Tuesday, April 17, 2012


She was so tired of loving him. The years, long and dry, had seen her shed countless tears over his unexplainable need to wait. Wait for the perfect time. Wait for him to achieve the goals that he had set forth some ungodly time ago. Her life revolved around his need for time to become perfect.

She knew that it never would. Time is never perfect. Never right for anyone. No two people had ever come together in the exact space and time that was without strife or forethought on their part. So, she knew, like the ocean knew where it would roll into the shore, that no matter how many years passed her by, she would always be loving him. And the timing would never be right.

And she was so tired. Restless. Ready to move on with her life. Ready to invite someone into her fold and care for them the way she longed to tend to him. But, there was no one waiting in the wings to swoop in and bring her the salvation that she craved. There was not a soul that could offer her the connection that he had placed in her reach unknowingly.

Patience. He had explained one night. Patience is the key. I still have work to do, he said. You have work to do. But, she knew she didn't have the labors of life that he had. She had her children. She had her home. Her life consisted of those two things. And she was quite happy with how trivial it had become. She had room in her world to accommodate him. He didn't.

He wanted her to wait. But, she'd grown weary of putting her heart on hold. Her soul cried out for her to let him go, her heart, precious and vital to living, begged for mercy in its frozen state. Let me go, it screamed. I was made to pump vigorously. Madly, I have love to give to others. You are suffocating me. Let me thrive and grow for someone one else. Anyone else.

But, there was no one. No one to grab her hand and tell her the waiting was over. She had no one to kiss. She was void of whispers and soft touches. Her hair was never touched. There was no one to inhale her scent and look into her eyes. She had no one to love.

Loving him was robbing her of years. Waiting was slowing killing her. Thump, by precious thump, her heart gave up its beat of life. Slowly, with the echos of empty promises playing in her mind, she would close her eyes and say she would give it just one more day. Just one more day to see if he would begin to love her.

Or just tell her to wait.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I kissed Death today.
It was delicious.
His lips were soft
Like petals on a flower.
His breath was sweet
As honey.
His embrace was
Constricting and invasive.

I touched Death today.
I nuzzled my lips to his cheek.
I felt the smooth contours of his dried bones.
My fingers danced across his skull
They twirled around his long fingers.
They scratched across his ribs and
Tickled his spine.

I laid down with Death today.
He played in my hair
Twisting the dark strands and turning them
An ash grey.
He traced the contours of my body
And I watched as my skin crumbled under his spell.
He parted my veins and
Turned my blood to pools of black magic.
He kissed my eyelids and blinded me to the light.

I spoke to Death today.
He sang a sweet melody
"Ashes to Ashes
Dust to Dust
Lay with Me
And Forget the Fuss".
His voice groaned
And I moaned with
Pleasure and despair.
Never wanting it to end
I begged for more, more, more.

I succumbed to Death today.
I went quietly.
He brought me into his black cloak
And took me down into the pits of his exquisite misery.
He wrapped my long hair around his wrist and turned
Me onto my side.
He grasped my throat with his hand
And whispered "Don't breathe".

I became one with Death today
As our bodies moved in time.
His breath
Hot on my neck,
Quick and fearless.
My eyes began to drip
The tears that I have longed for.
I took him in
And gave him all I had. 

Today was the sweetest day.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bump in the Night

I have always been afraid of the dark. Always. Creatures live there. They exist where the light dies. Small beings, with hate and death on their minds, play and dance within my grasp. Their fingers tickle my cheek, lovingly caressing my hair as I hurry past them to step into the light. Walking the few feet from the living room to my bedroom causes my pulse to race and the blood to pump furiously in my ears. My couch stands empty when the room is lit, but as soon as blackness fills the void, a mysterious monster takes its seat in the middle of the cushion. How do I know this? Because I can hear it breathing. The hairs on the back of my neck stand tall signaling to me that danger is awaiting as I stand, hand still on the lamp, frozen with fear, in the dark.

Do not laugh at my fear of the dark and the monsters that inhabit it. Do not sigh at me as you would a pestilent child who refuses to go to sleep. My apprehension, which grows with each ticking of the clock that signals the approach of nightfall, is all too real. It is grounded in truth and reality.

My first brush with the dark fear came when I was eight. Young and trusting, I climbed into bed that fateful night to sleep the sound slumber that I was used to. I felt the familiar weight of my eyelids as they began to close on my day. My breathing, heavy and rhythmic, pulled me down into the trenches of dreamland. My teddy bear, worn from years of love and closeness, was brought tightly to my chest. Time evaporated into the night. The moon rose in all its glory to signal that it was time to rest. My house settled in for the night, its baseboards ceased their creaking. My world, exhausted from the day's work, quiet within its own arms, embracing the solitude of silence, slept. The hands of the clock that kept time, quieted itself to a hushed ticking that only it could hear. We all heaved a heavy sigh of contentment as our consciousness changed course.

Now, I do not know the hour that the monster first visited. Nor do I know if it had always been there, quietly listening to the sounds as I comforted myself to sleep. And as my foot dangled precariously over the side of the bed, I can not say how long its claw reached out and scratched at it. What I do remember, even now, almost thirty years later with my mind cluttered with memories of years gone by, is the terror that seized my heart as I awoke to my skin being torn from my ankle.

Over the years, I have encountered other assorted monsters and creatures that take refuge in the night. There are the troll like beings, with their pudgy bodies and green eyes that follow you closely as you make your way to the bed. They live in the closet. They peer up from under neath the door to see if you are resting comfortably before they slowly turn the door knob and open the only barrier between a sleeping you and them. Their feet make the light thumping noise across your floor when they inch closer to the bed. That's probably what woke you up last night. That small, quiet sound. The sound of danger that is so faint, you shake your head and dismiss it before you curl back to sleep. Don't ever do that. I refused to accept that I heard it one night. That was a long night. That was the night that a smelly beast climbed onto my chest and robbed the air of the oxygen I needed.

As a child, I was more cognizant of the dangers that lurked underneath my bed. Void of the cynicism of adulthood, most children know to keep a watch out for things that go bump in the night. Their tiny ears know to signal to the brain that the noise they hear is not the house settling, but instead a slithering corpse that is crawling down the hallway towards them. A child's imagination will give them a close view of the black sludge that covers the naked body of the beast. It will tell the young one, that this being....this thing that drools and growls, all the while trying desperately to reach its goal of tearing the flesh off the inhabitant of the bedroom, is a slithering corpse of what once lived. A child's imagination is a powerful thing. It is the third eye to the soul and its job is to protect its young host against all that is evil. It will wake the child and show it the deadly eyes and outstretched hand. It will force him or her to scream for help. To scream until lights flood the room.

Yes, I have always been afraid of the dark. Even before I was eight, before I felt the thing underneath the bed, I was apprehensive of the creeks and groans of my home. Something within me spoke out and said that I was to remain vigilant. It ordered me to keep a watchful eye all hours of the night. However, it wasn't until that fateful event that I paid it any heed.

Last night, overcome with sleep deprivation, I closed my eyes and returned to the dream state that I knew as a child. Last night, after I made the mad dash from the lamp, through the blackened living room, past the monster nestled comfortably in the middle of my couch, I laid in the dark and closed my eyes. I now sleep in the middle of my bed. I am barricaded with pillows on all sides. A nightlight shines from my bathroom, illuminating the various corners between me and the closet door. But, last night, in the dark, during the sleeping hours, I felt a hot breath drift across my cheek. I stirred and settled back down into my desired slumber. A heart beat later, not only did I feel the hot moisture of death traveling from the side of my face towards my neck, but I could smell the stagnate odor of decay. Gasping, I sat up in bed.

But, you see, my screams fall on the walls of my empty home. They are absorbed by the carpet that covers the floors. There are no ears that belong to concerned parents that will come running to flood my small bedroom with light. So, I had no one to save me from the thing that hovered over me. The thing with the red eyes and the yellow teeth. The creature....the monster with the long black hair. It threw back its head and laughed a maniacal laugh.

I have always been afraid of the dark. Always. And I have reason to be.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Patrick and The Holy Grail

It had been two weeks since my friend had died. Two weeks since I had been sitting in my cubicle at work when I'd received the phone call.

"Hey Wes," he said on the other end of the phone. "Patrick died. He just....died."

That's basically what had happened. Patrick, mid conversation, just dropped. There was no dramatic pause to indicate anything was out of the ordinary. No ominous music played in the background. One minute he was saying he wasn't going to make the move from North Carolina to Maryland and the next he was, well....


I was shocked. The air that I breathed became shallow and stale. My heart continued to thump, only it increased. My brain searched for ways that the caller could be lying to me. A practical joke, maybe? The wrong Patrick, perhaps? This couldn't be my Patrick. The one who had bartered for a Child's Play Doll so he could send it to me in time for a birthday party. Not my Patrick, with his hazel eyes and his crooked smile, that would accept my random text messages and would reply with the most bizarre responses.

Hey Patty.... Ya ever wonder if maybe the reason I see shadows everywhere is because I'm really insane?

Nah Wes....It's like that saying about women with big feet. Ya'll just have big egos....

Not him. Not the guy I could sit and tell the story of the man who decided to shoot his wife to add spark back in his married to. Not my Patrick who understood with perfect clarity that my mind works on the oddest levels and that my attention span rivals that of a three year old.

No, that man in Maryland, the one that they were unsuccessfully able to administer CPR to was a different Patrick. My Patrick was traveling back to North Carolina. My Patrick, all 6 feet of him, had just asked me to marry him the night before.

"Come on Wes," he laughed. "No one understands you like I do."

But, it was my Patrick. My Patrick that I never told anyone about because I wanted to keep him to myself. I never wanted to share him with anyone. He was my special person. My person that had been there when the worst thing that could ever happen to a woman had, indeed, happened to me. He was my safety net. The one who listened when I was too tired to be angry about anything. The one who sat, nodding enthusiastically, when I discussed my story ideas. His reassurance was what I reached for when I felt too insecure to be in my own skin.

And now he's dead.

That was two weeks ago. Actually, it will be three weeks tomorrow. But, last week, it was two weeks ago. Last week it had been two weeks to the day when I contacted the Holy Grail about dinner. The Holy Grail had said yes, and I realized (a day later) that it might not be a wise decision to ask the last guy that broke your heart out when you are grieving over the death of a close friend.

But, if I were the type to make wise decisions, I would never have any subject material for this blog.

So, this past Thursday I met the Holy Grail for dinner. It was a nice restaurant in a nice part of town. The Grail didn't know what was going on in my life. My contact to him had been out of the blue. We had not spoken, except for the occasional random text, in months. So, after we had ordered, I was not the least bit surprised when he asked me what was going on.

And I was nothing but truthful in my explanation. "See, I'm using you. Just using you. My friend died recently. And it, well...it sucks. I need what he gave me. I need that one person that I don't have to be anything other than me with. I need someone who knows that I have all kinds of quirks and accepts and understands why I have them. I need that accepting person to allow me to lay my head on their shoulder. I need to be listened to. I need to ramble. My attention span is all over the place and I don't want to have to control it. I need the comfortable silences. I don't want to have to perform. I don't want to have to make someone laugh or be witty or carry on an analytical conversation. I just need a couple of hours where I am me. That's it."

The Holy Grail understood. Just as I knew he would. For all our ups and downs, he does understand me. He gets me. So, the rest of the night was spent in casual conversation. Light hearted topics. Music. Daily routines. Kid stuff. It wasn't until the dinner was over that Patrick was even brought up again.

"It's tough when someone so young dies," The Grail said. "It leaves us with a lot of anger and fear."

Yes," I replied. "But, that's not the part I am dealing with. I'm dealing with the isolation. I kept him to myself. He was my person that I hid from everyone else. I discussed my heart, imagination, and everything else in between with him. And I kept him to myself so much, he remained so hidden, that I have no one to grieve with me. I am isolated now. And that is what sucks the most."

Again, he nodded. He understood, just like I knew he would. And as I drove home from my much needed dinner, I couldn't help think about how ironic my night had been. How, in my grief over my friend, my soul mate, I had reached out to the one man that has broken my heart like no other. Funny. I could have had the same conversation with anyone. But, I know it would not have had the same comforting affect that the talk with The Holy Grail had. It just goes to show you how funny the heart can be.

Huh....who knew....