love apple like time know feel heart bed little life home red boy georgie sleep away left dear ruth gone just right long mind hope hair mi parts say fear met laugh makes sailing make tell hands day poem different small words private wish legs child man free te welcome easy apples meteorite smile flower want way arms look eyes better war lie good thing truly teeth passion thought work seen letters friend talk brought future fingers knew imagination sure told space cold la mask black big bite age size shadow petals inane stretchmarks medic we've wouldn't hear tap really best goes face gray maybe things dream tongue forever hate set room death need truth comes night lost calves pain end years brings touch feet blades memories new core times dead favorite finally minute brain hearts getting belly far rain blue knees filled stupid woke cream fit young brown se fat tan cough spoke says unlike footprints fucked rough forward buckle blues task shoulder grace breasts reason nostrils firm juice palms someday mis thumbs screams arguments wobble balls elbows nipples wrists headaches amo pesky ligaments one-liners thoughts later ash clouds lips dreams breath mouth hold sense taking world bit speak dance gave shall ready skin air single breathe button peace choices hill wrong weak close use quite sky phrase darkness justice sound unable brave holding deep grabbed shit try building paper lunch think kind stay days smooth perfect learned care fair hard grant sweet high fruit short terms kept relationship underneath presence water looking fool sorrow tree second delicate nearly happy line tall tried sad satisfied point feels falling purpose game lazy que amor agree known naught loss broke failed games limp grin final spring act south flare race sake car large wishes neck blink knife seeing idea steve company greens spread ship lo sally sum drowned december weep sting smiles lessons promises successful whistled drowns perfectly pleasing failure brothers cliche harder thirteen ale signs limit serenity mundane origin chat sapphires handshakes skinny contagious succeeding super refer maturity destination civil uncomfortable collects clack liz beatles vez attract accomplishment backside throes flaccid audi oneself beastie applesauce naivete bungalow outie there's couldn't isn't they're let's 'n primos primas cantuta fronton redd's mott's innie phallicly tiny fight yo para walk damn hello light flash silent stone does forth conversation polite green minutes fuck clear flesh couple wake anger throw torn tangle play shattered soldier land victim carry battlefield came darkest blood battle warm shine reminds lose eye dismay hide impossible fast earth grab stand die worse year people white story hit god anxiety realize fall asleep dark course apart morning remain beauty kill slowly start happen remember pray past easily straight mean hand driving instant thunder messages friends old coming pen seeds shape wasted word living tore shadows knowing bad class joy trust leaves path sun ways leave meet broken head weight means mountain boys true stars learn sliced naive decided player actually reality ease music hood desperate promise wishing begin miss caressing moan thighs heard pretty emotion figure floor exotic sand hits angel awake dreaming probably wins seek stretch loved tears heartbreak punk walking piece furniture unreachable roots near deserve simple cats tail precious lovers loves mother tongues clueless share taken yesterday faith freedom ripe cursed running yes unknown feeling going stairs opposite wonder afloat packed bones acting playing wind passions dismissed hourglass reached stares mouths singing shaped trapped toll dies rock trunk discovered especially dull choice awful patient great indoors attached thread shoulders warms bright bring ending drowning sadness winter baby looked cute beating tight kids crying ran intoxicating growing saying opposites melancholy gives follow clearly dove tu soon entwined juicy drown laid took moved bear anyways shirt negative clean guide sore location faux nodded glance caught chances week started today obvious sweat ass quiet laughed worry round ladies mama smack goodbye rising sides wished beds infinite positive scared admittedly mistakes meal common rises toes bullets bound suited birth clothes belt pounds ground barren sitting table woe swimming stick deepest motion cleared sing angry action sons smiled bedroom wall wiped grins mad july store road snow pulse important adventure exactly foundation trap colors floors neon outside language summer north fifty served wavy kick raw thirty row changed hanging lied drenched companion begins strength flies direction okay stories inky stubborn cloud track described lover replaced pit packs circling honest wage dinner slave paradox faking screamed lightning exterior stopping complete deal rifle dependent gifts dancer vision students horror punch anymore pack sagging folk honestly tearing prepared creatures listening rhythm unique roar card glass stage desert offered fought suffer awoke master eating furnace glad choir graceful erect treasure ships bark musical strand bee finished pink slink stronger disclose gravity schedule march medicine hates weird brush laughs helped june pitched dumped tense sin withdrawn stem proved whispered anew amazing louder english knocked chilly boots false mistake toffee whistle smirk gas poised buttons bet necks elate vi bleak decades intention plane swollen unseemly en sir creeping tells success doth sex balance ant fourth fits matters pan shook tingle dusty reaching thanked careers pile tempt ix xi xii xiii moms hushed spears twinkling works fairytale double fighter shocked barriers boot thanks solitary lesson owned systems groan weekend tomatoes cider calculating drawer partially handy stumpy album appealing pet unfortunately jokingly hotel teacher tag eighteen leg dash peep betwixt swear attempt inescapable venues worker suit coughed remembers rhyme listed chatter stuff assist blocks sheen stanzas jobs cleaned handshake natural moi fantasy cheers smaller curl nay leaning frequent eggs cuando el desayuno tus beige imperfections difficult darlings overcome oranges keys newfound fairly occasions stats ponder pools ablaze rushes fret quell breads progress comfortable settling desks tile trails rainy homemade stunned cemetery plus ideas avocados bananas apply latch rocky digress experiences vacation sanctuary earlier rocket precise various author pie explosions screwed lighter matched plunged isaac jefferson abe measured saturday claw welcoming gear trained suffocation leapt gap lee disturbed es thrill alarming grill frankly importantly una fray candied amalgamation nasty american optimism guns craters contracted rampant unattainable spilled courts carrots shuffled combined blonde forgave artillery sandwich comfier limitation personalities friday strongly crude banana tennis limits quaking recesses loot andromeda shells playful luckily area upwards flail largest sappy freckles biology fruition cases overtook pinks instruments brownies birthmark reinforce laptop pirates blinks frontier forwards resonate capacity mumbled marched scraping prompts multiply haiku football como function unfeeling eighty backsides prompt raced blare likewise pro chrome gran pears puede corazon elated indecisive basketball burgundy synonyms braced effeminate mutually duties companies honeymoon flailing patted mayo headon pero misma marveled aforementioned abhors forefront hesitating identical creepy possessive screeched gotcha infidelity friction barrage nonetheless disparate itchy apex gettysburg lunchtime pickup muchas then and trading distinguishable pitches bunk ven ladylike encompasses diagrams underlying spaghetti soccer trashcan papa disarming finalmente clashed rosie smirks snapshot pug songbird spitfire yanks thankfully mesa flexing virginia effectively variations eclipses tambien outrun incident vitamin willpower underdog hardboiled miniscule checkerboard entrust siento heavyweight davis thyroid foreshadowing frances heresy starburst deficiency sawing peruvian leche antithesis villanelle alliteration hora vivir clacking droopy whizzed britney futbol parameters disney mangos disproportionate orbiting tanka stubby intro listo goldilocks teamwork pbj exemplifies rey retainer tenia triples espanol estuvo castillo ferrying suficiente racecar dorky garganta veo julio peripherals labios rojos foreseeable frito groggily venn macbook inanely hubo goofball you've she's weren't wasn't we're others' you'll should've haven't what's you'd they'd man's boys' god's woman's fruit's orion's newton's lincoln's adam's momma's gringo jackson's audis dulces disproportionately charon's deseos avocadoes hailey eran beatles' ingles he she it rackets -- hashtag sixty-three duct-tape joysticks sherman's 15 6th 32 500 7th 2013 extraño barenaked tamales 6-year-old tierras derpy ewell rom-com themit's adan mudpits puddlepits war--hell culp's shitpits completaron chocolatada levantanse duraznos n'sync huevo cholitos levantaron manzanas endurece wozniak's dispara nuez open-endedness innies cankles dunder-mifflin tunks buck-toothed outies grief-blown a-gawking
You bought me sunflowers last Saturday
because you like the yellow orchestra we can
listen to, but you do not have to direct.
It plays a private concert only for you.
I play a few notes here and there too,
but nothing can compare to sunflowers.
I compare lots of things to
like your eyes.
You do something to my insides
I cannot explain
in a metaphor to flowers.
You planted a gilded seed.
It grew faster than any weed;
more delicious than homemade irish mead.
Sun shining, birds chirping, children playing-
all of this-
sounds like life’s decaying
because you’re not next to me.
You make oxygen more than a box on the periodic table.
I’m not suggesting I’m unable
to perform tasks without you.
I’m used to ashes in my coffee cup.
Your presence seems to open up
You set ablaze the sun’s powers.
I could go on like this for hours
about the love you built;
iridescent solid sunflowers
Its my body, my money, its up to me what I do with it.
But everyone else is wearing it.
I cant help the way I feel.
DMs purple with pink laces
school skirt altered in the textile lab 3" shorter
hormones racing, zipping, vibrating, fizzing till the top pops
stairs made for stomping and storming
cackling laughter crackling down the telephone wire
clothes left on the bedroom floor abandoned for a girl crisis.
You cant read my mind
read my lips
read my body
read my journal sandwiched between the midriff covering cottons gran bought for Christmas and the skimpy lace thong I'd be grounded for buying
Mother's mattress sanitary towels tossed aside
for shamefully purchased tampons
and time has passed
and masks have fallen
and I find you there in the muck and the mire
and dust you off
I see your face - all mothers lipstick and glittering pink eye shadow
and the smile that stores secrets in a treasure chest.
Your legs shake like Bambi's but you get to your feet
and nestle yourself into me warmly, strongly until you fall right into me
and you run and you run and you run and you run and you run
right through my veins
giggles throbbing through my pulse
pajama parties and homemade perfume radiating in my eyes
and there you are
and there I am.
The butterflies have since moved, not migrated, but moved.
No trips planned ahead nor any reason to return.
Inside, the battle rages on:
To love, to forgive, or to forget?
Outside, experiences fill voids.
Like a Band-Aid on an open wound:
Love is a powerful tool.
Hatred is a powerful tool.
Indifference may be the most powerful.
That internal skirmish ceases and the external
emotional trips drift further and further away from that lonely island.
The move has been dramatic, yet necessary now.
At the start, it was a city;
Full of life and people and things to do.
Then the suburbs, less people, less things to do.
Next was the island: alone and isolated, but tranquility.
The homemade raft sets sail for a new destination.
Will it arrive in a bustling city port?
Or arrive at a small dock along a river?
The snake sheds it skin to begin anew.
Forget the genie and make your own bottle,
Write your own message,
And write your own history.
when he looks at a woman he searches for qualities that attract him because he wants to desire her yet this tendency creates an imbalance or disadvantage he is rendered weak to a woman’s beauty or whatever traits he idealizes self-realizing this propensity he looks away from women years of disappointment neglect change him he becomes afraid of women gynophobic
when she looks at a man she searches for qualities she is critical of because she wants to be impervious to his power she is suspicious of all men their upper body strength penchant to be in control misperception of women as property misogyny emotional immaturity neediness to be mommyed selfishness insensitivity or over-sensitivity depending she wants to be treated with equal respect a loving nurturing relationship she is suspicious of all people their alternate realities passive aggressive behavior co-dependence craziness
he sees her then looks away she suspiciously notices nothing happens they go back to their separate homes alone always home alone grown calm in resignation yet disbelieving of this destiny saddened by this fate both worry about future she looks at her face naked body in mirror her stomach churns feels sad sickening remembers time when she was more carefree he puts one foot in front of other then walks tries to remember who taught him to walk how many times did he fall who taught him to laugh where did his sense of humor go
he sees her thinks she is lovely resists the urge to turn away he smiles says hello she notices nervously smiles her shaky voice articulates louder than a whisper hi
they are standing in line at a café on 4th avenue he is directly behind her she is lanky wearing white background faded colors patterned summer dress thin straps over bare shoulders long brown hair few gray strands small unfinished tattoo on left calf leather slip-ons 1 inch heals he is at a complete loss for words thinks to make remark about the weather decides not to overhead fan stirs hot humid July air barista girl asks what she would like her eyes scan blackboard menu behind counter she hesitates remarks help him i need an extra moment to decide he steps up to counter money in hand orders small to go Arnold Palmer half black current lays $3 on counter mentions change goes in tip jar thank you barista girl moves fast he lifts cup from counter glances at woman still deciding then at barista girl says have a wonderful day turns walks out door dawns on him woman grows hair under her arms his 2nd most compelling female physique adornment fetish oh god he thinks to himself should i wait for her to make up her mind then approach try to craft conversation at least find out her name no i’m too weak in this moment she is so lovely let her go
she orders double Americana in small cup to go room for soy milk thinks to herself he did greet her perhaps their paths will cross on street why did he run off so fast she glances toward front of café notices window seat changes her mind instructs barista girl on 2nd thought make it for here digs through purse realizes she left wallet in truck explains to barista girl she needs to run out to her vehicle to retrieve wallet forgotten under front seat the air on the street is heavy dense she smells her own perspiration looks north then south does not see him walks to truck feels exhausted appetiteless almost nauseous wishes she did not order a drink thinks to get behind wheel drive home go to sleep
Tucson 3-step tango
she feels disappointment by her recent writings as if she is reaching a more sophisticated audience and setting a higher standard for her work yet she is not living up to her ambitions her recent writings smell of her past writings too emotional the damaged woman wounded child she wants to write more introspectively with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence she slams her laptop shut decides to go to Club Congress for a bloody mary or margarita but Club Congress is haunted with small town cretins losers wannabes she considers Maynard’s decides Maynard’s is too safe suburban yuppyish finally gives in to thought of glass of pinot noir at Plush next comes what to wear jeans in mid-July desert heat is unacceptable perhaps loose fitting thin cotton white summer dress thin leather belt ankle high indian moccasins hair in ponytail no pigtail braids no ponytail no makeup maybe little ylang ylang oil no she thinks about her recent writings
i am one breath away from crying in every moment one breath away from flying m.i.a. in every moment one breath away from destroying everything there is beauty in ugliness beauty in decrepitude disease beauty in harm hurt suffering beauty in greed injustice betrayal beauty in corruption contamination pollution beauty in hate cruelty ignorance beauty in death we spend our whole lives searching for a good death we spend our whole lives searching for eternal love this modern world is too much for me over my head the horrors of this place are beyond words unspeakable voice inside maybe mom yells quit your whining or dad hollers stop complaining i am trying to smile through tears one breath away from giving in one breath away from becoming stranger to myself winter spring winter spring there is beauty in nothingness we spend our whole lives searching for ourselves learning who we are not finding grasping secrets from dark paths light trails winter spring winter spring i am one breath away
she sits alone at bar at Plush glass of pinot noir glass of ice water in front of her 2 bearded older men eye her from other end of bar she ignores them glances at her wristwatch tries to look like she is waiting for someone music from speakers antiquated rock standard it is early friday hours from dusk moderate middle aged crowd mingle wait for local jazz trio to begin she thinks about her recent writings wonders is it too late for love considers lesbian affair from 5 different perspectives 5 woman’s voices each describing same lesbian affair in 5 opposing accounts hmmm she sips dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water she considers a story about a gang of female bikers who ride south to Mexico
the Americans came through here last night crossing border illegally climbing over our fences digging tunnels beneath our barrier walls littering along their trail they travel in packs of every skin color carry guns knives explosives wear leather boots some are shirtless tattoos dyed hair mischievously smiling conceitedly stealing when in question murdering they rob our homes slaughter our chickens ransack gardens loot our harvest you can still smell the stink of their fast food breaths
she swallows the last dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water local jazz trio begins to play as bar fills with more people she decides to walk home one foot in front of other wonders who taught her how to walk how many times did she fall she laughs to herself
Tucson square dance
TPD 10-18 unconfirmed data report
7 post-University of Arizona female graduates go to Cactus Moon for several drinks and dancing then drive to Bashful Bandit for more drinks and dancing 2 women get into scuffle victim Brittany Garner female 23 years of age race #5 (Native American, Eskimo, Middle -Eastern, Other) 5’ 2” long black hair cut-off blue jean shorts clingy light blue top falls hits head on side of bar dies of fatal blow to skull forensics report crushed occipital lobe assailant Stacy Won female 31 years of age race #4 (Asian) 5’6” black jeans black leather jacket red helmet Honda motorcycle still at large
Jess Delaney female 33 years of age race #2 (White) 6’ tight black pencil skirt white sleeveless undershirt no bra 3” heels blond ponytail “that squirting little slut deserves everything she got she lied told Stacy i’m a whore i never cheated on Brittany i don’t understand we were all having a good time getting buzzed and dancing we should never have left Cactus Moon damn Kerrie thought some biker dude might be hanging around the Bandit hell maybe the Bandit was a biker bar once but now it’s just a college sink hole full of drunken frat boys when Monique flashed a little tit they went crazy cheering and buying us shots it just got out of hand never should have happened the way it happened Stacy didn’t mean to kill Brittany it’s fucked up i want to go home please let me go home”
Sabrina Starn female 29 years of age race #2 (White) 5’8” trendy corporate gray suit black pumps red shoulder length hair “i have to be at work at 8 AM Stacy was drunk out of control she gets crazy when she drinks Brittany was trash talking pushing all Stacy’s buttons then Stacy accused Brittany of sleeping with Monique and all hell broke loose i didn’t see what happened i was in the powder room it’s a terrible tragedy unfortunate accident can i please be released i need to sleep this is madness”
Kerrie Angeles female 27 years of age race #1 (Hispanic) 5’ 6” black pants white shirt black hair cut stylishly short silver crucifix around neck red fingernails “when we got to the Bashful Bandit i was horny soaking between my legs thinking about a cowgirl at Cactus Moon ready to fuck anyone i saw fantasized pulling a train with those frat boys Monique had been kind of quiet at Cactus Moon but when we got to the Bashful Bandit she lit up dancing wild unbuttoning her top jacket Sabrina went to the ladies room to snort coke with biker dude Kerrie wanted but he wasn’t into her then Brittany started saying crazy stuff accusing Stacy of stealing Monique from Jess Jessie goes through women heartlessly she doesn’t give a shit about Monique Jessie knows if she wants Monique back she can simply fiddle a finger my guess is Stacy is half way to Argentina she never meant to kill Brittany i’m going to miss her real bad she was a good kid”
Ann Skyler female 28 years of age race #2 (White) 4’ 11’’ green white red Mexican peasant skirt black t-shirt black high-tops hair in messy bun “i’m confused i saw them dancing laughing grinding up against each other Rage Against the Machine came on then Nine Inch Nails the room felt quaking dizzy claustrophobic then they were pushing each other shoving yelling frat boys cheering the next thing i knew Brittany was supine on the floor blood pouring out maybe she just slipped hit her head i don’t know what to think i feel real sad confused sick to my stomach scared”
Monique Smithson female 24 years of age race # 3 (Black) 5’ 9” blue jeans jean jacket cowboy boots nose ring braided pigtails “Stacy had it in for Brittany from the start i saw it in her eyes at Cactus Moon she made several clever toxic remarks they snapped at each other i never thought it would escalate to murder poor sweet Brittany was always so susceptible i was looking down adjusting my jeans over my boots when it happened i heard felt a big thump glanced up Brittany was lying there lifeless blood spilling everywhere Stacy ran out fast i heard her bike engine take off in a hurry”
Rodeo Drive Tucson
matt’s hats tom’s tools & tobacco lou’s liquors fred’s beds frank’s planks bill’s drills jane’s drains & panes chuck’s check cashing cheryl’s barrels hank’s tanks tina’s trucks & tractors walt’s asphalt sean’s pawn rick’s rifles mom’s guns terry’s tires charlie’s harleys rhonda’s hondas jim’s rims art’s parts gus’s gasoline mike’s bikes frank’s feed gwen’s pens ann’s cans nancy’s nursery joes‘s clothes jess’s dresses bert’s skirts steve’s sleeves paul’s shawls michelle’s shells & bells al’s pails & snails sam’s hams & jams patty’s pancakes phil’s chili don’s donuts betty’s spaghetti bob’s burgers alycia’s quiches jean’s beans jerry’s berries anna’s bananas andy’s candies cathy’s taffies tony’s ponies roy’s toys kim’s whims marty’s parties jill’s pills rick’s tricks alice’s palace debbie’s disposal dave’s graves
Quinta Waltz de Tucson
she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary efforts she dreams aches to create deeper discourse higher insight more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration instead she writes paperback television trash stupid inadequate answers to solemn questions she wonders if she is too scratched dented to find love her breasts are definitely changing she is deeply disturbed not ready for menopause too young for menopause she wants to remain a fertile woman with smooth skin wet vagina
her neighbor Leslie awoke to horrible morning Leslie’s 6 chickens were assaulted overnight precious Mabel dragged off feathers everywhere trail down the street other hens cowering slumped together with wilted necks 3 of them with puncture wounds Leslie carried them one by one inside washed their wounds hugged them cried who did this terrible act a neglected abusive neighborhood cat or some desert predator why didn’t Leslie wake to sounds of savage marauding now this creature knows hen’s whereabouts when will it return for more massacre what modifications need to be enforced to ensure their coup before nightfall
she wants to remain a hen keep producing eggs does not want is not ready to enter the next damn stage of this damn existence it was fun being pretty for men inspiring them to say do whacky things she wants to remain a hen she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary attempts “Tucson square dance” (self-referential) sucked bit about Americans came through here last night in “Tucson 3-step” sucked "Rodeo Drive" tepid perhaps the pinot noir lowered her standards everything is becoming nothing she cannot sleep tosses turns thrashes sheets in humid heat of her lonesome bed is she is too scratched dented to find love she worries for Leslie
tomorrow is another day they say the rain will come last year’s monsoon never came the baking sun smothered her garden died one by one sleepless she will miss tomorrow’s pilates class the infrequent delightful chatty breakfast afterwards she dreams aches of deeper discourse higher insight with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration she crossed the line tonight her breasts are definitely changing
he decides to shave eighth to quarter inch length salt and pepper beard a.k.a. unshaven look he has worn for years and grow full mustache the whiskers on his upper lip are darker with sparse gray at first no one notices after weeks the mustache gradually fills evoking many contrasting remarks several women loath it several men admire it girl at grocery store suggests he grow Fu Manchu so she can tug on it shopgirl says he looks like Charlie Chaplin downstairs neighbor from Turkey explains most Turkish men traditionally wear mustaches he read mustaches masculinize and empower men especially men in authoritative positions he thinks back to the 1960’s when many hippie males grew mustaches then in the 70’s gay men fashioned mustaches then in the 80’s cops adopted mustaches he wonders why a swatch of hair beneath nose is so provoking examines his visage in mirror discerns the mustache confers a Pepé le Pew quality or European accent to his appearance he remembers when he was young hippie with many amorous episodes how his mustache preserved the scent of a woman but there are no women in his life for many years do post-menopausal women possess scent? he feels indecisive whether to retain it or be rid of it
she observes her figure in mirror thinks to herself maybe her breasts are not changing perhaps it’s all in her head she inspects the little lines forming near her eyelids studies her features for signs of aging hardly any silver strands in long brown hair she examines neck nipples arms elbows fingers tummy hips pelvic region thighs knees shins calves ankles feet detects subtle changes thinks to herself my breasts are possibly slightly changing turned 40 in March married briefly in late teens no children a 15 year old dog beginning to suffer veterinarian promises to warn her when the time comes she wonders why it is so difficult finding fitting mate men sleep with her several times then move on maybe she is not such a great lover perhaps she would be better if one of them stuck around perhaps she is a lesbian the whole idea of finding someone is absolutely draining
they do not see each other walk right passed she in a hurry late to yoga matt slung across back handbag slung on shoulder wallet forgotten under front seat in truck he is distracted in thought wondering is he afraid of women gynophobic the air on the street is heavy dense he smells his own perspiration feels exhausted appetiteless almost nauseous they each simultaneously consider what if i lived in New York City or Chicago what is it about Tucson its small town politics gooniness poverty criminality amateurish dramas hour to Mexican border both wonder is Tucson the problem would i find a fitting lover more freely with less difficulty in some other place
Tucson Seventh Seal
outside is sweltering monsoon humidity but no rain prior to now inside the bank is air-conditioned crammed full with Friday late afternoon customers she stands in line wearing short cut-off jeans flip-flops loose-fitting silk fawn chemise hair in pigtails holding wallet thinking to herself the man in me wants to enter through your kitchen door famished fingers itching breathing hard the woman in me wants you to lay me out on supper table have your way gently slobber berry pie laughs aloud to herself as others standing in line look on smile politely too reserved to ask what’s so funny she questions her proclivity to become lesbian more likely she is searching for sincere strong yet somewhat ambivalent male capable of switching roles humoring her playing with flights of imagination
the heat is getting to everyone tempers run short irritability prevails birds with open beaks suck in hot breaths comb dry dust blown yards for scraps vast patches of mesquite pale yellow cracked pods strewn along streets sidewalks palo verde trees vibrate hissing buzzing cicada chant he turns water heater off cold water faucet on but it makes no difference mildewed towel restless sleepless wrestled bed sheets in morning sun’s defiant glare merciless he recalls clammy summers in Chicago working downtown riding screechy bumpy “el” train home smell of burnt electrical wiring perspiration beads rolling down arms backs of hands soaking wristwatch band dripping from forehead sticky clinging clothes observing other passenger’s misery discreetly focusing on females knowing they’re suffering from same circumstances thinking about dampness between their thighs and for brief moment escaping oppressive condition in that sweet warped imagining
she determines pinot noir unseasonably heavy decides instead on sauvignon blanc opens closet door choosing what to wear in this unrelenting muggy heat
more than anything he wants to belong with female partner
she imagines a kiss
he thinks about a smell
she stands undecided in panties in front of closet mirror 7 outfits scattered on bed she is more intelligent shrewd clever than this foolish display looks inside herself for serenity calm out of the blue she smells it hears it however late the monsoon rains finally arrive she will clothe accordingly
Tucson crazy 88’s
the one positive aspect concerning Tucson’s blistering heat is what women wear on display are details one would never notice or think about if it were not right there in plain view an evident preference based solely on sweltering circumstance is no brassieres yet vogue goes beyond this lovable lapse women being fashion mindful arrange interesting medleys of flimsy diaphanous chemises various lengths of shorts thin-threaded summer dresses peculiar styles of tresses and fairly informal shoes or barefoot in essence everything about women’s wear in Tucson is noticeably informal revealing to the eye the barest facts that said there are those who fall under the dictate of Latin or Goth influences regardless how scorching the sun black is their uniform and finally the no matter what season or time of day hooded sweatshirt set and their hoodlum world
nightlife in Tucson is dull for a big city ex-resident several Friday evenings a month he visits Plush bar arriving about 6 PM sitting at bar sipping 2 sometimes 3 drinks chatting with whomever then walking home about 7:30 - 8 and that is his rather sedate social life but on this particular Friday night with full moon 2 days away and Venus in his thoughts he thinks to go to Sky bar outside monsoon rains are letting up opaque gray sky fragrance of creosote in air he looks at reflection in mirror feels deep depression
they are supposed to meet meant to meet destined fated to meet but they will not meet because there is a season for love in a person’s life but that time is gone it is too late for him too many hearts racing then erased lies deceptions disappointments nights alone under-appreciated without love so many years too much bridge under the water concerning her she is emotionally occupied her dog Sweeny on last legs a drawn-out too personal sadness to share besides she is not looking for an older man possibly a younger man who can ease her fears of loss and aging
the drainage system in Tucson is not well thought out when it rains it floods she wears ankle high indian moccasins wading through puddles feeling intoxicated by scent of creosote after divorce 20 years ago she became drunken drugging slut until she adopted Sweeny changed her life it is like she is sensing relapse knowing Sweeny will be gone soon she cannot bear the thought decides to start at the Buffet total losers bar then work her way north up 4th Avenue a lot of ground to cover
an older man with loud gravelly voice and pink eye introduces himself as Frank says he moved here 25 years ago from New Jersey accent still intact orders dirty martini pulls out 6” KA-BAR military knife throatily grumbles i manage she decides she’s had enough of the Buffet does not finish drink decides to skip the Shanty Maloney’s O’Malley’s (college crap) glances in windows of Che”s sees gossipy jerk she does not want to run into crosses 4th Avenue looks in window at Plush sees self-important dick she does not want to run into crosses 4th Avenue again settling for seat at Sky bar
he gazes at her and his heart melts she is so lovely in subtle alternative manner it would be easy to admire her for rest of his life if he were female he’d want to look just like her but he sees she is not interested in him he looks away remembers when he looks at a woman he searches for qualities that attract him because he wants to desire her yet this tendency creates an imbalance or disadvantage he is rendered weak to a woman’s beauty or whatever traits he idealizes self-realizing this propensity he turns his gaze away
she glances around large room notices him smiling at her eyes glance passed him she thinks he looks remotely familiar but the mustache appears ridiculously out of style too much character in his face he appears small maybe 5’8” or 9” probably drives a mini-penis just not her type whatever then she remembers when she looks at a man she searches for qualities she is critical of because she wants to be impervious to his power
old pueblo #9
LARISSA LOU McCASKY female 40 years of age 5’7” lanky physique stitched old pillowcases random fabric homemade knee length wrap skirt tight brown velvet vest no shirt ankle high indian moccasins subtle smile
CLYDE ELI MOSKOWITZ male 52 years of age 5’9” athletic build yet signs of age white painter’s pants rolled up to mid-shin light blue vintage cowboy shirt black high-tops
act 1 scene 1
Sky bar 4th Avenue Tucson Arizona 6:30 PM actors sit 3 seats away from each other at bar bartender approaches Larissa
BARTENDER can i help you?
LARISSA (she looks up from cell phone) yes thank you may i please have a glass of sauvignon blanc or reasonable facsimile and tall ice water
BARTENDER we have a California pinot grigio $4 a glass
LARISSA is it good? i’ll try a glass (bartender serves wine and tall ice water Larissa sips) oh yeah this is good thank you
CLYDE excuse me i was considering switching from this Spanish red to what you ordered you like it huh?
LARISSA yes it’s quite good funny coincidence i just switched too from pinot noir last week i decided it’s unseasonably heavy you look familiar have we met?
CLYDE we’ve almost met on several occasions i’m a fan of your beauty (raises hand appealing to bartender’s attention) hi may i please try what she’s having
BARTENDER no problemo señor
LARISSA oh that’s sweet i thought for a moment you were going to say you’re a fan of my writing
CLYDE you’re a writer huh what kind of writing?
LARISSA whim fancy poetry fiction essays critiques i like to experiment with different formats
CLYDE hmmm what are you currently reading?
LARISSA aren’t you the inquisitive one i’m currently reading Yukio Mishima’s Madame de Sade it’s a play
CLYDE wow i’m a fan of Yukio Mishima and the Marquis de Sade yet unaware of the work are you enjoying it? i’m Clyde what’s your name?
LARISSA Larissa i just began reading it so far so good
CLYDE may i move closer?
CLYDE thank you (he picks up glass and sits next to her) hello
LARISSA is the mustache recent?
CLYDE still growing in
LARISSA i like you better without it
CLYDE got a razor on you?
LARISSA it makes you look sad
CLYDE hmmm (long pause he looks away then into her eyes)
LARISSA are you ok?
LARISSA what’s your profession?
CLYDE i’m a painter sometimes writer and i teach yoga when i can find work otherwise i scrape out a living house painting restoration whatever pays
LARISSA a painter what do you paint besides houses?
CLYDE i’m old i’ve painted everything figurative representational abstract symbolism you name it i’ve painted it
LARISSA you’re funny
CLYDE you think so?
LARISSA Clyde why are you sad?
CLYDE oh Larissa i don’t know what to say in a way i feel i was sent here to do a different job i don’t understand why i'm here or what i’m doing do i sound crazy? life throws a lot of hardballs at you few are good enough to make the big leagues the rest of us struggle day to day no i don’t mean to express that thought i’m grateful for the opportunity of this life in my own little way i try to make a better difference
LARISSA you’re not crazy Clyde you’re wise well spoken words you’re a sweetheart i’m glad to finally meet you
CLYDE oh god Larissa you have no idea how good that makes me feel i am such a fan of your beauty the way you dress your voice gestures everything i look forward to reading your work
LARISSA chill on the flattery Clyde my dog is dying (tears well up in her eyes)
CLYDE i am so sorry for you (he reaches into back pocket) here’s a tissue i know what it’s like to lose a precious friend i lost my baby 12 years ago and still carry her picture in my wallet i’m probably not someone you want to talk to i totally freaked out (tears well up in his eyes)
LARISSA Clyde you are so sweet can i buy you a drink anything what do you desire please
CLYDE uhh thank you but no not tonight i think i’ve had enough i need to go home Larissa you’re an angel my precious angel thank you my heart flames for you (he stands up)
LARISSA you’re being dramatic Clyde please stay and talk with me i won’t ask you again why you’re sad i like your mustache it’s growing on me please hang out with me
act 1 scene 2
9 PM they are walking back to her place
CLYDE the moon Larissa the moon same moon ancients looked up at same stars ancients navigated by sun remains constant but moon waxing waning always changing hooked up with tides menstrual cycles plants that face looking at us i feel so vulnerable must learn to be strong the moon tonight do you see that expression those eyes staring down these complicated complex times this earth the moon
LARISSA you’re so dramatic Clyde
CLYDE you think i’m a drama queen?
LARISSA i don’t know you well enough yet Clyde are you?
CLYDE sometimes i think i’m a woman trapped in a man’s body
LARISSA shut up Clyde
CLYDE i’m definitely a man but way too sensitive for this world
LARISSA i need to pee (she squats and pees)
CLYDE (he looks up and down street keeping guard) you’re the coolest girl in the world
LARISSA you think so?
act 2 scene 1
cell phone conversation
LARISSA i’m taking Sweeny to the vet i can tell he’s hurting bad
CLYDE i’m coming with you
LARISSA no this is too personal
CLYDE shut up Larissa i’ll see you there
LARISSA i don’t know i need to do this by myself i feel so helpless Sweeny’s all wobbly having trouble standing he''s smiling but his eyelids are half closed i’m losing him
CLYDE i love Sweeny for adoring you the joy he brought to you please don’t shut me out Larissa i’ll meet you at the veterinarian’s we’ll figure this out write paint practice yoga work it out somehow
LARISSA ok alright see you at the vet’s
act 2 scene 2
they are shoveling a hole in her backyard deep enough so no creatures can intrude both are crying Larissa is in a daze
CLYDE that caliche is a bitch to shovel through
CLYDE oh baby let me have the shovel
LARISSA i can do this i need to do this i think it’s deep enough let’s go look at Sweeny (tears pouring out of her eyes they go back into house Sweeny is lying wrapped in blanket on table)
act 2 scene 3
he is lying next to her sniffing smelling her underarm kissing her neck hair she is lifeless coming to consciousness crying hysterically
CLYDE rest easy darling Sweeny is up in heaven waiting for you
act 2 scene 4
LARISSA i’m not hungry can’t focus on the menu order for me
CLYDE i love you Larissa more than anyone anything else in this whole world i love you
LARISSA i feel sick tired
CLYDE shall i drive us home
LARISSA no let’s eat in an unforeseen surprising way Clyde i love you too deep down stay with me Clyde don’t ever go away
Tucson full moon relapse
Larissa Lou McCasky is hurting relapses needs Clyde Eli Moskowitz to stay at her side and more than anything he wants to help her through this difficult time yet there is nothing he can do but watch his most precious angel be devoured in her own flames at first it is drinking he can not keep up with her she drinks until she feels oblivion next drugging she goes back to old destructive ways she practiced after divorce 15 years ago Clyde will not go there with her Larissa stops writing reading her sewing machine sits dormant hairs around her nipples grow long she makes demands he is not capable of giving Clyde is sex addict he reads to Larissa from Yukio Mishima’s Madame de Sade “the more exalted the man the more refined his pleasures” Larissa learns from Clyde then she insists on more goes beyond him buffalo meat is tough Clyde shows her how to cook it with water little lime juice Larissa repudiates his coaching she prefers to chew the meat tough sometimes she hears war drums beating in her heart Clyde owns 3 guns in his house 2 pistols and a shotgun he keeps them hidden from Larissa
spirit dog is dog that stays long after dog dies sometimes spirit dog needs to be fed or water left out in case spirit dog is thirsty spirit dog makes you question did you do enough when dog was alive spirit dog dogs you with faint sounds in house dogs you in dreams in bed at night dogs you when you look in face of other dogs spirit dog does not ever leave your side
the artist is will always be at odds with him/herself society the system when his/her work becomes viable commercially it becomes corporatized part of the system imagine Nine Inch Nails song Closer lyric “i want to fuck you like an animal” becoming elevator music
what power did her dog Sweeny sanction within Larissa that Clyde could not fulfill? was it Sweeny’s absolute dependency that brought out her nurturing instinct? Clyde needs Larissa yet wants her more than he needs her when spirit dog inside Larissa gets hungry she indulges him
Larissa takes to the streets and that’s where real damage starts slow at first old man with worn out $20 bill then young punk who shoves her out penniless with mouthful of cum then biker dude gives her lift unto back of Harley rides her back to clubhouse feeds her rohypnol 13 men pull a train stub out lit cigarette butts on her face and breasts then crack 2 front teeth shoving shotgun down her throat another up her ass and take bets on where the shots will meet they decide instead to dump her in the desert naked with no water Mexicans sneaking across border seeking work rescue her escort her to Tucson she finds her way to Clyde’s house begging he stands in doorway sees missing teeth scabs on cheeks chin above left eye damage beyond his understanding how to fix feels both terror and tears welling up lies to her tells her he has new girlfriend she knows he’s lying wanders off gets arrested for vagrancy then disorderly conduct then prostitution
every author faces the dilemma of how to fix what they have broken if the work is to be original then it must break from convention
Larissa Lou McCasky has an epiphany in Pima County jail when she gets out she will find a job sewing or writing or proof-reading maybe all 3 then she will find a dog and after she is settled Larissa will look up Clyde Eli Moskowitz and try her best to win him back and regain paradise lost yet knowing it is unlikely she will gratefully accept whatever comes her way and remember to honor respect spirit dog and vigilantly at times keep him on leash
Larissa keeps promise to herself she and Clyde meet at Sky bar it is 3 years since their first meeting she has more gray hair than he her teeth are patched up
LARISSA i’ve missed you Clyde and thought a lot about us
CLYDE i’ve missed you too Larissa you look lovely like good things are happening around you i forgot how beautiful you are how inebriating your body smells
LARISSA chill on the flattery Clyde i’ve found a new dog and named it Eli after you he’s tied up outside see him
CLYDE wow that’s your Catahoula hound that licked my hand on the way in wow where did you find him
LARISSA animal rescue hey Clyde if you don’t mind i’ll just cut to the chase you know i want to come home with you
CLYDE slow down girl one step at a time let’s order some drinks and talk and yes i would love getting back with you
BARTENDER may i help you
LARISSA yes i’d like a Shirley Temple and my friend here can have whatever he wants my treat
CLYDE guess i’ll have what the lady is having
LARISSA you quit drinking too
CLYDE yup starting now with you
LARISSA i love you Clyde i really truly do
She sits across from me sipping and slurping her fat free french vanilla.
While I'm pacing myself with cappuccino imitation.
"All I'm saying is, that if he starts calling me baby, I might wanna keep him!"
She says it with that cajoling tone.
But I can notice the glimmer in her eyes that tells me she longs for that.
That sweet pet name that would mean she's special to him, in her mind...
I never could get comfortable around those things...pet names.
Cutesy little endearments reserved for a child's affection.
What is wrong with me?
She's vibrating with unmasked giddiness, glancing at her phone.
They've been dating for only months but she is lost in him.
With his once a week date nights
and clean shaven face
and joking interaction with her friends.
She's full of soft embrace and warm affection and vulnerable interest.
Wanting never looked so form fitting on a person.
Like a cup waiting for a refill...
"If you want, I could see if his friend is up for dinner next week? You know it's been months for you..."
I hope she doesn't choke on her millionth slurp with the glare of indignation leveled at her cherub-like face.
"Ah thanks, but no thanks." races out of my mouth before I even hesitate to pretend to consider her obvious proposal.
How is it that easy to just offer companionship like that? Do I give off a "desperate for love" vibe?
And what the hell makes her think I can't find someone on my own damn time?
"Okay, okay. It's just...I hate seeing you alone. Don't you want to not be alone anymore?"
I know she loves me but those kind of questions from her caring heart, make me contemplate knocking her in the head.
My alone-ness she says.
My singular existence.
I'd laugh at her if I didn't know it would hurt her feelings.
To disregard her feeble attempts at pairing me up with whatever half-assed man candy she could sway my way.
I'm staring at the ring left from my coffee,
wondering if I should just give in this one time for her,
for the over used batteries at home.
"I'm not lonely you know. I just, haven't felt that connection yet."
Looking pitifully back at me she wonders aloud, "You're always waiting on that connection but have you ever felt it before? I mean, how do you know it's even real, that body, mind, spirit...magnet pull you believe so fiercely?"
It's the first time I've given her a genuine smile today as I tell her yes I have felt it before.
I just never got his last name.
It might have been years ago but I can still recall with clarity that electric tornado that seemed to have surrounded us.
We had only been gifted ten hours together but it left a mark on me for over fourteen years.
His face is definitely matured I imagine and his body shaped differently.
But I'll never mistake those sea green eyes, haloed by dusty blue cloud rings.
The only boy who has ever made me want to get lost and never be found.
"Well...good luck with that. But until mystery man crashes back into your life, for god's sake live a little huh!"
She means well I'm sure but like an eager pup I just tsk at her goofily plastered expression and finish off the grainy remains of my only afternoon delight. She's in a hurry to make her "honey bunny" a homemade dinner anyway so it's not hard to cut things short on our weekly coffee shop vent session.
She's floating out the door before I even get my coat above my elbows but I can't feel offended.
Mulling over the uncomfortable idea of boring interaction with another stranger I decide to grab one more drink for the ride home.
Oh, wonderful...now she's planted that seed.
Shaking it off, I order my vice and move benignly to wait and resolve to not think about anything related to that anymore either.
"Seems outrageous they charge so much for imitation don't you think?"
The question's asked to me but I pretend I can't hear it. A guy hitting on me today is not what I want to deal with.
And he seems to be standing right behind me
making goosebumps scatter across my neck.
He tries again, "So I guess you like buying bottom of the barrel cappuccino?"
This time I've gotten a little itchy from his voice and want him to just stop in his tracks.
So I turn to tell him where, in fact, he can go...
But I'm the one stopped short and a bit flabbergasted.
No way do things happen to me like this.
Those coincidental, lucky, fated things...
I almost wish I was a liar right now with the things I just spilled to my loyally, encouraging friend.
Because there is no way the universe would be this cruel.
Finally I exhale and word vomit,
"They're the only place that taste just like the ones at my grandmas' house every summer when I was a girl. I waited a long time to find that connection again, even if it is just coffee..."
The smirking face and broad shoulders that greet me aren't the cause of my temporary delirium.
Not even the wild hair and black rimmed glasses.
It's the sea green, haloed dusty blue eyes centering all the rest that shallow my breaths
Of all the places.....
Like a falling satin sheet his face morphs into a query riddled expression.
I hear the barista call out a name and he reluctantly steps away, never taking his eyes off mine whispering,
"I'll...be right back. Don't move...please?"
I'm nodding like an awkward parrot and he turns to grab his imitation coffee.
The same kind I'm waiting on.
And I start smiling after a second.
Not because of the similar drink order, which could be anyone...
But because of something I haven't known until this moment for over fourteen years.
All thanks to fate, or destiny...
Or perhaps the oblivious barista.
His last name...
Her hair was long, brown, and wavy, like homemade brownies.
Her eyes were different shaped blues, lighter than sapphires.
Whenever she blinks, I look forward to seeing those sapphires again.
Her teeth are perfect imperfections, retainer and all.
Her bite is one of love but packs a punch.
Her nostrils flare when angry but remain miniscule.
Her mouth a light pink, like Starburst, my favorite by far.
Her smile brings me back from the darkness every. Single. Time.
Her tongue is exotic and playful, and I long for it.
I have never heard her whistle, but I know it like the back of my hand.
Her laugh is intoxicating and contagious; I find myself acting the fool just to hear it.
Then she coughed and I patted her baby back.
Whenever those pesky headaches come, we lie still, thus foreshadowing what will come.
Our arguments are stupid, but they happen nonetheless.
Her neck is thin and ripe for the taking.
Her breasts, much like Goldilocks: not too big, not too small, but just right.
Her spaghetti arms flail about when I act the fool, and then that precious laugh again.
Her elbows are full of cream, and you will never find them itchy like mine.
Her wrists are disproportionately large for her size, which makes her all the more unique.
Her handshakes are delicate. Ladylike.
Her long and skinny fingers were weird to me once, but they have contracted and fit perfectly between mine.
Her palms tell the future, and she has great things in store for her.
Her thumbs have no story to tell, positive or negative.
Her shadow is smaller than hers, but no shadow can overcome her.
Her cats keep her company, but luckily we found each other.
Her heart is as big as her brain, and thankfully they mutually agree on most occasions.
Her nipples are stumpy and droopy; this is no Snow White fairytale.
Her shoulder blades are tense but minute.
Her belly button (an innie, not an outie, not an Audi) never collects shit.
Her private parts pulse like her heart above with passion.
Her backside is small and smooth. She has no hourglass figure, yet she does, too.
She has no stretchmarks in my mind, but I have enough for the both of us, anyways.
Her whole system is that of a heavyweight fighter; she’s a little spitfire.
Her legs are perfect and skinny; she has “the gap”, not that it matters.
Her knees buckle and wobble in my presence. I should know: mine do when she is near, too.
Her ligaments reinforce her, much like her willpower.
She has the calves of a dancer, but she has not trained in years.
The balls of her feet are poised, ready to spring into action to tap tap tap away.
Her toes curl against mine, in an attempt to hold hands.
I have never seen her footprints, and I have no intention of ever seeing them. Ever.
Her promises elate me since I know she is good for her word.
Her one-liners are worse than mine, and I laugh all the harder for it.
Her grin, or rather her smirk, warms my heart like a furnace in the winter.
The last time we spoke, it was mumbled in bed, a hushed goodbye for that awful biology class.
She is my rock, ever leaning forwards
with nothing but my Dunder-Mifflin shirt to keep her warm for the foreseeable future.
I told her, Te amo,
well before she was ready to say that inane phrase back in English.
Inane since words do not do it justice.
But then she broke my heart.
My hair was tearing at the roots, unable to stay attached.
My eyes were set ablaze with passion anger, if it weren’t for my sorrow to drown it out.
Whenever I blink, I see a snapshot of what it was, what it cannot be, what it will never be again.
My teeth were her favorite: buck-toothed and all, but that was when I smiled. They hide from you.
My bite isn’t nearly as big as my bark, but do not tempt me.
My nostrils have hair creeping out; it’s hard to keep clean after something like that.
My mouth is louder than all my thoughts combined, but I still can’t find the right words to say.
And my smile would be what brought her back from the darkness every. Single. Time.
My tongue, like my private parts, is limp and dead; phallicly flaccid, there is no passion here.
I have never whistled, but why should I learn now? I keep quiet to quell the roar.
My laugh is contagious, or so they tell me. It’s high pitched. Effeminate.
I cough. I get stares. My cough makes you uncomfortable. Your infidelity makes me uncomfortable.
Whenever those pesky headaches come, I lie still, and for a minute, just a minute, I die. I’m at peace.
Our arguments were stupid, but now there’s nothing left to talk about.
My neck is fat and swollen. Fuck my thyroid. This vitamin D deficiency is taking its toll.
My breasts are fat, but a momma’s boy would be: too much in the trunk, not enough under the hood.
My arms are as big as her thighs. We measured. Maybe it gave her peace knowing she was small.
She tells me I have a black woman’s ass, and elbows, to boot. Not enough cream. Not enough carrots.
My wrists are the cankles of my life.
My handshake is firm, but is it firm enough?
My short and stubby fingers claw upwards, desperate for air. Her hands are nowhere to be seen.
My palms have no future, and I worry I’ll follow suit.
My thumbs tell all the best stories when joysticks are underneath them.
My shadow eclipses me. It’s not how you feel, it’s how you function.
I’ve never owned a pet. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel possessive.
My heart was full of love, but the love spilled out when you broke it on Friday, December 6th – Saturday, December 7th, 2013, 5:00 AM.
My nipples are tiny and erect from the cold. I feel the cold indoors, too.
My shoulder blades are dull and sagging with the weight of my world on my shoulders.
My belly button (an innie, not an outie, not an Audi) collects all of the shit.
My private parts, like my tongue, are limp and dead; phallicly flaccid, there is no passion here.
My backside is large and rough. Are you getting the point?
I have all of the stretchmarks, for I am her antithesis.
My whole system is that of down and out former has been; I’m all out of gas.
My legs are thick and fat; I suffer friction with my tree tunks.
My knees buckle and wobble in her presence; I’m weak around her because I’m weak.
My ligaments are partially torn, which perfectly exemplifies me: hanging by a thread.
I have the calves of a soccer player out of shape. Hashtag truth.
The balls of my feet sting -- unable to carry two hundred plus pounds of failure.
I have finally seen footprints; I’m just glad they were mine.
Her promises mean nothing. My trust is shattered. My faith withdrawn from this or any other world.
My one-liners make everyone laugh but me; I know I mask the pain. Do they?
My grin was effectively wiped off my face when you told me.
The last time we spoke, it was on good terms. But how good are those terms with this double size?
I was comfortable, lazy, ever dependent on her
with everything in my life, especially that which she didn’t need to deal with.
I told her, You deserve to be dumped.
She nodded slowly, crying, and whispered back, I know. My hate described by inane words.
Inane since words do not do it justice.
Then, it hit me.
Our hair is fairly short together, not unlike our time apart since the incident.
Our eyes well up, and the only drowning I hope we get is of love.
Whenever we blink, I want to make sure that I am in front of you, and you in front of me.
Our teeth, much like our personalities, are disparate, and that’s okay.
Our bite is one of teamwork: you can’t bite with one row of teeth.
Our nostrils could use some work. Hair and flare rhyme, but neither fits in our time.
Our mouths chat chat chatter away. We have nothing to talk about. We have so much to talk about.
Our smiles are the reason why people find us cute, and they’re the reason why they were shocked. Let’s give them another reason.
Our tongues dance across language barriers. Mi español no puede vivir sin tu ingles.
We have never whistled. Finally! Some common ground (opposites attract).
We’ve been told that our laughs are nearly identical, like a choir singing in different pitches. Sing.
We cough together, because we know we can take care of each other.
Whenever those pesky headaches come, we take a deep breath, hold on tight, and move forward.
Our arguments ARE stupid. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our necks are like the Happy Meal and the Super Size Me. I love to see us smile.
Our breasts are life; I don’t know what mine do, but I know yours will come in handy someday.
Our arms have their “things”; you have that birthmark, and I have unseemly hair growing everywhere.
Our elbows could be a rom-com: one smooth, one rough, but they can’t get enough.
Our wrists make sure our hands can keep us afloat.
Our handshakes are delicate but firm.
Our fingers latch onto each other, like a bear trap.
Our palms SMACK together when you high five me. Goofball.
Our thumbs are bound to get sore if we keep caressing our hands while holding onto each other. Raw.
Our shadows slink away when they see us shine so bright.
I hope to God that Rosie the pug is as derpy as your heart can take.
Our hearts have duct-tape all over them…it’s a work in progress, but bones get stronger when broken.
Our nipples are disproportionate. There, I said it.
Our shoulder blades dance across each other when we lie back to back.
Our belly buttons (innies, not outies, not Audis) keep us close to our moms; you’ll agree someday.
Our private parts tingle as we move in motion and rhythm. It’s been too long, mi amor.
Our backsides are like Venn diagrams: yours could easily fit in mine.
I have all the stretchmarks, but I hope you get them after birth someday. We share everything else.
Our systems are the underdog rising up, straight to the top; it took its time, and its chances.
Your legs could fit in one of my own. Please refer to the stretchmarks line.
Our knees buckle and wobble. Please refer to the private parts line.
Our ligaments have taken a beating, but somehow, there’s a strand holding us together.
We have calves of different passions, but we both know what the sweet sting of success feels like.
The balls of our feet touch down as we’re back to reality. The honeymoon stage is over. Cloud 9.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen footprints, but I think they’re circling back around to meet up again.
This promise should be the last until the most important one comes up. This is it.
Our one-liners keep us close to our dorky sides. Honestly, something is probably wrong with us.
Our grins (or smirks) show that we can’t really stay mad at each other for TOO long.
The last time we spoke, it was yesterday night (or was it earlier today?), but I’m sure you woke up.
We screwed up. Admittedly you more than me,
but I digress: one mistake is not enough to throw away two years of work.
I forgave you.
You were elated. Let’s try this once more, with feeling!
I’ll inanely tell her again, Te amo.
Sung to the tune of:
I'll Be Home For Christmas
Oh, I got fudge for Christmas,
from my daughter-in-law.
I whined and begged,
til I got my way,
and I'm not sharing it.
Ooooh, Thanks for the fudge for Christmas,
I will repay this deed.
It was suppose to be homemade,
but she bought it all from See's.
oooooh, I got fudge for Christmas,
and you can count on this.
By the time, I eat it all,
it will be on my hips.
Oooooh, I got fudge for Chriiiiiissssstmaaaasssss
I'll be seeing it in my Dreeeamms.
Dedicated to Tammy,
My Daughter-in law.
Sometimes the poem
doesn't want to come;
it hides from the poet
like a playful cat
who has run
under the house
& lurks among slugs,
roots, spiders' eyes,
ledge so long out of the sun
that it is dank
with the breath of the Troll King.
Sometimes the poem
like a coy lover
who is afraid of being possessed,
of feeling too much,
of losing his essential
loneliness-which he calls
Sometimes the poem
the poet's passion.
The poem is a dance
between poet & poem,
but sometimes the poem
just won't dance
and lurks on the sidelines
tapping its feet-
out of step with the music
of your mariachi band.
If the poem won't come,
I say: sneak up on it.
Pretend you don't care.
Sit in your chair
reading Shakespeare, Neruda,
and let yourself flow
into their music.
Go to the kitchen
and start peeling onions
for homemade sugo.
Before you know it,
the poem will be crying
as your ripe tomatoes
When the whole house is filled
with the tender tomato aroma,
start kneading the pasta.
As you rock
over the damp sensuous dough,
making it bend to your will,
as you make love to this manna
of flour and water,
the poem will get hungry
just like a cat
when you least
THE STORY OF SARA
Or A Reflection on Ourselves
Ayad Izzet Gharbawi
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: An Awakening. Page: 3.
Chapter 2: University. Page 12.
Chapter 3: Being an Activist. Page 23.
Chapter 4: The Hallowed Purification Programme. Page: 32.
Chapter 5: The Party Self Destructs. Page: 55.
Chapter 6: Confusion after the Collapse of my Icon. Page: 64.
Chapter 7 Getting a Job as a Psychiatrist. Page 69.
Chapter 8: Afim: Sick or ‘Normal’? Page: 84.
Chapter 9: Having Children. Page 105.
Chapter 10: Omar Again. Page: 109.
Chapter 11: The Meaningless Existence of My Husband. Page 121.
Chapter 12: My Daughter: Lara. Page 127.
Chapter 13: Getting to the Top in my Job. Page: 131.
Chapter 14: Success & Emptiness. Page 142.
Chapter 15: The Shock. Page: 148.
Chapter 16: The Trap. Page: 153.
Chapter 17: The Punishment. Page 162.
Chapter 18: The Barmaid and the Alcoholic Conversation. Page: 166.
Chapter 19: Old Age. Page: 180.
Chapter 20: Seeing My Son: Noor. Page: 184.
Chapter 21: The Unexpected Visitor. Page: 191.
Chapter 22: Conversation with my Social Worker. Page: 195.
Chapter 23: My Visitor Returns. Page: 206.
Chapter 24: Isolation. Page: 210.
THE STORY OF SARA
– OR, A REFLECTION ON OURSELVES
CHAPTER ONE: AN AWAKENING
Sara is my name.
I feel the need to write down the words, or rather, the connected and the unconnected stories, of my life.
I wish to say straightaway, that I am not an important person; on the opposite.
I am, in fact, a no one.
I achieved nothing meaningful in my life, and I was never famous.
So, why you may think, should anyone read about my life, considering that I am a nobody?
Well, I think, that precisely because I am a nobody, people should read about my life!
Because, since most of us are nobodies, therefore, I must be a reflection for a significant number of people.
I am a mirror that most of us do not see; after all, who wants to see what they really look like?
You see, if I were famous, then I would be in the minority of the population, and, as a consequence, I would reflect the lives of just a small fraction of the people.
In other words, if I were rich, and if I were to write about my life as a rich woman, then most readers would have absolutely nothing to relate to such a story.
But then again, to tell you the truth, I am plagued by insecurities and self doubt.
Why am I plagued by insecurities and self doubts?
Because life itself is full of doubts and insecurities!
Everyday there are so many events that happen that you do not fully understand - and so they have no certainty.
There are so many thoughts that come across your mind that you cannot believe in with certainty - in other words, you have doubts!
Life is made up of events, people and thoughts that are themselves uncertain, vague, indefinite, unclear, ambiguous and ultimately blurred.
That is why, for me, I found no certainty in my life, no sense of definiteness – and the end result is that my image of my personal reality was a blurred vision.
I could never see an accurate view of my own reality - because I had far too many flawed characteristics.
I am extremely temperamental.
I am extremely impulsive; I speak, behave and act without thinking in a sober, rational, deliberate manner.
I am not a very good judge of character when it comes to people. I often evaluate people wrongly. I misread who they really are.
I am often very cold with other human beings; I am unable to sympathise and be compassionate to other people.
I am not a good listener.
I am a slave to my irrational passions, my dark urges and my undesirable needs.
Now I am not saying that I have these characteristics all the time – but I confess that I do have them far too often.
And all these awful characteristics make me quite unable to focus on myself in a logical, coherent and rational manner.
I am unable to see my real Self; I cannot see where my rational mind tells me where I need to go with my life, rather than where my dark passions tell myself where to go.
So, maybe my story isn’t worth telling at all.
Should I write the story of my life or not?
Will anyone read it?
I am a member of the weak and the unknown and the unheard class.
I am a member of the invisible classes, of what they call 'Humanity'.
Even though, I don’t know what ‘Humanity’ actually means any more.
I am one non-entity amidst this ocean of Humanity.
I am a nothing.
So, what’s the point of my existence and, more importantly, the story of my existence!?
Actually, sometimes, when I’m in a good mood, I think, yes, come, do not be timid or afraid, and take a serious gaze at my own face, and I hope you will see yourselves – yes, you, the majority of the people out there, this night; for when you see yourselves in my face, you may learn so much about yourselves, and it seems to me, after I have been living and experiencing so long, you may learn from my mistakes.
It seems to me, that one of the problems so many of us people out there are facing, is that nobody seems to want to take a serious, unbiased way that they really look like – and this is because of fear.
But what is this ‘fear’?
I know that this fear is one reason that causes a nagging and persisting unhappiness.
This fear is because we are scared to look at ourselves and find a picture that is severely deformed and far too horrible to behold.
Do you believe that looking at your own face is an easy task?
I hear you tell me: Oh Sara, all you have to do is to look at the mirror and you see yourself.
But, I’m afraid, you are wrong.
Because when you say to me, that all you have to do is to see your face in the mirror, that is not accurate.
And that is, because the face you are seeing in the mirror is an image.
That is not your face!
That’s an image of your face!
And an image is only one degree of reality.
An image is never and can never be the whole reality.
So, you say, why is it that I am seeing an image of my face in the mirror and not the whole reality of my face?
Because you yourself are scared to scrutinize and stare so deeply at your own face.
Fear is restraining you from seeing your own reality.
You may see your real face and it may be a face that is far too ugly to see!
Now, when I am in a bad, bleak, hopeless mood, I really believe in the depths of my angry heart, that it is utterly pointless to write anything, precisely, because I feel that my entire life is completely worthless.
I feel my life is filled with emptiness.
How can you ‘fill’ anything with emptiness!
You know, I feel like ripping to shreds everything I’ve written, and yes, reader, I’ve done that many times – and, then I start all over again.
And how dare I presume that anyone out there in the world would be in any way interested to read the life of an empty woman who happens to be called Sara?
You see, at times like these, I have self hate.
I hate every single thing about myself.
And that includes my pointless story.
And so many times, especially at night, when I’m able to write my story, I think, what if no one is reading these words?
Could I possibly be that empty?
Could I – Sara - possibly be so utterly meaningless as a human being, to the extent that no one could possibly be interested, to give me more than a few precious moments of their time, from their important lives?
Well, for all you people out there whose lives are brimming with happiness; for all those of you people whose lives are so full and busy, so they never experience the utter tedium of boredom; for all those of you people who never face an inner emptiness, a loneliness within their hearts and minds; for all those of you people who have no fears, no anxieties, and no insecurities – then I can honestly tell you to hurl this book away!
And, yet, I would like to believe that - in the depths of my shaky beliefs and my uncertain certainties - that I have at least one listener with me!
You know why?
Because it gives me so much comfort and peace of mind to think that I have one human who is interested to know me!
The most horrible thing to me is to live in total isolation.
And to ease that unique kind of emotional pain, is to know that someone, somewhere in this planet actually cares for you.
I was born in the City, in a middle to low class neighbourhood, where families tended to help each other.
It was a closely knit community. You knew everyone, and everyone knew you and so, when there was any problem, people would help each other out. You see, in this way, problems became less heavy than they would have been otherwise, because when more people come to help you, the problem weighs less, as opposed to if each family had to cope with their problems all on their own.
It was a happy childhood; I adored my parents and I thought no one could be better than them.
They were my icons.
As a child, they were good to me, and I could see nothing wrong with them.
But how long did that last?
By the time my mind was waking up, so to speak, by eleven or twelve, I began to notice, that what I saw wasn't all that rosy at all. My parents used to argue a lot; Dad would scream and Mother would howl.
And what were the causes of these clashes?
Both were guilty of countless faults.
Dad drank too much; Mom didn't pay enough attention to housekeeping and so our house was rather dirty; neither parent paid any attention to us; Dad would always invite his 'friends', and they would be rather vulgar in their behaviour and with their jokes (or what they thought were 'jokes'); Mom would go for hours on end to her 'friends' houses, and leave us children alone; so, when they were in the mood to fight, good God, both sides of the trenches had lots of reasons, or excuses, to use as ammunition!
And what battles do we young children witness!
Dad would scream: "What kind of Mother are you when you do nothing for the house; you don't cook, and so we never have homemade cooking; you don't clean, and so the house stinks and is always in a terrible mess; and then you disappear for hours to God knows where, leaving us all behind! How much time do you even spend with our children? I’ll tell you how long – you don’t spend any time with our children! Children need love, attention and time spent with them; how do you think that affects our children? Do you think that makes then happy?"
And Mom would scream, at the same time: "What kind of Father are you? You're always drunk, and you're always socialising with drunk, vulgar idiots. How do you think our children are reacting when they see their Father interacting with the most lewd, disgusting people? You're lazy in your job – and that is when you keep a job more than a few weeks – and, not surprisingly, you don't bring in enough money, and so we live a miserable lifestyle. And, you dare to ask me why I leave this house for so many hours? Of course, I want to leave this house – it's because I cannot stand the repulsive sight of you! And then, you have the nerve to ask me, ‘how long do I spend with our children’? You damn hypocrite! How long do you spend with our children? Not one minute!"
I would usually rush off to my room, and hide my body and soul in my pillow.
And as I grew into a teenager, my parents were fighting against each other even more.
Who was right and who was wrong?
Sometimes I felt for sure, that Dad was wrong; and, at other times, I felt that Mom was to blame; while at other times, I felt both were to blame; and then again, at other times, I would be so confused that I just gave up thinking about the whole mess, and just wish they never brought me to this world.
How could I judge them?
I could never really tell, because I didn't have the facts, did I? Who knows if Dad really was lazy at his job, and if that was the case, why he didn't he realize that we needed him to work harder, in order for us to have a better quality of life? Or, maybe he wasn't making enough money, simple because his job was a low paying one, and so it wasn't his fault that he brought such meagre wages.
Who knows why Mom didn't take care of the house?
Maybe she was depressed?
And who knows why she went off to her friends' house for hours on end?
Put simply, when you don't have the facts, how can you possibly judge in a reasonable manner?
But then, maybe, you, my dear reader, will say I am wrong, because one ought to judge the situation by using one's emotions and not just 'facts'.
To be honest, when I think of those wretched days, maybe they were both 'right' and wrong'; but in what measures – don't ask me!
What I do know for sure was this: the fact that both Mom and Dad never spent any time with me really hurt me and made feel insecure. I really needed their company when I was a child and right through to my adolescent years, but, unfortunately, they were never, ever interested to sit with me and talk to me – not even for a minute.
In my teenage years, I clearly remember that I felt that I needed Mom and Dad, because I remember feeling frightened for the first time in my life.
Why did I feel ‘afraid’?
I honestly don’t know.
Strangely enough, before the age of thirteen, all my parents' fighting did not leave me scared; no, my response was one of sadness only.
So, I tried to talk with Mom and Dad, issues that were bothering me, but I found out, to my horror, that they could not answer any of my questions.
I would ask my parents endless questions like:
"Should I continue studying in school and go on to university, or should I leave and get a menial job?"
"At what age should I get married?"
“Is marriage worth it or not?"
"Should I smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol – or, are these things wrong?"
“What characteristics should I look for, when I make friends? In other words, what are the good attributes versus the bad attributes in the character of any person?”
“What is morality?”
I remember that my parents were themselves confused by my questions, and at the same time they were irritated.
And, at other times, they were increasingly bored with my unending questions.
Strange combination, isn't it – to be both 'confused’, irritated' and 'bored' with someone nagging at you all the time!?
I know why they were 'bored'; that's the easy part – it was because, they gradually found me to be a nuisance or an irritant with my questions.
They were 'confused and irritated', because they felt stuck as to how they could best answer my questions.
You see, they were, themselves, doing all the wrong things, so how could they advice me to do what was supposed to be 'good'?!
For example, 'Can I smoke and drink alcohol?'
Good question, Sara, but a question that you shouldn’t really ask your parents, when you recall, that both were heavy smokers and drinkers!
And, when I asked them: 'Should I get married?' How can they answer that one, when their own marriage was so utterly dysfunctional!?
It came as quite a shock to me, when I gradually realized that both my parents were not exactly the good icons I had thought them to be.
I was gradually saddened, to see that my Mom and Dad were, in fact, quite pathetic, irresponsible and useless parents.
And, I was frightened because, quite simply, and for the first time in my young life, I felt all alone in this world.
My idols were nothing more than rotting, self-destructive, stupid humans; living out their empty lives, with no sense purpose and no meaning to their lives – and to me, it was quite natural, to despise them.
I was losing an emotional certainty that I had once cherished.
It was so shocking to lose that emotional certainty because it dissolved in such a rapid manner!
I never knew that certainty could disappear with such speed!
I was naive enough to believe that certainty was eternal!
Practically overnight, I would wake up and realize that my parents were rotten human beings who deserve no respect, compassion or any interest.
This was one of the first icons of my life that would simply dissolve away into emptiness.
And all my life, I desperately needed icons to give me emotional security.
I would ask myself this question again and again:
Why did they get married in the first place, if they did not know how be with each other?
And why did they bring children into this world, if they didn't have a clue as to how to properly raise children?
And, didn't they know that, if you don't properly and responsibly raise your children, then your children will themselves become dysfunctional young adults?
In other words, I hated them, because they created me, and then they just left me to struggle in the woods all on my own - and with no instructions whatsoever.
What other 'emotion' could I have had for them?
I more I looked at my parents, the more I feverishly felt that I never wanted to be total 'losers' like them.
And why should I emulate them?
So I can live in poverty, end up arguing and despising my future husband, and leading an empty, self-destructive and unproductive life?
No, I decided to continue my studies because, I knew, that if I ever were to be someone important, I would need a proper university degree from a decent university.
Now, I'm not going to fool anyone here – for my school was tough in every respect.
There was no discipline whatsoever in my school – students (not that you can really label them as 'students') were little more than animals, while the teachers would always show up with a mixture of disgust, boredom and anger at us unresponsive students.
I can honestly say, that there was nothing 'good' in my school – however, I did persevere in my studies, ignoring the general chaos and mayhem going all around me.
There was always the ever vivid images of my parents in the back of my mind and, indeed, when I saw the rowdy students and their pathetically irresponsible and wild behaviour, I knew for sure, that by persevering and studying, I would not end up like them: that is, total failures in life.
Yes, I was teased a lot by the students.
Incredible as it may sound, they teased me, because I was a studious person, and because I simply would not indulge in their self-destructive activities!
But, what kind of people were these?
These were people who live and die in a world of immorality.
Yes, sometimes, I tried to explain to them my feelings and my logic:
"Don't you fools see what you are doing to yourselves? Can't you see what you are doing to your future? Don't you want decent jobs? Don't you want decent wages? Don't you want to live in decent homes? Or, do you really want to live like our parents – a life of poverty, with no hope of ever improving your standards? Can't you see, that you are destroying your own future prospects for success by not studying?"
And they would answer with that typical mixture of arrogance, sarcasm and pure disgust:
"Decent jobs? What's 'decent' to you is indecent to us, my dear, and what's 'good quality of life' for you, is nothing but 'undesirable quality of life' for us. So, keep your meaningless babble to yourself, because, what you are looking for, isn’t what we are looking for. And then, what makes you Sara even think that you’re going to achieve your ambitions? The chances are, next to nothing, that someone like you, coming from a poor background, will be rich in the future; the chances are Sara, that, you will never amount to anything yourself; do you really think that by studying you're going to get the 'good life'?! You are the real fool, Sara, because, you’re going to kill yourself trying to attain your goals, and then, when you finally do realize that you’ve achieved absolutely nothing, well, by then, you’ll be too old! At least, we're enjoying our lives, while, you will live all your boring life, studying, and then after years of studying, you will still manage to end up in some boring, monotonous, low-paying job and so you will end up nowhere! And throughout all those years, do you enjoy your life? No, of course, you didn’t!"
That's what they would say!
What else do you expect from people who have no ambitions?
People who don’t care to be respectable?
To be admired?
These are people who honestly deserve to live in the pitiful, miserable conditions they live on.
So many rich people, feel ‘sorry’ for these type of poor people, but, I am someone from a poor background, and I say to all those tender hearted rich people, don’t you feel sorry for beasts like these!
They’re animals, believe me!
All that these people do, is to live their lives, in complete vice, immorality, debauchery, crime, fraud, drugs, promiscuity, extortions, robberies and anything else evil you can think of.
That is the entire constituents of their empty, wasteful, counterproductive lives.
To be honest, what I learned in High School was mostly meaningless to me.
In that sense I did sympathise with so many of the yawning students.
I myself was so bored by the majority of the subjects we had to learn. The fact is that the subjects we were learning had absolutely no relevance to my life, so why should I learn what is basically completely irrelevant to me?!
Why should I care when the Geography teacher tells me how many pigs there are in a country I never even heard of?
Why should I learn the statistical facts of rivers, mountains and lakes?
Why should I care how a tadpole eventually becomes a frog?
Why should I care about other languages when I do not intend to use these languages?
Why should I care about the intricacies of some poem?
Why should I learn about quadratic equations when I will never use them?
Why should know about this battle or that king from a hundred years ago?
Why should I care about the forces of gravity?
Where is the relevance of the subjects to my life?
I know that if you want to be a doctor, then you must learn biology.
And if you want to be a physicist then you need to know about gravity, friction and all that.
But what about the rest of students who don’t want t be physicists or doctors?
Why doesn’t the school actually bother to ask us what we want to study?
Wouldn’t that be more useful and beneficial for the future of the students?