Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mystic Krystal's Revelations

Fat Angie has one last mini cupcake and closes the package.

She is troubled as she looks out of her second floor window--
troubled by the bare-branched silver maple,
surrounded by edges of frost that form a ring around it,
and what bothers her most

are the five hundred red-wing blackbirds squabbling
on the bare branches
of the silver maple
ringed by frost
that frames the scene outside in the cold.

Many have felt like this,
Fat Angie supposes;
many have felt the future and trembled.

She pushes away the plastic package of mini cupcakes,
throws on her favorite maroon and white scarf
(her old school colors),
shrugs into her mail-order knock-off designer winter coat,
and hurries out the door and down the stairs.

One cannot wait,
thinks Fat Angie with a fierce resolve,
for the slings and arrows of cruel fortune to show right up at the door like Jehovah's Witnesses.

Passing beneath the silver maple filled with
red winged blackbirds,
Fat Angie sets her course as determinedly as Magellan,
if Magellan had been a size 16 unemployed typist living in Eau Claire
like a big blueberry inside a pancake.

She walks east two slushy blocks, then north for one, and through a doorway to a tea room called Mystic Krystal's.
There she is, Krystal the Gypsy herself,
blonde and
babushka'd and
listening to an old Dave Brubeck cd on a portable machine.

She uses a tiny blue remote to turn off the tiny blue player
the minute she gets a look at Fat Angie.
As smoothly competent and focused as any ER nurse,
Mystic Krystal knows
that this will not be the usual whiny plea for lottery numbers.

"Cut the cards three times and ask a question," she says,
and without even removing her heavy coat, Fat Angie is on it like white on rice,
as if they were both sitting in the situation room with the rockets coming in.

"The birds are just a parlor trick,"
says Mystic Krystal as she turns over cards in neat rows.
"They're just a distraction,
and disturbing, but
definitely bogus.

"Your girlfriend is sick. "
It's a statement, not one of those phony baloney shots in the dark
that fake seers use to try to get a clue.
Fat Angie allows as to how this is, sadly, true.

"Lemme ask you a question," says Mystic Krystal,
tilting her head to the side as she looks at the cards.
"Suppose that you,
and she,
and her crazy-ass dog 
were all aboard theTitanic, and there was only room in the crap-ass lifeboat for two of you.
Who goes?"

Fat Angie answers promptly that she would volunteer to suck salt water
so that the other two could bob in the boat upon the ocean blue,
until they got rescued by handsome sailors
speaking Turkish.

Mystic Krystal ponders this.
"Don't you think,
that this girlfriend of yours would stick Fido in her lap,
or shove some salesman overboard
in order to make room for you?"

"She would. She would."

"Everything's gonna be fine.
You got twenty dollars, honey?"
Fat Angie only has eighteen dollars and fifteen cents,
on account of having bought the mini cupcakes
in a fit of emotional eating.
Mystic Krystal says, "Gimme fifteen and we'll call it catnip."
(Mystic Krystal sometimes says odd things like this.)

When Fat Angie gets home, the blackbirds are gone,
and there is a message on her machine from the girlfriend.
"Hey baby. Whatcha doin'?"
Fat Angie is as pretty as a pony in a daisy field when she smiles,
and for the first time all day,
she isn't hungry,
and feels easy with the world, and satisfied.

I shamelessly stole the title from my BFF Hedgewitch, who used it to hilarious effect in fellow Real Toad Kay's post HERE, in the comments.


Daryl said...

i think i like Mystic Krystals almost as much as Danny's

hedgewitch said...

Well, you may have *borrowed* the title phrase, which I in turn stole from Hair, but you created yet another complete original with it. I am so taken with this piece that I will even mindlessly quote some of it back to you-'living in Eau Claire like a big blueberry inside a pancake..' that gives us such a perfect picture of your protagonist--she is succulent, and sweet, and the thing that makes the pancake delectable instead of blah. I also like the motif of the blackbirds, which is kind of a mystic Krystal revelation, as every morning when I wake up and blearily wait for the coffee to take effect. I see them doing all that f-stuff in my very own silver maple. This is just wonderfully rich, and better than any donut for soothing the pangs of a difficult life with what matters.

TexWisGirl said...

haven't we all been exactly there. life is dreadful and woeful and no where to turn - and it turns on a dime with one kind contact from someone you care about.

Cloudia said...

like a blueberry in a pancake...

gems on a goo strong narrative thread that resolves well satisfactorily.

Happy Aloha to YOU
from Honolulu,
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° >

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I enjoyed this so much - especially the "pretty as a pony in a daisy field" smile at the phone message.

HermanTurnip said...

After reading Life Of Pi, the very last place in this world I'd like to find myself is adrift in a life raft. Yikes!

"Gimme fifteen and we'll call it catnip."

I don't know why, but this phrase brought a smile to my face :-)

Helen said...

The great thing about your writing? We feel as though we really know the characters ... all of them. Or at least, we want to.

the catnip remark made me laugh out loud too ........

Kay L. Davies said...

I love it. I love the chain reaction which caused you to write it, and I love the story, especially the last four lines.
I smiled at "call it catnip" but I had already laughed at "shove some salesman overboard"!
And I know Fat Angie's psyche very well. I'm fat due to prednisone (a steroid, but the doctors gave it to me without warning). However, slim or fat, I've always been prone to "fits of emotional eating".
You are a genius, Shay.

Hannah said...

I bet you do this in your sleep. I bet you could write novels based on your imagination, Shay! I like the blackbirds!

G-Man said...

I've ridden with Fat Angie, she appropriately rides a Fat Boy!
(She can drink you under the table)

This was like Tom Waits meets Elmore Leonard...Brilliant.

Thanks Shay for stopping by...G

Mama Zen said...

Every line this feels so authentically THERE. This is incredible.

Lolamouse said...

I know this girl. Another great story, Shay! But I've got an earworm of Aquarius now (mystic krystal revelations and the mind's true liberation....)

Anonymous said...

I love seeing accidental connections in poetry. Like, the day before you posted this, I wrote about eating cupcakes. And there is a cupcake-eater in this poem. Then in this poem, I see catnip. Well, in your poem today, there's catnip. It's just fun for my brain to connect all the invisible dots and make meaning of the pretend picture. Like maybe the universe was saying I'm Fat Angie and I needed work out today. And maybe it's also saying that after seeing her seer and getting some comforting information about the fact that her lover truly loves her, Fat Angie will work out like crazy, get fit/healthy/happy, and turn into catnip girl in your new poem. Life is full of connections that don't really exist until our brains tell us they exist and we then respond.

This is my favorite section:

"The birds are just a parlor trick,"
says Mystic Krystal as she turns over cards in neat rows.
"They're just a distraction,
and disturbing, but
definitely bogus.

"Your girlfriend is sick. " (you have an extra space here)
It's a statement, not one of those phony baloney shots in the dark
that fake seers use to try to get a clue.
Fat Angie allows as to how this is, sadly, true

Blackbirds and bad omens only exist when we believe in them. How many relationships do we destroy because we create bad energy in our heads based on inaccurate information and off-center perspectives?

Thank goodness for seers and friends who set us straight about what's really going on before we sabotage everything good in our lives. I'm so pleased Angie ends up happy and content. Sometimes all we need from the world is reassurance that we are loved and that we matter enough.

Anonymous said...

"Fat Angie is as pretty as a pony in a daisy field when she smiles"

LOVE that image of a pony!

tut-tut! stealing titles now? how do you think you can get away with that kind of behavior?

{of course, it's completely different when i steal your images and music videos and characters and... well, it's okay when I do it cuz you're such a better poet than me. you don't need to steal. you need to go back to work.}