His eyes focused, for a moment, on the contrast of her otherwise pale skin with the flush of her cheeks as she walked towards the spot where he was leaning on a fire hydrant.
“Hello, handsome,” she said.
“Hello, gorgeous,” he said as he extended his hand, palm up, and revealed a bright yellow lemon. “I snuck this from the corner tree for you.” She looked over her shoulder, checking to see if the lonesome housewife that planted the tree last spring had seen, or was seeing, their exchange, and then she took the lemon from him and clutched it in her small hand. It was firm and cooler than the muggy Foggy Bottom air that choked the city this time of year.
“Thank you,” she said. Then she kissed him, and kept kissing him until it felt, again, like the lonely housewife was watching. There was more love in her lips than he could hold in his heart. He broke away and smiled at her – at the old row houses – at the poorly parked cars and the cracked cement sidewalks.
Written from 1:10 pm to 1:32 pm on Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 in my office in Traverse City, Michigan.
“Look,” he said as he pointed at the distant lake shore where the early-morning mist lingered, depressing the plump tangerine lines of sunlight on the placid surface water. She turned and looked as they walked through the dew-covered bluegrass. “Indistinguishable,” she said. “Which would you choose?” He stopped them from going further and placed his arm on her shoulder so that his finger tips could caress her collarbone. And he pulled her slight frame closer to his, and leaned his head against hers. “I will always choose you, and then, while both will remain indistinguishable, it will not be from one another, but from life without you.” His eyes welled with tears because his eyes often welled with tears when he let his mind wander to the future – to what he would or would not receive from her – to dreams of dreams coming true – to the moments he’d never choose to miss, but sometimes would because that’s what happens when life is folded in two or multiplied by half. “We are, and forever will be, standing on a fine horizon underfoot.”
Written from 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 in my office in Traverse City, Michigan.
Adopt: We learn to adopt at a young age. Oh, wait, scratch that. I was thinking that you said, “adapt.” Well let’s adopt a new direction to this post and think about it for a little bit before we get ourselves in more trouble.
Maze: The fog set in and our pace quickened. “We’re going the wrong way,” John said. “The moss on the tree indicates we’re going south. Camp is north.” We’d been hiking for three hours and none of us knew where north was, let alone camp. I kept thinking that I could smell Lindsey’s cooking – camp roast, mashed potatoes, and caramelized carrots – but my mind was playing tricks. Edna tripped on a root, and screamed. My head whipped around to see the commotion. As the maze of hysteria set in midst the evergreens, taller now than their fading shadows, a discord . . .
Clue: “I have no clue what she wants for Valentine’s day!”
“Really? You have NO clue? I barely hang out with you two, and, man, I can tell you she’s been dropping hints like they’re the sun setting in December.”
“Well, nothing. Get your ass to the flower store, make a reservation at Amical and think of something interesting to talk about for an hour other than golf clubs. And get the bracelet at the jewelry store downtown – the one in the window.”
Flirt: She flirted with me like it was her middle name. Like it was the sun. Like there was a bookshelf full of books and a fresh pot of coffee. Like a dog barks at cars. Like when a President of the United States of America dies and there’s a special report on TV. Like she is something beautiful captured in something cold – like a ripe red cherry in an icicle. Like she was being graded by God. Like her parents weren’t watching.
The few cured leaves pinch,
With forefinger and thumb.
Those little daredevils
do tempt the wind to come.
And as they float in place,
The white sun does rise;
They play it like a cinema
for his looking eyes.
The average annual snowfall for a small village just north of a long forgotten two-track in western Canada is just over 346 inches. This past summer, the road crew for the village went to the trouble of installing fans 20 feet in diameter along its three-block long main street. The intended effect of the fans was to blow the snow up and away from the village’s main city blocks and onto the rooftops and back alleys. That way, for the six-month-long winter, the residents of the village could walk or snowmobile their way to and from the local market, pharmacy or saloon. However, the fans quickly became overwhelmed by the snow, created two heaping mounds of snow – one covering each of the two rows of buildings – and froze in place. The result, as was discovered by the local stunt helicopter pilot on his bi-weekly trip south for emergency medical provisions for the village’s residents, was the transformation of its main street into a gluteal-like cleft between two enormous pale cheek-like heaps of snow. The pilot snapped a blurry photograph with his iPhone and sent it to his ex-girlfriend Lola, the head anchor for the not-so-local TV 17 & 4 studio. The village main street was featured on that evening’s news and shared throughout Canada for the rest of the week. What many Canadians had long believed to be a fleck of pepper from the national cartographer’s pastrami sandwich was now dubbed “Applebottom, Alberta.”
Written from 11:23 pm to 11:43 pm on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at home in Traverse City, Michigan.
Ticket: The ticket to the show fell from my pocket and drifted down to the grate on the ground. It rested there for a moment – paused to give me hope – and then slipped through the opening.
Ill: The dog became ill from eating off the dusty garage floor, which the home owner had neglected to sweep since she purchased the home nearly ten years ago.
Lightning: The lightning shot down to the forged steel head of Jack’s three iron. The charge traveled through the shaft to his hands and then to his heart. And this all happened before he knew what hit him.
Root: The root of my happiness can be found in the often overlooked wrinkles at the edges of her smile and the way her eyes look at me so intently when she knows I’m watching.
Brick: There lay a brick, slightly out of place. Its edges softened from decades of sleepy-headed students shuffling their tennis shoes along the paths.
Bulb: The bulb hung from its fraying cord. It emitted a butter-yellow light that dripped thick on the damp pale green walls.
Answers: He didn’t have all the answers. But he had some, and he tried on the rest. That was the best he could do under any circumstances – try his best, that is. Success is in the preparation, not necessarily in the execution.
Discovery: The discovery that she made early that morning in the daisy patch of her mother’s garden changed her life forever. There, buried in the dirt, lay something that . . .
Images of my smile and yours
Not smaller than they appear
It must be broken ’cause
Everything we need is close
What I feel when I hug
Is what I see in my head
The prisms in my eyes
Multiply the memories
That I circle when I sleep
A kiss on New Years Eve
Then proposal in the woods
Every moment memory
Where we want to be