What we write about when we write about love

Butterfly upon the wall, you look so happy there, how can it be that bad? I’ve only stapled your wings down. Now you can’t fly around. So what’s with that frown? – Kurt Calloway

A butterfly, too beautiful to capture in my net. I can only hope you land in my palms and I will carry you gently, until you want to fly away. – Me

I don’t remember lyrics much, and above, those amazingly beautiful words, are lyrics I have remembered for half my life now. They live in my heart and are as much a part of me as my hands and feet. At the age of 17, when I thought I had a perspective, my friend Kurt understood his own obsessions, that masculine desire to posses what we love, to capture and frame it in our own design. It’s amazingly powerful to consider how young he was and how aware of himself he was. I’ve always loved those lines of poetry, as dark and scary as they are. Kurt loved with a kind of obsession then that is not all too unfamiliar for a young man who just wants to be loved back. And it’s an awful place to be and it’s one that often manifests itself into some really bad shit the older you get. Often in ways you don’t intend. I have been guilty of this, making mistakes to try to hold on to love and those I loved too tightly. And it never works out. Ever.
I’ve been thinking about love a lot lately, for a variety of reasons. I’ve found myself in place once again, where I am actually capable of loving the way I used to, when I was young and careless. This is do, in no small favor, to hanging out with my friends, most of whom are so much younger than I am. Loving these people, growing and connecting with them has made me realize how much control I tried to have in my life, always to my detriment. This of course has great affect on the effectiveness of loving people and being loved by people. The desire for control instantly limits the boundaries in which we love people. And I have fallen victim to that, but I have also realized that the boundaries we have exist to try to keep us safe.
I think about what Kurt said a lot in my life. It’s taken 17 years to really understand it. It’s taken being in love with women, spending my life with them and realizing my actions were actions of control. As someone who considers themselves a feminist, this has been a hard pill to swallow. A pattern of what is essentially abuse emerging because I was too anxious at life, felt too controlled by external forces, felt that if I didn’t address every detail, instantly that things would spiral out of control. And guess what, they spiraled out of control anyway. Now I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, unemployed (still), playing loud music and pretending I am smart enough to be in college. I love my life, but nothing is really in my control.
There is a girl. There is always a girl. Even when there isn’t a girl, there is a girl. Okay, she’s actually a woman. Obviously. Just for the record, the words man and woman seem so serious to me. I mean serious in a stern, kind of strict and oppressive way. When writing about things that are awesome, I’d rather use language that has a sense of delicacy. Anyway, there’s a girl. A woman. Whatever.
This isn’t really about her. I mean, it is, but there are friends that are falling in and out of love. And this is just as much about them as anyone else. There are friends in new relationships, mostly though in relationships that have existed before I landed in town. There are some that are ending. There are people who are getting married and I didn’t even know. There are relationships falling apart. There are relationships that are strained. There are girls I loved from a safe distance, the circumstances never quite right. There are amazing friends, here in my life every day, and those divided by geography but no less important to my heart. This is as much about that girl, as it is about every one. Because I’ve been thinking about love (and patience, temperance and presence) to an obsessive degree lately. The scientist in me wants to crack the code. The artist in me wants to ponder it endlessly (like I am here). The rationalist in me wants to hit myself in the face with a pan and go read all the shit I have to read about Leo Szilard. But that’s where the second quote I left above comes from. It’s something I wrote, recently. Very recently in fact. And though it was born about my specific feelings about a specific person, it applies to every one I know. And as Kurt’s voice sings his song to me, I answer with my own words. A response 17 years in the making. One I am happy to have finally gotten to.
I love Kurt, that 17-year-old poet and singer. He loved with a recklessness and lack of self-preservation that was terrifying and head shaking. He just didn’t give a shit about getting hurt, and he got hurt deeply, a lot as a young man. And then one day he found love, and so far as I know he’s still in love with that woman. But I remember his words, always. I sing that damn melody all the time. But now, I finally have a response to that question posed. The only way to love is without restriction, and if you get hurt, you just brush that shit off. Let the butterfly have its sky. That’s what it was designed, through millions of years of evolution, to do. It may land in your hand and stay. It may fly away before you even have time to realize it was there. But don’t try to capture it. It’s just not possible.
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Goin Out West Volume 4

I can’t take much more of this friends. I tell you what, one Coors beer at lunch today. You know what we ate for dinner? Thai Vegan. I’m not going to lie, the food was spectacular. No one makes Green Cury like the folks at Thai Vegan. And as a man who desires poetry out of the public, the name of the place says it all. But we are men, we need sustenance. I didn’t even get fed until after noon today. Granted the lack of alcohol fueled benders and nights with forgiving woman have been NON-EXISTENCE, but is rice and salad and ICE TEA gonna fuel these tirades much longer? I think not. This is not the kind of trip I signed up for, readers expect more out of William F. Willard. More than just food reviews. They want sadness, wandering depression, fist fights, romance in parked cars with runaways.

Fuck this, I’m out.

Goin Out West Volume 3

William F. Willard here. The editor has really gone off the deep end now. The morning started off way too early. Dehydration kept this rag tag journalistic team up all night (did I mention our fearless editor, Erik K. Gamlem forgot his cord for the camera and as such we are without photos on this excursion, not that chief photographer Erik K Gamlem has taken any pristine shots, save for a few out of the window of our hotel last night. We are in what they call the land of enchantment, and this guy can’t even be bothered to take a few pictures? We are truly doomed).

So we awoke early due to lack of sleep. William F. Willard, prized journalist for sure, does not awake early for any man or child, the right woman however, that’s another story. We mulled about the hotel, catching the new Frodus Sound Laboratories output on the computer stream,  until a breakfast of substance was required to sustain us for our journey. We had Huevos Rancheros and two cups of coffee. So there I thought the fuel would get us through. Little did I know most of my thirst would be quenched not by the great coffee bean, nor the barley and hops that any  first rate wordsmith requires all day, but instead water was all that was on the menu.

Gamlem thinks he did find an apartment however. It’s a quaint place in a yellow and blue building that looks more like a fraternity house for an all gay, all out football team. It’s very colorful. Very blue, and very yellow. But it seems it will accommodate our drinking needs and offer a space to entertain you college co-eds matriculating down at the University of New Mexico.

We missed the new fucking Episode of fucking House M.D. tonight because apparently we are in fucking central time. 7 FUCKING PM. WHO THE FUCK STARTS PRIME TIME TELEVISION AT 7 FUCKING PM? And my illustrious editor doesn’t feel that alcohol is needed to cope with this travesty. If he didn’t have the keys to the rental I would drive that shit to the border and sell it for a six pack of corona and a bus ticket to San Diego. But I don’t know where he hid them. Fuck that guy.

This is a sober, pissed off William F. Willard signing off.

Goin Out West Where They Appreciate Me

William F. Willard, KYS Correspondent here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am on site with the staff, contemplating a relocation to this yellow state. I haven’t had near enough to drink to come to terms with the day glow, “earthy” colors of the hotel room, and so far my battered editor, Erik Gamlem, has not had the decency to supply his staff with alcohol, coffee, kind women or anything else worthy of our journalistic talents. A shared 20oz Miller Light at Pappasito’s in the Dallas/Ft Worth Airport is all this rouged wordsmith has had to get him through the gruel.

My sinuses are dry and Gamlem expects 500 words already and nothing has happened. The elevators and automatic doors move slow, but every one drives fast, which considering the surroundings makes one wonder where they have to go. Albuquerque is divided by two interstates, going north and south, east and west and yet it offers only 800,000 people apparently and is a city that is fast asleep at 3:30PM on a Sunday, despite glorious temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

We are watching Jackass reruns, the room is dark. Nothing is salvaged of our humanity. The wild west this is not, at least not yet, as we are not quite desperate, not quite pushed to our animalistic core. The edge is not far from us. It lingers off in a distance (whose visibility today is 70 miles plus. That’s like being able to see Richmond from Potomac Mills Mall off Interstate 95 south in Dixie), one that seems alien in the massive mountains that surrounds us. Here we find our constitution, or our destitution, which ever script has been written. We don’t know, were not much for reading.

This is William F. Willard for Korrupt Yrself Industries signing off.