Archive for the story Category

Thinking of Mexico

Posted in story with tags , , , on November 22, 2011 by Tim R Wilson

Another short story from the archives ….

Thinking of Mexico

A cacophony of noise rumbled around the small area, everything from the cluster around the pool table to a few random knots of people ‘covertly’ glancing at those in other groups. The lighting was dim, except for a few neon signs here and there. The mirror behind the bar reflected the stories of another day. It was pretty much the same tapestry every night; all the other things can come either as bonus, or disappointment.

“You want ‘nother Sunrise?”

“No, I probably should be getting home.”

“Family waitin’ on you?”

“Just three obnoxious kids and an unappreciative significant other. Let’s not forget old Buddy-dog with a bladder control problem.”

“You don’t wanna another drink? I’d be drinkin’ the whole night if I had that waitin’ for me!” A bar rag swiped across the counter, chasing the stains.

“If I could lose myself in sweet Sunrises, I’d be swimming by now. A crumpled ten spot drops on the counter. “But, may the good Lord help me, sometimes I still love the mess called home.”

“Ever think of just getting’ out, just packin’ and leavin’?

“Every time me and Brawny are picking up another puddle.”

He chuckles, picks up the wadded bill. The cash register sings its tune and receives its prize.

“Say you pack up, no regrets, no guilt. Where’d you go?”

“Some place warm like Arizona, sunny Southern California, Mexico … Somewhere to get out of this god-awful weather for sure.”

“Gets to a person don’t it?” Nothin’ but dark, grey, ugly sky. Mexico sounds nice … I’d love to have a bar down there on the beach.  Dazzling women wearing next to nothin’ asking for drinks. Me a flirtin’, them leaving big tips. Man … That would be nice!” The bar towel traces three circles around an adjacent peanut bowl.

“Beachside. That sounds real good! I can feel the rays splashing on my skin, the water tickling my tootsies, and the drinks being brought out to me nonstop. Let’s not forget the cabana boy.” She glances at the vintage Budweiser clock on the wall with the Clydesdales which reads 5:45. “I guess I have time for one more. I’ll just say I had to work late. Not that dinner would be waiting for me or anything like that.”

“Ain’t that the truth.  Comin’ home to a home cooked meal, not some boxed food comin’ out of a microwave.  People just don’t know how important that is no more. Last time I had home cookin’ was when Mom died three years ago!”

“Anytime I get a home cooked meal is when I cook it myself. Even on Mother’s Day. Everybody has their excuses why they can’t do it. Yeah … Mexico does sound nice. Hand ground tortillas filled with fresh beef, homemade salsa and garden fresh veggies. Someplace where the family appreciates all that you do for them”

“At least you have a place with a family to not appreciate you. I go home to a dead house.”

The bar towel finds a resting spot over his shoulder as he saunters down the bar to serve two suits that just sat down. She swept the ends of her side bangs over her ears, and watches the proceedings reflected back in the mirror. On his way back he fishes in the peanut bowl and fishes out a few.

“In Mexico I wouldn’t have to listen to the kids whine that they don’t have the latest X-Box game, or that they can’t find anything to wear. Or the dog barking at its shadow, or not making it outside in time yet again.” The tête-à-tête continues as though there has been no break. That would all be drowned out by a Mariachi band, or perhaps Jimmy Buffet, and the waves crashing on the white sands.”

“You’d have the sand and the sea, palm trees and sunshine. None of this concrete, insane traffic or crappy weather.”

“No flipping deadlines, no 8 to 4:30, no business lunches to wear a smile to and listen to the same lame jokes, no little league mothers, no grumpy ass husband. My toughest decision would be to wonder which sunscreen level to wear with each swimsuit.”

“There would be fresh ocean breezes to inhale ‘stead of stale cigarette smoke, there would be these fire tiki torch things ‘stead of neon lights.”

Sighs echo, the now quiet jukebox is changing songs, the only sound the thwack of the nine ball zipping towards the corner pocket. They exchange glances …

“We could do it don’t cha know.”

“Do what?”

“Well … You got the business know-how, I got the bar know-how. We could take all the money in this till and make a dash for Mexico. It would take less than two days.

“That would make for one hell of a road trip wouldn’t it? No looking back until the Mexican stars are over our head, and Mexican sand under our feet.”

“How ‘bout ‘La Cucaracha’?”

“Why name the place after a cockroach? That can’t be good! Eew!”

“How ‘bout ‘’Livin’ La Vida Loca’?”

“That has a good ring to it.” She gave a laugh that left champagne bubbles and giggling thoughts in its wake. An audio work of art.

“Leave behind the arguin’ kids, the sexless nights, the pissin’ dog. Leave it all behind!”

*sigh* Walks on the beach under a full moon …”

“Homemade food every night.”

“Sounds good don’t it?”

Very good!

The jukebox and erupting cheers fill the silence. A few more bills find their way to the counter. She glances over at him, looking at him critically as he prepares a round for those at the pool table.

“Nah this ones on me.” A pause … Then a sigh to expel the thought. She looked at the floor, half expecting the dark wood to have an answer. “No … My husband would kill me if I left him with the kids. I guess that I probably would MISS them too.”

“Kinda grow on ya huh?” The towel folds into a neat square. “Well I understand.”

”You always do.” She scooches of the stool, reaches to up her purse and jacket, and turns to head towards the door. “Same time next week?”

“You know where to find me love.”


My Sorry State of Mind

Posted in story with tags , , , , , on November 20, 2011 by Tim R Wilson

A story for a Saturday Night ….


My Sorry State of Mind

     Escaping into the night from room 114, embarking on another adventure alone in another lost coastal town, I entered some strange and grungy little leisure pit on the Highway.

     “What a mess …” This was my first thought as I entered this god-forsaken squalor of a diversion. The Sailor Jack. That was the designation of this woeful excuse for a tavern. The roadhouse had been well named, for all of its patrons appeared a bit crusty around the edges, save the business type lurking at a corner table close to the door. Why not, can’t dance. I staggered boldly forth into the unknown, receiving strange hesitant glances from the onlookers.

     “Ciao!” I shouted to a group of bystanders over the uproar. They seem taken aback by attempt at human contact. So I shuffled on over to the at home with comfort of a nearby bar stool.

      “Barkeep. I’ll take a shot of your finest tequila and a glass of Bud.”

     “Are you certain Sir?” He asked in his shady backwater accent.

     “Yes, I’m sure dammit!” In fact I wasn’t all that sure, having consumed my personal weight in alcohol watching a large slice of a “Law and Order” marathon in my motel room prior to arriving.

     I turned to soak up my surroundings as best as I could. Somewhere in here lay the solution to my problems tonight. Something or someone in here would be my muse. A lady, a tête-à-tête, a portrait of a far off, nonexistent seascape. Or perhaps a view from a clandestine, untouched, moonlit veranda submitting some place with a fractured glimmer of romanticized illusion, left slightly still contained and cherished within it.

     Yet, it seemed I would find nothing of the sort in here. This ignoble hell-hole seemed to be sucking the very life out of me with every breath I took.

     “Where’s my goddamned tequila?” I slammed my palm on the bar.

     And then he door opened and she entered. The sultry temptress of my dreams. Could she be it? The muse I have so desperately been searching for? Could it indeed be that at this very moment as she seemed to approach? Law and Order be damned!

     Her walk was intoxicating, with an extraordinary, almost hypnotically enchanting effect. Her eyes look as if to contain their own peculiar prowess, and yet simultaneously a suggestion of naïveté as though she was lost in this angst-ridden world, just as I was.

     She drew near … Closer … Closer … Very much in front of me. Directly in front of me. My eyes widened in expectation as to what words those delicate lips would form.

     “Hiya doll, know where a girl like me could have a little fun?”

     It was as though the shear sonic force of her voice was going to shake me off my seat. It was like nothing that I’ve heard before. Her voice fractured all enchantment surrounding her. Her tone was jarring and nasal, and gave the same impression of as that of a drug addled socialite sent to live with the huddled masses as a part of a cruel social experiment.

     “Pardon me Ma’am?” I uttered aghast at this spectacular paradox of beauty.

     “Care to dance sailor?”

     Again her voice pierced my auditory canal, and rattled my skull. I looked her up and down and measured the conflicting qualities of this living; breathing proof that god had graced me with his sense of humor. While her physical beauty in my besotted eyes was unquestionable, nonetheless I determined she was no muse. Still I concluded that she would in fact make a suitable companion for the night. On one small condition …

     “I would very much love to dance, but only if you promise to say as little as humanly possible.”

     There was a moment of silence between us. This crass but inviting strumpet seemed to be sizing me up, determining what purpose swam beneath my alcohol enriched veins. And then …

     She responded nonchalantly, “Sounds good to me.”

     And then we danced, my inebriated state filling me with a furthered passion, my limbs flailing wildly and enmeshing themselves with hers. We were like two frogs caught in the intimate hold of a net. We ordered another round and laughed, chortled, and yes talked and danced some more.

     It seemed that I had in fact been graced with a temporary cure for my sorry state of mind.

Pictures at the Exhibition

Posted in Family, story with tags , , , , , , on September 30, 2011 by Tim R Wilson

Pictures at the Exhibition

     The cracking yellowed linoleum floor has not been graced by a mop for more weeks than is entirely sanitary. Cupboard doors have been left open just a touch revealing the dismal amount of food, and the rather dreary menu that seems to consist of cereal, crackers, and tinned tuna. There is a half full bottle of Chardonnay in the ancient refrigerator, which was opened about an hour ago. The desolation and despair of the room is as tangible as if it were another person, pressing down upon its sole inhabitant, who sits at the kitchen table, fingers tracing the rim of the glass perched before her.

     Cane in hand, crow white hair and thick glasses, and looks so frail in the sun filtering through the window. I close my eyes and change her face. The trick is to slow down erasing each line, strictly one by one, until the weathered reappears, and stays forever, and pleads for my eyes to stay closed. The old woman weaves all emotions together, braids all thoughts and memories with her hair, and uses her eyes to smile and care, rather than to see. She hides her mysteries unimaginable, but— endless of possibilities. In this chamber, where the doors creaked, and its windows sealed shut, was this precious soul who lived here still.

     Staring from behind the glass, with three pigeons perched on the outside ledge; she brushes the freckled colors of yarn on her frayed quilt, as she takes a seat. Still and silent, with the wine sparkle and shimmering in the sunlight, she begins to watch the world drifting by. Gazing at the dancing ribbons of people and wonders who they are, and what thoughts pass through their minds, as they tramp along those asphalt streets. An alabaster jaw tightens into a thoughtful frown as she observes the crowd and lets her imagination, the one part not yet defeated by the city smoke and time, take to the sky and soar as it willed, and create for these guests a story of their thoughts. It is like pondering pictures at the exhibition, each brush stroke a part of the whole, each melding together, acting as one.

     The elderly gentleman seemed out of place amongst the hurried youth of the crowd, walking stiffly with his back slightly stooped, clutching a careworn and disagreeable cane. The yellow-glazed eyes spoke nothing concerning submission or defeat, but rather a cool and coldness that were unnerving, something jagged, and something bitter. They are the eyes of a warrior. He had been younger then, with ginger hair cropped tightly to his head, smooth unwrinkled skin and with green eyes that saw the entire world clearly. Intense, sharp eyes that saw friends and comrades fall at the bite of a bullet or tearing shrapnel, eyes which saw the dying moments of countless human beings and eyes which saw the red, red streams that poured down to drench the soil; the smell of which left a coppery taste in his mouth which will not go away. Xuan Loc, An Loc, Dong Ap Bia, names long forgotten at home, but names etched to his spirit and names which colors his person. The burdens of that grief, of that horror, weighed down upon jaded shoulders and made him into the man he is now, shuffling along the sidewalk, his life dependent on a cracked, crooked piece of wood.

     The hectic city street surely was not the easiest place for a single mother to be tugging along two young children, both of whom eager to escape the clutches of her grasp, struggling like wildcats as those steel hands held vise tight. She only hoped that they would be a bit more subdued when they entered the oppressive grey walls of the prison that held their elder brother captive. Praying mightily that they would not tear about that cold, emotionless room where convicts and their families shared to brief, awkward, uneasy moments of being together, and not stir up aggravation inside an atmosphere already choked with the menacing threat of violence. She could only dream that they would not badger their brother with probes about his short lived career as a ‘drug dealer’. And silently, desperately, she hoped that her eldest child, as independent and occasionally wayward as he had been, was surviving in his cage. That the spark was not gone from his eyes, that his shoulders had not been bowed with defeat, that he was the same good young man she had known him to be, and not merely a ghost with her son’s face daubed on it. God knows that his brothers needed him too. Pulling along a sobbing seven year old, and being dragged by a most petulant eleven years old, she made her way through the human deluge to her melancholic destination.

     The young man turning the corner was certainly looking a little worse for wear. Although the business suit was impeccably pressed, it only served to show how abysmal the man looked. His eyes were bloodshot in spite of the Murine, squinting in the bright morning sun, his faced scored with pain, on his haggard cheeks a river of sorrow and miserable bitterness. His jaw was stained with stubble, and a tiny trail of blood led from his mouth, flaking off in chips of the darkest of scarlet. Dirty blonde hair was in disarray, as though he had just suddenly woke up from an alcohol fueled slumber, sticking out at incompatible angles, and falling in such a way as to obscure the vision in one of his eyes. Yet another fight with his wife had left him sleeping on his sister’s sofa for what seemed like the thousandth time, listening with a shattered heart to the sounds of an ecstatic couple sharing low whispers in their bedroom, and the giggles of children who were supposed to have been asleep many hours ago. The thoughts are scrambling around in his brain, like a jigsaw puzzle missing a piece or two. The fragile fabric of his marriage had been ripped apart by jealous accusations, punctuated by tear choked screaming, which pierced the night, the wounds of a love destroyed. Looking for love in a Looking Glass world is pretty hard to do, keeping it has proved impossible. His head tells him to surrender and give up, that his heart has been shredded to many times, and it was kinder and wiser to let it go. But his heart has foolishly held on to what they had had, and back they had returned to the relationship of shared abuse that had broken them both so many times. Stumbling forward, with tears beginning to form again, glazing his eyes, he continued on his way trying to remember how it had been, and how it was supposed to be.

     The two women were as parrots among pigeons, brightly covered with smiles in their eyes, and laughter beautifying their lips. Sisters. They had the same extended, outsized beaks, the same awkward, rangy physiques; there could be no mistaking that familiarity between them that could only signal kin. The head’s resting on each other’s shoulders, the flicking of another’s stray strands of hair, the easy brush of fingers as the Styrofoam Starbuck’s was passed between enthusiastic hands. Mouth’s working feverishly; they held a conversation at a speed a man can never seem to comprehend, managing to stuff so many thoughts and comments in such a brief period of time, which was miraculous in and of itself. They had always been close. When the younger had been but a child, the elder had sat by her bed and sang away the dread, rather off key, but still delightful in its sentiment, the voice a gentle peace in a darkened room, and the key to the realm of dreams. Years later, when the elder had entered the field of parties and late night revelry, the younger had always been there  in the morning, equipped with the special hangover recipe of scrambled eggs, Tabasco, a large glass of Ginger Ale, and two Anacin III’s.  Of course there had been fights; screams and wails which would echo throughout the small house, sneakers and high heeled shoes rocketed with surprising force at heads, complete with the slamming of doors which sent many a framed photo and keepsake falling to the floor. But they loved each other sincerely this pair; apparent in the easygoing manner between them and the silent interaction between them that nobody but themselves could hope to fathom. Making their way through the multitudes, they could be easily tracked with their outrageously bright clothing and bangles, and her eyes followed them as they vanished into the colossal mouth of the shopping mall, where the sparkle of irresistible packaging and the lure of shopping for deals are supreme.

     The faces on the street were her gallery, a thousand paintings in her own personal Louvre, with a thousand tales that glided by like ripples in the water. All she had to do was extend her fingers and grasp the narrative from their faces, and what was reflected in the eyes of the passerby’s was grand in their inconsequence, yet beautiful in its sensitivity, and splendor in simplicity. She looked straight through the old, warped glass of the window that ran along the wall before her, and straight through the spreading, gnarled branches of the overgrown oak tree on the other side. She was gazing sadly at something which could not be seen, at least not to the eye of an onlooker. Regrettably, there appeared to be no onlooker. The lady was all alone, destined to be another picture at the exhibition.

     The painter was finished, but certainly not satisfied, the painter will never be done. The painter tipped the brush into the paint and continued …

The End

The Violinist’s Wife

Posted in story with tags , , , on August 22, 2011 by Tim R Wilson
A new story from Summers Fiction class ….
The Violinist’s Wife
     Theodore is holding her intimately again, gently and warmly, as he has held her every single day for several weeks now. Without a doubt she is his one true love. From the doorway of his studio I stand back and watch him embrace her. I covet the way he lays her body against him, the way they seem to seamlessly fit together, the way they seem to be made for one another. Eavesdrop on her scream and whisper in crescendos, singing high, low, and every note in between. Teddy told me before we were married that he couldn’t possibly love another more than me, but I’m afraid I just can’t see it. He absolutely adores her. And truth be told, how can I deny him the pureness and beauty of his love? When he glides his bow over her strings, the singing of the vibration, the burning of the notes, there is nothing else like it. Theodore’s violin is the woman he pines for, the one he desires. Late at night after we make love, I know her harmony fills his dreams.
     Theodore is playing in legato enhanced by vibrato, the notes flow like streams, one over another. As I lean against the entryway to watch, I see he is unwilling to part from her. As I turn to leave, he sees me from the corner of his eye, and looks up abruptly. He is still sliding the bow across her strings, his fingers hovering over the delicate curve of her neck. He pauses …
      “What is it Carly?”
      “Oh … Nothing.”  I recognize my reply is fragile.
     He narrows his eyes. “Sugar? You seem …” Whatever it was that he thought I seem he doesn’t finish. He exhales and turns back to the sheet music in front of him. “I should practice a while longer. Why don’t you get dinner started?”
     Oh sheesh! I nod. Dinner. It’s what the violin cannot provide. I turn reluctantly to go to the kitchen. The music resumes to breath over me. The sound is so clear it fills my chest. I long to be Theo’s violin, I ache to be a part of it all. I never have had the head for the wonders he and his violin can create. Although I love it, when I tried my hand at music, I could not throw myself fully into it with passion. Writing was more my thing. Now I wish that I could, to save myself from the loneliness. When Theodore is not creating music with her for himself, he is performing for the Philharmonic.
     His love for her has taken him farther than his love for me ever could. Far, far from me. The music he makes is so beautiful; I can sense his romance with her with every single note. The slow concertos are like a fairytale love story, in which you anticipate the prince to find his princess. When Theo plays a daring suite, I can see the dancers in shimmering dresses throw sparkles across the spotless polished wood dance floor, the stuff of storybooks. That is the potency of their love.
     I know that it is silly, always very silly, to be resentful of an inanimate instrument. Who could I tell? Who would listen? But she seems to be alive under Theodore’s touch, and he is unwilling to part from her. From the studio, I can hear the mood of the piece he is playing flawlessly change. The notes rise and become sharp and quick. This new melody is upbeat, almost has a bounce to it. The bow slides quickly, the violin moans from pressured strings, notes tremble in the air, breaking silence into sparkling shards.
     Ambling into the kitchen, opening the refrigerator, I realize how low we are on anything that can remotely call healthy. We, well mainly he, make good money. However, he is so preoccupied with her, he hasn’t bothered to grocery shop, and I have been swamped for the past month. Today, really, has been the first day I haven’t had pages to mark up, change, and re-edit for all of January. Releasing a weary sigh, I walk towards the front door of our flat.
     “Theo,” I shout.
      The music continues to spill out of the studio.
     “I’m going to the grocery store,” I continued perfunctorily, knowing that my words were drowning under the melody. His performing is ceaseless. I turn and gather my coat from the nearby rack and grey scarf. I open the door and stare. The hallway is nippy. *sigh* I have zero desire to shop. I quickly realize. I have no desire for anything. I step back and close the door. I do have a desire. I want my husband back. Theo has been seduced by the magic and mystery carried in his music. Biting my lip, I turn away from the door and toss my scarf and coat on the floor. I proceed towards his studio. He has paused momentarily, and is leaning over the gorgeous mahogany violin to scribble a few notes to himself. He looks up and sees me in the hallway.
       “I thought you were going shopping?” He sweeps a strand of hair that has fallen loose from his ponytail behind his ear.
     “I’d rather you came with me.” The words fell out quietly. “It’s freezing outside, and the city is so…” my voice trailing off when I see the look on his face. “Forget I said anything,” I say stupidly. What the hell else can you say to a musician?
     But the look he gives me is not what I expect. His eyes hold me captive. It brings to mind the first time he caught my look from the stage long before we were married. He was playing a Paganini Violin Concerto.  And I remember the way he played her, as if just playing for me, just me alone. The auditorium dimmed, the symphony orchestra became soft, and it was only he and I and the music. The sound … of the violin … so brittle and innocent … with a touch of bittersweet and longing … made my heart ache and remember … many things. She was not a figure at all, but an instrument for our love. I believed we glowed that night. The intensity of the gaze he is giving me, in silence, is the same but, I cannot read its intention. I am anxious about what he will say to me.
     “I’ll order out and go shopping tomorrow, ok?” My voice is pleading, I’m not sure what for …
     Theo breaks his look and nods, “That’s fine.” As I turn to go, he begins to play differently now. He is playing her spiccato, hitting her strings with his bow, notes being bounced off. The song he is playing sounds downcast, yielding eerie memories. My mind conjures up the impressions of storm clouds, amassing to form a funnel over some distant plain.
     I leave the room and wander down the dimmed hallway. Our flat is considerable, painted in warm tones of deep red, and muted orange.  We’re the sort that decorates with fresh cut flowers and candles, and with paintings blended so beautifully with colors, and no lines to tell me who I should be or where I have to end. But despite all of our best efforts, there is a chill in the place that apparently cannot be lifted. Even Theo’s love for his violin can’t exorcise the concealed threads of ice. I pick up the phone and speed-dial the number for the pizza parlor a block and a half away. I order a large half- California Club and half-Hawaiian. Sometimes compromising is the easiest. And besides, I don’t want to interrupt the music any more than I can help it. But damn …
     I decide to head for the bathroom right across the hall from me. It has a large, spacious bathtub, the kind with the soothing jets. I scarcely ever use them, but their comfort is not lost on me. I usually shower, so I don’t waste valuable time I could be spending on changing tenses, and amending ‘there’ to ‘their’ on a sloppy manuscript. Besides, this bathtub seems to be full of memories.  I turn the handle and soon steam rises off silken water, with bubbles floating through the air. Sitting on the side of the tub I take my slippers off and dip my feet in the water.
     It was just about a year ago from this very place that I had rushed to show Theo the plus sign on my pregnancy test. He had loved me then, and he had loved the new life inside of me. Two and a half months later I felt something was terribly wrong, so I crept to the bathroom. Soon enough I had discovered it; blood, lots of it. I knew I was losing it. You can’t lose this much blood and expect it to still be alive, still be breathing … of course not … it is impossible. The pain, the cramps, they were unbearable, the vomiting, the dizziness, all of it … too much to take. I took some medicine, lay in the bed, and eventually slept the rest of the day and night out.
     The next day I spent the entire afternoon in this tub, contemplating how my body had become a tomb. I was devastated and inconsolable. Theo had sat on the toilet next to the bathtub, leaning over me, rubbing my hand. There was nothing for it, nothing was said. He left the room and silently came back with his violin, and sat there and played. Quietly weeping, the violin moans from pressured strings. He played for me then, but I think he was playing for himself as well. The notes fill my chest as my tears would not stop. His music has always been where he has thrown himself, and the way he played her that day, we shared the lamentation. Before long, tear drops stain the mahogany one by one …
     I would not return to that day for anything, but he used that violin to love me. Now he only loves her. I suppose I cannot blame him. After that day, several months later, I had another. Children cannot grow inside of me. It’s like I was poison to them! And it was Theo who became inconsolable. He had never verbalized he wanted children, not aloud, anyway. But he way his face lit up when I told him, and the way he played when they passed from me … I knew how very much he aspired to be a father. Perhaps that is why he prefers her to me. With his violin he can create. She is superior where I have failed. Sometimes fate is so cruel.
    I turn off the jets and kick my feet softly in the warm water, Theo’s playing has stopped. I hear the front door shut.  There is silence for a moment. Then I hear footsteps coming closer to the bathroom.
     “I guess you didn’t hear the door Hun. It’s on the counter if you want any.” He pokes his head in the doorway then pauses before speaking. “Carly, is something wrong?”
     I look down at my feet making small ripples in the water and finally shake my head.
     “Have you … Have you been crying?”
     I keep looking at my knees above the bubbles and don’t answer. I want him to take me in his arms and hold me, but I know very well that he won’t. I wait a few seconds which feel like minutes. At long last he grips he door face, tightly, before turning away. “Don’t let it get cold,” he says half-heartedly as he begins to amble down the hall.
     He never eats in the studio so I know that he is sitting at the table, or at the very least hovering over the counter. I get up to rinse my hair then drain the bathtub. Dinner together, even in this state is more appealing than the alternative, dinner alone. I step out onto the floor. “Crap! There are no towels.” While puddles form around my feet, I slip on my robe that was still hanging from the door, and proceed to make little footprints on the hardwood floor as I walk to the kitchen and dining area.
     As I supposed, Theo is leaning over the kitchen counter, munching on a piece of Hawaiian while looking out the window at the wall across the alleyway. He has a plate set out for me beside the pizza box. I open and take out a piece of the California Club. Trying to smile at him, and then giving up, I pick off a slice of avocado and pop it in my mouth, taking the plate and the pizza to the table.
    “Carly?” he says after a while.
     I look up at him. He walks up to the table and sits across from me, a vase of tired Peonies between us. He’s got the look on his face of a man grasping for words. He seems to mentally shrug and continues, “The new piece is difficult. I keep getting distracted, slipping into older pieces. More natural I suppose …”
     I nod slowly. “It sounds nice from what I can hear.”
     “It’ll be better when I can play it smoothly, of course”
     I stare at my plate, picking at the peppers and chicken distractedly. Then I stand up. “Do you want anything to drink?
     “Yeah … Sure … Is there any orange juice?”
     Opening the refrigerator, I am again instantly reminded about how low our supplies are. “I guess I really should have gone shopping. There isn’t any.” I pour two glasses of water and bring them back to the table. We both sit. We both eat. Neither of us speaks.
     “How is the manuscript going?” Theo asks after wiping his face on a napkin.
     I shrug. “There’s nothing to write home about.”
     “Well maybe you should!”
     Why don’t you actually take up writing instead of just tearing other people’s to pieces? You always can find just the right words!”
     The suggestion strikes me. I’ve thought about it many times, but the excuses then begin, real and imagined, and those in between, to avoid actually doing it. “Oh please,” I say, trying to sound casual and amused. “One artist is quite enough in the house.”
    “I’m sure you would be good at it!”
     I shake my head. “No … No … I’m … I’m content.”
     “But are you really happy?”
     I force a smile as I look up at him. “When I am not, I know that this too shall pass. You should just be concerned with getting that piece prepared in time for the Spring Concert.”
     He rises and picks up his plate and carries it to the dishwasher with a sigh. After standing for a moment he turns and says softly, “It’s not a piece for the Spring Concert.”
     I cannot hide my confusion. “Are you not playing? You are almost always first chair. You are expected to be there. You can’t possibly be thinking of sitting this one out!”
    “I can be!” he declares, rubbing his bottom lip with his long thin musician’s fingers. “Come here.”
     Theo takes my hand and leads me back to his studio and sets me down on the window seat, the one with the decidedly better view. With extreme care he opens the violin’s case, and lifts her by the neck-gently. Caressing the smooth varnish upon the carved surface, he lifts her to his shoulder, and the tension heats. Horse hair placed at rest upon strings. All thoughts leave my head. With a silent sigh of anticipation, and an inward breath and preparation, with a flicker of light in the dark of clover eyes, he begins to play. I have heard him play all day, but this time he has made it clear that he wants me to listen. And so I do.
     Describing the composition without poetry would be hard not to do. The violin plays my soul as my heart glides across the strings. The beat of my existence represents a sad tale, of loss, pain, and suffering that can only be freed through the expression of string and bow pressure momentously singing notes. There is a passion, an immense terrible passion that overcomes me, it crescendos throughout my being. I can see it in the shift of his expression, in the concentrated frown of his mouth and in the sincerity of his half-closed eyes. I could almost hear the words in every touch. The song trails off into a sweet, deep melody, and then jumps up into lightness with sudden staccato.
     I’m sure that this piece is not one I’ve heard before, but there is something intimate and familiar to it. It wraps around me, filling me with is deep vibration. I feel the song binding me up, but softly, carefully. What makes Theo’s playing different I realize, is that he is not playing it to hear the sounds she makes. He seems to be waiting for something in the playing, and when he is finished, he looks up at me. The decrescendo lingers in the air.
     “That was … That was …” I begin standing up.
     “For you.” He said quietly. “Carly, are you going to leave?”
     “Wh-what?” my voice stumbles.
     “I’ve seen the way you … Like he rooms you are in no longer matters. Like you are planning to get out, to get away … Of all of this.”
     I am taken aback. I look down toward my toes and shake my head. Looking up I reveal, “I don’t know Theo. I’m going around and around in circles.”
     He puts his violin back in her case and closes it as she has completed playing her part in this. Then he takes my hand and pulls me close. We embrace, and the warmth of it that rushes through me is far greater than any music, or perhaps borne of it. Holding on to him, and bury my head in his chest. My heart is beating fast, allegro. I could swear I am hearing symphonies …

Even A Broken Clock Is Right Twice A Day

Posted in humor, story with tags , , , , , on July 16, 2011 by Tim R Wilson

Another short story from last term ….

Even A Broken Clock Is Right Twice A Day

It all started like clockwork …

We met on a soft summer day and everything fell into place. Melting into your arms was so easy and I fit so effortlessly into the curve of your being. Our lips were compelled and we must have disgusted friends and family with the intensity of our delight.  It was as though a mathematician had surely planned our affair. Everything was paced, week after week, month after month. The pinpoints of our love fell as deftly as the marks on a timeline. Tick tock. We interlocked like gears in a well-oiled machine, moving in grace and harmony, driving headlong beautifully and rhythmically. We came together like clockwork.

It was flawless.

We were perfect.

Looking back it seems that it was this immediate perfection that fated us. Really, how long can two people last, so passionately and fervently in love? How could it not be but to burn out or burn down? By the time we reinforced that perfection into the most secure of rapports, we found ourselves thoroughly trapped within it.

And we stopped like clockwork. There was a time to be together, and a time for it not. And that time came as consistently and as predictably as the clock striking midnight.

We disconnected as completely as we had joined together. I seemed to have no trouble putting you out of my mind, and you didn’t seem to as well. In fact there have been cycles of time in which I have forgotten about you completely. But then again, something inexplicable would once again remind me of you and there I’d be yet again, trekking over earth cultivated with the most exquisite memories. Like clockwork.

Yes, it was probably best that we concluded when we did. But you know there are just those times I just have to wonder but to think that things could have been different. Sometimes I, at the most mystifying of times like when brushing my teeth, or feeding quarters into the dryer at the all night Laundromat, for a lingering moment, convinced we should be together. At that instant, I’m was as positive as I am midnight comes after eleven o’clock …

You know Precious how that timeworn saying goes … Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Carly’s Violin

Posted in odds and ends, story with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2011 by Tim R Wilson

Another short story I did for lasts years fiction class ….

Carly’s Violin

The wise, ancient, musky scented wood felt velvety against her pale cheek. How it glistens and gleams. Hollows like windows into the soul. Who owned that violin? Whose hands slid, who admired the body like you? Like strings, it can respond to a single touch, playing out the notes you desire to hear. The violin can scream and whisper in crescendos, and for your great amusement, it sings high, low, every note in between.

She ran her thin fingers over the grooves and indentations, as if she was following a map to her destiny. In many ways she felt as though it was … Her muse and her meaning. Each string was plucked once with careful precision, checking for clear, clean tone, which called out to her very soul. It was perfect. The girl inhaled, pausing in that essential moment before the fragile strings of the bow make contact with the instrument below. The two were like temperamental lovers, and she brought them together to make magic, and the sweet music was born.

The world was lost in the moment. Half notes, whole notes, quarter, eighth, sixteenth notes. Unlocking hearts she plays, her fingers shifted around the neck, shimmering and shaking. Her eyes were closed, and to anyone who looked upon her, she appeared as a angel. As the music trembled into silence, she was surprised to see a young man standing so close. With a reluctant smile, he held out his hand.

In a moment the violin was in his hands. The girl stood behind the boy, pressing his soft, powerful fingers against the hard strings, molding his opposite hand around the wood bow. Momentarily the staccato, col legno, vibrato, crescendo were mastered with magical hands. She breathed with him, moving together to create that special moment. The music burned between them, and special it was. They had not experienced anything like it.

The boy surrendered the violin back to the girl, his face elated even as tears formed in his eyes. Quietly he reached into the depths his pocket, and dropped a few coins into the ragged fedora on the sidewalk.

“Please, play on.”

And so the girl did …


Posted in story with tags , , on June 7, 2011 by Tim R Wilson

Since this is finals week for me and I’ve finished 3 classes already with just my 2 art classes to go,would like to share another story of mine for my Fiction class. Feel free to critique!


Imagine … It’s the wee hours of the morning and you are sitting on a bench alone. It’s a public bench; it’s a Government Issue dark blue, plastic and very basic. But oddly enough, it’s not uncomfortable.

You are in the bowels of the earth in a large city. You are in a subway station and it’s that sort of tranquil period between trains. The curved graying white tiles are barely visible behind hundreds and hundreds of flyers, posters … thousands and thousands of fragmentary thoughts. Turning around, it’s like being in a mind-altering tornado. You are trying to read each flyer, but there are way to many, countless details, and you cannot possibly process all that information, so you just accept it and move along. Some of these colorful sheets are beginning to peel of the walls, dissipating as they float gently to the ground. For a moment there is silence …

Then you hear it, a rumbling coming from the tunnel. It is getting closer and closer. It’s beginning to shake the walls, and more and more flyers fall, like autumn leaves in a tempest, spiraling all around you. The train bursts into the station, blowing these thousands of impressions into oblivion. Then it stops. With a polite “ding”, the doors open. Suddenly … Thousands of new posters and flyers come flapping out of the train like pent up, escaping birds, and are now covering the walls. Then the door closes with another polite “ding” and the train goes off to meet its destiny. You are left once again with thousands and thousands of thoughts allotted to process. But really you are waiting for just one flyer.

Wouldn’t it be breathtaking, that just for once, that just the right flyer would land at just the right moment, which would make complete sense of it all?