1. the end {part jillc}

    inanotherdirection:

    In my dream, I am in the shower alone and you are the one singing. 
    I can hear you and I am forced through into memory.
    We are on the beach and you have written.
    A story trails along my arm in black ink.
    Further down the beach, my name,
    Drug in the sand with your footprints in large loping block letters,
    Capital in posture but swirling and loopy.

    Dream memories fill with raining. 
    I am lathering myself in the storm,
    As grainy lines lettering my name melt,
    Fading. We argue over the parts we plan
    To trade and what to give away.

    I say Jesus was a trickster meant to teach us
    The folly of individualism. Spiritualism
    Is collaboration. The definition of messiah
    Is a lie. 

    You kick the waves and taste my soap,
    plunge and dive and float up
    singing.

    In my ear, your ringing voice.
    I am rinsed clean again.
    In my dream you are there then a towel humming
    the last bars of your song and my skin dry.

    this is my piece from the collaborative project happening at inanotherdirection and organized by epea-pteroenta

    i’m pretty excited about it and think it will be a fun read
    anyone wants to head on over and follow, that would be grand :)

    and/or join in, i believe there is still room {more details of the concept are on the blog, here with a tentative schedule here}

    the piece that “spawned” my piece above is called Wilson Blvd. by epea-pteroenta. 

    got all that? rock on. check it out, okay? :}

     

  2. what we don’t know

    Sean said, more than once, that his first impression of her involved a sense of her sexual deviance. He said he was attracted to her because of it. In remembering those occasions, Jenna could never put her finger on what prompted the comment. She knew she conjured the memory often and reflexively in response to her own internal questioning, about his reasons for hanging out with her. For being friends with her, if that’s what they were. But she always felt unsure about the connection. She didn’t think he meant the comment as an answer to her questions. 

    Besides, if she had a question for him it wasn’t really why he hung out with her. Their connection was largely based on circumstance, on proximity, on work in the same building. But lots of people worked in the building and among them, she and he were connected. Connected in ways they weren’t with other people who worked in the building. If Jenna was honest, her question was truly about whether or not he even liked her. If she pondered anything it was that, and in either case - like or not - what his specific reasons were. Why did he, or didn’t he, like her?

    Once in an email, Jenna had said something along the lines of: “I’m glad we’re still friends…” and Sean had replied, not in any hostile way, but with quotes around the word “friends”.  ”Why do you think we are still “friends” ?”  his email read. The overall context had been lighthearted, but the quotation marks were neon in Jenna’s memory. She always felt utterly baffled by their meaning. To her, the implications seemed full of infinite possibilities, ranging from highly significant to entirely inconsequential. 

    Another time, when she was upset, he confessed an overwhelming urge to “taker her in [his] arms and hold her whenever [he] saw she was upset.” Saying he had no reason to think it would help her but somehow sensed it was exactly what she needed. Once, when her sister was in a serious car accident, Sean had done just that. He put his arm around her while they were sitting alone on a bench in the outdoor courtyard/smoking lounge. She had leaned into his shoulder. The exchange wasn’t romantic or sexual but she recalled in a sort of distant disconnected way that both of their bodies had responded physically. His being obvious, she’d often wondered if he had sensed her own body’s, less than chaste, reaction.

    When she finally “came out” as bi, with her first girlfriend, Sean was warm and genuinely nice at their introduction. Jenna remembered feeling silly, at that moment, for ever having questioned the sincerity or the nature of his “friendship” - quotation marks or not. 

    It was shortly after that meeting, though, that he called her. Maybe the first time he had ever called her on the phone. Jenna was pretty sure it was a first. She knew she had spoken to his girlfriend in the past, planning the occasional meeting out for dinner with a group, but Jenna was pretty sure that was the first time she’d ever heard Sean’s voice over the phone. 

    "Hey" he’d said. 

    She was at an outdoor grassroots chickfest lesbain music festival. It was the middle of rural midwest farm country, literally. There was a decent crowd of lesbians, most out from the city. They had driven two hours with their coolers and tents and in many cases instruments, to entertain and be entertained and generally get intoxicated on fun and drinks and the company of like-minded women. They were parked in a cut alfalfa field between corn on two sides, beans on a third and an even larger grass lot surrounding two huge barns and an old three story traditional farm house. 

    Porta potties had been hauled in, tents for a handful of vendors erected, a tarot card reader and massage therapist among them. A hooping club performed between musical acts, spinning fire and hoola hoops lit with flashing led lights as they danced among the women sprawled on the grass with a handful of mostly gay men among them. 

    She recognized Sean’s voice immediately and even though it wasn’t computing why he would call her, exactly, she immediately rose from her place on the grass, on a quilt, next to her girlfriend, where they’d been lounging all the long day. Jenna hadn’t wanted to come at all, but not seeing a way out without pissing her new romantic interest off, she had given in and not only come along but agreed to drive. She remembered being painfully sober when she got his call. 

    She went around to the back of the house, past the foul smelling johns where an old hired hand’s mobile home sat empty and stacked on concrete blocks over tall grass. She sat on the second step of a tiny wooden porch leading up to the door and she listened to his voice through her cell phone. 

    Sean had called for a reason, he’d called to tell her about an old old friend, a woman he’d had a small crush on, a woman who had been addicted to bad things and knocked around a lot but was just starting to “get her life back in order” he said, when an ex-boyfriend got her drunk and beat her to death in a hotel room.

    It had happened two days before, he’d just found out. He was upset. Maybe crying a tiny bit, she thought. Of course, she remembered thinking. My god! Beat her to death.

    Jenna had been sympathetic and empathetic and expressive and engaged and listening to him intensely, the whole conversation. First because she was shocked that he’d called. Second because it had gotten her away from the date situation she was so reluctantly in at the moment and third because he so needed her to be listening and engaged. He’d called her with a purpose, with his own tragedy to share. 

    Whenever she thought of those moments talking to him on the phone, that night, at the lesbian music festival with all the women getting drunker in the dark and their tents and her tarot card reading that said she had put dangerous men into her past for good — whenever Jenna thought of that phone conversation, there was a sense of sweet peace. And underneath it immediately, but not in a way that spoiled it, there was that same old question. That totally flummoxed question. Why did you call me? Why are we connected. Why for this. Why did you call me for this

    The question had been there screaming, behind Jenna’s dull peace, behind her listening to him and his feelings, behind her distraction, it was there all along. But it never ruined the memory in any way. Instead, it was, somehow, verification. The questions themselves, in this memory, seemed like some sort of verification to Jenna. Of what, she had no idea. But, there it was. 

    A few years later, they were talking at work one day, the day before he went on a two-week vacation. She looked at his eyes and saw how tired they were. Scorched scuffs under, frayed sizzling black pupils. Jenna understood then, the urge to hold someone, the surety it would be comfort. She looked at him, knowing that, and all her questions surfaced again under a new layer. A new layer of truth, she knew. 

     

  3. I won’t let myself forgive him until after I’ve convinced myself that nothing could matter less. Nothing means less, than my forgiveness. There is a good chance, it won’t even change anything inside me. I think I suspect this, that deep down the forgiveness is done. Or moot. A thing whose existence precludes itself.

    Because my flesh was born of acceptance of him. Of both of them. That’s the physical reality built into our genes. You can’t forgive someone you’ve already accepted so entirely. The kind of acceptance that the life of every one of your cells literally depends on. 

    Such is our plight. The so-near-completeness of our willfulness. With this one utterly devastating exception. We don’t will ourselves into existence. As a result, we are hard wire connected to other humans. Ancestors and the new ones we create. Inescapable then, via this one iron strand.

    Have you ever touched someone, and every question you thought you needed to ask them stops existing. Answers you thought you had to have disappearing in ether. No answers, then. Just nulled questions in the touch. 

    Flesh tethers. We are not merely conceptual. We are paradox. 

     

  4. the value of ouch

    In spite of what Madonna might say and regardless of your canines, you will not find me, for quite some time, on my knees. There will be nothing like a prayer, nothing doggie-style indeed until there has been sufficient time for healing. Last night I fell harder than ever before at the skating rink.

    After my thirty-seven minute sprint to ecstasy in the morning session, I got greedy. Had to go back for the evening. Had to see my peeps. I even had a cautious second beginning. Got there with plenty of time, did some serious stretching. I must have been concentrating because one of the staff said, playfully as I rolled onto the floor, “Smile, Jill!” 

    I made exactly three rings around the rink and at the very beginning of my fourth circuit, BAM! There was no collision, no little kid to blame, no debris on the floor, no nothing in the way of an excuse. I can’t even really tell you what happened down there with my feet. I only know I came down with the full weight of myself and my whole world on my left knee. 

    I did not laugh. I accepted help up. I was speechless. I couldn’t even swear at first. None of that has ever happened before. A few minutes later, I cried. THAT has for sure never happened before. It hurt! I was indignant and astonished and most offended by how much it hurt!

    But it still worked fine. It didn’t hurt any worse when I kept skating compared to when I quit. So I just kept going. Then I went grocery shopping. Just in case I couldn’t walk today. 

    But I think I’m fine. I mean, it hurts but I kind of like it. I’m a little bit proud. Not that I cried but because I kept going. Because I don’t want to be injured even when it hurts. Because life is unendurable and yet we all keep enduring. I have a reminder for a few days. One that precludes me even thinking of getting on my knees. For this one, I’ll pray my thanks standing up. Good world, good life. 

     

  5. Not the deceptive or the tragic. Not the dead man’s, then, but the live one. It is impossible to float without relaxing. Back arched, chestful, head flung, face up, limbs splayed. Trust in the water, give your life to the world. Peace spring and opening. Bring yourself to the offering and trade. Trade in and trade up and all around. Share of and in. Arch and lean farther. Let go and watch it all slide off. Water pouring over the mountain of the baby’s head to the ocean of baths below. Fountains, luminous, fountains is all we are. Sparkling in the sun and aglow at bedtime full of love. Sinking just a little, all but the lips and nose. Eyelid lakes and hearts pumping underwater drums. Bobbing low until morning when again and again and again, we float. 

    There is no sinking in. We have saturated it, are saturated with it. Liquid wet we are the splashes resting in it before and again after, between breaking free. Catching glimpses of ourselves reflected against from when and where we came and always do go back, again. Pool, splash and ripple, no flinching, no drain. 

     

  6. high

    She was more than just a dirty hippie. Proof came in the form of the fact that thirty-seven perfect aerobic minutes of cardio was always on her top three list of favorite ways to intoxicate herself.

    Mornings the rink was peaceful. They called it fitness skate which amounted to four grandmas, two mothers, and five children in the latent elementary stage of development. All of those were Caucasian. There was also a more than six and half foot tall Native American man so skinny his existence seemed questionable and a teenage girl babysitter who was Asian. They played oldies and kept the sound system volume set at 3.7, quiet.

    She liked this best of all. You could hear the skates on the floor. They were the loudest sound available and they dominated the building. Rolling rhythm, continuous beat, bumpy swooshing. Jet engine water spigot hum. Variation like up and down foothills, roiling, rolling, literally. As if the circles they skated made the floor breathe in and sigh out. As if their movement displaced the air and filled it with something living. Something not them but generated by the combination of the skaters’ energy and their wheels. 

    A noisy river of chocolate thick experience. She had no trouble falling into it. A sprint through static rain from foul mood to fair. It was a noise not exactly white but to her it sounded clear. She worshiped its presence in her life and heeded its message like a holy oracle. Perhaps she was a flowery child at heart but her lungs were strong, her body was all muscle and natural endorphins are legal, after all. 

     

  7. low growls from several directions

    I’ve ridden some. Haven’t driven since I was ten and then it was a motor bike in an alfalfa field and the electric cow wire clothes-lined me. I was instantly cured of all need to drive. My cousin might have told me it was there when he pointed me in that direction. But boy cousins are low on the list of things worthy of trusting most times. They only keep secrets that overlap their own. 

    There was a presence this morning. I can only assume those windows were left open but it sure didn’t seem like it yesterday. It doesn’t make sense to me, other than the cool bout of weather two weeks ago. One each at opposite ends north and south and I think the dog also heard very distant thunder, along with the air current. It sent him barking, warning growl sounding again and again. The door without a plate on the frame bouncing, latch loose and in play. 

    I wonder if he is psychic. What he does and doesn’t know. If he has premonitions, what kind of access have I subconsciously given him in the night when I think I am sleeping. It is never safe, safe to assume you’ve been sleeping. That conclusion, less logical and more convenient, from which you will forever return, is experienced and knows betrayal. 

    It is similar but all the same different from, the deception of pointing in one direction, while omitting the details beneath the fortunate sounds of the engine. In the end, it was my stomach, mentioning the breakfast I’d missed that won out for the active piece of my attention. I left him there standing, alone among sharp plants, with the dog next to him. 

     

  8. a mind generative and laced with secrets but not yet networked {enough}

    She woke up with a string of imaginary headlines ringing in her brain, all of them fading fast except the one she could last remember well enough to hold onto.

    It read: Body Shaving: Is the Latest Fashion Trend a Move toward Androgyny or Merely Extreme Manscaping. She hated these long headlines, hated the font designers and their haughty arrangements.

    The article focused on the men’s hairy hands — they left them curly long and unshaven. Some said it was to accentuate their gender, despite their now smooth arms and legs. Others saw it as another move toward the growing popularity of non-binary and androgynous systems. 

    Especially when many men started wearing the rubber gloves. Colored rubber gloves. Tight and transparent, balloonish in bright hues with the hair underneath showing through, all smashed and plastered down together. 

    Some people are afraid of clowns. Mickey Mouse’s white gloves made lots of folks suspicious. I wonder who is meant to be offended by their white face paint and red lips. Surely someone but I just don’t like the way it reminds me of sugar cookie icing glazed over sadness. Fake expressions. Mixed messages. Hungry sweets. 

    Skinny throats and bloated bellies. It all depends on how your definitions, your standards, for dystopia measure up. Some people don’t want to know or even contemplate the details of your parts other people need firm answers. 

    She shook her head, wet the headboard with the remains of the thought. Shed the dream in the bed she made upon standing up. At least her kids knew how to play Minecraft. At least the gloves in her dream weren’t rubber black. 

     

  9. shushing

    i don’t like a house so big there might be things lurking in the corners too far away for me to see them, i sometimes feel the rhythm of the words the way they sound spoken in the tapping of the keys underneath, my fingers. My fingers keeping, time. No echo welcome. If I give you my secrets, will you keep yours. To yourself. A toast or a close chest, tight knit but not the opposite of open. Simply held, but not just, rather indulgent. In love drunk with your quiet. sssshhhhh. 

    so like a cymbal. not at all like a symbol. pleasing. 

    Tagged #prose #jillc
     

  10. silken

    With all those legs you might think a spider would have less wisdom. You might think she’d draw a blueprint, beforehand and hold it up in two of them for all her own eyes to see. But she doesn’t.

    Wiser, she just builds it. Across rafter triangles small at odd angles around the rusty screw and over the fluff of the moth and past the old abandoned mud daubers’ clump of hive looking like outsized dusty honeycomb. She builds it from the most ragged leaf dangling off the irregular limb of the branch hanging in morning light and so dried from first dew. She attaches it across on the other side, equally jagged.

    She is a master improviser. 

    The web itself always turns out beautiful and so seemingly standard and recognizable in shape but most of all function. It is the graceful junction of use and beauty. Practical artistry like culture. She builds it through work from working gorgeously. 

    Not from a master plan. 

    And then to think of her playing it. Like a harp. In duet with whatever she catches. Reciprocated tugs and snagging snatches against the silk, in concert, a net of twitches equal to song. 

    Not altogether different, I tell myself, from what I am doing as I clean and purge my own humble abode and make an effort to fully declutter my environment. I pick things up and move them, shifty. 

    Some I shift out into the garbage, black plastic bag first and then the pile stacked in the back of the pick-up truck. Some things I clean and find a place for, I place them, then. Others i move to some other room. Some room not yet cleaned and then after the first room, sometimes backward to some room already done. Re-cluttering the already decluttered thus requiring another round of de-decluttering. 

    A dance that alternates between building up the web and tugging it loose again, playing it’s harp strings and preserving the initial structure but improving and accommodating and breaking it and twirling it round.

    I am driving to the landfill, parked on the scale, thinking about the law of conservation of mass, of energy, of everything and all forces. I realize, this decluttering truly is nothing more than shifting that no matter how far I take things, to the next room, to the curb, to the landfill, to the burn, no matter they still exist and they do it in connection with me.

    I feel all the things I’ve ever “owned” or touched or even seen like the harping heart strings that are the spider’s web weaving us all together in a million interlocking little netty netted systems. Conserved, connected, collaborative - forever and inescapably. I feel my place and its roots and its veins and the rain of it all washing us clean off into each other. An ocean of each other from out ourselves. 

    Buoyant bodies shifting up next to each other. Tender images sloshing, I invite you into them at the end of a long strong and gentle armful of fingers tipped soft and curled in welcome. The light weight of the child in waist deep adult water. pulled in easy hands to the chest clinging comfort for both close at heart the warm skin of wet necks to wet shoulders. Grown apart into together. Over and over, never.  

    Tagged #prose #jillc #idk
     

  11. paper uniform haunting

    She was not me but she imagined them, on tiptoes, knees bent, accordion fold postures twisted back again at angled hips and shoulders, necks too, wrenched. Arms a-scare-crowed-kimbo, out and dangling on a cross of biceps at angles, elbowed and jerk-wristed. Shields held high in tightfisted hands, but irregularly and ill-aimed. Pointed skyward and into the faces of each other, head clanging accidents. Amid irritation sounds, sworn spit outbursts of pain, they make their way. Clumsy but not falling, clumsy swift, canting paths, swerving-under-weight retreat. They tiptoe strong yet precariously bobbing through the already dead remains, the previously placed into displaced, the existing gore of bodies dead, so inanimately, so long already. 

    How dead can a love letter get? How can a dead love letter survive, making its way toward escape in silence to be discovered only after all the concerned parties have long scattered to the wind. What some wouldn’t give such and such a such. Wanting answers, wanting ancestors, foolish yearning wants of other wanting men and such. Yet they sit there in her closet making this eternal clanging, minor key march, to getaway. To alert her in their escape. They have already betrayed and been betrayed. They should be thoroughly irrelevant. yet they stand and play like a marching band on cue and prominent, attention-getting display. All the while hidden in her closet.

    What kind of magic stealth weapon tactical invasion. What a deft crossing violation of boundary penetrated, as if it was nonexistent.  What boundary then named and defined but constrained to irrelevant from its very inception. This is attachment, the anxious bond of love how she learned it. Her mother lives yet she has already been endowed with this gift of the love letters from her traitorous father before she was born. Will they confirm her role in the destruction of their love or will they reveal it was an illusion all along. A priori. Even before, eh? Might that be possible?

    If she was your mother would you read them? Would read the other, then, too. If she was your daughter would you want her to? Would you want her to read everything you wrote or would you rather see what he, the man who would not even ever stoop to speak to you wrote - what mattered so much he put it in ink. She finds their very existence hard to believe in. Even though she has seen them, twice now, in their box in her closet. Where she can hear them, trouncing, in their dark tuned melody songs, moving along to nowhere. Begging her to peek.

    Why did her mother give her these envelopes, with their letters neatly folded inside, lined up, she is guessing in date order, one after another after another, more than a hundred, addressed to a mother alive before she was born but not yet gone? Will they make light or burn, do you think? What. What dare you think?

    Tagged #prose #jillc
     

  12. worth keeping

    Love is when bearing witness feels a privilege. When the thought of someone’s aging feels you with anticipation regarding the versions of them you might get yet to know. When the tremor of the thread that runs from them to you becomes a vibrational essential to the beat currently keeping in life’s rhythm section. When every thing makes sense and there is nothing rational at all to all you know. All is sensuous wisdom and the toys and chords are fingering ideas like strumming harp strings strung with hearts along the path as you keep tap tapping feet ever over and go. In love you go. 

    Tagged #prose #jillc
     

  13. report

    They say I am adjusting well, particularly for someone who has only been here three years. Especially in comparison to other aliens, they say. There haven’t been that many Earthlings here - less than a hundred in nearly five thousand years. But the natives have amazing memories, they keep exceptional, though unobtrusive, records. They say I am remarkable in my ability to adjust. Their history confirms it as truth.

    For my part, it has been pretty easy. I like it here. I like the lack of violence, I like the way compassion is a given, a non issue, so automatic it’s nearly invisible. It quickly becomes hard to describe it well, to perceive it clearly,   even to someone like me coming from such a deadly planet.

    It’s not just the compassion, the niceness, it is also the way so much other perception has opened up. I absolutely love all the senses that became clear to me here. All the things I was sensitive too that I did not know about until I got into this environment. It’s like this place operates on more dimensions than the few available at home. I know things, sense things, perceive things I never could on Earth.

    The specialists here seem to think it is because of what has happened on Earth. They tell me the data suggests it was once as rich as this planet. That when it was, humans there could perceive much more, just as I do here. We’ve been working with some of my deep memories to try to confirm it. To understand what and when the change was, to discover what caused it. Or at least what was at the root of the chain reaction that started it. I don’t really understand it all, at least not yet. They tell me that that perception, new comprehension will come along, too, soon, as I spend more time on the project.

    I trust them. I like being part of it. Part of something that matters to them. I’m glad to be here, eager to contribute, to fill my place.

    If you asked me what was hardest, in terms of adjusting, I would have to say it is the sameness. Or, er, well… the difference inside all the sameness. The way the sameness holds so much difference. I’m not expressing myself very well. Let me try to explain. 

    You see, here, there are only ever two different bodies. One male body and one female body. I mean, there are lots of repeats of those two bodies. Enough repeats for everyone on the planet actually, so approximately three quarters of a billion bodies, half male, half female, but all repeats of the same exact body. I know this probably isn’t going to make sense to you. That’s what I’m saying, that’s why this is sort of the hardest thing to adjust to, here. Everybody has the same genetic body. Beyond that, these bodies function pretty consistently, I mean, in terms of metabolism and aging and sickness etc, the bodies are pretty robust to different behavioral patterns. I mean there are slight variations in size and musculature due to individual practices but… really? Not very much at all. Not enough to be noticeable in any of the usual earth human senses. 

    But we don’t get each other mixed up. Not at all. That’s what I am saying. It’s mindblowing how much individual difference is still conveyed by each person, even when they all live in the same body. I mean, I never get people mixed up. There are some obvious visual cues, the kind that are probably familiar to you. Like some people always push their sleeves up and other people never wear socks but, you know, there’s not much else in terms of what we consider fashion to work with. But it doesn’t matter. Even though everyone wears their hair the same, even though few people bother with stylish clothes variations etc., it is still nearly impossible to mix people up. 

    I mean, even naked, especially, naked! You just know. That’s what is so hard to adjust to. Who would have ever thought there could be so many different ways to wear the same body. I mean, my second lover, she used to sneak in and sneak up on me at home, where I lived with my first lover and I could always tell the difference immediately. The second I sensed her in the room I knew it it was not my roommate.

    Imagine how weird it is, to find yourself not just in a culture where it is natural and expected that everyone has multiple lovers but where all those lovers look exactly the same. But where all of them are deeply, deeply and obviously unique. 

    Why would who you were with even matter then, you might say. If all the bodies are the same, why would you even bother with multiple lovers. But oh! My heavens, let me tell you, there is so much more about a person. It is so miraculous the different ways the different person underneath shows through, especially when you are naked. Differences are unbelievably easy to detect depending on who is driving the flesh. 

    I’m sure you can’t understand. I can tell by the question forming in your head right now. And let me just cut that line of thinking right off. It is not boring. It is miraculous — what you get in exchange for giving up diversity in looks!? There is so much to see about a person when you begin looking beyond it. Plus, we all collectively change bodies on the same day, once a year. So there is plenty of variety. We get to be and see and learn each other anew in every different kind of body imaginable over time. 

    So yeah. I hope maybe you can see a little bit. Get some tiny feel for it. How it’s different. How the sameness is the biggest adjustment because it is really about a mindblowing amount of difference. I hope you can. Or maybe you can come here sometime and visit. Or stay. That would be fine with me, too. Just so long as they never make me leave.  

     

  14. {air} conditioning

    "In a perfect world you could have a party…"

    The woman was alone and speaking into the phone she held up to one ear on her head which sat atop her otherwise naked body. Her skin was busy melting the iceberg sheets, which had been cooled to temperatures only hotel air conditioning can create, melting it into warm pools shaped like her lucious and ample curves. 

    "Yeah? In a perfect world, what?"  

    Came the answer, from a similarly chilled and air conditioned female voice. It was southern, cool and breathy on air not from the interior of a luxury resort but rather from the sound proof and climate controlled interior of a state of the art combine tractor. The woman driving launched her words directly into the space of the cab, where they were picked up by a dashboard microphone attached to a cellular handset via bluetooth. Both of her manicured hands were on the wheel at the moment, leaving it only to adjust the levered switches and gears required to keep the rig moving as it should, round and round the field of corn. 

    "In a perfect world, you could have a party, any kind of party…"

    "Yes…?"

    "Any kind of party at all, like a birthday party or a halloween party, or a party for goddamn kid, even, maybe a graduation party or a role play game party or, you know, just any kind of party at all…"

    "Ummmhmmm…?"

    "In a perfect world you could have any old kind of party you wanted at all and…"

    "Spit it out already, would you? You could have your damn party…And what?"

    "You could have your any old damn kind of party you wanted and you could invite any number of people you happened to have had sex with on various occasions in the past throughout your life and it wouldn’t be any big deal."

    "Oh! Yeah. In a perfect world… "

    "I mean really, in a reasonable, practical kind of world it only makes sense that those would be the people you would most want to hang out it with and invite to your parties. The people you liked enough to bother to sleep with at some point. I mean, in a perfect world, you know, where you would have been reasonable and discriminating and free to make considered and considerate choices. In that world you would have slept with the best people you know…"

    "Well, yes. When you put it like that, who the hell better than lovers to invite to your party."

    "Exactly. In a perfect world where people were allowed to learn how to behave maturely and still remembered how to have fun." 

    "In a perfect world…"

    "In a perfect world that doesn’t exist.

    "Exactly. Are you still picking me up at the airport tomorrow morning?"

    "Oh. Yeah. What time?"

    "I land at 7:15."

    "Jeez. You couldn’t get a later flight in than that. Yes. I’ll be there. You brat."

    "We’ll have bloody mary’s after you pick me up, for breakfast."

    "Date."

     

  15. tracks

    Most folks collect baggage as they travel. She was always looking for a place to set things down. Never roots but tangled carry outs and weeds and vine seeds scattered as she deliberately placed her trunks. She walked away. She never looked back, not for the birds, not for the shepherd, not for his dog. She ran ahead and overtook the wolf. He tripped on her lashes as she passed him. He rolled and the dust enriched the fur of his scruff standing, so handsomely, on end. At attention, at attention he made her think she could love him. But she was not a thinker, living in her body. All the while they howled applause for the entertainment. Filled nosefuls strong before the end came along.

    It came along. Came along it did, with a new suitcase for there will always be luggage to handle. To drag behind.