3WW Service, Opportunity Quarrel

Senior projects suck. In our school, in order to graduate, senior have to serve a SENTENCE of twenty hours community service. As if THAT weren’t enough, we have to write a paper on what we did and how we found it a learning opportunity. Right. Sure. Like throwing this slop on plates is going to be a life changing experience.

I picked the soup kitchen because Emily was doing it. She’s my best friend, and she has a crush on Rob. His mom runs this disgusting place, and Em figured she’d get a better shot with Rob if she got on the “ins” with the mom. So I picked it too.Which was okay, I guess, I mean, it’s not like I was really DYING to pick something else. At least this is better than the senior center, smelly old people watching TV real loud, enough to burst your eardrums, always wanting to pat your head or stroke your hair.

I’m still mad at Emily. She didn’t even show up today. So not only did I have to hang around with all these homeless people, I didn’t even have anyone to talk to.

After the line closed, Rob’s mom and I sat to have a bite to eat. I pushed the slop around on my plate. It’s not really slop I guess, it’s your typical cafeteria meal, instant potatoes, brown meat, salty gravy that shakes like jello. Rob’s mom asked if Emily and I quarreled, if that was why I didn’t go help at the church with her today. I told her no, I didn’t even know about the church thing.

There was a flood in the church basement, and she and Rob were there to help with the clean up. Emily was always falling in to luck like that. Not only did she not have to deal with the slop fest here, she got Rob all to herself.

Across from me I saw a kid, a girl, about five years old. She was gobbling down her food like an animal, a skiddish look darting her eyes back and forth. She reminded me of a stray kitten I had, it had been wild and hungry for so long that it would go freaking nuts at the sight of food. It’d eat real fast, eat everything in sight. Then it would rummage through the garbage for more. Mom made us get rid of that kitten, said it had been wild too long, said it was ill-mannered.

This little girl was like that. Ill-mannered. Like she hadn’t eaten in a long long time. Like she doesn’t think she’ll ever get to eat again. I wondered if kids can ever be wild too long. I wondered why she was there, and what was going to happen to her.

Rob’s mom asked if I had started my paper yet. Um. No. It’s not due for like another month. She said she thought that if I interviewed the little girl and her mom that it may give me some good quotes and things for it. Couldn’t hurt, it’d be nice to get that sucker done sooner than later. I shrugged, grabbed my backpack and headed toward the girl.


The Unreliable Narrator


I picked my towel off the gym floor and wiped my face. I knew the man from across the room was interested in me, I caught him watching my workout through the mirror.

Obeying my first rule of gym etiquette, I avoided eye contact. Gym rat relationships don’t work, I refuse to get involved anymore. So instead, I met Tina for lunch after my workout. She got to pick the place this time, Char’s Cafe, across from the gym.

“How was your workout?” Tina asked.

“Good,” I replied, I knew better than to go into the details of my abilities, I knew it made her uncomfortable. Poor thing, her husband left her for a younger, thinner woman he met at the office. I know her weight bothers her, so I didn’t brag about being the only one in spin class with a heart rate of 65.

We passed a few minutes looking over the menu and catching up. She went on about some work presentation she and the other VP’s were working on to give in New York next week, I filled her in on the hike I took with Martin.

The waiter interrupted us, just as I was getting to the good part of my hike story, when Martin overreacted AGAIN about being outdone by a girl. A show-off he called me. He’s just so insecure because I can bench press more than he can.

Tina ordered, looked to me, my cue. “I’ll just have a green salad, no dressing.”

Tina cocked her head curiously toward me. I whispered across our water glasses, “I have a body fat test this afternoon.” She sighed deeply and changed the subject. See what I mean about her being over-sensitive?

“Oh! I have to tell you!” I jumped in animatedly. Tina had been droning on about some guy on this project of hers, BORING.

“I saw Karl today at the gym.”


Tina wasn’t ready to talk about Karl, her first boyfriend after her divorce. They met at the grocery store of all places, but I ended up with him after we double dated out to a dance club. I’m a much better dancer, can I help that?

“He looks AWFUL. He hasn’t been to the tanning booth in AGES. He’s all pasty and fleshy looking. You deserve much better.”

I sipped at my water, proud of my ability to make my good friend feel better. What would she have done without me when she and Brad split? I told her, I said, Tina, move on, get on with your life, Honey, there’s no looking back. How can you compete with beauty and youth? Just let him go!

After all, what are good friends for?

When I Was 34

Originally penned August 9, 2001

My story. Right now I approach 35. Thirty Five. Too young to be President. Too old to be Christ. I am a 34 year old woman sitting on her suburban home porch. What does that say about me? I’m a lousy homeowner, what with the swaying fence, broken gates, chipped and fading wood stain.

What is my story?  I’m a relatively happy girl, things are in perspective, I worry about money, like most grown ups with mortgages.  I feel a large amount of guilt about time not spent with my children.  I hope I’ve parented them well to this point, and cringe over challenges to come.  I cry with joy, filled with love for them.  I have a happy marriage, still find my husband sexy and amusing, amazed by our unspoken compatibility in most areas and rendered speechless during our conflicts. Pretty typical.

I pray, I take my kids to church, sometimes.  I believe in moderation.  I believe in God and Karma and what goes around comes around. Everything costs and you always find what you look for.  I believe laughter is good for the soul, so is crying, and screaming. And whispering and purring.  I believe man evolved from pre-man, not ape, and that we are still evolving every day to a higher spiritual awareness, an awareness that in hundreds of years will make us all look like apes. I believe in even-steven, yin and yang, tit for tat. No free lunch and the incomprehensible efficiency of God, of the universe.  I believe in Desiderata.  I believe in the Holy Trinity and the power of prayer.  Rainbows are gifts, God’s way of getting us to take our eyes off our dashboards and give us something to smile about.  I believe rainbows and orgasms are more fun with another person.  I believe in life after death, that you can communicate with the dead.  I worry about my weight, I chastise myself for lack of willpower and my widened waistline.  I take comfort that I’m not alone.

That empty field across the road will soon be houses, the wooden fences and barns leveled.  Heavy equipment will toss dust into the air.  Trucks and concrete, asphalt and two-by-fours.  Fire plugs measuring out the empty lots.

The evening sun just peeked out behind the clouds to shine on the land across from us.  Soon the season will change.  I believe only God can change the color of a mountain.  Winter will come.  All will be white, cold.  Days short, dark mornings and afternoons.  Christmas joy and Christmas stress, Christmas expense.  It will come and go much too quickly as with recent Christmas past, and like most Christmases to come.  Months to years to a lifetime.

I will be an 85 year old woman, trash can filled with used up pens, drained of their ink.  Stacks of notebooks at my feet, a knitted afghan across my lap and my arthritic fingers painfully pushing pen against page.  Will it change so much?  Hopefully the deck will have been better tended and my waistline essentially the same.  I believe my beliefs will remain, enhanced by the wisdom of age.  I hope to recite other lessons learned.  The trees will still sway, the seasons will still change.

I pray my heart will be filled with joyful memories and not regrets.  I pray my children will still be close to me.   I pray there will still be a feline friend at my feet.  I will have bought my last American car, will have held my grand babies.  I will have continued my relationship with God and when the day comes for me to leave this world, I hope it is with Grace.

Heads Or Tails – Tails:Once Upon A Time

picture-007ONCE UPON A TIME there was a RIGHT BRAIN trapped in a LEFT BRAIN life.  The only hope the right brain clung to was that the left brain would falinto a deep deep sleep.  A sleep so long and deep that the RIGHT BRAIN could excape to a world where other right brains spent their days dancing and singing, painting and scupting, writing prose and music and when they tired, they wrapped themselves in rainbow colored quilts, nestled together like hairless baby mice to dream of visions of art on the precipice of creative birth.  Every morning they woke to arias sung by angels themselves and began their day anew to dance and frolic in the new days breaking light.  In this RIGHT BRAIN WORLD, every brain paused at daybreak and sunset to give thanks to all divine creators and to repect their art splashed in brillaint hues of GOLD and RED and YELLOW and ORANGE and every other color in between, real and imagined in all points in the sky.  Some RIGHT BRAINS chose to cross the expensive ocean with thoughts only of excitement and adventure (never with fear as that only exists in left brain life), their eyes to distant horizons with endless possibilities filling their gaze; new lands to explore, new art to create, new beauty to take their RIGHT BRAIN breath away.  RIGHT BRAINS needs are always met, for even in hunger or confusion, right brains celebrate and embrace every experience for exactly what it is, for in the RIGHT BRAIN WORLD, it is all, everything, beautiful and perfect and exactly what the right brain needs.

Brave Enough to Share

OK.  So.  You, World out there.  Yeah.  You.  As an offering of gratitude of providing me exactly what I asked for (that being a community of writers with which I can share, participate, grow and play), I am linking in my first blog, a blogspot blog I started about a year ago, tentatively, not bravely.  There only a few posts, which I toiled and agonized over, and only invited a safe few to read.

Instead of continuing with that old beauty, it was important for me to start a fresh blog here in the spirit of sharing and confidence, to dare to be read and judged by others, and not to let judgment interfere. 

That old beauty is called “Dithyrambic Spirit”, I put the link in the sidebar.  Honestly, let me know what you think.

Specifically, I have a couple of entries about my parents passing, which has been a current theme running through both my conscious and subconscious days lately.  I have shared these with my family, members of that “safe few”.  But without objective feedback from others NOT there, I don’t have a bearing if these work or not. 

So out there it goes.  Many thanks.

I’ll try to post the link directly here too:



3WW 04/22/09



Oh delicious Fig Newtons! Although I took an oath to be skinny by bikini weather, here I am, indulging in your fine moist goodness. Fooled by your colorful packaging, your balloon like lettering describing Fruit Chewy Cookies, I was enamored by the claim that you were made with REAL FRUIT. It wasn’t until I squinted at your small print of ingredients that I realized your deceit.


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