Sometimes it etches it can only come through certain means a word that’s embedded in nonsense in lines that aren’t continuous in languages unspoken body parts unseen
In flickers of candle lights at night when one’s alone in the dark in blistering pain, hunger frustration, exhaustion, boredom in the pain of a headache when one wants to dance but one can’t in the right place and time when one wants to dance but one can’t in the wrong place and time when one wants to do a billion things but one’s too small
L is not for the way you look at me o is for everything that’s not me woe is me b is for everything beautiful outside of my realm no need to search for it deep in my eyes it takes a million years to get there, and to see it hiding behind all this is beauty behind the barricade of lips that shut in silence your measure from me is unmeasurable a cacophony of nonsense that doesn’t take us anywhere but to think of you you exist I feel you
She flung her foot on the table and peeled up her black mesh stockings. She looked at him under the misty lights with moist red lips, and casted her eyes down at him. He wished he could run his fingers through her soft blonde hair strands, but he was sitting down on the chair and she was too far up. He looked at her helplessly and thirstily as she prepped herself. His heart was beating out of his thin buttoned shirt. His crotch was pounding. All she had to do was exist. With one look at him, he was flying. With one touch, he would die. He reached his hand to try to touch her, but she was just too far away. He tried to sit up from slouching on his chair, but the gravity was too strong. He tried to whisper her a word, but his voice couldn’t come. He was helpless; helplessly bound, glaring, dreaming, and wondering at the existence of her. Wondering how he could intersect it with his. How he would have a family with her, grow with her, never look at anyone else, and all the other impossible things. How it’d be possible; he’d promise her. He closed his eyes and slid down a circular slide in his thoughts, sinking deeper and deeper into the unknown. He panicked when he was all the way down and he tried to hold her, grab her, reach her.
That’s when he jolted from the chair that he was sitting on. He was in his living room and had been watching the window. It had been raining nonstop for days, and yet again that evening.
Another night and yet again he thought about the wretched stripper that he loved who didn’t love him back. Her luscious hair, her sparkling eyes, the way she spun on the pole and walked with stride. The way she lifted her skirt and teased with her smile. The way she held his hand, to take money once in a while.
The way she hugged that teddy bear that she always wanted, when he had gifted it to her. Her childish dreams still in existence. Her flawless laughter when she laughed. Her deepest thoughts about her future plans when she had to think. When she tantalized men when she didn’t.
Series of rain at nights, in a row. When it poured it blocked her further from him. Stuck in his box of an apartment, looking out the window. ‘This massive block of glass, and an ocean of rain between us’ he thought.
‘It’s too good to be true they say’ he thought, ‘… to be with the one you want to be with. You settle with one that’s settled, but you never settle with the one you sore with.’ She flew with him in his mind, like Phoenix rising in the skies. Again and again her eyes cut through, separating the clouds among sunrises. Her hair lifted with the winds. She was big as the mountain. She was semitransparent with the vast skies. She existed in all the world around him, but never by his side. He cursed at whatever it was that was playing a game with his heart. He cursed at the moon and the stars; whatever they were that brought in loneliness at nights.
He remined listless on the sofa thinking about all the unfair things that he had to cope with. It was unfair that the concept of time, those sneaky stars, and that moon messed with his heart. It was unfair that the world was drenched in rain outside while he sunk without a good reason to hold onto something. ‘Her,’ she was that one reason, somehow. So subtle, and so inconsistent. she, hiding in and out of his life. Him, being pulled by a thin string that no one else could see. ‘It must be madness, or a curse, or a drug. Yet if not this, then what else is there to live for?’ he thought.
He shook his head and his vision refocused to watch the rain hit his window. He could call the sex hotline, get it finished for the night, and wake up the next morning. Instead, a random thought of him doing it with a girl for the first time in middle school came to his mind. It was under the bleachers, and it was an experiment for both the girl and him. He was so nervous yet so excited at the same time. He didn’t think of anything else but doing it. And when he did it, he didn’t think of anything else but it. When he was done, he was done. They awkwardly pulled their pants up and went home separately. He barely spoke to her the next day at school. She barely seemed to care a year down the road. ‘Why couldn’t that be it? Isn’t that it, ultimately?’ he thought.
He couldn’t go to sleep the next night either. It was two consecutive days of feeling frantic. He looked outside his cage-like apartment window, and he couldn’t figure out why he was feeling that way. Was it because he was existing, yet no one was aware of it? Dying each day, yet no one was documenting it? Whether he lived or died, who else cared but himself? Would she care? She was the stripper that he loved whom others probably loved as well. ‘Probably for a short time,’ he thought. He sat down on his sofa in dismay. He essentially had nothing to feel excited about. His thoughts were sporadic. He knew he was wasting his time just sitting down on the sofa, but there was nothing else to do. He couldn’t sleep, he didn’t want to exercise, he didn’t want to eat. ‘Just sporadic thoughts is what it is’ he thought to himself.
Among one was a memory of a time he had made out with a girl on a sofa. It was old, ugly, and dirty; the couch was. It was brown and it had patterned fabric linings. He even remembered the carpet in front of him. The television set was old and clunky, like back in the day. It was daylight, and the curtains were drawn. The television was playing sports. He could remember every detail about the place, but not the girl. ‘Maybe she wasn’t important’ he thought to himself. ‘Wait, I actually despised her’ he remembered. She was the one who initiated the first kiss. He was taken aback by that, and her. It was a short-term affair that didn’t go anywhere. One, among countless affairs he has had. It would have been hard to remember all of that.
He went to the bathroom and brushed and flossed his teeth. He then looked at himself in the mirror. He wondered how he managed to do all that. He saw a man with stubble on his face and few grey hairs. He also had bags underneath his eyes. He turned off the light and walked out. He planned to lay on the bed in the dark until he fell asleep. He tried thinking about her, the stripper whom who loved, but it just made things more frustrating. The real solution was ‘complexity.’ ‘To think and to over think, until one became tried and able to drift to sleep without knowledge’ he thought. So he thought and thought, and thought.
‘How can I live without you’ he thought while envisioning the stripper that he loved. He replayed the conversation they had a couple of nights ago and the many conversations before that. It was all a blur. What stuck to him was how they made him feel, and what he felt was that he needed her. Like water. He went to the kitchen sink and poured himself a glass of water. He drank it all at once, then placed it down on the counter. He glanced at the glass and marveled at its intricate structure. He wondered who decided that such a fragile beautiful thing would be functional.
Like her; she was meant to be marveled at. He closed his eyes and imagined her walking down the stage in glassy high heels. His body thumped in different places.
He looked out the window and the rain was drizzling down the glass. ‘Pouring around the world is it’ he spoke nonsense to himself. Now that he was living alone without a useless roommate, he noticed that he was talking to himself more. It was much better talking to her. Sometimes they would sit near the stage where she performed and just talk. Mostly she talked, and mostly he was hooked on her.
Hooked by her every word. No matter how nonsense they were. Or mundane. Hooked by even those silences where she hesitated to speak. He could read through that.
She didn’t want to be close.
But it was too late, because she liked to talk and he liked to listen to her. Now they were hooked. She was hooked, and he was hooked. For their own benefit, or for misery.
Misery surely for him; for he wanted her. He was the one waiting for her, not the other way around. One word of ‘yes’ from her, and everything in his life would make sense. ‘But when?’ he wondered. ‘Oh that’s right, never’ he thought again. He walked to the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror, ‘Where is she, and where am I…” he thought. He looked at the spider in the corner who’s made it it’s home. ‘Even a spider is more content,’ he thought.
He decided to not do much that night. While everybody was in deep sleep, he was still up. He thought about quitting his nightly sandwich job so that he could see sunrises in the mornings. He slept through most and felt bad about it.
He thought about writing a song or playing an instrument, but the television was easier to turn on. He flipped through a few channels and stopped on one where gorgeous women posed for money in dating advertisements. Then he switched again and landed on a channel that showed a city at night. The actors were walking around trying to solve a case, and he could see the moon above the city sky scraper. He looked outside his own window and saw the partial moon covered by heavy clouds. It was so beautiful. He imaged standing in front of a gorgeous sunrise that flooded with warm colors. It would have been so gorgeous; he would have played with himself. Instead, it and the moon outside his window. He called her name, gazed at the weak beauty of the moonlight from his couch, and jacked himself off. ‘Fuck!’ he screamed to himself afterwards. He imagined the sound reverberate outside the glass window of his living room.
I wouldn’t dream about you had you not come euphoria about you there in your lines words entwine they give in so much about who you are I couldn’t deny them believe me (my love) when I don’t say much I say a whole lot please excuse this complex… matter of where things are
Words come when the winds come and trace their fingertips up and down your skin
when the spell of dry gets quenched by the gulp of your tap water when words form and dont say a thing but those feelings spun by the heart etch themselves in writing
amid the desolate desert of life where no flowers thrive where there’s no rain but the sun and the night, and then the sun in this cycle, you come in and make a phone call reload the gun unleash the cascade of flooded waters pierce the skin with thorns
and then the night comes and then the next day traveling through this unknown; time both of us lost
He and the stripper were sitting across from each other at the table next week. “Can we be close to each other without being lovers”? she asked him. “Well, is there something to talk about?” He asked her. “Some things specifically” she said. “Like…?” “Like the theory of relativity.” “I don’t know about that” he said as he looked away. “It’s how everything’s relative, and it impacts us in every aspect of life” she said. “Where’d you learn that?” he asked. “I didn’t. I just assumed it” she said. “Are we getting any more close right now? he asked her. “Further, because you’re not sticking to the topic” she said. “You standing there dancing on your pole, your mass is relatively distant from me. But relative to my emotions, that distance brings you closer to me” he said. “Good, we’re getting closer now” she smiled. “How much closer?” he stared into her eyes. “An arm’s length” she said from across the table.
It’s desperate, no one’s doing it. There’s calves in Switzerland with spikes on their noses so that they don’t drink their mother’s milk. There’s people who pet and hug cows yet order their limbs for meal every night. Traitors. There’s cows in Switzerland walking in beautiful hills, forming a normal life, but any day any one of them could be picked for murder. The unruly muscular bull probably gets picked to die. Maybe the butchers hate his attitude. The unruly ones are easier to kill because you feel less guilty. Are we humans or are we evil…
There’s pigs spilling off transport trucks that crash while taking them to slaughter factories. Wild ducks being caged.
Spiders being squashed out of someone’s amusement.
Street dogs being poisoned.
Wild animals being burned alive in agricultural fires and wildfires in the Americas.
There’s people who love animals eating and abusing them.
Foxes whose habits are being destroyed due to new constuctions.
Animals have nobody! The situation is dire and no one’s doing anything. I can’t sit here and be helpless all night. I’m gonna be their superhero, I gotta save them now.
Picture this: lights underneath the night sky from the airplane; they dim and light to the sound of guitar riffs there’s men, so far away who knew it’d be you curly dark hair eyes that glare and don’t speak the smile that lights up streets
Wanting to be close to you and to be afraid of being close the gates to your castle wide open for the waves to come in you’re too intelligent, too complex, too boring yet too social to not to hear you; like thirst give me too much to the point I just want it these are the concerns you have when a study subject becomes human
“Your story’s good” she said while blowing her cigarette up in air at the table with him.
Across the table, he dipped his fries into the ketchup then ate it. She wouldn’t have believed that the only story that ever mattered to him was the one with her in it.
‘Hell, I don’t even need to be in it’ he thought as he gazed at her. She wasn’t just the stripper whom he loved who didn’t love him back; she was the last ever love of his life.
“It’s whatever” he said disinterested as he dipped a fry in the ketchup.
“Oh I’d die for a story like that” she smiled with her eyes closed as she faced the ceiling. Seeing her smile almost made his heart skip. “Being picked up at my childhood home…” she said, “The guy asking my father if he could let me go on a date. Falling in love underneath the stars after the dance. You had such a typical, classic, sweet experience” she said with a pause, “That I never had…” she continued.
“It’s not that exciting” he dipped another fry into the ketchup.
“Oh it’s grand” she said as her eyes lit up, “How lucky you were to go on a date with her. I would have taken hours to get ready. I would have worn the most perfect gown. I would have laughed and danced with my date at the school dance and then we’d kiss underneath the stars afterwards. I would have gone to sleep that night smiling at the thought of falling in love. I’d go on more dates, get to know him better, he’d propose to me in a year or two, we’d have a lavish wedding blessed by our respective families, we’d grow old and happy together.”
His face turned red as he chewed his fry. He looked up at her and saw her smiling with her eyes closed as she talked gibberish.
“It’s not too late, you know” he told her, “Those things are possible.”
“But it’s not possible” she tried to convince him, “I don’t know my father. I didn’t grow up in a house. I’m old. I never finished high school. I never went to a dance. No parent would ever give their child a blessing to be with me. I have too many conditions to grow happy and old.”
“We could have it our own way” he said to himself.
“But there’s got to be no other way” she responded upon hearing him.
“Why?” he asked.
“Because I want it that way” she said with a broken heart. She got up and left the table to go back to work. He watched her glittery skirt move while she stepped up the stairs to get to the stage. He would have given her everything she wanted. He would have given up on all his memories of love, first love or whatever it may have been, if he could have the last with her.
I don’t know what you’re made of it’s so far away, strange, and foreign I don’t know if you’re a friend or a foe but maybe we’re friends at least it appears that way but within this facade is there anything more? are you a mirage time untracked a place never known the people in it, strange
I could go there with you take me there to this mirage this place where I’ve never been
She wanted a teddy bear. She drove him wild. She was the stripper whom he loved, who didn’t love him back. He recalled a story she told him about a time when she really wished for a new teddy bear, but her single mother couldn’t afford one. Now that he was making money selling sandwiches, he thought about how he could be her knight in shining armor. He’d do everything he could to get her the teddy bear she always wanted. He’d get her the biggest softest one there is. He’d go to the end of the world for it. He went to various shops to find the one for her.
He got her the biggest softest teddy bear there was. She was dancing on the pole that night when he walked in and told her that he had a gift for her in his car. She told him she’d meet him during her break. He waited and watched her do her job. He was in love.
He asked her to close her eyes as they stood before his old car. He then told her to open her eyes while he held the teddy bear.
“Surprise!” he said, “Who’s cuter, me or the teddy bear?” he asked as he smiled.
She smiled back, “You ARE a teddy bear” she said. She then ruffled his hair like that of a kid’s before taking it from him. She hugged it tightly, “You’re so sweet” she said, “So random and so sweet.”
“Anything for you” he said. Along with the gift, he also gave her a little romantic card that contained his contact information. He wanted to make sure that she could contact him anytime; and he hoped that one day she would.
“Thank you, sweetheart” she said as she smiled and touched his cheek. She told him she was going to put it in her car now and go back to work. Inside, she’d do some more pole working on her scantily dressed body for money.
“Don’t work too hard” he told her.
“Why, teddy’s got me?”
“Teddy’s got you all day and all night long” he said.
“Can’t do that with a teddy” She chuckled and walked inside. He smiled in the dark for a moment in his own delusion before he headed out.
He dialed the hot girl hotline. He fumbled through the steps for payment. “Hello…” a seductive voice answered. “Hi” he said, “I just needed to talk” and he broke down and cried.
Typically, he would have gone to the familiar strip club and attempt to talk to the girl he loved. However, she only made herself available when she wanted. The rest of the girls there hardly ever wanted to talk either.
“Can I talk to you for a long time?” he asked in desperation. “As long as you want honey” the deep womanly voice responded. “My dog died” he blurted out with a cracked voice. That was a lie. He was actually alone, sad, and pathetic. “Oh I’m sorry honey” the deep womanly voice said with an even gentle tone, “Is there anything I can do?” “Be there for me” he whimpered. He looked at himself in the mirror. He had dark hair and his facial hairs was graying and needed trimming. His shirt was unkempt. He looked darker than normal in low light. Through the reflection from the window on the side of his face, he could see a tear mark below his eye. “I’m there for you honey” she said. “Thanks” he sobbed. He kept sobbing as she kept silent. When his sobbing subsided, there was more silence. “What’s your name?” he finally managed to ask. “Selena” she answered. “What are you wearing?” “Absolutely nothing.” “Can I touch you everywhere?” “You can touch me anywhere honey.” He then asked if he could touch her in her sensitive areas, to which she willingly responded ‘yes.’ “Can I make love to you front ways and back ways?” “Oh yes honey yes” She responded. He then asked her if he could make love to her in many other ways, to which she responded with a ‘yes oh yes.’ They made heavy sounds. They made petting sounds. They giggled. He cried. “Selena I think I love you. Would you live with me forever for as long as I like?” “Oh yes honey” she responded. “Selena I love you” he confirmed. “I love you too” she validated. “Selena, let me give you my address and you come down here. I’ll take you around, we’ll go places. My room’s closet-sized and tiny, but I also have a living room with a window, and it’ll be my own once my roommate leaves. He’s leaving soon because I’m kicking him out since he only does drugs and doesn’t pay rent. I can manage the payment because I have a sandwich job, but just barely. I know that’s confusing, but I manage sandwiches. I got promoted. I used to distribute but that almost killed me. Long story, will tell you all about it…” “Hello…? Hello?” She responded on the other line. “Hello? Selena can you hear me?” he asked eagerly. “Hello? I can’t hear you…” her voice trailed off and then he heard even silence. “Hello? Selena are you there? Selena?” he asked again. He heard no response. “Selena?” he asked again but still got no response.
After the call dropped, he went through the hassle of paying for the service again and called one more time. When it was received, he immediately asked “Hello, Selena?” “Hi honey” the woman responded. “Selena! My Selena?” he asked laughingly. “It’s Tulip” the woman responded. “Where’s Selena?” he inquired. “I don’t know, but I’m ready for you honey” the deep womanly voice said.
It felt like the loneliness of a bar in broad daylight, the imperfections of a club room when the lights turned on, and the emptiness of bass beats when there were no one dancing. He felt just as empty and unmotivated; just as quiet and unfulfilled. He hung up.
He made her breakfast; whatever she wanted, and they ate together. They went for a nice afternoon walk. They huddled and cuddled. Watched their kids play. Kissed each other “goodnight” and repeated it the next day.
That’s all he ever wanted. It gave him purpose. He also had a supportive wife. Every night they pretended that they were meant to be together… that it was written in fate. Every morning they woke up with purpose; to cut through the day, the week, and to head into the weekend. Then they got old, and they looked back and wondered how it happened so fast. But when they looked back, it was nice memories. There were no regrets. Then they died, just like the couples before them, and disappeared forever.
He raised his head up from his desk and looked out the window at the gleaming sun. He had slept again and was thinking crazy things in his delusional state.