The lights are off. I am alone…at least I feel alone. This air is cold, this night; even colder. I used to dream of nights like this,
to keep me sane, to keep me going. Now they only seem to weaken my bones and my spirit. I have checked out once again. I thought I had overcome this drastic measure years ago, and yet here I am; awakened by its prisoned walls and unwelcome nights. I took a step into the hallway, thinking I was making the right choice. Yet here I am in shambles and torn to pieces. This is the constant mirror I look into forever more.
I stood before them; naked and ashamed. Ashamed of who I had grown into and who I was meant to be. I left my earphones in and the soundtrack to my existence on so I could block all unnecessary accusations from my hearing. It is better this way; to imagine the worst and yet never hear it. I let these images haunt my dreams; for at least I can control these if I need to. I looked straight into the face of the one I put my trust in; the one I gave my blood and life to. The only one to look away at the table of judgment and ignorance. That’s right; they are ignorant in my eyes. My mother, my lovers before me who took me for granted, and now this. What did I expect; a likely story with a usual ending? May I be let off this stand and led away to darker corners and endless hallways of strays. I only write what I think of and what I dream. The judge and jury of my dreams is what’s killing me.
Today I spent an eternity thinking of what was and where I should’ve been instead of drowning in my misery. I left the chains back in the old days and yet they still seem to follow me. Give me drink, give me peace, just make the bleeding stop. I only saved enough for one day. I must’ve confused today with forever. How could I have been so delusional? The time is wrong, the weather is off and I am on the wrong dock; looking for the right escape. I never pleaded to anything I wasn’t guilty of. I only lacked the intelligence when it came to emotions. I should’ve been cold; distant and greedy like all the others. I should’ve stayed at home and never listened to those movies. I should’ve kept my mouth shut and my eyes open. I should’ve known the future and stayed far away in the past. But I am just a human; like all the others, thinking there’s always a way out of the extreme. I forgot to read the instructions when I didn’t grasp the meaning. Here comes the judge and jury of my dreams.
I stare into this haunted house; full of skeletons, full of dark thoughts. I should’ve ran the other way, but curiosity got the better of me. I stayed for the encore and left writhing in pain. I just couldn’t help myself. I lIke things this way. Dark and terrifying, wrong, twisted and heart wrenching when you least expect it. I was into it just like everyone else. But like everyone else, I never saw the ending. There’s no exit sign and I have to go all the way through. It’s my fault I catered to the uninhabited, the misfits who walk away without a care. Where is the end?
I stood on the cliff, ready to fall. I tried very hard but hadn’t the gall. To pick up my feet and let it all go, so I did the next best thing by taking it slow. Rubbing back and forth till nothing was left, the ache in my wrist no longer bereft, of the pain it endured as I clung to the stone, that clung to the threads of my veins and the bone. It was easier to get closer than ever before, without you having to look on, without you having to beg for more. Let’s face it, this was the only way, just play my soundtrack every step of the way. Louder than the waves that crash over me, louder than the screams of those who left before me. Let it play on when I’m cold as the night, when I’m dreaming and sleeping with no end in sight. Please; do this for me.
That was the worst place I’ve ever stepped into. May those souls be at peace. Whoever thought that reality would get to me? It wasn’t free, it wasn’t enough to leave me thinking. I was left without anything to cling to in the end. I stand; naked and ashamed, but never the way you think. I have to walk away and not say a thing. I have to let go like a good girl and never think again.
(photo: courtesy of the author)
that was the name I gave
and now she won’t
Was she just another lonely whore?
perhaps more disgruntled than before?
Unsure of life, of the future,
like a nagging housewife;
always wanting more.
All the while
I sit here quietly,
give me my sin again.
I had money to waste
and no future to think of,
that was my middle name
the one I gave to the other dame
wearing a smile that could kill
and a run in her stocking,
so I went for gentlemanly, saying
Don’t cry. This one’s on me.
This bar isn’t small
yet they all seem to find me;
the crying, the hopeless,
and they all drink for free.
With money to burn,
that’s the nice guy in me,
when all I really want
is to drown my soul in peace.
So keep ’em drinking
they’ll stop talking,
Mr. Pessimistic Blues,
with an empty glass, on this unimportant night
funny how art imitates life.
She was the “guilt-free” technician of mending broken hearts. She played the “love em and leave em” game ever since puberty fell on her doorstep, but all was not lost on her cold and empty heart. Her blood did run warm after all. She knew how to grab the attention of the needy and broken-hearted without having to give too much of herself. She was good at it, even if that was all she was good at. She could write the most beautiful words in the world, words so incredible and sentimental that the most macho of men would shed a tear or too by the end. Words flew freely within the depths of her mind. Thanks to the many books she read on long nights and to the many song lyrics she read while trying to ‘live’ in her lonely apartment. She was better at writing than talking. Her tongue always had a way of tangling up any meaning of truth.
Perhaps that was why she never stayed longer than she had to.
It wasn’t that she was afraid. Fear did not take up residency in her life. It wasn’t that she was bitter like other scorned women in her time or before. She had nothing to be bitter about. There was never enough time to figure out bitterness. No, it wasn’t about the usual, the ordinary excuses, the boring reasons. The truth was she could never get out what she wanted to say. When she’d try beginning a conversation she would fall flat on her face while staring at the bewildered facial expression of the guy in front of her. She was never a good conversationalist. She spoke too quickly which sometimes led to stuttering, she rambled, she hated her voice.
So she drank, and heavily at that, and said very little to soften cupid’s blow (from mystery mans end) and in 15 minutes or less they were in bed (whose ever was closest) and it was enough for her. As you may have noticed, she found most of her one night stands in a bar- no conversation can be heard over loud bar music and crowd conversation. And when it was all said and done, there was no time for snuggling, for small talk. But she wasn’t rude either. She’d walk out to her balcony, draped in only a sheet, and stare out into the darkness while her man of the hour slept. If it happened to be ‘his’ place, she’d slowly dress, look out the bedroom window or sometimes sprawl out on the bed while listening to his praises of her attractiveness, her sexual bed manners. And if he left his number she wouldn’t throw it away, but she wouldn’t call him. Instead, she’d send crafty text messages; words she would give anything to be able to say in person. Once in a while an exchange of e-mails would be made. It was then and only then that she would feel luck crawling her way. A written relationship just might work. If he could just enjoy reading and not ask so many questions in person… but it never failed, they want to talk in the end. They wanted to know the whole life story, they wanted to know why and when and how, like a toddler learning the ropes of life.
You would think that these men, these lucky pinch hitters of the night would be grateful to be in the presence of a woman who hardly said a word, who didn’t go in with commitment on her mind. But you would be surprised at how easily men become wounded, like a scolded puppy? Could it be that their egos have been crushed? Is it different when the shoe is on the other foot? In the end they always send begging, eager responses to her text messages. “Was it me?” “Did I say something wrong?” and occasionally the sullen “Why do you have to be such a bitch?” If they only knew, would they care? Would they try to justify the minor handicap that hinders being social? Would they welcome it with open arms? She would never know.
She has dreaded public speaking since grade school. All eyes on her, all ears focused on the sound of her voice. The sound of a boy playing the part of a girl in a play. That’s how she sounded in her head. Her words were never beautiful when said out loud, void of all meaning and sentiment. She thought of getting help, but this way just seemed easier; best even. Why change a good thing? She would never give a child her horrible voice, she would never have to recite wedding vows and she’d never have to meet ‘his’ family. It was for the best.
It was easy if the one night stand was just that, but loneliness was never simple. She longed for love some days, when the weather was grey or the snow was heavy. She ached for another heart to beat close to hers. It was never painless on cold nights when the comforter was never enough. It became a sacrifice. Give up in order to be.
If the sexual relationship was bordering on serious, she would walk away first, leaving behind the most artistic, moving letter anyone could ever compose. Words she would love to drip from her lips, words that would leave a soft caring tone like a fine tuned melody. But for now it would just be words on paper; meaningful and beautiful, but just words in the end.
That you are glamour, luscious,
When it’s all about ignoring.
Do you need to pull my hair?
I threw away your make up,
While you shouted insults
Threatening love so I punched the walls
The labor of attention.
You screamed in disbelief
I go to bed waiting,
Till pillow suffocates
The noises protruding from your bedroom
Take me farther than you’ll ever go.
Feeling much better now, drowning down; slowly.
I still think of the nice way,
That you learned to throw blows,
Imagine my fists against your blush stained cheek
And in your waking sweat,
Frailty is your only dream.
So many memories to choose
I still think birth should be a choice
From the inside.
How will we ever manage?
I’ll hand you the rope.