Saturday, July 11, 2009


I found a web site that does free writer's workshops.  It isn't much about mechanics and grammar, though I'm guessing that it's mentioned.  It's more about getting in touch with your inner writer and putting ideas, thoughts, moods, whatever, into words.  The topic I chose was, "Yesterday she lost her ______________."  I chose first person.  Don't know why.  

This is a first and possibly last draft.  I was aware of the fact that this is something that has been written about before.  Maybe way too often.  But it's what came to mind.  I have not tried to go over it and figure out how to say it better.  I was curious if anyone else ever did these exercises.  

Anyhow, here it is.  I'm loosely naming it "Liberator."

Yesterday, I lost my identity. I mean, not WHO I was, exactly, just all of the things that make me recognizable to the world. My license, my social security card, my checks, credit cards, cell phone. I set my purse down beside the register in a restaurant and walked out without it. When I got in my car and realized I didn't have my keys, I went back inside. It was gone. Three minutes. Maybe two. And it was gone.

The restaurant manager offered to call the police, but I shook my head, no. I wasn't quite sure why.

"Let us call you a cab, then," he offered. He looked so sincere and concerned. His round face and balding head reminded me of my grandfather and I was touched by his desire to help.

"That won't be necessary," I said.

"Then how will you get home, Miss..."

"I'm Candy," I lied. "That's my name. I guess I'll walk."

I left the restaurant and began to walk down the street. Not toward my little town's shops and offices. Not toward my job or my home or my unpaid bills. Not toward my parents and their expectations. I walked in the opposite direction instead, past the park, the school, the town limits.

Looking back, I may have just been stunned by the abrupt violation one feels when personal possessions are stolen. I recall searching my mind, thinking I'd find indignation and anger, but if they were there, they were not coming out. At least not yet.

I walked for hours. It felt like hours. I came to a small gas station I've stopped at a hundred times, maybe more. It looked cool inside and I was beginning to feel a little hungry. But then, I had no money. Maybe I'd ask... maybe I'd just take something. Something had been taken from me, yes? And the taking wasn't so bad, really. Maybe taking isn't as bad as all that.

I went in the station, a dingy place with unswept floors, old cans of beans and wieners, packages of cheese crackers and crumpled bags of chips. The place smelled like a toilet. At least it was cool.

"Help you, miss?"

I turned to the cashier who was eyeing me suspiciously.

That's when I saw it. My purse. It was sitting behind the shelf, half concealed. I looked at the boy behind the cash register. He did not know me. He did not recognize me. Maybe he wasn't the one who stole it. Maybe it was someone else who worked here.

I pointed in the direction of my purse. "That's my..." I began. But I couldn't form the words. I didn't form the words. I wouldn't form the words.

"I guess not. I just need to use your restroom."

"Out back," he said and wagged his greasy head in the direction of the door.

"Good. Thanks." I stood there looking at him another moment. It was possible he was my liberator. It was possible I owed everything I had at that moment to this oily countenance. I turned to leave.

"Miss," he said. "You forgot your crackers."


He pulled a package of crackers out from under the counter. "Your crackers," he said.

I took them. "Thanks."

"No problem. Take care of yourself."

I left the gas station and just kept walking.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Death by Moonlight

A slip of moonlight finds it's way through black curtains and moves stealthily across the room to the foot of her bed. It creeps over blanket mountains and is lost in the dark mounds and valleys of her body until a pale finger of it strokes softly at her eye lids, playing at waking her. But she is sound in her sleep, untouchable in her dream.

She walks but does not feel the earth. She sees but can not view what is below. The frustration of it is making her strain to open eyes shut tight.

A shift in her body and the bedscape changes the fall of the moon's ray, now illuminating matted bits of fine silver threads on her head, woven into a mass, wet with sweat that stick to her forehead. It plays off gleaming bits of moisture composed of the elements of a Cambrian sea, the original salts of creation.

She is in this sea now, with the creatures that first blessed the earth. They levitate before her and she can sense their shapes rather than see them. She senses their presence and scans their sleek bodies with the radar of dream. Not monsters. Not this time. The largest creature, a platypus with fangs smiles and she cannot see it but knows it and moves with it to the surface, hoping to drink the night air, but at the sea's surface is no atmosphere, only space. Dark except for the moon.

Her hand wards off the creature and the the suffocation of her death and a bit of moonlight illumines her palm, the life line of which is long and deep. For a moment, the moonlight forgets her age, that tonight is her last, and mistakes her for someone youthful and bright. Bright like it is.

She opens her mouth, a cave without stone, black and stale of air. She is lifted above the level of the sea, unmindful now of any void and looks down on the mountains and valleys of the sea scape, of salt and bone and fang and hair, of blanket and body. The moon guides her and she closes her hand on the beam, capturing it in the dark of her fist. It pulls her along, a silver rope taking her home.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Purgatory... OK?

You'd think that at midnight on the dais there'd be something more than a mint julep just sitting in the middle of the floor.  It's not even on a plinth or anything.  No napkin.  A place of honor deserves more than a stupid drink and I am definitely not in the mood for mint.  For honor, yes.  Because I so richly deserve it.  But this is all that I get and so I think I will try to slog it down.  

Where's the dais?  At the end of this God forsaken medieval hall.  In which I'm stuck.  In which I'm locked in.  A gremlin comes and serves me and offers very little praise.  I'm here because I think I deserve more and God is not one to play with children who think they are at least as good as HE is.  

Purgatory, OK?

For the love of Pete, I didn't think it existed.  I'm Presbyterian.  We don't do purgatory.  Well, God didn't get the memo.

I offed myself and ended up here.  That's what they do with you when you do something permanent like that.  I didn't even get to attend the funeral.  Which is fucked since I went to all that trouble.  All those wretched people finally sorry for the way they treated me and here I am stuck in this medieval hall standing on the dais, speech in hand, with no audience and only a mint julep to keep me company.  At least there's that.

Even the goblins won't speak to me or clap at my cleverness.  Which also sucks.  Like this horrible drink.  Which I don't think I'll finish.

The rest of my time is supposed to be spent "thinking about what you did."  It hurts my brain to think about it.  

After all, I really was spectacular in life.  I mean, so many things were wrong with me, I had to be interesting.  Perfect people aren't interesting.  They live these quiet lives, never offending anyone and never getting any attention, which is what it's all about.  Let's just be frank about that.  

Right now, I'm tap dancing on this dais.  The hall makes it echo beautifully and if you want to know the truth, I have the feet of Ginger Rogers.  I mean I can flat out dance.  I used to dance for people all the time.  They loved it.  They really did.  I'd wear those tappy hard soled shoes and I'd dance everywhere I went.  Isn't that what we're supposed to do?  But dance in the wrong setting and... OH NO!  Everybody gets all upset.

I ended my dance myself.  What's wrong with that?  Apparently, it isn't enough to send you ALL the way to hell.  I'm only here.  With no one to watch me.  Which sucks.  

The drink isn't that bad.  

Anyway, if anyone can hear me at all, I'd like some response now.  Someone tell me I'm unique and special.  I know I am, but if you tell me, I'm sure you'll win points with God and perhaps even avoid this very hall and this stupid dais on which you really should be honored.  Just take it from me, you want to please the Big Guy because he can bump your ass right down here.  And you'll have to drink mint juleps until you've learned your lesson.  Solitary confinement. 

Is... not... fun.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bread ~n~ Water are necessary elements to life.  It's interesting that I use a cliche about food for the title of my blog.  No, it really is.  Food and I have issues, but I do make incredible bread.  And I do love a cool glass of water.  So, I'm hoping this blog will be like that.  Plain, but necessary.  Dare I say, I hope it gives you sustenance?  Sus - ten - ance.  Yeah.  I spelled that right.  Wait.  Looked it up.  Yeah.  Right.  

I also have OCD, so things get interesting.  And I'm kind of crazy sometimes.  (My son just walked into the room and is acing all psycho to get me to laugh.  It's working.  He's kind of crazy too.)  We're a crazy family.  Such fun.  For us.  

Anyway, if you're reading this, you should put it on your bookmarks because it's important.  You could be blown away by it someday.  You just never know.  So check it frequently for the sake of your blown away-ness.   And here's my best recipe for bread.  It's awesome if you have the patience.  Peace.

Oatmeal Bread
2 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 tablespoon salt
6 cups bread flour
1 Tablespoon butter melted
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; set aside.  In another bowl, stir boiling water and shortening until shortening is melted.  Add honey; cool to 110 degrees F.  Add eggs, oats, salt and shortening mixture to yeast mixture.  Add 3 cups flour; stir until smooth.  Stir in enough of the flour to form a soft dough.  Turn onto a floured surface; kneed until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.  Cover
and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  Punch dough down.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half.  Shape each portion into a loaf.  Place in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans.  Prick tops with a fork.  Brush with butter.  cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 more minutes.  Patience, my little gobblin.  Patience!  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pans to cool on wire racks.

I got it off  I should give them credit.  It really is awesome.