Leaving Eden

Silence descends heavily in the wake of
your retreating footsteps,
desolate,
cruel in its unrelenting neutrality.
My thoughts are a startled murmuration
of starlings
with desperately flapping wings
resounding mournfully into the middle distance.
They settle delicately on my shoulders,
unable to bear the weight of our
existence.
We were the beginnings
of a dream,
a building crescendo,
the first strokes of a masterpiece
that fate or folly deemed never know
the fulfillment of completion.
A bitter wind sends its piercing cry
through the spaces of my ribcage.
Cold as a January frost.

Thank You Tim

I’ve been thinking about this post from the moment Tim nominated me on his blog. It was such a beautiful thing of him to do because I’ve unintentionally been so absent from the blogosphere that I thought for sure everyone forgot about me. But this was a post in the back of my mind that was like a little beacon of light consistently calling me to return. I don’t usually participate in blog awards on my blog because I applaud everyone who is brave enough to take up the pen and write down their most intimate thoughts to share with passersby, but the questions Tim asked intrigue me and I find I am curious to answer them. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

  • What is your favorite Star Trek episode? All spin offs, generations and films count.

I feel like the following will be an admission of guilt, but it’s the truth so there’s no getting around it. I’ve never watched Star Trek. Not even a single episode. But in my defense, we didn’t grow up with a TV so you can usually catch me reading something..

  • What line from a song makes you say, “I wish I had written that!”, every time you hear it?

To be honest, it’s not a song that comes to mind, but rather, two of my most favorite poets that I happen to know here on WordPress. Rachel and April bring me to tears with their poetry and each time I have to sit back and dream of what it would be like if the enchantment they weave flowed from my pen instead of theirs. Sigh. ErroneousChoices is another WordPress siren whose words ensnared me forever into their depths. 

Oscar Wilde is another favorite of mine. I wish I said a lot of whatever he said first. 

  • If words could only be written a finite number of times, would you write them not knowing if it they could be written again?

Yes. I would. Words deserve to be given life, whether shouted from the rooftops, or whispered in the dark of night. Perhaps the written word would be all the more eloquent if they could never be penned again. 

  • If you could walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, who’s shoes and why? (any person, any time, any reason)

This one is so difficult to answer because there are so many many people I would love to walk with for a while if I could. But if I were forced to choose, I would choose to walk in the shoes of one of the men on the road to Emmaus.

  • If you find yourself standing at the intersection of ‘Right’ and ‘Legal’, which path would you choose?

Right. By the grace of God. 

  • Dogs… or cats?

Cats. Without question. If you argue with me on this you are wrong. So sit there in your wrongness and be wrong. 

  • Is is okay to benefit from knowledge, technology or skills that were gained by morally questionable means?

The jury is out on this one. I mean, advances in medicine could not be accomplished without men and women practicing on cadavers or people who were close to death, and in those times, that was very questionable indeed. 

  • How much better, or worse, is your singing voice than you believe it is?

This is timely 🙂 I was belting along to a country song this morning at the tennis academy and a stranger told me she really liked my voice. I often get complimented on my singing voice but I don’t actually have the talent for it. So my answer is it is worse, and people’s answer is it is better. 

  • Where do you think all the lost socks went?

They return as tupperware lids. But really, I have absolutely no idea where they go. It frustrates me to pieces.

  • “I think, therefore, I am”. I feel, therefor, I _______?

Can enjoy carnal pleasures… yep, my mind went there. Not sorry. 

  • You have a magic wand, you waved it. What happened?

World order was restored. Coronavirus vanished forever. The stock markets skyrocketed. All the racial injustice stopped, utopia commences…

I know the rules list a few things that I am supposed to do and I’m also supposed to nominate others who I feel are amazing. But to be honest, you are all amazing. So I nominate everyone who comes across this post. Feel free to answer the above questions in the comments section if you are so inclined. 

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Addictive Poison

You weave around me with the grace of a swordsman,
only your weapon of choice is your words.
What a lethal dance we engage in,
parrying,
striking with focused precision,
sliding that unbearable hurt between my ribs with a lovers skill.
How beautifully I fall apart before you,
as you watch in silence with glittering,
hungry eyes.

Unmapped

Like a melody that I once knew,
you sink into the buried spaces of
my mind and stain all the dull grays
a vibrant carmine.
Echoes of conversations long since past drift on a million horizons,
illusions of a mirage,
tattooing my retinas with a constellation of loss.
I weave your words from threads of
forgotten memories
and run them across my body.
But they lose their way in the
unmapped galaxies
you refused to venture near,
competing only
with the same spectacular way
I used to lose myself
at the mere thought of you.

 

Body Language

Men and women are so different. The contrast fascinates me all the time, until sometimes, it doesn’t. Like when men and women cannot read each other’s signs or body language they are giving off.

There is this little grocery store down the street from my neighborhood that I frequent because it is so convenient. Well, one of the workers there recently took a shine to me. He works behind the seafood counter and maybe he interpreted my questioning him what type of salmon was the best to buy as an interest in him, I’m not sure. Well, the next time I ran into him in the store, he asked me for a hug. Being a little taken aback and not wanting to be rude, I said sure. So we hugged. Well, that quickly escalated into him exhibiting stalkerish behavior. Every time I go into that store, even when I’m nowhere near the seafood section, he will pop up right beside me and start chatting. And now he goes in for a hug without asking me. It’s making me hesitate as to whether or not I even want to go there anymore, and I hate that because it is so convenient for me! I know the best thing for me to do is to tell him straight out that he needs to tone it down because my silent hints of avoiding that side of the store are not carrying over, but honestly, that is so much easier said than done. Ugh what to do what to do 😕

On the flip side, I tend to read way too much into something when I like a guy, especially if I’m not certain if he likes me back, and I’ve certainly lost my sh*t before in former relationships where I misread or overthought a situation. You would think that with all this information at our fingertips in this day and age, we would certainly learn how to communicate more effectively, but nope. We revert to our lizard brain when certain chemicals are triggered in the brain.

The Visitor

It happened late that Thursday night after all the guests had gone home. Technically, it was already Friday because it was sometime after midnight when the visitor came. That year, I had volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner at my parents house and I had gone to great lengths to ensure that the evening would go off flawlessly—arranging the table centerpiece with care, decorating the house with Fall and Winter hues to inspire coziness and conversation, and putting just the right amount of red paprika on the deviled eggs. The guests had started arriving, filling the house with laughter and conversation and a steady stream of food being brought in to the kitchen. There was a sense of contented relaxation in the air, with soft music playing in the background and twinkling lights hung up in preparation for Christmas to further add to the ambience. Even I was able to sense the joy in the evening through my haze of hopelessness. The evening progressed and we said our prayers, thanking God for everything He had given us that year, and then we proceeded to have a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. After the tea and dessert were consumed and the guests were warm and sleepy, the families started packing up and heading home. It was approximately after 10:00pm when the last guest had left and I didn’t want to go to sleep without first bringing the house to order and cleaning up after the entire affair. By the time I had washed the last dish and was ready to retire to my room, it was well after midnight. My parents had long since gone to bed so I quietly let myself out of their house and stepped out into the pitch-black and deathly silent night of the countryside. Situated on 5 acres in a farming town, they lived well out on the outskirts of the town amidst their neighbors who also owned large swaths of land. I picked my way through the yard to where a small guest dwelling sat on the very edge of their property, bypassing dark shapes in the form of bushes and skeletal trees that I kept reminding myself were not reaching for me in the dark. Making it safely to the small dwelling place, I quickly stepped inside and locked the door. Turning on the electric fireplace mounted on the wall in the room, I started preparing for bed. Feeling chilled and somewhat jittery, I sensed that something about the night felt off, but I couldn’t quite put a finger on it. My skin felt too tight on my frame, like it was trying to shrink itself to become less visible. Chafing my arms with my hands, I forced myself to start thinking about how positive the night had gone and thanking God for helping to pull it off. Not feeling comforted, I started thinking about all the things I was grateful for while still resuming to put away the dress clothes I had been wearing that evening. Then, an ominous cold descended on the room. I felt myself starting to hyperventilate and cast about frantically in my mind about what to do. I knew that running outside into the freezing, deserted night was not an option, and yet I was alone in the room and possibly the only one awake at that hour. The ominous feeling turned malicious, and I started fearing that I was going to be hurt in some way. I darted to my phone and with shaking hands turned on some music. Rising up and spinning around to the closet, I was standing there attempting to calm myself when I heard something angrily hit the heavy drapes hanging on the window. Jumping clear out of my skin, I turned with eyes wide as saucers to see the drapes go flying from the force. Time froze. I was a solid block of ice for what seemed an eternity and yet only lasted for about 3 seconds. In my frozen and shocked state, I also happened to register that after that angry outburst from the invisible presence, the ominous feeling of danger had lifted and was no longer present. Still shocked and not quite believing what I had just seen and heard, I tiptoed to the drapes and forced myself to peer behind them to see if there was anyone there. There was no one.

Flower Gardens

“Please don’t ask me how I’m doing,
I’m feeling fragile
and need
a little
space.”

That’s okay, I will mind my own garden
today.

But please remember that I’m
just on the other side
of this broken
fence,

And when you’re ready, I will
be there to admire the
flowers growing in
yours.

Inheritance — Qudsia Akhtar

Inheritance My cupped hands carry ancient lines of dark rooms dense with hookah, chai, and mad men who bang on the daff and chant ‘Oraat mard kor dosak mei lakae jai gee’. * My cupped hands are fed, wed to speculative phrases, bound in his interpretations, fluent with accusations. I am made of his rib yet I deserve his spit. Ancient lines of moonlit […]

via Inheritance — Qudsia Akhtar

Such a hauntingly beautiful poem, words cannot do it justice. Thank you for gifting us with it Qudsia.

Friday the 13th

Before I started working at the hospital, I was convinced that superstitious lore like Friday the 13th was entirely just that—nothing more than superstitious ramblings of overactive imaginations. I chalked full moons into that category as well, because, why not?

Fast forward to when I started working in the Emergency Room admitting patients into the hospital. I started noticing odd things that defied the course of “normal” life that the ER staff treated with a callousness that spoke of being entirely too exposed and desensitized to this sort of phenomenon. Mainly, the weird and creepy things that would go down on Fridays that fell on the 13th, and full moons.

Whenever we were scheduled to work on a Friday the 13th, there was always an electric charge in the air of the Emergency Room. Staff was always on high alert because we would get a heavier-than-normal influx of traumas and car accidents that would occur that day. But the really intense stuff usually started more towards the evening. I remember one evening, a man ran in through the sliding doors carrying his girlfriend in his arms who had a large knife sticking out of her stomach. She had apparently stabbed herself for no reason. Our lobby had already been full to brimming with patients who were unable to keep their hallucinations at bay and people whose suicidal ideations were driving them crazy. The silent man sitting in the corner suffered presences that followed him around that looked like the Dementors from Harry Potter, while the lady sitting next to the fish tank couldn’t stop seeing black cats that ran up the wall and disappeared into the ceiling.

Soon after, a squad of Sherriff’s cars sped into the ambulance bay with their lights flashing and an ambulance hot on their heels. A gang fight had erupted with several members of the opposing gangs being wounded by gunshot wounds. The lobby became a hotbed of tension and hostility by two rival gangs both vying for space while waiting for their respective gang members to be treated behind the closed doors of the ER. Another ambulance brought in a patient with severe drug withdrawals and hallucinations that was strapped to the gurney, bucking ferociously trying to get off, and screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs. Since there were no more available rooms in the ER, she had to wait on the gurney in the hallway.

This is just a small sample of what the ER would look like on a Friday the 13th and a night whereupon a full moon was shining. One evening I had clocked off for the night and happened to be driving out behind a vehicle that had just left the ER. The lady sitting in the passenger seat of the car stuck her head out the window and started screaming obscenities at me and then started throwing glass bottles at my car. Luckily, I stomped on my breaks just in time and the bottles smashed on the road right in front of me. I quickly took a detour to get home.

So wherever you are tonight and if you are preparing to go into work, especially in the service industry, please be careful and remain cautious on this odd night that tends to bring out the stuff that’s not so easily explained.

Curious, has anyone else had any strange experiences that couldn’t be explained?