Many thanks to the wonderful lady, talented artist and writer, and patient friend Rochelle, for herding us cats on Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories (fact or fiction) to a new photo each week, provided by some very creative and imaginative compatriots. Here is my story for this week.
The outdoor social party was to welcome new arrivals to the senior center near Seattle. Bill, a newcomer, volunteered to serve special lemon-flavored ice cream.
“This is the best party. Everyone is happy to meet you, Bill,” said Marilyn, the Social Director.
Bill said, “Have some ice cream, Dear, everyone loves it.”
Back at their condo, Yolonda said, “Gawd! I can’t believe you spiked their ice cream. I hope no one finds out.”
Bill removed the bottle of lemon-flavored drops from his pocket. “A little THC never hurt anyone. We’ll need a big bus for next week’s pot shop run.”
Look both ways and share the love.
Mind the gaps and quash old fears.
Former family homes, once
Businesses, barns, refuge
From the hot Texas sun
Or driving storms of
Wind and rain.
Suppertimes, nights of dreams,
Homework, plans to plow
Now it’s all abandoned, forgotten,
Seen but unnoticed or ignored
Peppered along the otherwise
Scenic road drives on, once dirt,
Now blacktop paved roads
Memories forgotten or
Buried in nearby family
Unloved by ungrateful
Outsiders who see
Only haunted eyesores, sadness.
A mess to be cleaned up
By the next generation.
Past lives carried into the
Graveyards of the forgotten.
Look both ways and wonder.
Who were they? What were they like? Where are they now?
Pay attention to the message and mind the gaps.
Clinton, Dubya, Donny Bone Spurs, and me.
Holy shit! Same summer. Folks ask
what happened? Me not being Prez and all.
I ask, what happened to them?
Boomers all, but jeez Louise.
Serial killers Bundy, Tobin,
and Harold Shipman, shake
the skeletons in our closet.
Our birth year black sheep.
I’m proud of our singing and acting 46ers
like Cher, Liza, Rocky, sweet Dolly,
and the late Freddie. Linda Blue Bayou
sings no longer, sadly. Buffett from
that sleepy little town of Pascagoula,
Mississippi is resort Jimmy.
(I didn’t make the talent cut either)
Sajak, Barry (the last Gibb), Andre the Giant,
Glover and Cheech (we smokin’ dog shit?);
I thought Al Green moved on, but no.
Entertainers all. What’s Donovan doing?
And the Deepak guy who gets pissed
when the argument suggests
he makes a killing writing woo-woo.
May he forgive my snarky snicker.
It must not have been a good year.
Brit poet (the late) Peter Reading
was even born
on the exact same day as me.
I am still here
as good as
Look both ways from birth year to death days.
Even Reggie Jackson still loves October and minds the gaps.
The boy hid quietly in the back,
never raised his hand, got low grades
for lack of class participation. A shy,
quiet, introverted mama’s boy—
a child, it was his nature.
Adults criticized that he cried too easily.
He cared too much.
Felt too deeply. For a boy.
They would not let him be.
His siblings knew
and encouraged another side.
He learned to deny
his own deep-felt emotions.
Authority ran his life,
maybe his spirit.
He listened, learned, observed,
and grew; first, into a troubled teen, then
he became a young man.
Gradually, he moved
closer to the front, like a warrior
toward danger. Down range.
Today, an old man walks in and sits
front and center. Sharp tongued,
the quick-witted septuagenarian,
with a grin of secret wisdom,
is ready to advise any damn fool
playing games of authority.
Look both ways in the spirit of the young
and the eyes of the old.
Be careful what you wish for,
watch your step, and mind the gaps.
Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.
My hips, thighs, and especially calf muscles
become painful when I walk. It’s poor
blood circulation with several medical names,
thanks to my poor choices such as who
my paternal grandfather was, my dad,
and my long past smoking. But I walk anyway.
Almost every day. I like it. I’ve always
exercised. Completed a dozen marathons
after age 60, always been a bit of a gym rat.
Now I swim too. Doctors like it all better
than pills. I must endure such pain
in my battle to delay inevitable days.
They do their best. Me too. It’s okay.
I have countless privileges denied others.
Like life. I can and I must endure,
for as long as I can. I’ll keep mindful
of those less privileged who fight in fear
tougher battles than I’ll ever see.
Look both ways and see all around.
Smell, taste, touch, and hear everything.
Mind the gaps as you fill them with knowledge.
And “sing with me, sing for a year
Sing for the laughter, and sing the tear
Sing with me, if it’s just for today
Maybe tomorrow…” (Lyrics from Dream On by Aerosmith)
We see and seem to know nature from first smiles
to the sound of a baby’s giggles
there is a special happy glow in the hopeful eyes
of helpless, needy life.
And as years pass over, our senses tell us more,
who they are and who we’ve become,
and we learn there is light because of darkness,
that happy grows from sorrow and loss.
When the child looks back
do we see through the years, the fears, and the tears?
Into the now aging eyes to find the hopeful baby,
still there, now aware.
When we look upon others, do we see with humanness?
Do we look both ways to either a distant history or a promising future?
Look both ways to the very young and very old.
Mind the gaps where perfection is a trap.
That first romantic kiss.
Nights in the wilderness
sitting by a warm campfire.
A mother’s smile, a daughter’s laugh,
the soft whispering voice of a lover.
Our child’s birth, your son’s success.
The smell of a grandmother’s hug.
That first buzz, never found again.
The gift of a young pet. The sadness
and loneliness of a beloved’s death.
Muffled lonely sounds
on cold snowy nights. My first bike.
A thing well done. Disappointment
overcome and rewarded. A road
less travelled. A baby’s accidental
soft touch. Moments in a lifetime.
Look both ways,
to the future for the young,
to the past for the old.
Mind the gaps but live in today with hope and happiness.
in the smiles of others,
in visions of those we love,
people we care about,
that is where truest,
most honest, happiness thrives.
To see such dancing zest is to feel
the same in my bones, heart, and mind;
while tears of delight run down
my cheeks. When babies laugh.
Hope laden felicity. Even
an old man simply must smile.
To sing and dance
with those we love most,
to see and hear them rise
in rebirth to life’s glorious days,
to overcome fears and sadness
that come with what we call
our human condition.
How strange, that we may
give or receive no greater gift,
no higher prize,
no nourishing of the spirit,
no deeper love than to allow
others to be and to see us
high on being alive.
Even more, to here and now
let love swirl among us all. Hallelujah!
Look both ways for the joy of love.
Mind the gaps, but live and let live.