We were neighbors, best friends, teen lovers, inseparable. This park was our rock. Holding hands discreetly, we’d watch the ducks while children played on the slide. After midnight, we’d sneak out of our homes, meet at the playground, and kiss until dawn. They took me away, forced me to leave you, but now I’m back.
I stroll the empty paths; children are too busy these days to play in the park. I’ve seen you, your wife, and your kids, right around where we used to live. That was supposed to be my life, and I’m going to take it.
Always searching, never certain, she peers into every mirror. Is she nervous? You wonder what’s on her mind, but she’s already floated away. You watch her try to catch the eye of some VIP, but they are oblivious as if she’s nothing more than ethereal mist.
You shrug, pretend indifference, but your senses are attuned to wherever she drifts around the room. You’re aware of every swish of her dress and the scent of her floral perfume. She begins to dance, swaying softly to sounds only she can hear, and suddenly the music is in your head too.
I tried to please you. When you said you hated onions, I banished them from the kitchen. You enjoyed plain food, simple dishes, no spices except salt, no condiments except ketchup.
Still, you were unhappy. I was too loud, too needy, too colorful, too greedy. I wanted to taste all of life, from the dark to the light; I wanted to breathe the kelpy sea and hear the screech of the owl in the trees.
Tonight I am cooking for one, chopping onions, tossing them in avocado oil, savoring how their golden layers glow like sunshine in my pan.
Some nights I look up to marvel at a streak of gold on an indigo cloak, a scattering of stars in black velvet vastness, or a sliver of silver moon pie. The worries of the day melt away.
I venture to the shore to feel the rhythm of the tides, the soothing crash of waves, the silky sand against my soles. I stop to watch birds dive for breakfast, the tiny crabs trying to scuttle to safety.
I buy a lush pink bouquet and bury my face in soft, scented petals, ever grateful for your endless gifts. Thank you.
She washes the dishes in a blindingblur of tears, performing the same routine as yesterday and the day before…
Today is different though, she muses as she dries her hands on a towel. Today she is finished with being the passive recipient of her husband’s baleful glares and grinding criticism. He moved out this morning and served her with divorce papers.
At first, she was flummoxed by this sudden dismantling of their lives, however unsuited they were, but as she tidies the house, she feels light and free.
She makes herself a jam sandwich… on the good china.
I like to paint an amber field when the skies are dark and cold. I bake a batch of butter bars every time I read the news. Once you brought me lemon roses for no reason, and we left them on the wobbly table until the softening petals smelled like mold.
Today I wear the saffron sweater you said you loved years ago, but you do not notice. You have said my optimism worsens your depression, but all I know how to do is reflect sunshine when my heart is breaking in hopes it turns this room to gold.
Flip the script— It’s a pretty neat trick. Don’t wonder what they think; Don’t stress yourself out Imagining their opinions– You probably aren’t even On their mind at all. Most people are fretting Over their own petty Problems and obsessions And could not give one hoot About what you’re wearing Or your latest confession Of some minor faux pas. Ask yourself instead: Are they worth your time, Your emotional energy, The investment of your soul? Are they paying you to worry? Do you owe them your attention? Is your concern returned? The answer my friend Is almost always a no.
Provocative rabbits— Where’s your centerfold now? I confess I can’t tell the difference Between Flopsy and Mopsy, But I’d be happy with either of you, Or both, preferably (mmmtwins). There is enough of Peter Cottontail To go around (several times). I missed your bunniliciousness, girls, While I was out exploring… other gardens. None had the attractions of this one though, If you know what I mean (And I think you do). I hope you’ve been keeping an eye out For Mr. McGregor; You know how he gets about his cucumbers. So what do you say, girls— Ready to party?
Traditionally, a sabbatical is one year off after working six, but I’m doing mine a bit differently. After six years of dating, I’m now entering my seventh year of sabbatical and see no reason why it should ever end. I may have lost the opportunity to find true love, if such a thing even existed for me, but I’ve gained peace of mind, which is an excellent trade.
While others are fussing about the liars and scammers on dating sites, I’m happily relaxing with my kitty and my romcoms. Romance on screen provides more than enough drama for me.