Amor Insincero

By Austin B. Hahn

Kind words

Polite gestures

Sparkling conversation

A smile that illuminates the room

Soft flickering candle lights

A warm, romantic ambience on this quiet night

Glass of wine halfway empty

Gourmet bread

Italian cuisine

Chocolate decadence

Elusive, intimate moments exchanged

Eyes of passion permeating one another

Carnal synchronicity requires few words

An empty glass of wine

The waiter brings the bill

Lips interlocked while standing alongside the curb waiting for a taxi

Staggering towards the edge of the stairs

Tossing and turning between the sheets

Lost in each other’s embrace

Falling asleep as the night begins to fade . . .

Waking up the next day to the rays of sunlight

You tell me, “I’ll text you later”

Emoticons, hearts, I miss you’s, bombastic messages

My efforts to see you again are met with ambiguity

Days go by

Weeks go by

Months go by

Your memory fades

Shame I spent the time of my life on you without asking for a receipt in case I wanted it back

Too busy pursuing one infatuation after another

To only be remembered by many as an insincere lover

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Lessons Learned in 2016

By Austin B. Hahn

  • Don’t be so critical of human nature. People are flawed, and we’re all learning. What you may already know could be new knowledge to others, so don’t expect them to believe what you believe and criticize them when they don’t. In addition, if someone doesn’t know something, then they don’t know, so instead of thinking, “Wow! God must love stupid people because he sure made a lot of them,” help them to understand it.
  • “Common sense” is vague, so toss it to the wind. What may appear to be obvious to you, whether it’s someone’s spouse cheating on them, an answer to a test question, or how to do a task assigned to you by your boss, may not be so obvious to the other person for various reasons. Maybe that person has been with their spouse, who was loyal, for over twenty years, and the thought of infidelity never crossed their mind. Perhaps English is someone’s second language, so they weren’t sure how to answer that test question, or after consolidating with your coworkers, you realize that each of them have a different take on the assignment. Regardless of circumstance, common sense is relative to personal interpretation.
  • You don’t need to be painfully serious and rigid to accomplish your professional goals. A person can have fun and still do their job. Attitude and work ethic are not the same. Then again, you may just find that getting work done is easier if you cultivate an attitude that allows yourself to have fun in the process.
  • Don’t do something for the sole purpose of obtaining financial security. You might end up taking a job that ruins your health or that you may not be able to get out of without some repercussions that could professionally undermine your life. Before applying for a job, read about other people’s experiences, research what are the long-term benefits, and ask your higher self, “Is this job in alignment with my goals?” If not, look elsewhere. There’s always another way to make money.
  • If you love someone, let them know. U.S. culture condemns saying, “I love you,” to someone who you don’t know well, but saying “I hate you,” to a complete stranger is tolerated in public. If you tell someone the latter, no one says anything, but if you say the former, everyone is quick to tell you that you shouldn’t love so “easily” or that you shouldn’t give all your love away so fast. Why is it anyone’s fuckin’ business to tell you how you should feel about someone regardless of how long you’ve known them? Who cares if you’ve known a person for a week or decades? When you feel it’s right, it’s right, so tell them. People don’t hear, “I love you,” enough, and we all need love to make it in this world. I’m not saying, “Be foolish and love others blindly,” but what I am saying is pay attention to your gut. Do not suppress your feelings and wait after years have gone by or the timing may be awkward; or, even worse, you may discover that person is gone.

Love

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.”

–1 Cor. 13.4-7, 13

R.I.P. Dianne L. Anderson (August 17th, 1939 — March 11th, 2015)

Impermanence

By Austin B. Hahn

Disclaimer: this is a fictional story.

(Someone knocks on the door. A young woman named Julia answers it.)

Julia: Greg?

(Greg, frustrated, barges in through the doorway past Julia.)

Greg: I’m done with this Julia.

Julia: What’s the matter?

(Greg pauses for a moment and becomes teary-eyed.)

Greg: I thought about what you said yesterday when we were on the docks. Look, Julia, I know you are going to die of cancer, but you see, I still want to marry you.

(Julia begins to cry.)

Julia: Damn it, Greg! Why did you have to do this to me!?

Greg: Do what, Julia?

Julia: Come into my life, and be this amazing person, and as soon as I get diagnosed with cancer, you want to marry me?

(Greg starts crying.)

Greg: I can’t waste another day knowing that the love of my life is just down the street from me, and I could be married to her. I have been waiting for someone like you my entire life!

Julia: Yeah but I can’t even give you kids! Don’t you want that!? Do you want to wake up one day to a pregnant wife lying dead next to you in bed!?

(Julia is bawling.)

Greg: Of course I would want kids with you! Just because we can’t have a baby doesn’t mean that we can’t be together. No matter how long or short.

(Julia drops to the floor, sobbing. She then looks up at Greg.)

Julia: The doctor said I only have two months left to live.

(Greg walks towards Julia and kneels down to her level.)

Greg: Then we’ll get married. I’ll give you a beautiful wedding and take you to places around the globe with me.

(Greg holds her hand with a promising smile.)

(On May 6th, 1974, Greg and Julia Andrews married outside of the Sistine Chapel. They experienced everything together, from African skies to Italian cuisine, and visited the three cities Julia wanted to see in her life: Paris, Prague, and Rome. One day, as Julia held on to the back of Greg while riding on an elephant in South Africa, she suddenly fell ill. She was rushed to a hospital. Despite receiving medical care, her health became worse each passing hour. In the waiting room, Greg was informed by a doctor that she would not make it. He spent his final moment with Julia sitting next to her while holding her right hand as she lay lifeless on the bed.)

Julia: Thank you for making this a wonderful closing chapter to my life.

Greg: You’re welcome, and I love you.

(Julia gazes into Greg’s eyes.)

Julia: I love you too.

(Julia Andrews was pronounced dead at 11:24 p.m. on July 8th, 1974. Julia’s body was cremated. Her ashes were sprinkled into the Mediterranean Sea, and, back home, along the coast of Los Angeles. Two weeks later, in L.A. on a hot summer day, as Greg sprinkled her remains along the shore, he stopped and looked out into the ocean. He pondered for a minute or two. He wondered why his wife had to be taken away from him so soon. While reflecting upon his loss, he discovered something profound. He knew in his heart that the joy of being married to her, regardless of how short, outweighed the pain of her death. From that moment on, Greg realized he could either live the rest of his life cherishing what has been given to him, or he could dwell on what has been taken away from him.)

Thank God for Death!

By Austin B. Hahn

Have you ever hated someone so much that you wanted to kill them or wished they were dead? Well you don’t have to. Time will get them for you. As each year goes by, they get closer to Death. You don’t have to do anything. They get older each minute.

Sick of your wife nagging you on Christmas Day to spend time with your in-laws? No problem. Death can take her away. Wanting revenge after someone wronged you? Don’t sweat it. Death will arrive at their doorstep one day. Tired of watching your loved one suffer through chemotherapy? No worries. Death will take care of them. Medicine can treat pain, but Death has the ultimate power to liberate us from our bodies and free us from any chronic illness.

We as human beings should be thankful for all aspects of the life cycle, including Death. If it wasn’t for Death, life as we know it would become stale. The conditions that we were born into, such as our ethnicity, genes, national origin, and who our parents and siblings are, would forever remain the same.

Some perceive the loss of a loved one as a tragedy. However, I believe that a life lived, no matter how short, is an accomplishment. Living takes courage, and there’s no guarantee that our lives will reach fulfillment; we’re only assured that Death awaits us. Like Karma, as an inevitable force of nature, Death does not have a deadline. Death is uncertain. We have to love our family and friends today and maintain enough detachment so we’re not taken by surprise if they are gone tomorrow. The loss of a loved one is not a time to mourn, but a time to celebrate their life. Since no one lives eternally, we must not forget the importance of rejoicing in the moments we shared with them and that shedding tears upon their passing is healthy, but crying a river will not bring them back.

We seem to have little understanding of a person’s worth when they’re alive. We commodify what they owned in life, marvel at their accomplishments, and reminisce about the pleasant times, but we rarely tell them all we want to say when they’re alive, so we end up writing a eulogy they’ll never hear. We’ll start to miss their quirks that once annoyed us. We’ll think of them when we pass by their favorite restaurant. We’ll play a song that matches the emotions in our heart when we think about them. We’ll even sometimes pretend they’re still alive after watching a video of them, but they’re gone . . .

We may never know what more they could have done with their life, but one thing is certain: because of Death, they can’t be hurt anymore. There’s no more suffering. There’s no more struggle. There’s no more pain. Everything is quiet.

All we can do now is keep some mementos of this person for memories.

There Are Loves

By Austin B. Hahn

There are loves . . . everywhere I go

I loved you . . .
I love you . . .
I will love you . . .

I invite you to the privacy of my world
I show you the heart that never dies
You loved me back to life
And showed me all the things that I once loved

I give you the photos of my history
I trust you with the keys to my house
You took me by the hand to get closer
And whispered to me words of love

In my dreams you’re only a fantasy
In reality you are my eternal love
You will be the joy, the sadness, and the madness
You will fill out the rest of the chapters of my life

We would’ve loved in an earlier time
We were young and didn’t know ourselves
We were destined to love before our time
And I had realized that I loved you before I met you

Now you are dancing in the distance
I see you drifting over the sea
I imagine you along the shore
You are nowhere to be found

The absence of your presence dwells within me

And yet I am still here yearning for your love . . .

An Ephemeral Reverie

By Austin B. Hahn

You gaze upon my eyes
I whisper softly as you walk on by
My heart beats with each step you take
I want you in my life

You’re a lost experience
I wander in my soul
My hand reaches over a thousand years
I feel the stretch of time

You love another now
I am left with the undying curiosity
My eternal fondness stands still
I let my hand slip as I lend you to another man

I’ll Be Thinking About You

By Austin B. Hahn

One of the saddest moments of my life was when I realized that I won’t be the one to love you. You’ll probably go off with another man. You’ll share your secrets with him, tell him all the things that I wanted to know about you, laugh with him, make memories with him that you’ll be able to look back on in a photo book when you’re old, and you’ll fall asleep in his arms at night instead of mine.

I wanted to know what was written in the pages of your heart’s diary. I wanted to be the one who wakes up with you in the morning as the sun rises. I wanted to be the one who you light up to when no one is around. I wanted to be the one in the pictures next to you. I’ll never get to know what loving you is like. I’ll just be thinking about you as my head lays on my pillow until I drift off.

All I wanted to do was love you