Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tell Me Something

Tell me the truth dear. Tell me how it came to be, that you and I find ourselves, here. Where the illusions crumble and the masks disappear. Where your words are the ropes that will bind me, and your smiles the demons I fear. Tell me why I push you away, when all I want is to keep you near? Tell me why we're all so fucked up, and only seem to get worse, year after year. Tell me something real, love. Something you've held back from every other ear. Tell me the secrets to your garden and what lies in the hinterlands of your soul, beyond who you seem to be and how you choose to appear. Tell me why you say you love me, when I'm everything that you should fear? Tell me why a walk in the park with you, might as well be my life's one true quest, my holy mission into a lawless frontier. If you were a religion, I couldn't be your priest, or your prayer. I'd be the one living in a forest or a cave, a half crazed fakir. Singing songs no one understood and only the birds would ever hear. Writing sacred words with a faithless pen, building stone boats off a desert pier. I thought I was strong. I thought I had it all figured out. Then you smiled and it hit me, that I had never known what any of it was ever about. I thought I had heard it all before, the great songs, the heavenly dances, the speeches from the classics, so pure they would make my ears sing. Now look at me, stumbling with my own name, playing court jester to little men, a filthy squire to a rodent king. I got lost in these streets, with no one looking to find me. Then I ran into you, and took leave of all my other senses, thank you ever so kindly.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Most of the Time

Most of the time
I'm pretty sorted and content
Most of the time
My time walks by well-spent
I follow my dreams
I don't wait for signs
Stay right with it
As the road unwinds
Most of time
I go through the day smiling
Widely, often and true
Even on cloudy days and gray
My heart stays shining
Most of the time
I love all of mankind
Clasp hands and hug friends
Sit sipping on wine
Most of time
I wouldn't change it if I could
When I can't remember her name
and I can believe this lie
I tell myself to smile
after I swallow the pain
Most of time
I can deal with anything I face
Most of time
I can do wharever it takes
Write songs to goddesses
Who couldn't possibly exist
To get my mind away
And set my soul adrift
Most of the time
She ain't even in my mind
Most of the time
I need to remind myself
Forget the snow and that night
As I walked up those steps
To her and her smile
Shining down on me brighter
Than the white lamplight
Most of the time

(inspired not-so-subliminally by my favorite Bob Dylan song, which played on repeat through the evening. Don't ask me why because I can listen to a song I like for hours. I'm obsessive like that)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another excerpt from "Untitled"

Damn, but this should have been the perfect night. She was laughing at one of his jokes when he thought this. Dressed in a white dress, soft as the light in her eyes, soft as the smile on his face as he watched her, not nearly as soft as her hand was on his knee. If there were words to describe what she was to him, he didn't know them. Save to say that she was beautiful, and to him, she was the most beautiful of them all. Suffice to say that.

The restaurant they were in was lit far too brightly for his taste, but they were in a quiet, comfortably shadowed corner. Their oft-filled glasses of wine half-empty before them, their plates of food eaten and pushed aside. The food was only a pretext for why they were here. If only they could admit that to each other. But then who among us ever does? The buzz of the room, the harsh laughter from some corners, the raucous conversation from others, the clink of glasses, the hiss of the open kitchen behind her, all these sounds served only to isolate them in their corner. Like a cocoon protecting them from the people they were outside this night, enclosing only how they felt about each other. Or at least, that was the fantasy he comforted himself with, the fool.

He listened to her laughter peal through the air between them, as he swallowed down his sadness with another swallow of wine. She came down to a giggle and then a smile and then told him again how she was thinking of settling down. At first all he felt was a curious sensation of falling, as if the floor beneath him was riven with cracks and moments from caving under him. He reached out to grip the edge of the table and took a breath followed by some more wine, which didn't help the vertigo, at all. That's when the anger and the lust and the jealousy swept back in.

"I don't know, I'm just tired of fighting it, I think. I'm tired of running. I think I just need to get it over with already."

She didn't meet his eyes once when she said this, despite the smile on her face.

"He's a really sweet guy, and he's persistent. I mean, he's not the kind of guy I would normally...I mean he's not my type. But then I've always dumped the guys I thought were my type. Maybe, I don't know, maybe it's time for me to just stop running."

He smiled at the waiters passing. He smiled at the idea that while they thought here sat a lucky lucky man, here actually sat an idiot having his heart broken, by the same girl, again. He smiled back, forcing all the male wink-wink bravado he could into the smile.

"What do you think?" she asked, false innocence in her eyes, and a tremulous smile on her lips.

What could he say? Don't do it. Think about your happiness. Think about mine. He's not your type. You don't love him. You've never loved me. He pursued you for two months. I've loved you for a decade. What could he say?

"Oh wow! That's great news!"

He almost laughed at how insincere that sounded. And she did laugh because of the pained look on his face he was trying to cover with a smile. The games we play, they both thought as they ordered more wine. This was followed by some silent staring at each other. Each trying to say everything and nothing with their eyes, caught between ideas of who they were, to each other, to themselves, and to the people who knew them. Caught between all the years they had spent circling each other unsuccessfully and the undeniable magic of their quiet corner on this night.

Why couldn't they be honest? Why couldn't she break his heart a final time and let him get over her once and for all? Why couldn't he find it in himself to reach across and draw her to him, and show her how he felt? Why couldn't he get up and walk away and say "Why did you agree to meet me for dinner if you were going to tell me about this other guy, when you know how I feel about you?" But then again, what did he feel for her? Really? Was it love or simply the result of ten years of longing and unrequited desire? Why did his heart soar when she told him that she had thought often about the idea of the two of them together? Why did she tell him that at all? To see if he would finally draw the courage and claim her lips for his own, or to see if she could still break a piece of his heart so easily?

This should have been a perfect night, between these two fools. But there they sat, going through the motions of eating and drinking and laughing, while the truths that guided them to this shadowed recess in a bright room went unspoken and unclaimed. He wondered if it was the result of the games people his generation played with each other and with themselves that left so many of them alone and lonely and sad. How much easier could it be, than to have the woman of a decade's worth of dreams sit across from him, and smile at him like only she could? How much easier could it be than to have her close enough that every movement of his brushed against her skin, every laugh ended with a touch?

The rest of the night went fast. Or at least he felt it move swiftly. Because all that was in his mind was this girl, telling him about another man that wasn't him, and that she was tired of running. All that he wanted to say perhaps, all that he could have said, he throttled mercilessly under the palms of his once-again wounded pride. He had loved her and he had told her so. That was all he could do. If she couldn't see that, more fool her.

And there she sat, watching him wilt again. All that she had hoped he might say, once again repressed and locked away. Buried under the familiar humor and sarcastic quips, false bravado and paying of the bill. He was still that same boy, she thought. Nothing's changed and nothing will. Was there sadness in her smile as they rose to leave or was it just a trick of the light? Was that the stirrings of love when she looked at him from the corner of her eyes or merely the regret of what he had never been able to become for her?

Who knows? Certainly not the two of them. Look at them go. The perfect pair, walking so close to each other, unaware of the oceans of regret yet to swell beneath them. Learn from them. But who amongst us ever does? Fools we all are...