It was a dark and stormy night and- nah, it was a gorgeous sunshiny day that seemed like a dark and stormy night. Only without the dark and without the stormy.
So here’s what happened:
I’ve been looking forward to today for weeks, a lovely Birthday Brunch at a lovely restaurant with an even lovelier friend, a beautiful and talented force of nature named Maryanne who I met right here in the Land Of Pressed Words (if you haven’t read her yet, go, read, but come back here too!) http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/.
I don’t get out much these days, I’m still in the midst of an existential crisis because I’m a Mama’s Girl and still haven’t been able to find much to help pull me out of the slump brought on by losing her. I know, I have to pull myself out of my own slump but it’s a long way up and I’m getting closer.
So I was extremely excited to take a nice drive to Avon-By-The-Sea for brunch with Maryanne and a few of her friends.
I woke up smiling, had my mandatory three cups of tea, looking forward to the drive south and a lovely afternoon.
As I started my car and pulled away I noticed the gorgeous white puffy clouds floating slow through the bluest sky and the temperature was perfect, no humidity, just warm sunshine and a beautiful day.
I’ve never been to Avon-By-The-Sea before but know the general area, to be on the safe side I programed the address of the restaurant, “Seed To Sprout”, into my GPS, filled up my gas tank and went on my merry little way. Happy.
I left early enough to give myself plenty of time since it’s a Saturday.
Apparently 4am may have been a better time to leave.
What usually takes me 15 minutes took me 50 minutes.
And in the words of Alice Cooper, I still had a long way to go.
The Garden State Parkway was instead The Garden State Parking Lot. Another 40 minutes go by and I get to give the lady in the booth $1.50 for the pleasure of moving 5 feet forward. Everywhere I look I’m surrounded by cars, mostly SUV’s because otherwise my low to the ground car would’ve allowed me to see further.
The Parkway isn’t moving. At all.
I try Route 9. Go ahead, laugh. Another parking lot only this time I can see for miles. And it’s just like the Parkway.
I know! Route 18! Only not so much.
I’m on the road, because I certainly wouldn’t call that driving, and I still have over 40 miles to go. In 10 minutes.
10 damn minutes and I’m nowhere near the town, never mind the restaurant.
I did something I did not in any way shape or form want to do; I called Maryanne.
Did I mention she’s an Angel?
I wanted to give her an update, I knew I’d be lucky if I got there by 1:00 and I didn’t want to show up without warning more than an hour late.
In the most angelic, understanding, warm voice I’ve ever heard, she said, amongst other calming things, “turn around”. And she spoke in such a way that I knew it was ok. I mean sure, it sucked. I wanted to be there so badly, I looked forward to this for weeks. I had birthday presents! This wonderful woman I admired, this ball of energy who gives new meaning to the idea of believing in yourself and getting things done was the last person I wanted to let down.
But I knew she was right.
I’m Irish and stubborn and wished I had Lola, Agent Coulson’s car in Agents of Shield because Lola can fly. Or one of those big trucks with the wheels that are bigger than I am tall so I could just roll over all the cars in my path and, uh, no, maybe that’s not such a good idea.
Anyway, common sense prevailed, Maryanne soothed me and left me in an unfamiliar state, not guilty.
Because I always am.
So turn around I did, as much as I didn’t want to. We made plans to make plans and all will be well.
Things happen for a reason, maybe there’s a reason I wasn’t meant to be there today. Maybe it was something as small as being home with my husband, his very close Aunt passed away this morning. He told me to go see Maryanne, he knew how much I wanted to go and said there’s nothing I could do about it anyway so I should go have a good time.
Even though I did attempt to go, to do something I wanted to do desperately, I’ve decided there’s a reason I wasn’t able to get there. I may never know that reason, but maybe I’m not meant to.
What I do know is this: Maryanne and I are rain-checking this one.
I have presents!
Lola. And Lola can fly.
stars glimmer and shine
until they die out,
dust grain formation
from years of icy surroundings,
or a momentary veer off course,
there’s a domino effect
though nobody knows when or where it began
it hovers, waiting for maximum impact,
hoping to catch you off guard intentional so you fall,
but you can glitter as you fall,
scatter and redirect,
stardust bouncing the bumpy road
and then, collision,
discarded matter coming together,
merged into something beautiful,
magical and beyond belief,
light, once again shining in the sky,
the darkness just a soft backdrop
to the eventual wonder of it all
[hides head in shame and embarrassment] FINALLY! Fiction Rally Part 4! It’s totally my fault that it’s late [prays TRG won't throw items at me across the Atlantic Ocean]and I won’t even make excuses. In case you’re just joining in, this is part 4 of the Fiction Rally. You can read Part 3 here
http://thereclininggentleman.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/fiction-rally-part-three/#comment-6389, and because I’m so late with this, there are links to Parts 1 and 2 there as well. Without further ado:
Lilly looked at her watch for what seemed like the trillionth time, as if the hands would move faster just by the power of her stare.
She was used to that, getting what she wanted when she wanted went without saying. But right now, she was not getting what she wanted and she was not happy about it.
“Where the hell is he? He should have been here by now,” Lilly’s heels clicked against the marble tile of her parlor floor as she paced back and forth, talking to her empty flat. She took care not to walk over the few accent tiles her Father had agreed to have installed for her. She’d considered having the entire floor done with Pietra Firma’s most exclusive tiles but Daddy dearest hadn’t been too keen on the idea of spending well over twelve million pounds just for something to walk on. Normally, Lillith would put up a fuss and eventually get her way, but she had too much on her mind lately.
She half-smiled as she looked down at the LuxTouch tiles, beautiful black marble inlaid with mother of pearl and abalone shell, the brilliant raised diamonds forming a floral pattern.
But right now she was beginning to see them through a haze of red as she began to imagine Daniel’s blood running through the tracks on the tile, if she didn’t hear something from him soon Lilly was going to smash his head against the floor. It seemed like the right thing to do if he didn’t produce, he hated those tiles and made no bones about it. He told her she reeked of pretentiousness. He told her that after this, he was done.
Lilly decided to let him think that.
She was nowhere near done with Daniel.
Well that was a different story but Lillith’s perverted sense of humor couldn’t help but use Daniel to continue her plans with Jennifer.
“Who am I kidding?” Lilly said to the empty room, “My plans aren’t with Jennifer as much as for Jennifer. Little “Sister” may think we’re about to bond but it’s not going to be the bonding she expects.”
Pouring herself a dry martini with 4 olives, Lilly sat on her black leather sofa, admiring her reflection in the mirror across the room.
She was gorgeous and well aware of it. Her sleek blonde bob, parted slightly off-center, accented her cat-green eyes perfectly, her sharp cheekbones like subliminal arrows emphasizing their feline shape making it hard to break from her gaze. Her lips were full, kissable, the kind of lips men dreamed of kissing and women dreamed of owning. Some women paid good money for lips like this but Lilly’s were genuine.
One of the few things about her that was.
Finishing the last olive after downing her martini, Lilly got up, made another martini, this time with 5 olives, then walked over to the penthouse balcony, looking out at the Waterloo Bridge in the distance. She imagined Jennifer on The London Eye, stuck on top then plummeting to her death, just another piece of trash on the street, out of her life, out of Daddy dearest’s will, out of Lillith’s hair.
She took another sip of her martini, pulling an olive into her mouth and rolling it around her tongue before biting down on it.
“Where the fuck is Daniel?” Lilly walked back into her penthouse, her mood getting worse by the minute.
If he wasn’t so good in bed she would have gotten rid of him a long time ago.
He hated sleeping with her.
She knew it yet it gave her a sense of perverted pleasure knowing he had no choice in the matter. He owed her. He owed her big time, and even though they’d been lovers it hadn’t lasted long.
Daniel wasn’t like most men, he wasn’t easily controlled and while his body reacted to hers, he told her in no uncertain terms that he wanted nothing to do with her and her world. Lilly didn’t appreciate his brutal honesty and when she found out he’d gotten on the wrong side of the wrong people she decided to step in, pay off his debt and have him beholden to her.
Truth be told, Daniel wasn’t even Lilly’s type, she just wanted to fuck with him for having the audacity to turn her down. He was handsome enough, in a rugged way, but he was nothing, no one. He couldn’t do anything to further Lilly’s lot in life, perfect as it may be.
Lillith was her Father’s Daughter. Cold, calculating, and with a desire to rule the world, at least, the parts within her reach.
Jennifer, on the other hand, didn’t seem to inherent any of Daddy dearest’s qualities. Jennifer was more like her sniveling Mother, another one of Father’s castoffs, weak and pathetic.
Admittedly, Lilly had only met Jennifer once, when they were in their early teens. And that was at their late Grandfather’s funeral. Lilly never understood why they even bothered to show up. Daddy was 3 wives past Jennifer’s Mother, none of his other ex-wives showed up. Lillith was sure they were sniffing around for money but they just paid their respects and quietly left.
Glancing at her watch again, Lilly felt herself wanting to frown at Daniel’s lateness but didn’t want to have to suffer the effects of frown lines over Daniel. Or Jennifer.
Lilly had been planning this little game for weeks, ever since she found a picture of Jennifer in Daddy’s desk, along with a few letters, a little too friendly in tone for Lilly’s liking.
Things had been set in motion weeks ago, all Daniel had to do was make the drop and get his ass back here.
He thought he was getting his last payment, and he was getting his payment.
It just wasn’t going to be his last one.
just when you pull yourself up
the hammer comes down, like a whack-a-mole
on a cheap boardwalk game,
happiness is non-existent,
nothing more than a thread-worn blanket
thrown over misery then yanked away,
the only thing underneath is vacant loss,
hopelessness, and a lack of belief,
in me in you in everything,
i used to believe anything was possible,
i woke up
urgent low between
a prophecy, a dream,
never sure which is which yet,
i wait and wait and wait,
inside lives that sliver of hope,
the dangle of the prize
so close i smell it,
and like a cat i pounce,
inhale each word to roll around my mouth,
tickle my tongue and begin the slow slide,
down my throat, as every pump of my blood
leads me there,
the heart of the matter and the reason we’re here,
maximum thread count slithers around me mixing words,
phrases dreamed eons ago,
all on repeat
keeping me breathing,
the waxing and waning of the moon
my only measure
my midnight sanity
don’t let it down,
not even for a breath’s worth,
they’ll slither in and steal bits of you when you look away so
keep your eyes open
don’t go to sleep,
gather the branches,
shrubbery, dead leaves,
anything nearby and cover,
all you were, all your used-to-be’s,
all you ever held dear,
keep it on ice, every bruise
both visible and hidden,
all your sundries and sunshine memories,
they don’t live here anymore
there is no room for your make-believes
not even room for your half-imagined,
now it’s only you,
when you look around the room is empty
so don’t let it down,
keep your guard coated heavy on your skin and smile for the people,
it won’t be long before the wind whisks your name away,
concrete and forgotten,
while only your guard
if i wake up dead tomorrow
it might take awhile for anyone to notice,
my cats, well they would want me to feed then
although they do love me, this i know,
but sometimes i think, no, i know, they love me best,
even when they want their crunchies,
it gets hard sometimes, living up to my promise,
the one where censuring myself would never cross my mind,
but it’s begun,
little snarks here, direct accusations there,
it makes me wonder sometimes, who is more self-centered,
the reader or the writer?
we weave reality through fiction
and fiction through reality,
words flow, meaningful and meaningless,
as long as they flow it’s a gift
and oh we are blessed if we are gifted,
and we are all gifted, in our own ways,
but my gift it seems, doesn’t weigh too much, so,
i paint on my smile and lie through my teeth,
it’s not you it’s me and all that,
because it is me, mostly,
i was born on a Wednesday and nothing will keep the woe away,
you can preach to me till you’re blue in the face,
that is, when you find the time and i enter your mind, when you pencil me in,
yes, yes i get it, i get it all,
maybe that’s the problem,
i mean mine, not yours of course,
so if i wake up dead tomorrow
leave me be,
throw me in the ocean and weigh me down with bricks,
dress me in my favorites but please,
if you could, slip me a pen,
regardless of my surroundings, i always find something to write on,
if i wake up dead tomorrow i will carry on, wherever i wind up,
for i always do,
as you will, as you always do,
until then, i may whine, i may cry like the cancer-moon-girl i am, the lunatic howling at the moon
only my howls sound more like sobs,
but in the end i carry me with me,
i am now my hope,
the blood that courses through my veins belongs to me,
they’ve made that clear,
through actions and non-words my blood belongs to me alone,
and it will pump through this body
until that day,
when that tomorrow comes,
and i wake up dead
it slips by unintentional
every grain of sand another splatter of time
slipping slow bit by bit, drop by drop
into a puddle of blood-tears
but oh, it screams so loud
i cover my ears for self preservation,
hide in a corner, fetal-like
wishing myself invisible
laughing at my silly girl dreams
as i try to remember who pulls my strings,
i lost control of them long ago,
handed them over without a thought, caring not for any potential consequences,
they got tangled in my Rapunzel-locks when i tried to climb down the tower
only to fall face-first into my failures,
somehow my sense of direction has been tampered with
i’m now unsure which path is right,
i’ve spun in circles so many times now i don’t know if i’ll ever make it home again,
little bits of breadcrumbs left behind
all eaten by blackbirds following me, screeching my sins out loud
leading me to my destruction,
every superhero i believed in
left me here alone,
with nothing but a remembrance of hope,
another thing that is fading fast,