Goodbye summer. It was nice to get to know you during the time we had together. I always look forward to your visits and I’m reluctant to let you go. It has always been that way with us. You blowing into town and me eagerly anticipating your arrival. We have such a short time together and then you are gone just like that. I am left alone by the telephone and I know you won’t call me, or even send me an e-mail.
I know by now I should expect this but every time you leave it seems a bit abrupt and I’m left with the feeling that I’m being used. You breeze in and you stick around never paying a dime in rent. Then you leave again. You say; “It’s business baby.”
But why all the way across the world? Are you spreading your sunshine all over someplace else? Is some other hemisphere going to get your love? Say it isn’t so, summer. I thought we meant something to each other. Those long walks we’d have along the beach, the plans and dreams we had for the future.
This time I thought it would be different, but there you go again….
I must confess; at one time I was a latte whore. I didn’t care where I got it or how I got It, as long as I got my Chai latte. It is a weakness of mine that I enjoy, this love for Chai latte; it was love at first sip and its been going strong for a few years.
At first it was a no-brainer; there was no question as to where to get this coveted drink of mine..Starbucks. This is the place for me, I decided. It’s a bit corporate, but so what? I know what I’m getting there.
At Starbucks everyone seems so upwardly mobile, so cute in their colorful new clothes..people with jobs and busy lives. Even the slackers types were busy clicking away with the free Wi Fi. Everyone was happy and smiled and were friendly. I guess that is easy to do when you have a job and extra money for fancy coffees.
I like the music in Starbucks, they play all types. It is the only place where I will hear old jazz tunes from the 40’s my eclectic taste perks to attention on that….Billie Holiday and caffeine? What more do you want?
We started to frequent a particular one, M.M. and I. It seemed the lattes were extra good over there. Frothy and creamy with a swirl of spicy…I am in Latte heaven!
One bright late summer morning last year something happened that at first didn’t seem so bad but then as time went on it got worse. What I am talking about here doesn’t sound so bad until you’ve lived it…I really don’t want to offend anyone by what I say. Especially this group of people but in order I tell my story I must…
I can’t put it any other way than this; It was the cops. We would walk in and there they were, a pack of them. At first I thought; cool, I have always thought of the police as people too, and I have always appreciated the risks they take everyday for us. I am not a criminal, I have no record and I should have nothing to fear from the police. They are brave men and women who serve and protect……….but quite the suspicious bunch.
I felt it right away. I looked at them as people, they looked at me like a criminal. I am really very harmless looking, I bet most of them could take me in a fight. It’s obvious. So I am surprised when one looks at me like a potential threat. I suppose they are trained to be like that, and it’s probably necessary in their book. But I can’t help but be uncomfortable.
It is this reason why they are a “they” and everyone else, including the criminals and me are: “We.” It is also the reason we tried a new place down the street; A laid-back appearing hippie type establishment by the name of Tom and Mary’s. A picture of Tom and Mary graced the sign out front, they looked so nice.. I liked them instantly, even before we met. There was tie-dye everywhere and plastic chairs to sit on. The inside looked like the outside but I thought; so what.
No more cops and no more corporate guilt. I am on the edge now, part of the anti establishment crowd …. A latte revolutionist! Aha!
It was a bit downhill after that though; Tom appeared at least twenty years older in person than he did on the sign. He didn’t smile or even look at us at all. He muttered at us while Mary made the lattes. She wasn’t much friendlier. M.M.’s attempts at some sort of witty banter with her fell flat. We could tell she didn’t take fools gladly. Mary was not the laid back hippie princess on the sign, she was a mean old witch. Yikes! The lines on her face told the story.
The place was empty and silent as a tomb. A pimply toucan faced man with a tiny little dog walked in and chatted it up with Tom and Mary who, apparently liked him better than us. I got the impression that this place didn’t cotton to outsiders who looked like Starbucks people. I think it was my purple lipstick and Prada bag but I didn’t feel a part of the whole groove anymore.. My dreams of being a revolutionist dashed, I sighed and tried the drink. It was good, I wanted it to be damn awful, I wanted to spit it out and run back to Starbucks. right then and there.
We went back a couple of times but could no longer stand it. I am glad to say we returned to the corporate giant and then I understood the reason for some of their success. A Smile. The people at Starbucks seemed friendlier and happier. We told those kind people of our ordeal and they welcomed us back with open arms.
And the cops? They seemed friendlier and happier too. And different. Two lady cops at the back booth last time. I secretly drank a toast to justice and lattes and the two ladies in blue totally ignored us.
The truth; the whole truth and nothing but the truth…those are familiar words, but do most people truly adhere to every letter of that misused and misunderstood word? The Truth. As a word it seems so formidable, so tall and strong. The truth never blinks an eye and never lets up for a second.
The truth is extremely important to me, maybe too much so. One of my quirky Asperian traits involves the truth and my devotion to it. I am compelled to speak the truth as I see it, I can do no less.
If someone asks for my honest opinion, I must give it. I try to be as diplomatic as possible, but sometimes the truth hurts, no matter how you sugar coat it. I feel I owe it to people to be honest with them.
I feel that one of the worst lies a person can tell is to themselves. This lie is the most dangerous because it blinds us to reality. I have tried to be honest with myself, no matter how painful the truth can sometimes be. This is essential to my personal well-being and long-term success.
I don’t mind being incorrect and I don’t mind being wrong. In fact, I welcome this. I have an open mind; To me, mistakes are opportunities for growth. I try to learn as much as I can from my mistakes and from others mistakes as well…We live in interesting times and I can truthfully say that I have learned a lot.
I have learned that “The Truth” varies with one’s perspective of it. My friend Einstein let me in on that little nugget and it certainly rings true. Many conflicts occur because both sides of the argument are convinced that their truth is more true than the others truth, “You must be wrong because I am right” and all that nonsense.
There are, however, universal truths that we all share. We all want to live in peace and happiness, to be able to fulfill our hopes and dreams. We all need love and understanding. We have so much in common, we share the same planet and we all need each other.
We can deny these truths, we can look away, but in the deepest parts of our hearts we know what is right….. They say “The truth shall set you free” and I truly believe that….and I cannot look away any longer……
Happy Sept.12th. Strawberryindigo.
“This is the character of truth; it is of all time, it is for all men, it has only to show itself to be recognized, and one cannot argue against it” **Voltaire**
This story is based purely on speculation and rumors, and may not be true…read at your own risk.
One fine morning on one particular January day, two particular girls came down for breakfast and found their Dad at the stove instead of their Mom. They queried on the absence of their mother and more importantly they asked..”Where is breakfast?”
Mr. Obama smiled one of his signature smiles and said one word “Pancakes“. The girls were very happy with that; Mom hardly ever made pancakes and the two girls loved pancakes. Dad always said the right thing.
‘Everything seems so different with Dad doing things but that is what makes them so fun.” He said with one of those smiles again. The girls weren’t totally convinced and argued among themselves.
One of them thought that Dad lacked the experience to make breakfast, let alone pancakes. “Maybe someone else should make them.” The eldest argued. The other sister, the younger one pleaded “Let’s give him a chance, he says he can do it, besides how bad could it be?” He’s got to be better than Uncle George who burned the breakfast and we ended getting Egg McMuffins at Mickey D’s.
So both girls agreed to pancakes ala Dad. He smiled again, informing them that it was pancakes they needed and how good those pancakes would taste to folks like them. After he had talked about the pancakes for 20 minutes or so, one of the girls, the older one asked; “Dad, when are you going to make the breakfast you promised, you keep talking but nothing happens.”
It was then that Mr. Obama reluctantly got out the ingredients for the pancakes. He consulted half a dozen cookbooks, scratched his head and slowly got to work, bragging the whole time, telling the girls how good the pancakes would be.
As he started to mix the ingredients, it was obvious that he didn’t know what he was doing, despite the fact the he kept telling them that he did. He was a mess, he spilled all over the place. He burned the first few batches and the girls couldn’t help but wonder about Dad as their stomachs started to feel the first pangs of hunger.
With every haphazard move he made, it got more and more obvious to both girls. Even his supporter the younger girl started to doubt him. His talk was getting just as cold as the nasty, bumpy, half-baked pancakes he tried to coax the girls into eating.
All the sugary sweet syrup he poured on didn’t help at all. In fact, it only made the pancakes taste worse. The girl’s were depressed and hungry….and they didn’t want to touch the pancakes.
Mr. Obama suddenly became angry, his trademark smile was gone, replaced by a scowl. He told the girls that they should eat their pancakes and be happy about it, and that he knew folks like them were hungry and were hurting, and better pancakes were on the way. But for now they should eat what was given to them.
“I am your Father and I’m telling you girls to eat your breakfast!” he barked.
Finally the girls had to eat the nasty breakfast because time was running out and they were going to be late for school. They hastily ate the pancakes, loaded with all that syrupy rhetoric and ran off to school…
“What can you say?” He’s a nice guy and all, but he doesn’t have a clue on how to make breakfast.” The girls complained at the bus stop. A frosty wind blew out of the east, it was getting cold outside and their stomachs started to ache…..it was going to be one long winter….
Have you ever met someone who just appeared in your life, as if out of thin air and acted like they knew you forever. It’s like they we’re just sort of deposited on your front porch and poof…They’d always been there? Well, with Jacky it’s like that. I guess I should let you know that Jacky is a cat. A remarkable cat, that’s for sure.
We first met him on the third of July. He impressed me by his friendliness, he seemed to really like us. He made M.M. his first acquaintance, which is not surprising. what was so surprising was his intensity. At that time, we of course did not have a name for him, or even knew he was an him. Let’s call him “that cat” for now.
I will give him this; he is an attractive animal, that cat. He is white with honey cream-colored markings on this head and tail. His bright azure eyes truly are striking. He makes quite the picture.
We had just returned from a much-needed vacation. We were away for five days. He must have appeared on the scene during that time. It was late afternoon and my nerves were on edge. Sudden booms, it’s like World War Three around there on the third of July. I needed a distraction…and there he was, a shock of white, running across the street away from the crazy neighbors screeching kid. He looked scared out of his wits. I knew I must help him.
I enlisted the help of M.M.. We braved the artillery together (How sweet) M.M. sang out “Here, Kitty, Kitty…” The cat looked at him and ran to him for dear life, not even slowing a bit to look behind him. M.M. scooped him up like it was nothing and the cat instantly relaxed. We took him inside.
Luckily, It being the day it was. Our two cats who off hiding in the bushes nowhere to be found. And except for the old pug, there was no other animal around to make the cat feel unwelcome.
The humans adored him instantly. My daughter, who is thirteen and a devout cat lover, squealed in delight. My son, who’s a bit older, was a little cooler about the cats appearance, but I could tell he was intrigued. I being who I am, knew that the cat was new in the neighborhood. We asked around and one of our saner neighbors told us the cat had been hanging around for days, everyone had a name for her, (He thought the cat was a her) but no one wanted her. His own kids wanted the cat but he was allergic, he suggested I keep her. Knowing what a sucker I am for cats.
We fed him friskies and he was ours.
He slept for days, waking only to eat and drink water out of the bathroom tap. I guess he’s one of those, I’d seen cats like that before. I had one once that was fascinated by water, couldn’t get enough of it…it was the first of his many quirks that time would reveal. The days passed without a lot going on. My crazy neighbors were out-of-town and a calm descended over the ‘hood.
The four of us deliberated during that time and my son came up with Jack Daniels, yes he did… To me, he looked like a Jacky. We settled on Jacky, Daniels being his official last name, told to those on a need to know basis.(aka his friends at school.)
Our two cats were suspicious to say the least. Mario didn’t know what was going on. I know he felt bad. He just sulked for days, sleeping under the desk in the office. Poor Mario. Sunny, or as she is known; Santino, kept her cool and out-of-the-way.
Everything started to return to normal. Mario perked up and Santino stayed herself. The crazy neighbors had returned, I could hear them screaming, as I said, everything was returning to normal. Except for one thing. I could hear a voice… it was….”Here Kitty Kitty, Here Lucky” Who’s Lucky? I thought and dismissed it from my mind.
Jacky stayed out all night, we didn’t see him all morning and then…the screetching, the kids.. it’s all happening again… And there’s Jacky, a shock of white running away from the crazy neighbor’s kid and right toward me. I scooped him up and stroked his fur. He was freaked out, poor thing and he was hungry, he ate, drank the water from the leaky tap and settled in to sleep.
This might become a problem, I thought… I was right.
The next morning while I was watering my roses, the crazy neighbor’s much older kid, let’s call her Sally, comes up to me and asks me if I’ve been feeding that white cat. I reply without beating an eyelash, “You mean the cat we adopted?” She looked as stern as you can be and I must admit, I was a bit scared. She’s a bigger girl than I am. Plus I’m a big chicken. This did not show though, I’m good at that. I didn’t know what happened to her. (her again) She breaks out in a fragment of a sentence. I return a fragment myself..
It was one word. Turmoil. “What”? She asks, confused. I yell, “Turmoil!! And walk away.. this could get ugly. I start to regret taking the cat in and then I think…He is counting on me to save him from them. I must help him. The cute little guy with his charming debonair smile. I can’t let him down….
Here I am in this cage with these birds, these colorful winged monsters flying around and over my head, chirping with their angry little greedy beaks. One particularly aggressive bird swoops down and steals a tiny white cup of nectar of a chubby fisted toddler, who starts to cry. I become even more nervous…
I am at the zoo with my daughter, I did my best at hiding my horror when she mentioned wanting to visit the lorikeet’s. She called them cute little birds, I call them flying demons from hell. Not wanting to disappoint her and most importantly, not to look like a big chicken in front of my kid, I agreed and came here of my own free will. I even shelled out a dollar for a cup of nectar.
Once inside the cage, I told myself lies to calm myself. Lies that rationalized the whole thing. Why would the zoo people put us in danger? I look around, lots of families and children. Everyone else seems O.K. with it.
After all I am an animal lover… And then the carnage begins.
Did I mention the sounds these birds make? Horrible screeching, their noise echoes throughout the enclosure. I am going into sensory overload which brings on a panic attack. My heart races, I start to sweat and all of a sudden, I feel dizzy and sick. I look around, everyone is having fun, no one notices my white knuckled fear. It is all I can do to keep up appearances as a calm rational adult human being. It soon becomes too much as a have to duck incoming artillery. I don’t want to be stuck walking around with bird shit on my head.
As I said , I am an animal lover. I have pets. I talk to squirrels and raccoons. I have even contributed to Greenpeace. But honestly, this is too much…I have to get out…Right now…
So we leave the nest of the wretched and to my amazement, my daughter never noticed how scared I was in that cage with those scary birds, a big chicken like me. I smile.
We proceed to the polar bears. One of my favorites, They seem so soft and cuddily…they would probably maul me if I tried to hug one though. I know I must keep my affections at a save distance and I admire their awesome strength and grace.
As the day goes on and we see more and more of what the zoo has to offer, the hellish images of what transpired earlier have vanished from my mind.
We see the silly penguins march around and watch the playful otters swim to and fro. The tall giraffes seem so lofty and majestic, the elephants look like wrinkled old wise men and the big cats nap in the afternoon sun. Except one, she paces.
What a striking animal. Full of beauty and grace but also full of raw animal power. Watch out!
I have made it no secret that one of my greatest all time heroes is the one and only Albert Einstein. Of course he was a genius, a cultural icon and brilliant visionary. I could go on and on all day about the true greatness of him. I’m sure many people would agree that he is one of the greatest minds of our time. And sure he was cute, THAT, one cannot deny but that is not why he holds a certain fascination for me.
It is his views on God and Religion.
Years ago I read a book that Mr. Einstein wrote. It was a thin paperback , I forget the name. What I do remember is that for the first time in my life I found myself agreeing with someone’s take on God and religion. Since this opinion about religion was formed by someone considered so very smart. I felt instantly gratified at not being so alone in my beliefs…and what company. What I read that day inspired me. THAT man inspired me too and from then on I have been on a quest of sorts for truths, whatever they, wherever they are, however they are.
****Albert Einstein, A brilliant man.
Content edited due to my unprofessional stupidity. Sorry.
Thanks for your help on this. You know who you are.
Tiny pieces of paper, probably tens of thousands of them, haunt my memory. Some haunt boxes in the basement, others are in a file beside the bed or scattered all over the house, most are lost with the passage of time. Every one of them are mine. Pieces of paper, some are typewritten, most are not. Most are written with a frenzied scrawl only I can read, somewhat.
They are my ideas, my stories, my hopes, dreams and crazy creative musings. I have been writing them down since my weak little grip barely gripped a pencil at age four.
No matter what life through at me and no matter how life changed and I changed. One constant remained. I wrote.
I wrote as my heart was breaking and I wrote as my soul was soaring. Writing was my release. I could tell everything to those blank pages. Everything I couldn’t tell others.
And time passes, and I realise that it gets cold and lonely and dark in the shadows. I can’t keep hiding and scribbling on bits of paper.