2.15.2005

Harley, don't post when you are this sleepy ...
OR ... Valentines Day Reflections

H is back East this weekend, spending valuable time with her family. I took the opportunity to pop over the Rocky Mountains and visit my friends on the Western Slope.

I've also been taking the opportunity to get my late-night skating fix in.

The thing about the Western Slope (specifically Fort Collins and Boulder) is that it is home to 90% of the women that I've ever dated. These towns are rife with old memories. Ghosts haunt the street corners, sometimes in layers. Cafes and coffee houses still carry the scents of old lovers, and every alley has a story.

Tonight I was crossing north out of campus at 2:am. No cars, so the streets belonged to me and the skateboard. The old homes of three different girlfriends were in sight.

The stop lights behind me changed from red to green, and I noticed how, along with the street lights, I cast multiple shadows on the black asphalt. One was darker than the rest, the others darker or less so, depending on the source of the light. But they all moved in time with me, crossing the street, headed into darkness.

It struck me then, how these shadows were metaphors for my behavior in past relationships. Some darker, some lighter, but each was me, authentically Harley.

I've always been (like yourself) one to act impulsively, to speak without too much thought, the nerd professing his affection in socially awkward situations. I got myself into a lot of relationships I shouldn't have been in. I lost my shirt more than once. Even lost my pants once.

It just so happened, without any presence of mind on my part, that one of those ill-fated attempts turned out to be the Right One.

But the rest ....

Seeing my multiple shadows cross the road, I realized, perhaps for the first time, that I didn't regret all those previous relationships. Even when I lost big ---and Lord knows that when I lose, I LOSE--- I was still taking the initiative to express, no matter how thoughtlessly, whatever emotion was pounding in that writer's heart.

Right, wrong, it was real. Right or wrong, I shouted it at the top of my lungs.

That's something, to leave a mark, no matter how fleeting, in another's life. That has a lot to do with what we're here for: to feel, and to prompt others to feel.

When I started dating H, I didn't know how long she would be around, so I took pains to make sure that everything got said. As you know, this sort of credo ("Emotional vomit!") is a recipe for disaster.

But for some reason, she took it, and hung around. Not for my writing, because my writing was and is crap. Not for my humor, because I was always too shy to be funny around her. And certainly not for my looks.

Who knows why. And really, I don't need to know. I'm not keeping score against anyone else at this point. I'm just trying to improve upon myself, to make myself worthy of this infintely patient and kind woman that has chosen to spend her time with me.

A finite life. And she's spending it with me.

==========

Anyhow, Happy Valentines Day all. Even if your heart is aching, take heart that you've left your mark on another. I'm with you.

And if there is someone in your life right now ....

Carpe Noctum. ;)

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