Wednesday, September 29, 2010

a quick quip of a quote

Where we are is never good enough. Where we aren’t is always the greener. Tell me Joe, can you say you’ve seen her? Take a minute and look up, she’s running through the bluff. We’ve buried our eyes in our hands. With our hearts on the sleeves of our screens. We’ve found a way to hide and be seen. Touting our honesty, with our heads in the sands. Of time. Of death. Of grace. Of anything that’s left.

Monday, September 27, 2010

a story in parts. this is two.

the sun pouring in through the driver's side window was reminding Constance of her younger days. she used to sit in her brother's bedroom a foot or two from his window with the shades pulled up, watching the dust bunnies dance in the beams. her youth was quiet but nothing less than happy. there were moments of sadness, to be sure, but those were easily forgotten aside from the day Ethan left. she was 17 and it was a thursday morning. summertime in her house usually revolved around morning cartoons and the above ground pool they "inherited" when they moved in. shortly after the last cartoon her little brother wanted to watch was over there was a knock at the door. as she approached the door, through the thick bevelled glass she could make out the silhouette of her best friend and a grin crept onto her face. her steps turned a bit more bouncy and she opened the door. the next hour and half was full of tears and hugs as he told her he was going to be leaving and wasn't sure when or if he was coming back. it all made sense to her. he was drawn to the hurting and the less fortunate. he felt called to be where they are, hoping that he could be a source of Light for them. this was Ethan. it made sense. but in the selfish corner of her heart, this was exactly why she loved him so much. this was exactly why they were best friends. and she didn't want to lose that. she didn't want to lose him.

now ten years later, she's speeding down I-94 with her face drenched in the sunlight and her soul drenched in anxiety. she wondered what brought him back after ten years. she pictured the moment of pulling up to his parents house and seeing him on the swing, waiting, smiling. in one version, she screeches up to the house and leaps from her car, running to him and jumping into his arms with tears and hello's. in another, she pulls up slowly, takes her time walking to him, stops at his threshold and takes his hands in hers and just looks into his eyes with tears in hers and takes it in before wrapping her arms around his neck.

but then something hit her. she slammed on the brakes. what the hell was she doing? he hadn't called?! he hadn't written?! why would she just act like that didn't happen?! the car was now in park and she was pacing around it with her right hand holding the hair out of her eyes staring at the ground while her left hand was placed defiantly on her hip. what was she doing? she continued pacing and after what didn't feel long enough, she lit a cigarette and got back into the car. she filled her lungs with nicotine and the hope of calm. now the car was in drive and she was back on 94. she had come too far to go back now, but at this point, the movie in her head showed her car pulling into her parents house instead of his. then walking somberly inside to sit at the table with her mother, sipping on tea and deliberating on her next move. on the next scene. now all there was was that. that and driving with the sun as it set.

Friday, September 24, 2010

a story in parts. this is one.

stop reading this if you think it's going to be interesting or change your life. stop reading this if you're looking for an escape. this is imprisonment. this is shackles on your ankles. this will be a moment in time you wish you hadn't started.

today is the first day in a long time. there's been days before but how many counted? if she were to add them up, she'd still have a hand to pick up the broken vase on the floor next her bed stand. the reversing truck sounded from her red digital clock and as usual, Constance spun over quickly to slam the snooze button into oblivion. but today she knocked the new flowers over. she met them the night before. they were waiting for her at the door. as she bent over to pick them up she watered them with her tears. how many flowers had she ever gotten? if she counted the dozens, this would be the first. the card sat anonymously on top of the white gardenia and read to her

you make me the maddest
you make me the happiest
you make me weak kneed
you make me the strongest
you make me the most i have ever been

she wasn't the kind that gave her attention to more than one man. in all actuality, she has only ever given her attention to three in her life. this floral gift had to be from one of those three. she couldn't imagine any other explanation. on the back of the card there was a number that wasn't in her phone. she tried those reverse phone look up websites. nothing. she called her sister to see if she knew the number. nothing. she had narrowed it down to the possibility of her home town based on the area code. none of the three men live or ever had lived there. so the mystery only widened.

her sleepy eyes were quickly awakened to the crash of the vase then just as quickly, they swelled with tears again. her instincts kicked in and she hustled off the other side of the bed, ran to the kitchen, got a broom, a glass of water and a towel. she saved the arrangement and gathered the pieces of the ceramic that held the first buds of happiness she'd had in a while. how many times had she smiled in the last year? if she counted, she could pass a kindergarten math exam. she brought the small pile to her bed and sat on the foot of bed bench her Pops carved in the depression trying desperately to put the puzzle together. the ceramic puzzle and the whole puzzle. get a grip Constance.. think. as her mind was racing through the memories of home, from the playground to the stage she took the diploma on, the phone rang. once. twice. and kept ringing. she knew she had eight before it went to voicemail. she had eight to ten seconds to decide: answer? screen? she took it. while the ID noted it was from her home town, she thought nothing of it. her Pops could be calling from the pharmacy again asking for his Medicare number. but her hello was followed by a voice she hadn't heard in a long, long time. Ethan. "Hi Constance." she could hear a smile on his voice and knew immediately who it was. who was calling. who had sent the flowers. all in three words, she knew.

the ensuing conversation ended with her in her car, overnight bag in the back seat and Ryan Adams on the speakers. she couldn't believe her best friend from home was back. he stopped the letters. he stopped the postcards. the blog his mother kept hadn't been updated in months. she assumed he had found his place in the Eastern European turmoil. his missionary heart had always been the driving force in his life. he was in love with the children affected by war. he was in love with the God who could save them more than any of us could. he was in love with marrying the two. her mind was racing faster than her '98 Camry. what was he doing home? why did he write those things? why did he have to compound the note with her favorite flowers?

this was part one. there will be more. i told you you wouldn't escape.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

TV Life

this might become a song at some point, but for now its just a poetic rambling:

i think our lives play out like a mini series
drama for an hour then we take a week's break
it builds and builds as the episodes progress
but after 13 weeks... these were our lives at stake

what would it take to turn it off?
a life we made of our own cast
all we are are flashing red yellow blue
but our beating hearts, they won't last

we're driven by the 30 second spots
the young family selling us their lives
a beautiful woman not saying a word
a roaming wandering helpless child

wistful romance we think will stir the world
gaping chasms cleared by a single bound
we're writing ourselves as the heroes we aren't
hoping to sleep later, tucked safe and sound

we will all be nothing more than our own worst critics.