Yung Luv’

“I don’t think he’s going to call me EVER.”

“Probably not. I don’t see you as a pair.”

“What does THAT mean? I thought you said he likes me?”

“Yeah, but not in THAT way.”

“Why not?”

“How the hell should I know?”

“I thought he was your friend.”

“He is but, believe it or not, we talk about other stuff. We don’t talk about you.”

“You’re mean.”

“No. I’m honest. I’m just telling you like it is.”

“Does he have a girlfriend now? You said he doesn’t have a girlfriend.”

“I don’t know. I don’t think so, but I’m not with him 24/7. Why don’t you just go find something to do and forget about Keith?”

“I can’t ‘forget about Keith’. I’m in love.”

“Oh god. Again?”

“Kids! Supper!”

“Let’s go in. Mom hates it when supper gets cold.”

What are you kids doing, anyway?”

“Brenda is in love again,” Ryan pulled the bar stool away from the breakfast bar in the kitchen where they ate their meals.

“Oh. Well, it’s to be expected.”

“What do you mean, mom? You’re as mean as Ryan.”

“Honey, you’re fifteen. You’re just boy crazy.”

“That’s not fair! I really LOVE Keith. He’s THE ONE I want to spend my whole life with. Didn’t you and dad meet in high school?”

“You really want me to repeat THAT story?”

“You loved each other, right?”

“Yeah, for a while. But then we didn’t love each other any more…”

“Why did you stop loving dad?”

“Honey I don’t really want to talk about it. It’s over, in the past, we’ve worked out a way we can be here for you, sometimes that’s the best two people can do. Your dad is happier with Cynthia than he ever was with me.” Mom shrugged.

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“OK, Brenda, I’ll lay it all out for you. When we’re young hormones rage through our bodies…”

“Everyone blames ‘hormones’. This isn’t ‘hormones’. It’s love.”

“OK, but you asked a question, and I’m trying to answer it. Your dad was cute, I was cute. We were propelled by higher forces toward each other and there was Ryan, so we had to get married.”

“You weren’t even MARRIED when you made me?” Ryan almost tipped over his barstool, laughing.

“No, we weren’t married. It made things very very difficult. I had to drop out of school to have you. Your dad had to go to work while he finished school. We weren’t kids any more. Life changed from one thing to another thing, a very serious thing.”

“Why didn’t you use a condom?”

“Buying a condom in those days was embarrassing. You had to go to the drug store and ASK for one.”

“Huh?”

“Listen, kids, the world doesn’t stay the same. Something changes every day. Anyway, as time went by, I got my GED, dad went to community college, Brenda came along, we got a house, and, sometime in there, we realized we had nothing in common. Your dad was already sleeping with Cynthia. He didn’t want to break up our family, but… So, Brenda, when I say ‘hormones’ I mean ‘hormones’. When I see your dad now I wonder what I was thinking. In fact, I wasn’t thinking.”

“There you go, Brenda. If Keith isn’t calling you, it’s not because he doesn’t like you. It’s because his hormones don’t.”

“Pretty much,” said Mom. “You want more Tuna Helper?”

Points…

I’ve often been the long point in the isosceles triangle. It’s not a very comfortable position. What I mean is more than once I’ve been “the other woman” which is not to say that I was some vampish female who entrapped and led men into committing adultery. Not at all and never, but I’ve often been the “other girl” usually without ever being told. One of my guy friends (just a friend) said of this to me once, “Well, you make a good ‘other woman’.” Whatever that meant. But then, to be fair, I’ve been one of the softer points in triangles of my own while some guy hung out at the rarified distances wondering if I was ever going to leave a husband.

Love can be messy.

One of the most wonderful books ever written (according to my dad who was a mathematician) is “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.” by Edwin Abbott. It’s a kind of science fiction in which all the beings live in a two-dimensional world. My dad gave it to me soon after I learned to read (maybe?) in any case, it was very hard for me to get my child-mind around. He tried to explain it, but in every respect it was over my head. I do remember that in Flatland there are strict rules for movement because it’s very important (naturally) to avoid injury. If a Flatlander happens to run into (literally) the pointy end of an isosceles triangle, it can mean death. It’s a real danger, too, because from the front, that point just looks like a line. No way to know if you’re looking at the happy broadside of a rectilinear “person” or the point of an isosceles triangle.

I never read the whole book. I think even its theme was way beyond me at the time. I ultimately just took my dad’s word that it is a brilliant satire and geometry lesson and mind warping story about living in 2 dimensions. “We’re lucky we live in 3, MAK,” he said, “But we really live in more. We live in at least four dimensions.”

“Four?”

“Time, honey.”

Now, as it happens, a fifth has been discovered.

In other news, Teddy gets his stitches out today! I look forward to him flying freely through the yard and not crashing his cone into my legs. ❤ He’s been a patient patient, though.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/02/10/rdp-wednesday-triangle/

Shuffle Bored

“You wretch.”

“What?”

“Nothing. A script for that play.”

“What play?”

“The one. You know. I told you. The one next month at that theater.”

“Sorry Babe. If you told me, I don’t remember.”

“Do you even listen to me when I tell you things?”

“I always listen. I might not always remember.”

“Part of listening is remembering.”

“I’m sorry, Char. I have a lot going on at work right now.”

“But I’m your girlfriend! I’m ‘going on’ too and this is your LIFE not just your job.”

“Sweetie, come here.”

“I have to learn these lines.”

“OK. You want me to help?”

“No. You have ‘important’ stuff to think about.”

Jack shrugged. Char could be moody. He’d always known that. And self-centered. He’d always known that, too. In fact, he’d always known Char. She had been the literal “girl next door,” and he’d decided, way back when they were six that he was going to marry Char. Twenty years later, it still had not happened, but they were, at least living together.

“Why can’t we get married and live together?” he’d asked her.

“What if we can’t get along? We need to know each other before we get married,” she’d answered. He’d brought up the point that they’d known each other since they were two. She’d just said, “It’s not the same. What if the way you brush your teeth drives me insane? I need to know that before I make a life-long commitment.”

Jack had thought, “But we’ve been on camping trips together, our families, just us, you KNOW how I brush my teeth.”

In some of Jack’s wiser brain cells he knew Char wasn’t all that into him, but he had managed to convince those cells to shut up most of the time. ALL of his brain knew she was hard to please.

He put down his book and went to the basement where he was slowly regaining space from the bizarre 1960s interior design the homeowners had done back in the day. It was a big job, involving the up-rooting of asbestos/asphalt tiles placed in arcane triangles exactly 8 feet apart. And why in hell would anyone put numbers on their floor?

“It has to mean something,” the realtor had said, “but godnose what.”

“Mom would know,” said Jack.

“Your mother’s dead, babe,” said Char.

It was Jack’s inheritance that had bought their house. Jack was a little nervous about buying a house with a woman who didn’t want to marry him, but whatEV.

He hadn’t done much with the floor lately, but tonight he felt a real need to do something that would lead somewhere.

He went at the tiles with a heat torch, a knife and a flat shovel. One at a time they came up. He stacked them in a pile to the side. They had called in an expert who said that since the tiles were in pretty good shape, they weren’t dangerous and they could cover the whole mess with a carpet or even pour a new concrete floor over them, but Char was freaked out by the asbestos. Jack shook his head.

When Jack came to, he was outside in the cold air, wrapped in blankets, strapped to a gurney, an oxygen mask over his face.

“You’re lucky your wife smelled fumes,” said the EMT.

“She’s not my wife,” Jack mumbled.

“WhatEV’. you’re lucky. The fire department was able to put out the fire before it could do much damage and we were able to get you out of the basement. What were you doing down there? You don’t look like a guy who snorts glue or some shit.”

“What?” Jack’s head hurt. He realized his hands were burning, but he couldn’t lift them to see why. “My hands?”

“Third degree burns. Probably be OK.”

“Where’s Char?”

“She went to her mother’s. She said she’d call. Lie back now. You’re hurt, you’ve had a close call. We’re taking you to the hospital.”

A cell phone rang, Jack’s. “Can you get that? It’s in my right front pocket. It could be Char.”

The EMT found Jack’s phone, “Just a moment, Ma’am,” he said, and put the phone to Jack’s ear.

“You wretch,” she said, and hung up.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/28/rdp-tuesday-wretch/

You Say Hello…

In my life “Good-byes” fall into four main categories — those I can’t avoid, those I instigate, those that are instigated by others, and those that happen slowly over time, kind of an “evolving door” rather than an exit.

The first “good-bye” I couldn’t avoid was the death of my grandmother Beall which happened when I was 10. I didn’t understand any of what was going on at the time, honestly. There was the adult world of grieving daughters — my mom and her sisters — and the quiet world of confused cousins, my peers. It was just strange. But it was my first experience with death. The second was to be my cat, Henry, who came home one day with a broke back and while I was at school, my parents had him put to sleep. It was right and completely different from my grandma’s death, not so much because it was just a cat, but because there was a clear injury. I’d gone out to the garage to let Henry in and found him like that. He tried to jump up into my arms as usual.

The next was my father’ death which resembled Henry’s death far more than it resembled my grandmother’s. I had the chance to say “Good-bye” to my dad one afternoon and from that I learned that, if you can, control that moment so you can hold within your heart a perfect memory, a perfect image.

After that, over the years, there was what anyone in this temporal existence expects. One death after another. One permanent good-bye followed by another. Grandmother, mom, aunts, dogs, dogs, dogs, friends. You can’t always say good-bye but after a certain time, “Good-bye” is part of every “hello.”

I’ve had to break up with some boyfriends, divorce some husbands, and end a few friendships intentionally. Those are hard good-byes. They can involve packing up some future-ex’ crap and putting it in a wheel-barrow in the front yard. They can involve difficult phone calls, “No, Sweet-cheeks, I really mean it. I’m tired of you calling me and venting about your horrible boyfriend and not doing anything about it. I’m not your sob-sister. I’m your friend. That guy treats you horribly. If you hadn’t told me all these stories about him over the years, it would be different. I feel used because you don’t do anything about it. I don’t want to hear from you anymore.” Ending friendships can involve “ghosting,” leading to numerous “Why don’t you call me back?” messages which you answer in your mind, “because you kicked my dog, you excrescence.”

And, of course, there’s being dumped. In my life that’s probably been no weirder than in anyone else’s.

Then, you know, people move away. People’s interests change. People’s lives evolve. A lot happens in our lives, and the silent “good-byes” often have no bad feelings. Maybe there are going to be thousands of miles between you or that our lives that — once similar and synchronous — are now wildly different.

I have a few friends with whom I’ve been connected for more than fifty years. The friendships have survived because someone has held on — loosely. Our lives have gone in their own ways over the decades, but the connection remained alive. Some of these friends are old boyfriends (now literally, senior citizens) which is actually kind of cool. Whatever the connection was back in the dim recesses of time, something more important than the feelings of being “in love” was born and endured. My best woman friend from the 70s is still my friend today. We never agreed on everything — in fact, we disagree on a lot of things — but we value the other deeply for certain ineffable qualities of being that we never discovered elsewhere.

“Good-bye” is inevitable and while I’m not sure that every good-by opens the door to someone new, it’s useful to believe it does.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/01/22/rdp-wednesday-goodbye/

Trail Fail… Responding to Wild Sensibility’s Challenge…

If you spend time in the outdoors, eventually something will go wrong. It’s a law of nature. But if you survive, those epic failures become the best stories! We’ve all read about amazing accomplishments in the wild, but now it’s time to tell us about the not-so-great times and what you learned from them. Share your best #EpicTrailFail stories on your own page, include this paragraph as a header, and then provide a link in the comments here or here. We’ll curate and circulate the best stories in future posts. We can’t wait to read about what you’ve survived!
Arionis of Just A Small Cog and Rebecca of Wild Sensibility.

~~~

Back in my thirties, forties, and into my fifties, when my right hip went south (without me) I ran miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles on narrow rocky trails in the California chaparral and in the mountains east of San Diego. I ran up and down hills like a bitch. Everyone said, “You should be careful! You’re going to hurt yourself!” but I never did. Never. Not once.

Ha.

The trail and I were as one. I felt those trails beneath my feet with the same knowledge with which we know the lines on our own hands. No one could keep up with me let alone catch me.

I bet you can’t even SEE the trail…

Why once — when I hit the trails to run off a disappointment — I ran up the steepest ‘face’ of one of the ‘mountains’, down the other side and up the next mountain. I didn’t know there was a guy running behind me, trying to catch up. When I finally stopped, and the guy caught up, he said, “Damn, woman, you’re fast. I’m fast, but I couldn’t catch up. Do you do this all the time?”

I gave the guy a hard look and thought, “That’s one fit dude,” and answered, “Pretty much every day.”

But pride goeth or love hurts or something and I fell in love. No, not with the guy who chased me. The guy’s name was Mike, and he was (IMO) beautiful and very smart. It turned out to be a pretty good short-term relationship, too, and it ended in friendship that was even nicer than the relationship. But this was the beginning when people are incoherent, babbling fountains of unasked questions, reading each other’s faces and looks and gestures. He was also 15 years younger, and that was one reason for all the incoherent babbling and face reading. It was a little scary. We hung out a lot as friends and had a blast. But as happens, the friendship grew and hit the infamous When Harry Met Sally moment. Neither of us was sure about it. Meanwhile, we kept hanging out, eating dinner, going to movies, talking, hiking, and riding mountain bikes and stuff.

Then, one quiet Sunday afternoon we went to Balboa Park. Balboa Park is near the top of any San Diego sightseer’s list. It is the location of the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Museum of Art. Many of its beautiful buildings were built for the American Exposition of 1915. It sits at the top of a mesa not far from the harbor and downtown. It is completely and totally flat. As flat as the valley in which I live now.

Mike and I wandered around, talking and (gasp) holding hands. As we talked I realized this was that miraculous, rare thing called “requited love.” Inside I felt like a million Lawrence Welk bubbles were dancing in my heart. I was so happy that I turned to physical anarchy to release my emotions. There was a small square of grass, small wooden stakes pounded into the earth on each corner, encircled by a flimsy white string about 18 inches above the ground. I did a perfect scissors jump over it and then another over the other side. And then I screamed like all the tortures of hell had suddenly found my left knee to be inexorably damned. I’d landed with my knee hyper-extended not knowing, when I jumped, how much lower the ground was on THIS side of the string than the the side I’d jumped from.

Star marks the spot

Mike helped me up, got me to my Ford Ranger and I drove home. “Walk it off, Kennedy,” echoing in my mind, but when I stepped out of my truck, I collapsed. My knee wasn’t going to hold me. I managed to stand up and limp to my house, let myself in and get past the dogs to the phone.

“Mike, I need to go to the ER.”

Sometime later — a year or so — Mike and I were no longer an “item.” He was in college taking a keyboarding class. One day, in the mail, I got his homework…

4:30 on a Sunday Afternoon

“What?”

“I didn’t say anything. I am just sitting here.”

“But your face.”

“Faces don’t talk unless the hole in the bottom region opens and emits sounds. Mine wasn’t.”

“Your face says a LOT.”

“I can’t help it.”

“So what’s wrong?”

“I don’t know. It seems like every time I turn around there’s some kind of, I don’t know.” Hubert sighed.

“Some kind of WHAT? Did I do something?”

“No. Not you. I guess it’s the times we live in. I just don’t understand it. So much is so easy that was once so hard and so much is hard that was once so easy.”

“Like walking, Dude? Your ankle is going to heel.”

“Stuff we took for granted isn’t…” Hubert took a long pull on his coffee. At least THAT still worked like it was supposed to…

“Did you know that during the reign of the Sun King the Great Pyrenees was the official dog of the French Court because it was just such a beautiful and majestic creature?”

“Are you trying to distract me?”

“Yeah, seems like a good idea. Look at Foster over there. Is that majesty or what?”

The big old dog looked up at the sound of his name. Seeing that nothing was happening that required his attention, he lay back down.

“Can you imagine how beautiful that was? All those people in those ornate, baroque, silk clothes, wandering around an absurdly manicured garden, prancing through the short labyrinths — short in matter of height not length — and all over the place were dogs like Foster.”

“Foster isn’t a Pyrenees.”

“Same basic theme. Big, white, livestock guardian, calm, independent. Why are you always splitting hairs? Did you ever think about that? How that egregious insistence on absolute precision in all things might lead to your depression?”

“If you don’t like me, you can leave.”

“Seriously?”

“Well, yeah. Why would you want to stay around here if you’re unhappy?”

“Hmm. Good point. Here, Foster. C’mon boy.”

The big dog stood slowly, stretched an immense white dog stretch, looked at Hubert questioningly, shook all over, throwing hair and dust all around the room and went to Anabelle. “We’re going for a walk. See if you can be a little less whiny and self-indulgent by the time we get back.”

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/11/03/rdp-sunday-egregious/

Love on the Beach

Her winsome smile, her dimples, the way she sat on the edge of the ottoman beside his big leather easy chair when he told her about his day. With her sitting there, looking adoringly at him, Paul could believe he was the most interesting man in the world, not just an accountant sitting in a half/cube surrounded by other number crunchers.

He sighed.

“No way around it. Those were pretty boring stories, and she just listened.”

He got up, thinking a cup of coffee might help him shake off the empty feeling that shadowed him everywhere now. He needed to get some work done.

“Go on Tinder,” said Francine, his — and several other accountants’ — secretary. “Seriously, Paul, Lulu’s not the only fish in the sea. Francine waved her little left hand over the wall of her cubicle. Yeah, yeah there was a that diamond. Francine had gotten married just a few months ago. Second husband. She caught the first one cheating with her — such a cliché — her best friend.

“They aren’t Lulu.”

“Don’t you get it YET? Lulu wasn’t Lulu. If she had been Lulu, she’d never have left you.”

“Who was she, then?”

“Paul, look. Mr. Shorter is trying to get your attention.”

Paul turned around and, sure enough, standing in the ONE office with a door on this whole floor was Mr. Shorter. He did NOT look happy.

If you have TIME Paul,” he said mockingly.

“Yikes,” whispered Paul.

“Good luck, babe. Think about what I said.” She waved the diamond in this face again.

“Yes sir?”

“Come in and sit down.”

Paul took a seat in front of Mr. Shorter’s desk.

“Let’s get straight to it. Since your wife ran off with the circus your work has deteriorated abysmally.” He might be the boss of accountants, and an accountant himself, but his undergraduate major had been English. His dream of becoming an English teacher was shattered when he looked at his probable yearly earnings and he went for an MBA in accounting rather than following his passion for Thomas Pynchon about whom he hoped someday to write a totally incomprehensible analysis about subterranean themes in Pynchon’s work. “I understand you have a broken heart, but negligence hurts the business and could adversely affect our clients. Inaccuracy in calculations results in multitudinous regrettable outcomes, as you are doubtless cognizant given the issues experienced last month when we came precipitously proximate to losing the Lamont Account because of your mistakes. In the last colloquium, the board decided to let you go because of your problems handling that extremely lucrative account. I persuaded them that such a remedy would be an excessively punitive given the twelve years of exemplary performance you have given the firm, but you are henceforth on probation.”

Paul nodded. Mr. Shorter’s utilization of the vernacular made everyone want to scream, but he did make his point. Paul wasn’t totally surprised. The problems had been with the annual report for the Lamont Account, an enormous project he and his team worked on for months. It had come due the week Lulu left him. He was in no shape, mentally, physically, emotionally, for the intense (though often manufactured) pressure of that project. Mr. Lamont himself was never easy to deal with, and it was the company’s biggest account. And, let’s face it, Paul was a wreck.

Meanwhile, on the patio outside the narrow, three-story beach house next to the boardwalk in Pacific Beach, California, Lulu stood waiting for the charcoal to get hot enough to toss on the tuna steak her new love had caught that morning.

“I’m going out with Carmine and Tony,” he’d said. “We’re hoping to catch some yellowtail.” They’d been lucky and caught three.

She looked up at the ocean and saw him heading in, riding a six footer. It would be the last ride of the day. She loved living in California. It was so much more interesting — and a lot warmer — than Chicago. Once more she thanked her lucky stars she’d met Dude on the El that day as she went into the city to shop. What if she were still back there? November, Paul, those endless recitations of quotidian tedium of an accountant’s life. It had been such a strange coincidence, clearly it was meant to be. Dude’s pal, Lamont, was meeting with the board of Paul’s company about the annual report for his motivational speaking limited partnership.

Well, Lamont was definitely a weirdo and, thankfully, not around much.

The only thing about her new love that puzzled her was the plethora of hyper-realistic paintings hanging all through the house, pictures of dinosaurs, salmon, Smilodons, mammoths, a bear, an oak tree, pictures that sometimes, if she caught one out of the corner of her eye, bore a strange resemblance to Lamont, sometimes even to Dude.

But who could really care? Dude was funny, kind, had great stories, adored her and she was sure they would live happily ever after.

Lamont and Dude are characters I came up with a few years ago. They have the uncanny ability to remember many of their past lives which gives them a unique perspective on life, the universe and everything.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/rdp-tuesday-winsome/

Yearning

Courtly love is the unconsummated love of a lowly knight and an unattainable noble lady who shares his feelings but is trapped in a marriage from which she cannot escape. They express their love in languishing sighs, Minnesangs (love songs), secret letters, tears, public rejection and vows of eternal love.

Because of his love for his lady, the knight achieves great things — wins tournaments, goes on crusade, kills dragons, whatever is in his purview to prove his worth and his love. His lady, in the meantime, longs for him but publicly scorns his suit, returns his gifts (some of them) and denies her feelings to any who have noticed their exchange of loving looks. Courtly love is a kind of “higher love” that makes both knight and lady better people which is kind of paradoxical from our vantage point. How can imagined adultery ennoble anyone? We all know what happens when courtly love turns carnal — Camelot falls.

Courtly love still exists. When I started this post, I thought I could speak candidly about its existence in our world today, but I can’t. Suffice it to say, it’s alive and well among extremely romantic people who want the feelings but not the mess of love, or, perhaps, those for whom Camelot has fallen quite enough times, thank you. 🙂

Tanzweise – by Walther von der Vogelweide

‘Lady,’ I said, ‘this garland wear!
For thou wilt wear it gracefully;
And on thy brow ’twill sit so fair, 
And thou wilt dance so light and free;
Had I a thousand gems, on thee,
Fair one! their brilliant light should shine:
Would’st thou such a gift accept from me,–
O doubt me not,– it should be thine.

‘Lady, so beautiful thou art,
That I on thee the wreath bestow,
‘Tis the best gift I can impart;
But whiter, rosier flowers, I know,
Upon the distant plain they’re springing,
Where beauteously their heads they rear,
And birds their sweetest songs are singing:
Come! let us go and pluck them there!’

She took the beauteous wreath I chose,
And, like a child at praises glowing,
Her cheeks blushed crimson as the rose
When by the snow-white lily growing:
But all from those bright eyes eclipse
Received; and then, my toil to pay,
Kind, precious words fell from her lips:
What more than this I shall not say. 

When From The Sod The Flow’Rets Spring” – Walther von der Vogelweide

When from the sod the flow’rets spring,
And smile to meet the sun’s bright ray,
When birds their sweetest carols sing
In all them morning pride of May,
What lovelier than the prospect there?
Can earth boast any thing more fair?
To me it seems an almost heaven,
So beauteous to my eyes that vision bright is given.

But when a lady, chaste and fair,
Noble, and clad in rich attire,
Walks through the throng with gracious air,
As sun that bids the stars retire,–
Then, where are all thy boastings, May?
What hast thou beautiful and gay
Compared with that supreme delight?
We leave thy loveliest flowers, and watch that lady bright.

Wouldst thou believe me,– come and place
Before thee all this pride of May;
Then look but on my lady’s face,
And, which is best and brightest? say:
For me, how soon (if choice were mine)
This would I take, and that resign!
And say, ‘Though sweet thy beauties, May!
I’d rather forfeit all than lose my lady gay.’ 

Walther von Der Vogelweide is, IMO, a great poet. “Unter der Linden” is a beautiful love poem, very sexy and evocative (not quite courtly love). “Alas! Where Have all the Years…” is something we all feel in the later years of life — even now, almost 1000 years later.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/rdp-monday-elusive/

Rambling Diurnal Scribbling

What a summer it was! One thing after another, wearing subtly on the soul. I know I’m not alone, so I’ll just leave this here… And right now, some idiot is singing on my radio, “I bop, you bop, bopaloo she bop.” Seriously? And autocorrect keeps changing “bop” to bob… Listen, AC, I KNOW what I’m trying to type! What do you mean you know better? How???

Woke up this morning to a rejection. Not even a rejection for a manuscript; a rejection for a book review for The Price. To wit: “One of our readers enjoyed the story, but we felt it was not quite suitable to be selected for a published review on Discovering Diamonds. We do, however, ask our readers to consider placing a personal comment on Amazon/Goodreads if they should wish to do so.”

I wasn’t really surprised. Sending my book was a shot in the dark as the focus of this group of reviewers is usually — though not exclusively — historical romance. But, I could have done without, “One of our readers enjoyed the story.” 🙂

I’ve experienced so many rejections over my writing that at this point I resent every effort at tact or subtlety. A simple, “Not happening sweet cheeks” is all that’s needed. Oh well.

I’ve attempted writing romance but every attempt has turned into a cynical short story, usually published here in this blog. They all end the same, too. A couple is in trouble, not getting along, one of them is obviously more invested than the other, something happens to wake one of them up and the relationship ends — or it’s left hanging and the reader doesn’t know what really happened or what will happened. I’m thinking — since I’m marginally immobilized now with a sprained foot — of giving it another shot, but…

I’ve only read one romance novel in my life and, honestly, it was like a really sinister drug. I couldn’t stop reading it even though I hated it. It ended up in a trash can in a hotel room in Milan. My idea of a perfect romance is very different from what went on in the book I read. 🙂

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/09/23/rdp-monday-subtle/

Reunion

“I HATE going out with you and your troglodyte friends,” said Cammie, scrutinizing her acrylic nails. “Do you like them?”

She held up ten miniature American flags for Justin to judge.

“Stupid and expensive and, Cammie, you can’t even open a bag of chips with those hands any more.”

“Whatever.”

“We’re going to ride go-karts, c’mon, Cam. You used to think that was fun!

Cammie sat silently for a moment. She actually DID think it was fun. But…

“Yeah, in high school. We’re too old for that now.”

“You’re only as old as you feel, sweet cheeks. Age is just a number. Oh, I didn’t tell you. Tony’s coming.”

“Tony Lamontino?”

“Yeah. He’s back from Nepal.”

Justin knew perfectly well that Tony Lamontino was Cammie’s first love. He’d always suspected she’d only married him because he was Tony’s best friend. Cammie took another look at her patriotic digits.

“I bet you want to come with me and my troglodyte friends now,” said Justin, a tiny, bitter edge in his voice.

“Will you see Tony again?”

“No. He’s off to New York in the morning.”

Cammie thought for a moment. Tony Lamontino. He was so beautiful with his dark hair, blue eyes, muscular chest, wide grin, adventurous spirit. There was no one like him in the senior class at Campbell Grover High School. He’d taken her to the prom. Her mind drifted back to the sweet pink dress she’d worn, the bundle of tiny pink roses on her wrist. They’d danced, dance after dance, the last dance, “It’s you and me and all other people/And I don’t know why, I can’t keep my eyes off of you.” Tony’s gentleness and the care he took of her, not pressing any sexual advances after the prom but saying, “It’s too sweet a moment for that. And you’re too pretty for me to rumple up in the back seat of my car.”

“OK. I’ll go.”

She went to the bathroom to fix her make-up and hair. She looked at herself carefully and critically in the mirror. The lighter blond highlights were good, definitely, she thought. Yeah, she’d put on a few pounds but she was still hot, no question. She was glad those butt-crack revealing bell-bottoms jeans were over, that’s for sure. No one kept their high school figure, did they? She dug her light blue sweater out of her drawer and pulled it over her white t-shirt and jeans. Cute. Definitely cute. No one would think, “Thirty.”

They were a little late and everyone was already there when they arrived, all of Justin’s high school pals and their wives. Tony stood at one end next to an exotic looking black guy Cammie had never seen. “Who’s that?” she asked Justin.

“Oh, that’s Tony’s husband, Jacques. They met in Paris.”

I promise some day to try to write a love story with a happy ending. 🙂

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/rdp-thursday-troglodyte/