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01/01 Direct Link
I will never be the hostess with the mostess. Twenty-two people clustered around our television to watch that ball drop in New York. Champagne filled four matching wine glasses, one wine glass that didn't match anything, three juice cups, four martini glasses, five plastic cups (kids counting cups, if you must know), one disposable cup and four coffee mugs. With a faint blush on my cheeks, I handed people their champagne. As I handed him his, he touched my hand lightly and said, 'It's not about cups, anyhow' and winked. Which made me feel better, but blush all the more.
01/02 Direct Link
Let me fall down with you. Sink into the bed, limbs entwined in ways those who have never done this could never imagine. So close that touch is a sound and sound is a touch, and sight doesn't matter as my eyes drift closed. It's times like this when I don't know if I'm in love with you or your rough hands that roam across my soft skin. Even with my eyes closed, I can see the smile on your face as you make me almost believe in internal combustion. You're the only one I've ever let make me scream.
01/03 Direct Link
She didn't think there would be so much blood. Well, that's not true. She knew there was going to be a lot of blood; she just hadn't been able to picture it. And now she's thinking she'll never get the image of it spreading across the linoleum out of her head. She chews on her lip as she picks the little black specks off of her hands. She was glad she chose to use the medium sized cast iron skillet; she probably would have broken her wrist trying to swing the bigger one. She's even gladder he landed face down...
01/04 Direct Link
Somewhere on in a jungle, two and a half continents away, he searched for dragons. With his faithful machete, he hacked through the vegetation, his sweat stained shirt clinging painfully to him as vicious insects swarmed his already ravished body. He didn't pause to swat them away, for he knew his one true love waited. He just had to find that dragon!

Two and a half continents away, she lounged on her settee. With a man on his knees in front of her, she sighed dramatically.

'There is but one little thing I must ask you to do for me…'
01/05 Direct Link
Benny was the Mayor of Talbot Street. Spring, summer, and fall would find him on his porch, minding everyone's business but his own. He was fond of the drink, but did not resort to cough syrup the way his girlfriend did on Sundays when the liquor store was closed. The only thing Benny loved other than booze was his dog, a little white poodle that did nothing but eat, shit and yap. The girlfriend died first, liver disease. Two years later, the dog succumbed to old age. Benny died two weeks later. Heart attack, or broken heart? We'll never know.
01/06 Direct Link
Silly girl, you think it's real, but all you're doing is pulling rabbits out of a hat. And everyone knows that that's just sleight of hand. There's no magic there, it's just you, deceiving once again. But this time, you're deceiving yourself. You think you've kept it such a secret, never realizing you're easier to read than Dr. Seuss. That's right, sweetie, you still haven't perfected that neutral look. Every emotion you have flashes out from your eyes like a beacon for everyone to see. So, if you want to keep your secret, it's time you practice your vanishing act.
01/07 Direct Link
‘I remember you.' Her voice was filled with amazement. He watched as her eyes closed again, a small smile on his face. She did this at least once a week and never remembered the next day. He used to spend hours trying to figure out what she dreamt about that filled such simple words with wonder. Sighing, he gathered her close and gently kissed her forehead. In the dark, in their warm blanket cocoon, he held her as she slept. He know longer cared about the dream. He just hoped she never opened her eyes and asked ‘Who are you?'
01/08 Direct Link
I remember my idea of a snowball fight. I would hide my snowball behind my back until I was close enough to my intended victim. They never knew what hit them. And before they could recover, I was safely hidden behind my brothers. But it wasn't that I was a coward, no, not me. I was the bravest of my siblings. I was their secret weapon. No one ever suspected anything devious from me, and I used that to my advantage. To some extent, I still do. So beware, my innocence is an illusion. Most of the time, that is.
01/09 Direct Link
Scenes from the bedroom, revisited:

'What in the hell did you do that for?' He pushed her away from him, brushing at the ashes left on his chest. 'Jesus Fucking Christ, are you some kind of psycho?'

His push had landed her on the edge of the bed, and still holding her crumbled cigarette, she slid to the floor and started laughing. Muttering, he found his clothes and pulled them on, wincing when the shirt touched the burn.

'Fucking bitch!' He slammed out of the room. On the floor, she continued to laugh. At least this one hadn't hit her.

01/10 Direct Link
I stared at the ants as they floated, very dead, in my tea. Mumbling something about idiots who forget to put the sugar in the fridge, I set the mug down on the desk in front of me. Carefully, I scoop each little body out and flick them into my wastebasket. 'They're just ants, people eat them chocolate coated, it's no big deal.' I lift the mug, lower it, consider a minute, and lift it again. 'But what about the poisoned ant traps on the counter?' Back in the kitchen, I make myself a cup of peppermint tea, no sugar.
01/11 Direct Link

Your name a whisper on my lips
Floats off into the cool evening sky
Slips over midnight waters
Races the rising sun across desert plains
Tramples through a steamy jungle
And sets with the sun in a grassy meadow
Sending hoards of startled butterflies upwards

A thousand miles and a lifetime away
We sit on the dock hidden in the shadows of dusk
One by one stars wink into existence
The lake a mirror image of the sky
You take my hand I close my eyes
And your name is carried back to me
With a rustling of butterfly wings
01/12 Direct Link
She sat quietly by herself pen and notebook in hand. His approach was silent; she didn't know he was there until he spoke.

‘Excuse me.' Her head jerked up and he flinched, floored by the starkness in her eyes. A second passed, and her mask slipped into place. The starkness replaced with friendly warmth. If it wasn't for the way she clutched her pen he might have thought he imagined it. Suddenly, he suddenly wanted to ask her why. He wanted to hold this stranger and assure her everything would be okay. He wanted to... ‘Do you have the time?'

01/13 Direct Link
I want out, I want out, I want out! But I don't, not really. It's just that tonight I'm feeling trapped. Feeling cornered. You can see I'm restless. I've been pacing our place all evening, stopping at the sliding doors to peer out into the darkness. But you know as well as I know, that I don't know what I want out of. And I don't. It's just this overwhelming feeling, a desperate need to flee that crashes through me. And it will pass. It will go away, leaving me content once more. But until it does, I'll keep pacing.
01/14 Direct Link
'I'm not a fill in the blanks, you know. You just can't change me to be what you want.' She looked away from him for a moment. 'You can't erase the word sour and pen in sweet and expect me to be it. It doesn't work that way.'

'But why then, did you let me do it for so long?' He drew her attention back to him. 'You grew your hair long for me. You stopped dying it for me. You quit your job and moved here for me.'

'But those are just insubstantial. Those I can always change again.'

01/15 Direct Link
Something bad happened to her when she was child. Something she blames herself for. And now she's in her forties and locked away in an institution for mutilating herself. When asked why she feels the need to pick up sharp objects and slice and gouge at her skin she'll tell you she's trying to cut the badness out. That life will be wonderful without the badness that permeates her body.

It's unfair. When you're a child and going through hell, they always tell you it will get better. But do things really get better? Not for her. Maybe not ever.

01/16 Direct Link
She stood at the edge of the crowded room, wincing slightly at the volume of the conversation going on. Someone pushed past her, his beer sloshing over the rim of his cup and spilling on her shoulder. Someone else trod upon her foot in passing.

‘Look at me… am I not real? Do I not exist? Can you not see me? Oh please look at me!’ She screamed silently to herself. Someone in the crowd squealed and more people pushed forward, forcing her against the wall. The wall rippled as she faded into it. But no one noticed at all.

01/17 Direct Link
‘I just wanted to touch one person. To know I made a difference in their life.’ With her fork, she spread the lettuce on her plate around a bit before spearing a cucumber slice. ‘I just don’t feel like anyone has let me through.’

‘Oh, we’re opposites you and I. I’ve always wanted someone to reach me. To have some kind of impact on my life.’ I took a sip of soup then placed the spoon back into the bowl. ‘But no one’s ever come looking.’

‘Hmmm… Do you think we should…?’

‘Get the check now? Whose turn to pay?’

01/18 Direct Link
What is false is real. This is something I am now discovering. Those who lied told me only the truth. Can you understand this? Can this make sense to you at all? You promised me thick and thin. You promised me something akin to the moon and the stars. Where are you now that the promises have all fallen through? But somewhere along the way, I found thick and thin. I found the moon and the stars. But I'll keep them in my pocket. I'll keep them from you. Your promises are worthless, but they have taught me so much.
01/19 Direct Link
You know I'm a bleeding heart, and you know I will remember until the end of time. So why do you continue to tell me such horrible stories? Is it because you enjoy watching me bleed? I don't want to know about the poor crippled cat in your neighborhood, and about the men chasing it with their Pit Bulls. Believe me, I see enough of that stuff. I don't need your memories on top of mine. So keep your horror stories, and let me keep my sanity. My humanity. But maybe if I'm empty, my heart will no longer bleed…
01/20 Direct Link
She painted rolling landscapes.

Her husband screamed at her. Threw a few things around. Stomped out of the house. Didn't return.

She painted pretty flowers.

Her children said nothing to her. Stole money from her purse. Snuck out after curfew. And other things better left unsaid.

She painted quiet ponds.

Friends asked questions. Shook their heads. Gossiped. Took sides.

She painted ducks on those quiet ponds.

Lawyers fought. Sent letters. Divided property. Ended ‘til death do you part'.

She painted trees with autumn colored leaves.

‘It's really a better world.' She said, pointing to her paintings leaning against the walls.

01/21 Direct Link
Out of place. Out of time. Some people are born that way. And they know it. But what they don't question is whether or not there was ever a time or place for them. Maybe they should be looking for another dimension rather than another time.

I'm an out of place person. I grew up poor, but you won't catch a trace of it about me. But I don't fit in your middle-class world. I changed from city to small town to suburbia to city to small town… I think I'm searching for something I'm never going to find. Ever.

01/22 Direct Link
As a child, they labeled her 'dumb'. But she wasn't she was just a daydreamer. Her head was so full of the worlds she created she could barely fit anything else in. Including them. They were happy to label her dumb and forget about her. And they would have too, but touches of reality kept breaking through her dreams, and she would make brilliant observations, amazing flashes of insight, before focusing once more inward. When they finally noticed, they hammered at her shell, forcing her into the here and now. But she liked it better when they thought her dumb.
01/23 Direct Link
I'm too old to be playing these games, he thought to himself. But that didn't stop him from 'accidentally' touching her as they passed each other. It was a light touch, barely a brush of shoulders, but it was a touch.

'Excuse me.' He mumbled, knowing that if she turned and looked at him, she would know it hadn't been an accident; she would read it in his eyes. She didn't, and his breathing eased. Maybe tomorrow when he passed her he could make a joke about it. Absentmindedly rubbing his shoulder he forgot all about age and playing games.

01/24 Direct Link
'But I want it now.' She stood before him, holding a steak knife in one hand, an orange in the other, her voice gratingly piercing as only the voice of a four year old could be. Enraged, he grabbed the knife from her hand.

'You want an orange?' As she clutched her orange tightly, he twisted her wrist and brought the knife downward, intentionally aiming away from the orange. She screamed as the blade slammed into her hand, sinking down through tender skin, the orange falling to the ground, forgotten. Grabbing her shoulders, he shook her. 'It was an accident...'

01/25 Direct Link
Don't feel sorry for me. I made it. Feel sorry for all of the little kids who didn't make it. Or the ones who are shattered beyond repair. Have I ever wanted to track him down? I used to think I did. I pictured this wonderful confrontation where I took him down, made him feel as helpless as we did when we were children. But I think in the long run, that it would diminish me. My closure can come from knowing I made it, with minimal damage. So, goodbye Roger. You are no longer a factor in my life.
01/26 Direct Link
She talks in code. It's his job to crack it. ‘Fine.' She says. ‘Fine.' But he's thinking she's saying something else. And he's right. Now it's his job to find out what. It's a job that wouldn't be too hard if only she didn't change the code every damn week. But she does.

He stares at her. Looking for the subtle signs in her body language to give it away. Is her back too straight? Is her mouth set in a grim line? But her body is just as hard to read as her code. He takes a deep breath…

01/27 Direct Link
She laid her hand on his shoulder and spoke his name, her voice low and slightly husky. He closed his eyes and waited for the universe to stop exploding. A second later, he opened his eyes and turned to face her.

As his eyes met hers, she pulled her hand away from his shoulder. She clasped her hands together to stop them from trembling, hoping he wouldn’t notice.

She asked him a question, which he barely heard even as he watched her mouth form the words.

His answer didn’t make sense, but she didn’t notice anything but his eyes…

Chemistry…

01/28 Direct Link
Family. The ties that will strangle you if you don’t know how to escape. Houdini, you have nothing on me. I am an escape artist extraordinaire. I think. Well, maybe not. Otherwise why would I be so testy and snarly for hours after a visit with them? Those invisible bonds are the hardest ones to break. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. I just prefer them in small doses. Sometimes, the smaller the better. Or maybe I would prefer them a thousand miles away… well, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. It’s Monday, time to call ‘home’.
01/29 Direct Link
It was a game to her, taking the poison in tiny doses. By taking it one dose at a time, the poison took almost two years to kill her. Her body was found on the bathroom floor in a pool of vomit, piss and blood, her hands curled almost protectively over her stomach.

She had thought she would die quietly on her bed, in her most presentable dressing gown, hair neatly brushed, and just a hint of rouge and lipstick. But games of chance rarely play out the way they’re expected to, and death doesn’t give a hoot about appearances.

01/30 Direct Link
Do you remember the summer of the gypsies? When a gang of those nomads moved into an apartment across the street. There were a slew of boys around our age, and I remember us, prancing in the streets in our shortest shorts (the satin ones, remember?) trying to impress them even as our parents warned us away. They would lean out their windows and whistle and yell something about foxy ladies and we would giggle and preen. At eleven, we really did believe we were ‘foxy ladies'. Our sexuality was stirring, but wouldn't fully awake for a couple more years.
01/31 Direct Link
I hate hospitals. I know, who doesn't? I don't know what bothers me most about them, the sterile smell that barely covers the odor of sickness or the fact that all they are doing is a temporary patch to stave off the inevitable. This time it was my mother. Luckily, this time it wasn't too serious. But the next time? I'll tell you what's going to get them. For my father, it's going to be the big C. He's smoked for over 40 years. My mother is going by cardiac arrest. Maybe it won't happen for a long time yet.