REPORT A PROBLEM
Friday with no coffee.
There is no headache- that is surprising.
I only seem to have half my personality- frustrating but expected.
More importantly, I am soo slow.
I have to start my day with a science test.
“Choose the best answer.” When warm air fronts meet cool air fronts…”
Nothing looks right.
I knew this yesterday.
A friend tells a joke and I stare at her blankly.
She goes on to talk about something else and the humor finally hits me.
Turtles and sloths are running laps around me.
Why did I do this to myself?
Dear A.M. bus driver.
I saw you this morning on my way to buy coffee. You smiled at me but I didn’t smile back. I was grumpy. It was Saturday and I was going to school. After I ordered, you came into the store, stood among the sleepyheads in line and began to brush your teeth. You brushed the tops and the bottoms using nice back and forth motions. You brushed your gums using small circles. Then you walked outside and spit in the bushes. Thank you for finally making me smile and please continue to practice good dental hygiene.
GATE Class on a Saturday Morning
Good morning I am going to be your teacher thank you for coming here on a Saturday to make yourself a better teacher I think you will learn a lot that you can take right back to your classroom and use with your students I want to let you do a lot of the talking I think that’s how you learn best does anyone know how to teach a GATE student I see some hands before you answer let me tell you a story about my granddaughter she is only two but she’s brilliant…
To men who are considering “fake dating” me:
This is to inform you that I will no longer be accepting invitations for “fake dates.” If we already have an established friendship and you would like to try moving our relationship to the next level, please make this known. If we have always spent time together in groups, there is probably a reason. To invite me to coffee and then hope for more leaves me in an awkward position. Please be honest about your intentions. This consideration allows me to be honest with you about my level of interest. Thank you.
Reasons Why I Haven’t Yet Called the Dentist
1) I want to floss everyday for a month before I go.
2) The last time I went, he yelled at me.
3) I don’t remember his number.
4) I tried to look up the number on my computer last night, but the internet was down.
5) My teeth feel just fine.
6) I’m trying to save money. The dentist is not in my budget.
7) His waiting room smells like prune juice.
8) I always want to call while I’m in the car, but I don’t have a hands free device.
I was late… like always. I quickly parked and scanned the busy street for a path. The crosswalk was just to slow. Cars were coming steadily but I used my professional frogger skills to dart my way across. Hopping on to the curb, I felt pretty proud of myself. That is until I saw the ancient man standing on the corner. His face wrinkled like a rotten orange and he began to shake his cane at me. “$178,” he shrieked. If I were a policeman, I would charge you $178!” Frightened children hid behind their mothers. Jeez dude… chill out!
I went to the DMV on Tuesday and I was more disturbed by the clothes people wore than the wait time. There was a woman with an enormous belly and toothpick legs in a mid-drift tank top, a European man in teensy red running shorts, a teenage girl suffering in stiletto heals, a man whose wool suit caused sweat to pour steadily down his flushed cheeks and a lady who could not sit down because her oversized floppy hat would poke her neighbors in the eye. I think that a dress code should be enforced just to help people out.
I live in a sketchy neighborhood. So I guess I understand why he was concerned to approach my window after he pulled me over,10 feet from my house, because I had a broken brake light. “Have you been drinkin mam?” Ridiculous, I thought. Its only 10am. I gave him a smile with my information but he continued to question with furrowed brows. A prostitute cackled at me as she leaned into her suitor’s car. Gang members pointed as they watched from the corner. Finally, he wrote my fix-it ticket and sped away to arrest the j-walking nun down the road.
Are you following me giant cockroaches? Can you sense my fear? You visit me often. Crawling over my shoe in the woman’s stall. Scattering helter skelter, here and there in front of my steps. Bringing terror to the otherwise peaceful night. Making me shriek out loud. Ruining my tough exterior. Why do you torture me giant cockroaches? What horrible thing have I done to you? You stalk me as I walk. Surprise me from cracks in the ground. Run in unpredictable patterns. How can I repair our damaged relationship? What will it take to live in peace with each other?
You invited me on a journey and soon I found myself in an intricate maze of underground caves- void of any light. Although my eyes adjusted to the obscure air, my heart longed to see clearly. My feet stumbled on slick floors and I began to panic. Confusion took over my lungs and I gasped for warm musty air. Inches next to me, a thin wall with fresh air and light on the other side. I can’t get to it myself. But You can. So I am asking because You said to. Crack the wall and let the light spread.
Almost a whole body length behind
Arms a powerful windmill
Pushing and pulling
Through the water
He closed the gap
Touched the censor
7/100ths before his
Waiting to confirm
A victory hanging
In the split second it took
To reach the scoreboard
Suddenly their faces turned
Penetrated their bodies
They stood sinewed
Muscles dancing in celebration
From the tops of the cheeks
Down through the neck
Through their bodies
Threatening to explode
Out of tightly wrapped skin
Etching itself on the minds
Of four Olympic teammates
I once had a nail in my foot- got it walking where I wasn’t supposed to. Too scared to go to the doctor, I left it there and dealt with the pain. Excruciating at first- razor sharp and shooting through my body. Later it calmed to a dull whisper. Throbbing- but bearable. And as I got used to that nail, I learned to love it. Gave it a home in my body- didn’t let anyone touch it or the swollen red infection growing around it.
After six years, I let the doctor pull that nail out- changed my life forever.
Feet scurry along
White on black. Is it a skunk?
No, it’s a ratel.
Hair hangs in dreadlocks
Two awkward humps stick straight up
Watch out! They do spit!
Tiny bird of prey.
Whooooo are you talking about?
White faced owl- so cute!
Sleeping polar bear
Maybe you should take a swim
To escape the sun.
Human like with fur
You pick bugs from your friends’ heads.
And eat with your feet
Indie rocker horse
Wants to stand out from the crowd
Rock your striped Mohawk!
Feathered pink body
Taking a one-legged nap
Wish I could do that!
I’m not a horrible dancer. If you put a couple of drinks in me, I might even be good. But today my moves left a lot to be desired. Maybe its because I was surprised with the groove session at the end of my kickboxing class at the gym. Our raver instructor showed us his moves. I was ok with the back and forth slide (even added some arms), the groovy hop, and the butterfly but the eight counts of body rolls did me in. I might need to hire a personal cocktail waitress to save me from future embarrassment.
Its the parachute
That floats you to the ground
When the freefall is over
And the strong arms
That hold you in
When you’re on the edge
Trying to jump without it
Its the soft carpet
That breaks your fall
When you trip down the stairs
And the handrail
That prevents it from happening
Protection is the airbag
That eases the impact
And saves your life
Despite your broken bones
And the “coincidental”
You never knew about
Because you went back
To retrieve your
Forgotten cell phone
It’s the miracle that is
And often overlooked
I’m a nice person… I swear. I was a tiny bit hung over and I just wanted to sweat it out and there were about 800 people in my boxing class. I felt mildly claustrophobic. So when that man-black hair with blonde highlights- stepped into my space I was irritated. When he flailed around, throwing his hips and jazz hands in all directions, I was inconvenienced. When he leaned over to tell me that my hair was pretty, I got mad. He reached out to touch it just as I finished off a sidekick- which landed on his nose. Oops?
“Tomorrow’s the big day, huh pumpkin?”
She was shocked. Did he really remember her birthday? He’d forgotten for five years now- ever since the divorce. Each year, she’d woken up with anticipation- expecting happy birthday tidings- but was always disappointed. She’d just assumed this time would be the same- figured it would be easier if she didn’t expect anything. But her dad had just given her a mustard seed of hope that made butterflies circle her stomach. That night, she let herself imagine the joy they might turn into, but feared that she would end up more jaded than ever.
She sat on the corner of the bench and watched the busses come in. As a new one pulled in, she scooted herself to the edge, propped her chin up onto her hands and got ready to scrutinize each person that got off. She didn’t know what she was looking for but she had become quite an expert at noticing things and she was told that when she noticed the right one, she didn’t need to wait anymore. It was a vague promise and she had seen so many buses. But she waited- and watched a little bit each day.
I know I did it. I really didn’t mean to. I already felt bad. I even apologized twelve times to make sure you knew. I know my face showed it because I felt it whole-heartedly and it had to overflow to my expression. So, what was it about you that needed to make me feel any worse? What was it that made you feel like giving me a guilt trip would make you feel better? They say that the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. Better call a plumber soon. Your heart’s overflowing and it doesn’t smell pretty.
Dear Ralph Lauren,
Thank you for making the perfect pair of sunglasses. I have a pair of your glasses that I bought three years ago. Since I purchased them, they have been sat on by petite, regular and unfortunately large derrieres and have never broken. They have been dropped, stepped on and crushed under books and are still in one piece. They have seen me through three apartments and four boyfriends and have made an appearance in three different countries. Thanks to your glasses, my eyes are happy and free of crow’s feet. Keep up the good work.
He’s a hovercraft. A linger-er. He starts a conversation but can’t finish it- even when the ending is way overdue. So we stand and fill conversation with “uummm” and “sooo” and inside I am begging that he would just have mercy on me and walk away. I am not a fan of this repeated ritual. A quick “hello” and maybe a “how’s your week” would suit me just fine. But the awkward filler phrases just keep coming and each one seems to anchor me and keep me from leaving. I can’t get away and I am swimming in awkwardness. Help!
She was already flustered and it was her birthday, so we didn’t really know how to say it- that there’d been a wardrobe malfunction- that neither her shirt nor her bra had been successful at hiding the nipple that was determined to stay out and play. It was out all night- saying hello to friends and gleaming excitedly and newly received presents. It was definitely the most noticed guest at the party and it didn’t seem to be leaving any time soon. After a while, the guests grew used to its company… I think someone even bought it a drink.
They are twenty kids that deserve the best and might only get it at school. They deserve a positive and engaging learning environment. They have to walk past trash, graffiti and prostitutes on their way to school and they deserve a safe haven from 8:00- 2:25. They deserve to learn English and how to resolve conflicts. They deserve the same chances at the same opportunities as the kids who come to school and get dropped off in Toyota Hybrids with heated seats. So to answer your question- that is why I have spent my month of summer vacation at work.
Its a small thing but I’m discovering that its so meaningful and something I absolutely love. A question. Not just any question. I mean the sincere, really want to know, not going to settle until I understand kind. I adore the mid-conversation clarifying question, which says, “I really was listening to you, so much, in fact, that I am unsure of one of the details in your story.” I love the why questions, the “what’s going on in your life?” and the “can I do anything else for you?” questions. So if you want to make me smile, ask away!
He skipped around the room- pushing toy cars, making motor sounds with his lips- laughing. Always laughing- with a smile that filled the room with light. He was alone- except for his dad- who leaned against the door and joined in the games. He would often crawl into his dad’s lap to enjoy the rest and overwhelming feeling he was loved- which brightened his smile and intensified the light he spread. Outside that room, others gazed at the radiant beams escaping through the gap. They wondered where the brilliant light came from and wished that they could open the door.
Today I found my bliss in a vegetarian chilidog. Soy protein smothered in meatless chili, all covered with melted cheddar cheese. Today my meat free lips read the menu with joy- lists of tasty food- all available to me. Vegetable patties, tofu and blended nuts all pretending to be something they’re not- all for my personal happiness. Tasty food, served with a smile and great conversation. Eaten outside in the cool summer air, an evening breeze blowing across my arm, friendly dog walkers passing by. Yes, new favorite restaurant, I do love you. And don’t you worry. I’ll be back.
He woke up shivering- face pressed to the car door. A quick look around revealed his mom stretched across the front. The other window a pillow for his sister. A tiny rush of excitement passed through him as he realized today was his birthday. His mom had promised an Oreo cake and he could almost taste it. But what he didn’t know was there was no money for cake today. Up front, his mom pretended to be asleep- not wanting to face her son this Saturday morning. She would rest in her blanket of denial as long as she could.
Ever had a day that was so tiring, everything made you frustrated? Here’s a list of things that made me furrow my eyebrows today.
Going to two looong meetings at work that taught me how to use a telephone and a copy machine.
Walking by an overflowing trashcan with garbage around the ground because people refused to find another can.
Taking 20 minutes to exit a parking spot because the SUV next to me decided to take a third of my spot.
Seeing San Aykroyd on TV and hearing my friend remind me that someone once said I resembled him.
I love the way the carpet feels
When I roll out of bed each morning
Barefoot and groggy
Soft twirls of yarn
Slide between my toes
Waking each one
I love the way a cold beer tastes
When I came home from work
Exhausted and worn thin
Sliding into the couch
Promises a relaxing weekend
I love eating bagels with friends
On Sunday morning before church
Spinach Parmesan with tomato and cucumber
We always miss half the songs
Since the good conversation
Doesn’t end until 8:50
I wonder what else I would love
If I didn’t take it for granted
We live in a great world, with so many things to find pleasure in. A great British accent. Cookie dough ice cream on a waffle cone. Soft bathrobes after hotel showers. The smell of clean laundry. Late night talk shows. College football. The way the grass smells when it is freshly cut and the way it feels when you run through it barefoot. A chick flick movie snuck in with friends after work. An unexpected email from a faraway friend. The list continues on and on. So I wonder… why do we still take pleasure in the misfortune of others.
Those kids have nothing. Their apartment crammed with people. Trash strewn around the ground. Flies buzz around filth. 11:00 and they hadn’t eaten yet. Their teeth rotting from the inside out. But they had joy. It spilled out of them and covered me and was a reminder that I need to be thankful. They smiled all day. Always took care of each other and handed out compliments freely. They tried their best and never complained. They never asked for anything even when everyone else had it. We returned them to their home and left humbled, remembering the things that matter.
The Tip Jar