with my phone.

We left the campfire outside,
in our shoes by the door
our socks overlapped in a tangle of limbs.

In that leftover guest room,
on the bottom bunk of the microwaved bed,
I remembered why I thought I knew what love was.

He was tired and needed a nap,
I was restless and cold.
Trapped inside because of violent temperate rainstorms.

This boy owed me stubbed toes,
thorn ****** through my jeans,
nicknames and rubber soles.




This was the boy who had always smelt of smoke,
who knocked over dead trees for me,
who lied about being able to rock climb.

This was the boy who went swimming in the ocean
before summer had properly began
when it was still much too chilly.

I taught him a new card game,
he beat me at badminton.
We played capture the flag and threw pinecones.

We sold cookies on the side of the road,
ate dusty blackberries,
traded innuendos and bad jokes.

This was sea-urchin boy,
slug boy,
the boy with the bird's nest hair.




This boy grew taller,
dropped his voice like a used bus pass,
looked past the top of my head.

He laughed when i stepped in a mud puddle,
dared me to walk in bare feet.
This boy suddenly went mountain biking.

I talked extra loud, in hopes that he would overhear me,
offered him rootbeer straight from the can.
Ate pretzels and learned to read his mind.

We shared our childhoods like penny candies,
switching all the peach ones for strawberry.
we agreed these are the best years of our lives.

He layed beside me, underneath as many covers as we could find,
taking up too much space and he knew it.
my cartoon boy.




My hand-drawn boy,
With smoke coming out of his ears
moved away.

We didn't talk again
Mad Sep 2013
i wanna run
start a riot
do something crazy
for just pure fun
but i'm too busy
messing myself up

i wanna go to the beach
roll up on sand
take pictures of the scenery
that was stretched infront of me

i wanna see the city lights
as they twinkle at night
go biking in the dark
not caring about anything at all

in the end of all these adventures
i know i'll still go back to one thing
'cause i'm stuck to it
like an insect caught on a spider web

home is where my heart belongs
i might leave
but my heart is there all along
Jamie Lee Mar 2015
Whether it's winter and skiing,
or it's spring site-seeing,
Either summer and biking,
or even late fall hiking;
Whistler has it all.

From snowshoeing to canoeing,
even as far as golf to frolf,
Whistler is the place to be,
with so much for you to see.

There's zip-lining to fine dining,
or ice skating and fish baiting,
including a tour of bears,
you choose your story to share.

Many come from far away,
just to live the Whistler day,
as we bring people together,
while they make memories forever,
because Whistler has it all.
Written on 2015-03-21 // Copyright ©2015 Jamie Johnson.
Untitled Dec 2014
I'm walking a path that goes nowhere
Riding on a train to eternity
Flying to infinity
Biking to forever
Running to limitless
But my shoes are falling apart
My train is derailed
My plane is crashing
My bike is rusting
My legs are failing
But I'm okay for now
You can interpret this message however you want to
Shani May 2010
The weather is warm
I see swarms of children , parents
Running about
Biking on their own made up route
Parents shout
Children continue to play
Wind blows cool comfort
The blades of grass sway to and fro
Branches gently shake
The day ends with a glow
The beautiful sunset show
Alexa Sz Apr 2010
B
Back bathing by Bambi's Bath
Biking Below Big Bridges and Britches
Banners believe bass bands become bad
But besides Beans Bumping by bricks bring bags back
Buffering bemused banned bakers
bring bad buns
brake bonds building back.

— The End —