Sentience

My mother used to gush about how well beer went with chocolate and I agreed, so every time I enjoy a nice amber ale and there’s chocolate nearby, I have to indulge. It’s the little things like this that make me feel closer to her. I wish I could have introduced her to how good chocolate is with wine, though – especially dark chocolate with red wine!

The last gift she ever gave me was a set of decorative, pewter measuring spoons with etched hearts all over them. Every time I reach for those hanging in my kitchen, I taste the familiarity of the bittersweet memory. I had just moved to Brooklyn and she mailed them to me the way we used to mail each other during my college years. When I retrieved the large, white business envelope from my mailbox on that drab, New York winter day, I could see and feel the awkwardness of its shape – it certainly wasn’t just a greeting card inside there. Little did I know that was the last time I’d ever receive mail from my mother.

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She loved having her hair brushed or played with, so every time someone brushes or plays with my hair, I feel a pang of guilt for each time I denied my mother that simple, temporary joy. I’d give anything to feel her hair between my fingers, to run a brush through the length of her locks.

Whenever I’m at the beach, I look down in pursuit of the smooth, colorful sea glass my mother collected and loved so much. I recall her joyful smile while lounging in the sand and soaking up the sun one morning on a beach in Malibu, her ability to enjoy the silence that was so opposite of my inability. I wish she were around to teach me how she did it and to tell me what she enjoyed most about it.

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It is all about the little things and there’s nothing like losing the most important person in your life to make you realize this. If she were still alive, would snail mail mean as much to me? Would I still deny brushing her hair whenever she’d ask? Would chocolate be just another snack and would I even look for sea glass when perusing coastal lands? The truth is the little things have always meant a lot to me even before losing her but their meaning is so much deeper now, so much more sentient.

No Lie in My Fire

This made me think of you,” the six-word caption attached to the picture message read. At 10:55 a.m. this past Saturday morning, I received an unexpected text message that, to an outsider’s perspective, would appear to be just that – a text message. But this was no ordinary message – this message was a much more meaningful gesture presenting itself as every day communication.

Two of my favorite quotes were legible across the confines of my smart phone screen, one of which happens to be the cover photo of my Facebook account.

Charles Bukowski Quote
Charles Bukowski Quote

And the other, another Bukowski quote, that always serves as a reminder of my inherent strength.

Charles Bukowski Quote
Charles Bukowski Quote

Not only was this message a much-needed reminder at that particular moment but a realization that this man gets me.  For the first time in my life, someone sees me, and whether or not he understands, he accepts me for who I am.  Most importantly, it doesn’t make him want to run. It doesn’t make him want to turn his back on me in seek of “something greener,” “something better.”  He gets me and he wants to walk through the fire with me.