Archive | January, 2008

My Francine

31 Jan
My Francine

Copyright © Girley

She was leaning against the bathroom sink when I walked in, almost as if she had been waiting for me. I wasn’t surprised to see her. The idea that I would enjoy this reunion in its entirety was hardly something I believed; at some point, I was well aware that she and I would cross paths. All the same, I was no longer a teenager. Painful, racing heartbeat or no, I was going to speak.

“Francine. How are you?” I asked lightly. “I haven’t seen you all evening.”
She appraised me openly, wearing that age-old expression of combined amusement and disdain. “I’ve been here and there.”
I thought of what next to say. “Amazing that it’s been 10 years, isn’t it?”
“No, not that amazing, actually.”
Ignore that. Move to the sink and stand right next to her. Check your make-up, yes. Act natural. “So, what have you been doing with yourself?” I asked, peering at myself in the mirror, pretending to spruce up my hair. The truth was that I was desperate to use the bathroom. However, I would do no such thing, certainly not while Francine Mission was in the same room. Perhaps the possibility that she would reenact a scene from our past (involving toilet water and my forehead) was a deterrent. Either way, I had no intention of creeping away from her like the frightened girl from long ago.
Francine continued to stare at me, her arms crossed over her chest. She hadn’t changed much. Tall and slender, biceps that could rein in a herd of buffalo. Those buffalo biceps were displayed by way of a sleeveless, mid-length black dress. Voluminous strawberry red curls framed her face and hung down her back. On the surface, she looked like a normal, well-arranged woman. If only the surface went deeper. “‘So, what have you been doing with yourself?’” she repeated, employing a high-pitched, cartoon version of my voice. “What do you think I’ve been doing, Michelle? Robbing banks? I’ve been doing what the rest of the world does every day—living my life. What an idiotic question. You, on the other hand, have been chucking those brain cells, haven’t you?”
I was instantly transported to the past, with its mocking and its visits to the chilly interiors of toilet bowls. Memories didn’t have to be this way, so angrily thrust at you like freight trains. Such attacks of memory only led to dangerous, bad things. In this case, it caused me to turn on the faucet and throw handfuls of both hot and cold water onto Francine Mission.
“Are you crazy?” she screamed over and over again.
“Don’t you ever call me an idiot,” I muttered, before stepping around her and exiting the bathroom. I took a deep breath and walked toward the hotel’s front desk. “Hi. Is there another bathroom I can use?”

The End.


31 Jan

Nope. Nothing to write about right now.

Tomorrow is another day.

Or am I just being lazy?

The Weekender

28 Jan

It’s just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
‘Cause that’s my funday
My I don’t have to runday
It’s just another manic Monday

They said it best, didn’t they?

I’ve discovered that I have a love/hate relationship with those two days called the weekend.

The weekend can be lovely. Saturday allows me to take care of errands and meet with friends and go to the movies–all the things I don’t get to do during the long week. Sunday allows me to wind down a bit, relax, sit down on the couch and catch up with the latest laugh-fest on the Lifetime Movie Network. (How can one woman not realize that the villain is inside THE DARK BEDROOM? Hello?) It’s a delightful combination, those two days.

It only lasts two days. Two days. And then Monday rolls around like a typhoon, as if Saturday and Sunday never manifested themselves! It’s not right. The government needs to…they need to fix it. Just like they commandeered daylight savings time. Because they control when the sun ascends and descends. Right. Never mind.

More Hate
It’s not fair. The weekend does this thing: you’re getting into the groove, you’re taking naps, starting to love the freedom of it all–and then kaput. Over. Just like that. Biggest letdown ever.

And so it’s Monday. The week has returned and the vicious cycle begins anew. Thank goodness for carbohydrates. They never disappoint me.

For the Purposes of Poetry

27 Jan

There remains fodder about you;
simply because you,
had such an impact.

Youthful wonder and exciting disbelief,
complete with (now) baseless conviction,
all because and due to you.

Such wonder has long faded away.
You became less in eyes than what
you once were perceived to be.
Now 50, formerly and wholly 100.

But for the purposes of poetry,
you live.
You live and you breathe and you exist through
and through–
curiosity and self-analysis replacing
all that thrived before:
wonder, disbelief, (now) baseless conviction.

No more resentment.
No more anger.
No more laying of fault.
That’s that.

I think of you only when words cry to
be let out, when souls demand
an explanation of that curious, curious

And I am well.
Not that it matters to you.
It matters to me.
It should have always mattered to me.

Copyright © Girley

The Song Remains the Same

25 Jan


What is it about music that makes me so happy and contented? Or am I just a sucker for rich melodies and amazing lyrics? Whatever the case may be, music has been a mainstay in my life since I can remember. The absolute and deep love of it came right from my parents, who never held back from expressing how they felt about a good song or how that particular song made them feel. I can see my father now, describing the wonder of hearing the country group Alabama do a duet with Lionel Richie, and how that sound just thrilled him. Or how hearing Aretha Franklin’s version of “Bridge over Troubled Water” led him to play the record repeatedly until it wore itself out. There’s the memory of my mother professing her love for a tune from The Phantom of the Opera; how she refused to hide her love for disco and the songs from that time. I took all of that in–undoubtedly, that musical aspect of my upbringing is a big part of my life.
At work, while writing, at play, the rare taking of a walk–music is always with me. Undeniably, it’s a powerful, at times emotional, connection. Yes, yes, how I love it so.
This is the current song I’m listening to: It’s a cover of a Carole King song by Rod Stewart. For those few eyes that visit this JournaBlog, it’s worth listening to, if only for the simple and spare beauty of the lyrics.
In other news, I was thankfully able to feed the addicition yesterday and purchase a new purse. Sigh. So shiny and new. It’s lovely. Granted, the old bag was being held together by rubber bands and paper clips. It was high time for a replacement.
And the beat goes on…

One More Thing…

24 Jan

This is certainly not the place for celebrity stuff, and it won’t be, but the whole Heath Ledger thing is pretty sad. Sad because he did have a child, and any child without his/her parent is just terrible. Sad because he didn’t seem like a member of the young druggie set (no names needed), although none of us really know the true lives of the Hollywooders. Personally, being thrust in that kind of devil-may-care environment, when you can have anything and whenever you want it, would seem to lead a person to throw caution to the wind. Whatever the case may be, death is never normal, and it is always sad.

On Stuff and Things

24 Jan

I had a fish before. She was overfed. Murdered. The investigation is still pending. Despite that particular trauma, I do think of having a pet one day. Me, in my cute apartment (decorated by someone else, because I know nothing about those things), with my medium-sized dog. Probably one that doesn’t require me to run with it, of course, because I fear public humiliation. But moderately fun, super cute, protective. I would give it a human name, like Mr. Walter Smith III. Or Charles Barker. That’s a good one!

My sis promises to help me take care of Frederick when she comes to visit. I am to bring him home for something called a “re-potting.” I think that’s what she said, anyway. The question that begs to be asked: who would give me a plant? No, I have to retract this. I was given the plant as a gift; the givers didn’t know of my ability to kill inanimate life. Sigh.


23 Jan

Earlier this morning, I almost became the new owner of a local Safeway store. As I headed toward the store to purchase breakfast, with a jaunt in my step, happy to be wearing awesome boots and happy to be making good time before the start of work, I nearly fell to my demise on a sheet of invisible, black ice. I mean, the way I slipped and nearly crashed to the ground–it was unbelievable. Somehow, inexplicably, one foot saved the other and kept me from actually hitting the ground. I was shaken and stirred, dazed and confused, completely out of sorts. (Not too out of sorts, however, to quickly double-check if any eyes had witnessed my apparent audition for the Olympic gymnastic team). Inside the store, I must been a sight: stunned and open-mouthed while I stood in front of a row of bagels.

The moral of this story? Sidewalks, crosswalks, paths in front of stores need to be SALTED. Granted, I should have been far more aware of where I was going and far less transfixed by the clicking of my awesome boots, but, all the same, salting the area would be nice and safe. Had I fallen to the ground? I would have stayed right there on the ground, patiently waiting until the manager of that particular store came to me. Upon his arrival, with stars in my eyes, I would have whispered my ideas for changing the store’s format following my new appointment as the owner and General Manager. Nevertheless, I’m thrilled that I didn’t crash to the ground, and I’m thrilled that my idea of having driveable grocery carts will never see the light of day. As usual, since these life events require a scapegoat, I blame the awesome boots.

Regarding yesterday’s post, the story will be written! I will do my very best. I may even debut it on this JournaBlog. More to come…

In Frederick Von Plant news, he’s still mostly vibrant. However, a few leaves are turning brown; one poor leaf has sadly gone the way of the dinosaur. All those things considered, I refuse to let him die. I refuse!

Something’s Brewing…

22 Jan

I have these characters in my head. They have names and backgrounds and lives; they’re fleshed out and almost real. I get excited during times like these–I make lists and imagine these fictional people telling their interesting and intriguing tales inside my head. And when they’re inside my head, it’s grand. Nothing bad ever happens. The story is formed and the plotline works and all is well. Until tradition wins and I remind myself that all the above has to come out in story form. Unfortunately, this is when my creative brain declares mutiny.

The Meltdown:

Delete everything. I hate this dialogue. I hate that dumb name. Why would so-and-so even say that? Who says that in reality? Where is this story going? Am I crazy? Did I even research that topic? Who am I? Why did I fall in love with writing? Why didn’t I care about science projects and binomials? I could have chosen something else. Why didn’t I? Why did I believe Mrs. Chrytzer?

(A little history: Mrs. Madeline Chrytzer was my amazing 4th grade teacher, the woman who told me that I could write books just like the authors who wrote the books I loved to read. Wonderful woman. Of course, she becomes far less wonderful when I’m engaging in a writing-related nervous breakdown).

Why didn’t she encourage me to keep an eye on my Math homework? Isn’t she the one that put that frowny face next to that horrible grade? Yet she tells me that I can be a writer! Please! Where were her priorities? Where are my priorities? Why can’t I just give myself a chance? Why can’t I be serious about this? Why am I walking away from the laptop toward the refrigerator? Why did I bypass that apple and head for the crueller? What is happening to me?

Sigh. Will this story be written? I cannot say. Whatever happens, though, I think it’s time to find a special doctor that deals with the brain.

Reflections of the Way I…Used to Be?

21 Jan

So I recently renewed my driver’s license online. It was painless, quick and easy (unlike the last time, when I was inexplicably forced to take a faulty test and almost manifested my rage at the guy taking my picture. One should never desire to kick someone in the knee, not ever), and I was slated to receive the new license about five days later.

I received the license this past Friday. A few things:

  1. I looked like a pig. An actual pig. AN ACTUAL PIG.
  2. Oddly enough, it wasn’t the photo from the license I had just renewed, which I assumed it would be. It was some other weird looking photo, where my posture was terrible and I had this strange, almost smug smirk on my face. Smug? I never look smug! (Well, I don’t try to).
  3. It appeared as if my picture had been age-progressed. Seriously. Rather than feature what I currently look like, the picture seemed to guess what I’ll look like 5 years from now, when the license expires.

My younger brother seemed to get a kick out of #3. “You’ve been age-progressed! Ha ha!” That particular revenge will be sweet. Anyway…

I placed the license in my wallet with a resolute sigh, pleased that, at least, a trip to the horrid DMV had been avoided. These days, even thinking about kicking someone may land me in some jail somewhere. Times have changed.

The weekend was interesting. Packed with activity and pretty fast. Wasn’t it just last Friday?



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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