Tess Flower and Book
DavidWasher, July 20, 1993

This is a true story. David wrote it down, still in bed the next morning. He has left it complete, just the way he remembered it, just they way he hurriedly scribbled down the words, just the way it took hold and surrounded him.

Earlier that day David had gone to Amanda’s wedding, his special friend marrying a man after knowing him for six months. And David, so recently, no longer married after 12 yrs of being together- twelve years of tending a garden together only to have the thorns cut their fingers as he and his wife judiciously pruned here and there. But now, more than ever, David told Amanda and Bruce that he believed in love, in the heart of love, in its truth and power and that he and Amanda were a special gift. Love is the only truth we know. He wasn’t sure marriage was one, but that wasn’t something to discuss at the wedding.

After the wedding, Jeana and David sat at the beach and they read aloud the final pages of a book, The Universe is a Green Dragon. And after that they read poems from another magical book called The Enlightened Heart, edited by Stephen Mitchell. Sleepily, with hears and minds open, all things, words, places, heart and memories, seemed interconnected as the two new lovers watched the sun set and read poems aloud.

It reminded David of how he had been given the book. Phoebe’s kindgarten teacher, Margaret Potts, had given him the book of poetry as a gift. David was holding his children’s Phoebe and Jacob Henry’s, hands and Mrs. Potts loaned him the book saying she thought David would enjoy it. David thanked Mrs. Potts. David always called her Mrs. Potts. It is awkward to call you child’s kindergarten teacher anything other than as you remember your own kindergarten teacher, as you remember your own childhood. It is the best part of having children. Mrs. Potts was David’s daughter’s first experience of public education. David had vowed to explore, interview, and meet all the kindergarten options available to this proud father’s daughter. This woman introduced herself as Margaret Potts. David laughed. David wasn’t going to have to look far for his daughter’s teacher. The names of his two grandmothers glowed in his head . Grandma, MargaretWasher, his Dad’s mother. Nonnie, SibylPotts, his mother’s mother. David loved both these women. Both died within months of each one of his children being born. It made David think how funny life and knowledge are really- passed on to us through our children and loved ones, through little glitches in reality that come when least expected. David’s midn was just watching the memories, holding hands, reading at sunset, after a day, after a life, that all seemed to be opening to a new beginning- reading aloud and then closing the book.

At Jeana’s house in the city they immediately began to drift away and fall asleep. Jeana asked avid to tell her a story. They were still light and heavy with mixed feelings that follow the feeling of love and newness, the feelings of a long full day. She was curled and relazed like a small animal- a kitten, a child. There was an innocence as thy began to fall asleep and the story came as a dream as making love with visions, memories and sound.
David’s last words werewhat do you want to hear?” She said, “tell me about perfect love.” And the voice that whispered the story into the ear of their pillow wasn’t David’s, for he too was exhausted and fallend into a deep sleep.
And this was the dream.

There was once a young boy named Jacob who on the eve of his birthday was approached with the question of becoming. It was all confusion. The elders presented it as the custom of the village. he had to consider his place and where he would come to know about love, truth, relationships, marriage, make himself a home, have a family, take a job, make a living. “Arriving at manhood,” they said. He thought it was a lousy custom.

Luckily Jacob was healthy, strong, handsome, courageous, uncommonly intelligent, and blessed with a wonderful sense of humaor. At least that was how he consoled himself in the heat of the day when all else seemed to be exhausted and futile. There shouldn’t be a problem with choosing a girl, finding a place to live, discovering a job, getting on with this manood thing. It was all there for the asking. He felt lucky tis way. But for this young boy he felt the need to know more. And in the complexity of his confusion there were no words to discover the meaning, for there were no expereinces to guide him through his dreams. It was a sense, and he did not have the words to describe it. It had gotten him so wrought that he had taken a fever and friends and family began to ask him if he was okay. Perhaps he wasn’t so lucky after all.
Jacob lived in a village. this was a long time ago, when the forests were magical and mysterious. It was a time of enchanted castles and knights in splendor and princesses in serene royal gardens. It was a time of peace, and the royal court held its art and religion to be of the highest achievement of the time. The village in which the young man lived was set on a road that led from the castle to the forest. There was only one road that led through the forest, and no one ever dared to stray, for fear of getting lost. And although the castle was of astounding beauty and the forest of ancient mystery, neither inner court nor hidden woods were ever seen by the villagers who daily worked their fields and tended their homes.

The young boy helped his father and daily he carried water, bundled wookd, helped with the animals, tended the vegetables. In the evening he would help his mother, read and listen to stories, sing and dance and play funny games with his brothers and sisters. But he had become restless over the last few days, or was it months? Certainly , could it be a year, or was he just unceasingly always this way, questioning?

The road in front of his hosue led from the castle to the woods. It was the only way that travelers could go. Everyday, he walked out of his parents’ hosue and looked first to the west toward the forest and then to the east towards the castle. He had been to the edge of the forest and thought he saw a special light emanating from deep within. And he had been to the castle wall and believed he had heard an enchanted melody enwrapped by the wind float down from the highest window . But still, as he looked both ways he felt himself drawn inexplicably one way, then the other, and then back again. The castle was enchanting, so inspiring with the regal grandeur of its beauty, and the forest was so inviting with the whispering of all its secrets, the smell of all its flowers and gifts. His father would yell, “Jacob quit that day dreaming and get on with it.” And Jacob would leave his dream and then walk neither right nor left but straight ahead to follow his father into the field.

That evening Jacob again gazed east and west. He sighed heavily. A gypsy passing with an old wagon and frumpy mule heard him and laughed as loud and gregariously as a barrel rolling down a rocky hillside. The boy looked up and asked him the reason of his merriment. Did he think something funny? His questioning nature took his pride and brought it into his chest where it tightened into a knot. And he asked again this time with the corners of anger shaping his voice.

is your curious merriment, your rotund laughter, directed at me, for if it is I’ll take you down off your curious mount even if you are my elder...” But the laughter of the gypsy man cut him off.
Oh, I apologize. Please don’t get angry,” he said, between his now gasps of air. “I am dizzy with laughter, but it is truly a compassionate one and not at you. My name is Marteen Potter.” He gasped for air holding his belly that was peeking out of the bottom of his shirt. “I must be going.”
The young boy was alarmed but also couldn’t help but start to laugh. “You know,” the boy began with a question in his throat, “my father’s father’s name was Marteen de Toyas, and my mother’s mother’s name was Sibyl Potter.”
Ah, good. You can see yourself, I see. To laugh when there is confusion, that is a true mark. You’re a good lad. Here, I will give you two gifts. I know your confusion.” He handed the boy a book and a flower. “These are poems, sacred poems. Some you will enjoy, understand, some will be puzzles to be solved in years ahead. But for now, during your time of question just put the book under your pillow, for now your own dreams are the only truths you will understand.”
And what of the flower?”
That is your book mark. Place it in the book and forget about it. Someday that page will be a gift, and then you will understand the flower,and you will know about flowers and books.” And the man laughed as if he had made a great joke.
The boy took the boy and the flower. The strange man rode off towards the forest. After he was gone Jacob looked in the book of poems and read: “The man gathering radishes pointed to way with a radish.” “Silly book,” and he mindlessly slapped the flower into the middle of it and went back into the house thankful to be able to have passed the awkward moment and get back to his pensive mood. The young boy laid on his bed still holding the book. His thoughts were countless and he thought he would never sleep again. The book actually did become a pillow and laid under his head, as he lay still and listened to the night air. Slowly the countless thoughts blended as one and he drifted away. He thought he heard the silly mule and that strange man again. So in his dream he walked outside.

Again he came o the road and again he looked both ways. It was sunset and there was a quiet that only hangs at the moment when all the light changes. To the east, floating above the castle was the full moon, and to the west, setting upon the forest was the sun. “What an amazing evening,” he thought to himself. And he looked at the moon, bigger than he had ever remembered, silver in its face, almost feminine in its sublime whiteness and poetic generosity. And he looked at the moon, bigger than he had ever remembered, and he looked deeper into its pulsing glow further than he ever remembered. He looked at the elements and the light was charged and the sun and the moon seemed to grow closer. In fact, as he looked again athe moon was actually coming towards him. Yes, how foolish of him to mistake the moon for a white rider on a white horse. Closer still he could see it was a woman- unmistakably the most beautiful woman he had ever seen come upon this road. Then surprisingly the shadows shifted, and startled he looked towards the sunset and realized that he again had been foolish. That was not the sun that he had seen, but it was a dark-skinned woman with the richest dark auburn hair that glowed red, tied with ribbons and braids. she was wearing bright colored clothes made from thousands of fabrics and jewels glistening and reflecting. They both rode identical horses. And they came to him.
They were exceptionally beautiful. And he was left words or thoughts. The young boy’s surprise was unsettling. “Relax,” he thought, and both the women came to him and kissed his forehead and lightly stroked his hair. And for no reason he would ever know he did relax and he did look them in the eye. And as he looked into each of their eyes, looked into their open astounding beauty, he saw the supreme nature that was now like a glow of light that he had never before beheld. In their eyes he saw love, love that was sacred and new. It scared him for it also had something dark and foreboding. He felt relaxed, but it was not comforting.
You’re about to become a man, and you have stopped here each day asking yourself the same quesiton, but you do not know the question and so you go on with your gathering. Your anger and confusion are not the way of yourself. Soon you will turn into an angry person for the question will tear at your heart. We are hear to heal you, to show you the question, for we are the question.” Each woman took time in saying each word and it was as if they were taking together and separately all the same.
Who are you?” the young boy asked.
The woman in shining white answered first. “I come from the Eastern castle. I am known as the sacred muse, and I offer sublime and sensual knowledge, of creativity and life, of poetry and love.” The woman in the colorful and bejeweled tunic with dark auburn hair interrupted. “I am known as the mother of the planet. I am the breath of wind upon your cheek, I am the smell of the forest after the rain. I teach nohing of life and poetry, I am life and the poem.”
The boy looked in amazement, “But why are you here? Especially now. Tomorrow. is my birthday.”
You can choose only one of us,” the woman in the white said.
We are of separated worlds, of the castle or of the forest.” said the woman in red.
Tonight you will make love to one of us and your path will be chosen. But first you must choose which of us will be your lover- which one you will follow.” “Choose.” “Choose.” Again he heard that word of confusion. “You can only choose one of us. Which one of us will you have”? And the women grew strong in their voice and it scared him and again he saw something that felt dangerous.
The women sensed it and stroke his forehead again and said in calming voices of what they were to offer. The boy listened.
The woman of dark auburn hair and olive skin began to dance and moved her arms while she spoke. The young boy was not sure if he actually heard words or if he was watching the story unfold through some other way.
Of the forest you will see the world, become yourself with the smells and sights and visions that nature will unfold. The reflective nature of the lake will calm your soul and whisper to your heart. You will grow vegetables and taste honey. The smell of the earth will bring life to you and your children. The taste of honey will remind you of love and will give you the desire to love. With that all that you do will have meaning. You will lie down with me and we will make love on the ground. You will caress me and you will caress all that has become before you and is within you. You will become a man of the forest, a man of the oceans, a man of wind. Your poetry will fill your heart with clear water and that will be the only glass you will ever need to drink from, for with that you will have my knowledge. As I make you a man tonight, as you choose this path, you will be given the hearth to raise your family, to nurse your soul, to sore your poetry.
The woman in white sighed and softly threw her hair back behind her shoulders so he could see her face, so sensual in its soft light. Upon her slender neck were pearls. “The forest is rich and fertile. You would be a beautiful man with beard and bucket. As a man of he forest you will know that the planet is sacred and we all must love her, but don’t be confused or you will limit yourself. Remember who you are. She is telling you true things well enough, but as you make love to her tonight remember how hard the ground is, how cold it can become. Perhaps you would be happy there now, but as you grow older will you remain content, always to tend you garden, and carry your wood and water? Your bones will become weary and you will lie down next to your beautiful lover and you will be tired, exhausted. Soon your exhaustion will creep into your love for it is always a reflection of your heart. The love of this alluring goddess will diminish and she will begin to move away so subtly that perhaps you never even saw how her eyes had become tired. She will not look the same to you. Her features will change and then you will change. Your poetry that was unified withall will only be yours and then you will doubt it. As you raise your voice to the world, only the garden will hear to answer. Although the sounds, the smells and the taste are abundant they will not answer in accordance to your loss. For their creative spirit grows relentless like a weed. And you are not. And then you tend the garden with loss of spirit and your food will contain that loss, and that is what ou will feed your children. And alhtough you love them and you love the earth, you will no be offering them life. You will be offering sadness, your sadness.
To come with me, I will show you the path through the forest, the lakes and oceans, but also a hundred times more. For your vision is not alone and you will be inexorably connected to the civilization you will be creating, the spirit of man. We will invent stories, and drinks, and foods, and games. You will lay with me on soft beds of satin and down and we will caress our spirits in sensual intoxication. We will laugh and love and meditate and give thanks. Your soul will lie in complete abandon and as you make love within my castle I will give you a window. A window is the greatest gift. It is the vision the wonder, the clarity that as you look out from my high tower you will see all below, all of the trees, the people, the families, the animals--all moving. From here you will be able to study, and watch, to caress the confusion with the bright touch of love thatyou will have taken from my sweet caress and deft touch of loving. They will move in slow motion as if they challenge only you to move them along. You will write poetry and create the lofty spirit that has man aspire to his greatest challenge-- that to understand himself he must understand all that is his nature, including the planet, including his soul. But you must have the window, the place to look out upon. Your poetry will be strong and you will bring it down to the people and it will give them reference and joy. Your children will grow up proud and you will pass to them the same window. This is the glory of life--to achieve, to create, to solve the riddles of nature, to give yourself wonderful comfort, to pass it on, to guide others.”
Jacob,” the woman of the earth began. She was smiling and her eyes were dark and told stories. “Alas, she is so beautiful. She is soft, so irresistable. I too would make love to her, and rest in her sweet bed of magic and incantations. the window is such a wonderful view. Perhaps you have seen it. The view from the castle is famous for its vista, but as you make love and you walk to your window and you look down upon the world below, what then? Yes, your love is great and your spirit touched, yet won’t you feel separated? Knowledge and clarity are not lofty things. They are simple, tangible things. Soon your window would seem incomplete, for it would lack the tangible. You would find solace in the soft down feathers and sweat out of your frustration in love, but that too would change. The frustration you felt would no longer be cleansed by the sensual being she seems. She reflects you and you will want more. She will try to give it but you will need to take more. Take and take and she still will try to give it to you. Yet you will grow resentful that she hasn’t given enough. And she will also have resentment for you have not loved her enough. And soon all those comforts and foods and drinks, soon the sweet satin sheets seem unworthy of your despair, and you would rather sleep with the wool blanket by your window than to sleep together with a bad heart.
You will still write your poetry, but now your heart will know that it is not true, that it is not complete, not coherent, and part of all that you sense and know is out there but beyond your grasp, beyond the window. As you give this poetry to the people below, to your family, you will have a place of disdain. How can they truly believe what you have to offer when you know it is not of truth? The sadness of all sadness will overcome you. The despair that all of humanity is nothing but lost souls. The despair that all that has come and gone is foolish and incomplete. Your life will stop as your philosophy and poetry become cynical and bitter.”
The young boy looked at both the women. They were holding hands. Even though they sounded like enemies, they were connected and still seemed to love one another. It all seemd so alluring and magical from one side and so dark and desperate from the other. Yet they both seemed unmoved by the other’s description and story.
Make love to me tonight,” said one.
Oh please, make love to me tonight,” asked the other.
So much! The young boy sighed and took a deep breath.
Jacob looked up and saw some high clouds. It was now early morning and for a monent his stare fixed specifically on a hawk soaring on a high updraft of air. There wasa mindless grace and ease.
Choose choose choose,” he heard from the back of his mind. But still he just watched the hawk. He imagined that grace and ease, that sense of power, that sense of being without question.
And then his body began to feel light. The hawk that was in his stare became his stare. As he beheld the moment of grace that the hawk was and always was, as he embraced that frozen moment on the end of a long thread all the way to the hawk, he became the moment and was lifted high above. And as he looked down he saw the greatest view he had ever imagined. The hawk was laughing, a compassionate forgiving laugh. Jacob looked down. He saw his village, saw the castle, saw the forest. He looked down and saw himself standing by the road faced by the two women He stood in the middle and all seemed to swirl around him. He saw himself standing. But as he looked again he saw it all differently. It all merged. All the questions and all the answers, all the provocative and intoxicating allurements dissolved into a magical grace. As he felt rooted to the earth and floating on currents of air, while all swirled in complex jeweled patterns around him, he felt calm standing in the middle. The woman of the muse, the sensul, the creative, was the woam of the earth and grew wings. And the woam of the earth was the goddess of creativity and love became light. Their words became empty and they both flew to him as angels. And the boy who had looked longingly into their eyes was the search of curiosity, confusion and spontaneity. The man was the wisdom that held them all as one. He saw this from the great height that he had been soaring from . At this moment of recognition the great height opened to even a greater, infinite expanse and at that moment he realized it was also the smallest place he had ever known- the size of a prick at the center of his chest. And his mind alone was that expanse, smaller and larger than all he had known.
He looked again as he always did, to left and to the right. And then he went straight ahead and got himself some water. It tasted good and clear and he thanked the world around him for the magic of the night. He returned to his bed and went back to sleep.
In the morning he awoke hardly remembering his dream, but remembering something of a strange night. And then the book of poetry becaome uncomfortable as a pillow and the young man laughed at that and opened it up at the page that the flower had marked. He began to read the poetry and could not stop. It was as if every word he came to unraveled his dream, but not a dream he could remember, just a dream of a spirit within him. Yet the dreams and the countless visions in every word left him with a trace. As he looked at the flower his eyes filled with a tear, for he understood the meaning of the flower and how it was contained in the book, for both were he.

David, too, awoke with that story. He also was filled with the swirling memories of a dream. He eagerly turned on his laptop and within twenty minutes [ Ed. comment: What? 20 minutes??! give me a break!] had it all down.
Jeana was still sleeping. David nudged her. “What are you doing.” She was looking at him with his computer in bed.
Hello sleepy head. Did you like that story last night?” David asked her.
Yes, yes, but I fell asleep. What happened after the gypsy. I fell asleep I love your stories. I think I had a dream.”
I’ll read you a poem and after that I’ll make breakfast.”
Yes, I would like that.”
Wait, better yet, you choose the poem. In the story last night, he opens the book where the flower is and reads a poem. You pick a poem and I’ll write it down. It will be the end of the story.”
And she opened the book of poetry that Margaret Potts had given him and she read it in a soft sleepy voice.
We are the..”
Wait, who is the poem by, first?”
Oh, sorry...”

Rainer Maria Rilke- We Are the Driving Ones

We are the driving ones
ah but the step of time:
think of it as a dream
in what forever remains

All that is hurrying
soon will be over with
only what lasts can bring
us to the truth

Young men don’t put your trust
In the trials of flight
Into the hot and quick

All things already rest
darness and morning light
flower and book.

And as David re-read Jeana his story, as he finished the reading with the Rilke poem, David cried. They were emotions of mixed joy and sadness, of perfection and interconnectedness, of impermanence and love. David walked to the window and looked out over the city. It was a view from the Ocean Beach all the way around to Hayward. And the sky was just right and the wind was just right and the story was just right and the poem was just right and his heart felt right and strong. David drank a large glass of water and by chance looked to see if there was a hawk. And like all good stories, this one is true, and that is exactly the way it happened.
Norm One night:

one of my friends called this girl and told him that he was this other guy she knew and she was like oh ya I saw you today and he was like Oh really I didnt see you and she was like well I was talking to you and then he was like well im not really him and then he tried to make her guess for like another hour who he was.... I laughed at that for a good long time then later in the day I was on my other friends street and he's got like a million little kids liveing around there and the same guy who was on the phone was shouting at all the little kids, he's not a big guy, and these 2 little girls started chaseing him so I was like "go get him" to all the other kids and they just sat there but then the 2 girls caught him and I was like "I said go get him" and like 20 of these little kids get up from sitting in the middle of the street and swarm my bud and there just kicking him and punching him in the nuts and laughed until I fell over and my other friend triped over me.... i swear that isnt an exageration
then later me and a couple of other guy's were cruiseing around and we saw these two girls and decided we would stop and talk to them so we turned down this street and stop ahead of them on the side walk, and at this point it was obvious they were trying to avoid us because they seemed desperate to get away from the cargod knows whyanyway they turned behind a restraunt and we contiued to follow them we drove into the parking lot and were driving up to them when they walked in between 2 cars and simply disappeared.. ZAP!! GoneI assumed we start driving away and we'd see them crawl out from under a car and start sprinting away full tilt but there was nothingwe then decided that they were obviously witchs and followers of the devil simply arent worth our trouble anyway

again later that night we were driving down the same road and we saw another 2 girls.. one had tits bigger than Jesus, Jesus I says, and the other was dressed up like an elf and the 2 of them were were crouched behind a brand new celica and drinking beer so we drove into the parking lot they were in and parked next to themstarted a conversation asked how old they were, asked to see there tits, you know the usualand then we asked what school they were in they said lebouldous simple enough we thought.. we knew a few people from there one was in grade ten, the 2 girls were in grade 11, but he had a grade 11 sister so one of my buddies asked if they knew her and the elf goes what the hell? that's me…. I then started to laugh hysterically and missed out on the rest of the conversation

later later that night we were driving down a road and saw a big van and as we drove by it on of the guy's in the car threw his can out the window and the van apparently thought we were throwing it at them so they threw something out and hit the side of the carthat pissed me off so I said lets fucking mess them up and the guy who threw the can out the window said I've got my rock lets throw that at them(Explaining the rock: when he had gotten out to of the car earlier to get a coke he bent down out side the car and announced that he had found a rock)… and so began the chase, not high speed because vans don't really have any balls, literallly that would be pretty gross though. We chased them quite a ways and pulled up in frount of them as we drove by we found that they were all really very fat and at least 30. we decided we wouldn't fight them so we cut them off and slowed down to 30 on a 100 kmh road and started cuting back and forth on the road then the van pulled over to the shoulder of the road and so did wethen 4 guy's jumped out of the car and started walking towards us so we started moving slowly but fast enough so they coulnt catch us and then we just took off kicking lots of dust in there facesHigh speed chases are the best
jolie The creature moved towards the two girls who had been reduced to nothing more than crying children in young womens bodies, clutching eachother screaming and sobbing for the creature to leave them alone. She was betrayed. How not so long ago had they pledged their love to her, and now so ruthlesly denounced her. They moved not from the base of the gnarled old tree, reaching with arthritic fingers towards the sky as if to scratch the moon.
The creature stops, and runs a hand across her face to wipe a single black tear, an ebony pearl that slides down the slightly decaying flesh of her face, as her skin flakes and falls away. She turnes her face towards the blackend sky and parts her lips, black as coal, to emit a mournful howl, intensifying to a wail, that quakes through the girl's bodies, resinant across the land, causing the moon herself to shudder. She closes her mouth, and looks at the girls. A whisper reaches them, though her lips never moved, floating across the wind that says "I love you" as the words kiss their ears, and is gone again in the wind. The creature looks at the two roses in her hand, her clawed fingernails smooth and shiny as black glass. The roses have died, as does everything she touches, whithered black petals and brittle leaves. Even the ribbon that ties them togeter has blackend. She kisses them and drops them on the ground in front of her, as she tunes and disappeared into the fog.
The Persin

Every day is a new day. Joe was always the optimistic scarecrow... mindless man in the midst of a future perfect. he would awake with the sun and by days end have pondered the ends of the earth and forgotten the conclusion. Joes only means of remembering his hope, was by what the friends in his head kept asking him.
Rhin guess what?! my friend Bry told me that there was a sequel of sorts to 'The Christmas Story'. He said Ralphie and his entire family were not the original characters, but some of the others were the same. He said the premise of the film was stupid and that it was poorly filmed. I'm not surprised. I hate it when Hollywood goes overboard. They should just leave well enough alone. 030115
jolie Every stone has its story
Like a rosery (sp?)
Oh, my st. Thereasa
I'm higher than the moon
sundays_bloody_sundays here's
the story ends
irthesteve heres a story: one time there was this guy who liked this girl. he went on a trip to mexico to build a house, and when he came back he was gonna ask her on a date. well the way this story goes he came back and figured out that she hooked up with someone else. he was sad. thats the end of this story. 030619
irthesteve another one: one time there was a guy who knew this girl and he went out with her in 5th grade, well 2 1 or 2 or 3 years later she dumped him over and over and over again. so at the end he said it was over, and that was the end forever. 030619
irthesteve im bored: one time there was this guy and he went to mexico and met this girl. she was cool and nice and they hooked up. well when they got back they went on a couple dates before he realized she was a crazy hick who listened to country music after she showed up at the bowling alley and danced the macarena with her mom and her moms boyfriend. that was a big m,istake. by the way she was bisexual... its really too bad it happened to that guy, poor guy 030619
irthesteve another story for u: one time there was this guy and he met this girl at a summer camp in big bear. yea well they kinda hooked up and had fun that week. well the camp was over and he called her a couple times and then broke up with her. she was sad and kept talking to him. he blocked her on aim and didnt answer her emails, he thinks she stalks him. 030619
irthesteve uno mas: one time there was this guy and he met this girl at school in 8th grade. they kinda played footsies and then they went out for a while, like half a year. she was his best girlfriend. then her dad told her she had too move to lompoc so she did and the guy was sad. and he tried sending her emails but she didnt respond and he called her but she always had to leave after a few minutes. so he was still sad. and till this day he regrets it. poor guy. 030620
Glory Box Once upon a time, in a land far far away where simplicity reigned, a little girl sat by a brook singing softly all the sad songs she could think of. The day was clear, and the sun was bright, but the dark was coming, the girl could tell. Shadows fell, and she wrapped herself in another's protection and walked safely through the night, leaving no trails, no trace. Home ahead, soon in, she slept. 031101
once again Once there was a girl and she used to go around telling people to be happy just like she was. Except it turns out that she wasn't all that happy. Then one day along comes a guy with a huge cock and he says, "Be Happy Damnit, or I'll bitch slap you" 031125
mythomane kahani means story. I dream of someday being called kahani by a lover; I dream of being story made flesh. 040225
cpgurrl i like 2 write stories! 040720
cpgurrl ok that was dumb, but anyway...

Somebody’s Birthday

Once, maybe a week or two ago, it was somebody’s birthday. It is always someone’s birthday of course, and on that day it was Olivia R.’s. She was turning ten.
As everybody (or everybody in San Vel) knows, Olivia R. is the strangest girl (or kid) in San Vel, or in the whole state for that matter. They all call her Olivia R. because nobody can remember, spell, or pronounce her last name, since both her parents are from some tiny country that nobody can find on the map and have peculiar accents. Olivia R also does absurd things like watching the news every day when she comes home, keeping fresh flowers on her desk at school (even in winter), and skipping recess every day to go to the library.
Olivia R gives the best parties, holiday ones and birthday ones and just plain celebratory ones. Her previous feats include a tanning salon (in winter), a carnival, and a sleepover where, instead of baking cookies, they just ate raw cookie dough. Since her birthday was coming up, every kid within biking distance of San Vel was probably wondering what she would come up with next, and certainly wondering if they would be invited.

The truth was, Olivia Rhubraches didn’t want a birthday party for the simple reason that people wouldn’t come because they liked her, but because they like parties. Nobody liked her. They thought she was interesting, but they didn’t like her. They didn’t even take the time to learn her last name, for crying out loud! She had tried, she had thrown every kind of party she could think of--winter ones, fall ones, spring ones, summer ones. Endless holiday parties, birthday parties, spontaneous parties for no reason at all, and still nobody liked her. Her parents always said that people would like her once she tried to get to know them, but how much should a person try?
Olivia went downstairs to confront her parents. They were both sitting in the living room, reading. “Mom, Dad, can I ask you something?” she said in their native language, which she had known since she was a baby. (She didn’t speak English with her parents if she could help it because they didn’t understand it very well, and things sometimes got confusing.)
What is it, Olivia?” her mom asked.
Well, would it be okay if--,” she squirmed. This was harder than she’d thought. “If I didn’t have a birthday party this year?”
Both her parents looked slightly shocked. “Well, sure honey, but why? You’ve always had a birthday party before. I thought we’d organize an even bigger party than usual this time. After all, you are turning ten.” her dad asked.
Olivia could tell her mom was thinking the same thing, but she didn’t say so. Instead she said, “Yes, and your friends have enjoyed all your parties so much too.”
They aren’t my friends,” Olivia muttered under her breath.
What did you say, dear?” her dad asked.
Olivia was losing her patience. “Nothing. Anyway, could I please not have a birthday party this year? It would mean a lot to me.” They always went for that.
Her mom was about to say no, but then looked at Olivia and nodded. Her dad did the same. Olivia said thank you and went up to her room.
There, that would show them that she wasn’t just a party machine, that she was also smart and funny; and she did more than just give parties She fell asleep easily, thinking of their bewildered faces.

The rumors started right when the first bell rang, but nobody believed them at first. How could Olivia R, supreme party girl in San Vel, not have a birthday party?! To make matters even more suspicious, Olivia was turning ten this year. What kid didn’t have a birthday party when they turned ten? To kids everywhere, as far as they knew, it was one of the most important rites of passage in the world, like losing your first tooth, or riding a bike without training wheels.
They suspected the worst. Had Olivia been grounded? No, they reasoned, she was the kind of girl who always cleaned her room, and she had been the smartest kid in the grade since kindergarten. Was it a family tragedy? They didn’t think so. In fact they almost hoped that it wasn’t. Whatever it was, they all hurried to the library first recess in hopes of finding out.

Just as she thought, everybody went straight to the library right away first recess, but she wasn’t going to give them any answers, give them more to gossip about. At least that’s what they thought she was there for, that she was just a human windup toy that did things solely for their amusement, like she was a movie character. What was she thinking, that not having a party would make the kids in San Vel like her? It just made her more interesting.
Well, she wouldn’t even be there for them to pester today. She looked around the campus quickly. She would go the playground, she decided. Even though she didn’t really want to, it made the most sense. That was probably the last place herangry mob” would look for her; she had overheard a rumor once that said that she was allergic to playing, and that she broke into hives if she so much as dribbled a ball or jumped a rope. Plus, her mom was always saying she shouldget some fresh air”. Besides, there probably weren’t going to be any other people there anyway.
While she walked to the swing set, she thought about friendship, a topic she usually banished to the far reaches of her mind along with the rest of her dreams. Even though she didn’t like to admit it, Olivia knew that friendship was what she really wanted. It was just too depressing for her to go the playground most days; other people’s companionship was a repellent that kept Olivia away.
Oh, Olivia would love to have a best friend! They would do everything together: pass notes, laugh at private jokes, dress alike, everything! If she got a best friend soon enough., she might even invite her to her birthday party.
When she came out of her reverie, Olivia saw that she wasn’t alone. A girl with red hair and freckles was looking at her through a pair of glasses perched on the end of her long nose. Olivia didn’t remember seeing her before, so she tried to stifle the surprise in here voice as she came up to meet the new girl.

Sarah Mealier did not want to get out of bed. She did not want to go to a new school and make new friends. She did not want to embarrass herself. She didn’t want to do any of those things, but she had to. At least, that was what her mom told her when she came to wake Sarah up.
There was something strange about this school, something that was not like the others she had gone to (this was her fifth). She sensed it at once. But she wasn’t sure what it was until the bell rang, and she was late for class. Who cared if she was late, she was new. Besides, she had figured it out. There was this girl who didn’t want to have a birthday party, and the kids wondered why. Sounds like a stupid thing to get so worked up about, Sarah thought. She shrugged, and headed toward what she thought was the right direction.
Apparently it was a big deal though, because at the start of first recess, basically the whole school when into the library, which, Sarah had gathered, was where the girl (Olivia R) spent recess. The only person that didn’t head toward the library was a tallish girl with olive-tone skin. Sarah followed her. When the girl looked back and saw Sarah, she looked surprised, but not enough to stop her from coming up and saying, “Hi. What’s your name?”
Sarah,” Sarah said. “Who are you?”
Was that a smile? “Olivia. Olivia Rhubraches.”
Now it made sense. Sarah’s eyes widened. “Are you the girl they’re chasing everywhere? The one who doesn’t want to have a birthday party? Hey, why do they call you Olivia R?”
Yep, it was. “Yeah They call me Olivia R because they don’t like me enough to find out what my last name is.”
Sarah’s grin was five inches wide. “Hi, Olivia Rhubraches. My name is Sarah Mealier. Do you want to be friends?”

Olivia rushed home, not even stopping in the library to get new books. She was that excited about Sarah. She just knew, beyond doubt, that this girl was the one who was going to like her, and her family, for what they really were/ When she got there, she was out of breath, so much that her mom asked, “Whates wrong, mey darlenj?” with her accent.
Nothing, Mama. I’m just excited.”
“Abot waht?”her mom asked.
Oh, I met this girl today. She’s really nice.”
“Thates gud.”
Yeah. Could I maybe invite her over sometime?”
A crafty look came into her mom’s eyes. “You meet, leak fur yur birtday?”
Oh, why not. “Sure. Just the two of us.”

When everybody heard that Olivia R planned to have a birthday party again, the library was a mob scene at recess for the second day in a row. (The librarians present that day say it must have been the miracle of the century, and will continue to say that for the next ninety-five years.) They weren’t there to check out books, though. They were there to get invited to Olivia R’s birthday.
Olivia R was in the library that day, but the only person she ended up inviting to her birthday party wasn’t. Sarah M (nobody knew her last name either) sat on the swings while Olivia was turning downhints” (elbow jags, threats, and bribery) about getting invited to her party, and waited for Olivia to come out.
When Olivia R did get out, the first thing she did was invite Sarah M, her one and only guest, to her birthday party, which was to be held that weekend. (Olivia’s birthday was on Saturday. The birthday was going to be a sleepover. All Sarah had to do was get her parents to say yes.

Sarah had been invited to Olivia’s birthday party. All she had to do was the hard part: ask her parents.
It wasn’t like they wouldn’t let her go or anything, but her dad was always at work, and her mom--well, her mom would take it too seriously. She would cry and hug Sarah, because Sarah had made a new friend so soon. Then she would take Sarah shopping and by way too much stuff. She would make Sarah dress up for the party, and she would wear too much makeup when she dropped Sarah off. In short, Sarah would be totally embarrassed.
But Sarah couldn’t see a way of getting around it. She couldn’t lie, well she could, but she didn’t want to. She had to do it. So she took a deep breath and tried to act casual as she sat down on the couch where her mom was reading a magazine. “Hey, Mom?”
Her mom didn’t look up, “Yeah, Sarah?”
Can you give me permission to go to my new friend’s birthday party? I’m the only one invited, and it’s on Saturday.”
She had her mom’s attention now. “Really? That’s so great hon. Of course you can go.”
Good. Her mom said she’d pick me up, too.” That wasn’t a lie–yet,
Her mom looked slightly disappointed. “Oh, okay. Why don’t you call them to say you can go to the party?”
Sarah let out the breath she was holding and did just that.

That night, just as Olivia finished watching the news, Sarah called. Her mom answered. “Huoes these?”she asked.
Her mom listened for a while and said, “Olivia, ets fur you.”
Olivia took the phone. It was Sarah. “Who was that?” she asked.
Olivia knew that Sarah was only asking, but still, she hated that question, like it wasn’t obvious that she was part of her own family. If Olivia didn’t belong in her own family, where did she belong? She sighed inwardly. “My mom. Why did you call?”
Just to say I can go to your party. Oh, and can your mom pick me up?”
Oh, great. “Sure.”
Okay. I live at 555 Maple Drive.”
I know where that is. Bye.”
Bye. See you later.”
Olivia hung up the phone and, without saying a single word to anyone, went to her room and eased the door shut.. “Whates roned, Olivia?” her mom asked.

Sarah couldn’t wait for Olivia’s birthday, and, maybe because of that, the week dragged on forever. Saturday still came anyway, and pretty soon Olivia’s mom was at the door. Sarah answered it, packed (because it was a sleep-over) and ready to go. She said goodbye to her mom, and thank you to Olivia’s mom, and pretty soon they were there.

Nobody really knows what happened after that, except for Sarah and Olivia of course, and they won’t tell. It has been rumored that they watched movies all night and ate lots of popcorn. Other people think that they played Monopoly all night, and Olivia’s dad won. All we know is that they had entirely too much fun.
Nothing much has changed in San Vel since then. Olivia still puts fresh flowers on her desk and watches the news every day. The other kids still don’t know Olivia’s last name, so they still call her Olivia R. The only thing different though, is that Olivia is no longer the strangest kid in San Vel. Sarah is!

Of course, that is the story of somebody’s birthday.

P. S. Olivia sometimes spends recess on the playground now, and some other kids go to the library to read.

Elizabeth Hassler
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