If your car is parked across the street in front of your house, even if you were in a rush you would have to look both ways before you walk to it. Sometimes at night when it’s cool, the rain doesn’t fall but rather floats to the ground. It lightly finds its way down and becomes wet pavement. If you went to walk to your car and there happened to be a car driving by that you had to wait for, you would be able to see small drops of water hanging in the beams of the cars headlights. The drops would look like they were all dancing with each other. You would only be able to see them if you had to walk to your car, and it was night, and the rain fell like that, and you didn’t rush across the street to beat the car. You would only see it if you stopped to look both ways. If anyone asked you, you could tell them you had to wait for a car to pass and you saw the rain dancing.
This was supposed to be a poem that turned into more of a short story.
I try to forget about her and the love that we shared. But every time I see her I fall in love with her again. I fall deeper each time like trying to escape from quicksand. She is beautiful and from my perspective she is perfect.
There was one cold night when she lay in my bed. It was dark except for a small sliver of light that shown through the blinds exposing her face and neck. Her diaphanous features made my heart jump like a scared cat. The pale light rested on her soft lips and as I rubbed her neck I stole a kiss and inhaled her breath. I wanted to steal away with the bounty of her, but her defensiveness thwarted my attempts at rekindling a forgotten love. The love that I squandered with immaturity. The glass that I fill up with sorrow now has a glass next to it filled with regret. Both goblets are brimming and glimmering as our bodies come close and our hearts seem to touch but only in the memory of a forgotten tryst. It was like she left and I stayed foolishly. When I finally made the decision to follow her the time had created a wedge in our energies. I feel disconnected, indifferent. Lost would be a slight overstatement considering I am still able to find love. I want her to be mine but I don’t want to possess her like an object. I just want to always have the idea of her as the pure and innocent young girl that I knew. I only wish to supplement her beauty with tenderness and so that when she smiles it isn’t just her beauty but the emotion of love emanating from her lips. Our connection seems to rise and fall like that hands of a clock and I can only hope that our love unfurls as the second hand strikes midnight.
The rain rolled down the roof and tapped on his window as if trying to wake him. But he lay idle like a car at a red light. His eyes to the ceiling the lights were dimmed and he relished in the sound of it. The sound of his inspiration, his obsession. The rain was still falling when he woke up the next morning so he took it with coffee and a book. In his little nook he listened to the first rain of the year.
It was a cold Winter morning when the rain ceased just long enough for the sun to peak through dark grey clouds. Rain water was settled on the green shrubs below his balcony and reflected the rays of the sun up into his leathered face. In the light of the silence he began to comprehend his obsession with the rain.
His infatuation was in the mystery of the rain. Since it was something he was unaccustomed to, he treated it like a beautiful stranger of which he wanted to become acquainted. His mood was acquiescent as he meditated. He thought about all the things he hadn’t done. He knew the sun but it was the same sun he grew up with and knew all about it. He knew the air because it was the same air that he respired as a young boy. The dirt in which he gardened was the same soil that had always dirtied his hands. The lack of seasons and constant sunlight in Southern California can make life dull at times. The rain brought a peculiar contrast with its enigma. His creative faculty was exacerbated by the rain and fact that he had no tasks for the day. He felt the urge to bask in it, to use it selfishly. He felt the rain bring change in his emotion and an association with simpler times. He also felt the collective subconscious of those around him feeling the same thing. He felt joy in the motivation rain brought to him. At the same time the rain felt like heartache. He still isn’t sure what it means.
I just felt like roasting myself tonight
I’ve gone inside myself to try and find out what is in there. Everyone likes to think that there is a deeper meaning in life. Rather life being a tragic farce in which you are never truly happy. Only the illusion of happiness sprinkled in occasionally with boredom and disappointment. Pessimism seems to be a handy remedy when dealing with existential crises. What’s the meaning of life? Who really cares? The times we are most emotionally stable are in times of indifference. Learning to let go of the things we cannot control is probably the greatest trait for one to possess. The main motivation for my writing is based entirely on masochism and trying to not be one of the fucking idiots that I deal with on a daily basis. I try to think that I’m deep and intelligent but in reality I’m just an insecure misogynist with commitment issues. I’ve heard that hatred of others is just a projection of hatred of ones self and I believe it. But once again we come to the “accept the things we cannot change” concept. I’ve made mistakes that I have learned from and some that I haven’t. At the very least I try to be aware of myself and remain humble at all times.
It sat on the table droll and beckoning them like any other empty bowl. It was white and round with three notches spaced equidistant around it to place a still burning stogie. There was only one small burn in the middle of it. The ash tray was emptied out routinely without thought, a reflex, like when the doctor hits your patella with that small rubber hammer. The way it was filled up was more enigmatic
Large deposits are made on nights when they arrived home late, and still from nightly festivities. Other times they would sit and inebriate themselves with neat whiskey and no intention of departure from the home or the table at which they sat with the ash tray. These nights were also similar to reflexes, just reactions from stress at work and being in their twenties. But on certain nights there was a different kind of ash filling the little bowl. An experience, a palpable memory of the departed. There were times when they needed to use it, even if it was only once.
The Cigarette rested between his middle finger and index as smoke idly rose to the ceiling. A puff, an inhale, a release, and then a flick which broke off the ash and with it sadness and longing. Heartache followed and eventually anger and despair. The emotions in the ash tray weren’t always spoken and were far from disingenuous. A moment of introspection. The ash in the tray made it heavier with no change in weight, made it deeper with no change in dimension.
It was drunken nights with others or sometimes it was the dark nights alone. It was always filled with some sort of emotion. If you looked in the ash tray on one of the days before they emptied the contents, you wouldn’t see them, you would see the ones who had abandoned them.
The main inspiration that produced this story was actually letting my emotions and feelings get the best of me until I felt the urge to smoke. The cigarettes were temporary but the ash tray was always there. So i felt like rather than focusing on the cigarettes themselves I would focus on the place where I deposited them. The funny thing is I don’t normally smoke but I do use it as a scapegoat sometimes. Sometimes when I feel longing for a particular someone be it female or family I tend to get down and to get stressed and to think negatively. I’m not saying that smoking is the most positive outlet for these stresses but sometimes I find myself saying “man I could use a smoke”
I found her with her back turned towards me. The red lights of the stage made her skin glow like a lava lamp in a dark room. When I came around a second time she was outside sitting on a black satin couch with her right leg crossed over her left. She looked at me with her lips pursed like her drink was too sweet. When she spoke, the words came out like a phonograph, soft yet firm and with character. “I’m a cartographer” she said to me with a tone like I didn’t know what that was. “I don’t like your latitude” I tried to joke but she didn’t laugh. There are some nights in Hollywood where you can find a place with live music that resembles something with a soul. We moved over the black and white keys of the piano and tapped our feet with the percussion. She had long black curls that bounced when she moved. Her glasses looked like they were relics from high school, but they still worked, so she kept them. The black dress she wore told me she had work tomorrow. She wasn’t beautiful in the traditional sense of the word. She had situational beauty. The minute hand raced around my watch and as she departed I reached my hand out only to grasp hot air and a few notes from the band.
This is fiction but I did actually meet a girl one time who told me she was a cartographer.
A young man and his grandmother walked through the gardening section of a supply hardware store and had a conversation about vulnerability. The grandmother was old but she wasn’t gone yet. She knew she was close but she was very strong. She had always been. It wasn’t strange seeing them walk together. The grandmother spent many hours in her garden. She spent her life raising children and her children’s children. When there were no more kids to raise she found purpose in the soil and flowers in her backyard. The young man wasn’t necessarily interested in gardening. He enjoyed taking his grandmother on little outings as he knew they were limited. They always thought about the concept of death, but these thoughts were always hidden.
“These Lilies are beautiful.” said the grandmother as she picked one up to smell.
“Whenever I see the roses in your garden they inspire me and give me compassion, stick with those grandma.” said the young man.
“Roses are beautiful.” She said “But they can hurt you if you get too close.”
“Kind of like me, right grandma?” joked the young man.
“I certainly miss when you didn’t have such a tough exterior.”
“Well, I am your grandson.”
They continued to walk among the colorful flowers.
“Do you remember your grandfather’s old property up north?” She asked.
“Of course I do.” he replied.
“A long time ago, you must have been five or six. You were visiting us and all of your cousins were there as well. You guys were all playing like you usually did. That winter a tree had fallen across the stream. In the summertime when the stream dried up the creek bed filled with thornbushes. You and your cousins took turns walking back and forth over the fallen tree. You slipped off the log and fell in the thorn bushes. Do you remember this?” asked the grandmother.
“No” The young man said. But he did remember. He had a vivid memory of this exact moment. But he didn’t want to feel vulnerable.
“After you fell in, I carried you back to the house. You were crying because there were cuts all over your arms and back. My heart wrenched as I tended to your wounds, but I told you to be strong and stop crying even though I just wanted to hug you and kiss your tear filled cheeks.”
“Why are you telling me this?” asked the young man.
“Because I love you very much and you will always be that little boy crying in my arms.” She said
“Maybe one day I’ll get to take care of you like you took care of me and I can see you vulnerable.”
“Being strong is both a blessing and a curse my son, it carries a burden that prohibits you from showing vulnerability.”
The young man laughed and said
The young man remembered the day that his grandmother was referring to. He remembered it going exactly the way she described, but to him it wasn’t about being vulnerable. To him the memory was a reminder of how much he loved her. It wasn’t implicitly apparent to him but that experience among others added a layer to his subconscious. It made him never want to show weakness or vulnerability. He wanted to be strong, like his grandmother. They walked to the car with a cart full of flowers and contentment.
“Grandma have you heard that ‘the earth laughs in flowers?’”
“My garden is not a joke.” She replied with a smirk.
They loaded the car and drove away. As he pulled out of the parking lot and accelerated down the boulevard he said,
“Could have fooled me grandma, I can’t help but smile when I’m in your garden.”
What he didn’t see was the pick up truck speeding through the yellow light behind him. The truck tried to swerve and avoid the car which contained the young man and his grandmother but it was too late. The truck slammed into the rear end of the vehicle which whipped their heads back and then forward into the steering wheel and dashboard.
The cardiac machine maintained a subtle tilde. The young man sat next to his grandmother’s hospital bed. He sat with his head down, listening to the beep of the cardiac monitor. Her face was peaceful but she was enveloped in jumbles of wires and cords. He looked up at her, grabbed her hand and began to speak.
“I lied grandma, I remember you carrying me to the house, I remember you telling me to be strong. I’ve tried to be that ever since. There is something else I remember grandma. It was a few days after grandpa died. You were sitting by yourself in the garden and you were sobbing. It was strange to me because during that time you were so rational and composed even though the love of your life had passed. I realized now that it was because you were being strong for us. In your time of great pain, your unselfish strength served as a monument for the rest of the family. I realize that life has patterns grandma. I recognize that it’s my turn to be strong for you and for the rest of the family.” He kissed her hand as the monitor continued, beep…beep…beep.
His alarm had been yelling at him since 5:30am and still he refused to awaken. Even when he sleeps with the purpose of waking up early, he ends up rushing to work with a half a cup of coffee spilling as he rushes down the steps of his apartment building. The fresh Peonies that sit out on the dining room table are pink, white and purple. They shine in the morning light that comes through the vertical blinds. He stood there winding up his designer tie. The stress of his morning is exacerbated by the time crunch. But the succulence of the flowers doesn’t go unnoticed. He paused to admire their color and smell them. The scent of them still occupying his nostrils as he bolts out of the door.
There was a moment in the day, amidst the whirlwind of printer paper and suits. A moment where he sat staring straight ahead, as if he was looking off into the distance even though there was no expanse in front of him. He referred back to the morning when he was admiring the flowers. His heart settled and his mind slowed its pace to a saunter.
The flowers were the first thing he looked for as he arrived home from work.
I wrote this a while ago. It used to be a lot longer. At first I had written this whole thing about how i am scared of commitment. About how I am constantly running away from women, and responsibilities. I figured out I am afraid of stagnation. But when I was typing it out it just sounded like I was bitching and you don’t need to hear all of that. So I trimmed all the fat and left a little bit. More existentialism for you. I promise I will write a story or some shit soon.
I felt the moon pulling me in, just like the moon pulls the tide. It awakened my soul just like it awakens inclement weather. The moons energy pulled me in simultaneously as I drove south towards it, towards Los Angeles. The light of it reflected off the crinkled up ocean and gleamed up at me in ribbons. It all created an a imaginary phone call to me, asking me to write something for heavens sake. So I used the opportunity to exercise my creativity or recollection if you will. Considering I had all of these words in my head already, I just had to find them.
Why do humans run when there is no danger? Science must be set aside when talking about love and fear and life. Philosophical questions deserve philosophical answers. In Philosophy there are no wrong answers and I seem to always have no answers. Only questions. Something that helps and hurts my perception simultaneously is our perpetual insignificance. We are but a grain of sand on universe beach. Smaller than that actually. Yet when I look inside myself I find things that I never knew were there. My mind seems to have an endless supply of creativity and imagination. The problem is translating that to words or paper. The universe and your soul are congruent facilities. There are answers inside everybody. I haven’t found any answers yet.
The following excerpt is from an Ernest Hemingway novel For Whom The Bell Tolls. In this paragraph the main character Robert Jordan has just made love with Maria. A woman he met in a guerrilla camp which is helping him to blow a bridge.
“If this was how it was then this was how it was. But there was no law that made him say he liked it. I did not know that I could ever feel what I have felt, he thought. Nor that this could happen to me. I would like to have it for my whole life. You will, the other part of him said. You will. You have it now and that is all your whole life is; now. There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that? There is only now, and if now is only two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be in proportion. This is how you live a life in two days. And if you stop complaining and asking for what you never will get, you will have a good life. A good life is not measured by any biblical span.”
It is apparent to me that Hemingway is talking about love not just love. But the first love. The kind that makes you want to live another day because you never want to lose the feeling. The kind of love that makes your heart ache as much as it makes it flutter. Interestingly enough Hemingway is known for his themes of war and death. Something obviously has to offset the morbidity of his writing and he has found it in soft tones of love. His characters seem to fall in love fast and hard. This one in particular, Robert Jordan, comes into a camp of rebels with the hopes of blowing a strategic bridge held by fascists in order for an offensive to be made by the Republic. The reason the bridge must be blown is that so no backup reinforcements can make there way to the battle. Robert Jordan comes into the story with a tacticians mindset, cold and expecting some form of death. As soon as his love Maria comes into the story his subjectivity changes. He now laments death and wishes to have his love for his whole life. In his head he fights with himself about having his love for the future and living with his love in the moment. “There is nothing else than now.” he thinks. He knows death could be imminent. So why squander a beautiful love, a beautiful moment. Something that can’t be defined by physical description, something that can’t be bought or sold. Love is something that comes from the deepest part of human consciousness and is just as hard to explain. I enjoy how he transcends from “I want to have it for my whole life” to realizing that if he only lives for two days, then that is your whole life. There is no way to predict the end. So live your life in the moments that are guaranteed. The only moment that is assured is now. So if you love, then love. Don’t think about it in the future. Cherish it for what it is now.