Monday, December 26, 2011

Sam Cooke Says There'll Be No Second Time


He walked down the sidewalk, head down and straining against the sweeping winds that were seemingly most prevalent on this particular stretch of sidewalk on the Main Street. He was layered against the weather and despite the cold he felt nauseous, over heated and he wished he had worn a lighter jacket instead of the thick green workman's hoodie he had grabbed off the bedroom floor that morning in his usual sleepy fog.

He caught his reflection in a giant glass window of one of the many abandoned store fronts on Main Street and turned his head quickly away from the man he saw there. His eyes were sunken, even more than was usual for his long, thin face. His eyes, usually a light brown, seemed black and hooded. Every full feature on his face had been reduced to bloodlessness with a serious departure of color and lightness. He looked a very stolid sort and felt that way endlessly lately, much to the chagrin of his family and co workers. They walked on glass around him, impervious to the deep, sad reasons for his recent melancholy.

He thought of her constantly and consistently and swallowed every single painful gulp of her absence, bottling it all up in his gut like a chunk of hard tack. He gave excuses to people who were concerned like “I’m just feeling blue”, “I’ll be OK, just give me time”, “It’s a passing thing” and eventually they believed him because he was considered a sometimes mercurial and solitary man.

Waiting at the crosswalk he took at his phone and stared at it, willing it to buzz in his pale lean fingers. He rubbed his thumb across the screen of the phone and winced as he thought of his thumb on the pulse of her neck while he held her face in his hands, rubbing his nose against hers, staring into her eyes that matched his once.

Later in the evening after he was good and drunk on some randomly chosen lager he pulled out the phone and tentatively composed text messages to her. “I miss you” was the only one that made any sense at all but he couldn’t bring himself to send it to her, out across buzzing electronic lines of modernity to wherever she was. He felt a pang of disgust for his emotional state and shoved the phone back in his pocket.

He had told her once in an effort to help her grieve after losing someone she had loved fiercely that it would always hurt but the hurts fades over time from a thumping throbbing pain to a vague aching feeling. His own words gave him comfort this night and although he slept fitfully without dreams he awoke in the morning with the thought of her soft lips on his chin, the strange and loving way she would brush them all over his face.

He had been happy once, fairly certain of his life goals, needs, wants. Things had been cemented for him until she jolted him out of this contented cloud of commonplace existence. A couple words on the screen of his phone, a few conversations that made them entrenched in each other so quickly and recklessly. She was the first to exhibit signs of melancholy, of strain, of sadness at their situation and in the beginning he was oblivious to it, or at least he tried very hard to be. At first he could handle her unhappiness at their situation with words and caresses, stolen moments. Over time she wasn’t happy with those moments alone and became restless and cranky. She pouted like a child and demanded his attentions and the more he withheld them the more she stared in the distance and let the tears rolls down her round fair cheeks waiting without any joy for him to wipe them away.

It wasn’t long until he met her melancholy with anger.

He ignored her more and more, smashed her pleas with silence and made her certain he was a fickle man, that everything he said to her, all the wistful romantic treatises and promises had actually been ploys and play.

They met one more time before she gave up and turned her back on him forever, arms wrapped tightly around herself and shuffling away, her chest heaving with sobs. He watched her leave with regret and a sour stomach, stood stock still and remained dry eyed and resolved.

When she started her car the music that had been blasting when she pulled up to their spot started again. Even at the distance he was from the car he could tell it was one of their shared songs, songs they had picked for one another to describe their non existent relationship, songs they cooed over and giggled at for their blatant romanticism. She looked out the windshield at him, narrow eyes swollen from crying and with one indiscernible movement of her right shoulder, right arm, the music turned off. As she pulled away he saw her throw something out the window and when she was far enough away he trudged out into the parking lot with dread at what she had tossed from her car. It was a silver CD and written on the front in her scratchy childlike scribbling was ‘My True Heart’.

Somewhere in space and time a dark couple is standing in the center of some old wooden building, a secret cold place, cold and damp. Her hands are in the pockets of her warm wool peacoat, her head is on his chest, his cheek and lips alternatively rest on the top of her head, brush her cheek and her neck, his hands are inside her coat, squeezing her waist with his finger tips. Around them are thick swirls of what looks like gasoline in a puddle, the couple oblivious of the polluted bubble thickly circling them within an orb, encasing them in that tender moment forever. A childish gesture like throwing a CD out of a car window carries enough weight to pop the greasy bubble, coating the couple in goo and separating what seemed like an endless embrace.

And like that the spell was broken, their connection was ripped and torn into ragged pieces and there they were to remain for all their separate lives, hoping the pain of being apart would fade over time from a throbbing thumping pain into a vague achy feeling.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Obsessing Over My Hair For Months and unhealthy.

Remember when I got my hair cut the shortest I've ever had it and I thought it was a really big freaking deal?

Such an innocent child I was all those months ago...

It turns out that the length of my hair was the only thing preventing me from looking like a total and complete douchebag and/or Ronald McDonald. Because I'm obsessed with myself every once in a while I'll snap a webcam photo of myself and then post it on Facebook to share with everyone how very much I am unhappy with my hair and it's growth progress.

Now if I could only get someone to braid the rat tail growing down my back. And I know you might have just rolled your eyes but yes there is one.

I do have some more fiction posts coming to those of you (all three of you) that emailed me and asked for more but all three are entered in different contests and have to be released before I can publish them anywhere. I suppose I could write some more but then that would be entirely too productive.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Confusion of Betrayal


This is my featured post from last month at Studio Thirty Plus, The Confusion of Betrayal. It's short and not sweet.

Her voice was strained and remarkably unpleasant at first, something in her current situation made her angry at everyone, even people completely unrelated to it. I gulped her words down and let the anger roll over me and behind me, felt it’s heat retreating away like a winding trail into the distance.
Angel sighed and over the miles and miles of electronic waves I felt her pain and sadness.
“I’m so sorry.” She began to weep in thick snotty gurgles, the sick kind that get stuck in your throat and make you feel like a child, looking to wipe your face on anything and anyone near you. I imagined her blonde hair sticking in thick swathes to her face, weaving knots in her already unmanageable mane.
“Angel you have nothing to apologize for, none of this is your fault.” I felt the words pouring like waste out of my mouth, how pointless to parrot the cliche words meant to comfort in times like these. Couldn’t I think of something more original, more beneficial?
The sobbing continued and I could think of nothing to say. My flight instinct made me want to just hang up the phone, walk away from her and her situation, pretend like it never happened. Because the one thing about situations like Angel’s that would really get to you; once you examined them you realized that it could happen to you just as easily. I hung on and gave small sentences of encouragement, I tried to be as forthright and strong as she was weak and cowardly.
“Listen to me. I will come to you, just let me finish up my work here and I’ll just pack everything else up and come to you.” I had made a decision, that was a start.
“No! Oh God. What if he comes back?” The sobbing turned into deep and sharp intakes of breath, caught in Angel’s chest like heaving hurricanes of hysteria. She hung up the phone.
I called her back immediately and there was no answer.
I called her husband’s cell phone and there was no answer. The anger that I had dealt with so very well just a few short minutes ago now welled up in me like a surge of bitter bile.
“You fucking worthless piece of shit. You mother fucking dumb ass idiot. I wish your drunk ass didn’t have the excuse of your disease to fall back on. You knew what you were doing and I wish you would have killed the bitch you did it with, in the car that you fucked her in, while you were supposedly blacked out. I wish you were dead too.”
How very sad I was, how low I felt at this moment. I meant the words I said, I did wish he were dead for a minute, but I also wished that Angel and I were dead too. And that had nothing to do with a drunken child cheating on his lovely and perfect wife. It was about the sadness in the world and the strength and possession it takes to live with the bleakness of existing.
I called into work, rescheduling all of my clients and appointments. I felt a chill and an ache like the phantom impending flu I knew I did not have creeping up my spine and laying itself down in the base of my skull. The tears came as I packed up my stuff and continued to the car, in the car, on the drive and up Angel’s driveway. They were dried up by the time I parked the car, took notice of her husband’s car and crept around the house to the back deck, up the stairs and to the outside door to Angel’s bedroom.
I listened guiltily, almost afraid that I was in the midst of some sordid crime TV show, about to become the second victim of a husband’s rage. Instead of fear or panic I heard soft moans and sighs, something I knew from sharing a room with Angel for four years of college meant that she was being screwed by her husband, the only man she’s ever been with.

Instead of hearing her delicate pleas for more of his dick and more of his mouth from across an attic dorm room, her sighs and pants bouncing off wooden rafters in our ancient space, I was now hearing them from outside her grown up home, her house with her husband who had just betrayed her as horrifically as one could betray another. I fled their home and flew back out of the driveway and on to the road.
The tears came once more but this time they were for me alone.