Transitions and Delusions

"And then I run 'til the breath tears my throat
'Til the pain hits my side
As if I run fast enough
I can leave all the pain and the sadness behind"
Rain In The Summertime- The Alarm

It was a time of transitions and delusions. A time of choice and a time of chance. It was like old Mr. Dickens had termed the best of times and the worst of times, or so Johnny thought.

The summer had been filled with some of the best moments he had ever had and the worst. It had been a roller coaster ride of epic proportions and he was exhausted by it.

Too many ups and downs and not enough time on the old straight and narrow had taken a severe toll on him. He didn't have to look in the mirror to see it. All he had to do was put on a shirt or a pair of pants and the impact was obvious.

She was out there somewhere in the ether and he was...elsewhere. Most of the time he was fine and life was good but there were those other moments. Moments where he imagined that he was like Rick in Casablanca and that one day his Ilsa would find her way into his gin joint.

So much had happened and so much time had passed he wasn't sure what to make of it. Sometimes he very much wanted it to happen and sometimes he didn't. Maybe it was because she had always been able to rattle his cage like no other.

That was disconcerting, the cage rattling. Usually he was the one who did it and not the reverse. It reminded me him of a discussion from long ago in which he busted her. He told her that he knew that she thought that she was in control of her relationships. Explained how he knew that she made a point of making her men think that they were running things when it was really her.

She gasped and sputtered something about it not being true and he laughed. Told her that he didn't care and didn't worry about it because they really did have a partnership. They complemented each other in a million different ways- it didn't matter who did or said what as long as they did it together.

But that was then and this is now. So he found himself filled with the sort of doubt and wonder that you'd rather not feel.

His heart hadn't let go even though his head said that he was a fool. But the truth was that he wanted time alone with her. He wanted to kiss her one more time and see what happened. He wanted to look in her the eye and see her reaction in person.

Because he simply didn't believe what she had been saying. He didn't believe that she really meant it. Those were words she used to protect herself. She would want a plan and wouldn't open her heart up completely without it.

And so to be extra safe she hid her heart from his and left him to wonder if he really did suffer from delusions or if maybe there was something more. It was always possible that she didn't know the answers to those questions either.

Time would tell.

Time Stand Still

A post for Write On Edge

This week’s assignment will require the fewest number of words ever: we want you to write a story – your choice of topic – as a tweet.
That’s right. One hundred and forty characters. Not words. Characters.

I Really Should Be Packing

I really should be packing and not writing but I am feeling a bit off kilter so an adjustment is necessary. This moment, this place and this blog are all a part of that.

That is not to say that the mighty blog known as TheJackB does not offer it because it does- but sometimes we need different refuges.

And this blog feels a lot like the kind of home I need at this time. This place is where I learned more about myself than I can possibly tell you. This place taught me a million different things about life and myself. This blog feels like my favorite pair or jeans or the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever worn.

It is a cyber refuge and one that I need desperately. It is my Fortress of Solitude and right now it is giving me that moment to catch my breath. I don't need much time here. Just a few brief moments and I remember who I am and what I am about.

For a while I think that I might have gotten lost. For a while I became less than I was and not who I should be- but I am on the right path again.

I suspect that there are going to be more than a few hard moments ahead. I have rough waters to sail through and storms to weather but I'll do it and not just because that is what I do.

Life isn't just about survival. There is much more to it than that. I am not interested in living a life in which I just pass through the days and I won't do it.

And when the hard times come I'll do what needs to be done to handle them and then I'll move along and think on them no more.

But for now that is all I can say as it is time for Traveling Jack to resume packing for the next great adventure.

Are They Echoes Of The Past Or Harbingers Of The Future

Johnny tilted his head back, took a sip of beer and stared out at the ocean.  It had been months since he had last spoken to June and he was beginning to wonder if the past was nothing more than a dream he had once had.

The time he had any sort of interaction with June she had called him delusional and insinuated that she had long since moved on. Johnny told her that he didn't believe her and made a point to not contact her. It wasn't because of insecurity or fear that he didn't reach out because he really didn't believe that she had moved on.

There were too many things that contradicted that. He didn't think that she had changed her basic character and knew that in the past she would have said something like that just to try and make him keep his distance. It is always easy to say goodbye when you are angry and if he knew June she had a list of things that he had done to piss her off.

It wasn't hard to imagine her carrying that list around with her, ready to whip out any time her feelings softened. At least he suspected that something like that was going on, but maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was just his dream and just his fantasy that kept it alive.

He wasn't sure. Much had happened and time had passed. Where once it hurt them both not to speak several times a day- now it didn't. Maybe they had grown accustomed to not speaking or maybe they were just numb- he really didn't know.

So he stared out at the waves and let his thoughts wander where they may. The beer was cold and the waves were wet- these were constants that he could rely upon. But beyond that it felt like everything else in his life was in flux.

There were consistent reminders of her all around him. It was more than just a palpable absence that he felt. Birthdays and anniversaries came and went but the silence continued. Sometimes he wondered if these little hints were echoes of the past or harbingers of the future.

He took a last sip of his beer and thought about how actions lead to habit and wondered if that was what the silence had become, a familiar habit. It was an interesting question and a reasonable doubt but not enough to prompt immediate action.

So he made a promise to himself to give more thought to it, stood up, stretched and got ready to walk back into his room. He may not have answered any questions but he did gain some clarity and that was worth quite a bit.

I'm On Fire

My seventies girl has jet black hair, dark eyes and legs that look like they could wrap around me twice. I look out the window and watch as she parks the car. She looks up at the building and for a moment my heart stops.

I know that she can't see me, but I can't help but step back from the window. My phone rings but I don't have to look at the Caller ID to know that it is her calling me. It is early in the morning so my voice is husky and a tad deeper than normal.

"I am walking to the elevator now," she says. I don't realize that I haven't answered her and I stare out the window and watch as she walks towards the entrance. "Are you still there or did I lose you," she asks. I apologize and mumble some sort of excuse as to why I didn't respond.

My mouth is suddenly dry and I worry that my breath stinks. I squeak out a "See you in a moment" and make a dash to the bathroom to brush my teeth again. I look in the mirror and say "relax" through clenched teeth. The face that looks back at me isn't the one that I want. I see a million flaws and am certain that she'll see them too.

I tell him again to relax and suggest that he try to be like Danny Zuko in Grease. He rolls his eyes at me and says not to be stupid.

There is a loud knock on the door and I yell that I'll be there in just a minute. A new challenge has crept up, one that is specific to men and I am afraid to answer the door as there is no way to hide what has happened. I look at the reflection and say "think of something really sad or really disgusting."

Even though I am not sweating profusely I imagine that I look a little bit like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. The big distinction is you can take care of a sweaty forehead with a towel. That won't quite work in this particular situation.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath but all I can see is my seventies girl staring back at me. My "problem" hasn't quite disappeared but I can't keep her waiting any longer so I try to imagine what Roseanne looks like naked. That does the trick and I walk to the door and open it.

My seventies girl glides into the room and I wrap her up in my arms. I feel her squeezing me and listen as she whispers in my ear. I am as happy as I have ever been.

I am lost in the moment and barely aware that I am running my hands up and down her back and hips. She takes my hand and leads me into the room. I hear music but the stereo is off and so is the television.

This moment feels like the culmination of a lifetime of waiting and I find it all intoxicating. She smells so very good and fits so perfectly in my arms that I can't imagine not spending my life like this. At this very moment the earth truly is standing still and if she should ask me to get the moon I will do everything in my power to make it happen.

She is sitting on the edge of the bed looking up at me. I look down and watch as she traces patterns across my stomach. I am lost in those dark eyes and transfixed by her smile. I want last for as long as possible.

We aren't using words any more but there is no doubt or uncertainty coming from either of us. Her hand moves from my stomach to my leg and I feel my whole body twitch.

I am on fire....

This post was based upon a prompt from The Red Dress Club.

If you are interested in reading past submissions you can find a list of them below:

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