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Monday, September 25, 2006

"Just Say No"

In the last decade, scientists have discovered that the feelings of love and passion a person feels when first falling for another are merely the result of a chemical reaction--a dopamine produced in the brain.

The feeling, they report, is much like using speed or cocaine.

And these chemicals last--at most--a scant two years. After that a pair of lovers are left to their own devices to keep the love alive.

But basically--at its core--Love is nothing more than a bad drug.

Isn't that a cruel thought?

It does explain a few things, however . . .

Like how falling in love when you are 25 doesn't feel like it did when you were 15.

When a meth addict gets high, the same dopamine is released by the brain, but with each use of the drug it takes more of it to produce the same high. So is that the same as with love? Each time we do it, it takes more to achieve the same result??

And how about getting dumped?

Talk about going through withdrawal . . . !!

The feelings of anxiety, of paranoia, the cold sweats, the wild swings from odd cravings to abject hungerlessness,

and the need, the yearning, the absolute compulsion for. one. more. hit.

Please, I need the phone. I need to know she's . . . she's . . . (she's what?) . . . she's alright?!

And the sound of the voice on the other end of the line can be--depending upon the reaction--either another sweet high, enough to last for a day or a few hours, OR it could be a bad trip that leaves you in the fetal position on the bathroom floor with the shakes.

What you really need with a break-up is a good friend with rope who will tie your butt to the bed, throw out all traces of the drug and any paraphernalia, and keep you there until the worst of it has passed.

Then you need to get yourself into a 12-Step program

Or . . .

You can Just Say No to dating and love in the first place.

You can clean yourself up, throw away all vestiges of addiction, and throw yourself into a life more productive like becoming a work-a-holic, or something to that effect.

After all, wouldn't most people who've seen the down-and-outs of what Love can do to a body agree that this drug most definitely makes us weaker? And who wants to be weaker?

Only an addict.

But there is one other path you can walk . . .

Love, like any other drug, actually wears off of its own volition after a period of time, and this is beyond the user's control. Now some--maybe most--people when this happens will simply discard the used "delivery device" and go out in search of another.

(Often, that "delivery device" has not yet felt the effects of the drug's waning influence herself, thus beginning her own horrible withdrawal process while you are off begging for another fix.)

Unlike other dependencies, however, when this high wears off a person is fully capable of putting a little effort into creating a deeper--and more natural--experience through dedication and reliance on the other person. Its hard. Very hard. But its healthy.

It just takes two in order to make it work. That may be the most frightening aspect.

Now, I have always been a huge fan of the Beat Authors--Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg, William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, et al.

And have always wanted to write as they did.

But I am not Beat. I am not of their generation nor their time, and I certainly don't have their experiences. Not to mention, much--if not most--of their writing was done under the influence of drugs.

However, instead of that explaining why I could never write like them--maybe that explains why I can't write like them now . . .

You see . . .

I, [Moonlighting in Misery], am an addict.

No, I was never involved in any illegal behaviour. (Well, I can't actually say with absolute certainty that nothing I did prior to the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas was illegal in this state, I never bothered to check all of the laws of Texas . . . )

But I was a user. I am now three-years clean of that drug's insipid affects. I have hung on, and chosen the more healthy route. It is also my belief that when you walk down that aisle and exchange those vows, it certainly does help shorten the affects of the drug considerably!

In exchange for my healthy stability, I have lost the turbulent highs associated with the drug that gave me the inspiration and ideas to write.

But when you are happy with the day, who would prefer to dwell in the night?

So I am no longer to write as I was once able when I penned the following . . . but I am much happier for it.

And I suppose each of us are responsible for making a choice, my only advice is that being an addict is certainly not the best way to remain. Just say no.

The Night’s Last Dance

Is it wine and roses her eyes devour
Or the starlight reflected in mine
Is it the touch and passion this night, this hour
Or a blessing completely divine

She leads to dance slowly to a rhythm she feels
A rhythm known only to her
He feels himself falling completely completely
And drinks as this moment endures

Tonight in this darkness, this passion, this palace
All the world dreams of her kiss
He bows to her lowly for his soul’s only solace
Dreaming “forever” in ignorance sweet bliss

The candles will flicker and the wind it will blow
And the starlight will fall from the sky
When she finishes this dance to his heart’s ebb and flow
O, my poor soul it will flicker and die

I lay her down gently and, turning, I walk away
The house is so quiet I can hear her heart beating
And I whisper to myself, “this moment won’t stay . . .”
As with any--and all--this too is so fleeting

I have lost my rhythm to the passing of time
My romance by reason is no longer mine
I cling to these feelings I’ve expressed to the past
I penned them I claimed them I thought they would last

With each day I stay here does my passion just fade
As I lay fast my anchor is our future so made
I have taken the day by giving the cool starry night
And I wonder—
Can I continue?
To truly fight the good fight . . .

So I stood in the darkness and caressed the brow of my Dream
As I looked down upon her, am I all that I seem
Where the walls have been built all to the same ends
And I wonder— I ponder
While making good neighbors
Do fences make such good friends?

Can she crack the façade, will I give up my heart
Is there more to our love than the terms of our art
Are we willing to fall beyond where we are willing to go
And if one of us isn’t, will the other one know

I fight such damned questions and chase them away
And she’ll wake up tomorrow to face the new day
I will be there beside her, where I keep thinking still
When her gaze drifts upon me, how will she then feel?

And I hope that the Angel the thoughts in my head
As she lay there before me alone in her bed
Can restore my passion, help me find what I miss
While I float into her brown eyes . . .
And I revel in her kiss.


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