When Love Goes Wrong…HALT!

What’s up lovely people? I was feeling a little nostalgic the other day and looking through some of my old posts. I stumbled across this one and decided to re-post it. It’s one of the short stories/essays I contributed to my writer’s group anthology. I hope it speaks to you!


He was the kind of lover that made you want to thank him at the close of every rendezvous; to absolutely and definitively express gratitude towards him for his ability to give pleasure; to humbly praise his skill and his tangible way of physically bringing you to a place of bliss and then allowing you to dwell there. Yes, he was that good. All he did was give.

Until he didn’t anymore, and then all he did was take. I should have seen it coming. The whole yin and yang of life is not new to me. If our lovemaking was unbalanced, it only made sense that the pleasure he should have rightfully received, after giving me so much, should be taken from some other aspect of our relationship. An unbalanced debt is an unbalanced debt, no matter what the currency. Bills always come due.

It wasn’t until much later that I came to understand that perhaps it was all a set up. That maybe he used his rare talent as a way of achieving personal gain. In other words, he was a gigolo and I was his mark.  Maybe it wasn’t so much that I was selfish and did not try to give back, it was that he was determined to take his pleasure elsewhere and feel justified in doing so.  Or maybe it was just karma. Either way, I’ll never know.

I do know that I’ve been taught better, both figuratively and literally. On my first day of college a professor of a kindly paternal disposition set out to give sage advice to a classroom full of hopeful and naïve freshmen. He scribbled an acronym across the dry erase board and stated that we should make all of our decisions over the next few years with it in mind.

H.A.L.T.

 This meant stop and consider your personal state before making any type of choice. The professor succinctly said, “Never make a decision when you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired. Always remember to halt.” He went on to actually teach the subject we were all there to study, but my mind stayed stuck on his introductory speech.

It was a moment that changed my life, but not in the way that I think the well-meaning instructor intended. I spent the rest of the class contemplating the simple acronym and the meaning behind it. Eventually, I concluded that if I waited until I was in such an ideal frame of being to make choices, I would live out the entirety of my life without making a single decision. Because my reality was that I had never lived a single moment of my life without feeling hungry, angry, lonely or tired.

This revelation could have easily caused me to make a life change by working to create an existence where I was not feeling at least one of those sensations at all times. Instead I used it as an excuse to recklessly make decisions with dire consequences.

HUNGRY
HUNGRY

You see I was always hungry for an ever-elusive craving. An indefinable something that, if received, would satisfy me in a way that nothing else ever had. It was this insatiable hunger that caused me to latch on to him and take, take, take without any consideration of the phrase, “payback is a mother-“.

ANGRY
ANGRY

As a result, I was so familiar with anger as a constant companion that I was incapable of distinguishing between my everyday jacket of anger and a justifiable mink coat of rage. He did things that deserved violent fury and I let it slide, convincing myself it was the former and that I was overreacting.

LONELY
LONELY

Don’t get me started on the loneliness. It is the worst kind of isolation to feel lonely when you are in a relationship with someone. Again, I blamed myself. I berated myself for being such an ice queen that I could not let someone else in. It did not occur to me that a sincere relationship should gently chip away at the frostiness of loneliness with constant warmth in the form of passion, kindness and caring.

TIRED
TIRED

I thought I was world weary before, but I hadn’t seen anything until my debt came due. He sucked me dry. I was the kind of tired that made me lay awake at night staring at the ceiling. I was the kind of tired that caused friends to do a double take and express concern over my well-being. I was the kind of tired that caused my supervisor to suggest a leave of absence. I was the kind of tired that caused me to take that leave of absence thereby enabling me to expand my nocturnal ceiling watching to daylight hours as well.

Then I got tired of him. Ending it was by no means easy. He had so methodically captured me that it took a major crisis of conscience to free my mind from the luxurious prison he had created. And yes you’re right, supposedly there is no such thing as a luxurious prison. The two don’t mix. That’s about the same as a cold love affair. Both metaphors are a complete contradiction in terms and hell to live through.

So now here I am, thinking over that wise instructor’s advice. Meditating on his attempt to give me and my classmates a local’s perspective in our newly foreign world. Finally I have made a decision worth the effort. I decided when I was hungry, angry, lonely and tired to not stay that way. I’ve come to a halt…and I’m changing the game.


 

I hope you enjoyed a little snippet into the wonderful collection of poetry, short stories and essays that is Voices from the Block: A Legacy of African-American Literature. Click here to check it out! 

Have you ever been involved in a love affair gone bad? What did you do about your dissatisfaction? Dish in the comments below!

 

Photo credit: llnataliell / Source / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: FotoGrazio / Source / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: wolfgangfoto / Source / CC BY-ND

Photo credit: zubrow / Source / CC BY-NC

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Know Me…

silhouette of man and woman

I don’t just want a man to hold me

I long for someone to know me

Console me…Intimately explore me

Then grow me and show me

That true love is so much more

Than any man has ever told me

Not interested in sex with the ex

Or even the next

Unless…

He chooses me

Not to use me

Never to abuse me

Willing to lay down his pride for me

Wife me…and commit his life to me

I don’t need a man to pay my way for me

Not looking for one to fight my battles for me

Just ride beside me and

Understand the passions that drive me

Take time to see me for me

No comparison to any woman who ever came before me

Except to confess

That they were so much less

Than the one he has now…

Cream of the crop

In other words ‘the best’

Never bringing the stress

Flying past every test

Got your heart drumming

Staccato beats in your chest

Yet still bringing your soul

To that place of rest

So will the brother

That considers him self able

To meet this challenge

And abide at my table

Make him self known so that he can

Feast on my delicacies

Grow strong on my heartiness

Compliment all about me that is savory

And indulge in my sweetness?

But only if you are ready to

Know me…

Did you relate to this poem?

Read more like it by purchasing “Voices from the Block’, the wonderful anthology I’m featured in!

Click here to check it out.  You won’t be disappointed!

 

Book Cover Reveal: “Voices from the Block”

Yay, I’m so excited! I just received the final cover of the anthology I’m publishing with The Writer’s Block Inc (my Dallas based writing group). It couldn’t have come at a better time because I’m having a ‘blah’ day: started with a migraine, then my car battery died, etc. But this more than makes up for that.  Soooooo, without further adieu, here is the cover for “Voices from the Block: A Legacy of African-American Literature”.

small changes Feb13

Book Description

A collection of unforgettable short stories, poems and essays from emerging and established writers, members of the Writer’s Block. These original works are guaranteed to stroke your heart, mind and soul as they reveal in written form the very essence of life. Prepare to read about the ups and downs of marriage, the emotional trauma of being without child, the questionable mental state of writers, the regrets of murderous decisions, mother-daughter life patterns, and so much more. By selecting and reading this offering, you’ve made a decision to laugh, learn, cry; to be offended and soothed; in summary, to scale the range of light and dark emotions. So sit back, get comfortable, and enjoy the experience.

You’ll be able to purchase the book in the not so distant future! 

Got To Find Her

beautiful-warning_l

I took an old familiar route one day

And I saw someone I hadn’t seen in a while

She looked so familiar

Yet there was something so different about her

I stared at her and figured she just had a new style

 

I went on about my business

But she lingered on my mind

Who was this girl that I knew from somewhere?

Some long ago day or time?

Anything lost can be found

So I made it my mission to make sure that

Her regular meeting places became a part of my rounds

 

I went by her boyfriend’s spot

He said she was long gone

Told me she mentioned something about finding herself and going back home

He handed me some things she’d

Left behind

I was surprised to discover that everything fit

Almost like they had once been mine

 

I went to the church and did not find her there

But it brought back a few amazing memories

She and I once shared

 

I racked my brain to think of places she used to go

For some reason it angered and frustrated me, that I did not know

Fearing that the battle might already be lost

I reluctantly headed home, vowing to find her at any cost

 

Sleep overtook me and I closed my eyes

Then I heard a still small voice say

‘She is still here; she only temporarily bought into the lies’

She traveled through my dreams that night

Holding hands with the Father of Light

Gently He restored my sight

Letting me see a path that is true and right

 

The morning sunlight shone upon my face

I jumped out of bed ready to continue

My search at a frantic pace

 

When I looked in the mirror

To my surprise

She was staring back at me…

I finally had my eye on the prize

 

Photo credit: ViaMoi / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Like this poem? It, along with many more, will be featured in Voice’s from the Block: A Legacy of African-American” Literature to be released February 2014.