Sunday, May 19, 2013
Just came back from Vegas. It's beautiful and sad; a study in spiritual contrast.
* * *
The bright lights of The Strip focus on nubile women who undulate and weave among firm, muscled men; spotlighting tight bodies that press against one another in unbridled invitation.
The delicate tinkle of laughter floats through the night sky and wraps around you, caresses and fondles, until you are giddy with need. The steady hum of voices is like a lover’s throaty promise against your ear. You ache to reach out, hold it close and pull it inside, ride it until you reach the summit.
Sex and greed is what most come to see. Vegas is careful to hold its lights away from the shadows. It never penetrates the fog where its homeless souls reside. Lined, leathered faces relay stories that no tour guide will sell. At one time, they strolled with the beautiful people; now they slither among the fallen, clutching handwritten cardboard signs that plead for money and salvation.
But it’s the eerie snap of cardboard that drags you back to reality, slams you down to earth and tears away the veil. The flick of fingers on photos: pictures of beautifully airbrushed women with breasts molded by gods, their taut nipples strategically covered with pretty stars.
Mute Barkers, capture attention with a practiced snap that releases a high-pitched crack. From one man to another, the hand-over is discreet, with barely a knowing nod. And in the privacy of an over-priced hotel room, you flip through the stack, like coveted baseball cards, while the lights of The Strip taunt you through the hotel window.
Got it. Had it. Want it. Need it.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
I grew up in a small town. Though it now has a liquor store (maybe more than one), it was a dry town then. And we did have a contact who'd hook us up if we needed a two-four for a party. I'm pretty sure he was harmless. Then again, I did move away quite some time ago...
* * *
It’s a dry town; the closest liquor store is a twenty-minute drive. Not at all conducive to spontaneous field parties. But if you know Mr. Fischer, and you slip him a carton of Belvedere, he’ll set you up with a two-four of Canadian. Even trade.
“Just don’t tell your dad,” he says every time, as he steals a glance over his shoulder, as though he expects to see someone’s father standing right behind him. “If he finds out, he’ll kill me.”
The way Mr. Fischer talks, you’d think our tiny hamlet is populated with serial killers. Everyone is out to kill him.
“We won’t say a word, Mr. Fischer.” It’s the same promise from every one of us. After all, who are we going to tell? Old Man Fischer is our local LCBO.
He hooked me up with a bottle of white wine last month when I turned seventeen. It got me to second base with Angela Watson; probably would have made home plate if her dad hadn’t caught us.
I took her out to Miller’s Pond that night; took the paved road that runs east off the two-lane highway. It veers north and eventually becomes a dirt road. Just before you get to the pond, well before the road ends, there’s a narrow lane that disappears behind a thick stand of trees. I drove my Impala back there, barely had it in park before Angela crawled across the bench seat and straddled my lap.
Soft curves filled my hands, hard lips devoured mine. She rocked against me as the music screamed out of the speakers and our heat fogged the windows.
If I’d been thinking, if every drop of blood in my brain wasn’t then residing in my cock, I might have heard the car, might have noticed the headlights.
My door opened and Mr. Watson’s beefy hand grabbed Angela’s arm and yanked her out. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the rage in his eyes, how he threatened me, threatened Angela, hell, he even threatened Old Man Fischer when he found out he was the one who’d supplied us with the booze.
Hey, come to think of it, I haven’t seen Mr. Fischer in a few days.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
As they say, truth is stranger than fiction. And my friends will attest that I'll talk to just about anyone.
Standing at the café counter, waiting for my coffee and danish, I listen to the sound system play a catchy Gypsy Kings tune. It spirals me back to my recent Mexican vacation. My hips take on a life of their own and cha-cha-cha to the music.
The man in line beside me laughs and I turn to him, cha-cha-cha-ing, eyes wide, big smile: “It’s just like being on vacation!”
His smile disappears and he growls: “No it is not!”
“You’re right,” I say, glancing at my watch, “it’s ten o'clock in the morning. If I was on vacation, I’d have a drink in my hand.”
He points his finger-gun at me. “Exactly!”
He appears angry as he scoops up his take-away coffee and marches off. I feel a wave of pity for him, until I see his hips sway.
He looks back and smiles.
Baile, señor! Baile!
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Today's muse: One Minute Writer
Today's prompt: Exercise
* * *
I look down at the digital numbers. I want to believe the scale is broken, but I know it’s not.
I sigh and leave the bathroom. I find my husband in the den, reclining on the sofa. “We need to start exercising,” I announce.
He bolts up. “What?” He has a look of horror on his face; as though I’ve just announced that I birthed a giraffe and I plan to name it Darryl. “Why?”
I pat my hips. “Are you kidding? Look at us. We need to start jogging.”
Jogging. Final answer.
He flicks his hand, lays back on the sofa. “I don’t think so.”
“Why in the world would anyone want to run if they weren’t being chased?”
Oh. Good point.
I sit beside him on the sofa. “Pass the chips.”
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Over the years, I have managed to convince myself that my life is much better than it would have been had I made a different decision. I was at the beginning of a great journey, aching to discover unseen worlds, and you were going to change everything—be in the way.
I couldn't hold onto you. And yet, I couldn't let you be with anyone else.
I will always wonder if I was selfish to end your voyage before it even began. After all, another family would have loved you just as much.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
We all have people in our lives that annoy us to no end. I have a few. Too many, some might say.
* * *
It's About Me
Your jaw has expanded to mammoth proportions, simply to allow you to speak out both sides. We've paid the contractor a premium to widen the door jams, which should make it easier for you to walk around with your enormous ego.
Contrary to what you may think, the sun doesn’t shine out your ass; though it may balance quite well on the stick you have rammed up there.
You are not all that, nor are you a bag of chips (though, if you were, you'd be sour-cream-and-onion...I hate sour-cream-and-onion).
Get over yourself, honey--it’s not all about you.
Everyone knows it’s about me.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Part three of three in the Colour saga. All true...you can't make up this kind of stuff!
No doubt, one day, there will be a part four. Most likely a part five.
* * *
Killing time while waiting for a car part for my Honda Civic Si, we wander through the show room, admiring the shiny colours and gleaming chrome of my Honda's brothers and sisters.
It isn't long before a salesman pounces on us like a feral cat.
“Is there something I can show you?” he asks, all but wringing his hands.
I wander over to a CRV and admire the colour.
“It’s a wonderful shade of blue,” I breathe.
My husband lays a hand on my shoulder and, in an apologetic tone, says to the salesman: “She’s colour blind.”
I throw him a questioning look and he says, in a tone reserved for explaining difficult concepts to children, “It’s green, dear.”
The salesman stares at me, forces his lips into a shallow smile. His pasty face shifts into an expression of solemn pity, as though my inability to differentiate between green and blue is a tragic handicap that will diminish my quality of life.
"Too, bad," I say to Chris. "If only it were blue."
Knowing the ruse, Chris plays along.
He shrugs. "Maybe next time." And he leads me away to the parts counter.
I glance back, and Mr. Slick's smile is now a thin line.
"Blue that, buddy."
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Part two of three.
* * *
My high school art teacher was eccentric. That's a nice way of saying he was a lunatic.
I'm not being disrespectful. I adored him. As did most of his students. We still do. I think all artists should be a little crazy. Perhaps not to the extreme of hacking off your ear and mailing it to a hooker, but a little looney is good.
Mr. Blaise would wander around the classroom, winding his way around desks and students. He'd stop by my easel and exclaim, in his lisp: “The trees, the trees…they speak to me!”
It didn’t surprise me that he’d get a woody, as it were, over the trees. He was, after all, a crazy artist. I didn’t think much of it at the time.
But after discovering, quite by accident, that I am colour blind, I pulled out my high school art portfolio, and sifted through some old paintings. It was clear why Mr. Blaise was so excited about my work.
All my trees were painted varying shades of blue.
Turns out, I've been doing this since I was a kid. All the trees in my colouring books: blue. All the trees finger painted (wearing one of my dad's old work shirts as a smock) in Mrs. Van Dyke's Grade One class: blue.
I was stunned. Why hadn't anyone said anything?
I asked my mother why she and my dad didn't tell me I was colouring all my trees blue.
She gave me an absent pat on the head.
"We thought you were just being creative, dear."
Monday, March 25, 2013
Part one of three.
* * *
In the waiting room of my doctor's office, I flip through a magazine.
He's running late. I'm running bored.
I turn to an article about colour blindness. It details the various degrees and facets of colour blindness, pointing out the different colours affected.
Imagine, I wonder, going through life, not seeing what everyone else sees. I am at once filled with sorrow for these pathetic people. How sad, I think.
The article closes with an Ishihara color test—a number, comprised of a series of coloured dots, embedded within a background of more coloured dots.
“If you can distinguish the number nine in the dots,” the article explains, “you have normal colour vision and are not colour blind.”
I scan the picture. Then I take a closer look. I analyze. Take an even closer look.
“What are they talking about?” I'm confused. “There’s no number nine.”
I pause. I reread the explanation; particularly the bit about seeing and not seing the number.
I read it again. I digest that.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Today's muse: Three Word Wednesday
Today's words: edgy, iconic, lithe.
* * *
Sam wants to keep going, put a few more miles behind him, but guilt has won the battle.
Stupid Catholic upbringing.
His friends had told him about this place. It’s iconic, they’d said, you have to stop and stay a night, have a pint for us.
After checking in, leaving his bags in his room, Sam finds the pub on the main floor. This better be worth it, he thinks, as he settles at the bar.
“What can I get you?”
He’s pulled into smokey eyes and pouty lips painted a luscious Fuck-Me red. His gaze dips down to the low vee of a black halter, then back up. His brain sizzles and he says the first thing that comes to mind.
“It’s my birthday.”
The bartender smiles, tucks wavy auburn hair behind her ear. “Well, then it’s on the house. What’s your pleasure?”
Oh, he can think of several things right now. None of them are on tap.
She winks her approval, walks to the end of the bar to build his pint, hips swaying in invitation. He grins his appreciation, swivels to watch the band rocking it on stage. Bass pumps out of the speakers, edgy and raw, as bodies bump and grind against each other on the dance floor.
Red pushes a pint into his hand, brushes her fingers against his, flashes him an I-will-if-you-will smile before sashaying away.
Okay. Maybe this will be worth it.
He nurses his beer while she tends the bar. They flirt, each innuendo more implicit than the last, until they’re no longer exchanging suggestions but rather detailed descriptions of what each will do to the other.
“I have a room upstairs,” says Sam. “What time does your shift end?”
She calls over to one of the servers, unties her apron. “Hey, Andrea, cover for me.” She turns to him, flicks her head. “I’m on break.”
Sam fumbles with the key to his room, pushes the door open, kicks it shut behind him. Hungry, eager, they tear at each other’s clothes, claw and bite. Each mutters promises neither understand as they fall onto the bed.
His hands and mouth roam, search, tease, until her long, lithe body bucks beneath his while she chants his name and he pours into her.
Sam shifts so that she’s splayed on top of him.
“Sam,” she whispers. “I have to go.”
He groans, runs a calloused hand across her back. “Stay.”
She presses a kiss against his throat before rolling off. “I can’t.”
Naked, she walks around the room, gathering her clothes. After running a brush through her hair, she dresses, then leans over and presses a kiss on his mouth, leans in when he pushes his tongue between her lips. His hand slides under her skirt, cups her ass.
“Sam,” she groans against him. “I really have to go.”
She smooths her skirt, adjusts her halter, walks across the room and opens the door.
“You didn’t give me your name.”
She smiles. “Happy Birthday, Sam,” she says, as she closes the door.
Monday, February 18, 2013
I seldom write anything personal on this blog. This is where I vent in fiction, kill off the people I dislike.
But, perhaps this type of therapy isn't working. I've been home from work on stress leave for four weeks now. Numerous tests have shown my heart is healthy, despite the chest pains. It's stress, said my doctor. Stress is a powerful thing.
Don't I know it.
So, though I argued with him, he put his foot down and said a blood pressure reading of one-fifty-four over one hundred is not good. He's probably right. After all, he's the one with the degree.
Rest, he said. Take some time to regroup and get some perspective.
I go back to work tomorrow (today is a holiday in Ontario, and a few other provinces). I'm not sure how I feel about going back to work. Part of the issue is the hours I work which, I admit, is my own doing. I'm a firm believer in the adage: "If you want something done right, do it yourself." The problem is, in my office, this is often the case.
We do have people to help with the overflow, but I often have to redo the work, which defeats the purpose. It's not simply a matter of the work not being done to my standards (I can let that one go...most of the time), but the work is not done correctly. Which reflects on me, and my bosses.
I realize it's not about the work, it's a matter of health now. High blood pressure is a warning. I know this. I worked in funeral service for more than twelve years and I'm married to an undertaker. I know the end result. I've seen it many times.
So, new plan, starting tomorrow:
Limit my work day to eight hours.
Concentrate on finishing the first draft of Madison's Avenue.
As co-founder of The DRCC, organize the annual spring and winter craft shows.
Help look after my aging inlaws on the weekend.
And now that I've put that in writing, it still sounds daunting. The only difference to my normal routine is that I've cut my work day down to eight from the usual ten or twelve.
Maybe that will help. Maybe it won't.
How does the saying go? What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
Well, if I make it to my forty-seventh birthday, I'll be a fucking Amazon.
Hear me roar.
Friday, February 15, 2013
I have erectile dysfunction. There, I said it.
It’s surprising really, since I don’t have the appropriate appendage for such an affliction, what with being a girl, and all. Nonetheless, it seems I can’t get it up and need help doing so.
I’m not sure when it began, but apparently I’ve had this issue for years.
I am promised that my lack of performance will be the demise of my marriage. If I take their recommended medication, my self esteem will increase, my sex life will improve and my partner will be satisfied.
I didn't know he wasn't before, but who am I to say? After all, I can't get it up.
Well, I can't go through life, limp and hang-dogged, so to speak. So I'll just reply to one of these emails and see if I can't perk things up a bit...