I remember the time he bought a new watch because he was convinced that his was faulty. I let it go for a few weeks before I turned the knob. He blamed mass production. Some imbecile on an assembly line was responsible. I felt elated, but had no one with whom to share my joy. My triumph was lonely, and I longed for a conspirator.
My pranks were harmless for several years. Unstitching the toe of a sock, hiding a small deceased rodent in his bedroom, emptying a fountain pen; these were a few of my victories. But, as with all vengeance, escalation soon becomes a tool of necessity. I was no longer satisfied with simple mischief, and I felt a desire for more than inconvenience for his punishment. His deception deserved suffering. I began to form a plan that was to cause more than a disruption of his daily routine. I had to mature in order to levy discipline to an adult. It was time for me to become a gardener and plant seeds. I was sixteen years old.
I noticed her the first week of my sophomore year. She was sitting in the café just down the street from the Hadley Academy for Boys. I had attended the school for all of my academic years; it was more of a home to me than where I took my evening meals and laid my head every night. We had stopped in for a coffee and a cigarette when I saw her profile. She was talking with another girl across the small table, and her beauty was undeniable. She was wearing make up and her lip color was applied in a fashion just like Clara Bow. The other boys noticed too, but I am sure their designs were far more covetous than mine. It was her mouth that drew my attention, more specifically the color that adorned her lips. It was that color that caused me to fail arithmetic. And, while this girl was a vision in lace, my attraction was for something I wanted from her clutch. As I watched her she removed a tube of lip color from her bag. It had recently become the fashion to apply makeup at the table, or I might have never gotten the idea. She had one of those tubes you only had to twist from the bottom to produce the stick of color. And, as I watched she put it on. She caught me staring as she was finishing, a delightful pucker upon her lips. I did not smile, I only looked away as though I did not approve. But, I made sure we would meet again.
Six weeks had passed since that day at the café. I had been waiting because I knew that maturity demanded patience. I decided it was time when I saw her at the croquet field behind the Club Chester. She was holding her mallet in such a way that it was apparent she was not a serious player. It was not chance that I happened to be near the fence adjoining the field. I had been discreetly following her for forty two days; becoming familiar with her habits and routines. She was not aloof, yet she was unaware of my presence in her life. That can only be attributed to my obsessive nature and what was at stake. I made my way around the fence just as a stray ball came rifling off her mallet, struck a wicket and careened toward me. I could only attribute my good fortune to fate as the ball struck my ankle and sent me to the ground with a groan and a grimace that were all too real.
I looked up as she stepped in front of the sun, her auburn hair shimmering under the halo of light. I squinted as I rubbed my ankle. She bent down, put her hands on her knees and said, “I really do hate this game, are you seriously injured?” I put on a brave face and began to stand, but could not put much weight on my injured joint. “I’ll live.” I said, “Perhaps a lighter touch might prove helpful in future contests. I know I would appreciate it.” She stifled a giggle as she reached for my hand to help me keep my balance. “I am sorry you’re hurt, but it does give me an excuse to cancel my part in this horrid exercise.” She said with a grin. “I mean, what kind of a person would injure an innocent bystander and not offer to assist them in recovery?” She helped me limp my way over to the tables outside the small tea room.
Once I was seated she made her way inside. I was frantically trying to plan my words as her wayward croquet ball had forced my plan into action prematurely. While I had a talent for improvisation, I felt that there was more at stake here; something that warranted my full attention and deserved my respect. It was hard to put into words what I was trying to accomplish and I definitely could not reveal to her my plot. She didn’t say anything as she returned. She just knelt at my feet and placed an ice bag on my lower leg. I was humbled as I sat there. She removed her scarf and wrapped it around the ice to hold the bag in place. I could smell lilac as she rose. It was coming from her hair.
She sat across from me as a tray of tea was brought out and placed in front of her. “I am Clarissa.” She said as she prepared two cups. Her hands moved across the tray with a familiarity that spoke of countless afternoons under the tutelage of a tea specialist. The sun glinted off her hair as she tilted her head and asked, “Do you take sugar and milk?” I scooted my chair closer to the table and replied, “I’ll trust your judgment.” She gave me a questioning look with half closed eye lids and shrugged. I watched as she poured the tea into the cups, dropped two cubes of sugar in mine and one in hers. She then tipped a small amount of milk in her cup, put down the milk and handed me my cup sans milk. I had no choice but to drink the tea. I always took my cup with a large amount of milk, but I had no choice but to drink the slightly sweet yet bitter liquid. I stifled a wince as I took my first sip. I let loose a small sigh as I relaxed in my chair.
We walk into the tent at night,
It is very dark,
Until they turn on the light
I see a funny, silly clown,
juggling balls up,
juggling balls down
The trapeze swingers seem to fly,
Above the crowd,
First low then high
The balancing elephant on a ball
The dancing dog,
One’s big, one’s small.
The acrobats perform so proud,
Shhhhh, people so quiet,
Then clapping so loud
Sticky fingers cotton candy pull,
The tummy was empty,
But now it’s full.
Show almost over, animals go past
And ponies so fast
Car horns in the parking lot, they say BEEP!
At the circus I was awake,
But now I’m asleep!
Sailing to infinity
I feel the beat of my heart in my silence.
The flow of blood through my veins is brought to awareness.
An internal urging guides me toward an unknown end.
Cool wind caresses my moist skin.
My hair is tossled by the old gnarled fingers,
But gently, with affection.
The warmth surrounds me in acceptance
And bids me to move forward.
I struggle to step and find joints locked.
I fight and want to satisfy the internal urgings,
Yet I am still trapped unable to proceed.
Only as I accept my weakness do my limbs move.
Slowly, as a vessel on the water, gathering speed.
The breeze has filled my sails.
The luminous clouds fill the sky,
Lighting the way to the horizon where waits my end.
Next meeting is Sunday, December 7th at 130. Location I believe will be the Hock's Nest, but we can always reschedule that. Also since it's the holidays (or will be once the 7th rolls around), what do people think about instead of having Michael do the cooking we bring cookies or something sweet for snacks? Just an idea, lemme know.
I thought yesterday's meeting went really really well! I am looking forward to the next one!
Loneliness makes you small
unrecognizable in a crowd.
Sunlight reveals a dust motes fall.
Only the strong can face it all
pretending to be proud.
Loneliness makes you small,
The beauty is not of recall
simplicity is avowed.
Sunlight reveals a dust motes fall
the quietness of your withdrawal
makes the emptiness seem loud
Loneliness makes you small
The joy you had has smashed into the wall
Your head is surrounded by cloud
Sunlight reveals a dust motes fall
The warmth cast by the pane warms all
the way through your shroud
Loneliness makes you small
Sunlight reveals a dust motes fall
fulfilling, gratifying, awe-inspiring
complete the heart, nourish the soul,
“Quell the surge!”, the captain screamed, but the water came fast, like the knowledge of mortality revealed. In the last moments of my life above the briny deep, I could only think of the most inane details; the unwashed cup, the unmailed letter, the unspoken word. And, then came the cold, then the pressure, then the force of something that has yet to be described. A vision, a vision of sensations so uncommon they are as foreign as the tongues of strangers from far away places. It will be these visions, these vestiges of the unfamiliar that will end my tale. But, to places more known first we must travel.
My first memory was of a small boat in the bathtub. It was red and had blue and white stripes down the sides. It was a bit top heavy, but only because the sails were made of wood like the rest of the vessel. I had to continuously hold the rudder to keep it from listing one way or the other. I had no idea that that little sailboat was a preview of my end. Try as I might, I would never be able to keep my boat, or my life for that matter, from listing dangerously to port.
Water was a problem for me; any large body of water that is. I was fine crossing ankle deep streams, and I found comfort in the occasional bubbling brook, but if there was water as far as the eye can see, or my eyes couldn’t reach the bottom, it was then that I was not fine. It was not until years after the event that I would realize it was not an accident. He knew I could not balance the unstable barrel, and yet he pushed me into the deep water. I was able to balance at first. I held on to that barrel top so tight I thought my fingers would never come loose, but like a cowboy riding an angry bull, it soon became too hard to control the beast. I held on for only a few seconds after the spin. I remembered looking up and seeing yellow bubbles floating away from me. Those were the last bits of life giving air leaving my lungs in a silent scream as I fell toward the darkness. It got colder, and then nothing.
I was on my side with barrels of water pouring out of my mouth. When I finally stopped heaving up the dirty liquid that had filled my lungs, he was being congratulated for his bravery. I looked up at him and had to squint because the sun was behind his head, but I caught the guilty glimpse before he looked away. My father had almost drowned me, so he could save me in front of his boss at the company picnic. For years he would tell the story of how lucky I was he had been close by. How fortunate I am to have such a quick thinking father to look out for me. I believed it too, until my sixteenth birthday when I saw him holding Frauline Hemmingslos behind the outhouse. All his flaws were suddenly made clear to me; his humanity so apparent. I had known, but was still clinging to the hero image I had held since that day at the lake so long ago. There should be a period of mourning when the image of your father dies, some ceremony to honor the man that existed in your mind. The only eulogy my father received was the bitter disdain that played through my thoughts. The betrayal so complete it left me indifferent to the man, a legacy of ambivalence for him to puzzle over.
I became my father’s unknown opponent. I took joy in making him angry. It became a most glorious game of emotional tag. I would revel in the staging of a scene that I knew would irritate him. I used all his habits against him in these contests, and he never even knew he was playing. I could set him up for a bad day by simply setting his pocket watch back five minutes. This would ensure that he missed the 8:05 train, thereby making him have to either catch the 8:20, or pay for a cabby. On the one hand he could not tolerate being late, and on the other hand he hated to open his wallet, which left him not a hand to stand on.
An inspiration from last night's jam session with Jake.
( Names, Ideas, and music all shamelessly stolen. I owe Jake big time for inspirationCollapse )
Welcome to the group everyone! Also welcome to Livejournal for those of you that are new to that too!. This is Chris, aka dirtntrees</lj> blogging at you on this fine election morning. I'm a bit dazed due to waking up at 6am to vote, but wanted to get the community up and running for everyone. Feel free to post, and fire off lots of questions about how LJ or communities work, since it's a learning process. I've been blogging for about 4 years now (scary) and you can check out my personal blog over at the linked site above.
Jake, aka brotherdiesel</lj> and I will be moderating the community, so chime in with questions and let's get writing! I will post something soon for people to look at.