Monday, November 08, 2010


The uncaring wind blows in large billowing clouds of frigid snow determined to hide the world in a white blanket of merriment and Christmas carols. To hide away the pain, as I have chosen to, under a dense shroud with a smile painstakingly painted onto the surface. I wear this shroud over my face as my body lies dormant and inert encased in glass, a reliquary of pain to remind travelling pilgrims to stray clear of this path I have chosen for nothing beautiful or joyous can result in this.

I blankly stare at the flashing neon sign by the door; an untouched beer sits in front of me bleeding into the grimy table. Surrounded by flesh I no longer have the desire to seek out. And it’s a curse. We’ve inherited this curse, I’ve determined, my sister and I, to forever remain incomplete. Love is an elusive shadow I oftentimes think I see standing beside me in my peripheral vision only to disappear when I turn my head. And now, more than ever, I am a hollow vessel. I once mistakenly carried optimism as a mule humps its burden, a foolish, stubborn belief in karma and true love and soul-mates and sugar and spice and everything nice. I truly thought in the end, I would be reunited with her, and together we’d hurtle toward Xibalba or possibly be reborn as cats.

I know better now.

It was a foolish paradigm I conjured out of hope and air to grasp to as a Titanic survivor holds on to a paddle or life vest listening for the shrill whistle which may or may not come – for salvation. But the loveliness is that I have finally learned to accept this curse. She and I dance this lovely dance, spinning and circling into the sky like cigarette smoke. I’ve been burned again and again, or some would argue, burned others again and again leaving in my wake a sticky, dense oily slick in which birds perish.

I’ve decided to do the world a favor and remain forever alone.

I’ve given up. I no longer wish to search or even entertain the notion I may find “her” because I know she doesn’t exist - she is a myth. And here I hide in plain site. Either at the strip club with my cousin or the blank walls of my empty, spartan apartment my sanctuary.

Interesting that word, apartment.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


“Look out at the city Tuzik. Do you know why the lights twinkle the way they do?” I turn to her and smile tenderly. She looks at me with dark, almond eyes and then turns back to the distant city. She smiles as we both soak in the soft sighing of the wind and the hum of the power lines.

“You told me this once.” She laughs. “But I don't remember.”

A familiar song and it feels good to hear it. It feels good to sing it – and after eight years, I can still remember the words.

“Well...” I softly chuckle. “ ...what makes the lights twinkle is the fact there are so many of them. Countless lights out there, you could venture to say one light for every person.” R___ quietly listens. “What causes the lights to twinkle the way they do, is people turning their lights on or off.” I pause, carefully gauging her reaction.

She hesitates, looking at me with beautiful unsureness. She starts to say something and then stops herself. She looks at the throbbing city again. “Really baby? If you say that's what it is then that’s what it is.”

I pull her closer; she fits perfectly underneath my arm.

“Now, look up. At the stars.”

R___ smirks, excited to play a new game. She looks to the stars.

“Do you realize we are looking at the same sky people that lived ten thousand years ago looked at? The same stars the Pharaohs and even early man, huddling in caves, looked at… and it’s-it's all a lie.”

“What do you mean?”

“Many of those stars up there have already died, yet to us, they continue to shine. Other stars we cannot see yet because they have been born but their light hasn't reached us. The distance is unimaginable and it takes thousands of years for that light to reach us”

“So what are you saying babe?”

“What I'm saying is we study and believe only that which we can see. And in the case of the sky, what we see is not necessarily what exists.”

She nods. Perhaps she understands or perhaps she doesn't or perhaps she doesn't even attempt to try, however she nods.

I look away and tap the packet of smokes I bought earlier in the palm of my hand. There is a long silence and then she asks:

“I see you sitting next to me, again, after eight years of thinking of you as a dream - as a memory. However, I can't help but ask myself if your love for me still exists.”

I look at her and my words fail me.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


I look at the old man as the sea birds screech around us. The cold breeze carries the smell of the ocean - it envelops us. Storm clouds gather overhead. I study him for a moment, watching his eyes as he watches the sea. I finally muster the courage to ask him: “So when did you finally give up on it?”

He pulls another tug from his tobacco pipe, scratches the bristly whiskers on his face as he gazes out at the ocean as if in contemplation. “Gave up on what?”

“Love... true love. Fate. Destiny. All of that stuff.” I re-consider my words, “When did you turn your back on the fairy tale?”

He chuckles as he tugs at the line, gently tapping the pole, wise eyes examining the surface of the waves searching for a darting flash of silver or copper. “I haven’t given up, really.” He turns and looks at me. There is a shaky conviction in his aged voice, it is strong but scratched. Listening to him speak reminds me of listening to my grandfather’s Caruso records so long ago when I was a kid. “I’ve lived a good life... a good life. I have beautiful children. They’re all grown up now and gone. I got grandchildren too. They’re so beautiful.” He pauses. “I can’t say I ever loved someone. But I’m still waitin’... “ He re-lights his pipe and draws a deep breath and holds it for a moment. He exhales. “I’m still waitin’.”

I nod and look out at the ocean. In the distance a fishing vessel shrouded in fog slowly makes its way back to the harbor.

Friday, August 06, 2010

at last

Let me tell you a story about redemption.

It’s been eight years. Eight years of “what if,” “what now,” “will I ever,” and “I will never.” Eight years of questions, emptiness, desolation, and desperation. Eight years I have tread water barely staying afloat, through an ocean of coke, X, booze, whores, flings, fights.

Eight years of regret.

“I close my eyes and I see you. Here in front of me, I love your smile. Your eyes.

I am there

Heh, you always have been. I’d close my eyes and visit you... for eight years I have visited you.

What did we do in those visits?

I’d reach out and touch your lips. I’d run my fingers down your face. I’d say something silly and make you laugh. We’d love. We’d be.

I want you to touch me all over for many many days.

I want to crawl inside you and never leave. ”

I sabotaged everything. I insured I would have the ability to pursue you, should you have chosen to return to me. I broke someone's heart. I have lived alone, in desolation, a monastic life. I have dealt with the backlash of humiliation and my pride has weathered crushing blow after crushing blow. But you know what R____? It was all worth it.

We are on the verge of realizing what we could only dream about. Yes, when you told me you couldn't move on, echoing my same inability, my soul sang. And then, you confessed to me that I am your soul mate. And that you want to grow old with me. And that you want to give me a baby. And that you want to fall asleep with me inside of you and then wake up with me still inside you. You told me you miss my smell and ironing my work shirts, and therein you could find happiness.

And most importantly, you told me you forgive me.

No I am not in love with your memory R____, nor am I in love with what I used to be, or what we used to be, I am one hundred percent certain that I am completely in love with you. With YOU... with your soul.

And above all R____, I am grateful I do not have to wait to see you again as a cat.

You tell me you keep expecting to wake up, as you so often had to in the past, only to find we are apart. I feel precisely the same. But this isn’t a dream. And there’s no place like home tuzik.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


We stay in touch. every few weeks an almost frantic text-message exchange followed immediately by silence. Always instigated with a simple “hello, are you married yet lol?” My typical reply is “no, hardly.” I proceed to explain to R___ why I see no future between M___ and I. I try to articulate, in 120 characters or less, why I love my girlfriend and maintain this “thing” although I know in my heart, and with utmost certainty, that it's fleeting - that it lacks permanence and is doomed to die and ultimately be left by the roadside like every other dead relationship I’ve walked away from. I tell her I believe it will end soon, and that I give it a month. Of course I’ve been telling her this for the past six months and yet somehow M____ and I continue on. It’s at this point I attempt to turn the tables and inquire about HER “man.” She dismisses it as a deep platonic friendship and nothing more - a platonic friend she just happens to live with and fuck. My cousin tells me “she’s not going to sit around and wait for you, but she’s sitting around waiting for you.” He advises me to pursue whatever path I wish but let it be known that our circle of friends (the Guido’s and Guidette’s) all believe I should be with R___ in the end, and that we should have children, and live happily ever after.

I tell R__ that I really want to have more children. And she constantly reminds me how beautiful our kids could look. And I tell her in our next life we’ll have lots of children. And she laughs and asks me what we’ll be resurrected as, and I tell her we’ll be cats. And so on and so on we continue this back and forth... this tango. She’ll advance and I’ll retreat, I’ll advance and she’ll retreat. Like the time I told her I still love her when I was in Vegas rolling on E and seeing angels. And then she asked me if I was also texting my girlfriend? I replied yes and then silence. She continues to haunt me both in thought and form. I see her face everyday on my computer, I read her words, and my emotions are convoluted much like this post.

And I believe I really do love M____, and I know in my heart it’s possible to love more than one person at the same time. I also know I love H_____, and A_____, and that Persian girl I met in Vegas when I was twenty-one with whom I had a four day love affair and possibly impregnated - wouldn’t that be nice? And I think about this often too. I think about what it would be like if I were to get a phone call or a friends request on Facebook from her, to tell me I have a beautiful daughter with almond shaped eyes green as emeralds.

Unfortunately she will never find me cause I told her my name was Arturo Bandini.