I thought, he’s like Cousin Eddie.
He sat there,
smart in his mind,
then he asked me
“What do you do,”
he says to me,
“to keep busy?”
I had a moment!,
it weren’t his fault, but still.
I swallowed hard and
played nice by avoiding
my roar of revenge.
(Fuck you very much
as he bragged on
giving testimonial evidence
of his high holy wonderfulness,
and dogged dedication
to his personal
world of work.
I nodded and smiled. Bit my lip,
while slowly bleeding
What do I do to keep busy?
For God’s sake, Bumpkin.
I waste my few remaining days
listening to friendly folks,
feeding on family fodder;
pleasingly holding my tongue,
and sitting on my hands.
like Hannibal Lecter
mon ne pas savoir répliquer
sur le moment.
Look both ways. Dine well.
Choose friends from the menu, accept family from the stars.
Mind you, there are gaps.
Ponder politely the wellsprings of innocent idiocy and the moods of sensitive old lions.
Glos: In English, the title means staircase poetry. The last line translates as my not knowing how to reply at the moment. ‘Cousin Eddy’ is a character (Randy Quaid) from the National Lampoon Christmas Vacation movie. As for Hannibal, “Well, Clarice. Have the lambs stopped screaming?”
I expect to surpass 37,000 words today. That keeps me on track to finish up 50,000 one week from tomorrow, on November 30th.
I thought the project I chose was going to be easy. Answering 127 questions about my past and myself has taken more time than I expected. I laughed at questions about my favorite hairdo and making a dinner party menu. Yes, I did that, but we called them haircuts (like crewcut) not hairdos, even though they were.
Memories are not forever. Sometimes there’s not much to say. Often, I must ask questions. Like yesterday, I had to ask Yolonda the name of the drive-in burger place where we met. She sent me an article about it closing in the 1970s.
Research can be fun, but to write enough words each day, I must answer four or five questions with four to five hundred words each. And each question is different and unpredictable.
As I enter my fourth week of this self-inflicted Nano challenge, I feel like I will not do it again. It’s a lot. However, I’ve managed to keep up with everything else.
In addition to writing for Nano, I’ve posted at least two poems and one essay each week. On the 8th, I accepted a challenge to write a short prose piece on dVerse, a poetry writing webpage. The problem there was making time to read and respond to 40-plus other bloggers.
I’ve also written three micro-fiction stories for the Friday Fictioneers challenge (30-ish to read and respond to), with one more to do before Nano ends next week.
The weekend of November 5th through the 7th, we drove to west Texas to visit with Julie and her bunch for grandson’s last football game of the season and his 16th birthday.
I’ve also managed to complete several home honey-do and self-assigned projects. I’ve been shopping several times and there is more to do this week in preparation for our family’s Thanksgiving on Saturday.
Except for three or four days, I exercised every day by walking or swimming. I’ve been reading as much as I can (finally completed Papa Hemingway) and trying to figure out what to read next.
I tried doing my Saturday morning writers group zoom meetings. That hasn’t worked well. I’ve had to leave early on two occasions because I couldn’t concentrate (needed to be writing for Nano), and I’ve passed on two others. And now I’ve done this report.
For twenty-seven thousand days and nights
what you have seen is not all that ever was.
You see in me today’s truth, one perpetual now.
With one look I never judged anyone.
I reflected an eternal present
without darkness, forgiving the past,
each glimmer gone, days and nights
numbered and stacked
upon your tired shoulders.
Like ashes from wood burned
in past fires, days forgotten, names confused,
adjusted appearances, time
carefully dealt from fate’s shuffled deck,
one at a time until there was none.
Lines of life get clearer, youth
forgotten there, inside grandfather’s mirror.
Mirrors can’t look both ways.
The reflection they cast is only today.
Mind the gaps and fix the cracks, everyone has history.
Many thanks to the wonderful Rochelle for herding us cats on Friday Fictioneers. We write micro-stories inspired by a new photo each week, provided by very creative and imaginative compatriots. Here is the photo and my story for this week.
Word count: 100
Title: Krumpas Coop
Excruciating pain shot from my foot to my brain. I yelled, “Those damn Legos are diabolical. That hurt!”
Mary yelled back, “Are Steven and Julie there?”
I said, “I think the Krampas got them. The window is open and no sign of them.”
Mary walked in, “Well Krampas knows how to write.” She handed me the note.
I read aloud, “The ransom is a bag of M&M’s, a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream, and two new ponies.”
As I handed the note back, we heard giggling coming from the attic.
I asked, “Do we negotiate with terrorists or Krampas?”
Look both ways and mind the gaps. Especially when Legos are involved.
Julie said, “Dad, you don’t understand. You buy used cars. Same thing. It looks like a lot, but you’ll get change.”
I said, “I see. One person’s trash is another’s treasure.”
I handed the cashier a twenty. She held out my change, “Would you like to donate to our feed the poor project?”
I said, “Of course,” handing her another five.
When shopping came up at dinner, Steven said, “Secondhand sales and peer-to-peer marketing is a hundred-billion-dollar business. In Austin, the fastest growing retail market is in junk stores. And there’s the rental game.”
“My, how things have changed.”
Look both ways to see that resale and rental retailers are thriving in the pandemic – and not just because brick and mortars were shuttered.
Mind the gaps. They may have fleas.