Somethin’ tells me I’m into…somethin’

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Write of Passage

It’s quiet in here. Quiet except for the tap tap tapping of my keyboard, which echoes through the vaulted ceilings, bounces around the trophy cases and off the books before going where all good taps go to rest. A croupy cough and sniff joins the tapping, poor soul. The temptation to scoot over there and slip into nagging-mom mode rises higher with each sound. She came to school to get an education – the first lesson is to take care of yourself.

It’s quiet in here. The kids are in bed, finally. Their backpacks stand at attention by the front door, waiting for the grab-and-dash of morning. There are flat-packed boxes are on the floor, waiting for me to unpack them and turn them into a 3-d sculpture, a functional piece of furniture. They’ve been standing sentry since before Christmas.

It’s quiet in here, except for the swishswish of the dishwasher, the thrumming hum of the dryer, the staccato thud of the washing machine.

It’s home.

Look around you and write about what you see. Create something positive out of that. Is there anything you can take away from the space you’re in every day that can bring you to a better emotional place within it?

The other participants are:

I get to pack one now, but I hated it then.

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Write of Passage

It was yellow. Shaped like a school bus. Snoopy decorated the top panel. Mama bought a blue one for my brother, and a yellow one for me.

It was last year’s lunchbox and Mama wouldn’t buy me a new one for the new year. “There’s NOTHING wrong with it!!!”

Except there is. It’s last year’s lunchbox. I’m going to be the only kid in my class with this lame-assed lunchbox. Everyone else is going to have a metal lunchbox with The Bionic Woman or Wonder Woman or Star Wars.

I don’t like yellow. I don’t like Peanuts enough to have a lunchbox with them on it anymore.

She says nobody notices stuff like that. Mama has no clue.

I tried to break it. Peeled the characters off the front so at least it’ll be PLAIN yellow instead of Peanuts Characters. I stomped on the handle until it cracked enough for me to say “Look Mama! It’s broken and it’ll pinch my hand!” Think I got a new lunchbox?

Newp. Daddy took the plastic handle out and knotted some nylon rope into place.

I packed my own lunch. There for a long time I made Lipton’s Cream of Chicken instant soup (with hot water from the tap) and two slices of bread for soppin.

I tried the soup as an adult. I’m not sure what was worse – the pseudo-chicken flavor, the salt (oh my dear lawd the salt) or the rancid breath.

I’d like to take the time right now to apologize to my former classmates if I got all up in yo’ grill with that breath.

I quickly learned that if you stir the jelly into the peanut butter, they both spread more easily. But I didn’t like sandwiches all that much. Most of the time I bought my lunch. Pizza and french fries with milk.

And now you know where The Crazy started.

The cafeteria reeked of steamy hot dirty dishwater and food. I remember being overwhelmed by the noise of three billion kids crammed into one room to eat.

In high school, Amy (a classmate) remembered that lunch box and asked me about it. I lied and denied. She had one just like it, and it made her feel better that “one of the big kids” had a lunchbox like hers. As an adult, I can appreciate the sentiment. As a high-schooler, my soul flamed anew with the reminder.


This is Challenge #2: Lunch Box

The Editor

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Write of Passage

My client sits in front of the computer, tap tap tapping away hoping this time a different turn of the phrase will bring someone, ANYone into his life. He has no friends close enough to take a picture for him, yet realizes that professional photos will be overkill. The blue glare of the screen makes him look like something out of an alien movie in the webcam photo. He takes his phone into the bathroom and removes his shirt. He does not think to clean the spit-flecked mirror, nor to close the shower curtain (which reveals a bathtub DESPERATELY in need of a good scrubbing). The air is pungent with hope and lonliness…

He is well educated, highly paid, dresses impeccably (despite the profile pictures) and can afford a lifestyle several steps above the life he leads.

We meet because a mutual friend wants me to help him “fix” his profile so women will want to go out with him. Because I have absolutely no problem wielding a cluestick, I agree. I also point out to my friend the obvious: I can recommend changes that will make this man look better than George Clooney (on paper) but unless he does what I tell him to do our meeting is pointless.

Within five minutes, I can pinpoint problem number one: the man is ANGRY. He speaks of nothing but what a bitch his ex is and how she shafted him. “The only reason I don’t have to pay alimony is because I had pictures AND VIDEO of her cheating” he vehemently declares.

My inner pervert wonders if the judge at their divorce hearing watched the footage.

We get past his divorce and I bring the copy of his profile I’ve printed with the changes I recommend he makes. One by one he shoots down the suggestions. This makes him sound like a candyass, he doesn’t want to post this/that/the other, his profile is FINE isn’t it?

My inner bitch rolls her eyes and speaks. “Just exactly how many dates have you been on that are directly related to this ad you’ve written?”

He tells me how These Girls don’t know what a catch he is, how good he is in bed and how well he will spoil his woman. And he’s NOT creating another profile.

I point out that “spoil” means “ruined”. Again, The Bitch speaks. “They are not going to find out because they will not look past that profile.”

I tell him that perhaps he should get some divorce counseling, something to help with his anger. He tells me he’s not interested in laying “on some shrinkydink’s leather sofa”.

I’m done. There is nothing I CAN do. My papers go back in their folder, luck is wished (heaven knows he’s going to need it) and I see myself to the door. He sits back down in front of the computer and resumes the tap tap tapping away.

This work of fiction is my laaaate contribution to Write-of-Passage’s first Challenge. You can read the other participants :