The Paradox of Love

Photo by Zackary Drucker as part of Broadly’s Gender Spectrum Collection. Credit: The Gender Spectrum Collection. Made available to media outlets via Creative Commons. No derivatives, no commercial use. See guidelines here: broadlygenderphotos.vice.com/guidelines (picture of a couple holding hands)

It’s not like I want

You to live in fear for me

I’m just glad you care

What Did I Do This Past Week Writing-Wise?

Source: (picture of a notebook with a pen resting on it)
  • I made a submission to a Medium Pub
  • I made a submission to a WordPress pub
  • I edited a short story I’ve been working on a lot. It’s not done yet
  • I updated this blog daily… Yay!
  • I stayed up too late writing Haikus and had to suffer through 12 hours of my day job without enough sleep…
  • I joined a top secret writing group (shhhh)
  • I wrote daily in my dream journal (it’s super weird in there)
  • I started a bunch of things and struggled with feeling blocked
  • I pushed through it. 🙂
  • I wrote a piece to submit to a writing contest

What has everyone else been up to?

An Open Letter to my Crappy Boss

Source (picture of a stop sign set against a cloudy sky)

Dear Barbara,
I’m struggling to understand
What possesses you
To behave so spitefully
In nearly all of our interactions.
Was there something specific
I did to upset you?
Or are you driven by
Some internal greed
For the kind of power
Given only to
Middle managers?
I’m asking because
I’m losing the ability
To give a Fuck
About your feelings
Or even pretend to…
As you might have noticed
After that one time
You know the one…
The time I said
“Fuck you.”
Right to your face
But, of course,
It wasn’t deserved
Or in any way earned
By your actions
When you forced me
To work…
With pneumonia…
So I didn’t lose my job
I mean,
I’m not without
Regrets
However…
Telling you off
Will unlikely
Ever be among them
On the other hand…
I do strive to be
A kinder person
One who lives without…
Hatred
One who has…
Compassion
And as much
As I wish
Truly, truly wish
(Oh, how much I wish)
To be rid of you
I also want to understand
How much suffering it takes
To harm for no reason
With nearly every action
(Seriously, is there anyone
You actually like?)
Because it must take
A deep self hatred
To need to grasp
So tightly
To even the tiniest
The smallest
The most minuscule
Morsel of power
I mean…
You don’t seem to know this but
Your job…
Is not all that.

Originally published on Medium:
https://medium.com/lit-up
https://medium.com/@NatolieWebb

Toxic

Source:(picture of open scissors in someone’s hand)

He wished his third wife were here. She was younger and prettier and made other men’s eyes follow him, with envy. But she was away on one of her weekends and he was stuck staring at his first wife’s ugly, wrinkled face.

“How could you let this happen to her?” he spat angrily over his daughter’s broken body on the hospital bed between them. “How could you let her marry him?” He turned and stomped towards the door.

He didn’t notice the scissors until they were stabbed through his trachea.
“How could you let this happen?” his first wife asked.

Dying

    

He would die. His disease would progress and he would die and they both knew it. It was heartbreaking, she thought, to find love when it was already too late make a life together.  

“I know it’s incredibly unfair to you,” he said, “but I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m in love with you. I’m not even sure if I should have told you. I’m so sorry.”

Her throat caught and tears escaped to her cheeks while her hands clutched the forgotten tubes of blood, she had drawn moments before. He was so young and so sick. This was not how she had expected to find love.

“I’m sorry.” he repeated, lamely. He wished he hadn’t spoken up so awkwardly. Maybe it hadn’t been the right thing to do. “Forget I said that. Go ahead and label my blood and we’ll pretend it never happened…”

“Please?” he asked in response to her silence.

“No.”

“No?”

“I don’t want to forget it. I feel something too. It’s just… I wish it was different…”

“You mean you wish I wasn’t dying? Yeah. Me too.”

Her tears came faster.

“I’m so sorry. It wasn’t fair to put that on you. I convinced myself that it would be better for you if you knew but…” He swallowed and dropped his head. He wanted to wipe her tears away but he didn’t know if she would want him to. The silence settled like a weight on his broken body. He had to explain. He had to make this right somehow. “It was selfish. I wanted to feel this. I wanted to love you before I died but it’s not fair. I should have kept it friendly.”

“No. No you shouldn’t have. You were right. I would’ve wondered. I’m glad I know.”

“I’m not asking you to act on it. I hope you know that. I really have just enjoyed talking to you, being your friend. I mean I know it’s been professional on your part but I feel like we’re friends. I don’t really hang out with a lot of people these days. It’s so awkward with my old friends. They don’t know how to handle this but with you… it’s been really nice. Talking to you makes me feel normal somehow. It doesn’t have to mean anything.”

She took a shaky breath. “It does mean something. I don’t exactly know what but I like being around you too. I look forward to seeing you every week. In fact… ” she stammered nervously but reminded herself how short his time was and gathered her courage, “In fact, I feel my heart leap a little when you walk through the door.” She said it fast. It felt like pulling a band aid off her heart. It was the best she could do in that moment.

“What now then?” He asked.

Jazz

Rain lashes the car windows as we drive through the city, matching my mood. I’m tired and my body hurts. I really don’t want to be out tonight.

“You got this, Babe? Maybe I should bring you home real quick.” My husband knows I’m hurting. I can’t hide my constant yawning or the circles under my eyes.

“I’m ok. I got this.” I’m lying and we both know it. I wouldn’t bother but his buddy from his army days is in town and we promised him and his wife a great time. I tell myself I’ll get through the evening.


Several minutes later we meet up with Joe and Mary at the venue. Joe is already revved up and ready to go. “Hey, you guys ready? We are going all the way out tonight!” He does a little dance and we laugh. Joe is a good time every day of the week but tonight I can tell he’s already been at the bottle and he’s gunning for an all nighter. The party never ends with this guy. I stifle a yawn and hope I’ll be able to hang.

The usher shows us to our seats as the band starts playing. And it is bad right off the bat. It begins with a funky guitar riff, then percussion, then the bass kicks in and soon the band is jamming and the whole crowd is moving, including me. By the time the sax lights up we are keeping time in smooth style. We rock rhythmically with the music and each other like we are one mind, heart and soul.


I forget myself, grinning nonstop and clapping with the crowd. The music takes me out of my aching body and into oneness with the experience. I lose track of time and before I know it we’re on our feet for the finale and I have forgotten how terrible I felt.

We step out onto the street, talking excitedly about the performance we just watched. “Alright! I am ready to get my dance on. Where’s the nearest club?” Joe asks.

My husband gives me a sideways look, part concern, part hope. I know he’s ready to get his groove on too. “What do you think? Are you up for a club?”

“Yeah, Baby, I’m all in.”

To the reader: I had the pleasure of checking out the Berks Jazz Fest in Reading, PA this past weekend. If you like Jazz music and have the ability to go I definitely recommend it.

https://berksjazzfest.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ectstr5zqu4&list=RDEctstr5zqu4&start_radio=1&t=421

On Finding My Writing Voice

Source: (Picture of antique typewriter with the name Remington Standard)

My grandmother had a typewriter like this. I used to type my “stories” on it as a child.

The Dream

When I was young all I wanted was to become a writer. While other kids went off to soccor camp or adventure camp or whatever, I went to creativity camp and spent a week writing. It was the only thing I could imagine being when I grew up.

I’ve probably started (but never finished) a dozen novels. I’ve done writing prompts with friends for fun whenever possible. I’ve told myself thousands of times I could do this… and quit because I got stuck and didn’t have the time or volition or confidence to work through the problem.

Why did I lose it?

Life. I mean, that’s the short answer. The longer answer involves the barrage of well meaning people warning you to have a backup plan… telling you to be practical. Following a dream means giving up on short term security. It means taking a leap of faith.

For me, like probably many of us, the practicality was raising a child and paying the bills. Yet, the writing never really went away. It keeps coming back and grabbing me. Some dreams don’t know how to die.

So what am I doing now?

  • I’m making a commitment to writing. Hence this blog.
  • I’m deciding to believe in myself and stop second guessing my writing.
  • I’m committing to putting daily content on this blog, even if I don’t think every single contribution is a winner. I mean, I want it to be quality and I’ll strive for quality but I’m not going to perfectionist myself out of posting. I’m actually enjoying the pressure to write often and hone my skills.
  • I’m actually submitting my writing for publication… This it’s the scariest one because rejection sucks. I’ve already submitted two and had two rejected and even though I know that’s a normal process it still hurts. I’m going to keep at it though. My goal is another submission this week.
  • I’m accepting feedback. For real, if you have it, I will hear it. I might not incorporate all of it but I’ll listen and consider any thoughts.

What about you?

Any other aspiring writers out there? I would love to hear from you in the comments. ❤

PS. To be real, this blog is so new I would be thrilled to hear from anyone in the comments. 😘