Thanks to Stew over at Life of a Chocobo Sage for nominating me. I think you should go check his blog out, I certainly enjoy it.
So, let’s do this:
Questions and Answers
1. What is your favorite animal and why?
Hands down the Orca. They are beautiful, graceful, family-oriented creatures. Powerful hunters. Ranked one of the most intelligent animals on our planet. They learn and adapt. They have been known to work with humans to better themselves (not including the poor creatures that are kept in zoos who go crazy). I currently have nine orcas tattooed on my body.
2. Who is your hero and why?
I honestly don’t have an answer for this. Certainly there are many I look up to or am proud of or respect but hero? No. I don’t think I have one.
3. If you could be in any world from a book, which would you chose?
I love the universe that Peter F Hamilton created in his Pandora’s Star books. It’s hard sci-fi guys, and it is pretty awesome. While most of the humans by that point in our future are cyborgs by all accounts and I wouldn’t be one of them, it is still a very interesting world and I think I could live there quite happily.
4. Is there anywhere in the world you would like to see?
I don’t really have this strong urge to travel, but if I could teleport, I’d like to see Italy. The UK, Scotland, New Zealand.
5. If you could only eat one thing, what would it be?
Is this a real question??? Tacos of course!
6. What is the worst thing you’ve tasted?
Oh god. That’s a toss-up between moose tongue and the Infamous Stew of ’99 (in which yours truly created…let’s just say: I couldn’t eat it, the neighbor dog wouldn’t eat it, dear god… even the neighbor’s chickens wouldn’t eat it…. and sadly, the ground in which I poured it on did not create new life the next spring. I wish I was making that up.)
7. What are you currently watching?
I haven’t had TV since 1999. I don’t have streaming internet. I don’t watch anything except like Star Trek or a few other shows I have on DVD on my computer. I am an avid reader though. But if you aren’t talking TV, well I like to watch the wild bunnies and moose that hang out around here. And I love watching the ocean roll and crash and the snow drift down and the sun set and the stars’ nightly journey and the auroras dance and the rain fall. That’s what I watch.
8. Who is the latest band/artist you’ve discovered?
Most recently I’ve been into Coldplay.
9. What film are you most looking forward to?
I don’t watch films either. Sorry. I don’t even know what’s coming up. But if James Cameron would please make the next Avatar movie I’d be really really ecstatic.
10. If you could meet anyone past or present, who would it be and why?
This is hard. There’s quite a list, I suppose. But you know, right now there is a blogger I follow who I would very much like to meet in person. Like sit down and have long conversations with. Not to be weird or anything… hahahaha (nervous laughter). Why? Because we are kindred spirits and my life is enriched having him a part (even as little as it is) of my days.
You know, I sort of liked those ten I answered, how about those ones?
Thanks for reading and I hope a few will answer. And hey, if there’s anything else you want to know, ask away, I just might answer. ☺️
In a worst case scenario, he leaves me. Not just because he’s simply done, but because I wasn’t enough and he found someone else who meets the needs I can’t cover. The distance between us is just too great a gap to span.
In a worst case scenario, he isn’t able to overcome my eccentricities and personal faults. I’m not able to rise above my own dark thoughts, and, letting them consume me, he leaves me to them.
In a worst case scenario, my sexual appetite is either too little or perhaps too much for him. He gets tired of playing rough or maybe I’m not willing to go that far. In either case, I’m not meeting his desires and his eyes and mind look elsewhere for satisfaction.
In a worst case scenario, he realizes I’m not as special as he once thought. I’m no different than the next chick out there, and perhaps she’s even better. My thoughts aren’t that deep or my heart isn’t as soft as he once believed.
In a worst case scenario, I’m alone. No one sees me for me. They look right through me as though I were invisible. I go to my grave utterly forgotten, and in fact my passing goes completely unnoticed.
tara caribou | ©2017
Hauling the basket of wares and trinkets my master crafted by day on my back had me sore and sweating in the hot sun of summer but I couldn’t help but be just a little excited. Today was market day. True, the market ran twice a week, every week. But Master Jovus only sold from his stand once every two weeks. He made plenty to provide for his family at that frequency and he was also a bit lazy. As of late, many of those market days he stayed at home, getting fatter and fatter, sending instead me, his owned property, to do the peddling and bartering for him. In all honesty, those were my favorite market days because then it was just me and our customers. His eyes and his hands were far, far away from me.
Being of the poorer class, my family had sold me to Master Jovus when I was but six years old in order to even up a debt and put a little food on their own table. I wasn’t that surprised, they had already done the same to my older brother and sister. I was just next in line to pay for my father’s bad decisions. My master, from the beginning, was fairly kind although I always felt he hugged me a bit too often and a bit too long in those early days. His wife merely looked on with apathy. She was neither overly kind nor overly harsh. It was as if she was resigned to her fate in life and wasn’t going to fight it nor live resentfully. Master owned three slaves including me: a boy, Levi, who was a year my junior and another girl, Sharon, just my age. The three of us were friends, in our own ways. We tried to stick together and cover for one another as much as we possibly could. Sharing the loads so that none of us was overworked.
It wasn’t so much that my Master was a harsh man. He wasn’t. He always provided enough meat and milk for all in his household. But he was increasingly lazy as the years crawled on and his sweaty hands and body flopping on top me at night were more than I could stand. Sharon, my slave-sister, got the brunt of his attentions, as she was far more beautiful than I. She had the standard brown eyes of our people whereas I, on the other hand, had strange blue eyes that made me a bit too different. Master Jovus always wanted my eyes closed as he took my body, afraid, as he said, that a god would come and claim his soul at the moment of his pleasure if he were to look into them at the same time. I was more than happy to oblige. Closing my eyes, I always went to a different place. I lay as still as possible, attempting to not encourage him to take any longer than was necessary for his needs to be met. Sharon for her part said she tried to make it enjoyable for herself too, to make it easier to handle his attentions but I never understood how she could get her mind to cooperate with her body. It wasn’t that she was happy with his ministrations, just that it was her method of coping.
Our slave-brother was left alone in the carnal way but was used for heavy-lifting tasks and as an all-around errand boy. Many times, he was sent to Master’s friends or acquaintances to work certain jobs as a means of bartering. He was mostly quiet, but a generally happy kid and we all enjoyed each other’s company as much as we could, given our lots in life.
And so the three of us slaves dreamed together in whispers during the early morning hours before the household arose, of days where we all escaped the house together and we promised we would always remain friends until our dying days. Or so the fanciful visions of youth told us. We all knew the truth. Most likely, we would all remain in the house until Master Jovus died and then were auctioned off to the next home or to pay off any debts his death might incur. The reality of freedom was truly just a fantasy. Still. We dreamed.
And so, here I was twelve years later, at a time in my life when most girls my age had already been wed or were betrothed to another. I entertained ideas that maybe our master would sell us off to foreign men who would take a former slave as a wife. Other masters did that, I knew. Claimed their slaves as their own children and then sold the young women as brides to foreign men who desired a wife such as myself. I kept hoping. There was the thought that the man could be horrible or ugly, but at least I’d no longer be a slave. I would have a way to escape my life and perhaps make it better. And then there were the dreams.
I had always been a dreamer. I experienced vivid dreams during the night hours and sometimes visions of significance during the daytime. I had once dreamt that a three-month famine was upon us and told my Master of the dream. He listened to me and built up a coffer of dried foods which ended up providing for the household when the dream became reality mere weeks later. There was also the vision I had of Levi falling in a deep hole, unable to get out. At the time, he was working on a neighboring farm as barter and when Master Jovus inquired he found that Levi indeed had been missing for just over a day. This led to a search of the farm and subsequently finding my slave-brother in a hole near the edge of a field.
There were many such instances. Most of my dreams were just that: dreams. But sometimes I awoke with a start and I knew it was more than a dream. And so, too, were the dreams and visions I had of One so beautiful I could scarce look upon his wonderful face. I had dreamed of him since I was a very little girl. Perhaps even as a babe. He was always there before my eyes. I knew without ever having seen him exactly what his voice sounded like, his brown eyes, his long dark hair, his scraggly beard. I knew his laugh and the feel of his palm against mine. He was a vision all on his own. I was just sure I would one day meet him and he would complete my soul and we would become One. He was the One who kept my hopes alive. My heart remained open to him and I called to him from within my spirit with the idea that I could call him unto myself.
Every market day that I worked was an opportunity for me to maybe meet him. I had daydreamed a hundred ways he would rescue me. Perhaps he would steal me away and we’d live on the run for the rest of our days. Or maybe he would be a rich prince who would offer my Master ten times what I was worth and it would not be refused. Then again, he might be an officer who arrested me on the pretense of theft only to take me to his own home rather than the judge. And so on, my imagination would take me. So long as we were together, I would be complete, no matter how it came about.
I carefully laid out the items my Master crafted. Arranging them in a way to be easy to look at but harder to steal without getting caught. To appear appealing without being overpriced. I stacked and organized and prepared for the day ahead. Once my table was laid out and ready, I had just a little time to look over the nearby stalls before the market opened to the city. Taking my place again, I waited as the throngs of hungry and bored and desperate and greedy made their way through the narrow streets set to fulfill their individual needs. A bell tolled and instantly the market square and side streets came alive with sights and smells and sounds. We called out our wares and prices and anything really to catch the attention of those who might think to pass by without a glance.
Sales were quick and generally done with a little haggling to make the customer feel he got the better deal and also so I was paid what was necessary. Some profit was better than others. Some sales faster and some that I had to really work for. The hours raced by, as it was apt to do during these hectic days. Faces coming and going blending into a sea of tan skin and brown eyes and black hair. Robes and turbans of all colors imaginable. Rich or poor, they were all equal on market day. As I entered a slight lull, no customer immediately before me, I called out my goods to those who might hear me, hoping to draw in another mark.
I felt the hair on my neck stand on end. I knew I was being watched; which is an odd feeling when you are in a vast moving crowd of people. My voice faltered and it seemed the surrounding busyness faded a bit. Time seemed to slow. I looked around. He was here. I knew it was him. I scanned the faces near and far. There. Down a side street I saw him. He was looking right at me. His jaw dropped slightly and his face pale almost as if he couldn’t believe his eyes. I almost wanted to look about me to see what he gazed upon but then again I also knew it was me he was watching. Our eyes locked and held. He was just as I saw him in my dreams. He closed his mouth and took a step, two steps in my direction. My spirit called to his and a vision of great significance came upon me with immense force.
I saw in a different realm his spirit and mine across the expanse of the market square. But I knew it was also time itself. I heard his voice whisper my name. But it wasn’t the name I was known by right now and yet I knew it was my true name. I heard my voice whisper his. It was foreign on my tongue and nonetheless I knew it was his true name as well. I saw a dozen other versions of us live and die both together and also apart within the stretch of but a moment’s time. Always our spirits reached out and called to one another. How could this be? What does it mean? Who was this One who stood before me yet so far away?
And then I heard across the span of time his voice call loudly, clearly: “I can’t wait to be with you fully. To feel the Love Light from your heart. You shine, my Love, and it is beautiful. Like the brightest star on the darkest night. I love you completely, my Heart. You’re always on my mind and in my thoughts. You are my everything. My happiness. My future. My dreams. You truly are the sunshine of my heart.”
I didn’t understand what it all meant. But I knew it to be True.
In that moment, everything went dark and then the stall keeper who was next to mine was standing over me. “Are you okay?” I put my hand to my head and nodded. Reaching out, he helped me stand. I looked to where I had seen my Love. He was nowhere to be found.
I continued searching for him the rest of the afternoon but I never saw him again that day. In fact, I was to spend the rest of my days gazing out into the mists of time, hoping, calling. Sometimes I felt a whisper of his voice in the back of my mind. Some nights I dreamt of him. I felt as if a part of me had left my body. As if my spirit joined with his and moved on. It was my body and soul that remained behind. I was separated. My Master immediately noticed a difference in me. He never again took my body as his own. He began to treat me almost as a true daughter, looking to my every need.
Some years later, as he lay in a pool of his own vomit and excrement, his body having succumbed to the obesity and a strange skin ailment like boils which never healed that had started on his forehead and slowly advanced to cover all his skin, his wife handed me a rolled up parchment. On it was an offer to buy me with a day and month given that I knew coincided with that day at the market when I saw Him, my Love in the flesh. She said that a gentleman had come to the house just before I had returned home from market one evening and made the offer to her late husband. Master, of course, had turned the gentleman down to which he responded by speaking a curse over Jovus, immediately robbing him of the ability to perform as a man. This gentleman had then prophesied that the Master would die a demeaning death covered in his own filth and rot. And touching him on the forehead had turned and walked away.
I knew then that this gentleman had somehow moved beyond the confines of time at least in the way we perceived it. That he wasn’t meant to be mine during this life. That he would always be mine and I his, just not now. I was hereafter sold to a kind older foreign man within days of the Master’s death to be his wife. The foreigner always took care of me and I loved him in my own way. It wasn’t deep love but it was love bore of familiarity, kindness, and necessity. I lived out the rest of my days always with the One on my heart and in my mind. Always calling out to him and sometimes he even answered in my dreams.
tara caribou | ©️2019
This is part of my book Phoenix Rising. Someday I will actually edit and publish it.
I reached across the empty sheets and
felt for you but you weren’t there
you never are and still
I automatically reach for you
long lonely nights
followed by cold hollow days
spending a whole day with you
resting in your arms
would change my whole world
I know you’re afraid to fly but
my darling I would catch you
my arms are open wide
ready to wrap around you
the moment you let go
we were made for one another
you’re not too far broken
for me to touch you
allow me to kiss
every one of your scars
my love will work it’s way
deep inside you
I will shine my light
within your hurting soul
illuminate dark places and
the filthy lies you’ve told yourself
you are worthy
you are beautiful
you would be mine so
why do you hold yourself back from me? please I must know
release yourself into me
let my body fold itself around you
gaze into my blue eyes and
as my fingers
caress your tear-stained face
your soul will find rest and
when we wake in the morning
it will be looking into one another’s eyes
instead of at a cold empty bed
“God damn it!” I exclaimed, twisting my ankle for the billionth time on a desert shrub root or a loose rock or whatever else my clumsy feet managed to find. Whoever said hiking was a great way to see nature can suck it. I’m not even entirely sure why I thought I should do this or why I thought I should do this alone. I hadn’t completely botched the entire day. I mean, yeah, I brought lots of water and electrolytes and snacks all in a backpack full of lightweight survival gear “just in case”. It was the burning, searing desert after all.
I’ll admit it was beautiful out there. Like jaw-dropping gorgeous. I just wished that it wasn’t so damn hard, that the trail was maybe paved and it would have been glorious if I had someone to share it with. Especially if that someone was of the opposite sex and had a penchant for outdoor fucking. Oh, and especially especially if said man was, oh, about my height, dark hair on the longer side, a bristly beard that I knew would feel amazing between my thighs, gorgeous brown eyes, sexy smile, with the hottest gravelly voice a girl could imagine. Ohhh yeah. Especially if it was Him. MMhhmm. Yeah, so maybe I was a bit particular. That’s because I’d met him. I’d stared at him. I’d fingered myself I don’t know how many times, calling out his name in the night or whispered it at my desk. Yes. At my desk. At work. Right next to his office. My bosses’ office. Him. Mr. Christopher Fucking Smith himself. Oohh yes.
Shit! I tripped on yet another fucking rock. Head in the game, Tara. Head in the game. Admittedly, at least He knew I existed. I mean, he was my boss. He had interviewed and hired me. He had taught me my job, leaning over my keyboard I don’t know how many times as I inhaled his masculine scent. How many times I wanted to lick his neck. Or bite it. Or he could bite mine. Either one would’ve worked. I’d masturbated in that cubicle…. I lost count of how many times. Daydreaming about him walking in, discovering me wet for him, lifting me up and fucking me over my desk just like that. Of course, it never happened. The guy was married. Had a ten-year-old son. But still. Damn. I was like a dog in heat when it came to him. The guy oozed sex appeal. I mean, all us single ladies had swooned when he walked by, watching his ass as he passed.
I had even tried to have a couple flings just to tame the fire of lust that burned in me for him. You know, to release some pent-up energy. I just couldn’t do it. I’m not one for fantasizing about anyone other than the man I’m with. So, it was masturbation-city for me. First stop: Black Magic, my vibrator. Toot! Toot!! Even that had lost its appeal though. I hadn’t picked it up in weeks. If it wasn’t Mr. Smith’s fingers in me, I was not interested. God, the fantasies I’d had though.
Through my lust-filled haze, I lost track of both the time and where in the hell I actually was in that desert park. I mean, there are trails crisscrossing everywhere. But you need to pay attention to the signs and your map to make sure you don’t get lost. I paused. Looked around. What the hell was I doing? It’s not like I could easily get my bearings. I’d never hiked the area before. Hhmm. I made an executive decision and decided to keep going on. I’m pretty sure that I’d come to a crossroads again and that place was great for signage. Then I could check that against my map.
It was another hour or so before I was able to find myself on my map. By then I was hungry, so I decided to stop for a snack before planning my way back to my car again. There are little rest stops along these trails, some with a bench or even a table and benches and shade. This spot in particular was just a bench over-looking the desert, as the land sloped off to one side and the trail was traversing a small hillside. It was a gorgeous view. I sat down, with my back to the trail, set my backpack next to me, and proceeded to dig around for a proper snack for my lunch break. It was just then that I heard another person coming down the trail. That was not unusual as I had passed quite a few singles as well as groups of people all morning. What I wasn’t expecting was to hear their footsteps falter then pause just behind me. Feeling a little awkward, I glanced over my shoulder and asked, “do I need to share the bench?”
“I thought that was you,” came the deep, gravelly reply.
I dropped my bag of trail-mix and whipped around. Yep. It was Him. Mr. Sex-god Fantasy himself. My jaw hung open. “Mr. Smith?”
He chuckled. “Well, I would hope you’d recognize your own employer!”
“I…I did, I just wasn’t expecting to run into you out here!” I ran a hand over what I was positive was fuzzy, sweaty desert hair.
“Mind if I join you?”
Did I mind? Did I mind?! Um, let me sit on your lap, sir! Instead I dumbly nodded and lifted my backpack off the other half of the bench and set it at my feet.
Down he sat with a sigh. “Oh man. I got a little lost back there a ways and figured I’d find a good trail-marker or crossroads at some point. I come out here pretty frequently, but you know, it’s still easy to get turned around….looks like lunchtime for you, eh, Tara?”
I giggled. “Huh! I actually lost my way too and that sign there got me back on track! Who woulda thought, eh?…And yeah. Lunch. Want some?”
“No kidding? Well, I guess it was meant to be then, you think?” His elbow nudged my ribs.
I giggled again. God. So embarrassing. All I could think about was grinding on his lap but common sense and a sweaty butt crack stopped me from following through. He’s married. He’s married. He’s married. That was my mantra. “Um, yeah. Fate.” I gestured vaguely with my hand. “And food.”
Christopher laughed out loud at that. “Yeah. Food is always good. Sure. I’ll take some. What’ve you got there?”
I proceeded to list off way too much food that I was in fact carrying on my person. I like eating. So sue me. He laughed loudly again shaking his head. “Were you planning on feeding others? Or just wanted to make sure you’d survive a week in the wilderness?”
“Ha. Ha. Ha. I like food. What can I say? I never know if I’m going to want nuts and berries or beef jerky or a can of tuna or cheddar crackers. For me…I chose the nuts and berries. So what’ll it be, Mr. Boss Man Who Can’t Be Bothered To Provide His Own Food?”
He chose the beef jerky and a fruit and grain energy bar. What followed next was this really great conversation that ranged from minor work stuff to the history of the area to his wife and son to favorite dog breeds. It was honestly the most fun couple of hours I’d had in a long time. I laughed, like genuinely laughed, so often. I knew, listening to him, watching the look in his eyes when he talked about his son, that I would never put the moves on him. I might daydream, a lot, but I would never break that family up.
After about two hours, the conversation came to lull. We both sat looking out over the valley view, each in our own thoughts. His hand touched me gently on the arm for a moment. I looked over into his delicious brown eyes. “You know,” he spoke softly and I knew what he was going to say would be important. I turned my body ever so slightly towards him. “If we had met in a different life, a different time and place, I think that we would be together. Since the first time I laid eyes on you, I have felt like I knew you. Like we were meant to be, so to speak. It’s strange. I feel this incredible pull towards you. I hope this doesn’t make you uncomfortable. It’s just…I feel like it’s something that needs to be said. I look into your face and I think, I know her. I’ve always known her.” He pauses and looks back out onto the landscape before continuing on. “That’s not why I hired you, by the way. You’re good at your job. I somehow knew you would be. And I won’t lie and say I’m not physically attracted to you, because I am. But I also love my wife, in my own way, and I love my son more than anything else in this world. I live for him.” He turned towards me again. “Do you understand what I’m saying?”
I had tears in my eyes as I nodded. “Yeah, Christopher, I do. Completely. And thanks for being brave enough to say something that I would never be able to admit out loud myself.”
Without saying another word, we both stood and looked at each other in the eyes. At the same time, we leaned in and hugged each other. Long and hard. It wasn’t sexual in any way. It was one soul to another reaching out and finding solace and mutual understanding. We both knew where we stood. We both knew it was meant to be but never would be.
Together, we donned our packs again and walked back out of the desert. Always together but always apart. We remained friends until the day life took him away from me for good.
tara caribou | ©️2019
This is part of my book Phoenix Rising. Someday I will actually edit and publish it.
There are times
when I imagine I
hear a knock on the door I
open it up and
there he stands.
The one who holds my heart.
he’s reached the same decision I have
he can’t live without me he’s
flown across the miles
that separate us just to
hold me in his arms to
look me in the eyes and
tell me he loves me and
needs me and he’s here to
take me away from everything.
I gaze out my window I
know it couldn’t happen I’m
aware of our realities but
living in a fantasy
helps me endure.
The sun sets and I’m still
staring out my window.
My heart continues to
call out to his.
advance down my cheeks.
A glistening moon
beams upon my face.
For a moment I
wonder, does he ever
dream the same thing?
That perhaps I would be
standing before him
on his own doorstep.
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