Atlas and Lovely Alice

Atlas was the unluckiest lucky person in the world, so he thought/ was told.  His life was full of failure after failure. But he had the effort of an eternal fire.  Bad news rarely dampened his spirits; he was used to it.  Everyday, Atlas lived as if it were going to be his last.  Sometimes his actions were rewarded, but more often than not, empty-handed. Raised to never complain, he never did.

Everyone knew Atlas for his benevolent smile, genuine kindness, and honorable work habit.  Raised by his grandfather, his parents had vanished when he was young.   Atlas’ mother fell into a cocaine addiction before the pregnancy.  She held off her addiction until Atlas was born, but then almost immediately after, she went back to bad habits. Life wasn’t giving her the happiness she thought she deserved, but her mind was in the right place naming her son.  Atlas’ name originated from the Greek myth of Atlas, who always had the weight of the world on his shoulders.  She knew the struggle our world was, just to keep up with the Jones’. She judged from her pastime experiences.  Atlas’ mother blessed him in hopes he would live up to his name and never become like her.  His grandfather taught him traditional values hand in hand with politeness.  Atlas grew up to be a good person, although his past always hurt him very much.  And he knew about the bad at such a young age.

Atlas’ father was an addict also.  His mother and father were so similar, that their addiction prevailed over their love for each other.  Some days they would batter each other with verbal abuse until one broke down and cried.  Then the other would follow until both went to their room to obtain their concealing fix.  All of this was oblivious to baby Atlas. His father would disappear for days and return in the early morning to wake Atlas and let him know that Daddy’s returned.  The alcohol on his breath, Atlas never liked his father.  Then one day, he was initially  sent to purchase two quarts of whole milk and confectionary sugar for Atlas’ seventh birthday cake, but he never returned.

School was tough for a child that lived with his grandparents.  He was raised in the correct way, but there were no bars to hold him back.  When Atlas got in trouble at school, punishments were consequential enough for him to learn his lesson.  Even though Atlas was a bright student, he never learned the easy way. But learning the hard way so many times in such a quick manner made the child more independent. Atlas grew up quicker than everyone else.

When Atlas was 17, he fell for a beautiful woman named Lovely Alice, also an ever- smiling person. Lovely Alice admired Atlas’ smile and grew very fond of him.  She remarked on it every day. “The Sunshine of my Love,” Alice and Atlas. But Lovely Alice informed Atlas their blooming bond would never last. When it did last, she told him their seasoning love would wither through his first year of college.  When it breezed through the first year, she told him that all flowers die someday; it would not last another year.  And then, she was right.  Lovely Alice broke up with Atlas on a cold summer night, at their “spot,”, and they drifted away.  She became “The Dream,” and settled with another eloper that must have made her smile better than he could.  The unluckiest lucky person continued his unfortunate path.  It was all a great glimmer of vicariousness, but Atlas learned a valuable lesson; that all great things must come to an end.  He learned to expect it so he could accept it, learning the hard way once again.

Looking for salvage from the crater-like hole in his happiness, Atlas bruised his life,  black and bluer than ever.  His eyes could not ignite the same when he inspected himself. But Atlas did what he knew and continued with a half -lackluster smile.  Everyday he missed that great feeling of being loved.  So much that school became secondary, sleep a priority when he could get it.  Then school just ended for him.

Atlas needed to clean up his act, but at this point, it was too late. He could not go back to college, his job worked him so hard that sleep at night was his goal of his day.  Atlas’ eyes grew silent, his smile was false and faded like his memories. Never had he felt so cold.  Atlas had forgotten his name.

Atlas wanted, needed the human touch he had grown so fond of in his golden days.  He went searching for a replication, but in the wrong way.  Atlas looked between streets, scoped the beaten alleyways, dipping lower than ever, until he found what he was looking for.

One night, under a streetlamp next to Harbor on and Princeton St.  concealed in a  trench coat, Atlas could see her red tail.  Her lips were thinly coated of crimson lipstick.  The light from the street lamp above made her pale skin ghostly.  Tattoos of crosses and cursive lettering ran up her arms,  like burnt-in shadows.  But she had that same foggy glaze Atlas had.  She wore a red feather dress underneath, and a satin short skirt that revealed her supple cheeks. Atlas explained his presence, asked her to help.  and she agreed.  Her name was Alice, too.  But the details did not matter.

Atlas and Lesser Lovely Alice walked back to his apartment, the first outsider that had been there in a long time.  The two shared a glass of Merlot.  Through glass two, they revealed their heartbreaking stories.  And glass four and a half, they dimmed the lights.  Their fleshy vines wrapped around one another, lips pressed together like paper, glue, paper.  They progressed to Atlas’ room, where Alice started to peel her clothing.  The moon’s glow squeaked through the window, illuminating Not-So- Lovely Alice’s body, but she was a lovely sight.  Her flat stomach, Atlas wanted to push his palms up.  And he did, right up to her breasts.  She smiled and closed her eyes.  Atlas’ hands worked higher, up over her shoulders, down her arms, back up again, and he went to her face.  His fingertips rolling over her ears, she lightly gasped.  And then Atlas’ fingers trickled down her cheeks.  She opened her eyes. Atlas saw the grayness, no sparkle there.  Suddenly he was possessed with an overwhelming desire to run away. He pushed her off, excused himself, and drew back to his bathroom to lock it from within.

Atlas glared into the mirror and realized some people never had a glint in their eyes to start, and that he still did and always will. He realized that he had only previously made love for the love and feeling of being so fucking close to the person you desire so much from. His morale compass pointed her out the door.  He paid her, apologized over and over.  She understood; wasn’t flattered in any way. But the unwillingness to commit drove him mad. Atlas grew very sad that night, battling with the two people inside.

The next morning, Atlas remained in bed when his alarm clock told him to rise. And through the day and night he laid an egg of thoughts until he could lay still no longer.  The next day he continued life.  There was no sense in breaking down over things you cannot understand, at least right now.

Atlas wrote what he knew, but couldn’t figure out what was to come. Life is an unpredictable, rapid river that brings you wherever it dispenses, unless another force prevails against it.  Atlas’ instincts drove him prevail.   He started partaking in his old favorite hobbies besides sitting on the couch after work and smoking marijuana.  He cleaned his mind of troubles by exercising daily, running until his lungs burst; puking sometimes.  Things began to look brighter.

At work, he met a girl that worked across the street at a faxing/ office supply store.  They connected through flirting and found out they have a lot more in common than they initially knew.  One Autumn night they decided to get together. The food was phenomenal, the movie was hilarious, but when she came over, she saw right through him that he wasn’t ready.  Atlas’ apartment was void of many essentials. He didn’t have enough furniture and the greater things to impress.  No great big tv to watch high def with, no boom box to spit beats a mile away, no nutritional food in the refrigerator.  So she chucked him without much thought.  Atlas was greatly confused and he went to throw his upset bricks into paper.  He wrote his greatest piece of work yet, using his own past as guidance to write, but changed the ending to be more happy. The End.


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