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04/01 Direct Link
“He thanked me afterwards.”

“He didn’t!”

“He did.”

Jess sat across the Chinese spread; still chewing some sweet & sour something. “Well?” She asked.

“Well what? It was weird.” I picked at my bowl of rice. “So, I thanked him back.”

Her nose crinkled up, “Why?”

“I didn’t know what else to do.” I recalled his moist bed sheets and the pillows bunched against the headboard. He had sat on his knees, panting, beaming. “I was embarrassed.”

“You should have asked him to pay.” She opened her mouth and popped in another cube of sweet & sour.

“I could never.”

04/02 Direct Link
The entry to Tivoli was an ornate archway punctuated with round kiosks and topped with the red and white crossed flag of Denmark. We pushed through the crowd and into the gardens. It was still early; the lights were mostly dim, though the air bubbled up the plastic tubes lifted from circles of lily water. Curves and arches made for a fairy tale feel, as though we’d landed in some multicultural fantasy located between Morocco and Camelot. Tourists jostled each other for the good shots. We picked chairs with a view and enjoyed as the sun set and lights sparkled.
04/03 Direct Link
In a grass skirt, before elastic banding, before plastic straw, before fabric flowers, the backdrop is potted plants knit together on studio concrete. Your photographer is a representative of our classically repressed society. As you often remark, even those with tattoos, piercings and the trappings of outlandish thought keep any wildness hidden & in check ... assuming there is any spark to be hid. What surprise to find this bland seeming photographer flame in quiet with money dispensed. Hired, one girl in six inch heels and latex dress, for an evening of modeling in a manner most will find untoward.
04/04 Direct Link
A day for spending: he went on a spree, wanting everything he saw. Slacks, jackets, portfolios, bug spray, decorative wall art, shawls, ladies shoes with heels; nothing can avoid his credit card’s power. Out sword, and on to purchase more and in the purchasing do find that there is still a hollow, a vacancy that may not be filled. He rides on in his steel machine, roaring to find some happiness, some joy, some little parcel that makes the ache go away but never does the reward expand into all the corners. He lives, forever and anon, in a wanting.
04/05 Direct Link
When was the last time you scored 100%? When was the last time you took a test? Why do we think testing is voluntary? Usually it isn’t. I certainly didn’t ask to be tested. I didn’t want to be there at all. Still, they shoved a scantron form under my finger tips and rolled a yellow pencil to me. The blue test booklet was flipped open and I was made to follow along and pencil in a corresponding letter, presumably the correct answer. How was I to know what they were talking about? I got six right, all by chance.
04/06 Direct Link
I had a mission to climb every tower I saw. Being American I didn’t realize how many towers there were in Europe. Church towers, look-out towers, town square towers, monument towers, landmarks, light houses, an endless list. Every town, even the smallest, had a damn tower. After my sixth I grew weary. I became selective. Two hundred steps up, five hundred steps up, three hundred sixty two steps up, I picked out those with no fees, those with remarkable histories; Rundetaarn, Den Tilsandede Kirke, The Monument of London, Mehlsack tower, St. Vitus Cathedral; places where people waved, spied, defended, died.
04/07 Direct Link
They were taking mushrooms covertly, from a plastic ziplock baggie. Her older sister didn’t know, was moving from person to person striking up conversations, conversations that reduced to giggles or talking about air quality. “It is cold,” the sister commented. The younger said, “I just really want to be outside right now. Something about having air around me, feeling it.” Another girl said, “Yeah, in defiance of Winter. I’ll show you Air. You can’t stop me!” The older sister said, “Hmm, well. I suppose you can battle the air. I’m cold. I think I’ll go inside and get a blanket.”
04/08 Direct Link
He was listening to Paul Simon, his third pot of coffee, the night so late it had by definition rotated well into early morning, and he was determined to forget her. Paul Simon was scab picking, reminding him of her but, he thought, perhaps by forcing her music into his ears, by kindling old memories, that then he could transcend. It wasn’t working. Another pot of coffee was percolating, dripping and gurgling like a snoring dragon. He’d kicked a turned out bag of chips under the sofa and when he moved it crinkled. Still crazy, still alone, still without her.
04/09 Direct Link
All the books are gone. Cherry blossom petals swish in the breeze and rain courses, tacking them to the pavement, creases in rooflines, wiper blades of trucks. Nearly all have forgotten the value of the word. Some contract writers organize old stipulations and rules into sense to bind others with laws. Children can not read these contracts. My child, my 56 year old son, can’t write his own name. I can point, I can say, “See that.” But I want to write, to dip a stick in coal dust and scribe, “Cherry blossoms break and swing through the air, rebellious.”
04/10 Direct Link
The tree leans to one side, always windy on the coast. He sits under it, watches the waves cymbal the rocks, the occasional hulk of boat or trunk of tree flung up and over, adding to a pile of dead wood just behind the peak of rock, just a short distance from his feet, though he has his legs wrapped with his arms and tries to be invisible. Anyone walking on the beach could see him but few do because it is black rock and barnacles and slick algae, a death trap, and the tide comes in quick, before reckoning.
04/11 Direct Link
I see them. Women, young ladies, in bikinis or topless; straddling chairs, hamburgers, corvettes. As a child this was kept to Hustler. I was led to believe only desperate, perverted women let photos be taken of them. Today, I see a post with over 100 different women posturing, stomachs sucked in, pouting smiles, and occasionally a finger wedged between lips like some facial masturbation. Their nipples are thick or buttoned or tipped upward. Their hair is long, short, brown, dyed, highlighted, wet. Their panties bunch into their crotches, they sit in puddles or lean over, parting cheeks. Who are they?
04/12 Direct Link
You’ve been given your name and you like it. Whore. Kitten. Wimp. Twiggy. What do you want? What did you expect? Were your parents supposed to know you before you landed splat in the doctor’s gloves? So you woke up one day, recognizing Jim, Carl, Penelope, Sarah was supposed to be you and half a million other people. One day you figured it out. Someone else had your name, the illusion broke and you accepted it. Your parents had faults. Didn’t they, Pumpkin, Baby, Sweetie, Buddy, Champ? You forgave them. They forgave you. Buttercup. Princess. Tough Guy. Fatty. Slut. Rake.
04/13 Direct Link
His rock band mostly has lyrics about women; fucking them, dumping them, meeting them, bargaining with them. All the guys are married. They try to meet every week but usually there are squalling babies, softball games or arguments with the wife to settle. When they meet, they don’t talk about the drama. It is right to the bong, beers and guitars. As they work out a new tune one of them will suggest lyrics. “I’m leaving you, you better know it, I’m leaving you, because you blew it.” They don’t discuss it. There’s no need among drinking, drugging rock friends.
04/14 Direct Link
My boyfriend spells my name wrong every time. How I can spell his Czech name with no problems and he can’t spell my standard Anglo-Saxon knock-off is beyond me. Most people have no trouble with Olson but he’s always putting in an I or an E or two Ss. One time he spelled it Ollisson. Oily Son. Sounds like a new kind of instant noodle from Japan. I mention it to him every time but it’s like he doesn’t hear me. His eyes glaze or he looks over my shoulder. I’ve tried misspelling his name but I can’t seem to.
04/15 Direct Link
The cat sat next to me, I’d pinned the cat’s tail under my elbow so it wouldn’t flap over the keyboard. My boyfriend was curled up under blankets and I was cruising the net. The lights were low and it was past our bedtime. I didn’t want to go to sleep or, even more, get up in the morning and go to work. I kept reading headlines to my boyfriend from a new listing site. I read an article about music and money to him. He was drifting to sleep so I copy/pasted the link and emailed it to him.
04/16 Direct Link
Women sell. This has been proven through time. The first department stores stocked the counters with single ladies. Beer, magazines, things that don’t make sense; investments, banks, language schools, the harder the sell the sexier the woman selling it. Feel emasculated? You should. Women have the power. Winter is more alluring with a fur lined mama, Spring blossoms with tweenage vixens, colorful Fall of Auburn foxiness and bikinis? Well, you already know about Summer. The power to make darkness light. The power to open your heart; your wallet, the gash of fearful soul. The power to kiss the pain away.
04/17 Direct Link
Dandelions puffing up and she’s with the wrong man. “What is it you like in a man?” her coworker asks.

“Good looks, a full head of hair,” Lisle said. Her boyfriend slipped some cobb salad from her plate.

Her friend raised her eyebrows, “Oh yeah?”

“Something on my face?” Lisle’s boyfriend asked.

Lisle looked away, “No.”

Her coworker quipped, “What about sense of humor?”

Her friend added, “And that indefinable spark?”

“No really,” asked her boyfriend. “I got something between my teeth?”

Lisle turned to him, smiled, brushed hair from his forehead, “No, dear. You’re fine.”

Dandelions grow through cracks.

04/18 Direct Link
On the red carpet, filing along, one celebrity after another, told when to stop and pose, managers hustling them along, “no, don’t talk to that one, go over there”, it smells of every perfume, laundered money, rented gems, gowns on loan, tottering shoes, strained muscles, old arguments and forgotten loves. Carole Lombard thought nothing of these things. Stunning, stark black gown with sharp white accents around the neck, button nose, arch brows, lips that haven’t been published in fifty years, a true beauty among the riffraff of the red carpet. Just another dyed blonde in five hundred dollar designer heels.
04/19 Direct Link
I remember being happiest when I slept naked. A child of Hippies, there were whole days when I wasn’t expected to dress, we lived in the woods in a converted barn with some guy my mom called my uncle but later I found out he wasn’t an uncle at all. My skin was clear, my hair long, the sunny days seemed to never end. When it was cold we started a fire. Things were simple. Now I worry. I worry if I died suddenly, in my sleep, in a car accident, that everyone would know my weakness, my fears, dreams.
04/20 Direct Link
Between you and me, Madam, today you’ll want the creamed cello. Some people like stewed trombones but, really, I prefer cello. On Thursdays we have a fine selection of fresh piccolos, chilled and served with chutney. Friday is special roasted horns night, it’s a mix of brass instruments dredged in seasoning and slow cooked with a bed of pasta. When you are ready for dessert we have an exquisite array of liquors, strudel, brownies, cookies, banana split, Neapolitan ice cream, and a whopping doozy of a horseradish salamander cocoa dip. You’ll love it. I guarantee it on my mother’s life
04/21 Direct Link
We were tourists, obviously, catching a cab to the airport home. We’d had a blast. The cabdriver was funny, talkative, asking lots of questions. Shelley turned it around, asked him what it was like to be a New York cabbie. He told us he was a world famous trumpet player. He moved to New York thinking he could send money home, get some gigs, cut an album, get a manager, a label, tour, be Western-World famous instead of Eastern-World famous. Eight years had passed and he only had two weekly gigs and no money to send home to his kids.
04/22 Direct Link
I’m sure it was horrible. The car rolling over and again, the crushing explosion of glass, the tightness of seatbelts and shove of airbags must have hurt as much as the final impact. When Claudia called she apologized. I was surprised she’d found my number, then I was angry she’d called, then I heard her blow her nose, obviously holding the receiver at a distance so the sound was a chamber of sadness I could look through like a tunnel and, with the light approaching, know if I didn’t maneuver quick I’d be trapped in the back. I hung up
04/23 Direct Link
He called looking for advice. I didn’t really have any. Mostly he wanted to hear that he could do it, that his job application wasn’t out of line. It was an office-flunky job he’d applied to and had his fingers crossed that he’d get it. His current job was less than desirable, a huge call center with over a thousand employees and his office full of yacking billing department slobs struggling to sooth outraged clients. Filling water coolers and refilling coffee sounded like paradise in comparison. He asked if there was something in particular he should say, some secret handshake.
04/24 Direct Link
Kurt sometimes caught flack for wearing glasses. He couldn’t help it though, like Jen couldn’t help her breasts grow. Jen attended middle school with Kurt. He was in her American History class. They sat beside each other. That was before Jen liked him. Near the end of the semester, Kurt passed Jen a note asking her if she knew the answer to a take-home quiz question. Jen didn’t. She was flattered that he thought she might. She thought maybe Kurt thought other things about her. Like maybe he thought she was pretty. Maybe he thought she was fun. Maybe not.
04/25 Direct Link
She rounded a corner and headed to the cafeteria. Her new friends waved her to their table and she gladly joined them. She legitimately liked them. She saw Kurt walk up to his brothers and their friends; all sporty boys with ball caps and new, fashionable clothing. A couple of girls with carefully curled hair and tight dresses started talking to Kurt. One grabbed his arm and leaned against him, smiling. Kurt shrugged her off and grabbed his eldest brother. Emily saw him point over to her. She stopped looking and pretended to be involved in conversation at her table.
04/26 Direct Link
Sentences ramble and paragraphs move over pages. While the book is divided into three sections with additional chapters, the significance is lost in the blur of globally massive paragraphs and the troublesome characters. Almost every paragraph turns over to the next page, slowing the reading pace. Details are hyper-real, panning close with a telephoto lens picking up flecks of spit and twist of thread. After the secret room as real magic kingdom revelation, the paragraphs reduce in size, enhancing the readability of the book but, sadly, by that point I was angry enough to find no relief in the change.
04/27 Direct Link
She hated the days he stayed home. Meredith thought John was jealous. Her only faith was in his not knowing what she did while he was on the road. It was her time to watch television, her time to go the diner and hang-out with the regulars, to ignore the dishes and the mewling cats and the neighbors fighting in their hollow double-wide. Some days she would lie on the sunken sofa imagining what her life would have been if she’d never lost her figure, if she’d gone to LA and met a big time producer. John never understood her.
04/28 Direct Link
They say my job is killing me, chemical baths start as fumes, a bitter smell that sinks in. My nostrils burn and then the wooziness comes on. For a few seconds my legs are weak and my hands shake, then my body solidifies and it is my mind that liquefies. If I don’t pay attention at this point, I could really screw things up. I could ruin a whole batch with one slip. I only care because of the money, it’s my livelihood. But they won’t pay me if I lose my mind or if the chembath sears my nerves.
04/29 Direct Link
We were young. Too young to marry but we did. Our parents wanted it. His, because they thought he was gay. Mine, because I was too beautiful. I dated whomever I wanted up til then. My aunt and uncle were kind enough but they both worried. They worried me into a hole. When I left him, after the fight, I decided it was over, I would never look back. I was going to reinvent myself. Not some mummy climbing from a tomb, but a whole new me with a new past and a remarkable, unforgettable, new future like no other.
04/30 Direct Link
Maribel grinds her teeth in her sleep. Her mother is mad, crazy, wears men’s clothes and thinks there is a film crew capturing her, watching her. While others roll into comfort, Maribel forces her pillow tight under her head with her fist. She can hear her mother mumbling in the dining room, pouring another pint of iced tea into the plastic cup, picking at her finger tips, bits of blood dried on the table from hours before. Maribel tries to sleep. The sound of her teeth wearing wakes her, she relaxes her jaw, drifts again, and wakes. Her mother hums.