Moonlight Conversations

Moonlight has no heart. It has no soul and it does not breathe, yet when I think of it’s many appearances in the looming shadows of life.

I beg to differ.

I’ve prayed to God in glory of your white light

Considered euphemism under the words of Shakespeare and in the name of the Devil

You sat as jury and nothing more

    • The mother I never asked for comes with no pain

      She has no heart nor brain nor limbs for which to make me cookies or clean my wounds

      Yet, through the drawn slits on a window pane she coagulates

      Becoming a caregiver, friend, and whatever else needed to console a teenage mind through what I suppose is life

      Her responses always short

      Stays only brief

      Though sometimes all you need is a glowing ball of light to put crummy thoughts to sleep

      • Moonlight is not a talker.

        Rather she is the unresponsive young woman in a booth by herself

        Alone but not lonely

        Radiating warmth from each freckle upon her constallatonized cheek

        She has no book to read other than the one she creates

        Filled with notions of the thoughts of others

        Their stories, strengths, guilty pleasures, and habits

        Her lips never move, yet she knows you better than you do

        Keeping her presence at a distance for fear of disturbance, despite her willingness to watch you grow

        Returning to the same booth time and time again

        Booth 384

        Her novel will never end.

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        Nutty Days

        Nobody ever asks how we got here. 3 banana nut muffins trapped within the glass barrier of Le Panier. A quaint little bakery in Seattle, Washington. Always buzzing with the usual hum-drum of downtown city life. What I wouldn’t give to be eaten by one of those hipsters or bustling business men. Then again, who could with the place always being deserted, or dare I say desserted. A day had never passed where Joenana, my best banana nut buddy, didn’t greet a customer with a friendly “hello”. Oddly enough, the same person would never return to the muffin cabinet twice.

        Being sealed behind a display case often gets lonely. Leaving a muffin to think muffin thoughts. Do these nuts make me look fat? Is my wrapper on too tight? Alas, none of these seem to be the reason I am still here. I’ve mentioned this concern to Joenana about a dozen times, yet he sees no issue with not being consumed. The longer we wait, the closer we get to finding out what happened to the cupcake clan last week. Sprinkles, Dinkles, and Choc all got thrown into the mental monster. A wide mawed beast that resides in the corner of the kitchen. Never moving, but always eating the treats that have been on display for more than a week. Thankfully we’ve only been here for six days.

        Your last day of living always hits you hard. You know you’re gonna die, but there’s always a part of you that wishes for an eternal breath. I spend majority of the morning watching cakes being purchased in silence, and children walking away smiles bigger than their heads. Time ticked slowly. All the way down to my last hour. Upon giving up greeting the customers Joenana simply looks depressed. Glancing at me and then shooting a bothered glare at PB. PB was an accident. A banana nut peanut butter hybrid who never speaks and doesn’t care about a thing. A reject.

        The final bell of the day rings. A light chime above the entryway that sounds more like a go away than a welcome. A red headed little girl the size of a baguette roams in. Eyeing us with curiosity. Her mother tumbles in behind, spouting words into a phone and nudging her child in a sense of haste toward the brownies. The little girl, who I decided to name Pippi Longstocking based on appearance, made a swift beeline from the chocolate infused cubes to us. Immediately I hear a voice. “Nice hair ya got there kid. Buy me.” In a thick New York accent, which was quite unexpected, PB said his first and only words. I felt smug. Everyone knows by now that talking to the humans only makes them leave forever. However PB was lifted, the little girl was laughing, and I was utterly confused.

        No less than 5 seconds later PB disappeared into a brown paper bag. Tied with a ribbon for extra cuteness. I didn’t have time to process the rest as the bakery grew dim. PB was never seen alive again, and as for me. My time is up as the shopkeeper locks the door. Stay nutty.

        Blessings

        God bless the hearts in the world

        The vine covered souls to entangled to be free

        My thanksgiving blessings go towards thee

        Pumpkin pie does not win the wars

        Nor does it breastfeed our children and extinguish our fires

        A gravy boat does not bear the weight of hundreds

        Unwashed. Unfed. Unable to coexist

        Stuffing a turkey to forget how you were conceived

        With no consent and a never showing relief

        May for one day your lives be as worthwhile as the next

        And you survive another day regardless of your paycheck

        Another?

        We argued a lot that afternoon. My brother and I. Not over the quality of an espresso shot, but over dinner. We were both out of towners here in Chi-Town, just touched ground actually. Being the coffee connoisseurs we are we decided to find a brewery. Free wifi, a cuppa, and a place to make a dinner plan. Monteverde, Parachute, Gibsons. All 5 stars, but none lived up to the great culinary craving of Finnegan Ives. Deep Dish.

        ……

        “We’ve been here for 2 hours Finny. If you don’t pick a place now we’re gonna be forced to eat deep dish leftovers from the dumpster. Better yet, YOU can eat deep dish leftovers and I’ll grab a bite with a lovely local” I say those last words loud enough to be heard, but not enough to break through the coffeehouse chatter. “And I doubt those lovely locals want a broke, scruffy, paperboy from Michigan. Oh! Did I say that out loud? “Yeah, ya did and broke to you doesn’t mean broke to anyone else” . I order another coffee, black this time as I’ve grown impatient waiting for Finn to pick a pizzeria. Being in the same place for too long has always made me feel a special kind of trapped. The kind where you start to know every detail of every person. Every freckle, every mole, every crack in every wall. Such as this place. Black brick walls encasing a rustic wooden environment; A barista of 5’4 with hoops the size of a basketball. It’s all new today, but tomorrow it will start to rust. “Finn..” I never got the chance to finish my thought because, as I had predicted, a lovely blonde local has bestowed upon me her phone number. Handwriting just as distinctive as her. “317-479-” “Your black chai latte sir can I get…I AM SO SORRY!”

        I suppose God had it out for me because I never got to commit the last 4 digits to memory. Instead, I spent five minutes pardoning the woman who spilled scorching hot coffee on just about every inch of my exposed flesh. Long story short, I was in pain. However, that didn’t stop me from thinking about the woman who may or may not want to buy me dinner. Finn didn’t seem to notice as he was already standing, hastily slinging one arm through the denim jacket he’d stolen from dad. “C’mon, I’m sure there will be other locals to choose from. Round ones covered in cheese and basil. Smothered with handmade sauces and baked to what I presume, perfection.” “You make it sound compelling. Also, you need to get out more” And maybe he was right. Maybe I would find myself in the company of another, but strangely I didn’t wanna be. While Finn had been eyeballing google maps, I had set my sights on her. Picking her apart as if she were too complex as a whole.

        Her order: Flat white. She must be a busy woman.

        Her hair a mix between blonde and a crystallized white.

        She had a book which could only infer she is intelligent.

        I collected all of these things into my mind. Coming to a conclusion that she was exactly the type of local I wished to pursue, and for that I would wait for her, Here.

        40 minutes had come and gone faster than I had hoped. A light rain had made its way to town, and from the looks of darkening clouds it had no intentions of leaving. Neither did I. I’ve received 3 unnecessary phone calls from my brother, each one more concerned than the next. “Please tell me you’ve left and that you’re currently on the way here. This is ridiculous. It was just a phone number and there’s a million more where that came from. For God’s sake Jackson get a grip on yourself. Find another like you always do.” The calls only got worse from there, and I can’t say I didn’t want to leave, but for some reason I just couldn’t. I sat contently in the booth where she’d departed. Twiddling my thumbs and observing the world through the window before me. Wondering if she were thinking about me, just as I about her. “Jackson Ives you’ve officially gone mad.” I whispered faintly as I made my way towards the counter, making heavy eye contact with the woman who should be paying for my dry cleaning. “There was a young woman. About 5’6 reading Catcher in the Rye at the corner booth. She’d ordered the flat white with extra foam. Can you tell me about her? A name? Does she come her often? Would I be able to find her elsewhere?” My palms felt like the ice caps in Spring. The barista’s face expression mimicking my own. Scared.

        ….

        “Elizabeth is what I wrote on her cup. Now if you want her credit card information I suggest you leave before” “No! No no I want nothing like that. Um” “Um?” “She gave me her number before she left. YOU spilled coffee on it. I was thinking you could help me out…Please.”

        Elizabeth. Her name left the perfect taste in my mouth. A sweet note paired with pure nicotine. I wasn’t a smoker, all the time. Today ,however, was a special occasion and my nerves felt they deserved it. I then took it upon myself to step outside into the pouring rain, although comfortably seated under a staged rusted awning, and ran through an entire pack of Marlboro Reds. The bleeding bud being the only light amongst those of the street. “6 HOURS JACKSON! YOU’VE BEEN THERE FOR 6 HOURS. They’re not even open again until 8 am. Jack, I fully support you being tied to one woman but isn’t this a bit much? WAITING there for her,,all night.” And I’d had enough “DO YOU REALIZE WHAT’S HAPPENED? THIS IS MY CHANCE AT A REAL FUTURE. THEN AGAIN YOU NEVER GET OUT SO THIS IS WAY OVER YOUR HEAD FINNY! Listen, I’m fine. I’ll be fine, and I’ll see you tomorrow. And so will she.””Jack you’re doing it again. Obsessi~”

        That’s all I remember of the night as momentarily after I drifted off. Honestly, to this day that was the most comfortable bench I’d ever slept on.

        The following morning was rough. My back hurt worse than any day spent throwing newspapers, and my body expelled the scent of ash. “Well, the dead man walks again”. It was a woman’s voice, and out of sheer hope I crack open an eye which proved harder than I imagined. It was the barista. Holding a fresh pot of life. Looking just as annoyed as yesterday. “Another?” She uses the pot to motion towards the pavement. 8 empty cups line up perfectly at my feet. Each one with the same tired ring stained to its bottom. “No, thank you. Think I’ve had one too many” “You sure mr. romance? Thought you’d wanna be awake to take a shot at your “pursuer”. Suddenly my mind is flooded with thoughts, because there, in the exact same booth as I sat waiting, is her. “

        Take it.” I was shouting. Not even noticing that I had just slid the coffee woman a 50, but I didn’t care. I threw open the set of doors letting the chimes make my presence known. She didn’t notice. Still, I strode happily up to her, and nearly flung myself into the opposite side of the booth. “Ehem” “No, not another cup for me thanks” Her voice was different than in my daydreams, but that also didn’t matter. I concluded that maybe she was playing hard to get. Punishing me for never calling. “I was here yesterday. Well not here but there” I was motioning wilding, talking just as fast. “You gave me this? I never called, but only because that clutz over there spilled coffee on me and ruined the number, but I waited here for you all night. I knew you’d come back because why wouldn’t you? I mean, this could be a great opportunity. “ She was laughing. Hysterically to be specific. The peach in her cheeks turning a horrible shade of Red. “Jackson Ives. I’ve heard a lot about you.” “You asked about me too?” “I did. I asked you brother while we shared a pizza, and again when he walked me home.” “I don’t think I understand. You gave your number to me. Correct? Because you like me. Correct?” “I gave you the number to the pizza place. Correct. And I liked your brother. Correct?”

        Secrets

        October 1st, 2017

        “Dear journal, today I have overcome my prolonged battle with the classification of Thanatophilia or simply having philophobia. I have chosen neither. You see, I do not favor the sensation nor the look of death. The smell is absolutely putrid, like a fromagerie left unattended for months, and the guilt, the abhorrent feel of one’s life slipping through your fingers. Spilling Crimson onto your monochrome marble flooring. It is not a sight to behold; Therefore, the winds of life have blown me to be deemed a philocalist. A lover of beauty. Whether this is a justification for my actions I cannot say, but it does bring a new meaning to my, I suppose you can say, hobby. As a boy I had always admired the way my mother’s heartbeat rang when I lay cradled in her arms. A joyous thumping that I had only wished to see happening through her porcelain skin. Eleanora was gorgeous. Emerald eyes and hair of ash, but what I thought to be the emblem of beauty laid inside. Trapped between a set of lungs. Never free to be appreciated.”

        I glance up from my journaling to admire the collection I have built. A true art exhibit caged within the white walls of my home. A small dwelling in the french countryside, Lourmarin to be precise. Beckoning odd fellows like myself with its ivy-covered streets, obvious elegance, and women of exceeding attraction. A place for artists, and though I have no public gallery I have been consistently satisfied by my artistic achievement. Hand chiseled columns line the perimeter. Once holding “precious” artifacts, but now holding the grand gem of human existence. The heart.

        This entire hobby came as a surprise to me. I am not a ladies man and I never have been. Not that I couldn’t be. Mother always said I had the looks of an Egyptian prince in his prime, yet this is the same woman who married a Biologist named Gibson. Nevertheless, while others spent their time spreading women’s legs, I was busy spreading books. Indulging myself in their inner contents. Brushing nimble, prepubescent fingers over a paper bound spine, Twas this type of love making that led to me university. I had planned to study Anatomy as most of the literature I had consumed was of such. However, that didn’t exactly happen, but I’ve since moved past it. Nevertheless the human body is still a marvelous thing to me. A sculpture of perfection. One I have always dreamed of turning into a fountain of Greek resemblance, so that I may drink from it’s life giving veins. Again and again.

        Snapping out my childish reminiscing, I perch my folded arms against the ledge of my specimen. One of the 24 hearts I possess. Given to me by a woman named Orion exactly 360 days ago. I marvel wide-eyed and dreamily at how well the glycerin solution has preserved its natural state. A bloody Red hue accompanied by the clear water Blue. Chambers still present as well as tubes. Only physical difference is the flowers that now reside in her Aorta. Queen of the Night Tulips. Hand picked by yours truly and the only plant Orion ever loved. “Loved” I say this word out loud. Softly. Letting the gruffness of my voice free as though a notch too high would disturb her eternal beauty sleep. An alluring woman she was. Somehow someway my mind slips, and I am reliving the night I committed this gloriously heinous crime.

        “And that’s why constellations exist.” You finished your theory in all sincerity, but I suppose you could see the weakness behind my glassy eyes. For every word she spoke prior had been like magic. The bustle of utensil against plate only accenting her tale. The atmosphere roared but my eyes stayed still. Running over your lips and never leaving. I had no desire to touch you, but I had every intention to stare at you. The glistening gold chain paired well with your dress. Black as night with enough bust to drive a normal man from sanity. Maybe that’s why illiterate fools like your poetry. They aren’t even listening at all. “Speak now or forever leave me wondering” her velvet chimes caressing me from any further observation. “How do you feel about the human body?” I blurted with uncertain urgency. Her response tickled me. “A vessel for a wandering soul. Always yearning for sheer satisfaction. Trapped beneath a cloak of skin and bones. Why such a question?” “No reason…do you have a favorite flower?”

        I could have performed a much worse form of sin that night. Alas, no more than 5 minutes later her dark chocolate locks were in chaos. Fretting in all directions as a hand much to strong made bruises on her trachea. Filling with air that will only hope to escape, much like a balloon on its way to combustion. Her eyes remained open after all was said and done. Even in death they still surged with life. I know now that’s why I killed her. Her essence was too much. She was far too magnificent to simply age like wine then spend eternity surrounded by strangers of lesser worth. I saved her. Plucked the stem from her lifeless body while the fruit was still ripe. She was the first heart I was ever given. She invited me into her alcoves of perception, and from there sprang my epiphany. Beautiful things do not deserve to die of such ritualistic death.

        The other 23 hearts seem to whisper at me. Pleading that I spend my time reconciling with why I got to them before God. I shut out their cries to return to the pinpointed reason that I ventured into this room. Preserving these lives in Glycerin offers me nothing but elation; However, as 27 is my favorite number I would like to stop my activity there. 27 must be the person whom I truly love. The soul I know inside and out that guides me through the periods of wrecking guilt. The heart that raised me. Mine.

        October 3rd 2017

        “Dear journal, the deed is done.”

        I stand stiff in the doorframe to my so called exhibit. My eyes stinging a painful red as I finish the newest edition. The heart of Gibson James Nygaard. Eternally at rest next to Eleanora Lynn Nygaard. Father and mother of a loving sociopath, whose body count is 26 as of yesterday, Fletcher James Nygaard. A sound of deflation emits through my clenched adams apple, bouncing off of every wall, every heart, before returning to me once more. Collapsing to the floor with a harsh “smack “ I go numb. I had moved to the French countryside to begin this hobby alone. Telling my parents that college was below me. That I would find work here. I knew that was a blatant lie, and I now believe they did too. For as I interrupted my “surprise” visit home and excused myself to the laboratory their faces grew fearful. My father even stopped chewing. Whilst in the bathroom I said a prayer to whomever was willing to listen, crossed my heart, and hoped I would never forgive myself. It only takes the scream of the person who birthed you to send you spiraling. Digging into every empty surface just to end both terrors quicker. I never once looked into her eyes as I did it. I was already feeling enough. The voice that consoled me stopped speaking; The breast that fed me is no longer supplying. I now snip marigolds in silence.

        “I did what I did because I had to. Taking one’s own breath away is far too hard without cause. I needed to be repulsed by own existence, and now I can say I am. I am orphan at the hands of myself. The only two people I have ever loved are being preserved, and I want to be with them for eternity. Not in heaven, but in blooming spirit. I am sorry journal, but this is the last time you will be used by me. You will never enjoy the comforts of human contact from this day forward. Thank you for being my secret keeper, and I apologize that it must end this way. I do have to go now as the ambulance is currently enroute.

        Your sociopathic content spiller/artist, Fletcher

        October 6th 2017”

        I rip this page out with ease and place it on the black wood desk. Front and center in my home library. I quickly light a fire in the nearby pit, cremating the remains of my journal. I want no explanation for the gallery of hearts, nor for the reason I want to be with them. I do not want to be Fletcher the sociopath. I do not want to be Fletcher the philocalist. I want to be Fletcher. The good neighbor with an even greater secret.

        Blackbirds Without Bliss

        “Silvery flakes drifted downward, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird soared.” 

           Onward and outward with her ashen hued wings. Over forests and past the hidden moon while she echoed of her impending doom. Landing on Penny Lane; ‘Twas the day my life changed. 

           For when she came the air suddenly had weight; Pressing on my chest like cinder times eight. 

            The pupil of her eye resembling nothing but pure darkness

             Like the heart of my mistress, and I shouldn’t want this. 

             But she stayed for days and I never once complained. Despite her silence being like thorns in my veins. 

              I could never detain something so naturally made, yet any thought otherwise filled me with hate. 

             Her realization became my fate. So that night I set my bait; A poorly painted wooden crate secured by a tether around my gate. 

             I called to her and in she flew; I almost wished she knew

             That at first sight of starlight my shaking hands would bind her breast; Wrapping leather upon leather around her chest

             So that when mourning comes in the dawn her beauty will be here instead of gone. 

           I must’ve spoke my inner being, for she glared at me pleading 

               ” What is this I am hearing? who ever said I planned on leaving? Why must you do this in the darkness of the night; Instead of the morning to see my fright. I am not the only one in this life, so why must you hold me so tight? I never said I would fly away, but even if I did my heart is here to stay.” 

             The very next second I let her go

        I expected her to soar but she looked at me slow

                          “I love you”

        And I knew this to be true for she came back to me every daylight hue

              I was going to hurt her so badly, but it goes to show. 

               If you love her; Let her go. 

        And if she stays time and time again, then she truly loves you till every end. 

        Confessions of a Visionary Realist

        The shades between reality and dreaming are very clear to me. The dim and dull variations of paper work and rejection, and the harrowing, vibrant, extraordinary sparks of love. I was never clear on my own perceptions of love. Until I found that in my spare time of living I often wished I was dreaming. The hands that feed me give off a healthy intention. A love so delicate as baby’s breath in spring and baby’s first Christmas in content. 
        The hands that hold me are a glass home. So beautiful and tender. Sharp to cut me if I hiss my tongue too quickly or squeeze too firm. They are working hands. Constantly moving although keeping at a steady pace. Thus the hands of time count the dismemberment; The disengagement; The skin to skin divorce between mine and it. 

            Inside of my glass house are veins. Wires if you will. That pull and tug the ways of the heart. Often times I feel as though we share an artery. For whenever sadness arises we both wilt in heartbreak. Nevertheless; A glass house has a glass heart. And though I hold it dearly to me it is never truly mine to keep for without it. You cannot live to tell the story of past safe keepings. You cannot move on. 

        I accept my plunder into this field of broken glass. Because holding a heart so magnificent as time works it’s way around means the world to me. My little glass house has become a temporary home. A home with hollow eyes, a real heartbeat, and a green flicker of envy for the one who figures out how to make a glass house into brick. 

        Until the hands of time become withered. I will stay. Letting the feeling of lipstick stained lips decay. Through my skin it will go and only I will know. That you were. Are. And always will be. Mine