03/01 Direct Link
Both of us pick comfort over romance. We went to Lake Anne for lunch today. It was a little chilly out, but nice, with fluffy white clouds filling a bright blue sky. We could have gotten our lunch and ate it out on one of the benches, among the basking ducks. We could have laughed as we fed those basking ducks bits of bread. We could have held hands as we watched the sunlight play across the water. But, like I said, it was chilly out. So we ate inside, still a good lunch. Ah, but what it could’ve been…
03/02 Direct Link
‘He makes mountains out of molehills and then proceeds in trying to climb them. Shrug it off, he's been told. But he just shrugs and looks upwards to see how far he's going to have to climb this time.' She exchanges a look with her mother before looking at him fondly.

‘I do not! And I resent you saying that!' His safety harness in place, he slips on his leather gloves and gives the rope a solid tug. ‘You always…'

‘See, there he goes again. More tea?' She pours her mother another cup.

‘…no respect for me at all…'

03/03 Direct Link
I don't understand what obsessive desire drives a person to stalking. What craving would lead a man to sliding cryptic, blood smeared messages under doors? I've never felt that intensely about anyone before, am I missing something?

Something I never told anyone before: during that time, when I was being stalked by him and watched over by friends and the police, I felt so trapped I would sneak out of my dorm in the middle of the night and wander around campus just for the taste of freedom it offered. Is it foolish to risk your life for freedom? Maybe.

03/04 Direct Link
‘Here, hold this for a second.' He passed her the plastic handle for the kite. She held it loosely, watching the kite flutter and turn high above the tree line like a dog straining against its leash. Holding the handle in one hand she grabbed the string with the other, and ignoring the way it cut into her skin, she twisted it until it broke. She smiled as the kite flew off.

‘What in the hell did you do that for?' He grabbed the handle from her.

‘You're always telling me I can't let anything go. I'm finally letting go.'

03/05 Direct Link
You should know better than to stand behind me in a line. You know I like to slip my hand down and give you a nice, firm stroke. I like to see your eyes widen in surprise as you quickly reach to pull my hand back to a respectable level. Someone probably looks at us then and remembers a time when they too had a romantic, hand holding relationship, never realizing you are just protecting your uh... dignity. You pretend to be angry, but my eyes are sparkling and my smile is devilish, promising you so much more to come...
03/06 Direct Link
‘Why do I do this every time he goes away?' She turned off the VCR and stood up. Since she was in the apartment alone, she was glad no one answered. In the dark bedroom, she jumped at every noise she heard. She almost fell asleep once, but a neighbor's door being slammed ruined that. ‘Okay, there's only one thing that will make me feel safe.'

Back in bed, she snuggled into the blankets, her hand under the pillow clutching the handle of the biggest knife from the kitchen.

‘Next time he goes away, I am not renting horror movies!'

03/07 Direct Link
'He shivered as the last tongue of winter licked at his face.' She paused in her reading. 'What's that look for, you don't like it? I would like to see you do better.'

'I certainly wouldn't have winter licking anything, let alone someone's face. It's a stupid line.' He thought a second. 'As winter's last siege gripped the land, he shivered under its onslaught.'

'Crap, crap, crap! Typical male, you make it sound like a war story. It's a love story.'

'Love story? With all that licking going on, sounds more like bad porn.'

'Oh, you would know about porn...'

03/08 Direct Link
I remember them calling you names. You always kept your eyes focused straight ahead, but I could see you flinch at every barb they threw. If I had been braver, I would have sat next to you. They laughed at your tattered second-hand clothes and unkempt hair. I looked and saw that behind your glasses something fiercely intelligent shone. Their words beat you until you believed you were the nothing they called you. I could've been your shelter, your haven, but I was too frightened. And then you were too lost.

You hung yourself on a sunny day in May.

03/09 Direct Link
Is there really nothing new under the sun? Has every thought I ever had already been thought by someone else? Even the most obscure, silly ones? Now my words seem empty. Hollow. I'm only throwing you lines that others have already spoken. When he read my latest piece, he said 'Huh, I never thought of it like that.' And I felt the stirrings of pride. But then you come along with your 'nothing new' and your 'sun' and that beastly pride never stood a chance. Next time someone asks about my writing, I'll tell him 'I'm just a word recycler.'
03/10 Direct Link
On nights my roommate went out, I would pull the blinds, turn up the stereo and dance. In a forest green kimono over a silky purple slip I would leap and spin around the small apartment, convinced the music and I were one and the same. And from the way the music pulsed inside me, I suspect we were. Twisting, twirling, bounding, soaring, swaying ... I danced on and on...

'You know the blinds are see-through, don't you?' My roommate asked me one day. But it didn't stop me from dancing. I just learned how to dance in the dark.

03/11 Direct Link
She threw open the curtains and smiled into the warm sunlight that slid over her bare skin. Seagulls serenaded her as she gazed at the golden sand leading to the turquoise water. On the bed behind her, he stretched out, sleek and muscled, the sheet barely covering his rising...

'You better get up!' He opened the curtains, revealing steely skies and a concrete parking lot. He pulled his pants up over his protruding stomach and she smiled. He wasn't sleek, he wasn't muscled, but he was hers. She pulled him back into bed. Reality is often times better than fantasy.

03/12 Direct Link
The bus rolled down rain-washed streets, not exactly quickly, but steadily. In the early morning grayness, storefront neon signs still shone brightly, unrivaled by the sun. She leaned against the window and watched the streets slide by as the city's daytime denizens slowly stirred and the night dwellers scuttled off to points unknown. Soon, the city would belong to the day, but in this brief moment, both worlds mingled as one. Suits, briefcases, fishnets, and stilettos, it was a dance the city knew only too well. And to her reflection she whispered 'I too, am a part of this dance.'
03/13 Direct Link
Ah, silver-tongued devil, who cares if all your words are lies? I would like for you to be a stranger so we can meet all over again. You can turn around and your stare can fill me with a strange and wonderful pang that tells me I should run away yet glues my feet to the ground. Sometimes I think you are unaware of your charm, oblivious to its effect on me. But there's that certain look in your eyes proving me wrong. Making me ache in ways and places I never knew I could ache. Daring me to live.
03/14 Direct Link
Why do they always find their victims? Because people would rather be abused than ignored. Loneliness is a cancer, eating away at people's souls.

‘He wouldn't hit me if he didn't love me.' She says to the mirror as spreads makeup over her bruises. He wouldn't love me if he couldn't hit me, she thinks but quickly pushes away that nagging little voice.

He'll take his rage too far one day, beating her until his knuckles bleed, until she no longer breathes. She could prevent this, but won't, because she's never learned the difference between being alone and being lonely.

03/15 Direct Link

‘Everything’s a battle with you. What are you fighting? Why do you need to be so tough?’

‘I don’t know.’ From the top of my barricade, everything looked calm, peaceful even. But that didn’t mean I was going to let my guard down…

‘Even our lovemaking is almost always a wrestling match.’

‘You don’t seem to mind those wrestling matches…’ Up on the parapet, I espied a dark cloud advancing. I fingered my crossbow nervously.

‘See, there you go again.’

‘You know what your problem is? You…’ Crossbow down, arrow ready to fly, I let my finger pull the trigger.

03/16 Direct Link
She stood in the middle of the backyard, in the rain, and held her hand out, palm side up. He watched her for twenty minutes before he opened the door and stepped out onto the porch.

'What are you doing?' He asked as he noted how muddy the bottom of her skirt had become.

'Two hundred and seven, two hundred and eight... shh ...I'm counting raindrops... two hundred and nine... ten...' For some reason quite unknown to him, her words filled him with panic. Grabbing her outstretched arm, he quickly dragged her inside.

And he's never again trusted the rain.

03/17 Direct Link
My parents' first mistake with my brother was naming him Elmer. My brother hated his name so much he would tell new kids he met his name was Joe. Later these kids would knock on our door and ask our mother if Joe could come out and play. 'There's no Joe here.' I heard my mother proclaim on many occasions before she finally caught on.

My brother's sponsor is named Joe. Maybe this is a good thing, a sign if you would. Maybe this time he'll make it. But I don't know. He's awfully good at falling off the wagon.

03/18 Direct Link
She hunkered down on the riverbank, her fingers trailing slowly through the mud.

'This is where they pulled him out. This is where they pronounced him dead.' She muttered darkly, digging her fingers deeper into the mud. 'His skin was so blue...'

She splayed her fingers in front of her face, staring at the diamond on her left hand.

'This is where he left me. This is what he left me.' Wrenching the ring from her finger, she held it up in the moonlight, turning it around and around. 'I didn't know. Why didn't I know he was so blue?'

03/19 Direct Link
I wonder where they all went, those plastic people with sugarcoated tongues. Did their cellophane ideals shrivel up and blow away? Are their imaginations still on par with frozen T.V dinners? I can still hear the nutra-sweet voices of those mock patriots taunting me for being different. But I get to laugh now. All their G.I. Joes are still sitting with a bottle in one hand, a cigarette in the other, while cancer eats their lungs and their livers start to fail. They never learned, too many emotions may be hazardous to your health, but not enough is even worse.
03/20 Direct Link
He hides behind his camera. Views life through various filters and lenses. And any imperfection he finds, he carefully touches up or edits out. When people come too close, he shies away. He knows anyone who touches his world will only leave greasy smudges behind. He's always wiping off the smudges.

He was happy. Until the day his camera broke. He wept over the shattered pieces, cursing himself for failing to put the strap over his head. He eventually got a new camera, but it was never the same. And from then on, he only worked in black and white.

03/21 Direct Link
I finally did it. I've created an image of you that you can never live up to. So you're safe. You're fantasy. You can never be anything else. See, I told you I'm good with words. It took me a while to realize I didn't need to convince the world there was no you, I just had to convince myself. And remind myself when you pass close by and I get that cold-water shock racing through me, that it's just my reaction to a fantasy, not a reaction to you. There're more ways than one to wipe out someone's existence.
03/22 Direct Link
She walked along the dock, ignoring the catcalls of the sailors and sidelong glances the fishermen threw in speculation. Only the old women mending the torn nets seemed unsurprised. They knew grief when they saw it. They spoke quietly amongst themselves, wondering which ship the love she lost had been on. Wondered which of the young sailors it had been. Or by her fine dress, it may have been an officer.

She wanted to turn and scream, ‘Not a sailor, but a Selkie!' but she turned to the water instead, listening for his song on the crashing of the waves.

03/23 Direct Link
It was a mistake, she thought as she pulled her jeans up over her hips. She buttoned her shirt, noticed a couple of buttons were missing, and cursed under her breath. Shoes and purse in hand, she crept towards the door, gritting her teeth when she stubbed her toe on the dresser.

In her car, she rested her head on the steering wheel and called herself all kinds of names, none of them flattering. Finally, getting a grip, she started the car and backed out of the parking spot.

Watching her from window, he smiled. He knew she'd come back.

03/24 Direct Link
It's the little old man in the bright purple helmet peddling slowly by on a green bike with a wire basket. And the two tough teens in leather jackets walking a dainty Yorkshire terrier down the street. The kid in the tee shirt sporting the words ‘Eat shit and die' carefully avoiding stepping on an ant. Or the big burly biker chick sitting on a park bench, intently reading a Harlequin romance. I love these little surreal scenes. These little slices of absurdities that remind me that the cover of the book does not always represent the pages in between.
03/25 Direct Link

Old soul. He looked into her eyes and knew her for what she was. Her skin still unlined, her hair untouched by gray, her mouth turned upwards in wonder over simple things such as butterflies and rainbows, and yet her eyes spoke longingly of ancient mysteries.

'I've known sorrow.' She said once, while they walked along the banks of Stony Creek. 'I've seen death. I've seen disease and starvation, and war. Oh, those four horsemen are no strangers to me, them and their apocalypses. I've seen all that, and still I think life is worth living. Can you understand this?'

03/26 Direct Link
They haven't talked to her since she let the skeletons out of the closet and laughed as they danced on up the street, their bones rattling as they went. She turned back to them, but they had already turned their backs on her, whispering behind their hands. She shrugged and walked away, glad to no longer be living a lie.

Inside the house, they pulled her picture from the mantle and placed it in a drawer. They stared at the empty closet, looked at one another, and smiled. There would be more skeletons. And she would be the first one.

03/27 Direct Link
'I was just looking at the pins that used to belong to my grandmother.' As I shifted things on my dresser, I accidentally jostled the lit gel candle and hot wax spilt over my hand. In the bathroom you held my hand under cold water. Then you gently peeled the wax away from the blisters that had already risen. After the burn cream, you pulled me onto your lap and held me as I wept. You knew the tears weren't for the pain, that the pain was just a catalyst for the grief still inside me. Grief is like that.
03/28 Direct Link
‘Are you wearing a torpedo?' he asked reaching for her necklace. As he picked it up, his knuckles brushed against her skin. His lips twitched in effort not to smile as her face tinged pink.

‘Um, yeah. It's sort of my good luck charm.' She licked her lips and refused to meet his eyes. As he put the necklace back down, he let his fingertips rest lightly against her skin.

‘Cute, very cute.' Savoring the startled look in her eyes he didn't bother to hide his smile. She muttered thanks then hurried away. This game had just gotten very interesting…

03/29 Direct Link
When I was little, nine or so, we had three cats. My parents got tired of the cost and maintenance these cats required so they came to me and said: 'We've decided we have too many cats, so we want you to pick out your favorite and we'll take the other two to the pound.'

Tears didn't dissuade them. And in the end I couldn't choose. How could I? I loved them all. They took them all to the pound and then we had no cats.

I've forgiven so much over the years. But not this. I don't know how.

03/30 Direct Link
‘There's Orion, he's looking pretty sharp tonight.' She said, tilting her head back as she stared at the sky.

‘Why do you day that every time you look at the stars?' He asked, watching her rather than the stars.

‘Honestly? He's the only constellation I know. Well, I also know one of the dippers, but I can't tell you if it's the big or little one.' She shrugged.

‘Come here, and stand in front of me.' When she had done this, he pointed towards sky. ‘Now, see these stars here? This constellation is called Volans, which means The Flying Fish…'

03/31 Direct Link
Every night, she goes down to the beach and writes another piece of her story in the sand. Most of the time it's just a couple of lines, though once she wrote for an hour and covered a twenty-foot section of the beach. Another time she wrote just one word. She stared at that word for a long time before breaking the stick in half and throwing it towards the water. That was the only night she ever stayed to watch the tide creep in. She felt a strange sense of freedom as the briny water wiped the slate clean.