I watch them, going about their day. Overheard snatches of conversation, about work and their private lives. Dramas of other people. Things they believe bring meaning to their lives. They are unaware of my detached dissection.
In my cone of silence I exist outside their world. I find no meaning in this work. Much of the time there is no work to speak of, and I find myself merely looking busy. I get paid for this. Not a lot, mind you, but paid none-the-less. Sometimes I loathe them and their small lives. Maybe because it reminds me of my own.
We sit in the crowded restaurant, sharing a simple lunch of celebration. Raising our voices above the din, we discuss the events of the morning; at ease now that the anticipation is over. This will not be an end to it. There are four more to come, and after that, many processes to navigate. We are on our way. He is confident and smiling. My son. My proudest achievement.
I walk with him through this time of change, and do all that I can do to bring him through unscathed. I walk with him until he must venture forth alone.
I can’t find the comfortable spot;
that coveted place where the body sighs with gratitude and begins to let go of
the day. Covers tangle and clothing twists. I kick at the sheets, but they
remain bunched and unyielding. Even my pillows refuse to mould to the shape
upon which we have always agreed. My neck aches and my head starts to pound. I
try to force sleep but it will not come. Soon I will have to give in and get
up. It’s four am; I am wide awake, and annoyed. I have to be at work by nine.
I am only pretending to
listen. I nod and smile as she bestows her vast and oft’ repeated wisdom upon
me. I smile, but for the entire time that she is talking, I am thinking about
pressing her pinched face against the glass plate of the photocopy machine. I
imagine holding down the lid with her face squashed inside the machine. I hit
the big, green "go" button, then stand back and watch the paper spill
out into the tray. Page after page of glorious A4 colour, all documenting the
slow transition from shock to rage.
She is still talking.
I see it reflected in the open bedroom door; the door that I
have left ajar for precisely this reason. It is far quieter than the beast it
replaces, arriving without warning and sneaking up on me with stealth and
silence. This shiny, new car reminds me who is in control here, jarring me from
my reverie and slapping me in the face with brutal reality. I utter the familiar
words that we both dread. We grasp at the final seconds like straws, filling
them with frantic assurances, heartfelt declarations and whispered goodbyes. Our
time is over for another day.
So much of life is waiting. Waiting in line. Waiting for that call. Waiting for a lover. Waiting for change. Here I am, sitting in my fake, plastic chair again. In the garden beyond my window the sun is shining and the sky is a glorious, clear blue, but I want none of it. I am waiting for him. The one who gets me through each day. The one who makes me smile. The one who holds my hand in his and trudges through this world with me, no matter how dark it gets, or how hopeless we often feel.
plump and softly dimpled; a truly Rubenesque delight. Her generous curves
invite me, and as I contemplate the touch of her tender flesh, the spreading
blush upon her skin mirrors my own. Supple and firm, she is unyielding beneath
my fingertips. I marvel at her perfect beauty. She smells of warm sunshine and
her downy skin feels strange against my lips. For one brief, delicious moment
she resists my lover’s bite, and then she surrenders. She is helpless in my
hands. Her nectar is delicate and sweet upon my tongue, just as I knew my peach
It has been raining all morning and the roads are
slick and dangerous. The silence is shattered by the telephone. A friend, with
a newly acquired licence, invites young master out. Instantly my
brain conjures horrifying images of inexperienced drivers
on wet roads. He comes to me to ask my permission. He hasn’t quite realised
that he doesn’t need it anymore. Everything in me wants to take advantage of
that now and say no, but I know that I can’t. I must not infect him with my
fears. I watch him leave. Sometimes being a parent is a horrible job.
It’s 1:00 am and you’re not here. That wouldn’t be so
unusual but for the fact that I have not seen you all day. It’s now been almost
twenty four hours since we fell asleep together. You went out somewhere
unexpectedly; you didn’t tell me where, only that you were going and you would
try to get to me as soon as you could. Surely by now you must be home .. unless
something terrible has happened. You know that I worry, yet you didn’t get word
to me. I don’t know what this means, but I don’t like it.
According to the printed guide, the Bird's Nest was priced
at ninety dollars. Being by far the smallest and most inexpensive piece of the
collection, it could easily have fit in the palm of my hand. I dared not touch
it, of course. Galleries are for looking, not touching. It was woven out of
grass and wrapped with cheap, brightly coloured yarn. I never would have said so,
there in that sparse, echoing room, but it looked like a child's craft project to
me. In fairness, what do I know of the value of woven grass? I am no artist.
cables are the intangible ties that bind them. Cold, emotionless
technology bridges the distance, connecting them despite the vastness of the
ocean and the dark loneliness of their separate worlds. They rely on a system that
is beyond their control, and often, as in this moment, they suffer at its whim.
The indifferent nexus is their home, and the silken strands of the blue nowhere
wrap them in its virtual embrace. Through wires and cables they touch each
other, although they have never touched. Despite this bitter truth, and more deeply
and passionately than ever before, they love.
The day is yet another perfect embodiment of spring.
Bees in full hypnotic voice dance between the nodding blooms, and the air is
heavy with the promise of life. Blue sky stretches forever beyond her window
and a gentle breeze rustles amongst the leaves, but she sees none of this. He
is not here, and as it always is without him, her world is grey. Life surrounds
her, reminding her that she is alone. She draws further into herself, and
waits. The day lumbers forward, apathetic and without reason or purpose. He is
not here and she is merely waiting.
last twenty four hours I watched a young man with his cell phone document the
eviction and subsequent re-occupation of Zuccotti Park, site
of the original occupation of Wall Street. When I tuned in, he was just some
guy down there in the crowd, but by the time he signed out some twenty hours
later, exhausted and having not slept for two days, he was featured on the
front page of Time.com. They were also re-streaming his live feed to the world,
estimated at one point to be over 100,000 viewers. Such is the power of
Bloodshot eyes in a pale face stare back from the mirror. My head pounds., my shoulders are bunched and tense and I am weary. Sleep is a rare occurrence since I discovered the live streaming of the citizen's media, faithfully reporting to us from the heart of the Occupy movement. I am watching with countless others from around the globe, making my small contribution to the global consciousness in the only way that I can. I admire the passion of people for whom the time for impotent complaint via facebook and twitter is over, and the time for action begun.
It is easy to
dismiss the drum circles and the homeless in the impromptu tent cities as loons
or bums. It is easy to call students “dirty hippies” and tell them to “get a
job”. Tuning in to watch people sitting in a park, or seeing misguided college kids
who “want to get arrested, wooo!” was disheartening. I wanted to care. I wanted
to be moved, but I wasn’t. It’s easy to write those things off as pointless nonsense.
It isn’t so easy to ignore 30,000 people marching with candles across the Brooklyn Bridge. I watched, and I was moved.
waiting. It is always the waiting. I am lying here on my bed, staring at the
screen again; reading our words and smiling wistfully to myself. You are not
here, and so I simply imagine that you are. Here with me, laughing over
something silly. Here with me, ranting passionately about something that moves
us. Here with me, lying quietly together, listening to each other breathing
from thousands of miles away. I know that you would be here with me, if you
could be. We are always at the mercy of the cables and wires that connect us.
Tonight I did
something that always makes me laugh, cringe and cry. I read my old poetry. I’m
talking about twenty-odd years old, when I was a snivelling, teen to whom some
fool had given a pen and the mistaken belief that she could write. Yes, I was that teenager;
the one with the sulky face and the potentially harmful fascination with serial
killers. I even dyed my hair black. Today’s emo kids would be proud of my
futuristic trend-setting. Then again, they probably wouldn’t give a toss.
They’re too busy being sad and writing crappy poetry of their own.
magnifies everything and today has been difficult. We spent it quietly, all because
of the way it started. Before we even spoke I felt as though you didn’t care if
I was here or not. I felt as though you would rather be somewhere else, doing
something else, and at times, being with someone else. Dealing with feelings of
isolation is difficult, but when I can’t see you, or touch you or ask you for comfort,
it’s impossible. Today I was hurt and I wanted something from you to make me
feel better. You didn’t give it to me.
I am sitting at my desk; typing just to make it seem as
though I’m working. Really I’m just killing time before I have to go home.
Sometimes I wonder if there will ever be anything more to my life. I certainly
see where I am losing things. My son has finished school already, and whether
it seems like it right now or not, soon it will be time for him to start his
own life. He is my only real tie to this place, and once this most feared change
becomes reality, there is nothing left here for me.
sounds so pretty; like bells or digital wind chimes. Rarely do those chimes inspire
me to rise at all. This completely defeats their singular purpose, wouldn’t you
say? The snooze button is my best friend at seven thirty in the morning, and it
never seems to mind how thoroughly used it gets. It’s still my friend at eight
o’clock, but by eight thirty the friendship is wearing thin. By eight thirty
those lovely chimes admonish my laziness, and each press of that button brings
me ever closer to the brutal reality of my day. Just let me sleep.
She is so
accustomed to the sting that her face remains impassive, even as her nails dig yet
again into her pale skin. A single, scarlet bead forms at the site of her
assault, but she has already moved on to more fertile soil. This is mass
destruction. Though angry welts litter the landscape of her body, she is
undeterred. She searches for more. She cannot look at her naked flesh without ravishing
some bump or scar, no matter how small. She doesn’t feel the pain any more.
Instead, there is satisfaction. She is an exhausted mine; a ruined wilderness.
very emptiness you fill the space around you. Your rounded body fits with
perfection inside my warm embrace. I hold you against me with one hand around
your slender throat, and I feel your tendons stretch beneath my fingers. Your
voice resonates with the soft strum of my fingernails and I close my eyes to
listen to you sing. My fingers squeeze tightly around your neck, your curves are
pressed against me, and you sing for me in full, deep tones. Our voices synthesize,
harmonize. They tumble together and become more than just a girl and her