Category Archives: fiction

Terry

I had a friend, let’s call him Terry, who was in love with, let’s call her Sally, who was in love with…well, not Terry. She wasn’t in love with anybody but the point here is that she wasn’t in love with Terry.

This made Terry quite, quite sad which led him to think of ending it all. But Terry was a Catholic and a good one at that which led him to the conclusion that he could not commit suicide.  Now Terry was very industrious and came up with a plan, if he couldn’t kill himself maybe he could just be killed by accident.

He took to driving through red lights at top speed at night but unluckily for him, no one was coming in from a perpendicular direction when he was scofflawing. He decided to up his game. He filled a sock with quarters and went walking around Harlem at two in the morning with money hanging out of his pockets.  He got into some rough scrapes but always managed to get home alive.

During this time, New York had a serial killer on the loose who used to shoot young lovers while they were parked in secluded places. Vigilante groups were organized to whack the Son of Sam.  But they needed some bait.  Terry volunteered to take a girl, unbeknownst to her, of course to the out-of-the-way spots where the vigilantes were lying in wait.  Luckily or unluckily (because I am very confused by all this), for Terry and the girl, Mr. Berkowitz was always in another part of the apple and Terry never got to show his civic duty to the general public.

The point of all this is that Terry, as misguided as he was, was just trying to make Sally love him. But actual self-sacrifice couldn’t make Sally love him.  Nothing that he could have possibly done could ever change that.  Even Sally couldn’t make herself love a guy she just didn’t love. Love is not a switch you can turn on and off. Although if someone would invent one, I am sure he would make a fortune.

We love who we love as improbable and ridiculous as that sounds. That is why in literature, when parents object to their children’s love affairs it usually ends in tragedy. Parents would be best off keeping out of their kids business.  To be truthful, after the kids let their hormones run amuck, they are usually on to another person quite quickly.  I mean was Romeo such a catch?  Every week he was drooling over someone else. And Juliet was a headstrong little brat.  If she couldn’t see what a loser Romeo was, then maybe they deserved each other. Good riddance!

It took Terry twenty years to realize that Sally was never going to love him in the way he wanted. Twenty years he imprisoned himself in a purgatory that he created. We all are in prisons of our own design formed when our dreams are contrary to our reality. We don’t accept the truths that are obvious and we rationalize reasons why it can’t be the way it is. Each brick we lovingly place until the walls are too high to escape from. And then we sit alone, wondering why the world is such a terrible place.

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Recovering 052119

Love is an old addiction

And I am in recovery.

Every day I wake up craving it.

It is the first thing.

It is the last thing

I think about.

I think about.

I think about.

 

And you were my drug of choice.

My drug.

My choice.

 

Maybe one day,

I will be a servant

To another mistress,

Slave to another’s touch.

 

But today it is you.

And today

And today

It is you.

 

Old cravings fade so slowly.

Old desires don’t let go

And I go on

With the hunger,

The yearning,

The pain.

 


Slipping 04/13/19

She slipped away

With the dying of the day

Facing east

Sun in the west

Darkness rising

From the ocean

Before her.

 

She felt peace and comfort.

Strange

Because all she ever wanted

Was excitement.

A tormented soul

No longer tormented

By demons of her own

Creation

And others who found

An empty shell

Where happiness

Once resided.

 

She was happy once

Way back before the

Needles,

And alcohol,

And depression.

 

So far away

And long ago.

Barely remembered

Until the slipping started.

Sitting under the

Japanese Maple

Listening to the birds

Feeling love

And safety

In that house

On Laurel Lane.

 

 


Sliver Moon 011019

I was walking my dog

Late last night.

It was cold and clear.

I was in a hurry being

Tired and wanting

The comfort of my bed.

 

It was then I saw her.

Old Mrs. Mulvaney.

Standing on her porch,

Holding on to the bannister,

To steady herself in the frigid air,

Looking at the moon.

 

It was just a sliver of a moon.

A thin smile

Cheshire cat like

With secrets to tell,

If you would share some of your own.

 

Mrs. Mulvaney had shared,

With the moon and the man she loved

For over fifty years.

He had left her long ago,

To make a place for her in heaven.

And now he waited for her,

Quietly, patiently.

She was not ready to go

But she missed him.

 

So she looked to the moon

Like she did with her husband

And thought of the happy times,

Small moments of joy

Which filled her heart,

So full, that there was no room

For sadness.

 

My dog stopped to look at her

For a moment

And so I stopped as well

For a moment.

And I thought

As I continued on my way,

If only someone, someday

Would look at the moon,

And think of me.

 


13 Words 11/04/17

 

Another broken promise

Reminds me of

Why we are

Where we are

Today

 


I’ll Know 10/28/2017

I’ll know

I no longer love you

When my phone rings

And I no longer hope

For it to be you

But I do.

For now I do.

 

I’ll know

I no longer love you

When I no longer need

To hold a pillow

When I fall asleep

But I do.

For now I do.

 

For now I do.

A phone, a bed

A breakfast plate

For now I do.

A book, a song

A broken date

For now I do.

 

For now I do

A hidden hope

Inside a prayer

For now I do

As days rush on

And chances fade

For now I do.

 


Love Fades 011617

 

As this desire for love fades from me

Fades from me again,

I stand looking over the great chasm

Of a solitary life.

 

I used to be afraid of living alone,

Of dying alone

When the doctor said, “I’m sorry, Mr. K.

But the treatment has been ineffective.

It is time to make your peace.”

 

I, used to be afraid of not being able

To care for myself

In the last months, weeks, days.

I’m not afraid anymore.

 

Death comes when she is ready

Ready to take you on your journey.

I, no longer want someone to squeeze my hand

As that heavenly angel closes my eyes

And steals my soul,

Leaving a helpless lover behind.

Death only brings pain to the survivors.

 

I, have given up on the fantasy

Of finding true love.

Meeting that one person who completes you,

As if there was something missing from you all along.

 

I am complete without another

Without another’s touch

Another’s laughter

Another’s smile

Speaking gentle, calming words

In the middle of a dark and stormy night.

 

I will survive the night

Without her words

The sun will rise

Whether or not I wake

Cradled in my true love’s arms.

 

I’ve tasted love

On serene shores,

Like a picnic

On a warm spring day

Under an angel oak

With a girl whose face

I’ve forgotten.

 

I try to remember her

but she is featureless

No eyes, no nose,

No tender smile

Softly formed

On the corners of her lips

Her laughter muffled

Within a missing mouth.

 

This is my picture of love.

Idyllic from the distance

A gurgling faceless creature up close

I, no longer want it to complete me

But its strangeness still quietly calls,

Like a fading memory.

 

Soon, soon its call will be forgotten.

And I will take a step from the ledge.

Falling, falling swiftly into the chasm.

Trusting, trusting that my landing will be peaceful

In the green, green valley

Of solitude.