I Think You Have The Wrong Notion Of Me

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I think you have the wrong notion of me
I could be wrong, but it’s what I believe
I’m neither the saint nor the villain
In which your thoughts are trying to achieve
I’m not nearly as arrogant as I portray
That’s merely the manifestation of a fictional role
I know confidence is sexy & I’m trying my best
But I have doubts regarding the quality of the contents of my soul

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Something Noble

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Sally came to her Advanced Writers class that evening without much inspiration. The winter semester was headed toward finals. The stress kept building upon her. There had not much time to write lately. When she had wanted to write, she found the well was dry.

She was a junior at the University. A notebook could always be found in her bag. Sally had a habit of trying to write down any interesting thought she came across. She had been keeping faux-diaries since she was a little girl. Sally was shy about her writings before she met like minded people at school here. Now, she was cautiously open about what she was capable of writing.

Outside was bitter and cold. The snow hadn’t been cleared from the streets that afternoon. Everyone was walking carefully, if they went out at all. She wore her ancient clunky Docs an old boyfriend had bought her years before. They provided decent traction on the sidewalks.

She removed her coat and hung it on a hook at the top of the auditorium. She wore a light blue sweater and leggings with a scarf around her neck. Sally would be considered pretty once you took the time to look at her. She had a slightly nerdy appearance. She tried to look attractive without wasting too much time on superficial endeavors.

This class was her favorite of the week. She tolerated the rest of her schedule to be able to sit here and listen to Dr. Fitzgerald. As the class went on, she sat mesmerized. She had come to this school to learn from her favorite poet. This was her dream come true. She awkwardly smiled as he spoke.

“No matter what anyone tells you, you can’t teach poetry. You can only encourage someone to feel onto the page.”

She scribbled that quote into her notebook. As the class ended, Sally put her belongings in her bag. She noticed the professor was the only other person left. She took a deep breath and approached him.

“Can I buy you a drink or a coffee, Professor? I’d really like to talk about some of my writing.” Sally bounced nervously as she spoke.

“No, my dear, the Missus is eagerly waiting for my return.” And with that he limped off, down the corridor . He used an old shillelagh as a cane. She just smiled as she watched him. There was something noble about that man.

The Devil Is In The Details

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The devil is in the details; at least that’s what they always say to me.  We’re always fighting back, against the grain. Do they know what they’re doing to us? Pressure like this can kill you.  Yes, there’s the off the chance you’ll become a diamond, though the odds are never in your favor. But you have to keep fighting. No one is content when you surrender.  This life is never going to get any easier. They will never believe in you. This is our lot in life. This is what we have to look forward to for the rest of this life. We weren’t born kings or any sort of nobility. We are who we are.  Within that truth, we must find a way to emerge and triumph.

I spend my days walking the land searching for something which may not exist in the first place. I watch the people going about their lives around me. I see the joy in their faces. It reflects from the life they have found for themselves. Mothers pushing children on an afternoon walk.

Is it jealousy brooding within me? I yearn for a simple domestic life. I would like to quit this life on the road. I have lived the gypsy life for too many years. I find myself questioning my own desires. Will I tire of being in one spot too long? The answers to my search do not seem to be available. Life is something to be lived in order to even find those answers. This is just as frustrating as the search in the first place.

I leave those pretty people to their lives. It is out of respect for what they have found. It is a great thing for them. I will keep on searching for my own treasure.

I mean, do I want to complicate my life? Do I want to spend the majority of my life having someone else dependent on me and my abilities? That is a scary thought. Why would I do that to someone? I am not known to be the kindest person in the world, but damn. That borders on cruel and unusual punishment. I am who I am. I’m not proud of that, but it is a fact that I’m coming to terms with. All I’m saying is that it would be better if I stayed away from the rest of the human race. I’m better alone. People seem to be happier when they are away from me. I’m not happy that I’m a pariah. It isn’t simple aesthetics. A shave and a haircut will not alter this equation. A shower and fancy cologne will not make people want to gravitate in my direction. It is how it is and let us embrace it before someone gets their feelings hurt.

Exhale. You get yourself so worked up these days. Is it worth it? C’mon, get out of that bed. We have to get moving. There’s a world out there that hasn’t taken time to notice we haven’t joined in yet. We need to put society on a notice of our own. Take your time, let’s do things right. That’s it, two feet on the ground. Baby steps will lead us to where we need to be. We can do this. Slip your glasses on. Chug some of that water. Let’s get some more of that water.  Let’s go get some coffee into you; black. We don’t have time to waste on that fancy crap. We need to get ready to face the sun that’s been burning for several hours already. We’re going to make it, just you wait and see. They won’t know what hit them.

This will be a great day. Pick out your best outfit. The one that makes you feel the best, the most confident. Then we’re going to scrub away the past. You’ll come out of the shower fresh and new. Visualize being the greatest version of yourself. Make sure you see it first, so you’ll believe it. See what it is that will leave them speechless. This is our chance. This is our time. Let’s just add the finishing touches now.

Pull on those boots. Slip on those sunglasses, with one final glance through the vanity.  Will today be the day?

The Shillelagh

Reposting this for Meg & our shared love of Gaelic/Celtic culture…

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“C’mon man, let’s go.”

“Hold on, I need to finish this.” He sat with his face a few inches from the computer screen.

“What are you reading?”

“This blog I really enjoy.”

“A blog? Aren’t you the one always preaching about the dumbing down of society?”

“Yes, what’s your point?”

“It’s a blog! Anyone can write one of those. There’s no standard of review. Hell, there’s no editing.”

“That doesn’t mean anything.”

“C’mon, let’s go. You can read this later.”

“It’ll just be a minute. It’ll be faster if you shut up and let me read.”

“You don’t even know this person.”

“I do, too. She writes great stuff.”

“She? Hold on, now. She?”

“Yeah, so?”

“I know you. You’re probably in love with this fictional chick.”

“I really like her, yeah.”

“She’s not real! It’s the internet!”

“She’s real. When you write like this, you have to be real.”

“She’s probably a he. An old, bald pervert who gets off on tricking schmucks like you.”

“Why do you have to be so hateful?”

“Let’s go! We are going to be late!”

“I don’t care.”

“Clearly.”

“Just leave me alone. Let me finish this.”

“I’m getting upset.”

“I don’t give a shit.” He went back to his reading.

I picked up the Shillelagh he had leaning in the corner. I started trying to twirl it. “I should join the circus.”

“Put that down before you break something.”

“Why do you have this?”

“I like it.”

“Are you going to be like this all night?”

“Will you, for the love of God, shut the FUCK up?!”

“I’m going to break your computer.”

“I will kill you.”

“You’re a douche. No, you won’t.”

“Put it down, now.”

“Not until you put the computer away. Let’s go.”

“Seriously, stop spinning it.”

“This is me saying no.”

He got up and reached for the Shillelagh. I was mid-spin when his hand entered the arc. I lost control of it. It went end over end up into the air. I watched in horror as it went straight for the laptop. I tried to reach out and grab it. Everything felt like it was in slow motion. I could see his eyes expand as we both tried to nab it before it landed. We failed. The Shillelagh came down on the keyboard.

“Shit!” I grabbed my head as the little plastic keys went flying. “I’m so sorry.”

He didn’t even look at me. He just stared down at his computer.

“Just go.”

“Dude, we can get it fixed.”

“Just go.”

“It’ll be okay.”

“Let’s not do this tonight. Just go.”

I turned and left without saying another word. I felt bad for messing up his computer, but his calmness was unnerving. I wish he would have yelled and punched me. That would have at least made me feel better. I walked back to my car and thought about it. I was frustrated at myself for my actions, but I was also frustrated with his inaction. It was a bad night all around. We’d be okay after a while, but it might take some time. He loved that computer. It wasn’t the best or the newest, but he loved it.

Now I was faced with a moral dilemma. Should I still go to the bar?

An Evening Rant

 

“I don’t know how to write down what I’m thinking. I don’t know how to breathe properly. I feel suffocated and I’m anxious. I feel my lungs collapsing in on me. I just don’t know what to do about it. I cannot come up the proper words to express what I’m thinking or feeling. Does any of this make sense?”

He took a few beats to catch his breath.

“I feel like I’m losing my mind. I can’t sleep. There is an endless reel just repeating and repeating. It is driving me crazy,” he said softer at the end. He hopped down from his barstool and started pacing. He ran his fingers through his hair, leaving it disheveled.

She poured him another glass of Scotch.

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“It’s okay, Babe. Just come to bed. We’ll figure it out.” She placed it before him on a crystal coaster. She stepped from behind the bar, placing a kiss on his neck. She let her bright red lips linger on his flesh, inhaling his manly scent. He felt her fingers reach his throat and loosen his tie.

She proceeded to slowly walk towards their bedroom door. Before she disappeared, she let her dress slip off her shoulders and fall to the ground. She looked over her shoulder to see if he noticed her standing in only her heels and his favorite pearls.

*previously posted

New Year’s Noir

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He parked down the street, facing away from the house. He sat there all night, parked against the curb. He flicked the lid of the Zippo back and forth the entire time. He gave up smoking years ago, but he didn’t give up carrying the lighter. He never stopped playing with that lighter. In years past, the sound would have driven a partner crazy. He gave up on partners, too.

The night was a moonless disaster. He sat in that car, knowing that he couldn’t see anything. He kept his eyes focused and ready on the off chance he was right. He didn’t know anymore. The Captain seemed to have more faith in him than he had confidence in himself. He did as he was told. That bit of trust between the men kept them both alive far longer than either were expected to live.

It was getting close to midnight and he began to feel a bit restless. He checked his mirrors and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. The usual trouble makers were out setting off fireworks. There was nothing crazy, merely stuff on the line of bottle rockets and black cats. He knew he could have flashed his badge to scare them off, but he liked the idea of the distraction.

The house was dimly lit on the inside. There were no external lights. He carefully checked the side gate. It was unlocked. He smiled to himself. This might be easier than he thought. He made sure that his position was never given away in the light of the fireworks.

The lights were off and the shades drawn in the windows on the side of the house. He didn’t linger as he went around to the back of the house. The curtains were pulled back, allowing him to see into the living room and kitchen areas. There were no lights on, besides the glow of the TV. He paused, fading into the blackness of the night.

The only sounds continued to be the fireworks.

He walked up to the side of the sliding glass door, trying to keep most of his body out of view. The door was inexplicably unlocked. He was unsure of his good luck. He waited a few seconds after he cracked the door. He heard no alarms or beeps to be worried about.

There was only a few minutes now. Of course there was the possibility of a silent alarm. He knew he had to make things quick once he entered the house.

He didn’t see any movement inside. The slight audible sound of the TV was heard as soon as he stuck his head in. He wore an all black outfit. It was a cliche for a reason. His movements were slow and easy. He didn’t need any joints to pop or his shoes to squeak.

There was no evidence of anyone home. He made it to the hallway without hearing anything or seeing anything. His heart began to beat a little faster. He looked both ways and decided to go down the left hand side. That’s when he heard her for the first time.

“I thought you’d be coming for me.”

He froze. Blood left his face. Instinctively, he reached down to his sidearm.

“Don’t.”

“Okay.” He breathed deeply. “I’m not going to.” He raised his hands up to shoulder level with his fingers spread out wide.

“I’m guessing you thought all that noise would let you do this without attracting attention.” He didn’t betray any thoughts. His face remained trained on hers. “Well, I’m counting on the same thing.”

He never heard the shot and neither did the neighbors.

*Previously published. It’s becoming a tradition to post this every year.

Just Keep Pouring Me The Coffee

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Just keep pouring me the coffee. I’ll need it to keep warm. The air conditioning is over the top. I can’t handle it. The nights are long and they keep getting longer. I don’t feel the loneliness as much as I used to. But then again, I don’t feel much anymore. I’ve closed myself off from everyone and everything. You cannot save my soul, so please stop trying. I know I’m broken. I’ll probably never get over it. But that’s just the way life is going to be. People swarm around me, but I can’t feel anything towards them. I want to feel something again. I see those young ladies walking around in those short skirts. Yes, I’d like to do dirty things with them, but my tainted soul is no longer for sale.

Deck The Halls

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She made sure the house was cleaner than it had been all year. She scrubbed and cleaned deep into the home’s old wood. A little elbow grease made that place shine like it hadn’t in too long. Bleach and Pine-Sol made sure her effort didn’t go unnoticed. Her old sweat pants and stained t-shirt looked like Cinderella’s rags. She was a mess, inside and out.

She sat back and looked over the house, admiring the place which had been neglected. Work and caring for others had taken priority. She wandered into the kitchen and uncorked a bottle of Shiraz. It had been a rough week and she felt a little relaxation would be nice.

Soon afterward, she retired to her bedroom and scrubbed herself of the grime and sediment of the past. There needed to be nothing left to remind her of disappointment and heartache. She needed to feel fresh and clean for the coming New Year.

The winter season had always made her feel special as a child. The recent past dulled any happiness she might have found. She was determined to change all that. This year she was going to be happy and joyous. She was going to take back her life.

She emerged wearing her favorite holiday cocktail dress. It was a classic blue taffeta. She loved how it fit her. It flattered her figure without being ostentatious. This dress quietly announced her. The perfect heels and pearls completed the ensemble. She felt graceful and beautiful.

She wasn’t going to allow not having a place to wear it this year to keep her from the pleasure of feeling this good. This dress changed her whole outlook. There hadn’t been many moments where she felt good about herself. She made a mental note to change that.

The fire had been carefully built and lit, as well as all the candles in the house. A fresh pine garland was woven along the mantle. She made sure the oversized red bow was tied perfectly upon the front door. Each decoration raised her spirit a little more.

She sat down on a barstool at the end of the counter. The second glass went down smooth. Her spirits began to rise. Spinning the stem in her hand, she thought about her life.

Something stirred inside her, telling her that she had a good life. She was tougher than this and was tired of feeling this way. She wasn’t a victim and she was tired of being treated like one. She knew that she was an intelligent woman. She held a good job. There were men who found her attractive and behaved nervously around her. The thought made her giggle softly.

She poured herself another glass and walked over to her phone on the bookcase. With a few touches, she queued up a waltz. The magic of technology had music playing through speakers throughout the house. She smiled broadly and returned to her decorating. She began to dance around the room as she filled her home with the Christmas spirit.

Once completed, she turned off all the interior lights, allowing the fireplace, candles and Christmas tree to illuminate the room. The coffee table had been removed for the winter to fit the tree. This offered plenty of room for dancing and merriment.

Her soul was glowing. This pure joy had been missing for so long. She knew that she would be okay as long as she could remind herself of the simple joys in life. She could be happy as long as she kept dancing. While she drank her wine and celebrated life all evening, her heels could be heard click-clacking on that hardwood floor.

*Previously posted in another life. But I like this one & hope you do, too.

Winters Along The Chesapeake

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Winters along the Chesapeake
Listening to the elder’s snarling tales
Tough men looking for far gone battles
Filling their minds with wine & war sails
The triumphs of fictional characters
Can never be overstated to a fool
Blinded by a word’s sleight of hand
The mind left to unconsciously unspool
The darker corners are always inhabited
Produced marvels of unshrinking power
Weathervanes swirling from their time
Nursing pain amid their legendary glower
Survivors influencing the next generations
Of country boys wanting to go to sea
Dreaming of illusive glory & vindication
But they’ll only find heartache & misery

Sudden Storm

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Kerrington McKenzie was out front of her house talking with her neighbor, Mary. The neighbor was gushing over a humorous date from the night before. She always had the worst of luck with the men she found on those dating websites.

It was a humid day. The sky was overcast and everything looked grey. A solitary drop could be felt upon Kerrington’s shoulders. The leaves above still dripped from last night’s rain showers. She was wearing white linen pants, a white tank with a blush pink sheer top. She left her hair down and curly today. There’s no point with this summer humidity. It kept blowing in her face and around her neck from the increasing wind.

Kerrington was always amused with these train wreck stories Mary shared. She was sure Mary embellished them to make the guys worse than they actually were, but she was a riveting storyteller. Kerrington kind of wanted the stories to be true.

The heavens opened before Mary could get to the good part. The ladies didn’t wait to say their goodbyes. They instantly took off running in separate directions for shelter.

From the time it took her to run back to cover, Kerrington was drenched. She was still laughing when he stepped into the garage. She had stopped to shake off the rain. The sheer top clung to her curves. He could see the faint detail of a white lace bra and matching boy shorts.

Nathan stood there watching her with a smile on his face. A crack of thunder sent her running for his arms. He grabbed her and held her tight. Kerrington hadn’t noticed Nathan, but wasn’t startled when his arms encompassed her. He smelled of man sweat. He had been working on his car all morning. The warm, humid day had made him quite ripe.

“You’re a stinky boy.”

“I thought you liked it when I’ve been working with my hands?”

“I do, but you need a shower!”

“Maybe I should just pick you up and carry you with me?”

“But I’m already soaking wet!”

“Not nearly as I intend to make you.” Kerrington blushed as he spoke.

“Hush.” She raised up on her toes and kissed him.

“Shall we?” He picked Kerrington up. She let out a small squeak and gave him a devilish grin.