Sappy, Cliche, & Completely Honest

Posted in Inspiration, Love, Opinion, Passion, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Modern day love isn’t easy. It seems like it might be with all the forms of communication we are blessed with, but it’s just not the same. Nothing compares to looking in the eyes, the touch, and even all of those little things you take for granted. When that special person in your life isn’t near you, it’s the quirks you miss. The unique things that make them who they are, for better or worse.

What do you do when the one you love is far away?

As a person in that position all I can say is that you make it work, even when it tears you up. Because when you’ve found that person that you can’t picture yourself without, that person that makes you want to be a better person, you have no choice but to push through the pain and pray for strength.

Sure, I might be a hopeless romantic spouting off the most cliche garbage known to man. I only do it because too many people have given up, and I’m not one of them. I know love is too important to give up on.

This is me right now. It might not be pretty, and you might not even give a shit, but it’s real. I’m a man in love, and a man in pain. I’m doing everything I can to stay strong for someone that means the world to me. I have no idea why I’m face to face with this immense hardship. If it’s a test, I’ll pass it. A game, I’ll win it. If it’s fate pushing me to my limits, I won’t break.

It’s not easy, but the best things in life never come easy because they are worth fighting for.

The Laughing Heart

Posted in Inspiration, Poetry, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Bukowski. What words to describe you that have not already been used? You fill my cup. You help me drain it. You are dying proof that words are immortal. You’ve done more from your grave than a vast majority do in life, and in life you were the perfect blend of comedy, tragedy, and redemption.

I drink at one of your old haunts from time to time. Someday I hope my picture is below yours behind the bar. Maybe I’m a bastard for saying so.

Look at me, talking to a dead man through a computer screen. It might seem crazy at first, but sometimes there’s more life in words than flesh.

Sometimes.

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Some Nights Are Clearer

Posted in Inspiration, Mission, Passion, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Some nights are more clearer than others. Unclouded by emotion and pure of vision. It has been said that announcing your plans is a good way to make God laugh. Well in that case, may He himself laugh in my face daily. I make my plans known.

However, I don’t laugh in the face of any creator we may hail from, nor do I turn a blind eye to destiny. But I know better than to think that I have no control over my fate. These are strange and uncertain times we live in, and maybe they always were. I won’t pretend to be any smarter or wiser than the next man, but I do know one thing: it takes strength to stand up for anything in this world.

A great deal of that strength comes from pureness of heart and intentions. To feel the full extent of emotion, live up to your word, and take responsibility for your own shortcomings. To be honest and true is uncommon, and separates you from many. It will, at times, make you feel like a stranger in the world in which you live. I feel this separation. It brings with it a sense of loneliness, as well as comfort that I’m doing something right. I am almost certain that no person who accomplished greatness felt the presence of a crowd.

I don’t mean to preach, or make myself out to be more than I am. That is not my intention. My thoughts tonight are with a striving, a lifelong attempt at something greater than myself. A knowing that although the day to day struggles may be intense, and the forces against me may be strong, I will not falter. I will be a good human, strong and pure of heart. And damn me if I don’t accomplish something great in the process.

Tonight, I see the path clearly.

“A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.” -Albert Camus

Everyone Is Fighting A Battle

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 17, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Life is hard, so get your kicks when it’s good. I don’t have kids yet, nor will I for some time, but when I do that is the first thing I will teach them. When they’re old enough, I’ll also teach them that the universe works in mysterious ways and that it has one twisted sense of humor. The sooner you start learning the same humor, the sooner life will start to make more sense. I’m down here in the trenches of civilized American life and sometimes it feels like all I see is pain.

I’ve had a lot on my mind this past week. The brother of one of my best friends was shot down in cold blood, his funeral was today (http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_22577674/police-witnesses-hold-key-santa-cruz-shooting-investigation). I was not able to attend, although I wish with all my heart that I was able to. I didn’t know him as well as I know his family, but I know them all well enough to understand that they didn’t deserve this. Life gets easier when you die, but it gets harder for all the ones you leave behind. He was a father, and his daughter is too young to grow up with any memory of him. His wife was ready to divorce him, and now I’m sure she’d do most anything to bring him back. He’s in the ground for eternity as of this morning, and may God shepherd him to a peaceful existence in the ether.

My girlfriend lost her grandfather this week. I met her other grandpa during my short stay in France, and sadly I was not able to meet the one who just passed. I will never have that chance now, and this fact saddens me deeply. He also left behind a hell of a family, and a long time from now when I journey past the horizon I’ll make sure to thank him for it. He was one of her favorite family members, and there for her in times of extreme emotional hardship. He lived to see the amazing person she’s become, I just wish he would have lasted long enough to see her become the success she is destined to be. Things aren’t going as well as she would hope lately, and his passing is just one more brick in the oven of sorrow. Why any maker of mine would choose to separate me from her at a time like this I may never know. But I curse it, and send her my heart every day in hopes that it helps even a little.

Life is tough, and you got to be tough with it or else cower under it. It’s a heavy burden we’re born into as intelligent beings, made aware of so many things only to control so little.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” -Plato

Mission and Resolution: Freedom

Posted in Inspiration, Mission, New Year, Passion, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Someone asked me recently what my New Years resolution was. At first I said that I didn’t have one. What is the use of saying you are going to jog every morning, go to the gym 4 days a week, cut out all forms of sugar, if you are just going to give it up 3 weeks in? But then I realized that New Years resolutions don’t have to be some contrived piece of pseudo-inspiration that you only tell people in hopes that their opinion of you goes up a few notches. It can be something practical, something that really touches your soul and speaks to your greater mission in life. I realized that I had already thought of my resolution, and it was the same as the mission statement for my life/career: I want to write myself to freedom.

As an American, I join the citizens of many nations worldwide who consider themselves “free”. So you might be asking yourself, ‘Isn’t he already free?’ I first realized how much we have in common with prisoners when I fell in love with a French girl, only to realize that the only way she could stay in America is if we got married ASAP. We didn’t do it, and not because we don’t love each other enough, nor because we don’t plan on getting married someday (because we certainly do). It was just the idea that we were being forced into it. I would think one of the basic freedoms in life, and one of the qualifiers of being “free”, would be the freedom to be with the person you love. The way the government sees it is you have that liberty as long as you accomplish it through the means they have decided on. In other words, our freedom is on their terms, not ours. How many other freedoms do we think we have that really have strings attached?

Needless to say, this is a frustrating notion. However there is a light at the end of the tunnel; you can achieve that true level of freedom. We see it every day with famous actors, writers, directors, musicians, etc. You might brush that off as ‘sure, because they have money’, and you’d only be half right. The truth is that power is the currency of the free world that can separate you from all the people living restricted lives. Some may say that “money is power”, but I would tell those people to look at politicians, members of the CIA, FBI, and other government bodies, news correspondants, college professors, etc. All of which (with a few exceptions) do not have ungodly wealth, but have significantly more freedom to live how and where they want to than all of us down here gathering pollen for the beehive. How have they done this? All they have done is pick a path that they knew would ultimately lead them to a specific goal, and they stuck to it.

Jack London once said that he had great resentment for the upper  class. Since he wasn’t born with any form of spoon in his mouth, he made it his mission to infiltrate the world of the wealthy through the only thing he was good at: writing. And guess what? It worked. Not only is he one of the most highly regarded Western authors, he actually achieved success within his lifetime. To him it was one great big joke that he rose to their ranks with nothing but words. It is in his footsteps that I follow. I have committed myself to writing every day in some shape or form. I started by picking up poetry again, for my own enjoyment. I started this blog. I am putting pen to paper on a new novel (the first few pages of which are on a post below). And most of all, I am approaching my screenplays and teleplays with with a reinvigorated sense of passion and persistence.

In 2013 I am going to write my own freedom.

Lovers On Two Planets

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 20, 2013 by Patrick Roe

The following is the first few pages of the new novel I’m working on, the working title of which is the same as the title of this post. It’s a noir crime drama set in modern times, but in the style of the detective novels from the 40’s and 50’s. I’ll share more excerpts when the mood strikes me, or if you guys request it.  Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy.

Lovers On Two Planets

By: Patrick Roe

1

My heart was pregnant the same way Europe is pregnant with history. It was my first European vacation since the engagement, and my first ever if anybody was counting. We had taken a day excursion to Spain, there was a painter I liked who used to live there and I thought it might be fascinating to go dig up his corpse.

I had a camera around my neck, and a ridiculous bright blue scarf to protect myself from the cold. I thought I looked like a tourist, but even the tourists didn’t want to have anything to do with me. I was taking pictures like a fool, and a fool I was. A fool in love.

“Take one of me by those blue doors!” She said excitedly. I did as I was told because my fiance was meant to be photographed. Her name was, and I suppose still is, Marian Swanikov. She was soft and glowing, brown hair raining down upon her petite frame like a summer squall in Hawaii. She looked like a starlet from the golden age of cinema.

“I thought you were European. If I would have known I was just marrying another tourist I would have settled on an American.”

“Go ahead. But you know, and I know, that American girls don’t know what I know.” She said it with a smile that could have killed half of Napoleon’s army.

I began to scoot back. The damn fixed lens on the camera wasn’t giving me the framing I needed, and since I felt like fucking Ansel Adams that day, I decided to scoot back and give myself the award winning shot. I had failed to remember that nobody in Spain believes in hand rails.

Over the bluff I went, and straight into the drink. If I was a luckier man I would have fallen to the left and killed myself on the rocks to save myself the shame. But instead she came to make sure I hadn’t left her the life insurance money, and we shared a good laugh about it.

We decided to get something to eat while the camera was drying out on the restaurant’s back patio. We talked some, but about nothing important. The kind of light, bubbly talk lovers use on vacations. Mostly I just watched the way she moved. The way her honey colored eyes perused over the menu, the way her teeth nibbled her bottom lip as she tried to decide between the paella and the curry chicken. If she noticed me looking at her this way it was all over, I had to be stealthy. Starlets enjoy a glance, not a gawk.

Later on that night I was having a cigarette leaning out of our hotel window, deep in thought. Something had occurred to me for the first time. Something curious, unimportant, but strange.

“Whatchya thinking about baby?” How she could read my mind I’ll never know.

“It’s stupid.”

“I still want to know.”

“Well… I just realized that I’ll never get to be an astronaut.”

She laughed at me. She often laughed at me for the places my mind would wander. Through the giggles she said, “What are you talking about?”

“Well it was always my childhood dream to be an astronaut. I’ve gone on my entire life holding that dream in my back pocket. My mind occasionally wanders to it and I think about how cool it will be when I finally get to become an astronaut. Tonight I realized for the first time that that ship has sailed. I’ve already missed my window of opportunity.”

“I’ve heard about paid flights to outer space. I think by 2020 it’s going to be as common as flying across the Atlantic,” she said, with her French accent that turns “think” into “sink”. The cuteness of it all pulled me right out of my ruined astronaut dreams. “Is that so?” I flicked the cigarette butt out of the window, and made my way over to the bed where she was laying, “People who take AA flights to the moon aren’t astronauts, their just tourists. I don’t want to be a tourist.”

“So if you can’t be one of the first, you don’t want to be one at all?”

“I guess you could put it that way.”

“Well you aren’t the first to be with me. Does it bother you being a tourist on this planet?” She said it with that same smile. There goes the other half of Napoleon’s army.

I said something else, but the only time it isn’t cliche is in the ears of lovers, so I’ll spare everyone the misery. What I will tell you is that we made love. The type lovers have on vacation; the timeless type that connects you with every bygone era that has ever graced the pages of this planet’s Earthen book.

We did it once, and then we did it again just in case.

2

The time came for us to depart. They were doing an extra security check before we could board the flight; they had a Middle Eastern employee calling out the names, as if to reassure us that this wasn’t some sort of racial profiling.

While we were waiting for our names to be called I decided to go grab us a snack from one of the airport food stands. Some Texan woman in front of me butchered the word “Bonjour” before proceeding with her order. It occurred to me that this could be a sign. The extra security check, the extra time to change our minds. We didn’t have to leave. As long as you’re not on that plane backing away from the gate there’s nobody stopping you.

I stared at the menu as I thought about the French countryside and how I’ve never seen skies in that shade of blue. The ancient Roman aqueduct in Montpellier, the golden statues above the Paris Opera House, the breathtaking cathedral in a little town that no God fearing American has ever even heard of.

I thought the food stand clerk said,“Thinking about leaving sir?” Turns out what all she really said was,“What are you thinking about having sir?”

Before I could answer her they called my name over the loudspeaker, “TERRANCE CROI, PLEASE COME UP TO THE FRONT DESK. TERRANCE CROI.”

They always pronounce it wrong. I decided to have a word with them about it.

“It’s Croi, it rhymes with boy.”

“Sounds Middle Eastern in origin.”

He eyed me suspiciously, as if my mother had committed a crime for giving up her maiden name, “Actually it’s Celtic for… Look, I’m having thoughts of ditching this flight for good but if I do that then I’ll lose a lot of money, my job, and my girlfriend will be mad at me so if we can just get this thing moving before I change my mind I would really appreciate it.”

I realized immediately that I had made a mistake. He submitted me to a security check. Luckily the next guy had the sense to give me a pat on the back and send me on my way. He must have sensed my urge to escape.

I’d be lying if I said it was easy to say goodbye. Every atom in my body was telling me to stay, and that’s all I wanted to do. I got stuck with the one French girl with an itch for America. She couldn’t wait to be back in L.A., and I couldn’t wait to convince her otherwise. Either way, we boarded when they called our group. Little did I know, getting on that plane wasn’t just a bad idea. It would end up being the single worst mistake I ever made in my life.

3

The flight itself wasn’t a complete disaster, especially if you compare it to to Hurricane Katrina. As it turns out I got the one bum seat without a tray table. Those bastards wouldn’t serve me food unless I moved seats. After a lot of bad noise, we agreed that as long as they served me the food while I was sitting in the other seat I was no longer an insurance liability. I told them thanks a lot, and to be sure and have somebody notify me when they die so I can attend the funeral.

Somewhere in between the animated movie with the talking animals and the 300th incarnation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Marian had some sort of vision. If I didn’t love her so much for her visions, I probably would have hated her for them.

“Terrance.”

“Yeah.”

“I’ve got a bad feeling.”

“About what?”

“I don’t know.”

“You think you forgot something?”

“No, it’s not that kind of bad feeling.”

Now I was starting to get worried. It took some courage to build up to the next question, but it had to be asked. “Is it about the marriage?”

I cringed as the words left my lips, like they were coated in bile and would have been better left in my stomach. Luckily her face lightened and my heart began to unclench.

“Of course not. That’s the only thing I’m sure of these days.”

“So you feel this way, but there’s nothing you can think of as to what’s causing it?”

“Nothing.”

“Well then I wouldn’t worry about it. Anxiety is just a defense mechanism left over from the cavemen. When they actually had saber tooth tigers and wolves the size of VW Beetles to worry about. Sometimes when everything is going good, it gets triggered just in case. By instinct. You know what I mean?”

She smiled, “No, but somehow hearing you ramble on makes me feel better about it.”

She grabbed my hand, rested her head on my shoulder and that was the end of that. Or so I thought, until I realized that I was feeling the same thing she was feeling. Staring at my broken tray table, I couldn’t help but feeling like I was ignoring the signs. She was right, something was wrong, and we were about to find out the hard way.

Why Did I Get On That Fucking Plane

Posted in Love, Thoughts, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2013 by Patrick Roe

We aren’t born stupid, smart, with grudges, or predetermined preferences.  There’s a lot of debate over what we are born with, whether it’s sexual preferences or the hardwiring of a killer. One thing I think we all can agree on is that it isn’t a whole lot. We come into a world, and it shapes us regardless of how we start out. We are born a blank slate, with nothing but potential.

I was born into parents who didn’t love each other anymore, but that’s just the story of my generation right? Broken families, broken homes, and broken souls that have a hard time believing the love we see in movies is real, or ever was. We are bombarded by images of white picket fences and nuclear families, so starkly  contrasted by the fake smiles and circus acts that surround us. There’s something different about my story though. My parents may have no longer loved each other, but they both still loved me. Maybe that’s the reason I never gave up on love, and still haven’t to this day.

Some people call me a hopeless romantic, and why not?  They have every reason. A week and a half ago I was kissing my girlfriend under the Eifel Tower, and then fighting back tears over my impending departure right as the tower erupted into a spectacular light show. The following picture was captured in that exact moment.

IMG_2262

 

It doesn’t get much more cliche than that. But you, reader, have my word that the moment was as real as they come.  Some people say there’s no truth in fiction, but if this wasn’t a scene right out of a movie then I’ll be your dead uncle. There was even a freshly married couple passing by my puddle of painful tears, as if placed there by the director to tease me with my own dreams for the future.

If you knew what I was missing, you would have cried too. This picture was taken by me about a week before the last one.

IMG_2114

 

She’s going to hate me when she sees that I put this picture up, but I can’t help it. It’s my new favorite, because something about the combination of her look, the setting, and the composition sums up everything that I love about her. I’m sure a stranger looking at it wouldn’t be able to get all of that, I don’t even think my girlfriend would be able to see. But when I look into this picture, I’m home.

I’d be lying to you if I told you it’s easy to look at this picture, and I mean really look at it. You reader, can’t tell by just reading but I had to have a good cry and a cigarette after writing that last paragraph whilst looking at that photograph. And I suppose that brings me to the title of this post. Why did I get on that fucking plane?

The answer to that question is still haunting me, because the answer is I don’t know. I fought every natural instinct, every emotion, every single thought in my head. Some people who read this may understand what I’m talking about, and I’m sure it will be lost on others. For those of you not in the know, let me be the first to tell you that NOTHING is harder than having to say goodbye to your one and true love. For those of you who know what I’m talking about, this next little side note is for you: I hope that you have not grown disillusioned or numb to the pain of saying goodbye to someone that you love with all of your heart. I hope that you are 125 and on your death bed and you still haven’t lost the capacity to love, nor the will to miss someone that you love the most. Because as hard as this is for me, and as stupid as I feel for getting on that fucking plane, at least I feel truly alive

This was my ride to the airport.

IMG_2271

 

Alone. Like the universe wanted to mirror the way I felt as I left. I don’t have a picture, but even the only seat next to me on the airplane was vacated due to a broken tray table. Alone. And damn it all if loneliness isn’t the worst feeling known to man. If we’re getting deep into it, being alone is one of my greatest fears. Not alone in the sense that nobody is around, because I have many people in my life whom I adore and as a writer I really do appreciate time to myself. I’m talking about the kind of loneliness that comes when you don’t have someone there who really touches your soul. Someone who warms you straight to the bone with just a look. I am lucky enough to have found that feeling. My love warms me in that way. And right now she is nine time zones, one ocean, and 5,641 miles away.

I’m not sure where to end this post, or if there even is a proper place to end it. I’m sure this won’t be the last you read of the distance between me and the girl that I love. Just know that I’m trying to be strong through it, and see what lessons the pain can teach me about life.

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.” – The Notebook