Her Perfect Green Eyes

“You seem timeless, too old for the nonsense of high school and all its silliness.”

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“You know, I used to date a boy in high-school just like him.”

Cara had perfect green eyes.  I suppose those eyes were the physical feature to which I was drawn. When we first met, and just now, with her comment regarding a high-school sweetheart, her eyes narrowed and when narrowed they glowed.  The atmosphere around us didn’t matter.  We could be sitting at our favorite sidewalk café on a quiet street or in the gloom of a club dancing our hearts out; when she narrowed her eyes, her eyes shimmered in a jeweled tone green.

“I thought you too old for high-school remembrances, ” I said not really focused on her comment but on her emerald features.

“What sort of remark is that?”

“Oh, I don’t know.”  I shrugged and looked away.  I was always nervous around Cara but not like most people.  She chose me, you see, so when her narrowed eyes and lowered voice were directed at me I just looked away and focused on some other salient point of interest and confronted her with my voice or line of logic.  “You seem timeless, too old for the nonsense of high school and all its silliness.”

“I endured like all the rest.”

I glanced back at her and she was looking toward the bar where most men leaned, gazing out at the dance floor; their faces dimly reflecting the flashing lights that glared from the ceiling, floor and walls of the club.  Her pristine skin and darkly painted lips now seemed to be the only thing that existed, her eyes now in deep shadow.

“Of course, no one really survives,” I said.

She faced me again, a wicked smile on her face, “Oh I survived.”  She seemed about to say something more but laughed instead, as if realizing she was about to say too much.  Whenever she laughed I felt that I was only her sounding board, the sidekick that made her extraordinary beauty and perfect look a little more normal in a less than perfect world.

“So what was this boy in high school like?”  I asked.

“Oh, you know.  After we kissed for the first time and I found him wanting he went about with any girl who would have him.  He didn’t want any of them except me but he was determined to show me how happy he was; how very much happier he was than say…me.”

It was my turn to laugh and I looked again at the man I had just danced with and who was now walking another girl out to the dance floor.  “I suppose we don’t really grow up.”

“Did he hurt you?” she asked me, “that man, did he hurt you just now?”

I had known her long enough not to lie.  I watched as he gyrated and swirled the new girl around and looked oh so handsome on the crowded floor and in the flashing lights.  I examined myself and searched for that pang of regret.  Was I sorry I had not been asked a second time?

“No, honestly no.  Which makes me wonder if I’ve not grown too old for clubs, dancing and searching for…I don’t know what.”

“I was hoping you were not going to say ‘meaningful relationships,’” And we both laughed at her tone of voice.

I listened to the music for a time and felt my companion shift and fidget next to me.  She got up without a word and began to dance without a partner.  She often did – she was rarely asked to dance and I noticed she was only asked by men who seemed to be as beautiful as she.  She danced close to the man that had asked me to dance earlier.  I knew what was coming and sure enough, he did abandon his partner on the dance floor.

I felt suddenly tired.  Suddenly weary of the noise and sway of humanity.  I found myself suddenly hungry.

She was like that, my green eyed beauty.  She knew when I was hungry and she knew the type of men who would follow her to her car.  She knew too I’d be waiting.  I suppose I had learned just a little more about her tonight, this slighted beauty with a low self-esteem.

“You won’t ever feed on me will you?”  She asked after a rather tedious fight I had with one of her stronger, more determined dance partners.

“Not until you are ready,” I promised.

I Never Write About Vampires

He took another sip of wine and felt again that edge, that good hurt of taste that he never experienced before. He wanted to capture that actual taste upon his tongue and not the overwhelming afterglow of emotion the wine procured for him. A sweet grape, an almost euphoric floral start at the tip of his tongue that chilled to an ash, and almost wonton woman taste that shimmered down his throat

To taste wine is an art.  Never would he say to his current lover, (a nice woman, physically very attractive and, of course, regrettably superficial), that to taste wine is an art. She would look at him, he knew,  with those incredible violet eyes and try not to laugh.  A woman who tries not to laugh is so unattractive, especially with a very expensive crystal wine glass in her delicate hand.  Suddenly the very expensive red glow in the delicate crystal globe sloshes around like a well-bodied ale; unacceptable.

He was met by a well-mannered waiter, and shown to a small, well used, round, wooden table.  The spot was chosen by the lady, (not his current lover mind you) of course.  He found himself thrilling just slightly.  What would Anna think of him, meeting another woman, in a town in Northern Vermont?

He took his seat.  He was early, by her suggestion.  Her note encouraged him to try the wine, exceptional – especially the red.  She would meet him in the evening,  and become reacquainted.  They had parted on good terms – one of the few in his life.  He was excited to see her again, over his first passion; wine.

When he was younger, he had just enough money to live and to taste wine.  There were, thankfully,  a few women in his life that would sleep with him because they found him attractive.  There were the occasional, (he cringed to use the term, so crass) one night stands due to the wine he introduced them to making him irresistible, he knew.  He was not egotistic; the wine did the job, not his manners, his mind or his body.

But care must be given to getting attached to a woman.  He was not born into a vast fortune and he was not inclined to drive the chariots of business to acquire, with diabolical relish, the two things that he found attractive in life; wine and women.

He smiled to himself, looking out at the dingy, wet, street: “Wine and women.”  Really, the connotation of that statement should not sum up a selfish snob or cold-blooded lover in the minds of the world – mostly female minds – for he was an exception to the statement – truly.  He did not want to make up his mind between one or the other – he wanted both and he wanted the best of both.  So what was he to do?  The only thing he could do – both within moderation.

He had to admit that when he was in his thirties, he spent too much time alone.  He refrained from younger women – completely un-teachable in the art of wine tasting; too fast, too virginal, too needy.  He did take comfort with some older women, but they often found him comical in a way he found insulting.  But this woman, ahh, he was close, to falling in love with her.  Until one night, alone and with an exquisite, dry white, he decided to write down what love was.

Was.

He wrote that one word on the yellow pad of paper and stared at it through the entire bottle. Was.

The next day, he met her for lunch and ordered everything red.  The filet, the sauces, the wine and broke it off with her.  She didn’t cry over the time they had spent.  She simply said, she knew the time would come – she had no hopes their relationship would last to marriage, children, Christmases before the fireplace.  She knew and was grateful for what they had.

He was astounded.  He watched her walk out of the restaurant and never heard from her again.  And 20 years later he received a letter from her.  He knew beyond a doubt that he must see her again.  The old photo of them together, wine glasses in hand at some party they attended intrigued him.  He looked up the address, the town, the place – were there – he need only accept.

He tasted the wine the waiter brought; a taste all of its own, a sort of raw, exciting taste, that made him tense and feel within him an urge to pace.  He felt himself immerse in a pleasure that made him edgy and…(could it be possible) feel just a little mean, just a little rough.  She was no doubt still beautiful, probably married.  Who but married people live in Vermont.  Perhaps she and her husband had an upscale bed and breakfast.  If she had children perhaps they were off to college, obtaining a degree in hotel management.

No, he had to stop.  He took another sip of wine and felt again that edge, that good hurt of taste that he never experienced before.  He wanted to capture that actual taste upon his tongue and not the overwhelming afterglow of emotion the wine procured for him.  A sweet grape, an almost euphoric floral start at the tip of his tongue that chilled to an ash, and almost wonton woman taste that shimmered down his throat and warmed his belly, as if her hand ( was he confusing the wine’s taste with the woman already? That amused his more clinical mind) was just above his belt, flat and warm and steady.

“Hello Roger,”  The voice was as he remember it, soft but now with an edge of worldly knowledge about it.  He started and looked up.  She wore a tight fitting dress, a deep burgundy.  Her skin was a soft glowing cream and her hair, now long, was glossy down her back.  She had not aged a bit.  He felt himself start to stammer, stopped himself, stood, and proffered her a chair.

“Always the gentleman.”

His astonishment at her beauty kept him in silence.  Could it be the same woman?  She sat, looked up at him, and without a doubt, she was the same woman.

“How are you?”

“Good, I’m good.”

“Do you like the wine?”

“Yes, I’ve never tasted anything like it.”

“Nor will you again.”

He remembered very little – except that he is now driven from the light of day and driven to drink rather than taste.

 

Into the Asylum

Nobody questions why a homeless schizoid dies alone – they just pack them off to cold storage.

There are days I simply wish it were over.  I don’t want to know who I am and I don’t want to face another night.  It’s different when the sun goes down.  I know and they know and the world just goes on.

When I was a kid I would read every fantasy novel I could get my hands on.  I was the skinny kid saving his pennies for the dictionaries on Middle Earth and I was the kid alone on the playground acting out the last epic battle of good versus evil.

Teachers would pull my mother aside and tell her that I made other children uncomfortable.  That the reason I was picked on and ridiculed was because I was allowed to stay in my fantasy world.  I’ll give my mother this, as tired and over worked as she was, she stood up for me.

Every once in a while she would pick me up early from school, sign me out and we would have ice cream in the full light of day.  I know that she felt it was us against them but at that time I didn’t know how many battles fronts she was fighting.

She didn’t come home one night.  They found her remains three months later down by Navy Pier.  She didn’t die there.  The police still call it an open case.  The cops that investigated her murder even came around to check on me in foster care.  Of course that told me she didn’t die easy, it wasn’t quick.

I was thirteen when she died and foster care was one of the worst things that could have happened to me.  You see when they tapped on my window and I cried for help, my foster parents didn’t believe me.  At one point I was institutionalized for schizophrenic behavior.   That was worse because then the bastards could walk right in – the loons invited them in all the time.  Nobody questions why a homeless schizoid dies alone – they just pack them off to cold storage.

Strange, the loons never turned.  Never.

I would have been lost if my screams hadn’t been heard by a weary old priest.  He didn’t believe me that they could crawl along the ceiling and hide in shadows but he did give me a golden crucifix that has never left me.

You don’t know how desperate and crazy you can sound when a white clad orderly is standing in the doorway with a straight jacket for you and one of the cursed ones is smiling at you from the ceiling; they would crawl around like flies.   I think many of the inmates went crazy after they arrived.

I sleep in the basement of the church now.  I do odd jobs so they let me.  I sleep well there despite the unbelief of the old priest who saved me.

I miss my mother.

I work hard to avenge her.  That’s what she did, worked hard.  Maybe it will all end with me.

Some how.

Lydia Ink / Into the Asylum by SK Woodiwiss