As m’dad used to always say, “Follow where the pirates they lead you.”
Well, I suppose that’s a bit of an exaggeration, as what he actually used to say was quite a bit more dismissive, of both pirates, and people in general. But for this week, and as I continue to take prompt advice from my favorite Word Pirate (this time leading me over to the kids at Write Tribe), I’m pretending that the words written above, did at one point come from his mouth. As to my own mouth, I’ll simply continue saying that I hope that you enjoy this bit of fictional fluff…
How do you do that?
How do I do what, honey?
How do you dance like that?
I don’t know sugar, I suppose I just do it.
Just “do it?”
Just do it. Easy breezy.
But, you’re so graceful. Your hips are so swirly – your twirls, almost majestic!
Awww, thank you sweetie!
And those heels! Why, they have to be at least six inches….
They have to be at least four inches tall. How do you pirouette so flawlessly?
k~ continually inspires me. As such, much like she has successfully done previously, with this week’s Inspiration Monday challenge, I attempted to use not one, but all five prompts. I hope it worked, and I hoped you like.
“You’ve gone and fouled up the whole scheme of things, now haven’t you? Why don’t you just wipe that stupid grin off your face?”
The words never left her mouth of course, but through her bristled stare and hardened oxblood-red lips, you could tell that that was exactly what she meant to say, the very moment that she worked up the courage to actually do so. Sadly, it was a courage she’d been “working up” for most of her adult life, but to no avail.
“That is OBVIOUSLY the blouse isle,” she continued to silently scream through the thrift store where she stood at a safe distance, “and YOU are OBVIOUSLY in no need of any of those!”
Again, her lack of courage being an instance where cowardice in one, is a blessing to the many around them.
Having difficulty swallowing her disdain, she cringed as she observed blouses – colorful, flouncy and free – being held up first in surprised joy, and then to the breast, checking to see if they would fit.
“And being so flagrant about it! The nerve! You should only be the way the good Lord made you – no use in being any different! Why, it would be a sin – it would be like going up the drain!”
Her face continued to harden, making of it almost a new face, as she stared only through the windshield of her ignorance and fear while murmuring finally aloud through clenched and ground-down teeth, “I can only imagine the shame your poor family must feel…”
Her words were cut short by the appearance of the man who saddled up next to the teenage blouse browser. Shaking his head slowly in sad disapproval, he pleaded, “son, we’ve talked about this. You can NOT buy that blouse. Dude, you know that that shade of green makes you look totally dead! Besides, I found a pair of cool pumps you might wanna buy instead.”
The boy replied with a quick and excited “awesome!” as he hurriedly placed the blouse back onto the rack.
And in that action was when he finally noticed her, their eyes locking for a brief moment. He smiled naturally, and before he broke contact, placed both thumbs high up into the air as he mouthed the earnest and complimentary compliment of, “I LOVE your hat!”
In that moment, and while still only a shade of a glimmer of a possibility of an idea to her yet-hardened soul, she could have almost sworn that as he turned away she saw in him a different face. A face somehow new.
For today’s post, I was going to end with another song altogether, before stumbling upon the choice below. I think this says exactly what I was hoping to say, only far more eloquently. Mainly – in the (new) face of hate, Love is our only defense…
Unbeknownst to me, my youngest took the liberty of listening to me proof-read this, and upon its completion said, “I want to be with you – I want to see what you see.”
One who already sees far deeper than I will ever be able to, I really love that kid.
With the prompt in bold, here is this week’s Write On Edge response – I hope you enjoy…
He didn’t smell exactly bad, mind you, but he didn’t smell entirely “right” either. It might have been the damned John Legend song in that moment spewing lies overhead tainting my assessment, but to me he smelled sad. He smelled musty. He smelled – well – he smelled alone.
And at that moment at least, with the possible exception of me, he was.
But I’d the feeling that he was alone most all of the time, that his aloneness was a state constant. A permanent scent that accompanied him. A shadow that always stood immediately behind, whispering softly into his ear, “I’m here. It’s just you n’ me kid.” A constant reminder that his death would be much more a release than a burden. Much more a connection with those loved, than a separation from those lost.
As he stood swaying at my register, complete with tattered grey plaid vest, blue ball cap (emblazoned with one of the two infamous Buffalo losing teams that so many locals seem to love regardless), and worn-through red and white blotched flesh, I found myself wishing even then, that I could remember the music he was purchasing in CD format, as it somehow felt integral to this tale.
But much like his face itself, the purchases seemed to have immediately faded from memory, leaving only my recollection of those confused eyes and scattered beard.
His eyes were the dug-in sort that said so much, whilst the beard-encrusted mouth said so little. Damn it Troy! THIS is a lesson you’ve learned often, and yet – being bred apparently of the hard-knock school – one that you seemingly refuse to graduate from. If there was ever anything that the ex said true, it was that (in the hands of the devious or arrogant at least), “they’re only words.” Not that this customer could be counted amongst that ilk, all the same he was in the end, far more communicative in eye than in speech.
And those eyes spoke volumes. His babbling diction and scent screamed at me as well, but it was those eyes that made me see truly and finally – as was told to me by a friend, advice provided them by their wizened grandmother: “As you are, I once was. And as I am, you will someday be.”
Christ, don’t let me end like that – like the man I think I see standing before me. Please hear my prayer for him, and hear it please for me.
Making change, I made certain our hands touched at least once. So I could know that he who stood before me was real – not some sort of future self ghosting back in warning – so I could unite with that perceived loneliness, begging that it not remain a shadow constant to either he nor I.
As he paid in cash, I’ll never know his name – never know his story, outside of our brief disjointed engagement. But while he wobbled off, that damned John Legend song was still blaring arrogantly overhead. A song that spoke of a love I’m guessing neither he nor I truly wanted to trust in anymore. But I thought, possibly a love that we still both hoped might – in some realm or fashion – be somehow true.
Hellbent on going out on a high (and ball-peen free) note, I used the crux of the Trifecta challenge – as shown with today’s post title – by using “Thirty-three words,” as my prompt for this week’s free, and final, Trifecta Writing Challenge.
Coming in relatively late to the game (and YES – admittedly still bellyaching over never having won a week =) ), I really did enjoy my time with the Trifecta community, and wish you all the very best.