Wednesday, August 31, 2016

All The Time in the World

10 minutes

The man in the black hoodie stuffs his hands in the pockets of his jeans. He'd exhale into his cupped hands but he writes that off as being less than masculine. Not that it matters. No one is paying attention to him. He kicks a tin can across the sidewalk periodically. He has been kicking it for 7 blocks now.

The young woman is putting on her face for the day. She's highlighting her cheekbones, coloring in her dark circles and lining her lips. Outside her one bedroom, ground floor apartment unit, the world is waking up.

The toddler in the car is smiling wildly at her mother as she points to the world outside. It is sunny — just the way she likes it. The sun's rays piercing through the tinted windows take kindly to her frizzy, red hair.

The construction worker is a quarter way through his shift for the day. His muscles burn with every weight he lifts and yet with every weight he sets down, a little of the weight on his shoulders falls off.  Because he is making an earning, he is going to put his son through to college even if his muscles rupture.

5 minutes 

The man in the black hoodie realizes there's some gravel stuck on the back of his shirt and the bottom of his jeans. He brushes it off carelessly, still kicking the can. The clanging noise it makes on the pavement shakes him out of his abstraction every time he reenters it. He doesn't want to think about the night before. About the reason for his black eye. 

The young woman exits the apartment, a half eaten cereal bar in her hand. She puts earphones on and selects her current favorite album, Coldplay's A Head Full of Dreams. She puts in on shuffle and it skips right to her favorite, Everglow. After finishing the bar, she hops onto her bicycle, heading to work. She is an affordable tutor for elementary school kids.

The toddler asks her mother to change the radio station. She wants happy songs, the kind that summer would waltz to if it were a person. 

The construction worker claps a co-worker on his back. It's going to be a great day.

The last minute

The man in the black hoodie walks in a straight line. Funny how he walks straight but everything else about him isn't. Funny how drunk people who can't see straight are the ones who decide the penance for being deviant. He kicks the can with a ludicrous amount of force, it sails into the street.

The young woman hears construction happening a block away. She turns the volume of her music up. As she is doing that, something shiny flies into the street, right into her path. She loses control of the bicycle. The tires hook onto the aluminum and she is thrown onto the asphalt. 

The toddler covers her mother's eyes, thinking she can convince her mom to play peekaboo with her. The ride becomes bumpy. Her mother reflexively wrenches her little hands away. She sees a girl with an overturned bicycle lying in the middle of the street. The toddler begins to cry as her mother slams on the brake, instinctively turning the wheel to avoid the obstacle.

The construction worker hears tires squealing against gravel. He is on the top floor. He takes off his hardhat and squints into the distance, trying to discern the reason for the noise. Then a car turns abruptly onto the compound, out of control. Men in hardhats have dived out of the way. The car swerves and hits the unsteady foundation of the building. A shudder runs through the entire structure and the construction worker loses his footing. His closest co-worker grabs his wrist then buckles and slides under his weight. The hold lasts an eternity, both pairs of irises colored with desperation. 

An hour later

The man takes off his hoodie and places it around the shaking woman. He crosses his arms around his chest. 

The young woman thanks the kind gentleman for walking her home. She received a call from the child she was supposed to tutor today. The 8 year old's father has died in a tragic accident. He cannot think about school now. She can barely think about anything herself. Three deaths before noon. She feels like she has aged a century. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The High Road Does Not Call for Tall Egos

Listen, tell them you are going to take the high road. 
They, with strings of pearls around their necks 
blood red lipliner and candy coated whistles, 
they will nudge each other in anticipation, 
thinking you will give them a show
thinking you will give them something to cackle about 
over cold tea and finger sandwiches. 
Tell them you are going to take the high road 
and as they are watching the trails for your footprints,
break right through the mountain. 

You don't have to scale with your nose to the air. 
Tunnels work just as well as modesty. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

On Living not Just Surviving

I'm trying to decide whether the reason I want to be alive is because of you or in spite of you.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Time

I think the best gift you can give someone is your time. You only have so much. You have numbered heartbeats, countable breaths and a measurable impact.

I think the best gift you can receive from someone is their time. They only have so much and yet they are giving it to you. They are not giving you 5 minutes, or half an hour. They are giving you 350 beats of their heart, 600 breaths.

Time of course isn't always just given and received. Sometimes it's taken. It's a boyfriend who promised forever but ended it. It's a disease spreading through your cells. It's a murderer stalking prey in the night. The true thieves of time, cutting your heartbeats short, lowering your breath count, taking what you never meant to give so much of.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Funny how even after how many times
you’ve torn at my heart
time and time again,
at the end of the day,
it is still me who runs to your aid,
massaging the soreness from your hands. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

At what point does 'interesting' just become strange...?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Pyromania

 
 I tended to him and he became a modest campfire. There were nights when it was he and me, where he warmed my hands with his fiery breath and I was reminded about how something that consumes so much can still give back. 

But starting then, the closer I got, the more warmth began to feel like pain.