Category Archives: Short Stories

Just to Be Close to You

I remember when the darkened moments came, when grief and sadness seemed so insurmountable that all I could do was surrender to their call. I remember the pitch-black night. I remember the cold concrete floor of a restroom-turned-ashram, and the crazy chaos that numbness often brings to a world gone black.

That was but one step I took just to be close to you.

In this man’s life, the peaks have been high and the valleys low. The crosses have been heavy and the air has been thin. The nights have been very dark, and the days very bright. There is nothing like stumbling with the weight of a world on your shoulders and rising from the fall, bloodied and exhausted, yet sure and strong. Your will does not become iron without the fire, your heart does not beat strong without climb to test your spirit.

I rose just to be close to you.

Now, the summit reigns supreme as we make our home on the lofty heights of love and truth. We hold each other gently and firmly, gazing at a view years in the making, a kiss shared among the heavens, an oath born in the innocent intention of love. We asked for this lifetimes ago, and we seal that promise with a caress in the open knowledge that we are right were we were always meant to be.

We plan as people do, knowing our power in the doing, realizing we are helpless in the destiny. Differences fade in the power of our likeness, and fear subsides in the truth of our existence. When I hold you close and kiss you deeply, the realization of every step we’ve ever taken, every fall we’ve ever risen from, will come to life in that very instant.

I was born just to be close to you. I’ve lived just to be close to you. I’ve gained and lost and gained some more just to be close to you. Everything I’ve ever done, every step I’ve taken, every prayer I’ve uttered to the stars above, has been just to be close to you.

Now, I want to stay there. Close to you. Forever.

 

 

photo by: Dino ahmad ali

Our River

Though words rarely escape me, I sit here speechless at the thought of you. Words can be so hollow in the absence of expression. Intent can be so meaningless without your hand in mine, without your breath filling my lungs with joy.

Soon, in the blessed way it happens, something speaks to me. I hear your name in the conversation, as my heart beats your name and my soul allows the echo. Without hesitation my mind reacts. Hurry, my love, I need you. It’s been a lifetime since I’ve held you…

Through the years I’ve watched you. I’ve said I love you countless times to nothing but air, and I’ve cared for you in my heart in an endless stream of love and gratitude. I’ve marveled at your sharing, and sat mesmerized as your beautiful blue eyes cut right through my armor, and nestled nicely in my soul.

I’ve since shared the words my heart would have said to you back then, had I only knew you’d listen. I’ve told you of the visions where you’ve lived,  the spaces you had grown, and the music that you created in my world. I’ve colored landscapes with your beauty, found peace in knowing you exist, and felt empty in the moments you weren’t there. I’ve always felt your presence, and I’ve always felt your absence in the solitary trails, and lonely walks that took me to a space I’d sit alone, marveling in a view I always wished you could see.

I’d try to play in places where I could, find you in things that I could touch, failing each and every time. I’d believed that nothing was working out, even as my settled soul knew better. Taking another step along this journey was a success unto itself, and it never meant that the last footfall was a failure. It simply was necessary in my journey to you, my beloved, my soul’s forever partner.

That is where the magic happens. Human minds can distort the purest story, and can create shadows in even the most well-lit places. We pull the reins on horses that want to gallop, and hold back waters that wish to flow, simply from the fear of what could happen. We are creatures of fear, often hiding from the most wondrous events of our lives, often dying without having ever tasting the joys that loving recklessness can offer.

You and I have none of that. In your light, I shine, and in my light you beg yourself forward in the change. The perfection of our flow, the harmony of our magic, all conspiring with our desire to send us to our destiny. The way our thoughts, desires, and hopes have always matched speaks to a connection written in the stars. It cannot be ignored, and in our time it refused to be forgotten.

Lifetimes ago I met you, and here we are reuniting in the river of our lives. The current demands we hold each other tightly, and the waters require we never part. We’ll laugh in the calmest waters, and rise to hold each other steady when the rapids come. When I thirst you are my drink, and when you hunger I am the nourishment you seek. We have all we need in the river where we are, and all we seek remains within between the shorelines, where destined souls bathe each other in love, and shower each other in the desire only the truest lovers know.

That’s where we are, in the pureness of our sacred space, knowing we what we have always known. For years we’ve played apart, waiting for what would bring us together. That time has come, my love, never to cave to the follies of the mind, never to be apart again.

Together we bask in love, and in that shared realization the skies have opened, the waters have been warmed, and we swim in our trusted flow. There we will be, forever bathing in the beauty of our flow, and trusting in the places we will visit. If you wish to find us, just follow that river and watch us in our destiny.

The Thing About the Mist

The thing about the mist, the dream, is that you can’t hold it. When you reach out to a dream, it escapes your open hand. When you seek out a hope, it slips right through your waiting arms. It is not meant to be held, yet it is meant to be held dear. It is special like that.

The thing about the mist is that it represents a possibility. When I would sit in stillness, allowing the waves of possibility to sweep into my soul, I would see it. Formless as she was, I knew her. Shapeless as I saw her then, I could feel her in my empty spaces. She’d fit nicely everywhere I went, and filled the voids in every way.

See, I knew her. For years we would chat, and my heart would beat loudly in my chest. We would share our thoughts, and my senses would instantly awaken. I would see her image, feel her presence, and the moment would instantly be filled. I’d feel her eyes pierce deep within me, and it was like she was sitting on my lap, owning my entire being.

All of those things were true, except she was nowhere near me. In my heart she’d sing, but in my spaces she wasn’t there. In my thoughts she’d reign supreme, but in my life she was horribly absent. My body would react to the slightest interaction, but my mind would think the better of approaching her. Sometimes there is a safety in leaving the mist alone.

As the Universe works, I must not have been ready for her arrival. In some way I had things to do and lessons to learn before she’d come. I kept searching for her, knowing she was there, hoping I’d feel her warmth, wishing I would wake up with her there, answering my searching arms.

I’d dream of telling her how I felt, of leaping off a cliff with her, of knowing that we’d rise to lofty heights together. Yet, I stayed silent, for reasons of my own that only she knows, and wondered if my heart would ever sing to her in the light of a watchful Moon. My soul would be dampened by the mist, but my flesh would remain dry in the reality I had made. Though torture as it was, I’m certainly used to the wicked folly of such a cruel hoax.

As the Universe works, a landslide woke us to our purpose. I heard her voice. I felt her passion. I knew her every need, instantly, like she was part of me. Immediately, the love that had been brewing for some time had enough of our foolishness, and it brought us to the destiny we made to share. Each and every lesson I had learned came to life in that instant, and we both knew.

To the man whose heart has been opened, such events are easily seen even if they are not easily understood. The love that fashioned through toil and discipline takes over, and everything else falls nicely into place. Words I’ve always wanted to say came pouring from my lips, and each and every footfall in my life was found in the place were my feet were made firm, the place where I was to meet my Soul, my mate, my truest love.

Some say when you die your life flashes before your eyes. My life came into view in the moment our love was shared, the very moment I dove into a life with her. It all made sense, each and every disappointment, each and every stumble, each and every resurrection suddenly seemed perfectly necessary. I get to hold her hand because I’ve bled in spaces I was only meant to visit. I get to kiss her lips because I’ve fallen from some lofty peaks. With a strength born of a million challenges, and a heart created through a vehement discipline to the lessons I was taught, I get to love this woman as she deserves to be loved. I get to care for her as she deserves to be cared for.

I go back in time, and tell the beasts, “Yes, give me another. Make me bleed good, so that she gets all she deserves. Toughen me up, so that she never sees me waver. Hit me with your best shot, rid me of my fear, so that I may love her without distraction.”

I go back in time, and tell the angels, “Guide me to my heart, so that I may know love when I feel it. Take me to the plush grasslands, so that I may know the comfort I wish to give her. Take me to the lover’s fountain, so that I may pour her a drink when she arrives. Show me what I need to know, so that I know it when I need to.”

As mists sometimes will, they become dense rains one which we dance. I am dancing in such a rain, and marveling in the rainbows as the Sun graces me in the movement. I don’t fear the end of the sunburst, because I know her. Sometimes the mist may dry, but what is left behind is still a dream. A dream we get to share. A dream we get to live. A dream only meant for the two of us.

I can live with that. Yeah, I chuckle at the notion that I have a choice. I’ve already made it, as has she, because as the rains do end the dance will continue. The rains are what have brought us here. The mist has served its purpose.

~rd~

 

I am, in Love

I am, in love.

The winds are howling outside my window, their music echoing through the silent chambers where I write. The setting Sun paints its art upon the sky, as I watch the trees bend to the mercy of the gods. These days, these events, these moments, all so very clear, all made real in the reality of you.

Yes, I am in love.

In the madness of my lover’s mind, I want you close. I want to feel you in our space, touch you in this reality, hear you in the certain songs that make our evenings what they are. I want to write with you touching my wild places, resting in those sacred spaces I have saved for you, loving those wounds that only served to brings us together.

In the sanity of a man, I need you here. I need to feel you in my arms and smell your hair in our embrace. I need to feel you in my slumber, as our hands touch throughout the night. I need to sense you in my waking moment, kiss you in my morning sun, and see you embrace every space we call our home.

I am blessed, and I know. Together, we’ve thrown away our neighbor’s sanity for a special type of craziness. Together we’ve stood tall against the norms, and knelt to our heart’s desire. Together, we will dance into tomorrow, to own music, writing a story few can understand but all wish to tell.

We’ve waited for so long, together and apart, to be where we now stand. We’ve sat alone with thoughts of one another, conspiring with our Universe to one day speak our truth. We’ve come together, finally, speaking the same language in the same ways at the exact right time, with nothing but love and care and beautiful recognition in our hearts. We’ve fallen together, not like stars to an earthen grave, but more like eagles that dare fall to the heavens above.

The perfection of those moments, of those steps we’ve taken to this here and now, speak of sacred intentions a lifetime in the making. I have never been more sure, never felt so certain, and I have never wanted anything as much as I want you, here, now.

We’ve spent a lifetime searching for each other. Though there are challenges we shall face, we’ve already done the hard part. We’ve toiled in things, played in the rubble, tossed through sleepless nights and sometimes fell into the sand. Yet, we’ve continued on, finding our souls on lonely trails, falling in love with our hearts on tops of our own, tall mountains. We’ve survived, my love, for this very moment in time. We’ve continued onward to meet in this very space. Yes, we’ve already done the hard part, and though challenges may lie ahead, they are nothing compared to the purpose for which we’ve been brought together.

I am in love. With you.

I felt you coming before your arrival. I sensed you standing just on the other side of a great waterfall. I closed my eyes and plunged into those falls, and when I opened them you were there, looking for me too. That embrace, that moment when our souls recognized each other, was the very moment a universe was born.

There seems to be some rambling going on. I chuckle at the notion that a man in love can just ramble in the ecstasy. We stand here, one journey ending as another begins, knowing we’ll never look back on the moments before our two paths became one. I’ve heard you, baby, and I am here. I am not going anywhere.

Perhaps, now, for just a moment, silence. Feel this love power through the ether. Let it envelope you, hold you, care for you, as you stand next to me in our dreams.

I am here. Because. I am in love.

photo by:

The Meadow

I see a flowered field, fed beautifully by the light rains of spring. There, the romance of butterflies and the lust of bees reign, and a moment of hope is born.

She is sitting there, carefully enjoying the scents around her, while listening intently on the nature around her. The softly bubbling brook behind her highlights the music in her heart, and suddenly I can see nothing else around her.

My gait becomes slower until, at last, I pause. My legs are not used to the stillness, and my chest is not used to the reminder.

“Breathe”.

She has stolen my breath, and with it the last vestiges of sanity.

There is nothing that separates us, save the wall of flowers so cleverly sent before me. I try to mark my path, seeking the divides between the randomness laid before me. She sees me, too, and begs me onward. Lovers sometimes meet that way.

The distance seems meaningless, inconsequential in the power of this moment. Yet, we need to bridge it. We know that space and time matter, yet not as much as the moment we have found. She calls to me, I answer, together we will find out way.

She stands. I smile, knowing finally I will not have to solve this thing along. Suddenly, my journey has become our journey. Suddenly, my steps have become our steps. I am coming!” I hear her shout. “I’ll meet you there!” I shout back, not really knowing where “there” really is.

We carefully begin those steps, not wanting to destroy an ounce of the beauty all around us. It seems that nature responds in her way, as the flowers seems to part, the creatures seem to scurry, and the birds seem to tease us onward to our destiny. With each step, a flower kisses us gently, each moment forward provides a scent we will remember.

Finally…

Yes, finally, she is in my arms. We kiss, and suddenly the Sun feels warm. We embrace, and suddenly I feel the light again.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” she says, repeating the words echoing in my heart. I would never imagine such a beauty would be waiting for me, but I know her words were true.

“My love,” I reply, the words suddenly escaping my comprehension.  I need not speak, I can feel her reading them in my soul, and I find myself reading them in hers.

I don’t feel lonely much in my time alone. Aloneness has  given me the space to dive deep, to feel the essence of the power of my own intention. It has made me strong and, more importantly, showed me my own strength. Strength, I’ve learned, has little to do with muscles save one. It resides within your chest.

Aloneness is what has brought me to this meadow, and fear is what has kept me from it. Along the way I’ve met the fearful ones, those who wear the masks of something deep while bathing in something shallow. I’ve danced with those who are so consumed by their own darkness as to become lovers of it, desperately describing the light they have found. I’ve played in the shallows, looking for something more, my observations never a judgement of others, but more of an understanding of me.

Such was the gift of failure, the gift of emptiness. She was here, in my arms being strongly held, being protected from the eventuality of autumn. I could feel her own testament, her own gratitude in the wild footsteps she had taken, knowing in my arms is where she belongs.

She looked up at me, directly in my eyes. “Be damned the winter,” she whispered. “We are here.”

 

 

 

photo by: seriousbri

There is no time…(Me, the Ugly One)

I simply have no time.

I have no time for the bullshit. I can’t walk with the beautiful ones, their neatly trimmed hair and wonderfully pressed clothing. I can’t deal with the fakeness of their spirituality, one that always quotes the experience of others, one that always reads about the path ahead. Please, drop the veil and fucking dive in. Quit with always knowing the right things to say out of a book somewhere, or those lessons from that wonderful teacher, and start fucking up. Say the wrong things from time to time. Do something crazy, that defies that logic you hold onto, that simply makes little sense to the world.

I want to get dirty, muddy to be more exact. I want our hair disheveled by our passion, our thoughts never far from the next time we’re dancing naked in moonlight. I want our glances to be full of mischief, our words to be full of truth, our actions to be full of the love we were born to fly in. I want to live with you, damn it, and I want you to laugh and fly and crash and be reborn.

Because I have no time.

No time to wait while you to dance in the exhaustion of yesterday, or the muck of the mudslides you think you need to heal from. Fuck it, I’ll get muddy with you, slaying the beasts that rise from the muck, holding up to you their severed heads and rotting hearts. I’ll drop them when you jump in my arms, making love to me in the midst of those littered corpses, howling at the sky and shaking so hard the Earth itself is made clean in the quakes.

I know, it’s not the way the book says to do it. It’s not the neat and proper way to do things. It’s not the etiquette those beautiful people demand. It’s raw. It’s filthy. It’s dangerous and it stinks of the fires of passion. It’s how you slay the victim in you and become its Master. It’s how you dancing in the tears instead of crying in the dance. Leave those beautiful ones behind and hear this music, dance with me, the Ugly One.

Let that beautiful dress fall crumpled to the floor. Break off your heals and throw them at the mirror on the wall. Get your feet dirty. Slur your words with fantastic abandon. Let your mascara run until the soil is black around you. Just know that I will hold you up, stand you tall, and never once let you act like you are defeated again.

Alas, the beautiful ones…they run from me. I don’t care about their rules, their feigned resignation to the books of others. I can’t read that book, I’m too busy writing a book of my own. Don’t quote it, don’t cite it, less you get a little dirty too. You may never recover.

 

photo by: h.koppdelaney

You Love Her

You love her.

You’d give your life for hers. You’d warm her through the night when she’s cold. You’d protect her from demons, both hers and your own. You’d kiss her through your tears, embrace her through hers, and seek the softest spots for her to land. There’s nothing you would not do for this woman.

 Sometimes, that is not the way things are. Sometimes, you can only let her go.

This type of love is not, however, about you. It’s about her. So even though you can’t do these things for her, you always know you would. Though you wrestle with your sadness, you marvel in her joy. Your heart will always bleed her name, even when she’s not around to see it.

There are few of us who get to feel such a thing. We get to take our steps feeling her everywhere. We study our reflection in the still waters looking for hers as well. We walk within the forest sounds, wishing her voice was there beside us. We lay in bed at night, wish the chill we feel was replaced by her warmth, that the space around us was filled with her essence. We feel her, and we succumb to our own mortality and humanity, with tears we give away to the emptiness. The gods are cruel sometimes, but we can always feel fortunate to have loved her this way, even if it pains us so. The hollowness we feel is like an expensive drum, it’s music bittersweet.

One day, perhaps in this lifetime or some other, I may meet this soul again, her feet planted firmly on our soil, ready. I will kiss her deeply as conviction and devotion pours from my soul, and I will carry her through the threshold she’s been waiting for, knowing what it was like to wait for her, her knowing what it was like to be waited for. Perhaps…even a godless man’s prayers can be answered.

Perhaps not. Perhaps I will walk this life without her footprints next to mine. Perhaps my life hasn’t prepared me for her arrival, but rather prepared me for her absence. This, only time can reconcile, only destiny can bear.

We shall see.

photo by:

The Pond

I have a dream…

There is a forest, planted long ago. There life has flourished, and nestled in the soft, plush meadows amidst the beautiful songs that echo through the Universe, springs a pond. A pond so beautiful that words cannot give her justice. You simply need to experience her to understand.

The pond is graced by a waterfall that feeds her indescribability. One can hear the roar of power in the rush of water pouring into her. She is connected to something there in the falls, and I can see a multitude of rainbows dancing about within its mist, and there are always a variety of butterflies playing dangerously close. They seem to know how close they can get without being swept away forever. They may touch the edge, but will not survive the power of this flow. They know, so they only touch her surface, and she is saddened that such beauty will not bathe within her, but she also knows that such beauty must survive to be appreciated.

I look at the beautiful scene in front of me, overwhelmed by its magnificence, but drawn in by her essence. It’s clear to me that the pond is certainly the waterfall, and the waterfall is certainly the pond. Neither can exist as they are without the other. We, those who experience such a place, can appreciate it because we’ve also nearly died in the desert. Our paths are littered with the skeletons of those who were not strong enough to make it, their fortunes left to the harshness of totality. The fortunate ones arrive here to marvel, to bend their knee to drink, and to bathe in her beauty.

I take her in, and want to be taken in by her. I want to swirl in the clear, cool waters and swim to where the falls meet her surface. I want to dive down into her and feel the chaos there, at a depth of some discomfort. I want to be tossed around a bit, have my soul thrashed until I understand her better, and then make my way back to the places where she finds her serenity. I will find nature there, that certain place where she gives to the Universe, and the Universe gives right back.

To a man who has not felt such serenity, the feeling cascades over me like the touch of her essence. My mind drifts off to what may happen if I never leave, and she accepts me as I am. Yet, I know that my skin may wrinkle and my body soften in the safe non-resistance of her, and I pray the shore may be enough to save me.  I need to feel the dirt and the stones, the sting of bees looking for food, and the fear of sleeping alone in a forest so full of danger.

Danger. He laughs at it. What could happen to him that hasn’t happened already? There  is no death that he fears, there is the lack of living that scares him. A renewed vow wells up inside him. He will live fully until he dies, and he will smile at the wounds, regardless if they came from the ass of a bee, or the claws of a bear.

The laughter mixes with the sound of the water embracing him. He’ll stay here for a little while, and then he will enjoy the shore until, finally, he ventures off to seek the living he so desires. She will always be here, and he wonders if one day he will call her home.

 

 

The Boxer

A warning. For those used to my typical prose, this story will be dark and harsh, raw and blackened. It’s a catharsis for me, a truthful metaphor reliving a past life. If this type of writing bothers you, please go no further, and accept my thanks for being a faithful reader.

He sat alone, as he had so many times before, looking across the canvas at the demon. He was born to look helplessly at the distance between them, but lived for utter devastation when the gap had gotten much too close to bear.

He could hear the Minions behind him, shouting their meaningless encouragements. If he won, they’d be his best friends, if he lost he’d be where he always was. Alone.

He could feel the sting of the cut carved just above his left eye. He would not publicly flinch in the sight of such pain, nor would he bleed. They would not see him hurt. He had been cut so many times before that the pain was like a familiar friend, one he sought to avoid yet embraced when they met. Pain was his ally, for at least he was alive in its embrace.

The cut was not some masterful stroke by his opponent. The Boxer has seen the hook coming, but rather than duck he leaned into it. As it landed, he smiled, and as he felt his flesh tear and the pain come, he finally felt at home. This was what he was used to, this is what he had come for.

He trained to torture himself, purposely inflicting pain worse than any other could inflict. Soon, his hands become like stone, his body taut with the remnants of a religious insistence on being hurt, his mind impervious to the games they would play. They may have taught him such displeasure, but soon it became his own.  It was the single thing he could count on.

His body tensed, naturally anticipating the bell ringing. He marveled at the rhythm of this game. Most of it, three minutes to be exact, would be a fight where little bits of him would die. Then would come one minute of glorious respite, where he almost believed that life could be different. At the end of each round the Boxer would almost find truth in the cheers of those Minions and the accolades of those in his corner.

He could almost trust the judges, believing they would see what he saw. He had survived the round, given better than he had taken, and shown what he was capable of doing. Surely they would have to give him the points. Surely he had won. Surely he could count on them…

Invariably, he knew better. He could trust none of it save his own solitude, and his own sense of direction. In the familiar rhythm of his life, aloneness became his companion. Before the respite was over, he would look once again at the Minions with disdain, his opponent with disgust, and the arena with little feeling at all.

Such vicious training you couldn’t afford to buy, but they gave it to him for free. When he would look at her, he only wished it could be different. Yet, he knew better. He always knew better. There would never be a shining star in the crowd, and he must be free from her in order to give her freedom from him.

Normally, when the Boxer grew tired of the game he would spring from his stool and end the dance. It didn’t take much, for his training had strengthened his body and turned his hands to stone. He would rush out with a smile, and the obstacle in front of him would fall. Then would come the hollow cheers, the fictitious pats on the back. Soon, when the party was over, he would return to the aloneness he neither craved nor wanted.

Tonight, it would be different. He had grown tired of the fight, of the bullshit. He had grown tired of the one way street, of the road work , of the endless repetition. As the bell rang, he knew what he would have to do.

When his body hit the canvas, it was over. He cried real tears, alone as usual, finding relief in the end. He could see tiny drops of his blood in the fabric, and already see the backs of his once admirers as they turned and walked away. He had done his best, but he was done with this game, this time. The end had finally come.

 

photo by: Isaí Moreno

The Things She Does Not Know

Originally written on August 8, 2016.

There is a woman. A strong, beautiful woman who knows so many things.

She knows the passion of her heart. She offers it in her words and shares it in her eyes. She stands tall against the tide of time, softly protesting the sincerity of her truth while gently holding onto the sanctity of her innocence. What a marvel she is, a candle held against the new-moon sky, a note written on a sheet of paper that completes a maestro’s symphony.

She knows the strength of her weathered mind. No force of nature bends her knee, no ill-intentioned heart corrupts her sweet intentions.  She’s ridden the mighty waves of the past, and has yet to surrender to the shore. A humbled man cannot know such things as she, he can only try fathom this wonder that stands before him.

Yet, for all the things she knows, there are many things she doesn’t.

She doesn’t know I sit in wondrous silence, basking in her light. She doesn’t know I see her nestled perfectly on a distant horizon, rising gently with the songbirds, reminding so many a new day has dawned. She doesn’t know that I exist, for I am but a star on the other side of her own rising sun, unseen in the light, anonymous in the blue-and-orange hued morning sky.

She’ll doesn’t know how the wonders of the world are lost to me when she stands before them. She doesn’t know how all else is forgotten when she smiles, and how I’ll never be able to explain the reasons why.

She doesn’t know how hard it is for me to catch a breath when she shares herself, or how I force myself to forget her in the placeholders that I find. She doesn’t know so many things, but I know one. She exists. That hope, that wonderful feeling discovered in what seems like an insane notion of my mind, may be the only gift she ever gives me.

A gift she has no idea she’s given. A light she has no idea she’s shared. These things she may never know, but she doesn’t have to. Sometimes that is just the way things are meant to be.