Over a period of the last few months, I have created a broken series of short stories, in the format of diary, or "internal" dialogue, entries. I've decided to make this easier to read and follow with this sub-wiki. Enjoy!
Return to Passing Moments
Entry 1: Office Meeting.
The dreams are uncontainable, unexplainable. It's only a lullaby attraction, a wispy whim of closed eyes. You're a married man, I'm a marred woman spoken for with a sparkly rock and the imitation of domestic bliss. We both have our picket fences that stand between us, and these are only dreams, only dreams...
Oh god sparks flew when your hand brushed my thigh this afternoon, and if ever I was to control a quiver, it would have been then.
This is fatal, and I'm your mark.
Entry 2: It's a Wrap.
Seeing those words made my breath catch in my throat, like a wave pausing at the shore.
"Come to the premier tomorrow?"
The undercurrent of that question shocked me in pleasure, pain, supreme aching desire. You are my match, by 20 years senior. With dull precise flashes of pain, I see your eyes as I close mine. The green, bright, light, resolute; like a piece of jade, centered in a temple. Yes, your mind is a temple, and I find my solitude within your thoughts.
"We'll both be happy to see you."
My mind wanders past the blinding light which is unwarranted hope, to the reality which is your wife. It was a courtesy, letting me know I will carry this pain, and have to do so with the austere mockery of indifference. what I feel for you is anything but indifference.
I will carry this pain, as she holds your arm and basks in the glory she did nothing to contribute. Countless nights of you visiting me. We'd get coffee at a dime shop, almost as if transported into the twenties again. She had yelled, screamed, begged that you not obsess over these moving pictures and soundless words and meaningful stories stuck in your mind. You'd seek your solace over a cup of coffee, as you dictated your thoughts to me, and I wrapped them in my strongest ink, healing the wounds of indifferent contempt for the very piece of you that gives you the pristine facets everyone wants.
We never touched. These moments couldn't be stolen by vulgar physical comfort. But not once did our eyes look away. the waitress would come to refill, and we'd both utter quietly yes please, signaling with a small tilt of the neck, but never looking away.
There was never any small talk. Once we had both briefly discussed the diet of coffee and sleepless nights that we religiously and fiercely prescribed our lives to. Both your wife and my husband-to-be hated the smell and taste of the acrid black liquid... How it clung to our mouths like black tar, our clothes adorned with the signature scent of our most intimate of places. That small token may have seemed insignificant to many--the very small talk we abhorred. But it wasn't. it was our acknowledgment of our supreme sin: letting the people who didn't match our vigorous passion take from us the bounty of our love--our work. They damned us for seeping ourselves into the soul of our utmost extravagance, but damned us if they couldn't have the very result of our extravagance physically manifested. We both knew, with grave curiosity; it stood on the edge of our minds that something wasn't quite right, but we quieted it to continue living, because to begin dying would be worse than anything we could fathom.
You sat and discussed your life, and I never uttered a word of mine. we would wait until just the obelisk of light gray began to appear in the horizon, then we'd leave. At first it was quickly, as if jarred from some dream, and realizing that life is a nightmare. Then we began to prolong the leaving, as if the nightmare could wait... The lonely hours of the days, the featherless emails and meaningless small talk at the events of influence we'd both simply float through as if ghosts, never absorbing anything, always waiting at the edge of the door. The last time we saw each other was the night you advertised your vision with the resounding pride of "It's a wrap."
He was out of town on business, and you came to my home unannounced. It didn't occur to me that you had never been to my home; it seemed so natural, the way you entered the door without a knock, standing in the threshold of my office like the proud owner of my eyes.
You crossed quickly, crushed me to your chest, and breathed, "It is finished," as if you had been a victor on a cross, letting your spirit fly into the depths of a blue sky ocean. Your eyes circled the shabby room, absorbing the essence of my persistence. "This is the most beautiful you have ever looked," you said it with clarity, holding me at arms length, your fingers lightly curving around my shoulder and collar bone.
I wilted at your touch. whatever you had wished, I would have submitted readily. Yet you only stood there, absorbing my spirit in it's home. You asked me to stand in the middle of the room, and you lowered and spread yourself onto the carpet in insolent admiration. My breathing was uneven, my hair messy in a bun, and my skin tallow without a touch of makeup; my clothes were disheveled--when he wasn't home I didn't bother changing into day clothes unless I had an appointment. I was alive. this was the result of writing for 48 hours without rest. cups of coffee were scattered on the sill, and every surface was stained with rings of deep brown. Scraps of paper littered the ground with random words.
"I'll memorize every line of this room. This is more significant to me than any church. Your body is my prayers reaching god."
You stayed there all night, neither of us spoke nor moved. Then you disappeared. Rather, I knew where you were, but didn't care to enter her den to see you lower yourself below despair. I'd get notes occasionally, sometimes written on the back of my junk-mail, sometimes in my email. I kept them all, but did not reply, as I knew you didn't want that sanction, just the option of an outlet for your thoughts. I let you erupt on paper for me, and continued formulating the words into stories.
He walked into the room, interrupting my recognizance of our past and future.
"We're invited to the premier."
He looks up with a smile, "Wonderful! shall we dress for the occasion?"
"Yes, I think we should."
"Nice to see his silly world made real, isn't it?" Oh it stung to hear those words. Our silly world.
"Yes." I murmured and pulled myself back into my work.
"Burn a candle, please... it smells like java." He got up and left, looking around the room like it was on fire.
Entry 3: Steam
Pour it down, feel it steam my veins, dull my pulse. this deep blue dress feels smooth against my legs.. I even curled my hair... it fell in loose ringlets around my neck, like soft branches on a willow tree.
"Don't come. it's unbearable. We should celebrate without hesitation, and tonight offers no solace of that sort. tomorrow we can see it in peace. I'll be there at 11:30 for the early showing--we'll have it to ourselves. I'll see you then."
I'm drinking the '89 Pinot Noir that I would have given to your wife to celebrate your victory... our victory...
In my palm I'm crushing the stem of my glass, and drinking this down as fast as possible. If I do this, I embrace everything I know is right, while committing a terrible wrong. If I don't, I'm damned to remember what might be; damned to this mediocre life of apologizing for what I am; damned to keep silent the looks, my trembling fingers, the adoration of your smile... our work...
Drink drink drink. Forget.
Entry 4: The Synagogue of Celluloid.
The blast of tepid air kept circling my steps. Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine with each step an orb of color is deposited on whatever I step on. It's an exercise of focus, and that morning I was utilizing it with desperation.
In one side of my thoughts resided an insolent pride--we had created it, and despite everyone trying to stop us, we had not only succeeded, the very people who had tried to stop us were now the ones carrying it through an extended run. I knew the film like my palm--I had written it beside you, seeing in my mind every perceptual still frame; I had not seen it with my eyes as of yet, wanting only to drink it in with you by my side, knowing the consequences of a dark room and your green eyes watching my reactions to my written words given the breath of life by your vision.
Gray pervaded the sky, but not the dark dank gray of melancholy. this gray was airy, light, as if embracing the rays of the sun and the blue of the atmosphere. The cinder block of the building might as well have been marble, with how reverently I glanced up at the show times; the matinee might as well been a lost temple, sacred yet strikingly empty.
"One adult ticket please."
"For the showing right now?"
"Your ticket is at will call, miss."
"How do you know it's mine?"
"Because I was told the only person who would come this early would be a girl with long brown hair."
"It has already been purchased?"
"Please let me at least pay for an additional admission."
"But ma'am! you already have a ticket waiting for you."
"Alright, if you insist. It's going to be theater 14, on the left."
He handed me the stub, and I walked through the glass doors with blocks of invisible concrete making an exercise of my will to continue forward. The deep red of the carpet, and soft yellow of the overhead lamps instantly made me think of Dante's inferno--the choice to continue forward was a labored effort of my conscious mind battling with my subconscious' chiding emotional plight.
Shuffling across the hot coals of the carpet, I bent my head to the beating heat of the mood lighting above. I knew you were watching my arrival, before I even looked up. When I fully realized your telescope eyes, it caused an instantaneous pull--one half of me instantly redeemed by the value of your gaze, strongly pulled me forward, demanded that I straighten my spine, and pull my chin out of my chest, I had returned as the queen to her rightful throne; the opposing part of me screaming in my head that your eyes would damn me with treason, screaming that I run before the gauntlet opened to the world around me and swallowed my dry throat in an abyss of guilt, making due fact of the ridiculous notion that I may be the hanging man in this situation.
My eyes drifted to focus with wide open dilation--meeting the strong volition of your mocking smile, traveling upwards to your wrinkled nose, finally stopping at your green eyes. In that moment I felt a surge of strength for being there, and the receding of my will to go forward without you. I needed you to sit beside me for this. I needed you always.
"You're not nearly as endearing without the pen marks on your chin." You teased me softly, daring a new world of familiarity between us.
"Funny, I see a lens attached to your eye, no matter what you wear, or where you are." I returned it in blows, my eyes never turning away. Your smile widened like an open field of daisies, looking up to the sky in exaltation of themselves and the light they demanded.
"Shall we?" You held your arm out.
I knew more than anything what that touch would mean, and if I were to loop my arm in yours, there would be no welcome return to this inferno. If I ever attempted to return, I would endure more pain than I had walking through the entrance of the theater. Not because I was ashamed of taking your arm--the opposite, actually; if I were to be ripped away from the feeling of ecstasy when I joined your side, I would be spurned into a darkness far worse than what I would be willing to endure to keep your lips, fingers, words, and mind.
I stepped forward, and curled my arm and side into the comforting angles of your body.
I was home.
Entry 5: "Winning..."
It's in these lonely hours I feel strongest. Sitting next to you again, the light flickering on the screen, your skin not quite touching, but the heat lingering in your presence--this is when I must force my body to obey my mind... and force my mind to not act...
I could drink your sin like wine. We could act on this tension. You had to get up twice tonight, each time you returned, you leaned closer. My posture was immaculate, my back never leaning or hunching in any direction but upwards...
Your rugged fingers danced only once one my shoulder... I think you like having the power to make me tremble.
This is a losing battle. Perhaps our resistance to action now, is our penance for thoughts we are aware of.
As your fingers lightly traced the outline of my bone, you leaned over.
"Your breath goes to the timing of the music."
You said it proudly, as if to boast something. And then your hand dropped lightly onto your thigh.
I knew you wanted me to lean in towards you, let my hair drop near your neck, take your hand.
This is the game we play though... and so far I'm "winning..."
Entry 6: Sand Castles
The grass felt like nettles pushing into my back, as you hovered over me, catching every breath I made. I know this is is a broken task, but it is so exquisitely beautiful, I cannot stand to let it go, to get up, to tell you to stop brushing your lips on my collar bone, or down the spindly valley of ribs between my breasts.
I should feel hallow, and alone, like a traitor rightfully feels. I should feel desolate, and dirty, like mud stuck in the grooves of a thickly built tire, traveling down the beach to this spot we've found. I should feel exploited and ruined, the camera taking every inch of my ghostly skin, and your softly-rough beard buried deep within it.
Instead...I feel whole, I feel alive. We're blocking out a love scene for the next film we will create, you and I. This is the most exhilarating feeling in the world--making me feel like goddess earth, mother of nature and her abundance, that whom belongs to the tangled kelp on the salt land underneath my spine and the icy water that matches my touch.
You're staring intently at my eyes, and I'm hoping you'll break every barrier and suck every last illusion from my non-stop mind. Your lips reach mine, and they burn, oh they burn, and i take every heated stroke as if midnight were coming with the tide.
Gathering up my inoperable arms you crush me to your chest--I smell everything I've ever desired, in your skin.
"Tell me in this moment, what you wouldn't say out loud" You're begging, you're ordering... You're making love to me for the first time.
"I am home."
Entry 7: Birds of a Feather
You stood there at the edge of reason, knowing that being broken for one another was all that we could have in that moment.
"Dear, make sure the sand bags are on the track correctly, or the curtain will catch on it's way up."
It was ironic that she was here, taking about raising curtains. I broke my gaze from yours, as she entered stage left. She wasn't ungracious on the eyes, until she opened her mouth. once upon a time I'm sure your wife had a beautiful smile, and a radiant laugh; now she assumed the position of a paper doll in body and spirit, as everything was in a constantly state of remaining flat. I felt the deep pangs of shame run through to my bones; I felt it on behalf of you, on behalf of me, and despite her.
I wanted to scream, "You could be that girl again! You could light the world up with your intelligence, the youthful frivolity found in the virtue of selfishness. If you could only let him go, and stop demanding his life be yours, and make your own life yours again... You could be his world, the very ecosystem he lived and died to protect, nurture, sustain, and elevate to the elusive state of thriving. HE WANTS YOU TO THRIVE. HE WANTS YOU AND HIM TO THRIVE. HE NEEDS THE BOTH OF YOU TO THRIVE...and he's never imposed a need on you. He isn't going to start now. He'll thrive, and you'll continue to hang onto the edge of his wings, clipping furiously away to have possession of his freedom. You can take his bodily privileges away, but you can't bury his heart, and you can't crack that impenetrable safe which is his mind. I despise you, every part of you--from the unmotivated breaths you take, to the bitter unclear steps of each foot of yours, to the hands that he unwillingly let's touch him. And yet I can't help but feel the most resounding remorse at your willful ignorance. You know, but you don't want to know."
Looking up, I caught your wife staring at me. I had been frozen next to the pulley for a solid three minutes, staring at the brick outline of the wall. she didn't seem concerned, merely irritated, as if she could read my mind.
This would have been a problem, had she been in my shoes. She might have felt shame, fear, anger at the transparency of her actions, her thoughts.
In turn, I actually was astonished to feel nothing at all. It didn't matter. she was nothing to me, nothing to you, and barely something to this world.
I felt no shame in our actions, I felt no secrecy in my thoughts. Let her hear them, and let me be damned. I would take it all as my own--the hate, the wrath, the entangled mess of fingers dipped into pools of circumstances that you'll never be able to calm the ripples from.
"Cee," Her lips curled up into a flat grin, looking like a vampiric caricature, her voice dipping into a false attempt of being femininely jovial "I believe you and I should have lunch together this afternoon, just us girls."
Glancing up, your eyes were hooded with warnings. I saw the sinews of your arms stand out, as you froze for an imperceptible moment, holding a sand bag at your knees. Not surprisingly, she didn't catch it. Only I would have the microscopic intentions zeroed in--I wanted every part of you, and she wanted to destroy any part of you she could grasp.
"Deanna, I believe Cee has an appointment this afternoon." You were trying to protect me, but from what did we need protection?
"No no, Hudson. I can cancel--Deanna and I should indeed have some ladies time." I smiled genuinely, relishing the thought of having a moment with her, in pure honesty. At the back of my mind I knew I would be unbearably astonished at her inability to understand my intentions, the message I would lay out for her like a child, the truth whose solidarity could drive nails through a board.
Bright jade green met me head on, staring at me and through my words.
"Oh Cee, this is going to be such fun!" She was still trying to smile, but it was beginning to look more and more like a grimace.
Turning, she walked up the aisles of the stage, deliberately taking her time, making it visible that she was deep in thought.
"And Cee..." She didn't turn her head.
"Don't forget to polish up--us ladies should always make keeping our appearances a priority. We wouldn't want to be seen like to birds from separate flocks." Your words were supposed to be daggers, but they fell on my ears like limp noodles.
"Of course Deanna... we wouldn't want our differences revealed." Indifferently, I strode backstage.