Friday, March 24, 2017

2 Minutes. Go!

Hey, writer-type folks. AND PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO PLAY BUT DON'T IDENTIFY AS 'WRITERS' - all are welcome here! Every Friday, we do a fun free-write. For fun. And Freedom!

Write whatever you want in the 'comments' section on this blog post. Play as many times as you like. #breaktheblog! You have two minutes (give or take a few seconds ... no pressure!). Have fun. The more people who play, the more fun it is. So, tell a friend. Then send 'em here to read your 'two' and encourage them to play.

You can get as mad as you want - hell, your head can explode and I'm not going to be able to stop laughing, I know that, laughing like the goddamn devil handed me a plate of fancy cheeses.

It will start off with a chuffing, a goofy grin I can't control. While you intertwine your features, yearning to be droll. 

Then a chuckle played off as a cough. Gentle. Soft. 

But there's a point where, Jesus Christ, you'd have to have no fucking soul not to laugh at that. A man puts himself on a pedestal so high. And I don't claim any physical rigor, but I'm two minutes quick on the flash fiction trigger.

So, that's why I'm laughing. That's all I wanted to say. It's like the whole world's goldfinches, and you're a mangy old jay. 

#2minutesgo Tweet it! Share it! Shout it from the top of the shack you live in! I will be out most of the day, but I'll be back...

66 comments:

  1. Meter and rhyme? A rap for the flash crowd. And some of those similes are pure gold, Dan. The penultimate paragraph brought back three times, just to read aloud.

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    1. Man I like it! "...plate of fancy cheeses" I loved that.

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    2. And I think I have a crush on your rhyming. I love the way it bouces around in my head.

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    3. Love it, love it! "...plate of fancy cheeses" indeed!

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    4. "I'm two minutes quick on the flash fiction trigger." Truer words you haven't spoken. You take aim and fire, hitting too many bulls eyes to count. You take life and it's ludicrousy (I may have just made that word up but you get the gist) in the crosshairs and fire with deadly accuracies. It's an amazing talent. Never stop firing at will.

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  2. I found this faded old photograph at the bottom of my desk drawer. It captures you in a joyful moment, as you turned and saw me with my camera. I’m unsure which of the two made you smile.

    When I took this fumbling exposure, I think you were pregnant, which might explain your glow, the red in your cheeks, the beaming from your eyes.

    That’s a gift women take on to illuminate their way across that threshold to becoming a mother. It’s the only photo I have of you radiating your womanhood like that. I never took one of the next child and you. By then, the space between my heart and mind had grown so vast, so lost, your incandescence would be wasted signaling me through that darkness.

    That was the apogee of my orbit; today I’ve swung back closer to the sun. But time and circumstance have extinguished anything like that singular warm glow. Maybe that’s why I kept this image when I’ve lost so many others. It echoes a time I'll never again see, when I was blind instead of sightless, and you wore joy like a red-flowered dress that’ll always fit perfectly.

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    1. ah, this is beautiful... the snapshots we carry with us tell us so much about who we are... and the last sentence, pure genius... "blind instead of sightless" and the rest of it... well done, sir!

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    2. That "blind instead of sightless" got me too.

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    3. Jesus, this hurt my heart. I agree about the blind/sightless and I love "fumbling exposure" - and I can totally relate to this. You captured it so well. Razor sharp and gorgeous.

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    4. I think that one got everyone around the throat. I'm still teary from the whole of it but that one turn of phrase is magnificent. Truly, else all of us wouldn't have found it so poignant. "when I was blind instead of sightless." Well done is an understatement but all I can manage with my heart in my throat still.

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  3. "...the whole world's goldfinches,..." wow... and even I laughed at that. Well done.

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  4. Silence fell in large flakes, like snow, onto the cacophonous soundscape. Drifts of quiet blew into corners, smothering background music, street noise, and finally conversations. There had been no warning of this meteorological catastrophe, and the governments weren't sure what to do. Snow plows were ineffective. Shovels, too.

    As panic grew, the masses did not, could not, call their representatives. They resorted to passing quiet notes and emails with excessive exclamation marks. Hours went by, and still the silence fell. Entire cities were engulfed in silence.

    One governor thought to call the national guard out, but artillery without sound effects only made everyone feel silly.

    One by one, a million lives were snuffed out, smothered by the quiet.

    But the strong ones, the ones who thrived in silence, swam like penguins through the mounds and drifts. Their thoughts filled the air, danced with the silence, and the words of writers flowed like rivers. And it was good.

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    1. This one is cool. The flow, there's rhyming tucked in there, the images... Nice!

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    2. So cool. "...excessive exclamation marks." And that last paragraph.

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    3. LOVE this. Laurie's right (as per usual), last P kills. And : "artillery without sound effects only made everyone feel silly." So good.

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    4. What better way to point out the woes of our society at the moment. Silence, yes, the best to have the thinkers thriving in. Brings to mind "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Those who shout the loudest sometimes have the least to say. And darn, I think I just may make a meme out of that if no one has said it before me.

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    5. Thanks! and make the meme! it's good for us to hear!

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  5. Out here, on top of the world, a man can go crazy looking at the stars. Or watching the clouds race by on the wind. Or listening to the howl of a coyote in the dark of night.

    He stopped taking the newspaper first. Then he stopped watching television. The radio was the last to go. He couldn’t take the stories of hate and corruption in the so-called real world. They were tarnish on the shiny world he knew.

    Once he’d turned off the synthetic noise of humanity, he could hear the laughter of the creek. His eyes sought the nearly invisible movements of the animals. The cottontail who watched him when he split firewood. The magpie who waited for him to empty his leftover vegetables on the dirt.

    On sunny days he’d take a book down to the creek and sit on an old tree trunk, felled by the winds of winter as surely as he would be felled by the winds of time. The woodpecker tapped out Morse code messages he never quite decoded.

    Poetry was best for reading at the creek. Dickinson’s rhythm, the Brownings’ love, the strength of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Except at night. When he ventured to the creek at night, he whispered Bible verses to himself. He didn’t need a book to recall them.

    One night he slept by the creek, in spring, under a full moon. A possum sniffed his feet, and he dared not move. A lynx, silver in the light, glided by, ignoring him. When morning came, he saw a thousand suns in the water.

    A man can go crazy from beauty, or crazy from anger, or mad from love, but a ghost only smiles when there is sunlight on the water.

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    1. I really liked "the laughter of the creek" and "a thousand suns in the water" Beautiful.

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    2. This is so goooood. "They were tarnish on the shiny world he knew."

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    3. Wow. "The woodpecker tapped out Morse code messages he never quite decoded." Wow, brother.

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    4. Leland, sensing such turmoil in the last two posts. The need for serenity and peace. Back to the basics of nature, eschewing the blathering blatherskites of the world we know. May you have more sunlight and laughter in the days ahead.

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    5. Thanks for the kind comments... Yes, the basics of nature are all that keep me on this side of the thin line that divides serenity and madness...

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    6. Your lovely comment about my poem was a...ray of light and hope when I was feeling very lost and overthinking too many things. Thank you. Incredible timing.

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    7. You're welcome! sometimes we are the candle, and sometimes we are the mirror... I like to think of myself as a mirror, reflecting the light of those who shine brightly...

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  6. Part 1

    I sat on the back steps, sun on my face and a six-pack sitting beside me, keeping me company in the afternoon chill. It was the first day of Spring and my fancy had turned, as it always had, to thoughtless love.

    Not my thoughtlessness, though. I had plenty of thoughts. Probably one for each swallow of beer and the beer wasn’t helping drown them, as if it ever really does.

    According to the TV weather guy, the Sun was about to come back across the Equator from its Winter place. So I started thinking of her again.

    Okay, I was thoughtless, but that was years ago and she never really understood how I felt.

    “I never knew,” she said the day I told her. It was in a tone that carried with it a sense of lost possibilities. No, lost probabilities. She’d already left her longtime fiancé and moved on to someone new who opened her up to a new life that most certainly wouldn't include me.

    All those years, I played the honorable soldier, and now the resigned swain. So I swallowed that bitter pill, washing it down with plenty of beer.

    But every year around this time she would walk that sinuous walk of hers back into my consciousness. I always said it was because the sap was running, but I didn't necessarily mean in the maple trees. I’d hear a song, almost any song, and form some sort of connection between its lyrics and us. Even though there never was or would be a Capital “U” Us.

    The only Us that existed in my life was me and my Border Collie, Suzie. Okay, I’ll admit to naming Suzie with just enough of my Spring obsession’s name to make myself miserable, but she looked like a Suzie, so that’s who she was.

    “Suzie, you fluff-butt, stop digging over there,” I called to the flagging tail waving over a spray of moist soil where I planted the flowers that She liked. Of course, a dog, even a PhD.-level intellect like a Border Collie, is not going to respond to a simple imperative sentence beyond its name and one or two-word command.

    Suzie gave up digging just long enough to turn her head toward me, her red-brown eyes looking at me with what I construed as affection and indifference. The same I observed in You-Know-Who the last time we spoke. That’s what Spring will do to me.

    I drained another bottle, slid it into its cardboard berth and withdrew its neighbor, popped its top and glugged down about a third of its mind-fogging elixir.

    “Hey, Fluff, c’mon over here like a good girl. Leave those flowers alone,” I called again, this time with a bit more beer-muscled edge. Again, a turn and that look, the reflex reminder of Her eyes.

    I’ve imagined those eyes many nights as I was lying in bed. I’d see them in the dark, on the ceiling, with mine closed, my head under the blankets or pillow, in the face of the girl who checked my license and sold me this beer, in my neighbor Mrs. Benedetto's stare as I talked to Suzie like she was a human girl. Yeah, I saw Her eyes everywhere. Sometimes I liked thinking that she thought about my eyes, maybe seeing them in somebody’s face on the street or through a store window on a mannequin during a midday walk, if she still walked the route we’d walk when we were still “just friends.”

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    1. "...the resigned swain." Beautiful. Unrequited love filled with dreams and regrets. So poignant. And I hope she does think of him and maybe with regret of her own.

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  7. Part 2

    “Suzie, come. I mean it. Bad dog. I’m having enough trouble today for you to be digging up stuff. C’mon, Suzie, come,” I said. I emptied that bottle and noticed I only had one more left to drink. The contents of two bottles had disappeared without me noticing it. Just as the past two hours just about disappeared.

    But the feelings of being the stupid good guy who followed the rules, too late to the fair (damsel), and living with regret, a Border Collie and only one more beer overcame me. Just as they had every year since I lowered my emotional guard and got a gut punch for my trouble.

    “Suzie,” I yelled. “Get your fluffy ass out of those flowers now.” I was pissed, but not really at my dog. I planted those flowers and pretty much ignored them because it pained me to tend to them when I knew what they represented. But I couldn’t dig them up because…I knew what they represented.

    I took that last bottle and tipped it up and drank most of it down in one long chain of swallows. Might as we'll end the day and the beer going out big, because the feelings were still big.

    I lowered the bottle with eyes my closed. I’d had enough of feeling sorry for myself. Yeah, these feelings were always there, most especially on this day. It was on the first day of Spring when I finally sowed my feelings for Her with hope they’d grow into something beautiful. For years I’d dreamed someday she’d look back and think, “Oh, wait…what if…?” But it’s really too late for that. I’ve lived too long without gathering what I’d sown with such hope. I realized a while ago I could live with that “without.”

    I opened my eyes and found Suzie staring into them. She'd finally come over to me. In her soft mouth she clenched one of the Black-eyed Susans from the plot where she’d been digging for the past hour. She dropped the flower between my feet and pressed her head against my knee. Suzie’d chewed off the center of the bloom and the black eye was replaced by brown. I reached out and rubbed between her ears.

    “Okay, I get it. Thanks, Fluff-butt. You’re my girl, huh?” I said. "It’s over. We’re stuck with one another and that’s okay. What do you say we go down to the dog park tomorrow and see if we can dig up something besides flowers and foolish memories.”

    I picked up the flower Suzie gave me and put it in that last near-empty bottle. Then we both went into our house. The sun had just slid over the Equator and the roofs to the west and tomorrow new life would begin.

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    1. Ohhh I really like this! I could see that backyard so clearly. I really like the Suzie/black-eyed Susans connection a lot.

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    2. There is so much to love in both parts..."resigned swain" is brilliant to the ear... and the whole submersion in wistfulness with a near-happy ending... and the Border Collie... Angelo says you got that one just right... including the pressing into the knee... Thanks for sharing this!

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    3. This is lovely. And heartbreaking. And yet there is enough hope that the balance is damn near perfect.

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  8. I was a dimestore novel; he was Papa Hemingway. On my pages were good guys and bad guys, easily identified by white and black hats. Between his covers were villains well loved and heroes to hate.

    We were an unlikely couple, for as long as we lasted. He was fire and I was ice, and we were proof that opposites attracted. We had glorious fights over ideas and feelings, Marx and God, right and wrong and all the in-between.

    We made love like writers, too, always observing, feeling, looking for words to join with conjugal conjunctions. There was a notebook and a pen on each of our night stands. What I lacked in imagination I made up for in endurance. But he, he was a poet in bed, finding just the right places to touch, and then overwhelming and then erasing the lines he'd traced.

    How soundly we slept, when the passions of love and of language were put to rest. And what dreams came to us as we lay entwined body and soul.

    And then, one morning, after a breakfast of Dickinson and Brownings, he left for a walk by the sea. He took his notebook. Lunch came and went, and dinner, and still he did not return. I waited up, first reading, and then listening to music, and then to silence, to blank pages where his words ought to be.

    In the morning, the gray of dawn through diaphanous curtains, I was still alone, still awake. There was a knock at the door, and I smiled, wondering how he lost his key, but it was not he of words and music. It was a policeman who brought news and questions of a body they found in the sea. The notebook was absent, but he held a pen in his hand, and I wonder if mermaids and starfish might one day tell me what he wrote, and whether the ocean claimed him or he claimed the ocean, and whether he left because there was too much beauty or too little.

    I am now an old man, and I think of him often, my poet by the sea.

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    1. Wow...I loved this. Beautiful.

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    2. Arg. My heart can't take it. <3

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    3. Oh my word. I'd highlighted a whole paragraph, so caught in the beauty of it but...everything I wanted to say was swept away by that knock on the door. I hadn't seen that coming, so wrapped up in the lyrical tempo. And once more it's Nature and a question of beauty being overwhelming with madness one possible outcome. It's heartbreakingly beautiful.

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  9. The rain fell gently, ripe and soft like a drunken kiss. I pulled the brim of my hat down, flipped my collar up. I didn't like standing in the rain, but with 120 lbs of furious broad between me and my bed, there wasn't much alternative. Plus, I had to think. About everything. And thinking was hard around her, even when she was mad - hell, especially when she was mad. Sometimes I made her mad just to see the flush in her cheeks and the rising breaths. This was a level beyond that kind of mad though. This was mad with a side of potential eyeball-clawing, so I lit a cigarette under my cupped hand, dropped the match and set to it.

    Swanson was dead. As a motherfucker. The bullets killed him, but the knife carving certainly added to the general effect of the thing. He was dead, that was certain - might as well let that part dangle. Why he was dead? There were a million possibilities, but they were all the same. He had been a man led by cowardice and fueled by lies. We all knew he'd catch it. I wasn't concerned with why.

    Who?

    That's what I wanted to know, and I pulled smoke deep into my lungs, held it too long, thought about cancer and chuckled. The only cancer I was worried about was the kind that wore a trench coat and carried a scattergun underneath. I'd accepted long ago that natural causes weren't my scene.

    I could hear her now, playing the radio too loud and cleaning the apartment with a bat. Sounded like there was a college football game going on. But the rain was letting up, and I slipped the flask from my inside pocket and took three long swallows and it was alright. It wasn't bad.

    So, who the fuck would kill someone that everyone wanted to kill? That was the question, but it was a riddle. I never did like riddles. Too much like Russian roulette. Too many if's. I wanted it simple.

    And that's when I saw the long black car snake it's way through the dappled pattern of broken streetlights through rain. I took one more swallow - braced against the pain. I knew it was coming. I knew that car. And suddenly all of it made a lot of sense. I thought about going upstairs and killing her, but it didn't matter and the car was faster than I was. It stopped right in front of me, and then the window dropped. And I was right.

    I nodded.

    "Johnny."

    "Chambers, what are you doing out in the rain, you'll catch your death."

    He was smiling.

    "Gotta catch it somehow."

    I saw the gun and didn't try to make a move for mine. Didn't seem to be any dignity in it.

    "Will you at least tell me why? I know there's a million reasons, but I just want to know the specifics. I can't let it settle."

    That smile again, and he slowly shook his head.

    "Naw, I don't think I want to tell you. I want you to die wondering. And slowly. Get in the car."

    So, I did. But not without one last look at the lighted window of the apartment where she stood, laughing, bottle in hand. Waving a fan of hundreds in front of her face like some washed up Irish Geisha.

    I winked.

    She probably didn't see the wink, though. And by the time the car pulled away into the tippling night, I really didn't care.

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    1. When you do noir, you do it like everything else you do... well... Irish Geisha is awesome... and so is tippling night... but more than just the phrases, the whole story and scene rocked.

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  10. You're inside my head, do you like the furnishings? Too garish? See the bloodstains? I'm proud of them. My brain bleeds; your heart lies and needs and corrupts everything it touches. Let's go on a tour.

    This is where I keep the victories, small room, dim lights. I like to keep them out of sight. Let's start with the shame hall. It is painted a bright, neon green and it hurts you. Good, let it hurt you. That's what the shame hall is for.

    You want into the anger room? You can go in, but you can never come out again. You can scream and cut your wrists and shout. You can plot a million devious schemes. This is the other side of the rusted shed I keep for dreams.

    You want to go to the center? The center is love and hatred. I love a handful of people. I hate myself. I want to take a long falcon talon and carve the words into my face. Stupid. Disgrace. As long as I hear them in my voice, I can take it. You can't take it. It's fucking mine.

    The apathy lounge? Shit, that's been here the whole time.

    Stop by the gift shop on the way out. You can buy decades worth of hangovers and white-privilege-cop-dodges. You can buy chemicals that will strip your brain so it can bleed, too. You can fill this plastic bag that's headed for the landfill. It's that nice white plastic with bright red script: "FUCK YOU!"

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    1. "Thank you for visiting MOMA, the Museum of Mader Angst." ... this is truly awesome, my friend... sometimes I imagine the rooms that live in my head, but you've given them color and reality... Do you offer an annual membership?

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    2. Damn. I love this. And what Leland said. Truly awesome.

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    3. You blow me away Mister Mader, wow!

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    4. Many rooms in your brain house and each fascinating in it's own way. You have a keen insight into those workings as well as the world at large. The hypersensitivity to both is the blessing and curse of such a finely tuned and creative mind. Incredible. We saw inside John Malkovich's. They picked the wrong head to look inside.

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  11. This is what it's like to dance naked in the wind. The rushing air caresses you, tickles the hairs on your chest and lower. You watch the dust blow by, and feel it hit and stick on the sweat under your arms as you lift them in praise of unseen forces. You feel the warmth of sun on too white skin.

    You close your eyes and know the wind has no gender, and hasn't much time for you before moving on. You feel the sand beneath your feet, between your toes. In the distance, you hear thunder, Zeus throwing bolts of lightning, and you wonder if he is celebrating with you or condemning your reverie.

    Your dance continues, and you open your eyes to make certain you do not destroy the sanctity of the moment by stepping on another living thing. A lizard tilts his head, or hers, and watches your clumsy movement and you explain you would be more graceful if you had a tail. When he offers his, or hers, you laugh and decline. You dance onward, and a raven circles you. His syncopated cawing reminds you to listen to the music of the wind, too, and hear it touching, blessing trees and sage and rocks.

    You spin, and watch the sun revolve around you, twirling you gently, until a cloud covers his face, and another, and the sun is dancing the dance of the seven veils, but in reverse, until the sky is completely gray and growing darker.

    Your breath joins the soughing wind, and you breathe together, whispering into invisible ears. You pirouette, again close your eyes, and Zeus roars his approval in thunder, and then the wind exits the stage, and eyes clenched shut, you feel the tears of Heaven washing the dust from your body, cold tears, and your feet slow, your arms fall to your side, and you revel in your body warming the raindrops as they slide down your skin, icy where they touch you, hot by the time they reach your feet. When the tears stop, you dare open your eyes, and feel the warmth of the sun on your chest. You turn to walk back home, your panting the only sound now, and there it is. A rainbow, asking, promising, another dance, another time, naked in the wind.

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    1. So many images and textures. I really loved it too.

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    2. I love it, too, and if it wasn't raining and cold I'd go find someplace to dance naked.

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    3. If things haven't changed too much, North Baker Beach would be a good place to dance... it was in the 90s, anyway.
      Thanks for the kind words!

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    4. There are times when dancing on the beach is the only way to hold tenaciously on to sanity. A most beautiful reverie you've painted her, Leland. Thank you.

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  12. Ten miles to walk because you forgot to buy gas. And cell phone? Forgot that, too. It would have been good to push a button, get some help, avoid wearing out your shiny new shoes on the hot, hot asphalt. Avoid sweat rushing down your sides, the sun beating a steady rhythm on the top of your head in time with your feet and your thoughts, which keep tattooing “stupid, stupid, stupid.” But then you notice things. The scrub on the side of the road. The falling-down shack, painted the purple of loosestrife on one side and covered with old Coke signs on the other. The way the mountain slopes to meet its twin, the rush of the water in the distance. The tiny ghost village, three or four stores, closed, dusty, windows cracked…why hadn’t you noticed that before? How many times have you driven this stretch in impractical shoes, ragtop down, tunes cranked, singing at the top of your lungs? This is flyover country; this is the “to” in Point A to Point B. Now it’s yours. You are the queen of the meadow, the princess of the lost civilization that bustled through this ten-mile stretch in corsets and tall hats, speaking a brand of English you would have laughed at when you were a kid. You pretend to greet the imaginary former citizens—the butcher wrapping his finest in white paper; the barber reading a newspaper, waiting for his next victim; the postmistress with her inky thumbs and rubber bands wrapped around her wrist. Then it’s time to go, and you wish them all good day, in turn. When the gas station guy brings you back, you ask about the village—part of you wondering if the barber got to finish his newspaper before the next customer arrived—and he says, “That old crap? Heard they were gonna tear it down, build a Home Depot.” You want out. You want out now. He looks at you like a lot of people have looked at you lately, for forgetting about things like gasoline and cell phones, but he stops, and mutters that you’re some kind of crazy bitch, and you storm away in a huff. Nobody can call you that. And you’ll be sure to tell the postmistress all about it.

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    1. Oh, Laurie. This is magic. "This is flyover country; this is the “to” in Point A to Point B." Brilliant piece of writing, stunning detail and sentiment.

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    2. The whole set-up, the beautiful details (do all postmistresses have rubberbands around their wrists? Ours does)... and then leaving us at the end to wonder who is really losing their mind... really, really like this.

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  13. Such burdens. I dream I was wrong. Childish whimsy is one thing, but this confusion is another. Synesthesia. I hear paintings, see music, taste the soaking earth between my spread toes.

    Before they rolled out the turf, I used to sit in a cardboard box, an imaginary pirate in a sea of mud. The Muditerranean, I called it. A subdivided wasteland, all cheap bleak fences and no trees. My imagination far outstripped my circumstances.

    All things. Sauntering into industry, taking stock of.

    The pockmarked pavement after a rain is bright as platinum on a spring evening in the city. There's a watercolour hiss and glow to the rushing vehicles, the sidewalk crowds, a quick dazzle of hope in faces and windows. The skyscrapers are our waterfalls.

    Hate pretzels, love dry roasted nuts. Don't know what this is, yet I'm behind it. Glaze me with honey, dry-shower me in coarse salt, this is real.

    Some people are brokenhearted; others have hearts that never worked. When did we stop caring for the former? How did we let the latter take over? What did we become?

    Look. Dress like a hobo, let your hair grow out. The downside is, no one will respect you; the advantage, no one will expect anything of you. And that's when you make your move.

    ***

    Not everything pans out the way you expect.

    She had eyes like calderas—hot, smoky, and perilously deep.

    I glanced up from perusing a former client's letter of complaint and nodded toward the scuffed leather chair on the other side of the random collage of scattered documents I mulishly insisted on calling a desk. She moved like something you'd glimpse half-hidden in a jungle, and sat back. Settled into her widespread haunches.

    One word filled my head: strife. An unusual word that usually comes with a sibling.

    "I'm a model citizen, Mr. Scandella. Debt-free and always up to date with my taxes."

    Had she just read my mind? Also, nobody adds the "mister" to my name, but I let it go.

    "How can I help you, Ms—?"

    "Mary Beth Lauretta."

    "Italian. Like me."

    "American. Like me."

    "Okay. Very good." I held out my palms, engagingly disarmed.

    "As I said, I don't do bad things. I'm clean. I know powerful men. But I need one of those powerful men to be gone."

    "Gone?"

    "Just gone. Nothing sinister. Or once taken care of, nothing I'd need to consider further."

    "Why me?" I glanced down at my untailored suit, my scuffed loafers. "I'm a two-bit vigilante. Why not seek out a more… subtle man?"

    "Don't be naive, Mr. Scan—"

    "Just Scandella," I snapped. Mary Beth already had me rattled and off balance as an alley full of trashcans on a fault line. And her twitch of a smile told me she knew it.

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    1. Subtle man. I like that. And I love this: "All things. Sauntering into industry, taking stock of." Off kilter in just the right way. This is a dope piece, brother. Man, this is like a pile of diamonds covered in the dust of ages. Love it.

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    2. "off kilter" is exactly the right way to describe it... like walking into a room where the floor is slightly tilted, but you don't notice it, but your feet do... and as always, your language flies like butterflies across the screen... light where it ought to be, and landing where it must. Really well done.

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    3. What they both said. I love the ways this ebbs and flows. And this: "The pockmarked pavement after a rain is bright as platinum on a spring evening in the city. There's a watercolour hiss and glow to the rushing vehicles, the sidewalk crowds, a quick dazzle of hope in faces and windows. The skyscrapers are our waterfalls."

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  14. Packing, in the process of moving. Time sucks as there's so little of it. Missed the last two weeks but by gosh I want to post something today. Then I'll go back and read all the amazing works already up today. What a tremendous amount of talent here. It's always inspiring. Speaking of, I wish I could post the picture that inspired this but it's on my Timeline if anyone's curious. Take care all.

    I'm poised on the brink of infinity,
    Like so many small grains of sand,
    My footprints soon a transient memory.
    Washed clean on the beach where I stand.
    The sun's dance descending for nightfall,
    A bright brilliant orb dipping low,
    Awash in the beams are the wave breaks,
    Surreal with a golden orange glow.
    As time and tide spin out forever,
    Adrift on this limitless sea.
    A myriad realized realities,
    Stretch out beyond infinity.
    ~Tamara McLanahan-Author

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    Replies
    1. Beautiful... and those grains of sand will remember you....

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    2. Leland, I do believe that's one of the most touching and incredible responses I've ever read. To be remembered is what ever author, nay, most any human being desires. Thank you. Your own words and body of work are a tribute to the amazing creativity you share with us. A legacy anyone would be proud of.

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    3. I always sound like an ass when I talk about poetry, but there is something so pure and classic about the feel of this. Like this is the kind of poetry that has morphed and adapted through millennia and will always live. Leland is right.

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