Tag Archives: writing

Poetry Shenanigans – Battle-Worn

In celebration of World Poetry Day, here’s a poem for one and for all. Happy writing & most importantly, happy muse hunting!

Battle-Worn

Rivulets of anger,
Tears of frustration and fear,
Music that just plays on,
These are the things,
Wars are built on.
Ravage, pillage,
Be a savage,
Ignore the screams,
Begging and pleading for mercy.
No survivors,
Only scars,
Only reminders,
To remind you time after time,
Of all that once was,
And all that’s now left behind. 

SJ

Poetry Shenanigans – Depth Perception

Depth Perception

There’s more cracks and crevices,
Than what meets the eye.
Like beauty, truths are buried skin deep,
Farther than what judgments and perceptions can reach.

SJ

Poetry Shenanigans: Reflections

Reflections

Agitation, Trepidation,
They colour my thoughts,
Every waking moment.
Retribution, Indignation,
Like a chant,
Mumbled and murmured
everyday.
Hesitation, Frustration,
Clouding my decisions these
days.
Validation, Resolution,
The only notes of peace,
I seek out like a hungry, weary
traveller.
Revelations, Revelations,
The future beholds,
Chants and whispers,
Muttered among the wise and
the old.
Salvation to all these violations,
The future beholds.
Be your own solution,
Seek your redemption,
Within your own reflection.
Deflect all insinuations,
All misguided misinterpretations,
Towards your situation,
Because the best solution,
Lies within your Intuition.

SJ

Nano Series: Lights Out Chapter 5

Here you go boys & girls, the final chapter in the Lights Out instalment. Thanks for tuning in and reading. Leave your thots & sentiments in the space below! Hopefully this is the start of many more such story endeavours!

LIGHTS OUT

Chapter 5

“Good Morning…Neurosurgery, this is Phyllis. How can I help you?”

“Erm…Good Morning Phyllis, my name is Mia. Uh…I’d like to talk to erm Dr. Ashton, I think his name is? I received a call from him yesterday, and in the message this is the number he left.”

“I see. Usually Dr. Ashton is doing his rounds at this time. Let me see if I can get a hold of him for you. Are you a new patient? Or were you referred?”

“No…Neither I’m afraid. Like I said, I’m just returning his call.” Mia replied, slightly annoyed.

“Can you give me your full name and a contact number, just in case he is unable to talk to you right now, that way I can make sure he has a way of contacting you later.” Phyllis responded.

Mia proceeded to give her contact information to Phyllis.

“Alright Ms. Hamilton, can I put you on hold while I try to get a hold of Dr. Ashton?”

“Sure, go ahead. I hope he’s able to respond, because it will be hard to get a hold of me after today.” Mia responded.

“Alright. Please hold.”

Mia stays on the line, trying to figure out why a Neurosurgeon of all people would want to get in touch with her.

24 hours ago (In the ER amidst a sea of Doctors and Nurses.)

*What’s the patient’s status?*

*Patient is 32 year old male, fighter, unresponsive to visual and auditory stimuli on arrival. Drop in BP, multiple bruises and lacerations at varying stages of healing noted across thorax, particularly around ribs 9-12, and abdomen. Decreased breath sounds noted bilaterally. Swelling around eyes noted, there’s bruising around right eye. As per witnesses, patient suffered a blow to the head, patient was knocked out and lost consciousness immediately. Past history of LOC after being knocked out.*

*Alright, how is his airway and breathing doing now? Is he responding to the mask? If not get ready to intubate. I want updates on his BP, how has it looked since he got here? Take him down to imaging stat! I want a CT of his head, chest & abdomen. I want to make sure we aren’t missing any internal bleeding or damage of any sort. Then, let’s pump some fluids into our boy here and see if that will fix the BP issue. Go, go go.

 


A few hours after the frenzy in the ER

“Family of Maxmillan Hinterland?” questioned one of the many Doctors dressed in scrubs that headed out to the waiting room.

“Right here Doc.” Came the response from at least 5 people.

‘Hello, my name is Dr. Ashton. How are you related to the patient?”

“Well we are all the really old friends, we are as good as family.”

“Oh I’m sorry, I need to talk to his next of kin. Do you know who would be the best person to call? And maybe have any numbers for them?” the Doctor asked.

“Doc, we are the only family left. The family you’re looking for is no longer around; it’s just us.”

“I see. Well I understand, but I do have hospital protocol to follow as well. Does anyone know who his emergency contact is? Or who his primary care physician is?”

“Well Doc, this isn’t Max’s first trip to St. Mike’s. I mean he has been admitted here before. I would think one of us is his emergency contact, if not it should be something listed in one of his previous visits right?” one of the five replied.
“Oh shit! You guys! We didn’t even think to call Mack and tell her about Max! She’s going to kill us!” exclaimed another in the group of five.

“Mack? Is that a relative, spouse or friend?” interrupted the Doctor.

“Oh, Mack is his Doctor…his primary whatever you were asking for Doc. She’s been in charge of his health and stuff since he’s been in the ring full-time you know? She might be able to give you a better idea about his health history and the medical mumbo jumbo stuff.” Explains one of Max’s friends.
“Here let me give you her number. One of us will call her right now; I think it’s better if we tell her first before a complete stranger tells her. No offence Doc.”

“None taken. Tell you what, let me dig up Max’s old charts in the meantime and see if there’s an emergency contact listed on there and then I’ll go ahead and give Dr. Mack, was it? A call.” Responded the Doctor.

Approximately an hour later Mack arrives. She looks pale as a ghost, and doesn’t waste any time firing away questions the moment she sees the crew hovering in the waiting area. Her voice is tight and strained from all the effort she’s spent trying to maintain her composure, and it’s only a matter of time before she breaks down.

The moment Mack hears Max was in a fight, she is beyond livid and glares at guys four times her size, demanding an explanation as to how they could even let Max into the ring, knowing his condition. Mack is met with an eerie and unsettling silence…and for good reason. The crew tells her that Max didn’t inform any of them about the fight, in fact, he had been avoiding them for the last few weeks and it wasn’t until a few days ago that he reached out. Max had suggested that they all meet up for lunch and do something as a group like they used to back in the good old days, something like paint-ball or laser tag, Go Karting or even rock-climbing.

Hearing Max’s suggestion shocked Mack; she should’ve seen this coming. She bit her lower lip in an attempt to stop herself from crying tears of anger and frustration. The signs were right there and she failed to pick up on them, and hell, act on them. Mack was furious with herself, but that would have to wait…it would all have to wait until the Doctor in charge of Max’s care updated her on his condition. Something was gnawing away deep within on her drive to the hospital, there was this unsettling feeling at the pit of her gut and a sinking feeling in her heart. Getting that call was not easy for Mack, not when she found out it was about Max after a fight. She knew she hadn’t cleared him to fight, in fact she knew for a fact that the moment he was up to standards she was going to send a letter recommending Max retire from the sport. He definitely had the heart to fight, however, his mind and body weren’t on the same page. What Mack couldn’t understand was how Max managed to get into the ring without her clearance?! That’s when another thought struck her. She was so focused on Max’s status and was so distracted by the panic, fear, anger and sadness that she completely forgot about all the other avenues leading up to this scenario. Given her profession, she couldn’t really say she hated hospitals, but this situation warranted her unfounded dislike for this space. It always hurts more when it’s one of your own in a situation you’ve handled countless times before.

She rounded on the crew again; surely they knew who the hell was responsible for clearing Max for this damn fight. If anything she was going to wring this person’s neck with her stethoscope for their absolute stupidity in letting this idiot into the ring.

“Hey! Who cleared Max for tonight’s fight?” she asked throwing a glare their way.

“Erm…Don’t know Doc, we weren’t there for the fight. We figured you cleared him.” One of them replied after clearing their throat.

Upon hearing what he said, Mack threw a withering look his way, causing the poor guy to shrink away further.

“Does it look like I’d do something as stupid as sending Max off to his own death?!” she almost squeaked out in sheer frustration.
“I was going to send in my recommendation for Max’s retirement to the federation. He came to see me about 2 weeks ago! And that was after his six-week regulation rest period following the last fight! I told him to come back in two weeks for a follow up, his state warranted more rest. How the hell is he here after a fight versus being a scheduled appointment for me to see this week?!” she continued in an exasperated tone of voice.
“Find out which idiot Doctor it is that he saw, and, gave him the damn clearance to fight!” she growled at the group.

After a few moments of tense silence, and the refusal to meet each other’s eyes, one of them mumbled.

“Hey Doc…Do you think he’ll make it?”

There it was…they finally addressed the elephant in the room.

“I…I honestly don’t know. It doesn’t look or sound good, but we have to hope for the best.” Mack responded in a shaky voice, a few tears finally breaking free, after being contained and restrained for so long.

She cleared her throat, gritted her teeth and crossed her arms across her stomach…it almost looked like she was physically holding herself together.

Just then Dr. Ashton appeared before the group. He looked around, acknowledging the familiar faces, and saw the latest addition to the group. He assumed that was the Doctor friend the group had referred to earlier. He started walking towards her; he could see she was trying to put on a brave face, her expression and stance said it all.

The approaching footsteps seemed to shock Mack out of the daze she was in, and her eyes locked on to the Doctor’s eyes. She could see the hesitation in his steps, and the kindness, and wait, was that sympathy in his eyes? That sinking feeling she felt on the drive here, only grew with every step the Doctor took towards her.

“Dr. Mackenzie I presume?” Dr. Ashton asked.

Mack could only nod her head. It took her a few moments to collect herself, but she shook her head and stuck her hand out to properly introduce herself.

“Yes that’s me, but you can call me Mack. Right now I’m here as family.”

Dr. Ashton nodded his head in understanding.

“Well Mack, I’m Dr. Ashton and Max is currently under my care.” He introduced himself.

“I understand you were trying to establish Max’s emergency contact? Since he has no family, I can get you the number for his lawyer as well. As part of the federation there is a lot of legality fighters have to go through before, during, and, after they enter that ring. From what I know he does have a will. I’m not sure though about healthcare proxies or anything of the sort, if he is unable to make decisions himself, that’s something the lawyer would be privy to.” Mack kept talking, not wanting to waste a single moment with minor details.

Dr. Ashton nodded his head again, and proceeded to speak.

“I was able to get a hold of his records here at the hospital, and his emergency contact listed on here is Mia Hamilton.”

A look of surprise flashed across Mack’s face on hearing Mia’s name. Dr. Ashton noticed the change in expression and faltered ever so slightly with what he was about to say.

“Erm, I haven’t seen any updates or changes in his charts since his last visit here approximately 2 months ago. Is there somebody else we should be contacting?” He questioned.

When all he received was a blank stare from Mack and no other response, he continued.

“Well, I tried the number listed on there, but I couldn’t get a hold of the person, so I left them a voice-mail. But now that you’re here, if you could come with me I’d like to discuss a few things about Max’s care.” Dr. Ashton said.

Mack nodded her head in acknowledgment and understanding. This was worse than her worst nightmare, and she swore to herself that when Max pulled through she was going to kick his sorry ass for putting her through this. The fact that there was even a scenario concerning Max pulling through broke her heart and flooded her mind with an overwhelming sense of shock, sadness, guilt and anger. She really really hoped that Max would pull through, despite how slim his chances seemed from the way Dr. Ashton was talking to her. She realized that she also needed to let the rest of the group know before she left to talk to Dr. Ashton. She asked Dr. Ashton to give her a few minutes so she could quickly explain things to the rest of the group.

Mack walked over to the anxious group of people. She told them what Dr. Ashton told her about who Max’s emergency contact was. Everyone had the same reaction she did, one of genuine surprise, when they realized that Mia was still his emergency contact. She also mentioned how the Doctor was unable to get a hold of her. At the mention of that, they all looked at each other…a look of understanding passed between the group.

The silence was broken when one of them said,

“Isn’t the wedding today? I think the rehearsal was last night right?”

Mack nods her head solemnly, before speaking.

“The wedding was this morning. I highly doubt Mia would’ve had any time to check her phone. The reception is going on right now. I was actually getting ready to go there when I got the call. I tried calling her, but couldn’t get a hold of her. I called her sister and told her I wouldn’t be able to make it as I got called in for an emergency at the hospital. She said she would pass on the message to her.”
“I’d prefer it be one of us that breaks the news to Mia, instead of the hospital. But listen guys; I have to go talk to Dr. Ashton. I’ll come back and update you on Max’s condition okay?”

Mack started walking away from the group, but paused halfway and turned around,

“Hey guys…pray for our Max, our fighter.” She pleaded softly.

She exhaled deeply and walked away to where Dr. Ashton was standing. It was definitely going to be a long night.

 

Back to Mia tapping away at her coffee mug while on hold

 

While waiting on hold, Mia was playing back the strange voice mail she received the previous day. Her phone had literally blown up with the amount of messages, notes, voice mails and emails she received congratulating her on her nuptials. It was such a weird feeling for her, she was married…she was someone’s wife now. It felt a little too surreal to her. In the midst of all those congratulatory messages was this odd message from a Dr. Ashton. She was convinced he dialed the wrong person. All the message said was that a Dr. Ashton from St. Michael’s Hospital was calling her because she was listed as an emergency contact for one of his patients who was admitted to the hospital earlier in the day. The Doctor left his number and asked her to call back as he wanted to talk to her about the patient. She couldn’t understand who would have her listed as an emergency contact, given that all the people who could possibly have her as one were at the wedding and reception…except for Mackenzie.

Her train of thought jolted her into a state of panic

‘Oh no, what if something happened to Mack? Shit! Why didn’t I have my phone on me? She wasn’t there at the reception! But wait…Maya said she spoke to Mack and that she couldn’t make it because of some emergency at the hospital. I mean if she were the one admitted, why on Earth would she call Maya right?’

Her train of thought was interrupted by a voice, well Phyllis’ voice.

“Miss Hamilton? You still there?” Phyllis asked.

“Yes I am.” She replied.

“Well you’re in luck! Dr. Ashton just finished his rounds and is in his office. I’m going to transfer you to his office okay? So please stay on the line.”

“Sure. Thank you.” Replied Mia.

She started tapping the surface of the bar, a habit that showcased itself when she was nervous. She caught herself doing so and reached out for the cup of coffee sitting in front of her, thereby giving her mind and hands another distraction.

She heard the phone ring twice, and right after she took a sip of her brew she heard a voice on the other line pick up.

“This is Dr. Ashton.” A cheerful voice sounded over the phone.

She almost sputtered in response, not expecting the Doctor to answer this quickly.

“Uh…Hi Dr. Ashton. My name is Mia Hamilton. You left me a voice message yesterday with regards to a patient of yours? I mean, you said I was listed as an emergency contact for one of your patients.”
“Oh I see.” Dr. Ashton responded. His voice had switched from its cheerful disposition to a slightly grave tone.

Mia quickly stumbled along with her thoughts,

“You know, I think you may have the wrong person, because nobody I know, who, could potentially have me as an emergency contact has been ill or admitted to the hospital recently.”

“Well Ms. Hamilton, I called in regards to a patient by the name of Maxmillan Hinterland? Does the name sound familiar?” asked Dr. Ashton.

His question was answered with an audible gasp.

A gasp subsequently followed by a silence. The silence stretched on for a while and was broken when Dr. Ashton cleared his throat.

“Ms. Hamilton? Are you still there?”

“It’s Mia.” She whispered.
“Just call me Mia.”

“Okay Mia. So then, can I take that as a yes?” he asked.

“Yes Dr. Ashton. I know Max…I just didn’t think or even expect Max to still have me as his emergency contact.” She breathed the words into the phone…still dazed that Max had listed her as his emergency contact after all these years.

“Well I was trying to get in touch with his next of kin, but his friends said Max had no family to speak of, and his files had you listed as his emergency contact. So you were our next best shot; unfortunately, we were unable to get a hold of you.” Dr. Ashton stated.

He paused momentarily before continuing.

“Everything has been sorted and taken care of now though, so thank you for calling back.” He said slowly, followed by a sigh.

“Oh okay. Well I’m glad everything is resolved.” Mia answered hesitantly, before the Doctor’s words fully registered with her.

“Oh shit! Oh my God I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to swear, but I mean, I just meant to say, or ask rather…What is Max doing at the hospital? Is he better now? Is he still in the hospital?” Mia sputtered question after question.

“I see.” Dr. Ashton replied.

“Well Mia would you be able to come by the hospital today?” he asked.

“Sorry Doc, can’t do. I’m actually flying out later today.” Mia replied.

“Why? Is it an emergency? Do I need to be at the hospital to sign something or okay anything for Max?” she questioned.

“No no, that’s not necessary. It’s just easier for me to have this conversation face to face rather than over the phone.” He replied.
“Well before I proceed, are you currently sitting down?” he asked.

Mia looked at her phone with a strange expression.

“Yes?” she replied, though it sounded more like a question.
“Doctor Ashton, no offense, but these questions are getting me a little worried. Is everything okay with Max?” she asked while grabbing her coffee mug a little tighter.

“Well Mia, what I have to say is definitely not easy, and I want to make sure that wherever you are is relatively safe and comfortable. I do apologize for the manner in which this is being done.” He replied in as soothing a tone as he could muster.

This was always the hard part.

“Okay…now I’m definitely getting a little worked up. Please just get to the point already.” Mia snapped.

“Well Mia, I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell you this. Max was brought in by the EMS early yesterday because of severe head trauma as a result of his fight. He lost consciousness after being knocked out in a fight and slipped into a coma.”

Dr. Ashton pauses to allow the news to sink in and all he hears in response is a sharp intake of air.

When he realized she wasn’t going to say anything, Dr. Ashton continued.

“At the time of admission, he was unresponsive to any visual or auditory stimuli. What I mean is that he wasn’t responding to light or sound signals. We did everything we could Mia; he was even put on life support. He was declared brain dead and taken off life support earlier this morning, as per Max’s wishes. I’m really sorry you had to find out this way, and, I’m truly sorry for your loss. If there’s anything at all that I can do during this difficult period, please do let me know.”

And the only sound that escaped her mouth, following an audible gasp was,

“No…”

 

Nano Series: Lights Out Chapter 4

LIGHTS OUT

Chapter 4

3 Years Ago

‘Today you shoved her… so not too many questions were asked as to what happened and how she ended up here today. But, who is to say that tomorrow you won’t punch the living daylights out of her? She’s going to brush it off as an accident; something that was beyond your control, but you know, it won’t be something beyond your control dammit. How will you live with yourself? How will you even be able to look at yourself if something were to happen to her because of you?’

The weight of the words looping through his mind was weighing him down more than the guilt coursing through his veins. Waiting at the ER was never a fun experience for anybody, but waiting there with so much guilt and even more unanswerable questions about questionable scenarios made this one of the worst trips yet for him.

After hours of waiting, he finally saw her heading out towards him with a smile of reassurance, which did help him feel relieved. Despite the incidents over the past few weeks, he couldn’t quite understand how she was always able to know exactly what to say or do to calm him down. For a moment he wondered if they sold pills or meds like that. This was the 3rd or 4th time, he couldn’t remember any longer and personally he was getting tired of having to go through this repetitive cycle of unpredictable behavior and unforeseen consequences. It was time to make a decision, or at least make THE decision…the one that had been rolling around in his head for the last few weeks, maybe even months if he was being honest with himself. He knew things weren’t getting better, in fact, in his opinion they were getting far worse. He couldn’t seem to keep his temper in check, anything minor seemed to set him off; it triggered so much anger and rage that sometimes he didn’t even recognize who he was anymore.

Then she stepped into his line of sight, and what he saw sent a shiver down his spine and had his heart sinking. Her smile no longer registered, all he saw was the sling and he couldn’t help but look down and away from her. He could feel the tears in his eyes, as he realized that his fears were slowly being realized. He clamped his jaws tight in an effort to rein in the tears. But it was now crystal clear to him as to what he had to do next. This was going to be the hardest thing he’d ever done in his entire life, and he was quite certain once everything was done with he would never be the same; and, only time was a witness and testament to the truth in his thoughts.

Back to the Present

“Max! MAX! Can you hear me?” a voice shouted out.

‘Hey man, who is this scene-stealer? And why on Earth are you yelling? Can you not see I’m kinda busy at the moment trying to make sure she sees me.’

Max is looking towards Mia and notices that Mia sees him and is walking towards him with a huge smile on her face. His excitement growing, the only thought that comes to his mind is,

‘Oh man yes she saw me! Wait, oh no, I’m all stinky, bloody and sweaty after this fight. I can’t even hug her, think about it, who would want to when you’re at your grossest state?! Do I have time to shower? No she’s already headed my way. Oh well…’

“MAX! How many fingers am I holding up Max?! Max…” more commands and shouts follow.

‘Dude seriously stop with the hollering. And wait what? Did Mia speed-walk or something? How’d she get so close so fast? She’s extending her hand out to me, with a smile to die for. Wow she looks radiant…well yeah it’s Mia she always looks radiant.’

Mia extends her hand out to him, her smile growing and glowing with warmth, and the softness of her brown eyes filling the space between them with a sense of familiarity. A familiarity filling Max with the warmth of love, security and calm that Mia’s mere presence always seemed to do once upon a time. Mia opened her mouth as though ready to say something to Max when…

“MAX! C’mon dammit, how many fingers am I holding up?! Can you hear me?!”

Max is ready to rip this person’s head off. He literally yells the words,

“SHUT UP AND GET OUTTA MY FACE!”

Only thing is, the guy yelling at him doesn’t seem to hear a thing Max is saying and continues with his questions. Max tries again, he can hear himself scream the words, but for some reason the guy can’t hear him.

Right before blinking his eyes he sees the guy yell,

“MAX!”

And right after blinking his eyes his vision is filled with Mia, extending her hand out and talking to him.

“Max” she says softly.

Her voice seems to fill the void he’d manage to forget every time he got into that fight ring…the one that’s been haunting him for 5 whole years.

“Max…sweetie, take my hand.” She looks at him and indicates with her eyes.

Max is nothing short of confused. While he is delighted Mia is here, it feels like 2 different lives are messing with his head and playing simultaneously.

‘What? Mia…what are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be at your own wedding?” he asks out of confusion
“Don’t get me wrong, I love that you’re here and I love you, but…what are you doing here?” he stumbles out.

He realizes what he’s said and his eyes widen in shock.

“Okay, I didn’t mean for all of that to come tumbling out as fast as it did. Sorry… well, I mean I’m not sorry for loving you but sorry for springing it on you literally in my second sentence. You know what I meant, I mean…” he kept backtracking.

“Aww come on Mia, help.” He groaned and stopped talking.

All he got in response was a smile. He saw Mia open her mouth to start talking.

He blinked his eyes and was taken back to the ring, and he saw Mia crouching over him saying,

“Max…No no MAX!”

‘Wait a second, what? How did her voice get manly?! What the hell..’

He fluttered his eyes rapidly and he was taken back to where it was just the two of them. There’s confusion clouding his face and eyes…. and then it hits him. He feels like the lightning rod struck by a bolt of lightning and he realizes exactly what is going on. It was time, sunset was almost here and he was about to ride off into the sunset; and the only person he ever wanted to ride off into the sunset with was standing right before him holding out her hand and asking him to take it. It didn’t matter if it was real or not; he was tired of holding on. What was he supposed to hold on for? And what was he supposed to hold on to? There was nothing left to anchor him, there was nothing left for him…not in a world that turned it’s back on him faster than the blink of an eye with such speed and force that it still hurt to breathe when he thought about it.

He hears them calling out to him again, but he knows where he’s going now. He looks at Mia’s face, her beautiful soulful smile, the only light that always guided him, looks at her outstretched hand and without hesitation or doubt grasps her hand and lets her lead him.

Sanctity in Silence

Start of a new & promising month. Where has the time flown? I mean honestly, so much has happened, and I’m sure that holds true for each and everyone of you. I mean wow, how did we get here? I LOVE being busy, it keeps me going and definitely gives me purpose…and well sometimes there is no other way to move ahead in life than to get things done. Wherever your drive and life takes you, it all is for bigger & better things, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself lol. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Sanctity in Silence

And in the silence,
I heard the rhythm and music
of the night.
Inviting and mysterious,
An element of surprise,
A sense of danger,
Lurking around some distant
corner,
Some random alley.
And in the silence,
I hear, loud and clear,
Every whisper,
Every fear,
The words behind every shed
tear.
Find your solace,
Make your peace,
For the silence is your keeper,
Your truth seeker,
And the only constant,
That will ever be.

SJ

The Wanderer

Just experimenting around with a new sorta writing & formattin’ style with the poetry-ness. Enjoy!

The Wanderer

Bouncing from place to place,
Trying to mingle, trying to belong,
In a sea of faces,
Spanning countless races,
Searching for traces of oneself,
Through this mad myriad of countless
cases,
Surrounded by unreadable and unreceptive
faces.
Stumbling and tripping over undone
laces,
While living through and with people’s
farces,
Here you are,
Trying to establish one out of many bases,
That you’ve managed to live out of,
Through the crazy times, the hazy times,
And all the other times,
When the only expression aimed your way,
Was resentment, bitterness and despair,
In the form of soul cracking gazes,
And ear piercing, heart-wracking phrases.
The curse of the wanderer, they say,
To be the outcast, the castaway.
Yet here you stand your ground,
Stomp away at all those burning
thoughts,
Countless doubts, and worries eating away
And letting you free fall from your own
good graces.
Lock eyes with all your haters,
And those countless nay-sayers,
And show them the depths, phases and realms,
Of true integrity, stamina, intensity and
strength,
So that they never forget,
The fire, spirit and depth of the ones,
They dared to berate and belittle,
And insult, in way too many ways
And way too many times,
As the clue-less, soul-less vagabonds
And face-less wanderers.

 

Payphone

Well I tried keeping this short, but didn’t quite work out as planned. Been a bit on the MIA side of things, so forgive the rusty nature of the writing skills. Hope everything is going fantastically well with all of you and have a fantastic weekend!

——————————————————————————————————

Begin Transmission

It really is quite amusing…Of all the places in the world, this, is the last one I expected to return to, to spend this wretched night at. I guess everything really does come full circle. This is where it all began so it’s only natural and logical that it all ends here. I guess everyone was waiting for this day, just so they could tell me ‘I told you so.’ But nobody saw the other side of the equation, you know, the side where you deal with the predicted event and it’s aftermath. Too much has happened between the last time I was here and now, in this present time…it feels like the alienation of somewhere into nowhere.

Between then and now, not much has changed, well maybe except for the payphone off to the corner by the nature trail. It looks a little worse for wear, but it’s always been a constant as far as this place is concerned. Lonely, well now rather dilapidated, but always there as company for the lake of tranquility. I wonder if they have conversations about the oddities they see coming around and about over here…wouldn’t that be something? I always curious about that payphone, I wonder if it’s ever worked all these years, or if it’s just there to provide some sense of comfort that what you’re looking for or searching for is just a phone-call away. The last time I was here, staring out into this picture of tranquility and serenity, I swore that I would never return, I swore that this was the last time I’d even be in this place….I made a vow of sorts to myself, that, I was going out there into the big bad world and I was gonna come out guns blazing….at the top of everyone and everything. That all the jerks and morons in the world who kept crushing, chipping and breaking my spirit and me every step of the way would regret their actions and what they’d become. I had even decided that, if our paths ever crossed at that point in life, then, I would make their lives miserable….a favor for a favor. I paid my respects, packed my bags and left the remnants of my childhood and teen years behind, and set out to chart the path to my destiny.

I knew right from that time that there was something wrong, and it made me furious. There were too many weaknesses and faults…too many crosses to bear and flaws contributing to the wear and tear of my soulless soul. People had their opinions about the ever driven, heartless, cold yet startling bastard that was me, who was never forgiving of trivial errors and minute miscalculations. Nobody understood where, who or what I was. I was fortunate to have a few people who tried, but, even they over time washed their hands off and said their goodbyes, after-all there is only so much one can try. I used to care, I used to spend hours listening, talking and sorting other people’s problems out. Then life throws you a curveball and you have to decide and prioritize as to whose problems and concerns are more important, yours or theirs. I tried the theirs part for a bit, and got walked all over the place, and never taken seriously for a bit, I guess people forgot that little part of the story. Over time people choose to remember only those things that fit their decisions and mental images. The day I decided to put myself first and ahead of the rest of them, was when the hues, cries and remarks of ‘Oh you’ve changed,’ and ‘You aren’t the same person I knew,’ and ‘What happened to you?’ colored sentences more than common courtesies.

The talking and weird snarky and saucy remarks came first…followed by pointless and shameless reminders and emotional guilt trips of the paradoxical and rather one-sided nature of this thing called friendship. Then the labels trickled in and with a few words and a rather short period of time, I became the cold hearted piece of trash who only knew how to use people and use any means necessary to get where I wanted to. Nobody stopped to think or see the pieces of me dying away, withering away to the dust beneath the soles of my shoes. Nobody looks any deeper once they receive, what they call substantial proof, in the form of an incident or event to corroborate their sentiments and judgments about you.

There was that one time when i fell in love and learned about perfection and what it meant to be whole, but, apparently even love has parameters and boundaries defined by things other than those in love. She was the most amazing thing that happened to me; she was what all those books, poems, songs and movies often referred to as, ‘The One.’ But her friends and the social world we live in, managed to take away the one thing that started to matter in a long time.

I still remember that day so vividly, when it all came to a blaring, jarring and deafening end…It started off as a special night for me. I had been putting in all these extra hours at work, barely making it back home for a few hours of sleep, just so I could get her the perfect ring. I knew she would be a little upset with the late nights and everything, but I didn’t want to ruin the big surprise, and I figured once she knew the reason why, she’d just as easily forgive me. However, I didn’t know at the time the price that I would pay for my assumptions. That night at dinner, there was a lot of tension in the air. At the time, I thought it was probably my nerves and that little box in my pocket. And just as I was about to literally pop the box and the question I was popped instead….instead of a ‘happily ever after’, we broke up and I embodied the unhappy ever since persona. The one person I thought understood me couldn’t stay with me not because she didn’t want to, but, because she decided it was better to not be together at all instead of being at the receiving end of wagging tongues and rumor mongers. She never found out about the ring, nor did she find out about my exquisite plans. 3 months later, she was with someone else, I knew she didn’t love him, not the way we loved each other, but who was I to stop her from going after her happiness? 4 months after that, I got their wedding invite, and all the remaining hopes for a ‘maybe happy ever after’ died along with it. I showed up at the wedding, quite literally ripping the band aid off of my wounds, but I had to know, I had to make sure she was happy or at least seemed content without me around, and she was. That didn’t stop her friends from taking their jabs either, I guess people never change. I let them take their pot-shots. That day, she was all that mattered and I just faded into the background, another spectator, another clown, another shadow flickering by.

From then on it was a downward spiral, things got out of control and out of hand. I dismissed the warning signs, the headaches, the black outs…it was all in my head anyway, and I just threw myself into work. Day became night, night became day and life went on with me hell bent on getting my pound of flesh from the world. Time flew by, people breezed by and I just kept climbing that success ladder, closer to my visions, and, ever closer to my dreams. I achieved that goal I set out for, albeit at a rather heavy price, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else if I had a choice. I proved them all wrong and I made them eat their words, and I sure as hell turned their envy factor on. Of course, by then they had all moved on with their lives, they didn’t remember the pettiness or the pain caused by their actions and words, I guess that was always mine to carry for the rest of my life.

Through all those years and all those times, there was no family, no distant relative nor sibling who bothered to pick up that phone and give me a call. I was the outcast, and I guess I always would be, but I showed them all up in the end didn’t I? The only person who bothered to check on me was my Assistant, mostly because it ensured the paycheck factor, and well alright, there may have been a bit of that whole human concern factor tossed in there as well. Besides, he was the one who found me passed out on the floor somewhere…another black out, another day. To me it wasn’t a big deal anymore, it was just the fatigue and lack of sleep catching up. When I came to I was asked if I had any family I could call, and apparently my response of no, wasn’t all that surprising. They asked me to review my will and any other legal matters I may have pending. Now you know when you hear something like that it’s never going to end well. Then they sent me to a. shrink to get evaluated, they drew up a conclusion and tossed me a long worded diagnosis. All I know is I’m marked, the clock is ticking and I’m punching out soon, either out of choice or through a pre-ordained course of events.

So here I am, facing the tranquility and serenity of my sanctuary….nothing much has changed since the last time I was here, except perhaps my perspective and that payphone. I used to be furious as to how the lake always seemed so passive and calm even through the worst storms and times. I remembered being furious at how it never hissed, churned, turned and spewed away at all the crap that happened, and how it preferred to remain calm instead. Today when I look at its rippling form I realized that I adapted its persona rather unknowingly, where everything appeared calm and collected on the outside but only I knew the maelstrom that churned within. Today we were bonded…as I stared at it my phone went off. It was a message from my Assistant expressing his early condolences at an irreversible course of life I would be trudging along, and offering his assistance and help in any way he could. Just as I was contemplating tossing my phone out there into the beyond, I suddenly remembered a snapshot from a time so long ago that it almost seemed unreal. I couldn’t remember when this picture was taken or when I decided to have it accessible at all times on my phone, but, I remember it was the perfect moment and the first time in a long time that I wasn’t alone and I was perfectly content. I stared at the payphone, an old accomplice, the lake’s faithful friend, and that far fetched face of hope, something that triggered un-calculated and unexpected sequence of events in the next few moments.

Before I knew it, my mind and fingers were several steps ahead of me. They started dialing a number and before I processed what had transpired the phone was ringing and my breath caught…my heart was racing in anticipation of who would pick up that phone, I didn’t bother even looking to see whose number I had dialed, but deep down I had a feeling as to who it was. Before I could chicken out and hang up someone picked up the phone, and then, I heard the one voice that stilled and thrilled my heart all at once. She sounded perfect even after all these years, though there was a slight edge of curiosity or was that confusion in her voice? Or maybe that was just me. When she repeated her hello a second time I realized I had to say something before she hung up, and before I lost my last chance to connect with the only person that defined home for me.

“Hey, please don’t hang up…It’s me, Gabriel.”

End Transmission
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‘Hurt’

Presenting Story #2 from the ‘Short Shot’ series. It’s been inspired by a number of songs and incidents, but I felt ‘Hurt’ by Johnny Cash best describes the essence of this short. Well have fun reading, and let me know what you think!

Begin Transmission

It’s a common misconception you know…The good old green monster isn’t Oscar the grouch, but, good old bittersweet envy…it’s almost akin to Poison Ivy, well if you were to give it a hue of green. Here’s another fact about envy, it isn’t something just associated with the rich and famous; it’s the ghost that haunts us all. The shadow-less entity that’s poised to strike at any time, that sits in that exclusively reclusive section of our minds. It’s the fatal blow that maims all of us, regardless of how ordinary or extraordinary we might be. It’s the one virtue, the one sin that is either responsible for our ascent to the top, or our rapid descent to rock bottom.

As children, we never saw our days speeding by us. They progressed from one moment to another, and each moment was met with an excitement and anticipation to move on towards the next moment. We never really pause to think of our actions, all we want to do then, at that age is, to learn, live, leap and fly off towards the path of happiness and dreams. Nothing seems impossible, and if it does, we either set our hearts on overcoming them or we shrug it off and find something else to catch our attention and captivate our imaginations. The innocence and purity of our intentions and thoughts guide us to what we see and perceive…and then adulthood sets in.

We all wanted to grow up so terribly fast, that once we got there, we wanted the clock to slow down. Suddenly we weren’t as impatient for time to fly by…suddenly perspective started keeping pace with our actions, and, reflections and regrets started rearing their heads at reality. We begin to question motives, people and intent; and somehow, rationality and logic find their way into our dictionaries and categorically qualify and eliminate what we should consider as logical ambitions and foolhardy if not idealistic dreams. For every new lesson learned, we lose just a little bit more of ourselves.

Then there are those instances when life forces it’s hand and makes you stop, despite your urgency to get to your ultimate destination. Everybody remembers reveling in the sight of you falling, some with utter satisfaction, and others with a hidden satisfaction; somehow very few share your sense of utter dejection. Everybody also remembers your meteoric rise back against the odds; that’s when they conveniently remember you exist, and scream words of approval and encouragement of how they always knew you could do it. Some with smiles as fake as knock off Pradas, others with grim smiles of disappointment and fear at what is to come with the slightest tinge of anger and jealousy bringing just a little more fire into their eyes. And yet others, with their fangs retracted and claws bared, unafraid to announce and display their open hostility. Unfortunately, nobody remembers the countless humiliations, the countless sights and sighs of disappointment buzzing through the air and piercing the heart and soul like the sharpest slivers of glass. Nobody hears the silent tears; hidden and swept up by day and wept through soul shattering wracking sobs at night. Nobody knows how difficult it is to breathe, while being suffocated by your world crumbling upon itself, and, imploding in on itself. End of the day, it’s always easier to trample those being trampled beneath countless feet, and it’s always much easier to stand on the side of the victors in the hopes of being remembered for you support then, and not during the greatest time of need.

Oh envy, how you color the world, with your desire to thrive and your lust to live. If only you could be seen for the temptress you are, for the hidden entity doing her unforgiving bidding of cracking and battering the mold of a heart and soul, once innocent, once blessed, once pure. Here us mortals remain, your greatest triumph, your greatest victory, your greatest creation, exposed, uninhibited and unhidden.

End Transmission

Short Shots – An Introduction

So I’ve decided to create and accept a challenge of sorts that I’ve issued myself. One of the blogs I follow had this concept of ‘Flash Fiction February’ where you basically write a short story limited to about a 1000 words everyday and you pretty much post it on your blog. I’ve sorta kinda modified the rules just a tad bit, well I can’t exactly write a short story everyday ‘cuz of the whole time factor. That being said though, the modified version of that challenge is basically that I’m going to try and write shorts as inspired by the music I listen to. I, or rather, my brain does this annoying thing, where it pretty much converts an entire song (that I’m listening to) into a music video (of sorts) or a montage of scenes. So what I plan on doing, is to try and tap into that the next time around it happens, create a short and post it on here. Feel free to read (at your own risk) and it’s always wonderful to get some feedback as well.

I will be posting the first story in the ‘Short Shots’ series in the next little while. I just wanted to split the posts so as to explain the point of this whole thing, otherwise the post would turn out to be one mammoth post to read. I hope everyone’s having or has had a fantastic weekend. Here’s to a wonderful week ahead!