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

The Tupperware Party

This story is a play on the popularity of personal essays.  It involves an eating disorder, a suburban party, and lots of plastic.

The Tupperware Party by Rebecca Lee

 

 

The Desk Lamp

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There once was a lamp who could bend in any direction. He originally thought of this as a blessing. But with so many decisions in life, he could never decide which direction to go. Should he look to the curtains? Or should he look to the sky? He turned to everyone for advice.

“What are you looking at the coffee maker for?” A ball point pen asked one day.

The lamp continued to stare vacantly into the eyes of a Cusinart. Maybe he was heading in the wrong direction. The lamp turned its metal spine against the coffee maker.

“Where should I look?” He asked the pen.

“Why don’t you look out the window. That’s where all the happenings are going on,” he pointed his cap to the outside world.

Once again, the lamp shifted its position. Now he could see the ocean. Its waves lapped at the sand, reminding him of a large golden retriever lapping at a dish of water. The lamp hated retrievers. They were too obedient and had such little mind of their own. What if their owners told the dog to sic him? He had no doubt the dog would do it. How could someone be so blind?

The lamp beamed down at the water, content to see its steady pull and push throughout the earth. The lamp began to wonder about the fish and the sharks and the whales that lurked beneath. There was a whole other world, with different organisms and different choices to wade through. The ocean was always changing. Like all of the people, it breathed in and out, never content to stay in one place. The very enormity of change seemed impossible for the lamp to grasp.

“No, no,” a picture frame called out from the other direction. “You don’t want to see the ocean. It’s too big. If you stare at it for too long, you’ll go blind – losing yourself to the vastness of life. You want to stare at me. I’ll never overwhelm you.”

Once again, the lamp changed positions. It now stared at a silver frame with a small child sitting on a miniature sized wooden chair. The chair was made for small children.The picture frame was also small. It was no bigger than the palm of a human’s hand. The photograph – even smaller. Although the details of the picture were pretty and well defined, the lamp knew that his view was too cramped.

“But if I look at the picture, my world is too small,” the lamp protested.

The pen and the picture frame looked at one another and shrugged. “There’s nothing we can tell you,” they said in unison.

The lamp shifted. He stared at the never moving picture. He stared at the ever growing ocean. He thought about the retriever.

 

The Dollar Bill

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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 Microwave

microwave

Name: Mike

Birthday: April 1946

Occupation: Making you hot

Description:
While not always a self starter, I’m always a self server.

I don’t mind getting down and dirty in some college apartments, but I prefer to have my own space.

Looking for:
Something easy, fast, not too messy.
Idea of a perfect date:

I like to hang out at home. Just about anything can turn me on, so bring on the late nights.

3 things I can’t live without:
1.) Power
2.) Dim lighting
3.) Bagel bites

Do you like pets?
I prefer Furby’s.

Favorite song:

Microwave Boogie by Skip Jackson

Personal Quote:

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the microwave.

 

http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2016/04/05/can-you-really-open-a-ballot-envelope-using-a-microwave/

The Mirror

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They look to me for reassurance. They want to know that they are still there. That they exist in the complexity that lies within their body. I portray their imperfections, their hardships, and their persistence at beauty. I show them what they want to see.

When they nod, I nod. If they scrutinize, I scrutinize. When they talk, I talk back, perfecting every movement and judgment that they make.

They stare at me, primping their hair and dotting their eyes with mascara. When they are finished, they smile. I smile. We are a team, but only for a moment. Because when they are done, when they have finished staring, when they have found what they’re looking for, they no longer need me. They close their compact mirrors. They snap their medicine cabinets closed. They turn off the bathroom light.

Who am I without them? A blank mirror has nothing to reflect upon.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/narcissism-is-good_us_563aa9a2e4b0411d306fa826

The Earrings

 

 

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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