Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Baggage Claim (Blogophilia 32.8)

Will the owner of a white Dodge Caravan, Georgia license plate MPX 9996 please report to the nearest Delta Gate Agent? Repeat, the owner of...

He rubbed his ears. Why does it have to be so loud? Every trip here reminds him why he doesn't fly. Besides not being able to afford it, the whole process resembled cattle being lead to slaughter. Blank faces talked to themselves as they flitted between carousels, arms reaching out like lizard tongues grabbing cases and bags at random. They would then flow toward the taxi stands and rental counters, participants in whatever their bosses have commanded. Cogs of commerce sorted like so much produce and shipped for consumption by their customers.

Looking up, he scanned the crowd obsessively. After four times you would think they would have found the owner or towed the car by now. The Hartsfield Gestapo was known to be deadly efficient, open citation books ready and waiting for the unwary stopping vehicle. Arriving as a non paying customer meant being met by the rudest cops in the country. It was an open secret that airport duty was the bottom of the barrel, a punishment assignment for most of them, and the attitude shown reflected it.

For that reason he submitted to the parking trolls. Circling  the low slung white building, dodging like minded driver had no appeal. Security probably kept count of which cars were going around over and over again, wondering if any of them were terrorists. It wouldn't have surprised him. $25 for the hour he'd be there, just to assuage the TSA and airport management he was harmless. The bad sleep well. He didn't.

There was an available space not far from the entrance when he pulled in. Punching in the parking space coordinates into his phone just to make sure, he had made his way toward the white behemoth. Another concrete testimony to political hubris. But it had come in under budget and the place did work well at its job of sorting people to their destination. A new sign pointing to baggage claim had been installed since the last time he had came. That would be a good bread crumb to get back to the car.  It had taken him almost an hour to find his car the last time.

Snicking silently aside, the doors opened for him. An old fear began to gnaw at him. No matter how much praise he had during the illness, deep inside he was scared shitless and skating on the edge of sanity. The false bravado was exactly that. False  What did they call these situations, crisis in confidence? The brave face was just that, a Hollywood quality facade built with the greatest of care. To his boss, his church and his wife's family, he was the stoic statue battered by the storms and still standing.

To Holly, the girl he was picking up he was the weak, sniveling knave of her leather themed fantasies.

No. Not really. She shared his burden of fear and falseness.

The blinking screen said Flight 1622 from Buffalo would disembark at  B-40 at 6:07 PM. His watch read 5:40. He thought for a moment. The gate was halfway down the concourse on the right? A quick mental calculation said it would be 45 minutes before she made it to baggage claim. In the old day, he could meet the arrival at the gate, so much more personal and simple.Now everyone was suspicious and a suspect. There was an empty chair against the wall. Settling in, he waited.

He was used to waiting.

Hospitals, emergency rooms, and doctor's offices had been his life for far too long. A lot of books had been read. Poetry had been written but not shared with anyone. It was too risky to show a crack. Someone might realize what a fraud he really was. The Mother in Law was up in years, too and couldn't get around. When the end came, something in Mom died and her body followed about two weeks later. Two funerals in two weeks, with all of the attending chaos. Another week or so where people kind of hung around to make sure he was alright and then....

Nothing.

No more calls from her friends. A few late sympathy cards, which he put on display on the table. Life just seemed to flow on. Six months went by as a soft quiet blur inside the darkened house. Not that it mattered, all he wanted was sleep and death. He was a-Capella  with no backup singers or band. The high and the low had passed and he was marking time to the end of his show.

Holly was the only one who kept in contact. Divorced and legally disabled, she was young enough to be his daughter. For some reason, that really didn't matter to either of them. He looked forward to her snarky remarks about sickness, family and death, especially the sister who wanted nothing more than to control her life. He understood. He had dealt with many of the same complaints.

Sometimes private messages, both personal and explicit, were exchanged. Phone numbers followed and his fondness for this silly little girl grew.

Something had happened within her family recently and she said she needed to get away. Would it be a problem if she came down? Of course it wouldn't be. It would be nice to have someone to talk to in person. That was three days ago and now he was almost jumping out of his seat.

At the top of the escalator, the drunken angel was leaning on a cane. Glancing from one side to another to see if anybody was looking, she lifted up her shirt to show the tattoo "Here Comes the Sun" with a wink and a smile. He walked up and they hugged, locking eyes immediately. Lavender filled his nose, while Old Spice filled hers. On impulse, he swept her off her feet and spun her around while she squealed like a child.

There was a lot to do and learn. Leaving the blank robots behind, they got into the Lincoln and headed home. 



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Topic-Deborah Truitt

Pic-Kim Herndon

Pic guesses-Produce (in blog) Still life, bounty, plenty, Wheelbarrow, Farm, Bowl, 



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Harry Handy Commercials Edition

Hey, Heidy and Howdy! It's your favorite randy dandy DJ Harry here with a brand new program. You see, the Suits that run Old Farts are a little worried. You folks, our demographic not only are bargain hunters, but are dying out in alarming numbers. So, to perk you up and get the Geritol Generation back on their feet, tonight it will be all classic commercials.

After all, you deserve a break...



To have it your way


You know where the beef is.


And who will buy you a drink

So give a wink


And enjoy the rest of your day.



Monday, September 21, 2015

A Day in the Life (Blogophilia 31.8)





The Lincoln turned into the freshly paved lot, white sunlight glinting off the alabaster curbs. A paving job made just for him. Yeah, right. Pulling in next to the door, the handicap placard found it’s home on the mirror. The permit was good for another four months, so might as well take advantage of it. That stopped him in his tracks. Had it already been eight months since Amy had passed? Twenty six long months of dialysis and chemo appointments had taken a toll, time he couldn’t account for. Now there is a chance to catch up somewhat. He thought she would approve of him moving on. He was reasonably healthy and probably had another ten or so years left in him. There really wasn’t any reason not to.

The plane was due at six, airport Gods willing. They had been online buddies for years, trading insults and confidences through each others' medical hardships. Every now and then a fantasy in his mind would play. They would drive up to an isolated cabin where she would dressed in a royal blue silk teddy for him, a red hibiscus contrasting in the thin blond hair. They would drink wine and spend hours tracing surgical scars and tender spots, devolving into a tickling contest. It would end with her on top, crowing her triumph over the world as his hands went over and under the soft fabric. The mirage would fade at that point, leaving him emptier than he was before.

Brutal heat bore in to his flesh, snapping him back to reality. Yeah, it’s summer. Shutting off the car and its blessed air conditioning, he unfolded to something close to upright.  Joints clicking and snapping, remind him he wasn’t twenty-one anymore. Stepping slowly, the entry door slid open and the cold blast hit his face. The sinuses immediately react, spreading a thin stream of mucus down the right side of his lip. A quick wipe of the handkerchief dispatches the gunk. To some, it would have been embarrassing, but not him. The stream always had reminded him he was alive. Grabbing one of the smaller carts, he made his way into the store.

The store was like all the others in the chain, only cleaner and larger. Multicolored vegetables called from the right side of the store and dairy from the left. Canned goods and meat cheered everyone along from the center. A corporate DJ mix using Kid Rock and other safe music came out of the music system. He knew the consultant the store used the tunes to keep the shoppers marching as they made their way along counterclockwise path. Everything designed for purchase maximization and orderly flock management. Run the suckers and entice them with products they don’t need or want.  Ooh, look! Pickled ramen in shrimp sauce, wouldn’t that be yummy?

He wondered if things would be different if they played a mix of Conway Twitty, Teddy Pendergrass and Barry White. Music women were known to dance and make love to. And make sure they provide plenty of wine samples. If nothing else, it would make this process a lot less boring.

Absently, baking potatoes landed in the basket. Food allergies, what were they?  It had been so long since he had fixed a meal for someone other than himself. She said she liked steak. It probably would have been easier just to take her out, but she insisted she wanted a fresh cooked meal, and the apartment complex grill would do for the cooking. The squash looks good; I wonder if she’d like that?

He found a nice Cabernet in markdown basket. “Candy is dandy?” If nothing else, it would soothe the anxiety of talking to a real person. It had been a long time since he had done that. It was safer to hide behind the computer screen. Yeah, there were real pictures of him on his account and he wasn’t one of those pervs that say he was someone else. But the thought of meeting this girl was making him nervous. 

All he had to go by was the picture of a sunken eyed waif staring like a vulnerable virgin ready for the taking. She was young enough to be his daughter. What was she really like? On the surface, the only common thread they had was various medical conditions. Discussion of drug side effects would be punctuated with sexual innuendo and giggling, nothing black and white, but varying shades of gray and blue. These exchanges had gotten him through many a dark period during the illness and afterward. It truly seemed like she cared. Would she be this gregarious?  A timid mouse? Or the worse internet nightmare, what if she were a guy? He didn’t fly that way. 

Passing the butcher counter, a nice porterhouse called his name. With a quick exchange, it was placed in the thick paper and into the cart. 

Was her voice sweet and high or whiskey gravel? Did she use perfume? He hoped not. Most of them closed his sinuses right up. Besides, musky human smell, as long as it wasn’t too strong, was better. It felt better.  Cuddling up to Prudence in the early morning always had made him happy no matter what time of the month it was. Even during the sickness, when the scent became acidic and the turned sallow, there was happiness in her presence. 

Desert was already taken care of. She was bringing down a homemade gluten free strudel from a recipe she had found. Coffee? Better pick some up. 

A table of discontinued items marked down for quick sale stood just outside the checkout, mostly from the Pharmacy and hygiene departments. Deodorants and hair colors, whose sell by dates had passed, stood forlornly hoping someone needing an ego boost would pick them up. Kind of like him. A few bottles of cough syrup, stood in front of rubber scrunchies with damaged packaging. Feeling the receding hairline brought a laugh. Nothing he could ever use. At the back of the table was a large pack of Trojans. Oh, why not? A guy can hope. 

The slack jawed drone at the counter mindlessly scanned the goods and took his card, rocking back and forth on weebul like hips. Just the opposite of what he hoped to see later.

Chirping introduced the text message and he look at the screen as he went out the sliding door.

“Boarding now. See you at baggage claim.” Attached was a picture of a goofy girl at the airline gate lifting her shirt to show a tattoo across her rounded tummy.  It said “Here comes the sun.” 

He smiled as the Sun bore back down on his head, his thoughts dancing at the possiblities.

It was going to be a good night. 

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Topic-Kim Herndon

Pic-Stephen Lee

Pic guesses: DJ Mix (in blog), Party (in blog), dance (in blog), tunes (in blog). trance, rave, disco, rocking, circle, turning, scratch.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Call Me (Blogophilia 30.8)


I don't do politics or world events too often here. Frankly, as Ecclesiastes says, it is vain to do so, with only hot air coming out and nothing accomplished.

But political change is like the wind, constantly blowing ill over humanity. And almost all the pain to people is self inflicted.

Better save your money cause everything's moving too fast.  

 The circle has come around where a large number of normal folks have been displaced from their homes due to combination of human greed, lust for power and drought. And at least a few of those power brokers are hoping to sow more evil and discord by adding troublemakers to the fleeing hoard. Their hope? To take down the rivals whom they have deemed "evil" in the eyes of God. Which really means they are evil in the sight of the power brokers simply because the other side exists. This has always been the way of the world.

And here on this other side, we are of two minds of the coming hoard. One group, looks upon the weeds in the seeds and thinks the "other" will take root like Kudzu or Mustard and take over, laying waste to all in its path. The other side remembers the stories of the Samaritan and the Stranger, wondering if among the least of these is another sign of God, where the flowers of the field are visited by the dove of hope. Which will it be?

Probably some combination of the two.

Do I have an answer? No, although I lean toward the second option. It has only been seventy years since the last time we chose to ignore the scapegoats. I am afraid it is going to get that ugly when this process is over. And we will all have to stand in judgement for the result.

Unless we heed God's call,

To call me.


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Topic-Deborah Truitt

Pic-Stormy Gail Dormire.

Pic guesses: Dove (in blog) Weeds (in blog) Seeds, (in blog), Flowers of the field (in blog) cornucopia, Bountiful, Still life, Spring,

Monday, September 7, 2015

Late one night (Blogophilia 29.8)









Rrrnnng.

Rrrnnng.

Good Evening. Welcome to Devil’s Quill Communications. My name Agent Harpy, how may I be of service?  Your competitor is gaining too much ground and is an all around jerk? Yes, Sir, we handle ego problems through our “Because, I Am” division. They have programs to inflate and then explode the most stubborn of spirits. We believe that self praise shouldn't be a recommendation for someone. What is your competitors’ line of work…Professional online gaming? I’ll need to check, he may already be a client of ours, his name? The Pierced Clown? Yes, we have an account. In fact he is one of our employees, in our Game of Life Online division.He has handled our Quality Assurance since the days of Job. Every stud and ring represents people of have complained or mocked his unfair ways. Sir? Oh, don’t bother hanging up, Sir. We already have your address and he will be by to see you shortly. 

Have a warm day.

Click.  

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Topic-Dave Coon

Pic-Tyler Myrth

Pic Guesses Pierced Clown (in blog), bad night, lightening rod, nightmare, pin cushion, horror show, sideshow, punk, pins and needles.