I've always believed that, as obvious as it may seem, the way people write mirrors how they feel. I'm delighted to say I've rediscovered about five years' worth of writing through an old friend this morning. In tribute and celebration to our many disagreements about poetry and love, here's to you:
Four Word Proposal
August 14, 2012
(Prologue: I was, in true heavy metal style, going to "call this one 'Wasted'" and "dedic it to my ex-girlfriend, may she burn in hell" but I realised (1) that my ex-girlfriends are adorable people and have been unreasonably nice to me even though they've had no reason to be and (2) this isn't about my ex-girlfriend(s) anyway - it is entirely fictional.
Second prologue: I wrote this in sharp, inspired two-line bursts. The rhymes came out of nowhere - it has literally taken me twenty minutes to put it all down. Must be something in this mid-August air.)
Economy of words has always eluded me
Eschewing 'no wasted motion', I'd rather be free
It should come, therefore, as no surprise
That it is my editor's blue pencil that I most despise.
Back and forth into his little lair I'd go
Having my words brutalised in the rain and snow
In whatever little I'd salvage of my all-consuming day
I'd find time for lunch and I'd find time to pray.
Each day, my little prayer would be exactly the same
That somehow He could deliver she who has no name
For I'd exhausted all possible avenues and every resource
In fruitless courtship, leaving only remorse.
Charm her, please her, they would say
Chip away at it every single day
It doesn't matter if progress is slow
You've got time, go with the flow.
And so I pursued but she would not budge
But I stuck to her like sweet chocolate fudge
Tirelessly, relentlessly, till I was obsessed
Stopping only when I was under blue-pencil arrest.
Slowly but surely she began to crack
Starting to like me though I was a hack
As more time passed, it just became vanilla
I know that makes no sense, this line is just filler.
It turns out they were right about persistence and its reward
But it had taken too long, it was time I couldn't afford
So I decided for certain that this would be my time
Just so I could put an end to this rhyme.
I spoke without fear, without the apprehension of failing
At least when she said no, there'd be no wailing
But as I began my choreographed soliloquy
I started to tremble and so did she.
So I asked her what she was so fearful of hearing
And shushed at the window where my friends were leering
I got her to talk like she'd never talked before
And with every word she said, I realised more and more.
That come what may, I would always be around
Be that friend if she ever fell down
And slowly but surely, as you can probably tell
I sank quickly and without a trace into the friend zone well.
Suddenly women started coming out of the woodwork
'My boyfriend's a sexist, a druggie, such a jerk'
So I became a yes-man to the prettiest women - it was a cruel tale
Turning into an agony aunt a hot-blooded twenty-four-year-old male.
Long nights of 'Uh-huh' and 'I understand'
Dissolving mental images that had once been grand
But somehow I'd think back to that night when it came undone
And what a miserable story I had spun.
The news, when it came, hit me like a two-ton weight
She was leaving for good and I knew it would be too late.
So finally in the fifth minute of injury time
Armed with a row of shots and loads of lime
I finally put the record straight with Miss Best Friend
And told her in no uncertain terms that this must end.
I waited anxiously for the tears I so richly deserved
But was astonished to see her so taciturn and reserved
What must I do to get a reaction, I thought
Many years of trying are all coming to naught.
So I did what all opportunistic buggers do
I waited for a time to come that we all knew
A couple of hours, maybe more
Till she finally staggered through that door.
I wasn't playing hard to get, I lied
I'd actually been playing conquer and divide
We sat down to talk like the old days, when it all made sense
And I realised there were no more moves, no more defence.
In this soliloquy, though, I felt something strange occur
I felt a real connection when everything else was a blur
And it dawned on me that this is what she had felt all along
And if I let her walk out that door, I'd be doing something very wrong.
So I engaged her, indulged her, told her she was right
And we talked forever and late into the night
But when the moment came to say our goodbyes
I saw friendship and trust but nothing else in her eyes.
And even though years have passed since I dusted that book off my shelf
On lonely nights when I cannot sleep I still ask myself
Was she blind, could she not see
That my four word proposal had become three?