Let The Rain Run Its Course

They let the rain run its course around their intertwined fingers. It soaked them, their clothes, their hair, her glasses, and his goatee. He wore a pair of torn cargo pants and simple t-shirt top that referred to an obscure band name and she wore a doctor’s uniform. He smiled as he listened to her stories, and incessant blabbering. At some point, he would laugh and say something vaguely interesting to relate to her story before she’d switch the topic again. Fickle… It wasn’t derogatory, it was bubbly; charming, really… At least they wouldn’t run out of things to discuss. Not that the world has a limit to that, though. The interest didn’t wane, to say the least. He’d wait for her to smile, whenever she’d figured something new to discuss. Sometimes he’d wait for her to slow herself down to a halt, noticing his lack of words. Then he would smile, and she would mouth the words “I love you.” Winking to him at times had his grin grow wider. He would reply, in turn, saying the same thing, this time with added vocals, to break his silence. They were slightly amused by the ironic reciprocity of actions.

 

They never let go, throughout their walk. Their hands were firmly held, apart from the rare times when she’d use a little action to help elaborate her idea. She would always shift around, though their hands were locked. Her fingers would often times extend, as if revealing her palm, and then return to their original hold. Other times, she would squeeze his fingers, which seemed to move only because of her hands actions. His entire arm seemed lifeless once he’d clamped on to her fingers. Wherever she moved her arm, his arm followed. His figure depicted contentment, as if he’d been doing it for a while now. His body movements did not reveal any anxiety to the situation. Hers on the other hand, seemed hyperactive. Their and bodies still synchronized well.

 

I watched them as they walked along the road, from distance to distance, talking and walking. They did not seem to see anybody else, but they seemed to see everything. I walked towards them, and soon enough, passed them, my eyes never leaving the sight. The gray clouds matched the colour of my smoke, and I finished my cigarette, finding some solace in the distraction that was the two lovers. I was walking towards the bus stop, heading home to meet my own sweet lover. Flicking a little ash off of the stick, I took in another drag from my slightly wet cigarette, looking back and eyeing them still, as they left my field of vision; heading towards the main road. I turned and flowed away. Let the rain run its course.

 

(c) Anachronic Works 2012

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Bus Stop 47

As the tide rose and fell from the shore, off the beach, the road was empty. The rainy season always brought the public farther. The small Parthenon of a bus stop stood above the background in a small but shimmering light. Lightning always made it look scary to the children who would wait there just to get home. The small light that made it visible to the bus drivers always flickered, casting disturbing shadows against the vulgar images that lined the plastic advertisement walls that never lit up. The seats were made of cold metal, the dotted kind, and were almost icy in the late September rain. There was a storm looming off the coast, the local newspaper read, as it lay on the moist seat, absorbing the liquid. Across the street, small buildings lined the blocks, revealing endless shadows of people across the distance. Further back were the city’s larger buildings, a district of vice, a system of lights, and a cement land that stretched far across the eye, yet made a simple dot upon the map. New York at it’s finest.

Picking up the pace, a mother and son walked towards the stop. She was holding up an umbrella, trying in vain to secure her unruly son. The boy was nearing his teen’s and yet, he acted as if he were a little child, pulling away at times, dodging raindrops to the tune of his heart’s desire.  Taking time off to rest, the mother sat her son down on the bench, handing him an iPad to play with. This was her usual ritual, ever since her husband had left her for another woman. Work, pick up the boy, and commute home. The mess of life was what it was then and now she was determined to find courage and push through it.

A man stood across from her, as she closed the umbrella, shaking it to lessen the amount of water that had accumulated on the nylon surface. He smiled at her as he lit his pipe. It was strange for her to see such a well dressed man at this hour, checking her wristwatch to be sure it was 9pm. He was wearing a hat, to match his black coat that was moist from the rain. His black and white leather shoes were covered with mud or sand from the nearby beach-like area, and it seemed as if he had just taken a walk. He doffed his hat and spoke,

“How sad, the children of today, lost in a world of screens and sharp tunes. Always on the phone, they will never know the joy of a simple walk in the park.”

She hesitated, wondering  if he had simply spoken to himself. He turned to face her son, and watched with a smile and a light chuckle at the boy’s distracted state. She steadied herself, ready to fend off the man with her umbrella should he try to take the iPad. She had saved up a whole 3 months worth of salary for it and she wasn’t about to lose it. He glared at her sweetly with his green eyes, his face partly covered in stubble. He smiled. For a man who seemed to be in his late thirties, he was quite handsome.

“Don’t worry, I won’t take it. I have no use for such an uninteresting device.”

Summing up some courage to speak, although she knew she was at least ten years younger than he was. Aggravated by the man’s judgement of her use of 3 month’s work-pay, she opened her lips,

“What do you mean uninteresting? I’d bet that device is capable of doing much more than you, sir.”

“Still, a human mind is more capable of coming up with more suitable ideologies for this world.”

“What do you mean?”

“What do I mean?”

“Yes. What do you mean?”

“I mean, that, with such a seemingly smart boy, there, he would be more capable of at least entertaining himself without the use of the device.”

“Well, he isn’t. Can’t you see, he has a problem with his mind?! You don’t have to judge him!” She raised her voice, gesturing towards the boy who was still undisturbed by the awkward conversation.

“Forgive me, I didn’t mean to offend.” The man said, taking a puff from his pipe. The small flames drew the sides of the pipe clearer, right before fading away again into the black pit.

“Alright, but don’t you go judging people just cause.”

“Indeed, I am not one to judge. I merely implied that such a device would be a waste for a blossoming child’s brain. However, in any case, I had caused you offense, I sincerely apologize.”

“Hey, you’re the one in the corporate world here. We’re all working stiffs, trying to pay bills and living off our mundane jobs.  Judging by that suit, you look like you’ve worked in a bank or in some law office somewhere. I’m a single mom, and this boy here’s all I’ve got, now you just shut up about him!”

“He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good. Confucius. You, my dear, had just judged me after you claimed it wasn’t proper to judge.”

“Well…”

“When anger rises, think of the consequences. Again, Confucius.”

“Alright. I’m sorry.”

“Forgiven. However, would you indulge me, please, in some light conversation?”

“Well… Alright, but as soon as the bus gets here, we’re out, okay?”

“Agreed.”

“Good. Now, what do you wanna talk about, anyway?”

“Well, you’ve opened up the world of business in our conversation, let’s start there.” He said with a sweet smile. The pipe was still smoking as he opened again.

“All things truly wicked start from innocence. Hemingway.”

“Yeah, and so?” She replied, with a slight pout as she lined her umbrella to her legs.

“Business.”

“What about it?”

“That quote summed the entirety of business up.” He looked at the sky.

“What do you mean?” She followed his gaze for a while, then returned her eyes to study his demeanor.

“Well, think about it, it started out as trade, for the benefit of both parties. Dating back thousands of years. It was quite innocent, but nevertheless it has grown into a corrupt monstrosity, ravaging everyone’s daily lives. You see, we are driven by our need to survive, and trade, as it has, simply paved its way across the quarry that is human life.” He said, leaning on the plastic advertisement wall, raising his right knee up to balance.

“Uhh… What?”

“Let’s see if this will help you understand. Our world is built on finance and business. Without it, we are destined to fall short of any of our expectations and die. Right?”

“Uhh… Yeah.”

“Good. Now think about this, what is the innate goal of a business.”

“Trade?”

“Yes, partially. That was what it was before. Now it is simply outwitting the person who trusts you to give something equally important in return, yes?” He looked at her, his eyes intent on driving his point.

“I guess.” She said, taking a quick glance at the boy who was twisting the iPad around in his hands.

“Advertisements. They promise, and yet, they never fail to fall short on their bargain.” He puffed from the pipe.

“Okay.”

“That’s why we have money. It was created to lessen the outwitting, but it, in time, has also failed to do it’s job and has also fallen into the hands of corruption.” He returned his gaze to the starless sky.

“Uh huh.” She nodded, slowly, attempting to understand the discourse.

“What is money worth?” He asked, pointing the tube of his pipe at her.

“Uh… Everything?” She said, raising her shoulders.

“Not necessarily. Ponder on it, and you will see, that money is simply a number, placed on a piece of highly overrated paper. It’s worth is built on the foundation that is gold.”

“You mean, the Federal Reserve Bank?” She raised an eyebrow.

“Yes. The Bank. All our money’s worth is in gold, in that bank. Now, take it back to the old days of trade. What is the sole purpose of gold?”

“Jewelry, duh. Unless you use it’s conducting power.” She said, with a knowledgeable smirk.

“Yes, but it is merely a rare substance. As we can plainly see, copper is the most common of the best conductors of electricity.” He gestured with his pipe towards the wires that loomed above them.

“Okay.”

“Vanity. Our entire empire of a world is built on the sole thing, that is vanity.”

“So, what are you saying; that money is worthless? That everything that we work for is merely a fool’s quest for greed or power?”

“In a way, but who are the fools?”

“Us, right?” She giggled.

“Indeed.” He said, puffing some more smoke, losing the smile. She was irritated, knowing that he thought that everything she had just worked for was worthless, that all she did, that all everyone did was not worth a single thing on this green earth. She soon realized that this man was merely as dark as the weather and that he would not ever last long before falling into poverty and despair. So much for the man’s educated ideas.

“So we are all basically worthless, right? You have the courage to tell people, that everything they’re doing is worthless, juts because you’re rich.” She started laughing, covering up her hurt, to which the boy followed, and as soon as she slowed down the laughter, when the silence returned, the man opened his mouth and said,

“I wouldn’t saythat.” He returned his smile.

“So what are you saying?” She questioned in frustration, her hands in the air.

“All of it is true, yes. But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated. You tell me who said that.” He said with a smile, noticing the bus pull up against the curb.

“So, wait. What is it all worth?” She looked at him, eyes bewildered, her face formed in questioning manner.

“Look at the child, and then find the courage to tell me what it is all worth.” He said. She nevertheless pulled the boy up and along, and he struggled before following and taking a seat in the bus. Taking in his statement, she took the words into thought and sat next to the boy. The boy began shaking, and he mumbled almost unintelligibly,

“Mommy, I’m cold.”

“Oh, I’m sorry honey, I forgot your jacket.” She said with a saddened tone. She cursed herself under her breath for forgetting the boy’s jacket. It was a long trip home, and she would have to stop by the pharmacy for either vitamins or medicine, should the boy have gotten a cold. To her surprise the man now loomed over her in the still bus, with a smile, his pipe gone. The bus driver waited, holding a 5 dollar bill that the man had presumably given him, to stop the bus this long.

“Courage, is grace under pressure.” He said, handing her his coat. He smiled that friendly smile once more and doffed his hat as well.

“Hey, Mack, your five minutes is up man! Next stop folks, stop number 48, Oak street.” The bus driver said with his slang tone.

He stepped out of the bus and re-lit his pipe. Standing there in the bus stop he waved a gloved hand at them, and stepped into a car that was parked nearby. She felt the pockets of the coat as she wrapped it around the boy. A solid feeling came up, and as she pulled it out, she realized that it was a money clip. It had the name Hemingway on it. She turned back to see if he was still there but he had already disappeared into the night. She counted the money. It was worth her 3 months salary. She tucked it in her pocket with a swift and giddy motion.

“What is it all worth?” She mumbled, as she rested her head with a smile, the boy still playing on the iPad. She embraced the child, and joined him in the game, smiling.

(c) Anachronic Works 2012

Dear (A Letter)

Credits to Anachrony

Dear,

I can’t say that this world, and this letter, would mean something, something more than love, but inevitably, my mind had conjured up such disturbed thoughts I think I need to share with you, and only you. I’d felt heartbreak, my dear, for quite some time; many times. Each time was different, although it was inevitably the same. As I wandered through my playlist, knowing that the words of my everyday music could not soothe me the same way, I looked up some of my favourite piano instrumentals. You knew the type. The one’s that I had indeed professed my heart to. I had no soul, was the term, quite apropos to the thought, more of memory. Befitting… I had none I believed, but I was sure I had a heart, kept somewhere within the depths of my mind’s perception. Of course those beats that plunged my chest into the physical realm are not what I had meant. I intended for something ineffably more. It was somewhere in my mind, and I knew my brain had something to do with these, these, pieces of shit that couldn’t have brought about more trouble than a generation of criminals. I’d changed my playlist, anyway, since then, and listening once more to those songs. It brings me back to the visage of elysian fields. It just brought about the trouble that is this letter. Fuck, my dear. Just, fuck.

My brain did its job and so rose the heart; emerging from the depths of my mind, like a snake to an Indian flute. It popped up, peeking. Peering if there was anything that sought to cause it harm, and when someone played my flute, it would always respond in the same way. The same fearless and trusting way, as if only the true piper could play that song. I knew how to play it, of course; I own the snake, the flute, the basket, and the tune, heck even the field that was my body. I still do. I could play it well, and bring about my heart to slither into my fingers, releasing the venom in the form of ink. Every time however, when another person played, my snake would be hacked at, not by the pied piper, but by the onlooker who saw my snake as a worldwide liability. The venom was the source of the illness, and most never understood that the venom itself was also the cure. Fucking idiots… It wasn’t that hard anyway, to think of. It wasn’t hard to imagine. That was, of course, in theory, but my statement was what I’d only wanted to believe. Every time, of course, it was not… No. It was never the onlooker but it was the piper who sliced. The piper did slice away at my venomous love snake, and each time, the piper was told to do so by an outward force. It was as if god himself, if ever he even existed, had commanded this horde of flute-players to my mental basket, and each time, the order was to trick it out and hack away. It was a demeaning thought, but as I’d said, my dear, I’d felt this heartbreak a million times, and a million times I shall feel it over, until that one piper defies god and takes pity on my battered snake. I can’t say god damn, I can only say, damn god.

Going back to the music, dear, those fragile pieces and tid-bits of music so inspiring and difficult, yet so lightly played by those who had composed it. Fucking esoteric bastards, they were. I recall those times, happier times, when such songs I could treat as water, simply changing figure with each new container. Each new instrument held the music as if water in a glass so translucent. It was guaranteed that it was trouble, but, again, a common misconception. It was not the music that was troubled, it was the listener. It was the listener, so affected by the sound, that it rallied emotions to its apparent worthy cause, thereby giving the physical body a little more than enough to work with. The body indefinitely gave consent. How couldn’t it? IT WAS the brain, after all, who assumed the transparency of the fluid from that translucent glass. I just couldn’t see that yet, dear. I was content with the joy I found in portraying the music in the way that pleased me. Words… Never-the-fucking-less, it was a happier time during the course of my life. It was all too pleasing, and shit, I’ll be damned if you, of all people, do not understand this. Meh. Those composers knew not what they were capable of, or they simply didn’t show they knew. Either way, their actions could have been summed up in one word; apathy. Selfish in their ways, they compose to their heart’s delight. They had venom, too, and they used it to their advantage. Only theirs, and theirs to own; those audible drugs were medicine for their souls. Those drugs were just street drugs to others, pleasingly poisonous. The paradox that is their venom existed for themselves, but shared with others wore a different effect. Would they care about those who heard the music? Would they care about the bums in the street? Would they care about the rich, living splendidly in lavish homes? Would they care about you? Me? US?!

That’s the point, isn’t it; us? You, me, and nothing else, my dear, would have mattered if not for the music. Oh, and forgive my streetwise grammar. I’m a dumb fuck who writes to you from a vacant space, lost without thought of time or purpose. Remember that time when we had gone to the docks and you dared me to jump into the waters because I described it so poetically? I fell into the waters not for you, but for me. Like a snake, and any other godforsaken animal on this planet, I need to feed. Forgive me for my latent confession, but I had fed off you. I’d fed off your life, being, purpose, soul (if you, or even all of us, had one), your eyes, lips, tongue, body, your joys, sorrows, horrors, and basically, your existence. It had given me my venom, protecting me from my own snakebite, embedded as a scar on my scales. I’m no zoologist, so whatever. I’m no swimmer, either, so you had to drag me out to shore. Me being the strong one, and you being, you, should have switched places, and like a comical movie from the 1930’s, we never switched places. I was mad, for a while, but how could I bite the hand that fed me? You played for me as I lay on your couch that night, wrapped in one of your towels. Your fingers, ever so wonderful, depressed themselves on the air holes, changing the note with such fervour, echoing your voice with each breath. It was the music. Nothing else would have fucking mattered if not for the damned music.

You played your song, and it called more than one snake. He came to the charm, like a spell-induced, drug abused, animal. Ravenous, poisoned, bewitched, he was slender yet firm. He had the fresh venom, but he was a python, more common worldwide, and I was, like those fucking composers, a bullshit king cobra. He was taller when he rose, but I could have easily outreached him if you had learned the right notes to my song. Almost undoubtedly the same with mine, your song was wonderful, and I’d rose, knowing that there was something familiar about the song, but it was not exact. It was not precise enough to bring about my whole. It was just that there was nothing perfect, especially if there was no god. If there was, your song would be his, resonating within each snake you meet, moreover with one as young and naive as he who had responded to your song’s call of duty. Just more commonly uncommon, though. Motherfucking-fuck, these-these, goddamned oxymorons. I’m intensely sorry, my dear. The music precedes my sense of decency and I didn’t intend to force you to turn an eye awry (though I can be sure you didn’t knowing you’d spent many a night with me like this).

Well, that’s what this damned letter is about, no? I’m sorry. My dear, I truly am. I’m just a snake, and well, there’s nothing else I can do about it. You did do something, however. You changed me more than you really do know, and I’m sorry that it was hard. I’m sorry that I took so long to contact you. I’m sorry that it took all these years. I’m sorry it felt like an eternity, waiting for something like the music, to force me to let you know that I am still alive. I’m sorry I made you suffer through the agony of the wait. I read the newspaper of our old place every day. I had a copy sent over to where I now stay, that I may read about the weddings, obituaries, and whatever information I could find on you. I called our shared friend every month, still do, actually. Tells me you’ve stopped playing the flute, and I ponder on asking why, hoping for a reply that might never come, even if I’d wanted it to. I won’t say who the friend is, because I know that with just a tiny piece of information, you will know my whereabouts (and that you might kill him/her in the process of finding out). I’m actually writing this from the view of my desolate hotel room somewhere in Asia. I figured it was a perfect place, time, setting, and song for me to write to you. And I’ll be damned, because this is too fucking coincidental to discredit some supernatural force out there. You’ll never know where I really live, or at least I won’t let you. To the best of my ability, I won’t. I wish you the best in life and in love. I wish that you’d play the flute again, at least for some special people in your life, be they your children, parents, husband, or whatnot. With much pain, sorrow, emptiness, and a world of regret, I’m sorry. Take good care, now, you hear, my dear? Take care of those two; Jane and James. I know you named one after me. Thanks for that, but they’ll probably never know where you got the name anyway. I know you won’t say. They deserve that song of yours, though. They deserve it more than I do. I just have one more thing to say, though, before I leave. Forgive me, but it goes a little like this:

He came knocking at your door that night, and who was I to know what you’d done, much less, why?

 

I will always have you in my heart,

Sarah-Jane Nothdruft