I don’t like quietness in conversation. At some point it’s not a conversation anymore. It’s just me talking and the other person sitting or standing there listening. Not even a sound of confirmation, not even a head nod, just silence. It’s at this point where I begin to wonder where their mind has taken them and why have they not chosen to take me there with them. It’s important to involve others in your mind, to not let conversation become stagnant. It’s okay to let others in. One time I held a one way conversation with a woman and she stared at me the whole time. Once I was done talking I expected a response, actual politeness. At least acknowledge me. But no, even after I finished she stared blankly as if transported to some pleasant far away land. I didn’t ask. I just walked away from the rudeness. What use is conversation with a corpse? I ask you this question seriously. Even now I’m reminded of her rudeness, her sitting there leaning, her blankly being present and yet not present in conversing. A person is a shell if they refuse to converse. You might as well be discarded if you’re a shell, and she was a shell sitting there, quiet, like she hadn’t moved for a long time.
At the club people dance, romance; you want to join but you don’t know the meaning of coordination. So you sit back and watch, merging with the walls, becoming a pattern of flesh and bone colors. The people don’t notice. No one notices the person who has now become the scenery. They continue to dance and romance, so many bodies on the floor. It stinks in here and yet the smell is not unpleasant. Someone rolls over to you, almost catching your eye but you refuse their iris and instead pretend to be elsewhere. So they roll away and romance with another. The unrecognizable song blaring from the sound system suddenly changes and the people begin to bounce. They behave as if drug induced, bouncing off the ceiling and hitting the walls viciously. They move in coordination, booming and splatting against you, their bodies sweaty and large. How much longer can you last before you leave? Will you die here unnoticed? Finally, you exhale and withdraw from your self-made walled enclosure. Almost immediately vomit exits your body and the people are still bouncing. Some land in front of you, splashing and slipping in your waste. They seem not to notice in their current rate of motion. You apologize to no one and stand to make your leave. Just then someone grabs you, placing something small into your retched mouth. Now you are bouncing as well. There is no care in the bounce, no worries or troubles. It is almost like life itself is pulling you away from it all.
Rickey Rivers Jr was born and raised in Alabama. He is a writer and cancer survivor. He has been previously published with Fabula Argentea, Back Patio Press, Every Day Fiction, (among other publications). https://storiesyoumightlike.wordpress.com/. You may or may not find something you like there. Tweets at @storiesyoumight. His third mini collection of 3×3 poems is available now: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VDH6XG5
Hotel Room Floor
on the hotel room floor,
not knowing where I’m going.
Where is my life at this moment?
Do I even deserve it?
My tears soak the carpet.
I belong on the floor.
It is the only thing that would have me,
with open arms.
I lay here.
The rough bristles caress my face
as I ponder my future.
Do I even deserve it?
Nothing I have now means anything.
I am at peace.
Let me sink
into the carpentry.
This is indeed a place for me.
Sorry for Breaking It
I switch; a dumb move precedes catastrophe.
Amazon in a printed dress, her neck fragile,
shatter ceramic, apologies are like glue,
fixing mistakes. I feel terrible, still.
Accidents forgiven, not forgotten,
mistakes make or break creatives.
Things were fine seconds ago.
Let this not become a “remember when you-” moment.
I apologize. Please, let the glue do its job.
This year’s company orgy was a disaster. The concept of hygiene seems lost on several employees. How are you cleaner at work? Why would you even allow your spouse to leave home in such states of stench? I’m not in the business of relations with the unkempt. Though orgies are naturally filthy there’s a certain organized chaos within. We are not animals. We are co-workers. Therefore we should behave as such. I won’t stand for this sort of unclean behavior for much longer. I hope to see improvement next year. Baths beforehand, everyone should smell like assorted soaps and lotions. No matter your size, you shouldn’t be sweating before disrobing. I don’t care how anxious you are. Be professional and above all else be clean.
There’s a woman on stage. A man is next to me. He leans over and says “She’s hot.” I nod because having a conversation in this place would be difficult unless you’re in one of the backrooms. I’ve never been there but I’ve heard tales. At some point the woman comes from the stage and stands in front of me. She’s beautiful though it’s difficult to tell in this light. Her energy feels almost tangible. She says something to me. I can’t hear her properly. It sounds like gibberish. The guy next to me says “Lucky you.” The woman reaches for my hands and pulls me to my feet. Well, I allow her to pull me. I’m bigger than her though she does seem to have a sort of strength unmatched. In the same way ballerinas are strong. You know what I mean? Now I am walking along with this woman, who has strong legs, strong arms and flexible parts, she leads me to a backroom. The lights are colored here, looks like Christmas mixed with Halloween. “What’s going on?” I say as I am pushed onto a couch. She puts a finger to my lips and leans forward. I can now smell this woman. She smells fantastic. With pillow-like lips a whisper hits my ear. She says my name and then I am taken.
Rickey Rivers Jr was born and raised in Alabama. He is a writer and cancer survivor. His work has appeared in Three Drops from a Cauldron, A Twist in Time Magazine, Neon Mariposa Magazine (among other publications). Twitter.com/storiesyoumight / https://storiesyoumightlike.wordpress.com/ His mini-chap collection of 3×3 poems is available now.