Monday, December 2, 2013

117. Not Your Typical Night

You see someone like that walk in, and honest to God, you do a double-take.  You catch him glancing in your general direction and you swoon.  Your girlfriends notice him too, they like his tush. 

When he finally comes over to you, what, twenty minutes later, you feel like you’re going to burst.  You are transported back to high school, make that junior high, wishing the captain of the football team would ask you out, or at least hold the door for you. 
This guy does better than that, he sits down and introduces himself.  He orders what you’re having, then proceeds to charm your girlfriends with some funny anecdote. 

You are not listening, you are naming your future children.  You have it bad for this guy. 
An hour goes by, maybe two, but it seems like only minutes.  The bar is closing but you cannot stand the idea of him leaving.  You are drawn to him, like a magnet. 

He whispers something to your friend; she laughs.  The kind of laugh where she throws her head back, like in the movies.  Then you realize he is interested in her. 
You are a fool. 

You excuse yourself to the ladies’ room and when you come back, they are gone.  They are all gone.  Your friends, the guy (Robert), even the waitresses.  The bartender tells you it is time to go.  It is like a bad dream. 
The lights click on full bright, and you stumble toward the front door.  When you get outside, the cold air assaults you like a splash of icy water.  You forgot your coat. 

You turn around to get it, and there he is—Robert—and he is holding your coat for you.  “Here,” he says, not unkindly, “let me help.” 
You love this story, this story of how you met and you thought he liked your friend.  Your friend raises a toast to you now at your 25th Anniversary Party, while you smile over at your husband, Robert.  

trifecta writing challenge/ exactly 333 words/ required word is "tush"

Sunday, October 27, 2013

116. Do You Know This Beast, Too?

My Beast beckons at dawn
with siren song,
I succumb to her magic
(It’s quite tragic)

Smells draw me in
Caffeine’s my sin.
I go there daily,
she squeals gaily:
“Welcome to Starbucks!”

trifecta writing challenge/ an unusual beast in 33 words

Friday, October 18, 2013

115. Remember You Are Bigger Than It Is


“Don’t be afraid,” said my mom.  I think I was three at the time.  “It’s just a feather.” 

“Does it got eyes?” I replied warily. 
Years later, I take her advice.  Fear gone. 

trifecta writing challenge:  33 words about what scares you

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

114. Why Do Things Like This Happen to Me?

“Next!” called the barista. 

“I’ll have a tall latte, please,” I announced. 
The girl motioned to the customer behind me.  I started to interrupt and say that it was my turn, but when I happened to glance at the mirror behind the counter, I noticed I wasn’t there. 

Great, I thought, third time this week.  It sucks being invisible. 
When I first told Mike about it, he said it was impossible.  But then he was with me last time it happened. 

“Don’t worry, babe,” he’d consoled me, “I’ve got your back.” 
Tough to do when you can’t see it.    

trifecta writing challenge/ exactly 99 words/ specific word used is "back"

Sunday, September 22, 2013

113. Today Is September 11, 2001

At 8am, I call in a bomb threat; luckily, they believe me.  The World Trade Center sits empty when the planes hit.  Of course the passengers die, but that’s it.  Coulda been worse. 
trifecta writing challenge/ 33-word-story/ the subject is time travel

Monday, September 16, 2013

112. Over the Rainbow

You show up at the meeting because your daughter urged you to go.  You hear her voice even now, like pieces of Styrofoam deliberately being rubbed together or an unexpected chainsaw going off in your backyard:  “Mom, we can’t visit you with the house being like that.  You have a real problem.” 

She didn’t use the “H” word this time, you are relieved about that.  You like to call yourself a packrat or clutterer or even messy and disorganized.  Those words don’t have such far-reaching implications as the “H” word. 
Hoarders are sick people. 

You are not sick.  You are a collector. 
“My name is Phyllis, and I’m a clutterer,” you whisper.  The group nods encouragingly, they seem nice.  If they have a problem with too much stuff, you can’t tell.  They look normal. 

But what exactly is normal?  Is it normal to celebrate Christmas at a local hotel because the house is too full of stuff and no one can sit anywhere?  Is it normal to call a contractor to add shelves to every room in your 3000 square foot home so you can cram in more things? 
You don’t have a problem, you tell yourself.  This is Tammy’s issue.  If she doesn’t want to come with her kids to see you, that is her problem. 

“Welcome, Phyllis,” they smile.  This is their rainbow:  they will get their houses clean, their offices organized, their cars empty enough for a passenger to sit.  If they work hard enough, they can throw things away.  They can live like normal people. 
“Phyllis, what did you do today?”  the leader asks encouragingly. 

You clear your throat.  You were not expecting to be called on.  This is just like third grade.  Third grade is when your dad died, so maybe it is not like third grade. 
“I cleaned out a drawer in my kitchen,” you offer tentatively.  Applause all around.  “I even recycled a few papers.” 

They beam at you, they understand.  Tammy can go to hell.      
trifecta writing challenge/ exactly 333 words/ required word is "rainbow"

Saturday, September 14, 2013

111. Right on Target

I adore your pristine aisles
Products arranged precisely
Obsequious clerks in red and khaki
Even a Starbucks to tempt me
But mostly I love your prices
I return every week
Loyal customer forever
trifecta writing challenge/ exactly 33 words/ apostrophe (addressing a separate entity almost like a person)