There is electricity in our veins

Charles gazed in the mirror upon coming to the final buttons of his white JC Penny button down, tie untied hanging at both sides of his hands, chin slightly tilted up. He held the small tail of the tie and wrapped with a snap of familiarity twice, threaded through and pulled downward crisply. He snugged the tie into place, tilted his chin downward and turned away from the mirror not needing to recognize himself any longer than necessary. His coffee maker waited patiently for him to pour that lonely cup and abandon it once again without so much as a thank you for another lonely day. He took it and an apple and walked out the door easily, briefcase in hand. The coffee maker shut itself off and waited still half full for yet another day to pass.

Charles shuffled papers, delegated responsibilities, had lunch, made phone calls, analyzed numbers, took meetings and began to prepare to leave the office for the day. He straightened his papers, put the pens back into the pen cups, tucked the stapler back in, logged out of his computer, made notes for the next day, turned his desk light out, grabbed his coat and casually walked out the door taking a bite of his apple.

No one knew that once he drove out of the corporate parking lot he began to untie his tie with one hand removing it entirely and placing it on his coat which lay next to him over the briefcase. He unbuttoned his top few buttons and placed his hands back on 10 and 2. He did this much without thought, just as when he dressed himself, it was very automatic and emotionless. He didn’t think badly of preparing to go to work. He didn’t rush out the door when leaving. He didn’t curse his tie for being around his neck the way it was all day every business day… and a few holidays and special occasions.

He pulled into the parking lot of a white house converted to commercial property. It had a wrap around porch that was wide and welcoming. He pulled open the screen door and pushed open the wooden and glass door. He knew she was there. His whole body began to light up with electricity and he could feel that if he did not keep himself under control he would certainly become aroused. The obligatory greetings happened as he walked in, calmly hung his coat and sat down. He gazed at her. He ran his finger over the deep burnt sienna of her hair and then again over the french red vermilion of her lips. She lay delicately in a bed of cobalt green and hydrangea blue surrounded by subtle twinkles of pale lemon yellow and silver white. Her elegant, sheer sleeping gown draped over her breasts, her belly, her hips and legs and she waited for her lover longingly.

He secured the apron around his waist and boldly handled his palette mixing a new shade, spatula in hand, linseed oil at the ready and turpentine filling his nostrils.

Corin, pt 2

One day, her mother asked Corin if she wanted to learn to cook and sew and garden just as she did. Of course, Corin was anxious to learn. Corin soon found she was pretty good at these things. She would cook for friends and neighbors and because she made everything with such innocence and joy, a renewed spirit began to come over the whoever she would cook for. All who would sample this fresh new style of cooking from the young rising star would remember their own childhood innocence. Sometimes there were bad memories, but more often they were good and the memories washed over people like a baptismal fountain.

The day Corin began to sing she found her specific gift. Her mother saw this and knew it was time. That night after work and school, they went into the garden together to gather up some salad fixings to go with dinner and some yellow zucchini and orange peppers for the ratatouille. Ratatouille would always mark a special occasion. It was Corin’s favorite dish. There was something elegant about this country fare she could not pin point. And whenever her mother made it, strange magic would happen.

They gathered up their baskets when they were full of fragrant basil and peppers and spinach and chatted away as they went inside.

The steps made the shifting and crackling sound wood makes when it gets a worn in. Up up up the lavender colored steps held up by kick plates that were painted like a Rousseau jungle with an African moon and sky.

“I am so proud of you for doing so well in school. Your teachers say you have all A’s and it should be no problem for you to get a scholarship to a good university,” she said as she thinly sliced the zucchinis. “Mrs. Millerbean says you have to be creative though and not to just rely on your academic scores. She says you’ll be asked to write some narratives and essays about what you want to do with your life and stuff.”

“I know. I’ve been thinking about it,” Corin responded as she lay the blossoms in the flour preparing them for frying. “My history teacher says I have the ability to create great change. She’s always telling everyone that the future is in our hands though. I don’t know how I am going to create ‘great change’ with singing. I want to study art and art history, but that seems risky. I’m pretty good at math so I thought about business or engineering. I like to write, so I thought about studying literature. I’m just not sure.”

“You could teach.”

“No. It seems arrogant, but I visualize myself in front of many people somehow. I see myself also happily working in the garden,” Corin paused. “I know those statements seem disconnected. Don’t they? I guess I have to figure it out.”

“You will, dear. And you will do great things!”

After dinner her mother takes her by the hand and as she talks Corin notices her mother is saying good bye. She’s leaving her. She begins to vanish and Corin becomes filled with a feeling of love and sadness. Before leaving, her mother gave her all her gifts. Corin’s practice of them were rough still, but she would learn.

Corin, pt. 1

He killed her.

The light shined down on them from the street lamps. The street was slick and shiny and little puddles in the asphalt nubs caught the yellowish light like miniature tea cups scattered along the center of the road. The reflected light from the misty rain created rainbows so small you could perceive a depth that absorbed the darkness and lightness all at once leaving a feeling that multiple dimensions could be realized and one could travel trough time and space here in the glint of refracted light through the moisture. This vapor created a halo like glow around the two crouched bodies in the silent city night. He held her limp shell and moaned. He felt he could feel her soul trying to get  out and past him. He enveloped as much of her small body as he could trying to keep her soul from escaping.

He peeled his body away and looked at her. He drooled and blinked and mumbled and wrapped himself around her again as if he were a protective aluminum soul shield and life giving blanket. The tears were fighting their way out from the inside causing pain in his sinuses and forehead as the swelling punched and pushed against the inner membrane of his eyelids. He willed his tears to stop because it was a waste of energy and he needed to focus on stopping her death with all his mystical powers visualizing a transference of life. She did save his life once afterall. For what? He failed. Now he was left to wonder about his own death and the meaning of this life. He wanted to die. He said out loud, “Not again. I did it again.” He could not take back this action and unlike the selfish mistakes in his past, he feared he would never be able to even contemplate how to begin to forgive himself.

Ahhhh. But let’s rewind a bit, back to a beginning, dear reader; So as to introduce you to our Corin.

There she was again singing. The whole cathedral was filled with her sound. This divine vibration. Everyone has this power! Every human being contained a sound, a vibration and this vibration is life. It is the sound of life. In Corin this was especially pronounced. She was like a songbird since she was a child. Her voice was as clear and proud and bold as brass horn. You could feel a majesty that you could swim in every time she sang and there was a direct line from her vocal chords to heaven itself. This child prodigy went to the church of her own free will looking to answer a calling. As a child, she couldn’t pin point where it came from, but when she looked up into the stained glass windows that were placed there so long ago with such love in the builder’s heart, she knew she related to this somehow.

She didn’t remember much about her mother, but she did remember that when her mother cried, the plants would die and something was wrong with her cooking. It would be bland and if anyone ate it, their heart would feel sadness. If she was happy, on the other hand, the sun seemed to shine brighter and everything she would touch would glow with a joyous light. Corin didn’t understand this. She believed it was all an odd coincidence. She was also thankful that her mother was happy for the most part, as if it were her job to spread joy and make the flowers bloom. Corin would just follow along and mind her manners and do what a little girl should do.

Writing and work

Does it count? That is a question that comes to mind. So, to be fair – I write. If only to explore the question of purpose. Do we post to get over the exposure fear or do we post because we have unique and original thoughts and ideas that we are extemporaneously  relieving our minds, hearts and / or intellects of?

I have been thinking about fiction today – which is part of the reason I dug up Frigidaire from my archives. I hadn’t put it in my blog yet as far as I could find. (One day soon I am really going to have to organize, link and meta tag up my reinvigorated blog. Not that I am really an good at all of organizing much of anything: ie house, paintings, time, dishes, kitchen table…)

Reading through the stacks of writing buried deep in my computer makes me think I am probably not alone. Most writers stuff thoughts away – I’d bet successful writers probably  are a little more architectural about what to do with the thoughts put down. Frigidaire is one of my favorites I guess – I found it in my Facebook notes and cringed at the thought of being redundant, but it was not indeed found in my blog, which is where I wanted it since I’m storing my writings there now.

Hopefully this pattern will continue. Ah, but the road to hell and good intentions and all that….

I also found a blog from 2008 that I took down, but kept all the writing from. Blog mania. If I were organized, I’d probably do what Tim Ferris does and test domain names to see which seem to organically get the most traffic. He does this with tags too. Just plays around with it. So – if you don’t know who Tim Ferris is and are interested in selling, find him, check it out. He offers a lot of crazy ideas. If he were a superhero, I’d call him Idea Man. You can almost glean a cape from the top of his clever graphic T, fists on hips as he stands tall with an all American smile.

He’s cheesy like that. I’m sure he’d giggle at the image.

I, on the other hand, am going to get ready to go to what is called, “the office”. After that, I head right to the gym pretty much which is also where I work. I run quotes and generally help people at the office and try to organize the paperwork there thinning out the files and printed emails from 2007 making sure they find a new home in the recycle bin. I always love it when I find that stuff in the file. Who keeps this stuff? The woman I replaced kept everything. She was super awesome, however. She makes me think of Berwyn or Cicero – I’ll have to base a character off her one day. And, she is very loved. But the woman kept everything – mostly because I think she just didn’t get how computers worked really and didn’t really trust them. Happy hump day everyone – That’s like… what people say when they go to the office… And so I’m off.



He plucked his casual fuzzy fall and winter gloves from the cubby in the closet where they kept all their hats and scarves and things for chilly weather.

One foot in front of the other, toes first rolling past the arches and finally to the heel, he placed his bare feet one by one onto the black and white checkered vinyl kitchen floor.

He was naked and beautiful and walking with a mischievous purpose and a straight back. Almost gliding. Perfectly nude, except for the fuzzy gloves.

He proceeded to the refrigerator. It was a model from the 1950’s. A single solid door that read “frigidaire” about a foot above and to the right of the silver plated handle in lettering that was spaced just so.

He opened it and the cool breeze and light whispered around his skin in the dark of the room. His right gloved hand held open the door while his left rose to meet the freezer compartment.

Ice cream was what his heart desired. Heart. Why does that word bother me so?

Just to the left is the drawer. In the drawer are knives. Butcher knives. Bread knives. Pairing knives. Butter knives. Chopping knives. Large knives. Small knives. He fumbled around in there with his gloved hand leaving a bit of lint and fuzz on everything and causing a bit of a rumbling. And then he found it.

With a satisfied feeling, he allowed his left gloved hand and the notorious ice cream scooper emerge from the drawer without removing his gaze from the frozen glory that sat on the counter next to the frigidaire. He pulled it from the drawer and slid the drawer closed seductively with his palm facing up and thumb and three fingers closed as if telling it to take the tip and mind it’s business like a good bell boy.

He looked at the ice cream box and popped the top off the lid and all he could see was her clavicle.

Then he looked again. He saw her rib cage below bare breasts right under her clavicle and this is where she hid her heart.

He looked upward now blinking. It was the nape of her neck where he remembered seeing a pulsating of her skin there once. Her neck led to her jaw and earlobe, but if you follow her jawline the other way you can see her supple chin which is just below her lips.

He plunged the scoop into the ice cream and he saw the rib cage that hid her heart.

Again and again he plunged the ice cream scoop in. Faster and faster into the oozing mess trying to slop it into the bowl on the counter next to the ice cream box. Blood was everywhere. Her chest was barren. Her bones were exposed as he’d force his hand past her sternum until finally he just dropped the scoop and parted her rib cage with both hands, gloves still on.

At the sight of her pounding heart, he leaned back a bit propping her body up with his hips, he removed his gloves one by one with a bit of a smirk and a glimmer in his blue green eyes as they steadily gazed at their prey.

The blood poured out. The limp, pale, powdery face was offset by the fire engine red of her lipstick and blue black depth of her hair. Shoulders, head and hands splayed backward and out as he feasted in her chest cavity with the still velvety smooth viscosity dripping off his elbows.

He looked at his hands and closed his eyes for a moment. What had he done? He placed the entirety of the large slick soiled metacarpi over his face and slid them down over his neck and to his chest whereupon his eyes opened like flood lights turning on in the middle of the night. He was filled and overflowing with power and pleasure.

Suddenly, the brown and brass hanging light in the center of the darkness in the kitchen illuminated the room.

There she was. She just stood there. His eyes opened wide. The ice cream was all over the counter and the floor and dripping off the refrigerator and it looked like he went swimming in it or something. They both looked at the floor for a moment and there were the fuzzy gloves laying there helplessly, one slightly turned inside out.

She turned off the light. No glass of water was worth losing a life for after all by a crazy man swimming in ice cream. With a whirl of her nightgown, she hiked back up the stairs back to bed.

And there he stood alone in the dark by the cool light of the frigidaire.

Reprinted from June 12, 2011

The way home

I don’t know why I got so excited when I saw a mad max lookin’ pick up truck cruising up the road today. It looked like one of those Ford Bronco’s, but bigger, way bigger, and with the back part chainsawed off. The tires were huge too – but not too huge – not monster truck huge. And I swear the license plate was twist tied on with rusty wire. The back bed of the truck was full of scavenged items: bed frames, table parts, chairs, coils. It was a gnarly looking vehicle.

Now there is nothing really good, per se, about being in Mad Max world. It’s dystopia. At the same time there is something fascinating about large imperfect hunks of scrap metal  leaning to one side roaring up a road. I don’t know if it’s just bringing back childhood wonder or if it was just so surreal and out of place – it didn’t logically look like it should be moving at all – that I admired it.

I continued riding up the road scooting in between stopped cars and around slow cars. It’s nice being on bicycle sometimes. I love it pretty much all the time although I admit I was thinking about riding in the cold weather and snow. Something I have been planning to do and has been on my list. Last year I was going to give up my car entirely – but I got too lazy. This year though – I better get plenty of cold weather gear! I’m excited!

When I got home I could hear Sammy lazily plop off the couch pulling one of the cushions to the floor as his hind legs slithered off as he stretched and kneaded the rug with his front paws until they finally dropped and he trotted over. I patted his head and tethered him in his harness and off we went. It was cool outside. Unusually so for summer in the Chicago burbs. Global warming, so I hear.

We walked easily to the park and I was impressed by how he was actually following commands pretty well, not getting too crazy about squirrels and rabbits. I felt it was as if he knew he wasn’t going anywhere anyway. Even if usually he would stubbornly pull the leash anyway. Once so much so that I was holding his harness and his front feet were air walking over the sidewalk – ears perked.

We got to the field and he found his freedom – and some rabbits. I wonder what he would do if he caught up with a rabbit. He doesn’t seem to have a violent bone in his body. Would he kill the thing? Or was it just the chase that interested him? He definitely enjoyed the chase. I didn’t feel bad about tethering him back up since he had gotten his run in. In and out and around the bushes and trees at full speed. The chase was fully on. His eyes had laser focus. Ah, the life of a dog!

Ah, the life of a dog

Ah, the life of a dog


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