Sunday, December 20, 2009

Book Review

"The Deep End of the Ocean" by Jacquelyn Mitchard
My grade: B-

I look at this book as having a lot of potential, but very poorly edited. The basic story is about a family whose child gets kidnapped, and what happens to their lives as a result. The characters are, though, mostly unbelievable. In other words, character development is poor at best. There was also very little emotion evoked, even though I expected this one to be a complete tear-jerker.

This book feels more like a draft rather than a finished project. With better/more editing, this could have been something good.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Book Review

"Russian Disco: Tales of Everyday Lunacy on the streets of Berlin" by Wladimir Kaminer
My grade: C-

While this book is mildly funny at times, most of the time it is useless and boring. It neither entertains nor enlightens. This author also seems to have quite a selection of friends, from prostitutes to druggies to madmen. If you're interested in hearing stories of what happens to the likes of these people, with no moral being drawn from it, read this book.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Book Review

"Embracing the Ties That Bind: Connecting With Spirit" by Carole J. Obley
My grade: put aside

The only thing I really want to say about this book is that it is about connecting to your own spirituality. And my reason for putting it aside is because it seems like a slightly worser version of anything by Sylvia Browne, whom I would highly recommend to anyone. Period.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Book Review

"Revolutionary Road" by Richard Yates
My grade: C

This book, stylistically, belongs with the American classics, akin to "The Great Gatsby". Although, in my opinion, it doesn't exactly add up. On the one hand, the writing is definitely good, but it is also definitely not flawless. It rambles on, for the major part of the book, with useless and boring details. It is extraordinarily depressive, without a clear message. The characters do not arouse an emotional attachment, neither in life nor in death. And, it has completely outlived its time.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Review

"She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb
My grade: B+

This is one whale of a book (and if you actually read it, you will know what I mean). It is the story of one woman's life, but in some ways and at some parts, it's the story of life, period. What I think the author does particularly well is capture the really important moments of her life, starting at a very young age, and ending at 37 (if I did my math correctly) years old. Having finished the book, you really do get the feeling that you are fully aware of Dolores' life, and it has definitely been one of transformation. I also think the author deserves a lot of credit for being a man and writing (and capturing) about the essences of so many women.

A big critique point: the book is raw in some places, and unnecessarily grotesque (for my taste). If you can get past that, though - which, I'll admit, at moments is hard - you will be able to gain a lot from it as well.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Walk (FICTION)

I go to sleep and I dream a strange and terrible thing. Two eyes... eyes?... glare at me. But there is nothing attached to them. No head, no body, no thoughts. Just pupils, staring, glaring, with darkness all around. There is a lot of darkness and it never seems to end. There is a neverending darkness.

The eyes, they continue to glare, and suddenly they begin to turn red. At first, they become like normal red eyes, with no head, but then they become really red, blood red. There is still no emotion in them. Just blood red eyes staring, glaring out at me in the darkness. And suddenly I realize, these are my eyes, this is my blood. My eyes are draining out the blood from my body, and I'm dying, I'm dying.

I decide to leave. If I must die, I'm certainly not going to watch myself do it, in the neverending darkness, watching my eyes watching me. So I walk. I walk and I walk, in the darkness. I don't know how far I walk, but every time I look back, my eyes are watching me, my red blood-stained eyes. They watch, and they judge... and they die. So I walk.

I come to something. The shape is strange and the color is dull, and finally I come to see it is my tongue. It is my tongue hanging in the middle of this neverending darkness, and it is lifeless, dead. My tongue is dead. My eyes are bleeding and my tongue is dead and I am dying, so I continue to walk.

I walk and walk and I have no idea how far I walk, but every time I look back I see my eyes bleeding my blood and my lifeless tongue hanging there, ridiculing me, judging me. So I continue to walk.

I come finally to a disheveled mess. There are... things... thrown all around. They are hanging, separated in the neverending darkness. And suddenly I realize, these are my organs. My lungs are handing to my left and my pancreas is to my right, and so I start to search. I search and search through my organs, and I don't know how long I search for, but I cannot find my heart. And every time I look back, I see my bleeding eyes and my lifeless tongue watching me, following me, judging me.

And then, I die.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Book Review

"Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro
My grade: B

Overall, this is an interesting and a creative story. At some point, it begins to almost become science fiction, but remains still very much fine literature. It does raise a number of moral dilemmas in regards to medical technological breakthroughs, which I can certainly appreciate.

I do have a significant amount of criticism though. Firstly, for one reason or another, the first 150 pages or so are very difficult to get through, and the pace (along with the plot) picks up drastically after that. Secondly, I'm not exactly in love with Ishiguro's writing style in this book. He employs the same literary tactics over and over again, which loses the desired effect. Thirdly, although I think I understand his reasons for doing so, I don't think he chose the right period of time in the protagonist's life to focus on. The vast majority of the story has to do with Kathy growing up, ages 7 through 18, and a lot of it is centered around problems that children of that age go through, which are to some extent irrelevant to the overall themes.

All in all, though, if you have patience and can force yourself to get through the first bit, you will be surprised with what unveils thereafter.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Book Review

"Spiritual Serendipity: Cultivating and Celebrating the Art of the Unexpected" by Richard Eyre
My grade: D

My biggest criticism of this book: it is entirely useless. It does mention what its intentions are, but I'm not sure that it really lives up to those. Half of the book is wasted away on defining (and redefining) what serendipity means, and then telling a long fairy tale about something that has something to do with serendipity.

In general, I'm not necessarily big on self-help books and it's perhaps due to books like this.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Book Review

"The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" by John Boyne
My grade: A

I don't want to say too much about this book, because the intention of the author clearly is to keep readers somewhat in the dark. I will say a couple of things, though, as I feel they must be said. Firstly, this is a Holocaust story. Secondly, it is told by a 9-year-old boy, which is what makes it unique.

Needless to say, this story is one that will stay with you for a long time. It's incredibly powerful in its simplicity and manages to capture so wonderfully a child's perspective on such atrocious and unfathomable events. To look at this from the perspective of a child brings so much insight and raises so many questions, that one could argue that this should be required reading. If you can be brave and strong, read this book.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Reading Mother

I had a Mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be-
I had a Mother who read to me.

- Strickland Gillian

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Book Review

"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel
My grade: C

Yes, it has been brought to my attention that this book has won a number of awards - that doesn't necessarily mean anything to me. I didn't like it at all.

Firstly, I have no idea what this book is about. I guess something to do with philosophy, but I'm not really sure what the message was. I suppose the biggest story within the story was the sinking of the ship, consequently placing Pi in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for some 7 odd months. However, it took a long time to get to this part within the greater story, largely not to my understanding. Virtually all of the previous information is useless.

Secondly, I'm not exactly sure what the problem is specifically, but this was an incredibly boring read. I can't really say that it is poorly written; the writing itself, especially in certain parts, is excellent. Perhaps it is the total lack of tension. Even in moments where there should, and normally would be lots of tension, the reader is not at all moved to feel much of anything.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Book Review

"The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger
My grade: A-

This novel has an extremely interesting idea behind it, which isn't new: time travel. But, the way Niffenegger draws it out and the details she provides are not something I have thus far seen in literature. This alone is worthy of, at least, mention.

As the back cover states, this book is essentially a love story. But it truly is written in a very believable way, even the time traveling itself. And, unlike most love stories, it really does force you to stop and think about what's going on, because the time travel makes things a bit confusing. To put it simply, this is a love story told through bits and pieces that are not necessarily in chronological order, and do not necessarily make logical sense.

In general, this book is very well-written, if a bit on the girly side. The first 200 pages or so may be a bit boring at parts due to stylistic repetition, but it definitely gets better after that. I cried during most of the last 100 pages or so. I found the overuse and the unrealistic focus on sex to be a bit too much, but would otherwise recommend this book.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Book Review

"Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts" by Samuel Beckett
My grade: A+

This is a really short play that can be read in one hour, and is definitely worth your time. I'm not fully sure what it's about, as it's definitely not as straightforward as it might seem. In fact, I have many more questions now than at the start of the play, but I guess that's the point. If you want to be confused, and have something to think about, try this play.

Book Review

"Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway
My grade: A

It actually took me a relatively long time to understand the full brilliance of this book (more than half way in), but I suppose that is just another part of its genius. This is quite a straightforward story about some pretty normal people living in France some time after WWI, although the war has nothing to do with it (mostly). Through this book, Hemingway makes quite a statement about society in general, and more specifically, about the different groups of people that are encountered in the book.

My only criticism of the book is the 'Brett' character, who reminds me entirely of Dostoevsky's 'Nastasia Filipovna' (from "The Idiot"). As these things always go, though, Nastasia was a much more sympathetic character, despite all of her many flaws and being a woman of low morality, and this served a huge (and vital) purpose in the climax of the book. With Brett, the reader never fully understands her and only sees that she is largely liked by people around her, but the reasons for that are not fully clear. I think this book could have been that much stronger if Brett's character were more developed.

I recommend this book only to people who truly like fine literature. If you are just out for a good story, this book is not for you.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Book Review

"The Maltese Falcon" by Dashiell Hammett
My grade: B-/C+

This is a classic detective story. It takes place in America of the 1920s, and does a pretty good job in portraying the San Francisco of that time. This part I found to be pretty interesting. The story itself, however, is too twisted for my taste. New details arise at every step of the way, but almost in a forced manner. The final twist is also not enough of a climax, as it is firstly partially predictable and secondly, implicates a character that the reader is not particularly sympathetic with. It's possible that this book has simply outlived its time. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Book Review

"The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka
My grade: A-

Hmmm....I'm not really sure what to say about this book, and where to begin. The story itself is so absurd, it automatically makes for a fantastic read. On top of that, the story is told in such a nonchalant matter, you begin to wonder if something like that has ever happened to you.

I don't want to say too much about it, in order to not ruin it for you. I will just say that it's definitely worth it!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Book Review

"Hurry Down Sunshine" by Michael Greenberg
My grade: B

This is definitely an interesting book. It is a memoir, written by a man whose teenage daughter suddenly goes bipolar (literally). Although this is partially her story, mostly it is his. It is written well, and as a parent myself, I can definitely relate to a lot of his fears and feelings. I couldn't help but feel, however, a sense of detachment while reading this book. Partially to blame for that is, in my opinion, my belief that this story would sound very differently if it was written by a mother rather than father (but not this girl's mother, who's quite detached from the girl herself). Also, what definitely played an undeniable role in this was my general lack of big interest in the subject material itself. In fact, I'm not really sure how or why I bought this book in the first place.

Having said that, I do think that Greenberg paints a good picture of what happens when a person goes crazy, and the effects it has on the people around him. If this subject is of interest to you, this is a good book to read.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Book Review

"If I Told You Once" by Judy Budnitz
My grade: A

This was really an excellent book, which I can only recommend to everyone. In the beginning, parts of it reminded me of "The Road", due to its gloom and creeping heaviness. At some point, however, it started to bear an uncanny resemblance to "One Hundred Years of Solitude", with its many generations living together, no one ever dying, and the stories repeating themselves. But I mean that in a good way; I'm a fan of Marquez.

It's hard to say what this book is about exactly. It's kind of an immigrant story, but not exactly. It's a story about mothers and daughters, but it's really much more than that. It reads like a fast read, but it's much more profound than that characterization suggests. It made me cry (a lot) and it definitely gave me something (a lot) to think about. Special thanks to Anna for recommending this book.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Book Review

"Mrs Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf
My grade: didn't finish

I cannot grade this book, as I feel that would be an unfair thing to do, seeing as how I didn't finish it. It should say something, however, that I couldn't force myself to continue through the 141 pages. There is definitely talent there; I certainly won't be the one to argue otherwise. But, it's simply boring and doesn't draw one in. This is the kind of book that hasn't outlived its time, figuratively speaking. It also forces one to draw comparisons to other English family sagas from the 19th and 20th centuries, which I believe do a better job at being able to entertain today. I really wanted to like this book, but unfortunately, I believe it doesn't hold up to par in its genre. 

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Minimalism - Experimental (FICTION)

"Take me! Take me now!"

"Ok..." He tries to hide the tremble in his voice. "Um...where? I mean, do you know?..."

She giggles. "You're so funny." And then, in his ear, a whisper, "Now's your chance". 

She's drunk, and he knows it. But still, he's never gotten such an offer before. She's pretty. He doesn't know where to go. He reaches for her hand, pulls away, and reaches for it again, this time with more resolution. "Follow me". 

She walks behind him, smiling. He leads her out of the building. The cold air feels nice as they step out into the night. He looks back at her, afraid she's changed her mind. She wears a blank stare, not letting go of his hand. He knows this is a bad idea. He still has no clue where to go. "This way," he says with conviction. 

They walk in silence for five minutes. He hears a noise from behind. He turns. She has the same look on her face, but tears are running down her cheeks. He turns back. They continue walking. She doesn't say a word. Another three minutes pass, before she finally pulls her hand away. "I can't walk anymore. Can't you take me someplace closer?" He wills himself to think. 

He makes a sharp turn into the park. He's never been here before, he doesn't know his way around. They walk. She speaks again. "Don't you want me?" He feels pressure. How will he expose of her?

Book Review

"The Forever War" by Dexter Filkins
My grade: A-

As the name suggests, this book is about war; mostly, it is about the war in Iraq, and a little bit on the Afghanistan war as well. This is not a novel. Filkins is a reporter, who reported from Iraq for The New York Times. This book is compiled of short bits and stories of what Filkins encountered while abroad. 

It is definitely difficult to keep all the facts in mind as reading this book. It goes back and forth constantly, and the overall structure of it - small disconnected stories - is not necessarily conducive to one grand idea. It does, nonetheless, paint an excellent picture of what was happening in Iraq when war arrived, the chaos that reigned, and the effects it had on people, politics and the general life. This book is at times terribly graphic and always difficult to read, due to the nature of the subject. 

If you have read "The Kite Runner", don't be put off by the first chapter of this book, even when the stories are exactly the same. I'm not sure what the relationship of the two authors is, but the resemblance ends after the first chapter, when Filkins leaves Afghanistan and goes to Iraq. I recommend this book to everyone, but be prepared - this is definitely not a fast read.  

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fran 8 (FICTION)

To everyone's surprise, and perhaps even dismay, Francisca stayed the two weeks at her parents' home, waiting for them to return from their vacation. In the beginning, she was angry. How could her mother just pick up and go when Francisca was, well...dying? But after a few days, the anger faded and a kind of calm began to envelope her. Being at home helped. Despite everything, this house held many fond childhood memories for her and she couldn't help but smile as she sat in the old rocking chair, recollecting the days of yore. Francisca even began to think that maybe things wouldn't be so bad after all. Well, in a kind of way, at least. She was sure that she was going to die, but maybe she could do it here, with Linda watching over her, holding her hand. Just maybe. 

It was a Tuesday afternoon when Linda and Donald finally came home. Francisca was laying on the couch, half reading a book, half napping. There was a snapping of the door, followed by a large thud. Francisca thought maybe she was dreaming, but then she heard the unmistakable voice of her mother, both commanding and inquisitive. Donald was the first to enter the living room. 

"Frannie! What a wonderful surprise! Come here, sweetheart; give Daddy a kiss." Pain seemed to cross his face for a minute, as he watched Francisca slowly rise from the couch and cross the room, but it was only a fleeting thought. After murmuring something about his trip, followed by a series of excuses, he smiled at Francisca and left the room, the smile fading from his face. He must know something, Francisca thought to herself. 

Seconds later, Linda entered the room and immediately took over. "Well, it's really nice to see you, dear. I hear you've been taking advantage of our home in our absence. I really hope you haven't ruined anything. Oh, don't lean on that armrest so, dear, it really is so fragile. MARIE! When was the last time you said you dusted?"

Despite the pain and the humiliation, Francisca knew she had to get through this somehow, she had to get through to her mother. "How was Paris, Mom?"

"Oh, charming; simply charming, as always. Paris is so lovely at this time of year, if it wasn't for the flocks of tourists. But one does need to get away now and again, oui?"

"Mom, there is something important I need to speak to you about. This is the reason..."

"Oh, really, Fran, you really know how to find the right timing every time. I'm jetlagged and the house is falling apart. Must this conversation really take place now? Why don't we talk about whatever this has to do with in the morning? You've been lounging around her for 2 weeks; I suppose one more night won't make much of a difference." She began to walk out of the room, already examining the hallways and the dozen problems that existed there, when Francisca shouted:

"I'm dying, Mother. I'm dying! I might not be here tomorrow!"

There was a long pause and stillness. "You've already told me, Fran. So who is it this time? Mark? Paul? Alfred?"

"No, Mom, it's a disease, it's not a man. I'm sick, Mom, and I'm dying. I'm in  pain every single time that I breath, and I don't have very much time left. I have nowhere to go, and no one to turn to. I'm dying, and I'm scared, and I'm alone! Please, me..."

Linda stands in the doorway for a couple of minutes, without even turning to face her daughter, pretending not to hear the streams of tears running down her face, the sorrow and despair in her voice. She slowly gathers the resolve, and marches upstairs to the bathroom, not looking back for even a glimpse. As she closes the door, she feels herself melting into a knot of nothing on the floor, and she begins to sob uncontrollably. "My baby..." she whispers to herself, "my poor little baby...Why?"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To Write a Poem

Write some poetry, you say.
I really wish it worked that way. 

If there was only one heartbeat there
Between my desires and the reality lair,
I would be a millionaire. 

I would have closets of clothes, and a house on the moon,
Eat chocolate in bed with a big golden spoon,

Walk around with a stick up my ass, and a feathered hat, 
Make sure my servants wiped their feet on the mat.

I would cover the walls in thick purple ink,
And simply replace, rather than wash, that dirty sink.

I would ride in my luxury car around town. 
And from up high, look at all the people down.

I would be branded as the very best
When being compared to all the rest.

All would look upon me with awe and respect. 
It would become simply a matter of fact. 

I would be a well-renowned writer,
Rather than some kind of a losing fighter. 

The word "publishing" will no longer have power,
And life will be nothing more than a sweet-scented flower.

But this is far from reality, dear.
And I am not a writer, I fear. 

To write a poem is not simple, not simple at all,
And I don't think I'm up to the challenge this Fall. 

Look for another, perhaps a stronger nut, 
Who will not allow himself to be cut. 

I will go on then, I guess, if I must;
I'll admit, it is there, this lust. 
Nevermind the cost. 

Call me an impostor; I suppose you will.
I will continue, though, to get my thrill. 

And die a painful death by the light of the moon.
It comes slow; I know not how soon. 

Friday, July 31, 2009

Book Review

"In the Woods" by Tana French
My grade: B-

I have really mixed feelings about this one. Generally, it is a good mystery/crime novel; more or less typical in its setup. There is a crime, or a few, and the hunt is on for the answers. The book, however, is a bit stretched in all of its almost 600 pages. I read it, though, mostly with a great interest. 

The worst part is the ending, which I found terribly disappointing on all fronts, including personal (as in, relating to the fates of the main characters), as well as the outcomes of the mysteries, or lack thereof. Note: I don't want to give too much away, in case someone decides to read it. Having said that, I did think at one point to myself that if this book, too, will have a happy ending, I'm going to give up on such novels. Also, I like to think that if a book is capable of arousing emotions, whether negative or positive, it must have done something right!

Overall, I say this is well-written and has a good plot, although it won't change your life. If you read a lot of books, have fun with this one.  If you will only read 2 this year (ahem, you know who you are), I wouldn't make a better pick. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Crazies (FICTION)

She runs over to the window, suddenly, without a warning. The cottage is tidy and silent, hardly lived-in. Two pillows are propped neatly at each end of the 3 couches encircling the wooden table. An old-fashioned lamp stands in the corner, unlit. The street outside has been quiet for decades; so quiet, that even the trees have stopped listening. Yet, she gets up from her chair and she runs to the window. She is a mess of a person. "Listen..." she hisses at no one. 

From the outside, she looks like a madwoman. Her gaze alone gives her away. On the inside, I have no idea who she is. She is the wack I watch from my bedroom window on days and some nights. She gives my life a kind of purpose it never had before. I must protect the community from her in case she turns violent. The problem is, she has never showed any inclinations towards violence, and there is no community. There is only me and her on the street, and the nearest neighbor is a 7-minute jog away. The rest of the houses are deserted. A bunch of loons. 

She is organizing 3 magazines sitting on top of her wooden coffee table. They are all National Geographics from various months and years. She places the yellow one first, then the other yellow one, and then the white. After a few seconds of stillness, she picks up the white one and puts it at the front, followed by the two yellows. What a wack! Why not arrange in the most obvious way? Chronologically backwards. Well, she never has visitors anyway, so why she bothers with the tidying in the first place is beyond me. 

I wake up from an uneasy sleep and grab my binoculars, as has become the custom. She has, at this ungodly hour, bought a hamster. He is a furry crawly thing, discomforting to both sight and feel. But she pets him harmoniously without interruption. 

There is a knock on my door. Who could that be?! I never get any visitors. I start to look for my gun, but after 15 minutes, I realize I don't have one. The knocking has remained consistent, relentless. I fling open the door. 

There is a woman standing there, a beautiful young woman, handing me a bouquet of flowers. No, they are not flowers, they are poison. She tells me to take the pills, but I see right through her. Her intention is not to heal. I try to tell her, to warn her about the woman across the street, but she just rolls her eyes and walks away. She walks...down the hall. Where did this hall come from? Perhaps this is a tunnel, but I see no light at the end. Where is my quiet street?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Matterless (FICTION)

Does ever a good conversation begin that way? Or continue, for that matter, for any length of time? We stare at each other for another few seconds, my mind racing for a legitimate excuse to skedaddle. 

"So, really, red wine? That's your drink of choice? Personally, I was never really into wine, until I was done with college. I don't know what happened then exactly, but I started drinking wine. I always go for white, though; I don't do too well with the red. It goes straight to my head, and in general, I'm not crazy about the taste. I don't even eat red grapes, really. But I'll take a good Riesling any time." She continues to talk. At least, I'm fairly sure of that. I wonder if there was anything in this girl worthy of my attention.

I take a look around the room, this time not caring about being inconspicuous or polite. As far as I was concerned, our friendship was over. There are plenty of people at the party, the room is really beginning to fill up. There are faces there I recognize, but I can't quite remember where from... someone I went to high school with? College? Perhaps an old colleague? Well, I suppose it doesn't really much matter. I haven't been back home in years, and this party was just a coincidence. I thought it was a good idea, but now I think it was all a mistake. 

These people, they mean nothing to me, and by and large, they never have. Yet, I came here with an idea in the back of my head. Perhaps I didn't admit it to myself, but it was definitely there. That's the reason why I actually wore a suit to this affair, and perhaps dangled my Mercedes key a little too much. I wanted to show them that Kenny Walters was a somebody after all, a successful somebody. I wanted to show them, the ones that don't matter...

I tune back into the girl, Cynthia I think her name is. "The problem is people just don't get it, like they really don't, you know?" I nod my head yes, even though I don't, I really don't know. I don't really know anything at all. 

For years, I've been working hard, damn hard, to prove it to them. But now, all of a sudden, I don't know what it is I've been trying to prove. And to whom. I'm a middle-aged man, with a big house and an expensive car. I'm alone, I'm terribly alone. 

I stand here, pretending to conversate with Cynthia, but I realize none of these people matter, not a single one of them. A girl across the room smiles at me awkwardly, as if she's trying to remember. I've stopped trying, I want to tell her that. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


You think I'm crazy? What do you know?
You could hardly tell a pigeon from a crow.
Besides, lots of people sing in the snow. 

I dance to the beat of my own drum; what else is new?
If anything, I suggest you do it, too.
Might lend a different perspective to you.

Yeah, yeah; I already know what you'll say to that.
But you're as narrow as a cat;
Your life akin to a senseless mat. 

Go on, then, live life to the full and be merry. 
Who cares that you're a bit too hairy?
Me? I'll take a Bloody Mary. 

Monday, July 13, 2009


Sad! Sad? He asks me why I'm sad. Why is any person ever sad? How the hell should I know. It's just a feeling that takes over. It has a mind of its own, I can't control it. And when it decides to leave, it does, and that's all there is to it. 

He always wants to know, though, why it is that I'm sad. How can I explain it? He thinks it's something that he did. He can be so self-centered. Sometimes my emotions have nothing to do with him at all; he has a problem accepting that. How can I show him that despite everything, there is a big part of me that has nothing to do with him. There is a part of me that will always be me, nevermind the circumstances in my life. But he wants to understand. The thing is I cannot explain it to him because I don't understand myself. I don't know why I'm sad, I just am. I don't know why I want to cry, but the tears just stream down my face. How can I make you happy? he asks. I don't know. I guess deep down inside there is a little piece of me that is incredibly sad. I don't know what triggers it (and it isn't hormones either). It's just a part that has always been with me, and probably will always stick around. I cannot make it go away and I cannot change it, because I can't control it. 

Why are you sad? he continues, pressuring me for a reply. Does he know, I wonder, that I wish I knew. I wish I had the answer, for my own sake, but I don't. I'm just sad. Very sad. Deep down inside. Just sad. And I don't think I will ever be happy there. 

Fran 7 (FICTION)

Francisca pulled up to a three-story house. The guard at the gate recognized her immediately and opened the gate with a tip of his baseball cap. Marcus had been working for the Lofts for so many years, Francisca considered him part of the family. As was the usual habit at the house, Francisca pulled up to the front door and popped the trunk. Leaving the keys in the ignition, she walked out of the car and headed towards the house; Marcus would take care of the rest. 

Francisca stood in front of the door and gathered her thoughts for a minute. She had no idea what awaited her inside, but she had no other choice, nowhere else to go. For once, she just wanted to have a normal family, a normal mother. She wanted to walk through the door, step into her mother's protective open arms, and sob like a baby.

Francisca remembered the last time she cried in front of her mother. It was six years ago. Sean had just broken up with her and she was depressed. She came home while her mother was out. When Linda walked in, she saw Francisca sprawled out on the couch, surrounded by dirty tissues and empty containers of Haagen Dazs. 

"What's going on here, Francisca?" Linda called out, appalled. "It's not another break-up now, is it? Really, Fran, no wonder you keep getting dumped all the time. Just look at yourself, you've gained at least five pounds. That ice cream is really not helping you..." She would have continued, but Priscilla, the housekeeper, walked into the room. Linda immediately switched over to her, calling out a dozen commands per minute. As Priscilla walked out of the room, Linda followed, shouting something at her the whole way. As usual, Francisca was forgotten and left to wallow in her own pain, alone. Since then, Francisca made sure not to show any weakness to her mom. This time, though, things seemed to be different. 

Gathering her courage, Francisca finally rang the doorbell. A few minutes passed before a young girl in a uniform opened the door. Must be the new maid, Francisca thought. "Oh, Ms. Loft..." the maid said, surprise in her voice. Well, at least she was well-trained. "Come in. I'm sorry, Mrs. Loft hadn't mentioned you would be staying here. I'll get your room prepared right away."

"Wait, please. Are my parents out then?"

"I'm sorry, I presumed you knew. Mr. and Mrs. Loft are in Paris for the next two weeks..." Her voice trailed off.

That's just perfect, Francisca thought, tears forming in the corners of her eyes. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


My daughter is turning one in 4 days; I cannot believe it. It's crazy to think about it. I can still remember when the mere thought of her was a wild dream, too good to be true. And now, I still stop to wonder how something so wonderful could have happened to me. What could I have possibly done to deserve her? Do I deserve her really? And is anybody actually worthy of her? I'm proud to be her mother.

I want to squeeze her tight and hold her like that, to prevent anything bad from happening to her and parting us. When I was little, I used to love dolls and I had dreams about having the most gorgeous dolls ever. But I was always disappointed to wake up and find out it was only a dream. So I thought that if I squeeze the dolls really tight upon the moment when dreams turn into reality, the doll will enter this world together with me. But reality is harsh, even to a child, and the dolls always stayed back in that better place. 

I think it's crazy that someone, somewhere has entrusted me to raise a human being. Perhaps this is a bad joke? But why waste such wonderful beauty on me? I will try my damndest, pardon the pun, to do right by her. 

And so my little LuLu turns one, a big girl already, almost walking. And I think back and pat myself on the back for getting her to this major milestone. May there be many more to come, my Princess!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Untitled IV - Ed (FICTION)

The sign on the freeway welcomes me to the sate of Oklahoma. And Merry fucking Christmas to you too. I've still got 800 miles to go until I reach Mexico. I need to get some food. 

I enter the diner and sit in a booth in the darkest corner I can find. It's a run-down place, and only about half the bulbs are working. It's 4pm, so there are only a few customers inside. No one raises his head as I walk in, not even the waitresses. Maybe it's my lucky day, I say to myself, as I slide into the booth. Maybe the news hasn't reached the boonies yet. There is a TV on across the room, but it's showing what...yesterday's game? I can't really make it out from here; besides, the flickering lines aren't really helping. On second thought, probably they are. 

"What'll it be today, sonny?" she drawls, as she blows a big bubble with her chewing gum and suddenly I'm taken to the year 1972, December 12th. It's snowing outside and it's my 10th birthday. I sit at the kitchen table, waiting for breakfast. My father isn't there, as usual; I'm not really sure he came home last night. My mother is smoking a cigarette and staring out the window. Her hair isn't combed and she still has her makeup on from the day before. She has shown no signs of remembering that it's my birthday, but just like every year, I hope that there is a surprise for me planned. Deep down, though, I know that she doesn't care enough to plan all that.

She throws the cigarette butt into the sink, amongst the dirty dishes. The smoke continues to rise from it and cloud up the room. She seems to not be bothered by it. She pops a cube of bubble gum into her mouth; she always chews gum after she smokes. This is the reason why her breath always smells like a combination of sweet and putrid. It's been like this as long as I can remember her. 

"What'll it be today, sonny?" she asks as she blows a big bubble. "Cocoa Puffs or Cheerios?" She asks this everyday, when I know as damn well as she does that the only thing we've got is burnt toast with butter. She hands me two pieces on a plate, and laughs, her weird crooked laugh. There will definitely be no surprise today. 

"So what'll be? I've got other customers, you know!" the waitress yells. What happened to southern hospitality?

"I'll have the steak with the baked potato." She walks off. She's obviously not from around here, and neither am I. Shit! What am I going to do now?

Book Review

"Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life" by Anne Lamott
My grade: B

As is clear from the title, this book is for writers, or more specifically, aspiring/unpublished fiction writers. Having read several books on writing, I would say that this one is quite helpful and insightful, and offers to some extent a new perspective while covering the basics. There are a few things I didn't like about the book, however. Firstly, Lamott states quite openly that being funny is important to her, and while she often is, sometimes it feels over-the-top and plain unnecessary. Secondly, she focuses way too much on her own story, and not enough on general tips and potential outcomes for all writers. She additionally has a tendency to dwell on a certain story from her life, which in the end, bears no (or hardly any) relevance to the reader. There were, overall, a significant amount of anecdotes and details from her personal life, which in my opinion didn't have to be present in such a book; at least, not to this extent.

For all of you writers out there, if you haven't read too many books on writing yet, I would recommend this one.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Must be said

I can't stand animal cruelty, and cruelty against children for the same reason: neither can understand what is happening. An adult, at least, can understand the injustice, get angry, in some circumstances, fight against it. But a child, and in a certain sense an animal, are completely helpless against such crimes, because they cannot rationally conclude that a crime is being committed against them, and of the greatest kind.

I am not a violent or an aggressive person by any means, and physical violence of any kind is completely against my nature, but I believe a person who commits a crime against a child or an animal should be killed, because that is not a person! That is some form of an evil force that exists only on Earth and it must be immediately extinguished.

It makes me firstly incredibly angry, but mostly indescribably sad when I see something like a goat walk a tight rope in a Chinese circus with a monkey on his back, also doing some sort of tricks. I can only imagine what type of abuse these poor living creatures were subjected to in order to be able to do that. Let's all face it: a goat is not mean to tip-toe a tight rope!

Maybe I'm crazy, maybe I'm sick, or maybe I'm just plain wrong. I'm against - full-heartedly AGAINST - all crimes against humanity, against all creatures that are alive and feel pain, but I'm most passionately judgmental and intolerant of people who commit any act of injustice or violence against one who cannot defend itself. Rise and stand for justice, or look yourself in the face and feel no shame; I won't be the one to judge you. But if you are guilty of a crime against another living creature, especially a child, or an animal, get the hell off of my blog!

Fran 6 (FICTION)

They hadn't really spoken about it, but considering that Francisca was living in Brian's flat, the conclusion was obvious: Francisca would need to move out. It was actually quite nice of Brian not to kick her out straight away, Francisca thought. After all, it was his right. Besides, Francisca never told him about the disease. In fact, they hadn't really spoken in two-and-a-half weeks. She decided it really would be best if she just quietly packed up her stuff and left. He wouldn't be too surprised to find her gone, whenever he did return back home.

It didn't take Fran long to pack. The only things that were hers, really, were two closets-full of clothes and some jewelry, accumulated through the years. She took only the essentials and the few items that held sentimental value, like the 2-karat diamond ring Charlie had proposed with. He was a good kid; it's too bad, really, the way things worked out with him.

Francisca grabbed the two suitcases and headed towards the front door. By the time she got there, she was completely out of breath. Come to think of it, she really had become weaker lately, but she tried to push that out of her mind for now. She sat down on the couch for a minute, to get a quick rest. A thought came to her: maybe she should leave a note for Brian, even if just a couple of words. She got up, with effort, and waddled over to the kitchen counter, feeling herself decrepit. She took a Post-It note and pen, but on second thought, wrote nothing. It's better left unsaid, she thought.

Dragging the suitcases to the car, one at a time, Francisca finally got in herself and started the ignition. If only she had somewhere to go, someone to turn to. Never in her life had she felt so alone - and so helpless. Her life was coming to an end, a terribly sad an pathetic end, but nobody seemed to care. Perhaps it was something she had done, perhaps it was her fault nobody loved her, Francisca thought. But she was too tired to ponder such questions, so she put the car in Drive and drove to the only place she could think of: home.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book Review

"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy
My grade: A+

This is a book I read a while ago, but it has stayed with me nonetheless and I feel it worthy of a post on my blog. This is probably the best piece of modern literature that I have read in the last few years. Its incredible darkness sucks you in, and I found myself unable to put it down, even though it was emotionally incredibly difficult to read. It was definitely worth the pain, though.

The book is not broken down into chapters at all, and I'm sure McCarthy doesn't follow all the rules of grammar, but there is purpose and effect in that. The story is that of a father and son, but really it's about humanity. The father and son don't even have names. They are trying to survive in a world where most are dead, to protect one another while maintaining their integrity.

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. If you read books, you have to read this one.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Book Review

"The Northern Clemency" by Philip Hensher
My grade: C-

I'm surprised at myself for getting through the 738 pages, which believe you me was no easy feat. I have to say, what really kept me going was the anticipation of the ending: I really thought that there will be a point made somewhere along the way, but it was all in vain.

This book strives to be a family epic. I would even argue that "War and Peace" comes to mind when reading this book, for a number of reasons, although its many shortcomings are only highlighted by this reference. In a family epic book, what becomes crucial is character development. The only reason the reader would be interested in learning what happens to a character as he gets older is if the reader feels something for the character, regardless if that is love or hate. This aspect is entirely missing in the novel. The characters are to such an extent underdeveloped that I was often confusing one person with another, along with their histories, up until the very end. It also arouses no interest whatsoever to find out what happens to the characters as time progresses, nor is one either happy or sad when one character or the other dies off. Whatever little is learned of the characters only paints them in a relatively bad light, and in the end, you have a poorly-written book about pathetic people, who you neither respect nor have any kind of strong feelings for one way or another.

Additionally, the book is poorly edited. Starting from an impermissible amount of typos for a published work all the way down to too much telling and hardly any showing (in 738 pages!), you would think a work of such supposed caliber would have been read over one or two times before going on the bookshelves. I would definitely NOT recommend this book, even if you have all the time in the world.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Shelves (FICTION)

The shelves are stacked one on top of another. Some are white, and some are black; some are right, but some are wack. And as I look at these shelves, I think how much like life they are.

The shelves stand empty now. They were full of his things before. I hated his things; they were useless trinkets, probably gifts from ex-girlfriends. Some seemed really exotic, but I know he's never been to such places before. He prided himself on these shelves, and I hated them, but now that they're empty, I miss the way they once were. 

Two days ago, he packed up his things and he left. He didn't take everything. But he took the trinkets, and the best six years of my life. He left me, though, with an old half-empty bottle of shampoo, 3 dirty unmatching socks, a Dutch-Swahili dictionary, and six years' worth of memories. Long, wonderful memories, with a sad ending. Oh, and he also left a note. 

In the note, he explained everything, and nothing at all. He said he had to go, couldn't possibly stay, but I don't know why. Is it the shelves? He said I should move on, find someone new, someone who would deserve me, but he didn't say how. He said I shouldn't cry, shouldn't think about him anymore, everything was really for the best. But is it really? The note was 30 pages long. He walked out through the door, carrying all of his bags, but he left the shelves. The crooked black and white shelves. They stand here now, mocking me with their emptiness. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Untitled III (FICTION)

I open my eyes…where am I? It takes me a few minutes, but finally I remember. After driving along an almost-empty highway, for four or five hours going west, I pulled over. I had to take a leak. The bushes, though, were tempting and I was tired. I drove a little ways off the road, so’s no one could see me. I’ve been sleeping now for… 4 hours?! Shit, that’s longer than I expected. I have to keep moving. The plan is first west, and then south across the border. I know, it’s not a sophisticated plan, but I’ve gotta do something. I need a way to start out clean, a second chance.

I pull back out onto the highway, but two miles down the road is a rest area. Next one is in 60 miles. I need a cup of coffee; I need to make a phone call.

“John, it’s me,” I say. This better be worth a quarter.

“What the fuck did you do?” The voice is completely uneasy. I’m shocked.

“This is Ed.” And then, “I did as we planned, just like you said.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about, you dumb piece of shit! The whole country is looking for you, and I’m going to say this only once, if my name is ever leaked out in connection with yours, I’m going to find you myself and drain every ounce…”

“What the fuck are you talking about John? Who’s looking for me? I thought Tia was…didn’t Tia get arrested? But the police…” My voice begins to trail off. Slowly, I begin to remember, to understand what’s happened. It’s only in my dreams that things have worked out as planned. But in the real world?

“John, what’s going on? What happened to Tia?”

“I’ll tell you what the fuck happened to that darling fucking wife of yours. She woke up, an hour after you left and surveyed the home. She put two and two together, got DRESSED, and calmly drove herself to the police station. That bitch had a plan of her own! She told them everything she’s heard and what she’d seen. And guess what else, Ed? That fucking cunt even said that she thinks you’re trying to frame her for murder! Now where would she get such a silly idea, huh, Ed? Where could that come from?”

“I have no idea,” I whisper, hardly loud enough for John to hear. The machine is asking me for more quarters, I need more quarters, dammit! “I gotta go, John. I’ll call when I can.”

“Ed! Don’t you…” I hang up the phone. What the hell just happened? Tia…

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fran 5 (FICTION)

Patty, Dr. Richards' secretary, called Francisca one week later. She would be calling often from now on, but surprisingly, Francisca grew to find her voice reassuring, in a strange kind of way. Patty wanted to invite Francisca for a consultation with Dr. Richards, "to discuss potential treatments, including the one in the clinical trial phase Dr. Richards must have mentioned. How are you holding on, dear?"

"I'm coping," Francisca lied, as she hung up the phone. The fact is, she had hardly come to terms with the ugly monster now facing her. The fact is, she didn't know where to begin. 

Naturally, she hadn't said a word to Brian, although somehow he seemed to have sensed something. At least, things had changed, quite drastically, since one week ago. He started coming home very late from work; later than usual. The funny part was that he didn't even try to explain this, or comment on it in any way. And the even funnier part - Francisca didn't care. She knew that whatever they had was over. After all, in a couple months' time, what of the trophy would remain? Now, it was only a question of where to go? Whom to turn to?

Three days ago, Francisca finally decided to call her mom. They hadn't spoken in about two months. It's not that their relationship was bad; it's only that is was half-existent. 

"Hi, Mom, it's me," Francisca said meekly into the phone. A silence ensued, before the recognition.

"Oh, yes, Francisca, how are you, honey?"

"Mom, I've got something important to tell you. The thing is... It seems that I... The problem, the doctor..."

"Francisca, really, you're not making any sense and I haven't got time for games now. The thing is that I've got 30 women due any minute now for my summer fashion discussion, and Franz hasn't even gotten the quiche out of the oven yet. Really, I told your father, that hiring French help is not a smart idea, but your father, well, you know how stubborn he can be when..."

"Mom, I'm dying!" Francisca yelled into the phone. "I'm sick with a terminal disease. I don't have much time left, Mom." There is a silence. 

"Mom? Are you still there?"

The silence continues. And then, after a couple of minutes: "Oh, Fran, you do tend to be so overdramatic, just like your grandmother, God rest her soul. Just drink lots of orange juice and chamomile tea and you'll be good as new. Really, honey, now is not a good time for me. Why don't you get some rest and give me a call in a couple of days? Kiss, kiss," and the phone line cut off. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Untitled II (FICTION)

The meal was amazing, perhaps one of the best I've had in a while. But then again, I can't really remember the last time I had a proper meal. Or perhaps it's just my mood tonight. I'm in a good mood, despite everything. She must have felt it, somehow, too. She doesn't normally make this much food. It doesn't matter, though, I've got business to take care of and she's just getting in the way, now. 

We finish eating without exchanging a single word. I'm glad for this peace before the storm; the bitch really knows how to nag. She hands me another beer and washes the dishes. I stare, working out the details of tonight.

She's taking an hour to do the dishes, and I'm beginning to grow impatient. "The dishes will still be here in the morning, " I mutter. "Let's go!". She understands immediately and turns the water off. She goes towards the bedroom and I finish my beer, slowly, savoring every sip. When will I have the chance to have another? I feel a little bad for what I'm going to have to do to her, but I have no other choice. She shouldn't of been poking her nose around where it don't belong. The bitch deserves it. 

I make my way back to the bedroom. This will have to be good. After all, it is the last time. With her. She's waiting for me in bed, just as I like it, with no clothes on. I take the blindfolds from my drawer. "Put this on!" I demand. Those eyes - not tonight. I can't look at them anymore tonight. No, I want to remember her just like this, the dirty slut that she really is. Not the angel she maybe once was. 

Two-and-a-half hours later and she's fast asleep. She sleeps like a baby after a night like this and that's what I'm counting on. I get up out of bed and get dressed, careful not to forget anything. I take one last glance around the room, and leave. I walk directly towards my car without looking back. If she wakes up, starts asking questions, this won't work. I leave, quietly, and drive away. Far, far away.

She wakes up in the morning to the sound of banging on the door. It's 6:30 am. She hasn't noticed that I've been gone until now. She's confused. She walks to the front door in her sheer nightgown, hardly understanding what's going on. 

"Are you Mrs. Cooper?" the cop asks, clearly noticing that she's not armed, but reaching behind his back nonetheless. 

"Yes," she stumbles, seeing for the first time the six cops standing behind the first one, all with their weapons drawn. 

"You're under arrest...," the first one says, turning her around in one swoop and cuffing her. "...for the murder of Stacey Hawk, Rachel Dole, Angela Smith..." he continues. They're all women, she thinks to herself. Monster!

They put her in the back of the police car, clearly surprised by how easy the catch was. She sits there, with a dumb and maybe a bit sad?, look on her face. Unless she's smarter than she looks, she will have to pay for my crimes. 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Untitled (FICTION)

I walk in through the front door. "What the fuck is this?" I yell, tossing my keys across the room. It's been three seconds and she's already managed to piss me off. She pulls her feet off the coffee table, fear reflecting in her eyes. I love having this control over her. Her eyes are beautiful though; they really are. I will probably miss them most. 

She scrambles to her feet as I draw near, pulling her gaze away. She has no idea what she did wrong, and I'll admit, sometimes neither do I. But it's better this way than being Mr. Nice Guy. Nice guys never get too far. 

"Is there any food in this damn house?" I growl. She runs in the direction of the kitchen, mumbling something under her breath. Well, I think to myself, I have time to take a shower, eat a nice meal, and then the deed must be done. 

I walk into the bedroom and close the door. She has no business in here anyways; her place is in the kitchen. I undress and look at myself in the mirror. Shit, I think, for a man of 44, I'm in damn good shape. The gym membership has definitely been worth the money. And that hussy at work isn't so bad either, I smile to myself in the mirror. Lunch breaks aren't all that bad. 

I climb into the shower and turn on the hot water. The sting of the heat slaps my skin senseless, but I stand there and take it. I like the pain. Besides, I probably deserve it. Tonight's the night.

I step out of the shower and wrap a towel around myself. In the mirror, my skin is bright red, scorched. It looks disgusting but it feels great. She will like it. 

I make my way towards the kitchen, praying, for her sake, there's a hot meal on the table. I won't hit her. Not tonight. No, it would be too much before...

I stop at the door and I listen to the noises coming from within the kitchen. She's hustling about, worried what I will think, what I will say, what I will do. She trains well. It makes me sad a little, but tonight is the night. I walk into the kitchen, pleased with myself. 

(to be continued)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nothing (FICTION)

"Do you think we are alone?" she asks me, gazing up at the stars. 

"No," I reply, sounding more assured than I really am. She is referring to aliens; I to God, but what difference does it really make? Couldn't we both be talking about the same thing, really? Couldn't God be an alien of the greatest kind?

We lay on my rooftop, as on so many nights, and stare at the stars up above. Tonight the sky is particularly clear, and you can make out the exact line where the light ends and the nothingness begins. There is always a border, isn't there?

"What do you think they look like?" she asks. We've had this conversation before, but immediately I start to think about heaven. I'm not sure I believe in the place, but there's gotta be something better than this.

"They're disgusting ugly creatures," I tell her. "They feed their intellect alone and they know far more than we do." She's quiet, as if processing the information. For the first time I realize that it's the blackness she's looking at, and not the stars. "I think I've met them before," I say. 

She lays still, not responding to the words I say. Perhaps she understands more than I think, more than I know. I look where she's looking, into the empty darkness, but I see nothing there. 

"What if it all fell down?" she asks, and I'm not really sure what she means. The stars? The world? God?

"What direction is down?" I retort, stalling for time. What if it did fall, where would that leave us? And in the grand scheme of things, who are we anyways? Who is she, and who am I? And does it really matter?

We lay on the rooftop, gazing at the nothingness between the stars. But the light, it's always there. 


I drink the wine, but the wine drinks me
I start to think to myself, silently
Why does this always happen to me?

You think you're the one in control, but you're not
Sometimes I wish I was a smart little teapot
It would simplify things, but I"m not

So back to the bottle then I go
Let's see what comes out, may be a good show
Can never tell ahead of time, you know
Stick around folks, here I go

Monday, May 11, 2009

Work-Edited (FICTION)

Work, all I ever do is work.  All I know is work, and I am tired. I’m so tired of working.

I want to live! I want to see the beauties and wonders of the world, to travel all over the globe to find them. I want to ride an elephant in India and a camel in Egypt. I want to stand beneath the Eiffel Tower and feel small, then climb the Empire State Building and feel huge. I want to eat an exquisite lunch in some obscure Italian restaurant. I want the meal to melt in my mouth, as I savor each delicious bite of it. And then I want dessert – chocolate and strawberries! I want to swim in chocolate-covered strawberries! 

I want to be serenaded on a gondola in Venice, and hear sweet nothings whispered in my ear over a candlelit dinner in Ibiza. I want to walk on the Great Wall of China, and follow a tour-guide up the side of the Giza Pyramid, listening to him weave riddle upon mystery. I want to have a Latin lover, one who will love me and leave me. I want to cry over him for days as I imagine what could have been, and vow to never forget each beautiful moment we shared.

I have never been in love; I want to fall madly in love! I want to wake up in the morning and sing about how wonderful life is. I want to bake brownies for no reason, and think about my beloved all day and all night. I want to write his name over and over on a piece of paper, and color little hearts all around. I want to come up with names for our future children.

I want to make love on a moonlit beach, and not even worry about the sand mixing into my hair. I want to get lost in the moment, and forget Egypt, Ibiza, Venice, Paris and China; I want to forget my very name. Then I want him to remind me!

But all I ever do is work, and all I know is work. What for? What the hell am I working for?

Not only human (Heather Nova Lyrics)

Morning is almost here, let it wait.
I just want to lie here a while, tempting fate.
I don't think I can breath now, with you gone.
But it's not weakness, it's just something I've begun.

Maybe there's a light that's always on
Maybe we're not only human, maybe
Maybe there's a light that's always on
And we're not only human

When you're sleeping, you're ceramic
You're surrounded by little stars
Every shimmer is a searchlight
Every planet is ours

Change the street, change the decade
Still the longing's left inside
Why am I too small to carry you?
Why does twilight make me cry?

Maybe there's a light that's always on
Maybe we're not only human, maybe
Maybe there's a light that's always on
And we're not only human

When all is said and done
When all the weight is gone
When all is said and done
When all the weight is gone
We're not only human

Life is something set to music
I can hear it when I'm sad
There's a cord in every muscle
Every kiss you've ever had
There's a power when you're near me
In our heads or in our bones
I know nothing, but I'm guessing
When we die, we're not alone

Maybe there's a light that's always on
Maybe we're not only human, maybe
Maybe there's a light that's always on
And we're not only human

When all is said and done
When all the weight is gone
When all is said and done
When all the weight is gone
We're not only human

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Memories (FICTION)

I remember, I remember,
It was in the late September,
...But perhaps it was November?

Each dying ember lay beneath the snow.
No, I do not wish to speak of Poe.
We may have things in common, though, you know?
But the memory I have is of so long ago.

I was a child, perhaps less so than now. 
You stood above me, and you kissed my brow. 
How that kiss disturbs me now.

But that is not my memory still!
Tonight, I listen only to my will.
And my brain churning, like the blades of a mill.

I was a little girl back then.
I wore my hair in pigtails, when
I fell in love with you. Yes, you, Stan!
You broke my heart - you were  a grown man.

You saw me only as a child,
A small thing, that runs around, wild.
Yet my heart melted each time you smiled. 

I was very sick that day, yes. 
You came over, I believe to play chess;
or so I remember in all of this mess.
At that moment, I considreed myself blessed.

You spoke my name, Stan, so beautifully,
I imagined what ties we could have, lawfully.
You were my prince, then, allegorically.
Life was so easy back then, literally.

I want to go back to those childhood days.
I want to see my life in a kind of haze. 
I want life to be one big playful maze. 
I want to awaken upon your gaze.

But you lie in your grave, silently.
While gray creeps into my hair violently.
What a life has been wasted on me. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fran 4 (FICTION)

Francisca walked through the front door of the townhouse she shared with Brian and shut the door slowly behind her. She leaned against the door and slumped to the ground. Like a newborn baby, she didn't really notice the external world around her. All she could do was replay parts of what Dr. Richards had told her, filling in between the lines. "'s a very rare disease, very few people have ever heard of it...", he started out with, turning his gaze away. What was the name of it again?, Francisca struggled. Not that it mattered anyways. "I'm afraid there's no cure, Francisca. No medicine..." It was at this point that Francisca's world began to spiral down. But what will happen? Will I die? "I don't know how much time you have exactly, but judging by the stage of the disease, I would say one-to-two years..." That was the last thing Francisca heard. Dr. Richards also mentioned something about a medicine in the clinical trial phase, but Francisca missed all of that. She left his office as soon as he finished talking in a daze. Somehow, she drove herself home, but she had no recollection of it. Instead, all Francisca could think about was her imminent death. Would there be anyone to hold her hand as she left this world? Would she even want that? Besides, what was the next stop after that? Was there one at all? Francisca couldn't remember the last time she thought about God. Perhaps now was a good time?

Brian came home three hours later. He entered through the garage door, as usual, trying to forget his stressful day. As every evening, the only thought that truly consumed him was seeing Francisca: touching her, kissing her, owning her. He threw his keys on the counter in the kitchen and unloaded his pockets. He opened a bottle of red wine and poured himself a glass. Taking a sip, the alcohol immediately took effect. He began to undo his tie with one hand as he headed in the directon of the living room. Francisca was probably watching TV, if not upstairs waiting for him, he thought. A smile played across his lips as he thought about the night ahead; tonight was a particularly stressful day.

The living room was dark and the TV turned off. Brian began making his way upstairs as he heard a noise. Is that an animal? It took a couple of minutes before Brian realized that the noise was coming from somewhere near the front door. All he could see was a large lump...laying? sitting? what was that exactly? He approached cautiously, setting his glass of wine on the bottom step. He started to think of possible weapons he could grab along the way - a heavy book, the porcelain vase - before he realized the undefined mass on the floor was Francisca. What was she doing?...crying? In the four months that they had been together, Brian had never seen Francisca cry. For the first time, he found himself repulsed by this beautiful woman. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Big Clock

She cries and it breaks my heart, but I can't help. There is nothing more I can do for her; I've done all I could. I'm exhausted, and so is she, but she can't sleep. She just cries. I sit in the other room, listening. I can't stand to watch her cry. I want to hold her, but she pushes me away. I don't know why she's upset, I don't know what I did wrong. She lays in bed, and she cries. I listen and I watch the big clock, wondering when it's going to end, trying to understand what this all means; why she cries, why I hurt, why we are here. If I had the power to be somewhere else right now, is that a path I would choose? I could never leave her. I choose the pain.

She continues to cry relentlessly. It's not me she's crying for, and my heart bleeds. I wish I could tell her that I have all the answers, but I don't. I wish I did. I'm confused, and I can't help her. She still cries, and I sit on the couch in the other room, listening to her, watching the big clock. 

Monday, April 20, 2009


Work, work, work. All I ever do is work. Morning, noon, and night, I always work. When I wake up in the morning I start to work. All I ever see and know is work. I'm so tired of working; I want to live. I want to see the beautiful and wonderful things, to travel the world. I want to ride an elephant in India and a camel in Egypt. I want to stand beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris and feel small, and climb the Empire State Building to stand above the world. I want to be serenaded on a gondola ride in Venice and hear sweet nothings whispered into my ear across a candle-lit dinner in Ibiza. I want to walk on the Chinese Wall and hear the mysteries of how the pyramids were built. I want to have a Latin lover, who will love me and then leave me. I want to cry for days about what could have been and think back on the wonderful, but brief, affair we had. 

I have never been in love. I want to fall madly in love. I want to wake up in the morning and sing songs. I want to bake brownies out of the blue. I want to think about him day and night, and write his name over and over on a piece of paper, with hearts all around. 

I want to eat an exquisite meal. I love to eat. I want to savor every bite of a beautifully-prepared dish, melting in my mouth. I want to be surrounded by chocolate-covered strawberries. 

I want to make love in the moonlight on the beach, as sand gets mixed into my hair. I want to get lost in the moment, and forget my name. I want him to remind me!

But all I ever do is work. What the hell am I working for?