Archive | March 2012

PREQUEL

AH! The sea beckons.

Making my passage across the straight to the mainland. A small sampling of what my life will offer as I stake claim to the fates that await me.

I have dreamed of such things for many a year, for the allure of this serene blue-green lady draws my passion. I have fashioned these desires upon the tales brought to bear by the seafarers to which I have been introduced. Indeed, Father walked the boards, as did Grandfather.

I have read many tomes offering a glimpse of the mysteries of the deep. Great serpents bearing a destructive vent. Tentacled behemoths reeking havoc upon unsuspecting ships, spelling death or lesser strains of hardship. Fantastic stories of chanteuse sirens; mermaids mesmerizing sailors drawing them to the damage inflicted by the rocks below.

Ah, but alas, I can only imagine such adventure! Wild retellings have presumed to take on a life that they alone can possess. At best I will serve my time with honor aboard my sturdy sailing ship at sea.

But, there is one story that has enticed more than most. The legend portends a great albino monster, which as of this recounting no man has tamed.

I see her docked in her slip, towering other ships and casting an ominous shadow upon the waters. And I disembark this dingy to surround myself in her timber. For it is time now to board my gentle vessel on this pristine morning. I have a cursory knowledge of her captain. Fair Pequod, I am pleased to make your acquaintance.

Call me Ishmael.

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A NICE DAY FOR A WHITE WEDDING

Jennifer stood under the pergola. She was the epitome of grace and beauty.
(Photo by L. Kolp)

Malcolm Colquit sat on a bench in the clearing by the lake. It was a wonderful spring day. The air was cool, but not enough to be uncomfortable. The shadows were short as the sun hung low in the April skies. He fed the swans swimming just off shore where Malcom sat, and he conversed with the squirrels. It was a great day for a ball game. It was a good day to fly a kite. It was a nice day for a wedding.

“Look at her” Malcom told his bushy tailed friend. “Can you believe she’s wearing white?”

Jennifer stood under the pergola. She was the epitome of grace and beauty. Malcolm’s heart still held a special place for the woman he had called his own at one time. She was radiant in her happiness. Colquit thought the groom looked like a dork, but she looked good. Malcolm had a hard time understanding why she never agreed to marry him, totally missing the fact that at no time in their nearly three years together had he ever asked her.

Malcolm heard a refined cheer in the distance as the “happy couple” kissed for the first time as husband and wife. Colquit raised his brown bag to his lips, kicking back for a guzzle of his distillation, dripping it down his chin. He slumped over on his bench disillusioned, disheveled and disparaged. The swans swam away from the clearing near his seat. His friend the squirrel scurried up the nearest tree, knowing the supply of nuts had dried up.

 The newly married pair entered their horse drawn hansom and headed off for their reception. Jennifer looked over toward the lake as the carriage passed, noticing the rag-tag solitary figure slinking over on the bench. She could have sworn it was Malcolm.

They hurried away as the wind whipped up. The clouds rolled in and the sun lost its lofty position. Malcolm Colquit missed his opportunity.

And I was beginning to rain.

DOWN THE WELL OF OPTIMISM

“Optimism is the hope of fools” he repeats each day

“Optimism is the hope of fools!” Miller Ryan would proclaim every time some nabob would get excited by a slight wave of good news.

“Wishin’ and hopin’ don’t fill the pantry” he’d say in one of his positively pessimistic proverbs.

Miller was the kind of guy that needed to be shown every step of the way. He certainly wasn’t from Missouri, but his show me attitude made many opportunities fall to the wayside. A little blind faith would have taken him a long way.

“Looks like the rain will let up soon” his friend once observed, causing Ryan to spout his jaded point of view.

“Sure, well I won’t hold my breath, at least not until the water’s chest high!”

It seems Miller Ryan came by his pessimism honestly. Mrs. Ryan had a difficult pregnancy with their first child. The medical men (Miller referred to them as “Witch Doctors”) were concerned with her condition and recommended she be hospitalized. But, Ryan had no worry or time for such foolishness.

“She’ll be fine.” he reasoned. “I’ve got a good feeling about this.”

His chastisement’s were more for his foolery than anyone else.

“Optimism is the hope of fools” he repeats each day that passes without his Ginny and the former future Miller Ryan Jr.

WAITING FOR THE SECOND SHOE TO DROP

Benny was indignant.

His mother had harangued him about the mess in his bedroom.

“You’re a slob” his mother chastised. “I’m raising a pig!” she’d lament.

Benny meant to straighten up a bit, but when she went haywire like that he put on this hard-ass front and became belligerent with his female parental unit.

“I’M NOT A PIG!” he’d shout back.

And with that, Benny grabbed a bottle of ginger ale and went to the cellar to watch some television. He propped pillows up so he would be comfortable. A TV tray was pulled closer to the edge of the couch so he’d have somewhere to put his bowl of nachos and his container of soda. Benny pointed the remote control at the television and leaned back.

“Now, this is more like it” he said, stretching his arms out and sinking into the cushion further.

Benny’s arm came a bit too close to the table, catching the bottle and toppling it to the carpet. The amber liquid glugged rapidly, emptying onto the Berber.

“Shit!” he said “She’s gonna clobber me!”

He put the pillows back and turned the television off. Benny folded the tray table and sneaked back up to his room. When his mother found him diligently cleaning the dirty clothes from his floor, she felt vindicated. Finally, she thought she had gotten through to her son.

It would be another week before Benny’s mother would discover the sticky spot on the basement rug left there by her porcine progeny.

SHATTERING THE MIRROR IMAGE

Her hallucinations manifested themselves in strange visions.

Alice Baron stood with her broom handle in hand amidst the shards of the broken looking glass. She had exploded in a fit of rage, having plunged the wooden utensil through to the other side of the reflective piece.

Bored to tears, she was! The young woman was dying for a change of scene. She had had enough of the housework and subservient nature of her existence. Alice Baron craved some excitement. The humdrum seemed to have beaten her to within an inch of madness. And the saddest thing about it was that young Alice had the world in her hands.

She was mesmerized by its smile, which hung there in midair (or so it seemed). And when her cat disappeared down a rabbit hole Alice had her work cut out for her. Her dog gone cat was no where to be found.

She didn’t know what she would do, but Alice needed a drink. She took short sips of her brew, not intent on getting drunk, but what she liked to call, “getting small”. Once she was well “lubricated” Baron slipped through the hare opening with ease.

She was surely high! Her hallucinations manifested themselves in strange visions. See caught glimpses of a pinochle deck run amok, swatting hedgehogs with the heads of flamingos. There was a rabbit with a wristwatch in a hurry somewhere.
Possibly a hat sale; its seemed to be mad about hats or it said something to that effect.

But the “bitch” with the hedge trimmers appeared to want Alice’s torso separated from the rest of her. They called him the “Queen of Hearts” as the way he minced after the girl in the blue pinafore, she didn’t wonder why!

“Head her off!” the “Queen” yelled, breaking a fake nail in the process. “Son of a bitch!” he/she said “don’t let her into that hole!”

Alice said, “Screw the cat!” as she scurried up the rabbit hole from whence she came, with the “queen” in hot pursuit. Alice presumed to finish her household chores. But she had other plans for the broomstick in her hands.

NORWEGIAN WOOD

“…so I lit a fire, isn’t it good Norwegian wood?” ~Lennon/McCartney

Shannon Barnes was loud and overbearing. She was irritating and irascible. Many have equated her to a female dog, but even then, she gave bitches a bad name. Shannon had a need to control; manipulative beyond belief. And the strange thing was, men wanted to be with her.

The macho guys walked past her, always thinking they could get better… or better yet, there were women out there who “deserved” to be with THEM. The guys a little less secure had this weird notion that connections should be an equal “partnership”, a mutual “give and give” arrangement. They wanted to nurture and be nurtured. Chris Henne fell into the final category. He was so insecure and desperate to be loved that he would submit to the harshness of a woman like Shannon. When Chris’ eyes met hers, he knew it would be love at first fight.

To say Shannon was demanding, was to say that Mount Everest was a molehill. She had her rube and she needed not lift a finger, for her needs were constantly met. She had acquired the best of everything. Her “suitors” had provided her with fine crystal and finer jewelry. Her home was well maintained and groomed, and each room was its own palace. She sat in the lap of luxury, and all her men wished that she would sit in theirs.

Henne was a little different than she had been used to. He seemed to hesitate at some of her commands, and this irritated Shannon further. But she had a way to punish her malcontents. The room she used as her “library” was well appointed with rich wooden panels. Henne was to polish the pieces from top to bottom. He had the bottom covered, but his fear of heights made Chris think twice about that arrangement. His derangement provided his solution. The resulting smoke did add to the pollution problem, but as the Fire Chief was heard to comment after a whiff of the aromatic billow, “Ah! Norwegian wood! Isn’t it good?”

MOAN O’LISA

A proper Lassie wearing her green and the slightest of smiles. Her true nature hidden in heavy robes and she poses for her neighbor Leon for hours and hours.

Moan (Mo-Ann) O’Lisa wanted the portrait ready to send back to the old sod by St. Patty’s Day. Shamus, her beau, missed her lovely face and wanted the pic to remember her while she had been touring the Italian countryside.

Running out of funds in Milan was a problem, and the opportunity for Moan to “Sit on me” as Leon phrased it, presented her with the means to finish her travels.

It was unfortunate that Leon’s bungalow/studio was so warm, as he began stripping off articles of his clothing. It was O’Lisa who stayed cool and collected. It was when Leon lost his pantaloons and revealed his “Shillelagh” that Moan let out that mysterious smile.

“They must make them bigger in Erin” she smirked.