Tag Archive: love


So I’m an old fashioned book reader. To me this means that I love the tactile component of reading an honest to goodness paper and ink book. That being said I will on occasion read digitally, to try out new authors mostly, but what I am here to tell you today is that I believe some books are even better as digital copies. For instance Emotional Rescue: Essays on Love, Loss, and Life – with a soundtrack by Ben Greenman. This book was on the editors pick list (Amazon) and after reading the title I pondered for less than a minute before I started downloading. They were right, it is every bit as good as the title suggests and then some.

For those of you who stoped at the word essays I urge you to keep reading because they don’t feel like the writing assignments you might recal from undergrad they feel like internal dialogue. Let me explain. Mr. Greenman uses essays to have the liberty to jump topics between chapters which you cannot do, or rather it would be very difficult to do, in a typical story format. As such we can go from talking about pain/pleasure to sense/nonsense to distance/nearness. What is great about the essay format other than the wide array of topics that become available is that is has the feel of listening to the radio. As if, for instance, you are cruising down the highway rocking out and feeling happy and alive then all of a sudden the station plays a ballad and you remember your junior prom date. It was done to such a tremendous effect too. 

Let me also state outright that I love Mr. Greenman’s narrative voice. It felt very comfortable almost as if he was posing the questions he answers directly to me. I do honestly believe he has the large pool of friends who just call to talk that his essays suggest, and who could blame them as his perspective it quite interesting.

Now although I loved the book and I have already been recommending  it to anyone who will listen I’m not sure I would love it as a paperback. With my digital copy I highlighted amazing points that he makes regularly through out the entire narrative. I could also immediately look up songs which I had never heard or needed to hear again. The magic of technology allowed me to listen to the soundtrack of Mr. Greenman’s life while I read about the highlights. Which *gasp* fulfilled my need for multi sensory reading. As such a traditional book read of these essays would have been a completely different experience.

Should you still not be sold on this book please allow me just two more points. First, while Emotional Rescue is a far cry from the typical linear story telling most of us readers have come to love and expect by the end it came to an actual end. By which I mean that at the end all of the story telling (including the hard left turns) makes sense and even comes to a nicely tied up conclusion like a well constructed stand up comedy skit. The second point is perhaps more of a me point but I cannot help myself. In my mind this story would make an amazing musical… There I said it! I can completely picture it and I hope that someone else can too because this is a book I don’t just want to read it’s a book I want to experience!

I’m not saying that all the answers to the questions of restlessness, energy, intensity, and comfort—how long to hold a job, how long to keep a lover, how long to stay in one place before hopping on a train or a plane or into a balloon—reside in two minutes of a never-released song recorded by a virtually unknown novelty singer. But I’m not saying that they’re not.     -Ben Greenman

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Just to…

My Lady…

With dew covered lips you enticed me,

A maiden making promises of womanhood,

And I ran to you

Just to walk with you.

With honeyed words you called to me,

A woman in full bloom,

And I dreamt of you

Just to lie with you.

With heavy limbs you gestured to me,

A mother flush with life,

And I stayed with you,

Just to lose myself in you.

With bleak eyes will you beckon me,

A sage at the well of wisdom,

For I would sit with you

Till the end of you.

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Today marks the first day of fall, my favorite season. So… doubly inspired by the idea of the Maid/Mother/Crone female trinity, found in Celtic mythology, and the transitions from one season to the next I wrote my ode to mother nature.

Break out the sweaters, heat up some cider, and let the leaves fall ’cause its Autumn!

Wishing

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The Trevi Fountain, St. Peter's Square All rights to owner

She closed her eyes tight, and held her breath. In her mind’s eye Lexi saw the hand in hand strolls, the reddish-orange of sunrise over the rim of demitasses, and the tiny champagne bubbles just after a wedding toast. A wet plunk called her from her memories. Lexi turned and looked for the coin she had just tossed into the fountain blinking away her tears. If only we had tossed the last one in together, she thought, maybe Tim would be here too. Lexi never saw, but as the sun sparkled on the water a heads up silver dollar flashed…and for a second he was.

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This piece of flash fiction is based off a prompt on 100 word challenge for adults. Follow the link for the prompt and guidelines.

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The killing season

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All rights to owner

I am afraid…and as the red banners are raised my fear deepens. This is the killing season and I already feel the pull like some moth towards the promise and warmth of a flame.

I am Umma. I and my brethren existed before humans traisped into the picture, but much like ore buried in the earth our purpose was only existence without a human touch.

But humans are foolish. Always thinking themselves the inventors of the universe rather than merely inhabitants therein. They did not invent or discover me I am just as I have always been… a circle never ending.

It is true human love drew us out of our self imposed stasis, irresistible and euphoric. A magnetic force, rolling off them in tangible waves. It was a thing too strong for the naive to control. They sensed it, of course, how could they not. We could see the impact it had upon them; eyes dilated, pulses quickened, breath harshened, they all but vibrated with sensation, but for us it was more.

It wasn’t physical, strictly speaking. It was guttural, pulling and pushing from our very core, a part of an inescapable path. The love seeped out of the humans and we lapped it up, hooked. In an instant everything changed.

I was the lightning which sprung between Daphnis and Chloe, the sin which passed from Juliette to Romeo, and that which Byron so eloquently described as kindled from above. I Umma die on the breath of love, a sacrifice not completely free in the giving, and am reborn as that love is spoken lip to lip.

Over enamored by your adore I reach out to touch the perfection which is true love, but the story never ends well for the moth. The beauty and purity of the flame always proves insurmountable. It is the moth which is extinguished… but I am likened to the phoenix and my cyclical path spirals ever on.

I watch as the funeral pyre, fueled by loves passionate fire, alights in their eyes. Valentine’s day draws near, the killing season is nigh, and as always I am as fearful as I am intrigued.

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I apologize if this story comes off as vague or worse incomprehensible the thought behind it is simple. What is in a kiss and perhaps more interesting why do we kiss? There is one “school of thought” which claims that this is an instinctual or intuitive act, but for me this rings of “why…because”. So, for all who love questions such as why is the sky blue or what came first the chicken or the egg I ask you if kissing is instinctive what drives it?

PS in case you are curious we see the sky as blue because of how the light reflects through our atmosphere, and amphibians which evolved before birds lay eggs 🙂 (sorry the science geek rears her ugly head)

Friendless

I wondered lost and alone.

Searching for you, my friend.

Following the echo of a promise.

Blindly trusting in you, a faith without end.

And what was my reward…

But cold fear and painful regret.

I never asked for much,

And even that low bar too high was set.

You said forever.

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Pitt bull puppy found on the streets December 2013

I found this sweet baby girl in December.  It was cold and she was dodging traffic.  I have taken her in and fallen head over heals for her.  She is so happy and loving, all she gives is everything, and her first owner couldn’t even give her a safe home.  Sometimes I cannot help but weep for humanity, “that which you do to the least of us”…I think we can do better.

The words swirled in the ether untangable things just out of reach as he sat there.  He blinked took a drink of water and tried again.  Silently he read the lines penned with such a familiar slant begging his thoughts to coalesce.

“Do you remember these dad?”

The hopeful question intrudes upon his contemplation.  Its his script and the words read I’ll love you forever, but the name Jean just doesn’t ring any bells.

“They say my name,” he beams at his son, who tries his best to smile back.

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My grandpa suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and though he still remembers all his kids I am but a smiling young face to him.  This Christmas he was gifted with a book of all his old poems and writings that had been found while cleaning.  When he read them he struggled with some words, but the worst part was he seemed surprised to see his name on the author line. 

Perhaps his memories are now more akin to half remembered dreams, not concrete enough to be believed as fact, though I hope they bring him comfort.

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas Grandpa
                              From your granddaughter who promises never to forget what you cannot remember

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Promise.

The smile and deep look make the exchange feel so real.

     Like it really could be true, forever and love.

Such beautiful theories which when outlined on paper smack of logic and certainty.

     But…

Is it possible that the want, for these things these ideas, to be real and tangible out weighs everything else?

     Can we, so blinded by our desire to have this paper perfect emotion, create it?

     Does it only survive in our desperate need for it to exist?

     Is it manifest only while we allow ourselves to perceive the delusion?

If we are honest can the high school sweethearts grasp even the concept of forever, or the college coeds the enormity of monogamy?

     Then maybe the answer lies in the abandonment of the words till they can be fully comprehended.

Perhaps love, especially true love, should never be promised for who, in all honesty, can know if the moment will not come when the words meant so fervently will come to be despised so vehemently.

Is it so bad to wish you were a million miles from where you are?

          To want to be so far from everything that no part of who you are or were would matter. 

          To be free from you own self inflicted version of who you should be.

Because if I truly think about who it is that I’ve become the sadness in me would overwhelm any chance of redemption.

What I want, more than to find myself inexplicably elsewhere and finally able to try again, is romance.  Silly I know, but there it is.

I want to tingle at his touch, my heart to flutter when he says my name, and to burn with desire when he isn’t near.

That, however, is not my reality.

When his hand caresses me I feel nothing but agitation, and a slight ticklish sensation.

          His kisses upon my lips leave me with naught but an urge to wipe the wetness away.

          When I should be breathless and at the edge of my crescendo, I find myself fully aware and impatient.

I am very conscious that this makes me, at the very least, different.

So I immerse myself in books, movies, work.  Anything that allows me to not fixate on the wrong that reside within me.

So I appear normal in my want for things to be other, but my dreams betray me.

          Dreams where I awake panting with pleasure and squirming against a remembered touch.

          Where a truly interested stranger’s kiss leaves me wanting so much more.

So I wait and watch for my chance to be brave, selfish, and whole; with my fingers crossed that when that moment comes I do not falter.

To Die a Natural Death

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I know what kills me. 

Strange isn’t it.

Have you ever thought of how it is that deaths are considered natural.  I mean if anyone over the age of let’s say 75 is found to have expired in the night there are no sirens or even questions really.  They are dead and if its a surprise its not shocking, but natural. 

Well I am much younger than 75 and I can hear my sirens coming.  If only they could ask their questions to me.

As it stands they will not be able to, but you, you, can know the story of me.

Let me start with the basics I am 23, a college graduate with all the bright promise of a future extending before me in all directions, and I have always fancied myself as fearless.  Now I don’t mean that you couldn’t scare me, because I very easily startle, I mean that I go for things other girls I grew up with wouldn’t.  I left to go to school, out of state, I am not yet married with children, and I live alone.  Now I’m brave not stupid.  I lock my doors, use my security system, and sleep with Sweetums, my Irish Wolfhound.  So some of my fearlessness is born of others, but still for a 5’8″ transplant from the Midwest I think I’m doing pretty good here in Philly.

So in case you need a better visual reference I am one of those girls you would walk past.  Though I am tallish I consider myself rather plain.  As a matter of fact -ish might be the best description of me I could give.  For instance at 5’8″ I’m tallish, my shoulder length hair is brownish, meaning that I would never pass for a true blonde or brunette, and I have hazel eyes which tend toward being greenish.  I have a moderately athletic body type which I give credit to Sweetums for, as I must run to keep up with him and use my upper body strength to keep him from the food vendor’s wares.

Well there you have it nothing special about me so, why the death? Good question.

My fairly small group of friends consists of my two former college roommates, Ashley and Maria, the four other interns who I share the “bull pin” with, Greg, Tracy, Raj, and Lynn, their significant others, and finally Mark.  Mark is my version of an ideal boyfriend, he has classic good looks, dark blue eyes and sandy blond hair, he likes my friends, and takes me serious though he can be a complete goofball.  We met by chance on one of the SEPTA buses, I was on it to get to the airport and he was on it to get to work.  I was reading, one of my favorite past times, and crying as one of the main characters had just died.  He offered me a klenex and asked if I was okay.  When I explained the tears while suffering from both a drippy nose and an extreme blush he laughed, a lot and loudly.  By the time we reached his stop I had his number.

Over the next three months we talked and met up casually for drinks or coffee then Mark asked me on an actual date of dinner, a movie, and dessert.  That was all she wrote, from that point on I was hooked.

So you must be asking yourself, simple life, small group of friends, no red flags right other than living by myself in a city such as Philadelphia.  You’d be right too.

Everything had been going great I had a job, friends, and a guy in my life.  Only hiccup was that Mark was next in line for a promotion at work which would result in his relocation to Boston.  So I had become the sad depressing friend who brings everyone down; alternating between teary silences and angry outbursts.  Mark hated that I was so upset but with the upcoming move he had more on his plate than a sad girlfriend, so my friends picked up his slack.  I was invited to girls nights, movie marathons, and any other event they could scrounge up.  Surprisingly Greg and Laura were my biggest champions in any moment of emptiness I could call them up and never feel like a third wheel.

Mark left, I was proud and happy for him.  We had decided to stay together, he wold have to come back to Philly at least once a month and there was no time like the present to visit more of the Northeast, in my opinion, specifically Massachusetts.  It would be hard, but it would work.  So after a tearful goodbye I took the SEPTA back home.  Everyone had wanted to meet up for drinks, but I bowed out as gracefully as I could promising next weekend would be better.  Instead I opted for a long hot shower, where tears could fall freely without judgement or notice, and the unopened bottle of moscato wine.  I’m not proud of myself, drinking alone while watching t.v. in the dark was not a very mature way of dealing.

Sometime after I had finished the bottle and started watching bad reruns my doorbell rang.  It was Greg, a very upset Greg at that.  I opened the door immediately.  He told me about some trouble he and Laura were having and that she had given him his walking papers.  I told him there was no way this would hold up they were great together she would calm down just wait it out and see.  He shook his head so violently my head ached in sympathy.

“No we’re done.”

“How can you think that, Greg?  You love each other.”

“Not for a long time now.  I’ve just been waiting for the right moment to tell her.”  He looked right at me then my mouth hanging open in my haze of wine and surprise.  “I love someone else.”

“That’s some low shit Greg,” I said sitting next to him on my couch, “How could you do that to Laura?”

“But now I can be with the person I love, and you can be with me.”

The sentence didn’t even register until he had jumped on me pinning me against the couch, kissing me hard, hands everywhere.  I bit his lip and slapped his face.  “What the hell Greg?” I was now standing and backing away from the living room.

He stood and looked out the window as he gingerly touched his bleeding lip.  “I’ve waited for you, was always there for you…”

“As a friend,” I interrupted frantically.

“You are mine now, screw Mark and Laura they could never hold a candle to us.”

He jumped forward slamming my head back into the door frame, pulled me up the stairs to my bedroom, and threw me on the bed.  As he pushed Sweetums out the door I tried to make it to my window.  It over looked the street and a very large oak tree I was quasi sure I could shimmy down.  I never made it to the window though Greg was on me in an instant.  I fought with every ounce of strength I had cursing the wine and my need to lick my wounds alone, and praying that Sweetums could get past the locked door somehow.  He was still trying to make some kind of move on me because when I lashed out to hurt him he just tore at my pajamas or tried to force my mouth to his.  In our awkward battle we lost balance and he came crashing down on me, smashing the back of my head against the edge of my antique foot board.  I fell as if my strings had been cut. 

He was on me having his way never noticing the blood.

After, as my eyes were starting to go blank and my body continued to go numb all he said was “You should have loved me.”

He was gone, I heard the alarm tweet distress as he left, felt Sweetums lay beside me and worry my face with kisses, distantly I thought I heard sirens, then velvety darkness.

At 23 they would never call my death natural, my murder, but it was love that killed me and what could be more natural than love.

Welcome to Candlelight

At the gaping mouth of the cave Odella paused throwing her hood up so as to hide her face in the dark shadows of the folds, but Llana doubted it was necessary as they seemed to be arriving somewhat near twilight. 

“Keep your mouth shut and your eyes open child there is much to learn in Candlelight.”

Llana tried to search her memory for any reference to such a place, but came up empty handed.  Quickly they came upon the town itself which burned a flickering red against the night due to the immense number of candles burning in store fronts, on corners, and even in the trees.  Llana had to admit that the picturesque scene had an ambience she had never encountered before. As her eyes adjusted to the ruddy light, which seemed to shadow as often as it illuminated, it became obvious to Llana that Odella’s hood was necessary.  Everywhere she looked there were people going about their business as if it was high noon not midnight, however how they were able to do so remained a mystery to Llana as no sign hung from any of the doors they passed. Though the streets were crowded with people, many of whom went hooded, there was almost no sound.

The quiet was such that she could hear the bee’s wax scorching on the fresh wicks as they passed, unless a door was opened. Along with the tinkle of bells, which alerted the propitors of an indivuals entrance, such a mix of sounds would pour into the night that Llana had no time to process what might be occurring behind the firmly shut doors and shadowy windows. Odder still were the people. Few on the street would meet her gaze, but the shop keeps and venders more than made up for it with eye contact strong enough to make her squirm. Fear of the strangely assessing looks meant that Llana kept her eyes constantly roving sliding from one thing to another without actually focusing on what she was seeing.

However, as they rounded a corner one store front in particular drew Llana’s attention.  As she got closer she realized it was because the glass alternated between being filled with opaque smoke and being clear enough to look through.  With her fingers resting upon the glass she waited and as the pane emptied she caught a glimpse of the patrons.  Llana jumped back as if electrified and turned angrily towards Odella who was a good ten steps ahead of her now, “The Red Light District,” she shrieked distress emanating from her in waves.

A quick right to left head jerk confirmed Odella’s suspicion, if they didn’t move quick they would be alone on the street, not an ideal situation as they were still a ways from Appetence. Without a second to consider how the girl would react Odella grabbed her by her accusatory finger and pulled her into the very building whose window had been such an affront to her delicate sensibilities. Llana blanched as the door slammed shut and the pounding music reverberated up her legs from the floor boards.

“You sit and keep quite no matter what, this time,” Odella said in tones that brooked no argument while pointing to a dark corner booth away from the stage and door.

Hating herself for every step deeper into the debauchery she went Llana sat quickly and focused her attention on the polished black lacquered table top. In what seemed like a very long time Odella returned with a man dressed only in leather straps whose sly eyes and half smile made Llana flush and look away. Odella, however, did not flush nor lower her hood rather she leaned into the man and whispered into his ear and sent him off with a wave of her hand.

“What…”

“I told you to keep you mouth shut.”

The statement wasn’t shouted, but the scold in the words hit her like an open fist.

“We are looking for your answers, are we not? You have chosen at every fork in the road, have you not? So we would only be here if we needed to be, right?” Odella had asked questions but expected no answers as such she had never once paused. “Now do as I said and watch with open eyes and mouth closed we will talk later.”
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For other exerts from the story The Chains We Own click the links below

The first link in the chain

Chains that make no noise

Answers at the Y in the path

Finding the blood stone

Prolouge

This is a story about a young girl who has gone off in search of answers before making one of life’s greatest choices. Unexpectedly, she has found that truths and answers are not for the faint of heart, nor easy in the discovering. On her journey she will come into contact with individuals who will be able to teach her not only about the ways of the world she has mostly been sheltered from, but also how to find the strength to own up to your burdens and baggage whatever form they may take.

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