At first glance, Tate seemed like the kind of guy you hired to kill your husband: leather jacket, dusty tank top, bandanna, multiple gory tattoos, a stupid vintage pickup he drove, smoked in and blasted heavy metal from. If a stranger ever spoke to him, his dry wit supported their prejudices. But that’s not the man that I knew.
I knew the Tate who sent you smiles so bright you could see them from across the Pacific Ocean and whose thoughtfulness warmed your heart. I knew the Tate who broke out his guitar at 8am to have what he called a “living room concert”. I was best friends with the man whose sky blue eyes sparkled like those of a child in a candy store and whose laugh was so contagious you often found yourself breathless in his presence.
Tate was the kind of guy who would drag you out of the house in the middle of the night to get a greasy snack, who spent hours sketching the same thing until he got it right and, most of all, he was the kind of friend who never failed to distract you from your everyday worries.
Do we think “sick” is good? Why would that be? Was the word causing “acidic” brain chemistry? Is that why youth culture “neutralised” it by bringing it a positive definition too? Because that is genius.
It was a sunny day near Christmas when I met the old lady. I sat near her because she was alone. We talked for a while about what ailed her, and I gave her the telephone number of someone who could help get her back on her feet and into a cycle of positive health. Yet somehow, in the cosmic scheme of the universe, I realised that she had given me advice that was worth as much or more. As I'd reached for one mince pie after another, and offered to bring her one too, she simply commented that she didn't eat between meals. For her generation that was normal, a skill learned in childhood and carried on into adult years. After many failed attempts at different weight loss methods, I gave it a go. Three simple meals, all nutritious and portion controlled, no snacks, plus simple exercise on most days - all from YouTube videos or riding a bike. I lost the weight easily and kept it off. Self control is a battle worth winning, being your own "boss" feels great.
The words I compose come from my heart. My stories define who I am and my poems tell of how I feel. My pencil is my paint brush and this blank page is my canvas; when I start painting it is a masterpiece because it holds my ambitions, my passions and my dreams.
The boy's eyes were green but not the kind of shade that's easy to describe. It was almost like they were both green and yellow at the same time, with blue creeping in around the edges as if it were trying to take over. He blinked and the beauty was momentarily covered by the shield of his eyelashes; naturally long and soft looking - feminine compared to the rest of his well structured features. By the time the boy's eyes opened again, I had still not recovered from his intense stare. It was a stare that communicated the boy's former pain, and his wish for me to let go and to move on. But I could not move on, just as I could not forget those glaring eyes whose light never faded even in death.
His eyes were hues of the forest, surrounded with dark moss. It was the kind of earthy green that revives the grass after a cruel, unforgiving winter. Interwoven shades hiding the chaotic nature behind. Never before have eyes held such danger and beauty all at once. He was a wild fire: reckless, untamed, yet undeniably captivating.
The suffering of one animal can feel overwhelming, and so we struggle to imagine that magnified to the level of millions and billions. So perhaps we should stick with imagining just "Kanga and Roo" caught in wildfire, and ask ourselves then what changes are prepared to make to safeguard mother nature.
Jasmine would often describe her baby as frenetic and fractious. 'She was born with a hurricane for a soul, that one,' she would say. But she said it in a loving way with that soft glow in her eyes that only a mother can have for such difficult offspring. She would rock her in the dead of night when she found it impossible to sleep and she would wear her all day long in a baby carrier so that she would be calmed by the body to body contact. She would soothe her with lullaby's and stroke her tiny back and soft hair. She would whisper sweet things in her ears and cover her with kisses. She would love the hurricane right out of that child and replace it with a sweet summer breeze because above all, she was her baby, and she loved her with a power mightier than the wind.