She tries to find herself in his words.
Always she searches for a double meaning, an innuendo, a twist to whatever it is he actually wrote.
She's in there somewhere, this she knows above all else, although it's become an unspoken game where the only prize is a feelin(more)g of self-satisfaction.
Picking apart each sentence, every paragraph, she plays with the meanings of words, knowing he's a trickster and he loves nothing more than a good old-fashioned bout of word-fucking.
He can word-fuck with the best of them, it's one of the things that drew her to him.
She can give it back as good as she gets it (she always gets it), but sometimes it takes her down roads she would rather avoid.
He makes her think.
He's a funhouse mirror, reflecting her back to herself in different shades until she can see what it is he sees in her.
Sometimes she finds it hard to see the same woman he imagines her to be so she hides behind imaginary walls yet he never fails to truly see her.
He hides too.
In his words, behind his grin, underneath the cover of laughter, or in plain sight.
Still, through all the layers of disguise, they see each other clearly.
She can zero in on the exact time, that moment of clarity when she realized who she belonged to, as well as who she longed to be.
It all comes back to her at the slightest scent of the changing seasons; the cold wind of approaching winter, the hint of summer mixed in with a late-spring breeze takes her right back into his phantom-arms and she can once again breathe.
The in-between times revolve around his missives, bringing a measure of comfort to her, word for word.(less)
It comes over me like I've been punched in the face. I can feel the my irises adjust slightly, everything realigns, focuses. My skin cells multiply, my hair tickles, goosebumps. I'm suddenly aware of my environment. All of my somatic functions are operating at optimal levels. It'(more)s what I assume the old guys at the meetings mean by "that moment of clarity". Usually, I have to play through it like a runner with asthma. Keep talking to whomever about whatever, light another cigarette, take another hit, really anything that will nullify the horror I feel when I realize I'm alive at this very moment.
It can be blissful at times. Like when I'm completely under the covers in my bed, and I can feel her nose lightly touch mine. Or when my dog hops in my lap while I'm studying. When I make my friends laugh so hard they lose their breath for a second. Mile five, my chest burning while I high step up the hill past Buddy's. When the moments hit then I love it. These moments live in eternity.
Then sometimes it hits suddenly and I'm lonely like when the rain abruptly stops while you're trying to sleep. My stomach falls into a pit, and I realize that my sheets are covered in dust. My dog needs to go to the vet. I don't feel like talking. I'm too weak to run today. I just want to melt into the floorboards, and become a single molecule. Chemistry is stoic.
A molecule has full faith in nature.
I play through it even then. I study biology a little more, and focus on the finer details of the arbitration of life, of existence.(less)
In that moment, you shimmered with the light of a hope I had long lost. You were infinite, while I was forever bound by the plaguing inadequacy that gnaws on my bones and renders me motionless. Every cool touch of your fingers on my skin was riddled with reminders(more) that I was broken, and you were whole. It isn’t easy laying crumpled on the floor, forever gazing up at what you cannot grow to be. You were every superlative that I lusted to add to my repertoire. Jealousy isn’t becoming, and in that moment, I was hideous, repulsive, grotesque. How is it to be flawless, love? How is it to be the life I dream to live?(less)
I could have lived in that moment of serenity forever. Not yet entirely awake I can sense everything in the house. The heating system clicks for the first 10 minutes of its day as the pipes expand and breathe their warmth. The smell of the active kitchen tells me(more) the cook is making breakfasts, but the fact I can't hear it means the twins are still in bed or dressing, prone as they are to asking him to sing.
The light filtering through the yellow curtains and my eyelids tells me the day is bright. A good day for washing, my mum will be downstairs announcing to the new ears of the cook, perhaps putting up an ironing board in over-keen preparation for the chore ahead.
I awaken some more and try to decide whether it is a weekend or not. A guilty battle ensues when I realise I am hoping it is a weekday. For the first time I will leave the girls with their grandma, but my new position commands enough authority to be addictive, and the girls will enjoy the benefits it brings. But that is too much thinking. For now I will stay asleep and wait for the cook's pulsing note to ring out from my nightstand.(less)
I was confused for a long time. Everything had changed very suddenly, and evidence pointed to that not changing any time soon. If anything, it was just going to continue changing. I didn't know what to do anymore - barely even knew who I was anymore. I was waiting(more) for that moment of understanding that had come so many years before to return, but I was losing faith that it would.
I wanted to blame it all on someone, but who was their to blame? I knew at that point that it had all been coming to this, that it was something that had been festering inside me for a long time. I should have been relieved that it had finally come out, but I wished it hadn't. It had torn me apart, and I didn't know if I'd ever find all the pieces again - much less put them back together. I had been screwed up before - now what was I?
But then that moment came. I was able to relax. It came by accidentally, much as the moment of breaking had. I felt warm again, wrapped up in something I didn't think I'd ever have.
That moment of hopelessness when you think you've lost everything. It's that point where you can feel the air stop around you, becoming stale and warm. Time stands still. Nothing moves, no dust and you can't even find the strength to blink. Everything has stopped and you're stuck in(more) a moment that feels like hours or even days. Your brain can think of nothing else except for that for which you mourn.
The whole world goes away.
Then, out of the corner of your eye, your right eye, you see it. A small speck of dust has shifted and you wonder what has happened. You wonder what has changed that the speck of dust moves. So you try to move. Your arm reaches out and all of a sudden, the air is fresh again. It hits you with the energy of a dying sun and you struggle to breathe at first. You fall back into your bed, your head hitting the pillow. You can hear the neighbor's dog barking. Everything is coming back to you.
So you decide to get out of bed to try and see what else has changed. When your toes touch the floor, your heart starts beating again. "How long was I gone?", you wonder. It felt like forever but you were only gone for a little while. It felt like it would stay forever but the hopelessness has started to fade. You lost something dear to you but now you can breathe again.
It's that moment of acceptance, when life begins again.
horrible, horrible, beautiful pain.
Corbin twitches into wakeness with the soothing touch to his aching back. It feels nice and relaxing for the first moment, then he looks over his shoulder and sees--
his eyes are wide, enraptured--
fingers moving over the (horribl(more)e, freakish) protrusions on Corbin's back--
and he screams.
The Blackbird moves away in shock. Corbin tries to get up, tangled in his too-large, thick robe, and ends up rolling onto the floor. He winces when one of his wings hits the ground, but persists through the pain and gets to his feet.
"Get out!" he shrieks, pointing at the window, his sight blurring with hot, salty tears. "Get out!"
The Blackbird stands on the sill, his hands help up defensively. "Corbin, I--" he tries to explain, but Corbin refuses to hear it. He stumbles backwards, running into his dresser, knocking over a few pill bottles.
"Now!" he adds, his hands shaking with rage and fear.
The Blackbird looks at him--eyes heavy with regret in the center of yellow circles on his mask--and backs out through the opened window. He seems just as shocked as Corbin as he glances back through the window and runs off into the night.
Corbin sinks to his knees, sobbing. The Blackbird had been the only person who was kind to him since his governess left, and now he knows how much of a freak Corbin is. He knows he'll never see the Blackbird again--even if the thief isn't disgusted by Corbin's deformities, he was forced out of his room, out of his life.
Corbin swallows the bitter tears that run into his mouth, burying his face in his hands. He feels numb but for the aching, swollen joints on his back and the thrum of his pump. (less)
In a moment of absolute clarity you realize exactly what you feel - hatred. Pure and undiluted hatred, a deep sort of loathing that permeates to the core of your very soul. You have this pressing need to keep him close, to hold him tenderly only so he might(more) let his guard down long enough for you to sink your fingernails into his flesh, to claw at him until he peals and rends and bleeds. You take a second to bask in these feelings, the truest ones you've ever known - there's a certain contentedness that comes with having such conviction in consciousness.
As you look at his face, twisted in his usual parody of passive benevolence, you remember that the divide between human cognizance exists; he is not privy to your burst of awareness, will never bear the full brunt of your emotions unless you choose to divulge your intimate thoughts, and that thought makes you smile.
"That's some grin y'got on right now. What'ca thinkin' bout?"
Oh that smile, so open, so friendly, so sincere, so fake. As if you could be drawn into such an obvious lie. But social conventions dictate your response, and you're careful to let none of your distaste bleed into your words. "I'm reflecting upon the genuine nature of emotions," you start as you hold your smile in place. "It's quite an amazing thing to behold."
"Yeah? Y'mean like love? That's the strongest thing on this crazy world of ours, y'know."
"Yes, that's certainly one of the more powerful ones." If he notices your evasion, he says nothing of it. How could he? It'd conflict with his saccharine personality, and that can't be allowed. You've no doubt he's noted it, somewhere in that insidious mind of his. No matter. You can wait.(less)
Not knowing what this feeling is
That pull and twist on my insides
That makes me try extra hard not to show you anything on my face
But knowing it all in my eyes and my mouth
I bite my lip in regret
(more) And wonder
Why are you still sitting there looking at me
Why was our hug goodbye so literally relieving
But I can't stop wanting the way I feel
Reckless as I am
Maybe I know better
Making love in the afternoon sun
In a hotel room
Above the alley
Where winos are looking for left over bottles
Making love in the afternoon sun
Beneath a painting of a cobblestone road
(more) While the birds are watching through the window
And the wind is blowing
And cars are driving by
Making love on the carpet
As blue as the ocean
And a half empty bottle of wine
The music plays gently
Two bodies, souls entwined
That moment is simply this-
When living stops
The world buzzes
But we are deaf
The world goes on with or without us
So for now
Let’s get left behind
It was strange, having a funeral for someone who's not really dead. The night Dave died, we were all sitting around him, the whole family. And me. I was sitting outside, though, giving them some room. I'd been Dave's best friend for years, so I was his first emergency(more) contact. I guess because his family lived outside the city. So on the night of the accident, I was the first one to find out and drive to the hospital.
I was sitting there, remembering all the good times, because what else can you do in the face of death? So I sat there, and remembered the night Dave and I were in the bar and we met the REAL Jimmy Hoffa, because THAT'S a night to remember. He hadn't really died or vanished so much as been constantly drunk since '75. You would too if you'd seen what he'd seen. Anyway he was out celebrating his hundredth birthday alone, so it was pretty much like being dead anyway, he'd said.
As I remembered this, the Dave in my memories asked me about the accident. I figured it was just my imagination. But then Dave started talking about how he wanted the funeral to go, and I started not being able to remember the night going any other way.
So we put him in the ground, the way I told his family he'd wanted it to be, near his family farm and very low-key. With a wake, of course. Anyway, everyone who'd ever known Dave got blackout drunk that night, and the next morning, when I remembered the day we met in college, he told me about how when we'd all been too drunk to remember anything, least of all him, it was exactly like dying. Even more than the accident.(less)
You're about to speak into the silence. He's leaning forward in his chair, brows raised slightly, eyes searching your face for...something. What, you aren't sure. A cautious tranquility has settled in your limbs. You feel heavy, rooted. But this isn't the time to be still. He's looking at you.(more) Waiting.
You look out the window to avoid his stare. It's irritating. The more he leans forward, the more you want to lean back. It always turns out this way; he traps you and you don't know how to turn away. So here you are.
A fork in the road in front of you, and you don't know which way leads to happiness. Outside, there is a boy walking his dog, although it appears that the dog is actually walking the boy. Constantly tugging at his leash, straining forward.
You force your eyes away from the window. He is still looking at you with the same intensity. You open your mouth. You speak into the silence.
"I don't think this is working."
The weight is slowly draining from your body, like water swirling down the drain.
You glance out the window again, but both boy and dog are out of sight.(less)