Are you ready for how I thought I loved you?
How I placed your face and my face in my dreams,
But they never came true.
Enchanted by the day I met you.
It was so warm that my cold self,
Drifted toward you.
How time slowed down,
When you were around,
And you never knew.
Could you feel my long, sweaty palms
just trying to hold you?
I was shy, you were bold.
I never felt so old.
Than the times I stared,
At your ruby red hair,
Like a fire in my brain;
I’ve never felt the same,
I never could cling to.
Remember that time you handed me the letter you wrote?
I joked and I hoped,
Saying, “Is that for me?”
Well my heart broke just a little bit that day.
I gave to my friend, he read.
Did she say anything about me?
I just went home and,
I cried my fucking eyes out.
Then you moved away.
Oh how could I stray?
But it wasn’t the same.
When you left you gave me that old picture.
Because I’d glad you’d gone,
You could be the girl who’d run,
And I’d be the hero of my own story.
But time passed and anger fades,
So I tore up your picture.
Now here I am, it’s 2 am,
Just trying to forget you.
I want to forget you.
I was shy, you were bold.
I’ve never been so old.
I want to open my heart again.
I want to open my heart again,
Let somebody else in.
Writing my poems again,
Writing my poems again.
Prologue: This was inspired by Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Holland, 1945”, so a) please nobody sue me & b) maybe give that a listen to understand the rhyme scheme and tempo I was going for?
The only man I’ve ever loved
Died with mortar shells in chest
Not to say I’m not impressed
By folded flags and formal dress
These shots just ring and pierce my ears
Left me alone with all my fears
You can’t replace, you can’t repairs
The chopped up pieces of my heart
The world just breaks and falls apart
The world just breaks and falls apart
I had a girl, when I was young
Lost her legs, 2001
To see her dance in Summer sun
The way she smiles through blood-stained teeth
Coughs up pain or pain relief
Left me alone with all my grief
You can’t replace, you can’t receive
The chopped up pieces of my heart
The world just breaks and falls apart
The world just breaks and falls apart
I was lounging around a couple days ago when the first stanza popped into my head and I was kind of mulling over the rhyme scheme. I wrote the rest pretty quickly, as you may tell, with a half jumbled kind-of rhyme in my head but wrote it down not rhyming. So I decided to post both versions as I like the rhyming, but I also like the disorganized feel that the original invokes. …Enjoy? (Sorry if you can’t read my writing)
I stood inside the mirror
Tracing lines that were my faults
When I saw her staring lovingly
At all the scars that I had wrought
And I swear she heard me whispering
That I loved her more than words
Because she pursed her lips and
Turned her hips and I knew that I had falled
So I went to grab her arms and look into her eyes
Where she looks that look she looks at me
And I know just what she means
But I didn’t, so she didn’t, and
I’m watching and I’m waiting and
Now I’m staring back at me
To gaze inside that mirror
And see the same thing that she sees.
Like two ships that pass,
Like hips to grab,
Like boats on stormy seas,
Like waves of undulating ocean water
Passing over me.
Winnie’s a smart girl. Smart and rambunctious. She’s shy sometimes sure, but she’s young and just started school so it’s understandable. She’s very imaginative too.
It’s funny because she has this “friend”, at least I call him a friend, even though they haven’t truly met. She calls him “The Hoagie Man”, she must see him every day.
Her school is located a bit downtown, you see. How the children learn anything over the hustle and bustle of the big city I’ll never know. I think he stops there regularly every day, there’s a big internet company across the street and the lunch rush must be quite large.
He owns a food truck, I don’t recall the name. I’ve seen him once or twice while I was dropping Winnie off when she misses the bus. The first time she was very excited to show off every detail of her new school. I met all her friends from Art class, she called it Heart class, and all her teachers. Before I left I spotted him out of the corner of my eye. She must have noticed because she hiccuped and exclaimed “That’s The Hoagie Man!” before rushing inside with the rest of her classmates. The second time I saw him was after.
Like I said my daughter is very imaginative. She kept on talking about The Hoagie Man, and how she saw him. He started coming home with her, at least that’s how she put it. She must have spotted his truck alongside the bus as they make their way home. Her imagination took off from there. Soon, The Hoagie Man was following her every time she was in a moving vehicle. It became like a game to her, where even going out to the lake for a long weekend she would would spot “The Hoagie Man”. And I’d be darned because there would be a truck selling hot dogs or tacos right on the sidewalk of the public beach!
More-so than just the truck, she started seeing the man too. She would go out and play in our half-acre backyard, collecting shiny stones or colorful flowers and come in with her sweet, shy smile and say she was out playing with Hoagie Man. He became the voice when she read her books, she called them “hooks”. He was sitting next to when she was doing homework, helping with answers. He was always there with her, had helped her make sense of the things she couldn’t comprehend.
One night, she had a nightmare. She told me that The Hoagie Man had promised her something, she wouldn’t tell me what, but it made her very anxious, I could tell. She had said he was acting different from before, less friendly. Demanding things. She cried and held me tight as she whispered in my ear that he had “floated up” and hovered there, staring at her.
Things were different after that, she stopped talking about The Hoagie Man. She had gotten sick soon thereafter, a fever that ran for almost a week. She didn’t sleep, I could hear her whining through my own bouts of insomnia. Our car games were over as we would both spot a “Hoagie Man” and she would turn away from the windows.
The next time I saw “The Hoagie Man”, the real one beside her school, it was outside my work. I came outside after a stressful board meeting to get some fresh air, and there he was. I could smell that aroma, a mix of grilled onions and propane. I was hungry so I figured, “why not”? He looked at me and smiled. We stood there for a bit, me staring and him smiling, then he excused himself and asked for my order… I don’t remember what I ordered. I don’t even really remember what he looked like, I just remember that moment of us looking at each other.. And his expression, this plain smile and behind it… nothingness.
I hope you find my Winnie, and I hope you find the son of bitch who took her, officer.
But you won’t.
She called books, “hooks”. She called books, “HOOKS”
Don’t you understand?
She wasn’t saying Hoagie Man.
She was saying Bogieman.
(The tap-tap-tapping of boot heels rap on the linoleum of an empty hallway. White robe shreds sweep over top snakeskin boots as the camera rises up, show Joshua Rapture strolling under ceremonial white robes in the hallway of his fitness center. It is eerily quiet, the only two sounds are the echoes of forward motion and a sort of whistling/humming that escapes Joshua Rapture’s throat. He stops at the awning of the hallway and the camera sweeps to showcase the gymnasium, it is completely empty. Joshua sighs and sets down something heavy, then slowly makes his way to a water cooler on the back wall. Joshua takes a paper Dixie cup from a stack next to the cooler and fills it, drinks it quickly, and fills it again. He kicks over the water cooler.)
Joshua Rapture: Nothing. I have been awarded with nothing. Sacrificing my body at Battlebowl. Nothing.
(Rapture walks over to some personal trainers’ desks, throwing personal computers and stacks of paper on the ground angry precision.)
Rapture: Dog Collar Match with Moonwater. Nothing.
(Rapture picks up a coffee cup off one of the desks and throws into at the back wall of the gym, shards exploding everywhere.)
Rapture: Canada Cup… Nothing! And now my final chance to be redeemed? Nothing.
(Rapture pauses on this thought and slowly makes his way to a boxing ring in the corner. In silence, he hops up onto the apron and makes his way into the ring. His fists start clenching uncontrollably, his anger no longer maintained, he paces back and forth as he addresses the camera directly.)
Rapture: I CHOSE to fight. I GIVE you everything. I get… NOTHING. I did it all for YOU, the people of NAPW.
(Rapture makes his way into a corner and sets his hands on the top turnbuckle, grasping, twisting and ripping it away at it.)
Rapture: Do I get applauded? Do get thanked? Do I get ANYTHING that I deserve?? No! I get get spat on and ignored! I don’t even get a fair chance at NAPW title! I’m told that I’m supposed “just follow along” and do everything “according to plan”. WHO’S Plan? God’s Plan?? Because it seems to me that HE (gesturing upwards) doesn’t want anything to do with me.
What about MY plans, huh? MY success, MY career, that title was MINE. It was MY birthright, and it was taken. That title BELONGS to ME. Even before that metal was forged and the leather tanned, it was MY destiny to be THEE WORLD CHAMPION!
(Rapture leaves the tattered turnbuckle and exit the ring, going back to hallway where he left something on the floor. It turns out to be a jerrycan full of gasoline. Rapture untwists the cap and throws it away, turns the can sideways and start to pour over the floor of his fitness center.)
Rapture: What about me, now? What about Joshua Rapture? Abbey Graves goes on to face some young punk kid, conveniently enough. But me? Well that’s the million dollar question isn’t it? “What to do with Joshua Rapture?” Face another punk kid, maybe that freak who thinks he’s a superhero? Gimme a break.
The only person who has peeked my interest is Jay Deschain. Because at least he STANDS for something. Unlike all the rest, who beg and plead for the fans’ acceptance, Jay gleefully rejects it. He has one goal, the NAPW title. And like me, will do anything to get it. Jay, I don’t know whether to shake your hand or punch you in the face but, if you ever stand in between me and the NAPW title again… I will end you.
And to everybody else? Anyone who thinks they can stop Joshua Rapture? Any AT ALL, whether your an old New Dawn member, hotshot wrestling upstart or an established star, who THINKS that Joshua Rapture is not the rightful heir to NAPW’s Championship. I want you all…
(Rapture, now at the exit doors, lights a match.)
Rapture: To Burn in Hell.
First, focus on the smile. Teeth straight and perfect, gleaming into a picture perfect smile. A practiced smile. See now, how the canines are sharper and the cheeks stretched, how this smile is forced. It is the smile that The Devil would wear. This is no daemon though, no. This is just a man.
See now how his nose veers to one side, where knuckles had one connected with cartilage. A nose that sniff the air of every room and only smells the waft of rotten garbage from a sewer. It is not only a painful reminder that one can not only fail, but be defeated and broken. The nose looks down at the world and knows that it is not so different from the everyday people. It is a constant reminder of mortality.
Eyes sparkle with reverence, with pestilence, pain and also… prostration. A man trapped between two worlds; the gleaming glittering world of stars that shine right behind the iris and the angry broken world that it sees all around. Because the eyes that stand on high see all of the world, and the world is cold.
This is Joshua Rapture.
Rapture: In the cold backroom of a location I wouldn’t dare mention I was given a choice. The choice, seemingly easy for my comrades, but for me plain torture. For all we are in this world is the choices that we continue to make. The choices that YOU make, Abbey Graves.
And for “The Nightmare Queen” Abbey Graves the choices have been quite simple. From Battlebowl, to Petrov, King and Deschain she has had two choices: Fight or Flight. And at every turn, she chooses Fight. That’s what makes her Champion, and makes the people love her. From shining lasers in monster’s eyes to taking on two of the toughest men in NAPW in one night. Abbey Graves chooses Fight. Every. Damn. Time.
What else would make a women like Abigail Graves, with her neon tops and punk rock hoodies become the World Champion, but sheer TENACITY? A tenacity to fight and win at every turn, because losing is not an option for her. Losing is not an option for the woman who took a ring announcing job and turned it into a successful job. Certainly, losing is not an option for the little girl that behinds her steely gaze. The one who promised that… no-one would ever hurt her again.
I’ve seen the horrors of this world Miss Graves. My followers told me all about the evil that men do. Wives with bruises instead of flowers, invalids being locked away in asylums to rot and men drowning sorrows in alcohol and drugs. I once read a story about a little girl who was locked away and fed like a dog and I wept. And you may think me as being just as horrible as these people, but I am better. I am good, I know this to be true and I tried to do good in this world. I still can.
The New Dawn has given me an opportunity to redeem myself after all the blood shed that I have caused and come back to The Light, even if I think the Light of God has left me forever. Who am I to squander such an opportunity? Who am I turn my back on all the good that could come from The New Dawn? And yet…
Yet there is this darkness inside of me, this lust that clutches my heart and aims my ambitions at the gold that sags on your waist. There is a dream of mine wherein I have my arm raised and I am standing over your unconscious body, the crowd revelrous and applauding ME. It would be a thing of nightmares to see this dream warped, by The New Dawn OR you Abbey Graves.
For I couldn’t bare the sight of an encounter where I wasn’t giving it my all. I couldn’t stand the sight if YOU won by MY own hands. So I’ll be damned, GOD DAMNED if I go down without a fight.
I sincerely hope that you are ready Abbey, because Christ didn’t die on a wooden cross but at the edge of a blade. You hold the Spear of Destiny, Abbey, I’m begging you to be ready to use it. One us will fall, one of us will stand triumphant, but we will both be changed by this. I hope you choose to Fight, Abbey, with all your heart.
Because before Abbey Graves, before Dark and Light, there was Chaos.
And his name was Joshua Rapture.
There is a dark room being lit by Chinese paper lanterns on each sides. The paper lanterns illuminate the white robes of twelve members of The New Dawn. The Twelve Members of The New Dawn aka. The Twelve sit in a circle facing each other like hands on a clock, or more appropriately, like signs of the Zodiac. The sound of a door slamming sends no reaction through The Twelve as a distraught Joshua Rapture stumbles into the center of the circle. White scrubs have replaced his tights, but his appearance has remained essentially unchanged since leaving NAPW’s “Mayday”, he crosses his arms in some semblance of chagrin. For he knows what this is, this is a trial.
The Twelve all speak in unison, an amalgam of voices with one purpose, though only one mouth seems to move at a time starting with the northern-most figure.
Aries: State your name and profession.
Rapture looks around but cannot determine which one is speaking. He tries to straighten himself up and brush imagined dirt from his arms, but it only make him look more unstable.
Rapture: Joshua Rapture, LEADER of The New Dawn.
The voices repeat.
Taurus: PROFESSION, Mr. Rapture.
Rapture (dejected): Professional Wrestler, Gym Owner and Community Organizer
Gemini: Is it true that you have stated previously that it is your destiny to WIN the New Albert Pro-Wrestling Championship?
Rapture: I- no! It WAS my destiny to win Battlebowl but I was thwarted by interference.
Cancer: Interference, Mr. Rapture?
Rapture: Yes. Interference on the astral plane by the souls and spirits floating in the nether. You must understand that NAPW is a convergence for lost souls and the NAPW championship, people like Abbey Graves shine like beacons!
Leo: Can you save these lost souls?
Rapture: I- I can’t. They reject my ways. They reject OUR community. It would be like giving an infant a book on physics and asking it to build a rocket ship. Simply impossible. So why bother?
Virgo: We BOTHER so that they become better. So that they learn The Light and accept it willingly, not have it forced upon them.
Rapture’s face crinkles in confusion, hands out pleadingly as if to ask if any of The Twelve actually believe what they are saying.
Rapture: That is very easy of THE TWELVE to say. Twelve Knights of the round table right? Doesn’t that make me your King? Perhaps it refers to my twelve most trusted apostles, except that would make you all Judas’s.
The voices boom angrily.
Libra: You DARE compare us to The Betrayer?! It is you that have turned your back to the Lord!
Rapture: NO! HE TURNED HIS BACK ON ME! I was lost as my world crumbled around me and I looked to the heavens and no-one answered! My prayers go answered once again and I am left ALONE, to stand trial in front of a jury that I created! What would you have me do? Hand out pamplets on a street corner again? Eat in the soup kitchens like I did when I was lost? I assure if that’s what must be done to stop this nonsense, then I will abide. Although I will NOT do it in the name of The Lord, but in the name of Joshua Rapture.
A long silence passes.
Scorpio: You are to battle with Abigail Graves for the NAPW Championship at the next event.
Joshua’s face becomes ecstatic at the news he starts hopping around the circle, yet before he can leave the voices stop him.
Sagittarius: You are to lose this match. This is your punishment.
Rapture…. sags. “Lose?” his eyes say, contorted and hurt.
Capricorn: We have determined that your obsession with the championship has become sinful. It must be put to an end if you wish to continue leading The New Dawn.
Rapture: I’m not sure… if I can meet your demands.
Aquarius: You MUST Joshua. The New Dawn is fringing, almost split apart by YOUR own doing. You must prove your devotion to the cause and STOP this inconsequential quest for riches. It’s a fool’s folly!
Rapture: Then I suppose.. I have been a fool all along! I must think on these things…
Rapture goes to leave, head down and sullen but is stopped once more. This time the voice is just one man, almost silently to Joshua a follower speaks. Horned-Rim Glasses shine out from under a white hood.
Pisces: Joshua, are you prepared to do what must be done?
Joshua gives the man a glance and chuckles, giving that old used-car salesman smile.
Fading in slowly from a grey static is Joshua Rapture rocking backing forth in a corner, the only light comes in bars from his office window. A knock comes from the door and Joshua throws a roll of toilet paper at the sound. The latch turns and the light switches on, Joshua grimaces and shield his eyes. His office is a mangled mess of papers, newspaper clippings stuck to the wall with red thread running in lines to and fro.
Joshua: What are YOU doing here?
Joshua spits out his venomous words, dripping spit onto his face that hasn’t seen a razor in weeks. Joshua scratches at his head like a beggar with lice as somebody clears their throat. It’s a woman’s throat. Megan Adams’ throat.
Megan: Mr. Rapture? I requested this time for an interview? There was no-one at the front desk so I let myself in. Is that okay? Do you need some help?
Joshua: QUESTIONS! Ah hah yes the question girl, the first thing you say is a question so you MUST be the question girl. Question girl questions me quizzingly.
Megan: Mr. Rapture aside from the video sent to the NAPW office, you haven’t been seen in a month. There’s no-one in your gym, there is a rumor going around that you’re going through a crisis of faith so excuse me if I’m blunt but what EXACTLY is going on with you?
Joshua: Exactly? Expertly Andellion entrenched and encroached and then took an Exacto Knife and cut out my sinews Megan. And I feel exalted.
The New Dawn? I sent them home for the rest of the day. No, no, they’re on a Group Retreat. Ha! Yes, they are on a Group Retreat and I am not. Because I am above togetherness, I am one-ness and I am alone. Because I feel like being alone. Yes sounds much better than a collective questioning of my leadership since my loss to Moonwater and subsequent disposal of faith. Much better.
Megan: Well Mr. Rapture seeing the current state of your… affairs, is Pat Gordon Jr. even on your mind?
Joshua: MEGAN!! Haven’t you been listening to a word I’ve been saying? This is ALL about good ol’ boy PGJR!! hahaha I’m ecstatic to fight Patty! If you want to know why, you have to start clapping. Do it with me now:
He’s Gonna Get His Freaking Head Kicked In!
He’s Gonna Get His Freaking Head Kicked In!
He’s Gonna Get His Freaking Head Kicked In!
…Joshua abruptly stops, jumps up off the floor and starts approaching Megan, Megan recoils partly out of fear and partly due to the stench. Joshua points toward his office wall that is covered in a spider’s web of newspapers.
Joshua: Do you see that? Do you? This is every piece of information I could pull on Andellion Moonwater. I was trying to find out if he was real or not and he turned out to be the most real of us all. I spent my soul into that wall. Ripped up chapters of pages from a book I’ll never read. hahaha Want to know what I see when I look at that wall Megan? Do you?
Joshua gets extremely close to Megan’s personal space, a squeak slips out of her throat. Joshua whispers into Megan’s ear.
Joshua: God is Dead, Long Live Joshua Rapture.
Like a gunshot Joshua turns and rips the clippings off the wall, flinging everything he get a hold on. Megan and crew bolt out the door leaving Joshua Rapture inside his office, screaming at the top of his lungs.
“God is Dead. Long Live Joshua Rapture.”
April 29, 2014, 11:32 pm
Blood. A bloody footprint on the road outside of Polish Hall. The picture shakes and rolls until we see the face of Josh Reynolds, NAPW’s resident roving reporter.
Josh Reynolds: It’s 11:30 pm and House of Cards just let out. These footprints were found outside the locker room emergency exit doors and …well NAPW fans, take a look for yourselves!
Once again the lone reporter flips his handheld camcorder and clicks on a flashlight attachment, illuminating the area outside of Polish Hall.
Josh Reynolds: As you can see, The Royal Alexandria Hospital is right across the street. However these footprints go around the corner and in the complete opposite direction into a neighborhood! NAPW viewers we have a mystery here, we received word that Andellion Moonwater has been administered to The Royal Alex for a precautionary overnight stay. So it MUST be Joshua Rapture’s footprints. The question is… Where did he go?
Suddenly, the footage fast forwards as Josh Reynolds makes his way North on Kingsway, bloody footprints all along the way. The footage stops.
Josh Reynolds: Look at this. The blood not getting much fainter, but even weirder, here’s a bootprint I’m presuming to be the boots Rapture was wearing and next to it ANOTHER set of footprints. Ladies n’ Gents, this just gets weirder.
Again the footage speeds up, double time now. Reynolds squawks like a mouse on helium as they turn onto 105 st and again onto 110 Ave. They continue walking down 110 Ave until they stop at a low-key building, blood going up the steps. Josh puffs and lets out a small sigh.
Josh Reynolds: Well, I don’t know how a man bleeding out could do it but we’re here. Wherever here is.. I’d say we’re about 300 meters away from Po-
The camera pans to a sign outside the building, it reads:
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
The door clicks, realizing that he must’ve caught up to the weakened Rapture, Reynolds races up the stairs and goes through the front doors.
Flanked by not one but two figures, Joshua Rapture looks over his shoulder to the camera. His face…perfectly clean. He smiles.
Joshua Rapture: I knew you would follow.
The two figures he is with are women, adorned with floral pattern ankle length “Hutterite” style dresses. One of the women is also covered with “blood” that she spills from a bucket.
A short old mustachioed man in a black robe stops the group from entering further.
Ukrainian Priest: Ця церква закрита! Боже мій, що трапилося з вашою спиною!
The priest is greatly disturbed by the shirtless, bloodied man with welts and scars going all over his back.
Joshua Rapture: Please… Father. The flogging. It… it didn’t work. I didn’t achieve enlightenment. I… failed.
Rapture’s head sinks, stumbling toward the priest.
Ukrainian Priest: You need Doctor, no Church. Ви з глузду з’їхали психо
Rapture’s head sinks lower.
Joshua Rapture: Please, I need to speak to Him.
The old priest sighs and moves aside, Josh Reynolds follows closely behind not daring to speak as they make their way to the pulpit. The two women retreat to the first pew as Joshua steps up and collapses immediately. Rapture clasps his hands together tightly and buries his face into the carpet, whispering gibberish. Josh Reynolds makes a involuntary gasp as Rapture starts digging his own fingernails into his flagellation welts. The women shush him.
Josh Reynolds (whispering): Whats… what’s he doing?
One of the women turns her head and gives him an unapproving glare. Her hair, silvery blonde; her eyes; sparkling blue, her cheeks rosy and warm, she can’t be any older than 18.
New Dawn Girl(whispering): He’s… listening.
Joshua Rapture is now sitting on his knees, prostrating himself, rocking back and forth.
Josh Reynolds: But.. why?
New Dawn Girl: Because he’s… unsure.
Josh Reynolds: UNSURE OF WHAT!
Both women shush Reynolds again as Joshua Rapture finishes his ministrations. He looks up to the heavens.
Joshua Rapture: Are you sure? …….. I understand.
Joshua Rapture makes his way up off his knees, waving off the help of his two escorts and spreads his arms wide, adressing all of the church as if it were full.
Joshua Rapture: My children! An epiphany! The path of the Lord has once again shown itself to me. And what a dark and dreadful road it is. It is a road full of spiderwebs and broken splattered chunks of concrete. This path has been abandoned children! Abandoned by the Lord. And why? “Why!“, I ask the Lord, and he does not respond. He does not respond and I’m supposed to take that as a sign of good faith? Am I supposed to assume that the Lord invests in me and then throws impossible obstacles at me?
Impossible odds, friends. Where my enemies are not nearly humans, but super powered freaks. Monsters that exorcisms could not exfoliate from this Earth and yet the Lord beckons forward. I see this dark forest and I call it NAPW and I know what lies through the leaves and it is worse than you can ever imagine. And so I tried, I tried to save them all. I tried to find the light, but the darkness overwhelmed. I failed. I failed Moonwater. I failed God. And now I cannot SEE the end of the path.
Joshua starts punching himself in the temple, blood trickling down.
Joshua Rapture: I cannot see the Light through the forest.
So I will burn the forest to the ground.
God is Dead, Long Live…. ME.