Waking Up From the Fairy Tale of Love

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Waking Up From the Fairy Tale of Love

I say "I loved," but few people fit this expression, if I even understand the feeling. Love profoundly confuses, and rather than clarifying across time, the idea became more baffling. This uncertainty did not form completely by nature after enduring much abuse as a child, which destroyed any trust in love, made evident after years of broken relationships. I am not a good boyfriend much less a husband and even more to the point a broken part of myself continues to seek the wrong things in partners. The natural part of my puzzling, which I focus on more today, concerns the fairy tale of love most of us are indoctrinated with from birth. The idea of true love, no matter how appealing, forms ridiculous goals, and worse yet, mix with cultural concepts like misogyny, patriarchy, religion, and other hate that sends people like me, and many others, chasing warped narratives for many years. In a very real way, society cheats millions out of participating in happy relationships. Had I the capability to see past true love, porn star love, or any other fantasy in youth, and concentrated on realistic goals, like commonalities, I might have found more lasting relations. Between the natural and unnatural influences, I find myself rendered incapable of love, no matter how much desired.

Your Oily Ferret Escaped

Notes to My Neighbor

Your Oily Ferret Escaped

Hinting your door stood open again, your ferret scurried near the stairs
Pawing at the building’s glass door, he peered with curious furry stares
Meeting his gaze with evening eyes made my workday-muscle-soreness flare
Cursing when his playful upstairs-dart issued the pursue-me-if-you-dare
Entering, chasing, capturing; the slippery rodent squirmed slightly
Descending to your apartment showed the door in draft swaying lightly
Picturing your forgetful, sleepy entry to sofa-sprawled napping
(Studying, waitressing, ferret-mothering: all energy-sapping!)
Releasing the oily beast between door and jamb quickly scampering
Retracting knob silently ended with the handle gently latching
Opening my neighboring door fumbled keys from your rodent’s greasing
Frowning, smelling hands shook my head in ferret’s residual reeking
Unlocking, entering my apartment, hands rushed the sink for cleaning
Pausing scrubbing of my rat-fouled flesh, a close of eyes stretched smile beaming.


My quirky neighbor sometimes left her front door open when she returned home exhausted. Each apartment opened into a small alcove that hid the front door upon entering the living room, depending on the manner decorated. As such, an open front door might go unnoticed for hours. The first time finding her ferret wandering the building’s stairwell, I knocked on her door, and she retrieved the creature, which turned out to be friendly. She explained she fell asleep, and my assuming this an isolated incident proved wrong as weeks passed, and returning from work or exiting the apartment sometimes revealed the creature exploring.

Though I liked the ferret, he was a bit musky and sometimes greasy from his coat needing oil. Getting to know her instilled this knowledge and a crush that made me reticent to knock, not wishing to wake her. Future encounters inspired secret ferret retrievals and door closings, among other neighborly acts. Though silly, most of those incidents formed small displays of affection, and not mentioning them felt special.

Young Love & My First Three Marriages

First dates can be kind of tricky, especially when you’re both 13 years old — thank god we didn’t know then, all the shit we’d learn later!

Bev and Me

The first date I ever had Was with an adorable Little blonde named Beverly, Circa 1964.

She would turn out to be The prototype of every girl I ever married (all four of them): Feminine, Cute, sexy, easy to make laugh.
Butler JHS Bobcat, public domain, Beverly

She would turn out to be The prototype of Every girl I ever married (all four of them): Feminine, Cute, sexy, easy to make laugh, And easy to charm. We were 7th graders, 13 years old. I was smitten.

Terry Trueman
Butler JHS Bobcat, public domain, ME, 12 going on 9

My parents drove us To the Lake City Theatre (a cinema) Where the movie South Pacific was playing.

Beverly wore a big Sort of hoop skirt outfit The likes of which I’d never seen before. It may have had a pink poodle embroidery on it, but I can’t swear to that detail. While still adorable, She looked a little bit Like somebody’s baby sister from a 19th Century melodrama About lovely orphans Seeking ruination.

As luck & fate would have it, On that very same Friday night The entire University of Washington Varsity football team, Dressed in jackets and ties Crew-cut, monolithic figures Walked in a few minutes after us And sat in the row immediately in front of us.

“Bali Hai can you hear me,” my ass We could hear it, But we sure couldn’t see much of it. I can’t swear to this, Memory being the kind of Unreliable beast it so often is, (Like that pink poodle thing,) But I think a couple of the largest troglodytes glanced back at me And smirked.

The Monday after our date At school, I waited in the hallway outside Bev’s classroom: anxious and excited for her to come out.

Ricky Burton
Butler JHS Bobcat, public domain, Ricky Burt, 12 going on 28.

And that’s when Ricky Burt, the toughest, meanest kid In the 7th grade, walked up to me and punched me in the gut- a sucker punch That nearly dropped me to my knees.

“Stay away from Bev,” Ricky insisted.

It wasn’t that Ricky wanted Beverly for himself; a buddy of his liked her and Ricky enjoyed beating up people.

I quickly realized that Beverly and I were star-crossed and that in the interests of my health and personal survival, I’d better move along — which ultimately led to my taking Susie Spang instead of Beverly To The Beatles concert, in Seattle, some months later.

But that is a different story, one with another sad ending, for Susie anyway, not at all like and yet In some strange terrible ways just like all the sad endings in life, including those of my first three marriages.

The Gift

Diamonds for Emily

Will you take these diamonds to hold dear?
Will my love you hear?
Do you understand the design?
The path for us to find
Will you wear them for eternity?
Do you understand their immortality?

They were here;
When man first sparked fire
When logic Plato first inquired
When mighty Sparta fell
When Rome expanded and excelled
When the British Empire rose
When Asia, Polo first exposed
When Hitler committed atrocities
When Allies rained fire on Axis cities
When Mother Teresa rudely her kindness handed
When Rome the Hun demanded
When Saddam gassed his people
When Baghdad crushed the N.Y. steeples
When ninety-three saved the D.C. peoples
While N.Y.’s finest met their death in falling concrete rafters
While Firemen raised their final ladders
While disco raged in cocaine parlors
When the anti-establishment established – those punk-rockers
While King led Jews with Africa’s sons
When Rubin Carter’s life was expunged
When crack fanned the Compton flame
When the cocaine masters rose to reign
When Columbine became a gunfire stain
When little boys were to blame
When Charlemagne engaged the Islamic horde
When he baptized half of Europe with the sword
When Cortés conquered the Aztecs just for fun
When the day their zenith held the sun
While metalheads sang sweet love ballads
When ex-hippies charged millions for tofu salads
While samurai businessmen conquered the land
When the Kensai witnessed Two Heavens fade to sand
When the Wal-Mart Binbōgami made its stand
When Ma’s and Pa’s surrendered to the corporate hand
When Baltimore unleashed Oprah upon the world
When AIDS threw homosexuals back in closets curled
While nuclear toys were built for man’s protection
When Russians sought the capitalist deception
While little boys trusted Catholic priests' holy hands
While impoverished missionaries died in foreign lands
When Andy’s bullwhips jammed artistic asses
While young girls swam in cum for porno masses
When football heroes played for billions
While the poor cheered them on, growing in the millions
When HGTV zombie masters rose to power
When interior designer witch-doctors ruled the home and shower
While silent heroes never made the hour
When Red Cross volunteers under bullets cowered
When gangland bullets entered children’s brains
While police and parents stood in vain
When William Gates gave Geeks autonomy
When cell phones extended man’s anatomy
When sex became an accepted hobby
While love became meaningless folly
When the promiscuous demanded not to be called whores
When marriages became financial wars
When OJ became the injustice drink
When Voltaire tried to make men think
When Cleopatra toyed with Alexander
While JJ served Kool-Aid in Guyana
When Poe died in the gutter
While Dali milked the artistic udder
While Enron executives played with dollars
While Churchill read the final hours
When Skylab fell from space
When Earnhardt drove his final race
While Jesus carried man’s cross
When Jimmy Baker cried in profit loss
When Chernobyl blew a hole through the sky
While Pee Wee pumped his meaty lie
While revolutions rose and fell
When principles were bought to sell
While politicians road the clown car round the ruckus
When everyone joined the worldwide circus
When I took my seat in the empty stands
While I sat and dreamed of ancient lands
When I thought of man’s heroic stands
While I mulled man’s sordid endless trials
When I realized my soul’s desires
When I realized I didn’t care for life’s poetry
When I understood what was most important to me
When I understood what I felt so purely
When for love I gave them truly.

The Perfect KISS

It exists, but it can only happen between two people attracted to one another and in love and possession of the secret, magical breath of the living.

Sorry, I don’t make the rules; I simply report them.

The perfect kiss doesn’t work when the sexual repression of the Abrahamic religious codes pounds away inside your brain and genitals.

The Perfect KISS is God whispering in your ear that everything is as it should be — and honestly, how often does that ever happen?


Still Looking for You

Leandra, hear me calling you
Looking for us we never knew
Leandra, were you looking too?
Baby, did I miss finding you?

Leandra were you in the past
Where did I miss you on the path?
Did I miss you in life that passed?
Close my eyes, I hear your laugh

There were days and days of never
Fun, sweet dreams of sunny weather
Dark, stormy nights of us together
I’ll take them with you forever

Leandra, hear me calling you
Looking for us we never knew
Leandra, were you looking too?
Baby, did I miss finding you?

Close my eyes, I’m calling your name
Caught in your wild, bold, flowing mane
Caught in your smile, I’m perfect tame
For you, I’d give all gold and fame

The days ahead come short and fast
The days behind are falling past
But if a day with you could pass
I could rest true forever last

Leandra, hear me calling you
Looking for us we never knew
Leandra, were you looking too?
Baby, I’m still looking for you.

It’s the little things...

Sure it is

People who talk about the things that bug them with frequent use of the phrase, “It’s the little things...” sometimes don’t know what real heartbreak feels like...

"It’s the little things" proves true when it happens to be true.
Sometimes, it’s the big things, but when someone says, “It’s the little things,” that’s all you can think about.

A good friend recently told me that a little bag of butt plugs was stolen by her angry lover during their breakup.

“It’s the little things,” she said, and I understood and agreed (somehow).

It’s the little things unless it’s the big ones.

See what I mean?

The Lost Vodka Infusion

Arizona Nights

Feverishly I worked my craft
Like a mad scientist on the verge of his greatest discovery
I sweated grappling the screaming blender with my left hand
While manhandling a kiwi with my right
I combined fruits and spices, formulating the finest infusion
Pouring in the Goose, I heard the spite of the drunken Chinese girlfriend,
“You’re a loser! Make better drinks.”
“I am trying to concentrate, woman!”
She stepped onto the sofa in the living room
Dancing and singing to a song that existed only in her mind
The final rotation of the blender wound to its finale
With the creation complete, I laughed, summoning the drunken girlfriend to marvel
Fascinated we stared at the fruit and white tea vodka infusion
Bubbling with the icy pleasure’s promise
She thrust her martini glass to me, smiling innocent and sweet
“You bitch.” I scowled
Then poured her the fine concoction

A weight upon me, hair choking
The girlfriend, a lead blanket crushing
Movement cracked the spine pinned to the floor
I kissed the top of her head and she emitted something unintelligible
For a moment, I thought she spoke Chinese
But remembered she doesn’t speak Chinese
Struggling to remove the girlfriend heap
Revealed the empty infusion bottle
Bled like a corpse by my head
Such pain!
The masterpiece of mixology
The amazing drunkenness
Gone with the memory of how to make it.

Wish I’d Seen Her

Sometimes it’s the ones we never meet that get to us most deeply...

I sit at an empty table.

Empty, save for a quarter inch of cold coffee in an abandoned white styrofoam cup with bright red lipstick stains — bright red as Santa Claus or a new infection.

Those bright red lips are gone – all lips are as gone from me as cold coffee goes.

Gone as they can get.

Love's Enigma

Note: This multidimensional poem, "Torn," comes from my novel Move and uses small font formatting to show the fluency of verse: best read on a computer or tablet with widescreen for unbroken lines.


My lie reclaims me pulling me back to its space; I found you there waiting for my touch on your face
Love’s gravity loosens, I rise increasing pace through times persistent, ebbing, flowing, endless race
Ungrounded, I helplessly float back to that place turning, twisting, living a dream you cannot chase
Occupied by true deceivers in aimless race, headlong headed nowhere, seeking our lost loves grace
To claim discovery of her without a trace in the darkness where loves truth shines and makes its place
Over and over and over believers claim, “Baby, I love you with the heart that is not tame”
While Apollo burns a path to her with no name and so true my heart beats, cries, and breaks to remain
Through the true lover’s pointless, tired, clamor profane, my love pierces the liars’ din calling your name
I cannot follow the path I hold in disdain that is drenched in tears falling in the winter’s reign
I can’t follow the logic where emotions reign with our held hands speaking what our hearts proclaim
She is understood through sadness, tears, heartbreak pain, and cannot falter, fall, fray, or make our love vain
Laughter’s kiss, smiling at you from time’s finite plane while I’m watching, protecting, guiding my heart’s claim
I can’t deduce, calculate, estimate, explain that passion I feel for you so clear, bright, and plain!
Infer or argue to find her in logic’s gain where we lose ourselves to the affection insane
I know love only when my senses go insane when I kiss your ear, whispering my unheard pain
I drink deep from the wine God’s amphora, waiting in love’s celestial ether from faiths creating
Watching the Sun God’s blazing path slowly fading away from you forever: the endless waiting
Helpless I run blindly groping for hope’s sating in emptiness where I watch anticipating
To again stumble upon her, my heart’s fating, to be one with you again in loves equating
Dino, pour more wine and drink, you win the waging and so, we all must lose in loves great wagering.


My neighbor was a quirky, pretty girl who fascinated me with her interests, independence, and willfulness which made her a bit snippy at times but couldn't hide her many positive dimensions. I'm sure she would've argued this point, saying something to the effect of, "I'm just me." I would've accepted this stance but never believed it, for she was shrewd, playful, sometimes oblivious, but always in a very natural loveliness.

She tolerated me sometimes, other times, she seemed okay with my presence, and on other occasions, we got along well. I certainly wanted to know her better and tried, but she made clear she had no romantic interest. Still, we hung from time to time, and hope persisted as she attended school and worked while I worked and wrote. Her life and mine moved toward career goals and starting life, but this common path held extreme differences.

Meeting her came after a disastrous marriage, divorce, and many more problems. Recovering from bad years held an enormous struggle made even more difficult by the terrible advice polluting my life. I detail this struggle in an upcoming novella that centers on my life's lostness. When I say lost, I don’t mean trying to find a career; I mean a total sense of identity loss manifested in a lack of authenticity even within my thoughts.

When I wrote, I felt dishonest, and when I spoke, I constantly judged my words. Ideas, things, and people, especially me, lost their realness to constant self-incrimination that required years to understand and free myself. Sadly, I met her during this time, and these identity issues surely impacted knowing her - not for the better. Despite this turmoil, her gravity orbited me about her in a mysterious way, which I could only define simply at the time.

I loved her.

Perhaps feeling this way from our first few meetings, many would reason a crush or delve into the situation's psychology, claiming her a crutch or band-aid on life. I know; I explored these options, but in defiance of these notions, she produced no desperation, hurt, or heaviness of heart normal to infatuation or unrequited affection. When around her, she made me happy, even when she acted a bit curt. When gone, her absence remained.

She moved away, and I moved shortly afterward when I met someone: another story. I purposely and foolishly lost contact with her, thinking her unattainable. I can’t say she moved away and forgot about me since I stupidly never called her back, which I regret.

After parting ways, I dated, loved a few people, but no one filled the absence. I tried to contact her over the years, most recently in March 2021, when cleaning files on my computer uncovered a marketing email list containing her name. The find's odd coincidence with writing about that time in life inspired another attempt to contact her, proving a fruitless endeavor.

Today ended searches in the uncertainty of what I expected to find after so much time. I am a stranger now and perhaps always was. I don’t know.

What I know is fate and true love's illusion, having deduced their fantasy when I wrote Enigma. Regardless, I find much meaning in her presence that dwells on every page I wrote after meeting her. More importantly, my perception, altered by her, could see people’s multidimensional nature. She challenged me, changed me, and shifted life’s paradigm.

She's my muse, and I love her very much.

I am not sad (maybe a little) or disappointed, just left with the same absence, and that’s okay. Perhaps not being with her is the price for her inspiration.

Just Weighing Separator

Photo by Photo by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash

Photo by Ahmet Sali on Unsplash 

Photo by Josue Michel on Unsplash

Copyright Vincent Triola & Terry Trueman 

The Impermanence Love's Impermanence