ho, hey

What is love? Baby. Don’t hurt me. No more. The hurt still stings but I’m back to writing to process a few months of whirlwind romances and brief encounters. When it rains, it pours, and now monsoon season of the heart is over. One man still lingers from ol’ Lead Vegas (our term of endearment for Leadville, Colorado) and I think of him every morning taking an extremely long time to shit and my disdain for the strong funk of Colorado mountain man on my pillows, in my hair. I think of his disdain for my snoring and vaping.

He was one the of the favorites, dancing in the kitchen with me listening to hipster music I generally reserve for running, shooting his arm out parallel and twisting his wrists, shaking his hips while I danced right by. I felt to safe to be myself—maybe too safe buying Four Lokos at an Arizona gas station before 8 am while he mentioned “you know Jen I could go to yoga with Amanda or whoever at 9 am and wonder what we will do for the day or I can wonder if you got arrested.”

I always kept it together but feigned helplessness and tragedy as the real me creates a successful professional life. Heading to work, forming partnerships, creating groups, holding the infants, smiling at the pre-schoolers. I didn’t feel I had to lie to Lead Vegas boy because he was just as eccentric as me. Belly laughing as he drove the Cadillac Escalade he insisted on renting at the airport because he’s a car junkie but more professionally a motorcycle junkie. He drinks a fuzzy water here and there and tells me I’ve scared him a few times.

He scared me as I held on to his stomach while riding his motorcycle only to tip us over hopping on with too much gusto to his Africa Twin motorcycle. The XRV750 Africa Twin was a 742 cc (45.3 cu in) dual-sport based on the Honda NXR-750, which won the Paris-Dakar rally four times in the late 1980s. He liked to win. I find myself googling his top ten finishes at professional mountain biking and cyclocross races. I haven’t won much in my life, my only victories lie in the academic realm where I had become used to being the top 5% of any subject, any cohort. I try not to tell anyone about my masters degree anymore.

I had a dream last night that I was unloading a semi-truck with what seemed like my stuff for another move, to where, I don’t know. The semi was in neutral and it started to move forward and crashed into a neighboring house. I was so scared of the traffic ticket—sporting two speeding tickets in my own home in Chaffee county that I acquired long before I moved here. I was scared of who was with me. I walked into the house and found an old friend talking and flirting with a boy I thought I liked. My conscious and unconscious self always painfully aware that I’m not the one who gets hit on.

The dream seemed to say “no more dichotomies, no more binaries.” That man made it clear he liked me. I woke up one morning and watched him pace around until finally I asked if he wanted to stay and adventure. He called me beautiful. I asked to go steady. I find myself on a bus to Denver to take a plane to Arizona and string together more mishaps and free whiskey on the flight. staring at the quadrants of fields, roads, homes, and less planned mountains below. I landed, found the terminal. and there he was on a bench wearing his motorcycle boots and some Carhart hybrids.

He started to use the term “kangaroo pouch” to refer to my slightly swollen belly that has grown over the past year as I have manifested the other side of the binary self. Five years ago, teaching fitness and yoga classes, running everyday, eating low-carb, weighing myself everyday, sober as a church, turning down any request that might land me in a bar or with folks who weren’t as figuratively clean. Now, I have no problem with a whiskey or vodka drink on the weeknights and find myself walking downtown instead of running, scared of my own self and what might happen again. The motorcycle man, the hipster cowboy, tells me that I’m bad-ass but I’m too focused on my small town girl persona that I don’t even realize what he might mean.

It was all a gift, I suppose. Now I keenly eye motorcycles, looking for ground plates to protect from rocks etc. figuring out what kind of motorcycle rider I’ve encountered. Now, I notice the way the word “because” sounds as it would emit from his mouth like a nervous tick. I have to live in the gray because while he told me he wanted to work on something sustainable, told me I was dynamic, bought me a plane ticket to Arizona—he is gone. I anguish over what I did, knowing full well half of my actions were to push him or anyone away. If I can repulse you, its easier to repulse myself and stop trying so hard.

I was driving my truck to the mini Thai café near town, when the hipster cowboy broke out in song. He would often sing to me in a deep, booming voice and I’ve saved his voicemail messages. “Hello, Jen. This is ***** from the online dating app, Tinder. I thought I would shoot the shit with you and tell you about the glories of sleeping in a truck in the airport.” I wanted to tell him about the glories of taking risks in my life, becoming a star in my own right through yoga and writing. But, I didn’t. I kept secrets. I showed the underbelly of Jen, too fearful of manifesting my place in the world.

It was very hard to return from Arizona to Colorado, if nothing but for the weather. I went from 90 to 30 degrees wearing a thermal he had bought me, trudging through the airport in hiking boots. I sent a Mary Oliver poem to him in desperation trying to understand why he

r-u-n. o-f-t.

I will never know, and again I’m living in the gray of human emotion. Its possible he can see my beauty, my potential, my accomplishments and still see the ugliness that I project. I’m motivated once again to at least reach my own goals and come in first in the race against me. There is most likely no rhyme or reason to any of it. In a time of little meaning, a time of fuzz, there are the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Sunlight in the haze of smoke from my fire that will always burn.

“Ho Hey


I been trying to do it right
(Hey) I been living a lonely life
(Ho) I been sleepin’ here instead
(Hey) I been sleepin’ in my bed
(Ho) I been sleepin’ in my bed (hey ho)

so show me family
(Hey) all the blood that I will bleed
(Ho) I don’t know where I belong
(Hey) I don’t know where I went wrong
(Ho) but I can write a song (hey)

I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweet’ (ho)

Hey (come on now)

I don’t think you’re right for him
(Hey) think of what it might have been if we
(Ho) took a bus to chinatown
(Hey) I’d be standin’ on canal (ho) and Bowery (hey)
(Ho) she’d be standin’ next to me (hey)

I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart

Love we, need it now
Let’s hope, for some
‘Cause oh, we’re bleedin’ out

I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweet'(ho)


-The Lumineers