This is a story I wrote for my short story class...the assignment was to create a story around lines of a song that you knew by heart.

So be it, I'm your crowbar

The day I met you I knew that I was good for you. You were so quiet and you had that look of abandonment in your eyes and slumped through your shoulders. I could sense there was something interesting in you, something imbedded that needed to be pried out.

If that's what I am so far

So that’s what I became to you. Your tool. Your method of expression…but above all, your method of escape. When we sat together the day we met, you playing coy, me darting my eyes from point to point as I interrogated you, there was a part of me that you more than desired, but needed. When we discussed our lives, you let me talk in details about my family but when it came to yours, it was all philosophies of human relations. I thought you were an intellectual.

Until you get out of this mess

I resigned myself to being what you needed. Our relationship was never intended to develop into what it did. It must have been the rain outside that drove us into that vegan café even though we both appreciate steak and were clothed in leather. There was more though…maybe it’s because I am drawn to problems. Maybe it was because I was becoming afraid of having nothing and you were becoming restless with seemingly having everything…still there’s more…

And I will pretend

By the time you arrived at my apartment for the seventh time…I had fallen. I knew you and I knew that you had me, but someone else had you. You always arrived in business attire as though someone needed to believe that that was where you were headed. It became a game, didn’t it? The way I always asked why you did not have more time for me…and how I seemed to forget that I asked the questions the moment your skin grazed the back of my neck…how my train of thought just disappeared when I heard your breath quicken when you watched my hands…

That I don't know of your sins

It’s not like I did not have my own secrets. The therapist I was visiting twice weekly for my depression. Or the orange bottles in my medicine cabinet full of my mental history. But there was more…somehow I thought that if I could fix you, prove to you that there is desire in a relationship, that there is passion in life, that you could balance out the overabundance of desire and passion that was ruling mine.

Until you are ready to confess

I saw it in your gaze. The first wet day we met. When you were discussing ideas and I was verbally working through my ‘feelings of abandonment.’ When we were arguing about what a marriage should be…what it could be. You were not prepared then for me. I, who am idealistic even though life has demonstrated that I shouldn’t be, I, who love all things spontaneous and green…I was feeling strong when you were weak, yet it was my instability that craved to be mended by your composure. But even through your composure, I saw through you.

But all the time, all the time I'll know, I'll know

I did know. I could smell her in your hair, I could see the guilt that she left in your vision…

And you can use my skin

But you needed me. When you entered my apartment, when you saw me, you became alive. I was your mischief, but above all, I was your life…everything else was just a routine.

To bury secrets in

That night that you came over and decided to surrender; when I stopped talking and you started and we took that walk in the rain because at that moment we did not mind it and for your mouth to move like it was, it needed to be accompanied with another type of movement. I paced along with you, counting the raindrops as they collected on my nose. You were wearing dark green, the shirt I had worn so many mornings after, and as you spoke all I could do was listen. Your words cascaded over me faster than the water that had stopped dripping and started cascading from the gray above. The thing is, though, that I was calm, even rejuvenated. I unleashed in you what you were missing the first rain when your shoulders were slumped and I needed a pet. You were incredible and although you spoke of philosophies, they were yours. That night was yours.

And I will settle you down

When you had exhausted me and I had begun to turn blue from the fingers up and the sound of your teeth clattering drowned out your emotions, we found ourselves at my door, once again faced with the question: will you come in?

And at my own suggestion,

And when you declined, I had to understand. I had never been so liquid in so many aspects of my being. I imagined myself falling from the sky, drop by drop…gathering in puddles and on streets and on plants and on cars and on people and being able to follow you home as the weather…

I will ask no questions

But I knew it was not right.

While I do my thing in the background

It was not about me this time. It was not about my requisite for someone to be my solidity while I gave what I had too much of. So I became like water: ever present but never in the foreground. I melted into what I knew I had to be.

But all the time, all the time I'll know, I'll know

I could sense that you thought about me. There would be moments where I awoke in the bed where I could still smell your aftershave on the pillows, and I knew at that point, that your were trying to trace my spine with your memories, trying to remember if my birthmark was on the right side of my hip or the left. But there were some things that you would never forget; the copper in my hair, the way I squealed like a little girl when you tickled the inside of my arm or how I looked sleeping.

Baby-I can't help you out, while she's still around


Did I ever tell you that she called me once? I understand, you can find a lot in a person’s voice. All she wanted was to hear my hello. She never spoke, if it weren’t for *69, I wouldn’t have known it was her. I hope she does not hate me. I never meant to hurt her. Me, of all people, I know insecurity, I know hopelessness, I know loss…But there was the pitiful way you were sitting, nursing your chai tea, I knew I could give you something that you needed. I never intended to take it away from someone else. I hope she heard what she needed to in my voice.

So for the time being, I'm being patient


So while I exist within my life, and not yours, I am coping with the loneliness without touches of warmth and tranquility from another or even the purple pills that let me dream of you before.

And amidst this bitterness


I am not saying that I have resigned myself to my solitude.

If you'll just consider this-even if it don't make sense


The UPS man knocked on the door yesterday, and for a moment, I thought it was you. When it comes down to the absolute value of my thoughts, I believe you will return. Because you do need me. If you could be content…well maybe you could be content in your life with her, but if you could be vibrant in your other routine, you would have been. You asked for me in a language that you never knew you could speak and there was such desperation and emptiness in your posture that day of the first rain. It was more than the weather that caused you to come to me, and it was more than the weather that made you open yourself to me. Do you tell her what you told me? Does her heart jump when you whisper to her in close proximity? Can she read you like I can? Does she beseech the feeling of your fingers tracing her spine?

All the time-give it time


I know that you will revisit my life because I give you life.

And when the crowd becomes your burden


I know that your routine with her is comfortable. That your family of philosophies take her as your life.

And you've early closed your curtains,


But remember how you felt with me, remember that you felt with me. Is it fair to reside in a habit just because it requires your philosophies to meet reality?

I'll wait by the backstage door


I am part of you. Just because you stopped visiting my bed, does not mean I do not exist in between you and her in yours.

While you try to find the lines to speak your mind


You will stall before you create the pinnacle of our drama because you are not ready for it to end…

And pry it open, hoping for an encore


But you will divulge your life to the woman who thought she was yours. You will see for the first time that you became hers.

And if it gets too late, for me to wait For you to find you love me, and tell me so It's ok, don't need to say it.


I know.

So be it, I'm your crowbar
If that's what I am so far
Until you get out of this mess
And I will pretend
That I don't know of your sins
Until you are ready to confess
But all the time, all the time
I'll know, I'll know

She had much to say, but instead she listened. She knew how he could talk for hours about himself, so much he had to say. Some of it meant something, but when she let him talk too long, he was want to ramble. He tried to listen, but she would only offer little clues, littering the place where their two roads joined, became one for a while, and then diverged in the wood. Something in her words told a story, a story with so many missing pieces, and he tried to unfold the pages of her book, but they tended to stick together. There was light. There was darkness. Mostly, though, there was a lot of dancing with shadows. He was intrigued. He was willing to wait, and in the meantime, he was all too willing to talk. She listened. She waited. The sky kept changing from blue to black.

And you can use my skin
To bury secrets in
And I will settle you down
And at my own suggestion,
I will ask no questions
While I do my thing in the background
But all the time, all the time
I'll know, I'll know

They were fighting all over town. They were arguing particulars, trying to determine who was right and who was wrong. They were willing to be the hangman jury, but no one was clean enough to throw the first stone. She stayed in the background and watched with a limited scale of amusement while he lounged on his ivory stepladder and wondered why any of them thought they were without sin. He drank a toast to their madness and watched them tear each other to pieces. She wondered what kind of questions he might ask, so he held back and waited for the questions to form themselves. He gave her his ear and told her stories he thought might somehow be relevant. She smiled through it all, waiting for the riots to start, but they never would. No one had the courage to throw the stones they held so tightly in their hands. They knew how to threaten and how to express anger, but did not know how to follow through. It was better that way. She smiled his way again and the night wore on.

Baby, I can't help you out, while she's still around
So for the time being, I'm being patient
And amidst this bitterness
If you'll just consider this, even if it don't make sense
All the time, give it time
And when the crowd becomes your burden
And you've early closed your curtains,
I'll wait by the backstage door

There were those who danced around with their own definitions. They labelled things like "love" and "faith" and "truth" without understanding the consequences of what they proposed. They ran from their own imagination and contained their own hearts on a rack of notions. They did not know how far their own wings could carry them. The mob gathered and then dispersed. They were forgiven, because they did not understand what they did. Their petty arguments and their selfish demands for compensation undid them, untied them and left them unglued. They had lost the path.

While you try to find the lines to speak your mind
And pry it open, hoping for an encore
And if it gets too late, for me to wait
For you to find you love me, and tell me so
It's ok, don't need to say it.

They would defy gravity, because they gave gravity no quarter. They did not need the selfish definitions and demands of the mob. They were their own peace. No one needed to define this. It could exist without definition.

Sometimes it is easier to talk about the mob
And things that mean next to nothing
We find the comfort zone
When more might be better
We find safety in less

Goodnight, Gracie.


Lyrics by Fiona Apple
"I Will" as appears on "When The Pawn..."
Copyright 1999 FHW Music
Used without permission

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