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The Raven




[06:39 pst 03/04/2018 CE, 1520174340 E]

We have secured yet another top-level domain for possible future expansion or transfer. The Coma domain has proven just a little off from the popular collective audience, so in the coming months we may embrace a new title image and location on the internet. In the meantime, things will continue along as they have for the last three years.

We also may roll the archive into the writing section and combine the two, keeping titles and such as they are. The dated entries have enjoyed their own place and timeline, while the lateral writings sit idle. Expansion and further visibility may push us to move things around.


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The Dash, the Bartender, and Juliette

Part One


"A story within a story within a story. Oh my. This one goes back and forth without sense, so buckle up. It stands as one of the most emotional and mentally-damaging stories I have ever attempted. Years ago I promised myself that I would keep this within me, but fuck it anyway. I no longer have anything to lose and the reveal may help me to survive... somehow.

We go...

The situation began with a trip to Pensacola to visit my cousins. I packed and flew away from the Brunette, arriving in Texas some hours later. With a multi-hour layover, I decided to slide into a comfortable bar/restaurant (no shit, huh?) and kill a bit of time while watching people move about the terminal. Naturally, the bartender was a young woman looking bright and energetic. The place was not busy due to the early hour, so I had a chance to speak with her about whatever subject came along. We exchanged the typical banter about what brought me there, my destination, and the reasoning behind the trip. As the first hour moved behind me, I learned that she took the job in order to mix with people.

She stood roughly five foot seven, with long, dark hair and very thin yet defined arms and shoulders. The black tank covered her chest and hid what appeared to be an unlined bra underneath. Below, her waist defied the diameter above, accented her hips, and displayed a very sharp ratio against her torso and legs. Overall the woman was yet another example of what I had been seeking, but due to the location nothing aside from gazing and conversation was possible. When she spoke and asked questions of me, her eyes lit somewhat and she appeared very hopeful and open. Had the encounter taken place after my many trips all over California and Nevada, however, I likely would have stared at her for a moment and ran away. That afternoon allowed me to sit for quite a while and take in all of her nicely. On the inside, things were no so positive.

The want began to creep in.

The woman was so pleasant and her demeanor so inviting that I could not help to dream of all that had been missing in my life for so long. She fit the bill completely. And that on top of the fact that I left with the intention of returning days later to the Brunette and all that she had meant to me. Sitting and exchanging thoughts with the gorgeous bartender seemed to show a weakness on my part, but the truth was that the want was taking over and had never left me. The woman moved back and forth behind the counter and did her job, and all the while my head went south and into areas I would have been better off pushing away. She was beautiful, and I simply could not help myself. Another drink, and more dreaming.

'Are you allowed to work with your hair down?'
'Yes, but too warm in here right now.'

She continued her duties with a slight smile and often glanced in my direction. I could not help but vocalize what I was feeling because I knew nothing would come of it. Soon I would be walking toward the gate and the whole thing would be done. Too bad. The woman was entering my head more and more. Her tender eyes were working their way inside me. I began to feel concern for my state. And I wanted her, of course. All of her. In such a weakened state, none of it was the least bit surprising.



134

My mind's eye



The trip from the Brunette's apartment and the fact that she drove me to the airport popped into my head often. She wanted me to get away for my own sanity. She also wished me all the happiness and contentment in the world as I left to visit family. I had to keep all of it close to my heart as I sat and stared at the creature who was fast becoming a point of focus. She was speaking to me even while her mouth uttered nothing. I could hear it... and the ideas drove me insane. The more I sat there -- knowing I should not have -- the more the want pressed me into narrowing focus dramatically and leaving me a single-celled creature without sense. Her beauty and pleasant nature did not leave me with the healthiest of thoughts, and that was not her doing. I was allowing it to happen for the millionth time. I did not run, but remained stapled to the barstool and unable to shift my brain away from the dreams and desires. The midsection of her body was my new world and there was no avoiding anything which might have helped me to cope and avoid the damage. I could not run from the want. It was in control of me, entirely.

A moment of pause from the conversation as others came in and took a seat. I was heading toward my second drink and pondering the question which always popped up: the why. All of the feelings which flew through me were related to the writings and desires of the past, and the woman behind the bar stayed away long enough for me to attempt to relate and calculate just why the numbers were turning into such a want. There was never anyone to bounce things off. The years passed had shown me just how crippling that type of sight could become, but never was I able to speak at length about finding reason. Years of need, and no outlet nor confidant.

When she returned, things began to look different -- desperate, difficult, and dire -- so I considered taking a leap of faith and revealing to her just why I needed to stay at the bar for my entire wait. And that brings the past back to my mind...

Nearly eight years earlier. Two thousand three, when I escaped the shackles of work and home life to run away. That was touched upon years ago, but some aspects of that time should be reviewed, and they were initially left out for reasons of anonymity. Now? Fuck it anyway. We go.

The first occasion when the obsession became overwhelming to the point of driving me out of my mind was a time when a coworker wanted to be with me and offered anything I may have wanted with regard to being physical together. She pressed me to step outside my relationship and have my way with her. When her desire and my need to understand became too much to bear, I ran my ass off and away from everything. A cool September morning saw me at work. My boss directed me away from our two facilities and toward a third with which I was unfamiliar and had hoped to avoid due to the staff there. He asked me to grab a few things and fill in until such time as they could stabilize their testing schedule. That building was several blocks away and required me to drive.

Between the change in environment (which was something I could not easily swallow), and the recent issue of being offered anything I wished from the coworker, my head began to overflow with discomfort. I sat in the car for several minutes before driving toward the north and to a place I knew would be uncomfortable and unfamiliar. After just a few blocks, the change forced me into a mental fetal position and I had to get the fuck out of there. So I did. A few turns and I drove right out the gate and onto the freeway. Oy.



135

Issues within me?



South to where? I formulated a plan immediately, and took to Pacheco Pass, leaving my real world behind.

As the miles rolled under my wheels, I started to worry a bit about the phone ringing on the seat next to me. It stayed quiet for a long while as I arrived part way down the interstate. Swinging the car in for fuel brought me a slight amount of clarity and the fact that I needed to set a few things in place before proceeding further. I filled the tank and took to the pay phone with multiple credit cards in hand. I needed to know how much leeway I might have had in order to secure a trip to Vegas. Yes, that's right... the promised land of escape and anonymity. After a few calls I knew my finances could support a lavish stay wherever I wished, so I got hold of the Luxor to book a room immediately. Back to the car, and then back to the pay phone to make one more important call... an escort agency(!). I reserved one more thing and then hit the fucking road. By that point, and after making calls and realizing I was nearly two hundred miles from my start, the delusion set in nicely and left me without worry. I was filled with anticipation.

Highway, loud music.

Hours later I rolled into the valet at the Luxor and left the car. The attendant asked if I was checking in and offered to grab a bellman for my luggage. I raised my arms and told him the trip was not planned prior to a short time earlier, and he smiled as if to say 'good for you'. I headed to the desk and check into a spa room in the pyramid. After stepping through the door to such a large and well-appointed room, I knew I had to go back out the door of the massive resort and do some shopping. And I realized that the cell phone was still in the car. Oh well... fuck it anyway. Down the inclinator and to the main cashier. I asked about drawing cash and the woman directed me to machines around the corner. I headed there, went through the procedure, and the fucking device sent me away -- denied. Nope. Not going to happen. I went back to the same cashier window and she informed me that the failure was very common due to security precautions from the banks. I stepped aside to the pay phones to call the bank, at which time the voice told me they wanted to ensure it was me. A few questions later and I was told that everything was good to go. Back to the machine, and another NO. Fuck me. Back to the cashier, and she said try the phone again because sometimes there may be a delay. I called a second time and was told that everything was fine and the issue may be the casino's precautions. Fuck me again. I slammed the phone down, left the resort, and sought the bank which issued my card. Toward the main drag of shopping.



332

Juliette's beauty all over the big bed



As I rolled along the boulevard, the idea of no cash began to cause me worry and I simply could not have such a thing. I knew that what I needed must continue unimpeded. The bank appeared and I went inside to solve my problem. The absolute goddess of a teller took my card and went back to her manager for a discussion. She returned, asked how much I wished to draw, and I smiled and told her I needed three thousand. She smiled back -- looking stunning in silk -- and attacked her computer. I filled out a form and she again smiled and asked how I would like the cash. 'All hundreds' I said, 'and dinner downtown, pretty please'. Red cheeks, tentative glances around the room, and, to my surprise, acceptance. Her name was Juliette and she looked like a million dollars standing behind the counter. I gave her my room number and a time to meet as she counted the many bills back to me. I softly touched her hand and stated that I would look much better that evening, and she replied that I need not change a thing. Holy fucking shit... I made a date in work clothes and with a woman who looked as if she could have been Miss America. Jesus. I asked if she was sure, and she returned the gesture with her hand and told me to count on it. Jesus... again. Out the door with a head full of possibilities, none of which related to real life.

I took to the boulevard again and knew I had to look loyally for the remainder of the trip, but I did not wish to expend the cash if at all possible. I ran across one of the many indoor malls in that huge city and proceeded to seek out some decent attire. As I walked the big hallways, my mind began to relax somewhat and I was able to put some things into perspective. Namely, I had zero attachments, tons of vacation hours, and no reason to worry about being gone other than the necessity of finally contacting my boss to tell him I needed some time away. The shopping went on, and I exercised credit as often as was feasible to keep the wad which was paramount while in a casino. All the while Juliette's long, wavy hair and smooth skin were in my thoughts. What could have come of that? Hmm.

After acquiring all that I felt would be appropriate for some days in the goblet, I headed back to the resort for a much-needed change of look. The inclinator again brought me to the thirtieth floor and my cozy room which started to look even better than my first visit. I was dreaming of not being there alone, and instead with a warm, real companion upon whom I planned to lavish much care. And while my previous trip was quite expensive, the company that my money funded was fantastic. Juliette was not a call girl, but an everyday person working and supporting herself through the bank. That was all I knew and the rest would hopefully come with time.

While in the room I called the escort service and canceled my reservation, offering a partial fee so as to not offend the classy establishment. Although I knew that need may return sometime in the future, the current trip had improved over finding someone in person with which to spend time. And what a fucking find.



119

Smooth skin and beautiful breasts



After freshening up and donning some of the new clothing, I decided to call my work and get the difficulty out of the way. My boss was halfway out the door that afternoon, and told me to avoid running away in the future. He said my leaving would have been perfectly fine had I done the reverse and asked for the time. Ultimately he told me to relax and find what I needed, leaving my trip open-ended. I apologized profusely and left the conversation feeling that his caring superseded any worry of disciplinary actions. Whew. Better. That relief led to me needing a drink in a sunken and comfortable spot for quiet thought. To the Aurora on the casino floor.

Perfect.

Sandra, the attending server that late afternoon, approached me with her absolutely gorgeous Egyptian eyebrows and form-fitting black dress. She sat in the puffy chair next to me and inquired of my needs. I ordered a cocktail and told her all that I needed in the world was her lovely smile and some comfort. She tapped my hand, smiled, and left for the service bar. Jesus fucking Harold Christ, there seemed to be no end to the beautiful and courteous women in that town. I had to steel myself every time she visited my table due to the overwhelming need to swallow her whole. Fuck me running. What a sight she was, and with a disarming smile which had the ability to force everything out of my head save for her. Sandra's demeanor and look would keep me attached to that chair and her every gesture.

A couple of hours passed bringing the dinner date closer each moment. I still had plenty of time and had been offsetting my alcohol consumption with lots of water. After Sandra's umpteenth arrival at my table, I noticed a lovely woman on the casino floor sitting beautifully at a slot machine. I asked Sandra to send her a lemon drop on my tab, and a few moments later she delivered the drink. The woman did not look in my direction despite Sandra pointing out its origin. I thought nothing of it, and continued to calculate what that night may entail. A short time later, I sent another cocktail to the gambler, and that time she looked in my direction. I smiled and raised my glass, and she showed appreciation by returning the gesture. Later, when I needed to exit the coziness of Aurora, I walked in her direction to wish her well. She looked up at me and told me that she was killing time away from her spouse, so nothing could come of the situation. 'No worries', I told her, 'I just wanted to improve your day'. She smiled at me, thanked me profusely, and expressed the fact that I did exactly that. Bye bye.

I blew a kiss toward Sandra and slid back up to the top of the pyramid. Upon seeing my room again, I felt as if the reasoning for dashing away from my life was beginning to pay off. And as unbelievable as it was to secure dinner with a fucking unreal-looking woman that very day, I had no stress or discomfort over anything up to that point in the trip. The outset had turned out to be precisely what I had been seeking day after miserable day for months. I knew that some time passing in my previous world would not change me or anything else. That did not matter. I just wanted to sink in and find a place otherwise unavailable.

Knock knock. Butterflies.



367

Juliette... and on all fours for fuck's sake



Upon opening the door, before me stood Juliette... one of the most elegant women in recent memory. I immediately became so flustered that my greeting was delayed several seconds. I shook my head and invited her in. Holy shit, she was in my hotel room, and looking as if she had spent much time in an attempt to look nice. The effort was appreciated, and I told her as much. She smiled and hugged me gently, took a stroll across to the window, and commented that the room appeared large and comfortable. I had only been there less than an hour in total since my arrival in town, but I was forced to agree. I asked her to take a seat, and could not help but gaze upon her sculpted legs and tremendous hair. The woman looked like the embodiment of class and stature, which pushed me to feel under-dressed for any occasion with her in tow. When she complimented my appearance, I smiled at her and felt a bit more at ease. She was someone I knew nothing about but for whatever reason brought me solace in many ways. I needed to be close -- attached to her somehow -- and that had been my wish from first sight on. We made some polite conversation and decided to head to the floor to sit with a drink and discuss my trip further. She could sense that I was there to get away from something, and she was one hundred percent correct. What was a mystery was just why she would accept an invitation from someone in that type of situation. We would soon get to that, and more.

Down to the casino and straight to the Nile. She sat very close to me with one hand on mine. I was immediately attracted to her eyes because they conveyed more feeling and emotion than I had seen in many years. Juliette looked stunning beyond words and I did my damnedest to keep my eyes on hers, rather than exploring the rest of her form. We spoke at length about work, personal relationships and expectations, and the possibility of a kind of happiness which came without reservations or excessive stress. Her thoughts took me over. And throughout the time sitting there at the Nile, she occasionally intertwined her fingers with mine -- a satisfying touching which brought me to believe that she was genuinely interested in finding what I had sought. Good god, the peaceful nature of her contact pressed me into getting lost mentally, and I began to need the closeness more and more. Staring at her eyes began to melt me from the inside out. She expressed so much raw emotion through those beautiful pools that not knowing her became irrelevant. The look, the touching, and the calmness she exuded... exactly what I was looking for but had no intention of actually seeking. Juliette was just standing there at work, off the strip and away from the glitz of Vegas, and meeting her was a miracle of sorts. The idea of strolling around those massive resorts and trying to find that type of comfort and look felt impossible. I had to consider the good fortune almost constantly.

We soon left the bar and walked across the big bridge into the Mandalay Bay. That was a hotel with which I had been previously intimate. Along the slow stroll, her hand did not leave mine, and my hand began to feel an underlying caring. I did my best not to gush toward her in any way for fear of seeming too clingy. Our walk led us to the House of Blues, where we spied a mostly-empty restaurant. We sidled to the bar and ordered drinks, and all the while my head was swimming in some sort of nether region between this world and the next. I could not believe the chance of finding someone so kind and understanding, and the thought had begun to enter my bruised heart. Juliette, and my knowing of her for mere hours, was taking me from myself. I wanted all of her, and the top of that desire was intimacy of mind.

Into the Blues visit a short while, and she told me that she wished to spend time with me simply as an aside to her life. She was not happy with much of anything, disillusioned with the sheer number of partners who wanted nothing more than physical contact, and the daily work environment which seemed to be stagnant. I stood her up, placed my hands upon her soft cheeks, and told her that we could be ideally suited to each other for however much time she wished to spend there.

Juliette hugged me tightly, kissed my cheek with the salt of her tears, and revealed that her bag -- with a week's worth of clothes and necessities -- was waiting patiently in her car outside. Huh? The woman accepted a dinner date and packed for days? Holy shit, did I ever find someone special. I was already overwhelmed by her gentle nature and tenderness with which she told me about her feelings, but to see her there in front of me looking gorgeous beyond description and then learn that she had hoped to stay with me in the hotel... Jesus H. Crap, I was pulled in immediately. All at once I wished to care for her like no other. Hold her, caress her, and simply ensure that she could be comfortable in more ways than just physically. And speaking of that, and regardless of the shape of her beautiful body and that flowing hair, the sexual thoughts backed off as I wanted to focus upon her happiness.

'I want to be close... connected to each other.'
'Absolutely, my dear.'

No sooner had she expressed her desire to be attached to me, when a tap on my shoulder slammed me back in time... to a year earlier. Juliette grabbed me from behind and held on tight as I spun around to a woman I had not seen since my last contract with the escort agency. A call girl...

Jasmine.

And she was crying."



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Random Quote:

"Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day,
in all the thousand small uncaring ways."
-- Stephen Vincent Benét


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