changehistory: (Thoughtful)
Love.

It's only gone well for me a couple of times, you see, and while I suppose it might make everyone feel a bit vulnerable I've got some fairly extreme reasons for it doing so for me. Try having your wife of 20 years call you a demon, or another drink herself to death merely because of what you are. I've been shot by a wife, stabbed by lovers--metaphorically and literally, tossed off of cliffs, thrown into cages, deserted, cheated on, tortured, killed, and nevermind that even if they do prove to be true and faithful and someone I can depend on, inevitably they are going to die and leave me to go on alone, helpless to keep them with me, dealing with loss once again.

So when I say that love makes me feel "vulnerable" I might be understating it just a bit.

I do not trust easily, not anymore. Perhaps it would be better if I did not love easily, either. I know it's no good for me. I know it inevitably ends with me hurting one way or another. The adage "It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all" only brings so much comfort after a certain number of losses. But the heart still yearns for companionship, even mine. I dislike being alone more than I dislike being left, and so I allow myself to fall, again and again, as if by some magic spell this time it will be different. Somehow this time it will work out. Or at least, for a while, I can dream, and live in the present and not think about tomorrow.

Except I fail at not thinking of tomorrow, and so there is always a part of me that is waiting for that day to come when it all ends, because it always ends, and I hate myself for it, and wish, somehow, somedays, I could stop it all together, be as cold as they all think I am, and rid myself of the last shreds of a heart. Life would be so much easier, then.
changehistory: (Drinking--past)
KENSEI: All right, Carp, I'm in.

HIRO: Really?

KENSEI: I don't know what brand of fool you truly are, but it appears listening to you will grant me more reward. And more of her.

HIRO: It will!

KENSEI: Mm-hmm, then you can make me the hero she sees in me.

HIRO: As long as you stop drinking.

KENSEI: No promises.*


"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. They wake up in the morning and that's the best they are going to feel all day." -Frank Sinatra

I liked being a drunk. No, really. It was better than dealing with a lot of other things I didn't want to think about -- all of the reasons I left England, for one. It was simple. It was easy. Call it cowardice if you will, but I had my reasons. Every drunk does. You take a drink one day when you're feeling bad, and that delicious euphoria runs over you and you feel, suddenly, better. So, you drink a bit more to get that feeling, and then another, and then, of course, you've built up a tolerance, so you have to drink more.

Sobering up, on the other hand, was never fun. There were headaches and stomachaches and a crash back into the reality of everything I was trying to escape. So, I drank more. And more. And what was a simple, occasional escape became instead a rolling landscape of something else altogether, living in a comfortable fog, pillowed from the ups and downs of life by gin and sake. It was bliss in some ways.

I understand those who drink, those who use drugs. I get that longing for an escape. What I don't understand, really, are those that don't. Gods, why aren't we all drunks, given what life is? As a coping mechanism...it works, so long as the alcohol keeps coming, and when, really, you're already at the bottom with nothing else to lose, then what does it matter?

Except, of course, it doesn't work anymore. Technically, it turns out that alcohol is a poison. It breaks cells down, it damages things, and that altered reality that is so very much fun to feel is a side effect of the poisoning. And what does my body do with poison? Gets rid of it, fast, and makes sure that any damage done is healed quickly. What does this translate into? A hell of a time catching a buzz even. Oh, it can be done. A fifth of whiskey downed very fast, or a steady stream of things for hours, and I can find that blissful feeling again. But it doesn't last, not really. Not for any length of time to make it worthwhile. I still drink. Still drink a lot, even. More than most would find humanly possible, just to find those few moments, try and make them a few hours, when things feel right again. And then it's gone. Nothing works to really get me there for long, not alcohol, not cocaine, not meth, not heroin. It's all gone, far too fast, and I am left to face myself and what my life is, and what my choices have been, and what I have lost, and all those things that I would so very much like to forget.

Everything has a price, right? This is one of them. Minor, perhaps, besides the others that come with this gift, but, honestly?

Sometimes I really, really, really miss being able to get smashed.

* From Heroes episode, "Lizards"
changehistory: (Caged)
1965

His head hurt. It was a sensation he hadn't felt in a while, so Adam leaned back against the cold cement wall and closed his eyes to savor it for a moment. Just a moment, though, because it was quickly apparent that a throbbing head needed to go back under the list of "not good pains." With his eyes closed, the bench under him seemed to have transformed into a roller coaster, lifting him up and throwing him down, his stomach dropping at the sensation.

"I think," he said, eyes still closed, "That I am drunk."

"I wouldn't doubt it, I know I am," the voice next to him said dryly, and Adam opened one eye to meet Daniel's.

"How much did we drink?"

"I have no idea, though I think you went through at least two bottles."

"Oh..." He hadn't done that in a while. Hadn't felt the need to, until the announcement this morning, the realization that he had pushed too far, gotten what he wanted far too thoroughly--so well done that it wasn't what he'd wanted at all, really. Be careful what you wish for, indeed. Daniel hadn't been much more pleased, really, as he recalled. Thus, their present circumstances.

"My head hurts," he announced.

"Can't you heal it?"

"I'm trying," he huffed, "But I think it's the alcohol wearing off. It used to do this..."

"Quick drunk followed by quicker hangover? Cheater." Daniel sounded disgruntled.

Adam opened his eyes again and studied Daniel's face. "You're going to have a nasty bruise."

"Yes, well, some of us don't walk away from your bad ideas as unscathed as you do."

"It wasn't a bad idea!"

"She had a boyfriend twice your size, who had four friends just as large," Daniel pointed out.

Adam shrugged slightly and closed his eyes again. )
changehistory: (The masks we all wear)
Lost in thought and lost in time
While the seeds of life and the seeds of change were planted
Outside the rain fell dark and slow
While I pondered on this dangerous but irresistible pastime
I took a heavenly ride through our silence
I knew the moment had arrived
For killing the past and coming back to life


It's something like a rebirth when the air rushes back into his lungs, and he feels the pain ease as his pulse pounds in his ears, loud and strong and steady. It had stopped, ceased, gone black, and while part of his mind says he must have just been unconscious, the shock on the face of the boy above him, combined with a deeper sort of knowing tells him that it is something more. He died, an arrow in his heart, and now it is gone and his wound...he can feel it close. His breath comes fast and hard, and fear flickers through him, because he doesn't understand. He runs from it.

It's something like a rebirth when he pulls himself from the flames and feels the pain of the burning subside as his skin regrows, healing before his eyes from charred and blackened to fresh, pink, new. He stares over his shoulder at the fire engulfing the tent, exploding again and again, higher, as the men come running, desperate to save their precious gunfire. One goes flying into it, helped by the push of his hand, a sacrifice to allow him to start again, unhunted, unencumbered by this failed endeavor. He is a new man, he can survive anything, and nothing will stop him now.

It's something like a rebirth when he steps out from the building into the late afternoon sun. He's glad it isn't morning, certain the glare of the sun would have blinded him after so long indoors. Even now he feels his eyes water, and blames it on the light—warm and golden instead of cold and flourescent—and not any tears of grief or joy either one. The air is sweeter than any he has smelled since his first whiff of an unspoiled meadow after the brutal stench of war on all sides. It's chilly, but he doesn't care, closing his eyes for a moment, breathing in the scent of freedom before opening them again to gaze out over the city of Hartsdale. He is free. His purpose is renewed, and the world is about to face a brand new day at his side.
changehistory: (Kensei -- trying to be a hero)
1747

It was a strange custom, he thought, standing behind his father-in-law-to-be in a cathedral in Milan, halfway expecting God to strike him down for giving in to Popish beliefs. He argued silently in his head with a God he usually swore did not exist, citing Maria's many excellent qualities and her father's intractability about the occasion of their nuptials sans this conversion. He'd learned his catechism, studying diligently, but this custom still stood before him.

Maria's father nodded to him as the door opened and another penitent stepped out, indicating he should move into the small space. He did so, shutting the door behind him and sitting gingerly on the hard bench.

"Perdonami, il Padre perchè ho peccato..." he murmured, lips curling sardonically, though his voice stayed very sincere. Sin was a companion he had embraced, thoroughly, and part of him wondered just what the priest through the screen would say did he truly confess those that lay upon his soul.

Lust. Greed. Wrath. Envy. Pride. The sloth and gluttony he had purged for not serving him, but the others drove him. After a century of life, he was sure they stained him far more deeply than this man with his holy words or blessed sacraments could ever wash clean. Add blasphemy, then, he thought to himself, for not having enough faith to believe that there was anything Christ could not cleanse. There was blood on his hands, murder in his heart, vengeance and bloodlust mingling in his soul and lashing him ever forward through time. He was like unto God himself, and there went the blasphemy and pride again, the little voice murmured sardonically. It ate at him, sending him down deeper into the abyss from which he could no longer remember how to extricate himself.

He doubted. He floundered. He feared. His faith faltered more with each passing year as he asked the heavens what sort of man he was to march through time unchanging and received no answer in reply.

But these were not words he could murmur, even in this sacred place. )
changehistory: (Half hiding)
When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable. -Madeleine L'Engle

1651

His tongue darted out to taste the blood at the corner of his mouth, the coppery tang sharp there. It stung for a minute, and then it was gone, and he didn't understand that, but neither did he give it much thought, because the look in his father's eyes is not one he's ever seen before. Anger, annoyance, frustration, yes, of course. Three troublesome children will do that to the most patient of men occasionally. But this was different. This time when his hand flew it wasn't a case of not sparing the rod to spoil the child. There was fear in his father's eyes, and James didn't understand that at all. His bones still ached a bit from the accident, and now his father's hand flew again, and he fell.

"Stop it!" Mary threw herself between them as their father raised his hand again. "He didn't do anything!"

His hand collided with her cheekbone, knocking her out of the way, and James saw her fall.

"Demon," his father spit out, reaching for the poker, and James' eyes opened wide as he scrambled backward to get away.

"Father..."

"You're not my son."

The poker went up and James closed his eyes. He heard a thud, and looked up. Mary was standing over their father, the water pail in her hands. She dropped it after a moment, and held out her hand.

"Let's get mother and Stephen and go," she said urgently, her eyes glittering strangely.

He took her hand.

* * *

2008

He watched her across the room. Feet tucked up under her on the sofa, she was carefully going through each file Bob had compiled. Her fingers played gently through her hair, as she sorted the files in some system she was implementing after reading them. Narrowing his eyes, Adam leaned back in the chair and just watched the her. He still was kicking himself that it had never occurred to him she could be alive. Oh, not then, of course. He hadn't known. But he'd seen, countless times now, how these things ran in families. He had yet to find a family where one sibling had an ability but the others did not. It made Stephen's loss sharp again, the sight of her face reminding him of just how much they had lost. But he'd held him far too long. He was dead, there was no doubt. Whatever ability their brother had, it had not been their invulnerability. He would have, Adam had no doubt, done far better things with it than the two of them had managed.

Her pale blonde head lifted and she met his eyes across the space between them that hadn't lessened with their relocation, stretching through centuries of separation, through lives led they had yet to touch on. Adam swallowed and gave her a half-smile, watching the glitter in her eyes and knowing the man he was, so different from that boy she'd known, he had to wonder just who--and what--she'd become, and just what he was risking to find out.
changehistory: (Hiro --More than a friend)
For a long time I was in love
Not only in love, I was obsessed


It chased him across centuries, always there in the back of his mind. Through wives and lovers and times alone, it lingered. He named it once in a moment of weakness, drunk in a tavern in some port town, spilling out his secrets to the whore on his lap. Named it with a curse, a lash of fury that put fear in her eyes. Perhaps if he'd aged like other men, caught in one time like he was supposed to be, he would have let it go with a bitter regret for a chance lost, a moment betrayed. He tried, with Helene, to build a life, to move on, to be part of the world like anyone else. But the face in the mirror did not change and when it occurred to him that he was not aging, through the fear and the horror came one small thought.

He could see him again.

It flooded back then, bile in his throat, ache in his heart, hatred that could only come when it was the other side of love. Betrayal only scars when the betrayer was beloved, and it was a lesson he learned well as the years pass and the scar deepened with the knowledge that with every breath he was drawing nearer to the time of reckoning. It haunted his dreams. Oh, there were times it would lie dormant, quieted. When he held his sons, when he laughed with his wife. For nearly 70 years, held in Angelica's arms, he barely thought of him at all except as a passing memory. Love healed some wounds, the surface edges.

But the scar remained.

The time drew nearer, years passing by. The man who called him friend, he was sure, was the man who would bring forth the boy who had done the same. And when the father followed in the son's footsteps, he was not truly surprised. Fury flared again, though, wounds reopening and bleeding fresh blood as the circle drew to its close, the completion, the fulfillment of a promise snarled in anger in a burning tent.

Yet, when it came, somehow it still surprised him. Blood on his hands, flooding a street. Shattered eyes, a sword on the floor, a boy in his way, saddened, broken. Past and future collided and crushed the centuries in between. Love and hatred battled fiercely, and he was left bereft, staring, and not knowing if one would ever truly win or if he would ever truly be free.
changehistory: (Elle -- making out)
You're a wrong turn
a big fat No
you're the fifth drink before a long drive home
you're the thing to avoid
the bars to my cage
you're all I think about everyday
you've got that thing
that my wildest dreams are made of
you set my world on fire


He used to watch her when she walked past his window, all tight skirts and low cut tops, hips swaying because she knew he--and every red blooded male in range--was watching. That spark of a smile, the way her teeth caught her lower lip, the sound of her giggle that could become a pout in a heartbeat, or something darker, more dangerous. She'd lean in his doorway, and he would watch the electricity arc between her fingers, smell the singe of it in the air, like a storm on the horizon, and the small room didn't bother him so much. His body reacted, pure and visceral, and it was a game to make her yield, to twist her around until she'd defy her Daddy.

Then the game became something more, two caged animals, dangerous and deadly, becoming dependent. At least he did. Dependent on that scent in the air that said she was near. Dependent on the flash of it, the sizzle across his skin, that wasn't pure pain, but just enough pleasure to remind him he was alive. Dependent on the gleam in her eyes that echoed the ones he'd seen three decades before. Dependent on the adoration, the willingness to follow where he led. Dependent on the way she blossomed under his approval, moving with more confidence through the halls.

It wasn't smart, he knew. It was desperation, and she wasn't to be trusted, more than the rest of them. As easily as he'd turned her, it was possible they'd turn her back, and when the sound of lightning crackled across the air and hit him, it might not stop until he'd begged, writhed, promised anything just so she turned it off again. He remembered that, too, nights haunted by a child's laugh, a glee that still hid in the depths of blue eyes that never looked truly innocent.

But she was all he had, the only hope, the only comfort, the only pleasure in a world that teetered between boredom and agony, depending on the mood of his captors that day, week, month, year. It was a bad idea, he knew, every time she walked through the door, every time her lips met his, every time his hand slid under her clothes, pulled her to the bed, ignored the cameras. He could taste the danger on her lips, feel it in the fire she sent along his nerves. He shouldn't need her, shouldn't let himself depend on her, not for anything.

He did, anyway.

[ooc: Not RP or 'verse specific, not binding on any Elle muse 'less her mun wants it to be, just back story in my head of his thoughts from his "caved" comment.]
changehistory: (Peter -- Intense)
The broken clock is a comfort
It helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow
From stealing all my time
And I am here still waiting
Though I still have my doubts
I am damaged at best
Like you've already figured out


He shifted through the warehouse aimlessly, fingers sliding over the face of the clock that always looked sad in a twisted reminder of fate. )

The broken locks were a warning
You got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded
I'm an open book instead
And I still see your reflection
Inside of my eyes
That are looking for purpose
They're still looking for life


He'd say later it was his plan all along, his ambition, carefully guiding them to what he always intended, had worked toward for fifty years or more. )

I'm hanging on another day
Just to see what you'll throw my way,
And I'm hanging on to the words you say
You said that I will, will be okay
The broken lights on the freeway
Left me here alone
I may have lost my way now
Haven't forgotten my way home


The aftermath was brutal. )

I'm falling apart
I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart
That's still beating
In the pain
There is healing
In your name
I find meaning
So I'm holding on
I'm still holding
I'm barely holding on to you
changehistory: (Deadly)
"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed". -G. K. Chesterton

He waits now, always. There are shadows that make him skittish, imagining a blade within them. Where before, eternity stretched out at his fingertips dragging on with limitless possibilities, he feels now that he treads lightly forward on borrowed time. He listens, always alert, breathing slow and shallow, as soft as he can make it so it won't cover the whisper of sound of time about to stop.

It's futile, though. When time stops, he'll never know it, he'll have no warning. He's clawed his way back into this world, holding tightly to renewed life, but in an instant it could be gone. It is a frightening glimmer of mortality that haunts his steps now. Once escaped, he cannot truly think he'll be imprisoned again. It won't be a captor that comes for him, hand on his shoulder, fingers cutting in with a passion born from twisted responsibility. It will be Death.

Time was not the dragon, not truly. He was, always, and now he knows himself to be hunted. An empty grave lies waiting for him, and the hero has always known how it must end, if it is to truly be over. A blade, his blade no less, swift and sure. It won't be fair, steel to steel. He won't even see it coming, he knows. A breath, a moment frozen, a flash of steel, and the dragon will fall. Today. Tomorrow. A week from now. A month. A year. A century. It doesn't matter, when time dances at the hero's will, and he can skip across it like a stone across a lake, never resting. Wherever the dragon goes, he will be found. However long the hunt takes, one day it will be over.

Even he knows enough to know that is how the story must end. It is just a matter of time.

330 words
changehistory: (Intense)
I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering 'no' to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it.*

There was no catechism left, no pageantry, no mystery. Not that I knew them, for Cromwell came to power before I could differentiate or feel the loss. There were hard pews and hard stares, and cold rooms in winter and hot rooms in summer, with nothing to bring any bodily relief from the press of humanity as we sought to elevate our souls. There were quirts falling sharp when words stumbled for in pain was purification and in debasement was deliverance. The flesh was weak. The men who visited our mothers were proof of that. The flesh was wickedness. We were the fruit of temptresses like the serpent in the garden, twisting men from the path. The world fell in the mire and there would be no rejoicing until He came once more.

I lost all faith in my god, in his religion too
I told the angels they could sing their songs to someone new
I lost all trust in my friends
I watched my heart turn to stone
I thought that I was left to walk this wicked world alone**


The theatres reopened, and women trod the stage. The brands that burned her skin were cast fully into the fires to shod the returned monarch's horses. Then another fire sparked from a baker's banked oven and hellfire raged across a sinful city, wiping out the old to make way for the new. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust and there was nothing left of any of them to place in a pauper's grave. The ship wound itself away from a city, and I didn't look back.

I confess my sin, my frequent sin, my willful sin; all my powers of body and soul are defiled: a fountain of pollution is deep within my nature. There are chambers of foul images within my being; I have gone from one odious room to another, walked in a no-man's-land of dangerous imaginations, pried into the secrets of my fallen nature. I am utterly ashamed that I am what I am in myself; I have no green shoot in me nor fruit, but thorns and thistles; I am a fading leaf that the wind drives away; I live bare and barren as a winter tree, unprofitable, fit to be hewn down and burnt.*

Another fire, another loss, hell closing tight around and running over me, and yet I walked from the flames, strong and whole, cleansed and new, with nothing before me and the man I was lost in the dust. War came in the night, and death and blood at my hands. A pale horse with eyes of flame and ice stretching across the world, destruction trailing in my shadow, a world wilting in my wake. Aimless. Rootless. A man out of time, with no name, no country, no purpose, watching time slide itself by into an endless abyss darker than the reaches of the human soul.

And I had lost touch with reason
I watched life criticize the truth
Been waiting for a miracle
I know you have too**


They came, one by one, fashioned from dirt and breath, breathed into life by the force of the strands imprinting themselves on cells below the surface of what could be seen. Different. Special. Chosen. Godsend. A new man, a new being, emerging out of the dying pains of the old, shaping himself into something the world had not seen before. From the old will come the new in a flash of fire. The old self is put off, in its corruption and deceitful desire, renewed by the spirit, replaced by a new self made in the image of God.

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.*

From death comes life, and from sacrifice renewal. From chaos comes creation. When the Chosen one comes, and opens the six seals, it will usher in the millennium of peace, a world reborn, arising to paradise. Pure. Cleansed. Sanctified. Forever and ever, amen.

If I don’t believe in Jesus, how can I believe the pope?
If I don’t believe in heroin, how can I believe in dope?
If there’s nothing but survival, how can I believe in sin?
In a world that gives you nothing
We need something to believe in**



* From various Puritan prayers
**"Something to Believe In" - Jon Bon Jovi
changehistory: (Challenging)
Silence

 He imagines it when he sleeps.  Everything stops, and there is nothing left to disturb the peace of the air.  Cars, radios, televisions, airplanes, cell phones—the ceaseless chatter and noise pollution of humanity is silenced, and the air around him is still, waiting.  His footsteps echo as he walks deserted streets, looking into empty houses through broken windows that gaze back out at him sightlessly.  The earth hums, reaching to reclaim what was taken by man, newly fertilized by the ashes of the past and ready to spring forward into a glorious new future. 

 It’s a moment, crystallized in time, where anything and everything is possible, and he wonders if this is how the first Adam felt looking out over his garden.  His breath catches, excitement curling through him that is almost sexual in nature, which is how it should be, he thinks.  A world is about to be reborn, with a new humanity taking its first steps forward under his guidance, his care.  The silence will be broken with joy, sweeping away the echo of screams of grief with the exultation of creation.  It’s all waiting, there at his fingertips.  It will be his gift back, for the life he has been given.  The time of beginning, of renewal is at hand, and he wants to reach out for it and pull it into himself before unleashing it back at the few disciples, the chosen ones he has collected, waiting on his word.

 He’ll speak it, he thinks, in just a moment.  The word of life, breathed forth from eternal lips.  In a second, in a heartbeat, in the next breath.  For now, he closes his eyes and lets the silence soak into his skin, and he smiles.

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changehistory: (Default)
Adam Monroe

February 2014

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