By Riggs
Date: 12 March 2001

Ritual Habitual


As a child I watched my parents love each other as much as two people can.
I never bothered to consider myself lucky,
or even to think of them as lucky.
My friend Quan once told me that as a six year old
he had listened to Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" almost non-stop
during the time that his parents were going through a bitter separation.
I simply didn't understand such nonsense.
The significance of "Rumours" didn't become apparent until last year.
To me what my parents had was simply what people did.
You grew up,
somehow lost the notion that girls were gross,
found someone you liked and got married.
Simple really.


Girlfriends come and go,
each one chosen not because they blow my mind,
but because I hate being alone,
A situation not fair to either party.
I have had my heart broken,
and I have acted like a pig,
eventually I'm sure it evens out.


Humans chase love the same way that bugs chase bright light.
I have endured the emotional blackmail,
I've suffered the demands to change,
I've wrestled with the unfair questions,
"Don't you love me enough to do this one little thing?"
We play so hard and hopefully,
deliberately neglecting to notice the odds piled up against us,
searching the entire planet,
for a person to love,
who will love you with equal intensity.


I know a man who visits our workplace at least five times a week,
trying to pick up the girls
He hasn't worked there for six months.
The man is thirty years old,
people talk about him and laugh,
I wonder what it is that has reduced him to this.

I have seen girls reduced to tears,
because they haven't been asked out for two months.
And it all seems so counterproductive,
because relationships begin inherently physical
but remaining that way destroys them.
You have to fight to get yourself off display
so you can begin to be yourself
and then hope that you are as attractive in 3D as you are in 2.


Can you really fall in love with muscles,
or blond hair
big tits
long legs
fast cars  
or athletic prowess.
That is not why people love other people.
Your car is not special,
your law degree is not impressive,
your house is not remarkable,
what makes you special are your quirks.
The stuff you probably hate about yourself.
The fact that you play piano,
but only bothered to learn three different versions of the one song
the fact that in your late twenties you still watch cartoons,
your homemade stereo cabinets still won't close properly,
the human stuff.
The stuff that you wish you could change.

Sometimes when I'm on stage,
I can see the mating game in motion in its sleaziest form.
On the dancefloor and in the clubs darkest corners,
I see people working an angle
not even knowing why,
but working anyway.
And I sing and pick the strings,
as indiscriminately as they picked their targets,
and wonder why I feel so indifferent.

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