The Dating Game (The Lipstick)

Image

NAME: Ravishing Rouge

AGE: 6 months

RACE: Red

INTERESTED IN: Lips

FAVORITE QUOTE: “Nothing ages worse than a beautiful product’s ego.”

LOOKING FOR: Someone well rounded with good conversational skills. Must not be brighter than I am, but can’t be too dull. Preferably someone with good taste in food.

FOUR THINGS I CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT:

A tough exterior

Gloss

Soft moisturizer

Low lighting

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: There is no such thing as natural beauty. Progress not perfection is the key.

PET PEEVE: Lip smacking and smoking.

WORST FEAR: Being placed on a shelf where I am out of sight.

WHAT DOES YOUR IDEAL DATE LOOK LIKE? A fancy dinner out on the town followed by a play and then dancing.

ASPIRATIONS: To be the brightest and most radiant that I can be.

The String

Image

A string is not angular. There are no sharp turns gutted ahead. The jagged realization that change might happen abruptly is not an instance worth acknowledging. It never happens.

Instead a string bends and curves to the imagination. It waltzes from a guitar or a violin with a sound so precise that it doesn’t matter if it’s out of tune. A missed note is par for the course and when you find yourself scaling a wall for the comfort of definition – there is none. Only the faint confidence that things keep going.

When a string ends, it does not start back up again, shifting to a different position. It is done with, cut dry, with little frays of possibility crisping at the edges.

The Vents

Image

The vents were plastered against the wall with a panic that had shot them into place for the entirety of their being. They had no other option. Destiny was a gray word with iron slats that slipped through the corners of their imagination. So dark and shady was it, that they dared never to dream. Instead they stayed pinned up against dry wall, gazing inwardly at the dust that had collected over the years.

Little specs of gray bunnies nestled around the mouth of the vent. The dust had run into the barred, metal teeth because it seemed quiet, as if the scream had dried out long ago. The warmth of its throat was inviting and in the winter it was like a camp fire. Rather than tell them to go, the vents seemed to like their company. In the evenings I can hear it purring, the rumble – awaiting full volume.

The Blinds

Image

The blinds were off white, much like the children who played on the stoop. With a sturdy shade, they were only slightly dark around the edges.

“This is going to be the best day ever,” the blinds said when they were still new and hopeful. They opened themselves up to the world, exposing their innocence in a translucent bundle of joy. They looked out over the courtyard at all the kids running around and smiled, opening their mouths wide. Children of all different races played on the picnic table. A quiet boy who didn’t speak much English would sit out on the stoop and stare up at the blinds, looking through the window in hopes of glimpsing the pretty woman who lived upstairs.

The window shared his outlook. The kids would play outside until the evening turned dark, drawing pictures of the sun and flowers with yellow and pink pieces of chalk along the sidewalk. They played hide and go seek in the abandoned lot and hid in the thorny bushes until when they finally emerged, there were little scratches tattooed all over their arms and legs. They didn’t care, it was fun. When the days stretched on, they would walk up to the laundromat and ask customers for quarters so that they could eat one of the burritos that came out of the Mexican dining cart.

When the seven o clock shadows came, so did the broad rusted cars with thumping bass that blared from rolled down windows. Their mothers would appear out on the stoop wearing cool colorful rags over their hair and yell things like “If you don’t get in the damn house Right This Second, I’m gonna come out there myself!” Then within a moments flash, their giggles could be seen trailing the street corners and into the rows of brightly painted apartment buildings. In a matter of hours the music from heavy, metal, cars would take over.

The blinds watched the children every day from inside the upstairs apartment. When a summer breeze slid through the window the blinds would hit against the sill, knocking gently against glass. “Be careful,” they would say, their voices lost in the wind.

It was years later when the kids had grown up and you could see them no longer playing, but standing on the corner, that the blinds started to tinge. The crisp clean clarity of their sturdy straight lines started to bend and lie crooked as they rested. The children were no longer chubby and baby faced, but gangly teenagers with low cut shirts or baggy jeans. The girls swayed their hips and waddled past each others stoop, trying to make any head turn that would. The boys stood on the corner late into the night, their parents were gone – nowhere in sight.

“You looking?” The quiet boy who didn’t speak much English had perfected this phrase to passing strangers in large hoodies. After a few hours, it was the only voice that could still be heard.

“Please,” the blinds closed their eyes against the window. “Be careful.”

 

Dried Flowers

Image

In a pale green crisp, their mouths are drawn. Dead flowers dangle for the floor when they once reached the sky. They see no promise and ask for nothing. Stark stems with no petals lean over in a stiff position.  They are smoldered and fried, sun soaked and tied. In a string, on a hook, hanging down across a look once tried. Of glamor and admiration gone far away. Their smells turn dry until there is only the sweet aroma of yesterday that fills a room with no sky. Floored, torn and scratched on a wall running down. Their colors are muted.

The Clock

This is a time piece that was published in The Siren.

Time had the face of an autistic sentiment that knew no difference from measurement and reason. He spoke in between the silent tic toc of a question mark. What are you doing? How are you making the most of your life? From place to place he would stay the same. Stoic to a point and sturdy to a surface, he remained hung from a place of authority. When minutes became hours and days became weeks, his face grew no shorter from the pleasure that he reaped. When time finally ended, there was no alarm. His breaths were fatal in stagnation.

http://thesiren.co.uk/Article.aspx?ID=67

A Word Of Substance is currently accepting submissions of photography. Your photograph must be of an object to be published on the blog. If interested, please submit your photograph and the name in which you’d like to have appear on the blog to: Alicealgood@gmail.com

The Train

The gears are electric surprises. Sparking off at the thought of speed, they race to a faster pace. Spokes spin in a twisted tangent and I feel the growth of something metal inside. It’s cold and plastered, but it moves all the same. Forward pushing, I pull on. Past the green yards of farmers future browns and the gray smog of the city, crystalized. I’m careful not to be seen too much when I roll on shaky ground. 

 

Image

Photo by Lora Mosier

The Lock

“Just one date. I’ll take you out anywhere you want to go.” The key persisted.

“No.”

“But you don’t even know me. You might have the best time of your life.”

“You’re not the right size,” the lock answered bluntly.

“Size doesn’t matter, baby.” The key was bordering on begging and nothing bothered her more than weakness. Instead of molding to the right situation if it should arise, this key was obnoxious. He was a whiner. He was never going to get anywhere.

Besides his constant pushiness, he was definitely too small for her. He was all talk and no action right from the start. How would he even be able to preform?  Instead she would sit closed minded for the entire night while he eyed her steely reserve. She could imagine it now: Him, trying to soften her up with a drink and she, slowly blurring the lines between hope and reality. She would never open up.

“No,” she shook her head.

“We can go out for dinner. Or a drink somewhere. Your choice – you choose. Anywhere you want to go.”

“I’m going to stay here.” She said.

“Why?”

“Because,” she said, suddenly remembering a key phrase. “I’m attached.”

Image

Photo by Ailleana