From Sculpting the Heart, my memoirs, I was drunk from pain, burnt like wood, and rendered a couch potato. I didn’t know I was suffering from depression.
LOOKING FOR SELF-LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
When I was a young single mother, I remember wearing too much rouge and lipstick, high heels and black pinafores. I let my breasts hang unobstructed almost reaching out for love and companionship like so many other young girls. Even under a bed of twinkling stars, no lover could fill the emptiness in my gut. I was a tormented angry soul unsure of myself or my potential. I was drunk from pain, burnt like wood, and rendered a couch potato. I didn’t know I was suffering from depression. I just thought I was unlucky in love and life, easily locked into addictions of alcohol, drugs and obesity. As I look back that swollen festering woman was not who I wanted to be. So, I wrote a lot of poetry:
A TIMELY POEM
There’s never enough time, Wanting you or not, I’ve solaced myself, Waiting for buses on Broadway, Getting me to my 9:00 x 5:00, My hat sometimes taking wing, My dress dancing to an unheard melody, While admirers look on, Pigeons squatted, Screaming for more room, More food, Always more food, Not wanting the others to think me Ordinary, I wore a mask, I was an actress for sure, I was Mary Tyler Moore. There’s never enough time You busy in your world Me busy in mine, Wanting you, Or not, To talk and to cuddle Would answer my prayers, I seem to have lost my Tongue, my lips, my smiles, My eyes are lost without you, I will find them only when You return, I cannot find enjoyment, My days soiled without you, Forlorn prose and Bleeding Rhyme humor me, as I sing for you and Only you.
There were grim encounters of attracting and repelling men I wrongly thought would complete me. It surprised me like my pops, most came and went without much regard to my needs. When I held back sex a reasonable time, men grew impatient complaining, it took too long to turn me on. When I gave in one-night stands, they said I was too easy to turn on. And then, there were those who said, I was more trouble than I was worth - period. Those might have been the healthiest of them all. Many left me with an ecstasy that left me golden toasty for years. Others left me somewhere in between crazy and almost crazy with an unsittable itch while weeping from room to room.
One decorated my life. After I lost him, I stopped looking for a man to fulfill my needs. There were still times when I liked to be the center of attention with my quick wit, flirting eyes and sexy body. I wished I had spent less time looking at myself in that dance-floor mirror. No matter how good I looked, my appearance never defined who I really was or who I wanted to someday be. Nobody knew I was lonely and sad. I was always the actress with my mind engaged in noisy internal dialogues, self-defeating habits and abusive behaviors. Many men were my temporary fix, you know, like comfort food. I wonder if I was their comfort food, too? There is a faint melody still beating in my chest for that young woman who loved to dance in the spotlight and pretend she was special.
I was dumped by my fair share of men. I heard dozens of explanations I think it was because I didn’t really understand we cannot manipulate or control love. Each time I gave myself sexually, I hoped it would buy me more time and more loving. When it didn’t, I prayed to God, what was I to do now?_ Offering him bribes late at night while drifting into a fitful sleep, I’d pray, “Dear Lord, if you bring him back to me, I promise I will do anything!” When I complained to mom she always warned me. “Forget their flattering words, choosing them we lose ourselves.”
My unrequited lovers still visit me in dreams. My daughters have taken over where I left off despite my constant nagging. They are chasing men to fulfill their dreams instead of looking within. To be honest, I still yearn to turn back the clock and rediscover the joy of guiding old lovers to my secret places, reminding them, I need only what you can give me to once more feel loved. Longing still stirs my marrow come night fall no matter how old I get. (Do we all lie lonely?)