No one answers, but I hear the TV’s drone.
I push open the door and there’s my old dad
hanging like an exhausted gymnast over the arm of the couch,
his fingers touching the floor, his pajamas on inside out.
How does he survive
the booze, the pills, the lack of food
and love? Who could love him? I love him,
but what is this? Again,
I have found him in time to take him to the hospital.
“I want to die,” he cries as I fold him into the car,
and it becomes his mantra while I drive
past the bowling alley, the gun shop.
Should I stop and buy a pistol?
“I have nothing to live for,” he says.
What can I say?
There is nothing to live for;
we make it up as we go along.
The earth didn’t have to exist,
but here it is, and here we are,
parked in the Emergency lot.
He stares fiercely out the windshield.
I touch his hand; it’s cold and scaly.
“There’s always bowling, I joke.
“I don’t bowl,” he says.
We smile at each other.
“There’s this,” I say to my father.
~by Susan Browne
1. I work for a shop that sells 'locally handcrafted artisan' jewelry. I have since learned that some of our vendors are Malaysian. So I guess that means we fudge on the 'locally' bit ...
2. I have a shop girl mantra I repeat each day I work: I like my job. I like my job. I like my job. I'm hoping the 'cognitive behavioral therapy' will start working soon ...
3. My co-workers and managers are also women, so we keep a bag of chocolate bars stashed in the break room refrigerator for 'that time of the month' ... which is pretty much ANY time of the month!
4. My beloved calls me cynical because I practice putting on my shop girl 'smile' and saying things like, "Oh that looks lovely on you;" "This is so dainty and sweet;" "I love your ........(note piece of jewelry customer is already wearing); "This (piece of jewelry I'm showing) is my favorite!" - It helps to be prepared, I say.
5. Other than pierced ears, we do not sell any hardware for your alternative piercings. And no, we'd rather not see them ...
6. And though we are not rocket scientists, we manage an arcane catalog system of over 1000 pieces of jewelry, work 7+ hours at a stretch on our feet, are permanent part-timers with no company benefits, and endeavor to fulfill the maxim 'The Customer is Always Right" no matter how rude and obnoxious said customer is - with smiles on our faces!
7. And yes, we DO talk about you after you've left the store .... !
i was asked to blog something new, today... does this mean i'm becoming (gasp!) blog redundant ? spiritless ? lackluster ? (horrors!) vapid ? and may I ask, "Whose blog is it, anyway ?"
It's brutal how I've missed your shout and twist,
your Sallies Mustang, Sallies tall and long.
Your Checker chubby, your Locomotion,
your Potato mashed and Pony broken.
Dear country, how I have longed to get down
and dirty. I'm no Fred, you're no Ginger.
Your boots weren't made for waltzing gingerly,
and we don't garnish rotgut with a twist.
How I've missed our country ways. Let's go down
to Harvey's Moon, where I've been gone so long
some jerk bumped my score from the now-broken
pinball game. I've always loved the motion
perpetual, the whiplash emotion
of finger on flipper, the fizz ginger
makes with gin, bottle spun till it's broken.
One kiss, my dear country, and please don't twist
away. Inside the bunker all along
it was you I dreamed of—hunkering down
as shit pooled at our feet, as shells rained down,
my trigger finger the only motion—
it was you. While the other grunts had long
debates over Mary Ann or Ginger
I reached for the dip of your back, the twist
of your hip, and a beat never broken.
Don't wait until hallowed ground needs breaking
to call me up. I've laid my shovel down
anyway, giving the dirt one last twist.
I came home for an earthier motion
and my dear, I don't mean farming ginger.
Every life is a thousand dances long
and the horizontal ones all belong
to you. Before the record sounds broken:
Move with me. A house of bread and ginger
awaits us but before we settle down,
before it's all going through the motions,
put on a skirt, put your hair in a twist,
wear a parachute. It's a long way down—
The Yo-Yo, broken. The Jerk in motion.
We Ginger and Chicken, we turn and twist.
~by Sandra Beasley