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Windy Days

In by Chris on July 31, 2009 at 8:16 am

It was on a windy day that my cousin lost his mind for a moment and careened a woman’s grocery cart into a busy street, causing a sudden five-car accident. Wind ruffled the drivers’ hair as they emerged from their cars. My cousin is poor, but cool-headed and smart; he apologized immediately. But each of the drivers sued him, and now he cannot continue in community college.

Be careful of windy days, when plastic bottles tumble along the side of the road. On days like these the normal order of the air is disturbed and balances are tilted and spun.

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Untitled

In by Chris on July 31, 2009 at 8:14 am

Our ancestors mingle with our undreamed of children in the sky. Their breaths are the puff clouds you see on days with endless horizons; they appear like popcorn. On the ground, inside the earth, powders and droplets lie scattered in windswept piles – these are the materials from which they were made. The earth is a fabric of revolving circles. Heart elements forever shift and once more, when we have gone, crying newborns will be formed in the somnolent valleys. We wait to return to the sky without time. The breeze is a breath – we remember, but aren’t remembering the past.

Counting

In by Lara on July 31, 2009 at 8:14 am

Right, so it doesn’t count because…

Dude, I’ve told you this already. It never counts unless you’re in love with her.

And you’re not in love with her?

Nope. Plus, it was over international waters. Doesn’t count when you’re in a different country.

If you say so. How long has it been since you guys started going out though?

About…shit. It’ll be six months on the fourth.

Really. And she’s never found out about your counting rules?

Nope.

Look, why don’t you just stop tormenting the poor girl and break it off?

Because…she’s a good person. I don’t want to hurt her.

Control Freaks Anonymous: The CFA Mantra

In by Lara on July 31, 2009 at 8:13 am

I’m not a control freak. Control freaks are obsessive, nitpicky, and stressed. I am the picture of calm and cool. I don’t need to organize my closet by purchase-date and cross-reference by color and fabric-type. I’m free to be me. My friends will love me even if the spoon is more than 2 cm away from the knife on the table setting. I don’t need to know what is going on all the time in everyone’s lives just to plan my own. I can be laid back and let someone else drive for a bit. I’m not a control freak.

Delays

In by Chris on July 31, 2009 at 8:11 am

He had just begun slicing apples for his pie when the phone rang. It was his sister, distraught. Thirty placating minutes later, he began mixing dough for the crust, hands gooey when he heard a crash of glass on the street and ran to see what had happened. Glancing at the clock on his way back, his fingers flew until an unbaked pie sat pulsating in front of him. There would be time, he thought, as he spun the dials on the oven. Nothing ignited. And for two hours nothing he did could give the evening the dessert it deserved.

Freak of Nature

In by Lara on July 28, 2009 at 12:21 am

There is that saying “a parent should never have to bury their child,” but when is a child ever ready to mother or father their parent? When is a child ready to watch their own parent writhe in pain and become so delirious from disease? When can a child care for their father as he once did for them when they were tiny ones with measles and tummy aches? It feels like curdled milk. Wrong and a freak of nature. When the roles reverse, it’s like lightning and thunder in the sunniest of days. Unnatural and unnerving beyond all belief.

Plane Flight

In by Chris on July 25, 2009 at 11:54 pm

“Who’s flirting now?” whispered the barf bag to the safety brochure. The barf bag was a plain old guy and even his whisper was nasally.

The airline magazine was dozing off as usual after being flipped through quickly and completely.

“She took me clear out of the pocket,” continued the barf bag. “Clear out of the pocket.”

“Didn’t she notice your winking at her?”

“Oh I’ll bet she did,” said the barf bag, rubbing his partly bald head. “I saw it in her eyes. She’s just waiting for her boyfriend to snooze off before she takes me out again.”

The Hostelers

In by Chris on July 25, 2009 at 2:49 pm

They flounce, stride, or meander into hostels. The guys are unkempt and tend to wear the same types of pants. The girls wear makeup. Their most prized possession is their ability to recite a list of cities where they’ve been and are going next.

At night I fall asleep to discussions of theft, clubs, routes of travel, and drinking. Why are these people here? What experience are they having? What’s the point?

In a practical sense, I see them spending more and more money every day; where does it come from? Do they earn it themselves, or does someone else?

Disappeared From Sight

In by Chris on July 25, 2009 at 2:17 pm

The couple sat staring at nothing and, at the same moment, glanced up to the left. Their faces were the same reddened tan and when they moved to get up, their hands grasped the same edges of the table. No words, just the bustle of the old city square around them.

Down the street they walked side by side, strides matched with no thought. He always left just enough room for her when weaving through the strolling crowds, and vice versa. When the sun set they unlocked the iron-wrought door to their building, stepped inside together, and disappeared from sight.

Slider Options – you can pick three

In by Lara on July 24, 2009 at 11:12 pm

1. Spanish: chorizo and beef burger, manchego cheese melted on top, toothpicked with a single olive

2. Thai: Finely chopped green onion and garlic-infused pork tenderloin burger topped with peanut sauce and a cucumber salad

3. Mexican: Beef topped with corn salsa, avocado mousse and jack cheese

4. Kobe beef topped with creamy brie, porcini mushrooms and a port wine reduction

5. French: Bacon-wrapped beef with country style dijon mustard and dried cherry and red onion confit

6. Grilled salmon burger with sundried tomatoes, capers, fresh mozzarella, and lemon aioli

8. Classic: Barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, and mushrooms

Long Distance Lovers

In by Lara on July 24, 2009 at 11:03 pm

“You’re always too far away.”

“I’m sorry, you know I’m rooted here.”

“I keep reaching out, but you don’t move an inch.”

“I just want to branch out a little bit.”

“Why don’t you branch out towards me for once? I’ve been coiling in turmoil since the day I’ve been transferred.”

The wind fluttered the clemantis’s wispy tendrils and rustled the oak tree’s leaves.

“Maybe we shouldn’t do this. We’re not compatible, you and me.”

“It’s just the distance. I can meet you halfway!”

“But I can’t. I’m sorry, but I need much more room to breathe than you do.”

Bored and Bitter

In by Lara on July 24, 2009 at 10:52 pm

I am often bored. It’s not something I feel by choice, for who would ever choose this state of frustration. I, myself prefer the happy-calm channel or the peaceful-satisfied level. If only this darned remote control would do something more useful than recline my bed. I think my children secretly sustain my boredom. I think they find it to be more manageable for them. Once I started gardening again, and Zack set the dog loose to destroy them. Coincidence? Heaven forbid I pick up a hobby or make some friends. Then they would really have to start caring for me.

Almost

In by Lara on July 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Peter almost got up that day and took his exam, which was the last requirement before graduation, but he decided his pillow was much more appealing. He almost decided to take up guitar because he kind of liked how those guys in that band looked rocking out. Then he almost decided to go back to playing basketball with some high school friends. His mother told him kindly he couldn’t live at their house anymore. He was almost 35. He almost looked for a place to live, but got sidetracked, and saw a cool continuing studies writing program. He kept walking.

An Addendum to the Rules

In by Lara on July 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Keep to yourself, [but definitely let go amongst others.]

Look twice before crossing the road, [yourself, and others.]

Don’t waste [food, energy,] or time.

Take the conversation to a higher level…[off the internet.]

Work [on your perspective] all the time.

Don’t eat [too many] sweets.

Don’t talk about bodily functions, [rate them!].

[Act confident to] be confident.

Don’t be afraid to change yourself [slowly].

Don’t be afraid of [rapid] change.

Exercise regularly [outside the gym.]

Trust your instincts [in accordance with your reason.]

Be honest [at the right times.]

Embrace your inner child, [it will make playing the grown-up more fun.]

Love Tina

In by Wyatt on July 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm

George enjoyed the taste of asphalt. He must have, because he was always eating it. He wasn’t clumsy, in fact he was quite athletic. I saw him chase a chipmunk for fifteen minutes, and then catch it!

George ate rocks too. He didn’t really eat them, his friends would say, he just licked them. But I still thought it was impressive. George was different. And after licking rocks he’d always look at me and smile, and I’d smile back and wish Mum let me wear lipstick so I could look pretty for him. But I wasn’t in seventh grade yet.

Oh happiness, where art thou?

In by Wyatt on July 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm

The difference between a great day and an average day isn’t the peal of the sunrays across your ears, gracing musical warmth across the soul. A great day can burst forth with plump plops of rain drops, black-grey clouds billowing and the occasional white gash across the heavens that let you know you’re alive, the world’s alive, and alive is grand.

A great day isn’t made in the bedroom, in the kitchen, in the office, or in the car. It is made anywhere, anytime in the mind, when it realizes each moment is precious and fleeting, and lives it happily.

After shopping

In by Wyatt on July 16, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Once in the parking lot he peered down at his son’s little round face, into eyes that silently asked the world questions it couldn’t answer.

“Then what can I control, Dad?” His tone was pure and curious, without a hint of the whine in it so recently in the candy aisle.

“You can sometimes control where you walk. But you can’t walk through walls. You can control what you say, but we all blurt things out accidentally. The only thing you, and only you, have total control over in this life, is your attitude.”

The air tasted cool and sweet.

Hello To Everyone Sauntering Through These Stories And Poems

In by Chris on July 11, 2009 at 11:04 am

Just as a heads up:

1. Lara has returned to the United States, so she should be able to write more frequently!

2. Wyatt is mostly taking a break this summer, but keep your eyes peeled because he might make some stealthy bandit posts.

3. I will be off adventuring the next month in places with less-than-assured web connectivity. But I will be writing faithfully on paper and dumping it all here on the blog when I get a chance.

Thanks for reading, we really do appreciate it, and we hope you are enjoying.

Hey, that makes 100 words. Funny.

Yearbook

In by Chris on July 11, 2009 at 11:02 am

            “Well at least your nose is dainty.” She pointed at the Kleenex box on his windowsill, lavender and covered with flowers and hummingbirds. He grimaced.
            They lay down and kissed on the bed.
            When they sat up again, it had started to rain and he asked her, “Is this strange for you too?”
            She found his old yearbook on the shelf and flipped through it. Finding the picture of an Earth Club, she asked, “We were in the same club? I barely knew your name then. I guess things change in five years.”
            He nodded. “I kind of like it.”

To War And Peace

In by Chris on July 11, 2009 at 11:01 am

            There’s something when I hold you that makes me feel good inside, and it’s not because you make me look impressive in the eyes of others. I don’t know how an unread book can give me such an immediate, physical pleasure, but you do. Your wrinkled spine and innumerable yellowing pages hold the lifeblood of heroes and villains, but all my mind wants is to feel through my fingers as they flip each page and in turn release the potion-like smell of great books. Soon I will turn to scrutinizing my way through your story within, but not just yet.

Panning For Gold

In by Chris on July 10, 2009 at 2:10 pm

            Day after day I pan for gold my own way, staying here the way I hear the others wear their pans down sifting the ground and shifting the water for the sounds of hotter nuggets lifting their brows until something suggests that the day has found nothing of interest, no yellow chest to hold to their chest no gold in its rest or older treasures of a measure too great to sate their unsure fates, while their dismal state declines to abysmal lines drawn in riverbeds, faces withdrawn from unfed wives while I stand silent, kneeled in the clear water.

Finding A Pen

In by Chris on July 9, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I found a pen, so I drew a net and captured a butterfly. The butterfly whispered in my ear so I knew where to find a piece of wire. I twisted the piece of wire into a spring and jumped on it, shooting me to the top of a ridge. There I found several dandelions. I blew the seeds off the dandelions so that they spread across a valley, filling it with more growing dandelions. The valley attracted mice and the mice attracted hawks, until there were enough hawks to carry me away in the net I had first drawn.

What it meant

In by Lara on July 8, 2009 at 5:45 am

“—wait for you!” is what I heard in the distance as I walked out the door. It’s been four months now, a long summer, and I’m still contemplating what drowned out words came before. We never made any promises, but before I embarked on my trip to “find myself” in Southeast Asia, we were quite happy. So it would’ve make sense that the prefacing words were “I will.” But we were also getting to be in our early thirties, and I could very clearly see (or rather hear) her saying “I won’t.” Any which way, I suppose I’ll be happy.

Pink Baby Hands

In by Lara on July 8, 2009 at 5:36 am

“What are you thinking about?”

He was turning my hands over and examining them as if he had never seen such things in his life.

“What do you want to do today?”

He opened my palm and slowly traced the creases with his callused finger like a map.

“Maybe we could go look at the furniture for the room.”

He traced around my fingertips then down around the outside of my hand, down my wrist, onto my forearm.

“I want our baby to have the same hands as you. Soft, pink, and strong.”

I pulled away suddenly feeling very hot.

Pockets of Paradise

In by Lara on July 8, 2009 at 5:34 am

Here lies a population entrenched in poverty, and roaming pups on every street, every dirt road, every beach. But despite this dirty, war-torn and invaded world, there do exist pockets of paradise, where simplicity, frugality, and natural beauty give people places of purpose and passion. You can find it in the powder white sands and aquamarine waters, in the lives of those who strive to make a living on 13 pesos a day, weaving hut shingles out of nipa palm fronds, even find it in the city, in the tamarind soup and steamed rice for the tricycle driver’s lunch break.

Mumbo Jumbo

In by Chris on July 7, 2009 at 9:22 pm

            Your eyes still flash with mischief the way they did the night we first kissed. You giggle when we hold hands, and when I finally come home at night all I can do is scratch my head and wonder. Yes, you confuse me! But I am not looking for answers. I am looking forward to tomorrow when you will make me a daisy chain that will make me sneeze, and I am looking up at the ceiling and clouds beyond for someone to share my joy. My sleep is dreamless but I wake up feeling expectant; it’s because of you.

The Fourth

In by Chris on July 5, 2009 at 1:20 pm

            What does the moon think as she glides over the land, her underside barely illuminated by a patchwork of celebratory explosions? Is she jealous of the revelry, the self-indulgent, pyrotechnic insanity that covers the hide of the earth? Or does she delight in the multi-colored displays of retina-searing colors and spark trails crisscrossing the sky?

            Tonight she flutters and struts behind gauzy clouds, round and robust, bathing in sunlight that has long since forsaken the crowds below. Her glow is heavenly, healthy, and sensuous. The trees on the ground stretch their old kinked limbs towards her through the smoky night.

An Anthropologist Watches My Keyboard

In by Chris on July 4, 2009 at 10:57 am

            Here we see a sequence of buttons pressed by fingertips. Perhaps it is a ritual, a cascade of button-pushes flying up and down and all over the button-board. There is an indentation in each button because this has happened so many times. What determines the order in which they are pressed? What causes one finger to move at a certain time and not another? Certainly it cannot be random. It is near impossible to track which buttons are being pushed, let alone decipher a pattern in their rhythm. This will require further research; for now it is over my head.

Break out into a run when you fell some uncertain-ty

In by Lara on July 3, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Just sittin’ on my bed

wonderin’ tricks up in m’head

thinkin’

when’ll life be lead

witha futures often read

Hey na kid what’s that ‘cha got?

Hey na kid not a whole lot? Eyyyy

So I take a walk outside (that’s whatcha supposta do, riiiiiight?)

Talk the walk. Walk the talk.

Who knows if it’s worth a rock

but

I guess this ship has gotta dock

soon

Hey na kid what’s that ‘cha got?

Hey na kid not a whole lot? Eyyyy

Break—break—

Jesus Christ it can’t be done

I’m sorry ma, I’m sorry son

I just can’t read my own fortune

Later

In by Lara on July 3, 2009 at 8:34 pm

You’ll have a once a week social activity with some friends your age. You will sing old songs, eat some favorite foods, and eventually gossip about the weekly happenings. This will take long, because you will all have gone slightly deaf, but it will be fun anyway. You will forget you asked them the same questions the week before, but it’s okay because they don’t remember answering. And then for the rest of the week you will sit, with curlers in your hair, watching old sitcoms as the little dogs bark in the room over. And you will be content.

Days

In by Chris on July 2, 2009 at 2:40 pm

            “I mean, every day’s a new day, right?”
            “Not at all. I’ve decided that each day is not only the same as the ones before and after, but actually each day actually is all just the same day.”
            “You mean all the same things happen?”
            “No, every day in history is a single day repeating itself over and over. Infinite variations, but the same chord progression.”
            “How do you know?”
            “Look at me. Look at us. Our first goal is always to breathe for one more day. Nothing ever changes, time is a joke the universe has pulled on us.”

The Main Attraction

In by Chris on July 1, 2009 at 3:26 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, the author talks to a pillbug!
 
Oh pillbug, let me curl with you. Together in our spirals we can be safe from the world.
 
And now, the author composes a scene!
 
Two grumpy old men have lived in this place for years. All they do is sit on a porch and tell tall tales. Their wives scold them daily.
 
And finally, ladies and gentlemen, an adage of housewifery that the author composed just today!
 
How do you eat a dozen eggs in a single day?
Eggs for breakfast,
Eggs for lunch.
Eggs for dinner,
Eggs for brunch.