An August Morning Better Spent by Barry B. Wright

Girl Under the Window

It was 4:00 A.M. Rain smashed against the bedroom window; howling winds pushed tree branches to and fro along the siding like fingernails across a chalkboard.

Too driven by daily routine to remain spooned against my wife, I carefully, so as not to disturb her, slid out of the comfort of our warm bed and into my slippers. Grabbing my dressing gown from the chair beside the door I put it on before heading downstairs.

I stared out the living room window. Ugh! Depressing, I thought. It’s more like the grey days of November than early August. An involuntary shiver seemed to emphasize that very point as the wind threw another bucket of water at the window.

Normally, I met each day with vim and vigor but today my oomph was beginning to poof.

I must change my perspective; I must re-focus. Some soft jazz and a shave and shower should do the trick, I thought. And, sure enough, by the time I returned to the kitchen for my granola, milk and fruit, I was loaded for bear.

To my surprise, my lovely wife, who usually slept late on weekends, was curled up on the loveseat under the side window in the living room. I could not pass without stopping to drink in her beauty. I had to touch her and smell her hair. Close to her, I knelt on one knee. Her eyes opened and she smiled.

“I didn’t mean to awake you,” I said stroking her hair.

“You didn’t. Go get ready while I fetch you your breakfast.”

As always, I had prepared my gear the night before and had left it in the mudroom. Unless I got a lucky break in the weather, which seemed unlikely, my forty kilometer cycle today would likely be a difficult one.

Fifteen minutes later, after she gave me a very warm, lengthy and lascivious embrace, I cycled away feeling somewhat flushed and reflective.

The tall trees on either side of the road afforded me a brief but pleasant respite from the sheets of rain. I glanced back at our home. Our bedroom light turned off; at the window was her outline; then, the curtains were closed.

The land opened up into flat fields on either side. Nature was furious and I was her prey. Cycling into head winds was grueling as rain pellets stung sharply and slashed at my face. I had prepared with my weather-proofed gear but, nonetheless, I felt soaked through and through. And, I had barely begun.

It wasn’t long before my senses came to a consensus that my mettle was not up to the challenge…today.

I turned for home.

The house was dark and quiet as I slipped out of my gear. I hung each item on a makeshift clothes line in the laundry room and dried myself down.

Butt naked, I ascended the stairs to the bedroom.

Climbing into bed, I snuggled up close to her and wrapped my arm around her waist. Her hand touched my thigh and followed it up. She moaned and backed in closer.

“We’ve got lots of time,” she giggled. “That silly husband of mine is out cycling in that mess and won’t be back for hours.”

For a flicker of a moment I froze, stunned by her remark. That is, until the light bulb in my head went on.

Advertisements

Trolling with Wordsworth by B. B. Wright

Trolling with Wordsworth

Trolling with Wordsworth

A Short Story by B. B. Wright

 

Hardly able to contain myself, I stepped down from the driver’s side and took in several heaping lungfuls of the sweet pine air. Memories of my childhood made me giggle in its rush.

“It feels so good to be here again. Don’t you think, Julie? It’s been far too long. Aaah-oooooooooooooh! Aaah-ooooooooooooooh!”

“What the hell are you doing?” She asked as she exited the passenger side of the vehicle.

“It’s my wolf call.”

“I guessed that. But w-h-y? Do you think that’s wise?”

Having a low tolerance for such tomfoolery, I assumed she was somewhat discombobulated by my attempt at mimicry.

“Wise? It has nothing to do with being wise. It’s all about letting go and embracing the moment, Julie. Anyway, there aren’t any wolves in the area…I don’t think. Do you hear it?”

“What? That distant howling?” And, with a dismissive wave, she headed to the back of the SUV.

“I don’t hear any howl…Oh…I see…you’re just joshing me. You’d think I would have learned after forty years of marriage.” Joining her, I said: “Julie, just stop and listen for a moment.”

“What am I suppose to hear?” she asked as she opened the trunk of the van.

“Nothing. Only the serenity of silence and nature. And those smells! Aren’t they wonderful?”

Her askance look bellowed ‘ARE YOU CRAZY OR SOMETHING?’

“Julie, why don’t we leave the unpacking till later, eh? And run down to the dock?”

“Run? Down that rocky path?” She asked, cocking her head in the direction of the pathway. “You’ve got to be kidding?! You are kidding aren’t you? You’re not are you?!”

“Okay! Okay! I get it! Not run then. We’d go… carefully. It could be a serendipitous moment. What do ye say?”

The call of a loon caught our attention and for a moment we stood in silence listening until Julie piped up with: “I’m starving, you know? It’s long past my lunch time.”

I broke out into a cold sweat.

Unfortunately for me, I’d been on the wrong end of Julie’s mood swings when, in the blink of an eye, I’d seen her change from Jekyll to Hyde. And, it always starts with “I’m starving.”

My thoughts are already rushing ahead to ‘circling the wagons’ and screaming: FEED HER! FEED HER, NOW! AND QUICKLY!

Tentatively I asked: “Julie? There is a barbeque at the dock and we could cook that partial package of wieners we have in the cooler on it?”

Immediately, she stopped pulling out her suitcase.

I had struck the right chord.

“Picnic?” she queried.

Breathing a sigh of relief and trying to contain my excitement over this totally unexpected possibility, I replied: “Yes dear…a picnic.” Eagerly, I pulled out the cooler and set it on the ground. “We can use the picnic table already down there to eat on.”

“We’ll need a table cover to put the plates on, John.”

“It should still be in the boathouse. Let’s go.”

Twenty minutes later, we had finished our lunch of hotdogs and salads. Or at least Julie had. As for me, I was tucking away my third dog while I watched her place the lids back on the salad containers.

The lake was as smooth as glass and it was early enough in the season that the lake wasn’t abuzz with motorboats and the general busyness of cottagers.This was the opportunity I was waiting for: a romantic row on the lake. I had even remembered to tuck a collection of Wordsworth poetry in my pocket for the occasion.

“Julie? Once you’ve put the salads in the cooler, why don’t we take a row on the lake?”

“That sounds wonderful, John.”

“Well…there is a hitch.”

“A hitch?”

“Ah…yes…You’ll need to do the rowing.”

Her look was less surprised than it was darn right scary. The kind of look which shouted: IF I COULD KILL YOU RIGHT NOW I WOULD.

“Only initially,” I continued. “You see I have a romantic surprise for you. And I’ll need to sit at the back of the boat to do it justice.”

After a few awkward moments entering the boat, the two of us took up our positions, she at the oars and me at the stern, and pushed away from the dock. Five minutes out, I retrieved my small, telescopic fishing rod from my inner pocket and unrolled the line with the fly I had tied from the previous evening. From my other pocket I pulled out the first page of poetry entitled Love from my shirt pocket and, as I trolled, I began to read it to her:

“All Thoughts, all Passions, all Delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal Frame,
All are but Ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.”

A momentary tug at my fishing line interrupted my reading. Testing the line I decided it was a false alarm and I continued to read:

“Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o’er again that happy hour,
When midway on the Mount I lay
Beside the Ruin’d Tower…”

And, I thought, this moment could not be better: Wordsworth and fishing.

“Isn’t this romantic Julie?”

“URRRRRGH !”

The Road by B. B. Wright

Unsplash Eight“Should I approach? How long has it been since I last saw them together? Saw them, now there’s a lark. I don’t give a hoot about them. It’s only her I care about. Silly after all this time not being able to shake her from my thoughts but, then, I haven’t really tried very hard.

I remember a time when I thought she was THE ONE. Funny thing… she still is. Love has a tendency to do that I’ve been told. He told me that…my best friend did. Still, did she ever think I was THE ONE if even only for a brief moment? A part of me says “yes” she must have because when you’ve shared “I love you,” there is no other answer. Or is there? Come to think of it, I’ve never explored that other side before. And I don’t want to.

She’s looking back this way; I’d better pretend I’m entering this doorway.

I thought I had come to know her; that she had revealed all her fascinating, even mysterious and frustrating complexity. But, by the time our relationship ended I had discovered that I hadn’t even scratched the surface of her inner life. That revelation still confounds me. Yet, I must admit that all that time we spent together was nothing short of miraculous. For me, that is. Was it for her?

How did our relationship become unglued? Was I blind or just too preoccupied with my own needs to forget that she too had needs? I remember the day she left as if it were yesterday. The vindictiveness in her tone is still raw in my memories. I cringe with the thought that she was right when she called me a “selfish jerk.” I do hope that I have changed since then. God knows how hard I have tried.

Why are they here though? This was our favorite location not theirs.

The sound of metal hitting metal still reverberates through my memory with its angry sound; it still fills me with deep remorse and sadness. Why did I drink so much that evening? I should never have been driving. That damn accident became an ever widening ink-spot on our relationship.

How was I supposed to have known she was pregnant?! She never told me. Come to think of it, why didn’t she? Was she seeing him at the time? Maybe it was…no, I won’t go there.

Should I smile if we shake hands? Can I do that? The bastard now holding her hand once was my best friend!

I’ve been told time heals but it doesn’t. I know I can’t change what happened. No one can.

Did she ever forgive me? I would never expect her to forget. How could she. I can’t.

There’s…a small child with them…I guess I am pleased…

She’s moved on with her life. But I can’t. What happened continues to lay waste to my present.

Strange…I’ve rehearsed over and over again what I would say and do if this unlikely opportunity occurred and now that it’s here…well…I’m traumatized to say the least.

I must leave. My thirst for liquor pulls at my vulnerable strings and my oath to the soul of my unborn daughter “to never drink again” may be shattered if I stay. I will not let that happen.

The road ahead leading into the Town Square and in the opposite direction is wistfully reassuring. I must quicken my pace. Unfortunately for me I have chosen a direction that provides no resolution.

Who is it that runs so quickly behind me? Her voice, its lilt, though breathless, is familiar to me.”

“Gerald! Wait! We must talk,” she called out.

Each Seed That Grows

Each Seed That Grows
by
B. B. Wright
In Memory of Allan “Bush” Armour

November 14,1963 – December 13, 2014

Allan LoungingEach sunrise and sunset brings me closer to my end.
Will I be remembered after I am dead?
Will my notes played upon my strings still resonate with you?
Each day that I awoke I did my best to use the gifts I have within.
When I failed, I accepted, learned and moved ahead;
I understand that life is life
And how I meet it is what makes the difference.
Still, life seems so unjust in how it’s meted out.
The warm brush of your kiss against my cheek,
and your gentle touch, arms me for what lies ahead.
When lost and sick at heart for what I’ve done and not done
Your eyes uplift me.
Once, spring’s rebirth led me into the sweet warmth of summer’s months.
Now, autumn leaves and winter winds have arrived too quickly.
I have barely left a footprint if one at all.
As I hear the loving voices near me,
distant though they seem,
I know that as memories are passed forward and live,
then, so do I.
I am weary my love.
The strength you’ve given me I must now relinquish.
And, though it is not my choice to do so,
it is time for me to go.
But, remember.
That from the beginning through the end of each year
and as long as memories last and grow,
I am part of you and part of each seed that grows.