half is better than none

Juno Aspects
  • Juno in aspect to any planet can mean you will tend to attract a partner who has traits of the sign that planet rules. For instance, Juno aspecting Mars could attract you to an Aries type.
  • Juno Aspects the Sun: There will be a tendency to attract showy, dramatic, Leo types of partners. Conversely, this person could themselves become more showy and dramatic after marriage. The harmonious aspects (conjunction, sextile, and trine) can act in a similar fashion to Venus. They increase the charm and social graces to a degree. But Juno goes further. It can give one an air of innocence. We like people with Venus in conjunction the Sun because they are charming. Those with Juno in harmonious aspect to the Sun are liked because they are "cute." The stressful aspects, however, are indicators of ego conflicts with partners. Frequently, there are big problems with getting and holding on to a partner. In many cases, there is no desire to have a partner at all. Demetra George in her excellent book Asteroid Goddesses quotes Gloria Steinhem's famous answer to the question "Why didn't you ever get married?" Steinhem (who has the Sun in Aries square Juno in Capricorn) replied, "I don't mate well in captivity."
  • Juno Aspects the Moon: The attraction will be to emotional and nurturing partners, and domestic types. At least they will tend to be nurturing with the harmonious aspects conjunction, sextile and trine. The stressful aspects (square and opposition) can indicate a clash between your emotional and partnership needs. You could get a partner who is over-emotional or whines a lot. Conversely, the partner could bring out those traits in you.
  • Juno Aspects Mercury: Well, your partner won't be quiet. Forget the silent type. Anyone who marries you will have to communicate, communicate, communicate. The harmonious aspects (conjunction, sextile and trine) indicate good communication between the two of you. It could also show that your ability to communicate improves with partnership. The stressful aspects (square and opposition) can indicate communication problems with partners. One of you may try to stifle the other here because you both want to talk at once.
  • Juno Aspects Venus: The attraction will be to a charming partner with good artistic ability and taste. At least that will tend to be true for the harmonious aspects (conjunction, sextile and trine). The stressful aspects (square and opposition) could attract a lazy, slothful, and indolent partner. Partnership could also bring out these traits in you. With stressful aspects, there will tend to be a clash between your partnership needs (Juno) and your ability to express love and affection (Venus). As a result, you might find it difficult to express love to your partner (or vice-versa) and would seek to do this elsewhere. Years ago, there was a TV program called "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" which was a satire on soap operas. Mary's husband had affairs with all the other women in town and was impotent only with her.
  • Juno Aspects Mars: Marriage and partnership will stir you to action. In fact, you may need a partner to be active at all. The partners you attract will tend to be active, assertive, and aggressive. Conversely, having a partner may bring out these traits in you. The stressful aspects (conjunction, square, and opposition) are indicators of arguments with partners. One of you may try to dominate the other.
  • Juno Aspects Jupiter: The partner will tend to be expansive optimistic, and "jovial" (jovial comes from Jove, Jupiter). Marriage and partnerships will also have an expansive effect on you. Yes, it can make you more optimistic. Watch out that it doesn't make you fat as well. At least this will be true for the harmonious aspects (conjunction, sextile and trine). The stressful aspects (square, and opposition) can attract an over-optimistic partner who is always expecting their "lucky break" to be right around the corner. There could also be a clash over religious or philosophical differences. The over-expansiveness could also apply to extra-marital affairs. If you have a stress aspect between Juno and Jupiter, either you or your partner might think that the "to have, hold, and love" part of the marriage vow means anyone whom you fancy at the moment.
  • Juno Aspects Saturn: The partners will tend to be older (in spirit if not in actual years). With the harmonious aspects (sextile and trine) partners are likely to be solid, practical, and dependable, but, unless there are other indicators, don't expect them to be the life of the party. Conversely, partnership could bring out the solid, practical, and dependable side of you.The stressful aspects (conjunction, square, and opposition) may cause marriage to be delayed, or even denied. If you have this one, try not to get married before your first Saturn Return (which occurs around the age of twenty nine). Stressful aspects between Juno and Saturn can have a similar effect to Saturn placed in the 7th house. An early marriage (before the Saturn Return) will slowly decay until there is no affection left and the marriage collapses. Juno/Saturn stress aspects can also indicate someone who makes a bad marriage for "practical" reasons, such as security. They will also be prone to stay in a bad marriage to protest their social image, or because "a half a loaf is better than none." As if there is anything "practical" about having a bad marriage! These people have to learn to cut their losses and make a fresh start.
  • Juno Aspects Uranus: If you have this combination in your horoscope (especially the stressful aspects, the conjunction, square, or opposition) I have a question for you. Let's say you walk into a room where there are twenty people, and nineteen of them are sane and normal, but the twentieth person either escaped from an insane asylum or just got off of a UFO, guess which one you would be most likely to marry? (Hint: it's not the first nineteen). Uranus always has to be Different. When Juno aspects Uranus, the partner or the partnership has to be different. With the harmonious aspects (sextile and trine) you don't get into as much trouble. The partner will tend to be independent, or very bright, or a bit odd. The partnership itself will likely be more "open" with each partner doing their own thing and going their own way. Uranus is fanatic about having enough of its own space. The stressful aspects can lead to several marriages. Elizabeth Taylor has Juno in Cancer square Uranus in Aries (Uranus is also in a close conjunction with Venus). Years ago, Julian Armistead gave a lecture on her chart. He had several of the press clippings that quoted her at the time of her marriages. Her first marriage to Nick Hilton: "I've never known it was possible to be this much in love. This is going to last forever." Her second marriage a couple of years later to Michael Wilding: "This time, it's the real thing. This is going to last forever." Her fifth marriage to - well who can keep track? "This time I mean it. It's the real thing." Juno in Cancer always wants it to last "forever" and Uranus always makes you think it's the "real thing." If you have a Juno/Uranus stress aspect, don't rush into marriage. And forget about having a partnership that is conventional. It would bore you to tears - and divorce. Make sure that you and your partner each has enough "space." It helps if one of you travels a lot (Uranus aspects are perfect for bi-costal marriages). Absence for this combination truly makes the heart grow fonder.
  • Juno Aspects Neptune: If you have a stressful aspect (conjunction, square, or opposition) between Juno and Neptune, please, PLEASE do not marry someone because you feel sorry for them or because you want to "save" them. Remember this magic number. If you do, you will never again have the problem of getting into a marriage for the wrong reasons. Please memorize it. It's 911. Dial that and have them taken away so they can be helped by a professional. Then, get into therapy yourself to cure your masochism. On the positive side especially with the harmonious aspects (sextile and trine) the partner will tend to be sensitive, empathetic, and imaginative. Marriage and partnership can also bring out these same traits in you. In all cases, there will be an inclination to over idealize the partner, to see what we want to see about them.
  • Juno Aspects Pluto: Partners will tend to be intense and secretive. Sex can be volcanic. Pluto is the planet of extremes, death, and transformation. Either your power or that of your partner will be affected by marriage. One of you is likely to be transformed in some way. The harmonious aspects (sextile and trine) can bring out a strength you never thought you had. The stressful aspects (conjunction, square, and opposition) will bring out strength too, in the form of dictatorial attitudes and power struggles. One of you will try to dominate the other. The feelings towards the partner can easily go from "I love you" to "I hate you" to "I'm obsessed with you." Even if the two of you break up, this will be the partner you never forget (for better or worse).
  • Juno Aspects the Ascendant: Juno in conjunction with the Ascendant makes us more attractive, like Venus. But while Venus uses charm, Juno attracts by giving us an air of innocence, like that of a young baby. This trait is also present with the other harmonious aspects (sextile and trine) but not quite as strong. The opposition is not a stressful aspect here. Remember that an opposition to the Ascendant is also a conjunction to the Descendant. The conjunction to the Ascendant makes a person more marriage oriented, especially if Juno is in the 1st house. If Juno is on the 12th house side of the Ascendant, however, then there will still be an increased desire to marry, but there will be increased restrictions of some sort (see Juno in the 12th house). With the square aspect of Juno to the Mid-Heaven, there would tend to be extra stress in marriage that requires constant adjustment and re-adjustment. At least it will not be dull.
  • Juno Aspects the Mid-Heaven: Aspects to the Mid-Heaven affect one's career and "public image." Juno-ruled careers include marriage councilor and people who work in organizations that try to prevent wife-battering and child abuse. Like Venus, Juno has an attraction for all occupations that involve beauty and adornment. This also includes anything involving the arts. When it comes to career, it doesn't matter if an aspect to the Mid-Heaven is harmonious or stressful. In fact, the stressful aspects can frequently bring greater success since they generate more power. Those with harmonious aspects may take it too easy and not push hard enough.
Once a Frat Boy, Always a Frat Boy. | Calum Hood - Part 8.

Summary: In which a new student, (Y/N), finds herself becoming the toy to popular frat boy Calum Hood. The only problem is that (Y/N) was warned about Calum her first day on campus, and Calum just so happens to be dating (Y/N)’s best friend, Callie Mitchell. She hates him. She hates him more than she’s hated anyone ever before; however, she can’t help the growing feeling inside of her stomach after she finds out some very interesting things about Calum that no one had ever known before.

Rating: PG

Pairing: Calum/Reader (bonding?)

Requested?: Yes. :’)

A/N: This is more like a filler chapter. The next one will be better, I promise! Please keep reading, this series is close to half way over. :(

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breathe mingling, a whispered wish beyond reach
               {dying embers spark with life} 

                          what if, what may, what could be
                   eyes slide shut, oh dare to dream
           a dream is real so long you sleep

{love lost is half tragic as love never found}
                      half a whole is better than none
but stings bittersweet once you have gone

Dandelion

part of the “Goddamn, I fucking love that girl.” series

Negan x Number 6 (reader - Y/N)

Y/N=your name

Ne - Number 6′s nickname for Negan

Negan language, sexy talk

1200 words ~ added keep reading because of this

Note: I’ve been in kind of a bad place, so this fic is a touch self-indulgent, sorry!

Want on or off my taglist? Just let me know!

@mypapawinchester @kijilinn @may85  @mamapeterson @flames-bring-a-ton-of-ash @negandarylsatisfaction @rapsity @strangersangel9 @wickednerdery @hannibalssweaters @ladylorelitany @angelak72081 @scarygoodfanfics @superpinkkcat @gageef @ericas-negan77 @miss-nori85 @ali-pennell @smuttwd @purplejellybean @concertxjunkie @magical-spit  @jotilpip @thedeadwalks @negantrashlucille23 @johnthackerys

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randomnessandfantasy  asked:

Kimura's medicine's able to revive Kirigiri.

Passing the Fourth Time Limit

Four people fell unconscious and only three of them woke up.

Kirigiri was the excepteion. She was doomed to never wake up after the fourth time limit passed. She knew this for a fact ever since she had first checked her NG code. There was just no way for her to circumvent her forbidden rule nor did she want to even try. That’s why she had long accepted that no matter what, her forbidden rule would be triggered. It was also part of her hopes to have it triggered in the first place because that would mean Naegi’s survival.

It was precisely because she had calmly accepted her situation that she was able to think through it. She took precautionary measures in the event that she did pass away. She investigated and wrote everything down in a notebook that might assist the rest of the survivors.

And she also took a gamble in trying to bypass the code. Cure W.

There’s no guarantee that she’d survive with this medicine, she’s not even completely sure of what its sideeffects were, but it was a risk she was willing to take. After all, she had nothing to lose and she only had her life to regain.

So she held onto this hope.

Sobs filled her senses as she slowly regained consciousness. Her body felt heavy and at the same time it felt like nothing at all. To be specific, she had lost all feeling from her whole left side. She tried to open her eyes but only her right eye complied. It seemed that the medicine had saved her. However, it was only half of her.

But half was still better than none at all.

“Kirigiri!” Cried Naegi’s blurry face.

“Kyouko!” Shouted Asahina from out of her vision.

And it’s only when two of her most precious friends embrace her that she could confirm without a doubt that she survived. She was still with them. She was alive. Despite losing all feeling from her left side, it didn’t diminish the feeling of relief that washed over her. She felt very much alive in this moment and not even the aftereffects of the poison could take that away from her.

For the fourth time limit, four people fell unconscious in a room and exactly four people woke up.

Love to Hate Fanfic - Request Sunday #20

~The Fanfic for today´s Request Sunday is based on the following Request~

You struggled making this decision but in the end you had to admit, that this was definitely the best way. On the positive side you could finally spend some quality time with Phil and had the opportunity to experience London with a real Londoner. On the downside spending time with Phil and staying at his place also meant spending time with his roommate Dan. You really tried getting along with Dan but every time the two of you ended up fighting and arguing about something. This guy was seriously getting on your nerves and for some reason he seems to know exactly how to make you mad. But for the sakes of spending time with Phil and saving a lot of money for not staying at a hotel you decided to just go for it.

The first day wasn´t even that bad. Both boys picked you up from the airport and Dan even gave you a hug, a half-hearted one, but better than none, you thought. Together you went back to their apartment to drop your luggage before they showed you around London. You did all the touristy stuff and actually had a lot of fun together. You ended the day with some Nandos and watching a movie. From there it went pretty downhill. The next morning you had an argument with Dan about cereal, then about where to go first, where to eat. The argument about where to eat evolved into an argument about music, from there it went to movies, the concept of free choice and from there to the existence of humanity. At the end of the day you were exhausted and angry. This was not how you imagined your weekend in London and you felt sorry for Phil because he had to deal with your arguments.

You´re lying awake at night still thinking about all the fights you had with Dan that day. Phil already went to bed but you can still hear Dan rummaging in his room. You struggle for a moment before jumping out of bed and quietly walking down the stairs. You carefully knock on Dan´s door.

“Come in.” he says quietly and you carefully open the door. “Oh, it´s you.” He adds as he looks up from his laptop. ‘Great start’ you think and repress an annoyed sigh.

“Yeah I wanted to talk to you about today.” You say conciliatory. Dan puts his laptop to the side and stands up from the bed. “Did you finally come to realise you´ve been wrong with everything.” He asks in a sarcastic tone raising his eyebrow. You look at him in shock and immediately feel yourself exploding inside. You take deep breath. “How dare you, you little narcissistic, rude, quarrelsome, temperamental smart aleck.” You spit out, almost yelling the last words. With every word you say Dan comes closer until he´s only inches away from you. “Are you done?” he asks. You nod, starring right back into his eyes, feeling the anger inside your stomach burn. Suddenly Dan puts his hands on your cheeks and kisses you. He momentarily breaks away and breathes “It really turns me own when you give me contra.” before pressing his lips on yours again. You´re startled by his sudden outburst but instinctively let yourself sink into the kiss. His kiss is rough and passionate. He´s biting your lip and pressing his so hard against yours it almost hurts. You can feel the anger inside you turn into passion and you wrap your arms around his body, pulling him closer to you, responding to his actions just as roughly. He instantly reacts to your touch, lifting you up and almost throwing you onto the bed. He gets on top of you and starts to undress you almost tearing your clothes from your body.

Quickly you start to undress him, throwing his clothes on the floor. You press your body against his skin and wrap your legs around his waist, letting him push inside you without hesitation. Dan presses his lips back against your to repress a moan as he pushes his hard member inside you. Flooded with lust and desire you scratch his back, leaving thin marks on his soft skin. Dan pushes you hard onto the mattress. You tighten the grip around his back, twine your legs around his waist and push him over, putting you on top. It´s like your fight went from being verbal to being sexual as you´re both fighting for dominance. But you can´t deny how good it feels to be fucked by Dan like this and his passionate husky moans tell you he´s feeling the same way. “If I´m actually doing this I might as well enjoy it.” You think and close your eyes as you rhythmically let yourself sink on his cock. Dan throws his head back in pleasure, his back arches and you need to tightly grab his arms not to fall off, leaving scratches all over them too. It feels like Dan´s cock got even harder and you know he can´t take it any longer. You lean over him and make eye contact for a second, before kissing him and pushing is cock deep inside you over and over again. Dan slips a moan between kisses and you both come in pure ecstasy.

Exhausted you collapse next to Dan. Your breath is going quick and the places where Dan grabbed you are feeling a bit sore. You scan the floor around the bed for your clothes, when Dan softly places his hand on your shoulder. You turn around and your eyes meet his warm brown ones. “Would you stay?” he asks in a soft tone. You hesitate for a moment. Even though the sex just was amazing, it was still Dan. It might be peaceful now but who knows what tomorrows going to be like. You´ll probably get back to fighting. You just love to hate each other. You search Dan´s eyes for emotions but they are just as hard to read as always. You sigh and sink back onto the pillow. Yes, you´ll probably keep fighting tomorrow, but that´s tomorrow and now you´re just tired. Too tired to deal with this problem right now. Dan wraps you in his arms and covers you both with his blanket, before turning off the light. He rests his head lightly above yours. “You know that I was still right with everything.” He whispers sarcastically but in a soft tone. You don´t bother to answer.  

anonymous asked:

Hi, i'm the Stannis last ask answered. Tell me, what problems would arise Stannis kingship pre-character development? Also, when I said about Stannis, I stressed that he was right as COUNSELLOR of Robert, and that therefore, he would make quite good as king without character development because... I don't see him being an Aerys II or an Aegon IV or II

Ah, my bad for misunderstanding then. And no, I agree, Stannis wouldn’t end up being an Aerys II or an Aegon IV, his vices don’t run in those directions. 

As I hope I outlined in my original answer, the problem with pre-character development Stannis is that he’s running on bad logic, and that’s an issue whether he’s a king or a counsellor to the king, I’m sorry to say. We can see the bad results of that bad logic in book two, which is a case study for why Stannis would not make a good king at that point.

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Bernie’s Movement

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman yesterday warned Bernie supporters that change doesn’t happen with “transformative rhetoric” but with “political pragmatism” – “accepting half loaves as being better than none.” He writes that it’s dangerous to prefer “happy dreams (by which he means Bernie) to hard thinking about means and ends (meaning Hillary).”

Krugman doesn’t get it. I’ve been in and around Washington for almost fifty years, including a stint in the cabinet, and I’ve learned that real change happens only when a substantial share of the American public is mobilized, organized, energized, and determined to make it happen. 

Political “pragmatism” may require accepting “half loaves” – but the full loaf has to be large and bold enough in the first place to make the half loaf meaningful. That’s why the movement must aim high – toward a single-payer universal health, free public higher education, and busting up the biggest banks, for example. 

But not even a half loaf is possible unless or until we wrest back power from the executives of large corporations, Wall Street bankers, and billionaires who now control the whole bakery. Which means getting big money out of politics and severing the link between wealth and political power – the central goal of the movement Bernie is advancing.

anonymous asked:

Oh gosh, I'm so sorry about that! I was hoping for drabble #50 of either of the two. Sorry!

Sorry for the misunderstanding, I didn’t really read it carefully enough!

My choice: 48. “Boo.”

You had no idea why this Alexander Hamilton bug bit Lin so hard. It was simply a book he read on the beach while you sunbathed next to him. Sometimes he would read a passage, which you would hum at.

Nearly two years later, and he sat at his piano everyday. You hadn’t seen him like this since he was making final edits to ‘Bring It On’.

“Babe, listen to this.” He insisted as you walked by with a cup of coffee in your hands.

He sang quietly, playing softly, the noise barely ringing though your apartment. He finished, watching your reaction as you carefully sipped your hot coffee.

“Boo,” You said, giggling as his face dropped, “It’s good. But you know it’s not right.”

“How isn’t it right?”

“I don’t know. You’re asking me, who knows nothing about music, for approval. You know it’s not right.” He sighed, tapping at the keys aimlessly, “I like this one.” You pointed to a certain lyric, “Keep that.”

“Out of the whole song, you only like that part?” He snatched your coffee from you, chugging down half the cup.

“Better than none of it.” You threw back, smirking as he grumbled to himself, circling only the part you had pointed out. “Come on. Take a break.”

His face lit up, struck with something and was immediately lost in his piano and countless music sheets again. You smiled as he worked, pencil in his mouth, hands on the keys.

Run away with us for the summer, let’s go upstate.” He sang, glancing at you. You nodded, patting his back before returning to the kitchen to brew a new pot of coffee for your hardworking husband.

Prompt requested from the Drabble Game!

The Most Pragmatic Way to Fix American Democracy

he Democratic contest has repeatedly been characterized as a choice between Hillary Clinton’s “pragmatism” and Bernie Sanders’s “idealism” – with the not-so-subtle message that realists choose pragmatism over idealism.

But this way of framing the choice ignores the biggest reality of all: the unprecedented, and increasing, concentration of income, wealth and power at the very top, combined with declining real incomes for most and persistent poverty for the bottom fifth.

The real choice isn’t “pragmatism” or “idealism.” It’s either allowing these trends to worsen, or reversing them. Inequality has reached levels last seen in the era of the “robber barons” in the 1890s. The only truly pragmatic way of reversing this state of affairs is through a “political revolution” that mobilizes millions of Americans.

Is such a mobilization possible? One pundit recently warned Democrats that change happens incrementally, by accepting half loaves as being better than none. That may be true, but the full loaf has to be large and bold enough in the first place to make the half loaf meaningful. And not even a half loaf is possible unless or until America wrests back power from the executives of large corporations, Wall Street bankers and billionaires who now control the bakery.

I’ve been in and around Washington for almost 50 years, including a stint in the cabinet, and I’ve learned that real change happens only when a substantial share of the American public is mobilized, organized, energized and determined to make it happen. That’s more the case now than ever.

The other day Bill Clinton attacked Sanders’s proposal for a single-payer health plan as unfeasible and a “recipe for gridlock.” But these days, nothing of any significance is politically feasible and every bold idea is a recipe for gridlock. This election is about changing the parameters of what’s feasible and ending the choke hold of big money on our political system. In other words, it’s about power – whether the very wealthy who now have it will keep it, or whether average Americans will get some as well.

How badly is political power concentrated in America among the very wealthy? A study published in the fall of 2014 by two of America’s most respected political scientists, Princeton professor Martin Gilens and Northwestern’s Benjamin Page, suggests it’s extremely concentrated.

Gilens and Page undertook a detailed analysis of 1,799 policy issues, seeking to determine the relative influence on them of economic elites, business groups, mass-based interest groups and average citizens. Their conclusion was dramatic: “The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically nonsignificant impact upon public policy.” Instead, Gilens and Page found that lawmakers respond almost exclusively to the moneyed interests – those with the most lobbying prowess and deepest pockets to bankroll campaigns.

I find it particularly sobering that Gilens and Page’s data came from the period 1981 to 2002. That was before the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United opinion, which opened the floodgates to big money in politics, and before the explosion of Super Pacs and secretive “dark money” whose sources do not have to be disclosed by campaigns. It stands to reason that if average Americans had a “near-zero” impact on public policy then, the influence of average Americans is now zero.

Most Americans don’t need a detailed empirical study to convince them of this. They feel disenfranchised, and angry toward a political-economic system that seems rigged against them. This was confirmed for me a few months ago when I was on book tour in America’s heartland, and kept hearing from people who said they were trying to make up their minds in the upcoming election between supporting Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.

At first I was incredulous. After all, Sanders and Trump are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. It was only after several discussions that I began to understand the connection. Most of these people said they were incensed by “crony capitalism,” by which they meant political payoffs by big corporations and Wall Street banks that result in special favors such as the Wall Street bailout of 2008.

They wanted to close tax loopholes for the rich, such as the special “carried interest” tax break for hedge-fund and private-equity partners. They wanted to reduce the market power of pharmaceutical companies and big health insurers, which they thought resulted in exorbitant prices. They were angry about trade treaties that they characterized as selling-out American workers while rewarding corporate executives and big investors.

Somewhere in all this I came to see what’s fueling the passions of voters in the 2016 election. If you happen to be one of the tens of millions of Americans who are working harder than ever but getting nowhere, and you feel the system is rigged against you and in favor of the rich and powerful, you will go in one of two directions.

Either you will be attracted to an authoritarian bigot who promises to make America great again by keeping out people different from you and recreating high-paying jobs in America. Someone who sounds like he won’t let anything or anybody stand in his way, and who’s so rich he can’t be bought off.

Or you’ll be attracted to a political activist who tells it like it is, who has lived by his convictions for 50 years, who won’t take a dime of money from big corporations or Wall Street or the very rich, and who is leading a grass-roots “political revolution” to regain control over our democracy and economy. In other words, you will be enticed either by a would-be dictator who promises to bring power back to the people, or by a movement leader who asks you to join together with others to bring power back to the people.

Of the two, I would prefer the latter. But what about the “pragmatic” Hillary Clinton? I have worked closely with her and have nothing but respect for her. In my view, she’s clearly the most qualified candidate for president of the political system we now have.

But the political system we now have is profoundly broken. Bernie Sanders is the most qualified candidate to create the political system we should have because he’s leading a political movement for change.

Lanterns

1.
“You’re used to small women.”

The room smelled like warm salt and he had his hand on her hip, fingertips curled against the bone beneath the skin. They’d stopped moving several minutes ago, but holding on still felt like it made sense.

“The way you touch me,” She said, voice gravelly from speaking in tongues, “Like you’re surprised.”

“Maybe I’m just in awe.” He said and bit the back of her neck until purrs drowned objection.

2.
He’d first seen her on the subway and fell into bright pools between wavy black curtains. He was afraid to speak, only watched while she played with her hair in the mirror of the far train window. She watched herself against the rushing tunnel stone, fingers over and over again brought a thick lock to her mouth only to drop it before it met teeth.

3.
The place was filthy. Smelled like solvent. Still, she walked around the loft in her bare feet. By the time she left the bottoms would be black. Her fingers curled in the handle of the mug of coffee he’d given her, one of only two in the house. It was green. She went to one of the big windows covered in cracking paint, the sun hazing through the dust. In a shaft of light she looked down at the floor. In the dust was a footprint. Not his. Not hers. She glanced at him, head cocked and then lifted her foot, placed it over the print.

When she lifted her foot the print was gone, hers in its place.

“I thought so.” She said.

4.
Never spoke to her. Still, he knew he’d see her again.

Don’t know where else she would have showed up, he thought, trying to sound like Bogart, only two bars down here. Fifty-fifty, flip a coin, half-odds. Half odds are better than none, and even though he talked to her, he could have sworn that when he flipped the coin it landed on its edge.

Even in that dim, shitty bar her eyes glowed.
Not like a cat’s, not scary and empty like a lizards. Sunlight stared at through amber was too poetic. Two lights. They looked like two lights.

“Lights of an oncoming fucking train,” he chuckled into his glass.

“What’s so funny?” She asked him, long fingers wrapped around a glass of scotch and ice.

5.
She never sat a chair straight, seemed to come at the world at angles, even when at rest. Legs cocked over the rickety hand rest. One heel on the seat. A knee by her face, maybe her leg on the table. He sat on the other side, the old battered wood like detente between them and stared at a calf muscle that looked like it had taken a thousand years for the wind to carve. The chair looked foolish trying to contain her. It reminded him of something, but he couldn’t remember what.

She was tall. Wore flat shoes but did not slouch. Tough guys shook her hand and said things like “Jesus Christ.”

In the center of his studio she twirled, slow under the ugly, overhead lights that he used to paint. Even under those brutal bulbs… He let the notion slip away.

“This place could be mine, you know?” She asked.

“What?”

“I like to spin, to see all the colors at once.” She demonstrated, twirling between his paintings, a miniature ballerina in a battered music box.

“You’re a spooky woman, you know that?”

She smiled and immediately brought her fingers to her lips to stroke them, as if she was unused to the expression.

“Just because you’re mystified doesn’t make me spooky.”

“Uh huh.” She was too beautiful, too fascinating, mostly it was all too new for him to roll his eyes, but he wanted to.

6.
“I’m never coming back.”

She posed on the landing and he stood in the doorway, watching the place where her black, black hair met the dark wool of her cassock. She looked like she was preparing to step into an impossibly chic sandstorm.

“What do you mean?” He asked.

“You’re using me to cover up somebody else. I won’t have it.”

“I don’t…”

“No, I guess you don’t.” She said and swept down the stairs.

And she never did come back, nor did he see her again. Just another crazy girl, he thought, projecting her own confusion out onto the world and calling it mystery. Every time he reminded himself of that he remembered her bringing her bare foot down over the smaller print in the dust by the window, and he stepped on the lie before it could leave rust on his heart.