Dreams and False Alarms

[Word count: 630. Approximate read time: 3 minutes]

Joni Mitchell's Hejira album featuring "Amelia"

“Maybe I’ve never really loved
I guess that is the truth
I’ve spent my whole life in clouds at icy altitudes.”

A friend once told me, “Mark, you’re emotionally unavailable.” I resented both the remark and its laser accuracy. I would meet a girl who piqued my interest, but it would die out like doused fireworks. I started to believe I was emotionally defective, and incapable of falling in love. It seemed to closely mirror my difficulty walking in faith.

“The drone of flying engines
Is a song so wild and blue
It scrambles time and seasons if it gets through to you.”

And then something awesome happened. A girl flew in from nowhere and descended over me with her soft skin the color of strong coffee. Smiled like she brushed her teeth with sunshine. Moved like a ray of light, electric, blinding, jittery, and larger than life. I couldn’t take her all in, but I didn’t want to miss a thing. I don’t fall in love readily, but this girl got to me faster than I was ready to get got.

“And looking down on everything
I crashed into [her] arms…

I’m an introvert. I don’t like anybody enough to want to see them every day. But she slipped past my defenses. I became more vulnerable than I thought possible, faster than I thought sensible. I was starting to see a future with her. It terrified me. I had to get closer. I couldn’t get enough of her mystique, her energy, her scent. Is this how my bachelorhood ends? Is this what leads to my capture? Is this how I become husband to a wife I fuss with but can’t be without? It was like a dream that I couldn’t believe I—

…Amelia, it was just a false alarm.”

The emotional rollercoaster got to be too much. I was guarded and suspicious. She was fickle and reactive. I needed time to get used to things. She had too much going on to wait on me. It was all too bright, too intense, too close, too fast. I guess I should’ve known by the way she parked her car sideways that it wouldn’t last.

Over two months, she broke up with me 3 times. She knew I had abandonment issues. I wanted to beg her back. I suspect she wanted me to beg too. But her kiss off was chilly. “Moving forward, I will be giving you the gift of my absence.” You know, in my dream, my partner in crime is much less of a flight risk.

“So this is how I hide the hurt
As the road leads cursed and charmed
I tell Amelia it was just a false alarm.”

I hadn’t anticipated the toll a breakup would take. For such a brief affair, ye gods, the fallout was awful. I was so disappointed for so long. My high hopes crashed hard like every verse of Joni Mitchell’s “Amelia.”

“I dreamed of 747s over geometric farms
Dreams, Amelia, dreams and false alarms.”

Usually after an experience like this, I would go somewhere, cocoon up, and not resurface for a long time. But after the worst of missing her was over, what emerged from the ashes was hope. I didn’t think the kind of woman existed who could captivate me the way she did. I thought my love life was dead. It resurrected in half a sudden. And if that’s possible, maybe my faith life could do the same.

It hurt that she didn’t want me, but it’s nice to know I’m wantable, fittable, and gettable. But why work so hard to feel if this is what feeling gets? Hell if I know. But I choose to believe the best. And I feel like feeling it again. So let’s.


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6 thoughts on “Dreams and False Alarms

  1. Pingback: Breadcrumbs (aka Finding My Way Back) | Junkyard Salvation

  2. The fact that you wrestle so publicly is pretty darn cool. Keep seeking answers in the place you’ll always find them…within the depths of yourself.

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