Tag Archives: reality

Gone but not forgotten

“He had two pairs of sneakers and steel-toed boots.” my neighbor’s frail widow explained.  

My sympathy casserole and I stood while the spider-webbed sneakers sat on the stoop. 

“Had them as long as I can remember. He never wanted for nothin new’.” Smiling slightly she added, “Said all he needed was already here.”

My quiet plow guy’s vintage tractor and duct-taped sneakers now made sense. I quietly judged him the way he disapproved my unshoveled property. He wore the boots when he fixed cars behind their renovated chapel.

She sighed, “They’re his Sunday best. I cannot bear to throw them away.”

Friday Fictioneers 100 word challenge and photo prompt.

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Electrifying

Our youngest daughter is finally out of an 8′ x 8′ cell block dorm room after three years. She moved off-campus with her roommate for senior year. Utilities are not included in their rent.

The impact of paying their own additional electric bill was evident on move-in day. All of us were carrying, unpacking or setting up throughout the day and my daughter was also completing all the finishing touches. When I took a break to peek into my daughter’s windowless bedroom and see her progress, I turned on the light.

“It’s still daylight, you don’t need to turn on the lights.” She stated this in a very matter of fact way as she shut the light back off.

I chuckled only to myself, thinking about all the TVs left on with no one in the room, years of radios into the night and endless cell phone charging we tolerated at our house.

Toward the end of the day,  we regrouped to get some dinner. The bathroom is at the end of the hall before you leave the apartment. I stopped in front of the powder room to  turn on the light and told everyone I’d be just a moment.

“How old are you?”, as my daughter reached her arm back in to shut off the light, “you don’t need a light to go to the bathroom. You should know where everything is by now.”

The family laughed and headed toward the entryway as I stepped into the now darkened bathroom.

I closed the door thinking Tarah’s behavior wasn’t so funny this second time.  I stifled my laughter as I realized it could be. I turned the main light back on, along with the shower light and fan and their nightlight.

My passive aggressive, behind closed doors, immature behavior probably cost an additional .00063 cents but –

I didn’t want to be treated like a prisoner –

and I don’t look forward to her full release in one more year.

Minds Eye

Sharing an event or special item was called “Show and Tell” when I was a young girl.

An editor told me last night, if you want a reader to share the experience, “Show, don’t  tell”.

Writing is not just the vista, it’s a passage about the passage. Bring all the senses to life and share every emotion, dream and desire of the character. 

Describe to your audience what it’s like to become a woman.

Drive-In

An August night in the seventies with no breeze or air conditioning. The thermometer still reads 88 just before sundown. A heat wave is not a great time to watch a movie outside. Too hot and heavy. It weighs on you.

There’s a lot of nothing going on in this section of the nearest city and this drive-in is like an active junk yard. Living room afghans have thrown up over the asphalt and a crowd of little kids are lucky enough to prevent injury one broken down swing set.

A camera finally reveals itself from the little cement house in the rear of the parking lot. Cartoon advertisements start to play on the  mammoth screen behind an old warehouse. Dusk and the stifling haze make it hard to make-out the images. Night falls as the dancing popcorn and candy-shaped characters struggle for my attention.

Instead, I focus on the couple making out in the pick-up truck in front of us. The projector has back lit their every movement. Only one movie is playing but this scene makes it a double-feature. I am not sure what else they are doing but I decide it’s unfair that there is only two of them and 14 of us in one vehicle.

It’s 1979 but we arrived in a Ford Country Squire station wagon from the sixties. Our driver is my former babysitter that packed her sisters, me, and half the neighborhood into this vehicle for the bargain price of $4 a carload. I don’t know how there was any room left for their two garbage bags full of homemade popcorn.

This escapade was a celebration. That’s what I was told anyway. An event to mark entry  into my teen years. I was naive but I knew it wasn’t  necessarily for me, or about me. I was just an observer watching everyone else’s craziness.

In that way, the outdoor movie theatre was a relevant inauguration to my teenage years. I developed no passion for either of them.  Nor was I was ever really present in the footage of my life.  Both my teens and the drive-ins were dark pits.

In fact, my father’s tag name for the drive-ins was “The Passion Pit” and he never took the family there.  I agreed with his terminology on that hot August night I turned 13. Nothing will ever change my opinion. It wasn’t on the reel but I saw that girls expression when she climbed out of the pick-up truck.  It was real. It was too much weight for a young hot me to bear.

Wonder Land

He suddenly falls into a hole of darkness.

Like Alice through the looking glass, he tumbles into confusion.

Everything small is now big.

Nothing makes sense.

But the blue caterpillar must listen to his identity crisis.

There is no logic to it.

It’s madness without the tea.

It’s a procession of cards.

He must call them out before they swarm –

to stop the imaginative happenings.

I want to wake him from his dream.

I need him sitting beneath the tree with me.

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