Love at First Flight

I really wish I could tell her the truth. I want her to know more about the real me, but I’m afraid she won’t accept me. I know that acceptance of someone’s true self is what becomes necessary for a healthy relationship, but can she ever truly love me for me?

Sophia twists a thin lock of her blonde hair around her index and then rubs the soft strands between her fingers. She speaks quietly to me, “So you’re on business then?”

I nod. “Yeah. I travel a lot, but sometimes I work from home.”

I notice she’s looking at my mouth. I read once that when someone looks at your lips then the chances of them wanting to kiss you is pretty high. Either that, or you have a spot of chocolate on your lips or broccoli in your teeth. I prefer to think she wanted to taste my lips, and I wasn’t entirely opposed to it.

“Home? You mean you don’t have an office?” She looks at me quizzically as if trying to determine the kind of man I am by reading my face. Normally, I suppose that’s a good way to figure people out, but not me. I’m excellent at deceit.

The problem is this: I don’t want to deceive her as I do everyone else. Normally, I’d smile, tell her everything she wants to hear, and show her the face of trust. When we get deeper into each other’s lives, I’d show her a face of understanding for her pain. I’d cap that off with a smile and a few words of wisdom carefully picked to ensure the conversation stays about her but makes her think about me. Before the trip ended, I’d have nailed her in the bathroom.

Sophia is different, though. She makes me want to be a better person. Okay, maybe not a better person, but just as she’s different for me, she makes me want to be a different kind of lover to her. All right, okay, maybe lover is too strong a word when we’ve only been sitting together on this flight for a few hours, but when there’s magic you just know, right?

I never used to believe in love at first sight, but I feel like something that I don’t entirely understand happened here on this plane. I’m as shallow as everyone else when it comes down to how beautiful or ugly person is, and of course I couldn’t help but notice how gorgeous Sophia is, but there’s more to it. A lot more. For one, I never cared about someone’s laugh before. It’s cute, subtle. She bites her lip, which has left little intents in the pillowy flesh. More importantly, she’s honest with me. Everything she says seems genuine.

To show interest, I ask her, “So, you own a… flower shop is it?”

She nods excitedly. “That’s right. Down on First and Brookhurst.”

Oddly, I knew the exact one. I was there two weeks ago buying flowers for Mother’s Day. I always order them online for my mother, but for some strange reason I decided to stop by there and pick up a bouquet.

“I’ve been there. You have a nice shop,” I tell her as I lean onto the armrest between us. I don’t really need to lean, but I want the tips of my fingers to graze her bare leg, which she’s been pressing against the divider between us for some time now. I need to know if she will allow such a subtle expression of affection, and as it turns out, she will.

She glances down, giggles softly at the touch, and then looks up at me with her big, brown eyes. “You like my shop? You’re sweet.”

I can’t really fake a blush, so the one I gave to her was genuine. I had to look away, and as I did, a tall man wearing a brown overcoat walks past me. My guess is he needs to use the restroom because there’s nothing else back there. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and turn back to her to meet that beautiful gaze.

While I wasn’t looking, she had leaned closer to me. She had crossed her legs, and had slipped her leg under my hand so that I’m fully palming her lower thigh. I hadn’t noticed. She was a smooth operator.

I smile and try to disarm her with a personal, intimate compliment. “You have very soft skin.”

She nods as I very gently pet her thigh with my fingers. She looks at my lips again, and this time I’m sure there’s nothing in my teeth. I know that look she’s giving me. I really want to lean in and meet her for that kiss she so desperately wants, but I have to go to the bathroom. If I go, though, will she think I’m trying to avoid her obvious advances? I don’t know, but I really have to go.

“Excuse me for a minute? I really have to pee,” I tell her, though that’s not what I was going to do it there; the truth is much more disgusting, and I don’t think she’d still want to kiss me after I got back. Although, I have read that if you can fart in front of your significant other, then you must be truly comfortable and in love. That’s true, right? Well, I don’t know if it is, but it sure is gross. I’d rather rip one in the bathroom or go outside to blow the horn rather than have someone I care about suffer that kind of evil, eye-watering stench.

I unbuckle from the seat, and as I stand, she puts her hand on mine. We lock eyes for a moment, and I truly hope she feels what I feel just then. The desire. The romance. The unadulterated joy.

I make my leave, and follow the narrow aisle. Most of the passengers ignore me, but a couple of them look up from whatever Facebook status or tweet they’re crafting to wishfully get the most attention from their friends. When I reach the hallway with the bathroom, I see only two doors. One has a green “vacant” sticker and the other a red sticker indicating someone occupied it.

From my pocket, I fish out a universal key, and quietly unlock the door. He’d been in there for a couple minutes so either he was pissing or dropping a deuce. I don’t know which, but because I have a poor gag reflex, I prepare myself. After taking a deep breathe of the not-so-fresh-but-fresher-than-pooh cabin air, I hustle into the bathroom.

As I shut the door, I reach down and wrap my hand around the man’s mouth. Sitting on the pot, he tries to stand, but I force him back down. He attempts to scream, but with my hand muffling his cries for help, no one can hear him over the moan of the engines.

He’s a fighter, but I manage to reach back enough in that confined space to jab him in the neck several times with my fist. I eventually hear the soft pop and ensuing gurgle from a collapsed throat. It takes him a while, but he soon gives in to the lack of air. He’s probably not dead yet, but I quickly get to work hiding his body in the space under the floor panel.

I wonder what Sophia would think about this if she had walked in on it. I mean, I’m not your normal man. The average person would feel disgusted by the horrors of real death. Sure, many people have some sort of sick fascination with it, but to actually witness a real body—or murder—would phase everyone but those sick few who are okay with murder and death. Granted, this isn’t one of my messiest hits, but I don’t think she would like it, regardless.

After closing up the panel, I stow the plastic bolt driver into my pocket. I would have put it back in the lining of my shoe, but honestly, they aren’t going to check the passengers leaving a plane. Their only concern is the passengers getting on, and honestly, they don’t do a good job screening them, either.

The mirror has a nice polished finish, and I check myself to make sure I look as I did when I left my seat. An errant tie might make her suspicious. Not because I’m worried that she might think I murdered someone. I feel no guilt, and therefore don’t suffer the effect of thinking that everyone knows what I’ve done even though they don’t—and probably don’t give a damn about me, either. I know for a fact they don’t. No, my concern is looking good for her when I get back. I don’t want her thinking that I had to fight with a monster deuce in here if I come out looking like I just wrestled… well… a body into the floor panels.

I leave, and return to my seat. It’s there I find Sophia waiting for me with a cold glass of white wine and that beautiful smile.

“Hi,” she says, “thought you might want a drink.”

I did. I mean, I want more than that. A whole lot more than just wine, but it’s a start.

I sit down and take a sip of the crystal liquid. It’s a piss poor quality, but it has a crisp bite and it’s full of decent flavors. She smiles, and we talk for another half hour. The wine is getting better now; maybe it’s getting to my head too fast. I set down the glass—or do I?—and lean next to her. She leans closer. I can’t feel my body, anymore.

She flicks my nose with her middle finger, and I don’t know if I flinch. I didn’t feel it.

She says, “You’re a hard man to track down. No wonder you’re so expensive.”

With my head canted at an odd angle against the seat, I can barely see the syringe in her hand. I don’t know what she’s going to do, and I can’t imagine it because for some reason everything is fuzzy. Not thinking clearly. Nothing is making sense anymore.

She says something but I only catch part of it. “…take credit for your kill. Two birds with one stone.”

She pokes the needle through my shoe. I don’t feel it. I don’t feel sick, either. I see the darkness, but I don’t feel any pain. I feel… I feel…

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Stop Hurting People

TKAR_RoseSome of the time, people have no idea what they’re doing to each other. A lot of the time, however, people know exactly what they’re doing. I’m talking about relationships. They’re some of the hardest things to do, even the simplest relationships can be tough. Why must we make it tougher by putting other people through hard times?

Getting into a relationship isn’t always easy. You can be the boldest most daring person in the world, and still find yourself lost for words at the beginning, before you even say hello. Even when that initial contact is made, you’ll still doubt every word that comes out of your mouth because you’re analyzing every word that comes out of their mouth.

Things can be amazing in relationships for a time, but it you’re not true, the relationship will never take hold. They’ll never flourish. Now, I’m not talking about both people. You see, just because one person isn’t connecting because they’re lost somewhere in someone else’s eyes, does not mean the other person isn’t falling in love with them. This causes a huge problem because now someone is suddenly investing their heart into something that will never work without the other person’s investment into the relationship.

Love is a powerful thing. It will make people do some incredible things. Sometimes those things are incredibly endearing and sometimes incredibly wonderful. Love makes us who we are because without it, we would be an even more dangerous and destructive race of people.

However, love can also dangerous in that it can destroy you and make you destructive. All of that incredible stuff you did, is now no longer fueled by desire to make the person you love feel wonderful. Now, your desire is either self-destruction or the destruction of others, which is where you start to do incredibly stupid things.

By leading someone down a path where they might fall for you and you aren’t fully invested (for instance you’re still in love with your ex), then you’re setting them up for destruction. How dare you do that to someone? How dare you get into a relationship where you cannot love that person back because you are currently broken?

You can’t, and you shouldn’t. You should always wait a length of time—it’s different for everyone—before jumping into something new because you need to be sure you are available for that person. Available for the love and commitment they are seeking from you. You can’t be this broken thing, and expect everything to work out, and you can’t expect them to be okay if you’re using them to unfuck yourself. You just can’t do that to people, and yet people do it all the time.

Why? Why do people do this? Are people so self-centered that they can’t think about other people when getting into something emotional? Relationships aren’t one-sided. They’re not one-sided. There are two sides to a relationship. I’ve said that three times now because people don’t seem to get it. You might be trying to unfuck your heart, but in the meantime, you’re fucking someone else’s heart. Is that fair? Is that right?

The last thing I want to talk about is how you approach exiting this broken thing you started. You don’t do it by blaming the other person for you exiting. No, you were broken to begin with, so own up to it. You don’t tell them the reason it won’t work by comparing them to the person you were originally trying to unfuck yourself from, and you sure as hell don’t do it right before you go back to that person. The truth is, you were broken from the get, and unless they were seriously fucking up, it probably isn’t their fault it didn’t work. It’s your fault. Don’t forget that, and don’t blame them, because all you’re going to do is break the fuck out of them some more. So, don’t be that asshole.

Love to love. Love to be loved. Don’t love to unfuck yourself, because that’s not love, that’s abuse.

Listen to the audio version of Your Broken Heart here:

Your Damaged Heart

Never did you see in the dying of the light
The minutes or hours or seconds I spent
Cultivating something deep and warm and bright.
Distractions of life left pieces of reality
Strewn about like toys in a child’s minefield
Those that did offer yet unseen fractures of actuality.

But there it was, under the blackening sun
Where songs attempted to sing futures untold,
But what was unknown to me is that the battle could never be won
Because it’s your heart that’s cold and fucked
Because it’s not you it’s them or it’s them not you
Where you’ve taken yourself away, sealed and gently tucked.

You see, singular madness deprives of happiness and smiles
But were there ever smiles to begin with, even once?
Yes! They did exist, but your darkening heart defiles
That which you could have known yet you remained unknowing.
You didn’t see that I had always known that someone did exist there
A “cousin” in disguise feeding you, seeding you, ever sowing.

Now, is it I who should feel this pain or sadness or betrayal?
No! Only once had I endured such dissonance in my soul
Breaking down the barrier, fingers underneath my skin from a disloyal
Discordant and unloving one, and yes there was you in the light
With all the hope and positivity that I could have ever dreamed
But never did I dream that I’d have to step into a battle field and fight

For your love or your attention—

Is that how it should be? Forevermore wondering
If you’re breaking or you’re taking or you’re faking this shit
And is this how you want to live?

Under the all this blustering and seething darkness spewing from
Your damaged tar pit of a heart layered with grime lies something
no one can break because its already broken.

Should I hurt when all your strength’s controlled by that one weak part?

No

Spoon and de Platé

As he turned the cream page, Toliver Spoon looked up from his book. It was there he saw Allison cleaning the counter in the kitchen. While he didn’t really want her to clean anything, she insisted because it calmed her, gave her time to think and work through anything that bothered or excited her. He didn’t know what bothered her, but he knew she would come to him when she was comfortable enough to do so.

The champagne sun poured through the window and glazed her skin with a brilliant sheen. Her soft blonde hair reflected the sunlight, giving off an aura as though she were an angel hiding among humanity.

Indeed, Toliver believed her to be just that. An angel. He wasn’t religious, but that didn’t matter because it was the association, how being a seraph aptly described her existence rather than as some supernatural being from heaven.

He thought this because she’d saved him. Before he met her, he lived as a broken man that time and loneliness had destroyed. He had been living in the shadows of his past, his emotional state deteriorated by his inability to find happiness.

In this lonely place, in that dark corner of his life secluded from the world and drowning in the lives of others around him, he thought it would all end the night he gazed down at the polished blade in his hands. He thought that his life couldn’t get better, and he feared that life would only get worse. He knew he was already at the edge of sanity, teetering at that penultimate moment before something would tip him into madness, and he wanted to end it all before it happened.

At the time, he hadn’t realized that he had already plunged into that black abyss. When things are at their darkest, when one can only quantify happiness by faded memories, something takes over. Something not outright understood, but unfortunate, solid in existence. Toliver had come to that point on the night he planned to kill himself, and he was fully ready to leave this world for the next.

That was when Allison de Plate came to him. Truthfully, she had been in his life before, but he never noticed. Even on that night, the night his dark half whispered into his ear, daring him to fade into the darkness, she came out of the shadows and into his life. Perhaps it wasn’t as symbolic as that because it had played out much more mundane. She merely knocked upon his door, and he answered, thus changing his life forever.

However, it wasn’t just his life that changed that night. Allison had changed, too. She was his neighbor, an unknown face among the crowd. That night, she was more than just a regular face hiding with all the others. She was a pretty face distorted by the wretched man she once called her husband. She was somebody he could see, and someone that could see him.

Standing in front him beyond that opened door, she nearly doubled over in pain. Her lip spilled blood onto the floor, her eye purple and inflamed, her left arm slack and motionless from when her husband yanked her too hard and pulled it from its socket. The man with whom she’d giving her live to through marriage had pulled a fistful of hair from her skull, leaving a large bloody patch above her right ear.

Looking at her that night as she shied away from the door with the expectation that he, too, would hurt her, he didn’t see himself the same anymore. In fact, he didn’t see himself at all. He only saw the woman before him, damaged as much on the outside as he was on the inside. While he couldn’t relate to the physical pain, he knew what she knew—likewise, she knew what he knew. They knew this because all broken people can see others who are also broken. They can feel each other. On this connection, they had immediately built a relationship more powerful that either had experienced.

Throughout that evening while he tended to her wounds, they talked about each other. She told him about her life in that apartment, about her husband, about how her father used to treat her behind closed doors. He told her about his life, about how he wanted to kill himself, wanted to end all the pain he was feeling. He told her things that happened to him, too, when he was little, but that no one else knew about or could even understand. In that, he was no longer alone. Neither of them was alone now.

In a hasty moment of rash judgment, they decided to run. They both needed to get away from their lives, and find new hope among the rotting stars. Maybe they would find those beautiful twinkling stars that everyone always talked about but that they had never seen. Maybe they wouldn’t. They didn’t know, but they needed to try.

Now, ten years later, they lived together. They never took to a relationship, but it didn’t matter. They loved with a love that was more than either of them could describe, more than anyone could understand. They found their stars, ones that shined bright within each other, brighter than the ones shining down from the heavens. It was brighter than the sun, hotter than the light shining through that window as she gently wiped the counter clean.

She finally looked up, and smiled. Warm and beautiful, timid and loving, he reciprocated with one of his own. When he returned to his book, he felt his chest tighten, his heart dance, and his emotions sang a song they both could hear. A song they both sung. A song that would last an eternity and more.