She didn’t make much of an impression when we first met, but maybe I was just fooling myself. She was my first real infatuation – the way she spoke, dressed, smelled, her hair. Thoughts of her filled my days. I could smell her perfume – even now, all these years later, I am brought back to the day we first kissed when a hint of her scent enters my nostrils. She seems to be everywhere always. Never gone from my mind.
Stop. Delete that. I’ll begin again. This time, the truth.
When I first saw her, she took my breath away.
I received your letter today. It smelled of peonies and hot sun; much needed here. What signs and signals should I send for your return?
Father’s Poppy Painting
A painting hanging in my father’s study figured large in my childhood. I remember its exotic golden yellow and crimson poppies on a background of burnt sienna and ochre. I remember days spent studying and copying it. I remember my mother constantly practicing Mendelssohn’s violin concerto in D minor. I remember father always gone on business. I remember the scent of Arfaj flowers wafting through the windows. Father’s poppy painting was the reason I decided to study art history at university.
One day when taking a class on famous stolen paintings, I discovered father’s poppy painting in my book.
Is spring real if one cannot experience it?
Winter turned to verdant multi-colored spring, but Jodi didn’t notice. In Cilian’s long absence, her heart carried the icy cold, dullness of winter. The sunshine beckoned and lilacs gave off a fragrance so sweet and rich. Jodi stayed in bed, her hair unwashed.
While Cilian studied the tropical Hoatzin bird in the Amazon, Jodi couldn’t remember her purpose. Life had left her the day he boarded the plane for South America. His letters provided the only hope for the end of everlasting winter. Jodi, as Persephone, would walk the Earth again, all hoped.
Everything changed when Jodi met Holly.
The sun warmed Lucy’s skin. She heard birdsong. The grass underneath felt moist from the morning dew, even though it was almost noon.
“So where are we going?” She heard Dave in the distance.
“I don’t know. Does it matter?” she replied, eyes closed.
“Well, we’re not even sure where we are. The GPS isn’t working.”
“We’re here enjoying sunshine, listening to birds. If we don’t know where we are, then it doesn’t matter where we’re going, does it?”
“You’re not helping matters.” Dave looked stern.
“Just lay down on the grass and enjoy the moment, Dave.” She smiled.
If I repeat it, I will start to believe it. If I repeat it, I will start to believe it. If I repeat it, I will start to believe it. If I repeat it, I will start to believe it. If I repeat it, I will start to believe it.
Yellow. Yellow. Yellow. Yellow. Yellow.
Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right.
Stand here. Count to five.
I am not my thoughts. I am not my thoughts. I am not my thoughts. I am not my thoughts. I am not my thoughts.
Sex and Lilacs
“I must hurry.” The air was gravid with spring droplets, threatening a storm.
“Lucy, don’t go,” he half whispered as the wind blew about the cotton white curtains. She looked at him lying naked in bed. The room smelled of sex and lilacs.
“I can’t stay.”
He looked at her, pleading with his eyes.
“I have to go pick up Robbie from school,” she said.
“All right. When can I see you again?”
“Let’s meet for lunch tomorrow.”
They kissed goodbye.
As she walked out, the rain began.
“I love you,” he yelled out the window.
The Party Apartment
There was a rumor around town that apartment 2A on State was the best party on Friday nights. I’d heard this from many friends, but knew no one who’d been.
I’d passed by many a Friday night. I saw the colorful lights, heard the music. Never saw anyone go in or out.
I became obsessed with learning the truth.
One Friday night, I put on my best party dress and went.
I climbed the stairs to the fourth floor.
My heart racing.
…a woman who spends her Friday nights dancing alone in her apartment.