Lonely Boy

Loneliness is art’s greatest muse. Some of the greatest songs, paintings, movies, and books are themed by the need for companionship or the cure of someone’s solitary sickness by finding someone else.

I’m terrible as a single person. While I’ve never been one of those “always gotta have someone” kind of people, my “best”, whatever the hell that is, is brought out of me by my wife and kids. I’ve spent three different parts of my life single; ages seventeen to twenty, ages twenty-three to twenty-six and ages thirty-five to almost thirty-eight. While I neither robbed any liquor stores or killed anyone during those roughly nine years, the bulk of my self-destructive behavior occurred then.

My wife left for Orlando, Florida with a girlfriend yesterday. One of my three daughters is with her other family for a few days. My other two girls are on spring break, and thus hanging at home. While I’m technically not single, I mean I’m wearing my ring and my 17-year-old and 8-year-old who are at home would pretty much take out any other women who showed up at the house in one punch. But I am alone, especially after the kids go to bed. It’s weird. The girls are less loud than usual. I’m sleeping on my wife’s side of the bed. Too much information? Maybe. But it speaks to what marriage or the better term, companionship, really defines.

I’ve always been a one person at a time kind of guy. I tried dating two women at once when I was in my twenties and I think the fact I could find more than one person who liked me was so overwhelming, it sapped my energy for two of them. I’ll read about dudes who maintain separate families or multiple mistresses and I just don’t know how they do it. They must drink a five-hour energy every hour and have iron bear trap memories to balance their stories. I can’t remember my kids’ names or what my wife asked me to get at the grocery store without her texting it to me and giving me a list written in very black ink.

I think what makes me a good married person is I’m, by nature, a people pleasing person. Yes, feel free to say that three times fast. It also makes me qualified to live with four women. I tend to sacrifice more than satisfy my own needs and that’s how I was raised. My dad did this too. When I encounter single friends I always laugh at their “I don’t need anyone” or “I wish I could find someone” attitudes. I never said either of those sentences because when I was single, I was either really drunk or just really busy. That’s why loneliness is such a great muse for artistic types. It promotes alcoholism and hard work.

My wife comes back Wednesday. That’s a busy day for me work-wise and our 9-year-old has judo that night. I’m laying off the booze because being a good dad requires that? Or should I be drinking? I forget the new rules. But I’m staying busy by writing a new book, promoting the other one, and working my real job while making sure the girls are okay barricading the house against the wanton loose women who know I’m the wife’s gone. You people do know that’s sarcasm, right?

You know you are with the right person when you miss them. The first time I was married, I viewed alone times as precious moments when God was telling me I was pretty cool after all. But this time, I’m with the right person and the moments are lonely, not alone. I don’t think this is whining as much as it is the muse of loneliness making me appreciate what I have, even when she’s at Sea World with Shamu.

Here’s The Black Keys.

100 Word Song – Election Day

The voting machine I used this morning to exercise my civic duty was very similar to Leeroy. Instead of asking one of you to pick this week’s song, I sat down with Leeroy and we decided to honor the one day on the calendar where Americans matter, by choosing the song, ourselves. Earlier today I wrote an essay for Sprocket Ink http://sprocketink.com/why-were-the-national-treasure-in-the-nicolas-cage-election-of-2012/ about why this process should be known as The Nicolas Cage Election of 2012. Playing off that column, Leeroy and I chose a song from a band that Nic Cage is a fan of, as are we. The Replacements did an underrated song called Election Day, on their late 80s epic album, Pleased To Meet Me. For my 100 words, we go back to Jake and Mallory on the phone with my short story, Soul To Body.

Last time: http://lancemyblogcanbeatupyourblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/100-word-song-shelter-from-the-storm/

Jake talked on the phone with Mallory for an hour. She laughed at his jokes and cooed at flirtatious remarks about her pretty smile, striking red hair, and how she quoted song lyrics from bands he loved. As his pain medication led him toward slumber, he lost count of her compliments and yawned into the receiver.

“Jake, go to bed. Since your daughter’s going out tomorrow, I’ll come over and be your replacement nurse.”

He didn’t care that he wasn’t ready. He just wanted to count more compliments and talk music.

“Good night Mallory. I’ll see you tomorrow, can’t Wait.”

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

As always, you have exactly one week, seven days, from right now, to write 100 words inspired by The Replacements Election Day. Tweet, Facebook, and link your post below. Tell a friend or 50. Maybe next week we’ll more new people playing. I loved your entries last week. Keep up the great work. Hope the American 100 word players voted today. I’m proud I voted the way The Replacements lead genius, Paul Westerberg, did.

Yellow Ledbetter

A dingy white wicker chair sat in the middle of a small, otherwise empty yellow room lined with white baseboards. Her back against the largest wall, where her bed once layed, she swigged the backwash of her last beer and placed the bottle next to the others. The tiny symphony of several glass containers clinking together compounded the loneliness. Her chest glistened with sweat so she pulled up her black Pearl Jam t-shirt and wiped away the perspiration. She stretched out her legs, dressed in faded and ripped blue jeans, and placed her bare feet on the seat of the wicker chair.

Reaching to her right side, she grabbed an acoustic guitar and began to strum. She bent a few chords, and played a little harder as angry thoughts filled her blurry mind. Words stuttered and slurred from her drunken mouth.

“Who are you to tell me how to write

how to live, how to make love, how to fight

I drink too much, sometimes just enough

it’s something I need, to stay hard and stay tough

go find some girl that’ll stroke more than your ego

I’m laying in the bed i made, i know

it’s a floor, with damned yellow walls

but at least I’m me, when i leave these halls

She stopped playing and shook her head in disgust.

“That sucks!” she declared.

Several boxes, most of them filled with her clothes, neighbored the entrance to the room. One box caught her eye. It was yellowed by age and multiple moves from the different places she’d lived. She got up, walked over to the box overflowing with letters and notes. She began to pick out random envelopes and pieces of paper. Some were standard fan mail, but others were from the two people who wanted her out of the lonely yellow room. She read notes from both of them, written months earlier.

“Wow, you two really liked me at one time. Liars.”

She walked over the wall and assumed her previous position. Her legs stretched out, with her bare feet placed in the seat of the wicker chair. She read letters from both of them, him and her, then thought about the last words they said to her.

“We’re in love, just not with you.”

The reality of driving away her two best friends shot through her . The alcohol wasn’t numbing the pain. She picked up the guitar again and tried something else.

“I’m out of beer, out-of-place, and out of your lives

there’s nothing but lone in loneliness

I need to sober up, get right and recognize

I cheated on both of you with music

I ran around, ignored things, and damn I lied

I thought of you two always being here, I abused it

I’m selfish and I’m wrong and now I’m just drunk

I had everything I wanted and I took it for granted

I kicked it, I used it, I threw it away like junk

Now, I just have to live, live with myself, outside these yellow walls.”

She sighed and rolled her eyes.

“That sucks to but at least it’s honest.”

The guitar slid off her lap and landed on the floor. She tilted her head band, knocking her head on the wall. The tipsiness was taking over her brain. Choking back tears, she decided it was time to leave. Bottles were picked up and put into an empty box. She zipped up her guitar inside it’s sleek black case. The letters were put back, and the boxes were piled next to the door. She shook off her dizzy feeling and turned to face the yellow room lined with white baseboards with the lone wicker chair, one last time. She smirked and thought of one final act of rebellion. Pulling a black sharpie from the inside pocket on her guitar case, she marched to the large yellow wall, her bed once lined and her head just left. She pulled off the sharpie top and wrote four sentences. She smiled then snarled.

“Oh well, there went my deposit.”

Ten minutes later almost everything memorializing her was gone. She took away the boxes, the guitar case, the aging white wicker chair and the empty beer bottles.

The largest yellow wall showed something. In black marker, it read.

“She’s gone, she doesn’t live here anymore.

This used to be her room, this used to be her place.

She wouldn’t be tamed, she couldn’t be bored

Good luck sleeping with a memory that you can’t erase.”

***blogger’s note***

This is my response For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Mighty Hunter challenged me with “Your story of 750-1500 words takes place in a yellow room trimmed in white. The only piece of furniture in this room is a wicker chair. Please: no recurring characters, continuing stories, or stories to be continued.” and I challenged Sir with “You or your character is seated on a plane next to celebrity you hate and/or have no respect for. “

This is my last time writing for Indie Ink. Hope they like it.

Today’s song is my interpretation of Yellow Ledbetter by Pearl Jam. The lyrics are non-sensical but it’s about a breakup of a friendship and Eddie Vedder’s level of regret. I kind of ran with that. Here’s PJ with Yellow Ledbetter.