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Jemimah May 2019
Why do I keep on crying?
I do not know what for
Why do I keep on crying?
It's happening more and more

Why do I keep on crying?
It's not that I'm upset
Why do I keep on crying?
My eyes keep getting wet

Why do I keep on crying?
It's nothing I have done
Why do I keep on crying?
I've just been having fun

Why do I keep on crying?
It's happening everyday
Why do I keep on crying?
I hope it's not here to stay.

Why do I keep on crying?
I just can't seem to stop
Why do I keep on crying?
My head is going to pop

Why do I keep on crying?
Think something's wrong with me
Why do I keep on crying?
Don't let anybody see

Why do I keep on crying?
I feel I'm starting to moan
Why do I keep on crying?
Just want to be left alone

Why do I keep on crying?
Don't really want to talk
Why do I keep on crying?
Think I'll just go for a walk.
Whitney B Feb 2012
On my knees
crying for all the pain
Every single thing that's hurt me
crying for yesterday
Crying for all those lost memories
Never to be seen again
Crying for all the things Iv'e lost
Crying, because it's the end
I'm crying
Crying hard
Crying like I never knew
Crying for my family
Crying tears for you
Luca Molnar Oct 2011
I am crying, because I can't find my place in this world.
I am crying, because nobody can find their place in this world.

I am crying, because that twenty-year- old girl is condemned to death, because cancer is unstoppably spreading in her body. I am crying, because not only her body and her face will disappear from Earth, but her spirit as well, as it will have no home here anymore.
I am crying, because that paralysed truck driver will never be able to drive anymore, and he will never be able to have a son. I am crying, because this has always been his biggest wish, but it will never come true.
I am crying, because I am unable to help them.

I am crying, because time flies too fast, because what is born will die too, because  those who stay miss so much those who leave. I am crying, because there will always be something that casts a shadow on our happiness. I am crying, because we are all unsatisfied, but we know we shouldn't be, for we could be more.

I am crying, because fading in the blur shouldn't be the aim of life. I am crying, because I am scared of the future, because I don't know what eternity is like. I am crying because I am so alone.

I am crying, because something aches so much.
Am crying, crying, crying in the rain...

Waiting a long wait that never seems to end
am living a lie which spawns over and over again
fighting the unease in the middle of my friends
Nowhere to go, I am crying, crying in the rain

Holding out my hand for her to hold it again
making up for the cold nibbling here and everywhere
to see the feeble flame leap at the wind to remain
my eyes find faith and start crying in the rain

The sunsets and the sunrise, how do they suffer
This dying every day for a chance to live again
Me and her every night, we break our chains
only to go our ways leaving me crying, crying in the rain

I wreck myself everytime our paths cross
She too shall be hurt, I know this in my pain
Our fences are down and trouble's coming like a train
My mind is want and aches, my heart is also slain

I am crying, crying, crying in the rain...
We look for love and envy people who have found theirs. What happens when you find the right person at the wrong time? When you meet only to part ways. To live and to die every day for a shot at life again!
Kartikeya Jain Mar 2018
Do you see
the generation today,
my generation struggling
having jarred into their heads
that it's not okay to cry
that it's not good to cry
that it's going to be alright
if you would just stop crying
if you would just wipe the tears off
that crying is for the weak (oh my son is not weak)
that crying wouldn't help
that crying is for the enemies
my generation
was served a lie on the platter
and we gulped it down
our throats without a thought
so that if we ever choke with tears
we'd gulp the lie over and over again
but mothers and fathers
look yourselves in the eye
and tell me if shedding a few tears
didn't turn down your grief
and tell me if shedding a few tears
made you any less a man
made you any less a woman
made you any less a human
Mothers and fathers
look your children in the eye
and tell them
crying is just another emotion
that has the ability
to sit down with your heart
in moments of grief
and be the friend
it needs the most.
tell them
crying is for the strong
crying is for those who feel
crying is for everyone
tell them
crying is okay.
crying is good.
Alexandra Meelan Feb 2019
I was crying
because it hurt
I was crying
because it hurt my feelings
I was crying
because I have feelings
I was crying
because no one cared
I was crying
because no one would help

I stopped crying
because it hurt less
I stopped crying
because I caused myself pain
I stopped crying
because I gave myself
something different to cry about
I stopped crying
because I was strong enough
to handle a different pain
I stopped crying
because I hurt myself.
i Apr 2014
i am crying again,
because of him,
because he looks so
perfect in every picture he
takes and in every sunlight
that shines over him.
i am crying again,
because i know he will
never be mine,
and i want him so badly.
i am crying again,
because i promised myself
that i will not fall for him
again. i guess,
i broke my promise.
i am crying again,
because it takes every cell
and fiber in my body,
not to go to the ***** bathroom,
cry it all out and make new scars,
because i am going to the doctor's
in the morning,
and i cannot afford my mom‘s
stupid lectures.
i am crying again,
because i love him too much,
and because i know he will
find the perfect girl someday,
but she won't ever love him
the way that i do.
i am crying again,
because i will never be
yours, g.
and i want to,
so much.
i am crying again,
laying in bed,
looking at your pictures
in my phone,
and i am crying again,
because i will never
feel your lips on mine,
TheTeacher Oct 2012
Let the tears flow and let the guns go.
If men start crying, we'll stop dying
and the killings in the hood would cease.
The prisons would be empty of angry men.....because they've finally found a release.

If men start crying we'll stop dying
and take our rightful place as the head.  No more negative views, news or obituaries to be read.

If men start crying we'll stop dying
and now I'm on my knees.....praying for my life, but not from a gang of thieves.

If men start crying, we'll stop dying
because we're no longer afraid......about the misconceptions about men that have been made.

If men start crying, we'll stop dying
and hiding behind this wall of much hurt inside .....I need a life preserver to prepare me for this ride.

If men start crying, we'll stop dying
A canoe full of emotions traveling to and fro, but I've held them in so long that I'm about to blow.

If men start crying, we'll stop dying
Do you know what I've been through?  It wasn't a pleasant ride...but God knew what to do.
Jesus loved the world and he cried for it too.  The Perfect one showing me exactly what to do.

If men start crying, we'll stop dying
and become the leaders that God has called us to be.  We'll be the voice of reason instead of the negative images often displayed on TV.


John 11:35 Jesus wept.
Jan Sep 2020
My body shudders
as my hands shake.
I'm crying I'm crying.
I'm crying again.

My senses are flooding
as my eyes sting.
I'm crying, I'm crying.
I'm crying again.

My heart is screaming
limbs stay frozen.
I'm crying, I'm crying.
I'm crying again.

Set me on fire,
burn me down.
Do me a favour,
I want out.

I'm crying I'm crying.

I'm tired of crying again.
It really do be like that now.
One foggy morning i woke up to find my father crying in the living room.
I asked him what was happening, but not a word he said.
I walked out the door and ran into my friend at the gate.
he was crying.
I asked him what was happening.
not a word he said.

I kept walking and i saw 2 women in the park crying.
One of them was sobbing so hard that her body shivered.
Then came another woman, crying, she sat between the two other women and hid her face with her jumper.

As i kept walking I saw a man passing me by in a rush,talking on his phone, crying.
A little boy in his ***** school uniform,crying while his mother, who was crying as well walking them both towards the other side of the busy street.

Then i saw it....
Everybody was crying...
A man driving by in his red car...
4 men pulling a canoe to the river...
A woman in black dress carrying a sheet of paper fluttering in the wind.
2 old men playing chess in front of the department store...
All crying....
While doing their regular daily activities...

I thought to myself....
What is happening????

The answer came unexpectedly from myself...
I was crying as well...
Tears running down my face like sweat.

I was standing in front of my Father's graveyard....
With those gravestones around me....
It was just another cold foggy day in Kilkenny.
Those gravestones looked so sad and old.
I thought to myself....
''These people who died a long time ago.
Forgotten and abandoned...
I used to know these people...
When they were still alive and full of hopes for their lives''

'' Now all dead and sad...
Before me....''

I felt the cold wind blowing the dead leaves away...
The fog hanging heavily in the air....
Not a word i said....
Bob B Nov 2018
"Why are you crying, mother of two?
Tears stain your fearful face."
"The country where I was born and raised
Is now a frightening, deadly place."

"Why are you crying, mother of two?
Tell me why your tears don't cease."
"The journey north is hard, yet we
Yearn to live in a land of peace."

"Why are you crying, mother of two?
Have you lost faith in your caravan?"
"The president says that we are a threat;
He says that we're the bogeyman."

"Why are you crying, mother of two?
Because you’re hungry and have no shoes?"
"We've come seeking asylum, yet we
Are now hearing discouraging news."

"Why are you crying, mother of two?
What is it that gives you pause?"
"We would like to be heard, but now
The president is changing the laws."

"Why are you crying, mother of two?
Do you fear the guard, or sentry?"
"They won't let us plead our case;
They're even blocking the ports of entry."

"Why are you crying, mother of two?
Why the chaos? Why the disorder?"
"Authorities see our desperation;
They've shot tear gas over the border."

"Why are you crying, mother of two?
You are running and out of breath."
"My future may be uncertain here,
But one thing I know: home means death."

-by Bob B (11-27-18)
Alexander  Khamala Opicho
(Eldoret Kenya ;

you big headed ikhongo murui, why are you ever crying?
i were born found you crying, i am aged you are still crying
can't  you find a solution to your problem ?
who wronged you and your are the stone
or are you a harbinger of doom to my people
my  brother in laws  of isukha and idakho,
we are tired of your ugly  grievous tears
the ugly crying face that cites no reason for its grief
you stay near the kakamega provincial police station
why cann't you report those who offended you to the station
are you  a messenger of doom?
because whenever you cry
fate befalls your neighbours
as you cry  a mother miscarries
as you cry road carnage happens
as you cry suicide happens
as you cry husbands desert wives for prostitutes
at Lurambi commercial *** dens
why can't stop crying  for the sake of peace
you malicious crying stone of kakamega forest.
Crying because I loved you
Crying because I hate you
Crying because I believed you
Crying because I was with you
Crying because I still need you
Crying because I still want you
Crying because I’m stupid
Because I still love you
Sometimes you can’t stop it
A man took his life
Just the other day
Left behind his wife
Then she blew herself away

A gang of racists came
Beat a man until he was dead
That poor man was not to blame
It was the prejudice eyes instead

I see this world around me now
And I am crying tears of blood
I wish it could be changed somehow
So I am no longer crying tears of blood

Addict asleep there in the road
Getting off on his highs
To the Devil, his soul is sold
You see death in his eyes

Young girl all on her own
Left home just to live in Hell
Now she feels so very alone
On a street corner, her body to sell

I see this world around me now
And I am crying tears of blood
I wish it could be changed somehow
So I am no longer crying tears of blood

Politician, corruption he always gives
Always going on holiday, somewhere sunny
In his life of luxury he always lives
He is getting rich on the public money

A soldier died in the line of duty yesterday
The ****** that shot him was never seen
His body now lies in a land so far away
His life was ended and he was only eighteen

I see this world around me now
And I am crying tears of blood
I wish it could be changed somehow
So I am no longer crying tears of blood
copyright Chris Smith 2010
Beatrice Prior Jan 2015
Bless me with your grace,
Give me intentions,
Give me promises,
Give me vows,

Support the signs of my prayer,
Give shelter to my heart,
Give me new excuses,
Give me rains of dreams,
A measure of seasons,

Bless me with your grace,
Do your gracious deeds,
Sometimes take a look here too,

Are you listening?
I am crying,
Are you listening to me?
Why am I crying?

Destinations are angry,
Because paths have been lost,
Come and take me away,
That's all I wish for,

This is my path to freedom,
You belong to me. Yes,
Bless me with your grace,
Do your gracious deeds,
Sometimes take a look here too,

Are you listening?
I am crying,
Are you listening to me?
Why am I crying?

Even time has stopped,
How and why has this happened?
Wish you come this way,
Just like some blessing,

You are solace to mu soul,
You are my prayer,
Bless me with your grace,
Do your gracious deeds,
Sometimes take a look here too,

Are you listening?
I am crying,
Are you listening to me?
Why am I crying?

Are you listening?
I am crying,
Are you listening to me?
Why am I crying?

ShowYouLove Feb 2018
My God my God do you hear me crying out?
I am in this pit of darkness and sin
My hands and feet are bound
From my lips there comes no sound
This guilt and shame it crushes me
Do you hear me? Do my pleas reach your ears
For I am mourning and weeping in this valley of tears
Save me Lord in your endless mercy
Let me drink deep, for I am thirsty

My Lord my Lord do you hear me crying out?
Do you still hear me even when I doubt?
I know your love for me is more than I deserve
But it is my desire to take this opportunity to serve
You have freed me of my chains washed me white as snow
Help me take these moments and begin to grow
Do you hear me Lord crying out in thanksgiving
For I am once more back among the living

My Jesus my Jesus do you hear me crying out?
Do you hear the praise and wonder as I come to shout?
How can we keep from crying out
To share what God has done
How can we keep from crying out
And not wanting to tell everyone
How can we keep silent
When we know just what it cost
How can we keep silent
When we find the one that was lost
How can we keep still
When we have the legs to dance
How can we keep still
When we have this great romance
How can we hold back
When we have been given everything
How can we hold back
When the very rocks cry out and sing
How can we not feel another way
When we take the time to sit and pray
Benji James May 2017
Once in a lifetime
You'll meet that one in a million
And you can't help but drown
In such divine beauty and grace
Lost for words
with every move that she makes
Feels like I was falling deeper
This girl she was a keeper
Never thought I'd ever mistreat her

Oh honey can't stop
Crying over you
Straight from my heart
I'm breaking in two
Still, can't bear that I lost you
And memories of you
Are playing on repeat
All these thoughts
I can hardly sleep
Oh honey
Still crying over you

Everything fell,
went stone cold sour
Go through this situation
In my head for hours upon hours
How did we grow so close
Just to be torn apart
Words I should have left unspoken
We're put out in the open
And that's when we slid
into a constant fight
I'll never forget that night
Because I was so wrong,
And you were so right.

Oh honey can't stop
Crying over you
Straight from my heart
I'm breaking in two
Still, can't bear that I lost you
And memories of you
Are playing on repeat
All these thoughts
I can hardly sleep
Oh honey
Still crying over you

And it's here and now
I realise just how
much I messed up
If I could do it all again
You know I would
Let my insecurities
Get the better of me
Resulting in the hurtful words
I put you through
And I'll never forgive myself
for the hurt
I've caused inside of you
So much heartache
In watching your heartbreak

Oh honey can't stop
Crying over you
Straight from my heart
I'm breaking in two
Still, can't bear that I lost you
And memories of you
Are playing on repeat
All these thoughts
I can hardly sleep
Oh honey
Still crying over you

©2017 Written By Benji James
A H J Aug 2018
I’ve been crying a lot lately.

Swirling thoughts, as if they try to crush my existence. An endless staircase that leads me to nowhere but despair, despair, and another despair that greets me over and over. An unfathomable, non explainable feelings that I fail to express to others; and they only came out as faint scars. Countless voices screaming into my  imaginary ears that I yearn to stop, and I deafened myself from those voices by running away to even louder voices. Something inside of me that carves the walls of my skin with a gushing, sharpened knife, but I can’t grasp the reality of that knife so I just stand there and ignore it.

The cycle of me trying to fight my painful, unexplainable misery. Even so, I couldn’t cry.

I couldn’t express all of my predicament, so I couldn’t cry.

That’s why it became a cycle. Again, again, again! I suffer, to the point I want to cut my own throat and die.

“Don’t cry. Crying means you're weak,”

those were the words that were said to me ages ago. Why do I always remember that? I think the person who said that to me already forget about it.

Then, when I thought all of my miseries flooded inside me, they spilled. I cry, ugly face in front of the mirror. Oh boy, when was the last time I saw those eyes, that were usually red below the pupils, wet? When was the last time I sobbed that hard?

That was the first time I sat on the public toilet,


“What’s wrong with crying?”

A person said that to me. A person said that people who don’t cry are the weird ones; do they not blessed with these beautiful, miraculous thing called emotions? Cry, cry, cry, because tears are ...

So, the cycle came back to me. Gushing thoughts hitting me madly, along with staircases that still lead me to land of despair. But now, I cry when I think of them.

I cried.

And cried.

And cried and cried and cried.

I’ve been crying a lot lately.
is crying a good thing?
Donall Dempsey Sep 2018

In the next room
a woman is crying

a moon
perches upon an hotel sign


as a new millennium

as bright as neon

the woman
still crying

her unknown

shifting silently
from one century to another

human grief

from age
to age.

A woman is crying.
Mateuš Conrad Nov 2017
yeah, like i don't get the fetish of a clear-cut
she's bulgarian ******* who pretend to
be romanian,
   and she has this lovely tattoo on her
shoulder-blade like your port-wine stain
removal, you love her physique to bits,
and you're but an ogre,
  she takes your money and gives it to
her *****-slapping madame, which is
illegal in england because:
in england prostitution is only legal
if you're self-employed:
tell that to the ******* snorkeling in amazon,
dot co dot uk...
              so you're with her,
you've been with her before, and she's hammered,
she tells you:
     i'm hammered.
but you still **** her because the transaction
was, "sound"...
           and then you see her start crying rather
than vomiting from the excess of ***** ******* her
**** gave her and the disgust she feels
for you needing to get drunk,
and she starts crying...
        |||||||||||||||||| stop button...
the ****?!
           she starts to mingle with all the the
other "efforts": prostitution:
the exclusivity of the dual-nurtured object
                    ever ****** a *******
when she was crying, and then stop?
oh right, so sorry: "it" all happens in america...
guess all the Puerto Rico ****** have all the fun,
down in Amsterdam, never mind their weight...
but ever have to stop ******* when
a girl starts crying, even though you made
a transaction, maybe i've cave-person new-be
when it comes to the concept of money...
         i must be the famous hunchback
of notre-dame...
                                i still have the tear...
     this overwhelming guilt among the english,
juggling Madonnas & Jezebels...
                             how horrid for the sons
of england to encompass both,
with mere Oedipus, stretched in terms
of less ideological glamour and more in terms:
the perpetuated free-meal-ticket-ride...
           a lap dance is so much better
when the stripper is crying?
what do you call a pundit when a
******* is crying?
                not exactly bloodhound gang
easy rabies and a postcard's worth of:
you better wish you ****** this...
  sure... but the point being:
you never ****** a crying *******...
i have no answer concerning the meaning
of being interluded by such drama,
that's pure woman...
  i'll only learn the truth behind those tears
when a queen becomes a *****...
****... Diana is dead...
                            ****... who am i to choose?
she had the same exact tattoo where i have my port-wine
stain removal in the form of a scar...
     i love prostitutes...
  there's so much less gimmick in keeping
things fake, formal...
buying dinner? i rather eat you as my dinner...
england is ******* when it comes to
carnal desires... england always desired
perversity, homosexuality or trans-sexuality
which always deemed itself above
a very orthodox economic exchange...
   ******* perverts R US...
              i'm not into your ***** ****...
the most i ever got from a latex fantasy was wearing
a ******* ******!
                       but no "sane" woman will
ever have a chance to explain a crying
*******, even if she's a stripper:
  she has about as much clue into the whole
affair as the affair i had with
       the Gorgon:
   ***** was so hot that i had to jump into
a batch and pour hot water over myself naked,
while she remained ******* on the bed...
           it's always the dimmed lights and
the perfume of bourbon in a brothel,
and the intimidating introduction of
being in the ration of 1:10...
      and you're supposed to make a choice...
but a crying ******* is always a first,
blind drunk she doesn't ask for ***** ****...
odd, isn't it... most prostitutes as ******* nuns
in comparisons with the modern girls...
   can i repeat that prostitutes don uniforms
in brothels that are hardly revealing?
can i inform you that most prostitutes
behave like nuns?
    can i inform you can most prostitutes is not all
are not into ***** being the new pink?!
can i tell you some prostitutes
transcend the rule of actually
kissing you on the lips and giggling?
can i tell you that most prostitutes
are actually the lost encounters of the admete?
how few admire them for the other name,
that is... callithyia;
  entwined in courting whether there be,
or there not be a king:
                   leprosy judged or by herculean
might pronounced later lost of mind:
the daughters admete & callithyia
                renounce a history of past or future,
for a history that's merely a:
corrupt, current every beaming
recurrent plagiarism of a "beginning".
Danny Valdez Dec 2011
There were many times
When I came close to leaving my wife.
I would take some clothes
and my favorite movies with me
to my parent’s house,
dead set on not going back.
But then she would come over
And talk me out of it.
When it finally happened though
this is how it went down:
It was the Fourth of July
and I was driving home
from my job at a group home for the developmentally disabled,
Fireworks bursting all around me
up in the Arizona sky.
I was caught up in a full-blown panic attack
from the thought of my twelve-hour shift
the next day with no pain pills or any relief
I have a severe back injury from a car wreck
and that day I had hurt it worse
moving someone from their wheelchair into the shower.
It felt like a railroad spike
had been rammed into the center of my spine.
Driving home
then walking up the stairs to our apartment
I couldn’t stop crying.
I had lost all control.
Walking in the front door,
my wife was cooking and my son crawled on the floor.
I went straight to the bathroom,
Needed to calm down and compose myself,
but I just couldn’t stop crying.
Hell I couldn’t even catch my breath.
My wife walked in.
“What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
“I hurt my back really bad today at work … and I have a twelve-hour shift tomorrow
and no pain pills, no nothing. It just hurts so bad …”
She rolled her big blue eyes and scoffed at me.
“Ugh. That’s no reason to be ******* crying. Quit being a baby.”
Out the door she went with a slam.
THAT was my wife? My true love?
The thought drove me insane.
Growing old with her hateful eyes
always glaring at me.
I ate dinner in silence,
put the baby to bed
and smoked so much ****
I felt nothing
neither physical nor mental.
I couldn’t smoke **** before or at work, however,
I did have morals.
Those people in the group home were my responsibility.
The baby woke up crying around five a.m.
I had to start my shift at eight a.m.
It was the wife’s day off.
“Hey … hey … wake up. Can you get him? Please?”
“Arrgg. No. Just get up with him.” She groaned and rolled back over.
“Please? I gotta be up in two hours.”
“Ugh. NO. It’s my day off.”
“Exactly. You can take a nap with him later. I gotta work twelve hours today.”
“I said NO. I didn’t want a baby in the first place. Remember?”
She said that all the time. It made my blood ******’ boil.
“Then maybe you should’ve kept your ******* legs closed.”
I said
turning away from her, on my side
The baby kept crying,
screaming, now a blood-curdling sound.
The next thing I saw were
of red, black, and white
as her small, but bony,
rock hard fist
hit the side of my temple.
“YOU ******’ ****,” I screamed
jumping up and out of bed.
Picking the baby up,
he rested his little head on my shoulder,
and finally stopped crying.
I walked the floor,
pacing back and forth,
my back aching,
my head throbbing & pulsating
as the goose-egg lump
She sat upright in bed.
Her arms crossed, her icy glare
burning a hole through my head.
She didn’t look the same anymore.
When we met
her eyes were full of good
burning churches
Replaced now with
little saggy *******,
wiry, stringy, mess of hair—
like a Barbie doll left outside too long.
And that face
held so much hate.
My God, that face of hers.
She despised me.
Everything I did and said
just ****** her off.
From the bedroom window
I stood watching the cars
move along down the street,
thinking of it all.
The fights,
all the shiners, lumps, goose-eggs, cuts, and bruises
she had left on me over the past nine months.
When she used to look at me with those
big blue eyes,
there was love, lust, and a future.
Now it was hate, hate, hate
I thought of all this
watching those cars drive down the street
when it suddenly became clear to me,
I could be in one of those cars too.
Driving somewhere, anywhere, far from her.
My son, was my son
I'd always be there for him
and have my time with him.
But her time?
Our time?
It was up.
The switch in my mind was flipped. And broken off.
I kissed my son, put him on the bed and
went into the closet.
Getting my ****.
“No, no, no, no. You can’t leave. You CAN’T.”
She started to panic.
“Watch me. This is it, you hateful *****. Get out of my way.”
She ran behind me,
followed me down the stairs, all the way to the car,
shrieking, screaming continuously,
and slobbering and gasping for air,
throwing herself in my path.
Tears flowed
From her over sized eyes,
now filled with tiny red veins.
“We can go to counseling, we can work it out.”
“I don’t WANT to work it out. I don’t love you anymore.
Now would you get back upstairs? You left the baby all by himself up there.”
She didn’t hear me.
Just kept on trying to convince me.
I managed to get my clothes in the car,
but then she wouldn’t let me
close my door.
“I can’t believe this. I can’t believe you. You’re just leaving your child?”
“No. I’m leaving YOU. Now get back upstairs and be a mother.
You’re done being a wife.”
I had to pry her claws off the driver’s side door to leave.
Looking in the rear view
I saw her skinny body running up the stairs
back to our apartment
and the baby.

My first meal as a free man
was an egg & cheese biscuit.
I sat in my parked car
in the parking lot of a park
listening to my iPod
on shuffle.
“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” by Bob Dylan
suddenly came on.
I took it as a sign
guy scutellaro Oct 2019
The rain ****** through a darkening sky.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles. Softly, he whispers, " Man, you're the biggest, whitest, what hell are you anyway?"

The pup sits up and Jack Delleto caresses her neck, but much to the mutt's chagrin the man stands up and walks away.

Jack has his hand on the door about to go into the bar. The pup issues an interrogatory, "Woof?"

The rain turns to snow.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles, "My grandma used to say that when it snows the angels are sweeping heaven. I'll be back for you, Snowflake."

Jack shivers. His smile fading, the night jumps back into his eyes.

Snowflake chuffs once, twice.

The man is gone.

The room would have been a cold, dark place except the bodies who sit on the barstools or stand on the ***** linoleum floor produce heat. The cigarette smoke burns his eyes. Jack Delleto looks down the length of the bar to the boarded shut fire place and although the faces are shadows, he knows them all.

The old man who always sits at the second barstool from the dart board is sitting at the second bar stool. His fist clenched tightly around the beer mug, he stares at his own reflection in the mirror.

The aging barmaid, who often weeps from her apartment window on a hot summer night or a cold winter evening, is coming on to a man half her age. She is going to slip her arm around his bicep at any moment.

"Yeah," Jack smiles, "there she goes."

Jack Delleto knows where the regulars sit night after night clutching the bar with desperation, the wood rail is worn smooth.

In the mirror that runs the length of the bar Jack Delleto sees himself with clarity. Brown hair and brown eyes. Just an ordinary 29 year old man.

"Old Fred is right," he thinks to himself, "If you stare at shadows long enough, they stare back." Jack smiles and the red head returns his smile crossing her long legs that protrude beneath a too short skirt.

The bartender recognizes the man smiling at the redhead.

"Well,  Jack Delleto, Dell, I heard you were dead. " The six foot, two hundred pound bartender tells him as Dell is walking over to the bar.

"Who told you that?"

"Crazy George, while he was swinging from the wagon wheel lamp." Bob O'Malley says as he points to the wagon wheel lamp hanging from the ceiling.

"George, I heard, HE was dead."

The bartender reaches over the bar resting the palms of his big hands on the edge of the bar and flashes a smile of white, uneven teeth. Bob extends his hand. "Where the hell have you been?"

They shake hands.

Dell looks up at the Irishman. "I ve been at Harry's Bar in Venice drinking ****** Marys with Elvis and Ernest."

Bob O'Malley grins, puts two shot glasses on the bar, and reaches under the bar to grab a bottle of bourbon. After filling the glasses with Wild Turkey, he hands one glass to Dell. They touch glasses and throw down the shots.

"Gobble, gobble," O Malley smiles.

The front door of the bar swings open and a cold wind drifts through the bar. Paul Keater takes off his Giants baseball cap and with the back of his hand wipes the snow off of his face.

"Keater," Bob O'Malley calls to the Blackman standing in the doorway.

Keater freezes, his eyes moving side to side in short, quick movements. He points a long slim finger at O'Malley, "I don't owe you any money," Paul Keater shouts.

The people sitting the barstools do not turn to look.

"You're always pulling that **** on me." Keater rushes to the bar, "I PPPAID YOU."

As Delleto watches Keater arguing with O'Malley, the anger grows into the loathing Dell feels for Keater. The suave, sophisticated Paul Keater living in a room above the bar. The man is disgusting. His belly hangs pregnant over his belt. His jeans have fallen exposing the crack of his ***, and Keater just doesn't give a ****. And that ragged, faded, baseball cap, ****, he never takes it off.

When Keater glances down, he realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto. Usually, Paul Keater would have at least considered punching Delleto in his face. "The **** wasn't any good," Paul feining anger tells O'Malley. "Everybody said it was, ****."

The bartender finishes rinsing a glass in the soapy sink water and then places it on a towel. "*******."

Keater slides the Giant baseball cap back and forth across his flat forehead. "**** it," he turns and storms out of the bar.

"Can I get a beer?" Dell asks but O"Malley is already reaching into the beer box. Twisting the cap off, he puts it on the bar. "It's not that Keater owes me a few bucks, "he tells Dell, "if I didn't cut him off he'd do the stuff until he died." Bob grabs a towel and dries his hands.

"But the smartest rats always get out of the maze first," Jack tells Bob.

Cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and losing lottery tickets litter the linoleum floor. Jack Delleto grabs the bottle of beer off the bar and crosses the specter of unfulfilled wishes.

In the adjacent room he sits at a table next to the pinball machine to watch a disfigured man with an anorexic women shoot pool. Sometimes he listens to them talk, whisper, laugh. Sometimes he just stares at the wall.

"We have a winner, "the pinball machine announces, "come ride the Ferris wheel."

"I'm part Indian. "

Jack looks up from his beer. The Indian has straight black hair that hangs a few inches above her shoulders, a thin face, a cigarette dangling from her too red lips.

"My Mom was one third Souix, " the drunken women tells Jack Delleto.

The Indian exhales smoke from her petite nose waiting for a come on from the man with the sad face. And he just stares, stares at the wall.

Her bushy eyebrows come together forming a delicate frown.

Jack turns to watch a brunette shoot pool. The woman leans over the pool table about to shoot the nine ball into the side pocket. It is an easy shot.

The brunette looks across the pool table at Jack Delleto, "What the **** are you starin at?" She jams the pool stick and miscues. The cue ball runs along the rail and taps the eight ball into the corner pocket. "AH ****," she says.

And Jack smiles.

The Indian thinks Jack is smiling at her, so she sits down.

"In the shadows I couldn't see your eyes," he tells her, "but when you leaned forward to light that cigarette, you have the prettiest green eyes."

She smiles.

" I'm Kathleen," her eyes sparkling like broken glass in an alley.

Delleto tries to speak.

"I don't want to know your name," she tells Jack Delleto, the smile disappearing from her face. "I just want to talk for a few minutes like we're friends," she takes a drag off the cigarette, exhales the smoke across the room.

Jack recognizes the look on her face. Bad dreams.

"I'll be your friend," he tells her.

"We're not going to have ***." The Indian slowly grinds out the cigarette into the ashtray, looks up at the man with the sad face.
"Do you have family?" Kathleen does not wait for an answer.

"I met my older sister in Baltimore yesterday." She tells the man with sad eyes.' Hadn't seen her since I was nine, since Mom died. I wanted to know why Dad put me in foster homes. Why?

I had so many questions and you know what?
I didn't ask one."

Jack is finishing his beer.

"Maybe if you knew the reasons, now, it wouldn't matter anyway."

The man with the black eye just doesn't get it. She lived with them long enough. Long enough to love them.

She stands up, stares at Jack Delleto.

And walks away.

It's the fat blondes turn to shoot pool. She leans her great body ever so gently across the green felt of the pool table, shoots and misses. When she tries to raise herself up off the pool table, the tip of the pool cue hits the Miller Lite sign above the pool table sending the lamb rocking violently back and forth. In flashes of light like the frames from and old Chaplin movie the sad and grotesque appear and disappear.

"What the **** are you starin at?" The skinny brunette asks.

Jack pretends to think for a moment. "An unhappy childhood."

Suddenly, she stands up, looking like death wearing a Harley Davidson T-shirt.

"Dove sta amore?" Jack Delleto wonders.

Death is angry, steps closer.

"Must be that time of the month, huh," Jack grins.

With her two tiny fists clenched tightly at her side, the brunette stares down into Delleto's eyes. Suddenly, she punches Jack in the eye.

Jack stands up bringing his forearm up to protect his face. At the same time Death steps closer. His forearm catches her under the chin. The bony ***** goes down.

Women rush from the shadows. They pull Jack to the ***** floor, punch and kick him.

In the blinking of the Miller Light Jack Delleto exclaims," I'm being smother by fat lesbians in soft satin pants."  But then someone is pulling the women off of him.

The Miller Lite gently rocks and then it stops.

Jack stands up, shakes his head and smiles.

"Nice punch Dell," Bob O' Malley says, "I saw from the bar."

Jack hits the dust off of his pants, grabs the beer bottle off of the table, takes a swallow. Smiling, he says, "I box a little."

"I can tell by your black eye." O'Malley puts his hand on his friends shoulder. "Come on I'll buy you a shot. What caused this spontaneous expression of love?"

"They thought I was a ******."

2 a.m.

Jack Delleto walks out the door of the bar into the wind swept gloom. The gray desolation of boarded shut downtown is gone.

The rain has finally turn to snow.

His eyes follow the blue rope from the parking meter pole to its frayed end buried in the plowed hill of snow at the corner of Cookman Avenue.

The dog, Snowflake, dead, Jack thinks.

The snow covers everything. It covers the abandon cars and the abandon buildings, the sidewalk and its cracks. The city, Delleto imagines, is an adjectiveless word, a book of white pages. He steps off the curb into the gutter and the street is empty for as far as he can see. He starts walking.

Jack disappears into empty pages.

Chapter 2

Paul Keater has a room above Wagon Wheel Bar where the loud rock music shakes the rats in the walls til 2a.m. The vibrations travel through the concrete floor, up the bed posts, and into the matress.

Slowly Paul's eyes open. Who the hell is he fooling. Even without the loud music, he would not be able to sleep, anyway.

Soft red neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks into his room.

Paul Keater sits up, sighs, resigns himself to another sleepless night, swings his legs off the bed. His x-wife. He thinks about her frequently. He went to a phycologist because he loved her.

Dump the *****, the doctor said.

"I paid him eighty bucks and all he had to say was dump the *****." He laughs, shakes his head.

Paul thinks about *******, looks around the tiny room, and spots a clear plastic case containing the baseball cards he had collected when he was a boy.

He walks to the dresser and puts on his Giant's baseball cap. Paul sits down on the wooden chair by the sink. Turns on the lamp. The card on top is ***** Mays. Holding it in his hand, it is perfect. The edges are not worn like the other cards.

It was his tenth birthday and his dad had taken him to his first baseball game and his father had bought the card from a dealer.

Oblivious to the loud rock music filtering into his room, he stares at the card.

Fondly, he remembers.



It arrives unobtrusively. His heart begins to race faster.
Jack Delleto rolls away from the cracked wall. He sits up and drops his legs off the bed.

Jack Delleto thinks about mountains.

When he cannot sleep he thinks about climbing up through the fog that makes the day obscure, passing where the stunted spruce and fir tees are twisted by the wind, into cold brilliant light. Once as he climbed through the fog he saw his shadow stretching a half a mile across a cloud and the world was small. Far down to the east laid cliffs and gullies, glaciated mountains and to the west were the plains and cities of everyday life.

The army coat is draped over the back of the chair. In the pocket is his notebook. Jack stands and takes the notebook from the pocket. When he sits in the wooden chair he opens the book and slides the pen from the binder.

When he finishes his story he makes the end into the beginning.

                                           Chapter 3

"I want a captain in a truck." The 10 year old boy with the brown hair tells his mom. "I want it NOW."

His blonde haired mom wearing the gold diamond bracelet nods her head at Jack Delleto. Jack looks up at the clock on the wall. It is only 9a.m. After four years of college Jack has a part time job at K.B. Toy store. "We're all out of them," he tells her for the second time.

"Honey," Blondie tells her boy, "they're all out of them."


"How about a sargeant in a jeep?

"OK, but I want a missile firing truck , too."

Delleto turns to the display case behind the counter. Briefly, he studies his black eye in the display case mirror and then begins searching the four shelves and twenty rows of 3 inch plastic toys. He finds the truck. His head is aching. He finds the truck and puts it on the counter in front of the boy.

"Sorry, we're all out of the sargeant," Jack tells the pretty lady. The aching in his head just won't go away.


Jack Delleto leans over the counter resting his elbows on the glass top. The boy is staring at the man with the black eye, at his bruised, unshaven face.

"Well, we haven't got any, GODDAMED TANKS. How about a , KICKINTHE ***."

Finally the boy and his mother are quiet.

"My husband will have you fired."

She grabs the boy by the hand. Turns to rush out of the store.

Jack mutters something.

"MMOOOMEEE,  what does..."

"Oh, shut the hell up," the pretty lady tells her son


The assistant manager takes a deep drag on her cigarette, exhales, and crosses her arms to hold the cigarette in front of her. Susan looks down at Jack sitting on the stool behind the counter. He stands up. "Did you tell some lady to blow you?" She crushes the cigarette out in the ashtray on the shelf below the counter. "Maybe you don't need this job but I do."

"Sue, there's no smoking in the mall."

"Jack, you look tired," the cubby teenager tells him, "and your eye. Another black eye."

"I was attacked by five women."

'Oh, I see, in your dreams maybe. I see, it's one of those male fantasies I'm always reading about in Cosmo. You re not boxing again, are you Dell?" Sue likes to call him Dell.

"I go down to the gym to work out. Felix says I've got something."

"Yeah, a black eye." Susan laughs, opens the big vanilla envelope, and hands Jack his check.

She turns and takes a pair of sunglasses from the display stand. "You 're scaring the children, Dell ." Susan steps closer looks into Dell's brown eyes and the slips the sunglasses on his face. "Why don't you go to lunch."


It's noon and the mall is crowded at the food court area. Jack gets a 20oz cup of coffee, finds a table and sits down.

"Go over and talk to him. " Susan says. Jack turns his head , looks back, sees the Indian walking towards his table.

"Hello, Kathrine," says Jack Delleto.

"My names not Kathrine, it's Kathleen."

Jack pulls the chair away from the table, "Have a seat Kate."

Her eyebrows form that delicate frown. "My names Kathleen." As soon as she sits down she takes a cigarette from the pack sticking out of her pocketbook. "I had to leave. I told the baby sitter I'd only be gone an hour. Anyway you weren't much help."

"So why did you come over to talk to me?"

"You were alone, the bar full of people and you were alone, always alone."

"You've seen me there before?"

"Yeah, sitting by the pin ball machine staring at the wall, and sometimes, you'd take out your little blue note pad and write in it.
"What are you writing? Are you goin to write about me..."

"How many kids do you have?"

"Just one. A boy, and believe me one is enough. He'll be four in June," Kathleen smiles but then she remembers and abruptly the smile disappears from her face. "Sometimes I see Anthony's father in the mall and I ask him if he'd like to meet his son, but he doesn't.

Kathleen draws the cigarette smoke deep into her lungs, tilts her head back, and blows the smoke towards the skylight. Suddenly caught in the sunlight the smoke becomes a gray cloud. " I didn't want to marry him anyway, I don't know why he thought that."

She hears the scars as Delleto talks, something sad about the man, something like old newspapers blowing across a deserted street. She hears the scars and knows never, never ask where the scars came from.


As Jack walks towards the bank to cash his check, he glances out the front entrance to the mall. It is a bright, cold day and the snowplows are finishing up the parking lot plowing the snow into big white hills. That is the fate of the big white pup plowed to the corner of Cookman and Main buried deep in ***** snow. At that street corner when the school is over the children will play on the hill never realizing what lay beneath there feet.

The snow must melt; spring is inevitable.

His pup will be back.

                                           Chapter 4

The 19 year old light heavyweight leans his muscular body forward to rest his gloved hands on the tope rope of the ring. He bows his head waiting to regain his breath as his lungs fight to force air deep into his chest. Bill Wain has finished boxing 4 rounds with Red.

Harry the trainer, gently pulls the untied boxing gloves from Red's hands. "Good fight, he says, patting Red on the back as the fighter climbs through the ropes and heads to the showers. Harry hands the sweat soaked gloves to Felix who puts one glove under his arm while he loosens the laces on the other 12ounce glove. He makes the sleeve wider.

"Do you want the head gear?" Felix asks.

Jack Delleto shakes his head and pushes his taped hand deep into the glove.

The old man takes the other glove from under his arm, pulls the laces out, and holds it open. Without turning his head to look at him, Felix tells Harry, "Make sure Bill doesn't cool down. Tell him to shadow box. Harry walks over to Bill and Bill starts shadow boxing.

Jack pushes his hand into the glove. "Make a fist." Jack does. Felix pulls the laces and ties it into a bow.

Felix looks intently into Delleto's eyes. "How does that feel?"

"About right."

"You look tired."

"I am a little."

"Are you sick or is it a woman."

"I'm not sick."

A big smile forms across the face of the former welterweight champion of Nevada. The face of the 68 year old Blackman is lined and cracked like the old boxing gloves that Jack is wearing but his tall body is youthful and athletic in appearance. Above Felix's eyebrows Jack sees the effect of 20 years as a professional fighter. He sees the thick scar tissue and the thin white lines where the old man's skin has been stitched and restitched many times. As he gives instructions to Jack, Felix's brown eyes seem to be staring at something distant and Jack wonders if Felix has chased around the ring one time too often his dream.

"And get off first. Don't stop punching until he goes down. You've got it kid and not every fighter does."

Jack and Felix start walking over to the ring.

"What is it I've got?" Jack Deletto wonders.

Felix puts his foot on the fourth strand of the rings rope and with his hand pulls up the top strand and as Jack steps into the ring, "You've got, HEART."

In the opposite corner Bill Wain waits.

"Will he be alright?" Harry asks.

"Bill's tired, " Felix replies, then he tries to explain. "It's not about money. I'm almost 70 and I want to go out a winner." Felix pauses and the offers, he can hit hard with either hand."

"Yeah, but at best he's a small middleweight and he only moves in one direction, straight ahead."

"Harry, I love the guy," Felix puts his hand on Harry's shoulder, he's like Tyson at the end of his career. He'd fight you to the death but he's not fighting to win anymore."

Harry puts his hands in his pocket and stares at the floor. "Do you want me to tell him to go easy." Harry looks up at Felix waiting for an answer.

"I'm tired of sweeping dirt from behind the boxes of wax beans and tuna fish. I'm sick of collecting shopping carts in the rain. A half way decent white heavyweight can make a lot of money. It's stupid for a fighter to practice holding back. Bill's a winner. Jack'll be alright."

Felix hands the pocket watch to Harry so he can time the rounds.

Bill Wain comes out of his corner circling left.

Jack rushes straight ahead.

Felix winks at Jack Delleto and whispers, "The Jack of hearts."

                                           Chapter 5

The front door of the Wagon Wheel bar explodes open to Ziggy Pop's, "YOU'VE GOT A LUST FOR LIFE." Jack Delleto steps over the curb and vanishes into the dark doorway.

"HEY, JACK, JACK DELLETO," The lanky bartender shouts over the din.

Delleto makes his way through the crowd over to bar. How the hell have you been Snake?" Jack asks.

"Just great," says Snake. "You're lookin pretty ****** good for a dead man."

"Who told you that? Crazy George?"

The bartender points across the room to where a man in a pin stripe suit is swinging to and fro from a wagon wheel lamp attached to the ceiling.

"Yeah, I thought so. Haven't seen Crazy George in a year and he's been telling everyone I'm dead. I'm gonna have to have a long talk with that man."

Snake hands Jack a shot of tequila. The men touch glasses and throw down the shots.

How's the other George? Dell asks.


"How's Tommy? You see him anymore?"


"What about Robbie?"

Snake refills the glasses. "He's livin in a nudist colony in Florida, he has two wives and 6 children."

Jack looks across the room and sees Bob O'Malley trying to adjust the rose in the lapel of his tuxedo. Satisfied it won't fall out O'Malley looks up at the man swinging from the lamp. "Quick, name man's three greatest inventions."

"Alcohol, tobacco, and the wheel," Crazy George shoots back.

O'Malley smiles and then jumps up on the top of the bar and although he is over six feet and weighs two hundred pounds, he has the dexterity and grace of a ballerina as he pirouttes around and jumps over the shot glasses and beer bottles that litter the bar.

Wedding guests lean back in their chairs as strangers fearful of his gyrations ****** their drinks off the bar. Bob fakes a slip as he prances along but he is always in control and never falters. Forty three year old Bob O'Malley is Jim Brown who dodges danger to score the winning touch down.

When Bob reaches the end of the bar he jumps to the floor, pulls two aluminum lids from the beer box, and with one in each hand he smacks them together like cymbals.

Some guests clap. The bemused just stare.

In the back of the room sitting at the wedding table the father of the bride leans over, whispers into the ear of his crying wife, "If I had a gun I'd shoot Bob."

The bride raises a glass of champagne into the smoke filled air and Bob takes a bow but then heads towards the kitchen at the other end of the room.

" Hey, Bob," Jack Delleto shouts to the groom.

O'Malley stops under the wagon wheel lamp and turns as Delleto steps into the  circle of light cast onto the floor.

"Congratulations, I know Theresa and you are goin to be happy. I mean that." Delleto offers his hand and they shake hands.

"Thanks, Mr. Cool."

Jack takes off the sunglasses.

"TWO black eyes. Your nose is bleeding. What happened?"

Dell takes the handkerchief from his back pocket, wipes the blood dripping down his face. "It's broken."

"What happened?" O'Malley asks again.

"Bill Wain."

"He turned pro."

"Yeah, but he's nothing special. Hell, he couldn't even knock me down."

O'Malley shakes his head. "Put the sunglasses back on, you look like a friggin raccoon."

Dell smiles. The blood running down his lips."Thersa's beautiful, Bob, you're a lucky guy."

"Thanks Dell." O'Malley puts his hand on Dell's shoulder and sqeezes affectionately. Bob looks across the room at Theresa. "Yeah, she is beautiful." Theresa mother has stopped crying. Her father just stares at the wall.

O'Malley looks away from his bride and passed the archway that divides the poolroom from the bar and into the corner. With the lamp light above his head gleaming in his eyes Bob seems to see a ghost fleeting in the far distant, dark corner. Slowly, a peculiar half smile forms uneven, white, tombstone teeth.  A pensive smile.

Curious, Dell turns his head to look into the darkness of the poolroom, too.

At night in July the moths were everywhere. When Dell was a boy he would sit on his porch and try to count them. The moths appeared as faint splashes of whiteness scattered throughout the night, odd circles of white that moved haphazardly, forward and then sideways, sometimes up and then down.

Sometimes the patches of moths flew higher and higher and Dell imagined the lights those creatures were seeking were the stars themselves; Orion, the Big Dipper, and even the milky hue of the Milkyway.

One night as the moths pursued starlight he saw shadows dropping one by one from the branches at the tops of the trees. The swallows were soundless and when he caught a glimpse of sudden darkness, blacker than the night, he knew the shadows had erased the dreamer and its dream.

His imagination gave definition to form. There was a sound to the shadows of the swallows in his thoughts, the melody and the song played over and over. Wings of shadow furled and unfurled. Perhaps he saw his reflection in the night. Perhaps there are shadows where nothing exists to cast them.

"Do you hear them, Bob?"

"Hear what?" Bob asks.

"All of them."

"All of what?"

"Nothin," Delleto candidly tells his friend, "Nothin."

O'Malley doesn't understand but it does not matter. The two men have shared the same corner of darkness.

Bob calls to Paul Keater. Keater smiles broadly, slides the brim of his Giant baseball cap to the side of his forehead. The two men disappear through the swinging kitchen door.

                                          Chapter 6

"Hello Kate." Jack Delleto says and sits down. She has a blue bow in her hair and make up on.

"My names Kathleen."

She fondles the whiskey glass in her slim fingers. "Hello, Dell, Sue thinks Dell is such a **** name. Kathleen takes a last drag on her cigarette, rubs it out in the ashtray, looks up at him, "What should I call you?"

"How about, Darlin?"

"Hello, Jack, DARLIN," her soft, deep voice whispers. Kathleen crosses her legs and the black dress rides up to the middle of her thigh.

Jack glances at the milky white flesh between the blue ***** hose and the hem of her dress. Kate is drunk and Dell does not care. He leans closer, "Do you wanna dance?"

"But no one else is dancing."

"Well, we can go down to the beach, take a walk along the sand."

"It's twenty degrees out there."

"I'll keep you warm."

"All right, lets dance."

Jack stands up takes her by the hand. As Kathleen rises Jack draws her close to him. Her ******* flatten against his chest. He feels her heart thumping.

The Elvis impersonator that almost played Las Vegas; the hairdresser that wanted to be a race car driver; the insurance salesman with a Porche and a wife.  Her men talked about what they owned or what they could do well.

And Kathleen was impressed.

But Dell wasn't like them. Dell never talked about himself. Did he have a dream? Was there something he wanted more than anything?

Kathleen had never meant anyone quite like Dell.

She rests her head on his shoulder. "What do you what more than anything? What do you dream about at night?"


"Come on," she says," what do you want more than anything? Tell me your dreams."

Jack smiles, "Just to make it through another day."  He smiles that sad smile that she saw the first time they met. "Tell me what you want."

Kate lifts her head off of his shoulder and looks into his eyes."I don't want to be on welfare the rest of my life and I want to be able to send my son to college." She rests her cheek against his, "I've lived in foster homes all my life and every time I knew that one day I'd have to leave, what I want most is a home. Do you know the difference between a house and a home?"


Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear, "LOVE."

The song comes to an end and they leave the circle of light and sit down. Kate takes a cigarette from the pack.

Dell strikes a match. The flame flickering in her eyes. "Maybe someday you'll have your home."

"Do you want me to?"


Kate blows out the match.


"Can you take me home?" Kate asks slurring her words.

Kathleen and Jack walk over to where the bride and groom are standing near the big glass refrigerator door with Paul Keater. When Paul realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto he rocks back and forth on the heals of his worn shoes, slides his Giants baseball cap back and forth across his forehead and walks away.

O'Malley bends down and kisses Kathleen on the cheek and turns to shake hands with Dell. "Good luck," says Dell. Kathleen embraces the bride.

Outside the bar the sun is setting behind the boarded shut Delleto store.

"That was my Dad's store, " Jack tells Kate and then Jack whispers to to himself as he reads the graffiti spray painted on the front wall.

                                         Chapter 7

An old man comes shuffling down the street, "Hello Mr. Martin, " Jack says, "How are you?"

"I'm an old man Jack, how could I be," and then he smiles, "ah, I can't complain. How are you?"

"Still alive and well."

"Who is this pretty young lady?"

"This is Kate."

Joesph Martin takes Kathleen by the arm and  gently squeezes, "Hello Kate, such a pretty women, ah, if I was only sixty," and the old man smiles.

Kathleen forces a smile.

The thick eyeglasses that Mr. Martin wears magnifys his eyes as he looks from Kathleen to Jack, "Have fun now because when you are dead you are going to be dead a long, long time."

"How long?  Delleto inquires.

The old man smirks and waves as he continues up the street to the door leading to the rooms above the bar. He turns to face the door. The small window is broken and the shards of glass catch the twilight.

Joesph Martin turns back looking at the man and young woman who are about to get into the car. He is not certain what he wants to say to them. Perhaps he wants to tell them that it ***** being an old man and the upstairs hallway always smells of ****.

Joesph Martin wants to tell someone that although Anna died seven years ago his love endures and he misses her everyday. Joesph recalls that Plato in Tamaeus believed that the soul is a stranger to the Earth and has fallen into matter because of sin.

A faint smile appears on the wrinkled face of the old man as he heeds the resignation he hears in his own thoughts.

Jack waves to Mr. Martin.  Joesph waves back. The mustang drives off.

Earth, O island Earth.

                                               Chapter 8

Joseph pushes open the door and goes into the hallway. The fragments of glass scattered across the foyer crunch and clink under his shoes. The cold wind blowing through the broken window touches his warm neck. He shivers and walks up the stairs. There is only enough light to see the wall and his own warm breathing. There is just enough light like when he has awaken from a  bad dream, enough to remember who he is and to separate the horror of what is real from the horror of what is dreamt.

The old man continues climbing the stairs following the familiar shadow of the wall cast onto the stairs. If he crosses the vague line of shadow and light he will disappear like a brown trout in the deepest hole in a creek.

By the time he reaches the second floor he is out of breath. Joseph pauses and with the handkerchief he has taken from his back pocket he wipes the fog from the lenses of his eyeglasses and the sweat from his forehead.

A couple of doors are standing open and the old man looks cautiously into each room as he hurries passed. One forty watt bulb hangs from a frayed wire in the center of the hallway. The wiring is old and the bulb in the white porcelain socket flickers like the blinking of an eye or the fearful beating of the heart of an old man.

When he opens the door to his room it sags on ruined hinges.

Joesph searches with his hand for the light switch.  Several seconds linger. Can't find it.

Finds it and quickly pushes the door shut. He sits down on the bed, doesn't take his coat off, reaches for the radio. It is gone.

Joseph looks around the room. A small dresser, the sink with a mirror above it. He takes off his coat and above the mirror hangs the coat on the nail he has put there.

Hard soled boots echo hollowly off the hallway walls. The echoes are overlapping and he can not determine if the footsteps are leaving or approaching.

The crow bar is under his pillow.

He grabs it. Holds it until there is silence.

He lays back on the bed. Another night without sleep. Joseph rolls onto his side and faces the wall.

Earth, O island Earth.

                                           Chapter 9

Tangled in the tree tops a rising moon hangs above the roofs of identical Cape Cod houses.

Jack pulls the red mustang behind a station wagon. Kathleen is looking at Dell. His face is a faint shadow on the other side of the car. "Do you want to come up?" she asks.

Kathleen steps out of the car, breathes the cold air deep into her lungs. It is fresh and sweet. Jack comes around the side of the car just as she knew he would. He takes her into his arms. She can feel his lips on hers and his warm breath as the kiss ends.

They walk beneath the old oak tree and the roots have raised and crack the sidewalk and in the spring tiny blue flowers will bloom. The flowers remind Jack of the columbines that bloom in high mountain meadows above treeline heralding a brief season of sun and warmth.

"Did you win?" Kathleen asks as she fits the key into the upstairs apartment door. The door swings open into the kitchen.

Dell, leaning in the doorway looking like the Jack of Hearts. "It doesn't matter."

"You lost?"


Crossing the room she takes off her coat and places it on the back of the kitchen chair. When Kate leans across the kitchen table to turn on the radio the mini dress rides up her thigh, tugs tightly around her buttocks.

The radio plays softly.

Jack stands and as Kathleen turns he slips his arms around her waist and she is staring into his eyes like a cat into a fire. His body gently presses against the table and when he lifts her onto the table her legs wrap around his waist.

Kathleen sighs.

Jack kisses her. Her lips are cold like the rain. His hand reaches. There is a faint click. The room slips into darkness. It is Eddie Money on the radio, now, with Ronnie Spectre singing the back up vocals. Eddie belts out, "TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, I WON"T LET YOU LEAVE TIL..."

When Jack withdraws from the kiss her eyes are shining like diamonds in moonlight.

The buttons of her dress are unfastened.  Her arms circle his neck and pull him to her *******. "Don't Jack. You mustn't. I just want a friend."

His hands slide up her thighs. "I'll be your friend, " says Jack.

Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear. "*** always ruins every thing,"  He pulls her to the edge of the table as Ronnie sings, "O DARLIN, O MY DARLIN, WON'T YOU BE MY LITTLE BAABBBY NOOWWW."

They are sitting on a couch in the room that at one time had been a sun porch.

Now that they have gotten *** out of the way, maybe they can talk. Sliding her hands around his face she pulls him closer.

"Jack, what do you dream about? You know what I mean, tell your dreams to me."

"How did you get those round scars on your arm?" Dell wonders.

"Do you really want to know?"

"Why, yeah."

"My foster mom always wanted me to be clean. I tried to keep my face clean but I still got hit with the belt.

He was the worst. My foster dad. He'd burn me with his cigarette. That's how I got these ****** scars.

And when I knew he was coming home, I'd get sick to my stomach, and when I heard his key in the door, I'd wet myself. And I got a beating.

But that wasn't the worst of it.

When they didn't beat me or burn me, they ignored me, like I didn't exist, like I wasn't even there."

                                             Chapter 10

All the windows in the apartment are open. The cool breeze flows through her brown hair. "You're getting too serious, Jack, and I don't want to need you."

"That's because I care for you."

The rain pounds the roof.

Jack Delleto sits down on the bed, caresses her shoulder. "I hate the rain. Come on, give me a smile. "Kathleen pulls away and faces the wall.

"Well I don't need anyone."

"People need people."

"Yeah, but I don't need you." There is silence, then, "I only care about my son and Father Anthony."

"What is it with you and the priest?" You named your son Anthony is that because he's the father."

"Your an *******. Get out of here. I don't love you." And then, "I've been hurt by people and you'll get over it."

Then silence. Jack gets up from the bed, stares at her dark form facing the wall. "Isn't this how it always ends for you?"

The room is quiet and grows hot. When the silence numbs his racing heart, he goes into the kitchen, opens the front door and walks down the steps into the cold rain.

"Anthony," Kathleen calls to her son to come to her from the other bedroom and he climbs into the bed and she holds him close. The ghost of relationships past haunt her and although they are all sad,  she clings to them.

On the sidewalk below the apartment window Jack stops. He thinks he hears his name being called but whatever he has heard is carried off by the wind. He continues up the dark street to his Harley.

High in reachless branches of the old oak tree a mockingbird is singing. The leaves twist in the wind and  the singing goes on and on.


The ringing phone.

"Who the hell is this?" The clock on the dresser says 5a.m.

"Jack, I'm scared."

"Kate? Is that you?"

"Someone broke into my apartment."

"Is he still there?"

"No, he ran out the door when I screamed. It was hot and I had the window open. He slit the screen."

"I'll be right over."


"How hot is it?" Kathleen asks.

The bar is empty except for O'Malley, Keater, a man and a woman.

"98.6," says Jack. The sweat rolls down his cheeks.

"Let's go to the boardwalk."

"When it's hot like this, it's hot all over."

"We could go on the rides."

"I've got the next pool game, then we'll go."

"It's my birthday."

"I bought you flowers."

"Yeah, carnations."

Laughing, Paul Keater slides the brim of his baseball cap back and forth across his forehead.

Jack eyes narrow. He starts for Keater, Katheen steps in front of Jack, puts her hands on his shoulders. She looks into his eyes.

"Who are you Jack Delletto? What is it with you two? But as always you'll say nothing, nothing." As Jack tries to speak she walks over to the bar and sits on the barstool.

"It's my birthday," she tells O'Malley.

When Bob turns from the horse races on he T.V., he notices her long legs and the short skirt. "Hey, happy birthday, Kate, Jack Daniels?"


Filling the glasses O'Malley hands one to Kathleen, "You look great," he tells her.

"Jack doesn't think so. Thanks, at least someone thinks so."

"Hope Jack won't mind," and he leans over the bar and kisses her.

Kathleen looks over her shoulder at Delleto. Jack is playing pool with a woman wearing a black tight halter top. The woman comes over to Jack, stands too close, smiles, and Jack smiles back.

The boyfriend stares angrily at Jack.

When Kathleen turns back O'Malley is filling her shot glass.

Jack wins that game, too.

                                                 Chapter 12

"Daddy,"the little girl with her hands folded in her lap is looking up at her father. "When will the ride stop? I want to go on."

"Soon, Darling, "her father assures her.

"I don't think it will ever stop."

"The ride always stops, Sweetie." Daddy takes her by the hand, gently squeezes.

When the carousel begins to slow down but has not quite stopped Kathleen steps onto the platform, grabs the brass support pole. The momentum of the machine grabs her with a **** onto the ride, into a white horse with big blue eyes. Dropping her cigarette she takes hold of the pole that goes through the center of the horse. She struggles to put her foot in the stirrup, finds it, and throws her leg over the horse. The carousel music begins to play. With a tremble and a jolt, the ride starts.

Sitting on the pony has made her skirt ride well up her legs. The ticket man is staring at her but she is too drunk to care. She hands him the ticket, gives him the finger.

The ticket man goes over to the little girl and her father who are sitting in a golden chariot pulled by to black horses.

"Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

"So do I," The father smiles and strokes his daughters hair.

The heat makes the dizziness grow and as the ride picks up speed she sees two of everything. There are two rows of pin ball machines, eight flashing signs, six prize machines. All the red, blue and green lights from the ride blend together like when a car drives at night down a rain soaked street.

Kathleen feels the impulse to *****.

"Can we go on again?" The little girl asks.

"But the ride isn't over, yet."

Kathleen concentrates on the rain soaked street and the dizziness and nausea lessens. She perceives the images as a montage like the elements that make up a painting or a life. She has become accustom to the machine and its movement. The circling ride creates a cooling breeze that becomes a tranquil, flowing waterfall.

The ponies in front are always becoming the ponies in the back and the ponies in back are becoming the ponies in the front. Around and around. All the ponies galloping. Settling back into the saddle she rides the pony into the ever present waterfall.

You can lose all sense of the clock staring into the waterfall of blue, red and green. Kathleen leans forward to embrace the ride for a long as it lasts.

Just as suddenly as it started, the ride slowly stopping, the music stops playing.

Coming down off the pony she does not wait for the ride to stop, stumbles off the platform and out the  Casino amusement park door."****, *******," she yells careening into the railing almost falling into Wesley Lake.

She staggers a few steps, sits down on the grass by the curb, hears the carousel music playing and knows the ride is beginning again, and all of her dreams crawls into her like a dying animal from its hidden hole.

And it all comes up from her throat taking her breath away. A distant yet familiar wind so she lies down on the grass facing the  street of broken buildings filled with broken people. From the empting lot of scattering thoughts the mockingbird is singing and the images shoot off into a darkening landscape, exploding, illuminating for a brief moment, only to grow dimmer, light and warmth fading into cold and darkness.


"Your girlfriend is flirting with me," Jack Delleto tells the man. "It's my game."

The man stands up, takes a pool stick from the rack, as he comes towards Jack Delleto the man turns the pool stick around holding the heavy part with two hands.

There is an explosion of light inside his head, Delleto sees two spinning lizards playing trumpets, 3 dwarfs with purple hair running to and fro, intuitively he knows he has to get up off the floor, and when he does he catches the bigger man with a left hook, throws the overhand right. The man stumbles back.

His girlfriend in the tight black halter top is jumping up and down, screaming at, screaming at Jack Delleto to stop, but Jack, does not. Stepping forward, a left hook to the midsection, hook to the head, spins right, throws the overhand right.

The man does down.

Jack wins.

                                                  CHAPTE­R 13

"It's too much," and Jack looks up from the two lines of white powder at Bob O'Malley. "I'll never be able to fall asleep and I hate not being able to sleep."

" Here," Bob takes a big white pill from his shirt pocket.

Jack drops the pill into his shirt pocket and says, "No more." He hands the rolled up dollar bill to Bob who bends over the powder.

"Tom sold the house so you're upstairs? O Malley asks, and like a magician the two lines of white powder disappear. Straightening up, he looks at Dell, "I know you 're hurting Dell , I'm sorry, I'm sad about Kate, too."

"Kate has a kid, a boy, four years old."

Jack becomes quiet, walks through the darkened room over to the bar. Leaning over the bar he grabs two shot glasses and a bottle of Wild Turkey, walks back into the poolroom. He puts the shot glasses on top of the pin ball machine. "We have a winner, " the pin ball machine announces. Dell fills the glasses.

"Felix came in the other day, he's taken it hard," Bob tells him.
Bill Wain knock down four times in the sixth round, he lost consciousness in the dressing room, and died at the hospital."

"What's the longest you went without sleep? Jack asks.

"Oooohhh, five, six days, who knows, after awhile you loose all track of time."

They take the shots and throw them down.

"I wonder if animals dream," Jack wants to know. "I wonder if dogs dream."

"Sure they do, " O'Malley asures him, nodding his head up and down, "dogs, cats, squirrels, birds."

"Probably not insects."

"Why not? Sure they do, june bugs, fleas, even moths, it's all biochemical, dreams are biochemical, mix the right combination of certain chemicals, electric impulses, and you'll produce love and dreams."


Jack Delleto goes into the room, studies it. The light from the unshaded lamp on the night stand casts a huge shadow of him onto the adjacent wall. Not much to the room, a sink with a mirror above it next to a dresser, a bed against the wall, a wooden chair in front of a narrow window.

The rain pounds the roof.

The apprehension grows. The panic turns into anger. Jack rushes the white wall, meets his shadow, explodes with a left hook. He throws the right uppercut, the over hand right, three left hooks. He punches the wall and his knucles bleed. He punches and kicks the blood stained wall.

At last exhausted, he collapses into the chair in front of the open window. Fist sized holes in the plaster revel the bones of the building. The room has been punched and kicked without mercy.

The austere room has won.

The yellow note pad, he needs the yellow note pad, finds it, takes the pencil from the binder but no words will come so he writes, "insomnia, the absence of dream." He reaches for the lamp on the night stand, finds it, and turns off the light. Red and blue, blue and red, the neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks soft neon into his room. The sign seems to pulsate to the cadence of the rock music coming from the bar.

Taking the big white pill from his shirt pocket, he swallows it, leans back into the chair watching the shadows of rain bleed down the wall. The darkness intensifys. Jack slides into the night.

                                           Chapter 14

The rain turns to snow.

With each step he takes the pain throbs in his arm and shoulder socket. His raw throat aches from the drafts of cold air he is ******* through his gaping mouth and although his legs ache he does not turn to look back. Jack must keep punching holes with his ice axe, probing the snow to avoid a fall into an abyss.

The pole of the ice axe falls effortlessly into the snow, "**** it, another one."

Moonlight coats the glacier in an irridecent glow and the mountain looms over him. It is four in the mourning and Jack knows he needs to be high on the mountain before the  mourning sun softens the snow. He moves carefully, quietly, humbly to avoid a fall into a crevasse. When he reaches the top of the couloir the wind begins to howl.


Jack thinks the song is in his head but the electric guitar notes float down through the huge blocks of ice that litter the glacier and there standing on the arête is Jimi, his long dexterous fingers flying over the guitar strings at 741 mph.

"Wait a minute, " Jack wonders, stopping dead in his tracks. The sun is hitting the distant wind blown peaks. "Ah, what the hell," and Jack jumps in strumming his ice axe like an air guitar, singing, shouting, "LATELY THINGS DON'T SEEM THE SAME, IS THIS A DREAM,  WHATEVER IT IS THAT GIRL PUT A SPELL ON MEEEE, PURRPPLLE HAZZEEE."


Slowly the door moans open.

"Jack, are you awake?" her voice startles him.

"Yeah, I'm awake."

"What's the matter, can't sleep?"

Jack sifts position on the chair. "Oh, I can sleep all right." He recognizes the voice of the shadow. "I want to climb to a high mountain through ice and snow and never be found."

"A heart that's empty hurts, I miss you Jack Delleto."

"I'm glad someone does, I miss you ,too, Kate."

There is silence for several minutes and the voice comes out of the darkness again.

"Jack, you forgot something that night."

"What?" The dark shape moves towards him. When it is in front of him, Jack stands, slips his arms around her waist.

"You didn't kiss me goodbye."

Her lips are soft and warm. Her arms tighten around his neck and the warmth of her body comes to him through the cold night.

"Jack, what's the matter?" She raises her head to look at him, "Why, you're crying."

"Yeah, I'm crying."

"Don't cry Darlin," her lips are soft against his ear. "I can't bare to see you unhappy, if you love me, tell me you love me."

"I love you, I do," he whispers softly.

"Hold me, Jack, hold me tighter."

"I'll never let you go." He tries to hug the shadow.


The dread grows into an explosion of consciousness. Suddenly, he sits up ******* in the cold drafts of air coming into the room from the open window. Jack Delleto gets up off the chair and walks over to the sink. He turns on the cold water and bending forward splashes water onto his face. Water dripping, he leans against the sink, staring into the mirror, into his eyes that lately seem alien to him.

                                            Chapter 15

Someone approaches, Jacks turns, looks out the open door, sees Joesph Martin go shuffling by wearing a faded bathrobe and one red slipper. Jack hears Martin 's door slam shut and the for thirty seconds the old man screams, "AAHHH, AAAHHH, AAAHH."
Then the building is silent and Jack listens to his own labored breathing.

A glance at the clock. It is a few minutes to 7 a.m. Jack hurries from his room into the hallway.  They pass each other on the stairs. The big man is coming up the stairs and Jack is going down to see O'Malley.

Jack has committed a trespass.

When the big man reaches the top of the stairs, the red exit light flickers like a votive candle above his head. The man slides the brim of his Giants baseball cap back and forth across his forehead, he turns and looks down, "Hello, Jack, brother. Dad loved you, too, you know." An instant later the sound of a door closing echoes down the hallway steps.

Jack Delleto is standing in the doorway at the bottom of the steps looking out onto the wet, bright street.

"Hey, Jack, man it's good to see you, glad to see you're still alive."

Jack turns, looks over his shoulder, "Felix, how the hell are you?"
The two men shake hands, then embrace momentarily.

"Ah, things don't get any better and they don't get any worse," shrugs the old man and then he smiles but his brown eyes are dull and Jack can smell the cheap wine on the breath of the old boxer. "When are comin back? Man, you've got something, Kid, and we're going places."

"Yeah, Felix, I'll be coming back."  Jack extends his hand. The old fighter smiles and they shake hands. Suddenly, Felix takes off down Main Street towards Foodtown as if he has some important place to go.

Jack is curious. He sees the rope when he starts walking towards the Wagon Wheel Bar. One end of the rope is tied around the parking meter pole. The rest of the rope extends across the sidewalk disappearing into the entrance to the bar. The rattling of a chain catches his attention and when the huge white head of the dog pops out of the doorway Jack is startled. He stops dead in his tracks and as he spins around to run, he slips falling to the wet pavement.

The big, white mutt growls, woofs once and comes charging down the sidewalk at him. The rope is quickly growing shorter, stretches till it meets it end, tightens, and then snaps. Now, unimpeded by the tension of the rope the mutt comes charging down the sidewalk at Delleto. Jack's body grows tense anticipating the attack. He tries to stand up, makes it to his knees just as the dog bowls into him knocking him to the cement. The huge mutt has him pinned down, goes for his face.

And begins licking him.

Jack Delleto struggles to his knees, hugs her tightly to him. Looking over her shoulder, across Main Street to the graffiti painted on the boarded shut Delleto Market...

                               FANTASY WILL SET YOU FREE

                                                 The End

To Tommy, Crazy George and Snake, we all enjoyed a little madness for awhile.

"Conversations With a Dead Dog..."
Louis Brown Jun 2013
“You have to love your neighbor”
He told to every throng
But one by one they turned away
He had to die alone
His was a  voice
Crying in the wilderness

“I have a dream”, the dark man said,
“Of peace on earth someday”
But hatred reigned in other hearts
And Martin was their prey
His was a voice
Crying in the wilderness

The man born in Hawaii
He struggles for the poor
Healthcare plans are his own cross
Where all can find a cure
Is his a  voice
Crying in the wilderness

Pray all good men will recognize
When hope is pushed aside
To rise against the chaos
Where love has been denied
When truth is lost
Crying in the wilderness
Caitlin Carey Oct 2011
Why are you crying? I haven't gone that far.
I'm the leaves blowing down the road, as you're driving in the car.
Why are you crying? It may feel bad. 
But feel the rays of the sun, and you won't feel so sad.
Why are you crying? I'm with you where ever you go.
You may not see me but I'm the sparkles on the snow.
So why are you crying, when I'm still here?
I might not be able to hold your hand now or wipe every tear.
But there's no need to worry, though were apart.
Why are you crying? I'm right there, always, inside your heart.
Benji James Sep 2018
Memories bombard my eyes
All the wrongs caused in past times
Failures on parade
Wrong choices made
Too late
(Can't change them)
Why do I stop and reminisce
When all these things
Leave me feeling like this?

What has this life become?
When you're all alone
Crying in a parking lot...

Shots left me with a wounded heart
Just like a broken vase
Put together again
It's not the same
Thoughts of death plague my mind
Runs through my head too much of the time
Try to fix it with a rhyme, a line
Tried praying for a sign
All I see is empty skies
And this is why
I'd like to know

What has this life become?
When you're all alone
Crying in a parking lot...

Silhouettes dancing through these streets
Dark shadow stalking me
The man in the mirror
That I see
Is not the best version of me
I know it
Not trying to hide it
I'm an open book
Read each line
And you'll get a small glimpse
into my life
Through silver screens
You'll see all these feelings eating at me
Tell me

What has this life become?
When you're all alone
Crying in a parking lot...

©2018 Written By Benji James
I wanted to keep this as simple as I could
Had a bit of a tear up in the car in a parking lot
And thought it sounded cool for a set of lyrics. :)
P.s. May end up adding more lines later.
Michala Jun 2013
The baby cries as it comes into the world
People cry when others leave the world
They cry at weddings
And at funerals
At love and heartbreak
Crying is life
Crying is death
It's needed and hated
It's considered weak
And also strong
Crying is a double standard
Within it's self
It encompasses our world
Full of such emotion
Yet can be so empty
Crying is everything
Just think about it.
naxiai Feb 2017
Little girl, I am crying for you. You should be living a life full of love - a life protected by good hearts.

Big girl, I am crying for you. You should not be crying alone in bed at night - someone should be there to hold you when you are sad.

Mom, I am crying for you. Your heart should not be breaking for me - I want to be with you always. I am with you always, but we are also too far apart.

Sister, I am crying for you. I haven't done the best that I could and I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Please take my apology in the darkness.
I will try to bring the light back to you.
Cass was the youngest and most beautiful of 5 sisters. Cass was the most beautiful girl
in town. 1/2 Indian with a supple and strange body, a snake-like and fiery body with eyes
to go with it. Cass was fluid moving fire. She was like a spirit stuck into a form that
would not hold her. Her hair was black and long and silken and whirled about as did her
body. Her spirit was either very high or very low. There was no in between for Cass. Some
said she was crazy. The dull ones said that. The dull ones would never understand Cass. To
the men she was simply a *** machine and they didn't care whether she was crazy or not.
And Cass danced and flirted, kissed the men, but except for an instance or two, when it
came time to make it with Cass, Cass had somehow slipped away, eluded the men.
Her sisters accused her of misusing her beauty, of not using her mind enough, but Cass
had mind and spirit; she painted, she danced, she sang, she made things of clay, and when
people were hurt either in the spirit or the flesh, Cass felt a deep grieving for them.
Her mind was simply different; her mind was simply not practical. Her sisters were jealous
of her because she attracted their men, and they were angry because they felt she didn't
make the best use of them. She had a habit of being kind to the uglier ones; the so-called
handsome men revolted her- "No guts," she said, "no zap. They are riding on
their perfect little earlobes and well- shaped nostrils...all surface and no
insides..." She had a temper that came close to insanity, she had a temper that some
call insanity. Her father had died of alcohol and her mother had run off leaving the
girls alone. The girls went to a relative who placed them in a convent. The convent had
been an unhappy place, more for Cass than the sisters. The girls were jealous of Cass and
Cass fought most of them. She had razor marks all along her left arm from defending
herself in two fights. There was also a permanent scar along the left cheek but the scar
rather than lessening her beauty only seemed to highlight it. I met her at the West End
Bar several nights after her release from the convent. Being youngest, she was the last of
the sisters to be released. She simply came in and sat next to me. I was probably the
ugliest man in town and this might have had something to do with it.
"Drink?" I asked.
"Sure, why not?"
I don't suppose there was anything unusual in our conversation that night, it was
simply in the feeling Cass gave. She had chosen me and it was as simple as that. No
pressure. She liked her drinks and had a great number of them. She didn't seem quite of
age but they served he anyhow. Perhaps she had forged i.d., I don't know. Anyhow, each
time she came back from the restroom and sat down next to me, I did feel some pride. She
was not only the most beautiful woman in town but also one of the most beautiful I had
ever seen. I placed my arm about her waist and kissed her once.
"Do you think I'm pretty?" she asked.
"Yes, of course, but there's something else... there's more than your
"People are always accusing me of being pretty. Do you really think I'm
"Pretty isn't the word, it hardly does you fair."
Cass reached into her handbag. I thought she was reaching for her handkerchief. She
came out with a long hatpin. Before I could stop her she had run this long hatpin through
her nose, sideways, just above the nostrils. I felt disgust and horror. She looked at me
and laughed, "Now do you think me pretty? What do you think now, man?" I pulled
the hatpin out and held my handkerchief over the bleeding. Several people, including the
bartender, had seen the act. The bartender came down:
"Look," he said to Cass, "you act up again and you're out. We don't need
your dramatics here."
"Oh, *******, man!" she said.
"Better keep her straight," the bartender said to me.
"She'll be all right," I said.
"It's my nose, I can do what I want with my nose."
"No," I said, "it hurts me."
"You mean it hurts you when I stick a pin in my nose?"
"Yes, it does, I mean it."
"All right, I won't do it again. Cheer up."
She kissed me, rather grinning through the kiss and holding the handkerchief to her
nose. We left for my place at closing time. I had some beer and we sat there talking. It
was then that I got the perception of her as a person full of kindness and caring. She
gave herself away without knowing it. At the same time she would leap back into areas of
wildness and incoherence. Schitzi. A beautiful and spiritual schitzi. Perhaps some man,
something, would ruin her forever. I hoped that it wouldn't be me. We went to bed and
after I turned out the lights Cass asked me,
"When do you want it? Now or in the morning?"
"In the morning," I said and turned my back.
In the morning I got up and made a couple of coffees, brought her one in bed. She
"You're the first man who has turned it down at night."
"It's o.k.," I said, "we needn't do it at all."
"No, wait, I want to now. Let me freshen up a bit."
Cass went into the bathroom. She came out shortly, looking quite wonderful, her long
black hair glistening, her eyes and lips glistening, her glistening... She displayed her
body calmly, as a good thing. She got under the sheet.
"Come on, lover man."
I got in. She kissed with abandon but without haste. I let my hands run over her body,
through her hair. I mounted. It was hot, and tight. I began to stroke slowly, wanting to
make it last. Her eyes looked directly into mine.
"What's your name?" I asked.
"What the hell difference does it make?" she asked.
I laughed and went on ahead. Afterwards she dressed and I drove her back to the bar but
she was difficult to forget. I wasn't working and I slept until 2 p.m. then got up and
read the paper. I was in the bathtub when she came in with a large leaf- an elephant ear.
"I knew you'd be in the bathtub," she said, "so I brought you something
to cover that thing with, nature boy."
She threw the elephant leaf down on me in the bathtub.
"How did you know I'd be in the tub?"
"I knew."
Almost every day Cass arrived when I was in the tub. The times were different but she
seldom missed, and there was the elephant leaf. And then we'd make love. One or two nights
she phoned and I had to bail her out of jail for drunkenness and fighting.
"These sons of *******," she said, "just because they buy you a few
drinks they think they can get into your pants."
"Once you accept a drink you create your own trouble."
"I thought they were interested in me, not just my body."
"I'm interested in you and your body. I doubt, though, that most men can see
beyond your body."
I left town for 6 months, bummed around, came back. I had never forgotten Cass, but
we'd had some type of argument and I felt like moving anyhow, and when I got back i
figured she'd be gone, but I had been sitting in the West End Bar about 30 minutes when
she walked in and sat down next to me.
"Well, *******, I see you've come back."
I ordered her a drink. Then I looked at her. She had on a high- necked dress. I had
never seen her in one of those. And under each eye, driven in, were 2 pins with glass
heads. All you could see were the heads of the pins, but the pins were driven down into
her face.
"******* you, still trying to destroy your beauty, eh?"
"No, it's the fad, you fool."
"You're crazy."
"I've missed you," she said.
"Is there anybody else?"
"No there isn't anybody else. Just you. But I'm hustling. It costs ten bucks. But
you get it free."
"Pull those pins out."
"No, it's the fad."
"It's making me very unhappy."
"Are you sure?"
"Hell yes, I'm sure."
Cass slowly pulled the pins out and put them back in her purse.
"Why do you haggle your beauty?" I asked. "Why don't you just live with
"Because people think it's all I have. Beauty is nothing, beauty won't stay. You
don't know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you you know it's for
something else."
"O.k.," I said, "I'm lucky."
"I don't mean you're ugly. People just think you're ugly. You have a fascinating
We had another drink.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
"Nothing. I can't get on to anything. No interest."
"Me neither. If you were a woman you could hustle."
"I don't think I could ever make contact with that many strangers, it's
"You're right, it's wearing, everything is wearing."
We left together. People still stared at Cass on the streets. She was a beautiful
woman, perhaps more beautiful than ever. We made it to my place and I opened a bottle of
wine and we talked. With Cass and I, it always came easy. She talked a while and I would
listen and then i would talk. Our conversation simply went along without strain. We seemed
to discover secrets together. When we discovered a good one Cass would laugh that laugh-
only the way she could. It was like joy out of fire. Through the talking we kissed and
moved closer together. We became quite heated and decided to go to bed. It was then that
Cass took off her high -necked dress and I saw it- the ugly jagged scar across her throat.
It was large and thick.
"******* you, woman," I said from the bed, "******* you, what have you
"I tried it with a broken bottle one night. Don't you like me any more? Am I still
I pulled her down on the bed and kissed her. She pushed away and laughed, "Some
men pay me ten and I undress and they don't want to do it. I keep the ten. It's very
"Yes," I said, "I can't stop laughing... Cass, *****, I love you...stop
destroying yourself; you're the most alive woman I've ever met."
We kissed again. Cass was crying without sound. I could feel the tears. The long black
hair lay beside me like a flag of death. We enjoined and made slow and somber and
wonderful love. In the morning Cass was up making breakfast. She seemed quite calm and
happy. She was singing. I stayed in bed and enjoyed her happiness. Finally she came over
and shook me,
"Up, *******! Throw some cold water on your face and pecker and come enjoy the
I drove her to the beach that day. It was a weekday and not yet summer so things were
splendidly deserted. Beach bums in rags slept on the lawns above the sand. Others sat on
stone benches sharing a lone bottle. The gulls whirled about, mindless yet distracted. Old
ladies in their 70's and 80's sat on the benches and discussed selling real estate left
behind by husbands long ago killed by the pace and stupidity of survival. For it all,
there was peace in the air and we walked about and stretched on the lawns and didn't say
much. It simply felt good being together. I bought a couple of sandwiches, some chips and
drinks and we sat on the sand eating. Then I held Cass and we slept together about an
hour. It was somehow better than *******. There was flowing together without tension.
When we awakened we drove back to my place and I cooked a dinner. After dinner I suggested
to Cass that we shack together. She waited a long time, looking at me, then she slowly
said, "No." I drove her back to the bar, bought her a drink and walked out. I
found a job as a parker in a factory the next day and the rest of the week went to
working. I was too tired to get about much but that Friday night I did get to the West End
Bar. I sat and waited for Cass. Hours went by . After I was fairly drunk the bartender
said to me, "I'm sorry about your girlfriend."
"What is it?" I asked.
"I'm sorry, didn't you know?"
"Suicide. She was buried yesterday."
"Buried?" I asked. It seemed as though she would walk through the doorway at
any moment. How could she be gone?
"Her sisters buried her."
"A suicide? Mind telling me how?"
"She cut her throat."
"I see. Give me another drink."
I drank until closing time. Cass was the most beautiful of 5 sisters, the most
beautiful in town. I managed to drive to my place and I kept thinking, I should have
insisted she stay with me instead of accepting that "no." Everything about her
had indicated that she had cared. I simply had been too offhand about it, lazy, too
unconcerned. I deserved my death and hers. I was a dog. No, why blame the dogs? I got up
and found a bottle of wine and drank from it heavily. Cass the most beautiful girl in town
was dead at 20. Outside somebody honked their automobile horn. They were very loud and
persistent. I sat the bottle down and screamed out: "******* YOU, YOU *******
,SHUT UP!" The night kept coming and there was nothing I could do.

— The End —