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Friday, January 21, 2011

Love Thy Self, Published 2002 in Psychotic Education

Love thy self
By
DL Stone


The tips of Robby’s fingers traced circles on my thigh, and I lay back against the pillows smiling.  He had a way with his hands, soft and tender, applying the right amount of pressure.  If he couldn’t speak I would be content.  Robby was a little on the dumb side.  Any conversation about life went over his head, but he knew how to be a good lover.  He knew how to move, and when to move, which is the most important thing.
The telephone rang in the kitchen, and I let the answering machine pick it up.  As the receptionist from the dentist office left her message, Robby whispered in my ear.  I tried to pay attention to what he was saying and the message at the same time, but in the mix I didn’t catch either one.  Some words infiltrated each ear, and the only thing I got was something about this weekend at my next scheduling. 
“I am sorry baby, what did you say?”  I asked.
“What are you doing this weekend?”
“Why does it matter?”
“I got the keys to my parent’s lake house.  I wanted you to go there with me.”  Robby said.
“Why do you always ask these stupid questions?  You know I can’t do that.”
“Yes you can.  You just have to pack your bags and go.”
“Right.  I guess you think Scott will just go along with that. ‘Honey, I am going off this weekend with my boyfriend.’  He may be stupid, but he will never agree to that.”  I said.
Scott was my husband.  He was kind, a good provider, and a smart man, but he just didn’t fulfill me.  Every moment with him was a dull moment.  When given the spontaneous opportunity to go to the beach, free of charge for a weekend, he would turn it down to rest on the sofa. Even on our honeymoon we went to a NASCAR race, and that is the dullest.  I loved him dearly, but he lacked in areas.  Robby was just the opposite.  He was exciting and dangerous.  We had been fooling around for a year, and his novelty had worn off, but he was spontaneous.  Of course he also had no ambition, a part time job at the local Pizza Hut, and no real skills to survive in the world.  Instead of the need to become someone, he preferred to leech off his parents.
“I don’t see why you won’t dump that loser and stay with me.”  Robby said.
“What, and stay in your parents garage?  I would rather go live in a halfway house!”
“But you know you would be happier with me.  We always have a good time together, and all you do is bitch about that stupid husband of yours.”
“What makes you think I don’t complain about you when he is here?”  I laughed as I said it.  He knew I never talked to Scott about him.  “I don’t know Robby.  If you had me you wouldn’t want me anymore.  The only reason you come around is because I am forbidden.  I would bet that if I were single you wouldn’t have anything to do with me.”
“That is a lie.  I love you, you know that.”  He said.
What I knew was the truth.  He liked the danger of being with a married woman.  I knew how shallow men were.  Robby wouldn’t love me if he could have me, just as my husband loves me out of the need to have someone.  The only time any man loved someone was when they needed something.  No matter how much Robby or Scott thought they did for me, they only did it to make themselves happy.  If I didn’t fill a need for them they wouldn’t come around me.
“Look Robby, it’s not a matter of wanting to, because you know I do.  I couldn’t think of anything better than spending the weekend with you.  It’s just that I can’t.  Scott needs me, and I love him too.  Do you know how difficult it is to be in love with two men at the same time?  Do you?  Everyday I carry around this guilt, and I wish I knew what the right answer was, but I don’t.  Let’s get up and put our clothes on.  I have to get dinner ready.”
I threw my legs over the side of the bed.  Robby didn’t move, and I could see him staring at me from the mirror on the outside of the closet door.  As I put my panties on he traced the tattoo on the small of my back with a sullen expression.  The funny thing about men was they pretended to be all tough, but after sex they have a softer personality than any girl I knew.  All the hard edges eroded away and for a brief second they were actually human.
The thing about my affair and my husband was that I didn’t want either one of them.  All my life I waited for that special guy who would sweep me off my feet, the guy who was handsome, strong, and understanding.  A guy who was a mixture of Robby and Scott.  Someone who had the resources to take care of me, who was exciting, confidant and, most importantly, someone with passion for life.  I never found anyone like that.If they were smart and creative, they were bad in bed, or they were so conceited they could only talk about themselves.  If they were cute, and good in bed, they would have some psychological problem, and no matter how much I tried to fix them, their baggage wouldn’t go away.
I pulled my hair up and wrapped a Scunci around it.  Scott got off work in less than an hour, and Robby hadn’t even got off the bed yet.  His clothes were scattered all over the bedroom as he propped himself on his side with his elbow. 
“You need to go.  We don’t have time to talk about this right now.  Scott is coming home and I have things to do before he gets here.”
“Can I come by on Monday?”
“I suppose so, but you need to call first.”
“Okay...Well,” he said as he got off of the bed “I guess I will call you Monday.”
He put his head through the hole of his shirt.  Robby had a nice body without an ounce of fat.  His frame was slightly smaller than a middleweight boxer with nice broad shoulders.  He quickly covered it all up with his slouchy clothes.  His pants were three times the size they should have been, so when he walked the fabric rubbed together and made the sound of a toy car revving up.
Walking to the door, he grabbed me by the hips and leaned in for a kiss.  We walked all the way to the front door of the apartment stuck together.  Like some exotic dance, he slowly staggered backwards as I let him take the lead.  Once the door opened he pulled away sucking on my bottom lip.  I wished I could pull him back to the bed so we could lie around for the rest of the day.  I also wanted him to quit ruining everything by planning a future.  How come he couldn’t just live in the moments we were together? 
“Are you sure you don’t want to go to the lake with me?”  He asked
“I can’t.  Maybe one day.”
“I will be looking forward to it.”
After the door shut, I lay my weight against it and let out a sigh.  Men were so complicated.  If there was just one, just one, that was half of what I looked for I would run off with him as far away from this place as I could.


Scott came in as I was turning the pork chops in the frying pan.  He laid his empty lunch-bag on the kitchen table and walked behind me.  Without a word, he slipped his arms in under mine and rubbed my stomach.  I held my head down as he kissed the back of my neck.  He groaned like a bear then stepped left of me and grabbed a cooked pork chop from the plate.
“Did you have a good day at work?”
“Terrible...just terrible.  I got stuck in the parts store all day and had to deal with customers.”
Scott was a mechanic.  The garage he worked at also had a parts shop built to the side of it.  Since none of the guys liked to work in the parts store, the owner designated one person every day.  Customers came in hollering about the high prices, and old women called every hour to find out if their car was finished so they wouldn’t have to drive in rush hour traffic.  Needless to say, Scott hated the parts store.
“You need me to help you seat the table or anything?”  Scott asked.
“No.  Just go ahead and wash your hands.  Dinner should be done in couple of minutes.  We are just waiting for the biscuits to come out of the oven.”  I realized I sounded like my mother and I wasn’t even twenty-six years old. 
Scott grabbed his glass off of the table and went to the refrigerator.  As he poured his tea the compressor for the refrigerator kicked on and the lights fluttered.  The neighbors upstairs sounded like they were having a square dance, and my eyes squinted as I developed a headache. 
“You want to go to Wal-Mart after dinner and buy a DVD player?  Jason said they got’em on sale for a hundred and fifty dollars.  We could go over to Blockbuster and get that sappy movie you been wantin’ to see?”  He asked as he rinsed his hands in the kitchen sink.
“I don’t really feel like it tonight.  Maybe tomorrow.”
I pulled the biscuits out of the stove, and made Scott a plate.  He sat down at the head of the table and began eating while I prepared my own.  Scott kept his head so close to his food I thought he was going to try sucking everything up.  He usually had everything eaten before I got started, and would go sit in the recliner while I cleared the dishes.  When I sat down, most of what I had piled up on his plate was gone.  He devoured everything like he had to fight off dogs so they wouldn’t get his food.
The roof continued pounding.  I held my fork on a green bean, and stared up at the ceiling.  The chandelier jumped on its chain.  Scott didn’t seem to notice.  He had half a porch chop stuffed in his mouth, and he held a biscuit like he was going to assault someone with it.
“Chucky made some stupid suggestion today about us donating money to the United Way.  He said they did it at that plant he used to work at.”  Scott said after he gulped down the meat.
“That sounds like a good idea.”
“Are you kidding me?  I am not donating money just so some rich executive can take a so-called ‘business trip’ to the Bahamas.  Besides, people only do that stuff just so they can say they did something for the community.  It’s not about helping people out.”
“I thought that money goes to poor children, and old people for medical services.  Stuff like that.”
“That’s not my point.  People are selfish to the core.  Everything we do is for self-gratification.  When people give money to the United Way they do it just to feel good.  It’s their way of thinking they make a difference.  There is no such thing as a selfless act.  Or I guess it would be better to say nothing you and I do, for that matter, is selfless. “
The grumble in his voice gripped me with contempt.  He wanted to start a fight and I wasn’t sure what I had done wrong.  He tore a mouthful out of a biscuit, and moved his fork back and forth in his hand like he was steadying a dart for a throw.  Calmly, he stared straight into my eyes. 
“Yep.  Everything you do for me is selfless.  You cook, clean, and take care of me just to have security.  I wouldn’t even doubt if you married me just to get out from under you parents house.  I go to work everyday to give you what you want.  I try to do everything I can to keep you happy.  I even overlook my bed and my wife smelling like another man because the thought of living without you is harder than the reality of you cheating on me.”
I was stunned.  He turned back to his dinner and wouldn’t look up at me.  Suddenly I was glad for the noise upstairs because the silence would have been too much.  I carried my full plate to the trash and scraped my dinner into it.  When I stood up straight I could see Robby’s baseball cap resting on the top of the couch.  It was red like a stop light with some emblem in the middle.  Not only did Scott know about my infidelities, but he also put up with them.  The water welted up in my eyes and I got up from the table.  I glanced back at him as I ran out the front door, but he sat there picking up stray green beans with his fork, and forcefully shoving them in his mouth.
Once I sat down on the steps outside the landing of our apartment I heard a plate shatter against the wall.  A little boy paused from bouncing his ball in the parking lot to look up at me.  Tears ran down my face and I tried to wipe them all away with my hands.  The little boy curiously walked up to the edge of the steps, and I could see him fifteen, twenty years from now.  Taller, stronger, and more prepared to disappoint someone.

 Originally published 2002 in Psychotic Education

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gallery No. 3

Do you want to know what people are talking about while they break into your car?  Check out Gallery No. 3 with and an old short story of mine The Best Book I Ever Read.

This site is full of art, words, and hours of entertainment.  Go on.  Don't be shy.

http://galleryno3.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Man Rules

I have always shared a kinship with Hank Hill.  Some could say that after my father and grandfather he is one my top male role models.  All three of these men have certain rules a man should follow, but this isn’t their list.  This is my list.  If you do these things it doesn’t mean you are not a man, because lets face it, you still have the parts.  But when you do these things my imaginary friends and I will take a few points off of your high score.

Man Rules

Never let anyone see you put on chapstick

Never wear a hoodie with a sports coat

Do not drink out of a straw unless the cup comes with a lid

Never go outside the house in jogging pants unless you are jogging

No occasion calls for a fist bump

If you need to wear a coat then change your shorts to jeans

Never wear socks with sandals

Take your socks off when you have sex

Daiquiris are only acceptable on tropical islands

Do not wear cowboy boots unless you work with cows

Do not wear bicycle shorts, even on a bicycle

Fingernails should not be longer than your finger

Deodorant is not a substitute for a shower

Perfume is for women

Never order a salad unless it comes with the meal

Never talk to another man while peeing in a stall beside him

Never share a cigarette with another man (unless it is an illegal substance)

Your undershirt is not a Kleenex

Never use a slang term unless it is still acceptable ten years later

The only acceptable type of body spray is bug repellent

No phone call should last over 3 min.

Never dance by yourself, even if no one is watching

The only time shaving your chest is acceptable is before surgery.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Real Man’s Thoughts on Cosmo’s Dirty Sex Secrets

A Real Man’s Thoughts on Cosmo’s dirty sex secrets

I am willing to admit I read Cosmo.  I covet each issue.  I think it is interesting to see what women think about men, and what crazy man’s mind they pick to find out what guys want.  The other day, while being preoccupied in the bathroom, I flipped through this months issue dying to read the 60 sex tips.  Every month they have something else just as inane as this article, but they always give me a laugh just the same.

Number 49 suggests to women to put lube on their forearms and move them back and forth on the inner thighs of a man. 

As a man, I can picture this scenario and all I can think is “honey, I may call it my third leg, but lets move on to the middle.”

Number 13 suggest women wrap their hair around the man’s parts and pull the strands back over and over.

Married men should know better than this.  The days I have gone into work to find the blood in one of my toes almost cut off because of a hair that thought it was a tourniquet.  I also remember when my wife and I first started dating and her hair fell down below her butt.  I can picture my poor guy shrouded in a tomb of hair and how my wife would have to take a running jump into the next room to pull the strands completely away.

Number 33: while you’re out at dinner give your man a foot job under the table.

Does DHEC regulate this?  Excuse me sir but can I get you a fresh napkin?  This isn’t even physically possible.  Sit up straight in a chair, or even lean back, and work both of your feet like your doing reverse crunches without moving your upper body.  Can you do it?  I bet you can’t, and I also bet that after 30 good reps that half ass foot job will end.

Number 47 tells women to flutter her eyelashes not against Cool, but the gang.

Your eyelashes?  The same magazine reports that only 51% of men manscape, so would most men even notice a few thin eyelashes against something that has such coarse hair Brillo considers it their toughest competitor.  Do what you like I guess, but fluttering your eyelashes against a man's codrocks sounds like some nasty butterfly kisses.

My favorites, numbers 54 and 10 tells the woman to stick her mans part into her armpit, or the place where the boob meets ribs. 

Cosmo has been pushing the armpit as the possible fourth hole for a while.  I may just be old fashioned and have forgotten the dynamics of the whole process, but do you use a water based deodorant?  Raise your hand if your sure!


Get with it Cosmo.  I’m a man, and I’ll take whatever attention comes my way so I don’t doubt other men will go along with this bullshit.  Do you want to know what a man wants?  Ask him, I bet he has a few ideas that might be more fulfilling than a roll in the pit.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sunset Park by Paul Auster

"We do not grow stronger as they years advance. The accumulation of sufferings and sorrows weakens our capacity to endure more sufferings and sorrows, and since subberings and sorrows are inevitable, even a small setback late in life cas resound with the same force as a major tragedy when we were young."   -Paul Auster

In the begining we feel as numb as Miles Heller. As the ice of his past starts to melt I was more than willing to follow the drops for what they may nourish. But as the story expanded I was more attached to the other charaters and found the seed dull. The losses that make Miles a "man" is downplayed when he runs away from his problems. I love the intimacy of the picked timeframe in one person's life, and the settings are detailed in a way that are easy to recall when I think about the book. This book may not be beloved as others, but it is entertaning just the same. I just wanted the ending to give a little more.

Yemassee publishing 2003

Originally published in Yemassee in 2003


Lost

"Continue walking, continue getting lost."
                              -Kafka, "The Castle" as translated by Alexandre Vialatte


I am afraid
we will never get lost
again.  We will never
look at Australia
on a map as a stone
skipping across the ocean,
and there will be
no morning of glorious
fear where our imaginations
are hungry bears
attacking us for food.
Boats will never be
full of pirates, and
refrigerator boxes
won't send us to space.
All the cowboys run
car dealerships, and the Indians
own casinos.  I can tell
we will never get lost again
so could you please
send someone to find us?

http://yemasseejournalonline.org/

MetroBeat publishing 2002

Origainally published in MetroBeat in 2002


Living Backwards

If we could live backwards
the gravedigger would pull us out of the
ground like potatoes, and everyone
would fear birth because doctors
could charge millions to shove us in
a womb.  All sins would be repented
before they ever happened, and the
evening news would be doomsday
prophecies while lessons we learn
in life will be forgotten tomorrow.

If we could live backwards we would
have to be judged as children and
butterflies would turn into caterpillars
right before we celebrate the ending
of every old year. 

If we could live backwards Christmas
would be a countdown to Jesus
as we shift out of technology and welcome darkness.
Endings would never exist
and we could anticipate introductions,
if we could live life backwards
where every day isn't so fresh.

Slugfest LTD. publishing 2000

Origanally published by Slugfest LTD winter/spring edition 1999-2000 (forgive me for my youth in this one)

Poetry's Ambition

how many times have I sit here with you
rubbing my thumb up an down you side
getting you hotter and hotter
just waiting for me
then it won't move
my thoughts lay limply
hands folded hopelessly on your white complexion

could I count the times
we have a one way conversation
where you beg for my opinion
I just sit there with nothing to say

some months we don't even talk
from the abuse
of all the stupidity I inflict

the years I have lived
made me better than no one
but above everyone else
with me holding you I am relatively nowhere
how come this is how they describe love
a euphoria of nonunderstanding

I can't understand
why I get so mad at you
at times
then sometimes you make me blush
you're something worse than a women
this notebook and pen

Thumprints publishing from 2002

Originally published in Thumbprints Feb. 2002


Titled

What is a title but sweat from the skin
         liquid rolling
                induced labor

What is a title but a test of temptation
         vanity along the borderline
         eager to inch us in its claws

What is title but a statement
telling you to open your mind
         our there like a billboard
         praying to be found

What is a title but a foreign movie
lost in translation
         frustrated by misinterpretation
         although in its own language
         we are fluently intrigued

What is a title but a pick up line
given to girls with red drinks
in the space of expectancy
        vulnerability, hoping to be witty

What is a title but fish food
         sustenance to be forgotten
         seconds away