Showing posts from June, 2010

Late for lunch Rev 1

I was running late for my workshop and decided to try pulling in the QUALCOMM driveway because the building where the meeting is held shared the parking lot; at least I think it does. I sometimes shoot right past the left turn, even with the signal, because I miss the sign and don’t know the name of the street. As I reach the crest of the hill I knew that the strategy had worked. I stepped out of the van at 11:58 and ran across the lot towards the entrance. Our vans always smell funny. It must be something EVS uses to try to clean the upholstery or carpet. It’s like all the drivers have been working at Jiffy Lube and forgot to wash their hands. I asked the ladies at reception where to go this month and I see the group admin coming out to close the door at the end of a hallway. She sees me coming and hands me a name tag with a smile, as we both go into the room. They are just getting started with the program and everyone already has their lunch. In the past, when the meetings hav

Cashing Out- Tales from the Retail Floor Rev 1

Let me introduce myself. I’m a single mom with a kid who is just about to enter high school. My ex is pretty consistent with the child support but it’s not really enough to cover everything I need. I’ve been working at this warehouse store for a year now. I have a bachelor’s degree but I got married right out of college and pregnant within six months. He’s long gone now and the store is within walking distance of my house and my hours are perfect match for John’s school schedule. I put on a few pounds before I went back to work, and have a tendency to wear pants with elastic waists, running shoes, oversize tops and little makeup or jewelry. Right now I’ve also got on a Chargers jacket that my ex left behind in the hall closet. Everyone I work with is very nice. In Australia they’d call them battlers, people who know that they have to work hard to survive. That they can’t forget for a second, or get sick, or take a two week vacation and still have the money to pay the rent. I jus

In and Out Rev 2

The smell of polish surrounded the chair where she sat awaiting the top coat on her pedicure. Shiny blue toes rested on the cushioned sliding stool that Tommy used to place himself in the proper position for the job. Today the conversation revolved around iphone apps. Marissa, Tommy’s wife, had the new iphone and she wanted Sandy to help hedr locate the webcam. There were three ladies sitting side by side in various stages of the beautifying process, all with iphones. The sweet feminine smell of the heavy moisturizing cream used for the massage part of the process helped to balance the chemical smell of the polish remover. The salon was dimly lit with traces of gold in the landscape mural on the wall, in the decorative silk orchids and on Marissa’s hands and reading glasses. Oh shit its 5:57. Sandy looked at the clock, checked her phone, and realized she had to get to the car, make it through traffic, 3 stop signs, and a signal, find a parking spot, and run all the way to the far e

Bag Lady Rev 1

Prologue What’s in the bagzzzz he said, laughing at his own corny line. He pointed in the direction of the rolling metal shopping cart and tilted his head slightly towards this mysterious woman named Pat with a goofy sort of grin. These? She said loudly in a deep dusky voice that caused everyone around them to stop in the middle of their conversations, glance at Pat and each other a bit nervously. These bloody bags are how I carry my burdens from place to place. These bloody bags are heavy and fragile and easily pierced by angry words. Tim began to feel a little edgy at the force of her response and he shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He met the eyes of a woman in the next row of seats who shook her head slowly and then grabbed a large cross hanging from a thick golden chain around her neck. Lifting it slightly, she moved it quickly upward, touched it to her forehead, her heart, then tapped both her shoulders, and brought it towards her face, pressing it firmly against the l

Old Loves Rev 2

Oh my god They are all here. All the men I’ve loved or cared for. Dead and alive. The men who have inspired me, motivated me, made me cry, made me laugh, every single one of them. Can I send some of them back and keep the ones I choose. Or do I have to take all or nothing? If I have to choose I’ll take them all The ones who loved me, the ones who didn’t the ones with gentle spirits the ones who drove me insane, the musicians and the cops, the Artists and the bankers, the sailors and the engineers they are all a part of who is standing on the threshold today , the person I am today. Do I have to invite them all in at once or can I pass out numbers and let some of them stand outside for a day or a month or I don’t know. I’ll have to come up with some sort of a rating system for most of them but some require no thought at all. How exhilarating to see them all in one place at one time. The most important and compelling almost seem to glow from within. The assholes fade into the cement

Gifts of the Father Rev 1

I am bloody 40 years old, please not another stuffed animal. My father, so smart in many ways, such a smart ass in others, has once again given me a stuffed animal, a bear. There is nothing about me, my home, my lifestyle, that would suggest that a stuffed animal would be a gift I would enjoy, ask for , or know what to do with, other than give it away. I won’t even take the price tag off; I’ll just pass it on to the first child I see, with their parents of course, so they don’t think I’m up to no good. Put it on the foyer table so I’ll see it as I leave in the morning, and not have it haunting my house for weeks out of guilt for ditching yet another useless gift from my dad. Is it a joke? I wondered? As always when these odd presents appear, I spend hours obsessing on the intention or the hidden secret behind the gift. It is soft, like a kitty’s ears, but much too small to use as a pillow, and I’d hate to see it decapitated by the dogs, so I’ve got to start it on its journey to a n

The Machine Rev 1

May I help you? He said, striding towards her like panther intent on its prey. The shop was long, narrow and dark, the shelves jammed with electronics of all makes and models. There were no other customers right now, and from the hungry look, in his eyes there hadn’t been for some time. He told her this combo machine could handle faxes, copies, phone calls and voicemail. He spent an hour with her explaining every possible solution to the issue that brought her into the store in the first place. She had been feeling increasingly uncomfortable at his single minded attention, particularly since he had been slowly maneuvering her towards the back of the shop where she could see a door, slightly ajar, a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling. He was between her and the front door and there was no way to get past him without their bodies touching. He leered at her, growing wet rings of sweat forming under both his arms and down the middle of his chest. Then a phone rang. It was a

Harris Park Lebonese Rev 1

I was searching for a job before the “migration” dept knew that my employer had laid me off. I was given 2 months grace period to find a new job where the company would agree to sponsor me for an extension of my work visa. When you’re in another country on a visa, at least in my experience, the minute your job ends, and your visa is invalid- no breaks. I was an illegal as of 12/31/92 I was living in an English speaking country on the other side of the world. I had given up the apartment I had rented for the last few years, sold all my furniture and was living in a small room behind a friend’s art gallery /coffee house. She and her boyfriend lived upstairs. I placed a display ad in the Australian Financial Times with the headline “HELP, born on the wrong continent”, which the publication loved, and put on the inside left page right after the editorial. Unfortunately, the only response was from network marketing types and a couple of guys looking for a green card, willing to marry

The Four Seasons Rev 1

Waking suddenly to the sound of classical music from an idling car, I felt safe and warm recognizing the phrasing more than the melody. This wasn’t the familiar throbbing punk bass vibrations that signaled the return of my neighbor’s teen but someone new. It was 3am and the queen palm was slapping against the skylight; a violent crackling that had caused me great concern. The percussive beat of rain and wind on my little house had become its’ normal wintry accompaniment, but now and then some new sound would startle me causing a disruption in whatever I was doing. The four seasons. Yes that was the music blasting through the night on this windy rainy eve. Like the discordant sounds of a small dogs incessant barking or a big dog’s throaty growl, the beautiful notes seemed amplified in the darkness and bounced off the fencing around my neighborhood. The four seasons. That was my winter Sunday morning music, as I curled up with an oversized mug of strong coffee and the dogs a

Dancing in the Moonlight Rev 1

He got up slowly, looked both ways and crossed the street. Gravel was imbedded in his scalp, his cheek and along the right side of his body. Where am I he thought? How did I get here? A car with tinted windows raced around the corner and screamed past him, narrowly missing a car approaching from the opposite direction. Jesus, he said softly and bit down on his tongue, jerking up his head as the pain radiated to his sinuses. It was getting dark as he stumbled up onto the sidewalk on the other side of the highway. He saw a campfire on the side of the hill and heard the strings of an acoustic guitar playing a familiar melody from his youth. He paused for a moment at the edge of the bridge, looking up at the lights that illuminated the railings and spilled out into the night. And then he began to dance. It was an odd sort of dance starting slowly and gracefully and then building to a funny little jig – something a child would do imitating the characters in a cartoon, or an old man wi

Traveling with Dogs Rev 1

Jesus was guarding over the souls of the car in front of me and beside me a blonde woman was chatting on the phone and applying mascara while she steered with her knees. My legs are already beginning to lock up and my hips felt heavy on the itchy wool upholstery. Two cars to the fight a guy was smoking a cigarette and the tobacco smoke was headed straight for my passenger window, which was broken, shattered by AAA when I locked my keys in the car and the tow guy forgot his "jimmy". My dog started whining, a sign of either boredom or he had to pee. Great. I had only been on the road for 15 minutes and it was already starting. He’d be barking soon,  I’d better pull over when I can. Of course, the traffic around me was at a standstill and no one was making eye contact. I knew it would be difficult to move to the right through three lanes of cars without using some creativity, so I decided to bark like a dog and begin swerving from side to side so the other cars would clear