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    -alone- 
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    I chuckled to myself almost silently, as I sat on the old oak bench confused, angry; blaming the world for my mistakes. Ignoring the vulturous question marks circling over head, ready to devour my dying consciousness at any moment wasn't much of a problem...Outta sight outta mind right? Now if only they'd stop screaming...
    It's interesting the way humans can find the humor in any situation, at anytime, regardless of the heartbreak or massive level of loss involved...I suppose we really create the humor...sort of an aid to help us deal with it...lord knows in times like these there's nothing *really* funny...but alas, they say laughter IS the best medicine.
    "Cute aren't they?"
    Mostly stunned, half annoyed, I turned to the man to my right. The wrinkles on his face proof positive that he smiled way too much...
    "What's that?", I asked...half hoping I was hearing things.
    Silently and slowly his fragile arm rose, extending his long white finger outward, pointing across the park to a small creek. The sound of mild rapids overcome only by the (ironic and, in my eyes, unfair) laughter of the children jumping across the rocks.
    "Yeah. Cute kids." I spouted off, expecting him to pick up on the inflection of annoyance.
    "Remember hearing "What goes up must come down"?" he continued.
    *Jesus CHRIST* I thought to myself.
    "Sure do."
    "The opposite is true too, ya know." At this point he had annoyed me to such an extent that I had temporarily forgotten whatever it was that was bothering me, thus I pressed on.
    "I sure hope not. I'm afraid of heights". Being a smartass never really got me anywhere in life, but it sure as hell made me feel better.
    The old man smiled and nodded, in that cocky, "I know so much more than you" way that old people live for. The standard few moments of uncomfortable silence ensued, then he crossed his legs, sat back, and turned to me.
    "I was talking about your heart".
    How dare he? Assume that the solemn look on my face and the tears in my eyes had anything to do with a crack in my heart...a weakness in my soul...a tear in the fabric of my being. Typical...so typical.
    "You know much about my heart?" I asked, ready for this war to start.
    "Only what you've shown me", he said, his black, glazed over eyes looking far off into the distance...I assumed he was still watching the children...wishing he was nimble enough to hop the stones.
    I guess the look of confusion on my face spoke for me, as he went on:
    "You slammed your car door. You've been kicking rocks in the dirt, you've been talking to people who aren't there, and your eyes sure do look watery...and you think *I'M* the crazy one?"
    Dumbfounded. Yeah I guess you could say that. The monsoon of annoyance quickly turned to a wave of relaxation...and for the first time in what felt like an eternity, I felt myself breathe. The brisk autumn air was cold in my lungs, refreshing, invigorating.
    "Yeah, well, my life isn't as easy as yours. My parents think I'm a failure, I don't know what I want to do with my life, I'm 300 miles away from my girlfriend, and even my closest of friends have stabbed me in the back. Not all of us can play at the park all day."...Perhaps I was a bit crass...but I had earned it. My life had come crashing down around me and this ancient of days was trying to be my shrink...
    "You sure seem to know so much about me. Have you met my wife? I suppose you haven't had the time, what with all your problems. We've been married for over 45 years."
    Embarrassed about my assumptious outburst, I avoided eye contact at all cost.
    "No, is she here?" I asked sheepishly, trying to sound as if I didn't care.
    "Son...I met my wife when I was a shade younger than you. From the time we met we fought more obstacles than I care to tell you about....we were separated for more than 2 years during the war, her parents disowned her at a time when my parents were long since dead, and we don't talk much anymore...but I love her with all my heart and I'd lay down my life for her if I could." The tone of his voice changed, as did the speed of his words...slower now...talking more to himself than to me.
    "What's her name?"
    "Jeannette...You mentioned your girlfriend, what's her name?"
    "Her name's Melissa".
    "Do you love her?"
    Intrigue and respect washed over my heart.
    "More than I could ever tell you"
    "And your parents...do you love them?"
    "Of course, they're my parents."
    "Do you suppose your parents love you?"
    "I guess."
    "You guess?? You Guess??? Either they do or they don't. Do you live in their home? Have they ever helped you out of a bad situation? Do you sit down at the dinner table with them?"
    "Well, yeah...I mean they're my parents".
    "Do you ever fight with your parents?"
    Laughing softly, "Yeah. It seems like every day."
    "About what?" He asked me, now making eye contact.
    "Ya know, the usual...school, money, my friends."
    "Have you ever made your parents cry?"
    This is ridiculous. This man is obviously some kind of pervert........................
    "Yes".
    "Son, let me tell you a little something about parents. Do you know why you fight? Because they love you. Because they are afraid. Because they are terrified. Every night they go to bed, they pray to a God they have never seen that you will be okay...and when they get up in the morning, guess what the first thing on their mind is?"
    "What about this girl, Melissa? Tell me about her".
    "She's amazing. I'm so proud of her. She is truly the most intelligent person I've ever met....She was the top student in all of her classes..she graduated high school when she was 13..she had 2 college degrees at 18....she sees the world in a way that I never even thought of....She....."
    Interrupted by the old man, "Have you told her you love her?"
    Since a real man doesn't cry, I turned my head to the side. Choking back the lump in my throat and refusing to let my eyes tear up...I took a deep breath.
    "Every chance I get".
    "What does she look like?"
    "She's so beautiful. She has thick black hair, smooth, soft skin....and her eyes....my god...her eyes....She has the deepest blue eyes...sometimes she'll look at me...."
    What the hell am I doing?
    Am I really going to sit on this bench and cry? Am I going to tell this old man, who's name I don't even know....am I going to tell him...no...am I going to SHOW him the truth? Am I going to show him that I am lost, confused, scared and lonely?
    No.
    "Sometimes she'll look at you and all you can do is cry", he said, tearing the words from the cold shaking hands of my honest soul.
    I nodded, tears now streaming down my face.
    A few moments of silence went by....me thinking about her....about my parents..............
    I'm a man...I don't cry...
    "What about your wife...where's she?"
    Apparently men do cry, because with tears in his eyes this beautiful creature turned to me and said:
    "Jeanette has been dead for 4 years. She died in my arms...on our 41st anniversary."
    Silence.
    Had I any less respect for him I would've stood up and ran. In a matter of moments this man had made me feel like the smallest, most worthless person alive.
    "I'm so sorry", I said, truly meaning it...apologizing also for my behavior.
    "No son, I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you can't see."
    Confusion....??????
    "Son...just because you're lonely....doesn't mean you're alone. Love is the best friend anyone could ever ask for."
    The children now long gone, dumbfounded and staring in awe...I watched as the old man stood up....grabbed his cane....and walked away from me.
    Sitting on that bench watching the sunset I was by myself....but for the first time in my life I knew...I wasn't alone.
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    #2
    Ex-Bluelighter Furnace's Avatar
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    Remember in the beginning of "The Empire Strikes Back?" That ice planet, Hoth? They filmed the scenes in the city I live in
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    Love is the best friend anyone could ever ask for.
    Ahh, if only it was that easy...
    ------------------
    Still post-rockin' in a free world
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    #3
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    i've been looking for that best friend for a while now. i seem to have lost her somewhere in my youth, locked her out of my heart... so worn out and sick of having her come tearing destructively in and out of my life whenever she pleases. now i'm empty, controlled and observant.
    ~
    a very engaging piece, i like your narration.
    ------------------
    "curiouser and curiouser..." -alice
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    #4
    Heart
    Oh my God, that is by far one of the best things I have ever read, ever.
    Thank you for sharing your soul with us.

    ------------------
    "Weep not sad soul, nor forget, that sunrise never failed us yet."
    "...and if the night runs over, and if the day won't last, and if our way should falter along this stoney pass, it's just a moment this time will pass." ~U2
    "Stupidity has a knack of gettings its way" ~ Albert Camus
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    #5
    Bluelight Crew Spencer's Avatar
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    That was totally fucking amazing spedly. Especially your discriptions af Mel. She's a lucky, lucky girl.
    Fuckin amazing man.
    -Spencer
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    #6
    Heart
    spedly..you are one of the few people whose writings make me cry. every goddamn time. :P
    Can't wait to see you two again
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    #7
    Bluelight Crew atri's Avatar
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    sent shivers down my spine man.
    atri
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    #8
    Unhappy
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    i second that.
    "Sometimes she'll look at you and all you can do is cry", he said, tearing the words from the cold shaking hands of my honest soul.
    i envy that.
    ------------------
    E-girl
    IM: tiggersgurl2067
    Find one person you can count on forever, one person you can love forever, and one person you can be with forever... and if you're lucky, it will all be the same person.
    "Live for the memories."
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    #9
    Bluelighter ice-9's Avatar
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    Thumbs up
    *speechless*
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    #10
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    *flashes Spedly*
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    #11
    Bluelighter Sweetpea's Avatar
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    Sometimes you meet people that you know are special. Honest eyes? Sweet heart? I have no idea but you're one of them.
    Melissa once wrote or said that she loves you now and loves the man that you are going to be. It stood out to me because I couldn't agree more and told her so (by the hump closet)
    This needs a tissue icon
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    #12
    Bluelighter Angelight's Avatar
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    chills i tell you....chills.
    this was wonderful spedster
    love,
    ange
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    #13
    Bluelighter
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    Unhappy
    .
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    #14
    Heart
    I havent cried for 8 months now but sitting here on the library computer you nearly got me there....thank you
    ------------------
    "if there were no rewards to reap,
    no loving embrace to see me through
    this tedious path Ive chosen here
    I certainly would have walked away by now.
    And I still may."-MJK TOOL
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    #15
    Bluelighter
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    I don't know you...but I wanted to tell you that that was just amazingly beautiful...I think I can deal a little bit better with the loneliness I feel sometimes after that. Thank you!
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    #16
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    all i can say is wow!!! i think how special this young lady must be to hear, to feel these beautiful words coming from a young man who is not afraid to express,feel,to love. i chuckle to myself and a happy tear runs down my face for " I AM THE LUKY ONE" why? you might ask?
    i am flower's.....mom
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    #17
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    real nice.
    ------------------
    Do i really need one of these?
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    #18
    Bluelighter
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    WOW! That was amazing Spedly. I felt as tho I was there watching you speak to this old man in the park. Truely a wonderful piece.
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    #19
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    Josh,
    You know that I really needed to read something like that. IT seems I feel that way in life right now too, except I get along with my parents. You know that you can call me anytime of the day or night right? Love you and your girl tons.
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    #20
    Bluelighter L O V E L I F E's Avatar
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    Amazing, my friend.
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    #21
    Bluelighter
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    i feel like everyone has already said what i thought about your writing...but there are emotions that i got from reading it that aren't really capable of being put into words. I am really glad i decided to read it, because there are so many links on this website you can click, and i know that im missing so many that could change my perspectives on things.
    But yeah, i cried, i think the reason i did cry, is because im not as fortunate as so many people who do have someone to love. I feel like someone to reciprocate the feelings i have for them is impossible, leading to the thought what the fuck is wrong with me. i know I'm incomplete. So be greatful you're not as alone as you thought you were. I really enjoyed your story.
    plurr
    raychul
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    #22
    Bluelighter
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    Smile
    Thank you love.
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    #23
    Bluelighter yoUr bLiSS's Avatar
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    wow...this touched me more then anything i have ever read here in words...i have such a soft spot in my heart for elderly people..they are always so full of wisdom and knowledge, i love their stories....
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    #24
    Heart
    Wow, baby... wow. I'm absolutely speechless. Thank you for once again showing me and everyone else just how amazing you are - I love you more than I could ever express.
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    #25
    Heart
    Quiet doesn't mean absent. It just means that there may be nothing to say right then. I learn so much from you two. Thank you.
    ------------------
    The space between the tears we cry, is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more.
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