Sunday, July 16, 2017

Save their own

"I want to give it to you ."  Her smile was sheepish, too shy for all we had shared over three years and endless talks.

"For keeps?" I turned it over in my hands as if it were a rare jewel.  To me, it was nothing less. "Trish, this is special.  I'm not special," but I was holding on to it with white knuckles cherishing the texture of its cover and all the tender, wonderful thoughts and drawings I knew it held secret.  Secret for me.

"Stop it you reject.  You are to me." she leaned in and kissed my cheek.  I loved the warmth of her mouth and the honesty of her friendship. I wiped it off like it was dirt.  She punched me and called me a douche.

We laughed, sitting in comfortable silence as the sun yawned behind the clouds making my safest and favorite time of day...night. She was right.  I WAS a reject.  I had been labeled quickly when mom moved here.  Other choice descriptions/nicknames were: Stupid, Retard, Wackadoo, Weird... the list goes on because people never tire of hurting.

No one liked me; but no one ever tried.  I was a little different, maybe slow to understand some things but I was honest; unlike Mr. D who liked watch little girls in dresses on the swings at recess, or Mrs Hawthorne who pinched Dr. Mickels butt when she thought no one was looking (right in front of the book store~) that 's where I hang out. Printed words hurt much less than the ones thrown from bad mouths.

I had a respectable but reasonable "pass" being friends with Trisha.  Everyone loved her.  She was beautiful, talented and smart.  Her dad died in a hunting accident a year before I moved in to town.  He was with his best friend who took her in and guarded her like the sheriff.  Well, that makes sense because he WAS the sheriff.  He always gave me stink eye but she could back him down with a look.  She was my guardian angel. My only friend.  We met every day at the river.  We talked.  We sat in silence.  We read poetry or drew or played hangman.  I suck at that game because I am a lousy speller.

"Can I open it?" trying to hide the excitement.

"Of course you goof."

I flipped the pages catching bits and pieces of diary entries and poems; flashes of sketches and homework assignments. It was a piece of her.  I treasured it instantly.

We sat for a while; conjuring up a story about a beautiful princess who had teeth so bucked she could eat an apple through a picket fence and a fear of sunlight.  Being of royalty, sheltered from everything because of her looks and her father's fear of the cruel world, she burned easily and was often mistaken for a vampire or a ghost.

In ignorance; sparked by whisperings from a shallow jealous little man in town who constantly spoke of her evil powers and malicious intent, the town rejected her and threatened to revolt; killing the royal family.  However, there was a wise, kind priest who gave her a test; holding a mirror to show her reflection which she passed and saved the family, the monarchy and the world. The only price to pay was that she love him and stay with him forever.

What else do fifteen  year olds do?  We were out of Madlibs.

"I don't like that ending" I said softly.  It's not happy.  In my simple world; stories you made up should end happily.

"You don't always like what you hear." she said stiffly and pulled away a little.

"But she was a princess and should be able to do what she wants to be happy."

"You ARE a reject sometimes.  Sometimes, you get stuck.  You have to do things.  You hate them.  You may hate the people who make you do them... but you're stuck."

"You're the reject.  Mean story." I nudged her shoulder to show no hard feelings. I heard her sigh and saw the shadow of a smile cross her mouth.

As always, we said goodnight.  We hugged and promised to go straight home.  I always cautioned her:

"Beware the free candy van..."

"In search of a puppy? I'm all in..."  she would add over her shoulder.

"If they get you, scream so the angels can hear ~ they will always save their own... or at least me.
I would save you Trish."

She laughed.  You? Nooo I'd have to save you.

The night swallowed us.  I was almost home when the lights came on.  I heard the slow crunch of gravel as the car cruised lazily behind me.  Nothing new.  I rolled my eyes to no one and prepared for battle.

"Not home?  On a school night?"

"On my way Deputy Scott." I picked up my pace.

"Where ya been Boy?"  He never bothered with my name.  "Who would spend time with a loser like you?"

"don't reckon anyone, Sir" I said never looking up.  He would pummel me again.

He reached over and snatched the book.  "With you GIRRRRRLfriend Trisha?"  he purred like a second grader.  and they called ME dimwitted? I snatched it and held it behind my back.

"Dear Diary! Today I met with the girl of my dreams" this was of course accompanied by the clutching of his chest, cocking his foot behind him and batting his eyelashes to the moon.

I was relieved to understand he thought it was my book and not Trisha's.  I stood there and took the verbal abuse; the lewd insinuations and questions about what we'd been doing.  I knew he really liked her and I could hear in his voice that he was hoping what he'd said was true and he would shame me into confessing.

I gave him nothing.  I saved the kingdom.  He shoved me to the ground and called me a fagot pervert and told me to get home or I'd be in BIG trouble. 

I got up and walked quickly until he shouted for me to run which I did; just for safety's sake.

He turned around and sped off to my relief. 

I got home and began to unveil the secrets of my friend. I read all night.  The tears streamed down my face like the river that rushed by us when we were together pretending everything was all right.

The morning brought noise.  Loud noise.  My mother yelling and stomping; a man cursing and screaming my name.

I was ripped from my bed and dragged down the stairs.  I was thrown into the back of the sheriff's car and driven with lights and sirens going full tilt to the station where my mother met us and pawed at me.
I was dumped into a barren room and left to sit with her.  She said nothing.  someone brought a cup of coffee and set it harshly on the table spilling some.  They chucked a napkin down and left us.

"Honey. do you know where Trisha is?"

I sat and stared at the spilled coffee not answering.

"Honey? Sheriff says she didn't come home last night."

I looked up puzzled.  I left her by the river.  Like always.  She walked home.

"You didn't see anyone give her a ride or follow her?"  my mother sounded hopeful.  "Did she text you when she got home?"

I shook my head.

The door flew open and the Sheriff rolled in; a big man.  A mean man who disliked me.

"Well Boy?"

"Am I in trouble? I didn't do anything."

"Not the way I see it.  Yes you are in trouble. Where is she and why did you hurt her."

"I would never hurt Trisha"

"You loved her."

"She was my friend."

"She rejected you."

"She made me laugh"

"You dumped her body"

"She was my only friend. She would protect me and I would protect her.  You should have done the same."

He wiped his face and sat in front of me.  He smelled like panic and bitter coffee. "Just tell me what you've done. I can't help you if you won't tell me where she is and what you've done."  His voice hitched just a bit. 

My mother stroked my hand and encouraged me to do the same.  "Hon, if it was an accident, we need to understand. sometimes people do things by accident and get scared and ..."

I turned and looked at her.  Even my own mother thought I was a monster.

There was rushing outside my dungeon.  The river. A body.  A girl.  Naked and ruined.


The two adults left me.  I heard hushed mumbles outside the door.  I heard my mom crying.  I hung my head and said nothing.  Not through the charges being read to me or the finger printing.  I didn't speak in the cell or to the lawyers that came nor the doctors.  I sat quietly when we went to the courthouse and I was pelted with cruel words, death threats and a rotted tomato from Mrs. Hawthorne.  Mr D went on the news and said he knew I wasn't right.  I should be locked up and the key thrown away or just bury me in a hole like he was sure I'd done to Trisha.  Dr Mickels said I was a loner of a kid with problems.  He'd never even been my doctor.  He was a baby-doctor in the next town over.  But they hated my guts.  They pointed their fingers and cursed my name.  They condemned my mother for birthing such a wretched excuse for a human being.

I said nothing.  I didn't have to. At last, when the judge smacked her hammer and asked if I had a statement I'd like to make I stood.  My knees were knocking.  I was so sweaty that my shirt smelled like three weeks of gym class.

" May I speak to you?"
"You may speak to this court"
"With your lawyer."
"No thank you."
"I will record it."
"I'd like that."
I was ushered in to her chambers with confused whispers and hisses of objection dragging under my feet.

"What do you want to say young man?

"I have nothing to say." I almost whimpered.

She whirled on me her mouth hanging open like a prize bass.  "Do NOT waste this court's TIME!" she bellowed.  She stuck a finger close to me and repeated "WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY?"

"I have nothing.  But Trisha does." and I quietly slid the book across the big desk.  Why are their desks so large?  do they use different size paper and pencils when we aren't around ... like the giant crayons?  Or those pencils you need a knife to sharpen?

She sat and began to leaf through it.  Half-heartedly at first but then she sat straighter in her chair.  She smoothed the pages as she read.  She pulled her glasses off and beckoned me to sit in a nice chair and then poured me a glass of water.  She smiled gently.  It was the first smile I'd seen in months. 

"I need to bring the sheriff in.  and your mom.  and the lawyers."

"But not him."

"No Dylan.  Not him."

"Will he get in trouble?"

"Oh my yes."

"Will they hate him like they hated me?  Treat him like that? With rocks and threats?"

"I don't know."

"Will they say sorry to me?"

She hung her head sadly.  Shamefully. "I don't know that either.  but I will. I will right now say I am sorry Dylan.  I was wrong. Will you testify against the Deputy?"

I looked around nervously.  People were coming in and glancing at what she showed them.  There was a lot of silence.  Or maybe is was sorrow and guilt. I nodded slowly because I knew it was going to be all right.

Trisha was right.  Angels save their own.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Surprise Mommie

So I thought maybe it would be best to restart our adventures with a little update.

I have a new puppy.  His name is Mulligan and he is a wrecking ball wrapped in fur; a rat terrier-lab mix soooo let's think about what he looks like: a tiny giraffe with a huge head.  It bobbles and he runs like that special kid in gym class with the one leg that juts out (for more speed and power?) He is a guffaw.  But I love him. He makes me laugh and the Seniors hate his guts. He towers over them at a whopping 30 pounds versus their combined weight of 25. It is official.  I run a circus.  I love it...most of the time.

His favorite hobbies are: biting Birdie's toes until she bites his face and he plays victim; whining and crying to Mommie, laying innocently on his side near Winston until Winston falls asleep, then :"swimming~ sidestroke" over; every so silently to punch Winston in the face.  He steals socks; EVERYONE'S socks.  He believes that there is another dog we keep locked up in the fireplace as well as in the bathroom (the one with the mirrored wall) that he needs to bark at and scold.  He has not grasped the concept of sliding doors ~ smacks into them regularly.  He cannot appreciate that everything is not fair game for chewing, eating, licking or smacking with his tennis ball sized feet or oversized mouth.

  We got Mulli to put a little spring in the step of my seniors.  The only high stepping going on is Birdie who lets him know hourly with "stink eye", hissing, or cage-match worthy wrestling moves that SHE and ONLY SHE rules the roost.

Winston... He sits and mopes with his four teeth and white face.  He shouts at Mulli and snarls and spits with all the ferocity of the wolf the TV commercials say he is a descendant of ... buuuuut.. mmmm.... nope.  He still looks like a naked, little angry Russian.  I imagine him just yelling "MORE WODKA COMMRADE!" and glaring at everyone from the bushes as he poops.

Work has been a little less than fun so I thought I would take the toddlers and head up to the lake.  We are planning some parties and will need to get some chores done. Peace, quiet... I couldn't wait, so after work I tossed them all in ~ it's a nice thing being the leader of the vampires and working until midnight because  when I do head to the traffic.  We got here, had breakfast and took naps.  All was right in everyone's world.  I went across the way to chat with my neighbors as it was cocktail hour. I love my neighbors.  I looked at my watch and said "ooo better go.." because one thing the baby has taught me; it's that he has a SET schedule.  Potties are at 6am, 9am, 5pm and 9pm.  I came home at 4:53pm.


Mulligan apparently made a change to the schedule without notice.  Lovely rug brownie. Fabulous.  He is cowering and wagging his tale "sorry" so I point my finger and shake my head.  Everyone heads for jail.  This is not a good sign.  So now it is a "bad" scavenger hunt.


Birdie got upstairs and pulled all the laundry out of the basket, rolled in it and chewed up my propers.  Really?  I loved those panties.  You witch.

I sigh and clean it up... heyyyyy it's damp

SURPRISE Mommie! Winston decided that he wanted the laundry basket for himself; so he signed his name on it.  Oh and on the sofa. Oh and on the bathroom door Oh and on Mulli's cage...Really Pal? You weigh less than fifteen pounds. Where is it coming from?

I am now grumbling and glaring.  I stomp down the steps and hit the kitchen

SURPRISE Mommie!  The three stooges have broken in to the pantry and helped themselves to kibble, a piece of chocolate, my favorite flavored coffee and some cocoa mix.

I spin around like I'm ready to battle the devil himself and find three little amigos standing there wagging and wiggling, hoping I will be SUPER happy with the decorative modifications they efficiently made during my absence; one with sticks from the wood pile hanging from his face and the breath of one delICIOUS flavored coffee ~ hints of hazelnut and mocha I believeanother with toilet tissue stuck to her chin and the third with dropping eyes food wrappers tucked under his chin like a mafioso sitting down to Sunday lasagna.

THAT IS IT! I hiss and point to jail.  Everyone slinks in and gives me the last hopeful wag as I slam the doors and say mean things they don't understand about gypsies and selling and countries that EAT dogs....

I go into the pub and click on the television.  I just want to sit and relax; watch a bad movie and ... I jump up like I've been bit in the arse.

There are teeny fragments of kindling from the woodpile all over the couch.


i will love them ... later.

Thanks for coming over.  I hope to see you again soon.  It feels nice to be here with you.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Let's try again

Yes, it's been that long.

After the death of one of my truest friends, mentors and inspirations, I confess that I simply couldn't write.  I sat and stared at the screen.  I tried to write in my notebooks and just glared at them with contempt.  I miss my "old man".  Writing simply hasn't been fun.  But lately, I've been finding ideas and expanding on them ... getting them to move into stories so I thought...

Let's try again.

Please forgive me for sporadic entries and rough cuts.  I need to redevelop and rediscover something I have been passionate about for ... ever.

I appreciate your patience, encouragement and checking in on me; not giving up when I thought I had.

I am glad you come and visit, enjoy my stories and share your thoughts with me.

Cheers to us and new beginnings.

I will see you soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Changing Seasons

     If you'd have asked her when she was little what she wanted to be when she grew up, she'd have smiled  so deeply it looked like her dimples connected from inside her plump cheeks.  The words would have burst forth like a firework: "A tree!" You might have laughed, missing her frown and disappointment that you didn't believe her.
But that was how she saw herself in the universe; a spindly, gawky sapling.  She grew slowly; craning her thin branches to reach the sun. She hungered for the sighs of spring breezes, reveled her soft, new leaves. She craved summer heat and the laughter, new friends and cool, sweet nights. She treasured the dazzling  Autumnal colors she created and shivered in the winter chill; grateful for the time to rest and dream of the next year's adventures. There were tough times though.  She met those who proclaimed friendship and made pain.  Some tore her leaves, breaking parts of her.  Others crept closer still and tried to chew her down to nothing from the inside out. Once, she lost a branch when another crashed down too close to her. The pain  was unspeakable, nearly unbearable.  Her tears were a silent, painful river running through her very core but she stood tall, recovering slowly, proving to herself and others around her that she would survive and thrive.  Her bark grew hard and safe as she struggled in her life; fighting off swirling storms, disgraceful parasites, while accepting loving friends, new experiences and with each cycle, surging with life.  She stood graceful; powerful. Eventually, she fell in love, establishing deeper, thicker roots with another wonderful, strong tree; their lives intertwining, becoming one.  Her leaves seemed greener.  The sun felt brighter on her spreading canopy.  She was a happy tree. At last she saw the first tiny bud and was ecstatic; then another.  How wonderful! They grew, this little family; with many nights when she soothed them with whispers from the    night winds or made them giggle with tickles from her gentle leaves.  She curled her branches around those little buds when storms came; with rain hard and slicing or ice rigid and heavy.  Often she lost her own branches during those upheavals; the pain was gouging, leaving her scarred and raw, but she protected those little buds with every fiber and grain in her solid, wise, trunk. 

  At last, and all too soon, her first bud began to tug, talk of falling off and growing in the soil nearby. The words came in burning stabs.  "Already?" she thought as the cold fear and truth seeped in, causing that river of sadness to rush through her once again.  She struggled with the shock and hurt at the thought of this little bud, who so freely laughed with her, had swung within her gentle foliage, depended upon her for everything now wanting to drop away; leave the security and happiness the tree had tried to build around it.  This knowledge and acceptance cloyed at her heart.  But one day when the summer sun was less angry and the fall colors hadn't yet begun to tingle in her veins, she allowed the wind to take the little bud.  She trembled and shook watching it race into the forest.  Away.  "Be safe, be careful, be strong..." she sobbed into the wind, watching tearfully as a piece of her very soul squealed excitedly into the universe.  She clung to her family bud and wept.  She had nightmares. Called out in fear and beckoned, begged for its return.  But the bud was gone. Those were dark days when her branches hung lower and she didn't feel so tall or strong.  She felt lonely; weak. She missed her baby, her friend. 
But the tree had to keep going despite the pain of losing part of her.  Slowly, she found herself laughing again, enjoying her friends, her family and her life but she always searched the canopy, listened to the breezes and worried.  Then, when the renewing rains came and leaves were soft and fresh, she heard it.  "Mama! Just LOOK at me!  Here I am!"  And surely as the seasons change, there was her little bud; craning, stretching, blossoming in the big forest; with lean, strong limbs and leaves shiny; beautiful; healthy.  There were some scars where branches were missing and there were some spots that held thicker bark for protection.  Sure enough, the once little bud was making another beautiful life, settling roots and growing strong and wonderful as she had always wanted; hoped 
 There was a surge of pride, love greater than any rainbow that had stretched above her.  Together they laughed and shared in the spring breezes.  They shaded each other when the summer sun threatened to broil and burn their leaves.  They competed and amazed each other with their vibrant, daring colors in the fall and in winter there was sleep filled with loving dreams and memories.  She was a lucky tree.  She smiled to her center; pleased with life that had grown around her.

This summer has been everything; exciting, heart-breaking, fun, sad; the whole kit-n-kaboodle.  My daughter leaves for college and I am what every parent is at this moment; a hot, sobbing mess.  I framed this for her and sent it with my boys since I will not be able to move her into her dorm.  

I love you Honey and miss you already.  I'm so proud of who you are and can't wait to see and share in all your successes as you become, our  Amazing Grace.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I had put it off because of the stress and worry it creates, but no more.  I vowed to do it.  I called.  I was polite and friendly and made the appointment.  I didn't ask anyone to go with me.  I knew I could do this ... alone.  I took the toddlers to the vet... at the same time.

This is not something regularly practiced since Winston usually sits and yells ( it sounds like a sour, broken fire truck) at everyone in the office or attempts to remodel the facility during his wait time.  I have often had to take him to the car so when his time is due, they text or call and I rush in, rush out... scream/demolition free.  Today, I braved the odds and packed them both up.  They were groggy and sleepy so getting them to the car was like taking candy from a baby.  My soft voice and warm cuddles got them there and when that door shut, it was like a moment in a horror film where the stupid teens realize they have just gotten in to a room with one door and no windows and the "axe-man cometh". Winston's eyes went wide and he began to tremble.  Birdie sat stone still.

We arrived easily enough.  I cooed and soothed and told them I understood.  I hate the doctor too but it's important lalala.   Winston begged every driver that passed us to help him.  Birdie sat.

I checked us in after taking them for a stroll around the snow drifts so Winston could sign his name.  He loves to dot those "i's" .  They smiled and said his name like most people do "WWWIN-ston" he wiggles and smiles and usually blows his nose on people and they find this cute.  I find it damp.  So Birdie followed me, hopped up on the bench and sat next to me.  WWWINston hopped up, crawled through the planters, knocked over the paper adds and several window knickknacks and blew his nose a lot.  He then crawled on to the bench NEXT to ours and did the same; smelling all the flowers and rooting like a pig.  One of the techs came and said his name which drew him out of the planters and into her lap then he followed her into her office and rooted in her trash, her desk.. the whole time she laughed and rubbed him. I cleaned up, pulled his lead and apologized as fast as I could... while...

Birdie sat and looked around fearfully but never left my side.

"Time for weigh in" came the chirp from another tech.  I got up and Birdie followed.  WWWINston charged over and jumped on the scale and began to dance, promptly sending himself into a raging coughing fit which ended in a lugee on their scale.  "Awwwwww...WWWINston" was what I heard.   He jumped off.  Jumped on.  Got weighed.  Now it was Birdie's turn.  In soft, coaxing voices we led her to the mat.  She sat down and looked at me. I smiled and rubbed her shoulders, assuring her it was okay.   WWWINston jumped on and smacked his sister.  She wound up to absolutely shred his face, but didn't.  She just sat.  We were led back to our room.  Guess who was first?


We got in and he began to snort and snot and promptly piddled on the wall and pooped in the middle of the room.  Nice entrance.  I cleaned up after him and then the techs began to come in.... "I heard WWWINston and Birdie were here!  Do you mind if I come in and... Ohhhhhh WWINston!!!!!! Hey Buddy! Who's a good boy ... Ohhhh I love you... yes and yes and ohhhhh....." and he would wiggle and smile and blow his nose and snort.  Then softly they would turn to Princess Grace... "Hello Miss Birdie... Lovely....Pretty girl...." and she sat.  Looking at me.

It was time for the nitty gritties so up on the table went the unflappable WWWINSton.  He got in everyone's face, licked each item that came near him; testing for flavor and snackability.  He snorted and blew his nose.  Everyone laughed and wiped their ... faces, tools, instruments, shirts... He IS a clown and he is one of the friendliest happiest dogs I've ever owned.  He would get into the "Free Candy" van and somehow make it home safely ... you know what I mean?

Birdie... sat.  Once she whined and I felt her tremble slightly when the doctor came in.  When it was her turn they asked if they could handle her.  "Sure. No problem.  Just so she sees me at all times.  She won't give you a lick of trouble." So WWWINston was set loose and I put her on the table.  I spoke gently to Jackie-O of the K-9 world as she never took her eyes off me.  "Good girl.  Pretty.  You're all right..." I whispered as I touched her face and stroked her tummy.   They checked her tumor and other what-nots.  They spoke softly to her; around her.  She did just fine.  My Nubian Princess.

But WWWINston was not about to be outdone.  Ohhhh no.  He stood up and smacked not just MY legs, but the Doc's.  Then he jumped up on the stool.  This would have been fine if it hadn't been on wheels which promptly sailed across the little room into the desk containing all the cookies. Winston almost shrieked with joy.  Imagine! SNACKS ! FLYING AT YOU!!! I'd be pretty excited.  "Oh hey WHOA there cowboy..." Doc laughed put him on the floor.  She bent to get some equipment and he was right there... literally in the drawer snorting and pawing... just helping out, you know? She laughed some more (I think I heard a snort) and grabbed some crunchy cookies, broke them into pieces and threw them all over the floor.  Most dogs would have been occupied for a while.  Not WWWINston.  Nope.  He basically opened his mouth and sucked them all up, burped and sneezed forcing me to get the roll of paper towels to clean up. (I think it's sad I know right where they are and am not afraid to get them myself.  I am NOT a prima-donna dog owner).  He sat on the floor for a moment until he tooted, scared himself and sauntered off to attempt to whiz on the tree in the corner.

Birdie sat.  She put her paw on my arm.  Only once did she look at the doctor.  It must have been her famous "stink eye" look because doc pulled back.  I reached in and talked softly.  She sighed and looked back to me.

There were three techs in that room when there is usually one.  But everyone just comes in to play with my dogs.  They whisked them away for their blood work and I sat quietly.  I heard laughter and snorting.  Birdie came back and sat on my lap.  I felt another small tremble.  All was finished for my bulldozer and elegant lady.

Out to the counter we went to schedule followups and such.  WWWINston tried to crawl under the door to get into the office with the girls.  This act squished his face and stretched his eyes wider.  He snorted so they knew what he wanted.  "Awwwww...."  They took him in, cooing and snuggling my piglet.  Birdie sat.  A Dalmatian walked in and WWWINston lost control.  He started to scream and cry and moan.  I hustled payment and appointments and turned to my little ones.

"Go home."

They bolted for the door, WWWINston not realizing I had to open it.  Thank GOD his face is already smashed in.  I took them out and to the car.  We drove home.  WWWINston jumped out when we arrived and marked everything he could find.  He dashed around the yard and made himself have to poop again.  Birdie waited at the door.  We all came in, got treats and WWWINston went to bed, snoring like a chainsaw.  Birdie waited until I sat down (she followed me through every step I made from cooking to bathroom breaks) at which time, a huge sigh escaped her and she fell asleep.  She's still snuggled up in my coat, snoring in the late day sunlight as it crawls around the house and peeks in the windows to make sure all went okay.

It's been a long day for my toddlers.

Well hello there.  Just had a good day (overall) and wanted to share it with you.  You know how the toddlers are!  Always good for a story.  Love those pooches!  Have a good day.  I'm glad you stopped by for a smile; no matter how small.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


She paced around the kitchen island, down the hall, checked the front door again and wandered back into the front room where she knelt on the couch, pulled back the curtains and peeked at what she knew was there; an empty driveway.  No car, no sign of him.  The wind picked up and whistled low outside.  A storm was coming.  She could smell the rain on its way.  The trees dipped a little deeper and the leaves hissed at her.  "He's not coming.  He's not coming.  You were right."

She let the curtains fall and stepped away from the nay-sayers outside.  He would be here.  He was just delayed by the storm.  She had watched the news and although it had already hit the city, he would have been a little bit ahead of it; if he'd left on time.  And why wouldn't he?  No, her husband would make it home in time for their quiet dinner and she would feel fine again. She smiled at her silliness and sipped her wine.  Sip.  Yes, she didn't want to gulp or get sloshed and be staggering all over when he DID arrive, which would be soon.  She checked the oven, turned it down a little more so dinner didn't spoil and made her lap once more.  She'd been doing this for over an hour.

The rain finally came, but he did not.  The drops fell like her own angry tears.  He was more than two hours behind without a call.  Her mind began to race toward the conclusion that she'd been fighting off.  He was with someone else.   After eleven years of marriage, he'd thrown in the towel without a word to her or the chance to fix it. She had seen the signs of marital restlessness several months ago on her way home from her new spin class.  She'd joined to firm up, get fit and have him look at her the way he did strange women on the street; admiringly, hungrily.  Yes, she wanted to see that look from him again.  She hadn't realized she missed it until he was giving it to others.  It hurt her feelings, made her feel lonely and ugly, unwanted.  And after all they'd been through in their relationship, she didn't want to lose him to a stranger. She was working hard and getting results.  She'd dropped some weight and was pleased with her new, stronger body. She grinned remembering how men at the gym had begun to look at her, leer a little.  They approached her for her number or name or small flirty conversations. One in particular was her trainer, Adrian.  He smelled of soap and sandalwood ~ powerful, strong and comforting.  She loved to be near him just for breathing deeper; laughing at her schoolgirl crush.  She tried not to get flustered when he showed her improvements on her technique or when he touched her on the arm to speak to her after class.   She wondered if her husband even noticed her anymore as she gave herself a sideways glance in the foyer's mirror on another lap of her home.  she hoped he had, liking what he'd seen.  

"Too late" the thunder rumbled outside.  The woman pulled her sweatshirt closer around her body, fighting the chill that was seeping under her skin to her bones, resembling a cold suspicion.  She made another lap, stopping at the stove to pull out and serve herself dinner.  She ate sitting at her place at the table poking at her meal and shoving things around her plate.   Sometimes she even took a bite.  It was his favorite, not hers, but she thought it would be a nice touch for when he got home.

The minutes crawled by.  She  quit pacing and went to bed, pretending to read.  she practiced what she would say.  What would she ask or demand? What would his truth be?  what if he'd been in an accident? What if he couldn't call her to tell her he loved her? Not to worry. Her eyes began to feel heavy.  Sadness crept in and weighed her eyelids down so that she fell asleep on the verge of tears.

She awoke with a panic, the dark stabbing at her and the night screaming in silence that he still wasn't home.  It was 4:30.  She got up and put on her slippers and went into the front room, perching on the sofa and drawing the drapes back just so she could see the drive.  she sighed heavily, praying she was wrong; that the storm which was howling, laughing at her concern for him was not right.  He stayed late for work, he got something to eat and then he got delayed with the storm.  Yes. That was it.

She had almost fallen back to sleep when the lights from his car sneaked up the driveway toward the house.  She thought they went off early; so as not to disturb her?  She thought that was odd.  He sat inside the car for a lot longer than normal.  Was he saying goodnight to his lover on the phone?  Can't wait to see you again? I love you?  She ducked down and watched him childishly.  He wiped his face and held the steering wheel as if he was going to pull away.  At last she saw his shoulders droop.  He must be coming in to shower her off and then slide unhappily into our bed she sniffed.  Anger began to stir and bubble in her soul.  She wondered what drinks they had shared what meal what hotel ... She clenched her fists and gritted her teeth, angry that she had worried and cooked and changed and tried... for nothing.

He came in quietly, she wondered briefly if he took his shoes off so as not to disturb her.  she marveled as he stopped in the laundry room and heard him undress placing his clothes in the washer.  Really? First time he'd ever initiated the laundry on his own. She sat stone still and waited for him to start sneaking up the stairs before she cleared her throat.

"Oh. Hey. You're still up?  It's late..."

"Yes it is.  What kept you?" her tone was flat, edgy.

"Well, something came up."

"Until 4:30 in the fucking morning? or was that just what you were doing?"

"Honey.. I've done something I shouldn't have..." he backed up and stood in the shadows.

"Damn right. I KNEW it..." she was up and in front of him her finger pointing like a dagger.  

He waited until she was in his face and then grabbed her arms.  She was flailing and lashing out, calling him every name in the book.  He never said a word and waited for it to hit her.  The smell.

She was gasping and at last stopped as the stink pinched her nose; warm copper and burnt sugar.  She looked at him, puzzled.  "What.. What IS that? What have you done?" she broke from him and dashed to the laundry room, smashing at the light switch on the wall.  It clicked on and dimly glowed over his clothes, stained and sticky with blood. It seemed like gallons of it, dripping thick and gooey into her wash basin.  She clung to the washer's edge for support and gagged.  He was behind her, smeared with deep red clots and cuts of his own.

"I didn't want to lose you to a stranger." he said quietly.

"What? What?" she hissed as if he'd read her mind.

"You. You go to the gym all the time.  You're never here. with me.  You choose those wolves who drool and hang around you like you're in heat and you just keep smiling.  Your work-outfits get skimpier every time I see you and then you got involved with Adrian...." he trailed off letting her think about what she'd made him do.

"You're talking crazy...I ... never..."she was stammering, the room spinning like a fun house floor.

"I wanted you back.  I wanted you to love me.  So I began to follow you and I watched you.  You were giving up on us...eleven years... Adrian just can't waltz in and take you away... not after all we've been through..."

Tears of shame and confusion streamed down their faces.  He began to sob, reaching for her.  "Don't leave me." and she opened her arms to comfort him.  She ran her fingers through his hair and whispered in his ear.  They sank to the floor and rocked back and forth holding each other.  She pulled away only to wipe his tears and kiss his cheeks, ignoring the metallic taste that flooded her mouth and nose. She kept talking in hushed tones through the night; organizing their new beginning.

The sun sneaked up and peered in the windows, curious how the day would start.  The washing machine was running gently bumping the dryer. His car was gone from the driveway.  She was humming softly, cleaning the dishes from dinner as he showered. He joined her and wrapped her lovingly in his arms.  

"Thank you for dinner.  That's my favorite."

"I know." she smiled softly.  

He kissed her.  She turned and looked into his eyes filled with love for her.  She stroked his face and breathed deeply as the soft scent of sandalwood drifted around her. She was glad they'd had such a nice night together.  happy that he'd made it home before the storm...yes, that is what she'd say....

And hello again.  This one is okay.  Not one of my favorites.  I like the concept and the general line, but it just seems a little choppy.  Eh... not everything I write will be the best I've ever written.  I hope you had a great weekend.  We managed to hang on during the "snowmageddon" storm that crushed us.  It was a nice quiet weekend filled with good food and shoveling. Yay? Well, I hope that's as  much winter as we get but I doubt it.  Be safe in your travels, have a good rest of the weekend.  Thanks for spending time with me.  It's fun, dontcha think? :)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Wiped the Tears

God DAMMIT how he hated the burnt sting of Jack Daniels.
                              > Gulp<       >wince<
It was the tenth time he'd thought this tonight and drank heavily yet again, glancing at the three-quarters empty bottle.  He sat pitifully in the night, cursing the silence as it screamed the truth. He had shattered the mirror in the hall when he'd finally seen it; the ugly truth, himself.  This battle with Jack had become a nightly ritual, an unsuccessful attempt at making her smile, her laughter, her love disappear or at least quiet down inside his heart.  No his head. He was going nuts.  It had nothing to do with his heart.  It had been over a year and the problem; his problem only seemed to be getting worse, becoming a thin papery veil of the man he'd (bragged about) been before. He still went out with the guys, chased and conquered meaningless sluts all for the high-fives and boasting but in the end, it was just like JD leaving his mouth and body dry and bitter.
                              >Gulp<         >wince<
Jesus CHRIST this stuff tasted like horse shit and sawdust.  His teeth ground together and his breath heaved out.  His head tilted and he quietly asked the room and all the furniture to please sit the fuck still.  "Just hang on boys..." he slurred; his eyes rolling around drunkenly casting frustrated glances at it all.  "This shouldn't take much longer."  He lolled his head toward the now empty bottle of pills.  "The last supper indeed" he snorted.
                             >Gulp<          >wince<
She had been so lovely; sweet to him.  She had been in love with him.  Love.  What a dangerous word that had been to him; forbidden.  He'd told her many times, warned her, that he wasn't the marrying man.  He regretted that now.  He was angry with his carelessness and stupidity. He felt like an ass picking her up at a coworker's funeral.  It had been a dare from"The Waterboyz".  He'd sat next to her; consoled her, and by the end of the wake had gotten her number on the guise that they could hang out, cheer each other up...what a dick.  He wished he'd just left her alone.  Then he wouldn't want to see her green eyes light up when he walked into the room or hear her laugh and feel her touch his arm when he leaned in to tell her something; wanting the chance to say she was beautiful or that he loved her instead of one of  his "go to's": a filthy suggestion of events later in the night or stuffing his chubby fingers up her dress.  He so wanted the chance to show her he WAS a marrying man; a good man.  He wanted to be her man.  He missed hearing that she adored him. She said it all the time with a quick peck or a gentle stroke of his cheek.  But he had been too busy making eyes down the bar or at the waitress or sending sexts to someone else.  And at last when he thought he'd tired of her; convinced she couldn't "make it worth his while" anymore, he moved on without explanation or apology; as if she were a sport.  Love is not a sport.  She should never have been sport. Maybe if he had been a better man, she wouldn't have killed herself.
                           >Gulp<            >sigh<
The blinks were coming slower and longer.  His teeth thumped with his pulse; distant, deep, getting weaker...
He drained the bottle relieved, at some level, to see the end in sight.  His body was screaming for him to stop; nausea churned in his burning belly, panting and sweating albeit shallow and cool.  He couldn't move. His mind was cloudy.  He looked at the label but the letters were dancing on it so he didn't know what they said anymore.  He drooled and felt his stomach lurch so hard he fell forward cracking his nose on the bottle as they both tumbled to the floor.  He wretched but fought the final act of vomiting.  He would not be discovered in a pool of sick.  He swallowed and swallowed....
For a long time.
When he opened his eyes, he was was initially pissed, believing he was still alive.  Everything was fuzzy and blurry.  He was surprised there was no headache or hangover.  He glanced around, hearing noises and seeing shadows.  He called out angrily and searched but in the end, he found only himself lying in a pool of sick, waiting to be discovered.  He sighed and tried to kick his body... calling it pathetic.  The whispers became louder and more aggressive.  He realized he was bridging the gap..."Gonna meet some ghosts n shit!" he thought childishly.  They were not friendly.  Their warm breathy warning was simple :Not here.  Not you.  Get out.
He had nothing to lose and had to get going anyway so he flipped the bird, said a cordial "Bite me" and wandered out in search of her.  He scoured the town, called her name as if she were a lost pet.  How does one ghost find another?  They can't use a cell phone.  He was tired and frustrated.  At last he made it to their old office.  He wasn't strong enough or didn't know how to open doors or go through them so he had to wait until someone came in or out just like lifers did.  The same was true for the elevator although he thought later he could take the forty flights... he wouldn't feel a thing.  He looked around and enjoyed watching people, following them and noticed he sometimes gave them pause...the creeps? He stopped in the lunchroom and glanced about almost falling to the floor when he recognized the man whose funeral had brought them together.  He and the Waterboyz had always busted on him; rejecting his attempts at friendship.  The man looked surprised to see him.

"Didn't expect to see you..especially here.  You seem more of a titty bar haunter.  What happened? Jealous boyfriend?"

"No.  I got carried away with the whole DIY scene"

"Oh.  Pressure? Embezzle?"

"Wha? Oh FUCK NO... I was never.. you think??? " he stood with his mouth open

The man shrugged indifferently.

"A girl"

"Here?  Janey?"

"yeah. You seen her?" he dropped his head and toed the floor.  he was surprised that the lifers around him didn't bother him and vice versa.


He felt his heart.. well SOMETHING got all twitterpated inside him.


"Oh she's gone.  Been gone.  Said she was gonna go somewhere that made her happy.  You know she loved you right?"


"That makes you a douchebag."


the man shrugged again.  "Whatcha gonna do now hotshot?  Kill me?  You got none of your friends to laugh at your mean jokes and back you up.  Leave her alone.  Don't ruin her eternity too... like you did her life."

But he'd already turned and begun to walk out.  "I love her.  It's why I'm here." he tossed heroically over his shoulder.

"Douchebag." was muttered once more too softly for him to hear.

He had to think.  Where did they go? He spent a lot of time trying to find her.  Of course there had been so many women that he couldn't remember who liked what ... but all he had was time so he wasn't rushing.  He called after her everywhere he went.  He was getting better at finding and seeing others like him.  It was on a cold day (the lifers were wearing hats and gloves, hugging themselves and blowing into their hands) when he at last saw her walking along a street.  She was strolling and looking at the windows which were decorated for the holidays.  He began to remember now.  He'd brought her to Chicago for a conference.  He didn't want anyone to know he'd brought someone so he'd sent her out with his credit card to shop.  In the meantime he had met someone during the seminar and taken her up to their room during lunch for a quick romp.  God he was SUCH a jackass.  He watched her for a long time. 

She walked slowly and looked lovingly at the children who squealed and marveled about the upcoming holidays and why Santa made his elves look just like him when they were standing on every corner ringing bells or checking the naughty lists in the big chairs and listening to all they wanted for Christmas.  He felt her longing to hold a child, be a mother, part of a loving family.  His insides twisted or maybe it was his soul quivering with shame for what he'd done.  Her eyes were green as emeralds.  Her hair just a hint of red.  She had never had a porn star body but one that was comfortable, beautiful and safe.  He was filled with despair at finally realizing these things about her; about himself.

He crossed the street and approached.  She saw him.  Panic filled her eyes.  Sadness filled his heart.  He reached for her.  She jumped at finally understanding they shared the same plane.  He was one of them.  She pulled and tugged but he kept with her and stepped in close to hold her there with him.  At last she stopped.  She stood still and looked at him; inside him.

"I came for you."

"You shouldn't have."

"I was wrong.  I was so wrong.  I love you. I know that now; with all that I am and I will love you forever.  I will spend eternity making up for all the things I've done; the opportunities I've missed, the love I lost in life.." the tears were falling freely.  It was the warmest thing he'd felt in quite a while; maybe ever.  He got down on one knee and looked up at her beautiful face.  He pushed his face into the apron of her belly and smelled her perfume.  He breathed in as hard as he could.

She looked at him for a long time and finally knelt in front of him.  She wiped the tears that streamed down his face, holding it in her hands, she looked deeply into his eyes.

"Go right ahead."  and she stood, turned on her heel and vanished into the crowd of lifers, leaving him alone with his demons.

Hello there folks and peoples.  I hope you are having a great weekend.  It has been busy here but I had to sit down and bang this one out.  I liked it.  Liked the feel of it and the ending ~ just skewed enough.  I kinda love it when the "not so prince charming" gets a little more than just desserts.  Trite? Yes indeed, but I like it.  A lot. :)  Well let's hope it's not so long before we hang out again.  We're so much fun together, aren't we? Thanks for stopping by.