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Sometimes I wish I had a computer installed into my head. While I drive I could create grocery lists or compose my "great American novel"while taking a shower; watch screensavers or downloaded movies at work when I should be working (and no one would know); IM friends like a telepathic; record my conversations for blackmail or proof for later days when they say "I didn't say that-; upgrade my RAM when I'm getting bogged, or use the excuse that my brain's "in the shop"because of a virus or program incompatibility that I installed - and go back to bed.
She couldn't remember the last time she had had the house to herself like this; the sun shining darkly against the winter windowpane, the ice dangling over the canopy winking with the sunset; her apron still spotted with a drum spattering of cake mix and a dallop of frosting beaded on her eyelash as she listened; the comfortable sounds of the house settling embedded beneath the chatter of the television in the other room she had kept on to keep her company. These foreign moments, now, were her own. How had she arrived here - wed, matriarchal, widowed, and baking?
He had never really felt the inside of a woman. Not the natural way. As he looked at his face in the bathroom mirror, it made him sick to his stomach. It was a strange truth to be faced with at his age, thirty-one and four months married. But it was the reality that came with always having been that respectful, conscientious boy who walked around with three condoms in his wallet as insurance. Now his wife arranged and rearranged the lace hem on her nightdress waiting for him. He felt himself - and wanted to just cut it off.
A library is never as quiet as they portray in movies or even teach you to be in school when you're little. Cell phones sound off, people answering them and talking at length, the familiar tunes of a computer laptop booting up whirr and jingle; click-click of keyboard keys, general coughing or shuffling of limbs, sighs of contentment or distraction; snoring. Kids yelling and hooha-ing over what books/movies they do or don't want, have or haven't seen/read as parents only half listen with a tired glaze of a looming Monday morning in their eyes. Have they forgotten the word, "Shhh?-
A window always means so much to me. I could never sit in a dark corner of the universe and exist. It would have to be next to a window looking out over the world - whether it be city street or stretch of country road. I would love to sit for hours at a time in a classroom on campus, dark and empty, and sit along the gloom-lit window as I read or wrote. It was a private corner of the world, but a coveted one, which made it delectable. I'd smirk at the people hurry outside. Time would stop.
Graffiti - I f-ing love graffiti. Pen, pencil, marker or permanently scratched in. It makes me laugh that random people can carry on an ongoing conversation on a wall or other, like a round, but one that never fully resolves. Here I see swear words, insults to race, sexual preference, or college major - and names, with or without the "I love"in front of it. All of the above have the probability of being misspelled. It makes me wonder and question the maturity of most human beings, and then of myself for enjoying it. Or, perhaps, I'm easily amused by humans.
The western world got it wrong with the invention of the straight line. Nothing in life is, but has us bound in circles. It's circular how we live our daily lives: else they wouldn't call it the daily cycle. We get up, go to work, earn a living, complain until the weekend, and then start it over again. We eat three times a day, every day, drift apart from people then eventually find ourselves back on their doorstep, end up "back at square one"hundreds of times in life, begin from nothing and dissolve to nothing. Even clocks are round.
Friendship is a fragile thing. I don't think I've had one decent, long-lasting connection with anyone. Though that may hurt some souls, I think if they dig deep down, they'll admit so. I stay loyal from the moment I find a common thread with another, as if I have this deepening rift of lonely darkness. It must seep through often times, because I drift away first, don't I? I treasure nothing more than stolen moments of nothing but me being inside my head. All I need is for those buoys to still be there when I come up for air.
Her smile was false from the moment our eyes met. Like static cling, through, I let our gazes waver and slip over each other - never quite letting go, but not holding on tight. She let her cheek slowly fall to her shoulder in mock flirtation. My beer bottle almost missed - mouth dry as cotton but gushing with the speed of a white water rafting route. Even from across the room of busy party- goers, I could see her drink never tilted. She swayed her hips back and forth to the music and looked away, smile never faltering for the night's crowd.
The dark, overcast day dripped outside; even the young ducklings scattered to the dry banks and shook their stubby tails dry. A motley-dressed man had drifted down by the bank, shaking his maracas and sending the ducks scattering back to the safety of the water. He slapped his hands on his thighs with a holler, hooting of laughter. He jumped in after them cackling failed imitations of a quack, and a flurry storm of feathers and frightened black eyes ascended to the cloud-crowded skies. Joker frowned, for there wasn't anyone there to laugh and clap at the spectacle but he.
It's hard to squeeze down the thoughts of an entire day into 100 words. Yet, people manage everyday to deflate a lifetime into a cramped 300 words or less in dry newspaper eulogies in the Obituary sections. Where they were born, lived, did for a living, who married, and who left behind. Are we, in the end, just a sum of parts relating to such simple things just because we didn't write the great American novel, or win a Nobel Peace Prize? Shouldn't we write our own eulogies? Brag now? We all have our own personal triumphs that mean more.
He crouched down next to the too-recently etched stone marker, wiping away the remaining morning frost from the grass around it. No one knew he had never wept here. How often had he come and simply stared at it, his black, piercing eyes boring into the object as if asking the questions no one dared or thought to ask yet. His frayed red tie dangled between his knees, twisting against the cold city wind. He stayed it with a finger, his gaze digesting every strangely etched foreign letter. Only silence now. Basil'd never hear Adham's voice in his head again.
"You'd make a good mother!"That's what a coworker said to me just the other day. I'd make a good mother. What more of a random thing to say. She's younger than me by one or two years, but is already married and in the position to be thinking about children and being "motherly."And the reason she said it still makes me laugh - just because I tend to carry around goldfish or crackers around with me to munch on when I'm starving between meals. On account of my being a starving selfish lil piglet, I'll be a good mother...?
"Maybe I don't trust people. Or maybe I trusted them too much once. I'm not exactly sure anymore what's brought me to this point in my life. If it wasn't something that would help me find out the truth, you wouldn't even be reading this. I don't want to remember. I don't want you to know. It means nothing to you. There was a time when I was just child; when I looked to the oceans for adventures; feared shadows and crawled into unexplored small spaces; cried when I hurt. But when was the day when all of that changed?-
"That day arrived, now acutely clouded, like something that comes on so slowly and naturally, you don't notice a difference. A silent cancer you disperse unwittingly that infects everyone around you while you are left still standing to face raw sin. You carry judgment in your eyes. Makes it impossible to look at yourself in the mirror, peer into your soul. You fear yourself. Or become fear. The two are interchangeable. I remember how cold it was on the beach. The wind howled with its salty, wet breath against my face. The dreams didn't begin until after Adham was born."
"I looked up into the twisted remnants of the tree, stunted for years in the thick sand, now dead after such storms. The bare, empty beach slanted unevenly down in long rock wedges to the swelling waters. Despite the storms, the coasts were clear of debris. Eerie quiet creased the breeze until all there was, was the cold crush of the waves spraying against the bluffs where my home rested a mile away. I was too young, then, to even remember the summers. All I knew was the winter blue that encrusted the coast, bejeweled in a frozen crystal glow.-
Claire pinned her blonde hair back without even looking into the round mirror in the anteroom corridor leading to her father's office. She hated when he did this. When something went rightÃƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬â€or into the shitsÃƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬â€a sliver of notepaper illustrated with a faded rooster was slipped under her door requiring she attend a late night meeting. She never saw him otherwise. She faced her reflection soldierly, making certain both earrings were fastened, her green eyes alert and direct, the orange, slim-fitting sweater un-rumpled, her pin straight in her lapel. She didn't even scowl at the imperfection of it all. Too tiring.
It's funny how life does really go in cycles. A year of my life has gone by, but no one can ever get comfortable with anything in their daily cycle to be dependable and permanent. It can always seem so until suddenly, wheels and gears in the diurnal workings start to move and you are surrounded by new facets of gears. I've been working a year, the longest at a job yet, and about ten people I've come to expect to be there forever, have left. Touched my life, and moved on. Life is all about flexibility, and adaptation, perhaps.
Two weeks is not enough time to prepare for the flight of a newspaper editor. At least not in this office. Never mind the loss of an editor AND a sales rep within the same week. And then there were two, as they say&myself and Val, who will step up as new full-time Ad rep and be earning more than I will be. To contemplate that little ditty irks me to no end now that I've had time to mull over it. But I try to console myself with the idea that I may be working somewhere else soon enough.
Mom and I found that partnering up to get Rusty to surrender his feet for cleaning is much easier than the horrendous work it is to bend down, hold fighting horse while trying clean at the same time. It's an evil process. For future reference, don't stand on the left flank of a stubborn horse that will not keep its right leg elevated for cleaning. He will jump in crazy moves to get cleaner to let loose of his right leg while running down unsuspecting person standing on left side. Not of my personal choice, I now speak from experience.
The burn of his left hand ached with memory.
Pictured in the wholesale way
Of the business life
he auctioned its parts at dirt pay
for how cheaply he came of it.
Handed to him at birth. Diced
into meaty revenue at what parts
he could afford to do without.
A chop shop that salvaged the digits
or nerves that were snaked through by the wires
of his blue grey veins. All business, a small
Nothing twitches, only his mind to will it to
never to trust his touch
again. He cuts it off to spite his fate.
I'm in a dark mood. I'm at work trying to catch up on eight days worth of missed 100words.com entries. All I can think of is how damaged my life has become. Nothing besides my worthless limb, here, my career, my dreams, my ambitions, my cares, my woes. Like dust blowing upstream. Where has my clearly lit path gone? Has the little dust-devil sweeper dog from Alice in Wonderland swiped away the trail? I fell into the looking glass and everything is upside down and backwards. Like a camera lens. Goals've taken on an unworthy aura. Nothing gets done now.
Hay bales were stacked in a wall of three and four high outside the meeting house where Hennessy stepped out. Strong scents of pine and vibrant breathes of freshly cut terrain made the morning pleasant despite the news still lolling inside his thoughts. He took a seat on well-worn stone stoop and rested his heavy frame against the fence. His cousin's brother had just died in the sanitarium where he had been kept for the past seven years. His cousin, the dark one, and he, the light one, were as opposites as family could make it. But blood was blood.
Hanif stood tall against the whipping sails of the anchored yacht, his thin, felt hat cocked smartly along his brow. His slender fingers brushed the finely polished redwood accenting the deck — a fine specimen of boat maker, Rodigren, now long dead. It made him feel powerful just being in it, as the choppy late summer ocean swollen with rain pushed and pulled at the boat's many parts. He turned to admire the expanse of the horizon, his own lean silhouetted profile cast against the fabric's seams. It trembled in the wind, yet starkly rigid where his image creased its canvas.
The freedom that's handed you along with the frightening sense of loss and renewed possibility is sodden with guilt and, perhaps, a sense of hopelessness, listlessness. The rope you'd learned to hold tightly to for anchor has suddenly been cut. It reminds me a scene from the X-files as Dana sits calmly in her paddleboat resting on grey mists and silence inside her head during her coma, her family staring back at her from the dock. And then the rope is gone, and she drifts away, without emotion, without scrambling to paddle back towards shore. She could never go back.
It's no better at work. A man was sent down from the 'big office' for us to review, and once he stepped out of the office we girls did what we do best: Gossiped. Betsy tried to keep her thoughts to herself, as it would be Val and I specifically that would have to work with whomever was chosen. We looked at each other, tiptoed about the concept for a while until we just finally came out and said it: thumbs down — way, way, way down. We conceded that he was cocky, and didn't give us the 'warm and fuzzies.'
My father wanted to be a firefighter. That's what he said the other day. A young whip of a kid younger than me, large brown eyes, quiet and a hard worker, all the while eager to please. I can just see the shine in his eyes as he tells his boss at the toolmaking shop, I'm taking my civil service exam. I'm going to be a firefighter. I won't be working here much longer. Little boy deflation sets in when he's told that firefighting is only a part-time job, and developing a trade is his only option now: a laborer.
You never fully realize what you have until it's gone. No truer words were ever spoken, for sure. You take for granted your health, your youth, your position, your loved ones. It's a sad state of affairs once you lose any one of those and you're left holding the bag, going, 'But, but but!' You can't depend on anything in life to be stable and 'always there.' You have to appreciate every moment of something until it's taken its last breath. In a second, maybe less, your life can be altered/ruined. In a breath. And you never saw it coming.
He has no power over me. He never will, no matter how many times he uses that hard, green stare that unbuttons my every inhibition. No matter how many times a day he calls my bluff with that stable mouth and coagulated accent. He has my heart — and that's my power over him. He will never break that out of me. He can abuse me with jeers, slicing me thin down the middle grievously for allowing him to know it. But I am a stone wall. Roar all you like, Basil. I'll not tumble one stone, or anything but smoke.
While driving home, it had gotten quiet. Finally Deb says, "What is it about us that we're never satisfied with our lives? What are we expecting? What are we honestly looking for?"
I mulled that over for a moment, realizing she had pulled out the heart of the matter and laid it down like God's golden nugget. She'd said exactly what I've been feeling for the past two years but really wasn't sure how to describe it. It's an unsatisfied, unrealized desire forwhat?in life. Nothing I embark on holds any spark or makes me feel accomplished or content.
At least not content for long. It's like we're looking for this ULTIMATE meaning to our lives, and maybe we're just missing it somehow. It's strange how alike we are, and that we're both going through this exact emotional crisis in this stage of our lives. What ARE we looking for in life that will complete us? Is there such a thing, or is that the driving force inside every human that makes us strive for excellence, for bigger and better things? Or are we just too lofty and feel this simple struggle to merely survive life is beneath us?
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