Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lover's Quarrel

So here's another prompt and link. Let me know in the comments if you write a little something-something too, because I definitely want to come read it. And this is my response:

original link

Lover's Quarrel 

The couple next door is starting in on each other again. I can hear them through the wall. Just one of the perks of apartment living—you get to hear your neighbors making love and war. 

“Fuck you. It’s obvious you don’t want to be with me. Obvious to everyone.”

She’s drunk. I can hear the warble in her voice from here. 

“Obvious to who? Your friends, who really just want you to be as miserable as they are?”

He’s loud. He’s always loud, whether laughing or yelling. 

I’ve watched them from my balcony when they leave, enfolded in each others’ arms. They are a hot summer day even when scarves wrap them against the cold—the sight of them together makes my eyes hurt if I look at them too long. 

Stretching away from my book, I’m grateful for the distraction. This must’ve been the millionth time I’ve read through that same passage.  I lean my head back against the couch and listen.

“To everyone. If you loved me, you’d...” I miss what she says next, but I imagine her trailing off and looking at him with her big, doe eyes.

“No. Not this time.” There is a screech of chair against floor. Did he get up, or she? 

I think about my own lover’s quarrels as their shouting escalates. How powerful my tirades were, and how in those moments I felt truly alive because I truly just wanted to be free. Or to be sucked into the earth and feel the deep cool of nothing. 

And yet, all this brings to mind neon fireflies. 

Sitting on steps, gazing in awe at a red setting sun. 

Licking foam from a well-poured stout off my lip, mouth curling into a smile. 

That one busking guitar player in the dark tunnel, rocking from one foot to the other as he sang that one song. 

The Raven—the place, not the poem.

Painting a teal peacock on the boardwalk and people stopping to watch.

Running till the inside of my thighs were rubbed raw.

The screaming on the other side of the wall is silenced with the slam of a door. I hear heavy boots stomping past my apartment. For a moment, I wonder if this time he’ll keep walking. 

But no. I know he’ll be back. 

He and his doe are explosions of fire, yet they are also soft fireflies.

They are sharp teeth, but they are also the curling smile.

They are the poem, the peacock, the raw rubbing. 

It is impossible to leave such things. I know because I am a wraith haunting the halls of my old life. And though my body has passed into the grave, even now I cannot leave. I am too much in love with the world to free myself from all its horrors and graces, its holiness and lost cases. 

I have a lover’s quarrel with the world—I want to go, to be free, yet I cannot help but stay. 




20 comments:

  1. What a lovely, evocative story. How sad to be that ghost that can't bear to leave. I really enjoyed it LM x

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    1. Thank you for your feedback -- I love hearing people's reactions to stories.

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  2. Can't go but can't stay.....perfect lovers quarrel. Awesome Deb, I don't know how you do it!

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    1. They say write what you know, eh? I've definitely had my share of lover's quarrels.

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  3. Wow! A well done look at relationships without the blinders on. I loved the sense of eavesdropping on a not so private world.

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    1. Thank you very much :) Eavesdropping is both wondrous and frightening, no? Loved that you stopped by.

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  4. Hauntingly lovely. I adore how you used the quote. I tried, but I'm not very good at romance stuff.

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    1. I love romance, but have a hard time writing it *sigh* All the same, I did pop over and see your piece (at http://frazzledandfrumpy.blogspot.com/2014/03/writing-prompt-wednesday-lovers-quarrel.html for anyone else reading this and wanting to head over too) and 'whatever' is my response to you saying you're not good at the love stuff. You pegged it perfectly.

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  5. I really like the way you intertwined the two tales into one - a very nice affect!

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    1. Thanks troy, I appreciate your thoughts. This weaving with words thing is fun, no?

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  6. Excellent story - and the ghost as observer of life's vagaries was a really nice touch

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    1. Thank you! I loved yours too (people, if you haven't already, you must go read this quick little gem: http://thomas-marlowe.blogspot.com/2014/03/tuesdays-train.html)!

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  7. Rich with emotion, with such a powerful ending. Loved this story!
    -Tinkerbelle

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    1. Thank you! I'm so glad you felt it was powerful.

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  8. I really loved this, especially the twist. The quarrel aspect reminded me of an argument I overheard when I was about 13. There was a girl in her late teens or early twenties who lived across a narrow alley from my bedroom window. One night/early morning, her boyfriend was dropping her off and they got into a screaming match heavily laden with "I hate you"s and "I never want to see you again!"s and lots and lots of F-words. Then at the end, as he was standing there with his car door open to get in. He screamed, "Call me tomorrow!" and she yelled back, "Fine!" At the time, I thought it was a huge contradiction. Now, having been married for nearly twenty-seven years, I see it in an entirely different way. ;)

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes! There is something magical to me about the security of knowing you can have a torrential fight, but still be okay afterward. I didn't get that before, either. I adore your story, and I love that my short brought back that memory, and that you shared it. Thank you for sharing--yum to the smallness of the world.

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  9. Loved the analogy and that penultimate para just took my breath away-exquisite writing Stevens:-)

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  10. I didn't finish this prompt in time to link up. I will prolly still post it at some point, though. I love, love, love this slice of raw life. Raw-rubbing, indeed. You're a magician.

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    1. The magician's apprentice, perhaps ;)

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