Death’s light glitters like dew
I wished for a summery death.
There was nothing sweeter.
To lie in a gentle shade, and die alone,
Watching distant clouds sailing home.
The ground is hard, but the grass is warm,
Mist runs to dew, and a fairmaid lifts its head,
Softly burning, the white turns red.
Once, I lived to love,
And I loved alone,
But from me those days have flown,
The far-off sleep glistens,
With a chanced-upon glow,
To turn away from the blissful image
Is to scorn newer friends,
Changing newer ends.
Spider-nets encircle my now gossamer-gaze,
To turn away is to break the thread,
When I turn away,
In the meadow
you will find me
It's a rainy day. The leaves are wet but they still want to play. The grounds are soaked, not a car moving in sight. Nothing to eat or curve an appetite. The buildings are drenched from the bottom to the top.
They want to see sun, but don't want the rain to stop.
Finally, they found a little puddle where they could play. As soon as the sun re-appears, they will stop playing and fly away.
How to properly hot tub
Vacation. We settle into it nicely. The clapboard cabin sits at the steep embankment and has a semi-circle deck overlooking the rail that leads up to it. Next to us is another cabin with matching deck, and between our two established boundaries, a shared hot tub. We finish up dinner and I go over to check that the hot tub is at the proper setting. It usually idles at 89 degrees, so it's important to jack it up to 105 several minutes before getting in.
Sunset is bleeding out across the horizon. It's been a full day of hiking and the jets of the tub sound inviting. While I lift the cover and check the temperature, our neighbor couple stroll over, very pedestrian beer bottles in their hand. These two, they're ok, but somewhat mainstream. He's clean-shaven, her tan is a little fake, they probably like some horrible music, but harmless.
"How's the temperature?" he asks.
"Needs to climb up a bit."
"Sweet. You guys getting in soon?"
I rub my chin. "When it gets a little darker."
I let that statement linger without explanation. We don't use swimsuits is why. Anyone who gets in a hot tub with a swimsuit is too WASPy for their own good.
"Pretty sunset," she says.
I nod, put the cover back down. "You guys eat yet? We have a lot left over."
"No, we're good," he says. "Actually boiling some water right now."
They wave, go back to their side, their identical piece of the earth for the weekend, disappear around the cabin.
I go into ours and find you there on the bed, laid out, with one boot off. I look at you, you at me. We both laugh.
"Beat," you say.
"Hmmm. Guess you won't want to partake, then."
You sit up. "I didn't say that."
I get the kit out of my bag, turn on the fan unit by the window, set the fan to blow out rather than suck in. I unzip the kit, take out the little baggie of crumbly green goodies. I take a bud in hand, delicately remove the stem, a few seeds. While I do this, you rest your head on my thigh like a cat. I half expect you to bat the contents out of my hand like a cat. I take the glass bowl in my other hand, sprinkle the bits of bud into it, fill it to the top, press gently with my thumb to pack it lightly. I pass it over to you with my left hand, the lighter with my right. You hang over the bed on your stomach, and cross your legs into the air as you spark the green. You hold the carb with your left thumb until you get a nice hit, then release, taking the roasty, sweet smoke into your chest. To you, the first hit of the green is a little like roast pork: a delicious, earthy and altogether unique flavor. You hold it in as long as you can, blow out slow, though with the last few seconds you begin to cough. It's a pleasant cough, a ticklish affair. Your eyes water, you gulp, try to produce a feeling of "getting on top of your hiccup." You roll over on the bed, twin tears streaming down your face. I hit the other half of the green, hold it in, exhale slow and long into your face as a mist. You smile, suck at the swirling vapor above you. Both of us, our eyes become half-slits. The relaxation has begun.
When we do this, it's a feeling of getting back to the zone. All life spent outside the zone has been an interruption of the zone. Half-eyed, grinning, all senses on "yes" and "more." We're in the wilderness, miles from nowhere, no reason to be paranoid. It's our weekend. This is what people come here for. We stretch out on the bed, letting the feeling saturate us. Everything untwists and tingles. A lightness has enveloped the room.
I stroke your hair, palm your cheek.
"Do you think the hot tub is ready?" you ask.
"Ready enough," I say.
You close your eyes, face the ceiling and give a sexy groan as you twist off the bed and get to your feet. With a slippery eel maneuver I could never duplicate, you slide off your shorts, shirt, underwear, everything, cock a brow at me and wrap yourself in a towel. "It's time," you say. "Bring the wine."
I follow suit not nearly as elegantly, wrap a towel, and grab the bottle of shiraz and two plastic cups. (No glass in the "bathing area.")
The sunset has all but surrendered to the night. A few slashes of deep orange mar the blackness, emerging stars dot their way on purple velvet. We slope down the small set of wooden steps to the hot tub, bend the lid back. 103. Not ideal, but close enough. You shoot a glance towards our neighbors who are not out. The cabin light is on. With a feline grace, you slip the towel off, step into the water. With your senses alit, it feels like a delicious lava. You almost feel like you're melting into it yourself, dissolving in the slowing watery substance. Yes, slowing. To be in it is to turn time to molasses, the pleasure is so great. In this water, everything below the neck is a clitoral nerve ending bundle. You moan long and slow, sinking in and floating your legs to break the surface. Your wet skin in the night breeze is like Olympian gods blowing steam off of you. You giggle. I slip in too and groan in delight.
"mmmfrek," you mumble.
"What was that?"
"Perrrrrfect," you say and smile wide.
"Yes," I say. "This is awesome."
I attend to the buttons. One makes a blue light shine from the bottom. Another produces jets, another a torrent of bubbles.
"Oh!" you coo, and slide over in front of a jet, position yourself so it's center of your spine. You picture a fibrous tree trunk untangling itself from the force of the jet. The weed is kicking in, mixing with the tiredness. You are impervious to stress. All is right with the world. I begin scoring the wine bottle, pulling the cork. As I wrench it free, our neighbors come down wearing swimsuits and walking cautiously like something will suddenly trip them out of the dark.
As they wind their way down towards us, I squeeze your thigh with one hand, a wet, beautiful smooth angle of flesh. With the other I pour the wine into our dinky cups.
"Think they know we're high?" you ask.
"Who cares?" I reply.
They reach the edge of the tub.
"'d say the water's fine, but that's cliched," I say.
"It's not?" she says, swipes a toe at the surface of the water. Maybe she misunderstood or hadn't heard me clearly over the bubble whir. Or maybe she's just dense. What a ridiculous one-piece she's wearing. So bottled-up. So safe. So not like you.
He's got these big surfer trunks with white Hawaiian flowers. He looks like he shaves his chest.
"It's fine!" I say a little louder, even as they're getting in. They look uncomfortable. They're in one of the most beautiful places on earth and they look uncomfortable. What's wrong with people?
They sit there and we both start giggling as we sip our wine. The awkwardness of it all is as hilarious as it is peculiar. How do you relate to people? What do you talk about? Weather? Sports? We don't really care about those things, it's just something to say. We're in the zone. We're on a different plane. Those topics wouldn't fly. So we sit and grin and stifle giggles. My hand is still on your thigh, masked by the torrential blur of moving water.
"Where did you guys hike today?" he asks.
"Down in the valley," I say, avoiding specifics on purpose. Obtuse for comedic effect. But he doesn't get it. And that makes you laugh. She joins you in laughing, whether she thought it was funny or whether your laughter is infectious. I move my hand up your thigh.
"Yeah. You guys want some wine?"
"Oh, no thanks. Red gives me headaches. Shelly?" he says.
Shelly shrugs. "I don't have a cup or anything."
You offer, "You can drink straight from the bottle, we don't mind." As you say this, I feel your hand search in the water, first my right thigh, then my left, until you seize on my cock, and you grasp firmly, though your face stays neutral and you don't look my way to give it away. We're both becoming excited by this game. Keeping up appearances above water, meanwhile, playtime is occurring below the surface.
You pass the shiraz to Shelly, who politely takes a birdsip. "Mm. It's good."
"It's Australian," I offer, and this cracks you up. You laugh for a good minute and I shrug. "She likes Crocodile Dundee. Inside joke." This satisfies them.
I move my hand down your thigh and among the sweet hot watery miasma, I find your lovely divide. You are turned on and relaxed both, and I love feeling the contours of your opening with my fingers, lost among the bubble to the two interlopers across from us. It's a wide tub, we could probably fit five more people before things got uncomfortable, but the other cabins were empty this weekend.
I trace the arch of your vulva, back and forth, like a horseshoe, needing no pressure, as the hot water makes all a delight. I trigger your clit in a tight, lazy circle, letting the rhythm build and feeling your body tense and respond to my touch. All the while we're carrying on a mundane conversation with he and Shelly. Your hand has begun to pump my cock up and down, same rhythm as I'm doing to you.
The steam on the water's bubbly top suddenly abates. The timer of the jets and bubbles has stopped. "Oh! I'll get it!" you say and spin up and around to hit the buttons. As you set them both into motion, and sink back into the water, it's apparent to both of our visitors that they are in the company of two nude people. He is turning red and Shelly is looking at him turn red to make sure he doesn't like what he saw, isn't trying to memorize it for later. Because clearly your breasts broke the surface for those few seconds, you felt the Olympian kiss on them, and they both saw. Shelly hands back the wine, and you take it, climb onto my lap, letting your breasts break the surface again.
"We have to be up early for the gorge hike, so...." they say, and grumble something else as they get their towels. He may have had a budding erection and Shelly may have been staring it down, back to repression. They say their good nights and whatfors, start back up towards their cabin. As you slide onto my lap, we join, I easily slide into you, inside you. Slickness, heat, us. It was bound to happen. It couldn't NOT happen. Even as our interlopers are still within earshot, you begin to bounce up and down on me. You turn, put the wine bottle down and kill the blue light at the same time. Now there's just the cabin light, starlight, the heat, the water, the ecstasy of it all. You move and the water sloshes, you lower yourself onto me and with each lowering our excitement builds, inflates. The water sloshes over the edge, you start to groan a little. I reach my hand around to your cheek and you take my finger into your mouth to stifle the noise. This sensation becomes too much and I convulse once, twice, sink into the water.
"That didn't last long," you say.
"Yeah, but give me a few seconds. I'll be ready for round two as soon as you get in that cabin." It's true. I already feel myself swelling. There's certain times where I last a long time and then once I'm done, I'm done. Other times I can come multiple occasions in one night and always get back to hard within a few seconds. This is one of those nights.
I grab the wine bottle and the towels, and we scamper up to our own cabin after haphazardly replacing the cover. You jump onto the bed, bury your face in the pillow, then raise your lower body and lift your head, peek around your shoulder. You're beautiful. I get on the bed too. I press down on your back, creating a small dip/contour. I pour a tiny amount of wine there and lap it up with my tongue. Our lust and passion are dizzying. Senses are afire and glowing with the steaminess of the tub. I pour another tiny bit of shiraz down your back and it slips past your ass. I drag my tongue from your vulva all the way up to your back where I started pouring. You moan in delight and I see your toes flex in anticipation. "Shall I do that again?"
You moan out, "Oh, you'd better. Don't stop."
I pour. I lap. I pour. I lap. I pour. I lap. Each time you get more excited. Each time it's like fireworks, an explosion of fantastic pleasure. You claw the covers as I lick you. You begin to moan in time with my strokes. You begin to quiver beginning with your knees, working up to your thighs. Your fingertips, pruned from water, are numb and tingling. When the tingling reaches your face, your whole body is a lightning rod for pleasure and you climax with such force you think you're going to throw your back out. For a good three minutes, all you can do is exhale little groans and slowly melt onto the covers. When you get to be flat-out, you fall fast asleep. I pull the covers over you, brush away a strand of hair from your forehead and kiss you there.
Little Paper Boats
The music floats above him softly as he gazes out over the lake. The sun casts it in hues of orange and gold, making it shimmer. Cherry blossoms continue to fall from the evening sky, dancing in the gentle wind that brushes his hair out of his face. He could stay here in this moment forever, for once truly serene.
A family is down by the lake. The children are still shouting and laughing, playing with each other in the tall grass. He smiles softly. His mind goes back to a time when it was just him and his friend at this same lake, playfully shoving each other into the water but not caring at all that their clothes ended up soaked. Every time, before they left, they would make paper boats and set them out over the lake. He would always watch, transfixed. The little ripples, tiny white boats on a backdrop of pink and orange. Something indescribably comforting.
The family is leaving now. The children whine and complain, but they follow their parents. They leave him in silence, the only sounds now the chorus of the birds and the crickets intertwined with the distant melody still scattered in the air.
His friend would mock him for being so sentimental, but the flowers, the sunset, the lake, they remind him of when he was happy without burden. They remind him of the laughter that used to ring out from the both of them, and the bright smiles only his friend could pull from him.
He’s learned to be happy now, too. It’s different, it’s harder, but he likes to think his friend would be proud of him for carrying on. Maybe he’s watching the same scene from beyond. Maybe the wind is his gentle touch on his shoulder, the song his voice trying to reach him. He likes to think his friend is still by his side at this lake, just like when they were younger. Maybe he understands what he feels when he looks out at that lake, shimmering in the golden light of their shared past.
There’s a fleet of little paper boats floating across the water.
Bitter Swollen Eyes.
It was around 8 PM. Margaret was sitting inside a classroom, alone. The night sky shined into the classroom through the windows; only glimmers of moonlight was present amongst the darkness. The white ceramic flooring always had a distinct smell to it, although nothing that she could describe in detail; it smelled similar to clay, alcohol and a little bit of jasmine. She pulled her head into the whiteboard, looking at drawings that the students made a couple hours ago.
Margaret, a young soon-to-be teacher, was not ready. The classroom itself was small and packed, but there were enough spaces for kids around the age of 10 to run around freely. The gaps between each desk was around 40 cm, but the children wasn't always that kind to them.
Margaret, a 22 years old aspiring to be an English teacher, was small in size and quite frail due to a sickness a long time ago. She coughed and the sound echoed inside the empty room. Unfortunately, the smell of wood, chalk and crayons were intoxicating to her lungs. Alas, she still sat perfectly on one of the wooden chairs.
Her eyes welled up. It wasn't her fault and in fact, it wasn't even the children's. It wasn't even the creepy older teacher that constantly flirted with her. It wasn't even her mother that forced her to go here and be a substitute for a full year. It wasn't anyone's fault, yet her eyes bawled like she was a 7 years old that lost her mother in a supermarket.
The cold, clear glass window was the only thing bridging her from the outside world. The playground next to the running track next to the storage room near the exit gate. The trees were swaying back and forth slowly due to the winds, there were cats running around chasing each other and there were a couple of janitors left cleaning the parks. A security guard shined his flashlight right into her face. A quick smile and a quick nod from him then he walked off, continuing his night patrol.
The corridor outside was also quiet, except the occasional sounds of water dripping and footsteps from a distance. Nobody should know that she was there that night and the reason that she cried.
Standing up, chest held high, she walked outside with a notebook, a pen, a sweater and a beanie. The corridor was colder, yet somehow warmer.
Training, Or Vacation?
"Yes Mitch, I would be honored and thankful to visit the Training World you created with Hugh."
"Excellent!" Mitch said to Janet enthusiastically. "Pin the three buttons on your shirt, then close your eyes and think about how you want to visit the Training World. Before you know it, you'll find yourself safely there."
Janet did as Mitch instructed, and when she opened her eyes she found herself at a beach resort overlooking the ocean. She turned around and spotted an arcade, a souvenir shop, and vendors for any kind of food imaginable. People were swimming, surfing, and boating in the water, while others were riding through the sky on hang gliders. A game of beach volleyball was taking place nearby. Janet smelled pleasant aromas of saltwater along with the dining options. A pleasant breeze was a welcome addition to everything else surrounding her.
"Mitch, is this really a training world?" Janet asked out loud with a grin. "I feel like you may have sent me to paradise by mistake!"
"No, this is definitely the right place. Welcome Janet, we've been expecting you!"
Janet turned to the direction where the femine voice came from, and she observed a young woman and man approaching her. Both wore swimsuits and smiles.
"Hi Janet, my name is Tate, and this is my girlfriend Wasila. We are Artificial Intelligences that Mitch created to manage things here."
"It is nice to meet you, I would never guess that you two were AIs. You seem so...."
"Human?" Wasila asked, still smiling. "Mitch designed us to be that way. He also gave us each other, along with this resort to reside in. Thanks to his kindness, I get to spend my time enjoying Tate's company when we aren't working."
"Leave it to Mitch to create AIs while keeping their own happiness in mind." Janet beamed. "Can you both tell me more about this place?"
To be continued....
There isn’t any Sun
But it is warm
Warm, like organs are
Wet in my torso
Or boiling in my skull
These four crimson walls are hot
They can only be mine
For they’ve been here as long as I’ve thought of them
And this place heaves shakily with me
I’ve cast the curse of breath
Which was not born
And which will not die
The universe looms outside
Unable to touch this place
I look out into nothing
Nothing looks back at me
Nothing breathes back
Nothing is bigger than I
Nothing seeps my vision away
I stand anyway
I look anyway
Some light must exist outside of nothing
As I can see pale dirt below my bare feet,
With little probing, I find soil,
The place where warmth and wetness kiss to birth life
But there is no heat here
There is no water
And there is no need
This room is earth and clay
No life to be held in this purgatorial womb
And so I am all that exists
Until I close my eyes
And convince myself otherwise