Inevitability Offers No Guarantee

As his lips found their way to hers, the anticipation inside him grew to an almost uncomfortable level. He felt his hands trembling as they caressed her thighs and their tongues intertwined. She wrapped her legs around his waist and the two bodies began to writhe. With her seated on the stool, he felt as if she were floating in his arms. He knew he was romanticizing the situation entirely too much, but he had been wanting this since he first saw her.

She didn’t know what she wanted and figured she wouldn’t remember it in the morning, anyway.

As it would turn out?

No such luck.

Her hands caressed the back of his head while she buried her face in his. She was used to attention from men but there was something different about him. He understood her. Accepted her. Perhaps even scared her a little. As much as she was losing herself, she retained the idea that this would not bloom into something she couldn’t control. Something she couldn’t understand. Yet, the alcohol thinned her blood and clouded her judgment. She couldn’t stop kissing him.

The music from the shitty stereo filled his eardrums. He found himself lost in her kiss. In his eyes, she was perfect. Stubborn, fun, gorgeous, and uninhibited. Liberated. Free. He longed to know how she saw him and thought he finally had his answer. It’s always so easy to be optimistic when you think you have what you want. What you think you need. He didn’t want to believe that this was just a passing moment, as so many moments before had been. Something resembling passion but always landing on the label of ‘mistake’. Whatever was happening, he wasn’t going to question it at the moment. His right hand slid up the length of her torso to the smooth skin of her face and his fingers began to slide through her auburn hair. He tried not to get too excited. He couldn’t let on how much he was enjoying this.

He had always been a bit of an over thinker and an over feeler. A weakness, he would call it. His heart beat faster. He could feel the rhythm pounding in his temples. He had her. She was in his arms. As much joy as this brought him, his mind could not wander away from the inevitability of losing her. Visions of all the lovers before her flashed before his eyes. The eyes which, were certain, had found everything that was ever missing from them…

…in her.

Yet, there is always some luster lost when acquiring the thing one yearns for the most. A dampening of image. A loss of innocence. Like that of a theory proven false.

A let down.

This fear drove him. He longed to know everything about her that she didn’t share on the surface. He loved finding out and knowing how things worked. To him, humans were a complex equation that he would never solve. He understood this fool’s errand and, yet, still proceeded in his attempt to get as close as he possibly could.

However, it was this fear that drove her away. She made it a habit to distance herself. The mere idea that the picture that she had in her mind could change so drastically made her uneasy. Never get too close. A mantra she had been practicing for over a year now. This night, she threw caution to the wind but not without hanging onto its tether wrapped around her wrist. She could never fully let go.

The headlights from cars passing by flickered against the wall of the dimly lit living room as he carried her to the couch. There are certain signs that a fellow can interpret as positive. Going from vertical to horizontal is one of these signs. The transition was fluid and smooth. She began to get more aggressive. Her lips pressed hard against his, he was finding it more difficult to contain his enthusiasm. She began kissing his neck and, as her mouth reached his earlobe, she whispered with a smirk:

‘This was bound to happen.’

He couldn’t answer. All he could do was immerse himself in her.

She didn’t know why she was escalating the situation. Maybe it was pity or maybe it was something more. Either way, she couldn’t let it continue. Her mind kept telling her to stop before it got out of control.

Her answer came when the mood was suddenly shattered by the thud of a closing bedroom door. A shadowy figure made its way to the kitchen to open the refrigerator. The light from inside the appliance threw itself all over the kitchen, managing to still obscure the person standing in front of it. The girl stayed on top of him and waved to the figure. The figure waved back and closed the fridge. She planted a sweet and tiny kiss on his lips, smiled, and asked ‘Cigarette?’ He nodded and shifted his weight to reach his pack. She got up and, without the warmth of her body, he was immediately affected by the cold chill of the house. Making their way outside, the two lit their cigarettes and sat down next to each other in the empty garage. Following them, the shadowy figure stepped through the door way and took a seat across the room underneath a bare light bulb.

The girl and the figure commenced in small talk as the boy just took slow drags from his cigarette, fading in and out of the conversation. He kept picturing the scene that he just left. Rewinding it and playing it over and over again inside his mind’s eye. Another drag of his cigarette as the other two laughed amongst themselves. The boy’s eyes wandered around the room to the various tools and automotive accessories around the garage. He tried not to stare at her. He’d dare not display his enchantment so openly, lest he seem needy or desperate.

Oh, how he hated playing games.

Another drag.

Finishing her smoke, the girl excused herself to visit the restroom and the boy was left in the gaze of the silhouette across the room. At first, they sat in silence. The figure staring at him as he kept his gaze on the aged oil stain on the concrete floor.
Abruptly, the shadow spoke .

‘So you like her?’

The boy nodded, defeated.

The figure shook its head and stood up. The bare light bulb then illuminated the face of a young girl no older than twenty two. Her dark blue hair shimmered under the bare light bulb. Extending her hand, the figure introduced herself. ‘Destiny.’ she said, ‘My name is Destiny.’ He stood and took her smooth, caramel-skinned hand. Throwing his cigarette butt to the ground, he exhaled his name through the last cloud of smoke. Skipping the pleasantries, Destiny’s voice became stern and urgent. Her sky blue eyes became ablaze in the dim light. ‘I see this kind of thing every week with so many pairs. They strive for the unattainable. You’re different, though. You know you’re wasting your time. If I were you, I’d chalk this up to a fond memory and move on. You’re not supposed to be with her.’ Destiny, eerily, continued speaking his thoughts. Repeating aloud after the voice inside his head. The thoughts that he did not want to pay attention to. The ideas he couldn’t bring himself to believe.

Yet, he did. He knew. The boy closed his eyes, chuckled, and told her not to worry. His hand slid into his jacket pocket and jingled his car keys just as the girl, almost on cue, stepped out into the garage. ‘Time to call it a night, folks.’ she said with a sigh. The boy nodded, smiled, and bid his farewells to the beautiful ladies. Lighting another cigarette, he turned the key in the ignition and began his journey home. The late night scenery seemed grayer than usual for November. His face was starting to lose feeling from the cold wind of the driver side window. Yet, he couldn’t help but smile. Something inside him still clung to the hope that what transpired on this night meant as much to her as it did to him. Too much of him, however, knew better. He was always an emotional one and never skilled at reading people. Especially those of the fairer sex. Turning up the radio, he decided that he would be grateful for the experience and do his best to keep it at that.

The next morning, as expected, he awoke to his ringing cell phone. Before he even answered the phone he knew what was going to be said and he made his peace with it. Just as he’d done every single time before.

The boy’s skin was getting far too tough. He wondered how long it would be until he couldn’t feel or trust anything anymore. He knew he would find out soon enough. With a groggy and heavy sigh, he picked up the handset and accepted the call.


Burning Doors

I’ve come to see that living this life
Comes complete with a revolving door
For folks to come and go as they please.
It’s the ones that linger inside for a while
The ones that we don’t want to see go
They gain a sense of power and influence
The longer they stay.

They stand in the lobby
Browsing through pamphlet literature
To see if they’d like anything about
The establishment.

They build up your hopes
That they may become a permanent fixture
Only to turn their curious smile into a disgusted frown
Wad up everything they know about you
Throw it away
And walk out.

The door keeps spinning after they’re long gone
And there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

For you are just the glass:

Frozen in place and broken far too easily.


Something to Live For

*NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR*
This is a work of complete fiction and a ‘stream of consciousness’ exercise at that.
Thanks, -J

It was a Saturday evening when I decided that going to a bar would be a healthy idea for someone in my situation. I lit a cigarette, turned the ignition, and let out a sigh that would squeeze sympathy from the Devil, himself. As the traffic lights whizzed above my head, colours ceased to exist as everything blurred into white. The daze did not cease as I meandered up to the door of the bar. The knob was sticky, most likely from vomit, blood, or worse. Don’t forget to wash hands, I remember thinking to myself. It’s always funny walking into a crowded establishment. With so many eyes in one place, it’s hard to abolish the thought that none of them are on you. I sipped my whiskey, straight, and drummed my fingers on the bar. Abruptly, I felt a smooth hand graze the back of my neck. One would think that my decision to venture out of my solitude had now taken a turn for the better. Her name was Melody and I could venture a guess that it was because of her voice. Smooth and breathy with such a warm tone. It was as if she was speaking to me with a musical instrument. She approached me as if she were waiting for me. Perhaps she was, in some form or fashion. I wish I could blame my lapse of judgment on the alcohol but, truth be told, I didn’t even finish my first drink. Melody caressed my leg as I drove. The traffic lights and the world around us still but a blur of white. Our lips never touching, we indulged each other. My perpetual daze detached me from reality, but it was hard to tune Melody out. I was thankful for the chance to focus on something beautiful. I sit here now, smiling in the sunshine, as I play with my daughter and I can’t help but think of the second and last time I encountered the maiden with the musical voice. I didn’t even catch a glimpse of her the day she left that fateful and cliched basket on my front porch. It was four years to the day that Melody rang my doorbell. The angel had fallen from grace. Her once porcelain skin had turned to chalk and her luscious strawberry blonde hair was now a used mop in desperate need of being rung out. She had two black eyes and, what appeared to be, a broken nose. My heart sank a little when I saw her. She asked me how ‘she’ was. I smiled, not because I was touched for her concern, but out of amusement that Melody had no way of knowing my daughter’s name. My daughter. I tossed her my last pack of cigarettes and told her that my little girl more than made up for the two hundred bucks she stole from my dresser drawer. I could see her face collide with her cupped hands as the door swung shut. Life is funny. Not funny in a coincidental way but more like a good practical joke. It makes you reveal a part of yourself that you want to keep hidden from the rest of humanity. It makes you regret every step you take until you turn around and look at how every thing has played out. I look at my little girl and she smiles at me. She has Melody’s smile. I’m surprisingly thankful for this. In a way, I’ll always be thankful. The grass my daughter runs on is a vibrant green and the sky above us royal blue. I see colours in a way that I had never thought I could: through the eyes of a child. I ventured out that night to find something to live for and I have that now…

…I named her Harmony.


A Hero’s Chorus

A hero strives for good intent
Yet seems to make things worse.
I am not he, for I am selfish
To believe that it’s bad enough.
[help]
Meddling in affairs of those
Who’d sooner have me shot
Than offer any kind of comfort.
I feel so unaccomplished.
[alone]
Leaving the stubborn to their riches
And vaults full of sins that
They try to lock away;
“Forget you have the key” they say.
[vanish]
Ejected, I wake in a gutter
On a dimly lit street. I’m prodded
To move over and make room,
Then asked to spare some change…
[hopeless]
…all in a days work.


Daydreams of the Night Scene

Welcome back to my daydreams

The bloodshot imagination killing my afternoon

As your picture brushes aside the obscene

And fills my head with beautiful tunes

My ears have longed to hear you sing

Notes that strike bells within my head

Corner to corner and wall to wall they ring

Just to open my eyes in a lonely bed

Pick a key and find your niche

Such radiance in your lovely pitch

A song to raise the spirits of the damned

To warm the heart of the coldest man

Through the crowd I watched your eyes

Knowing they were never meant for me

Locked in my head, I still hung on each word

As if your voice could set me free

Into the night I wander the streets

Eyes to feet and black concrete

Step by step I can plainly hear

A soft ‘goodbye’ whistle past my ear


High Floods

It starts with wet spotted concrete
As the weather begins to turn
When the cold sinks into your skin
Soon we’ll be up to our ears in water

The sky becomes grey
As it’s tears begin to fall
Like the storm that comes to take us
We find comfort in our turbulence

Reaching to the depths
Of what keeps us going
Wading through the flood
Trying to rise above the tide

Soon we’re swimming
Noses above the surface
Gasping for breath and
Flailing to stay afloat

The struggle begins to seem futile
As the rain shows no sign of relent
At times we think it’d be easier
To just relax and let ourselves sink

Yet we do not yield
Bodies freezing and muscles burning
We press forward with new strength
For we know there is something to fight for

Though we are blind to the fruits of our floods
The storm will pass, the sun will rise again
And anxious, are we, to gaze upon
What the steam has to reveal


Rejuvenate

As the night sky catches fire

Witness, ablaze, the celestial mountain range

Breathe in the air of the fresh new day

Warmed by the newly woken sun

Wide eyes gaze upon the landscape

Which explodes with majestic colour

The cold musk of the night washes away

Replaced by the fragrance of dawn

Haunting lunar nightmares

Are floating away with the fog

Wrapped in the comfort of renaissance

Icy emotions begin to thaw

The sun rises higher

The hours pass on

Lovely radiance will fade

Nightfall returns when the beauty is gone

No man or beast can ever escape

The burdens each sunset leaves

Heavy hearted eyelids close

Fighting to put away the day

Know that with each new morning

Everything begins anew

But take into each sunrise

The beauty that is brought to you


A Desolate Stroll

A muse, transparent
In any shade or light.
Only painting pictures
Of what’s in his mind.

Underneath his dead skin
Lay porcelain and broken glass.
Soft to the touch, yet beware!
Those who might pull it back.

Strands of hair
Fall across his eyes,
To conceal the weathered grey
That they have turned over time.

Kicking the dust as he walks across a dying land.
What was once a wondrous field is now naught but sand.
Extending an arm to catch a breeze in his hand,
Step after step, heels longing for soft grass.

His bloody soles leaving tracks,
While the sweat rolls down his back.
As skin begins to dry and crack,
He looks to the sky; prays for pitch black.

Remembering the roses that once flourished here
And how beautiful they looked behind her ear.
Yet those pedals have since wilted and died,
Now just a memory to which he clings tight.

Dragging his bare feet, the boy continues on.
Always pressing forward, though everything is gone.
Inside he burns alive but does not let it show,
For he knows the rest of his days will be spent…
…walking alone…


Spilled Red Wine

Here I am in my room again
Pouring another glass of wine:

“Why not, after so many,
Drink it from the bottle?”
Because, of course,
That would be improper!

“But who here would judge you,
Save the photos on the wall?
In fact, even if there were folks here,
Why should you care at all?
So! Sip your wine,
As if you were dignified,
When hiding under the mask
Lies the face of a swine!
No! Swallow that wine!
As if it were your last time
And never think twice
Of those who think unkind!”

Lying on the floor
Clenching the bottle of wine,
My mind tends to wander
With so much free time.
My emotions dulled,
I am numb in all senses.
For the softest of skin
Offers little protection.
So here I cry,
With drunken alliby,
The voices in my head
Be the only friend of mine:

“Is it a surprise
That you feel no better?
Or are you content in your misery
With yourself, the tormentor?
Some drink to forget,
Yet they always recall.
Some drink to have fun,
If they can remember at all.
Others drink to feel happy,
But that fades away in time.
Some confuse it with living,
Though it’s a quicker way to die.
No matter what the cause,
You know your reason why.
The choice is all yours
To accept or deny…”

Into a dream, I fall,
While being wide awake.
Seeing the faces of those
I long to forsake.
The faces of pain and
Portraits of sorrow,
The faces that will be waiting
If there be a tomorrow.
My conscience speaks to me
One final time.
I listen, intently,
Drinking the last of the wine:

“Thinking of them
Will not bring you peace!
Let go of the faces
And put your mind at ease!
You know you cannot change
What has already been written
Just like it won’t save you
To keep yourself hidden.
Is this what you want
Your life to become?
Bloody red stains on your shirt
Sitting next to the gun?
Drink to your health, my friend,
For you do still have that.
Boy, let this be a lesson
As your eyes fade to black…”


The One Thing that Brings Us Both Together is the Fact that We Are.

Act I:

She gazes towards the window,

Soaring high overhead,

Closes her eyes and takes a sip

To drown the tears she sheds.

He sits in darkness,

Seeing only the embers of lit cigarettes.

Opens his eyes as he takes a drag and

Keeps fighting to forget.

Day to day they live,

Night after night they die.

Regret not the scar tissue,

[Hold your] Chin up! [and] Walk that line!

Another night…wasted,

Finding herself in all the wrong places.

One more day gone, yet still she stays strong

Despite the looks on people’s faces.

“Hello, self-abuse!” He greets with a smile,

The type that looks like its hurt for awhile.

Avoiding the mirror, for it is all too clear

To him that his confidence is a lie.

Always finding the wrong

When they do nothing right.

Dealing with existence

By blurring their sight…

Act II:

What makes a pair so jaded?

Naught but a tax on life and they’ve certainly paid it.

Looking back, now, on innocence faded

To living in the present heavily sedated:

Sheltered, in his youth, inside protected walls.

Until the day the queen, who guarded him…falls.

A harlot then caught the eye of the king and

The stage was set; the castle crumbling.

Forced into maturity,

Into leaving all he had known,

Or being a prince left for dead

In a kingdom overthrown.

Rubble and trash replace the home that he knew.

So he turned his back and clenched his heart,

Now growing black and bruised.

Here began his journey towards a life making sense,

Though in his head he was certain

He would only find the end.

Instead of biting a silver barrel

To rid himself of these woes,

He sucks them in and blows them out

With a thick cloud of smoke…

Act III:

As for the fair maiden?

She took her troubles in stride.

Never thinking adolescence

Could die before its time.

A product of dysfunction,

Held captive by circumstance,

She had to flee without looking back

Or risk losing her chance.

Having no fear, she stepped into the world,

But growing up fast was never easy on the girl.

All alone and out on her own,

She longed for a place to call a home.

Yet she remains positive, nevermind the pessimistic view

Smiles and waves to the past, calmly bidding adieu.

In celebration or desperation, she turns the bottle up

Trying hard not to notice her half-empty cup.

Act IV:

Their young hearts have calloused over time.

Enduring this life certainly has its price.

But something changes on a random night

When their stories, and eyes, become intertwined:

Nothing to lose, nothing to gain.

Spending hours together, feeling no pain.

Something familiar in these eyes of perfect strangers…

Such disillusion covered in good nature.

She comes from hardship,

He hails from tragedy,

Replacing a substance with these moments

Seems to distract the agony.

The curiousity she displays

Leads his insecurities astray.

Seeing her breath, the spring night becomes colder.

With each word she breathes drawing him closer.

The cold is no match for a bright red sun

When the clouds part to reveal its face.

The two pay no mind to the change in weather

In sweet slumber and warm embrace.

Act V:

If the world were as perfect

As the children’s tales we’ve read,

A warm sense of closure might come and

This is where the story would end.

Alas, it is never so easy.

The warm feelings fade and leave you freezing.

No one walks into the sunset, happily ever after.

There is only built up hopes to eventual disaster.

More days bleed together.

Quiet nights pass into weeks.

His smile is disappearing

Longing to hear her speak.

All he has now is the memory of her lips,

Comforting and gentle, pressed against his.

Distressed, he detaches himself once more

While a familiar face knocks on the door…

Act VI:

This is not the face of oppurtunity.

It brings no good tidings or joy.

A cold and callous creature

Comes to torment the boy.

Distinguised by its sharpened teeth and

The smell of blood that soaks its chin:

A demon well-suited and known

For eating hopes with an evil grin.

He feels its presence returning,

His antagonistic beast.

Only this time the roles are reversed

For it is HIM on the leash.

Unwillingly, his company is changed

From blinding beauty to indescribable pain.

This is how he knows the world to work:

All he touches turns to dirt.

KNOCK! KNOCK!! KNOCK!!!

His visitor grows impatient!

The pounding is frightening! Maddening!!

He screams in frustration!!!

Suddenly something inside snaps

And the mirror doesn’t look so bad.

As the monster still beats on his wall,

He raises his voice: “I won’t answer your call!”

“Go away, self-abuse!” He yells with a finger,

“You’re uninvited and I won’t let you linger!”

Clenching his fists, he stands straight and tall

Finding self-worth, which was there all along…


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