All The Work That Goes Into It – Chapter 6

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CHAPTER 6

“You what?”

“I can’t believe I called her, Danny. It was an accident.”

“Bullshit!”

“I was outside Border Café waiting for an UBER, and I thought of her, and the next thing you know I had her number up, and then I hit call by accident.”

“Jesus, what did she say?”

“Hello.”

“That’s it? What else did she say?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean, you don’t know?”

“I hung up, after she said hello.”

“You what?”

“I hung up. I panicked.”

“Crow, she knew it was you.”

“Obviously.”

“Yes, Obviously. Did you try calling her back?”

“No, why would I do that?”

“Because, you called her in the first place.”

“Stop busting my balls, brother.”

“All I know, is that you were thinking about her, and you called her. Even after all of this time. Maybe she wanted to talk with you too.”

“I don’t know, Dan. We left it pretty badly.”

“So what, what difference does that make. Time heals all wounds.”

“It’s just that, I thought…”

“You thought, what?”

“She would know exactly what to do in my situation.”

“So, call her back, then.”

“You honestly think she’ll answer again?”

“You’ll never know until you try.”

“You’re supposed to talk me out of making bad decisions, Danny.”

“Maybe, I’m talking you into making the right decision.”

“I don’t know. What would I say?”

“Whatever seems like the right thing to say?”

“It’s too much.”

“Maybe this has all happened for a reason, my friend.”

“It’s really a lot to process right now.”

“You’ll figure it out.”

“I hope so.”

“You will.”

“Thanks, brother.”

“Anytime.”

Danny ended the call before Crow could say anything else. He sat on the edge of his sofa (Brinda’s IKEA sofa) and rubbed his palms through his hair. His legs did tippy-taps on the floor. He had a ton of nervous energy, and a ton of anxiety crushing him right now. He couldn’t believe how much had happened in the past two days, and how fast it had happened. He went from getting a call about a piece of work he submitted, to another call about that same piece of work, to calling his ex by accident (or maybe subconsciously on purpose), at that same time neglecting to see the irony that the manuscript that was being considered to be published was inspired by and about his horrible break up with Brinda.

He got up and stretched and went over to his writing desk. The only thing that brought him solace at times like this, was burying himself in his writing. He sat down, turned on the desktop and got to work.

His fingers flew with a fury he had never experienced. He tripped through line after line, and ripped off four pages in a flash. He sat up in his chair and pulled off his glasses and rubbed his temples firmly. Once a level of relief was achieved he put his glasses back on and went back at it. He momentarily stopped to turn on his Pandora music app, and he selected the 80’s New Wave channel. Music started pumping through the desk speakers, and he took it as encouragement to keep going. Morrissey’s “The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get” came on, and it pushed him. He remembered the words, the feelings, what the song meant to him in that time. It was a reunion of sorts, but this time he was in the driver’s seat. He spit out word after word in defiance of reining in his comfort.

After what seemed like a flash, he looked up from his computer and realized it was two a.m. He couldn’t believe it. He hit a new plateau. Never before in all of his writing experience, had he lost time like this. It felt great. He saved his work, and then got up took a piss, and then crashed into his bed. He pondered the significance of this outburst, and then he started crying. Not your typical tears down your cheeks cry, but the ugly snot bubble chest heaving cry that one experiences every once in a while. This carried on for twenty minutes, but then, as suddenly as he had started, he stopped. He rolled onto his side and grabbed the body pillow .It was cold. He remembered what it felt like to lose himself in the flesh of another person, and not in the sexual way, but the intimate skin to skin being protected from the harsh world kind of way. He closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep. It wasn’t until the early morning hours that he dreamed. He awoke with a startle at one point, as the dream that he experienced was one of many that recurring to him. In this recurring dream, Crow would be on the run, being chased by a giant grizzly bear. No matter how hard he tried to escape, or what kind of a hiding place he would find, Crow was always within a claw-swipe of the animal, and he felt helpless. In fact, in the last dream, he was with his deceased father. Both Crow and his father would find what they thought were excellent hiding places, only to be discovered again by an emerging bear that would aggressively charge toward them and cause them to run to the next seemingly safe spot. Crow’s Dad has been dead for four years. Generally, Crow would be ecstatic about seeing his Dad in his dreams, but under the circumstances of being chased by a bear, it made Crow feel worse. He also had the inexplicable feeling of possessing a general awareness that he was aware the he was dreaming, but he couldn’t articulate it up his father. It almost seemed if his father was struggling to tell him something as well, but neither of them could speak, only run from the bear. At one point he was running from the bear and had lost his father. Eventually, Crow ran through a forest path that led him to a railroad bridge stretching across a deep ravine to the other side. His Dad was waving him over the bridge, but Crow had no idea how he got over there; especially since they had just been running side by side. All of a sudden the brush to the right of him indicated that a large beast was descending upon him. He had no choice but to start over the bridge as fast as he could. When he looked ahead to see his father on the other side, he saw him standing in the middle of the bridge span instead. Making matters worse, a steel monster was heading towards both of them from the other side of the bridge. No matter what he did to earn his father of the impending train, his father wouldn’t turn around to see what was approaching. Crow would get frustrated and yell to his father, to look behind him, or to get off the bridge. All the while, he covered the tracks as fast as he could without looking back at the bear chasing him. His father didn’t seem alarmed, or to see the bear chasing Crow as he set out over the span. As is usually the case in many dreams, Crow was caught in a loop that defied logic of all kinds. He knew he was dreaming, but he couldn’t will himself to wake up, no matter how hard he tried. All he could do was pump his arms and legs as hard as he could to get to his father before the train hit him. In a flash he was yards from his father and gave one last push and lunged to grab his father in his arms. He succeeded, but they were now both falling from the bridge. Just as they were about to hit the ground, Crow startled awake on the floor of his bedroom. He was disoriented and covered in sweat, with the sheets wrapped around his neck.

 

Chapter 5

Chapter 4

Chapter 3

Chapter 2

Chapter 1

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All The Work That Goes Into It – Chapter 5

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CHAPTER 5

Crowell took a long walk down by the Charles River. The weather was cooperating, and the sun red sky was losing illumination by the minute. Crow liked to walk by the Charles when he needed to think about things. He always found it a comfort to see scullers moving up and down the seams of the river, and under the famous bridges, under blood red skies. He had never been in a predicament like the one he allowed himself to be in now. All he had to do was tell the folks at Candlewick that his friend submitted the wrong manuscript on his behalf, and that it was a mistake. Then again, he hadn’t signed with anyone as yet, and was beginning to wonder if he should keep both opportunities in play until he had at least a guarantee on one. But, he really liked C.P. Hickey and Sandy, and he hadn’t even met Lissette yet. He felt like he was betraying a trust. This was the first time in his life that he really didn’t know what to do. Under normal circumstances, he would call up Danny and ask him out for a few beers, but Danny was part of the problem. There was one other person that would know what to do, but he couldn’t bring himself to contact her. The last time they spoke, they said words that could not be unsaid, and they parted harshly. It took him a very long time to get over it. Ironically, the very manuscript that was causing him so much anguish, was inspired by his relationship with Brinda. He had spent years avoiding it, but then one day, the damn burst, and he was able to write with purpose and catharsis. Danny had no idea that the manuscript story was based on his relationship with Brinda and the troubles that followed their break-up. Actually, he was quite surprised he didn’t pick up on it. Sometimes Danny had a way of glossing over the things he didn’t want to see. Perhaps, that was his way of protecting Crow. He knew how much the break-up affected him.

As Crow reached the end of his walk, he realized that he was hungry, and he decided to go the Border Café in Harvard Square. Many of his buddies would bust his balls for wanting to go there so regularly, but it didn’t matter, he ate there despite them. He could get cheap eats there, and they totally satisfied him. He would start with the bowl of chili, and follow it up with either the chicken tacos, or the chicken fajitas. He also loved getting the bowls of chips and salsa. He had his first date with Brinda there, and it was there go to comfort spot. She always had these awful salsa burps after they would eat there. But he didn’t care, it made him adore her more. They celebrated her graduation from the Harvard Extension School there. They ate there after they moved into their first apartment together, and it was there that she told him that she couldn’t “do it’ anymore. Although, she never seemed to explain exactly what “doing it” meant. Despite all that, Crow couldn’t tear himself away from there. He often went on Tuesday nights, and after he would eat, he would sneak over to Club Passim nearby, in hopes of seeing her perform at an open mike. She never showed up. Not once.

After eating, he ordered an UBER, and waited for its arrive. In thinking about Brinda, he almost forgot his problem. He clicked on the contacts icon on his phone, and scrolled to her name. It seemed to float there in the queue and have a life of its own. He wondered if she changed her number. In all the time since they had broken up, he never once tried to call her. He had tried to write to her many times, but the letters always came back “RTS”.

He went to close the application and he hit the call button by mistake, it rang. His heart was in his throat. He negotiated with himself to hang up after one ring, then it was two rings, then it happened…

“Hello.”

Poet Love of the Day

 

Portraits Of Charles Bukowski
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AIR AND LIGHT AND TIME AND SPACE – Charles Bukowski

”– you know, I’ve either had a family, a job,
something has always been in the
way
but now
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
the light.
for the first time in my life I’m going to have
a place and the time to
create.”

no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
or
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
welfare,
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown
away,
you’re going to create blind
crippled
demented,
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
back while
the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment,
flood and fire.

baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
new excuses
for.

“When I Used To Pray”

“When I Used To Pray”

When I used to pray,

There was a solemnity to my humility.

Over time cynicism took hold,

And converted me.

Now in despair of wonder,

I prey upon opportunities to anger.

The passion of apathy perpetuates,

And success derives of lack of faith.

A vacuum provides a steady nurturing,

And in no time,

I am adrift on a turbulent sea.

Bobbing on the waves,

Atop a raft of shoddy construction.

Just enough to crest the waves.

Precarious.

Any moment the scales could tip.

And I could drown.

Prayer used to be useful,

Until it wasn’t.