ABOUT ONE MIDDLE AGED MAN AND HIS FIRST LOVE

I find the world is focused on "things", and these things are just a filler it seems

He caught sight of her.

With those red dancing shoes

and the sun kissed hair.

And that laughter of hers

which,

for the rest of his life,

would make him feel

as if someone

was running around

barefoot

on the inside

of his breast.


She used to say

‘all roads lead to

something,

you were always

predestined to do’.

And for her,

perhaps,

it was something.

And now looking back

it was her longing to heal.

But for him it was someone.


He is old now

and all there is left

are memories of HER

They say

the brain functions quicker

while it’s falling.

As if the sudden explosion

of kinetic energy

forces

the mental faculties

to accelerate

until

the perception

of the exterior world

goes into slow motion.

So you have time

to think of many things

when dying

He will think of HER.


People always said

seeing them together

he were like night

and she was a day

He agreed with that,

but she just giggled

saying

he was just to mean

to turn on the sun

or to kind perhaps

to let her shine

and yet her eyes

remained so painfully

deeply sad.


He never understood

why she chose him.

She only loved

abstract things

music and books

long strange words

imaginary worlds

He was a man

entirely filled

with tangible things.

He liked screwdrivers

hammers and nails

He went through life

with his hands

firmly behind his back

while she danced

or screamed with rage.


“You only need a ray of light

to chase all the shadows away,”

she said to him once,

when he asked her

why she tries to be

so upbeat

all the whole time.

“You don’t fool me,”

she said with a playful smile

and crept into his big arms.

“You are dancing on the inside,

when no one’s watching.”


He never quite fathomed

what she meant by that.

He’d never been one

for dancing.

He liked straight lines

and clear decision.

He always like mathematics.

There were right or wrong

answers there.

He wanted

what was right

to be right,

and what was wrong

to be wrong.


"I want you to remember me

how I was when you first knew

I was the one for you”,

she said once to him

when the ghosts from her past

haunted her way too long

and way too much.

And he always did,

remembering those dancing red shoes

and sun kissed hair,

even when things got messy

and their lives got tangled

and there was more to detest

than love in each other.


As they were separating

he realised,

relationships are the problems

where mathematical rules

do not apply,

and yet

he had a solution in mind,

when he said,

"If you don't do this work with me

you will have to keep doing it

over and over and over again

until you get

this part of you

is no longer serving you."


She wanted to run

and didn't want to

look him into eyes

he was someone

who felt her darkness

no one believed

she possessed

Because she was hurt

angrily hopeless

and touchingly sad

But she also knew

he was telling her the truth

she knew

there is work

in front of her to do


And so they did it together

something he was

incredibly proud of

they dug in

as everything

was crumbling down

they went deep

and they touched

her deepest insecurities

and she insulted him

then kissed him

with sincere apologies


They say that for wounds to heal

you need to stop touching them

And while this may be true

literally

what he asked her to do

was quite the contrary

there was this wall inside her

that needed to be broken down

and repainted new

All those places inside her

that she refused to look at

were running her


She told him all the ways
she has been violated, hurt or betrayed
the ways she has been attacked
and lied to as a child


And he sees it now so clearly

he sees how so many of the choices

she has made in relating

of her last departure

have been from a place

of profound anxiety

driven by a fear of being discovered

for who she didn't want to be

fear that he would see

all the darkness

that lived in her

and she thought

he would leave her

understandably


Because in all honesty

she could go very dark

She was weeping for hours.

An ancient,

inconsolable despair

that screamed

and tore

and shredded

them both

as countless hours

passed.

Time and sorrow

and fury flowed together

in stark, long drawn darkness.

And with the same intensity

in the next morning

she could shine

and she could love so deep

and hate so hard

hurling hurtful words

ruining precious memories


He remembers how she loved

books more than anything,

and started telling him

excitedly

what each of the ones

in her lap was about.

And he realised

he wanted to hear

her talking about the things

she loved for the rest of his life.

She liked talking

he liked keeping quiet.

later she told him

she had found him

quiet puzzling

when he came

to sit with her

on the bench

that first time.

Abrupt and blunt

in his whole being.

But his shoulders

were broad a

and his arms

so strong,

the kind blue eyes

that twinkled

and she liked making him smile.


Her way with words

when she wrote poetry

cut through his heart

and left his spirit

bleeding out

"Do not let the wounds

turn you into a person

you are not

let them become

the story

your are going to write

a story

that will always remind you

of who you do not wish to be.

I hope you never forget

you are not

what has happened to you."


She believed him

at least at that time,

she believed him

when she said

her last goodbye.

There was a sort of silence
in their flat that night
that can only arise
between a man
who doesn’t want to loose
the love of his life
and a woman
who fears
she will loose his love
forever
if she doesn’t leave.


"Not many men
of your kinder
made any more.”
She sobbed
on his broad shoulder,
holding onto him
so tightly like she would
never let go.
Maybe he didn’t write
her poems
or serenade her
with songs
or come home
with expensive gifts
but no other guy
had gone for hours
looking for her
every day
just because he was scared
she was lost.
And when she took
hold of his arm
like right now
and tickled him
until that sulky face
opened up in a smile
it was like a plaster cast
cracking round
a piece of jewellery
and when this happened
it was as if something
started singing
inside her.
And they belonged to her,
those moments.
When they asked her
why she loved him so much,
she answered
that most men
ran away from an inferno.
But men like him
ran into it.
She was the inferno
and now she has to save him
from herself.

After she was gone
He reversed his car
into garage.
Closed the door.
Put it into neutral
without turning off
the engine.
Feels the exhaust fumes
slowly filling
the garage
and gazes
at the plastic tube
hanging on the wall.
For a few minutes
all that can be heard
is his breathing
and the engine’s rhythmic stuttering.
It would be easy,
just sitting there
and waiting
for the inevitable.
It’s the only logical thing.
The end.
He misses her so much
that sometimes
he can’t bear
existing in his own body.
It would be the only rational thing,
just sitting here
until the fumes
lull him to sleep
and bring this to an end.
But then
he hears
his own voice
in his mind,
that is enough now,
I need to go back
find myself,
forgive her for leaving me
and love again. And he turns off the engine.


A time comes
in all men’s lives
when they decide
what sort of men
they’re going to be:
the kind
that lets other people
or life itself
walk all over them,
or not.


A time like that comes

for all men,

when they choose

what sort of men

they want to be.

And if you don’t know

the story

you don’t know

the man.


Later in life

he marries

a kind woman

who gives him children

grandchildren come

with time

and they live quietly

truly simple life

he can not complain

but who can ever

forget the agony

and extasy

of the first true love.


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Comments 6 comments

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

A lot of layers here to think about. I love your pictures. Well done !


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 weeks ago from Western Australia Author

I guess life is never black and white and that is what makes it interesting to live:) Smile...just like the world around us I tried to capture in the images:)...thank you for stopping by my fellow hubber and all the best in living and loving:)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 weeks ago from Central Florida

Beata, your poetry is so unique. Not only does it tell a story, but makes us think, visualize and reflect.

I'm so glad you've come back to share your vision and style. You never disappoint.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 3 weeks ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you so much my kindred spirit, I always come back when I feel I have something to say:)


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 2 weeks ago from Big Island of Hawaii

I love this!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 12 days ago from Western Australia Author

Happy you do:)

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