Magnum Opus, Part - I Selected Readings

Enter content here 

This section contains four (4) selections from my work Magnum Opus, Part I.

This work is about an incredible woman, our relationship, how I managed to lose her.

I have been very lucky in my life. Including relationships - graced by wonderful women who were loving & caring. Among them I've had five great loves in my life. This woman I view as the best of the best.

I have never been able to get over her and my time with her. And yes, this has interfered with relationships I have tried to be involved in since my time with her.

I long since accepted I'll never get over her. She was perfect, our time together heaven on earth to me.

She left long ago & moved on. I am nothing to her, not even a faded memory.

Actually, I am okay with loving a memory, a myth, even a ghost of my past.

If a new woman comes along great! If not, I am pleased where I am. Life has been good. And still is - just I have to live it now without her. But, as she herself constantly told me (being essentially the good little Jewish girl she was at heart) I am counted among "the blessed." She was (and is) right.

Magnum Opus, Part I is about her, our time together and about living without her ever since. I try to explain how incredible she was, discuss what I did which cost me her. Losing her was my fault.

Some of Part I is an apology she will never see. However, it feels good to admit this to the Universe. It's cathartic to be unburdened by my admission. And by declaring my unending love for a woman who only exists so far back in the past. A memory, a myth, a ghost.

Part I is 428 pages of text followed by 34 pages of addendum material. Parts II & III deal with other matters but do have small bits tangential to Part I.

Following are four passages -

1.      The first is a part of the intro to my work preceding the title page.

2.      The second is a passage about a conversation we had one day

3.      The third is a part of the Epilogue.

4.      A reference to a verse from a song (Let the light In by Bob SCHNEIDER) & its relation to us.



1 - (Passage preceding the title page)

Catherine created that incredible creature I called Beautiful.

Or at least she allowed herself to be the canvas upon which my imagination painted using all the pastels and paints, acrylics and oils of my mind and heart.

In doing so, even if she did not actively seek to become Beautiful for the time we were together, she did let me see her as that woman. She let me live with that woman for a time. She let me love Beautiful and let me think - even if mistakenly - that Beautiful loved me.

And in doing so allowed me to dream the dreams that have, I believe, changed me and my life from here on out for the better.

It is my most fervent prayer that life be good and kind to Catherine. May every day of her life be as wonderful as every day of my life is because of the memories I carry with me of Beautiful.

I owe Catherine a debt I can never repay, if there were any way I could I would. I can only hope that her life go as she wants it to, that she gets everything her heart desires.

She is deserving of that because she gave me the greatest love of my life - Beautiful.





The Conversation in the Cafeteria

Looking back now, there is a second situation where I may have screwed up any chances I had with Catherine after we had split apart and while we were still talking. Again, demonstrating how incredibly dense I could be.

There is another incident when she and I were still talking where Catherine may have attempted to extend an olive branch (though I could be wrong). In January of 1994 she asked me to meet her in the office cafeteria. We had a short, friendly conversation. This is when she issued her famous line, which I have quoted freely ever since -

"How can two incredibly intelligent people get so incredibly stupid at exactly the same moment?"

At times I reflect back on that conversation. In that moment in speaking, she may have been extending an olive branch and considering giving me another chance. Testing the waters to see if there was a chance at reconciliation. At the same time maybe too frightened to stick her neck out too far. Too scared to go out on that limb as she told me to do once-upon-a-time.

If so, she was timid in her attempts to build a bridge back to me. Maybe, I was too fucking stupid, hard-headed and proud to pick up on any offer she was making. I was so convinced she was lost to me, so sure she was David's, so lost in my own negative self-image at the moment I could not see what she may have been saying. What she possibly offered.

We talked but nothing happened. If she was trying to reconcile in some way it must have been very frustrating for her as I just did not pick up on the vibe or get with the program.

There may have been other events (in addition to the Jimmie Dale GILMORE concert & our meeting in the cafeteria) in the time frame of December 1993 to March 1994 where she attempted to connect with me but I was so convinced I had lost Beautiful I was unreachable.

I may have engaged in a series of self-actualizing prophecies here. My actions guaranteeing the results I did not want but that I feared.

One more thing needs to be said about her statement in that conversation. Over time I have become convinced only I was so stupid as to lose her. Possibly in that statement along with maybe trying to reconcile and get back together she was providing me cover and taking some of the blame for the things I did which cost us each other.

If so, she was indeed kind in doing such.

Just one more item to add to the list of why I thought she was so incredible.

In consideration of the events above

To some degree I've acted like Catherine just packed up & put away Beautiful one day, moved on never looking back.

That may not be entirely the case, true or - more particularly - fair to her.


When, a couple of months after we had split apart, she met me in the cafeteria lunchroom and talked to me, poising the question "how could two incredibly intelligent people get so incredibly stupid at exactly the same time?" she may've been saying more than I realized at the moment.

I was still so mad at her and so hurt at losing her I could not see straight. I felt like she was ridiculing me. Poking at me from a safe distance.

She may have been making some (rather weak) attempt at seeing if there was any possible way forward for us.

She may have been being wistful, wishing things had taken a different turn.

She may have been wondering how neither one of us could have caught us and stopped our descent into the depths of losing each other.

And perhaps just as important this may have been her effort to take her share of the responsibility for us losing each other.

This may have been the closest she could come to a "Mea Culpa" moment. An admission on her part she did some of the bad acts which lead to us breaking apart.

That would have been a major concession on her part.

Catherine as best as I can tell does not ever think or admit she does anything wrong. It's not that she thinks of herself as perfect or better than other people just that she does not conceive of the fact anything she does or says hurts or harms someone else or has negative results.

When I was with her, I found her never able to admit she did something wrong at the time she did it, in the moment so-to-speak. She could talk about having done something in the past (the distant past) - this was an aspect of her self-acceptance theme.

What was done in the past was done, there was nothing she could do about it and besides the past was set in stone. She bore no responsibility for whatever she was expressing "self-acceptance" about in the present. That past is past, what is done cannot be undone and she bore no responsibility beyond this flimsy veil of acknowledgement she called self-acceptance.

And this voicing of self-acceptance seemed to absolve her of any feeling of guilt at what she had done or any regret for damage she did to others.

As I saw it her theory of self-acceptance was pretty vapid, petty and shallow.


It is possible I am wrong in seeing her concept of her self-acceptance as being phony and contrived. There may have been more substance there than I give her credit for. It is just that it seemed to me every time she used that self-acceptance line, she was not accepting full responsibility for any action she had taken which had hurt someone else. But rather walking away from and distancing herself (at least emotionally) from what she had done.


What makes her statement/question about "how could two incredibly intelligent people get so incredibly stupid at exactly the same time?" so incredible is that she was sitting there at that table taking at least half the blame and fault on her shoulders.

And if she wasn't doing that, she was showing me a kindness by lifting some of the fault for our break-up off of me. In that moment one last time, being the blessing, I did not earn nor deserve.

I was being so pig-headed at the time I could not see straight. I was hurt at how I thought she had done me wrong and so angry with her for, as I saw it, not accepting any responsibility for her actions involving Sweetie, David or me.

Of course, notice how conveniently I was allowing myself to blame her for everything instead of seeing my own part in this. I was allowing myself in my own head to be the victim put upon by her and her actions. Usually I am not that way.

I am the guy who takes responsibility for everything. I am as the Marine Corps would say "The Universal Responsible Officer."

But I was hurt and angry and I could not focus. Not to mention feeling guilty about not having a complete, clean & total breakup with Sweetie before Beautiful stepped into my life. And allowing Sweetie back in and manipulating her to get at Beautiful.

I was wrong to do that to Sweetie; I was wrong to do that to Beautiful. I always said I have a large kill radius.

So, to some degree I was mad at Catherine because of my guilt at what I did. Now that was really fair and adult, wasn't it?

So here I was so stubborn while Catherine was trying to reason with me. Possibly even trying to lay the groundwork for a reconciliation.

I did not give her anything even faintly resembling a fair hearing. I am a real piece of work.

This statement about "two people" was the only occasion in my entire time with her I ever definitively heard her take responsibility for anything. There she was accepting 50% of the blame, acknowledging 50% of the responsibility and accepting 50% of the weight.

She was in real time (so close to the event of our breakup) acknowledging responsibility and accepting her part in the situation. Possibly trying to build half a bridge back to me.

I could not hear her. I would not listen to her.

I was being overly dominant. I wanted to blame and punish her for everything.

If I could only have controlled my anger and hostility in the moment. If I could have stepped outside myself for that instant. If I could have thought strategically instead of focusing on the tactical. If I could have let my love for Beautiful overcome my anger at Catherine and myself.

But not me. Oh no, not me.


This is part of why I feel I deserved what I got in losing her. Beautiful was perfect. Perfect by my definition of perfection. Perfect in my eyes.

And I really was imperfect.

God, Fate and the Tree Moss always maintain the Universe in balance.

At least in regards to my life. 



3 -


Eternity is a long, long time...

Beautiful did much for me. Far more than I have probably given her full credit for herein and more than I can ever repay.

She healed me up without me even knowing what she was doing. The girl was sneaky that way.

She taught me Bright Eyes was not the last great love of my life and that life did go on.

And perhaps most importantly she showed me that I did deserve her. Though I learned that lesson too late for me to be able to keep her or even retain her in my life for some longer period of time.

With her help, I learned I was worthy of the perfection that was Beautiful.

Some lessons are learned easily, some very hard. For me it usually turns out to be the hard road that is taken. Such was the case here.

But while through my own fault I lost Beautiful I was allowed to keep the memory of how wonderful life was with her. I am visited by the most incredible of dreams.

Though it took me a while to realize it (as I can be pretty damn slow in the uptake) I eventually became aware of the happiness engulfing me because of having been involved with her and having been allowed to have her in my life for the time she was present.

That happiness does not die.

It lives on in me every day. It lifts and carries me along through life.

Eternity is out there, way beyond The Singularity. One day I will wake up and it will be at my front door.

Until that day I will go along with the happiness of my whole life. Most particularly the happiness of Beautiful and my time with her.

On that day I will pack my bag with my memories and my happiness and my love.

Mother and Daddy, Janet and Tammie - the most wonderful family a boy could have.

Kids and grandkids, nieces and in-laws and children galore. My extended family of cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents.  Friends and acquaintances - so many incredible people. The spectacular women who have blessed my life and shared themselves with me.

The adventures, the fun, the learning, the excitement. All the good memories; even the bad.

A life full and enjoyed.

Everything about Beautiful & every moment with her will be foremost among all I pack away.


My bag will be so full one would think I could not lift it. Yet when I pick it up, buoyed by the love inside it will seem weightless and light.

And then I will be off.

For eternity is a long, long time...



4 -


Let the Light in - Bob Schneider


Bob Schneider is an artist - born in Michigan - who lives, works and performs out of Austin.

This is the last verse from his song - Let the Light In. Off his album A Perfect Day.

Every time I hear this song it leaves me in tears. It'll be obvious to each of you as to why Paul likes this so much as you read the verse below about two people who don't really fit in the world, but they "fit" together

"'cause love don't give a damn about what other people say..."

For a moment, just a fleeting moment, in time that was me and Beautiful -

And they danced in the darkness, on the floor,
And the world kept spinning round
Like it's always done before,
And all the people in club,
Said they don't make a pretty pair,
But the tin man and the witch, they didn't seem to care
No, 'cause love don't give a damn about what other people say
It does what it wants; it's always been that way
That's the way it was, the way it will be again
Forever, and ever, and ever, amen!


Let the light in, let the light in

Enter content here

Enter content here

Enter content here

Enter supporting content here