An Unexpected Etching

Twice a week, the exercise class I have attended for years meets under a certain freeway overpass. The other day, I discovered a note scrawled in the concrete. I had never noticed it before. Now, I have a long history of not noticing stuff, but when I asked around, nobody else had previously noticed it either. Perhaps we are all oblivious, or perhaps the message is an indication of intense longing, sufficient to carve long-dry concrete.

I LOVE ART BERMUDEZ.

I LOVE ART BERMUDEZ. Note the final curl to the final letter, rendering a heart from the Z.

Note the final curl to the final letter, rendering a heart from the Z.

I don’t know anyone by that moniker, but man do I love that nameArturo Bermudez. I can guarantee that one of my novels will include a character by that name. In fact I am tempted to use this for a character in my fantasy detective series, FRAMES. The character is currently named Hernandez.

What am I thinking? FRAMES is finished and in revisions! To change a character’s name is to change the character; to ditch “Hernandez” at this point would be a kind of murder. And I love Hernandez. Everyone who has read the book loves Hernandez.

I do look forward to meeting the fictional Arturo Bermudez soon; probably in book two of FRAMES. Meanwhile, I hope the concrete scribe and the real-world Art are doing well, together or no.

(The current WP Photo Challenge wants to see “unexpected”.)

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Health and Trust

You know the saying. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me (oh, I dunno, ballpark estimate) nine thousand eight hundred and seventy two times and you must be my addict.

When people talk about their personal blessings, health is typically at the top of the list – and rightly so. Good health is important to so much else in life. When it comes to relationships, the health equivalent is trust. I’ve been thinking about trust a lot lately.

Someone I Love Dearly (SILD) is a heroin addict, now in treatment, and for the last few years has been a master liar and manipulator. Masterful, savvy, cunning – brilliant, really. SILD even turned my growing distrust against me, made me feel bad to have doubts. That was back when the heroin was a secret, back when I sensed something big and bad was wrong, but couldn’t prove it – and man did I feel like an asshole: what was my problem, how did I devolve to be so incapable of trusting...  In the old days we called that mind-f***ing, kids. But I digress.

So I didn’t trust SILD, I don’t trust SILD, and every statement SILD makes, I doubt. Yet at the same time, trust is so ensnarled with love in me, that even when I know SILD is lying there is a still part of me that – preposterously! – still accepts the lie verbatim, because it comes from SILD.  But that part of me doesn’t hold much sway, nowadays.

I fear to discover more lies from SILD, because at this point, every lie chips away at the love I hold for SILD.

Lately, my relationship with SILD feels like my neighbor’s retaining wall. In my neighborhood, many yards have quaint rustic walls constructed of rocks and mortar. But this one neighbor has a wall that is just artfully piled rocks with no mortar. For years I was amazed at the skill that kept the rocks balanced and in place – yet baffled that the wall stayed intact. Then one day, my skepticism proved correct. Part of the wall collapsed into an unstable pile of rocks. The old wall is doomed – it can’t be rebuilt as it was before: no way can the collapsed rocks be reinserted nor the balance restored. And meanwhile, the dirt and lawn, formerly held in place by the wall, will at some point also collapse and add to the damage. Left long enough, the whole yard will be wrecked.

I hope SILD and I have the courage strength wisdom to tear out the old structure and replace it in time. Some days I have more hope than others. It’s amazing how rapidly I can cycle from hope to despair. I have done several cycles just in the typing of this post.