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Ben Brinkburn Jan 2013
Molly Upstairs was the first to greet me
as I moved in
immediately she showed me a new tattoo
she had just had done
upper left arm
it looked like a dart board
she didn’t say why but
within five minutes I had learned her father
had been abusive she had crap taste in men
always went for muscle over brains
her fatal flaw
and
how she paid for it oh how she paid
but
I benefited from the muscle as she hollered up
the stairs and a huge bloke in a grubby bat wing tee shirt
and denim cut offs appeared
grinning, calling me Chief,
and carried the rest of my gear in
without complaint and Molly Upstairs
told me a Norwegian lived on the ground floor
computer geek
worked for a software firm on the edge of town
renting cheap creaming his expenses
and a guy called Sanjeev lived next door to me
sweet guy from Mumbai always looking to borrow
an iron
and to go out for a drink with anyone at
anytime anywhere
another computer nerd she reckoned
and she was all legs and little denim skirt and a
pink tee-shirt that said ‘**** Buddy’
and blond hair pulled back in a black scrunchie
and offered to bake me a cake but she
assured me
it wouldn’t be a sponge one
know what I mean
the peel of crazy laughter from above
the sound of Red Hot Chilli Peppers starting up
pounding bass
the shower’s ****
the landlord’s a ****
if you’ve got a motor
don’t park out the back it’ll get nicked
best to drink and smoke
to dull the pain
but always remember
to have a laugh

The world according to
Molly Upstairs.
I TOO have a garret of old playthings.
I have tin soldiers with broken arms upstairs.
I have a wagon and the wheels gone upstairs.
I have guns and a drum, a jumping-jack and a magic lantern.
And dust is on them and I never look at them upstairs.
I too have a garret of old playthings.
Shalini Nayar Sep 2014
the hundred year old stairs
wakes up from its dreamless slumber
to find the world has spun
for an infinity too long

it once roamed
and ruled
the household of Chathanathodi
making way to the rooms
upstairs
that conspired a thousand
whispered secrets

simultaneously
sprawling its termite-infested legs
to make way
downstairs
that injected an aura of
omnipotence

its laddery body was now a little chipped
and its creaky joints, a little shaky
but it didn't matter
as it was still conspicuous
and strong
like Hercules
leading unsuspecting mortals
upstairs and downstairs
to its universe of Gods

Shalini Nayar
© 2001
1969 Hartford art school is magnet for exceedingly intelligent over-sensitive under-achievers alluring freaks congenital creeps and anyone who cannot cut it in straight world it is about loners dreamers stoners clowns cliques of posers competing to dress draw act most outrageous weird wonderful classrooms clash in diversity of needs some students get it right off while others require so much individual attention one girl constantly raises her hand calls for everything to be repeated explained creativity is treated as trouble and compliance to instruction rewarded most of faculty are of opinion kids are not capable of making original artwork teachers discourage students from dream of becoming well-known until they are older more experienced only practiced skilled artists are competent to create ‘real art’ defined by how much struggle or multiple meanings weave through the work Odysseus wants to make magic boxes without knowing or being informed of Joseph Cornell one teacher tells him you think you’re going to invent some new color the world has never seen? you’re just some rowdy brat from the midwest with a lot of crazy ideas and no evidence of authenticity another teacher warns you’re nothing more than a bricoleur! Odysseus questions what’s a bricoleur teacher informs a rogue handyman who haphazardly constructs from whatever is immediately available Odysseus questions what’s wrong with that? teacher answers it’s low-class folk junk  possessing no real intellectual value independently he reads Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium Is The Message” and “The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci” he memorizes introductory remark of Leonardo’s “i must do like one who comes last to the fair and can find no other way of providing for himself than by taking all the things already seen by others and not taken by reason of their lesser value” Odysseus dreams of becoming accomplished important artist like Robert Rauschenberg Jasper Johns Andy Warhol he dreams of being in eye of hurricane New York art scene he works for university newspaper and is nicknamed crashkiss the newspaper editor is leader in student movement and folk singer who croons “45 caliber man, you’re so much more than our 22, but there’s so many more of us than you” Odysseus grows mustache wears flower printed pants vintage 1940’s leather jacket g.i. surplus clothes he makes many friends his gift for hooking up with girls is uncanny he is long haired drug-crazed hippie enjoying popularity previously unknown to him rock bands play at art openings everyone flirts dances gets ****** lots of activism on campus New York Times dubs university of Hartford “Berkeley of the east coast” holding up ******* in peace sign is subversive in 1969 symbol of rebellion youth solidarity gesture against war hawks rednecks corporate America acknowledgment of potential beyond materialistic self-righteous values of status quo sign of what could be in universe filled with incredible possibilities he moves in with  painting student one year advanced named Todd Whitman Todd has curly blond hair sturdy build wire rimmed glasses impish smile gemini superb draftsman amazing artist Todd emulates Francisco de Goya and Albrecht Durer Todd’s talent overshadows Odysseus’s Todd’s dad is accomplished professor at distinguished college in Massachusetts to celebrate Odysseus’s arrival Todd cooks all day preparing spaghetti dinner when Odysseus arrives home tripping on acid without appetite Todd is disappointed Odysseus runs down to corner store buys large bottle of wine returns to house Todd is eating spaghetti alone they get drunk together then pierce each other’s ears with needles ice wine cork pierced ears are outlaw style of bad *** bikers like Hell’s Angels Todd says you are a real original Odys and funny too Odysseus asks funny, how? Todd answers you are one crazy ******* drop acid whenever you want smoke **** then go to class this is fun tonight Odys getting drunk and piercing our ears Odysseus says yup i’m having a good time too Todd and Odysseus become best friends Odysseus turns Todd on to Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” and “Ariel” then they both read Ted Hughes “Crow” illustrated with Leonard Baskin prints Todd turns Odysseus on to German Expressionist painting art movement of garish colors emotionally violent imagery from 1905-1925 later infuriating Third ***** who deemed the work “degenerate” Odysseus dives into works of Max Beckmann Otto Dix Conrad Felixmulller Barthel Gilles George Grosz Erich Heckel Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Felix Nussbaum Karl *******Rottluff Carl Hofer August Macke Max Peckstein Elfriede Lohse-Wachtler Egon Shiele list goes on in 1969 most parents don’t have money to buy their children cars most kids living off campus either ride bikes or hitchhike to school then back home on weekends often without a penny in their pockets Odysseus and Todd randomly select a highway and hitch rides to Putney Vermont Brattleboro Boston Cape Cod New York City or D.C. in search of adventure there is always trouble to be found curious girls to assist in Georgetown Odysseus sleeps with skinny girl with webbed toes who believes he is Jesus he tries to dissuade her but she is convinced

Toby Mantis is visiting New York City artist at Hartford art school he looks like huskier handsomer version of Ringo Starr and women dig him he builds stretchers and stretches canvases for Warhol lives in huge loft in Soho on Broadway and Bleeker invites Odysseus to come down on weekends hang out Toby takes him to Max’s Kansas City Warhol’s Electric Circus they wander all night into morning there are printing companies longshoremen gays in Chelsea Italians in West Village hippies playing guitars protesting the war in Washington Square all kinds of hollering crazies passing out fliers pins in Union Square Toby is hard drinker Odysseus has trouble keeping up  he pukes his guts out number of times Odysseus is *** head not drinker he explores 42nd Street stumbles across strange exotic place named Peep Show World upstairs is large with many **** cubicles creepy dudes hanging around downstairs is astonishing there are many clusters of booths with live **** girls inside girls shout out hey boys come on now pick me come on boys there are hundreds of girls from all over the world in every conceivable size shape race he enters dark stall  puts fifty cents in coin box window screen lifts inside each cluster are 6 to 10 girls either parading or glued to a window for $1 he is allowed to caress kiss their ******* for $2 he is permitted to probe their ****** or *** for $10 girl reaches hand into darkened stall jerks him off tall slender British girl thrills him the most she says let me have another go at your dickey Odysseus spends all his money ******* 5 times departing he notices men from every walk of life passing through wall street stockbrokers executives rednecks mobsters frat boys tourists fat old bald guys smoking thick smelly cigars Toby Mantis has good-looking girlfriend named Lorraine with long brown hair Toby Lorraine and Odysseus sit around kitchen table Odysseus doodles with pencil on paper Toby spreads open Lorraine’s thighs exposing her ****** to Odysseus Lorraine blushes yet permits Toby to finger her Odysseus thinks she has the most beautiful ****** he has ever seen bulging pelvic bone brown distinctive bush symmetric lips Toby and Lorraine watch in amusement as Odysseus gazes intently Tony mischievously remarks you like looking at that ***** don’t you? Odysseus stares silently begins pencil drawing Lorraine’s ****** his eyes darting back and forth following day Lorraine seduces Odysseus while Toby is away walks out **** from shower she is few years older her body lean with high ******* she directs his hands mouth while she talks with someone on telephone it is strange yet quite exciting Odysseus is in awe of New York City every culture in the world intermingling democracy functioning in an uncontrollable managed breath millions of people in motion stories unraveling on every street 24 hour spectacle with no limits every conceivable variety of humanity ******* in same air Odysseus is bedazzled yet intimidated

Odysseus spends summer of 1970 at art colony in Cummington Massachusetts it is magical time extraordinary place many talented eccentric characters all kinds of happenings stage plays poetry readings community meals volleyball after dinner volleyball games are hilarious fun he lives alone in isolated studio amidst wild raspberries in woods shares toilet with field mouse no shower he reads Jerzy Kosinski’s “Painted Bird” then “Being There” then “Steps” attractive long haired girl named Pam visits community for weekend meets Odysseus they talk realize they were in first grade together at Harper amazing coincidence automatic ground for “we need to have *** because neither of us has seen each other since first grade” she inquires where do you sleep? Todd hitches up from Hartford to satisfy curiosity everyone sleeps around good-looking blue-eyed poet named Shannon Banks from South Boston tells Odysseus his ******* is not big enough for kind of ******* she wants but she will **** him off that’s fine with him 32 year old poet named Ellen Morrissey from Massachusetts reassures him ******* is fine Ellen is beginning to find her way out from suffocating marriage she has little daughter named Nina Ellen admires Odysseus’s free spirit sees both his possibilities and naïveté she realizes he has crippling family baggage he has no idea he is carrying thing about trauma is as it is occurring victim shrugs laughs to repel shock yet years later pain horror sink in turned-on with new ideas he returns to Hartford art school classes are fun yet confusing he strives to be best drawer most innovative competition sidetracks him Odysseus uses power drill to carve pumpkin on Halloween teachers warn him to stick to fundamentals too much creativity is suspect Todd and he are invited to holiday party Odysseus shows up with Ellen Morrissey driving in her father’s station wagon 2 exceptionally pretty girls flirt with him he is live wire they sneak upstairs he fingers both at same time while they laugh to each other one of the girls Laura invites him outside to do more he follows they walk through falling snow until they find hidden area near some trees Laura lies down lifts her skirt she spreads her legs dense ***** mound he is about to explore her there when Laura looks up sees figure with flashlight following their tracks in snow she warns it’s Bill my husband run for your life! Odysseus runs around long way back inside party grabs a beer pretending he has been there next to Ellen all night few minutes later he sees Laura and Bill return through front door Bill has dark mustache angry eyes Odysseus tells Ellen it is late maybe they should leave soon suddenly Bill walks up to him with beer in hand cracks bottle over his head glass and beer splatter Odysseus jumps up runs out to station wagon Ellen hurriedly follows snow coming down hard car is wedged among many guest vehicles he starts engine locks doors maneuvers vehicle back and forth trying to inch way out of spot Bill appears from party walks to his van disappears from out of darkness swirling snow Bill comes at them wielding large crowbar smashes car’s headlights taillights side mirrors windshield covered in broken glass Ellen ducks on floor beneath glove compartment sobs cries he’s going to **** us! we’re going to die! Odysseus steers station wagon free floors gas pedal drives on back country roads through furious snowstorm in dark of night no lights Odysseus contorts crouches forward in order to see through hole in shattered windshield Ellen sees headlights behind them coming up fast it is Bill in van Bill banging their bumper follows them all the way back to Hartford to Odysseus’s place they run inside call police Bill sits parked van outside across street as police arrive half hour later Bill pulls away next day Odysseus and Ellen drive to Boston to explain to Ellen’s dad what has happened to his station wagon Odysseus stays with Ellen in Brookline for several nights another holiday party she wants to take him along to meet her friends her social circles are older he thinks to challenge their values be outrageous paints face Ellen is horrified cries you can’t possibly do this to me these are my close friends what will they think? he defiantly answers my face is a mask who cares what i look like? man woman creature what does it matter? if your friends really want to know me they’ll need to look beyond the make-up tonight i am your sluttish girlfriend! sometimes Odysseus can be a thoughtless fool

Laura Rousseau Shane files for divorce from Bill she is exceptionally lovely models at art school she is of French descent her figure possessing exotic traits she stands like ballerina with thick pointed ******* copious ***** hair Odysseus is infatuated she frequently dances pursues him Laura says i had the opportunity to meet Bob Dylan once amazed Odysseus questions what did you do? she replies what could i possibly have in common with Bob Dylan? Laura teases Odysseus about being a preppy then lustfully gropes him grabs holds his ***** they devote many hours to ****** intimacy during ******* she routinely reaches her hand from under her buns grasps his testicles squeezing as he pumps he likes that Laura is quite eccentric fetishes over Odysseus she even thrills to pick zits on his back he is not sure if it is truly a desire of hers proof of earthiness or simply expression of mothering Laura has two daughters by Bill Odysseus is in over his head Laura tells Odysseus myth of Medea smitten with love for Jason Jason needs Medea’s help to find Golden Fleece Medea agrees with promise of marriage murders her brother arranges ****** of king who has deprived Jason his inheritance couple is forced into exile Medea bears Jason 2 sons then Jason falls in love with King Creon’s daughter deserts Medea is furious she makes shawl for King Creon’s daughter to wear at her wedding to Jason  shawl turns to flames killing bride Medea murders her own sons by Jason Odysseus goes along with story for a while but Laura wants husband Odysseus is merely scruffy boy with roving eyes Laura becomes galled by Odysseus leaves him for one of his roommates whom she marries then several years later divorces there is scene when Laura tells Odysseus she is dropping him for his roommate he is standing in living room of her house space is painted deep renaissance burgundy there are framed photographs on walls in one photo he is hugging Laura and her daughters under big oak tree in room Laura’s friend Bettina other girl he fingered first night he met Laura at party is watching with arms crossed he drops to floor curls body sobs i miss you so much Laura turns to Bettina remarks look at him men are such big babies he’s pitiful Bettina nods

following summer he works installing displays at G. Fox Department Store besides one woman gay men staff display department for as long as he can remember homosexuals have always been attracted to him this misconception is probably how he got job his tenor voice suggesting not entirely mature man instead more like tentative young boy this ambiguous manifestation sometimes also evidences gestures thoroughly misleading after sidestepping several ****** advances one of his co-workers bewilderingly remarks you really are straight manager staff are fussy chirpy catty group consequently certain he is not gay they discriminate against him stick him with break down clean up slop jobs at outdoor weekend rock concert in Constitution Plaza he meets 2 younger blond girls who consent to go back to his place mess around both girls are quite dazzling yet one is somewhat physically undeveloped they undress and model for Odysseus radio plays Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” both girls move to rhythm sing along he thinks to orchestrate direct decides instead to let them lead lies on bed while curvaceous girl rides his ******* slender girl sits on his face they switch all 3 alternate giggle laughter each girl reaches ****** on his stiffness later both assist with hands mouths his ****** is so intense it leaves him paralyzed for a moment

in fall he is cast as Claudius in production of Hamlet Odysseus rehearses diligently on nights o
Keenan Akeem Mar 2013
We as children, based upon your household were told, that the man upstairs is always watching.
You’re every move, so smooth and so cunning it’s stunning to think that there is someone out there in the sky, watching down judging your actions that you do. The sins that you commit, wishing you can omit and repent for you never know when your last day is to appear. You swear you’ll do better, next time I promise my dear. My dear lord, the one all mighty, the one that gives me strength and keeps me tidy. Please bless me, with the ability to succeed and achieve any obstacle you put in front of me.
For I am only human

Now that we grow up, you judge who’s to show up to in your time of need.  Sometimes we lose faith; we get discouraged for who knows the last time you prayed. Yet, there’s always that little voice in your head giving you judgment on what’s right and what’s wrong. So when feeling lonely, think back when you were a child, and you hear those songs, those remedies for you remember how good it felt to be a child of God.  Always have the belief; always have the faith that the Lord will always have that place in your heart.

See I am not perfect, sometimes I feel as if I’m not worth it to be given this life for I did so much wrong in the past.

My mother once told me to never look back to your past and be sad for what happened. Better yet, to be happy it happened and you are a stronger man. It was God’s plan put you through obstacles, you mastered them and now anything is possible. “Just keep having faith”

The man upstairs: The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit may you be with us in our time of need. So we may succeed and make you proud of us, for we are rooted from Adam and Eve. Picking fruit from the forbidden tree. Because of that were not perfect, but were worth it to be loved and cared. For you are the oh so merciful, The Man Upstairs.
I woke to a knock at the door one day,
And stumbled, to put on my gown,
The place was a shambles, and last night’s tea
In cartons, was scattered around.
I hate people seeing the way I live,
They shouldn’t call round, it’s a *****,
But called out, ‘Who is it?’ and got the reply,
‘It’s me, it’s the upstairs witch.’

I had no idea she lived upstairs,
The apartments are all very small,
The slightest of noises will carry on through
The ceilings, and paper thin walls.
I opened the door in bemusement then
To see who was pulling my leg,
She wore every colour the rainbow sent,
Pushed past me, and said: ‘Call me Peg!’

I followed her into the wreck of my room,
And mumbled, ‘I know, it’s a mess.’
She shrugged, and she pointed my PC out,
‘I knew it was that, nothing less!
You sit and you type through the early hours
I hear all your whistles and bells,
Your tappity-tapping is driving me spare,
And worse, is confusing my spells.’

‘I have to compose when the mood is high,
And that is from midnight and on.’
‘And I only spell when the Moon is nigh,
I can’t til the sun has gone.’
We stared at each other with little grace,
Both grim, with a certain intent,
She wouldn’t be giving an inch to me,
I murmured I wouldn’t relent.

‘We’ll have to come up with a compromise,
I’ll help you, if that helps myself,
I’ll spell in your program a silence key,
And you’ll be at peace with yourself.’
‘But what am I getting from you in return,
This sounds like it’s going one way…’
‘I’ll bring all your stories to life,’ she said,
‘In colour, and one for each day.’

‘I’ve written so many, you’ll never keep up,
I’ll need to go back through my files.’
‘Just open the drawer of your cabinet,
And I’ll carry you there, for a while.
I’ve seen all your stuff on the Internet,
Your devils and demons and ghouls,
I haven’t a clue what you think you will do
In a garden, with so many fools.’

She sits in her garret and plays with her spells,
I type without making a sound,
I open the drawer and I walk on the shore
Or hear bells from the church in the town.
I follow each lady I’ve written in verse
And make love when I’m feeling the itch,
They all wear the colours of rainbows at first,
And they look like the upstairs witch!

David Lewis Paget
The house that I rented was falling down,
I picked up the place for a song,
There weren’t many rooms that were liveable,
The plumbing and wiring were wrong,
I lit up a paraffin lantern there
To lighten the dark and the gloom,
But while still exploring, I thought I heard
A voice in the upstairs room.

I hadn’t been up in the loft ‘til then,
I’d not even mounted the stairs,
The rooms were a midden of broken toys
Of lopsided tables and chairs,
I carted the worst of them out the back,
The fire that I set lit the gloom,
Again from a window above me there
Was the voice in the upstairs room.

I couldn’t make out a word that it said
It grumbled and mumbled and moaned,
I stood and I listened and scratched my head
And to tell you the truth, I groaned.
I didn’t know what lay above me there
A squatter, a thief or a ghost,
A thief didn’t matter, a squatter I’d scatter
What worried me most was a ghost.

I went and I stood by the bottom stair
Looked up, with a feeling of doom,
The voice was whispering somewhere there,
‘You’d better be leaving here soon!’
‘The only one leaving this place is you,
Whatever, whoever you are!’
‘The only way you will be rid of me
Is by putting the lid on the jar.’

I plucked up the courage and took the stairs,
Was running, but two at a time,
The dust was heavy and thick up there,
Whipped up as I started to climb,
A haze was suffused in the room at the back
Where the window was beaming in light,
And there at a ghostly harpsichord
Was sitting a woman in white.

I stood stock still as she started to play
Bach’s Little Prelude in C,
The notes hung quivering, shivering in
The haze of the air by me,
I saw right through the woman, the dress
And the harpsichord to the wall,
There was no substance that I could see,
No substance to them at all.

The music stopped, she was looking at me
And she let out a long, loud sigh,
‘I’ve only played for two hundred years
To some visitors, passing by.
It’s never the same as it was at court
With the crinolines, bustles and lace,
And most have fled when the music played,
Without ever seeing my face.’

I looked at the jar on the mantelpiece,
A Funeral Urn with its store,
And ash was spilling, leaving a trace
With the lid that lay on the floor,
I bent to touch it and pick it up
But the woman had let out a cry,
‘I pray sir, never replace the lid,
For then I would surely die.’

I placed the lid on the Funeral Urn,
Turned back to look at her face,
The room was empty, the harpsichord
Had gone, not leaving a trace.
There was no sign of the woman in white
And the haze had faded away,
I turned and slowly descended the stairs
With a feeling of vague dismay.

For weeks I scrubbed and I tended that house,
Installed all my goods and wares,
But often found I was listening for
The sound of that voice upstairs.
So I crept in there on a winter’s eve
And I slipped the lid off the jar,
Went silently down the stairs again
Still listening, from afar.

The harpsichord struck a strident note
And it woke me up in my chair,
Then suddenly she began to sing
In a voice that was sweet and fair.
I only cover the Funeral Urn
If the vicar is passing by,
But sometimes sit at the head of the stairs
Just to hear the woman sigh.

David Lewis Paget
Love Mar 2015
I'm the *****,
the quiet girl in the front of the class,
according to the handicap stall in the upstairs boys bathroom, a ****.
I love, and when I do I love to no ends.
But you'd never know how much this ***** loves, because there is no love shown.
Dorothy A Oct 2013
Everything faded to black. He had a hard time remembering just what the hell happened. He wasn't sure of downing some random pills from of the medicine cabinet-- his first attempt to end it all. Making sure he would not recover-- if the pills didn't do the job-- he had already devised the set up of the noose in his bedroom. Definitely, he didn't recall anyone cutting the rope, forcing him down to the floor.

Lacie joked with him. "Dude, you've got nine lives! You must really be a ****, fricking cat in disguise! That's why you'll eat those nasty tuna fish sandwiches they serve in the nuthouse! "

Chris grinned at her.  He had to agree. To refer to it as the psych ward at the hospital made it seem like more of a jail term, but calling it "the nuthouse" lightened up the severity of the situation. As grave and nearly tragic as everything  had become, it was kind of laughable to him.  He supposed he had more chances than a cat's fabled life. It all seemed so crazy that it must be funny.

Well, what could he say? He had flirted with death, but unwillingly managed to escape its grip. "Pathetic..."--he commented. "I don't not even know how to die well..."

Chris  eventually realized that he had been rushed to the hospital, but wished it wasn't true. Since then, everything was either a total blur or a bizarre state of mind . Even waking up in his room was like a remotely vague memory, almost like a long ago dream that might not really have happened.

Maybe, he was somewhat aware that his sister was screaming in shock and horror at the sight of him, shouting out downstairs to her boyfriend to help her. But the walls were turning red, a glowing scarlet- red, with an added fiery orange and yellowish-gold-- all joined together in pulsating embers. He was quickly losing consciousness. It was like some, bad acid trip. Not that Chris knew this firsthand, but it sure was like something he saw on TV or at the movies.

And now he was the star of the horror show.

Did he die?  Death was what he planned on, so waking up was not a relief, or a reality back into motion--just the opposite. It was as if being awake was the real nightmare, a delusional time when everything was not true, and was only an scary, offbeat version of the life of Chris Cartier.

The bad acid trip continued. He recalled hospital staff rushing about him, seeming like real people-- sort of. Then they morphed into fish in scrubs. From overhead, an IV was dripping into his arm. Tubes were shoved down his throat. His vital signs were displayed on a screen that made beeps and sounds, increasing the chaos and adding to the mayhem to his mind. Soon, the vital signs machine started talking to him that he was a "very bad boy" and other such scoldings.

He was thoroughly freaked out. If he was still alive, he'd rather be dead.

He wanted to run. One of the fish pushed him back down and muttered out undecipherable utterances-- like underwater gibberish . Then that fish used its slimy fins to inject him with a needle in his arm. The other fish circled around him like fish out of water--with opening and closing mouths-- as if gasping for air.

As they surrounded him as rubber monkeys shot out from the walls and bounced all over the room. On top of all this madness, the florescent lights above were flickering on and off, in sync to the wild music, like the drum beats of a distant jungle. It was one bizarre tangle of events, a freaky, crazy, out-of-control ride in which reality could not be distinguished from the animation and mass confusion. It was one overpowering ride that he would much rather forget.

When Chris got out of critical condition, he found out that he could still not go home. That would take a few weeks more. Dr. What-The-Hell's-His-Name assured him that he needed to start on the path to his psychological healing--just as grave as the physical--right here in a safe place.

It didn't seem so safe to him.

The enemy wasn't what was out there in the world, but the big, bad wolf was actually him. He had to be protected from the true culprit--himself-- and that was a mind-blowing concept. Just what did he get himself into?   

He never had been a patient in a hospital before. In all his twenty-six years, he didn't so much as even have his tonsils out. Feeling now like a prisoner,, he was still scared out of his mind-- as if it was day one all over again. When was he going to get out of here? Chris began to fear that they would never let him out. No professional had a definitive answer, as only time would tell of his improvement.

Man, why couldn't he just be dead?

His parents visited almost everyday, but it was of no reassurance to him. His mother always left in tears, and his father was lost for words. This was nothing new. When it concerned their troubled son, they felt inadequate to help him. The best his dad could say was, "Hey, Chris, we're pullin' for ya". That was of no comfort, whatsoever, like he was some fighter in a boxing ring that his old man had a bet placed on . His mom always clung to him as she said goodbye, like she needed the hug more than he did, saying to Chris through her sobs , "Miss you....love you". Her emotional state just unsettled him to the core, and he was worried for her more than for himself.    

At best, his outlook was grim. But then he met Lacie Weiss, and things started looking up.

Lacie was one of the quietest psych patients in the ward, always sticking to herself. But then he found himself sitting right next to her in group therapy, and they hit it off. He had no idea that she had a fun side. She usually looked apathetic and quietly defiant to society, a nonconformist in the form of a Goth, with edgy, dyed black hair, dark eye make-up and some ****** piercings of the eyebrow, tongue and nose. Her look was quite in contrast to his light blue eyes and sandy-brown hair. Chris never was into Gothic, viewing those who were as spooky creeps.  

It was obvious that Chris was scared and confused. Now although trying to seem tough and stoic, Lacie seemed so little, almost fragile, yet obviously trying to hide her broken self together. Petite and somewhat girlish in appearance, she was barely 5 feet tall. Chris was 5 feet 11 and a half inches, close enough to the six foot stature that he wanted to be. Only a half inch less really didn't cut it for him, though, even though his slim build gave the impression of a lankier guy. He would have loved to be as tall as the basketball players he so emulated. But such was life. He was never used to having the advantages.  

At first, Lacie never opened up, not to a single soul. Like Chris, she certainly acted like she didn't need this place, and nobody was going to help her--or be allowed to help her. As stony and impenetrable as she tried to be, group therapy it was hard to disappear in. Everyone was held accountable for opening up, and the leader was going to see to it.  No way, though, did Lacie want to crack or look weak in her turtle shell composure, in her self-preservation mode. So it was agony for her.

She first spoke to him, whispering loudly to him, onc,e in the group circle "This is all *******!"

Hanging with Chris was the one salvation that she had in this miserable experience. They both could relate more than he ever realized. They both really liked motorcycles and basketball. He had his own Harley, and it was something he loved to work on and go on long rides with it, his own brand of therapy.  In spite of how she looked, Lacie was also actually close to his age. He was twenty-six. and she was twenty-two.

They first broke the ice with casual introductions. "No, the name is not pronounced like Carter", he corrected her about his last name. "It is like Cart-EE-AY...... It's French".

"Yep", she replied. "Like mine is the same way, but as German as brats and sauerkraut,  Ja dummkopf?"

Chris gave her a weird look. She continued, "My mom's dad was from Germany, and I got my mom's name. Ya don't say it how it looks. You would say Weiss like Vice, but I couldn't give a **** how anybody says it. Nobody gets it right and original, anyhow." Her dark brown eyes flashed at him as she said, " But I think I like Chris Cutie, myself, better than Cartier.....cutie it is for me. Huh, cutie pie? "

Chris laughed hard. She was pretty coy for a die-hard Goth. She batted her eyes playfully at him and winked."You're worth being in here for, ya know", he told her, blushing, still laughing at her silly remarks.

She studied his face in response, all laughing aside. Suddenly, her mood turned solemn.  "I'll bet".

They began hanging out in the commons, walking down the halls for exercise, and swapping stories of their plights. Chris quickly found that she Lacie wasn't so steely and unapproachable as the day he first saw her.  And she discovered that he was more than a pretty boy.

"My parents weren't home when I tried", he told her one time after lunch was done. They were sitting in a corner, trying to be as private as possible. "Twenty-six years old...and I still live with them. Yeah, that's my life. I got a twin brother, and he's moved out and doing alright for himself. My sister's younger, is going to college. Wants to be a doctor".

Lacy didn't have any siblings to compare herself to. "Must be cool to have a twin", Lacie said. "I always wondered how that would be to have two of me running around! Scary, huh, dude?"

Chris shook his head. "No, it's nothing like that. Jake and I aren't identical. We are just a two-for-one deal...I mean  is that my parents got two babies in one, huge-*** pregnancy. Jake and me don't even act like twins. Half the time, I don't want to be around him."

No, it wasn't like his cousins, Adam and Alan, who were identical friends, mirror images, and best of friends. Chris never identified with that kind of brotherly relationship. He and Jake never dressed alike, or knew what the other one was thinking. And Chris felt that his brother always felt superior to him. He was the popular one. He was the ambitious one who landed a great job in computers, as a system analyst.  To add to Chris's feelings of inferiority, his little sister, Kate, had surpassed him, too. She was acing most of her classes, and boarding away at college. She was well on her way to becoming a doctor.    

"So if your mom and dad weren't around...who saved you?" Lacie asked. She stared into his eyes with such a probing stare that Chris almost clammed up. Just thinking about that day was overpowering.

"Uh...my sister and her boyfriend were hanging out in the basement. She was home from college, and I didn't know it. My parents were out-of-town. Our dog, Buster, was acting funny. He knew something was up..."

Chris stopped abruptly, but went on. "Kate, my sister, explained to me that she saw me in my room, getting up on a step ladder. She says she yelled at me to stop. I don't remember...but I guess..I guess I was going to do it anyway, and she wouldn't be able to stop me....stop me from...so I hurried up and jumped off before she could stop me."  

Lacie could almost picture it, as if she was there with him. She said, "But she did stop it. She saved you."

"Yeah", he agreed. "Buster started it all...barking, alerting my sister to come upstairs from the basement, and upstairs by my room...." All of a sudden, he felt so weird, like he was having an out-of-body experience.

"Hey, it's OK", Lacie reassured him. "It's over now. You aren't there anymore".

Chris started to cry, but tried not to. "If it weren't for Brian, Kate's boyfriend....she would not of had the strength to hold me up by herself, and cut the rope, too. I must have been like dead weight, and Brian grabbed a kitchen knife and told her to stay cool about it. Yeah, sure, like that could have been possible ! She was trying to keep the rope slack, while trying to save my sorry ****...and she was scared, shitless! "

Lacie opened up, too, relating her tragic past. She had an unbelievable tale, one hell of a ride herself.  It was amazing how detached she was when relating it, though. "Well" actually I got to fess up" "I'm not really an only child....I mean I am...but not really. I know that sounds weird---hey--but I am weird. Oddly unusual is the story of my life-- even before day one. "

Chris had no idea what she was talking about. "What are ya' trying to say?"

She added another surprising bombshell. "Also,  I have a two-year-old boy. His name is Danny. He don't see his dad--ever. The guy's a waste of space. Anyway, my mom has him. She can afford him more, and can do a better job raising him than me. Well, she does OK money-wise. Anyhow, my mom deserves him because she lost everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! Her whole fricking family practically wiped out!"

The shock that Chris had on his face-- his widened, blue eyes and open mouth were expected.   Most people had a hard time believing her.

She explained, calmly, "I mean she nearly died--way before I was born--in a car accident. And her two, little boys were with her in the backseat...and they died that day. "

Chris looked pale. "That is so awful!" he said, hoarsely, barely able to say it.

"Yeah", she continued. "Not a **** thing she could do about it, too. She was like in a million pieces. I know a part of her died right there and then, too. I just know it.  You know, dude, my mom was once really, really coasting along, just doing fine. A typical wife and mother-- a bit older than me now-- life was good. Her little boys were just cute, little toddlers--like Danny. I found out from my grandma that she was  pregnant, too, just a month or two. Nobody could have imagined it coming. She was just driving--doing nothing wrong-- when some idiot broadsided her.  I don't know if it was a guy or a lady, if they were jacked up on ***** or drugs, but they were speeding like a demon out of Hell. Her husband was at work and wasn't around."  

The boys were Benjamin and Gerard, but Lacie couldn't remember their names, for her mom could barely mention them without breaking down. It was an unbearable loss.

Chris was so horrified, amazed that Lacie related this like it was someone else's story. She was almost too cavalier about it.

"And they died ?!" he asked.

"Yeah....*****, don't it? Pure, pure agony. Downright Hell on earth. My mom had to learn to walk again. It took about year, I think."

"Oh, no! What about the baby she was supposed to have?"

"Miscarriage. Worse yet, the **** doctor told her she'd never be able to have kids again. She lost everything, man! Her husband couldn't handle it and left her. **** on top of ****, on top of more ****, on top of more. If it wasn't for her parents, and her sister's help, she would never have made it.

"But she had given birth to you, right? Or were you adopted?"

"Yeah, she gave birth to me. I was her miracle baby, and she didn't give a rat's rear end if my dad wanted me or not. He'd send her money, once in a while, but he wasn't really into either of us. Who cares though? She didn't give a **** what he thought. I was her baby. Truth is, before I came, she ended up slitting her wrists--just like me. What was the use? At first, there was nothing to live for. But now she has Danny.

"And you!" Chris quickly pointed out.

"Dude, are you kidding me? I have been NOTHING but grief for her, a real pain in her ***!"

Unlike her deceased, half-brothers, Lacie grew up before her mother's eyes, from a shy girl to a ******* rebel. Since the age of twelve, she would sneak drinks from her mom's liqueur cabinet. Eventually, she smoked *** and tried ******* and ******. Dropping out of the eleventh grade, she soon away from home, living with friends or boyfriends ever since.  Thankfully, she wasn't doing drugs when she conceived Danny. And her drinking wasn't as prevalent as it was in her teen years of partying and binge drinking. That didn't mean that her drinking problems magically disappeared, or that she was cured. Immediately, though, when she knew she was pregnant, she refused to touch a bottle, but it was just a white knuckle process that was effective momentarily--a band aid on a more serious wound. And going months without a drop of alcohol didn't deaden her urges--quite the opposite--as it only made her crave what she could not have. Often, her fears caught up with her--of especially becoming
Emily L Jun 2015
I hear your music
from upstairs play
  in my mind.
My fingertips
brush against the cracks
  as I breathe a sigh
  of relief when the light
streams from my window
I imagine
the strings of a guitar
from downstairs
   on my kitchen floor
wondering how
I got this far.
Life's never been
kind
towards creative states
  of minds
but when I think
I've given up the chase
  I hear humming from
Upstairs,
and beating on a drum
if you took my pulse
  you'd feel my rapid
pulse against your thumb.
  Call me foolish
but I know what I love
and I won't be defeated
by the skeptical sum
  since downstairs
They don't hear what I do
or see the beauty of the rain
  Spilling music on our roof.
So, when I despair
  I listen for a sound from
   upstairs
   to inspire me
  to neve give up.
I was trapped lured into lie by a clever evil mastermind .
Lost in a strange land locked away in a basement guarded by some twisted hamster on steroids known as a kangaroo.

Sure I had been tricked by evil means by the mastermind known as Helen hey look she told me there was a huge **** down in the basement with tons of strippers and ******* who wouldn't fall for that? Duh everyone knows you never let strippers in the good part of your house .

So here I was living in the basement like some sad nerd who probably posts on a web site everyday thinking they are totally awesome cause they have five hundred followers when in reality they'd be lucky if they had even one human friend in real life.

What ?
I was talking  about one of those star wars nerd sites cause everyone knows I'd never bash a site like Hello that is ruled by a evil cult leader who moved to the states after collecting money under guise to help the site when in reality it was for his *** change .

Yeah Id never pick on someone like that .
Frankly I'm hurt you'd think that  I'm kidding and as long as I'm breathing I will always be your favorite ruthless ******* slash ****** with a heart of gold.

I sat there in my new cell wondering just what the hell I was to do all the while kangaroo jack kept his beady little eyes locked onto me .
Yeah I knew he was sitting there mentally ******* me with his eyes I felt so naked course id probably feel better if I actually put some clothes on.
Duh who wears clothes at a **** *******?
Had I known this was all a lure I would have kept my clothes on and kept my trusty **** whistle and not got into this mess to begin with.

I was ready to scream for help when all the sudden I herd a sound .
Muffled as it was still I herd it the kangaroo hopped as it approached me oh dear lord man I was far to fragile to be assaulted by this weird *** overgrown rat .

The sound was so strange it sounded like the men at work song land from down under but where the **** was it coming from!
The Kangaroo was getting far to close it leaned over into my face and being a true man I did what any other true man would do.

Began to cry and beg this ****** up gerbil not to **** me.
Answer the ******* phone mate.
It said to me as I was stunned .

Hey ******* answer the ******* phone .
It said again  incase your to high or didn't read it the first time .
You ******* talk and what ******* phone I asked trying to hold back the tears let me tell you these animals were known killers they were like Canadians on crack with incredibly strong legs yeah imagine what nickel back could do with powers like these those heartless ******* would be unstoppable .


I was lost naked and afraid minus the camera crew and some ***** chick who smelled really bad and ******* at me for not having great hunting skills why not call that show what millions of people wearing clothes call it .
Marriage yeah now there's some scary ****!

Look **** for brains snap out of hit .
The kangaroo said as it kicked me upside the head .
Answer the ******* phone so we can get on with this story you *******.

I swear those kangaroos really had a mouth on them who knew such cute looking standing rabbit could be such a *******.

Okay so where the hells the phone and never kick me again you got it!?
I have no clue where your furry foots been.
Up your grandmas *** mate and where else would I keep my phone in my ******* pouch .

Look You can insult me how ever you like Gerbil but I'm not putting my hand in that pouch besides that is the oldest trick in the book you know how many times I fell for that with grandpa ?

What?

This steroid fed mouse asked as it looked at me like all other people and some who read this might think.
What the **** is wrong with me?

Yeah that's a whole other write in itself .

Answer the ******* phone in my pouch now *******!
Umm no .
Why not ?
Cause I don't want to .
Look you ***** if  I had long enough arms I would do it but I cant okay
you know how ****** up it is to have arms this short now you know why the T Rex was the most ******* dinosaur of them all .

Yeah I had to admit my new friend slash captor had a point imagine being a total badass that cant ******* boy that's some ****** up **** but enough with the foreplay hamsters.

After some back and fourth  debate I against great protest reached in this hopping *******'s pouch and found a cell phone .

Hello ?
Well Gonzo how you like your new digs mate?
I knew that voice anywhere .

Helen !

My friend turned evil super villain explained to me her evil plan to keep me hostage and force me to co write for eternity in this basement guarded twenty four seven by Ursula her trained evil kangaroo henchwoman .

It was clear all hope was lost how could I ever escape the clutches of such twisted evil?
Then it occurred to me I would simply bust the window in the basement and get the **** out of here .

I had to act fast cause it's almost happy hour at the bar kids and this hamster is thirsty.
  
Hey Ursula I really got to use the bathroom .
Well go ahead mate the toilets in the corner .

Yeah but you know I really like my privacy you know I mean I tell you those burritos are really talking back if you know what I mean but hey if you can stand the smell be my guest I mean sure the oder alone will strip the paint off the walls but I'm sure after you pass out from the fumes you will be fine.

Fine you stupid ******* just make it quick Ursula said as she bounced her grouchy *** upstairs .

It was my only shot and thank God they had left a trusty boomerang around so I could bust the window to make my escape its almost like it was planned that way being I'm writing the story.
No **** Sherlock!

I was free as a bird if a bird had a really bad drinking problem and twisted sense of humor and was totally naked .
I looked to the front gates but there was no way I could escape that way barbwire and flesh didn't mix that well besides without there draw bridge down the crocodiles would eat me alive yeah these Aussies were total freaks .

So like some naked ninja I made my way around Helens Compound of evil making my way upstairs I slipped into a room in hopes of finding just where my clothes had been taken to.

Hey help me .
I herd a mans voice say as I flipped  on the light to find a horrific scene a strange man chained to the wall no wonder this evil woman was such a prolific writer .

Hey mate help me please get me out of here .
I knew this woman was evil but after some deep discussion I learned this poor man trapped in this upstairs *** dungeon was secretly her husband  I know how weird who has there *** dungeon upstairs ?

I don't know what I'm going to do I'm never getting out of here Gonz .
I unchained my knew friend after he told me he knew how to find a way out of here and after finding my clothes and grabbing my trusty case of bourbon we put on some music caught a killer buzz and totally forgot  why we were trying to escape the clutches of evil to begin with.

The party was great we laughed we cried we watched some really freaky homemade movies once only made me love my knew Aussie brother more Shawn was ******* awesome a bit of a freak but ******* awesome.

The party was going full swing when the doors few open and there she was my evil long lost sister Helen and her demented *** evil henchwoman  slash house pet kangaroo Ursula who although a animal had some great legs I have to admit .


The gigs up Gonz it's off to the basement with you forever !
I looked at my new best friend thought about how sad he was when I found him and thought of the great times we could have roaming the wasteland looking for gasoline like in mad max just being totally drunk instead.

Yeah then Helen yelled in her outside voice inside and bout made me **** myself so I said **** this and left my brother behind and hauled ***  

I made it to the kitchen but was trapped by Helen and her evil **** minion .

Give it up Gonz  Helen said .
At that moment I grabbed a knife .

Oh cut the crap Gonz stop being silly what are you going to do with that ?

She thought she had me but I had one last trick up my sleeve .

I opened the fridge and grabbed her trusty box of wine
You ******* don't you dare hurt my baby!

Yeah you want this back I said as walked forward and out of the kitchen towards the veranda .

You get back Helen or I swear the box of wine gets it.

Oh  yeah you stab that box then I will drop this fifth of your bourbon over the rail Helen said with that devilish look in her eyes.

You heartless ***** !
She dropped the bottle I swear it cried daddy as it fell to the ground shattering to a million pieces on the concreate beside the pool wow I had to admit she really had a nice place.

I mean sure she was twisted evil heartless had a awesome husband she kept in a upstairs *** dungeon but enough about Helens  good quality's  .

I looked as my pour bottle lay shattered upon the floor  .
I laughed you know that wasn't my only bottle .

I know that mate then reached to Ursula grabbing yet another bottle from her pouch dam you Australia why must you have so many ****** up animals in one place its like a zoo on crack.

Helen went to drop yet another bottle over the rail when I cracked.
Okay enough!
I will put your box of wine down just don't hurt the bottle okay .

Deal mate Helen replied .

We both slowly put are true passions in life down .
I'm glad you could see things my way Gonz now time for you to get writing .

Yeah Helen I don't think so I said pulling the trusty boomerang from a location I rather not disclose hey I been to prison before you be surprised the stuff people smuggle in.
Dam that hurt.!


I threw the boomerang with all my might this was my one truly  last chance at getting out of here.
But like some Aussie ninja Helen just ducked the thing  as  it flew past her head went flying around the house and turned direction coming straight towards me hitting me in the skull.

As I fell to my death music played as I took that long dramatic one story fall .
I hit the pavement like Lindsey Lohans career.

I laid there broken my new best friend speaking to me no gonz don't leave me we could have are own spinoff if only you didn't die .
Shawn my brother I will never forget you but I have just one last thing to say to you are you listening .

Yes mate I am.

And at that moment of dire sadness I ripped the biggest **** .
Shawn busted up laughing as above Helen looked at Ursula
Men are so ******* disgusting .

And later as they all sat looking down upon me from the veranda Helen furious at her man slaves betrayal told her partner in crime slash killer kangaroo .

Ursula go fetch the battery out of the car and the ****** clamps someone is going to be punished .
Shawn's face lit up with joy yay he exclaimed .
Helen shoot him a look .

I mean oh no such horror please don't torture me mistress   .
But hey don't judge them there not freaks there Australian.

Ursula shook her head as she made her way to fetch the car battery .
Jesus Christ why couldn't I have been Mel Gibson's pet.

Helen looked down one last time at her dead brothers body .
But to her surprise he was   gone .
The dramatic Halloween music played as Shawn looked to his evil temptress slash wife .

Mistress was that the boogeyman?

She slapped the **** outta him **** no its just that lovable perverted misspelling ***** across the water everyone calls Gonzo.

She shook her head and laughed to herself .
We will meet again my friend .


Until next time kids or Helen finds and actually kills
me stay crazy.

Gonz
b e mccomb Nov 2017
there are two floors
in my house
an upstairs
and a downstairs

separated by a
gray and green
concrete stairwell
where the footsteps
echo and voices bounce
against the fluorescence

i like the stairwell
it's transient and
i spend a lot of
time just running
up and down it
down and up it

there are two floors
in my house

the upstairs doesn't have
a roof. it has a white
background and blue
skies. the carpet is the fluffy
enough to sink your toes into
the wood floors are
pale. there are parachutes
hot air balloons. birds.
paper planes. kites. all things
aerial swirling around my head

the downstairs has black
ceilings and a cold concrete
floor. it stains your feet black
and sends chills up your legs and
up your spine when the chains
and cages rattle. chains. cages
are mostly what's down there
and they rattle. they rattle a lot

the upstairs has a piano and
polariod pictures. soft blankets
sweaters and a coffee fountain
right in the middle. there are
puppies and yarn and the puppies
play in the yarn. but the yarn
never gets tangled or linty and
there's always a sunset or sunrise
a fresh start or a peaceful end
depending. hot tea twinkly lights
candles and old movies or shows
oh and a lake. my very own lake
and the colors! there is every
color imaginable upstairs

but the downstairs is very quiet
very dark. no windows or sun
and the only creatures playing
are the ones in the cages
knitting shadows into gray
monochrome striped ski masks

there are more things upstairs
things even more pleasant than i
even just described. like fish tanks
and umbrellas. bicycles and
brightly painted cows. but i often
forget the lovely tableaus up there

when the groaning and clanking
from the basement echoes up
the stairs and i creep down
to see what's happening

and the black
begins to seep
i get trapped
down there sometimes
down in the musty damp
with the ghosts and fear

and i wish i had
a yellow helium balloon
tied to my wrist
to pull me back upwards
back to my safe world
of fresh paint and denim

there are two floors
in my house
an upstairs
and a downstairs

where shall
i sleep tonight?
copyright 11/6/17 by b. e. mccomb
John F McCullagh Dec 2014
I cannot see the man upstairs, but yet I know he’s there;
He plays his telly very loud, he must be deaf, I swear.
I hear him stomping to the loo several times each night.
He’s either back to drinking coffee, or his prostrate isn’t right.
He pays his rent on time each month; he puts it with my mail.
He leaves for work before I wake, and his trash is in my pail.
I know that he loves mallow mars and the beer he drinks is Schlitz.
So by these sure and certain signs I know that he exists.
I know some of my neighbors must harbor secret doubts.
The man upstairs is an introvert, you never see him out.
Every night at 6 P.M. when he plops into his chair,
His presence is revealed to me; He’s the man upstairs.
Hewasminemoon Jul 2014
It was almost February and winter still hadn’t hit. I was beginning to
think that it wouldn’t arrive, and that spring was here. One evening as I was walking down the streets of the city I looked up to see a single snowflake falling down to meet my face. It was tiny and looked lonely, but a few moments later, it was followed by several more snowflakes. Sooner than later, the ground was covered in a white sheet of snow. and I was stuffing my hands in my coat pockets and pulling my hood on to brace myself against the bone-chilling wind. I made my way into a small coffee shop that was still open and was greeted by a short stocky man in his mid thirties with a dark, curly mustache and sleeves of faded tattoos.
“Hello” he said, his voice sounding deep and smooth. I pulled out my headphones that were burning in my ears, pressed pause on my phone and shoved them carelessly in my messenger bag.
“Hello”, I replied back with a slight smile, pulling my hands out of my
pockets and making my way to the counter.
The shop was small, but it had a staircase leading upstairs with more room for seating. The man who stood behind the counter continued to unpack small plastic covered packages, putting them away in cupboards and freezers. I pulled out my wallet from my bag and plopped it on the counter, feebly attempting to pull out my card with my hands shaking violently from the cold.
“What a night”, the man said, his eyes still focused on his duties.
“Hmm.” I said, nodding. “Can I get a 12oz mocha, please?” The man looked up from his package, and giggled coyly.
“Sure you can, sweetheart." He put the package that he was holding down below him, and began making the drink I had just ordered. My credit card held tightly in my hand, still shaking. There was awkward silence between us and I got the feeling the man understood I didn’t feel like talking. He finished my order, filling a small, white ceramic mug, and pushed it across the counter towards me.
“Anything else?”
I shook my head, implying no and handed him the cold card. He swiped it and handed it back to me, along with a receipt and a pen to sign. I signed the receipt, grabbed my coffee and headed up the stairs to my right. Upstairs, there was a large room with a dining room looking table and several chairs, and to the left, and a small hole in the wall with several cushions. I smiled at the welcoming spot, and took a seat. Pulling a small table up next to me, I set my coffee down, and rested my bag on the floor below me. The upstairs was completely empty. In fact; the entire shop was empty besides the man working downstairs. I took a deep breath in and let my head rest on some of the cushions behind me. Closing my eyes, I let out my breath and felt the warmth and the vast history of the shop run envelop me. I grabbed at the cup beside me and sipped at my coffee. It was still too hot to drink comfortably, so I set it down. Out of my bag, I pulled out my phone with the headphones still attached and scrunched into a tight tangled ball.
Untangling them, I placed each bud in my ear, and pressed play, continuing the song I had stopped when I had entered the coffee shop. I felt my eyelids grow heavy and I sunk deeper and deeper into the pillows around me, the smell of old books seeping into my skin. Finally, I closed my eyes, and after a few moments, was sound asleep.
When I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw was a man’s face, unfamiliar but comforting.
“Excuse me…” he said, with a wide grin.
I jumped with embarrassment; ripping my headphones out of my ears, although they were no longer playing anything. How long had I been asleep? And who was this young man? An employee of the shop? A customer?
“Sorry!” I yelped.
The man chuckled as I swung my feet around to the floor and pulled out my phone to check the time. Realizing it was dead, I scanned the room for a clock and with no success I asked the stranger “What time is it?”
He rolled up his sleep, and checked what to be a rather expensive watch. The man was dressed nicely, but nothing too formal. A clean pair of black jeans, a plaid shirt and a sweater over it. His hair, a dark brown looked thick and slightly curled. He ran his fingers through it as he responded. “It’s quarter past.”
“Past what?”
He blinked at me. “Eight…” he paused at my confused look. “A.M”
I gasped at the time. It was just past nine at night when I had dozed off.
Why did the short stalky man not wake me? Did he forget I was upstairs?
Maybe he assumed I had left, and just missed me doing so.
“I…I…” I stumbled upon my words. I wasn’t quite sure what to say, still
unsure who this man was.
“My boss told me you’d be up here.” He lifted my cup of cold coffee and
handed it to me. “I can get you a warm cup if you’d like. We don’t open for another half hour.”
I nodded, and with the cup in hand, the man turned and headed down the stairs. I gathered my things, smoothed out my shirt, tossed my hair to one side and followed the man down the stairs.
“My names Elliot” he shouted from behind the counter and the noises of the coffee machine.
“Ellie.” I shouted back.
A door swung open and in Elliot’s hand was a new cup of coffee.
“That’s a coincidence.”
I smiled nervously and took the cup from the man.
“Sit.” he said, nodded to a table.
I followed his instructions and set my cup down and pulled out a chair.
He stared at me for a moment as I stared at my coffee. After a long moment of silence, I started.
“I am so sorr-”
He stopped me and reached out, resting his hand on top of mine.
“It’s alright Ellie…really.”
I had a few questions but didn’t know where to start. So I let the silence
continue.
“My boss figured you needed a place to stay.”
I wasn’t homeless. Did I look homeless?
“Do you...have somewhere to go…?”
I nodded. “I’m not homeless…” I proclaimed. I couldn’t help but stare at
his hands. There was something different about them from the rest of the
man.
“I figured. You’re too well dressed to be homeless.” He smiled, and his
hands moved up and through his hair again.
“So, if you’re not homeless then what’s your story?”
My story? I didn’t have a story. I was a young single girl. Lonely. Living
on her own in the city. On her way home when a snow storm hit. I just stopped into the coffee shop to get warm, not to spend the night like some refugee.
“My story?”
“Yeah, your story.” he continued to grin at me.
I paused to think of an answer.
“I was just on my way home. Stopped in for a cup of coffee. Guess I didn’t
drink enough of it.”
He laughed at the comment, showing a set of pearly white teeth.
“Maybe it wasn’t a very good cup of coffee.” He glanced at the cup in front of me. I lifted it and took a sip.
“This cup’s better.” We both laughed softly, then found each other staring
for long while at one another.
“I’ll make sure not to tell my boss you said that.”
I took another sip. “I should probably go…” I said, standing up.
“Go where?”
“Home.”
He shook his head chuckling slightly. “Hang out. I’ll open late.”
“I don’t want to be more of an inconvenience than I already have been.”
Elliot reached out and took my hand in his, squeezing it softly.
“Ellie.”
My eyes grew wide, and I felt my heart beat quickly within my chest.
“Let’s not play games with one another. Stay.”
I pulled my hand away, and bit my lip.
“I can’t. I’m sorry Elliot.” I grabbed my bag from under the table, and thew
it across my shoulder. “Thank you…” I said, thinking of his hands but
staring at the blue in his eyes. I turned around, and pushed the door open.


---------------------------------------------------------­--------------------------------

It was Valentine’s Day (or as I like to call it “Singles Awareness Day” ) and my friend had dragged me out to this terrible bar in the suburbs  titled “Distraction” My friend, who was newly single and “ready to mingle” laughed when she saw the big blue sign with the name.
“That’s an ironic name” she said, snickering.
I nodded my head and groaned as we headed inside. She was right. What was this bar distracting me from? If anything, it was drawing more attention to the things I was supposed to be distracted from by just existing with such a name. My friend walked up to the bar, leaned against a stool and ordered something sweet. She asked me if I wanted anything, but I shook my head no. After a few minutes of small talking with her, and watching her sip at her watered down drink, I noticed a young man walking towards us. The bar was dimly lit, and I couldn’t quite make him out but I sighed and turned towards the bartender.
“*** and coke” I hollered out to the man. “Pour heavy!”
I stayed facing the shelves of drinks, the different bottles organized by color and type. Whiskey, Tequila, *****. Suddenly, I felt someone tap me on the shoulder and with a deep inhale, I turned; expecting some man with sleeked back hair and a bad tan to be facing me.
Instead, it was Elliot. Staring at me, standing inches from my face. I took a step back into a bar stool, and fell into a seat.
“Ellie” he said, smiling.
I couldn’t help but smile for a moment too, but then I quickly wiped it away as the bartender slid my drink to the right of me. Before I could do anything, Elliot placed a few dollars on the counter.
“You don’t have to -“
“It’s fine”  He continued to smile widely.
I looked around the room for my friend, she was across the room playing darts with some broad shouldered man. I took my glass, placed the straw on the counter and gulped down about half of it in one drink.  
“Happy Valentines Day” he said, almost sarcastically following the statement with a slight laugh.
I felt myself smiling again and took another gulp. The bartender definitely poured heavy. The liquid burned as it slid down my throat, and I clenched my teeth. I could tell Elliot was trying hard not to laugh.
“Would you like to dan-“
I bursted out laughing.
“Dance? Oh god, please. Don’t do this Elliot.”
He stared at me widely for a moment. “What are you so afraid of Ellie?”
I scoffed, and shook my head, taking another drink I responded
“I’m not afraid of anything”
He blinked at me, then ran through his fingers through his hair and breathed out loudly.
“Is it me?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer this, or what he was really even asking. I stumbled on my words, stuttering. I finished my drink, and set the glass down on the counter.
“Another?” he asked.
“No...” I paused. “Thank you”
He stared at me for a moment, his brows furrowed. He reached out to touch me, and I pulled away.
“Ellie...Let me-“
I interrupted him and shouted out “space!”
He looked puzzled, then chuckled.
“What?”
“I’m afraid of space”
“Space....? Please elaborate.”
“Like the sky, and the planets and the stars and ****”
He laughed softly. “And ****...”
“Think about it. We have no idea what’s out there. We have no idea what’s coming for us. We are so small, comparatively.”
“So you believe in aliens?”
“I believe in possibility”
“Anything could happen.”
“Exactly! Right now, as we speak, the sun could explode.”
“Or, aliens could invade!”
“You’re really stuck on the alien thing.”
“It’s a possibility”
We both sat in silence for a moment, his eyes felt heavy on me. I stood up from my stool, our bodies were almost touching.
“I’ve got to go see if my friends OK.” I said, glancing over at her. She was still playing darts with the broad shoulder man. He had his arms wrapped around her, ‘showing’ her how to hold the dart now.
“She looks like she’s doing ok to me” Elliot said with a snicker.
I didn’t argue.
“What’s your last name?” he asked.
I shook my head violently. “Look, Elliot. You seem-“ I stopped and thought of how I wanted to finish my sentence, but before I could, Elliot grabbed my hand and held it tightly.
“Ellie. I’m just a man. I’m not some comet coming down or some alien race a million light years away. You don’t need to be afraid of me.”
I took a few shallow breaths, my heart was pounding. I tried pulling away, but Elliot just pulled himself closer to me.
“You said you believe in possibility. You can’t deny the possibility of you and me.”
“I...”
He reached up, and tucked a hair that was falling down my face behind my ear then stepped back, letting go of my hand.
“I have an idea.”
“What’s that?”
“I want to help you conquer your fear”
“Oh?”
He grabbed my hand again and pulled me towards the door, I looked over to my friend, but didn’t fight him.
“She’ll be okay.” he said, still tugging me.
I followed him out the door and down the street. We stopped and hailed a cab, as one pulled up, he opened the door for me.
“Get in.”
“I don’t even know you. You could be taking me to some wear house to **** and ****** me!”
“Ellie. Don’t be so dramatic. Get in”
“Where are we going?”
“To the moon.”
“And back again?”
“We’ll see. Maybe once you get there, you’ll never want to leave.”
“It’s a possibility”
I stepped inside the cab, and so did he.

------------------------------------------------------------­--------------------------------


Once we were in the cab, the rush of excitement I was feeling in the bar and in the street had faded. Elliot handed the man his phone, which had an address written on it. The cabbie put the address into his GPS and started the meter as he drove on.
“So are we taking the cab to the moon? Or are we just taking the cab to NASA and then a spaceship to the moon?” I said sarcastically, my voice breaking from nervousness. Elliot put his hand on my leg, and sat back into his seat without saying anything.
“Who’s paying for the cab Elliot?”
He continued to be silent. I turned at stared out the window, I noticed the cab was taking us out of the city and I began to get a little worried.
“Can you please tell me where we’re going?” I asked quickly. I looked back at Elliot, he was sweating.
“Elliot? Is everything OK?” His eyes were shut and his breathing was heavy.
“I’m afraid of things in motion.” he muttered softly.
“Isn’t everything in motion?” he opened his eyes, raised his brows and then smiled at me.
“I mean, the world is always turning and we’re walking, or breathing. So we’re moving, no matter what-“
“Can you be quiet please?”
I looked back out the window again for what felt like a long while. Finally, the cab stopped in front a large abandoned dome like building in a town I had never been in. Elliot was quick to exit the cab, and circle the car to open my door. I stepped out, Elliot paid the driver and the cab drove away.
“So you ARE going to **** and ****** me?”
Elliot looked at me, and took my hand.
“I’m sorry about in the car. What mean by things in motion is like, cars and trains and planes and...” he paused, “and ****...”
We both laughed.
“I knew what you meant. I’m sorry if I was being difficult.”
He gave me a look and I nodded at him. He took me by the hand and led me closer to the building. We reached a door that had been boarded up.
“This doesn’t look like the moon...Or NASA...”
“Ellie. Do you trust me?”
“I...I don’t really even know you so-“
Elliot pried back at the board, slipping into the building through a small space and pulled me inside with him. The room we stepped into was a circle, and in the center; a large telescope.
“Does that even work?”
He squeezed my hand, then let go. Approaching the telescope, he stepped up a small set of stairs to a control panel. He pushed a few buttons and a few moments later, I heard a whirring and a low rattle followed by a deep sound. I felt a slight vibration and suddenly the roof was opening above me, exposing the night sky. On this night, the stars were bright, and the moon was full.
“Come here” Elliot called out from near the telescope.
I started to shake only slightly at the sight of the sky above me, I felt frozen and tense, as if I couldn’t move. Elliot made his way down the stairs and towards me.
“It’s okay Ellie.” he said, reaching for my hand and guiding me towards the telescope. We stepped up the stairs, and he stood next to me, still holding my hand as he adjusted a few things, looking in the telescope, then at me, then back through the telescope. He turned towards me, nudging me.
“Go ahead.”
I looked at the giant metal telescope, and shook my head.
“I really appreciate what you’re trying to do here but-“
He put his hand on my lower back, and pushed me towards the telescope.
“Just look.”
I put my face close to the telescope, an
loveless Jul 2016
Knock knock

"Anyone there?" he heard someone saying it while knocking at the door. That one knocking the door had a voice of a child. The voice was soft and with this the old man inside the house guessed the age of child to be probably five to six years.

"Hellooo" the kid said again. He was continuously knocking the door.

Child continued to knock for a little while.

"I know you are inside there, please respond"
Child said pleadingly.

"Go away, no one is here" the old man said furiously. He was frustrated.

"Oh! Here you are" child responded "Dr Adam, I need help, I am..." the child couldn't complete the sentence, and the old man's heard a thud which was supposedly bigger than a knock. Possibly his head had banged against the door. Something had happened, the old man knew.

The old man was a loner but he wasn't heartless to not check on the kid. He bookmarked the page and kept the book he was reading on the table. He stood up and started to walk towards the door. He put down the chain and then opened the door slowly.

The child was holding on the door. As the old man opened the door the child could barely keep standing for some moments and he started to fall near the man's legs. Old man was quick and he put his hand below the child so he couldn't fall on the floor.

The old man grasped the hand of the boy to check his pulse. The boy was still alive though there was something weird about his pulse. It was weak, he could barely sense it and the pulse was low to around forty per minute. He was still breathing. The child was unconscious.

The old man grasped that kid in his arms and took him to his bedroom, situated upstairs on right corner of the house. He placed that kid on the bed which was still as fluffy as a new bed would be. It's been years since that old man was back to his bedroom. He used to sleep mostly in his chair while reading. He placed pillow under the kid's head and went back downstairs to other room.

That room didn't looked like a room, it looked more like a library. The room was large and there were books everywhere. His hand written notes and research was all scattered in the room. And the old man grasped they book he left on the table and continued reading.

Some hours passed and the old man heard the door opening upstairs. The child had woken up, he knew. The old man grabbed some fruits lying in the basket and went upstairs. The kid was just out of the room.

"Hey kid, you can still rest a little, and if you don't want to rest, you can have these fruits and go"

"Dr. Adam!?"

"Yes"

"I'm dying."

The old man was speechless as he heard these words from that little child. Many patients had come to him before, knocking on his door, to help them but he had left his profession because of one accident. All of them had to go back. He didn't even opened his door to anyone before. But now he had a child in front of him, who said he was dying and this left the old man speechless.

"Go to the hospital kid, I can't help you. I do not operate anymore"

"I went to the hospital. The disease I have have no cure. Not a single of them can cure me"

"Then how do you think I'd be able to cure you?"

"My disease makes my heart weaker by the moment it beats"

The old man knew this disease. All he could do was just stare at that kid and listen to him.

"They told me that long ago, a genius researched upon something and came across a cure to everything. And in that time, a kid had the same disease as me. He could die anytime. That genius used his talents to give that kid a new life. He cured that child and that child lived for a day but something happened and the disease of kid returned. This time, a million time worse and the kid died."

A silence followed after the kid.

"That genius was you Dr Adam . You had saved that kid before, even for just some days, but only you were the one to be able to find its cure. Save me doctor. Save me."

"I... I can't..." for the first time in years, the old man was not rude. His voice was trembling. In his eyes was fear. His north had dried up. He couldn't speak another word.

He was taken aback. He was looking in the eyes of that kid and in those little eyes of that kid was hope. Blue eyes of that kid were same as that of Nicholas, that kid the old man failed to save life of.

And the old man went to a state of trance and started to wonder in the memories thirty years back.

He was young back then. He was a genius. He learned to speak when he was just six months old. At three he used to solve maths problems easily that were hard for child double his age. His parents knew he was talented and so they gave him best education they could. He completed his doctorate degree at the age of seventeen when most of the people his age would be looking for what to do. He was a prodigy.

He joined a hospital. And started to operate on people. The operations that looked hard to normal one, he was able to do without a sweat. He wanted to do more. And so he got a home for himself where he could work in peace. He started on researching the cure of everything. He would think, search and experimented alone.

One morning, two years later, he found that any disease can be cured using magic. The magic that provides energy and makes life energy so strong that the body itself heals itself.

He was happy that day. He went to hospital to break out the news to everyone. But on his way, he found a small kid, of five years, laying on the bed.

"Hey kid" he said to the child.

"Hello doctor..."

"My name is Adam. What's your name"

"I'm Nicholas, doctor Adam"

"What happened to you Nicholas"

"I don't know."

"Don't worry, you'll be alright. I promise you"

"Thank you Dr Adam" the child smiled. That smile was so full of feelings that it made Adam more happy from inside. That smile had touched his heart. He just wanted to make that kid more happy by curing him of whatever he had. He made a promise to himself that he would cure that kid before telling upon his research to everyone.

He ran across the hospital and went to the other room where the doctors handling the patients of that room were.

"Hey Robert"

"Hello sir" though Robert was ten years older than Adam but still he used to call Adam sir because Adam was a lot more senior than him because of his knowledge.

"Whats up with Nicholas"

"That small boy"

"Yes"

"Actually, we don't know anything yet"

"What?"

"We've never seen such disease yet"

"What is with that disease"

"His heart is losing strength by the moment it beats. A severe pain was in his heart for unknown reasons pops up whenever. And he sometimes loses his consciousness at random times. That's one of a kind case. He can die at any time."

The young prodigy was speechless for the first time. His thoughts took him to another world. He was broken because he thought he couldn't help that kid. And then he heard a scream coming from the same place Nicholas was in.

He ran back to there. Nicholas was holding his heart with one hand and screaming. The pain was immense. Beyond measure of one's imagination. The eyes were flooded with tears. This view shocked Adam. He had never heard anyone shriek that loud in his whole life.

He went near Nicholas and held him up in his arms. He hugged him close and said that everything will be alright. The child's voice somehow lowered. After some moments, that. stopped crying and just stayed in his arms.

"Save me Dr Adam! Save me" the kid said sobbingly and then collapsed under his hands and got unconscious.

For the first time in his life the doctor felt helpless. He realized how precious life was. And he could not help that kid. The young man started crying. And suddenly a bright idea struck his mind. He thought of using the magic he researched for to cure this child.

"I will save you kiddo, I definitely will" he said to that small kid and then turned to Robert who had followed him

"Robert, can you take him to the operating table please"

"Yes but first tell me what are you going to do"

"I will tell you later. Just trust me and take him to there" Adam gave that kid to Robert and started to go out "I need to go back home for a bit. I'll be back quick" he said to Robert hurriedly and ran back to home. He needed to see the procedure again. He didn't wanted to do any mistake. Though he had not done any experiment to any animal, he was still confident in his research.

He came back to home, took out some notes of his from his book and started to read them. Then after some minutes, he ran back to hospital along with those notes. He just went to the room where the kid was. Robert was there near the table and the child still knocked unconscious and laying on the operating table.

"Thank you Robert. Can you please leave us alone now"

"But what are you going to do now?"

"Cure him"

"But how?"

"I can't tell you now but I will surely cure him"

Robert was still reluctant but he knew that Adam may have come up with some way of curing that child

"Trust me, I will surely" Adam said

And with that Robert finally left from there.

The doctor begin the procedure and he placed his palm on the child's heart tenderly. Then he closed his eyes and then had his other hand up. The other hand was open like he was gathering something from sky inside his hand. He was channeling the energy of the universe too the life energy of the kid.

The man could feel it running through his body. It was like the kid's energy was faint green in color and the energy in his hand was vibrant blue which was intense. The blue energy went from his hand to the other hand was going to the child's energy and making it stronger. But Adam didn't knew why there were two colors of energy. There was something wrong, he felt but nevertheless he continued to channel. Gradually the energy inside kid began to grow and it was full again. Like the color of child's energy was not blue but with little faint green inside.

Adam withdrew his hand. Nicholas was still breathing and seemed to be in good shape. Adam knew he was successful but he knew something,even if it were a little thing, had been wrong. And he sank back in the chair nearby.

After some moments the kid opened his eyes and sat on the table

"How are you feeling kiddo?" he asked standing from chair

"I... I feel... I feel fine doctor" Nicholas said. He was touching his heart like he was wondering what happened. He felt better than before. He felt that he is all alright.

"I feel good doctor" Nicholas said "I feel great" he added. He had a smile on his face. He felt rejuvenated. He was happy. Adam had a sigh of relief.

"How did you do it doctor?"

"Do what?"

"Cure me. How did you cure me? They said that my disease couldn't be cured by any medicine or surgery"

"Well...." Adam didn't knew what to say

"Tell me please. How did you?"

"Magic" and Adam smiled. He had told the truth though Nicholas didn't thought it was truth. This made nicholas laugh.

"Thank you... My magician" and they both started to laugh again. They both were happy.

"Come on now. Let me take you to your bed" and he grasped Nicholas in his arms and took him to his bed.

"I want to go home, not this bed"

"We still need to keep you under observation for a while still kiddo. So be a good boy"

"Ok magician, I will be a good boy"

Robert was there. Looking for other patients. He looked at the boy and observed him. He saw no marks, and realized surgery or something had not been done. And he later real used that pulse of the kid was normal now. And the child was smiling.

"How did you did that sir?" he asked Adam

"Ask the kid, he knows" and Robert looked at the kid

"He did magic doctor" and they both started to laugh while Robert looked puzzled. But Robert knew that the prodigy must have made some discovery and that's how he cured him and Adam want to give surprise to others.

"Congrats magician" Robert joined them.

"Robert can you help me in observing this child. I want to make sure he is all alright"

"I will sir" Robert said

They both did some tests that day along with looking after other patients. The strength of the heart of that boy had returned and heart beat was normal with no pain burst or unconsciousness for whole day.

Adam said final good night to the kid and went to his home to get some rest after informing Nicholas they he will be discharged tomorrow.

Adam dozed off to sleep quick that night. But he had a nightmare. He saw those two energies blue and faint green that were slowly disappearing. Darkness was consuming them both as they mixed. And then there was complete darkness. He heard a terrible scream of pain an then he woke up.

He couldn't wait there. He had to go back to hospital to check on Nicholas again. He dressed quick and ran to hospital. The was doctor Jack at night duty near the bed of that kid.

And that kid was laying silent. Adam held his hand. But he felt nothing. He then tried to feel heart beats but nothing again.

"What happened here?" Adam asked furiously to Jack

"Some minutes ago, we hard a loud scream for just a second or two and we realized it was Nicholas. By the time we reached here, it was all over. His heart had stopped beating"

"No that can't be" Adam said. How heart had broke.

"That disease had no cure Adam. At least you tried" Jack said

"No I should have been able to save him, I could have if I knew more, I could have" the tears of Adam flowed like an endless river of grief.

He left his profession that day. He wanted to search for the answers. He wanted to perfect his magic. He wanted not to let someone else die like that kid again. He made his home a library. He got many books. He kept on studying. He studied so much that many times he forgot to eat for days. Some books he wrote himself while researching upon. And so years passed. Life went on till today when a little child knocked his door.

His state of trance was broken by the scream of that little kid. He was holding his heart as the same way Nicholas did when he was in pain. Adam got himself and got that little boy on bed again. Kid stopped to cry after a little while. When kid had a breath of relief, he said to the old man again

"Dr Adam, I do not have much time left. Please. Help me"

"I have not finished that research yet. I may need more years to finish that cure of everything"

"I do not have years, I may not even have today and you know it"

"Kid, you may meet same fate as that kid. My procedure somehow accelerated that disease because it was wrong"

"I have to die one day if it's a week or I am left with a day after the procedure. It won't matter. I have to die anyway"

"But..." he couldn't say anything more. The child was wise and he was saying up to point.

"Can you please just try. I promise I won't regret it"

Even though thirty years had passed. Adam had made little progression towards that cure to everything. In the meantime he had found out many cures of many other diseases that was thought to be incurable but Adam wanted to perfect his procedure of cure of everything.

"Are you sure?"

"Dead sure" the kid replied. They both laughed a little on that pun.

"Get some rest. I'll be back in a bit"

He was going to do that again. He was going to use magic again. He went downstairs and started to read as much as he can of his notes. He wanted to do it perfect this time. Though he didn't knew how. After some time he went back upstairs.

"Hello again" the child said

"Are you ready kiddo?"

"I am. And by the way, my name is Nick"

"You're still kiddo for me" and they both laughed.

"Lay on the bed and don't move or say anything. Just close your eyes. I'm going to do magic"

"Ok magician" boy said. He was so much alike to Nicholas, Adam thought.

Nick did what he was told. The old man placed one hand on the boy's heart and other hand in exact same position as before years ago. He could feel the energies as he closed his eyes. The energy of the boy was faint green again. And a little more fainter than Nicholas when he was on the operating table that night. Adam felt the same blue energy in his other hand. No he thought. He couldn't put that blue energy again inside that boy. He knew the consequence. He searched for the same green one in outside universe but he couldn't. And then he heard.

"Dr Adam"

It was
I'm too lazy to add all the details in the story. Maybe one day I'll detail it.
Last week, Cortney moved into a four story apartment
with seven twenty-something year old roomates, all boys.
The men share the first three floors.
while Cortney has the enire top floor to herself.
I spent the night there saturday night.
And around 10:00pm
a twenty-three year old boy
Blonde, baby faced, named Kevin Smith
stumbled drunk into Cortneys penthouse room.
Kevin smith removed his pants, and crawled into bed with us.
Kevin Smith nuzzled into my face, pulled me close, and rested his hand,
firmly on my ***.
Kevin Smiths breath smelled of ***, coffee, (and a man who regularly brushes his teeth.
Good Job Kevin Smith.)
At first, Cortney and I assumed Kevin Smith was each other.
after further, mostly-unconcious, inventory of our limbs,
we gathered this was neither the case, nor a hallucination.
Cortney flopped dryly for her cellphone and shined it's light at Kevin Smith.
"What the ****" Shouted Cortney.
No response from Kevin Smith.
"What the ****!!"
We got out of bed and put clothes on,
laughed at how ridiculous it was
that a drunk stranger just grabbed my ***,
while an unconcious Kevin Smith laid in Cortneys bed.
Kevin Smith sat up
"This is really telling. I uh..."
Cortney cut him off
"Get out."
As she turned on the light.
"Can you guys call my phone?" Asked Kevin Smith,
"No." Said Cortney
Get out of my room."
physically pushing Kevin Smith out of her room.
Cortney held up Kevin Smiths drunk zanax filled body on the stairs.
preventing Kevin Smith from otherwise falling down said stairs and dying.
Kevin Smith showed his appreciation by saying,
"High fives all around"
I watched Cortney strattle drunk Kevin Smith awkwardly, yet also motherly
down the stairs.
I leaned over the railing and high fived Kevin Smith.
"I just want you to know," mumbled Kevin Smith
you guys are my friends.
You don't need to.. I got this".
"No, you really don't" said Cortney,
"if you fall down or throw up on me
you owe me $20"
Cortney delivered Kevin Smith to his bed.
Kevin Smith mumbled something, and Cortney returned upstairs.
"What the ****?" Laughed Cortney.
"What the ****." I replied.
A true story...
What just happened.
Brandon Nov 2013
She blew into town like a hurricane.

Back into our lives after a long excursion into the world of modeling and amateur wrestling. She showed up at our door after promising to arrive six hours earlier, negating whatever plans we had planned for the night and putting us on the edge of a bad mood that would prove to be harder to recover from as the night proceeded to move along.

She brought us food from a local cafe where a client of hers had wined and dined her for showing him an hours worth of affection, the kind of trade she had sworn she was moving away from but old habits die hard. She wrapped her arms around us in a bear hug a person of her stature seemed would not be possible to do but did anyway and planted one of her too soft tender kisses on both of our cheeks. Small talk ensued before she sat down at the kitchen table and rolled a blunt while We ate slivers of chicken and salmon with rice. Washing it down with some *** flavored lightly with coca cola and lime.

She rambled upstairs and perused thru my vast book collection noting in the way that she does that I have very few feminist authors. I am a guy was my typical response. She smiled and giggled. Talked of her love of names and two-stepped the steps back down the stairs where she picked up her blunt and waved it around as one does when they capture the flag in childhood war games. Shall we smoke she inquired and we agreed with a certain amount of hesitation that went unnoticed.

The truth was that we had weaned ourselves off of addiction only a few months before and while eagerness was bound we were still weary of smoking particularly with such a manic woman in our presence but we followed her down the stairs anyway and as she chose her seating we chose ours. She tore a piece off the end of the blunt and handed it to me to light for old time sakes.

I took another long sip of my dwindling drink and lit the end of the piece while inhaling and filling my lungs with poorly flavored mango smoke. I held it in for a few seconds while the blunt finished its lighting and blew the smoke at the tip to put out the flame that had grown and passed the blunt around, right to left.

We were short on words having spent all our day in wait but she was long winded and had a hell of a time on the road and proceeded to tell us a story of her adventures on the west coast using obscene hand gestures when needed and punctuating certain words with her voice while doing her best to imitate Zelda Fitzgerald at her craziest moments.

She nursed her drink and we drank our drunk as the blunt smoked and dwindled down to a stub she asked my opinion on a matter which I had nothing relevant to say so I went to the garage for a pair of pliers for use as roach clips but decided I had had my fill of crazy so stayed upstairs instead, finishing my drink and pouring another one.

My peace lasted for only a few moments before they came upstairs and sat down on the leather couch and flipped thru the television channels before stopping on some show that would have been canceled years ago had it not been for the beautiful girl keeping it and the cast still working. I lied down on the couch while they messed with their phones, one looking at food recipes and the other playing some of the worst pop music that I had ever heard.

She asked if we were hungry and tho we had already ate the effect of the **** sat heavily on us and our stomachs growled. She suggested pizza. I said we had some in the fridge. she said she would buy some from a place that delivers.

We contemplated about toppings. She said she likes weird toppings. We settled on half pepperoni and half pineapple. Her choices were not weird but i let it slide. She ordered a pizza using her prize money from some wrestling match or **** photo shoot she had done the previous day.

We ate.

We drank some wine to wash down the taste. We talked a few more hours, ending the night with glasses of water to cure the early headaches and speed up the feelings of sobriety so that the night would come to an end because we all had an early start the next day.

We said our good byes at the door and muttered a good riddance beneath our breaths and sighed a sigh of relief as we realized that some people no matter how great and mad can be intolerable to be around for longer than a very short night.
An old write that I never edited nor worked on more.
Universal Thrum Jul 2018
I'm leaving Carly's place after an all day ****** that had me convinced that paradise lay in the legs of Nate's sister wearing a unicorn onesie, and as they put on Sgt. Peppers and lay there the ****** freudian passion play overcame my capacity for archetype observation and I proceeded to walk around the room thanking everybody in that space and time for the gift of starting the **** with Nate's sister, the beat changed and they turned on me and said I needed to give her space, they all became timeless aliens traveling through time to **** and I was one of them coming online in a loop, and as long as I stayed awake I would remember and not be *****. I sat cross legged holding my friend sams hands, looking into his eyes, saying aloud we're creating the universe constructing all as the three smartest people of all time, forever throughout we died but never died, as long as we could stay awake, they all wore red and I couldn't trust any of them, I fired off mad questions and demanded to know the secrets of the universe and why woman wasn't the answer, I called up to nate to bring her down to me, and generally became a raving lunatic
      after some time of sam being soulmate and accepting him forever as my lover self same image, and also calling him ugly as im ugly, then channeling Brittany through him and countless other regressive exercises, we started inhaling nitrous gas, and the world became one stretched out moment
       and I kept calling out before, all the way up, as it were the secret spell with a handshake to fool the devil
         I thought Nate a mad spirit habituating this plane as a long gone failed hero plagued by the madness of wanting to **** his sister and forced to watch all his friends be aware of their own lust, so that pushed him into clowning, which he is an expert, that primal lust took me up and id taken a holy mandate to **** this beautiful creature and ascend to paradise,
when they slipped her upstairs they left her rainbow onesie, i felt heaven become another step remote and my faith tested, I resolved to be the last awake and never die, I walked up to the attic, and saw the light beaming from the window


            Sam dropped me off at the press grill so I could eat some grub,
then I met up with Tyler for a drink somewhere while he told me his story of meeting a guy in a skyline chilis bathroom drunk at 3 am, he said the guy was standing at the ****** but wasn't *******. Ty asked him if he was done and the guy put Ty in a chokehold with his pants down, according to Ty the cops came in and he was putting clean shots into the guys mug, he is contemplating leaving town before they can indict him for felonious assault, I told him Canadas nice but Venezuela doesn't have an extradition treaty, come to think of it neither does Cuba, but Ty is too proud for that probably
   anyways we meet Carly being a dancing beauty in a high falootin joint with string lights called Julep, the only reason to mention it is because as we were leaving a guy was bent over the rail vomiting and looking wretched he noticed us watching him as we smoked our cigarettes off to the side and immediately decided that he wasn't some kind of side show freak to be gawked at, he became threatening in the most base and pathetic way a human can, and his bride came to tell us to ******* with her father, father of the bride shaking my hand, we eventually left that scene and walked to Oddfellows where I saw Sam Cohan and he bought me a beer, good chap, we talked until I stepped toward Carly, Tyler and a fine looking strange *****
I touched Carly and received an awkward unmemorable introduction to the strange *****. She walked away but lurked and locked eyes with me as the evening rolled on
later Carly told me that the girl demanded to meet the guy who looks like Heath Ledger, a sure fire ****, so Carly is grinding on my **** and my backs to the bar and Tyler already got me a beer, and there I was, a pirate king
I took Carly out after the lights came on, and was going to give Tyler the run of my place, he disappeared into the night and I showed Carly my favorite smelling tree, still in bloom late July, we almost ****** on my car, until I went back to her place and we ****** until $430, rising at noon, I left telling her we had an hour to get ready to journey to Findlay for Jim's wedding
I showered and brushed my teeth and collected my suit and put it on without a tie
I picked up Carly and set out upon the road, but made a quick stop for a bite
two deaf guys ordered in front of me and the kid working the register said my glasses were cool, along the way I was telling Carly the story of how I wore make up for the first time to a middle school dance, and she said she had to *****, I didn't believe her at first until she tried to stick her head out the window half way rolled down, I managed to get it down all the way and wet streaks of human gut waste caught the wind and splattered my window
we pulled over and I went to get her some napkins to clean herself off as I squeeged the car, she tried to wipe the window with the napkins, sweet girl. The wedding started at 3:30 and we didn't have more than five minutes to spare, she found her vape pen 20 minute out as Heather started to send me worried messages, as I was set to read a passage, little did I know that I was leading off the whole affair, I arrived and was quickly rushed to meet the mothers and have a boutonnière pinned to my lapel , the women all looked stunning and I congratulated each in turn as they shoved a program in my hand, Tiffany took me through the drill, we walked up to the stage and took our places on the bench, looking out at the beautiful shining faces,


I was the only one not wearing a tie, but thats not important, I saw Jim and embraced him with all the love I could muster, he looked at me and said that he knew I would make it, that he knew that he just had to trust the flow, and I would appear in the nick of time, the pastor threw his hands in the air and welcomed the families, the mothers lit candles, and then Tiffany looked at me and said that it was my turn, I stepped up to the Beema and gazed out over the crowd, trying to summon something clever, nothing good came to mind and so I opened my mouth and said, "a reading from Genesis" and then put every fiber of my being into reminding the room that it is Gods will that we be fruitful and multiply. I'm told I slammed my hands down for emphasis and let out a hearty amen, a man's man's amen, and turned and took one giant step off the podium with two baby stairs, I gracefully flowed into the bench having averted a complete embarrassment, and then tactfully left the stage with Tiffany after her read.   Jim looked at me after mine with a nod, and I said the word strong, that read cemented my status as a star of the party, and the mojo flowed, I was called the cash guy by the hotel, for checking in as Atlantis Grosshammer, $200 depost, we drank and danced and an old lady came to me to say that I have a beautiful soul
I thanked Jim's father for helping to create my friend, and danced around bottles
the cake was good
I told Carly I always catch the brides garter, at every wedding I've ever been. I saw Jim's men assemble for his toss, I let the men come and put myself in the mix, Jim turned his back and had a misfire,
the temptation to collect it passed all of us by thankfully, and he was set to fire again, it came to me and I snatched it out of the air, cold as ice I walked off the floor only with eyes for Carly not even saying a word to Jim, I put that thing on my head and went back to Jim threw him on my shoulders and swung him around like we were in a broadway musical
two kids playing in the street,
he said its the best moment, and so it goes
Neha D Jun 2014
Can someone tell the folks upstairs
That their floor is my ceiling.

They stomp about,
Scream and shout.
In a fleet,
They drag their feet.

They tap dance in their hall,
And cause my crockery to fall.
While they boisterously shake,
I'm forced to stay awake.

They slam their doors,
and I settle scores,
By returning a 'thud',
Which goes unheard.

And finally when they clamber to bed,
I thank my stars and think in my head,
Those noisy wrecks,
Are a pain in our necks,

I would have loved them more,
Had they lived on another floor.
At ***** ****'s and Sloppy Joe's
We drank our liquor straight,
Some went upstairs with Margery,
And some, alas, with Kate;
And two by two like cat and mouse
The homeless played at keeping house.

There Wealthy Meg, the Sailor's Friend,
And Marion, cow-eyed,
Opened their arms to me but I
Refused to step inside;
I was not looking for a cage
In which to mope my old age.

The nightingales are sobbing in
The orchards of our mothers,
And hearts that we broke long ago
Have long been breaking others;
Tears are round, the sea is deep:
Roll them overboard and sleep.
austin Jul 2018
One more day is fading away
as we ride this bus to the city
The storm is coming nearer now
And your bliss will turn to tears

We've almost reached our destination
Countless parachutes in the sky
These mosquitoes are swarming
before your eyes,
Just a moment's time til someone dies

The skies are getting darker now
Not a shard of light in this room
You'd better make good choices now
Or meet your impending doom

I hear your steps from the other room
And I'm already locked and loaded
You'd better get on running now
Or I'll destroy what's left of you

I walk upstairs to higher ground
and hear your cowardly whines,
I look in the eyes of my colleague
And said don't move, this **** is mine

I've made my way to my snipers' nest
and my eyes are set to ****
I've got my sights on your head right now
To pull the trigger, you know I will
This may or may not be a Fortnite inspired poem that I wrote for fun, lol
Michael DeVoe Nov 2009
Moments
Like ordering two mochas
Just to watch you make them
Forgetting your name five times
Before getting your phone number
Wiping chocolate off your shirt
Trying unsuccessfully to flirt my way
Out of spilling on you
Little moments
Like finally having the guts to ask you out
Running to the coffee shop full speed
Just to find out it was your day off
Sulking my way through my third cup of tea
Cursing the fates for their insolence
Right until you walked in to cover someone else's shift
And running out too scared again
Little moments like those
Remind me why I fight through
Big times like these
Little moments
Like driving over the mountains
To get to the first big storm
Just to be the first ones to kiss in the rain
After the summer sun chapped our lips so long
We forgot the taste of our kiss
Little moments
Like the first time I took you out in heels
And you spent the whole night
Whispering to yourself about not falling
Right up until I fell twice
Down a flight of stairs
And for you
Little moments
Like you running over to pick my head up
Off the concrete
Staring at me with this look
That made me want to ask you if you were okay
Little moments
Like that remind me
That the big times like these
Are worth fighting for
That the big fights like these
Are worth ending
If only for the shot to have one more
Little moment
Like
A movie perfect scene in the snow
With snow ball fights, snow angels
And a snow man with coal for buttons
Eyes, mouth, sticks for arms and a scarf
But we didn't have a carrot
So you ran upstairs, broke off one of your heels
And called him Stalleto-face for a week
Little moments
Like
Burning three attempts at chicken cord en bleu
And begging the old woman on the phone
To put in one more order before they closed
And tipping $100 just to have the chance
To eat midnight fried rice on the living room floor
Because the table was full of
Foiled attempts at cooking
Little moments
Like those
So dear to me
Remind me there is no fight too big
To give up little moments with you
A collection of poems by me is available on Amazon
Where She Left Me - Michael DeVoe
http://goo.gl/5x3Tae
Frankie Gestone Mar 2013
He woke up in a rapid sweat, darkness surrounding him, his soaked pillow was pressing up on his neck as he could feel the uncomfortable stabbing cold run right threw his whole body. His mouth was dry and his body was in great pain. He lay there practically naked, but not just physically, also emotionally. It was like a catatonic state where the person’s body is paused in reality, but the actual person is far away and isolated even from himself. He wondered why he was so comfortable being uncomfortable and remaining frozen in time.  He saw nothing but the subtle moonlight that peaked through the blinds of his window. A point of existence, he feels nothing because all he has ever felt has drowned him. His numbness was being accepted and he embraced that if he remained this way, he would never have to feel hurt or heartbreak again. It’s better this way, he confirmed.

Eventually he got up out of his bed, walked outside to a nearby empty field. He looked up at the infinite night sky and contemplated the moon, the stars, and the endless space that sustained all of its existence. A tear fell down his cheek as he remembered the beautiful wonder of life and the universe; his realization that he is just a small spec of dust compared to all that is and all that is wonderful. Whatever happened to that universal happiness he used to feel? The feelings of the unseen, the cosmos, the mysteries that remain unsolved were all love. He then felt ancient and brand new at the same time-always being around all that is, but recently born into the unknown. The silence of the night swarmed him, and he suddenly embraced all the things he could not accept. The lullaby of the wind put him to sleep.

When he awoke, it was twilight. The sky was a lighter, deep blue and the sun in the far distance was rising in a fiery halo of mixed red, orange, and yellow colors, and the early morning clouds were clear and transparent. He heard the sound of a train horn in the far distance. He followed the sound with his ears as the sound became slightly louder and louder. Then, suddenly he could see the light of the early morning train.

The train had stopped as he approached it, and he hopped on with no hesitation or looking back. This runaway train was going to take him to where he needs to be, and he blindly and faithfully accepted that his fate was out of his hands now. No more heartbreak, no more reminders of the past, and most importantly no more drowning in his tears. As the train proceeded to move forward, he could feel fresh air gently touch his face, and all that he saw and ever knew were now flashing lights disappearing into eternity.

It was hours into the late morning when the train made its first stop. He listened to the train conductor speak out over the intercom, almost incoherently, say, “This is Brightstone Park. Next stop will be Riverhead.” A nostalgic feeling suddenly came over him as he could remember that his very first kiss was in Brightstone Park with Jessica Garzi. That was not his first true love, but his very first heartbreak. Riverhead was a forbidden memory, as he knew a classmate who had committed suicide off the Riverhead Bridge. He had not returned there in five years because of his haunting memories that would always come back to remind him just how cold and frightening the world really is.

While lost in thought, he felt a rough, sand paper-like wet feeling on his forearm. He looked down and it was a black cat, but not all black. The paws were all white like socks, and the chest and stomach were snow white. The loud prominent purr was a very peculiar reminder of a cat he once owned. Her name was Midnight. She was not the friendliest cat to strangers, but she loved him, especially when he massaged her paws. This cat was practically identical to Midnight. Midnight was put down three years ago though. As he began petting the cat’s back, it ran away and jumped off the moving train. He looked out in a hurry, but it was gone. It was just like everything else he loved. There for one moment, then gone the next. The strange thought that has one wondering if anything had actually existed that is now no more. A person, or a thing, could mean everything to you, but once they slip away, they become like the wind: occasionally brushing up against you, but never revealing its form.

On the train he began to wonder how he got where he was, and in general how the smallest decisions he made lead to bigger events and all in all, everything was all connected. There are no isolated events, or isolated people- it is all proven fact and science. Everything depends on each other to survive. The trees depend on the sun to keep themselves alive; we give off carbon dioxide to the trees and in return, we receive the oxygen we need from the leaves of the trees. He thought about the potential of a seed-for example, a tomato seed. Within that tiny seed is unlimited potential of life: The seed may produce one plant of several tomatoes, and within all those tomatoes are countless other seeds. This is all from one seed. Then, one may take a couple of seeds from a picked tomato and plant them throughout the yard creating a garden. That original seed came from another tomato seed inside a tomato on a plant, and that seed came from another seed. When did this cycle of reproduction begin and when does it end? Is it just another form of the infinite? When a person eats a tomato from that original seed, he receives certain essential vitamins his body needs for surviving and sustaining good health. This good health will effect his offspring and so on and so on. When he defecates, that will all return to the earth for potential fertilizer used for other tomato seeds. This is the same when he returns to the earth again. His dust will fertilize the same world that he came from, for all things come from it just to inevitably return to it.

He continued to think about how matter is never created nor destroyed and the same for energy. Nothing ever truly dies; the form changes into something new, like how water becomes a cloud and the cloud becomes water. Though this comforted him, he noticed that a few feet away from him was a former coworker and friend, Natasha Karev. She always infatuated him and they became close friends, but he always wished it had continued and gone even further than it did. One night, only a couple of years ago, they were at a friend’s party. Both were drinking, but not so heavily. That night they bonded and got so close, that she admitted she loved him. He was never quite sure how real that “I love you” was, but it was burned inside his heart ever since. That night there were moments she would tell him how much she wanted to make love to another guy at the party, Kevin, but was afraid to approach him. She told him she desperately wanted to lose her virginity that night to somebody because she was eighteen and only getting older. This was like a sharp knife slowly penetrating into his heart. He remained speechless for quite a few minutes. Finally he decided to go up in a bedroom alone. To his surprise, she followed him up and kissed him. He felt her clothed body up and down, and she touched areas not many have touched before. She told him she wanted to have *** and that she wanted him to rob her of her virginity. He was speechless, but extremely excited. Then, abruptly, she told him she could not because everything was happening way too soon. Why couldn’t she just make up her mind? He sat frustrated in the darkness, again, all alone. After that night, they spoke and remained close, yet that night was never mentioned again. It was as if it had never happened. After about two years of an on and off friendship, they just went their own ways. There were no fights or disagreements. Life just separated them.

“You’re just a figment inside somebody’s dream. So far from reality, you are a dream within a dream within a dream.” Startled by this soft voice, he quickly turned around to see Natasha smiling at him. “Ha-ha! I knew I could scare you. Were you abused as a kid, or something?” No words could come out at that moment, but he hugged her tightly. She explained to him that she is getting off at the next stop to meet a friend. He was sure he wanted to follow her and see where life would take him. She reminisced and told him how she had been away inside her own cave for several months, but is now very happy to meet up with everyone she had lost contact with.

The next stop arrived, but he did not catch the name of the stop he was getting off. As he got off with several others, both he and Natasha met up with her friend, Valeria, who he found quite cute. She resembled Natasha a bit in that they both had ***** blonde hair and blue eyes. They walked right into a giant street fair with a crowd of people looking at the foods and desserts, the trendy clothes, cheap jewelry, and children play rides.

As he looked around, he began seeing many familiar faces. He saw Kevin, a childhood and grammar school mate there with another co-worker of his, Jenny. Jenny was a Colombian beauty in his eyes and who was a flirt and tease to him, but never actually gave him any time alone. Incidentally, he knew both of them at different times in his life and had no idea they knew of each other. Kevin stopped contacting him during high school without any arguments or disloyalties that would tear a friendship apart. Keeping his head down, he walked a few feet to discover another childhood best friend, Jack, who was with a mutual childhood friend, Melanie. Melanie was a best friend of his and also a first childhood crush who also had a crush on him. He thought it was odd because even though Melanie and Jack were also best friends, Melanie never liked Jack in a special boy/girl way. He felt a moment of heartbreak, but quickly turned away and kept walking. A little further up the road, he saw two more childhood friends, Chris and Jimmy, who as children did not get along that well and only hung out with each other in the company of him. How peculiar it was suddenly seeing them together after ten years, and as seemingly best of friends.

That was not all. Things were getting stranger and stranger. It was like all the people who had made an imprint on his life were now coming together around him. He saw his two therapists, one he had gone to as a teenager and the other as a young adult, stand next to each other selling prescription drug samples. Both stared at him with a blank face, but with a prominent smile. He could barely nod at them. Natasha directed them to a local bar. Inside the bar was huge and also had a second floor. He noticed the music playing in the background was, Nocturne In E Flat Major, Op.9 No.2, by Polish born Romantic composer, Frederic Chopin. He became fixated on the elegant eighth note, left hand arpeggios, and the sweet and peaceful fast moving seven, eleven, twenty, and twenty-two notes from the right hand. If he thought about the most beautiful song ever written and all that is wonderful in one, this was the song.

They all took a seat and began looking at people and laughing at their behavior. Everyone was wearing masks. Social masks. They observed how different people act when they are in social gatherings, and how if you carefully study their body language, it will become clear that what they are saying and trying to put out is not what is actually being expressed through the body. One young man was frantically shaking his right leg as he tried to flirt confidently with a young woman he had just recently met. His face began to turn noticeably red, in an embarrassed flush, and he was making sudden hand gestures and quick eye blinking. She, on the other hand, pretended to be interested in what he was saying; yet her eyes would often look around the room and her body was a good distance from him with her arms folded.

Then as they were all laughing, he abruptly stopped and looked ahead to see two drunken women making out two tables away from them. As his eyes focused in on them, he realized they were two of his former crushes, Claire and Veronica, who he had no idea knew of each other because in fact, they were from different time periods of his life. He began seeing former teachers and professors from each stage of his school career, laughing hysterically with one another. Some of his most inspiring teachers and professors were gathered with other teachers and professors he despised. A young, tattooed hipster woman entered the scenery with a little Cairn Terrier that had an uncanny resemblance to his recently passed dog, Petey, who was put to sleep when he was away on a vacation, unexpectedly. His sorrow began to overwhelm him for not being able to say good-bye and see him for a proper last time. Everything about the dog’s high energy, playfulness, and watchdog attitude was exactly like Petey. A tear ran and fell off his cheek from his left eye right into the hand of Natasha. He looked up at her and she said, “Your tears are my tears. For what pain you withhold, I take and share with you.” She then wiped her right eye with the hand that held his tear. Natasha’s friend began to speak slowly into his left ear in Russian. Though he could not understand a word she was saying, it sounded just like a poem based on the pattern and rhythm’s consistency. It made him feel free of melancholy, but then thought of Angela Antonaci entered his mind.

He thought that the last painful experience ended with the break up of his closest best friend ever to play a part in his life. She was his girlfriend for the last three and a half years. They had known each other for ten years before they broke up their entire relationship. She was thirteen and he was fifteen when they first met in a park. She was always all over him like a little schoolgirl and he would often get frustrated with her obsession over him, for he believed he was no big deal. She was the first person to ever make him feel special and important, and even though he would resent her likeness towards him, he could never keep his eyes off of her or stop himself from always coming to her when he felt lonely. After about seven years, he realized he was in love with her. He had always been in love with her from the first time they met eyes. His long road had always lead back to her home in life. Every time he tried forgetting her and moving on, they would meet again. That person people search their entire lives for, he had found.

He rose out of his seat and briefly said goodbye to Natasha and her friend and went upstairs. He wanted time to be alone and walk around until he suddenly saw Jessica walking towards him. He stopped and waited for her to say hello, but she walked right by him, as if he had never existed. He felt a little insulted, yet relieved as any awkwardness that would arise was avoided. Looking ahead, he saw Angela’s two best friends, Kate and Julie, with her high school crush, John. John was playing an acoustic guitar on a lounge chair, singing to the two friends, almost enticing them with his eyes and voice. His jealousy overcame him, as Angela had been infatuated with him on and off even though he had played with her feelings throughout high school and college. John would tell her he loved her and make her believe he was a romantic, then when she fell into his words, he would leave her and keep a distance for long periods of time, leaving her in despair.

The conclusion occurred to him that maybe she was nearby. He searched throughout the entire bar not finding any other clues that she was around. When he went downstairs, he saw Natasha and her friend asleep, as well as most of the bar, except for the bartender. It was like everyone just passed out from the alcohol or possibly inhaled some type of knockout drug. The bartender was watching the news forecast of a tornado watch and dangerous thunderstorms. The bartender looked at him and said, “It’s better if you stay in here. It’s dangerous out there. I recommend you don’t go out!” He just listened, but decided to leave to the outside anyway.

He walked three blocks through the heavy rain and strong winds. He took a moment to stop and look at the black and gray clouds above him. As he looked across the street, he saw her. She was with her mother, sister, and mutual friends of theirs, Chrystal and Mike. He also saw behind them, his own mother and sister. He ran across the street to her and she shockingly with excitement screamed, “Hey!!! Oh my God!! Please stay with us. I missed you so much. You have no idea. We have to get to a shelter away from this storm. Hold my hand…” Smiling, he kept walking with them. They walked for twenty minutes and entered a giant field. After ten minutes of walking restlessly through the field, they all stopped to catch their breath. Angela’s mom ordered everyone to hold one another’s hand. An enormous gust of wind pushed them all to the grassy ground. He began to shake violently as he felt the touch of death nearby. He wondered if this would be the end, as he felt unaccomplished and left with so much left unsaid to her. Thoughts raced through his mind like a speeding highway about how to get to safety. Unable to control and remain focused on one rational thought at a time, he blacked out for a minute.

Then there he was right in the middle of a storm. In so many ways, he realized where he was ending was where he originally began. All the imprints from all he ever knew came back all at once to watch him finally leave all he ever knew from this life. And in the last moments, he found himself with her. He held her hand, while she held his, and the hands of their family and friends. The world was so dark and cold. The wind became much more rapid and an enormous bright light from it came within just miles of them. He kept looking up at the dark black and gray clouds over them, never as frightened as he was now. His focus was on the great strength of the wind. Whatever melancholic thoughts he had of his life, he would not give up hope. Maybe he was just hopelessly hopeful, but holding each other tightly might, in some miraculous way, save them. Then suddenly a deep peace began to sustain his very being. He remembered whose hand he was holding- the only woman to ever understand every level of his being. He looked down at her big, precious eyes pouring out tears. Their eyes locked, as she had been watching him the entire time. No words needed to be said from one another. They knew exactly what they felt and meant. For the first time in his life, everything was all okay. All was beautiful. The whole situation was beautiful, not tragic. In that moment, he understood this was where he was meant to be. This was where he wanted to be, for only in such a life altering moment does one comprehend the very nature of love and life. To just glance into her eyes and see the same person staring back in suspense, while all he ever knew was being born, growing, and dying simultaneously in complete acceptance. They began to fade and disappeared into the light.
AAYARA ZAYN Jul 2018
when i get home
I realize that my father is there
holding and caressing my little sister
and not even looking at me
I feel like i am alone
i run upstairs like a athlete
not wanting to see it
but my hungry stomach does not allows it
slowly walking down
i see they haven't finished it
why ??
why does he not love me like my little sister
why??
does he hate me

TODAY
I am wild with fury and anger
today i will  hit her
my little sister and
slap her like nobody else
so, so so
i pulled her hair
slapped across her face
but then my dad slapped my face
i did not care about that
i bite her trying to beat
the crap out of her
i did not realize that
i was willing to beat my little sister
but then my dad pushed me
and
started yelling at me while caressing her
seeing this i kicked on my little sis legs
and she wailed out
crying
then taking initiative
my dad got up from his place
grabbed my arms
and then
took me upstairs
pushing me inside
he yelled at me saying
"you ! how dare you beat my daughter, your little sis like that"
"you are not welcome in my family anymore"
i spoke"I wanted you  , you to be my side
wanted you to kiss me hold me like you do to her
am I asking the inferior thing"
he said "even if that was the reason
you should not have done that"
i said "i know and i am sorry"
then
he looked at me  with fury in his face
 and then raised his hand to slap me
i knew he was gonna hit me
but  then he grabbed  and pulled me into his arm
and said "you could have asked that"
he hugged me tight
and kissed my cheek
and just slightly kissed my lips
and told me"this kiss is our secret,
so now apologize to your little sister"
i was more than happy so i asked "can I get my kisses and hugs anytime I want"
he replied me by kissing and hugging me
then suddenly i realized
the person who secretly send me birthday gift was him
the fairy who looked after me when i was sick was him
the one who held my hands during thunder was him
oh! god why did not realized it sooner
i was dumber than I thought i was
slowly walking down the spiral staircase
i asked my sister for forgiveness
and she  forgave me
then( aftermath)
i walked into kitchen finding my father
cooking dinner
i asked "do you need any help"
and he directed me what to do
we were a happy family
and we are still a happy family
BIT OF LONG  SORRY FOR THAT
Daniel James Sep 2011
Neil was a nervous boy
Who no one ever noticed
He often knew the answer
But he very rarely spoke it.

He had an older brother, Jim,
Who was big and tall and strong.
He never said a word to Neil
Except – Eargh - “WRONG!”

So Neil took to playing
His own game of hide and seek
How long could he be silent for?
His record was a week.

“Wakey, wakey Neil!”
Said his dad one night at dinner.
“You had a quiz at school today –
I asked who was the winner?”

But just as Neil’s words
Were forming into song,
His brother flicked a pea at him
And said – Eargh – “WRONG!”

All his family laughed at him
But rather than go red,
Neil bit his fingernails
And disappeared upstairs.

He stayed up all night in his room
Plotting his revenge,
Still fiddling with his fingers
Till he’d bitten off the ends.

Morning came – he did not stop
He plotted and he fiddled.
He did not even notice that
His knuckles had been nibbled.

Back at school it carried on
Pinky – Ring – Index – Pointy – Thumb…
It wasn’t till the lunch bell rung
He noticed his two hands were – none!

“How embarrassing!” He sobbed,
“I ate my hands!” But did he stop?
“I can’t go back to class like this
Everyone will take the ****.”

Nails, fingers, knuckles, wrists
Then funny bones and both armpits
Head, shoulders, knees and toes –
That’s how nervous nibbling goes.

By the end of double biology
Neil was half the boy he used to be
And by the time he’d got back home
He was no more than a mouth and a nose.

“Neil’s quite quiet tonight,”
Said Neil’s dad, “Think he’s all right?”
“Oh he’ll be fine,” Said Neil’s mum,
“Probably just lots of homework on.”

That night, Neil’s mouth and nose
Packed a toothbrush and some clothes
And stepped out on to the moonlit road
Their plan: to run away from home.

They wandered round the town all night
And saw a hundred unseen sights
They saw the things most people miss
The shadows of unhappiness.

Till round a corner he found a group
Of kind old ladies making soup
“Oh dear, my dear, what’s up with you?
Has someone been ignoring you?”

Now Neil’s nose was so surprised
He stood there, mouth open wide -
One lady took this as her cue
And poured in some tomato soup.

“There you go dear, see – much better!
Your neck and belly back together.
Now be a dear and lend a hand –
This piece of bread’s for that old man.”

Though Neil was less than a head
He did his best and took the bread
And when the man said “Thank you friend.”
Neil’s face lit up again.

So Neil worked the whole night through
Making, stirring, pouring soup.
“My dear, why don’t you sit down now as
You’ve been on your feet for hours.”

And sure enough, below his head
Were shoulders knees and toes
“Oh!” Said Neil, “Hello, hello…
I missed you lot, where did you go?”

His foot said, “I was in your mouth.”
His knees – “We knocked each other out.”
His gut - "All eaten up with doubt.”
Till his whole being began to shout.

"WE are Neil! Stand up for us!
Or others will just miss us all -
And the boy in each of us
Who eats himself invisible."

So, next morning, back at home,
Neil put on his brightest clothes
And in his loudest voice he spoke
Of that long night that he left home.

And no one interrupted him –
Not mum, not dad, not even Jim,
And when he’d told of the whole night
Jim turned to him and said… “Oh. Awright.”
ethan gaskill Aug 2018
i walked down the stairs
and saw you at the kitchen table
at first glance i noticed you writing
but i couldn't see a piece of paper
i walked up behind you
and put my hand on your shoulder
you looked up at me
with a smile that could light chicago
and pointed to all the pencil marks
on the map you were holding
and said "these are the places i want to go"
until then i'd never seen
poetry that i couldn't read
but something about the lines
and all the plans they represented
brought a tear to my eye
"let's go then" i said
as we ran upstairs to pack a bag
reminiscing about memories
we didn't yet have
and dreaming with both eyes open
A L Davies Oct 2011
another construction friday:
                                                 smash, lift, grunt, clean, sweep, collect, empty . . . (grind)
lift up (hup!) doors, hang 'em, nail 'em in.
rap up the stairs, feet heavy in big old boots
                                                           ­                   thighs aflame --- heavy--****
           clomp
    clomp--stomp. swish.
stop for lunch: sandwich/grapes/arizona
sandwich only cheese so not satisfied full..
dusts in the mouth
                                  (and nostrils) so i sneeze & sneeze
raw-nosed in the attic cleaning
---brooms and dust dust dust.

good view to the bay up second level tho:
autumn vistas and panoramas and waves on white shorelines
giant's tomb in the deep, breast heaving

big wide windows w/wasps buzzing eternal
buzz
whack each with rolled window installation guide
grind with the heel
                                  grsch
each one dead is replaced with one more
crawling from odd upstairs nest
---from rest.
feel guilty & awful killing them but
so aggressive in their slowness (compensating) this time of year that
moving material presents good risk of sting.
                                                                ­              ---zing.
      hope they will forgive me.
see also: workin' man blues hoo-ee
Keith Collard Jan 2013
"PRIVATES, if an attractive woman is interested in you down Waikiki-- she is a spy."--Army Espionage Briefing.


Today, I am up early and ready for 'reveille' to blare over the entire base. I watch the cheap beige -colored shade start to emit light, as if it was an eyelid of a late night reveler waking up on the unrivalled Hawaiian north shore; I can start to see dark figures through the cheap barracks shade: two tall structures for rope climbing--in the faint form of gallows, and soldiers scrambling by my room on the balcony--in the silhouette of black lightning bolts.  They are grunts, who are up early like me....might they sense what I feel, that the shade of light of the Hawaiian sun is in the form of present memories and that things were to change; and not till an old tradition is paraded back for one more drill and ceremony on that parade field down below.
          Down below the three tiers of balconies, a soldier, up all night on duty at a desk overlooking the parade field, looks down at a piece of paper--rubs his eyes and sees a memo entitled "From higher, possible' Zonk' for mourning Pt."  His only reply: "Well “I’ll be danged." Then shoves some beef jerky in his mouth.

  The Last Zonk

                      If you look into my barracks room, you would see tall lightly stained pine wall lockers separating two "kinds of stupid," as my squad leader would say. The first kind of stupid is my roommate Sleepy Turtle.  An odd nickname I know, mine is Freshwater and no, our nicknames are not related.
          Sleepy Turtle is a neat, hip Californian, with no bends in the brim of his hats; who hangs every piece of clothing out of the dryer up in his wall-locker.  I on the other hand, load my green army laundry bag full with hot cloths, and leave them in there until the designated day of dressing.   Sleepy turtle calls me a Bostonian slob, but this Californian hipster is really mad that I use it as his alarm clock in the morning. For Sleepy cannot wake up in the morning, or stay awake when still for more than 15 minutes, so you can put that quality with the fact Sleepy is in the infantry, and surmise your own summation.        So, my laundry bag moonlights as a chain mace, in which its target is Sleepy's face, at the nautical twilight hours of early morn. You might think that is downright mean, however, if a green bag with numbers in poor black marker penmanship, which is my social security number labeling it as mine,were not launched at his unaware face, well, it would be our squad leader's fist.
            Sleepy and I are buds, battle buddies, but we just have a lineage stemming from basic training following us to Hawaii (when he fell asleep on guard, and it was me that was punished).
          I remember it was like yesterday.  Georgia, the state we should have let succeed (as Greece let Atlantis).  In the field after a firing range Sleepy and I had first guard, six o’clock, the sun don't set in Georgia till nine, and this kid.....well, he fell asleep under the rockets red glare and the firing range still bursting in air and missed a radio report.
             Well by the time I woke him up the drill sergeant was on me and only wanted me.  He didn't like my Boston accent too much to begin with. Punishments in the army, are either a "smoking,"(physical exercise) or the option they offer: in which case the drill sergeants would physically exercise their minds to think of a humiliating punishment.
              Well, my punishment was self-replenishing like that Greek myth when the guy rolls the boulder up to the top of the hill, only to have an eagle come to eat his liver--
            if the chow hall sent their cooks out to feed us in the field(that is we weren’t eating our mur's(meals ready to eat)) then they would set up a chow line with servers. My beloved drill sergeant, selflessly took over the role of server (at the end of the line)...."would you like some beats Private Freshwater?" he asked.  I kindly declined his solicit...."oh a growing ******* like you must have his protein, “and he would proceed to soak all my precious sustenance with bright red, beat juice, the color of an octogenarian's veins. I watched my bread dissipate, and my chicken would part from its previous structure (the parting of the red sea came to my mind those two months). Now I cringe when I see blood, it reminds me of beet juice.

         It is already 0515, thirty minutes before first formation, and the halls are filling up with sergeants, along with the pale light of the Hawaiian rising sun. In garrison (when we are not in the field) we ‘Pt.’(physical training, i.e. running and death marches) every morning, and the soldiers who live off base(mostly sergeants) come upstairs in the barracks, barking and singing, and barking. Even with all my defects in uniform and room hygiene, I am an early bird, and this morning I decide to let Sargent Leghorn(our squad leader) into our room to strangle Sleepy awake.
          But I am taken aback when he declines a Sleepy Turtle thrashing to speak to me.
            "Freshwater, Poncho (our platoon sergeant) wants me to help you make a decision about re-enlisting."
          I've been getting a lot of flak for sitting on the fence about re-enlisting, but honestly I want to get out.  I haven’t told them that.
   "Look," in his big southern drawl, “you know your too dumb to live out there, the army wipes your ***, you two idiots would be drinking your **** within the first day out in the world.  Look, speak to the retention officer and then make the decision...."
        He kept talking, but I heard the sound. Our barracks forms a ‘quad’ with three other multi-tiered buildings-- forming a rectangle. The ground floor are where the headquarters(offices where you go when you’re in trouble), and out in front is narrow roads circumscribing  a grass parade field; well, in front of our headquarters is a mango tree; on that mango tree ,eternally perched is a Hawaiian Military Macaw, we call the "******* bird." Every time our lieutenant shows up, he is proceeded by the loud chuckle of the "******* bird," whereas the sounds are thus , "Platoon attenhuuut,"then the mad bird laughter of "******* ******* fu..."  The bird is the harbinger of annoyance, and that annoyance is our L tee(lieutenant),and his name is Lt.Wheat Thin, and he hates me(understatement of the year).
              Now doors with card readers are opening to reveal drowsy, skinny privates, who in the morning, before PT are like baby gazelles ,birthed in the African Serengeti --they are vulnerable for predators, and those predators are sergeants who smell the birth slime on them.        
      The favorite past-time of (any rank above a private) is to enter into a privates rooms and "**** with him." They will look at your pictures, call your girlfriend ugly, gig you on your uncleanliness, even look around for contraband.
        Well, while the Lt Wheat Thin is making his way through the halls yelling "twenty miler today,hahah......hey Specialist Nifkin where is your reflective belt?"  The sergeants are more relaxed, it is a Friday, and they are still in ecstatic shock from the "toad, “contest on Monday. Now since I mentioned the "toad," I have to elaborate, even though I have to get to formation.
          Every Monday, our First Sergent (company sergeant) has a contest after mourning pt.  The rules are such: the contestants are the ones who did the stupidest thing over the weekend, and only they would compete for the toad( a small porcelain toad).
            When we are all standing in formation on the small lane in front of the parade field, our Pt uniforms turning into tiger fatigues from our sweat, the First Sargent, in his raspy voice (he was shot through his voice box in Somalia) would call the contestants in front of the company. He would yell(or rasp) "get down", then the contestant, instead of doing pushups (which is usually linked to "get down," or it is if your me) would have to dance with no music,untill you are the last private standing thus not being eliminated by boos caused by lousy dancing.
          With that said, four days prior ,the winner of the "toad “was from our platoon , and we even boasted of two runner ups. I remember watching Private Catfish, Private Beachstick, and Specialist Hamburger going at it.  For if you won the 'toad' statue, you got out of Pt for two days, but you more than likely danced the calories away of those two days while you had all those dip spitting southerners yelling "dance catfish dance."
             Pvt. Catfish was nominated for getting caught with a ***** pump in the ceiling tiles during a room inspection and Beachstick was nominated due to the fact he caught stealing a cell phone down Waikiki. Poor old Beachstick, once he was turned over to army chain of command by the police, they conducted their sadistic physical exercise in their head to determine his punishment.  He was to carry a cinder block around painted like a cell phone.  He actually danced with the block might I add.
                The third contestant from our platoon wasn't a new guy, he was of specialist rank like me--Hamburger--he got so drunk he walked home in his bright orange, white and red bowling shoes.
                 The bowling alley actually called the General of the entire Hawaiin base. So it was like a dixie cup communication line of "what?  bowling shoes....Hamburger?"  That finally tickled its way down to the ear of Poncho the platoon sergent with the concise army telephone call "Hamburger in bowling shoes, nominated Toad, out copy over?"
           Well Sergent Poncho got the key to Hamburger’s room that next day, and found Hamburger passed out in his roommate Hotdog's bed; with all his clothes off, but the bowling shoes sticking out on his feet still. Hot dog was passed out too, and woke up in state of exasperation for Hamburger had urinated all over him. Hamburger and Hotdog were inseparable, it almost seemed like that big Kentuckian Hamburger even carried around that skinny Hotdog,(who was also from Boston, but I didn't sound like him, he just sounds ridiculous).

             So Pvt Catfish won the "toad," and he is in the hallway.  All the sergeants are making a bee line for his room to admire the "toad," amulet. Sleepy Turtle is getting up faster than usual, and the air feels a little different this morning. The rumor in the air, is that there will be "Zonk," and there hasn't been a "Zonk" for years. But Lt.Wheat thin is going around dispelling that rumor at its inception...."No Zonk you bunch of pansies, twenty mile run, on sand, up hill..."  
             Yeah I’m not going to lie, I like to put one of those Hawaiian ear wigs in his ear so it would eat his brain then go up to him,"hey lieutenant , how bout ultimate frisbee for Pt today," in which I could see it clear as day, him drooling ,"sure Freshwatah, frisbeeee."
                I’m on the' lanaii' now, which is a balcony in Hawaiian. Three tiers of lanaii encompass  a parade field, filled and overhanging with soldiers getting ready for morning Pt similar to a roman coliseum readying for a gladiator fight . It is Friday and we usually do company Pt on Fridays (bigger formations)…but looking across the parade field, the sister battalions are overflowing as much as us.    
             The light reflecting off the sand in the volley ball court, which we were not allowed to use(why make it then??),  was glowing yellow, soon to be white in the hot sun. We are shooting the ****, dipping, smoking and just straight lollygaggin like we always do in garrison before Pt.
I see my friend Rich, and we start talking.  He's a cool dude, a Californian like Sleepy, but Rich got his **** wired tight, we arrived here at the same time from the same basic training platoon.
"Freshwater man, you gunna re-enlist or what?'
"You’re crazy Rich for re-enlisting, this **** *****."
"Mang, Fresh, remember when Poncho made all the cherries(new privates) get in short shorts and get on the back of his motorcycle for a drive to Waikiki?"
"Yeah, he's nuts, he's a big reason for getting out."
"Why is that,"--
"**** changes so quick in the army, one day you’re playing volleyball for Pt, the next it's a death march, one day Poncho is your friend, the next he's handing out all your sandwich meat to Sargent Leghorn or Catfish.  Too friggin erratic, and when it rains it pours, and there is nowhere to find shelter--"
"Man Fresh, they want you to move up ,be a leader, go to sergeant school, just do it bra...."
" I’m all set with that Rich, I don't have your discipline, you keep clean in the field bro, and cross yourself before every meal, me , I don't have that discipline, I don't like strictures, and I don't think I can be myself here."
"What I have, you don't have, but you have what I don't have Fresh."
"Ya, I got everybody breathing down my neck."
"No Fresh, you’re a tough dude, Poncho told me he don't try to flick your eyes while your copping Z's in the field anymore like the other 'joes' (enlisted soldiers, not sergeants). Said you almost kicked him unconscious while you were still sleeping and Wheat Thin hates you from when you were his radio man, he got jealous of you because you could handle the mission stuff...you read well....."
             My attention was arrested by Beachstick, he was staring at the training schedule, man, everyday he would study this calendar with all our planned Pt on it. Like he could visually alter it with is mind, to change "15 mile road march," to "pocket pool" or something. Then his face changed from melancholy to total disbelief when he saw todays planned Pt--"friday,aug 12 2001, 20 mile brigade run." It was like he was reading a Steven King novel or something, that was the only thing that didn't change, Beachstick always thinking he would get out of running or *******, and he would probably steal another phone, carry another cinder block.  I could never relate, because I never forget, when it rains it pours in the army.
               I remember we were on this mountain, in this valley up north shore, we could see the ocean; it looked so beautiful, inviting, yet we were on a mountain with 80 lbs. on our back, sleeping in dirt with poisonous centipedes. The sun was relentless when you were in uniform, but a goddess near the beach, or when you were just stripped down to shorts(we were not even allowed to roll our sleeves up like the marines).
It must have been even rougher on Hamburger, he hated the army more than me, and he got a fungus, jungle rot from that field problem. The medic said it was a fungus that only grew on cows and trees in Hawaii, and to cure it you have to jump in the ocean.  Man, I hope he didn't see the same ocean I saw. The infantry is sweat and soreness, that's all.  They tell you to keep putting camo on your face, just to have it come off in a deluge of sweat, ****,  army infantry is for the birds, the '*******' bird.
              We're heading downstairs, to be ready for when one ******* yells "formation, “then it reverberates like a game of annoying telephone. The first person who yelled "formation, “is contrasted by the last person who yodels it, or hollers it like a wild Indian.  It is a true transformation of sound.
                At the base of the building, under the first floor balcony, is a cq desk(charge of quarter) where a fellow grunt has been up all night logging vistors,answering phone calls from higher up. He is in uniform unlike us in Pt attire. He was spied eating beef jerky,and a gang of grunts are surrounding him…"Hey let me get some jerky Fancy Pants...." is there zombie moan as they converge on him. With a mop handle, he is pushing them away- like a lucky survivor of the titanic in his life boat, pushing away swimming clingers on, that might swamp his boat, or in this case eat all his beef jerky(we like our beef jerky, and it is not heavy).
           As I walk out from the ground level landing I hear Sleepy Turtle on the top lanaii: "Freshwater you dumb Boston Kennedy sounding dirt merchant....."
      "What Sleepy, what do you want?" I yelled up back at him.
       "What is this?, “he asked. He was holding a sardine can Rich gave me.  I ate one and almost puked.  I don't know how Rich could eat those things, maybe b
ZONK: informal infantry tradition of lastminute cancel of morning exercise to boost comraderie.
Kimeisha Paisley Sep 2017
CEO, Big boss, Man in charge…
All names given to You…
Taking care of the things that no one else can,
While enlarging my territory and expanding my lifespan.

Sometimes I see You as that man upstairs in that corner office,
Though busy at work there is nothing that You ever miss…
You put things into place way before I see,
That most of the work was done for me.

At times I wonder how You do it all,
And still find time for me every time l call..
No wonder You are the boss as You have all things set,
So when troubles come I don't have to fret.

In Your office in the sky, behind Your big desk,
Mapping out the plan for where l go next…
You stamp every document and seal every plan,
Most of which l am yet to understand.

Many people around, they fear their boss,
But for a wretch like me, You died on a cross…
What can l give to the man upstairs?
When He has everything more than combined billionaires.

A gift without price is for all He asks,
And in His presence daily, we should bask…
So why do we  choose to give Him what's left?
When all that we need is found in His cleft.

I lift my hands to You Mr Corner Office man,
Because You take care of me, the way no one else can…
I hope someday, I will be sitting next to You,
Upstairs, corner office, with a really nice view.
shyann raulerson Jul 2013
I heard faint noises downstairs, and I decided to investigate. I pulled on a pair of cut-off jeans and grabbed the old pump shotgun that had served me so well in Viet-Nam from under my bed and crept downstairs to check. My Ranger training came into play, and I moved soundlessly, down the stairs and into the living room. An air of vague shadowy figures were searching through the cabinet that housed my collection of antique silver. I announced my presence in a sudden and intimidating manner: I merely pumped the action of the shotgun, then immediately moved to the right so if anyone shot, he would shoot where I had been, not where I was now. That sound was a language that everyone understood, including the two figures before me. They froze, and were still motionless.

"Mr. Steve?" one of the figures quavered. "Please don't shoot!"

I recognized the voice as belonging to Lisa, the twenty-year-old daughter of my nearest neighbor. I didn't know who the other person was or who else may be in the house, so I kept the shotgun pointed in their direction and hit the light switch with my free hand. Immediately a car cranked up in my driveway, and tires squealing, raced out to the road and away. I looked at my midnight visitors. I recognized Lisa and Julie, who was a close friend of Lisa's and a frequent overnight visitor of hers. They were holding between them a laundry bag containing most of my silver collection. I lowered the muzzle of the cut down shotgun.

"You sure know how to get yourselves killed," I stated. "Mind telling me who was in the car? You don't want to take the rap all by yourselves."

"Please don't shoot! That was Mike, it was all his idea! He made us do it! He said he would put us out and make us walk home if we didn't do it! Are you going to call the Cops?"

Now I could understand why the girls tried to burglarize my home. It was a fifteen-mile walk home in pitch darkness on a moon-less night for the two frightened girls. It was just what a worthless **** like Mike would pull. Knowing what I did about Lisa's boyfriend, I knew what he probably needed the money for. He was nineteen; the only job he had ever had was selling drugs, and I don't mean at the pharmacy. He was a charmer though. Girls fell for his good looks and his charm, and would do anything for him, and he of course chose the best looking one of the bunch, Lisa. She never realized what a slime-ball he really was. The problem was that Lisa didn't have a father to threaten to put a bullet in Mike's behind, and her mother was just as deceived as she was.

"You broke into my house and attempted to steal my belongings. Why shouldn't I?" I said with false sternness. I wouldn't really turn them in, now that I knew the situation. I would give the girls a good scare, then a ride home. Maybe then Lisa would see through Mike's veneer.

"Because we'll do anything you want," Julie offered, speaking for the first time. "Anything at all!"

Julie stepped over and ran her hand up my leg, pausing to tweak the head of my ****, which was hanging out of the leg of my cutoffs. I hadn't bothered to pull on any underwear. Julie was almost as good looking as Lisa was. Both girls had fabulous bodies, large firm ****, and smooth well-rounded *****. Julie had a cute face, whereas Lisa was absolutely beautiful.

"Yes, anything you want to do!" Lisa agreed.

The girls weren't wanton *****, but scared out of their wits and taking the only way out that they could think of. Of course they weren't virgins. It hadn't occurred to me to take advantage of the girls like this, and I would have declined Julie's offer if she hadn't fooled with my **** like that. You see, I was developing an outrageous *******, and with my **** hanging down the leg of some fairly tight shorts, the situation was rapidly becoming painful and serious. I had to get those pants off fast! Also, I hadn't been laid in quite a while. I decided to lay my cards on the line.

"You kids know me. I never had any intention of calling the Cops. I was going to give you a scare to teach you a lesson, then drive you home. Does that mean the offer is withdrawn?"

The girls looked at each other and both breathed a sigh of relief, big smiles on their faces. Lisa winked at Julie. "Nope," Julie said, smiling, "It still stands. Lets go upstairs."

I escorted the girls to my bedroom, pressed the magazine block on the shotgun, pumped out the shell that was still in the chamber, then put it back in the magazine. I tossed it onto the dresser with a loud thump.

I turned around and both girls were stark naked. Lisa came over, dropped to her knees, and planted a wet kiss on the head of my painfully throbbing ****. My ******* became harder still. I had to get out of those cutoffs! Julie solved that problem. She unzipped and unbuttoned them and gently worked them down around my rock-hard ****, allowing it to spring up to freedom.

"Lets get on the bed first," I suggested, "Then we have fun."

"Lay down on your back," Lisa insisted. "Have we got something for you!"

I complied, and Lisa leaned over and put my **** in her hot mouth. Her tongue swirled over the head, ran up and down the shaft, and started over again. I looked over at Julie and she was watching avidly. Not having anything better to do with my hands, I reached between her legs and caressed her ****. Julie gasped with surprise, then spread her legs. Her **** was already hot and wet, so I slid my ******* in all the way, then started finger ******* her and massaging her **** with my thumb. Her **** hardened and grew. Julie had her eyes closed and was erotically tweaking her ***** *******. She was slowly lowering her body, deepening the ******* of my finger, and rocking her hips back and forth, intensifying the stroking of her ****. Julie's hot ***** juices ran down my hand while Lisa's mouth was still working on my throbbing ****.

I began to draw my hand from Julie's sopping wet ****, but she grabbed it and held it tightly to her crotch. I pulled my hand now, and she came with it. I grabbed her thigh and swung her leg over me, so she was now sitting on my chest. I pulled my finger from her hungry ****, grabbed her ***, and pulled her ****** right up to my face. As soon as I flicked her **** with the tip of my tongue, she went wild, ******* my face, filling my nostrils with the sweet aroma of her **** juices. I thought I would give her all the licking she could handle. I rammed my tongue into her ****-hole with all my might, then gently nibbled on her ****. Apparently she had a low threshold, as this was all she could stand.

"Oh God, I'm coming!" she screamed, ground her **** into my face one more time, quivered, then collapsed sideways onto the bed.

One down, one to go. I looked at Lisa, still ******* my **** for all she was worth. I was nearing the end of my endurance, and I still hadn't had my **** in any hot **** yet. I grabbed Lisa's shoulders and pulled her mouth from my ****. I turned her around and held her up, her blonde ***** triangle just inches over my waiting tool.

"Give it to her! Now!" Julie whispered.

Lisa's **** didn't look wet or ready to take anything in it yet, but my **** was ready to take some *****. Julie reached over and spread the lips to Lisa's still dry *****, and began tweaking her ****. Lisa gasped her surprise at her most private place being touched by another chick. Within seconds though, her **** and inner ***** lips began to swell, and her juices started flowing. I slowly lowered Lisa to my rod, admiring her glistening pinkness. Julie guided my throbbing rod into Lisa's wet love hole.

"Please, be careful! Ah-h-h-h! Go slow, I'm so tight!"

I lowered Lisa very carefully, for her hot ****-hole was indeed the tightest ***** I had ever felt. With that in mind, I fought the urge to slam her down on my eager ****. As soon as she was down, I grabbed her *** and began sliding her back and forth. Lisa bit her lip as a tear trickled down from one eye.

"Stop, Mr. Steve! It's hurting her!" Julie commanded. Then to Lisa, "You haven't done it much, have you?"

"Just once, with Mike, and he isn't this big. It hurt then, too!" Lisa sobbed. "I wanted so bad to do it with Mr. Steve because he's been so nice to me, and I was so scared when I saw how big he was. Oh, it hurts!"

"You'd better get up then." I reassured, "I don't want to do anything to you that you don't want me to do."

"I want to go on, really I do! But don't you have anything I could use to make it easier?"

"Yeah, any Vaseline, or KY jelly, or something like that?" Julie asked.

"I have some KY jelly in the bathroom." I answered.

Julie jumped up and padded into the bathroom. I watched her naked *** jiggle as she left.

"You're gonna have to get up." I told Lisa. I gently lifted her ***. She bit her lip again and moaned as my **** slowly withdrew from her tortured hole. With a pop from her *****, a shriek burst from her lips as my **** sprung from her nearly dry ****-hole. She knelt on the bed next to me, softly crying, clutching herself where it hurt. I realized that she had been wrong in pretending to be so eager. A more gentle approach was needed.

I reached over, pulled her to me, and kissed her lips passionately. She ****** once in surprise, then melted into my arms, returning my kiss, forgetting the pain in her ****. I ran my hand around to her firm **** and gently stroked her *******, feeling them harden under my touch. I pulled my mouth from hers and kissed the point of each hard ******. She moaned and gasped with each touch of my lips, but from pleasure this time, not from pain. While I had her aroused, I lightly traced circles on her tummy with my finger, each circle going lower and lower, until I finally reached the blonde **** of her ***** hair. Slowly, I reached down and cupped her ***** with my hand, being careful not to press too hard or insert my finger. I would know when she was ready for *******. She responded with a **** and a gasp. I pressed again, and she gasped again. I kissed each firm ****** one last time, then started kissing down her tummy to her love nest, which was now warming and starting to respond to my touch.

I spread her legs and gently ran the tip of my tongue the full length of her slit. When I reached the vicinity of her ****, she reacted as though she had been shocked. She arched her back, pressing her **** against my face. Maybe she was ready. I probed again with my tongue, harder this time, hard enough to separate her ****-lips and tickle her ****. She went mad again, jerking and twitching in response to the touch of my tongue, moaning and panting. Then I felt her **** harden, her inner lips swell and spread, and her delicious juices start to flow. Now she was definitely ready for more. I probed her ****-hole with my tongue, licked all the way up to her ****, swirled it around, bit it gently, and then probed her hole again. When I started doing all this, she went even wilder. She spread her legs, ****** and reared against my face, and pulled my head tight against her hot cooze.

"Oh-h-h-h-h, **** me," she moaned, "I can't stand it any more! I don't care if it does hurt! Please, please **** me!"

I put her throbbing **** between my lips and gave it one hard ****, drawing it completely into my mouth, and pulled my head back sharply, causing her **** to pop back. She screamed, ****** her hips at me, and grabbed her sweating *******.

When she had subsided, her legs still spread, I mounted her in the traditional position. I started to position my throbbing pole for a gentle entry, but Lisa released her **** and spread her ****-lips with one hand and guided my tool to her sopping wet ****-hole with the other. She was much wetter now than when Julie diddled her ****, wet enough to ****.

"Please do it now!" Lisa pleaded.

I began to insert my **** cautiously, and found that due to her juices, entry was no problem. Lisa groaned like a ****** as I slid into her hot wetness. When she had taken as much of my ten-inch tool as she could, I still wasn't all the way in. But she began pumping her hips, causing the swollen head of my **** to ram against the back of her *****. She was as deliciously tight as before, but she must have been stretching, for with just a few strokes, my ***** were slapping against her ***, and I was in to the hilt. My tenderness and foreplay had paid off.

"Oh-h-h-h, that's good!" she purred when I began pumping to meet her rhythm. She wrapped her legs around my waist, and was pumping as hard as I was. With each stroke, I would completely withdraw from her hot, tight wetness, then shove my eager tool back in to the hilt, never missing her voracious target, always sliding easily in, jamming against the back of her *****.

Her pumping increased in tempo, and I sped up to match. Each pump became harder and more frantic than the one before. Lisa's breathing became harder and faster. She was about to come, and I wanted to come with her. I raised her legs over my shoulders so that I had a better angle at the depths of her tight hole, and started ramming as hard as I could.

"Don't stop! I think I'm gonna come! Oh-h-h, its so good! Come in me! Oh, please, I want to feel your load in me!" Lisa screamed. She bucked and reared and screamed incoherently, then went limp. I continued to pump. In just a few seconds, she began to pump anew. For more times than I could count, she orgasmed.

Once I felt my ****** approaching, I gave her one last hard ram and drove my weapon in as far as I could. I came at this point, spurting her sweet, tender Steve **** full of my hot sticky come, like an erupting volcano. She gasped, trembled, and fell back to the bed. I pulled out my softening ****. Our ****** energies were spent for the moment.

I glanced down at the foot of the bed, and saw Julie, whom I had forgotten. She sat in the chair at the foot of the bed, her legs spread, working a coke bottle in and out of her *****. She had found the KY jelly, then found us ******* away. Feeling left out but excited by the ****** sight of her best friend getting a good *******, she slicked up the coke bottle and began using it as a *****.

I saw that Lisa also was seeing something she had never seen before, her best friend's ****, gaping open, a coke bottle almost disappearing inside it. "Look how far in she puts it! And see how big it is to go in her like that. How does she do it?" Lisa asked, amazed.

"Why don't you get a closer look," I suggested. "Ask her." Lisa crawled down to the foot of the bed and sat on the end, astounded, watching Julie *******.

Julie finally looked down, under heavy-lidded eyes and saw Lisa so close. "Why don't you do this for me?" Julie asked.

"How?" Lisa queried.

"Just do what I'm doing now," came Julie's reply. Lisa watched for a few seconds more, then pushed Julie's hand aside and grasped the slippery end of the bottle. "In and out, and twist it a little bit. Oh, yes-s-s, oh, yes-s-s. Do it good, oh, that's so good!" Julie purred.

My **** was hardening again at the sight of one female ******* another.

I had an idea. If Julie was as promiscuous as she seemed, she might not object to what I had in mind. While Lisa continued to work the bottle in Julie's stretched ****, I helped Julie out of the chair and down to the floor, her heaving **** on the floor, her *** up in the air. She stayed in the position, crooning wordlessly, **** juice dribbling down her thighs, Lisa still ******* her.

I picked up the tube of KY jelly that Julie had used, and liberally covered my ***** rod with it. Then I stood behind Julie, straddling Lisa.

"What are you going to do?" Lisa asked.

"Watch and see!" I responded. With that I grasped Julie's hips and aimed my **** at the delicate rosette of Julie's ***. Using my **** like a weapon, I suddenly shoved my tool in as far as I could. Julie let out a scream, tearing out fistfuls of carpet.

"Oh God, **** my ***! That hurts so good! **** me harder, give me all you've got! Make it hurt! Give me more of that bottle!"

"I'm ***-******* Julie!" I informed Lisa, who was now completely mind-blown.

I needed no invitation, and neither did Lisa. Both of us gave Julie all we could, Lisa with the bottle in Julie's ****, me with my **** far up Julie's clenching ***. Julie rocked back to take us both in, then forward, then back for more. I couldn't see
I.

One night at the Troubadour I spotted this extraordinary girl.

So I asked who she was.

‘A professional,’

That was my introduction that on a scale of one to ten

there were women who were fifteens—beautiful, bright, witty, and

oh, by the way, they worked.

Once I became aware,

I saw these women everywhere.

And I came to learn that most of them were connected to Alex



II.

She had a printer engrave a calling card

that featured a bird of paradise

borrowed from a Tiffany silver pattern

and,
under it,

Alex’s Aviary,

Beautiful and Exotic birds.



A few were women you’d see lunching at Le Dôme:

pampered arm pieces with expensive tastes

and a hint of a delicious but remote sexuality.

Many more were fresh-faced, athletic, tanned, freckled

the quintessential California girl

That you’d take for sorority queens or future BMW owners.





III.

The mechanism of Alex’s sudden notoriety is byzantine,

as these things always are.

One of her girls took up with a rotter,

the couple had a fight,

he went to the police,

the police had an undercover detective visit

(who just happened to be an attractive woman)

and ask to work for her,

she all but embraced her

—and by April of 1988 the district attorney had enough evidence

to charge her with two counts of pandering

and one of pimping.

For Alex, who is fifty-six

and has a heart condition and diabetes,

the stakes may be high.

A conviction carries the guarantee of incarceration.

For the forces of law and order,

the stakes may be higher.

Alex has let it be known that she will subpoena

every cop she’s ever met to testify at her trial.

And the revelations this might produce

—perhaps that Alex compromised policemen

by making girls available to them,

—perhaps that Alex had a deal with the police to provide information

in exchange for their blind eye to her activities

—could be hugely embarrassing to the police and the district attorney.

For Alex’s socially correct clients and friends,

for the socially correct wives of her clients and friends

and for a handful of movie and television executives

who have no idea they are dating or

married to former Alex girls,

the stakes are highest of all.



IV.

Alex’s black book is said to be a catalogue of
Le Tout Los Angeles.

In her head are the ****** secrets

of many of the city’s most important men,

to say nothing of visiting businessmen and Arab princes.

If she decides to warble,

either at her trial or in a book,

her song will shatter more than glass.





V.

A decade ago, I went to lunch at Ma Maison,

There were supposed to have been ten people there,

but only four came.

One of them was a short woman

who called me a few days later and invited me to lunch.

When I arrived, the table was set for two.

I didn’t know who Alex was or what she did,

but she knew the important facts of my situation:

I was getting divorced from a very wealthy man

and doing the legal work myself

to avail lawyers who wanted to get a big settlement for me.


Occasionally, she said, I get a call for a tall, dark-haired,

slender, flat-chested woman

—and I don’t have any.

It wouldn’t be a frequent thing.

There’d be weekends away, sometimes in Palm Springs,

sometimes in Europe.

The men will be elegant,

you’ll have your own room

—there would be no outward signs of impropriety.

And you’d get $10,000 to $20,000 for a weekend.





VI.

The tall, slender, flat-chested brunette

didn’t think it was right for her.

Alex handed her a business card

and suggested that she think about it.

To her surprise, she did

—for an entire week.

This was 1978, and $20,000 then

was like $40,000 now,

I knew it was hooking,

but Alex had never mentioned ***.



Our whole conversation seemed to be about something else.



VII.

I was born in Manila

to a Spanish-Filipina mother and German father,

and when I was twelve

a Japanese soldier came into our house

with his bayonet pointed at us,

ready to do us in.

He locked us in and set the house on fire.

I haven’t been scared by much since that.



My mother always struck me as goofy,

so I jumped on a bus and ran away,

I got off in Oakland,

saw a help-wanted sign on a parish house,

and went in.

I got $200 a month for taking care of four priests.

I spent all the money on pastries for the parish house.

But I didn’t care.

It felt safe.

And the priests sparked my interest in the domestic arts

—in linen, in crystal.



A new priest arrived.

He was unpleasant,

so on a vacation in Los Angeles I took a pedestrian job,

still a teenager,

married a scientist.

We separated eight years later,

he took our two sons to another state

threatened to keep them if I didn’t agree to a divorce.

Keep them I said and hung up.

It’s not that I don’t have a maternal instinct

—though I don’t,

I just hate to be manipulated.



My second husband,

an alcoholic,

had Frank Sinatra blue eyes, and possibly

—I never knew for sure—

had a big career in the underworld

as a contract killer.

Years before we got serious,

he was going out with a famous L.A. ******,

She and her friends were so elegant

that I started spending time with them in beauty salons.

They were so fancy,

so smart

—and they knew incredible people,

like the millionaire who sat in his suite all day

just writing $5,000 checks to girls.



VIII.

I was a florist.

We got to talking.

She was a madam from England

who wanted to sell her book and go home.

I bought it for $5,000.

My husband thought it was cute.

Now you’re getting your feet wet.

Three months later,

he died.

After eleven years of marriage,

just like that.

And of the names in the book

it turned out

that half of the men were also dead.

When I began the men were old and the women were ugly.



IX.

It was like a lunch party you or I would give,

Great food Alex had cooked herself.

Major giggles with old pals.

And then,

instead of chocolate After Eight,

she served three women After Three



This man has seen a bit of life

beyond Los Angeles,

so I asked him how Alex’s stable

compared with that of Madam Claude,

the legendary Parisian procuress.

Oh, these aren’t at all like Claude’s girls,

A Claude girl was perfectly dressed and multilingual

—you could take her to the opera

and she’d understand it.





He told me that when she was 40

she looked at herself in the mirror

and said

Disgusting.

People over 40

should not have ***.

But She Was Clear That She Never Liked It

even when she was young.

Besides, she saw all the street business

go to the tall,

beautiful girls.

She thought that she never had a chance

competing against them.

Instead,

she would take their money by managing them.





X.

Going to a ****** was not looked down upon then.

It was before the pill;

Girls weren’t giving it away.

Claude specialized in

failed models and actresses,

ones who just missed the cut.

But just because they failed

in those impossible professions

didn’t mean they weren’t beautiful,

fabulous.



Like Avis

in those days,

those girls tried harder.

Her place was off the Champs,

just above a branch of the Rothschild bank, where I had an account.

Once I met her,

I was constantly making withdrawals and heading upstairs.





XI.

We took the lift

and Claude greeted us at the door.

My impression was that of the director

of an haute couture house,

very subdued,

beige and gray, very little makeup.

She took us into a lounge and made us drinks,

Whiskey,

Cognac.

There was no maid.

We made small talk for 15 minutes.

How was the weekend?

What’s the weather like in Deauville?

Then she made the segue. ‘I understand you’d like to see some jeunes filles?’

She always used ‘jeunes filles.’

This was Claude’s polite way of saying 18 to 25.

She left and soon returned

with two very tall

jeunes filles,

One was blonde.

This is Eva from Austria.

She’s here studying painting.

And a brunette,

very different,

but also very fine.

This is Claudia from Germany.

She’s a dancer.

She took the girls back into the apartment and returned by herself.

I gave my English guest first choice.

He picked the blonde.

And wasn’t disappointed.

Each bedroom had its own bidet.

There was some nice

polite conversation, and then



It was slightly formal,

but it was high-quality.

He paid Claude

200 francs,

not to the girls

In 1965, 200 francs was about $40.

Pretty girls on Rue Saint-Denis

could be had for 40 francs

so you can see the premium.

Still, it wasn’t out of reach for mere mortals.

You didn’t have to be J. Paul Getty.





XII.

A lot of them

were models at

Christian Dior

or other couture houses.

She liked Scandinavians.

That was the look then

—cold, tall, perfect.

It was cheap for the quality.

They all used her.

The best people wanted

the best women.

Elementary supply and demand.



XIII.

She had a camp number tattooed on her wrist. I saw it.

She showed it to me and Rubi.

She was proud she had survived.

We talked about the camp for hours.

It was even more fascinating than the girls.



She was Jewish

I’m certain of that.

She was horrified at the Jewish collaborators

at the camp who herded

their fellow Jews

into the gas chambers.

That was the greatest betrayal in her life.



XIV.

She was this sad,

lonely little woman.

Later, Patrick told me who she was.

I was bowled over.

It was like meeting Al Capone.

I met two of the girls

who worked for her.

One was what you would expect

Tall

Blonde

Model.

But the other looked like a Rat

Then one night

she came out

all dressed up,

I didn’t even recognize her.

She was even better than the first girl.

Claude liked to transform women like that.

That was her art.

It was very odd,

my cousin told me.

There was not much furniture

and an awful lot of telephones.

“Allô oui,”



XV.

I had so many lunches

with Claude at Ma Maison

She was vicious.

One day,

Margaux Hemingway,

at the height of her beauty, walked by.

Une bonne

—the French for maid

was how Claude cut her dead.

She reduced

the entire world

to rich men wanting *** and

poor women wanting money.

She’d love to page through Vogue and see someone

and say,

When I met her

she was called

Marlene

and she had a hideous nose

and now she’s a princess.

Or she’d see someone and say

Let’s see if she kisses me or not.

It was like

I made her,

and I can destroy her.

She was obsessed

with “fixing” people

—with Saint Laurent clothes,

with Cartier watches,

with Winston jewels,

with Vuitton luggage,

with plastic surgeons.



XVI.

Her prison number was

888

which was good luck in China

but not in California.

‘Ocho ocho ocho,’ she liked to repeat

Even in jail, she was always working,

always recruiting stunning women.

She had a beautiful Mexican cellmate

and gave her Robert Evans’s number

as the first person she should call

when she was released.



XVII.

Never have *** on the first date.



XVIII.

There will always be prostitution,

The prostitution of misery.

And the prostitution of bourgeois luxury.

They will both go on forever.



“Allô oui,”



It was so exciting to hear a millionaire

or a head of state ask,

in a little boy’s voice,

for the one thing

that only you could provide

It's not how beautiful you are, it's how you relate

--it's mostly dialogue.



She was tiny, blond, perfectly coiffed and Chanel-clad.

The French Woman: The Arab Prince, the Japanese Diplomat, the Greek Tycoon, the C.I.A. Bureau Chief — She Possessed Them All!



XIX.

She was like a slave driver in the American South

Once she took a *******,

the makeover put the girl in debt,

because Claude paid all the bills to

Dior,

Vuitton,

to the hairdressers,

to the doctors,

and the girls had to work to pay them off.

It was ****** indentured servitude.



My Swans.



It reached the point

where if you walked into a room

in London

or Rome

as much as Paris

because the girls were transportable,

and saw a girl who was

better-dressed,

better-looking,

and more distinguished than the others

you presumed

it was a girl from Claude.

It was, without doubt,

the finest *** operation ever run in the history of mankind.



**.

The girl had to be

exactly what was needed

so I had to teach her everything she didn’t know.

I played a little the role of Pygmalion.

There were basic things that absolutely had to be done.

It consisted

at the start

of the physical aspect

“surgical intervention”

to give this way of being

that was different from other girls.

Often they had to be transformed

into dream creatures

because at the start

they were not at all



Often I had to teach them how to dress.

Often they needed help

to repair

what nature had given them

which was not so beautiful.

At first they had to be tall,

with pretty gestures,

good manners.

I had lots of noses done,

chins,

teeth,

*******.

There was a lot to do.



Eight times out of ten

I had to teach them how to behave in society.

There were official dinners, suppers, weekends,

and they needed to have conversation.

I insisted they learn to speak English,

read

certain books.

I interrogated them on what they read.

It wasn’t easy.

Each time something wasn’t working,

I was obliged to say so.



You were very demanding?

I was ferocious.



It’s difficult

to teach a girl how to walk into Maxim’s

without looking

ill at ease

when they’ve never been there,

to go into an airport,

to go to the Ritz,

or the Crillon

or the Dorchester.

To find yourself

in front of a king,

three princes,

four ministers,

and five ambassadors at an official dinner.

There were the wives of those people!

Day after day

one had to explain,

explain again,

start again.

It took about two years.

There would always be a man

who would then say of her,

‘But she’s absolutely exceptional. What is that girl doing here?’ ”





XXI.

A New York publisher who visited

the Palace Hotel

in Saint Moritz

in the early seventies told me,

I met a whole bunch of them there.

They were lovely.

The johns wanted everyone to know who they were.

I remember it being said

Giovanni’s Madame Claude girl is going to be there.

You asked them where they came from and they all said

Neuilly.

Claude liked girls from good families.

More to the point she had invented their backgrounds.



I have known,

because of what I did,

some exceptional and fascinating men.

I’ve known some exceptional women too,

but that was less interesting

because I made them myself.



Ah, this question of the handbag.

You would be amazed by how much dust accumulates.

Or how often women’s shoe heels are scuffed.





XXII.

She would examine their teeth and finally she would make them undress.



That was a difficult moment

When they arrived they were very shy,

a bit frightened.

At the beginning when I take a look,

it’s a question of seeing if the silhouette

and the gestures are pretty.

Then there was a disagreeable moment.

I said,

I’m sorry about this unpleasantness,

but I have to ask you to get undressed,

because I can’t talk about you unless I see you.

Believe me, I was embarrassed,

just as they were,

but it had to be done,

not out of voyeurism, not at all

—I don’t like les dames horizontales.



It was very funny

because there were always two reactions.

A young girl,

very sure of herself,

very beautiful,

très bien,

would say

Yes,

Get up, and get undressed.

There was nothing to hide, everything was perfect.



There were those who

would start timidly

to take off their dress

and I would say

I knew already.

The rest is not sadism, but nearly.

I knew what I was going to find.

I would say,

Maybe you should take off your bra,

and I knew it wasn’t going to be

beautiful.

Because otherwise she would have taken it off easily.

No problem.

There were damages that could be mended.

There were some ******* that could be redone,

some not

Sometimes it can be deceptive,

you know,

you see a pretty girl,

a pretty face,

all elegant and slim,

well dressed,

and when you see her naked

it is a catastrophe.



I could judge their physical qualities,

I could judge if she was pretty, intelligent, and cultivated,

but I didn’t know how she was in bed.

So I had some boys,

good friends,

who told me exactly.

I would ring them up and say,

There’s a new one.

And afterwards they’d ring back and say,

Not bad,

Could be better, or

Nulle.



Or,

on the contrary,

She’s perfect.

And I would sometimes have to tell the girls

what they didn’t know.

A pleasant assignment?

No.

They paid.



XXIII.

Often at the beginning

they had an ami de coeur

in other words,

oh,

a journalist, a photographer, a type like that,

someone in the cinema,

an actor, not very well known.

As time went by

It became difficult

because they didn’t have a lot of time for him.

The fact of physically changing,

becoming prettier,

changing mentally to live with millionaires,

produced a certain imbalance

between them

and the little boyfriend

who had not evolved

and had stayed in his milieu.

At the end of a certain time

she would say,

I’m so much better than him. Why am I with this boy?

And they would break up by themselves.



Remember,

this was instant elevation.

For most of them it was a dream existence,

provided they liked the ***,

and those that didn’t never lasted long.

A lot of the clients were young,

and didn’t treat them like tarts but like someone from their own class.

They would buy you presents,

take you on trips.



XXIV.

For me, *** was something very accessoire

I think after a certain age

there are certain spectacles one should not give to others

Now I have a penchant for solitude.

Love, it’s a complete destroyer,

It’s impossible,

a horror,

l’angoisse.

It’s the only time in my life I was jealous.

I’m not a jealous person, but I was épouvantable.

He was jealous too.

We broke plates over each other’s heads;

we became jealous about each other’s pasts.

I said one day

It’s finished.

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and say:

Break my legs,

give me scarlet fever,

an attack of TB, but never that.

Not that.



XXV.

I called her into my office

Let us not exaggerate,

I sent her away.

She came back looking for employment,

but was fired again, this time for drugs.

She made menacing phone calls.

Then she arrived at the Rue de Boulainvilliers with a gun.

She shot three bullets

I was dressed in the fashion of Courrèges at this moment

He did very padded things.

I had a padded dress with a little jacket on top.

The bullet

—merci, Monsieur Courrèges

—stuck in the padding.

I was thrown forward onto the telephone.

I had one thought which went through my head:

I will die like Kennedy.

I turned round and put my hand up in a reflex.

The second bullet went through my hand.

I have two dead fingers.

It’s most useful for removing bottle tops.

In the corridor I was saved from the third bullet

because she was very tall

and I am quite petite, so it passed over my head.



XXVI.

There were men

who could decapitate,

****, and bomb their rivals

who would be frightened of me.

I would ask them how was the girl,

and they’d say

Not bad

and then

But I’m not complaining.

I was a little sadistic to them sometimes.

Some women have known powerful men because they’re their lover.

But I’ve known them all.

I had them all

here.



She will take many state secrets with her.



XXVI.

I don’t like ugly people

probably because when I was young

I wasn’t beautiful at all.

I was ugly and I suffered for it,

although not to the point of obsession.

Now that I’m an old woman,

I’m not so bad.

And that’s why

I’ve always been surrounded by people

Who

were

beautiful.

And the best way to have beautiful people around me

was to make them.

I made them very pretty.





XXVII.

I wouldn’t call what Alex gives you

‘advice,’

She spares you Nothing.

She makes a list of what she wants done,

and she really gets into it

I mean, she wants you to get your arms waxed.

She gives you names of people who do good facials.

She tells you what to buy at Neiman Marcus.

She’s put off by anything flashy,

and if you don’t dress conservatively, she’s got no problem telling you,

in front of an audience,

You look like a cheap *****!

I used to wear what I wanted when I went out

then change in the car into a frumpy sweater

when I went to give her the money she’d always go,

Oh, you look beautiful!



Marry your boyfriend,

It’s better than going to prison.

When you go out with her,

she’ll buy you a present; she’s incredibly generous that way.

And she’ll always tell you to save money and get out.

It’s frustrating to her when girls call at the end of the month

and say they need rent money.

She wants to see you do well.





We had a schedule, with cards that indicated a client’s name,

what he liked,

the names of the girls he’d seen,

and how long he’d been with them.

And I only hired girls who had another career

—if my clients had a choice between drop-dead-gorgeous

and beautiful-and-interesting,

they’d tend to take beautiful-and-interesting.

These men wanted to talk.

If they spent two hours with a girl,

they usually spent only five or ten minutes in bed.



I get the feeling that in Los Angeles, men are more concerned with looks.



XXVIII.

That was my big idea

Not to expand the book by aggressive marketing

but to make sure that nobody

mistook my girls for run-of-the-mill hookers.

And I kept my roster fresh.

This was not a business where you peddle your ***,

get exploited,

and then are cast off.

I screen clients. I’ve never sent girls to weirdos.

I let the men know:

no violence,

no costumes,

no fudge-packing.

And I talked to my girls. I’d tell them:

Two and a half years and you’re burned out.

Save your money.

This is like a hangar

—you come in, refuel, and take off.

It’s not a vacation, it’s not a goof.

This buys the singing lessons,

the dancing lessons,

the glossies.

This is to help you pay for what your parents couldn’t provide.

It’s an honorable way station—a lot of stars did this.



XXIX.

To say someone was a Claude girl is an honour, not a slur.



Une femme terrible.

She despised men and women alike.

Men were wallets. Women were holes.



By the 80s,

if you were a brunette,

the sky was the limit.

The Saudis

They’d call for half a dozen of Alex’s finest,

ignore them all evening while they

chatted,

ate,

and played cards,

and then, around midnight,

take the women inside for a fast few minutes of ***.



They’d order women up like pizza.



Since my second husband died,

I only met one man who was right for me,

He was a sheikh.

I visited him in Europe

twenty-eight times

in the five years I knew him

and I never slept with him.

He’d say

I think you fly all the way here just to tease me,

but he introduced me

by phone

to all his powerful friends.

When I was in Los Angeles, he called me twice a day.

That’s why I never went out

he would have been disappointed.



***.

Listen to me

This is a woman’s business.

When a woman does it, it’s fun

there’s a giggle in it

when a man’s involved,

he’s ******,

he’s a ****.

He may know how to keep girls in line,

and he may make money,

but he doesn’t know what I do.

I tell guys: You’re getting a nice girl.

She’s young,

She’s pleasant,

She can do things

she can certainly make love.

She’s not a rocket scientist, but she’s everything else.



The world’s richest and most powerful men, the announcer teased.

An income “in the millions,” said the arresting officer.

Pina Colapinto

A petite call girl,

who once slid between the sheets of royalty,

a green-eyed blonde helped the police get the indictment.

They really dolled her up

She looks great.

Never!

What I told her was: ‘Wash that ******.’





XXXI.

Madam Alex died at 7 p.m.

Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,

where she had been in intensive care after recent open heart surgery

We all held her hand when they took her off the life support

This was the passing of a legend.

Because she was the mother superior of prostitution.

She was one of the richest women on earth.

The world came to her.

She never had to leave the house.

She was like Hugh Hefner in that way.


It's like losing a friend

In all the years we played cat and mouse,

she never once tried to corrupt me.

We had a lot of fun.


To those who knew her

she was as constant

as she was colorful

always ready with a good tidbit of gossip

and a gourmet lunch for two.

She entertained, even after her conviction on pandering charges,

from the comfy depths of her blue four-poster bed at her home near Doheny Drive,

surrounded by knickknacks and meowing cats,

which she fed fresh shrimp from blue china plates.



XXXII.

She stole my business,

my books,

my girls,

my guys.

I had a good run.

My creatures.

Make Mommy happy

Oh! He is the most enchanting cat that I have ever known.



She was, how can I say it,

classy.

When she first hired me

she thought I was too young to take her case.

I was 43.

I'm going to give you some gray hairs by the time this is over.

She was right.





XXXIII.

I was fond of Heidi

But she has a streak that is so vindictive.



If there is pure evil, it is Madame Alex.





XXXIV.

I was born and raised in L.A.

My dad was a famous pediatrician.

When he died, they donated a bench to him at the Griffith Park Observatory.



I think that Heidi wanted to try her wings

pretty early,

and I think that she met some people

who sort of took all her potential

and gave it a sharp turn



She knew nothing.

She was like a little parrot who repeated what she was supposed to say.



Alex and I had a very intense relationship;

I was kind of like the daughter she loved and hated,

so she was abusive and loving at the same time.



Look, I know Madam Alex was great at what she did

but it's like this:

What took her years to build,

I built in one.

The high end is the high end,

and no one has a higher end than me.

In this business, no one steals clients.

There's just better service.



XXXV.

You were not allowed to have long hair

You were not allowed to be too pretty

You were not allowed to wear too much makeup or be too glamorous

Because someone would fall in love with you and take you away.

And then she loses the business



XXXVI.

I was pursued because

come on

in our lifetime,

we will never see another girl of my age

who lived the way I did,

who did what I did so quickly,

I made so many enemies.

Some people had been in this line of business

for their whole lives, 30 or 40 years,

and I came in and cornered the market.

Men don't like that.

Women don't like that.

No one liked it.



I had this spiritual awakening watching an Oprah Winfrey video.

I was doing this 500-hour drug class

and one day the teacher showed us this video,

called something like Make It Happen.

Usually in class I would bring a notebook

and write a letter to my brother or my journal,

but all of a sudden this grabbed my attention

and I understood everything she said.

It hit me and it changed me a lot.

It made me feel,

Accept yourself for who you are.

I saw a deeper meaning in it

but who knows, I might have just been getting my period that day!



XXXVII.

Hello, Gina!

You movie star!

Yes you are!

Gina G!

Hello my friend,

Hello my friend,

Hello my movie star,

Ruby! Ruby Boobie!

Braaawk!

Except so many women say,

Come on, Heidi

you gotta do the brothel for us; don't let us down.

It would be kind of fun opening up an exclusive resort,

and I'll make it really nice,

like the Beverly Hills Hotel

It'll feel private; you'll have your own bungalow.

The only problem out here is the climate—it's so brutal.

Charles Manson was captured a half hour from Pahrump.



I said, Joe! What are you doing?

You gotta get, like,

a garter belt and encase it in something

and write,

This belonged to Suzette Whatever,

who entertained the Flying Tigers during World War II.

Get, like, some weird tools and write,

These were the first abortion tools in the brothel,

you know what I mean?

Just make some **** up!

So I came out here to do some research

And then I realized,

What am I doing?

I'm Heidi Fleiss. I don't need anyone.

I can do this.

When I was doing my research, in three months

I saw land go from 30 thousand an acre

to 50 thousand an acre,

and then it was going for 70K!

It's urban sprawl

—we're only one hour from Las Vegas.

Out here the casinos are only going to get bigger,

prostitution is legal, it's only getting better.





XXXVIII.

The truth is

deep down inside,

I just can't do business with him

He's the type of guy who buys Cup o' Noodles soup for three cents

and makes his hookers buy it back from him for $5.

It's not my style at all.

Who wants to be 75 and facing federal charges?

It was different at my age when I

at least...come on, I lived really well.

I was 22,

25 at the time?

It was fun then, but now I wouldn't want

to deal with all that *******

—the girls and blah blah blah.

But the money was really good.



I would've told someone they were out of their ******* mind

if they'd said in five years I'd be living with all these animals like this.

It's hard-core; how I live;

It's totally a nonfunctional atmosphere for me

It's hard to get anything done because

It’s so time-consuming.

I feel like they're good luck though....

I do feel that if I ever get rid of them,

I will be jinxed and cursed the rest of my life

and nothing I do will ever work again.



Guys kind of are a hindrance to me

Certainly I have no problem getting laid or anything.

But a man is not a priority in my life.

I mean, it's crazy, but I really have fun with my parrots.



XXXIX.

I started a babysitting circle when I wasn't much older than 9

And soon all the parents in the neighborhood

wanted me to watch over their children.

Even then I had an innate business sense.

I started farming out my friends

to meet the demand.

My mother showered me with love and my father,

a pediatrician,

would ask me at the dinner table,

What did you learn today?

I ran my neighborhood.

I just pick up a hustle really easily,

I was a waitress and I met an older guy who looked like Santa Claus.



Alex was a 5' 3" bald-headed Filipina

in a transparent muu muu.

We hit it off.

I didn't know at the time that I was there to pay off the guy's gambling debt.

It's in and out,

over and out.

Do you think some big-time producer

or actor is going to go to the clubs and hustle?



Columbia Pictures executive says:

I haven’t done anything that should cause any concern.

Jeez, it's like the Nixon enemies list.

I hope I'm on it.

If I'm not, it means I must not be big enough

for people to gossip about me.



That's right ladies and gentlemen.

I am an alleged madam and that is a $25 *****!

If you live out here,

you've got to hate people.

You've got to be pretty antisocial

How you gonna come out here with only 86 people?

That's Fred.

He's digging to China.

You look good.

Yeah, you too.

It's coming along here.

Yeah, it is.

I wanted to buy that lot there, but I guess it's gone?

That's mine, man! That's all me.

Really?

I thought there was a lot between us.

No. We're neighbors.



He's a cute guy

He's entertaining.

See, I kind of did do something shady to him.

I thought my property went all the way back

and butted up against his.

But there was one lot between us right there.

He said he was buying it,

but I saw the 'For Sale' sign still up there,

So I went and called the broker and said,

I'm an all-cash buyer.

So I really bought it out from under him.

But he's got plenty of room, and I need the space for my parrots.

Pahrump will always be Pahrump, but Crystal is going to be nice

All you need are four or five fancy houses and it'll flush everyone out

and it'll be a nice area.

They're all kind of weird here, but these people will go.

Like this guy here,

someone needs to **** him.

I was just saying to my dad that these parrots are born to a really ******-up world

He goes, Heidi, no, no; the world is a beautiful garden.

It's just, people are destroying it.

I’m looking into green building options

I don't want anything polluting,

I want a huge auditorium,

but it'll be like a jungle where my birds can really fly!

Where they can really do what they're supposed to do.

There were over 300 birds in there!

That lady,

She ran the exotic-birds department for the Tropicana Hotel,

which is a huge job.

She called me once at 3:30 in the morning

Come over here and help me feed this baby!

Some baby parrot.

And I ran over there in my pajamas

—I knew there was something else wrong

and she was like

Get me my oxygen!

Get me this, get me that.

I called my dad; he was like,

I don't know, honey, you better call the paramedics.

They ended up getting a helicopter.

And they were taking her away

in the wind with her IV and blood and everything

and she goes, Heidi, you take care of my birds.

And she dies the next day.

She was just a super-duper person.



XL.

I relate to the lifestyle she had before,

Now, I'm just a citizen.

I'm clean,

I'm sober,

I'm married,

I work at Wal-Mart.

I'm proud to say I know her. I look into her eyes

and we relate.





I got out in 2000,

so I've been sending her money for seven years

She was…whatever.

Girlfriend?

Yeah, maybe.

But ***, I tried like two times,

and I'm just not gay.

She gets out in about eight or nine months

and I told her I would get her a house.

But nowhere near me.

I didn't touch her,

but I'd be, like...

a funny story:

I told her,

Don't you ever ******* think

about contacting me in the real world.

I'm not a lesbian.

Then about two years ago, I got an e-mail from her,

or she called me and said, 'Google my name.'

So I Googled her name,

and she has this huge company.

Huge!

She won, like, Woman of the Year awards.

So I called her and I go,

Not bad.

She goes, 'Well, I did all that because you called me a loser.'

I go, '****, I should've called you more names

you probably would've found the cure for cancer by now.



XLI.

No person shall be employed by the licensee

who has ever been convicted of

a felony involving moral turpitude

But I qualify,

I mean, big deal, so I'm a convicted felon.

Being in the *** industry, you can't be so squeaky-clean.

You've got to be hustling.

Nighttime is really enchanting here

It's like a whole 'nother world out here, it really is

I’m so far removed from my social life and old surroundings.

Who was it, Oscar Wilde, I think, who said

people can adjust to anything.

I was perfectly adjusted in the penitentiary,

and I was perfectly adjusted to living in a château in France.



We had done those drug addiction shows together

Dr. Drew.

Afterward we were friendly

and he'd call me every now and then.

He'd act like he had his stuff together.

But it was all a lie.

Everything is a lie.

I brought him to a Humane Society event at Paramount Studios last year.

He was just such a mess.

So out of it.

He stole money from my purse.

He's such a drug addict because he's so afraid of being fat.

He liked horse ****, though. He did like horse ****.

This one woman that would have *** with a horse on the internet,

He told me that’s his favorite actress.

Better than Meryl Streep.



XLII.

The cops could see

why these women were taking over trade.

Girls with these looks charged upwards of $500 an hour.

The Russians had undercut them with a bargain rate of $150 an hour.

One thing they are not is lazy.

In the USSR

they grew up with no religion, no morality.

Prostitution is not considered a bad thing.

In fact, it’s considered a great way to make money.

That’s why it’s exploding here.

What we saw was just a tip of the iceberg.

These girls didn’t come over here expecting to be nannies.

They knew exactly what they wanted and what they were getting into.

The madam who organized this raid

was making $4 million a year,

laundered through Russian-owned banks in New York City

These are brutal people.

They are all backstabbers.

They’re entrepreneurs.

They’re looking at $10,000 a month for turning tricks.

For them, that’s the American dream.



XLIII.

If you’re not into something,

don’t be into it

But,

if you want to take some whipped cream,

put it between your toes,

have your dog licking it up and,

at the same time,

have your girlfriend poke you in the eye,

then that’s fine.

That’s a little weird but we shouldn’t judge.



She was my best friend then

and I consider her one of my best friends now,

because when I was going through Riker’s

and everyone abandoned me,

including my boyfriend,

I was hysterical,

crying,

and she was the one that was there.

And, when somebody needed to step up to the plate,

that’s who did, and I have an immense amount of

loyalty, respect, and love for her.

And if she’s going to prison for eight years

—that’s what she’s sentenced for

—I’ll go there,

and I’ll go there every week,

for eight years.

That’s the type of person I am.
Sister and I loved to play, to run and twirl and roll in grass all day. Momma gets mad when we go too far but our yard is massive we live on a farm! Running on rolling fields of prairie, singing and laughing and acting merry, shot right through the tree line that marks our abode, slid across the rocks on Old Joser Road, saw an old lady who walked with crumpled toes and spoke too and listened too a pack of crows, plucking weeds and picking a thorny flower she called out to us that fateful hour;

  “Oh my and how lovely, two twins so cute! I had thought no one lived so far out here, away from the town and its charming cheer? Why don’t you come over and meet my pet crows and I’ll show you two a trick that nobody knows!”

  I leaned down to consult with sister you see, she being younger she’s littler than me, I told her to stay close while we watched the show, then we’d be off and away we’d go;

  “Okay old lady my name is Tim and this here’s Tam and this place you’re in, is our family farm and that guy in the field, well that’s our Dad, and if you mess with us he gets real mad, so no funny business in this game and we’ll be nice to you just the same.”

  “Agreed indeed you little man and I can’t wait to see you in my pan!”

  Now I had to think on this real hard. Did that mean something about being able to see or was she talking about eating me? No matter, no problems and boy those crows, did they sure put on some funny shows and acted like they had lots of smarts and seemed just like pets and warmed our hearts;

  “Thanks old lady we gotta go we’re almost late for dinner you know?”

  She moved too fast and came right up and pulled out an odd-looking wooden cup;

“Wait there dearies, not so quick, about that dinner and my sweet shtick, you see you owe me a trick too, two coins I’m asking there of you, you bring them up to my cabin on that hill and I’ll teach you some magic and give you a thrill!”

  “Okay lady!”

  I agreed as we ran, if we don’t get home soon it’s gonna be my can! ‘Cause I know my pops he’ll beat my **** and I’ll be sent upstairs with nothing to eat, so I told little sister to move those feet!

caesura

  Whisk you down the road of boiled toad, and singeing hair, of whispered things and fires' flare, of evil looks from open books, pigeon’s toes and a chicken gizzard, while around your legs it crawls and creeps, my hungry lizard that never sleeps! You gawk! You stare! My wrinkly-face, the dank rank air in my dingy place, the dusty shelves a-lined in books and creepy crawlies in every nook, cobwebs and spiders at every corner, piggies run squealing while the chickens banterer, ravens caw at strange green light from lantern but back to all those shadow corners where little bad things spy and salivate, thinking on what they had last ate, and there you are shaking, nervous, trembling; a porky little piece of meat and something we all want to eat!

  “Oh don’t be scared my little one, I’m kidding, teasing, just having fun. Hand me the coins I asked for earlier, when we crossed paths along Old Joser, draw near to me, come here, come a bit closer!”

  Be careful will I not to bare my teeth, or lick my lips or stare too deep, for one is easy, two a dangerous feat and I so want to have my little porky piece of meat! I stood on a ladder with little Tam on my shoulder, so she could see the *** as it smoked and it smoldered, I directed little Tim over there to a seat and he saw me lick my lips as I thought about their meat.

  “Aha ha ha ha ha!”

  I laughed out loud as I cast in the dust and the billows changed color and kiddies made a fuss, but then the sparkly things popped and shimmered in their eyes, while both of them let out marvelous sighs, bewildered, bemused and tricked by my lie, I threw Tammy in to my cauldron to die!

  “Nooooooo!”

  Little Tim, little Tim did he let me in and punished will he be for that little sin, I whispered a spell and took up my broom and zapped a hole in the floor out in the room, where Tim was running and dropped him in a hole, down a tunnel he went that saved his soul, for out he shot back on Old Joser Road, no wiser no worse for the trick I showed!

Now listen up children or this is your lot,

For I’m out there always lurking with my ***,

I’m always hungry and so are my crows,

We’ll eat you up all the way to your toes,

“Jimson and sassafras, morning glory, woodrose seed,”

“A ***** of my finger, lock of my hair, a thimble and tweed,”

“Two coins, a cauldron, my cunning and your breed,”

“Whenever I’m hungry that’s all that I need!”
(Joser: Joe-Sir) rhymed with (Closer)
This is a retelling of the Sumerian story of Tim-Tam which is the origin of Hansel and Gretel. This entire piece came to me in a dream and I wrote it down in one sitting over ten minutes. Grimm's Fairy Tales are about warnings to small children...warnings that not ALL adults are good people and sometimes starving old people in the woods use trickery to eat kids. The phrase 'two twins' is a reference to the dual nature of myth as both actual events and cosmic. Gemini and the two earthly children.

Two coins to pay the boatman who takes your soul across the river Styx.
Pixie Ellis Apr 2018
It was nice meeting you.

I bet you didn’t know you’re the first guy I ever tried to hit on. I bet you didn’t know I prepped for this conversation for a week. I bet you didn’t know how deep my heart sunk when I saw you go upstairs with another girl.

Thank you for being the first guy who’s ever flirted with me. Thank you for the pink gin. Thank you for the hand you placed on my back when you hugged me goodbye.

It was nice talking to you.

I know you falling on me was a move, even though you said it wasn’t. I know sitting and listening to the story of how I met J was a move. I know you like L. I know deep down she probably likes you too, I did.

It was nice that you didn’t message me after the party.

But I bet you didn’t know that I would of loved you with my whole heart. That I would of wrote you love letters and made you mixtapes of songs that reminded me of you. Thank you for making me realise that the right guy will come along, but that guy isn’t you. I know I’ll always be that girl at the party who’s name you can’t remember, or face you can’t place but I don’t lie.

It was nice meeting you.

I hope one day we’ll meet again.

— p.d.e
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
Ah the persimmon, a word from an extinct language of the Powatan people of the tidewater Virginia, spoken until the mid 18th C when its Blackfoot Indian speakers switched to English. It was putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, then persimmon, a fruit. Like the tomato, it is a ‘true berry’.
 
Here in this postcard we have a painting of four kaki: the Japanese persimmon. Of these four fruit, one is nearly ripe; three are yet to ripen. They have been picked three days and shelter under crinkled leaves, still stalked. Now, the surface on which these astringent, tangy fruit rest, isn’t it wondrous in its blue and mottled green? It is veined, a ceramic surface perhaps? The blue-green mottled, veined surface catches reflected light; the shadows are delicate but intense.
 
You told me that it troubled you to read my stories because so often they stepped between reality and fantasy, truth and playful invention. When you said this I meant to say (but we changed the subject): I write this way to confront what I know to be true but cannot present verbatim. I have to make into a fiction my remembered observations, those intense emotions of the moment. They are too precious not to save, and like the persimmon benefit from laying out in the sun to dry: to be eaten raw; digested to rightly control my ch’i, and perhaps your ch’i too.
 
So today a story about four kaki, heart-shaped hachiya, and hidden therein those most private feelings, messages of love and passion, what can be seen, what is unseen, thoughts and un-thoughts, mysteries and evasions.
 
                                                                            ----
 
 
Professor Minoru retired last year and now visits his university for the occasional show of his former colleagues and their occasionally-talented students. He spends his days in his suburban house with its tiny non-descript garden: a dog run, a yard no less. No precious garden. It is also somewhere (to his neighbours’ disgust) to hang wet clothes. It is just grass surrounded by a high fence. He walks there briefly in the early morning before making tea and climbing the stairs to his studio.
 
The studio runs the whole length of his house. When his wife Kinako left him he obliterated any presence of her, left his downtown studio, and converted three rooms upstairs into one big space. This is where Mosuku, his beautiful Akita, sleeps, coming downstairs only to eat and defecate in the small garden. Minoru and Mosuku go out twice each day: to midday Mass at the university chaplaincy; to the park in the early evening to meet his few friends walking their dogs. Otherwise he is solitary except for three former students who call ‘to keep an eye on the old man’.
 
He works every day. He has always done this, every day. Even in the busiest times of the academic year, he rose at 5.0am to draw, a new sheet of mitsumatagami placed the night before on his worktable ready. Ready for the first mark.
 
Imagine. He has climbed the stairs, tea in his left hand, sits immediately in front of this ivory-coloured paper, places the steaming cup to his far left, takes a charcoal stick, and  . . . the first mark, the mark from the world of dreams, memories, regrets, anxieties, whatever the night has stored in his right hand appears, progresses, forms an image, a sketch, as minutes pass his movement is always persistence, no reflection or studied consideration, his sketch is purposeful and wholly his own. He has long since learnt to empty his hand of artifice, of all memory.
 
When Kinako left he destroyed every trace of her, and of his past too. So powerful was his intent to forget, he found he had to ask the way to Shinjuko station, to his studio in the university. He called in a cleaning company to remove everything not in two boxes in the kitchen (of new clothes, his essential documents, 5 books, a plant, Mosuko’s feeding bowl). They were told (and paid handsomely) to clean with vigour. Then the builders and decorators moved in. He changed his phone number and let it be known (to his dog walker friends) that he had decided from now on to use an old family name, Sawato. He would be Sawato. And he was.
 
His wife, and she was still that legally, had found a lover. Kinako was a student of Professor Minoru, nearly thirty years younger, and a fragile beauty. She adored ‘her professor’, ‘her distinguished husband’, but one day at an opening (at Kinosho Kikaku – Gallery 156) she met an American artist, Fern Sophie Citron, and that, as they say in Japan, was that. She went back to Fern’s studio, where this rather plump middle-aged woman took photographs of Kinako relentlessly in costume after costume, and then without any costume, on the floor, in the bath, against a wall, never her whole body, and always in complete silence. Two days later she sent a friend to collect her belongings and to deliver a postcard to her husband. It was his painting of four persimmon. Persimmon (1985) 54 by 36 cm, mineral pigment on paper.
 
‘Hiroshi’, she wrote in red biro, ‘I am someone else now it is best you do not know. Please forgive’.
 
Sawato’s bedroom is on the ground floor now. There is a mat that is rolled away each morning. On the floor there are five books leaning against each other in a table-top self-standing shelf. The Rule of St Benedict (in Latin), The I-Ching (in Chinese), The Odes of Confucius, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (10th C folk tale) and a manual of Go, the Shogi Zushiki. Placed on a low table there is a laptop computer connected to the Internet, and beside the computer his father’s Go board (of dark persimmon wood), its counters pebbles from the beach below his family’s home. Each game played on the Internet he transcribes to his physical board.
 
He ascribes his mental agility, his calm and perseverance in his studio practice, to his nightly games of Go in hyperspace. He is an acknowledged master. His games studied assiduously, worldwide.
 
For 8 months in 1989 he studied the persimmon as still-life. He had colleagues send him examples of the fruit from distant lands. The American Persimmon from Virginia, the Black Persimmon or Black Sapote from Mexico (its fruit has green skin and white flesh, which turns black when ripe), the Mabolo or Velvet-apple native to Philippines - a bright red fruit when ripe, sometimes known as the Korean Mango, and more and more. His studio looked like a vegetable store, persimmons everywhere. He studied the way the colours of their skins changed every day. He experimented with different surfaces on which to place these tannin-rich fruits. He loved to touch their skins, and at night he would touch Kinako, his fingers rich from the embrace of fifty persimmon fruits, and she . . . she had never known such gentleness, such strength, such desire. It was as though he painted her with his body, his long fingers tracing the shape of the fruit, his tongue exploring each crevice of her long, slim, fruit-rich body. She had never been loved so passionately, so completely. At her desk in the University library special collection, where she worked as a researcher for a fine art academic journal, she would dream of the night past and anticipate the night to come, when, always on her pillow a different persimmon, she would fall to ****** and beyond.
 
Minoru drew and painted, printed and photographed more persimmons than he could keep track of. After six months he picked seven paintings, and a collection of 12 drawings. The rest he burnt. When he exhibited these treasures, Persimmon (1989) Mineral pigment on paper 54, by 36 cm was immediately acquired by Tokyo National Museum. It became a favourite reproduction, a national treasure. He kept seeing it on the walls of houses in magazines, cheap reproductions in department stores, even on a TV commercial. Eventually he dismissed it, totally, from his ever-observant, ever-scanning eyes. So when Kinako sent him the postcard he looked at it with wonder and later wrote this poem in his flowing hand using the waka style:
 
 
*Ah, the persimmon
Lotus fruit of the Gods
 
Heartwood of a weaver’s shuttle,
The archer’s bow, the timpanist sticks,
 
I take a knife to your ripe skin.
Reveal or not the severity of my winter years.
Frank Ruland Aug 2014
I close the door and lock it shut
I'm back in my silent spot
where the world outside is null
and once more rendered void.

Here, my walls are calmingly barren
the windows have been blacked out
the air feels quite fine on my face
and certainty is within grasp.

Quiet. My world as I know it is
soberingly serene and empty
of any and all interferences
I am free to breathe and be me.

I go to sit in my Quiet Chair
and, am surprised by the air
waves! They are starting to
ripple.  Dysfunction casted!

The floor above once more ignites.
"What in the **** is this ****?!"
The Demon shouts with calamity
ringing out vividly in its voice.

"God ******, **** my life!"
The Demon cries out in hysteria
it rampages, slinging profanities
and slanders in blurred hysteria.

All too well I know the Demon's rants
I quickly take my stand and rise up!
I bang on the ceiling with my broomstick
hoping to silence the dastardly devil.

Bang, bang! The broomstick booms,
cracking the ceiling, sending sharp
warnings of my agitation upstairs
Its relegations I cannot bear.

And then, a moment of silence
I pause my retaliations and lie
quiet. I stand still and wonder,
"Could it have been that easy?"

"Just WHO in the **** are you?!
You insignificant piece-of-****,
WHO are you to try to silence this?
Shut up, and let me do what I do!"

The Demon goes back to its rant
too many nights I've been kept awake
incessant, worthless ramblings
only have served to make me break.

I take a deep breath and exhale
I cannot deal with the Demon
nor its continuing condemnations
no matter how cheap the rent.

BANG BANG, my broomstick booms
I must quiet the callous ******
this is my apartment as much as its
WHO am I to put up with its fits?

"God ****** boy, now that's it
I ain't got patience for your ****
I'm coming down to quiet you
Soon, you'll let me do what I do!"

There I stand as the Demon descends
I drop my broomstick and prepare
listening to its heavy footsteps rain down
thud, Thud, THUD, THUD, THUD!

The Demon's standing at my door
I hear it breathing its heavy breaths
waiting for me to face my fears
something I've yet to do before.

With a shaky hand and labored pulse
I slowly go and unlock my deadbolt
it takes all the strength I can muster
unsurely, my fingers find the handle...

I swing the door open in a flash
the handle hits the drywall with a crack
the Demon stands before me
my face begins to go flush.

In front of me is an age-old mirror
displaying my own reflection
I had always somewhat suspected
but couldn't bring myself to believe.

I close the door just as quickly
the deadbolt is locked once more
I return to darkened room
huddled, in the corner shaking.

"Madness is your master-- can't you tell?
At least I was a ******' angel before I fell!
This is your Hell! THIS IS YOUR HELL!"
... And my Demon's rant begins once more.
Another Day
Another dollar
That's what I get
For, I'm blue collar
Working hard
For all the bosses
Sitting upstairs
In the office

Grab a coffee
On the way
do the same stuff
every day
nothing changes
It's routine
That's the way
It's always been

I am just a working man
Doing the best job that I can
Nine to Five, or Eight to Four
Do my eight and out  the door
Loading trucks to hit the road
Get 'em out with a full load
Doing just the best I can
I am just a working man

Twenty minutes
and two breaks
That is all
The time I take
Sneak a smoke
When I can
This is the life
Of a working man

Old and rusted
two tone truck
Always busted
Just my luck
Working hard
To make a dollar
It's the lot
of a blue collar

I am just a working man
Doing the best job that I can
Nine to Five, or Eight to Four
Do my eight and out  the door
Loading trucks to hit the road
Get 'em out with a full load
Doing just the best I can
I am just a working man
Tommy Randell Nov 2014
The music was spilling out of us
The Guinness was going in
Terry’s octave mandolin
Was riding out in front of him

Like a boat tethered in a tidal surge
Like a young colt backing off the rein
And for each unexamined wreck of a song
He’d let out a little more sail

We were flying

Upstairs in The Taffes Inn
Was an oven of chords
Songs about the famine and
Ireland’s tragedy of wars

And I answered
With an ash-pit tongue of a poem
Showing our Yorkshire wounds
Made by London’s bonds

We were crying

Telling of Fishing, mining and grief
That having no say was having no meat
Coming stumbling and shaking to our common regard
To a Dublin breakfast, a mixed grill of the heart

Where we agreed to our passions
And our histories’ concepts
Where we sat and said nothing when saying nothing was best
That one sausage alone is a very deep subject

We were frying.
One sausage etc is a quote from Ciaran Carson's book on Irish Music and culture 'Last Night's Fun' - A must must read!

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