The Heart Will

Slowing down only speeds things up, stepping forward only sends me back, loving you only breaks my heart, wanting more only makes me lack, looking up only knocks me down, leaving you only brings me back

The heart will what it wants
The spirit still where it breathes
And all because of you,
My heart, my breath, my rising

Understanding only mixes things up, future planning only breaks my back, loving you only empties my life, rising up only cuts me off, entering in only closes the door, listening close only exposes the silence

The heart will what it wants

Exodus

There is a gentleness in her soft forgiving voice as I turn and walk away, a word of remembrance, recalling a shared opportunity, a fond embrace, a lingering kiss, a yesterday. I carry her scent with me as I close the front door; her memory follows me as I get in my car, turn the key, and drive away, no backward glance or wave goodbye. The overwhelming release of tears fuels my shuddering breaths; the free air, crisp, clean, shivers ice through my veins, shocks the color in my eyes, first blue, then violet, marine, and finally frozen in silver.

The Problem With Time Travel

Younger: Do you have to follow me everywhere?

Older: Look, trust me. I know better than you do. I’ve already live through it, remember?

Younger: So you say. As far as I know, you could be making up this whole time travel story. “I’m from the future. You have to do what I tell you.” Spooky! I don’t care how many times you tell me the sports scores, I still want to watch the game. I mean, you’re not helping, you’re making everything worse.

Older: I’ve already helped you prevent three failed relationships, you’ve won the lottery, or would have if you’d actually buy a ticket. Your life, my life, could be so much better if you’d just listen to me.

Younger: You know, they cancelled the lottery because of people like you. When everyone wins, everyone just splits the pot into tiny portions. One half of all earnings go toward prizes, so that means we all win fifty cents on every dollar. No one plays.

Older: Okay, so gambling is pretty much a bust. There are other investments. Precious metals, stocks. I know some property to buy that will make you rich.

Younger: Everyone knows the same thing. You’re killing the value here, you and all our future selves following us around, telling us the punch lines without the jokes, the plot twist before the end of the movie. It’s no fun any more.

Older: It’s more efficient. No more wasted hours, wrong turns, mistakes. Everything is perfect. Or it will be.

A flash of light fills the room. When the glow fades, a third person, slightly shorter, much older, stands with the first two.

Even Older: Knock it off you two. Or me two. You’re both making things worse.

Younger: Don’t blame me, I just want to live my life without creepy old me ruining everything.

Older: Impossible. I can’t make things worse since I know the future. I can only make them better.

Even Older: Okay, future me, your premise is you know best since you’ve lived it, right? Well, then I know even better, since I’ve lived through the consequences of all the changes you’ve introduced. Every time you two argue, it changes things down the road. Every change you make today becomes more trouble for me. This whole conversation is making my world dark and scary. You have no idea what it’s like to live in a small six by six room, isolated from everyone one else. We’re all stuck in permanent solitary confinement.

Another flash, a fourth figure appears.

Oldest: You’re all a bunch of idiots! You listen to this ass hole and now I’m living in an atomic waste-land. He ruins everything!

More flashes and the room fills with incarnations of various ages, all arguing with each other.

Younger: I can’t take this any more!

He takes a gun from the locked gun cabinet and shoots himself.

Older: Uh oh!

The room stands empty save for an odd echo of a feedback loop.

Was She Ever Even Married?

He noticed her bare left ring finger. He also noticed the pattern of smooth skin where a familiar band rested, which only raised more questions than it answered. Was she hiding the fact she was married? Did she put the ring down somewhere and carelessly forget to put it back on? Was she avoiding answering complicated questions about the relationship? Was she embarrassed? Was she aware that everyone could see the absent ring? Was she a widow and still wearing the ring out of habit or a sense of obligation to her previous spouse? Was a promise made now broken?

Black Sand, White Snow

The effort to climb seven flights of stairs took more out of him than he expected. Maybe he shouldn’t have jogged up the first four flights. Maybe he shouldn’t have carried up that box of books. Show off. Maybe he shouldn’t think of himself as twenty or expect his body to do anything his mind could envision. Maybe he should eat less junk food. Maybe a lot of things. Maybe most of all he shouldn’t ignore that tingle in his left arm or the discomfort in his chest. He’s never had heart burn before, so why should it start now?

And Their Children

The needle pricked her skin, followed by sharp pain, lightning coursing through her body. She faced an hour of convulsing, strapped to a gurney, mouth clamped to prevent her biting her tongue, all to keep her safe from the side effects of the monthly injection which kept her safe from the virus. Fire raged through her veins, burning out the infection. They were all infected. This self-inflicted torture stood between them and death, horrible, disfiguring. Her survival did little to make it easier for him to watch, knowing he injected her and the sure knowledge that his turn came next.

Kismet

There’s a map for kismet. Seriously, a map. Go ahead and Google it if you want. I dare you. Go ahead. Google the word ‘kismet’ and you should get a definition as well as a map for where to find it. I’ll wait here. Open a new window, or a tab if that’s your kind of thing. I’m in no hurry. I’ve already seen it for myself. Near where I live there are two locations, one to the north and west, the other to the south and east, places for kismet, like you could drive through a fast food place and pick up an order of fate. Yeah, that’d be worth seeing. I’ll take a big fate, with a side of karma, and an iced kismet. Yeah, a number three, the predestination meal. Figures.

Kismet

I’m all like digging her, and it’s cool because she’s digging me too; we’re like digging on each other, and the whole room is like watching us. Are we going to ever talk to each other? Am I going to ask her out? And it’s cool because all my friends are there, and all her friends are there, and they’re like cheering for both of us because they can see us together before we’ve even said a single solitary word to each to other but already I feel like I’ve known her my whole life, like my life started today.

Marionette Strings

Fingers stretch over the horizon, tendons, pliable, responsive, soft connective tissue, muscles pulling, marionette strings hidden ‘neath layers of skin and forests of hair; the unseen revealed only in its wake, only in waving leaves, clear air, the breath, the anima, spirit, sighing, singing bright songs unheard, seeing tumultuous dances, accepting that shy invitation to dance, to move with and for and in front of everyone and only one. She knew the depths of her own power, and he, he gladly succumbed to all the awesome mystery he didn’t understand. The creative fire ignited them, consumed them, transfigured into ash.

Lump

I said the weather would be nice, so it will be. I want desert instead of vegetables, so that’s going to happen. My car problems will heal over time, just hit the curb in the right way to straighten out that alignment issue. I expect a parking space to open up because I’m going to park there, and I don’t have to pay that parking ticket. Oh, and most of all, that lump I just found isn’t important, and I’m not going to tell the doctor about it because it is all just too inconvenient to think about right now.

Apologia

My apologies ahead of time. As I get older, I’m experiencing unexpected changes in personality. Could be an indication of an underlying issue, like cancer, or a tumor, but I’m actually enjoying the ride, so for now, I haven’t mentioned anything to my doctor, and likely won’t. People have told me they like this new gregarious version, and I do too. There are downsides, of course. Too much of anything can be a bad thing. Without many inhibitions, I say just about anything that comes to mind. More than once, I’ve commented on how someone looks, totally inappropriate, but true.

Ancient

“Ah, I see you’ve found something. Let’s take a look, shall we?” They lifted the heavy gold object from the destination-stamped wooden crate. “Look carefully along the scalloped beading along the bottom. Keen work there. You don’t find that kind of attention to detail these days. Very fine workmanship.”

The object, nearly a meter in height, probably a candlestick, or possibly the stand for a missing basin, was covered with a thick layer of a sticky substance, thought at first to be wax, and then blood, amber, honey, and finally an undetermined buildup, perhaps comprised of centuries of bacterial growth.