Trying to Stop Failure (aka “Mourning Dove”)

Trying to Stop Failure
(aka “Mourning Dove”)
By Miles Rost

Part 4 of Mayumi’s story

Months had passed by since the last time Mayumi Shiomi had left her job at Shine FM and went to a competitor. She waited a month, and in that time had great development in her personal life. With one exception…

The men that she had in her life sucked.

She had gone for a good two to three months without even dealing with such an issue, and she was getting better at staying away from situations, but the last guy she met just took her by surprise and she fell, very hard, in love. And got hurt in the interim.

She just broke up with another guy who wanted to use her and abuse her. After the night of their last date, she cried herself to sleep asking for things to finally just stop. That she didn’t want a relationship anymore, and that she needed some “me-time”.

She woke up the next morning, and looked at herself in the mirror. The short sandy brown hair that she used to have had grown a little longer in the months preceding. It was now down to her shoulders, but constantly tied up in a ponytail. She looked a slight bit older than her age, but she didn’t think much of it.

“Ah feel like crap right now,” she muttered to her reflection, “I have no clue what to do, how to deal with all these problems with men. Why…why do I attract that type of man?”

She changed out of her pajamas and put herself under the hot water of a long shower. She thought about where things went wrong, and where in her past was the catalyst for the change she had to deal with constantly. She turned on the waterproof radio that hung in the shower, and tuned it to her new station, Power FM 87. She knew that her show would be on in about 3 hours, and that before that was a great smooth jazz show by her newest friend, Mitzi.

“…and later this week, Larry Carlton will be in Melbourne, playing a 5 date set at Bennets Lane. Here’s a great one from him, going back a few years. This is Mourning Dove, on the Smooth Move show, here on Power FM!”

The start of the music shot into Mayumi’s heart like a needle into a vein. The soft keyboard and the beginning strains of the artist’s guitar nailed the feelings she felt at that time. She was mourning. Mourning her own problems with men, with falling a step behind again, and feeling lower than normal. She just stood under the steady and hard stream of water, as she started drifting into memories.

As the saxophone and guitars harmonized and carried her away, she looked back to the age of 10. She remembered seeing her own father, a man who she barely ever saw in later years. She saw the memory she had of him, smacking her mom around. She remembered him grabbing her mom’s arm and muscling her towards the bedroom. She remembered hearing the sounds, and running to her hiding place in the far part of the basement.

“Is this what ah’m running from?” she asked her 10 year old self, in her mind, “Is this why ah get the men I do?”

Her 10 year old memory looked back at her, saying nothing but showing her a glimpse of what may have happened to give her the perpetual bad luck with men.

She let the music carry her to another part of her mind, the water relaxing her to the point where she could do much more with her soul, mind, and body.

“Lord, ah think we know why things are the way they are,” she said, in a prayerful tone, “Ah’m dealing with the ghosts of the past, and it’s time that we work together on this. Ah wanna be free, and ah know you love me enough to want me to be free. Ah can’t do this alone, and ah have to give it up to you everyday.”

The song’s warm yet sad tones bled across her mind, the prayers she was sending infused with the music’s energy. She had never prayed as hard as she did at that moment, with hot water hitting her tired and stressed out shoulders.

“Father, help me address this problem. The image of my father, ah need to move on from it. Father, help me as ah do what I need to do.”

She kept praying, the water pouring over her hair like a waterfall. She didn’t know what effect her prayer would be, but she realized that she would eventually need to let everything go in a way.

As the song ended and a new smooth jazz song came on, she started her ritual of cleaning, getting ready for work. She felt lighter, but she didn’t know what would happen next.

 

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Don’t Answer Me

Don’t Answer Me
by Miles Rost

The screech of a car horn right outside the window barely made Daisy flinch.

In the small ground level apartment, she sat on a bed. With her arms around her legs, she sighed with hesitation. She didn’t look up from her pajama-covered legs, focusing only on all the feelings she held inside of her.

All of the feelings she had bubbled up from the reserves that were stuck in her system over the last week. Combine that with a combination of heat, losing people she loved, and a new job that was incredibly laborious, the cocktail of stress caused her to break.

She pulled her legs closer, feeling the weight of her loneliness and isolation. She wanted to go and meet people, but she was in an isolated area of the city, far from the other people like her. The feeling made her turn inward, thinking of what she lost when she left her old location.

As her long, apple-colored hair touched her knees, she saw her cell phone light up on the counter. The telltale sound of her ringtone chimed through the largely empty apartment.

Don’t answer me
Don’t break the silence, Don’t let me win
Don’t answer me
Stay on your island, Don’t let me in
Run away and hide from everyone
Can you change the things we’ve said and done…

It repeated, one of her favorite songs suddenly turning into her biggest tormentor. She felt a tear fall down her face as the words hit her hard. One right after another, like the start of a waterfall as winter becomes spring. She let it ring, as she felt those emotions build up even more with each tear that fell.

The phone rang again, the same lyrics resounding around her head.

Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!, she cried in her head, trying to block out the sound. Finally, after the third time the phone rang, she picked it up.

“Hello?” she said, stifling a sniffle.

“Hey! Daisy! It’s Barb. You okay, child?” her friend Barb replied. A southern belle through and through, and her genteel nature was one of the reasons her and Daisy were able to be good friends.

“I’m living.”

“And I can tell that you’re not doing very well. Your sadness is showing. Care to have a friend to talk to here?”

It was no use. Daisy couldn’t hold it in any longer. Through wracked sobs and screams, she relayed everything she felt at that time. She laid out all the fear, the feelings of isolation, the disappointment, and all of the other feelings. For 30 long minutes, she talked to her, putting it out there for one of her long-time friends.

After a few moments of silence and breathing, Daisy gave a long sigh.

“Felt good to get that out, didn’t it, child?”

“Yeah, it felt good. I just don’t have people down here to deal with, that would share experiences with me.”

“Aw, sugah, do you remember when you met me? Remember how you thought I was a bit weird cause I was from the south?”

Daisy put her palm to her forehead, as she remembered the first thing she said to Barb.

“Anyhow, child, remember something. No matter how far we may be from each other, you can always talk to me. And don’t forget your other friends back here, too. The pastor, Jimmy, and even Pele the gardener are always here to talk with ya.”

Daisy smiled, the first smile she had shown to people in a week. As she kept talking, the tears of pain and sadness, hurt and all other feelings, turned to happiness, relief, and joy. She was very thankful for her friend, and she was incredibly grateful that she was there…even if she was going to be going home soon.

(for David Stewart, one of my great friends who has helped me on one of the biggest transitions I’ve had to deal with. Ever.)