Monthly Archives: September 2012

I Know You Will Read This

Dear June,

I know you listened to that song. I stumbled across it late this evening and listened to it many times.

Many times, but how many I can’t say. That is because the lyrics spoke to me.I remember when we made these promises to each other.

I remember when you told me you’d never forgive me for not finding you sooner. I remember you telling me to ignore the things you said in anger and how I promised that I would. I promised that I would always find you. I promised that if we were ever separated I would never forget you and that one day I would come for you.

I remember your anger and your tears. I remember the screams and the shouts. I remember the pain and the sorrow. We said what we said and did what we did but it didn’t change anything.

We are inextricably connected and have been for longer than we can remember. Neither of us know what to do. We went out separate ways and did our best to live our lives without the other, but it didn’t matter.

Because we seek each other out.

You are the first thing I think about and the last before I close my eyes.

And for what seems like eternity I have lived my life alone and apart. I ache and I burn. I dance in the fire and dare the flames to consume me.

In my anger and frustration I poke, prod and push you. I dare you to tell me you feel nothing. I dare you to walk away and pretend that our words were meaningless and our promises empty.

I dare you to tell me that your heart is full and your soul happy.

During the few times I have confronted you I have listened to you tell me that I am crazy, but you haven’t talked about being happy. I read between the lines and I hear what isn’t being said.

I watch what you do and ignore what you say. You are out there, waiting and wondering. You wonder if I meant what I have said and whether I will follow through. I get it. I understand.

I know things. That is not ego, it is my heart. Believe me, my head has told my heart to get fucked more than once but the heart wants, what the heart wants. What is and what shall be are yet to be determined.

So do what you do and say what you say- time will tell whether you find yourself saying “I love you” in person or just thinking it in silence. You can’t hide your heart any more than I can.

Time will tell if you shall be more than the queen of my dreams.

 

-Johnny

“I love you more than ever, more than time and more than love
I love you more than money and more than the stars above
I love you more than madness, more than waves upon the sea
I love you more than life itself, you mean that much to me.

Ever since you walked right in the circle’s been complete
I’ve said goodbye to haunted rooms and faces in the street
In the courtyard of the jester which is hidden from the sun
I love you more than ever and I haven’t yet begun.

You breathed on me and made my life a richer one to live
When I was deep in powerty you taught me how to give
Dried the tears up from my dreams and pulled me from the hole
I love you more than ever and it binds me to this all.

You gave me babies, one, two, three, what is more, you saved my life
Eye for eye and tooth for tooth, your love cuts like a knife
My thoughts of you don’t ever rest, they’d kill me if I lie
But I’d sacrifice the world for you and watch my senses die.

The tune that is yours and mine to play upon this earth
We’ll play it out the best we know, whatever it is worth
What’s lost is lost, we can’t regain what went down in the flood
But happiness to me is you and I love you more than blood.

It’s never been my duty to remake the world at large
Nor is it my intention to sound a battle charge
‘Cause I love you more than all of that with a love that doesn’t bend
And if there is eternity I’d love you there again.

Oh, can’t you see that you were born to stand by my side
And I was born to be with you, you were born to be my bride
You’re the other half of what I am, you’re the missing piece
And I love you more than ever with that love that doesn’t cease.

You turn the tide on me each day and teach my eyes to see
Just being next to you is a natural thing for me
And I could never let you go, no matter what goes on
‘Cause I love you more than ever now that the past is gone.”

Dylan is simply amazing, isn’t he.

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Georgie In The Mountains

(Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of a story I have been sharing with Yeah Write. Here are the first two sections.)

The police didn’t arrest me but they should have.

I might not have killed her but it is my fault she is dead. Call it the domino effect. He hit me, I hit him and then he shot her.

Georgie would have loved it. He would have laughed his ass off and told me he was proud of me. He would have clapped me on the back and congratulated me for breaking the mugger’s jaw, but he would have been wrong.

I didn’t hit the mugger. I hit Georgie. Years of abuse came to a head and I snapped. Genetics made me strong, but Georgie made me mean. Georgie made me do things no one should ever do. I knew better, but I still did them.

Yet everyone has their breaking point and Georgie made sure I found mine. It happened during a trip into the mountains.

I didn’t know why we went there, other than Georgie’s comment about needing to see someone. I wasn’t happy about it either, but Georgie wasn’t the kind of guy you complained to, let alone about. So I shut my mouth.

It was late afternoon and the sun had begun its journey to the other side of the world but somehow no matter which direction we walked I was squinting. I tripped over a pile of empty beer bottles and found myself face down in the dirt. Among other company this might have generated a laugh or two; with Georgie it earned a look of derision and a muttered curse.

Georgie stopped in front of a beat up Toyota Camry and motioned for me to wait. I couldn’t hear the conversation but judging from the wild gestures coming from Georgie he was not happy. We were moments away from one of his violent outbursts.

The man in the Camry got out and walked off into the forest. I watched as Georgie followed him. Several moments passed and I decided to return to the car. Georgie was on his schedule, not mine. Might as well try to relax.

Of course that wasn’t ever going to happen, not while I was waiting for Georgie.

It was sunset and now there was no question about a drop in the temperature, it was getting colder. Georgie had driven up here and taken the keys with him. I began to grow concerned about how I was going to get back. It wouldn’t have surprised me to have found out that Georgie had gotten back in the car and left me here. There was only one person that he cared about and it wasn’t me.

But running off into the woods to find him had its own problems. I had no idea which way to walk and for how long and then there was Georgie. With his paranoia issues there was no way to tell how he would react. But I feared a beating less than I feared being stuck out here so I followed the trail that he and the other guy had taken.

It didn’t take me long to find them. I had seen Georgie do some horrific things, but this one surprised me. Georgie had tied the guy from the Camry to a tree. His head was hanging and I could see him take a shallow breath. Georgie was talking into his hand, whispering something that I couldn’t quite make out.

That was when I realized that Georgie was not talking into his hand, he was talking into the ear of the man tied to the tree, except the ear was no longer attached to him. Neither were his thumbs or the middle fingers on both hands. They were lying on a rock in front of the man.

But that wasn’t the worst part of it. Next to the fingers and thumbs was a slice of bread, ketchup and his tongue. Suddenly Georgie’s mumbling started to make more sense, he was promising to reunite the man with the “pieces of flesh he had liberated.”

I must have coughed or gagged because until that point he hadn’t been aware of my presence. And then there he was, standing in front of me, prodding me to take a turn, pushing me to show him that I had learned something. I felt sick inside, but I let him press the knife into my hand.

It would have been nice to say that I was a nice guy who had never done anything wrong, but that wasn’t true. It would have been nice to blame it all on Georgie but that wasn’t true. He may have gotten me involved, but I always had the chance to walk away, to say no and I never did.

Georgie came up behind me and guided the hand holding the knife to the battered remains of the victim’s face. As he suggested that I cut out an eyeball I realized that this time would be different. I had had enough In the past I never would have used the term victim to describe the people we had hurt. But that was a different time.

I pulled my arm out of Georgie’s grasp and flung the knife into the woods. He grabbed me by the collar of my jacket and asked me “to tell him what the fuck I was doing.”

I knocked his hands off of me and told him that I couldn’t do this. Enough was enough. He spat at the ground in front of me and said that pussies like me deserved whatever happened to us.

For a moment his face softened and he asked me to reconsider, told me that the guy was going to die anyway and that we might as well enjoy ourselves.

And that was when I knew that I had to kill Georgie.

 

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One Song Tells A Story

That song tells one of the most powerful stories I can think of. One song powers more than words can share or say. One song is all it takes and the words flow from fingertips, to keyboard, to screen.

 

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In Between The Moments

In between the moments of silence and memories I sit in my chair and look out the window. There are people out there living their lives and I wonder if they are happy, sad, angry or fulfilled.

They could be one, some or all of those things together. Doesn’t really matter much because what they are doesn’t have much to do with who I am or what I am doing. It just intrigues me because I am a person who enjoys watching people.

But I am more than that too.

I am about action, depth and activity. I am a wool gatherer and a dreamer. I dream in technicolor and live life with a passion and fire that is ever burning. The intensity attracts and the intensity repels.

When I think about the things I want I always think about those I have had. It is part of how I distinguish between what I want and what I need.

Sometimes it makes me angry because I see you in the distance and I remember…things. They aren’t always pleasant…memories. I suppose it is childish but there is this sense of having been replaced and a question of whether it was real on your side the way that it was on mine.

There are moments where I feel those questions bubbling up and I want to scream at you. I want to unload because I am frustrated and I remember how there was a time when you were always there and willing to listen. I was accepted for who I was, who I am and who I want to be.

I felt safe to unload because you supported me as I supported you.

We were the most formidable couple I had ever met because we were the most in sync and in love. Few men get to experience the beauty of having a woman give herself completely to them and to know they are safe to do the same.

It might sound silly but we are taught to be hard and to hide our thoughts, feelings and emotions. We learn to do so at a young age and the message is reinforced all the time. Time passes and you learn this lesson has roots in reality.

So when the hard moments come I cloak myself in anger and create a list of reasons why we aren’t referred to as “are” and have become a “were.” The anger builds and it creates the time, space and distance to forget why I miss what was there.

For a while it is almost enough to convince myself that it was fake and that your words were meaningless. If I think about our intimate moments I can almost believe you didn’t feel anything.

The problem is that I don’t have to close my eyes to see your face or to remember what you looked like at our most vulnerable and when the memory appears I have to accept that it was real for you and for I.

It wasn’t just physical chemistry. It wasn’t just pheromones. It wasn’t anything, it was everything.

And now it is nothing.

So I look out the window and ask myself if the words that were once spoken should be forgotten and the dreams should be left in a box adorned with flowers and soft summer spices. They say there is a season for all things and I wonder if there is a season for saying goodbye or if hope really does spring eternal.

I look out and wonder if maybe that tingly sensation I feel is the same one I remember when I knew you were thinking about me. I stare at a big blue sky and smile, because I remember your lips, your eyes, legs and your heart.

Your heart beats in my head. I think that is what I hear and I swear it is calling to me.

I swear it is not just a dream or a moment. It feels like more. It reminds me of Bruce and I say to you again, “I want to know is love is wild, I want to know if love is real. Oh can you show me.”

So I smile and wonder, can you, and will you.

I still know things.

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Georgie

(Editor’s Note: Several people asked me to share more of this story. So here is another piece)

I wanted to blame the jackass at the ATM for bringing this shit storm down upon my head. If he hadn’t tried to rob us all, the girl he shot would still be alive and I wouldn’t feel so miserable.

Then again she might still be alive if I hadn’t reacted like the frightened little boy I had been and maybe still was. If Georgie hadn’t spent years tormenting me, picking, poking and prodding me, she might still be walking.

Maybe if I would have learned how to deal with the bullying I could have stopped myself from just reacting.

Goddamn Georgie, he was dead too. Gone for years and still I could hear him mocking me, feel his presence.

They say sometimes the absence of someone is palpable. The only thing palpable about Georgie’s presence was that even in death he still walked alongside me.

She was dead because Georgie had proven to me that I was weak and  lacking in value and worth. Really it was my fault.

The first time Georgie beat me I was scared. I didn’t defend myself. I didn’t try to, I just let him kick and punch me. And when he stopped I looked at him through teary eyes, not sure what to expect. He gave me a handkerchief and stuck out a hand to help me up.

I was wiping the blood off of my face when he hit me again. I didn’t see it coming and when I came to I was lying in the dirt and he was gone, as were three of my teeth. Georgie didn’t believe in giving or accepting help, to him it was sign of weakness and he couldn’t have that.

Georgie’s influence was profound in the worst way. He claims he saw potential and did nothing more than tap into it.

Georgie made me mean the way you prepare a pit-bull to be a fighter. Stick glass in his food, kick him, beat him and do what you can to make him feel battered and bruised. Place the animal in a position that makes it feel like it is never safe and never secure.

The funny thing about my relationship with Georgie was the way we looked together. Georgie was only about 5’7 or 5’8 and he couldn’t have weighed more than 165 pounds or so.

I was almost 6’4 and weighed a solid 230 pounds. If you looked at us you would have never guessed that for years I had been scared of Georgie, afraid in a very real and tangible sense. And he knew it, he could smell it in my sweat, or so he claimed.

I can’t explain what it was about him that frightened me so, I just know he did. It might have had something to do with the time he beat David Jackman with a tire iron, or the time that he beat the shopkeeper up for insulting him by asking for proof of his age. He was like a mini-volcano, ready to blow at any time and unpredictable.

In some ways my size had put me at a disadvantage. I had always been bigger than everyone else. In school the bullies had avoided me as had most of the other kids.

The end result was because I never had any fights I was afraid of what would happen, worried that I could get hurt and quite concerned about what a fist to the mouth would feel like.

Georgie never had those fears and I don’t know why. He came from a middle class home. Georgie’s father never hit him, never used any sort of physical threat to control him, so who knows why he turned out as he did.

Psychologists and social workers get paid a lot of money to improperly diagnose people like Georgie. I won’t waste my time trying to do their job, and who cares what made him the way he was. The more important question was how to stay on his good side because he was mean and proud of it.

Georgie bragged about the fights he got into, showed off his scars and told stories of the past hurts and battles like they had just happened. The chip on his shoulder was never very far from his present.

We must have been around 20 or so when Georgie decided to teach me his life lessons. I was shocked and confused. I couldn’t believe that he was hitting and kicking me and then I was too bloodied and bruised to do anything but curl up on the floor and try to protect myself.

If I had any sense he beat it out of me there because the smart thing would have been to just walk away and not speak with him again. I should have fought back, the lack of resistance only encouraged him to continue to batter me longer and harder.

This went on for a couple of years, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. It would probably still be going on if not for the accident.

It was a Saturday morning. Georgie showed up at my apartment at around 9 am, sat there kicking and yelling at my door. When I answered it he told me to get dressed, we were going out.

I threw on a pair of jeans, some Timberland boots, flannel shirt and topped it off with a baseball cap turned backwards and followed him to his car. We were heading into the mountains to “see someone.”

That was bad news for someone. Any time Georgie said he wanted to “see someone” it meant that he wanted to see them bleeding, preferably because of him. I didn’t bother to ask who or why, it wouldn’t matter and it wouldn’t change anything. Georgie would do what he did just because and that was the fact of the matter.

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A Moment To Remember

I shared these words with you once not so long ago.

Can I share an experience with you. I want you to take my virtual hand and spend a moment or two walking down a quiet virtual highway with me. Take a couple of moments to compose yourself. Turn down the lights and get comfortable. I need you to be able to concentrate.

Imagine you are lying in bed. The room is so dark that it is hard to see the silhouette of your own body. There is a loud rumble overhead that is joined by the relaxing pitter-patter of rainfall. You are not alone. There is a person lying next to you. Their touch is electric. Their presence simultaneously sends your pulse racing and your spirit soaring.

Do you remember what it feels like to be kissed so hard it takes your breath away. Do you remember what it feels like to have your heart pound so loudly you are sure that it might burst from your chest. That electric tingle that makes your knees go weak.

The certainty that this single moment will last for an eternity. An endless night in which your companion’s soft and rhythmic breathing lulls you to sleep.

Do you remember what happened afterwards? Do you remember the good along with the bad. Do you remember the complete package.

We opened doors that can’t be closed and created moments and memories that can’t ever be forgotten.  Sure, we can list the reasons why they should and nurse the anger, aches, pains and disappointments that came with it all because that helps us pretend that once was is nothing more than memory.

Yet we find ourselves looking back as often as we look forward. We seek each other out because we won’t let go of the hope that the song that our hearts sing can once again be sung out loud. Some would say different and give in to doubt and distrust.

Others might categorize it not as love but as lust but that is only because they don’t get it. Never got it. Never will.

You have and you did. And if you opened your eyes and your heart the past would meet the present and the future would rejoice. There would be a song of celebration and your knees would be weak and your breath would be short, but your smile would be big and your heart would be full.

We don’t have to refer to us as “we were” because really we still “are” and the only question that remains to be answered is “what.”

There is an empty hand waiting for someone to take it.

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The Beginning Of The End

I was almost 25 when I left the city of my birth. It was time to go, time to move on and get away. There were new experiences to be had and the pain of what I had once been, what I had once had was too much. Everywhere I looked there were signs of the glory and the fall.

For most of my life I had been a scrapper, never afraid to fight, never willing to give up and not smart enough to get out. It was a self imposed punishment for sins that I had committed but was unwilling to discuss.

It is not much of a description, not very colorful at all. In fact it is rather ordinary, but that is ok, I am ordinary and I prefer it that way. If you stuck me in a crowd full of people you would be hard pressed to pick me out. It was like that in school, never did or said much in class. No need to draw attention to myself I did what I needed to do to get through and nothing more.

And for the longest time that had been enough, an average, nondescript existence. It suited me fine to be a guy who punched a time clock. But sometimes even the average man find himself in a situation that is beyond his control,a time in which he becomes something more than he has been.

But the question is not what he does to elevate himself but how he handles the elevation.

It was Friday night and I had just finished my shift at the plant. There was no rush to get home because there was no one to get home to, no wife, no family, no girlfriend, not even a dog. Just an empty house that was sparsely furnished.

Friday nights were not much different than any other night of the week. I’d go home, pop open a can of beer and stare blankly at the television screen content to let my brain turn to mush.

On this particular night I decided to stop at an ATM. I wanted to order a pizza and I had nothing but the spare change from the last time I had visited the liquor store. It wasn’t enough to buy a pack of gum, so I was forced to go to the bank.

There were two people ahead of me in line, a man and a woman and behind me there were a couple of teenage boys.

I didn’t see him approach. I didn’t notice anything about him including his presence until he was standing in front of us, waving a gun and shouting for our wallets. I have a bad habit of giggling when I am nervous. I don’t like being the center of attention and now was certainly a bad time to laugh, but laugh I did.

5’8 or so and about a buck twenty sopping wet with a bad haircut and a Judas Priest shirt, that is all he was, oh and he had a big gun and an even bigger attitude. He grabbed my collar and asked me what was so funny. Before I could answer he had grabbed the woman in front of me.

She cried as he pulled her in front of him and asked me if I thought that this was funny. I choked back a snigger and told him that it wasn’t. He told me that if I so much as smiled he would kill her. I wiped the smile off of my face.

It was the wrong thing to do, but I didn’t know it. The jackass cuffed me in the side of the head and laughed. It infuriated me, brought back memories of years of being teased and tortured by my someone who had been like an older brother to me. So I just reacted. I kicked him in the balls and smacked him in the head.

In the movies the gun falls and the hero (there has to be a hero) grabs it. Not here, not in my world. In my world when I slap him there is a flash of light and a loud noise. I am splashed with something, but it feels like hours before I realize that he just shot the woman, and that he did it involuntarily. The wetness I feel on my face is her blood.

I stand there in shock, numb and not really aware anymore of what is happening. The guy she had been with is beating the crap out of the jackass, the Judas Priest shirt is stained now, but it is with his blood.

There is a cop speaking to me, but I don’t answer. The real hero is lying, telling the officer that I saved everyone’s life, that if I hadn’t hit him the guy would have killed us all.

I didn’t hit him, I hit Georgie. It was Georgie I saw in front of me. It was Georgie taunting me, I just snapped and reacted. But I guess that somewhere inside I began to hear and to believe that I had been the hero, that when the bell rang I had come out swinging.

And that was really the beginning of the end.

 

Jack’s Note: This is a work of fiction.

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Musical Monday

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Audio Post

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