May I Touch You?

from Living a Beautiful Life

Living a Beautiful Life

“I don’t like being touched.”

“Yes.”  He knelt beside her.

“May I touch you?”  He repeated.

“Okay.”

He placed his warm palms on the front of each of her shoulders, and gently pushed down toward the yoga mat.

“Breathe into your resistance,” he said.  “And release it.”

She focused on her breathing.

“You are safe.”

How does he know?  She tensed.

“It’s okay.  Inhabit your body.”  His voice was far away.

Tears pooled in her ears, overflowed, and ran down her neck.

“Breathe into your bones.  They are yours.”

~

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The Executive

The alarm rang and the radio spat news.

Bonwit Teller opened his eyes to a foggy San Francisco morning.

He threw off the comforter, angrily pulled down the shades, and
crawled back into bed.

The phone rang

“Hi Bonwit, it’s Jerry. This is your wake-up call per your request.”
“Hi Jerry”
“Are you up?”
“Yes”
“That was a helluva rant you gave last night”
“Which one? I was drunk.”
“About old man Lazaro.”

Bonwit sat up.

Jerry continued: “You made old man Lazaro look like a jackass.”

Bonwit answered: “I guess I owe him an apology. I say wicked things
when I’m drunk. Thanks for the wake-up Jerry.”

Market Street looked like the Exodus scene from the Ten Commandments.

“Let my people go,” Bonwit heard a beggar say.

He dropped some cash into the beggars’ cup and hurried into
the underground.

He saw the same beggar sitting cross-legged in front of the
ticket machine.

He held a sign that read: “Dying from AIDS. Please help me.”

Bonwit dropped some cash into his cup and hurried onto
the platform.

The N-Judah to Ocean Beach arrived; Bonwit was desperate
to take it.

He wanted to run from the Financial District and its beggars who follow him everywhere, who sit in front of the Pyramid and glare at him: as if he is the one who stripped them of everything and left them to starve.

“They glare at me.,” Bonwit muttered to himself. “Not my secretary; not
old man Lazaro.”

Lazaro’s face formed in his mind; boyish yet old; kind yet cruel.

Bonwit spat on that face and remembered his rage at last night’s dinner.

Lazaro compared Bonwit to a General in a noble army.

“That’s what you are.” Lazaro said. “And the sales force is your troops. They depend on you for supplies and protection. Think of our company as a complex system of privileges and obligations. Your people need you Bonwit.”

“I’m just a fucking travel agent and you’re just an old queen!” Bonwit drunkenly snarled.

Bonwit rose from the Montgomery Street Station and walked to the Pyramid.

The skyscrapers sprouted arms and hands; they pointed at him
and jeered.

Bonwit entered the elevator and felt his stomach drop.

Bonwit thought; I am truly a pain in the ass.

As if I don’t know why I’m here.

I am Master.  It’s that simple.

The doors opened onto the thirteenth floor and Bonwit smiled benevolently at the housekeeper. “Good morning Violet.”

“’’Morning Mister Teller.”

“Have I met my obligations to you this week?”

“I got a paycheck if that’s what you mean?”

“I’m so pleased.” Bonwit replied.

He entered his office and rang his secretary: “Mary, will you call the Whiskey Shop and have a bottle of Macallan 1939 delivered to Mr. Lazaro?

“Yes Mr. Teller. Mr. Lazaro is in his office and wants to meet with you.”

Bonwit entered Lazaro’s office and took a seat.

Lazaro glared at him. “Bonwit, darling! You’re late.”

“I walked this morning.”

“That’s terrible for the waistline! I’m removing you from the Texaco Account. Shirley complained this morning.”

“About what.”

“She said Hal’s tickets were late.”

“I had those tickets printed and sent before Shirley ordered them.”

Lazaro shrugged and smiled. “Maybe she has it in for you.”

Bonwit returned to his office and crossed to the picture window
behind his desk.

He studied the expanse of the Bay Bridge and the inviting waters
below.

 

 

...and at the inviting waters below...
…and at the inviting waters below…

 

 

 

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I Am That Child

I am that child who watched in horror
as a policeman shot and killed my
Father.

I am that child gunned down
at school; my last words were,
Help me! I don’t want to be here!”

I am that child tortured and beaten
and left in a field to die because
I am gay.

I am that child who listens
fearfully as a rich white lady
on TV says that my life does
not matter.

I am every child who has ever gone to
bed hungry

And cold

And homeless

And illiterate

And sick

Because of the evil of adults who know what
they do.

And If I grow up I will shit on your streets

And feed your prisons

And live as evidence of your contempt for life

And the human spirit

And your bestial need for more.

I am the battered face of your hate.

Look at me!

 

Art by Rob Goldstein
I Am the Battered Face of Your Hate

 

Poem and Image (c) Rob Goldstein 2016

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Featured Blogger: D. Wallace Peach

The cover of an ebook by D. Wallace Peach to open an interview with her as featured blogger
The Bone Wall by D. Wallace Peach

My Featured blogger for October is author D. Wallace Peach from Myths of the Mirror.

Before we begin, thank you for accepting my invitation.

Thanks so much for inviting me, Robert. I’m honored to be chatting on your blog.

Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from and how that affects your point of view?

Great question as I do think our roots inform who we are. I come from a family that spent its free time in the forest. My parents used to drop my younger brothers and me off at a trailhead in the Green Mountains and pick us up 4 days later, 25 miles down the road. Sort of “Hansel and Gretel” except we carried maps. The first time we hiked without adults, I was about 11 years old and my youngest brother would have been 7. We were fearless and adventurous kids. Sometimes the raccoons got into our food or we got stuck in a snowstorm, but we survived. Those are some of the best memories of my life, and they had nothing to do with “things.”

I was also raised by left-wing liberals, and though I labored in business for 18 years, I hated the focus on money. After 9/11, I started working as a volunteer with grieving children, quit my job, and returned to school for a counseling degree, which I loved. Today, as an author, my fantasy books reflect an appreciation for a simple life, nature, and the human pathos that arises from choices: fear, greed, power, compassion, sacrifice, and love.

You mention that your profile that as a child you preferred television to reading until you read the Hobbit by Tolkien. What was it about the Hobbit changed your life?

Reading was b..o..r..i..n..g until I turned 13 and opened The Hobbit. I plowed through it and the LoTR series in about 2 weeks. I was entranced by the characters and the epic story. When the book ended, I had a serious book hangover and cried myself to the library. I’m certain I would never have considered writing if I hadn’t cracked that magical book. Books can change lives.

September 11 was another life-changing event and as a result, you returned to school. What was that like for you?

I wasn’t in New York, and I can’t claim any heroics or personal sacrifice. I still choke up thinking about that day: the fear, the lives lost, the families forever changed, the first responders and hundreds of souls who toiled tirelessly in the rubble, risking their own health. I was working in business and suddenly couldn’t deal with the sales and profits and money-is-king mentality. None of it mattered. What mattered were human beings, love, bravery, compassion, kindness. I quit my executive job and went back to school so I could be poor and happy doing something of value.

Portrait of D. Wallace Peach
Portrait of Author D. Wallace Peach


You graduated with a Master’s degree in counseling. What kind of counseling did you do?

I became a pastoral counselor – basically mental health with a spiritual (not religious) foundation. I wanted to work with people who were dying and grieving, and an openness to all variations in spiritual faith seemed important. I ended up doing most of my grief work as a volunteer and got a job counseling little kids (0-5) and their families. It was all transformative heart-based growth – especially for me.

What draws you to fantasy?

Oh. I’m a believer in magic – basically that the world is far more complex and interconnected than my pea-brain can possibly imagine. Just because we can’t prove something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Just because we can’t see or measure something doesn’t mean it isn’t real. I know a teeny-weeny tiny fraction of all there is to know, which to me, means anything is possible. I like asking what-if questions about the nature of reality and ushering them down the path of my imagination to see where they go.

What do you find easiest about writing?

I find all of it rewarding but none of it particularly easy. The first draft is the most challenging for me. The story is outlined but unformed, and the characters can’t help but share their opinions about who they are and where they want to go. We’re in a constant state of negotiation and I’m often backtracking. Sometimes the words pour out and sometimes I have to wrench them out with plyers.

 

The cover of the fantasy novel, The Melding of Aeris by D. Wallace Peach
The Melding of Aeris

 

What writers give you inspiration?

I love character-driven stories and beautifully crafted words. I read a lot of fantasy, and like both stand-alone books and big, fat series. My favorite fantasy authors are Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson, and Joe Abercrombie to name a few.

I read with a highlighter and mark up my books when I find something wonderful.

When did you start blogging?

I started in 2013, but I was completely clueless for the first 2 years. I didn’t know that social media was supposed to be social (duh) and had 7 likes my first whole year. I was so bad. I started watching what the successful bloggers did, the ones I enjoyed following, and finally the light-bulb flicked on. Now I have lively interactions with a large community on a daily basis. Much, much better.

  1. What advice do you have for writers who want to use their blogs to market their books?

I’m no expert, Robert, but here are my two cents: Go ahead and market, but remember that the most important part of blogging is building relationships – interact and reciprocate. Be yourself, of course, but remember that your blog is also your professional platform; you are sharing yourself as a person and author as well as posting content that represents the quality of your work. Pay it forward by doing for the community what you would like the community to do for you. And most of all, enjoy yourself.

Some Word Press bloggers think of Word Press as a community. Do you think of it as a
community?

Absolutely. I love that aspect of blogging. I love the way the world shrinks, the rich feelings shared by wonderful people all over the globe, the empathy and support of strangers who become good friends. There’s talent and kindness, beauty and compassion everywhere. It gives me hope and makes me smile.

How do you define success?

In all parts of my life: Happiness.

We only get this one life, Robert; there are no second chances, no do-overs. We are each miracles, here through the perfect alignment of billions of years of evolution, choices, and chance. It’s not a gift to be wasted. Happiness means different things to different people, but for me it’s choosing an attitude of kindness, care, and compassion and acting on that choice. Writing is something that brings me joy, no strings attached.

The Cover of fantasy novel, Myths of the Mirror by D. Wallace Peach
Myths of the Mirror

 

Thank you for your an enlightening interview.  It was a pleasure.

And thank you for asking! I didn’t talk much about my books (for once, Lol). If anyone is interested, my Amazon author’s page line up (9 books) is here: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8, and my blog is Myths of the Mirror: http://mythsofthemirror.com. Visitors are always welcome!

 

RG 2016

 

 

 


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