Across the Way

Red lights abound,

A flickering side-show hiding our frowns,

Dressed up all pretty;

just want to be found.

Empty glasses accenting nothing,

but young blood craving something;

more.

Things seems good,

potentially normal.

He wants to chat,

thinks I’m immoral.

I tell him to fuck off.

Mood seems dampened,

But I bite back the tears.

Because after all;

it was just a compliment, nothing weird.

At least that’s what my best friend seemed to think.

Hours later the bars all closed.

My spirits had lifted; I suppose.

Said my farewells and let her drive,

away.

because she was always more poised than I…

…thought I could be.

Can’t question that, because it’s easier just to trust she’s got your back. And if she has my back I’m sure she has her own…you can’t defend another if you’re all exposed. Can you?

And if I can’t honestly say I have my own, then who’s got her back? Because I clearly don’t…since I’m the bitch who let her drive away; all fucked up on oxy cut with glaze.

Too late now,

I say to myself;

Walking down the street,

On my way to the house.

Few minutes later,

phone makes a ding,

weights all seem lifted,

when she says she’s home safe.

And that makes one. I thought to myself, eyeing that same shadow across the way. It belongs to the creep that I’d kept at bay. But now it’s all dark, and I’m not feeling sure…that I could do it again. Alone. Here.

He probably lives on campus, probably not a bad guy. Just a little pushy when hyped up on rye. The rhyming is lazy when I’m all worked up. Thing’s don’t quite flow and we all know what they serve at bars. I could try and rhyme alcohol for you but I don’t think it would matter, in communicating this learned fucking reflex that causes me to cower…when I see a man. When I don’t know what he’s doing over there.

Across the way.

I’m sure it’s nothing, and that little flash every thirty seconds is probably his phone.

Still; my hand is on that whistle…the best gag gift I ever got.

And I’m sending this message because I just want you to know, that I don’t feel quite right being alone…right now. And maybe the drugs just cloud up my mind, maybe his shadow is nothing but kind, but maybe I don’t feel like he’s reassured me of that the way he touched me without asking.

So, I’ll send you a text in a minute or two,

When I walk through that door we’ll know I was a fool,

for shivering and quivering in these fucking high heels,

hoping to God he isn’t the kind of tool,

who likes my false advertisement; my eyes still belong to you.

So don’t fucking worry,

I’ll be home in a few.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Digital concept painting:

Soapyabstract4

Copr Blu-art 2018

The artwork and poetry portrayed here is the exclusive property of Blu-art and cannot be reproduced in any fashion without explicit and authentic written permission from me that is reproducible and recorded by me. 

Quotes of a Cynic #14

Me on the anti-homeless spikes being implemented in certain cities:

Why can’t we try,

When children cry,

For a parent who loves them more than dope,

and snorting coke.

How can we lie,

to the families of those who’ve died,

fighting a war they didn’t believe in.

You don’t know where a person came from, you don’t know if it’s their fault, so give them the benefit of the doubt, instead of pretending you’re devout. A homeless person could be a student, a parent, a veteran, or even you. People treat them like they aren’t people, and that’s sick. Sometimes life isn’t fair, so it’s rough when the people with the power to change that deny the issue. 

Daily Blog 9/6/17

There seemed to be an issue with the URL when I posted this yesterday, making it impossible to properly link it in the previous blog-post. So, I’m just going to re-upload it an hour before I put out Daily Blog: 9/7/17.

Enjoy!

Previous: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/05/daily-blog-9517/

IX

November 21st, 2016

Hadley had been clean eleven and a half months. Furthermore, she’d stopped drinking beyond the occasional glass of red with dinner, or sharing a bottle of Krug with Simon on special occasions. She’d gained a healthy five pounds of lean muscle, and Bill had told her if she keeps her win-streak up she’d make partner in a year or two. Another two months and Adam would complete her family and she could be whole again. Well, that is if Simon ever came back from the bathroom. She and Simon had reservations in thirty minutes at L’Espalier, the swankiest restaurant in Boston, and Simon was busy mucking around the bathroom.

“Simon, what the hell. We’re going to be late!”

Something about a stomach ache. Since when does it take five minutes to piss and take a god damn pill? She’d bought a new dress, and even had her nails, hair, and makeup done. This was the first time, in a long time, she’d bothered to dress up. She heard the bathroom door open. A couple seconds later Simon walked into the room, smiling. Feigning indignation, Hadley asked “Are you going to make it a habit to keep me waiting? On my birthday, no less?”

Chuckling, Simon replied “My apologies, madam. One thing just led to another!”

“Oh, really? Please, do tell.” said Hadley, maintaining a straight face.

“Well first, there was the Ibuprofen. I just couldn’t break that child lock. Not for the life of me. So then, naturally I had to find a small reflex hammer. I mean, a large hammer wouldn’t do, I needed the pills in-tact. “

An abrupt pounding made Simon stiffen. Hadley’s face, previously contorted in laughter, suddenly grew concerned. “Who could that be? Were you expecting someone, Simon?  Another…lover, perhaps?” At this their tension released and they both burst out laughing, Simon clutching his side as he opened the door.

Their laughter faded quickly upon seeing Tom’s sullen expression.

Warily, Simon asked, “Tom, what are you doing here? Did something happen?”

Hadley noted that Tom’s face, while distraught, was still attractive. He had piercing hazel eyes, and a full head of dark brown hair, like his brother. He also shared his wide, and well-defined Jawline with Simon.

Looking down, and then to the left, Tom sighed.

“What’s wrong?” asked Hadley softly. Tom winced, looking up to meet Hadley’s eyes. But he still wasn’t making eye contact. He was looking through her. What’s going on? Hadley’s hands began to shake in fear.

Mournfully, in his soft tenor, Tom said “There was an accident. My wife…” Hadley rushed forward and pulled Tom into her arms, as Simon fell back against the left door-hinge.

“I’m so sorry Tom, is Gia okay? What…what happened?” asked Hadley, pulling him closer.

Stricken, Simon asked “Tom, is Adam with you?” As tears ran down Tom’s cheek, he looked to Simon and shook his head once. Simon started to slide down the wall, until he sat on the ground leaning against the door. Hadley paused, looking to Simon and back to Tom in confusion.

“Wait… Where is Adam… Where is my Son!” shouted Hadley, pushing away from Tom. Simon’s face was buried in his calloused hands. “He is my Son! Mine, where is my Son! Tom, tell me!” Tom’s head hung low, his eyes wide, tears trickling. Hadley started to hit Tom’s broad chest with her fists. “Tell me!” She screamed, tears falling.

Shamefully, Tom whispered, “Gia was driving him home from his doctor’s appointment.” As he started to speak, Hadley stopped hitting him and stepped away, bouncing from foot to foot as if she were about to box. “She stopped at a red light, and when it turned green, she went. But another car ran the red. He broadsided Gia’s car. Gia and the other driver are both in intensive care. He was drinking. Adam…” Tom choked, struggling to continue “Adam didn’t make it.” No.

Lunging forward, Hadley attacked Tom, screaming “He is my Son!” Tom tried to grab her arms as she scratched at his face. “You were supposed to protect him, keep him safe!” Tom got a hold of both of her arms, wrapping his own around Hadley, restraining her as she struggled. “How could you let this happen!” Hadley bit Tom’s shoulder and he shouted in pain, maintaining his powerful grip around her shoulders.

“I’m so sorry. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go.” Tom shouted back, trying to shake free of Hadley’s maw. Hadley loosened her bite to spit in Tom’s face. Surprised, Tom let go of Hadley and she lunged at Tom, but Simon caught her around the waist, her blue dress tearing as she struggled towards Tom. Simon pulled her in, turned her around and hugged her, hard. Defeated, Hadley fell limp, arms hanging listlessly at her sides.

“He was my…son.” She sobbed in Simon’s arms. He was ours.

___________________

Thanks for reading!

Next chapter: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/08/daily-blog-9717/

Daily Blog 9/4/17

Chapter 6-2 and 8 are very positive chapters, especially compared to the maelstrom/gauntlet that is 9, 10, 11-1, 11-2, and 12. These lighter chapters are easier to edit than the heavy ones. Revisiting some of the darker chapters tends to sour my mood as I remember writing it and being in such a negative place. But they’re important to the plot and overall pacing that I’m striving for, so it’s worth it.

Besides, to edit, is divine. This is one of the easiest ways to edit. Simply go over a single chapter a day at a time. I caught about four typos/mechanical errors, and improved the overall flow in about forty minutes of working with this chapter, which is really encouraging. About two chapters ago, I found a major issue with the timeline, and was able to fix it pretty easily which was great.

I hope everyone had a great Memorial day weekend! Mine was basically preparing chemistry-related class materials, which wasn’t as bad as it may sound. But I hope you guys got to do something fun with friends and family!

Enjoy! : D

Start at the beginning: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/08/27/daily-blog-82717/

*Explicit language.

 

VI-II

December 4th, 2015-Hadley

 

“Would Hadley Sheffield please rise to testify?” recited Keller, as he turned to Hadley, smiling in his collected, grandfatherly, gate. Alright, stay calm. You can do this. Returning Keller’s smile, Hadley pushed back her seat and got up. Simon gently patted her lower back as she walked around him towards the stand. As she sat, Hadley noticed for the first time how many people had bothered showing up. There must be over forty people here! A bit of an audience for a shut-in like me. Deep breathes, Hadley. In the back, there was a channel 6 local news camera-man. The case was by no means high-profile, however, Simon’s academic fame had drawn some media interest, exacerbated by an outburst during lecture five months prior.

The Judge recited, “Do you, Hadley Sheffield, swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; so help you God?”

“I do.” said Hadley, steeling herself.

Keller smiled reassuringly at Hadley, and asked “The pills you took that night, what were they, Hadley?”

Returning his smile, she responded “It was folic acid, during my pregnancy with Adam, I took a morning and nightly dose.” Clear and confidant, pretend it’s a school presentation.

Nodding, Keller continued, “CPS ended up performing their screening for drugs based on Gia’s report. While her intentions were noble, she didn’t understand the circumstance. SS shouldn’t have administered a drug test until it was clear what you had taken. Furthermore, the drug test did not find traces of oxycodone in your system. What can you tell me about what they did find.”

Cautiously, Hadley answered, “I can’t lie, Keller. I’ve struggled with addiction since I was seventeen, but I’ve been clean for quite a while now, despite having Adam taken from me. I took the heroin they found in my system long before I knew I was pregnant, I thought I’d gained a couple pounds, initially, as the doctor had recommended, I put on at least fifteen pounds and I was eating a lot at the time.”

Nodding, Keller asked, “The drug test also discovered light traces of a barbiturate. What can you tell me about that?”

This caught Hadley off guard, they hadn’t gone over this part. Why mention that? Biting her lip, Hadley responded, “Well, Simon prescribed me a very light dose to ease the severe withdrawal symptoms. He said it could be dangerous to go cold turkey without immune support as well as a barbiturate. He actually told me the withdrawal could potentially harm the baby more than continuing the drugs, and he said the risk was minor.”

Looking back to the Judge, Keller said “The defense rests.” Keller gave Hadley a quick, reassuring wink as he went to sit down.

Jacobs turned to Jeffrey, asking, “Would the plaintiff like to cross-examine?”

“Yes, your honor.” Jeffrey said, in his haggard southern drawl. I’d give anything to not have to talk to this troll.

Approaching Hadley, Jeffrey fixed his collar. Wearing an expression of disgust, he asked, “Mrs. Sheffield, you don’t honestly think Adam would be better off in your care, do you? A woman, who readily admits to injecting heroin for at least six years of her life?” How dare he judge her?

Hadley felt a sudden twang of rage, fists tightening and cheeks flushing, she shouted, “I never said that! I only used for a year. I said I struggled with addiction for six years, and I’ve been clean. Dumbass.”

“Language, Mrs. Sheffield.” Warned the Judge.

“For what, two months?” Jeffrey responded with mock sincerity.

Hadley’s jaw tightened and her grip tightened around her knees under the table. He’s making that obnoxious face again. Baiting me… Against her better judgment, Hadley spat, “Fuck you!”

The Judge slammed her gavel, announcing, “Order, Mrs. Sheffield, last warning on your language. Mr. Jeffrey, this is not a criminal trial, get to the point.”

Jeffrey smiled, nodding at the Judge before saying, “I think Mrs. Sheffield has proven my point. Plaintiff rests.” Sighing, Hadley got up and returned to her seat, guiltily avoiding her husband’s gaze. As she sat down, he rubbed her back lightly. As she looked to him, he smiled, before mouthing “It’s okay.”

Looking to Keller, the Judge asked “Mr. Ross, is your final witness present, and willing to testify?”

Keller glanced at Simon, who nodded, and replied, “Yes, Mr. Sheffield is ready.” Simon stood and approached the stand. He was wearing her favorite navy blue suit, the one with the matte finish that contrasted well with his striped blue and black tie, and clean white shirt. As he swore his oath, he made eye contact with Hadley. His face looked tired, worn down. She gave Simon a quick smile, before turning towards Keller as he started, “Simon, the Plaintiff’s noted in their opening statement that their appeared to be MDMA, also known as ecstasy, in your wife’s system. You’ve indicated that these readings may be inaccurate, can you elaborate for the court?”

Smiling, Simon responded, “Yes, what the lab results actually tell us is that Hadley tested positive for heroin, in addition to an unknown empathogen. The marker used to detect this is not drug specific. This means that several different drugs could cause this positive read. One is MDMA, another happens to be the barbiturate I put her on to ease withdrawal related symptoms. In my medical opinion, the suggestion that Hadley had used MDMA within the stated period is an invalid assessment because she is already on a drug that will trip the same blood marker. Any qualified medical practitioner or toxicologist will tell you the same.” Damn, he’s sexy when he’s smart.

Keller gave Simon an approving nod before announcing, “Defense rests.”

The Judge looked to Jeffrey and asked, “Will the Plaintiffs cross examine.”

Looking smug, Jeffry responded, “I don’t believe it to be necessary, your honor. Unless the court is willing to take an expert testimony from someone who clearly has a conflict of interest.” He knows Simon would make him look like a dipshit.

Curtly, the Judge said, “Are you insinuating that Mr. Sheffield, a widely respected medical doctor, would risk his considerable reputation by lying in a publicly televised courtroom proceeding? Now, unless you have evidence that Mr. Sheffield has committed perjury, a criminal offense, or anything relevant to your claims, I suggest you keep your speculation to yourself. This is not a criminal trial, we are here today to determine what is best for Adam Sheffield, nothing more.”

On the verge of laughter, Simon stood, and walked back to his seat. As he sat down to Hadley’s left, she whispered, “That was good, wish I had kept it together.”

Smiling, he muttered in response, “Well…it was an easy question. I didn’t have that dick looking down my shirt while shouting at me either, though I want to give him a piece of my mind after this is all over.”

“You’d stan–BANG!“ Hadley started before being interrupted by the Judges gavel.

“I believe, having heard from both parties, that I understand the case.” Oh shit, she’s already decided? “While Mrs. Sheffield may have shown poor judgment in the past, I’ve heard no evidence that supports the CPA’s allegations that Mrs. Sheffield knowingly used illicit drugs when pregnant with Adam Sheffield.” Wait, she’s siding with us? Suddenly, Simon gripped Hadley’s hand, she could feel his perspiring hand quiver, ever so slightly, as the judge continued, “Adam’s safety is of utmost importance to me, which is why I’ll be releasing him to his biological parents.” Yes! “On the condition that they willingly submit themselves for blood testing, once a week, for one year. If both Mr. and Mrs. Sheffield stay clean, and the fitness of their financial situation remains reasonable, Adam will be released to them on December fourth, two-thousand and sixteen.” Another year…but we’ve done it!

____________________

Thanks for reading!

Next chapter: https://bluebeard-art.com/2017/09/05/daily-blog-9517/