Forever?

The one thing they never told me, see, was that living forever is NOT the same thing as being forever young.

Yeah, that vampire-esque fairy tale of eternal youth and adventure, well it’s all crap. You may *live* forever, but that doesn’t stop you from aging. No. And you’ll be there for the final curtain, all well and good. But you’ll be a bag of bones by then, unable to even applaud, as He makes every last actor on the stage take their bows.

Shoulda read the fine print on that one, I suppose. Stupid-ass demons snowed me, man.

So yeah, now I’m stuck here. In the shadows. Forever. Oh, I know everything, and I could change the world with all the knowledge I’ve got. Stuff that multiple lifetimes of experience have taught me. But instead, I’m a monster. A freak. A side-show gem. I sound like a crazed old man fresh outta meds, and look even worse. Like hell. I think there was a reason Jesus checked out at 33 – it’s cuz people just don’t trust the elderly, not even a lick.

And that’s what I’m gonna be. Forever.

I know that at some point my body will break. Just like all the rest. Hell, I saw my love die in the same way – I saw my Love die! Do you get that? Do you understand the pain of watching her disintegrate before me? Soon, my body will, well, it’s also gonna crumble under its own weight; just like hers did. But I’ll be present and accounted for, for every last snap, yes sir. And I’ll be breathing afterwards still.

Stupid-ass demons snowed me. I shoulda read the fine print.

So I’m writing this down, see? Just for you. Just in case. Should ever a pretty little thing come along and ask you if you want eternal life, you just look her straight in her devilish fairy tale eyes, and you tell that bitch, “Hell no! Who wants to live forever?”

You tell her that, see? You tell her, and then you just keep on walking. You keep right on walking, and you die happy. For me.OK?

•••

This special “Sunday edition”post is brought to you by the good folks over at Daily Prompt, and by my occasional desire to just “check out.”

Advertisements

Briefly… I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today

copyright - Indira by way of Scott Vanatter

copyright – Indira by way of Scott Vanatter

Think I’m gonna throw up…

WHAT???

I think I’m gonna…

Well, don’t do it HERE!

Then pull over.

I can’t! We’re gridlocked in traffic. Just open the door. No one will notice…

Better?

Yeah.

What happened? You’re not drunk already, are you?

No, just nervous.

Listen, understanding it’s your wedding, this sort of thing does happen almost every day.

But not to ME!

OK honey, I know. But when two men love each other like you and Dave do, well, it’s just natural, you know?

I know.

It’ll be all right darling. No rain today, OK?

OK dad. No rain today.

•••

Even in the worst of times, Love prevails. This is a very special mash-up for me, between 100 Word Song and Friday Fictioneers – along with inspiration from k~ over at Bloggit Write – in celebration of the death of DOMA. In celebration of the victory of Love.

Mind you, I’m none to sure why gay folk would want to get married. But in a growing number of states waking up to the truth, they at least now the right to make the same mistake as the rest of us; and the right to make mistakes is a beautiful thing…

This week’s song was chosen by some crazy Darin fan (I know, they’re ALL crazy!): “I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today” by Robert Walden Cassotto

AM radio and the lingering smell of perm

She walks across the linoleum-tiled kitchen floor with her plastic curlers clamped tightly into her head. The smell of perm is, well, it permeates the house; billowing over the scent of any food she may be cooking at the time (if she was in the kitchen, she was cooking, and she was ALWAYS in the kitchen. About once a week or so, wearing those damned post-perm curlers to boot.)

It was the 70’s, and I was a musical leech. Not quite yet old enough to own my own record player, as my ardent Beatles-fan older brother did, I was enslaved to the AM radio station of my mother’s choice (my mother’s choice by the way, toggled between WGRZ for newer tunes, and WJYE – “Joy. All Music, all the time.” – for the older stuff.) I didn’t know what was to come, musically-speaking (even though it was being birthed at that very moment), but to my young mind I couldn’t wait until it did. Especially considering…

I mean, to a five(ish) year old boy, what was that supposed to mean? Painted ponies by the riverside? What was this strange language? Turns out, it was just exactly what you’d think it was. But to the (somewhat overactive) imagination of a five(ish) year old, it went a lot further than all that. Into weird and strange places best left unvisited.

Easier to understand, but even more lyrically intense – to my young brain at least – were the boys of Three Dog Night (who, for the record, could not be mentioned, without at least one local chiming in with “did you know that one of them is from here???” I think it was the one with the mustache. Pretty sure it was him), who wooed my freshly born social conscious with their plea for racial harmony, in a world still on the brink…

Sadly, to my young existence, these two are about the “spaciest” tunes of the decade to wiggle their way into my ear, eventually nestling themselves deep down within my psyche.

The remainder of the 70’s were spent pretty much here…

And sometimes here…

Though being raised a suburban Polish kid (proud owner of my very own “mini” beer stein!), who was prone to celebrate things such as “Dingus Day,” Mr White and I didn’t really share what you would call a “common language,” outside of the above track.

A bit of a shame, as I really dug his smooth and silky voice otherwise.

Alas, it was here that I would eventually find my musical soul mate for the decade, though I knew not why at the time…

Maybe it was because it had just the right amount of mope, or despair, or longing, or self-pity. I mean, hell! When you read the lyrics, you almost wonder how it was, that Gilbert didn’t have a flock of black-clad moody youth envelop him in a slow motion riot, immediately upon the song’s release. But I suppose that’s a story for another decade altogether. One I didn’t know about then, but desperately hoped was coming soon.

Right after I purchased my own record player, of course.

•••

mixtape-jenkehl1-300x300

This is my first foray into Jen’s Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday – I’m hopeful that I didn’t crash the party with my mix. Or at least, not so badly as to not be allowed into the clubhouse next week…!

Briefly… 100 Words Plus A Sentence

Wait… is this my first-ever 100 Word Song AND Master Class 2013 Mash Up?

Hot damn, I think it is. But you tell me – as I’d love to know if you’ve been paying attention. Lord knows I haven’t…

Anywho – I saw both challenges, and just knew that I had to make them work together (in part, because I had no earthly idea what to do with them individually!) I hope it worked out in the end. And I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

storch-badgerobot-badge

“Do-ya mind… iffff I play tha ukulele?”

He slurred it to no one in particular, as he sat alone, drunk on the park bench. While playing, some pigeons waddled over to inspect it, his efforts, that is. Finding his talent lacking (and he without bread), they went their way; wreaking a havoc different than his upon people simply trying to enjoy themselves – sans pigeons and the homeless.

But he was no mere homeless. No, He was the Savior. The Messiah. The King returned to His people.

Sadly, neither the people, nor the pigeons, nor even himself knew all that. And as such, the world just continued to tip.

•••

This week’s song was chosen by Deana: “Tight Rope” by Janelle Monae

And Prof “asked Lexy to choose any book and give me a 10:” from the 10th page of Terry Pratchett’s “Mort.”

Return To Innocence

It was late Spring when the sky first turned gray. An ominous, oppressive gray, with just a smattering of pockets of light. As the months trudged on, every last one of them was slowly blotted out, and by the true beginning of summer, Michael could see only charcoal blackness, sooty and billowesque, whenever he dared to look upward.

The storm never broke, though for months now it had threatened to. The sheets of rain, filled out in triplicate, that Michael so longed to receive in the hopes of conducting the storm through to its end, thus returning the blue sky to his possession, never came. And though the bleak grayness was miles above his head, it pressed down upon his shoulders as if it were a living thing. Softly, Michael closed his eyes, imagining the gate once more.

It was a gate he’d never actually seen before, but one he knew existed. His love had told him about it, a gate of heavy metal, intricately woven and painted with a thick coat of black, the kind of paint that was always shiny, though seldom showed finger prints. It was the gate that entered you into the park, the park that hosted all the loves of the world, and all the lovers too. A place that existed only in the mind and, to those who knew how, the soul as well. Michael wished that his own soul would eventually possess such knowledge, but until then, his imagination was put to task, and performed the bulk of the work in creating this secret place within.

20130527_080038

She was there already of course, puffy pink cotton candy in hand, offering it to him as if she were a child. For in this place, that is exactly what you are. Love cannot be trusted to the adult mind, for it is muddied by selfishness, desire, and ego. Only the child can properly appreciate the finer art of simply loving the person without question or motivation, because of who they are, versus what they can provide you, or what they have done, or what they have failed to do just yet.

Michael smiled to the real world, as his imaginary fingertips brushed against and gently pulled upon the offered treat. Never greedy, he took more than his share this time and, as was his normal habit, tightly rolled it up into a hard sugary rock, before placing it on his tongue. He smiled again, as he felt the sweetness melting in his mouth and slowly dribbling down his throat. She laughed in such a way as to almost make him open his eyes, thus destroying the illusion. At the last moment he caught himself however, instead looking at her with his mind’s eye before asking, “What? Why do you laugh, lover?” Giggling again, she replied, “Why not? To see you eat cotton candy is like watching a man with one arm build a bridge. Have you ever just enjoyed something, without first having to man-handle and control it into an almost totally different existence? Have you ever let be, just be?” Michael frowned slighty, as his immediate reaction was one of hurt. Hurt over the idea that he was already going well out of his way to meet her here in the park he had so diligently created mentally, only to find her “critiquing” something else altogether, instead of complimenting him for his efforts. But while all this played out in his head, in a melee of hurt and bruised ego, his mental voice to her said only, “why do you ask? Was I not enjoying the candy correctly?”

“Lover, you were,” she shook her head enthusiastically, “but only after you had made it into your own image. Only after you had hardened it, squashed the life out of it, made it ‘other’ than what it was intended to be. Darling, the candy was supposed to be light and fluffy, yet you felt for some reason that that was not good enough. Do you realize that by doing so continually throughout your life, you may still experience happiness, but miss out on Joy altogether? Why even here Michael, in this park, what do you see?” “I see banks and banks of greenery and ferns,” Michael retorted, “beautiful and lush and dew-kissed, all surrounded by big, bold and resolute sunflowers.” He said it cautiously, wondering if he had come to the correct conclusion.

Sensing this, her response was measured. “Hmmm, Michael, I really wish you would learn to come here by way of your soul, instead of through your imagination. You did not come up with an incorrect conclusion, lover, but you did create a place that is a mere shadow of the realness that surrounds us. Dear, all that you saw is here, but this is the park that hosts all the loves of the world, and all the lovers too. As such, it is awash with every type and sort of plant, draped with every color of flower. It is carpeted with not only grass, but earthen path and waterway too. Michael, much like Love is, this place has everything, and all of it is free.”

Crestfallen over not being able to see, and after trying so hard, Michael began to slowly open his real eyes, only to stop as he felt her hand tap gently upon his shoulder. The touch was light yet comforting, and it was only in his feeling it that he remembered how he hadn’t felt the pressure of the gray since he had entered here.  She whispered softly, “Michael, I know you are leaving me now. I said something wrong maybe, or your ego is still too bruised to be here with me wholly. Regardless of why, I am sorry. Sorry for you, and for us. Dear, please try to be here in your soul. Please try to find this place through Joy, instead of happiness or want. I’ll be waiting for you here when you do. Until then, here is a kiss…”

A kiss that was never realized, as it was then that Michael’s boss, spying that he had another “goddammed lazy-lack sleeper” on his hands, thwacked Michael soundly back to reality, via the tried and true rolled up newspaper continually found in his hand. “Now git back ta work, ya turd!” was all the encouragement Michael received from him, as his boss stomped back to his office for a well-deserved nap himself.  Listening to him clump noisily off, thwacking others occasionally along the way, Michael slowly rubbed the back of his head where the paper still stung, wondering to himself just which of the two places it was, in which “reality” really existed.

•••

Bloggers note: Posted in response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt on Kindness, and resulting wholly from a dear friend offering me a bite of cotton candy, I wonder if I should flesh this out more, or leave it as a stand-alone piece. As always, your thoughts and critiques are requested… and no newspaper thwacks will result from sharing your honest opinion. Promise!

Surrender.

“The past can’t hurt you anymore, not unless you let it.”

~ Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

“Daddy… Daddy?”

With no response, I uttered again, “Daddy?” But still he slept. Soundly, and on his back, in the dark coolness of their bedroom. Peaceably he snored, with a tranquility seldom seen during his waking hours. Presumably off again, on one of his Navy-day adventures. Loving the song, women, and wine of yesteryear. The times he used to speak to us most fondly about. The man he had once been, and one could only assume, wished that he still was.

But this was not about him. No, it was about me. As would become so much a pattern to my life, it was about me. And as would become so much a pattern to my life, though I desperately needed to reach out to someone, I didn’t, for the mere fear of not wanting to “bother them.”

Meekly, from the corner of their big bed, I murmured again, “Daddy?”

No response.

220px-Brown_lady

“Daddy. Please wake up daddy. Please tell me everything is OK daddy. Please let me know that all my fears are unfounded. That all the monsters and the fiends and the ghosts are all make-believe, daddy. In my head, daddy. Please tell me that daddy, please.”

But he didn’t. In part because he couldn’t. In part because it would have been a lie. In part because his dream-land adventures were, in themselves, an escape for him as well. An escape from the very same monsters and fiends and ghosts as were plaguing me.

“Daddy, please tell me they’re all make-believe. Please.”

“But they are not, my son. They are real, even if they won’t eventually appear as you currently imagine they will. Even then, they are real. The monsters are real, though they look much more like incompetent and ruthless bosses and overlords, than they do oversized creatures with maddened eye, and glaring teeth. And the fiends are real too, even if they look much more like friends and relations who you felt you could trust – did trust – only to have them use that trust against you, pushing upon all the softest spots you shared with them, in an effort to have their way.”

“But the worst son, the very worst are the ghosts. The ghosts that come screaming right up from the roots of your family tree. The ghosts of your bad habits and phobias. The ghosts that tell one that they’ll never be good enough, while telling another that there could possibly never be another wiser or more correct. The ghosts that bind a family to its own destruction, the ghosts that kill some with self-loathing, while suffocating others with pride. These ghosts of who you are – though you aren’t – these are the very worst.”

“Daddy, does it get better? Do they go away?”

“For me, they did not. Because I never allowed them to, because I had to maintain control. You know many like that, and you too suffer the same disease. They’ll get you in the end as well, if you’re not careful.”

“Daddy, what should I do?”

“The easiest thing in the world to do, the hardest thing in the world to do. Give up control. Just give it up. Surrender. When the farmer plants the seed, does he fret everyday over whether it will grow or not? No. He simply does what he knows needs to be done for a good crop to result, and then lets Nature do the rest. Be like the farmer, son. Plant the seed, do your best, and wait. Just surrender to Life, and wait.”

“Will they go away then, daddy? The monsters, the demons, and the ghosts?”

“The first two, no, but the third can be greatly reduced. Recognize them for what they are, and you can then work towards dismissing them. Keep in mind, your old life will be destroyed in the process, but it’s simply a skin waiting to be shed, after all. And once done, the monsters and the fiends become inconsequential. A mere nuisance to the New You. The new beautiful, liberated and True You.”

“Is what you’re telling me true, daddy?”

No response.

I’m back in his room, and he is still asleep. As he has been this whole while. Back then, just for the night; and now, forever.

The final question I fear, was left unaddressed, as it can only ever truly be answered by me. In my own time and fashion.

“In my own time and fashion, daddy. I will surrender, and I will see.”

•••

Happy Fathers Day, dad. The adventure continues…

Subculture

So, what sort of unadulterated douche does it take to not play Friday Fictioneers in “like, forever,” only to return, and then not plunk down the maximum 100 word allotment, but rather (2) 100 word installments instead?

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Here is this week’s 2-parter (if you’re really militant about the word count, just shut up and read the first part only, already!)

I hope you enjoy, I hope you play along, and I hope you get back to me with how you feel I can improve!

And to those of you who read along regularly, #1 – thanks!, and #2 – I apologize for having this week, two “dialogue-only” posts, back-to back!

Copyright -John Nixon

Copyright -John Nixon

Now, where did I place it?

Sir, it’s…

Just a moment Geoffrey, I’m attempting to locate my rapt-scallion key!

“Rapt-scallion,” sir?

Oh my, Geoffrey, you’re so pedestrian, really. Dear boy, I couldn’t very well say God-damned-able, now could I? Certainly not in front of a mere child!

Sir, I’m not a chi…

Shush now lad, help me search!

But sir, it’s directly behind you.

Behind?

Yes sir, protruding from your back, actually.

By Jove! Right you are m’boy, right you ARE! Now, why do you suppose…

Sir. Please not again… We’re toys sir.

The devil you say!

The devil, I don’t.

••

We are toys. Just like we were yesterday sir.

My dear boy, I do believe your lid is positively flipped.

Sir, you have a KEY sticking OUT of your BACK!

Well… isn’t that just a very British thing to do?

No sir. It’s a very wind-up toy thing to do.

Rapt-scallion!

Sir…?

Oh, fine. GodDAMNed!

I’m terribly sorry sir.

No need m’boy, no need! So, I suppose I’ll wind down then?

Yes sir.

And I’ll have forgotten I was a toy next go-round as well?

I pray not, sir. This conversation IS becoming a tad bit monotonous.

•••

Bloggers note:

Today’s tune is more than just a musical accessory to a toy trapped within it’s own short-term memory. Today’s tune, TMI be damned, could have almost have been my theme song, at quite a number of points throughout my life. In short, today’s tune is important…