Desert Star

She sat in the backyard up against the broken wired fence while “Norma, Act I: Casta Diva” blared from the speakers inside her house. For miles and miles there wasn’t another soul. Deep in the desert, not one person could place their filthy paws on her rose gold and precious being.

So she sat in the baking sun just as she did everyday and thought about the time when she was a child with her family. They were gone now but no one ever really disappears inside our memories. Now she was a loner. No one around to ask if she was doing okay. Even better. Food didn’t matter. Sometimes she got up at 3 in the morning and had her lunch, other times she buried her 11 o’clock breakfast deep in the dirt.

The music carried out of the broken windows and made everything around her seem finer. The vultures who sat in the trees moved their necks in a graceful but quick movement not unlike the swans she had watched when her father had taken her to the big lakes in the big towns, with the big headed people. Thank God I’m all alone. No one can find me out here. Daddy, why did you take me there?

It had been a little over 2 years since she packed a suitcase of belongings, clothes and one small picture frame with the face of her lovely mother. Then the rest of the car was packed with cans which she had stocked up on at the Dollar Mart. Spaghetti sauce but no pasta was not a problem for her. The cashier had looked at her oddly, but just like the rest of the world, he had been too afraid of what the answer might be if he had asked the simple questions, “Are you okay?”

Are you okay? Are you happy? Tell me, TELL ME. ARE YOU HAPPY?  The violins cut the desert sky and make her happy when she looked at the way the heat played tricks on her eyes. She enjoyed seeing the blue shake and tremble. She wished she could reach out and grab it. Immense joy came into her heart when the lizards danced to the master piece of Bellini. Dance, you bastards. DANCE. She didn’t hate the lizards. They weren’t like the snakes who made their own noise which always interrupted her masterpieces.

But she couldn’t stay in the sunlight forever like she wanted too. She had tried. The next day was a bad day for her when she tried and could feel a rawness in her burnt skin every time her hand brought food to her mouth. So she didn’t eat for a week and lost more weight. Not that she notice. She only notice how much closer the vultures seemed to come. She only noticed how graceful they looked when her music was at full volume and their large black and grey feathers stroked the air swift and mechanical, like giant machines waiting to work on her.

The sunlight was blinding, but she stared on out towards the hills even though it was slowly making her blind. On and on she stared waiting. For what? No body knew. She just knew that she was alone. No one will find me out her. They can’t hurt me anymore. Touch me with their dirty… Her whispers were lost in a stunning burnt sienna sunset. The surrounded hills were alive. Orange dunes, skies of fire. Flames of blue. She couldn’t see any of it, but she could feel the heat and remember when her family use to take her on road trips into Vegas, her father opening the vans door and the wave of heat flooding into her lungs and bringing her into a state of uneasiness and dread.

Finally, I’m at ease. The desert was good for her. As were the cactus’ that she liked to stop at and ask if they had seen her family and friends. Sometimes the cactus would answer her back with the reality of, You don’t have any family or friends. Most of the times she simply walked about, other times she would come back to that cactus and spit on it. But she was still human and would always regret it with tears that lasted into the early hours of the stunning dusk which swallowed her shack whole which she had found abandoned in the middle of no where.

No one will find me here. I’m free. She had found the end of the world, a place where not too many people see. Sometimes she was sure that they had found her, but she realized that the music helped to drown out the evil people who were after her. The music and love story within each note kept her safe from the tragedies other people had placed in her mind.

I’m safe. They left me. they can’t find me. I got away. 

He stood right before the plexiglass and looked into the white room which held prisoner number 1268. She was beautiful and intelligent in ways he had never seen before. He realized this the first time he stood in her room and heard her have a conversation with someone she called “Cactus” and spoke of the different colors in a sunset. He had never seen such smooth skin and bright green eyes, cheeks that glowed with shade of peach, especially with the amount of meds they were giving her. Wild red hair only added to her loveliness, but before all of that, madness ruled her mind. She had committed a crime unforgivable, which he didn’t care about. If he had, certainly he was fool for getting a job as the Psychiatrist and Physician at the State Penitentiary. He only cared about making sure his patient was better. Sometimes he whispered into her ear because it calmed her down. Other times he played some of his favorite classicals; Vincenzo Bellini, Nocturnes, Piano Sonata No.14 in C- Sharp Minor. She seemed to enjoy it, except when she spat at him and called him a vulture.

But he didn’t care, because he was a good man and he loved what he did. His job was to make sure his patients were comfortable despite the circumstances. After all, they were human beings. Crime or not, as long as he could feel the beat in their hearts he would love them.

She stared at the sun and noted that it had been brighter than the day before. It reminded her of the day her baby brother had been born and all the light in the world couldn’t amount to his laugh and sunshine. But now she was alone, with nothing but the cactus people, the beautiful vulture, and wired fence that was her only comfort.

She fell asleep in the sunlight, the sound of piano notes drowning out her miseries.

-Reva

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Lilies & Wildflowers

Instead of waking up to the sunlight showering in from the window, she woke to lips tracing her spine. Fire and ice, coffee in the morning. One thing on her mind. How soft things could be, how far gently things could push her. A skip and a hop off the face of the Grande Canyon. This notion went in and out of her mind like the parting of ships and the eyes of lovers sealed to the coast. She closed her lids, tight. I don’t want to wake up…I ain’t never going back.

But it was real as he turned her over and finally she looked him in the eyes. Whiskey in a teacup.

We’d be better as friends, she whispered into his ear the last time they had been together and hugged as if something big was about to happen. He had never said he loved her, and if he had, she might have laughed. But they both knew, despite the random insecurities that sprang to life which sang that they had been imagining everything. Not her love for him, but his for her. Sometimes it made her sad when she forsaw the possibilities of destruction. Someone always got hurt. She’s be damned if it was her. Black Heart Baby, what one of her exes use to call her. All in and all out was her moto, fighting off the sensations that were screaming at every corner. Three little words which in history had started wars, killed millions, and also created millions more. 143.

She didn’t love him. There were too many in the world who she hadn’t yet met. How the hell was she supposed to find the “One.” As if one existed in a mass of billions. She was sure that she’d find the one and that another one would be just as good and waiting for her. These are all things she had once told herself. But she liked how his lips felt at that exact moment pressed against her cheeks. A flower petal came to her mind. That of a little white orchid, like a ghost. How soft it was and how nice to touch. What would his face look like? She sank into the pillow and could feel how badly he wanted her, all in the motions on a gentle kiss. She sank further and thought about a dark concrete road curved and lined with smooth sands, how much it resembled their skins as he cupcaked her.

Soon she would be 40. That number scared her but not nearly as bad as the thought of someone unforgettable. The way he had kissed her, like a flower petal brushing against her, like a river taking her under, something she had never felt since. 1 year passed, nothing. 5 years passed, nothing. 15 years passed, still nothing. Yet she couldn’t forget how he had kissed her shoulder blade all the way to the curve in her hips and in those brief moments she wondered if he had also sent a message to her mind which made tears come to her eyes and force their way down her cheek rolling deeper and deeper into the white cotton pillow.

I love you. He loves me? I love you. I love you. And I’ll love you forever.  She told herself that she didn’t believe his bullshit, phony attachments, just as she had done with the others. The only difference with this one was that she wasn’t listening to false words but instead to his lips touched her skin and the pauses in between as he sank down to the dimples of her back. She could feel within those brief moments that he touched her, indeed he loved like madness and chaos. Like a crowd too excited, loss of all control. Words were not needed.

They had all wanted her. Their flaws had made her better, even stronger. So she spit them out like a mouth full of chewed gum.

He was different like a metal that never dulled. A sharp hook that would kill her if she tried to pull it out.

So she left it in and felt its tug every time she moved.

Now she was 64 years old and still waiting for the One. The one that would never be better than he who has kissed her so nicely and made her hear unsaid words which even today made her tired and weary, wishing for that moment when she had felt fire and ice.

-Reva

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