Wednesday, November 27, 2013

injaynesworld "Life Is A Banquet..."

It’s Thanksgiving, that time of year when the attitude of gratitude abounds. 

Not all that long ago, but well within my somewhat limited memory these days, who I AM had gotten lost in a myriad of false gods:  my job, my car, my clothes, my bank account, and I worshipped at the church of “What Others Think of Me.”   It was exhausting.   Happiness was always just out of reach and, seemingly, in someone else’s control.   

It’s been two years since I reduced my overhead and rid myself of all but those possessions
that would fit in one 400-square-foot room, and I’ve never been happier.  Decades of carting around unwanted, unneeded and, in many cases, totally forgotten books, furniture, dishware, and bell bottoms from Cher’s 1967 summer line had held me hostage and blinded me from seeing the simple pleasures that were free for the taking. 

From another perspective, the thought of others picking through my stuff when I’m dead – judging me on the elasticity of my underwear or lack thereof, or how hairy my legs must have been to have six tubes of Nair under my bathroom sink, not to mention that drawer full of unmatched socks because hey, you never know when you’ll lose a foot and only need one – completely freaked me out.   I know I’ll be gone, but who’s to say such humiliation doesn’t follow you into the afterlife?    Sure, a lingering disease gives you some warning, but I’m more prone to crashing and burning.  

This Thanksgiving I will give thanks for the love of family and good friends; for the ever-changing beauty of the sky – a wisp of cotton candy clouds this morning over bright pinks and blues as the sun rose to bless me with another day, and nights of bright celestial celebration that remind me I AM part of something much, much greater.  I will give thanks for a body that is healthy and strong; for the animals that teach me about unconditional love, for a cozy home and enough to eat and, high on my list, I will give thanks for everyone who visits here.  Sure I would continue to write even if no one read my humble offerings, but I am so very grateful that you do. 

“Life is a banquet and most poor fools are starving to death.”  The line is spoken by Rosalind Russell in the original “Auntie Mame,” my all-time favorite movie.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

injaynesworld "Revenge Is Sweet..."

My punishment would be fierce; of this I was certain.  Still, I could not stop myself.

The gift had been meant for both of us, but now it was ruined by my sister’s rush to lay claim to all the very best pieces first, including the ones with the dark spreckles on top that she knew were my favorites. 

Chocolate-covered orange cream bon-bons; sweet maple wrapped in white chocolate; lemon, fudge, and cherry fillings – she had bitten into each one, leaving for me only the defiled leftovers that had not met her fancy and, as if that wasn’t enough, a box full of empty brown wrappers that I am sure was only meant to taunt me.  

I watched as, suspecting nothing, she eagerly dug into the bar of tiny chocolate squares from our parents’ medicine cabinet that I had so beautifully re-wrapped and left by her bedside… and then I waited.

This post from the prompt Five Sentence Fiction prompt “pieces.”

Saturday, November 16, 2013

injaynesworld "Dinner Is Served..."

The night had been planned to perfection right down to the full Harvest moon – an especially nice touch, I thought – that now beamed down upon my guests as they sat at crystal-laden tables, dining on what would be their last meal.

Oh, dear.  Now I’ve spoiled the surprise, haven’t I? 

Captains of industry, they had pillaged the world of its wealth, sending the ships in their charge crashing onto rocks where the sea butted against stone, leaving only debris floating on warming oceans in their wake.  And yet, having it all, they still lusted for more.  Always more.

I know this, for I was once one of them. 

The velvet pouches at each setting, befitting of the pirates they had become, contained a solid gold coin imprinted with their name, likeness and the date that, unbeknownst to them, would be that of their demise.  How they delighted in such a souvenir, worshiping their own images while turning the coins over and over in their hands, like young children enthralled with a shiny new penny.

I would later add them to my collection.

The finish on the coins was beginning to take its paralyzing effect as it seeped through their fingertips and into their nervous systems, stealth as the whisper of a Brazilian Wandering Spider from which the toxic substance had been sourced – the very same spider whose habitat, deep in the rainforests of South America, was being decimated at the corporate direction of my dinner companions.

Wonderfully ironic.  Don’t you agree?

The surgical team quickly moved in, for the harvesting must take place before their vital organs could be affected.  Soon these hearts, lungs, and kidneys would find their way to the poorest and most desperate in places throughout the world where surgeons, whose only interest was saving lives, would not ask questions about their origins.   

A dish of crème brulee, lightly-flavored with just a touch of Grand Marnier, was set down before me.   I savored its subtle orange scent, anticipating its warm sweetness on my lips.   

Pity my guests would have to miss dessert.

Monday, November 11, 2013

injaynesworld it’s "Sticks 'n' Stones…”

When did we all become so hypersensitive? 

Kat von D
On the coattails of the ongoing controversy (because everything is a controversy these days) over the use of the term “Redskins” in the name of a football team, tattoo-artist-to-the-stars and makeup maven, Kat von D, has stepped into a politically incorrect vat of shit with the naming of a lipstick, “Celebutard.”  

Personally, I just think it’s a dumb name for a lipstick, but offensive?   Some people got their panties all up in a twist, claiming it was a slur on the “mentally challenged” (because no one is just “retarded” anymore), prompting Sephora to pull the lipstick off the shelves. 

Use of the words “nigger,” “kike,” “spic,” “mick” and “wop” and "fag" is and has been offensive for as long as I can remember.  Although, considering how old I am – Wait, is it still okay to say “old”?  Or is the accepted term now “aged?”  Perhaps “lifespan-challenged.”  Anyway, for as long as I can remember those words have been verboten, unless you happen to be a member of one of those groups and then you get a pass, but only when referring to one of your own.  Still, I cringe whenever I hear them, no matter from whose lips.   Why?   Not because of the words themselves, but because of the intent behind them, which is most often meant to demean and cause pain. 

However, the politically-correct wave that is currently sweeping the nation has me flummoxed.  “Oriental” is out.  “Asian” is in.  “Indian” is out.  “Native American” is in.  “Negro” has been out for a long time, then “Black” was in, followed by “African-American” and now the all-inclusive “People of Color.”    I, however, am still just plain “white,” which basically means I’m a mongrel, a mutt.  Much like “Wonder Bread,” who the hell knows what’s in there?    Go ahead and call me "honkie" if you want, but you’ll have to do better than that to offend me.  Poverty offends me.  Intentional cruelty offends me.  Rush Limbaugh offends me.  Names?   Not so much. 

Personally, I’m exhausted from trying to keep up with it all.  It seems that more than anything, we want to appear to be a polite society in order to mask the violence, greed and corruption that's really going on.  So the blind are “visually impaired.”   A garbage man is now a “sanitary engineer,” but he still picks up other people’s crap.  You’re not from a “broken” home.  You’re from a “dysfunctional family.”  Although, I think the term “dysfunctional” is a bit judgmental, don’t you?   The guy who would never think of calling your kid a “re-tard” might take an AK-47 into a shopping mall and blow him away, and we call that “gun rights.”  And by all means, let's not forget that "torture" is really just "enhanced interrogation."

While our society is mired in such minutiae, the big shit is kicking our asses.  We deny "welfare" to people in need, but billions in "subsidies" to corporations?  No problem.   We always have money for war, but not for education.  We claim to honor our vets, while cutting benefits to military families.  But hey -- as long as we're polite about it.

I'm a writer.  I know words matter.  I understand their use in eliciting emotional responses, but I would never create a character that stubs her toe and plunges into months of depression, because if later in the story that same character loses a child, I've got nowhere to go.  

Kat von D had no intent or desire to hurt or demean anyone:  “It’s just a fucking lipstick!”   I agree, and urge Sephora to reissue it under the name, “Much Ado About Nothing.” 

Enjoy this famous skit from SLN between Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor, because it would never make it onto television today.     

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