Matters Of Little Consequence

The 800lb Gorilla met its inglorious end on August 8th, 2008. Dan said goodbye with a video. Of course.

By then I was writing with the Dame, on her blog. I was trying to provide her with the muse and doing a lousy job of it. Her readers weren’t all that receptive to me either, as evidenced by the dearth of comments. I’d get the occasional “Where’s Dame?”, to which I provided a cursory explanation that the Dame was busy gardening or tending to the kiddos or backpacking in Tibet.

The truth of the matter is, I was sans blog for the first time in years and I didn’t know whether it was a blessing or a curse. What I missed more than anything was the ability to slice something up with four lettered particulars, because my jam wasn’t playing in the Dame’s crib. I was like the new age bistro that replaces the landmark steakhouse; peeps wanted the sizzle she provided and were much less interested in my rap, so to speak.

Still, I loved keeping her seat warm because I knew when she got back to it, she was going to wreak havoc on the somethings and lay waste to the everything elses. And without a blog of my own, I felt plenty fine playing the role of David Carradine from Kung Fu . . wandering the literary stars, plucking ransoms out of the minutiae. It’s just what you do when you’re in love with someone’s pen. You wait by the window, shining that light until they make it home.

October of 2008 was a revelatory caterwaul whose presence I could have done without. But life never speaks to us with permission. And so it was that in October, the shit collided with the proverbial fan when Dan confessed to having an affair with bat shit crazy poet girl from Seattle. Yeah, the same writer the Dame had accused me of messing around with the year before. And when Dame wouldn’t stop shooting at my kneecaps with a smoking gun that wasn’t mine, I had turned up my snark index to ten plus and let her have it with something like Of course I took a flight from Chicago to Seattle . . because I have all the fucking time in the world to travel all over the fucking map banging bloggers! Admittedly, I might have tried tact on for size, seeing as how we ended up burning our relationship to the ground thanks to exchanges such as this.

Almost a year later, I was vindicated. Again. That lovable ape the poet girl would write sonnets to wasn’t me, it was Dan. And it made sense that the guy who whined about having to live vicariously through my social life now that he was married, was the culprit. It explained the vibe I was getting from him and Chris, and it explained all the mysterious shit he would post on the blog; which I was thankful was six feet under now.

I’m not gonna lie. I expected an apology from the Dame. I mean, it didn’t have to be served on fine china or anything like that. But I’d been unfairly accused of something, and I figured now was the time to close up that forgettable chapter with some mea for my affected culpa.

That wasn’t how the Dame ticked, though. Because what I got instead served to tear those sutures plumb off the scab of the previous November. After she got done scorching the patch of earth Dan stood on, she directed the rest of her bottle of Jesus towards me for having the piss poor judgement to be friends with such a cad. Never mind that I wasn’t pals with the fucker on the level of vault stories. Never mind that I was left to roast on a spit as he fucked the blog into the ground. Never mind that the Dame, oh by the way, had been married to a serial womanizer and I wasn’t holding it against her.

Needless to say, I was feeling the tremors as another November moved into focus. All of a sudden, the ground we walked on felt as sturdy as gossamer. But this time would be different, because I was going to be spending Thanksgiving week in Chicago. Which would guarantee that we would make it out of that scarred month intact as a couple. Probably . . .

And this is where the Dame showed herself to be one of the most beautifully complicated individuals I’ve ever known. Because that visit will live with me from the moment I touched down at O’Hare until I take my final breath. It speaks to who we are, as human beings, that I can think back on that time and be as in love with her from right here as I was right there without wanting any of it back, ever again. If you look up the definition of complicated in the dictionary, that’s what it looks like.

The Dame’s family had forged an empire in a small Illinois town once upon a time, before sickness and death claimed the progenitors. Her father’s passing had taken the biggest toll on her, after which she kept an arm’s length relationship with her siblings, but she had always remained close to her kid brother.

As in many prestigious families, excess and intrigue are sewn into the seal, and hers was no different. Her kid brother had been a hot shit equities trader until the bottom fell out thanks to a heroin crush that wouldn’t quit. And so me and the Dame went over to his apartment on Thanksgiving morning to get him, because she was afraid he was going to run.

We found him walking down the street and I got out of the car and let him take the front seat. Before he moved inside the car, I could tell he was higher than the planes that were circling above us waiting for their turn to land at O’Hare. He tried his best to play it straight on the way back her place, but he was a mess and I watched in awe as she kept it all together.

Back at her place, we played catch with her son while the Dame finished up her Thanksgiving feast. And then she got him to wash up and refresh himself, and by that evening when we were playing cards, he was the hot shit kid who’d been going places again. Only, he was much more than that. His smile was infectious and his laugh was original and he could talk on anything and I loved him. Just like that. And it was her, it was all her; holding together the last remaining pieces of a family that had gone away. And it just so happens to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed in my entire life.

I can still taste her smile inside the crisp advent of a winter’s breath that promised snow and far worse things. And maybe I knew we were a mistake by then, but it didn’t matter. Because that moment and that smile thrust me into the places of this universe that do not yet have names. And at least once in your life, you need to feel that kind of Longfellow in your bones.

As if the universe calls only you.

42 thoughts on “Matters Of Little Consequence

  1. I love the interweaving of human complexity that threads its way through this Marc. I was feeling a bit pissed for you half way through but the remainder of the tale shows that we all have foibles and make assumptions or judgements that can go awry and doing so says nothing about the deeper quality of a person’s character.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The complexity of this relationship is beyond my comprehension. My head is spinning! However, the last paragraph was pure you as it was great lines …. I can still taste her smile inside the crisp advent of a winter’s breath that promised snow and far worse things. ….. . Because that moment and that smile thrust me into the places of this universe that do not yet have names. ….. you need to feel that kind of Longfellow in your bones….. WOW! I write like that only in my dreams.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Frank,

      There were many times when I felt the same way. It speaks to the unique arrangement in every human being. We are not one thing, we are so many other things.

      I am thankful for having blogged with Dan, because if I hadn’t, I never would have met her. And I am thankful for the time we had together, because she changed the way I look at writing, for the better.

      Nothing is a waste of time. Everything has value.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. B,

    I admire your willingness to share (expunge from your soul) this story with us. There are so many facets to that wild and insane time you had with Dame and Dan and co.

    Dan is an asshole through and through. To know full-well you are bearing the brunt of his infidelities and not being man enough to step in and set things straight shows his lack of humanity. Ah well, karma is a bitch when you are a schmuck.

    I know Dame had a shitload of issues of her own to deal with and was not what one would call the most stable of personas but I still feel sad for you that she didn’t have it in her to apologise for her unfair accusations. But we already have an image of her that tells us she don’t do apologies.

    We are all not just one thing, are we? We are complex individuals, each carrying our own baggage from our life’s experiences, doing what needs to be done the best we can with the tools we have accumulated on the way. Dame’s love for her brother shines through your words. Though it brought tears to my eyes to read of her generosity towards her brother, it also, oddly maybe, soothed me in the sense that, no matter how toxic she was for you, somewhere inside of her was that beautiful part of her that you got to witness.

    Your last paragraph is sublime. This prose of yours that reads like poetry is why we keep coming back for more. And that last line is so wistful and hopeful.

    Perfect choice of song, of course. I adore Ray Lamontagne’s thready and delicate voice.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      It is a good thing, I think. As I said to Frank, I’m thankful to both parties. To Dan for having invited me to write, because it opened something up for me that I wasn’t fully aware of. And to Dame for showing me what it is to be a writer.

      In truth, I didn’t share most of what I went through with Dan. We weren’t vault pals. We were blog pals who shot the shit on all matters blogs. When we veered off that course, it was typical guy talk about sports and guns.

      LOL. No, she wasn’t much for apologies. We were two very stubborn, passionate people and welp, there’s nowhere to go with that when things go south.

      God, what she did for her brother still gets me. And that’s what I take. Having witnessed that, it was selfless and beautiful stuff. She was THAT person, beneath all the rest of it that happened to her over time. That was who she was.

      You get to a point in your life where you either wish everybody would go away, or you wish everybody love and peace. I chose the latter.

      Ray was a favorite back in the day. Still is.

      Gracias for the lovely, Q.


      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes. Each thing we go through, good and bad has something to teach us. OF course, usually the bad gives the biggest lesson. Nothing happens for nothing – I am a firm believer in that. Yes, both Dan and Dame brought you to a fabulous place – with a few bumps and bruises.

        I understand you didn’t share the vault stuff but he must have known some of the shit being slung your way since it was his fault! But yeah. Maybe not.

        Passion does not mean lack of grace. Well, that’s not true, is it?

        I think it is a wonderful thing that you take the beautiful part of her with you. Regardless of all the pain and awful memories that came along with it, focusing on the good stuff makes it that you can wish her love and peace. And yes, good on you for choosing this.

        He is fabulous.

        Always a pleasure, B. You know I am your number one fan 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • Eilene,

      The key to this story wasn’t in our initial run, which ended with a horrible breakup. It was in having gone back to it. That’s the point at which I owned half of everything that happened, because I went back knowing how bad it could get between us. If we had simply remained friends, I have no doubt we would still be friends.

      Love changes things. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not so much.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow…you’d think Dan was raised by wolves but then again, wolves have a high social order and that guy was lacking in so many ways. You’re a far more patient dude than I could have been dealing with him. And as for the Dame, I’m not sure the term ‘complicated’ begins to cover it. You must definitely be some kind of wonderful (well…dud) to have endured both Dan and her. My hat’s off to you sir.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That was the epi-center of the blog and the relationship, all of it. Inside the time after Dan’s forced confession (the poet had been the one to spill the beans), I wasn’t feeling very grateful for the blog or for having met her as a result. I was pissed. We fought a lot. And I stopped talking to Dan for a time. It was just strange times.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Longfellow in your bones … yup that right there is awesome. I know that feeling. It’s great to have a memory that makes you feel all the feels. You took us there with your sweet writing… but I will say I was burned out at the beginning of your story over the whole Dan business. Vault stories. That’s my FAVORITE! Getting back to it … it sucks about the apology. I’m big on those. If I mess up I lay it out there, if they mess up I’m thinking you should definitely say sorry although sometimes that doesn’t happen and it makes it more difficult, or takes longer to move on. But glad you can remember good things and you got humor and peace riding with you. Sunshine and waves 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me and Dan were the definition of “work friends” as per blogging. We didn’t share a lot of personal stuff, because we just weren’t that kind of friendship. I had been friends with his wife, not him. We only became friends when he asked me to blog with him, and while we got to know each other better, it was still arm’s length.

      I resented not getting an apology, I mean . . shit, that still gets me, LOL.

      In the end, I need to be grateful for what we had and that is that.

      Sunshine and waves 🙂


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