During my long career drafting briefs which were destined to be hacked up in committee, I discovered this unflagging rule: the less time spent on the first draft, the more people like it.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
This week's 100 Word Song Challenge is ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man." As my second try at this challenge, I feel I have found a better groove with this one. More of an inspired by, and less a reworking of the words, as I (probably mistakenly) did with my prior entry. Here we go....
"Mama, want to wear your sunglasses!"
Little does my three year old know that his Mama has absolutely outrageous taste in sunglasses. From giant white square frames to bedazzled bug-eyes to priceless retro specs with chains instead of arms that hang from the ears like earrings. And little does he care. If it is good enough for Mama, it is surely good enough for him.
He looks absolutely ridiculous in each pair. Still, I take a photo of him every time, and keep an album of his Elton John looks. A once in a lifetime opportunity. To feel loved unconditionally.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Pain doc prescribed some new stuff for my nerve pain last month. Something called "compound cream" which contains various percentages of different pain-type drugs. You can't get this stuff at your local CVS! They send the prescription directly to a special pharmacy and it comes a few days later in the mail. Good thing too, because that is quicker than the husband going to the local store.
So I am researching the various components on Wikipedia and have learned quite a bit, not only about the drugs, but about my condition.
Neuropathic pain can be very difficult to treat with only some 40-60% of patients achieving partial relief. ... Determining the best treatment for individual patients remains challenging. Attempts to translate scientific studies into best practices are limited by factors such as differences in reference populations and a lack of head-to-head studies.(References omitted.)
Well isn't that special. I wish for more surgery every fucking day, yet am slow to find someone who can do it. The first guy, well, second guy who worked on it reduced a huge amount of the problem. I want him back so badly, but it doesn't seem in the cards. In fact, it seems quite impossible. Damn.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Today, I woke up in a box. A small box in which I fit nicely and not at all. My fingers wiggle and my toes curl. The movement of my breath reaches the edges, my lungs expanding as they fill with air.
I cannot see the box, for all is black. I am black, it is black, we blend as one. But we are not one. It traps me. It supresses the very essence of my being. I am nothing in this impossibly small box in which I cannot move.
You put me in here, I think. Your daily nitpicking, your unkindnesses, your infidelities. They have piled upon me until I cannot move beneath them. The weight of their lid supported by cruelness and beautifully complex Cabernet.
I can smell it. A single ray of hope, out of place in this void. A bouquet of cherries and chocolate and leather and just a tinge of apropos dark grey pencil lead. Is it here with me? In the box? Do you taunt me as well with my favorite smell? Maybe it is taste. My senses are blending to one here in the dark stillness of the box in which I woke.
Speech fails me. My ears hear naught, and my mouth remains still. There is nothing but the box, filled with the appearance of death and the smell of joyous life. Is there no way out?
Y pues nada.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
A new writing challenge to avoid having to think for myself: The 100 Word Song. This week, Chasing Cars. Amazingly, a current song I not only know, but sing at karaoke sometimes. It is supposed to be a story inspjred by the lyrics of a song. I meshed everything up because it just worked that way. Here we go....
Before you were my best friend
And before you were my confidante,
I was so in love with you.
But friendship was all we had.
I told you once.
How I felt.
You let me down most gently.
Years have past,
We are oh so close.
Don't think I don't sometimes wonder.
If I just lay here, would you lie with with me and just forget the world?
Forget the decisions we've made, the decades of others, the times we've missed.
Forget what we're told, we're already too old.
All that I want is to be perfect in your eyes.
What would you do if you had only three days? If the world was ending and you knew they were the last three days of everything you knew? Would you party like it was, well, like it was the end of the world? Make love non-stop to you husband? Toss your marriage and fuck a bunch of strangers? Read the bible? Pray for salvation? Think you could do anything to change what you have been told is inevitable? Three days and infinite choices.
But what would you do if you didn't know the world would end in three days? Wake up to your usual alarm, kiss your girlfriend as you both ran out the door, work a 12 hour day and meet her later for dinner? Cheap Chinese delivery? A crappy movie on TV, the news, some mundane emailing, and bed? The possibilities not even passing through your mind.
I had three days once. On a Monday evening, the man I loved got down on one knee and proposed marriage. He had waited 33 years to meet the woman of his dreams, and there I was, screaming at the top of my lungs and not caring that there wasn't a ring or that his words were uneasy instead of eloquent. I loved him in ways I didn't know existed. I loved his faults. And he mine.
We spent the next three days finishing moving in together, calling friends and relatives. Working. Taking the bus rather than a taxi after being lectured about saving money. Walking the dog. Dishes, trash, errands, bills, email, web, TV, news, bed.
On a Thursday afternoon, our world ended. Very suddenly and involving a very heavy bus. And we hadn't even danced.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
A continuation of Stolen Time:
It wasn't the first time.
He crafted seductively gorgeous words.
She, blissfully enraptured.
Her body silently begged.
He had his own time.
It was the first time.
Their kiss took her breath.
He took the rest.
He took all that he needed.
Hot, lustful, indelibly passionate.
Then her time was up.
Was it ever real?
"I never loved you."
Time found her another.
Betrothed and loved.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
I sat him at the table with his afternoon snack. Although restless, I told him he could keep mommy company while she was doing the dishes. My intended meaning, to eat his snack, was apparently lost. Rather, he ventured to the family room to retrieve one of his stools. I was so wrapped up in scrubbing that I jumped when his blonde head popped up beside me.
"I want to do the dishes with you, mommy."
In the space between three and four, and between snack time and budding chores, I know I teared up. More than just a little.
Written for Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge. Prompt Doing Dishes
Monday, September 17, 2012
She spun wildly on the grass wriggling the blades between her toes. Inhaling deeply, her lungs filled with its freshly cut scent, the scent of vibrant green and lush mornings. Her cinnamon-tinged hair glistened in the sunlight, highlighted by her full red dress as it caught the breeze and swirled along with her. I watched from a short distance, allowing her the space she needed to drink in the feeling of home, but staying close enough to feel her elation. Out of breath, she ran to me, her blue eyes sparkling and arms open wide. She was where she belonged.
Written for Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge. Prompt cinnamon.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
9/11 came and went and I feel like shit for not feeling more like shit. I was there. I saw it with my own eyes. The anchorperson didn't tell me the first building fell, my brain struggled to make sense of what it had just seen. The air smelled like dead people for weeks. To this day, and living at another end of the country, I still cannot eat outside after seeing people sit at an outdoor cafe eating Mexican food as the soot and ash that was 3000 lives hung over them in the air.
Somewhere on all of those backup discs and CDs and drives are my accounts, my photos, the story of my frozen mind and body. They lay buried in a morass like all that debris trucked over to the Staten Island dump to be sifted through to find the DNA remains of the missing dead. Someone was going to put my Flash movies in the Smithsonian collection. I don't recall if I ever sent them to her.
My life changed forever that day. All these years later, it seems less a change and more just the fabric of my being. There were tears today, but many fewer. Jingoism has replaced feeling and originality. War and politics have taken over for compassion and grace. Heroism is gone. Reverence, solemnity, and unity have gone with it. All that is left are those two holes in the ground and the carnival of ugliness that surrounds them.
Rest in peace, dear Larry. For we shall not.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I had just been sprung from nine weeks in the hospital and my fiancé was showering me with the most wonderful gifts. The first was a trip to the hair salon for a much needed cut and color. He wheeled me down to my usual spot and picked me up when I was done. My hairdresser loved him and his thoughtfulness.
Because there was so little time between meeting and engagement and then the blink of an eye between engagement and the hospital, the people who inhabited my life had not had too much time to get to know him. Certainly not as I had. His kindness, his absolute honesty, his unabashed love for me. These were things that took getting used to under the best of circumstances.
They were all such a radical departure from my first husband. It was, admittedly, many years ago. But you get that paranoid "what his he doing behind my back" thing going. Even after 15-some years you have a hard time shaking it off. Five mistresses. Gun dealing. Siphoning off my hard-earned salary to nefarious purposes. Absolutely no redeeming moments, hindsight explaining that even the best of the worst was all his illusion.
A few days after the hair salon, my fiancé surprised me again and wheeled me into my small, cramped nail salon. They made enough room for me to comfortably remain in my wheelchair. He was there for less than five minutes, ready, again, to pick me up when done. The Korean woman began work on my nails, asking if he was my husband.
"Not yet! He is my fiancé. We will be married next year," I beamed.
"He has such kind eyes," she said so sweetly and then turned back to the business of tackling my cuticles. I could not help but smile at his almost instant likability. No wonder he caught me so off guard.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
In the absence of anything better to write, I revert to what I started in March 1999, the old-fashioned, honest to goodness, real old school blog post:
I am pretty sure I caught my son's pink eye. I am not looking forward to the drops any more than he does. I will have to call the doctor in the morning. I wish I could go longer than two days without seeing a doctor. 'Night!
Posted by FKC on September 6 @ 2:00am
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The window in his third-floor office provided a clean, safe perch from which to eye the workers below. He ran the factory as he ran his life, with incredible precision and without waiver. People would always need shoes, and he made them. He made them well and beautiful and with that dinosaur of a machine that made the pundits cry "sweatshop" and the fashionistas cry with delight. And so he kept making shoes, because he knew nothing else, though they all thought he did. High in his impeccable red-lined box, he choked back his $200 cognac while the grimy masses below toiled endlessly for their daily bread.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
"And by the way, a plane hit the World Trade Center."
"Whatever, mom, call me back in ten minutes. I was at work too late last night."
Her head plopped back to her pillow. The last sentence sticking in her sleepy brain, she pictured a cartoonish plane flying into one of her beloved buildings, kind of bouncing off, and then falling straight to the ground. Really, now, what could her mother possibly be talking abo....
Holy shit, a plane hit the World Trade Center! She bolted upright and called her mother back.
"Turn on the TV. NBC. See that?"
"Must be one of those small planes, I don't see anything but some smoke. What is that? Holy shit, anothe...."
The phone went dead. She raced outside to see it with her own eyes. One flight for each building.
What is that?
Oh. My. God.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
She arrived at the party dressed in a miniskirt that had been approved by her 85 year-old widowed neighbor and her 20-something smart-ass doorman. Having a crush on the party's host, she was ever more anxious to impress with her new, hard-won figure. She had been to the same party, thrown in the same place, by the same man for every Independence Day that she could remember. Everyone always congregated at Mitch's to have a sky-high front row view of the fireworks, along with the rare opportunity for real suburban barbeque in the middle of the City.
Mitch greeted her with uncharacteristic compliments. She basked in the attention she had tried hard to win, but there was no sign that he had changed his mind. He walked her out to the balcony and introduced her to two men. There was something absolutely immediate about one of them, an inexplicable wave of emotion swelled for this new soul. Her brain lit up with fireworks before the show even began. She cast Mitch aside to learn why this stranger had such a pull on her.
As more people rolled into the party, her attention was pulled in a dozen directions. Fate tossed her about the apartment like a pinball, and soon he was lost to her. But as people rearranged to see the fireworks, he had moved to a prime location overlooking one of the barges floating directly beneath their twentieth floor view. She walked over and coolly asked "is this space taken?"
With the warmest smile she had ever seen, his eyes alight, he said "yes, I have been saving it for you." They stood side by side watching the brilliant display. She, standing on one ankle so her six inch platforms would not make her taller than him. He, unable to figure out what to do next.
On July 4th, she turned to him and quite seriously said "I'm cold." He placed his arm around her. The rest, as they say, is history.
Note: I would like to dedicate this to the real Mitch, who passed just over three years ago of pancreatic cancer in his mid-40s. My husband, my son, and I owe him everything. We miss him dearly.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
She was not new to the back of an ambulance, nor to the ER, the process now as common as grabbing a cup of coffee. Her fiancé joined her in short order, easily able to skirt the guards assigned to keep people alone with their pain.
"You know, my boss thought I was lying when I told him I was leaving for this," he said, with what had become an escalating tinge of annoyance.
"It's not like it was my fault." She had always been a passenger. Well, except that once. But that wasn't her fault either. The internal investigation said so! The appearance of a round man in her curtained prison snapped her from an ugly flashback and into the present.
"Hello, I am Doctor Barrow. What brings you . . . wow, look at that! It's massive! How long has it been there?"
She was sad to have to disappoint him. "It's not the leg. I was just now in a car accident."
The gruesome man had stopped listening, asking question after question about her leg. Yes, it was a different accident. I was walking. I know, I'm in a lot of accidents. I have kept score. It's the fifth in the back seat of a car. Not. My. Fault. Flashing back again, smothered by fear and desperation, the only word she could manage was "Stop!"
Her frustration obvious, her fiancé stepped in to speak with the doctor. The questions blissfully ended. After a perfunctory examination and a feeble offer of duplicative pills, the couple headed home.
"I know it's not your fault," he whispered, his tone markedly reversed from his earlier harshness. "I love you, we are getting married! What will we do if you're run over by another bus? Be careful!"
His playfulness was returning, much to her relief. A broad smile passed over his lips along with that twinkle in his eyes, and she knew. She knew he was The One, and that he would love her forever, no matter what.
Exactly 333 words fulfilling, in my mind, all three challenges. Ms. Unlucky's adventures may be found sprinkled among my posts, both past and future.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Innocent virgin meets rich and powerful.
Not how she imagined.
Yet attempt she did.
His dysfunction was her ambrosia.
Elevators, cars, boathouses.
Whenever, wherever he demanded.
Her resistance was unconvincing.
Even to her.
With all apologies for a second entry and for a second entry utilizing the crappiest book ever. I actually think my summary is an improvement. With all the Shades Of Blue thrown around during the week, I had Grey unbearably on the brain. Be happy you only have to read 33 words!
Friday, June 22, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
In the Jewish tradition, we named our son after relatives who had left this world for other things. His first name a forgone conclusion, having been born so close to my grandmother's passing. His middle name, however, awaited his father's choice of an honoree.
After much deliberation, he settled on a favorite aunt who, although married, had led a childless life. She had no one to continue her name. But the good heart of my husband extended back two generations to ensure her remembrance.
Over our years together, he had told many fantastic stories of his Aunt Betty. Her boat, her exotic homes, her private plane. Oh yes, Aunt Betty must have been a grand great aunt. I was already sad to have never had the chance to know her.
We thus set out to find a name that began with the letter B, a modern Americanization of the ancient tradition. We poured through all manner of advice. One day, I hit the jackpot. Recalling my fondness for a certain strain of girls' names - those involving colors - I proposed "Blue" to my darling, traditionally minded husband. Much to my surprise and delight, he loved it. Our baby had a name!
Hunter Blue and I were watching TV one day, and the bunny on his show was becoming very sad because his day was not going as planned. The sadder he became, the more his color changed from a brilliant yellow to a deep, deep blue. Hunter, being only three years old, was perplexed.
"Mama, why is that bunny blue? I am Blue, not the bunny."
My heart sank all the way to the center of the earth. In our exuberance, we never considered that Blue was anything but a beloved color that would well represent Aunt Betty. I think I cried, I cannot recall. How did I tell my only child that his name stood for sadness?
Monday, June 18, 2012
A friend had brought waterless toothbrushes and body wipes. A nice offering, but the morphine and the stream of pretty, pretty flowers were a much higher priority. Forced to leave those things behind and move to the rehabilitation hospital, it had been weeks since her hair had been washed. Gross. Itchy. "You smell like a homeless person." Should a new fiancée say such things? There was a lady. If you could find her. She had a contraption to place around your neck while sitting in your wheelchair next to the sink. $15. Water. Shampoo. Invigorating doesn't nearly cover it.
Written for Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge. Prompt: invigorating.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Michelle and I were always talking about the men in (and out) of our lives. Nothing was off limits, the dirty little secret that men never believe. Our talks would make several locker rooms worth of braggarts blush. But it was fun and liberating and at some level the way we both coped with our singlehood as we each lost a steady stream of co-conspirators to marriage.
The thrill of public sex was something we shared, and shared often enough that a competition had evolved: which of us could do the most in the strangest place. Two Type A's running loose in the City looking to get their freak on. Depressingly, I could never match Michelle's best. In an alley, in a grimy-cum-trendy part of town (pun perhaps intended), up against a wall. Oh how I envied her and that story.
My envy was not for the place or the guy or even the thrill. After all, I have a husband now. And while he blushes at the idea of our competition, he is a willing participant in keeping the spirit alive. My envy was, and always has been, her lithe flexible body to my Rubenesque clunkiness that the story always brings to the fore. My husband is happy to enact our own version, but I know I could never accomplish sex standing up. No man would ever lift me by my ass, my legs wrapping around his waist, and fuck me against a wall.
It is the eve of Michelle's wedding. We haven't spoken of our competition in many years. Indeed, after I was married, she kind of stopped sharing as I was bound to by my vows. I am happy she has found someone who will love her forever and that our timelines might once again meet. We can now share stories of husbands, marriage, and eventually children. Perhaps another type of friendly competition will be on the horizon as we continue to share ourselves with each other.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Every bus she saw would set awake memories that she tried mightily to put to sleep. Rather than slumber, they woke with a powerful force smacking her face, smashing to the ground, and pinning her shins to her chest. She pounded on the bus, screaming for help. The back wheels were precariously close. Not knowing if the bus would stop, she screamed ever more madly. Lying on her back in the street, she could see people start running through the intersection, scattering in all directions. Toward the bus, toward her. They heard. Someone heard! She wiggled her toes. Hope remained.
Written for Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge. Prompt: slumber
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
I was startled out of my sleep by a loud sound. It was familiar, but in the dead of night I struggled to make out it's meaning. My eyes pried open and a small blonde head came into focus.
Right, my son. The nightmares. Again. OK, get it together. He is three and you are not new to this. What time is it anyway?
I wiped away his few stray tears and scooped him up into my arms, assuring him that he was safe and loved. I could feel his body relax as he fell deep into my embrace. We sat silently, rocking slowly and slightly by the light of the numbers on the clock.
If I am awake at 3am, I should be working. Comforting children is for mommies, not lawyers. What can I possibly tell him that I have not already? Why is that not enough? Surely my arguments were sound and logical. He is safe in his bed, in his room, in our house, in our neighborhood, in our town. Mommy and Daddy always come back. Yes, Mommy and Daddy always come back. Ah yes, I am Mommy now. Why is that so hard to remember?
Unbidden, he lifted his head from my shoulder. In a whisper as soft as his years-gone newborn skin he said "Mommy, I love you." A tear ran down my cheek as I pulled him back to his safe place.
Monday, June 4, 2012
My husband is not a computer or internet person. Seems hard to believe that I ended up with a sports junkie who knows nothing of this other world in which I live. Even after all these years, I am still explaining why I have never met some of my best friends and why others live half a world away, but all are as real to me as if they lived next door.
Given this, you can well imagine that the concept of a personal blog is somewhat beyond his grasp. I was quite actively blogging when we met, and in the interest of full disclosure, I told him about it and offered not to mention him if he was uncomfortable or assured an appropriate pseudonym if he gave the OK. He was fine with it, but remained perplexed about the details. He always had my URL, but never read anything I didn't actively show him. When I started up here, he was thrilled and encouraging, now knowing how therapeutic writing can be for me. But the same old questions continued to bug him. Who reads this? Why would anyone read it? How do people find it?
I really didn't have an answer for him. I know the Trifecta folks are popping by to read my entries, as I do with theirs each round. But who else? I let the word out to old blog friends. I will eventually be picked apart by Google and have all manner of strange referrers. But really, who comes through here and why do they care? I still don't know, any more than I know why I visit the blogs of total strangers.
My best guess, is that people who write honest, real, personal blogs are telling the stories of their lives, and reading them is like watching a soap opera and peeking into a forbidden diary all rolled into a single package with fancy graphics and pretty pictures. You just get hooked. You want to know if that date Friday night worked out, or if the baby is a boy or a girl, or if they really are getting a divorce. They say truth is stranger than fiction. Certainly my truth is exponentially so. Maybe this is what has us glued.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
It was that time, when the night blended into a dark mass and its sky fell over all the earth. Few people ever see this mysterious time, when the lights in the houses are dark and barely a flicker of a stray television that some lucky soul had fallen asleep to might be seen in the distance. It was the time of the night shift worker, the boozy club kid staggering home, and that particular breed of human known as the insomniac. She had been one for as long as she could remember, the years melting into one long night covered by stars or moons or the haze of clouds that would obscure them all.
It was this forever night that took her into its confidence. It embraced her, whispering its dark secrets into her frustrated ears. Night after night she would listen to its call - the stray siren, the scream that should have distressed her but never did, the revving motorcycles and noisy buses. They all spoke to her in the elite language of the pitch black. This was her lullaby. The secrets of the night unfolded themselves to her and in turn her soul cried back to them. A dialogue that ended only with the first light of dawn.
There is life in the suburbs to write about. Sadly, it is usually quite boring, and most things revolve around the difficulties of home ownership. Actually, much of that would entertain, especially my encounters with the local flora and fauna. And maybe the puppy will develop a personality worth mentioning. I could always dwell on my pain and my efforts to relieve it. How joyous would that be to read?
My life has undergone a sea change since last most of you heard from me. Snippets on Facebook don't really tell the story. I want more than that, I need it, and quite frankly I deserve it. The hard part is that I just want it for myself and those who understand what the personal blog is all about. It's a lost art, I think, overshadowed by celebloggers, paid posts, commercialization, and the ever decreasing ability to remain pseudo-nonymous. I am going to try to reclaim some of that, and share it with the few of you who will come by for old times' sake, and the perhaps more of you who follow Trifecta. Certainly stay tuned for that bit. It is a story that needs to be told.
Above all, if you have been invited to this space, I quite strongly exhort you to respect the anonymity I am trying to maintain here. It is all I have left that is just for me. Good night, good friends, good gracious.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Finding herself on the floor of yet another car, and now pondering the idea of an exorcism, she looked back on the past months with profound sadness and confusion. One person could not possibly be as unlucky as she had been. The time when she was successful businesswoman, engaged to her own personal Adonis, seemed an eternity away. The rapid decay of her life stood in bleak contrast to that which she once was. The tears came less slowly each time. This time, it was the familiar sound of the sirens that triggered their deluge.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
It was all she could do to hang on even a few more minutes in the office. Her health had not fully returned, by all accounts a permanent situation. So she called the car service and slipped away to get a ride home. The car arrived on time, and she was thankful that the driver was able to quickly get her walker in the trunk. A walker at 30 years old, cut tennis balls on the bottom and all. Pathetic. Having to help was so tiring, and her leg was already swollen and stiff. She climbed into the back seat and turned sideways to stretch her legs out on its large expanse. Ah, the relief. Her ankle had resumed its big as a baseball habit, signaling its need to have a half dozen or so pillows propping it up. Just ten minutes. Just ten minutes.
As the car exited the highway, she could practically see her apartment building through her half-closed eyes. Just a few more blocks. Just a few more blocks and ... thud. Before she knew what happened, she'd been bounced off the back seat and on to the expansive floor of the town car. She was frozen. Frozen with memories, flashbacks, and the idea that this could be happening again, and again, and again. Though the muffled yelling of two drivers intruded on her shock, she could think of only one thing: call her therapist. When the therapist answered the phone, the words poured out, no identification necessary. "I was just in car accident." There was a silence at the other end of the line. A knowing, deep, long silence that was contemplating each instance of trouble she had endured and searching for the comforting words that no longer existed. The silence was broken with a considered and sincere suggestion. "Perhaps we should get you an exorcism."
My blog's name is quite simply explained. My Blogger user name is "you" and it was also the first name I used when logging on to a BBS some time in 1991. So rather than involve all the baggage of who I became, I have chosen to return to who I was. And that was originally You.