Mitchell's Mustard Blog

February 29, 2016

She Got That From Her Mother

Filed under: A Little Something — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 9:30 pm

It was either the nausea, or the pain streaming through his head that woke him. Before he opened his eyes he knew things weren’t okay. With all the telltale signs around him, it was his gut feeling that put him in panic mode. Knowing he was awake but feeling like he was dreaming, he would pinch himself but movement was limited. Frustrated that his body was ignoring his commands, like a child with no control. His lungs rebelling as his chest squeezed tight, looking for the biting point, the line of no return. Finding it hard to concentrate, like distracted adolescence. The pain, enclosed breathing space, a loud humming from a distance. All the things playing hide and seek with his senses added to his confused train of thought. His mind jumping back and forth, current to past. The uncomfortable seat he was slouched in, the smile on his daughter’s face. The fear of opening his eyes, his wife holding his hand.

Feeling his chest start to pulse, liquid leaving his mouth and nose. It felt like a memory, but the realisation kicked in with the damp feeling in his lap. Is this a dream? If so, he wanted to wake up now. He felt guilty, confused because he didn’t know what for. Feeling his throat wheeze reminded him of his father, he had smoked for years against everyone’s complaints and concerns, his father’s whistle. The memory stuck with him while he slipped deeper into the dark. Remembering the anguish across her face, the sound of his daughter crying his name as he left. Tears found their way down his face through sealed eyes, his nose burning.

You only regret making a decision once it’s too late, no energy to turn back time. His life slipping away through his pores. He remembered attaching the pipe to the exhaust of the car, taking a look at life outside before he closed the garage door and sealed himself in. His mind was fighting but his body refused to react. Fatigued, frightened, alone. His final thought was of his daughter, she was beautiful, strong. She got that from her mother.   

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November 9, 2014

The Log Cabin

Filed under: Just a Thought — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 6:02 pm

The mountain range was beautiful at this time in the morning, the sun licked every curve, every crevice, beating the shadows back into their own corners of damp and loneliness. This was one of the selling points for the log cabin. He, being a writer, loved how secluded it felt, high in the mountains, surrounded by trees and earths elements. She, being his wife and decision maker, loved this view. It had been ten years since they had made the decision, they had never regretted it. He had spent many mornings standing in the kitchen, looking through the window at this view. His wife was sat in her usual spot, outside on the decking, coffee on the table, watching the sun paint images onto the mountains as the new day began. They hadn’t been to the cabin for a while, he was busy with a book tour, she was busy being a secondary school teacher. He knew this was probably be the last time she would see this view, the last time they would be there together.

He stepped through the french doors onto the decking with his coffee in hand, took a seat next to his wife.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” he said
“Errr, yes, I guess” she replied looking confused
“Are you okay, darling?”
“Where are we?” she looked startled, confused, and a little scared. He had seen these facial expressions quite a lot over the last six months, he would never get used to them.
“We’re at the cabin, darling. You know, in the mountains”
She took a moment to look around, her personal space, realisation started to spread across her face.
“Well of course I know we’re at the cabin, but, why are we here?”
“I just thought it would be nice to come up for a couple of days, fresh air, beautiful views, a little thinking space”
She reached across the table and took his hand in hers, she smiled, the smile that wrapped him up in cotton wool and emotion.
“Of course, of course, it was a lovely idea my darling, thank you” she said with a smile.
They sat and watched the sky pass, the colours turn, true beauty unveiled right before their eyes. The sound of nature surrounded them, the sounds that he often thought he could hear when alone in another lonely hotel room on tour.
“I do love you” she broke the human silence
“I love you too my darling, so much” he felt a tear build behind his glasses.
“I know I’m ill, I know why we’re here, thank you”
She was always the observant one of the duo, she was known as the clever clogs, a private joke between the two of them.
“What are you going to do?” she asked
“What do you mean? What am I going to do?” he looked at her puzzled
“You know . . . When I don’t remember” she said putting on a brave face, she knew that if she was going down, she would go down strong and swinging.
“We don’t need to talk about this now, darling” he frowned
“I want you to always remember that you are my everything, my saviour, my love, my beggar, and my king. I need you to remember this, because, I know I won’t” she squeezed his hand and turned to look at the pictures on the mountains.
“Lets not talk about this, please. I’m going to get more coffee, you want a fill up?”
He stood up, took both of the mugs and headed into the kitchen. He flicked the kettle on and broke down. An overwhelming heartache took him under its wing, He cried like never before, trying to catch his breath while it tried to leave him, a paper butterfly in a wind tunnel. His body shook, like a possessed being. He knew this day would come, the day that her illness needed to be discussed in depth. He took a few minutes to dry his eyes, deep breaths, waiting for his heart to settle and his hands to stop shaking. He made their coffee as he watched her through the window, the love of his life, the reason he was strong, like an ox, it was all for her.

He stepped out onto the decking, placed the coffee on the table and rested back into his seat. she turned to look at him, her face confused and startled again.
“Where are we?” she asked
“We’re at the cabin, darling” he replied, his eyes started to well up again, his breathing heavy.
“Oh, of course we are, darling. Is that coffee for me?” she smiled
“Just for you, my love”
She took his hand in hers, turned her head to look at the view.
“This is a lovely view, isn’t it darling?” She smiled.

November 7, 2014

Home

Filed under: Just a Thought — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 9:46 pm

Her hair cascaded across the pillow, claiming its place. He tucked her hair behind her ear, like that of a curtain in a theatre, giving full visibility of the beauty behind. She held such strength, even as she slept, it was moments like this that he wanted to wake her up and tell her, tell her that he was happy, content, in love. He knew too well that by the time she was awake, the life they shared would cause him to forget. He knew that wasn’t an excuse, he knew that he should try harder to remember, but he also knew that this wasn’t the first time he had wanted to wake her before he forgot. As she lay naked, he admired her, she had the perfect balance of beauty and sexy, she often misplaced this fact, he never did. She would become coy if she woke and saw he was watching her, curling up under the duvet like a young, shy version of herself, but he could always see the smile in her eyes. As she stirred, she moved, place her head on his chest, entwined their legs, kissed the tattoos that coloured his torso. It didn’t matter where they woke up, where they had been, or where they were meant to be, that moment always felt like home. She is his wife, the mother of his children, his best friend, and forever his confidant. He would walk the earth, burn the sky, just to be home.

June 3, 2014

Skint and Sober

Filed under: A Little Something — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 6:22 pm

He sat, pondering on the things in front of him. The way things flowed past without his involvement. He could step forward and be part of the movement, the intimidating movement. It was the intimidating part that kept him in his seat, his weighted body, carrying the thoughts of yesterday and fears of tomorrow. His pint was sour. Before it had reached him, it was poured by beauty, a golden glow that enticed the many. In his hand, it was a weapon for his thoughts, a reason to sway in and out of a path he once stumbled. The days he was unstoppable, uncontrollable, invincible. It’s when the crowds stop cheering, your audience stops following, your band stops playing. It all changed, it all stopped, it was only his addictions that carried on. It had taken him years to conquer heroin, the substance that drained him of his money, his fame, his friends, but worst of all, his marriage. The rock that held him together walked out and left him with the only other rock he knew, the narcotic kind. He hadn’t seen his wife and children in nearly three years, he didn’t even know how to contact them. He feared she would one day see his name in the obituaries, and then keep turning the pages without a blink. His pride wished she knew that he was clean now. In the Hollywood life style in which he had been sold, she would come back to him, hold him and tell him all was ok. But he knew the Hollywood lifestyle was a farce, a rabbit hole he had tumbled down, with every bump, he had lost a little of him and gained a little of them. The ones that love and surround you until you’re skint and sober, dropped like a hat in a coastal wind.
The beauty that poured his last pint asked if he’d like another. Not realising he had finished the last, he had been rolling the empty glass between his palms, his wedding ring making a rhythmic chime. This is probably what caught her attention.
The new golden glow of the glass stared into his eyes, the cold on his hands, he thought of her.
He needed to pull his life together, find his family, recreate his existence. He told himself this everyday, but as always, the beauty behind the bar kept working, the stool he sat on stayed warm, and the golden glass kept staring into his soul. Once an addict, always an addict she had said. As always, she was right, wherever she was.

February 4, 2014

Lies for Lust

Filed under: A Little Something — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 6:36 pm

The twinkling of lights set sparks at the back of his eyes, the restaurant was bright and of bad taste. He waited, alone, full of thought. The evening’s entertainment would arrive shortly, he always liked to be early, to get a drink, to make sure the coast was clear. In many eyes, what he was doing, waiting for, was a bad thing. If the people close to him knew about this part of his life, he shuddered to think of the outcome.
His surroundings became louder as more people piled into the building, it was a Monday night and the place was heaving. On an average Monday night he was sure it would be quieter, enough to hear the chef whistle. It was a week before Christmas, the cheers of Christmas parties surrounding him, drunk middle-aged women with multi coloured party hats from cheap crackers, the office idiot trying his chances with the new receptionist.
Was this a great idea to meet here? He thought to himself, wherever they met, he always panicked to think that someone knew his wife, had seen a picture of him on her desk at work. The more people in the room, the greater the odds he thought.
A crack of laughter pulled him out of thought, he glared at the women across the room, wondered if this was how his wife acted at a Christmas party. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known someone, you never truly know them, he was walking proof. He had been married for twelve years, he loved his wife, the mother of his children, but she just didn’t quench his sexual thirst any more. She thought he was at a meeting, his usual weekly meeting. The ‘do not disturb’ part of his diary.
Since they had married the sex went downhill, his wife never moved from missionary position, hadn’t performed oral in years. It had become a task rather than a passion. Before children, before their marriage, she fucked like a Motley Crüe groupie, but that was years ago, things had changed. He used to speed home from work, cancel meetings, and rush deadlines, just to get back to her. He used to crave the feeling of her in his palms, the smell of her on his skin, her hair stroking his face as she rode above. The passion that once cocooned them, uncontrollable lust, he’d drop anything to pick her up, physically and mentally.
A sudden pang of sadness over took his thoughts, how their good times had fizzled out, they had lost their way, how they had changed. His mind often argued the case in whether over time they had grown apart, or if they were never meant to grow together in the first place.
He took another mouthful of his beer, staring at the office parties when he wasn’t glancing at his watch. This weekly secret made him feel young again, knowing he’d wake tomorrow full of thought about the next time. He had found a release for his lust, knowing that he’d never feel that way again about his wife. He sometimes wondered, if his wife knew, would she be happy for him because once again he had found the passion they once lost? He knew full well that the knowledge of his cheating would emotionally kill her, he loved her, he couldn’t put her through that, but he couldn’t stop.
“Hey” came a voice next to him
“Oh hey, I didn’t see you come in. Did you want to stay for a drink?” he replied
“Sorry I’m late, traffic’s awful. You look full of thought, you ok?”
“Just thinking of you” he replied smiling, waving to get the waitress over to their table.
He was excited, energy coursing through his body. Staring at his date, knowing he didn’t want to be anywhere else but here. He knew that the passion that lay dormant inside him had returned, he was happy, happy to be her with him.
“What drinks would you like, gentlemen?” said the waitress as she came to the table.

November 7, 2013

The Tartan Blanket

Filed under: My Work — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 5:30 pm

He spread the tartan picnic blanket out with care, making sure all corners were straight. Every year he used the same blanket to protect the importance of this tradition, it was used, washed then folded neatly and stored away until this day came around again. The tartan was laced with yellows and greens and over the years the colours had faded to give it a vintage look. He loved this blanket, not because of the colours, not because it was of an age, but because it was one of the first things that she had given him. He swept the loose mischievous blades of grass away with his hand, “she’ll be here soon” he told himself. Every year in the same spot this picnic was set, to a standard that she would approve.
The first time they discovered this spot was by chance. He had just moved to Cambridge and she came to visit. A romance by distance is hard for the strongest of relationships, but they were strong, she was his queen and nothing would stand in the way of that. They had spent the day walking around his new local area, stopping on a bridge that looked over the river Cam, they stood and they watched as the water passed below. He whispered love songs in to her ear to make her giggle, she was bashful about love. As he went to tickle her sides she ran to the steps next to the bridge, taking each one carefully in her heels. She made her way onto Jesus green and finally stopped, turning she expected him to still be on the bridge looking down at her, but he was hot on her tail. He took her by the waist, picked her up and spun her round as they both laughed. They eventually fell to the ground, laying on the grass entwined. They stopped laughing, they stared at each other, they smiled, they were in love. They spent that afternoon together sat on the bank of the river watching the water pass under the bridge, talking of future plans, not realising they would make an effort to watch the water pass this same spot on the same day each year. It was their spot.
He took a step back to view the layout of his affections, brushing his hands together as a sign of completion. Sitting down next to the picnic basket he considered opening the bottle of her favorite wine to accompany him while he waits, she wouldn’t have minded but he still felt that it would be rude to start without her. He tapped his fingers on top of the basket, some would think of it as impatient but she knew him better than that. He watched the river pass under the bridge, gently flowing past like that of his life, the occasional bit of debris twisting and tangling with its surroundings to give the water an uneven run. He sat, he watched, and he waited.
Each year they spent time at this spot talking about future plans, with each year that passed their plans became smaller but their achievements became bigger. She had moved to Cambridge, they lived in a small two bedroom house off Hills Road. The news that they were to become a family had come as a surprise, a good surprise. Nine months passed quickly and they welcomed Isabelle in to their lives, she was a quiet and adorable baby, giggles and brunette curls. The only thing that didn’t change from that moment on was the love this little family shared, his job, the money, their friends, it all spiraled around their beautiful little girl, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
He watched people pass by as he waited, the fruits of one existence viewing the many, remembering, romancing in the moment, and sympathizing. Loud disobedient children, just like their Isabelle had once been. The young and adventurous, who learn only by mistakes. Young couples holding hands, causing a smile to the happy, yet disapproving to the disgruntled lonely. And the old that take their time and refuse help, holding their pride higher than their health. He watched life, he waited, he smiled.
Isabelle grew quicker than they could have ever imagined, gone were the days of cuddles before bed, he missed the days of testing his imagination for a bedtime story, to watch her drift off to sleep as he explained how the prince and princess had met, or how they had saved their kingdom. He even missed pretending to eat and drink at one of her tea parties, he felt a little stupid when she insisted that they dine out in the street for all to see, but it was for her and he would do anything for her, that had never changed. Even through her troubled teens, the many broken curfews, the bad attitude, the long nights of waiting up for her to get home, in fear that something may have happened, dreading that phone call. He was never soft on punishment with her but he knew there wasn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for her, even when he was still upset.
He watched a Cambridge university rowing club across the river, synchronized movement by the crew pulling their racing shell from the clubhouse into the water without a hitch. This was a common pastime for many while sat on the bank of the river Cam, something he had watched with interest over years while he waited for her. He liked to reminisce about his wife, from the moment they met she was destined to occupy his mind, even when she wasn’t there. When he proposed to her he had sent the ring through the post to their home address so it wasn’t expected. He fondly remembered her face, how it turned from surprise, to a smile, to tears. She said yes as soon as she could find the words. Remembering the funny faces she used to pull at baby Isabelle to make her giggle when she thought he wasn’t watching, he never told her that he saw her.
She had started to lose a lot of weight, she looked drained. As stubborn as a mule but she knew something was wrong. By the time she had her first checkup, the cancer was diagnosed at its most advanced stage. That was the day it all changed, the day everything came crashing down. She closed up, his queen had become vacant, she had disappeared out of the back door, just leaving someone who looked like his wife behind. All communication had left, it took the playful smiles, the infectious laugh and her comical wit. A shell of the woman he loved, she had given up before the first bell, that’s what tore him apart the most.The last goodbye was the hardest part, to bury his queen, to be alone knowing that she will be waiting for him, alone.
He was staring at the water day dreaming when he felt movement next to him on the blanket, she had silently arrived. As he gazed at her his heart started to pound against his old and tired ribs. It had been three years and he missed his wife that little bit more every day that passed, she still occupied his mind, even though she wasn’t there. Caught in the right light, the resemblance was flawless, Isabelle looked like her mother. The same facial expressions that would always melt his heart. He loved spending time with his daughter, because little parts of his wife lived on in her. Just like her mother, she had grown to become an amazing woman. His heart swelled with pride.

September 2, 2013

A Life to Bury

Filed under: A Little Something — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — mitchellsmustard @ 6:29 pm

You could smell the whisky on his breath, but you couldn’t see the loathing behind his eyes, the loathing of the job in hand. The only thing that broke the silence for that moment was the rough sound of his hand rubbing four day stubble on his broad chin. The stale smell of cigarettes strangled the collar and sleeves of his shirt, knowing that the feeling of someone watching him will never go, not while he’s here. The wind whistled, pulling at his unkempt hair, cartwheeling leaves falling into the freshly dug hole he stood above. Sweat started to build at his hairline, he was nervous, exhausted, out of shape. She always said he was out of shape, at this moment he felt like she was right. He felt small, insignificant, lost. He didn’t want to be there, he would have done anything to still be in his house, reminiscing alone, the sound of ice cubes against a tumbler, behind a locked door. But he had to do this, he signed up for this years ago but he never really gave it any thought, this day came earlier than ever expected. He’d rather it was someone else standing in his shoes right now, but a promise is a promise. The morning sun on the rise, the beauty of another day distracting his fearful eyes. He was scared, tired and from this day forth, alone. He stood for a moment, placing his body weight on his shovel, the sweat and dirt that covered his face disguised his pale sickly complexion. He knew the black cars would roll up soon, holding his life in a box. His mother used to say “for every tear you cry, will be returned when you die” but his tears were gone, dried up and forgotten just like him. He had anger, he had pain, but he didn’t have the energy. His arms had become heavy, his heart in his throat as he saw the reflection of the sun on the leading car. Today is a day he will always remember, for today was the day this now lonely grave digger had to dig a hole for his own wife. A promise is a promise.

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