There was a police car ahead with the lights flashing, probably a routine traffic stop. I wanted to walk closer, to see, but everything that's going on in this world is not my business, so I pulled my curiosity aside like a stubborn dog on a short leash.
I hate to cook, but on a whim settled on making mashed potatoes. I filled the black-marked pot and salted the water. My body faced the stove where the big pot sat on flame. I teased the churning mouth with white chunks of peeled potato. Steam pushed back my hand. Ok then. Change of plan. Where did I put that chip sack?
I once knew a man whose every word popped out like swamp water, his eyes ever-glowing with mistakes, and the name of God would loosen his teeth if he spoke it, so it was banned from his conversation. He was too mean to love, with affection that left the taste of blood. He had little respect for women, had a drag-you-by-the-hair attitude, and his body smelled like hard running. I never saw anyone as determined to evil as he was, except, perhaps across the room on my television set, so it was not a surprise to me that he ended up in prison, and that he later died during a riot of his own natural causes. And I, from my own evil, took a few moments to celebrate, then repented.... Girls, never let such as this into your world! Make an effort to remove all darkness from you life, to accept only the dark of night, and even then, to seek the moon for guidance. There are still many good men under it.
Sometimes you start the day knowing exactly the right things to do for the world, but certain voices inside you keep shouting their bad advice and beating you up with insistence like wind-blown debris. And you fight it all day, since truly wanting to save mankind, but most days must settle for the smaller victory of suppression of your own demons.
I thought it was about time to clean-shave my legs and put on my first pair of shorts for the summer, probably the last year before they look like something drawn up by Rand McNally. But I couldn't find a shaver, the shorts were a faded sag, and my dad's voice bounced back through years at me, "Where ya going with those crazy getaway-sticks?" so I vied for slacks, a slimming black that put no emphasis on anything, and I slid unnoticed through the lovely day, actually just the way I like it.
Relationships often fail because participants are not traveling at the same rate of speed, and often not even in the same direction.
I remember when the Jehovah's Witnesses came to try to save us. They marched up the block heedless of a whining, limping dog passing on the sidewalk. They came with badges and brochures that were free. When I told them we were of a different faith, we were "damned to hell." Now, I know you should never judge a group by the actions of one member, nor should you judge at all, but the total disregard for the injured dog (always a soft spot with me) and the damning comment put the impulse in me to rudely show them to the door, and tell them I wasn't buying it.
Who knows what triggers a memory, but.....We were young and didn't know squat about each other beyond initial attraction, but there was a definite moment when it all came apart..... the scrape of tires on a gravel road, the groan of uncooperative gears, and the old car aslant against a burst of bushes and bramble, just missing an old Crone of an oak. The worst of it was a flat tire. You swore and grunted against the rusted lugs until you were musked by the heat and the effort. You threw the tire iron and I watched it spin into the yellow grass. Your shirt was sculpted to your body, a nice body it was, and dark where you sweat, and you went on cursing. Unconcerned with rescue plans because we were only a mile from town, an easy walking distance, I sat down at the edge of the road, drew a map in the gravel and grit, and I bit my lip. I squinted at clouds, at a graffiti of birds, and bit my lip harder, but I couldn't hold reaction back anymore, and finally I laughed, not a polite little giggle, but something that could have broke from a bullhorn. You threw me that look and cussed more. All the more I laughed while your hand made a fist....and then I got up and began walking.
For all of you who practice self torture, who give it all till you're empty, who break every great moment in half to deny yourself, who keep cramming sadness down the throat of your soul and live in constant coldness, who peel all your deserved opportunities, then allow yourself only the peels, I say this: Stop it! Stop it now! Get out from behind the curtains, get up from under the bed. Turn and face the healing sun. The day is wide open, full of engaging light. Know that though you are not better than the next man, you are no worse and deserve a fair share. Reach out without pulling back and allow it to fall into your hands.
I am not a healthy eater... I take little joy from meat, potatoes, vegetables...but gnaw quickly through the healthy, high-fiber of protein...choke down dry wads of garden nutrients... and with my eyes dancing, my mouth watering, rush toward the blubber-building empty value and high-carbohydrates of some butter-basted, sugar-thorned dessert... Somehow, I still have all my teeth.
The birds take a huge swathe of sky, black calligraphy. I think it's Chinese, Portuguese, something I can't read. It won't help me find my way back to town. Oh, I know north-south-east and west, but I am one of those people who don't benefit from that knowledge.
Some days, I don't feel like talking. I steer clear of those with narrative need, any who would have me turn out mental pockets and surrender all wares, those good-natured souls capable of unlatching their jaws and swallowing me whole. For, although my will is kind and my reach without devastation, I am at core a solitary being, and sometimes a downright moody bitch.
I confess! I have sat on public toilet seats without paper. I have walked through alleys after dark. I have put fingers in my mouth after petting a dog and rode a bicycle without hands. I have gone coatless in March and laughed with my mouth full. I have lay on a blanket when Mother Nature was putting on her Spring makeup and a young man was smearing mine, and touching me just a wee bit inappropriatelty, but (alas, sigh) I have done none of it recently.
I finished work early today. That's probably why I started this whole mind thing, so I blame an accident of availability for my strong desire to create something interesting to share with someone, if only a great peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I should have stopped there, but didn't. I struggled to correct some misapprehension of truth. I restacked stacks of ideas. I tried to come up with some wildfire idea but couldn't find a match. I looked in drawers all around me as if somebody put the answers there. I tapped pens to try to beat the strategy out of them, and in the end I sat there like a second-story burglar in an empty parking lot, scratching my slow-moving parts, mostly my head, and muttering "Okay then, another day..."
I'm not exactly sure when time appeared on my hands, nor can I pinpoint when I first stood outside my body, looking back, unable to contain my confusion, then rage. My original self thought things were better. What was with these intersections, these lost-and-found things, this skin wandering about and speckled with the pigments of the earth? And this sour face in the mirror. Who is it? Is it George Patton?
I am not a good spouse. There are two men whom I believe would be respectfully silent about that if asked, but would have to tell the truth if I struck them with a cattle prod. (I may have done that already, but some things are better left blocked.) Yet, I am good at other things: I give excellent care to animals. I know my own limitations, always keep a confidence, a promise, and give credit where credit is due. Thanks for visiting my blog, and while you're here, have your say.
I overthink, over process, over rate and over-react. I overpay, over praise, overcook and overprotect. I over bid, overact and I'm over sensitive. Overall, I'm over it. So, how can I possibly expect to have all things UNDER control?
Unsubstantiated blame is counterproductive and a waste of time. Focus on solution.
My father was not a patient man, in his garden - always watching, fearing theft, always pruning. With his children - always watching, fearing violation, always pruning until all of it had been pruned, protected, replanted many times, and grew tall and independent of his care. That was when he smiled.
The time to get out of a relationship: When you realize distance is the only thing you have between you.
By fatigue properly humbled, desires dulled, ego blunted, so wiser, I sit watching sparrows, wooden brown, peck my bread crumbs from the ground and sing in gratitude. And I am at peace.
From 2PM to 3PM wasn't great.
OK, I give in. You are my reality for the moment. But I will not remember you for long. I've got places to go, things to do, a dream to push forward in my wheelbarrow, and you are just one "off" hour in an otherwise beautiful day.
THE WIDOWER'S AFFECTION
He wears seventy-five years and a neoprene hip in overalls as big as a shed.
He's in love with a waitress at the coffee shop. One day he hopes they'll wed.
But she's twenty-five and too alive for the serenity of this old man,
So he smiles and sips and leaves her tips,
And each day postpones his plans.
Two entered the soft dirt arena,
two burnished, brittle, bright,
too fancy for the endeavor.
Beaks struck with greed for the fight.
The one in the Spanish lace body
jumped the one in the mortician's suit,
And they tore at each other with brass sparks
for a crowd calling "Blood" with a hoot.
The amazement of torture continued
till the voices rode hoarse on split breath
And the suited, blood splattered survivor
Completed its odd task of death.