Suggested Audio Candy:
Appaloosa “The Day We Fell In Love”
I remember precisely how it started. “Would you go out with my friend Rich?” were the very words spoken while I waited anxiously at the far side of the playground. I was all sevens and eights as I gawked over the object of my affection, desperate to make out some gesture of willing but a solitary sideways shake of her pig-tails gave clarity as to my relationship status. Her subsequent giggles could have been forgiven as mere embarrassment but, alas, the pug-nosed face of bemusement as my buddy turned to walk away couldn’t. Misery may well love company but chance would have been a fine thing.
Going steady suggests an easy ride and, believe me when I state, this really couldn’t be farther from accurate. It’s a rocky road strewn with perilous obstacles, uneven floor tiles, and creatures of the night bent only on the pecking of your eyes from their purses. Yet it is the pathway we all wish to amble down. Precautions aren’t heeded and our head has absolutely no say in the commencement of this union as those pesky pheromones take sole control. Love is indeed blind, so blind in fact, that it sees the desolation and craves a taste. We double dare ourselves to feel, to place our fragile heart candies in the palms of another, and they are given sole responsibility for the safekeeping of our vessels. Should they choose to nurture these bloody bulbs, then cultivation can begin. A particularly fertile seed will flourish and sprout whereas a discarded one simply withers away with the vaguest of whimpers.
Should it all go to the dogs and, this invariably happens within such tender confines of youthfulness, then it all comes crashing down around our ears. Everything, the entire world, and every last remnant of our futures dissolve faster than bicarb in hydrochloric acid. The heart dies with only brevity but this seems like an eternity to one whose dreams lie in tatters. Crushed like fickle chestnuts underfoot, our hopes are often trampled in by the heels of our bad news-bearers. Food loses taste, and time, all resonance. We request only to die, plead for its kind release from a pain impervious to our defenses. Broken down to our naked components, the entire world seems aware of our frailty. This is what we need a cubbyhole to recess into. Not forever as planned. But for the foreseeable at least. Then, as the final few leaves fall to the ground from the autumn orchards of our hearts, the brisk breeze carries them away, and the process starts again with another suitor. We emerge from our crawlspaces and put on those good old-fashioned brave faces.
Face of Braveness
Hey Martha hey Jack it’s great to be back
fear not I assure you I’m healed now
you’ll not see my tears no pep-talks for fears
there’s nothing I don’t need this shield now
A milkshake sounds dandy no bags of hard candy
one lick of your lolly and I shall be jolly
the sun shines so brightly I feel so darn spritely
and if the rain comes I’ll just put up my brolley
Freedom is granted happy seeds have been planted
love may ebb away but was not meant to stay
I just build and get stronger ’til my health bar grows longer
but the eyes tell no lies and can’t mask disarray
But you’ll not see me drone hear no cracks in my tone
I shall not be denied lose that fierce inner pride
I’m impenetrable now an unbendable tower
for at least I got laid before she brushed me aside
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom as, when love first shines, it glimmers majestically. Our stride becomes reinforced, sneakers extra springy, and hair lustrous and wavy. Should we be male then our penises grow another half-inch while, for the ladies, a cup size is gained. Chapped lips become glossy, our grandmother’s advice as to washing behind our ears once daily finally begins to bear fruit and our mother’s advice not to ever self-defile becomes swiftly discarded.
As an adolescent our highest highs are when teetering over the most chasmous of lows and, in truth, this is a perpetual cycle. Regardless of where it ultimately leads, that first kiss lingers on and, should we be fortunate enough to find the right suitor to go steady with, then its tang will be the last taste on our lips as first love ceases. What are the ingredients to a working relationship? There are many. Firstly communication is paramount. Should you not be able to understand each other, then the omens aren’t good from the offset. It becomes too easy to fall into the trap many couples do where a battle for supremacy occurs and this ordinarily doesn’t bode well as it invariably leads to skirmish in the long run. The aggrieved party spends their whole time attempting to put their stamp on the union and eventually horns become locked.
Truth is deemed an unnecessary distraction from all the porky pies that transpire during primary engagement. We become Olympians, suddenly we didn’t get beat up every lunchtime at school, and we once bedded three dwarven Eskimos whilst huffing lighter fluid with Englebert Humperdinck. A pack of lies, horde of mistruth, army of bullshit. In truth we likely consumed our own underwear rectally on a bi-daily basis and it was only one dwarf slept with. It invariably becomes an intricate web of white lies which fast begin to unravel as true colors are steadily shown over the next few years.
Let’s talk about flatulence some. The date fart is one of those guarded secrets which is rarely spoken about and shrouded in mystery. Ordinarily, but dependent on suitor, it can be a full calendar year before the simplest pout is made public. I managed to hoodwink my first wife into believing I simply didn’t possess an asshole and, when my veil was lifted, it was tickled out of me. That’s right; the foul wench got me while I was relaxed and the old Tuba played a note or three. I recall her face; agasp for a fair few seconds as her vision of me shattered like a crystal golf ball on a five-par.
Of course, the early game is all about damage limitation. Should we be invited back for that “quick coffee” then we sit, hunched in agonizing pain until no longer able to either grin or bear it. On one memorable occasion I could practically have turned off my ignition as I returned home after releasing the belt, so to speak, and releasing a convoluted mesh of falsetto and baritone. It makes liars of us all, red-faced ones at that, with angered embolisms. It’s taken 39 years for the penny to drop that it’s actually far better to simply start with the truth. Obviously, leaning over the dinner table, grabbing your first date’s cranium, and dunking them sub-aqua for an exclusive first on your anal mushroom cloud, is not advisable. But try not hiding who you are and at least it’s an even playing field.
I still believe that the right person is out there for us all. Sometimes it may appear hopeless and we may be forced to endure all manner of heartbreak before finally locating “the one” but the worst thing we can possibly do is to stop believing. Ultimately it’s a question of selection. Should you feel it necessary to over-adapt to your opposite number in order to keep things on an even keel then, chances are, you’ll be coming a cropper further down the line. However, if you show who you are from the offset, and trust that this enough, then at least you’re giving it your best shot. I currently have two failed marriages behind me so I’m not professing to be Don Juan DeMarco or anything ludicrous like that. But every lost love delivers me closer to finding the one truly worthy of going steady with.