Taco Tuesday 

 

 

Tuesday afternoon came around. We had planned on meeting up for lunch at Rosita’s. They have the best tacos on the island. The place was beat up. It looked like it was constructed entirely of driftwood and old metal signs. I ordered the Key West Amber. The barkeep wore peach shorts and a denim shirt buttoned low over a nice, tight tank.

“I’ll have a water, no lemon please.” The sound of her voice broke the love spell.

“Sorry, I was…uh…”

“It’s okay. I understand.”

“How are you?”

“I’m good. It has been a rough start to the week, but it’s early and we’ll rebound.”

“I love that about you.”

“What’s that?”

“How you always find hope in the situation.”

“What’s the alternative?”

“No, I get it. I just don’t naturally see it.”

“Are you guys ready?” The barkeep asked.

“I’m going to have the taco plate.” Alice’s voice was overly cheery, bordering on patronizing.

“Make that two, please.” I resisted looking at the barkeep, instead keeping my eyes on the menu. I folded it, handing it to her without ever looking up. I’m sure it was awkward for everyone.

“What’s your name, dear?” Alice asked the barkeep.

“It’s Summer.”

“Oh, of course it is. ”

 

*previously published

Just Keep Pouring Me The Coffee

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Just keep pouring me the coffee. I’ll need it to keep warm. The air conditioning is over the top. I can’t handle it. The nights are long and they keep getting longer. I don’t feel the loneliness as much as I used to. But then again, I don’t feel much anymore. I’ve closed myself off from everyone and everything. You cannot save my soul, so please stop trying. I know I’m broken. I’ll probably never get over it. But that’s just the way life is going to be. People swarm around me, but I can’t feel anything towards them. I want to feel something again. I see those young ladies walking around in those short skirts. Yes, I’d like to do dirty things with them, but my tainted soul is no longer for sale.

Deck The Halls

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She made sure the house was cleaner than it had been all year. She scrubbed and cleaned deep into the home’s old wood. A little elbow grease made that place shine like it hadn’t in too long. Bleach and Pine-Sol made sure her effort didn’t go unnoticed. Her old sweat pants and stained t-shirt looked like Cinderella’s rags. She was a mess, inside and out.

She sat back and looked over the house, admiring the place which had been neglected. Work and caring for others had taken priority. She wandered into the kitchen and uncorked a bottle of Pinot Grigio. It had been a rough week and she felt a little relaxation would be nice.

Soon afterward, she retired to her bedroom and scrubbed herself of the grime and sediment of the past. There needed to be nothing left to remind her of disappointment and heartache. She needed to feel fresh and clean for the coming New Year.

The winter season had always made her feel special as a child. The recent past dulled any happiness she might have found. She was determined to change all that. This year she was going to be happy and joyous. She was going to take back her life.

She emerged wearing her favorite holiday cocktail dress. It was a classic blue taffeta. She loved how it fit her. It flattered her figure without being ostentatious. This dress quietly announced her. The perfect heels and pearls completed the ensemble. She felt graceful and beautiful.

She wasn’t going to allow not having a place to wear it this year to keep her from the pleasure of feeling this good. This dress changed her whole outlook. There hadn’t been many moments where she felt good about herself. She made a mental note to change that.

The fire had been carefully built and lit, as well as all the candles in the house. A fresh pine garland was woven along the mantle. She made sure the oversized red bow was tied perfectly upon the front door. Each decoration raised her spirit a little more.

She sat down on a barstool at the end of the counter. The second glass went down smooth. Her spirits began to rise. Spinning the stem in her hand, she thought about her life.

Something stirred inside her, telling her that she had a good life. She was tougher than this and was tired of feeling this way. She wasn’t a victim and she was tired of being treated like one. She knew that she was an intelligent woman. She held a good job. There were men who found her attractive and behaved nervously around her. The thought made her giggle softly.

She poured herself another glass and walked over to her phone on the bookcase. With a few touches, she queued up a waltz. The magic of technology had music playing from speakers throughout the house. She smiled broadly and returned to her decorating. She began to dance around the room as she filled her home with the Christmas spirit.

Once completed, she turned off all the interior lights, allowing the fireplace, candles and Christmas tree to illuminate the room. The coffee table had been removed for the winter to fit the tree. This offered plenty of room for dancing and merriment.

Her soul was glowing. This pure joy had been missing for so long. She knew that she would be okay as long as she could remind herself of the simple joys in life. She could be happy as long as she kept dancing. While she drank her wine and celebrated life all evening, her heels could be heard click-clacking on that hardwood floor.

 

*I forgot to post this earlier in the season. I hope you enjoy.

**previously posted on former blog

Gotta Throw All The Words Out

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Gotta throw all the words out
No matter if they’re drivel or not
Get them high up into the sky
Possibly to cling to someone’s thoughts
Unconscious connections
Allow them to autonomously weave
Touching deep into a soul
& that we might once again believe

Oakland Bound

 

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I’m trying to get comfortable. The seat must be made of that cheap, fake vinyl material. My legs keep sticking to the seat. Today is hotter than any of the other days this summer. It seems like it is just going to get worse. One must come to terms with these facts early in the summer.
I boarded the bus in Santa Rosa. My aunt dropped me off. I came out to California from Phoenix to help them move. I’m on my way back to Arizona now. I’ve grown up wishing I lived with my family out on the coast. It seems to be a much cooler existence. Who doesn’t want to live at the beach?
I boarded at the last minute & the only seat available was next to a cute girl. I looked around; too long to see if there was a different seat I could choose. I’m probably shier than your normal guy. I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable the whole ride. The fact I was on a bus was already uncomfortable for me. I was used to driving in a family car or flying on the trips out to visit family. I flew out to the San Jose International Airport on my way back, but I didn’t have a way to get back to my grandfather.
So here I am. She is pressed against the window & hasn’t looked my way. I’m grateful for this, because now I didn’t have to introduce myself or somehow keep a conversation going. I can just keep to myself. I pull out a notebook. I know I have to put the finishing touches on a story I had written about my time in Camp Meeker.
Camp Meeker is an unincorporated community off the Bohemian Highway between Occidental & Monte Rio. Well, at least, that’s what Google says about it.
I look for a place to put my coffee. “Shit.” I mutter to myself. I guess between my legs will have to do. It’s no longer hot. It’ll be okay.
“Sorry I’ve been silent this whole time.”
“It’s okay.” I look up with wide eyes. “I don’t talk much, myself.”
“Why are you looking at me like that?” She has a bit of a giggle in her voice.
“I…I kinda just keep to myself. I think most of my friends are people I’ve known my whole life or I met through them.” I say, warily.
“I’m Samantha, but no one calls me that. It’s always Sam.”
“What do you want to be called?”
“I don’t really care. I’ve never thought about it….you know, no one has ever asked me that.”
“Well, we’re going to be sitting here together for a while. What would you like me to refer to you by?”
“It does seem silly, but why do we even have to use names?”
“It does seem silly.” I stare at her. I have never met anyone who was this bizarre in their logic. I see myself wanting to distance myself from this impending craziness, but I can’t take my eyes off her. She is pretty, but not in an over bearing way. There is something different about this one.
“You okay?”
“Yes, why?”
“I think you stopped breathing.”
“No, I’m still breathing.”
“Well, you’re definitely staring.”
“Oh. Sorry.” I look down. She giggles quietly to herself. I look at her again. Our eyes meet & then lingers.
“It’s okay. It’s nice to be noticed.”
Samantha keeps saying these strange things. How could anyone not notice her? She could never blend in if she tried. There was just no way. Where was she from? Who would make her believe that she wasn’t being paid attention to? I mean, I just met this chick, but it seems crazy to me. It seems cruel & harsh. I know some guys feel better when they mistreat women, but I couldn’t fathom this.
I keep my smile, but it is tinged with sadness at this point. We keep our small talk going through the small towns of Northern California; Petaluma, Novato & San Rafel. We grow silent as the bus comes to the Richmond/San Rafel Bridge. The noise of the tires & traffic echoes off the steel structure makes it almost impossible to hear each other.
The bus weaves its way through Richmond & into Oakland, where I have to depart. Sam is going to be continuing on. I wish we had met at a coffee shop or bar or anyplace else. This feels like a tragedy to me. I can see the Bay Bridge looming off to the west. Oakland never was an uplifting place. The grime & criminal element will forever supersede the stories of generations past growing up on these hillside streets. I can’t envision them being real after seeing the city for myself. Time had not been kind to this place.
“I wish I didn’t have to go.”
“Me neither. It was really nice meeting you.” Her eyes have grown sad as well.
“This is crazy. We’ve only known each other for a few short hours.”
“Life is cruel sometimes.”
“I think there’s some saying about heights & lengths of happiness.” I wish I hadn’t tried to be witty in this instant. It just makes me feel bad about myself.
Samantha shakes her head at me & smirks. I guess inappropriate dorkiness isn’t always a bad thing.
The bus pulls into the station & the brakes release their pressure with that tremendous sigh of air. It is the relief after a grueling trip. I sit there looking at her. She sits there looking at me. I know I have to get going. I don’t want my grandfather roaming these streets in the dark looking for me. My soul is stirring. This is one of those moments that define a lifetime. Perhaps not everyone encounters this sort of thing. I’m scared. I feel the butterflies in my stomach. But then I have enlightenment; a moment of clarity. I know what I must do. I reach over & touch her face with both hands. Her eyes close. I move in & place my lips upon hers with a confidence & grace that I have never done anything. It is a magical experience. Samantha kisses me back instantly. She is in the moment. When we finally separate, I feel like the king of the world.
Silently, I stand to rise. She looks up with a mixture of sadness & infatuation. I look down upon her with a smile that will last me for a very long time. Samantha reaches up her hand & grabs mine with all her might. I pause.
“Please wait.” I stand puzzled. She bites her lip, as if unsure of the next move.
“What is it?”
“I want to give you something.” She said, in a quiet voice. I watch her write out her address & rip out the page. She hands me the quarter sheet of purple paper.
“I’ll write you tonight.” Sam only looks down & smiles as I say this. “No,” I gently pulled her eyes to meet mine. “Really, I promise.”
“Okay.” She replies in the softest voice possible.
I smiled at her. I wait only a second before grabbing my bag again & heading towards the front of the bus. I paused one last time at the steps. I took Samantha into my memory, hoping this would not be the last time I saw her.
The air was a little cooler in Oakland. The smell of exhaust & grime penetrated the outside area of the bus station. Night was descending on the city. The Sunset neighborhood across the bay was most likely living up to its name. I moved quickly to get inside. My grandpa was probably hitting on some young lady. I began to realize I needed to get inside & save her.
The night was young. There was so much trouble for us to get into…

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*previously published

A Charmed Life

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“My imagination lives a charmed life.” Grace said.

The weather had started to change. The summer temperatures were lingering in the back of our minds. Grace wore a green, chunky sweater over black yoga pants. I could see the fatigue in her eyes. I don’t know if she wasn’t sleeping well or if it was just the stress. She sipped her venti Starbucks coffee. Grace had always talked about how she hated mornings, but now she was just hiding behind her sunglasses. There wasn’t much effort put into the morning. Her hair was tied back in the tiniest numb of a ponytail possible. That was all her short hair would allow.

“Have you been painting?” I asked.

“Not really, I mean, I have a little bit, but not as much as I need to be.”

“I don’t know much about art. I like your work, but mostly because I can feel your happiness in them.”

“My paintings are depressing as shit!”

“I get that. But I know you’re happiest when you’re painting.”

“I really am.” A smile broke out on her face.

An Evening Rant

 

“I don’t know how to write down what I’m thinking. I don’t know how to breathe properly. I feel suffocated and I’m anxious. I feel my lungs collapsing in on me. I just don’t know what to do about it. I cannot come up the proper words to express what I’m thinking or feeling. Does any of this make sense? I feel like I’m losing my mind. I can’t sleep. There is an endless reel just repeating and repeating. It is driving me crazy,” he said without stopping for a breath. He hopped down from his barstool and started pacing. He ran his fingers through his hair, leaving it disheveled.

She poured him another glass of Scotch.

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“It’s okay, Babe. Just come to bed. We’ll figure it out.” She placed it before him on a crystal coaster. She stepped from behind the bar, placing a kiss on his neck. She let her bright red lips linger on his flesh, inhaling to take in his manly scent. He felt her fingers reach his throat and loosen his tie.

She proceeded to slowly walk towards their bedroom door. Before she disappeared, she let her dress slip off her shoulders and fall to the ground. She looked over her shoulder to see if he noticed her standing in only her heels and his favorite pearls.

*previously posted

A Narrow Passageway Into My Soul

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She wasn’t fazed by them looking at her. She had become used to it after the years. At first, it made her uncomfortable, but now she didn’t mind. It would be a stretch to say she enjoyed the leers, but she still remembered the times when no one wanted to stare at her. She was tall & awkward, slightly geeky despite being close to thirty.

I didn’t care about any of it. I didn’t listen to the buzz surrounding me. I could see her & enjoyed what I saw. The whispered comments from the corners of the room & the crass locker room talk could not destroy what I thought was special.

Society has an infectious need to tear down anything positive. It locks in on it & crushes it out of envy, misunderstanding & pure unadulterated spite. Individual persons can be trusted. People are evil. You can never be sure that groups of three or more won’t try to rip you apart.

“Excuse me.” She smiled her demure, yet encouraging smile. I held my coffee high over her head. I didn’t want to spill as she passed by me. It was a tight squeeze, though it wasn’t mandatory she come as close as she did. Her hands on my hips as she shuffled by was definitely an extra bit she threw in.

It lasted for mere seconds, but I never let that memory leave me. A twinkle came to my eye whenever I thought of her. An innocent moment filled with the possibility of so much more. You have to be grateful for these moments. They remind you that you are alive.

My Morning Coffee

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My morning coffee; a cup of optimism
Providing hope you’ll survive the day
Please stop talking that incessant shrill
Your negative drivel is constantly in my way
One more word; I might be forced to kill

A Broken Bottle Of Scotch & An Empty Stripper

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A broken bottle of scotch & an empty stripper

Checking my watch for the time to set sail

Three bloody sheets & all the usual drivel

Keeping always one eye on the day’s mail

Unsavory characters gathered around my table

I can’t walk straight, but my heart goes out to thee

Smoke & bar light reveal a familiar feeling

Failure felt all those years trying to break free

Hiding behind myself, not wanting to attract

Fingernail scrapes will lead to further attention

I leave this room in no condition to go

Held hostage by all the words you felt obligated to mention

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