ONE FOR THE ROAD

The clicking of her heels on the asphalt was the only sound surrounding her thoughts, as she walked down the street, at an hour when she always felt on top of the world. It was over, the feeling was gone, it was not that long ago they had met and the feeling was already gone. Her firm steps were guiding her heart to a stronger and reassuring beat, as they echoed up the narrow street, though cruelly pebbled, still appreciated by the romanticism attached to the architectonics of the age now passed. She was free and freedom tasted to reality. Shoes in hand, her feet felt cold. A snow flake landing on her nose took her back from melancholia, yet, another story that soon will belong to the past, with no special importance attached, living in her heart. The door from the bar, she had left behind, opened, letting out some recent former partners on the art of casual encountering, and, with them, muffed rhythms of the night, which, down there, often got a little stretched into brighter hours of the day. She grasped the leftover sounds and danced back and forth with time, for, though the feeling was gone, she was not quite yet ready to move on, and, she might as well, just for a short while, stay within the year of the cat with the Lucies in the sky.

One for the road. Short-story from 12 o’clock-tales and after hours thoughts. The book

SAFE SPACE

‘I like to play when I feel safe’ send. The sound automatically generated by the reaction in her phone gave her tickles in her belly. Though she has done this few times before, she still feels nervous and unsure. Is this a good idea? This bitter sweet experience drives her crazy every time. She enjoys the safety of the distance, and the notch of anonymity, but, soon enough, it all feels too close and she, exposed. There is no point on opening this door if one is not willing to share, to dare to reveal your honest inner desires. Sure, there is some teasing around certain activities one is quite unlikely to engage with, giving the chance, but, the core still needs to be genuine and fair, raw pure. She lifted up her head timidly, quick check to see if someone might have noticed her arising blush, the lower lip bitting and her legs tighten. Daylight shining in all directions through the surrounding venue’s glazed walls, all of a sudden, seating by the bar has become a bit too risky of a choice. How it has all escalated to this degree is not that clear at the moment, from a Bloody Marie, not too spicy, to her index finger between her teeth playing with the tip of her nail. She scouts around shifting her eyes only, discretely, she hopes, aiming for a casual look, non-suspicious, at this point, quite a difficult task and well founded hunch by the heated sensation on her cheeks most likely showing scarlet on her expression. Back and forth with compromising suggestions in public was making her, among all the other natural reactions, smile, she understood why she likes this so much, complicity hosting this exchange of flesh rewarding propositions in smart compositions. Her mind thrilled with that level of connexion, the trust they had built. Feeling safe is here the major thrill. All the irrelevant details skipped, the aim is to impress each other with their witty minds and cleverly free charismas. A pick-me-up , a spontaneus intermission, a privately owned virtual bubble with restricted admission. Landing back to her feet, recovering her more harmonious mien, she cheered to herself and her playful disposition. ‘Laters, babe’, send.

Safe space. Short-story from 12 o’clock-tales and after hours thoughts. The book

THE EMPTY SEAT RIGHT NEXT TO ME


You haven’t replied to my message but, at this stage and age, I let that micro-nanosecond of disappointment slide through and out of my body without much residual regret. The doings of fermented grapes and grains cannot determine my day. I actively taste the seas, the lakes, the oceans I meet, and I swim free. I greet all the different versions of me as they coexist. Cold sea, head under water. Like the geese by the beach, one of us is on guard always looking up. Only every now and then, I close the curtains to my boudoir, keeping your face in a jar by the door never did any good to the lonely people in the world. I choose to upgrade this episodes instead, and their idle side effect emotions, before they rot, into two dimensional devotion. Mind you, this is not as much an empirical approach as it is a visceral sensation, an intuitive perception, but it works. Now, it’s all translated into colours, riddles and rhymes and I own it all, on my very own terms. It all has a different taste, this dry Martini is now salty and wet, chilled to perfection; I savour its texture and flavours introducing three olives bright green held together by a cocktail-pick. And I sip while looking at the empty seat next to me, reserved for the people with whom I can share agendas, interests and kicks.

The seat right next to me. 12 o’clock-tales and after hours thoughts. The book

CHANGES

Things go fast, very fast, around me. I seat back and sip my lemonade, with a twist. It gets warm, hot, I put my fresh hand on the back of my neck while I see my world melting, things are changing, I learn to deal with it. My body is not my temple, it’s my friend. We are masters in collaboration. I see the phases showing on my face, my breasts, my hair, while I hear everybody say “you don’t look your age” and I wonder how was I supposed to look instead. I am likely to stop hearing it soon, not a frighting thought at all. I look in the mirror, at myself, though slightly different, I am still there, more than ever if anything. Seating outside this venue is not in my nature, but today, I make an exception, I want to look at them go, not all of us are in a rush. I am thrilled to see, somehow, my path is not so crowded. We stumble between political regimes, I wonder if wasps’ democracy is equally weak. I think on the times when I grabbed a loaded glass instead of a guitar that would have made me romantically weaped for my neglected floor rather than lamenting the grimy state of the, pardon my French, salle de bain, this days are behind me now, or, aren’t they? Whether out of love hurt, the doors I shouldn’t have opened or simply a turn gone wrong, my companion, that is not a sacred vessel, forgives me along the road. This is how it feels to live. This is how we got here, vow to a bond based on kindness and acceptance. Together we have built a creature that thrives within nature’s guidelines best. With this quirky, cocky, lowercased “d” diva ways of mine, I am a queen. I wear my crown underneath my skin, full of precious stones, like pebbles of green peridotite.

Changes. Short-story from “12 o’clock-tales” ( The red table & A scared black cat, book adventure)

WILD STRAWBERRIES

I fight progress one human-tended supermarket counter at the time. I don’t mind the waiting, in fact, I like it, to a point, of course, and I enjoy the soft voice in the corner of my ear whispering, you do have time. I am, indeed, in no rush. I have been to many places and, sure, there is more to come, but for now, I have no reason to feel that I’m missing out, nor need to run after none. I welcome encounters of any nature that are worth of my time and attention. Like the finding of hidden tiny wild strawberries, the sweetest little things you will ever know, worth of immortality by the finest Scandinavian cellulose, along the way as you go. And here it is, by the queue that invites me to wait, that I dream. I dream of where I have been and how it could all be if any of it would have happened somehow differently. And the sound of my laugh wakes me up, for where would I ever want to be if not here. This is lovely, my place, my space, my thoughts. My warmth, my pain, the cold. For I own a Satie beating heart and, as it strikes on every key, my blood runs full of life and excitement, until I can almost taste, and smell, the metallic flavour making its way up and steaming out through my head and up into the air. Bunny shaped clouds floating above, I look at them and, once more, I dream. I dream of progress slowing down its pace, hanging on to life through the cable of the headphones attached to my mobil phone, I was modern once, while I keep on fighting, one groceries shop visit at the time, cherishing the memory of the sweet taste of wild tiny strawberries along the way.

Wild strawberries. Short-story from 12 o’clock-tales (The red table & A scared black cat book adventure)

ORANGE WINE

With your hands covering my eyes I’m testing your wine while you are standing right behind, close, very close, the soft sound of your voice, so very close to my neck, travels with the air you breath, oh, so very close to my ear. Well, how about it then? I nod in approval. Your hands opening up my line of sight, a cloudy light orange wine, which remains I’m still savouring in my mouth, swirling in my glass, your glass cause we share, we share everything we can, exploring this sensorial world on our own terms, we, together, decide. Everything is new, your smile and mine synchronised ‘like a virgin, touched for the very first time’ I wonder what part of my brain is handling all this. Glad to see that you, like me, don’t find your thrill in the chase, a game reserved for the insecure and lame. Cross over here and come swim with me, was all it took, and now, we are hooked, to each other and the wild and pure flow in between. As nature is our witness we cherish our human condition forgetting what we have been told, we have a voice of our own, celebrate our intensity, political drive and physical call. I take a sip of this crisp tropical sunset coloured delight blended with your lips and as I walk towards the little girls room, I consider the thought of falling into this habit of my awaken mind reminding this, all too keen, heart of mine, shall this come to an end, sooner or later me or you shall want different, something else… and I stop myself right there, for I am not sure, either where this feeble routine comes from, neither of its worth of use. This patronizing of emotional brightness by this cocky acuity state of mind. With a life of all wishes granted and in no possession of bucketed list of lamentations, I return to the embrace of your arms, without shell nor shield, to savour this cloudy light orange wine opening up in the glass share.

Orange wine. Short-story from 12 o’clock-tales (The red table & A scared black cat book adventure)

LIKE AN OCTOPUS WITH THREE HEARTS

I retrieve my tentacles like an octopus with three hearts. In the manner of a fishing net with delicate round-tipped hooks by the edges, I spread myself to catch the favorable offerings. Over excited about fulfilling the romance prophecy. Rushing, not seeing, not reading, while the red flags play a decorative role to be ignored, unless, until the wind blows, strong, and their flapping, like fingers snapping, lastly breaks the spell. I retrieve like an octopus to heal in my cave, with a garden, in peace, by the shade. With my tentacles I taste life, the one I’ve built. My life. The one where I fit, where I thrive. Surrounded by wood, colours and rhymes. And the sea. I live by the sea, I swim. With my tentacles I play with shells, with algae and a seal. The cold water gets my skin to shine. I wash off the musk from my outer layer for nothing deeper grows when time has been fast forwarded. Clean now, with my tentacles safe, I look at the trees, and everyone that in there lives, sipping from the treat in my morning’s first cup. I let the air deep into my lungs and, as I exhale, I let myself flow, once more, into the unknown.

Like an octopus with three hearts. Short-story from “12 o’clock-tales” (The red table & A scared black cat, book adventure)

COLD SHOWERS


What were you doing over there?’ He says, with a teasing look in his eyes and a shy bit of his perfect set of teeth temptingly threatening. For the sake of the mood, on this setting and my own, I am going to have to improvise and lie. I choose to narrow my eyes and answer him with the same look and inquisitively teasing smile. I’m pretty sure he wants me to be naughtier than what I am. Talking to this other girlfriend of his, they way we did, sharing giggles and with hardly any personal space in between, even though we’ve just met, has probably got his mind to wander among images and expectations that are quite unlikely to be met. I could be wrong, maybe he, like me, is just playing along, enjoying the game of pretending one is up for more, cause, only the thought of it already builts enough anticipation, and the silly smile, and the blushing that by now is almost feverish, for we’ve been playing along for too long, so long that is getting harder by each day to keep it cool and under control. At least, for me, because I cannot even remember how I got here, to this boiling point that melts my brain taking my best judgment away. Sure I gave it a thought, a split second worth of a thought, to refrain and behave like my old self, but, somehow, by now, it’s simply just too late, and tonight, of all nights, will be the night I will make this right. My hands on the wheel now, gambling my chances, beating on the winning card that hides in my bag. Circumstances have aligned and everything about to happen, including the unbearable pain no one could ever possibly save me from, that will eventually come, has its course set and I’m blinded by desire. I played with fire and the burn marks are showing on my skin and in the sleep, that I don’t get. Now you hold my hand with yours with the for your eyes only access-pass in between, I give you the address, later on you will show, and this will be the begining, of the end. For this affair of ours was set out to fail in the realm of the heart, where I, accidentally, have crossed, stepping over the borders of this ill-advised emotional side. Still, and for now, we will plan our encounter to come, in an old-school Hollywood film manner, as my mind is set out to stop with this nonsense business of late hours cold showers.

ICE CUBES IN MY GLASS

It all feels different now. I see the ice cubes loosing their advanced position on the battle for the right to remain solid against my amber brown liquid as I rest the glass on the well worn-out wooden surface of the bar. Savouring how that sip had reached its perfection reminds me that “I thrive best on hermit style with a beard and a pipe and a parrot on the side”, said by someone else, and shared, for us either to embrace or to relate. I relate. My tongue feels the thrilling sensory parade this liquid has left behind. Peaty, hopy, malty… never been good at this kind of description, probably due to the lack of poetry behind. Life is poetry. Love is poetry. Stories captured for eternity, in songs and the like, loyal soundtrack to the crusade of eager cell troops towards molecular perpetuation, while we stand hopeless to their mercy, waiting for the so promised calm after the storm. It all feels different now. I can feel myself think over this Janis Joplin heart of mine, I guess, now, only my hair is that wild. I notice the seasons cycle, wind, rain, snow, the grey dark blue grow green aquamarine on the sea while I swim. The higher presence of water enhances other flavoured virtues in my glass. No night feels lonely as long as I can write. The candle’s flickering flame impregnates the walls of this bright enough venue with dancing shades of all of us, blue birds, participating in this scene. A proud feeling comes over me as I realise how I’ve managed to take the last sip in the glass before it got spoiled. Drinking, like living, is an art. My empty vase is acknowledged by the skilled bartender and I read the natural suggestion through the spark in her eyes and the lifting of her brows. I’ll take a Manhattan, dry.

Ice cubes in my glass. Short-story from ’12 o’clock-tales’ (The red table & A scared black cat)

UNICORNS

To my astonishment, I have, indeed, met, ‘cross my heart and hope to die’, believe me you, I kid you not, the, oh, so very adored, imaginary no more, unicorns. Four beautiful, sparkly and magnetic creatures and they were planning to round up the night by innocently snatching a police vehicle, with me casually picked as decoy. I totally agreed to it, of course. How could one say “no” to unicorns. After an interesting enough soirée, Nihon-shu infused, I was just seating there, tantalized by the events displaying right before my eyes and the story unfolding from within. Please, write about us, said the one with the reddish curly hair with a charmingly British accent while they walked by the bench where I sat. My eyes had been locked on the four enchanting characters since I made notice of them, adjusting the details of their master plan, involving the teasing of an officer, yet to prove his negotiating skills on the unpredictably upcoming fling, sharing giggles fueled with remains of angel’s share. One, two, three… Unicorns! They cheered, hands piled up on top of each other, as they broke up the circle where they held their improvised affair. I would, I said, of course. Here, therefore, to my charming and beautifully intoxicated unicorns I had the luck to encounter on a Saturday late hour while waiting for the last boat home on an oddly warm night on September. Shall this be the last time I meet such magical creatures, so be it at last, on the eight of the ninth on the twenty twenty-one.

Unicorns. Short-story from “12 o’clock-tales” (The red table & A scared black cat, book adventure)