The forever after quality of keeping the faith

There’s a line in the Ray Bradbury Sci-Fi classic “Fahrenheit 451” that describes friendship as a gradual progression; a drip by drip construction of innocent ripples whose mighty is a hidden gem of tidal given proper, pouring itself into a cup over the time and space of a person’s life. The evidence remains a mystery until the cup overflows.

Apologies for not googling the verbatim, but I felt like the imperfections of my memory as per this particular line dovetail much more effectively with the very idea.

Because love and friendship? Ain’t perfect.

But love and friendship are quite necessary things in a world whose market value changes for the better and worse on a daily basis. It seems that the times we’re living inside of are made of equal parts mercury and stardust. The sobering realities, tethered to the boundless dreams.

The weekend was all work for me, and it began on a very melancholic note because I lost my best workplace friend. Which is never a good thing in retail, where the weather changes every five minutes as it is.

How to describe Gus? He’s an Elmore Leonard character who makes the day worth figuring out to its better end. He’s a cool cat who still possesses that Louisiana drawl when he gets riled up. And he’s treating seventy as if it ain’t no thing at all. In his previous life, Gus was a minister. And that’s what he’s going back to now. My loss inside the day to day travails is going to be the gain of a great many people, and it’s how I had to frame things on Saturday . . when I wasn’t busy crying.

Before I left for the day, I found Gus and we hugged. I was tearing up as we embraced and then he went and did it.

“Hey man, I’m gonna be around.” He smiled.

“You better. We have a ballgame to get to.”

“You know it, Bubba. I love you.” He said.

“I love you too Gusto.”

And that was that. My day to day, changed, permanently. My forever too. The former will remain melancholic for a time, but the latter has become a better place thanks to Gus. Because he filled the void left by my good friend, George; who left me just when I needed him most. And it’s okay to be selfish about these things. When it matters this much, it is.

With love, it’s more complicated.

Love is a four letter word with sugar on top. It’s that honeyed up quality to the thing that allows it to have its way with us. Because love is a drug that doesn’t quit your system, even if you swear you will never . . ever . . ever . . never, dabble in the stuff again.

The way I did. When I started this blog.

This blog was my broken hearted pledge to the fates. It was a commandment to myself. To never again venture into something deeper than the shallows. And most certainly never to do such a thing on a blog . . with a writer . . whose words I loved to listen to as they roamed through my brain and tickled my heart and provoked my soul.

Never. Ever. Ever. Never.

I think I did one hell of a job of keeping this promise to myself. At least until she walked in the room and changed those plans. And it was like that line from the Harrison Ford flick Six Days, Seven Nights. She got me excited just by showing up. That was it. I was that easy. For her I was.

It’s just a certain way a man conducts himself when a certain woman enters his domain. He may not even be aware he’s behaving in a different way, but oh man . . he really is. Okay, imagine this dude’s life is a grand ballroom. The music is sizzling, the crowd is familiar and the mood is predictable. The dude is plenty fine with this, because he just so happens to be a creature of habit.

And then she makes the scene, and every single best laid plan goes up in the smoke of her fire. She steps into the grand ballroom wearing an indigo dress and it’s like every other woman in the place is dressed in monochrome. And the only music he can hear is coming from her. And all the sense in a world that’s busy making no sense at all, it’s tucked inside that smile of hers.

She gives him all the most important things. Love, friendship, support, understanding and faith. And sometimes, she gives him funny memes in the morning. And they end up having a gangsta rap meme showdown and it’s just the thing he needs, because the coffee ain’t working and the run didn’t feel so amazing and there’s so much to do and there’s so little time . .

And then he sits down, and in his best James Taylor he pens this. For her.

She’s got honey in her veins, and the breath of mountains in her soul and Keats in her movements and Cupid in her curls and mayhem in her silence and Broadway in her dancing and storms in her flirtatious wink and Hendrix in her rants and scandal in her steps and Gandhi in her whispers and the ocean in her tears and the age of disco in her laugh and she has the magic of all those crazy stars in the words she weaves.

He pens the words that fill him up, the words she created just by being in the grand ballroom of his existence. And he knows. He knows that it takes a certain woman to convince a certain man that you can never, ever say never . .

Ever.

 

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32 thoughts on “The forever after quality of keeping the faith

    • Susie,

      Sshhhh! I know i can trust you to keep this on the QT, right? We’re not advertising, but yes she happens to be a blogger. She’s a published writer, a truly gifted woman with words and life lessons aplenty.

      Hey, on another topic (see how I changed the subject there?), my friends Lindsay and Roy are NOT actors at Comic Con. No, they are simply participants who get all dressed up in different characters and attend the events at Comic Con. They laughed when I asked them if they were actors, but I told them they SHOULD be. Linds is a classic little beauty and Roy is, what do they call it? Shredded? Dude has an eight pack! I think it’s an eight pack. Well, he has a ton of abs.

      Peace (and quiet, on my love interest) 🙂

      • It’s a called a six pack or six cans of beer. The Batchelor has just started in Australia for 2017 so we’ve been seeing quite a lot of that lately, even just on the ads.
        xx Rowena

          • I’m with you. I’m all marshmallows. However, being Australian, I know what a six pack is. I had thought we were the second largest beer drinking nation per capita after Germany, but we’re actually at no. 19. Used to have a boyfriend back in high school who’d bring a six pack for himself to parties and a cask for me to get me drunk. I wasn’t that stupid to fall for that routine and we didn’t last long.
            It’s interesting how blogging triggers all these memory fragments. It’s a lot of fun.
            Hope you have a great week, Cayman.
            Best wishes,
            Rowena

  1. Beautiful writing, as always Cayman. Reminds me of a John Hughes flick.
    So much to love, but had to single out: The sobering realities, tethered to the boundless dreams. … Two of my favorite words in one sentence ‘sober’ and ‘tether’ 🙂
    Smiled at “mayhem in her silence”. That’s some imagery. That whole paragraph really. That crazy irresponsible Cupid…gotta watch out for his sucker-punches.
    I’m really really really really happy for you. I think it’s good you fell for a writer. You need someone who understands that side of you…that “leave me alone, I’m writing” and “I NEED YOU TO READ THIS RIGHT NOW!” push pull duality…It reminds me of something I shared a while ago…I’ll find it and share in a second.
    Sorry to hear your “friend from work” will no longer be your “friend from work”. But now he’ll be your “friend that you used to work with.” And the keyword there? Friend. 🙂 He was and he is and he will be.

    Back in a sec…

    • I think . . no, I KNOW you’re right. It is good that I fell for a writer. Because for really mot of my entire life I’ve kinda shied away from being a writer, or the definition anyways. But I am what I am (shout out to Popeye for the line).

      Favorite words, she is a fan of favorite words as well. She transforms into a little girl when she reads something that leaves her spellbound. And when she wears her glasses in the morning for her literary constitutionals? It’s lights out, case closed, game over. It’s the difference between a girl and a woman, it really is that.

      A movie? Hmmmm. I love John Hughes flicks.

      And as for Gus, he’s a good man. I admire him for his faith, his attitude and for the way he makes everybody feel good just by being in the room. In his previous life before he was a minister, he was a low down dirty shame. And then he turned his life over to the Lord and everything changed. He began spreading the word, he met the girl of his dreams who would become the woman of his life, and he began changing people’s days for the better.

      Faith is a prevailing theme, indeed. You have to believe. It’s like, when the whole world is on fire, you have to surround yourself with the people who can save you from that fire. The people you love and trust. The people you know will be there to see you through the fire.

      Its like that.

      Peace . . . . and carrots

  2. Okay, so it’s actually titled, “You should date a girl who reads”. I shared it over at my poetry site (which I’m thinking of reviving, but I’m still on the fence about, but that’s another subject for another day…)

    I was just going to quote it, but it works so much better in total. That last sentence though. 😉

    *******

    Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

    Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

    She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

    Buy her another cup of coffee.

    Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

    It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

    She has to give it a shot somehow.

    Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

    Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

    Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

    If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

    You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

    You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

    Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

    Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

    ~ Rosemarie Urquico

    • I remember this one!

      And you should. Revive it. And I wouldn’t mind it very much at all if you asked me to contribute a poem or two a month. I’m not much of a poet, but I think I need to push all the boundaries, in order to shake up the writer in me who has done not nearly enough. The storytelling is great from the standpoint of its unique dynamic (no notes!). But sitting down and writing something, that’s the quicksilver.

      There is such a peaceful resonance to the people I love, I noticed that recently. Just saying.

      Thank you for being you, Mad Science. The you that you are. It appeals to the me that is me. I’m so very grateful for the intersection.

      Love and the better yet of a girl who writes

      • I would love for you to contribute! I actually don’t share much of my own poetry there, it’s usually more of a place where I share things that I read that really had an impact on me. So like if I read one of your poems on Anna and it hit me in a certain way, I would ask you if I could share it. 🙂
        It’s often a diary type project too… happy day, happy mood? Happy poem.
        Dark and twisty day, dark and twisty mood? Yep…dark and twisty poem.
        Serenity is something that I’ve longed for my entire life. I’ve only found it in recent years. But more than that, I’ve found even more recently, that serenity is just part of the whole, of Tao, that you can’t have serenity without also having its opposite–chaos/discord–to balance it out. So I do try to feel grateful for the unease, for the darkness, because I know they make the peace and illumination possible. To deny one, is to deny the other.
        ❤️

        • I think it will be good for me to try poetry on for size every once in a while. And I am honored that you would love for me to contribute, truly.

          I agree as per the chaos-serenity link. You cannot have, nor appreciate the one without experiencing the other. Strange and sometimes groovy dynamic, depending upon which state you find yourself in.

          “To deny one, is to deny the other.” Sister Christian, you are deep!

          Peace . . . and peace (I wasn’t about to say chaos).

  3. Cayman,
    I can’t even know where to begin. That last full paragraph – I’d insert a swoon .gif right here – in fact…I’m gonna have to send it!
    Love that we love the same person. So much more to say, but I’m holding it in my heart and taking this little gift with me today.
    Love and friendship – I can’t think of a more precious pairing. Xo

  4. Touching, Pilgrim. Two pieces of your life which makes you feel better. Sorry, Gus is leaving the workplace. I used to hate it when someone I liked left. Always leaves a hole. Look forward to Gus’ replacement. Might be a weird character.

  5. Cayman, I really enjoyed reading about how it is for a guy to see THAT girl across a crowded room. Never thought about it that way before. I’ve never ever seen myself as that girl, either. I feel rather invisible, which is odd because I’m extroverted, wear bright colours and really try to bring out the best in others. Most likely, you’d see me swinging from the chandelair. not hiding away in the corner.
    BTW I looked up that quote from Ray Bradbury: “We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.”
    ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
    I’m going to order the book. I also found some other great quotes from Goodreads from that book and am working on a post about creating my legacy.
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    • Rowena,

      I am an introvert living in an extrovert’s body. It’s very William Peter Blatty-ish, it really is.

      As for that girl, well I simply thought about what the scene would play out like if my favorite lady were to enter a crowded room. She would turn heads and she would be the only pair of eyes I wanted to swim around in. It’s like that.

      Fahrenheit is one of those books that is frighteningly relevant in many ways to our society. And thank you for the quote! I was close-ish, lol.

      Thank you for the wonderful comment.

      Cheers!

  6. Duuuuuuude. Like. I. Can’t. Even. Dude you’re like Jake Ryan with that last paragraph. Like I’ve been waiting my whole life for Jake to show up here and say half of what you magically created for your lady. The age of disco in her laugh … LOVE IT! I love this lady already 🙂 It’s funny how you say never and them bam! its all just kidding. Glad you serendipitously found the lady that gives you those butterflies just by being herself. As your friend, I’m sorry about it making your day to day a little lonelier, that sucks. I hate losing friends, for whatever reason. But I’m glad you earned a movie buddy with him and you’re keeping connected. Sending you some Cali sunshine to brighten up your work week. It’s like magic.

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