Monday, April 27, 2015

What Do You Want?

"What do you want?" She asks.

He replies, "I want what you want."

She shakes her head and smiles, "But, that's what I want. I don't need anything from you. I don't even need you. I don't know what you want, but whatever it is - THAT's what I want for you."

"It’s not about what I want," he says.

She replies, "Then what do you need?"

“I don't need anything."

"Then, why are you here?"

He shrugs, "To see you." He looks her right in the eyes. "I feel like myself when I'm around you."

"So, who is the real you?"

He shrugs, "You know me."

"Who am I to you?"

"A mirror."

"What do you mean?"

He looks down at his hands. "I can be anything to anybody, but you show me You don't judge me, push me, or expect me to be anything other than what and who I am. I try to play a part, but you see right through me. The way you look at me, I can't hide." He looks back up at me. "I sometimes hate you for it. Sometimes I hate I can't do the same for you. Your mask is too tight, and your walls are too thick."

"What does that mean?" She asks.

"It means, I want what you want, but you don't have any fucking idea what you want. You're so lost and I can't help you."

With tears bubbling in her eyes she answers, "Then I want to be found."

"You can't."


He tenderly touches the side of her face. "You won't stop running."

"I don't want to run. I hate running."

"You can't help it. That's all you know how to do."

"Couldn’t someone stop me?"

He shakes his head. "You have to stop yourself."

"I have, but there's no one ever there. No one looks for me. No one waits. No one fights. No one tries to keep me from leaving. They're Gone. They're all gone and I'm always standing alone."

He cups her face. "You're not that 5-year old little girl left at the gas station anymore, or the young woman waiting for her soldier that will never come home, or the wife waiting for her ex-husband to grab her before she can run, or the mother watching her children fly the nest. Let her go."

"Then who am I?"

"A smart, beautiful woman, who has overcome some of the darkest hell a person could imagine. You have an amazing mind and a beautiful soul, but you're obtuse when it comes to you. Choose what you want. Then do that. That’s what I want.”

“I want you. Can’t I keep you?”

He shakes his head. “I won’t be your excuse.”

“My excuse?”

“The next reason you run.”

She takes a step backward. “So you reject me?”


“I don’t understand.”

He reaches toward her, but pulls his hand back at the last second. “I know. That’s why it makes this so hard.”

“Do you love me?”


“Then why won’t you stay with me?”

“Because you’re not here.

“Where am I?”

“Lost in a prison of your own making.”

“Where are you?”

“Outside waiting for you.”

She stares at him, slowly shaking her head.

“Trust me.”

“I can’t.”

“Then let me go.” He turns away.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Beautiful Attitude

I'm so sleepy, I'm literally zoning in and out while I'm sitting at my desk. I've had my coffee... it wasn't enough. While I've accomplished a lot at work today, I've also been sluggish. But there's this thought... bits of a conversation from yesterday, that's been playing in the back of my mind and I'm going to share it here.

While playing Destiny with my gaming clan Omega Victrix Mortalis​, there was this young guy (early twenties) hopped into our fire team and game chat. He was someone a few of us had met before from a rival clan (gamer tag GasMasked (something like that) fka ToxicGhost). Not that this other clan is a rival, because really they're not, it's just one formed from former clan members where the the split wasn't amenable.

Anyway, he jumped into a fire team with me and my clan leader and we played through some missions and strikes. No big deal, everybody seemed to be getting along great and we were getting things done. Now, Gasbag (that's my new name for him) started talking about the male/female ratio at his college and how his chances of finding chicks to hook up with were in his favor. I didn't have any problem with what he was saying, but I simply made a statement that it wasn't really an accomplishment when there was an average of 20 females to each male, and many of girls being eliminated through the process of dismissing awkward geeks that aren't really in the gene pool or in the running for the guy's attention. I simply stated that it would be considered much more of a conquest if the odds were flipped... and there were 20 guys to each female. There would be more reason to puff out your chest and walk around with a little swagger.

He must have got offended. He made a few comments about ONLY hooking up with supermodel-looking girls (yeah.. all other college kids claim the same thing) and how he had standards. I'm assuming his standards are not in morality or personality, but in physical appearances only. So, he threw in that these potential hookups had to be highly intelligent. So, by his confession, he only hooks up (not date, fall in love or have a relationship with - which makes me wonder WHY they need to be smart? You don't have to be smart to have sex, especially with a dumbass... anyway, continuing) - with nerdy supermodels. Sure, I get it. That's every guy's fantasy. At least that's probably the most popular porn scenario.

Anyway, the day went on, he was supposed to go running (for 3 hours he kept saying he wanted to go run but never left), and other members of my online gaming clan joined our party and fire team. He seemed to have went quiet. Then, I leave the fire team to join two of my other friends in a particular mission and a few minutes later one of my clan mates tells me that when I left the party with this gasbag in it, he goes on a tirade saying that he couldn't stand me because of my attitude and how I acted like I was the most beautiful thing in the world, but he thought I was so ugly he wouldn't even fuck me with a bag over my head.

I laughed. My boys (about a dozen of my clan members ages 10-45 who were in the party with me when I was told what Gasbag had said) also laughed. It was funny. Perhaps I was supposed to cry? It's as if this little prick thought he had any chance in hell of ever hooking up with me, bag or no bag. But it did get me thinking... wondering what was it that really got him angry and caused him to lash out like that? Also, I'd like to say... if you're in a party chat and you want to cut someone down, it's not a good idea to do it in a group of people that like and are friends with the person you're cutting down. Just sayin'. This dude just got blocked by a dozen or so players. I'll never play with him again. He'd probably need a bag for that too.

First of all... I wasn't hitting on this kid. I was minding my business, hanging out with my friends, completing my missions, etc. He's the one that wanted to play and chat with me, or with us. What was he really angry about? Sure, I don't think I'm Megan Fox (the girl of his dreams and according to him all the girls he hooks up with look like her), but I seriously doubt I require a bag. To each his own. But, why did my 'ugliness' offend him so much. Then I thought about the first words of his rant... it wasn't about how I looked (that's how it finished), but it was about how he hated the way I ACTED, confident in myself that I was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but how I was sorely mistaken because he neither found me beautiful nor intelligent... not even fuck worthy with a bag over my head. It seems his intent was to attack my confidence and degrade my self-worth, but why? Of course his attempts failed because (perhaps due to his age) my confidence and self-worth doesn't come from what anyone else thinks of me, but from how I feel and think of myself. Another's scales are not mine; I have my own set.

This gasbag (I call him this because he's full of hot air) doesn't know me and it's clear that he had no intention of getting to know me. I don't care. But, what he did and the way he spoke about me (he said what he said behind my back, not to my face) is the way I see a lot of guys speak about a lot of girls, and vice versa. Why does one person feel the need to tear down another? I'm not talking about not speaking truths that may hurt, but are used to help a person grow in maturity and wisdom, but I'm talking about small talks that are aimed at destroying, hurting, demeaning with an intent to dehumanize and demoralized someone. Isn’t this world ugly enough already? Why not see the beauty in a person and lift them up instead? You don’t know what they might have been going through, what kind of hurts and pains they may have been carrying, what mountain’s they’ve had to climb to get where they are.

I seriously doubt this kid really objectifies women the way he did yesterday, at least I hope he doesn’t. I hope he finds a good woman that will love him and treat him with kindness, goodness, and generosity so he can see women are much more valuable than serving merely as a hookup. Some of us just want to be a friend. I didn’t know simply talking to a guy was an audition. Perhaps I’m just too old (another jab he took) and don’t give a shit. LOL!

Till next time,

~KV Kvothe

Friday, April 17, 2015

My Confessions

I have something very important to confess. I’m told that confession is good for the soul, that it lifts the burdens of life from your shoulders and then your everyday existence becomes more bearable. I’m not so sure about that. I’m pretty much an opened book and have shared just about every horrible, scary, funny, embarrassing, humiliating, wonderful, exciting thing that has happened in my life these past few years. I’ve lost some bad friends, gained some good ones, and made a connection with a lot of people on a spiritual level like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Being open the way I am has shown me that I’m not alone in this world, in my fight, or in my struggles, even though I’m alone. There are others out there just like me and I’m not really an alien from a distant planet who was abandoned by her royal parents to save the world. I kind of liked that fantasy, but reality is turning into a pretty good story on its own.

So, by now you’re wondering, probably yelling in your mind ‘would she just friggin’ get to it already?’, what this big confession could be. I can only promise that’s it’s probably not anything you were expecting. I’m not a closet nymphomaniac (I’ve been quite open about that too), I’m not really a hairy 400lb skinhead currently serving on death row (though let me go without exercising, taking my vitamins, or shaving for a while and we’ll see if I can make that happen), but my confession feels just as big to me.

What is it I need to confess? What could possibly be in my life that requires this much drama to reveal? Well, it’s a little complicated because it’s something only a small percentage of people will truly understand. Most, if not nearly 100% of my friends won’t get it, my family (other than perhaps my son) would never begin to comprehend my choices, and my co-workers will look at me with a different sets of eyes. So, with great apprehension here goes …

I’m a gamer. I’m a girl gamer. I’m a hot girl gamer.

There I said it.

See, many of you right now just don’t get it. While this doesn’t come as a shock to some of you, most of you really don’t understand what it means to be a gamer, I mean a hardcore gamer. No, I’m not a great gamer, would probably never make it onto a MLG (major league gaming) team, or compete in any sort of tournament, because that’s not what I love about it. To some, the competition is all they care about me, but for me that’s the least important aspect. I love the whole gaming world. It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that I would love it, because it’s interactive stories… and not just stories that I get to see, hear, and interact with the characters, but I get to interact with other people at the same time. You’d be surprised at the stories that are bubbling inside of me just from the colorful characters I’ve met in my online gaming clan.

And I’m a girl gamer. There’s not many girls in the gaming world (I don’t understand why… come on… that’s where all the guys are –duh), so I really like the attention I get on there. I’m literally like a goddess queen.

This whole gaming thing was just supposed to be a temporary distraction as I battled my way through all the big changes in my life – divorce, empty nest, being alone, new job, new town, and facing Death. But it’s become much more to me. It’s not really the gaming itself but the people I’ve met and formed strong bonds with that makes all the difference. These guys in my clan (10 yrs – 45 yrs) have become my family, my friends, and the loves of my life. We don’t just play games together, we talk, we bond, we share our hopes, our fears, our problems, and our happiness with each other. There’s more communication during these gaming sessions than in most of the relationships I’ve ever been a part of in my life. It all started as a way for me connect with my grown son. Now it’s become a center piece in my life. I used to minister to teenagers and kids in community and church programs, but in those programs I was never able to connect to the kids the same way I connect with these kids now. I get to mentor them in life issues, in many ways more than their parents or friends could. I wish they had co-op gaming communities when I was younger. I could have used them.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a full time job, I have activities I’m involved with, I still exercise, hike, cook, play music, and date. I’ll get back to the dating in a moment. But, to make room for this new part of my life I’ve practically stopped watching tv (which that’s another blog post for another day) and arguing with fellow writers on the fundamental of writing on author sites. My gaming has also cut severely into my reading and writing time. However, both are a part of who I am… and I will always find the time to do them.

I’m an independent, beautiful, sexy, active, smart 43-year old divorced woman. I’ve no shortage on date requests. But as I venture out in this area, I’m discovering more and more what I don’t want in my life, but not so much of what I do. As I think about it, I think as much as I’d love to date an artist (whether music, cooking, painting, writing, etc… makes no difference) I’d love to date a gamer… or a gaming artist. BINGO!

I’ve had a few “game dates” (something I totally designed and arranged myself) and I have to say that they were more fun, more connecting, more exciting than some of the live dates I’ve had. The conversation was of course fun but deep and open, and not having all the hormones and signals mixing everything up, made it a more relaxed environment. Of course, these game dates I’ve had have been with guys I’ve met and went out on a live date before, so I already knew the chemistry was there. These game dates were to see if we were able to bond on a different, more intellectual level… and just enjoy the game together.

What is a game date? It’s when you meet your date online at a specific time, in a specific game lobby, and you two join a private co-op party and play a particular game together, or against each other. Competition is always good fun, but I particularly love when two people are working together, helping one another out to meet a particular goal. I find it romantic when one of my game dates tries to protect me, help me, revive me, cover me, or depend on me to do those things for him during game play. There’s always a lot of praise and appreciation going around. What girl doesn’t like that? It’s a great opportunity to gauge how attentive your date can be, how polite, or how competitive. I’m beginning to think people should have game dates before they jump into live dating, because it’s a great way to weed out certain behaviors that you’d find intolerable… and it’s best to discover those things together, yet separated and at a safe distance.

Also, on a game date, you learn a lot more about your date than you would while you’re stuffing your face, watching a show, or busy in a strenuous activity. You’re together – while your fingers are busy on the controls, your mouth and most of your mind are communicating. Playing while talking helps me focus more because the game play is keeping the part of my brain that tends to overthink and fumble things busy while I talk about everything else. It puts me at ease.

However, here are the problems I’m running into. Most of the guys in the gaming world are really young. In real life, most of the guys I meet for dates are highly professional or highly driven (Yep, I’ve got a type) and so far… very few have turned out to be gamers. While I wouldn’t want some dates to come in and disrupt my gaming world, I would love to date a gamer, if for the simple reason that they’d understand me for who I am right now. There’s been so many times I’ve been on a live date with a new guy and when he asks me what I love to do, I try my best to steer away from mentioning the gaming, but I can’t hide who I am. While they’re impressed with my resume, my accomplishments, my hobbies, and my talents… they look at me blankly when I mention I’m a gamer. It never fails to be asked when I plan to get back to all the professional things I had done before – the writing, publishing, editing, networking, etc., as if those are the only important things in life. I disagree. I love those things. They’re part of me. But when I thought I was dying, none of those made a difference. But that small group of young boys who loved me just as I was, who didn’t expect me to be great or be successful or ideal, meant the world to me. Where were all the writers, agents, artists, religious leaders, co-workers and family during the darkest days of my life? They were not there. I was all alone except for my gaming friends.

There was one low point that I wanted to end all the pain, all the loneliness, all the disappointment I had in myself, in life, and from everyone I thought had cared for me but realized didn’t. Instead of fighting death, I wanted to give up. But, I got online and my boys were there laughing, joking around, playing with each other, and greeted me with such love and warmth I couldn’t help but smile (and cry at the same time). They saved my life that night though they don’t know it. Perhaps that’s my true confession. Their love for me, combined with the love I had for myself, gave me the strength to keep fighting… and I’m still fighting. I beat cancer. I beat loneliness. I beat change. I beat divorce, with the same determination I learned to beat Atheon and Crota.

Now I only wonder… where the hell do I find the gamers? Local gamers, I mean. My online gamer friends are all over the world, but I want to date a local gamer, but I don’t know how to find them. However, not just any kind of gamer. I still have a type. I love soldiers, nerds, athletes, dare-devils, adventure-seekers, artistically talented and sexy gamers. Uh – 30-something’s still living in their mama’s basement and puffing the bong every night is NOT my type of gamer. I don’t think my perfect gamer exists, but maybe… just maybe I’ll find a decent one someday. Until then.. I suppose I must endure the weird looks, cocked eyebrows, and ruffled noses on a bunch of first dates when I mention I’m a XBoxOne Badass.

Till next time,

~KV Kvothe

Thursday, April 16, 2015


*This is a new song I recently wrote.  Though these are lyrics, I thought they also made a good poem.

I have an addiction that binds me,
An addiction that finds me,
No matter how far I try to hide.
Burn me, consume me, devour me alive.
I have an affliction that burns me,
An affliction that haunts me,
Not matter the songs I try to write.
Burn me, consume me, devour me alive.
Kiss me, touch me, and set me on fire.
I’m under your spell, the flames of my desire.
Use me, abuse me, but then set me free.
I’m bound to you, can’t you see?
I have an addiction that binds me,
An addiction that finds me,
No matter how far I try to hide.
Burn me, consume me, devour me alive.
I have an affliction that burns me,
An affliction that haunts me,
Not matter the songs I try to write.
Burn me, consume me, devour me alive.

~lyrics by T.L. Gray


I’m an over-thinking fool. It’s my blessing and my curse. It’s a blessing because it allows me to see the mystery, the majesty, and the beauty of this world. I’m amazed almost on a daily basis. On those days I’m less amazed, it’s only because I didn’t open my mind far enough to see the wonder of it all. It’s a curse - because with the same gift I can also see the ugliness, the hate, and the hell we create for ourselves. What do we have if we don’t have each other? Compassion is what makes us the most beautiful of human beings. The lack of it makes us the most evil.

Compassion isn’t empathy. We can all relate to different things in each other’s lives. Understanding is very important, and often the first step that leads to compassion. Yet, empathy doesn’t do anything for one another, it’s just a state of being.

We live in a world that has no commitment. We have so many choices these days, that when things get complicated, people get complicated, goals get complicated, we tuck tail and run. It’s easier to be on the outside, or in the first ring of commitment. It’s easier to stay in that excitement phase of friendships and relationships where everyone is just getting to know each other, where we focus on the good, where our imaginations fill in the fantasy because we haven’t yet had to deal with the truth or reality. But, when truth and reality begins to break down that fantasy, and we begin to feel the pull of adversity, noting differences and complications - we run. It’s so much easier to run and jump right into the next friendship, the next relationship, the next fantasy. The choices are plentiful. But what is being lost?

I see a man stuck in a rut. He’s miserable, unhappy, and really sailing through life without a compass of where he wants to go. He’s in an endless cycle of ups and downs, jumping from one pivotal problem to the next. By all worldly standards, he’s successful. He desires a great love, but he’s not willing to open his heart. When someone extends their hand of friendship, he turns away, choosing the uncomplicated, the stranger, the fantasy –knowing full well that it will only keep him in his rut. Perhaps he loves the rut. Perhaps he loves the struggle, or else perhaps that’s all he knows and it’s familiar to him. Where is his compassion?

I see a man riding a carousel. He loves all the pretty horses. When he sets his sight on one in particular, it consumes him and he puts all his wondrous focus on making his way through the vibrant colors to ride the horse of his dreams. He loves the journey, the spinning, waiting for the perfect opportunity to jump on the carousel, studying the timing, listening to the music. Once he mounts the horse of his choice, he rides with glee, proud of his achievement. His fantasy comes alive and he closes his eyes. But, then them again because the carousel stops. The wind no longer blows in his face, the music no longer fills his ears, and his horse no longer ascends and descends beneath him. So he dismounts and stands on the edge of the carousel until he spots another horse… and so the cycle goes. Why is he not satisfied to stay upon the horse he just rode? The ride will start again. He just has to wait. But, in his mind he wonders if the ride on the other horses is different, better, more adventurous. There’s too many choices. Why should he deal with the down moments of one particular horse when he can use that time to seek another, because in truth it is the hunt, the chase, the newness he desires most of all. Where is his compassion?

I see a woman who constantly loves the unlovable, the unattainable, the shallow, narcissistic, and vain. While there are many lined at her door holding out hearts full of devotion, she passes by without so much as a nod in their direction. She is cold and seeks the dancing fire. Oh, the fire burns bright and hot. She’s lived in the cold darkness for so long the fire has become intoxicating to her. She dances among the flames. They lick her skin and warm her cold bones until she begins to burn. The flames are wild, yet she foolishly tries to control them. Where is her compassion?

Compassion. Where has it gone? We don’t have time for it anymore, or the patience to see it through. I am as guilty as my neighbor on the left, and not quite as guilty as the one on the right. There is still compassion in the world. The only thing that is changing is my ability to see it. That vision stems from the temperature of my heart. It grows colder and harder every day. Will I too soon be in a rut, not satisfied with my horse, or burn among the flames? I don’t know. It’s too complicated to think about. Why should I waste such energy when there are funny cat videos to watch, a dozen or more date request waiting for a reply, a new fantasy in which to escape? Compassion is for the truly great, and convenience is for the fools. I am a fool.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, April 10, 2015

I Hate You So Much

I hate you so much.
I still ache for you.
I hate you so much.
You still invade my dreams.
I hate you so much.
You still take my breath away.
I hate you so much.
I can still feel the sweet brush of your lips.
I hate you so much.
I can still smell the dizzying scent of you.
I hate you so much.
I am still transported by all our songs.
I hate you so much.
Your name still falls from my sleeping lips.
I hate you so much.
I still can’t breathe.
I hate you,

But I can’t stop loving  you.
~T.L. Gray

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Stay a Little Longer

*Flash Fiction/Short Story by T.L. Gray*


The second hand on the clock ticks, ticks, ticks away.

Father Time, make it stop. Keep me in this moment. Hold me in this place and time the way his arms hold me now. How long?

Sensations prickle all over as he runs his thumb lightly over my shoulders and down my back. A steady heartbeat sings to me as my head rests on his chest. He’s so swarm, so hard, so safe, so beautiful. The scent of him makes me dizzy. My whole body worships him, aches for him, even now as our legs lay tangled. How long?

I’m home in his arms. Please stop, clock. Please let me stay a little longer.

Where do I end and he begin? The most delicate flower, so intricate, so complex, doesn’t compare to his beauty. His eyes, more dazzling than the darkest rose. His scent, more intoxicating than the honeysuckle. His beautiful skin, more exotic than any lily. The power he wields over me, more potent than the poppy. How long?

I lay bare before him, more than skin, more than flesh, all of me open and exposed, every deep and secret part of me, my soul, my heart. How long?

I’m lost in his arms. Please stop, clock. Please let me stay a little longer.

When we come together we become one. We burn hot. When we turn away, magnetic polarity ensues and an invisible force comes between us, pushing us apart – life, yesterday, tomorrow. The world dims. I become numb, a pile of cold ashes. How long?

The second hand on the clock ticks, ticks, ticks away.


Till next time,
~T.L. Gray