Enticing

Enticing and so wicked

dirty and obscene

the things I lust and cry for

make me feel unclean

stealing a little pizza

having a beer on the side

drinking in the darkness

furtively sipping wine

and the stars are still shining

and the world still turns

though I went off my diet

oh, the evil in me burns

Thursday’s Theme Music

I’m just offering my coffee* song as today’s theme music. There’s just one line repeated with variations in the song which applies, but it’s so well delivered and apropos.

Oh, can’t get enough
I can’t get enough
I can’t get enough

Here’s the 1978 KISS song, “I Was Made for Lovin’ You”.

* NOTE: Besides coffee, this song has been employed for wine, beer, pie, and sleep. I’ve also sung it to my cats when they’ve been on me purring away. I sang it once to my wife, too, but she said, “Get off me,” so I’m not counting that.

Cookfloof

Cookfloof (floofinition) 1. Animal who believes it must supervise every aspect of meal and snack preparation, often with hopes of benefitting from droped food.

In use: “Being a cookfloof, as soon as she got up, the lab raised his head to watch. As she went to the kitchen, she said, “Time to make dinner,” which he already knew, so he followed.

2. Another term for kitchenfloof.

In use: “As the kitchen was warmest, the kittens established themselves as kitchenfloofs, waylaying toes and feet which came their way, eventually becoming cookfloofs, jumping up onto the counter to inspect meal ingredients and climbing into the refrigerator.”

The Box of Clothes Dream

It was Friday, just after noon. Dressed in casual work clothes, I was walking through bright and airy offices. It could’ve easily been one of the new buildings from one of my employers in Redwood City and Mountain View, CA, or Atlanta, GA.

Two parties were planned. One was to fete a team project, and the other was a birthday party. Although the parties started here, it was understood that the parties would continue elsewhere. Visiting with friendly co-workers, I decided to change clothes. Producing a box, I put on my workout clothes.

I now looked just like I did in high school. Tables were set up and food was arriving. I walked along eyeing it. A vast assortment of fruit and veggie trays were arrayed, along with cookies. One set of cookies were shaped like hearts and outlined in pink, red, or white glitter. The cookies were on sticks and arranged as a bouquet in a red glass vase.

I declined to eat anything for the moment. Then, abruptly, I worried, where’s my box of clothes? I asked several people if they’d seen it: no. I thought I’d left it in the hall. Then I recalled where I placed it.

Rushing down a flight of stairs, I went to a corner. There was my box. I picked it up and opened it, confirming that everything was in it.

Music began. I realized the song was “All Night Long (All Night)” by Lionel Richie. Someone said that he was there. Some people began dancing.

The dream ended.

All Day

Great grandma McCune always talked in a cracking, laughing voice.  My five year old eyes padded her age to the neighborhood of a hundred.  Mom corrected me later.  We just called her Grandma or Grandma McCune, if clarification was required about which woman was being referenced.  Great grandma McCune was just eighty-six when she died, a petite woman with bright eyes and red lipstick who smelled like an unidentified powder and barely stood taller than me.  That’s why I liked her.  Despite her age, she was almost my height, never issued the usual adult intonations, and always canned and offered the best sugar plums around.

Walking down the cracked sidewalk in front of her Pittsburgh brownstone one June day, she seized my hand without a word.  Such an action alarmed me.  Mom always grabbed my hand to protect me.  Moving closer to Grandma McCune’s blowing white apron, I looked for the danger around the tree shaded street.

“Do you feel that?” she asked.

I didn’t know what she meant.

“Feel the air.  Smell it!”

Her commands kept me lost.  Beginning to think she might be the threat, I edged back.

She was smiling.  I never saw her not smiling.  Mom said that was an act for the children.  Betsy McCune, Mom told us, was a drinker, gambler, and cardshark.  She loved playing games and betting on the outcome, especially poker and pinochle, but she was known to throw dice.

Great grandma McCune bent down to me, a small effort.  “This is an All Day, a day when all the seasons are there.  It’s special, magical.  Don’t you smell the air?  Can’t you smell the winter?  Doesn’t it smell like it’s about to snow?  This is a special day that sometimes happens, when your mind knows it’s supposed to be summer and it’s summer sunny but the wind feels like fall and the air smells like a snowy winter but all around you are the full blossoms and greenery that only spring gives us.”

I didn’t know what she spoke of, being too young to understand her differences, but her comments marked my consciousness.  Her voiced words rose in me as I walked today.  “It’s a special day,” she’d said, “when all the weather is present, even if you don’t know it.  That makes it magical.  Close your eyes, turn in a circle and make a wish and your wish will come true.”

Back then, I did as told, wishing for her sugar plums.  I told her that after I’d finished the ritual.  Laughing, she seized my hand anew, tugging me forward.  “Then let’s make that dream come true.”

I would’ve wished for something more then but nothing came to my young mind.  I didn’t seem to have dreams.  War raged around the world and Mom and Dad were separated.  Protected by Mom and the family, I didn’t know those things and didn’t know I should wish for them, didn’t know that the woman with me that day would be dead a month later, didn’t know her sweet little dog, Brownie, would die a week after her, all things that I might have wished against.

Smelling the air today with its tingle of snow in my nose and fall’s feel in the wind despite the summer sun and the spring surroundings, I thought of many All Day wishes I could make.  Having never heard of All Day since my great grandmother told me about it on that early summer day, I thought I’d Google it.

The words had barely been typed in when I found myself on the street.  A powder fragrance teased my nose before a fall wind blew it away.  Struggling with orientation, I looked up and around as fabrics moved beside me.  “Did you make a wish?”

The female voice was high, old, and close.  Jerking as I heard, I whirled to see great grandma McCune.  She took my hand.  “Yes,” I said.  “I wished for sugar plums.”  How did I get here? I wanted to ask.

Grandma McCune laughed.  “Then let’s make that dream come true.”

A few minutes later, we finished the climb up the crumbling cement steps and across her narrow porch with its swinging chair.  Brownie arfed a greeting as she scrabbled down the hall.  The outside screen door creaked protest as Grandma McCune opened it and she told Brownie to get down and behave.  Feet thumping on the wooden floor, we stepped into the cool front hall where the air smelled of dust.  Framed photographic portraits hung on the wall above my head, photos I’d seen many times but would never see again.  Her husband, who I’d never met, a police offer who died of a heart attack, was in the largest portrait, encircled by the rest.

“Let’s get you those sugar plums,” Grandma McCune said.

Excited, I ran ahead of her into her tiny sunsplashed yellow kitchen with Brownie at my heels.  I knew where the glass jars were kept in the pantry but knew I was not to touch them, for Grandma McCune feared I’d drop it.  Stopping at the white door, I held still and looked back at her.

“Can you get a jar for me?” she asked.  “Do you think you’re big enough?”

I nodded an answer.

“Okay, then, get me a jar but please be careful.  Get back, Brownie, give him some room.”

Using utmost caution, I opened the door.  The handle was a reach for my short arm and the tarnished brass handle dwarfed my chubby fingers.  Pulling it open was an elaborate ritual of hanging on and backing up until I achieved enough clearance to push the door further back.

Ahead were the shiny, dusty Ball jars of stewed tomatoes, green beans, bread and butter pickles and sugar plums.  Finding one of the last, I hauled the quart jar carefully forward, wrapping my arms around it and bringing its cool surface into my chest to safeguard the treasure.

“Good,” my great grandmother said.  “Take it over to the table.”

I did, precariously managing to push it up and onto the surface.  Grandma McCune took over, opening the jar, telling me about how she’d learned to can sugar plums when she was a little girl, learning at her grandmother’s elbow.  Finding spoons and bowls, she gave us each a serving.  “Sit down and eat it,” she said.

I did, relishing the taste as I spooned it into my mouth —

“Hello?”

Blinking, I looked up and around the noisy coffee shop.  Jim was grinning down at me.  “Where was your mind?  I’ve been standing here for about three minutes.”

I looked at the Google page on m computer screen.  No results found.  “I was just remembering something,” I said.

“Well, whatever it was, you were deep in thought.”  He touched the side of his grinning mouth.  “You have a little something on your face.”

Putting my hand up, I found something wet, pulled my fingers away and stared at the little juicy fragment on my finger tip.

“What is that?” Jim asked.

Smiling, I replied, “It’s a little taste of magic.”  I put it in my mouth, holding it on my tongue before swallowing.  “Just some sugar plums I had earlier.”

“Sugar plums, huh?  I haven’t had one of those in years.  Well, see you later.  Go back to your memory.”

Jim wandered off, leaving me to gaze out the window.

Some days really are magical.

 

– originally published June, 2014.

A Truth

My wife revealed a truth about myself that I didn’t know. I said, “Have you tasted the potato salad?”

She answered, “No, what’s wrong with it?”

“That’s a weird response.”

“Well, that’s what you say when you don’t like something or think it tastes funny.”

“Do I?” She was right. When I like something, I just say that. But when I don’t like something, I seek validation that someone else doesn’t like it.

I liked the pot salad, though. Was this then an exception to my approach to food, a new beginning, or just the way it’s always been, unnoticed among my general idiosyncrasies?

A Sandwich Dream

The trip was starting. Anticipation uplifted me excited energy. But first —

A young boy called after me. Seeing his grin, I answered with the same. “Did you get it?” I asked as he ran up to me. “Did yu get the one you wanted?”

“Better,” the boy replied. “He gave me both my first and second choices.”

I hugged him. “I’m happy for you.” Then I rushed off to my journey.

Events interrupted. I needed my recall roster.*

Where was it? Where was it? I scurried about, opening and closing drawers in search of it as others asked, “Do you have your recall roster,” or told me, “You need your recall roster.”

“I know, I know,” I kept saying. Opening an old wooden rolltop desk, I discovered two fresh sandwiches on plates. “So that’s where I put those.”

I didn’t need two sandwiches so I fed one to a friend’s dog, then took the other sandwich out and place it on a table to eat. Another sandwich of another kind was already on the table. A passing friend said, “I picked up that sandwich for you, Michael.” As I thanked them, another sandwich was put on a plate before me. “For you,” another friend said.

I protested, “I already have a sandwich. Who needs a sandwich?”

Others joined me, eager for a sandwich. As I began eating, I found I had one sandwich left over. A man sat to my right. “Mind if I eat this, Michael?”

“No.” I realized the man picking up the sandwich was my main character.

That made me laugh.

 

* Recall Roster – a telephone contact list used for mobilization and rapid notifications

 

Judging

I’m watching Hulu. I don’t pay to be advert free. The same commercials are often played. The one in play now is a Carl’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. Breathe in the bacon, breathe out the bacon, is the basic play, while showing a cheeseburger close up. All I can think of when I watch it is, fifteen hundred mg of sodium (65% RDA), 34 grams of fat, 740 calories, and fifteen grams of sugar. Have some soda and fries with that.

Yeah, I’m fucking old, thinking about health over flavor and judging people who make that stuff, and the ones who eat it.

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