Saturday, May 27, 2017

Not as it would seem

Neon-lit drones hovered above the crowds advertising neighboring stores and services, their bright lights reflecting off the shallow puddles of water dotting the slick dark pavement. I walked on briskly in the rain to escape the cone of audio beamed down by the drones, past graffiti laden buildings, past the gas-lit lamps marking the end of the Market district, past the thinning crowds, and into the relative darkness of the once seedy and now newly trendy Blade district.

From across the piazza, light from the nightclub spills out onto the cobblestone courtyard through the big glass window that wraps around their bar. It is a familiar place, but it is late in the evening and I need to get home to you. As I turn away to keep walking, I notice the woman sitting on a bar stool at the long thin table pressed against the window, summer dress to her knees, bare legs with sensible black shoes swinging to some internal rhythm. There you are, drinking wine and reading. I cannot help but smile at the incongruity of you reading in a club with all the music and dancing behind you. As I stop and watch you, you are absorbed in the book, your raven hair loose and covering the left side of your face, the hint of a smile on your lips. From the distance I can not tell what you are reading. Your neck adorned with a silver chain, the top couple of buttons of your dress are open and as you lean into the book, there is just a hint of the curves I know so well.

An overhead drone catches up with me as I stand at the edge of the piazza and beams down audio at me describing the carnal pleasures awaiting a man with taste a few blocks away. Distracted, I shake my head and raise my arm to give the middle finger to the drone. It moves on and I head towards the nightclub looking for you again at the window, but you are not there anymore.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Parched

Night falls without sound. 
In the thin rain, parched memories (of you)
dig deeper into my mind for sustenance.

Flickering neurons, and my eyes
create holograms of you from
the glitter of moonlight on rain.

Your hand in mine, memory's children beckon
and in the thin rain we walk deeper into
this ancient game of mind versus matter,

Night falls without sound.
In the thin rain, I think about standing
my ground. You hold my mind.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Is that it

    I hope in your dreams
    that he loves your eyes
    like I did...
                      ....just for a while
                                          ------ Is that it, my friend  by Damien Rice

    I am lost in your laughter, forever seduced by the way your body moves as you laugh. Sitting across from you on our back-porch in this bright sunlit late afternoon I have brought you roses for your birthday. And your favorite chocolates. I am keeping the main gift for later. As the waves from the sea off our beach house serenade us, I tell you that after our friends have all left this evening I would be yours for the night, that you could ask of me to make all your secret fantasies come true. I cannot help but laugh along with you as I listen to you tell me what you will have me do. The brightness of your eyes, the curves of your lips as your words paint pictures of the night to come, the call of your skin to mine, the desperate hunger in my desire to taste your entire body, an all too familiar mix of raw addictions I have long struggled to come to terms with.

      I pull you gently by your hands off your chair and into my lap. Your back to me, as I embrace your body tightly into mine I whisper into your ears, "Did I tell you, my love?"
 
     You tilt your head back to kiss my chin, and wait for me. I smile into your eyes, and say, "Did I tell you how restless my heart feels without you?" You angle your head further back to offer me your lips and I envelop them in mine.

     When the spray from the waves at high-tide lapping up the beach wakes me up, it is night. As the surroundings seep slowly into my consciousness, the expanse of the sea looms larger than usual in the low moonlight. I look back at the house. It is unlit and dark. I silently voice "Happy Birthday, my love," and get up to walk back to the house.

     As I open the screen door I almost miss seeing the roses laying at the threshold to the house. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Away from me

By the time I remembered the glass of whiskey on the side table, the ice in it had melted. The shot of cold Talisker burned my throat with familiar fire as I drained the glass empty. From my rocking chair on the back porch I had an unobstructed view of the setting sun. Mesmerized by the gentle bobbing up and down of the waves of liquid gold on the horizon I watched the sun set for a while. When it was finally dark, I reached back behind me to switch the porch light on and turned back to the book you had given me long ago. I had started reading it again earlier in the day, seeking comfort in its familiar words. As I opened the book, a neatly folded piece of paper fell out. I froze for a few seconds, remembering what was on the note...
I didn't sleep last night. All I could think about was you and me and the years we've been together in our strange way. And the more I thought about it, the madder I became. When Sam discovered our relationship, you threw me under the bus, Michael. You left me to deal with it. And I did. And you swore you'd never contact me again, but you did. Why, Michael? You were already seeing your girlfriend when you contacted me, so why did you do it? My reaction to yet another fake fucking email address from you, was correct. I was pissed and I should have stayed that way. But obviously, I'm an idiot where you're concerned.  What really kills me is that I didn't get a clue when you came to my hometown and didn't bother telling me. You could have told me about your girlfriend then, Michael, 4 months ago, but you didn't, you just kept talking about us getting back together in SL. What are you, some sort of fucking sadist?  You're the one constantly babbling about real life and SL, but you're the one who can't seem to keep it straight. You didn't even have the balls to actually tell me the truth, no, more fucking TYPING.
Let me be very clear - if I ever want to speak to you again, I'll let you know. Until then, you stay the hell away from me.
          JJ

 I poured myself another shot of whiskey, before bending to pick up the paper.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Come

Come lie to me.

Come tell me that you will be mine. Tell me that the words you have said to me were not the echos of imagined whisperings in my fevered mind. Tell me that what has happened, will happen. Tell me that I will know and love you before I lose you.

Come be my guide through this world of make believe. Together we will walk this narrow road and take all its turns. Tell me that our destination is the foreign land that you call home. Tell me this big untruth, so that I can stop nursing the little truth inside my heart.

Come be my guide, come be my love.

Come lie to me, so that I can love you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sanity

I try not to sleep, for sleep brings dreams, and desire, and rain, and you.

In the twilight, rain comes down in a deluge of fragments. The empty road stretches out ahead. Through the rain I can see the thick forest on both sides. There are no lights, no signs of habitation, not even in the distance. I stand still for a while on the side of the road, the wide brim of my hat keeps the rain away from my face but the rest of me is completely drenched. I don't know where I am. I don't know where to go.

These years of rain, or is it these years of dreams of rain, have washed away all the reality in me.

When I feel your hand in mine, I turn towards you and in silence we hold hands in the rain at the side of the road. In time I pull you into my arms for an embrace, you resist briefly but then yield and burying your face into my chest, you whisper "Save me".

Monday, August 22, 2016

All my dreams

Whatever it is that you want to make me into, I have already become.

Sleep is but a whisper that I cannot hear, and so I sit on the edge of our bed staring out at the distant white foam of the waves caressing our beach over and over. In the low tide, the dark expanse of sand outside our window extends far into the deep night. In the dim light from a lone naked bulb under the overhang atop the entry door of our cottage, the silvery drizzle of rain fills the window with a ghostly curtain fall.

But for the sound of the rain, the world outside could be a photograph. One that I cannot forget. One that never leaves your dreams.

I can hear your gentle breathing on the bed behind me, and if I close my eyes I can imagine your familiar curves rising and falling with every breath.

In time, the night deepens and the bed draws me again to its embrace. As I turn to lay beside you, you ask, "How long are you going to take all my dreams?"

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Wish you were

The fine spray of mist-like rain on my face brought in by the wind through the open window woke me up. I must have dozed off while reading, feet up on my desk and the chair pushed back at an incline. I lay still, holding onto the book on my chest, and watched the curtains billowing into unreal shapes as I tried to pull myself out of the daze that unexpected waking from deep slumber brings.

Outside, the steadfast sea unvaried in its cadence sang its lonesome song.

When I finally turned back to open the book, the bookmark was a photograph of you. I looked at your photo for a while before remembering that I had written a note for you on its back. Turning it over...
My Love,

    There has been no other want, since I have wanted you.  You are my desire. All of it. *Smiling.* I loved the picture. You are so, so gorgeous, babe. I love the pose, the demure turning of your face, the lowered eyes, the play of light and shadows on your neck and cleavage, your hair, the legs, the bottom of the shirt hiding the part where your legs meet. And the curve of your breasts, the nipple peeking... god, it literally made me hard at work. A beautiful, alluring picture, my love.
   
Michael
 I wish you were.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Stay

I just can't get you out of my head

          --- a song by Kyle Minogue

I had been waiting for hours for the sun to set, but the far horizon had captured the frail sun just at the edge, freezing its warmth inside pale reflections on the low waves. The breeze coming off the water had gradually gotten cold, and yet I stood at the water's edge in a fevered daze. The steady periodic sound of the waves had bit by bit stripped off all the defenses in my mind.

I stood motionless for a long time,
a simpler kind of man
than the one you had once loved.

An unsteady gust of wind pulled me out off my silent reverie. Across the water's expanse the remains of the dying broken sun still glowed in a million undulating golden tears.

As I turned back from the water to make my way to our house on the beach,
you whispered, "I want you to stay."

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Maze

It is not my friend, this rain, for it makes me dream of you.
I stand still, looking out over the water at the brightly-colored reflections of the lights from the city on the low hill behind me. In the moonless night, there is no one on the beach. Across the desolate dark sand the unrepentant waves sing their dying song while inside of the maze in my head I follow the forlorn thread of desire. In the unravelling past I never get to the end of the thread. I never get to find you. In this barest whisper of rain, I just can't get you out of my head. 

I will find my way out, I swear.
I will find my way out of this maze inside my mind.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Wordlessly

I reached for the glass balanced precariously on the wraparound railing of our back porch. The ice had melted and the cold whiskey went down smooth in a familiar trail of fire down my throat. Leaning back against the rocking chair, I closed my eyes to let my senses turn inwards. The wind had died down long ago, and the sound of the waves drowned out the whisper of warm rain that fell all around me on the beach and into the far horizon.

I can hear your laughter as you race ahead of me to the hammock on our beach. I pause just beyond the range of your outstretched arms as you lay in the hammock and reach for me. Smiling, I look at your face lit up by the rays of the evening sun. Your eyes hold mine. Under the clear blue sky I stand still, eyes caressing your face. In time, you get up and stand beside the hammock, my need apparent to you. Standing facing me, your eyes dancing with mine, you take off your clothes. Slowly, wordlessly, you kneel on the soft wet sand and looking up into my eyes offer yourself. I move towards you.

The splash of the warm rain on my face brought me back to the beach. The wind had picked up again and in the night sky the baleful moon carried on its fruitless struggle with the moving clouds. You stir and I can feel your face against my thigh. Smiling into your eyes, I reach down to caress your hair back from your face.

Friday, January 15, 2016

It's true.

Nobody loves me, it's true.
Not like you do.
                      -------- From Sour Times by Portishead

It is the last night of the year.

From my chair near the open window, I can see and hear the waves on the other end of the narrow rain-drenched beach. The moonlight is strong tonight so that the drops of rain are like jewels in the night sky. I have been nursing my whiskey, little sips to keep me warm in the cool sea-laden breeze coming in from the window. The half-empty bottle of Talisker sits next to the flowers in a vase on the low table to my right. The billowing sheer white curtains dance with my chair, alternately caressing and then shying away. 

I lean back, close my eyes and think of all the dreams where you have let me love you.

When I wake from my reverie, the wind has quietened a bit. But the rain, it never ceases.

It will be midnight soon. Why are you so far from me?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A long way

A long way from love.

I took shelter from the wind at the base of the rain-wept cliffs. About twenty feet away, the fragile dark gray sand of the beach held back the advance of the high waves from the sea. In the dark of night, the feeble moonlight showed little but the frothy despair of the waves all along the shoreline. There was no one, no structures, no lights, nothing to break the long stretch of cliffs and narrow beach in both directions as far as the eye could see. Even the rain was nearly invisible, though I could feel it against my face and hair. There was meager shelter here against the cold of the wind and so I moved as close to the wet face of the rock of the cliffs as I could. When I looked up at the sky, the ominous mass of unmoving clouds stood low almost touching the cliffs up above. All around me there was the sound of the waves, of the wind, and of the rain.

I have seen this rain before. I have felt this rain before against my face and body. I have walked this shoreline before. I had walked many such shorelines to look for you. I never find you. But if I do find you, I would offer you my eyes for I no longer want to see our long way from love.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Color

When I am with her,
my mind unravels,
and convoluted thoughts
unspool into straight lines
taut with urgency.
    
        On this very spot by the river, I hold you night after day and we sway with the music. The gleaming water flows as if it has an urgent destination. Far in the distance, red and gold fires race to the inky sky. At our feet, silvery starlight falls in glittery dust. Belief and intentions swirl within our arms. The white mist of your breath against my neck, my mind is saturated with dreams of you.

        You dance with me in waves, repeatedly drowning me in desire and then washing away in doubt. Again and again, for you I fall.

When I am with her,
I can taste my own lies.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Your Eyes

When I woke up, the sun was getting ready to lay down with the horizon on their bed of liquid fire. Perhaps it was the feeling of the warm water from the gentle waves under my bare skin lifting me up ever so slightly with each push to the shore that woke me up. Or perhaps it was the early warning of dread that the impending night brings. I look to my side and you lay next to me with eyes closed, a thin veil of wet sand clinging to your naked curves. I lay silently, watching, absorbing the sounds of the quiet around us, hoping that reality would sink back into me, but I just couldn't remember how long we had laid there on the beach or how we came to be there.

I turn towards you, to study your familiar face. Streaks of wet raven hair on your forehead and cheeks, moist intertwined eyelashes adorned with a few grains of sand that sparkled in the low red light, your lips parted ever so slightly. My eyes linger on your lips, memories of kisses suffusing a warmth deep inside me. Your neck, your beautiful neck that I had made love to with my kisses and with my ballooning desire so many times. I reach out to gently caress your neck with my fingers, tracing its length and then down to your high breasts. I am drawn to you, physically pulled towards you. I fight the urge and instead bend forward to put my lips close to your ear and whisper, "I don't know what the night will bring, my love."

I see your eyelids flutter, the rapid rise and fall of your sand crusted breasts as your breathe sharply and struggle to wake up. I hold your hand.

When you wake up, you turn towards me and reach out to caress my face. There on the beach, we lay on our sides facing each other and explored each others eyes silently.

In the last rays of the dying sun you whisper, "Your eyes. Why do your eyes show you things that do not exist?"  

Friday, September 25, 2015

Maybe you are...

Are you?

I lay down on the road, waiting for yesterday.
Your words wash over me.
Rushing past, they don't see me.
I sink deeper into the road, but your words
they peel my eyes open.
I cannot tell if the wounds are in my eyes
or on the words rushing over me.
They have found the bloody tears of tomorrow,
your words. I still wait for yesterday.


Friday, July 10, 2015

No trace

I held your hand through all of these years
You still have, all of me


           —— From “My Immortal” by Evanescence

It does not fool me, the rain.

Its drumbeat surrounding our little cottage on the beach does wake me up though. When I finally give up on sleep and get up to sit on the edge of the bed, the outside dark fights its way into our bedroom through the window. It plays its part too, the dark of the beach. I look back towards your sleeping form. You lay on your side facing the direction I had slept in until just a few moments ago. The thin white sheet we used as cover in the heat of the night has slipped uncovering your bare shoulder and all the way down to the curves of your hip. Our love-making has left no trace on your body. The dark takes my place on the bed.

I study your face. It holds the secret to what it all could mean.

“Do you believe in what you dream?”, I ask in a whisper, reaching back to caress your face ever so slightly. You don’t wake up.

When I look back out of the window towards the sea, I can see the rain beating back the waves as they rush our cottage. I am lost in the world you have built around us.

“We will never find our way out, will we?”, you ask. It is now light outside.

I take your hand in mine and gently squeeze it but don’t look back towards you.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Right words

I don't expect it to ever stop raining, not now that you are gone.

It was late evening by the time I reached the bottom of the dark wooded hill that was my home. There I had stopped in abrupt surprise on finding a brightly-lit meadow in front of me.

I had followed the flash of color that was you through the thick undergrowth of the woods for hours in the mid-afternoon rain, never quite seeing you fully and never quite catching up to you.

Now as I look across the threshold from shadow to light, I can see that you are not alone. There are people around you, beautiful people in exotic clothes. Though I can see the others in the happy throng, my eyes can't leave the light of your smile. You drift, slowly mixing in with the crowd, greeting friends and strangers. There is music in the clearing, someone is singing, and at the edges of the crowd there is dancing. I can see the whirl of motion and can hear the clink of glasses as well as laughter mixed in with conversations, but I am transfixed by the celebration in your eyes.

Standing at the edge, one-step away now from your brilliant world, I close my eyes and let the dark rain of my world wash over my upturned face.

When I open my eyes, you are standing at arm's length in front of me. "Are you thinking of the right words to say?", you ask.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

What it all could be

With you.

Slowly I came alive to your warmth near me, your usual subtle fragrance seeping through into my consciousness. I must have fallen asleep in my chair while working in the late afternoon at my desk and now in the dying light of the evening sun you came to me dressed in a skin-hugging riot of color and the faintest of smiles on your face. Sitting on the desk, you are so close to me as I lean forward to kiss your bosom. You embrace my face into the curves of your breasts as I kiss them hungrily wanting to drown into your softness. You play with my hair and whisper to me as I slowly trail kisses down your stomach. I cannot hear what you are saying for I am still waking up inside your willingness. My hands find your legs, reaching under your dress for the silky heat of your inner thighs. All my senses flooded by you, my mind soaks in our escalating twin desires. You continue to whisper and moan, and drunk on your arousal I wake up to get lost in you.

The sun has long-since set and the churn of the waves glows in the silvery starlight. We sit a couple of feet apart on two wooden chairs on our porch on the beach. You have slipped your flimsy dress back on but nothing else and in your unbuttoned state I struggle to get back control of my mind. There is a quiet between us, a silence that comes from knowing what is to come, from not even having to say the words anymore.

“I need to know,” you say and then pause.

I close my eyes, and let the periodic crash of the waves count time.

“I need to know if you can fall in love with me again?”, you finish.

The beach dances the waves to their demise, over and over.

Friday, March 20, 2015

My mind

I can't take my mind off of you
Just can't take my mind off of you
I can't take my mind off of you
Just can't take my mind off of you
I can't take my mind...
My mind... my mind...

                   -----From "The Blower's Daughter," by Damien Rice

        At night I sit at the end of the wood-slatted dock that extends several feet into the river, legs dangling over the frayed edge and into the murky water. The cat that frequents the dock and dreams of fish has learned that I am no threat and stands at the edge too, motionless but ready to leap into the river at the first hopeful sign. Everything here is muted, like an old faded and slightly out of focus crime photograph from a dusty police storage cabinet.  Even the air seems subdued, not as in a calm before the storm, but as in a storm that knows its time of glory has come and forever gone. Dark clouds in various shapes of disarray move around listlessly in the great river of the sky. The river at my feet, however, flows as if it has a destination. Full of the melting dark in swollen eddies of gray and black, it runs away from me into the embrace of the distant mountains. Behind me, the breeze waits, venturing tentatively out of the quiet of the forest every now and then to caress my back and hair.

        Suddenly the cat darts away, escaping into the forest. I keep my eyes on the river.

        "That damned cat. It never really liked me, did it?"

        "It is the wind. It remembers you," I say.

        I don't look back. The river moves, but all else seems motionless. We wait several minutes in silence.

        "You could try being happy", you say.

        I smile but keep my eyes fixed on the water.

        "He is very happy, you know," you say.
    
        I wait for a few moments before turning around to look at you. "And that is good, right?"

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tiptoe

The waves tiptoe up the dark bare sand of the beach. Over and over, they wash our feet with their dying churn before retreating to the safety of the vast ocean. Behind the beach on which I lay is the island, a large unlit foreboding presence in the dim washed out moonlight that is the night. The fire beside which we made love on the beach still burns just outside the reach of the waves but its warmth and light have been turned inwards. It won't be long before it consumes itself. There is no one else on the island to heed the quiet warnings in the endless dance of the waves.

As the dark on the beach gets deeper, bit by bit the waves gather courage to reach higher and higher underneath my naked body. I can feel the sand beneath my back slipping away little by little with each retreat of the waves. Feeling untethered, I look behind and the mass of the island seems distant and small. I close my eyes, and let time like the sand slip away from between us.

When at last I can feel your hand in mine I turn towards you to kiss the dark wet hair that curls around your ear and whisper, “Did I tell you, my love?”

You turn back towards me, reaching with your lips to kiss my nose. I cannot help smiling whenever you do that.

“Did I tell you that you are always on the tip of my mind.”

Friday, October 17, 2014

How long?

How long do you have to imagine someone before they become real?

The first sounds to break through to the frayed edges of my consciousness were the squeaks of the swing from dull to sharp and back over and over, a deeply familiar sound of metal grating against metal. Time came along for the ride in the periodicity of the sound, breaking down my defenses, intruding on the mindlessness I so cherished.

I don't know how long it took, but eventually I could hear the roar of the waves crashing into the beach and then receding, endlessly repeating their futile assault on the sand. Eight squeaks of the swing between every two roars that marked the dashing of the waves at their peak. The pendulum of sound became time.

I began to feel the faint spray of the waves, the salty moist air against my skin and lips.

"Come back to me, my love". Your voice rides the waves into my mind.

I can feel your hand in mine, and turn to you sitting next to me on the swing.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bones

You are the love I have always lost. You are my love over and over.

I wrote every word that made your bones, I wrote your hair. I wrote your eyes.
I wrote your smile that fills my dreams.
The weight of my words is the substance of your flesh.
Every inch of your skin, every inch I have kissed with my lips and my fingers.
Your every curve is the contour of my thoughts.

If I ever wake up, will you run away with my mind?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

An Iron Bed

Meet me in a poem
of an iron bed;
wipe the dust away.
                                    --------  From "Flowers" by The Civil Wars

Wasted, beneath the moon I dream of you.

Your eyes closed, your face in my hands, the dark of your hair flowing around the white of your shoulders in waves, the curves of your body melting beneath mine, the gleam of your smile teasing of untold pleasures.

I look up from the smile on your face, and all around the bed grow weeds in my garden of secrets. No matter what you do, they will never give me away. Through the iron bars, I can see my shadow stretch to the horizon. Only it can't be my shadow, for it is bleeding. Glistening in the moonlight, the blood traces the lines of the bed as it climbs steadily all around us. I close my eyes and bend forward to kiss you, but cannot reach your lips below me.

Someday I will finally meet you and my lips will find yours.

In the meantime, I dream of you. And inside my head, you dream of me too.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

How I want to

I missed you
But I haven't met you
Oh, but I want to
Oh how I want to
                             ---- From To Whom it may Concern by Civil Wars


In the night, it rains. It isn't a heavy rain. It never is.

But every night the rain seeps slowly into my mind, pressing down with a steady beat until I cannot sleep. So I sit by the window, seeking company from my glass of whiskey.

Outside, the ocean sings. Through the open window and across from the narrow beach I can see the waves. Their unending death is their song. Their faith relentless.

I fade in and out through the night, not quite sleeping and yet not quite awake. I know to wait. In the small hours of the night, you will be here. Raven hair wet with the rain, you will appear at the far end of the beach. The waves will kiss your bare feet, their dying deeper and their song more urgent. The rain will caress the lines of your face and embrace you like nothing else can. You will stand there in the moonlight, not moving much in the gentle breeze, your eyes searching the horizon. I know to wait. I know the contours of your silhouette, the hope in your searching eyes, the sound of your beating heart, the shape of your legs under your billowing skirt.

I know how it is to want you the way the rain and the waves do.

I don't know what draws you here. Maybe it is the comfort of the rain, maybe it is the song of the ocean, maybe it is the quiet whisper of the moonlight.

I never call out to you. You never turn towards me.

Whose secret are you?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Flowers

--- las flores estan muertas (the flowers, they are dead)

           I had been reading for several hours while sitting in a comfortable sofa-chair on the wood-slatted deck perched on a bluff overlooking the ocean.  In the last light of the afternoon, a steadily rising disquiet led me to put the book away. The words on the pages had awoken an ancient part of me that had lived the stories I was reading. I didn't want to know where the stories would take me; or perhaps I knew already. Troubled, I stood up and walked a few feet to the railing at the edge of the deck seeking shelter in reality.

           The dying light of the sun gave birth to a hazy moonlight barely able to penetrate the darkness. My eyes were drawn repeatedly to the white gleaming churn of ocean waves crashing into the rocky stretch of beach below. The periodic faint sounds of the ocean's heart, the quiet of the birds and the other animals in the dark, the night's air suffuse with the dim glitter of moonlight, all helped calm the turbulence within my mind. Eventually, I turned back to pick up the book I had abandoned earlier, and settled down again on the sofa-chair to continue my reading in the light of a small but fiery gas lamp on the side-table.

            "The flowers, they are all dead."

            I looked up from the book, but couldn't see you. The dark had really settled in now, and the lamp's light barely extended past the chair. Your voice had come from so close-by, but I couldn't find you with my eyes. My mind, on the other hand, you have never left.

            Carefully lifting a dried and pressed flower from between the pages of the book, I held it out, "here is one."

             "Only one of many."

             I still cannot see you. All around me the dark seems to be closing in. I look carefully at the flower. "It is a purple flower with red tears down the middle," I say.

             "Yes... doesn't make a big difference."

(There is a real place, a most beautiful place, called Aspen Fell in SL that inspired the setting of this vignette. If you haven't visited yet, you should.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Rest of my sins

                 Where I'm from there is a lock and key
                 If you'll be so kind as to follow me
                 I'll show you the way to the rest of my sins.

                              ---- From "Secret" by Missy Higgins

Finally spent, I pulled slowly out of your throat before releasing your pretty face from the clasp of my hands. Leaning back into my chair to rest and to calm my beating heart, I watch you struggle to bring your breathing under control, your sweat-matted raven hair clinging to the sides of your face as you rest it against my thigh. It will be a few more minutes before I am back in control of my own body.

Your note, "I am outside, my love," on the table makes me smile. Shedding my work clothes quickly, I step outside through the glass sliding doors that separate our kitchen from the sand of the beach. The sea is on fire behind you and the last brilliant light of the dying sun caresses the familiar curves of your body as I approach our hammock. You are asleep.

I pause at arm's length, not breathing lest I change my memory.

I reach carefully to brush the hair back from your face without waking you.

God, you are beautiful!

And, you are mine.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Is this the place?

He deals the cards to find the answer  
The sacred geometry of chance  
The hidden law of a probable outcome  
The numbers lead a dance 
                                      
                        -------- From "Shape of my Heart" by Sting

I know where you are. I know where to reach you. I know how you feel and what it takes to make you feel. I know what to do, to make you mine. I know.

Maybe I am wasting my years. Maybe chasing the idea of you all this time is more real than I can ever be. Maybe I can go back to the end of regret. Maybe.

I sit in the car at the top of a hill, engine still warm but silent now. It is a clear moonlit night and I can see for miles around me. The trees, they find reasons to hide in the unbroken view. Nothing dwells here, no lights, no smoke, no sounds. I sit for long as the night deepens.

I reach for the ignition key.

"Is this the place?", you ask from beside me.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Your name

But sometimes every word has been used,
and there is nothing left to do
but hold the one you can't have in the sweet arms of a tune.

                  ------- From "Sweet Arms of a Tune" by Missy Higgins

When the evening shadows lengthen, when the rest of the world goes quiet and the soft sea-breeze gathers courage and whispers through the curtains, I wait for your name.

Your name.

We play the long game, you and I. Maybe I will know your name, and maybe you and I will know what to say. We know the rules. And so I wait.

When darkness settles, when the flickering flames do their ghostly dance and the song that is buried in every movement comes alive, I wait for your name.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Spend my time

I don't know why I spend my time
writing words that you'll never read
with meanings that strain credulity

I lay beside you in the hammock on our beach, my face resting against your bosom, your beating heart filling my world. You are asleep and so I tell you that you have a beautiful smile. I tell you that I won't close my eyes, lest I lose you to a dream.

In the fading light of the sun, you lay rocking to and fro in our hammock waiting for me. I pause on our porch, watching the last rays of the sun bathe the contours of your body. Setting down the glass of Talisker whiskey on the wooden rail defining the porch, I walk down the few steps of beach to join you on the hammock.

I open the door to our home, walk in, and see your car keys on our kitchen table. Smiling with anticipation I shed my briefcase and shoes, loosen my tie, and pour myself a glass of whiskey. Two ice cubes in the glass, I turn the music on for the speakers facing our beach and am ready to dance with you. As I step onto our porch, I see the trail of clothes you have shed on your way to our hammock.

I call out your name, but when I look at the beach you are not there.

With every passing month, every passing year, it gets harder to write you into my life, but I swear by the words still left in me that we will dance together again at sunset on our beach.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Unrequited

Be in my arms,
be in my dreams,
be my love unrequited.

Another year is ending. With a fire crackling beside us, we sit on the carpet in our living room facing the wall of windows overlooking our beach. It has been snowing continuously for several hours now and so there is a beautiful quiet all around us. I lean further back against the pile of cushions propped up on the wall near the fireplace, and you lean back against my chest, my arms around you, my face resting against your hair. My eyes linger over your familiar curves, the rise and fall of your breasts, the flare of your hips, the dip of your silk dress as it drapes your thighs and legs. It never fails to stir desire, seeing you.

I reach for the glass of whiskey on the carpet next to us and you raise your face in anticipation. Smiling, I give you a sip, the cold of the ice inside tempering the fire of the whiskey. I watch you swallow, and then cup your face tilting it upwards to kiss your lips, tasting you and the whiskey, tasting you and me and kisses yet to come. 

The snow surrounds us and we sit and watch it fall in silence. Squeezing you deeper into me with my arms, I rest my face gently against yours and wait. It will be midnight soon.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Beautiful Rain

I am wrapped in the deeds of the words that have made me.

It is a beautiful rain. I turn towards you to tell you what you already know, that I love the warm rain in the city, but you are not there. The drenched empty half of the bench to my right glistens blue, then yellow, then red, and then back to blue again in harmony with the flashing neon lights in the Pizzeria sign across the narrow cobblestone street.  The small city garden behind the bench that bustles with children and their mothers during the day is silent and unmoving in the night. It is a moonless darkness and there isn't a soul about. I look leftwards, down the hill to the river. On the two sidewalks, evenly spaced gas lamps are shrouded in a fine mist, their feeble light barely reflecting off the wet cobblestones.  Bright light spills out of a few street-level windows from the row of two-story brownstones that hug the street on both sides. I sit there and watch the familiar scene.

When I turn back towards you, I know you have been watching me for a while. I reach for your hand and slide my body on the bench to be closer to you. The warm rain washes down your face. When I look into your eyes, I can see our little world reflected in your unspilt tears. I reach for your face, cupping it with my hands and whisper, "I don't remember, love. I don't remember what I am supposed to do."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ribbon

In the dead of winter, I live at the water's edge.

Autumn leaves are long since buried under several feet of snow. Barren trees stand tall in silent vigil. There are secrets here that hibernate in the harsh winter, but all one has to do to survive is to not disturb their sleep.

Shrill cries of ravens had broken the deep quiet and woken me up early this morning. When I came outside and looked, there were too many of them to count. I watched them fly in chaotic circles around the last standing wall in the ruins that shadowed our home. Their battle was not mine. Against whatever evil drew them here, whether they emerged victorious or perished, their cause was not mine. So I turned my back to them and walked down to the frozen beach. I would wait things out at the water's edge, near the unbreached sanctuary of the vast ocean. I stood still for a long while, hands clenched inside my jacket pockets, striving to drive the world out of my mind. 

"Why won't you come when I call?"

I turn around to look at you. Wild eyes, skin pale as the dead winter, disheveled hair, the skin tight top of a black gown ending in a flared feathered skirt with a long train that hid your feet, the ribbon in your dark hair matching the color of the bright red trail of blood in the snow behind you. 

"All I heed is your heart," I whispered softly so that you would not hear, and turned back around to the shelter of the waves.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Taste

Is it all as it seems,
so unresolved, so unredeemed.
If I remain, how will I know?

                          --- from "Humming" by Portishead

From where the sky falls into the sea, you call me.

I stand on our beach and look out over the waves to the far horizon where the sea wells up to embrace the falling sky.  I lose track of time, letting the warm waves wash the sand onto my feet over and over. You call me and I hold your hand, the wind enveloping me with your body's scent.

A perfect evening spent watching the sun set over the endless sea from our beach. I am surprised at how dark it is now. The sun must have set quite a while ago even though I don't remember it that way. When I look up, the veil of the shy night is studded with stars. The familiar waves sparkle and churn in the starlight.

"My love," I whisper, and turn towards you. You are not there. The wind still remembers your scent but as I look down at my empty hand, I am suddenly unsure.

"Should we go inside?," you say behind me, and I swing around.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mirrors

For the seventh straight night, I could dream but I could not sleep. Every night, my dream was a whirl of ancient music, of bare feet striking stone ground, and of the faint chaotic ringing of bells. Every night, there was pain in the dream, sharp visceral pain and grim determination. Every night, my dream had gotten more and more urgent and chaotic.  Every night, I fought exhaustion before giving up and going out on the mountainside to scramble among the oppressive ruins, looking in vain for the source of the dreams.

Tonight, for the first time I could hear the music even while awake and standing outside my tent in the dark. Up and down the slope of the mountain were boulders mixed in with broken pillars and pieces of what must have once been a high stone wall. The pain was to be my compass. I walked, then fell and scrambled, and then got up and walked again, following the gradient of the drumbeat of bare feet. In delirium I walked, unseeing, unfeeling, like an animal following the direction in which the sound got louder. I don't know how long it took, but it was still mostly dark when failing to find my way around a large upright slab of stone, about twice my height and embedded in the slope, I had to climb over it to its top.

There you were. Dancing barefeet on a courtyard of broken stone mixed in with dry soil and hardscrabble grass. Shards of broken glass were strewn about the surface. Trails of blood from your feet followed your dancing. There you were. In a veil and long-limbed dress with an almost ankle-length skirt, all embedded with small mirrors and brilliantly colored threadwork. The swirl of blood as you teetered and danced, the sound of your ankle bracelets and chains, the sound of your bangles, the sounds of my dream.

I don't know if it is you under the veil.

I don't know if it is you inside the pain.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Climb

The sky is the color of blood. I reach out with my forearm and use my shirt sleeve to wipe the blood off, but that only serves to create wave-like marks on the sky. I cannot see anything else.

At the top of the dance, I lift you up in my arms so that your head tilts back, long dark hair cascading down in a waterfall. Kissing your exposed neck, I swing you around in my arms. The scent of your skin is all around me, the wind swirling it about me as we dance.  I cannot see you and so I feel my way through the movements in the dance. Your skin against mine, your body responds to the subtle directions my movements provide.  Your skin against mine, I can feel your breath on my cheek as we get close in the dance. Your skin against mine, I can hear your strong heartbeat and more faintly those of the many who watch us. I cannot see them, but know that they surround us and wait. Your skin against mine, I pull you closer still and whisper, "Baby, you are right here with me."

The sky is the color of blood. Perhaps you will show yourself when all the witnesses are gone.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

There is sand

At both ends of time, there is sand. A white beach with sand, and you.

I put down the bottle of Talisker and reach out to give the wheel of time a whirl. From you to you, in a blur of images. There you are, when time stops, in a summer dress with the warm bright churn of the waves at your feet and a rose with a long twisted stem in your hand. I linger for a bit in that time.

I used to try and tell if time was or if time would be, but gave up on that quest upon realizing that from beginning to end, there is sand and the waves, and you and I.

Another swig from the bottle, another whirl of time with my hand, and there you are. Raven hair wet from the waves, skin glistening in the moonlight as you lay next to me, your legs entwined with mine. There is much to linger for in this time. I stay for a while and we make love again.

In the light and the dark, there is sand. A white beach with sand, and you in my arms.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Road

Born on the road again. The road and its surroundings look different each time I come into being. Now whether there are many different roads or whether the world is one long serpentine road and each night just starts at some random location, there is no way for me to tell. Tonight, there is fog and the lights of the towering buildings on both sides of the road make it all seem otherworldly. The road is empty, as always. It takes me a few minutes to come to terms with the vaguely familiar or maybe just generic urban surroundings.

I know I am not sleepwalking, because as always I am holding your hand.

In the early nights we had spent all our time exploring the road and whatever surrounded it. We had tried getting off the road but the world got more and more vague and nebulous and ill-defined as we went further off the road. We would never get very far and besides we would end up on the road again every night.

I squeezed your hand, and pulled you gently to where light and music spilled out of the open doorway of a building to our right. Our kind of music, and there in the spotlight we danced.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Futures Past (part II)

(This is part II of this previous vignette.)

We drove down the road where no one goes, past the city lights, past the gritty edge of the nighttime city, and then over a bridge across the river. Just past the bridge, the road turned and ended abruptly on a bare paved waterfront terrace facing the city from across the river. Just in front of where I stopped the car, a small picnic table for two was laid out with a plaid checkerboard tablecloth, a single lit candle, and a bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice. We sat in the car for a few minutes, holding hands, reluctant to get out and face the night's end. Nothing moved in the entire world but the flickering flame on the candle.

"Come love," I said, opening the car door and walked up to the table to open the champagne bottle for us.

I offered her a glass, and she sat across from me to watch the reflection of the candle's flame in the still water of the river. From the remaining height of the candle we could tell that tonight we would get less time than usual. Unbidden we stood and walked up right to the edge of the terrace, music started playing automatically, and we slow danced. We held each other and forgot the candle and how much time we had left. We talked in whispers, as if not wanting to awake the ghosts of dances past. We danced at the edge of the water, our bodies flickering alongside the dying flame.

In the last light before darkness, she stopped moving in my arms and asked, "do you love me when we are gone?"

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Idea of you

You may be long gone
You may never have been real
but what exists and will never leave
is the idea of you


You may have been lover
You may never have been friend
but what you will always be
is my muse

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dawn

I sat nursing a glass of whiskey on my usual couch. A couple of feet from me, through the open window was a great view of our beach in the moon light. A bottle of Talisker on the side table had kept me company through the still night as I buried my thoughts in the past.

It was nearly dawn before the wind picked up enough to bring in the salt and the spray of the waves in the sea through the window. The quick relief from the oppressive heat of the night aroused me from the reverie I had fallen into. There you were, standing outside on the beach near the waves, framed by the window and its sheer, now-billowing, curtains. Bare arms, a pure white cotton dress with a long slit up one side to nearly your waist. I drained my glass in one gulp, the fire of the whiskey plunging deep inside me. You stood with your back towards me, raven hair cascading over your shoulder. With practiced ease, I filled my glass with the amber liquid and sat back on the couch to watch you. The wind, now alive, swirled around you lifting your dress, gathering your body's scent on its way into my memories. You always had beautifully athletic legs.

You watched the waves and waited for the sun to begin a new cycle. I watched you and waited too.

Come the dawn, we can run away.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rain like static

I woke up in slow motion, the sound of the rain beating down on the roof seeping slowly into my consciousness. When I could no longer convince myself that I was dreaming, I opened my eyes to the dark of the bedroom. The familiar warmth of your body was next to me. I lay completely still, letting my eyes adjust gradually until I could begin to see in the faint moonlight that bled into the room through the window a few feet from our bed. Rain surrounded our house on the beach. Overwhelmed by the sound of the rain, I got up carefully so as to not wake you up and sat on the edge of the bed so that I could look outside. The thick rain looked like static on an old black and white TV that had lost its connection to the world. It was a peculiar mesmerizing rain and I sat staring out of the window at it for a long while. Ghostly shapes appeared and disappeared in the rain like static, and so it took some time for me to finally focus on the hooded figure at the far end of the beach near the waves. Startled, I stood up and pressed my face against the window to try and see more clearly. Whoever it was, was just standing there in the driving rain right at the edge of the waves.

I looked back at you. Your gentle breathing was undisturbed.

I looked back outside. The hooded shape turned around so that I could see the face. It was you. I called out your name in surprise. You stirred on the bed behind me. Despite all the rain and the distance I could see your face clearly, our eyes locking for a few instants before you turned back to face the waves.

I shuffled to the door and stepped out into the rain.

It was the first of many times that I was going to lose you.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Waves

We danced intertwined at our favorite spot on our beach with the sound of the waves for music. We danced and talked for hours, spinning a shared new world with our words. We made love in the dance, words caressing, penetrating, creating a swirl of arousal, words leaping, leading, following, soaring in a dance at once familiar and unreal, before retreating into private peaks of release and then ultimately bringing us back together to the quiet of the beach with its waves. We lived in the dance.

We had danced like this many a time.

We had never even met, let alone danced together.

They say the heart deceives and so it is the mind one should listen to, but then what is one to do when it is the mind that deceives one's heart?

The salt spray of the waves was now close enough to break through the blindness induced by the reverie I had slipped into whilst standing on our beach. The sun had almost set and the rising tide brought the wash from the waves to my feet.  I stood still letting reality seep back into my world along with the moonlight as it flooded the beach. There was no triumph in the moonlight for having vanquished the sun. I looked down at the long-stemmed rose clenched tightly in my hand. I had forgotten about the rose and Valentine's day. Turning back away from the waves I walked up the beach a few steps before bending down to leave the solitary rose on the sand.

"Is that rose for me?", you asked. I turned around to look back at you.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Signs of Summer

She lay on the carpet right in the middle of one of the science fiction aisles in the bookstore. Not sitting on the floor reading a book as one sometimes finds people doing in bookstore aisles, but laying fully prone on her stomach on the carpet as if beside a fireplace at home. She was dressed in a sleeveless black summer dress, her raven hair off to one side, her bare lower right leg swinging up and down keeping time to some inner music. I stood frozen in pleasant surprise for a few minutes, taking in the contrast between her pale white skin and the black dress, the firmness of her lower leg muscles, the sensible open-toed sandals on her feet, the delicious athletic form of her prone body. Fortunately her feet were towards me and so she could not see me staring at her. Mind made up, I walked the few steps to the next aisle and then across to double back into the science fiction aisle several feet in front of her. I wanted to see her face. She smiled as she read, raising her head up every now and then to drink iced-tea. I pretended to browse the bookshelf whilst looking at her surreptitiously. Her unadorned neck. Her beautiful eyes riveted to her book. The curve of her breasts pressing into the carpet. There was something about her complete abandon that captivated me. She was lost in her book and I became lost in her. I flipped through the random book I had reached for, my attention fixed on her even though my eyes were not.

****************************************

A rush of cold air swept into the bookstore as someone walked in through the front doors. Instinctively, I pressed the front of my down jacket together to stay warm. On looking back down, the aisle was empty. She was gone. Stunned, I sat down in the aisle with my back against the bookshelf. Snow was falling outside. I could see it come down from the sky through the big window at the end of the aisle. How could this be? It had been summer just a few moments ago. I sat there looking out of the window, disbelieving reality.

****************************************

"Found what you are looking for?", she asked. There she was again, laying on the carpet a few feet from me in the aisle. Gorgeous eyes smiling into mine.

"Everything," I whispered. Pausing for a few moments, I searched her face with my eyes before continuing, "I have found everything I am looking for."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Other me

(For a change, not a vignette but a decree).

What use are dreams if I cannot dictate their content? What cruel joke does biology play on us? For when we are most free from the constraints of reality, when we are most free to conjure up any fantasy we wish, we are also most at the mercy of the uncontrollable whims or fancies that seed our dreams. If it isn't me that lives my dreams, then who is this other me? Be he demon or deity, I wish to trade places with him so that he may taste what it is to live within the bounds of reason and society, and I may taste true free will. So that he may walk, and I may fly. So that he may be true, and I may lie. So that he may deal with the world as it is, and I may fashion a world as I want it to be. For if I am to make conversations and have coffee, make love and have fights, if I am to do with others all the things that one does in the realm of daily living, then I want the realm of dreams to be for you and for you alone. If I was the other me then you would be my life.

Does the other me dream? It must be so, for to claim otherwise would make me and my kind special and separate. If nothing else, Occam's razor or in other words the simplicity that science demands of explanations would assume that my other me dreams and then so does his other me, and so on, ad infinitum. I hereby decree that all the other me's inside of me must dream of you and you alone so that I can be with you infinitely.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fine Line

It's a dangerous game, it's a very fine line
and if one step is wrong, I'll have no cards to play
That's why I have got nothing to say tonight
                  --- Riot on an Empty Street by Kings of Convenience
I no longer know if it can happen, you and I.  It wasn't that I had no choice, it was that all the choices I had involved disregarding the soft lonely voice of reason.

I put a hand on the top of the barricade and leaped over it bracing for impact as I fell the nearly two-story drop onto the concrete pavement below. Despite landing into a crouching stance, the violence of the sudden stop traveled instantly through my bones all the way into my skull jarring my brain loose, or so it felt.  Images, like shards of steel-edged glass, flood into my mind.  Rain. You are dancing in the rain on a springtime hilltop, your wet dress clinging to your curves. Summer rain. You are in my arms on our beach watching the sea swell up from the battering coming down from the sky. Glistening sweat. Your raven hair clinging to the sides of your face as you thrust your hips upwards to meet mine, your swollen nipple filling my mouth. I fall over into a fetal position, clutching my head in a futile attempt to shield it from these image fragments. Fear. You looking back frantically while running hard in desperate stumbling strides alongside a long white fence. Frame after frame of fear and running and the pristine white fence. Low moans. Your hands in my hair as I bury my face between your legs suckling greedily on the moist trough between your lips. Frame after random image frame coursed through my mind. Even in the midst of the pain I can tell that some of these images are not from the past.  I shake my head to drive these images away but the pain only gets sharper. There is a little bit of you in everything.

An unheralded urgency somehow brings forth the strength from inside me and I get up on my feet. I have to find you tonight. Unsteady, I see both the images my eyes are seeing and what my untethered mind is creating for me. I would have fallen but for my groping hands finding a fence to steady me. An idyllic white fence that seems to stretch endlessly into the future. I stagger back in disbelief. Drawing my dagger from underneath my shirt I run wildly alongside the fence, bumping into it every few steps both to make sure that it is really there and to keep from falling. Suddenly I see you  running in front of me, red gashes on your arms. I can see the terror in your face as you look back. This can't be happening for real. I stop and shake my head to be able to see properly again. There is only the fence stretching in front of me. I keep running, dagger gripped firmly in my right hand. I can hear you calling for me.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A laughing man and the sea

How do I tell the sea that I am not the author of the storm? That this is not my dream, but hers. That swallowing me would give it no respite from her fury. How do I tell it that I am but a laughing man and it is the sea?

I pulled down on the hem of my coat and turned up its collar before I stepped out resolutely into the severe storm.  I had waited far too many days already for the downpour to end or for it to at least slow down enough that the sea would stop its furious lashing of the little island of sand that was home, our home. My sleep deprived mind could feel the realm beyond the sea gradually slipping away. I have to find a way to cross over to the other side before it disappeared.

Time became the drumbeat of shards of rain. Time became the pulsing tiredness of muscles. Time became the crest and trough of waves. Over and over.

The sea had gone mad.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Futures Past (part I)

I could see her waiting for me on the curbside as I drove down the street towards her. Tonight she had chosen a smaller and more athletic body than most other times, a skin that knows only the night, raven hair loose on her shoulders, the twin tops of high pale breasts visible above her strapless off-shoulder mini-dress, her bare legs ending in high-heels. Pulling up to her, I stopped the car and leaped smoothly out of the open top to land close beside her in my tuxedo.  I smiled broadly and opened the car door for her with a flourish.

"My destiny!" I said, offering her a hand while gesturing elaborately to the passenger seat with the other.

"My love," she said, smiling in return and held on to my hand as she daintily lowered her body into the seat. I danced around the car whistling happiness and got back in. She leaned towards me and our lips met in a kiss. A kiss full of memories and predictions. A kiss to make this night more real. Before the kiss could make the desperation in our hearts well up and sour the evening, I broke our embrace gently.

"Did I tell you?," I whispered in her ear as I pulled back.

"Tell me what?," she asked. I held her gaze for a few long seconds, each of us fighting separate demons that we could not see clearly.

I turned to pump the accelerator while pressing down on the brakes to show off the low guttural growl of my muscle car. Grinning, I eased on the brakes to set off up the road with tires and brakes squealing. "Did I tell you," I shouted above the roar of the engine, "that you look gorgeous. That you set my pulse racing every time I look at you." Pulse and car raced up the road.

She leaned back in her seat, her body and mind visibly relaxing, her hair catching the wind and billowing about the headrest. We drove in silence through the city in the light of the setting sun. There was no traffic anywhere. There never is. All the lights in the windows of the beautiful skyscrapers shine for no one. We held hands and watched the silent, lovely, uninhabited, and foreboding city go by as we followed the single road to its conclusion.

"You made a beautiful world for us tonight," she said, squeezing my hand.

"Love, I thought it was you that made this for us?"

She was silent for a while. "I don't know. It has gotten so hard to tell." With a visible effort she cheered up and asked, "where will you take me tonight?"

I laughed. "I have no idea where this road is taking us, but from the clothes we have on I would guess dinner and dancing."

"Mmmm, my favourite," she said happily.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Don't respond

"Don't respond to this -- I miss you and I love you, but you left me with no choice. It's lonely here without you."

I lay in the hammock on our beach with the folded note on my chest. The sea churned, the ebb and flow of its recurring waves keeping pace with the swinging of the hammock. The pale light of the setting sun flickered off the waves. The outer peace quieted the inner turmoil.

A gust of wind blew the note off my chest and into the sea, where it skipped a few waves like a stone cast by a playful child before it got caught in the water. I had tried to catch the note as it flew off and had failed. It now lay in the water, soaked and floating. From afar I imagined the words slowly dissolving, their ink leaching out into the water. I imagined the ink-on-water words getting diffuse and bigger but keeping their rough shape as they floated and got pushed and pulled by the waves. Will they reach our beach and mark those words on it for ever or will they float away into the vastness of the sea? The hammock swung back and forth and with it our world, undecided. I lay back against you, our bodies together shaped the movement of the hammock, my hand played with your hair.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Not our Fate

"But you and I, we've been through that  
and this is not our fate.
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late."

                --- All Along the WatchTower by Bob Dylan
 
Disoriented, I stand in what I think is the middle of a room, but I am unsure for my eyes have not yet adjusted to the darkness. I don't know how or whence I came to be here. I try turning cautiously around seeking outside light from under a door or from the edges of a window but there is complete darkness. With no reference point for the eyes and nothing within reach but the floor I was standing on, all I had were the sensations from my body and it made my distrustful mind unsteady.  So I stopped moving and just waited.

The flesh of your high breasts flashes brilliantly as you arch your back. I blink and it is dark again.

I follow with my eyes your up-stretched arms to the scarves tying your wrists above your head to the posts on either side of the bed. Our bed. Your arched back and the urgency of your thrusts meeting his tell me that you are close to release. Darkness again. Fuck.

Is this my room? It ought to be for you were on my bed. Yet it cannot be because nothing else is right. I lurch forward gingerly but the ground is unsteady and alive under my feet. As I struggle for balance I see you again.

You are kneeling on the floor, nadu, before a standing man. Your white naked flesh against his dark trousers. Your knees pressed against his dirt-streaked boots, your breasts pressing into his knees. Even though I see you from the side I can tell what your upturned face is begging him for. My body responds, blood rushing into my barometer of desire that knows your pretty mouth so well.

I hear you moan close behind me and swirl around, almost falling in the dark. Your hair clings to and covers your tears-streaked face as you lean forward straining the ropes that tie your hands on the bar above your head. I cannot tell if you are trying to escape from or grind into the dark-haired face pressed between your legs. My eyes are drawn to the leather whip lying near your feet on the floor and then to the raw marks on your breasts and stomach. I search your face and wish I could look into your eyes. I wish I could ask you why you are crying. I wish I could ask you why you are moaning with pleasure. I wish I could ask you if this darkness is within you or within me.

I wish it could just rain down on you and I and wash all this darkness away.

You are close, so close, and I lean forward to whisper into your ears, "You belong to me." But you don't hear me.

The dark covers me.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hide me

At the edge of a steep cliff with the sea a hundred or so feet directly below, waves extending as far as the eye could see, there was a single wooden bench to which I returned each evening and sat alone to watch the setting sun paint its silent death throes all over the sky in shades of deep purple and red. Starting a few feet behind the bench and stretching back far into the horizon was a meadow of motionless flowers in riotous colors atop tall unyielding stalks. A solitary bonsai cherry blossom tree adorned the edge of the cliff to the left of the bench, a carpet of lilac petals surrounding its base. Nothing stirred on land, the only sound a faint din of the waves reaching up the face of the cliff from the sea below. There was a quiet madness in the air that captivated me; it was as if everything stood still with bated breath awaiting something or perhaps someone.

It was the most incongruously beautiful place you could imagine and since discovering it I had had it all to myself. This evening was no exception and I sat at my usual spot at one end of the bench playing with shadows. She must have come out of the meadow and sat down wordlessly at the other end of the bench. I don't know when she came and I didn't look at her, unsure what her arrival meant both for this place and for the madness in my heart. In my thoughts she sat cross-legged, her bare feet and ankles visible below the long silk skirt that embraced her legs. I thought that her neck was unadorned, that the swell of her breasts arose and fell with each breath in steady harmony. I thought that in her downcast eyes was an image of me. I thought that I knew that she must be humming my name over and over in her mind and that I was the cause of the smile at the corner of her mouth. I thought that her hands ached to be in mine and that her heart was calling out for me. In that strangest of evenings I thought that she must have sat with me for every sunset.

"Will you hide me within you?," she asked. I turned towards her.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Break your heart

Skye always drew large crowds to his shows and tonight was no exception. In the dark of a moonless night, the open-air amphitheater lit by torches all along the periphery was full of beautiful young bodies, most dancing either as couples or in groups as friends, a few dancing alone or milling about seeking dance partners. I stood alone at my customary back corner near the inexhaustible supply of cheap wine, nursing a glass and listened to Skye sing, eyes flitting from one sashaying skirt to another.

"Come dance with me," she said extending her arm to me with a shy smile on her upturned face and the flicker of hope burning in the flames reflected in her bright eyes.

I hesitated, smiling sadly into her eyes as I struggled to find the right words. Before she could withdraw her arm, I caught her hand in mine and bringing it to my mouth kissed it gently before letting it go. "Please don't be upset Laura. After all these months at Skye's shows, you know well that I don't dance."

"Damn," she said turning away from me with a bitter laugh. "I saw how much wine you had tonight and was hoping that you were drunk enough to break down and finally say yes." I stepped forward close behind her wanting to hug her from the back but resisted the urge for it would just make matters worse. "I hate how pathetic I am to ask you again and again," she whispered, her voice catching and I could sense the unseen shimmer of tears in her eyes.

After a few minutes of desperately trying to figure out how to help my friend, I leaned forward and whispered playfully into her ear, "You know how it is. We will dance. You will fall for me. We will fuck. And I will break your heart!"

She burst out laughing, her body shaking with a mixture of hurt and absurd merriment. "You are one cocky bastard!"

I could sense the tension flow out of her and stepped back a half step.

She turned around to face me with a wicked smile on her face, "And what if I want to take that chance? What if I want the dancing and the fucking even if it means getting my heart broken?"

I tried hard to smile back but instead after an anguished pause whispered, "Perhaps you want that, but this isn't about you, it is about me. I don't want to break another heart."

She stood still and watched the struggle of emotions on my face before reaching up with her hand to caress my face, "She hurt you very badly, didn't she?"

I unsuccessfully tried to suppress a short manic chuckle and shook my head, "No. No. She didn't hurt me at all. There may not even be a she at all."

She smiled sadly into my eyes, coming closer still. "She broke your heart, didn't she?"

"I am not hurt, Laura. Really. Not lovesick, and not heart broken."

I took another small step back and laughed, "And not married and not gay either."

"I just don't dance."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Unsay


If I inhaled so deeply and for so long
 
that I took back all the words I ever exhaled,
 
would that then unsay all your memories of us
 
and let me keep mine?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why baby?

(A vignette I started about a year ago and then set it aside because I wasn't happy with it. Now it is out of place with where the blog's writing is currently, but here it is anyways.)

Setting: The camera swoops down from on high onto the flat open roof of a sprawling castle that has clearly seen better days. Its dark moss-covered outer walls have regularly spaced fire-torches and their flickering glow adds ghostly shadows to the dying light of the sun. Two figures stand several feet apart, the man facing the woman who has at her back the long shimmering golden dagger cast by the last rays of the setting sun on the expanse of water surrounding the castle. Our viewpoint descends low enough for us to be in eavesdropping range but not close enough to see the emotions flickering on their faces in the low light.

The couple stands motionless staring into the distance. The silence is broken only by the shrill cries of a large falcon circling the castle, riding an unseen current of air. The predatory bird swoops down into the water with a desperate cry of triumph. The man and woman turn together to watch the bird grappling with a large fish in its beak as it struggles to break free of the water.

Woman: Why baby?
   
The man does not answer but stands in place, fidgeting.
The bird approaches the roof, its wings flapping noisily, and deposits the fish still convulsing in its death throes at the edge of the roof and stands near it eyeing the couple with open hostility and challenge.

Woman: Why?

The man shakes his head, quickly suppressing a desperate laugh.
The bird breaks the fish apart and swallows large pieces all the while emitting sharp bugle-like calls as if to warn them against approaching closer.

After a few more minutes of the couple watching the bird demolish its prize the woman teleports away startling the bird. It flies away, leaving the carcass of the fish on the roof, voicing its protests in a cacophony of anguished cries. 

The man stands motionless for a long while, watching the sun die. The fires burn through the night.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You and I

There are only so many stories in the world. And the truth is that none of them are true. I am not who I am. I never was. There probably is a real you. But the you that lived and laughed was the you that I created. The you in the story. The you in the story that met the I in the story. The you and I that fall in love over and over in so many words, few of them true. The you and I that go our separate ways in so few words, many of them true. Of course those words, they don't write themselves. Or do they? Does the I in the story have free will? Does the you? Perhaps the I in the story is a puppet, soulless and thus guileless, pulled by the strings of good story writing, a slave to dramatic flourishes. You and I wouldn't write an inelegant story, now would we?

--------------------
                                                                         
In the unending rain, morning blurs into midday and so I wasn't sure what part of day it was when I stepped out of the house. Turned up collar and a hat provide meager shelter against the downpour, as I crunch my way in boots on the graveled walkway past the bed of flowers that you had planted and onto the path leading into the forest on the hill behind our house. Today I am going to meet you for the first time, again. I don't know why for our chance encounter, for this first of impressions, I cannot seem to make it bright and sunny and flowery and have butterflies and singing birds. Instead, for all our first meetings all I have is rain, never ending rain. I walk up the soggy sloping path into the forest, rivulets cross the path to disappear into the thick undergrowth, the canopy of weather-bent trees blot out the diffuse sunlight so that it feels like it could be late evening. Blinded by the rain and a potent mixture of desire and apprehension about what was to come, I blunder along the path seeking you.

A flash of color, incongruous in the rain, and yet anticipated makes me quickly step off the path and into the shadows of the trees. There you are, in gorgeous if soaked colors, standing in the midst of the path as if looking for something or perhaps someone. Streams of raven hair cling to the side of your face, rivulets of rain trail off down your throat and onto your bare shoulders to disappear into the embrace of your warmth under your gown. Your eyes sweep back down the path towards and then past me.  There you are, the one who will envelop my words with hers, intertwine my desire with hers, and plant the seeds of perennial flowers in our garden. I stand completely still, eyes riveted to your face, suddenly the rain not blinding and blurring but instead washing everything down to its purest essence.

We stand again at the threshold of a first encounter, you and I.

I know where my story goes. I wonder what happens in yours?

Friday, February 18, 2011

More than before

Today, more than before, I feel like writing you into my life.

You blush when I reach for your pretty face. Words, fragments of program code compiled into long sequences of ones and zeros and interpreted by scores of feverish machines in far away data centers: how does the heartless certainty of machine logic reflect the hopeful flutter of human emotions on your face as I pull you in for a kiss? Will the next few words write a kiss consummated or a shy demurral?

In my words, there are only you and I.

In my words, all dreams are about you.

In my words, I give up everything
for the world inside of me.

And yet,
in my words, is love unrequited.

Perhaps,
my words, they can't say enough. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cold

(This is the third in a series of very short stories inspired by an AM Radio build in SL; some pictures are included here. If you haven't seen his work, you should!)

Huddled inside an oversized thick jacket and yet cold to the bone, I watched warily from afar the smoke-filled fire burning in the field of grass. The incongruous fire burned in separate straight line strands several feet apart as if some fiery demon had raked the earth with three giant finger nails. Eventually, despite my unease, I walked up close to the flames hoping that they would yield some of their warmth to my shivering body, but to no avail. The flames hissed and crackled and lapped at unseen ethereal enemies that somehow held the fire at bay robbing it of its warmth and preventing it from spreading through the field. I couldn't make sense of what I was seeing or of the relentless cold that seemed buried deep inside me and just stood in place rocking slowly on my heels. What added to the sense of strangeness and foreboding was that the odd scene before me seemed deeply familiar even though I was sure I hadn't set foot on this immaculately desolate place before.

After several minutes of indecision, the desire to walk eastwards broke free of the hold the cold had on my mind and I ambled off in that direction expecting to find a fence separating the field from railroad tracks even though I could not see either from where I stood. I made my way past a small unoccupied house and further eastwards to what surely would be a very odd sight to anyone, a table and a chair in the middle of the field far from the house and just a few feet from the wire fence. Just past the fence were the railroad tracks I had been expecting. It all felt quite natural and right to me and without thought I went and sat on the chair to look about me. The fire, the house, the fence, the railroad tracks, and now this table and chair in the middle of the field; what was this place? It felt like I had never been here, and at the same time like I had forever been here.

The wind picked up a little and the rustle of the pages of the notebook on the table finally got me to pick it up. It was more than half-way filled with what seemed like diary entries. The last entry read
You are not here. This is not real. Don't come back. Don't you come back.
There were pages and pages of such drivel. Some of the earliest entries from years ago were longer with rambling text about her being gone and never coming back, about the trains not running, and about being cold. Whoever this madman was, I was glad he wasn't here anymore. I got up to leave this crazy forsaken place and only then noticed the flapping scraps of white silk caught in the wire mesh of the fence. A flood of images came rushing into my mind. She in her wedding dress, the sound of the approaching train, the look in her eyes as she turned and ran away from me, the skirt of her dress catching and tearing as she jumped over the wire fence, the open freight car of the train that carried her away. She was gone, and I was here forever without her.

Defeated, I collapsed back into the chair and picked up the pen.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bare feet

"May I sit with you?"

I turned and looked back over the bench for the source of the voice. It was difficult to focus on the sea of tall flowers and grasses in the meadow after staring at the light of the setting sun on the waves for so long.

"It is such a beautiful spot. But if you'd rather be alone, let me know and I will come back some other time." My eyes found her. Bare feet, a summery white dress with a slit on one side showing an athletic leg, an unadorned lovely long neck, auburn hair on fire in the rays of the dying sun, she smiled and waved.

I sat up straight and smiled back gesturing towards the bench, "Please come sit. It will be my pleasure."

"I am Carol", she said walking out of the meadow towards me. The long stem of a sunflower clutched in one hand, she crossed the few feet of gravel that marked the waterfront and sat down on the far side of the bench. Her eyes were fixed, as mine had been only a few moments ago, on the long shimmering flame that stretched from the horizon to nearly our feet as the sun set over the water. She watched the flame flicker on the undulating surface of the sea and I watched her. Her upper body hugging a folded leg raised so that its foot perched at the edge of the bench, her skirt pulled up so that the other lower leg was free and swinging in time to some internal music. Her chin rested on the raised knee, the sunflower plucked from the meadow caressing her hair, her eyes reflecting the slowly deepening colors of the flame she was so intently watching.

"You don't have company often, do you?", she asked eventually, turning her face towards me with her eyes full of mischief.

I laughed briefly in response and looked away shaking my head. "Fact is that I don't. But that don't excuse my rudeness in staring at you Carol". It was as if my internal compass swung from the setting sun to you, I thought to myself.

"Michael. That's my name."

"Michael", she said softly and turned back to face the flame. Extending an arm out towards the sea, she pursed her lips into an oval and exhaled deeply and sharply. The sun died.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wish you were

In the light of the moon, I sit by your side.

"I wish you were...", I say so softly that you don't hear me. It is high tide and the waves lap gently at our bare feet. It was your inspiration to place the bench in our little corner by the sea just so that at high tide the waves of water would crest exactly at our feet. After all these years the memory of how excited you were when we did this still makes me smile. It was one of the last things we had bought together in setting up our home, the old bench from the garage sale with its wooden slats pockmarked as if each sea-storm of the past decade had written its history on them in Braille. You had loved the bench at first sight and I have always loved you and so it was that most nights we sat on the bench watching the iridescent waves in the moonlight.

"I wish you were...", I say faltering mid-sentence as you turn to look at me, your eyes searching my face. I ache to reach for you, to pull you into my arms, but resist for I can already feel the grains of sand slipping away from under my feet with the receding waves. Soon there will be nothing to stand upon. Before this can all drift away, I force myself to break your eyes embrace and pick up my flute to begin playing our favorite song. I play looking straight ahead, willing the music towards the sea with a quiet desperation. I play for each grain of sand that holds up our world. The waves of music, emotion, and the sea, all crest and fall battling it out for their own versions of reality.

In the small hours of the night, I sit by your side.

"I wish you were...", I whisper as I turn back to meet your gaze. "I wish you were, by my side".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Penance

(Appears on pages 46-49 with beautiful photography by Thereaver Barrymore accompanying it in the second year anniversary issue of InnerWorld magazine.)

I set the glass of whiskey, ice cubes clinking, down on the wooden side table and settle into my usual couch for the night. The warm moisture in the air creates a band of condensation on the outside of the cold glass. Reaching towards it with practiced ease, I use a finger to carefully trace her initials onto the moist outer surface. And as happens every night, the drops of moisture slide, move, mate, coalesce into tears that flow into the letters and slowly find their way down the path I traced, collecting into a small pool at the base. In time, the downward flow will bleed through the outline of the letters and blur them, but I know that if I don’t touch the glass, it will remain possible to make out her initials for a long time. As the night settles around me, I sit watching her slowly dissolving name, a bottle of Talisker for company and the drumbeat of rain on the roof for music.

The sound of the screen door swinging open and banging shut startles me and I stand abruptly, picking up the glass and bottle instinctively as if protecting them from an intruder. I stand in place, undecided whether to just sit down again or go investigate the noise. Resentful of this interruption, I drain the whiskey in one swallow, feeling the cold amber liquid spread its fire downwards inside my throat as I walk out through the screen door and on to the back porch. There is nothing, no one outside but the rain.

I can’t remember a night without rain. At least, not since she left. The lone bulb on the back wall of the house fights the oppressive rain as it presses down into the ground, its light barely managing to penetrate a few feet from the covered porch. In the darkness beyond, the world disappears into rain. Not having left the house for weeks, I suddenly feel deeply unsure if anything exists beyond the house, our house. Uneasy that everything has been washed away, I toss the glass aside and walk out into the rain, taking swigs directly from the bottle. In a few feet I can see nothing but press onwards, lurching, fighting the downpour. In a few more steps I’m forced to stop as all my senses completely focus on the intense feeling of rain beating down on me. There is nothing but the rain. Even the whiskey is finished and I let the bottle drop and stand absorbing the blows, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting the rain as it tears into me. The barrier of the clothes between the rain and my skin becomes unbearable and I rip them off. Naked now, I stand completely still with my eyes closed, head tilted back, and my arms raised towards the sky embracing what will happen. There will be nothing but the rain.