Saturday, September 20, 2014


(a diagram of the basic fall)
            My thumbs bleed a lot. They have been skinned, gashed, and gored so many times it is distinctly possible that I no longer have any nerves left to imply genuine pain. Granted, there are rejuvenating nerves in the skin, which echo mortality every-time a new sore is made, but the pain has become more shock and anger with the scars always in flux.
            I remember the first time I picked up a pair of crutches (or as they are more-commonly known: cripple sticks). Resting, what you perceive to be, your life on two thin aluminum tubes is a scary thing.
            It was in the gymnasium of the physical therapy department at the U-Medical Center. The floors of that building were linoleum: smooth, edgeless, and waxed.
            The sticks were long and thin. I didn't think they'd hold me but, I'm light. I was excited at their weight and prospect, until it came time to go somewhere.
Left arm forward, right leg next, (okay) now right arm, "son-of-a..." floor.
            An average mobile person doesn't seem to have the relationship with gravity that I do. Gravity is a motherfucker -- it is reality, the world, and god all wrapped into one. And when those thin metal tubes (with their simplistic rubber tips) fail you -- which they will -- the reality of gravity sends a bitch slap the size of jehovah your way.
            Surfaces become important. Edges, grooves and textures are the keys to your survival in the upright world. Catching that coarse stone edge in the grout amid the tiles can be the difference between a slight stumble and complete social chaos.  

            I did not notice the floors of the gymnasium at first. Not their composition nor color. Not even the fact that it had been raining that day and little pools of water were scattered around the room, carelessly left behind by the shoes and pant folds of passers-through. None of these things had ever seemed important, until that third step.
                        The first time, the Physical Therapist caught me, and no blood was spilt. Well, partially caught me. One step, two step, three ste... She caught my head and left shoulder, bending my neck and tweaking my back but saving my thumbs.
            It went on like that for quite sometime -- the falling -- without a safety catch. Gradually the falls and their impact descended into oblivion as it happens again and again.  A step here, a stumble there; a fall in front of the pretty girl at the grocery store. Skinless thumbs.
            Fucking wet floors. It never happens like in the warning signs: head over heels with a comedic "oh shit" mid flight. No, it is always more sudden, forward facing, and overly dramatic. When there's blood.             
            There are no nerves, and yet there is pain. Pain is the bitch slap of gravity. Reality.

            They'll try and help you up, they always do. But I don't fall for that shit anymore. At first it seems like fun, a nice jolt into two-legged existence after eating shit in front of who could've been the love of your life (or a night). Relying on some two-legged meathead to reconstruct your dignity.
            Then the realization comes. Not only do I have to rely on this kind-hearted asshole to get me up, but I also have to direct the production. To make sure we don't end up on the floor again, this time together and in the missionary position. The very thought of it causes more damage than the initial fall.
            In the midst of his thugish strength the poor beast has no concept of balancing logistics. He grabs one arm and tugs straight up, not compensating for the feet (nervous and unbendable) or the center of balance between us, which is anything but centered from the side-angle from which he grabs me. It really is easier to do it alone rather than instruct a novice in the ways of gravitational relations.

            "I got it. No really I'm okay," I say, swinging the crutches in a 360 to fend off any of the overly generous.

             Generosity is the mask. Really they're scared and obligated. Obligated by society, and scared by mortality. What would really be generous would be explaining to the nice girl in front of me that it was actually her sheer beauty that distracted me from the wax-filled puddle on the floor -- directly below her ass.
            If any of the chivalrous lifters were to explain all this to her, that it was her beauty to blame, for the blood and impending scar, and that a date, a phone number, or a generous kiss on the cock would solve everything that is wrong in the world. If he would just explain this to her as she looked on in fear, I would surely call that lifter a friend and buy him the steak dinner a hero deserves. However, this never happens, and they swoop to my aid impressing her with they're big flexing, lifting-muscles, in my absence.
            No, fuck all that.
            It's easy. Beat them off with the 360, left arm: left, right arm: right, half a push to the knees; crutch left, crutch right, full push up and there we go.
            -"Yeah, that's blood.
                        -No it doesn't hurt yet.
            -No I don't need help now,” -- what the hell are you gonna do suck the venom from my thumbs?

            Goodbye beautiful. Fuck off meathead. Dignity, reset. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

No Strings Attached Chapter 25

Hi my friends, I am writing this with a heavy heart this week. First off sorry about being a day late but two authors shouldn't post on the same day, so I skipped yesterday since another author was in the queue. I am feeling somewhat down and insecure this week with posting NSA. I know I have a few faithful readers and they keep me going but all the sudden with the way the story is going my hits have declined and comments even more so, maybe it is boring to some people now. I think about how to rewrite to make people happy but then at the same time, this is my story and I want to be true to myself and maybe shouldn't change a whole lot. Yes, right now my story is not overly sexual and instead a lot about bonding between Jason and Ariana and dealing with him being in a bad state and being in the hospital. As much as I like to write about sexual encounters I am a romantic after all and so many things are important to me when I write. I want my story to be as realistic as possible, also when it comes to the time line, which can be a challenge. All of this here is so important to me and YOU keep me going. If I don't have that, I start to doubt and become insecure about everything I am doing here on the verge of giving up and crawling back inside my shell. I guess I am just having a bit of a rough time this week. NSA is still here waiting to be edited and fine tuned and I hope I can keep you interested I guess, if not I am sorry. So with this I leave you with Chapter 25 and I hope you will stick it out with Ariana and Jason. Hugs, Dani

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Visiting Hours

The fuzzy yellow stuffed chick swings in and out of my line of sight.

"Happy Easter!" coos my nurse, Brenda, in the sing-song voice adults instinctually use with the very young or mentally feeble.

Brenda believes that I am the latter. Brenda is wrong.

"Would you let up with that?" says Steve, from the doorway.

Brenda looks up. "What?" she asks innocently.

"It's creepy."

"You're creepy," Brenda returns, but she has a playful tone to her voice. She leaves the duck on the table by my head and walks behind me. I hear the click of the door lock and a moment later feel someone sit on the foot of my bed, inches from my legs. I can't see what Brenda and Steve are doing, since they're behind me, but I'm guessing they've come to do what they usually do in my room on quiet Sundays around here. Visiting hours aren't for another forty-five minutes, and my room has a spare bed since my roommate, Jerry Gilson, died two months ago at the age of ninety-six: They're working in a quickie.

I hear wet mouth sounds and my bed jiggles.

"Not on his bed," Brenda whispers, and she appears in my periphery, dragging Steve around my bed and over to the one Jerry vacated.

My eyes have been (annoyingly) locked on an (extremely uninteresting) ceiling tile for the last twenty minutes. Now, in a fit of unexpected usefulness, they decide to swing hard to the left. I suddenly see Brenda and Steve clearly. They are lying on the bed ten feet from me, pulling urgently at one another's clothes.

Brenda sees me see her. She pushes Steve away. "Steve," she hisses. "He's looking at us!"

"You're crazy," Steve insists, continuing to nip at Brenda's neck.

She smacks him in the chest and points a red-nailed finger at me. "Look."

Sighing in exasperation, Steve stops what he's doing and looks. We lock eyes. It does not have the same impact on him as it had on Brenda.

"Bren," he says, "the guy's non compos mentis. You've read his chart, same as me. 'Profound retardation,' babe. The stroke rebooted his brain. It's just a blinking cursor. He's not in there."

As I watch Brenda scrunch her brows, my own face blank and passive, I root silently for her.

Come on, Brenda! Tell him I'm in here!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coming Home Update

Dear Readers,

Here's Year Two of Coming Home. 

Thanks for the kind comments. I've rearranged some things in the first part of the story, which is why you'll recognize the first few paragraphs of the second part when you begin reading. But if you'll continue, you'll find a lot of new material just beyond. I'm really sorry about this; I probably jumped the gun on publishing. I'm also sorry if I'm not formatting this update correctly. If I'm not, please take a moment to let me know in the comments. I'm new to this.

Thank you,
Cigarettes & Chocolate Milk

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Coming Home


GAVIN: I'm home. Everything is just how I left it. And everything's different.

My Nikes, muddied from our late spring runs, sit gathering dust in their spot on the floor next to the front door. My mountain bike hangs from the garage rafters next to Melissa's smaller model. Our wetsuits hang in the hall closet, second skins that smell mildly of lake water and mildew.

I'm on my side of the bed. Melissa lies next to me in her spot. It's my first night home and I can't sleep. I'm not sure why she's here. Why she stayed. We had known we wanted to marry, but we didn't have rings, we didn't have dates. Nobody would blame her for leaving me. Least of all me. Honestly, I find the fact that she's refused to go away pretty fucked-up.

What the hell kind of future can we have now? Not the one we had planned, that's for sure. That future is dead as a doornail.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Coming Home: Year Two


GAVIN: I have been paralyzed for exactly one year. Where're my cake and presents? Even though my actual birthday was months ago, this date feels more significant. On this date last year, I was born again into a new form, a new life, a new way of interacting with the world. I am nowhere near acceptance. But I'm noticing here and there a few things that used to be hard are getting easier.