Cold-weather gathering

She had a cocktail in a plastic cup, and I remember her nose was a sort of red.

She wore a blue denim jacket at her house party and didn’t care.

The one thing I remember about her was her curls. I remember their frizziness, like if you washed a doll’s hair and just left it as is.

Her apartment floors had old linoleum, and the rooms were low-lit and looked comfortable. Everyone seemed to be happy.

She had an interest in me, and we both liked the Beatles’ White Album. We had discussed it at the student union. Continue reading “Cold-weather gathering”

Heroine of the hula hoop

A girl in front of her house was doing hula hoop tricks today. She reminded me of a flapper — maybe Josephine Baker, the way she stared dead ahead and smiled — perhaps knowing she had it down and that she would beguile onlookers.

The hula hoop never stopped moving, regardless of where it wound up — seemingly precarious but staying put, like a plate on a stick in a vaudeville act. What kept it gyrating? It reminded me of those yo-yo tricks, where the yo-yo appeared motionless, like a hummingbird probing for pollen. Continue reading “Heroine of the hula hoop”

Doris

Nobody in the congregation could imagine her not moving. Doris had always moved — as if made of rubber or as if a bouncy spirit had inhabited her.

People remembered her swaying across the gymnasium floor during the church’s centennial celebration. She was dancing to My Girl by the Temptations and all the other songs on the DJ’s playlist, all the way up until the finale of Sister Sledge’s We Are Family. People recalled her lips moving while singing, plump with rouge lipstick and her eyes going all expressive. But now they were still, and her lips looked buttoned and had a cinnamon tone that you could barely even notice. Continue reading “Doris”

Life

The old man was delivering seedlings to a nursery in a beat-up truck — its platform fenced in by scrap-wood panels.

It was the start of a new day: The man wore a yellow shirt — loud as unmitigated sunshine.

A shovel jutted up from the center of his flatbed— its handle to the sky, as if the spade were staked into deep earth.

Black

There is a certain element of death imbued in writing. All of it is a sort of last gasp. Perhaps why I oftentimes wear black. In a way I cease to exist. In the rare instances when I am noticed, then I have a willingness to vanish. Not altogether, but enuf that you won’t see me. I would like to be a fly on your wall. Maybe not a fly but a lizard, although not poisonous. Just nosy.

No one likes to memorize math

A large sculpture in the library lobby purposely leaned at a slant on a pedestal to give it the effect of falling. It made me think of nodding off.

People sat at tables — some read, some spoke, but it was hard to make out what anyone was saying.

Their indecipherable voices carried up high to the lofty ceiling and dissipated like smoke — maybe from burning incense?

The sounds in the lobby reminded me of churches, with their drafty, cavernous interiors. There, too, voices murmured, only they were prayers. Continue reading “No one likes to memorize math”

Morning routine

I get up early, around 5:30, regardless of whether it’s a workday, and I’ll do some writing or I’ll do some reading, or else make some visual art. And I’ll have coffee.

I’ll also do some thinking. You know: Hmmm, how did I get into this situation? How do I get out of it?

We are all in situations to one degree or another: a job that makes us miserable; a toxic relationship; etc. My mind is fresh in the morning and more capable of tackling such things. I read better and I write better, too, ’cause I’m sharper and more alert.

But no, I am not one to wake up and bolt out the door in the morning. Anything but.

Mr. Mustachio

Mr. Mustachio is basically a walking / talking, bristly & dark-haired mustache who is debuting a cable TV show.

A round beverage coaster who wears a sombrero on occasion, his show will be titled, Drinks Are On Me. He will discuss cocktails and other mixed libations during segments, which will be filmed on a kitchen table.

He also will share stories about the times he’s had at the 24/7 dive bar in Las Vegas where he used to work, until a customer slipped him into his pocket and brought him home, where he is now, unfortunately, used primarily for coffee, tea and sometimes domestic beer when friends are over.

Overall, the show is a way for Mr. Mustachio to relive the days (and nights) that he loved so much while working at the bar.