Men! Who Needs Them?

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While hoisting her car onto his tow truck he couldn’t help noticing the sticker on the back bumper. He smiled and looked down at his scraped, bruised, habitually greasy hands. He thought for a moment, then lowered the car back to the ground, unhooked it, neatly penned a brief note to the owner, taped it to the driver’s side window, then got back into his truck and drove away.

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The note: “I just saw that bumper sticker on the back of your car and couldn’t agree more. Women are so much better at solving everyday problems than men. So, with that in mind, you’ll find all the tools and parts you will need to rebuild your transmission at the Magic Wand Auto Parts store in the WonderLand Mall (which is right next to the WavyHead Hair & Nails Salon). Best of luck, and have a nice day! Bart’s Towing & Auto Repair”

* * *

On his way back to the shop he stopped at a Goodwill store and bought a pink dress, some thongs, a pair of earrings, and a wig. He then drove to the shop, parked the tow truck, went into the office and tendered his resignation. When he got home he took a shower, changed into his new outfit, mixed a drink, sat down at his small kitchen table, opened the phone book, found the listing he was looking for, then dialed the number…

“WavyHead Hair & Nails Salon, how may I help you?”

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Ok, Cupid!

Ok, Cupid!

“That’s your self-summary?”

“What’s wrong? You don’t like it?”

“Like it? What’s there to like?”

“Well, how about its geometry? Have you ever seen a self-summary so meticulously triangulated?”

“You’re nuts.”

“So, does that mean you wouldn’t respond to it?”

“Nope. But I might use it to replace the steps to the basement.”

“Hey, that’s a thought! Maybe I should draw a little character walking down my self-summary like a set of stairs!”

“I gotta go. You’re beyond hope.”

“Ok, then. Bye-bye…”

(After eyes had gone, pen lay quietly down upon the words so freshly written, and then began to cry.)

What I’m doing with my life:

Writing a book. Building a house. And otherwise exploring how best to live simply…in a sustainable, self-sufficient way.

Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food:

Books?  Far too many to list.  Ok, here’s one: Cider With Rosie (‘juicy’ from beginning to end). Well, maybe just one more: The Cosgrove Report (a masterfully written mystery).

Movies? Amadeus, All the Mornings of the World (Tous les matins du monde), Dancing With Wolves, The Gods Must Be Crazy, THX 1138, Sophie’s Choice, Babette’s Feast, Lonesome Dove, Cinema Paradiso, Shawshank Redemption, O Brother Where Art Thou, One-Eyed Jacks, A Man Called Horse, To Kill a Mocking Bird, All Creatures Great and Small (book and film series), Never Cry Wolf (and everything else written by Farley Mowat), Master and Commander, Pulp Fiction, Papillon, Forrest Gump, The Return of Martin Guerre, Braveheart…just to name a few that have ‘rung my bell’ in an unusual way.

Music? Renaissance, Baroque, Classical (e.g, Beethoven), and some early ‘Folk’ (Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Simon & Garfunkel…)

Food: Beginning to grow  my own (currently experimenting with areoponics).  Keep goats for milk, yogurt and cheese. Ducks & geese for eggs (and background music).  Sheep for wool. A German Shepard to help keep predators at bay. And a lazy cat with whom the field mice play.

The six things I could never do without:

That’s easy: Life, and the desire to explore it.

“Thats only two.”

“So?”

“You’re suppose to name six.”

“How come?”

“Because that’s what you’ve been asked to do.”

“But those are the only things I wouldn’t (or couldn’t) live without. Of course technically I could get by without any desire to explore life. But then what would be the point?”

“The point is to give others an idea about the things in life that are very important to you.”

“I just did. I love it. It’s an incredible adventure, don’t you think?”

“Not really.”

“Does that mean you can live without life?”

“No. Of course not. Don’t be silly. I just meant that I don’t find it all that interesting. In fact most of the time it’s pretty disappointing.”

“Well, in that case…since I’m required to come up with four more ‘indispensable’ things to share, what if I just give them to you instead? Maybe that would help put an end to your problem.”

“Maybe. It would depend on what they were.”

“Okay, how about these: a blindfold, a scaffold, about twelve feet of rope, and a book on tying knots.”

“Funny. Why don’t you just go screw yourself.”

“Hey! Watch your mouth!”

“Piss on you.”

“I mean it. You can’t use that kind of language here!”

“Oh yeah? You want to do something about it?”

Deciding it was pointless to continue this dialog, pen turned his back on eyes and began writing a response to the following question…

I spend a lot of time thinking about…

…sustainability. How to formulate (in a desirable way) the dramatic lifestyle changes that must be made with that end in view (e.g., Anticipatory vs Catastrophic Change).

The most private thing I’m willing to admit:

My “scientifically tested” personality type is: INFP (The Dreamer)

Ok, I guess that’s not much of an ‘admission.’ How about this instead (he says, with a gulp…and voice lowered to a whisper): In my mid-20’s I owned a small sawmill in Alaska, and I daily (and ruthlessly) made lumber from freshly downed trees.

“Oh my God! You did that? How could you?”

“Well, at the time I thought it was an honorable endeavor. How were people going to build their houses and apartment buildings otherwise? Were they supposed to use cardboard instead?”

“You idiot! Cardboard is also made from trees!”

“Then how about toilet paper? You could stack it up and put spring-loaded rods through the rolls to hold your walls in place.”

“Toilet paper? Don’t you know it comes from trees too…and every time you wipe your butt you’re contributing to the devastation of our forests!?”

[“And so the conversation slips, among the velleities and carefully caught regrets, mingled with remote violins and cracked coronets…” (From T.S. Eliot’s ‘Portrait of a Lady,’ in case you were wondering :) ]

I’m looking for… 

another pen…one filled with scented ink, and an unfettered vision of life.

You should message me if…

you can’t resist. ;-)

 * * *

A slightly different version of the above was originally posted on OkCupid a few years ago in a light-hearted attempt to stir some interest in a new website that was being developed specifically for Single Writers.  While it generated a surprising number of very creative replies, none were as memorable as the following response from a 27 year old woman in Scotland:

I can’t begin to express my delight
in stepping down these words so
bright! And the next time I’m
in need of a snack I’ll be
sure to descend again
to sit upon your lap,
have another bite,
fill my diaper,
then waddle
off again
to take
a nap.

Snappy vs. Prozac

Prozac

* * *

911? My name is Mrs. Cuthbert, and I want to report some obscene behavior across the street from my house!

Around 5:30 AM his cell phone began to ring. Chris reached over the bed, grabbed his pants off the floor, rummaged through pockets until he found his phone, flipped it open, checked the number (it was Carrie, his next door neighbor), then pressed the “talk” button.

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The Story Untold

Newfoundland - The Story Untold

Write about a lost thing that shows up again in an unlikely place.
(An irresistible ‘prompt’ from Mattie’s Pillow)

Lost

I was around two years old when my father left for Newfoundland. He bought a small, isolated cabin located deep in a remote inlet on the south coast of the island, and planned to spend the winter there working on a book.

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Midnight

When Alice King sat at the piano in this subdued light her soft auburn hair carried just the suggestion of a gentle halo.  Her playing, too, had a radiant, ethereal quality, and her cat, Midnight, curled up on the chair next to the piano, seemed mesmerized by the music, like a creature privileged to share life in a magic circle.  Everything in that little apartment, where Alice had moved while her divorce from John was being attended to, bespoke harmony, a world comfortably under control.  But, she was pleased to think, here freedom reigned as well, the freedom of a peasant blouse or sweater, of ranging barefoot across her own deep carpet, the freedom to go out, to a concert or play, on her own single impulse, and, best of all, the delicious freedom of privacy, of uninterrupted hours for reading, or for improvising on a favorite piano piece this way. She wondered why she had married John in the first place.  Midnight was her proper companion.  She looked at the cat and smiled. Continue reading

Impulsive Writing (17)

Weird ThingFrom Magic Bean

Where did you get that weird thing?

“Found it somewhere on the internet. It reminded me of the way I feel sometimes. Had a copy printed, and there it is. Want one?”

“Yeah, right!”

“Well, if you don’t like it, you probably won’t like the dog house I just built for Snappy either. But she loves it. Come on…I’ll show you.”

…through the living room…
…through the kitchen…
…out the back door…
…across the back yard…
…into the woods…

“So, what do you think?”
.
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