(no subject)

After I hit the tree, the first thing I did was speed-dial my father. This was not a sentimental move- he's a doctor, and I thought he could check me out and get the car towed, no fuss. I told him I felt okay, but without raising his voice, he answered "Hang up, call 911. I'll see you at the hospital." Later, when they'd fixed my broken ribs and the vodka and adrenaline had faded, I braced myself for whatever shouts or mockery he'd saved up. But he just sat there, holding my hand too tightly. His expression was tight, eyes flickering from cuts to bruises and back again, saying nothing but, every so often, my name. He was never big on displays of affection, but I'd expected something bitter to take its place. Instead there was silence, then just my name again. Fifteen years and two children later, I realize, it was the only sweet word he could remember to say.
jamie!, water me

The Chinese Venture

They were happy people.

But whereas Peter's happiness came naturally and effortlessly, Kun's came as the result of a fierce and impassioned struggle. You could see him wrestling himself over it everyday, propping up his conscious with a root beer (real beer if he could get it) as the alcohol-free regions of his mind planned his next attack, usually with whatever lucky (or possibly unfortunate) girl happened to walk by at the time. When he was happy, it didn’t have the simplicity or cleanliness of someone who had spent their life content. Kun's happiness was wild, passionate, terrifying.

Unlike Peter, whose happiness, even at its most intense, was pleasant because he shared the light with the room, Kun's seemed to darken it, taking the light and gathering it around himself until he, standing there in perfectly rumpled clothing, head tilted, eyes narrowed, lips flowing with debauchery, was too wonderful to look straight at without shading your eyes. He must have had something amazing in him, girls would sigh, because although his passion seemed the temporary takeover of some marvelous Greek god --as if it had been Zeus seducing them not as a bull or swan but as an equally enrapturing teenage boy—it was unquestionably something that belonged to Kun.

(no subject)

         It's likely he's the most unpunctual person I know. He got the nickname Traffic in high school, but I think that's likely due his dealings in the "pharmaceutical" trade rather than his constant tardiness. I'm not entirely sure how I got mixed up in his debacle, but I've been in the courtroom for close to 45 minutes and my fingers are aching to at least hold a cigarette.
        His father owned a bar, where he worked, only on weekends, and somehow managed to spread the word wide enough to turn it into one of the only party bars in this whole God-forsaken town. The In-Crowd was always there in full force and the dance floor was hopping right up past the last call. Unfortunately, Traffic had a bad habit of not checking IDs.
        That's why we're, or at least I am, here: He took a girl home one night after the bar had closed, both of them completely hammered. If he'd checked her ID that night, he might've realized he was only looking at a learner's permit.
        Fifteen minutes later, he blows through the courtroom doors, sweating and out of breath, stops by my seat to tell me "Sorry, I was caught in traffic." He smiles and I scoff as I get up to go have a cigarette.

-Modern Medicine for the Moth-Eaten
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For Madmen Only

Tom's favorite away message is "For Madmen Only". It's a line from one of my favorite books, and when you see this message, you can count on seeing us together the next day. Today is no different- by 6 AM we're meandering a familiar route through a damp cold dawn, looking as tired and disheveled as if we just woke up, except for the loud note of hysteria in our voices. We're constantly on the edge of madness, but last night was odd even for us. Not because we're best friends who hooked up, not because we stayed up all night to do it, not because Tom was in drag the entire time- that's normal. It's really the rope burns on the insides of his wrists that have us edgy. "I'll just say I got blackout drunk again," he shrugs. His drinking problem is no laughing matter, but so many of our problems aren't- what can we do but make fun of the whole damned mess? It's a gray but lovely day, so we swing our interlocked hands and laugh wildly, aware that observers will think we're a couple. We have no interest in dating, but that, like so many other things, can be our little secret.

The Shower

"Where am I?" he thought, as he could feel the water falling on his naked knelt body. The hot water began to gradually lose its intensity. Across the bathroom, he could see a mirror. To his dismay, the fog had consumed his vision.

A greater panic engulfed his thought.

"Who am I?"

Into his calloused hands he gazed. In a mere moment of contemplation, all he could see was the warm lucid liquid running through his fingers.

In the next moment, his cognition indirectly produced a feeling of pure horror.

He remembered.

No, I don't know why

I thought of something fun to do in the shower (and no, not that way): instead of my usual desultory reading of whatever came my way I thought I might go lookin' for adventure and read a bunch of books somehow related. Easily the best thing I could come up with is Russian Literature.

Then I thought I might take the world in with my love, so how bout this (you might imagine this in fancy 60s psychedelic-poster style lettering, although even simple italics are beyond my technological ken):

March is Officially, in my mental kingdom and now maybe yours, RUSSIAN LITERATURE MONTH. If you love that ole Tsarist-era prose or if some born to be wild soviet realist schmaltz tickles your fancy, then maybe we could climb so high together. If you darlings wanna make it happen, I'll set up our own very special Russian discussion group on livejournal. So get your motor runnin', head out on the highway and leave a comment.

Personally I'm thinking "Anna Karenina," Nabokov's "The Defense" (I just want to read that one), Gogol's "The Overcoat," and maybe Turgenev's "Father and Sons." But I'm really open to anything. There should probably be some 1920s tag-along and die too (or whatever they call it) era books in there as well.

Those literate in Russian not just welcome, but desired.

Cross-posted all over the place.

Hi, I'm new around these parts.

The cloyed memories of a past filled with inevitable regret. I've been going through my things, already packed, to be further rid of possesions I no longer need, thrown out like yesterday's mourning paper. Deracinated. Painted in patina, I've found far too many journals at this point thoroughly desiccated, filled halfway with poetry, memoir, aphorism, thought and photographs, then abandoned. A bad habit of mine.
Starting out a maelstrom of letters tangling into spangled sentences and dropping off mid-paragraph.
Austere, and always the same. "Dear diary," or "these blank walls..." or "broken like a.." Everything I do still reflects these half-filled accounts. Time lines etched into the margins and pronounced in ink.


The call had ended, and he sat there, motionless, holding the reciever against his right ear. The steady dial tone sounded but was not heard: he was too busy listening to his own internal thoughts to notice it.

A machine spoke, "If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try again. If you need help, hang up, and then dial your operator." The message repeated, then silence. Then obnoxiously loud beeping, the indication that he should have hung up by now.

He realized, at this precise moment, that all he wanted was to be with her, to hold her in his arms, to know that everything would be alright. He needed to tell her that he loved her. He needed to call her back.

He hung up and tried again.

(Long-time watcher, first-time poster)
(Advanced critique encouraged)

The Temple And The Fortress

A. She waited twenty years for my ship to come in. She told me she would wait forever. I left her on the shore. I sailed away with a white mast up. I won a thousand battles, and lost five thousand men, I journeyed to the ends of the world, and it spat me out again. I nearly died, I nearly died. I drunk nectar, was transformed into a lion; made love to goddesses. Then the gods looked down, declared a checkmate and she jumped into the sea. You laughed, called it Mills and Boon, and turned over onto your side.

The Temple And The Fortress

A. The villagers never liked you anyhow.

Q. The villagers have no minds, only voices.

A. She saw a black mast and stopped waiting.

Q. I walked ten miles, and could not reach her.

A. How about it: freedom for just one night?

Q. She’s running.

Q. My bones ache. She jumped overboard. Fell into the sea, stretched out her arms, and morphed into an eagle. Spread her wings and soared; her flight the sky’s caress.