I Loved You For A Brief Moment When You Stood In The Doorway And Danced 

i. 

I saw you standing
In the doorway shaded by moonlight

Your shoulders bare

Your face covered

The edges of your mouth no longer tucked in at the corners

That snaking smile hidden from me

You watched me 

And I

Alone on the bed

Covered in layers

Watched you through the sheets

As you danced

I turn turn my face from yours

And remembered earlier

How we first felt god

As he rippled through our skins when we touched. 

ii. 

Afterwards

the wine less sweet and the music more melancholic

You watched me

In the doorway with your eyes laid bare

Your body hidden from mine

As strangers once again

I turn my face from your glance 

You dress 

Climb into bed and clumsily 

Clumsily 

Clumsily 

Kiss me good night. 

iii. 

I loved you for a brief moment

There 

When you stood 

In the doorway 

You watched me 

With your face and my body covered

I loved you 

There

When you stood 

And danced 

There 

I loved you 

That first and last night we touched and I had to turn my face away

There 

I loved you 

As you danced. 

For the better part of 26 years, I’ve been told to go to school, to get an education (ie: a college degree). I’ve been told I’ll make more money, that I’ll be happier, that I’ll be more successful. I’ve been told to follow this path by teachers, preachers, mentors. I’ve had it drilled into my head that if you work hard enough then everything will somehow magically work out for you. The most personal of all these advisors was my father. He told me to get my degree, to become a doctor or lawyer or some other high paying 6 figure career so that I wouldn’t have to work night shifts in some shitty factory job for all my life like he had to. So I wouldn’t have to sacrifice my youth or my body to be able to barely make enough money to support a family, especially when mom got laid off. So I listened. I began my love / hate affair with the academy pursuing a degree that I’ll never be able to pay off. For nearly 7 fucking years I worked on that god damned degree, working shitty jobs to feed myself and pay my rent because my parents could never afford to help out. For nearly 7 years I hated myself. I dropped out not once but twice because I could not handle it. Couldn’t handle the pretentious smugness of faculty members, of professors, of papers detailing and describing reality that are so far removed from real life, from hand to mouth pay check to pay check living. Couldn’t handle upper middle class white kids getting bribed by their parents to go to college, wasting everything away on frivolous fucks and drinks and hedonism. Couldn’t handle middle class culture or middle class christianity or middle class norms. So I finally dropped out in a bitter moment of frustration and cynicism two months from getting a degree in philosophy despite the many protests over how foolish I was, over how stupid I was, over how lazy and irresponsible and arrogant I was. I dropped out in order to survive, to be alive and full of joy and experience life. I went to school because I was told to, but I dropped out because I had to. 

Oddity 

I’m always doing something, SOME THING, that the people around me find odd, like going for a walk in -15 degree weather to feel alive, or reading during a church service to feel holy, or wanting to weep when a middle aged black man comes up to me asking for change and I have to turn him down because I don’t have any money on me while all these people in this goddamn coffee shop just shrug after he leaves and go back to their conversations over coffee, just shrug their shoulders and forget about this man regardless of whether he’s a panhandler or not, irregardless of the courage it takes to come into a white middle class setting to beg for money, to beg for a chance to be human, to beg for a chance to be alive. I should have offered to buy him a cup of coffee, but unfortunately I’m far too often caught up in my own smugness mixed self loathing of forgotten pasts and pains that I don’t think of these things until it’s too late, too late to offer life to a stranger, too late to offer life to someone who lives on the fringe of acceptable society so instead I will just sit here, sit here wondering why in the midst of my weeping and I will sit here write about this man with his courageous melancholic eyes and his worn facial features fraught with the sorrows and joys and hatreds of life that I can never know, and I will pray to whatever gods that be that the next person he encounters will give him that dollar I couldn’t, will buy him that cup of coffee that I should have, will weep with him instead of for him, will do something, SOMETHING, that the people around will find odd, even if the greatest oddity is not treating someone human.