♫Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene ♫
♫I’m begging of you please don’t take my man. ♫
“Jolene, Jolene, Jolene…. Jolene!!!!!!!!!”
He screamed at her while pounding a fist against her bone thin chest. One dull thud after another found no response from the small girl. Her eyes were open, pupils appearing to be nothing more than a dot of black left by the tip of the finest felt pen. Soft lips were parted ever so slightly while streams of saliva escaped along the defined lines of her chin. She was not dead, not yet. He could tell by the shallow breaths she stole, but she was damn close, and he wanted nothing to do with the cleanup.
“I’m out, you stupid bitch.” He said as he stumbled to his bare feet, stepping over a couple empty syringes to a stained mattress and sitting down awkwardly. Reaching down he grabbed one worn boot at a time, shoving them on his feet, then standing and running his filthy fingers through greasy hair. His eyes darted about the place as he looked for anything worth taking but he saw nothing. Moving back to the girl, he kneeled and roughly slapped the pockets of the dingy jeans hugged tightly to her thin legs. He found only her cheap cell phone, digging that out, he stood and made his way out of the cheap motel without so much as a passing glance towards the woman. Slowly, the door slid closed behind him before it touched the trim with hardly a sound, then as if from a final judgment, clicked shut, locked from the inside.
The silence within that room seemed palpable, aside from her weak exhales. She laid half naked in the dark, the only light offered by a bulb in the far corner of the room belonging to a lamp without a shade. Her breaths came and went, at times so dispersed that one would believe she had passed, until they would accelerate to a marathon speed, as her body waged war against the dope attempting to murder her. Small, bare breast rising shallowly with each attempt at life while her thin arms laid lifelessly along her side, delicate hands resting beside her black jeans. But the blackest thing in the room cascaded about her hollow, angelic face. Her hair was as dark as the abyss.
♫Your beauty is beyond compare. ♫
“You’re so beautiful..” Lies. “God you’re gorgeous…” Fuck you. “Such a pretty girl…” Go away.
Let me die.
“You could be a model…” Stop. “What a waste, seriously…” Leave me alone. “Other women would kill to be as beautiful as you...” I don’t care. “The things I would do to you…” I don’t want to know. “How much to take you home?” Dope. “Get the fuck in the car…” Help. “Such a pretty little girl…” Please go away.
Let me die.
Beauty, as they say, is only skin deep. But what lies beneath Jolene were the chaotic results of how God, or genetics, ordained her flesh to be. Women of allure are glamorized in life, sought after by both men and women. The latter attempting excruciating rituals and routines to obtain such perfection, and men would throw vast amounts of money, effort and heart ache towards those beings. But woe be to the beautiful if they are born in a broken home. They were crude targets without defenses and Jolene learned that from a very, very early age.
She survived, as humans are designed to do and as many whom faced her trials, her coping techniques escalated from heat, to knives, to drugs. Every aspect of her choices would be tried, judged and convicted by even those that hurt her the most. She had grown to loath the very thing that most envied about her. Just beneath her beautiful skin, she truly believed she was repulsive, and her life decisions reflected such thoughts in a most condemning way.
She had nothing, she had no one.
That is until she became conscious in the hospital bed and a nurse told her she was with child.
Let me live.
Questions in a Troubled Mind
Is our reality a controlled hallucination? Do we actually have a physical existence or are we merely four dimensional thoughts? Is our consciousness actually just a continuance of our unconscious mind? What is behind the perception of our perspective? Is our reality created by our necessities? Is it all simply adaptive reality? Are we all irreducible representations of the symmetries of space time?
Questions that I ponder when the stress piles up in my life. I don’t know the exact answers to these questions, a lot are based on theoretical ideas and some like the problems in my life are transitory. They help me not to dwell on the negative and to work towards the positive. No matter how complicated it gets.
Free From Limitations 9
Free From Limitations 9
“Well we made a great profit today. I think I will ask your sister to allow me a few dollars. I saw Berardo complaining his drums were not selling fast enough. He is a greedy old fart and asks triple the price. Told me the tourists have the money but do not purchase. I told him he asks too much. I think ten dollars in American will clear his mind if I take all the drums.” said Oscar.
“What will you do with all the drums?” questioned Marilynn. “Villancicos, are the Christmas Carols of Bolivian culture. Songs that celebrate Christmas played on native instruments to the rhythm of native music. In Bolivia, it is very common to see poor children working, and one of the ways they make money is by singing and dancing Villancicos on the streets. I'm thinking not all children will have an instrument. So why not give them drums!” smiled Oscar.
“I have heard many homes place the baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas Eve. After the baby is blessed in La Misa de Gallo they do this. What exactly is La Misa de Gallo?” asked Marilynn. “La Misa de Gallo is a tradition of Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Early Christians honored the mystery of Jesus Birth with a midnight vigil at Bethlehem. Followed by a procession that would end at dawn, when roosters crow.
The Bolivians honor this tradition by getting together as a family to share a meal. A very traditional meal in Bolivia is la Picana, a stew made with chicken, beef (or lamb) and pork; served with potatoes and corn. I had the honor to share this meal with a Bolivian family back in the States. Perhaps it is one of the reasons I chose to come live in Bolivia.” answered Oscar softly.
December 23 the townspeople got together in the square. It was a night to celebrate the poor, especially the children. Cups of steaming hot chocolate were handed out to everyone. Baskets of breads and cookies were also handed out to those in need.
Many children in the town that were not in need rummaged through their closets. They took clothing and shoes to the church for volunteers to size and sort. Only clean and usable clothes were accepted. The clothes would be wrapped and labeled boy or girl with the size. Christmas Eve the clothing would be distributed to the needy.
There also would be a nice dinner for all after Mass. Oscar, Marilynn, Richard and Karen handed out the purchased drums. Marilynn and Karen had also found Jingle Bells on ribbons at a great price. They handed these instruments out also. December twenty four music was heard.
The children started out playing: The Drummer The road that leads to Bethlehem goes down to the valley where the snow covered The shepherds want to see their King, they bring gifts in their humble wallet to the Redeemer, the Redeemer. I would like to put at your feet some present that pleases you Lord, but you already know that I am poor too, and I have nothing but an old drum. (Rom pom pom pom, rom pom pom pom) In your honor in front of the portal I will play with my drum! The road that leads to Bethlehem I mark with my old drum, there is nothing better that I can offer, its husky accent is a song of love to the Redeemer, the Redeemer. When God saw me playing before him he smiled at me. The adults joined in singing. Some adults brought their favorite instruments from home.
Senor Cabrera was covered with a blanket. One of his daughters pushed him in a wheelchair. He played his harmonica as he rode along the sidewalk to Church. After mass the four were invited to the Cabrera's for the traditional meal. No one saw Oscar and Marilynn slip outside to the smoking table.
“I do smoke a cigar after dinner. I just wanted to come outdoors for some fresh air.” said Oscar. “I was about to suggest coming outside for a bit of fresh air also. I wanted to give you a gift. I know we said no gifts. I found something I liked in that shop. There was only one so if you do not like it I will keep.” said Marilynn as she handed Oscar a tiny cloth bag.
Oscar opened the cloth bag to find inside a hand painted nativity set where the figures attired in traditional Bolivian dress. “I love the set. I know we agreed to no gifts. I also have a gift for you.” said Oscar as he held out a small box. “I hope you accept this ring. When you are ready. I feel we should live our lives together.” said Oscar. “I am ready now. We do belong together.”
said Marilynn as Oscar slipped the ring on her finger. Richard and Karen came outside looking for the couple.
“Hey you two? What's up?” Asked Richard.
“We're getting married in June” said Marilynn.
“June”? Asked Richard.
Oscar said “ June is plenty of time for us to finish our future house. Help you two finish your house and for Karen and Mrs Cabrera to plan the wedding.” laughed Oscar.
©Julia A Knaake
Inherited Survival Skills
Could you build a fire with rocks and sticks? I couldn’t.
Could you fend off a hungry bear?
Build a shelter? Dig out a canoe?
Could you make your own clothes, or shoes?
Could you kill a deer with a hand-fashioned bow and arrow?
I am Chuck.
I have a mate (soul and heart) whom I call Pooky-Bear.
We have raised a family in a comfortable home that shelters us from the elements, both natural and criminal.
We live in a thriving city, with clean water, ready power, access to exceptional education and medical care, in a conservative, God-fearing, agriculturally based state, in a resource rich, strong and influential democratic, capitalistic country which happens to also be the most racially and religiously diverse country in the world.
All of the comfort and protections my wife and I (as well as others in our city, state, and country) enjoy are the results of centuries upon centuries of civically applied experimentations which have been systematically and scientifically integrated or abandoned (as warranted) for the greater and common good.
All we need do is study hard, work hard, and follow the established laws and mores of this civilization (be a good and beneficial citizen) to benefit from the result of eons of struggle and learning.
So sleep in peace. All is well here. Feel free to play on your tablets in your thermostatically controlled environments with a snack close at hand. We are fortunate enough to live in the easiest and best of times; times built upon the blood, sweat and backs of millions who actually had to suffer and toil to establish these comforts for us.
Lighten up a little, and enjoy.
And stay away from the news!
do you know what this is?
a worn down shelter
for lost thoughts
and golden threads
and sun beams
like a bouquet
of thornless roses.
hold my heart and make sure that
it doesn't break.
but if jesus is still
awake i wonder if he'd tell me
at what age
he disconnected his
gmail from his dad's
and if it came out of a place of
anger or if he just turned eighteen
one day and decided to
change his password.
but if he stays up late like i do, i'm
already feeling this sense
probably not the latter.
when i was nine years old i
crashed my grandmother's laptop.
do you think she remembers this
she searches for youtube?
probably not, but i do.
i've written the same ghost
story book over and over again, it's
i'd steal from the scholastic
book fair and hide; it's
the childhood bible
that i never picked up.
have my parents ever thought that maybe
their child is mad at them?
is everyone's heavenly daddy
immune to this, am i
the system error? is my father's
hallowed name restored?
i have been thinking this
in every different brain in this body
for months, i cannot
close my eyes to sleep
without seeing a hand coming to pluck me from this
hell and drop me into another one.
when i was nine years old i
let my friend run me over
on my new bike.
does she think of this when she
wins races now at college?
i still care.
it still lives in my mind,
a feeling of fire and tangling of
and if god didn't
leave his son i wonder if things
would have turned out different for every other
kid in the brown green earth,
because if you can't even get the attention of your
dad as some sub-human
then what the
living hell am i supposed to do
when all mine cares about is my
geometry grade and
and the search history i've
deleted hours ago?
i hope i can still find it
sometime after this, if it can't
seem to dig itself into a grave.
they say once you do something it will
always be out there so i've
grown up hoping
everything is forever.
that my best friend never dies. that
my grandmother never dies.
that my childhood bike can
decompose into the earth
and see me again someday. someday, maybe...
when i was nine i found a dead cat on the walkway near my house.
does god plan this when he makes the animals?
i'm sure he probably does.
Her eyes were the sea – you know, that variegated color between cerulean and aqua that changed and flowed and metamorphosed with the currents; sometimes turbulent and other times calm but with a flash of spirit, promising the abundance of her riches. Her ebony hair catapulted with the breezes, flashing touches of auburn and flecks of white. But ahhh – the skin – it was the silk of which dreams are born - tawny and rich, moist and golden. The lushness of her body lulled me into a false sense of security but when I plunged her depths, I encountered what true sensuality and eroticism could be. Long crimson nails drew blood in little trails down my back but left me begging for more. Her lush lips gathered me in fantasies and ecstasies that I never had encountered. Long tan legs went on forever until they reached her promised land, encompassing all that I ever was. My wild island woman lifted me to heights I never thought possible until she blew away, without a backward glance, caught in the tropical wind toward other islands in the sun, seeking the opulence of other treasures. But I knew that I would hear her siren call forever, way off in the distance, echoing in my mind, “Come to me, come to me!”