History ~~ Ouch–It Hurts! ~~ What’s Columbus Got To Do With Anything In 2014?

 

 

 

ACT I:

~In 1482, Columbus sailed the ocean blue~

He was Bad News for the Taino People ~

But some people don’t want to think about that reality.

~Why not?

Because then they’d  have to learn a new history.

~Ooops–but isn’t history supposed to be true and honest?

Depends on who is using which facts to support which version of what happened.

~Are you saying people manipulate facts to suit their own agendas?

Me? Why would I ever say something like that? It might be politically incorrect, and we can’t have that, can we?

~Hmm, but what’s Politically Correct for one group isn’t necessarily PC for another group. And people do have a tendency to abuse PC everywhere in order to create conflict and sometime even abuse other people who had no intentions of abusing anyone. There’s been some very rough irony involved in demands for PC over the years.

No way! Who would do something like that?

~Who doesn’t? Come on, look at the conservative media, the scared shitless media, the controlled media, the alternative media, the foreign media, the underground media, the social media–everyone spins everything to suit their vision of reality, right?

Do you think that’s what pissed off those high school kids in Colorado so much that they pretested in the streets about changes in what history would be taught?

~What do you think?

I’m not sure yet. But–I do recall what happened in Arizona with the Mexican-American Studies program being shut down because it presented a different viewpoint of history than what the TPTB wanted taught in schools.

~Hey, are you saying there’s a conspiracy to teach lies in American schools?

Look, I don’t go in for conspiracy theories.  But I don’t think this is a coincidence either.  Maybe it’s just like minds acting out in similar ways.  Or not.

~ Like minded people, right. Ah ha.

ACT II:

Lie. Lie. Lie.

Deny lying and lie some more.

Because if the truth is known the people might rebel.

There’s a very good chance they’ll refuse to be cannon fodder.

They might even learn other languages in order to talk to the rest of the world about issues that affect everyone.

Or not.

ACT III:

*

*

Howard Zinn on Honesty In History

*

Humor ~~ Warning! Contains Sarcasm, Irony and Questioning of Authority

If you’re still in the dark about the history curriculum issue in Colorado:

http://www.vice.com/read/colorado-students-are-fighting-a-patriotic-white-washing-of-us-history-929

As for the Mexican-American Studies Program in Arizona, check this out from Buzzfeed’s David Noriega:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidnoriega/arizona-schools-chief-ousted#35ypfte

 

Epilogue:

Am I spinning the facts? Me? No way.  Why would I do something like that?

P.S.

A few of the many Italian things I really like:

Friendly Italian people

Pizza

Florence, Italy

Pasta

Sandro Botticelli, artist ~ http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/botticelli/

~~No, I’m not going to talk about the Pope or the Vatican. One should never discuss religion. It’s very Un-PC. Or it used to be. I’m not sure anymore.

 

 

 

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No, I’m not dead–yet. But I’m working on that development like all other living things.

Did I really say that?

Yeah, I guess I did.

Huh, who’d have thunk it.

 

Okay, hello to any interested parties. Yeah, that means you, Bearspawprint, Johnny, Charles, Dennis, LaBelleStudio, Lisa and whoever else who might have been wondering why I’ve been so MIA.  I’m not sure I’ve found something positive to post about at length. But while finally attending to my email –yeah, I’ve been an equal opportunity AWOL entity on more than the blogland front– a few thoughts crossed my mental landscape — nothing earthshaking, I assure you.  I hope this finds everyone enjoying some part of being alive at the moment of reading.  If not, it’s my understanding that there are seven seasons of True Blood available for viewing online to help with your perspective. Or perhaps not. Do you get the idea as to why I’ve not been posting for some time? Hmm?

One:

While I’ve been absent from my blogcasa The Breakfast Special’s  Sarge and Lily–and their supporting cast, have been running amok for hundreds of pages. Currently I am not sure it’s a good idea on my part to continue posting their romantic adventure online. Thoughts on  the pros and cons of this issue are welcome.

Two:

Why the f*&k is Soy appearing in everything from mayo to bread to soup where it serves no purpose except as a filler? I have no affection for soy products as I am allergic to to soy–and its increasing presence in food items where it serves no value is pissing me off royally.  Ooops, this isn’t quite positive, is it? But I do feel better for venting. That’s positive relief. Frack Soy.

Three:

My ever delightful friend, Berit, shared this insightful commentary about rape culture in poetic form.  Nothing is perfect, but I do think it makes a point well worth sharing.  And anything that slams the TSA is right up my alley along with Freedom of Speech.  Hmm, the positive is in the poetry. Or so I’m thinking as I’m typing.  Hence, let me present Anna Binkovitz’s poem “Asking for it”.

Button Poetry

Published on Mar 27, 2014

Anna Binkovitz of Macalester College, performing during prelims at the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Macalester placed 5th overall in the tournament.

Download the audio of this poem for free: http://bit.ly/1tZ49QM

Follow Button on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/SG5Xm0

About Button:

Button Poetry is committed to developing a coherent and effective system of production, distribution, promotion and fundraising for spoken word and performance poetry.

We seek to showcase the power and diversity of voices in our community. By encouraging and broadcasting the best and brightest performance poets of today, we hope to broaden poetry’s audience, to expand its reach and develop a greater level of cultural appreciation for the art form.

 

Four:

Lantern Journal Magazine can be found on facebook for anyone interested in a serious Art Journal.  At the moment I cannot paste a link to its website. I have no clue why.

Five:

I’m ending this post now before I start backpedaling like crazy before hitting the post button.  🙂

Rain – Drops

clouds sigh

~ ~ ~ ~

sky cries

* * * * * *

water falls

\\\\\\\\\\

rain –  drops

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

@eva

&

Whimsy ~

The Song for Rain (2012), created by Zheng Yawen, his graduation work at the Communication University of China.”

7even3hreeTv

&

Angst ~

It’s Raining In Baltimore ~ The Counting Crows ~ album August and Everything After

RennieChew

&

Compassion ~

Slumdog Millionaire ~ rain scene

&

Loss ~

“like tears in rain” ~ Vangelis ~ Blade Runner

OpenEyeVisuals

&

On a lighter note ~

It’s Raining Men on Baker Street ~ The Weather Girls

lotrfan2888

~~~~~

Please do not hesitate to shower our ears with your  choice rain songs.

~~~

Bear selected this Rain song theme.

For May 22, I select —  Night.

——–

Bear http://bearspawprint.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/rain-music-theme/

Johnny

Lisa

seven little blue bird haiku tweets

 little bird blues sings

sweet haiku twitters all day

cites poetry cries

&

dandelions know

roots deep leaves sun eat all wells

no weeding pleases

&

coy moon winks sun spring

Persephone steps upward

below Hades sighs

&

control a strong hold

power princes addiction

brain breast brawn beat down

&

eye pouring concrete

iron bars doors fixing space

no outside options

&

two heron journey

 eye guide far sight mindful nest

streaming feeds sole light

&

whence goes March’s Ides

cold shouldering yet blood pours

poppy red blossoms

~

~

~

@eva2014

Breakfast Special, #42, Father Timothy He Got Game

Father Timothy He Got Game

Dylan O’Mara dipped his fingertips into the holy water, knelt down at the end of the aisle, made the sign of the cross, stood up and looked around the interior of St. Teresa’s church. The old stone building settled like a brick in the middle of a snow mound was showing its age yet appeared well maintained and clean inside and out. He noticed that in place of real flowers there were elaborately folded paper ones in the nearby vases. Hearing an unseen door open at the other end of the church, he waited patiently in hopes of encountering someone who could direct him to the priest he’d cautiously driven the main road that had been plowed just that very morning through Falls to find. A few moments later a slim man wearing an old-fashioned priest hassock made his way down the east wall aisle with a group of small children following in his wake. Seeing Dylan, the priest raised a hand in greeting and nodded as he continued leading the children to the main front entrance where an elderly Mexican woman sat waiting at the end of the very last pew near the windows. After a brief exchange, the children and woman exited together through the doors behind Dylan. Hands deep in his coat pockets, Dylan walked to meet the priest halfway. “Father Timothy?”

“YYes.  Hhello.”

“Good day, Father. I’m Dylan O’Mara. I just need a minute of your time, then I’ll be on my way.”

“Nice tto mmeet you, Mmister Ooo’Mara. How cccan I hhelp you?”

Dylan looked the young-looking priest in the eye for a moment trying to get a sense of the man. It was clear that he had Father Timothy’s full attention but beyond that, Dylan couldn’t be certain of anything including his age. ”I’ll keep it short and to the point. I’m looking for my son. He’s been out of touch since this snow hit. His mother is worried sick. My boy, he’s not the most regular church going Catholic, but he minds his ps and qs. I’m making the rounds because my wife has this notion that maybe he got snowed in with some friends and might have caught a mass someplace other than the usual. He’d be about my height. Half my weight. Fit, but not muscle-bound. Mid twenties with longish brown hair that’s kind of wild-looking.  Have you seen anyone like that at mass recently?”

Father Timothy took a few steps backward then carefully looked Dylan up and down. He shook his head slowly. “I’m sorrry. Haven’t ssseen anyone your height who looks like yyou.”

“Oh no, Father, he doesn’t look like me except for the height. Sarge is big, but not like me. Leaner, longer build. Has a kind of hard boned look to him. Got a pretty boy face with hazel eyes. Not brown eyes like mine.”

Father Timothy shook his head again. “No. I wwould rrremember vvery tttall and wwhite. I can kkeep an eye out ffor him. I’ll ccall if you give mme your number.”

Dylan nodded as he pulled a business card out of his wallet. “Thank you, Father. I appreciate your help. So does my wife. Thank you so much for your time.” He handed his card to the priest. ”Well behaved kids you brought out earlier. Quiet, polite like.”

Father Timothy’s face light up with a bright smile. “Oh ttthey’re aaa joy. LLotts of ppparents work. Wwe ttry to help out as much as pppossible. Lots of older people hhelp wwith aan hour or two. They’re like ffoster grandparents. They make warm meals for the ccchildren when their parents work late shifts. And we ttry to mmake sure every ccchild gets sssomething ggood to eat from us aaafter school.  It all adds up.” It wasn’t lost on Father Timothy that Dylan O’Mara was studying him intently while giving the appearance of only partially paying attention to him.

“Yeah. A little here, a little there. It adds up. Thank you.” Dylan turned to go after shaking the priest’s hand and then he turned back with an expression that said he’d forgotten something. “Before I go, one more thing, Father. You wouldn’t happen to know a young lady who goes by the name of Lily, would you? Any chance of that?”

Father Timothy put his hands behind his back and nodded. “ I do kknow someone named  LLLily. Do you have a last nnname for your Lily?”

“No. I don’t. Sorry. Does the Lily you know attend Mass here at St.Teresa’s?”

Father Timothy shook his head. “Not usually. Ssshe follows aaanother path. It’s all ggood in the eyes of our Lord. I seem ttto be eempty handed for you. I will wwatch out for your son.”

Feeling slightly unsettled by the unexpected certainty that Father Timothy would indeed keep an eye out for Sarge, Dylan nodded his thanks.  He made a slow exit out onto the steps of the church where he stood with his coat collar turned up, hands back in his pockets, and his eyes taking in everyone and everything in the area. She follows another path. What the hell does that mean? That does not help me, good Father. It does not help me at all. More to you than meets the eye, Father Timothy. Hell yeah. You’re a cagey one with that ‘your’ Lily, ‘my’ Lily number. Not willing to give up a last name either. Working it so that if I ask more, you’re gonna shut me down in case I’m some sort of pervert.

Dylan turned towards the sound of children laughing. Two older teen-aged Asian girls were leading another group of children, each carrying a little brown lunch bag same as the first group, down the church steps towards a waiting van. Like you said, a little here, a little there and it all adds up. I owe you for that, Father. I don’t know why, but I have the feeling you’re the type who just might call me if you see Sarge. But for some reason that does not rest well with me.

Suddenly Dylan pulled out his wallet, took two crisp hundred-dollar bills from it, walked back inside the church to the donation box and slipped them inside. Then catching sight of a vase of small paper roses by a statue of the Virgin Mary, he put another hundred-dollar bill into the box. He turned hard on his heel, not wanting to be seen again by the priest or anyone else and quickly left.

Carefully making his way across the recently shoveled and sanded sidewalk to his car, he spoke aloud to himself, “What kind of priest puts out paper flowers for the Holy Mother Mary? I know what you are, Father Timothy. Oh yeah. You’re a subversive. A genuine commie lefty wearing a priest’s collar for a disguise while you rock the status quo boat. Sack lunches, warm meals, foster grandparents. It all adds up. I hope to hell my Sarge does not get a whiff of you.  Goddamn it all. Last thing I need is my eldest son getting some idea about joining the priesthood in order to do good works. No way! No f’n way! Not after all the damn pussy I’ve thrown at him to keep that from ever happening.”

~~

Breakfast Special #1 https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/breakfast-special/

Dots? Did he say “dots”? Why yes, he did.

She Creates @eva

~

slate white or black blank

dots everywhere solar flares

midnight she creates

~

Why?

It’s all about the DOTS, of course.  Since much of my art is composed of tiny dots–a technique called stippling--Michio Kaku’s little chat about his new book caught my attention. Once I lay eyes and hands on The Future of the Mind hopefully I’ll have more to say about it than the fact that my curiosity is highly aroused by Kaku’s notions.  What’s brewing in your mind?

~

The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku

Knopfdoubleday

~~

Michio Kaku’s official site –>> http://mkaku.org/home/publications/about-the-future-of-the-mind/

An excerpt from the book:   http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/excerpt-the-future-the-mind

Breakfast Special, #39, “Do Not Disturb”

*

“Do Not Disturb”

“Good night, Lily.” Anton watched her sway sleepily as she made her way through the bookroom and headed towards the bedroom. Taking advantage of the peace and quiet offered by the kitchen space, he decided to enjoy a few minutes for himself. A coffee refill joined another cookie while he relaxed in this unexpected gift of alone time.  Lily’s cup and book opposite the table setting she’d laid out for Sarge had him giving some serious thought to the current state of people affairs in Lily’s apartment and love life from a different perspective than he usually took on such matters. Anton has no doubt you can take whatever Lily dishes out physically if you get her riled up, Sarge. Not that I think you’d deliberately rile her, Big Man. Truth be, I can’t see you doin’ any of the things that have brought out Lily’s tire iron side. Anton’s concern be how well and the why of Lily keeping most all her intel regardin’ yourself to herself as she has. Plus, there be this protective attitude she’s putting out. She ain’t gonna let anyone wake you up from your beauty sleep. Where the hell that and the rest of this sleep intel collecting of hers comin’ from? What her home people vibes telling her? My bones sure don’t know. She workin’ on some other page entirely. Her saying she ain’t gonna leave you to deal with some shit you don’t know about yet, no matter how things go down with you and her, now that’s taking her vibes to a Lily book Anton ain’t even read the title of, much less caught on the shelf. Unless, Anton guess maybe that got something to do with Peter. Possible that. Not quite the same deal, but we got some common ground with the sex element. Different kind of hurt in that area, but there be hurt common ground too. Could be that combo working on Lily. Anton would feel a whole lot better about her sayin’ you stayin’ around if she’d said some mutually satisfactory bone jumpin’ had been shared last night. That be in the usual scheme of woman and man things. But that ain’t so. Instead of doin’ some dancin’ in bed until four in the morn, you two were laying cards on the table. Don’t get me wrong, I know that’s a good thing. Sarge, I would not blame you if you be re-thinking a thing or two regarding Lily after she laid down the John and Mark cards.

Anton’s fingertips took hold of the serving platter full of Mrs. Ling’s coconut cookies and rotated it round and round as he thought. He listened to the radiator pipes rattle and clang loudly for a few moments then turned to look and listen for sounds of people movement from the other end of the apartment. Hearing nothing, he took a deep breath and let it go.  Bottom line right now be this, Big Man: you getting a chance with Lily. Hell, you had it all along, just didn’t know it. Don’t feel bad about that. Anton was not aware either. Esther been out of that loop too. Anton not even going to whisper any of this intel to Esther. Oh no. Anton gonna leave it to Esther’s own eyes and ears. If Lily don’t share intel, then you not catching a bus out of the Flats gonna clue my Esther in fast enough. Can’t say I blame Lily for keeping her cards regarding you close to her chest, Sarge. Might seem strange comin’ from a woman, but Esther none too thrilled about your sex draw for the ladies. Everyone knows you give no serious attention to any woman except Lily and you nice and polite like with those ladies in waitin’ but nothin’ else. Anton think that little book she got her fingers on has Esther looking at you a certain way when she add in that draw you got. Funny thing is, from all your chatter, Anton know you ain’t got a clue about that draw. Irony working some serious overtime now. Lily being Lily, she got to be onto that draw cause she always on the lookout for what’s goin’ on with the boys and girls for figuring out how to get what she need. Now, Anton thinking if Lily watching you close enough to know what damn sleep cycle you in by how you breathin’, then she sure watching you close enough to know you in the dark about that sex draw you got going without working a damn thing. Lily sure got Esther beat on that score. Other thing though, Anton think you being in the dark a damn good thing for you, Sarge, cause Lily knows if you say you don’t know what’s going on with some other woman, well, you probably don’t know. Especially since Lily taking up all the lady space in your head already, there ain’t no room in there for another woman no how. If Lily don’t know that yet, her home people vibes sure do. All she got to do is tune into that vibe. Anton gonna let all this intel set nice and quiet. Yessirreee. Anton just gonna sit back and watch this show. No need for more. This one drama needs no intervention. Mmmmm. Anton gonna take two of these Ling sweets and gonna make tracks to Percy Two’s place. All Anton gonna say is Big Man needing some zs after spending too much time in that f’n cold basement water yesterday. That all be true. Nobody’s business about all the card laying until four am adding to the z need.

Anton stood up, washed his cup, carefully slipped two cookies into his side coat pocket and made tracks to the apartment door. At the mat where his boots waited, he paused and listened to the easy quiet in the bookroom and beyond. He took his notepad out of his pocket, found Lily’s roll of tape on the couch table, wrote  “ Do Not Disturb” in dark blue bold block print letters on his pad, tore the sheet off and taped it to the outside of the apartment door. Pleased with himself, he pulled on his insulated boots, locked the door behind him and quietly pulled it shut. He rubbed his fingers over the pieces of tape securing the note to the wooden door, took a cookie from his pocket and set off for the apartment building with the electrical wiring issues that would just have to wait for Big Man to wake up on his own to get some much-needed TLC.  There was plenty of other work to keep the entire crew busy until Sarge showed up to put his rewiring plan into action. Anton DeWitt was not worried about that plan even one little bit.  He laughed to himself as he stepped off Rosa’s front porch. Hot damn, Lily landed her a man with a sex draw that gets women to turn over their best recipes. Now that’s what Chef Anton calls friends with benefits.

~~~~~

Information regarding video and music “Do Not Disturb” Stop Motion Paper Folding [with original music]

A temperamental tree gets easily affected by the weather changes and the various visitors of his park.

Directed, produced and written by: Irenia Alvarez
Art design by: Vale
Original music and sound design by: Luis D’Elias
Director of Photography: Nikola Uzarevic
Set designer: Irenia Alvarez
Set designer assistant: Maria Carolina Hernández
Assistant director: Betzy Medina – Mariela Vargas
Edited by: Irenia Alvarez
Script: Irenia Alvarez
Original story by: Claudia Galean

Cast:
The hand: Luissana Mejias

 

 

 

The Potential in Everything

Go visit Al’s Show! Yes, now! Go have some fun! 🙂

Artist at Exit 0 Riverblog

Carnegie Center for Art and History facade, New Albany, IN, Jan. 2014

On January 24 our long-awaited exhibition at the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana opened with a big reception.  I say “our” because this is a two person show featuring work by R. Michael Wimmer and yours truly.  The exhibition in entitled “The Potential in Everything” because both Michael and I utilize a diversity of materials to make our art.  While I depend on what I find at the river, Michael goes much further afield to locate objects that project a certain “aura” and associative power for him.  Following are some images from the exhibition which will be up until April 5.

My sculptures just delivered, Jan. 2014

I brought about 25 pieces that I had saved from the river and park visitors.  I have gotten into the habit of keeping some of my better creations for events like this.  It’s such a big leap first seeing the work at the river…

View original post 768 more words

Frank and Fun is Carsie Blanton for a Little Friday February Flurry.

Carsie Blanton at The Kessler Theater in Dallas

~~

“I believe that music is magic, and everybody needs it.  That’s why I give mine away.” Cassie Blanton => http://www.carsieblanton.com/

~~Jazz is for everybody~~  [Visit Carsie’s site to hear more.]

I’m Carsie Blanton. I write songs. I believe there’s a worldwide epidemic of indirectness, and I aim to remedy it.

 Love is hard. Sex is fun. Life is messy. We’re all going to die. Our hearts are idiots, our wills are weak, we’re bumbling around fucking the wrong people and falling in love for the wrong reasons and pretending like we have all the time in the world to figure it out. My aim is to write songs that make you stop pretending, even if only for an instant. I want to wake you up to your brief, idiotic, miraculous life.

~~~

Carsie Blanton opening for Cassie Blanton–of course.  She’s currently featured on the sidebar directly to the  <=< left in the top seven music slots, Helen of Troy to Backbone with sweet things in between.

~~

The Key Studio Session

WXPN

~~

Sweet Lorraine

~
Backstage at Mountain Stage
mtnstage
~
itches and tugs
BarbaraGalatti
~~
Carsie Blanton blogs about love, sex and music  at http://brighterthanabuoy.blogspot.com/  Chat her up, if you dare.  Wink, wink, nudge, nudge…go ahead. Catch a tune there.
~
Under the weather –as in out of commission and snow plowed not coming down this street any time soon, plus, oops that was not such a good idea to eat mystery meal.  Yeah, I’m shoveling my way out of bed and out of the drive with nowhere to go but snow time.  Hey folks, I’m getting back here slowly but surely.  As long as saying so doesn’t jinx that.  Until then, grin, dance and sang with Carsie Blanton.  I’m tattoo curious as to which of her music videos on the sidebar trips your traps.  Yeah, indeed I am. 🙂

Breakfast Special, #36, Szechuan Shrimp Lo Mein

“Szechuan Shrimp Lo Mein”

“Hey, Sarge.”  Lily leaned against the fridge wondering how to tell him he was welcome to stay without it coming across as if she was expecting a great deal more than either of them was ready for at the moment. She asked herself just what exactly she was really ready for, but before she could reply to herself, Sarge was in the kitchen holding a large round hot pink Tupperware container and grinning like a little kid who’d just found the best prize ever inside a box of cracker jack.

“Guess what this is, Lily.” He repeatedly flipped the container over and over showing his complete confidence in its ability to remain fully sealed while in motion.

Lily looked at his happy-as-all-get-out-hazel eyes and sighed. She grabbed hold of the container to stop its motion and peered at the milky white bowl. “Hmm. Looks like lo mein noodles.” She looked closer. “Is that shrimp I see? Open it! Open it!”  Sarge set the container on the table and obliged her. Lily leaned in close and sniffed. “Oh hot damn, Sarge. Is this Mrs. Ling’s Szechuan shrimp lo mein?!”

“Indeed it is, Lily. Guess what’s for dinner, unless you were planning on poaching some eggs, of course.” He winked at her, stood with his hands behind his back, rocking from one foot to the other clearly excited with having brought this delicious dish home.

Lily shook her head hard enough to send her hair flying. “No. Oh no. Mrs. Ling’s Szechuan shrimp trumps everything including eggs. How did you get this?”

“Unscheduled basement flood emergency complete with blown fuse box. Yeah. It was worth wading around in that damn cold water for this.” He held up the Tupperware lid. “And this too: her coconut cookie recipe.  Is this a major score or what, Lily?”

Lily took the lid from him and read the recipe. “O yeah, you scored big time, Sarge. No one makes better coconut cookies than Mrs. Ling.  I’ve never had any better even in that fancy bakery in M- or anywhere else for that matter.  Wow.”

Sarge sniffed the air. “Is that dinner I smell?”

“Yes, I think dinner is set. You hungry?”

“Starving.  If you’ll warm it up, I’ll get cleaned up. “

“Go! Go! Go! Hurry up! I’m dying for some spicy shrimp.”

Walking backwards towards the bathroom, he said, “You have chopsticks, right? Eating lo mein with forks is just plain wrong in my book.”

“Do you really have to ask?”  Lily laughed as she pulled out a pan for gently warming up the shrimp lo mein.

Five minutes later they were spearing shrimp and twirling noodles and playing with their food on the way to their mouths.  “Is everything Mrs. Ling makes this good?”

Lily nodded. “Everything she’s brought to a potluck has always been good, but this and the coconut cookies are her best as far as my taste buds are concerned. I think she’s got some secret with the shrimp.  Anton has been trying to figure it out, but so far he can’t pin it down. Mrs. Ling likes having her food mysteries, so she’s not saying.”

“When I tried this at that first potluck, I couldn’t get enough. It disappeared really fast too.  Oh hell this is so good.” Sarge ate a shrimp and rolled his eyes. “Yeah, she’s doing something with these little beasties all her own. I wonder what else needs fixing in that building.”

Lily laughed and pointed at the list on the fridge. “It’ll be interesting to see what other top choice meal deals you bring home as you work through those repairs requests.”

“Mmm. I wonder if I could work out some regular meal trades for bread. What do you think?”

Lily stuffed a bunch of lo mein into her mouth and nodded as she chewed. “Worth a try. Everyone seems to like one kind of bread or another.” She speared a shrimp and offered it to him. Sarge promptly accepted it. “Yeah, bread deals for sczechy shrimpies, oh Gloria’s pierogies, maybe some of Harold’s buffalo sausages. Hmm. O yeah, Sarge, there are plenty of primo meal choices around the Flats for trading bread.”

“Mrs. Ranoli’s turkey cherry lasagna.”

“O yeah.” Lily laughed and they both dug into their bowls. She looked over at the list on the fridge again then back at the man enjoying his shrimp lo mien score.

Sarge caught her eye action and leaned back in his chair. He waited to speak until he’d swallowed and had a sip of tea. “What’s on your mind, Lily? Hmm?”

She sucked on the ends of her chopsticks for a moment and looked at the list then back at Sarge.  With a little shrug she said, “There’s a lot of work on that list of yours. More on the main one that you’ve written your name by. That one on the fridge alone must be about thirty hours of full-time work all by itself.”

Sarge looked at the list and nodded. “Yeah, more or less depending on what I find when I actually get into seeing what’s messed up.  A lot of that needs some serious attention as soon as possible. That’s why I took them. If there’s something electrical I can’t handle then Ricardo probably can. Anything like that at least I’ll save him the time and trouble of finding the problems.”

Lily set her chopsticks across the top of her bowl then pushed her hair behind her ears and mentally jumped. “Sounds like a good working plan. But how are you going to do all that and work full-time dock hours too?”

“I have that worked out with Oscar already. Starting from whenever he can open up the docks for freight as usual I’m taking two weeks vacation. That should let me get through the really bad stuff and anything else that decides to blow in that time.” Sarge suddenly realized he hadn’t discussed any of this with Lily. “Um, that is if it’s okay with you that I’m still hanging around here, of course.” He held his breath while watching her intently and bracing for negative impact verbally and/or physically for his oversight.

Lightly tapping her fingertips on the sides of her bowl she nodded. “Yes, it’s okay with me, as long as you still want to be hanging around here. That vacation time plan sounds good. Though it’s not much of a vacation for you, is it? Not exactly a trip to the Caribbean to get away from the snow and cold for a fun time.” Lily watched for any reaction from him regarding the indirect reference to the travel receipt in his coat pocket. He offered none that she could discern via direct observation nor her home people vibes and a certain small tight knot eased in her stomach.

“Oh I beg to differ, Lily. I’m having great fun with the whole shebang.” Unconsciously he lowered his head enough so that he was looking at her through the hair covering his eyes like a sheepdog who thought he’d narrowly escaped permanent banishment from its chosen human’s company forever. “Nasty garbarge disposal tricks aside, of course. But even those have their upsides, like baths and Lily swirlies.”

“Are you really enjoying everything, Sarge?” she said softly while glancing down into her bowl then at him then into the bowl again. “Even pushy Lily swirlies?”

Realizing she was talking about more than the work concerning the repair list, Sarge leaned slightly forward over the table. Wondering if a solid chance with Lily was now coming his way, he said, “Yes, I really am, Lily. I’m having a great time with you here in the Flats.” Seeing her sharp cheekbones suddenly flush brightly, he pushed his hair away from his eyes to keep from reaching out and touching her red streaked cheeks and said softly, “Lily, I don’t want any of it to stop: not the sharing breakfasts; not the dancing with you; not the bread baking; not the crazy repair work or minding Marianna on a tough day.”

Lily nervously twisted her fingers in her hair and smiled. “That’s good, because I’ve been having a great time having you here with me in the Flats. I don’t want any of it to stop either, Sarge.” She glanced at the list on the fridge again. “Since everything is working for both of us, then it doesn’t seem to make any sense to change things that don’t need changing, at least not to me.”

“Not to me either.” Hoping she couldn’t hear how hard his heart was pounding as he waited for her to share the rest of her thoughts, Sarge moved his hands under the table and tightly gripped his knees. “This is your home so it’s entirely your call when I stay or go.”

“You’re very welcome to keep staying here as long as we’re both agreeing with each other.” She shrugged a little and listened to her home people vibes murmuring softly. “Or whatever combination of here and your place makes sense when your vacation is over.”

“Okay, thanks, that sounds good to me.” Feeling awkward in spite of their mutual agreement, Sarge tried to find a way to create a more concrete and literal balance in the scenario.  “My place isn’t nearly as . . .  comfortable . .  as yours.  But it is a lot closer to the college. Maybe it could be useful to you somehow. There’s plenty of room for a study space all your own. Usually it’s pretty damn quiet too, even when Kozy is working on something downstairs. He won’t mind at all if you wolf howl your lungs out. Might rattle some of the guys on the docks, but hey, it would give them something different to talk about.” Sarge thought for a moment, searching for something else to offer her very practical sensibilities, he added, “There’s a bus stop close by for the long route that goes from the west end of Falls direct to M- and back. It’s easy to make a transfer connection to and from the Flats in several places.”

Understanding the balance Sarge was trying to create with the sharing of their individual spaces that he was offering her, Lily hummed with internal excitement while managing to respond calmly with quickly growing real interest. “Your place is near a bus stop for the long West-East route on the south side? That is very handy.” She tried, and uncharacteristically failed, to pin-point the stop location-based on her knowledge of the city bus system.

Encouraged by her tone and the gleam of genuine interest in her black eyes, Sarge did what he’d never dared to do in the five years he’d lived in the freight district on the second floor of Walter  Kozy’s warehouse, he invited another person, this particular woman, directly into what amounted to as his personally sacred for its highly prized privacy, living space. “When the bus routes are back on track, how about we take a ride to the freight district so you can have a look around my place? We could brainstorm some other ideas. Let’s see what works for both of us.”

Feeling suddenly oddly shy and disconcerted about this development regarding sharing his living space, Lily’s voice was hardly above a whisper when she said, “I’d like that. It’ll be like figuring out how to pool our resources with our different locations in the city.”

“Exactly.” Trying to contain his own nervous excitement, Sarge took a deep breath. “We can work things out as we go along. Switch it up until we find out what suits us both.” He waited for her to make eye contact again. “I’m game for keeping things working for both of us, if you are, Lily.”

“I am too. I’m in, Sarge.” She partly hid her smile with her hand for a few moments while quickly considering the doors that had unexpectedly opened between them. “I guess that’s settled then.”

Picking up on the fact that her voice had become quiet and soft and correctly interpreting it as an indicator of her excited yet very nervous state of mind regarding the content of their conversation and its implications for each of them, Sarge tried to put her, and himself, at ease before one or both of them began back pedaling for any number of rational reasons. “If you say it’s settled, Lily, then it is as far as I’m concerned. I meant what I said about it all working for me. Truly it is. If something isn’t working for you, just say the word and I’ll do my best to set it right.”

“Same here, Sarge. Two way street.” She walked the fingers of each hand in opposite directions towards and past each other across the table.

Sarge watched her finger action and laughed. “A two way street, eh? Do we need a stop sign or a traffic light for getting from one side to the other? I doubt either would stop you from jaywalking at will.”

Feigning innocence, Lily pointed at herself. “Me jaywalking? Never. Ah ha. You’re a very funny man, Sarge.” She pointed to the teapot nearer him for a refill of her cup.

“Apparently I have my moments according to your sense of humor.” He grinned while pouring more tea into her cup and then his own and caught sight of Mrs. Ling’s cookie recipe. “Do you think Rosa has any coconut stashed somewhere so we can try out these cookies tonight?”

“Probably. But we don’t need hers, not yet anyway, when we’ve got coconut aplenty right here, Sarge.” She pointed backwards towards the storage cabinets.

Sarge glanced at the cabinet then at the recipe. “What are we waiting for then, Lily? Let’s make some cookies.”

She got up, opened a cabinet, pulled out a large bag of shredded coconut and tossed it to him. “How about some Benny Goodman on the side? That work for you?”

“That definitely works for me, Lily.” He watched her leave the kitchen for the record player in the bookroom. When she was out of his sight, he stood up and spun around on the balls of his feet in a quick silent celebration of their agreement to continue living together and working on their evolving relationship.  Hearing static from the other room signifying the record player was now in action, Sarge froze with the realization that at this point in time he was already far beyond netting his former goal of getting to see Lily for a third or fourth time. He’d passed that goal weeks ago after the snow had first begun falling in earnest. Music came from the bookroom, but Sarge paid it no mind as Lily sauntered back into the kitchen with a preoccupied little smile on her lips. Catching his more than slightly stunned facial expression, she cocked her head to one side and came to a halt in front of him.

“You look like you’ve been hit with a dozen snowballs all at once, Sarge. What’s the matter? Shrimp lo mein, coconut cookies, Benny, and Lily more than you can handle at one time?”

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Sarge looked down at the black eyes shining up at him and gave her a wicked grin. “Careful, Missy, or you’ll find out real fast just how much I can handle all at one time.”

“Ooooo that sounds like a dare.” Lily grabbed the bag of coconut from the table and tossed it at him then followed it up with the empty Tupperware container. She was reaching for the cookie tin when he gently stayed her hand with his. Lily turned towards him and he quickly stole a light brush of a kiss on the lips then shyly backed away like a skittish deer retreating from the bright lights on a road at night. Tempted as she was to hedge him in between the kitchen window, table and sink counter with a chair to stand on in order to soundly return the favor of his affection, she paid heed to the sudden warning turn of her home people vibes and refrained from taking such an approach. Instead she smiled and blew him a kiss. “I like you too, Funny Man.” She winked and began dancing to the music while gathering the ingredients for Mrs. Ling’s cookies. A moment later he joined her efforts.

Lily smiled to herself happy in knowing that she’d read him well enough that, in spite of his verbal daring and spontaneous kiss theft, he clearly couldn’t handle more at the moment. Backing off from physically returning the kiss and letting him return from his retreat on his own was plainly the right plan of action as his quick, unhesitant jump into the cookie making preparations signified. As they moved into sync for baking and dancing, her home people vibes humming along with the music, she felt him edge a little closer physically like a wary stray cat getting comfortable with the notion of proximity to a human setting out clean water and food for it. Treating him as if he were indeed such a cat, she kept to the program with which they were both familiar and comfortable and refrained from making any sudden movements of her own, tempting as that was considering their new mutual agreement to keep doing what was working for both of them, namely living together, and expanding their domain by venturing into his living space on the other side of the city.

As she gradually added coconut to the dough Sarge was steadily mixing with a wooden spoon, Lily reflected on the information he’d shared piecemeal about his home on the second floor of the warehouse in the freight district. The main thing that came to mind was a sense of it being far enough off the city’s well beaten paths to offer privacy and peace, trains aside, yet close enough for easy access with some foresight regarding public transportation schedules. She considered the comparative lack of both privacy and peace here in the Flats and gave him credit for adapting as well he had without complaint to the local environment. Having done more than her fair share of adapting, which seemed never-ending for her, she knew how the stress of it could manifest in unexpected ways. It wouldn’t surprise her at all if that alone was responsible for his starts and stops when it came to physical closeness when they weren’t dancing or sharing a task. She factored in the intense and focused way he read, as if his mental space was his most prized possession, and thought she had a fairly good explanation for his behavior. If they ventured into deeper emotional and physical waters now, and if they had a falling out, his as well as her options for literal private physical escape from the situation in the current context were practically nil. He might sleep in the front room occupied by the back-up generator and Ricardo’s in-home warehouse of food and other supplies deemed necessary for survival in the winter months in this climate, but it was no place for him or anyone else to spend their days waiting for the city to return to enough normalcy to enable a return home. The ready rooms over at “sun rise” didn’t offer any better solution all things people context considered.

Unconsciously they leaned into and against each other while together carefully reading Mrs. Ling’s surprisingly fluent English translation of the instructions for the next steps in the recipe. After placing the cookie dough in the fridge then setting the timer, they gave their full attention to the music and put the waiting time to good use dancing.

Ray Adams

Lily gave herself up to the music Priest had shared with her in an effort to create for her a potential social bridge into another culture. Gran and her aging friends had joined in the music and dance efforts in order to encourage Lily and to get some sense of what Priest was trying to convey to her granddaughter. Now her home people vibes hummed with glee as Sarge, who held nothing back as a dance partner, twirled, whirled and spun her around the apartment as if this was the very best thing in the world to be doing right here and now.

Only after the coconut cookies had been baked and deemed satisfactory for first efforts with a new recipe, after they’d cleaned the kitchen, after they’d danced to the last song on the record and Sarge laid claim to the bathroom for a shower while Lily sprawled over the red velvet couch enjoying the view of the winter sky, only then did either of them take more than a moment to pause in order to reflect on their conversation over Mrs. Ling’s shrimp lo mien.

~~~

Breakfast Special, #1  ->  https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/breakfast-special/

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