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  • Chapter 22


    DAMAGED GOODS AND ALL


    There
    are usually
    only two sides
    to every struggle.
    but
    in Hollywood,
    it greatly differs:
    on one side is

    the truth

    as
    it's known,
    while on the other side is

    the dream

    as
    it's believed.

    and
    in Hollywood,
    the dream is always favored
    by twice as much.

    at
    least
    that's what
    Sweet Lorraine
    likes to readily think,
    especially about me.
    she's more than curious.
    in fact,
    she's absolutely gripped
    with great heaps of inquisitiveness
    about my relationship
    with Shara.
    and
    being a terribly
    important tomato on the vine
    that she is
    in this layer of the world,
    she has somehow learned
    about Shara's illness.
    as to how she found out,
    I simply don't know.
    it's certainly isn't something
    I'D brag about.
    but
    here it is,
    her thoughts and opinions
    conveniently laid out
    before me.

    why,
    she wants to know,
    would I WANT to marry
    someone with such
    a great disability?

    the
    answer
    may not be simple,
    I tell her,
    but there is an answer.
    I love her
    because there's a great
    and powerful draw between us.
    there's great magnetism,
    which in itself is an understatement.
    because I can trust her
    and I know she's in my corner
    at all times.
    I know she'll be there
    when I need her the most.
    and
    because quite simply
    I'm in love with her...
    smitten down to my mittens,
    and
    she's in love with me
    and somehow in this mix up and confusion,
    it all feels right.

    but
    that's
    just not enough
    according to Sweet Lorraine.
    there must be more to it,
    or
    upon closer examination,
    something else in particular
    that drives me like it does
    to want her so much.
    certainly I should realize
    Shara's magnificent beauty
    will wear off someday.
    but
    the same can't be said
    about her mental illness.
    so...
    could it be
    by any mere chance the fact
    that she's got some money?
    is it that she affords me
    an opportunity
    to get ahead?
    perhaps to own a home
    and have some security?

    I balk
    at her insulting conclusions,
    writing them off as speculation
    and rumor and other things
    which float around the table
    during poker game conversations.
    I stiffen and quickly inform her
    that while these things she mentioned
    are tempting to most
    with great comfort of mind,
    not one of them holds up for me
    and the underlying truth
    that I love her
    AS IS,
    damaged goods and all.

    Sweet Lorraine
    finds it all very difficult to believe.
    not that she smells a rat
    or
    even thinks I'm lying,
    but there's got to be something else
    going on.
    perhaps I left out something?

    in fact,
    maybe there's
    something wrong with me?

    as if
    love alone
    betrays any formal definition
    of human existence.

    I'm
    quick
    to remind her
    that it's ME she's talking about.
    I'm a good friend she's known for many years.
    I didn't suddenly change overnight,
    at least not totally.
    but
    rather...
    maybe some PART of me
    has permutated and evolved,
    a part she's hardly seen,
    one that's even NEW to me as well.
    for I've never met a woman
    except for Shara
    who's made me feel this way.
    I guess by looking at it close up,
    and then checking against
    a litany of comparisons,
    I can honestly say
    I've never been in love
    until now.

    and
    after all,
    I fiercely admit to her,
    I'm not like some stupid kid
    who's still wet behind the ears
    who likes nothing more
    than asking the blind
    to describe darkness
    to the deaf!

    I'm
    not taking
    advantage of Shara.
    but I'm trying so very hard
    to take care of her.

    Sweet Lorraine
    decides to end the grilling
    by dropping the bomb,
    slyly insinuating
    that every guy she knows
    would run away from Shara
    the first chance
    they got.

    except me.

    I'm
    in this thing
    for the long haul,
    I assure her.
    but I didn't get involved
    just to get my dick wet,
    like every other guy
    she knows.

    but
    just in case
    there's any more doubt,
    I'm throwing away my running shoes
    for the world who knows me
    to see for themselves

    throwing
    them away
    this Thursday night
    on top of the trash
    as an act of protest and defiance.
    I want to show everybody

    that
    I'm staying put

    that
    I'm standing firm.

    I'm
    in love
    with a woman
    who knows how to
    love a guy like me.

    what
    more can I say?

    what
    more need I say?

    I've
    chosen both
    the dream and the truth.


    ~~~~~~~~


    (c)2015 Miles Ciletti
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