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 burritos, 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.
“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 burrito job, but just barely. I know that’s confusing, but I manage burritos. 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.
He looked out the window of his apartment’s living room. The sun was setting, and his feelings were just as distant. He thought about the temporary situations in his life, and how they made him feel so alive. And yet so empty.
Like that one-night stand he had with a stripper that led to nowhere. ‘What was I seeking from that anyway?’ He wondered. The other stripper that he was in love with didn’t love him, so he went with what was available. He looked at the sun and wondered if that was okay.
On his day off from work, he went out on a date with a woman. It was dinner at a casual place. She looked good and said all the right things. He looked at her, smiled, and didn’t talk much. Once again, he was lost and confused. Where would this go? Should he focus on just this moment? That would surely lead to the bed together.
Would she want anything more?
But would he? When he was in love with a stripper.
He decided he just wanted a one-night stand with her. With hugging. Lots of hand holding, caressing, and cuddling. Maybe he didn’t want one-night stand with her.
Maybe he just needed a hug.
But a hug that would go nowhere?
He looked at her with his eyes fixed. He debated all these things while she talked.
They met up another weeknight at the same table in the strip club. She was still as distant as before. She dragged her cigarette in front of him. Her painted eyelids were cast down, and it seemed as if she was in deep thought. He stared at her. His light hairs shone underneath the club lights, while colorful changing lights reflected on her face. She looked beautiful in dark lighting. Her heavy makeup was flawless. When one looked hard enough, one could see the childishness in her face. Her youthfulness that never left. She looked up at him and said, “You know, you look pretty good under that light.”
It was a sadder night than usual for both. Maybe it was the full moon, or maybe they were just incomplete. He wanted her, but she wanted something else; fame, fortune, and everything that came with it. She looked at him, burrito boy couldn’t take care of her.
He smiled at her and said, “You look like an angel.” She laughed softly tilting her head back, then looked at him. She shimmied her chest and laughed again. “Do that again” he said. “Only if you call me an angel” she said. “Angel angel angel angel” he said. She shimmied over and over some more. “Angel” he said again. She came up to him dancingly rubbed herself on him. “Angel” he barely whispered with excitement. She moved herself deeper and harder. He whimpered. “I love you” he whispered to her as they looked at each other up close. “I like you” she said. She then cradled his head on her chest and caressed his hair with her fingers. He sighed with relief. She tilted his head and made it face hers, “Gotta make some money” she said. Then she walked away towards the stage to dance for other men.
He sat back with an open smile as he looked at her. His entire day was made. No, he thought, ‘My entire year is made.’
“I love depressed guys” the stripper said as she stared at the club’s ceiling and smoked her cigarette, “They’re good at sex.” “Well I’m not depressed and I’m good at sex” he said. She turned to look at him and blinked her eyes, “You live in a closet, smoke crack at dawn, and have a disease” she told him. “So? That doesn’t mean it makes me depressed” he insisted. “But your parents died in a car accident when you were twelve.” “And?” “And your brother is a murderer.” “And?” “And you don’t have anything going for you in your life.” “That’s true.” “See, you’re depressed.” “Shall we have sex then?” “No” she said.
He got a phone call from the stripper he loved one night. She was crying on the other line, “I just need somebody to talk to” she sobbed. She told him how the guy she was seeing used her and left. How she had given him some of her hard-earned money, only to never get anything in return from him. “I really thought it was gonna go somewhere” she sobbed.
Deep inside he was glad it didn’t go anywhere because he loved her. However, he hated hearing her cry. He wished he was there to cradle her in his arms. “Well, I’m always here to listen” he told her sweetly. He remained quiet as she sobbed, cursed, and blabbed on the phone. He was great at listening, and she knew it. It was why their friendship was so great, and why she didn’t want anything more.