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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hearts

I can hear the wind outside, kicking up a ruckus and threatening to blow us all away. I'm feeling safe and cozy here in the shed. We're playing cards in a circle on the floor, but, I'm not quite sure of the game. We've got lights, but nobody takes them for granted. We are all very aware  that we could be left in darkness at any moment We use the time we have to memorize faces. I know everyone here, even her. She's up there on the sofa with him. She's curled up facing him, but, to my relief, she's not right up against him. I try not to let that jealous ribbon run through me, but it's so hard when she's sitting there, touching his arm, whispering in his ear, stealing his attention.

But she's not.

She's trying, but it's not working. He's staring straight at me, trying to say something with his sea green eyes. I've seen that look before. He's looking for an escape. Her endless prattling is driving him nuts. He winks, and I roll my eyes, indicating that he's on his own. He'll have to figure out how to get rid of her. I'm having too much fun playing cards with our friends.

Still, when she gets up for a beer, I crawl onto the sofa, curl myself into his lap and rest my head on his shoulder. He wraps a strong arm around me, and a gust of wind finally takes out the lights.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Limbo

You need to stay the hell out of my dreams, you little shit.

You think you're so smooth slippin' in when you think I'm not looking, sliding your arm around my shoulder, and acting all cool, as if you'd been there the whole time.

But it's not cool. I'm pissed off. You can't just disappear completely without even a good-bye, or at least a final, departing nod and wink. You can't waltz out, as if you never knew me, never call, never ask about me, never send me as much as a "hey, sup?" And then mosey around in my dreams all night.

I didn't invite you in there, you asshole. I don't know what you're trying to prove when I catch you beside me, giving me that look, that grin, that sigh. Never fight. Never argue. Never start any wars. What fun is that? If you're going to hang around all night, the least you could do is make it interesting.

I think it would have been better if you'd at least tried to be ugly, tried to be mean, tried to put some closure on it. Instead of letting it linger there on the edge, never pushing it over...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

There Won't Be Clean Panties in Hell

We knew we were dead. You and I had been standing in line for a hundred and fifty-seven years at the checkpoint where the dead are admitted to the non-living world .  You busied yourself smoking cigarettes, and I busied myself wondering about the children- yours and mine, both.

Some stowaways from the living world were always trying to sneak in, so everybody had to be looked over and checked off the list before they could enjoy one moment of the afterlife. I complained that it seemed to be taking forever, and somebody up ahead warned me against advertising those types of opinions. If the souls in charge heard me, they'd bump me to the back of the line, and I'd have to take you with me, since you were my "afterlife buddy," whatever that meant.

Once we were approved, we began to understand the differences we were facing. We had our bodies and our personalities, but little else. The living would fade in and out. We might see a glimpse of them at the strangest moments, but for the most part, they remained obscure.

I have an eccentricity about clean underwear. I must have them at all times. Even in the living days, I spent far too much money maintaining a certain level of newness in my panty drawer. The problem with the non-living world is that you have to scavenge for the items you want to hold on to. New panties...not easily found.

You followed me around, teasing me about my craziness, but I located a chest of drawers, and the top drawer was chock full of  pressed, white bikinis. I thought I had hit the motherload, but as I pulled them out, I noticed a stain on each and every pair. I tossed each to the side, and when I reached the bottom of the drawer I turned to you and declared that we must be in Hell.

"We're not in Hell," you insisted, your Green Eyes twinkling. "Not if we're together."

My heart started beating in my chest, and I had to look away from you to hide my face and the realization that nobody had ever said anything so sweet to me until just that moment. I collected myself and thanked God that he had stuck me with you for the duration of Eternity, but even in Eternity, I couldn't openly commit to an attachment to you.

"Well then... I must be in Hell," I told you matter-of-factly, pointing to myself. For a half a second, I wanted to retract those words, but you being you, they slid right off. No worries.

"You're so full of shit," you told me as you spun me into your arms. "You know you're loving this."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fate

We'd been told to pair off by drawing names from a jar. Half of us wrote our names on a slip pf paper and the other half were supposed to blindly reach into the mouth and call out what it said there. This was the way it had been played before, and there had never been any deviation from the method. Rules were rules.

You demanded to go first, insisting that you would be my partner. I smiled coyly and wished you luck, never thinking you'd get me. The odds were definitely against you. I was holding for out for Old Green Eyes, anyway.

But you always get your way, even in my dreams.

One by one, you rejected each person you drew.

"Not Nessa," you stated before tossing  each name to the side. "Not Nessa. Not Nessa."

Finally, you grinned when you found the one you'd been looking for. "Nessa!" you shouted triumphantly. You waved it in the air as you came to my side. "I told you I'd get you," you whispered into my ear and planted and kiss on my cheek. "It's fate."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Heavy

I guess something had happened between us, something had bonded us together. We were spending all our time doing the mundane things with each other, driving through traffic, grocery shopping, eating, reading-- your general passing of life, and dragging the kids along, which somehow made it seem like we were all united as a family.

You, me, and all the kids.

But not really all the kids. Just your kids and my kids crossing over and matching and switching ages. My two boys who have the same names as your two boys were my boys, but they were the same age as your boys, and they were your boys in the dream, not mine. And then my other two were babies again, instead of being grown kiddos like they really are. And for some reason, that made more sense than what goes on in our real lives, because I always feel like I'm just starting out, and I haven't had enough experience to know anything about parenting.

But, then again, do any of us have any experience parenting before we become parents? Of course not.

We're all just kind of "winging it."

So there we were, in the grocery store, moving down the aisle of the store together with the kids in tow. You were holding my hand, and I kept looking down at our joined hands in bewilderment.

Those other girls were flirting with you, the way they always do, and you were dismissing them, the way you always do. You're too cool, or too busy, or to bored for the flirts.

But they're so assertive, and I'm rolling my eyes, because I know these girls are knocking on a firmly bolted door. You smiled at me and whispered, "I'm going to tell them."

And I said, "Tell them what?"

You turned with your hands held up to get their attention and announced to the entire store that we had gotten married.

*@#$%$#$&*^#!!!

I didn't remember getting married, so I tried to deny these horrendous allegations. You looked into my eyes with your bewitching eyes and smiled that mesmerizing little smile, insisting that we were indeed wedded.

The ring on my finger was your proof, and suddenly, I couldn't even lift my hand from the massive weight of a wedding ring on the left finger, right where it really shouldn't have been.

When the hell did that happen? Who put that thing there, and why did I agree to it?

Assuming that I did, that is.

Even in my waking state, even in the clear light of day, I say you must have tricked me into it somehow...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Generally, I don't threaten small children.

I was standing innocently in the grocery store line (some obscure store I've never been to before, that's the way it is in dreams) awaiting my turn to checkout when it happened-- the creeping hand around the curve of my ass.

Whoever it was had a nice touch, but I wasn't cozy with the situation. This was hardly the time or the place for anyone to be making such movements across my personal space.

Imagine my surprise when I looked down and realized a small child had decided to grab a lovin' handful of my hiney! How...how...how forward!

I leaned down and whispered into the little guy's ear, "Just what do you think you're doin'?"

He beamed up at me with all the innocence of Satan's first born and explained, "I'm just trying to not be old."

(To be honest, I don't know what the hell he meant by that. These dreams rarely come with director's commentary.)

I quickly responded with a slight hiss in my voice,"Well, you are doing a good job, kiddo, because if you don't take your hand off my ass, you will meet an early death."
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Friday, May 17, 2013

I wish I hadn't told him that.

I'd been dreaming about school every night, and everything was going wonderfully. The screaming teacher held her tongue. Hot food miraculously appeared in the cafeteria, with proper utensils available to all. The restroom didn't drift into the horizon, and once I was in there, the toilets seemed to be in working order. Homework was passed up; tests were aced; grades were made.

Yet.

And there's always a yet, because I can't have a normal dream for once. I can't have a happy-go-lucky, sun-shiney, butterflies and rainbows dream. No sir, not me. Something's always got to be twisted as fuck and somebody is always ripped away or chased away or devoured completely. Elevators open to flaming pits of fire and lava. Blood flows down window panes. Missiles whistle as they fly overhead.

A couple of days ago, I had lunch with ole Green Eyes. It was one of those rare days when nobody else was around to shift the conversation. Somehow we drifted into a more macabre topic-- the exes. Ole Green Eyes has custody of his two boys. His ex has been described to me as "a little on the trashy side," though it wasn't him who told me that. My ex has issues as well. We all have our stories.

I didn't intend to go into that topic. I didn't mean to reveal so much about my past or the things I'd been through, but I sat there with that glued on smile I usually reserve for irritating customers, and I told ole Green Eyes some things I have only ever revealed to my therapy group way back when I needed therapy. He said he'd never heard such things. I could tell he didn't want to believe me, but I have no reason to lie.

Later I went home and sat under the shower, crying until all the hot water was used up, and maybe a little bit longer.

When I slept that night, I dreamed about school. I'm getting all A's, you know. I settle for nothing less than a four point oh, not because it's easy, but because I want it so badly. The teachers were all smiles. My papers were covered with check pluses and happy faces. My classmates were all patting me on the back for all my hard work. I was content with my lot in life.

Until I tried to leave. I had forgotten I wasn't allowed to go outside. Dirty diapers were piling up in the corners of stairwells. The choking stench of neglect pushed us back into the hallway.I would have thrown the nasty things in the trashcan, but a trash can was a luxury we just couldn't afford. I tried to scoop them into my backpack, so the others wouldn't have to see them or smell them, but my backpack was already overflowing with the limp bodies of dead kittens.

He told me it was my fault. I shouldn't have ever fed that stray. I should have known she was pregnant. I should have known what would come of it. She had four little ones, just like me. They were delightful little balls of soft, clumsy fluff.

I guess it was my fault about the dog, too.

Monday, April 8, 2013

This Ain't Alaska

His first mistake was thinking I'd go down without a fight.

He shoved me into the walk-in freezer and bolted the door. I didn't know how long it would take for the human body to freeze to death, and I sure as hell wasn't going to put it to the test. I formulated a plan for survival right away. I needed to knock those fans off the ceiling. The problem was I didn't have a crowbar handy.

When we were kids in Alaska, we called them snot-sicles. I could feel them forming on my face as I desperately searched through the cardboard boxes for anything that would help me. I opened them one by one and tossed them aside as I rejected them. I knew I was running out of time. I needed to stop crying, or my face was going to freeze like that, literally.

His second mistake was thinking the dismembered body of another of his victims would deter me from my goal.

I'm sorry, dead girl. I'm sorry this happened to you. I'm sorry you're dead. I'm sorry I had to use your frozen arm as a bat to disable those fans. I'm sorry you had to watch it all with your frozen dead eyes, staring at me in disbelief.

With magnificent strength, I swung, and the metal box that encased the freezer fans came crashing to the floor. The chamber echoed eerie silence.

His third mistake was coming back for me.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Anticipation

"Will you write about this?" he asked. He slipped his hand into mine and guided me down the paved road into the darkness. The heat of his skin against mine spread into me like a fever. It didn't matter that I couldn't see where we were going. It only mattered that we were going together. I was helpless to resist him. He turned to face me, waiting for the answer, but I had already forgotten the question. I was lost in those deep, black eyes, wondering, what does he see?

He smiled that cocky little smile of his. You know the way he is, so full of cool confidence. He dipped his head toward mine. Our cheeks barely brushed as he turned his lips against my face, but there were no kisses. There was only the promise of kisses yet to come.

How could I write this? What words could I conjure that would do justice to this kind of intimacy? Would I be able to tell about the fast beat of my heart, the sudden hitch in my breath, the anticipation of his touch? How would I put it together without falling apart?

No, I won't write it, I decided. I'd like to keep this one between the two of us. Some things aren't meant to be shared.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Homage

We were out of time and out of place. Most of the world lived in poverty, struggling to find enough food for the next meal. People were dirty and corrupt. We were all hungry or cold or angry at the way things were. Bad attitudes only made things worse.

There was no real love.

My parents sought favor with the queen. The queen was known to grant favors to those who were willing to make the right kinds of sacrifices.

I was amazed they were able to find the things she wanted. She had called for a specific kind of stew, and my parents were able to provide the main ingredient-- human hands.

Where did they get those? I wondered as I stared at the ceremonious way they had placed them on an ornate tray for presentation. I reached out to touch them, bewildered by the horror of it.

I reached out with bloody stumps.