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The Old Familiar Places

He ducked through the doorway, gently closed the door and pressed himself against the wall. The house was empty. He waited there and tried to slow his breathing. What sounds had to be made he made as quietly as possible. The drumming in his chest slowed but each beat echoed loudly in his chest. He waited. All was quiet, both in the house and the outside world he just disappeared from. The vehicle was just as silent as it approached. The tyres crunched the gravel underneath and the engine mumbled quietly to itself. Footsteps approached gingerly. He heard a whisper, but couldn't make out what was said. Torchlight shot through the dark, slim slivers making it through the gaps in the blinds. The light moved on. So did the vehicle and footsteps. He let out breath that had been waiting patiently in his lungs. He stepped across the room with a thief's caution. Looking around, the darkness slowly took form and the realisation of where he was dawned on him. He had taken refuge in his childhood home. The wallpaper was failing, there were holes in the floor and someone had relieved the house of it's copper wiring long ago, but it was the home of his younger days. It was strange though. He felt no swelling of nostalgia. He could only recognize it as a building. There was no homely feeling. No childhood memories flooding back. He felt like an atheist in a church, not able to connect with what the house represented. There was no use trying to relive those days. That life was gone. The feelings with it. He made his way to the back door and opened it. It still required a bit of a kick when it caught on the tiles. He pulled it closed and made off into the night, jumping the fence and looking over his shoulder occasionally. They would still be looking for him.

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A Chill with Destiny

Meeting you was a choice. What came next? That was destiny.

I could have walked through any other door. I could have slammed it. Nailed it shut. I could have run my Chevy through the cheap and shoddy frame of the facade. I could have killed a dozen people. It's not that I'm morbid, the idea just struck me on the way in. It was kind of funny.

After all, my therapist said that I should be spontaneous. I'm getting to that.

When I saw you, I could have escaped from the strings of fate. I even thought about it for a second. A second's a long time for a talented social deflector like myself. I could have caressed you with my eyes, sliding away in just the right way to jiujutsu right over my shoulder. I could have bumped on, bumped you, and bumped through. I could have started talking to a very awkward stranger, loud and unconvincing. If I was really being honest, I could have withered in a sweat right then and there.

After all, I have a history of anxiety and difficulties communicating, or so they say. I'm getting there.

Instead, I said 'Hi.' You said, "Huh?" I said, "Hi" again at a human-audible volume and threw my name in after. I came off as clumsy, dialed in, and so over-committed to the small talk.

Apparently, you liked that. That's fate. That's destiny. That's doom.

You have every choice in the world, except for what's in someone else's head. Watch your ass.

It didn't work out, by the way. Spontaneous isn't sustainable and no one cures me, but me.

Just thought you'd like to know.

 

Prompt: An auspicious Anonymous asked you:

Write about fate
A bit of a delightful wander through my unusual head. Not bad for out of town. (c) 2013 Lawerence Hawkins  
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Bringing about change is like trying to spin the world the other way

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Sun-Dreams-Dying

Sun-Dreams-Dying

I’m so worn out from walking with the kids along the wharf all afternoon. Legs throbbing, feet beating with my heart. The sun is so bright, its rays lash my corneas like whips.

 

I’m driving through San Francisco. At every intersection I wait behind thrumming exhausts and red brake-lights. My head dips from fatigue.

 

The kids are thirsty, the baby’s crying. Everyone’s sweaty. We’re out of water. My god we’re like sailors lost at urban sea. Sticky tank-tops and dank wind. Fabric seats soak up our exuded liquids.

A grocery!

I u-turn and park. She takes the baby inside. The boys are passed out and sweaty strands of hair cover their faces. I sit in the car and lean against the window. My eyes close.

 

I’m so worn out from walking with the kids along the wharf all afternoon. Legs throbbing, feet beating with my heart. The sun is so bright, its rays lash my corneas like whips.

 

I’m driving through San Francisco. At every intersection I wait behind thrumming exhausts and red brake-lights. My head dips from fatigue.

 

The kids are thirsty, the baby’s crying. Everyone’s sweaty. We’re out of water. My god we’re like sailors lost at urban sea. Sticky tank-tops and dank wind. Fabric seats soak up our exuded liquids.

 

I’m at a light. The engine drones. I look down at my lap. My eyes close, just for a second.

I wake up, I WAS ASLEEP I FELL ASLEEP FUCK I FELL ASLEEP DRIVING OH MY GOD I’M DEAD I’M DEAD.

 

No, I’m alive. I’m parked. I look around. I’m in a parking lot. I’m ok. I’m ok. It’s ok. I grab my chest. I put my face on the wheel.

Dreams, terror,
I dream of life and death,
dying in dreams indistinguishable from life

and waking to living death.

The sun is on my face,
UV rays blocked by glass;


people are stocking up for Pride weekend
and to celebrate DOMA’s demise.

 

I’m dead as well,

in this steel, plastic, aluminum, glass sarcophagus.

The celebrations erupt.

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Of Atoms, and Other Things We're Made Of

 

“I looked through the window at the palm tree standing in the courtyard of our house and I knew that all was still well in life. I looked at its strong straight trunk, at its roots that strike down into the ground, at the green branches hanging down loosely over its top, and I experienced a feeling of assurance. I felt not like a storm-swept feather but like that palm tree, a being with a background, with roots, with a purpose."- A Book.


I had a rush of a feeling, as I read and reread -and reread- that excerpt, a feeling resembling a nostalgia for something I've never experienced. Like a homesickness for a 'home' that's never existed... It's strange, being human.


I've always been a little envious of those who seemed inextricably connected to something bigger than themselves, of those who related to a background or have taken it upon themselves to embody a culture; a series of customs, things that 'must' be performed, ways in which those things are performed, people to whom it all made sense. I've always been a little envious of those who have a predefined, concrete meaning of 'home'.

Well, envious of and annoyed with.


Why do we feel obligated to act in accordance to a set of predesigned morals? Is it the convenience of fitting into pret-a-porter molds instead of undergoing the existential anguish of being your own person?


What if I identify as that storm-swept feather?


It is fascinating, how the notion of roots fluctuates sometimes between feelings of suffocation, paralysis, and repression and those of warmth and acceptance. But really how accepting is conditional acceptance?


Perhaps it's the image of a 'security blanket' I'm occasionally a little envious of; the feeling it generates; that you are an inseparable molecule, woven into something that predates you and will continue to exist long after you have ceased... perhaps in a way that is the closest we get to immortality. Perhaps it's the closest we get to not being alone.


But in a time where everything and everyone seem to be swallowed by a system or another, and we seem to no longer ponder the meaning of things, I'd rather stay a storm-swept feather. Free, light, wandering. However forgettable I may be, I am still ultimately an inextricably intricate part of an inextricably intricate ecological system that does not bother with who I am or how I look or the concepts I choose or those I reject; and when my bones decay and I am one with earth, my atoms will mix with those of trees or scatter as dust, and everywhere will be 'home'.


 

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His Muse

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Writers Anonymous

I've taken to the pen again, not unlike alcoholics take to the bottle. And just as any recovering alcoholic will tell you, the habit ruined my life.

It's addictive, this writing business. The allure of the infinite possibilities hidden within the pen is irresistible. I used to conjure sandcastles in the air using nothing but the pen, words would come pouring out from Shakespeare-knows-where, and they were beautiful words. The sin was probably that I got used to it. I guess that is always where the rocky road south begins - taking things for granted. I, like many before me, forgot that change catches up to everyone, eventually.

It sneaked up on me one morning when I sat down to let my mind make magic with the pen. Nothing. The silence was so pronounced that I imagined my "rain man" beneath the sheets, fast asleep. In order to wake him up, I did what anyone who wakes up in second gear does, I prepared my preferred form of caffeine injection and disappeared behind a mug.

Hopefully, I picked up the pen again. But it wouldn't move. It just didn't know where to go. I could have dropped it then and called it a day, but I was addicted. I had to write. And since fiction wasn't forthcoming, I delved into my memory for a story worth telling. Regrettably, I didn’t find one. I found two hundred.

The thing about the past, specifically mine, is that there are no happy endings. I may have come out of the other side smiling but there was nothing to be happy about. And the search for silver linings only uncovered more and more unresolved issues. They, the ones who know it all, once advised us on the treatment of sleeping dogs. I didn't listen.

All of a sudden, I had no right to be smiling. That gave birth to frustration as I couldn't write anything besides dystopia. I became angry because the stories I couldn't make sense of were my life. Had my life been so insignificant, inconsequential and irrelevant? How come I couldn't find any words that would add glory to it?

So I ran outside. I tried to do things and meet people, but I had been writing fiction for far too long. Reality had lost its lustre. I developed insomnia which, I believe, stemmed from the inescapable fear that tomorrow was going to be worse than today. And in those days, "today" was generally terrible. I was having nightmares every night yet I would wake up filled with dread - not relief - because the reality was worse than the nightmare.

It all culminated like it always does, I snapped at someone I cared about. I instantly regretted my words as soon as they left my lips. But that didn't stop them from hurting. Sadly, it is always the ones we care about who get hurt, isn't it?

Hi again, everyone. My name is Nevin, and I'm an addict.

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My Song Parody Performed Live

Some of you already know that, in my bid to become the next Weird Al Yankovic, I have been writing a lot of song parodies lately. 

Well, recently, for the very first time, I was honoured to have one of my song parodies performed live!  The song is titled ” A Writer’s Lament ( or The Ups and Downs of Being an Online Writer)” and it is a parody of The Beatles’ classic “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End”. I think a lot of you will be able to relate to the sentiments expressed in the lyrics. I include the parody lyrics below.

Kathleen Gallagher, an online friend from Ohio and a fellow writer, as well as Professor of English and Literature, was kind enough to perform this song live at a literary event in which she was the featured writer! She gave a very enthusiastic rendering of this song and took it to a completely new level. You can watch a video of it at the link below. I hope you will find it amusing viewing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=JgLW_XLxH0U

A WRITER’S LAMENT (or The Ups and Downs of Being an Online Writer)

 

( to be sung to the tune of this song here )

Once I used to get so many comments
Once I used to get so many “likes”

Write dear writer
try and try
and your words will reach the sky

Wondrous visions fill your eyes
Fame awaits you in this life

Write dear writer
try and try
and your words will reach the sky

Once I used to get
so many comments
Once I used to get
so many “likes”

Write dear writer
try and try
and your words
will reach the sky



Boris you’re gonna carry that pen
carry that pain
a long time

Boris you’re gonna carry that pen
carry that pain
a long time

You never give me your feedback
You only give me your “thanks for sharing”
And in the middle of our Facebook chatting
you log out

Boris you’re gonna carry that pen
carry that pain
a long time

Boris you’re gonna carry that pen
carry that pain
a long time

 

Oh yeah
alright
are you gonna read my stuff tonight?

Read it!
Read it!
Read it!
Read it!
….

And in the end
the comments got
are equal to
the comments wrote.

 

 

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Skeptic

Funny how the same problem I had when I was three getting yelled at in supermarkets resurfaces.   I can’t look without touching.  Unlike you, my defects are quite well hidden, rotten strawberries carefully shifted to the bottom of the container.  Maybe they would play nice with yours, I don’t know I don’t know

I don’t know.

I don’t think you know the meaning of demons.  You ever find yourself crying on an examination table to a doctor who insists you're only sad because it's winter? (I’m sorry. I don’t mean to dismiss your past like my skeletons are so much more violent.)

Who are you?  Convince me that staying is more cost effective.  I have examined you all over and still can’t find the price tag much less the return policy.  Convince me to give up every other possible future of better hands and softer highs.  Convince me I can handle the sewing mistakes, colors that run in the wash, the less than stain-resistant.  Rock-paper-who-is-more

fragile.

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Cinnamon and Vanilla.

I want to bite you, cut into your skin with my nails to see if your blood burns like mine, veins that hold lava and makes my bones writhe within. I am trapped, confined in a prison made of skin, a being of avarice and passion that melts into burgundy rivers and floods the valleys of my flesh. My body is set ablaze with brush strokes of capillaries that dance, sweat clinging like sweet morning dew to webs without spiders that glisten in daybreak. Our building orchestra of sighs and exclaims peak and crescendo at the last syllables, wrapping our mouths deliciously around names, savoring each sound like they tasted of cinnamon and vanilla – warm, soft with enough pungency to invoke gasps when lips were recaptured. You’d swear there was a bird, stuck inside of my chest when I am with you. It beats its wings so violently, trying to break free of its ivory cage and soar to the heights it craves. You are its liberator and jailer in one. Contradiction is the infliction it suffers, to lust for freedom and captivity together, the bitter sweet elixir I drink from your words. To consume and be consumed until there is nothing left but stories about a love that combusted with flames of a passion not understood. We are all that is bad but badness tastes so good in the arms of Love. Like sugar and spice and all things that dance in the darkness and beckons us in. We play in the dark because we are the obsidian butterflies that flirt with the forbidden, whispering confessions that bounce off our wings. I will be your penance for secrets shared but no appeasement for you. Not in this lifetime. Confide in me all your sins, please.. I’m listening.