Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Single White Pill

A Single White Pill
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

A single white pill.
A pill to cure
the condition that controls me.
Take once a day with food.
Swallow whole,
and don’t chew.
Must take at the same hour as before.
What harm could it do,
but then the problems started,
one problem in particular.
I was never a twig,
but I was hardly plumb.
And the pounds started packing together.
I fought it
by walking
two miles a week,
but then winter came.
And so did the love handles,
and now I’m just disgusted.
Too many side effects,
and the pill was terminated.
But not the weight.
The war waged on with the scale.
Somehow, someway, I will drag
my sorry butt to the gym,
but my tv program has just went on.
Maybe, tomorrow.
Maybe, next week.
An empty promise,
I know,
but then I look in the mirror,
remembering a sliver of myself.
All this because of medicine.
A single white pill.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

FarAway Sky


FarAway Sky
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

The fog slowly lifted upward to a faraway gray sky. Its world breathed a sigh of relief. It was no longer blind, and angry bright lights did not have to honk and brake in a struggle to find the road below. A bird even sang, grateful that now it could find lunch, which too crawled along a blind surface, but I just remained sitting beside the living room window with a hot mug of tea in my hands. I knew the world veiled, but I craved this one. For deep in the fog lies the unknown, possibility, but when my world returns as it does now, I fade to gray like the faraway sky.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Quiet Room

The Quiet Room
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

August 21, 2050.  5 p.m.  They brought her in.  She was bloody, disoriented, and hysterical.  She mumbled incoherent sentences as they pulled her past me.  Like a doll, she was thrown inside, and then the white wall came crashing down, cutting her out from this world.  A hand print pressed against the panel.  Infinite, which was strange for the ones mostly brought here lasted anywhere from a day to a few years.  There was one that was of different circumstances that remained behind the white wall for over ten years, so was she the same?

I knew better than to ask questions.  I received their paperwork, and without a word, they left.  They reminded me of a pack of wolves but in corporate wear, so I definitely knew better than to ask them anything.  Sure, I wanted to know, but the last guy to ask questions was found shortly later in an alleyway with not only his tongue cut out but also his prized jewels.  I valued mine, so I would be quiet.  I would be as quiet as these quiet rooms.

Now, to business.  I dropped the paperwork for the newcomer on the nearly visible desk that liked floating right behind me.  I lost track of how many times I bumped or bruised into it.   It was better when desks didn’t float.  Computers were now the size of dimes, so why couldn’t desks be the same?  And the desk swallowed her paperwork and spit out those waiting to be released from confinement.

It was funny releasing those cut from this world.  They reminded me of children.  They all wore long, white gowns with fuzzy, white slippers.  They were clean from the condensing showers inside.  Not one germ touched their pale skin, and their eyes shined from the fluorescent lights.  They looked at me but didn’t say a word.  I gestured to the panel for their handprint, and they followed my lead.  And then I would lead them to the waiting area, where someone normally would await them.  If nobody was there, and there were those situations, I would have to call in Assistance.  And those people are never too friendly.  They acted like these lost souls were the burden of society and treated them as such, getting them ready to go outside just to throw them to the curb.  It was disgusting, and I despised them.  But I never said a word.

There were four today.  One was here for a day.  Another a month.  Two had been confined for almost two years.  I wondered what they had done to deserve that sentence, and like the newcomer, they came in wild.  And now they were porcelain dolls standing before me and hoping to be part of the world once again, and who am I to deny them that?  They suffered enough, so I led them to the waiting area, where all but one had someone waiting.  Great.  Now, I had to call in Assistance, and with gritted teeth, I did just that.

What else was on the agenda?  Nothing.  Once Assistance dragged off that last soul, I was left to do my normal routine.  The quiet rooms reminded of that labyrinth tale, the one with the minotaur at the end, Theseus, I believe.  I loved drifting across those jagged corridors, thinking nothing, listening against the soft, white walls for life inside.  Mostly, I heard nothing, and if I heard something, it was crying.  It was always crying.  They just couldn’t stand to be alone, and the thought of isolation shivered through me.  I would hate to be them.  Most of them came here because of drugs, and in this world, rehabilitation was a street hoar at the corner giving you the low dose stuff.  So, they came here.  The others were just crazy, but I know that you’re not supposed to use that word.  But I don’t care.  Which one was the newcomer, and like the others, she was crying too.

A month passed.  She would always be crying.  When she wasn’t crying, she was screaming.  Half the time, I couldn’t understand her.  The other half was crazy talk.  Murder.  Conspiracy.  Lies.  Betrayal.  It was the stuff of novels, and as I drifted around in-between errands, I found myself drawn to her room.  If I was a writer, I would capture her words, but I’m not.  I was never good with words, which was one reason why I came here.  They liked people like me.  They knew I would not ask questions, and I didn’t.  I might be curious but not dangerously curious, so they watched me less.  And when I did need something, I would tap on the security cameras twice, and someone would come.  But that rarely occurred.

Four months later.  She was the last newcomer.  That caused me to fear.  The last place like this that was shut down was covered in conspiracy.  The staffer, me had disappeared.  Some patients vanished too because the shutdown was prior to their release date.  Some whispered that they were all murdered, cleansed out.  Some whispered that they were dropped off onto one of those islands far, far out to sea to never be heard from again.  That wouldn’t be so bad to be stranded on an island, but I doubted those words.  They were dead.  If this place goes, so do I .

I had started checking her panel often.  She showered once a day.  She slept six to seven hours.  She read when she was awake.  The crying and screaming had finally ceased.  She seemed more hungry now than before.  Strange.  Their appetites mostly diminished here, but hers had increased.  It was like she was eating for two, but that couldn’t be right.  They do medical checks before bringing them here, but what if they missed something with her?

My curiosity itched.  Part of me wanted to open the white wall, but that was forbidden.  That was certain death, and her panel was red locked.  If I dared to open it, it would sound the alarms.  I wouldn’t even have time to run.  Her life was not worth mine, so I ignored the itch.  But it grew, and a few months later, I felt nearly consumed.

I pressed my ear against the white wall, wishing I could peer inside.  I could feel her on the other side.  Did she know I was there?  I could talk to her or at least try, but I was never good with words.  I knocked once against the soft surface, and then I glanced anxiously at the cameras overhead.  They were watching.  I knew better, but I couldn’t help it.  Something was off.  I felt it.  Since she arrived here, it wasn’t right, and even if they never returned, I knew they were close.  One wrong move, and it was all over.

Read More Here: https://inkbok.com/free-works/quiet-room

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Alternate Prism

Alternate Prism
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

I live and breath
I dream as the day goes by.
I wait for the
bus to roll in,
and as I wait,
I realize now
that I am not alone.
She turns to me,
and her mouth falls open.
It was as if she knew me,
but it wasn’t me.
It was another,
a touch of alternate reality,
but I just step aside.
I shake it off
when I realized how
he stared at the birds nearby
like two stars dancing
toe to toe,
an alternate Reality show.
They were all staring off into space.
At least, most were,
catching a glimpse of a world
beyond my own,
and I no longer live and breath

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

This Isolation

This Isolation
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

My life is lived 
in isolation. 
I'm alive, 
and I'm not. 
And I want to be seen, 
so I stand upon this stage, 
ready to take on the world. 
But I choke 
on strings 
I pull, 
a porcelain doll 
threatened to break, 
but I want to be heard. 
I want to live, 
be alive, 
and escape 

Five Years Gone

Five Years Gone
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

Five years ended
with a push
of a button.
Fade to black.
The past is gone.
Vacant is the chair,
and the ghost of me remains,
haunted in
this space
to mingle among the other ghosts.
Forget you
will not,
and darkness
moves in.
So long.
my friends. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

The NY State of Mind Does Not Brake For Enlightenment

The NY State of Mind Does Not Brake For Enlightenment
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

George Carlin had this joke. Take a pad and paper with you every day.  Count up to ten.  That would be the number of assholes that you would encounter in a day, but sometimes, you would even get past ten.  I personally lose count every time I’m behind the wheel going to work or coming home because drivers lately have the need for speed, and as another car cuts me off, missing me by an inch, I glance down at the book beside me.  It’s ‘A Simple Path’ by the Dalai Lama.

Consciousness.  It’s an entity in itself.  Does it stem from emptiness within?  Does Karma factor into its role?  If anything, Karma is based on the cause and effect of decisions made through consciousness, but I have to wonder if the drivers playing Frogger before me are aware of their dangerous actions.  I was just going to the vet’s office for my furball’s annual shots when Mr. Purple began to erratically flash his headlights.  Either he was having a seizure or he really needed to call his proctologist, but he was not the boss of me.  And he would not be the first nor last road rager that I would encounter.

It’s the true lying game.  We tell ourselves that we are in control, but are we really?  One wrong move, and it’s all over.  And do you think that they would tell the cops the truth?  No.  They would lie to cover their ass, and then after everything is said and done, they would do it all over again.  It’s a vicious cycle.  It’s like my brother, who is incapable of telling the truth.  Granted, that might be part of his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but even when cornered after throwing out an important document, he still cannot confess the truth.  You know that he did it.  He knows that he did it, but that is as far as you go.  And drivers play the same game.

It was a quiet day at work last week.  I decided to leave early and have my blood drawn.  The parking lot was a zoo, but I finally found a space.  The wait was brief, and the labwork was done.  I was ready to go home, but as I slowly pulled out of my space, loud honking ensued.  I braked, looking over my shoulder to see a woman bent over her steering wheel and going berserk.  I waited until she was done spewing curse words muffled by her raised windows.  Once done, she merely glared at me, so again, I backed out.  And then she went berserk again, screaming curse words that only she could hear, and finally hitting the gas like a bat out of hell, and then she stopped at the STOP sign, waiting for her turn to merge.

I had a fish once called Louie.  He was always mouthing off.  He loved to swear just as much as I did, and that fish swore up until the day when the cat ate him.  It strikes me funny that no matter how much I like to swear, I rarely do that when I’m driving.  Sure, I get those that hunch over their steering wheel, mouthing infamous words that only they could hear, or I get those that make the bird signal.  It doesn’t faze me.  Only in the rarest situation do I let those certain words course through the air.  One situation would be when I was merging at the top of Route 6, and this guy with a car full of people drove right alongside my car, trying to force me over into the barrier or opposite lane just to cut me off.  He nearly drove himself and those people with him into a ditch, but lucky for him, he was just able to squeeze his ass in front of me to avoid disaster.  And the boy in the backseat glared at me like I was the villain, but that’s just the sweet lie that they would believe.

We are our own worst enemy.  We are marionettes, and our puppeteer is that voice inside our head.  We tell ourselves that we have the right of way, ignoring that YIELD sign by Exit 15, and then we brake hard when a car flies by, missing us by only an inch.  We tell ourselves that yes, we can merge, but that other car stays beside us, blocking the merge, and causing conflict and confusion.  Why are they still there?  You are in control.  You own the road.  You tell yourself that, feeling the need for speed, dodging in-between those that would slow you down, and nobody better stand in your way.  Or so that voice tells you, pulling those strings, and laughing silently at the thunder of collision.  It’s a lie, a lie that we will always believe because that voice shapes our reality, and we see its perfection not its flaws.  And then we press the pedal to consciousness, making rash decisions based on what we believe to be true, but we could be dead wrong.  Luckily, that is rarely the case, but some come close.  And when we need that voice the most to guide us out of harm’s way, it falls silent.  You are on your own, and your strings are cut.  Et tu Brute?

Life is far from a simple path.  Its jagged turns leave us bleeding, broken, and jagged ourselves.  Our mentality is not programmed for peace, love, and understanding, at least not here in our New York State of mind.  We are fierce creatures especially on these roadways, some as infamous as Route 6(66).  We cannot be courteous when we don’t even observe and obey basic road signs like YIELD or STOP.  We’re consumed with thought, one thought in particular that we are in control.  Resistance is futile, and we will never change.  I see that every day as I scribble down on my mental notepad the assholes that I encounter.  George Carlin was right.  You could count up to ten in a day, but I seem to lose count after awhile.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Under White

Under White
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

I didn’t make it to twenty.  I had four and a half months to go.  It was only a year since I graduated high school, and I didn’t go to college.  I went into retail, staying home, and working mind numbing work.  That was my life.  That was me, and if I only had health insurance, I wouldn’t be here now lying on this cold, metal table under a white sheet.

I just went to sleep one night.  I was opening the store with the assistant manager.  The commute was only half an hour.  I didn’t want to be late.  Sure, I had a Red Bull or two this week, but I didn’t know about my heart condition.  I didn’t know how bad my heart really was until I read the coroner’s report.  My chest felt funny, and I was tired.  So, I just went to sleep one night, and I guess I never woke up.  I’m sure the assistant manager cursed me out really good for being a no show, but I had my excuse.  I just feel sorry for the one that found me.

I thought I was having some bizarre dream.  I was cold, winter cold like my body held no more heat.  I couldn’t feel my hands, my feet, nothing.  I knew I was lying down, and my covers were over my head as usual.  But they felt funny.  They looked funny, and then I heard water dripping into a sink.  That’s strange.  The bathroom is next to my room, but it was loud, so very loud like it was right next to me.  Maybe, I had to go to the bathroom.  Maybe, this was my mind telling me to go, but my mind was quiet.  It’s never quiet, and an uneasiness began to fill me.  I had to get up.  I had to, but it was like being strapped down onto a table.  My body would not answer me.  I must have worked at it for so very long, and then finally I sat up.  And the sheet fell away.

This was not my bedroom.  The light overhead was dim, flashing, but it was not the warm glow that would greet me at night.  There was no bed, no desk or dresser.  This was a morgue, and I was a corpse.  This was no dream, and I screamed a soundless scream.  Then, I looked down at my body.  I looked like a Clockwork Orange, and I was naked.  Was I a vampire?  No.  There could be no such thing, and I was not bitten.  Why was I not in heaven, and someone whispered, “Heaven’s closed for business.”

I spun around the small room.  The sink continued to drip.  Someone was there, but I couldn’t see them.  I was not alone.  I was sure of it, and I wrapped the sheet tighter around my body.  I might be dead, but still, no free shows.  And then I saw him hunched over his desk, going through files of the dead, and eating a hamburger and fries.  Seriously?  You’re eating a hamburger and fries with a dead girl in the room?

“Hello,” I tried to say.  Some air only came out.  The smell stung my eyes.  At least, I think it did, and I tried to wipe at my eyes.  My body was moving better now not so sluggish.  I needed clothes.  I needed to get out of here.  I needed to go home…  I can’t go home, and that thought should have destroyed my heart, if I had one.  I can’t go home, so where do I go next?

He nearly choked on his food.  He shot up to his feet and gagged.  He was speechless.  He was speechless.  Can you believe that with his half eaten food tempting me, but I craved something else.  No.  It wasn’t flesh.  It was water, and I made my way over to the sink.  And I began to drink, and as I did, he loosened his tie and pressed one hand against his forehead.  I’m sorry, pal.  You’re neither sick nor crazy.  I’m still dead, and I need money.  So, I held my hand out, and it took him a long time to realize what I was asking for.  He handed over his leather wallet and car keys, which was even better.  Granted, I have no clue what I’m going to do or where I’m going to go, but I was not staying here.  Let my casket be empty.  I hope my parents forgive me for I refuse to go to ground, and I started to leave the room.

“Mort,” and then he threw up.  He collapsed onto his knees and held himself.  He refused to look at me after that.  I couldn’t look at me, and I couldn’t blame him.  He was after all inside me, playing with my insides, and then stitching me up like a Raggedy Ann doll.  Let him be sick.  How can you eat with a dead girl in the room, and I grabbed an extra white lab coat hanging up by the door.  I dropped the sheet not caring if he looked or not, and I slipped into the coat.  And I almost felt human, but I wasn’t.  I didn’t know what I was, but he called me something.  He called me a Mort whatever that was supposed to mean, and I had no words to leave behind.  I was just gone.  I was gone, and who I was, who I used to be remained behind under white.

Read The Entire Series Here: https://inkbok.com/free-works/under-white