01/01 Direct Link
Ask me what I want to write about today and I won't be able to tell you. I can tell you, however, what I don't want to write about. I don't want to write about world politics and the state of war. I don't want to write about the evils people do in the name of their religion. I don't want to write about the economy and how full that hand basket heading to hell already is. No, not about the pretty sad state of the American education system either.

But most importantly, I don't want to write about you.

01/02 Direct Link
Go out to Meadowville, Pennsylvania and look at the old steel mill standing stark and skeletal against the winter sky. You won't find many tourists going to Meadowville. It's a workers town, home of the blue-collar family. Nope, not a place for tourists.

Then why am I standing here with my camera? Because there's a strange kind of beauty in this behemoth of a building standing stalwart in a dying town. A town that's been dying slowly since the day the mill locked its doors for good and the blue-collar man found there are worse colors their collars could be.

01/03 Direct Link
Dangerous question, why. People ask it all the time, but are they really prepared for the reason? In my opinion, it is predestined that those who ask are not going to be happy with the ‘why'.

I asked why once. The answer scared me, it was something I never wanted to know. And I don't think I've asked why since then.

But I've wondered it. Yes, I've wondered it. Like a cat, curiosity is my bane.

He looked at me funny when he asked me why and I shook my head sadly and told him "you don't want to know."

01/04 Direct Link
He had counted two hundred million, five hundred forty-six thousand, two hundred and thirty-eight grains of sand before breakfast. It was more, actually, since he had started over right after he had reached one thousand and an unanticipated sneeze had scattered his sand.

He ate his toast dry due to his hand being too cramped to hold a butter knife. He looked at the furrow painfully worn into the skin of his fingers from the tweezers. He sighed. He knew his fingers would be bleeding by nightfall, especially since he planned to count double the amount of sand by dinnertime.

01/05 Direct Link
Home repair. You have to learn to fix your own life, because when it comes right down to it, no handy man is going to run in with his trusty box of tools and fix it for you. Not when you need it the most. And you have to learn to fix it correctly. Patch jobs work, but they don't last and when they wear off, you'll find yourself in worse shape than you were before. And the toll for fixing it will be a lot more.

After you've done the home repair, then you can think about home improvement.

01/06 Direct Link
He didn't notice the men and women who looked at him with lust in their hearts and eyes. All he noticed were the few who cast their greedy eyes on her. Their blatant disregard for modesty brought a flush to her face, making her appear even more youthful and innocent, and the wolves gathered for a feast of lamb.

He placed a hand on her shoulder and glared at those who dared to come too close. In the dark lighting of The Dungeon, with his wings, he looked very much the avenging angel. But not one from the good book.

01/07 Direct Link
I am your secret. Something forbidden to you. You try to deny I exist, but I feel your eyes on me as soon as my back is turned. You desperately search for flaws, hoping to find one that will change the way your heartbeat increases whenever I am near, but the flaws you find only endear me to you further. I accidentally touch you and you curl your hands into fists tight enough to whiten knuckles to keep yourself from grabbing me and taking what you know you can't have. I am your secret. And I am becoming your darkness.
01/08 Direct Link
"I knew it was you from the start."

"But how? I was very careful to…" And that's how you get caught. Someone decides to call your bluff, and you fall into his trap and your confession comes sneaking out.

To be a successful deceiver, you cannot fall for such traps. Nervousness is a sign of guilt and guilt will always trip you up. Replay:

"I knew it was you from the start."

"Oh baby… you're pretty hot yourself, but you know I'm taken."

Go for the witty comeback, the witty line. It will confuse him, make him doubt his suspicions.

01/09 Direct Link
He speaks of retribution, her brazenly coy smile teasing the words right from his lips. But his words are not followed up with action; he's having too much fun watching her as she pushes everything to the limit. It's a wild dance and he lets the limit slip back some more just to keep the dance going a little while longer. She watches him watching and smiles again, leaving the challenge unspoken between them as she places one foot over that line before slowly pulling it back.

"Soon it's going to be mine turn to test your limits." He promises.

01/10 Direct Link
I watched the cat stalk across the yard, tail puffed up to make her appear larger, more threatening as she approached the other cat. I smiled, but didn't stick around to see what happened. Later I told him about it.

"You are so much like a cat." He said. "I've watched you confront something, and you always stand as straight as you can with your shoulders thrown back. And you do look taller, more intimidating."

"Intimidating?" I laughed at the thought that I, at five-foot two, could be intimidating.

"Oh yes, you hiss quite well when your fur gets ruffled."

01/11 Direct Link
If you're going down, take someone with you. She doesn't know when this became a rule in her life, it seems like she's always done it that way. Word is on the street: She's misery. And she loves company. The wisest know to avoid her, but still there are those who fall for her sweet, sweet smile. They think they can change her luck, keep her from falling. But sooner or later, she always falls. It's in her nature. And those who held onto her, those who dared to love her, they go tumbling after. She makes sure of it.
01/12 Direct Link
I wish I thought only in words. Words I can deal with. It's the images I can't handle. Images provoke guilt. I can say "no" and be completely happy, but if that "no" brings to his face a look of despair, another ghost joins the multitudes that already haunt me: homeless man, face worn and dirty, holding out scabby hand for loose change, dead cat laying in gutter, blood seeping from mouth, mother screaming as police tell her about her son who has just been shot, and more, lots more.

Give me words any day. Take away my sight. Please.

01/13 Direct Link
Once in high school a friend and I cut class to go to the movies. After the movie we decided to walk down Baltimore Street, a red-light district lined with adult bookstores and bars advertising "Girls, Girls, Girls". And a few girls, girls, girls advertising themselves on the corner. This was a seedy world, a world that we lived on the edge of. We stared at the sights greedily, drinking in the obscenity and degradation of the people around us.

We were innocence in a world of sin, but already one of us had her foot halfway over that line.

01/14 Direct Link
Maybe there is no definition. Maybe everyone else is just stumbling along the best they can and I am not so different after all. I thought I had it all figured out, hell, I even thought I was good at it. But then came doubt rearing its ugly head. And now I watch you while you sleep, wondering if I even know what I'm doing in this relationship. Is it just another game I'm playing, another attempt at pretending to have a normal life?

Can you give me a definition I can live with? Something I can finally believe in?

01/15 Direct Link
Old house. Once your siding was painted bright white and your trim and shutters a cheerful blue. Now both are weathered to a dingy gray. Your windows, from which soft yellow light would shine on warm summer evenings are boarded up so no one can see the disgrace you have come to. Once you were someone's dream, a haven built to shelter those he loved. Now the only ones who call you home crawl on four feet and gnaw on old wires.

When did the dream die? When did they stop caring?

Maybe someone else will dream you alive again.

01/16 Direct Link
She certainly wasn't expecting to find a decapitated head on her doorstep. And she knew it was going to take a long time to forget about it. But she supposes that's what they intended. One doesn't just put a head on someone's front stoop in hopes that the person who finds it will just nudge it out of the way in passing.

She looked at the head's gray, blood-drained skin and filmy eyes.

"Mary Kay's people sure like to play rough, but I'll show them… " She muttered, as she fumbled with her keys and a stack of Avon brochures.

01/17 Direct Link
Pigeons had nested in the rafters of the empty building for several years. That spring, construction workers showed up to make repairs to the old structure. Startled, the pigeons flew away. The workers tried to remove the nests from the structure, but the pigeons had placed them too far in. Finally, the foreman ordered the men to stop playing around and to get to work. Which they did. Sealing up the holes in the concrete with fresh concrete.

Work done, they left.

The pigeons spent hours trying to find a way back their nests, their eggs, but there was none.

01/18 Direct Link
Reflections. Picture perfect images caught on muddy waters. Take a picture without the flash, and except for the lack of color, you would not be able to tell it from the original.

"But that's nonsense. Any little ripple and the image if flawed." He waved his hand arrogantly.

"Then don't make a ripple. Stand as still as you can and then stand even stiller." She stood still, and for a second she could have passed for a statue.

"But it still doesn't make any sense." He shrugged helplessly.

"And for you it probably never will. You take logic to seriously."

01/19 Direct Link
Worlds apart. That's what we are. Yet we're still trying to reach one another, stretching our hands out in a desperate attempt to at least make some kind of contact. But we don't and our arms drop uselessly to our sides. We're never going to see eye-to-eye or meet in the middle, we're too different despite our shared blood. We did walk a mile in one another's shoes once, but all we found was my shoes were too small for you and your shoes were too big for me. Worlds apart. That's what we are and that's where we'll stay.
01/20 Direct Link
She collected journals. The last time she counted, there were twenty-six blank paged, leather-bound books on a shelf in her living room. That's right, every page in all of those books were still blank.

She stroked the cover of the book in her hand, admiring the silver moon burned into the dark blue cover. On the top of each white page was written "Dream Journal". She smiled as she traced the words. Then she sighed and carefully placed the journal on the shelf with the rest of the books.

She didn't think her life was interesting enough to write about.

01/21 Direct Link
Starving to death. You stand so close but never touch me. I am dwindling away to nothing. Already my face has gone pallid, my eyes empty and flat, my hair a dull, mousy brown, my voice nothing but a brush of warm air.

You are the solution. Touch me. Bring back that flush of pink to my cheeks. Touch me and once again see that sparkle in my deep, brown eyes. Touch me, run your rough hands through my soft hair and marvel at its burnished glints. Touch me and give me back my voice, teach me how to sing.

01/22 Direct Link
There she is again, all dreamy eyed and far away, secret little smiles and softly exhaled sighs. And he wonders how much of the real world she really sees.

"Oh, don't worry. I see enough. I see violence, hatred, and lots of other nasty things. I know there's beauty too, rainbows, starry nights, a child's laughter. I know about the real world. The thing is, I can't control it, and therefore, I prefer my own world." And then she turns her focus away from him.

He wants to be in her world too, but he doesn't know how to ask.

01/23 Direct Link
Snowflakes were the first thing to clue him in on his loss of sanity. It was a cold, January day and big white flakes began to fall as he waited at the bus stop. Feeling suddenly playful, he opened his mouth and stuck out his tongue to catch a fat flake. Unbidden, this thought crossed his mind: What if it burns a hole through your tongue?

He withdrew his tongue quickly, scraping it painfully across his teeth in his haste. Now he huddles in the little bus shelter, trembling as he eyes the falling snow. A bus comes and goes.

01/24 Direct Link
"The shape of your lips is the perfect counterpart to mine." He brushed my lips with his thumb. "So it is destined for me to kiss you."

I knew I should be immune to lines like that but he said it so confidently I found myself leaning into his kiss. And he was right. It was a perfect fit.

"You taste just like warm butterscotch." He said, his voice gruffer than it was a minute before, his hands gently cupping my face. "I think I need to taste you again."

So I let him, after all, you can't fight destiny.

01/25 Direct Link
You think if we talk about something long enough we can be experts on it. I think the more we talk about it, the more confusion sets in. You don't see what I have always known, words are tricky, and more you use, the more tangled you become.

Tangled. Think fly-paper. Think glue. Think knots in my hair. This is what words will get you. They say language is man's greatest invention, but in the wrong hands, I think it's his most dangerous.

You talk on. And me, a confessed lover of words, I sometimes wish you would just shut-up.

01/26 Direct Link
"You're beautiful. Like a flower, a perfect beautiful flower." He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it.

"Don't say that, you know it's not true, I am no flower." She pulled her hand away from him.

"But you are. You're my pretty flower, my rose." He smiled at her as he recaptured her hand.

"Tell me you don't want a flower." She pleaded.

"But I do, I want you." He kissed her hand again.

"Oh." She moved away from him, casting him one last look over her shoulder. "Flowers are beautiful. But they can't love. Neither shall I."

01/27 Direct Link
She's wasting all of her time looking for needles in haystacks. She sorts gently at first, moving one straw at a time. But eventually she gets frustrated and grabs and throws big handfuls of straw to the side, hoping to feel the prick of the tiny pin as it pierces her finger. And eventually her frustration turns to rage and she sets a lighted match to the damned haystacks thinking afterwards she'll still be able to find the melted pin in the ruins. But she never does. The fire always gets out of control and burns the whole barn down.
01/28 Direct Link
They used to say my hands were as soft as velvet. She stared down at said hands, blood now staining the dry, cracked skin. Once the money I spent on a single coat could have fed a third-world village for a month. She huddled in the rags that may have been a coat once upon a time. I remember I threw away a diamond, tossed it into the bay, because I thought it was flawed. She rummaged through a trashcan, stopping to sniff old food to see if it were still edible.

Could you fall as far as she did?

01/29 Direct Link
Wariness. Though she tries to keep the panic from her face, he can see it flicker in her eyes as he approaches. And he wonders what he's done to make her so wary.

Weariness. Though he tries to keep the tiredness from his speech, she can hear the tremor in his voice as he speaks. And she wonders what she's done to make him so weary.

Awareness. Side by side they stand, skin prickling at the nearness of the other, until one of them can stand it no longer and moves away. And this is how their desire plays out.

01/30 Direct Link
I shouldn't let them get to me like that, but I had and I was full of rage and despair. And I was driving with my foot pushing the gas petal down further and further, going faster and faster. Not caring that a jersey wall was going to be my ending point. But then, from nowhere, a little white car appeared in front of me, going exactly the speed limit. Not wanting to hurt anyone but myself, I slowed down. And without a chance to pass, I stayed slow.

I wonder if they know they played guardian angel that night.

01/31 Direct Link
He, who was used to always being in the middle of everything, watched her hanging out at the edge of it all.

The center shifted, like it so often does, and suddenly, she was included in its midst. Startled and not a little bewildered, she smiled brightly but edged backward all the same. Until she was once more on the outskirts.

And he, who was used to always being in the middle of everything, who was, in truth, most often the very reason there was a center, didn’t understand. How could anyone not want to be the center of attention?