Monday, June 23, 2014

injaynesworld I have "Conversations With My Dog..."

I sit in a cozy living room chair, smooshed comfortably into the back cushion, book in hand, and a glass of iced tea at my side.  Draped across the back of the chair just behind my neck lies Dixie, my five-pounds-of-pure-adorableness Chihuahua, happily gnawing away on her beloved chew when suddenly I hear a plunk.  The chew has fallen to the floor.  I look at Dixie.

“I suppose you want me to pick that up for you?”  I say.

Her eyes meet mine.  Yes, please.

I lean over the arm of the chair where I can only reach (of course) the soggy, saliva-covered end of the disgusting thing, pick it up and place it back in front of her.  She turns away, disinterested now. 

“I thought you wanted it.”


“You asked me to pick it up.”

No, I didn’t.  You made that up.

And she’s right.  I have conversations with my dog where I supply both sides of the dialogue.  I do this out loud.  Even when there are people around.   I silently thank Ronald Reagan for gutting California’s mental health system thus assuring my freedom to continue to do so unabated by those who would have me locked away.       

The voice I use for Dixie is small, like she is, and a few octaves above my own with a slight whisper quality to it.  I tell myself I am so connected to her that I know exactly what she is thinking at any given moment.  I tell myself that even if that’s not entirely true, I am, after all, a writer and am allowed a certain amount of creative leeway.  I tell myself there are many reasons why I’m single, and this is the least of it. 

Dixie, for her part, is happy to play along because as long as she is the focus of my undivided attention, she doesn’t much give a crap what I say. 

I don’t attempt this with my cat, Mason.  I have had cats for my entire life and, while they can be loving companions, I assure you they have only three messages for us:  “Feed me.”  “Pet me.”  “Go away.”   Sometimes “pet me” and “go away” are aligned precariously close and, if one is not quick to discern the mood shift, a blood-letting can occur.  Yours, not theirs.  Timing is everything.  

I gaze down at Dixie who is now curled up in her basket on the floor beside me.  She senses me looking at her, raises that sweet face and looks up at me with those big brown eyes.

“I love you, Mommy.”

“I love you, too, Dixie.” 

Monday, June 9, 2014

injaynesworld it's "A Room With A View..."

Tiny, peach-colored roses give way to somber plaid give way to stripes of all colors as I peel away the layers, one life at a time, and plan for the one about to begin.

A bay window faces east.  Beside it, your grandmother’s rocking chair, hand-carved of sturdy pine where, together, you and I will greet the promise of each new day and discuss ideas great and small.

Another thin sheet of the past tears free and floats to the floor, leaving for us finally a blank canvas. 

Pink is too timid.  Blue, too lonely.  Yellow, a coward’s choice.  For you, my child, nothing but rainbows will do.

From the Studio 30-Plus prompt “… peel away the layers…”  Limit 150 words.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

injaynesworld it's "Body Talk..."

So I went for my annual, semi-annual, once-every-decade-or-so physical exam.  Turns out I have the blood pressure of an 18-year-old and I’m kicking cholesterol’s ass.  Not bad for a broad with Medicare clearly in her sites.  

I attribute my good health in part to avoiding doctors, many who seem to take it as a personal failure if they can’t find something wrong with you.  You have to pretty much scrape me off the ground to get me to a doctor, which has been known to happen. 

But good genes deserve their due, as well.  Luck of the draw there.  So far, I’ve managed to give any serious illness the slip, despite my years of questionable food choices.  Coca-Cola by-the-case as a child and a steady intake of bologna sandwiches on Wonder Bread with potato chips smashed inside for crunchy goodness leave me marveling that I even made it to adulthood.  Say what you will about the chemical industry, I suspect all those preservatives in the food I ate back then did their job.  The number of Twinkies I consumed alone should guarantee a life span of 100 years.

Alas, my idea of nourishment as an adult wasn’t much better.  For years I ate a large bowl of heavily buttered and salted popcorn at least three times a week for dinner, followed by ice cream for dessert.  I would tell myself it was one of the few perks of being a grown-up. 

It’s only been the last decade or so that I’ve changed my ways.  I’d like to say that I have matured and now realize the importance of whole grains, fresh fruit, and green vegetables to a healthy body.  The truth is I discovered that “after a certain age” the body’s efficiency at burning off that package of double-chocolate chip cookies wanes like a flame in a windstorm.  The change is subtle at first.  Clothes shrink in the dryer all the time.  Then one day I could deny it no more:  The sharp hip bones that I could always count on to gouge my way through any shoe sale crowd at Nordstrom’s had vanished, along with an unobstructed view of my lady parts.  Sure, I still had a size four ass, but only because the fat had migrated to my stomach.  Oh, the betrayal!

Vanity more than health concerns have been the deciding factor in switching to a diet now (mostly) void of all foods the color of white.  Broccoli is my new bff.  Cheese and crackers have (mostly) morphed into cheese on crisp celery.  Chicken and fish (mostly) suffice for my protein needs.   Carrots and hummus (mostly) fill in nicely for chips and dip.  Sautéed has become the new fried.

I figure if I eat sensibly that still affords me the luxury of drinking all the wine I want.  This, of course, is not true, but it is what I tell myself, along with touting the grape’s antioxidant benefits probably far beyond the findings of science.  The same goes for dark chocolate. 

Because what’s the point of living to be 100 if you can’t have a little fun? 

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