#AtoZ2016 : P Is For Patience

There is one thing in this life
I will never have enough of.
One thing I will run out of
Every day.
One thing I won’t have
When I need it most.

You know this thing too.
And like me,
You wish you had more.
So much more.

I need it when I’m listening
To someone who hasn’t got a clue
Try to explain their point of view.
Limited as it is.
Blind as it is.
To me.

I need it when I’m teaching
Someone something new.
Something they don’t know.
They may not understand.
That may scare them.
That’s simple to me.

You know this thing too.
And like me,
You could use more,
So much more,
Than you have.

I need it when I’m driving,
To anywhere.
Dealing with the traffic on the roads.
With people being people.
Driving too slow.
Driving too fast.
Running stoplights.
Stopping to turn right.
And, in general,
Driving me nuts.

I need it when there’s something,
Anything, really,
I want to do.
Because sometimes,
I can’t do what I want,
When I want to.
Because I have to work.
Or take care of my home.
Or spend time with her.

You know this thing too.
And like me,
You’ll never have enough.
You’ll always need more.

I need it when I read something
Someone wrote.
Something I don’t agree with,
That angers me,
Frustrates me,
Makes me ask,
“How can they be that way?”

Because I know this truth.
And you know it too.
All it takes
Is a little time.
A little perspective.
A little patience.

And everything changes.
The anger fades,
The frustration washes away.
And everything becomes
Okay.

I know this thing I need.
This thing I won’t ever have
In sufficient quantity.

You know this thing too.
And like me,
You won’t ever have enough.

Patience.

God.
Do I need more.


It’s April 20th, and I’m a still one day behind on the A to Z Challenge for 2016. I expect to catch up on Sunday. Only 10 more letters to write stories for this month.

Please, go explore the A to Z Challenge, and the sites of others who are participating in this adventure.

#MWBB Week 2.44 – Wake Up In New York

The electric scream of the alarm clock shattered my sleep at 4 AM. The timers automatically turned on the lights in the room, forcing my eyes to snap shut. At 4 AM in New York, it’s still dark. I took a deep breath, opened my eyes, tossed aside the blankets, and rolled out of bed.

“Time to get ready for work!”

Work. The same damn thing as always. In the same building as always. With the same people. The same problems. The same lunches.

I wanted to go back to sleep. Fall into bed, bury myself under the blankets, and wake up when I woke up. But, that wasn’t life. That wasn’t grown up. Mature. Responsible. I pushed my body into motion. Got my shower, shaved, got dressed.

The sofa called as I walked past, “Come! Lie down. Stretch out. Relax.” But, I had bills to pay, rent, car, heat, water, electricity, phone. Hell, the damned phone was over $100 a month. I moved past it, ignored it, ignored the cry of my legs, “Let us rest!” I pushed on to the kitchen.

My usual breakfast. Three frozen sausage links, two frozen waffles, one banana, and a can of Amp. Aptly named, Amp. The solid food gave me protein and carbs to get me through to lunch. The Amp kick started me, got me out of the house and to work. I tossed the empty can in the recycling bin and shook my head to clear the cobwebs from my brain.

New York, the big apple, land of money, money, money. Land of the punched clock, unpaid overtime, unused vacation sold back to the company. New York, where nothing ever stopped. Where I got up every morning, before the sun, and pushed myself to work, along with millions of others. Where I worked long past sunset, then staggered home to eat another fast food meal picked up on the way. So I could crash, just in time for the alarm to shatter my sleep at 4 AM the next day. So I could do it all over again. And again.

I took her picture down months ago. She left, said I didn’t love her anymore. Said I loved my work more than her. She walked out with a suitcase, never came back.

She was right, you know. The job was all I was. All I did. Hell, I didn’t even dream at night. Except for nightmares, when I was at work, and the building got hit by a plane, or a bomb went off, or someone went bat shit crazy and shot everyone, like that guy in that movie theater in Colorado did one time.

It was time to go to work. I left my apartment, pulled the door shut behind me, I didn’t look back. If I looked back, I remembered.

Her.

I didn’t want to remember. I didn’t have time to remember. I had to get to work. I was a grown up. Responsible. Mature. I didn’t have time to remember.

Her.

500 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry for Year 2, Week 44 (Week 2.44) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “Wake Up In New York” by Craig Armstrong and Evan Dando. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.

#Rebirth : A Waste Of Time

“Have you watched him?” Kelly smiled as she pointed toward Edward.

“No.” Kelly admitted. “I’ve never been here with him.”

The two walked through the Camellia garden, taking their time, drinking in the colors and shapes of the Camellia blossoms filling the trees. “You should watch him.”

“Why?”

“Because.”

Cynthia watched Edward walk among the trees, with his camera. Edward stopped often and took another picture of another Camellia bloom. Sometimes, he took a dozen pictures of booms on a single tree. Sometimes, he took a dozen pictures of a single bloom. “What am I supposed to see?”

“Him.”

Him? She saw him five times a week at work. She talked with him, ate lunch with him, swapped birthday cards with him. Edward was her friend from work.

They followed Edward through the trees, keeping him in sight as he moved from tree to tree. He moved in circles, and zig zag lines. He stopped at a tree, took pictures, then looked around, spotted another tree, and made his way to it.

Cynthia checked the time on her watch. Twenty minutes of walking from tree to tree. “What is he doing?”

Kelly giggled. “He’s remembering.”

“Remembering what?”

Kelly didn’t answer. Cynthia shook her head. Twenty minutes staring at trees. Taking pictures with no rhyme, no reason. He had plenty of pictures. How many pictures could he take of Camellia trees and their flowers?

“He has thousands of pictures of Camellia blooms.”

“He does?”

Kelly’s smile was a relaxed, happy smile. “And he still takes more.” She watched Edward moving around a specific bloom, trying to hold his camera to take the best shot, with the best framing and background. “Don’t you wonder why?”

“It’s a waste of time.”

“Is it?”

Cynthia wanted to scream, “Yes! I have things to do! Places to go! A life to live! Deadlines, and commitments. I can’t be here, wasting time, wandering through a bunch of trees, looking at stupid flowers!”

“Why is it a waste of time?”

“What?” Surely, Kelly knew she’d asked a stupid question.

“Why is it a waste of time?” Kelly’s grin told Cynthia she knew everything, every reason taking pictures of flowers was silly, and a waste of time.

“You know.”

“So tell me.”

Cynthia took a deep breath and shook her head. “It’s his day off. He’s got things to do. A home to take care of. Laundry to wash. Dishes to wash. A lawn to mow. His family to take care of. Groceries to buy.”

“Yes. He does.”

“He doesn’t have time to wander around, taking stupid pictures.”

“Watch him.” Kelly resumed watching Edward, her eyes alive with color, and light, as if seeing something beautiful, something special. Cynthia had seen that look, she knew what it meant.

“What are you watching?”

“Just watch.”

She watched Kelly, as Kelly watched Edward. She realized Kelly was stopping at the same trees Edward stopped at, looking at the same Camellia blooms he looked at, watching him to see where he went, what he looked at.

“He always finds the prettiest blooms.”

Cynthia looked at the Camellia blooms too. Pink, red, white, and variegated, pink and red, pink and white, red and white. All of them different. Some just starting to open. Others in full bloom. Bright green leaves, others dark forest green, others almost pastel green, dark green, almost black veins laced through them.

The petals of the booms weren’t solid colors. Some looked like velvet. Others were like the leaves, veins of color laced through them. Pink with pink veins. Red with black veins. White with white.

She found herself carefully examining Camellia blooms. Their colors, their textures, their shapes. She found her eyes drinking in their colors, trying to burn them into her memory, so she could see them when she closed her eyes. So she could dream of them at night.

Cynthia watched Edward move from tree to tree, “He doesn’t care about the pictures, does he.”

“He doesn’t.” Kelly smiled, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath.

“He’s not here to take pictures.”

Kelly didn’t answer, moving to another of the Camellia blooms Edward has stopped at. Cynthia joined her, the two of them drinking in the sights Edward lead them too. Cynthia forgot about time. About responsibilities. About everything.

“Do you understand?”

Cynthia felt lighter. Less encumbered. Less trapped. She closed her eyes, and had to smile. “I want to look at more flowers.”

“Tell Edward.” Kelly pushed her toward Edward. “He’s been here dozens of times. He knows where all the flowers are. When they bloom. When they peak. When to find them.”

“I can’t. I don’t want to bother him.”

Kelly giggled again. She marched up to Edward. “Cynthia wants to see more flowers.”

Edward grinned, nodded, and off he went. They followed him, through the camellias, to a paved path to another part of the garden filled with Azaleas in full bloom.

He smiled at Kelly. “Will this do?”

All she could do was nod.

“You’re welcome,” and he smiled. She’d never seen his eyes so alive. She watched him walk through the Azaleas, many so filled with color, and with blooms, she couldn’t even see their leaves. Some towered over her. Some were tiny bushes, barely knee-high. Some lined walkways with walls of color. Pink, red, almost orange, white, and even blue with white middles. Oceans of blooms.

“I told you to watch him.”

Cynthia giggled.

“Do you know why?”

“He remembers, doesn’t he.”

Kelly laughed.

“He remembers what life is.”

Kelly drank in the colors and fragrances of the Azaleas. “Yes, he does. And every time he comes here, it brings him back to life.”

Cynthia couldn’t argue with her. Just by watching Edward, she’d felt her heart and soul wake up from the sleep she put them in each day when she became a responsible grown up.

“He remembers.”

“Shut up, Kelly. I have Azaleas to look at.”

They both laughed.

#VisDare 47 : Contemplating

Alice and I walked by the lake. “Perhaps it’s time I learned more about Jessica.”

“She’s not what they teach in the caves.”

“I know.” One day soon, I’d tell her about my life in the caves. “Nothing is what I learned in the caves.”

We went back to Old Phoenix, to an old theater. Alice taught me to make popcorn. I’d never seen anything like it. “Popcorn and soda,” she said, “perfect for watching movies.”

And we watched movies. For hours. “These tell the story of the end of what was. And the start of what is.”

“Alice,” I felt her fingers, so graceful, so delicate, laced between mine thick, scared, brutal fingers. “When the movies end…”

She interrupted me, “We’ll talk.”

“Yeah.”

I wished I could freeze time and stay in that moment, with her, and her smile, and her hand in mine, forever.

146 words
@LurchMunster


This is part 30 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.

The entire story, from part 30 to part 1, is located here.

#MWBB 46 : End Of Time

I realized, standing there, looking into my eyes in the mirror, looking back at me, I hadn’t looked into them in years. I almost smiled at that. I’d told everyone, for years, I was OK. “I can look into my own eyes in the mirror, no problem.” And yet, I never did.

“I should have noticed that.”

I should have. Years ago. If I had, perhaps things would have turned out different. Better. I hadn’t. And it was far too late to change anything.

“I never noticed how empty they look.” They looked glazed over. Dull. Like eyes that no longer saw anything. Eyes that no longer worked. If only I’d have looked years earlier.

I started at myself, remembering her.

“I’m supposed to cry, right?” I asked the me I saw in the mirror. “Or get angry.” But the me in the mirror never answered. He just looked at me, his empty, glazed over eyes staring into mine. I didn’t cry. I didn’t get angry. I stood there. Staring into those empty eyes.

“The eyes are the mirror to the soul.” An old proverb I’d heard growing up. One I’d heard in countless songs. So many songs.

“How can you see into my eyes, like open doors? Leading you down into my core, where I’ve become so numb.”

I asked the man in the mirror, “Don’t people cry when they have broken hearts?” He just stared at me. A lifeless, empty stare. He didn’t smile. He just stood there. Carved of stone. As if he had no heart left. No feeling left. No soul.

I remembered the note she’d left on the bed, where I couldn’t help but find it. Handwritten. She never wrote anything by hand. Unless she meant it. Unless it was special.

“You don’t love me any more.”

Those words echoed in my head. In her voice. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw her, saying those words. “You don’t love me any more.”

She’d left. Didn’t tell me where she was going. Just, “You don’t love me any more. Don’t try to follow me. Good bye.”

I saw the tear stains on the paper. I couldn’t miss them.

I looked at the cold, heartless, stone man in the mirror. I wanted to scream at him. I wanted to scratch his eyes out. I wanted to rip his heart from his chest, and throw it away. He didn’t need it. He had no heart left. No soul. He was a walking dead man.

And he stood there, in the mirror, his glazed, empty eyes, staring back at me. He never said a word. Never shed a tear. As if he were a man of stone.

She’d written the words of a song on her note.

“I’ve come to realize
Tonight my friend the end of time
Is not so far away
We cannot pray to save our lives”

I stared at the dead man in the mirror. “Cry, damn you. Cry.” I whispered the words. Knowing the man in the mirror wouldn’t cry. Couldn’t cry. He’d forgotten how so long ago. And I kept hearing her speak the words she’d written. Her last words to me.

“You don’t love me any more. Tonight my friend, the end of time is not so far away.”

And I knew. There was nothing left of the man I saw in the mirror that day. He’d reached the end of his time.

571 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry for week 46 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other stories in the challenge.

NOTE : Song lyrics referenced in this piece consist of:

1. Evanesence – Bring Me To Life
2. Lacuna Coil – End Of Time

#ThursThreads Week 83 : In And Out With A Quick Swipe Of Alcohol

Former Corporal Andrew James sat on the ground, leaning against the cinder blocks holding the single wide trailer up. He raised a nearly empty bottle of Southern Comfort to his mouth, and took a long chug. As he let the bottle fall, he whispered, “To you guys.”

Andrew staggered to his feet, “No, no. I don’t need help to get up.” Swaying as he stood, he put an arm around the shoulders of Corporal Timothy Simmons. “Right, Tim?” He looked Timothy in the eyes, “Tell ‘em. Tell ‘em I’m OK.”

Andrew looked up, spotted PFC Arthur Richardson, “Hey, Arth! Rough day out there, or what?”

No one answered. Except in Andrew’s mind. I knew he’d get through the bottle, pass out on the ground, and wake up with a hell of a headache tomorrow. But he’d be OK. All he needed was time. And friends. And to keep taking his meds, and talking with his doc.

It was one year since the IED went off. Since half of Timothy’s head ceased to exist. Since Arthur’s neck got snapped by the shock wave from the explosion. Since Timothy lost his right leg from the knee down.

He’d wanted to celebrate. “An anniversary! We’ll make a quick stop at the ABC store. In and out with a quick swipe of alcohol.” I’d let him. I’d know what would happen. But I knew he was still mourning. I knew he needed the release. I’d take care of him. We were Army brothers.

249 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 83. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#ThursThreads Week 82 : That Wasn’t Really The Worst Part

“You’re still finding your way, aren’t you?”

I laughed. That question was all Shelly.

“Tom, I’m serious.”

I made a point of looking into her soft, green eyes, so she’d understand I was paying attention to her. “Yes.”

“A normal person would have gone back to work by now.”

I shook my head. “I’m not normal. You know that.”

“But you had a good job. You were successful. You were part of society.”

I knew she felt I’d come apart. Collapsed. Fallen to pieces. What happened to me made her sad. I knew she didn’t understand the life journey I was on. I knew she never would.

All I could do was smile.

She pulled her hair back over her shoulders. She did that when she tried to think through something.

“I can’t return to the world that nearly killed me.”

“Then find another job. Don’t let your skills go to waste.” Her eyes had that look people give each other when they know what they’re talking about. I know those looks exist. But I don’t know what they mean. “It’s like you’ve given up.”

I wanted to tell her I hadn’t given up. I’d awakened. Come alive. Stepped beyond the walls of the life she lived in. Walls she couldn’t even see. And that wasn’t really the worst of it. The worst was she believed I no longer cared.

“I will.”

“When?”

“When I find what I’m looking for.”

240 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 82. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

Remember The Magic

I wrote these words last night, after I got home. I wrote them for a friend. The math told me I needed to share these words with her. And being who I am, I did. She wrote back, a brief little note, and said I should share these words with everyone.

Well, this afternoon, I just got home. And the math told me second friend could use a note from me. So, I’m sharing what I wrote last night. I’ve modified it as little as possible to keep names out of it. Otherwise, this is what I shared with a wounded friend last night.

Just because that’s what’s friends do in the world that ought to be.

Mark.


IMG_2796Oh, dear.

My friend. You make me wish I could give you a big hug, and take you on a long outing at the Botanical Garden. I’d do it. In a heartbeat.

I am not “physically” disabled. I have a 100% functional body. I can walk most people into the ground. Even at my age. I can hold a camera still long enough to take pictures at 35X optical zoom without a tripod. I can mow my own lawn. I can stand on my feet all day at Geek Squad.

I am, however, “disabled.” There are parts of life I simply don’t understand. I’ve told my doc, it’s like I’m deaf. It’s like I can’t hear that part of life that is “social”. I’ve explained to people, “It’s not that I do anything special. It’s not that I’m caring. Or tender. Or any of that stuff. It’s that I don’t have the social constraints most people have. So, for me, it’s all “math”. It’s all observation, and appropriate response. If I’m hurting, don’t I want attention, and help? Or at least someone to say, “I know.” So if someone I see is hurting, what’s the appropriate thing for me to do?”

And somehow, this gets people to call me, “caring, kind, and tender-hearted.”

I’ve told my Doc, “Isn’t this how things are supposed to be?”

So, when I see you write about how you are still getting used to your disabilities, and the reality that you can’t do certain things, my heart tells me I should take time, and say, “Hi!” and make sure you’re OK.

I have never, in this life, been understood. I’m married to a wonderful lady. I’ll never change that. I love her too much. But there are many “features” of me she does not understand. In her words, “I’ve grown used to them.”

One thing I’ve learned in the past 3 years. One truth that’s been hammered into me over, and over, and over.

People are blind to life. They are. Every morning, driving to work, they don’t see the flowers growing by the side of the road. They don’t see the clouds in the sky, or the way the sun reflects off of them. They don’t see the rays of sunlight shining through the clouds. They don’t see the birds flying just above the trees. They don’t see that occasional deer in the field.

They are blind. They don’t see the gifts we are all given, every day. Every day.

They never stop, walking across the parking lot at work, to feel the breeze flowing through their fingers. To feel the sun on their faces. To hear the birds singing, or the leaves of the trees rustling as the breeze passes through them.

They are blind.

They never walk through the flowers of the Botanical Garden. Without time constraints. Taking however long it takes. They don’t stop, and watch the butterflies. They never watch the bees moving from one flower to the next, pollinating the trees. They never watch the ducks, or geese, as they lazily swim around on the lakes.

They are blind.

Did you know, if you really try, if you sit quietly, close your eyes, and just listen, and you keep listening long enough, you can hear yourself breathe. I do that all the time. Did you know, if you practice, and you learn to listen to the things your body tells you, you can feel your own pulse. Your own heartbeat.

I know these things. I see them every day. I know the magic that is life. The magic of watching a 5-year-old cat sleep on your lap. Of watching the clouds as they slowly move, and change, in the sky. Of watching the neighbors dog chase a butterfly, not wanting to catch it, or kill it. Just wanting to chase it, and play with it. Of watching a wild rabbit carefully pick the best weeds growing in the yard, and eat them. Of watching a baby bunny grow through summer, becoming a rabbit able to survive on its own. Of watching a momma duck lead her tiny little ducklings to a lake.

I know the magic of seeing Camellia trees in full bloom in January, in the snow. When people tell me, “It’s cold. And there’s nothing out there to see.”

I know the magic of stretching out on my sofa, with the window curtains pulled aside, and the sun shining through them, on to me. Of taking a nap in that sunshine.

The magic is there. Every day. All I have to do is stop. And look. I don’t have to look for it. All I have to do is look around. It’s there. Everywhere.

People are blind. They can’t see that. They don’t know the magic’s there. They think I’m crazy. Or strange. Or broken in some way.

I’m not.

If I were there, I’d give you a great big hug. Then, even if I had to sit you in a wheelchair, and carry a 2 liter bottle of water with me, I’d take you on a long walk through the roses, the butterflies, and the flower gardens at the botanical garden. I’d stop any time you wanted. I’d let you look all you wanted. I’d let you feel the sun. The breeze.

I’d just appreciate the gift you are, my friend.

We are all different. We are all unique.

Smile, you. That’s the greatest gift of all. The gift of a smile.

Boston Joins The List

It’s Monday night. 15 April 2013. A day that will be recorded in history. At least until people forget about it. Which they will. Time seems to do that. It makes people forget. And more time makes them forget more.

Remember these?

Sandy Hook Elementary School – 14 December 2012
Clackamas Town Center, Oregon – 11 December 2012
Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, Minnesota – 27 September 2012
Oak Creek, Wisconsin – 05 August 2012
Aurora, Colorado – 20 July 2012
Cafe Racer Espresso in Seattle, Washington – 29 May 2012
Tulsa, Oklahoma – 06 April 2012

These all made national headlines in the past 12 months. Do you remember them all? Really? Honestly? Do you? I know I didn’t. I had to look them up. As I read about them, I remembered them.

People tell me I’m cold hearted. Heartless. I’m not. I named my blog “My Soul’s Tears” for a reason. I’ve learned, the more awake I become. The more aware I become. The more I learn. The more I grow. The more sorrow, sadness, and pain I see all around me.

What happens when you get up in the morning and get ready for work? Do you look forward to going to work? Or is work something you put up with, something you endure, to get the paycheck, so you can survive in the world? Do you like your work? Or do you wish you could be anywhere else, doing anything else?

I take walks. Several a week. Sometimes, I walk at the Botanical Gardens. I love to walk through the flowers, and the trees, when they are blooming. Have you seen an ocean of Camellia trees in full bloom? Reds, pinks, whites, and variegated? Did you know they bloom as early as December? I know these things. I’ve learned them. And sometimes, as I walk through the Camellias, I cry. I can’t help it. I cry for the people I have known in life. The people I have met in life, that never took the time to walk through the Camellia trees in January, and marvel at their beauty. That never looked at a thousand different Camellia blossoms, and found them all perfect. That never spent three hours outside, in freezing weather, taking pictures of those blooms. Hundreds of pictures.

My soul cries tears for them. For I know they do not understand the priceless gift those Camellia trees and their blooms are. They’ve forgotten. They have other priorities. They have their work. Their families. Their houses. Their social lives. Their churches. Their nights out. Their workouts. The list is endless. And when they do look, they’re on a schedule. “I’ve got half an hour to walk through here. Then I have other things to do.”

Sometimes, I walk down the East or the West dike at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It’s 4.6 miles from the Back Bay Visitors Center to the False Cape State Park Visitor’s Center. The only way to False Cape is through Back Bay, or down Back Bay’s beach. To walk the False Cape, and back, is just over 9 miles. I make that walk several times a year.

And sometimes, on that walk, I cry. And my heart aches. Because I remember people I know, people I’ve known, that will never make that walk. That learn the walk is miles and miles long, and they think I’m crazy for even trying to make that walk.

These people will never see the cottonmouth snakes crossing the trail at the end of the West Dike. They’ll never see the ospreys flying over the waters of the sound, searching for fish in the water. They’ll never see the banded Kingfishers zipping along just over the water, suddenly plunging in. They’ll never see the turtles, baking in the sun on the shores of the dike. They’ll never see the Blue Teals feeding in the waterways of the refuge. They’ll never see the deer walk right across the trail, so close you can see their whiskers, and the little spots on their sides. So close you could almost reach out and touch them. They’ll never sit on the ground, scant feet from wild rabbits, and watch those rabbits eating the wild grasses, and flowers.

They’ll never take the time. And if they ever do, they’ll make the trip inside the tourist tram, with a guy on a speaker saying, “And to your left, if we’re lucky, we might see some Blue Teals.”

I know how priceless these gifts from life are. I have taken the time to see the wildflowers bloom. To see the bare branches and limbs of Magnolia trees fill with pink, white, or gold blossoms. I’ve seen baren cherry trees fill with pink and white, then turn green as the pink and white blooms fall away. I’ve seen Rhododendron trees covered with oceans of flowers, in blue, purple, pink, red, and white.

I’ve watched squirrels eating nuts, and pine cones. I’ve watched robins probing the ground in search of food. I’ve seen cormorants diving underwater to chase fish. I’ve seen fish spawning. I’ve seen ducklings, all solid fluffy yellow, and watched them grow, becoming full grown Mallards.

And as I’ve watched these things, I’ve sometimes cried, my heart aching in my chest, and my soul screaming at God, “Why? Why can’t they see these things?”

I wonder why no one’s afraid of getting in their car, and driving to work, or the the store, or to school. I wonder why no one’s afraid of walking through the shopping mall. Why no one ever fears walking around at a big event, like the Neptune Festival, or the Azalea Festival, or Harbor Fest, where there are oceans of people, and no one knows if someone in that crowd is going to pull out a gun and start shooting, or pull out a knife and start hacking and slashing.

And I wonder why these same people can’t ever be alone. Can’t ever be somewhere quiet. Can’t sit on the sand by the ocean, and watch the sun come up, unless someone is with them. Unless they have a hand to hold.

And I wonder why so many people scream, or cry, or become outraged, or become afraid and seal themselves in their homes for a while, when something like today happens. When the news shows explosions on crowded city streets, where people get hurt, and even die.

And I don’t understand at all why something that happens every day gets ignored, while something that’s rare becomes terrifying. Do they even understand how many people die behind the wheel of a car every day? How many people collapse of exhaustion, or heart attack, or stroke, at work, every day? How many people go to bed at night, wondering if they’ll wake up tomorrow? How many people go to bed at night, wondering if they’ll find something to eat tomorrow?

I don’t understand people.

I just don’t understand people at all.

And every time something like today happens, I realize just how much I don’t understand the way the people around me are.

And my heart aches.

And my soul cries tears of pain.

For I know it won’t be long before everyone forgets. And I know it won’t be long before something like this happens again. And I’ll wonder, just as I do know, how long it will take for this world to change.

And I am afraid, sometimes, that it never will.

So on this Monday night, 15 April 2013, I try not to say anything. And let the world be the way it is. Knowing the hurt I feel, the tears my soul cries, are temporary things. And with time, they will fade away, just like the memory of today.

Isn’t that how life is anyway?

A Snippet From NaNoWriMo 2012

Yes. It’s November of 2012.

Yes. I’m hard at work on my 2012 novel for NaNoWriMo.

That’s why I haven’t been posting much the past 7 days.

But, since a few of my NaNoWriMo friends are posting clips on a weekly basis, I figured I’d join in, and put up a small snip of what I’ve written so far. In all it’s unedited, raw glory. So here it is. A snip of the story of the world named Cylinders, and the black magic dragon named Merlin…

—–

Sword lead Rose to the entrance of one of the large castles. There, he stopped, turning to her, and kissing her gently once more. Gods, but he loved the taste of her lips. The touch of her lips against his. He felt so alive when he kissed her.

“We’re here.” He gently squeezed her hand. “What’s inside will change everything, Rose. It will change everything.”

“What’s inside, Sword? Please, tell me.”

“Someone I want you to meet.” He looked into her blue eyes again, having to close his own eyes to break free of hers. “They’re not like us, Rose. They’re different. From anyone you’ve ever met. Anyone you’ve ever known.”

“Is it safe to meet them?”

“Yes! Yes! It’s safe.” He smiled. “I’ve visited them several times. They’ve never been dangerous to me. They’ve always been kind.” He squeezed her hand once more. Feeling her delicate, graceful fingers press gently against his hand. He wished he would never forget that feeling. “You know I’ll never let anyone hurt you.”

Rose leaned forward, and gently kissed him. “I know.”

“You know I love you,” he’d never said the words until then.

“I know.” Rose smiled, and looked into his eyes. “I’ve always known.”

Sword’s heart raced in his chest. He wanted to take her away. Anywhere. Just the two of them. Where he could be alone with her. Show her how he felt toward her. But it wasn’t the time. It wasn’t the time.

He turned toward the castles entrance. He took a deep breath, and slowly let it out. It was time. Time to take Rose into the castle. Time for her to meet them. The machines.