Masquerade Plans

I’ve been working on this story for a while, but I suddenly realized that it was perfect to post for Halloween, so I pushed myself to get it finished. I didn’t quite make it, but two days past isn’t bad.

This is a story of budding romance between two men. There aren’t any sex scenes, but there is some kissing, and some cussing. Hope you enjoy!


Cameron

Cameron had the perfect plan. After three years of planning, it should be perfect. No need to talk, check. He couldn’t screw this one up by choking on his own tongue. Unfortunately, that had actually happened on several previous attempts. Simple logistics, check. Nothing that could melt, burn, or otherwise required precise timing, which he had also learned from previous attempts. Easy escape if it failed, check. He was fairly sure he could pull off the “Oh, that was you? I totally thought you were someone else” excuse. Even if it wasn’t entirely believable, Enrique would probably let him get away with it. It would be awkward of course, but he doubted that kind of awkward would be any worse than the awkward he was currently suffering.

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Do you know what abuse looks like?

I started this post as the introduction to You Lured Me In. What Changed?, but when I realized that the introduction was becoming longer than the poem, I decided to make a separate post for it.

The poem came out of the aftermath of a relationship that went from mutually beneficial to abusive in a short span of time. A common misconception about abuse is that it only occurs in romantic relationships or between family members. This was not a typical abusive relationship. It was in no way romantic, and neither my friend nor I wanted it to be, but she and I had known each other since kindergarten, and there was a lot of history between us. I lived with her for most of a year in 2014-2015, and near the end of that time I decided that I couldn’t live with her anymore. At that time, things were still fairly good between us, but she had started smoking (again), which I have had a strong aversion to my whole life, and she was planning to relocate when the lease was up. She wanted me to move with her, but the new location would be very inconvenient for me and though I considered moving with her, in the end I decided not to. Read more

For S

I make friends in weird ways. This was made abundantly clear to me as I prepped this poem for posting. This was written on September 21, 2009 after S, a then-acquaintance, went on a rant, in large part as a result of a mutual friend having a melodramatic pity party. S, for whom this poem was written, has been on the short end of the stick a lot. I didn’t know how much when I wrote this, though the tip-of-the-iceberg problems I heard about during the aforementioned rant were pretty intimidating on their own. Two years after writing this, I found things coming full-circle with another rant, and the perfect time to share this poem with her. S is now my closest friend, and we have shared a lot: international travels, strange edibles, learning, teaching, dressing up, dressing down, pants-free zones, and so much more. With much love…


You say you want to get off your knees
You are tired of begging
A little bit of help, a little bit of Understanding
The world seems to say they cannot be yours
I want to hold the world back for you
But it washes through me to batter at you
As though I am an insubstantial ghost
I want to be your anchor
I want to hold you back
As you look over the edge, prepared to jump
You do not know me well enough for that
I have faith in you
One day you will look over the edge
Not at death
But at a chance to spread your wings
One day you will soar

Camus’s Question

This one was a homework assignment: Pick a specific poem format, and write a poem in that format. It had to be something with a specific structure, not a freeform poem. This was not the first time I wrote a sestina for a homework assignment. The first one was about frogs. I don’t know where that one is, but if I find it somewhere in my piles of papers, I’ll definitely post it for you all. I really like the cyclical structure of the sestina. I recently read that it was most often used for a complaint poem back in the day, which makes some sense, since whiners tend to repeat themselves ad nauseam. I haven’t ever used the sestina for whining, but I’ve certainly found that it’s not suitable for every topic. You have to find a topic that naturally has a cyclical feel.

This sestina is based on an internal debate I had after talking to a friend who thought she might commit suicide. Fortunately, she’s still alive and kicking, and more emotionally stable now. This was crafted over a two-week period, and finished on October 6, 2008.


Camus once said the only question
worth asking is Should I give up?
Does this world have depth of meaning,
and is that meaning now enough
to keep me in this world and living,
or should I just let go and die?

I know a girl who wants to die,
to answer that important question.
She says she cannot go on living,
it’s not worth it to keep this up.
The things she has are not enough
to keep this life enriched with meaning.

Before I never questioned meaning.
I haven’t had the urge to die.
The things I have are just enough.
With confidence I answer the question.
I watch the sun go climbing up.
I have no reason for not living.

In fact I find such joy in living,
in everything I find a meaning.
Every day I’m climbing up.
It’s not that I’m afraid to die,
it’s just that, facing this big question,
I don’t see why it’s not enough

She says she cannot find enough
of joy or meaning to keep her living.
She hardly dares to face the question,
‘cause after death there is no meaning.
I think that she’s afraid to die,
but wants the pain to give her up.

She struggles with just giving up
and tells me I don’t know enough
to understand her wish to die.
She cannot understand why living
carries for me the ultimate meaning,
how I rejoice and Camus’s question

Came once asked a question about giving up
I find that life has meaning and that it’s enough
I have reason to go on living until it’s time to die

What You Mean to Me

I didn’t title this one when I wrote it, but I think it deserves I a title. It’s one of my longest personal/diary pieces, written on October 2, 2007. This is about a wonderful person who I connected with unexpectedly. Have you ever met someone you were convinced was enlightened? I think he might be. He has some of the clearest eyes I have ever seen on a human being. Jeff, thank you for being you.


I tried to tell you several times
Exactly what you mean to me
I don’t know if you heard what I meant
Threaded in between the words I said
Maybe you did
You’re good at listening to me
I wanted you to understand
That I’ve never met anyone like you
It seems we only just met
And yet
It seems as though I’ve known you for a lifetime
Somehow when you smile at me like that
Listening with more than just your ears
You open up my soul
Like the sun opens up a flower
And I’m not afraid
I know that you will come and go without trampling the grass
Without plucking the growing things
It took others years to find my secret garden
I don’t know how you got there so fast
But I’m glad to see you there
I’m not in love with you
But I think someday I will love you
Just as I love all my family
In you I see a road stretching out ahead
A road that is beautiful
A road that is terrifyingly new and strange
A future that has not been built on history
It just appeared when you walked into my life
So I will walk with you
To the end of that road
Where a wrinkled old woman
Smiles across a table
At a grey-haired old man and says
“I have known you for a long time”
And the old man smiles back
I tried to tell you what you mean to me
Several times
I don’t know if you could hear what I meant
But you probably could
You’re good at listening to me