Post pictures, songs, movie clips, poems, or novel excerpts that make you feel. Feel what, you ask? Feel anything. Happy. Sad. Angry. Nostalgic. Hopeful. Hopeless. Jealous. Joyful.
Here's my collage of feelings:
by Michelle Hickman
“Silence, oh you mocking birds!”
I hear them flying overhead, your calls painful in my heart. Wings beat upon my head, causing my feet to stumble. Let not your dirge strike fear into my soul. I cast you out! I cast you out!
The stones cut into my bare soles, telling me I’m alive. But who cares? I may be, but she is not. Gone. Her life more fleeting than the downdraft keeping the feathered one aloft. Oh, how I wish I could seek such eternal sleep. Yet the violin case bangs into my thigh, urging onward. Keep going. Almost there.
A short distance as straight as the crow flies.
Autumn leaves flash a bit of white nearby. My knees buckle. There she is. My sweet one. Stark. Cold. Flesh picked clean by the scavengers perched among tree limbs. Feathers drift downward to become her funeral shroud covering her bones, shielding her nakedness.
Let me play a bit of something for you.
The violin rests on my shoulder. The bow slides across the strings. Our song drifts throughout this desolate place. The notes echo against the cliffs. Was it only last month when we walked along here? Yes, it was last month, during our argument, when the heat of our anger caused my arms to thrust out. You fell. You screamed your last aria.
I play our song. Cry out, you mocking birds! Join in with my requiem. Let your voices reach the heavens where my sweet now resides.
The Puchanist Opera House presents the musical smash hit, TEARS OF LIGHT, starring Ruth Henroy as the homely housewife Simple Susan, Peter Weriner as the real-estate mogul Lex of Fortuna, and Mabel Durhan as the scintillating temptress Veronica Volta. Along with an all-star cast --
Mabel . . . Mabel . . . Mabel . . . it was such a pretty name, not too long and not too short. It stuck in my mind with the flow of two separate words all to themselves. May bells. They would ring at the wedding ceremony as cherry blossoms showered their petals on the happy couple.
I wonder if she would like a May wedding? We could release doves after the ceremony. We could have the initials of our names, M for Mabel and G for George, stenciled in light on the dance floor. In thoughts, I could see us twirl and dip to the beats of our favorite song: Let love be true. Mabel sang it beautifully on stage. She could give an impromptu show for our special guests before we left for our honeymoon.
I heard her siren voice right now. The song belted from the speakers and the CD I had taken from the music store. I stared at the theater poster hanging on the refrigerator door, imagining her image putting on a special performance just for me. Wonderful. Yet I would share the real Mabel tonight. The theater ticket curled in my palm while I glanced at the time on the microwave. 5:00. The show would start at 7:15. The train would arrive in twenty minutes as it would take me to the East Side. I have already showered. I have already shaved. Beneath my feet as I sat on the bed, the floorboards shook. Rattles came from the jars on my shelves where captured paintbrushes showed colorful highlights along their bristle heads. Mabel’s voice stuttered from the bouncing radio at the vibration of metal wheels. The connected freight cars passed by the apartment building as my painted canvases drummed against all the walls. Bottom frames tapped in their jittery speech of stilted Morse code.
Wrong train, George. Count the rumbles four more times. Then this would be your cue to leave for the nearby depot.
My fingers pulled out yesterday’s playbill from under my pillow. The scissors had cut around the picture of sweet Mabel on the cover, snipping away the other actors. USELESS. Their performances paled to the stage theatrics done by my temptress. In my opinion, she carried the whole show by herself on those beautiful and burdened shoulders. Her name should have the place of honor at the top of the theater marquee.
From off the pillow, the roll of tape lifted into my grasp while I stood on the bed. The ceiling had a textured surface as the pieces of tape bulged with the tiny hills. The playbill found a shaky place near the ten other ones from the ten other shows I have attended these past two weeks. They might not stay. They might fall. Yet I had fun sticking them up there. I would lay under the covers at night and watch the moonlight reflecting on Mabel’s features. I would hear the tape pull away from the ceiling with a snick-snick. Loosened edges with not enough stickiness would give way from the glossy papers’ weight. Finally, one of them would fall on me and bring excited dreams. One day, the real Mabel would fall onto this bed from on high. She would drop onto the bedcovers wanting me as much as I wanted her.
I needed her to believe this.
I jumped off the bed and walked toward the kitchen table. The flowers, golden calla lilies, drank in the water from the vase. I readied the pale yellow tissue paper; Mabel’s favorite color was yellow as I pushed the previous blue paper farther down into the garbage can. I should have rolled up my sleeve first. Blood spotted the fabric when I lifted my arm out.
Stubborn man. He should have given me the flowers after he left the florist shop. It was not my fault that I punched him in the face. I had told him Mabel loved yellow flowers. He should have picked a different color if he wanted them so badly. Or he should have picked a flower Mabel hated. Or he should have parked his car out in the street instead of in the alley.
Two paper towels encircled the stems, holding in the moisture and keeping the flowers fresh. I placed the bundle on the tissue paper and curled the folds as I made the gift appear special. Then I slipped in the card and my neatly penned message.
I hope you have a spectacular stage performance. Break a leg. Your adoring admirer, George Bastion
Your adoring admirer; I liked the phrase. It was better than saying fan. I hated that word. It reminded me of fake attitudes showed by two types of people standing near the velvet rope: those celebrities who are desperate to stay famous and those fanatics who are desperate to be known by a famous person who is desperate. I wanted something more fulfilling than this. I wanted a happy life with a happy wife who adored me just as much as I did her.
The apartment shook. The hanging light above the table swung in a pendulum over my head. Several playbills fell. I rushed over and giggled while trying to catch the printed leaves before they struck the bed. Catch the leaves and make a wish, my mama always told me when autumn settled over the neighborhood and the trees lost their browned tops. If you catch one before it struck the ground, George, your heart’s fondest dreams would come true.
Two glossy booklets bounced on outstretched fingers and slid behind the headboard. One dropped faster than my swinging hands as I caught air. The third train bolted along the paths, causing another playbill downward. I caught it in both palms. My lips kissed her photo and hugged the papers tight.
“Let Mabel talk to me today.”
"Not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
That's about all I got. Go see Katrina for her posting. And don't forget to stop by Eric's place tomorrow.