To Whom It May Concern


She was a prisoner like me, wrapped in invisible chains wrought out of bills, greed and indecision: both the writer and victim of her life history, for none of which she accepted any responsibility. She had a beauty which cuts through complacency, and a smile which unlocks the heart of almost any man. I was “almost any man” I found out later as she walked into my life bringing no answers with her.

I knew that when I first met her, but then I was much the same as her, trapped in a world of my own making but marked by shrinking opportunity. She drank a bit and smoked with rare defiance so even though I did not smoke myself I took to carrying a lighter so our eyes could meet over its flame. I think she knew I liked her and I think she knew we were the same, but I had little to offer her then, and was added to her list of tame admirers.

I met her in the company of friends, and she saw in me a quality of perception cloaked in a lack of social standing. On a whim she conferred her intimacies on me for one night only, though I dreamed she would love me always. She briefly thought I was her bus ride out of hell which I was not but, regardless, she has now left this earth forever.

How do I remain here now without the hope of seeing her? I’ve been “aware” for far too long already, walking among the civilised half-dead, living their customs and showing courtesy to all, but I am tired of that now. The powers of womanhood or manhood are extraordinary but we have sought to make everything ordinary and safe and harnessed, starting with ourselves, so that primitive magic I saw in her eyes is seldom visible elsewhere.

She is gone and the world I walk through is floundering without her: hiding behind its timetables and furniture and dreams of cultured conduct and looking for answers everywhere but in its heart. She is gone yet I am here with nothing to contemplate but my ongoing chaos, and man’s unfounded dreams of order.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, Life, Love, Peter Wells, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to To Whom It May Concern

  1. This is powerful, insightful. Caused me to not only see “him” and “her”, but look at myself and my true inner thoughts. Thank you for creating it.

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  2. Astutely observed, Peter. We do, indeed, try to order and box everything, forgetting that it is often the impulsive and creative that make life Life.

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  3. genusrosa says:

    You are such a poet, Peter. Beautifully done!

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  4. Sad but funny in a way as I’m sure if she had lived on he would have been left with the realization that she was someone else’s ideal, probably settled down, moved on. Yet we tend to glorify the dead.

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  5. Robert Mitchell says:

    “I’ve been “aware” for far too long already, walking among the civilised half-dead, living their customs and showing courtesy to all, but I am tired of that now.” You’re not alone in this feeling. And when enough people feel that way, even though they aren’t sufficiently self-aware to know the whys and wherefores, it emerges out of the blackness of the collective subconscious and into the daylight of the pop culture hive mind in the form of — the zombie craze. The bit about the lighter is a perfect little reality-building nugget, like a painter’s perfect dab of white, it turns a black disk into a living eye. Well done sir, this is a solid piece.

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  6. Ina says:

    Another great novel in a nutshell, very well written!

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  7. ksbeth says:

    ‘i took to carrying a lighter so our eyes could meet over a flame.’ perfect – says it all.

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  8. Dawne Webber says:

    Brilliantly perceptive, as usual. I’ve always admired your writing, but it’s fascinating to see how much you’ve grown and how your writing has matured.

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  9. **I took to carrying a lighter so our eyes could meet over its flame.**
    WOW.
    I love that, Peter! xx

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  10. The closing sentence of the gods! Outstanding prose, Peter!

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  11. Al says:

    I get weary trying to think of suitable accolades for you writings, Peter. Suffice it to say, your pen….oops, I mean keyboard, should be displayed in the writers hall of fame after you have finished the good fight.

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  12. Scarlet says:

    It is okay, Mr Ducks, I am still here… I am just being a bit lazy…. plus Charmaine has spent the morning moaning about our lack of funds, roof, and gruel. If only you had a packet of fags with that lighter then I would be sitting on your doorstep within minutes giving you some come hither attitude and the sort of smile that makes an experienced dentist reach for his lidocaine.
    Sx

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  13. The reach for order should only give us a deeper desire to relish the primitive.

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  14. Your writing is evolving, my friend. I see less humor and more contemplative, deep musings. While stunning writing, this, I miss the twinkle of your wit. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Kia / KTS says:

    I was having a rough day Peter, so this story my friend took me to another place. Loved it.

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  16. ASH says:

    most moving!
    “I took to carrying a lighter so our eyes could meet over its flame”
    FABULOUS imagery
    Brilliant imagery and emotion throughout
    BEAUTY IN TRUTH (no doubt)

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  17. nelle says:

    What a trap, post-loss melancholy. We touch various grades of it as we advance through life. What we once embraced as our normal we outgrow. My last semester of college, a place that once seemed to be the land of forever, radiated a feel of out-of-place, with me as sudden outcast ejected into the future.

    Loss of a person is exponentially worse, and tied to advancing years, how we coped once won’t help us cope again.

    Good story, as always.

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  18. Peter, you never disappoint me; and always make me think. The lines “She was a prisoner like me, wrapped in invisible chains wrought out of bills, greed and indecision: both the writer and victim of her life history” “I was much the same as her, trapped in a world of my own making but marked by shrinking opportunity” resonated so strongly with me, a few years ago it would have been the line about eyes meeting over the flame.
    Excellent piece of work, you managed to put a whole life history into a few paragraphs.
    Hugs to you
    Me

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  19. michele says:

    You touch places that most do not want to see with many of your pieces. Thank you for diving deep.
    m.

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  20. SA Krishnan says:

    A great story in the fewest possible words!

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  21. “Walked into my life, bringing no answers”–you have a way of encapsulating our dreams and fears. Good story as usual, Peter.

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  22. she says:

    “She drank a bit and smoked with rare defiance so even though I did not smoke myself I took to carrying a lighter so our eyes could meet over its flame.” – YES!

    Like

  23. michnavs says:

    This is something that made me pause amd reflect

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  24. Carrying the lighter. Even though, sometimes, he wonders if she lights it just so their eyes could meet, too

    Thanks for dropping by, and I love this post. It hasn’t been easy.

    Like

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