The Gold

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“I don’t do sparkles.”

“You don’t have to if I’m there.”

“That’s not what I mean.”

“Everybody needs shine in their life.”

“It’s better to be bright.”

“That’s enough.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m sick of this.”

“What ‘this’?”

“You know what I’m talking about.”

“Don’t talk to me like that.”

“Let’s not be trashy.”

“Just because you’re old, doesn’t mean you’re classic.”

“Do we need to stay home tonight?”

“Depends if you’re going.”

“Are you?”

“Should I?”

“Yes. As long as you’re not ostentatious.”

“Why is a little attention so bad?”

“It’s not the amount, it’s the type.”

“Fine.  I’ll stay home.”

“You can’t stay home.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t want to have a bad time.”

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The Boombox

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Dear Listener,

There comes a time in everyone’s life where the past seems better than the present.  You get old, you get tired, you don’t feel like driving twenty minutes to work every single day and you start to think, remember that time when I was seventeen?

            No.  You don’t remember that time when you were seventeen.  You don’t remember when your best friend’s mom screamed at you for feeding her son pot out of a hollowed out apple.  You don’t remember how your stomach bulged out of the neon green spandex that you had to buy because Stacy Q. was beyond amazing.  You don’t remember the first time you went to a night club and danced until you accidentally elbowed the shy guy in the eye.

You remember Sublime.  You remember sitting stretched out in the back of your friend’s 1980’s Honda Accord while you dangled your arm out the window.  You remember the rainbow-colored beanie that you could have sworn were the colors of the Jamaican flag.  You remember that guy with the dreads who said you didn’t ever need to shampoo again just as long as you had Bees Wax.  You remember thinking you could keep riding in that car forever.

But thank God, you got out.  You no longer had to stay on your mom’s couch eating pizza Pringles and watching reruns of bad sitcoms.   You made it past abstinence-only education, dodgeball, and pregnant cheerleaders.

Now you just have to change the CD.

It was never Sublime.  It will never have been Sublime.  It’s been over 20 years and you hate pop reggae.

Signed,

Your Boombox

The Box

read me

 

I swallowed a secret a million years before numbers, so that nothing could be held accountable.

Scrolled up, jotted down, and shoved to the back of a bottle, the message was almost drowned.

Let me out! Let me out!  A pocketed paper screamed from below.

But when pulled up and rolled out, the ink had smeared rows.

Neither black, nor white, with no crisp lines to write on,

the page merged gray in conviction.

“But what was the secret?”

The question in question has stopped being questioned.

The message was found irresponsible.

The Pierogi

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She’ll always love me.  She’ll always love me because she picks me first.

I see her come in from the wind and cold, her hair clumped in an odd arrangement of hairspray.  Ear phones jammed as far inside her ears as possible.  She is oblivious to everything except hunger.

She walks inside, scanning the aisles of the market with her life’s soundtrack following every step.  Grapefruit? Too sour.  Organic Sugar? Too pretentious. It’s a Bittersweet Symphony playing on repeat.

Nobody used to pick me.  I stayed in the back of the freezer, hoping a fat Polish woman might see me and exclaim, “Supper!”   

Day after day the market manager moved me to different areas of the store.  First I was next to the pizzas.  Surely someone would pick me if I was associated with something fast and cheap. I stared across the aisle, focusing intensely on the Leanfast bars.  A woman in a bikini with dyed blond hair and a spray tan devoured the chocolate seductively.  I was definitely in the wrong position.

Next, the market manager moved me to the ice cream section.  I tried to be cool and aloof, like one of those anorexic French women who thought hunger itself was a sign of shameless need. No one was biting.

At last, they stuck me with the vegetables where all good food goes to die.

But then she came.

I could tell she was of the boring variety by the absence of color in her wardrobe and the way she chatted with primarily women over sixty-five.

“Don’t bother with those batteries,” she pointed to a shelf full of Duracell’s while an older woman scratched her head. “They may be on sale, but they’re never as good as the Energizers.”

After moving on from the batteries, she scanned the fruits.  Too tart.

She scanned the pizza.  Too greasy.

She scanned the vegetables and shook her head with obvious disappointment.

And then she saw me.

“Pierogi!” She said with glee. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere!”

Book Release

Dear Readers,

Some of you have been asking when and where you can buy my book.  According to my publisher, the print version will be released later this month.  I will keep you updated.

The book, Object Relations, will feature many of the stories from this blog.  Illustrations are done by Petra Wagner and the photographer is Tom Haynes.

For additional information, please feel free to email me directly at: RebeccaColesLee@gmail.com

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.

 

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