Zoning anomaly

A freight train blows its hard horn (bright horn?) this morning.

I live in the suburbs and I can hear it — me and my cat.

There are tracks running through this town, and from time to time, rail crossings you might encounter unexpectedly, where you have to sit at the red light and wait for the endless line of rail cars.

The standard motor vehicles make just as much noise, anyway. I hear them like static on the receiving end of a phone. Not to mention their smoke.

Then there’s my retired neighbor with his generator that he uses for his pressure washer to clean his yard, where he also has a hot tub, along with a fluorescent blue bug zapper and a flatscreen, as well as a wife who does Zumba.

Beyond the ordinary

(Setting: near a large horizontal window at a gala)

Both stood and watched the window like a screen.

Birds flew by to Chopin’s salon-friendly Nocturnes.

The woman, holding champagne, smiled and beamed.

Her burgeoning beau was charmed and stood close.

They were having a Hollywood moment!

The birds, like fish in a bowl, circled in groups,

rose like ocean waves then dipped back down

and raced fiercely across the manicured landscape.

The man and woman looked into each other’s eyes,

smiled warmly and returned their gaze to the window.

A jealous suitor sat in the background, transfixed.

For him, Chopin’s piano music had stopped,

for he was attuned to the alarm of the birds.

He was witnessing something beyond ordinary.

Make this restaurant great again

In the triple-digit heat, three unmasked older couples sat out on the patio under the misters, sharing a table and talking with gusto in a release of all the gossip and opinion that had been bottled up inside them for months

I awaited my take-out order near the register, wearing my bandana over my mouth and nose and my surgical mask layered over it.

The waitress wore a Betty Boop mask. She had thick, long eyelashes and blue eye shadow. I watched her as she, wearing a pair of blue surgical gloves, poured red wine into three large goblets and placed them on a tray.

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Clouds

As far as I knew, I was lying on the grass, looking at the sky. Come to find out I was staring up at the roof of your mouth and its scattered white clouds. What gave it away were your lips, and how I noticed that they were lips to begin with was when I saw a second sky after you rose for air. I used to think this was my grave, staring up from this distance, like people would come and bury me. And now I realize that your teeth are the trees, towering like delicate aspens and darkened in silhouette, with the sun shining from behind like a new day.

5 Vignettes

  • The man’s cane made a distinctive tap when he walked, and she always knew it was him without having to look up from her book. The tapping sound had a rattle to it — like there was a broken part.
  • Despite her formidable dry spells, when death was near, she could write. Fear would make her find the words.
  • There were plenty of spaces available in the lot, but for some reason, she took a long time deciding where to park. When she finally pulled into a spot, she exited her car feeling frustrated.
  • She mused that the bookstore employee looked like an insect stripped of its wings. When walking quickly down an aisle, he seemed to be retreating to a crevice. His glasses had thick lenses, and his hair was greasy. His body was undernourished.
  • She no longer felt or looked fat once she put on her yoga pants. She wished she had eaten the spaghetti while wearing them instead of her jeans, which were beyond snug. With her yoga pants on now, she did not feel bad about eating so much pasta, and in fact, she craved more.

A Study of Orange

She had a bright yellow pen and a fat hardcover book with a lime green dust jacket.

Her yoga pants were red like pomegranate, and her spa socks were slate. Her black and white cat played with a ribbon that was thick as Asian flat noodle. Her coffee was black and sat just so. It filled an espresso cup the color of steak bone.

Soon she would be eating a banana that matched her pen, but she was unsure she liked the color. The pens also came in a very citrusy orange that made her heart skip. Continue reading