Archive for Heartbreak

Pity and the Bottle

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2016 by Rathan Krueger

POLLY
Why don’t you put the bottle down?

FRANCESCA
No point, didn’t you know? I’m worthless.

POLLY
No one’s worthless, Francesca.

FRANCESCA
Tell that to the dead.

POLLY
But you’re not.

FRANCESCA
Sure as fuck seems like it.

POLLY
You’re talking to me right now, and drinking more than you should. The dead don’t do much else besides bloat and rot.

FRANCESCA
Once a month, I get bloated and feel rotten. Same diff.

POLLY
That has nothing to do with being dead and you know it. What’s with this pity parade?

FRANCESCA
A gal can’t feel fucking sorry for herself sometimes?

POLLY
Not when it leads to being self-destructive.

FRANCESCA
I don’t see any broken windows.

POLLY
I see empty bottles.

FRANCESCA
Ah, shut–

POLLY
They weren’t here last week when I was here. Which means they were bought recently. You’re the only one who lives here. Which means that your liver and bladder are at least 70-proof.

FRANCESCA
Maybe I wanted to pretend I’m in college again.

POLLY
You hated college.

FRANCESCA
Then my behavior isn’t so outstanding, is it?

POLLY
Yes, Francesca, yes, it fucking is. You’re better than this. You’re so much better than this. We used to make fun of people who did what you’re doing.

FRANCESCA
And what, my captain, am I doing that’s bait for our mocking eyes?

POLLY
You’re trying to burn whatever problem you’re going through with fire water, but it’s never the answer. Not in college. Not now. Not when you’re dead. Talk to me.

FRANCESCA
I am talking to you. See? “Hi, Polly! Sunny day, eh? Want a cracker?”

POLLY
Is it because of something I did?

FRANCESCA
“I bet you think this song is about you…”

POLLY
You’re trying to make me angry and you’re scaring me.

FRANCESCA
You want scary, you should look at what I left in the bathroom. It gets really hard to find the toilet sometimes.

POLLY
What? What the fuck is it?

FRANCESCA
I’ve got you swearing.

POLLY
Yes, Francesca, damnit. You’ve got me fucking swearing. Are you fucking happy now?

FRANCESCA
If I was happy, would I be surrounded by all these dead soldiers?

POLLY
I know what you’re trying to do.

FRANCESCA
Oh? Share your feelings with the group.

POLLY
You’re trying to push me away. You’re trying to make yourself the victim so that you can feel better about this bullshit you’re putting your body through.

FRANCESCA
Actually, this is high-end tequila.

POLLY
I don’t care, give it to me.

FRANCESCA
No. And if you try to take it from me, I will beat you to death with it, bitch, I don’t care how long we’ve been friends.

POLLY
You’d break the bottle.

FRANCESCA
And I would sip whatever I could off your corpse. You’ve had body shots done off of you, you know what that’s like.

POLLY
Did something happen with your family?

FRANCESCA
No, nothing happened with my family. Nothing ever happens with my family. Nothing never-ever happens with my fucking family. Fuck, I thought you were my friend.

POLLY
Stop being condescending.

FRANCESCA
I’ll be what I want, I’m grown.

POLLY
Yes, you are, so stop acting like a brat.

FRANCESCA
Ooo, “brat”! I thought I had you swearing. You should’ve said something more along the lines of “bitch”. Or are you going back to schoolyard swears, doody-head?

POLLY
I don’t get you right now.

FRANCESCA
You’re not supposed to.

POLLY
Did someone turn you down?

FRANCESCA
“Want a cracker?”

POLLY
That’s it? You’re destroying your life because of a piece of ass?

FRANCESCA
Would that make me the stereotype? Would my pain be less valid if I was a trope?

POLLY
Nothing about you is less valid, Francesca, it’s just that…

FRANCESCA
Just what? A woman can’t have her heart broken and be a mess? I’m sorry if I’m not evolved enough to match your critique on modern femininity.

POLLY
Was it a man?

FRANCESCA
Why would it matter? Heartache is heartache. I didn’t know agony depended on gender. It was a hermaphrodite. There. Now the feminists won’t know what to make of me.

POLLY
I don’t… I don’t get…

FRANCESCA
What? Just because you have thoughts different from mine about relationships doesn’t make my problems enigmatic. I never felt that your issues were weird. Your jumping from person to person because you got what you needed from them… that sort of thing made you you and those you dated knew what they were getting into.

POLLY
But you’re killing yourself over someone.

FRANCESCA
I’m mourning what could’ve been. If that’s too romantic for you, there’s the door. I didn’t ask you to be a part of this. Fuck, I didn’t even ask you to be here. Why did you come here in the first fucking place?

POLLY
I wanted to… I wanted to know if… if…

FRANCESCA
Speak, bitch.

POLLY
I wanted to know if you’d be my fucking wingman, ok? But I know how fucking ridiculously absurd that is now, with the state of you.

FRANCESCA
Yeah, I think it’d be a bad idea to bring the relapsed alcoholic into a situation that made her slip up in the first place.

POLLY
…you were an alcoholic?

FRANCESCA
Wanna see my chips? Or what’s left of them. I cut ’em all up last night.

POLLY
I didn’t know.

FRANCESCA
That’s the thing about drunks: they’re very clever about hiding their problems. At least, until they throw up on a cop after they bust you for a DUI.

POLLY
But you can’t let yourself go, I don’t care who hurt you.

FRANCESCA
That’s the thing about romantics: they can.

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Music Box

Posted in Fiction, Poem with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2016 by Rathan Krueger

I could let it die
As the music crawls to deafness
I could let it die
My fingertips, calloused from refrains, hover over the key
It knows my touch so well
Polished by hope and disappointments
I could let it die
Before I can stop myself, I twist the brass
Before I can hate myself, the melody ensnares me

The machinations start their heartache routine
And the tin figure moves down the twisted, turning track
It always begins with a bow towards me
To acknowledge that I’m here?
Or to greet my shame?
It never waits for me to return the gesture
To see how foolish I can be
Instead, the gears of longing work their magic
Sending it down a pristine, familiar road
Its tiny feet dangle helplessly

Which will it take?
The path will soon split into many branches
Like a tree waiting with disillusionment
The melody is sweet
I can almost taste the promises waiting to be broken
About me
About “you”
Click, click, click, click
The tin figure chooses the second one from the left
As always, I see my reflection in the dome

An automaton raises portenteously
As my avatar approaches without a choice
Its branchmates admire the show
With cotton popcorn and waxen tea
This is when they meet, when the branches begin to bud
This is when I fall, when the branches begin to bloom
This is when they kiss, when the blooms begin to rot
This is when tragedy returns, when the rot begins to choke
This is when tragedy remains, when the world begins to fade
The automaton stabs what could be me
And stabs, and stabs, and stabs, and stabs
The heart, the head, repeat, ad nauseum
Blood was spent years ago
What lurches out is a stream of consciousness
Onto pages with penstrokes
The tin figure returns to its home
As I wait for the music to end
But then, it’s all in my mind

Daily Dialogue: The Road Most Traveled

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2014 by Rathan Krueger

Staying productive on the last day of the year to set an example for myself in the upcoming year. Two women, 20 minutes, randomness, blah, blah, writing is fun, blah. Thanks to everyone who’s found and stuck with me since I started this, and to everyone who’s just found this and is sticking around. Great things are coming next year, with more or less snark.

Elizabeth
Why do I keep doing this to myself? Why do I keep throwing myself so willingly into the deep end?

Ursula
Another failure?

Elizabeth
It’s like it’s the underline of my life, with a big fucking red marker.

Ursula
What happened?

Elizabeth
The same thing that always happens. There are broken records, there are broken records, and there’s fucking ridiculous.

Ursula
Take a deep breath. How long have you been listening to your dirge playlist?

Elizabeth
What?

Ursula
Whenever this situation comes up, you listen to the same songs over and over again. Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” Silversun Pickups’ “Well Thought-Out Twinkles,” David Bowie’s “If I’m Dreaming My Life,” and on and on.

Elizabeth
I know what I listen to. What’s a dirge?

Ursula
A funeral song.

Elizabeth
Oh.

Ursula
Put on a different song and tell me what happened.

Elizabeth
I’ll do one of those. I’m a closet romantic, we both know this.

Ursula
Heart on your sleeve wrapped in iron bars.

Elizabeth
And things have never gone well for me in that regard.

Ursula
Sometimes I think you’re the universe’s dunk booth. Sorry, that’s not helping.

Elizabeth
No. No, the fuck it isn’t. I just wanna be happy, y’know?

Ursula
I know.

Elizabeth
I just want my lack of a love life to stop being a train wreck and let me be brilliant.

Ursula
I’m gonna put you in a more introspective mode.

Elizabeth
If that’s possible.

Ursula
It is, because I had a breakthrough you haven’t had yet. Don’t worry, I’ll pull you out if the miasma of your heartache tries to drown you.

Elizabeth
I guess it’s good to have friends. Ok. Dive away.

Ursula
These almost-loves of yours. Have you noticed anything about them?

Elizabeth
They all fucking suck.

Ursula
Besides the obvious.

Elizabeth
No, it’s hard to get past them fucking sucking.

Ursula
Since I’ve known you, I’ve noticed that every failed chance brings you closer to what you wanted.

Elizabeth
An ulcer?

Ursula
No, no, no.

Elizabeth
Because I’m pretty close.

Ursula
Damnit, no. Each new person who comes along is closer to who you consider is the ideal. I know this because you bitch about that not being in your life.

Elizabeth
Huh.

Ursula
Think about the first one to break your heart and the last person to break your heart.

Elizabeth
I’d rather not.

Ursula
I’m serious, try. How close to what you wanted was the first one compared to the last one?

Elizabeth
What’s your point?

Ursula
I made it already, dummy. Pretty soon, you’re gonna get your dream lover, if the universe enjoys patterns as much as it seems to in your life.

Elizabeth
Could it do it without the heart shredding?

Ursula
You’re a member of the first-world. If a little heartache once in a while is the worst you have to put up with, have a nice cup of shut the fuck up.

Elizabeth
With two sugars and some hazelnut cream…

Ursula
And wait at least a week after meeting the ideal before breaking the iron bars. Three weeks.

Daily Dialogue: Lack of Asking

Posted in Dialogue, Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2014 by Rathan Krueger

Taking a third of an hour with two women plucked from my mind and writing what they say, whatever it’ll be.

Martha
Can you feel pain?

Patricia
Whatever pain inflicted by your hand means not but mere whispers when in the face of what you’ve done.

Martha
Still think me a villain?

Patricia
No… I think you a monster.

Martha
Such words, dear lover.

Patricia
You have no right to use that word.

Martha
I have the only right. I took you from your tower of isolation and made you of the earth. The joys you have felt in the years hence are because of me and our love.

Patricia
And also my sorrow. My degradation. My hatred.

Martha
Feelings that make you RICHER than the mightiest king or conquerer.

Patricia
POORER than a dying leper or liar.

Martha
Ah, so the truth is revealed at last. The fair Patricia has sheathed all of her love, all of her tenderness, an act only performed by the most cruel, because of a few meaningless words.

Patricia
Only a monster would consider gifting someone shit wrapped in silk anything else besides an act of emotional treachery.

Martha
Do not speak to me of treachery. How dare you. And if I am monster, it’s only because the venom from your kisses has turned me thus.

Patricia
What act of treachery could I have befallen on you?

Martha
The act of absence.

Patricia
What lies! I have always stood by your side in every moment I could!

Martha
But not my heart. The light in your eyes turned to shade long before today.

Patricia
My affection for you has never wavered. What event could ever make you think such folly?

Martha
It’s not a single event, for who could mark the slow lowering of the tide?

Patricia
You… You fool. You. Fool.

Martha
Oh, transposed from monster to fool! How did I earn such an honor?

Patricia
You felt I grew away from you, yet you never bothered to confront me.

Martha
Shall I now, at such a futile hour?

Patricia
The shade, as you said, grew in my eyes because the light was focused on another part of you. Your future, with me in it eternally. My mind was from you because it was on this ring. And now, it is destroyed.

“The Break-Up”

Posted in Fiction, Short Story with tags , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2013 by Rathan Krueger

I took a break from writing “Lie” today to write this short story.  Felt great to be able to finish a story so quickly.  Well, back to the mines.  ::skips away::

    The quarter-moon’s light dances on suburban rooftops.  One in particular, of an abandoned warehouse, is shaded by two women.  Bethany and Farrah.  Friends since before they could spell it.  No secret too wild, no obstacle too mighty.  One of the happiest moments of their lives was when they came out to each other.  Years ago, on this same rooftop.  Farrah first, then Bethany tearily immediately after.  And then they were both in tears.  Crying because they didn’t have to hide their Sapphic nature from each other, then laughing because they thought they had to hide.  They were on this particular roof because Farrah didn’t want to live if Bethany hated her after revealing her delicate truth, and this roof towered above the streetlights.  Even if Bethany hated her friend, she would’ve followed her into that final sleep.

The years since have been kinder to Farrah than Bethany, but their friendship never faltered.  Farrah’s first relationship was also the one that claimed her virginity.  It had the passion of all first-time things.  So when Amber broke away from her, Farrah was utterly devoted to her misery.  Bethany saw the worst in her friend during that time, horrors she never dreamed possible.  But she helped Farrah turn away from her dark devotion and into the arms of Nadine.
Nadine opened Farrah’s eyes to unthinkable pleasures with her body.  The things you can do with a simple feather or a spur.  Of course, she told Bethany everything, blushing all the while.  They were together for a long time, until a careless driver changed things.  As Nadine was cremated, her lover asked if something could be placed in the flames.  A small velvet box she was gonna surprise her Nadine with soon.  When the burning was finished, all that was left were ashes and a diamond that somehow managed to sparkle.  Farrah couldn’t find the languidness in her heart to spread the remains in their herbal garden, so Bethany relieved her.  The following Spring, the flora was more lush than it ever was.  Farrah couldn’t bring herself to take any leaves, so she planted another garden next to it.
Why, then, has Farrah’s life been better than Bethany’s?  Because the only woman Bethany wanted was her best friend.

Returning to the quarter-moon and the friends under it, Bethany asks if Farrah remembers this place.  “Of course, goofy, I picked it.  Wow, that was…”  “Four years ago.”  Farrah smiles, “Yeah, four years.  I still had that Honda.”  “Oh yeah, the one with the broken passenger seat…”  “Hey, once I figured that I should change the duct tape every month, you stopped sliding.”  “True, true.  It was also a good thing I kept my legs shaved.  It was enough of a bitch to deal with skin getting stuck.”  This sort of conversation is typical of the two, but Bethany seems to be reinforcing it more than usual.  Almost as if she’s trying to brace herself for something.  It appears suddenly, in the form of a kiss.
Farrah slowly backs away and asks her friend, “…what are you doing?”  Bethany, flustered because of her burst of adoration and Farrah’s seeming repulsion, replies, “I love you.”  Hoping that she can diffuse the situation, Farrah says, “I love our friendship, too, Beth.”  “No, I don’t mean that.”  A hurt Farrah whispers, “I know what you mean…”  Farrah continues backing away, but Bethany reaches out, “Wait!  Please just listen.  Please, Farrah.”  Farrah stops and Bethany whimpers, “Please.”
Farrah slowly walks back to her dear friend as Bethany pours her heart out under the moonlight.  “I’ve loved you for a long time.  A long, long time.  And when I first touched… touched…”  Bethany’s hands tighten around the fabric of her skirt, “…you were the only thing I could think of.  I thought you’d eventually see how much I loved you.  I left signs everywhere I could.  But none of them were being a good friend.  I never used my love as a reason to be nice to you, but loving you made helping you the sweetest thing this heart ever tasted.  Farrah, you’re the air I breathe and I… I…”  Farrah stands in front of Bethany, sharing the same breaths.
She’s about to say something, rivulets flowing down her face, when they hear a loud crack.  The roof disappears under them, and they fall asleep for the last time in each other’s arms.