Did I mention that monday was the one year blogiversary of Word Garden? Well, it was. As I gaze blindly into the dazzling light of My Future, I want to thank each and every one of my readers. I love you all.
PS--The pictured train wrecks are similar but not identical. Can you find the differences?
"I can't help still having a soft spot for Pan," says Egg, in an interview.
"Pan was the one who brought me out of my shell,
And when we touched, well! Things heated up in a hurry."
Egg looks wistful for a moment, then continues.
"But just when I was feeling solid in our relationship,
Just when I felt so sunny,
Pan dumped me."
A little drop of yolk slips down her face.
"It wasn't pretty after that.
First there was Plate, who was cold.
Then there was Fork, who was even worse, and left me in pieces.
I thought," says Egg, bravely,
"That I might be consumed entirely. But I wasn't."
"That was when I met Mayo and Mustard.
After the terrible loneliness of my post-Pan days, I finally felt that I was a part of something larger than myself."
Egg smiles shyly.
"I suppose you could say those were my salad days."
"But I never really forgot my first love, Pan.
Oh I know, he's heated it up with Bacon and Hash Browns and who-knows-who since we split up,
But I'll always love him anyway.
Pan was such a hottie."
The audience, mostly women, go "Awww," and several of them fumble in their bags for a tissue.
Oprah leans closer to Egg and asks gently,
"What about Chicken? The media has portrayed you as everything from bitter rivals, to being as close as mother and daughter. They even link Chicken and Pan romantically. Egg, what do you have to say about all of that?"
The audience gasps.
Oprah's face is alive with empathy.
The camera zooms in.
"Oh, Chicken just got her feathers ruffled because, with Pan, she knows that I came first."
At the Elizabeth Hitchens Maximum Security Facility For Women in Coldwater, Michigan,
Inmate #52759 receives a visitor
At four in the morning.
This visitor is not designated on any roster of friends and family, nor is her visit sanctioned by any overseeing authority.
She is a succubus.
She enters sleepers' dreams.
She has sex with them.
She steals their souls.
She has come to see Chloe.
The cell block is as silent as a spider's web.
The succubus drifts between the bars and in.
It is rare to hear the voice of a startled mythical demon.
"Jesus Christ on a motor bike!" says the succubus. "You scared me!"
Chloe is sitting wide awake on the top bunk,
Her eyes as steady and bright as a child's.
"Hola, chica," she says.
"Wow, you should wear a bell around your neck, girl, you about gave me a heart attack. You could at least say you're sorry."
"You sound like the Judge," Chloe replies coolly. "The actions of this wicked girl...yadda yadda. Who has never shown the slightest remorse for her evil act."
The succubus searches in her shoulder bag for something and mutters, "Yeah, I get that all the time, too. Damn, forgot my smokes. Listen, Bo Peep, why are you in here, anyway?"
"Duh. The doors are all locked."
The succubus finally finds her cigarettes and sits on the edge of the bunk to smoke. "Look, sugar pea. Since I quit selling real estate, I'm a little short. I need a roommate. What d'you think? Share an apartment together, get a cat or something?"
"Would there be smoke alarms?" asks Chloe.
"Pfffft, no way, I set those things off just by walking in the door. They set my teeth on edge, I won't have one in my place. I'm all about serenity and shit. So, how about it?"
Chloe shrugs. "Sure."
The guard in his little plexiglass booth had fallen asleep. He began to have the most remarkable dream. He thought he was touching Jody Reigelberger's nipple, but it was really the button that releases the cell block doors. Then his heart stopped. "It's almost too easy," thinks the succubus.
Before they go apartment hunting, the girls stop at the Danny's across from the golf course for some breakfast. The manager is new in town, with a nice place he's rented all for himself, right near work. He just got this job, and at first he thinks it must be his lucky day when the two hot babes walk in and give him the smoky eye.
"You from around here?" asks the dark one. The younger one is silent, but he almost drops their menus when she looks straight at him and licks her lips.
I would like to thank Vicariousrising for giving me the Superior Scribbler Award. Since I am back to work and nothing especially dramatic is happening in my life, I found myself unable to write anything worth posting here yesterday. So I thought it would be droll to post a writing award on a day when I have nothing poetic to say.
There are rules and stuff but you know how I get.
Er...does anyone else think it looks like the Scribbler has boobs for eyes? "Look into my eyes! Wait! Stop staring at my boobs! Oh never mind! Dammit! Why was I born like this?!?" Well maybe not. You know how my mind works.
The judge who overturned the decision thought her appeal had merit--
He'd liked the way she'd crawled straight across his desk like that,
Sending tedious paperwork and awards to the floor.
He'd rarely met an applicant so eloquent.
On a sunny Sunday in May,
With girlish grace
And fairy face,
Took to living on the golf course.
It was green,
If not strictly included under the language of her parole.
Some men enjoy playing golf--
Some of them to a degree never intended by God.
On a day when Saturn and Mars lined up like a gimme putt,
Retiree Bob Newburg parked his cart at the second hole, par four
And got out.
He was wearing
A white mesh bill cap,
A knit shirt with a little logo on the pocket,
And yellow polyester golf slacks.
Such a man could never survive for long in the wild.
Because Bob Newburg's attention was fixed
On remedying a persistent slice,
He was oblivious
To the young woman he had disturbed.
Chloe was just dragging a fresh kill up into the safety
Of a nearby sycamore.
Upon being interrupted,
Her perfect face became the perfect expression
Of indignant fury.
"For chrissakes, Bob!" exclaimed a shaky-voiced Don Parkley
Upon discovering what remained of his golf partner.
Looked down from a high branch,
Her eyes as clear and calm as summer moons.
On a sunny Sunday in May,
With girlish grace
And fairy face,
Now resides inside the Elizabeth Hitchins Maximum Security Facility For Women
In Coldwater, Michigan.
She works in the inmate stitchery
Making little samplers for the Department of Corrections gift shop,
And has never once felt sorry
( I recently visited K's fine blog Interstitial Life and left a rather over-the-top comment off the top of my head. I later decided it deserved to be expanded. The result is "Chloe." Thank you, K, for posing the question of the difference between being "tame" and being "domesticated.")
Goddess bless Riot Kitty. When I woke up this morning and checked my email, I had only one new message, a comment from my blogger pal RK. If not for that one note, I would have come down with a raging case of the nobody-loves-me's. Yep, busted, I do look for outside validation, like, oh, every five minutes or so, or I start to sulk. I love Love, I do, I'm a worse love sponge than my dogs. So that's my text this morning, brethren (and sisteren!). Love.
I was sifting through my humongous collection of stuffed animals one day--they get up to mischief when I am not looking, I swear they multiply--and I found a big stuffed Scottish terrier which was a gift from a girl I knew in 1973. Her name was Sue. She was 19. I was 18. We had been to see the Woody Allen movie "The Sleeper", a futuristic farce in which there was a mechanical Scottish terrier named Rags who clanked around, saying "Hello! My name is Rags! Arf! Arf!" over and over, even as thugs were pummeling Woody Allen to bits. (not a bad idea now, I think. Ha!) Anyway, Rags just broke me up, I thought he was the most ridiculously hilarious thing I had ever seen.
Well, shortly after, Sue gave me this stuffed Scottish terrier. She had even made a little dog jacket for him, to match the one in the movie, and he wore a big card that read, "Hello! My name is Rags! Arf! Arf!" Whatcha gonna do with a gal like that? I kept Rags down all the years, though his little card fell off and he is a little scruffier than he once was. So, when I rediscovered him, I thought to myself, "I wonder what Sue would think, if she knew that I had kept dear Rags all this time?" And that led me to think of another very dear girl I knew once. Let me tell you about her. In fact, she's the entire reason for this post.
At Christmas time 1961, I was six years old. (I told Jannie Funster five, but I did the math, and I was six. Never leave a poet to be the fact checker!) In the household I grew up in, a raised eyebrow constituted an emotional outburst. And it was a male enclave. There was my Daddy and my two (much) older brothers. My mom, forgive me for saying this, but she seemed to me like a cross between Queen Elizabeth and the robot maid on The Jetsons. She was a marvel of practical efficiency, and I realized later, showed her love by fixing meals and keeping things in good order. But I didn't understand that til many years later. I just thought she didn't like me much.
So there I was in the sober brown world of my family's house in 1961. There is a picture of me, taken in the late 50s, that I love. My next oldest brother had stuck his football helmet on my head, and there I was, in a half crouch with my hands spread on my knees, laughing my head off. Well, that was me by nature, I think, and still is, loving the silly and the unexpected. But there wasn't much silly at my house. Not much soft. And I look back now and think how lonely I was.
Remember I mentioned Christmas time, 1961? And that this was a post about Love? Would I forget? Would I lie to you, snookums? No way.
My oldest brother had started at the University of Michigan (did I mention that I come from a family of achievers? Did I mention that I am a poet? lol) at the same time that I started kindergarten. That Christmas, he brought a girl home with him. To my regret, I can't remember her name now. But oh, I remember her.
In those days, I spent most of my time looking up, cos I was by far the smallest human in our house. And what I saw when I looked up was mostly in sober shades of respectable dark colors. I do remember that I liked to watch my mother get ready to go out some place with my father. Then, out would come her jewelry and all her make-up and what-have-you, all of which seemed tremendously interesting to me. But as always with my mother, there was somehow the air of a military operation to it all. Pearls? Check! Perfume? Sir, yes sir!
So when my oldest brother, Paul, brought home a smiling, light bright girl in a red dress, to me it seemed he had brought a visitor from the planet Happy. I liked her immediately and I can still remember standing next to her as she sat on our couch (I was literally not much more then "knee high"!) and just drinking in this person with all her good cheer and what I would now call feminine energy. Back then I just thought, how long will she stay? And, can I be just like her?
She must have liked little midget me, too, or maybe her heart went out to her lonesome little admirer. Anyway, she did me an act of kindness that meant more to me than she ever knew. She made me a Christmas stocking. This was not a store-bought stocking, she had made it herself. And...she had touched it, and wrapped it, and given it to me! Wow! To me that was like Sky King landing on the front lawn. Except, this Sky King, who had swept in just as unexpectedly, was a girl, and something about her spoke to my little heart and said, you can be like her some day! And more than that, she gave me a certain warmth I was starving for. Do I really need to add that I treasured that Christmas sock for years and years after? That, when I moved, the stocking came with? Until the last move, when it vanished?
I know that it got mislaid somehow, because when I found Rags, it made me think of that stocking, and I went looking for it in every box and crate in every sunlit or dusty corner of my house, and I never found it. I know I had it at my last house. I was distressed that I had lost it. In fact, I cried. Yep, I did.
I called my brother--this was shortly before I was "outed" by another family member. That is to say, when my brother would still speak to me--and asked him about that girl who came to visit so long ago. Oh, didn't I tell you? I never saw that gal again. My brother married a different girl four years later, and they are married to this day. My brother either didn't remember her at all, or pretended not to. With either of my brothers, it is very hard to tell. Life, to them, seems to be a poker game. So, that was a dead end. But my mother, bless her, remembered her. She couldn't recall her name, but she did remember her, and the Christmas visit.
Shortly after all of that, I was venting to a girlfriend about it all. I said, what a schmuck my brother is! That girl was such a gem, and he doesn't even remember her! Goodness knows what she was even doing with Mr. Sobersides anyway, but it just offends me that he forgot all about someone so special. Well, my friend gave me that look. You know the one, the look your female friends give when they know you better than you know yourself, and are about to clue you in, between sips of coffee. Now, my friend has a rather spiritual view of the world and the things that happen in it. And she said to me, "Maybe she wasn't there for him. Maybe she was there for you."
That "girl" would be 66 years old now, wherever she is. I hope she has led a truly blessed life. She blessed me. Hello! My name is Shay! Arf! Arf! And once, at Christmas time many years ago, someone was kind to me. And I never forgot.