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BY Cherrie

06/01 Direct Link
There’s nothing more inane than articulating deal breakers. If I have to list them for you, you have already lost the race. The only deal breaker you need recall is not to repulse. That and don’t ever send me naked pictures of yourself. One could argue they are one and the same.

Why no nudie shots? It’s not because I’m not curious. We are animals. We all are curious. It’s the posing I cannot stand. Lying supine, on a carefully positioned blanket or curled dangerously over a cheap animal print rug, the end result is the same. Great (mutual) remorse.
06/02 Direct Link
He sits on that rusty blue Cadillac each morning, gesturing animatedly to air. His uniform of bedroom slippers, shorts that swim on his lean angry body and bare-chested defiance mock his big talk spoken loudly into a cell phone.

Our eyes meet, but I never wave. We mirror curled smiles until I turn my back. He likes that I never speak as he finds new ways to keep my attention. I bathe in his lingering stare. We both know he doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell. But I like that he fantasizes about what might happen if he did.
06/03 Direct Link
There was nothing at all liberating about technology, she mused. Stranded in a slow customer service line, Marian realized that all of her independence tanked when the blue light faded on her overheated laptop adapter. No blue light. No blue life. All of her solutions to the problem lay within the problem itself. She stared blankly beyond the sea of lost souls waiting for assistance. Ignorance spread like a cancer through her body, eating her logic and feasting on her every confidence.

She would have soothed herself with some New Age music had she been able to access her iTunes.
06/04 Direct Link
Frank saw nothing regrettable about saying he hated fat people. The truth was never a bad thing. He didn’t buy all the rhetoric about heredity or popularized disorders to justify one’s inability to eat reasonably. He had his own ideas for curing what he decided was a disease of gluttony. Don’t sell bad foods to people with double chins.

His condition, however, was serious. With great apathy, he reasoned that if he could be arrested for a little heroin, surely a fat person should be arrested for abusing the drive-thru.

Dr. Patterson tried his best to keep his face expressionless.
06/05 Direct Link
I play games with myself when I’m feeling particularly vulnerable. The game affords me control when life has wrestled the wheel from my hands. If “blank” plays when I turn on the radio, someone misses me. If the dog barks twice before nine am, I am clearly psychic and correct in all my beliefs. If I receive a call from area code “678” then all I have sensed will come to pass.

When those things happen...is it because I am psychic, or I just happen to understand the deeper rhythm of my own existence? Are they one in the same?
06/06 Direct Link
“This smells so good. What is it?” Gina lifted the bowl of rice and pork to her nose. She had already eaten, but it wouldn’t matter.

“It’s Puerto Rican.”

“As in a person?”

“No...as in a meal.”

Gina’s eyebrows came together in confused congress.

“What’s the name of it?”

Carla shrugged. “Dunno. It’s just...Puerto Rican. We just call it...Puerto Rican. Something my mom made up, but it’s really good. She wanted you to try it.”

Gina wondered if Carla would have been offended had she called the fried chicken last evening, Black. She would argue this point aggressively. After dinner.
06/07 Direct Link
I dreamt I was returning home from a night out with friends to find my home being burglarized. I knew it was dream, because I don’t keep many friends, and can’t recall the last time I had a night out with them. I suppose the part that was most relevant was the crime. The burglar looked me in the eye, and continued past me carrying my jewelry box. He stole away with all things precious to me. I was powerless to stop him. Such is my own life and energy. I watch people steal it right beneath my very nose.
06/08 Direct Link
I railed when I phoned the police to explain what happened. Not because they failed to serve and protect. They were very detailed and thorough in their process. Something just “popped” when I began to explain what happened. The gravity of what just occurred tried to leap from my throat instead of details. I howled and made all sorts of wounded animal noises that frightened my audience. No one responded. I was met by puzzled silence that made it perfectly clear my feelings were not of interest. That, I was kindly reminded by blank stares, I could keep to myself.
06/09 Direct Link
I was throwing clay while dreaming. I could see a wheel and a mound of rust color. I listened to the hum of the wheel and let my fingers ride the clay like children on a roller coaster. Rivulets of milky rust tinted water snaked between my fingers before I finally let my middle finger open the clay form and begin a transformation. Shaping clay is sensual, like working your fingers over a lovers flesh. There is the anticipation of creation at your urging. Dream books say clay dreams indicate the ability to manipulate events to your desired conclusion. Possibly.
06/10 Direct Link
It wasn’t until hours later that I remember whispered strains of a conversation playing over the dream like a soundtrack. His voice and mine, mingling awkwardly. He asked me how I was; I replied that I was doing well. I asked him the same. He hesitated and said he was. He simply, was. Not a rehearsed expression of ‘fuckedupness.’ His exasperation was authentic and expected. Though I know in dream the conversation continued on, I only recall that element of it. God offers appetizers in dream; morsels to prepare your pallet if you are hungry enough to make the request.
06/11 Direct Link
I am never sated with the breadcrumbs offered me. Why am I compelled to test intuitive knowing for plausibility and compliance? I pummel it, trying to make room for logic and reason. I take the gifts offered, and hand them out to others, seeking counsel from people just as confused, distorted and troubled as I. If anyone utters one word that runs counter to what I’ve been offered...it’s back to lab. I send up another flare to God with the request for another breadcrumb. This time, with a bit more spice, so my neighbors and I can aptly determine validity.
06/12 Direct Link
Silence is a hungry beggar demanding sustenance. It will not go away just because you are uncomfortable with it. It could care less about your embarrassment during your exuberant cocktail party with that very important client. When it appears, always at the most inopportune moments, it simply must be fed. And rarely do we give it something meaningful in our haste to shoo it away. Rather, we offer it something from the lining of our pockets. Something that upon later reflection, we wished we’d given more thought. And it is rarely presented to us again to make the appropriate amends.
06/13 Direct Link
I’ve decided the attempts to make me a girly girl are futile. I like purses and heels, but rarely do I seize the opportunities to make use of them. They are things. And I’m afraid the things I prefer come in toy or tool boxes. The only cosmetic I enjoy, is the charcoal on a heavy stocked page. I like my shoes mud approved. The tom boy in me refuses to go quietly into the night and remains diametrically opposed to believing her lack of fluff makes her unappealing. In fact, she happens to believe she’s the sexiest woman alive.
06/14 Direct Link
My Ego and my Spirituality decided to go to lunch one afternoon, to iron out their differences. My Spirituality sipped a glass of water. Ego scoffed and ordered the heavily reviewed and recommended syrah. Ego charged into the conversation, demanding an explanation for the lack of immediate reprisal regarding the injustices of the past two years. Spirituality sighed that obvious sigh that always drives Ego completely delirious with rage. Before a word could be uttered in defense, Ego erupted. It always began this way: Ego beginning the debate; Spirituality trying affably to make something meaningful from the remains. Hunger persisting.
06/15 Direct Link
Mecca has a plan. She’s been working on it fastidiously. Perhaps she’s always been a bit offended by people assuming her status as pet, and mine as owner. It’s the only way to explain that haughty expression on her muzzle. I’ve noticed her lying in conspicuous places on the carpet. She’s taken a few articles of my clothing and hidden them in her bed. How she plans to make people believe she’s me and how she plans to dispose of my body after I’ve tripped over her and crushed my skull are the only parts I’ve yet to sort out.
06/16 Direct Link
Gloria knew just how thin the walls were in her crappy apartment. She conducted a series of experiments using primary theories on sound and vibration. She could hear her neighbors each night, complaining about their jobs, their lives...each other. In an attempt to get over her shyness, she stood carefully on the toilet in the guest bathroom and prepared to serenade them into silence. From her careful calculations, her bathroom mirrored their dining area. She hoped they would find her rendition of ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ especially compelling. If not, she planned to do a “Proud Mary” encore. Solicited or not.
06/17 Direct Link
The similarities between Mary’s office husband and her licensed husband were all too uncanny. They both gave the initial impression of charm and great humor. Gradually, her office husband seemed to mirror the same depressed, narcissistic tendencies Bill seemed to elicit. The last straw was plucked when he told Mary he was unhappy, but he had no idea why only that it had nothing to do with her. To cheer him up, Mary invited her office husband over to dinner. She invited Gloria from next door. Perhaps it would spark a love connection. They both apparently needed to get laid.
06/18 Direct Link
She wore pinstriped panties and always smelled like grapefruit. He couldn’t visit the produce section of the supermarket without pausing and wondering who also knew these things about her. Her oddities were not secret, just their impossible depths. He idly stroked the thick skin of a particularly rosy grapefruit with a distant smile. What would she remember of him? And would any of those thoughts evoke fondness or anger?

He didn’t linger too long on those questions as they never promised much. He didn’t want to see himself through her eyes. His visions of her would always be far sweeter.
06/19 Direct Link
There was a perfect handprint on the patio glass door. Turned slightly to the left as if in mid-wave. It was too small to be my own. Wasn’t it? I studied the detailed lines along the meat of the palm, noting the absence of any mark near the center. It rested lightly, as if the owner of the hand had no understanding of limit. That hand might as well have been a million miles from anywhere. I put my hand over the print and smiled at the perfect match. I was millions of miles from here when I left it.
06/20 Direct Link
Anger seems to have a life all its own. I don’t invite it in. I just barrels into my home with luggage that provides the only hint as to how long it will visit. It could care less if I am in the mood for company, and certainly does not give a damn about trifling things like personal inconvenience. It moves in with designs on creating a mess I will have to spend hours, possibly days, clearing. And then, just as I grow used to the visit it decides it is time to depart.

I suppose everything goes, even anger.
06/21 Direct Link
Excessive personal displays of affection are done to compensate for a lack of sincerity beneath all the sex and companionship. It is what people use to encourage people to believe they are truly, deeply, madly in love. Truth is, many folks have no idea what love really is, let alone what it should feel like and what sort of validation actually may be required. One could argue that I say this because I am one of the unlucky ones, sitting on the periphery of love like a child waiting to join the game. Ever considered how convenient dismissals so fucking...convenient?
06/22 Direct Link
I have seen some couples express love through the passing of a lingering glance. There is no timing for the right moment when all are watching. They are oblivious to the surroundings. It is silent, potent and as innocent as the brushing of hips when passing behind each other in a tight space, or an invisible squeeze of the waist in an empty kitchen. It is subtle and slips between the cracks of everyday interaction. That is the love I covet. The love that whispers and remains rock solid with no need of an audience or a validation of coos.
06/23 Direct Link
Sitting on a sweet secret is a rare treat. The next time it is offered to you, do not groan about the weight of responsibility. Feel honored that something or someone in life, trusts you enough to know their details are safe with you. Revel in the tie that connects you, this clandestine offering of intimacy. Cherish the anticipation of its eventual unveiling and the celebration that follows. There will come a day when the secret is no more. The charmed butterfly becomes just another winged insect dancing on a breeze. No one knows when the next one will come.
06/24 Direct Link
For four weeks the spirit lingered by her face as she hopped between sleep and wake. Nearly nose to nose with her and moving in rhythm to the rise and fall of her breath, it did not menace as much as it did unnerve. Maya opted not to ask it directly about any intentions for fear it would appear before her very eyes in the apparition of a family member long deceased or perhaps a stranger with a scary visage. Whatever message it came to share, it would have to wait until she worked up the nerve to receive it.
06/25 Direct Link
Reggie pondered the type of person who would borrow a pickle. You could only borrow what was practical to return, he reasoned. He shivered at the thought of someone knocking on his door with a pickle wrapped in a napkin, juice dripping from a dirty hand onto an even dirtier ground. It was more than he could bear. Fortunately his neighbors knew this of him as well, so they never planned to actually replace any food item they “borrowed.” It was just a term they used to avoid thinking of something more accurate. Besides, his reaction never ceased to amuse.
06/26 Direct Link
Claire had to stop biting her nails. She was tired of the careful plans she devised to shield her badly chewed fingers from curious eyes. Her father’s favorite tactic was “the claw,” curling the tips of her fingers under to avoid showing nail beds when she wrote, accepted change or other offerings from other people. Despite his assurances, she had no faith that others wouldn’t recoil in horror and possible shriek with disgust. He hadn’t been to sixth grade in years, so what could he possibly know about the cruelty of children?

Short of handcuffs, she could not stop biting.
06/27 Direct Link
It was pointless to resist.

That’s what the chocolate ice cream in the freezer blurted the last time Marge went to the freezer for another ice cube. She shook her head. The ice cream always had something to say. Herman never heard it, but Herman never heard anything that didn’t suit him. He was rail thin anyway. Marge learned long ago that thin people didn’t have the same food sensibility that she possessed. Food gave her the very groundwork for existence. Who to vote for, what to defend and what to deny. It even cradled her gently when Herman snored.
06/28 Direct Link
Jimmy told her he loved her because admitting he wanted to kick her in the face would start an incredible fight. She quieted immediately, to his astonishment. He hadn’t said it as much as snarled it, still the words seemed to be enough to kill another endless rant about his lack of income. Her words lurked in the grey storm behind her eyes, so he figured he better follow the words up with some exhaustive sex. It seemed the last thing she would agree he did well. If only employment were this simple. He needed a boss he could bed.
06/29 Direct Link
There were all sorts of reasons why her “race card” might not have arrived yet. The mailman was always putting her mail in someone else’s box. Her neighbor, the retired Irish school teacher, could be arguing fiercely about being overlooked in the line at the pharmacy, thanks to her card. It might have been intercepted by the man, on a mission to rob all African Americans of their right to bitch about perceived impropriety. She would show them. She would act out at the local DMV just to prove that she didn’t need a laminated card to incite a revolution.
06/30 Direct Link
Mecca had all the logic of a human. It insulted her that no one recognized the skill it took to remove trash from the trash bag without tearing a hole in it. She didn’t degrade herself by barking at her reflection in mirrored glass, or bothering to actually come when summoned. The opposable thumb was just an excuse to dismiss her kind. She long heralded the merits of a dewclaw. The fact that she couldn’t offer a thumbs up was meaningless. She would angrily demand change. The first step would be getting Cheryl to yield to her request for Cheezits.