Saturday, August 20, 2011

Flash Forward

All the hairs on my neck raised as I watched the ice crack towards me.  It was too far back to the shore, and I wasn’t any good at skating.  So I got down on all fours and prayed, begged, whatever kind of existence there was beyond this world for help.  I moved myself inch by inch, hearing sickening pops from underneath each of my palms.  I concentrated on each breath, not wanting to move suddenly, but focusing on each breath as if it was my last.

Everything I had promised myself, every piece of my life that had been left undone because I had time, no worries, plenty of time, I was only 26 years old, came bounding through my eyes.  I saw myself skydiving for the first time, feeling weightless while the goggles pressed deep creases into my face, the pullback from the shoot as it opens in the sky above me.  I saw myself horseback riding through a field with some unknown, but beautiful partner, a backpack full of picnic supplies.  I saw myself getting married, watched the ceremony and I never looked happier.  I blinked the tears out of my eyes, as I saw me hiking up to the highest mountain and seeing the beautiful view below.  It was like something beautiful, something out of magazines.  I felt myself breathing in the fresh air.

My hands fell through the ice first.  That was the last thing I remember.

Friday, August 19, 2011


“Anthony, you can’t keep doing this!  We worry about you so much, and … god, I sound like your mom.”

“So then stop worrying okay?  It’s whatever.”  He was lying back on our couch, eating the food that Tyler had just made for him, after we picked him up half dead in the rain storm, and he wanted us not to worry?  Seriously?!

“No, this isn’t okay!  It’s not just whatever!”  Tyler grabbed my arm and I shot bullets at him, “Don’t you stick up for him, not again!”  I stormed out of the room and slammed the door behind me.  I breathed several breaths, calming my head.  Okay, I know, he has a tough life, but to make all of us worry, keep all of us on edge like he does – I never will understand why the rest of the band fell in love with this kid.  He’s like a lost puppy that refuses any real help, but will take the occasional hand out after life really shits on him.  I sighed.

I twisted my lips in thought and marched back into the living room.  “I’m sorry.  That was rude, you called us because you needed help.  And we do love you, it’s just hard to help you when you don’t act like you want it.”

“I never asked for help, I asked for a place to stay.  I asked for some food, and yeah, maybe that’s help, but damn it, what the fuck else am I supposed to do?”  He sat up and we got into a staring contest.  “You want me to just walk back home, hey mom and dad, it’s me, do you love me yet?  Can I talk to you about my fucking problems?  Sorry, I don’t have a support system.” 

My face got hot, “You want to talk to me about support systems, see this?”  I held up Tyler’s arm.  “This is mine!  No parents, no bullshit like that – you don’t like your home life, just get out!”

Anthony rubbed his face with his hands, “Who the hell do you think I go to for support, Jess?”

I was taken aback.  It wasn’t the band that wanted to care for Anthony – it wasn’t that they loved him, it was that Anthony needed them.  As much as I needed Tyler, he depended on these guys to be there for them.  And while it was endearing, it was infuriating to have him bunk with us on so many occasions, have us taxi him around numerous times, play house and act like the adults while he throws away any chance at a normal life.

“Okay, I’m sorry, I got it…”  I sat down next to Tyler, “It’s been a long day, and picking you up at 2am didn’t really help.  I’m exhausted.”

Anthony uncrossed his arms and moved his hair out of his face, “I guess I really don’t thank you guys as much as I should… so, thank you.”  He looked between me and Tyler, “I mean, honestly, I don’t know what else I would do if you two hadn’t come into my life.”  The stupid, dark gray-eyed kid had a way of melting your heart for him.  Even I wanted to protect him, and sometimes, I absolutely hated him.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I jumped off stage and scooped her into my arms.  Amanda was so light, I could pretty much throw her across the room, though I have no strength to speak off.  I was just lanky, really tall, and she was just really petite.

I was talking a mile a minute.  “You thought it was good right, I mean, I didn’t mess anything up, and it sounded okay?”  She laughed and nodded, I stared at her teeth – perfect, straight, glowing white.  That smile was kind of what I lived for, though, I could never tell her that.

She swilled whatever drink she had convinced some 21-year-old to buy her as she listened to me go on until I couldn’t even speak anymore.  I realized that I had some serious cotton mouth going on and watched the world swill inside her cup.

“You can have some if you want,” she pushed it towards me.  I met her eyes with mine and smiled.

“Who’d you swipe it from?”  She shrugged and laughed.  “Fair enough,” and I took a huge gasping gulp.  It was just your traditional rum and coke – with entirely too much rum.  I almost coughed, which just made her laugh harder.

“So, hey, I was wondering,” she placed her fingers in mine, “if you wanted to do something this weekend?”  The warmth of her fingers pushed against my hands, I could almost feel my blood cells stealing whatever kind of heat they could from her.

“Yeah, sure like what?”

“I don’t know, I was thinking you could come up with something.”

I shook my head, “You know what happens when I do that.”  Countless times I’ve been with this girl entirely too stoned, usually because of my poor planning.  And I mean, it wasn’t like now, where my head was gently rolling and I could still focus on her, her perfect lips, the way her hair framed her face… no , it was usually the high where I start pouring confessions, crying about nothing.  I remember the look in her eyes when I knocked on her door – my hair was slick with sleet, my fingers were freezing, and my eyes bleary from the walk.

“What’s wrong?” She asked, glancing between both my eyes, completely focused on me.  I struggled to find the words, but ended up just mouthing, “I don’t know.”  She took me by the hand and guided me inside her apartment.  She took off my coat and I felt absolutely helpless, hopeless, futureless.  She brought me into bed with her and I lied on her chest while she stroked my hair for hours, until we fell asleep.  I think I fell in love with the way that she smelled that night, if you can fall in love with a person’s smell.  But it was that strange, musty lavender and it was intoxicating.

But right now, her lips were sour, so I shook the memory away and said, “Sure, I’ll try something, but I can’t promise it’ll be legal.”

“You know I’m always game.”  She pinched my cheek.  “I’m going to go drag Kelli, we have to get to this other party tonight.”  She looked around, “Shit, you think she dragged Derrick off again?”


“Figures.  I don’t know why she can’t get over that boy, I mean, he doesn’t even act into her – is he?”
I shrugged, “Hell if I know.”

“Well, who does he talk to?”  She stood up, hands on her hips, lips pursed, but her eyes were still filled with laughter.

“You always try to act so serious,” I smirked and reached my hand up, gently taking her face in my hands and I kissed her.  “I’ll see you Saturday, 2pm, it’s a date.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”


Amanda made a face.  We both knew exactly how Anthony felt about Kelli.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Kelli sauntered towards me after the show was over.  I tried to turn my back on her, but she made it impossible.  It might have been the fact that she followed your eye wherever you turned.  She wouldn’t let me forget about her.  So eventually I gave in. 

There was nothing about her I particularly liked – but I didn’t hate her either.  The ratty nest of bleached blond hair with black underneath, the dark make up coating her eyes, the pink lip gloss she used, the over-sized t-shirt which dangling off of one shoulder; she was a complete scene girl, and for whatever reason, had decided to fall for me.  I never had the heart to tell her I wasn’t into her, but I figured, what else did I really have going for me at the time?  She wasn’t a bad girl, but she wasn’t particularly nice either.

“So where are we going?”  She smacked her gum chewing lips together and tossed her hair behind her shoulder, it fell in a clump.  I looked to the guys – they were already doing their thing.  Anthony spoke with Tyler and Jess about god knows what, and Eric was off with his girl, what the hell was her name again?  She was one of Kelli’s friends.  I always thought it was weird that someone would be into him – he had scruffy long hair and was kind of dirty.  And he was insanely lazy.  Sure, he came up with great lyrics for our bands and was somewhat of a musical genius, but if we weren’t going to become famous, he really had no future to speak of.  Kelli’s friend was what you would call gorgeous; short, petite, a pixie brown haircut and eyes to make you melt.  I never understood it.

“No idea,” I shrugged the band’s gear onto my shoulders.  “Tyler, is your car open?”  He was locked in conversation with Anthony – who looked bored, but he always looked bored.  The crossed arms, jaded look in his eyes, shuffling his feet every minute or so - yup, definitely bored.  Maybe he was always bored.

"Tyler, your car, man?”  He tossed me the keys without even looking.  Kelli swooped down and plucked them off the floor.

“Perfect,” she got a smirk on her face.  I almost sighed, but followed her swaying body out back towards the car.  I put in two of the cases, shut the trunk, and turned around as Kelli crashed into me.  Her lips collided with mine.  I wondered if other guys ever felt this way – completely and utterly molested when a girl kissed them.  Did they just “go with it to” or were they actually into it?  And it wasn’t that I wasn’t into Kelli – okay, it really was that I wasn’t into her, but what was I supposed to do?  So I kissed her back and felt miserable about it.  I continued to keep up the charade with her, and for what?  She was just using me, probably not the same way that I was her, but it was still similar.  She had no interest in the type of person I was, she probably wouldn’t even tell you what color my eyes were if I shut them.  She was just, dare I say it?  A groupie.

That’s when we heard the screaming and saw Anthony and Tyler run into the alleyway.  “Should we go help them?”  I was thankful to get the moment to pull my lips away from hers.

“Naw, let them take care of it – Tyler’s strong, I mean, you’ve seen the guy right.”  Kelli rested her head on my chest, I put my arm around the small of her back.  “He’s so handsome, I mean have you ever seen his muscles, ugh.” 

I made a face as Jess came up from behind Kelli.

“Excuse me, bitch?”

I stepped back away from both of them as their voices raised, cussing and screaming at each other.  I stared up at the sky, I could just barely see the outlines of the clouds in the dark, midnight blue.


I figure when I run out of ideas, I'm just going to do this from now on - excepts from my novel but NOT from my main character's point of view.  So this is what else happened when Jaden was pulled into the alleyway.  There's a whole world of events in these few people's lives, and I've only really explored Anthony's.  It's kind of fun to get a different perspective, put myself in someone else's shoes.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


            The lights went down and the energy in the club instantly dwindled to nothing.  I turned on my heels and started walking out the door.  I hesitated for a moment.  What if I'm right, what if he is?  I glanced back to the stage and looked him over - brown hair covering his dark, brooding eyes.  His ripped jeans, his cruddy band t-shirt, everything about him breathed some weird kind of oozing sex drive.  I couldn't peel my eyes off of him.  But I saw the way he interacted with his band mates.  No, he was just another guy, just one of the guys.  And they had their girl groupies already approaching them.  So, I finished my walk out the door and started towards the subway. 
            The street had cleared up a lot in the few minutes that I had hung around.  Thing was, no one wanted to be around here at night - it was the shit part of the city.  Dirty streets, dirty people, and well, me.  I wasn't necessarily dirty, but I'm never going to admit to being the cleanest guy in all of the town either.  But this was also where all the violence happened - and that's what I was thinking about "Geez, I hope no one decides to attack me" when I got dragged into an alleyway by my collar.
            A sharp pain shot through my side, knocking the wind out of me.  "Fucking faggot."  I opened my mouth to scream and felt cold fists cut through my skin, at least it felt that way.  It felt like my head was splitting in two, it felt like my body had given up.  I was caught completely off guard, and I wasn't a fighter anyway.  I was that kid that sat in middle, listened to his parents, and did alright by what "society taught me."  My teachers would call me "goal-oriented."  Hey, no gay bashers, it's totally cool, I'm goal-oriented.  I'm going to give back to society.  Please stop beating me up.  I couldn't even bring my ears to hear what they were yelling, or listen to myself as I sputtered sick copper tasting blood over the pavement.  

I got stuck creatively.  I continued to write some nonsensical things in a document until something more came out.  This is actually a piece about one of my characters from my novel.  The main character, and the first person, is this guy Anthony - who Jaden meets after this unfortunate incident.  But I felt like, maybe, I should get a better look inside my other character's heads, especially since I can't really write anything right now, this is a good exercise.
But a fun except out of my struggling process:

Tapping my fingers to the sounds of Our Lady Peace thudding through my speakers.  Here I am, now where are you?  The brilliant, creative spirit that has been giving me so much motivation, so many words, and so many ideas.  Here is my time, it's on a platter, open to whatever you feel like filling it with.


Fine.  I tap my fingers some more at you Sir and/or Madam!

And later: 


RAWR RAWR RAWR.  This is the most frustrating, non-creative day I've had in a very long time.  I'm still convincing myself that if I keep writing something good will happen because of it.  Something good usually happens when I keep writing.  I just have to focus, breathe, fill my energy with positive, "You can totally do it!" thoughts.

Different music.

And so the process goes :) 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Black Lace Leggings

I traced her black lace legging with my eyes, up her thick thighs, towards her dress, over the red polyester that hugged her body.  A Pall Mall cigarette dangled between her fingers, red lipstick streaking the filter.  She was leaning back on the gray corvette, the one that her dip-shit boyfriend owned.  One of her arms was placed defensively across her body, as if protecting a non-existent layer of fat from unknowing eyes.  Her eyes were fixed on the ground, a distant, cold stare.  She could shoot bullets through anyone with that.

I gulped and took one step closer.  This year was going to be different.  I was going to make her notice me.  I was going to break out of the nerdy stereotype.  I was going to get the cool, rebellious girl.

And with that one step, my entire life shifted, changed.  Here's the thing.  Her cheap polyester, the way she inhaled her cigarettes through puckered lips, her knee high boots.  They all were a sham, she cared more about what I thought of her than I ever cared.  She was the girl everyone wanted to be, and that distant stare was her way of trying to make herself believe that she was anyone else.

I think I do specialize in coming of age stories - and there's a very particular reason that I believe I do.  I hate to be one of those people that says "I had a tough childhood" because really - I grew up in a rich town, in a decently rich state, with really good schooling.  None of my parents hit me, I was never grounded, but let's be real for a second.  It was external forces, things my parents could not have predicted or stopped that changed me, moved me into being a completely different person.  I have a story, called "She's the Bird" that I'm hoping to get published about one such experience.  There was a girl in my life that shifted everything - and even though it looked meek, it looked like she made everything worse - she really opened my eyes to a life beyond my small town - to all the possibilities in the world.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dark, Pretty Things

The world was not meant
To gaze upon such light
Darkness prevails throughout the night
If meant, there’d be more stars
More pieces and parts
To make our eyes view shapes
There’d be less creatures, sounds
Howling at the moon
Less nightly, dark things
More sunshine, light from within
If the world was meant
To gaze upon such light
There’d be no fear
Of those dark, desperate things
But no passion, desire
Nothing to motivate the light
To work, adjust, conquer
But sometimes, unseen
Unknown, is the beauty
In those forgotten places
Pieces of the darkness left behind
To show the world how grand
Such mystery, vastness contained
Within dark, pretty things.

I used to write poetry a lot when I was younger - to help deal with my SAD (yes, it's a real thing - don't believe me?  Try living in cold weather where it's dark, snowy and rainy for 6 months out of the year and you'll understand).  I've since decided that my poetry isn't really worth sniffing about - but hey, attempts are attempts are attempts, and maybe someone would like it - out there, in the darkly lit places.  :)