Poetry by eyes of repulsion
Just after having sent my "Alternative Asylum" to Adok for Hugi 18, I felt regret. Not that I really liked my story that much and because of that felt like I wasted it, but because it felt like sending a big amount of money by mail to Africa - it might be appreciated, but I would probably never hear a word about what really happened with it. I could only hope some people would enjoy it, and I'm not the very optimistic kind of guy.
But as soon as I opened issue 18 the first time I felt happy about my decision. The mag had feeling. Perhaps it would be more of a status symbol to have it released in a sci-fi magazine, which all the people around me advised me to, something I couldn't care less about. I felt proud about having it in the beautiful and well-sounding Hugi, as always.
Up until this day, about half a year later, I haven't received more than one single mail as feedback for AA. Lots of small "nice story" and "great thing that AA" comments over IRC or ICQ are about everything, which fortunately is more than I expected. Feedback doesn't mean that you call me your idol and yourself inferior to me, it means that you enjoyed my work for once and humbly tell me so. I'll be the grateful one in the end, whether you disliked it, enjoyed it or thought it was a true masterpiece and the best thing you've ever read. That's why it's called "feed-back". Writers - especially us doing it for free - are no self-rechargeable refrigerators, remember that. Enough whining now (yo Trinitinians ;)...) and on to the introduction.
This story will be a serial-story in the following Hugi issues, kind of like TAD's "The Wakeup call". As I already have the entire plot in my mind, I'm not going to be as generous as TAD and let others continue writing on it if they feel like it. Also, this is far from TAD's story when it comes to the plot. This is diary-like love-story (at least it seems like that in the beginning) about a struggling man, set in the present age.
To get it over with, I want to point out that Rick is not Niclaz nor Morph, and what he thinks, values and does is his business and not mine, even if they may resemble each other sometimes (we both like thin girls, for example ;)). We also live in different worlds, share different friends and hence - live different lives. I really hope you'll like the story and will follow it through the next Hugi's. Feel free to send me feedback (or sign my guestbook if that's more comfortable), I answer everything. Feel free to hate me, feel free to love me. Love always controls hate.
- Morph 000628, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://i.am/morph -
"Excuse me, do you know this girl? Her name is Michelle..." Another pair of eyes were directed towards me, focused at the picture in my hand and then turned straight into my eyes, "nope, sorry." Disappointed, as usual, I examined the rest of the room, very slow and carefully. The face of one of the old bartenders caught my interest, so I walked closer and sat down on a chair near him. "Have you ever seen this girl, named Michelle?" The common reaction took place, eyes on me, eyes on my precious photo and then back on me again. "No, sorry, wish I could help you." The small amount of hope in my body vanished, the only thing left to do was to groan for myself and then think about leaving. "Are you sure?" I optimistically asked again before giving up, "she is an old, very close friend of mine. The last time I heard from her, about five years ago, she was living in this town with her husband, a singer named Charlie Lumb who just recently was found murdered. You must have heard about it..." The bartender's facial expression changed drastically, "ah, yeah, Mrs. Lumb, she doesn't resemble her self on that photo I can tell you, but every one in this small town knew Charlie for sure." He began smiling widely and a look of nostalgia appeared on his face until he suddenly looked everything but happy, "we already miss him a lot, he was a great man I can tell you." "I never got the chance to meet him" I said, feeling a bit restless, "but I know he must have been. Perhaps you know what happened to Michelle afterwards? Is she still here?" The bartender grabbed a glass and cleaned it gently while contemplating about my question. "Not really, I'm afraid. I know that she left this city, all by herself, and moved somewhere. She was a beautiful woman I can tell you, not only was she very attractive, but had a heart of gold along with her outward beauty, so it really hurt us all to see her suffer after her loss of Charlie." I leaned my eyes on the photo of her I'd already seen a million times before the last couple of days. "A very tragic story. Such a wonderful woman should live happy all her life, don't you agree?" The bartender smiled, "yeah, but life is sometimes cruel and unfair you know. Really sad that I couldn't help you better, you seem to be a nice man and you seem to care about your poor friend. Hold on a sec..." He bent down, grabbed a pencil and a piece of paper and wrote down something. "Maybe this helps you though. This old lady knows your friend Michelle, it is quite a long way from here but I recommend you go visit her, she's a very pleasant lady I can tell you." I received the note with the pleasant lady's address, thanked him and left.
It was a dark and silent night. The beautiful music coming out of my stereo together with the lights around me created the perfect ambience for a long journey in the night. Driving on a straight road all alone, my mind was occupied by thoughts, thoughts about Michelle. Why didn't I tell her how I felt when I had the chance? Why haven't I ever found a girl like her again? Why did she choose Charlie just after I had went away? How could it all go so wrong? I realized that I had to dig deep into myself to analyze everything. If not to find the answers, at least get closer to them. Fortunately, I had the entire night in front of me.
"Rick, someone wants to say hello to you!" I remember it all like yesterday. My mother had been talking about this very cute someone for quite some time and at my twelfth birthday I finally had to meet her. I was extremely nervous, as always back then, but when I saw that she was as nervous as I was, I calmed down a bit. "Hello, I'm Michelle, pleased to meet you." Her cute smile made me blush, which luckily lead to a blush-response. We both quickly turned our heads away in embarrassment, but after some seconds we both felt ready to talk again. A year later she was one of my best friends. We were both young and never thought about love, so our friendship steadily grew stronger. She lived about one minute away from me, so whenever I got bored, I ran to her place. There was nothing different with our relationship, we played like normal children and enjoyed it.
Our friendship evolved when we became teenagers. We valued our friendship a lot more and we realized that what we had was unique and very comfortable. I always helped her getting the guys she wanted and she always helped me with my entire girl chasing. Whenever I had problems figuring out how women worked, she helped me to understand them better. We talked deeply about exactly everything, and there was nothing I liked more than to have a long conversation with her. I still thought she was very beautiful even though I didn't like some things about her, I deeply loved her as a friend. Close as we were, everyone thought we were in love even if I or she had a partner, but neither of us did care. We were like brother and sister, we loved each other, but on another level, and we liked it that way.
Years passed and we both grew in maturity and life experience. The few bad things about Michelle had disappeared, even though nothing about our relationship changed. We really loved each other's personalities, but we still were like siblings. I myself had a couple of difficult years full of depression, feelings of meaninglessness, broken hearts and broken dreams. But nothing was as terrible as my first true love - Rachael. I had never felt that I had had any need for a girlfriend. I had a lot of great friends and I had Michelle, which was more than enough. However, Rachael was irresistible.
When I first saw her I was nothing but stunned. Her looks were all I'd ever wanted and her personality was wonderful, she was surprisingly closer to my picture of the perfect girl than Michelle was, and no girl had even been close before. So of course, I had to get her to love me. Within a short period of time we became friends, close friends and even best friends. Not a single girl was comparable to Rachael, including Michelle. I was totally spellbound by her and dedicated all my time on trying to get my love answered and to make her to love me as high as I loved her. I failed. "I thought you were my friend, not in love with me! All this time you've just lied!" I was devastated. The girl of my dreams now hated me, and there was nothing I could do about it. Guess who got to be my key for consolation?
Michelle experienced love in other forms. All the time a new guy confessed his love for her, but she had to disappoint each and every one of them. Love didn't feel like a positive force for her anymore, her old experiences had taken that away from her. Love felt cheap, false. Extremely fastidious she was unable to find any suitable guy to love and she more or less gave up. I on the opposite side did not. I searched for the perfect girl whole-heartedly wherever I was, but she seemed impossible to find. I gave up over and over again but always tried again some months later, unsuccessfully. No one was even near the wonderful Rachael, not to mention the almost perfect Michelle. I began to realize that I never would find a girl as extraordinary as Michelle, and I reluctantly gave up as well.
Without true knowledge about it, I think Michelle was looking for a guy exactly like me. Her picture of the perfect guy sounded like a description of her best friend - myself. And I guess I was doing the precise same thing, searching the planet for another Michelle.
An old country house made me leave the world of thoughts for a while. As it was a little too late to knock on the door and pay the old woman a visit, I decided to drive to a nearby lying hotel and wait until the morning.
The room was quite cozy and comfortable. I felt a bit too depressed too just waste my time on the TV, so I grabbed a newspaper and browsed it through. It was now three weeks since Charlie Lumb was found murdered, but still the newspapers had small articles about the tragedy. No one still did know exactly what happened, which made the whole town - or more like the entire country - play detectives by reading the many articles. I didn't care really. My interest was in Michelle Lumb and not her famous and popular husband. I had come to help her life to the better, and to help my own life get what it always had been missing - a true meaning. Without the woman I had been in love with all my life - my predestined - I could never be entirely happy. She was my missing link, my cure.
As many nights before, my dreams were about Michelle. Both the past, present and the future was flying in my head, whether I liked it or not. I hadn't seen her for more than five years, but still I felt obsessed by her. I was stupid. A girl I didn't really know occupied my mind. The picture I had of her was probably nothing but a ghost created by my optimistic imagination. When I thought about her, as I once knew her, she was far away from perfect. She was an almost boring girl I just happened to have a great relationship with. And as she undoubtedly was the girl I knew best, there was nothing strange about the way I felt about her. You always love and care about your closest ones - your family - even though you perhaps not always love them for who they are. They just had the advantage of being closer to you, and therefore won your love and care. Perhaps it was the same with Michelle. Perhaps it was nothing but strong desire.
After having eaten and prepared myself enough, I left the hotel to visit the old lady. I felt quite happy for once, the day was beautiful, the sun was shining and what I was about to do felt good. I would take a step closer to my remedy.
I knocked hard on the door. The house was big and elegant, even though it appeared to be old it gave the impression of being very good taken care of. An old man prudently opened the door. "God day sir, my name is..." was all I managed to say before he interrupt me. "I know who you are, Rick, please come in. My name is Gregory" A bit confused I shook his hand and walked into his house. "Let me take this", the man said while taking my coat off. He then asked me to sit down, and I did. "Wilma, he is here!" the man shouted, making me feel very curious. "How did you know I was coming?" I asked. I could hear the old lady slowly walking down the stairs while her assumed husband answered my question. "Michael, the bartender at Phil's, told us." I nodded understanding. Wilma placed coffee on a tray on the table in front of us and sat down. "Hello Richard, my name is Wilma, how are you?" It felt both disrespecting and pointless to tell the polite woman that my name wasn't Richard. Instead, I shook her hand gently and behaved as polite I could. "Hello Wilma, I'm fine thank you, how are you?" "Oh I'm just fine thanks" she said and smiled. "Drink some coffee and try one of my homemade cookies if you would like." I did exactly that, and was just about to start asking questions when she opened her mouth again. "I heard you were looking for Michelle Lumb, am I right?" With a mouth full of cookies I nodded. "I think I can help you. Actually, she told me a lot about you, she really likes you, Richard." I smiled, and she continued. "However, she made me promise not to tell anyone where she was heading. But I guess she didn't think that you would show up, so I will give you her address. Hold on a minute". I thanked her and she slowly walked away. Gregory - who had been quiet all long - now looked as he wanted to say something. "If you find her, please be cautious with her. Charlie's death was really hard for her, as I'm sure you understand. And you might rake up old wounds, I don't know." I once again nodded, and this time added some voice to it. "I will, don't worry. She is an old and dear friend of mine I just want to help through this, I don't want to see her unhappy either. Thanks for your concern." "Good", Gregory concluded at the same time his wife once again entered the room. "Here you go. Is it readable?" she asked, sounding worried but looking happy, and handed me the piece of paper. "Yeah sure, thanks a lot. I will give her your regards if I find her. Thanks again. And thank you for the coffee and delicious cookies." She laughed and politely showed me the way out. She then said goodbye together with her husband and wished me luck.
It seemed like destiny wanted me to find her. I now had the current - or at least last known - address and would be there at this time the next day. All I had to do was to gather my things at the hotel and drive away, and so I did. Even though my journey seemed to be over pretty soon, my adventure had just started.
"Life is about love, to share love with someone, to share life with someone. I really want to find such a person, 'Aeris', as I like to call her. Ever since I was a kid I have been of that opinion. There is no point of being respected, popular, meaningful or famous without having someone by your side. To share everything with, to dedicate your life too, to truly love. Michelle is of the same opinion. However, none of us really feel eager of finding such a person. We have each other."
I hated that part. My old diary was filled with such depressive thoughts. The most depressive thing about them was that they were written too late, and that they just lead to more agony. I was so stupid back then, so blind.
The first time I realized I was in love with her was when I for the first time spent more than a year away from her. My parents advised me to go study abroad, and without questioning it too much I did. I left everything behind, including Michelle. My year in France would not only give me the education I wanted, I was also planning to find a wife there among the cute, thin girls. Maybe raise a family and live there the rest of my life. I didn't like America anyway... Five months later I was bored, especially with the girls. Suddenly I understood how spoilt by Michelle I was. She had everything; no girl was comparable to her. I claimed to be in love with four different girls in that short period of time, but all relationships ended as soon as they realized I'd lost interest. That I'd never really loved them. And slowly but steadily I came closer to the true answer - that I was in love with my best friend. It didn't please me, but what could I do about it? Keep on denying it and hope to find someone better? Keep on making my life feel terrible because of constriction? I had already tried that.
I decided to get in touch with her again. I wrote a letter telling her what I'd been up to the last five months, told her about my life and my friends and asked for her forgiveness for not writing sooner. I blamed it on the fact that I'd been extremely busy. All my true feelings was left out of the mail. About two weeks later I got her reply.
I can't explain how much I've missed you!!! You made me really worried by not writing anything, it wasn't like you at all! Have you mailed your family? I'm glad you are fine and it pleases me to hear that you are happy with your life! I hope you won't be as busy in the future so we can mail with each other!
Now let me tell you about my life! Everything is much like when you left, but there is one big difference. I've met the most wonderful guy! His name is Charlie and we've been together for almost two months now. I thought I would never find anyone, but I did! It feels wonderful, I've never been this happy! You must be really happy for me!"
I stopped reading for a while. For some reason I anticipated that she would have found someone. While I came to the conclusion that I was in love with her, she came to the conclusion that she was in need of a replacement for me. It felt so typical. She just took me for granted because she needed me, she always had, and now she thought I'd just be happy for her. Perhaps that was what I should be, I don't know. I hated her, but still, I knew loved her...
My car was in need of another petrol-refill. The small red sign had to start blinking to make me notice that - I surely was absent-minded sometimes. It seemed like I had arrived in the small town she was living in just in time. I drove to the nearest hotel, settled and prepared myself and then walked away towards the house where my predestined was said to be. The wings of hope was carrying me.
The house showed no signs of life. I had been knocking a sufficient amount of times already without any response. The only evidence stating I was at the right house was the mailbox, and I saw no point in disbelieving it. Perhaps destiny just wanted me to meet her a little later, so I gave up, left the house and went back to my hotel to wait for a while.
After my small misadventure with Michelle's last mail, I decided to write another one. This time I was a bit more honest. As she always had been so easy to speak with and the one I've told everything, the letter became quite emotionally charged. Still, it was very carefully prepared and thought-through so I was to receive the reactions I wanted. I started by telling her how bored I was with all the girls around me, how much I missed her and how superior I'd realized that she was to all the other women of this world. That I was glad she had found someone. That she was worth the best someone there was. That I was entirely happy for her.
A little later in the mail I started sharing questions I asked myself with her. Why we never had been in love with each other, if she'd ever thought of me that way at all. I admitted that I had done so lately, and neatly asked if she had too.
To not get too emotional and just shoot all my feelings in her face at once I calmed down a bit. I told her the usual stuff instead - what I've been up to and asked what she had been doing. When I felt that it was right time for more feelings, I continued, very seriously and deep. "I search with all my power and all my heart for a wonderful girl to love. To be able to live my entire life with happily, to raise children together with, all that stuff. But wherever I look I find no one good enough. No one beats the model - you. Cause how can I be able to truly love someone when I know that you are closer to perfection than she is?" I expected a strong reaction this time, some true feelings.
What I received was questions. Not from her, but from myself - I got no answer and I didn't know why.
I decided to try again at her house. Sure, there was no rush, I still had two months left on my deserved vacation, but I saw no meaning in wasting time in my hotel for no reason.
A young girl opened the door this time. Her blue, unsympathetic eyes looked up at me and she insecurely asked me who I was. I just smiled. I could bet my grandpa's ashes on that she was a daughter of Michelle's - the girl was a replica of her mother in that age. "Hi, I'm Rick, what's your name?" I just had to ask her that before speaking to the original. "Hello, I'm Candy, pleased to meet you." I smiled widely, full of feelings of nostalgia, and then asked for her mother. Half a minute later my eternal love stood in front of me, totally dumbfounded, just like myself. I hadn't expected her to be so... alive. She was not the dead Michelle on the photo anymore, she was... with me.
"Okey, now, sit down please." The sudden shock of seeing each other again after so many years had calmed, her daughter had gone out to play with a friend of hers and to stay with her family over the night and we could finally sit down to speak. "I don't really know how to start, I have millions of questions in my head, all fighting which one to be answered first" she said as she sat down in the sofa next to me. "I know the feeling" I answered with a big smile on my face. "Let's start with how you found me? It's great to see you by the way, will you stay for a while?" I looked like I was thinking about what to answer while I moved my hand to my right pocket and took out my wallet. I opened it and took out the note with her address from Wilma and showed it to her. She watched it carefully, smiled and looked into my eyes. "This note is from Wilma Gray, isn't it? How did you find her, then?" "I got her address from a guy named Michael" I said smiling, expecting another question of the sort. "Oh" she started, "for how long have you been searching for me? And why did you stop sending me letters from France? And how come..." She hailed herself, laughed bashful and excused herself. "Yeah, I'll try to be more patient, you go on..." I smiled and continued answering her questions. "I read about Charlie in the newspaper..." I said, feeling very afraid of how she would react. She moved her eyes towards the floor, giving the impression of being very sad - on the verge of tears - but still didn't say a word. It felt wrong to start talking about France now. I slowly put my arms around her to comfort her, and just like she would have done ten years ago, she started weeping in my arms. "I don't know how to feel" she cried, "I don't know what to do." I didn't know what to say, "it will be all right" and such crap felt pointless. "Let it out", I said. She did.
Two hours passed. We had been talking about most things - old times, Charlie, job, health, her daughter, economy, stuff like that - and she looked to feel a bit happier. Still, I hadn't told her a thing about why I'd been searching for her, that I'd been in love with her for almost eight years now. For some reason she hadn't asked. She was lying in my arms and her brown, curly hair was all over me. She smelled as wonderful as I remembered her use to. Old, drought tears mixed with her mascara soaked her blue eyes, and her beautiful face made my mind come back into old questions. It felt appropriate to ask what I'd been wanting to ask for so many years now. "Didn't you... ever question that I was more than a friend to you back then?" She hawked, was quiet for a while and then answered, "I don't know, really..." Half a minute passed before anyone said anything. "I remember that you wrote that I was your model when looking at women as potential partners, and I guess it was pretty much the same for me. The difference was that I never ever thought of you like that as you seemed to have done with me. You're were not worth that - you were above all of them but still too close as a friend to me and I didn't want to ruin that. I felt so happy with what we already had and felt that it was enough, that it was all I needed." It got quiet again. I felt pretty irritated actually. "So when I left you and went to France you just had to find a replacement for me at once?" I directly regret that I was so malicious, still, I felt she was worth it. "I guess I didn't think that far..." she said, a bit ashamed. Silence ruled yet again. I asked myself if I should be rude enough to ask if she ever missed me when being with Charlie, but seeing her eyes full of pain made me keep my mouth shut. "Were you in love with me back then?" she suddenly asked. I got entirely stunned, didn't have a clue on what to say. "There in France?" I said to buy myself more time to think it through a bit more. "Yeah..." "Well..." I forced out of myself, "I surely missed you a lot and I questioned it..." I hoped that would be enough as an answer. Not a word was said. "How come your daughter is named Candy?" I asked some minute later to escape from the last subject. She smiled beautifully - the first time she did that the last hour - and aimed her eyes deep into mine with a look of sarcasm on her face. "It was Charlie's decision. Her name isn't Candy you know, it's Candice." I smiled back in both surprise and relief, "oh, well, nice, that's good, for her I mean..." She smiled tenderly and hugged me affectionately, "I've really missed you, Rick... Will you stay for a while?" I didn't want to sound like I took it for granted, "what's your plans for the next couple of days?" I asked. "None, really. Candy can stay at her friend's house, she'll like that, so we can spend some time together, catch up on old memories, make new ones..." I smiled, thanked, accepted and told her I'd come back within an hour with my stuff, hugged her goodbye and left.
It looked like everything was going my way, like destiny finally was on my side. I couldn't be happier.
"Candy got really happy." I closed the door behind me before answering, "oh, how come?" "It's not very often that she gets the chance to sleep over at some friend's house..." I was just about to unintentionally reiterate my last question while walking into the kitchen where Michelle was when she continued. "Now when Charlie isn't around anymore she is more or less my only friend, my only comfort, so she's been home quite a lot lately." "I see... how come you don't have any other close friends? You always had a lot of friends when we were young for sure..." She smiled, still, not looking happy. "I've lost them... Charlie and Candy were enough, I guess. Can't say that many I've met has been potential friends either, Charlie's circle of friends wasn't my kind of people really - mostly arrogant celebrities with brains destroyed by marijuana." We both smiled without having any real reason for it. "Didn't you ever think of contacting me?" I asked. She avert her gaze from me, trying to look like she was doing something with the food she was cooking when it actually was pretty obvious that she was nothing but insecure what to answer. "Charlie wouldn't let me..." she said quietly, sounding disturbed by what she said. She served the now finished food and sat down just opposite myself. "Why?" I predictably asked her. She tasted the food instead of answering me, "do you like the food?" got to be her reply. I said I did and kept waiting for an answer on my last question. Nothing was said. I didn't want to repeat the question as I understood she didn't want to answer it - I wondered why.
After we'd eaten the food, spoken some old memories and left the kitchen we decided to watch an old movie together we both used to love. When the movie was over and the night ruled outside we were once again talking, both loving it. "I have no bed for you" she said after one of our subjects got emptied. "Is it okey for you to sleep next to me, in Charlie's bed?" "Sure..." I said, totally unconcerned as I didn't think about what it meant. I was suddenly Charlie's replacement beside her in bed - I was suddenly her dead husband. "Is it really okey with you?" It felt like I had to ask her that. "Of course, I wouldn't have asked you if not."
We kept on talking to each other for almost four hours, all the time lying next to each other in the bed where she had experienced the greatest form of love with a man, a man not being myself. It now seemed like she was asleep - none of us had said a word for about fifteen minutes. After having spent an entire day with Michelle my feelings controlled me. I was not in love with her, I'd never been - she obsessed me. Everything about her was perfect, it always had been. She was created in a way that would make someone be able to love her more than anyone ever loved anyone before. That someone was I, I was the one who could make her entirely happy. She was created to fulfill all my dreams of a woman and no one could ever make her happier than I could. I just hoped she would realize that some day...
"Rick..." "Yeah?" "There are no words for how much I've missed you... thanks for coming..." I turned around to see her face. Her beauty was indescribable - she was without doubt the most beautiful woman of this world. "I must have missed you more as I was the one who found you, don't you think?" She smiled widely while still looking very serious. "Well, then you really must have missed me..." I smiled back, feeling completely ruined inside. I wanted to tell her all of my true feelings - that she was perfect, how much I really loved her - but I kept my mouth shut. "Good night, Rick" she whispered and kissed me innocently. "Good night, Aeris", I thought, already yearning for another day with my remedy.
To be continued in Hugi 21...
- http://i.am/morph - email@example.com -