What happens when you mix black and white?

To write this requires the patience of Job without my keyboard, I’ll have you know. Spilt something on it a couple of weeks ago and fried it, so I have to use the touch keyboard app that came with the tablet. Excruciatingly slow typing with your thumbs, as my thoughts tumble out and I fumble across the screen to capture them.

So I’ve been writing poetry.

Maybe that is the best way to capture some of this. I mean, BealArt guy is not just some joe I met in a bar. There are days I can almost see the guy I knew, or thought I knew, and underneath the stoic armour lies that angry young man, the artist, and the battered little boy.

He even said to me the other day the problem with you Paula is you don’t just want my love, you want my very soul.

And he wants to define us, give a label he can quantify. Yet, this thing is undefinable.

Boyfriend and girlfriend? Please, we’re not teenagers anymore. Lover? Friend? We are all those, but more.

And he keeps asking, as his black and whiteness just can’t handle all this gray – what do you want?

And I smile as I watch him squirm at the thought of not having some tidy little box to put us in. Gazing back at me with his gray eyes we share is a man who wants order.

Yeah, I know, he ain’t gettin’ that, as his princess (yes, that is what he calls me), is the epitome of disorder. I am messy, but life is messy.

And, underneath that stoic armour he wears escaped the truth when he finally admitted I’m not ready to die.

And what could I possibly say to that?

Yes, life is messy, Mom, as we well know. And it is not fair, and sometimes all you can count on is gravity.

So in this season of endings comes a beginning, of sorts. Towards an unknowable future. Once again I find myself off in my own direction, uncertain of what the future holds, except (accept?) another ending.

Really though, we just can not avoid endings. As what value would life have if we were eternal? If life were never ending, and our breaths were not numbered?

You can name every plant, every animal. You can devise neat little packaged ways to define your life. You can quantify every emotion, and rage all you want against the dying of the light.

But life is messy.

It stops the breath of infant daughters in their cradles in the middle of the night. It takes the last breath of the pauper as surely as the prince. It does not distinguish the good from the bad, the saint from the sinner.

For if it did it would not of taken you so soon from us. It wouldn’t have taken your voice in those last 8 days we had with you.

Oh, yes, life is messy.

And as the 31st of October creeps up, I know that him and I are more than merely lovers, or friends. For why we would meet so auspiciously that night at that pub at the crossroads of now and then? Just when I had it all sorted? Just when I had determined to turn my back on men, and all their messy complications. Just when I had decided to simplify, and relish my solitude, and embrace my lonely days and nights.

Damn it all, life is ALL gray.

There are many who would just walk away, turn their back on another ending; but, I just can not, will not, do that. If I did I know I would miss all the days between. I would miss those gray eyes, and all his black and white, his quantifying, and we know it is not the quantity of our days, but the quality.

On that we have agreed; though on little else.

And he says when we spoon at night together in my bed, we fit. I would miss that.

I would miss…well, I would miss it all.

I am seeing this through, to the end.

Whether or not we have minutes, or days, or months, or years, everything eventually ends.

But at the same time, maybe what defines us is really the beauty of every breath we take, every stolen moment, every sunrise, and set, that we take.

He says before me, before that moment of Kismet that brought us together, that he was content with it all. Oh, and man plans as the gods laugh at our foolishness. As if life were so black and white, and as if it would all be as simple as adding 2 + 2.

There is more to our story, Mom. More truths. Like, for instance, that he had a thing for me back in those BealArt days. Or, that he had wanted that one night stand to never end. No, I didn’t know that 31 years ago he felt this way.

Oh, life is messy.


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