#MWBB 39 : Heavy In Your Arms

“It used to matter.”


“What I wanted.”

Doc just gave me the look that said, “keep going.”

“It used to matter.” I took a long, slow, deep breath, held it in a few moments, and let it leak out slowly. I did that again. “What I wanted. It used to matter.”

He gave me that look again.

“I used to want to be happy.”

“Oh?” Sometimes, the man reminded me of Mr. Spock. ‘Cept he didn’t have pointed ears.

“Yeah. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to want? To be happy?”

“You know the answer to that.”

“Well. It used to matter. It doesn’t anymore.”


Damn, but that man could be so nosey! That was the trouble with meeting with the Doc every week. And him being good at what he did didn’t help any. I had to take another long breath. I kept thinking to myself, “It’s only anger, dude. Only anger. Just a feeling. Nothing more. Feelings can’t hurt you. Or control you.”

“Because of her!” Yeah. I practically screamed that. “Because of her.” Sometimes, all I really wanted to do was stand up, and go stare out the window at the park behind his office. Or just pace around the room.

I never did.

And I knew what he was going to ask before he asked, “Why?”

Because what she felt mattered to me. Because I wanted to make her happy. Because I hated all the things she loved to do, and all the times I went with her, and did those things. Because I couldn’t ask her to do anything I liked to do.

Because I needed the job I hated to make enough money to do the things she wanted to do. Because I had to burn through every hour of vacation I earned taking care of all the things she couldn’t get off of work to take care of. Because I only got time off by calling in sick to work once in a while, and taking a sanity maintenance day.

“Do you really love her?”

Yeah. That was the worst part of it. I did. I loved her. Maybe even too much. I couldn’t say no to her. I’d do whatever I had to, whatever I could, to give her everything she wanted. Because what she wanted mattered to me. What she felt mattered. What she dreamed of mattered.

And to help her have her dreams, I had to give up mine.

Don’t people do that for love?

When my session was over for the week, I left Doc’s office. But I didn’t go straight home. I stopped. At a Dairy Queen. Bought myself an ice cream cone. Sat in my car, and ate it. Listing to my music. Enjoying a moment without her.

Before I got home.

And I didn’t matter anymore.

471 Words

This is my entry for week 39 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

No One There But Me

I’m afraid of being alone.
With myself and no one else.
When there’s no one to talk with.
Except for me.

But I’m learning.

I’ll have completed
The next step of my journey
When I can spend time
With no one but me.
And being alone
Doesn’t hurt me
Any more.

When I’ve learned
How to appreciate me.
The things I like.
The things I feel.
I know right now
I don’t.
At least not all that much.

I have a lot of fears
Of being alone.
If having to face me.
Having to deal with me.
Openly and honestly.

I have a lot of things
I have to change.
Things I have to relearn.
Rules I have to break.
And when those rules are broken,
I have to sweep away
Their remains.
Not let them be rebuilt.

There are so many things
I’ve got go change.
But they all come down
To the same thing.

I have to learn
Not to hate myself.
Not to be afraid of me.

That I’m not defined
By how many people I know.
By how many friends I have.
By how well I get paid.
By how big my house is.
By how nice my car is.

None of those things matter,
In the end.
When you get down to it
What matters most of all
Is learning
To live with myself.

And that’s what I’m working on
Right now.
In this journey
That began
Two years ago.

I’ve come so very far
In only 24 months.
How far, you might ask.

Far enough to know
And understand
I have to learn
To live
With me.

So that on afternoons like this.
When I’m at home.
With only me.

I won’t hide from myself.
I won’t find endless things
To kill off time with.
So that I won’t feel
Like everything’s wrong.

So that I’ll be content
To be alone.

With no one there
But me.

When I Cannot Find The Words

I hate it
When I cannot find
The words I want to find.
When I cannot find the way
To say the thing
I want to say.

But that drives me nuts.

I spend years
Tracking down those words.
Fighting with myself.
And with the insane world
That we live in.

Writing down millions of words
And throwing them away.
Until I find the words
That I want to say.

And even then,
The words never come.
And all that I can really do
Is mumble.
And hint.
And try my best.

To paint a picture
In shades of grey,
Of a tie-died t-shirt
That’s fluorescent red,
Yellow and green.

And the grey
Just doesn’t say
What I wish it did.
So no one can see
The colors that I see
When I wish so desperately
That I could find the words
That my heart and soul
Want so very much
To say.

I think,
There are no words at all.
In any language
Ever known.
That can say the things
I want to say.

That the words
Do not exist.
So they can’t be found.

Isn’t that why writers write?
Because they just can’t find the words
To say what they want to say.
So they have to tell one hundred stories,
Or maybe many more.
As a means of sharing that one thing
That they want to say
With the world they live in.

Isn’t that why poets
Write the things they write?
Because on the printed page
They can control
The spacing.
And the layout.
And the rhythm
Of the sounds.
Which helps them
Just that little bit
To get their idea out.

I hate it
When I just can’t find
The words I want to say.
Like today.

When I wish that I could find a way
To write the words that would tell you
Of the thoughts
Trapped in my head.

So that you could see the fear,
And pain,
In almost all the people
Around you.
Every single day.

So that you could see
How wounded they all are.
Most of them curled up
In little balls.
Hiding under blankets
Every day.

Trying to stay safe.
And to avoid the pain
Of being hurt
In life

I wish I could find the words
To let them know
That the hurt’s not so bad.
And it won’t kill them.

So that they could see
For themselves
How the fears they have
Cause them to live
Less and less
Of the live
They’ve been blessed with.

So that they don’t have to hurt
Ever again.

Rain falls on everyone.
Remember that.
Sometimes it even falls
In the driest desert
On the Earth.

But the desert
Doesn’t run from it.
The desert grows.

And becomes more complete.
More than it could ever be
If it never rained.

I wish that I could find the words.
And that I can’t
Frustrates me

And makes me want to stand outside
And scream at everyone.

“What are you afraid of?
Why is it that you run?”

It frustrates me no end
When I just can’t find the words
I need
To say what I wish
To say.