“If desire is the seed ~ then gratitude is the fertile soil.” ( a paraphrase )
Thank you Chris, back then– aka, Mr Licorice. Thank you for that first awkward and sloppy and tongue twisting kiss. I hated it, and would not do it again when you asked, but you know… I adored you. Superstar. My first love. Breakdancer, brainiac, Spanish and Irish boy with the green almond shaped eyes and teeth a bit crooked..thank you for writing to me when my father sent me away. I still remember your stick figure drawings of us on roller skates, you chasing me with your arms outstretched and your eyes made of hearts. I’m sorry this life got to be too much and that you took your own when we were twenty -six. I’m sorry I didn’t keep in touch. I think of you in shapes of hearts and guns, musical notes and novice tongues. Thank you.
Thank you Dan for the twin pink carnations, ( I hate pink carnations) funeral flowers on Valentines Day and the slow dance to Purple Rain. Tall and blonde. Basketball star. You hit your head too hard on a tree when that car spun around. I heard you went fast. I was mad that you died. I was confused and didn’t believe it. I kissed you once on the cheek and then you went away to high school and you died in a car accident and I still don’t believe it.
JoefuckingCovington. Virginity stealer. Thank you for stealing my virginity even though I told you I wanted to be rid of the burden, I now know I was lying and I expected much more from you in return. Like love and respect and shit. But you never delivered and I paid in full and so what if I lied. You had a mohawk and tattoos. Thank you Joe for throwing up on my head and stealing my virginity on someone else’s waterbed. Some day this story will be worth something…Thank you for reflecting back to me all I thought I was worth. The lies we told each other and believed.
David. Blade. Clay. Thank you for rolling into this despised desert and saving me for at least four years. Thank you for going to jail and letting me take the city bus to visit you. Thank you for letting me put money on your books so you could buy cigarettes and other necessities. You were in the slammer for jumping some innocent to get beer money. Thank you for trying to not do drugs and thank you for accusing my best friend of stealing our rent money. Money that I earned. Money you snaked from us to buy drugs. Shit. Thank you for helping me make Katie. Thank you for asking me to marry you. HAHAHAHA!!! Thank you for breaking into my apartment and watching me while I was sleeping after I broke up with you. Thank you making my mother right, you kinda were just like my father. Thank you for finally going away. Truth be told…I know you loved me. Thank you for loving me.
Brent. Brent. Brent. I saw your mom at Adyashanti. Before she told me— I already knew. You’re a daddy now. Where to begin with you? Thank you for swooping down and saving the day after I kicked David to the curb. I thought you were a square. A jock. You listened to Mariah Carey! Yuck. Something was right. Ten years with you. Thank you for teaching me nature. For taking me on crazy camping and backpacking trips and putting up with my crying and fit throwing and not taking it personally when I broke up with you right on schedule, once-a-month. Thank you for meeting me at the airport that time I went to Florida and saw my dad. Thank you for just holding me while I cried and for not asking questions. Thank you for that promise ring. The one you gave to me on our hike in The Papagos. The one you designed yourself, the one you saved up for with your money from bar-backing and exotic dancing…the one I expected to be an engagement ring, so I was disappointed. The one with the big sapphire ( you said this was your eye watching over me) and the little diamonds ( I don’t remember what those represented, but you wrote a poem about our love and your promise and what the stones meant.) You loved me like mad and I loved you back even madder. And people admired us and I didn’t even have to try to be anything special to be with you. Brent. Thank you for moving back from San Francisco and leaving your dreams of being a drummer in that band to come home to me. Thank you for building Penelope the cat perch and thank you for building me the flower boxes. Thank you for calling me Flower and leaving love notes in unexpected places on unexpected days. Thank you for ten-thousand things. Thank you for the platinum engagement ring with the princess cut solitatre and trillion baguettes. Thank you for not getting mad when I left that ring in the car and it got stolen at the car wash. Ooops. Thank you for still leaving birthday presents on my doorstep years after I broke up with you. Thank you for being steady. Thank you for keeping your promise. I’m sorry.
Troy. Friend from my lost-punk- rock-girl days turned lover in my lost-grown-up-girl days. Thank you for Joan. Thank you for being such a bad-good boy. Thank you for letting me stay with you that summer in Seattle. Thank you for turning me on to The Avett Brothers before anyone else knew who they were. Thank you for surviving your childhood and not giving up. Thank you for not calling me anymore when you’re drunk and telling me how much you love me and want to be with me. Thank you for much more than this. I love you.
David. Oh my. Thank you for all those groovy rolls in the hay. Too much good sex makes a girl think things about things. Makes a girl confuse things. Things like love and lust. Your eyes were too big and too blue and your body was too lean and too tall and too…I held on with all my might. You stayed fixed on the NO. You were a drug and I finally got sober and …I think you probably still drink too much. I still think of you when I see The Little Prince. Black Irish boy adopted by Jewish parents, how I thought I loved thee so…Thank you for sticking to your NO.
Tim. Rich and southern and sexy and too much too soon. Thank you for wanting to take me away from it all, for wanting to promote and support me. I always felt beautiful in your eyes. Maybe because I worked hard at being beautiful for you, and you helped me be beautiful for you by making waxing appointments and buying me clothes and saying ..”Kate, do you know why I love you?” …”I love you because I know you’re going to grow old gracefully.” You gave me a five thousand dollar diamond studded watch as a pre-engagement gift. I gave it back to you when I realized I didn’t want to be your trophy wife. You didn’t want me to be a nurse, you wanted me to take care of you. Thank you for admitting it so I could say goodbye. Sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision…I was the surf and you were the turf.
Bob. Kisses and snarls and one-upping and obsession. You never mentioned you were married. I was crazed. Projection. Lust. Rock Star. Still can’t get enough…at least in the musical sense. Thank you for making the best fucking music in the world.
Eric. Thank you for loving me no matter what. Thank you for seeing things in me that I couldn’t see. “Kate, you are much more than just a nurse.” You were right. You are still right like 75 percent of the time. Thank you for coming to my house and catching that scorpion after it stung me and releasing it into the desert even though you were busy. Always busy. Always time for me. Thank you for turning me on to Natalie Goldberg! Thank you for Caldo Tlepeno! Thank you for too many things to list. I love you. I love you. I love you. You are a miracle and I cannot thank god enough for the gift of your friendship and love. Thank you for letting me stay at your house in your meditation room after I came back all busted up from California. Thank you for saying ( with your heart full of light ) , “I love what you’ve done with the place!” when you peeked in and saw your once neat little room trashed with my chaotic tangles of clothes and shoes and papers and books. Oh my god. Thank you.
Joe B. Thank you for heirloom daffodils in a glass blue bottle and morel mushroom and ramp hunting and freshly dug ginseng root cleaned to eat with your rough hands. Thanks for telling me the truth…eventually. Thank you for being real and fucked up and beautiful and strong and sensitive and vulnerable. Thank you for writing with me and making breakfast and coffee and sleeping in your daughter’s room that first night. Thank you for those days full of sunshine and rain and snow and hiking and fighting and fucking and laughing and crying and driving and singing and talking and lying in the hammock listening to the creek run through your yard. Thank you for letting me love you. Thank you for loving me. We are an intricate story full of too much beauty and love for my heart to hold. One day I will tell it just right, because my love…we must be told just right. Thank you. I love you.
Thank you to the man who has yet to arrive. I just know you’ll be groovy. I have been made ready to receive you by those who have come before you. These men/boys/jackasses have all contributed to this woman that you love. They are my past, but they are all present in my gratitude filled heart—grateful for their love, grateful for their indifference, grateful for their childlishness and cruelty, grateful for their capacity to love me completely, and even grateful for those who loved me not at all.
Grateful for them all.