Ultraviolet Pt. 4And that was it. My life had changed again. Sara and Antoine went off and got married two years later; Pierre moved in with someone he met at Fall Fashion Week; but just a few hours later, Ultraviolet dumped a small pile of cocaine onto the glass topped table in front of the fireplace, which crackled merrily on this freezing March night, throwing jumping shadows around the room and, eerily, making the arms on the Jesus Squid seem to move.
Violet looked into a box on the mantel and cursed softly, "Damn that Pierre! He never puts anything away!" She paced around the room becoming more agitatedtoo agitated, I thought.
"Here, sit down," I said, putting down the razor and picking up the pale blue piece of glossy paper that the crystals had been folded into, "we don't need anything fancy," and I rolled it deftly into a straw just as if it hadn't been ten years since the last time that I had.
Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music sang from the modest, wel
Ultraviolet Pt. 3Pierre knew Violet mostly didn't like it when I drank. She had seen some of the bad times, fits of rage and revulsion at the human race, drunken dialing of our friends, half coherent dinner conversations, and shivering under piled sheets, not being able to eat, sweating Roman baths, bedridden.
All of that was true, the other side of my coin. What ringing irony that the barely controlled fury of the giant rockets of my imagination kicking off through the stratosphere, with it's earth rattling opening of the throttles, is greeted so warmly by some, and with such fear and trepidation by others. What a tragedy that I can't always bring safely to ground the things I find in my travels fully formed before they disappear between my fingers in ephemeral strands. But often it's enough for me to know they're there, that I've found them. My travels don't have to bring back the love that I feel in the arms of the universe fully formed, or the
Ultraviolet Pt. 2"You know it, Antoine?" The name rolled off of her tongue. 'Antoine', 'Pierre', theirs made my name sound clunky.
"Well, I, uh " he stammered.
"I don't know why YOUR friends warrant $2000 bottles of wine and mine don't!" Pierre cut in, petulantly, before Antoine could say anything eloquent or knowledgeable about this mysterious vintage. His mouth was still open, but Violet's attention had shifted.
"Because YOUR friends are happy to slurp Riunite out of big red plastic cups, that's why."
"Well " said Pierre, "that's true, I guess!" and he giggled unselfconsciously.
So. That was what was going on. Violet was gently shaking our little party to see how it stratified. When had she become so class conscious or caught up with status symbols? Or could it just be jealousy? Was she trying to make Sara feel uncomfortable or lower class? I looked over at my farm-girl friend and began to fee
Ultraviolet Pt. 1The deck looked over a plain lawn. For someone so creative she hadn't put much effort into interesting landscaping or flowers. Then again the mid-March had not yet released its bony, grasping fingers on winter, holding on like a rescued swimmer afraid to let go of the safety of a known piece of debris.
I wondered if that was how Violet was holding onlike a swimmer. Her eyes were shadowed and she was thinpast athletic sexy and into gaunt, almost heroin chic. I hadn't seen her in years and although she was being more stylish with her hair and clothes, and looked better than most, her body was showing signs of wear that, in my humble opinion, slightly outstripped her years.
Even though I willed myself not to, I had begun making comparisons to Sara: shiny, shoulder length, styled black hair to Sara's full, long, auburn tresses; Violet's almost haughty, nasal French café laugh to Sara's ringing, Midwestern farm-girl's,
What's Your Game, I Mean Name?I expect you to make me laugh.
I expect another dog.
I expect a second car.
I expect a nice vacation.
I expect romantic nights.
I expect romantic days.
And for my coming birthday
I expect flowers and a vase.
I expect support at work.
I expect a pleasant dinner.
I expect your hand in mine.
I might expect a sinner.
I expect all these things and yet
We haven't even met.
I expect you not to cheat.
I expect you home at five.
I expect you to rub my feet.
I expect my laundry folded.
I expect the cars to run.
I expect the oven clean.
I expect another son.
I expect you not to make a scene.
I expect freedom of religion.
I expect you at the church.
I expect clean and easy living.
I expect nothing else to hurt.
And as soon as I know your name
I'll introduce you to all of these games.
copyright J. Shidler 2011-04-18
StrandedI didn't notice the sun on the waves at first,
Or its sparkling cheer here at the end of the earth...
I noticed only my hunger and thirst,
And ran about looking for water and food.
The coconuts are gone now,
As well as the wood.
Fifteen years has been a storied run
Despite a near-tragic illness or two,
But now I sit staring into the soft setting sun,
And I know this time I'm setting too.
copyright J. Shidler, 2011-04-09to12
Naff ComputerWow, this is a nice a car! Rentals have come a long way. Great acceleration, I was on the interstate in no time! I should have paid more attention to what the young woman was saying about the nav control, here, though. Was trying not to look at her legs. "Computer. On!"
"Welcome to the General Auto Corporation Phoenix Limited Model 074173891111162429000231 On Board Convenient Driving Experience Command And Control Center, in conjunction with Verysmallsoftware Company and IBF Computers Limited, produced by Jerry Goldheimer, Martin Diamond, Aloysius MacGee, and Lindsay, directed by Walter Scott and starring me, Sigourney Weaver.
Please clearly state your first command."
"Cabin temperature is now set at 68 degrees."
"Oops, well, ok. That's good, I guess!"
"Plotting a route to Loch Ness This itinerary will take you to Scotland. This itinerary includes an ocean crossing.
Memories And GreyOn thin rain afternoons
Time changes its way
As fingers comb through leaves
Of memory decay
Against wet sky-droplet backgrounds
Brushed with inky black trees,
Slow flip-book drawings
Move in time-lapse delay.
Measuring the old, yellow and faded
Against a sparkling green array,
Thoughts which stay a while,
Pressed tight in heavy pages of books,
Come free again, blowing, and sailing,
Like little brown sea-rays,
Through the long, staggered trunks
And admonishing rooks,
Over tall-grass spider-woven fields, to play
In the cool rain breezes
Swimming down silver stony brooks,
Floating and swirling until sunken
Then hiding from day
In old crayfish caves
Where needle-like minnows
Dart, and dance and flash silver,
Trying to catch tiny ripples of rainwater prey,
And sleeping there for a time,
Memories forgotten, hidden safely away.
copyright J. Shidler, 2011-04-03