The Purse and The Scarf

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There was once a purse more solid and secure than any other purse in the town. She was large with a dull leather body, and a strong strap that dangled by her side. The only problem she faced was that she felt perpetually empty.

I need something to fill me up, she constantly thought. Something logical. Something I can rely on. She stuffed herself with money. Loose dollar bills and coins weighed her down. With her new wealth, she could buy anything she wanted.

She bought a wallet for organization. She bought chapstick so that she wouldn’t crack. She bought a comb, floss, band aids (just in case) and a pad of paper. Still, she felt empty. Her items were necessities, but she still needed more.

The other purses she saw looked fancy. They were patterned with the help of different stitches. As a collection of material, they stood together, fabric clinging to the outside of their leather. They had color and life where her body felt heavy and dark. When the purse looked at the others, she could only feel sadness.

Then one day at the thrift store the purse saw a scarf. It was pink, flowy, and blew in the air conditioning.

“You look like the perfect scarf,” the purse said.

“Thank you, but I’m far from perfect,” the scarf replied.

“But why?”

“I’m too flighty. Without something to tie me down, I’ll blow away. You are the perfect one. So secure and strong. If only I had your presence.”

“You wouldn’t want to be me,” the purse lamented. “I may be secure, but I feel completely empty. Can I use you to make me feel whole inside?”

The scarf thought for a moment. “No, I can not fill you up.”

“But I need you. I have all this stuff inside me, but I’m still so empty.”

“I can not fill you up. I’m too light and there is not enough of me to fill that hole.”

The purse started to cry. “What will I do?”

“I’ll tell you what,” the scarf said after careful consideration. “We can become friends. Arm in arm, we can travel throughout life together. You’ll tie me down, and I’ll support you.  I’ll never be able to fill you up completely, but a part of me will cover you with color.”

The purse stopped crying. She held out her strap and the scarf clung on. Together they would face the days side by side.

The Jar

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I like to call it my glass pocket. The jar that holds scraps of paper, twisted, bent and floating to the top. Crinkled memories saved. Sketches of celebrities doing novel things in far off places. A picture of David Duchovny eating McDonalds on the Coney Island ferris wheel twirls in place. Diana Ross singing Stop In The Name Of Love to Isis.

Put a lid on it, they say.

But I can’t close my pocket. Its memories might shatter.

Paper

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I like to think of my paper, my notebook sheets, as having texture. I want the lines to stick like staples punched through to the other side. Their long, skinny forms, plucked up from the page in an effort to rise above. I want the page to feel rough and gritty. Hard and torn through in spaces just empty enough to fill with small rips of imperfection. Lines like ridges would guide my pen in a steady cadence. Trotting through a white desert, my landscape would guide me in the right direction.

Instead my page is one long ice rink. Its smoothness leaves no gaps big enough to see through. The torn spots and crinkled edges are invisible. My paper has flat lined.

My instant reaction is to pump it back to life. Electricity in the shape of a fat black marker needs to run down the center. Cutting up sections of white plains with inked out projections. Just so there’s something. Just so there is a pattern that is slightly out of shape.

I will not get a rise from my paper. Instead, I will continue to run my fingernail across the surface. I wait for the bite of a smooth edge sharpened.

Soles

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Leather souls clink like ear drums. They beat on the pavement of a sound mind. Worn out, as if souls could get tangled in the washing machine next to gray stringy lingerie. It’s what’s underneath that counts.

The Coffee Mug

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I pick up the mug carefully. The coffee cup fits perfectly between my fingers. I press its rubber lip against mine and think back to what it was like holding her for the first time.

So soft and perfect. Just like silk, she unraveled in my arms.

The coffee is hot to the touch. The second it hits my tongue, I feel the burn.

Her eyes were shifty. Should I have known then? What could I have done? What could I have said?

The steam rises into my nostrils and I’m steeped. Stumped. Stirring in thought.

I didn’t have to catch her. I knew she was away even when she was home. The way she kept checking her phone. Her wedding ring, conveniently left on the counter.

The coffee is too hot. It’s too much. It’s spilling over before I can contain it.  I feel it boiling the sides of my fingers. I’m startled. Jumping. Rattled to the core.

“It’s just not going to work out.” She said it before I could. “I’ve met someone else.” Her words echo.

I jump back and watch. I can’t grab it. I can’t hold on.  The cup smashes against the floor and pieces of a whole are now splitting. Fragmented and broken, its hard edges shatter.

The Radio

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Your voice wants to be held. Close tucked into the palm of my ear and bent like crooked fingers curling, you smolder. Burnt notes crackle. You are the tip of an unfiltered cigarette. You ash where others breathe. When my hand opens, you’re caught, finger fried in the molding of what wants to be said and what slips behind. Forever binding, you fall in between the cracks of my hearing. Softer words were never said.

Policeman Statue

nigerian guys

Photo by: Tom Haynes

http://www.TheDrabble.wordpress.com

There was once a man who had all the authority in the world, but no one to talk to. He traveled far and wide across the country in search of a friend, but to his despair, found none.

He talked to the woman with the pretty green and white skirt. But when she saw him, done up in his police outfit, she was too scared to say hello.

He talked to the children sitting outside of a school playground. But when they saw his erect posture, they knew he was no one to mess around with. They too were too scared to say hello.

Finally one afternoon the man with authority talked to a salesman at a corner market off the side of a busy road.

“Would you like these magical beads? If you rub them between your fingers and make a wish, it will come true.”

“How much are they?” The man asked skeptically.

“Twenty dollars. They are good luck.”

Reluctantly, the man paid for the beads and rolled them across his fingers one at a time. I wish I had friends. I wish I had friends. I wish I had friends. He chanted silently. Ten minutes passed and nothing happened. Fifteen minutes passed and still nothing. After a half hour, the man felt stupid waiting on the side of the road.

After forty five minutes, the salesman smiled and asked him if he would like to go for a walk.

“It’s such a beautiful day out. We must enjoy it.”

“No, no,” the man said quickly. “You cheated me with these faulty beads. I have no choice but to arrest you.”

The man’s authority rang loud and clear until all he could hear was the silence around him.