So Cloudy, Yes
Archive for September, 2012
Nothing to Everything
James M Davis
Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen hours…I lost count on purpose a long time ago. In fact, I never started to count to begin with, and quite frankly why would I.
I am driving west; well my best guess is that I am heading west. The sun was starting to tip below the top of my windshield, signaling that it was time for me to let my trusty sun visor down. The landscape was barren. There was nothing around. I am surrounded by desert, which seemingly stretched for countless miles. There was no indication it would end any time soon. This pleased me. Occasionally, my eyes caught glimpses of cacti, tumble weeds, and what appeared to be a variety of very thirsty plant life. There was a breeze however, and it felt wonderful, especially when I drove faster. There is nothing here, nothing…there is everything here, everything.
This place had everything. Nothing, I can tell you about that. I had just left nothing behind some odd number of hours ago. Tall metallic buildings, electric signal lights at every corner, and perfectly placed lots that were occupied by millions. The sound of technology rang loudly through streets, not a single breeze ever noticed. There was nothing in this place, and there was very little hope that anything would ever return. Very few noticed this or maybe many did take note, but are too afraid to speak. They let the machines do their talking. Nothing, I left nothing for everything and I wouldn’t turn back.
Stretching my hands out on the steering wheel, a smile crept onto my face. I felt another slight twinge in my bladder. The urge to relieve myself was becoming stronger by the second. For some reason, I looked for road signs that would signal gas station exits. I guess old habits are not so easily forgotten. I switched my right foot to the brake. The emergency lane was of ample size. I continued several feet past it and stopped my car in the desert. This action sparked a memory of another trip I made several years earlier.
It was hot, muggy summer day. I was going on hour seven, that fact I can recall. I was nearing my destination, (nothing) when the urge to use the bathroom become too much for me to handle. My goal was to not stop again, I failed. I merged onto the exit ramp, relief was mere moments away. I passed through one traffic light and to my dismay this lead to a toll plaza. I handed the lady working a booth labeled “Cash Only, Change Provided” a ticket I received at an earlier toll. She took the ticket, pushed it through some machine, and spoke, “that will be nine dollars.” Absent minded for about three seconds, I handed her a ten dollar bill and a five dollar bill. She looked at me, handed me the five back, and produced my change. I drove through, made it to a gas station, and handled my business…I took a piss. I drove back to the interstate and again started my journey toward nothing. I promised myself that day that I would never take another nine dollar piss.
Standing at the front of my car, I loosened my belt, undid the button from my jeans, and let them fall to my ankles along with my boxer briefs. I stretched my arms over my head, and proceeded to relieve myself. Half way through, with my hands still over my head, I started to gracefully (really clumsily) whirl around in circles. I started to laugh. Joy pulsed through my soul. I closed my eyes and whispered, “I told you I would never take another nine dollar piss.” Tears started to run down my face.
For those who did not catch the symbolism, I will briefly sum up what the story is about beyond what is at face value. The desert, void of all of man’s creation is in fact “everything” because it symbolizes the closeness between man’s soul and God (the creator, nature, whatever you prefer to call it). Despite what is considered the norm, the city our protagonist has left is in fact filled with “nothing”. The technology of man is seen everywhere and everywhere it has distanced man from God. The buildings, machines, have no spirit, have no soul.
The memory that recalls the “nine dollar piss” is symbolizing how an act so simple, so human, so natural has become mechanized. While man should be concerned about strengthening his bond with the Lord, and continuing to grow his spirit; Man made realities constantly throw trivial detours in his way. This is a smaller example of the bigger problems that our current direction away from the spirit toward physical things causes in our everyday lives.
And finally the rush of joy and the connection that our protagonist feels with God while he is “relieving himself” causes him to laugh and cry. It beckons back to the time of Adam and Eve when man was naked, unashamed, and one with the Lord.
That is most of the symbolism summed up, I could certainly go on with more and more details, but I prefer to leave you to your own senses the rest of the way. What do you think about our separation from God (nature, Buddha, whatever your name for it is)? Is this an issue that is growing beyond our control with the advent of technology? Please share your thoughts.
How do you tell someone they are beautiful, more importantly how do you make them believe?
I have sat and pondered this very question,
for days and nights and for nights and days.
How to show a world what it cannot see;
this thought, this idea haunts my mind.
I have cried and toiled,
but nothing of yet has reasoned an answer, so I introduce you to three.
Upon your laws I cannot be beautiful;
for a number of reasons and reasons that number three.
My face is not symmetrical nor my eyes sky blue,
and even worse my hair is darkened curly, which rest upon a fragile figure’s doom.
The status of my height is below ideal and I walk with a slight slow pace;
dare you not mention this word “beautiful” to me.
Upon your laws I have seen an angel of beauty;
for a number of reasons and reasons that number three.
Her face so soft, so subtle with eyes sparkling blue,
and with long flowing blonde hair, which nestle elegantly upon a fancy figure’s view.
Stature in length displays just perfect and her grace glows bright to boot;
dare the only word you mention is “beautiful” to thee.
With courage that day, I gazed upon you with eyes closed tight;
for reasons unknown and unknown reasons that free.
Your soul so majestically aligned with a pretty smile that’s true,
and with a heart made in heaven, which holds together a flawless figure too.
Caring with love extends past the bar and silly steps signal happiness from afar;
dare you say the words I am “beautiful” to me?
Have I found the answer,
I wonder this night and day, and day and night.
To tell you to close your eyes in order to see,
seems so hopeless, seems so hard to me.
I cry and weep,
so instead of trying, you pick the beautiful one from the three.
“It’s not how well you write, but how you feel when you write.”
First, let me say I dare not touch nor even begin to discuss the fact that my dear mother was the one who created the quote above. I have tried to tell her for years she is smart/creative, just in her own way and well the proof is above. But, I digress…
In my humble opinion, the quote above speaks volumes to not only the writer, but to the reader in all of us as well. Often there is a misconception that writers are at their best soon after they experience an event that is traumatic, heart breaking, or life altering to the point where we are “sad”. We enjoy poetry, stories, screen plays, etc, which touch on very sensitive subjects, which are certainly born from heart wrenching experiences. And we assume at times that these powerful episodes lead directly to the creation of art. I tend to believe this is the exception not the rule.
I can picture it now, a young woman who is also an avid writer, recently discovers that her boyfriend is sleeping with her best friend. She runs to her sanctity, her laptop, and begins to let loose on the keyboard one of the best poems she has ever written. It contains vivid images of pain, anger, and confusion. The emotion is so very real because it is so very fresh. It is raw, uncensored. She looks at the screen after the poem is complete, reads, and hits the delete key. She types again, only gets half way through, and delete. Wash, rinse, and repeat until finally she gives up, hops in bed, and cries herself to sleep.
Weeks, months, and maybe even years later our same writer goes back to her laptop. A fresh idea has popped into her mind from an unexpected source of inspiration. She begins to type a poem. Its words beautifully describe a scene containing love, despair, and a phoenix rising from the ashes. Her fingers do not stop working until the final word is crafted. She scans over the poem and smiles. Born from experience, but executed with a clear, calm, and peaceful mind; she has finally created a work of art that does justice to the standards she holds ever piece too.
As writers, experience and emotion are two of the biggest tools at are our disposal. But that does not mean however that we can create when our wounds are newly fresh. Now granted, there are exceptions to any rule and well quite frankly, I could be completely wrong about this whole thing. But I think most writers would agree; we are at our best when we feel the best. A bad mood doesn’t lend itself to great writing. In fact, it is quite the opposite, it is like my mother says, “It’s not how well you write, but how you feel when you write.”
Struggle, Struggle, Struggle
So many believe
a free form flow of your fingers
is the way to go.
Form and structure
help us all, but are they
not crutches to the weak?
Time with patience
that’s the proven road
or so they say.
creates an answer
we all seek.
Only one solution
for the problem at hand;
write, write, write, and write some more.
Roaches & Cocoons
I can recognize a tattered and torn cocoon when I see it; do you dare to call me naïve when I am also able to recognize the butterfly inside…
James M Davis
Thank the Lord, Algebra 101 is finally over. 101 my ass, I hurried out the door quickly. With my backpack securely fastened across my chest, I took my usually short cut between Perry Hall and the Commons. Directly above my head, the sun was beginning to peak out from a scatter of clouds. Today would be another hot, humid one, no surprise there. I reached for my cell phone.
“What’s up, where you at?” I asked, with a slight shortness of breath. I continued down the side walk with a hurried pace toward Vernon, my junior college home away from home. Ok, enough with the theatrics, I was headed toward my dorm room.
“In the parking lot, waiting on you. Where are you at?” My friend’s voice answered and asked.
“Just go out of class, I’m about to be there.”
“Ok, bet come on.”
Click…I hung up my phone with precision. This is not the first time we have had a conversation like this and certainly would not be the last one. I rubbed my hands together, enjoying the anticipation of what was to come. I hurried my pace again.
I reached the parking lot in short order. I scanned the area and with ease, I spotted my friends white Chevy S10. It was in its usual place, on the outskirts of the parking area, a short distance to college drive. Parked in the shade, I walked up to the passenger door. My friend had already spied me coming; he reached over and unlocked the door.
I hoped in, threw my bag in the back and before I could even mutter a word, my friend was dangling a cigar in front of my face. It went back and forth between his fingers with graceful precision. He spoke up, “You break it down, fill it up, and I will roll it.”
I knew the procedure; he knew I knew the procedure. “What’s up, you going to English class today?” I asked, my hands worked in near perfect unison with my two thumbnails; I had almost completed the task at hand.
He looked at me with a sly grin on his face, “Yeah, we got a test today. I have got to do it well on it too. Ms. Hill told me if I can manage a B that I might be able to finish the course with a passing grade.”
I opened my door, took a couple quick glances around and dumped the tobacco on the pavement underneath my friend’s truck. “Well, you know what they say, third time is a charm.” I replied laughingly, as I motioned with my left hand that I was ready for the weed.
He lifted up the middle arm pad resting in between us and handed over a small plastic bag. It emitted a bright green sparkling glow. “Yeah, no shit. It is multiple choice, so hopefully I will be able to work a miracle. Got a few classmates on board with doing a little uhh…I guess you could say answer sharing, so I should be straight.” He looked over at me, as I began to fill the cigar paper up and spoke again, “Only use half, I want to save one for later.”
“Answer sharing…good luck with that.” I replied, passing the cigar over to him. As he was finishing up the job, I looked through my cell phone to check a few messages. There wasn’t much to check, “So, where are we going to go, airport, park..?”
He was rolling the first side of the cigar over, and answered, “Nah man, we can’t go out that far today, I have to be back for that test.”
“Oh, yeah no doubt. The bridge then?” I asked, sitting up in my seat, looking out for campus police.
“Yeah, the bridge sounds good. We haven’t been there in a while anyway.” He answered, as he put the finishing touches on our little escape from reality.
“You sure you want to take this test high?”
He looked at me and laughed, “You sure you want to see me take this test and not be high?”
I nodded in approval, as he wheeled the manual transmission out of the lot and we headed toward College Drive.
On the way to the bridge, we lit, smoked, and finished the blunt. We shot the shit about various things, and listened to some rap music in between that. The drive took about ten minutes, which was perfect for today. When we arrived at the bridge, we pulled underneath it toward the left side, nestled nicely in the shade. At this point, both of our eyes were quite red and barely open.
I had my arm hanging out the window, enjoying the coolness of a breeze that seemed to never come around often enough. I was looking out into a small thicket of trees, when my eye caught a glimpse of something that would prove to be rather peculiar. There was a lone cocoon hanging from a branch. It couldn’t have been more than five or so yards away from my side of the truck. Its color was greatly distorted; it looked as if it had been through days of war. Scars lined the outside of its protective shell. On the limb itself where the cocoon hung, there were insects a scurry everywhere. Ants, small black beetle like bugs, and other insects traveled up and down the branch. It appeared that the ants had caught scent of the struggling cocoon and were preparing to ready a meal for their queen.
I looked over at my friend and said, “Hey man, you see that cocoon?”
He nodded, “Yeah, so what.”
“Oh, nothing. Just kind of crazy if you think about it. That cocoon has no chance of making it to a butterfly. I mean hell, look at it. It is in bad enough shape as it is, not to mention the army of ants that look like they are about to finish it off.”
My friend looked over and replied, “Yeah, that thing is definitely fucked man. That caterpillar should have picked a better spot.”
“You think if we grabbed it and put it in a jar or something that it would be able to change into a butterfly?” I asked, as my eyes continued to study the situation at hand.
He leaned over closer, to get a better look. “Shit man, I am not sure. It is probably already dead, but hell it wouldn’t hurt to try I guess.
I opened my door, and took a few steps toward the cocoon. “Yeah, you are probably right, but what the hell I am going to grab it anyway, what do I have to lose.”
“Well, hurry up and get it, we need to head back. I got twenty minutes before class starts.” My friend spoke. I reached the branch, and delicately grabbed the cocoon. I could sense the disappointment radiating from the army of ants lined up to do their duty. “Not today my friends.”
I hoped in the truck and we headed back to school. I had the cocoon in my right hand. I studied it with great anticipation. We continued down the road, when…
“Fuck man, we are being pulled over! Toss the sack, toss the sack, toss the sack dude!” Without hesitation, my right hand dumped the cocoon out the window. It fell with great speed for a thing of its size and landed amongst some grass and weeds in ditch. “Shit man, shit, I threw the cocoon out! Hand me the sack!” My friend quickly put the sack into my now empty hand and I threw it out the window…
“Your license and insurance.” The officer ordered, as I stared straight ahead. My friend handed his license and insurance over to the cop. He scanned over it and spoke again, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“No sir, I don’t. I didn’t think I was speeding.” My friend answered rather confidently.
“No, you definitely were not speeding. In fact, you were doing 15mph. Any reason why you are driving so slow?” the police officer asked, as he stole a quick peek over at me. “You, let me see your license too.”
I handed my license over to him. My friend spoke up with a bit of shock in his voice. He definitely was not prepared to defend against a case of driving too slow. “Sir, I am not sure why I was only going that fast umm..I did not realize it.”
“When is the last time yall smoked?” The cop continued with his questioning.
My friend was more than prepared to answer this question. We both have had to answer that question to many times to be honest. He looked at the officer and answered, “Like four, six hours ago.”
“Is that right. Cut the truck off and put your hands on the steering wheel. You in the passenger seat, put your hands on the dash. I will be right back.” He ordered, and then retreated to his patrol car. I could see another cop pulling up in the side mirror, Great.
“Holy fuck man, you were going 15mph.” I said in a low voice, trying not to laugh out of amusement and nervousness.
“You threw the sack out right” My friend spoke, confirming what he already knew. “I don’t think he saw it.” He finished up saying, as he looked at me with eyes wide open.
“Yeah we are straight; I think he is going to let us go.” The officer approached the truck again.
“Ok fellows, here are your licenses. Both of you checked out, no warrants, no unpaid tickets. I am assuming you are both college students.” We nodded our heads. “Get back to campus and I don’t want to see you two again. Be careful.” The officer finished speaking, tapped the top of the truck, and headed back to his car.
We pulled into the parking lot at Vernon. We both let out a sigh. “Shit, that was intense man.” I exclaimed, looking out the front windshield.
“Yeah it was. That cop was cool though, he didn’t mess with us that bad.” My friend spoke with a tone of relief.
“15mph??” I started to laugh. “I guess there is a first for everything.” I punched my friend in the arm.
He looked over at me with his eyebrows held high on his forehead, “You are one to talk. You threw that fucking cocoon out the window instead of the weed!” He was now laughing at me.
“Yeah, I kind of shit the bed on that one, but I recovered. I wonder where it landed though. I mean that ditch was right there, who knows right?”
“I don’t know and I don’t care. But I do know this, I am five minutes late for class!” My friend opened his door, throwing his backpack on his shoulders. He headed started to jog away from the truck and yelled back to me, “Lock the door!”
I opened my door with backpack in hand and stepped half way out. I finished pushing the lock down, when something colorful caught my eye. I closed the door, looked toward the center of the hood, and I saw it. I studied it for a few seconds. I turned my head, let out a simple laugh, and walked off shaking my head with a smile.
…At times chance happens and someone takes a risk. Grabs a dying cocoon; fights for it, when it cannot defend itself against the world. Offering the butterfly a chance to spread its wings when no one else well. These flawed, unsung heroes are not always around to see its beautiful colors nor are they always successful. Those details matter not; for hope was given when no hope was in sight.
A Door Closes…Another One Opens
My stomach was in knots, as I continued walking up the beautifully brick path toward a large elegantly engraved wood door. The light from the moon were shining brightly off the huge glass window that adorned the front of the house. The house was absolutely marvelous. It had that wooden ski lodge feeling, but it yet it retained a feeling of home. My heart was beating a thousand miles a minute. I could not wait to surprise her. I stood at the door and rang the bell twice. I began to smile, she had no idea it would be me at the door.
The door opened and I heard the shocked voice of Tiffany’s mother say, “Jake! What in the world are you doing here?” She had a big smile on her face. She quickly smothered me with a hug. Tiffany’s parents love me, especially her mom. I am always good with the moms.
As she stepped back, I replied jokingly, “Hey! I was in the area and I thought I would stop by real quick!”
“Well come in out the cold”, she spoke in a motherly tone.
I stepped and began to explain, “I actually finished up with everything at work and decided I would surprise your sweet daughter with a visit.”
“That’s so sweet of you and it’s great to see you. Everyone thought you had to work. Tiffany is going to be a mess when she sees you”, she proclaimed as she leading me down a hallway.
We ended up in a family room that was the size of my apartment back home. I exchanged greetings with Tiffany’s farther and had to re-explain my surprise plan. We talked for a few minutes about different things, mainly work, and some sports. Then it dawned on me, I had not even seen my girlfriend yet. So I waited for a good break in the conversation and said, “So where is Tiffany by the way?”
Her mom perked up and replied, “Oh, yeah, the reason why you are here, right. Well you actually just missed her. She went out with her friends just about an hour ago. But it’s not a big deal, I will just text her and see where she is at and I won’t mention you are here.”
“Ok, thanks that would be great”, I replied. It was twenty past ten o’clock and I should have guessed that Tiffany along with her friends would be out on the town at this point. But this would not hamper my plan. I would have to surprise her at a different location. Actually this might even make it better.
Sharon, Tiffany’s mother, provided me with the directions to the place she was at, which I typed into my rental car’s GPS. It was only a short drive from their house. A short drive before I would see my beautiful Tiffany. I could not wait. She was such a fun girl who did not take life to serious. It was approaching out two year anniversary. I had recently thought about popping the question to her. But for now that would be on hold. A cross country surprise would suffice. Would she run into my arms screaming? Or maybe she would punch me in the chest with shock? Whatever her reaction was, I knew this was going to be something to talk about for a long time afterwards.
I parallel parked on the street adjacent to the bar Fat Whiskey. It was tucked in among a row of other bars, stores, and other buildings. I walked up to the door and pushed my way through with an air of confidence with feelings of warmth about me. The set up was more like a bar than club, but there were areas where you could dance or sit on lounge furniture. I scanned the bar quickly and saw nothing. I was nervous at this point, so I stopped at the bar for a crown on the rocks with a splash of water. Trust me, it is one good drink.
I continued to look around, when boom! I spotted her two friends Nicole and Whitney seated on colorful couches. They saw me at the same time and their eyes suddenly became big. They were the size of saucers as they stared at me with their mouths open. I looked to Nicole’s left and I saw Tiffany. Well I saw what I could see of her. Suddenly my eyes grew to the size of bowling balls and my jaw hit the floor, as I now began to stare. She was seated on the lap on some guy with her face firmly planted in his, while he was getting a nice feel of her ass. To say they were making out would be an understatement.
I stood there staring at her. Her friends sat there staring at me. I could feel them looking at me, but I did not care at this point. It felt like I was watching her making out with this guy for an eternity. Feelings of anger, hate, sadness, confusion, shock, and mostly anger coursed through my body, pulsating like an electric current. I began to feel sick to my stomach as I continued to gaze. I could not shake the thought of are you fucking serious? Are you fucking kidding me? I said that over and over in my head, as I became angrier with each ass grab and kiss. Finally, her friends snapped out of their trance and nudged Tiffany on her shoulder. Nicole, I can’t stand that bitch said something to her and she spun around. She stood up, fixed her clothes, and proceeded to walk toward me with a look of surprise on her face. Surprise!
Before she could get to me, I walked out the door and started to walk back to my rental car. “Jake! Jake! Stop! Come here”, she yelled at me as I neared my car.
I turned around and saw her boy toy right behind her oddly enough. This should be interesting. “Jake! I am so sorry, this is not what you think!”
She was now a few feet in front of me and her boy toy was about twenty seconds away. “Really? Fucking Really!? Are you fucking serious. I flew all the way out here to surprise you and you are making out with this guy? Get the fuck out of here!”, I yelled, eying this guy as he approached closer.
“Hey babe, who is this guy?” he asked, while slapping and grabbing a handful of her ass from behind.
“Just go away, this…” before she could finish explaining to him that the guy in front of him was in fact her boyfriend of almost two years, I punched him as hard I could in the mouth. He went flying to the ground as if he was a crumpled piece of paper. I quickly shook my hand off and looked at her calmly in the eyes and said, “I have a plane to catch.”
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” -Alexander Graham Bell
Strength of the Heart…You Need It.
Moments before I took my seat on the plane, I put my cell phone away. No, need for it now. Not to mention, shortly the pilot is going to tell everyone to shut their phones down. I wonder if he was trying to text me now and wonder what insensitive comment he made. See I was flying to California because my Nana had become sick recently and well the doctors feared the worse. Most of my family has already flown out. I am stuck on this long plane ride by myself. And it was too much to ask of my boyfriend to come with me, even though money is not a problem. Lame excuse after lame excuse and he would only make me feel bad when I questioned him about going. Do I really love him? Better yet does he really love me?
Now situated in my seat and I took my head phones out in order to listen my troubles away. I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Sorry babe, but I think you are in my seat”, a full figure gal belted out with her powerful lungs.
“I am sorry, I did not even realize”, I replied. This is great. I am sitting next to this woman, weird stench and all. I put my ear phones in and closed my eyes.
I felt another tap on my shoulder, it was big momma again belting away, “So hun, I need to use the restroom, would you mind if I get by real quick?”
By this time ,the plane was 30,000 feet in the air. I was in the midst of a nice nap. “Yeah, that’s no problem, let me just…”, I was interrupted by her forcing her rather portly frame across me as she headed to the restroom. I gave her one of those go to hell looks, flipping my hair and thought this is great.
After being disturbed from my little cat nap, I had time to think. I thought about my sweet Nana and how the doctors had said it did not look good. I remembered back to past, when I was a little girl and she would hold me in her arms and call me her sweet little girl. Then I started to think about how much an asshole my boyfriend was for ducking out on me. My eyes started to tear up some. I mean really my Nana means so much to me and he knows that, I just don’t understand why.I felt that lovely tap again on my shoulder, “Babe, let me get by real quick again.”
This time I was prepared and shot up quickly in my seat. She was not about to force her big ass on me again. She took her seat and pulled a magazine out to read. I was just about to put my ear phones back in when I heard, “Hun, let me ask you a question.” Her fingers pointing to a magazine. I took a quick glance at it as she spoke again, “Woman to woman, do you think it would be inappropriate of me to ask my husband to consider using Viagra?” I caught of a glance of the ad she was pointing too and I began to laugh.
“Hun, what do you think?” She asked again, but this time I tuned her out. The question from this full figure gal made me think of that sweet boy, I meet about an hour ago in the airport terminal. He was a cute, silly boy, but I found that to be enduring. He seemed a little arrogant, but I saw through that act, he was just trying to be tough. And it was so sweet that he was going to surprise his girlfriend. My own boyfriend could learn something from him. He was so cute and silly.Wait I already said that once, do you like him? No, stop being stupid, you don’t even know him.
Regaining my composure and I took a look over at my seating partner, who now was face first in something that appeared to be food, but I could not tell. I relaxed, put my head back in my seat, and put my ear phones back in. The plane continued traveling on its way to my destination. Closing my eyes, a subtle thought popped into my head. A small smile crept onto my face. Wonder if I will ever see him again. Maybe.Just maybe so.
Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, and then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart. -Author Known-
Faith and Soul, The Same
So there I was, sitting all by myself surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of anxious individuals. We are all alike in one way. We are waiting anxiously for the intercom to speak out clearly, “Flight such-n-such is now ready to board…flight such-n-such is now ready to board.” I was not as attentive as everyone else.
See I am kind of nervous because this is my first time flying. While everyone was moving quickly toward their gate , I was busy praying to the heavens that I would some how stumble upon a lost sleeping pill . Then I would take the pill before boarding, get on the plane, pass out, and wake up safely at my destination. As you can see I am a bit of an idealist, you never know though, shit happens. The way I look it at if God intended for us to fly he would of gave us wings. I guess that holds little weight with me because I don’t really believe in God. Well at least not the God of traditional religions like Christianity, but that’s an entirely different story.
While pondering my looming voyage upon a bird of steel, I caught a view of myself in a metallic advertisement sign for Viagra. I don’t need Viagra if that’s what you are thinking. I was attempting to distract my mind. I caught a view of my reflection from that plastic cover that encloses the ad. My curly brown hair was extra curly that day. My blue eyes decided to choose the shade of sky blue. Days had passed since I last shaved. I was developing quite the half-ass looking beard. But the ladies like that though, or well that is at least what I believe. I continued to stare at myself, seconds, maybe minutes later a girl took sat down across from my seat.
A coy, sweet little voice chirped out, “You know I am nurse, I could probably grab you a few sample boxes of Viagra from the clinic.”
I looked away quickly from that stupid ad and tried to save face, “Um…No, no I was just looking at myself in the reflection.” I turned looking at her, she had a big smile on her face. Quite a beautiful smile I must admit.
“Right” she responded. “Even better, I have a mirror in my purse in case you need to fix your make up.” She spoke again, grinning ever so wide.
Her wit caught me by surprise, “Yeah, you know what let me get that mirror because there are some smudges on the sign that are obstructing my view.” I returned the smile she was giving me.
She looked me in the eyes and started to laugh, “I am sorry, it has been a long day. These people are driving me crazy.”
“Ha, its no big deal. My name is James.” I stuck out my hand. Damn did I shake her hand to hard? Nah…
She pulled her hand back and began looking for something in her purse.
“Ya know I was just joking about the mirror, right?” I spoke quickly, trying to catch her before she dug out that mirror she promised.
“Yeah, I know that silly. I was not looking for a mirror. I was double checking my flight time.” She replied, still smiling.
She is pretty. She has a glowing bright face with a charming smile. Her dark flowing hair was groomed to near perfection, it nestled neatly just above her shoulders. Her eyes are beautiful. Not to mention, I could tell from out short conversation she is a sweet girl who is also smart. Hmm…I must admit talking to a beautiful young lady is not a bad way to pass the time and ease my growing anxiety. Thank you God.
“So to be quite honest, I could not help but to notice how nervous you look.”
Shit, am I that easy to read, that a strange girl from across the terminal could spot my weak knees? “No, no I am not nervous, just anxious to get going.”
“Oh, right, aren’t we all.” She replied, looking at me kind of strangely, she knew I was lying.
Oddly, I felt comfortable talking to her for some reason. So I figured what the hell, I will just tell her the truth. “So look, yeah, I am kind of nervous, this is first time I have ever flown.” I said with some hesitation.
She started to laugh again, “Are you serious?”
“Uh yeah, but geez thanks for laughing at me and making me feel stupid.” I replied coyly, knowing I would get a reaction back from her.
“No, I did not mean it like that. I just would have not guessed you were nervous because this is your first flight, that’s all.”
“Yeah, I guess your right.”
“So why haven’t you flown before?” she asked while sitting up in her chair.
“I don’t know. Never really had the money to fly where I pleased. Plus, I guess I never had to go anywhere before that required the use of a plane.” I answered, now readjusting myself in my chair and leaning closer to her.
“So where are you flying to?”
“Well actually, I am going to Colorado to surprise my girlfriend. She has no idea I am coming. Her parents have a place there in the mountains. It suppose to be a great spot for skiing.”
“Oh, you have a girlfriend. Why aren’t you up there with her now?” She continued on with her line of questions.
“Well, I was going with her originally, but then something came up at work, so I had to cancel. But I finished what I needed to do early and so I thought surprising her might be a good idea.” I said proudly.
“Oh my gosh that is so sweet!” she said grabbing my arm. “I wish my boyfriend would do something like that for me.. He treats me like crap. Like he would not even fly with me on this trip to support me.” She spoke, looking down now at her shoes. Whoa this guy must be a grade A-dbag.
“Oh, you have a boyfriend. I am sure he is sweet to you, I mean you seem like a cool girl. And well, I hope this is not outline for me to say, but you are very pretty as well. I can’t imagine him not treating you well.” I spoke as she looked up at me quickly.
“Thanks, that is sweet, but I am not pretty and he does treat me like crap.” She replied half smiling, as if she really believed me when I told her how pretty she is, but had not heard anyone say it in a long time.
“No seriously you are …” I started to tell her again how pretty she was, but she cut me off mid sentence.
“Ok, so look flying is really no big deal. I mean the take off and landing can be kind of intense. And well sometimes there is some turbulence that is sort of scary. But other than that, you will be fine, just have faith.” Um, ok quick change of subject. I guess that’s a good thing though. I am sure she does not want to talk about her boyfriend and I rather not talk about my girlfriend.
“Well great, thanks for informing me that two thirds of my trip is probably going to be intense. I feel much better now.” I said back half jokingly. “No, really I feel much better.”
She looked at me and started to gently laugh, “Hush up, it is not that bad, trust me.”
I returned the laughter, “I feel much better now, thanks for the pep talk.”
“Ugh! Shut up ass” she replied, looking down at her beeping phone. Ass? Did she just call me an ass?
“I am only joking.” Turning away from me, she started pushing buttons on her cell phone. I turned my head back toward the Viagra sign. The next few minutes were accompanied by a vast amount of silent awkwardness, until I finally broke the silence, “So are you from around here?”
“No.” she replied sharply and swiftly.
“You travel a lot?” I asked another question, hoping to some how save this conversation.
“Yeah.” She continued to fidget with her phone. By the tone of her voice and the look on her face she was not happy.
I sat back in my chair giving up for the most part while she continued to peck away on her phone. My eyes caught a group of kids toying around with a soda machine. They were trying the ole “lets stick our hand up the big hole in the machine and see if we can grab a drink” trick, which we all know no does not work. I did the same thing as a kid. I surveyed the rest of the airport, nothing to interesting caught my eye, but eventually my gaze came back to this girl. My brain than proceeded to have a debate with itself.
I think I might like her. I mean she is super pretty and easy to talk to…Wait, Wait you idiot you have a girlfriend.Yeah, but we are not that serious. Not that serious? You are flying to Colorado to surprise her, get a hold of yourself. Yeah, true but I mean why I can’t I like her? That does not mean I want date her, I just thinks she is cool and pretty. Is it so wrong to want to hang out with her? I mean we could just be friends. Um, how about she has a boyfriend. Ahh! Shut up to hell with you, its not like I am cheating or anything.
“So let me guess, you are not starring at me, you are just looking at your reflection coming from my face.”
“Oh, no I was thinking about something that’s all and I guess I kind of guess lost in my thought.” I replied, shaking my face as if I just woken up, which in a sense in some what true.
“What were you thinking about?” She asked, turning her attention back toward me now and not her phone.
“ Thinking about something at work that I forgot to do.” I replied, looking back at her now.
“Oh ok, it was not anything important, was it?” she asked.
I decided at that moment to do something spontaneous, from the soul, “No, it was nothing important.” I sat up firmly in my chair and looked in her eyes, “I was wondering…” Flight 36 to San Diego now boarding…Flight 36 to San Diego now boarding I looked toward the big electric board real quick in an act of confusion. I looked back and saw her gathering her things. Fuck!
“Well that is me; I have to getting going now. I hate to run , but I really did enjoy talking to you though.” She said, standing up.
“Ok, well look let me walk with you to your gate, it’s the least I can do for being such great company.”
“No. Look you don’t have to do that, it is on the other side of the airport and I really should be going, so.”
“Look its no problem, besides I have nothing else to do.” I said, standing up myself now.
“Well, ok if you want.” She responded smiling.
We headed off toward the south end of the airport with a hurried pace. I did my best to keep up with her.. We weaved in and out of the people in front of us. We really did not speak much on our way to her gate. In fact, I don’t think we said a word until we actually got to the gate. The whole time I was thinking, its cool, just relax she did not hear you ask that question. No big deal, she has a boyfriend, you have a girlfriend, she didn’t hear your question, everything is fine, she is super hot, and she seems to like you. Ah Fuck! After a few minutes of speed walking, we finally made it to her departure gate.
“Thanks so much for walking with me. You really did not have to do that.” She spoke as she inched closer to her gate, which lead down a deep long mysterious looking tunnel, or well it was mysterious to my virgin aviation eyes anyway.
“Yeah, no it was totally fine. Have a safe trip.” I stammered, trying to say something to leave a lasting impression. Have a safe trip. Smooth one you idiot.
“ Thanks, and well you have a safe trip too.”
“Well, hey look can I get like an email or something to get in touch with you!” She looked up at me and motioned with her hands that she could not hear me. Fuck!
“Look, I don’t even know your name!”
Right before she was out of sight, she turned and yelled back, “Sarah! My name is Sarah!”
She walked down the tunnel out of sight. I turned around and sat there at the departure gate pondering what the hell happened. My anxiety about the plane ride had all but subsided at this point. I looked back at that tunnel one last time. I probably would not see her again. Hell I did not even know her last name, which was probably for the best. I could not help but to think about her as I walked away.
Faith is a passionate intuition. William Wordsworth
A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul. Author Unknown
What is soul? It’s like electricity – we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room. Ray Charles
Comments? Did you like this? Want to see part 2 and 3???
An Insightful Look at Beauty an Essay by an Unbiased One Who Knows Very Little;
first, it must be made clear, if not already perceived from the title, this is a totally unbiased look at beauty and what it takes to be beautiful and secondly, I admit know very little.
Dedicated to my grandmother, without her I would never have learned what beauty is.
Beauty takes a certain amount of innocence mixed with being naïve couple that together with a bold audacity to be you…To be you, let those words echo in your head for a moment…To be you…
Those are some, but not all of the prerequisite ingredients to beauty.
Well, well… Having written and read much in my day, I will spare you the boredom of a typical essay, which tries to describe through abstract, logical terms what beauty is… Instead, I will offer up a true tale while crossing my fingers.At times I have a hard time writing fiction, but luckily I have seen and experienced beauty first hand and it will be my honor to share with you its gift… ***
The house was a smallish, one bed room neatly kept secret, tucked away on a country dirt road. A well kept secret that is more than worth sharing with the world. Seated in a burgundy recliner was an older lady, her age was probably somewhere around that of sixty or so. She had sparkling blue eyes, kind of like mine or so I am told. She is of Welsh and Egyptian decent. Mother to two sons and one daughter. Grandmother to six.
As she rocks back and forth in her chair, a dreadful disease courses through her body. Its ungodly mission is to take from the Earth, a woman more beautiful than my words can describe. It was successful. However, walking down that dirt road was a little boy, who will never let her beauty die, never let her die.
No more than four years old, with his hair slicked back, some would even say he resembled Elvis Presley or that kid from the Wonder Years. He was a shy young boy, timid to cause a fuss. His heart was full of silliness and caring, yet this was locked away in his heart. Only a few know the combination and his sweet grandmother was one. The little boy knocked on the door to that small house.
She was to sick to get up and open the door, but she called aloud, “Come in!” The little boy slowly opened the door and walked inside. She looked at her grandson as he walked through the door and tears started to trickle from her heart, she was so proud. “Hey little boy, come over here and give your grandmother a hug” she spoke. The little boy looked away sheepishly, as if he was scared of his grandmother but he wasn’t. “Now don’t make me come and get you” she spoke again.
The little boy started to inch closer to her recliner, where his grandmother remained seated. She had at this point a playful smile on her face, as the little boy approached. As the little boy came ever closer, he looked around as if he was acting like he was paying his grandmother no attention. But all along he knew that he just loved this beautiful old woman, why he acted liked he did not care, that’s a question for another day. The little boy got closer, and closer, and closer…
“I got you!” she called out. In one strong grab, she had pulled the little boy up to her lap like she had just caught a fish and was ready to eat. She displayed strength that many had thought was gone because of the cancer that ravaged her body. But at this moment she was stronger than any person, nothing was going to stop her from loving on her little boy.
The little boy started to playfully struggle, like he wanted to get away, but he didn’t really want to. This was only place he ever wanted to be. She turned him over on his back and placed him on her lap long ways; as if she was going to spank him in reverse. She looked at him and smiled. The little boy looked at her and smiled, he knew what was about to happen and he loved it, she loved it. She started to play the piano on his little stomach with such grace and talent. The only musical effect this had was to cause both of them to laugh hysterically. The little boy was so ticklish on his stomach and would proceed to just laugh and laugh and laugh. Suddenly, she would stop. The little boy would relax for a second and just at that moment, she would start-up again. Laughter could be heard from far away. “You are not getting away from me” she spoke, as she tickled his little stomach.
The little boy walked back down the dirt road to his home without ever telling his grandmother that he loved her…but it did not matter because she knew that he loved her and he know that she loves him.
I never saw my grandmother again after that day. But she taught me more lessons in those few brief encounters than I could ever imagine. Not only did she teach me about love among several other things, but she taught me about beauty.
Some one asked the little boy some years later, “Who does being beautiful mean to you?” The little boy replied, “Being beautiful…doesn’t that have something to do with playing the piano?” The little boy smiled.
See beauty is nothing you see. Beauty is not anything you say. Beauty does not have a name. Beauty is something you feel deep down in your soul. Beauty is not physical. Beauty is not young or old. Beauty is not relative or friend. Beauty is something you just know when two souls meet for the first time. Beauty is when your grandmother is in reality to sick to lift her little grandson up and tickle his little belly, but she does it anyway. Beauty is when you accept that you are still that same little timid boy who acts like he does not care but deep down knows that he does, and you know as well. Beauty is laughter, beauty is smiles. Beauty is forever.
Beauty is the love I have for my sweet grandmother. Beauty is the love she has for me. My grandmother is beautiful. Some one as beautiful as her only comes around so often in your life. I miss her…
Next, a final short tale of beauty.
The classroom was located on the third floor, in an old building, one that has long needed to be either torn down or refurbished. Many physically pretty young ladies walked in and out that building ever day. The little boy (really not so little) even had a number of pretty girls to walk in and out of his classroom throughout his college years. Blondes and brunettes, tall and short, some had prettier faces than others and some had better bodies than others. Some were tan, some had fair skin, some were sweet, and some were bitches. Some were easy and few had self respect. Some had pretty eyes, while others had killer thighs. Some had good hearts and some lacked caring. Some knew they were pretty and others doubted themselves.
But there was only one beautiful girl who walked into the little boy’s class that day. He knew her no more than the next random student. The little boy knew not her name, nor where she was from, or even her age. The little boy knew not if they even would talk, nor ever become acquaintances, much less friends. Needless to say, the little boy knew and still knows very little.
But there is one thing that he knows and that is beauty. See the little boy would probably never admit, why well that’s a question for another day, but he knew as soon as she walked into the door, that she was beautiful. And I don’t just mean physically although she is certainly attractive to the eye, but her heart and soul are just as pretty as her exterior.
Did the little boy think she was beautiful because he liked her? Did the little boy think she was beautiful because she was so physically pretty? No and no. The little boy knew she was beautiful because the tickling of his soul told him so and guess what, he was right. Some time after that memorable day, we became close friends. Often times we fight and argue like an old married couple, but even more often, I bring a smile to her face and she brings one to mine.
The little boy was asked a question one day, “Do you think you would still say she is beautiful if yall never became friends?” The little boy replied, “I knew she was beautiful before I even knew her name, so what do you think?” The little boy smiled.
That beautiful girl re-taught the little boy a lesson that day, a lesson he had longed forgot. She taught him a lesson of beauty. She taught him that beauty is not planned, that beauty does not care what your name is. That beauty is not seen by the eyes and that beauty cannot be predicted. That beauty does not care about class, status, or social standing. That beauty is more than skin deep. Beauty is being silly. That true beauty tickles the soul. Beauty is a girl who will put up with even the most stubborn of ways because she cares. Beauty is when that same little boy can never seem to say the right thing, but he never stops from trying. Beauty starts and forever remains in the soul. Beauty is when I tell my sweet girl how beautiful she is and she replies by denying that I am right, but deep down she knows I am telling the truth.
Beauty is the love I have for my sweet girl. Some one as beautiful as her only comes around so often in your life. I love my sweet girl.
Can you think of some one that is beautiful? And why is that person beautiful to you? Hm… hm…