⚡️Mr. Foreman’s Amazing Electric Ephemera⚡️

“Guaranteed to take no longer to be read than takes a single cup of coffee to be drunk.”


BROADSIDE: AN ANNIVERSARY OF BEING BORN


The term “broadside,” in the context of printing, comes from the pre-newspaper method of delivering information to the public. News was printed on a single side of a thin piece of paper. A common use for them was to attack rivals or to make the case for a political point, which is why the word is often used to describe the same tactic in modern times. This is a BROADSIDE because its only concern is a single topic, and not because its content is inflammatory or political (because it isn’t).



This weekend — the first weekend after Martin Luther King Jr. Day — is a momentous one. It’s when I discarded an old life for a new one. Eleven years ago, my marriage ended. I can’t believe it’s been that long, until I look in a mirror. I don’t mind getting older, but it’s not easy to watch it happen.

When I learned to embrace the things I can’t change, my life got a lot better. I’m a pathetic sucker for inspirational quotes, and my favorite inspirational quotes are about how we can’t change things:
We cannot control the wind, but we can adjust our sails. – anonymous
Weather, wind, time, gravity — there are so many things in this wild universe that can’t be altered by our actions, though sometimes we can nudge them around. We can’t avoid death, but we can hasten it. We can’t make time slow down, but we can enjoy the moment. We can make somebody hate us, but we sure can’t make them love us.


Divorce is probably as painful as death. – William Shatner


Yesterday: I knew when my marriage had ended, but not the year. I’ve used the same email address for years. When my memory stumbles, gmail is there to catch it. A quick search revealed that, shortly after the events that led up to the end of the marriage, I wrote a narrative of those events. It’s not easy to read. I won’t let you read it because it’s full of names, and I don’t name names. My memories of some of the events still make me wince, even if the wounds have healed.

My marriage only lasted for 6 months. The relationship before it was only 3.5 years. When viewed objectively, my pain should not be as great as a person who was married for longer or had more to lose. Nobody has ever made me feel that way by comparing their divorce to mine — it’s shame, self-imposed, felt only by me.

Allow me to contextualize:

  • She was my first love

That’s all. That’s enough.
Cameron has never been in love – at least, nobody’s ever been in love with him. If things don’t change for him, he’s gonna marry the first girl he lays, and she’s gonna treat him like shit, because she will have given him what he has built up in his mind as the end-all, be-all of human existence. She won’t respect him, ’cause you can’t respect somebody who kisses your ass. It just doesn’t work. – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off



It is recommended that you make every effort not to accept animals that are in an injured or disabled condition. – Guide to Animal Handling


Animals in pain will bite people trying to help them. Some people know that and touch them anyway. They know the danger. They see a creature in pain and they have to help. Some of those people reached out to me, and they stayed even after I bit them. The very least I can do is reach out to some wounded dogs. I can pass along that generosity of heart by helping people who need it, too. I’ve done that, and I’ve been bitten. It was always worth it.


A wounded deer leaps the highest – Emily Dickinson


Taken out of its context, the above quote appears inspirational: wounded people are better for having been wounded. But that wasn’t her point. The high leap of a wounded deer is a cover, a fake. “I’m fine. I’m not hurt at all. Sorry if I bleed on you. It’s nothing.” After my marriage was over, I jumped into dating again, and I jumped high. I wasn’t ready. A relationship can only succeed when the pieces match, if the positive parts of one person can fit into the negative spaces in the other. I had a big empty space that drank every ounce of emotional support poured into it, but I couldn’t give any of it back.

In the same poem, Emily Dickinson wrote “Mirth is the mail of anguish.” I was extremely mirthful. I was brimming with mirth. I didn’t know I was setting a trap. That’s when I did most of my wounding.


It’s called “wounded,” Peanut. “Injured” is when you fall out of a tree or something. – Band of Brothers


A wound is inflicted, an injury is suffered. You can read a lot between the lines when I make an effort to use the words I choose. Let me be clear: the time for blame is long past and ridiculous anyway. The person who wounded me isn’t the same person she was when it happened. Like the enemy soldier who becomes a friend later in life, after the war and its reasons are long resolved, the historical facts are immutable. I healed a long time ago, but I can still contemplate the scars.


My sun sets to rise again. – Robert Browning


The slow upswing isn’t as interesting as the sudden drop. A shattered glass is more interesting than an intact one, which isn’t as interesting as watching it break. Would you rather watch a building implode or watch them build the new one? That’s why this section isn’t as long.

I got better! I was reborn. The wounds made me stronger, better, faster. I had my heart broken and it took a while, but it healed up nicely, thanks to a lot of patience and work and therapy and help. I’m more consistently happy now than I was then. The memories that have lasted are the happy ones. We had a lot of fun and I learned a lot from her. My sun rose and it’s still rising. But there’s still work to be done.

My thirties were a time of great abundance, but nothing stuck. I shouldn’t say nothing, because they were people, but, in the words of Taylor Swift, I couldn’t make ’em stay. Actually, it was more like I couldn’t make myself stay. In the eleven years since my first relationship ended, no relationship of mine has lasted more than a year. I’ve done most of the dumping, rather than having been dumped. Why? Did I run away when things got tough? Did I get bored when things got safe? Did I pick the wrong relationships?


We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all. – Eleanor Roosevelt


Confession: in times like now, January of 2017, I’m not very hopeful for the future. Messages on dating websites go unanswered. My photos on dating apps go swiped in the wrong direction. Efforts to move acquaintances into dates bear no fruit. The signs we look for when somebody is interested in us are absent from every encounter. There’s nobody on my mind. I have no crushes, and there are no crushes on me. Is it a dry spell or a desert?

My confidence is like a soldier without a war, and it starts fighting itself. Am I unlovable? Am I unbearable? Am I unattractive, unlikable? I’m too fat for anybody to be interested. I’m too ugly to catch a second look.

The negative thoughts don’t stay forever, but they never really go away.

The last wounds to heal are the ones I’ve inflicted on myself. I don’t think I’ll be completely better until I let those wounds heal, too.


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