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just go

 

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Away we go..last minute rush..do you have, did you remember, did it get packed, where is my phone, are the cats out, where are the keys…..the click of a door locking…in the car..out the drive..on the road..off to fly the friendly skies…

Three story parking…finding a space, writing down the location, the slam of the trunk, the gathering of belongings, the clatter of spinner wheels over the concrete, the whoosh of the electronic doors…in the coolness..Finally.

Dig out the I.D…hand over the proof of who we are..or who we want to be? Weigh the bags, praying for lightness….and off again…time to make a friend….blurred lines, bare your feet…raise your hands, show them you are not a terrorist, smile big…finally, put on your damn shoes….

Scurry faster now, towards a gate….there she blows, there she waits…red and silver with wings, ready to take you where you need to be…

Queue up, shuffle like cattle, up goes the bag overhead; find a spot which will be yours at least for the next several hours.. Hard seat, tiny window, elbow to elbow..another new friend.

Settle in, find the head phones, crank up a little Elaine Elias, “Moving Me On”….sit back and take it in…closing eyes….resting up for what will come.

Energized….smiling…..

And it begins…once again.

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New places..built up with great expectations…unfortunately, built on quicksand and the image shimmers..it is always a mirage.

Here more than most. Vegas, where dreams are lost on a minute by minute basis. The lights flashing, the bells a clanging, the music, the plastic smiles. Hawkers on every corner.. try this, must see that, what I deal I have for you today. Smoke and mirrors, everywhere, 24/7.

Working early or working late, there are always people sitting at the slots. Usually cigarette in hand with smoke you can see but not smell. It is pulled into infinity and the aroma is hidden by vanilla or gardenia or whatever is the scent of the day. Unfortunately the scent stays with you just like the smoke use to do. It lies on your hair and catches a ride on your clothing. Often it is so heavy you can taste it like a like a bad remembrance of a long ago meal. Even days after being home, the luggage finally was assigned a spot in the garage instead of the closet…must give everything time to air out and return to normal.

Too much, all the time. A city that is not getting over itself anytime soon. A playground for many with some swearing never to return..but they probably do. The lure can be irrestable to those just going to try it out once. So they said, so they promised, so they swore. All for naught.

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Next stop the Big Apple…to define it as overwhelming is understating. Large and larger…far as one can see, even on a cloudy day. Different lights and the bells are replaced with the honking of horns. Is everyone always that upset and in a hurry or do they just like to create more chaos in a narrow street, single-car wide with three jockeying for positions?   As much as I am happy that I am not having to drive in this city, the cab rides can be just as undaunting. Once inside the vehicles, the drivers are polite, though as a close friend shared, he often noticed hearing what could pass for suicide bomber music playing softly in the background. Inside you are under their protection and every effort seems to be made to get you where you want to go as rapidly as possible, even if one says ” no big hurry”…well evidently there is some sort of hurry somewhere. Every effort is also made to explain to other drivers that are in the way, that they should not be there…in the way that is…and this is done in a Morse code only known to cab drivers and generally are either long stand-on honks of the horn or if multiple cars are in the way, a staticatto of blasts are evidently needed, so that everyone gets their own warning. I am still working on this deciphering of this communication.

……9/11……..

A memorial has been built. Heroes died in a senseless, cowardly act. There was a void in the city that has been filled with the names of those that lost their lives. The darkness of the granite reflects the sadness in the hearts of those left behind and the moving water seems to flow into infinity..an infinity of a better place for those that are gone. Hushed are the tones of those that speak and many a tear has fallen on this hallowed ground to be sure. It is true today as it was the day of… we will never forget.

…….

where to next?  Stay tuned..

 

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Posted by on March 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Normal being Relative.

Molly was down in the basement.  No phone signal..and slow internet. Wafting aromas from the cafeteria floated by periodically yet in between the good smells she often caught what seemed to be an odor of something long gone bad.  “Rotting trash”, she thought hopefully.  “No, something much worse” she recognized with a sigh.  Molly had smelled that odor before in her own home.  Something evil-like coming up thru the vents in the floor perhaps?  She shuddered.  Buried bodies could be so very problematic.

Staff members came and went, wanting to meet with her to update their annual benefits.  The HR department had stuck her way back in this hole, having to keep everything private with those damn Hippa laws.  Not that she was claustrophobic, she just didn’t like windowless places.  Fluorescent lights casting shadows along the hallway didn’t help the atmosphere either and of course her guilty conscience only amplified the possibilities of just what could be lurking, somewhere..near..perhaps right around the corner?  God, she hated when her imagination started running amok on her.

She believed that the morgue was located in the basement of a hospital, or at least that is what they showed on TV.  “Didn’t freezing bodies eliminate odors?”  she thought. Surely they had a big enough generator here that problematic situations like a brown out would eliminate the need for plastic wrap and duck tape, which she had inadvertently discovered really didn’t work as well as one would think.

She looked at her watch and realized that quitting time was fast approaching and even better it was Friday.  She had plans again this weekend.  First, drinks and good times with  friends down at the new little pub that advertised Happy Hour Specials.  Her cohorts would be there, both ones that she liked and now with the exception of one, the others that she didn’t (those that were not so very nice to her.) 

She knew that talk would be about Harriet, the missing co-worker.  Speculation always ran rampant, especially when alcohol was part of the conversation.  She would sit quietly on the side and smile and nod, agreeing with the general consensus that Harriet had just finally quit on a whim and left town to work with another group.  The fact that she hadn’t told anyone she was leaving surprised no one really, as Harriet was the snotty type who put herself above everyone else and if you weren’t in her “need to know” group, you just didn’t get the skinny of  what she was up to anyway. Needless to say Harriet’s “holier than thou” attitude would not be a problem for anyone anymore. 

The last employee of the day had been a wrap and Molly was packing up her equipment and getting ready to shut off the lights when that foul odor once again drifted in the air.  Molly quickly did a sniff check of her clothes when it finally dawned on her that maybe that new detergent she was using had been unable to remove the unfortunate scent of death from her blouse.  “Maybe more fabric softener the next time would do the trick”, she thought, already planning a next time.  “Clorox was for stains” her mother always told her, “but you really need softener to make you smell pretty.”  She wondered if she should take the time to go home and change before going to the bar.  No she decided, she had another busy night ahead of her, places to go and people to bludgeon.  Tomorrow was Saturday after all and since Saturday was normally laundry day, she would have time to double up on the Clorox and Downey then.

 

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A portion of a day in the life….

So I’m sitting in my hotel room, eating  take out on the bed ( I envision the nodding and murmurs -“been there done that “from fellow road warriors out there) and while thankful for another days work… very damn glad that it’s over for the day anyway.

Being out on the road has its pros and cons, as all jobs do, but one of the most enjoyable is the ability to become a complete slob in your hotel room after work.  Each and every morning ( or evening) depending on one’s shift, ya gotta put on that smiley face, dress in what the various companies that I work for call “professional casual”,( which is somewhere between being really comfortable ie: no jeans or sweat pants, and having to wear clothes your Mother would deem appropriate for Sunday-go-to meetin-day) and shlep (I was in NJ way too long this year) out to meet the world.

Getting back to ones hotel it’s Kattie bar-the -door…pj’s and sweatshirts are the norm, perhaps a pair of fuzzy slippers for the tired feet, off goes the makeup,up goes the hair in a pony tail and out comes whatever was meal was closest, cheapish  and portable that could be brought back to “the sanctuary”.  Reruns of Seinfield, which never bore, or a Fox news recap (over and over)  or if feeling particularly brain dead, watching the weather channel and their redundant forecasts or tales of THIS COULD HAPPEN IN (insert whatever town you happen to be in), where one can watch houses be blown or washed away…repeatedly are entertainment choices.  So much to watch so little time before I fall asleep.  ( well it was a 10 hour damn day)

Forgot napkins, well there are wash cloths available.  Need salt and pepper? Borrow them from the front desk, they always have some there.  Forgot desert?, There is always extra yogurt, banana  or even a cinnamon bun squirreled away from the “free morning breakfast”.  No prep or dish-washing necessary.  Life is good ( not all the time cheap if you don’t want to eat burgers every night) but all in all it’s good.

So while I’m re-nuking desert, I thought I’d just share for a moment….

We were just in NJ and I thought  folks might enjoy some of  of the burning questions that I had to answer from the folks that I met.

In an effort to provide insight to all of those inquisitive minds yet, in the interest of time saving, ( surely there is something good to watch on TV) only the answers will be provided here.

1. ” Why yes I’ll have dessert.  The canolli please.” (alternate answer, ” Yes I’ll have the cheese cake” or  Yes I’ll have the taramisu”

2.  “Why no, I’m not from around here, and I love your accent too.”

3. “Pawleys Island, South Carolina”

4.  “No, that’s not near Appalachia”

5.  “Yes our property taxes are quite a bit lower than yours”

6,  “No, our suburbs aren’t in the middle of nowhere.”

7.  “Yes we have sidewalks and streetlights”

8.  “Yes, we even have sewer systems”

9.  “Yes,  we’re allowed to turn left in South Carolina”

______________

I think there were more answers, however that ding you heard was the mini microwave reheating my cinnamon bun…. and dang, Jerry is on…Where in the hell are my slippers..?  Poke me with a fork I’m done for the day..

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in road warrior, Southern Humor, Uncategorized

 

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OK already….

“When you are ready to get back to work….let me know”… and I bet he slung his cape over his shoulder with a flourish,when he turned and left the room.

“Damn”, I thought somewhat taken aback with what I was sure had been an expeditious and flamboyant departure, “He didn’t give me a chance to speak my piece, give an excuse or ( even more like me)  grab his attention with a snappy and snorky retort…. I mean he  just….shaking my head in shock …. cut , dried and poof he was gone.  It was deja vu all over again, to quote Yogi. Well not really, that other guy on the other site left without saying goodby, he just poofed out… but then again, he had recently poofed back in again so I had heard….so maybe it wasn’t over.?

“Well, what ‘cha gonna do now”.. said Harry, my muse,  sitting on the sofa eating stale potato chips and sipping his flat diet coke.  “You gonna cut and run too?  I know it’s been a tough week but hell, you’ll get thru, and when ya come out on the other side, you will be stronger for it”.

I glared at him over my coffee, which was now growing cold, as I started to consider his question.  What would I do?  I mean there are thousands of sites out here I could go to, but I was pretty set in my ways, plus I really liked this playground, I had a lot of friends here… Like minds with assorted outlooks… no two alike so it always made things interesting… Plus I was never one to cut and run without a fight.

“Ya know I wasn’t gonna do ANYTHING today but rest and reflect on life and death, now this crops up and I can’t pretend I didn’t see it… like totally ignore it, cause if I do I’m afraid …poof it will be really gone”…I groused to Harry.

Harry stared back at me, waiting and trying not to roll his eyes or fade into the background while I made up my mind.  He knew me well, but Harry had the patience of a gnat,so he got up and came over to thump me on the ear. “Get with it, haven’t got all day”  he sniped.

“OUCH” I yelped my ear stinging, ” OK, just a little short one, maybe only 8 minutes today, don’t want to strain my brain after all this down time” and I turned to the keyboard and began.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in Southern Humor, Uncategorized

 

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Strike a Pose

Next…. She had stepped upon the platform, tossing her hair away from the part, just like they taught her in modeling school those many years ago. Damn she was good. “Daz” was the name she went by now, and aptly named, for she was absolutely dazzling. She lost count of the time the photographers sang those words, ” Hold it, Hold that pose Daz……Hold that pose… Perfect.”

It had been a rough climb to the top of the fashion pyramid and coming from the gutter her climb had been a tad bit longer than most. She had learned to ignore the naysayers among her family and so-called friends, those that laughed at her dreams. “Scum does as scum is”, they told her, “you’ll never amount to anything; more than likely end up just like your Ma, drunk and drugged out, or dead in the street like your sister, stabbed by an unsatisfied john”. She turned a blind ear. The haughty divas in school were even worse, with their straight locks, preppy clothes and perfect make-up. They would laugh at her attempts at vogue dressing, her way with colors most shocking and so Bohemian chic. God, how she hated them all.

But she was tough. Tougher than anyone imagined…. and brave… well perhaps, fearless was more the term. She had no fear, as the future could only get better…. when one comes from living in a hell hole, right? Poverty sucked and she like her hero, Scarlett, was never gonna be poor again.

It seemed a never-ending process to stay at the top. The booze propped her up and the pills kept her running. The purging kept her rail thin and the rage in her past kept her focused, for a while. She walked over everyone in her claim to fame. Those that believed, soon grew alienated. Those that dared to love, soon were tossed away; her estranged list grew, like litter by the roadside, thrown by a solo driver in a speeding car.

With only fame and fortune by her side, she had been alone when the final crash came. Her deftly planned marathon to success was flawed after all. Try as she might to keep the top spinning, like so many stars before, her failure was her crowning achievement. This would be the shot they would all remember. Striking the pose one more time, she held that card, she waited for those words…and she smiled that smile…

“Hold that pose #423532, Hold that pose”….. Perfect.

Thinking Ten: Prompt for Saturday: Posing for the camera

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in humor, Southern Humor, Uncategorized

 

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109 Stories.

The lower the elevator fell, the fewer words were spoken.

She had begun  the fight on the 109 floor of the Sears tower, starting her ranting and raving right off.  “How could you, you S.O.B…… with my sister no less!  Did you think I wouldn’t find out?  Did you think I was just another dumb blond?”  She hardly paused to  take a breath till they had hit 92.

At 91 it was his turn.  “But we were taking a break.  It wasn’t anything serious.  It was just that once… well, maybe twice.  You know it’s you I love.  I’m so sorry.  Please forgive me.  I’ll do anything.”  His posturing and whining were starting to annoy by 80.

The other passengers along for the ride and having to endure the tumultuous sparing could see that the groveling was not making much head way, and at floor 79 she started in on him again.

“Lies, all lies.  I thought what we had was real, but noooo, the relationship was fake, like totally…. plastic like the cards in your wallet.  I don’t know how I can go on…I just want to die… I hate you, I hate you, I hate you”.

General consensus was moved to side with her, she being so innocent looking and all and with the tears now starting to trickle down her face at floor 62, there was movement of eyes looking at floors and ceilings, as if to proclaim, we won’t embarrass you by staring.

At 57 he tried to reach for her in an effort to bring her close and comfort her, but she, being nobodys fool, pulled away, turned her back to him and then the sobbing really started.   Indecipherable mumbling commenced  and “what will I do’s” were intermingled with multiple efforts of handkerchiefs and “there, there nows”  being offered to stem the tide

Between 45 and 22, he pitched his last appeal.  “Come live with me… be my love… maybe we can get married.  Please, I’m sorry, forgive me, I don’t want to live without you, I can’t live without you. I love you..and only you”, and he finally ran out of steam at 21.

This last flurry of invocation created intense internal examination by the peanut gallery, who still semi-siding with her, were beginning to sway their collective though non-verbal support over in his direction.

At two stories to go, the silence was almost deafening.  With her hiccups abating, she finally turned to him, and allowed him to finally bring her close.   Words were just words now, and the public show of affection seemed to be doing the trick.

The elevator came to a smooth and efficient stop and those pressed against the back of the elevator, waited for the hugging and kissing to cease.  There was no rush.   Entertainment for the day was over and happy endings, while often few and far between, were to be savored.

Thinking Ten  –   Words, Inc., Wednesday:

(1) lower, (2) few, (3) examine, and (4) plastic

 

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Rollercoaster

She had gotten her ticket fifty nine years ago and thus had been on the ride for that length of time plus a few months give or take, but at this stage who was counting right?   The cost of the ride was expensive, but at least they gave you the ticket up front and as they explained in the beginning, you paid the price along the way.  Boy was that ever an understatement.

The roller coaster was huge and stretched for as far as ones eyes could see.  Great waving peaks whose apex then plummeted a person into dark and treacherous valleys, terrifying vertical loops designed to test a human’s mettle and long stretches of track designed so that your cars would reach exhilarating yet unsettling speeds that took your breath away at times: it was a laugh a minute, she thought sardonically.

There were designs in the ride to lull you into feeling safe and secure as well.  These would come at unexpected moments, often after you had completed the climb of a monstrous peak and fearing a drop, you would actually  find a long stretch of track at the top where you could see forever; blue skies, good times, smooth sailing and beauty everywhere.  Of course this was just a facade painted by crafty souls to lure you into letting your breath out slowly.  As the false sense of security temporarily caused an easing up on the white knuckled hold on your safety bar, you would soon come to your senses knowing  this was only a temporary lull, so you would actually tighten up your seat belt and prepare for the next surprise along the track.  There was never a dull moment on this ride.

All of her  friends and family, of course, were on the same ride.  Mostly however, they were in different cars.  Some further ahead and having rolled along the track before her, they would often send text messages of advice on what to expect or how to handle the unexpected, which was inevitably just around the next turn. Sometimes she took their advice; more often than not, she stayed true to her character and just went with the flow of the ride.

The thing that she disliked most about the ride was the fact that the majority of the time she and her friends and family were at different points in the ride.  She would be coasting along enjoying a taste of tranquility with the wind lightly blowing her hair and all hell would break loose up ahead or right behind her.  She would hear the screams of a friend who’s car  just flipped them upside down on a bat-wing inversion coil or the unnerving  cries of a family member being tossed and turned on interlocking corkscrew twists which then plunged them downward into a roll-out which would leave them dazed and unsure for quite sometime.  It could be very unsettling. ” Who designed this ride anyway”?, she would often wonder.

Hour after hour the ride rolled along.  Once you were on,  you were pretty much stuck till the end, they had told her that at the beginning too.  Through the good sections, as well as the less than auspicious parts she didn’t remember signing on for, she continued her ride, eyes front and breathing slowly.

The end wasn’t in sight yet, or at least she hoped not, and while her part of the track was relatively smooth at the moment, she decided to break out her cell.  She might as well text those up ahead to let them know she was hanging in there and that she appreciated their words of encouragement.  Then she thought to herself, while she was at it and had the time, she would send a few letters of hope for those not so far behind….and she began…. “Since we are all in this together….”

Thinking Ten  ➞ Words, Inc., Wednesdays: (1) ticket, (2) top, and (3) true

 
 

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