Coupon Queen

Faces from Occupy OaklandA neighbor knocked on my door and asked for drug money; actually I don’t know she’s my neighbor at all except last year, a few weeks before Christmas, I sat in the car hoping to start it, and she came over and said, “Hi, I’m your neighbor.” That was news to me. “Can you lend me money? I’ve been out of work and I want to buy a few toys for my three kids.” So what about it anyway? It was Christmas.

The next time I saw her was summer; she was about thirty pounds thinner, knocked on my door as hard as a bill collector, and me still in my bathrobe. I’m in the kitchen stirring my instant and here comes this thump, thumping at my door, and I wonder, who in tarnation, and for a moment I do a double-take because I think it might be my ex and I pray, “Oh, no. Anything but that.”

I see her face between the iron rails of my door, a shrunken doll still asking for money. “I have to go to the hospital and have some tests. I need money to pay someone to watch my kids.” She’s coughing so hard. I rush to the refrigerator and get a juice box; you know, the kind that comes with its own straw, and take it out of the plastic because in her condition, I don’t think she can. I push the box out between the railings, only this time she sits down on my doorstep to finish drinking it. And yes, I give her a dollar.

I’m a soft touch. Until she wakes me up on a Sunday a six o’clock in the morning banging on my door and giving me that same old story about the hospital and her kids. So I yell at her through the screen door, “Cut yourself out some grocery coupons,” thinking I have to check this Sunday’s advertisement section to see if there isn’t a coupon for shampoo. I almost don’t have any left. I tried to fall back to sleep, but after her big to-do, I couldn’t. Once I’m up, I’m up. I go to the front door to bring in the Sunday paper, and look twice to make sure she isn’t there.

What a day, is right. There were hardly any coupons, just one for an ice-cream sauce with taste-alike cherry pieces and chocolate sprinkles. I’ve had that before. And some blue-looking stuff to clean your carpet, but I don’t have a carpet, just linoleum tile that is coming up near the window, and a coupon for some of that fancy printed toilet paper; the plain kind is good enough for me.

Altogether, it wasn’t a good coupon day. But Bonanza days is coming soon and you’ll catch me in line, yes you will, down by 41st and MacArthur waiting to buy a jar of artichoke hearts; I enjoy them in my salad with a few sliced green beans and a red bell pepper. Now that’s what I call living.

“It don’t take much when you got the touch,” that’s what my ex used to say. I mean that man could dream, big dreams of houses and cars and vacations to Maui. Don’t ask me. I don’t even know where Maui is. But he did. Walked right into the travel agency downtown and brought home folders filled with women in bikinis floating on yellow air mattresses. There were never any coupons in his folders. None.

Now I’m going to do it right, that’s what I say. Good riddance. Every week I look at the newspaper and separate my coupons into piles. I’ve got a free pile, a save pile for when I have more money, like when they say twenty-five percent or fifty cents off, and an everything else like a hummingbird feeder or a commemorative plate, but you have to send away money for those. And then I take my piles and organize them alphabetically: “C” for all the cereal coupons like Froot Loops, Cheerios, Strawberry Squares, All-Bran; you know what I mean. So whenever I go shopping, I carry my coupons along in these same piles with a rubber band around each one. I take my time, because saving money is something I need to take my time with if I’m going to do it right. So I go up and down the aisles stopping to match each one of my coupons with its box because I’m the type of person who likes to try new things, you know what I mean; I’m like a kid in a candy store.

Some of my friends, they’re not like that at all, oh no; they’ve stuck with the same brand for years. I can’t understand that. Why does it have to be one brand your entire life just because your mother used Lysol to clean her toilet bowl? I tell ‘em, but it doesn’t do any good.

So I carry my coupons to the market with a rubber band around each one. And Becky, that’s my niece who comes down from Sacramento every Christmas, bought me a genuine leather purse with three pockets, which is real handy to have on a shopping trip. And when I’m finished, Mildred, that’s the cashier, who’s been working at the SaveMart around the corner as long as I’ve been collecting social security, says to me, “O.K., Gracie. What do you have today?” Then I pull out each one of my coupons and put ‘em on the counter. “Hmmm, some of that new taco sauce,” says Mildred, packing my groceries into a bag. “Let me know if it’s any good.” She finds out about a lot of good stuff that way, and sometimes rings me up for only one box of Double Fudge cookies instead of two.

Yesterday I went to Drug King with a few coupons I’ve been saving; some Wilderness pie filling, yes, I’m going to make a two-crust pie. And a coupon for small cans of albacore tuna that are great for lunches because I hate opening a can of tuna and letting it sit in the refrigerator. It gets that tinny taste, you know what I mean; same thing as those cans of tomato paste where you need a tablespoon or so and what gets left finally gets thrown into the garbage. Now I know what you’re thinking: I’m wasteful, right? Well, I tried saving my extra tomato paste, putting it in a container and all that, but it was a couple of months before I even looked at it again and by that time you didn’t want to look at it. Winston, you remember, that’s my son living in Oregon or did I tell you that? He grew a whole bunch of different molds in the eleventh grade right in my refrigerator.

“Winston,” I told him, “Instead of growing those fuzzy molds, figure out what to do with extra tomato paste.” And you know what he said? “Ah, ma. Why don’t you just throw it away?” And I said, “Is that what they teach you in school?” He didn’t answer; turned back around to study his baseball cards. I never did figure out what to do with my extra tomato paste. Amalia who lives next door, freezes hers in the ice-cube tray and then puts them in Bloody Marys. Not a bad idea, ‘cept I don’t drink anymore.

So I was at the Drug King with coupons for everything I was going to get and started to size up the cashiers for a person who knew how to do the job right, not one of those kids in training pants, picked out a good-looking girl in corn rows who knew her business, pleasant but without asking a half-dozen times for a price check. It must’ve been around lunch-time, waiting my turn to buy a lottery ticket along with the rest of my stuff, when fizz bop bam, the seltzer bottle from the person in front of me pops open; it wasn’t even on sale, some kind of faulty merchandise, and the whole counter gets wet with bubbles. That’s when the manager comes by with a “Closed” sign.

“Young man,” I say. “I’ve been waiting in line longer than you’ve been living.”

“I’m sorry, ma’am. We’ve got to clean this up.”

So this man standing behind me takes my cart and wheels it away, saying, “C’mon, follow me.” We land at the next counter, number three, between the Enquirers and the Trident sugarless gum. My hands are shaking so hard it was hard to pick up my stuff and load it back on the counter. Then the man I told you about does a slow bow and says, “Excuse me, may I be of assistance?” Goodness me. My female parts stood up and took notice. After I said, “Yes,” he put everything on the counter with the cans price side up to make it easier for the cashier, so don’t you think it the least I could do was to invite him to come by the next day?

I planned to bake a cherry pie when I got home, and said to him after I was standing and waiting for him with my bag of groceries, “Mr. Line Finder, how would you like to have a slice of home-made pie?” He looked like such a snack pack with a green vest and a grey mustache. Then he said, “I don’t know where you live, Miss.” Wasn’t that sweet? So I said, “If you have a pencil, I can write down my address on the back of this shopping list, if you don’t mind.” He said he didn’t mind a bit.

I asked his name and he said he was George, the Mayor of Fruitvale Avenue. I’d never heard of a mayor of an avenue, but guess there’s a first time for everything. So the Mayor bowed once again and said he was glad to make my acquaintance, said, “Us geezers needed to stick together,” He told me I reminded him of his best friend, Arnie’s sister, except she couldn’t tell a bargain from a mark-up.

I ha, ha, ha’ed. And that was a good thing, too, because had such a sad face. And then we said bye-bye, so long, see you tomorrow. And I wheeled my shopping cart to the end of the parking lot, and walked home with my extra coupons.

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Saguaro

IMG_0256
Not the freaking desert,
my father would rather spend
his day at the beach,
my mother, always in charge of food,
packed egg sandwiches and a tall thermos,
passed an insulated plaid bag to my uncle who cursed, took the sac anyway,
and my two aunts, always ahead of the game, one negotiating rocks with a gimpy leg,
the other, carrying an empty bowl and tennis racket.

Through a fence of children,
alive they rarely had a good word to say about each other—
renegades, artists, weavers, dreamers
hold my hand gently knowing
my heart’s been juiced, a Bloody Mary.

My father wants sunglasses, mom says
he never wore a pair in his entire life and leaves it at that,
rappel down a ridge spiked with cactus,
aunties remove clothes and swim beneath a waterfall,
each one thinking the other is too fat. After lunch,
they escort me back to the parking lot
past the scarred arms of Saguaro. It’s all over.
Mom says there’s time on the meter.

  • Review of my poetry collection “Two Places” by Nina Serrano of Estuary Press.
  • Links to My Work

    Two Places: Cross the Bay Bridge to Oakland, California and walk the bayous of Louisiana
    Price(USD): $15.00
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    Visiting Hours

    In a loosely gathered knot,
    cousins from different airports
    arrive at her bedside, morphine placed
    beneath her tongue, a liquid sacrament.

    Friends want her to recognize them,
    to repeat names, to remember
    how they used to spend summers together with the kids.
    In one moment she catches fire, the next, forgets.

    The children don’t know what to say,
    hold up a birdcage,
    a red mug of coffee to her lips,
    try to entice her back to breakfast

    as though she were a child,
    and the coffee, candy,
    which she doesn’t take.
    When she sleeps, she dreams

    of her husband on the beach,
    near a lake where they swam
    in the cold water of the Catskills.
    Her visiting hours keep getting longer.

  • Review of my poetry collection “Two Places” by Nina Serrano of Estuary Press.
  • Links to My Work

    Two Places: Cross the Bay Bridge to Oakland, California and walk the bayous of Louisiana
    Price(USD): $15.00
    Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

    Honey Cake

    Before she died, she wore an orange ruffle
    to her 100th birthday party,
    now photographs on the walls,
    earth-tone paintings, the same shade
    as a coverlet thrown across her queen-sized bed
    where I watch cooking programs
    until I fall asleep,
    holed up in her town-house
    near the Catalina Mountains,
    two suitcases and a computer,
    an escapee on the run.

    By some small grace,
    on New Year’s Day,
    I find a letter from my mother
    addressed to my aunt.
    She is telling a story:
    First, let me give you my recipe…

    Everyone praised my mother’s cake,
    strong coffee and honey
    as amber as the windows of a synagogue
    with eggs enough for a big breakfast,
    cinnamon and cloves, raisins, butter,
    sweetness to celebrate the Jewish New Year.

    On the same day you sent
    a text asking me how to cook rice,
    a simple thing when you know how to do it:
    water measured in cups or joints of the finger,
    grains rinsed beneath the faucet, a rattle
    like the sound of the ocean’s undertow
    pulling us apart.

  • Review of my poetry collection “Two Places” by Nina Serrano of Estuary Press.
  • Links to My Work

    Two Places: Cross the Bay Bridge to Oakland, California and walk the bayous of Louisiana
    Price(USD): $15.00
    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

    Mustang

    I’m on vacation from Chicago and visiting my girlfriend in Louisiana. Kathy and I met in college where we played on the same basketball team. This is my first time visiting the South. The plan is to drive to New Orleans the next day for the Jazz Fest. “Hey, Bev. Can you take the car and pick up a case of water? We’ll need it. It’ll be steaming all the way down.”

    “I know all about hot. Don’t forget I’m from Chicago.”

    “Not this hot.”

    Kathy is busy in the kitchen cooking up a pan of brownies and wipes her forehead with the back of her hand. Several beads of sweat drizzle down the side of her nose. She tells me to watch the speed limit because it’s easy to get a ticket. “I’ve already got way too many,” she says. “Traffic school’s expecting me to show up for the next hundred years.”

    “Best place? Walmart?”

    “Where else?” she says. “All roads lead to Walmart.” She laughs. Kathy is trying her best to educate me about the South, at least her South. Every time I open my mouth, I feel like my northern accent is giving me away as a damned Yankee.

    “Don’t be silly. You’re neurotic,” she says.

    “Consider the dudes with beards on Duck Dynasty and what they would say.” I’d watched a week’s worth of Dynasty episodes before leaving for Louisiana.

    “Shit. There you go again. You can consider whatever you want.”

    She gives me the keys to her car, a baby blue Mustang. The key ring is attached to a brass crawdad. “I’ll be your water girl. See you in a bit.”

    I pull out of the driveway of her small cottage at the end of a cul-de-sac. She’s learning to fly drones over soybean fields to help regulate crop irrigation. Both of us are in our mid-twenties and single. I had a boyfriend in Chicago, but that’s been over since the beginning of summer; I’m hoping this visit will help heal the scars. So I start driving toward the main drag. I’m used to highways that are straight shots. You get on, cruise at a certain speed, and get off. Not like Hwy 165 where the speed limit keeps switching up as SUVs and gargantuan 18-wheelers speed past stuffed with skinny poles of pine trees that hang off the back of their flatbeds. The speed limit changes from 65 to 55 near the turn-off to Frenchmen’s Bend, a housing development and health club. From there, it remains constant past a wave of fields growing soy, corn, and rye, past the entrance to Black Bayou, a wildlife preserve and also the gateway to a small Sears store that sells parts. Here the speed changes once again to 50 miles per hour as Hwy. 165 passes North Monroe’s commercial strip, home to storage units, gas stations, pizza and chicken nugget outlets. Out of my rear view mirror, I spot a police car lurking in the median.

    I mind my p’s and q’s and drive slowly. It’s not so much the change in the speed limit or even the bumps along Hwy.165 that annoy: it’s the road bullies. They hug my bumper, especially small trucks whose headlights tunnel through the back of my neck.

    My choice is to stay in the “slow” lane where drivers are talking on cell phones. Or I can play the same asshole game, slow down and wave my bumper in a driver’s face until he gives up. Anyway you look at it, it’s a contentious ride. But today after I merged into the right lane to let some wild child pass, the same guy pulls back behind me. I merge right. He follows. The cat and mouse goes on for about two miles and I’m getting worried. So I pull into the nearest gas station. The guy drives by like he’s an extra from Thelma and Louise and waves. I don’t want to know what he’s selling. Instead, I go inside for a cup of coffee. Through the window, I watch him park. I’m in trouble now. I thought making this run would be no big thing.

    “Pardon, M’am.” He’s wearing a t-shirt with one of those god-awful Smiley faces, a serial killer with a grin. I’m holding tight to my coffee, ready to fling it in his face. “Ever consider selling that ’65 Mustang?”

    He’s around six feet with pointy cowboy boots, straw sandy hair, about my age. “You know we could’ve had an accident. Do you always force people off the road when you like a car?”

    People are lined up to pay for stuff at the counter: sodas, aspirin, cigarettes. He answers with one of those bashful Gomer Pyle aw-shucks. “Sorry, M’am. I got carried away. I don’t see many of those on the road. I’ve been hunting around for a car like that, but not having much luck.”

    “We could’ve had an accident,” I say.

    “Sorry.” He shifts back and forth in his boots. “But do you mind if I have a look at her?”

    “Actually yes, and it’s not my car.”

    “Just a quick look?”

    Why not? How could that hurt? “Go ahead,” I acquiesce. Knock yourself out.”

    He bobs up and down and looks inside the Mustang, admires the leather, runs his hand along the hood, and whistles low and loud. The car was Kathy’s brother’s, but he’s stationed in the Middle East right now. He’s finished looking at the car, stroking its chrome. “You’re not from around here, are you?”

    “I guess you can tell by my accent.”

    “No,” he smiles. It’s time to make a get-away and pick up a case of water. Through my rear view, I see him pull out of the parking lot He waves again and shouts out his window, “It’s the way you drive!”

  • Review of my poetry collection “Two Places” by Nina Serrano of Estuary Press.
  • Links to My Work

    Two Places: Cross the Bay Bridge to Oakland, California and walk the bayous of Louisiana
    Price(USD): $15.00
    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

    Ode to Fred’s

    Fred’s, you Super Dollar Store
    tucked behind a Waffle House and a Sonic drive-through
    along Highway 165 in Sterlington, Louisiana,
    how many times have I parked in your lot
    to pick up something I forgot on my weekend
    shopping trip only to be detoured inside displays
    of purple, silver, blue foil trees on sale
    from last Christmas’ Christmas, stacks
    of Little Debbie Cakes, 4-H hair nestled
    inside a straw hat urging me to bring home
    a caramel cookie bar, half-off red stickers,
    mark-downs of fleece sweatpants from Pakistan,
    China, costing less than from any other place
    even Walmart, which is what a man told me
    who wanted to buy one but didn’t have enough money
    and wished he did, when suddenly I time-traveled
    back to the Bronx beneath the subway going
    in and out of stores on my way home from school
    in a heavy wool overcoat, gloves attached to sleeves
    with suspenders so I wouldn’t lose them,
    turning over each item wondering when I’d be able
    to step up to the counter, studying others
    who filled plastic baskets,
    all the bright colors of adulthood.

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    The Bottom Line

    Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 10.37.50 AMI will miss you the most in the evening after the dishes are put away and I’ve retired to the bedroom knowing there’s nothing on TV to hold my interest, pull back the sheets and expect you to enter the room holding a glass of something cold, jiggling ice cubes until you set them down on your desk. I will miss your personal rituals, even the ones I dislike like your smoking cigarettes.I will miss your calling me “honey” and “babe,” and hearing the music of your voice. I will miss the way you talked to cats and dogs, how you made love to me like a wide-eyed boy startled between my legs. Now I turn toward the emptiness of my bed. Back in that place with you, I couldn’t be there for me.

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    Heart Poacher

    I’ll tell you the story
    of the heart poacher,
    a man with a hunger for hearts.
    how he rides all day in a wagon
    looking for one that’s ripe,
    and when he picks it, he also washes it,
    a sly, bandit raccoon
    who takes his kill to the river.

    Everyone knows the heart poacher.
    how he does his work at night.
    Few escape his pawing
    because of the velvet in his dark brown eyes.
    The next morning he’s gone with your heart.
    You stuff your side with twigs
    but they keep on falling out.

    Links:

    Extras From a Movie: Ludlow Massacre 1914 (Levure Litteraire) November 2014

    The Babble Comes Full Circle (BlinkInk) November 2014

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    A&E and the Story of Retirement

    Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 2.00.38 PMWe all know the story: Eve plucks the apple from the Tree and God shows her and hubby Adam where to find the time clock. Of course, every tradition has a twist to the story, but it all leads back to the same talking point. So my question is—do I expect to be lounging around in my flannel pj’s sipping Bloody Marys in ten years? You bet your red wool socks I do; it’s called retirement, a subject on which I’ve been known to expound, especially on any given Monday morning.

    Like I said, we all know the story. After Adam and Eve got expelled from the garden, there was no more low-hanging fruit. In fact, there was no fruit at all. Work had moved from an abstract concept to a reality. Fast forward to Cain and Abel, which meant even more work for the young couple.

    Did Adam and Eve have any role models here? Just look at the facts. The Bible isn’t exactly a handbook for new parents. There was nothing pretty about that picture. Abel keeps sheep, Cain tills the soil until he goes East of Eden, and A & E earn their daily bread with a lot of ritual sacrifice to fill up the down time.

    So finally one day Eve sits down on a rock near their three-bedroom, no bathhouse, and looks at her reflection in a pool of sweet water. “Uggh!” She traces her finger across the wrinkles of her brow, cups her breasts with her hands and lets them parachute back down to her midriff. She feels a mess, plus there’s that pain in her right finger joint that might be arthritis and there’s no Tylenol in the medicine cabinet. “Adam,” she yodels. “Where are you? We need to talk.”

    Adam hobbles out of the house and hitches up his pants. He was enjoying a nice siesta and isn’t pleased that Eve has awakened him; he’s reached the ripe old age where he likes to take his time. Maybe he wouldn’t have been so quick to eat the Apple. But after thirty years, that’s water under the big rock, which is where Eve is standing and motioning to him.

    “Old man, what took you so long?”

    He bends down and splashes water in his face from the pool. “I was sleeping. What’s so important? Don’t tell me you have another Apple for me to eat?”

    Eve doesn’t appreciate the joke. She motions for him to sit down on the rock. “I’m tired, Adam. Look at me. Once my face was smooth like marble. Now it’s filled with so many wrinkles, I could plant seeds there and grow corn.”

    The thought of his wife’s face filled with green corn plants amuses him, but he tries not to laugh. “You will always be beautiful to me, Eve.”

    “Don’t be foolish,” she says, brushing away his hand from her shoulder. “What I’m trying to say is that I’m tired. I can’t keep going like this. And look at you.” She motions to the body that could once hold its own on any Muscle Beach without taking steroids. “You cough more during the night than you sleep. And you’re always falling asleep during the day.”

    It was true. “So what are you saying?”

    “I think we should stop working and retire.”

    “Stop working? Retire?” Who ever heard of such a thing? Adam looks around and lowers his voice. “You know we can’t.”

    “Give me one good reason why not.”

    “Don’t you remember…the Apple?”

    Eve is the materialist. With three babies and no help, she’s had to be. “My fingers hurt all the time from weaving and baking. We’ve saved up in our storeroom, pickled onions, herring…enough already!”

    “I’m not so sure,” says Adam who since that first bite, now considers Eve’s ideas cautiously. Even so, he warms to the thought. He’s creaky and tired also.

    “I can’t keep living like this.” Eve is excited, splashing both feet in the water. “After Cain and Abel and then Seth, I need a break.” And then she says something truly amazing. “Plus, we deserve it.”

    A sense of entitlement? What a novel idea. Adam hitches up his pants. “Let’s talk about it in the morning,” he says. “I need to sleep on it.”

    He lies back down in the house and falls asleep. Then he dreams that awful dream of Eve offering the Apple and his saying, “Why the heck not?” But everything caves in and God starts to hurl thunderbolts and chase them away saying a bunch of mean things just because they were covered up with that year’s pick of banana leaves. Sure, it was a long time ago, but Adam was having a flashback. He never could understand why the Big Guy had gotten so angry. Sure, He had made it clear that sections of the Garden were off limits, but that only made them feel like poor relations, wanting to know how the other half lived. Anyhow since that had happened, A & E had played by the rules. They didn’t have much of a choice. At least they didn’t think that they did.

    Eve’s idea did have merit. Stop working. Get up every morning and listen to the birds singing without digging in the potato patch. He remembered how Eve had figured out a way to dry their food by leaving it in the sun for a few days on the big rock. He had stored away strips of meat in the smokehouse on several threads of sinew. Adam thought about it some more. They’d eat through their provisions within six months flat.

    On the other hand, she wasn’t the only one who was tired of doing the same thing every day, and he longed to travel. G-d had never actually put a ban on broadening horizons, and He hadn’t said anything about their visiting rights. Just a bunch of messy stuff about sweat and toil and pain.

    Adam woke up refreshed, throws water on his face, says a few ritual prayers, and seeks out Eve’s whereabouts.

    She’s is sitting outside the kitchen running her fingers through her hair. It used to be long and black; now it is long and gray like his. “I need a comb,” she says. “Since I lost my fish bone, it’s always knotty.”

    He sits down on the ground next to her and takes her hand. “You’re right.

    “After forty years, you’re agreeing with me?”

    “Not about your hair,” he says realizing his faux pas. We need a break. Maybe we can’t stop working because it’s been decreed by you-know-who, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with us slowing down. Maybe for three or four months,” he calculated, thinking they had just about enough food stored up for that amount of time. “Then let’s see what happens.”

    Eve is overwhelmed, and throws her arms around Adam, which embarrasses him. Not by the hugging alone, but by the way she starts to cry, shivering and heaving great sobs. “My girl,” he strokes her gray hair. “Why are you crying?” This is their Fiddler on the Roof moment.   Eve asks him if he really loves her, since there is no one else around to speak of.

    “Of course, I love you.”

    “I was afraid you would hold the Apple against me for the rest of our lives. And here you are ready to risk everything with me again. I don’t know what to say except that I love you very much.”

    A & E return from their four-month sojourn traveling throughout the countryside. By this time, they feel like they need another vacation. The weather had been okay, but they had to clear a lot of paths. When they got tired, they hung out at the edge of a stream and listened to crickets.

    “I smell something like a rotting gazelle,” said Eve as they approach their home.

    The animals of the field had moved into their abode. Huge turds litter the lawn covered with five times as many flies. There were assorted corpses in various states of decay. Vultures size up the two intruders.

    “Have we been gone for that long?” says Eve.

    It was a rhetorical question. Adam looks down at his walking stick. “I started to mark each day,” he says, counting notches, “but then I lost track of time.”

    Eve kicks a corpse and hurts her bare foot. “Ouch!” Then she waves her hands and runs off the vultures from their property. “We’ve got to get rid of this stuff before the lions come back,” she said. And so the two of them begin to do yard work, hauling bones down to a ravine and drop them from a cliff. The turds would have to wait until the following day. The two are exhausted and fall asleep not far from the rock where Eve first spoke of her desire to take a vacation. A & E have returned without a pension plan, 401K, or benefit package to call their own, nothing but a smelly hovel.

    When they awake, Eve discusses the possibility with Adam of going into show business as a second career.

    “We’re getting too old for stuff like that,” says Adam.

    “What else do we have to do?”

    Adam is not immediately certain, but tells Eve that he will sleep on it. He doesn’t like this new idea.

    Links to My Work

    Two Places: Cross the Bay Bridge to Oakland, California and walk the bayous of Louisiana
    Price(USD): $15.00

     

     

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    King Lear Remix

    IMG_0781
    Old man’s wife dies in Memphis.
    He moves back to the bayou
    sits in a fishing cabin
    for a year collects crickets.
    In a short while develops
    ALS. Cold ice. No cure.
    He gets scared, lonely,
    watches TV with his dog,
    medical appointments,
    doctors every Monday
    until he fires the whole bunch,
    tells them to go to hell.
    The hospital doesn’t like
    being treated by a big mouth.
    What does he do? Calls the Vets,
    orders Meals on Wheels. It
    becomes harder to move, speak,
    fill out bills. A daughter calls,
    hasn’t seen the old bastard
    since she got off her braces,
    now she wants to nurse her dad,
    but she’s no Cordelia, no,
    fills out the paperwork
    to transfer his accounts
    to hers, money to water,
    liquid capital flowing
    to pay debts. Makes plans to
    stick Lear in a nursing home.
    She packs, drives him out-of-state,
    takes away his cigarettes.

    Two Places: Cross the Bay Bridge to Oakland, California and walk the bayous of Louisiana
    Price(USD): $15.00
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