This Time Without

This time without


Be patient my mind says

The hardest time of my life

Seconds into minutes into hours and into days

This time without my wife


When and if it will ever end

The ticking of the clock constantly in my head

This time without my best friend

Waiting for news I know I will dread


Trying to respect rules that have been given

While writing things that will never be seen

Going through the motions of living

Hoping you can understand what I mean


Days of anxiety and despair

All the while dreaming of your smile

This time without the only one I care

Feeling as if my soul is on trial


The hardest part is knowing the end

Knowing that you can stay away

Hoping for messages you will never send

And words you will never say


This time without half of my soul

Waiting and watching for something that will never be

Alone I am destined to grow old

Without the one who means everything to me


I tell myself to let you go

That our time has come and gone

My head tells me this is so

But my heart tells me to carry on


Carry on hope that is lost

This time without my better half

If you can stay away at such a cost

Wondering who now makes you laugh


I can not take another day

Asking questions with only one answer

It is easier for you to stay away

Than to risk a life with me

This time without my wife

Has given me a glimpse into my tomorrows

Without any joy or happiness in my life

My soul filled with heartbreak and sorrows


Occasionally I hold out hope

That my phone will beep or ring

Just giving me enough rope

Enabling my whole being to sing


But its been days out of our time

An eternity costing me any chance or try

My life hanging on a thin line

Wondering how you can even get by


Finding it impossible to completely follow your request

Reaching out with occasional desperation

My stomach turning and a pain in my chest

Like a prisoner put in isolation


If we are meant to be we are meant to be you always say

You must not feel my pain of separation is my reply

A year goes by every day

More and more I realize It’s just a dream in my sky


I have given up any hope we reunite

Not in this life that’s for sure

I just hope that when I see the light

It is you who opens the door


I love you more than I ever thought I could

I look forward to your visits in the night

If I knew what to do anything I would

While I realize I am out of your heart not just out of your sight


This time without my perfect match

Has taught me how much I had

I want to just reach out and catch

That love I want back so bad


I wish I would hear from you

I wish I heard the words I want to hear

I wish I held on to hope for tomorrow

I wish I could hold you near


When I am alone with you at night

It is the best part of my day

All I know to do is try and fight

To make you want to stay


This time without you has scarred me

And made me face the brutal fact

You don’t feel like we are meant to be

You are happier without my act


I am sorry I let you down

I am sorry that it ended this way

I am sorry you can live without me

I am sorry you have no words to say


Facing the end of us and we and our love

Facing your happiness without me around

Facing all the signs from above

Facing the truth that I let you down


I want to say all the right things

And just try and leave you alone

To forget we once exchanged rings

To forget that apart we have grown


I love you now more than ever before

With that love in my heart I have let you go

To live without me and see what is in store

A lasting image of soul exposed to show


Hope is all but lost for me and you

This I know now and have given up hope

I will always be here and there is nothing I won’t do

Swimming in the eternity of my prison moat


This time without the one who means all

Has taught me nothing I didn’t already know

There is nothing and nobody to catch our fall

My heart and my soul tell me so


I never thought you could stay away

But you have and have made it clear

Your life will has continued on to another day

With my role in it not wanted or near

A New Friend

A New Friend



Rocking gently in my chair my senses absorb only the growing stench from the lost battle with the chair and the sound of my new found friend in my head. Unknowingly just staring blankly ahead and seeing nothing I snap out of it long enough to realize hours have passed and my new friend has not stopped talking and rudely I have not replied. My stomach growling begging to be fed, my shorts no longer damp but crusty and more pungent than ever and my bladder about to explode I muster all of the energy I can to get up and address these issues. I lumber over to the railing to take my customary pee outside, what man wouldn’t rather pee outside? I locate an anthill that looks as if it needs to be extinguished and prepare to do just that. As far as I can remember this moment is where my motivation to do even the most mundane things started to wane. Since I was going to have to go inside anyway wouldn’t it be quicker to just go inside and then get a drink and some food? The simple pleasure of peeing outside had been stripped away by my self-proclaimed dark passenger and somehow he did it without me even knowing.


I turned, twirls were no longer an option, and slowly shuffled through the front door and into the kitchen intent on accomplishing my tasks. Once I remembered what they actually were I made my way into the bathroom and accomplished task number one but then once again my new friend distracted me into remaining in his world as I just hovered over the toilet listening and listening and my mind a prisoner not capable of directing my body in any new direction. Time passed and I stood there motionless, taking in every word unable to escape the prison being built in my head.


Maybe it was 2 hours, maybe it was 15 minutes, but I finally escaped his world long enough to creep out to the couch and lay down. The next morning I awoke with the sun in a bit of a cloud and not much memory of anything after cleaning up the mess the chair made. Really giving it not much thought and attributing the fog head to all the smoking and although I still had 2 days left of alone time I had no desire to smoke, which was curious and rare given I had no reason not to.


I did need to eat though and after preparing breakfast and having some coffee I decided to check out the local Y and see if I could get a pickup baketball game in. Luckily it was spring break and there were people there and I got some court time in, giving no thought at all to the day before and feeling great and invigorated. The last few games I was just there though and realized exactly how out of shape I was and decided to make that my number one priority over my next couple months of down time.


After taking a vacation in the shower I decided to make a list of things I wanted to accomplish over the next 60 days and started with get in shape. It was too nice to be inside and I got up, grabbed my pen and paper, and sat in my chair on the deck.


Seeing the broken window I quickly jotted that down as thing to do number 2. Then I looked out over my yard admiring the perfectly manicured grass extending 60 yards in front of me and looked over at my barn I had planned on turning in to a media room/game room but never would now. Why am I moving again? I have an incredible job that I am great at, in the two years I have been here I have become a millionaire a few times over, I lived in one of the nicest towns in the country, enjoyed my commute, was close enough to family and friends but far enough away, and I couldn’t ask for a better place for my kids to grow up.


Like a bolt of lightning he was back and feeding on my doubts. Why are you moving? You don’t even like Texas. Why would you leave a dream job? A beautiful town? A beautiful house? Family? Planting seeds of doubt throughout my mind and once again taking me prisoner without any protest from me, I jumped in feet first and let it all consume me.


Staring at my to do list and deciding that was all it was going to be I started making a pros and cons list instead. Staying or going. I was sure I could get my job back and hadn’t sold the house and why was I moving? As the reason started creeping in to my head I shoved it back. My head began to throb as the battle raged on in my head, unable to think straight I laid my head back, trying to ignore the damn speaker as it mocked me, and finally admitted to myself what I had been trying to deny. It wasn’t him speaking, it was clearly my own conclusion. I was moving for Paula. It was what she wanted. Problem was I also realized that my marriage was a failure hidden behind great sex and the responsibility we both shared for our children.




How did I not see this before. She always played the poor Paula card and I always went for it. I had accomplished many great things and brought us to a place financially neither of us had ever dreamed of. What had she done? Nothing. maybe not nothing, the drive to impress her enabled me to do what I did but it was never enough and finally I get it. It never will be.


I want a divorce. Counseling didn’t work. She walked out on that. Big house, nice cars, expensive jewelry, private school, nanny, cleaning people, none of it was enough, just constant complaining about me being stressed out all the time. Well no shit, they don’t pay you millions of dollars because anyone can do it. And she can’t even keep her fucking piles out of the wine room.


I called a buddy who was just recently divorced and got his lawyers number and got an appointment for the next morning and started gathering all the information I would need.


Feeding on the adrenaline rush I spent the next two hours gathering everything I would need, going through any outstanding bills we may have had, checking the history on our browser and saved websites looking for anything I may not have known about. Expecting to find nothing out of the ordinary it was no surprise when I didn’t.


It was then I pulled up Connecticut divorce law on my computer. Now I was a prisoner in my own head for a completely different reason. I was about to get fucked and there was not even any lube in sight. Everything I had worked so hard for was not really mine, anything I would earn moving forward was not really mine. My financial success was about to ruin me financially.


I thought about grabbing Big Dick but he was on the bottom of my pond. Of course I had many other ways to get high, including my one hitter in the draw right next to me. As I reached for it though I thought of my new friend, my dark passenger, and was scared away and for the last time in years I resisted my impulse for immediate gratification and made the smart decision, leaving the draw closed and my normal security blanket confined in its temporary coffin.


So I did the only non-destructive stress relieving activity that has ever worked for me.   I went out in the driveway and shot hoops. Spinning and twisting and juking my way around imaginary foes. Losing myself in past glories and believing I could still do the things I did in my youth. For three hours I vanquished all foes and did not get tired, draining threes from beyond both the college and NBA lines I had painted on my driveway, slipping through opponents and over the Lord crest I had painted in the lane of my home court. The only thing that could stop me was the darkness fastly approaching and even that could be held off by turning on the court lights. Finally I decided darkness would be the only one to beat me this day and in one last burst of pure energy I heaved the ball against the garage and let out a primal scream. +I’m a Master of the Universe”. Nobody can beat me. I always win. This divorce was just another hurdle. In this moment I thought I could run through a wall, literally run through a wall. It must be coming to grips with what needs to be done and facing it that makes me feels so revitalized.


I couldn’t have been more wrong. My dark passenger was not to be underestimated and wouldn’t reveal himself in all ways for years to come.









Houston We have a Problem

So here I sit, the Monday after resigning from the best job I have ever had and one that most would die for.

I have been looking forward to this moment for weeks now, family is away for a few days in Massachusetts, having time off from spring break. Paula and I agreed, really we agreed, that it would be good for me to have a couple days to myself and unwind. I set my alarm for 8 a.m. to be sure and capture the totality of my new found freedom, no family to deal with, no markets to follow and really just expecting not to have a worry in the world.

I am awoken precisely at 8 a.m. by my alarm clock which I had placed in the sitting room off of the bed room the night before just to be sure I would get out of bed, I immediately feel as if it is Xmas morning and once I get to my alarm clock New Years Eve as well. There sitting on the desk is the biggest, fattest joint I rolled for myself the night before.

After turning off the alarm and finally wiping the shit eating grin off my face I make the trek down to the kitchen as I light up. My mission: Coffee. Suddenly I am hit with the fact that my plan was not perfect, I didn’t set the timer on the coffee so that it was ready, oh well, I turn it on.

Grabbing my jacket as I walk out the door, after almost walking out in just my boxers, I start the 100 yard walk to the bottom of my driveway to fetch the morning paper, smoking every step of the way there and back.

Perfect timing, the coffee is done and so is my joint, at this point it does hit me that I just smoked a lot in a real short amount of time but whatever, today is my day. I’m hungry and lazy, and lazy wins so I pour a cup of coffee and read the paper, when I say paper I mean the sports page of The Boston Globe. Looking out the window at the beautiful spring day I am imagining myself as Cinderalla, the animated version, being dressed and tended to by the birds and forest creatures. Weird I know but at this point I am incredibly high and I had just watched it the night before with my daughter.

The first crack in my perfect day appears. As I get up to pour some more coffee and head to the shower I get a glimpse of the wine room off the kitchen, my least favorite room in the house. Why? Because it is really the pile room, it is where mail goes to die a slow death in disorganized piles, where unfolded clean clothes sit in piles to sit for days until they are thrown back in to the laundry, where anything that hasn’t found a place gets put to be dealt with at some other time, or more likely not at all.

That room is the bane of my existence, the root cause of all my problems, the monster under my bed. Now the shit eating grin comes back as I walk to the garage and grab the biggest trash can I have and roll it into the Pile room. Without a thought that anything in there might be worth keeping I take 30 seconds to pick up anything and everything that isn’t in a cabinet and toss it in the trash. Still wearing my shit eating grin I bring the trash back out to the garage and laugh a little as it thuds heavily on the ground. As I walk by the now aptly named wine room I pause to admire my handiwork and my day is back on track

Walking back upstairs to the shower I look around at my surroundings. A gorgeous and huge, even by Ridgefield standards, professionally decorated mini-mansion. At that moment it hits me, why am I leaving? Luckily before I think too hard I arrive at my favorite place in the house – the shower. Everyone enjoys a good shower, me especially and exceptionally so given how high I am, but this is no normal shower. The shower itself is a 6×6 room beautifully tiled in gorgeous white and black subway tiles with stairs to step down about 8 inches into. But there is more: on the ceiling is a waterfall spigot that pours out 6-8 different streams of water at absolute perfect pressure and if I am so inclined, and I always am, there is also 2 separate jets an all 4 walls, yes a total of 8, that can be turned on in any combination. On this day, just like every other day, I hit the button to turn on all 8.

I get in and instantly I am transported to paradise, taking a shower has really become more like a vacation. My mind wanders back to when I was growing up and my dad would bang on the door reminding me not to use all the hot water and I make a mental note to make sure he uses this shower if he visits before I leave. The thought of leaving once again starts drifting back in my consciousness but the lure of sitting on my front deck in my rocking chair, with a fresh cup of coffee and a freshly packed bong pushes it away.

Quickly I say goodbye to my shower, dry off, and throw on a pair of boxers and gym shorts, eschewing a shirt since I have no neighbors within a 100 yards of me and dammit it’s my day. As I am leaving my room I see my humidor out of the corner of my eye and grab my first and only Cuban cigar, I have been saving it for a special occasion, then hurry out only to twirl, yep a 540, back to grab the cigar cutter.

Fresh cup of coffee in hand, cigar and cutter in my pocket and the newest treasure I have found, 2 pieces of meatball pizza I stumbled onto in the fridge, I emerge on my front porch armed once again with a shit eating smile and take my place in my chair, happier than I have been in a long time. I sit and immediately realize 3 things: I need to pull a table up next to me to place my treasures on, I need to find a notepad and pen, and I forgot the bong and a lighter. Somehow finding the energy reserves to accomplish these daunting tasks I glide into my office and locate a pad and pen, then to the media room in the basement where I gently remove my Doors poster revealing a small door that I violently open. Throwing aside the unimportant things like bank statements, birth certificates, contracts, jewelry and my secret cash stash I get to what I came for and realize I have a big decision to make. The 3 chambered bong that hits real smooth and is much less harsh or “Big Dick”, a 12 inch straight up and down tube that looks like it has 15 years of bong resin built up inside of it, because it does, needs to be cleaned and has the extra benefit of causing a painful and relentless cough after every hit. Fuck it, the 3 chambered bong is for pussies and the lack of oxygen from coughing makes me feel higher anyway, so “Big Dick” it is. Having two separate bags of pot I am once again looking at a dilemma. One bag I consider to be more of a “performance” weed and the other more of a “drool on the couch and hopefully remember how to operate the TV “ vintage. My old friend shit eating grin joins the party as I pour one bag into the other then take a little of each variety and make a salad in the now empty bag, I didn’t almost get a perfect score on my SAT’s for nothing, I’m wicked smart.

Armed with “Big Dick”, my notepad and pen, and my bag of marijuana salad I float out of the room, back up the stairs and to the front porch amazed and worn out by my 5 minutes of focus and motivation. Alas I should have moved the table over to my chair first. I gingerly bend down, my back always hurts so sudden leaning could produce unwanted pain, place more of my treasures on the maple floor of the porch next to the chair, gently take the pizza off the chair and put next to it, place the cigar gently in my pocket and just as gingerly straighten up. Once the small table is in place next to me I place the bong, pot, cigar, and stack the pizza next to them while leaving the pen and pad on the floor within reach from a seated position.

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy. I smile as I look at my set up, impressed with my tenacity in accomplishing so much, and sit back with a heavy sigh of contentment. Fuck! I can’t reach my coffee. Trying to move it with my mind and committing 100% to the fact it can be done I am once again hit with my childhood disappointment of failing in what seems like such a basic task. Upset I failed and even more upset I have to move I rock forward aggressively and catapult myself out of my chair. Woops. Too fast. I cling to the railing as I fight the urge to pass out from getting up so suddenly, it is not my first dance with this affliction though and once again I win, passing out 30- me 3.

As I go to grab the coffee it hits me that I am going to want something cold. This time I’ll be prepared. I remove the other table from it’s two year resting place and upset the beetle and bug population established beneath it, perch the table on the vacant side of my chair and place my coffee on it. Using the twirl move I perfected earlier, although only a 270 this time, I open the door walk to the fridge and without thinking grab the coke and the orange juice and set them on the counter. As I look for the biggest glasses I can find I realize I don’t need a glass and that could just complicate things later so I shut the cabinet, grab the OJ, tuck the coke under my arm and grab the pot of coffee. I never did figure out how to juggle but anyone watching me now wouldn’t know it. As I approach the front door and without breaking stride, I curl the oj carton under my arm next to the coke, seamlessly switch the coffee pot into my now unoccupied left hand and open the front door.

Cramming my drinks on the former home of the beetles I once again sit down. Man is my mouth dry. The orange juice is calling me so I grab and twist off the top and am disheartened to see it is brand new and I have one more step to perform. Ripping of the tab as I bring the carton to my lips I then take aggressive gulps of this nectar of the gods and succeed in dripping it down my face and onto my chest. Reaching to put the OJ back on the table I contemplate if having a shirt on would have been better given the drippage. Whatever. “Big Dick” is calling me and I’ve earned it. He practically jumps on my lap, resting on my decidedly average dick while I grab my marijuana salad and pack the bowl. After a few minutes of throat torture and coughing fits I place “Big Dick” back on the table mad at what he just did to me and also that none of me will ever be refereed to as “Big Dick”.

I’ve done it. I planned my morning and worked my plan. As I rock gently I come to a sudden and traumatic realization, there is actually such a thing as being to high and right past that is where I am. How did this happen? I struggle to fight off every physical and mental demon attacking me as I contemplate how this came to be. It’s only 8:45. I inhaled one of the fattest joints I have ever rolled and coughed my way through a bowl on Big Dick, which obviously is extremely large. Even wicked morons can do well on the SAT.

Leaning my head back, I close my eyes and rock slowly focusing on the silent noises around me and embracing every gentle breeze. After what seems like an hour, but was really only 10 minutes, I open my eyes to see if the attack is still under way. I see the speaker. My porch is no normal porch, of course not I’m a big time power trader. It starts halfway around the front of the house and wraps around the entire back of the house like a snake. A roof covers the whole front and half the back of the porch and it juts out about 6 feet in front then twice that on side and in the back. That alone would make it awesome but when I moved in I knew it could be awesomer.

So I installed speakers 4 feet apart right under the roof all the way around. Great idea. Problem is I did it myself, to say the speakers worked intermittently would be generous. Of course that little nugget didn’t occur to me as I got up once again, slower this time, to get the remote so I could turn it on.

Miraculously when I go inside to grab the remote it is right where it is supposed to be. Pushing the button to turn on the stereo and the outside speakers it occurs to me that I don’t want the radio so I push the CD option and hope I have a good selection in my state of the art 10 disc changer. Overjoyed when Led Zeppelins “tangerine” comes on I head back to my throne. It might be worth mentioning the inside of the house was wired by a professional.

Soon after sitting I remembered that little fact when I can not hear the sweet sounds of Robert plant emanating from the little box above me. Having experienced this before I know it is just a loose wire and that if I jiggle that speaker it will probably come to life.

It’s funny how the most innocent and little decisions can make the hugest impact on your life. Or how a single person can change everything and you don’t remember how to live a life without them or suddenly forget they are even there. What if I had a professional install those outside speakers? What if I just accepted the fact I could hear the music just fine? Would I have met him?

My next move was clear to me, I needed to make that speaker work, not fix it for good but just for now. I needed to jiggle it. But how? Get a ladder? Good idea. Reach up with a broom? Good idea. Stand up on a rocking chair so I could barely reach it balancing like a one legged gymnast on the balance beam while also being surrounded by 2 tables completed covered with all of my treasure? Yep that’s the one. Proving once again that SAT scores mean nothing, that was my choice. That way I didn’t have to go get a broom or a ladder.

Did I mention that my chair had a window behind it? It was a couple feet away so if you are gently rocking its not even close so the thought never entered my mind, even as I slid the chair back some to get to the speaker. And my earlier epiphany that you could be too high and that I was past that didn’t occur to me either.

Getting up slowly to prevent having to ward off passing out again, and still thinking I was intelligent, then, as mentioned, sliding the chair back I prepared to mount. Assessing the situation and still wearing nothing but shorts and orange juice I concluded I just need to put one foot on as I was facing the chair and the house, put my hand on the armrest and bring my other foot up in line with the first and just slowly stand up, reach up and jiggle. It worked! Except I couldn’t quite reach it, so close, maybe half an inch. Instictively, I really didn’t want to get a ladder or a broom, my right foot went on the arm rest as I sort of made a lunge at the speaker, and then the shit hit the fan. When I lunged my weight shifted to the foot on the armrest which cause the chair to rock back to far and breaking the window while simultaneously wedging itself under part of the wooden tic tac toe slats all northeast windows have. On the initial rock back I managed to ride that chair, unfortunately when it didn’t rock back I flew forward and my only option was to try and catch myself with my right hand against the house while maintaining my balance. As my good friend once said after we got caught stealing a flag to the cop that caught us, “What are we fucking acrobats?”. At 22 the answer to that was no and at 37 the answer was fuck no. My right foot slipped, my ass hit the armchair, the table went careening away spilling my treasures across the deck and I fell hard on the deck shoulders first and finally came to rest with my shoulders and head on the deck, my ass on the edge of the chair and my feet up in the air.

After taking a mental inventory and apparently being injury free, and instead of being happy to escape and maybe even embrace the humor in it all, I blamed the chair. Fucking chair. So I slid back to escape this monster and once I was almost clear I kicked it. With my bare foot. Instantly my foot howled at me but quickly was forgotten as “Big Dick” emptied himself all over my decidedly average dick after crashing on the chair, soon to be followed by the orange juice I forgot to put the cap on.

It’s 9:15. So long ago I was happy with my fatty, my coffee, my shower. Now I lay on my deck staring through a broken window, covered in bong water and orange juice. Seeing no humor in it and still being to high, I got up, picked up Big Dick and walked to the back of the porch and threw him in my pond. Picked up everything else and threw it away, deciding to deal with the window later but picking up the glass. Sitting back down in the chair I picked up the pad and pen, which had somehow stayed dry and clean through the battle. It was then that my day got bad.

I have always been a reader and come from a family of readers. Through high school and college I always wrote well when I had to and had many teachers and friends and family encourage me to write more and explore my “gift” as they put it. Writing just never interested me and besides that was the realm of my dad and sister. At this moment, sitting on the porch, for the first time I felt the urge to write. Clueless as to what to write about or how to get started I sat there staring at he pad for a while. Looking up when I heard a noise I watched absently as a deer meandered across my lawn taking no notice of my presence.

Right then and maybe for the first time ever I began to take a mental inventory of myself and although I knew the start of my morning was funny and deserved and really not that big of a deal, a numbness had settled over me and I felt no humor or joy and maybe more importantly couldn’t imagine ever feeling humor or joy again.

Looking down I saw and felt and smelled the fowl mixture of bong water on my shorts and down my legs. My belly protruding out over my waist line far enough that I could have rest a drink on it. When did I get fat? The smell and the dampness. As hard as it seems, is how I feel. It was spreading over and consuming me Swallowing me whole and forcing me to understand that everything had just changed, my world was not the same, and if I didn’t fight it never would be. I am always up for a fight, I take pride in the effort and have always chosen to get my ass kicked while giving it everything I had before walking away even from a fight I could not win. Right now it is comfortable giving up, just letting my mind and soul be taken away.

I always like to meet new people. I’m Matt. How are you? What’s your name? You’re my dark passenger? That’s strange but whatever. Have a seat. Lets talk for a bit.