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–only 5 chapters left to edit before release–

a future of dreams is a short novel that grapples with love & true love, human beauty, sensuality, fantasy, and the surreal. | Release Date: June 1, 2018 


Chapter 10 | Cox Arboretum

“‘What will I do? What should I do?’ Áxel asked himself, as if melancholically demanding an answer.”

“He thought about the days that had already transpired in his life. He trembled, not in fear, but with rabid anger, as anxiety grew over the few years he had left.”

“Áxel became aware of anxiety’s presence and took command. He reacted stoically. Like the ancient Stoic Epictetus, he realized that there are things within our control and others that are not. If something was not within his control, he understood enough to disdainfully say ‘What is it to me?'”

“After his visit to Woodland Cemetery and the haunting of the sundial, awareness of his fleeting life found a permanent home in his head –his immediate perceptions, memories, and expectations.”

“Seeking solitude, Áxel took refuge at Cox Arboretum. He suffered the winding road that led to the arboretum’s parking lot. There was no substantive beauty on that road except for the beauty of nothingness.”

“Like Woodland Cemetery, the trees were bare, and the grass seemed dead with just a touch of green to fool visitors into thinking about the possibility of life. However, it had been defeated by time’s grueling strike.”

“As he approached the arboretum’s Zorniger Education Center, the structure’s dead construction material donned an incomparable beauty, the kind of beauty that only unveils itself in death.”

“Áxel was a firm believer that everyone should find mates in their natural habitats, when they’re carefree in their surroundings, when they engage their environment in the most natural and subconscious of ways, in everyday clothes and no makeup, at a time when they react to circumstances and others without reservation, guard, farce or the socially expected politeness. It’s in such circumstances that you see the real woman, her true beauty, her timbre, and the quality of her soul. The same is true of men.”

“It was amazing that she was not facing him, yet he knew it was her. His eyes focused on her neck, pale and smooth. Her long, black, and youthful ponytail draped to mid-back. It was alive, strong, and calling to be pulled, sensually. To clutch it aggressively would tilt her head back as an offering to the gods and force her lips to part slightly as her neck surrendered to Áxel’s bite.”

“Delia held power. It was a natural power sourced by her beauty. With it, she could change Áxel’s states of mind and affections in time. The just-right jeans perfectly outlined her natural curves and angles at every coordinate. It was as if God himself molded every curve and bent every angle, sources of her supernatural power. For Áxel, she was beauty personified. In his mind, the woman was primordial art.”

“Poets carry an overwhelming burden in life. They must suffer through it with their sensitivities. It’s an inescapable fate forced upon them as payment exacted for their gift, the gift of seeing beyond the superficial and petty, a gift experienced through the acute sensibilities that dwell within their poetic souls. This is the price for poets. Everything has a price. Nothing is free. The price for this gift is a noble burden that poets must bear. The younger the poets initiate their metaphorical odyssey, the greater the vital cost. Young poets learn to conceptualize the world, their love interests, and relationships in idealized forms. As they grow older, they may fail to understand that life is not ideal. Life is very real. What happens? Ultimately, people and circumstances fall short of a poet’s idealized expectations. In the language of ‘time,’ the future fails to conform to past and present idealizations of life; and expectations fail to materialize in the real world.”

“It was too cold to stop anywhere for too long. Áxel and Delia kept warm by walking from site to site. They moved about flirtatiously, very close. They rubbed arms and bumped, then pawed each other and apologized for the ‘violations’ of personal space. They desired such violations, invasions, and proximity.”

“Majestic –even in the dread and death of winter. It was all so ideal, but Áxel knew that ideal places exude hints of danger. The ‘ideal’ is a dangerous state of being –just ask poets. It ruins reality by unfairly subjecting it to fanciful expectations.”

“They stood beside the flower garden, gazing at the floral carcasses with melancholy. The stems were brown and dry. They no longer extended proudly toward the sun, capturing its nourishing rays. The red in roses turned dark burgundy. Some turned dry-brown. Carnations suffered the same fate. Áxel considered a time when these flowers were alive. It was the same process for all beings. He feared a similar fate for himself, Delia, and what was coming to life between them. Mesmerized by the thoughts running through his head, he faithlessly prayed to be mistaken.”

“Relationships begin with a spark of pure lust and attraction. Some deny this is true of any authentic and long-lasting bond between significant others; but this is just self-deception. Failure to recognize these overpowering forces –lust & attraction– changes nothing. Facts are facts. Truth is truth. These forces ignite the fire that consumes solitude and pure individuality, the same fire that makes each half whole.”

“Delia reclined against the gazebo, arched her back, and projected her breasts toward him. They struggled in their attempt to break through the fabric. Instinctively and without missing a beat, Áxel moved closer, placed his hand on her nape –where the choker might have been– and kissed her. Tenderly… He slid his free hand up toward her head and took hold of the black scrunchie that held her ponytail in place. Áxel set it free.”

“Áxel shared more of his less poetic thoughts –’I’ve found life meaningless and pointless.’ As if nothing had happened at the gazebo, he continued –’Yes. Life is wonderfully meaningless, beautifully meaningless. I’m awestruck with the pointlessness of life. When this is all people hear, they take it as something negative, depressing, and tragic. But no, it’s not. I acknowledge the gloom and negativity exuded from words like meaningless & pointless; but there is also optimism. It’s a tragic optimism. Tragic because of how we feel when we think about the meaningless and pointless, along with the many negative associations we have been conditioned to make; but it’s also optimistic because it doesn’t predefine the meaning or point of life for anyone. It empowers humanity. It makes us creators of our own destinies, fates, meanings, and points in life. We become gods.'”

“He remained silent, solemn. She braided his arm with hers and kissed his cheek as longtime lovers do when walking the cobbled streets of Old San Juan. Her reach for his arm was nostalgic. He took a deep breath of her body’s warmth. A complacent smile hinted on his tightly pursed lips.”

“On a stone bridge, they walked over the cool waters of a stream that fought to preserve its life and flow. The orchestral sounds of trickling waters were soothing but couldn’t hold them. Just as the season had not frozen those slithering waters, time slithered out and away from Áxel. Delia had nothing to worry about, yet.”

“As they parted ways, Áxel turned around suddenly and pulled her closer. She lost her balance. Delia’s trajectory was subdued by Áxel –swinging her around and back into his arms. She came to a complete stop with both hands flat against his chest. Áxel lovingly lowered his face toward hers, seeking Delia’s slightly parted lips. They kissed again.”

“He coughed, feeling his chest tighten –then coughed again. He pressed his hand hard against his chest to dim a spark of discomfort. ‘Time’…”

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a future of dreams (Release: June 1, 2018)