• Caroline Naughton

My body feels pressure. To seek clarification.

My body wants to clear the air, but she’s unresponsive. Uncoordinated. Lazy. Does she even want to do the work together? Why did she sign onto this partnership in the first place?

Is she busy planning other writes? Why isn’t this exchange working out as planned? Should I just ask for a refund? Oh no, humor me. Remember the last time someone asked her for a refund!

She says, “This isn’t working.” It appears that our timing is off. But, we never agreed to a meeting time. From the start, she insisted, “All in good time.”

No rush. And yet, she finds me waiting.

My body feels pressure - desire - to receive, for the sake of sharing. Childhood stories. Did she even read my work?

She’s not drawing any conclusions. No closed doors. So what’s that knock all about?

Do I want to give her what she wants?

She’s the teacher. And it’s my assignment to complete. What would it cost her if I quit?

My body is upset with me. I never should’ve introduced them. I should have left him outside. And now he’s branding her insides.

The whine is aging.

She didn’t ask me to leave, but she also didn’t ask me to stay. So why should I grow in my commitment? ...I’m not so sure.

My body feels pressure. To be a sure thing.

Temporary and indeterminate. Not to be deterred by time, tell me where faith lies. Tell me what to defend.

Show me that it rains diamonds on Saturn.

  • Caroline Naughton

My kingdom is retiring. Cloaked in red robes, crossed with T’s and signed by rosary beads. My mother always wanted me to be a priest, so I rose to the occasion and became a priest, a prophet, and a king. Triple threat.

I was given three different offices. I was to be the President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors. I was to coordinate the efforts and talents of a conglomeration of people in order to help them achieve a common purpose. My specialty was delegating and passing out jobs to people who had resources but didn’t know what to do with them.

I reported to duty every morning, just like my father. He was an admiral in the navy. I showed them what to do with their money. Sometimes I didn’t have to say a word. I just walked around and showed the company what it’s worth. “You’re in good company,” I assured them.

My knights gathered around the roundtable every afternoon. They needed to know how to be valued. What was their cause? They were quick to pass me their blood money, but I wouldn’t have a thing to do with it. I made them invest. They wanted to get it off their hands, but I nodded, “Not so quick.” They didn’t know where it was going. I’d make them into missionaries, and send them off to share the word. These were our developers.

My office was a confessional. People stated their grievances, and offered their prayers. All for the sake of growth. They wanted their company to grow up, on time. Bigger is better in our books. Our entourage was looking bright.

There were times when I felt called to invite distinguished men from far-distant kingdoms to ally with us. Needless to say, many of them fell in love with our pride, leaving their home to become a new recruit. It was an effortless hire. They knew we paid well. The company was being promoted by the best in town.

When the court was in order, we had a strict code of conduct. Suits, ties, and phones on airplane mode. Ample lunch breaks and team trips to the golf course. The rewards were endless, for the greater the bounty we may give. I’ve fired the lazy. I’m not afraid to reign.

This company has been my family for thirty years, but I believe that its time is up. I am at a crossroads. Everyone is wondering who will take my seat. Where is my firstborn son when I need him?

I am ashamed that it is not my own son who will inherit my seat, but someone else’s. Once I leave, the table may as well fold. This company is nothing without my blood.

I suppose I never took my father’s place either. I wasn’t up for the draft. I opted for a degree instead. Plus, he died when I was 32 years old. I was raised by my boss.

Anti-nepotism laws prevented me from hiring my son. We had to go behind closed doors and let him in through the back. I pretended I didn’t pick favorites, but my son was in on the secret.

I’ve even paid for my three nephews’ education. My brother is a mortgage broker, but only because he’s broke. But he was a damn good fixer. I never had to bring my car to the shop.

Now my son swivels on a leather chair designed by another line of knights. He too belongs to a public company. There are so many investors that we often forget the names of those we’re trying to please. It may not be obvious, but we’re on the same team. It’s a private company, but shhh.

Oh, how the king has learned the illusion of public life. The sanctity of the private sphere has always been honored by my wife, as she holds the connection dear to her heart. She is waiting for me to let him settle in the empty nest, so that I may go off on the grail quest.

The quest for the holy grail is a reconciliation with my mother. Once we’re reunited, my wife can be my wife again. She can also be a mother to her own children - who, by the way, are already approaching their Saturn return. Better late than never, hey?

Oh how I wish my little princess knew her mother earlier. I wish my queen could have raised her on her own terms. Instead, my daughter was raised by men from some other family.

At my funeral, I will my daughter to write an account of my coronation. She followed my adventure toward the holy grail, and waited on me to finish before she took rule. She was curious how I earned my way up. I have to admit - I was curious how she even got in!

She heard the bells on Wall Street. In my left hand, I rang to her; and in the right, I took to the pen.

  • Caroline Naughton

My name is entitled to your design, and yet, it was your majesty that named me. The honor you were gifted from above, is what entitled me. Now, what my title is entitled to, is something else entirely. As Jade says, that’s just politics - but not very just. Poly-tricks.

What is my human right? What would it cost to compost the hubris of humanism?

Is my name appropriate? Is my name right? Do I deserve my name? What makes me worthy of the spell C-A-R-O-L-I-N-E? Oh, my god. I’ve got it all backwards. What makes the spell worth IT? Why has Caroline been animated at all?

I am entitled to be subject to something greater than my title. I am subject to be overthrown by another title, and so I must obey the laws of nature and those that came before me.

Who bestowed upon me my name? Why are my parents entitled to that power?

What makes something honorable? What makes someone distinct from the rest? Did that special someone earn the honor - an additional reward, in addition to the rest? Or did another authority have it relinquished for its successful reclamation?

Perhaps it is not that we deserve these honors, but rather that we conserve them. Are these names merely garbage? ...recycling? Such is the way of the crown.

I am entitled to the name. The name is entitled to the game; to the competition. Entitlement is my enemy, my rival, my challenger. What will I win in the game against entitlement? What will I lose?

If I win, I will no longer carry a name. If I lose, the name is not of my own accord. Either way, the name is not mine. Without a name of my own, I have nothing to defend.

If entitlement is in defeat, can it still be kept alive? Might entitlement choose to unmatch itself and join the sidelines?

Will entitlement move from foe to friend? Will my former enemy ever see me the way I wish to be seen?

At its essence, entitlement sees that I am deep. Deeper than any title. Entitlement wants to know what’s going on INSIDE of me. Then it may call itself { … }