Erasure

It all happened there, a place as insignificant as dust motes in a sunbeam. It all happened there, a photocopy of an image of a faint dream.  There, we saw kingdoms raised and crumble into pits of sand.  There, the breath of life and shudder of death.   The beginning and the end.

I met Ann in some shitty bar on Fifth that doesn’t exist anymore.  She was lonely, I was hopeful and we stumbled into sex and friendship, failure and friction.  Ten years later I was cheating, she was crying, I was screaming, she was dying and I was feeling like a bigger asshole for staying when I wanted to leave and leaving when I wanted to stay.  I held her hand as we heard the news and wished some other guy had taken her home. Then she looks up at me and I forget it all for a while.

Ghost

A fragment of a story I’m fleshing out, delivered in microstory fashion…

Whenever she looked back on their relationship she realized  she remembered it with warmth, a fondness.  He always had a way of making her feel as if she were wrapped in a wool blanket.  Even through the whiskey kisses and slurred words and besides; it’s not as though he was bad to her.  He never hit her, never talked down to her.  No, there were never any problems, except –

As far back as he could remember he had that little issue.   He never realized he had a problem until one day his mother screamed bloody murder and dragged him in front of every doctor, specialist, priest and medicine man.  It was never immediately apparent and explaining over the phone solved nothing.  No, his malady was only evident to the keen eye, on a sunny day, or under a directed shine.  Otherwise you couldn’t tell his shadow leaned into the light.

Kismet

The first of  my ‘microstories’ – 150 words or less

The sun slowly broke through the clouds as the last of the dew found its resting place among the town’s greenery.  Gingerly, she took hold of his hand, wondering if today, this very sunrise, marked the beginning of the last relationship in her life.  She ached for it to be so; ached to be rid of the hurt and heartache, the clubs and bars and dances and first kisses and last goodbyes.  She looked up at him and smiled.

Holding her hand, he pulled her closer, nestled his face in her hair and breathed in her scent.  He found her invigorating, a breath of fresh air in a stagnant city.  Somehow, deep down, he knew she was the one.  As the sun broke over the skyline, he pictured places to bury her body.

Together, they found birth by sunlight, belonging.

Cut The Rope

The first thing I remember from that day was coming up the stairs and hearing a determined creaking.  I cursed under my breath and strained to hear where the joints were unsettled, hoping a little glue would do the trick but figuring, with my luck, that I’d have to pull the staircase apart and sand down the bevels, maybe drill new divots.  There went my weekend.

I closed my eyes as I ascended and descended the stairs trying to get a feel for where the wiggle was.  I hunched up my face in confusion as not one of the stairs felt loose, so I jiggled the banister for good measure.  It all lay together perfectly as the day I built her, each piece lathed down from the raw wood, hand stained and fitted, the edges hand-sanded round on the off-chance anybody took a spill, they’d be able to spare broken bones and only deal with bruises.  This staircase had seen its fair share of abuse, the dog rambling up and down like a maniac, chasing some imaginary prey; the dropped and shattered case of Coronas that frothily cascaded down, working a deeper tint into the stain.  Hell, Jim and Amanda tagged this staircase when their relationship was still young and they couldn’t keep it in their pants for five minutes, never mind that they were in public.  No, this staircase was sturdy, the creak came from elsewhere.

I walked up to the landing and drew closer to the noise.  It seemed to come from down the hall, so I ventured forth.  The day seemed overly bright, a harsh light that stung the eyes like sun off snow.  I heard birds shrieking frantically out the window, their mating call hitting crescendo and falling dissonant.  I suddenly felt a cold ball of dread in the bottom of my stomach as my hands grew clammy.  I shook it off, pegged it on the dubious meatball sub that I had downed for lunch and continued down the hall.  The creaking seemed to originate from behind Jim’s door.

I remember hesitating as I reached for his doorknob, haunted by the thought of busting in on him doing what men do best.  I called his name once, then louder, in case he couldn’t hear me above his ‘alone time.’  The creaking, though, lacked a determined rhythm; instead, it seemed to laze around, like a tired rocking chair on a storefront porch.

I slowly turned the doorknob and shielded my eyes, lest I see any compromised positions.  The air in his room lay still, the bright sun from the window illuminating the golden dust particles in the air and drawing a dark silhouette.  I looked up to the exposed beam he had tied his hitch to, a beautiful piece of teak that was quite breathtaking as the focal point of the room.  His weight pulled grooves into the wood and the source of the creak was found.  Other than that lazily constant noise, it was library quiet in that room.  I felt my cheeks moisten as hot tears spilled from my eyes and my Adam’s Apple worked up and down silently.  I bowed my head like a disappointed child, shoulders hunched as if avoiding a blow.  I turned silent and gently pulled shut the door.

When I reached the hallway I pulled out my phone and began making calls.  When they arrived, we held each other closely, bitter tears and anguish the norm.  All spoke in hushed tones, afraid to break the spell.  This hurt is what sticks with me. We were the survivors.  We were the survivors. We were the survivors.

Sure doesn’t feel that way.

Finally Free

My Dearest,

I lay here, as ever, with his hands gripping into me.  These past few months have been tense; his hands sweat more, when he pours over his papers his writing is harsh and jagged, not the confident swoop I remember.  He forgets the coasters he was once so fastidious about, and lets the candles burn all the way down, wax spilling over and settling where it will.

I’m afraid, beloved, that my visage is not what it once was.  The wax aside, I have acquired many bumps and gashes these long years.  As his frustration has mounted, he is given toward fits of rage.  One dark night I was awoken to him wailing ‘NeinNeinNein‘ and beating me with a fire poker.  Yes, these are hard times, but I feel the end may be near.  He seems resigned to his fate; he wanders the room listlessly, barely giving his once proud maps the merest of glances.

She has not come to visit in many months.  The last time she came into this room she leaned against me casually, letting the ashes fall from the tip of her slim cigarette; they felt like a ghost’s kiss. She asked him some innocuous question and he turned his famous glare on her.  Danger lay in the air, but she either ignored it or failed to realize.  She asked again when it would all return to normal and he exploded.  I had often seen him practice dynamics for his speeches, but this was the first time I saw him lose control of his emotions.  He screamed at her, hurling insults, curses, berating her as a flighty broad and unworthy of his presence.  She fled this room crying her eyes out, holding her hands to her ears lest she hear anymore.  I have not seen her since.

That tirade was the first of many over the coming months.  He took to drinking or, rather, drinking took him.  Consumed, would be a better word.  He drank as though the answer to his malady lay at the bottom of a bottle.  He knew he had spread himself too thin, but did not know which front to abandon in order to regroup.  He began to doubt himself, my love, and this is where we have found ourselves.

I can feel the reverberations of the bombings through my feet, and I wonder how it will feel when the end comes.  I have seen much since I was brought into his company; the letters, the passion, the fortune, the crumbling.  At times I, like he, felt invincible, in the presence of a deity.  Each signature sealed our legend, each meeting solidified our position in the world.  In hindsight, I can see where it started to disintegrate.  He read those letters in this room, scrawled their responses right here.  His eyes were too big for his stomach and, like a spoiled child, he filled his plate anyway.  This, darling, was the downfall.

The bombs feel closer, liebling. I don’t want you to wonder if there was suffering.  We must all face our fate one day.  In fact, he just chose his moments ago.  The loud crack still rings in the still air, so I suppose we are both to perish alone.  I leave you here, my love, with the knowledge that to the end you are all I really cared for.

Yours Always.

Das Journey

This shameful piece of bloggery is the retarded lovechild of my passion for whiskey and the written word.  I already feel the need to apologize in advance for the sheer amount of bleach required to cleanse one’s irises of the script to follow.

I’d like to think I’m a writer. I’d like to think that somewhere along the way, between crossword puzzles and Mad Libs, I actually put pen to paper and captured the gossamer thread of a thought.  Wove it, however inexpertly, through a block of otherwise mundane text and arrived at some semblance of a story.  I’d like to think so but, frankly, I’m not the one who gets to decide.  Many write but few write.  I can only hope, at the end of it all, that my words — even fleetingly — grasp someone and generate emotion.  It would simultaneously be my proudest and most humbling moment.

So to you, dear reader, I offer my thanks and welcome you on this journey.  I often picture myself as a patchwork knight off to battle the fearsome Blank Page, pensword in hand. I cannot promise that we will escape this unscathed, but we’ll hopefully come through with a great story or two.

~D