#ThursThreads Week 431 : This isn’t what I dreamed of.

I looked at the remains of my house, a set of pilings that stuck out of the ground, and some debris scattered here and there. Most of it was gone. Completely gone. Everything in it was gone too. Washer, dryer, bed, computer, desk, gone. Even the 85 inch TV. Gone.

“This isn’t what I dreamed of,” was all I could say. All I could think, as I wandered among the scattered remains of my home.

It was supposed to be a beach house, although a small one, that sat 10 feet above the ground, so floods would pass beneath it. A house where I could sit on the front porch, and watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico every night. Where I could come home from work, change out of work clothes into beach clothes, and walk, barefoot on the sand, for miles.

It was supposed to be my dream home. The place I would spend forever.

A Category 2 hurricane wasn’t supposed to push half the gulf on shore, and then dump 30 inches of rain on top of it. It wasn’t supposed to put my house underwater, and the water wasn’t supposed to take my house with it when it left, leaving my kitchen, bedroom, and the rest somewhere in the gulf, where the fish could live in it, and slowly turn it into a new coral reef.

But the storm had happened.

And everything I had, everything I’d been. Was gone.

245 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 431 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Given the events of 2020, I didn’t have to work hard to come up with these words. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 430 : Aren’t You Worried About Tomorrow?

Tomorrow was Friday, the day of the final exam in our Operating Systems class. Everyone I knew from the class was cramming, spending all night going over every detail, every note, every page of every text we’d ever crossed during the semester.

Except me. I was standing in line to watch a movie, all alone, without a date, or friends.

“You know, if you don’t pass this test, you’ll fail the class, and you won’t graduate. You’ll have to take another semester, maybe another year, to graduate.” I had to smile as I remembered my talk with Heather earlier in the day. “You’d better study.”

“I’m good.” I know. It sounded arrogant, flippant, maybe like I didn’t even care.

“Aren’t you worried about tomorrow?”

“No. I’m not. Not really.” I knew, from the look on her face, I was going to have to explain why. “Because. If I don’t know the material by now, it’s too late. You can’t cram 18 weeks of classes, and the ocean of things we’re supposed to learn in those classes, into one night of study.”

“But…”

I had interrupted her. “But, nothing. If I don’t know the material by now, I’m not going to know it by tomorrow. If I’ve done what I’m supposed to do, I’ve learned it in the 18 weeks.” I don’t know if she thought my grin was arrogant, or proud, or the grin of an idiot, “At this point, I’m ready as I’m ever going to get.”

248 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 430 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. I finally decided, “If I wait until I’m ready to write something, it’ll be 2030,” and decided to write even if I’m not ready. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 422 : They’re Not Coming Back.

Bella and Hadid stood quietly by the door of their cage. Both were black as night, with glow in the dark green eyes. They’d spent half an hour in one of the rooms, with a family of four. That was hours ago.

Bella quietly meowed at me, as if to ask, “Where did the people go?”

“Ah, Bella.” I opened the cage and scratched her ears. Hadid took advantage of the door being open, and suckered me into scratching his ears. “Brother and sister. Bonded. You make a great pair of kitties.”

I kept scratching their ears a bit more. They were in for another long night, when their hopes of going home with a new family soared, and they did everything they could to show how good they were, and how they would be sterling additions to the family.

Only to end up spending another night in their cage at Animal Control.

“You know, don’t you?” I scratched Bella’s cheek, whiskers and all, “They’re not coming back.”

They knew. Hadid quietly slipped to the back of the cage, walked around in circles, and settled on the blanket. I could see he was heartbroken again. Bella reached for my hand, to pull it back every time I tried to leave.

It was so hard to see them go through heartbreak each day. “I’ll keep praying the perfect family for you shows up, OK?”

Bella nodded, then slowly wandered to the back of the cage, and curled up with Hadid.

249 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 422 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. And more words in whatever it is that’s writing itself have turned up. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 421 : What’s Really Going On?

“Everyone you ever worked with. Everyone for 29 years. Gone. You burned every bridge. You alienated them all. You walked away from everyone.”

There was nothing to say. Every word she’d said was true. I had. I knew it.

“Tell me. Please. What’s really going on?”

God, those eyes of hers. It always came down to them. Against them I had no defense. No protection. Her eyes had a straight path to my soul. One she could use anyway she wanted, any times she wished, and I couldn’t stop her.

“I changed.”

“That doesn’t answer anything.”

“What do you want me to say?”

“The truth! That’s all I want. The truth.”

“What? That parts of me are gone? That’s the truth. Parts are gone. They’re not coming back.” I couldn’t hide the fire in me. The rage. Not from her. Not from her eyes. “What happened tore my heart out. It’s gone. I don’t feel anything for them anymore. For anyone, anymore.”

“That’s not true!”

I didn’t answer, instead, I looked away, as if to say I didn’t want to talk anymore.

When her hand touched my shoulder, my world came crashing down, and I crashed with it, into silence. “I’m here, you know. And I’m not leaving.”

I hoped someday I could find a way to tell her, to answer her question, but I didn’t know if I’d ever find a way past the missing parts of me. “I don’t want you to go away.”

246 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 421 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. And more words in whatever it is that’s writing itself have turned up. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 416 : What’s In It For Me?

My therapist has been working through the layers of me for several months, trying to find who I was, buried under everything that is life. Buried under work, bills, the wife, the family, three cars, two cats, a monthly mortgage. After that I lost count.

I told him that, “I lost count, you know.” In that session, on that day, “I lost count, you know.”

You’d think it would be infuriating, and I’d have pitched a fit, when he said, “I know. That’s why you’re here.” But I didn’t.

“You’ve been coming here for months.”

“Yeah.”

“Why are you here? What’s in it for you?”

I don’t know how long I stared at my hands when he asked that. I don’t know how long I stopped breathing. Everything froze. Even time, I think.

He didn’t ask a second time. He waited. As if saying, “I have nothing but time. I can wait. When you’re ready, I’ll listen.”

“I lost something.” He knew when to talk, and when to wait. “I’m trying to find what I lost.”

He nodded. The man had a quietness, and more patience than I’d ever seen in anyone.

“What’s in it for me?” I froze up again. I swear my heart stopped beating. Until I hear myself, “I lost me. And now, I’m trying to find me.”

That’s when he told me it would all be OK. “Because, you finally know why you’re here. And you can finally admit it to yourself.”

246 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 416 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. And more words in whatever it is that’s writing itself have turned up. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 414 : Everything Comes Full Circle

Laying down in the bed of my truck wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had, but I wasn’t going to whine, after all, I was doing this because everything comes full circle. And the people that had killed my sister had it coming. My sister. Shot full of holes by some ass hole with a gun. A gun he wouldn’t have had, if not for these people.

After a deep breath, I double checked everything. “3 AR-15s, all loaded. Check.” One piece at a time, carefully, it had to all be right. I’d only have one chance. “3 clips for each, all loaded and ready. Check.” I already knew I wasn’t going home that night. I wasn’t going home ever.

It occurred to me I was going to miss watching the sun rise, but that was OK. My sister deserved to be remembered. Especially by those people.

Just past nine that night, the front door of the building across the street opened, and the first people started walking out. “Patience. Patience. Not yet.” I waited. There had to be enough of them outside before I acted.

“There. That’s enough.” I aimed an AR-15 from the bed of my truck, and I opened fire. I shot as many of those bastards and bitches as I could. It was karma, unleashed.

That’s how I wound up here, talking to Satan about the NRA, and how their meeting was the perfect time to complete the circle.

243 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 414 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. And more words in whatever it is that’s writing itself have turned up. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 413 : I Told Here I Wouldn’t Ever Come Back Here Again

Everything comes full circle, I suppose. Perhaps everyone does too.

The first town I lived in didn’t have a stop light, or a school, but it had a Southern Baptist church. It didn’t have a McDonald’s, or Taco Bell, not even a mom and pop place, or a gas station. It wasn’t even a town, being unincorporated.

My family lived there until I was 12. That’s when Dad went stupid, and Mom left him, and took me to Jackson with her. That’s when I said goodbye to Bonnie.

Bonnie lived next door. She was cute as cute gets, with amazing red hair I got caught staring at too many times. We’d been friends as long as either of us could remember, and we’d never thought our friendship would end.

Until Dad went stupid, and Mom and I moved.

The night before we left, I took a walk with Bonnie. Mom told me, “She’s your friend, you need to say good-bye.” That night was when Bonnie kissed me. We had no idea how kisses worked, but she kissed me anyway, and held my hand as we walked.

The next morning I went next door, and said good-bye to Bonnie. She asked me to write, and to come visit someday. “Mom cried herself to sleep last night.” I told her. Then, I told her I wouldn’t come back here again.

And I never did. Until now. For Bonnie’s funeral.

Everything does come full circle, you know.

Everything.

244 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 413 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. And more words in whatever it is that’s writing itself have turned up. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 412 : I Should Not Have Come Here

My curiosity sometimes got the better of me. That was one of those times. I’d wondered how people behaved at a popular music concert, so when I learned one of my favorite bands was having a show at the local amphitheater, I decided to attend, and find out.

I found the idea of sitting on a hillside covered with grass, watching several bands play their songs, fascinating. Before the first band went onstage, I focused on watching people find places to sit. I was stunned to see how many of them purchased drinks, mostly beer, from the amphitheater’s vendors. I knew those drinks were absurdly overpriced. But that didn’t seem to matter to those attending the event, as they kept obtaining more drinks every time they ran out.

Unfortunately, when that first band started I realized I was alone. Surrounded by an ocean of strangers, thousands of people I did not know. My mind stopped working correctly, and began asking, endlessly, “Why am I here?” and “What am I doing?”

I began to feel like an ant crossing a table surrounded by humans intent on smashing it. I lost track of the music, and kept reminding myself to breathe, as I desperately tried to control the panic attack I knew was engulfing me.

All the while, my mind kept endlessly repeating, “I should not have come here.”

I don’t remember the music at all. All I remember is I survived.

240 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 412 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. And more words in whatever it is that’s writing itself have turned up. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

#ThursThreads Week 411 : Do I Know You?

I recognized her the moment my eyes spotted her. How could I ever forget her? She had triggered the greatest set of changes in my life. I had been normal. Thirty years of a career, depended on, recognized for my talents. Life was calm and quiet. Then she showed up, and it all came apart.

“Sweet Jesus!” was my first thought, followed by “I should not have come here.”

I noticed a hint of recognition on her face when she spotted me. At that point, I knew it was time to deal with the last vestiges of what had been. To finally end her story in my life.

It had been ten years. I’d had to start life over in so many ways. New job, new friends, new everything. Years of psychotherapy and multiple day panic attacks, wondering if I’d ever recover, if I’d ever become functional in life again.

She had known me before all that, when I was the guy with the 30 year career, and a knack for fixing problems in everyone else’s programs.

I wasn’t that guy anymore. I’d never be that guy again.

Eventually she made her way over, “Do I know you?”

“Yes, Robin, you do.”

“Steve?”

I nodded, “You knew who I was 10 years ago. You don’t know me now.”

She smiled that smile that had wrecked so much havoc in my life. “Perhaps, finally, it’s time to meet you again.”

All I could think was, “Frack…”

243 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 411 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. And more words in whatever it is that’s writing itself have turned up. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

Inside My Eyelids (10)

It had been a rough night, filled with tossing, and turning, and destroying the covers on the bed. Finally, I gave up, got up, made my pit stop, got some clothes on, and made my bed.

Then I went to brush my teeth, only to forget to brush them, and instead spend my time staring into the mirror, and wishing I could see anything but her. She was there, in the mirror, looking at me, just like she had in that dream, endlessly, all night. Asking that one question, over and over, “Why?”

“Why are you haunting me?” I put a hand on the mirror, right where her cheek would have been. “What’s wrong?”

I knew damn well what was wrong. I knew she was trapped in her home, not able to get out, and visit her friends. Not able to work. Not able to go to the library, which had been her favorite place. Not able to do anything she’d always done.

“You’re someone I have only seen one time. Why are you always in my dreams?” Because I wanted to be able to visit her. Spend time watching movies, or listening to music. Spend time eating chocolates, and drinking soda. Spend time. With her. And be her friend.

That’s why she was in my dreams. That’s why she asked why, endlessly.

I looked to God in heaven, and asked again, like I have countless times before, “Why can’t I help?”

242 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 401 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. And more words in whatever it is that’s writing itself have turned up. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.