Tonight, #poetry – 2/5/2013

On this empty night, I listen
to the unromantic sound of the furnace
and in between snow spatting against the windows
Morse code of no meaning.

The cat scattered the deck; cards tossed across the floor
It’s okay – I was cheating anyway
Nothing holds my interest tonight
Not my thoughts or the quiet jazz on the speakers

I would like to not think of you
For my only considerations to be of
Silly games and my plans for tomorrow
Not of signing on and not finding you there

It’s not like I don’t have friends – good ones, too.
They are kind, but I want more than that.
I want what you will not give me
It hurts, and for tonight, I wish I didn’t care.

Three Word Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The first time ever I saw his face …

Ah, I always loved that song, although I admit I’ve always wished it was someone else talking about me.  The first time ever I saw his face, it was on a computer screen. A search I was doing had gone very wrong; I knew, beyond any doubt, that the picture I was searching for was out there, and in desperation, I plunked in the two keywords, all by themselves, that were the core terms of the search.

As Google whirred away and the results page started to load, I stretched and used the tips of my fingers to knead my stiff neck. Yeah, I spent too long on the computer.  So sue me. As the screen stopped dropping images in their places, I glanced at it – and stopped. Oh my gosh. The first picture in the search results was not particularly remarkable for its composition or style.  It wasn’t even in color. But the subject – oh, the subject.

It was a man about my age, with what looked like black or dark brown hair and black or dark brown eyes. Just a guy, I suppose. But that’s like saying a Rolls Royce has four wheels and  moves. Kinda like a little red wagon. Don’t sass me, girl.  If you didn’t see a little red wagon at the museum I know you’ve seen a picture.  Now where was I?  Oh, yes.

I’ve never seen eyes as beautiful as that on someone who wasn’t a celebrity. I can’t describe them, exactly, or tell you what it was about them that made my heart melt.  The only thing I remember thinking was that they were kind eyes, with humor. You had the feeling he was sharing a joke with the photographer, was resigned about having his picture taken.

And his smile! Oh, this is America, we all get the dentist treatment growing up in a way that some other countries don’t.  But it was more than perfect dental work; I can’t describe how it hit me any than I can his eyes. Taken as a whole, he was a remarkably good-looking man.  One look and I was done for. I never believed in love at first sight – until then.

That was a long time ago. There used to be a computer system called Facebook. For a while, people thought it would take over the digital world. But like Compuserve and GEnie and a lot of other web/communication systems that had their day and passed, so did Facebook.  I “met” him there, and for a time, we were friends, as it was defined in those days. But that passed, too. After the Great Viral Attack of 2021, when Facebook was wiped out (along with a lot of other things), we lost touch. I always regretted that. I tried hard to cleanse my memory and go on with my life.  Your grandfather never knew, and I’m glad.  He never understood computers, or how people could meet online and connect in the most innocent of ways, and it would have hurt him. I would have been sorry if I had caused him pain.

I know, I could build one of those holograms you kids are all so hot about. I have the picture, and I even have a video I downloaded from YouTube – another site that went away eventually. I saved our chats and messages, too. But it wouldn’t be the same.

Strange as it would sound, even though he was never really more than virtual to me, all the new technology would somehow make him more imaginary, not less. I’d rather have that first memory of him, of seeing his face, and remember the connection we did have.

Now get your padscreen over here and set up the board. Your gramma’s going to kick your butt in 3D Tetris!

Things Unsaid

When I tell myself I have put you away
I know I lie; all it takes is a brief note of music
or a turn of phrase and you are before me
so vividly you are almost standing there.

I can barely breathe — or find the air to speak;
I never could. Love wrapt in the fear of loss;
a gift I could never give you to open —
that you would not even if I had the courage.

What does it say of us that ‘I love you’
were the only three words between us left unuttered?

Wishing Will Make It So

“Hey, everyone.”

She didn’t dare turn around. When she heard his voice, her heart jumped and she reddened. I can’t help it, she thought, resentfully. You don’ t pick who you fall for. Not really.

The phone rang and she answered it to give herself something to do. It was a wrong number, of all things. “No, this isn’t Francisco’s. Their number is 6890, not 6899. Yes.  You’re welcome.”

“Important call?”

This time she really jumped.

“Hey, take it easy. Didn’t mean to startle you.” He sat on the corner of her desk. “I need your help with a project, if you have time.”

“I -. Well, let me look at my calendar.” Her fingers, usually agile and knowledgeable on the keyboard, fumbled and brought up the wrong program. Flushing red, she finally opened her calendar in Outlook. “Yes, I have time this morning.”

“Great!” He left for his office, waving and calling to the others in nearby cubicles.

She watched him leave, and thought Oh, I wish you’d notice me. I wish you’d see that I’m more than just part of your staff.

* * *

In the kitchen, she poured a cup of coffee and stirred it aimlessly.

“You’re an idiot, you know?”

The words so neatly paralleled her thoughts that for a moment, she wondered if she had spoken aloud. Then she realized there was someone else in the room with her.

“Did you say something, Justin?”

“You heard me.”

“Why am I an idiot?”

“Because he doesn’t think about you twice unless he has work for you. Because you turn into a moron whenever he gets near you. Don’t you realize that he never sees you at your best?”

Primly, she threw away the sweetener packets in her hand. “I have no idea who or what you’re talking about.”

“No.  Of course not.  Of course you don’t.”

Justin watched her walk out of the kitchen, and sighed.

If you only knew how much I wish you’d forget about Mr. Perfect and notice me …