Orthopterophobia

I have a lot of phobias, among them airplanes, aging, cockroaches, small spaces and listening to Journey—but none, none I tell you, is worse than my fear of crickets. I know they’re supposed to be good luck in some cultures, but in mine, they’re bad omens—omens that portend that I’m going to pee in my pants, scream and jump up onto the nearest high-altitude surface I can find. Honest to Bob, they terrify me.

It started when I was about ten or eleven. I was in a jon boat with my mother’s second husband, fishing for bass or crappie or something. He picked up one of the little black insects and instructed me on how to bait my hook. “See? They have this little collar…you just loop your hook into it.” The hell I would. I could handle wiggling worms, or slippery minnows, but I wasn’t about to touch a hyperactive insect. He did it for me, and things were peaceful for about five minutes, at which point, I accidentally kicked over the tall container of bait. It seemed that five hundred crickets had been in that thing, and now they were all over the boat, hopping for joy that they’d been liberated.

I began to scream. I screamed and screamed. If a poll had been taken, I’m sure I’d have been voted Most Hated Child on a Body of Water by every fisherman within a three-mile radius. My mother’s husband tried to shush me, but it was hard to hear him over the sound of my shrieks. Crickets were high-jumping on my legs and feet and I began to stomp and rock the boat. To keep from killing me, he paddled us over to a low water bridge, where two fishermen reached over and pulled me to sanity.

Since that episode, I’ve tried my best to avoid crickets, and it’s worked out just fine. In fact, I’ve come to appreciate them, as long as they stay at least fourteen feet away. I love their sound, and the little black ones are kind of cute. I can almost see why the Chinese consider them good luck.

Except for these bastids. 

These are the satanic cult of crickets. Known as camel crickets, camel back crickets or cave crickets, they’re aggressive, carry rabies and have two rows of needle-sharp teeth. Their angular legs are covered in prickly spikes. They use their hideous, abnormally long antennae to hunt prey and terrify middle-aged women, and have been known to suck the breath out of sleeping babies. They’re freakishly pale, like the eyes of the possessed kids in “Children of the Corn.”

Our house is full of them. There must be a secret cricket network, like Trip Advisor or something, and our condo has apparently gotten some solid five-star reviews.  We’re being invaded. Every single day, I’ll spot at least one of them, creeping across the living room floor like a little John Belushi samurai. If Amadeus is in the room, I just give him the signal (which is the word “cricket”) then close my eyes as he removes the offending life form. They’re so big that watching them wiggle would be like watching him eradicate a kindergartener.

It’s when Amadeus is not in the room that the problem arises. Cave crickets don’t make a sound, and I’m not kidding, they appear from out of nowhere. You’re sitting on the sofa and you look over and there’s one sitting next to you, watching a Kojak rerun.

I freeze, and this strange sound rises up from deep within my soul, like a wounded dolphin. It sounds something like this: eeeeeEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEE. And then Amadeus comes and airlifts the cricket and things calm down.

The worst though, is when I’m sitting on the toilet and look down to see a cave cricket the size of a grapefruit looking up at me, those long, ropy antennae swishing around like bullwhips . I swear, it’s grinning. It knows I’m helpless, sitting there. One move, and it would hop onto my leg, which once happened to Amadeus. Well, actually one hopped INTO HIS JEANS while he innocently pooped, and it wasn’t until he pulled them up that he discovered that his pant leg had a passenger. It’s only by the grace of God that his calf wasn’t gnawed to bits.

The other morning, I woke up, bright as a sunbeam, put on my peignoir, applied lipstick and headed downstairs for coffee.* There, at the top of the stairwell, was the biggest, most monstrous cricket of them all—the Godzilla of crickets–on the WALL above the handrail. “Morning,” he said. I pushed my back against the other wall, and ran sideways down the steps to tell Amadeus. “OH MY GOD,” I eeked, “I didn’t know they climbed WALLS!” This was a revelation to me, and Amadeus smiled at my reaction.

“They’re crickets,” he said, almost laughing.  “Why would you be more scared now?” I was having a panic attack.

“Because,” I said, between dry heaves, “because it means that they’re UPSTAIRS too. It means they can climb into our bed and jump on our faces while we’re sleeping.” He’s a sweet man, but he obviously understands nothing of the secret, evil ways of crickets.

It made me wonder what other things I didn’t know about these demons. I did a Google search, and the images on the screen made me shudder in revulsion. I read all about them.

“Well, so much for my dream of exploring caves,” I griped. “They live in caves. I’ll bet there are millions in there.”

“Well, yeah,” Amadeus said, trying not to let on how cricket stupid he thinks I am. “That’s why they call them ‘cave crickets.’” Damn them to hell.

I don’t know what we’re going to do. I suppose we could set rat traps and bait them with fake people-on-toilet lures, but I’ll be damned if I’d know what to do with them once they were caught. I can hardly look at the things.

One thing I do know is that even though Amadeus is a few years older than me, I’m definitely planning on dying first, because there’s no way I can go this cricket thing alone.  Besides, it’s almost certain that at some point soon, I’m going to die of a heart attack. One’s going to jump on my face in the middle of the night, I’ll go into cardiac arrest, and that’ll be that.  

And with my luck, in the afterlife, I’ll probably come back as a cave.

 

 

*Exaggerated for dramatic effect. In reality, I wake up looking like a zombie, put on moccasin slippers and brush my teeth. That’s the most I can manage before a cup of joe.  I don’t own a peignoir, but sometimes I do throw on a sweater. 

A Recipe, A Song & Some Whine

Jumpin’ J-Lo, I haven’t posted in an entire month.

Quite frankly, I’ve had the blues. We’ve been struggling with struggles lately. Nothing huge—just the mundane, day-to-day worries that plague the semi-poor, like home repairs, taxes, allergies, bed head and the future of humankind. Worst of all, I seem unable to write much more than the words, “I can’t write.” It’s been an awful cycle—I can’t write because I’m blue, and I’m blue because I can’t write. Blue’s one of my favorite colors, but holy hell, this isn’t even a pretty shade. My writer’s block is the color of mold. 

It’s been weird, because usually when I’m down, creativity is what brings me out of it. But these days, I’ve created little more than a new recipe.

New Recipe:

8 Ritz Crackers

1 glob of peanut butter

Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup

Directions: Smear peanut butter onto four of the crackers. Pour one drip of syrup onto the remaining ones. Smush each PB cracker together with a chocolate cracker and enjoy.

I have written a couple of songs, but I’m hesitant to post them because it’s hard to get the entire picture without the tune. It’s like handing you a mug and asking you to imagine coffee. Tragically, my singing usually sounds like Mercedes McCambridge with a head cold, and even if I did record it, I’d never figure out how to get the thingamajiggy into the whattayacallit to transfer it the Internet. The one song I did post here was thanks to a patient friend, who burned it to a CD.

But it bothers me that I haven’t posted for so long, so I’ll share some lyrics anyway. I’ll have to do it from memory, because I fried my laptop a few weeks ago and lost most of my work. Stories, poems, books-in-progress, photos, videos and rough recordings of songs I’d saved on Audacity–poof! Frizzled like a squirrel on a transformer. A friend of a friend is trying to perform lifesaving CPR on the motherboard—if you’re the praying sort, please commence.

Have I mentioned I’ve had the blues?

Back to songwriting. Amadeus and I have this habit of throwing out lines to each other, spontaneous prompts that we think might fit into a song. If it grabs one of us, little cogs in our heads start squeaking and turning, and sometimes we create something we like. To outsiders, conversations at our house would sound insane. Example:

Me:  I need to figure out what to make for dinner.

Amadeus: Bird on a telephone wire.

Me: Oooooh….(starts writing)

One night, he said:  “If I had to do it all again.” I waited for him to finish the sentence, then realized it was a song prompt. Immediately, my head filled with images, like a scene from a movie. I saw a sad, wealthy woman in a New York penthouse. She stood in front of a glowing fireplace and her living room was all done up in shades of red. Her sofa was a cream color, with printed pillows and a decorative throw draped in a tasteful-yet-casual way over the back. She was tall, beautiful and terribly lonely. Her jewelry and shoes were amazing. 

It’s the weird way my brain works (when my weird brain’s working). Amadeus says something that sparks something and off we go.  I picked up the guitar, plinked out the first few notes, then started writing lyrics. Amadeus fine tuned the tune and we debated back and forth over the mechanics of it. Within half an hour or so, we’d given birth to a little baby song.  It’s a downer, but I like it. We performed it at an art gallery event a few weeks ago, and I’m proud to say that no one vomited and no one fled. 

If I Had To Do It All Again

If I had to do it all again,

I’d do it differently,

If I knew how this was gonna end,

I’d never have agreed,

to put aside the part of me,

that wanted love so desperately,

‘cause even though you live with me,

you’re never really here with me,

and though I did it willingly,

this lonely life is killing me,

If I had to do it all again,

I’d do it differently.

 

Flames can turn to ember

but they’re burning just the same,

why can’t we remember

the beginning of this game?

We blazed with love, so dazed with love

at night you called my name,

our paradise has turned to ice,

what happened to the flames?

If I had to do it all again,

I’d do it differently.  

(break, repeat verse 2)

© 2013 Moonbeam McQueen

That poor, poor penthouse woman.  And I thought I had problems. 

Nine Eleven

statue-of-liberty-5010On the morning of 9/11/01, I turned on the TV as I got ready to go to a literature class. I was looking forward to the day–ironically, our class was scheduled to watch “Apocalypse Now.” Suddenly though, the world turned surreal. “Good Morning America” showed an image of the World Trade Center, morning sun bouncing from its windows, smoke pouring from a hole in its side. As I tried to process what had happened, another plane, tiny as a mosquito, buzzed around and slammed into the second tower. I called my mother. As we spoke, reports came in of the Pentagon being hit, then of a crash in Pennsylvania. Trembling, I said, “I think the world is ending.” From different cities, we watched as the blue New York sky turned to smoke before our eyes; the newscasters were holding down panic.

Like everyone else, I was a wreck. My brother, a Navy pilot, was ordered to fly over the New York harbor, to protect the city from further attacks. My brother-in-law, a warrant officer in the Marines, confidently assured me that the world would not end. He wasn’t afraid, he was angry, and the strength in that anger calmed me a little. My next door neighbor enlisted in the Army within days. At least there were three guys I knew who weren’t shaking in their boots.

At first, I stayed glued to the TV, but it was impossible to take it all in. The city had been leveled in more ways than one. No rich, no poor, just lost souls wandering dazed amid tons of rubble, looking for their loved ones. The images were horrifying–office workers jumping to their deaths, the charred remains of what had been the tallest building in the world. Footage of airplanes exploding into its towers looped constantly.

I have PTSD, and it was kicking in something fierce. Terror and dread made it hard to think. I couldn’t stop shaking. I had two children to care for, but the realization that I couldn’t protect them from the world felt like a kick in the stomach. It was impossible to shelter them from this tragedy. Like most parents, I grieved, knowing they’d never experience the freedom and safety that previous generations had taken for granted.

We found some solace in creativity. I wrote a very bad song about love and sang it like a mantra. The kids and I painted pictures– some of the towers, some of other things. Later, we went to the campus and visited with an Episcopal priest I knew. I was seeking wisdom and comfort, but she had none–in fact, she seemed almost as traumatized as I was. I remember thinking, “There are no wise men today.”

We attended a campus vigil, held beside a beautiful fountain. Someone brought candles, and we lit them and placed them on the wall around the water. Some sang songs, some said prayers, some cried. We were all lost in grief. We were afraid. We were mourning for the world.

I’m more of a thanker of the Universe than an actual praying woman, but I remember praying on 9/11. If anyone was listening, I wanted my words to be heard. A couple of days after the planes hit, I visited a beautiful old church. I’d passed its red brick, ivy-covered walls covered many times. Not being a churchgoer, I’d never been inside, though I’d once written a fan letter to the kindhearted, outspoken priest who led it. I sat alone on a long pew in the sanctuary. Soft sunlight poured through stained glass windows the color of gemstones. I cried an ocean of tears and silently spoke to whoever might be tuning it–God or fairies or atoms that might carry my plea for peace to the proper universal authorities. “Please help us,” I begged. I have no idea how long I sat there, trying to get it together. I felt I had no where else to go.

Nearly 3000 people murdered in less time than it took to bake a cake. Safety was an illusion. Clouds felt suffocating, every airplane held a bomb. For me, almost a year passed before the impact of the tragedy began to ease up.

A dozen years have passed. My brother’s no longer flying, my brother-in-law’s retired. My daughter’s now in the Air National Guard, at a training school in Mississippi. I miss her terribly. We spoke last night via Facebook, and the subject of Syria came up. I sent her a poem I’d written about these endless, senseless wars. “That’s a good poem, Mom,” she wrote sweetly. Then I asked her what she thought of it all. She said:

“I think I don’t like when babies die because of corrupt leaders. And if someone asked me to risk my life to try to prevent someone from gassing thousands of people including hundreds of children, I would ask when my plane was arriving.”

I was a bit dumbstruck (or keystroke-struck). Her heart’s bigger than twelve World Trade Centers. How was such a girl born to a chicken-hearted pacifist like me? How do we ever begin to thank those who take on the task of defending and protecting other human beings? Regardless of politics, greed or the hidden agendas of the Powers That Be, our soldiers are the ones who put their lives on the line, so that children can paint pictures with their mothers. There’s love in that. There’s selflessness.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. I’ve just been thinking about that day, and about the thousands of families who lost loved ones on 9/11. We’ve all moved on, but we’ll never forget.

 

 

Tales From the South!

Update: I was so excited when writing this post that I screwed up some of the links and instructions. Corrections have been made. 

 

The podcast from the radio show is available! There are several ways you can listen–here are a few:

♦ NPR: http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=106926336  

(This isn’t the easiest way to listen–in fact, you may not be able to find it there by the time you read this. I just like typing “NPR!”)

♦ Stitcher Radio: Go to www.stitcher.com or download the free app. Enter TFTS-157

♦ iTunes: Go to the iTunes store and click on “podcasts.” In the search bar, enter TFTS-157

My story’s called “About Face.”  It’s at around the 39 minute mark, but I hope you’ll listen to the entire show. It’s wonderful. I also hope you understand Southernese. The accents are as thick as kudzu.

Happy listening! 

*Amadeus came up with the title, which I love. 

Storm Clouds in Lalaland

I’ve been residing in Lalaland for many years now. It’s fabulous here–the weather’s warm, but not too warm, there’s glitter in the tree bark and no one ever has intestinal problems. The fishing is excellent. People are kind. Here, IRS stands for “I’m Reading Salinger.” Bills are the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet. In Lalaland, I sit at my desk and write stories (that are sure to be best-sellers), while the laundry magically washes itself.  I sort of look like Gisele Bundchen.

But I have to admit, despite living in this zip code (which, by the way is !!!!!), I sometimes get discouraged. Writing isn’t just an occupation, it’s a lifestyle choice, one that sometimes involves isolation, frustration and a smattering of poverty. It’s okay-we’re good with it. Amadeus believes in me and I work hard to earn the honor. But sometimes it rains, even in Lalaland.

A week and a half ago, clouds began to form. I sat upstairs writing, a pursuit which I live in hope will someday increase our income. Optimism is a huge part of the Lalaland experience.

Six weeks earlier, I’d sent a story to Salon.com, and never received a confirmation or a reply. I wrote back to the editor–you know, just a “Hello how are you did you read my story do you like it will you publish it” thing. I never heard a word back, which to me, is more of a rejection than a rejection letter. Note to editors: It takes less than thirteen seconds to type “It sucks” into the body of an email.

A bit of self-loathing starting glomming onto me. What the hell am I doing? I asked myself. Why am I wasting my time? I’m a hack. I’m not making any money at this. And why is my hair so frizzy? It was the end of the month, a tough time for us financially. Thunder began to rumble in Laland. Physically, I was feeling like a baked potato–sort of lumpy, untalented and unattractive. In an unfortunate cost-cutting move, I went into the bathroom and hacked off a bunch of my hair.  It looked awful, but it took my mind off of writing for a while. After a few more hours of aimless typing, combined with three rounds of Candy Crush Saga and some moping, I went to bed.

The thing about storm clouds in Lalaland is that they move quickly. Sun rays start peeking out. I woke up the next morning, and boy, howdy, were there rays. I went downstairs, chugged some coffee and started a glorious new week. Here’s how things progressed:

Sunday: Checked my e-mail and found that one of my stories had been accepted for a regional NPR radio program! A special live, one-hour broadcast–the first in the show’s eight-year history. The producer wrote that it would be streamed around the world via satellite radio and would be podcast too. I almost tinkled from joy. Oh my gosh, you should have seen Amadeus. He was so proud.

Monday: Got a t-shirt in the mail from a musician friend of Amadeus’, along with two of his CDs. This was, I think, because I told him I love Jack Handey. That night, I had a lovely phone conversation with a blog friend in Portland, our first. It was so nice to hear her voice after so many years of typing to each other.

Tuesday: Freaked out half the day about the radio show. What would I wear? What about my hair? How could I lose ten pounds in five days? Was a face lift possible? The show was in front of a live audience, and was to be videotaped. I told Amadeus, “It’ll be fine. Surely I’ll find something in the closet that will work.” Between you and me, I was a little sad, but what could I do? As I’ve said, I chose this lifestyle, and it’s just not a hair salon, new dress type of deal.

Wednesday: Opened e-mail. Received notice of a PayPal donation from a friend/reader in New Zealand, the largest in the history of this blog. He wasn’t aware of any of the above–it was just a huge, serendipitous act of generosity. It still overwhelms me to talk about it, but you can read about it here.

Thursday: Bill paying! Shopping! Later, a friend came over with a miraculous hair straightening tool. I modeled my beautiful new copper-colored dress, and she and Amadeus oohed and aahed. Later, I went to hear my hubby make music with some other seriously talented musicians, and a drunk lady gave me her bracelet. I’ve since returned it, but it was such a nice gesture. Plus, it went with the dress.

Friday-Saturday: Insane non-stop fidgeting, worrying, stressing, but in an upbeat way. I asked Amadeus to take a pic of me in the new dress, so I could see what it’d look like on stage. I discovered I bore a striking resemblance to a Tootsie Roll. I rummaged around and finally found something I felt comfy in.*

Sunday: The Radio Show!** And another t-shirt! Followed by lovely people who told me how much they enjoyed my story! Followed by a margarita! Followed by a nap!

Monday: I was in the newspaper! Because of the above thing! I can’t stop typing exclamation points!

Tuesday: Another sweetheart of a blog friend, this one in New Hampshire, e-mailed to say that, in honor of the NPR show, he was sending me a gift–an entire mess of garlic from his garden and a new CD. It arrived today. Seeing that box of thoughtfulness sitting on the doorstep made my heart all melty. By the way, “a mess” equals fifteen bulbs.

There was so much goodness woven into the week, so many great moments. Songwriting with my hubby. The company of friends. Words of encouragement. Laughter. Little miracles here and there that let us know things are going to be okay.

The weather continues to improve. Life gets rough. Things gets tough. Then the world becomes beautiful once again. Rinse and repeat. That’s the way things work in Lalaland. I’m so fortunate, and so grateful. 

 

*It’s something I later discovered looked like a festive mumu on film, but living in Lalaland allows me to stay in denial about it until I see the video.

**I’ll post links to the podcast as soon as they become available.

 

 

 

For A Week I Was A Wreck

vintage micSo on Sunday, I’m sitting in this big conference room at the local library. I’m a total wreck. I’m one of four writers who’ve been selected to read on a live broadcast of an NPR program called “Tales From the South.”

Chairs have been set up–rows and rows of them, enough to seat 150 people. We’re told that 100 more are in the next room, watching on big screen monitors. In actuality, over 400 people have shown up to watch.

For an entire week, I’ve been a wreck, ever since I got the e-mail from the show’s producer saying that my story had been chosen. It’s one thing to sit behind a keyboard and write, or to do open mic readings at our indie bookstore in front of twenty people or so. I never tell locals my pen name–I just go and read. It gives me an idea of the way my words flow and helps me see how people respond to my stories. But I’m shy when they ask where they can read my work, and evasive about revealing anything about this blog. This has been my oasis for six years. It’s the place where I can be creatively brave without worrying about what people might think. It’s sweet here. There’s no pettiness or gossip. I can be myself. Somehow, it seems to contradict the harshness of the real world. For six years, I’ve been protective of this part of my writing life.

I’ve spoken a couple of times at WordCamp about the beauty of personal blogging. In my presentation, I try to convey to the audience that by taking on this little hobby, you discover that your life changes in incredible ways. The world expands a gazillionfold. You have a place to fully express yourself without judgment, without whispers. Blogging enables you to find your tribe, the people who “get” you. They cheer you on and encourage you in your endeavors, and hopefully, you do the same for them. No one’s looking at your zits or your sweatpants or the kind of car you drive. A trailer park resident in Omaha is on the same playing field as fashion model in a New York penthouse or a denizen of Bangladesh. It’s hearts that matter here, and minds. People who follow your blog are there by choice. They’re interested in what you have to say for the purest reasons–they’ve connected with you. They like you. I often prefer it to the “real world.”

As I flip through slides on the screen, I discuss anonymity–that it’s a personal choice, and one I prefer. When they ask me for my blog address, I typically don’t give them this one. Somehow, it feels as though I’d be handing my diary key to the world. With few exceptions, I’ve gotten to choose who I hand that key to. This is one of the kindest places I know. You are some of the kindest people I know. Miracles have occurred here because of you.

For a week I was a wreck, considering how all this might change. I was going to be on National Public Radio. My story was being broadcast worldwide. I’d submitted it using my pen name, because that’s what I use for all of my writing, but that pen name originated from this blog. For two days, I angsted. I squirmed. Few around here know me by that name. Amadeus was proud that my story had been accepted and told all of his friends. But how in the world would they know it was me, if I was introduced as MB McQueen? How would my family know? I wrote back to the producer and asked her to change it to my given name, then I angsted some more. I work hard. I write hard, damnit, and I do it under a name that’s come to feel more like me than the one my parents gave me. I wrote the producer again and asked her to change it back. “It’s the name my readers know,” I told her. I also added, “Yes, I’m a little nutty, but I promise, I’ll do just fine.”

Poor Amadeus. Poor, sweet, adorable, talented, amazing, cute-as-hell Amadeus. He has to live with me during these meltdowns. For a week, he’s listened to me gripe about my post-marriage weight gain. Watched me try on twenty outfits. Listened to a hundred curse words as I’ve attempted to do something with my awful hair.  He’s had to hear me fret about everything I’ve written above. But he’s always believed that I should just share everything I write with everyone, and he gets frustrated by my desire for privacy. He also thinks I’m pretty, so I can’t completely trust his judgment. We both know that there are locals who’ve lurked here for years, and not all of them do it because they want to wish us well. It sometimes makes opening my heart to the world a tough prospect.

So on Sunday, I’m sitting in this big conference room at the local library and I’m as nervous as a death row inmate eating his last meal. We do a run-through of the radio show, and my hands shake as I get up to read. The place is packed. The producer (an incredibly nice woman) reads us some information about the show. I kind of blank out after she says, “15 million listeners worldwide.”

The band played, some announcements were made and the show got underway. Writers went to the platform and began telling their wonderful tales, musicians played their songs. Suddenly, a calmness floated over me. As I sat there, I thought, “I have the most beautiful life.” There was a time when my chances of survival were pretty iffy. My world was small and crazy and sad. But here I was, about to read one of my stories to millions of people.

I thought about Amadeus, a man I love more than I ever thought I could love anyone. He was sitting behind me, somewhere in the crowd, proud as hell and cheering me on. Somewhere out there, my daughter was listening, and I could feel her near me too. I thought of the people who read my work and encourage me to keep writing. I felt happy.  I felt confident. And I went up there and did my thing. 

The One

Last night, I discovered that an online friend’s husband died. It happened a few days ago, and her loss was sudden and sad. For over a year, I’ve seen photos she’s posted of the two of them, a record of their vibrant lives. The love between them shines from her Facebook page. They rode Harleys across the country, visited friends and family along the way. They stayed at fabulous places and shared grand adventures. There were photos of their garden, and of the home they worked together to remodel. They’d just moved in about a month ago. He was set to retire. They were making plans. Now he’s gone, and her plans have been changed.

I’ll always be amazed by the way we strangers touch each other’s lives. I’ve shared many of this woman’s photos with Amadeus, and we’ve talked about her and her husband as though they were people we knew. Because, in a way, they were–she still is. It hits hard, these reminders that life is such a temporary gift. Online, we read of happiness, but also of struggles and loss. Lives stretch before us on timelines, the odds of tragedy increase with age. Spouses become caretakers, then widows and widowers.

I became quite emotional when I read of this woman’s loss. It hit home. I apologized to Amadeus for the tears, but he understood. We both realize that one day, one of us will be gone. No matter how much time we have together, it won’t be enough. Like our online friends, we met during our middle years, found happiness a little later than some.

“You know,” Amadeus said, trying to put it all into perspective. “I can look in the mirror and say to myself that if I go tomorrow, I’ll have died happy.” I can say the same. We found each other late, but by God, we found each other. Not to sound sappy, but I treasure each day we spend together.

Anyway, I wrote this song last night, while thinking about all of this. It’s not finished, but I wanted to share. VM, this is for you.

The One

They thought they’d always be together,
they built a castle in the sky,
a melding of hearts so perfect and true,
the first time they met they knew.

He said,
You are the love that I’ve been looking for,
She said,
I have been waiting for you,
I’ve looked my whole life for the man of my dreams,
I never dreamed that my dreams would come true.

They married a month after the day they met,
(the clock hands move faster as we age)
they opened their hearts, made a brand new start,
a story begun on a snow white page.

She said,
you are the love that I’ve been looking for,
He said,
I have been waiting for you,
I’ve looked my whole life for the girl of my dreams,
I never dreamed that my dream would come true.

They didn’t have the time
that younger lovers do,
so they blazed twice as bright
and their years together flew;
In the corners of their minds
both of them knew,
someday there’d be one
where there once was two.

Their hair turned gray, their bodies old,
she reached for his hand, his hand was cold,
they never imagined when they built their home,
she’d be the one who was left alone.

She said,
You were the love that I was looking for,
We’ll be together one day soon,
I searched my whole life for the man of my dreams,
Thank you for making all my dreams come true.

 

©2013 Moonbeam McQueen