Gum

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Well, gum, here you are again.

I know.

How do you always get stuck in these situations?

I don’t know.

You think you would learn.  Last time it was the boy with wolf teeth.  Before that, just dentures.

You think I’d learn.

But you don’t.  You never learn.

Maybe we should continue to talk about it and I will remember next time.

But that’s what we did last time.

I know. I’m not as slick as I’d hoped.

The Origami Bird

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The Origami Bird

There once was a bird who lived inside a paper house. The walls were so thin that he could hear everything from the other side. Afraid to make a sound, he sat by himself, stiff in an armchair.

On the days that he would fly from his window into the deep blue sky, he could not be there fully. Instead his mind was trapped inside the origami house, wondering what his neighbors were doing.

He wondered if they would be fighting about who would do the dishes. He wondered if he could smell their worm casserole through the walls. He wondered if he could hear them laughing and talking with friends late at night.

So consumed was he by these neighbors that he forgot where he was going. He forgot about the sky and its magical feeling of infinity. He forgot about his hunger for worms and mice. Instead, he stayed inside and listened to the lives around him.

His neighbors had children together and raised them to be strong. They had birthdays and wedding celebrations and dinners with guests. His neighbors would sometimes listen to loud music or shriek over the phone. There never seemed to be an end to their stories of excitement.

One day, when the neighbors were unusually quiet, the bird got an itch to find an adventure of his own.  When he got up to go to the window there was a sharpness in his side. He lifted his wing, but could no longer remember how to fly.  He hoped for the sky.  He hoped for the best. But when he looked down, his wings had turned to paper.

 

News:

The Fresca

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There once was a can of Fresca so small and tinny that he posed no threat to the other sodas. Other carbonated drinks sat fat in bottles, stretched to the neck with bubbles made of sugar. They were the first to go.

“Why am I never picked?” Fresca wondered.

Day after day, Fresca sat all by himself next to a few cans of lemon fizz. No one wanted the lemon fizz either, but who could blame them? Fresca had potential. Lemon fizz didn’t.

The Coke bottles disappeared first. Their shiny red plastic brand names glittered in the hands of strangers too eager to wait for the check out line. They popped off their tops and immediately drank from the bottle. Patience was no match for thirst.

 

But then something happened. At the end of the month, when the vendor hadn’t returned, the freezer was left empty. All of the plastic bottles were gone. The greedy children and absent-minded adults had plucked each and every coke, sprite, and root beer off the shelves. There was nothing left but Fresca.

At first the customers stared in horror at the emptiness that was once so full. A little boy with a Red Sox cap raced over to the freezer and eagerly reached for a bottle. His hand clumsily felt the first shelf and then the second. He began to cry.

His mother looked around the grocery store. A line was forming behind her.

“Shut up, Billy,” she whispered.

Billy’s tears began to flow.

“If you don’t shut up by the time I count to three, I’m going to lock you in your room for a week.”

Billy continued to sob, reaching his small hand into the freezer again and again. Still, there was no coke.

The mother, shoving Billy aside, reached for a glass shelf below the freezer and yanked out a can of Fresca.

“Look,” she hissed. “It’s fine.”

 

Fresca was overjoyed with his new lot in life. He watched the scenery glide by in Billy’s Mom’s station wagon. He loved the soft seat cushion that was good to his can. At last, Fresca was appreciated.

He sat in their fridge for a few days, wondering when he would be chosen. “It’s going to be a beautiful day, when they realize what I have inside me,” Fresca boasted to a carton of eggs.

“They won’t ever go back to those bottles again,” Fresca explained to the creamer.

 

Late one night when everyone had gone to bed, Fresca heard Billy’s mom bumble into the kitchen.

She opened the door, rummaged through the top shelf, and pulled out the Fresca.

“This is going to be the start of dreams made true,” Fresca said, winking at the frozen waffles.

And then he was devoured.

 

https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2017/02/17/maine-asks-feds-to-allow-ban-on-food-stamps-for-candy-soda

The Office Plant

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Missed Connection

To: Plastic Mini Plant

Location: The Office

 

You: Firmly planted on the windowsill. Smooth as a Las Vegas card shark on a Tuesday afternoon.

I pass by your window every day on my way to the library. I love your low maintenance style.   I feel like you could fit in at a Walmart as well as an upscale boutique. Nothing gets you down because you are straight up chill. Doesn’t matter if it’s spring or winter, you always light up my day.

Don’t listen to people who say you’re cold. Being sterile and clean is a good thing. You’re not like some kind of clingy fungus. You’re the most independent beauty I’ve ever seen.

I know people call you fake, but you are as real to me as my love for you.

– Always Phresh

The Tooth

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Was she the good one? Or was she the bad one?

 

I stared at the fairy with the floppy head and wondered just how hard Merribelle, the real tooth fairy, had hit her. Floppy Fairy had one eye closed, as if sewn in place with a purposeful vengeance. It was the wink of a cruel joke.

Even if she wasn’t dead, there was no way she could practice her tooth ferrying. I doubted her ability to fly. One wing was slightly crooked and sticking out at odd angles.

She was probably a good fairy. The kind who was never young and always kind. She probably gave children whole dollar bills instead of the dimes Merribelle doled out. Her voice was probably as small as a cotton ball, soft and beautiful forever.

It was her rich and rewarding happiness that Merribelle hated most. The way she always seemed to feel better than anyone had a right to feel. This was the sensation Merribelle tried to steal when she knocked the other fairy to her demise.

But because Merribelle won, because she became the tooth fairy, her generosity was never considered cheap. Dimes are a fortune when dollars are dreams. Like all winners of a game, Merribelle became the fair, the just, the champion.

Merribelle was the good one.

http://www.circleid.com/posts/20170111_history_is_written_by_winners_can_internet_archive_change_that/

The Answering Machine

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“Hey, you got me, but you didn’t really get me. Leave a message at the beep.”

You can get back home through the telephone wires. From city to suburb, follow the skinny black lines until your voice is my voice and our voice is here.

 

“Hey, you got me, but you didn’t really get me. Leave a message at the beep.”

Pick up. Where do you live now? Do you like your job? Who are you with?

Every now and again, your machine is full. Too many voices trying to get in. They push and they shove, but they stand just to wait.

I know, you’ll call me when you can.

 

“Hey, you got me, but you didn’t really get me. Leave a message at the beep.”

Do power lines still map the way if only cell phones are used? Invisible pathways going in a million different directions scatter the world apart.

Misplaced conversations. Lost words looking for a sentence.

Face focused on the front of the phone.

 

“This number is no longer in service.”

 

 

 

 

Redesigning Voice Mail :  The UX of the Missed Call