fiction, life, stories, woman, writing

Waiting

The sound of pounding from all rubber stamps the tellers used drowned out the excruciating pain in the depths of her stomach. The wafting smell of ink and freshly printed paper adding to her nausea. Blinking back tears and breathing deeply telling herself she was going to be okay. She closed her eyes and for a few seconds she was able to just be. To become fully aware of her own being. To realize that at the end of the day, all she ever had was only herself, and it mattered that she realized that and give herself a little more attention than what he may have given her. She rolled her eyes inside her head to try and relieve some of the pressure in her head. Slowly losing herself in her thoughts that mattered to her before he had happened, and before every familiar face became a calculative measure of how it might be to be that person with many to love her and none to hurt.

When she slowly came to, and opened her eyes, the bank was dark. She worried maybe her grief had driven her to blindness. An upsurge of fear and panic emerged from the depths of her very expecting core, until the person sitting next to her shrugged and said, ‘imagine what a power outage like this is costing the market right now.’ A gentle unbidden smile in return before she got up, gathered her papers, and ran out of the bank lobby. The fresh air –unladen with the smell of ink– rushing into her lungs in deep breaths. First breath, burning, second breath, burning, third breath, chilling, fourth breath, adjusted chilling, fifth breath, calming, sixth breath, calming, seventh breath, normal.

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fiction, romance, stories, words, writing

Part II – Chivalry Days and Moscato Nights

KissIts been four days of sun and drinking Moscato out of frosted bottles of white, blue, and pink. For such palpable attraction to one another, we have not touched intimately….well, besides the greeting and goodbye hugs and the soft pecks on my cheek. The briskness and ease with which he carried out this latter task almost makes it childlike. That is what I seem to like most about him. The almost purity and honesty in every single thing he does. I laugh when I think about the way he walked up those stairs the first time I saw him at the villa and there I am, in my dress, glamazon-ed up but freaking out in fear just by the way he slightly scrunched up his prominent brows. “Oh god, hes going to walk up here and reprimand me for not recognizing him,” I think to myself. But guess whats the first thing he says? You look like a more beautiful version of Sophia Loren. Me? Better than the ever so sexy Sophia Loren? Petite Asian girl with my two dimensional body that I am. Can you imagine. I knew he was just being complimentary but the way his face softened as he climbed up the stairs and got to me; and the way his eyes went slate blank like a confessing child when he said that made me believe him in that moment, against my better judgement.

You know, I don’t know who he is, and why there was a frenzied mob of people surrounding him at the sports field. I guess I am on vacation because I don’t seem to have a cellphone on me. I am amazed in the four days we’ve spent hours together, neither one has found it necessary to pull out a phone to fill in the silence or even really ask anything beyond each others name. I don’t Google him. For once, I just want to remember him this way. For his shy smiles which are so unlike his usual confident self, for the way little gestures of chivalry seem to come so naturally to him — I didn’t understand why he would always, almost subconsciously, make sure he walked on the curb side while strolling through town, I would of course learn later on that it was actually a custom born out of the olden days when women needed to be shielded from the potential hazards posed by the passing horse-and-buggy. Old-timey etiquette like these always melt my heart. He was post-card perfect for my post-card vacation.

If you were anywhere in the vicinity, on the fifth day, you would have found us on the open roof of the villa. His ipod strategically placed within the large ceramic bowl as a make-shift speaker. Elvis Costello’s voice lacing the evening air and complementing the buzz from the wine. We sit on Italian wool blankets and talk about everything and nothing. He’s here because he needed a break. He asks why I am here, and I cant seem to find any purposeful reason. I wonder if I imagined being here and that’s why I am here, but only respond with a, “just like that.” “Well either way,” he says, “I am glad you’re here.” We look at each other and smile. “I remember you from the stadium,” he says. For a moment this wonderful life in Tuscany comes to a standstill. The threat of reality from life outside these few days threatening to come swarming in. “I thought you were the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen,” he says. I sit there stunned and unable to respond. “I didn’t…..” I think I should tell him that I am sorry I didn’t know who he was, or that I walked away but stop because it seems silly. “I know,” he says and leans in and kisses me for the first time. I sigh against his mouth. Our very first kiss.

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love, moments, relationships, romance, stories, woman, words, writing

Part I – That Sophia Loren Dress

sophia-loren-floral-dress-1965The frenzy around who had just showed up on the other side of the bleachers where I was standing was palpable. It must be someone famous I thought. I didn’t rush, not like the other girls as they double hopped over the steely benches to run towards the right. I made my way down the steps, slowly and carefully. I even remember the way my bright purple New Balances with its grey undersoles touched down on every single step, planting itself over the aluminium grooves of the benches. I got down to the grass on the field and turned right to see what all the commotion was about. I am lucky I haven’t been dashed into or pushed aside by one of the crazier ladies from the lot jumping up and down in glee. Its funny how in moments of pure excitement, joy, elation, whatever you want to call it, even adults are brought down to their most guileless, rather child-like, versions of self.

In interest of trying to find out who exactly was there on the bleachers causing the spectators to lose their heads, I slowly made my way through a thinning crowd as he obliged to take selfies, sign things and hug or shake hands. Somehow, and I imagine it is because I am the creator of this story, I ended up smack in the front of the crowd phone camera all ready, thinking and partly hoping it is a public figure I would know. Unsurprisingly it is not. I have no idea who this man is, and just as I shrug my shoulders and put my phone away we make eye contact. His beaming smile pauses, not in those meet cute kind of ways, but almost flabbergasted that there would be one person in this sea of people who might, just might, be uninterested or unknowing of who he was. His eyes widen a little but he maintains eye contact. I look away in unease. And quickly make my way back through the crowd and out of the stadium. I take one last look back at him, busy posing, sandwiched between two blonde bombshells. Probably a famous athlete I think and walk away.

Few days later, I find myself out on the balcony of a beautiful Italian Villa, it may have been on Lake Como, it may have been somewhere in Santa Barbara, but I hope against all hopes that it was in Tuscany, Italy. There has always been a certain charm in the terracotta floors and an intoxication in the patterned limestone that almost guarantees any encounter one of romance, passion, sexy bed hair, wine and cigarettes. Anyway, so I find myself in what I think is my most beautiful Sophia-Loren-would-approve floral sun dress, out on the balcony looking down and ‘lo and behold’ who do I see? My unidentified, could be a famous athlete from the football field frenzy incident a few days back. His hair much lighter from the glow of the sun, on a brilliant blue Vespa, in a casual white and blue Henley, staring up at me after pulling into the cobbled driveway that the balcony I am on overlooks.

“Well, hello there,” he says. Smirk in place. I cannot tell if his accent is American or European. He speaks with no accent. What accent sounds like no accent I wonder. Shut up! I tell my mind that is going into unnecessary details from the nervousness. I fear if I step any closer to the sides of the balcony he will be able to see up my Sophia Loren dress. I furrow my brows in pretentious confusion, even as my insides burn up in nerves and I feel a deep flush beginning at the tip of my smaller than usual ears.

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Coffee with a Flibbertigibbet

Source: weheartit.com

Source: weheartit.com

The mall, well more specifically, THIS! mall was what a consumerist like myself would call HEAVEN!!! The shiny ornamental lights and floral decor lining up the center of the building, from ground floor to fifth floor of the perfumed, glitz and glamour structure was everything my little shopper heart could hope for. Still, when the hard kneading hands crept up the small of my back to the back of my neck, gently massaging, gently caressing, I snapped out of my shoppers coma awestruck at the beauty that were the designer shops and the perfumery and what appeared to be an overly decorated organic health foods store to glance at the man holding all my shopping bags. A knowing feeling of love and dread simultaneously rushing down through the center of my being to the tip of my toes as we got onto the escalator going up. “Uncomplicate this! Uncomplicate this!” I mutter to myself, disguising my mumbling behind a heavy sigh. “Do you need to get anything else?” he asks, but I am already distracted by the handsome man on the other escalator going down. We make eye contact and we hold it for longer than what is presumably polite. He smiles a half grin like he knows what I am thinking and that I am thinking particular thoughts about him. I smile back knowing that he thinks I am thinking those things which I am actually not. A kiss meets my left shoulder and I glance at the man beside me. “Handsome right?” he says. A statement but somewhat a question. “He is. Looks like a baby though,” I add softening the impact any partner creates by complimenting those of the opposite sex in front of them. “Hmm…” he replies. “Should we look around or head back?” he asks. I look at his face. Both a feeling of deep caring and partial fright course through my chest. How does one person bring forward such contradicting emotions I wonder.

The sound of the piano concerto beginning over the department store microphone startles me. I realize I am jumpy and distracted. As we walk around the last time on the 2nd floor to find a coffee shop I notice the handsome young man from the escalator walking towards us. I look up at the man holding my hands and see that he is distracted by the need to locate a “Damn coffee shop!” as he puts it. We walk closer, that other man and us and for a second my imagination runs wild as I imagine what his story might be. Every person you cross has a story, and sometimes I wonder what it might be like to walk in their shoes. He is probably a cocky bastard living off his parents money I judge shamelessly. We walk closer, he holds eye contact, raises his eyebrows and passes us. I hold myself back from turning around to look at him. I half wonder if he glanced back at me.

We find the coffee shop “Do you want something to drink as well?” I am asked. Five minutes later, dead silence, two cups of steaming hot Americanos between us. I look up at him and we make eye contact. I could swim in his doting looks. He keeps staring and I blush. I remember why a part of me will never be able to deny him. I remember the first time we held hands some eleven years ago and just how nervous he used to make me. I remember handwritten letters and bad grammar when we were international students at an American boarding school together. And just as quickly as the unsure feelings I have of him comes, out it goes to be replaced by my fondness and familiarity of his otherwise kind heart. I pick up my coffee and take a sip maintaining eye contact, I smile at him and he smiles back a knowing smile. I blush at the fact that can be so finicky with my feelings. That I will always be so flighty about everything in life, especially romance. I set my cup of coffee down and feel a little bad. It seems I will always be, a silly flighty person. Every single coffee had between us will always be coffee with a flibbertigibbet.

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Which Woman

Image by Anka Zhuravleva

Image by Anka Zhuravleva

There is something in the way that she moves. There is always something in the way she half smiles before every single sentence. Or when you see her swallow before speaking, like you make her nervous. Or the sparkle in her eye, and the way they squint before she uses her words. Sometimes when you feel like life has been hard, or you wallow in the guilt of your sins, you simply find comfort in the strands of her hair. The fragrance of the so many lives sheltered under her age old ways providing a distinguished sense of support and protection. They say shes been around the block, but her effect on you isn’t in any way diminished. With every single life she decides to be with, her beauty intensified by that additional length. No amount of visitors coming in and going out leaving any kind of taint on her unprecedented purity. She feels like shes built for you. Her arms shaped to fit your form, to embrace you close to her heart and join in her breath. Every inhalation and exhalation your vigor, your strength, your vice but also your elixir. You forget her sometimes when you get caught up in yourself. But then on a down trodden day, a battled you will remember the shape of her almond eyes and her lips. The way she will always anticipate your return and remembrance. Unselfish in her ways of accepting you in any of your brief and inconsistent visits and remembrance. The porcelain skin across the nape of her neck, your portal to disappear into a space so much greater than yourself. There is something in her unselfish ways. She loves you always just as much as you selfishly love her in your desperation. 

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A little Introspection through Retrospection

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All of us make the mistake of realizing something after it’s too late. I know I am definitely not myself a carpe diem type of person, but I try to be, especially when I know if I don’t do something, or say something, or accept something in that very moment, that when I am left in the shadows of that moments departing light, I will almost immediately regret it. Yes its rightly said that there has to be a balance for everything – a right so we know what is wrong; a sadness so we really appreciate joy; a darkness so we value the light; a yin to every yang – but one does not have to be found standing in the midst of the settling dust of a moment past in order to realize what you had or could have had. We are, each one of us, capable and intelligent enough to realize it while we are in the moment. It is only a matter of allowing ourselves to take a moment, just a little moment of introspection to realize it. I would urge everyone to, at any moment in their life, take a few moments to think about all those things in your life that are at the brink of brilliance, and realize what it is you must do in order to make it happen. Do you love someone? Say it now. Do you wish you could do something in particular? Just do it already (wait! unless it is something that will harm or hurt someone else, then you need to go to the second level of introspection i.e. psychotherapy haha just kidding. But really, do not harm other beings! None of us have the right). My brothers have always used ‘practice what you preach’ as their retaliation to most advice they’ve been given, so in order prove that I am practicing what I am preaching here are two major decisions I have made (major for me, kinda insignificant and pathetic for someone who just happened to stumble upon my blog and has no idea just WTF I am talking about. For those folks, I say, sorry…OR, you can go through my blog archives and get to know me better so by the time you get here and re-read this, you will be like, “YOU GO GIRL!!! Just a suggestion).

Okay, 1: I have looked into two writing programs. I have decided that whether I succeed or fail at getting into these two programs I don’t care, the first step is to try it. I know I want to write, and I feel a MFA would be a good place to start. Additionally, these two programs also happen to be in schools located in two of my favorite cities in the world. So this also covers my desire to relocate for a while. Two stones…no, two birds one stone….something like that.

2: I am going to ask a man out for the first time in my life. I am kinda known to banter about gender equality quite often but then one day I sat down to think about this interesting fellow I’ve met, and even though I am rather intrigued by him, I just don’t do anything about it. Why? because during one of my 2pm I-ate-too-much-lunch-and-cannot-work-but-will-daydream moment of INTROSPECTION (see, doing this leads to some crazy breakthroughs because I am about to tell you how I am going to be breaking gender stereotypes in a second), I realized I’ve never in my life asked any man out. So, I am going to do it (Boom! stereotype broken!!!). Because really I kind of think hes interesting, funny, and nice. So, carpe-f****-diem!

There, see, preaching what you sow, or reaping what you sow…..I can never get proverbs or idioms right the first time around. And then I say I want to be a writer 😦 Oh well!

Anyway, in light of my “words of wisdom” about brightening your life, here is an illuminating poem by the irradiating poetess Emily Dickinson 🙂 (See what I did there?) 

***
“By a Departing Light” – Emily Dickinson

By a departing light
We see acuter, quite,
Than by a wick that stays,
There’s something in the flight
That clarifies the sight
And decks the rays.

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Proliferating this love

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A woman, two men. Each one so diverse in existence. In personalities, in manifestations, in experiences, in kindness, in hopes and dreams. But, each one in love. One man providing the security, guidance and encouragement she seeks. The other a fireball of passion and palpable strength that heroes are made of. Each one so diverse in their being. She chooses not for the fear of being left again in that dark corner, just one woman. One woman. Solitary and unappreciated. Fearful and lonely. Analysis paralysis. Each tiny step each day with the first man only surpassed and succeeded by the other. Like they knew, like they were in competition with each other. But of course that was not true. Neither knew the existence of the other. Each one thinking every additional swell of emotion marked the proliferation of their love. She is in her selfishness and fear for the most part, aware of the beautiful disaster she was creating. Just like the strokes of her brushes, one stroke, two stroke, each one adding to the chaos on the canvas. Each one so diverse in their existence. Each one brilliant on their own, but each one so aggrandized by the other. She knew that. There was always some joy in knowing herself as the cause of such a beautiful web. One woman, two men. Each one so diverse in existence, each one so complemented by the flaws each other. Each one non-existent were it not for the other.

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