Shifting

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The more he thought, the tighter he gripped the wheel. His anger was getting the better of him. He knew he was right to leave. There was no way to win in that situation. He was seething with fury. This was no way to live. There had to be a way to not get this upset. He had to learn to control himself.

“Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen blared from speakers as he shifted his anger. His knuckles were turning white. The driving made him feel better. There was fresh air and endless opportunities ahead of him. The music surged through him, sending the speedometer needle around the dial.

He was over-accelerating by the time he reached the top of the bridge. The tires got squirrelly, but he held tight. Traction was regained through his tight grip. It was a smooth, downward curve out and away. His speed was getting out of his control. He made a conscious decision to slow down. There was no reason to end up dead before anything was resolved. He downshifted to third. The car shuddered as it slowed.

There was a red light at the bottom of the bridge. He was glad he had decided to slow down before then. He sat at the light, waiting for it to turn green. He could feel his heartbeat starting to slow down. The deep breaths were visible in the cold night’s air. He zipped his sweater up to the neck, sticking his face under the turned up collar.

We all have choices, he thought. I don’t want to live my life angry. The light finally turned green, but he didn’t move. The car just sat there with his hand on the knob. There were no other cars out on the street at this hour. The lamps were spaced too far apart and did little to light the boulevard.

He slammed his foot downward on the pedal, jerking the wheel violently to the left. He made the U-turn and kept his foot on the floor, shifting up through the gears to fifth. He was going back. There was no point in running. That wasn’t going to solve anything. He hoped she would still be there. He hoped she would listen.

It didn’t take him long to get back up and over the series of bridges crossing the rivers. His speed was once again out of control, though anger was no longer motivating him. The need to return and talk things out were at the forefront of his mind.

He pulled the car into the circular, gravel drive in front of her place. He rushed out and ran through the front door, glad she had still left it unlocked. He found her sitting on the floor, right in front of the fire he had build for their quiet night.

“I’m sorry.”

“I am, too.” Her tears were fresh. She didn’t look up at him.

“I’m sorry I got so mad.”

“You left me.”

“Yes, I didn’t want to argue any longer.”

“You left.” She repeated. His heart sank.

“Yes.” He wondered what was the wisest choice for his next words. He decided there were no right words. He just sat down beside her and reached out to hold her. She recoiled at first. He allowed a hand to just linger on her shoulder. “I’m sorry.” He paused before leaning in to wrap her fully.

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

The Best Coffee Ever.

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“No, you have to pour more in.”
“This is okay. You don’t want to use too much.”
“The color is off.”
“I’m getting there.”
“Okay, I think it is time to stir.”
“Yeah, I think so.”

The elves were perched upon his old coffee mug. Together they were stirring the creamer in with all their collective strength. Their small hands gripping the wooden spoon, careful not to fall into the steaming liquid concoction below.

“What do you think?”
“It looks good.”
“Yeah, that looks to be the right combination.”
“We better go.”
“Yeah, he’ll be up soon.”

The man walked into his dimly lit kitchen, rubbing his eyes. His glasses were propped up over his brow. He stood in the doorway, clothed in his usual plaid pajama pants & v-neck undershirt. Every morning was the same. He came into the kitchen & mindlessly pressed the button on the coffeemaker. Then he watched the precious coffee fall into the pot, always anxious for the first cup.

His coffee was waiting for him. Confusion swept over him. He always had to make his own coffee. His knew his wife & children were still asleep. It would be a few hours before he had any company, even the dog remained curled up. He slowly walked in to investigate. It had the perfect coloring. He timidly touched the side of the cup. It was hot.

Within his peripheral, he noticed movement out on the back lawn. When he looked out there, he saw nothing. The man unlocked the door & stepped out into the calm morning air. He smiled & shook his head. He went back inside & enjoyed the best cup of coffee he ever had.

The End.

or

When he stepped outside, the man noticed tiny footprints. There were a few blades of grass that were trampled just so. He noticed a slight iridescent glow to those peculiar blades. The footprints went across the lawn into his wife’s rose bushes. The man smiled. He hadn’t thought about them since he was a child.

The End.

*previously posted

The Devil Is In The Details

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The devil is in the details; at least that’s what they always say to me.  We’re always fighting back, against the grain. Do they know what they’re doing to us? Pressure like this can kill you.  Yes, there’s the off the chance you’ll become a diamond, though the odds are never in your favor. But you have to keep fighting. No one is contented when you surrender.  It is never going to get any easier. They will never believe in you. This is our lot in life. This is what we have to look forward to for the rest of this life. We weren’t born kings or any sort of nobility. We are who we are.  Within that truth, we must find a way to emerge and triumph.

I spend my days walking the land searching for something which may not exist in the first place. I watch the people going about their lives around me. I see the joy in their faces. It reflects from the life they have found for themselves. Mothers pushing children on an afternoon walk.

Is it jealousy brooding within me? I yearn for a simple domestic life. I would like to quit this life on the road. I have lived the gypsy life for too many years. I find myself questioning my own desires. Will I tire of being in one spot too long? The answers to my search do not seem to be available. Life is something to be lived in order to even find those answers. This is just as frustrating as the search in the first place.

I leave those pretty people to their lives. It is out of respect for what they have found. It is a great thing for them. I will keep on searching for my own treasure.

I mean, do I want to complicate my life? Do I want to spend the majority of my life having someone else dependent on me and my abilities? That is a scary thought. Why would I do that to someone? I am not known to be the kindest person in the world, but damn. That borders on cruel and unusual punishment. I am who I am. I’m not proud of that, but it is a fact that I’m coming to terms with. All I’m saying is that it would be better if I stayed away from the rest of the human race. I’m better alone. People seem to be happier when they are away from me. I’m not happy that I’m a pariah. It isn’t simple aesthetics. A shave and a haircut will not alter this equation. A shower and fancy cologne will not make people want to gravitate in my direction. It is how it is and let us embrace it before someone gets their feelings hurt.

Exhale. You get yourself so worked up these days. Is it worth it? C’mon, get out of that bed. We have to get moving. There’s a world out there that hasn’t taken time to notice we haven’t joined in yet. We need to put it on a notice of our own. Take your time, let’s do things right. That’s it, two feet on the ground. Baby steps will lead us to where we need to be. We can do this. Slip your glasses on. Chug some of that water. Let’s get some more of that water.  Let’s go get some coffee into you; black. We don’t have time to waste on that fancy crap. We need to get ready to face the sun that’s been burning for several hours already. We’re going to make it, just you wait and see. They won’t know what hit them.

This will be a great day. Pick out your best outfit. The one that makes you feel the best, the most confident. Then we’re going to scrub away the past. You’ll come out of the shower fresh and new. Visualize being the greatest version of yourself. Make sure you see it first, so you’ll believe it. See what it is that will leave them speechless. This is our chance. This is our time. Let’s just add the finishing touches now.

Pull on those boots. Slip on those sunglasses, with one final glance through the vanity.  Will today be the day?

March of Conformity 

  
 It was the sort of place where if you weren’t wearing yoga pants &
boots, you were shunned. It wasn’t an obvious thing. Those within the circle picked up on it. The majority of the girls blended in with each other. A variation in a scarf color was the only thing separating these girls. Most people (especially the males) saw it as a march of conformity by the masses; lemmings throwing themselves to their death. Nothing was ever so obvious as was originally thought. The second inspection revealed more than anyone could fathom. These girls were not as shallow as some sociology report might spit out. That was academic nonsense. This was the real world with real world twists and turns. 

 Had any of these “scientists” thought that these new fangled clothes were the result of improved technology? Yes, there was a mass movement towards this same look, but it was because of the aesthetic and qualities they provided.

 “Technology is amazing.”

 “What are you talking about?”

 “I was thinking that technology can be used to shrink our cell phones to a size where we can no longer effectively use them, or they can create new synthetics that allow women to look amazing. I mean, look at these pants!”

 “How long have you been thinking about this?”

 “Four beers.”

 “That’s actually pretty genius.”

 “Thank you.”

 “I don’t need a smaller phone.” He grabbed a beer from the cardboard carrying case.

 “Me neither.” They clinked bottles. 
*previously posted on former blog