Just Listen

Andy Betz

I exist in what you call the shadows—that between the light and the darkness. Neither too much nor too little of one or the other. Those residing exterior to my domain know not of my powers, or their extent. Fortunately, their numbers are few; their curiosity, weak. For the rest of you, those inquisitive minds unburdened by trepidation, I am the soft, yet persuasive voice that beckons you to action.

I offer no siren’s song to those who listen.

I offer no further insight to those who resist.

I am the voice that grants permission to that which you seek permission for.

I act, not as a singular being, but as one of three. My siblings and I each demarcated our responsibilities in accordance to our expertise. While we may dabble in the justifiable overlap, we rarely stray from our forte. My brother chose pain. My sister, passion. I specialize in pleasure—the pleasure you must solicit, the pleasure you must purchase, the pleasure you must continuously acquire.

My sylvan hand will trace the glyphs of your character. I will measure your aspirations against your conscience. Afterward, I could selectively guide your approach to that which you covet. I will offer cover from those who will resist. I will secure the sagacity of the immortal elders you need to justify your impending casus belli. Fear not, for victory will be yours. For with me, you can have it all.

And all you have to do is just listen.



With degrees in Physics and Chemistry, Andy Betz has tutored and taught in excess of 30 years. His novel (The Lady in Red Quilt), short stories (“The Copy,” “Kelly,” “My Color,” “November,” “My Bucket List,” “Mrs. Zeeman”), and poems (“The First Verse of the Worst Nurse Curse,” “Soon,” “I Watched the Ocean,” “When I Was Ten,” “The Coin Spins,” “Once Was a Day Without Sunshine,” “Wrap Around Wrap,” “Polysyllabic Enunciation”) are works still defining his style. He lives in 1974, has been married for 26 years, and collects occupations (the current tally is 95). He currently teaches physics and physical science.