Dr. Paris: In Conversation with Cupid

Read Part 1 & Part 2

“Testing, 1, 2, 3,  I am Dr. Andy Paris, this is February 15th at 2pm. My next client, has a standing appointment once a year on this date.”

“Hello, Dr. Paris.”

“Good afternoon. Would you like some chocolate? I have plenty leftover from yesterday.”

“Is that a joke?”

“I’m so sorry, that was quite insensitive of me. I’ll put these away. Can you tell me about your week?”

“It’s not just a week now. It’s the entire month. It’s almost two months! Two months of fat diapered babies with bow-and-arrows. Do I look like a fat diapered baby to you?”

“Of course not.”

“Plus it’s not even about love anymore. It used to be about love. Now it’s every kid at every school in the whole damn continent. They don’t love each other, some of them don’t even like each other. Why do they keep it up? Is it just to torture me?”

“I’m sure it’s not.”

“And what do mutated turtles and large eyed women have to do with me anyway? They’re almost worse than the fat babies. I don’t even know who I am anymore. Am I the god of Disney and Star Wars? Am I the god of cinnamon and chalk?”

“…Chalk?”

“Those tiny hearts with writing on them. Are they not chalk?”

“Those are actually supposed to be candy.”

“Really? Well that’s just a slap in the face.”

“Getting back to yesterday, did you do what I suggested last year?”

“I’m trying. I tried to do what you said, but I don’t want to be by myself for two whole months.”

“Did you at least get to a secluded spot yesterday?”

“I…. attempted that.”

“And what happened?”

“I booked this cabin in the woods, this cute little exclusive resort, away from everything.”

“Oh no.”

“It turned out to be a couple’s resort! Cabin after cabin of blissful couples, all there for..for…”

“It’s okay to say it, saying it won’t hurt you.”

“VALENTINE’S DAY!”

“I’m so sorry that happened to you.”

“I was surrounded by them! Flowers and chocolates and stupid fat babies. I had to fly from cabin to cabin. I witnessed three proposals!”

“That must have been very frustrating.”

“I can’t get away from it. When love is near, I have to obey. I have to go and fire my stupid magical arrows all day. It’s exhausting. It’s un-ending. AND IT’S EVERY DAMN YEAR!”

“I know, Mr. Cupid, I know.”

[muffled sobs]

“Same.” [sob] “time” [sob] “next year?” [sob]

“Yes, of course. And more often if you’d like. You cry for as long as you need to.”

 

[end recording]

Motherhood

                  

001Motherhood

I dreamed

that you drowned.

Your little head

beneath water

and no matter

how hard I tried

I couldn’t reach you

in time.

I felt your small body

limp in my arms.

 

I awoke to your cries

alive, awake

seeking milk and comfort

not knowing my fear

only my love.

 

 

artwork by Paul Moffett

Fanfic Friday: Devotion

She wakes him up every morning by placing her paws on his chest. He rises, groaning, pours his tea and eats kippers and toast. He puts half his breakfast in a saucer for her. She worries he’s getting too old for this, but it has been their routine for so many years. She watches, he mops. She prowls, he scrubs. There is not a soul in this castle who fully understands their connection. It began so many years ago; her abilities were so strong and he had none.

She worries that maybe he’s forgotten who she used to be, before the change, before the punishment. Once, she was human, a witch so powerful it almost made up for the fact that he was powerless. But she left him when they were still children, she fell in with the wrong sort.

She worries he doesn’t remember the time she showed up on his doorstep. It was the last time he saw her as a human. She begged him, pleaded that he take care of her. He was the only one left alive that loved her. Her punishment would become bearable if she came with him. He agreed, and that was the last she’d heard him speak of it.

The next time they met she was confined to a cat’s body, punished to live the rest of her days in feline form. Her task was now protecting the school she’d once attended. He took a job as caretaker and now so many years had passed them by.

She worries that he’s bitter, that he truly does hate all the children and the teachers and the entire castle. She worried that one day he’ll leave her.

But still he stays, eternally devoted to a cat with lamp-like eyes.

zoom out

She falls to the floor, weeping.

He looks down at her, tears in his own eyes, turns away. He walks around the apartment, taking a few things. A phone charger. A few shirts from the closet. A toothbrush. Some books and DVDs. A mug from the kitchen.

She cries harder.

He goes back to her, tries to hug her. It is awkward. He says something, then puts a key on the counter and walks out.

 

Zoom out. The neighbours hear her sobs. One rolls his eyes and hopes it doesn’t last too long. Another puts a few cookies on a plate and wraps them in plastic, to leave outside her door.

 

Zoom out. He pushes past people in the street as he walks, then runs away from the building. He is trying to hold his tears until he gets to his car. He fumbles with the lock, then gets in and yells, making the passersby turn and stare. He thumps his steering wheel. He waits until he is calmer before he drives away.

 

Zoom out. The city bustles. She calls in sick to work, and her boss warns her that she had better be in tomorrow or risk the consequences. He nearly misses a stop sign, and a mother pushing a stroller yells at him. He takes a deep breath.

 

Zoom out. She calls her mom, two thousand kilometres away. They weep together, the tiny wire tenuously connecting them. He drives to his college roommate’s house in the next province and asks to sleep on the couch.

 

Zoom out. There is a tragedy in a faraway country. The news, grasping at the human angle, repeats the story of a young woman who lost her husband and the father of her miscarried child over and over. The woman cries and cries. Both women cry and cry.

 

Zoom out. The earth from space looks the same as ever. Turquoise, swirled with white. Lit up by constellations of community at night. One tiny pinprick in a sea of stars. And yet, the universe is subtly altered.

 

two touching poems

FullSizeRender

My Teacup: In Memoriam

by Annemarie

O proud and glorious vessel of tea,

You did your duty valiantly.

And ne’er shall pass another day

Where by my side you deign to stay.

Your curving sides, your graceful lip

Fit perfectly within my grip.

Leaf and bag, in water steeped

A splash of milk into the deep.

Each day a perfect cup you gave

A legacy now for your grave.

Though many may make their appeal,

No other cup my heart shall steal.

 

The Sounds of a Silence (in the Morning)

by Jan

Hello coffee, my old friend,

I’ve come to drink you here again,

Restless nights that were so fleeting

The darkness left, now I am bleating

for the coffee that will now restore my brain

once again.

Bring me the sounds of silence.

 

Dr Paris: Therapist to the Supernatural

Read part 1

“This is Dr. Andy Paris, recording this 14th day of January at 3:30 in the afternoon. My patient is Ms. Belledonte.”

“Good afternoon, Dr.Paris.”

“I need to inform you that I have begun recording my sessions. The recordings are password protected on my computer and will not be listened to by anyone else. Do I have your consent on that?”

“Yes. I suppose that is fine.”

“How has your week been?”

[a long sigh from Ms. Belledonte]

“He’s been following me again. Theo. I haven’t seen him in almost a  century and he’s started following me.”

“Where was it that you saw him?”

“He has a MAN BUN! A fucking man bun. And hipster glasses. He didn’t even wear those in the 60s. He has never been on trend. When I saw him in the 1850’s, he was wearing a tricorn hat like it was 17-fucking- 76. Where does he get off with this flannel and man bun nonsense?”

“So you saw him…”

“He used to do this, you know, he used to stalk me, follow me around all the time when we were both in Vienna.”

“And this was…”

“During the Black Plague. He got it in his head that this would be the thing to finish us off. He followed me around, seeing if I would catch it first. But of course I didn’t. Of course WE didn’t. I couldn’t shake him if my life depended on it.

“He’s been following you…”

[a cough] “Well.”

“Are you worried he followed you here?”

“He followed me…on twitter.”

“On twitter.”

“Well it’s bloody the same as following me down the street nowadays isn’t it? I just want to know what he’s playing at. Following me like this.”

“This seems to have had quite the effect on your week.”

“Not just my week, Dr. Paris. Not just my week.”

“No?”

“My whole fucking existence! I only see Theo once, maybe twice a century. He’s this… simpering idiot. This fool of a man. How he got to be an immortal, I’ve never figured out. But to have him following me on twitter changes our dynamic. Plus that fucking man bun.”

“Have you considered blocking him?”

[another long sigh from Ms. Belledonte]

“That’s… an idea. But, I don’t know… I don’t care. I don’t care about him, I don’t care about his stupid, immortal face. I just want it to go away.” [a long silence] “I mean, of course I CARE about him, he’s the only other immortal I’ve got. But I can only take so much of him.”

“So what happens next?”

“I just don’t know. I used to be the one who was ‘of the now’… maybe now it’s him. Maybe I take a rest for a decade or so.”

“A rest?”

“Just a… time off from being the most fabulous creature in the room, you know? A thousand years of trendsetting is wearing a little thin. Every move I make followed by everyone around me. Even you, doctor! I see you watching me. You’ve even stopped writing on that damn notepad”

“I did inform you I’d be recording these sessions. I don’t need to take as many notes.”

“You’re just as obsessed with me as he is. The entire thing is so typical of him. I was on twitter ten years ago. And now he’s on it just to annoy me. As if a thousand years of annoying me isn’t enough.

“Could I-”

“This week has just been the absolute worst! You mortals have no idea what it takes to maintain this level of sophistication. Justine – that’s my hair stylist – Justine is retiring! She just started doing my hair thirty years ago and now I have to find someone new. Again. My housekeeper wants to work fewer hours, just because she had a baby! Doesn’t she see how that inconveniences me?”

“Could I – “

“Everything is fucking wrong with everything. I think Theo is behind it all. He wants me to suffer. He wants to take all that I have!”

“Ms. Belladonte. Marina. Could I just ask you a question?”

“Fine.”

“How many followers does Theo have on twitter?”

“MORE THAN ME!”

“That’s what I suspected. Now, I know you want help with this. You’re coming here because you want to work on your relationships.”

“With mortals. Not with Theo.”

“Exactly. So, I want you to start by blocking Theo on twitter. Just for a week and see if it makes you feel better.”

“I guess.”

“I’m afraid our time is up for today, Ms. Belledonte.”

“Alright, Dr. Paris.” [a long sigh] “Same time next week?”

“Absolutely”

[end recording]

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