Dream A Little A Dream Of Me

“Hey, come’re,” he said as he took her hand.

“Why, what? What are you doing?” She pulled back slightly, confused.

“Just go with, baby,” he reached again and held out his upturned palm, this time waiting for her to offer her hand back.

She sighed a smile and dropped her hand in his as if it were a rock into the mud. He was in a mood and she could tell by the smile on his face. It was a mischievous smile, but the mischief was harmless. He wanted to play with her, but she found he always picked the oddest times.

He started humming and pulled her toward him. His right hand clasping her left with his left hand settled on her hip. She recognized the tune vibrating from his lips but she couldn’t quite place it. It was familiar. It was old. It was the perfect amount of peculiarity she’s become used to with him.

“Stars shining bright above you/Night breezes seem to whisper “I love you”/Birds singing in the sycamore trees/…

“Dream a little dream of me,” she finished the words for him in her sing-song-y voice.

She pulled her left hand from his and, along with her right, extended them behind his head and dangled them loosely on his shoulders. Both of his hands were now clasping her waist and they swayed together slowly in a softly broken silence with his humming and her angelic voice.

The room was dark and it was late, neither of them were really sure what the exact time was but the streetlights were humming and the neighbor’s living room’s were all dark. The two of them had gotten lost in each other for most of the evening and just decided to move the festivities to the bedroom when he had a moment of inspiration and took her hand. They now swayed in the moonlight that shone in through the window and reflected off of the dining room table, which gave the room a spotlight glow. Their bodies moved just outside the glow but with enough reflection where he could see her lips moving as she continued to sing.

“Say nightie-night and kiss me,” her voice punctuated the last two words and she bit her lip while looking to him. He followed suit with a press of his lips to hers. It was a simple kiss that held them together with the softest touch, but evolved quickly into his tongue penetrating her mouth and lapping at hers while his hands gripped her tight and her arms bent around his neck.

When the kiss finally broke, she continued, “just hold me tight and tell me you’ll miss me, while I’m all alone and blue as can be, dream-a little dream-of me.”

Her voice stopped for a moment at each mention of the word dream. She looked at him and into his eyes and the light bounced around in them as he smiled. She squeezed herself around his neck and brought her lips back to his and he indulged in another kiss before pulling back and stared back into hers and the smiling beaming back at him.

He sang back to her, “sweet dreams till sunbeams find you. Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you. But in your dreams, whatever they be, won’t you dream a little dream of we.”

She bit her lip and pressed herself into him as hard as humanly possible at his changing of the last verse. She shook her head and dipped her eyes from his, “come on. Let’s go or we’ll wake the sun.”

He twirled her once and she led him to the bedroom, their fingers clasped in a hook the entire way down the hall. The door closed to soft squeals and low growls that filled their sheets until they fell into their own dreams, lingering in them until dawn.

And then he kissed me

We talked about random things.  We talked about silly things and got to know each other.  He was nice and kind and inquisitive but not creepy.  He was equally interested in knowing things about me than he was talking about himself.  He wasn’t secretive or evasive.  It was a great first conversation and I left it smiling.

Then we talked about what we were doing.  What we like to do and where we’ve been.  We talked about the past and things we’d love to do in the future.  Some of the things he’s done that I’d love to do.  We joked about doing the same thing but at different times in the same place.  We reminisced and fantasized along the same plane of existence.

After that we talked about our actions.  Things we do and ways we act.  Various likes and dislikes and how we can’t understand how other people don’t share our likes or dislikes.  We came up with cutesy nicknames for each other based on these and teased each other based on others.  The words adorable and cute were bandied about in my direction and I told him to stop making me smile so much because my cheeks are starting to hurt.

Eventually the conversations led to something slightly more risque.  It was hot and I was hot and he seemed hot.  I was more empirically hot in the sense that I was sweating from the heat, while I found him more and more appealing with every conversation we had.  I looked forward to them.  When he would text me and say hello I would light up.  I had to contain myself slightly because I didn’t want to seem too eager and come off as desperate.
He asked what I was doing and I told him, purposefully, that I was folding laundry in slightly more than no clothing.  His attention was always readily available but his tone changed.  His words went from fun and flirty to flirty and suggestive.  I suggested just as much and we suggested each other doing very suggestive things.
We slipped back, comfortably, into our usual conversation of silly and fun to goodnight and in bed.  A smile permanently plastered on my face as I drifted off to sleep.  

Soon after we decided to get together to test the chemistry and physics, to see if the pull was just as strong and the reactions at the same intensity.  We met and we shared a drink.  We smiled and laughed.  The laughs were genuine and held in reserve for fear of looking too comfortable.  I don’t know why.
The drinks turned into more drinks which turned into a bit of food.  I can eat in front of him?  Wow.
Hours might have gone by, or just a single one I’m not really sure.  It was a great time, just as good as our texting and then better on top of it.  Better because I could see his blue eyes behind his glasses.  I could watch his smile when I did something dumb that he said was adorable.  There was even that moment I got to feel his hand along mine while his fingers dragged over my palm to see if he could make me shiver.  It was amazing and I didn’t want it to end, but it had to.

We got to my car, because he walked me to my car.  We smiled our goodbyes and hugged our regrets behind them.  We stood under the streetlight which, itself, was under the stars.  The busy, warm night was all around us and even though it couldn’t have gone any better I wish it wouldn’t have stopped and was a little sad that it was ending.  Would this be the best night we had together and it only just began?  I’m always so negative.

And then he kissed me.

An off way to Netflix and chill

I was thinking of some of the things I’ve written and wanted to drop an excerpt here from a semi written story.  I’m probably half way to two-thirds finished with it.  I keep telling myself I’ll jump back into it but every time I try I stare at the page and nothing comes to me.  I did lose the muse who was the inspiration for it so that’s probably got my head in knots.

Anyways, this is towards the beginning.  The two main characters, the narrator and the object of his affection, are on a phone date.  They work together but through different companies in the same town.  They’ve never met but she’s decided to save him from a night alone on New Year’s Eve watching the movie New Year’s Eve.

 

The movie restarted and we both hit play at the same time.  I could hear her making the Netflix sound as if she were hitting her own set of drums.  We were going on as if we had known each other for years and we had never even met.

The pizza came to the door with the cute girl.  I didn’t even put the phone down. I gave her the just-a-minute finger and pulled out a $20 and closed the door without saying a thing to her as I was listening to Annie go off about how Bon Jovi should not be in movies and how he should rarely be allowed to sing.  Which I then broke into a rendition of Livin’ On A Prayer, or at least the chorus because it was the only part of the song that I knew.

The movie ran on and neither of us stopped it.  She set the phone done to run off for two minutes and thirty-four seconds which I assume was to use the bathroom but she wouldn’t confess.

“A lady never tells,” she proclaimed in a Queen Elizabeth voice.

By the time the credits rolled we had completely stopped paying attention to the movie for at least half an hour.  We were talking about random things in our lives and making them seem as ridiculous as possible.

She was talking about her cat and how she was hoping to end up a cat lady one day.  There was a reference to how she’s already got some long-term plans set up by walking up and down the halls of the building calling a cats name that doesn’t exist.  She also said that for two weeks straight she went out and bought large bags of cat litter and carried them through the lobby making sure she was seen every day by someone.  I laughed and called her full of shit.

“You did not!”

“Are you questioning the all mighty cat lady?  My goal is to one day have my body found in my apartment four days after I’ve died and my multitude of cats slowly peeling the flesh from my bones as they eat me.  I’ll have left a note declaring that I will be reborn as Cat-woman and have a saucy leather piece laid out neatly on the couch. You’ll see someday. You’ll all see.”

I would interject, “this is one of the rare cases where sexism isn’t fair to men.  If I were to say something similar to that you would have hung up and probably asked to be transferred positions at work or at least warn the police about me.  But you do it and it’s adorable.”

I could hear her shriek in protest, “adorable?!  You obviously have no experience with crazy women, Evan.  Crazy ex-girlfriends. Run of the mill stalker types. Give me a few weeks and I’ll be hiding outside in your bushes to make sure you’re not talking with your female neighbors.  Just you wait.”

The conversation ran on like that with both of us offering ridiculous statements based on some truths.  We would have talked even longer if both of us weren’t startled and yelled out at the same time, “what the hell?”  

I looked through my window and saw the sky lit up with pink and blue lights.  For a second I didn’t realize what it was and it dawned on me, we had talked right through New Year’s.  The soft popping of fireworks could be heard through the window and the lights continued to brighten the dark sky.  Annie was silent on her end of the phone, most likely doing the same thing I was. We watched the sky together from our own part of the city and sat in silence until she said softly on the other line.

“Happy New Year, Evan.”

“Happy New Year, Annie,” I said back in a smile.

“This was fun,” she said back.

“We’ll have to do it again some time.  Maybe next time we might be in the same room.”

I laughed, “why ruin a good thing?  We get along so well on the phone. It’ll be a long distance thing.”

She laughed back, “yeah.  Good point. If it ain’t broke, right?”

“Uh huh.”

“Well,” she said, “we made it into next year.  I guess I’ll talk with you in a day or so.”

“Unless you’re bored and want to watch a movie again,” I said half jokingly but mostly seriously.  I could hear her smile on the other end.

“Goodnight Evan.”

“‘Night Annie.”

Compliments

“I love the way you write,” she said, and it was the beginning of the end.

It was the beginning of the beginning, but I’ve always fallen for easy compliments on things I’m self conscious about.  My hair.  My clothes.  My voice and my writing.  All it took was sincerity in her voice, perceived or actual, and I was overlooking a vast ravine and wanting to jump into the nothingness just to hear her say it again.

“Sorry, what?”  Never take a compliment for a compliment unless you hear them say it twice.  You may have misheard it and they said something different, or they were just being nice and will dismiss anything said previous.

“Your writing,” she held the piece of paper and shook it as if it had bells hanging from the edges, “I love the way you put words down.  The expressiveness.  The visuals.  The oddity and randomness of it.  I really like a lot.”

Does she really like it a lot or does she love it?

“Thanks.  Yeah.  I don’t know.  I just kind of dump my mind onto paper sometimes.  I don’t really know where it comes from.”

“Well its nice.  You should do it more often.”

Now it’s just nice.  I should have just said thanks and left it at that.

I nodded and smiled a closed-lip half smile and kept my head down.  I wanted to write some more but nothing was coming into my head.  Nothing except that she might have been staring at me.  I was too nervous to look up and confirm it so my pen just swirled around the letters on the newspaper in front of me where I had been writing in the margins.

It was out of boredom really.  Sitting random places doing random things.  My cellphone was the high quality, super rare kind that could still only make phone calls.  It probably could take pictures too but computers nowadays didn’t have the sophistication to handle the tens of hundreds of pixels it was capable of capturing.  So busying myself like everyone else in the room with their necks crooked and faces glowing against the light of the tiny screen wasn’t really an option.
So I would grab a piece of paper nearby and entertain myself.  Often times it would be a newspaper or a magazine.  I’d never take a current one in case someone wanted to read it, but there was usually a day old paper laying around so I would grab that and paint the canvas with my nonsense.

Most of the time it was literally complete nonsense.  I would keep my head down and listen to the conversations going on around me.  I would start writing parts of them and then take off from there into a world of the bizarre pieced together with fragments of reality.  When I was done, or my time was up, I would leave the little piece of brilliance on the table for someone else to enjoy or become perplexed by, either way it was out of my head and splashed across the page and I’d never even remember what it was a few hours later.

I wasn’t even sure anybody read any of it.  I thought someone might read a few words and then furrow their brow at the oddness then toss the paper in the trash.  I didn’t think people actually sat down and made it through everything.  It was a chore, and I partially did it as a joke.  I would sometimes end the writing saying that the reader has wasted minutes of their life they’ll never get back reading my nonsense.  Yet, here she was seemingly reading every word.

I finally let my eyes come up for air and took a quick glance at her.  She wasn’t staring at me but it looked as if she might have been side-eyeing my paper as the tip of my pen swirled along the words of the bold headline.  Was she waiting for me to write more so she could watch?  Strange.

When I brought my eyes up and not-so-smoothly took a look at her to see if she was watching me she noticed and caught my eyes with a smile.

“Well ran dry?”  she asked.

I shook my head, “no just the right inspiration hasn’t come along yet.”

“Oh.  What kind of inspiration do you need?”

I looked down away from her engaging smile and interrogating eyes, “I kind of know it when I see or hear it.  It takes a hold of me and my mind unfurls like a flower.  I don’t really control it.”

“Unfurls like a flower huh?”

I nodded.

“That’s kind of poetic.  Those visuals I was talking about.”

I don’t know if it was being conveyed on the outside of my skin but on the inside I was feeling flush and blushing.  I’m not used to praise or admiration in anything I do.  It always felt fake whenever anyone would say something nice and I never know how to take a compliment.  I froze and she kept talking.  I felt like I was sweating.  I completely forgot how to communicate with another person.

“I uh, yeah.  I don’t know.  I-, uh, uh huh.  I’m like-, uh, heh,” I wanted to bang my head on the desk and groan so loud but she was still staring at me, or at least it felt like she was.  She was still sitting there trying to engage with me and my tongue’s decided to swell three sizes too big and cut the circulation off to my brain.

“You know you could just write about me,” she tilted her head down and tried to catch my lowered eyes.  I looked up with my mouth slightly open in surprise.

“Uh…huh?”  I always gave the most eloquent responses when confused.  This is why I preferred to communicate in written word, I could write a hundred times better than I could speak.

“Me.  If you don’t know what to write about then write about me.  Make me a character.”

She was smiling.  Why was she smiling?  Write about her?  What?

“What would I even write about?”  I had forgotten about my awkwardness and engaged in the puzzle of what/huh/what are you talking about.

“I don’t know.  You’re the writer.  I’m just trying to give you some inspiration.  Selfishly of course.  I want to read what you’re going to write next and if its about me I’m curious to see where you’ll take that story so, yeah.  You can just write about this, right here.  Our conversation.  A back and forth and see where it goes.”

I wish she would stop making eye contact.  It’s so annoyingly polite and she was being too nice.  It felt like a trap but I couldn’t help it if it was.  She was asking me to write.  She requested my words written down for her.  The abyss was long and wide and never ending and I was going to fill it with words for her.  About her.
They would build a bridge from one end to the next and she could walk along it and peer over the edge to see all of the beautiful things I’d constructed below.

And all it took was for her to say, I love the way you write.

“Do you want to get some coffee?”

“I’m not really into coffee.”

I know that wasn’t the point of you asking, to go out for coffee, but I always felt the need to say it.  I didn’t like coffee.  It was almost a badge of honor in some cases.  Everyone around me gulping it down like fuel at the gas station.  Sloshing the troughs of cream and milk as stir sticks lay wasted on the counter.  Not me.  I’m good.

I’ve always had a natural state of alertness and didn’t feel the need for a morning pick me up.  Of course it comes and goes, and of course I could probably use some kind of pick me up, but I always felt that if I succumbed to the coffee bean devils then I’d become reliant on them.  I’d be a walking Starbucks zombie.

You were staring at me with a perplexed look on your face.  Shit, I did it again.

“Well I mean, like, I don’t really like coffee, but of course we can do something else.  If you want.  If you want coffee we can go get coffee, or like I don’t know, something.  I mean, I could get something.  I’m sure-, well like they have other stuff.  Did you want coffee?  We can do whatever.  It’s-, I’m-, like whatever you want.”

There, that ought to fix it.  Jesus.

She raised her eyebrow at me and stared for a decade or two.  Her lips were together and still.  She had the biggest, rounded eyes I had ever seen.  I believe people often described them as saucers, big and bright and a perfect circle.  While I’m staring back into her stare all I can think of is the moon and if it had a twin that lived alongside it.  Two giant celestial circles floating in the sky staring at me through a blanket of night black hair.

“You can get whatever you want.  You don’t need to get coffee.  It was just a front to talk.  Geez, calm down,” she hardened her stare enough that it was obviously in jest.

“Calm down?  I’ll definitely pass on the coffee then,” I smiled in response.

“Yeah, because you don’t drink it right?  You’re not really into it.  I heard that somewhere,” she said while turning to walk away.

“I can stand it in the right company.”

I followed the moon for coffee as it faded below the horizon.

Better than being alone

“This strand of hair,” he slides his finger and thumb back and forth as the other piece of her hair fall away until there’s a single one left in his grip, “this one right here.  I love this strand of hair as much as I love every other strand of hair on your head.  Just as much as I love every freckle on your body and every angle of your curves.”

They were uncomfortably close, she thought.  Their foreheads only a whisper apart.  She could feel his breath along her neck and shoulder.  His eyes were too intense and she couldn’t take it, so she laughed it off nervously.

“You’re just-, no.  I’m-, um, thank you,” she shook her head trying to free her single strand from his pincer grip but he wouldn’t let go.

“It’s true.  All of it.  There are so many things about you that make me hunger to touch you.  To kiss you.  I can’t stop myself sometimes.”

His words weren’t helping her nervousness.  He always says them and they’re very nice things to say, but she can’t help but feel as if they’re just words with no meaning.  She doesn’t understand how anyone could say those things about her.  She’s nobody.  She’s nothing special.  All she wants to do is hide and he’s holding her up telling everyone to look.  It’s as if he doesn’t know her and makes the words he says feel painful and awkward.

She tilted her head away and pull the strand of hair from him, “I have to go.”

He grabbed her hand and held her, “you don’t seem as if you believe me.  After all this time and all the times I’ve professed my love for you.  The times we’ve made love and the times we’ve kissed.  The laughs we’ve shared and intimate moments, you still doubt that I love every inch of you?”

She sighed, “just don’t.  I-, of course, yes.  I do.”

He shook his head, “I don’t believe you.”

“Well what do you want me to say?”  He pushed her too far and the dam broke and the waters came flooding out.
“That I don’t think you’re sincere.  You say the words that you love me but you never seem to understand anything about me.  That when I laugh I do it out of nervous energy.  That when we fucked it’s because your hands wouldn’t stop.  When we kissed it was your mouth forced down my throat.  You’ve never known me, you’ve only ever known what you wanted and took it.  You never stopped to read my reaction to any of it.  You may say you love every inch of me, but only when you want something that I can give you at that moment whether I want it or not.”

He stared at her blankly and spoke without emotion, “so why are you with me then?”

“Because I don’t want to be alone.  I don’t want to be sad and think I’ll never find anyone so I would rather take someone who seems insincere but is nice about it.  I’d rather have a relationship I’m disappointed in than none at all.  And that might seem fucked up to you but, again, you don’t know anything about me so I’m not surprised you don’t realize that I would want that.”

An interview

“I know there are a lot of people who say they’re actors.  Actresses.  They all think they have the talent.  They all do.  How could you do it if you don’t?  You don’t get into film or stage, or really even television if that’s your thing.  It’s not my thing, it could be when I’ve had some time or the role is juicy enough or I’m doing someone a favor, just not right now.  Something on premium cable.  But if you don’t believe in yourself then you’ll never be more than a community theater stand-in.  You have to know you’re good enough.  In an audition you have to look at the competition and-, no, you know what?  You don’t even look at the competition.  They aren’t your competition.  You are the only person for that role.”

“I did theater in school, yes.  Of course.  It’s where we all start.  Or most of us.  It’s hard though.  It’s hard being at a level where you know you’re good and you can see yourself being up there.  High up there in the lights, while you have Johnny Football joining the cast because his girlfriend, the cheerleader, asked him to do something with her.  It’s difficult but you’re always going to work with obstacles and if you’re as good as you know you can be, you can look past it.  Right?”

“I don’t want to have that story-, do you know how many times I’ve heard it?  That story where the girl from Tulsa comes out to Hollywood and lands a big acting role.  I’m not the small town girl next door.  I don’t want to be typecast into being her, or anyone.  I want to be the chameleon who is unrecognizable from one role to another.  Everybody knows that when a woman gets to a certain age she becomes the mom.  Then the grandmother.  Then you’re out of the business.  Women don’t get acting jobs past 50.  I don’t want to spend my prime years being the innocent girl.  The victim.  The best friend.  I can do more than that.  I am more than that.  My talent is more than that.”

“I read scripts.  I go online and I print off my favorite monologues and I read them.  Or, not even monologues.  The best roles.  Sometimes, even, the male roles.  The ones with meat.  The roles that are remembered and have heartbeats stitched into the words.  I’ll read them into the mirror.  I’ll scream them into my window’s reflection at night.  I’ll cry them into my dinner.  Different scripts from different genres.  I’m trying to round myself into something that can’t be pegged by a look or a tone.  This business is so hard but it isn’t business.  Its art and you can’t stifle art.”

“I would never do-, or I can’t say I would do it.  Nudity.  No.  It’s not something I ever wanted to get into.  My body is-, I don’t know though.  You know?  I am not that type of actress.  I’m not the one who will do that.  It’s-, I don’t want to be the sex symbol.  I don’t want to be the pretty face.  I am an actress and I don’t need to show my body on screen to act.  There are roles where I would though.  Absolutely.  Yes.  Yes.  Of course.  I can’t say no.  No.  I can’t.  I can see myself doing a nude scene, or a sex scene.  Yes of course.  It would have to be integral to the plot though.  To push the story.  Or, if not the story then the character’s motivation.  I am a firm believer in the characters arc having to be fully told to truly get the most from a role.  If she needs to bare herself for the camera then I can do that.  I am absolutely able to do that.  Yes.  Oh yes, of course.  Sometimes it’s necessary.”

“To tell a story, that’s why we all get into acting.  It’s why anyone acts.  It’s why anyone wants to be an artist.  No matter if its a painting, a script, a dance or acting out a scene; it’s always art.  We are all artists bringing our tools to the stage and showing everyone beauty.  My tool is my depth.  The emotions I can convey through being everyone.  I can be you.  Yes.  Absolutely, yes I can be you.  With enough studying I can be anyone and redistribute that truth to the audience.  That is why we’re all actors.  That is why we do this.  To tell truth, even in the lies.  And it’s why I believe that actors and actresses are famous and need fame.  They need the attention of the people they are entertaining because if they aren’t conveying their art then they aren’t feeling alive.  We live-, we need to live through the expressions that we cause.  We need to see the effect we have on the people.  I am an actress because I am truth.  I am bringing you all the truth.  And, its funny you see.  I’m bringing you truth through lies.  I’m not me when I’m art, I’m everyone.  Yet, at the same time I’m a little bit of me.  It’s funny and profound and just, yeah.”

Buy me a drink?

“So, what is it?  What’s got you staring at me across the room without a word to say until now?”

Oona took a sip from her drink as she waited for the man’s answer.

They had been bantering for a short while.  She approached him and asked if he minded some company.  He didn’t object.  Men usually don’t when she approaches them, although it is a rare occurrence.

The conversation was odd to her.  There were no pleasantries or introductions.  No attempt was made inquiring on her availability or current activities, but at the same time he was pleasant and inviting.  He seemed to enjoy her company and was quick with a response to anything she said.

“I’d venture to guess you’re used to men staring at you,” he smiled and hovered his drink below his  lips.

“I am,” she smiled with her lips on her glass.

“And often, I’m sure, they’ve lost to ability to form words.”

Oona raised her glass and nodded slightly before resting it on the table.

“But I don’t care about them.  I want to know about you.  The man who has yet to introduce himself.  The man who doesn’t make eye contact the entire time, but not because he’s shy but because he’s somewhat over confident.  The man who has yet to offer me another drink, a night cap in his room or breakfast the next morning.  I want to know something about this man, in particular.”

He nodded and smiled as he rested his drink next to hers, “and if he answers that you’ll have to tell him what brought you over here to sit next to that man and carry on a conversation with him for this long.  He doesn’t think that happens often with you.”

“He’s right, it doesn’t.  And she might answer that, if his answer is intriguing enough.”

The man smiled and dipped his head slightly in a soft laugh to himself.  He shifted his weight and position so it was facing her in an engaging way.  His left knee bent and resting on the couch with his left arm leaning over the back of it.

“This man.  Me.  I’ve been here a few nights this week actually.  The first night was Tuesday.  On Tuesday I sat over there,” he pointed to a table in the corner of the lounge against the wall.

“And while I was sitting over there on Tuesday around 10, I noticed a beautiful woman come in and sit down at the bar.  She ordered a drink and had conversations with the men sitting next to her and the bartender.  She had a roaring laugh.  She was captivating and I tried my hardest to keep my eyes from burning a hole in her dress.”

He picked up his drink and threw back a quick gulp of whatever liquid remained in it and rested the glass on his knee.

“On Wednesday night I took up the same seat at the same table.  Partially out of my penchant for not wanting to be noticed, and partially out of superstition.”

“Superstition for what?”  Oona asked.

“Whether she would come back or not the next night.”

“Did she,” she smiled at him and leaned forward slightly as if he were telling her a secret.

“She did.  She absolutely did.  My budding obsession wasn’t helped any either.  That night she was wearing a red dress that was made from material which was close relatives of some of my favorite lingerie pieces.  She looked as if she had come back from a fancy art gala or awards ceremony.  Only there was a problem,” he lowered his head and leaned into her lean and played on her whisper receiving position.

“What was it?”  Her voice played along, almost by accident.

“She didn’t sit at the bar.  I couldn’t see her after she walked in.  Being a man who doesn’t like commotion and being noticed I thought that getting up to move to have better viewing of this goddess of a woman would be too much, so I accepted my fate and took the glance that I was given and turned in early that night.”

“Poor you.  That must have devastated you, not being able to ogle her all night again,” Oona’s voice was mockingly sympathetic.

“I was crushed,” he nodded back, “but I survived.  Although it took an extra day to feed the survival.  My Thursday did not lend itself to ogling and I was unable to look upon this beauty for the third day in the row.  I had to wait until Friday to see her again and she did not disappoint.”

“Was she dressed in a royal gown, tiara while brandishing a scepter this time?”  Oona tilted her head in a crook while staring into his eyes.

“No, no.  She in a skirt, a blouse and some elegant heels with her hair done in a tight and professional manner.  A business woman, a princess and bawdy laughter.  She was a dream.  I took this couch on Friday night, the one we’re sitting on right now.  It has a better view of the entire lounge and, if she were so concerned, it seems a bit more inviting than a table in the corner.”

“True.  Pretty girls aren’t drawn to dark tables in corners with men they’ve never met.”

“Her demeanor was more reserved last night, Friday night.  She seemed tired.  Perhaps from the day.  Maybe from the week.  Her smile was still bright but she was subdued.”

“Poor soul.”

“She seemed to fair well.”

“No, I meant you,” Oona placed her hand on his knee, “you waited an entire extra night to see her and she wasn’t putting on her show for you.  It must have been tragically disappointing.”

The man smiled at her and bit his lower lip.  He shook his head and then looked Oona in the eyes.

“I survived.”

“Again?”

He nodded, laughing softly to himself once more, “again.”

She stared at him, waiting for the story to finish.

“So, she never joined me.  I don’t believe we exchanged a glance at all really.  She left early that night and I did shortly after her.  Which brings us to tonight.”

“Which brings us to tonight,” she repeated.

“What time is it?”

Oona pulled her phone from her purse to check, “nearly midnight.”

The man pointed at the bar, “do you see the woman with the blonde hair in the black dress?”

Oona turned to look at the bar and noticed a beautiful woman sitting at the bar carrying on a conversation with two men, one on either side of her.

“She came in at nearly the same time you did.  I watched you both sit down and order drinks.  I watched you both get comfortable and carry on with whatever purposes you have being here.  I watched you both, carefully, for about fifteen minutes when my initial intention was to stare at this blonde woman at the bar for the entirety of my night.  As time went on my attention turned more and more to you.  Your dark hair and your green dress.  Your blue eyes and your red lips.”

He paused and stared at her for a moment.  He was waiting for a reaction.  She didn’t want to give him one because if she spoke she might have cracked.

“Mmhmm?”  This was all she could muster, with a slight head nod.

“I’m not comparing you two woman.  You’re both beautiful.  Stunning in your own way.  I don’t find her any less enthralling tonight then I did the previous nights.  But you, you make me want to let you notice me.”

Oona cleared her throat, “and then what?”

“I’d ask you to be my muse.”

“What does that mean?”  She shook her head gently.

“To let me stare at you and your beauty.  To let me use the inspiration you stir in me to create my own beauty with words.  To embody every passionate, lust-filled, craving of your sexuality in each drop of ink I spill.  To immortalize you as desire.”

Oona didn’t know what to say.  She wasn’t sure how to respond to something so intense and personal.  All she could do was stare at him with her hand still on his knee and try to keep her lip from quivering.

“I’m sorry if that answer was a little forward.   I hope it was intriguing enough though,” he smiled again.

“Intriguing enough for what?”

“For you to tell me what brought you over here.”

“Oh,” she laughed a little to herself, “I was just hoping you would buy me a drink and I’d see where it went from there.”

“How’s it going then?”

“A little awkward now,” she gave a tight lipped grin while holding her empty glass.

“Is it?  Is that a no to my question then?”

“What question was that?”

“Would you be my muse?”

“What is it I have to do?”

“Absolutely nothing,” he took her hand in his and stared in her eyes, “just be yourself and let me witness it.”

 

Excerpt from nothing: Mayhem

“You were the burning mountains.  You were the dried seas.  You were everything I never wanted to witness in my life.  You are destruction,” Kilth pointed at her and spit the poisonous words.

His stare could melt steel, yet she was made of wind.

“I am nothing.  I didn’t burn the mountains.  I didn’t dry the sea.  It was not the destruction you witnessed.  It was the birth of mayhem,” Viol spoke to Kilth in a calm and pleading voice, trying to make him understand her balance.

“The mountains did not burn, they were saved.  A wall of fire to distract from impurity.  The seas did not dry, they were emptied so they could fill again without dilution.  Our world could not continue as it was, so I will start it over.”

“You will end everything!  There will be nothing to start over.  It will all be gone.  Me, you, everyone!”

“We had our chance and we failed.  If life is going to continue, we cannot be a part of it, they cannot be a part of it.  I’m sorry, I tried.  I couldn’t anymore.”

Viol’s body heated and the layers around her disintegrated until she became a white flame.  She hovered in the air and her form flicked sparks to the ground below.  Kilth could only watch and yell, begging for her to stop.  If his pleas reached her, she did not heed them.

She pulled her arms and legs in until she was a ball.  The intensity of her flame increased and the space around her began to glow in a deep blue.  The last words in the world that were spoken were from Kilth, in a whisper to Viol, “I’m sorry too.”

*****

When the world stops being everything created stops as well, the physical and immaterial.  Nothing matters anymore as there isn’t anything to impact upon it.  Time, essentially, stops if there is nobody there to track it.

Viol’s collapse stopped time.  Silence became the only sound after her shriek.  When she flung her arms and legs to let loose her cataclysm everything else ended with her.  The mountains and the sea.  The sky and the grass.  It was blinked away in a flash of white light.  She didn’t know her power.  She didn’t realize that not only would her flame destroy all life on her planet, but it would destroy all possibility of life.

Or maybe she did know that.  She sacrificed herself and every other person on her planet, it included, to start over.  Not just the Gaia but everything, and from everything Viol decided it would begin again with her at the center.  Her flame burst into space and became the beginnings of a new star which would create a new solar system around her.  She would destroy everything to reset the clock with her essence flowing through each particle that makes each new world.