The thunderstorm was predicted for the beginning of the week, but slow it pulled through this late July, not arriving until Thursday, one day too early to mark the anniversary of our undoing. I heard the thunder roll from where I sat on the porch, hypnotized by red sky, and not caring if it all cracked open to drown me. As soon as I peeled away and went inside, down it poured. I wanted to watch but was too tired, too tired even to be full to the brim over you.

To the men who don’t fight, or speak, or even open their eyes.

To the ones who can’t find it in them to grieve.

To the ones who are better at math, who want numbers attached to my actions, I give you the 262 days of unemployment that lead me to your office, and the subsequent two it took me to realize that I better start writing if I’m going to survive it.

To the men who don’t listen, and the ones who do.

To the ones (meaning all) I’m not good at obeying.

To the elusive, unresponsive, uncooperative man-muse, I paraphrase Elizabeth Gilbert and say if you want my writing to be better, you need to show up and do your part of the job. But if you stay away, doing God knows what on your own, and never again grace me with your presence, I don’t care. I’m going to write anyway–because that’s my job.

To the men who offer quick solutions: stop it.

To the ones I want too badly, deeply, openly, loudly, and the ones I frighten away.

To the ones who work but don’t love it, who make music late in the night, who handcraft jewelry on the weekends, who scribble lines on their lunch breaks, and who paint in the privacy of the basement of a house they worked half their lives to own–I think I’ll start writing for you.

To the men who give me hope for the species.

To the ones who stay, who have yet to arrive, and even who leave, when you know that it’s time.

To the ones who are far easier to deal with than women, and the ones who are more difficult than any woman I’ve ever met, and especially the ones who are so elusive I can’t get a hold of you either way, I believe if you paused and understood what you did, you might not flood so many brains to the point of suffocation.

To the men who were wrong, and to the ones who weren’t right.

To the ones who won’t protect, not even themselves.

To you, I give my night of sound sleep in the heart of the storm, in a bed a thousand miles from where I started. I give you latched windows, shut blinds, and the drone of a fan. I can’t hear the rain pounding on the roof, can’t see the lightning flash through the glass, and so I can’t hear you, just outside my walls, howling yourself hoarse in the dark.