The Lunch Break
I just want you happy.
That fell out of your mouth today. I could hear the disappointment dripping from every word. Hanging on to something, anything.
I stare out the window trying to remember my last smile. Several seconds pass and I’ve already forgotten the point of it all.
So many more cars pass than minutes and I realize we are sitting in silence, like strangers.
I reach for your hand, frantically hoping to remember something good about us. Instead I find myself blotting tears away with your dirty napkin.
Our “I love you’s” are as hollow as our eyes. Eyes once bright and full of life, now dulled by the ugliness of unwilling compromises.
The nervous chewing of greasy fries has consumed the cabin of this tiny car, replacing our tension with junk food. It’s much easier to swallow.
We sit parallel worried of the same future, but neither strong enough to say the words.
So we accept the moment for what it is, finish our now-cold food and head back toward my car.
Another day closer to our fate, but further from each other.
- Jennifer Preston, 2012 -
Work in Progress
"And on that same chilly morning, some time ago, I put my hand upon his cheek and looked deep into his eyes. As my icy fingers held the weight of his weary face, I noticed he looked quite beautiful in his vulnerability. Alas, what he perceived as a romantic gesture was actually an act of selfishness.
Eyes can capture so much of the world around them, that when a memory surfaces it flickers behind ones lids like a reel of home movies. They are a house filled with muted conversation and wandering ghosts ever-waiting resurrection.
Today I was in search of his secrets and I had hoped that buried in this moment of false serenity I would find them deep beneath the flecks of amber.”
- © Jennifer Preston, December 2013
"And as I watch our shapeless figures dance, I dream of a time when I preferred a bit more detail." - © Jennifer Preston, November 2013
Pale Pink Lines and Oragami Umbrellas
Little paper towns praying to be concrete cities.
Dreaming of a world unlike its very own. Ambitious dreams, but unlikely.
So strong. So permanent. Unlike the little folded foundations.
So precise. So planned.
We watch and we wait and we hope.
We watch and we wait.
Little paper towns so pale, so bleak, so disposable.
No future for the notebook paper parks or the colored card stock homes.
No smoke rising from the chimneys, no dancing through the streets, no slamming of doors.
A life with no meaning. A life following broken dashes and pale pink lines. Boundaries. Prisons.
But we wait.
A world that could come crashing down at the mention of rain, the drop of a glass, the shed of a tear. So precious. So cautious.
And yet we still wait.
We watch and we wait.
Frail and flimsy people walk its streets. Carefully walking.
Never stepping too hard. Too fast. Never stomping, or marching, or running.
Living life in the dark in fear light would burn down all they know. Too risky. Too hot.
Living in the cold is smarter. Safer. Smarter.
We wait… for nothing, if not for everything.
Because you and I both know paper won’t become concrete.
Little drawn streets won’t turn into rock highways and the frail and flimsy people will never become permanent.
Nothing eternal. Nothing remembered.
But we watch. We wait. We hope.
For nothing, if not for everything.
Daylight Savings Time
When time is all you have and all you have to lose, why do we sleep the days away and drink ourselves into mornings?
For one would think if time is so precious we wouldn’t spend time like money; unthoughtfully.
What if there was a time bank we all could use. Deposit a minute here, an hour there and when that certain someone comes along you have millions of minutes saved up just for them. Enough to live off just the interest.
If time banks existed I would take 2 hours out of my day everyday for my future special someone. When he finally stumbles into my life I’d tell him to do the same.
When we are old and gray, laying side by side, hand in hand, with only minutes left in each others eyes, I’ll say “No, not yet… we have 5 years left… or 43,200 hours to be exact.”
As you realize all those years of sleeping 6 hours instead of 8 bought us a little more time in each others arms, we’ll lay back down and hold each other tightly.
And as I let go a silent sigh of relief and a tear of joy, you’ll whisper, “Thank you” and turn out the light.