One Moment of Joy

True Love Elderly Couple

Tracy watched the old man slowly navigate the corridor of the Rome Hill Nursing Facility. He leaned alternately on the hallway’s handrail and his cane. As he moved, slight winces of pain from his arthritic hip crossed his face.

“Why does he even bother to visit her? She doesn’t even know who he is any more and it’s obvious he is barely mobile himself.” Tracy asked to Rose at the nurses’ station.

Tracy was a young 20-something certified nursing assistant who loathed her job and the patients she “served”, but thought it was better than the McJob she filled before.

Rose, a compact, sturdy black woman 30 years her senior replied, “Honey, one of these days you’ll understand. That’s love child.”

Eloise Watson was seated in her chair, facing out toward the window, when Hank, her husband of 62 years, entered the room.

He stood, steadying himself on the doorframe, and said with his deep voice and with a broad smile, “Eloise?”

El turned her head at his announcement. “Do I know you?”

It was the same routine every morning. Hank had long ago stopped being hurt by it.

“Oh, we’ve met a time or two. I thought I’d come to visit you.”

With that, Hank sat on the chair next to her’s. “Oh, I don’t remember you, but I do like visitors.”

“You look so pretty today.” Hank meant it. When he saw her he could see everything she is, everything she ever had been. In her now dimming blue eyes he still saw the vibrant woman he fell in love with, shared a life with.

“Well, thank you!” was El’s enthusiastic reply. It wasn’t every day a gentleman with such manners would tell you you’re pretty.

“I thought I might read you a story. Would you like that?”

“Oh, yes, I love stories. My eyes can’t read the way I used to.”

Hank pulled the worn book of short stories from his pocket and picked her favorite – he always read the same one. It had been her favorite since her teens and it made her laugh and smile. She never remembered from one day to another, so he always read her favorite.

“I asked him one day,” Rose related to Tracy, “why he always seemed so happy. Happiest man I ever seen. He tole me his whole life his greatest joy was just making ‘his El’ smile and laugh. He said now he gets to do it every day.”

And they could hear Eloise laughing down the hall.

 


How I Feel

You gotta know, I’m feeling love
Made of gold, I’ll never love a
Another one, another you
It’s gotta be love I said it

You gotta know, I’m feeling love
You gotta know, I’m feeling love

You gotta know, I’m feeling love
Made of gold, I’ll never love a
Another one, another you
It’s gotta be love I said it

I might as well be in a garden
I said, ah
A smell in the air is a drip in the waters (you could be the one for me)
Another soul to meet my void then
Of anything bare that’s made of gold

A physical kiss is nothing without it
And you close your eyes to see what it’s done
The body that lies is built up on looking
Cause all that remains before it’s begun

You gotta know, I’m feeling love
Made of gold, I’ll never love a
Another one, another you
It’s gotta be love, I said it

You gotta know, I’m feeling love
Made of gold, I’ll never love a
Another one, another you
It’s gotta be love, I said it

A heart will swell before it’s hardened
With the flick of the hair, it can make you old
Another hole to dig my soul in
I’ll leave anything bare that keeps me soul

A physical kiss is nothing without it
And you close your eyes to see what it’s done
The body that lies is built up on looking
Cause all that remains before it’s begun

You gotta know, I’m feeling love
Made of gold, I’ll never love a
Another one, another you
It’s gotta be love, I said it

You gotta know, I’m feeling love
Made of gold, I’ll never love a
Another one, another you
It’s gotta be love, I said it

You gotta know, I’m feeling love
Made of gold, I’ll never love a
Another one, another you
It’s gotta be love, I said it

Songwriter
NICHOLAS JAMES MURPHY


Honesty

Honesty

This time, He broke up.

He had taken his time. Waited. Waited to figure out if She was going to be all-in. Waited to see if She would impose Her own curfew. 3 months.

Of course in waiting, judging, evaluating there is always a danger. Reading into action or inaction. Misinterpretation.

Miscalculations leading to pain. Pain leading to stagnation.

But He had decided. The pain needed to end. The lashing out needed to end. They needed to end.

He spent Saturday morning crafting and discarding emails. Looking for words. He wasn’t angry or hurt, He just wanted it to be over. To be as painless for both of them as possible.

His email to her was not eloquent. They both hurt each other, this needed to stop. He loved her, but neither needed the hurt.

He asked her to call. To talk. To put it to rest. She replied she couldn’t until evening. He, not being patient and wanting to just finalize, sent Her another, longer, more eloquent, more caring email. Loving her still, but believing They still must be done.

Later, she responded. By text. “I love you. I’m losing my boyfriend and the only one I want to comfort me is you. Come up.”

The words caught him off guard. He didn’t know She still loved. He didn’t know He was Her “boyfriend” – that was a level of relationship He assumed They left in May. What about the Others?

He drove to her Sunday. Confusion. Elation. Not having a plan.

Sunday, they talked. Openly. There were no Others in her life. But there was an issue. A reason She had seemed more distant. A reason She withheld words of care for him, A reason she had fought to not love him.

A reason she had never shared but loomed large in her mind.

Embarrassed and fearful of His reaction, She finally shared. If They were to go on, if She were going to be “all in”, if they were to move toward a life together, He had to make a change.

Surprisingly for both of them, He was not upset nor even surprised. He understood. It was a reason He had assumed had been there all along – even from one of their first texts. “Not everything is Porsches and rainbows, my life is messy right now.” He had known and been working to de-mess his life.

He had not made much progress. It scared her, rightfully so. A future meant something. She couldn’t tolerate a future of fear, of uncertainty.

He got that.

He would try. Willing to take new paths – or at least consider them. Willing to put His life together for Himself but open to Her gaze. She needed movement. That’s all She asked, to see.

He could provide. He already had to fix the problems in His life, and letting Her see wasn’t an issue.

He asked for change from Her as well. He wasn’t sure how She would react. He thought She would refuse to try, say it was just the way She is. “Sorry ’bout cha.”

But She didn’t. She was open and affirming and caring. She wanted to go on, try, make this work if it was going to work.

She wanted Him in Her life. He wanted Her.

Aphrodite is cruel and fickle. She gives us love, but always with pain. Fear. “But what if..?”

That night, as they lay together entwined, She said “I wish this was enough.” He wished it too, but He also knew They could do this. He could fix; She could attend.

He left hopeful for “a better…


My Johnny

Nobody understands

What I see

Why I am willing

What I get despite what I don’t

Living in the void for the rare glimpse of your amazing

Lonely in the midst of a relationship

Maybe I’m a fool for loving you

But you’re my Johnny

You live in moments

You want what you want when you want

No time, no thought for another

Out of site, out of mind

I quit trying to catch your eye

Deciding to wait instead for your eventual gaze

Like a lighthouse, making its round

Longing for your beacon to be on me once again

Because you’re my Johnny

Decisions plague me, clawing my mind

Am I willing to go on

Knowing this is who we are

Counting the cost of you

Wanting to be your everything

Knowing I will be your occasional

Just my Johnny

I wait for a commitment

A self-imposed curfew

Coming in at 11 when you could stay out ’till 3

A wild horse willingly submitting to the bridle

Giving your formidable strength to another

Giving up the others

The smiling faces of profiles and flirting

But that’s not coming

Because you’re a Johnny

I believe in Abundance

And all She provides

But Her jokes can be cruel

Testing me with an unavailable wonder

Just out of reach – almost everything

Like grasping a fist full of sand

Trying to hold on to my Johnny

Your heart is only yours and may never belong to another

There are no words to alter the course

I meet your J’s then you’re off again

Looking for what even you don’t understand

I watch you go

Hoping you will return, maybe for good

More than a beautiful moment

With my Johnny


Coffees?

mcdonalds-coffee_2

His ancient coffee maker died. Not only did he no longer have groceries, he couldn’t make coffee either. He intended to pick up both over the weekend, but had no ambition to do so. He drove the two miles to McDonald’s to grab two of theirs and an Egg McMuffin.

Back in June after they resumed dating again but also dating Others. He wrote up a little adventure buying two Egg McMuffin meals and two large coffees.

The next evening, He was asking Her out for the coming weekend by text. Her response perplexed him.

“Coffees?”

“You want to go out for coffee?” He replied not catching Her meaning.

He called. What are you talking about?

“Why two coffees? I know you sometimes get two cheeseburgers, but why two coffees?”

Of course it had been for one of The Others and of course She knew.

He drove home today happy because this time, both coffees were for Him.