Archive for November, 2012


If You Try Sometime…

by mdjb

“Well, you know,” I reminded her, “One of the prime facets of due diligence is you have to understand the custom obtaining in the target’s home jurisdiction.”
“Mmmm,” she agreed in an ostensibly distracted way as if to let me know she did not enjoy being advised in regard to the job she was paid to do. She knew her stuff, and I knew that she knew by the way she skimmed two blood-red fingernails down the side of her wineglass while keeping it perfectly balanced with the rest.
The Stones were playing on the piped-in system but sounding somewhere off in the distance. Low and not at all antagonistic.
No, you can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime, you just might find
Apropos, I thought, but said to her, “Now, there’s a chestnut you don’t hear every day.”
Fully aware of every detail going on around us, she remarked, “We live it, though, don’t we?”
In a black sheath, one I would suppose had never before been worn, and her hair familiarly swept up, she was an enchantress—the embodiment of the lyrics’ character. And I was her footloose man.
“Ah, here he is,” she said as an elderly man in a tux came up beside us. “I take it you and Mr. James have already met.” He appeared too old to be in this or any business and looked uncomfortable dressed formally—probably more at home on the beach in Acapulco with a cuba in one hand and some young coqueta on the other arm, enjoying the perqs of seniority.
We had not.
“Oh my dear,” he said, raising her hand to kiss it, “Are you bleeding?” He took out his handkerchief, wiped her fingers, and added, “Ah no, it is merely the cherry wine.”
I heard his slight Mexican accent and tried to equate it with his English sounding name, wondering at the same time how she had missed the flecks of red as she was so on top of things. There was a disconnect floating over this reception. Everybody had an agenda including the victims. Due diligence indeed!
She was practiced at the art of deception
I was aware she was playing us off against each other, and though I had it over him in fresh-faced youth, his wealth and prestige would win every prize, which he would retain only for safekeeping until it was to be delivered over. I hoped at least I was considered a more enjoyable fuck, and though I knew from my morning mirror that as yet there were no hairs sprouting from my ears, I found I had involuntarily brushed a finger over my right lobe as if in anticipation of their growth.
I considered it time to bow out to halve her amusement. I mouthed the words, “Will I see you Monday night?” and she patted her breast. I could not be certain if that was a yes or meant “Let me check my calendar,” but coinciding with her smile found it easy enough to interpret as the former.



by mdjb

Having my little shared office to myself for the afternoon, I sat at my desk with a lidded thermal cup half-filled with tepid coffee from before my morning class to one side of my laptop and a tax balance sheet to the other; on the screen 372 words directed toward a heartwarming chapter of my NaNo opus, and they, refusing to cohere in a meaningful manner, thrust their collective tongue at me, so that I’d swear they were whispering we dare you to feel good about yourself. I found myself moving my lips in silent prayer, though I’d be the first to acknowledge that kind of activity is strictly outside my realm of occurrence, and I could feel eyes on me, which embarrassed a bit, but not overly so. As I thought it, I saw the word lord appear in my mind, and as I was writing on my brain slate, quickly emended it to read Lord, in case He was the One watching. Lord, I prayed, help me find time to finish all the tasks set before me, but especially those I’ve set for myself, please. In the cooing that followed, I thought He was laughing at the temerity with which I asked for attention to such insignificant (to the Big Picture, at least) details, and thought, yeah, that’s about what I deserve. When the pigeon on the windowsill pecked at the glass pane causing me to turn and catch sight of it before it flew off, Ockham’s Razor crossed my mind, closing those Lordly eyes, and appropriately returning my attention to the balance sheet thereby leaving word 373 to come along later, at home, over a fresh cup of coffee.

On one end of a dream, wormy spaghetti-like fingers that won’t quite let go of a past they have no business holding onto, and on the waking end, bright beginnings which might be explanations of change or at least nubs of desire regarding movement. Who authorized this bad patch, and who vanquished the last? We saw through the flimsy excuses; we prayed in unison; we fell toward each other, bruising a third knee, and when I say we, I am being hopeful. Those slimy fingers carry the rosy odor of humectant. I take credit for your brilliance because loneliness is dry, and it isn’t solace. The waking end will arrive soon enough, but I will leave it to your discretion to rise and quiet the alarm, if you are so inclined, as otherwise we may sleep and march, and wonder together if it is true that music helps the brain relearn words.

Well, I guess she’s moved on; I mean on and up in the world. I asked her to have a look at something I’d written and posted around the Internet, something that included an oblique reference to our time together, hoping I hadn’t been too abstruse, and that she would know it was directed toward her although I was giving it away for free to all and sundry. She responded with an e-mail providing a link to something she had written, and for which I discovered upon clicking I would have to pay a subscription fee to read more than the introductory sentences (two, count ‘em). I’m not about to ante up six-ninety-nine just to find out if I am as firmly regarded as she had been in my mind or completely incidental in the way of things because I’m not entirely convinced I was on her list of prospective readers until she received the request to read mine which may have prompted her to click another contact without thinking. I want to believe I, or someone resembling me, was mentioned in her piece even if only referenced as someone who will never be anything. Now, she is something else.

Friend Dorothy remarked that time together is never wasted or lost, but an episode can send us into freefall, and I guess that is exactly where I am at the moment I write this, suspended between the life I thought we were living and the actuality of going nowhere. A sudden need for self-reliance sent me scurrying to Emerson to see what he had to say about digging oneself out, and I was disgruntled in being reminded that, well, he probably would never have found himself in such a situation to begin with given his ability to override unwanted advice. He’s a comfort.
I do like the idea of transcendence, but that could be because I get to wallow first, for it is said we never appreciate that which comes easily, and you cannot swim with dolphins without getting wet. I have mucked about long enough. The return on my investment is greater than I could have imagined, for though the beans are small, and the cheese hard, they are unquestionably edible, sustaining, and of a singular provenance.