H+D Lock and Key

Some time later, the hero was walking with her poet.

She was talking to him of things she had done and the shame and guilt some of those things had made her feel.

He grabbed her under the shade of a sweet gum tree and pulled her in close to him. His arms wrapped around her and he wondered if she could hear his heart telling her that there was no need for shame and guilt and that nothing she had ever done could make him adore her less.

Instead, he said to her “Those things are not you and I understand how you were searching for something, anything, that felt like love.”

Our hero smiled, kissed him and they continued walking.

Softly, these words rolled off her tongue as they stood on a bridge looking at the city skyline as the dirty water rolled under them:

“They say that seeing is believing. But I think I’ve learned that believing is seeing. You have to believe to see the truth.”

A thousand thoughts sparked through his head.

The one he wanted to tell her more than anything was this story:

— Salvador Dali is known for his dripping clocks and surreal psychedelic images. He once was asked if he did drugs. He simply replied “I am drugs.” But what many people do not know is that Dali was forever in love with his wife Gala. All of those wild images he painted… But when he painted Gala’s portraits, she looked perfectly normal. It was as if she was the only real and comprehensible thing he knew. The world is insane and never makes sense but Gala and loving Gala… that made sense to Dali. I understand that now, being near you. I truly do. —

But the poet did not tell our hero this.

Instead he looked down at the collection of locks on the bridge that others had left to proclaim their love to each other.

He wondered how many had already broken their oaths. He wondered if they ever came back to cut their lock off.

And, yes, he was struck with the idea that if he and our hero came and placed a lock on that bridge, he would know that at least one would forever hold true to dream of two people being forever entangled with one another.

So he told her:

“We will come back with a lock of our own.”

“Yes,” she said. “We need to do that.”

H+D The formulas

While our hero and her poet both found themselves at the end on the exact same day, there was quite a journey they each still had to travel alone.

Everyone’s end leads to an unraveling and, unfortunately, while getting married is supposed to be all about the big love, getting un-married is all about dissolving a business and heavy self-maintenance.

The hero, was a bit ballsier than the poet.

She packed her things. She left. She suffered through a few failed reconciliations but most importantly, when things were final, she went to work.

It was an arduous and painful process to realize who she truly was and her worth in the world. Experts were consulted at length. Flow charts were crafted on bright pink poster board. Some days she wanted to quit but as the months shifted into years… She emerged better than ever.

The poet’s path meandered.

He did the work, too. But he did it mostly on his own through books and journaling, self-teaching himself where he went wrong and how he would avoid bad patterns in the future.

The navel gazing was intense at times but he soldiered on with one goal in mind:

To be ready for real love if he was blessed enough to find it again.

Two very different paths were taken by the hero and the poet but the final destination was the same.

Co-dependency was an issue.

Putting up with the intolerable to save face was a problem.

Maintaining boundaries was difficult.

But the twists and the turns in their journey lead them to one simple formula:

Events + Reactions = Outcome

Mathematics is a beautiful thing. The rules are simple an elegant and never change. I, however, got a D in algebra and lean more towards words. And so… Let me take the simplicity of E+R=O and complicate it.

An event will occur over which we have no control.

You can not keep a person sober.

You can not make a person be attentive.

You can not make a person love themselves.

You can not prevent a storm from hitting your home.

You can not force a person to stay faithful.

You can not make pizza rolls from scratch (trust me, this is impossible for anyone).

But you can control your reactions to these events.

You can accept it.

You can leave.

You can throw people out.

You can move on.

You can purchase insurance.

You can get off the couch, go to store and buy some Totino’s Pizza Rolls (I highly suggest the “supreme” variety).

And your reactions will determine your outcome.

Let them keep dulling their sense with drugs and alcohol? I hope you enjoy living a life well wasted.

Let them act like children? I guess you will get good at cleaning up someone else’s messes.

Let them put you second in life? Yah, maybe misery and feeling unloved is sort of your thing.

Attempt to make your own pizza rolls? Seriously, go to the fucking store.

“E+R=O” — You should memorize this. You should live this. You should share this.

There is one other formula to learn. It is a formula that our poet found all by himself. And when he finally found our hero…

He decided to dedicate the rest of his life to teaching her this secret:

“Love Conquers All”

The poet learned that no matter what got in his way, he could work around it, repair it, tear it down, set it on fire… Because Love Conquers All.

Distances? He knew how to travel.

Unruly dogs? He knew how to train them.

Hurting children? He knew how to love them.

Starvation? He could cook like a mother fucker.

Deadly diseases and mild conditions? He knew how to go to the doctor.

Money? He knew how to provide.

Problems? He knew how to listen and understand.

And with the secret “Love Conquers All” he pushed forward in life looking for someone who had also reached their end and was ready to begin anew.

And when he found her, he told her, like I am telling you now:

“Nothing really can stop us. Love Conquers All. And because I love you, I will let you conquer me.”