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Things I Would Like to do with You Before I Lose You.
“For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I would like to grow old with you, before I lose you.
You may lose me, first, for I am not all so very young, anymore. But I will take care of myself so that I may build thin bonfires on the cold beach beneath the country deep sky’s bright stars. I will climb regularly, I will wear through expensive running shoes running the hills with Red dog, I will bicycle every day no matter the weather, I will yoga (reluctantly for it stretches me where I am tight though leaning into resistance makes me lazy). I will eat real food and go to bed at a reasonable hour (putting my work away and taking up a book). I will not take my stress too seriously: I am good at walking away, sighing and laughing. For I would like to live to see your life. You will grow old like a thick vine, still flowering.
I would like to see you wear that same turquoise dress with white flowers when your hair has turned white.
“True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.”
~ Honore de Balzac
I would not like you to cut your wirey hair, but to wear it long: proudly but messily the way beautiful old women who like to garden or make art do.
Looking into the world
I see alone a chrysanthemum,
I would like to make love to you, and again, my tired head on your breasts, and again, my strong arms and shoulders lifting your hips up and rocking them, again, both hands turning you and pulling you and finally crushing down into you, again, my sweat and weight upon you. And again: for sex may get boring, but making love does not get boring, but it does get more and more intimate.
I would like to give you small gifts for no reason: like an old Oscar Wilde or William Blake book or a spontaneous, forgettable haiku with one too many syllables tacked up above the dishes that reminds you to relax or finish your art for I am picking up the children.
I would like to look at these children and feel a mixture of pride and relief in their health and beauty, and kindness and lack of self-consciousness. Little knights.
I would like to notice you noticing other men and remember that I do not own you, or hold you, or have you: I am just a train, running alongside your tracks.
And I will not smother you, but I will smother them—with the paper-thin friendliness of a tiger, burning bright.
I would like to notice you ignoring them, too, as I do two moments after a beauty catches my gaze. For we both remember that we have a thing so rare: we are best friends and skilled lovers, both: we help one another to laugh at ourselves.
I stand like the lonely juniper
Which grows among rocks,
Hardened and tough.
Loneliness is my habit —
I grew up in loneliness.
Yet sometimes also,
Sad and Happy
I would like to love you. I would like to love you after the honeymoon. I would like to fight with you and dislike you and judge you and fault you…and remember to breathe and leave. And I would like to quickly fault myself and regret it all and go for a long hard walk, stomping in the woods. And I would like to come back and apologize and mean it, mostly.
I would like to stare into your window eyes and I would like to cry but I will not. I have spent so many years trying clothes on, that when we set our hearts next to one another and found no fitting necessary—but rather we found you slow and me fast and both of us set against one another in delight: friendship shot full with passion—oh, I knew then that we had something more than a love affair.
I would like to take you out of the red woods and talk with you in the wood-paneled café with a fire lit in the dark stove. It is winter, after a chocolate tasting at a golden old book store, I ask you, and you say yes. This is before I lose you.
I would like to go on a first date with you, a VIP party, and see you melt into me…until my bad whiskey makes me dull and your interest slows and I just want to go home and I lose you.
I would like to make love to you, and again, and again: I would like to take you upstairs, lifting you up onto my standing lap and seeing you, later, lying on the bed, open. And too readily take you then, again. But you take me first, in, and you take me to a honeyed dreamworld and I am lost in you. I would like you to think to “spice things up,” standing, touching your toes. I would like to make love into you in the moonlight, you trying to coo softly so as not to wake up the neighbors. I would like for the loud neighbors on the other side to finally holler in hypocritical anger at three in the morning when you have been screaming, we are indoors, now, even so: and for us to laugh and close the window, it is so hot, I need air, so much sweat. I would like for you to pause as I, from behind, first move with you and you pause to tie up your thick curling hair out of your face. I would like to watch you walk down the hall, tall, in front of me, naked but for your underwear. I would like you to ask me to leave my work and rendezvous in the middle of the day for afternoon sex, it is the best. Camping with friends: I would like to stuff the soft edge of my hand or the pillow or the sleeping bag in your mouth, we are trying to be quiet again, and again failing, your head pushed against the edge of the tent, we’re both laughing and busy groaning as you open your innermost heart’s flower to me in yearning delight. I would like to draw you in graphite, and paint you in purple, sitting cross legged, wearing very little, on our couch.
I would like to be surprised by your honesty and wisdom and your willingness not to understand yourself, but to wait, and then to leap as much as fifty feet off the cliff and into the water. You communicate, and are not selfish or cowardly in your decisions.
I would like to dance with you, but not in slow-motion.
I would like you to stop laughing at me and let me take my dancing seriously: relationships must view one another in the fresh light of a morning white with sunheat but cool with breeze, or we fix one another in our expectations and we live down to those expectations and life if stale makes a relationship unsustainable.
I would like to move into and against you in the middle of an enthusiastic crowd and later we will walk to the parking lot and I will lean against you, leaning against a car. It is not our car, I bicycled.
I would like us to not play games, but rather to be simply honest no matter what. It is a simple rule: good or bad, happy or sad, talk it out to me and it will all be alright.
I would like us to play games like Scrabble, or Trivial Pursuit, at the pub, sitting in the tall golden booths with dear friends, drinking hoppy beer. I will eat spinach salad with walnuts and balsamic and nachos with beans and black olives and lots of hot sauce.
Before I lose you, I would like to see you again. I will hike with you (and Red dog) up to the wide pale park beneath the tall walk-stopping mountains and then up and then down another mountain where I played Malvolio and Ferdinand when I was a boy, in the red rock amphitheater built by FDR’s men. Or I would like to bike with you all the way up to the little mountaintop cowboy town for folkfiddling music, or go to an outdoor movie with you, someone brought their own couch, or to a fancy upstairs dinner, the kind you imagine having when you’re twelve and you think about being grown up, or to farmers’ market on Wednesday afternoon or Saturday morning.
I would like to run into you on the street and flirt at you and have you talk over me and laugh, for you are strong like a filly, and you laugh into me as I talk back over you, and we talk over one another as the tide does when it retreats and folds up against itself, old waves relaxing back into new waves rushing.
Before I lose you I would like to go to a bad poetry reading where everyone talks loudly and humorlessly, spoken word-style, because that is what they think poetry sounds like. When really, we will smile at one another, for we know what poetry sounds like: it sounds like this. Close your soft eyes and listen. It sounds like listening to whales, underwater, on an old vinyl record. It sounds like the nightly crickets we forget to hear. It sounds like the pause before a cherished old song comes on: say, Supremes, or Debussy or Chopin, or Gene Kelly, or some whiskey-lit Scottish folk. It sounds like old travels and old streams and going for a walk on a straight dirt road after dinner.
I would like to hold your hand. For it is always the first time, when I hold your hand, for I am so enthusiastic about you that I hope you do not notice, and I have to constantly remind myself that I will lose you.
For the future is all made up, none of this matters, these are just words.
I would like to stop wordplaying, and see you.
Never, never trust.
I would like to belatedly protect you without jealousy or anger, and I would like to debate with you about astrology, Tarot or Mercury Retrograde and I would like to be right but lose the argument, but not give in. And I would like to cuddle with you, despite the late summer heat sweating us into one another…still we hold and fall asleep, the heat makes for tired old hound dogs, lanky, napping.
But be friendly.
By being friendly toward others
You increase your non-trusting.
The idea is to be independent,
Not glued, one might say, to others.
Thus one becomes ever more
Compassionate and friendly.
Whatever happens, stand on your own feet
And memorize this incantation:
Do not trust.
~ Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
I would like to insist on staying with you when you give birth, though I am not good with blood from those I cherish, and I will faint nearly and be a bother and be asked to leave but I will stay and faint and be a bother.
I would like to read your handwriting and I would like to notice the way your eyes curve, and your wide white smile, and your simple yet personal style, and I would like to ask you the same damn questions again and again so that you wonder aloud if I do not listen but no, I assure you without reassuring you: I have always been forgetful and it does not mean I do not care.
I would like to grow old with you before I lose you.
Get your copy of Things I would like to do with You.
~ But wait! There’s more! ~
Read the first, Things I would like to do with you in the Woods, first.
Read the second, Things I would like to do with you this Evening, second.
Read the third, Things I would like to Remember about our day in Vermont, third.
Read the fourth, Things I would like to do with you in Time, here.
This is the fifth.
Read the sixth, I would like to Communicate with you about Difficult Things, after this.
Read the seventh, Things I would like to say to you without you Knowing.
Erik Satie – Gymnopédie No.1:
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