Calmed

It’s not enough… How could it be?
You gave me a taste, a drop of vanilla
Splashed across my lips.

I wanted more but you turned the bottle
Upside down and shook your head
Then walked away from that look in my eyes.

Like a swimmer who suddenly finds herself
Far out to sea
I struck for shore, a flutter in my chest.

No lifeguard to rescue me, no stranger
On the beach to wink and say it will be ok
Just my heart and the memory of that taste.

I am calmed now, remembering that day
I didn’t make it, you know…
But my God! That water held me closer than I deserved.

(Thanks to OSI for the writing prompt, “Calmed”)

Antidote

“Love Me Two Times”

Chapter 1

It began the way most things do – with a stab to the heart.  Dying that day was not on my agenda.  Not to say I wasn’t depressed.  Of course I was… Yet I’d somehow accepted that living small was safe.  It was comfortable, familiar.  It kept my disappointments to a minimum.  If I cried sometimes, randomly, well, that was part of it.  It was my life and I had no serious intentions of leaving it.

They said the attacker was lucky – a stab to the heart is hard to do.  I knew that because I heard the conversation of the crowd that had gathered around my cooling body.  Apparently the ribs are a pretty good defense against things seeking to pierce the heart.  Evolution or God… Our bodies seem to have a bit of wisdom when it comes to survival.

Floating above the circus of co-workers and rescue personnel, I noticed one individual who seemed calmer than the rest.  Happier.  There was something soothing and grounded about him.  I guess I glided over, because suddenly there he was, staring at me with piercing green eyes.  Gray wisps of hair seemed to dance from his eyebrows and a crooked smile highlighted his somewhat crooked nose.

“Mickey O’Hara,” he said as he tipped an imaginary hat.  “Nice to meet you.”

Feeling a little off guard because in no way did my random after-death musings ever lead me to consider anything Irish, I smiled.  “Are you here for me?”

“That’s right, my dear.  Are you ready?  We’ve got a nice warm body waiting. I wanted to give you a chance to get used to your new state, but…” He tilted his head. “You seem like a fast learner.  Shall we go?”

Me a fast learner?  I was the 40 something sliding into Prozac and late night TV infomercials.  The most I’d done since finishing college was tread water in a job way below my abilities but that paid the rent. Barely. I didn’t count my half finished novel or the poetry that screamed mid-life crisis.

“What do you mean you have a nice warm body waiting?  I just left a perfectly functioning warm body… Don’t I go to some kind of review?  Or get bathed in healing crystal energy or something?”  I’d watched enough B movies to figure that one out.

Mickey rubbed his jaw.  “That’s not the way it works.  At least for you.  You’ve got a different assignment that needs your immediate attention.  Now dear, shall we see what it’s all about?”

My recently deceased eyes bulged.  What the hell?  “Look, I have no idea what you’re talking about.  A little more information would be spiffy here.”  Then seeing his eyebrows draw closer, I added, “Please.”

“Darlin,” he said as he leaned into me, “You want the antidote to your life?  A way to fill the hole gaping in your chest?  Do you even see the metaphor to your death?”

Well, shit.  He had me there.  “Okay.  I’m willing…”

“That’s all that’s required.”  He gave me that crooked smile again and something in me relaxed.  Death isn’t so bad I thought.

And then I felt a thousand volts coursing through my body and the smell of ozone.

……

(This is part of a new novel idea, using the writing prompt from Sunday Scribblings, “antidote.”)

Questions…

water nymphe

Can there be anything sweeter than the kiss of a mind gone mad?
What magisty of noise and purpose!
Do you think God loves the crazies?

Those folks with hearts bigger than Texas and minds that have no idea what to do with them?
What about our bodies?
Do they forgive us our overindulgence, our stuffing down of pain?

Vows of suffering and poverty…
What place do they play in the soul’s evolution?
Can we chose again this lifetime?

Will we burn in hell?
Oh, those shackles of thought
…No story ever told is true


“Shackles” prompt courtesy of OSI

Photo courtesy of Alice Popkorn

Bad Bangs

(for Evelyn and Bad Bangs across America…  )

I did it to myself

Followed the directions to a T.

Stepped into the shower and washed out all the goop.

Dripping, I entered a steamy world of white.

The mirror showed me nothing.  Not yet.  Too soon.

Rub, rub… oh the toes were a-tapping.  Time to peek?  Just a little one?

Now…

Grab the hair dryer… Point at the mirror… flip the switch and let it roar.

Oh… soon!  Soon the New Me!

Perfect circle forms on glass too revealing, too sharp.

I stand transfixed.

This cannot be…there must be some mistake!

My hair is strawberry-yellowy?  Incandecent orange?  WHAT THE HELL IS IT?

I grab clippers and feel the vibration in my hand as I ponder.

Bad bangs were the least of my problems.

I must stop doing this to myself.

And I will…

Right after I fix this.

Just this.

Thanks to OSI for the awesome prompt, Incandescent.

Quagmire

She felt her thighs quiver

Pushing against her middle an “Oh hoo hoo” escaped before she could stop it.

The Pillsbury Doughboy always had the last word.

And though she’d love to spend every last cent on fashion

She paused.

The quagmire was this:

Glossy images or better health?  Shoes or self-realization?

Biting her nails, feeling her heart skitter like Chie Mihara heels against a hardwood floor,

She made her decision and closed the laptop.

Was it thunder she heard in the background or perhaps, just maybe,

Her integrity?

(Thanks to OSI for the writing prompt, quagmire.)
(photo by SashaW)

Friday Night

 

Hugin´s friends

Can I bear the pain of pain?

Can I simply
stay
allow
bend
burn
heal

Numbness – yet another dancing partner
Stepping on my toes, whispering sweet nothings

Empty things
Things on black wings
Smelling of
Cold sweat
And turpentine

Devi, your alter ego is devouring me

The feast is lasting long into the night

The Dark Mother has me in her grip

I am seduced

(photo by Alice Popkorn)

The “Talk”

“Pinch your cheeks, try not to smile too wide, and for God’s sake, don’t frown!”

“I don’t frown… do I?”

“And remember to arrive fashionably late, don’t just walk, sashay across the floor as if you own the place.”

“Um….”

“Now, this is important–try to look blasé. Nothing shouts, ‘Woman over 40 desperate to meet a man’ than a blatant scan of the room.”

“Ok….”

“Now… let’s see… breath mints?”

“Yes siree. Altoids… they’ll put out a forest fire.”

“Extra pair of underpants?”

Gulp….

“Well, then, go get them! And not the grandma ones!”

“I’m sure that won’t be necessary… ”

“Toothpaste and travel brush?”

“Yes!”

“Remember, this isn’t just another holiday, woman! It’s December, the single most depressing month of year for single men and women. This is YOUR month. YOUR time to shine. Let’s bring your sexy back, ok?”

“But what about, you know, the ‘reason for the season’ and all that? Jesus? Love? Sugar cookies sprinkled with hope?”

Blank look. “Right, right. That too. Now go out there and have some fun. Oh, and take this along…”

“A miniature bottle of brandy?!”

“What,  you expect to drink plain eggnog? Hell, woman, live dangerously.”

“You know, Grandpa, this is a church Christmas party I’m going to, right?”

“Semper Paratus, my dear girl, Semper Paratus.” He winked. “Always be prepared.”
….

(This was fun to write and was another minimalist experimentation with dialogue. I love playing with brevity! Thanks to Sunday Scribbling for the prompt of “December”)