#VisDare 32 : Undecided

That night, we ate in the church in Old Phoenix. As we ate, I noticed Alice staring at her glass of water, lost in her thoughts. I knew she was afraid of how she felt about me. She’d lost everyone she’d let into her heart.

“You really think I’m pretty?”

I smiled at her and held out a hand. “You are beautiful. And your heart and soul are the most beautiful I have ever found.”

She smiled and held my hand. I knew she was the missing part of me. I wanted to tell her to take her time. I wasn’t going anywhere. I’d wait forever for her. But I knew not to.

“I’m afraid.”

“So am I.”

She held my hand as she stared into her glass of water, too afraid to care for me, and too afraid to let me go.

143 Words

This is part 23 in the continuing story I’m working on for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge.


I went to the gardens
That I know so very well.
That I love so very much.
The gardens that help me
Heal my heart and soul.

And there,
I walked.

Just me.
And my music
Playing in my ears.

I took my time.
Stopped and looked
Any time I wanted.

Took the time
To feel the breeze.
To feel the sun
Shining down on me.

To listen to the leaves
On the trees.
The birds singing songs
Of so many kinds.

I watched the bees
Buzzing through the wildflowers.
Pollen packed upon their legs.
As they moved from one bloom
To another.

I watched squirrels
Climbing in the trees,
Running along the ground
As they searched
For the perfect feast.

There was a group
Of tiny birds.
They looked like finches
To me.

My hands
Would have dwarfed
Any one of them.

They ate petals
Off yellow flowers.
And watched me
Watching them.

I watched grasshoppers
Playing games.
Chasing each other
Through the bushes,
Grass and mulch.

I took the time to stare
At a black dragon-fly
With the golden stripes
Down both of it’s sides.

I’d only seen one like it
One other time.

I studied the details
In its wings.
The way they looked
Like fine wire frames
With a film stretched
Over them.

I walked through the butterflies
In the butterfly house.
I lost count
Of how many I saw there.

But then,
I didn’t really care.
I was just there
To enjoy the patterns
On their wings.

The grace with which they flew.

Then I walked once more
Among the trees.
Through the forest named

And I remembered.
And I saw.
And I felt.

I walked alone.

Just me.
That’s how it is for me.
I have no one to ask
On days like today.

I’d have loved to take her hand
And walk with her.
But she was at work.

Where I spent more than half
Of the life
I’ve been blessed with.


That which nearly
Destroyed me.

There are parts of me
I know are gone.
That’s all.
Just gone.
Like a missing hand.
Or foot.

Sometimes I can almost remember
What they felt.
Those missing parts of me.

I walked alone.

Wishing, as I have
Thousands of times before,
The people I once knew
Would make the time,
Would take the time
To walk through the flowers,
And the trees.

Knowing they never will.
Even on a vacation.
Or a day off.

I walked alone today,

Through the flowers
And the trees,
Of the gardens
I love so very much.

I’ll walk there
Many times
In the years ahead.

I have to.
You see.
I have to.

For on days like this
I know
The walks I take
Through the flowers
And the trees,

Define a fragile line for me.
Between the darkness
And the light.

Give a hope to me
I can’t hold on to
On my own.

In a world
I never made.

Where I walk alone.

Missing Puzzle Piece

I’m missing things,
I know.
That other people don’t.
I’ve got tons of evidence
Of this.
From the simple kind
To the complex.

It’s like life is a puzzle.
With some pieces missing.
So that I can tell
What the picture is.
But can’t get all the details

Take driving, for example.
I know I’ve talked about this
Many times before.
But it still baffles me.
The way that people drive
As a whole.

Many times in my life,
I’ve seen the same cars
Day after day,
Week after week,
For months and even years
In a row.

And the cars all behave
The same way.

On Monday through Friday,
They drive like they’re in a race
Against time.
As if they have to get
Where they are heading
Before the building

But on Saturday and Sunday
The same cars
Can’t get out of anybody’s way.
They cruise along.
As if they have all day
To get where they are going.

I’ve timed them.
Many times.
Measured their speeds,
By following along.
And it’s pretty consistent
What I’ve found.

Monday through Friday,
They drive along
At 5 or 10 miles an hour,
And sometimes, even more,
Above the posted
Speed limit.
As a whole.

There’s more to it
Than that, though.
If the speed limit is slow,
Anything less
That 35 MPH or so,
They drive further above
The limit
On those days.

If the limit’s 45 or more,
They don’t drive as much
Above the limit.
Unless they’re on the expressway.
On the expressway
Anything goes.

But, change the time
To Saturday or Sunday,
On the exact same roads.
And the same cars
Cruise along.
Never even reaching
The speed limit
Any more.

Figure that one out.
I just don’t get it.

I’ve learned a way
To get people so angry
When I’m driving along.
It’s very simple to do.
I just ignore the way
That other people drive.
And make like a machine.
Matching my speed
With the posted speed limit.

I get pushed from behind.
I get passed all the time.
I get to observe
Interesting gestures
And hand signs.
And sometimes,
I get cut off,
And nearly wrecked.
By people
That to me,
Have lost their fracking minds.
On Monday through Friday.

Then on Saturday and Sunday,
I have to deal with people
Clogging up the roads.
You try doing 35
Down Holland Road.

The limit’s 45.
And Monday through Friday
Those people zip along
At 50 or more.
But on Saturday and Sunday,
I consider myself lucky
If the person I’m behind
Hits 40 at all.

Same cars.
Same license plates.
Same drivers.

What the hell am I missing?
There’s something there
I just don’t understand.
Am I supposed to just blend in.
Behave like everyone
That’s driving on the roads?
Is it one of those social things
That I don’t know is there?

This is just an example
Of the things I deal with
Every day.
When what people say,
And do,
And the way that they behave,
Leaves me wondering,
Why are they that way?

Sometimes it’s like working a puzzle
Where some of the pieces
Aren’t there any more.
So that the finished puzzle
Has gaping holes in it.

And sometimes
It’s like the puzzle pieces
Are all cut exactly the same.
And will fit together
Every  way at all.
So that the finished puzzle
Looks like paint splatters
Randomly scattered
On a big old wall.

And I end up having to
Rework bits and pieces
Of the puzzle
Over and over again.
Day after day.
Week after week.
Year after year.

As I figure out
That I’ve got something wrong.
The missing pieces should be here,
Not there.
The colors look like this,
Not that.

And the best part of it all
Is that the pictures
And the colors
Slowly change.
And over time
I have to rework the puzzles
Just to keep them looking something
Like they’re supposed to look.

I don’t understand the way
That people drive
At all.
But I can observe,
And understand
The patters of the way
They drive.

And I can mimic them.

So no one knows,
And no one sees,
That I’m not like them.
At least
When I’m driving my car
Down the road.

I just sometimes wish
I knew why people
Do the things they do.
That would sure help me
Mimic them better.
I’d make less mistakes.

But I know that will never happen.
So I’ll keep working with
Puzzles missing pieces.
Where I can get the picture mostly right,
Except for the details.

As my doctor says to me
Session after session.
“Get out there
And make mistakes.
Make lots of them.
It’s how you learn,
You see.”

I wonder what the colors are
On that missing