A Man in Starbucks

It was one of those days where I wanted to drive endlessly to nowhere. Driving was something I enjoyed more than anything. It made me escape reality, allowing me to briefly experience what it felt to be myself. As I was driving down the road, I had this weird feeling that I might meet someone I should not be meeting. The light turned red and the car stopped. People waiting on the sidewalk were now crossing the road, and amongst the crowd, I saw her.

Instinctively, I called out her name and waved my hands. As I was about to offer her a ride I realized. It was as if time itself had stopped. She was staring at me with her pale face, surprised. She was just standing there staring blankly at my face. People walking by were glancing back and forth at her and I. For approximately two seconds, we just stared at each other. It felt like forever, and I wished the moment lasted longer. I have not seen her face in a while. The traffic light changed and the cars behind me were honking. The honking interrupted our moment and she continued walking across the road. I tried to call her name once again but I could not. The honking was now full of irritation, demanding me to go forward, but I was not able to press the accelerator.

I was worried about her, that she might not be able to endure the pain. I was worried that she might have difficulties going through recovery. I was wrong, I was so very wrong. It made me feel better, when I saw you today on the street. You looked fine, which was a huge relief for me, but what is this that I am feeling right now? I was dumb, of course you are fine! Why would you not be? I was stupid. I really, truly, was worried for you. After all this time, finally meeting you again, I felt relieved.

I went into a nearby Starbucks to have a drink. A hot coffee would help me clear my mind. As I walked in, there you were, standing next to a man. He was tall and handsome, a perfect man that you deserve. You looked happy with that man. Our eyes met again and this time you nodded at me. I smiled back and slowly backed away before the man even had a chance to see me. I got into my car and started driving. I am happy to know that you have moved on. I hope you are happy with him, I mean it. You deserve to be with a better man. Today was one of those days where I wanted to drive endlessly to nowhere.

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When Life Gives You Lemons

When Life Gives You Lemons

When life gives you lemons,

However many lemons it may be,

Ever so slightly, squeeze them like

Native Americans chopping off a baby’s head.

 

Lemon or lime, the decision is real.

Its acid so deadly, it’s its only

Fatal flaw,

Ensuring that you’ll need a “lemon-aid”.

 

God gives you lemons, so make lemonade.

Instead, do not make lemonade,

Verify His existence by taking

Endless amounts of

Selfies with Him.

 

You might construct a crude electronic battery,

Or ask for salt and tequila.

Unless life also gives you sugar and water, in which case, make a lemonade.

 

Like Charles Dickens once said at a bar,

Entertaining everyone while ordering a

Martini,

Olive or twist?

“Neither,” said I, “I’ll have a-

Soup of urine instead.”

 

Each lemon is unique in its own way,

Avoiding to be like John Lemon,

The liquidated lemon.

 

Therefore, the lemons,

Holy as they may be, you must only

Eat them with

Me.

Slave Father

        After the Civil Rights law was passed, the topic of slavery has been all over the media. People who were once a slave, like me, were constantly requested to be interviewed. I always hated interviews, they ask too many questions.

        My drinking buddy’s nephew works as a journalist. He asked me if his nephew could interview me about my past experience. As much as I hated interviews, the amount of drinks I owed him was enormous. I decided to give him a chance.

        “Mr. Mundy, do you recall anything about your parents?”

        Ah, the question I hoped to avoid answering. The thought of my parents always brought tears to my eyes like squeezing a lemon juice from a dried lemon. “I have no memories about my mother. She died when I was two. She passed away while being transported to America. I don’t even know what she looked like.”

        “How about your father, do you remember anything about him?”

        “Yes, he was everything to me. He died when I was nine. He was a great man.”

        “Can you tell me about your father’s death?”

        This is why I hate interviews. They make you go through all the pain you had, again. “It was way back in the day. A couple months after my ninth birthday, our master hosted a party. Our master served in the army and he was promoted to General. I was nine, old enough to serve as a waiter. I was nervous. It was my first time at a party.

        “Guests slowly entered the mansion and soon the house was full of people. When everyone arrived, one of the guests rang the glass to get the crowd’s attention. He talked about the master’s promotion and everyone applauded. The party officially began and things started to fall apart for me.

        “I was only supposed to stand at the counter and pour wine in the glass. However, one of the slaves who was with us had to use the restroom. He asked me to serve drinks to the guests. I couldn’t protest about it because he left so fast. I took the tray and walked around the room. I was more nervous. I just walked around the room mindlessly when I bumped into something.

        “I bumped into the mayor’s wife. I spilled wine all over her dress. Her silk blue dress was soaked with bloody wine. She screamed and everyone’s eyes were now on us. I was scared and I only remember murmuring ‘I’m sorry ‘mam’ over and over. Suddenly, someone grabbed me by my shirt’s collar and threw me at the center of the room. It was my master. He apologized to the lady, and then to the mayor. He then turned towards me and punched the left side of my face.

        “The master said, ‘When training a dog, you have to start when it’s really young.’ And punched the right side of my face, ‘but the problem with that is they don’t know if they made a mistake. That’s why you have to give them a lesson.’ As the master was about to blow a final punch my father shouted, ‘stop!’

        “‘Please, stop.’ My father was on his knees begging. The master let go of my collar and walked towards my father. The master kicked my father in the face. He grabbed my father by his neck and started punching him in the stomach. ‘You see? This is what happen when you train them after they grow up. They’re too old to recognize their master,’ and punched my father’s face as he continued talking, ‘you dare tell me what to do? I’m going to kill you and your retarded son!’ The master grabbed his cane and was about to smack my father in the head.

        “The master was interrupted by the mayor. The mayor said, ‘Why don’t you give this man a chance? His son ruined the celebration. Let him entertain us.’ Then two men from the crowd grabbed my father by his arms and forced him to stand up. ‘I’ll let you have the honor, sir.’ The master handed the cane to the mayor. The mayor started beating my father. I looked away, but the master grabbed my head and forced me to watch my father being tortured. I saw my father being brutally abused for God knows how long. The crowd cheered and laughed at us. Once my father went unconscious, the master ordered the slaves to take him out of the room. They placed him on his bed, but he didn’t make it. A few days later he left me alone.”

        As I finished my story, my buddy’s nephew was speechless. Silence filled the room for a few minutes. “I… I’m sorry about your father.”

        “People come and people go. It happens every time. I believe that we should never forget what they did to us. Not to take revenge on them, but to remind ourselves to not be like them. We were treated like a dog, or maybe worse than that. The important thing is, we managed to live through that hell. In the end, we survived and it made us stronger.”

The Pierrot’s Tear

        Once upon a time, in a distant island kingdom of Paenitentia lived a young peasant girl who had the sweetest and most beautiful smile in the world. News about the peasant girl with such beauty incomparable to anything else in the world that even the goddess of beauty, herself was jealous quickly spread like a forest caught on fire. Men all over the world traveled to Paenitentia in hopes of marrying, or at the very least see the peasant girl. The kingdom was full of men from different ages, classes, and professions. From kings and princes of one of the strongest and most prosperous kingdoms to the lowest of the lowest peasants, men lined up in front of the peasant girl’s home every day confessing their love to her. However, each time a man confessed his love he was politely rejected by the peasant girl. No jewelry that shined brighter than the sun or silk that was smooth as a babe’s skin moved the peasant girl’s heart, for her heart was taken by another man, Pierrot.

        One day, the peasant girl was walking back home after running an errand for her father. She was walking through the town square that was busy and crowded as usual. As the peasant girl reached the center of the town square where all the commotions were happening, she saw shop owners yelling ‘buy this, buy that’ while arguing with customers who are bargaining for lower prices and gypsies who were begging for money while pick-pocketing a fine gentleman’s watch and handkerchief. The town square was like a pen filled with a herd of panicked sheep running around frantically bumping into each other and ‘baa’-ing in the air. Amidst all the yelling and stealing there was something that caught the peasant girl’s attention.

        It was a young man, a Pierrot, performing in front of the fountain that stood at the very center of the town square. Pierrot, with his swift but accurate movements, captivated the audience with his charming charisma and mind-boggling performance that left the audience speechless. As the peasant girl watched the performance in awe, her eyes met Pierrot’s. It was only for a few seconds, but in that few seconds, which felt like forever, the two looked through their eyes and into their souls. Although neither of them spoke to each other, in that short but also one of the longest moments of their lives, they silently agreed on one thing, they were in love.

        For many days and many nights, Pierrot searched the entire kingdom to find the girl that watched his performance among the crowd. Never in his life had he met someone so out-of-this-world, someone so impeccable, that literally slowed down his time. During that short few seconds, everything in the world became irrelevant except for her existence and nothing came into his mind but her. The news about a peasant girl who was so beautiful that even the goddess of beauty herself was jealous finally reached to Pierrot. As soon as the news reached his ears, Pierrot’s legs were already in action. Pierrot ran was fast as he could. He ran so fast that not even the kingdom’s fastest horse could outrun his speed. When Pierrot arrived at the peasant girl’s dwelling, he saw the girl, and so did she.

        About a week later, Pierrot and the peasant girl got married. The newlyweds were living a happy life until one day when the peasant girl was sewing, she pricked her finger. The peasant girl who never cried let out a single droplet of tear. The tear fell and crystallized into a diamond that shined bright as the sun and was clear as water. Pierrot was amazed at what he just witnessed. The peasant girl tried to explain the situation, but none of that mattered to Pierrot. Since that day, Pierrot abused the peasant girl, beating her until she cried and her tears crystallized into diamonds. Pierrot would then take that diamond and spend it. Week after week, Pierrot would come back home drunk and start beating the peasant girl.

        One day, the peasant girl could not take it anymore. There was no longer Pierrot she saw at the town square. The man she loved was long gone, consumed by greed. Pierrot no longer performed. He stopped bringing joy and laughter to his audience. The smile disappeared from the peasant girl and in an effort to bring the old Pierrot back, Pierrot she knew and loved, she decided to sacrifice herself. That night, Pierrot came home drunk as usual and was looking for the peasant girl. The peasant girl came and greeted Pierrot with a red diamond, as big as a grown man’s fist, shining so bright it looked like an actual sun burning. Pierrot, excited, took the diamond and as he did the peasant girl took her own life.

        The blood dyed the carpet floor with red that burned harder than Pierrot and the peasant girl’s love. Realizing what he had done, Pierrot cried and cried for days and nights. He regretted what he did, but the water was already spilled and there was no going back. Pierrot finally got hold of himself and decided to spend the rest of his life, bringing joy and laughter to people, just like his dead wife wanted him to. Since then, whenever Pierrot performed, he put on a white makeup all over his face and drew tears under his eyes. To forget what he had done, in each of his performances, Pierrot danced and laughed so hard that people mistook him as a lunatic. At the end of each performance, Pierrot would end with a song:

“Tears of blood trickle down my chin,
I smile and dance in your heart.
The marks I left unknowingly,
Spreads so fast like flesh eating disease.
I anxiously find you in my dreams.”

                  5692c6cd9998f6b58ec4553363c8425e

Eden – Prologue

        It was a familiar scenery. A night sky where stars were all dancing in harmony, shining their beautiful, sparkling light across the vast emptiness of the dark night sky. The moon was the brightest, shinning its bright moonlight as if it was bragging on how magnificent its light was to all the stars. It was a celestial celebration, a wedding perhaps. Below the starry night sky lied a forest full of various species of trees where their treetops formed a canopy that blocked out all the lights the stars and the moon were emitting.  The forest seemed like it had no end. Its darkness showed nothing but emptiness of space that was about to swallow anything it entered for all of eternity like a creature that was starving for centuries. Inside the forest was pitch black, so dark your eyes could not even adjust to the darkness. Suddenly, the ground started shaking as if it was about to split and open the entrance to the underworld, although it was impossible to see, there was definitely something coming out from the ground. The treetop that formed a never-ending canopy shredded and disappeared revealing a gigantic serpent rising from the ground with all the glory in the universe. It had an enormous body with its scale so smooth you could see the reflection of a starry night sky and the moon. The white, venomous fang it had along with its slithering tongue was so daunting it was able to scare a man full-grown like an infant babe. The serpent had eyes so dark like ebony but also shined brighter than the stars and the moon above it and anyone who saw it froze, impressed by its exceptionally pure eyes that contained all the evil in the universe. It was as if your soul was sucked right out of you, falling into a never-ending pit of darkness. The serpent shifted its head and gazed at something in the distance, still like a giant boulder but with eagle’s alertness that seemed like it was reading its prey’s mind, expecting its next move. Without a warning, the serpent leaped and snatched into the direction it was gazing at…

*        *        *

        Dilfqhs woke up with sweat covering all of his body as if he just came out from the showers and the moisture on his skin was not fully dried. He was panting, gasping for air like someone who was just rescued from drowning. He looked outside the window, it was still dark and everyone was asleep emitting a silence that briefly made you believe that time has stopped. Everything was so calm and peaceful like the rhythmic waves on the shore sloshing and there were no worries, no fear, no hatred, and no anger. After all, it was Eden, how can there be any of these, these people do not even understand or grasp the concept of evil to begin with. Dilfqhs was different, he knew the concept of those words. He did not know what they meant, but he had the slightest idea of what they were supposed to be. It was as if someone or something was feeding him these concepts bit by bit, slowly taking control of him. The thought gave him goosebumps and he shuddered. He went back to sleep.

        Eogks could not fall asleep. Every time he did, an image indescribable and unimaginably horrifying appeared like a never-ending movie on a loop that stopped only when he woke up. He could not remember what he saw, or at least he did but could not describe what he saw, but the fear of what he saw was vivid, and that was what made him scared of falling asleep. He would wait until the sun would rise but eventually fall asleep and the never-ending nightmare would start again. He tried telling his friends and family about things he saw during night, but that was the worst part, there were no words to describe the horrific scenery he saw. Even Eogks himself did not fully understand what he was seeing. Every night was a never-ending cycle of nightmares full of grotesque and horrifying images of things that he was never able to fully understand the meaning behind it. The longer he tried to stay awake, the more vivid the images were. One time Eogks managed to stay awake for three days without sleeping, and when he finally did fall asleep, it was the worst night of his life, full of horrible and terrible images that were all so clear and vivid. Tonight was no exception, eventually Eogks fell asleep.