Monday, June 28, 2010

Me And You

Back in my early twenties, on a "break" with The Asshole, I briefly dated this guy named Jeff.  Our relationship lasted six, maybe eight weeks, tops (and of course, I ended up leaving him to return to That Other Guy...duh!).  All these years later, I'm rather ashamed to admit it, but there isn't a whole lot that stands out in my memory about the time that I had with him.

There is one exception, of course.  One small thing that I always recall whenever Jeff happens to cross my mind.  It has to do with this game we used to play...

I can't quite remember for certain (there may have been a fair bit of alcohol involved.  ahem.), but I think we made it up.  It was called This or That, and the rules were pretty simple: one person would provide a choice between two related or contrasting options, and the other would have to pick one and explain their choice.

So as I am lacking any sort of direction for a blog post this evening, let's play.  I'll start off with a few examples, just to give you an idea of how this works...

Rich or Famous?
Ahhh...this is an easy one.  Look around for a second.  What do you see?  Hello!  An anonymous blogger.  Yes, that would be your first clue, wouldn't it?  But truly, I see absolutely no benefit to fame.  Zip.  Money, however...now that's something I could work with.

Sweet or Salty?
Chips, popcorn, peanuts...meh.  I could take 'em or leave 'em, really.  But.  Cheesecake, Two-Bite Brownies, or a Boston Cream donut?  Mmmmmm.  Not only do I have a terrible sweet tooth, my sweet tooth even specializes - baked goods are pretty much like kryptonite for me.  I'm completely helpless in the presence of a piece of pie...

Beatles or Stones?
Beatles, of course.  Duh.
***

Okay,  so now it's YOUR turn.  Want to play?  Leave me a comment with your own answers to these, or ask a This or That of your own...!

What the heck, let's be interactive today.  :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

After The Storm

A piercing scream rips me from sleep's warm embrace.  I'm out of bed and on two feet before my eyes have even fully opened; a seasoned veteran with well-honed reflexes.  A mother's reflexes.

A quick glance at the clock tells me that I haven't been asleep very long.  My feet move quickly, but despite my racing heart, there is no panic.  My body may not know it yet, but my mind already does.  We've walked this path several nights before. 

The first few times it happened, when I dashed to Will's room in response to wild shrieks, his wide-eyed thrashing terrified me, for I didn't know the source of the disturbance.  I pulled him close, he pushed me away.  I patted his back, he arched it.  I tried to talk to him, but he just screamed louder, drowning out each frantic whisper.

And then, after the longest ten minutes you could imagine, his sobbing would stop, as if somebody flipped his Terror switch back into the off position.  His limp body would melt into mine, and we'd rock in exhausted silence in the glider - a holdover from the midnight nursing sessions of his babyhood.

Night Terrors, it's called.  After the third (fourth?) episode, I started to do a little reading, and hit upon this syndrome pretty quickly.  It was an easy identification, Will is a textbook case.

So tonight when he pulls me out of bed, I sit him on my knee, I pat his back, and I rock and rock.  He flails against me, I hold him just tight enough to keep him from hurting himself.  I have learned that kisses and whispers don't comfort, but aggravate, so I save them for later, when that switch has been flipped back and he curls into my arms, sweaty tufts of hair pressed into my neck, and soft hands clinging tightly to my shirt.

His ragged breathing gradually smooths out; a yawn escapes him, big and wide.  I whisper:  Are you ready to go back into your bed now, my love?  A heavy head nods in assent.

He is tucked back in amongst blankies and bears and is asleep in a mere moment.

And me?

The adrenaline spike diminished; my pulse has slowed and my breaths come evenly.  My body has already forgotten the panic that roused it just minutes ago, but my brain isn't ready to let go quite yet.  There will be no more sleep for me for a while.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blindsided

He approached her slowly, from behind. With heavy heart, he bent to kiss a wrinkled cheek.

“Hi, Nana,” he said, a smile upon his face, but barely.

“Get out!” she hissed.

Puzzled by the toothless mouth, the angry eyes, he hesitated.

“Nana?”

GET OUT!”

He ran, and he never went to visit that stranger again.

***

Alzheimer's is truly a horrible disease for a family to cope with.  This 55 is based on a story my cousin told me about the last time he went to visit the woman who had, at one time, been our Grandma...back before she forgot.

***

Friday Flash 55...can you tell a story in exactly 55 words? This is my attempt. Go see g-man for more, and maybe try one yourself...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bizarre Love Triangle

Love is not a question. A statement, perhaps. Or, if you are very, very lucky, an exclamation. Love does not ask. It demands.

And yet...

Every cell in my body cries out to him, but he does not seem to hear it.  It's a constant source of amazement to me, the way he can walk through each day, completely and utterly oblivious. Time after time, he misunderstands this message transmitted by my heart; words spelled out so clearly with each and every beat, urgent, hard and fast.

Of course, it doesn't help at all that I'm forced to compete with her.  Every day it seems like she sinks her claws into him a little bit deeper; every day he seems to want her more than the one before.  And she's forever leaving bits of herself behind when she goes away: a pair of sunglasses here, a sweater there...it's like she's trying to stake out her territory or something.  Ugh. 

She's all wrong for him, of course. Anybody with eyes can see it. Well, anybody except for him; poor, besotted fool that he is.

Despite the presence of this interloper, I continue to treasure each moment that I share with him.  I come alive with the touch of his hand.  I thrill to hear my name spill out of his lips.  He is my best friend, my soul mate, my love.

I am patient, I can wait for the day when his undivided affection is mine once more.  In the meantime, I take each tiny pleasure where I can find it: drooling on her leather shoes, shedding on her good wool coat.  And, I know that it's petty, but I find such satisfaction in demanding to be let out at the most inconvenient times, if you know what I mean.

Yes, for him, I can  wait.

***

This post was written in response to the prompt Triangle at Theme Thursday. Head on over and see what other people came up with this week.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Money

It's as easy to fall in love with a rich man as it is a poor one, my mother used to say when I was growing up.  Tongue in cheek, yes, but I think that there was a little part of her, the part that wished for an easier life for her daughters than the one she had herself, that kind of meant it.  Just a little bit.

Go ahead and marry for love, a forty-something co-worker advised me upon hearing of my engagement, all those years ago.  The first time.  But if that doesn't work out, next time you marry for money.

I could never fall in love with someone's money.  Ever.  But I sure get how life could be easier if it was part of the package.

My husband works hard.  He has a job that is about eighty percent muscle.  When he comes home, he is dirty and sweaty and stinky and sore.  He works hard.  But unfortunately, unless you're throwing a football, swinging a bat, or executing a slam dunk, our society doesn't tend to pay all that well for the use of those muscles.  Don't get me wrong, he does okay.  And my job is a pretty good one.  Heaven knows we're better off than many, so I'm not complaining.  Truly, I'm not.

But as forty creeps ever closer, and his body grows a little creakier, we start to worry: What if his back gives out?  What will we do when (and yes, it is when, and not if) his health no longer allows for such strenuous employment? 

We research the job market, assess possibilities.  And I worry.  Because that's what I do.

No, I could never fall in love with someone's money.  Ever.  But I sure get how life could be easier if it was part of the package...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lollipop

Copper curls
litter the ground
around my feet
like autumn leaves.

Sit still, sweetheart...
Be brave!

Eyes wide and solemn,
Each snip tolerated,
but barely -
bribed with the promise
of his very first
lollipop.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Space Between

Out of focus photographs and pretty words on a page - that’s all he ever was, to tell the truth. But she heard all the things he never meant to say, she found them in the space between each letter.

Even “So sorry, you’ve misunderstood,” holds secrets if you know how to look.

She does.

***

Friday Flash 55...can you tell a story in exactly 55 words? This is my attempt. Go see g-man for more, and maybe try one yourself...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Take A Picture

Click.
A coffee shop: an old man with a china mug and tired eyes does a crossword puzzle. In pen. The girl behind the counter looks on, but does not see.

Click.
A signpost, white letters on green. An intersection: Dundas and Elizabeth.

Click.
An almost-woman, pushing a stroller, cell phone to her ear. The child, a boy, meets the camera’s gaze with his own. Solemn blue eyes ask no questions, simply show the way to nowhere.

Click.
Her ghostly reflection, armed with nothing but a suitcase and a cell phone camera, caught in the bus station window.  Just one blur among many.

Like a 21st century Gretel, she’s leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for him to follow.

140-character texts are so limiting.  And a picture is worth a thousand words, after all.  So...

Send.

***
This post was written in response to the prompt Camera at Theme Thursday. Head on over and see what other people came up with this week.

Sweet Little Lies

One of the things that I've been trying to do recently is spend a little more time on writing fiction.  Yes, I realize that you might find that a wee bit surprising, because you don't really see a whole lot of that kind of thing around here.  But writing fiction is actually something that I've been doing way longer than keeping a blog.  Kind of my whole life, when you get right down to it.  So, you might wonder, Where is it?

Ha.  Good question!  Isn't it funny that I don't seem to have a problem sharing the deep, dark secrets of my soul with you, yet balk when it comes down to telling you lies?

Maybe it's because, when I talk about myself and the things that I think and that I see, I'm more reporter than creator, if you know what I mean.  There's just something so risky about sharing words strung together around a fantasy.  Around the thought of a fantasy.

And maybe, just maybe, those stories are the deepest, darkest secrets of all...
Post?  What post?  I don't know what you're talking about.

Nope, no post here.

*Insert wide-eyed innocent look*

Monday, June 14, 2010

Singing In The Rain

As I briefly touched upon a couple of days ago when I noted my grandmother's passing, my mother was disowned a number of years ago, and my sister and I along with her.  A couple of years later, her brother was disowned as well.  So along with his wife and two children, we make up our own small band of outcasts.

We learned of her death through the grapevine, and found her obituary and funeral details online.  We were slightly amazed to see that my mom and uncle were listed as surviving children, and even more surprised when a day later, a sister/stranger phoned to share the news with both of the siblings that she had so long denied.

Perhaps some fences could still be mended, we wondered.  We didn't hold out much hope, you understand.  But we had to try.  So plans to attend the funeral were made.

I've been to a number of funerals in my life. Sadly, most of us have. This funeral was certainly unlike any other, though.

We met in the parking lot of the funeral home, and made our entrance together.  Strength in numbers, I suppose.  One cousin snuck a small wave in my direction, but for the most part, we were studiously ignored.

The area at the front of the chapel was decked out with a multitude of family photographs.  Should I have been surprised to discover that we were not represented in even one single shot?

My mother's two sisters and their family were seated in the front row, the Family row.  The minister made many references to her commitment to family, and to her generous and giving spirit.  Several times I had to hold myself in check, lest I reveal my contempt with a snort.  I was angry.  This woman whose praises he sang had broken my mother's heart.  She had broken my own.  How dare he say such things? 

Well, of course I understand it.  It was a funeral: should he be expected to do anything else?  Ahhh, but it didn't hurt any less for the knowing.

All of "her grandchildren" had a part in the service.  One cousin read scripture, another shared a poem her child had written about Nannie.  A few more shared memories and stories.  A somewhat lighthearted moment arose when one final cousin got up to share a piece of music played upon her french horn.  It went on and on, and was most horribly out of tune.  I had to duck down and pretend to hunt for a tissue in my purse at one point, all the while biting my tongue so hard that it almost bled.  My two young cousins that make up the rest of our gang caught my mirth and struggled to hide their own snickers.  I know, I know...callous.  But it truly was horrific.

I managed to make it through the service dry-eyed, but in the end I was undone.  My grandmother was active in a choir for just about ever, and her whole choir had come to the service and performed a few times throughout.

The very last thing that they did was to belt out "I'm Singing In the Rain", and I broke.  How many times had I seen her dance through her living room while singing that song?  I had forgotten until that very moment that it was her favourite, and was immediately transported back to happy childhood days when she would twirl me by the hand while we sang that song.

Among the many voices of the choir, I heard her voice sing those long-forgotten words.  And it was then that I cried: for my mother, and for my sister; for my memories and myself. 

And yes, even for her.

Goodbye, Nannie.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Ice Is Getting Thinner...

Secrets are everywhere.  I know this, I even have a few of my own.  But that never stops me from being surprised when I stumble over skeletons that are usually tucked away in other people's closets.

These past few days have brought many unrelated revelations; details about friends, family and acquaintences.  Some of them were slightly scandalous, and others were downright disturbing.  Through it all, they were just stories swapped over burgers and beers under sunny skies.  Somehow that doesn't seem quite right.  Shouldn't such ominous tales be told in whispers in dark corners, paragraphs punctuated with thunder claps and cheesy organ music?

These discoveries always leave me wondering: were these things there for me to see all along, if only I paid closer attention?  Or were they so well camoflauged that I am justified in missing the signs?

***

In what is nothing more than a strange coincidence, one of my tightly held secrets was almost let loose today.  An old friend was visiting from out of town.  She had just recently visited with another mutual friend, none other than our dear friend over at A New Day

Jodie and I were discussing our old high school friends, and catching each other up with who each of us still kept in touch with, twenty years on from highschool.  I mentioned my relationship with Katherine had recently been rekindled and Jodie, very innocently, hypothesized that the fact that we both kept blogs might be one reason for this.  This was said right in front of my husband and parents.

Yikes.

Well, I think there is no harm done.  My husband didn't seem to notice.  Frankly, I'm not even sure he knows what a blog is.  My parents caught it, though.  After I awkwardly tried to steer the conversation elsewhere with Jodie's help (she's quick, and immediately picked up on the fact that this topic was a touchy one), my mother noted to my father I don't think we were supposed to hear that.

You got that right, mom.  Oops.  But I don't think that they'd be able to find me, even if they look.

I hope.

The trouble with keeping a secret blog is that it can be difficult to keep it a secret!


Friday, June 11, 2010

It's Too Late

The phone rings, right in the middle of dinner. Call display reveals that it is one of my parents on the other end of the line. Completely unexpected, because they never call me, and certainly not on a Friday evening. I phone them every Saturday morning at nine. We are all three of us creatures of habit, so for them to deviate from routine can only mean one thing: bad news.

It’s my mother. She says hello, asks how I am. She sounds normal enough, so I cautiously reply that I am fine, and return the question. 

Well, she says, her tone casually conversational.  Nannie died today.

Oh my god, I reply. How are you doing?

I’m fine, she says. And strangely, she actually kind of sounds like she is.

***

My mom had a falling out with her family about twenty years ago.  Hot tempers are a family trait.  So is holding grudges.  And although a few half-hearted attempts at reconciliation were made, they never really took hold.  Even though my grandmother - my Nannie - lived only a twenty minute drive away, I could count on one hand the number of times that I've seen her through the last two decades. 

Despite having a close relationship with my grandmother throughout my childhood, I was cut off along with my mother.  Just like that.

My blood might know this woman.  And fond childhood memories don't lie.  But she has had no place in my life for a long time now.  I grieved quite a while ago, I grieved while she still lived.  My heart broke for myself and my sister and my mother a million times over these last twenty years.

Yes, I might have her blood flowing through my veins, diluted though it may be.  But it is someone else that I will always think of as Grandmother, despite no biological connection at all.  And a year and a half ago, when the beautiful lady who chose me as her family passed on, that's when I truly mourned.  And my first tears today stem, just now, when I think of her.

I am sad, but mostly for my mom.  She can say what she likes, but I don't believe she's being honest with me or herself when she tells me she's fine.  Those wounds will never heal, and a resolution will never be attained.

It's too late. 

That's not fine.  It's not fine at all.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ten

Dear Nathan,

Ten years ago this very day, you made your reluctant debut - all nine pounds, fourteen ounces of you (Ouch!  Is it any wonder you were in no hurry to be born?  Rather traumatic for us both, I'm afraid!).

Today, you hit that magical moment of counting your age in double-digits.  And I start on my second decade as a mother.  Your mother.  And really, when you get right down to it, you weren't the only one that was born that day.  Sure, there are bits and pieces of who I was before still lurking in the corners of my soul, but so much of who I am today would never have been if it weren't for you.  The best parts, the ones that I'm most proud of...not one of them is older than you are, darling.

Nathan, one day you will do some basic math and realize that you were born almost exactly nine months after your father and I got married.  A honeymoon baby, truly.  Perhaps you'll wonder if you were planned  (or maybe not - I don't think that boys tend to dwell on these things the way that girls do!).  If we are being honest, my love, the answer to that question would technically have to be "no" - your Dad and I didn't intend to become parents quite so quickly.  But make no mistake...we never considered you an accident.  You see, calling something "an accident" sort of implies that it is horrible, or at the very least unpleasant.  An accident is something that you'd choose to avoid if you could some how get a do-over.  You, my darling, are nothing of the sort.  Think of yourself as a surprise.  You were the best kind of gift imaginable: the one that arrives unlooked for.  Something that I didn't know I needed until I touched you, held you, and recognized that you filled every hole that I never knew existed.

Watching you grow these last ten years has been the most sublime experience.  It's a cliché to say so, and I know it, but it truly does seem like just yesterday that the nurse placed you, all brand new and unknown, into my arms for the very first time.  You were such a big, beautiful baby.  And determined?  You bet!  You were trying to lift your head up from the day you were born.  You get that stubborn streak from me, honey.  Know it, recognize it for what it is, but let it go sometimes.  That's a lesson I still haven't learned yet, I'm afraid...

When I look at you I see a physically beautiful creature: blond hair, blue eyes with those long, black lashes; tall and wiry and strong.  But anyone can see that.  I am one of the lucky few that is able to see beyond those superficial details to the sweet, smart boy inside.  The sense of humour, the creative spark, the loving heart: these things (and more!) are laid out before me, for I know where to look. 

Oh, my lovely boy: this letter could easily go on forever.  I never bore of you, never tire of analyzing your heart and soul.  I am so fortunate to know you, so blessed to be given the opportunity to set you upon the path you will walk through this life, and to hold your hand as you move along it, for even just a little while.

And now, you are ten.  More and more, you seek to find your own way.  It is the way of things, it is right; so I struggle to let you go, to release you, bit by bit.  Such a gorgeous age, where you can be my baby and your own man all at the same time!  This back-and-forth between big and small is a delicate dance.  My heart beats to your rhythms, my darling.  My blood dances to your song.  But sometimes you stumble, and sometimes I step on your toes...yet we move together as best as we can, and find a quiet joy in the music.  A life full of love and laughter is worth every misstep, don't you think?

Nathan, my first born baby, my Love...they haven't invented the words that I need to properly share the depths of my heart, so I'll have to settle for simplicity: Happy Birthday, sweetheart.  I wish for you to find peace and happiness with yourself and your place in the world.  I wish for magic and beauty to light your days and only good dreams to fill your nights.  I would wish for you to know no pain, but without a point of reference, all the brightest moments that life has to offer don't taste quite as sweet...so instead I'll wish you a heart that mends quick, and a mind that sees the silver linings in any dark cloud.

I love you, darling.  Today and always.  I know you'd prefer I sign this letter "Mom", because that's what you've so recently started calling me (when you remember yourself and the advanced age you've attained!).  But I just can't do it.  In my heart, I am and will always be:

Your Mommy
xoxo

 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Love Comes

So I made this grand announcement yesterday about stepping back from Blog-land a little bit.  And what does my dear friend Katherine do in response to this?  She tags me for a meme, knowing that I could never resist playing along, of course!  (And I love your blog too, my friend!) 

The rules for this little game are simple enough.  I need to list ten things that I love.  Sure, I can do that!

1. My kids.  A no-brainer, of course.  I'd have to place them in the number one position.  I sometimes wonder what sort of a woman I'd be if I were childless.  It's impossible to imagine, really.  It's not that my whole life revolves around them, but that their existence simply completes me.  They just make me a better person, really.

2. Music.  In case you haven't noticed, I love music.  I don't play any instruments and I don't sing (well, not in public anyway!), but music is a huge part of my life, nonetheless.  Many of my best and worst memories are all wrapped up in the songs that were playing at the time.  My life has an ever-evolving soundtrack.  Music makes me feel.

3. Sleeping in.  I tend to be an early riser.  It's a good thing too, because my younger boy is a very early riser.  I do moan about it from time to time, but really, it's not so bad.  Despite my affinity for dawn's early light, there is something incredibly decadent about lazing away the morning in bed.  The way the light that creeps in around the edges of the blind holds that late-morning flavour is a sweet treat upon ocassion.  Nice!  Bonus: if the bed is made up with clean sheets just dried on the line, the smell of the sun and wind trapped in their folds, it's darn near perfection.

4. A good book.  I love to read, always have.  When I was four years old, I used to cry in frustration because I couldn't make the symbols upon the  page make sense to me.  I struggled and struggled, asking my dad to tell me how to do it again and again.  One day, the proverbial lightbulb lit up.  I remember the day, and yes: it was just like someone flipped a switch in my brain and I got it.  And a life-long love affair with the written word was born.

5.  Springtime.  All seasons have a thing or two to brag about.  Even Winter, which I'm not overly fond of, has a few fine moments that can bring a little joy.  But nothing compares to witnessing the world's reawakening, the greening of the landscape which was just so recently barren and cold.  In the Spring, anything seems possible, and that if only I knew how to look, there would be faeries dancing in the moonlight in among my daffodils.  In the Spring, I feel young and old at the exact same time.  It's magical.

6. Synchronicity.  I love it when some obscure or random fact pops up in two completely unrelated places, one after the other.  It's almost like a message from the universe.  A sign.  Cool!

7.  My country.  I live in Canada.  I know some people will disagree with me, but I truly believe that there could be no better country in the entire world to live in.  Natural disasters such as earthquakes, tropical storms, hurricanes and tsunamis, are few.  We have universal healthcare which I fully embrace as AWESOME.  We spell some words funny - like centre or cheque or favourite - but it keeps life interesting, and I like it.  Even if we do say "Zed" instead of "Zee", thus messing up the entire ending of the alphabet song.  Ahhh...I could go on and on: I love living where I do and wouldn't choose to move away, even if finances or circumstances allowed.  Plus, I love Canadian beer.

8.   Being pampered.  Have you ever had a pedicure?  Or a hot stone massage?  If you have, you'll know why I love them and no more needs to be said on the matter.  If you have not, I strongly urge you to do so.   Immediately.  Bliss!

9.  The smell of my mother's kitchen.  Mmmmm...apple pie.  Or maybe spaghetti and meatballs.  Or even homemade bread.  There is always something delicious in the works in my mother's kitchen.  The tantalizing scent that fills the air in the final minutes of preparation is pure heaven.  Yum!

10.  Friendships.  Both in person and virtual.  The joining of hearts and sharing of thoughts and emotions is a joy, always and forever.

So there you have it: ten things that I love.  Now to keep this thing moving, I will tag some others...

Play along if you want!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Time of Your Life

Dear Blog Reader,

Today, I'm going to do a little basic math with you.

There are twenty-four hours in a day.  Monday through Friday, I am out of the house for twelve of them, for work.  For the sake of this exercise, let's say I sleep seven hours a night.  Sometimes I sleep a little more, sometimes a little less.  But this is a likely number.

So you can figure this out fairly easily yourselves, but let me spell it out for you.  That leaves me with just five hours a day for everything else: cooking, cleaning, bathing, eating dinner, playing with my kids, interacting with my husband...all of that has to be crammed into those leftover five hours.  And not only that.  I am kind of selfish and require "me" time thrown in there, too.  Time to play on the computer, or read, or whatever.

That's a lot of stuff to fit in to five little hours, isn't it?

These past few months of blogging have been fun.  Getting to know all of you, reading your comments and reading your blogs is a treat.  It's part of that "me" time that I have carved out for myself. 

But (yeah, you knew there was a "but", didn't you?) this electronic life that I am leading is starting to get in the way of my real one.  Keeping up with my blog plus everyone else's is starting to take a toll.

This isn't good-bye.  No way!  I like this bloggy playground way too much for that.  It's just my way of explaining the days away that I plan on taking now and then.  I don't think that there will be many, nor will they be long, drawn out absences, either.  I just can't keep up with the daily pace any longer.  At least, not if I want to keep sane (and married!). 

I hope you all understand and will continue to come visit me now and then.  I still plan on popping in to visit you!

All my love,
Me

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Waiting For The Night To Fall

Bloodshot eyes and a bag of chips -
All part of the weekend ritual
that takes me north
to cottage country.

A maze of highways:
Six lanes,
then four,
now two….

One last stretch,
heading west
into the setting sun.

A little death
for us both.
But a certain rebirth
in the morning,
thank god.

***

Driving to work this morning, my iPod presented me with this song.  It took me right back to another time and place in my life, somwhere very different from where I am today...and became the inspiration for my "55".



Firday Flash 55...can you tell a story in exactly 55 words?  This is my attempt.   Go see g-man for more, and maybe try one yourself...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bugs

This morning, I dropped off the kids at the babysitters, and hopped back into the car to head to work.  I noticed, almost immediately upon reentering my car, that a tiny little bug had glommed on to my windshield - almost directly in my line of vision.

I'll admit that I was briefly tempted to hit the wipers to clear him off.  But since I generally like bugs, as long as they're outside (and as long as they don't sting!  I do have a slight bee phobia...but that's another story!), I just let him be.  And this particular guy was kind of cute.  He was green, with these gangly antenae that he would wave about as if tasting the air, each time my car slowed to a stop.

And each time I did slow - for a stop sign, red light, or whatever - I waited for him to jump off.  But he did not.  Those six little legs of his clamped down tight against the glass and as I hit highway speeds, he just hunkered down for the ride.

At one point, just over half-way to work, a few scattered raindrops hit my windshield.  I felt a slight sense of panic.  What would I do if it should start to rain?  Over the course of my drive, I had started to feel a slight affection for this creature, my determined little hitch-hiker, and hoped that it wouldn't come down to choosing between my need for visibility and his little life.  I wondered whether I would be able to reach my hand out of the window and stretch far enough to gently brush him off, should I be forced to engage the wipers.  Luckily, sun won out over clouds, and I didn't have to find out.

The drive in to my office is about thirty-five kilometers.  My little green friend lasted the entire trip, still clinging to my window as I parked my car.

He was gone at the end of the day, of course.  Off to discover this new locale, for he had travelled a very long way.  Unlikely to ever see his home or his buggy friends and family again, a stranger in a strange land, he would need to move on from his secure perch on my window and seek out his fortune.

Or maybe he just got eaten by a bird.

Whatever.  That tough little guy impressed me with his bravery and endurance.  Inspiration can be found in the most unlikely of places, should you choose to seek it.  And that little green superstar?  He rocked!