Archive for January, 2013

FF# 24 – 15 min. – Adventures in Second Person

You are seated at the long, brown, sticky bar, tumbler in hand, already two or three drinks into what promises to be an evening you will regret tomorrow morning.   You don’t care.  You don’t give a rat’s ass about that ginger bastard because he’s a ginger bastard and—damn, cigarette’s close to the filter in your hand, you can feel the heat from the cherry—if he wants to run after that blonde no-talent whore, that’s on his head.  So what if you (think that you) “get him,” and so what if he appeals to your intellectuality.  You don’t appeal to his and that’s that.  Get over it.  Have a drink and get the fuck over it.

Another cigarette? Yes, please.  Chain smoking like a boss.

Your friend, the busty brunette, sits next to you actually enjoying getting her drink on and lightly flirting with the barkeep.  He is quite a looker, but you have a purpose tonight, and that’s to be miserable and drink until the No Pain Zone is reached.  The irony of the No Pain Zone compared to the hangover you are setting yourself up for hits you and you chuckle quietly, bitterly, to yourself.

“What’s wrong?” she says.  Like she doesn’t know.

“Same ole,” you respond, your accent heavy with sloppy speech and intoxicated tongue. A few more shots and you’ll drop into your best Scottish accent. The smoke from your Djarum burns the inside of your nose and you sneeze a funny half-sneeze to try to clear it out.  Take a drink, feel the vodka on the back of your throat.   Damn, they make the drinks strong here.  Maybe that’s why you like this place so much.

“You’re moving through those quick,” she says comfortingly.  “If you’re going to blow your week’s drink budget tonight, we should go to The Usual.”

“Bitch,” you cut your eyes to her, your tone playful, “we’re at The Usual.”

“You know where you are, that’s a good start.”  She turns her eyes to the karaoke stage where your other friends, the crazy raven-haired beauty and the short-ass, well-endowed redhead, are actually doing well with Lady Marmalade.

“Shut up,” you laugh and shake your head, your long brown braid flopping to and fro at your back. You can feel the greasy stage makeup on your forehead and make a note to scrub it off next time you hit the loo.

“I love you.  Do you want me to tell you when you’ve had enough?”

“Not tonight.  Let me drink.”  You pause.  “No, you probably better tell me if I get sleepy. I’ve got at least six or seven more drinks before I die.”

“Pushing the poisoning border, eh?”

“I’m just angry.”

“Which is a terrible reason to drink.  You should be enjoying yourself. It’s our night out.”

“You’re right,” you sigh.  “You always are.  But it feels okay tonight.”

“Porthos says we can stay the night with her.”

“Excellent.  Her toilets are the best.”

“Why don’t you join me in a Jello shot and then have just beer after this drink, okay?”

“Yes.  Jello shots.  Aramis, you are a genius.”

“And then only beer,” she presses.  “We do have a show tomorrow.”

“Right.”  You allow yourself the luxury of a snarl into your drink.  Another show, another kiss that means nothing.  Fuckin’ hell.

FF#23 – Alter Ego

Elizabeth opened her eyes, the cold air assaulting her vision.  She squinted and waited for her body to shake off sleep before rising.  Stretching luxuriously in the coolness of her bed sheets, she pulled herself into a sitting position.  The floor beneath her bare feet was freezing and she quickly danced into the carpeted bathroom for a hot shower.

Sometime later, towel-bound and cheerful, she stepped into her tiny galley kitchen to brew a little tea and reheat yesterday’s muffin.   The sunlight peeping through the long lace curtains at her window promised a beautiful day.  She opened the curtains and seated herself in the large, cushioned armchair at the window.  The muffin was soon consumed, the mug of tea drained, the sun had shifted in its course and the only sound reigning in the entire flat was silence, save for the quiet persistent ticking of the old-world clock on the mantle over the fireplace.

Stillness.  Solitude.  Not showing, just telling.

There was something to be said for living in exile, Elizabeth decided, closing her tired eyes as the sun invaded her view.  Something vile.

Daily Prompt: If you could choose to master any skill in the world, which skill would you pick?

 

I would choose to master complete linguistic skill, thereby being able to learn any language almost immediately and speak/read it as well as any native speaker.   This skill would be awesome for a few reasons, the first being that I’d never have any trouble travelling. 

Lost in the Australian outback? Let’s pull over and ask for directions. 

No, the nice German man was not threatening to kill you; he was complimenting your shoes.   

Time Lord lands in ancient Rome?  Ave, Imperator! Morituri te salutant! Wait…

I would become a tremendously valuable asset the world over as a translator and since my understanding of both languages would be perfect, there would be no “lost in translation” moments. I think treaties, negotiations, and summits would benefit, certainly.

The downside would be that I might be constantly in danger because sometimes people just can’t abide a solution.  Or I’d be seen as a threat because government X was counting on insulting government Y and starting a war for nefarious reasons.

Still, being able to travel at will and speak like a native speaker would definitely be an asset, especially since if I am looked upon as a threat, I can just blend into all the communities.

Write a recipe for disaster

Start with 3 friends.  Add copious amounts of booze (almost always a necessity) and sprinkle in the sighting of an enemy.  For added body (no pun intended), include the sighting of a crush (or an ex) along with the enemy.  Depending on your event, you may wish to include a darkened karaoke bar and a cute barkeep, but these ingredients are not mandatory.  Finish off your Disaster with a full package of Djarum cigars, a late night, and various costumes for all involved.
 
Bake at Texas temperatures until 2.30a or until the police arrive due to the nature of certain guests’ costumes and behavior.  Whichever happens first.

 

Side note: This is a more or less true tale of my Hallowe’en 2010, which has indeed gone down in history as the worst Hallowe’en on personal record.

Put two people who hate each other in an elevator for 12 hours. What happens?

Honestly, it would depend on who comprised the pair.

Holmes and Moriarty, for example, would have a fascinating intellectual conversation about using one’s genius for good or selfish purposes.

Dracula and VanHelsing would result in a blood bath.  I’m unsure who would ultimately lose out, though.

Mr. Spock vs. Evil Spock (with a goatee! For villainy!) or Cpt. Kirk vs. Evil Kirk would definitely be a long brawl just like in TOS.

James Bond and just about anyone else…well, there would be a short martial arts duel that would end with either an unconscious male villain or one very satisfied lady villain.

Just sayin’.

Daily Prompt – Honestly evaluate the way you respond to crisis. Are you happy with the way you react?

In March of 2011 I was 24, two months shy of my Bachelor’s Degree, unmarried, still living at home, and had no “real” job. I skipped a lady cycle and immediately purchased and took a home test because, well, there are people who set their clocks by my lady cycles, so I knew something had to be amiss.  Sure enough, a little PLUS appeared in the test result window.  I felt a thrill run through me, from my shoulders to my toes.  My boyfriend didn’t know yet (obviously), and I was faced with a pounding in my head:  Pregnant. Oh God, what now?

My family is extremely conservative and believed they had “raised me right” so I knew that telling them would be a nightmare.  My boyfriend… well… who knew how he’d take it.  I could only hope that it wouldn’t be too traumatic.  My grandparents would—too much!  I went about my day on that Sunday as though nothing was wrong.  Inside I felt a strange calm, a peace, and even though my breaths were a little shaky as I moved through that next 24 hours, I made a decision to 1) Keep Calm and 2) Carry On.  No panic, no tears, no distress.  I knew I had to create a plan and immediately set to the task.

I was extremely proud of my reaction.  I think some people in my shoes would have flailed and panicked and cried and/or immediately scheduled an abortion.  I did none of these things.  While I knew that my life was about to change forever (pardon the cliché), instead of collapsing into a pity party of horror and regret, I went on the offense to ensure that this beautiful child, whom I loved from the moment he became a zygote (haha), would have a completely awesome, stable, and loving environment in which to grow up.

I told my boyfriend Monday morning while we were at school.  To my surprise, he knelt in front of me with a huge smile on his face and quietly assured me he was excited and happy.  He rose to the challenge brilliantly, and I was (and am) so thankful for that.  We married in November of that year in a quiet JP ceremony and are still together—and expecting our second child in June!

Of course, telling my family was indeed an ordeal, and I waited until after our Easter trip to Dallas to tell them.  My mother threatened me with the vengeance of God (how does one gain access to that?) and my dad stared at me like I was filthy, his face totally blank. By the end of that conversation, I was biting my tongue to keep from saying “Well maybe I’ll miscarry and that’ll just solve everyone’s problems, now won’t it?”

All through the pregnancy, I was under pressure from my mom to admit that I was “not ready” to be a parent.  She even went so far as to seek people out at their church who might be willing to adopt my little one when he arrived. She harped on the fact that I didn’t have any money and reminded me over and over that she and my dad were “not going to pay” for the child.  Clearly, money and living arrangements were a huge issue, and I went right out and took the first job I could find in June 2011 at a local craft store.  In September 2011 I got an awesome job in the recruiting department of a large Houston HR company.   My little one was born in December and my husband and I took him home to our own house, which I purchased in November.

So am I proud of the way I responded to this particular crisis situation?  You betcha.  Have I responded poorly to other crisis situations since then?  You betcha.  But I know that when the going gets hellish, I can respond appropriately and raise hell right back and that makes me pretty stellar.

Daily Prompt – Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.

It is admittedly difficult to sound one’s own trumpet.  We’re taught from our earliest days not to talk about ourselves all the time, we’re taught not to brag about what we do or what we have because it might hurt someone else’s feelings.  In the end, we are told, we’ll have no friends because nobody likes being around someone who is self-absorbed.

I think my favorite thing about myself is my loyalty.  If I were friends with me, I’d value that trait like mad.  It’s a long journey to “friendship” but once we’re friends, we’re solid.  It would take a big event to cause us to “break up.”  Example: If we hadn’t seen each other in 4 years and the first thing you do when we get together is insult my hair, call up your stoner friends (who I don’t know) to hang out right away, generally treat me like I don’t matter, then abuse me when I attempt to take my leave (as I am clearly in your way)—then we’re not friends anymore.

I also really like my feet.  Seriously, if I took better care of them with regular pedicures, I could be a foot model.  My toes are not weird and joint-y, they’re all in a very nice descending height line. The nails are well-shaped and have healthy color.  My arch is defined and graceful, and when I point my toes, the look is strong and sleek.   Maybe that’s how I can make a little extra income.  Feet.