“I knew the words but I sang them wrong…”






Chris Isaak croons softly as the thunder rumbles like far-off artillery or a nearby, angry god.


The cubes of ice rattling in my whiskey glass are old bones; the curling smoke is a parade of ghosts tying themselves in grieving knots.


I think of her fondly.




It’s funny, in a bittersweet way.


Nothing romantic has ever passed between us.


But plenty of intimacy.


Oh, that in spades—


If you’ll pardon the nod to self.




Two souls – older than they should be – aged prematurely by seeing the paws and claws of the beast most only glimpse on screens; acted out by beautiful people that are equally blissful in that particular ignorance.


Not lovers; barely friends, Truth be told, since we’ve never actually met. 


We agree men and women can’t really be friends.


Though we’re certainly friendly.


And intimate.


Definitely that.


Without ever even so much as shake hands.




Even over the raging storm, I can still hear her say:


“Just because biology draws associates together, doesn’t mean we have to give into it.”


She’s 100% right.


Besides, not to imply there’s a chance at anything more but—


I think I prefer what we have.




The thunder crashes again and the cat I’m watching for a few days jumps in my lap.


She claims some of my warmth while sharing some of hers.


Looking up at me, she blinks with deliberate slowness. 


I’m told it’s called a “cat kiss”.


I smirk as the lightning flashes and she closes them tight.




I take another drag, following it with a sip of Devil’s Cut.


Watching the rain run down the windowpanes in a hurry to meet the ground far below.


The red, parched, Oklahoma dirt drinks deep as the world turns us all—


Once more. 







9 Responses to ““I knew the words but I sang them wrong…””

  1. “Just because biology draws associates together, doesn’t mean we have to give into it.”

    That’s true, we don’t. Although we get our occasional hits, much of life is unfulfilled desire. And probably for the best, as we see what happens to the people who got all their desires fulfilled.

    Charles Bukowski has been gone for twenty years but has a legion of female fans. Something about a tortured and disembodied male voice that gives them a reason to live. Like a quasi-deity.

    Much as we lament the lack of human connection nowadays the truth is for most of history men and women were kept separate from each other, to keep the peace and focus on getting the things done that needed doing. So one side or the other wouldn’t mess up the good thing that is social cohesion.

    Three years ago, and thirty years after our last date, my first girlfriend sent me a photo of a red Ford pickup on FB one day. The man across the street had one that looked just like mine.

    “Look at this! Pretty nice eh?”
    “Aw yeah that takes me back” I wrote.
    “Me too!” she replied.

    Haven’t spoken since. Didn’t need to. I know, and she knows too.

  2. Devil’s Cut and your playlist? Man, can we hang out?

    • Sean,

      If you’re the same fellow that’s been reading for years, then:

      Hell yes.

      I couldn’t possibly say no.

      All the best to you,


      • Yup, it’s me.

        Email address is attached to name. Feel free to shout out.

        “…I’ve sipped red wine from a dixie cup but I can’t change…”

      • Sean,

        I just may do that.

        All the best to you,


        “…there’s a fork in the road every mile and half; how’d I end up here?”

  3. It goes by many names…sexual tension for one.

    For the more cerebral folk (some men andmoat women), it can be better than sex itself. It’s living on another plane of existence where everything can have a deep meaning…and often does…

    …and in today’s world, where hardly anything means anything anymore, that’s a drug few people can resist. A kind of dance, that if done right, not too short, not too long, you only have once in your life. And if not, one you may chase for the rest of your life.

    In a world without much in the way of courtship, such a dance is tossed aside so quickly most people don’t know what their missing.

    But they do know that feeling and that they can’t get it back.

    Little do they know, you don’t have to stop the dance. And if you do, you better know how to do it properly…


    • Wald, you’re quite right. It is supposed to be a dance. All the best dances have the man and woman doing their share of touching but also moving apart and around one another too.

      But so many don’t want that, they want to doe-say-doe off one arm and immediately grab another one until they’ve vanished into the crowd.

      It may well be that rebridging the gap between the sexes will begin with a deliberate separation and calling out to one another across the chasm.

    • Wald,

      “Little do they know, you don’t have to stop the dance. And if you do, you better know how to do it properly…”

      Perfectly said.

      All the best,


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