Soft And Smooth

The Lead/Theme Float

Editor’s note: This piece first appeared in 2011 over here. It was based upon a prompt for a writing group I was participating in at the time. I moved it over here same as I did with this one so that it would be backed up and protected like the other posts you find on this blog.

“What a dream I had
Pressed in organdy
Clothed in crinoline
Of smoky burgundy
Softer than the rain
I wandered empty streets down
Past the shop displays
I heard cathedral bells
Tripping down the alleyways
As I walked on
And when you ran to me
Your cheeks flushed with the night
We walked on frosted fields
Of juniper and lamplight
I held your hand
And when I awoke
And felt you warm and near
I kissed your honey hair
With my grateful tears
Oh I love you, girl
Oh I love you”
For Emily Whenever I May Find Her– Simon and Garfunkel

The words that I wish to write haven’t been willing to work with me. I have called upon them and asked them to help to convey the sights and sounds of the secret garden we once walked through but they haven’t responded.

Perhaps it is because sometimes there are no words to express the synchronicity of souls. Two who breathed as one sounds cheesy and crass. The sort of sad line that some have sought to use for less than honorable reasons.

But that wasn’t the way. There was no conniving nor consternation caused by the creation of unspoken communication between us.

The union of two was unsought and unlooked for which perhaps explains why the results were so unexpected. Or maybe that is an unfair way to describe it.

Maybe it is more appropriate to use words like herky-jerky and start stop to detail that day and those that followed.

Sometimes when I think about it I hear music and I see you softly weaving in and out amongst the crowd. I remember long legs and dark hair culminating in dark eyes that seemed to see…everything.

You never knew how badly I wanted your attention or how you made my heart pound. You didn’t see what I saw or hear what I heard. Soft and smooth skin matched to a swift mind set off my desire.

I won’t say how or what it was that I wanted. Not just because the words remain unwilling but because some things remain safer in the security of silence.

Two people found something magical, mystical and mysterious. We got lost in the majesty of the moment and made more than had been before. Mountains were moved and seas were crossed and for ten thousand years time stood still.

Love was lost and love was found. And when the dust had cleared and we saw through the mist we learned that lost love is isn’t always lost…nor is it always found.

I told you that to remember that when you think of me I am thinking of you and slowly I slipped away softly whispering that I would see you on the other side.

This was a post for The Red Dress Club about rhythm. I am not very happy with it, but we do this to practice so that we can improve…right.

Some Stains Don’t Wash Away

Patong beach, Phuket Province, Thailand.

Patong beach, Phuket Province, Thailand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More than twenty years later I am lying in the dark holding the phone in my hand listening to your voice- wondering how you found my number and why you called.

My heart is pounding and my mouth is dry. I feel like my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth.

“I am in trouble and I need your help. They’re back.”

And then the other memories hit me like a torrent of water and I remember why I had to walk away from the woman I planned to marry.

Twenty-five years ago the boys and I graduated from college and decided to travel around the world.

We started in London and gradually made our way through Europe and hop scotched around a couple of continents flipping between Asia and Africa.

The plan was to follow our hearts and go wherever they took us, regardless of whether it made sense. Logic was for school and since we were out of school we ignored it. Took a freighter one direction and then hopped on a plane in the reverse two days later.

Time was meaningless and so was money.

That was because of my friend The Duke. His real name was Chadwick, but he preferred to be called Chad.

It is a tossup as to whether he hated being called The Duke more than he disliked being called Chadwick.

The Duke came from old money. He grew up on a monstrous estate and lived a life out of a movie. His graduation gift was control of a trust worth in excess of $100 million.

So money wasn’t a problem and neither was time. The only real problem we had was that we were young dumb and stupid,

Took a trip to city in Thailand called Phuket only because it looked to us like it was pronounced “Fuck It.”

Our time in “Fuck It” was punctuated with lots of moments that should have gotten us arrested. Somehow the members of the great fraternity of young, dumb and stupid managed to avoid those particular problems.

Things didn’t get crazy until we were in Paris. It had to be Paris. I didn’t like the city, didn’t want to be there and would have happily skipped it.

But Young, Dumb and Stupid was overruled by the power of the penis. Yep, young horny men met girls and got dumber, or maybe I should spell it dumberer because it was really bad.

I still have the letter that started it all. A handwritten note with flowing cursive letters and heart dotted ‘I’s sent by the girl who Chadwick swore would be his.

If the jerk hadn’t been thinking with his dick he might still be here to help me figure out what to do now.

This letter is a stain that I want to wash away, but I can’t. I had just begun to believe that maybe it was over but now I see I was wrong.

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This was a prompt for Write On Edge. A stand-alone scene, fiction or memoir, in 500 words or less, involving a handwritten letter. It is fiction.

The Secret Sits

“We dance round in a ring and suppose,

But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”

Robert Frost

Yeah, I have secrets. Not just one, two or three but somewhere close to a hundred. Not sure how or why it happened, but I know that it did.

Some of it is just because of how I was raised and some of it is just how it works, life that is.

People have secrets, even those who say they don’t really do. They might not realize it but if you ask the right questions you’ll stumble upon them.

Most of my secrets aren’t really important. You wouldn’t call them important but for the request of another. They are secrets I share.

Perhaps the reason they aren’t important to me is because they aren’t mine. Maybe it is a mischaracterization to lay claim to them. Maybe it is more accurate to provide a different answer.

I don’t really know and I don’t think it matters. I keep them because they are important to the people who asked me to put them in my vault. Those requests come from people I love and hold close to my heart so I treat their secrets like my own.

But the few secrets I call my own are big. They are huge and at times they have made me wonder what I got myself into.

There is one that sits in the middle of the ring that Frost wrote about. It stares at me with eyes that cut through the poker face I try to maintain.

It demands my attention and asks for a declaration of intention. This is not something I can just ignore or forget. It requires more because to pretend it didn’t exist is to dishonor it and that I cannot do.

For a long while I have ignored my gut and the knowledge that one day the secret would break free of the shackles I placed upon it and force me to face it.

I don’t want to say I am afraid of it because fear is a weakness and men don’t like to be weak.

Yet the only way to figure out why it bothers me is to look at it during the daylight hours. The day is coming when I’ll do that and then we’ll find out if what I sense is real and discover if I am going to end up where I always suspected I would be.

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This was for The Write Edge. It was a prompt based upon the Frost poem quoted above. We had a word count of 450 words.

My Stairway To Heaven

There is a reason why you shouldn’t try to send email while walking down a flight of stairs. It is the same reason why your mother told you not to run with the scissors in your hand or a lollipop in your mouth.

But sometimes safety and circumstances coincide as the oddest of bedfellows and you don’t do as your mother taught you. Sometimes you find yourself wandering through a house wondering if the owner paid a designer for the monstrosities you are looking at or if it is their own bad taste.

You can’t help but wonder if the real reason that dead Italian masters are dead is because their concept of cool was so awful they were hung by an angry mob or if they were graced with the kiss of death as a result of old age.

Had it not been so awful you would have been watching your step. Instead your smartphone made you fumble and you walked right into her. Or maybe it is more accurate to say that you almost knocked her down a flight of stairs. You can’t forget how wide her eyes got when she almost fell or how thankful you were that she didn’t.

The people down below told her that you threw your phone so that you could catch her. They said that you wrapped her up in your right arm and that it almost looked like something you would see in a ballet.

That made you laugh. You aren’t suave, debonair or graceful. Later on she told you that the first thing she noticed was that your arms were really solid, but you never would have guessed she had noticed. Not after that look or the way she yelled at you for being careless.

When you let her go she walked the stairs past you and never looked back. You know because you stared at her the entire time. At first it was because you felt foolish and tongue tied. A mumbled apology was ignored, but her legs weren’t…at least not by you.

You remembered thinking that you would have to be blind, dead or gay not to imagine what it would be like to have them wrapped around you. She walked away while your mind raced for the kind of snappy line that would get her attention.

You needed something that wouldn’t make you seem like a stalker, sound like a fool or make her feel threatened in any way.

"Come, Sit, Tell Me About America..." (#1 of 2 - a set)

 

Later on you sat on the bench outside and wondered if this was real life or a dream. It was all too easy to picture a flash mob materializing out of the thin air and dancing around that bench you were sitting on. Upon second thought you had this image of being the bad guy in a Aretha Franklin video. It was all too easy to see her and her backup singers pointing their fingers at you.

Reality sets in and you remember that you aren’t a hero nor are you a villain. You are just a regular guy and maybe that is enough. Maybe you are over thinking it all, spending too much time trying to be someone else when what you really need to do is just be you.

So you wander back over to the house that wants to be a museum and rejoin the fundraiser. She is standing in the hallway talking to another woman but when you make eye contact she doesn’t look away.

“My name is Jack and I am really sorry about what happened. I would really like to buy you a cup of coffee and I promise not to spill it on you or trip you.”
This story was based upon the following prompt: What did the images mean to you?

Past submissions are listed below

Wanted

Wanted the girl who loved the boy who wrote the words below. Take my hand and remember what was still is and can be again…

I had a dream. I dreamt of a place that I had never been to but always wanted to live in. You were there and your arms welcomed me to a place that until then had always lived inside me. You unlocked the passion and the fire that burns inside me.

You helped me to remember that love is meant to sting, that to be apart is to feel an ache that no drug can touch and to be together is to know the meaning of union.

You are my drug of choice, an addiction that I cannot give up. My air and my blood, the wind that fills my sails and were I to lose you I would be forced to revisit that dark place that I used to live in. I would be hollow inside, an empty shell and who knows what might choose to occupy that place.

I knew the day that we kissed that life was going to be different. Few people understand because so few have had the experience and even then few walk that path. When you walk through fire you risk being burned but you also open yourself up to untold rewards.

When just holding hands brings incredible pleasure, when whispers and caresses offer the height of joy and passion there is something special.

When I kissed you I felt your legs go weak and I held you tightly but I was not concerned because my arms were made for holding you tight and feeling your heart beat against mine gives me all the strength that I require.

I had a dream that became reality.

This was based upon the following prompt:

This week’s assignment was to write a personal ad, looking for love.

It could be from the perspective of a character, or one for you or someone you know.

The word limit was 300.

Past submissions are listed below