prompts: disbelief, envy, fear
i never should have watched Eve by the pool.
hard not to do, if you’re at the complex’s pool as often as i am. i watch everyone.
but Eve comes by her name honestly. she looks like she might have been created in a perfect garden to wander in the dawn of the world.
and all that might have been okay, if not for her significant other, Steven.
Steven’s kinda scrawny, but he’s very educated, far beyond his intelligence, in my opinion. mr. been-there-done-that-knew-that-let-me-correct-you.
she buys his bullshit, whole hog. and that should have been enough to dissuade me.
she’s just perfect.
like, i leave her presence, and i can’t believe just how perfect she is, i must be misremembering, no one can be that divine.
until i see her again.
she’s every wet dream i ever had, rolled into better-than-i-dreamt-it.
so, i asked her out, and that’s when know-it-all Steven lost his shit.
now, i’m naked, in my apartment, masturbating to her as she stands before me naked.
Steven has a gun.
i’m working on my eighth orgasm in less than a half hour.
tears on my cheek.
agony between my legs.
prompt: it’s never beige in Vienna
our life together? beige people in a beige house in a beige town, working out beige jobs, and i realized i was on the brink of a killing spree for just the chance of color.
so, i took out a 20 million dollar insurance policy on Patrick, cut out all my discretionary spending to afford the premiums, and i gave it a year.
a year of Patrick, 20 million dollars.
i can suck up a year of beige.
after 12 months, i started using a a fine round file to eat away at has brake line.
a little bit every day.
boring husband roulette … will it be today?
and when it happens, will it be final? fatal?
plenty of chances for it to be catastrophic.
and, to be fair, plenty of places in his daily commute where it wouldn’t do more than wrinkle his bumper.
two months, three weeks, six days …
a police officer shows up at my office, and regrets to inform me …
i cry and no one realizes they’re tears of relief.
another month, and i’ll be leaving Beigeville for color, and life, and possibilities. for the right to dream in color.
prompts: innocence, trust, delusion
he said he’d take care of us, after Mother died. Daddy said we were all he had, and he’d hold on to us forever.
and he did.
meeting someone who would want to be mother to two children, and live a humble life out in the forest, married to a man who chopped and sold firewood … no woman would agree to that, surely.
until Stella …
sweetness, light, and love – at least while Daddy is watching.
sour, dark, and hate when he wasn’t.
Stella was particularly hard on my brother. there were always more dangerous chores for him, and she’d hurt him cruelly in ways that left no mark.
at first, she played with me like i was one of my dolls – dress-up, tea parties, grand balls, dances, and banquets, of imaginary food, of course. but she lost interest, and then i was tortured as well. she put rough fingers where she shouldn’t, laughing at my tears.
and now, Daddy’s taken us out into the woods, and left us. i tried leaving a trail, but all i did was feed the birds.
it’s getting dark, and we’re scared.
do i smell fresh cookies?
prompts: sacred, compassion, clarity
we relied on the Church a lot when i was growing up.
Mom and Dad each worked two jobs, my big brother raised us most of the time.
we never had enough of anything.
so, the Church helped us, and our parents made us pay the Every-Sunday-Dues.
i listened until i questioned, and when i questioned, they said “believe”, and i fucking stopped listening.
but i kept going even after i grew up, and moved out … the Church kept us from starving, and there were always new-to-us hand-me-down clothes as we grew.
i still owe them.
but debts go both ways.
we gave them our Sundays, and they fed and clothed us.
we gave them our trust …
until news started breaking about the child abuse by priests.
the Church has shuffled you around a lot, Father. hid you pretty well for a long time.
if it helps, think of me as the Wrath of God. i mean, i don’t believe, but maybe you still do.
i’m not judging you. if you’re right, God will do that.
if i’m right, no judgment matters …
feel free to scream, Father. you’re going to be losing control of your bladder and sphincter soon enough.
don’t be ashamed, Father, happens to all you bastards.
prompt: a thousand splendid suns
i moved from the city to find the night again. i walk when the sun’s down, i want to see stars.
in the city, the sky had an ever-present glow.
maybe a handful of stars.
i forgot the stellar mist of the Milky Way.
until my first night out here – i walked out my door to find the dark and the stars, and i fell to my knees when i saw that ribbon of stars above me.
i wept. it was, it is, ever glorious.
there’s nothing more beautiful, and to have that back in my life … okay, i raise goats, till my little garden.
trading the glow of the city, the glow of the internet, of the television, for the majestic spray of stars – best decision i ever made.
prompts: balance, gluttony, sanity
i’ve lived under the umbrella of my mother’s smothering, choking love all my life.
it’s like walking on the bottom of the sea, the pressure never-relenting, unbearable … yet somehow i’ve borne it.
there isn’t enough therapy in the world for the load of emotions i’m carrying. rage, fear, doubt, shame, hate, love, disgust – all the soul-sweat of her cloying compassion.
i wanted to kill her most of my life – it was the fuel that drove me, the introvert, out of the house.
so when she died … the pressure was gone, and the motivation as well.
i spent the first six months never leaving the house, living on delivery, not answering my phone, ignoring email, watching the insurance money slowly trickle away.
six months was long enough to hibernate in the creaking corpse of my mother’s love.
i went to the grocery, bought chicken, set it to frying, and walked out to the yard, waiting for the fire to begin.
today i am free.
listening to: “Mad Max: Fury Road”, playing on the monitor