Friday, April 29, 2011

Without You

Looking back, I see that we did fit together nicely. You were like a favorite sweater of mine, warm and fuzzy. You felt so wonderful with your arms around me. I couldn't see myself without you. I didn't want to give up that comfortable, cozy feeling.
I'm not quite sure when I lost you. One day I looked around and you were just gone. I found I could live without you after all.
When you came back to me, too much time had passed. You were a little worn for the wear, or maybe it was me. I had changed too much. I was a bigger person than what you remembered.
You were still warm, but you didn't fit me like you used to. You clung too tightly.
There was no room to breathe.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

In High School, I Was Voted Most Likely to Change the Subject

My mind is all over the place lately. I blame the weather. There's been no rain for weeks. Just wind, dust and fires. I should move to Oregon or Washington, where I hear the sun never shines. (Or at least, thet's what my Facebook friends who live in that area say all the time.) My knee and elbow were throbbing all day yesterday, but there was no rain in the forecast. This means nothing to me. Northwest Texas weather will change more quickly than my mood. I looked this morning, and there are thunderstorms in the forecast for Sunday. It will change again before tomorrow.
My mind has been on the children. Little boogers. I shouldn't post about them here. I have mixed emotions about motherhood. I was a great mom when they were little, and they thought I ruled the world, but now....
I probably messed them up, encouraging them to think for themselves. They've grown into four of the most independent-minded people you will ever have the privilege to know. That may sound wonderful in theory, but the truth is, a little bit of conformity can be a good thing too. Unfortunately, I skipped that lesson when I was raising them. I've never been a conformist myself, and children learn by example.
Changing the subject completely, my manuscript was not rejected, but was sent back to me via email because the agent's inbox was full. This tells me nothing, but it my mind, if you're going to offer to accept manuscripts by electronic mail, you probaly ought to clear your inbox every once in a while. It kind of pissed me off, and now, I want to move to a different literary agent. Maybe God is trying to tell me something. (I always go there, to the GOD excuse. I don't know why.)
The dynamics at work have changed. Johnny got transferred to another store. I saw it coming. He hasn't been gone long enough to miss him yet. I worked side by side with him for six or so years. I always wondered what it would be like without him there. Turns out, it's business as usual, without the distraction of his class-clown attitude. He was immediately replaced by a blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy named Jacob. One of the other guys, ETHAN STEPHENSON, made a comment to me out of the corner of his mouth that we were "thinning the herd." When I asked him what he meant by that, he said, "Getting rid of the Mexicans."
Racism pisses me off.
Ethan pisses me off on a daily basis. Because I'm white, he thinks I'm "on his side."
I assure you, that is not the case.
I have a new "assistant." I put that in quotes, because she's really just a co-worker who was hired to help me do my job, but I'm not her boss. I'm just bossy. I like her. She's easy to get along with. Too bad the poor girl got stuck with me.
On the Dream Front: my dreams have been ordinary lately. Well, ordinary for me. When I start telling other people my dreams, they think I'm bonkers. I know there are other people that dream as much as I do, and in vivid, lucid color like I do, but I don''t meet them very often.
Last night my dreams included a litter of puppies, a japanese sword and the guy I have a crush on at work.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Face to the Sun.

I am submitting my manuscript today. I re-read it last night after leaving it alone for a while, and I was pretty impressed with myself. It's polished and shiny and ready for the world.
So off it goes.
(deep breath in...deep breath out...)

What's the harm, after all? The worst that could happen is a few rejection letters, right?

Friday, April 8, 2011

A memory: Thrift Store Treasure

I was reading Pearl's post this morning about garage sales, and it reminded me of something that happened last year. I bought a few paperbacks from the thrift store. One of them was written by an unfamiliar author, but the cover looked promising. I like thrillers, and the picture on the front led me to believe that this was going to be a good one. (When they are ten for a dollar, you don't spend a great deal of time being picky about such things.) I tossed it in the basket and took it home.
Later, I discovered that it was not a thriller, but it was, indeed, a thrilling novel.

Erotica! (gulp)

I've never read erotica before.
A couple of times, when I had a live-in boyfriend, I found his "magazines" under the mattress and read a few lines of articles, but this thrift store treasure was nothing like that.

It was intriguing. It was interesting. It was sexy.

I've been single for a long time, folks. This kind of thing was the highlight of my day, maybe even my whole week.

I curled up on my bed that afternoon and began to read. Once I got over the initial shock of what I was reading, I convinced myself that I had a duty to finish it. After all, I had spent my hard-earned dime on the damned thing. I might as well get my money's worth out of it, right? It's not like I could march back up to the thrift store and demand my money back because I had inadvertently purchased a book of smut.

All Sales Are Final! They have a sign that says so.

So, I would simply have to finish reading it. I was bound by my sense of duty and my inability to let a dime go to waste. What kind of single mother just throws her money away?

So I read the first chapter, and the second chapter, and the third chapter...

I didn't get up to do laundry or vacuum or cook supper. I kept reading...

And when the boys crowded my bedroom doorway to ask me why I hadn't yet cooked anything to eat, I shoved the book under my pillow and growled, "I AM READING! GO AWAY!"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One Table Over: Mexican Restaurant

La Fiesta. In Spanish, it means "party," but there is no party here today. The restaurant is empty of patrons save for the few of us, each sitting solo in the bar area.
Pardon me.
La Cantina.
I tried to call my daughter before I came, but she didn't answer her phone, so here I am, all alone, dining on a deep-fried avocado stuffed with spicy shredded chicken. This is the only place I know that gets it perfect every time I have it. I'm hardly interested in the rice and black beans on the side. For me, it's all about crunching into the creamy green pulp of the fruit and savoring the flavor of the chicken/avocado blend.
I read on my Kindle (by the way, I love my Kindle, and I could go on for hours and hours about how much I love it, and how you should get one, too.) and listen to the music floating through the dining area. The tune is a popular one, though the vocalist is singing in Spanish instead of English. The colors here are bold. Orange and blue tiles on the table. Purple frames on the arched windows and doorways. Bits of Mexico decorate the walls. Corona is heavily advertised. La Cerveza Mas Fina. The Better Beer.
I haven't decided if my waitor is gay. He is decidedly effeminite, but I don't want to make assumptions. He has that particular lilt in his voice, and he talks to one of the other guests about his autistic niece. He's very charming and friendly. If he's gay, I wonder if he's single, and if he is, then next time I come here, I know who to bring with me. (I am not normally a matchmaker, but if there's a possibility, then what harm is there in arranging a circumstancial meeting?)
The next time he comes to my table, I look and see that he's wearing a wedding band.
Darn the luck.
One person pays his tab and leaves. Shortly after, a woman is seated at the empty table.
She is across from me, so I can observe her without having to adjust my position. I'm interested in her particularly because I feel as if I'm looking into a mirror- a magic mirror that would turn me hispanic.
She is, after all, a hispanic version of me. She has long black hair that trails down her back in layers. Mine is brown. She is short, like me, and has a couple of extra pounds, like me, and she is wearing glasses under a nice sprig of bangs, like me.
The similarities don't stop there. She wears the same style skirt as me. Hers is black. Mine is brown. Her sweater is grey. Mine is tan. Her shoes are the slip-on kind you get at Walmart, just like mine. Guess what color hers are? Black. Mine are...right...brown.
I try not to smile when she pulls out her e-reader and places it on the table. She sees me, and I smile politely at her, trying not to seem nosy. I wonder what she's reading.
I'm reading The Year She Fell by Alicia Rasley.
Our waitor saunters over to her table and asks her casually about her e-reader. He wants to get one for his niece.
She lights up, obviously overjoyed that she gets to brag about her....Nook.


I can't believe I thought I would have anything in common with her!