I smile with a tightened face. Curled lips repress repeating waves of giggly tendencies. Thick wrinkles lead to a well known past. Slowly, dimples emerge. Eyebrows arch and then converge with eyelids and eyelashes upward. My gaze cannot be broken.
(more) The one I love smiles like she wants to know a secret.
Others smile like they have secrets. Eyebrows lowered, hunching over the eyes. Full, straight teeth, that are often too big for the mouth, gleam with hope in your direction. They almost chuckle with their own cleverness, edges of their mouth fluctuate up with personality for you and down with content for themselves. They often look beyond your eyes, not into you, but completely through you. (less)
"You're too smart." She first looked down with only her eyes. Now rising, they lifted the rest of her face with them to produce a look of affection and excitement.
"Huh," rolling his eyes, "I hate it when people tell me that. The only difference is my capacity for(more) understanding. When people tell me I'm smarter than them I get embarrassed and nod and say thanks. What I want to say is 'No. You are just as intelligent as I am. All you have to do is let yourself be. Find it within yourself to separate everything in your life into two categories: things you feel comfortable doing and things you do not feel comfortable doing. With this you can distinguish what you are doing for yourself and what you are doing for others. Now ask yourself, what is necessary? A long time ago I chose the path of committing myself to science and love. Find yourself. Then you will be as intelligent as I am.'" He took a sip of water.
She was staring at his upper lip in a daydream, half listening to his words and half silenced by the pounding blood in her ears. After first noticing how glistening his lip was on the glass she noticed he had stopped talking. "What are you doing later?"
A lightning fast countenance, perplexing and painful, took hold before he pushed his chair back, stood up, realigned his coat on his shoulders, and walked away.
Before understanding the non-verbal communication she uttered, "Hey! Wait up!" sitting up in her chair. Once she realized the message of his actions she sat back down, looked at the top of her hands, and chewed off a loose piece of cuticle while looking out the adjacent window. (less)
One day, Octopus found herself near the shore of civilization. In the reefs, Human dove to hunt Fish. Octopus camouflaged herself in the rocks. Human clumsily bumped into Octopus, stripping her of her only defense. Human confronted the exposed invertebrate, "Well, I have discovered one who claims to be(more) an expert in hiding. What now stops me from killing you?"
Octopus knew the truth behind Human's question.
"Nothing. You are in complete control of my mortality."
"Exactly. I could spear you now or keep what I have caught and head home. Your elementary tactics provide you no leverage in the food chain. I, who have simply stumbled upon this fleshy rock, am in complete control of your mortality. Your ability to adapt to your surroundings has played no more an important role in your end as your ability to swim."
"And what makes the unchanging Human so much better than I?"
"Fool! I have navigated every corner of my domain. I can make fire from Palm Tree. I can spear Fish to feed my village. Your stupidity has led you to my territory and I shall now kill you!"
Human raised his spear, but Octopus spoke:
"Indeed, you are a supreme being on your land and in these shallow depths. But leave into the plethora of the world and you shall face the same fate as I. Fates lay in the hand's of the powerful, so I dare you to leave your niche before your land has been depleted of its resources. Venture into the unknown territory before you are forced to. Sacrifice little now in order to preserve more later. When you kill me take my personality trait which you think is a weakness."
The spear came down through Octopus' heart.
Human looked up beyond the reef. (less)
Eyes open. It's 7:45 AM. It's always 7:45 AM when my eyes open. Slide out of my sheets. Put my feet on the floor. Walk to the bathroom. Pee. Shower. Brush my teeth. Exit the bathroom without even glancing at my face. Put on suit. Eat breakfast. Grab keys.(more) Start car. Head down I-680 North. Traffic. It's now 8:30 AM. I'm earlier than usual...
This bothers me. Now I'm stuck. My thoughts will catch up to me in this heavily viscous traffic. Try to think about work. Jerry wanted those reports two weeks ago. Yelling. Apologizing. End of the day the reports still aren't filed. No more to think about. In the rearview mirror shadows move closer. I sag my head into my chest. I close my eyes. It may as well be 7:44 AM. "Time." My heart beats faster...
How can we communicate a concept that is so subjective?... Questions will never be answered. The depressing thoughts always start with questions. I distract myself by turning on the radio...No sound. The last levee has broken. I can feel the flood coming...
Why do I do the same thing every day? The outcome always changes. I can never be sure of anything except that which is out of my control. I am perpetually evolving. This efficiency that we are developing towards one useless skill deprives us the ability to adapt. Facing new challenges will come with hardship. We need to be reminded that we only know what we have experienced, but even the reinforced "truths" we believe in are lies. We are only able to predict that future which is most common. When we become comfortable with what we know we will stop evolving...
I smile. Slowly open my eyes. I'm in bed. I turn over. It's 7:44 AM. (less)
Sulking in my throne, one fist supporting my head at the temple, the other pounding slowly at the armrest I pondered my position as Lord of the Underworld.
This position was hardly of my choosing. I would have gladly taken the Sea or the Sky, but His word i(more)s always final. There's never discussion, reasoning. Not one god is equal to Him in stature and influence. He gets whatever he wants. And Nymphs? Well if they don't immediately abide by His wishes He tricks and connives until He is satisfied. Why should one of His kind reign above all others? He has abused His power! Used it for selfish gain. And what of those who challenge Him?! They are banished, secluded to the dreary Underworld to guide helpless souls into their eternal fate! A Demigod could manage such a mindless task if not for a thousand years then eternity!
Now pacing, hands over head, my thoughts climaxed into a final action. Without making a conscious decision I thought the first thing I lay my eyes on must be destroyed.
Sirens flew through the streets. Scientists make readings on machines. Ratings of safety and statistics on the disaster broadcast via media.
An abundance of souls follow the path millions trek each year. Each new one stings my heart more than the last. Each a reminder of how similar my fate is to theirs. Forever cast below from above. (less)
"O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"
"Could you close that window? You're letting in a draft."
Julia winced with embarrassment at the poor reception of her joke. She walked closer to the bed in the center of the room.
"Why don't we go already?" The strap holding u(more)p her already revealing dress slipped casually off her shoulder revealing even more of her well defined collar bone.
Roman rolled over in the sheets, now staring at the ceiling fan. He had receded from enthusiasm to laziness. The half tied tie snaked around his half buttoned dress shirt to his half combed hair. Still not fully convinced that the night was worth experiencing, Roman contemplated the past few weeks.
"Well, what are we going to do instead?"
Upon hearing these words Julia became conscious of a lost memory:
"Well, what are we going to do instead?" His eyes reflected the stars in the water. The moon was full and shone brightly on his sharp chin. The canoe bobbed in the soft waves creating a rhythmic beat. He moved closer, the beat hastened, her face flushed...
Julia stared at Roman. She noticed imperfections on his face. His eyes weren't quite aligned correctly. His jawline started too high up.
"Don't forget your coat."