Category Archives: Love Stories

Just Testing

Bloggers know this, but today I’m just reminding us all that best friends need not always be close at hand or even living in the same country. I’m leaving in a few hours to fly back to Mexico. My bags are packed and for the first time, although they are stuffed to the zippers, I’m leaving the U.S. with the same number of bags with which I left Mexico. What I’m not taking back with me are all the close friends and relatives who have made the rigors of traveling worth it. Prime among them is someone you’ve gotten to know a bit during these last few weeks of my trip. A bit of an agoraphobe, he has nonetheless not only paid host to me in his home but has also driven me through six states to visit other loved ones. I release him now, back to his computer and the grass that I am sure he’ll be mowing tomorrow.  Oh, and to Little Duck, for whom he has sole custody, while I merely have visiting rights. Although he goes by the name of okcforgottenman on his blog, he is far from forgotten.


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Just Testing

If I were to choose from all the rest,
you are the one who’d ace the test.
You left your warm and comfy nest
to drive around at my behest.
I do not say it often, lest
you come to see me as a pest,
but though we tease and joke and jest,
you are the one I love the best.

 

The prompt word today was “test.”

Spinal Tap: NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 10–“Book Spine Poem”

Today’s NaPoWriMo Prompt: Write a “book spine” poem. This involves taking a look at your bookshelves, gathering a list of titles and using the titles to create a poem that is seeded throughout with your own lines, interjections, and thoughts. (Did I take the fun out of it by putting all the book titles in italics?)

Spinal Tap

The artist in his studio may anguish behind bars
while right outside his window are nights of rain and stars.
No kindness goes unpunished, my friend’s mother would say
in infinite jest­­­­––she knew that our hearts were young and gay.
She’s all blue shoes and happiness and feasts on cakes and ale.
He looks through a glass darkly as he nibbles on his kale.

When the sun also rises, he goes west with the night––
never seeing sunlight when it is at its height.
Books, paintings and poetry are the edge of man.
We have not seen the whole of him. In fact, we never can.
It is the face behind the face by which he must be gauged–
that face we never see at all if he keeps it caged.

We have the full cupboard of life, although it is not free;
and this world of the makers (whoever they might be)
is ours to pick and choose from, though we must pay the price
when we add our unique nature to others’ sage advice.
Our lives are jigsaw puzzles that each of us must solve
to form a different picture as our lives slowly evolve.

Reading adventure stories of someone else’s strife
cannot compensate us for an empty life.
Revolution from within cannot be won by reading.
To use The Joy of Cooking also takes some kneading.
Dust on my heart collecting–every year there’s more.
A little life is not enough. I must open the door.

We need new names and faces, some are heard to confess,
so who we are inside of them, no one will ever guess.
The husband’s secret shared only with the woman upstairs,
is someone else’s love story. Nobody really cares.
There is a village in the sun. I keep my real life there;
and someday, someday maybe I’ll join it if I dare.

 

http://www.napowrimo.net/day-ten-4/

Vocabulary Lesson: The 7 Word Challenge

https://7words2inspire.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/word-list-week-4/ Write a story or poem making use of as many of these words as you wish: (oneiric cigar shenanigans cold-cocked finish sun-dried knickers) To save you the bother of checking them off, I’ll tell you I used them all—in order. The unbelievers can check them off anyway if they wish.

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                                              Vocabulary Lesson

She was more than irritated. Pissed, really, as she thumbed through the dictionary in search of the word “oneiric.” Any word that needed to be looked up didn’t belong in a “Dear Jane” letter anyway–as though to the very end he was trying to demonstrate his superiority—her inferiority.

Fuck! She slammed the dictionary to the floor, picked up the half-smoked cigar he’d left in the ashtray last night, relit it and surveyed the new paper cut on her index finger. Just one more of his shenanigans, she thought. Right after he’d cold-cocked her with the news that he and she were finished—that he was leaving her FOR HER MOTHER!!!!!!, he’d lit up his Cubano for one more puff before grinding it out and handing her this letter, telling her not to open it until he’d gone.

His finish had been pretty much like their beginning—with him ending up on the floor. But this time she was standing over him rather than lying on top of him. Idly, she flicked an ash into his open mouth, hitting him squarely on his tongue. The sun-dried blood on his lip looked like the smudge of a lover’s lipstick. Around his head were the remains of the crystal candlestick her mother had given them for their wedding.  She sucked at the paper cut, then at the gash across her palm that she had gotten from a shard of the candlestick that had taken a far smaller part out of her than it had out of him.

Far away in the kitchen, the phone rang and rang. Probably her mother. Well, let her get her knickers in a bunch waiting for him. Let her think (for as long as she could put off coming to investigate) that her daughter had reclaimed her property. She was in possession for now and everyone knew possession was 9/10ths of the law. She took another long draw before examining her wounds again.

Then, her curiosity getting the better of her, she moved back to the dictionary to thumb through the o’s. When she’d found the word, she chuckled and looked back at her lost love. Gone from this world, but no one would ever know it if she just shut his jaw and wiped off the bloodstain. As a matter of fact, he’d look downright oneiric!


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f you want to join in the fun, post your story or poem HERE.

https://eternityinabox.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/word-list-for-week-4-submit-your-creativity-to-7-words/

The Proposal

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    Owen “Beleaguered” Servant provided this quote for my next poetry prompt:
    “How quick come the reasons for approving what we like.” – Jane Austen

    The Proposal

    How did you make your way into my heart?
    Quick, tell the answer before we next part.
    Come into my comfort, then comfort me back.
    The way of the pair beats the way of the pack.
    Reasons are given for all that we do–
    For the ways that we love and the ways that we woo.
    Approving my actions in loving you is
    What wins you my love and wins you this kiss.
    We swear to each other that we will be true
    Like all the lovers in storybooks do.

    Like brides and their bridegrooms and lieges and kings,
    We shall swear our obeisance and seal it with rings.
    What others have done is what we will do.
    Approving tradition will make one of two.
    For the rest of our lives, if they revile and chide us,
    Reason’s not the only thing that will guide us.
    The love we keep strong will keep us together.
    Come be my steed, and I’ll be thy tether.
    Quick, take my hand and give me thy pledge.
    How we’ll kiss in the meadow and roll in the sedge.

    (Judy’s note: If you haven’t already noticed, please look for the quote within the poem.
    Actually, it is repeated twice. Hint: Look at the bold words.)

    Listen to the Babe was the person who invited me to do this three-part prompt.  See her blog HERE.

Snapped!

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I can’t believe that I’m actually going to tell you the story associated with this picture, but here goes! Most of you know the story of how I decided to move to Mexico for a year with my husband, who was very reluctant to spend even a few weeks in Mexico, let alone an entire year!  When he got here and got adjusted, however, it was he who started agitating to buy a house, with the end result pictured here–a house on the side of a mountain above Lake Chapala. The problem was, that shortly after we bought the house and before we could move into it, he passed away.

I moved to Mexico, but memories of Bob moved with me and it was as though he was inhabiting more of the house than the small shrine I constructed in his memory in the entrance hall.  For seven years, I just felt married.  I think I dealt with the loss of him well.  For those seven years, I journaled most days, wrote a book and numerous poems about dealing with the loss of a loved one and other aspects of moving to a foreign country. The thing is, that my heart didn’t go along with my head and in spite of everything, I felt married.

A part of this may have been that I just didn’t meet anyone who triggered that first automatic response that Bob had.  The minute I’d set eyes on him, I suspected he was “the” one. Once I’d heard him read his poetry, I knew he was.  But Bob was gone.  Had been for seven years, and I decided it was time to go about trying to meet someone else.  I joined Match.com and in a year found not one person I wanted to meet, let alone anyone who wanted to meet me.

Then a friend told me about OkCupid and within 24 hours, I had met a number of people I was interested in and the response indicated that they felt the same way.  But Mexico is a long way from the states and the obligation associated with having someone come all this distance made me reticent about encouraging visits.  I wrote to a number of people, and then Jerry came along.

Although we were very different in some ways, our communication was conducted on a more intimate level than any of my other conversations.  We seemed to get to the meat of ourselves and I was intrigued.  He was the first person who made me start to feel romantic again in the way my heart had turned over when I met Bob.  I was due to give a talk at a local lecture series and it might be an indication of how my life was quickly transitioning if I admit to you that the night before I gave a 45 minute speech on Bob’s death and overcoming grief, I stayed up all night taking to Jerry.  That morning, after only one hour of sleep, I gave my talk about Bob and overcoming his loss, but it was Jerry I was thinking about.  That quickly, I had gone on to a stage unmentioned in my talk.  I no longer felt married.

Our long conversations on Skype turned  sensual–not in a cyber sex sense, but in a romantic sense.  When we met, what would the setting be?  What would I be wearing?  What would he be wearing?  What would our first words be?  We constructed romantic dialogues–and this writing was a new and exciting experience for him.  He began to paint again–something he hadn’t done in years–and attributed this new interest in writing and the rebirth of his artistic life to me.

Within a few months, he had decided to fly to Mexico for a 4 day weekend. I’d meet him at the plane.  This was very different from our initial resolve to meet at a location other than one of our homes.  We had envisualized meeting at a beach resort.  I would be sitting at a table with my back to the door.  He would enter and recognize me immediately.  He’d come up to me and kiss the back of my neck.  Then he’d sit at the table and the tension would build as we had margaritas and dinner, a walk on the beach, and. . . .  Who knew what it would lead to?

What would I be wearing?  His choice was a full Mexican skirt and an off-the-shoulder peasant blouse.  Sandals.  He’d be wearing a Hawaiian shirt and Levis or shorts and huaraches or sandals.

When I first heard word that he was coming in a few weeks, my sister and her friend were visiting me in Mexico.  I finally revealed to them the details of my cyber romance and they threw themselves into the task of helping me to find the right wardrobe for our meeting.  It was fun combing the shops for a full skirt.  The peasant blouse was another matter, but we finally found it. They were complicit in my plans–nothing short of a romance comic book come to life.  They left.  Jerry’s arrival was that night.

Unfortunately, in the time between my shopping spree and Jerry’s evening arrival, the weather had turned cold.  As I stood at the airport reading the notice that the plane would be delayed by two hours, I shivered in my skimpy gauzy clothing and sandals. Around me were Mexican citizens in their Levis, Reboks and down jackets.  I was seemingly the only senorita in sight and I was cold!  I went into the warmest spot I could find–a restaurant on the second floor–and asked to borrow a tablecloth to wear as a shawl as I ordered coffee, then soup. Anything to get warm!!! Yes, I felt foolish.

As I waited, I thought of what I knew about him.  I knew he had 4 more years until retirement and that he had saved up enough air miles to travel around the world for a year. He had asked me to go with him, saying he had enough miles for two.  He loved Mexico and wanted to retire here.  He’d been married but had no children. He didn’t drink, except on vacation. He was going to quit smoking, but couldn’t until after we’d met–the tension was too great in the interim. He was trying to lose weight. His favorite food was flan. (I had three different varieties of flan awaiting him in my refrigerator: my mother’s recipe, a killer variety cooked by a friend who was a chef and a diet variety.)

Then, finally, the plane was announced.  I took the elevator down to the first level, stood by the railing watching person after person come out of the doors of customs and scan the crowd.  I was looking for the athletic handsome man pictured in his OK Cupid profile.  Person after person passed.  Then, when I’d about given up hope, a chubby man with a  foolish sort of grin came down the “runway” stumbling just a bit.  Weaving just a bit.  He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt.  Could it be?  When he caught sight of me, his grin widened.  At the end of the runway, he caught me in a big hug and a brief kiss.

Even in that brief kiss, I could tell he’d been drinking.  His erratic walk told me he’d been drinking quite a bit.  It turned out that during the 2 hour delay, the airline had offered free drinks to everyone, and it had been a shame not to make full use of the offer. I could understand this.  The conversation on the 45 minute drive home was fine and half way home, he asked me to pull over for a full embrace.  Again, my hopes soared.

That night was as romantic as I might have wished. When we arrived at my house, he put his suitcase in the spare room.  No pressure, he said.  I appreciated this. Loved it, in fact.  We ate.  We danced for hours.  Talked.  Kissed.  He did not use the spare room for anything other than a repository for his suitcase.  It was one of the most romantic nights of my life and the fact that I’d been waiting for it for seven years did nothing to dispel its effect.

The next morning, we slept in.  Or, at least, I slept in.  When I woke up, he was already in the kitchen making breakfast.  We ate on the patio.  The weather had warmed up and everything should have been perfect.  But, when he kissed me, I noticed tequila on his breath. Wasn’t it a bit early to be drinking tequila? He was on vacation, he told me.  When he went back into the kitchen for more orange juice, I could hear him uncapping the tequila and pouring some into his glass.

By the end of breakfast, the tequila bottle that had been full before I drove to the airport was 2/3 empty. By then the gardener was there.  My living room is pretty much floor to ceiling sliding glass windows the entire expanse of the living and dining room that face the  terrace, pool, and back garden.  I’m sure Pasiano was a bit shocked to see me close dancing in the living room with this stranger at 9 in the morning.  It was romantic, yes, but I kept looking up to see Pasiano’s reaction.  He was watering the plants nearest the glass wall.  Now and then when I looked up, I met his gaze and his somewhat stupefied expression.  This was something new in this house!

Over the next few days, we drove around to the other side of the lake, walked the malecon in Chapala, went out dancing with friends.  The entire time, Jerry drank.  When he had said he only drank on vacation, I had not understood that what he meant was that he Only drank on vacation!  Once he hit Mexico–his usual vacation destination–what he did was drink!  By the second night, his libido was somewhat inhibited by the tequila. By the third night, he nodded off the minute his head hit the pillow.  The romance, if not over, had certainly hit some ruts in the road.

Before I drove him to the plane to return to the states, I confided to him that I would  be writing a new book and wasn’t going to be able to devote as much time to talking to him as I had in the past. (Our record marathon call had lasted 9 hours.)  He got the message loud and clear.  The romance quickly cooled.

I went on to meet other interesting prospects and several have come to Mexico to visit, but never again did I invite anyone to stay with me prior to meeting them. At one point, I preferred going to the states to meet prospective love interests–during visits to family and friends.  Some of these encounters have turned out well and I’ve made at least one lifelong friend whom I hope will always be in my life, but I’ve retired the peasant blouse.  Only this picture remains to remind me of my foolish foolish heart and to remind me never again to let it rule my choice of wardrobe!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Snapshot Stories.”  Go to the first photo you find of yourself in the first album you locate and tell us the story of that photograph.

New World Miracle: NaPoWriMo 2015, Day 9

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New World Miracle2 New World Miracle3

Today’s prompt is to write a visual poem.  This is one I tried to publish earlier this year when WordPress was not accepting pingbacks, so perhaps not many have seen it, and certainly not in this form, as when I published it, it was all evened out into regular stanzas by the blog formatting.  It occurred to me to save it in jpeg and treat the pages as photographs and that seems to have worked.

http://www.napowrimo.net/participants-sites/

Most of the Time: A Serial Tale, Chapter 1

Instead of the WordPress prompts, I chose this one from the Poets & Writers site. The Prompt: Choose a book at random from your bookcase. Use the last sentence in the book as the first sentence of what you write. Then turn to the first sentence of the book and use it for your ending sentence. (I used the ending line of the book I chose as my title, which actually is the first line of a book to my way of thinking. Hereafter, however, I will use whatever prompt I’m given as the first line of the next section of the story.)

Most of the Time

I don’t remember much of my past. It makes it easier to live the present, that’s for sure. Ninny Ricketts, for example, is hidden so far back that I have to go into a dream state to remember her, and when I do, I’m unsure how much of what I remember is real and how much I’ve made up like people do, you know, when they are inventing excuses to tell their parents or, later, for their spouses.

In the past, I’ve gotten away with such lame excuses as that my lipstick was messed up because I ate an ice cream cone on the way home and had been rubbing my mouth with a napkin or that I have always worn a particular sweater backwards. It’s not that my husband hasn’t had his suspicions. He has been known to go out and sniff the backseat of my car like a German Shepherd, searching for drugs—as though he’d recognize the smell of sex after all these years of substituting fly rods for nookie. Still, even though I’m not the particular fish on his hook, he doesn’t want anyone else rifling through his bait box. Go figure.

I’ve become very good at covering up my tracks, or wriggles, or whatever you’d call this fish’s explorations of new waters. It’s become a sort of game. One that I always win. Which, I think, is okay with Peter. What he can’t prove, he doesn’t have to deal with. And Ninny Ricketts is buried so far back, as I said before, that there is not a person we are still in contact with that I’ve ever mentioned her name to. She is a fish once gone bad who has since faded away into nothingness—no longer an idea even fresh in my own remembrance. She is stripped bones on a pile of skeletons baked clean in the light of a day that only shines dimly in my memory.

With all this fish imagery, you would think I was a fisherman, but that is not a fact. It is my husband of 25 years who is the fisherman. I am the hunter in the family. That rack of guns locked up tight in the case in my husband’s man cave? They are mine. Even if he had a key, he would not have one iota of a sense of what to do with a gun—how to open the cylinder to load it or how to take aim. I tried to take him target shooting once, many years ago when love was new and he was doing anything I asked to meet my favor. But he could never see the point of wasting bullets on something you felt neither angst about nor an appetite for. We’d eaten thousands of fish in our years together, but never one thing I’d shot. I had no desire to eat anything I’d killed. My paper targets went into the recycling bin on my way out of the shooting range to go to the grocery store to buy the meat for our evening meal.

Now I retrieved the bag of raw steaks and potatoes and frozen peas from the back seat. A bit of blood had oozed out from the paper wrapping of the steaks and stained the back seat in one spot. I left it for Peter to discover. It would make his day interrogating me, and I could always produce the stained wrapper for proof. Having him obsess on the blood would distract him from other evidence of my real guilt—the new dress hanging in my closet where dresses had been shoved to the far edges long ago. The strapped dancing shoes and electric hair curler. If he had been the sort who looked at everything—the entire picture—he would have caught me years ago; but I was like that huge fish of legend that swam deep waters, emerging in a leap that defied the laws of gravity and mass every half year or so, far out in the lake where a single fisherman would see it and further the yarn of this Loch Ness Monster of fishes that had evaded the hook for scores of years.

I shifted the bag on my hip as I searched for the right key on the huge hank of keys I carried around with me everywhere I went. It made it easier, to hunt for one huge ring of keys other than to remember where individual keys were kept. It also made it harder for Peter to find the key that opens up the file cabinet where I keep my writing—all of my stories, essays, poems and journals.

“You evil, evil, woman,” he would say if he ever found and read them. But I am not an evil woman. I am merely one who has taken the reins of destiny into her own grip. I am in the driver’s seat of the buckboard of my own desires—fighting off love bandits in fern bars and marauding savages in late night diners. I have learned well the art of subterfuge—adopting the camouflage of ladies luncheon garb and pillow talk about charity bazaars and yoga lessons.

In the trunk of my car is a locked suitcase with a selection of sling-backed heels and dresses with swirly skirts to be slipped into before I wriggle out of the pants and jackets of neat pants suits or the simple streamlined skirts I don to exit and enter my house. These swirly skirts are redolent of the odors of barrooms: martini olives and Dos Equis, nicotine and the very faint skunk smell of really good pot. A slightly-opened bag of dark roast coffee obscures the odors sealed up in that case that my husband believes is my snow-emergency kit: gloves, long underwear, hat, muffler, snow boots, energy bars and water.

To be perfectly clear, most of the time I am the everyday housewife that has been my disguise for the 25 years of my marriage. Like an underground love goddess, I emerge on special assignment once or twice a year, feast on my fill of prurient pleasures, and then go underground again.

That is the sort of mission I was on the day I met Ninny Ricketts. I was on my way to the shooting range, wearing my usual Levis and t-shirt and Birkenstocks. Yes. I had strapped on the holster that usually held my favorite pistol on the days that I chose a handgun rather than a rifle or shotgun for my shooting practice. But on that day, there was just one difference. I didn’t wear my gun.

To Be Continued?

The book I chose was Kindness Goes Unpunished by Craig Johnson. If you would like to suggest a book for me to use the first and last lines of for tomorrow’s writing, please give the title of the book, the author, and the book’s first and last lines in the comments section of this posting. Remember that I’ll use the last line as the first line of tomorrow’s posting and the first line as my last line. Who knows where this tale will wind? If no one gives me tomorrow’s prompting lines, the rest of the story will never be heard, and perhaps that is a good thing. C’est la vie.

P.S. If any of you would like to accept this same challenge, just watch to see what beginning and ending lines I use and use the same ones. If you are a day behind, no problem. It would be interesting to see what varied stories occur given the same beginning and ending lines. Please post a link to your story or poem on the page it corresponds to in my blog—i.e. the one where I make use of the same beginning and ending lines. Will anyone accept my challenge? Sam? Macgyver? Laura? John?

To See Chapter 2, go HERE