thewordofweb: (reflect: by sanguinet)
There are few places I genuinely want to be lately, ever since I found what I did. Two days on the boat had been all I could muster before my guilt kicked in and I returned home to make sure Joe wasn't going mad. I still am nowhere near myself and I drift more than before, as if imagining what being out five miles from shore would be like and dying.

Dying. But not by bullet or by mortar blast. Not by enemy fire or something honorable. No, in my case, I just vanish. Before I even realize where I've gone, I'm on Grant's doorstep and I knock at the door, brow furrowed in thought.

"You in?" I call out, half-hoping he's not and I can continue wandering (maybe take the boat out for an afternoon sail) and half-hoping he's here so maybe I can pretend to understand what I've found and why I can't seem to shake it, at all.
thewordofweb: (who wears short shorts: by outoficons)
While I still know I'm never bound to be a great baseball star, I still enjoy the hobby of playing on the Island, even if Buck insists on us having practice twice a week. In this climate, that's nothing short of brutal (and I don't even know how Joe can manage wearing the amount of clothes he does). By the time we're through, my hair has gone all-curls thanks to the humidity and I'm using my white t-shirt to dry off my forehead. My chest is still mostly bare and I don't mind flashing it around.

Short navy blue shorts help keep the heat at bay and I lean over to grasp at a bottle of water, watching Joe for a moment before wiping at my mouth with the back of a hand, trying to phrase what I want to ask him in my head.

It's going to be awkward, no matter what.

"Joe?" I call over, getting his attention. "Do you have plans for right now?"
thewordofweb: (so goddamn beautiful: by emiliglia)
Not that I make it my business to know the goings-on of a particular strip club, but I can't help but have a passing curiosity of the place. After all, Joe is fast becoming a regular customer at this rate and I just have one curiosity to be fulfilled. There's one woman to turn to and it's not hard to miss her. After all, she probably has the best figure of anyone on the Island.

Usually, I just have to follow Joe's eyeline.

Today, I caught up to Helen after writing a few paragraphs of the war memoir he had been struggling on, stuck on the Holland jump. It had been so peaceful and I want to get that sense down into words without foreshadowing what came next. "Helen?" I call out. "Helen, hold on!"
thewordofweb: (seen better times: by ?)
Now that the cold has begun its journey to the tail end, all I've been doing is making sure it's on its way out. I'm still groggy and sapped of energy, but my sinuses have cleared and I can think coherently again. I've been at the hot springs to simply get my circulation going and by the time I return back to the room, I'm honestly ready to simply collapse in bed and fall asleep.

Possibly not right on top of Joe, who seems to have sprawled out with his book for this class (one that I've already told him that I'm going to be helpless in when it comes to helping, being that days ago, I couldn't even properly construct a sentence.

I grunt and nudge him, towelling at my wet hair as I give him a poke with my knee to his hip. "Move over," I demand. "If you want to stay."
thewordofweb: (harvard: by cleopancake)
The breeze is fairly decent today that I'll be able to get us drifting out on open waters, far enough away that the Island in general will fade into the obscurity of a small blot no one will have to think about. There's food in the galley as I've started to stock it up, always liking a night away when I can get it. Joe's told me about Trisha, about what happened. I just know that I'm still not sure of my place or what I ought to do.

I'd always chosen ignorance, before. It seemed easier. I invited her to the boat for a day of sailing and fishing and if she does want to come, maybe we can talk about things. Or maybe I'll just get to indulge in denial a little while longer.
thewordofweb: (wordplay: by shatteredicons_)
After teaching, I tend to have the same routine that most days carry. I'll stop by for food, I'll shelve all my books in my bag, and I'll look for new ones. Then I head home for a night of writing my manuscript (lately in bed, considering the number Joe and I did to our desk). I'll pop out and visit with the others for a while, but for the most part, it's a routine made in isolation with Joe's accompaniment when he joins me.

Today, though, I'm staring at a foreign object in my room and I don't know how to explain it. I sink down into the chair and pick up loose papers from the desk that don't belong to me. Then again, the desk doesn't belong to me. It's new and strange and looks expensive and antique.

And I think I'm looking at homework in Joe's handwriting, which would explain all the books on the desk that I had nothing to do with. Still, it's all too confusing and for a moment, my mind is starting to believe that Joe's trying to get me to switch rooms with him or something. I shake my head and keep reading at the work, leaning forward to grab a pencil and to start making corrections.
thewordofweb: (harvard: by cleopancake)
ENGLISH LITERATURE SYLLABUS

1st quarter: King Lear
2nd quarter: Robinson Crusoe
3rd quarter: Vanity Fair
4th quarter: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

There will be a final composited of general grammar & the texts studied.

EXTRA CREDIT ASSIGNMENT: Dante's Divine Comedy

DEBATE SYLLABUS

Topics for class:
-Should age of consent laws be made more liberal?
-Should all topics be open to the arms of history?
-How far should the state intervene in the lives of its citizens?
-Should arranged marriages be outlawed?
-Are truth and reconciliation commissions the best way for countries to deal with violent pasts and political crimes?

MIDTERM

-Can the assassination of a dictator be justified?
-What is the right balance to strike between freedom of and restrictions upon artistic expression?
-Should examinations be replaced with other forms of assessment?

FINAL
COMPOSITION SYLLABUS

1. Patterns of Composition
a) Two paragraphs on Cause & Effect
b) Short one-page essay on self-style

2. Writing About Literature
a) Select a piece of fiction and compile a 2-page essay, including thesis about a theme
b) Compile a bibliography involving a non-fiction topic

3. Argumentative Essay
a) Write an essay regarding a controversial topic using statistics, facts, and a solid thesis
thewordofweb: (rock star: by looseapbs)
After the weeks I've had, it seems I'm more than overdue for another session with the good doctor. If nothing else, there's the fact that Valentine's Day has given us a huge shove in one direction, most of Easy knows about us, and I've discovered a startling possessive streak in myself, but also, a slightly masochistic one in Joe.

I'm becoming a smorgasbord of psychiatric delight, at this rate.

Clearing my throat, I tuck my portfolio of papers under my arm and knock on the office door. "Doctor Sweets?" I call out, announcing my presence. "I'm here for a spontaneous appointment."
thewordofweb: (cold out here: by ?)
Joe nods and then, on impulse, leans in and grazes his mouth against Web's.

"Beer. Whisky. Done." He grins and turns away. "I'll see you at home?"

I stand there and wait. "I'm escorting you back," I tell Joe with no lightness in my voice, even if being caught off-guard by a pleasant kiss is one thing that will go a very long way. My lips bear a warmth not my own and I instantly yearn for something a little more, but I don't say a word. "Go. Hurry. I don't want to be fucking around this place all night."
thewordofweb: (glow; by zed_pm)
I've spent the better part of the day away from home and there's a party going on, but there's a far, far more important thing to be done. Six bottles of good beer, birthday cake, and a personally wrapped gift await Joe, along with two sets of clothes and masks. I'll change for the party after, but for now, I'm decked in a pair of dark denims and a tight blue t-shirt, pacing back and forth as I wait for him.

It doesn't take me very long to lean myself out the back door of the Homestead to find Joe in the shade with a book. My hand still gripping the frame, I lean out with a broad grin on my face. "Come inside," I invite. "If you're not secretly napping."
thewordofweb: (here and not there: by outoficons)
Realistically, I'm aware that Liebgott's had a conversation with Grant that points the way to success, but it's not like I'm on the same page as him. I missed chapters and I'm not able to forget it any more than the others are. So instead of leaving it alone, I grab another handful of books (War of the Worlds, Oliver Twist, and the Picture of Dorian Gray) along with a handful of Joe's cookies and more smokes before I head to the Compound.

It might have been nice if I weren't nervously fumbling with the books, flashing Grant a wary smile as I pick up the fallen book, juggling my notebook as well (in case he falls asleep and I have time to work on lesson plans).

"Grant, hey," I nervously greet, a smile on my face to try and take the edge off. "Got a hangover from all of yesterday's excitement?"
thewordofweb: (ties and blouse: by emptyboxes)
At around the age of two, I'd abandoned the thought of figuring out how to keep Sophie from sprinting away. Usually, she liked to lay claim to something. Other than building locked cabinets, that was about the only thing we learned and besides that, I tend to carry her more. "Now remember, kiddo, no stealing Uncle Skinny's things," I lecture as we stand by his door and I shift her in my arms, letting her play with my hair and idly agree.

"Skinny, you ready yet?" I call out, shifting the bag of things in my other arm while tugging on the ruffles of Soph's swimsuit.

"Uncle Skinny!" Sophie whines in addition. "Hurry up!"

"She'll mutiny. I believe her," I warn teasingly.

"What's mut'ny?" Sophie whispers against my ear and I busy myself fixing her hair (gaining control as she grows, some of Joe's consistency and style in the strands), whispering back the definition to her.
thewordofweb: (light up: by ?)
While the day has been fairly uneventful (save for having to stop and duck and dodge the varieties of romantic wares everywhere I go), I still have to stop and take thought on things like the almost-making-out this morning or the strange sheets and the decorations. All of which had been more terrifying when I arrived at my boat to discover...

Well, terrifying is a good word for it.

I ignored the twinkling lights up the mast and the decals of hearts on the exterior to strip my clothes off to my skivvies and fish before taking the boat out to just lie around and tan for a while. When the sun dipped in the sky, it's time to moor and I'm long past spent as I hop the side to tie the boat to the dock, making sure the ropes are good and tight. I had my eventful morning, so I'm counting on a good night's sleep and maybe I won't have to keep looking in shiny surfaces to question why Joe styled my hair like this.

As for Valentine's? Well, it's not as if I know how to navigate this thing we're in the midst of, so maybe I shouldn't even bother to try. I've managed to find decent clothes and in a deep purple button-down and a pair of jeans, I light up a cigarette and continue to work at the knots, making sure everything is settled before I go inside to those satin sheets and the candles and the rose petals and vases of roses.
thewordofweb: (crush me baby: by outoficons)
There are just some things in the world that shouldn't be what they are.

For instance, I am sure that when I went to bed with my arms around Joe's waist, I hadn't worn red silk boxers, I hadn't strewn the bed with rose petals, and Joe wasn't wearing those...well, those. The bed, even, is dressed in different sheets and I rub at my eyes and sit up, trying desperately to ignore the fact that there are candles burning in the dim light of dawn and soft classical music playing.

"Fuck," I whine softly and yank at the covers (which have inexplicably turned to red silk), burying myself under them with a groan and de-settling too many rose petals to explain, ignoring the orchids and roses in vases around the room. I press my face against Joe's bare back and let out a muffled sound, trying to ignore the fact that I'm fairly sure I saw baby oil sitting on the dresser under a stack of love poetry.
thewordofweb: (your emotional mess: by lightpainting)
Occasionally, there are odd things to be witnessed when spending time in the halls of the Homestead. For the moment, I'm pacing in and out of my room with a pen in my mouth, trying to regain the fight for vocabulary and determine how to describe that first jump into Normandy. And that'd been when I saw her.

Of course, I'd heard. Part of me thinks Skinny had been deliberately loud to get back at me. But the thing is, I guess I hadn't expected her to look like that.

When I'm good and sure she's gone, I knock on Skinny's door, still chewing on the pen and waiting patiently to be received, my question barely hesitating. "Skinny?" I call out. "Was she some kind of deliberate thing to screw with my head?"
thewordofweb: (fuck you too: by ?)
The night before was the first time in the span of our short-lived whatever it is that Joe didn't come to join me in bed. At first, I'd been worried because he wasn't in his own room either, but I chalked it up to him staying out. Then he didn't come back at all and by the time the early hours of the morning rolled upon us, I was standing above him and smelling the reek of alcohol and seeing him in his own bed.

There was this...well, smell to him. This look. And I didn't even have to ask, because I knew. I couldn't even bring myself to be be disappointed because I had said he could have this. I suppose I just never counted on the way it would hurt so absolutely much.

The day after (today), I'd spent talking to him as best as I could. Comments over breakfast, half-smiles before lunch, a check-in before I went swimming. Still, the gnaw in my chest refused to go away and I sit on my bed now as night approaches and stare at the wall and wonder at how I could be surprised it all lapsed so quickly. It's like a sweater. You just tug at the yarn, thinking it would be harmless and eventually, it all unravels. We are just beginning to unravel. With a heavy sigh, I shift the cover and climb in, facing the wall and trying to ignore the heaviness that pushes at me and covers me like a blanket of its own.

This is just a preview, I think, of how it will work. And I'd best be getting used to it.
thewordofweb: (dressed down: by ?)
There's a smile to my face that seems brighter than it's been in days. In weeks, to be completely honest. There's even a bounce in my step as I go about the boat, equipping the mast with sails and getting ready to take a short jaunt out to deeper waters and put the anchor down to observe the currents and hopefully find a shark or two if I can, fishing with the most primitive of tools.

Hell, I even whistle as I go about my work, white t-shirt stretched across my shoulders and khaki shorts setting off a bland ensemble as I crouch down and start to cinch the rope looser so I can do something with it.

For some reason, all I can think about are things going my way. Liebgott. Joe Liebgott. How could I ever think I could have someone like him and be right? This place might be a torture to most, but to me, it's a godsend. I grin to myself before leaning over and going back to it, a little tune from Marlena on my lips.
thewordofweb: (the secret I keep: by ?)
Everything is to be assumed to be over.

It's about as painful as I had thought it might be and while I take strides to find Joe, I can't help but wonder if I had kept all my desires and lust to myself, would I hurt this badly as I tried to repress every ounce of emotion before they can grow blades and cut me open. I can do this, though. Pining ought to be my strong suit, for all that I've pined for a normal life devoid of war or the book that's only started now.

Joe Liebgott has been co-opting most memories and earns himself whole sentences now where he might have been a passing mention, before.

After three full nights of him not returning to my bed (four days), I take it as a sign that we're moving back to what we once had. That Joe is avoidant in the day is an even greater indicator of this and I trudge up to the Compound with this crushing knowledge in mind. At least, at least I haven't lost him entirely. He's still breathing and he's healthier than I thought he'd be. He's alive. That's all I need.

I find him eventually in the Compound with a book in his hands and I brave myself for this peace offering, ready to put the past behind us and brace ourselves for the incoming future. "Joe Liebgott," I announce, forcing a smile on my lips. I rub a hand over my stubbled cheek and grin his way. "Is that literature?"
thewordofweb: (helmet in hand: by apologia_icons)
The sun is setting in the sky by the time my fear has diminished enough to drive me from the comfort of my boat to come back 'home', to this erstwhile place that holds my belongings. I came to the boat and found Liebgott's briefs, there, just lying there as a reminder of what we had done. They sit folded, now, in a drawer of memento and commemoration, to be forgotten with what we did.

I hitch my bag up over my shoulder and my fingers clasp my notebook tighter than before and find the way through a familiar path to the sound of my boots crunching against gravel. I'm myself again and have been for over forty-eight hours, but guilt and loss have haunted every step.

I miss having someone in my bed. I miss the consistency and constancy of a presence there to provide warmth.

By the time I unlock the door to my room and get my bag down, I have drifted in past the miasma of...of chocolate chip cookies and I nabbed them from the breakfast counter and brought it back with me, nibbling on the edge when I see that my room is not devoid of life entirely and for a moment, I think that it took them two days to forget I exist.

Then, I see better. This story is supposed to be over, I tell myself. The conclusion had been written when I woke up without anything of value Liebgott might want. Yet, there he is in my bed, under my covers, asleep for all the world. And here I am, gaping. "...Liebgott?" I manage, awash with shock and confusion.
thewordofweb: (GIRL: lounge)
It's already sunset by the time I'm up at the Compound in the khaki shorts and the blouse Joe found, all ruffles and blue satin and white polka-dots that make me feel like I'm stuck in someone's poor fashion parade. I'm due for a movie in an hour or two, but I still want to drop in on Grant with the food I've picked up from the kitchen and the books I'd brought (Alice in Wonderland, Emma, and War and Peace).

Of course, that we're nearing seventy-two hours and I'm still the way I am frightens the crap out of me, but worrying won't do anything, I guess. Riding it out is the best method and having Grant here and having him remember will help that. Better than talking about feelings with Skinny, at least.

I round the corner for the clinic, holding up the plate of food on top of the pile of books. "Got a delivery for you," I say, one half of my mouth tipping up in a smile. "Hope you like jell-o."

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