Porch Light (James's Work)
It's cold out here. The wind
howls throught the plains like ghost riders coming
for your soul. No matter how much you wear these ghost riders come on
made of snow. You get so cold you think they really have stolen your soul to
hell. You feel completely empty.
sky is clear and pitiless. It's a big black mouth that will swallow you up.
The stars are it's many teeth. In a way I want
to be eaten by the night. Part of
me wants the shadows to take me out to whatever frozen oblivion it took
out in that accursed emptiness, that hollow nothing that stretches
out without end, her body lies. She might lie in a shallow
grave dug from the
cold, black ground. She might lie in the tall, scraggly grass, buried only by
the white snow which
ceaselessly falls. Snow that will remain pure until it
soaks up the sin in her blood. Somewhere she waits to be found,
to be brought
home, even though she, the real Cheyenne, is long gone. Her body still wants to
come home to rest.
see Cheyenne in my mind, on the last night she was alive. We were standing on
the little, makeshift porch in front of her
trailer. Stray flakes of snow were
stuck in her hair, and some clung to her white, washed out face. They glimmered
the porch light. It made me think of Tinkerbell, all covered in fairy
dust. Cheyenne smiled all was all alight, adding
to the fairy tale illusion. I
was surprised she didn't turn to a glowing ball and fly away, headed for second
Cheyenne placed a hand on my cheek. She smiled, then leaned forward and kissed
me. She wrapped her arms around
me and pulled me close. Her body was warm. It
felt good against me. But I put my hands on her shoulders and pushed her
She looked up at me, her hazel eyes looking as if they might splinter into a
million pieces. The snow in her hair
and on her face still sparkled under the
porchlight, but now she looked like Tinkerbell after her light had gone out.
told Cheyenne, as we stood there in cold that was so bitter in threatned to
take our souls, that she was not the one I
loved. I told her that I didn't want
her love. I told her I loved another. She looked away, trying to hide tears in
eyes, tears that froze and glittered under the porch light.
I felt bad for breaking Cheyenne's heart, but there was no
way to avoid it. She
loved me but I didn't love her. For whatever reason, my heart chose another, and
didn't chose her.
I loved Anna, the waitress at the truck stop in town who was
as tall and wispy as trail of smoke off a cigarette. Anna
made me feel at peace.
When I am in her arms all is still, and I am quiet. I couldn't tell Cheyenne
that I loved her,
that would only cause more problems.
Cheyenne turned away from me. She had wiped the tears from her eyes and had
anymore from coming. She was smiling, saying she understood. Her ache
showed around the edges though. Her eyes were shattered
Cheyenne went inside her trailer. I stood there on her little, makeshift porch
for a moment, feeling stupid,
like I was a complete bastard, feeling so fucking
cold. I heard a song play through the thin walls of her trailer. She
turned on her stereo. It was some sentimental love song about perfect love, love
that always found a way.
I walked back to my own trailer, through the snow and
under the hungry sky, with that stupid fucking song stuck in my head.
night Cheyenne disappeared. Someone snatched her from her bed. She was
most likely dead and if she was dead then her death
would not have been an easy
one. Only the pityless sky knew. It, and the one who had taken her.
I wonder, though I don't
want to and I try to stop myself, how things would
have been different if I had stayed with Cheyenne that night. I wonder
would of all turned out if I had returned her love and gone inside with her.
Would I have been able to protect
her, or would I only have ended up a dead body
on her bedroom floor? Would whoever had taken her have killed me too, or
have been able to turn him back? Could I have protected her? There's no point in
wondering, but I can't help
I stare out into the night, the bitter wind stinging my eyes, make them tear
up. Cheyenne is somewhere out in that
night. She is all alone, waiting for
someone to find her, to bring her home. Will it be any easier once her body is
When I finally know where she is, and that she is at rest, will the pain
fade at all. When I have a gravestone to visit,
someplace to take my grief, will
any of my sorrow go? Will that help to fill this emptiness? Will it matter at
miss Cheyenne's soft voice. It was so soft I'd often have to ask her to
repeat what she'd said because I had not heard
her. She'd sigh and say I
shouldn't listen to all that loud music. I miss the way she'd suck her bottom
lip and shake
her head side to side when she was thinking hard. I used to ask
her obscure questions just to see her do that. I miss that
when whenever I went
somewhere with her to eat, she'd try to to suck every last drop of her drinks
with her straw, even
after she started to make that annoying noise when there's
almost nothing left. She'd always do that. I miss all the little,
things about her that I never noticed until she was gone.
The wind keeps blowing, and the ghost riders
on their horses of snow are still
coming for my soul. The cold lives in my blood, in my bones, in my flesh. The
are bitter and endless, stretching out into eternity. Anna is asleep back
in my trailer. She's been staying over a lot
lately. I hide in her carress,
hoping her warmth and her tenderness will keep me tied to the world of the
is tall and wispy like a trail of smoke off a cigarette. I wonder
if she could disappear as easily.
I turn away from
the night, and head back to my trailer. I head back to Anna.
She is asleep in my bed. I'll go to her side and wrap my arms
around her, and
pull her tight to me, realizing how fragile, precious, and easy to lose she is.
For example, I might include an essay on a controversial subject, like the ethics of capital punishment. Or, I might write
a personal essay about growing up or my philosophy of child-rearing.
Writing essays requires a little more work than
writing blog posts, but it also gives me a chance to really shape and express my thoughts.