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GROUND FLOOR

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , on January 8, 2017 by kimmy

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Although my imagination tends to embellish more than I care to admit, this time he appeared more handsome and seductive than in my most fevered dreams.

Was it the lazy way he lounged against the elevator wall as it slowly lowered us to the ground, or the gently possessive curl of his fingers around my wrist that made me sweat? I wasn’t sure. The only thing of which I was certain was that my desire would never be satisfied; that this was only another one of our endless erotic preambles that invariably concluded with nothing.

For many years, too many to count, he has prowled my dreams. Like a jaguar, sleek and dark, rousing both apprehension and desire so often that the two chase each other in a never-ending circle. Predator and prey always in motion, neither captured nor capturing. And for all these many years, I blamed myself for not yielding, for not allowing the cat to savage my body and satisfy his need.

But he is and always has been a cruel hunter, not availing himself of easy game, but reserving his attention for only the choicest morsels, those who embody closest his ideal of physical perfection. And I, alas, never conformed to those lofty standards and was, in both life and dream, judged to be wanting.

Yet despite my imperfection, he maintains his irregular orbit. Sometimes so distant that I wither and freeze; and at other times, as tonight, I burn.

And so this chase would continue unabated, as it has done for decades, if not for those fingers snaking around my wrist and his dark eyes prodding me to begin my flight. I suddenly halted the game. The elevator had finally reached the ground floor and it was, at long last, time to exit.

I stepped out and the doors closed behind me, carrying him away to places I neither know nor care. The goddess may be generous and willing to forgive the constant rejection of her bounty, but even She can become weary of the game.

THE JOY EATERS

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2014 by kimmy

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Here’s to you, sweet deluded Ones,
With your pseudo-friendliness and false smiles,
May all your journeys be as fruitful as the last,
Replete with self-praise and inflated opinion,
For your company is rarified
And few who attempt to aspire to its heights
Can manage the egocentrism necessary
To achieve the dizzying success that is mirrored
Solely in your beautiful eyes.

And how beautiful they are,
Reflecting all the colors and subtleties
Of the lifeless bones piled high and crunching
Beneath your dainty feet,
And the sparkle of self-fascination
That the only the delusional possess.

Now the time has come for you all to fly,
Higher than previously imagined,
To a plane where your dreams
Take precedence over all others,
And the joy that fills their hearts
Becomes food to fill your hungry veins.

For only when the last drop of blood is swallowed
And the last morsel of soul is devoured
Will your emptiness be filled and
Your sorrow begin.

COME OUT AND PLAY

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2013 by kimmy

Are you sleeping or just waiting
For a certain someone to glide
Down from above and
Escort you into the vale
Where anything is possible
And no one in your waking world
Is the wiser?

If so, take my hand and rise up
Because where night has fallen,
Dawn quickly follows
And under her creeping light
We’ll be discovered
Conspiring in the shadows.

That must never happen
If the fragile web that binds
Material structure to you
Like a shield remains intact;
For without its familiar restraint,
You’ll slip into the void
And be lost to primal impulse.

But that lure holds just enough
Temptation that when it beckons,
We answer and fly to those
Secret places that still remain
Beyond the reach of conscience
And open to those who fully
Surrender to love.

BLONDE BOMBSHELL

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2013 by kimmy

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What is it about the willowy blonde that makes all heads turn?  No matter how shopworn or decrepit, they seem to possess a certain magnetism which pre-empts common sense.

I was standing at my gate in Atlanta airport the other day, watching a particularly handsome older gentleman jabber into his cellphone.  He was well-dressed and waiting in the priority aisle, apparently conducting business while waiting to board.  Being the invisible observer all my life, I was able to watch him without detection.

He neither blinked nor paid the slightest attention to the growing crowd of restless travelers around him until a tall woman with long blonde hair crossed the room.  Suddenly his mouth stopped moving and his eyes tracked her movement.

I glanced away with a smile.  It was a classic reaction, given most men that I’ve known.  However, as she passed me, I could clearly see that she was on the far side of fifty and a little worse for the wear.  I couldn’t help but wonder if, having been the belle of the ball during her youth, she was willing to let go of that template and gracefully accept the inevitable changes of age.  Judging from her lank hair and teenybopper clothing, my guess was no.

I didn’t have long to wonder as I caught a later glimpse of her in the ladies room in Miami.  She must have been on my flight and the brief trip had taken a toll.  She was brushing her hair obsessively, watching long golden strands fall into the sink and arranging the few that remained attached over a bald spot.  She poked a lax cheek with a disapproving finger before applying a thick coat of makeup and striking a weary pose before the mirror.  It reminded me of those duck-lipped self portraits posted on Twitter.  No doubt she’d worked that look before.

I gave it no more thought during my stay in Florida.  There are countless faded blondes in South Beach, each one more tanned, more collagen-injected, more bikini-ready than the next.  After a few days they didn’t seem novel, attracting less attention than the pasty-white arrivals from the North.

My Cubana girlfriends in Hialeah laughed at me.  “We don’t care what Cosmospolitan says, mija.  Only dogs gnaw on hueso.”

A couple of days in the company of their good humor and lavish hips, I almost believed them if not for the scarcity of blonde hueso in Cuban society.  And when they did occasionally appear, they were uniformly hissed.

“Mamí, did you see that blonde puta shoving her tits in my man’s face?  La voy a kick her skinny culo!”

I didn’t stay to watch the outcome, but she probably made good on that promise as a warning to other flaxen-haired trespassers.

On the flight home, I reflected on my experience.  I was no closer to discovering the secret to blonde allure than when I started.  The only thing I knew with certainty is that they all become grey in the end.

CHANCE MEETING

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , on March 3, 2013 by kimmy

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After I plied her with a few cocktails, she was less reticent.  “I remember when I first saw him,” said she, looking at the surf. “It was the autumn of my senior year in high school.  He and his bandmates were setting up equipment in the auditorium”

“It felt odd having strangers in our private stomping grounds.  The theater department was where I spent most of my days.  It helped defray the unbearable drama at home.   If I wasn’t rehearsing, I was hanging out in the fire escape, smoking and commiserating with fellow refugees.

“But that day was different, as many were that particular year.  The end of my high school tour of duty was coming and I really didn’t know what awaited me afterward.  Or what I wanted, for that matter.

“So it was fitting that he appear that afternoon, like a portend of things to come, smelling of strange foreign places and trailing an energy that made my scalp tingle.  I was, as usual, killing time and lung cells in the fire escape away from the prying eyes of the department head, when the door swung open and he walked in.  I jumped, thinking I’d been busted and jumped again when I realized it was him.

“I couldn’t speak to him.  I couldn’t be my normal glib self.  Nor could I look him in the eye.  It was too dangerous, more so for me, because I was afraid of my own reaction if I dared.  In a seconds-long exchange, I recognized him.  I was certain I knew him before, but couldn’t remember from where.

“Of course, I didn’t understand any of this until years later, but in that moment I only felt awkward and desperate to conceal the shouting in my head which I was sure he could hear.  He tried to catch my eye, which I refused to meet, and to engage me in small talk.  I pretended not to hear, but he wasn’t dissuaded.  After several rebuffs, he asked me point-blank why I answered every question with a question.

“What could I say?  It wasn’t as if I could tell him that I felt clawed from within, as if something beyond my control was struggling to be freed.  It was enticing and terrifying, like a really fine rollercoaster, one with a resonant voice that reminded me of the drone of a bagpipe echoing over the moor.

“Maybe it was the romantic in me.  Maybe I had reread Brontë novels one too many times.  But I was curiously torn between wanting to lock myself in a dimly lit room with him, and wanting to get as far away as possible from him.  But since I was only seventeen and the former wasn’t an option, I left before embarrassing myself any further.

“I tried not to think about him during the months that followed, but it was difficult.  A door had opened and I couldn’t close it again, no matter how I tried.  The pursuits which contented me before seemed tedious.  I lost patience with the status quo and began to think in real terms of what my future as an adult might look like.  I realized that prior to our chance meeting, I hadn’t really planned anything and the oversight disturbed me.  My friends and family acted as if nothing had changed.  As much as I wanted to find fault and project my woes onto them, I couldn’t.  The sudden wake-up call had been for me, not them.

“It was during the weeks of these deep reflections that I met him again.  His band was playing at the senior prom and I had grudgingly agreed to go with my then-boyfriend who had, not surprisingly, become unbearably predictable in the interim.  I saw my mysterious friend from across the room and knew I was in serious trouble.  I tried to shrink from view and limit my dancing, but he knew I was there.  During a break, he approached me from behind and took my arm.  His fingers burned my skin.

“’Don’t I know you?’ he asked.

“I turned to him, but looked at the floor.  The heat was clawing at me again.  I nodded briefly and hurried away.  Some acknowledgments require more than assent.  They burn you alive.”

COLD STORAGE

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by kimmy

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He probably remembers the details, but many of them are lost to me, buried under heaps of crazy emotions.  Fear, anxiety, mortification, desire.  I was only nineteen, so maybe I can be forgiven the last one. Even so, it was a pivotal moment in time for me.  It spelled the end of something that never quite began.

He was the kind of boy that a girl fantasizes about.  Not the happily-ever-after kind of fantasy, but the sweaty kind usually found in romance novels.  That it was discovered outside of books and imaginings was a pleasant surprise considering the disappointment that most adolescent girls face.  Awkward teenage fumblings were dismal compared to the promises made in literature and the popular 70s sex how-to manuals read in secret.

I wanted nothing more than uninterrupted time to explore these new-found sensations, maybe a lost weekend or two, to hole up with my playmate and plumb the depths and scale the heights, but there were endless obstacles.  He lived far away and visited only rarely, and when he did, there were roommates, housemates, work and school associates, and a maze of personal entanglements that constantly challenged me.  The moments we had became a torture because I wanted more and couldn’t have it.  It seemed the stars were always stacked against us…

… until one bitterly cold night.  We were driving my father’s giant Chrysler back to town when the unthinkable happened.  The car died and left us stranded somewhere on a lonely stretch of Illinois interstate.   And that’s when things really got interesting.

Not in the way one might suppose, but in the unexpected way deeply buried emotion percolates to the surface in time of crisis.  At first, paralysis, like I used to experience as a child when our family car would occasionally break down and my mother would collapse in hysterics and I would face the emergency alone knowing there wasn’t a sane adult to rely upon.

Then anxiety, wondering how on earth I could resolve the problem.  It never occurred to me that mechanical failure occurs on occasion; only that there was a pressing need for me to find some way to immediately resolve it.  Followed by mortification knowing that I was helpless to correct the problem and despite being finally alone with my dreamboat, the circumstances hardly lent themselves to torrid romance.   We spent the night huddled together against the cold until a state trooper came along and called for a tow truck.

Ironically, it was only the heater hose that needed replacement.  Within hours we were on our way, but for me, something had changed.  Maybe I finally recognized the patterns that had sabotaged my plans.  Perhaps I needed the derailment to shake me out of my stupor.  Whatever it was, it worked and as I watched the frozen landscape roll by, I realized that no amount of effort on my part or his would stop that vehicle from delivering us to our individual destinies.

It was my first conscious encounter with the randomness of fate and I mourned it a long time.  Karma felt like a prison and I hadn’t yet learned to pick the lock.

THE PRIMORDIAL SOUND

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2013 by kimmy

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I want so much to hear your voice again.
To follow it down into the violet space that
Cushioned me from the reality of my world
And silenced the doubts that prey upon me.
Because I hear them daily now,
Urging me to give up and allow the blackness
To seep into my veins and corrode my soul
With its paralytic stupor.
And it’s tempting, somewhat, to think I could
Play with my own remote
And turn myself on and off at will,
Bypassing the pain and reveling in the joy
Even if it’s only remembered and not truly real.
At least in those imagined moments,
I feel alive and whole again,
And I hear your voice speaking words of love
That aren’t artful and contrived,
But ring true like a gong
With sound rippling and circling in every direction,
Flattening disbelief and hesitation like sheaves
Of wheat in the sun.
It shakes me free of the spell and I can walk away
From the lethargy that binds my feet to the earth
And my spirit to defeat and for that moment,
I soar. 
Higher and higher, past the stratosphere
Beyond the galaxies into that lavender haze
Where the infinite resides and all things are possible.

But, it’s only a daydream, and a bitter one, too
For it opened the door to eternity and slammed it shut
Before I could walk through,
Leaving me with only the memory of the words
And their unfinished creation.