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Showing posts from October, 2004

Happy Birthday

Tommy wiped his wet hands on his jeans as he walked out of the bathroom. The jeans felt damp against his body anyway; the air was dense and heavy. He made his way over to the couch and laid down on it, putting his hands behind his neck. He was too lazy to take off his sandals.
The sun was just the last thick orange glimmer of day coming through the window. Tommy swore he could feel it all sliding against his bare chest.

He brushed the feeling on his head away with his hand.
He heard a voice and the feeling replaced. Momma was trying to get his attention.
Tommy opened his eyes. "I am awake, Momma."
He looked up at her and her wide smile. Tommy moved her hand away from his head. He could smell her sweet breath.
Tommy could see Momma was happy with herself.
He could see the dark sky creep through the moving, open curtains. The air had started to stir slightly. He felt thin wisps of that air tickle his exposed skin.
"I got you new shoes-" she began, her eyes w…

Seven Years Old

Tommy had a Band-Aid on his nose. It made his nose sweat. It made his nose itchy and he wanted to take the Band-Aid off. The day was so hot.
Momma was in her white dress, the one with the yellow flowers on it. Her white sandals were getting old. She had her black purse already over her shoulder.
"I will not be long, Tommy," she said. "Just an hour. It will just be getting dark before I get back. It is only an hour."
Tommy did not care if Momma left.
"Just an hour. I promise," she said again, her hand on the doorknob. "Is your favorite colour still red?"
Tommy looked at the shine in her hair coming from the evening sun entering from the small window in the wooden front door. He did not say a word to her. Then when he was done looking at her, he looked across the room to Sissy, sitting on the floor.
"Want some cookies, Sissy?" he asked.
He did not watch Momma walk out the front door.

Tommy let Sissy sit on the couch with the cookies. …

...And Two Socks

I like socks. I buy socks. All kinds of socks. Some because I have to. And some because I want to. The I want to socks are the most fun. Every now and then the I have to socks become the I want to socks.

I have a large, brown cardboard sock box. It sits in my closet. It contains socks. Lots of socks. Because there is lots of socks in my house. The socks are many colours. None of them match. Because washers eat socks. Because children eat socks. Because for some strange reason, people come to my home and like to leave behind one sock. I imagine it is because they might have had to eat their other sock. Sometimes, I forget to feed people. No one ever admits to owning these spare sock. But I would not admit to eating socks, either.
All the spare socks are put in the sock box.
Then the sock box is ignored until there are no clean pairs of socks to be found in the house. Then the kids and I play a quick game of Make-An-Almost pair.

I remember back to last winter. I rem…

One Nickel, One Halls, One Hat

The First Night

I just stood there.
And I thought fuck to myself. My roommate, who was responsible for breaking the handle on the toilet, had just left for a few days vacation.
The toilet had stopped running the other two times it had over-flowed pass the brim after three seconds this week. Oh. But not this time. Nope. This time the water just kept spilling on out.
And the taxi was going to be in my driveway in 8 minutes to pick me up and take me to the airport.
The water was almost to the bathroom door before I did anything.
Which was to try to dry the floor first with a big towel. And a little towel.
So, when I had to hike up my jeans to avoid getting them wet, I thought maybe I should stop the water.
I did go for my plunger first.
But it is not what stopped the water. But I did stop the water.
I also used almost every clean sheet in the hallway closet on the bathroom floor because the taxi cab driver was then in my driveway.
That is when The Voice laughed at me.
Eat shit, I muttered when …

Circles

My son and I went out last week. My son now owns two Bey Blades.
My daughter and I went out last week. She now owns a 'bedroom in a bag'. The bag included a pink net they call a canopy and the word Princess a lot.
Fabulous.
My daughter cleaned her whole room.
My son cleaned a corner for his Bey Blades.
My daughter let my son play under the canopy with her.
He let her play with Bey Blades.

"I want to pretend I am in a jungle, too," said my son. "In my room."
I looked at him.
"What?"
"I want one of those things my sister has."
"That's nice," I said. "If you touch that thing without your sister's permission, I will take away those Bey Blades."

My son cleaned a bigger corner of his room every night for four days. A world record in this house.
He did not touch his sister's canopy. I never caught him once.
So, I went to Wal-Mart last night.
I bought my son the blue canopy. It came with a blanket and a bl…

Summer's Wave

Their lips touched for the first time, delicate, hungry. The air was too hot for the evening breeze. A black cat sat on a rafter licking its summer coat, and watching as little bits of hay danced over the edge of the loft.
Benson knew he was supposed to do something now. He didn't know what, so he placed his hand on her neck, just below and slightly behind her ear. Betty smiled warm so he figured that must have been right. He liked the feel of her cool hands on his chest. They slid effortlessly under his shirt and then slowly down. Betty was just as scared.
Outside of the barn two men, exhausted from the day leaned on a post. Gabriel, the taller of the two, was smoking a pipe. He didn’t remember too much about satisfaction. He only knew how to appreciate what he had. He liked his straw hat, the way it sat on his head. He liked the way the sky still held some light after the sun sank down below the horizon. Neither of the men said much. They talked so…

October Rain

The leaves clogging the gutters were mostly thick, yellow and bright. Fucking cold, too. If I had been anything other than 8 years old, I might have said so.
The sky was grey and heavy; the wind whipped. But we were only a few stores down from the cab station.
The cab station where everything was brown. Where there was always a fat man or woman behind the desk.
Where the whole place hung with the smell of cigar smoke,a thick cloud always hugging the ceiling.
Large windows you could look out of.
And a Pac-Man video game.
That day was no exception. We got to play while we waited for the cab.
My brother told me I was a Fucker under his breath.
Mom pretended she did not hear.
I remember when the rain began. Straight, slick sheets of grey slamming into the earth.
The cab pulled up and it was cold running out to it.
We were wet and itchy by the time we got home.

The Passcode Conspiracy

Shelia met Donavan through friends. He was the perfect boy, she thought. She adored how smart he was, how cute he was-he had a shine to him like Windex on a fresh mirror. Like no one she had ever seen before.
However, he was a boy to her still even though he could be found to be four years older than she was. She had lived through many things in her short life-as did he, but hers she took more to heart. Shelia was thoughtful by nature, always taking time each day no matter what to enjoy the thoughts she liked. She took time for thoughts she did not like, too.
Donavan liked Shelia. He liked her a lot. She always made him smile and laugh and think a lot when they were together. He only thought about how she was not the “typical girl” he envisioned when he was not with her. He was too busy happy when he was with her.
They had been seeing each other for a few times a week for a few hours at a time, but no matter where they met up-they always went for root beer.
It was on one-such oc…

II

We all wanted to run for the doors of the train when they opened.
But of course, we did not.
Even when they opened for the last time. When we arrived, we still did not run.
It had been too loud while we traveled with people talking too much.
And now there was this sudden silence, thick with the smell of us. It was almost night again.

No, she could not keep her mouth shut. I do not know what I would do if I was her. But surely she had to know. The boy was too frail. He was of no use.
His mother sat twisted into the earth, a baby to her breast and she screamed. She spit. She screamed. She screamed. She screamed.
Shut-up, shut-up, shut-up, I spoke in my head as I listened to her obscenities.
"Halt den Mund! Halt den Mund!" his voice coarsed through the air. His body moved back towards her. "Halt den Mund!"
She did not see him, not really, she kept screaming. She had already lost her mind.
"Halt den Mund!" he screamed as he grabbed her by her hair. She was …

I

I was expecting them when they came. Had been waiting too long, in fact. They were not mean and I seldom am. They allowed me to put on my warmest coat. The one young man handed me the little suitcase that I had packed that was sitting by the doorway. I grabbed the cane beside the door and followed the men out into the last of daylight.
Of course, I wanted to look back.
But of course, I did not.

I remembered back to another time while I was waiting for the train. Back to a time of younger days. Back to a time of love days. I smiled and missed my husband terribly so. I ached for him and felt him all at the same time. The memory of him made me smile.

The train was cold. I, being one of the first to enter, with many a fine gentlemen offering me their arms, found this out. As the people filled in, I felt the cold seep from the air and then out of my bones. The person I sat next to smelt of fresh, spring dirt. My mind did not wonder why they smelt as such. I was curled into their a…

Not 101

I only do these if they have a question I have not answered before.

1. WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR KITCHEN PLATES?
White and blue.

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
I am not reading right now. I am doing this.

3. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
The colour blue.

4. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BOARD GAME?
Balderdash.

5. FAVORITE MAGAZINE?
Readers Digest

6. FAVORITE SMELL?
Depends on my mood.

7. LEAST FAVORITE SMELL?
Man, there is some gross smelling things in the world and I can only pick one?

8. WHAT'S THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING?
Depends on my mood.

9. FAVORITE COLOR?
Okay, these questions are irritating.

10. LEAST FAVORITE COLOR?
Sigh.

11. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE?
Depends what I am doing.

12. FUTURE CHILDREN'S NAME?
Who said anything about children to begin with?

13. WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE?
Appreciation.

14. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?
Chocolate or vanilla what?

15. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST?
I t…

Summer's Wave

It was Monday on the plantation and sometime in the middle of August. Benson leaned back and slowly packed the pipe his father had made for him. He watched the dark, erect mounds slowly heave up and down, rising slower with each breath. Their bodies were soaked in the same sweat.
“Do you love me like you wanna marry me?” Betty said. She felt her self and felt her insides still quiver. “You know, I was almost there.”
Benson looked over towards the barn. “I reckon you oughta put your clothes back on.” he said, tapping the last pinch of tobacco down with a careful delicacy.
He made a cup with his hand around the bulb of the pipe, struck a match against a rock and took a few draws. Betty watched as his cheeks hollowed with each puff. There was always something about that pipe that held her when it was in his hands. It was the way they seemed to love cradling it. The way it rested between his forefinger and thumb, the mouth of the pipe jutting out toward…

Once, In The Distance

She likes to watch his hands. As they worked at the keyboard, as he explains himself, as they pumped gas.
She knows he loves to use his hands. Loves to keep them moving. Loves letting them get reckless. He has to be gentle with them all day long. There is magic in the movement. She is in awe of all he can do. She sees everything inside of him, before he even says it.
She can watch his hands, and not hear a sound of his words.
When he touches her, he means to. The way his palm slides flat up the inside of her leg.
The way his fingers feel when they reach to wrap up in her hair...
Then she remembers herself, her own hands, looking down, she watches them hover.
Words. Just words, she was typing.

The Notebook

I knew it before she said it, I knew it was time. Her eyes were red, but there was such determination within them, more to be found with every step she took.
"It's time to go," she said to me, and she wanted to cry, but she did not.
"Okay," I replied.
I felt relieved. I felt scared.
We looked around us, watching everyone. We watched the younger ones running over the playground equipment, watched the girls with their jump ropes, the kids with their basketballs and watched the kids like us, sullen in circle groups.
It was a long moment.
Then we turned our backs and stepped forward. We were leaving the school grounds.
We were going to be free.

There is an area of hill, thick with trees just off school property. The safest place to be we decided quickly. We would be covered, sheltered from view. We could leave with everyone when school was over. Un-detected by teachers.
We had made plans. Most of them wasted. We had written them down in a yellow notebook…

Nora

England

I will tell you a story now. One from when I was just a little girl. I must not have been any older than 3. It was before we moved to Canada; oh, we lived through so much of it before we left.
My parents used to call me Chuck. Guess I had quite the arm and it made my father more proud than angry. I used to break a lot of stuff, they told me.
One time my mother's crystal vase.
It started back before I was a year old. I would get mad if no one came to get me right away when I woke-up in the morning. Mother always said she would wake-up in the morning with her toes already curled in terror at the sound from me. I would throw anything that was in my crib out. Not so nicely, either. I broke a window with my bottle once, they told me.
But I am getting side-tracked here and these are memories I do not own. Second-hand.
Let me get back to the story I do know, the one of when I was 3.

There was a wooden chair that stood beside my father's side of the bed. The cushi…

A Frank Introduction

It seems like it was yesterday when I first met him. The shades of his hair blended, dissolved into that curl. We talked for hours over the things most people don’t seem to mind.
The cup of coffee held our lulls.
“Have you ever noticed how ‘cow’ is such a funny word?” he said to me. “Go ahead, say it five times.”
I did. And the world lost its meaning in my voice, in those eyes.

I missed his point though, I could tell. He looked at me waiting for the revelation.
So I tried again.
“Cow, cow, cow, cow.”
And I fell to giggles after the fourth try. Blushing I ducked my eyes down.
“CowcowCOWCOWcow!” he responded with big eyes, his hands dramatically up in the air.
He looked stupider than I felt. It was good to know the world doesn’t have to feel serious all the time.

We walked from the small café. It was much later than morning time.
We took a right turn down an alley.
Then across someone’s yard.
The sun seemed to hold the growling dog in a light that was almost magical.
I wonder if it held the same effe…