Wait, I Can Explain…

A glimpse inside the search engine history of a writer

or in other words:

If my computer is ever searched and I am a murder suspect, I am screwed.

  1. “Dispersal patterns of blood seepage in beach sand: hot sand vs cold?” (Image search) (spoiler alert – very pretty but verrry hard to reproduce)
  2. “Time from throat slitting to unconsciousness?”
  3. “Does saline freeze?”
  4. “Comparison of poisoning symptoms: rat poison vs arsenic”
  5. “Which poisons are the least detectable in an autopsy?”
  6. “Is suffocation by packed snow in throat possible?” (aka: James Bond movies do not lie)
  7. “Human body dismemberment: gross anatomy information” (Image search)
  8. “Death by starvation, how long? By lack of water?”
  9. “Can insomnia cause insanity?” (also a personal interest search)
  10. “What chemicals are used in a chemical port-a-potty?”
  11. “Symptoms of biocide poisoning” (see end result from previous search)
  12. “Death by heat stroke – in enclosed high temperature spaces – how long?”
  13. “How to permanently clear a search history?” (sadly, you never can really clear it all, we’re all screwed)

 

not yet

we wandered the short beach,

eyes downcast,

voices silent.

our eyes searched for the sea glass

that hid in the rocks.

our feet pushed the water worn rocks aside

as we hunted.

i stooped to grasp a piece

of jagged glass

and held it out to him.

he came near, his hand stretched to mine 

and i placed it in his palm.

bright sunlight caught the rough edges.

he held it aloft to let the light

pass through it

as he turned it,

looking, examining.

his hand dropped and

he tossed it back into the waves

with a flick of his hand.

his words to me were   

simple

as he spoke softly.

“it isn’t ready yet'”,

my son explained.

the waves hadn’t worn it down enough.

it was still just glass

that had been broken,

it hadn’t been exposed,

enough,

it hadn’t been weathered,

enough,

it hadn’t been worn,

enough,

to be beautiful.

yet.

Beautiful

I have rarely been called beautiful.

Beautiful is not for girls like me, so I have been told.

I have felt beautiful a few times – but it is not something that I am, so I have been told.

Pretty. Yes, pretty.  

I have been called that often enough that I even believed it sometimes.

Cute, adorable sometimes.

Sweet has been uttered more than a few times in reference to me.

All words that others have used to describe me, to describe who I am.

What I am really, not who; because who I am is what I am of course – and that is wrapped up easily in descriptors of my physical attributes.

These are the words that sprinkle my life like garnish.

Garnish that the entree that is me needs to be adorned with if I am to really be complete.

“Make sure you wear something nice for your first day of school. No one is going to want to talk to you if you don’t look approachable.”

“Smile. You’re prettier when you smile. You’re not going to make any friends if you don’t smile.”

“How are you ever going to find someone if you go out looking like that?”

“You could be so much prettier if you just put in some effort.”

 

Helpful words of advice to the younger me so that I could learn how to perfectly present the commodity of me for approval.

For purchase.

For acceptance.

For friendship.

For love.

I was the best student of these lessons – I always aim to be perfect so why should I not be perfect at this learning after all.

I have known since as far back as I can remember that I am worth something to someone if I am pretty, cute, quiet, polite,well-behaved…good… but mostly if how I look and behave is “right”.

That “right” though is the slippery, elusive, mist-shrouded image always just out of my grasp.  

It is a picture made by someone else that I could never seem to bring into focus.

A picture that I knew held the secret to me feeling “right”.

For so many years, every incarnation of me was shaped to try to fill the nooks and crannies of the boxes that I kept trying to fit into.

Girls that looked like me did certain things – and didn’t do certain other things.

Girls like me behaved a certain way.

They lived inside very specific boxes.

Boxes that fit girls like me.

Except that they didn’t fit me.

They hurt.

Trey pinched and chafed and suffocated.

I tried to pretend that I poured into them effortlessly and perfectly but I could never live that lie for long before the boxes just hurt too much.

Over and over again.

So many times that after a while I didn’t even know what shape I was and what the box would look like that DID fit me perfectly.

 

I felt wrong.

Wrong in a way that can’t ever be made right.

 

It didn’t occur to me that I didn’t need a box to live inside of.

I had learned the lessons so well that I knew – not just knew but believed so deeply that it was truth – that I was not complete if I wasn’t framed in someone else’s parameters.

It never occurred to me that the package that I came in was complete and perfect and whole.

That there is no such thing as “girls like me”.  

That the real truth is that I am the box.

And it is not wrong.

It is right, perfectly right.

And it’s rightness has nothing to do with how it looks.

And that is fucking beautiful.

Foreplay

I stir, trying not to wake her, as I stretch on the couch.
She is next to me, half on me, her body and mine easy in rest; her head on my chest as we both pretend we haven’t been napping.
We are tangled in our version of half-reclined and somewhat upright, still trying to appear not too lazy in the summer afternoon hours.
Eyes closed, I hear the movie that we have dozed through as it plays on, ignored.
White noise.

My arm is tossed casually back over my head; the heat makes me feel languid and I am indulging in it in this moment.
My eyes open slowly as I feel her start to stir.
Her body twists slightly, she turns towards me fully and I feel her sink softly forward onto me.
Her hand rests, seemingly absent-mindedly, on my wrist.
The heaviness of it holds my arm lightly in place over my head.
She moves lazily, slowly, as do I.
Shuffling a bit as we nestle into each other.
I inhale deeply, settle more deeply into the couch cushions, notice the shadows on the wall from the late afternoon sun – and exhale slowly.
Her head leans forward, towards me.
Her lips touch the smooth skin where my arm meets my body.
I close my eyes and let my head drop back on the pillow; the warmth of her breath on my skin tickles me.

The warmth turns to heat as her mouth closes on me.
Her teeth sink deeply into my tender flesh, her body pressing against mine, she bites.
Her bite is steady, unwavering in its intention to both satiate and evoke our desires.
My breath hissing between my own teeth as I inhale sharply.
The searing pain seeps into me, fills me, envelopes me.
A smile plays across my lips.
I feel my body sink even as it rises to meet hers, she moves with me, her teeth never loosening their hold on my flesh.
We dance on the sharp-edged crests of waves made of our flesh.
I surrender to the riptide that wants to drag me down, my body silently begs her to come with me.

She releases from me suddenly, brutally, her mouth wet as she draws away slightly.
There is a spark in her eye that flashes in the sunbeam that plays on her face.
“Foreplay!” she exclaims, laughing as she jumps up and takes my hand to help me off the couch as she leads me to the bedroom.

Dune

(Sometimes a writing comes to me in a flash, an image, whole and complete – and this is one of those. Stories are alive and just what they are sometimes.My first glimpse of the sand dunes in Oregon last summer and this was it. I spent the better part of the past year trying to write it differently, less than, not what it was in my head. Not so dark and not so what it wanted to be. Finally gave that up and let it be what it was. It is what it is.)

 

She sat on the crest of the dune and watched the sun as it raced itself to the horizon. The sunset was her favourite time of day. It was in these last few moments when the sun, blazing its most brilliant, would slip below the edge of her vision, that she was at peace. The enormity of the ocean would swallow it whole, entirely consuming its fire, leaving only a dark chill behind. The beauty of the transition from day to night was almost magical in its simplicity.

For now though, for just a few more golden shrouded minutes, the sun still shone.

She closed her eyes and felt the soft breeze that rolled off the water. It was warm on her face as it caught her hair, dancing her dark curls against her cheeks. She lifted her chin slightly to catch it a bit more, and her lips parted in a soft smile.  

The air had a slight chill under the warmth though and that edge told her that time was running out. The sun was swiftly nearing the horizon line and she wanted to be gone before the sun dipped its final dive below the waves today.

She breathed in deeply, the salt in the air tangy on her tongue. Opening her eyes to drink in the last glimpses of sunlight, she was surprised to find them wet with tears. Blinking them away, she exhaled slowly.

The flash of sun reflecting against the metal that she held in her hand was so brief that it might have almost not happened at all.

She moved without hesitation, smoothly. The blade so sharp that it was done before she even began to feel the sting of its edge against her forearms.

A shiver ran through her as she leaned forward, wrapping her arms around her bent legs, hugging her knees to her chest for a moment.

She sighed and let go slowly, dropping her arms to rest beside her. The sand darkened with her blood.

The roaring of the waves below her on the beach were being drowned out by the sound of her heartbeat in her ears and she welcomed the silence she hoped would follow soon.

Her head raised slowly and the fiery sun met her gaze.

It was just starting its final fall into the waiting embrace of the ocean.

She felt herself slip quietly with it as her head fell softly forward onto her knees and her eyes closed.

the hours

quiet fills the spaces left behind as the setting sun has spent its final glory for the day.
the world waits and eyes are closed against the absence of light that encompasses all.
ships rock easily in the harbour, the water depthless in its blackness.
the village streets barren in the moonlight that casts a misty silver curtain.

it is the witches hour that silently approaches.
midnight is theirs, the newly blackened skies simmer the darkness that cradles their magic.
they haunt the hour that rests in the shadows as the hands of the clock reach for the heavens.
the night air as cold as their words that fall in whispers over their cauldrons.

the devil plays in the coal black hour that slides into being as the witches take their leave.
the clock strikes three and she dances brazenly in her hour of seduction, enticing the minds of her lovers in their slumber.
beckoning their hearts to fall into her embrace, her gossamer wings fold and envelope tightly.

the hour of lost souls calls to its tribe; they answer with surrender.
four am is the beautiful torment of time reserved for those who wander, ever meandering.
it awakens those who most desperately seek the promised solace of sleep, their rest denied.
it is a hushed reverence of secrets hidden in graves too shallow to ever find peace.

the shifting shapes transform, change, grow.
creeping away, begrudgingly, as the night begins its slow transformation into the light.
stirrings appear at the edges of awareness. the darkness releases its grip reluctantly,
the shadows that will lurk in the sunlight, its delicate promise of return.