#2. Her friends see his myspace page, picture guitar in front of the crowd, dreads past his knees, “he’s hot!” They meet, he wants her to run him home afterwards, he lives with friends for now, his car stolen recently, you know, bad economy affects reggae concert attendance. He says he started to cancel their date because he thinks he is messed up about women, afraid he’ll hurt her, maybe she can help him? She tells him when a man says he’ll hurt you, best to believe him. Conversation interrupted by call, woman in Denmark, he talks affectionately in Danish, different time zones he explains. Another call, his agent, get things out of storage immediately, a misunderstanding about the check, it’s in the mail. She notices his cap is nowhere big enough to hold those dreads past his knees.
She remembers how indignant he got when she’d asked, those dreads yours?
#4. She sees his profile, arm around his dog, hat hiding evidence of no hair, smile so slight she can’t see three front teeth in absentia. Interest piqued by rockabilly style he says he jams locally, she agrees to meet for coffee. He shows her bum leg from recent run-in with barricade while riding boomer trike, regales her with stories of miraculous survival – three heart attacks, only 58! Fortunately, when he moved here recently, his daughter, 25, unmarried, unemployed, 3 children under 7, and a live-in boyfriend he really likes, had room for him. He’s a bit underemployed right now, but he’s an optimist.
She is not.
#9. He sends her virtual flowers, first red roses, then a mixed bouquet. Another picture of roses, a large steak, a glass of red wine on the table follows. They decide to meet, she wants coffee to keep it quick, simple. He doesn’t drink coffee. They email back and forth about restaurants, he doesn’t eat beef. She promises to bring a poem, he says wants to see her poetry. After an hour and a half, he says he’d have read her poem but she sure asked a lot of questions, made him talk too much.
When she later emails her poem he insists he wants to read, he’s surprised, no rhymes.
#10. His profile proclaims his positive attitude, lists his favorite books by prolific self-help authors who make tons of money selling yes. His first words at the coffee shop after they sit down: “99.9% of all human beings lie, cheat and steal.” She asks, “Present company excluded?” He quickly assures her they’re included. Two and a half hours later, she tells him gotta go, he’s still talking, Viet Nam, how he can still lift 450 pounds, how when he sees Marines hurt on TV, he cries or rages, Viet Nam, the false accusations of rape made by his stepdaughter from one of his four exes, the sales girl at Pier 1 who made him have to go to court, she said he was stalking her, but he claims him and the judge, they fixed her, Viet Nam . . . .
The next day she resigns from the online dating service.
antler rack erect, bull elk
bugles to grazing girls—
fall rutting season now here
Two and a Half Weeks after Meeting the Love of His Life Online
love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then,
one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to
love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To
be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy.
Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer
from too much happiness.”
~Woody Allen, famous expert on love relationships
he means it
he always does
when he says it
eyes filled with
this is it
love of my life
no more divorces
no more burned bridges
“we’re welded forever”
his fervent declaration
good thing Wife 4 didn’t agree to
carry his ashes with her
as he had asked—
what would Wife 5 say?
for leaping out of
one day after the last
divorce is final
a new marriage
Bio: Karen Clausel enjoys writing poetry after 30 years as a clergywoman writing sermons and psychotherapist assisting clients re-write their life scripts. Her poetry has appeared in Tiger’s Eye, Rattlesnake Review, HeartLodge, and several anthologies, including The Quizzical Chair. Her chapbook is coming out this winter, published by Tigers Eye Press. The Contest Chair for the Oregon State Poetry Association, Karen lives in Eugene, OR.