More Than Friends

Back when we met, I was terrified of one thing – of falling in love, of giving my all, only to wind up alone, heartbroken, writing letters…like I am right now. I told you all my fears, and though part of me was extremely attracted to you (and still is), I gave you all the logical reasons we should not be together back then. You argued against them all (“That’s all well and good, but I’m going to pursue you anyway” Ring a bell?) you wore down my resistance, and over the course of the next few months, I found myself falling in love with this creative, beautiful woman on the other end of my webcam. We got married, and have a child together.
And now, I’m living through the greatest fear of my life, and for what? Why? When I see all the things you’ve said and done, when I measure them against the things you blame me for…well..the scales are nowhere near even. I have forgiven you for so many things, for all the cheating and the lies, for all the effort you went through to try and make me stop loving you, so your actions would be justified…all of it. I get nothing in return, despite the fact that for the last four years, all I’ve really tried to do was make things better for us and our little girl.
But what if we could have the life we originally wanted together? I keep asking myself that. I can’t help it. I know you want to be happy. So do I. I want us to be happy together, and I think that with a little help, we could still be.
I read the lyrics to your Song of the Day, and it occurred to me that most of the negative stuff you mention happened early on in our relationship. These past few years, I only brought up the past unwillingly, and only with the thought that I wanted things to be better. I have forgiven you for so much…I wish you would do the same for me, because when I married you, I accepted any and all of your imperfections, and loved you unconditionally.
I think you’ve always blown things out of proportion. You’ve never had to hide from me. I may have gotten upset at things, at you, but I always simply wanted to work them out and make sense of things. You went into our relationship knowing everything about me. You were even told by Kali exactly how far my temper would go – that I would never hit you, that I was intense, but in the end, it was all just venting – that I got over it fast and didn’t hold it inside. Hell, you’ve hurt me physically more than I’ve ever hurt you. I think you try to justify things to yourself, and make excuses for a lot of your actions, and that you listen to others opinions way too much when it comes to our relationship.
Think of all we have shared together in the time we have been together. We have had incredible times, and many wonderful days together. We have had mind-blowing sex, and taken amazing photographs, created beautiful works of art and made a unique, indescribable human being together.
In short, all these things show how we are meant to be together. We say the same things at the same time, and you even admitted how it seemed we were two halves of a whole. We were not meant to be ‘friends’. We were meant to be an amazing couple, and go through life together.
I think your childhood has played a large part in how you have reacted to life – especially when it comes to me, and even your other relationships. You’ve said as much yourself, in your written piece that you gave me to read when we met. I think it makes you afraid to commit to someone, because deep down, you don’t want to be put in the closet, or treated like you don’t matter, or end up feeling like I do now.
But you matter to me. You are everything to me. Do you know I can’t even go to sleep now without pretending that you are next to me? Sometimes, it even feels like you are still pressed up to me, and it’s only then that I can finally sleep. I think you reinforce your own justification in your mind in the hopes that you can convince yourself you are right.
But when it comes to us, I don’t think you are. I think inside there is a part of you that knows how right we are together, and for whatever reason, you are scared to actually attain it.
That may sound harsh, but I’ve always been truthful with you, and I don’t say it because I want to hurt you. I say it because I believe it to be true.
You have a man who would never leave you. You say I put you down, but you seem to forget all the times I have said how talented you are, how smart, how beautiful a person you are, and not just to me. I’ve never given up on you, and adore you both inside and out. I said I had won the girlfriend/wife lottery, and I meant it. I wouldn’t have married you, or had a baby with you, if I didn’t believe that to the depth of my soul. You are precious to me, and never once have I considered you disposable, or regretted giving my heart to you. Period.
The ‘honeymoon feeling’ has never left me. My heart aches for you, and I cry every day missing you. We had finally gotten to a point where we could build on something, and I was finally, after all those years with Kali, getting to where I had always wanted to be in my life, and then it all got thrown away. It wasn’t the best house, but I liked it, and I loved how Savannah liked her room, and how she was always happiest when we were both there with her. I think the Universe (fate, chance, whatever) brought us together for a reason, and I still believe that.
The only thing holding us back, has been doubt, and fear. Maybe you didn’t understand what having a committed relationship entailed, and things got too serious for you in your life. I went through a similar time, back when I found myself with two little girls that I had to raise, but I got over it, and in the end it was the right thing to do.
I think it’s easier for you now, but life isn’t about easy – it’s about doing what we can when its required of us, and gaining the rewards of our efforts in the process. Yes, we had to share our incomes and plan our day around each other, and deal with little things about each other that weren’t perfect. I accept those things, because having you, and Savannah, meant so much more than those trivial things. They became endearments, rather than irritants.
I wanted, and still want, all the bullshit of our lives to go away, and was working hard to give us a place together. I don’t regret that. I never held anything against you, and I don’t want to now. But this whole episode is just more of that – more drama and heartache, and in the end could end up hurting more than one person. I really wish you could see that our lives are more than just our lives, and that we are sometimes here for more than just ourselves. I believe I am here so that my children could have a better life, and so that I could meet you, and be there for you. I believe that by accepting that, I can finally have what was missing in my life all these years, and that if you only let it happen, that I could be what has been missing in yours.
I wish you would open your heart to me again, and that we could re-new our vows and go forward in life as if this never happened. I would do everything I could to make you happy. You know I would. You have said to me several times how perfect I was for you, how I was ‘your Michael’ (you should just marry me, you have the perfect..you know, things like that) I don’t want to believe those were all lies. I think you knew they were true then, and they could be true now.
For good or ill, we have become part of each others lives, and I want both our lives to have meaning, together. I don’t want us to grow apart. You know I never have. Anything I’ve ever had to say to you that was negative, every argument we ever had, hurt me to the core. It doesn’t have to be that way. We could use what has happened to make ourselves stronger together, if only you would forgive me like I have forgiven you. I don’t want a divorce. I want my wife. I want my child. I want a little home together, and even if I never became a famous writer or artist, I don’t care. I just want to be with my wife and daughter.
Please think about it. I never, ever, stop thinking about you and Savannah. I spent time memorizing the exact texture of your hair, your skin. I memorized your little moles and the color of your eyes, and your smile lights me up like wildfire. Please don’t throw away the years we spent together. Think of all the good we had – with even a little effort, our days could be filled with more of them.
I will love you forever, because i am…

Your Michael

Painting

I was under a lot of stress the last few days, and I did not state things exactly as I wished to when I saw the table you are painting. I haven’t checked my page lately, so I haven’t seen if there was a response to my earlier status, but I wanted to write this beforehand to help clarify things. You have always been a wonderful artist, and I wanted more than anything to be able to paint with you. I wanted to make things with you, and when we had enough pieces, sell all the ones we wanted to at a show. So yes, to see you producing painted furniture like we made together under a different name, it hurt. I tried to convince you many times that you should paint more, and loved doing that with you. That was my initial reaction, but there is more to it than that.
Did you ever wonder if perhaps the Universe was trying to tell you something?
It seems you are enjoying using what I taught you, which I do recall voicing my belief that you would, whenever the subject arose. I know I spoke about that topic quite a bit, especially when we met. I look at pictures of you working on the furniture with me back in the day – the moon man vanity, the chest we build and painted together, and what I see is both serious artist and a woman enjoying herself. In one conversation in one of our last few months together, I suggested that maybe you would be happier not working in your job. I would find a way to make enough for us to pay the bills and you could stay home and paint and play with Savannah. It just seemed like a pleasant life to me, and I suggested it for that reason.
We were awesome together in our work. We made some beautiful things. Maybe the Universe agreed with me, and you are seeing it like I did. Maybe things are happening for a reason, but not the reason you may have thought. Maybe, just maybe, it is trying to show you part of the life you were meant to have. With me. Maybe listening to your husband every now and again wasn’t a bad thing. Maybe you could still have that life. Maybe you were meant to paint furniture with me, and go to shows, travel, and have people tell you what an awesome artist you are, and pay out the ass for your work, while your husband handles the stressful/boring parts. Maybe you and your husband were meant to then use this money to go to some fantastic places, and take incredible pictures of our daughter, together.
Just a thought.
I’m sorry if you thought I was pushing you around. I was simply trying my best to try to inspire you – because I believed we could both be happy and make art at the same time. I was that impressed by your talent, but at the heart of it all, I just wanted us to be happy. There may have been times when I said things out of frustration and exhaustion, but for the last few years, all I’ve tried to do was be positive. I know there were times I stated how things made me feel, but in my defense, I didn’t want to be in those talks in the first place. I don’t like saying anything negative about you. I never have, and again, in my defense, you criticized me quite a bit, and I feel it was more than I ever put you down. For my part, I am sorry if I affected you on the level you are saying, for I never held things against you, and never felt as strongly against you as you think. From what I remember, anything I said negative was said either during an argument (which I never wanted to have) or during times of stress coupled with pain and frustration. I only ever wanted to build you up, and walk with you, and never to tear you down, honestly. I wish we had talked about that more. It’s one of the things a counselor would have addressed, if only we had gone like I wanted, because I wanted to fix the problems, whatever they were, and was more than willing to do whatever was needed to fix things from my end. I wish you had let me.
I still want to be with you. I never wanted you to feel anything bad. I think most of the problems we had, if not all of them, can be fixed. I really do.
In the meantime, I am glad to see your art. It, like you, is beautiful.

Forever,
Your Michael

Happy Birthday, Dragonfly

My Dearest Michelle,

I want to wish you a Happy Birthday. I wish more than anything I could be spending it with you, and even more so that you would want to share it with me. I would have made you breakfast in bed, and done my best to give you a special weekend.
I got you a card, and picked up a couple inexpensive outfits for Savannah. The card does not say everything I want to say – I doubt one exists, and I don’t have the space like I used to to make one for you. I hope that changes in the near future. I wanted to get you some clothes, but I don’t know either of your sizes at present, so I just got her a few outfits, and a little toy. Don’t worry – there’s not a sappy, sixteen page letter waiting for you in the card. Just one sentence about how I feel for you.
I also got you and Savannah a gift card so you two could have some fun time together. I know every day is pretty much magic with our little one, but I wanted to give you two something, and that is what I came up with, since she is too young to skydive. I don’t have a lot of cash, but I figured it would be better than a blouse or jewelry.
And I want you to know that I’m sorry. I’m sorry I am this age. I wish I wasn’t. I don’t feel my age, especially when I am with you and Savannah. I”m sorry I don’t excite you like I used to. I’m sorry that you feel you have to push me away. I always have forgiven you for everything, because to me, you have always been worth the struggle, worth whatever I had to go through in order to have such a woman in my life. You are the woman of my dreams, and always will be. I’m sorry for anything and everything that made me less in your eyes, if I ever had a real place at all. I hope I did. I’d like to believe that, for even a short time, I was special to you.
I hope you have a wonderful day today. I hope you hold your daughter close and let her know she is loved. I secretly hope you will stop by my work long enough to pick up your present, but I will do my best to get it to JoAnn’s after work, because…reality. I hope you were able to go skydiving again and that you will accept my gifts to you both. I want to do more, and will keep trying my best.
Happy Birthday. I miss you, and I love you.

Forever,
Your Michael

Explanations (for you)

My Dearest Wife,

I’m posting this here because I feel it is too personal for a wider audience. I know you don’t like our issues to be made public (despite your willingness to share personal stuff with others) so I thought I would put them here, where there is hardly any chance of it being seen by accident.
The picture you posted on DA clearly showed some anger or animosity toward me, and I think that is very unfair. I would love it if it meant you had some romantic inclinations toward me (that would be awesome, actually, but I digress), but it seems like you are just looking for reasons to be mad at me. it’s easy to find fault if that is the case, but I don’t do that to you, and I won’t. I will, however, tell you the truth, and defend myself whenever justice demands it.
So, to that end, a bit of explanation. I don’t know why you got upset at me, but I am sure you are, and it was likely the whole radio station thing that started it, and whatever comment I may have posted there. First, and I mean this, there is no comparison in my life to what you and Savannah mean to me, and there will never will be. I don’t complain about you. I don’t bitch, I don’t ask for capitulation or agreement on finding reasons to dislike you or be mad, because all I’ve ever wanted is to love and be loved by you. I am reduced to saying it here, because of the restrictions you imposed on me, restrictions that do not apply to you, so if you ever wanted to talk to me, you could, by the way. I’ve had plenty of dark moments, and they are spent alone, missing you and Savannah. I try not to spread my sadness or grief, so I don’t talk to anyone during those times. When I do talk about you, it’s wishful and about all the reasons why I’ve loved you from the start. It’s not like you would ever see them say ‘I hate how she treats you’ pop up in messenger. So, when I said someone was an awesome human being, it’s because I knew they had been taking care of several of their family members financially, while dealing with all kinds of shit, and also volunteering to help homeless people, which included me. Since I need all my cash in order to recover from that night, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to say thank you by filling out the survey on the radio website. I honestly did not think anything would come of it, but I figured it would at least be a nice thank you gesture.
And that is it. Are you mad because I said something positive about someone? It wasn’t a dig at you, cross my heart. It wasn’t part of an agenda or plan, or anything. In fact, I’ve been racking my brain for a week about your birthday, and here you are posting pics with an angry title/byline. I swear by all that is real that I wasn’t trying to insinuate anything, or get a reaction – I was simply trying to be a nice guy. Period. Nothing further than that. If you asked anyone, including them, how I talk about you, you would get the same answer…”that man loves you like nothing else’.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: There is no one who could ever replace you. Ever. I know this to the core of my being, and will go to my grave believing it.
I don’t want to give up on us, but it seems like you want to…but if so, why the anger? Why the snarky title? Why change your DA name? Because of my tattoo? Is it meant to hurt me? Because it will, you certainly know that. It is YOUR artwork on my chest, remember?
I’ve done nothing for you to react that strongly to. I wish you would talk to me. I want to get you some things for your birthday, but with my schedule, I’ll likely won’t drop them off to the Neutral Zone/former babysitter until your birthday. I wanted to get you something that you and Savannah could enjoy/do together, so don’t get mad at me for wanting to do something for you two, please.
It hurts so much that the person I love so much, can be that mad at me over nothing, that you can be mad at me simply because I love you. I can’t believe how you could be so loving one minute, and then the opposite in such a short amount of time, but despite all that, despite everything that has happened, and all the heartache I have felt…I love you still. I am not angry. I am sad, I am hurt, but I still want what I have always wanted. To be able to love you and feel like I am loved back. Plain and simple. All I did for the last several years is try to be the perfect mate – I rubbed your back, talked with you, tried my best to give you all the attention I possibly could, both emotionally, intellectually, and physically. I worked hard at a job I didn’t always like so we could build a future together. You said I couldn’t forgive, but I always did. The only reason that it ever came up was when it was made to by it happening again…and again I’d forgive you. I always have, so why do you think this would be any different? Yes, there have been times where I’ve been hurt, been frustrated, even pissed, but never, ever, have I allowed any of that to make me love you less. So no, I don’t understand this need of yours to be angry at me now. I can and would live without the past if you could let me.
Again, please don’t blow anything out of proportion. I have honestly done nothing to be mad at me for, unless it’s because I seemed all happy in a comment. To be honest, I’m anything but – I cry on the way to and from work every day. Every…day. I barely sleep, and wake up in a panic attack every day. You can try to distance yourself from me if you want, but all it does is hurt me more. I have done nothing to try and hurt you in any way. I don’t want to hurt you – I want to have you and Savannah back, because I really think the issues you brought up aren’t serious enough to destroy our relationship over. For instance, you said you didn’t want to ‘be a Judy’ and go through what she went through with her father. The only reason he even got like that, was because he lost the woman he loved. You would never have to go through that. It is unlikely my vision will go that soon, as I plan to have cataract surgery (I won’t even need glasses after) and if I am allowed, I will stay as fit as I can for as long as I can, and you know how far I am willing to go to be there for you, how much you inspire me. I would do whatever it took.
I look at our pictures together when you discovered you were pregnant. I see how you looked at me…I remember how we were, and I don’t concentrate on the bad…I really don’t. Neither should you. There were always more good things between us than bad, whether or not you want to admit that. I always have said that anything worth having is worth fighting for, and I have done much to try and keep our relationship…because I gave you a promise, and took a vow. Those were not just words. You are not disposable, or someone I want to become just a part of my past. I want to live happily with you and Savannah. I didn’t deserve to be treated like some sort of abuser just because I wanted to show you how happy you made me. I think you were afraid perhaps, or unsure of the future, and looked for reasons to end things. It’s easier that way, perhaps. Love isn’t about easy, though. You made me fall in love with you, and it will never be the same for me. Ever. I want to make your life better…I want to see you be creative and raise our child together. Why is that wrong? Why concentrate on all the unhappy times? We have been so happy…we have been amazing, and created awesome works of art. We’ve spent nights together playing WoW and having tender moments. Can’t that be the focus? I gave you so much of myself, and I loved being able to do so…do none of those moments matter?
Yes, you are my friend…my absolute best ever fucking friend, and my lover and my inspiration…my wife. You and Savannah are my EVERYTHING. Doesn’t that count for anything? I want YOU. I love YOU. Period. I can’t go back. I can’t hate you if I tried. I can’t even stay mad at you. I just want to have a stable home, and a nice life…I want to enjoy as much time as I can with you and our daughter. I’m sorry if that isn’t what you want…maybe it is, somewhere deep inside. I keep praying, hoping, that part of you does. I want to belong to YOU. ONLY YOU. I want to give you and Savannah special memories that will last a lifetime, happy ones that you both will cherish.
I want that with all my heart, and I am still hurting that you won’t let me. I hope your heart changes, and that you can see me like you did when we met.
You are still that woman to me, and it won’t matter what you change your screen name to – you will always be My Dragonfly.

I am forever,
Your Michael

2017 Is Here

Wow, time sure does fly when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? Actually, it seems to fly regardless of the fun these days. 2016 was pretty much a shit-trifecta for me; the last three years have been particularly trying, financially, emotionally, and physically. I’ve had to endure the loss of my freedom and abuse at the hands of corrupt judges and spiteful court employees who got their panties in a bunch despite being innocent (no Ohio, I haven’t forgotten you), lost my home, suffered through extreme depression, and was forced to face more unpleasantness than I care to relate. Somehow, I managed to get my first paperback into print (after working on the manuscript for over two decades, but that’s another story), prevent myself from living in a box under an overpass, and even find some gainful employment while trying to further my artistic pursuits, but I can honestly say I never want to have to go through such a time again.
2016 was also a nasty year for so many others. We lost a good number of cherished actors, musicians, and other performers from our childhoods, watched as innocent people in Yemen and other nations were slaughtered, and endured a controversial election for our nation’s highest office.
Now, however, the great celestial cycle begins anew, and I can only hope that it will be a more positive year than the one previous. True, it is likely that the next four years will be harder for many, especially financially, for those in creative industries, but I still have hope. With that hope has come a newfound determination that I will not allow the events of the last three years to repeat themselves. I have learned much through those experiences, and will be using that knowledge to safeguard myself against such stressful and unpleasant things in the future. To do this, I will have to become much more proactive in how I deal with such things, and have renewed my determination to produce more creatively in the coming year. These are not resolutions, as they are a refreshing of goals, a renewed zest for making the best of the time I am allowed.
To that end, I am hoping to produce at least one more novel in the coming year. I learned a great deal from publishing my first paperback, and this should save me a great amount of stress and effort in regards to future works. I have about 100 pages of new manuscript, and hope to have the first draft completed by April. Normally, this would be an easy deadline, but having a young child at home puts my time at a premium. Still, I have high hopes that at least one of the writing projects I have on my list will see fruition in the year to come. I’ll be sure to update my blog with updates on current and future projects time goes on.
Also, I am looking into adding some blogs to my site via a Youtube channel. This would give me an opportunity to discuss various topics, give the occasional book review, and update various writing and art projects. This is only in the planning stage at the moment, but I’ll be sure to update those interested with any developments.
Well, that’s it for now. Best New Year’s wishes for everyone!
Until next time, I hope everyone has a wonderful 2017.

~Namaste

Highway Hypnosis – Update

The revised version of ‘Highway Hypnosis’ is now available on Smashwords, and can be purchased here.

The new manuscript has been completely revised, following the apparent loss of the edited manuscript. The paperback version will be available soon, and I will update the appropriate pages on the site when becomes available. The cover layout has been completed, and should be on Amazon in the near future. The length of the paperback will be 402 pages, and I’m quite excited. This novel has been a labor of love for me for quite some time, and I am glad to be able to now move on to other creative projects.
One of these will be illustrations from the novel, which I will be offering as free prints in the future. Further details are forthcoming, so stay tuned!

~Namaste

News and Thoughts

I’ve been sick for the last week, sicker than I’ve been for over a decade. Some kind of nasty upper respiratory/sinus/throat thing that refuses to die, leaving me to hack up chunks of phlegm the consistency of spoiled mayonnaise, and leaves me weak, unable to sleep, sweating, shaking, and wracked with coughs despite a prescription cough medication.
On the good side, the job I applied for has not been filled; the company is in their open enrollment period and very busy, and that, and one little emoticon, made my day in ways I cannot describe. I have an anger assessment appointment next Wednesday, and have decided that regardless of the assessment, I will go ahead and take the class anyway.
I’ve always been one to disagree at first, for whatever reason, but then common sense always takes hold, and I come around to seeing the truth. This is in itself a symptom, but there were two other factors that played heavily in my decision. The first, of course, is what my beautiful wife has tried to tell me in different ways for several years. The second, and easily if not more important, is that I see the changes in my grandchildren, changes brought on by the personalities of those around them, and I cannot have the issues I have be absorbed in any way by me sweet, innocent Savannah. I cannot, and will not, allow that to happen. She is the sweetest, most loving child I’ve ever known, different in her attitude than any child I’ve ever met, and I will do anything to keep it that way.
Both my wife, and my daughter, deserve better out of me. Regardless of what is transpiring now, or anything that happens later, I have to do this, both for myself, and for them. I’m so tired of dealing with the various issues I’ve had since my accident so many years ago, and from my way of reacting to things, which has likely been around since before then, a remnant of my upbringing by a controlling woman who had she been assessed, would likely be diagnosed as both histrionic and suffering from borderline personality disorder. Before the accident, this aspect was easily dealt with; the discipline of my arts gave me a high level of self-control. After my trauma, however, I was left in chronic pain, constantly, and without the continuous training to which I was accustomed, that discipline was sorely lacking.
But I want more than mere discipline or coping mechanisms. I want to rid myself of all the conditions brought on by the accident. The next step will be to address those, either at the same center or another more specialized, and to get proper medical attention for my chronic pain, which will be easily afforded once I have a position in which I can excel. I want to live the remainder of my life free of the pain and migraines, free of the periodic anxiety and stress that has plagued me for over a decade, live it in joy and wonder at the growth of my little girl, and with any luck, with my Dragonfly at my side. I The prospect of these events have left me both hopeful and even a bit excited, for the hardest step is always the first. Once taken, I can continue on that path, and make myself the best father, and husband, that I can be.

Dragonfly, wherever you are, I love you and Savannah with all my heart.

And to close, another picture of the woman who has changed my world.

The Most Beautiful Woman I've Ever Known

The Most Beautiful Woman I’ve Ever Known

Cover Painting

Here is a preview of the cover painting from my upcoming work of horror fiction, Highway Hypnosis:


Proofreading for the latest manuscript is finished, and I should be able to start final editing within the next week or so.

Preview

Here is a little preview of the sketch for my first self-published novella. I am almost finished transferring the drawing to a larger board for painting.

the minstrel

The completed novella will be available in all e-book formats from Smashwords.com, as well as major e-book outlets.

Coming Soon to an E-Reader Near You

Well folks, it looks like the self-publishing option is going to be the method of choice. I’ve been considering this for some time, and regardless of my liking for physical books over e-books, I have decided the best option is to publish my work myself. I am currently working on the cover art for my first novella, which will be distributed through Smashwords. This story, which I feel is a good vehicle for my particular take on horror, as well as urban fantasy, should be available within the next few weeks on the Nook, Kindle, Ipad, and other devices. Keep checking back for more details!
. . . And so it begins.

~Namaste