Tuesday, January 30, 2007

M o M

With a little less than a week to go before my son’s 25th birthday, mom and I had the following exchange which is nearly a carbon copy of the exchanges before every birthday since his twentieth.

Mom: I’ve been thinking about what to get Michael for his birthday. What are you getting him?

Me: I got him the photo shoot. I will take him out to eat, he hasn’t said yet, where he’d like to go and I will get him some dvds, probably "Fraiser" seasons 1 and 2.

Mom: Well, I’ve been thinking about a gift card.

Me. That would work

Mom: Where?

Me: Borders. He loves Borders. He could get a book, a new journal, some music, a dvd and /or have several cups of tea, while playing working on his laptop.

Mom: hmm. I’ve been thinking about clothes.

Me: No. Don’t buy him clothes. I don’t get him clothes anymore, unless he’s there to try them on. I got him some shirts recently, the sleeves were too short. He's either still growing or the sizes wre wrong or something.

Mom: No, I was thinking a card from a store that sells clothes.

Me: Oh, well, I’d go with JCPenny. He like’s their stuff, the accessories anyway, monogrammed hankies or gold toe socks. He could use a gift card from JCPennney, but I’d go with Borders.

Mom: hmm. I’ve been thinking cologne, or those African oils. I don’t know where he got them.

Me: He doesn’t wear cologne and he got the oils from Afri-Ware, but he hasn’t been there in awhile He didn’t even know they had moved. He doesn’t wear the oils anymore..he says every ‘brother’ smells like those oils. He just smells like soap to me. He’s really into Irish Spring these days. I still think Borders is the best bet.

Mom: hmm. Well, what about Old Navy? Does he go to Old Navy?

Me: Uhm, No. He doesn’t go to Old Navy. He doesn’t wear anything...MOM: I bought him that sweater...Me: except for that sweater you bought him, from Old Navy. I think Borders is the way to go.

Mom: Well, I just don’t know.

Me: Really. Seriously, mom, a gift card from Border’s is the perfect choice.

Mom: Well...I guess. Hey! Your cousin is retiring.

It should be noted that I have many, many cousins. Quite a few could fit into the ‘your cousin is retiring’ scenario. I play along, volley up a couple of possibles before she reveals that K D the III is the cousin retiring. He was going to be my next guess, really.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Was Talking To Me

We met, not face-to-face, but voice to voice. Immediately I was struck by how much she sounded like my paternal Aunt M. Long deceased Aunt M was scary, a ‘don’t you dare think about taking another cookie', scary. Green eyes sounded like my aunt, I tried to dismiss that notion and carry on with the conversation.

We talked about a little bit of nothing and everything. As I listened, I heard things that didn’t quite jibe with what she’d written in her profile and emails. I tried not to be critical, as this was somewhat expected. The inconsistencies were not so far off as to be alarming, but enough to notice. Maybe I was being critical.

The conversation continued, somewhat stilted, but smooth enough. As we were wrapping up, saying our good-byes, with tenuous plans to touch base after my trip, she tossed out a proposition of sorts...wondering if I would be open to meeting a few other women. Women she’s been talking with that don’t know about me, nor I presumed, that she was talking with all of us, the only common factor among the group of 4 or 5 women was we were all talking with green eyes. She thought it might take the pressure off if a group of us got together.

Green eyes said she hadn’t posed this idea to any of the others, wanted to know if I thought it was weird. I didn’t necessarily think it was weird, it was unexpected made even more so when she added that she was not looking for a girlfriend and she knew some of the others weren’t either, but some were. I'd been of the impression that she was looking for a girlfriend. The call ended with green eyes wishing me a good trip, me thinking about the proposition and getting back with her when I returned.

I did have a good trip. I did think about the proposition. I even asked for some advice. I called a few days after my return, left a ‘hi, I’m back, hope you are well, give me a call,’ message. A few days later, and no call, I emailed a similar message. She'd said she didn’t have immediate access to the Internet, so I didn’t expect to hear back right away. Several days later I checked the site, saw she’d opened the message and apparently had chosen not to reply.

Perhaps I reminded her of someone she’d rather not meet or she’d met the girlfriend she wasn’t seeking. Maybe it’s just as well I might not have been able to get over that Aunt M voice match.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Green with it, I have been. When I hear, read, or see examples of people who have warm, fond memories of their parents and continue to have flourishing relationships with them, envy colors my landscape. Mom and Dad. Your world begins with this set. You may be added to a mix that includes a brother or two, a sister or two, all or nothing. Mom and Dad dictate your beginnings. Basic.

In my case the beginnings were, I believe good. I can remember back to being as young as 3 or 4, definitely 4 because I remember my first school, parts of it anyway. Mom and Dad were constant in my life then. I remember going on picnics, amusement parks, to visit my cousins and Big Mama’s house.

Mom rarely played with me, I recall. I don’t have a single, solitary memory, of her playing cards, board games, or even dancing, being silly with me. I don’t remember her ever reading to me. My dad was the goof. He liked silly songs, like Charlie Brown, Splish Splash and the like. He would dance and cavort, make silly faces and play. He was fun, until he wasn’t. Somewhere, somehow, dad got mean. He started to hit. It seemed I was getting hit more than my brothers, possibly not, but that is the perception.

Then he was gone. Because of all that led to him being gone, I, for one, was thrilled with his departure. My seven, almost eight year old brain processed the event as such, no more getting hit!Yay! I’m not quite sure how I knew that once he was gone, my time with him would all but vanish.

After dad was gone, mom grew even more sullen. She had moments of joy, some periods of UP, but mostly she was riddled with anxiety, bouts of depression and physical ailments that kept her from sustaining any long term motivation for nurturing. My brothers, eventually capitalized on the absence of any real parenting by acting out, drinking, drugging, joining gangs and participating in gang activities. I tried, as much as possible, to stay out of the way.

There were pockets of times when mom was lucid, she tried to correct the ills that had befallen the family. She screeched s o s to other family members, clergy, teachers and even though, still very angry, and bitter towards dad, tried to elicit his help, towards regaining control. He had, by this time, regained control of himself and was building quite a nice life for his new wife and his new kids.

There was temporary relief. Short-lived. Transient.

I envy women who have friendships with their mothers. My mother and I are close in that I know her well. I understand her mind. We love each other devoutly. But we are not friends, not in that way. Not in a "Hey, what are you doing Saturday, would you like to have lunch" sort of way. We are mother and daughter, she took care of me when she could, the best she could. I do the same for her. We are mother and daughter, roles slowly but surely reversing. Mom told Michael during a recent dinner, she didn't need friends, friends were too much trouble. She doesn't have many interests beyond navigating the waters of turmoil and strife.

I don’t know my dad. In the beginning, I didn’t want to know him. The older I got and the bad memories faded, the more I found myself, wanting so very much to be a part of his life and have him be a part of mine. There, again, were moments, pockets. He took me out for a fancy dinner on the occasion of my graduation from elementary school and again, from high school. His families (his mom was married twice) held a family reunion, we were both there. This is where he met my children for the first time. That was 15-16 years ago, he hasn’t seen them since.

I told a friend that I was would not play any more overtures towards my dad. I would not seek his companionship, love or approval. Anymore. At the time I meant what I said, lately, however, I’m feeling the need to reach out. Maybe it was the Saints being in town, maybe it’s the novel I’m reading where the story is set in Louisiana, maybe, just maybe it’s time again, to try again. Maybe.

I envy folks who have a treasure trove of warm, fond memories of past , and enjoy warm, fond relationships, still, with their parents.

Green, I am with envy, despite my best efforts to the contrary.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Inside Out

We worked together a few years ago. He’s tall, thin and very hairy. The kind of hairy that had the fine, long hairs-which I presume-covered his chest, find their way outside the boundary of whatever shirt he was wearing, to tickle at his neck.

He plays guitar. His fingers, long and nimble worked the strings with skill and finesse.

Banana boy, so named because he came back from lunch with a banana, nearly every day. Many days he came back with two. He would give me one. He had a crush on me, did banana boy. I liked him as a person and I appreciated his musical prowess, nothing more.

He would email me, professing his attraction and wish that we could get together. Emails to my office address, during off hours were his preferred method of communicating his feelings. I would sometimes find him watching me. The emails, looks and the gifts of fruit were all that passed from him to me.

Banana resigned from the company 2 years ago. He continued to email me until a computer upgrade forced a change to the office email addresses. Banana did maintain a relationship with a couple of the other guys in the office. I would hear that he had called, one or more would pass along a *hello* to me from him. He never called me directly.

Two weeks ago, a call was transferred to me. The caller hung up when I answered. After a little questioning of the staff, I discovered the caller was Banana Boy. Since then, I’ve been treated a a few hang-ups and even some heavy breathing sessions.

Monday morning I check my voice mail and Banana Boy’s voice rings out. “Hey gay wad, call me!! My number is xxx xxx xxxx!!! Gay wad? I replayed the message four times to be sure I heard what I thought I heard and sure enough that’s what he said. The message was extremely terse.

I’d never told Banana of my interest and desire for women, even while he was professing an interest in me. I hadn’t professed it to myself, at that point. My preferences however, were beside the point. I wasn’t interested in him. His age (14 years my junior) and our working status (I was his boss) being the prime reasons that I gave. There were others, obviously, but I thought these were enough. I expressed these often during his wooing and tried to gently discourage him from continuing his campaign.

He’s discovered, apparently, my preferences. While not out at work, I don’t go out of my way to shroud (workplace acceptable) reading materials I might have on, around my desk. I don't share office space and periodically my personal items might be out and about. I don’t shout it out, but it’s not hiding under a rug either. No one has asked, point blank, but it wouldn’t take much to be led to certain conclusions.

One or more of my co-workers, outed me to Banana Boy. Given the hang-ups, heavy breathing sessions and the message he left on a Saturday, leads me to believe that he doesn’t want to talk about it or to me. I called him back anyway. He didn’t answer, I left a message.

He hasn’t returned my call, yet. I don’t really think he will, but if he does, I'll talk.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I didn't ask, but there it is

According to Snapple ‘Real Fact" number 132 a crocodile cannot move its tongue. "Why" pops into my head before I can stop it-toddler mom conditioning-still ingrained.

I really don’t care why a croc can’t move its tongue, I wonder would he, if he could. I presume he would, I mean, it stands to reason, does it not?

Sometime ago I talked about a lost bike and a field of frogs. I sought, found and posted a picture of a frog that had a pretty impressive tongue. Depending on your point the view the tongue was either beguiling or disgusting. I hadn’t given it very much thought one way or the other, until the emails came, since then tongues have been on the brain.

L presents as a kind woman of a 20 something year old son. She teaches physical education to special needs youngsters. Somewhere in the middle of her stream of consciousness about the ups and downs of her day, she inserts, that she and her ex broke up because the ex appreciates giving and receiving oral pleasure. L is not so inclined. She and the ex live together but are no longer intimate. L went on to relate her trials and tribulations over a broken dishwasher and grout.

I asked L is she was handy around the house and she replied that she was except when it came to plumbing and machines.

P is a secretary who was once in the navy. She relates, without provocation or invitation, that she likes to kiss. She likes good kissers. Full lips and active tongues. P had girlfriends who didn’t know what to do with their tongue. It just kinda laid there, according to P. She went on a little bit of a rant about lazy tongued kissers and nothing infuriated her more than said kissers refusing to try, refusing to be taught how to kiss and be kissed.

Perhaps P was kissing a bunch of crocodiles.

In a later email, I learned that L got the dishwasher repaired but that the grout still needed attending.

Crash Davis said it well, and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

I don't suppose three-day kissers would be of the lazy tongued school of kissing.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

No Sun, No Problem

The sun did not shine it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold cold wet day.*

Well, it was cloudy and it was wet, really wet, but never ever too wet to play. We weren’t going to be put off by a little lot of rain. There was a conference to attend, ribs to eat, a mansion to visit, and a quest for yarn.

A spot on Beale Street served up some pretty fantastic ribs. I don’t remember the name, but I know what spot it wasn’t, rumor had it that spot didn’t have the finest ribs. Michael would enjoy the block of blues and food, I remember saying to my hosts. I stopped in a shop to pick up shot glasses for Dani’s collection and I didn’t spill any food, this night.

Saturday morning dawned dreary and rainy, but daunted we were not. Off in search of a fabulous, maybe famous local eatery. No such luck, no funky little spot was to be found. Equally, missing any people sighting. Daytime Memphis seemed eerily empty of shoppers, diners, walkers and talkers. Very odd. Yet, there was still food to eat, a conference to attend, a mansion to visit, and a quest for yarn.

Breakfast for me was an egg white frittata. I made a promise to be good with regard to food choices, rib platter dinner Friday night not-with-standing, I did fairly well. I’d not had an egg white frittata before so I have no comparisons to make. It was edible and I ate it. And then, the mansion. Graceland was a treat. I’d not expected to enjoy the experience, but I very much did. The company may have much to do with that, still, the mansion and the grounds are interesting history lessons.

The yarn quest, alas, ended before it could really start in earnest. Names of stores secured, addresses obtained. Yet calls to clerks for directions yielded no positive results. Apparently, clerks who work in these yarn stores do not know how to get around Memphis. I was disappointed. I was really looking forward to learning the ways of yarn.

I arrived in Memphis, into the open arms and spirits of two lovely ladies from Texas. With humor, warmth and wine Elizabeth and Maxine welcomed me, made me feel at ease, at home. I rode back to Illinois with that feeling fueling the journey, even the ticket I got on the way didn’t dampen my spirits. I was going home knowing I’d taken an important step in my journey and with the knowledge that I’d found two friends, in living color, having materialized from cyber-space before my very bespectacled eyes.

The sun may have boy-cotted the weekend in Memphis, but it made no difference to me. I was feeling sunny the entire time.
*Dr. Suess The Cat in the Hat

Monday, January 15, 2007

Do Something

The Internet is for sale. Do you want to buy it? More importantly, do you want to pay more for the privilege of navigating? Would you like big business and / or government regulators telling you where you can and cannot go? How would like to have your traffic slowed by the fact that the site you wish to visit wasn’t wealthy enough to be in a top, high speed tier?

Those who wish to do away with Net Neutrality are proposing just that kind of Internet.

In this new Internet, blogs like this, like yours might not even exist. The freewheeling Internet, as we know it may, in fact, become history.

Do you like the idea of pay-per-visit Internet?


Join the fight to preserve Net Neutrality.

In addition to the potential death of the Internet, the media reform group, freepress, outlines and advocates change for the media at large. A media, supposedly owned, by the public, but controlled by conglomerates and big business is in need of an overhaul. The charge is for us, the American public, who has and continues to pay trillions, to fight and demand a better the return on our investment.

Go. Read. Act.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Reporter ?

The conversation began as many others before and a few since,
me: hey
eb: hey yourself
me: what's doin?
eb: shame shit different day
Or somthing similarly eb like.

One comment led to another and before you know, wham bam boom, I was putting in for two more of those 2006 vacation days, reserving a car and wrapping my head and arms around the idea that I was heading to Memphis, all alone, to meet up with two famous bloggers and play correspondent in the shadow of The National Conference for Media Reform.

The nervousness exists on several levels.

I've not gone anywhere without one or both of my children. They've left me, flown solo, but never the other way around. I don't have any particular concerns about leaving them to fend for themselves. They are capable adults and are adept self fenders. It is however, a FIRST. Firsts tend to invite nervous knots.

Meeting people for the first time, particularly people with whom you've enjoyed some sort of relationship tends to cause a nervous titter, at least for me. Will they like me as well in living color and I them? Will we click, clank or clunk?

This is my first foray into the public eye housed in the skin of a lesbian. Oh sure, I've been around and about, but I've basically lived the same life after my reveal as before, with a few barely noticeable exceptions. I won't go rolling into Memphis in a rainbow wagon, flying banners touting gay marriage, this is a Save the Internet conference, not a pride parade. Still, at least two people there will see me, know me as a lesbian. How will that feel? They don't know me as anyone else, so there aren't comparisons to make, still, nervous nellie lesbian thoughts abound.

Before filing any reports from the road though, some local reporting is in order. While I've enjoyed the support of both my son and daughter, I still tread carefully when addressing serious topics for the first time.

Michael, in his usual calm reserve asked, why Memphis. I explained about the conference and the meeting with ladies from Texas. He shrugged and went on his way, stopping only to remind me that his photo shoot is on the 15th and I'd agreed to pay the sitting fees.

Dani asked why, when, how long and with whom. I began the explanation. She stopped me mid-sentence, "hey, is this a lesbian thing? You're going to meet those Google Lesbian Buddies," as she calls my few chat mates, "aren't you?"

I hadn't played up that part of the recitation, I didn't think. More questions and answers later, she started telling me first time meeting horror stories she'd seen on any of the several reality shows she follows. I tried to offer her contact information for the GLBs in question, to assuage her concerns. She brushed that away and just asked me to please not spill food on my shirt. I can be a sloppy eater. I told her I'd try to be neat.

Some days later I tackled the toughest tell, mom. My mom, upon hearing any news, peppers inundates the deliverer with questions. A bombardment guaranteed to exhaust and frustrate. Mom doesn't trust the Internet so much assurance must be made that checks were made and care is being employed. She was concerned that I'd be going alone. I explained how I was meeting some on-line friends there. The lesbian connection was not discussed. Mom is not aware such a connection exists. This is best kept for another day. This topic deserves its own platform, its own bombardment.

Never fully satisfied, but willing to move on, mom expressed how she thought it was good I was getting away to do something for myself, finally. Still, she left me with, "I hope those Internet people you're meeting aren't weird."

I didn't tell her that I like a little weird in my peeps.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Meeting of the Minds

If the treasurer of my condo association board is calling and Publishers Clearinghouse is littering the mailbox, then it must be January. Treasurer and President S are of the opinion that it is time for a meeting. Oh Gee, really? It’s only been a year since the last meeting. It is January, the season for the near annual exercise in pretending that the other owners give a crap about the property.

This small association of 9 owners has struggled over these past 5 years to maintain the property, due in part, to direction ranging from ineffective to non-existent exhibited by most of the board and a lack of interest in lifting a finger to sweep a floor, change a bulb, rake a leaf by all but 2 owners.

Over the last two years the board has met 3 times. Each of those meetings was attended by 4 owners. The 3 board members and one other owner. Each time, a different (other) owner. Each of the previous meetings included agenda items that are on the current agenda.

During each of the previous meetings the owners discuss and set a course of action. Each owner accepts a task, towards addressing each of the issues outlined in the agenda. Days later I turn in the report for the project I’d agreed to research. In the meantime, I sweep and mop common areas, change bulbs and work to beautify the yard. Another owner vacuums and steam cleans rugs. The other owners (including two other board members) do nothing. A phone call or two, an email or two to them little reply and no action.

Until January. Meeting time.

The Publishers Clearinghouse will be trashed, as usual. And while the agenda remains the same, this will be a different meeting. Because I am different. Something must be done to combat the inaction typically employed by the other board members and owners. I’m not quite sure what that something will be–but I will find it. I must.

Update: we had the meeting. No coup, but thanks gf for the offer of support. Elections aren't for several weeks yet, so no changing of the guard, yet. The four of us, yes, a different owner-the newest, talked about much. Some issues pressing, some not so..as usual.

Where I thought the three owners directly affected by blackened halls were just not changing bulbs, turns out the fixtures are broken. Those landings have been dark for a few weeks folks. Weeks! Two of the owners have children. Up and down the stairs in the dark (unless they have flashlights-highly unlikely) for weeks. The darkened staircases are above me, my family and I are not directly affected, yet, I am flabbergasted that these families would be so casual about this potential hazard. Do we really need to wait, to call a meeting to discuss contacting an electrician to repair/replace broken fixtures. Do we? NO! This should be resolved yesterday, people.

I did lay down the gauntlet. My ears got very warm. I was either angry, nervous or amorous-as my head wasn't itching or my palms sweating, I'd go with angry. I told them that I intend to be even more active, more visible and much more vocal. I'm holding their collective feet to the fire. I will hold each one (not just the board-but I'll start there--the board should develop plans to entice the other owners into action) accountable. Appeal, like Maxine said, to their sense of pride, property values and all that.

In the meantime, I'll be trying to get as much done to my unit (I need some handy folks-but that's another issue for another time)-as my time there is clocking down.

The next meeting is 2/13/07-but which time three of the items on the must do now list should very well be accomplished. The fourth item should be well beyond planning and just needing a go-ahead to move forward. I'll be checking in with those folks who accepted specific assignments before the 13th. If you hear a rumble--it might not be thunder.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

One Down

The first week of 2007 is in the record books. And?

Temperatures in the Chicago area were warmer than usual. Stories about golfing being the new winter past-time made the rounds of a couple of local newspapers and Internet sites. Joggers donning shorts for lake front runs this week made the news as well.

Towards the end of the week we were a pummeled with a bit of rain, but that is a small price to pay for being passed over for the below zero temps. The rain was fine by me. I’ll take 40 degree temps and a bit of rain over a foot of snow and frigid temps any day.

What did I do this week? I worked Tuesday through Thursday. Work was, as it mostly is, not many surprises, certainly nothing worthy of news coverage. Unless you’d like to know about the poinsettia sent by one of the vendors. The poor thing is losing the battle to be-fast. Each hour results in a new round of shedding plant parts. Not pretty. Not at all pretty.

Home life might have provided more opportunity for wow. But, alas, no wow to be had. Most of the week was spent weeding through profiles and emails. There are a couple quite possibly worthy of note–for another time. I posted about where my head is (or was that day) and about hope being alive.

The big deal this week, was taking the day off work to clean. Officially, the day was taken because there are 2006 vacation days still to take, so take them I must. Friday the 5th-is the first of five. I used this day to clean. In addition to the sweeping, mopping, scrubbing and shining-I was doing purge and shred duty. Friday was the perfect day because Saturday was all about sports.

I was also filling in my 2007 appointment book. Yes, I do rely on my paper date minder. Not only does it mind my dates, it is the place to make quick notes, when my journal or the computer is not handy. I will sometimes use the appointment book as an attitude jump-start kit. This is in addition to my lists, which is another matter altogether.

Before discarding my 2006 appointment book, I must go through the pages to see if there is anything, incriminating highly personal that should be shredded. I reach August 2006 and right there, at the top in the notes section: Goals for this month-Get Head Out Ass-Focus on G
Catch up w/everything!! Have Let This Slide * * Focus * * G refers to my place of employment.

There are other little doodles and sprinkles but this is glaring out at me in different color ink.

As I recall, I did catch up with everything in August. Focus slid around a bit throughout the rest of the year. I hope to have to have a handle on it now, but if not I’ve got my appointment minder to bring me back into the fold.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Seconds Minutes Hours

Here we are in 2007. I have crept ever so gingerly into this new year. In these 3 going into the fourth full day, I’ve probably logged 15 hours of sleep. Starting the new year with a visit from my least favorite aunt, I’m sure has been hampering my sleep, focus, and the anxiousness that has crowded me like post holiday shoppers.

While the calendar has flipped, not much is different for me. I’m operating on a fiscal year. My year really began last June. Since that time, I have increased my on-line presence. I’ve made some really wonderful connections. Friends. I will continue to work to cultivate those relationships as they have become precious to me. Ladies,(you know who) you are truly the greatest!

I registered with a few on-line meeting sites with the purpose of meeting women-lesbian women who were interested in friendship, leading to relationship. Some progress has been made The plan is to get out more socially on a local front as well. Hope remains.Work continues.

Joining a gym last year opened up another realm of realizations for me. That continues.

As you may imagine, my hopes, dreams, desires, are tied to those of my son and daughter. The appearance of 2007 is somewhat bittersweet, in that, I’ve been warned that Michael will move out this year, quite possibly by Spring. While pleased for his level of success that will allow that progression-I will miss his face, humor and wet towels. I do, however look forward to receiving letters and phone calls from him and having him over for spaghetti. He loves spaghetti. I don’t know what the year will bring for him with regard to his theatrical or writing pursuits. I do know that he will continue to work hard and be at his best. That is just the kind of guy he is.

Danielle began a new job in the last quarter of 2006. She’s had some excellent days and some not so. She enjoys being around the dogs, not so much the cats, but she’s getting used to handling them. Lately, the talk has turned to classes. She’d like to pursue real estate as a career. Research, work and quite possibly a trip or two to the mall will be in order, I’m sure.

My mom’s health status is becoming more and more a concern. She receives excellent care on the medicinal front. The psychological is suspect. More intervention may be warranted. The progressive lack of mobility will necessitate some serious choices in the coming months.
Many strides have been made, there are more to come. There are projects galore in home, towards that end some opportunity to obtain some new skills spark enthusiastic pistons.

Some interesting and exciting adventures are on the horizon. It is my continued desire to pursue as many of them as possible. If I were to adopt a mantra, it would probably sound something like, keep on keeping on.

Or...it’s time for bed you ninny–get some sleep.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Surprise Surprise

This is the Wordsmiths challenge. The challenge is to finish the default story as shown here in red. My ending is below the picture.

A loud rapping at the door awoke me from a deep dreamy sleep. It was early, too early to be awake, and certainly too early to be out in the streets pounding on doors. I thought that there must be some emergency in town and ran to the door to find out whatever news there was from whoever was there. Much to my surprise, there was no-one at the door ready to identify themselves and their message, and yet a package with my name on it had been left at the door. It was a most curious circumstance, and yet I saw no real harm in it, because secret gift giving was the hallmark of the holiday season. I myself had delivered many a gift in that manner over the years. The package was heavier than it should have been from its size, and once I had it indoors I eagerly opened it to find out what it was and who had sent it. Alas, there was no identification of the giver, and more's the pity because what was inside was a most remarkable carved wood box, worked with figures of animals and dragons all over, in a magnificent shade of red. Whoever sent it to me must have been a prankster, though, because I could see no way into the box, no clasp or lock announced itself, no hinge or platen presented itself as a means to the inside. I was locked out, and most frustrated by this unfortunate turn of events.

Bad enough to be wrested from my slumber, but to be faced with a bona fide mystery is just about as much as a body should be forced to bear. Sleep is now a dream. Not much left to do but to dig in to get to the bottom of this conundrum. But, first things first. Food.
I leave the box on the hall table and head for the kitchen. I need to fix a meal. A meal fit for a queen. Hey! Queen. Maybe this box is from Sharia. She does stuff like this all the time. As I grab the eggs, butter, milk, onions, spinach and olives the Sharia angle intensifies. Then fizzles. Sharia’s in Egypt. The box didn’t look Egyptian. It looks more like Asia.
Cooking always calms. Heavy, there is heft. It doesn’t seem to come from the box. The wood, not that I know anything about wood, but the wood seems delicate. The weight must be from the contents. What could it be inside and how am I going to get there? More importantly, who left it at my door? Ahh, this omelet looks perfect.
The omelet, muffins, juice and coffee make a perfect thinking feast. I decide to go get the box so I could study it while I eat. Padding back through the house, I stop mid-stride when I’m struck by the fact that the box is not on the table. Not on the table? Now where did it go? How did it go? I continue on, get down to look underneath the table. No. Not there. I look all around the table, even open the door and look outside. No. Not anywhere. What in the hell is going on?
I hear a noise, coming from the bedroom. What? Who? How? I hear myself stammering. Just then, Neta peeks out from the doorway. The look in her eye says, "come here". How does she do that?
Walking towards her, I start to ask, without the stammer, what? And how? She leads me further into the bedroom and hands me the box. She says, "I thought I’d help you open your gift." I tried to explain that I didn’t see anyway in the box and that I had breakfast on the table. We could eat, while we figured a way inside. I was trying to explain this through a series of the deepest, wettest kisses I’d experienced in quite some time. I still had the box in my hands so things progressed somewhat awkwardly.
"Neta", I manage just as I was dropping the box, "could we maybe...?"
She grabbed the box, settling it on the bed. Neta sat me next to the box and proceeded to show me that yes, we could.
The next afternoon, just minutes after I heard front door lock the click, I realized we’d never had the omelet and I was starving.
Smiling on my way to the kitchen, I saw that Neta had taken the box.