Saturday, September 1, 2012


The Rite Aid near my house has a new banner.  The garden section didn't work.  No one was ever out there, people probably stole stuff, half of it wasn't marked, and the plants they offered were never that great in the first place, definitely not worth trying to find an employee to find out how much it was.

The new banner says "Check out our new expanded wine section".  I knew they sold wine, have always thought it was bizarre that a drug store sold wine, but now it seems every store is trying to sell everything, and in my view, that's shooting yourself in the foot.

With the move towards farmer's market, and locally grown food, why would you buy groceries at Target or WalMart?  For that matter, why would you buy produce at a supermarket?  The variety maybe?  But if it isn't in season, it came a long way on a truck to get here.  And food in a gas station?  I'm still trying to get my head around that one.  It's not like it is your only choice.

A chef friend posted an article from somewhere that told the story of a yam from a supermarket that wouldn't "sprout" when you stuck it in water, suspended in a glass jar by strategically placed toothpicks.  We always did that with potatoes when we were kids, it was fun to watch the vines grow out of that old brown potato (this was in the days before new potatoes existed- at least in my family).  That yam just sat there, not a nubbin, not a root, definitely not a vine.  It's genetic character had eventually devolved to the point where the life was sucked out of it.

I've been studying the donors to the no on 37 campaign.  That's the issue where food companies would have to indicate if they used ingredients that were genetically modified.  It's a horrifying idea that this stuff is in the food we eat and they are allowed to use it.  It pisses me off.

Kashi.  Why would Kashi support a campaign like this with financial contributions.  Before I posted this I'm went to their site to see what they say.
Wow. It's the Kashi Go Lean cereal I've been buying, for years now.  All those other ones were too sweet for me.  The commitment is disappointing, and was written by the HR dept, the attorney and a PR firm.  Authentic, heartfelt....not.

I really don't know what I'd do if it were my company.  I have nothing against Kashi personally or Kelloggs- if people will eat stuff they aren't sure about, then companies will sell it.  I just would like to have the choice - and to not have to search for the information that is important to me, that companies of this size have been aware of for quite some time, and yet continued to promote themselves as "healthy" "natural" (in what universe). 

All of this is just an opinion.  My personal opinion.  This doesn't mean that it's valid, that I have done significant research on the subject, or that anything I've read or overheard is really true.  I recognize that, but do you?  Something to think about.

Copyright/All rights reserved SharonJCorrigan 2012


Listen when I say we have nothing in common
Listen when I say we are not a fit
Don't play to my nicer nature
It will eventually turn mean
When I get tired of the guilt of trying to be nice.

Let's shake hands and walk back to our corners.
Get out of the ring, and find a new partner.
Someone who perhaps isn't an identical twin
but has the same basic values.

Time is precious.
That is the most important thing I could say to someone younger.
That and travel is addicting.
Get out of your box.
Try not to call people names.
Try not to ruin people's days.
But be true to yourself, always.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemies.
Not an original thought, but worth repeating, reminding.

Listen, I never hide my thoughts, just try to cloak them in manners.
I don't want to smother anyone.
I don't want to tell a friend, don't talk about that stuff around me.
I don't want to say, I have no interest in an hour long, or even a half hour long
political discussion - that is not fun for me, it makes my jaw tight and my head ache.
I don't want to discuss sports.  Watching other people playing games bores me when there are so many other things to do.

At this point in my life, I'd rather continue to walk alone than to sit and smile at someone who isn't a fit for me, as a friend or a lover.  I need to learn to let go of the guilt, and cut it off at the early stages, not whittle away at the string that is frayed from the start.

Listen when I say we have nothing in common.
Listen when I saay we are not a fit.
Don't play to my nicer nature
It will eventually turn mean
Trying to be nice

copyright/all rights reserved sharonjcorrigan2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sacred Cows Rev 1

I spot a whole herd of them rolling up from behind, approaching the intersection of two busy roads at full speed.  The alpha male yells rolling, and the group shoots through the red light barely missed by a woman in a car trying to obey the traffic laws.

I’m sick of the arrogance of bike riders.  I’m not going to call them anything else.  Anything more sophisticated.  How can the guys look in the mirror in those little tight pants and stupid shirts advertising some brand?  Did they pay for that?  And watching them walk when they manage to detach from the bikes, little mincing steps, a funny gait, funnier even than my halting limp when my hip is acting up.

You hear complaints all the time from these guys.  I know there are girls too, but most of what I see is guys or girls with too much testosterone who wants to be boys.  That asshole, they say, opened his car door right in front of me, almost nailed me.  No, I wasn’t in the bike lane; I don’t have to stay in the bike lane I can go in any lane I want.  

No.  it doesn’t bother me that I sound like a narcissist.  I guess I am. I’m saving the earth, reducing my carbon footprint.  But aren’t you causing vehicles to idle when you block their path, how does that make sense when you have convinced entire counties, entire regions to give you your own lane, but you choose to tool all over the place.  Sorry, bad choice of words.
Maybe I’m just ignorant, I say.  I thought the traffic laws were for everyone using public roads, but apparently I missed some exemption for bikes.  It’s just too common to see the bikes shooting through a red light for there not to be an exemption.

I have a bike.  A $400 Trek bike sitting in my garage.  I’ve got the helmet too, and a pump in case the tires lose air away from home.  I’ve ridden it once for 10 minutes- in the parking lot behind the bike shop where I bought it.  It’s been in my car twice, the first time taking it home, the second time taking it back for a tune up so I could ride it since it’s been sitting in the garage for so long.  I can ride a bike.  I can.  I just don’t find it that entertaining.  I like to walk.  When I walk I can actually look around at the scenery, at houses, at peoples garden’s, chat with dog walkers and random strangers reading books on benches, or feeding bread to the birds.  When you ride a bike, you can really only look ahead, if you want to ride safely that is.  Or you should only look ahead.
I live in a beach town, where herds are on the road every day.  Either they are all trust fund babies, self-employed, or lost their license to a DUI, they like to ride side by side and chat.  6 or seven of them, taking up the bike lane plus the right lane, the turn lane.  I particularly love it when I need to make a right turn, but there are 10 bike riders spread out chatting away, leaning on one leg, totally unaware they are holding up an entire line of traffic. 

Maybe there is some study showing you are less likely to be hit in a herd.  Maybe it makes you more visible for some nut that is sick and tired of waiting for you, who is sick and tired of being late for work, late for appointments, late for lunch.

I’ve heard that bike riders love hot tubs, they love getting naked with other bike riders and showing up their negative body fat ratio.  Jagged hip bones, bruised by his rib cage in an intimate moment.  Where did he go, rolled right off the bed, didn’t even make a dent in the mattress.  Hope he can get up.  And out.
I have friends who are bike riders, or acquaintances who are bike riders.  Seem like nice enough people.  They do lots of outdoor stuff like hiking and camping.  I got that out of my system in Girl Scouts, at church camps when I was a kid.  I prefer a comfy bed, and food without dirt and twigs in it.  Real food not rehydrated food.   

I think bike riders get to eat lots of carbs though.  Like runners, they get to eat pasta and bread, fuel they call it.  That part I would like.  I would also like it if there were bike paths and no car traffic, and no aggressive bike riders permitted.  I would give them fines if they hogged the lane, tailgated, or cut me off.  I don’t need any gears on my bike, I’m not going to go up mountains, or across open fields, or (gasp) up big hills, or even small hills.
I don’t necessarily think I’m better than a bike rider, or smarter, or more interesting.  I just don’t get it; don’t get spending my spare time riding on or in a vehicle, except as a means to get somewhere.  Just riding to get exercise, or to take up time on a sunny day when I could be reading, or drinking wine with friends, or meditating.  I don’t get it.  I just don’t.

But you know what.  I stop at red lights.  I look both ways before I cross the street, I try to be aware of everything and everyone around me, whether I’m driving or walking or sitting somewhere.  I use my turn signals so people don’t have to be psychic to understand what I’m planning to do.  If I miss my turn, or miss my exit on a freeway, I don’t back up into traffic.  That one, I’m sorry, is just stupid and bizarre.  I’ve seen people back up on exit ramps from the freeway because they were in the wrong lane and got caught.  So go on ahead and turn around, what can I say?
to be continued
copyright2012sharonjcorrigan all rights reserved

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Journey Begins 2012 Part 1 Rev 1

Caravane du Livre 2012

My path to this journey began in 2004.  I was on my way to work in San Diego, California on a commuter train “The Coaster”.  I had noticed a girl sitting in the same car as I normally sit, and as many of us do, we smile hello each afternoon at each other.  On this day, it was crowded, and I selected a seat across from this girl.  She told me her name was Jamila, and she was a traveling bookseller from Marrakech.  She was here studying English, and today was her final day before she returned home.  She told me about her book project, and as she departed the train she handed me her name on a piece of paper and said “Google me”. 

In the days or months ahead, I did just that.  I found many articles about her in many languages.  I looked at her website, I told my friends about my encounter with a girl from Morocco.  I had lived in Sydney Australia from 89-94.  One of my boyfriends during this period was a Moroccan man named Omar who was a wonderful cook.  He was from a village outside of Casablanca, his father a Berber and his mother from Persia.  Omar’s business partner was a man named Henri, also from Casablanca, but a French man.  Omar used to create dinner parties every Sunday afternoon where we and all of our friends feasted on his Moroccan concoctions and tea.

In 2010 I made a decision to take a cruise in the Mediterranean out of Barcelona.  I figured it was time for me to travel in a herd, so that if I go missing, someone might notice.  When looking at the cruise route on the Internet, I saw that Morocco was very close, and very cheap to fly to, from Barcelona.  I managed to find the email for Jamila, and sent her a note asking her if she remembered me, from that one conversation years ago, and told her I was considering coming to Marrakech for a few days after my cruise.  She responded quickly, and said “come on down”.   I booked my airfare from Barcelona to Madrid to Casablanca to Marrakech.  I think I had only 5 days left of vacation.

I was very happy to escape the cruise and fly to Morocco.  Jamila had assisted in finding accommodation at a riad near her home for me at a very reasonable price, operated by a couple from France.  I used my iPhone translator to communicate with this couple and book.  The woman and her friend picked me up from the airport and drove me to the riad.  It was after dark, and I was amazed at the wide streets, and modern looking hotels and fountains on the way.  The riad was very beautiful with tiled walls, built around a central courtyard and a terraced roof for lounging and breakfast, which at night was covered by a canvas roof.

I discovered that the caravane du livre for 2010 was beginning the day after I had to return home, but that many of the participants were staying at the same riad.  Jamila’s friend Francoise, who spoke some English, was arriving on my second or third day.  The others spoke only French or Italian, so I looked forward to her arrival.  I hung out with Jamila, went to the library (bookstore), and to a clothing designer who did custom djellebah including very elaborate gowns for weddings and formal dress.  Jamila also found a driver for me who drove me out to Imlil, a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains for a day so I could wander around.  I spend another day with her friend Malika, a French/Arabic language teacher, and we shopped and made a tagine at her apartment and became friends.  I had a magical few days before returning to Barcelona to fly home. In Barcelona, I discovered that the volcano had erupted in Greenland and CNN was reporting all airports in Europe were closed down.   I wished I could accompany them on the caravane, but my vacation time was over, and my money was gone.

I decided I would return in 2011 and participate in the Caravane.  On my 60th birthday in 2010, I set a box in the corner of my party, asking my friends to contribute to my voyage, if they wished.  I had printed out copies of the Reflections article written by Francoise and people at my party were reading it.  When the party was over, I discovered that my friends had donated almost $800 US dollars towards my trip.  I had told them that I would use ½ for my airfare, and the other ½ I would give to Jamila for her use in operating the caravane. 

As the year progressed, I began having pain in my right hip, and was afraid I would not be able to physically take part in the Caravane.  I got an email from Jamila that her sister Bouchara was coming to visit their childhood friend near my home.  On Thanksgiving Day 2010, I went to meet her and their friend Souda, and gave her the money intended for Jamila so that she would still have it for the 2011 Caravane as I planned.  At the beginning of 2010 my hip was not getting better and I decided that I should not make the trip that year.  After medical advice, it was determined that this pain was something that I would have to live with and tolerate—I could not have surgery, but could take shots or pain medication to relieve the symptoms- which I chose not to do.  I was happy that Bouchara had visited so I had fulfilled my plan to help with funding.

I began to focus on the Caravane for 2012.  For the first time I began contributing to a retirement fund out of my paycheck, and tried to live on less money and a budget for the first time in my life. I was afraid that I would not be able to afford to go back to Morocco.  At the beginning of the year, I decided I was definitely going to go no matter what, and booked and paid for almost everything I could control, outside of food and some ground transportation.  I told Jamila via email that I was coming.  In February I wired the money for the Caravane to Francoise, and began planning my trip.

MARRAKECH 2012                          

I arrived on 20 April 2012 and had arranged for a driver to deliver me to the riad I had found online, Dar Atta.  As we drove into the old city, I saw the artist’s cooperative where I had bought hand cream for Jamila’s mother on my last visit.  The driver turned left into the next street, and there was my home base for this trip.  I knew where I was, it was the perfect location for me.

I got settled in my room and called Jamila.  She had invited me to her parents’ home at 8:00pm and it was now about 7:30pm Marrakech time.  She asked me to meet her at Café Malizia which was in the same building as her apartment, and near her parents’ home.  With the help of the riad manager, I got a cab and negotiated the fare to the café.  I stood on the corner, and called Jamila to let her know I arrived.  In just a few minutes I heard “Sharon!” and was greeted by my friend.

We got into the car and drove to her parents’ home.  We entered the front door, and I was greeted by her mother, all three of her sisters, her three nieces, and Francoise.  Our meal tonight was prepared by the nieces, all youngsters (I know Ghita was 10, but am not sure of other ages).  We had two types of soup, pasta, bruschetta with tomato and garlic and lots of bread – and wonderful mint tea. Jamila and I tried to figure out applications on the iPhone while we waited for dinner to be served.   We had a lovely meal with all the ladies, and then Jamila drove Francoise and I back to our accommodations, which by coincidence were on the same street. 

I went straight to bed, it was around midnight, and slept in the next morning.  I walked up two levels to the breakfast room in the riad, and had my first breakfast.  Great strong espresso coffee, Moroccan bread, some sort of muffin, some sort of pastry, a crepe, orange juice and three kinds of jam (orange, apricot and strawberry).  I knew that Francoise and Houda were going to a jewelry exhibition, so I tried to text Francoise to join them, but knew I was probably too late.  I finished breakfast and walked over to the Katoubia mosque and past the tombs, the long way into the souks. I stopped at one of the hotels with the covered patio and had a coffee for an hour or so, just watching the world go by.  Snake charmers, men with monkeys, henna tattoo ladies, young men doing acrobatic tricks, the orange juice sellers, the guys with the traditional outfits, musicians, and the horse drawn carriages lined up outside the Club Med (yes- right in the entrance to the djema al fna-   I refreshed my memory of my location and wandered through the souks reminding myself of the different sections, leather, babouche, textiles, carpets, ironwork, jewelry, spices, nuts and everything imaginable.  I headed back out of the square and had lunch at the same restaurant I had in 2010, and had a coffee and a margarita pizza flatbread. 

It was hot and muggy and dusty and crowded.  I walked back towards the riad, making a stop at the artist’s cooperative and buying a tunic and a striped djellabah.  I returned to the riad and checked on messages and email in the central patio before taking a quick nap, and catching the cab to café malizia again.  Tonight I would meet the 3 ladies from Milan who were also joining us for dinner at Jamila’s parents home.  

Jamila picked me up and dropped me off at the home, where we were shortly joined by the rest of the women.  We had another wonderful meal of the coated chicken that I was too full to eat when it was served in 2010, that is one of the best meals I have had in my life.  You soak up the paste and the juice as you rip off pieces of chicken with a piece of bread.  This is a communal feast and this time I was ready, and soon my fingers were coated with the yummy, oily, paste.  I listened to everyone speaking the Italian/French/Arabic combo language, and then jamila took the ladies home to their riad, while Francoise and Bouchara talked upstairs,

I sat with her mother, and sisters, and niece and watched the Moroccan version of American Idol.  All the ladies were enthusiastic with the traditional singers, but bored when one younger girl tried to sing in western fashion.   I was very tired and ready for sleep, and eventually Francoise came back down, we said out goodbyes, and Houda and her husband and the youngest niece Sarah drove us back to our riads.  I played peek a boo with Sarah on the 15 minute drive. At the last roundabout prior to entering the old city, we got stopped by the police who checked the car registration and indicated we had made a rolling stop.  The policeman was quite amiable, and we soon were dropped off.   Francoise told me they would pick me up the following morning at 9:00am. 

I told the riad manager I would be leaving at 9:00.  There were many more guests now and the patio area was full, and the hamman area on the top floor had many people, looked like a party going on.  They departed pretty quickly, and I repacked for the caravane and went to sleep.  I awoke and went up the two flights for my breakfast, and saw many French families with lots of young children.  I sat at the bar area and finished up my breakfast, and returned to my room, and hauled all my luggage downstairs.  I paid for my two nights and dropped off one suitcase in the manager’s office for my return on the 26th.  The door rang and I ran up the flight of stairs to ground level and the beginning of our journey.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Ranch Rev 2

It’s the beginning of my second visit to the Ranch, and the world is outside the fence where it should be.  Telephone reception is spotty at best, and the computers are slow in the computer lounge.  Some people have telephones in their “suites” but I am happy to live without all of those electronic links to the outside for a week.  I do use the alarm clock, however, or I’d probably never get up. The rooms are so cozy and the bedding so deep and warm and soft, I sleep like a baby, and dream wildly in color every night. Every night. 

It’s still dark and the heater is cycling on and off.  Do I get up for the hike or go back to sleep.  It’s colder than shit Christmas Eve.  My little casita has heavy curtains, drawn tightly closed against the night.  I get up and pull on my long underwear, thick wool socks and hiking boots.  Where are my bloody gloves and hat?  I wash my face, or rather splash it with cold water, grab some chap stick and my heavy jacket and head out the door.  It’s so womblike and comforting inside it takes an extraordinary act of will to actually step out the door, but I’m already awake and dressed in too many layers to back down now. 

My first time here, probably 5 or 6 years ago, I brought way too many clothes.  I guestimated I would need one outfit for the early morning hike each day, one for the day exercise classes, and one for evening.  Multiply that times 7 and you’ve got two honking suitcases that scream “newbie”.   I learned pretty quickly that everyone wears the same thing for the hike every morning- and no one cares or even notices. 

Passing through the vine covered arch guarding the secret garden of Los Flores I see the kitchen staff coming to work. I walk to the main lounge on the other side of the ranch, the flames and warmth of the wood fire inside reflecting off the glass windows, dark shapes moving across the panes as the “mountain climbing group” heads out.  I wave at friends and friends to come during this time together- old and new, as they skip past me on an early morning quest for some serious climbing.  I’m doing the second shift, more casual, less athletic two mile rolling hills walk like yesterday, or maybe the organic vegetable garden walk.  Frittatas and chocolate zucchini bread.  A little decadent, designed for only one visit a week, and perfectly suited as my reward for getting up and doing the hike in the first place. Motivation.

Hey, if I’m going to pay this kind of money and spend most of my time in physical activity, I can easily justify using food as a motivation.  The rest of the year at home I save up my weight watchers points for the weekend, for wine, for decadent meals in decadent cafes.

 I pull open the side door of the lounge and see lots of red noses, and faces huddled over steamy cups of tea with agave nectar.  I see that our special guests this week, a rabbi and his wife from New York, and a researcher lecturing on ability of monkeys to communicate with humans are joining us for the hike. Despite the hour, we are all in good spirits, commenting on how bizarre it is that we are not just lying in our warm, soft, delicious beds, that we actually signed up for this.

There are about 20 of us and we step outside a disorderly line disappearing into the chilly damp morning just before sunrise, breathing through our mouths, weaving our way past sculptures and landscape lighting, past the yoga and dance studios, past the grape vines barren in the winter chill, past the labyrinth along the path at the base of Mt. Kuchima.  The staff strong and lean herds us up the trail, and follows the last guest - it’s a big property, they don’t want to lose us.  Walkey talkies abrupt screeching, staccato notes from the mother ship a lifeline to civilization, or the sighting of a mountain lion, or our approach to the garden.  I pull off my gloves as the day and my metabolism kicks in, and we pause for a moment near the hollows in the stones where acorns were ground. A little historic commentary by the young lady for the first timers, and then we pause for a moment and  In the silence before we continue our walk, I hear the sound of the chanting Kumeyaay Indians from the burial grounds far above us. 

We continue on the path, around hills, slight inclines, through farm gates, past horses and burros and goats and chickens, up the road, over the bridge, across the creek.  Chatting for moments as the path narrows and clumps of guest form, but mostly walking quietly, enjoying the start to a new day, smiling as we pass , each at our own pace, on the trail.  As the sun comes up, the garden begins to appear as if by magic and as we draw closer in the chilly dawn the glass hot houses and La cocina que canta appears as if by magic.  The last time I was here, they were just beginning construction, and it’s now up and running.  I hope to take a class this week, just to check it out.  But this morning we are here for the breakfast, which is served in the dining area of the cooking school.

The food at the ranch is excellent and healthy at every meal, but the breakfasts at the garden are exceptional, and are definitely a part of what you “take home” from the ranch to savor year round.  There are cats wandering around, farm pets, and a dog named Lucky that may have been here the last time.  Most of them are friendly and have learned to pose for the camera, and know how to get attention from the guests.   This time we enter from a farm gate and walk down the main path of the garden.  It’s beautiful, every lettuce, every vegetable, exotic herbs, amaranth (my first glimpse of it in this lifetime) – and then it’s time to eat. 

It’s nice and toasty inside; although I loved the little kitchen building before the Cocina was built.  It had benches along the wall, and long tables, the new space has lofty ceilings, better for teaching classes I agree, but not quite as cozy. Everyone takes off jackets, gloves, scarves that kept the pre-dawn chill from the bones, and forms a chattering queue in the direction of the frittata, potatoes, the zucchini bread, beans, tortillas, juice, coffee, chocolate, tea, Not a lot of small talk this time of the morning, and we are all transported to a heavenly place with each mouthful, regardless of our chosen faith or lack thereof.

My first time at the ranch I took a class called “Tools for the Garden” taught by Farmer Bill.  I’m a crazy gardener at home, but this is the first time in my entire gardening life that someone actually showed me- and about 15 others how to properly use a shovel, a hoe to maximize its impact without hurting yourself, We prepared an entire garden bed, approximately 5 ft wide by maybe 36 ft long and to get the technique down, and all this at approximately 7:30 in the morning on chilly misty winters day.  It may sound unlikely but it was fun!

So after softening into the comfort of a toasty room, when the call comes, we all get up grudgingly and head outside into the cold, and the garden manager takes us on a tour, pulling winter vegetables and herbs right out of the ground, talking about what they grow at different seasons of the year, and what happens to the excess harvest, some of it sent to a hospital in Tijuana. .  I always take the tour, I enjoy the time in the field.

 Then it’s back to the trail, back to the rambling outbuildings of the ranch.   The first classes start at 9:00 so it’s an easy walk, and plenty of time to grab another cup of tea or coffee or that fake coffee stuff from the lodge before it starts. Just past the labyrinth, we stop at the wood log rails to do some stretching.  It’s still cool, wintertime, once you stand still for a moment, and there’s lots of moisture in the air. My body temperature cools down and is replaced by the frozen nose, and I head for my casita for a quick look in the mirror and a toothbrush, and to change into my workout shoes.  I am wide awake and ready to go, or am I?  I glance at the book I’d brought with me and keep moving.  Too much to explore.


Belly Flop Rev 1

I always manage to slip out before the other shoe drops, before the point of no return, before I get too deeply involved.  Is it luck or fear?  I’m not sure if this qualifies as “in bad company” when I leave before the bad is obvious- only when it is sensed, or early on, when things appear to be going bad. 

I had a mad crush on a guy, back in my 30s.  He lived in a small trailer in a park in Solana Beach near the Belly Up, come to think of it; I probably met him at the Belly Up.  He was very handsome, a building contractor (unlicensed) with a black Labrador retriever.  In public he’d treat me like a queen but the minute the others were gone he would be mean, and disrespectful.  I knew it but I was absorbed with his looks and also one hundred miles from home so I didn’t really want to drive in the middle of the night on a weekend either.  I know these thoughts were going through my head but I deleted them almost as fast as they appeared. 

And then it happened, the words turned physical after a Padres game, and it escalated from a snide remark about my forgetting to get butter on popcorn that evening, or something just as random.  I’d had it with his remarks and made a comment about his relationship with his dog, and he became enraged and backhanded me across the face.

I fell backward onto the gravel and started crying.  I walked to my car and drove the hundred miles, stopping at a gas station to wash my face , so I wouldn’t have to answer any questions.

This guy has haunted me for years.  I’ve written other stories about him.  He didn’t go quietly despite this incident.  He wrote me letters and postcards for the next year.  I responded only once to a postcard sent from Colorado with seven words.  Glad to hear you’ve left the state.

Years went by, decades, I returned to live I the same area.  I swore I spotted him on the street.  It worried me for months. In the back of my mind it is still a worry.

To be continued

©sharonjcorrigan all rights reserved

Bored Rev 1


The bubble deflated, attaching itself to my left ear sagging from the tip of my nose to my chin.

I reached up, using my pinky cocaine nail to pick at my ear, detaching the pink blob from its perch and returning it to the center of my tongue.  I looked around; no one even looked up and prepared for a second try.

There we go slow massage those lips together let the air seep into that sticky gummy mess and float unanchored into the air like a soap bubble. 

Oh shit, pooooooppppp, this one collapsed even sooner and even more quietly despite its size.  I should’ve kept- my head up, tied my hair back, and moved behind the stacks so the librarian wouldn’t see me.  Holding the book in front to hide the bubble was a bad idea, in retrospect and now I’ve got to get it outside, or have to pay for damaging it with my gum. 

It’s all over page 48 and it will stick to 49 the minute I closed the cover. And it'll leave a gap visible to everyone, especially the volunteers that restock the shelves.  Oh someone must have turned a page down.  Oh no- some idiot stuck a wad of gum in this book.

To be continued.

©sharonjcorrigan2011 all rights reserved

Excess Rev 1

I have lots of shoes and footwear.

 I also have lots of very expensive glass frames from old prescriptions. 

I’m going to take a wild guess and say I have about 30 pairs of black shoes of one sort or another.  I know I have 1 pair of tall black boots, two pairs of short lace up boots, one with a zipper on the side, 1 pair of traditional loafers, 1 pair of kitten heel pumps with oval stitching on the toe bought at Nordstrom in Indianapolis, 2 pair of OJ Simpson  open toe sling back 2” heels- black & red (Bruno Magalia), 1 pair of crocs ballet flats that look sort of like suede but aren’t, 1 pair of sporty loafer type slip-ons with contrasting stitching and a toggle, 1 pair of t strap sandals, 1 pair of open toe strappy black sandals, 1 pair of Akko gladiator sandals, In the garage I have two pairs of raggedy really comfortable keen flats that I’ll never wear again, I have  ankle strap leopard look flats bought at Nordstrom Pentagon City,

 A pair of brown Keen maryjanes, a pair of dark brown tooled leather flats , a pair of yellow ochre sandals that I need to throw away but that are the right color, a pair of silver sandals that are cute but have a piece between my toes like flip flops that hurts, a pair of alligator slip-ons with only a toe ring that has crystals on it, a pair of European looking Born's that have a Velcro strap and I’ve worn out the soles, a pair of black flat espadrilles with ribbons that wrap to my knees, a pair of brown lace up boots, a pair of beige short Uggs, 2 pairs of Mephisto walking shoes (one a neutral boring pair I hate, the other with tweed accents that are cool but one size too small), 1 pair of Uggs cool looking purple suede converse looking tennis shoes, 1 pair of patent flip flops with a fake red flower and kitten heels, 1 pair of slides with leather rose flower decoration, I pair of brown shoes with ankle straps that look like leaves and a kitten heel that I bought years ago at Cedro’s sole in Solana Beach-  in a shoe daze, and…

Glasses, I have one pair of tiffany  RX reading frames with a diamond chip, I have ….

©2011sharonjcorrigan all rights reserved

Bull Shit Rev 1

Tomorrow is the day he thought the day I break my record in the ring the weather is dark, the stone cold, my mother and father will sit on the narrow benches heads held high dignified proud but humble.

The picadors lead the parade from the tunnel, tight pants and tiny vests, hats with wide brims, almost effeminate in this arena, the bull the testosterone raging silently ominously from behind the fence their torsos thrusting themselves sideways bouncing off the hard stone wall, adding another crack in the gates.  The music, the crowd, swaying forward to see the beginning of the dance, and back again. To neutral when the strain becomes too much. Adrenaline racing around and around row by row forward backward, the first bull is freed, suddenly surprised by the absence of a barrier where there once was resistance. Shaking his head from side to side, scanning the ground, nothing the positions of the picadors, and smelling the sweat the dirt and the blood of centuries baked into the walls and the earth.

My stomach churning I stand off to the side, just out of sight, watching the scene unfold, last night I played hard the dawn fast on the heels of midnight, the cava and the darkness  and the joy in my lovers arms . Too much salt in the tortilla too many peppers in the brine of the olives, too many days off training this season. Blame the tightness of my vest or the laundry, the limpness of my manhood on the premonition of failure, humiliation on a massive scale.

What will I do should I fail to strike the killing blow, how to escape, how to explain, how to live with my ineptitude. The matador raised his right hand and tried to stem the flow of sweat streaming from his brow.  He was not prepared, would never be prepared he now realized.  It is too late now, he stared into the distance, lost.

To be continued

©sharonjcorrigan2011 all rights reserved