Dec 28, 2012

Get In My Bed: My Last Blog About Love

"What is love?  Baby don't hurt me."

That was part of the speech I gave to my friends Jason and Denise on their wedding day over a decade ago.  That stupid Haddaway song had come out the summer before.  I said a few standard things and then I quoted the lyrics from the song and had the DJ play the hook from the song after I spoke.  A few people laughed, we toasted.  It was all very clever.  It wasn't heartfelt.

Because is that what love is?

I always thought love was this....


It came on the other night.  Moonstruck.  It was a sign.  My mother was flipping through the channels while I was in the kitchen.  Earlier that day, the day after Christmas, I had hugged my Mom tight in the same kitchen, my sister's kitchen, and cried in her arms.  Through the tears, I asked her if she thought I was a good person.  Because I haven't been a good person sometimes.  I'm human.  I've made mistakes.  Big ones, small ones.  Of course my Mom told me I was, but she's my Mom.  She doesn't have to live with me and the mistakes I've made all the time, only I do.  I love my Mom, but she's biased.  I just needed a fucking hug.

Love is a cliff.  I've given this speech before.  It's a cliff.  You have to dive off, you can't stick your toe over the side.  You can't put a parachute on first or grow wings.  You have to jump.  And you have to be prepared for one of two things.  You're either going to land in someone's arms or you're gonna land badly and smash into a million pieces.  But you have to believe that someone will catch you.  You have to have faith.

I smashed again this year, smashed in a way I really haven't smashed before.  Smashed during a year my house was smashed by Sandy.  This has been the hardest year of my life.

I gave this 'Love is a cliff' speech to my ex-wife right before we started dating, on a Coney Island boardwalk.  It moved her.  It wasn't written down on a piece of paper or on a blog, it wasn't premeditated.  It came from my heart.  It's what I believed.  She was living with another guy and she wasn't satisfied.  I didn't ask her to come into my life, she invaded it.  She pursued me for a year - she stayed in touch, mainly over the Internet (thanks, Internet).  She told me she was having dreams about me and she was writing poetry about me.  I thought she was cute and I was very touched by her passion towards me, so I gave her a chance.  I told her I wasn't a home wrecker, that if she wanted to go exploring with me - if she wanted to jump off that cliff - she would have to end this unsatisfying relationship.

And she did.  Very soon after that fateful conversation, she asked him to leave.  A year later, we got engaged.

Five years after she jumped off the cliff, we got divorced.  And even tho I was disillusioned, even tho we couldn't make it work, I still believed that love was a high dive.  You have to take chances, you have to be willing to get hurt to have it all.  If you play it safe, it's not love - not storybook love, not romantic love, not "Get in my bed" love.

I want "Get in my bed" love.  I want crazy stupid love.  But it's hard to believe that I will ever get it.  The older you get, the harder it gets.  It's hard to surrender.  It's hard to say "It Is What It Is."  It's hard to fool yourself.  Of all my romantic failures, it's never been as hard as it is now.

Because there are signs everywhere.  The hurricane was a sign.  My new nephew is a sign.


This is a sign:

"It actually scares me a little bit that you can read through my veil of concealment."
"I should have been there for you. I was selfish."
"I don't know if we are on the same page with this, but our interaction... Emails, meeting, sex... Was electric. For me at least. Horrible timing, but electric. The little I know of you, you are a gentleman. You care about romance. You care about being a grown up. You have your shit together."
"My personal life was not where I wanted it to be. I encountered some harsh realities."
"I was afraid to see you. To see what kind of a man I could have instead of what I do have. Not that what I have is horrible. It's just not... Electric."

These are excerpts from an e-mail I got from a woman a few months ago.  This is not the woman I fell for this year, not the woman who just squeezed my heart like a rotten tomato.  This was a woman who I met through a somewhat subversive online dating site last October.  We had a one-night stand.  She came to my house late one night and we did some dirty things to each other and had a fun night.  Then she went home....back to her boyfriend.

She's still with this guy.  And that's fine.  I didn't want to jump off a cliff for her, I just wanted her to take my pants off.  She didn't reveal she was with someone until right before we met, and I was horny and not emotionally invested so I told her to do what she thought was right, and she thought fucking me was right, and I wasn't going to argue.  Last year was a rough year, too.  Not as rough as this one, but divorce and losing money and losing the life you knew for five years, even if it wasn't a very happy life, was very difficult.  So it was okay for me to be selfish even if I'm still not a home wrecker.

In between the fun between the sheets, she revealed her unhappiness to me.  Her man wasn't doing things right in the bedroom, he wasn't giving her enough attention.  This guy was bald and white, he had a good job, they lived in a nice apartment on the Upper East Side together.  Such a familiar tale.

And then she contacted me after the hurricane - a lot of women from my past did, my ex-wife did, a lot of people did.  This girl wanted to see me.  But she was still with him so she didn't, and that was fine.  There was only one girl I wanted to see, and this wasn't her.  Instead, she lied about why she flaked, but I've grown smarter and I called her out on it.  She wrote all those things above a few weeks later.

"It actually scares me a little bit that you can read through my veil of concealment."
  
It scares me too, but it's a 'thing' that I have.  I always know when there's trouble brewing, when lies are being spun.  My gut starts screaming at me.  Too bad it can't tell me the Lotto numbers.  But I also know that this girl moved to the other side of the country and took her non-electric man with her, and she still wanted to see me after the hurricane, still talked about getting between the sheets with me, only a lot more guarded this time, and understandably so.

She moved on with her life even if it's "just not...Electric."  Life is fucking sad.  Love is fucking sad.  The choices people make sometimes are fucking sad.  And now so am I.  Because I have to turn into one of these zombies - one of these people who just look for someone who's good enough.  I have to unplug, just like this woman has - just like other women have, just like people do all the time.

And it's not my nature - my inherent nature.  My nature is Ronny Cammareri's nature.  If you want it to be great, you've gotta take chances.  You've gotta jump off the cliff.  Even if life ain't the movies, you've gotta jump off the cliff.  And now I think I jumped for the last time.  It's too hard.  It hurts too much.  I'm Humpty Dumpty - I can't be put back together again.  Not the guy writing this blog, not the guy writing these songs.  He has to die.  His timing is a curse and his belief system has been torn apart.  I'm too close to a nervous breakdown to keep trying like this.


So this is My Last Blog About Love.  I surrender.  I have to change my philosophy once and for all - I have to go find a parachute and hope to fall gently into someone's arms - find "a nice girl," not the fantasy girl.  Lloyd Dobler is dead.  I can't afford another crash landing.

It's time to say goodbye to these songs, to that album I was dead-set on making earlier this year, before the floods came and washed my studio away, washed away my record label.  I don't want to write these songs anymore, I don't even want to hear them.  I still have my piano and I still have my fragile heart, and playing them has always been a bit of therapy, but these songs are for me now, they're not for anyone else.  Maybe my words are too, but a lot of people have been reading these words and telling me how affected they are, and maybe I'm helping some people, too.  In my sad-sack Charlie Brown sorta way, maybe I'm inspiring some people.  I don't know.  I don't know anything anymore.

My Mom wants me to go back to therapy - she wants me to get all fixed up, just like my house.  But this blog has been more cathartic, more therapeutic than any session I ever had.  My bi-monthly therapy sessions took place on Staten Island, a few blocks from my Sandy-destroyed house in my Sandy-destroyed neighborhood, and I can't help but see that as another sign - that not being there means not going back there. 

But I definitely do need fixing.  I've never been on meds, I'm responsible with liquor (sometimes) and marijuana.  They've never been a crutch.  I thought it was love that would fix me, but I've been a fool.  I've been a fucking fool.  So it's time to stop thinking like one, it's time to stop writing like one.

It's time to stop feeling like one.  There's only one romantic Ron left at the end of this passage, and his last name ain't Scalzo, it's Cammareri.  He's got a wooden hand and a shitty job in the bread factory, but he refused to "Snap Out Of It!" and he got the girl in the end.

At least one of us did.....

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