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I followed a man leaving the movie theater the other day.

He was blind, at least that is what I gathered from the previous few times I had seen him.  For many nights during work he passed by and I caught every glimpse I possibly could.  He wore dark thick glasses and always swung a long white stick in front of him when he walked.  When the store was slow I would stare out and watch the people walking by on the sidewalk.  Occasionally the blind man would be one of them.  The first time I saw him; I was following him unconsciously.  As I was walking to work on the red bricks of the plaza I lifted my head and saw him in front of me.  The swaying of the white stick caught my gaze. It briskly grazed the ground ahead of him searching for an obstacle.  He always wore the same outfit; a green blazer made of tweed, black dress slacks and black non-slip shoes that made a ‘click clack’ noise as he passed.  He wore a black fedora pulled down to his thick black glasses that shaded out any discernible features.

 

A blind man with repose isn’t something that comes across you so often.  The acute accentuation of the other senses due to blindness could either drive one mad or make one more in tune with other frequencies.  What it could be like to see things with your ears.  To feel the vibrations of the fountain as it sprays in the air and falls back into the pool from which it came.  The miasma of a crowded room like thick fog you could feel brushing past you.  The remaining senses becoming so visceral.  For some, imposing like the doorman at the gates of heaven.

 

I decided to catch a movie after work.  I enjoyed watching movies by myself.  Conveniently the theater is located right next to my workplace.  I sat in the frigid theater and noticed a white stick coming out of the entrance ramp.  The blind man followed in the green tweed jacket.  He swung his white stuck down the handicap aisle and took a seat almost directly in front of mine.  He folded up the white stick and inserted it into his left jacket pocket.  

 

I couldn’t concentrate on the film.  I could only stare at the screen and the shadow of a fedora and wide shoulders against it.  He was so still, he couldn’t have been breathing.  I don’t remember the film.  I remember moving pictures supplemented with sounds.  I closed my eyes for a few moments and listened.   I thought about how we heard the same things but must have been listening to them differently.  The cold air of the theater sent chills down my spine and created goosebumps on the nape of my neck.

 

I sat through the credits, waiting for him to rise up from his seat.  When he did, I let him unfold his white walking stick and begin to swing it.  When he turned the corner of the partition out of my line of sight, I rose with haste and hurried to catch up to him.  I caught sight of him again just as he was leaving the darkness of the theater.  

 

I followed him.  The thick carpet that lined the theater muffled the sound of his black shoes.  We walked together silently, until we reached the elevator to take us down to the first floor.  He must have been a regular at this cinema, how did he know where the elevator was?  He swung his stick against the aluminum threshold of the elevator which made a small twang consistent with plastic meeting metal.  He reached with his right hand down towards the panel to hit the small silver button.  He had to search with his hands for a few moments to find the right spot.  I stood behind watching him, the button surrounded by a red ring of light.  We waited for the elevator together.  The aluminum doors separated and he entered first holding his white stick in both hands.  By now he must have known I was with him.  The elevator doors closed and we stood there together, hung in the moment.  I heard my heart beating in the steel cage.  He certainly heard the same thing.  Still, I watched him.  I felt sorry for him but in a way I knew he was content; like the burden of being blind was his alone to carry, like it was something he had to do.  His hands gripped the white stick as if it were to disappear randomly.  The skin of his hands was taut around his bones.  His knuckles reflected the fluorescent lighting of the elevator and they looked like they had white spots.  He smelled like my chess teacher in 6th grade.  Like oak and cherry.  It was an older man’s smell.  I knew my chess teacher must be dead by now.  
When the doors clanked open, he stepped forward one black shoe at a time.  Perpetually swinging the white stick he walked towards the double doors of the exit, towards the darkness.  I walked a few steps behind him as he thrust himself out into the darkness and turned left down the boulevard.  I crept out after him and watched him walk away swinging the white stick.  I pictured him with a thick, rich voice like a river of melted gold.  He had the air of a man who was born with vision but adopted darkness like an unwanted son.


 

I wrote the first draft of this story before I read The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe.  I thought it was interesting how the plot lines were so similar.  Stalking or following someone without their knowledge, especially someone who is disabled, is one of the more sinister things you can do.  The way Poe writes, with such lucidity yet focus, is something that I tried to emulate in the final draft of this peace.  Obviously his talent far surpasses mine.  I found myself referencing him unconsciously when writing the rest of the story.

Don’t ask me why I always write about love.

Please, if you know me, don’t read this

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A romantic is someone who has an idealized perspective of love.  Someone that thinks love to be this tangible thing that appears when two people connect with each other.  Two people who compliment each other perfectly.  Everyone, or most of us, seem to be looking for that one person.  That person who makes up for what we lack.  The person who carries all the ideals and values that we want a mate to have.  Some of us are vain and look for an attractive mate.  Some of us look for intelligence.  Some of us are looking for anyone to fill that void in your chest.  Say that you find someone.  Someone that has the qualities that you’re looking for.  They’re almost perfect.  You two fall in love and the flowers bloom as you walk past them.  The sun shines on your face whenever you walk outside.  You’re floating on a cloud.  Then out of nowhere someone better comes along.  Someone who has all the qualities you like and then some.  Then you discover someone who has qualities that you didn’t even know you liked until they came along.  Imagine this happening to you over and over again.  You would be treating love like a pack of gum.  You would be handing out a piece to anyone that came along and smiled at you the right way.  What happens when you run out of gum?  You buy a new pack and chew on your sorrows.

If you believe in evolution or even if you kind of think it’s possible.  You must agree that humans have evolved to the point where we no longer need to look for a mate based on the primal need to propagate the species.  We can be pragmatic, almost selfish in choosing a partner now a days.  Complimentary to that fact is that we now have access to hundreds of thousands of people.  Compared to the old days when you only had 4-5 options.  Let’s see there’s the girl that you work with.  The cute girl that works at the grocery store.  Your cute neighbor who always seems to be looking at you and that’s it(I only said girl but it was the same for men and women alike).  Back then it was easier to find love and make it stay because there was slim pickings as far as partners.  I’m not going to go into why it is a different ball game today, because you know why.

So what am I getting at?

Besides this cliche conversation that I always have with girls on the first date.  What is there to be learned about the modern romance?   One easy takeaway is, as we evolve as humans so has our relationship with love evolved.  Don’t think of love and romance as something that has to occur between two people.  Love is something that should flow from the deepest part of you out into the world.  Even in solitude one should be able to feel love and passion in themselves.  Love shouldn’t be something that is given arbitrarily to someone else.  Love is an antiquated term that used to be something that two people attained when they were together.  I’m talking about new love.  New love is found in the mystery of a person you just met.  New love is in their flaws.  New love burns at the end of the cigarette they gave you.  New love is that feeling in your stomach when they don’t text back.  New love is the sound of the wind that blows over you as you walk alone in the night.  New love is in the ink that flows onto this paper.  New love is that poem in the book they let you borrow.  New love is in the oyster that you eat that reminds you of a different time.  New love is in the oil that fills the tiny crevices in your hand as you massage her back.  New love is at the bottom of the whiskey bottle.  New love is the moon staring back at you.  Love should no longer be perceived as this grandiose idea.  New love is in the little things that you don’t even think about.  Things that you can’t lose because they will always be yours.  They are in anything that you do with passion.  The little things that make life beautiful, either in solitude or with someone.  Ask yourself, are you in love?

Bad Bitches

I wrote this October of 2014 and when I read it just now I thought it was so fucking funny that I felt the need to post it again.  Please Read

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Bad Bitches Only

The chef in this place has a hat turned backwards which reads “bad bitches only” even though I agree with his hat it seems inappropriate for the current circumstance which is a hipster coffee shop. You know the ones I’m talking about. Overpriced lattes and slices of pie. Wooden chairs and a quaint demeanor probably playing Lana Del Rey “Summertime Sadness”. Filled to the brim with girls on there phones and guys sitting with laptops and headphones tucked under their beanies trying to figure out something cool to do on their computer. Please find humor in the fact that I just described myself perfectly but back to the hat. I would say only about 17% of the people in this place know exactly what a bad bitch is. The fact that anyone is present here in this coffee automatically disqualifies them from bad bitch standing. Which is entirely contradictory to his hat. I mean i’m pretty sure this fucking place is called pie. I haven’t seen one person buy a slice of pie. I think it would be better if this place was called wifi because thats the only reason anyone comes here. In regards to the “bad bitches only” hat, I think it would be funnier if it said “basic bitches only” because no one ever says that. I also feel like it would be more appropriate in this current situation. I am willing to associate my name with basic bitches for the sake of bringing you this story. I think you should appreciate the sacrifice. Next time you are in one if these coffee shops (if you ever are) look around and count how many bad bitches there are. I bet you the ratio of bad to basic bitches would astound you. I mean the guy woke up this morning heading to his job at Pie to make pies and made a decision to put on a hat that said “bad bitches only”. He has got to be overcompensating for something. Maybe he himself lacks the multitude of bad bitches that his hat seems to claim. Maybe he had a bad bitch but she moved on to greener pastures and now he is wearing the hat because he still hasn’t moved on. Maybe he is worried about his own basicness so he wears the hat to make people think he only associates with bad bitches. I feel you brother but you must accept your basicness if it is inside you. If you like to watch Dexter all night and drive a Vespa to work that’s who you are and you should be proud. I accept you. Take off the hat. At least now whenever I eat a piece of pie I will think about the man in the bad bitch hat and I will remember to always accept myself for who I am and not let anyone tell me who I am. I am a bad bitch

rain

He was compelled to be out in the rain.  The drought had been around for at least seven years, he had been longing for it.  It had rained intermittently through the years this time was different.  He felt a strong energy roll in with the rain.  A vibrant inspiration with the grey light coming through the windows.  The day began in his apartment.  He was roused by a peculiar sound.  The upstairs neighbors have been a guilty party to many sleepless nights.  But his annoyance quickly changed to relief as he heard the rain running through the gutter pipes, drumming on surfaces of the complex.  She was faced toward the window.  The blanket only went up to her knees.  The curve of her body adjusted the soft light as it crept through the blinds.   The cold air made tiny goosebumps on her skin as she maintained her peaceful posture.  He fell asleep next to her silhouette and the sound of the rain.  “It’s been so long” he thought to himself.

He was delighted to awaken to it again and he shared his morning cup of joe with a smile.  He took breakfast alone in a small cafe on the corner.  After breakfast he got ready in layers of clothing to hike alone amongst the elements.  He kept checking the rain to make sure it didn’t desert him.   Despite the rain being audible it seemed quiet.  In his heart it brought a calmness unsurpassed by any other nature he had experienced in the big city.  He knew that the rain had similar effects on everyone.  The longing for it, the ability to stay inside all day and feel good about it.  Even though its cold outside it made you warm inside.

There was not a soul on the trail except for those left there looking for fame and stardom.  He felt excitement at first, not knowing what nature had in store for him.  The low rumbling of thunder in the hills and the crack of tree branches breaking away from their stump.  Sounds added to his paranoia that at any moment there could be a mudslide in his path.  He welcomed it though with some mitigated risk.  He felt the risk was necessary to feel what he had been yearning for and he started to feel it right away.  Flashbacks to stormy weather and mossy granite.  His brother hopping from rock to rock in a flowing stream.  The sting of cold wet clothes on his skin all made him more comfortable in his surroundings.  The rain not only brought transparency to the air, but clarity to his thoughts.  Rain brought him home in his mind.   The small climb he made was enough to see a few buildings with the thick grey fog blocking out the rest of the city.  He sat on the wet bench for a moment as the city stood still.

His infatuation with the rain had led him to introspection.  He always wanted to be a man of nature but lacked the confidence to.  He knows who he is now and he knows where to turn if he’s ever feeling lonely and afraid.  He may have been the only person out there in the rain but he felt like he was part of something much bigger at the time.  As he turned his face toward the sky and let small droplets of rain land on him he rejoiced for all the farmers and workers who are benefiting from the long awaited rain.  At the very least it inspired him to write this story.