Step One

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I’m incredibly explosive.
I know as soon as I channel it all in one direction there will be no going back, so excuse me for being so cautious.
I like being alone. Wait, correction, I like being alone until the sun goes down. When the light fades, we all become more vulnerable, it’s simply human nature. Perhaps Van Gogh first discovered that. Notice how some of his most famous works are set in the shade of evening? That’s because true art is found in universal commonalities, beauty is harmony. We learn to see better in the dark, we’re forced to focus our eyes more intently to separate our surroundings from our boundaries. When the light is re-elected into office every morning, no one worries about seeing boundaries, they’re too busy chasing horizons. Our need for others comes only when the day’s anthem stops and night’s propaganda begins.
Careful.
Careful.
Careful.
I’ve walked on tiptoes around the topic for years now. What was once irrelevant is now terrifying close and I’m still getting the hang of walking normally to begin with.
Once it starts, I’m afraid my mind will lose the battle to my emotions. Like a crack in a dam, it could be fine for a while. Eventually the dam will break and I’ll be forced to bare my skin and sew my heart onto my sleeve. I already don’t like needles…
I hate wasting time.
So the journey begins here. Leaving behind all that held me to this place, I’ll seek to find the balance between wisdom and whims. I’ll walk this tightrope until I reach the other side. I apologize in advance if it rains, I get frustrated pretty easily. There won’t be any storms though. Why would I bring on thunder if it keeps me awake?
Slowly learning how to weed through the presented opportunities I’ll find my foothold on this mountain. The end result is that of legends, so what can convince me to back down?
I built this cabin out of the most “careful” materials, so if you need a match there is a store down the road. This place has kept me safe but I’m getting restless and I think it’s time to change my address. Risk is waiting on my RSVP and I can’t keep stalling so, wish me luck and stay close to your tv. You’ll no doubt see something newsworthy before our last day. This is my first step, the ground is full of promise. Every step I take flattens one accomplishment to make room for another. I’ll find the answer and send you a postcard from cloud nine.
It is so close. Mythology is on course to collide with reality and I’ll be the target.

St. Patrick’s Day Screw-Up

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St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday so I’m seeing the town return from its fit of green hour by hour. The strangest thing happened to me last night, it all started with “Sweet Caroline”.

“Good times never seemed so good…”

The mixture of the melody and a vibrating end table told me my phone was ringing. Assuming it was a friend confirming plans, I answered without looking.
“Hello?”
“Hi…is Tyler around?”
Confused, I reply, “No I’m sorry you must have the wrong number. Unless my dog changed his name to Tyler and was expecting a call.”
A deep, exhaled laugh fills his end of the phone, “He mentioned something about eating his phone on accident and told me I could reach him with this number. Apparently his upgrade isn’t for a few more weeks.”
This guy has jokes. Before I can catch myself, I start uncontrollably laughing. “Plus the buttons were too small for his paws, he said something about feeling like an animal when he tried to press them. I think it was hard for his self esteem.”
“Well he has struggled with that in the past. I once caught him chewing on celery instead of a bone. There was talk of beach bodies and Spring Break. I tried to help him through it.”
At this point laughter takes over entirely. Both of us add, “Oh my gosh” between laughs.

“So Tyler has never mentioned you, what’s your name?” he asks.
I proceed to jokingly give him the name, Arnold Palmer. “You must be pretty sweet then, Arnold. Well if I can’t get your name can I at least give you mine?”
What harm could it be to know this witty stranger’s name? “Sure, why not?”
“Drew. Mountain Drew. We have so much in common, beverage names are so rare these days.” Right as he said Mountain Drew he tried to suppress laughs but he couldn’t. How is he still on this roll of his?
Hanging up the phone I look at the screen and realize I’ve been talking to this man for three hours. Over the course of that time I changed my mind about my previous plans, ignored 6 calls and talked about nearly everything under the sun with this faceless someone.
I found out his name was Andrew, so Mountain Drew wasn’t too far off, I suppose. He graduated from my cousin’s alma mater and knows good music when he hears it. Our common interests are found in seventies jams, action movies and crappy comics in the newspaper.
We laughed, told embarrassing stories and found we put our faith in the same One.
Instead of getting wasted on watered down boredom we spent the evening exchanging experiences and expanding what we see as possible.
From here on we may appear to be only two people who recently followed the other on Twitter but somehow this accidental encounter splashed truth on us both.
We all have a common denominator. This world isn’t as big as we make it out to be, in fact, its shrinking everyday. And last night was a prime example of that. There is so much out there for us to find. Adventure and memories are simply waiting for you. All you have to do is answer the phone.

“Someday”

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I write the word “Someday” as a reassurance that it’s on its way.
Capitalize the “S” because it will be an important day.
Growing weary in the waiting, keep your mind busy.
There is a struggle. No one said it would be easy.
I smile as I see the promise on paper,
I tuck it away in a trunk, just to keep it safer.
Skipping through the calendar,
The once faint sound grows louder.
Writing and waiting,
Bursting through the boundaries. No more gating.
Coming up behind me, the word whispers daydreams.
Shooting out one by one, bright and warm, like sunbeams.
Gaining comfort in the curves of the letters,
We’ll learn how to rebuild. It doesn’t ruin, it betters.
Adding some flare to the “y”
I drift off and let out a bashful sigh.
One day this state will be nothing but a memory,
I’ll sit under the stars and embrace sweet serenity.
This ink on paper will fight its confinement,
Our fate lies in merely stars’ alignment.
Words to reality is a process that tests you.
You have to decide what hope you’ll cling to.
When your let head fall, it tells of the character within.
What will you say for yourself when you were too busy pouting to win?
Look forward, the desire is at your heels.
Your dreams provided by the One who heals.
Keep your pen close, write until the page is covered.
You’ll only remember your dreams in your hands, you’ll forget how they hovered.

Drunk and Depressed

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Stumbling through the door of our apartment complex she falls against the wall in search for stability. A plastic cup decorated in a well known beer logo hangs snuggly in her grip as she lifts it to take a sip. Her disheveled hair makes her look desperate and her glasses sit in a crocked slant on the bridge of her nose. Shuffling in my direction, the woman moves closer. I continue to look down at my mail as if I am completely unaware of her presence. Although the smell of alcohol clogs my throat, I focus my attention on being invisible. Despite my efforts, the smell gets closer and before I can leave a heavy hand falls on my shoulder.
The question, “What do you think of my glasses?” comes from a slurred voice to the side and slightly behind my ears. I turn with a smile and reply with a simple, “I think they look great.”
She begins to comb through her hair with her fingers and it flattens some of craziest parts. “Really? I lost my glasses and I found these outside. Are you sure they look ok?”
The two perfect circles frame her eyes and I notice how pretty she is. I place her in her late fifties, even though her dark black hair throws you off track for a second. The wrinkles that dance around her eyes suggest wisdom spoken in sarcastic tones and late nights of hard work. She’s struggling with something. It is as evident as the oversized black coat draped over her shoulders.
“Yeah, they are a great pair of glasses. And you know everyone is wearing circle frames right now. They suit you well.”
Just then a man in a similar condition slides through the door and curses it as if it tried to attack him. His white hair stands on end in several places and to be honest, he looks like the kind of guy I would be on my guard around, especially at night. He mutters something about the weather and points at nothing every time he uses profanity.
I have company upstairs, I should be going. As I try to make an exit, the woman goes off on another tangent. Politics of all things. Naturally the direction of our government should be discussed by people that are not in their right mind. It’s gotten us this far, right?
He starts yelling and that gets her rattled. Storming off he decides she is weighing him down. She bursts into tears as soon as the man enters the stairwell.
I try to console her while trying to keep my mail under my arm.
Amid the tears and exhausting exhales she finally blurts out, “My husband died two days ago. I don’t even really know that guy. He’s a jerk…”
Suddenly the company awaiting me upstairs fades into the most irrelevant parts of my mind.
I don’t ask questions. I don’t offer promises of happiness, I simply play the role of a quietly, comforting bystander. After what feels like the heaviest minutes of drunken grief, she silently walks away.

How curious.
Humans cope with pain by numbing everything that means anything. Widowed and wandering, this woman walked the city streets with an intoxicated stranger in an attempt to forget about the man that died with her heart in his hands. Using cheap beer to cover up the scent of the cologne that lingered on that jacket she wore, she sought to drown in the brewed boldness given to her by intoxication.
Two days after tragedy this woman was already “all in” the poker game of emptiness. I cannot even begin to understand the pain she must be feeling underneath it all. Don’t mistake my observations for judgment. I couldn’t tell you what I would do if my world collapsed around me. My heart aches within me as I trudge up the stairs to my perfectly intact world. It’s incredible how layers of drywall can separate joy from pain; mountain tops from rock-bottom. Tears in 21 while 15 celebrates an anniversary. How strange. Pain is like a trap in the deepest woods. It is well hidden and it always catches its victim off guard. From now on, I’ll stick to the city streets to avoid that same fate. I say a prayer for the mysterious widow as I reach my door. I pray that she looses that man and finds her happiness instead. I pray that her pain fades and leaves behind only extra strength to carry her through the coming days. Two days is too soon to have it all together, I don’t blame her in the slightest bit. Tonight, he and I will celebrate our special day in honor of the livelihood of the love that brought us together. Tonight, I’ll hold close the happiness that woman once had. For her I will never take this love, this joy, for granted. I realize it is fragile and rare. I tip back the glass of youth while remembering her face.
I envision sparks of hope invading her darkest nights.
I believe in you, whatever your name is. I believe you can be healed and happy.

Miles: The Mind-game Magician

I’m going to blame daylight savings and a ridiculously long nap for this inability to sleep. I simply can’t give you credit for this, even though your name is shouting its symbols and sounds in my mind as I try to sleep. Its like a child trying to get attention in a crowded room; waiving, stomping, and crying it creates a scene. Is it possible to pacify thoughts?
I’d like for you to give me some space in my subconscious. You pop up in my mind during the day and you visit my thoughts at night. It’s really unfair to wake up without you when my mind swears you were just here.
I met a guy downtown yesterday. Guess what his name was? I wanted to punch him and kiss him all at the same time for making me think of you again. Your name has become a medicine and a snake bite to me. It comforts me when I feel claustrophobic but it chokes me when I venture into the unknown.
I miss you but it is getting a little out of hand. Miles, tell me how this happened. I don’t understand how you infiltrate the most guarded parts of my heart and mind. I gave up smoking so please stop following me before I start fuming.
I want so badly to sleep and dream of the future, not the past. Could you back away, hands up, for my sake? The side effects of sleepless nights don’t suit me very well. I’m starting to wonder who looks in the mirror for me in the morning. The face I meet seems worn and exhausted.
I turned off the radio as it played our song and I changed the channel as soon as that show came on. Metaphorically speaking, I’m building a fence and you can’t jump it anymore. No more tossing rocks at my window. It wakes me up when I want to be asleep and that makes me say bad words. Not to mention that fact that rocks tend to break windows and I have no intentions of repairing windows.
It’s been five days in a row now. I can’t shake the thought of you and trust me, I’ve tried. We haven’t spoken in nearly ten months but still you remain on my mind. Reason and clarity clearly abandoned me on this sideways journey.
Watching my favorite show that character comes on screen. He reminds me of your brother, who reminds me of you. Which reminds me of us and we aren’t a “we” anymore. I’m a “me” and you’re a “you”. I think I need to reestablish that.
I’m closing with this:
I chose you once, Miles, and I’d chose you if I had to do it all again. But now, I need to see my own path. The street names should now longer be, “Miles Street”, “Main Miles Street”, “First Miles Avenue”, or “St. Miles Boulevard”. I need to clear my head. Oh, side note, my path will be switching to measurements in kilometers. For obvious reasons.

He Said/She Said: Goodbye

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He Said/She Said: Goodbye
There she stood, carrying the scent of coffee. Now there’s two things he swore he wouldn’t be addicted to again.
Her chipped black nail polish was a dead giveaway of her constant need to fidget. Smiling amid conversation she felt his eyes on her like the sunlight piercing her closed eyelids in the summer. He quickly looked away and tried to recover by striking up a conversation with the man nearest him.
Is it possible that people get more beautiful everyday?
He thought about her while pretending to hear this man’s story.
She too had left her body in conversation while permitting her mind to wander off.
Perhaps this time I’ll say hello. It’s the mature approach after all. I just don’t know if it will give him the wrong impression if I seek him out. Broken, I left him to pick of the pieces of his own shattered heart. And the worst part is I did the crime without even knowing…

She broke me. Every fiber that constructs this body I wear felt like lead after she left. I loved her more than anything and she didn’t feel the same way. How could I love her so fiercely and yet she sits there unattached in the most beautifully painful way?

He was so kind to me. Everyday he told me I was pretty and even more importantly he held me like the world, or fate, could never pry me from his hands. I wanted to love him back but my heart shrank within my body as I discovered we simply weren’t meant to be. I felt so small that night. My breaths made inconsistent designs in the air as I told him he needed to move on from me and evict me from my residence in his heart. We had different ecosystems and different horizons. I couldn’t keep going down my path with my fingers intertwined in his.

That night was so cold. She made me feel warm though. Despite the dropping temperatures she remained relaxed until she started talking. I wasn’t really paying attention at first because her nose and cheeks were so adorably red I couldn’t focus on anything else. The word “separate” jolted me back into reality. She cried as she told me she wanted to rid me of herself. She claimed that we didn’t want the same things and tried to persuade me into thinking I needed someone who wanted what I wanted. Well where on earth would I find someone like that? Someone who wanted her as much as I did. And what good would they be to me if I found them? It was just her that I wanted. She made time stand still in affection and start again in arguments. Short lived tension and unending moments of treason against loneliness were our bread and butter.

He never liked my jazz music until I showed him the dancing that went with it. Engulfed in his arms I felt like I was in the middle of the ocean in a raft. Things were great until I saw a tiny hole that screamed the air out of my safety. He was perfect according to my list of desired traits but I couldn’t help but feel like I was cheating on my soulmate with a man who just wasn’t it. In the distance I heard a faint voice call out, “Don’t give up on me. I’m coming.” He held me close but at the same time he held me back. I wanted him to be it, it’s simply easier that way and he truly cared for me but as time went on I had to stop the train. I had to stop rearranging the furniture and admit that the house was on fire. My soulmate deserved that much of me.

She said she didn’t have a solid reason for leaving. It just “wasn’t right” or something simple like that. That paper excuse cut me open and poured lemon juice into my newly formed injury. There I stood with my heart totally uncovered and all she had was a confused presentation of why it wasn’t meant to be for us. I hated her tears and her shaking apologies. They tore me up. I wanted to hug her and brush the tears off of her face and see those glossy eyes raise at the corners the way they always did when she smiled. But I couldn’t touch her. She wouldn’t want that if she didn’t want me. Her words made me angry. How could she not feel the undeniable chemistry? I forgot to breathe as I realized…I wouldn’t live life with her under my arm anymore.

He looked mad and broken all at the same time. Like a child who’s father didn’t make it to his baseball game as he promised. I reached for his hand as my exhausted mouth leaked out an apology. He grabbed my hand back and I could feel the pain running through his veins. I had no idea it would hurt this bad. Pulling him in closer my lips pressed against his and he let them. I let out a small sigh as I realized this was our last. I pulled away and he denied my distance. Coming back his lips found mine and this time the silence lost the battle to my sobs. He hugged me and told me he loved me. I pinched my eyebrows together and shook my head as if to say, “Please, don’t say that…” Walking away I felt like I murdered his heart and just noticed the blood stains on my hands. Goodbye is so cold and sharp. Like an icicle dangling from a rooftop. It formed and awaited its time. Tonight it fell down on the both of us. Impaling the very cavity that once held us close.

She turned around and walked away. Every step she took in my opposite direction felt like a slap in the face. I used to watch her walk because I loved the way she carried herself. Her body was so strikingly attractive yet she walked unaware and glided with a healthy confidence. Now I watched her through tear filled eyes as her shoulders slump forward and her head falls into her hands. How could this much pain be good for either of us? Is this what she wanted? Her pure soul seems like it turned to water and flooded from her eyes. She looked so empty as she left. Smaller and smaller she became in my sight. Moving seemed like climbing Everest. It was something unachievable for me. Cement blocks of confusion and longing had molded around my feet. I simply stood there with my mouth open as if to call her back through the lips that still carried her touch.

She walked to her car and cried until her body later gave into sleep’s demands. He walked back to his apartment with a clenched jaw and tears streaking down his nearly frozen face. January seventh burned a hole right in the middle of that winter for them.

Walking up to him she thought to herself, “This is crazy.” Her mind begged her to turn and run away but apparently her heart was controlling her feet because they kept moving toward him. He turned around and she stopped about three feet from him. Smiling he reached out to hug her with a friendly, “How have you been?” Her bones felt brittle in his embrace as she replied with a cheerful, “Good. And how about yourself?” Pulling apart they began small talk.

Holding her again did something to me. I smiled and acted cordial but inside I felt like I had begun to deflate. She looked so beautiful I couldn’t help but to wish I could stay this close to her forever. Absently involved in chitchat I play back my favorite moments with her in my mind like I did everyday after she left.

In an instant I was in his arms and then back out of them. Suddenly I realized I wanted to savor that embrace but it was too late, the moment had already passed. He looks great. He let his hair grow a little and I can see the ends curling back into a dark pattern that makes him look more like his father. Amid our talk I realize my eye contact with him changes. I feel like I’m falling into his eyes and every part of me melts as the hazel color takes me over. This feeling of desire needs to stop so I input myself back into reality.

She stands with all her weight shifted onto her left foot as her hip is slightly popped. One hand rests on her left hip and the other twists her pearl necklace around her fingers. I’m so caught up I can’t remember if I am talking or she is. I wish she felt what I’m feeling. I pretend to see this honey fill her from the inside. It starts at her feet then pours until it raises her mouth into a smile and completely fills her. Blinking fast once or twice I notice that I am rambling on about work. She remains alert and listening so I’m positive the she isn’t drifting off into our past…disappointed I wrap up my sentence and give her a chance. Either way I’ll be hung up on her very presence.

The party is dying down and we’ve only been talking for about 10 minutes and my friend comes up to me and interrupts my sentence with, “You ready to go?” Involuntarily I contort my forehead and my lips form a crease like the one in the book that holds our story together.
“Uh, yeah. I’ll be out to the car in a minute.” Smiling, her and I nod to each other and she walks away swinging her lanyard like a bored lifeguard in the middle of summer.

So this is goodbye. She looks like she was mid-breath and her lungs gave out when her friend leaves. I smile again hoping it jogs her emotion’s memory and stretch my arms out for a hug. “Well I’ll see you around.” I say wanting to add, “I’ve missed you.” I leave it out and hold her briefly one more time.

“Yeah, it was nice catching up.” I say as we both loosen our arms and readjust our distance. I notice how I make sure to say “nice” instead of something too eager like “great” or “wonderful”. I’m doing all I can to suppress these feelings that flood into my eyes and ears and mouth. “Goodbye.”

“Bye.”

Walking their own paths their minds, though clouded with a dense fog, remained on the other.

She told herself, “Sometimes love doesn’t work out how you want it to no matter much it lingers.”

He reminded himself that she hurt him once. It would not doubt happen again. Tattered and barely recognizable his partially mended heart couldn’t withstand another devastating event. Perhaps love isn’t joyful like their first April together. Maybe it’s like that January and this February- cold and lonely.

Setting out next week for the world she knew love would find her. He taught her valuable lessons in love but now her soulmate felt nearer than ever. Sad to actually let go of him she thanks her lucky stars for ten minutes of closure at a party with him. Though they were both still confused one day they would find their destinies awaiting them like planes awaiting passengers.

Love can be strange. It is a teacher. A discipliner. A fighter. An attacker. It is oxygen and it is poison. Love makes us stretch our existence and never fully return to where we started. Love binds us but loosens us. It clouds our vision but opens our eyes. Love works and love falls apart, but in the end love lives under our heels in the moment before our foot takes a step. Love is the weight of fatigue that rolls down our eyelids telling us to make a wise choice for ourselves. Love is the story that contains the secrets to success. Love is invasive in the most magical and confusing ways.

The Manic Manifesto

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We might not be the brightest. We blink after our bedtime and inhale energy.
We are the furthest from fame. Hell, we’re the closest to calamity but our hearts are carved out of hardened determination.
Remind me again why the need of mediocrity’s morphing is so contagious. Did they knowingly pick level one when we have already paid for the Penthouse?
Odd.
I’m easily the biggest bystander but when the time comes I’m the crowd’s coordinator. Sometimes I laugh in the face of levitation because I am so grounded but someone has to do Newton justice.
Call me courageous or charge me with chaotic conspiracy. I’ll hire a lawless lawyer and take your tires.
My crew and I, we’re the managers of major league madness. Running through the rafters we make it rain riddles.
He and I skydive until we land in the sea. We’ll swim and warn the others.
I accomplish a lot with my accomplice.
We sing songs of system collapse while we dance to drown out the daytime demolition. Smashing through smiles made of plastic we’ll preserve the present of patience. Irony will flow through our veins as we eradicate ignorance. Most of the time we will modestly mosey through manmade monuments while planning our own presentation of this planet.
Look past us now and look up at us later.
We have greatness grown on the inside of our generation. Gradually gaining strength we’ll speed past the sideways thinkers and coronate the once cowardly. We’ll practice publishing poems with pens and paper while learning to love the lines that test our intelligence.
Crafting confetti out of constellations we plan the party of the century.
Galileo gathered gangsters to disprove the decided. We will imitate the iconic imagery once more.
Manic and misinformed about the mainland we will sail on staring at the star lit shipwreck.
Tonight we turn over the tin of tainted water and take over the toll booths.
I’m 20 years sober now so I am sorry about the trashed “someones” outside. Somewhere along the sunrise they will see their salvation and cease it.
The time has come to take the world by thunderstorm. Trample the tides of temporary highs and handcuff the harshness of reality to the dark side of the moon. Our stomps will be the sound of history being made.
This band of musical misfits might just migrate to the mountain top in search of matchless matrimony.
Love is life.
We will be incased in our youthful, yawn-free state after tonight. We will be forever free in this eternal Neverland. The rights to wrinkles will be given to the winged worriers. And we will remain ripe and ready for reckless adventure.
Will you join the joyful shenanigans or wait sightless on the sideline?
Ready to rule or comfortably content, here is your chance to be change.
Take it or type your regrets.

Can you keep the secret of you, me, him?

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What would happen if I told you something kind of personal?

What would happen if I told you that being around you is like putting on my old favorite sweater? I feel secure and warm but it only lasts until you leave. You seem like you are doing really well for yourself these days, and I am so happy for you. But I can’t help but wonder things. I mean I catch myself talking about you every now and then and it doesn’t make sense because I doubt you do the same.

I tried to give him a chance but you have ruined my tolerance for anything less than what I deserve. I know now more than ever that you treated me really great. You respected me and I never knew how rare that behavior was until he came along. Tall and smooth with words, I made myself give him a chance. As it turned out I literally couldn’t stand being with him because he was nothing like you. He talked about himself and treated my passions like hobbies. You, well you encouraged me in the things I love. I couldn’t joke around with him. For some reason I had walls up every time he was with me. Letting him in didn’t seem right, he didn’t earn that or deserve it. When it came to you, I felt like we could laugh over the dumbest stuff and still find time to get serious. Being myself around you wasn’t a struggle, I never felt like I needed to question your motives. I looked forward to breaking down those walls with you. It ended before we got very far. He only commented on my physical appearance, which you didn’t do much of, but I realized it didn’t matter because I hated compliments from him, I didn’t trust him like I trusted you. He thought I was a done deal for him but he still acted insecure about everything. You, you were confident in whatever it was we had. You never acted insecure and yet somehow you seemed shocked when I said I “liked you, liked you”. It was the cutest thing. I felt like I won that night. I won something I never expected. That made it that much sweeter.

Time passes and people move on. I suppose this is just my way of doing that. Or deciding how to do that. I’m not hung up but obviously I haven’t fully let go. I’m just afraid to fall either way. Can you keep the secret of you, me, him?

Have you seen this man?

Running around she holds a single sheet of paper in her hand.
Running from stranger to passerby she looks for him.
Running out of breath she continually asks, “Have you seen this man?”
Running out of people to ask she walks toward a park bench. Nothing but confused stares…she wasn’t having much luck.

Asking her,
Asking them,
Asking the One above,
“Have you seen this man?”

Waving the sheet of paper she says, “He is tall, with dark hair and eyes that make you weak at the knees.”
Waving to the couple across the street she tries to get their attention, “He smiles even when there isn’t sunshine.”
Waving the fees of the past from her heart’s bank account she remembers, “He loves so genuinely I almost can’t believe it.”

He is around here somewhere.
He is fairly hard to find.
“Have you seen this man?”

Bending down she ties her shoe as she sees another person, “His arms are molded to perfectly hold me.”
Bending her wrist she hears a pop as she begins to grow tired. “He should be here, I can’t keep looking.”
Bending her head she cries as she holds up the paper she never let go of, “He is the love of my life. He is somewhere around here.”

A kind looking man comes nearer but she doesn’t notice with her head cradled in her own hands.
Bending down he asks, “Are you ok ma’am?”
He is handsome. She looks up.
Waving his hand he says, “Hi, I’m _______,
have you seen this girl?”
Asking around my town…and other towns proved to be a waste of time so I came here. He notices her beauty right as he says,
“Running into you is just the break I needed.”

She has long since stopped her crying, his eyes…they were captivating. If she wasn’t sitting her knees would feel weak.
He was sitting but she could tell he was tall and his black hair moved gently with the light winds that tousled her hair as well.
“Who are you looking for?” she asks the man
“I could ask you the same thing,” he replied while acknowledging her paper with a slight head tilt.
“I’ll hand mine to you if you hand your paper to me,”
Taken back by her biting honesty and breathtaking features he laughs and pulls out a folded piece of paper out of his pocket, “Alright.”
They exchanged papers and both exhaled through smiling lips.

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THE WOMAN WRAPPED IN A GREEN SCARF

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She hides behind her computer. Quick fingers act like thrashing arms and legs trying to keep her from drowning in work. I saw her here yesterday so I am positive she is in need of a break but she pushes through between sips of coffee.
Draped around her neck is a crocheted green scarf. It lies in a perfectly symmetric way despite her movement from typing to searching through her bag on the floor.
A kind and organized woman.
That is how I see her.
I imagine her sister and her crochet together. No doubt they gossiped about family quarrels and Christmas traditions in between each move of their needles. Calmly she brought up their uncle’s divorce from Lynn, whom they have called their favorite since they were young, just to see how she felt about it. This of course basically belted them into the car headed down 58 Memory Lane. Christmas that year was the first time they started making scarves. It was their uncle Thomas’ new wife Lynn who had bought and wrapped crochet needles for them both. Sadly they talked about those “good old days” and both agreed to call Lynn later on to catch up. This woman in the green scarf would later go on to remember to give Lynn a ring but her sister did not. She was never the organized type. She got that from her father and grandfather. Their family always joked that Richard and Richard Sr. would forget to breathe if it was possible.
Oops.
I made eye contact.
I smile and look back at my screen.
She has no idea that she is the star of this story. She is the tale that is making me tap key after key.
Her fingers stop dancing on her keyboard and she picks at her nails. She doesn’t bite them anymore. She noticed her oldest daughter Mary picked up that habit of hers as a toddler and in order to get Mary to stop chewing at her fingers she had to be an exmaple. Mary later followed suit after a few scoldings. Little does she know, Mary’s youngest daughter has started gnawing at her tiny fingernails as well. Perhaps Mary has started up again. She’ll see at Christmas.
She comes nearer to where I sit and I hold my breath because I am sure she knows what I am hiding. Politely she says a quiet, “Excuse me,” as she unplugs the power chord to her computer from the outlet next to my table. I had forgotten that about twenty minutes prior to now she had done the same thing in reverse order to plug in the chord. I smile and say, “Oh, no problem’”.
Bullet dodged.
She pulls a small grey-green plate closer to her after putting her laptop to the side and begins to tear a small piece from her muffin. By the color I would guess it is cinnamon. I imagine she is trying to savor eat bite because her “Nanna” Jean used to make all kinds of muffins this time of year and the taste always brings her back to those days. I can’t imagine how hard Christmas is without her. Every year is just as hard as the last.
It could be an apple pie muffin I suppose.
She looks like a Barb or perhaps a Tammy. It makes go difference now though, she is packed up and ready to go moments after finishing her pastry.
Let this final line serve as a wave goodbye to the woman wrapped in a green scarf.