Tuesday, April 29, 2008

If I was a writer...the things I would write

Pilfering through my past... tonight, I came across something I wrote some time ago. I thought... it was something profound, something of significance, something of great worth, something monumental and to be recorded, something to inspire someone...if only myself.

It meant so much to me, at the time, that I had pulled out my keepsake journal from days gone by.
A hardbound spiral with more blank pages than filled...
and sheets more yellow than white,
gifted to me some 15 years ago,
by someone I value so much I would never want to taint the pages with anything but the best.

I rummaged around until I found a clicker bic pen,
I imagined I would write until I finally fell way to sleep
I didn't want the gel ink to bleed onto my sheets as the uniball had many years before.

I made sure I had a bulb in my bedside lamp & fresh linens on the bed.
I propped my pillows just so & filled my glass of tea.
I emptied the ashtray & crawled into the bed I hadn't slept in for close to a year.
I got myself ready to pour out my heart & soul, old school style ...
pen and paper, sideways on the bed...
prepared to stay up for half the night
babbling on about some of my most intimate thoughts, feelings and experiences...

And so I did just that...

Block letters on yellowed pages of a hardbound journal from days gone by...

The beginning and the ending of my ever-so-profound-old-school-writing....

two letters, one word...


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pixies, Post-its & Keeping My Word

I don't know what made me think it was a good idea.
Perhaps it was the mischievous grin the UPS guy & I always shared when he dropped off or picked up packages.
Perhaps it was the reams of paper, stacks of post-its and such that was within those boxes.
What-ever my reasoning, I guess a reasonably intelligent business owner should have known better than have a girl who daydreams about being a Pixie, a Fairy or even BeWitched as his office manager.
'I'm gonna borrow some office supplies, if that's OK. I promise I get 'em back to you in the next week or so.'
Ever-so-trusting...'Sure. Never a problem Skinny.'
Ten packs of post-its turned into fifteen, then maybe even twenty. I lost count, but I kept them all, knowing that I would have to make good on my word to the boss-man.
In fact, I kept them in a cigar box.
Then, I kept them in two.
Finally, I had them in three.
Three. 3. The magic number.
I fiddled and faddled with those plain, mundane little squares of sticky paper night after night.
Alone sometimes, but usually with good company and sometimes even some not-so-good-company, but company none-the-less.
Armed with permi-markers & cold beer, we would sit around my kitchen table and doodle.
A flower.
A candle.
A sun.
A man.
A peace sign.
A word.
A sentence.
A song.
A thought.
Finally, I gathered the three boxes & took them with me.
First, I covered the white mercedes benz convertible, inside & out.
Then I left a trail, like cookie crumbs from the car across the cold concrete to the door.
In the door the trail led though one room, down a hall and ultimately to the downstairs bathroom.
Why the downstairs bathroom?
Because I never used it.
Happy Birthday to the boss-man.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Charm Bracelets

Charm bracelets.
Every girl wants one, especially if they have never had one.
Puppy dogs and kittens, ballet slippers & music notes, footballs and years, Statues of Liberty & Leaning Towers, airplanes & trains, lucky clovers & Italian stallions, hearts. peace signs & flowers.
No two charm bracelets alike... like no two girls are quite alike. A reflection of experiences, desires, dreams, past times & times past or yet to come.
I never had a charm bracelet & thought it would be a good idea to get all my nieces one along with two charms for Christmas several years ago. Making my purchase at a large, national retailer I inquired about warranties and was told 'one year: replace or repair if you retain the receipt.'
Four months later, I took two of my nieces & a broken charm bracelet back to the retailer along with my receipt. The girl at the counter said that there was nothing they could do. She happened to be the same exact person who sold me the bracelets and charms. Reminding her of that and still denied, I asked for the department manager. Yet, again I was told that there was nothing that could be done, as they no longer did repairs and the bracelets were over thirty days old.
I asked to speak to the store manager.
He repeated the same thing.
After spending entirely too much time discussing the ins and outs of them changing their company policy, I finally asked the store manager if they accepted returns from other locations.
He said, ' Yes for any reason at all ... as long as they are within thirty days & accompanied with a receipt.'
'Oh, Ok. Great. Thanks for your time... C'mon Girls.'
Off we went, six skinny legs in long stride.
We went into the far-side location of this national retailers and picked up a replacement charm bracelet. Then we went on a glorious little shopping spree. Picking out & up anything and everything that three young ladies could ever want & never really need. When our buggy was full, we smooshed the stuff down. When it got full again, we took out a ten dollar item and replaced it with a similar sized fifty dollar item. We giggled and laughed all the way to the counter.
Cha-Ching, Cha-ching, Cha-ching...the wonderful sound of profits for the far-side retailer.
Cha-ching...the short-term sound of the power of plastic.
Back at the truck, we loaded the bed up and then sat on the tail-gate and opened one package... a silver charm bracelet. The broken one got dropped back into the package provided by the far-side and new one got placed on the wrist....
Thirty minutes later...
'Ma'am, are you returning all these items?'
'Goodness. What's the matter with it all?'
'Oh, we just bought too much. I was told by your manager we could return everything for any reason as long as it was within 30 days and I had the receipt.' Passing her the receipt,'Most of it hasn't even been taken out of the bag.'
'Oh, Ok.'
The final Cha-Ching of the day. With credit in hand...'Oh, tell your manager that the charm bracelet is broken.'

footnote: Yes, I could have just eaten the thirty bucks and just replaced the girls bracelet, but it was the principle. In between my personal spending & corporate spending, they had made about a hundred bucks a week off of me for years and possibly years to come. When this retailers changed their policy, they were no longer honoring their word. In their world, words are worthless but money is not. Words should never be worthless.
Smart Cars Incorporated aka Smartcarsinc.net have proven their word to be worthless. But words are never really worthless.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday. Glorious Day Off.

Sunday. Glorious day off.
Stayed up extra late last night in a private, personal celebration.
I knew I would awaken to a pile of past due bills, a heap of leaky-faucet soaked dishes, a hill of 'you-can-not-wear-me-again' clothes and wall-to-wall dog-hair flooring.
Late, late, late last night....I rolled up an oriental rug & for whatever reason, balanced my skinny spine on this cigar shaped pile.
I turned my head & saw Smokie coming.
He kaplopped down onto the floor and nestled his head into my neck.
plump. plump.plump.
The sound of his tail striking the hardwoods lured Vilulah up from her bed.
Rump up and head down, she too, nestled into me.
I loved on them and then fell still.
They joined me in the stillness.
Black nosed and dead-weight heads resting about my shoulders and chest... while I still remained balanced upon my makeshift resting spot.
No staffers calling in sick. No deadlines. No laundry. No sirens. No bill collectors or shut-off notices. No dishes. No static. No concept of time.
Nope. None of this.

Just peace. My peace. The kind of peace I just love. Balanced, warm, trusting & true.

I miss my Marbeline still terribly so....but, Gawd, I love my dogs.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Good Books & Bourbon on Black and Blue Nights

When a new moon shines her face high in the sunshines sky, it doesn't make the day any brighter, but more interesting. And you know it means that come nightfall, she's gonna leave you be. Left long enough without her, your eyes will adjust... catching shades of black and blue in everything.
Emergency candles. About four and half inches tall. Ten at a time, they come in a plain open-face box. An everyday saucer turns into a candle holder when you flic the bic and melt the bottom of these ten cent lights & quickly smoosh their base to the saucer.
Living without power every night is a late night filled with cooking out & candle light, but the new moon nights seem to be the latest of late nights. It's dark...really dark. People go to bed early ... all but the night owls.
Some of the night owls are older & wander out to roam the streets, smoking cigarettes on the corner and talking about 'One day...' Some, like me, are younger and have to stay in.
Some folks that aren't normally night owls become night owls under the influence of a lack of moonshine & the presence of cheap bourbon. That would be my dad.
I, like him, have fallen pray to never 'going to bed' but instead simply 'falling asleep.' We read, watch, talk until K-Plop! we're out.
For him it always seems like he falls asleep hours and hours before me.
But take away the moon and it's shine and leave it's place a ten cent candle and a cheap bottle of bourbon & he'll be up all night.
It was 1974 or maybe it was 1976. I can't remember.
The house was dark and quiet. Very quiet. No hum of the fridge. No clicking of the water pump. No birds outside whistling. No snoring.
Everyone was asleep or out and about. Except for me. And him. And he had already been in sqwaukin at me ...'go to sleep child!'
I could hear him fidgeting, munting, grunting, shifting, twisting, grumbling & occassionally I could hear the clink of the bottle returning to the counter top. I laid still...staring out the window, willing my eyes to be able to see better than shades of blue and black in this dark, moonless night.
I heard a door open, then close. More grumbling. Then a rummaging sound. Another clink and the door opened again, followed by the sound of something outside. I didn't budge.
It went quiet again. Totally quiet. I started to get up to investigate, but froze in fear as I heard the door again. This time it simply closed with a slam.
Somewhere, someone stirred then, again, total silence. I laid there for eternity, playing possum...waiting for the grumble, for the clink. It never came.
So, I pitter-pattered quietly to the front of the house. I could see no-one, even with the light from the street shining in. I went to the door and looked out the window.
There, under the street light and down by the road, lay one twin sized mattress. Upon it a man, my father, in baby blue boxers on his back with one leg bent & the other crossed over it. His head was cocked to the side, like I had seen it a thousand times before, intently focused on the hard-back book clutched in his left hand.
Twas the night of new moons and, finally, to all a good night.

Images compliments of my little world, the world wide web & the dumb asses at smart cars inc;)