On being a writer (and other misdemeanors)

typewriter2

I

Long ago, when the complexity of adulthood had not yet troubled my mind, I got my hands on a typewriter. It was a hand-me-down from my older brother, actually.

It and I hit it off. We had that instant spark that happens so seldom in life, and usually leads to either great sex or great creative spurts.

The typewriter was a bona-fide one. An Olivetti model, if my now somewhat muddled memory serves me well. It was a noisy, honest to God mechanical contraption with ribbon spools, and that messy black and red ink stripe that had a regular tendency to become dislodged when struck by the key lever.

And it had a power, too. That typewriter kept beckoning and calling me, even after I attempted to lay my head down at night.

For you see, that Olivetti was more than a mere machine. It looked and acted like one, sure enough, and though I never got to see its arcane innards, I’m certain that it looked as artificial in the inside as it did in the outside.

But that’s not the point. The typewriter did have a life all of its own. An unseen energy ran though its keyboard, flicking before my eyes every time those ribbon spools turned with every keystroke. It sighed and breathed with a symbiotic lifeforce that combined with my own desire to harness such power.

An spectator would see nothing untoward. They would just see a kid awkwardly typing on blank sheet of paper. But I would see things quite differently indeed. For I’m a writer, you see, and our breed has a rather unique view of the world surrounding us.

The typewriter became a conduit for my hitherto untapped potential. It was always in me, yet, I never had an outlet for it before. I’m sure my Composition tutors in school had an inkling of such hidden power, and indeed my work would regularly be read in front of the classroom. I would stand there, right beside the mile-long tutor’s desk, a gigantic thing made out of oak, with scratches, scoffs, and half-written love messages all over it. I would stand, and I would read, and the other pupils listened, for the most part. There were always rebels, and detractors, and begrudgers, and people who just wouldn’t believe in the power of the word. And that was just fine by me, because I did believe.

I still do, and will certainly remain a believer as I write my own epitaph.

II

I loved writing during rainy days. I had a good writing spot, too, on a little alcove that had easy access to the balcony. It was a bright, well-lit place, with a round table covered by a red mat right in the middle of it. I would set up my Olivetti there, with my back turned to the window behind me. It would have been little use to do it the other way around. All I could see through the window was a whole lot of balconies, not a very inspiring sight.

So I would write most of the day, with rain pelting the window behind me and the balcony to my left. These would be very productive days, as words came easy. I was never afraid of the blank page, you see, though I know a blank canvas can fill the heart of the most seasoned of writers with deep horror and dread. To me, the blank page was a welcoming shelter, a world where I could find solace and fulfillment.

I was a rather introverted child. I wasn’t bent on solving life’s mysteries just yet, and my mind, though yet unpolluted by the ravages of adult life, lived a troubled enough existence. In later years, this darkness manifested itself through other channels that only those who know me best are aware of. But back then, that typewriter became a trusted friend, cause it understood who I truly was.

The stuff that flowed from my creative side back then had a childish quality to it, no doubt about that. I was still in the good side of 10, after all. There were blatant imitations of well known books, and stories full of space-faring heroes a la Flash Gordon (a movie that I loved as a child, by the way. And as an adult, Ornella Mutti’s body still awakens a basic instinct in me).

Yet, for all its childishness, notes from a dark melody already floated between the lines, and strands of fluid creativity dripped from every syllable. There was an organic quality to it, an omen perhaps of things to come. I wish some of it had survived down the ages, but it hasn’t.

It’s all lost in the void.

III
There are times when one questions the point of it all. Self-doubt is as insidious as a first batch of cancerous cells. It sets in undetected at first, then it hammers you down from within. And you begin to wonder about what you do, and why you do it. You question the validity of the craft, hell, you even begin to ask yourself am I good enough, will people even care? It happens to all writers, at some point in their careers. It’s a rite of passage, like chickenpox. And much like chickenpox, you’re better off going through it early in your career.

Because once you’re over it, you’ll never have it again.

IV
Love walked into my life, once or twice. Once really, if one is to be completely truthful to one’s own feelings. The power of hindsight is a great one, and once we see the two sides of the coin, we know what loving someone truly means.

So yes, there was a love that was as intense as the monsoon rains, as hot as a ray of summer sun, and as fleeting as a butterfly’s lifespan. But it did exist, that much I know. I could have died in her arms, and had I done so, I’d have gone in a blaze of glorious bliss. Cause her body felt like home. I never felt like that before, and the odds are firmly stacked against me that I’ll ever feel it again. It was a once in a lifetime thing, a diamond in the dark.

That much I also know.

V

I wrote a story one time, I must have been eleven or twelve. It was some horror yarn about werewolves, a blatant rip off of whatever movie or book I had in mind. It was hackneyed and cliched, but still, it was serviceable, I thought. And I must have been right, too, cause I it was one of those stories I read in front of the classroom. I stood in front of them , notepad in hand. Believe it or not, in those distant days we still used pencils and papers. So I stood, and I read, and when I finished, I looked up. There was total silence in the classroom, almost like one of those cliched silences when a dog suddenly barks in the distance. So I looked at my fellow pupils, and I smiled, cause I knew I had them. My teacher only reinforced that feeling when he told me that the whole class had been listening eagerly, waiting to find out what happened at the end of my story.

I had them.

VI

I am no stranger to love. But love seems to be a stranger to me. I have this love/hate thing going with love, as weird as that may sound. We are odd bedfellows, almost too hot to handle each other. But not tonight. Tonight I’m indifferent. I want to love nothing but a good night’s sleep, and hopefully sleep will come easy. It usually does if my mind has been engaged in some creative stuff. I feel at ease with myself. I feel fulfilled, and done for the day.

Other times, when words come hard, or memories ride free, I have trouble sleeping. It is easy to lose control when you are a writer. Words sometimes get the better of you, for all the wrong reasons. And no matter how much effort you put into harnessing them, they can overcome you, and turn your mind into a maelstrom of unease.

Cause words are bigger than you, and bigger than me, you see. One you speak them, words cannot be taken back. Once they are free, they roam and relentlessly poke your consciousness until you give into their power.

VII

The Olivetti took a good pounding, all things considered. I did work its keys with a feverish, almost mesmerizing zest. At that age, in between the time when your childish face fades and the teenager visage blooms, lots of things are undertaken with mesmerizing zest.

One discovers many things while riding on the border along the end childhood and the onset of puberty. You discover that the slimy creature that dwelt under your bed and only began whispering after your mother kissed you good night was never really there. It only lived in your head. That’s good, or bad, depending on how you look at it.

You also discover that things seem to be growing under the cashmere sweater of the girl who lives next door. That’s also good, or again, bad, depending on your perspective.

But most important thing you discover is that you have the power to change things. You can make a difference.

VIII

I don’t recall what happened to the Olivetti. It outlived its usefulness, I guess. Times moved on.

Time, you see. Time is your enemy. Time always has a winning hand and a sneaky trick up its sleeve. Time is like a jester dancing inside your head, looking impatiently at you and tapping its own clock. It wants you to do things.

Time will outrun and outwit you every time. You can’t deny it any more you can deny your own breath.

And time will catch up with you in the end.

That much, I am also sure of.

The creative process

typewriter

Nighttime belongs to lovers, there’s no doubt about that.

And nighttime is for writing, too. As the day ends, as daylight fades, and darkness rises from slumber, the mind awakens with the power of a thousand twisted thoughts. Writing is a derailment of one’s own conscience, of sorts, of that I’m convinced. The creative process is an accident of nature, a freak occurrence, a layer cake sprinkled with a pinch of abject fear and naked vanity.

Yet, when we create, be it a piece of writing, or a sheet of music, or perhaps a new way of resolving an equation, for those with a mind who can see how all the numbers and symbols fit together, we embark on a process of catharsis. We lay our minds on the line and purge our emotions, pouring out what we carry inside, be it on a piece of paper, a word processor, a tablature, or on a blackboard, writing out those cryptic x and ys that have plagued the consciences of school pupils the world over for centuries.

Right at that moment of creation, nothing else matters but the creative process itself, and the item it spawns. Our minds are focused on the newness and the freshness of our own magnificence, relishing the taste of a new piece of so far undiscovered marvel.

Because that’s what these things are; marvels. Some believe stories are relics of an ancient past, that they were always there, ready to be plucked out from blackness and obscurity by the writer’s creative mind. I tend to agree with such notion. There is an extra dimension out there somewhere, beyond the world we see with our eyes, just beneath that shimmering boundary that exists somewhere deep inside our brains. We ride past that frontier every night, when we dream, and sometimes we cross over, as if crashing through a two-way mirror. The other side isn’t real, or perhaps it is, and we actually live in a fantasy world tethered by the dreams of many.

There is a dimension where all stories dwell and rest. For years, centuries, millennia even. Dormant, but not dead. Wraiths from a turbulent past, magnificent treasures of a masterful storyteller mind, perhaps, who knows. A being of unfathomable nature and origin, a creature from somewhere else, the genesis of all that is make believe, something that gave us the power to imagine and create, and to take the pieces we need from it in order to do so. One a time, because that is how stories are written; one word at a time.

Some people see numbers. They see fractions, and square roots, and remainders. Others see musical notes, melodies, and crescendos.

The writer sees words, drifting across the mire of his or her mind, bobbing up and down a murky and uncertain surface. They make no sense, at first. They are merely groups of syllables, gatherings of letters organized in a coherent manner, while at the same time loose, and undefined. The onus is on the writer’s sycophantic mind to delve into this inner world of swirling turmoil and fish out the right words in the right order, and put them down on that computer screen, or that blank sheet of paper, for them to see, or for the world to see, if they are one of the lucky ones.

And always, always just one word at a time.

What I’d like

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What I’d like is to delve into you, and tether your soul to mine
What I’d like is to see beyond the spectrum of your eyes, and accept you for who you are
What I’d like is to bind myself to you

All is good, and all is real
And what I’d like is to beg, borrow, and steal
Until you are mine, and thus cut the seal

What I’d like is to grow out of desperation
To claw back out of the hazy mist of infatuation
To seek pleasure, soothing, and salvation

What I’d like is to fuel the fire in you
And quench your thirst with blazing kisses
What I’d like is to trace our fates out into an infinite path, far from others’ wrath
And hold your hand through the valley of darkness

What I’d like is to rip myself open for you, and let you see what love really means
What I’d like is to blend my flesh into yours, for now and forever
What I’d like is to give you shelter from the darkest nights and the wildest squalls

What I’d like is for our love to outlive death
What I’d like is to burn with you upon the hearth
What I’d like is to sail with you around the Earth

What I’d like is to fly around the sun
Please say yes and come along
Please stay and sing your song
Love me now and love me then

What I’d like is to sin with you night after night, and yet trick the Devil into believing we don’t exist
What I’d like is to lay my love into you, to lick and lap what makes you be
To take your love all for myself
To run a million miles for you
To help you heal all wounds past
And to breed a love that will last

What I’d like is to paint our bodies with each other’s lust
And vanquish those who oppose the truth, and those who deny our bond
What I’d like is to seek out eternity by your side
What I’d like is to rely on you
What I’d like is to rest my head upon you
What I’d like is to soar into our future on wings that are real
What I’d like is to watch your beautiful smile shine on me every morning
What I’d like is to wake up from dreaming and look into the greenest eyes

What I’d like is to print my desire on your skin
To touch you here and to touch you there, and make it all sweet and fair
What I’d like is to fall for you every day
What I’d like is to hold your hand every night
What I’d like is to love all of you
What I’d like is to feel your heartbeat in the dead of night
To warm you in the depth of winter
To swim with you in the high of summer

What I’d like is more than words
What I’d like is more than feelings
What I’d like is more than real

What I’d like is to live beyond one life
What I’d like is to find you again again
Life after life, until the world is old and weary
Yet our love lasts forever

What I’d like is to stand and play on the edge of heaven and hell
What I’d like is to streak with you across the plains of Hades
And feel the envy and jealousy of demons and ghouls
Cause our love will outlast them all

What I’d like is to bend the rules and make you mine
What I’d like is to bless the sheets and burn them all together
What I’d like is so much more
What I’d like is everything

Soaring alone

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Walking on water, walking on air. Last night the angels came knocking at my door, and said their prayers upon ivory pedestals.

I watched their wings flutter in the dark, spreading silvery moon dust all over me. And I walked upon the water, and breathed the chill in the air, praying I would not spend another night alone. But her voice whispered from the darkness, and the voice was as sweet as it was dead.

And I watched the waves break across an endless sea, and as I walked across the water, I felt the night chasing me, and I opened my mouth and cried out, but the angels denied me. All around, the din of hell beat on drums made of skin, and when the fear subsided, I was still walking alone, and the angels fell silent and looked away.

Walking on water and treading blood, deeper still, the sound of hounds rose unto the air. I looked back, but the fire of tomorrow cast an uncertain light all around, and though love existed, it was a long and distant mirage. And the howl of hungry hounds shot across the land again, and the blood thickened, and I was walking no more, but falling into a cauldron of molten death.

Yet, I walked on water, and love was there, and the rose, and all that is dark melted into one that does not belong. The thorns on the thin stalk pierced my vision, and the blood spilled on the truth; there is no lover, and there is no love. Only there is, and the love walks on water, and on blood, and love loves the rose, and the rose grows, and the stalk becomes velvet. and only those who truly love see what’s inside.

Dancing in the shadow of love

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There she dances, right in the center of the room. Her sleek shape moves around with the elegance of a natural born princess. She twirls and spins to the sounds of their own love enslavement.

And he watches, watches her bare body glide across the candlelit room, her feet almost taking flight among the sea of rose petals covering the floor. She knows he is watching her every move, and that is how she likes it. They are each other’s greatest gift in life, and beyond.

There is a deep sensuality in her movements, in her cartwheels and handstands, in all that is her. And there is also a deeply hypnotic and enigmatic aura all around her shapely body. It is covered in body paint, from head to toe. Concentric black and white ovals decorate her flesh. The flickering candlelight gives the design an oddly enthralling charm, hard to look away from once caught in its lure.

So she sways for him, wearing only a lace mask, whirling to the music of their own heartbeat, as he looks on dressed in a pair of faded jeans. This is their shelter, their place to hide from the world and be true to each other. It is their hallowed ground of pleasure, a safe haven away from a world that has long since moved on. In here, they can be anything they want to be, and do as their minds and souls command them. Only in this room these two lovers can truly be free from the reining chains of conventionality.

The room is filled with candles, and the candles stand on wooden stalks, some of them barely reaching inches from the ground, others standing almost four feet high, and she moves beautifully around the flickering flames. Her arms, and legs, her whole self is a dexterous and nimble creature that knows it is only his, and he is only hers. She will dance for no other, only him will decorate her body in ways she would never have imagined possible.

And then there is a crescendo in the music, and she gives into it, seduced by the pull of the night, her body lifted by the hoist of his power over her. She pursues the stars for him, and as he cast his spell the rose petals rise up and hover in mid air. She smiles and her body becomes one with the room, and there is no greatest thrall than the shackles of their mutual love.

She will dance for him to the end of time and beyond, and he will be there, to watch her sway into the gates of heaven.

Nuptials’ eve

weddingdress

Darkened skies above, and a distant murmur that could be thunder, or the mournful whisper of an army of wraiths. Maybe both. Whatever it was, it looked like rain. The heavens were tinted in that ominous, dark grey shade that usually precedes heavy rain.

She sighed, her gaze lingering on the coming night for a moment longer. Then, she closed the curtains and sat down on the bed. As she did, she heard that distant rumbling again, closer this time. The windowpane rattled ever so slightly.

She sat at the very edge of the bed, carefully and deliberately avoiding to touch the wedding dress laid out there. She didn’t want to accidentally crease it, of course, not tonight, when there were only hours left to go. But also, the thought of allowing her body to come into contact with it made her feel queasy.

She glanced a the wooden clock hanging on her bedroom wall, just above the dresser. As she watched, the short hand ticked on to three minutes to midnight.
The dress.
The goddamn dress. It was a beautifully crafted garment, and very expensive too. The groom’s family had spared no expenses. In fact, they seemed to have money oozing out of every pore. So-called perfect family, and perfect groom. The poster boy for eligible bachelors the world over.

Yet, the very thought of wearing that dress weighed heavily on her soul, stifling her, and at times she felt like she couldn’t breathe.

It wasn’t the dress itself, of course. Its brocade fabric was light and finely woven. Rather, what the dress represented. The idea that once worn, she would give away her life. Her freedom. The woman’s heart ached at the prospect.

Yet, here she was. Holed up in this mansion overlooking the Indian Ocean, hours before it. The big day. The day when she would put on a very expensive dress, walk down the aisle surrounded by more people that she could remember inviting, staring blankly at the floor she walked upon, and sign her life on a dotted line.

That murmur outside again. It was a dark sound, full of odd and wily tones. The noise startled her, and deep in her heart she felt him calling. She heard his voice, but not in her ears. Rather, deep inside, down within a place that exists only in the hearts of those who did find who they were looking for. Those who belong.

She closed her eyes, and listened intently to the night outside. Last minute jitters, she told herself. That’s all. That, and the coming storm. Too much electricity in the air.

But that’s not really it, is it, one side of her mind said. The part where the truth dwells, the one that neither self-delusion nor material wealth can hope to silence.

The young bride to be stood up, feeling uneasy and wrong. Her heart ached with the sting of apprehension and anguish. She walked towards the window again, and brushed the curtain
aside rather brusquely. There wasn’t a night sky yet, not quite. The rolling storm rendered darkness meaningless, cause not even darkness itself could defy the gale’s fury, nor could it drown out her true feelings. Then, there was rain, as the grey clouds heralded. Summer rain, warm and fleeting.

A noise inside the room, somewhere near the bed, startled her. She glanced over just in time to see a precariously balanced gift box slip off the bed and fall on the floor below. Her gaze lingered on the row of neatly arranged cards from friends, relatives, and God knew who else, wishing the golden couple a happy life together. A wan smile drew on her lips.

Then, she looked back out the window, and now there was a face there, right against the pane, where only darkness belonged.

She gasped, jerked back as if pulled by a tight chain, and tripped over herself, landing right on the wedding dress with a shriek. Thunder roared and lighting bathed the visiting visage with white and electric luminosity.

For a moment that split into an eternity of terror and confusion, the woman looked at that face, not seeing anything past its unnatural shine. Then, as if stirred by a deep, unseen memory, recognition overwhelmed her. The woman covered her agape mouth, eyes fixed on the apparition. Then, the thing that came out of the storm called her by name, and said: ‘It’s only me.’

The words sounded weird and somewhat hollow, as if uttered through a long pipe. But it was his voice. She could never mistake the sound of a voice that had easily seduced her into passion, then soothed her into sleep so many times before. The voice that now spoke from outside the third floor window of her manor was the same that had whispered words of love into her every night for 16 years. That sound was etched into her very soul.
‘Let me in darling,’ the familiar voice said. There was no haste or pressure there. Only the soulful request of those who truly love. The woman stood up, and it took her considerable effort to do that. Her legs were weak, and felt like an electric current passed through the muscles.
As she undid the window latch, thunder roared out in the night sky. High above in the heavens, the storm picked up intensity and meaning.

And so the window opened, and the visitor entered. Tendrils of fog-like haze preceded him. This curious manifestation of an otherworldly nature drifted in from the very bosom of the night, and floated across the bedroom, coiling itself around the wedding dress, the gifts, and many other
objects inside.

Yet, she could not take her eyes off him. Because it was him, no doubt about that, or at least an iteration of him. A memory rushed back to her, leaving her perplexed and somewhat amazed at the power of one’s mind. Seven years ago, they were at a hotel in Johannesburg. One of her cousin’s 40th birthday party, if she remembered correctly.
They had arrived early, so they spent the afternoon making love in their hotel room, with the curtains open to the ocean, as always. They made love, and chatted and sipped the local wine
during the brief interludes in their lovemaking. That evening, during the party, they met another couple attending the party, friends of her cousin’s whom she had never met before. The female of the couple, a pretty forty-something Lithuanian-born woman by the name of Izabela, claimed to be a palm reader. And so it was that after a couple of bottles of wine had been consumed, the conversation inevitably turned to the topic.
She insisted on having her fortune read. He neither opposed nor encouraged the idea. Her mind was sharp enough to make her own decisions, but he felt pretty sure the wine had a lot to do with it. Nevertheless, Izabela agreed, and she led them down to a side room where the sounds of the party where drowned out. Izabela took her hand first, and complimented what beautiful skin she
had as she ran her fingers over the back first, and then turned it over.

Well,’ Izabela had said, as she held the woman’s open hand in her own, ‘the Line of Love is pure, and true. It first crosses the Line of Fate, then runs parallel to it. What exists now
is both true, and fate. Destiny did play a part in bringing you both together. You are both very lucky to have found each other.‘ To this, they had looked at each other and smiled. Her green eyes were pits of beauty.
‘I see that what is, it’s meant to be. As sunset preludes nightfall, the love that guides you both is bright, and lasting, and it will last well beyond the darkness that will come one day.’
Then, Izabela took his hand, turned it over, and looked at his palm. Immediately, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. With her eyes still closed, she gently folded his fingers and let go, leaving him with a puzzled look in his eyes.
Sometimes,’ she said, ‘darkness comes calling before it’s due. I’m so sorry.’
Then, she stood up and left, and she was nowhere to be seen for the rest of the evening. They had laughed it off, but the seed of destiny had been planted.

Three years later, he was dead.

The memory flashed in the bride’s mind in a split second, like a burning ember out of a silent blackness. She looked at him, and saw the one she truly loved. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said. ‘It is too
late to be afraid, and time is all I have. Where I come from, there is nothing but the endless ticking of a clock inside my head. And there is only one memory, that of you and me.’

A rush of thunderclap from the heavens behind him. The curtains began fluttering wildly, almost passing through his body. Those wispy, probing tendrils drifted around still, gently coiling her body like silken messengers.

She spoke for the first time then, and her words were shaky and subdued.
How. How is this possible.’
He shrugged. ‘No need for reasons tonight. I’m always watching you, ever since I left, and tonight I felt you needed me. See, what you call ghosts are nothing but the physical manifestations of your own feelings and desires. They exist because you, the living, wish them to.’
‘Sometimes, something exists on this dimension that it’s strong and true enough to transcend the barrier of death. For you see, death is not the end of a true love story. Death is simply the foreword for the next chapter.’
‘Remember what Izabela said that night, that darkness sometimes comes before it’s due. Darkness came calling for me way too early, but that doesn’t mean our love story had to end. I never ceased loving you, and I know you feel the same way.’

The first tears ran down her face.
‘Can I touch you?’
He smiled and nodded. She embraced him then, and though it felt a little strange at first, the sensation soon became familiar. The body was not solid, at least not in the sense that a human body is. There was a certain heft to it, but it felt somewhat malleable, as if one was touching putty that had not yet fully dried up.
I’ve missed you so much,’ she said, relishing the touch of her lover.
Memories of times past rushed back on to her mind, and a kaleidoscope of emotions overwhelmed her. There was that warm, indescribable feeling of affinity that one feels when touching the loved one; there was sensual awakening, too, as he had been the best lover she had ever had. The sensations he had induced in her had been intense and unique, and had become imprinted on her body and soul forever.

But most of all, there was love, and attachment. The sentiment was mutual, and as the two lovers embraced, the hazy tendrils suddenly doubled in length and hovered fast around the room. Outside, the storm raged on unabated. The curtains now fluttered wildly, and a warm wind licked her body.

Then, the ghost of love and devotion began undressing her, and she welcomed this, as her body was more than ready to join his. Even in spectral form, he retained his former allure, it seemed. The handsome, well defined lines of his face, had become even more beautiful in the kingdom of existence beyond. There was an undeniably purity to that visage, and his expression was true, and well-meaning. Soon, her body was no longer draped in any garments, and as she lay back on the bed, she willfully kicked the wedding dress and all the gifts down to the floor. The union was smooth, and intense, and indeed her lovemaking experience rose to unseen levels. She was making love with a ghost, after all, and though such concept would become a source of animated internal debate much later on, the sheer sensuality that this being was infusing into her was well worth the entry price.

His body shone and shimmered throughout the entire experience, and all around them the energy he had brought with him protected them from harm. When she came, she did it fully and purely. He held her climax with unnatural skill, and the time they spent in sexual communion was almost hallowed in its serene ecstasy. Sleep would come easy tonight, she was sure of it. It always did when she rested in the comforting thrall of his arms. Whenever he breathed, she breathed him in. She took in all that was him, both in life, and beyond.

CODA

The ringtone of her mobile phone woke her. She felt deep disorientation, and for a moment that seemed to last an eternity, she did not know where she was, or why she was there. The phone rang again, and again, then went quiet. Sluggishly, she picked the handset and noticed four missed calls. She put the phone down without further investigation.

She lay perfectly still, her naked body glistening beautifully in the morning sun. The storm had given way to a gorgeous summer day. A slight breeze touched her, and she looked over to her right. The window was still open. The morning breeze rustled the curtains, and she could see a few specks of dust hovering across a sun beam. She thought it was long past dawn on her second wedding day.

The young bride to be closed her eyes and breathed deeply. She could still feel him inside her, and all around her. His presence, his scent, the touch of her skin on hers. The thoughts aroused her a little. She thought of his words; ‘Ghosts exist because the living wish them to.’ The concept was almost dizzying in its depth and implications.

Her phone buzzed again. She ignored it.

She got up, and walked towards the window. Her slender shape outlined itself against the morning, and the sight was almost unreal in its sheer grace. She looked towards the ocean opening towards the horizon.

Can we love someone beyond the veil of death?, she wondered. ‘Can they love us in return? Can we truly love someone else, knowing that someone, or something, somewhere, still loves us?
The ocean rumbled, but offered no answers.

Ghosts exist because the living wish them to

The phone rang again. She picked it up and flung it out the window. It rang all the way down to the water.
She got dressed in a pair of jeans and a white top that had meant something when love was real. She left the room, without ever looking back at the wedding dress sprawled on the bedroom floor.

What I love in this life

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I love a steaming coffee on a winter’s Sunday morning

I love my children’s smile
The lick of a western zephyr on my skin, and the warm surf on a southern beach around my feet
I love lighting that slices the night in two

I love the touch of a beautiful woman
Midnight whispers on a shared night
I love the sound of a loved one’s voice filling the void
The sensual purr of the engine of life around my body
The ochre tones of windy Autumn afternoons, and the howling roar of an untamed sea
I love the streams and brooks inside one’s mind

I love the songs of love, the words that speak of passion and hope
The sensory overload of two peaking bodies
I love the clarion crispness of an early winter aurora
I love my children’s hands on mine while walking in the park
The rustling sound of playful feet kicking deep in mounds of leaves
I love the wonder in my children’s eyes, and the truth in their words

I love peace and I love warring hearts
I love the zest for more
The dead of night resting upon someone’s heart
I love chains with no broken links

I love what’s behind, and what lies ahead
I love a word from her, and a welcome home kiss
Daylight breaking through a thick canopy of trees
The sparkling reflection of sunlight on the lake
I love the dreams that aren’t true, and those that feel real

I love the sound of night’s pleasures
The unholy union of flesh and soul
I love honey and cinammon
I love vanilla and I love her
The buzzing noise that cascades into a river of desire
Clear skies that soothe the soul
The sounds of birth, and the distant murmur of vengeance

I love the taste of life on my lips
Honeysuckle flavour kisses that thrall the senses
I love the stance of wilderness inside my soul
The blazing stare of lusting eyes
The searing heat of midday summer loving
Morning dew on a freshly cut lawn

I love the sound of children playing in the snow
The hush tones of duvet dwellers
I love the life of those who care
The icecream van around the bustling park
Jays swooping on the grass, and eagles soaring like kings in the sky

I love a love story that doesn’t end
I love the moon shining over a lover’s hope
The taste of chocolate on my lips
Salty kisses that last a lifetime
I love the colour blue, and when it’s all through you

I love a house that is mine
Dry eyes that watch in awe
The miracle woven by a woman’s love
I love a lonely Princess that does not live alone
A pebble skimming over water

I love to know who I am
I love to see what I want to see
The audible howl of a wolf caught in a storm
I love what’s inside of me
What makes me be

I love stepping out into the sun
I love the melody of nightfall around me
The emotion of a new day, and cupcakes on a tray
I love the miracle of a holy union

I love a lover’s promise
I love a lover’s smile
Bare skin on pristine white linen
I love early morning sensual awakenings
The flow of Nature’s will

I love the reflection of my own self
I love a song that speaks to me
The subdued willingness of a chained body
I love the darkest tan, and the darkest touch
I love all there is to learn

I love a father’s guiding light
I love a mother’s soothing calm
I love the texture of a stolen kiss
The thrill of unseen and forbidden lust

I love the bliss of her smile in the dusky light
I love the idea of tomorrow
A desperate plea to satisfy
I love the curtain closing, and the roar of the fire on a winter’s weekend.

I love a sandy beach
I love the scent of seawater all around me
I love looking at her
The blank space in between dreams
I love the reality of one’s love

I love the warmth near the hearth
Her face near mine
I love the beauty of the female body
The answers to my questions
I love starlight on a summer’s night