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Thread: To Love Somebody

  1. #1
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    To Love Somebody

    To Love Somebody
    by
    Steven Hunley

    They looked like two friends walking through the park. They walked side by side, yet apart, each lost in their own private thoughts. She was looking away at the ducks on the pond. He was looking at her. Twisted autumn leaves, browned and yellowed, crackled like cellophane under their feet. The tops of the trees swayed back and forth in the breeze; a small boy flew a metallic kite with a red streaming tale full of life.

    On her left hand, on the third finger, a gold ring, marking her as the wife of his best friend.

    He felt “that way” about her for months now, but hadn’t said a word. He knew she didn’t feel the same. The walk-way was dappled with sunlight and shade, as if touched by a painter’s brush.

    The pond was a Monet of water lilies.

    All he noticed were shadows.

    A light, a certain kind of light, had never shone on him. He lived his life in darkness, in obscurity, in perpetual silence. His feelings would remain unspoken, his desires, unfulfilled. Love hurts when only one’s in love.

    She never saw him as a man, but as a companion, at times a confidant or a play-mate, a good friend, nothing more.

    He wanted her eyes to see him as a lover, a paramour at least, or perhaps with luck, her knight in shining armor, her Richard the Lion Heart.

    She preached spirituality. He spoke only of flesh. Their two worlds were never to meet.

    They stopped. She dipped her hand in the water. Cool rivulets escaped her palm and ran between her fingers. He watched the back of her head. Her hair was up, but where it met her shoulders, soft delicate curls caressed her pale neck. His consciousness was lost in the loops of her hair; she was Yeat’s brown penny.
    When she turned around she was crying.

    “What’s wrong, Michelle?”

    “It’s not working out,” she sobbed. “It hasn’t been working out for some time.”

    Suddenly she put her right hand to her left and pulling off the ring, cast it into the water.

    He took out his handkerchief and dried her tears.

    “Let’s go back. We can talk over coffee.”

    The walk back was spectacular. He noticed the sweet smell of the freshly mown lawn. The sun streamed down through the rustling leaves and surrounded them with a cathedral of light. The day was like no other, new, fresh, inexplicably changed.

    And if you had been there as I was, if you had seen them as I did, you’d notice she was holding his hand.



    Steven Hunley 2012

    http://youtu.be/ykU8iSKkJR0 Bee Gees To Love Somebody


    Brown Penny

    I WHISPERED, 'I am too young,'
    And then, 'I am old enough';
    Wherefore I threw a penny
    To find out if I might love.
    'Go and love, go and love, young man,
    If the lady be young and fair.'
    Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
    I am looped in the loops of her hair.
    O love is the crooked thing,
    There is nobody wise enough
    To find out all that is in it,
    For he would be thinking of love
    Till the stars had run away
    And the shadows eaten the moon.
    Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,
    One cannot begin it too soon.
    William Butler Yeats
    Last edited by Steven Hunley; 07-11-2013 at 12:52 PM.

  2. #2
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    A delicate one, Steven, and a nice tribute to Yeats. But is the boy with the kite old enough to drink coffee?

  3. #3
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuntShecky View Post
    A delicate one, Steven, and a nice tribute to Yeats. But is the boy with the kite old enough to drink coffee?

    I always liked Yeats when he could be simple. I'm a simple dude. Surely I didn't say the kid with the kite drank coffee. Did I? It's the wanna-be knight in shining amour (yes amour) that offers the coffee. As for me, (not that you asked though) I didn't start drinking coffee until I was 40, working on a loading dock for Sears Roebuck in San Diego. It was only a slab of concrete and pretty cold. To keep my hands warm I started drinking coffee.

    Now it's Columbian Supremo or Sumatran when I can get a hold of it. Like coca, coffee is a good friend of work. Just keep your substances organic and don't refine them too much. Nature is the ultimate chemist, and understands her proportions in organic formulas thousands of years old.

    I think I read Victor Hugo drank tankards of coffee. How do you wordsmiths out there feel about coffee?


    Oh, you can't answer?


    Is it because your hands are too jittery to hit the keys correctly? Am I going over Maugham's Razor's Edge here? Is it because of the coffee? You betcha.

  4. #4
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    This is very good Steven. Nicely observed, tight little package. You need to keep an eye on your tenses though.

    "...mark(ed) her as the wife..."

    "He('d) felt “that way” about her for months now..."

    "And if you had been there as I was, if you had seen them as I did, you’d (have) notice(d) (that) she was holding his hand."

    There is some supposition in the narrative though. For instance, how does the boy know that the woman is the wife of the man's best friend? The observation about the ring is therefore jarring a bit in relation to how the tale develops. Better to just say the ring, "marked her as a wife." I think the way the tale develops shows that she was not the man's wife, but you could say, "but not his." The trouble with the narrative is that there is a lot of description of the man's feelings and thoughts that the boy just couldn't have known. At the same time, I feel that to correct this would spoil the tightness of the story, but you might be able to incorporate the revelations as real time speculation by the observer; i.e. the boy although it is doubtful that a child would have that degree of insight about emotional relationships. but doing it retrospectively, as if coming from the boy grown up, would mean a lot of extra writing and the end revelation would be diffused.

    The other option, and I know you aren't going to like it, is simply to drop the revelation about the narrator being the boy and the stuff about "seeing them as I did," etc. By all means, leave in the bit about her holding his hand though, but that's where the tale should stop. Do this and all uncrossed T's and undotted i's are eradicated. The last line is a great idea, but it just doesn't work in context for me.

    Have a think about it.

    Live and be well - H
    Last edited by Hawkman; 06-16-2013 at 06:00 AM.

  5. #5
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    Surely I didn't say the kid with the kite drank coffee. Did I?
    The last noun mentioned before the "he" in the next sentence was the "small boy," which I took it as the antecedent. That's why when I read "they went out for coffee," I thought it was the chick and the kid, a May and December kind o romance, a young boy infatuated with an older woman, as in Shaw's Candida. The first line in the poem in the epigraph "I was too young" threw me.

    I didn't know that there were two males present in the scene,but I guess I see it now in the penultimate sentence.

    I hiope you'll forgive my confusion. For clarity's sake, let's use proper nouns instead of free-floating pronouns.
    Last edited by AuntShecky; 06-19-2013 at 04:58 PM.

  6. #6
    Hi,,, wo great post i like

  7. #7
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    I named the woman Michelle, after my daughter. Now we call her Elle. I tell her they named a woman's mag after her but she's not going for it. Look. Elle, I just told everybody in the literary world we call you Elle. Should I tell them you were named Michelle after the Beatles song? Would you sue your old dad if he did this? It may embarrass you. But Honey, that's what dads do. They embarrass their daughters in public. Have Barb tell you a story about that one. I'm saving it for one of my little "bits'.

    Don't worry folks, you'll read it here first.

    https://youtu.be/I5B1QBEODdQ The Revivalists - To Love Somebody - Audiotree Live OMG is this country version good!

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