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Literature by thevoiceofdoom

Writings by audience-of-one

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Submitted on
October 4, 2007
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15 (who?)
My Dearest Ian,

I left you because I didn’t know how to talk to you.

I would try to have a conversation, and you’d get that look in your eyes that put you off in a world of your own machinations, and I was stuck there with the thin shell of you.  It’s hard to talk to shells.  When I would ask you if you were all right, you always said you were.  No matter what the case.   Even if you were sick and coughing up your lung or something.  I had this terrible nightmare once that you were in a car accident and I ran to you to find the bottom part of you flung across the intersection, and your torso draped like wet towels across your seat and you told me that you were feeling fine.  Some days, I would look in your eyes and everything in your world was breaking and melting and sliding down into a great, terrible heap at the base of you that made your feet heavy.  But you wouldn’t tell me.  I could see the splinters in your eyes, but you’d never let them out your mouth.

I think I loved you.  It’s always a fuzzy, smudged line for me, but I really think I did.  It shook me sometimes, scared me.  I had grown up telling my mother that I wanted a castle by the sea and a brilliant husband who loved words and truth and metaphors.  And then there was you, seated with permanence at the desk besides mine.  You looked like the type who might dream now and then and I was tired of my fingers freezing, so I bought you coffee and found something solid in your eyes.  They’re brown.  See, I remember.  I told you that this job was killing me with all the gentle sweetness of cancer, but you shrugged and let me know that you were looking at a promotion sometime soon.  You didn’t get one.  I remember that too.  Our desks were next to each other, and you stayed there for the eight long months more than I lasted as the fluorescent lights above sucked the warm marrow from my bones.  We’d take lunch together.

The thing I don’t remember was when I realized that I wanted to be with you.  I used to stay up and worry about this, to do my best not to toss and turn too much because your arm across my bare stomach felt real.  In the stories, you can always pinpoint that moment, that word where the woman realizes that she’s loved the man all along and wants him above all else.  By the time you kissed me, though, I couldn’t remember falling into love, and I supposed that this was just as romantic.

You didn’t live in a castle, though, and you told me you had never been one for poetry or prose.  I shrugged this off.  It was no problem, really.  You were passionate about plenty of other things, like your monthly report at work, or how the damned copier on level two was never working.  By then I had quit, tossed a magnificent stack of papers at the sky in a final fit of rage and stormed from the building (I had to storm back in to get my purse and car keys, dodging snickers and hurling scowls).  I had taken to playing my violin on street corners to buy the foam cups of Ramen noodles.

That was the only time I had seen you truly angry.  I had thrown away so much, you told me, and my fingers clenched on the plastic violin case.  I told you that this didn’t matter, that none of it mattered, and you shook your head and bought me “real” dinner.  Apparently those itty bitty shrimps in the Ramen mix aren’t real.  I will always fight you on that one.

It wasn’t much longer before I left you.  It came sudden and harsh one night as we lay curled on the couch, our bones melting sweetly together.  You opened your mouth to say something about the copier on level two and I realized that your eyes were all one color, all one brown.  I found myself screaming in your face that you were warm, but that you didn’t live in a god damned castle by the god damned sea and that this whole dream of a relationship was one god damned mistake.  I don’t think you said anything back to me.

I pulled the bow across the strings so intensely that night that it seemed it all might snap and whither in my fingers.

.     .     .

It was several months later that your stories first began to slip in as word of mouth.  They passed your name over coffee here and there and it shocked me to hear of you.  We hadn’t spoken.  I snitched a newspaper from a stand and peeled off extraneous sections to find your corner, an anorexic column slipped between a lingerie add and something about politics.

It was a satire.  I didn’t know you could write anything, much less satire.  I remember standing there in the middle of the sidewalk as people flowed in flesh and blood streams on all sides.  My lips were parted and the air was stained with exhaust fumes.  It was brilliant, real, terrifying in its truth.  It was about love, I remember.  About the cruelty of women.  It was as if my name was painted in terrible red letters in between each line.  I don’t remember if I cried, but I’m sure I did.  It was raining, so it was difficult to tell.

I called you that night, but the only thing that picked up was that stale recording of you asking me to leave a message.  I didn’t oblige.  I never much listened to what you told me to do before, and I sure as hell wasn’t about to start with some answering machine.  I flattened the strip on the wall and curled up in a knot of limbs in my last chair to read it again.  It could have been the first time, it could have been the thousandth time; it didn’t matter.  I could still see my name entwined and woven into each word.  I woke up the next morning with no recollection of falling asleep, the article clutched tight in my hand and a word pressing against the backs of my teeth.  I didn’t feel much like speaking, though, and I let it slip away back down into the darker pits of me.

They ran your articles every Wednesday, and I would wake up early just to run to the newsstands.  I would wince, wail, and sob as I read each one, for each one was driven by the things I had done and the things I have never even thought to do.  Each was progressively more and more brilliant, more and more true and brutally real.  People would reference them, quote them on the streets, and I burned to know that they were all written in such a searing criticism of me.  I was torn between undying adoration of the brilliance of your words and the painful truth that I had fueled your creative fires.  It is difficult being the object of such things.

Last week, I stopped by your apartment.  There was nothing in my mind that needed voicing, no aim that I had to accomplish.  It just was one of those things that needed to be done, you know?  Your apartment was quite a hike, so I played my violin on the subway and got cursed at by god-knows how many commuters.  Damn rays of sunshine, aren’t they?  Your friend (I think his name is Alan) was there, talking with someone nearby.  He told me that you had moved out to some place nice.  He said it was by the sea, and a pretty swanky joint.  Seemed that your satires were starting to get picked up by the largest of publications on a regular basis.  Alan had this kind of pride in his eyes, and I wanted to smack him and let him know that he doesn’t get to be cocky by association, that he didn’t do anything really to help you.  Instead, I told him that that was wonderful, and that he should let you know I dropped by.  There was this long, awkward silence that I felt I could drop quietly into and never be heard from again.  I left.  I surprised myself by not crying.  Life is full of surprises.

.     .     .

I write this last paragraph from the very top story of the office where we met.  It’s so quiet up here ever since that copier broke.  Dawn is just starting to leak out over the edge of the earth, and I’m finding myself wanting you.  The you that lives in a big house by the ocean and writes beautiful things that make people whisper.  Do you ever write beautiful things that aren’t about me?  I wish you would.  It’s impossible to live like this.  I just fell back in love with you, and I know exactly when it happened.  Now, right now.  I suppose I could give us another chance, but I can’t bring myself to do it.  I can’t let myself threaten this beauty born from you, this remarkable talent birthed from what I did to you.  So this is me, doing the easy thing, the best thing, and the one thing that will keep myself from you and yourself from me.  Don’t worry, the breeze is nice and cool and fresh, and I can’t smell exhaust from up here.  I can just hear the faint noises of humanity below.  People are starting to head into the building now, so I’d best be off.

Write something beautiful for me, all right?  Some lovely epitaph.  Anyone else is going to be wrong.  They’re going to call me some bottom-class tragedy of big business, slipped through the cracks to end on the streets with only one way out.  Get it right.  For me.  I don’t care if it peels open every one of my faults, as long as it’s just as clear and true as the everything else, it’ll be perfect.

Love, Grace.
This is one of those oddballs that I had to finish or else it wouldn't work. You know how that goes? I'm sure you do. This being said, I'm not even really that sure if it did work. As is life. Critique is, as always, greatly appreciated.

Honestly, I'm not sure whether to be horribly fond of this or to scrap it at once. So give me some brutally honest opinions. Thanks for reading!

Edit: Small thing, I realized that I already had a "Marco" in another one of my stories! Damn it all. It's a strong name, a good name. I simply cannot resist. But now he's "Ian" I suppose. As is life.

1,710 words.
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SterlingAppleDesigns Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009
This bothers me to a crazy extent.sounds like my Ian. What used to be my ian
Goses Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2008
Oh. My. God. That was beautiful, I'm at work here at it made me tear up! I couldn't help be moved by the sorrowful, expressive beauty of love lost, and then found again. The first few paragraphs painfully --in a good way -- reminded me of someone in my life, that I had felt acted just like that, until love became a wisp and carried away on the wind, only to come back seasons later just as strong.

This is one of the best peices of prose that I have read here on deivnatart in a very long time, and I tip my hat to you as I scurry off to go check more of your writing.
MsCellanea Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2008   Writer
Thank you so much. I can't tell you how much it means that I can stir up some emotion with what I write. Thank you for your kind words, and I hope you enjoy the other things you see!
musicgrl12589 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2007
Beautiful simply beautiful as usual.
autumnsolace Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2007

Useless feedback, I know,
but I thought I'd express my love for this piece.
MsCellanea Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007   Writer
It's not useless in the slightest! It means so very much to get feedback from people.
thevoiceofdoom Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2007  Hobbyist Writer

I thought this was great. Then I got to the end. Now I think it's incredible.

I love your simple, straightforward style and your fantastic metaphors. I love the way they combine to lend the story such sheer emotional power. :+fav: & :+devwatch:!
MsCellanea Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007   Writer
Thank you so much for the kind words! And thanks for the fav and watch!
doorfromheaven Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2007
Wow. I am in awe...I love letters like these. They just draw me in and even when the words stop coming off the page, I'm still stuck in some reverie of what is real and what is dream. You have a remarkable gift...and I am now officially envious of you!!

Consider yourself stalked! muahahahahaha -coughs hacks falls over and dies-

Just kidding. ^^

But seriously.
You're amazingly good.
MsCellanea Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007   Writer
Oooh, my very own stalker! How exciting!

And thank you so much for the compliments. They mean ever so much.
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