You Know The Feeling

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You know the feeling
You don’t remember what you’re thinking about
You sense something is missing
& you’re racked with constant doubt
That woman is in your dreams
You try, but you’ll never forget her fertile mind
The way she made you feel worthy
The last visions of her fading behind

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Abandoned Nylons

 

I felt a growing need to get out into the woods, to leave behind the city and society. We do not need all this nonsense. We, as a people, need to find our roots and return to where God intended us to be. It feels natural to be away from a manmade existence. We don’t need every path paved. It is well within the realm of acceptance to veer off the beaten path and explore this world that lies beyond the limits of comfort. You don’t need wi-fi hotspots at all points of your day. Drop your phone and car keys off. You are past due for a date with your old hiking boots.

I had to get out. This was the moment.

“Miss Beverly? Ma’am?“ My secretary called after me as I walked out of my office. I just kept walking. I wasn’t going back. I couldn’t.

This formal attire was smothering me. I had to get out to the fresh air and trees. I had to get away from this city. I reached up and clutched at my throat, pulling my scarf down and out of my way. My heart started beating faster when I heard my car chirp as it unlocked. I like to be self-sufficient. They were forcing my hand. I had to do it.

I was doing something I shouldn’t be. I whipped the scarf from around my neck and let it get caught up in the air as I threw it out the window. The buttons popped off when I ripped the shirt open, shooting in every direction. I had to get air. I had to get a chance to breathe purity once again. My life was polluted with pre-packaged meals and stop and go traffic. I am not of the mindset that we were ever meant to be stacked upon each other the way we are these days.

I needed my own space. I needed room to stretch out my arms and feel cleanliness of nature. I sped away as fast as I could. It felt good to be racing out of the city.

The buildings and exit signs were a blur behind me. I needed to find a place where I wasn’t closed in. I wanted to be away from a desk, responsibility and inauthentic expectations. All that was living a lie to me. I didn’t want to be that person any longer. I knew no other way out.

I made it out of the city. I drove fast without hesitation. I-95 is a long road with a lot of possibilities. It made me smile thinking of all of them.

I pulled over to a small gas station where the 95 hit 17. While I was putting gas in the tank, I took the top off the jeep. It wasn’t doing me any good. I wanted the wind in my hair.

I went inside the minimart to grab some supplies. I loaded up the basket with a couple bottle of wine, some cheese and a cheap pair of flip flops.

There was a teenage boy working the counter. His name tag said his name was Bobby. I asked Bobby if he knew a good place to get away take a few days off. Without taking his eyes off me, he pulled down a business card and handed it to me.

Bobby said his aunt rented the house out. It was right on the beach of Jekyll Island. I merely had to continue down 17 to the 520 and straight to the beach. That sounded simple enough to me.

I thanked him; flashed him a smile and a wink. He blushed. As I was walking out to the Jeep, I caught a glimpse of myself in the window. My shirt was still wide open, revealing my bra. I stopped short, trying to decide if I should be embarrassed. I smiled and continued on my way.

I tucked the bags behind my seat. I pulled off my heels, throwing them back there, too. Then I shimmied out of my nylons. I threw them on the passenger seat.

As I pulled out of that gas station, the wind took the nylons away. I watched them fly into the air. I pressed the accelerator.

 

Sudden Change

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Charlotte Underwood, fresh out of the shower, sat down in front of her vanity. The bedroom was dimly lit, but she could see well enough. After a long look into the oval mirror, she applied lotion to her body. The movements were slow and methodical. There was no hurry to her actions.

Her eyes kept returning to the reflection in the mirror. An unrest growing within her. Contemplation, if not outright judgement, burned behind her eyes.

With her skin properly moisturized, she picked up her favorite brush and began to attend her hair. With long and thorough strokes, Charlotte brushed her hair until it was silky and smooth. Her nightly ritual was to pamper her hair, making sure there were no knots or tangles.

Charlotte kept eye contact with her reflection. She thought back to youthful conversations with boyfriends. She was always persuaded to keep it long, even when she had a strong desire to cut it shorter. Never wanting to displease anyone, she kept it long and brushed it out each night.

None of those boys stuck around for long enough to make any serious impact on her life, but they took up her youth. The fresh years when she might have experimented, stretching her boundaries and comfort zone. She would never know those possibilities now. Those boys had made the length her hair seem to be special, as if by cutting it, she would lessen her own value. 

Still brushing her hair, Charlotte grew resentful of those who came before, the ones who she hadn’t been assertive enough to say no to. She wished she could grab their memory and yell “No!” to them. “No, you will not interfere with my desires!” She was not some Rapunzel to keep pristine.

Charlotte set the brush down and took a deep breath. She opened a drawer and took out a pair of scissors. She closed her eyes and cut the precious locks to chin length, letting the disembodied strands fall to the floor.

She was shocked to see what she had done. She had actually done it; finally. There was no turning back now. The task needed to be completed and so she did. Wide eyed, she sat frozen in her chair. 

There was something else missing. An idea formed in her head. She has seen several women on Instagram with short hair she was always jealous of. Charlotte rummaged under the sink and found clippers. She shaved the sides of her head and put the remaining hair back in a stubby ponytail. Examining it from all sides, Charlotte decided she really liked it. She was excited and giddy. Her hair had a punk vibe she had never been able to feel when she was younger.

Charlotte stood, letting her towel fall to the floor. She picked out panties and two sports bras. She slowly and deliberately got dressed. She found running shorts and a tank top. She double knotted her sneakers and adjusted herself in the mirror. Running her fingers through her fresh coif, Charlotte smiled to her reflection.

“I’m going for a run.” Charlotte turned around and walked confidently out the door.

On her bed, a very naked man lay bound and gagged. His eyes explained that he was in no position to make any decisions.

Let’s Scale Back The Sass

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Let’s scale back the sass
You’re not hot enough to be this mean
Have you tried respect & a smile
Might result in something you’ve never seen
There’s no need to be this crass
People are much better when being kind
I’m not here to judge or criticize
There’re alternative paths, if you don’t mind
Fine, I’ll admit you have a great ass
But, you can’t always be this bitter & cruel
I’m going to need at least a smirk
Or I’ll be forced to challenge you to a duel

Nell’s Night

Nell Flynn walked down the dimly lit sidewalk. She looked over her shoulders from time to time. She wasn’t completely comfortable out here after dark, but she didn’t want to give in to the environment.

She thought of herself as a strong, independent woman. She didn’t want to have her life dictated by a patriarchal society. She also wasn’t dumb. Criminals don’t wait to listen to theories before hurting people. Nell was torn between what she believed and the reality of the situation.

It was a sketchy section of the city. Downtown Jacksonville was architecturally mixed with older, red brick buildings and sleek, modern office structures. There was a push to get rid of anything old. An element of the population wanted to tear down the grime and use the land to build up the shiny, new glass-faced buildings. The new buildings tended to bring in more revenue.

If Nell was honest, she didn’t really care either way. She didn’t live down here. She had no skin in the game. She just knew that the fancier areas usually had a larger security presence. Being a woman in today’s world was already dangerous. She didn’t need to risk her life to make someone else’s point.

The coffeeshop was sandwiched between two overpriced gastropubs. She was always amazed by what people will spend their money on. Nell preferred to route her cash flow into other, more permanent passions.

~

Nell removed her glasses and compulsively cleaned them on the hem of her sweater. She didn’t need to locate the people she was meeting. She could hear them before she could see them. They were already loud and obnoxious. The waitress looked annoyed. Nell avoided eye contact and tucked her short, blonde hair behind her ear as she walked past. She threw her book bag into the large, corner booth. She slid into the back and listened to the other writers rant and carry on. Nell wasn’t confident enough to join in, at the same time she wasn’t sure she wanted to. These conversations were going nowhere.

~

“No, I don’t read my own writing, especially not in front of people. What the hell would that prove?”

“It’s all about exposure, man. You have to get your name out there, once people know your name, then they’ll appreciate your words all the more.”

“That makes no sense.”

“I don’t make the rules. I just know how to play the game.”

“I’m sure if I sold my soul, I could gain some notoriety on the internet. But, that’s not what I want. I write to try and figure out something within me. I share it to try and connect with other people who are as confused and searching like me.”

“I’m not telling you how to live your life, man, it’s just a suggestion. You can write. You just don’t seem to know how to market yourself.”

“I’m a Capitalist, yet I refuse to include myself with what I’m willing to sell.”

“Your life. Your decisions, man.”

~

A neon sign buzzed and flickered above her. Nell stared at it and couldn’t look away. Thoughts poured into her brain. She contemplated life and what she was doing with it. She grew frustrated. Looking up at these guys, speaking in theories and other bullshit, Nell felt something let loose within her. She grabbed her book bag and slid out of the booth. The conversation never faltered, even with her sudden movements. She stood at the end of the table, listening.

~

“If I were a woman, I’d guarantee I’d have a million followers, you know what I mean, man?”

“Probably a million stalkers sending you dick pics, too. I’m not sure the tradeoff is worth it.”

~

Nell’s head hurt. These guys had been going back and forth for a few hours now. She wanted to surround herself with intelligent people to help further her own writing. These guys just yelled and tried to outwit each other. Her eyes had rolled so many times they hurt. This might have been what she asked for, but it didn’t turn out to be what she wanted.

Without saying goodbye or anything at all, Nell walked out. It was a mild spring night of Northern Florida. The bell jingled. The air smelled like fresh roasted coffee beans from the Maxwell House plant a few streets over. The restaurants were still overflowing onto the sidewalk.

She walked and kept going. She walked until she ran out of buildings down where the river curved up to meet the sidewalk. There was a park bench where Nell sat for awhile, looking out into the darkness of the St. John’s River. It was a little bit before she decided she probably shouldn’t be out there alone. Nell pulled out her phone and ordered an Über. No good reason to tempt fate.

 

 

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Something Fine

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She wasn’t fazed by them looking at her. She had become used to it after the years. At first, it made her uncomfortable, but now she didn’t mind. It would be unfair to say she enjoyed the leers, but she still remembered the times when no one wanted to stare at her. She was tall and awkward, slightly geeky despite being close to thirty.

~

I didn’t listen to the buzz surrounding me. I didn’t care about any of it. I could see her and enjoyed what I saw. The whispered comments from the corners of the room and the crass locker room talk could not destroy what I thought was special. She was a fine woman, nothing but her own-self could tarnish that.

Society has an infectious need to tear down anything positive. It locks in on it and crushes it out of envy, misunderstanding and pure, unadulterated spite. Individual persons can be trusted. People are evil. You can never be sure that groups of three or more won’t try to rip you apart.

~

“Excuse me.” She smiled her demure, yet encouraging smile. I held my coffee high over her head. I didn’t want to spill as she passed by me. It was a tight squeeze, though it wasn’t mandatory she come as close as she did. Her hands on my hips as she shuffled by was definitely an extra bit she threw in.

It lasted for mere seconds, but I never let that memory leave me. A twinkle came to my eye whenever I thought of her. An innocent moment filled with the possibility of so much more. You have to be grateful for these moments. They remind you that you are alive.

Passion Failing All Around Me

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Passion failing all around me
We’re all exposed on the battleground
Hearts breaking wide open
Sketchy footing, leaving the night unsound
Cautiously looking out into the world
I’m safely behind doors & my windowpane
A vicious society who always destroys
Forcing love to wither & die in vain
Cherishing the woman I’ll forever desire
Who wears my great-grandmother’s ring
Upon us to ensure it doesn’t happen here
With her in my arms, I’ll always I’ll cling

Midnight Arrives In The Candlelight

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Midnight arrives in the candlelight
My imagination takes over as before
Secretive scribbles in an unlit corner
Wine & a woman coaxing me for more
Uncertain of what we should divulge
An intrigue for sure, this darling flower
I’m intimidated, yet oddly disarmed
Casually containing remarkable brain power
A smart woman in a beautiful exterior
Society isn’t prepared for this conglomeration
But I know a woman is at her most alluring
When engaged in interesting conversation

Twisting A Thoughtless Sin

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Twisting a thoughtless sin
Fantasies of a transitive meld
The secrets of within
The pleasures she coyly withheld
Standing firm in the shadows
Knowing a subdued dream
The power behind my actions
The vision of a woman supreme