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 17.
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 would
soon hear the story of how his father ripped the pocket
off a new shirt his sister had given him when
the 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 a third glass of scotch.
I learned from Charlie
that bitterness is an acid that eats its container.
No matter what happens, get over it.