you got this

i know you do

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Hey you, hanging in the corner, sneaking down the stairs, I see you and now you know I see you but you’re still running those lines.

We should talk…

You know I love you –

Hey come back here.

I know you know what I’m going to say and now you know that I know you know, but you’re still running up these stairs.

Don’t pay no mind to the man standing next to me with that sneer on his face. He means no harm. His face just rests like that.

Technically he shouldn’t be here bc this, this thing between you and me, has nothing to do with him but there he is believing he’s protecting me.

Now you know I know there’s a man beside me, one who won’t leave my side no matter where I go no matter what I do.

I could tell you all the things he’s done since he arrived that saved my ass. I could tell you all the things I needed to be saved from. But you of all people know what bombs I’m trying to miss in this field.

You of all people know why he’s there. And now you know that I know.

If I take his hand in mine to slow his erratic pulse, will you stay just for a minute? Just long enough to look into his eyes.

You’re both here for a reason.

He won’t speak to you, but I know you know that looking into his eyes will unlock all you need from meeting him.

We could talk about what you will see when he’s not around, but, well, you know. So, take your time.

I know this feels like your place. You’ve had the key for years and even when I changed the locks, I made sure you had a copy, didn’t I?

Thank you. No, hey, don’t panic. I know you of all people, you who’ve been in this place to hear all of my goodbyes, know what it sounds like.

And you’re not ready. I know. And I gave all the others all the time they needed. I know. And I know you want me to tell you that you don’t need what I’ve given to the others because you’re different. And you are different. You’re unlike any of the others.

But you hate it when I lie to you so I never have. You do need some of what I’ve given the others. Not in the same way. Not the same measure. You need to allow yourself to receive what’s in my heart for you. This is for you and only you.

I could tell you that you’ll feel better after, that it will change your life in a good way, but you won’t hear that.

The promises I made you were bigger. You’ve heard them for more years. You of all people who have known me know that the promises I’ve made are possible. You know I could keep my promises and now you know I know you know.

I have something to tell you –

Oh come on, please just stay to hear me out. You’re not going far anyway. If I yell you’ll hear me no matter where you go.

What if I told you that I need my key back bc you just being here gives me totally away? That I can’t keep anything to myself until it’s the right time?

I want to do things differently.

Yes, with that guy.

No, don’t try to stop him from talking. You know he’s going to have feelings and opinions no matter what and you know they will come through anyway. Let him have his say. Don’t take it personally. He’s hurting.

Sorry, fuck, I wasn’t trying to… Please stay. Please keep talking.

Listen, I really wanted to read a fucking book right now but here I am, so can we please all take a deep breath.

Yes, I am going to kneel. You don’t own me. Please let us have a moment. We need a moment.

He will not say something that will change my mind. If he wanted to do that, he’d wait until you were working.

It’s okay, you didn’t cause anything. We’ll be okay. He’s a good guy. Just like you.

Do you see this box I just pulled from my heart and put on the floor between us? That’s for you. Pour it all into the box.

Hey, I know you don’t trust me. I know you think they fucked me up so wholly that I’ll never be able to make a decision on my own. I know you’ve watched them interfere. I know you believe you know better than I do.

But you can’t see the now me when you’re like this. You know how careless I’ve been. You’ve watched me make countless mistakes.

I’m stronger now. I’m more clear now.

I know. I know you’ll never believe me enough to trust me to lead you in the right direction.

But do you see that’s how they fucked with you?

Can you take these words into your heart, knowing my intentions are pure and always have been, even though I’ve made mistakes.

Now, after everything, I’m the only one who can lead you out of this place. Now, after everything, the only way either of us see the sun again unfettered by any roof is for you to take a leap of faith.

Stay here as long as you need to. All I ask is that you carry this empty box with you. And call me when you’ve filled it.

Of course I’ll be here if you need me.

Where else would I be? Would I leave you all alone?

Things are going to change, and I might not be able to keep those promises I made years ago, but I can promise something better now.

You have to take that leap to find out. This might hurt for a minute, but everything that comes after will be so much more than that pain.

Take your time. You don’t have to decide now.

I can’t answer all of your questions. I don’t know all of the answers.

You know I love you. That hasn’t changed. Not for twenty eight years.

do you want to collaborate?!

Keats fan fiction project – join the fun!

Do you want to help me write a story? I’m writing lines on separate pieces of paper and leaving them around town.

It’s Keats fan fiction set in modern day with a slight scifi twist – he has a prophetic dream of his death years before he gets sick

That dream shapes his life, it holds him back from expressing his love out loud, believing she deserves more than a dying man

He writes his daily thoughts of love for her in a journal he keeps well hidden, but someone finds it and follows the instructions

But he’s not dead yet, and nobody knows it is his journal bc he’s not even sick – the girl believes it is the journal of one who did die

The more she writes his lines on paper and hides them around town, the more people read his lines, the more his dreams change

Until he’s left with no more words and new dreams that show him living a long, prosperous life.

 
 
The girl who finds his journal is a teen, which adds a layer of idealism to his morbid, hopeless words.

What do you think Jonny would write in his secret journal to one he loves but has decided he could never be with?

And I need help with how this experience affects the teen girl who finds his journal as well as how having the words let loose affects the woman he loves.

Share your Keats fan fiction in the comments or send them to tendrilwise at gmail dot com.

You can also write a blog entry with the poetic lines you think Jonny would write in his secret journal to express his love for a woman he will never be with. Send me a link and I’ll share it on my site. 

I will put together posts with our progress, photos of the notes I hide, and anything you guys want to bring to this project.

Some examples: 

You deserved a better love

I wish I’d found the courage to risk your laughter 

It kills me that you don’t know how beautiful you are

If nothing else, after I die, you will know that you have been loved

The Club on a Wednesday

for Stacey

I woke up praying for my soul this morning. Bob must have slipped through my window while I was sleeping.

My dreams lay unremembered on the floor and I had a jet lag headache, like I hadn’t been in my body all night.

As I read Jesus’ words, in the book of Luke, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone,’” I started to feel better.

Bob owns a club. I haven’t spoken to him willingly in more than two years, but he has found ways to walk into my dreams. He doesn’t know where I live. I’ve moved twice since I last invited him into my home.

I didn’t even call him last night, not even by accident, I don’t think. Not by name. What I think is that he had been watching me before I fell asleep.

He must have put a hood over my head and dragged me to his club. See, the thing about his club is that I didn’t know he was an owner when we met, though I found out he had started putting my name up on the marquee. That was one of the reasons I left.

It took him a long time to show me that part of himself. And he didn’t show me until after I had discovered it myself through what many would call a complete fluke.

For a while, he had his friends bring me to the club, pretending it wasn’t his, on nights he was out of town scouting other clubs.

And always, they would open each bottle, brew each cup of tea. It was a regular place. I liked it because I got unlimited jubejubes and root beer floats. Except there seemed to be a side door that led somewhere I’d never been.

Whenever I asked about it, Bob’s friends told me to focus on my cards. They were teaching me to play poker.

My mother never told me that when you leave a man like Bob, it’s a long, drawn out process, kind of like the stories he told that went on and on forever.

I hesitated for a split second writing that down. If Bob ever happened upon this story he’d be pissed and say that was a low blow.

And then I remember. Last night, before I was falling asleep, I was working through the slegs of my past, mining it for patterns that need to be weeded out.

I’ve become quite the gardener.

There’s a new process I’m trying – rather than writing, I’m recording long sessions of myself talking after I pray for God to guide my words.

With nobody else around to catch the lightning quick yet invisible shift in flow, it makes it possible to do this part of my work alone.

I was bouncing around between several core relationships last night, Bob being one of them.

He’s always been keen. You don’t have to say his name three times, and there’s no lag with him, unless he wants you to think there is, in which case he hangs back, but he’s always around.

As I talked through past knots, triangles and circles, I said something he would have been furious with.

Like, the kind of fury that sneaks up on you like a gas leak. The kind of fury that would actually clear the loud anger vibes radiating from him and bring him to a silent neutral state.

Since I haven’t willingly spoken with him in over two years, he can only watch, right?

That’s what I thought. My guess is that his overbearing ego got the best of him last night. But I don’t dare say for sure lest he throw a hood over my head again tonight while I’m sleeping.

I know he took me to the club because of the way certain men looked at me this morning when I walked into the office.

Knowing why those looks are there makes me sick to my stomach, but I try to smile. I think they’re just responding to some vibe that radiates from me whenever I’ve been to the club, whether I was playing poker or drinking root beer floats. They don’t even know what they’re looking at. But a part of them wants to be seen by a woman who has the scent of being coveted by competitors.

It’s frustrating that any part of me would let him get close enough to put a hood over my head. But my younger self loves the jokes men like him make and the way they make me feel like I’m not a little kid.

Yet I have to believe this is all in God’s will. I asked Him to take this cup of suffering from me, as long as it’s what He wills. And Bob is still slipping into my life, running some shows.

If you see me there, fuzz from a hood laced through my hair, look into my eyes.

I can’t speak to you unless you know my name. I’m sorry, it’s nothing personal.

And if you do know my name, look at my hands after you look into my eyes. Do you see the tremor?

Ask me why I’m there. Ask me how I got there.