Shifting

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The more he thought, the tighter he gripped the wheel. His anger was getting the better of him. He knew he was right to leave. There was no way to win in that situation. He was seething with fury. This was no way to live. There had to be a way to not get this upset. He had to learn to control himself.

“Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen blared from speakers as he shifted his anger. His knuckles were turning white. The driving made him feel better. There was fresh air and endless opportunities ahead of him. The music surged through him, sending the speedometer needle around the dial.

He was over-accelerating by the time he reached the top of the bridge. The tires got squirrelly, but he held tight. Traction was regained through his tight grip. It was a smooth, downward curve out and away. His speed was getting out of his control. He made a conscious decision to slow down. There was no reason to end up dead before anything was resolved. He downshifted to third. The car shuddered as it slowed.

There was a red light at the bottom of the bridge. He was glad he had decided to slow down before then. He sat at the light, waiting for it to turn green. He could feel his heartbeat starting to slow down. The deep breaths were visible in the cold night’s air. He zipped his sweater up to the neck, sticking his face under the turned up collar.

We all have choices, he thought. I don’t want to live my life angry. The light finally turned green, but he didn’t move. The car just sat there with his hand on the knob. There were no other cars out on the street at this hour. The lamps were spaced too far apart and did little to light the boulevard.

He slammed his foot downward on the pedal, jerking the wheel violently to the left. He made the U-turn and kept his foot on the floor, shifting up through the gears to fifth. He was going back. There was no point in running. That wasn’t going to solve anything. He hoped she would still be there. He hoped she would listen.

It didn’t take him long to get back up and over the series of bridges crossing the rivers. His speed was once again out of control, though anger was no longer motivating him. The need to return and talk things out were at the forefront of his mind.

He pulled the car into the circular, gravel drive in front of her place. He rushed out and ran through the front door, glad she had still left it unlocked. He found her sitting on the floor, right in front of the fire he had build for their quiet night.

“I’m sorry.”

“I am, too.” Her tears were fresh. She didn’t look up at him.

“I’m sorry I got so mad.”

“You left me.”

“Yes, I didn’t want to argue any longer.”

“You left.” She repeated. His heart sank.

“Yes.” He wondered what was the wisest choice for his next words. He decided there were no right words. He just sat down beside her and reached out to hold her. She recoiled at first. He allowed a hand to just linger on her shoulder. “I’m sorry.” He paused before leaning in to wrap her fully.

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Silent Elephants

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Our days flowed into each other. Typing away our best in the daily routine. I couldn’t help but have a sly smile on my face. I don’t know what you wanted from me. I merely tried my best. You were never outwardly hostile to me, but it felt that way. It made me feel like I was the bad guy in every argument. I just wanted to live in peace. I just wanted to find a balance in this world with you as my central pivot. Why is that such a hindrance to you?

I felt the rush of your presence. I hadn’t noticed you come upon me. I had been focused on typing up my report. You just hovered behind me, watching me silently type. The only sounds were the click clacking of the keys and the soft hum of the space heater beneath my desk. At some point I became aware of you, but I made no effort to cease my typing. I needed to complete this project and get out of the work spaces. I had spent too many tireless hours here and it was time to recharge my constitution.

“How much longer?”

“This is my last page.”

“Do you want to meet downstairs when you’re finished?”

“Sure.” I was exhausted. “But only one.”

“You okay?”

“Yeah, this project is just stressing me out.”

“We don’t have to.”

“It’s okay.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’ll be done in a few. I will meet you down there.”

There was something clearly wrong with us, but I could never figure it out. The tension was killing me. There was the silent elephant crowding us out of the room. Perhaps one day it would force us to actually talk about the issues at hand. I guess until then we would continue this pantomime of a life.

Peeling Away Your Silly Girl Clothes

  

Peeling away your silly girl clothes

Not knowing a change is going to come

Overreacting to your latest slight

How many more nights till you’re numb

Fold away your college sweater, dear

Release your one-dimensional dream

The Californian sun has set

Strings coming apart at the seams

Rotten hotel room carpet remind of him

Walk away to brighter possibilities now

Know you deserve much more

Fade into your mind to discover how

Most Guys

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Most guys

Will tell as many lies

As it takes to get between your thighs

But that’s not my goal

I’m just trying to find something to fill this hole

That has been left in my soul

*this is one of the first poems I can remember writing. I believe it goes back to ’94 or ’95.

Please Lady, Don’t Fall For Me

Please lady, don’t fall for me

I’m really not that great of a guy

Pleading, upon a skinned knee

I can see genuine desire in your eyes

But I don’t know how much is true

I cannot give you any more

I’m not man enough for you

Besides, these loins are spoken for