Monthly Archives: May 2014

What I Look Like (in case you were wondering)

What I Look Like (in case you were wondering)

One of my students drew a picture of me in green pants and an orange shirt and giant eye glasses and a right arm that is far bigger than my left arm.

me: “Is this really how you see me?”
2nd grader: “Yup, that is exactly how I see you.”

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Baby And Me by Lori Schafer

Back Hair Advocate

Our best friends were having a baby. Inwardly, I groaned.

“You know what this means, Frank?” I complained to my boyfriend. “They won’t be going out with us anymore.” One by one our friends had succumbed to the bothersome burdens of boring adulthood: first marriage, now children. Soon only Frank and I would be left gloriously unencumbered.

“Sure they will,” he reassured me. “It’ll just be earlier. And, um, noisier.”

He should know. His sister had a kid, a rambunctious pre-school aged brat with no redeeming qualities that I had ever observed. Frank volunteered to baby-sit every so often. I called this my quarterly booster of birth control. Each time his nephew arrived I wanted children even less.

Frank, I suspected, was a bit soft on the kid thing. He seemed to like children an awful lot for someone who claimed not to want any. Once he had even told…

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Napkin Poetry

Sometimes, poetry I don’t understand enrages me

Other times, it makes me feel like I’ve just had two beers

one very quickly after the other

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Misunderstanding at the Mexican food place (flash)

He approached the counter already knowing what he wanted. Rachel, the woman who worked behind the register, greeted him with a sigh. He wasn’t in the mood to make small talk, so he barreled ahead with his order.

“Can I get a Burrito bowl? Oh and no sour cream, mild salsa.”

“Suuure,” she said, dragging the “u” out in a condescending way.

Something was up with her, but he decided he was going to just try and order his food and escape to a table before things got personal. Mercifully, the rest of the exchange went mostly okay. Still he couldn’t help but detect a tone in the young woman’s voice that suggested she was disappointed in him for not even trying to suss out what was bothering her.

He took his placard with the number 64 on it, and sat down in the other room, away as far as he possibly could get from the cash registers. While he waited, he began thinking about the exchange. He was feeling like he’d been judged back there. It was bothering him the way she responded to his business-like order with a disappointed, even angry look in her eyes and facial expression. They were not married, or even friends, he told himself. Surely, it was not his responsibility to make her feel better.

A few minutes later, Rachel came around with his order and planted it before him. Usually she brought him a fork with his burrito bowl, even though it wasn’t restaurant policy to do so. Today, she did not bring him his fork.

So he got up and went over to fish out one from the jar of utensils atop the metallic table that was around the corner, in the room with the registers. He also planned on getting some of that weird, green sauce he liked to smother all over his chips. When he got there, he saw Rachel tidying up the area, running a wet sponge over the table.

“Hi!” he said.

She nodded back.

“Are you mad at me over something?'”

He couldn’t believe the words had sprung from his mouth. It was as if he didn’t have control over what he said. Her eyes grew and she looked taken aback. And then she took a breath.

“I broke up with my boyfriend a few hours ago. I’m not in a good state. And my head is pounding,”

She put her right hand against her brow, and left it there for a few moments.

Suddenly he felt bad for asking. And he put up his hands, to tell her she needn’t explain! He was the one who was sorry!

“I’m sorry if I came across at all rude, though,” she said, her voice going an octave higher and friendly again, similar to the one she used behind the register.

“Can’t be upsetting my customers, can I?”

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Athens.

Gorgeous!

A collection.

I wanted to write a lot of things

back then about the little apartment with the white walls

and waking up with sun on my face alone except for the dog

and drinking vodka and Diet Coke starting

every day at two p.m. when the bus dropped me off by the street and I walked

across the dappled asphalt lot, under the brimming oaks

to the cool inside and glass clinking against not enough

linoleum counter space.

Instead of writing

about drinking I just drank some more. Instead of writing about

the trees I stayed in the cool living room and let the light die around me

and the year die around me taking college with it.

I wanted a way to document the forgetting and to hold it still.

But it’s already dark outside and you’re coming in to take your shoes off and

turn the lamp on and eat…

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We all have a purpose

Back Hair Advocate

We all have a purpose

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Dave Williams is a freelance graphic designer. His blog, Zooky World, can be found here.

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this gray house

this gray house

used to be 

red 

the new owners

wanted something different

they didn’t want a red house

didn’t think they could live in one

didn’t see themselves returning home every night to one

funny how we get those thoughts in our heads

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Questions (for a used book)

How many hands have turned your pages? Who treated you well? Who didn’t? Who read you while strolling? Who was your poorest reader? Your wealthiest? What were the circumstances that led to you missing your front cover? Do you resent carrying the advert for the film version of you on the back cover? Who circled the word “sagacity” on page 84, and did they ever discover its meaning? Who drew little animal portraits in your margins? Was this done out of boredom? What particular food or drink caused the stain on page 129? How about on 245? How many read you in a night? How many not at all? How many of your readers loved you? How many loathed you? How many put you in a box with the word “Free” written on it when they were done with you? How many gifted you to a friend? Did you cross an ocean before you reached me? Or did you live your entire existence in this city?

These are the things I want to know.

 

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Neighborhood Watch

What’s this guy doing? Sitting on his SUV’s bumper out in front of his ground floor apartment. Hair uncombed, observing the street. Like this is the most normal thing in the world.

Can’t just be out in front of your home for no reason. Is he kidding? Have to be walking a dog, chatting on the phone, stretching before a dad run — what a sketchball.

Oh look now. He’s turned his attention to his slippers, smiling at them for no reason. What’s he thinking? Probably better not to know.

This neighborhood used to be so safe, too. There should be a law against just standing around. Can’t he go to the backyard for that sort of thing? No one needs to see this.

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A light on in the kitchen 4:30 A.M.

A light on in the kitchen 4:30 A.M.

once meant Dad in his gray sweats

cracking eggs into a glass bowl

fretting he’ll rouse Mom as

the pan rustles awake

 

nowadays, a light on in the kitchen 4:30 A.M.

something to extinguish in the morning.

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