I went river tubing today in Golden with five of my good friends. On the first trip down, we all floated independently, but for the second trip down, we decided to float all together as one linked mass. I wasn’t terribly thrilled with the idea, but everyone else thought it would be great to float down together. So, of course I ended up getting grabbed right at the beginning to be a part of the pod. The first rapid drop we came to, I yelled, “Let go of me!” to my friend Dave who was holding on to my tube, and he graciously ignored my request. Once I realized there is actually less of a chance of flipping over as a whole group, I was less insistent on breaking free. Several rapid drops later, there were only three of us connected. Katie and Dave aimed for the side of the river with me in tow to wait for the others to catch up so that we could re-link. I, unaware of this thoughtful idea, assumed they had overshot the center of the river, and tried to pull us back into the current so that we could keep going. Instead, I unintentionally broke free and ended up floating most of the remaining rapids alone. It was only after I paddled backwards insistently for several minutes that the rest of my group met back up with me, and we floated on to the finish once again all linked together. I now think it is infinitely more fun to float down the river together. After sitting and thinking about today, tubing made me ponder my past relationships. At the points in my life when I was just fine being single, it was then that I’d find myself alongside someone. And when I’d get used to having someone there, all of a sudden he’d break free, and I’d be back to floating alone.
Singledom is a world everyone must live in at one point or another, some just are occasional travelers, and some are long-time residents. It would be so much easier to stay in one or the other, rather than bouncing back and forth. In my experience, most new relationships begin with flattering words and cutesy names. This doesn’t last forever, especially if a relationship is allowed to mature and grow into more stable and deeper conversation. However, so few of my relationships have ever gotten past the initial stage, and they’ve all ended up sputtering and dying out well before a solid foundation could be built. Those initial flattering words paint a rose-colored picture like sun through stained glass. But that sun inevitably goes down, and all that’s left is a cold, dark frame of pieces soldered together. Why are these words spoken at all if the intention behind them can’t hold their weight? This sputtering sunset is the worst part. I want to be allowed to continue to float on alone if there is no interest in holding on to me forever.
I was hoping you’d be different
A man amidst a sea of boys
But you’re just a different wrapper
with no surprise inside.
Lured by the siren’s call of flattery,
your velvet-coated yet hollow words
dissolve on my tongue, leaving me craving more.
I reach out my hand to you
but it’s too short.
I call out your name
but the wind scatters the sound.
I blow you a kiss
but the dust carries it away.
You’re far away somehow
even when we’re standing cheek to cheek.