Saturday, March 31, 2007


I wanted you to know I love the way you laugh // I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away // I keep your photograph and I know it serves me well // I wanna hold you high and steal your pain // 'Cause I'm broken when I'm lonesome // And I don't feel right when you're gone away <...Seether+Amy.Lee,"Broken"-Lyrics-Listen...>

Day 6.

Intelligence can be a curse sometimes. While most of my mind has been intoxicated with memories of her, there also exists an annoyingly persistent voice; a nagging old man that keeps trying to talk me down from the ledge.

"Doug - you don't want to do this - you're letting your emotions get the better of you // remember the last time - you don't want another episode like that, do you? // We've been through this before. You have a great mind. Trust your mind. You know that this situation could never work. // Think about it logically. Life is not a fairy tale. It was a nice little dream, but it's time to let it go. // What you are experiencing is a temporary euphoria, a chemical reaction. You are only setting yourself up for disappointment later on. // You should know better. Play it safe. Come back inside. // You might get hurt, and nobody wants that."

Screw that.

I want to rush in - I want to risk it all. I've been "mister responsible" for more than a decade. I've done my duty, went above and beyond the call. I've paid my penance for this life and the next; God knows. And you - you have the nerve to ask a man who has crossed the desert on hands and knees to be satisfied with a little sip of ambrosia??? To hell with you - I will grab that cup with both hands, and drink until I burst. If it kills me, so be it - I will die happy knowing that I was true to my heart. Far better to feel pain than to feel nothing at all. Damn your logic - love knows no logic. If I let this chance pass me by, I would die a thousand deaths from now until eternity.

"You're just being dramatic."

And you're a friggin' iceberg. How long do you think you can float out there before your whole world melts? Does it work for you that way? All white and pristine and lifeless?

"Yeah, okay - I'm an iceberg. And you're the Titanic, pal."

Whatever. You act like you're such a bigshot - like nothing can hurt you, and yet you're the one who is scared. To put yourself out there, to voyage into the darkness at full speed, knowing deep down that you are NOT unsinkable, that takes real courage.

"Courage won't be much of a comfort when she's floating away on a lifeboat and you're sinking to the bottom of the ocean."

Can we drop the analogy? I never really cared for Leonard DeCaprio.

"All right. I'm just saying - you talk like you are willing to risk it all for this person, and you hardly even know her. Don't you think that's being just a little unrealistic?"

Maybe, but where's the harm? I feel more alive now than I have in years. I've got new motivation. I have a dream that I can look forward to at the end of the day. I have a hope.

"And you think she feels the same way?"

I don't know how she feels, but she seems interested. She could have avoided me, but she didn't. She also said some nice things along the way. I'm not expecting anything. The only thing I can do right now is be myself, and hope for the best. It takes time for people to get to know each other. There are lots of things I want to find out about her. I can be patient.

"Patience? Oh puhleeeeazze. I know how you think. Remember, I'm you!"

Well, it's not like I can just hop in the truck and drive up there. The distance between us is going to force me to take things slower, and that's probably for the better. Of course, I can still dream about being with her. No harm in that.

"So that's it then. I can't talk you out of this."

Nope. I've let you control my destiny for too long. I feel something here - it feels right to me. I'm going to follow this rainbow for awhile, and see where it leads me.

"Don't come crying to me if it doesn't work out."

Believe me. If it's meant to happen, everything will work out. I've seen it before, and when two souls unite, nothing can stop them. I know it's hard, but try to have faith. (I do.)

"It's 5am, you're sitting in front of your computer, and you're typing blog messages back and forth to yourself. You can call it faith, but from my point of view, you've lost your mind, pal - she isn't even part of this."

Wrong! - she just sent another email response ... yipeee!

"Oh jeez - she's encouraging him - this is hopeless. If anybody is reading this, please, please come rescue me. I am trapped inside the head of a madman ... help! help! Get me out of here!"

Mwaaah hahahaha !!!  I'm alive I tell you ... A-L-I-V-E !!!!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sucks meeting you

Day 5.

Me: "It really sucks to be falling for a woman that lives so far away"
Her: "Yeah, it sucks meeting you, too"


I've got mail

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.  <...Jack London's Tales of Adventure...>

Day five.

Worked until after midnight last night (playing catch-up after the vacation). Decided to check personal email before I went to bed and was pleasantly surprised to find three new messages from HER. What a nice way to end a very long day!

Today was payday (cash is nice); I spent everything I had on the trip, so it was a relief to be able to *finally* afford some comfort food. Junk food du-jour: Double-cheeseburger with bacon. // Guilty pleasure.

Started working on a new song last night. Can't tell you what it is yet, but if it sounds okay after I record it, I might post it here.

Woody will be coming over tomorrow to help with the house. // I look around and try to imagine what SHE would think if she were here. It takes only a few moments to decide that I really want to change EVERYTHING. Maybe I could rent out the extra room to an interior decorator? Then, instead of charging rent, I could have them work on various projects. // Don't get me wrong; the house is fine, but I've got bigger plans; I want it to be beautiful. // Daydream about what her house might look like; in my imagination, it's perfect.

Interview a woman for the new position at work. Things go well. Spend the rest of the day catching up on email. It's been a very busy week.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Climbing down

"She wasn't just another woman, and I couldn't keep from comin' on; it's been so long. Oh, and it's a hollow feelin', when it comes down to dealin' friends; it never ends. Take another shot of courage; wonder why the right words never come? You just get numb. It's another tequila sunrise. This old world still looks the same; another frame."  <...Eagles,"Tequila.Sunrise"-Lyrics-Listen...>

Day 3.

Returned to work today - everything went smooth. "How was your trip? You have a meeting in two minutes. The new candidate will be flying here on Friday; everything has been set up. We're glad to see you again. Can you sign this letter? Lori will be out for the rest of the week. The flow-charts are looking good. We need to move some project dates back; Microsoft has an offer they'd like us to hear. Did you get some rest?"

Really, when it comes right down to it, I do love my job. I have such a great team.

As the day goes on, fantasy is replaced by reality. Serotonin is replaced by adrenaline. Wishes are pushed aside to make room for obligations. I am coming down to Earth again. <Bummer>

Checked email. No word yet. Maybe I was deluding myself. Doubts begin to set in. Maybe I rushed in too quickly? (Hell yes, you did!) But still, there was something. It was there. Did she feel it too? Hard to read thoughts when your own head is buzzing.

Looked up her hometown on Mapquest. Not too far from Vancouver. Looks nice, at least on the map. // A river runs through it. // Reminds me of my time in Oregon. The mist that covered the Columbia River in the early mornings. The cool rain. The deep greens. The cloudy day that went on forever.

She must think I'm crazy. Maybe I was too intense - too forward.
Me: (dazed, gushing) "I think I'm totally infatuated with you."
Her: (reasoned, cool) "It feels good, doesn't it?"
Me: "Yes - yes, it does."

I begin to prepare myself for a possible let-down. What if I never hear from her again? Her loss, right? But it doesn't feel that way. It felt real to me. I resign myself to stay with it until I know for sure. Keep the candle burning. You've searched for years to finally find this girl; don't give up too soon. Give her time. Give her space. Breathe.

The love-sickness fades, and I find my appetite again.
Tonight, I sleep. Tomorrow will come.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cursed sunlight

Day 2.

The rain is gone.
I awoke this morning and the rain is gone.

Long into the night, I battled my demons.
Until at long last, peace came upon me, and I slept a deep slumber.
Silently, the rain fell, while I lay there, unknowing.

When I finally came-to, I had so little time.
Thirty minutes to get ready, thirty more for the drive.
Dodging through traffic, avoiding the glare of the sun.

The sun that burned away the rain.
The rain that fell upon her shoulders.
Cursed sunlight, you'll not erase these memories!

Traces here and there, of the tempest that I'd missed;
The greening of the grass, the pools of water, the moisture in the air.

And falling slowly down the windshield,
catching my eye, like that timeless moment that I first saw her,
a drop of rain, nature's beautiful weeping,
cascading ever downward,
and then gone.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The smell of rain

Day one.

Today I leave Vancouver. By 10am, the sun is dazzling. Bright enough to burn away the clouds and reveal the mountains that surround this city. A week of rain, two days of sunshine. What do I care? Denver has mountains too. // The trip was worth it. // She was worth it.

I pack my bags, check out of the hotel, take some photos, and make my way to the airport.

Photos were significant today ... I took a ton of them. Tried to fill up the camera, but still ended up with extra space. (Funny how I used to avoid photos; now I treasure each one.) Spend most of the trip trying to burn the image of this city on my brain; knowing that the photos will help (the thought comforts me).

I must remember ALL of this. I look around for anything significant. I replay each frame in my mind. What the camera doesn't capture, I memorize and replay ... I cannot forget; I must not forget. Packing away bits of mental candy to help me survive the long year that awaits me. “Long journey ahead // prepare yourself // plan accordingly.”

The game continues. In my mind, I associate everything about HER with the city that surrounds me. Even now, the smell of Vancouver lingers in my clothes // <inhale> cherry blossoms and salt air. They remind me of her. Every nuance.

Almost forgot the autographs at her hotel. Convenient excuse to stop by. She isn't there. Poetic.

Sleeping on the plane, sort-of. Can't eat // can't sleep ... I think love-sick is a real affliction!! Don't they have medicine for things like that? // Wouldn't matter, since the boss cut our health-care benefits. // Remembering what it was like to NOT be love-sick. <sigh> I'll take the sickness, thank you.

Eyes closed. People brushing past me to get to the restrooms in the back of the plane. Why do Americans have such large butts? If one more person brushes past me, I'm gonna scream // not really. A large man with a ridiculously-tiny-navy-blue-bow-tie looms over me, waiting patiently until I open my eyes. "Pretzels?" he asks. // My stomach isn't up to it. Damned airline food anyway. 10 inches of leg room and a bag of pretzels, geez. // I manage to smile and ask for a Pepsi. He seems satisfied and moves on.

Don't need any headphones. My mind is still buzzing. Remembering her smile. Her eyes. Her lips. Her hair. What was that bodice-thing she was wearing? White yes, but what was the pattern? Roses or strawberries? She wore it two days in a row - better get that one right. Clear today, but details like that will be tough to remember in a few months. Replaying her memories again; her Glare. I think I saw most of her emotions. Smiling, Laughing, Angry, Interested, Concerned, Entertained, Taunting, Playful ... Drunk.

Wishing I'd kissed her. Remembering our last moments together. Holding her. Why didn't we kiss? // It just didn't feel right. // Mixed messages. Three times she sought me out, twice she pulled away. // I can't kiss a girl that might be too drunk to resist. I've got a code. I want to know that she wants me too. What if she wanted me to? Agonizing the details.

The plane lurches. Turbulence. Will I die before I wake? // Imagining the plane spiraling toward the ground. What would I do? Option 1 - throw wounded passengers out of the burning wreckage to my son, who will be waiting on the ground. We save all that we can. I go back inside one last time to get the crying infant from aisle 13, and toss it through the burning flames. I yell one last message to my son, "carry on - you are the man of the family now". Fade image into newspaper headlines. "He was a hero". // Option 2 - The scene is total carnage. Nobody survives. With my last dying breath, I reach forward with a bloody finger to scrawl a message on the ridiculously-tiny-off-white-beverage-tray-table that is crushing the life out of my lungs. "Tell her I ... “ – no, can't say that; too soon. “Bury me in Vancouver." Fade to black.

Plane levels off. Back to the moment. Yes - - the elevator. Holding her. <sigh> She leans into me. Stiff at first - tense. I wrap my arms around her, feeling her energy. Then it happens. All of a sudden, her body is soft. She is limp in my arms. For a moment we stand there, breathing. Surrender? Yes, or else she was drunk, and I was dreaming. Then the elevator - pushing - closing - trying to stop the moment. Damned machines. Why are we on the elevator? I want to stay here forever. // Breathing. And then the moment ends. The elevator wins. I am outside. She is inside. Time to let go. // I wish I had kissed her.

We land in Denver. Everything goes smoothly. My dad is at the Airport - he's always been pretty good at the psychic stuff. "Thanks for getting the message", I say, as we head toward the car. (Of course. I never called; he just knew I would be there). It’s a game we play. Right again.

"Home, home again // I like to be here when I can // And when I come home, cold and tired // It's good to warm my bones beside the fire."  <...Pink.Floyd,"Breathe/Reprise"-Lyrics-Listen...>

Dad is doing well. Another wedding today. Business is good. Can't join us for dinner, but he'll take a rain-check. He transfers some belongings from my car to his, and I look him in the eye, "Dad - I met someone in Vancouver ... special ... it could be real". He studies me for a moment and smiles warmly. "It's good to see you this way, son ... don't sell your house just yet ... enjoy this feeling for as long as it lasts." // Oh yeah, I intend to.

As the sun sets, I look westward to the mountains and predict tomorrow’s weather. "Looks like we're going to get some rain, maybe a lot." And then it dawns on me. This is probably the same rain-system that started in Vancouver last week. // Funny, that's how the weather patterns work in the winter. Starts in the Northwest, and travels Southeast to reach Denver. // So these are the very same clouds that rained on she and I, and now they are right here, in my home town. (I smile to myself.) They are part of it now; part of the memory. // When it rains for the next several days, I will be smiling the whole time. I love the rain – well, THIS rain, anyway. // It reminds me of her.

Sleep will be difficult. Her memory is strong.