Give It a Rest!

old womn

“Options are important,” she said. “Without them we’d all feel like caged animals looking for a way out, but never finding one.”

Nan shrugged. “I guess so. I mean, I can see what you’re saying, but I’m not sure it’s relevant to my situation.”

“Not relevant?” she answered. “How so? He’s putting up fences, locking you in, with no choices at all. How is that not relevant?”

“I don’t see what Lloyd is doing as restrictive,” Nan countered. “I see it as loving. He knows that I have a problem with decision-making and that given enough time, I can make any mole hill into a mountain of complications. He’s being loving by narrowing my scope.”

“You see that as loving?” Vivian said. “I see that as being controlling and not helping you work your way through the maze that is your indecision. Why can’t he explore some options with you, look at all the alternative, and then help you figure out which of them is the right one for you? Why can’t he do that?”

“It’s pizza and wine, Viv,” she answered. “Pizza and wine, nothing more. Sheesh, can you please give it a rest!”

 

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“Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candour.”                                                                       -Tom Hanks

Uncertainty

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She walked into the room, and silence swept over the place. Waiters stopped waiting. Politicians stopped lying. Gentlemen stopped puffing on their cigars, and ladies stopped thinking about how every other woman in the room was thinner, prettier, wealthier and healthier than they. She was a force, and all those who saw her were reckoned to admit that the winds of fortune had changed and soon they would be forced to change with them.

“May I offer you a seat?” he said, as she moved into the center of the room.

“Thank you,” she replied.

A buzz from the back began low and slow, traveling to the place where she sat as the room assessed her with glowering eyes. Waiters began waiting tables once more. Politicians once more begat lies. Gentlemen and ladies throughout the room resumed what they had been doing prior to her entrance, but always, always with an eye to her and what she might do next.

She chose a table two-thirds the way back from the entrance and settled herself where everyone in the room could see her next move. She reached into her purse and drew out a revolver. She sat it gingerly on the table. No one moved.

If she’d come there that day looking to kill someone, her plan had been foiled. Whoever it was she was looking for she did not find. Still, she sat. She ordered a drink. She removed her gloves and lay them gently to one side of her plate as she scanned the room further; slowly at first and then with increased fervor. She lit a cigarette and took a long draught of tar into what must have been beautiful lungs. The hope of the crowd was that she had an intended. Everyone knew that kind of beauty could never be content short of possessing everything she wanted.

 

A Hot Dog Death

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They found him lying on the kitchen floor, blue all over, as if he were the victim of blow back caused by some perturbed painter caught in an azure phase of development. Roger knew right away that this wasn’t your ordinary death. It wasn’t a suicide either. It was a hot dog death!

Hot dog death is what crime scene investigators call death by strangulation brought on by a lodging of food in the windpipe, which subsequently causes all air to quit it’s travel down the esophagus to the lungs. Roger’ d seen a few hot dog deaths in his day, but nothing as gruesome as this.

“What’d ya think we’ll find down there?” he said to Elwood.

“Beats me. Does it matter? Isn’t it enough to know this poor schlub chocked to death? Man, what a rotten way to go!”

“Not rotten,” Roger replied. “If it’d been rotten, we probably wouldn’t be here. If it’d been rotten, it probably would have shredded when the gagging began and he would have been able to push it out.”

“Yeah, right,” Elwood replied. He hated to egg Roger on when he was thinking and processing like this. Better to let him exhaust himself in the details of the hot dog death, and move on to brighter happenings in this dingy world.

“Rotten food tends to smell, too, ya know,” Roger said to no one in particular. “Real bad. Gross, even. But his mouth cavity doesn’t smell all that bad. It’s more like, Kool-Aid. Yeah, green Kool-Aid. That’s it.”

“Kool-Aid?” Elwood replied. “Really? Green Kool-Aid? How can you tell green Kool-Aid from any other color?” Elwood thought this line of questioning was ludicrous, but he couldn’t help himself.

“Green, Red, Orange, Blue, it doesn’t really matter what color the Kool-Aid is,” Roger replied. “It’s more about the scent than the color. Quit being so literal!”

“Me, being literal! You’re the one who said the guy drank green Kool-Aid, not me. If anyone needs to back off and rethink their position, it’s you. Me, literal?! Really?!!”

About that time the lead investigator happened upon the two of them. Roger looked down. Elwood began to whistle, faintly. They both knew, had been caught bickering on a case before. They knew it was time to vamoose.

“What we got here, guys?” the Sargent said with a hard tone in his voice.

“A hot dog death,” they replied, simultaneous, before hanging their heads in silence once more and taking copious notes about things other than green Kool-Aid.

Friday Fiction-Asa’s Hell

“Focus!”

Linda was clearly frustrated as she helped to move the tiny one’s hand across the sheet of waxy paper. They were finger painting, again. She couldn’t see what good it did to sit here several times a week and coach Asa in his lessons. This child is more suited to manual labor, Linda thought. She didn’t say it though, because that kind of negative talk was unacceptable, and one never knew who was listening to what one said. They hadn’t figured out yet a way to crawl inside her skull and extricate her thoughts, but she was sure that little bit of trickery was only a short way down the road. For now, she could think what she liked, but what she said had to be censored.

The door to their tiny apartment opened and in walked Jed and little Bud. Their son’s real name was Maynard, but everybody called him Bud. He just looked like a Bud, and he acted like one too. Unlike Asa, he was an easy child to love.

“What’s for dinner?” Jed asked.

“Same ole, same ole,” she replied. “It’s Tuesday, so that means pasta and garlic bread. It’s in the freezer. Can you pop it in the micro to warm it up? I have to finish up this project with the monster, the assessors want it done by tomorrow.  She said the word “monster” with a cheery little up-tick in her voice so that anyone listening would think she was being jovial and fun, and not dead serious.

“Can’t we have something fresh tonight?” Jed asked. “I’ve had warmed-up pasta three times in the last three weeks and it’s getting old.”

“Yeah? Well guess what,” said Linda, “working with this kid is getting old too. Everything he does takes ten times as long to accomplish as it ever did with Bud!” She hoped that hadn’t come off too brutal-sounding. There was a price to pay if she didn’t comply with orders to condescend and she was hesitant to pay it. Quite hesitant.

“Hey, buddy, where’s your coat?” Linda inquired of Bud.

“Oh no, I think I left it back at school.”

Technically speaking, that was a lie. Bud didn’t go to school. Bud went to a state sponsored asylum they called a school, and he was the brightest “student” enrolled there, Linda thought.

“Oh, that’s okay buddy, we’ll get it tomorrow,” his mum said.

“Asa, will you please stop smearing paint everywhere!?” Another exasperated message had left her lips, this time without her even noticing how exasperated it sounded.

“Lin…” Jed whispered, motioning with his hand in a way that told Linda that she needed to tweak her tone and quit complaining.

“I don’t care, Jed,” she replied. “You stay home with this little jerk every day and see how you feel at the end of the week.” With that Linda batted Asa on the back of the head with the tips of her fingers and huffed off to the bedroom to get away from the insanity that had become her daily routine.

How in the world can anyone expect me to teach that “thing” anything; he’s devoid of any sense, she thought to herself, but she didn’t utter a word.

The Cornfield

Sex almost never clicks the ticket for me. Don’t get me wrong. I love touch, but no act motivated by the need to “get ‘er done” has ever been able to claim my heart. That’s why I prefer that slow hand and lack of urgency that comes from a mature mate.  Maybe it’s the same for you?

Tell me I’m not alone in this.

Sex for sex’s sake I can take, but more often leave.
Sex born of love and commitment, give me that stuff every time, every day, in every way!

As an homage to loyalty and love, and maybe a little bit of the healing that comes of loving the right way, I offer today’s post.

THE CORNFIELD

A cornfield is where he laid her down. Where he moved her hair so that he could see every telltale sign of recognition that passed between them.  A cornfield is where he chased away reluctance. It’s where tears covered his cheeks and she found her voice; voice the Builder’d given; sound encased in balm. This time the healing was for him, but her too.

As the winds of northeastern Pennsylvania pushed seed over remnants hung on clothes line, newly washed jeans and t-shirts, swaying back, then forth, then back again, so did he match their rhythm.

She closed her eyes. She wanted to be fully aware in this moment; fully conscious of what was happening to him, fully synced to his movements and emotions. She had one chance and one chance only to absorb the sorrow that had left him blistered in the past. One chance to restore wholeness. One chance to allow the miracle to flow through her.

He laid full upon her chest now, spent. He’d given everything he had to her, and she’d received it as a precious gift returned in kind, the treasure of authenticity and complete trust that he’d forgotten he had; the pearl of great price he thought he’d never have again.