Red HeartThere is something special about the secrets people tell you from their hearts. Most stories people tell come from the deepest depths of soul. Stories so dark and so full of light you know that if you shared all of what it is or was you would be breaking a sacred confidence. Still, some words stick like glue. Some lines about love stay with you.


“He proposed to me in the same spot we met five years ago.”

“I’ve always loved her, I think. It’s strange what memories will do to you.”

“When do you think he’ll notice me?”

“She’s planned every minute of our lives and all I want to do is watch my African Sunset again.”

“Do you think people should stay together for children?”

“It was an accident. It wasn’t supposed to happen. But it gave me my son, and he is the greatest gift an accident could give.”

“I never had time for love or family. I dedicated myself to what I was good at; working. Now, I have nothing.”

“Do you think he likes me?”

“Loving isn’t real. Only timing.”

“Well, I do a little bit of this and I do a little bit of that and I pray to God she doesn’t find out.”

“If he cannot provide he’s not worth your time.”

“Arrangements are easier. Contracts are better than trust.”

“He used to brag he married a woman ten years younger than him. Now, he hates it. He’s so afraid he’ll die and leave me alone. We can’t talk about it. So he doesn’t know if given a second change at life; I’d choose to spend it with him.”

“I’m afraid one day she’ll realize she should be with someone better than me.”

“What if I am not who he needs me to be?”

“When I look at myself in the mirror, I hate myself. How could someone love a person like that?”

“I swear, after ten years, he better ask me. It’s about damned time we settle.”

“I know they are the one for me because every time they hold my hand I get butterflies in my stomach. It’s been years and I still get butterflies.”

“I’m not a trophy or a collectable.”

“You know your marriage is dead when it’s all about how much passive aggressive shit you can pile onto the other person. A fucking shit show.”

“Do you really think he’s out there? What if we don’t find each other? What if we miss each other and end up alone?”

“I’m going to marry that woman.”

“I am afraid he is going to leave me.”

“How can you find love if you are unwilling to search for it?”

“You are better than you realize.”

“When she cries, my heart squeezes till my bones ache.”

“I don’t know how to be any different.”

Ways Out

Red Heart-I’m going to marry her.


-Yup. She traveled with me in Europe for six weeks. Six whole weeks. Just us. We didn’t even really know each other, but she dropped everything and came. That’s how I know it’s going to work.


-What’s interesting?

-Nothing, really, I just view it differently I guess.


-Traveling like that is really romantic and finding the right travel companion is really difficult. So cheers to you for that much, but how do you get along from the day to day? Six weeks in Europe is a flash of a memory compared with a lifetime shared.

-Well, we’ve had our troubles. But that’s normal right?

-Depends on the trouble.

-We had a fight. Nothing too serious. She took a break from us for a couple of months.

-She what?

-Yeah. You heard me. What?

-A couple of months? Are you sure she’s in this?

-You have a problem with breaks too?

I grimaced as I finished the last bite of my meal.

-Was she afraid of the next step; like moving in together or something?



I turned to Jon, our bartender. He was busy stacking glasses at the far end of the bar. I called out to him.

-Hey Jon! What does it mean if your girl takes a break from the relationship?

Jon laughed, wiped his hands on his apron and walked over.

-Well, Megs, it means that she gave up on the relationship and she took the coward’s way out. Why? Don’t you know this?

I nodded my head.

Jon turned towards the man sitting one stool over from me.

-Here sir. How ‘bout a drink on the house.

Old Love New Heart

Red HeartWhen I first saw my wife I knew right then I’d marry her. There was never a doubt. There was never any other option. It didn’t matter that I was fourteen years old and that she was twelve. We both knew. It was how it was supposed to be.

Now, kids these days. . . I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with ‘em. Fuck. I mean fuck it all to hell. You all don’t know what you feel or think. You don’t know how to commit or what commitment even is. You are all or nothing. You’re with me or against me, my way or the high way. That’s now how love works. Not Love love, anyway.

I remember when I was about sixteen years old. Maybe I was seventeen. Hell. I could have been eighteen. Fuck. No. That’s not right. I was sixteen when I told her. I told my wife that I was going into the army. There was just no way around it. My dad was in the army. My granddad was in the army. My great granddad was in the army back in Ireland. I’m from a military family. So I was going into the military. I am the Army’s man, I said.

Now, there is something to be said about Irish women. Fuck. They are something else. Fire in the soul and more stubborn than an ass. Ha! Fuck me. That woman, she is. She was. . . She looked right back at me. She told me she was going to go to college. She was going to be a professor. Now, this didn’t happen yesterday. This was back when it was “unnatural” and all that fucking god damned bullshit. Fuck. What is wrong with people, anyway, huh? Fucking “unnatural”. Unnatural, what does it even fucking mean? Hell if I know. Hell if I give a rat’s ass.

That was it. I went into the army. I married her when she was out’a high school. She went to college. I served. She schooled. We had a family and all that shit. We were all about family planning. I mean, fuck. Do I look like I give a damn about what a church, thinks? You think I am going to let a church tell me what I can and cannot do with my wife? Fuck. Do you think, she would? My wife. She’s a woman who knows what she wants, wanted.

You know, she became a professor at George Washington University. Fuck. She was published and everything. She knows, knew, everything about books. Never read and of that shit I read. I’m so proud of her. Not that what I thought would have changed her mind. Ha! Fuck no. She would have just kept on workin’ and paid me no mind. She is, was, a damn fine woman. Damn fine.

Why is it that kids these days don’t do things separately, together? Why do you all fuck yourselves? Love and Loving, isn’t hard. You just do it. You just commit the same way you commit to all your new-fangled shit. You know, that media socializing and work. You love all the wrong fucking things. These days one person isn’t as important as everyone else. They are either more important or less important. Nothing’s equal. Nothing is the way it is. It’s always more than, less than, better than, the best, the worst, the most. Fuck. I mean really. . .  Fuck. That’s not even counting all of the should have’s, could have’s, and would have’s you all have out there.

Just do it. Just fucking love someone. Damn it. It’s really not all that hard if you have a heart.