Finding Life (in obvious places): Moving Day

Moving day today. Big day. I picked Julie up with the car loaded down with my three boxes and assorted other things. She came running out to meet.

“You all ready?”

“I think so.”

She looked through the back window. “Is that all?”

“Yeah. Isn’t it enough?”

“I guess so. Well, you want to come in, say hi to Mom and Dad?”

“Not really. I want to get moving, you know.”

“Okay, but give me a second, alright?”

She ran back into the house and I shut the engine off. I looked back at my stuff and thought about her parents. How they were so proud of her and nice to me and such the perfect couple themselves. Her dad smoking a pipe and wearing slippers around the house and her mom fixing big meals and not eating anything herself. The perfect couple. I never saw anything else.

Once we made it to the house, it only took an hour or so to move all my stuff in. Still, I was tired and sat down on the floor, waiting for Julie to finish arranging.

“When are you getting furniture?”

“Soon, I guess. Probably go to auctions and stuff.”

“Be sure to get a love seat. It would go perfect next to that window, facing the television.”

“What television?”

“You are going to get a television, aren’t you?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter. Now, curtains…”

“Why don’t you take a break?”

“Why?”

“Well, why don’t you join me?” I must have had some grin on my face, cause she came over smiling, trying to look all sexy.

“What did you have in mind?” she asked, brushing against my shoulder.

“Why don’t you lay down with me?”

“On the floor?”

“Would you rather go out in the yard?”

She laughed and started unbuttoning her blouse.

Then there was silence. A lot of it. Well, almost silence. No words. I don’t know.

+     +     +

She got up and put her blouse back on, and the rest of her clothes. I stayed there, looking at the ceiling and over at her.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting dressed.”

“Why?”

“Someone may stop by.”

“Who’s going to stop by?”

“You never know.”

“Come on, Julie.”

“What?”

“Come back here.”

“I will. Just give me a minute. Patience is a virtue, you know.”

“I’m not very virtuous.”

She went to the bathroom and brushed her hair. I lay there, looking at the ceiling. She came back with a big grin on her face.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“Nothing.”

“Why are you smiling?”

“I’m just happy.” She lightly kissed me on the cheek.

“Well, good.  I’m glad.”

“I was thinking about…. I don’t know.”

“What?”

“About how it could be like this all the time.”

“Like what?”

“You know. Being together, all the time.”

“You mean marriage.”

“God, you make it sound like some plague or something!”

“Well, it is, sort of. Look, let’s not…”

“Let’s not what? You never want to discuss it. You know how important marriage is to me. I thought, since you got this house…”

“God damn it.”

“Nevermind. Just nevermind.”

She went into the kitchen, crying. I kept looking up at the ceiling. I noticed some brown-stained water marks that could mean a leak somewhere. After a while, I went into the kitchen. She was standing near the window, looking out.

“Julie, I’m really sorry.”

“You…”

“No, I’m really sorry. I just… well, I’m just not ready to start thinking like that.”

“Like what?”

“Like about marriage and all. I’m just not ready.”

“I know. It’s just. You don’t understand I need change too. I need something definite. Something secure. Something I can count on.”

“I know. I understand. Look, can we just wait and talk about this some other time? I mean, the house and all..”

“Okay.”

I took her home and thanked her for her help. On the way back I stopped at a used furniture store and saw this old love seat that probably would have fit in the corner, next to the window. It was too, much, though, so I bought a floor cushion instead.

Velvet Love Seat

{This is part of a larger work entitled Finding Life (in obvious places). To follow along with the story, click on the title in the tags below.}

Finding Life (in obvious places): Packing Up

I’m all packed and ready to go. I stayed in tonight to get ready. A Friday night, with nobody around and nothing on the television. All I can hear are the sounds of my childhood as scenes from my past flash through my mind, with a good bottle of wine to keep them there.

I found a picture of my father, posing next to his motorcycle, just before he ran off with it.

I found a letter from Julie, written when she was in high school, with nineteen exclamation points and seven hearts with arrows in them.

I found a book about Abraham Lincoln my grandmother gave me, with my name printed in pencil, along with “Age 9.”

I found a newspaper clipping about my uncle’s death. The headline read, “Man Shot By Jealous Husband.”

I found a library book that was three years overdue.

I found some poem I had written in high school about a soldier that died.

I found a picture of my mother in a bathing suit, with the words “To My Hubby” written across the top and “I Love You” across the bottom.

I found seven New Testaments given to me by my mother and her friends, the Gideons.

I put everything I found in one of three big boxes I’d gotten from work and poured a cup of wine as I looked at them in the corner, near the door. Now I’m sitting here, looking at the bare walls and empty shelves. Just like when I moved in. Like nothing’s happened.

I can now hear the fat lady singing along with the radio and laughing at the DJs. This wine isn’t as good as the guy said.

Those three boxes are still in the corner of the attic, after all these years. Joined by weights and broken toys and unused appliances — signs of life well spent, now tossed aside. Allison’s paintings of the children and our time together look on somewhat curiously. I haven’t been up there in years, but I wouldn’t let go of them for the world.

“Daddy’s Girls II”  Oil painting of children with father by Kathryn Morris Trotter

 from Gabriela Lima

{This is part of a larger work entitled Finding Life (in obvious places). You can follow the story by clicking on the title in the tags below.}

Finding Life (in obvious places): Telling Julie About the House

Tonight I told Julie about the house. The arrangements had been made. The owners were so eager to sell, all I had to do was sign a few papers and I could move in this weekend. Julie came over to the apartment after dinner and I told her.

“You what?”

“I bought a house. It’s great. Two stories. Old. Like my grandparents’.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know. I’m tired of this place. Listening to the fat lady next door and her radio that plays all night long. I’m tired of the lady that wears curlers and a house robe who borrows my paper and never brings it back. I just want a place of my own.”

“Well, that’s great. I guess.”

“You’re glad.”

“I’m happy if you’re happy.” She put her arms around my neck and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I was glad she’d come over.

“Will you help me move in?”

“Of course. When?”

“Saturday.”

“This Saturday?”

“Yeah. You busy?”

“Well, no. Saturday’s fine.”

“You think I’m acting impulsively.”

“No. It’s not that. You just. I’m just surprised. You’ve never really mentioned…”

“I know. I hadn’t really thought of it. But when I saw this place, I started thinking about being a kid at my grandparents’ place and I got real excited. A change like this is just what I need.”

“I think you’re right. It’s good you’re getting a place of your own. Like you’re starting to think of the future.”

“Yeah. I don’t know if I can afford it, though.”

“Things’ll work out.  I love you.”

“Yeah, maybe. Heating’s awful expensive.”

“Hey.” She put her hand on my cheek. “Things’ll work out.”

We watched the news and laid around talking about the house. As she left, I watched her drive away. waving through the car window, knowing I’d be watching. She’ll be great helping me move in, arranging the place. She loves arranging things.

Opening the hall closet, I get down the afghan Julie once knit for me. The bright colors have faded through the years and it is more than a bit unraveled. I don’t get it out much, but it still keeps me warm.

 {This post is part of a larger work entitled Finding Life (in obvious places) in first composed in 1985 and now am revising. To follow the story, click on the title in the tags below.}

Finding Life (in obvious places): A Call to Mom

I knew the bank would laugh at me trying to get a loan, so I called my mother.

“Hello?” She exhaled, then took a deep puff on her cigarette.

“Hi Mom.”

“Is this my son.”

“Of course it’s your son, Mom.”

“Oh, okay. It’s just been so long since you called. I usually call you. So, how have you been?”

“Fine, mom.”

“And Julie?”

“She’s okay, too. I guess.”

“What do you mean you guess? You are still seeing Julie, aren’t you?”

“Yes, mom.  Mom, listen. I have a favor to ask.”

“So that’s why you called. Well it’s good to know I can still do something for you. What is it?”

“Don’t be so bitter.”

“Who’s being bitter? Tell me the favor.” Exhale. Deep puff.

“I want to buy a house.”

“A house?”

“Let me finish. Yes, a house. And I’ll need to take out a loan.”

“A house? Why a house? What’s wrong with your apartment?”

“Nothing’s wrong, I just want my own place, that’s all.”

“My son, the spot welder, wants his own place. Why not build a new house? Hire a gardener and a maid…”

“Stop it, Mom.  Listen, just forget it. I only wanted… just forget it.”

“Now, now. I’m only teasing. Don’t be so sensitive. How can I help?”

“I only wanted to ask you to co-sign.”

“Me?”

“Yes, you. Who else would I ask?”

“Well, why not Julie’s father? I assume this means you two…”

“Stop assuming things. We aren’t getting married. I want the house for myself. That’s it. Okay?”

“You’re so much like your father. Always thinking of yourself.”

“Okay, forget it. Forget I asked.”

“Now, now. I’ll co-sign already.”

“You will?”

“Sure. What have I got to lose?

“You don’t mind then?”

“No I don’t mind. Of course, you could save your money and come back home. You know that.”

“Yes, Mom. I know that. We’ve been through this.”

“Alright, already. I’ll co-sign. Is that all you wanted?

There was a long pause. I tried to clear my throat, but nothing came out. I was sorry I’d called her. Sorry I’d had to call her. Sorry I hadn’t called her more often.

“Can I take you out to dinner sometime?” I asked.

“You don’t have to.”

“No. I want to. How’s tomorrow?”

“Church.”

“After church.”

“Fine.  Or, you could join me for church?

“No. I mean. I don’t…. I’ll pick you up afterwards. Okay?”

“Fine.”

Well, it’s something. I’ve got mom to co-sign on the loan. I’m taking her out to dinner. It’s something.

I look at her photo on my dresser. Taken for her high school yearbook. She was going to become a nurse and travel overseas as a missionary. That was before dad came along. His motorcycle promised a more accessible journey to exotic places than she thought she’d ever go. Then I was conceived and her dreams of going to distant lands were replaced by days and nights of dirty diapers, incessant cries, and constant worries about bills and a husband always off even when he was around.

I look in the mirror and her voice comes back to me. “You’re just like your father.”

The Mirror of Parenting--great post about what to do when we see our own ugliness reflected in our kids

{This post is part of an extended work Finding Life (in obvious places) written in 1985 and currently being revised. To find the other posts in the series, click on the title in the tags below.}

Finding Life (in obvious places): Marriage and M&Ms

It was a usual Monday at work. Guys coming in unshaven, disheveled. Girls coming in made up, worn out underneath. Plenty of stories about how much the guys had drank and the girls had forgotten. Oh, they weren’t all like that. One guy had gotten pulled over by the cops and didn’t come in at all. Nobody made his bail.

On break, Ralph asked me how my weekend was.

“Okay.”

“You go out with that girl of yours? Julie?”

“Yeah, we went out.”

“Boy, she’s something. Bet she’s great in the sack, huh?”

I smiled and said, “Wouldn’t you like to know?”  He was eating peanut M&Ms and offered me some. “You know, I saw this house yesterday,” I said.

“Yeah?”

“It was for sale and I think I might just get it.”

“Are you and Julie thinking…”

Pages

“No, no. It’s not that. I’m just… tired of the apartment.  You know…”

“Yeah, it gets to you.”

“So, it’s a great two-story house in the old part of town.”

“Better be careful. Those things are rat traps. You sure…”

“No. This one’s great. I mean, heating costs’ll be out of this world, but…. well, I’ve got some put away.”

“Working in this place? Come on!”

“No, really. I’ve been saving up.”

“Listen, it’s your life. But I’m saying you’re better off in the apartment until you can find a wife that’ll work. That Julie works at the bank, doesn’t she?”

“I’m not marrying Julie!”

“Hey, sorry. It’s none of my business. I, just, well, I just don’t want you rushing into something. It’s tough enough, working at this place, without having a house to care for. By yourself.”

“Yeah. I know. I just, well… I need something.”

“Ain’t Julie taking care of that?” He laughed so hard he coughed up his last three M&Ms. I gave him the change to buy another package. He came back and offered me more.

“You know,” he said slowly, careful in thought, “marriage ain’t so bad as they say. I know I give my wife a hard time, but truth is I wouldn’t know what I’d do without her. She’s a great girl.”

“That’s nice.”

“No, I mean it. Before I got married, I was staying out late, coming to work all hungover. I’m a changed man, and I have her to thank.”

“Well, I don’t drink that much.”

“That’s not my point. Listen, I’m only saying this cause I’m your friend. You better hang on to that Julie. She’ll make a great wife someday.”

I shook my head.

“Just you wait. But not too long. You hear me?” He went off and started talking to a group about drinking beer.

I went back to work and thought about marriage. My grandparents. Constantly yelling and screaming at each other. Especially on Sundays, getting ready for church. Then Mom and Dad. Until Dad ran off and Mom was left with only me and my sister to yell at. That was marriage. A lot of yelling. Especially on Sundays.

Ralph got divorced about a year later. His wife caught him with his pants down parked in the driveway of her best friend. Ralph was never the same. He developed sugar diabetes and started blacking out and losing body parts, one at a time. His ex-wife felt sorry for him and married him again, took care of him until he died. She buried him with a package of peanut M&Ms.

{This is the third entry of a work of fiction called Life (in obvious places) I first wrote in 1985. To follow along with the story, click on the title in the tags below).

Finding Life (in obvious places): The House

Once again, I am beginning another writing assignment – taking a collection of stories I wrote in 1985 called Life (in obvious places) and adding a narrator’s perspective from 30 years later (in italics).  My plan is to write the first draft in serial form over the next several months.  I will continue to post on other subjects, such as “Mental Health Mondays,” so stayed tuned…

Finding Life (in obvious places) begins here and continues here…

Today, I walked down a street I used to wander as a child. Old houses an arm’s length apart, old paint peeling away at the edges. My grandparents used to live around here. Sunday afternoons we’d play croquet in the front yard and watch the neighbor, Mr. Shepler, sweating like a pig and yelling at his lawn mower and three children. Mrs. Shepler would come out with a pitcher of iced tea and listen to him curse the weather, how hot the summers were getting.

About five blocks away from the Sheplers’ I noticed a “For-Sale-By-Owner” sign. I decided to explore. It was a two-story house, with attic and basement. The white painting was graying and the gutters were falling down. The grass was high; tall dandelions covered the front yard, some creeping through the cracks in the sidewalk.

I thought of the family dinners where Grandma would put the dandelions we’d picked for her in a Mason jar and use it as a centerpiece, as proud as a peacock. Mother never understood the dandelions. She’d say they were just weeds the didn’t belong in the house, much less on the dinner table.

After Grandpa died, Mr. Shepler started moving Grandma’s yard — early on Sunday mornings so he could get to his own in the afternoon. Grandma was grateful, though she also believed he was committing a sin working on the Lord’s Day.  The other widow ladies would drive by slowly on their way to church, staring at the sweaty 75-year old with his unbuttoned short-sleeve shirt and Bermuda shorts. Grandma just closed her shades.

“What?” I moved over to his chair. He sat still, but motioned with his arms.

“Ya interested in buying? The owners are out. Moved to Chicago. I’m watchin’ over the place.”

“Well, I was just… Kinda walkin’ around.”

“Cliff Barton’s the name,” he said, lifting his arm.

“Robert Thompson,” we shook hands.

Ya lookin’ to move, Robert?”

“Well, I don’t know. Wouldn’t mind…”

“It’s quite a find. Solid foundation. Fenced in back yard. Quiet neighborhood. Course it’s old. Price of heating these days. But it’s a nice house. Got a lot of good use.”

“I’m sure it’s a fine house. It’s just… well, I wasn’t actually planning on buying my own…”

“Where ya from?”

“Around here. Stonehedge Apartments.”

“Got a family?”

“No. I’m a… well, I’m single.”

“Yeah? I don’t suppose a young man like yerself’d have much use for a house.”

“It’s not that. Actually, I have been thinkin’ about getting out of the apartment. I’m tired of paying in and not getting anything out of it.”

“You got a good job? That is, if you don’t mind my asking?”

“No… I mean I don’t mind. I, um, I work at Arvin’s.”

“And yer lookin’ for a place of your own?”

“Well, yeah, kind of…”–

“Here, let me show you the place. I’ll go grab the keys.”

I reach in my front pocket and pull out that same set of keys, gently worn from thirty years of use, held together with a John Deere key ring. I look out at the neighborhood — the same neighborhood Mr. Barton watched thirty years ago. It looks much the same, but so much has changed. Cliff Barton died in 1986, right after Allison moved in. Thomas was born. Then Mary came along.  For a while, the place was so full of life. Now it’s just me, sitting in this old lawn chair, looking for life in obvious places.

vintage metal lawn chairs

“vintage metal lawn chairs” from Rhonda Zoch in Home ~ Goods

Finding Life (in obvious places): Me and Claudia Matson

Some time ago, inspired by Leanne Sypes’ post about her accordion-file time capsule, I dug through my big-bin of writings.  Like my mind, there was great disorder — to-do lists from last month crammed in with devotionals from 1983.  Father’s Day notes my daughters had written to me brought a smile to my face, love letters from my wife that brought tears to my eyes.  I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness.  I am not at all at peace with who I’ve been –  as a husband, a father, a pastor. 

To cope, I retreat to my writing studio with a book I found — a book I wrote before becoming all these things, back when I was a 21-year old, single, aspiring writer totally unprepared for the war that would rage within (with mental illness), ill-equipped for responsibilities I would frantically assume.

What follows is the opening of Life (in obvious places).  It is a work of fiction, but as I do not possess a wild imagination, it is firmly based on experience.

Seven years ago, in Freshman English, I was staring at Claudia Matson and her large breasts when I heard Miss Farkas explain what keeping a journal meant to her.

“When I write, it’s as if I were tapping into hidden resources of images, ideas, and thoughts. My journal is an expression of my sacred Self.”

I laughed.

“You find that humorous, do you?” she asked me.

“Well… yeah.”

It was funny, you have to admit. Still, she made me apologize to the class and write, “I will not laugh at the teacher,” five hundred times.

Miss Farkas died last summer and Claudia Matson is in college becoming a nuclear physicist. And I have this journal. It’s personal, but it’s sure as hell isn’t sacred.  I’m writing for myself, but with people in mind. In my mind. Just about things that go on. It’s not a novel or anything.  Just a journal, for Christ’s sake.

It has something to do with my father, I guess. Or my family in general. Dad took off on his motorcycle one Sunday while we were in church. He didn’t leave a note or anything. He never did write much.

My sister started a personal diary shortly afterwards that I stole one night to read. It was mush. A bunch of emotional crap about love and how it should last forever and how horrible Dad was for leaving. I don’t know. Miss Farkas may be right, but how can you tell a story without laughing? It just doesn’t make sense,

So, I moved out of Mom’s house right after high school, started work at the factory, and took to apartment life like an ant to a molehill. That was four years ago. Now I’m wondering what I’m doing here and why I can’t just get married and live normally in some suburban white house district.

No, that’s not it. I’m just trying to figure out where I am and how I got here. And what I’m looking for when I go on walks for hours. I know it’s a pretty tall order.  Maybe I should have gone to college.

The Walk - Fallen leaves - Vincent van Gogh  -  Completion Date: 1889    Place of Creation: Saint-rémy, Provence

“The Walk – Fallen leaves – Vincent van Gogh – Completion Date: 1889 Place of Creation: Saint-rémy, Provence”

from Carlos Leiro in Van Gogh, Picasso, Joan Miro

A Man and His Mother (prompted flash fiction)

She watched out the window as the man in rainbow suspenders argued with his mother.

“Mom, how many times do I have to tell you? She’s not my girlfriend.”

“Is she a girl?”

“She’s 37. I’d say she’s a woman.”

“Oh, a woman. I see. A loose woman, I suppose.”

“Mother!”

“I know what women want. Women want only two things. And you ain’t got money.”

“It’s not like that.  You… Why, you’re a woman. Is that what you want?”

“I’m not a woman. I’m a mother.”

“I can’t believe I’m having this conversation.  Mother, I’m 53 years old. If I want to take a woman to Starbucks for coffee, I can darn well do so without answering to my mother.”

“That’s right. It’s a free world. Do what ever you want. It’s all the rage now. Coffee. Cappacino. Venereal Disease.”

“I’m leaving now, mother.”

“When will you be back?”

“I don’t know.”

“How will I know when to start dinner?”

“Fix something for yourself when you’re hungry. I can always eat leftovers.”

“Oh, it’s like that now, is it?”

“What, mother?”

“You’re going to put coffee with a strange woman over dinner with your mother?”

“Okay. Fine. I’ll be home by 6.”

“Six is awfully late to eat, isn’t it. What about your acid reflux?”

“5:30 then. Now, I have to go. Goodbye mother.”

“Sonny?”

“What, mother?”

“Nevermind?”

“What?”

“It’s just. I love you.”

“I love you too, ma.  Now go take a nap.”

Sonny smiled as he slid into his Ford Escort. He might never understand women. But he knew his mother pretty well.

Dating Advice for my 60-Something Year old Mother--What Are The Rules?

 from Melissa Chapman

The first line was provided in a writing prompt from Today’s Author.

The Buzz (prompted flash fiction)

om: Do you want to lift weights?

David: “Are you sure you want to do that before the game?”

Tom: “Yeah.  I’ve got energy to burn.”

Tom placed three circular 10-lb weights on either side of a barbell and began to curl.

Tom: Did you hear what Pam said to Jennifer in Algebra today?

David: What’s that?

Tom: She said she was going to break up with Tad.

David: Seriously?

Tom: Absolutely.  Now’s your big chance.

David: I don’t know.

Tom: What’s not to know? Strike while the iron is hot.

David: What does that even mean?

Tom sits down the barbell.

Tom: You got any french fries?

David: You’re not going to eat before the game, are you?

Tom: Just a snack. I’m hungry.

David:  You can check the freezer.

Tom grabs a bag of frozen fries out of the freezer, and sets the fryer knob to “high.”  He then starts galloping around the room.

David: What are you doing?

Tom:  I told you.  I have energy to burn.

David: You’re going to burn yourself out.

Tom: I can’t help it. I can’t sit still. Hey what was he lecturing on in biology today? I was busy writing a story.

David: The decomposition of the human body. What’s your story about?

Tom: Oh, I’m writing a parody of our class. It’s called, “No Biggy.”

Tom stops running.  The oil is bubbling.  He places a handful of fries in the burner. Stepping back, he tilts his head to the left.

Tom: Hey, what’s that sound?

David: What sound?

Tom:  That buzz.  Is there a bee in here?

David: I don’t hear anything.  Hey, Tom, why don’t you sit down?

Tom: I will. But where’s that damn bee?

David:  Tom!

Tom: What?

David: Sit down.

Tom: Okay.  First, where’s your salt?

David: You can check the cabinet above the stove.

Tom opens the cabinet drawer.  Spices come falling out. Tom jumps back.

Tom: What the hell?

David: Tom, let me get it.  You sit down.

Tom: You guys needs some organization.  Just give me just a second.

Tom starts to pull out the spices out of the cabinet.

David: What are you doing?

Tom: Just give me a minute. You’ll thank me later.

David:  Stop it, Tom. Sit down. Now.

Tom: Where is that damn bee!

Tom walks over near the fryer and leans over. There is a loud splash. Tom jerks his head back.

Tom: Son of a bitch!

David moves over and unplugs the fryer.  He grabs Tom by the shoulders. 

David: We’re going to the hospital.

Tom: No. It hurts. But it’s not that bad.

David: Something’s not right, Tom. You’ve got to see somebody.

Tom: I’ll be okay.  Just guide me to the sofa.

David: I don’t know.

Tom: Come on.  I’ll be fine.

David takes Tom by the arm and leads him to the sofa.  Tom takes a deep breath.

David: How you doing?

Tom: Perfect.  Couldn’t be better. Just. Could you do me one thing?

David: What’s that?

Tom: Would you kill that damn bee?

 

Honey Bee

from JLD Webfocus 

This story was sparked by a writing prompt from the IU-South Bend Creative Writing Club, with help from a random word generator from Text Fixer (serving over 37 1/2 people).

What Matters: Prompted Flash Fiction

For the first time in his life, he believed his opinion mattered. People would listen. Lives would be changed. The world would become a better place.

Robert went into the kitchen and reached for a bag of Guatemalan Fair Trade coffee beans, smiling to himself.  Pouring the beans into the hand grinder he inherited from his grandfather, he measured the right amount with his mind.  No need for scoops.  He knew what was best.

Turning the handle of the grinder in a steady, confident motion, he looked out the kitchen window.  His neighbor Mrs. Grumsfeld was weeding her rose garden. Her wide-brimmed straw hat with the red ribbon reminded him of his grandmother, God rest her soul.  If only she could be here to see him today.

At the appointed time, the grinding stopped.  He placed a filter in the basket, emptied the grounds from the wooden drawer and affixed it in place. Moving to the refrigerator, he reached for the pitcher of filtered water. Closing one eye, he filled the maker to the four cup mark, closed the lid and pressed the “on” button.  A ritual as meaningful as prayer.  Done to perfection to produce the perfect results.

Mrs. Grumsfeld was kneeling beside her bushes, looking up at the empty sky. She was clenching her straw hat to her chest.  Motionless.  Her knees covered in earth.  Unnoticed.

As the coffee perked, Robert picked up his laptop and plucked the keys as a poetic performance.

“WordPress.com” he repeated as he typed.

“Start a New Blog.”  He grinned and pressed “Enter.”

 

(animated) Typing typing typing.

 

(The first line was provided by the “Write Now Prompt for November 5, 2013” at Today’s Author)