marriage, oh boy; or is it, oh girl? ::shrugs::

It’s funny the way life works: growing up i learned about marriage through broken relationships, innumerable constant failed attempts—one after another—with every pairing i witnessed my family’s and friends’ of the family, and not to downplay the backdrop of the vast populace around me, or on the tube or covering magazines or spread eagle on billboards, attempts at society’s golden hallmark when it comes to courting and pairing up, procreating and rearing. The participating folks never hesitated to think about what their actions, what their example would do/still does in the eyes of the to-come or the babies growing, following footsteps laid in sand turned to concrete or dirt to asphalt. Shit was—is!—a shitshow.

Married for maybe two years, separated (legally is the right adjective i think) for the duration of my child- to adulthood, my parents never were a shining example of this institution called marriage, the sanctified vow under and in the eyes of “God.” Only my maternal grandmother existed as a testament, yet, i never knew how much stock to put into it for my grandfather, her husband, was no longer with this world as of two years prior to my knocking on the door with his name tagged to my premature chest. It warms my heart to believe they would have remained together for ever and ever, but i’ll never know.

An oft-uttered resentment grumbled by my mother for my father’s sister and husband, derailed my embracing and looking for inspiration in their marriage, something close to home to understand it possible, this marriage thing—a healthy one, at least.

A family friend example, a Black love couple: years and years together, house and home built (well, bought), children reared, yet, through the channel of going it alone—my brother, mother, and i—it was difficult to see a true connection for i never understood how to disconnect from only self to connect with others. Life is confusing with what it throws at you. Difficult to distinguish between the chaff and the wheat at times.

With each celebrity couple calling it quits these days, the surgically perfected face of marriage shows a new wrinkle, a hidden dent unmasked. Our desires to live off and through these larger-than-life figures losses its luster. The magical couplings being derailed are microcosmic of what every-day folks go through, except more and more hope is being lost and reality is setting in. These so-called paragons of perfection are mythical. As we fortunately become a more secular society (and hopefully it’s not a facade), the already loosening seams are having their  threads of religious marriage ripped apart. There’s an awakening that marriage needs to evolve, to adapt to true goings on in the world.

Polyamorous, the new buzzword of the day (yes, it’s a real word, old as dirt, but now it’s en vogue) is what humans are supposed to practice—i’m not a denier of that. Yet, when it comes to that innate practice, i believe it doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, i will have my cake and eat it too when i’m single, but like i said earlier, when i get into a relationship i don’t take it lightly—it’s for a reason, usually very good reasons, because i can pretty much, as i told my mother a few months ago after coming home a tad bit inebriated, i can get any woman i desire, usually. They seem to like me for whatever reason(s). So, as i was saying, when i put my sights on someone, if i believe they are the one for me, they are “worth” being in a monogamous coupling, i’ll do it, or be open to such as long as they’re willing, too. Mutual acceptance and comfort.

I’ve realized, i’ve embraced, i’ve come to terms with really, being jealous in some situations. It’s only natural. I can’t deny human make-up. It’s a futile endeavor at best. I cannot fathom being able to share someone if we’re “boyfriend” and “girlfriend.” However, if we’re just seeing each other, fuckin’ around, “dating,” friends with benefits, fuck buddies, whatever the heck is the cool term to use these days, then sure, so be it—have fun, do what you/we want. Yet, even then, it’s still difficult—here come those feelings of jealousy again, of “territory” trespassing sneaking in.

Now older, approaching the societal “down hill from here” limit of three decades lived—surviving, really—has my thoughts again unsure of how to feel. With each relationship, and i don’t get into them lightly, i hope for the one, for that sure sign that i’ll be ready, willing to settle down, to spend the rest of my days with the right woman. It’s honestly harrowing. I don’t believe in absolutes, so the prospect of marriage is off-putting a little. But at the same time, it’s traditional, it’s instilled at a young age and paraded around from birth to death, so it has some learned and accepted value.

Life should be a constant “working through,” a continuous series of progression and regression, attempting new and retrying older things to see what works in a given situation. As of right now, i’m growing in a sense of understanding where i stand, and with that growth i’m taking in all types of information and varying opinions and viewpoints from all angles and people (muses, friends and lovers–oh, and others!).

All i do know for sure: i do believe marriage can work, i want it to, i have faith and hope in it, yet with most things, nothing’s predictable, and when it comes to relationships, it comes down to acceptance, to a modicum of compromise, as well as a steady stream of truthful communication.

 

of muses, of lovers, friends and others

In case yet said

along parchment rooftops cursive

or ruled awnings bold:

 

Women are God’s gifts laid

upon Earth’s mantled soul.

Born in whispers

A muse is more

than mere influences.

 

Existing in a word

Living off sentences

Birthing paragraphs silent

Raising chapters alone

Destroyer of books

Standing atop volumes

Queen of sounds

Empress of visions

Goddess of gods

Breaker of hearts.

She is

The ultimate lover.

~m.j

 

Conceived as prose, transformed into verse, the above consciousness streamed via pen dripping sloppily jotted chicken scratch soon becoming livelihoods, usually uttered using different words over libations to best friends female—my internal love glowing in need of a release vocal—they’d answer simply, “We know,” served gratefully with a smile.

Mayer scribed, “Friends, Lovers or Nothing,” and i shall craft: “Friends, Muses or Lovers.”

Not all muses are lovers, nor are all lovers muses, and rarely do either become friends, but the possibility of a friend becoming either of the former is lesser still. Even then, though, there can exist hybrids; those muses that are lovers and become friends. Nothing exists in absolute terms, of course—well, save for change (this is my mantra!).

Muses are born instantly—in a whisper. The spark of inspiration, of energy, of an emotion, of an impulse to create or to destroy, is not something grown or conceived—there is no planting of a seed, no gestation period. It is instantaneous. The first glance towards, eyes meeting, the first lambent touch of fingers, the electric charge felt, a stirring, an arousal—a flash uncanny, not limited to the flesh.

Muses exist as lightning rods, as portals into windows of souls darkly lit. Muses are finger pricks, blood trickling catharsis. Muses are jazz sonnets performed, composed on the spot—heard even by the deaf.

Muses are desired, yearned for; they’re addicting, drug like. And, as such, may flutter away at first snore. Drink their already-sieved juices, quaffing without regard to spillage, each drip potent enough to allow some waste.

A lover is serendipitous, kismet, coincidental—rarely planned. One (or many) can come along as a result of a one-night stand or a fortnight courtship. A lover is a companionship, may be a brief two-day rental or years-long occupation, a shared acknowledgement of experience, or a drink of misplacement. Not always profound, but it will leave a mark, only superficial or perhaps indelible, lasting until the turning of the next season, or until the next bag of skin comes around—regardless, the experience and the person will influence later couplings.

The third head of this mortal horse is friends: they can inspire, yes, but becoming one’s muse has to occur right away, upon first physical interaction—something explosive has to ignite. Or, maybe not: once that proverbial line is crossed even years later into carnal lands, senses ignited, something clicks, it just works out that way. There is a risk, however: Mr. Songz, Trey being his given name, sings “Can’t Be Friends,” giving heed to the situation of friends crossing that line and never able to return to platonic lands, indefinite deportation.

Can one have a lasting relationship with either of these three? Sure. Why not? Yet, as with all things in the realm of love, of desire, it must be made clear your interests, and not to the significant other, not at first, but to yourself before embarking on that path of commitment. Determine own state of mind, own status of heart, then relay that to her/him and go from there. Or don’t.

Lovers have been useful, been great help with me working issues out. Though, many times, such help was never explicitly asked for nor hinted at. Only told sometimes after salved wound or problem fixed had already occurred. (Or drunkenly.) It seems if looked at superficially, i retain relationships with previous women after some time—a unique type of friendship develops. We know each other in Biblical terms, in Platonic terms, curating a relationship gallery of stickered labels.

In Mayer’s absolutes, it’s understandable: attachment can lead to pain, to unrest, to actions and emotions not worth the pleasures; it’s better to evade outstretched fingers, to escape, to tie one’s self to lamp posts, ears filled with wax, than play daredevil with life, attempting heroic feats of love. It’s all a choice. The one thing we all possess, just more options than others.

Life is a gumbo—for me, without shrimp or i’ll die—edible, with bits and ingredients delectable, some saline, others sweet, altogether scrumptious, nutritious, possibly not enough. With each type of muse, of each lover and friend, each becomes its own other, there isn’t anything cookie cutter, really, when inspected, only a shadowy mirage from afar.

Put on your specs, pull out your notepad and ruler, little hammer and chisel, be ready to learn a little, to teach some yourself—we’re each an ingredient to someone’s gumbo.