Fiction

Anonymous Obituary

There is always a reckoning as the last breath prepares to make its final exit. It takes with it a life force so profound it’s difficult to accept, which of course, prompts the reconciliation. In the end, there is bartering with the unknown during a series of one-sided discussions that tend to occur between midnight and dawn, which include promises of devotion and if onlys. In the final days, time once wasted becomes coveted, obsessively, almost manically so. A yearning to endure and recapture what is forever lost is so intoxicating it convinces the logical soul to slip into the ethereal frame of mind reliving regrets, what ifs, why didn’t I, and finally, if only there was more time. I was above this sort of reflection because, and arrogantly so, I believed in a higher purpose. Now, like others before me preparing to for the last exhale, I am no longer certain of anything, except my end, and you.Read more …

The Next Stop

Before saying, I love you, our eyes held their gaze with visible hunger. After, I watched him lower his to inventory the lines on the palms of his immense hands. As the seconds mounted, I listened to the wall of silence going up around us. It drowned out the crowded bar room buzz of the happy hour crowd.

He placed one hand flat on the table’s surface, and with the other, he ran his fingers through his wiry pepper-colored hair. His eyes took flight and locked on something behind my left shoulder. I turned to accompany his eyes as they traveled the room. Their destination was the EXIT sign hanging over the door at the back of the bar. I broke the trance of the silence filling the two-foot gap separating us by clearing my throat.Read more …

Exposed

“You look tired,” Lila said.

“I am. I want to go home,” Ray said.

“Not yet Dad, Dr. Sanchez said four more days, at least.”

“They shaved my head, drilled in it, and left a hole. Look at me.”

“You look like a holy man on a pilgrimage.”

“Didn’t you hear me? They drilled a big hole in my head, and shaved it.”

“But they took out the tumor.” Read more …

Man-Ripe

I’m starved, please tell me you cooked dinner and it’s not another night of Marshmallow Kabobs.” Kat moaned.

Lizzie put a second tray of cookies into the oven before answering her friend. The two women had been sharing evening meals together longer than they could remember. In dog years, they had been friends eighty-four years. “Long day, Kat?”

“It’s Monday Lizzie, and Mondays by definition are long. Wanna know why?” Read more …

Cure for Love

Dear Lover ~

I am tangled in hotel sheets with your scent fresh upon my body writing another letter in my head and you haven’t even finished dressing. My letter will begin by telling you about a new study.

Dearest Lover it will start. I read an article in the paper today about the brain hooked on love. It stood me still, at last a name for my illness. Be still my beating heart, all good things come to those who wait I will say to you. Lover of mine I read with haste, devouring each word, one by one, then two by two, and then full sentences in one inhale, greed replaced patience.

I reached the end of the article disappointed to find there was no known cure, no studies at the Mayo Clinic, no clinical trials to volunteer for. It was early days in the study. You will read my letter as you do all of them, smile knowingly, and whisper to the wind; absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence my dear, and read on. Read more …

Pass Go, Collect $200.00

I agreed and he agreed that we would remain friends and that was all we could be, but when the invitation came across to come see him, I said yes without hesitation. What did I think would happen when I was standing alone in front of him that we would discuss the price of tea in China?

I made excuses to my office, I don’t recall what they were, but it was bland and believable. I left in the middle of the day without ever having to explain why. No one questioned me because I had never done anything remotely dishonest, and if I said I had to go home to water my tomato plants and catch worms, no one would think to challenge me.

(Now if asked where I am going, I respond, ‘I’m going to see my lover’. It’s the truth. The question-asker shakes their head and laughs at my response, thinking I am joking. I smile inside and remind myself when in doubt the truth is sometimes the best answer.) Read more …

After the kiss, there was reflection

My not yet, but almost, and very soon to be, lover tells me, I have commitments, another life that is full, too full to add more. This…, us, isn’t a good idea.

I read his words, which arrived in an email, a million times at least. Where was this logic the previous night when your hands were traveling across every inch of my body, I asked the empty room, the brick walls of my office. There was no answer, only the question hanging in the void, which is a question that I come back to and have from the start of our love affair.

In a life, there are memories painted on a canvas in vibrant watercolors, the images not defined leaving the edges to the imagination, but other memories are photocopies of days long since gone where there is no room for interpretation. This is one of those memories. Read more …

The Kiss

I sat across my not yet lover sipping a margarita hoping for my wall of fear fall away so I might tell him what was on my mind. He was telling me about his life, and how near to a storybook it was, and that the life he lived came easily. I sipped until there was no more and was nodding yes to another round when asked. The Agave Herradura warmed me through and through and the words I needed to say sat with trepidation on the edge of my tongue cautioning me this was my most foolish act yet.

I sat the other side of the table, hands under my thighs for fear they would reach over and move the hair lounging carelessly on his forehead away from his left eye. I sat, a skeptical listener, doubtful that anyone’s life was free of wrinkles and torn pages and held myself back from interrogating this man about how this was so. Read more …