The Baldest Hour of Want o’Clock

I want to write all the things for you
Search for all the songs
Carefully mine all the lyrics
All the verses
All the passages.
Package them, deliver them all at once
Trot them out once a day
For all the days.

I want to stop stealing what is not mine
Accumulating you piece by piece
Adding to a stockpile that doesn’t grow.
Each day at the baldest hour of want o’clock, the grains slip.
A sieve, the finest holes through the ventricles all the way to China.
A carpenter ant through my belly
Around the stalactites that intersect my breastplate
Around the bunion on my right foot out the tips of my toes.

I want to bury all the hatchets
Mend all the holes
Remove all the blinds
Dust all the shelves with only my bare hands.
Finish off the cornichons and toss all the olives
Stacked, treading oil in the jar
Trapped in an underwater chicken fight.

I want to add not subtract
Yet I most definitely do not want to divide.
Canned beef stew an actor’s fake vomit sprayed over the walls
A dog’s breakfast that you can’t eat but are served for years
seated in a folding chair at a folding table, the surface covered in spots of paint
Splatters of pink white blue yellow
Red
Memories so pure and true and good
You’d eat the folding table you really would –
Screw by screw nut by nut
Each plastic-coated aluminum leg including the hinges –
If each swallow would erase every lapse.

That’s not how it works.
At least not from where I sit
In a wooden chair at the laminate-topped table that I got to keep.

It’s not possible to nibble around the good times
and gobble swill smoke and chew the rest.
Something’s got to give and it’s me
I’ve got to go.

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Cookie-colored lenses

Yesterday I was so hungry I almost mistook a makeup sponge for a cookie. 

Yesterday I was so hungry I almost mistook a makeup sponge for a cookie. 

It was noon and I’d stayed out and up late the night before. Breakfast was long gone and I woke with a grumbling stomach. Coffee in bed – prepared and delivered not by me but FOR me – was divine and a fabulous way to start the last day of the year. As I accepted the extended mug, I contained my zeal but admit I did let an, ‘Oh my god,’ slip out, because coffee in bed is like a sixth lost love language.

(This is post one of a 31-day, 500-word writing challenge. In the span of publicly declaring on Facebook my commitment to the challenge and writing the above single line and paragraph, I have committed the following acts of procrastination: 

  1. Ran a word count. 96.
  2. Lit incense that I’ve not burnt in more than a year
  3. Put on a winter hat because it’s like a blanket for my head)

The coffee and company was great and although I bragged I wasn’t hungry, I needed to head home and get some food. And more coffee.

I usually avoid fast-food, but I was starving. Drive-through dark roast and what the hell, I won’t lie, a reheated bacon gouda hard roll went down easy but did not satiate. Was it ever there? Because suddenly it was gone. Maybe I’d eaten only half of it. I checked the paper bag.

But wait! What is this little delight I see peeking out from beneath my driving leg? A little gingerbread cookie? Isn’t that just the most darling thing ever. I’ve never known Starbucks to hand out free cookies. That barista must have had the holiday spirit too and felt my vibe back at her through the drive-up window and did a little pay-it-forward move, slipping a cute spicy molasses goodie in my bag. That book, ‘The Secret,’ was right – everything I need and want is here for the taking. So yeah, I’m gonna put you in my belly you bonus, surprise cookie.  Continue reading “Cookie-colored lenses”

Bathtime

Mr. Bubble paper box, soggy on the bottom
Die-cut spout like the box of baking soda in the kitchen.
Sparkly afros floating atop the bath water.
Extra bubbles, a treat that require work.

Tan, hairy forearm, the stretchy wristband of his Timex.
One shirt-sleeve rolled up,
On one knee in front of the tub.

Thinning salt-and-pepper hair oily with Vitalis
Rows raked that morning with the teeth of a black plastic comb
still visible.

Roughing up the water that gushed from the spigot
It was Niagra Falls then.

Agitating only the surface, no need to go deeper.
The sparkling mirrors inside the other sparking mirrors born from the flakes
The frothy cells winked, this is where the fairies lived.
God’s beard adrift in the bathtub.


Misc:

Too many bubble baths in succession make you itch
In places you shouldn’t scratch in public.

Experiments to determine if a big toe could become stuck in the faucet proved inconclusive.

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Sometimes, it’s gorillas

I’m pretty sure my daughter’s friend thinks I’m whacky. But, maybe not. Maybe she gets me. More likely, she doesn’t think that at all because she’s not thinking about me.

The three of us are in the car. My daughter in the passenger seat; her friend in the back. I dare glance at the youngest of my two children. I take in her face, her features suspended between child and young woman. I note how her eyelashes nearly brush the inside lenses of her sunglasses.

She allows my gaze for a couple seconds before turning to me with a scalding, ‘What?” followed by a withering, “Why are you looking at me?” and finally, “Why are you talking about gorillas?”

I’m talking about gorillas, I tell her, because they’re interesting. Because we have things in common with gorillas; with other people and it pays to take notice sometimes. To think of things other than manicures and makeup and boys; switching to her dad’s house and lunches out with friends. (She’s right. I also spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about these same things.)

I’m talking about gorillas because her 13-year-old best friend in the backseat has a younger brother who is autistic and non-verbal. And I want to share a story I heard a couple evenings ago that I think she will appreciate.

As I deliver my preamble, I’m struck by how unpredictable and confusing entry-level teenagers can be. Interactions with them remind me of the time I found a raccoon in my front yard. I was surprised and happy to see this unexpected guest. How lovely and delightful! I remember thinking, “Surely this is some sort of mystical visit. Wait. Maybe it’s a dead relative come to visit in animal form!” I had to get closer.  Continue reading “Sometimes, it’s gorillas”

Coffee cups. The good, the bad & the real.

I’m not sure why I’ve not just thrown it away yet, that offensive holiday coffee mug. Each morning, it mocks me from the back row of the cupboard. All fat and stupid and in poor taste. It offends me.

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I’m going to toss it today.

I’m not a coffee cup snob, just particular. I loved the mug my ex-husband gave me one Valentine’s Day and mourned when it broke. A thick, white mug that proclaimed, ‘I like everything hot,’ punctuated with a sexy little red heart and lipsticked kissy lips.

When Tinder was still permitting Moments (the little photographic peeks into your life you could share with your matches), I posted that picture. A colorfully composed, ‘I’m not trying too hard but look how cool and possibly easy I am’ shot of that mug artfully placed off-center, in front of an equally cool potted plant or two against the backdrop of the graphic black-and-off white, indoor-outdoor Greek key rug on my sunroom floor. – Keep reading!