some fall in love. i shatter.

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Emotional Matryoshkas (#40)

In Stories Volume 2 on January 28, 2013 at 10:37 am

Chapter 1

In the image of pink flowers atop green stalks, he saw rebirth with beauty and the blossoming of love.

Pink love, green beauty, blossoming flowers; and in he stalks, atop the image of rebirth, with the saw.

Atop the green stalks, the image of rebirth in flowers: love, blossoming beauty, and he.

In rebirth, he stalks blossoming love and the green flower of beauty.

The rebirth of love and blossoming green stalks.

Green love and rebirth stalks.

Love and rebirth.

Rebirth.

Chapter 2

 

I would have rewritten my entire life for you.

My entire life would have rewritten you.

Have you rewritten my life?

You have rewritten life.

Rewritten life.

Rewritten.

 

Chapter 3

 

If you never tell me to let you go, then I’ll hang on forever.

I’ll tell you to go hang forever if you never let me on.

Forever – I’ll never let you tell me if you hang.

If you let me, I’ll hang forever.

Let me hang forever.

Hang forever.

Forever.

 

Chapter 4

 

She felt a shedding of his skin, like a snake, and knew that he’d discovered a piece of his soul that even she hadn’t known existed.

Even he’d known a snake felt a piece of his shedding skin, knew that she discovered his soul… and that she hadn’t existed.

He’d discovered that she existed; she felt a piece of his shedding skin; a snake hadn’t known; and a soul knew.

A piece of a snake existed; she knew he’d felt his discovered skin and shedding soul.

A snake felt his soul; a shedding of skin, she discovered.

She felt his snake, discovered a shedding of a soul.

A snake discovered a shedding soul.

Shedding a soul.

Soul.

 

 

 

(Credit to Elona Toska for the story concept)

Staring At The Sun (#39)

In Stories Volume 2 on January 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Five months had passed. They’d been five long, agonizing months of soul-searching, self-examination, loss, and gradual recovery. Five long months. The first couple spent asking around, inquiring about his state, his feelings, his whereabouts; the subsequent few learning that there was nothing to learn that meant anything to the betterment of Patrick Donovan.

 

And then one Monday night, Patrick turned the corner off Beauregard and onto Jackson. 7pm, still early, and the crowd of people fresh off work and picking up groceries from the Whole Foods was thick and teeming. His yoga studio fell just beyond the crowd and the temptation of the groceries. Those five months had also been a tumult of pounds both falling off and on, so to pass the resplendent, massive, and Hollywood-lit windows of the grocery store existed as a challenge of his will. The crowd helped as it required much of Patrick’s attention.

 

But to navigate a crowd is to strip the people of their faces and individualities. They become instead moving cogs. But sometimes a cog would have a face that Patrick should have recognized, would have recognized had he not been looking at each person as but an obstacle. And sometimes those cogs with recognizable faces would recognize Patrick’s as well. It happened often enough as the grocery store was an anchor in the area, an institution. Almost always, it was just a friend that would draw his attention and stop him on the street. A coworker on rare occasions. But never him. He was never there. No, he was never there, until he was, until he reached his hand out and he stopped Patrick on the street.

 

“Patrick? Hey! How are you?” The hand flashing into his vision would have been enough to stop his feet; the sound of the voice stopped his soul. His voice. Daniel Lundquist. Patrick steeled his nerves, focused his thoughts, and met the gaze of the man that had broken his heart five long months ago. The man he hadn’t since seen until that cold moment.

 

“I’m…” he floated around for the right word to convey the shock, terror, excitement, and sadness erupting like a quartet of volcanoes. “I’m… okay. How are you?” Patrick directed that question towards a face with a closely cropped beard, black hair cleanly slicked to the side, eyes that showed no signs of any sleepless nights. He directed it towards a body that still looked trim beneath the tightly-buttoned houndstooth jacket, the efficiently knotted scarf, the brown leather gloved hands that held two bulging and pendulous grocery bags. He directed it towards composition, efficiency, and self-management.

 

“I’m good, thanks. Not so used to this cold weather but it could be worse, right? There’s no snow.” He smiled widely like they were old friends without baggage, but the baggage was apparent in the empty air that hung between them, balanced precariously upon wisps of breath. They both looked down at Daniel’s brown leather A. Testoni shoes, perfectly polished and safe from the corrosion of rock salt, and then at Patrick’s tattered black Converse high-tops, immune to the ravages of nature, for they were ravaged by time. They matched most of his appearance: the stubble on his face, the muss of his uncut hair, the wrinkles in his shirt.

 

“What have you been up to?” Patrick took his right hand off the strap of his black and yellow messenger bag and dug it deep into the pocket of his overcoat where Patrick wouldn’t be able to see the tiny tremors rattling his fingers.

 

“I’ve actually been traveling a lot for work, hence the groceries. My refrigerator was empty of anything edible. Plenty of things inedible, but not much else. I’ve been going in and out of the country pretty steadily for the past two months, so a lot of dinners out or ordered in.” The bags seemed heavy to Patrick’s eyes but they remained fairly steady in Daniel’s grip.

 

“Why are you traveling so much?” Patrick still couldn’t make more than glancing eye contact, instead shooting towards the ear, or the passing crowd of people, or back down at the ground. He’d spent too much time in those eyes, too much time under very different circumstances, to allow himself to fall back in.

 

“Oh, I must’ve forgotten when we last saw each other. I got a promotion at work – still at the advertising agency – and their home offices are in London. They’re a little old fashioned about things; they want me there in the flesh for a lot of the introductory meetings. Can’t complain really. But what about you?”

 

“It’s still Christmas break for my students, so I’m on a little bit of a vacation right now. I just came back two days ago from visiting my family in Texas. They asked about you, which was awkward, but even my mom let it go pretty quickly.”

 

“Oh… I’m sorry.” There was a measure of comfort in hearing those three words. Patrick had heard those three words so many times in the past few months, especially while in Texas, that they brought him back to steady ground. Meeting Daniel on the street was an anomaly, hearing condolences was a taste of the new normalcy, which Patrick sort of knew how to deal with.

 

“It was bound to happen at some point, just unfortunate timing. But I’ve got a few days to relax here before classes start again. Not that I’m not looking forward to it – these kids I’m teaching this year… I don’t know if I’m getting better at what I’m doing or they’re becoming more receptive, but I actually can’t wait to get back into the classroom with them.”

 

“That’s great, Patrick. And I’m sure it’s you. It makes more sense that teachers learn and improve over time than kids magically becoming more receptive. And I see you’re back into yoga?” Daniel lifted one of his overfilled grocery bags and gestured towards the yellow and purple yoga mat bag hanging on Patrick’s left shoulder.

 

“It’s been helping me focus. I’m going to the gym again as well. Trying to get my life back in order; healthy body, healthy mind.”

 

“Well you’re looking healthy, so good for you. I wish that I had the time and the focus to take care of myself.”

 

“And I wish that I could travel to London as much as you are.”

 

“You studied there during university, right?”

 

“Yeah. I loved it. I try to go back every couple years but it’s hard to find the time and money.”

 

“We never went there together, did we?”

 

“We talked about it but no. Too bad you didn’t have that promotion earlier – it would have made for the perfect conditions.” Patrick’s back stiffened as he heard the words come out of his mouth. He could hear the wistfulness returning to his voice, see the imaginary scenes returning to his mind, sense the dreams of reuniting. Too much time had been spent rejecting those things and laying the bricks to block them off for good. “But you didn’t, so, too bad.”

 

“Yeah. Too bad.” Patrick glanced at his watch. He was going to be late for his yoga class. He looked back up to see Daniel just standing there, no words on his lips, no glancing around of his eyes, no movements to unstick himself from where he was stuck.

 

“I’m sorry but I should get to my class. The lockers fill up, you know?”

 

“Oh, yeah, of course, I’m sorry. I saw you here and just wanted to say hi. You look good, you know. You look healthy, like you’re doing well.” Patrick finally smiled and allowed himself to do so without recrimination.

 

“I’m feeling alright these days. Thanks.” They each nodded, they each waited for the other person to move, and they waited another moment. “Okay, Daniel, good to see you. And congratulations on the promotion.” He began walking and only thought that maybe he heard a response when he was already a few feet away.

 

He didn’t look back. He made a point not to. Not that he even wanted to. Not after so much had passed between them and then so much time to make peace with it all. The well-lit windows of the grocery store no longer enticed him, Patrick simply longed to be in the warm yoga studio, seated squarely and safely upon his mat, the firmness of the hardwood grounding him into his physical space.

 

His hand on the door to the studio, Patrick allowed himself just one glance backwards, just one glance, just to prove to himself that he hadn’t heard any wistfulness in Daniel’s voice. Just to tell himself that there had been no sadness there, no regret, and that they were both, in fact, doing fine. His hand on the door, the door swung open, the warmth of the studio greeting his face red with the cold. One glance. Daniel still standing in that same spot, looking toward Patrick, with his hand on the door, the door swung open, the warmth of the studio warming his face still red with the cold.

 

Then the door shut.

Through Life (#38)

In Stories Volume 2 on January 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm

IMG_2695 IMG_2691

The Bauhaus Movement (#37)

In Stories Volume 2 on January 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 3:04 PM

To: Marcus Ash <TheSanityAssassin@hopscotch.com>

Dear Marcus,

This is Marcia, Bettina’s friend. We met at Wesley’s Halloween party last weekend at the Trench. I had a great time talking to you and wanted to see if you’d like to grab a drink or dinner sometime this weekend. I would’ve called but after writing your phone number and email on my hand, the number got smudged. So email me or give me a call at  555.0177.

-Marcia

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 3:21 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

Hey – you’ve got the wrong email address – this is MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM

To: Marcus Ash <TheSanityAssassin@hopscotch.com>

Marcus,

This is Marcia. We met at Wesley’s party last weekend. I tried emailing you yesterday but somehow my email got rerouted to someone else. I just wanted to make sure I had the right email address.

-Marcia

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 12:21 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

MrMoonlight again – wrong email again – you sure Marcus gave you the right email address – what’s the address – is it something close, like MsMoonlight?

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

Not even close. His email is TheSanityAssassin@hopscotch.com

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

You’re trying to go out with a guy named The Sanity Assassin? How much do you know about this guy? And you met him at a skeazy place like the Trench (you’re in St. Louis?) Maybe the universe is trying to keep you from being murdered by sending your emails to me instead of him

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

It’s a song, jackass, and an emaik address doesn’t equal a personality. And the Trench isn’t skeazy, prude (yeah, I’m talking about the Trench in St. Louis).

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 1:19 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

Fair enough – so now why do you think his emails are coming to me?

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 1:21 PM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

Beats me. All my other emails go tothe proper addresses. Are you getting any other emails for him?

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

Nope – nothing – just tried emailing The Sanity Assassin – didn’t bounce back yet – no response either.

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:02 PM

To: Marcus Ash <TheSanityAssassin@hopscotch.com>

Just testing to see if this goes to the right ot wrong address.

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

Test email came to me – no response to my email from TSA either – where did you plan on taking him anyway?

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:15 PM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

What do you mean? For thr date?

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:17 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

Yeah

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:21 PM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

I don’t know. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. I figured I’d let him decide.

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:22 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

Very classic – very quaint

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:40 PM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

You’re kind of an asshole.

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Tues, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

And yet you keep emailing me.

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 10:31 AM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

Any luck with TSA – haven’t seen any other emails or had any responses

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 12:11 PM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

No, nothing. Not sure why I’m telling you this. Not sure why yoy care.

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

Look – I was being kind of an asshole – sorry about that – was looking at you more as an email address than a person.

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 4:04 PM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

Very nice. But don’t worry about it.

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 11:27 AM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

None of my business but – any luck? Feel sort of invested after being an asshole.

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 11:54 AM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

Nope. ANd it’s nice of you to be kind now and all but it’s really not necessary. These things happen and I barely even knew the gyuy anyway.

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 3:49 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

So – if you barely knew the guy and you don’t have any plans this weekend – do you want to get together with me for a drink?

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

I don’t know anything about you! You don’t know anything about me!

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 4:02 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

Didn’t stop you from asking Bradley out

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 4:11 PM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

I at least met him at a party and we talked for… maybe twenty minutes. Way different! I only know your name from your email tag!

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 5:35 PM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

Fair enough – figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a shot.

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 1:01 PM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

You know, I was thinking that it was actually kind of sweet, you asking me out. Still a  little weird, but nice. If you’re still free this weekend, maybe we can get together.

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Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com> at Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 8:59 AM

To: Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com>

Hey – sorry for not getting back to you – ended up going out of town with some friends. Next weekend? Saturday? How about Stone’s Throw?

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Marcia Haskins <poisonpen@hopscotch.com> at Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 10:09 AM

To: Bradley Murphy <MrMoonlight@hopscotch.com>

Saturday’s good for me. I had a place in mind though. You still have my number from that first email?