One Moment of Joy

True Love Elderly Couple

Tracy watched the old man slowly navigate the corridor of the Rome Hill Nursing Facility. He leaned alternately on the hallway’s handrail and his cane. As he moved, slight winces of pain from his arthritic hip crossed his face.

“Why does he even bother to visit her? She doesn’t even know who he is any more and it’s obvious he is barely mobile himself.” Tracy asked to Rose at the nurses’ station.

Tracy was a young 20-something certified nursing assistant who loathed her job and the patients she “served”, but thought it was better than the McJob she filled before.

Rose, a compact, sturdy black woman 30 years her senior replied, “Honey, one of these days you’ll understand. That’s love child.”

Eloise Watson was seated in her chair, facing out toward the window, when Hank, her husband of 62 years, entered the room.

He stood, steadying himself on the doorframe, and said with his deep voice and with a broad smile, “Eloise?”

El turned her head at his announcement. “Do I know you?”

It was the same routine every morning. Hank had long ago stopped being hurt by it.

“Oh, we’ve met a time or two. I thought I’d come to visit you.”

With that, Hank sat on the chair next to her’s. “Oh, I don’t remember you, but I do like visitors.”

“You look so pretty today.” Hank meant it. When he saw her he could see everything she is, everything she ever had been. In her now dimming blue eyes he still saw the vibrant woman he fell in love with, shared a life with.

“Well, thank you!” was El’s enthusiastic reply. It wasn’t every day a gentleman with such manners would tell you you’re pretty.

“I thought I might read you a story. Would you like that?”

“Oh, yes, I love stories. My eyes can’t read the way I used to.”

Hank pulled the worn book of short stories from his pocket and picked her favorite – he always read the same one. It had been her favorite since her teens and it made her laugh and smile. She never remembered from one day to another, so he always read her favorite.

“I asked him one day,” Rose related to Tracy, “why he always seemed so happy. Happiest man I ever seen. He tole me his whole life his greatest joy was just making ‘his El’ smile and laugh. He said now he gets to do it every day.”

And they could hear Eloise laughing down the hall.

 


Bottles (revised slightly)

Collection-of-wine-bottles

This needed four more words. Hope you enjoy. -Kevin

“I LOVE your apartment, Jack!” Sarah’s voice was faux-effervescent in the annoying way a woman tries to be “bubbly” at the beginning of a relationship.

“It’ll do” replied Jack’s monotone. “Let me open a bottle of wine and let it breathe. Red or white?”

“Oh, thank you! White please, red makes me blush.”

While Jack busied himself in the kitchen, Sarah surveyed his living room. Neat, orderly, clean. Cleaner than her’s ever. Nice leather furniture, industrial accessories complete with the bare brick wall. Giant television. Expensive looking stereo.

The brick wall anchored shelves displaying an eclectic assortment of oddities, lit by track lighting. Their prominence made Sarah think they must be important to him. She walked over to the display and eyed an antique locket.

“This is a beautiful locket” she spoke over her shoulder to the kitchen.

“Thank you, just one of the things I’ve collected along the way.” Jack was always polite and gracious. “Pick it up if you want, it won’t break, it’s endured worse.”

Sarah’s eyes took inventory of some of the other items. A pair of concert tickets in a small frame, a swatch of cloth in another, a mag strip Hilton hotel key in a third.

Jack joined her at her side, placing his arm around her waist, fingers caressing the curve of her hip.

“Why all the wine bottles?” she asked, counting 11 empties on the shelf.

“Wine represents the joy of life. When I share wine with a friend, I sometimes like to keep the bottle to remind me of the joy of that moment.”

Sarah turned into him, their faces just a few inches apart. “A ‘friend’, huh?”

“Yeah, a friend.” Jack pulled her tight against him, kissing her deeply. His hands explored her back as she felt him harden against her thigh.

They had been dating four weeks. Six dates. He had been to her’s twice, but he had been slow to invite her to his. He had been slow about everything. They would talk late into the night with sexually charged conversations, and they had made out almost to the point of no return several times, but he had refused to take the plunge.

She was sure tonight they would, and she ached for it. He was smart, sexy, funny and surprisingly compassionate. He wasn’t like the other men.

He broke off the embrace. “Let me go pour our wine. You sit on the couch.”

Sarah obliged. She always did as told. Jack returned with two glasses and handed one to her.

“How did you become a crime writer?” she asked, hoping the conversation would be short and they would move to the bedroom. They had talked enough.

“I just find it fascinating, the psychology of criminals. Especially the most deviant ones. Murderers, especially serial killers, have fascinating psychology.”

“That sounds creepy.” Sarah gave a little shiver.

“I guess the fascinating thing for me was discovering they’re not much different than a so-called ‘normal’ person. We all have the capacity to kill for many reasons – financial gain, sex, ego or even just the thrill. The difference in serial killers is they don’t have an ‘off’ switch. We all have the same desires, but serials don’t have the limits other people have.”

“I guess that is fascinating” Sarah lied. “I don’t think I could kill anyone.”

“The crime shows always get it wrong. They picture these people as monsters. We’re all monsters, just some have the ability to suppress it. Some don’t…” Jack’s words trailed off as he took another sip of wine.

“For example: Trophies. They think serials keep trophies so they can go back and, what, masturbate on them? That’s not why serial killers keep trophies.”

“OK, that’s just gross.”

“But, see,” Jack continued, “that’s exactly what I am talking about. The media portrays these people as sex-crazed monsters, but that’s rarely the truth. When you really study them you begin to understand that isn’t an accurate picture.”

“So tell me, newspaper boy, why does a serial killer keep trophies?”

“For the same reason you have that picture of your grandmother on your end table. It makes you smile to remember her, it brings back memories of the time you spent together. It gives you a moment of joy. A smile.”

“But enough about that stuff,” Jack said, standing. “I have plans for you tonight.”

Sarah smiled a coy smile. Jack took her hand, pulled her to her feet and led her to the bedroom. Finally Jack would get the release he had been anticipating for weeks.

An hour later, Sarah emerged, fully satisfied, freshly showered and dressed. She didn’t enjoy the “after”-cleaning up the blood, wiping down the prints. She grabbed the bottle from the counter, pouring it into the sink. Corking it, she placed the bottle in her ample purse.

“Crime writers always get it wrong,” thought Sarah, as she locked the door behind her.


Sex and Love

Sex, Love and Intimacy

Sex is an itch you can scratch.

Love is an itch in that part of your back you can’t reach and you need someone to scratch it for you.


Smile

Sexy Woman Smiling

 

For two years now She had been His joy.

He was working through a difficult time. Walking through mud. Business was picking up, His long hours were beginning to bear fruit, emotionally He was tired.

They were seeing each other less to give Him time to right His ship. She had come to His last weekend and it was delightful. Monday at 6am they waved goodbye and He was back to work.

When He knew they would be apart He would take down His pictures of Her. The wallpaper on His phone and computers changed from Her smile to something that didn’t immediately remind Him of Her. Pictures that didn’t create the longing to feel Her pressed against Him, tightly encircled by His arms.

Today he put them back up again, maybe only for a day. He needed the energy, the peace, the touchless embrace of Her smile.

And for the first time this weekend, He felt joy.

 


Seeing

Seeing You

I try to understand the words you’re not saying,
the soul buried deep beneath the veneer of smiles and laughter,
avoiding my gaze that sees you in spite of yourself.

Hiding is an art for you, a skill from a lifetime of practice.
You only reveal to others what you want them to see.
The confident, the wise, the controlled.

Somehow I read the tea leaves. Seeing glimpses of real.
The distance of text messages and phone calls made it easier.
No eyes on you.

Gradually you let me in. Testing the waters. Scared yet hoping.
Someone who might see you, love you as you are.
Yet waiting for the second shoe to drop.

You surrendered your body, but it was just a body.
You had surrendered it once before without being seen.
An anonymous placeholder.

We navigated together the revelations.
The hurt. The misunderstandings.
Mishearing words never spoken.

“You only pursue me because I run” you said.
Not realizing the truth:
I pursue you because I see you.

 

 


My Tall Girl

Couple in Bed

He liked to call Her “My Tall Girl.”

He loved Her length, stretched out next to Him on the bed, duvet kicked aside in heat. His eyes followed Her lines, from Her manicured toes, over Her long legs, Her torso, breasts, neck to face. Her body was art to Him.

He would touch Her with a religious reverence, and She withheld no part of herself from Him. He had never touched anyone the way He touched Her. Sensual, loving. Worshiping Her lines with His hands.

She responded in kind. Closing Her eyes in pleasure as He rubbed Her feet and legs, snuggling against Him once He was done. Caressing His chest with Her hand while lying on His shoulder. He had never been touched by anyone the way She touched Him.

This weekend they were apart. He pretended to work, but today He was mind was distracted…

…by His Tall Girl.

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I Miss You

Late Night Texting

The plan was for Him to come down Friday for the holiday weekend. She had been at a conference and out of touch, coming home in the late hours of Wednesday. He thought She would need an evening alone to recuperate before He arrived.

He had missed Her. They had been spending the vast majority of nights together, but it seemed to make Him miss Her more rather than less. They had been apart less than a week and His chest ached for the feel of Her pressed into Him.

Her text surprised Him:

Her: When are you coming? I feel a coma coming on. I miss you. 12:12 PM
Him: I’m sure you need one. I can come any time. Up to you. I have to go home Tue morning kinda no matter what. 12:15 PM
Her: Why? 12:15 PM
Him: I miss you as well, for the record. 12:15 PM
Him: I have a kinda huge week next week. 12:16 PM
Her: You’ve used kinda twice now 12:19 PM
Him: Kinda. It’s my Hordor 12:19 PM
Her: Will coming tomorrow be better? 12:19 PM
Him: Are you asking me to come today? 12:19 PM
Her: I have to work – 230 meeting then I hope to be out. 12:20 PM
Him: You’re great at indirect answers 12:20 PM
Her: Kinda. But really I just want you here for selfish reasons. I need to curl up. 12:21 PM
Him: Geez. I hate that. You’re so demanding. 12:21 PM
Him: Let me get back to you. I would love to come today, but I need to think it thru 12:22 PM
Him: I’ll let you know before 2:30. 12:22 PM
Her: Okay but don’t stress yourself 12:33 PM
Him: Thinking about seeing you is never stress. 12:34 PM
Him: You know how you like to tell me you love me when you are really feeling it? Yeah, I love you always but especially right now. 12:36 PM
Her: ❤️ I love you too right now… Can’t commit to tomorrow… 12:38 PM
Him: Of course not. 12:39 PM

So Thursday evening He drove the 100 miles to Her’s. When He arrived He pushed Her against the wall and kissed Her deeply.

Then again, more passionately.