Fighting (Gargleblaster #158)

I am

misunderstood.

I am

afraid.

I am

helpless.

I want to make a

difference;

I want to

survive.

To thrive, my soul seeks

peace;

to be heard.

I need to

believe.

Mostly, I am fighting because

I know no other way.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-


This is my 42-word Gargleblaster challenge, which was to answer the following question:  “Tell me something, old friend: why are you fighting?” (from Gabriel García Márquez in One Hundred Years of Solitude.)  The challenge is open to everyone, but you have to link fast.  The linking grid opens up at Midnight and is open for 24 hours, or until 42 responses are submitted (whichever comes first.)

This week, my inspiration came from a couple places:  I started thinking like cat after watching a few episodes of My Cat From Hell (Jackson Galaxy is great!) but then, my thoughts turned to The Diary of Anne Frank, which I watched last night.  Despite what my heart wanted, I knew the tragic ending, but I went on the journey anyway.  Sometimes humanity makes me so sad.

Imagination For Two

???????????????????????????????

We sprawl in the grass,

watching

pictures in the sky.

Pointing,

as the puffy images pass-

he sees what I can’t find.

“See the dragon.

wearing

a wide-brimmed cowboy hat?”

Laughing,

“And look, there’s  a cat

next to a Radio Flyer wagon!”

Patient with my blindness,

he points,

draws in the air with his fingers.

For a split-second, I do see

the dragon,

the hat,

the cat,

the wagon.

Then the wind

kicks up,

my moment of clarity

used up.

My imagination

stifled

by absolutes and responsibility.

Prepared

to do it all again,

my son’s vision carries me.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

This is what I came up with for the second week of Quotespiration.  Here’s this week’s quote:

“I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups, and asked them whether the drawing frightened them.  But they answered: “Frighten? Why should anyone by frightened by a hat?” My drawing was not a picture of a hat.  It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. But since the grown-ups were not able to understand it, I made another drawing: I drew the inside of the boa constrictor, so that the grown-ups could see it clearly.” – from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

If you’re inspired by the quote, please join in!  All you have to do is write a response in less than 1,000 words, post it on your blog, then go to Anecdote Love’s site and link to that post.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

I wanted to bring your attention to another fabulous (super-talented) writer – Suzanne Purkis at Lucid Edit.  I’ve read her writing for a long time now, and her stories always pull me in with her creativity and masterful use of imagery.  Well, Suzanne recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds needed to help her complete her novel, The Ending.  If you have a moment, please check out her campaign page – she’s got a video explaining her novel, and a link to an excerpt so you can read for  yourself.  If you aren’t able to contribute, I hope you can at least leave her an encouraging comment 🙂

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Goodbye (For Now)

 

Goodbye... until next year!
Goodbye… until next year!

I’m posting this photo in response to Jeanne @ Nolagirlatheart’s weekly photo prompt.  The subject this week is “goodbye.”  She chose to post a sunset photo, which is the perfect goodbye and so hard not to copy, but as I started un-decking the halls last night, I had this idea.

**********

I love decorating for Christmas.  Memories flood in when I unbox the tree ornaments of years past, dust off the snow globes, and string enough lights to temporarily double our carbon footprint.  When the season is over, I pack everything away with a little sadness.  I try to do this by the beginning of the year, which is harder to do when it doesn’t fall on a weekend.  Waiting any longer feels like I’m trying to hang on to the past.  I don’t flip through my yearbook pining for younger days, or read old love letters fantasizing about old flames, so I will embrace the present (and future) here, too.

After everyone went to bed, I had the feeling of being watched as I erased our traces of Christmas.

Why do I feel like somebody's watching me?
Why do I feel like somebody’s watching me?

Yeah, it felt kind of like this.

As I untied the 79 bows from our stair spindles and dropped them in the bag, I couldn’t shake the feeling.  Even though I was sober (maybe spiced eggnog would’ve helped?) the feeling only grew stronger.

Nope, nothin' to see here...
Nope, nothin’ to see here…

I guess it was all in my head.

Or, maybe I was the subject of covert stalking (cats, FBI agents, and serial killers do this.)  It couldn’t have had anything to do with me removing all bright red cat toys!  In retrospect, purchasing red bows with bells was probably not the best idea, but I’ll still put them up next year.  Even kitties should enjoy the festivity of the season.  Besides, it’s an inexpensive distraction from the allure of the always-fascinating Christmas tree 🙂

Oooh, pretty!  And they make noise when you swat them!
Oooh, pretty! And they make noise when you swat them!

I’m here typing this on Thursday morning, so I can rule out being watched by the FBI or a serial killer.

Or… maybe they’re coming back tonight.  In that case, this post title will become an eerie premonition to my fate.  But wait.  “For now” implies I’ll return… I don’t want to be a ghost blogger.

Gulp.

Whoa there, imagination!  Two days into it, I think it’s safe to say we’re all saying our final goodbyes to 2013, with our feet steadying in the New Year.  Apparently, I’m carrying through my paranoia and odd sense of humor into the New Year.  Life is better when enjoyed with old friends, right?  😛 I hope yours is off to a fabulous start!

Do you look forward to the new year, or miss the one that just ended?

A Boy’s Heart

11-18 FR 300 Leaves

Eyes wide,

arms stretched,

Overwhelming desire

to touch what is out of reach.

Wonder,

companion to

a young boy’s heart,

propels his infinite curiosity.

I pray

his desire to know

this sometimes tumultuous

world will survive insurmountable adversity.

In contrast

To the captured firefly,

I hope the search for endless “whys?”

Shuns pervasive complacency rooted in our society.

In truth,

his pure joy of discovery

illuminates my often cynical view, carved by

murky undercurrents flowing through earliest memories.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

TrifectaPicture11-1Inspired by my sons, this is my response to Trifecta’s weekly prompt, which is to write a 33-333 word piece using the following word/definition:

COMPANION (noun) – 3. a.:  one that is closely connected with something similar; b.:one employed to live with and serve another

The challenge is open to everyone, so click on the link above to check out other responses- or even better, submit your own!

Now, for an update.  Several weeks ago, my piece, Love Story, was voted first place and for that, I won a $33 Barnes and Noble gift card.  I finally made it to the store last weekend (yay!) so I can give the promised rundown on what bought.  I got books for the kids for Christmas (we always get them some kind of book.)  And I’m super excited because I really think they will like my choices this year.

Something for the kids...and me, too!
Something for the kids…and me, too!

My older son bought a used guitar with his birthday money, so I selected a guitar book/dvd for him.  My younger son loves helping in the kitchen, so I picked a kids cookbook so he can choose meals and lead the cooking (I’ll be his assistant :))  Oh, and of course, I picked up a couple books for me!

Now, I had to laugh, because the transaction was so suited to Trifecta.  I paid with my $33 card and my balance was a giggle-producing $13.33!

A balance due any Trifectan could appreciate...
A balance due any Trifectan could appreciate…

Thank you so much to everyone who read and voted for my story that week.  And a huge “THANK YOU” to the editors for the lovely incentive to celebrate the 99th challenge!

Good ‘Ol Days

11-15 bench

Stella LaMont.  My first crush; first love.  Some forty-one years after I interrupted her eating sushi with friends at Taste of Tokyo, she still digs into my brain.  I suppose I don’t mind, though, because I often let my mind indulge in those delectable memories.

I feel the butterflies in my stomach, the same way I did when my macho bravado puffed my chest and told my friends I wasn’t scared of no girl.  I was terrified!  Led Zeppelin gave me courage.  “Stairway to Heaven” playing in the background, I sauntered over to Stella’s table.  Her friends giggled at my approach, shaking my nerve.

“Hey,” I said, thumbs hooked in my jeans pockets.  “I’m Tommy.”

“I know,” she whispered.  “Oh, I’m Stella.”

I knew.  “I’m seein’ The Godfather on Friday night.  Wanna go?”

“Welllllll…” She glanced at her friends.  “I suppose.  But my daddy has to meet you first.”

“No problem.”  As I turned to shuffle back to my friends, I grinned at the girly squeals behind me.

Little did I know those were the “good ‘ol days” revered by white hairs in rocking chairs.  Back then, I thought juggling was figuring out how to be at school enough to stay out of trouble, but not so much that I learned something.  My waking moments consisted of concocting some excuse to see Stella.  I craved the static electricity that sparked when she leaned on my shoulder at the movies, or when we made out at Dee’s drive-in over burgers and shakes.

My thoughts jolt into the present when my wife shifts on the sofa and rests her head on my lap.  Almost in reflex, I caress her shoulder.  We’re watching Steel Magnolia’s for the umpteenth time, but it doesn’t matter.  All four kids have left home, but our nest doesn’t feel empty.

My gaze rests on Stella.  She still has the golden glow I fell in love with all those years ago- the natural kind people wore before cancer fears and the spray tan fad.  I brush my thumb over her cheek.  Her skin, a thinning map of wrinkles, is a testament to our life together.  I smile when I think of how many times she’s accused me of causing them.

“I love you, Stella,” I whisper.  A thought flashes in my mind:  maybe I’m wrong.  These could be the good ‘ol days.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

So, here it is:  I’m a big fat liar.  I posted yesterday and said I wouldn’t post again until Monday because I wouldn’t have computer access this weekend.  It’s true that I won’t have PC access, but Susan, over at Polysyllabic Profundities, put up a writing challenge that I couldn’t refuse.  (See what I did there?  I shifted blame and became the victim.  I’m thinking of a career in politics :))

Seriously, I may have a writing challenge addiction, and I haven’t heard of a rehab program for that!  If there is one, I should consider checking myself in.

So, the sappy story above was prompted by the following words that we were challenged to include in a story of any length:

  • static electricity
  • Led Zeppelin
  • sushi
  • juggling
  • spray tan

This challenge is open to anyone – so go ahead, write your own story!  Just leave Susan a comment with a link to your story so she can mention it in a post with those who tried the challenge.