"Maybe it's me but it's the worst fate I can imagine."
"Being put in a nursing home?"
"I feel humiliated just thinking about it."
"I feel like they deserve it, though."
"That's fucked up."
(more) "Hear me out. You remember that movie Synecdoche?"
"The weird one."
"There's this monologue at the end that talks about how we all unravel into the world and as we age and lose more and more and then we coil back into ourselves. Like about the symmetry of life."
"I figure if I'm incontinent at both ends of life then I don't want to be the one changing my own diapers at the end of it. We all deserve a little caregiving."
"I guess that makes sense."
"Like if I'm in a car crash tomorrow and can't shit on my own anymore that's unfair. I still got many fair and square years of solo shitting under my belt and for fate to take that away is fucked up."
"I'd hate to not be able to wipe my own shit."
"Right, but if I'm ninety-seven who cares? Wipe my ass. Cut my veggies. Let me suck your tits. That's the good life."
"What about not recognizing your friends and family?"
"Fuck em. If they were worth anything I'd remember them."
"Okay but what about getting laid."
"Tough. If I had kids already which I guess is the point of getting laid then I guess I wouldn't care. If I hadn't. That's what the nurse is there for right?"(less)
Oh, get past it, won't you? Get past your careless upbringing and the issues floating in your head. You are better than the thoughts you make yourself believe. So take that leap to a higher plane. Think more widely, think beyond yourself. And don't look back.
There was blood on the glass. A smeared trail of their handprint filled the corner of it, disappearing at the sill and reappearing on the floor from their sudden drop. This body had been harder to control than they initially thought, and the ensuing fight for full possession was(more) made more difficult with the housemate of their host showing up to "beat the freaky Slender-shit" out of him.
"Never seen your footwork this bad, ha!" They couldn't tell if the dark-skinned blond was being serious or not. The grin plastered on his face suggested he was probably having more fun with the brawl itself, taking advantage of their divided focus to to taunt them.
It somehow seemed to be working.
"You wanna bail? You're going to be a bloody rag if you keep this up."
"Shut up!" they hissed, their voice a legion. A roundhouse kick came out high, but still sluggish. The man dodged easily with a snerk.
"I think I've had my fun." The momentum of the kick brought them facing front again, only to pitch forward from a sudden tug at the back of their head. They only had a second to see the end of their host's braid in the man's hand before a harder pull tripped them face-first into his chest. Their hand that reflexively reached out to brace themselves was grabbed at the wrist, and before they could struggle, they were on their knees, the long braid tying their arms back.
"Now chill out and try not to go all batshit Exorcist." They fell backwards in their struggle for freedom, writhing on the floor to no avail. "Yo, what'd I just say." The strain from blood loss was more apparent, their breathing labored. They stilled.
It was evening on the beach, and cold. Farther down the sand was a family comprised of mostly young children. From so far away their screeches of joy sounded like seagulls.
My hands were burned and raw from the sun and the inner lining of my bikini bottom(more) sagged slightly, filled with damp sand. It was an uncomfortable feeling. Eliza was drinking vodka in a travel coffee mug and wearing a green sundress. Her hair had dried in stiff, salty waves and it looked horrible. I'm sure mine looked worse.
Florida was nothing like our expectations--sure, there were hot beach parties and hot guys and hot sun, but graduate school was hard and we ended up spending most of our time indoors studying. We had both come from New England, and the never-ending summertime had become boring. I dreamed about the crisp tang of fall in the air, the brilliant burst of red leaves against the sky.
Eliza tried to be positive. "I got a good tan today," she told me, pulling her dress' neckline down so I could see the contrast of her pale skin with her suntan. She was so dark it was almost orange. "And the sunset--Look, Janie, it's gorgeous."
"Just another sunset," I replied morosely. The orange color of the sky mocked me--a long time ago and very far away, at this time of year the leaves were the same color.
In an hour the tide would creep up and nip my toes, salty bathwater leaving salt-stains behind on my pedicure. I was in Florida, living the dream, but even paradise is pedantic.(less)
If I were holding the reins to this pony show, you wouldn't have to die. Hell. For all I know if you were holding em you'd be killing me instead. Business is funny that way. Nice family moves into a nice apartment, no idea what's beating under their floorboards.(more) Then the wife's in the shower and that's where you come crawling out. She screams, hub comes running, the whole mess.
Then I get called.
The way I see it, if nature's a circle then we, you and me, are just doing our parts to keep the gears turning. I don't take it personal if you hate me. And I hope you don't take it personal when I gas you and ride away in my truck and on home to my girl.
Because to folks like me and my girl and that nice family you're terrorizing, well. You're nothing but an unwanted guest. Something satisfying to squish.(less)
Masayoshi's entire body /sings/ when Gotou touches him. Each casual touch elicits a quiet melody; the gentle touch of fingers on his wrist, the bump of their shoulders underneath the umbrella in a late fall rainstorm, Gotou's hand tangled in his hair as he knocked their heads together while(more) laughing; they all ignite sparks that scatter under his skin, little pinpricks of sensation, a muted chorus of song.
He is content with this, he thinks.
There are more than just melodies, he finds, when Gotou kisses him - there are entire refrains here circling around him as he gasps into Gotou's mouth, as he discovers a new composition entirely made up of tongue and teeth and heat. The sparks transmogrify, become lightning wicking through his nerves and he wonders if his skin will shock Gotou, if he too could feel this electricity beneath the surface.
They put together new compositions constantly, different strings of the same melody and maybe Gotou can sense the cacophony that echoes in his head because it isn't long before they are orchestrating their own private symphony; sheets twisted off the bed, fingers conducting, mouths devouring.
The lightning is gone, not forgotten, replaced by a low burn of flames, a hunger that licks deep in his belly. He's never heard anything so beautiful; this chorus of moans and grunts, soft gasps and choked-off whimpers, amusement and enthusiasm, and he tilts his head back and laughs, fingers tangled in Gotou's hair, his scent on Masayoshi's skin.
Gotou's eyes, confused, as he raises his head and Masayoshi's fingers stroke along his face. He wonders if Gotou can hear this too, the way his body bursts into song with each fevered touch, does he feel the same heat, the same melody?
Lane removes his thick framed glasses rubbing his temples ten hours into his sixteen hour shift. His temple massage is interrupted by another phone ringing.
"911 where is your emergency?" He ask in a haggard tone.
"I need the fire department out here! The neighbors house (more)is on fire!" The caller screamed loud enough to distort their voice.
Dispatching the fire department to the structure fire with no reports of any occupants Lane finishes with the first caller and handles several more calls regarding the same fire. He rushes through the same routine questions with each. He has no time to deviate from the few and important questions.
He addresses eight unrelated emergency calls during the few minutes it takes dispatching the fire department. He is always keeping his head on a swivel from phone receiver to radio microphone.
While taking yet another verbal beating from a women complaining about her car being towed by police Lane's other ear hears fire units blast through the transmission speakers.
"600 dispatch get me EMS here!" Lane had never heard panic in the fire chief's voice quite like he heard then.
The initial count is five. In a matter of seconds the count is up to seven with five children and two adults, all victims of the fire and their status unknown to Lane.
In a matter of minutes he has three ambulances, police, and a EMS helicopter rushing toward the scene.
The fire chief transmits haunting news, "Dispatch, seven 10-7, go ahead."
All seven are dead.
Lane immediately critiques himself. He wonders, "How could I have prevented this?"
Knowing this will haunt him he also knows now it is not the time. He tells himself, "Mask your emotions. Get to work."
"You wear that mask all the time. Doesn't it get hard?"
At first, you hear her but you don't realize that she's talking to you. There's dozens of other people in this tiny Starbucks, escaping the cold, and it takes you a moment to realize that the heavenly(more) voice is directed towards you.
"Excuse me?" It comes out sounding a little more harsh than you intended, and you quietly apologize.
"I didn't mean to be so rude," you say.
She doesn't reply to your apology.
"The mask you're wearing. You don't let people see behind it."
Her words shock you, leave you numb. Well, maybe it's her words doubled with her messy blond hair and perfectly imperfect face. The scent of her perfume makes your head spin.
"I, uh, I don't wear a mask?" It comes out like a question, and you feel like an idiot.
"Yes, you do."
You know she's right. And every fibre of your being begs for her to rip that damn mask from your face, to throw away all of your bullshit.
"I'm Charlie," you say.
"Jo," she replies.
You offer her the seat across from you, and she takes it immediately. You put away your book- something pretentious- and you fully take in the woman sitting across from you. She stares at you intently, blowing softly on her drink.
"You know, you wear one, too, y'know," you tell her.
She smirks, laughing softly.
You feel your heart stop at the sound of perfection that leaves her. You know that from this moment your life will never be the same.
The way I see it, I had the chance to become two different people. My life diverged, not in a yellow wood, but in a fiery, explosion filled hospital room. And with that explosion, one of the paths I wished to take was closed off to me, the rubble(more) of death firmly in my way.
And so it's not that I chose this path, but rather, it was the only option left.
I often think of the person I would've been had he remained in my life, but my imagination always falls short. I would've been someone happy, with no hang-ups, no reason to feel worthless all the goddamn time. I would be able to hold someone I love close, without all of these issues that people label me with.
And yet, I'm here, and for all of my fuck ups, for all of my imperfections, I know that whatever God has given me up until this point have been things I'm made to handle.
And if you were to ask me now, with everything I know about the past, and with the little I know about the future, I would tell you I don't know which path I would choose.
There was supposed to be a point where Gotou drew the line. He was certain he set one, in his mind - maybe it had been drawn in sand, and the encroaching storm of /Masayoshi/ had all but obliterated it. That thought did not surprise him, really - Masayoshi(more) was a force of nature unto himself, and even Gotou's stubbornness stood no chance in the face of the complete onslaught of Masayoshi's emotion.
It was hard when Masayoshi had little concept of personal space where Gotou was concerned; ducking in close to peer into his face, sliding in under his arm, tucking his hand into Gotou's and pulling him along, laughing freely. He never did more than that, but he /touched/ Gotou more, and that alone was causing new sensations to prick down Gotou's spine, little pockets of nerves blossoming into something else entirely.
Masayoshi tugged him forward, Gotou's hand in his, chattering excitedly and Gotou wasn't listening, hadn't been listening for a while. He stopped and Masayoshi carried on; on impulse Gotou yanked him back. Masayoshi clearly hadn't expected that, he hadn't expected any resistance, and he stumbled, broken-off mid-sentence, and fell back into Gotou's arms.
He did not know why he did it - Masayoshi sputtered, his first concern was /Gotou/- "Gotou-san are you okay-?," a flurry of tawny gold-brown hair in his face, twisting around to look at him and the urge boiled up and over. His free hand went to Masayoshi's jaw, tilting his head back and there was a split-second of Masayoshi's eyes widening with the realization before Gotou kissed him.
It was an awkward angle, and Gotou hadn't properly kissed anyone in years but Masayoshi's mouth felt /right/. When he ducked back a second later, blushing hard, Masayoshi touched his face gently and smiled. (less)
"Compromise? Me? What ever are you talking about?"
"Yeah, yeah, you're a real bad-ass. You've never made a compromise before?"
"Never needed to. Things always work out, or should I say I work things out all by myself."
"Not even with friends, or in relationships?"
"Nah,(more) that shit's weak. You tell people what their place is. You tell them what you want and ask them if they can give it to you. If they can't you go to someone who can."
"So it's all utilitarian? Is that how it is with you and people?"
"You're making it sound like it's a bad thing. Of course it's utilitarian, everybody wants something from everybody. I'm just honest about it instead of simmering inside and not doing anything about it."
"What about your parents?"
"Parents are parents, man. Why bring them into this?"
"You said just now that all your relationships are utilitarian, right? I'm assuming that includes your parents and your brother?"
"Of course it's different with them. They are programmed to think that they love me selflessly, and they think they do, but they don't and that's okay. All of us are hard wired with selfish impulses. If you want something and not having it makes you feel bad, then why would you want to feel bad?"
"There's no love?"
"There is, but it's not selfless."
"What if, people, despite actually being programmed with selfishness actually act selflessly? What would you call it?"
"I would call it effective brainwashing. Look the point is that everyone has a purpose. If I want to fuck a guy, his purpose to me is just being a portable dick. And I present myself the same way, I don't get hurt about it. Why would someone actually powerful ever compromise?"
She wouldn't stop throwing up. I held her hair back as she emptied her stomach contents for what seemed like eternity. How could such a small girl drink so much beer? She stopped hugging the toilet and sat up, slowly and unsteadily. I let go of her hair, grossed out by the scene.(more) It was surreal. No, it was a slap in the face. She walked around campus smiling and angelic, cliched perfection. Little did they know her facade was fueled by cocaine and binge drinking. She wasn't happy. She was no angel. She flushed the toilet along with any idealistic misconceptions I had of her. She washed her hands and turned, facing me for the first time.
"Throw me that towel," she demanded coolly gesturing at the wall behind me. I did as I was told and examined the figure standing before me. Why had she invited me to come with her tonight? Why had I been so eager? I was grossed out by myself. She took one more look in the mirror raising her eyebrows and smiling that same deceitful smile I grew to know. Turning towards the door, she stumbled so slightly and her white dress flapped against her coffee-colored thighs.
"Thanks," she said over her shoulder. With that, she left me standing in awe in the dimly lit bathroom. More impressed with myself than I ever would be with another "It Girl".(less)
"She sounded like she was completely grossed out." Shahid shook his head.
"Why wouldn't she be?" Imran said, "You can't send her unsolicited dick pics and expect her to be happy about it."
"Can't I?" Shahid said, "I wouldn't have minded if she sent me pictures o(more)f her boobs."
"Well, technically you can send her pictures of your penis, but she is completely entitled to find it disgusting. You can't control what people think, and you shouldn't."
"That's just bull. What's wrong with my penis?"
"Nothing that I could possibly know of," Imran said, "Thankfully, I'm not on your dick pic sharing list, but your penis is not the problem, it's about personal space."
"Please start making sense, soon." Shahid pretended to strangle himself and rolled his eyes.
"Listen, then," Imran continued, "You know how when you talk to people you like, you stand really close to them? It means that both of you have allowed each other to be in close proximity. Hell, its not even a conscious action, it just happens naturally as you begin to like each other more and more."
"Okay. So what?"
"So your personal space is a sacred place, because you only willingly share it with people you know and like. Most of the time someone comes into that space, you have allowed them to do so. It creates a feeling of togetherness, it gives you warm, fuzzy feelings. But when someone you don't know or like breaches that space, its like a stranger nonchalantly walking into your bed room."
"My personal room."
"Exactly, it automatically makes you feel confronted. Not a lot of people like being confronted by a stranger. It's pretty reasonable to be upset that someone willingly intruded your space. That's how it is with dick pics."
As I was sitting in my apartment, trying to watch my DVR recorded shows, I heard this little "squeak". Faint and almost non-existent. The wind blew, fairly hard, shortly after, and I heard the little "squeak" once again. So annoying, yet unnatural. It happened a few more times, which(more) made me get up from my cozy little nest and go investigate. Searched around, opening and closing doors to see what was making that eerie faint sound.
When I came to find, one of my unused closet doors was not all the way closed up, and with the weather changing, made the door a bit smaller in that it would not shut closed.
"Ayyy!" I exclaimed. Closed the door quickly and it bounced right out. Looked around for a piece of unwanted junk-mail, folded it up and pressed it up between said door and it's frame.
"Man, the things this place has." Problem solved, returned to little nest, but no longer cozy and was able to resume the "Play" button on my Binge-watching.(less)