Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rant on a Hot Tin Roof


A rerun for the Twisted Scottish Bastard who worries that I'm a tad unfair to my sweetie. I ask you TSB how would your wife exact revenge?

"Dammit Rob," belly down, I scootch to the edge of the roof, "get me down."

Silence.

Heat pricks my spine and a lock of hair sticks to my cheek. I can't believe he took the ladder. Who does that? "ROB. DAMMIT."

He's in the house drinking a beer. I can tell. He thinks he's funny only the next time the sewer pipe needs to be snaked he can damned well do it himself. I quit. At least I'd quit if I could get off the roof.

"Listen you son oF A ... "

The dogs race into the backyard and spin in circles til I groan. They look up, settle on their haunches and cock their heads. "Get Daddy." I tell them. They look at each other and glance back at me. I swear they're amused. "Go," I jerk an arm toward the sliding door beneath me, "Get. Daddy."

They bound into the house as I strip off dirt streaked gloves and judge the distance to the pool.

"Too chicken to jump?"

I jerk upright. Rob stands on the patio and tilts a iced bottle of beer to his lips. He's smug. Too smug for a man with a diminishing life span. "Get. Me. Down."

"No, I think you need to get rid of that attitude before I bring back the ladder." Whistling, he disappears into the house.

It's summer. It's Florida. I'm not losing the attitude til the first cold snap in November. When anger overrides fear I sit down, roll over and shimmy back to the edge. My legs dangle in midair but I shove down the panic and kick back til I collide with the fence top.

Ten seconds later I barrel into the house but it's quiet. Too quiet. And then I peer through the plate glass window. Rob's across the street chatting with George. The dogs are with him. He spots me and hoists his beer bottle in salute.

Why that son oF A ...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Huh, I thought it was Thursday. If you're a Ninja, keep on scrolling and enjoy the day.

The Bedtime Blues

"That's it," I yawn and stretch my arms above my head, "I'm going to bed. You coming?"

Rob doesn't look away from the TV but tips his chin up for a kiss. "Not tired, you go right ahead."

I roll my eyes. Rob does his best sleeping in the evening and by the time I'm ready for bed he's wide awake.

Truth is, I like to sprawl all over that king size bed and if I'm lucky, I'll be sound asleep before he and the dog come in and start their nightly snore-fest.

I'm shrugging out of my t-shirt when I spot Rob's wet smelly jeans on the bed. I freeze and my blood heats. This battle has been a stale mate far too long to suit me. "Robbb ..."

"What?" He lopes into the room and squints into the corners. "Find a spider?"

Like he moves this fast when I do find a spider. "Dammit Rob," I slam my hands to my hips, "Do not put your damned dirty clothes on my bed."

"They're not dirty."

"You were fishing," I hiss but when he starts to grin I slam from annoyance to righteous indignation and my voice ratchets higher, "They're wet and smelly and ..."

"It's my bed too."

Rob's chin tips forward and I know he's ticked. Too bad. "Fine, I'll make this easy for you." I lift his pants with my fingertips and fling them into the laundry basket, "next time you wipe out the bedspread I'm going to steal your credit card and order the most expensive bedding I can find. Got it?"

He gives me a sidewise look. "You wouldn't do that."

Wouldn't I?




Saturday, December 1, 2012

Exposed Your Assets Lately?


We've all been caught in our underwear. Right?

What?

Oh no I'm not buying the denials. Let me speak to your siblings. Your siblings might be truth bending brats but I'm sure they have an interesting perspective on your behavior.

Lets face it, humans are fun to watch. No exceptions.

So I've decided to put your insecurities to ease by sharing a few of my moments. (Send me your moments and I'll post those too. Fine, though tattling on your sibs is a sin, I'll take those as well.)

I have been photographed in my underwear 9,632 times. (By my mom. Don't be a potty brain.)

Not only have I fallen down the stairs, up the stairs and in the hallway, I have flipped over my rollerboard and landed ass over tea kettle at four am while waiting for the elevator. (I was NOT drinking. Shame on you Missie, I'm trying to write an encouraging post here.)

As the only shy sister I wasn't crazy when people mistook me for my sibs. In the interest of full disclosure, I have not been to the nudie-butt beach with Beamer nor have I jumped off chair lifts with Jinxso. My parents are solely responsible for the silly camp songs I sang in public and Brat, well Brat spent an entire year imitating the Fonz so I'm starting to feel a bit better here.

Once I misinterpreted  the hand signal of another driver and when I pulled over to check my tires a trooper parked behind my car and asked what the problem was. Ye-ah, it wasn't until I imitated the other driver that I realized he meant cop, not tire. (Hey, twelve hours of graveyard shift people, twelve hours.)

I blew a snot bubble in first grade, faked a broken leg in eighth and spent a large portion of my freshman year stuffed in lockers.

Feel better?

What, you wanted my greatest insecurity as a writer?

Fine, I have an obnoxious voice and I worry that I drive people crazy. Ah, you're smiling now. Excellent, go off and enjoy your day but send me chocolate I think I've just talked myself into the blues.

               Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Blog Hop








Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shake the Gloves Out Honey

Shrugging into a parka I reach for an old pair of leather gloves and catch dad watching me.

His blue eyes twinkle. "Shake out the gloves, honey."

"Really Dad, we're still doing this?" I smirk.

He guffaws and wiggles his fingertips in the air. "Want the gore-tex pants?"

"Nah, jeans are fine." I take one last sip of coffee and then work my hands into the gloves.

"Shake ... "

Jinxso bounds up the stairs. " ... The gloves out honey." We say in unison. She takes a look at me and grins. "Did I ever tell you how I found out about Dad's fingers?"

"No." I watch Dad flip a hand in the air.

Jinxso's smile widens. "When I came up the stairs to Dads office and saw his bandaged hand I said, 'what'd you do, stick your hand in the snow blower?'"

I groan and reclaim my cup. "And?"

He said, "As a matter of fact I did and your old boyfriend's father did the same thing only he stuck his hand in further."

We howl. Dad's grin is sheepish, and Mom rolls her eyes. "Earl," she barks, biting back a laugh, "it's okay to be useful as well as ornamental. I'm sure the girls want waffles."

Of course we want waffles.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Stand up Straight Stupid

So I've been off the net awhile because, oh yeah, I didn't listen to my mother.

"Don't gloat Mom."

"Well I always told you posture was important."

I know, I know. "Stand up straight stupid."

"I didn't say that."

"You didn't have to but don't worry I've decided to blame Brat."

"What I'd do?" Asks Brat walking into the conversation.

"The list," I tell her, "is too long to atone for."

Her brows fly up and she looks from me to Mom. "Huh?"

Mom shrugs. "Her hands hurt."

Brat gives me an incredulous look. "How is that my fault?"

"Well you were always teasing me about ..."

"Oh," her head snaps back and she barks a laugh, "the watermelons."

"They are NOT watermelons." I say cursing the sibling shorthand. "They are not

cantaloupes. They are normal. N.O.R.M.A.L."

Maybe even subnormal but it turns out living life with your chin tucked isn't. My arms go numb, the nerves pop and spark and my grip is shot so I've stayed off the computer cause I can't do anything about the hours sitting in the car, the jumpseat or the airport.

Is this a pity party?

Nope. I'm thrilled I don't have arthritis, irreversible carpal tunnel or, gasp, the dowagers hump I'll earn if I don't stand up straight. I wouldn't even mention it but I haven't been visiting your sites and I miss your witty blog posts. Last I knew Dawn at Lighten Up was in the Walmart mens room and who could miss that?

As soon as I set up an ergonamic standing work station, realign my spine and learn to touch type I'll be back. In the meantime have a wonderful holiday season and don't let anyone saw into your wrists until you get a second opinion, a great chiropracter or physical therapist and learn to stand up straight.



















LIghten Up

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Insecurity Begins at Home

Oh yes it does.

One day, you're warm, happy and secure in the center of the universe.
You've got your parents right where you want them. Your dad brings
cookies in the middle of the night. Your mom cuddles you close and
coos in your ear. The dog curls up under your crib and keep intruders
away. Life is perfect.

Oh yes it is.

For, oh, nine months or so and then you're shoved aside.


So okay, you block out the wailing and adapt. You learn patience. You have the run of the house.

For, oh, nine months or so and then you're shoved outside. Where it's cold
So you zip up your grubby hoodie and learn resilience. You are a survivor.

                                Oh yes you are.
                                                   
                                                                                                              
Then they let you back in the house and, yep, there's another one, but you, secure in your role as numero uno, are serene. You are grace and confidence in big girl panties.

For oh, nine months or so.
                                           


You begin to question the judgement of your elders. What where they thinking? Well, you voice your opinions because you are nothing, if not, diplomatic.

Of course you are.

For, oh, eight years or so.

But nevermind. Accidents happen and you're a preteen. Life is perfect. You are patient, serene and confident. You are a survivor, for oh, a day and a half.



Then you look up, see the glint in Brat's eyes and realize that you are a bundle of insecurity.

Of course you are.

First Wed of Every Month                  Thank you Alex







Monday, October 1, 2012

Sink or Swim



Well, I'm bored with life, annoyed with the airline and worried that Alex will post his dadgum Insecure Writers prompt while I'm not looking. He says Ninjas should be quick. I say, "way to give a Ninja an insecurity complex Alex," but maybe I'm not a Ninja, maybe I'm a grasshopper.

Lots of stories are percolating but not ready to post so for those of you who are very, very, bored, or highly skilled procrastinators, I have the first chapter of a WIP. One reader had issues with my main character - too flawed, too unlikeable. She had some fine points and I'm worried she's right.

The other reader loved everything I wrote. Too bad she's my sister and her opinion is suspect.

So, for the first time, a post that is too long and gasp, fiction.


Chasing Betsy

                                                 

As I stagger into a battered metal trashcan in the alley behind my grandparent's house, I realize, I should have used the front door, rung the doorbell. Only, that would be like admitting I'm an adult and the way my life is going, I could never do that.

Besides, it annoys my grandmother and anything that annoys Elizabeth Percival Stevens the Third, entertains me. Don't judge, you haven't met the bitch.

Lights click on in the neighbor's yard and a nasal whine breaks the silence. "Go on Rusty, see if there's a problem." Rusty is the oldest Irish setter in the history of Coronado Island. He has to be. He was old when Mom left me here for an entire year with my maternal grandparents. Granny Snot-Bucket made my life miserable and I've returned the favor.

I wouldn't come home, but I need to see Pops.

Rusty pads into his yard and sniffs, but as far as I can tell, either he doesn't know I'm here or he doesn't care. He woofs and, after a moment, a door creaks open and the light flicks off.

I wait a minute and then fumble along the fence for the gate latch. When it sticks, I shift my weight and shove. Nothing happens. My fingers slide over the latch and and what feels like a padlock. I've been locked out. Well crap, what did I expect? Four years is a long time.

You could use the front door.”

I shriek and send trashcans clattering into the alley.

"You can also clean that up in the morning."

"Pops?" My heart is slamming against my chest and I'm pretty sure I'm having a heart attack.

"You were expecting someone else?"

Amusement dances in his voice and once again I'm sixteen and on the wrong side of the fence. "What are you doing out here?" I hiss.

"Trying to keep the neighbors from calling the police." He harrumphs and I grin. "Now go around to the front door. I don't know what Betsy's done with the key."

"Okay." For a moment I stand still and soak up the scents and sounds of the island, that is more isthmus than island, and more familiar than foreign. Fog carries the sharp tang of pacific ocean along with hints of juniper and jasmine. A jet from nearby Naval Base Coronado whines overhead.

When I hear Pops close the back door I skirt the spilled garbage and send one battered can spinning against the neighbors gate. Lights wink on up and down the block and it seems that all the dogs in a three mile radius are howling. Before Mrs. A. can send Rusty back out to pinpoint my location, I launch myself around the corner and sprint for the front door.

Pops is waiting. He pulls me into a hug, but his chest is skeletal and the strength is gone from his embrace. Mentally I knew what to expect, but his gaunt frame is still a shock. Hot tears spill down my face and soak the shoulder of his pajama top. "I'm sorry."

"Nothing to be sorry about." He sighs and pats my back and I'm instantly ashamed I've stayed away so long. "Where are your bags?"

Crap, I was hoping to avoid this conversation by sneaking in the back way and using the small room behind the kitchen that used to be the maid's quarters back when Betsy was a little girl. Betsy has always been old so I have a hard time imagining her as a young girl. I bet she was stuck up even then.

"Well," says Pops, interrupting my silence, "I don't know about you, but I need to sit down."

Oh God, of course he does. I reach for his elbow and we veer into the den where Pops settles back into the nest of blankets piled on the leather sofa. "You sleep here?" I ask collapsing onto the love seat.

"Why were you sneaking through the alley like a teenager?"

"Oh that." I shrug.

Jennie girl?”

Oh, okay, I stopped off at McP's and thought I'd better leave my car on Orange Avenue for the night.” McP's is just the coolest pub ever, but it's full of service men and Betsy disapproves. Dad was a navy seal and even he couldn't earn the old bat's respect. Course he's Hispanic, which really sticks in her craw and makes her look at me like I'm an exotic pest. Pop's clears his throat and I look up.

And this is a regular occurrence?”

For a moment I stare at him open mouthed. Is he asking if I have a drinking problem?

Of course not.” I pitch to my feet. “I just, I just ...”

Wanted a pint or two before you faced your grandmother?”

Well,” I blow out a breath and sit back down, “the last visit was a disaster.”

He mutters under his breath and I think I catch the words always and disaster. “What did you say?”

I said it's time to heel the rift between you.”

That's not what you said.”

For a moment his look is fierce, but then he subsides into the cushions. “It's what I should have said.”

Maybe,” I mutter, “you should save your breath.”

Jennifer Lynn Gonzales,” he yells, “get your head out of the pity pot before you drown in crap.”

The words slam into my solar plexus. Pops has never raised his voice to me. Aware my mouth is hanging open, I snap it shut, then purse my lips, but damned if I can speak.

Pops clenches his teeth while I blink back tears.

I thought I heard voices.” Grandma Snot-Bucket glides into the room, clasps my head between cool palms and presses her lips to my forehead.

I flinch, but she doesn't seem to notice. She crosses over to Pops, repositions his pillow and strokes his head. Elizabeth Percival Stevens does not touch sick people. This, must be her doppelganger. That, or Pops sent her to obedience school, but that's probably wishful thinking on my part.

Grandma?”

Her mouth tightens. “Betsy. My name is Betsy.” Tucking a cream colored cashmere throw under Pops chin, she turns to me and lifts a brow. “ You will call me Betsy.”

Right. “Um, I don't think I can do that.”

You can and you will.” Her voice is pleasant, but steel threads her tone. I nod. What else can I do?

Well?”

Crap. She sounds like she's talking to a third grader for christs sake. “Night Betsy.” My jaw tightens as my eyes dart to the side, but she doesn't seem to notice. “Sweet dreams,” I add, just in case she did.

After she leaves, Pops rolls his head toward me and offers a smile. “Now that wasn't so hard was it?”

I guess that's a matter of perspective, but then I notice the sheen of perspiration along his temples and soften my voice. “No, I guess not.”

Pop's clicks on the TV and Law & Order springs to life. While the images flicker in the small room I gaze at the family photos tucked on the bookshelf and try not to cry. Maybe it's easier not to know about death. Maybe an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night would be cleaner. My natural inclination is to run, but I might not get a second chance to be the granddaughter that Pops needs me to be. At least I hope I can live up to his expectations.

Exhausted, I drift asleep to the soft murmur of voices and wake to a banshee hiss in my left ear. “Jennifer Lynn Gonzales, where are my car keys?”

Shit.” I crack open an eye and blink in the dim light. My cheek is stuck to the leather and I'm staring at the floor. Is that a new rug?

Jennifer.”

I jerk upright, sending pain flashing along my spine, then fall face first into the sofa and wait for the ache to subside before rolling over and peering at my grandmother. She's bent over me and her hair flares out to the side in crazy lady, pushing a shopping cart down the side of the road, fashion.

Hand me the keys.”

Yawning I cast a wary look at Pops, but he's snoring. I turn back to Betsy. “What keys?”

The car keys.”

I don't have your car key keys.”

Not my keys,” she snaps, “Your keys.”

I'm not parked out front.” I throw an arm across my eyes then peek out to squint at the cuckoo clock hanging over the mantel. The gears aren't turning. So much for Swiss engineering. “What time is it?”

Six,” She gives me an exasperated look, “now get up. Your grandfather's golfing buddies will be here any minute and I want to feed them breakfast.”

It's too early,” moaning, I flop back on the sofa and scrub my eyes, “besides, you don't cook, Pops does.”

At that we both turn to look at Pops. He needs his sleep. With a sigh, I shove back the sheets and pad into the kitchen. Betsy follows.

You'll need to move your car before the boys get here.”

The boys have enjoyed their senior citizen discounts for as long as I can remember, but who am I to argue. The woman does not listen. I heave a sigh and try again. “I am not parked out front.” That I left the car on the main drag isn't something I want to announce. She'll think I haven't outgrown my high school shenanigans.

Discovering her granddaughter is a complete failure might scew up her social life and God forbid I mess with that.

The kitchen hasn't changed. The walls are papered in white with thin blue stripes, like mattress ticking, and colorful Tiajuana souveniers line the window sills. Betsy has good taste in junk, I'll give her that. She rummages in the fridge and I sink onto the banquette and prop my head in my hands. “So what's going on?” I ask, certain that grandpa's golfing days are behind him.

She stills, her back rigid and I'm sorry I asked.

The boys,” Her voice is frosty, “take care of one another.”

That still doesn't answer my question. Hey, wait a sec, is she implying that I don't care?

She sticks her head in the fridge and I'm rewarded with an ample view of her boney backside. I close my eyes.

We don't have any eggs.” She says as if I'm personally responsible.

Well of course we don't have any eggs. We never have eggs. Betsy doesn't cook. She serves leftover party food. “Don't you have any Trader Joe's seven layer dip?” I ask without any obvious hints of scorn.

Right on cue she withdraws a plastic carton. “Good idea.” She beams and dumps the dip onto a blue fiesta wear platter.

When she disappears into the pantry for crackers I grab a spoon and carve out bits of mold. I bite my lip and curb the urge to say something. She'll just give me the stink-eye and serve the dip anyway.

Oh, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I have a civic responsibility to protect the public from botulism poisoning. Well, it won't work, she's been serving crap for years and it's unlikely she'll stop anytime soon. And hey, no ones died. Yet.

No crackers.” Says Betsy, returning with a loaf of potentially stale bread. “We'll make toast points.”

And bloody marys.” I mumble with a touch of sarcasm.

For a moment she glares at me and I squirm. “Sorry, what can I do to help?”

She looks around the kitchen and runs her fingers over a ceramic tile she brought back from Italy. Her hand rests on the bright image of a lemon tree and her mouth curves in a wistful smile. “Your grandfather always loved Italy. We honeymooned in a tiny villa on Lake Como.”

My nostrils flare and my mouth drops open. She's doing it again. How is every tragedy always about her?

As if sensing my irritation she turns to me and holds out a hand. I ignore it.

I can't bear to lose him.” She whispers and the next thing I know, my fingers tighten around hers and I'm hugging her close. Her body is thin, but where Pops is frail, she is strong as a cast iron railing. After a minute she pats my arm and turns away. “Perhaps you could make a pitcher of mimosas.”

When I hear her soft tread on the stairs I open the fridge and peer inside. A foul funky odor hits my nose. I pinch my nostrils. Loosely wrapped food spills from every available surface, and honestly, I don't know where to begin, but Betsy's footsteps overhead prompt me into action. If I'm lucky, I might have twenty minutes, while she spackles on powder and blush, so I grab a trashbag from the pantry. I've played this game before. The trick is to remove the first layer of crap from the shelves, toss the stuff from behind and then replace the items she expects to see.

Gingerly, I reach inside.

A half used carton of milk hides behind a moldy loaf of raisin bread. I check the sell by date and decide that, in Bety's world, three days past prime is reasonable. I'll toss the carton the minute I can replace it with a fresh one. When I get to the vegetable bin I reach in and pull out a rotting mass of green goo. My stomach heaves. What the fuck?

Jennifer.” Betsy's voice trails down the stairs. Shit. Wiping my hand on a dish towel that's seen better days, I grab the trash bag, sneak out the back door and run across the lawn to the alley. If Betsy catches me, I'll never hear the end of it. The woman does not like to part with anything.

The gate is still locked so I hide the bag behind a small patch of tomatoes. I'll sneak back later and move it to the trash can in the alley.

You,” says a nasal voice from behind bouganveilla at the far side of the yard, “were you the one skulking about last night?”

Oh today just gets better and better and it's not even seven am. “Mrs Abernathy?”

Doctor Abernathy. So ... we're you?”                                  
“Right, sorry, Doctor Abernathy, and no I wasn't, skulking that is.”

You use to.”

I can't actually see Doctor Abernathy, the fence is too high for that, but I can picture the skinny old bat with her lips pinched and her nostrils flared.

So, you've finally come home to care for your Grandmother.”

That'll be the day. “I'm here for Pops.”

I see,” she says after a beat, “nasty business cancer and your grandfather is such a lovely man, but if you ask me ...”

As if. She pauses and I roll my eyes. “I need to get back inside and ...”

It's your grandmother that needs the help. Alzheimers is the absolute worst.”

Why that old bitch. Betsy is eccentric, not demented. A chill skates down my backside and I have to unclench my teeth to answer. “Nice chatting with you Mrs. A., gotta go.” Sticking out my tongue, I trot back to the house. She's still talking and I imagine it'll take her a few minutes to realize I'm gone.

What is it with senior citizens?





Everyone's busy so two questions. Would you keep reading or not yet, and, though I want Jennifer Lynn to have room to grow, is she too unlikable?

Feel free to comment on anything that annoyed you or tossed you out of the story. :)








                                                        

Monday, September 10, 2012

Squelch it Bubba

It's dark, it's winter in Kodiak and I've just changed my tire, again.

"Hey," a burly figure emerges from the dark, "the watch captain sent me out to ride with you." He notices the tire iron in my hand. "I'll just check the lug nuts before we go."

Oh joy, I get the newbie. He's 6'2" of rolly polly interference. I toss the iron in the back of the truck. "Get in."

"Can I drive?"

Oh hell no. I give him the stinkeye and after a minute he shrugs and climbs onto the passenger's seat. As I engage the gears he leans over and flips on the emergency lights.

"Really?" I swivel around to give him my full attention, "would you like to run the siren?"

He reaches for the controls and I bat his hand.

When I'm satisfied that he'll sit with his hands in his lap, I ease onto the road and head for the harbor.

Bubba is quiet for 2.4 seconds then static crackles over the radio and he jumps. "Jesus, what's that?"

"Static," I mumble, "just adjust the squelch."

"Squelch? Where do I find squelch?"

Guess he can't see the little knob on the radio. "Have you looked in the glove box?" I bite my tongue as he rummages behind the vehicle registration and emergency flares. Huh, we'll maybe tonight isn't a waste after all. I take a right and veer toward the air station.

"Not here," he says, "now what?"

"Well," I say struggling not to laugh as I park in front of the hanger, "pilots usually keep an emergency stash, why don't you run in and get a tube?"

"Okay." He jumps from the cab like a kid on Christmas morning and I wonder if I should warn him not to push buttons or flip switches. In minutes he's back and flapping his arms. "They had no idea what I was talking about."

He's so frustrated, I start to giggle, but to my surprise he joins in and then says. "I know, right, how stupid can they be?"

Oh God, my insides are quivering and I'm going straight to Hell. How did this kid get through boot camp? I wipe my face, and when he's fastened his seatbelt, I head for the docks.

The radio erupts in static and Bubba turns down the volume. "This is just wrong," he says, "what if there's an emergency, what if there's a fire, what if ..."

"Relax," I tell him, "there are three ships in port and one of them will have a spare tube of squelch. I park in front of the Storis and watch as he strides up the gangway. When he disappears below decks, the watchman trots down to meet me.

"Hey Boats," he says when I lower the window, "what's up with Doofus?"

I fill him in and when he stops laughing his eyes are shining. "Want me to call the Morgenthau and the Citrus and give them a heads up."

"Oh," I grin at him, "excellent idea."

The remainder of the shift flashes past as we toy with Bubba. When I get back to my quarters I have a stitch in my side and my jaws ache from grinning. Tomorrow I'll tell him the truth.

Of course I will.

But now it's a new shift, I've signed in and I'm reaching for the keys when Bubba's voice drifts from the squad room.  "This isn't a job for girls, why can't I ride with someone else?"

Smoke furls about my ears and when I flare my nostrils they fill with brimestone. I march out to the truck and call a friend at the pharmacy for a favor. This time I'm not messing around.

All too soon Bubba opens the passenger door and climbs inside. "So," he says, "I talked to a radioman and there's no such thing as a tube of squelch."

My left eye twitches and when I can unclench my jaw I turn on him. "Radiomen," I spit, "do not need tubes of squelch, they repair radios. We are an emergency response team. We do not have time to play around."

Wide eyes lock with mine. "Understood?"

He swallows. "Understood."

"Good, now we're headed to the infirmary, Chief Sal had a physical today and he left a tube of squelch at the front desk. Ready?"

"Okay," he says leaning back in his seat, "now we're getting somewhere."

Ten minutes later Bubba is back and in the truck shaking his head. "This won't work," he says brandishing the tube, "this is just the base."

He has no idea he holds a tube of hand cream with a bogus label. "Don't worry," I say, perking up, "we have lots of time to find a jar of active ingredient."

Saturday, September 8, 2012

We've Been Here Before

Oh yes we have.

"So," says Rob looking over the rim of his reading glasses, "How much do you weigh?"

I flash him the stink eye but the man is impervious so I grit my teeth and growl. "I thought you and Luis were going to drag the boat out of the muck."

The time is 6:37. 

The good news comes on at 6:30. I have to call work at 7:00 and find out if I have a trip tomorrow. Maybe I do, maybe I don't, but if I'm on the short-list, I go to bed at 7:03, leave the house at 02:00, and nap at the alligator alley rest stop until I get the call.

My temper has been inching north since noon.

The time is 6:38 

Rob spots Simon and bends down to scratch his ear. "So," I heave a sigh, "do you need a hand?" 

Rob pulls up his shirt and scratches his belly. "That'd be nice."

"Dammit Rob," I stomp to the bedroom, "I told you twenty minutes ago that I wanted to watch the news. I told you that I had to go to bed early. I told you ..."

Even I tire of my rant so I tear off my pajamas and yank on a pair of shorts.

When I return, Rob is not behind the wheel of the truck, he is rolling on the floor with the dog.

The time is 6:38.

"Can we get this over with?" I say as I head outside, mindful to slam the door in my wake.

I ignore Rob's chuckle, haul myself into the bed of the truck and settle my weight over the stuck tire.

Slowly, ever so slowly, cause he knows I'll blow a gasket if he doesn't get this in one, Rob pulls the truck and trailer to dry land.

"Just remember," I say as I climb out of the bed, "you can't do this with a skinny wife."

The time is 6:39







We've Been Here Before

Oh yes we have.

"So," says Rob looking over the rim of his reading glasses, "How much do you weigh?"

I flash him the stink eye but the man is impervious so I grit my teeth and growl. "I thought you and Luis were going to drag the boat out of the muck."

The time is 6:37. 

The good news comes on at 6:30. I have to call work at 7:00 and find out if I have a trip tomorrow. Maybe I do, maybe I don't, but if I'm on the short-list, I go to bed at 7:03, leave the house at 02:00, and nap at the alligator alley rest stop until I get the call.

My temper has been inching north since noon.

The time is 6:38 

Rob spots Simon and bends down to scratch his ear. "So," I heave a sigh, "do you need a hand?" 

Rob pulls up his shirt and scratches his belly. "That'd be nice."

"Dammit Rob," I stomp to the bedroom, "I told you twenty minutes ago that I wanted to watch the news. I told you that I had to go to bed early. I told you ..."

Even I tire of my rant so I tear off my pajamas and yank on a pair of shorts.

When I return, Rob is not behind the wheel of the truck, he is rolling on the floor with the dog.

The time is 6:38.

"Can we get this over with?" I say as I head outside, mindful to slam the door in my wake.

I ignore Rob's chuckle, haul myself into the bed of the truck and settle my weight over the stuck tire.

Slowly, ever so slowly, cause he knows I'll blow a gasket if he doesn't get this in one, Rob pulls the truck and trailer to dry land.

"Just remember," I say as I climb out of the bed, "you can't do this with a skinny wife."

The time is 6:39







Thursday, August 23, 2012

Points of View



My Internal life as a writer has been a constant battle with the small whispering voice (well, sometimes it shouts) that tells me I can't do it. This time, the voice taunts me, you will fall flat on your face.
                                                                  ~Dani Shapiro



   "Writing?" Asks Rob drying his hands.

   "Something like that." Annoyed, I close the laptop on a losing game of spider. "Dammit Rob, don't leave wet paper towels hanging from the roll."

   He ignores me. "So, how's the book?"

   My plot sucks, so I shrug. 

   "That good huh?"

   "Just mow the lawn," I snap, "and quit feeding bunnies on the lanai."

   "Oh good," says Rob, his head in the fridge, "you bought carrots." He disappears out the back door and before I can launch twitter, he's back. "Have you posted anything new on the blog?"

   I shake my head. 

   "So, let me see," he taps his lip, "you've taken a break from the blog to write a book, but instead, you check e-mail and play solitaire." His eyes twinkle. "Better not quit your day job."

   "Stop," My fingers splay into the international stop sign, "talking to me."

   He laughs. "Want to go for a bike ride?"

   Movement catches our attention as baby bunny sneaks onto the lanai, gives a cautious glance to either side and then launches into a series of leaps and pirouettes. When he stops at the sliding glass door to peek inside we hold our breath.

   "Yeah," I sigh as bunny wanders off, "I'd love to."

   "Good, get your shoes and I'll get the bikes." He stops with one hand on the garage door. "Don't worry, you're smart, you'll figure it out."


Fall flat on your face, but find someone to pat your back  ~ Kelly