Cher Bibler, Fiction, Uncategorized

The Time Before

by Cher Bibler

 

I.
Tonight there is no light but the glow from around the streetlights. I am standing here waiting for you, but you don’t know it so you won’t come. I stand alone and look over the park past the swingset and the slide, into the darkness over the baseball field. This is such a sweet slow time when I’m alone and there’s no one to misunderstand me.

A car goes by slowly but I pretend not to see it. The air looks thick and foggy in front of its headlights. I hold in my breath until the echo of its sound dissolves and I’m alone again.

If I’d told you to meet me, you would have, but I’m still not sure about you. I pretend there is some magical way you will sense that I’m here and come to me, because this is the way I want you: I have a dream figure of you sketched out, how I’d want you to be if you knew that I wanted you, if you were sure of me. I know what reactions I’d want, things I’d want you to say and feel.

In a way this time is better than the real thing will be, this dream time; or so I tell myself. I am holding myself back, keeping this suspense, watching you.

II.

I am sitting here with you. We’re talking about books. We’ve never read the same ones but we’re sure we’d both like them, if we had. I’m trying to tell you why.

I hold myself just far enough away from you so we don’t touch. I’m waiting for this to overwhelm you. When I first met you I never expected to feel this way about you. You were just an ordinary person; I had no warning.

I’m sitting crosslegged hugging my legs. I lay my head on my knees and look down at the carpet. You’re talking about your sister but I’m not listening anymore. Our conversations lately have drifted aimlessly.
I’m amazed at this thing that’s grown here between us. I analyze its beginnings, as far as I can dissect them. I can’t find the seed where it began, but I can see how it gathered momentum and how I witlessly encouraged it along.

III.

I’m thinking about my last lover, and how he merged into the dream I had of him until I couldn’t tell them apart. I’ve had plenty of time to think about the mistakes I made with him and I keep them at hand for reference so I don’t make them again with you.

It’s not fair, I guess, to compare future lovers with past lovers, to make them compete with old ghosts grown mellow with memory, but at each step I’m reminded of the last time I felt this way, and sometimes your eyes merge with his eyes and I think there is only one man out there who keeps coming back to me in different disguises.

My old lover never really liked competing with my fantasy of him.

IV.

I have practiced conversations we will have someday; I’ve told your dream counterpart all the secrets about myself. He took it well. He was very understanding.

V.

I sit here by you, not touching but close enough I can feel your body heat. I’m looking at your hands, studying the texture of your skin wondering how it would feel. It looks very soft and I wonder why that attracts me (stereotype—men are supposed to have strong hands).

I imagine how you would react right now to me touching you, but I don’t touch you. I sit wrapped in this thought.

 

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Cher Bibler is the author of About Irene, a novel told from the viewpoint of a collectible french fashion doll about her friends, her owners, and the things that happen around her. She has had poetry and fiction published in magazines such as The Evergreen Review, Amanda Blue and The Firelands Review. She sings in a rock band, edits an incredible online literary publication, and has perfected the art of making potato pizza. She currently resides in Merida, Mexico.

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Scott19

photo by Skot Horn

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Art

Art by Skot Horn, part 2: painting

Scott22

“I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t both interested in photography and painting. It never occurred to me that I had to choose between one or the other. We are not even talking about my other interest in sculpture, found objects, assemblages, woodworking, ceramics or music and then the mere experimentations in other mediums. It wasn’t called to my attention that this may be a dilemma until I was attending school at the art institute of Chicago. An instructor pulled me aside and said he thought I should choose a medium, any medium! At the time I didn’t think I was ready to make that decision. It was in fact impossible at that time. It’s still hard but I have reluctantly set aside many interests and tried to focus primarily on painting.”

 

Scott6

“In my painting I often revisit themes after many years, picking up where I left off and exploring it further as if no time has gone by. I think that’s why my work often looks disjointed from an outsiders perspective. It’s just new to you.”

 

Scott4

 

Scott5

“People that really know me say that even though they appear so different,” (his photography and his paintings- editor) “they can still tell somehow they are all from my hand.”

 

Scott2

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Skot Horn, from northwest Ohio, attended the Art Institute of Chicago, and has exhibited with solo shows at the Secor Gallery, the Hudson Gallery, Toledo Museum of Art, Westgate, in the Toledo area, and the Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago, as well as many group exhibits. His show, “Flower Power,” is currently ongoing at the Secor Gallery in Toledo, Ohio.

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Interview, Photography

Art by Skot Horn, part 1: photography

Scott11

“I am from Fremont, Ohio. Farm country I guess you could say. In two minutes I can be in open country roads that lead off in every direction. Driving puts me in a very meditative and calming state.”

 

Scott16

“I have yet to encounter an artist that I could not find some redeeming quality in. The fact they are an artist interests me and makes us kindred spirits. Discovering the evolution of their ideas through their work is fascinating. The more I know about an artists background the more I appreciate their work. I have yet to meet an artist I didn’t like unless they are too mainstream and commercial. That’s a whole different thing.”

 

Scott9

“I was a graphic designer my whole life but it wasn’t until I designed my dad’s tombstone that I realized all that other stuff wasn’t actually carved in stone. It put it in perspective.”

 

Scott10

 

Scott12

“Photography I do while out and about in the world while painting is a solitary activity done alone in my studio. The two can be very separate or almost one and the same depending on what I’m currently interested in. Right now the idea of painting from photographs seems absurd and no fun at all. I don’t want what I do to become work so the immediacy of painting primarily from my imagination is the most fulfilling.”

 

Scott24

SKOT HORN
ARTIST STATEMENT
“Whether I am drawing or painting I am documenting my daily life experiences. The final work is but the residual effect of how I chose to spend my day and ultimately I suppose, the way I chose to spend my life. My joys, hopes and even sorrows can be mutually experienced and shared. What I do now and what I did when I was five years old really has not changed. Just ask my mom.”
— Skot Horn
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(Stay tuned for part 2!)
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