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.”

H + D The Broken Vase

While our hero walked down the hall of the La Quinta, her feral cats bounded ahead of her, oblivious to the gravity of their mother’s situation.

It is the way with children. A room could be filled with hyenas frothing at the mouth and any child with loving a mother would start to name them one by one and beg to take one home. Happy, innocent and completely oblivious to the reality of their situation was the natural state of a well-adjusted child.

But our hero was also oblivious.

Oblivious from a sense of sense of dread and despair which is the odd thing about being a adult. They lose their childish optimism and slide instead into a state of intense focus on problems rather than the soft fold of solutions.

I happen to think, however, that our dear hero, as she slid her key card into the hotel room and coaxed the feral cats away from the mini bar and towards their bed, would have liked to have known her future poet was also reaching his end.

It was so much unlike her own tail of neglect and abandonment.

Her poet was walking into his kitchen with own feral cats.

It was actually her idea. He had taken them with him when he went to play tennis. When he left the house with them, his own Queen of Chaos was delighted that they would all be gone. The poet playing tennis, the children rough housing with friends until all three re-convened and slipped into pool at night.

It was a good thing. It was the sort of break and support that our hero would have enjoyed.

But, no, as her feral cats bounced up and down on their bed in the hotel, the poet came home to scream.

It was selfish to go with the children to the club.

It was rude to take them swimming.

Yes, she was invited, but that didn’t matter because even though she said she wanted to have an evening by herself, somehow this only fueled a rage.

A rage that resulted in her yelling and cussing and the children running upstairs.

“Uh… this is really dumb,” the poet said.

That is when she attempted to throw a chair. Either it was the wine or her own lack of control but she could only manage to briefly lift it and drop it on its side 2 feet from where she stood. But, hey, she got an “A” for effort.

“I don’t get it. You asked me to take them. I took them. Now this this.”

She let loose a scream that sounded as if her soul was ripping in half.

And  then, the strangest thing happened…

“Did you just piss your pants?” the poet asked.

“Yes, I fucking pissed my pants you fucking fuck.”

The storm disappeared going up the stairs, tripping and falling at the top. Another final thunder clap of cussing rumbled as she got back to her feet and into the bedroom.

The poet picked up the chair. He checked it for damage. He went outside. He pulled a beer from his refrigerator in the garage. He lit a cigarette. And then?

He laughed.

He did not laugh at her. He simply laughed about life and all the time he had wasted trying to duct tape a broken vase back together.

It was a pretty vase when he found it but it also had a leak in it. He tried to fix that leak with some tape and glue. Then it started to crack and chip. Repair after repair was performed. 

And now? Shit, there was no vase left to pour himself into it. There was nothing left but the duct tape.

What else could he do but laugh?

This was his end and laughing always felt better than crying.

Besides, he felt a sense of relief in letting it all go.