The Charlies show up at pivotal times in my life
to teach me important things. They’re never aware of
their impact on me but the epiphanies they deliver are real.
It’s a pattern I’ve noticed.
Why does God send me Charlies
instead of Gabriels, Michaels, Bobs or Franks?
I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Him.
The first Charlie dated my mother when I was seventeen.
He was a cowboy and a racist and a drunk. Mom knew he was
a cowboy when she met him. She learned the rest of it later.
Charlie was charming and funny when he was sober
but if he had a glass of scotch in his hand you’d soon hear
the story of how his father ripped the pocket off a new
shirt his sister had given him when his dad spotted
a pack of cigarettes in it. Charlie left town and never
spoke to his father again. But he re-lived that torn
pocket with acrimony and tears every time he
finished his third glass of scotch.
I learned from Charlie that bitterness
is an acid that eats its container.
No matter what happens, get over it.