Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We Are Awash

It is one o'clock early Tuesday morning here in the Texas Panhandle, and we are finally experiencing the first significant rainfall of the year. The lightning streaks across the dusty red sky, scaring the dogs in the neighborhood. The thunder grumbles back at their barking, like a bear just out of hibernation.
I lean my head out the back door to witness the dots across my patio. The first drops hiss and steam, releasing the heat of the day into the welcoming night. Within seconds the cement is covered with reflective circles of suicidal drops and within minutes, we are flooded. I can't resist stepping out to have a nice summer shower.
The boys are already out there, soaking it in, laughing at each other. Our feet are submerged. We wade through the floating twigs and leaves without much care for the mess. An unseen neighbor lets out a loud whoop of joy, and others are heard laughing at the craziness of it.
We are loathe to force ourselves indoors, but soon enough, we must seek shelter. The torrents are too strong. The flowerbeds are flooded, and the streets are filling. The television is warning us to stay indoors, do not drive across intersections covered in water, take caution with our travel. It is unlikely that we will be going anywhere tonight.
 I stand at the front door and spy others leaning out their screen doors just like me. I stretch my hand out to capture rain pouring off the roof and come back with a palm full of muddy water. Finally, the shingles will be showered clean.
I shiver and shake off the beautiful chill.
We leave the doors and windows open.

Monday, June 13, 2011

100 Words:Eviction Notice

I've not seen one dime of rent money from those bitchy black birds who gather in the eaves outside my bedroom window.
On the eighth day of vacation, I sneaked out there, risked my neck on a rickety chair and sprinkled a generous amount of cayenne pepper across the most popular roost. Just for good measure, I forced some into the hole I found up there with little bits of grass and twigs.
On the ninth day of vacation, I awakened to the low grumbling of pissed off black birds lined along on the privacy fence, plotting my imminent demise.

Note: I don't know if it was MLS who started this 100 Words Phenonemon, but I've seen alot of bloggers picking up on it. I enjoy the challenge of telling a descriptive story, or sharing a rant in so few words.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I Could Hear You Laughing

I had a dream last night that you and I were chasing each other through a house that had never-ending rooms.  I could have dealt with it better if there had been hallways. It might have given the house more definition. Perhaps I would have felt I had more choices, this door or that? Kitchen or bedroom?
 It wasn't like that at all. Once I opened a door, my eyes immediately focused on the next doorway, and I had to get to it to go through it into another room that had a doorway into yet another room. The doorways faded away as soon as I passed through. There's was no going back, only forward.
I could hear you laughing in the distance, calling for me. I was looking for you. You were looking for me.
The gremlins and pixies were everywhere, tripping me, snorting giggles, distracting me with bubbles and funeral music.
When I finally caught up to you, you were staring out the window toward the soldiers on the battlefield.
You couldn't see me at all. You'd forgotten to keep looking for me.
Somebody had wrapped you in duct tape, like a mummy. It covered your entire body in neat, silver lines all the way up to your neck. Your wild, red tendrils of hair snaked out and up and seemed to writhe with your every breath. You smelled of gunfire and gasoline and carefree adolescence.
"Are you going to die now?"  I asked.
You turned to me with those deep black, crazy eyes and said, "I will if you will."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Yes, Apparently, We ARE Lost

So, here I am, looking at my screen wondering where in the heck did this morning's post go? I looked in all the usual places. But it's not in the refrigeratror or the dryer or the shower. (If you were lucky enough to read this morning's post, you'd get that joke.)
Here's my theory: Lyric, my wonderful grandson has somehow deleted my most previous entry while I was in the kitchen cooking up mashed potatoes. I remember I caught him using the laptop around that time. Probably, he thought he was helping me out, just as he was when he was hiding my keys and my book and my glasses this morning. (You'd get that too, if you'd read that post.)
But it's gone, baby, gone, with apparently no hope of returning. I tend to write straight onto the Blogger New Post Page, so it's not like I saved it anywhere else.
It's my own fault. I forgot how helpful seventeen-month-old babies can be.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Interior Design

When my daughter was a baby, I often baby-sat for my older sister, who had three girls and my boyfriend's older sister, who had one boy and one girl.

John was the oldest by two years, the only boy, and therefore, possessing the standard male ego, imagined himself to be "in charge." He spent the better portion of the day bossing the girls around, and when they became insolent toward him, he would try to boss me around by informing me how I should go about keeping the little girls in line.

 My four-year-old, authoritarian, dictator nephew John often stared at the glass display box that encased the life-sized model of a human skull my mother had given to me for my fifteenth birthday. It had arrived in a kit that had to be glued together. I was extremely proud that I had put it together correctly without fusing my fingers into a gluey mess, so it became a piece of my everyday decor in every house that I lived in from that day on. I think it was meant to be an educational gift. My mother was big on educational things.

I kept it in a wooden-framed glass box that was originally intended to house showcase dolls. My skull fit perfectly, and I have never owned a showcase doll in my life, so, there you have it. A life-like plastic skull in a dainty glass box hovered above the kitchen table where I fed the little ones lunch every day. I never thought twice about interior design. I put it where I liked it, and everybody else (if they were wise) kept their opinions to themselves.

It was a blessing to me that John liked to look at it during lunch. He was a mouthy little man most of the time, but during lunch, he kept one eye on his PB&J and one eye on the eerie, grinnning skull.

One day, after I had rationed out the applesauce and corndogs to the children, I noticed John winking at the skull, as if they shared some secret together. He smiled, and at that point, I thought to myself, that maybe there was hope for a relationship with this child after all. I enjoyed children with a good imagination, and probably that would be the only thing that Tyrannical  John and I would ever have in common.

I caught his eye and smiled at him. He lifted an eyebrow, nodded toward the skull and asked, "Who is that, anyway?"

Oh dear. He thought it was real.
And he thought I knew who it was.

In my mind, this was power.

"That's Thomas," I told him without missing a beat.


I shrugged one shoulder nonchalantly and said, "Thomas. The boy I used to baby-sit."

He gulped, his eyes grew wide and he stared more intently at the skull than he ever had before.

"What happened to him?" he almost whispered.

I poured his milk, sighed a bit and said, "He wasn't very well-behaved..."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

There's an Empty Hotel/Sanitarium Room with My Name on the Door

I'm pretty much at my limit as far as stress goes this week. I'm scheduled to take a vacation from work next week, and this morning I got a phone call suggesting that the dynamics at work might change.
I might be transferred.
I don't want to be transferred, and I haven't done anything lately to warrant being plucked from my rightful throne. Somebody else is being plucked. And they want to switch us. Move us around. Flip us over each other.
Not a promotion.
Not a raise.
No incentive to make me think it's a desirable move.
I don't want to go.
My vote is a big, loud, resounding "HECK NO!"
But ultimately, it's not up to me, and I'll just have to deal with it.
Just Deal.

And of course, if this happens, there's the possibilty that I won't get my vacation next week.
I need this vacation.
I've tried to take a vacation a few times in the past few months, and something always happens that makes it impossible to go.
Somebody gets fired.
Somebody quits.
Somebody tranfers.
Somebody gets hospitalized.

I understand the significance of each of these events. I don't want to sound self-righteous, as if my issues are so much more important than somebody else's particular problem, but enough is enough people. It's long past my turn for a little respite care! If I don't get this vacation, I might actually explode.
I'm going to equate the emotional stress to the kind of agony you feel when your grandma dies, or your house burns down, or your boyfriend tells you he's leaving you for an older, uglier woman.

Add that stress to the actual stress I'll feel trying to adjust to a new boss, a new store, a new schedule, and I'll be carrying around a live grenade that could escape my control at any given point.

Have you ever read Firestarter by Stephen King? At the end, where the little girl is so pissed off that everthing around her starts to catch on fire, things start to explode, the lake boils...

That will be me.

101 Words

My dreams last night featured an albino cockroach, my grandson's other grandma, fires, secret passageways, and some beautiful green eyes the color of sea moss.
There was also an army of zombie-like creatures, a boy from my jr. high, and an eviction notice.
I didn't get the chance to write anything down today, because I woke up briefly, realized that today was my day off, and then went back to sleep. I slept and slept and slept until 6:56 am.
It was the best sleep I've had for weeks.
I was supposed to give up coffee yesterday. That didn't happen.