A Musing Tale For Two, Three & Seven | Short Story

As the smoke swirled, Seven pushed at her temple to dull the pain and reel in relief at the realization that she’d not only survived, she’d pulverized him. Them. She’d denied them her extinquishment by the Demon disguised as Sisyphus in noble despair and his allies. Seven had once been an ally too, one of many that learned too late, that his pleas for protection are from his own orchestrations.

One after another, they’d placed their feet over the steps of the previous muse, believing they’d obliterated his disconsolate past. They were his healers, celestially heralded of course, and each proclaimed as the most extraordinary. Each an intricate weaving of beauty & grace until every strand of that understanding was pulled, crushed and tossed. The quintessential death by a 1000 cuts; slash by tiny slash, they were to be broken down and bled …for his pleasure.

Only one remained, number Three. It still believed in the script; It was the most inclined because It was trained to be. It was raised with the sensibility of a good and loyal and refined Republican, where desire for approval is ingrained and longing to be seen burns deep. Keeping them hungry is the most effective Republican control and Three was the hungriest. Three yearned for the rewards of applying oneself – praise, praise, and praise be to those who praise. It took only a moment to affect humility when fed a fresh, crispy glory morsel.

Three was most like him – claiming to be a gentle soul fighting evil, especially for women, even while triumphantly clinking wineglasses with him, partner in joy & melancholy, this limited modern Aristotle/Martin Luther combo. They’d bonded over their number one tenet: Don’t tell me what I can’t do. These sort are also rarely accustomed to admitting error. Oh, how the Demon appreciated how easy Three made Itself for molding.

Seven saw Three now alone on the field – she watched for a while as It scrambled for attention, begging for more and more approval and admiration. She smirked at all of Its contortionist squirming to meet real daring, to be regarded as genuine badassery while still being the picture of educated refinement. Seven watched as It continued to vie for the top of a heap that never really existed.

Seven was reminded of it all, while comforted within the safety of Michael’s wings and sword. She knew the inevitable ending and although Three’s arrogance made the thought of Its own unwinding amusing, she knew even a conceited Three was also a victim. Still, she also knew even if Three was warned with a literal Demon mind-reading presentation, Three wouldn’t budge from Its self-coveted title of latest ‘number one compassionate soul’.

Three would never admit that It never actually saw a real tear from the Demon, nor that his every manipulation always pulled Three back from any logic, always replaced with emotional diversion. No, It’s too smart to fall for that, after all he’d acknowledged Its many karats of perfection over and over. He’d heroically shored up Its inner warrior: “Join the rebellion, show some skin, say the word fuck out loud in public more”. Ooo, such a trouper, that Three be.

Three would learn that Its own ‘growth’ was only about being exposed for what It really was all along. Every word, every photo, every plea for following… It’s a tricky world alright, but especially for a muse willfully blinding Itself for the win.  All the Numbers reveled in the knowledge that smugness too, is a temporary state.

Despite the humiliation, the Demon constantly reaches for her, but Seven, like the others was already in a place untouchable by his lowliness. The nightmare of shallow Demons & their Fems is temporary hellfire for most.

As Michael ascended, Seven became aware of the Demon’s lock of hair still caught in her fingers. She unwound it and held it over one of the fires. She smiled as the flames lifted and seized it, and the battle pains eased as the field of charred red and its last inhabitants faded from sight.

RL

Weird Normal & Cancer Envy; Part One of Bear With Me

Friends, Ed & E called. They were concerned, curious mostly about the intensity and/or emotional topics on my recent posts, and because I’ve been missing in action.

Bear With Me 4I have been quieter in general, but to address some of their concern, I explained that I usually write about my or other’s experiences in the way they felt at the time of the occurrences. It gives the impression they all happened recently, but really they could have happened yesterday or thirty years ago.

I do mix them up because while they make the point that I want, it also protects people who may need shielding.  I also just like to indulge in a little mystery for fun.

Admittedly, the events of late are not all related to that fun; they have been more unusually taxing. So yes, I’ve been more reserved in my activities and have expressed more personal poignancy in my posts.

I manage a rare disease within my daily routine. For the most part everything about me seems pretty normal, except for when this disease bounces my world into chaos.

To explain the beast in 10 words or less – it’s an inflammation-based disease of all kinds of irritation, but mainly it unpredictably interferes with organ function and defies prognosis.  It’s a pick an organ, any organ to screw with when it’s bored or cranky, kind of bastard. I call these visits by it, the ‘big ones’.

Friends may observe it has pounced by my newly inhibited movement, or noticeable weight loss, or I might be hospitalized for months engaged in hand to hand combat with the Grim Reaper. Sometimes he’s content to just gnaw on a limb for a few weeks.

The moments in between these time-outs are the same as most – work, growing kids, growing me, up days, down days, and once in a while even surviving catastrophic days unrelated to my health.

This fall, previously written about on the loss of someone I loved, and the pain of a betrayal, played into that old myth that these sort of events come in threes.

So, in the midst of the hell, number three showed up, in the form of another scary, frustrating flare-up. It would take another post to detail it and I’d rather leave it at saying I acquired a painful syndrome that they say will take a couple of years to unwind. It also triggered a former crisis. Let the good times roll.

Of course, I’m scared. Yes it troubles me, and yes, I’ve cried. Navigating pain is tricky business & each of these events makes me feel just a little bit or a lot bit, lost at times. There is a real aura of alone because I am in some ways, the least of which is that I have never met anyone who has my disease.

Not that I wish for someone else to have it for company.  It can stir up a weird head space though.  I’ve actually envied cancer patients.  They have so much support, myriad services and immediate sympathy.  And ready understanding.

Once I walked out of a private ‘washroom for disabled’ and a woman waved her cane and loudly castigated me, “You should know this room is for the disabled!”

I’d used the privacy to deal with a temporary drainage bag attached into my belly. I only stared at her, feeling indignant embarrassment as I brushed past her. I wish I would have said something to puncture her presumptions and I still can’t believe I didn’t…

That experience was too new for me to think fast enough.  Maybe.  Probably, I was drugged. I’d later considered wearing a scarf to cover my hair – chemo hair-loss style – whenever I was struck by the big ones. I eventually got over that and earned another level of psyche strength; I definitely don’t feel obligated to always explain myself anymore.

Which leads me toward the point of this post. Well, it will somewhere down the line.

Hindsight is 20/20 when measuring growth through adversity, but when awesome reader/friends, Rebekah Ingram & Randall Willis, zinged me with some gorgeous insight, there was an intriguing moment of ‘aha’!

Their views pointed me to observing the growth & changes in me as they are occurring. Maybe we call it 10/10 forevision. This means I’m paying attention to what’s going on in my feelings, body & spirit now, during these trials, rather than surviving and processing later.

Along with mom & dad flying across the country to hug & assist me, I believe applying this new aspect could, in some ways, help me heal a little faster.

It’s another work in progress, but I look forward to seeing what’s being brought to me and through me with this new process. I’ll start in gratitude to these friends for sharing their caring hearts at just the right time.

 

Monday Blues and Champagne

Monday Blues 1-1
…And so I got a little bit drunk on a Monday afternoon….
It was just a little bit too much to deal with, all the bad news of the fall…
It was just a little bit too much.
No, I don’t do this often… I don’t do it often at all actually,
But today, I did
Because the sound of silence was not a comfort today.
Today the silence threatened to silence, even me.
A little champagne with the omelette,
To dampen despondency … to throw a block at that insidious intrusion sneaking in …
The judge that reminds me of my failures, blames me for my losses, wants to decline my sense of safe esteem.
I did get a little bit drunk
To evade the judgement that sentences me to self-recriminating hell for losing to the merely inane.
I got a little bit drunk this afternoon,
When all the meditation in the world wasn’t enough.
So I could instead turn to only the encouragement of lovely, thinking people.
So I could feel the comfort of gorgeous words that were written to assuage my fears.
So, I could remember that these people matter, and to know that the insidious, more than anything,  especially on Mondays, could use … a little champagne.

RL

Silence

There are no words worthy of the gratitude I feel toward the people who champion me in the hard times as much as during the laughs. I raise my glass to the ones who prod me to carry on, and carry on with my words even within my fears that I will give away too much.
To the ones whose own words speak so directly to my heart that they give me a strength they can’t possibly imagine – thank you… thank you… thank you…
To the women who worked so efficiently to enlighten me about what is, thank you.

Photo Credit: Darren Quarin, Quarin Photography, “A Glimmer of Hope”