BY staring

01/01 Direct Link
A mixture of snow and tiny ice particles moved swiftly down the road's dark surface; flags, attached to each lamp at the auto dealer, flapped vigourously into the wind. The day was like a glimpse into a warehouse past closing time: empty. Everything depended on the light emanating from random pieces of landscaping and those establishments that chose to remain open. That, and my phone's occasional chime, indicating a new text message. But Steve had most likely nodded off that evening. I watched my reflection in the glass while eating inside a McDonald's, wondering when I had became so tired.
01/02 Direct Link
The leasing rep was cheerful despite the protests she made about the temperature outside, which dropped 20 degrees in the course of a day. She unlocked the door to the one bedroom model and motioned me inside, where I was greeted with a mirror image of my ex's apartment over 5 years ago. Her butterfly necklace glittered amidst the ice. Nevertheless, I concentrated on the details: Will there be a door behind my bed into the next apartment? When was the date of the last renovation? Am I safe here? I didn't expect her to fully answer the last question.
01/03 Direct Link
Today there was always a call waiting in the queue. By the end of my shift, I sat exhausted from everyone's emotions, all coming from different walks of life and trying to troubleshoot this and understand that. I found solace in my drive home, but the tables were turned as I tried to enable ebook borrowing on my Nook device. When I began to feel the vertigo, I stopped halfway through, feeling a bit like the wicked witch of the west trying to cast a spell on Dorothy's sparkled shoes. I didn't want to stop, but I had had enough.
01/04 Direct Link
My mom's been having trouble remembering to take her pills again, so I brought my old cell phone over again. We had fun deciding what ringtones she would prefer during the day. One of her favorites is an Andy Griffith-style whistling tune. She actually looked well tonight, better than last weekend when I helped her take down the Christmas decorations. I took her garbage down the elevator with Bonnie, who curiously peed on the linoleum floor by the gondolas. I wiped it up with an old pillow case with pink roses on it and wished my mom a goodnight.
01/05 Direct Link
I missed making an entry today, so I'm looking through my text messages for that one detail to expand upon, but I can't find anything especially noteworthy. I know it sounds like I'm giving up, an in many cases I am, but I've been doing too much thinking and not enough doing. I remember driving home from work down the dark, two-lane country road. I stopped at a party store within a tiny stip mall, complete with a gas station. The place was purchased by new management, and a couple women were stocking the shelves. Decorate snowflakes shining outside.
01/06 Direct Link
Tonight was my annual get together with Amanda. Steve was already there; I joined both of them in the back of a fancy Italian restaurant. Amanda's large brown eyes were full of nervous excitement as she discussed her trip to see 30 Seconds to Mars in NYC, as well as her desire to write children's books. She recalled our earlier outings, which originated in 2004, with perfect clarity, whereas for me in particular, they were often a drunken blur. Steve and I were her ticket to one night of freedom and nostalgia--to the days before she started a family.
01/07 Direct Link
I heard the tornado siren at the gas station. It was 1 pm on the first Saturday of the month. As the fuel coursed through the pump, I checked my phone. The text message sounded harsh, but my friend was right. Earlier in the day, I paid the last of my first month's rent and decided to walk by the place I'd be moving into in a few weeks. The place where I met my ex? 6 years ago was over the rail, under the bony maple tree. 'Peace' was hanging on the door. The siren crashed in a decresendo.
01/08 Direct Link
The orange blossom tea from Tazo tasted a bit like pickle juice and hibiscus. Perhaps it is an acquired taste, like my first few gin and tonics had been, I thought. A few sips later, the paper cup was in the trash, although I considered holding onto it for warmth. My favorite tea is Celestial Seasonings' Sleepytime with honey. Tea is carefully cultivated, and in many places, particularly Taiwan, its popularity is second only to water. The leaves are placed in a roaster at 250 degrees Celsius, rolled and dried. The process is repeated 10-15 times for full flavor.
01/09 Direct Link
I took the bus from downtown tonight for the first time in several months. Dennis was sitting across the aisle, talking about work for a good 25 minutes. I didn't want to be rude, so I maintained eye contact and occasionally contributed. When there was a lull in the conversation, I began to unwind, aware of how quickly the time passed compared to when I first rode the bus last year. I remembered Lisa, who had since left the job. Sometimes she'd sit quietly in front of me; her ear was pierced in two places. I remember her laugh most.
01/10 Direct Link
I was just reading about an early 19th century rowboat transporting a ship's passengers to a luminescent, Danish shore. In the distance, the full moon was about to be concealed by thick clouds of spindly lightning. The chapter graciously ended, and my eyes immediately averted to one of my favorite coffee mugs, sitting on the afghan beside me. The crude painting depicted another rowboat leaving a beach that was being tended by barefoot, dark-skinned women holding containers of fish over their heads. There was no telling where the boat was going, and everything appeared peaceful enough on the surface.
01/11 Direct Link
Corey couldn't shake Jon Secada's song, Just Another Day, from his head today. When the shower stopped, he tried to trace strands of DNA on the shower doors to no avail, thinking about his move into an apartment at the end of the month. He would miss all of the muted background noises outside: the neighbor's big van next door, the bird's uninhibited chirping, occasional clattering across the roof tiles, the frequent lull of cars and trucks driving down Ford Road. What new sounds would he become conditioned to at the apartment? Only the slow passage of time will tell.
01/12 Direct Link
He had a happy expression on his face; therefore, I'm making the right decision. What a waste of time it had been to imagine him in a state of worry and distress, which only made me feel worse. All it took was another "hey man" after work to see the truth. Didn't sleep very well last night, my mind was full of thoughts about work: morale (which is generally poor), people I haven't chatted with yet, call volume, stress levels, etc. I'm convinced it was due to the Baja Blast I had for dinner, and maybe because I didn't read.
01/13 Direct Link
Flashbacks. Steve joked about hiring a maid for his apartment and I responded by recalling when a woman cleaned my dad's house in the early '00's. The house was a different beast than it is today, and my brother and I had different schedules. Instead of working 9-5, I was taking college courses by day and cleaning empty offices by night. I had about 3 hours in between, when I'd come home and find her cleaning the bathroom. She'd finish the house while I did homework or played chess in the basement...Always calling downstairs to announce her departure.
01/14 Direct Link
I thought maybe there was a middle school reunion going on today after seeing a former classmate's facebook update. I searched the catholic school's website for the first time; there was a parish and a school subpage. The parish subpage demonstrated that the church had changed little over the past 20 years. The same painting of a sorrowful Mary, Joseph, multiple angels, and of course, Jesus, remained untouched behind the altar. The painting I stared at for hours during masses with my mom and brother or classmates. It occured to be that I had changed little in terms of perception.
01/15 Direct Link
Half a dozen streetlamps were overseers to the meandering path up to the back door. What if individual states of well being could be depicted by the same scene? A reasonably healthy person could be identified if it were still possible for someone to traverse the courtyard. Each billowing lamp would represent a different strength (or weakness). A few lamps would be flickering in Sade's case, perhaps a pole had even fallen across the walkway affecting all of the landscaping around it. Sometimes the pride associated with standing tall amidst the darkness is all we don't know what to fix.
01/16 Direct Link
"Hey!" Lawerence heard. It was Tom Petty's voice, mimicking a lyric from Don't Come Around Here No More. Lawerence paused, looking down at the gruesome picture he had been drawing and shook his head. Where to go from here? The sunlight, which had been pouring through the cracks in the barn's siding, was interrupted, revealing a young woman below the railing, holding up a leg of lamb, cheese and hard bread. She smiled, and he wondered why he had allowed himself to revel in the dumps this long. Everyday she'd return, but would only stay when his smile was genuine.
01/17 Direct Link
So, I'm confronted with the big blank box again less than 12 hours later. It's quiet here, just the sound of cars passing by outside the kitchen, agitating the rainwater. I just paid off my car in the space of a couple clicks; one being the submit button and the other being the quintessential are you sure? button. There wasn't that much left on the loan, but it was a much larger payment than I'm used to nonetheless. After today it's... Tuesday night. I really need to finish the book I checked out before it's soon removed from my Nook.
01/18 Direct Link
Ryan picked up his older friend, Ben, after work. His throat was dry from talking on the phone all day, but he managed to crack a joke when Ben got in the car. Usually it would be up to Ben to start talking; some days he would discuss things more obsessively than others. This time, Ryan began the discussion. It took some effort at first, and he cleared his throat a few times. Nevertheless, he made his point under the traffic light, glancing briefly in the rear view mirror to see Ben's older, more experienced eye patiently fixed on him.
01/19 Direct Link
My mom called yesterday morning, crying, because she felt so terrible. She had trouble explaining her symptoms beyond mere nausea, although she admitted to being up the night before using the bathroom. I couldn't drive her to the hospital because I would have missed work, again. This has been a regular occurence more and more frequently. She didn't know what to do. She wanted to vent. I felt the heat. But left with the thought of taking care of her or myself, I'm increasingly forced to put myself first and I feel awful that I no longer have a choice.
01/20 Direct Link
Last day of the week and it's COLD. I draped an extra blanket over my bed last night, an afghan to be precise, which made it more difficult to get out of bed this morning. I dreamt of an apartment complex on the beach, set up in such a way that the units became larger on the upper floors. The first or second floor housed the E units--haunted by a benevolent spirit. This was evident after watching the security cams and seeing tenants suspended in mid air or at an impossible angle. My mom's OK. Gall bladder coming out.
01/21 Direct Link
Welcome to Saturday night 100words. You were in the back of my mind today, brooding, making me consider what I was going to write about today. Like a library patron, or even a smart phone user, I considered writing about a topic, but dismissed it. On to the next scene. No, that won't quite work either. I can't believe I'm only at 59 words. Well more now, listening to the crunch of the neighbors van over the snow. Where's my red light bulb that I bought from Home Depot? Last I used it was for the premiere of ABC's V.
01/22 Direct Link
Abhi had been in such a hurry to close the shop that when she lowered the security gate, her red sari gown became stuck under it. She gently cursed, fumbling for the keys. The only source of light emanated from the cheap, imitation jewelry displays: the sudden phosphorescence of the gems cast dull shadows around each of their surroundings. Thats when she saw movement, in the back of the store, by the t-shirts studded in glitter. "Excuse me, we're closed," she said urgently, frantically trying to unlock the door. She picked up a rose-petaled snap purse in defense.
01/23 Direct Link
The snow created a thick mist as the temperature rose last night and into this morning, above freezing. The edges of each snow patch on the deck resemble the edges of a sno-cone, after all the artifical flavoring had been sucked out of it. A fairly large patch of snow on the lawn, which was part of a continuous blanket yesterday, is now an island in a sea of dead grass: an island that appeared to have been thrown down from the sky, causing multiple cracks in its surface. There is no sign of neighbor Judith's snow angel anywhere.
01/24 Direct Link
His grandpa put him in a bear hug, squeezing out all of the worry and undue stress. Charles felt better after the brief engagement, but this changed when he walked down the narrow path that bordered the swamp. Bubbles brewed in the water in front of him, so he started running. An alligator flew elegantly out of the water and landed a few feet behind him. Left with no choice, he stopped, turned toward the beast and growled. The alligator flipped back into the water, but continued to menace him with its presence until he was clear of the path.
01/25 Direct Link
Planet of the Apes. The woman had lush, silver hair trimmed just above her shoulders. She didn't look simian, but she was tough, in an Italian way, with a good heart. A perfect combination that reminded me of one of my past co-workers. She found my doctor's note, which would release me back to work for just ten dollars. While she did some data entry, I heard a strange knocking. I looked behind me, perplexed. Bet you throught that was someone knocking on the window, when it was probably a pharmacist next door with pills, she said.
01/26 Direct Link
He was sipping McDonalds coffee placidly, people watching. Most of his face was behind a wooden support beam. Every time he rapidly turned his head, he sabotaged his calm demeanor. Sometimes I would get an eye, other times his face would remain wholly concealed. I tried not to look too often because I didn't want to stare. The man to my right, sitting with his back to me in a booth, was about my dad's age. He was fiddling with his palm pilot as he ate: the plastic surface awash in dirty fingerprints. I concentrated on my fruit and maple.
01/27 Direct Link
There's an abandoned men's prison about 5 minutes from my dad's house. If you've ever read World Without Us, by Alan Weisman, it would be an interesting sight. Vines are climbing all of the windows. A building that says it was erected in 1931 sites with a half a dozen identical ones. What looks like a greenhouse sports a myriad of broken window panes. A parking lot has been overrun with weeds that have broken through the pavement. The mystery of what lies behind the walls, or what went on here is like my epilepsy. Why do I have seizures?
01/28 Direct Link
It's not easy making up a day (my moving day no less) without cable and the use of a laptop or iPad. Don't get me wrong, androids are great, but they don't cut it when writing 100 words. The most memorable part of today was probably the late breakfast we had after moving all the furniture. My brother was there, with 2.5 years more recent experience living somewhat independently as a dad. He wears more shirts with collars it seems, always with the top button done up. His front tooth is chipped, but he enjoys life too much to.
01/29 Direct Link
Little past midnight, so technically missed a day, but understandably so. Yesterday was spent moving out of my dad's house, and once again severing the physical and emotional ties. I made coffee while we put together a double recliner near the end of the day. The seriousness of the atmosphere was broken when my dad jokingly confirmed whether it was correct to put four sugars in my cup. We sat down in my living room, where I confirmed how nice it is to have my own place and my dad pointed out the cross breeze I would be enjoying, too.
01/30 Direct Link
Ada found herself in a maze after what she thought would be a walk in the palace garden. She kept hearing voices through the hedges, which always drew her back to the same dead end. It had been a long while since she tried a different path--one which she knew would draw her away from the sounds--but hadn't she tried that before? Only to be confronted with the same scene? Perhaps the answer lies within taking a break on a stone bench here. Or realizing the maze doesn't exist, that its only in her mind. Three more words.
01/31 Direct Link
Machievelli peered over the hill. He stood tall with his shepard's staff, despite the splattered purple birthmark that filled the left side of his face. What would the rebellion against the king and his castle bring? He wondered. The group's leaders seem to think they would all win, but the young shepard had other ideas. He scratched his cheek tentatively. Later that day, he swore an oath supporting the rebellion because he felt he didn't have much to lose. Regina's words of self assurance never made him feel worthy of women. You will fight because its time, Sam said forcefully.