John Doe

John Doe

“Have all the thoughts been thought?” I say as I walk past by the corner of my building. The poinsettia flowers were almost out of season this time of year. In front of me I could see the green houses that surrounded us. A small garden of red and blue assorted flowers filled the brim of the building. The green houses were about the size of a small house with a wooden entrance that you could slide open or closed. With the chips and dents the door was crying to whomever it may concern that if they dare close them it would be the last time. They were open. I could see the seeds and stems that we’re growing within each potted plant for the coming months. There were rows of them without an end in sight. A truck in the distance can be heard with its constant whirring and gravel like sound it makes when the dirt filled tires meet the floor. The sky was as blue as it could be with wispy clouds blanketing them in the background. It was calm. I stepped out on the gravel rocks around me. With their cracking and crinkling whispers, ever so slowly a thought occurred to me. Am I original? What does that even mean? Am I somebody that someone wished they could be? Or are all these thoughts already been thought? I don’t know what I don’t know I suppose as I kicked a few pieces of rocks around. A gust filled the narrow aisles and with the sudden dust it forced me to look up. With my hands in my pocked I sighed and forced a smile. It’s a beautiful day.

I can’t write the best songs. I’ll never be a famous actor. I’ll never save someone with an act of true heroism. I won’t be in the Olympics for as long as I live. I’m too short, and too old and far too slow. At the time I’m 26…what can I really do? I’m young enough to start my life but old enough to know I can only be second best. I’ll never be a concert violinist like the dreams I used to have. I’ll just be me. “I’ll just be me”, I whispered as I reached into pocket for my phone to see the time. It was 1pm. My lunch break was over and in my peripheral I could see my coworker had a question to ask me. She waved her hands with the countenance of one who’s worried.

As I gesture to reassure her I’m on my way another thought occurred. Then again…they’re also just them. They also write the best songs. They’re famous and they save lives every day. Why can’t I? Maybe…. this is why you should walk outside more often, I thought as I clocked in.  As I glance outside one last time I had another thought. I never would have imagined a flower could look so stunning even when it’s wilting.

 

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Missing

Tsunami

Tsunami

I don’t want to lose this feeling. I thought as the seconds pass by. The sensation of feeling unbelievable. The rush of emotions.  Being completely in control it’s as if the universe is at my fingertips. Can we really be this powerful? I can smile and not know why. I’m not going crazy but I don’t want to go back to being so. I wasn’t moving back then and I sure as hell wasn’t happy. Now I’m moving and I don’t know where but it makes me happy. No one likes an ocean with no waves! We may not know where that ocean will take us but admit it!  We’ll die if we stay here….I’ll cherish this moment forever. With absolute terror if lost, I’ll fight till the end to protect it. Just these few precious seconds is all I need to survive. Till the next wave hits me.

tsunami

via Daily Prompt: Treasure

Sacred

Sacred

 

Slowly a zephyr blows through the streets shining with the pale moonlight. She glances up ahead. A man and his wife approach with benevolent stares. She smiles. The night was calm. It was just like any other Friday night out in the city. Cars were passing by and local shows can be heard in the distance. A piano with the song of Clair de Lune was resonating from the bar next door.

As he drives her home they begin to laugh about things that happened to them that night. He parks in the driveway. She gets out first holding her purse closely as if it could provide some warmth. She darts towards the house. He smiles and shakes his head at how silly she looks. As he looks on he sees a man standing near the doorway. The man wore broad shoulders covered by a warm winter coat and a fedora which was mostly covered by the light. He couldn’t recognize his face…and fear subdues him. Not so much that your heart could skip a beat but a goose bump of a thrill to send every hair to rise in line. As quickly as sound traveled he hears a blood-curdling scream coming from the man. It sounded like her but she was no where to be seen. He kept the lights on as he rushes to remove his seatbelt. In his panic he drops his keys. Fidgeting violently he smashes into his seatbelt as tears run down his cheeks. He is lost in both anger and confusion. He jumps out of the car. The man is in front of him now. She is gone. They begin exchanging blows one after the other. As quickly as they come the man with the fedora can still not be recognized in the flashing fury. The man in the winter coat pulls out a knife. He thrusts forward with doom that looms in front of the dagger.

He can’t stop him from coming. They get into a deadlock in arms with the unknown man holding the dagger. The mysterious figure slowly inches the dagger towards his heart with a mighty force. He resists with all the humanity he has left in him. He starts to scream in both creeping terror and courage. The dagger reaches the outer layer of his shirt. He has lost. Beads of blood creep out of his chest. Just before complete terror can reach him. He violently wakes up. His eyes were widened and jarred with the shocking realization. He glanced around the room to see if he was still dreaming. He clasped his hands together and felt both hands vividly. They were shaking.  He was scared and breathing deeply. It’s as if it could all be taken away from him so easily.

“Dammit! He did it again! and he took it!” He shouted. Who is that? This is the third time and I can’t seem to shake this dream he thought to himself. His mind rapidly tries to drift into his dream before the waves of his subconscious can bury them. “Ok…I’m walking along with someone. Judy?  But why? We’re both coming from some event or something” He whispered to himself. His eyes gaze lazily upon his room. The blanket of memories start to drape his vision as he reminisces. He can no longer remember but the fear remains. “It’s my heart…I don’t want to lose it…” He exclaims as he lays back down and stares at the ceiling. “What does it mean?!” he shouts as he scratches his head furiously. He inhales deeply. Exhaling a sigh of exhaustion he is finally awake. Maybe it’s nothing…he thought. “I hope so.” He whispered.

via Daily Prompt: Sacred

Twenty First Night.

Twenty First Night.

It was a cold September night. The lights were gleaming all around like stars waiting with stories to be told. From an aerial view the hustle of the city shouted with excitement. Cars were driving by gusting an ever familiar sound to the people on the streets. A distant police siren could be heard in the background. The ghetto bird was flying trying to find its target for the night.

“Where are we going?” she asked him. As he grasped firmly on the wheel, he picked up his cigarette to take a satisfying inhale. Quickly looking over at her he remains silent while he focused on the road. She fails to notice the glance. She focuses her attention on the radio as a song from Carlos Santana starts playing.

“I like this song” she whispered to him. I forgot how long it’s been since he came out with something new she thought. She looks out the tinted windows as the street signs flash by.  They slowly turn into an abandoned parking lot. The flickering street lamps that resonated with a low hum filled the air. He parks and smiles faintly at her. “You’re going to love this…” He said as he parked and removes the keys.

As she gets out he walks towards the trunk of the car. Suddenly realizing there’s something to be seen she skips over to him. As his hands reach out to the sky while opening the trunk there are two large plastic fabrics laid down. He picks them both up while walking towards the grass. She can see that they are not connected but each one is stringed together in a parachute like fashion.

 

“Ah…the winds perfect tonight!” He exclaimed excitedly. The wind ruffles his jacket violently.

 

“Check it out…you see these parachutes? They’re not really parachutes. You can fly with them. The gusts are strong enough to pull you up tonight. This parks lies in between two mountain hills that the wind focuses exactly at this point. You know what I mean?” He explained as he unfolded both items on the ground.

 

The wind was picking up at that exact moment to where she could only hear tidbits of the explanation. She smiles confused. He understands. He clasps one of the shoots with both arms by the handles. As the wind howls she shivers while her hair dances wildly in front of her.

 

Suddenly he starts sprinting with his hands clasped in the air. With each step he creates a wave within his clothes to resemble sounds waves. The shoot opens up. Bright purple with blotches of red flowers fills the fabric. He jumps and just as if a clamp in a machine, he is lifted gently to a feather like presence in the night sky. He can see it all as time slows down. The buildings collapse beneath him in the distant night. Suddenly the town’s night sky illuminates with passion. He can see a school yard in the distance. A hospital and a freeway with an insurmountable a
mount of cars waiting to get home in gridlock traffic. He is free. There are no wings but even a man can fly if he wishes so. He grins uncontrollably and begins to laugh loudly. The wind muffles the sound. As he turns his shoot around he can see a yellow fabric open up flyingin the now distant grassy field. She too… can fly.

“Nacho”

“Nacho”

Hey…

There’s a lot to catch up on isn’t there? It took me a decade to find you again and I’m kind of glad. I thought of what I’d say to you after so many years in my head. Throughout the rest of high school and even when I got lost going into Junior College. I kept thinking, “Man…I hate goodbyes…and the one time it counted I screwed it up”. I hope you don’t or better yet….I hope you didn’t hate me afterwards. You weren’t home that day and your sister answered so I did what I could. Even when the car was running and I had no time I kept thinking I could make time.  I guess that’s the way life goes huh? I’m sorry. Now that I’m an adult I still reminisce on those simpler days in Oregon. You were my only real friend out there. I wasn’t a strong kid and not particularly good at anything except when it came to playing my viola. I remember Christian used to pick on me and want to fight me for no reason. I still don’t know why, but I always felt he was bothered that we were best friends. I remember the advice you gave me to toughen up and if we fight we fight but at least there’d be respect. I finally understand what that mean

Catch me up on the years. I’ll start. I suppose since I’m writing first. I came to California. There were no Orchestras so I was bummed out and later joined the Mariachi at the school. We had vibrant days and wore our Charro suits, it was pretty fun. I played Handball by the courts. (Do you guys have that?) I graduated, and joined a non-profit mariachi for a bit while going through junior college out here. In that time frame I became a golden gloves boxer and fought in a few tournaments. I remembered at that time what it’d be like to meet you again and show you how strong I’ve become. I kept wondering, “If he could see me now!” Maybe in some ways I used some kind of imagination of meeting you again for doing some of the things I’ve done in the past. It’s almost like I wanted to become a friend you could be proud of and make up the fact I never said goodbye. I transferred to a University in Long Beach and studied Finance. It was hard but I eventually graduated. I made a lot of good friends over th
e years, and ran organizations to become a leader for those that followed suit.

I didn’t know how you were doing this whole time. I couldn’t find you no matter how hard I tried. Do you know how hard it is to find someone with a last name Gonzalez?! As I traveled around I often thought that maybe in some crazy way I’d bump into you. I’ve gone to Spain and even Africa, the world is ginormous! I just came back from dancing in China recently. To see snake charmers and visit the masterful architectural achievements this world has to offer was such an amazing experience. I’ve ridden bikes down mountain sides while seeing the ocean waves crashing next to me in Spain. I’ve ridden camels out in the Sahara Desert and camped out beneath the stars in what I could only describe in a dream. I’ve danced for thousands of people around China for a chance to represent Mexican culture in a foreign land. To meet immortality, to see temples and sculptures that were built to last forever. All of this happened.imag1490

Every now and then in the back of my mind you were there somewhere and I’d think, “I hope he’s all right, I can’t really explain all this now…It’s too much! I can barely believe it.” I became an Accountant. That’s what I want to do with my life, and a few other things. I try to emulate one of my favorite heroes, Ernest Hemingway. You know he used to box? And play in the Orchestra? I didn’t know that but he also became one of the greatest writers of all time. Participated in World War I and 2, his life was amazing. I didn’t know any of this until I truly thought about what I wanted to be in life. I want to be someone you can be proud of Ignacio. I want to see it all and know what it’s like to have it taken all way and not regret a single thing. I know I can do it! Better yet I know we can do it. Anyone can have it. It takes a lot to have it though. I learned that the hard way. That’s what I want, a life worth living.

I hope your well. I hope that I didn’t bother you in any way. I hope we’re still friends. You’re still my friend even if it has been a decade or two. We were raised in diapers together remember? I told you we’d always be friends and I didn’t need some time away to realize that.

Even if you don’t want to respond I understand “Nacho”. I just wanted to say goodbye for the first time and maybe the last. Take care for now, and yes I said your nickname…but I always knew you never liked to be called that so forgive me just one more time for old times’ sake.

Icarus

Short of breadth he could barely focus on the task at hand as he sat down. His legs were screaming at him to let them rest. Why did you even want to do this? He asked himself as he gathered his energy for the next round. As the crowd jeered and called out suggestions as to what he should do he could only see his coach standing before him. The man he was facing was in a distant silhouette. “You got this! Just stay calm, remember what we trained for” he whispered calmly. He wiped the blood from his nose. This moment was taking everything he had fantasized in his dreams and amplified it beyond his reach. His shoulders heavy, and his hands almost numb while his mind focused on getting the quiet rage to awaken yet again. It was a type of rage not at anything specific but to summon the human soul to howl at the world around him. “Come on Ignacio!” He said to himself. “What are you doing?! Can’t you see it? The world is right in front of you and you can only show it this much?” As his mind suddenly flashed to a memory of simpler days.

“You ready for another patrol Ignacio?” said Thomas.

“Yeah, I’m getting kind of tired of sitting here” As Igancio got up from his chair to grab a radio.

“You think we’d finally see something after so many nights here right?” said Ignacio.

“Well you never know, I know last week a coyote passed by on the monitor” Thomas answered.

He buzzed his way out the door to start his routine patrol. He walked along the corridor to the sound of his own footsteps. The ambiance of fluorescent lights seemed to have a soothing effect on him when walking alone. Most people find this kind of job boring to be just a security officer. You spend eight hours a day sitting or standing around to observe and report but never act upon. He used this time to think of things like recent or stored memories, friends and mistakes he’s made over the years. From time to time he called in where he was at during the mile long patrol around the building. As he buzzed in he could hear his coworkers Netflix episode in the background. “Sunday morning…..rain is falling…” He sang to himself out loud. He was always quiet but when he was by himself that’s when he really started to talk. They say your mind makes more noise when it’s quiet. Perhaps it’s the fact that you can say anything you want and not be held back by judgement. Ignacio was always trying to do the right thing. Never wavering and never taking risks. He had developed a safe way of living over his short lifetime, to feel but never felt, to see but never focus, and to stay one step behind the invisible line he had created for himself.  Although in his fantasies, he longed to soar above the rest and to be the center of attention for a change. In many ways he knew he wasn’t strong enough to say the things he wanted to say. If he did, he thought them too late and the moment had passed. “I should have said, are we ever really ready Thomas?” He whispered out loud cracking a faint smile at his own amusement.  Being heavy-set for his height he thought back to the days when he was thinner. “I used to run a mile every day just to prove I could” he said. “What happened? Did I just stop caring? Man… I got to find something to work for again”

As he passed the boiler room there stood a reflection near the door in the glass window. He was well aware of his weight but never took the time to look at himself. He had grown a double chin with a permanent frowning face. His eyes dull from being unaware for so long almost struck him by surprise. The thick glasses that steamed up from the heat. In his mind he looked a lot better. “Who is this? This looks nothing like me!” He thought as anger began to boil over in his heart. His mind raced to find some excuse to what he was looking at. Perhaps works been hectic, family issues, and schools workload too heavy. In the moment yet again he could not find anything. He had to face reality.

“Why’d you want to start this anyway?” Mike said calmly as he wrapped his hands in bandage around his knuckles. Ignacio became enthralled in the experience of learning to box. His hands were wrapped as if he was part of a martial arts movie and he felt empowered to take on the world at any given moment if it looked at him the wrong way. “I want to lose weight” He said shyly as he stood there in amazement and fear of the unknown. He wanted to know what true strength looked like. To have the power and choosing not to use it if the situation didn’t demand. To protect those he truly cared about. Although all of these points were in his mind, he could only muster up enough courage to say a half-hearted reason. “Hey, that’s all I need, stick with it and we’ll get you in shape in no time” said Mike as he turned on his radio. “Ok so let’s start with the basics and move our way up, let me see your stance” he said to Ignacio.

As the months passed by, they continued to train in secrecy. Never telling anyone where he went on Wednesday afternoons before his shift. He hadn’t a need to since no one ever asked and yet sometimes he wished someone did. He had a million excuses and alibi’s ready in his mind. “You know Ignacio…you’ve been losing a lot of weight” Thomas says as he sat there with his arms crossed noticing Ignacio looked differently from what he believed he looked like months ago. “I don’t know, but you seem happier too” As he noticed the different hairstyle and look of self-awareness in his eyes.  They were no longer wanly and discontent. The kind of eyes that gleam back at you and makes you know there is a soul yearning inside. Unwavering, and yet in a gently fashion they tell you I too am strong, but kind.

Suddenly the mind erases the memories as the ten second bell rings.
“Here we go!” Mike calls out as he helps Ignacio up. His hands were still heavy. His mind raced as he tried to forget the pain. Briefly he looks down at his red gloves, raises them and give himself a tap on the forehead. His trunks were splattered with blood. He intensified his feelings. He felt light as his heart was bursting through his chest. Every muscle ached and yet he loved the feeling. I’m invincible! He thought as he tapped his gloves together. He starts to smile as excitement rushes through his mind. The bell rings. Ignacio flutter steps forward as he puts his hands up. Time slows down again and his breathing begins to be the only thing he’s focused onboxing.  “I’m Invincible” He mumbles. He grits his teeth as the first punch is wildly thrown.

Elegant

To be observed and admired is just a passing secondary reaction. It took a lot of work to become that good. Enough to wear those dresses confidently I can only imagine the hours of practice that goes in. She danced so stiff in practice and stumbled desperately to catch her own balance most of the time. Argued with herself mostly to get the steps down right. She called to me, “Was it..Step heel… step step heel? Or Step step Heel step step?”. I had just begun as well so I didn’t really know how to teach it but I knew the steps well enough to at least show her, I thought. We practiced for hours on end and we were only capable of going a tenth of the speed that night.

It wasn’t until during a small practice performance did I realize how itballet-folklorico all must look to people. The girls in dresses and the men in their suits. It was amazing…to put it lightly. I can see everyone smiling not because they have to but because they were getting the steps perfectly and almost in a way that amazed even themselves. I call that part elegant. Without even trying, the whole thing just comes together to create something almost too good to be true.

 

 

Elegant