Monday, October 21, 2013

Dreams.

I'm dreaming. I simply have to be. There is no other logical explanation. The months leading up to this moment have given me no warning, no hints that I would be experiencing the things that have fallen seemingly from heaven to bring light and joy into my life. And now I feel I can scarcely breathe for fear that I will scare the dream away, like smoke fading before coalescing into something solid and lasting. I move, slowly and deliberately, placing my feet gently, trying to follow a dance that has no pattern. The only music playing is the rhythm of my heart pounding when she is near, faltering and yearning when she is away. Dare I whisper these things to her, though I wish to shout them as they fill my breast to overflowing? Are there even words to express the elation, the excitement, the serenity that I feel in her presence? I feel that I could speak for ages and barely begin to describe the luminous cloud that fills my mind and heart to distraction. My thoughts are only of this angel that has stepped into my life and filled me with desire and wonder to the extent that when I close my eyes I see her face and my pulse quickens with the memory of the feel of her. And yet I fear.. Dreams are fleeting, and this dream is far better than anything I could have hoped for. Does that mean it will be equally as brief? The thought fills me with dread, my feet halt in the waltz I have been dancing, and I imagine I stumble. And yet I smile, and trust that despite my faults and clumsy steps, that grace will shine on me and buoy me up and she will forgive me my hesitation..

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Autumn - Story

I used to hate mornings. The early sunlight glaring in my eyes, cold, groggy, and inevitably grumpy. I don't know how I dragged myself out of bed and into the shower every day just to go to work, come home, eat, sleep, and do it all again the next day interminably. At least, until I met her..

It was a Saturday morning in early October and the weather was just starting to turn brisk. Early enough in the season that I was still excited that I could start wearing layers, but late enough that I wasn't the only one. I was sitting outside of my favorite cafe wearing my most comfortable sweater with a cup of hot cocoa, enjoying the juxtaposition of the chill air and the warmth of my drink as it spread through my chest. I had a silly grin on my face, breathing in the scent of chocolate and spice, my hands wrapped around the cardboard cup, staring off at nothing. But I wasn't so wrapped in my own world that I didn't see her walking down the street towards me.

She was wearing a pair of leggings, a baggy sweatshirt, and was carrying a side bag. Her long dark hair was pulled back away from her face with a narrow headband, the length of it pulled over one shoulder. She was slender, the graceful movement of her walk supple, but the play of the sweatshirt against her body hinted at softness beneath. Her face could not have been shaped more perfectly by the finest sculptor. The curve of her jawline, the full lips curved artfully at the corners, her cheeks slightly reddened in the cold all combined to a whole that stopped my breath for a moment.  But what struck me most were her eyes. The color a intermixing of green and blue, blended together, and they spoke to me of joy and light. She glanced at me briefly as she turned to go in to the coffee shop and I felt my cup start to slip in my numb fingers. It was obvious she was there to work, but in her step was the buoyancy of self-confidence and happiness.

She was out of my sight, but not out of my mind. I hadn't realized beauty like that existed. I took another sip of my cocoa to ease the constriction in my chest and get my heart to regulate its beating again. My mind felt wrapped in a blanket of images, replaying the moment of her appearance again and again. I shook my head trying to clear the haze. She was beautiful, certainly, but I knew that she had to have a husband, or a boyfriend, and would never speak to me, let alone be mine.

I stood, the levity of the morning's diversion shattered in that moment of clarity. As I walked away I glanced inside and saw her pulling a book and notepad out of the bag beside her armchair, legs drawn up into the seat. Forcing my eyes down to the sidewalk I picked up my pace retreating from the vision of her.


It took me the rest of the day to get over the depression that only true beauty can cause me, but by the time the sun was setting I was back to my semi-jovial self and was ready to face the world again. By then I was able to file away the sight of her along with great works of art as something to be admired but not touched. With that perception I was able to prepare myself to go to a party a friend of mine was hosting with renewed confidence that I would have a good time.

I reluctantly left my comfy sweatshirt at home, and wore a jacket over a blue button up shirt to the party. I didn't know who I was trying to impress, but I figured going out to a social event warranted a little more effort.

Monday, July 22, 2013

At the edge - Story

With my eyes closed I can almost convince myself that I'm standing on a precipice. I hold my arms out and imagine my toes right at the edge of a cliff. I take a deep breath and try to sense the height of it.  Is it a hundred feet? A thousand? The only thing between me and the bottom is a cool breeze whistling it's way up the surface of the wall, tugging on my shirt, urging me to soar like the birds that nest there.I tilt my head towards the sun, letting it hit me full in the face. The heat of it warms my skin, but a shiver runs up my spine sending gooseflesh along my arms. I grit my teeth, forcing the emotions that rise in my chest back down, the thoughts to the back of my mind, quieting them to a murmur. I take another breath, whispering softly to myself, "I am completely broken." I try to say it matter-of-factly, without the anguish creeping in. I am not entirely successful. I drop my arms and lower my head. I pretend I'm looking off the ledge. How did I get here? Is there a way back? If I step off will I fall? Or fly? Lifting my foot I swing it out, ready to lean forward and find out. I open my eyes. I'm on the sidewalk. I'm still alone. I smile a smile that cannot touch my eyes. I keep walking. Home. Empty.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Morning - Story

I've been awake for about 45 minutes now. I woke up before the dream I was having concluded to my satisfaction, so I lay there, staring into nothing, trying to remember and finish the plot my subconscious was toying with. I hear a squeak, and the bed frame shift slightly. A trill of excitement runs through me.. she's awake. I roll over in time to see her stretch, making a little sqeaking noise of exhaled breath. The room is mostly dark, except for a sliver of golden light breaking through between the heavy curtains. Still, it doesn't take much light to see how beautiful she is. Her hair, splayed out around her head on the pillow, catches the light in little sparkles where her hair dried curly. The fabric of her night shirt having settled around her curves in all the best ways.

At this point I'm wide awake, but I know she is still just starting to get the blood flowing. So I wait, though somewhat impatiently, before reaching over to take her hand. I'm still a little early, but she opens her eyes as I bring her fingertips to my lips. "Good morning.." I whisper, trying not to crack the tenuous spell that weekend mornings always hold. Soon, the responsibilites of the day will intrude, rushing time through the hourglass one activity at a time. Soon it will be a weekday again with early mornings dragging us away and imposing stress on our minds and hearts. But right now.. Suddenly I don't mind so much that I didn't finish my dream. Right now, I'm so glad to be awake and alive. For the moment, I have everything I could ever want in the little quirk of a smile on her lips. If only it would last..

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Nighttime Rituals - Story

drip... drip... dripdrip... drip...

I'm awake. Again. I've rolled over and over trying to find a comfortable position. More accurately a quiet position. Someway that my mind will stop its incessant chatter. When I finally find it I hear the faucet I've been meaning to fix hammering away at the drain. Which in turn reminds me of another faucet which I'm sure is still leaking in it's pitter-patter rhythm. And that reminds me of her, and I start to roll again, kicking my sheets, flipping my pillow, grinding my teeth..

I don't know what time I finally got to sleep, but when I wake I'm groggy and irritable. The thoughts that had finally retreated from exhaustion immediately flood back making my bad mood even worse. I push back, quieting the shouts to a murmur in the recesses of my mind as I get ready for my day.

When I begin to brush my teeth I realize that I don't remember the last time I really looked at myself in the mirror. Oh, I've glanced now and then, fixed my hair, tied a tie, but I don't know when I actually looked. I find that I don't really know the face that looks back at me. When did those lines around my eyes and mouth get there? I've been putting on weight, why do my cheeks look so gaunt? I look... grim. I sigh and rinse my face off, hoping that maybe a few thousand hours of worry and sorrow will run down the drain with the water. Needless to say, I'm disappointed when I look back up.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine - Story

**Note - Anything with the designation "Story" in the heading is a piece of fiction.**

It's that time of year again. The soggy snow, or freezing rain covering the world in a dull gloom that seeps into the bones of you. Someone a long time ago decided that this would be a perfect season to tell everyone that they need to celebrate that they have someone special in their lives. For the rest of us it's a time to glare and spitefully imagine throwing snowballs at the happy couples. Hands breaking apart as they reach to touch the tender red welts left by the heavy projectiles.

That's what I'm thinking as I walk down the street, hands shoved as far into my coat pockets as they go, headphones on blaring whatever I think will help me forget that I'm walking home alone on Valentine's day, again.. People talk about how it doesn't matter. That you shouldn't need to have someone in your life, and Valentine's day doesn't mean anything. But it's all bull. When it comes down to it, when you're flipping through tv stations in the dark because all of your friends are busy with their wives and girlfriends, when you've finished off your third drink and are fishing around in the fridge for another.. this would all be so much better with someone.

If it weren't for the wisps of steam fogging up my glasses, the sigh that comes so easily would have gone completely unnoticed. As I wait for my vision to clear I start to feel the anger and frustration rise in me. I grit my teeth and pull my phone from my pocket. No calls. No texts. I punch in my password and start to compose.

Hey. How's it going? Just thinking about you... :)

My finger hovers over the send button. Why shouldn't I send it? What's so wrong about letting her know? But then again, what if I scare her..? I want to throw my phone down the street. Instead I let out another sigh, close my eyes, and tuck my phone back into my coat pocket. Shoving my hands back into my pockets I start walking again, kicking little piles of slush as I shuffle along through the dark.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Remembering - Story

I'm staring at the ceiling of my room, the only sound is my own breath and the patter of the rain into the pebbles beneath the overhanging roof. This is one of the few days that my alarm won't be going off. But I've still woken early, before the first paling of the sky announces dawn's approach. I try to roll onto my side to fall back asleep, but my mind has started its ticking and won't relent. It has begun its battle with my heart. For every reason my mind holds for me to examine, my heart finds an excuse, or a lie, that it tells me to disregard it. It won't, it can't, let go. Why not? Maybe it's because I've been holding on for so long I don't know how to let go. Maybe it's just because I remember...

It's another morning, long ago. I had fallen asleep to the rain, but it stopped sometime during the night. I take shallow breaths, trying hard not to wake her. I can hear her long, drawn out breathing telling me she won't wake for some time. Beyond her the curtains are blowing gently in the wind. She had me open the windows a crack before coming to bed so we could listen for thunder. The sun is rising now. Her body beneath the covers silhouetted against the golden light. Loose strands of her pale hair stick up and catch a ray or two as my gaze follows the gentle curves of her head, her shoulder, her hip.. I want to reach out and touch her, but I know that if I do it will startle her from her rest. I still want to. I want to start our day together. I want to start our life together. I catch myself reaching out to her, and roll away carefully, trying to shut out the selfish temptation. I close my eyes, breathe through my nose. The sheets still smell of her wet hair. She didn't let it dry before coming to bed last night. It smells good. It smells like her. I smile. Content. Happy.

I'm on my back again. Hands behind my head. I don't remember rolling again, or lifting my arms, but there I am. Staring at the ceiling, listening to the rain. Alone. My chest aches. I can hear the thrum of my blood fighting its way through my veins. A tear slips down my cheek, seeking the fibers of my pillow.