Click on any photo to enlarge them all.
Click on any photo to enlarge them all.
I’m collecting RED today, so let’s see your Red posting.. please put a link in my comments so others can see it as well.
A Red Convertible
The red convertible was made redder by the man in it. He was incredibly pale. Blonde hair, flaxen skin, white shirt, pale arms. His eyes were moonstones, his smile cold as that moon. Why he would choose a car that showed him off to such disadvantage was hard at first to discern, but in time she came to understand it. That car accented his differentness. It made him a curiosity one wanted to encounter in order to examine it, and when you drew near enough to examine it, to converse with him and see his manner, hear his mind, you were captured. The trap snapped shut.
His mind, like his car, was anything but pale. Once his mouth opened, he burst open like a Christmas piñata. He snapped. He tumbled. Each word was a tiny gift that no one but you knew you wanted. He was surprise after surprise. A bit of everything, each thing intended to gift you, surprise you, capture you. The man was like a crazy gift wrapped up in white paper and string.
That red convertible, initially a contrast, became a perfect replication of the man who drove it. It took you off to adventures you could never dream of. Like the man himself. Like his mind.
Many years later, years during which I have come to know the man well and to meet others who know him, I have learned that with every person, the trip was different. When I stepped into the red convertible, it sped me off to a world in which anything was possible. We drove off to galleries where one day I myself would hang. We drove to little inns that would become my solace, to crazy stores that would be my mood-lifters, to the houses of his friends who would become my friends. We would stop at roadside stands that had exactly what I needed, although I hadn’t known it before. We would drive with the top down, wasting music to road behind us that was like music made expressly for me that I’d never heard before. Those trips into the unknown were trips into parts of myself I didn’t even know were there. Parts I had visited only in dreams. Parts that opened me up like a flower and seeded further growth. That red convertible, long after it had been retired to grand seclusion in a corner of a garage that held many cars—one for each person his life drove him to—still exists in my mind, and every day, it propels me on to the weird and unexpected. Drives me on to who I am and who I will be.
Click on any photo to enlarge all.
The car on the left was the one I requested. The car on the right was the one I got!!!!
When I was still trying to make it up to the Cabot trail in Nova Scotia in the black beast pictured above, I stopped at a big red barn restaurant—the only place close to the motel where I stayed for the night. The meal was not memorable and was accompanied by the agony of a girl child in the next booth who SCREAMED in a high shrill voice for at least half of the time to the accompaniment of a mother who occasionally ineffectively tried to shush her. It occurred to me that I could move, but at that point she started running up and down the length of the restaurant, piping “Ring around the rosy” in her irritatingly shrill and LOUD voice. Since I hesitated to turn to fix her with my own shaming glare, I never laid eyes on her until they finally left half way through my meal. By her behavior, I had thought she must be three or so, but was amazed to see when they finally left that she was more like five or six.
It was an incredible relief until another man came in with what looked like the same child. They blessedly sat a few booths beyond me as she seemed to possess the same voice and irritating behavior. At least, however, she stayed in her own booth—a bit further from my unappreciative ear than the last child. The meal was forgettable. The experience wasn’t. But, when I left, I at least snapped this photo which illustrates well the difference between the car I wanted and the gas-guzzling technologically puzzling beast that Hertz actually issued me. We parted company last night. Such a relief to hand it back to its rightful owners.
Okay, as promised, here I am following the rules.
For even better photos of cars, trucks and motorcycles, be sure to look here: https://ceenphotography.com/2016/06/16/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-cars-trucks-or-motorcycles/
All photos copyright by Jim Arnieri and for review purposes only. Please do not download or reproduce without his permission.
These photos aren’t black and white and they aren’t mine, but my brother-in-law Jim Arnieri is the most incredible photographer of automobiles that I have ever seen, so this seems like the perfect time to share his work. He specializes in details, so you will usually not even realize it is cars that you are looking at. Scroll through the page at this link: http://www.artltd-hja.com/photos.html but then do not miss going here as well: http://www.artltd-hja.com/decor.html to see his art in the setting of their home. Hope you enjoy this trip through a wheeled world much more spectacular than any I could concoct while I go to try to find some black and whites of my own that will probably be less art, more story..
Devil # 3
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Helpless.” Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?
Okay, I was going to give this prompt a “miss” and went to the new prompt generator I’ve been using for the past few days. I hit the button and was served up the two-word prompt: “Ill Devil”. At first I read this as #3 Devil, and I must admit, I got a chill, because what I immediately thought about when I read the prompt was the third time I was in a near-death situation where I felt totally helpless. What are the chances, I thought, that these two prompts would line up? This must be something I’m meant to write about. But then reason stepped in and I realized this prompt always gave an adjective and a noun. What they probably meant by the prompt was ill Devil. (Changing the capital to a small “i” clarified the prompt.) But then I realized that ill devil described the occurrence I am trying not to talk about as much as #3 devil did, so I guess, prodded on twice by fate or coincidence or synchronicity, I will try.
I have written to a similar prompt twice in 2015, so probably most of you who read my blog have chanced upon one of those posts, but when I wrote to a similar prompt in June of 2014, I wrote a different piece and since I had few of my present-day readers then, I’ll mention that THIS is what I wrote. It may not be obvious that the topic given in today’s prompt was what I was really talking about then, however, because it was a poem where I actually stood to one side of what I was really remembering and wrote about the subject as an onlooker rather than a participant. I only alluded to the real subject, which is what I’m going to attempt to write about today. That real subject is Ted Bundy and how otherwise respectable women sometimes fall prey to such predators. Okay, deep breath. I’m going to tell to the world something I have actually told to very few people. Yes, this is a true story.
Devil # 3
Nineteen seventy-something. In the bar with friends.
When you are in your twenties, the partying never ends.
It was rodeo season and the big one was in town.
As one by one they ordered drinks, I couldn’t turn them down.
We were a rather rowdy bunch of teachers in our prime
Devoted in the classroom, but wild on our own time.
The bar was crowded hip to hip, the music barely heard
over the loud cacophony of laugh and shouted word.
It was my turn to buy a round. I struggled towards the bar.
My polite “Excuse me’s!” really hadn’t gotten me too far
when a guy appeared in front of me and moved the crowd aside
as though he had appointed himself to be my guide.
As I returned with eight full drinks, again he stemmed the tide
by walking close in front of me and spreading elbows wide.
He smiled and then departed, back to the teeming mass.
Impressive that he had not even tried to make a pass!
My friends all wondered who he was. I said I had no clue.
Tall and dark and ivy-league, he vanished from our view.
This story happened long ago. Some details I’ve forgotten,
and any memories he retains, you’ll learn were ill-begotten.
I think we danced a dance or two. I know we talked awhile.
I liked his fine intelligence, his low-key polite style.
At three o’clock the barman’s bell commenced it’s clanging chime
and I made off to find my friends, for it was closing time.
Two lines of men had split the bar, lined up back to back.
Their hands locked and their arms spread wide–they moved into the pack.
One line moved east, the other west, forcing one and all
Either out the front door or towards the back door hall.
I was forced out the back way–out into the alley.
My friends and I had made no plans of where we were to rally
and so I walked around the block, sure that was where they waited,
but there was no one there at all–the crowd had soon abated.
I went back to the alleyway to see if they were there.
but all was dark and still, and soon I began to fear
that both carloads of friends had thought I was with the other.
I had no recourse but to walk, though I prayed for another.
I combed my mind to try to think of anyone at all
living in this part of town where I could go to call
a friend to come and get me and furnish me a ride
for 3 a.m. was not a time to be alone outside.
There were no outside phone booths and I lived so far away
I simply had to rouse someone, but what was I to say?
But since I had no other choice I thought I’d check once more
if any single soul was waiting at the bar’s front door.
And as I left the alley to be off to see,
I saw a new familiar face looking back at me.
It was my dancing partner, his face split in a grin.
It seems that he was going to save me once again.
He had asked me earlier if needed a ride,
but I had told him wisely that I had friends inside
and so I thought he’d left, but I could see he was still there.
Yet, ride home with a stranger? Did I really dare?
And yet I had no other choice, abandoned as I was.
And so I said I guess that yes, I would, simply because
I knew there was just one of him and I was young and strong.
And he seemed kind, polite and gentle. What could go so wrong?
His car was just a block away. Our walk was short and brief.
And when he pointed out his car, I felt a great relief.
For it was a convertible–and easy to escape
If I detected the first signs of robbery or rape!
He opened up the door for me. I got in the front seat.
But as he started up the car, my heart skipped a beat.
For from the bushes, two more men emerged and jumped inside–
one man in the backseat, the other at my side!
He pulled out into the street, though I protested so.
I didn’t really want a ride, so please, just let me go!
(And here I have to beg off and say I’ll finish this story tomorrow. Right now my heart is pumping and my head throbbing as though I’m re-enacting this whole tale physically as well as mentally. I’m totally exhausted. Why I decided to write this in rhyme I don’t know. Perhaps I thought it would be easier, or more fun or more lighthearted, but there is simply no way to write this from any other frame of mind but the terror I felt that night. So, sorry, but I will resume tomorrow. You all know that I’m here telling the story, so be assured that the worst didn’t happen…but the story is by no means over, so join me tomorrow for the rest. I, for one, could really use a drink, but it is only 1:40 in the afternoon so I’ll find some other means of escape.)
To see the conclusion of this poem, go HERE.
If you’d like to try out Jennifer’s new prompt generator, go HERE.