About Me

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Kymberlie Ingalls is native to the Bay Area in California. She is a pioneer in blogging, having self-published online since 1997. Her style is loose, experimental, and a journey in stream of consciousness. Works include personal essay, prose, short fictional stories, and a memoir in progress. Thank you for taking a moment of your time to visit. Beware of the occasional falling opinions. For editing services: http://www.kymberlieingalls.com/p/editing-services.html

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Summoner's Ghost (Tom)

For the first time that she could remember, she was afraid of her best friend.  Walking along the beach, shivering in the night while the gentle water teased her bare toes, the memories were a tidal wave that left her drowning in its wake.  So many hours spent bonding, connecting.  In the decades past, so many chapters – teacher and student, friends and lovers.. soul mates…
          What comfort that connection had brought now was replaced by terror at the impending sense of loss that crashed over her when she dared to let it, though it was quickly pushed back into a dark corner of her mind.  For several months, she had found ways to occupy her time.  She now rested before the clock could strike twelve, and kept her days filled with tasks to distract her lonely mind.  But she missed him like a child who has outgrown their teddy bear yet is reluctant to let go.  Like one talks to a fuzzy old bear, she would stare into the night sky and knit her dreams together beneath his watchful eye.
          She missed stretching out beneath the scattering of stars that he tossed into the sky just for her, feeling the warmth behind his cool touch, and the reach of his understanding.  Never had there been fear, always strength.  Gazing upon his wise mythical face had brought much comfort during her turmoil.  His majestic force simmered in her heart, a bubbling cauldron of memories. 
Wrapping her arms around herself, she gathered her will and lifted her eyes upward, but they fell short.  Was he there?  Was he ever not?  Moments spent with lovers that he had bared witness to, times that were spent alone in reflection as well.  Remembrance of walking along a silvery path, an outstretched beam that wanted to touch but never quite connected.  When there were questions, in his silence she had found answers. 
And question, she had.  Seeking out his wisdom to illuminate her path – not always sure of the journey, of the direction, but never was there uncertainty about who watched over her. 
          There had been changes lately, and change has rarely been her friend, often bringing  about apprehension, insecurity.  Change brings the unknown to darken a doorstep.  She did not welcome change. 
          There were long nights that her friend lay dormant, hovering in the background.  Moments of crossing the night’s sky together had passed, it seemed, until she came to need him again at her side.  Now the time has come that she’s chased him away.  spent separated only by a clear pane of glass, the glimmering shadows cloaking them in secret whispers – this haunted her.  It followed her into the darkness of her dreams, and lingered as an eclipse in the hours of light.  It brought about a torrent of rain before she could blink.
          A numbness had overtaken her, these last months.  The loss of feeling in her limbs, and muscles, was simply a mask she was sure for the loss of feeling in her thoughts and her heart.
          He had always held the ghosts at bay, assuring her that no matter how close they got, there was a safe place to be.  Now that place doesn’t exist.  Perhaps it only ever existed in her mind, and in her slow demise she was beginning to see the shifting sands that she  had stood upon all along. 
             Now, one of those spectres seemed to have escaped and burrowed through to that concealed place, and there were no magical brooms to sweep it away.  Reminders were everywhere – the violins she heard in a Tartini concerto were more poignant, the flashing black and white images on a movie screen were suddenly colored in bold emotions, the words that were nestled in their paper suddenly reached out to cry at her louder than ever before.  And this demon only ever came to her under the light of the moon.   She was frightened of all that lay alongside the road behind her, more so of what shadowed the road ahead.
          This ghost had taken her on a journey to the darkest part of herself.  A place she had been before but never with as much to lose as she could at that moment.  Holding her hand, guiding her like a carnival clown beckons one to the mazes and mirrors, she had followed only to be confronted with her own inner illusions.  When she finally stumbled away, it was with a tired heart and a weary mind.
          Brazenly, she now raised her head to the sky, feeling an anger well up inside of her.  How dare that phantom ghost come between them?  All of her life, so much had been taken from her.  When would there be peace, would it find her tonight?  As the hours fell slowly away, trepidation prevailed upon her, much like a gathering storm.
          Staring intently at the large grey moon above, she sought his eyes, his face.  Where was her Man In The Moon, her confidant who had always been her calm, who now was her fear, her disillusion?  When had he become the foe to hide from?  When had he forsaken her?  Little else had mattered as much to her in this world as the bond she held with him.  Deeply lost, wondering if the tie was severed, or merely torn?   When she looked now, there was only a cold stone in the night, devoid of all storybook charm.
          Throughout the days, she had felt the cracks webbing across her heart, bit by tiny bit.  From the Moon she drew her inspirations, her musings, her words – and without her words, it was a slow perish of her voice.  As each sun had set, she would bow her head in sorrow.  A gaping hole was left where the ghost had entered her soul, and through it she had chased her Moon away.
In the wind around her, she heard the quiet strains of his voice.  With her hair whipping about, and her toes dug into the sand, she stood weakened but fierce in her stance nonetheless.  Turning reluctantly away from the tide, her sadness having overcome her, she vowed silently to return someday.  Some day she would be strong enough to battle the ghost within, some day she would find her way home. 
“You’ll remember me when the west wind moves among the fields of barley.  You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we walk in fields of gold…”


~ Kymberlie Ingalls, November 12th, 2009

Lyrics – “Fields Of Gold” / as sung by Eva Cassidy




Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lost In Love (Joe)


Growing up as a teenager in the home of my grandparents, some things were quite difficult to pull off as easily as others my age.  Dating, for example.  The day I moved in, at fourteen years of age, the rules came rolling out:
         
“Telephone calls will not be longer than ten minutes.  The timer is next to the phone.  You will not give our number to boys.  You are not allowed to ask for theirs.”  I stared at my grandmother, trying to make sense of that one.  “We will approve anyone you want to run around with.”  And there went my social life, crumpled on the floor all over my pointed-toe flats.  The Madonna-like bow in my hair and rubber bracelets drooped. 
         
I was just starting high school.  As if that didn’t terrify me enough, transferring to a new school and leaving all of my friends behind across town, which may as well have been in the next state, but now I was going to be even nerdier than I’d already anticipated.. 
         
It was in the tenth grade that I met Joe.  Tall, stocky, nice looking.  The kind of boy I could bring home to Grandma and Grandpa.  It was my first real date, one where he came to my house to “pick me up,” (Grandpa was the chauffer, however) not just a “meet at the school dance” kind of date.  I was wearing my mom’s velvet gray track-style jacket with white accents, a pink sweater and jeans, with my hair pulled back in a banana clip, and low-slung boots that were straight out of an MTV music video. 

If this were only a few months earlier, Mom would have been alive to see it.  I shoved my hands in the pockets of the jacket after brushing away at my eyes for a brief moment.  Didn’t want to stand there with Electra Blue mascara running down my cheeks!
         
We were going to Chuck E. Cheese’s in the Willows Shopping Center.  I had friends who worked there, and it was a pretty big teen hangout on a Friday night, all of us playing arcade games on free tokens if you had the right hookup.  Games were played by the minute, and not all of them on the machines.  It was a sea of gossip, of mid-80s fashion – an arena of love and heartbreak, all while the big puppets popped out of the wall singing endless birthday songs. 
         
After getting our fill of sweaty angst, and the chimes and dings and dongs of the games, we cashed in our tickets for silly prizes, and awkwardly made eyes at each other over soda and pizza.  Then we decided to take a walk in the night air.  The shopping center was an outdoor one that sprawled out, with trees cascading all around, wood-structured buildings giving off a teaky scent that still takes me back to a time of young romance.  Wandering with no set course, our hands awkwardly found one another’s and fumbled in the dark. 
         
“Can you believe what Sarah did in PE class today?”  I asked.
         
“I know it.  She’s kinda weird.”
         
“Really?  I think she’s okay.” 
         
Through the buildings we walked, slowly.  I released his hand long enough to wipe my palms on my jeans, hoping he wouldn’t notice. 
         
“I have so much homework this weekend, it sucks.” Joe complained. 
         
“I know!  Me too.” 
         
As we turned a corner of one of the large buildings, I saw a light shining through a window.  It was the local radio station, KKIS.  Tugging on his arm, I hurried over to press my face excitedly to the glass.
         
“Check it out!  We can see the DJ working!”  Even then, my fascination with broadcasting had firmly taken root.  I knew precisely who was in there, I’d spent many hours listening to his show at night when I was supposed to be sleeping.  We stood peering in at the jock as he pulled the microphone towards him.  I looked above at the tinny speakers embedded into the wood. 
         
“My name is Rick and I’ve got plenty of love songs ahead for all you young lovers, so keep your dial right here on 92.1.  We’ll jump right back in after these messages.”
         
Then a commercial came on, and he looked over to see us staring in.  Nervously we started to walk away, but then the door opened and Rick called out to us. 
         
“Hey, what are you two kids up to tonight?”
         
“Uh, we’re out on a date.  Our first date.”  Joe stammered.
         
“That’s awesome.  Want to come in and see the place?”  I could not believe our luck.  Was he serious??  Following him, I took in everything.  The office, the studio – the things called “karts” that lined the walls, and record albums everywhere.  I knew about the karts – they were like 8-tracks but shorter, each held a commercial and had to be played in a special player.  I’d spent a little bit of time with my sister in the production studio at KVHS, a student station that I’d later grow up to manage. 
         
Holding up his hand to silence us, he grabbed at the microphone again.  Introducing the next song, he pushed a button and the record began to spin, needle already in place.  Then I just about fainted at his next words.
         
“How’d you kids like to be on the air?”
         
Joe looked over at me, turning red – something I came to discover happened quite easily with him. 
         
“Are you serious?!” I gushed.  “What would we say??” 
         
“It’ll be easy.  I’ll ask you a couple of questions, and we’ll introduce the song together, okay?”
         
The next two minutes were agonizing as he placed a bulky headset on each of us, so that we could hear what the listeners would.  We moved in close to the second microphone across the console from Rick.  Joe’s leg twitched nervously.
         
“What songs you guys like?  Got a favorite?  How about Air Supply?”  Our heads nodded up and down as the current song came to a close.  Rick put his mouth up close to the spongy mic, as I’d seen my sister and her friends do.  “I’ve got Joe and Kymberlie here in the studio with me, a couple of young lovers out on the town.  What brings you kids here to the Willows tonight?”
         
Joe couldn’t find his voice to speak, so I stepped up.  “We’re on a date.” 
         
“Our first date.” he offered.
         
“Where did you go to?”  Rick looked at us with a smile of encouragement. 
         
“Chuck E. Cheese.  With our friends.”
         
“Great place to be on a Friday night!  So, your first date – how old are you two?” 
         
“Fifteen.” came out in unison.
         
“Are you in love yet?”  We both blushed profusely and stared downward.  “Ah!  The nervous pause.  Well here’s hoping it’s just a first date of many.”  And as he trailed off the Air Supply song Lost In Love was already playing.  Turning off the microphones, we removed our headsets.  “That was fantastic!”
Afterward, he showed us a few things, mainly answering my questions about things I saw around the studio.  We finally excused ourselves when I looked at my watch and noted the time. 
         
Stepping out into the night air, I chattered on and on about our adventure.  As we stood in the moonlight with another love song serenading us, Joe leaned forward and kissed me.  Innocently, I wasn’t sure how to react.  My head was swimming from all of the exhilaration of the night.  We sank down to a grassy knoll to sit until my grandfather pulled up in the blue Ford Monarch.  Sliding in to the white leather back seat, I spilled it all out. 
         
“Grandpa!  We were on the radio!” and I told him everything. 
         
“Huh.  Well, that sounds like fun!”  Unlike my grandmother, who would have lectured us for leaving the pizza parlor, Grandpa was much more lenient about these things. 
         
Our hands found each other again on the ride home, quietly so as Grandpa wouldn’t see.  My smile was bigger and brighter than the moon, I was sure of it. 
         
My crush on KKIS, and Rick, lasted much longer than the one with Joe.  By school year’s end, we were over.  We didn’t stay lost in love, but at the time, the sadness seemed to go on forever. 

‘Til the next infatuation came along, anyway. 
        
“Now I’m lost in love, but I don’t know much.  Was I thinking aloud, and fell out of touch?  But I’m back on my feet…”




© Kymberlie Ingalls, March 3, 2011
Lyrics:  “Lost In Love” – Air Supply