The Pierogi

pierogi

 

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!”

Advertisements

The Tooth

tooth

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

tape-jpg_large

“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

The Dollar Bill

dollarlarge

I was down. Down further than the ground. I was down so far that I barely heard the promise.

“Hey Bill,” my friend said. “I’ve got a friend, you’ve got to meet him. He’ll help you get out.”

“Get out from under?” I called up. “I’ve been down for so long, I don’t know if I can get up.”

“No, no, trust me. He’s a good guy. He’s the guy. The guy you’ve got to talk to.”

“Will he give me hope?”

“Give you hope?”

“Yeah, you know, will he give me the hope that I need to get up?”

“He’s got hope for you. I’ll set you up. You need to meet him.”

 

Two days later I was down. Down deeper into the ground. I was so down I was in the earth. Down without sound, I waited. I listened for the guy who was supposed to arrive.

A man with a beard that covered his entire face peeked down into the earth. His eyes were brows and his brows were white. I couldn’t see wrinkles, but I knew his face was a map. Cracked fault lines and desert eyes. Tears evaporated long ago.

“Are you Bill?” He called out.

“Yes.”

“You look far down there,” he said, straining to see me.

“I need help. I need to get back up.”

“I have just the thing for you. You won’t feel this way forever.”

“What do you have?”

“Hope. I have hope. Just give me fifty dollars and I’ll show you what I mean. You’ll feel better in no time.”

“What am I buying?”

“Hope. Nothing is for free. You pay for this once, you never have to pay for anything in your life ever again. This will work like nothing you’ve tried. You’re going to be okay, my friend. You’re going to be okay.”

My wallet was filled with twenties. Eighty dollars worth of twenties. “I only have twenties,” I shouted up to the man.

“That’s okay. Sixty will do. Trust me, you won’t miss it. This is good. This is what you need.”

I plucked out 3 twenty dollar bills and reached as far as I could toward the man in the sky.

“I can’t reach you.”

“Yes you can. You just have to believe in yourself.”

I reached farther.

“I still can’t reach you.”

“You have to have hope,” he said

I waved my wad of cash in the air, “but that’s what I’m paying for.”

 

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/latvians-arrested-in-scareware-scam/

The Earrings

 

 

earring.jpg_large

One silver tear drop earring, as elegant as any sadness could be, sat dangling off the edge of an antique sink.

Another silver tear drop earring, as elegant as any sadness could be, sat misplaced between couch cushions, wondering what had gone wrong.

They each remembered when they first met.   “We’re one in the same!” They had exclaimed at almost exactly the same moment. Together they draped themselves proudly below a woman’s heavy earlobes.

The woman loved them. She wore them all the time. She wore them to dinner parties, work, and even gardening. She loved them so much, she refused to take them off. She wore them in the shower. She wore them to bed. She wore them everywhere until one day, when she wasn’t paying attention, one of the earrings slipped.

Where had it gone? She tried retracing her steps. How could this have happened? She looked through her garden.   What will I do without the other?  Her loss hung heavy upon her head.

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3410378/Formerly-conjoined-twin-Conner-Mirabal-goes-home-time-13-months-separation-surgery-doctors-continue-monitor-brother-Carter-hospital.html

The Ink

ink

I opened up a book and the words fell out. It was cold and windy and from a storefront reflection, I could see the surprised look on my face. Inky fine print flew from the page. Jumbled. Tossed. It mixed together like salad.

I tried to gather them as fast as I could. Their shape, their letters, their voice was too slippery. Wet rubbery ink littered the streets with sayings. Their sentences bounced against the ears of pedestrians.

“Love I’m sorry lost stopwatch.” I tried to make sense of a stray sentence down the block, but the words had become tangled. Their letters were loose and their punctuation was damned. I squinted, but their meaning was lost.

Book Review on Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/09/books/review-elvis-costellos-unfaithful-music-disappearing-ink-a-memoir.html

Power Outlet

IMG_1216

The power outlets line the walls of one of the old brick frat houses on Rugby road. Twin big eyes and an open mouth, they face the same direction, but stand far apart. They are waiting for the lava lamps. The stereo. The phone chargers. The cords. With their long, smooth, plastic covering that should just glide in. But they never do. Instead, they push, surging their energy inside. Fumbling in the dark. Bumbling their way in. Forcefully. Their power drowns out any voice that could be heard. Only an impression of what could have been said remains.

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/rape-at-uva-readers-say-jackie-wasnt-alone-20141121