Category Archives: Short Stories

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.

 

A Goodnight Wish

I want to say goodnight to you in the way my heart prescribes. The way I always should. The way I always will.

Look at me, my love. Hold my hand. Kiss me in the way you want, demand from me all that you may need. Do not hesitate to issue such commands, and never forget the moments I could only pray for this kiss, and all those times I stared at my empty hand, wishing yours was there.

Let me love you back, in the way my heart demands of me. Let me hold you tightly in the flickering flame of our candle, following the music of our souls while reminding you that once you needed me and did not know it, and once you called for me and did not know my name.

Put your head on my shoulder, the shoulder that would carry you through hell if need be. Fall into my arms, the arms that were made strong to hold you steady when your knees buckle in the night. Taste my lips, the once uncertain lips which have now met their destiny.

Hear my words, words seldom issued in this man’s life, oaths uttered to you as a vehicle of truth, and nothing more. Hear my silence, the subtle gaps left between the gasps of our ecstasy. Lend your ear to my chest, place your hand over my heart, to feel the strength of all I am, and all I am willing to give to you.

Each night I close my eyes knowing their opening is not guaranteed. Each night my final words will be those promises once made to you in my solitary darkness, and they will be whispered in your ear before we sleep. Should these be my final words, I will have lived my life to the summit, and will have departed knowing I have fulfilled my greatest dream.

Now, I will find my night’s cocoon, climb into it…and say you name one last time today. It will be my goodnight wish that I have a chance to say it again tomorrow.

Goodnight, sweet love…

photo by:

When There Is Nothing I Can Do

We all know the feeling. We see her, our knees crumble. We hear her voice, our hearts begin to race. She fills our minds with her thoughts, her fears, and her dreams. She occupies our thoughts, inspires our intentions, and raises our frequency to levels we rarely see.

We all know her. She is beautiful, and her eyes make us swoon even as we try to keep our composure. Her mouth makes just the right curves when she smiles, and her image sends us flying into the outer edges of our Universe. She sets the bar, and we will always seek to meet it.

I know her well. I’ve talked to her countless times about many things, some meaningful and some benign. She’s inspired words I’ve etched words into the fabric of my day, and give life to inspiration that have brought many to tears of joy. My god, there is so much life to knowing her, and so much a truth to the utter sense of all she is.

Yet, there is nothing I can do.

Sure, I could be the bad ass in the room and feign indignation. I could act like I don’t care, that the moments we share have only the slightest meeting. I could tune down my intensity, resist my own desire, and pretend that her wine has a bitter taste, and her words a shallow impression.

That’s silly. There’s nothing I can do.

I could be “the man”, and act like she doesn’t matter the way she does. I could hold back on the strings of truth I send in her direction, the pearls of wisdom I give her as a gift when we converse. I could do so many things…

…and then I realize, there is nothing I can do.

I can’t make her run to my open arms no matter what my version of truth may be. I can’t make her call me in the middle of the night just tell me all her pains. I can’t force her to do a fucking thing, and for that I am grateful.

You see, there is nothing I can do.

That is the way it should be. I should adore her where she is, regardless of the tears that well up within me at our distance. I should honor the spaces where she struggles, despite my want to carry her through the smoke. I should smile as I always have when she finds her loves, be there when she has her pains, and let her know that there will always be someone there when all else fails.

Wait, perhaps there is something I can do after all.

Despite my story wishing things were different, that for once a heart was in tune with mine, and that the timing was perfect for a resurrection of my hope, there is always something I can do. I can accept the pangs of hurt, of remembrance, that whittle their way through my flesh and change my point of view. My truth is not a universal one, and there is no one who need ever hold my hand.

In the meadow where I go, in the brook that bubbles by my ears as my eyes shut to see the Universe, I realize a certain truth. I am a lover. A hard-scrabbled, complex, rough around the edges lover. All that I can do has already been done, and now all I can do is, well, nothing. Except that something.

Peace.

photo by: Lel4nd