The Doctor of Massage

“You need to learn to relax,”

she says, as she works on my back

with hot rocks, and oil, and warm towels. Continue reading “The Doctor of Massage”

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The Lone SUV (part 2)

I don’t know if this story will have an end. No story does, really, you just have to decide when to stop telling it.

There is no reason for a car to be in the lot before I pull in this morning. The way it’s parked haphazardly in the far corner of the lot has me suspicious and worried. The building manager assures me, there is no reason for anyone else to be here. And I sit, fuming and frightened, in the car. What are the intentions of the SUV driver. Is he still in the car? (The dangerous unknown is always a guy, it seems) Is he armed? Because, now, it seems any snowflake with a sense of entitlement can go buy a gun and take out his tiny, tiny rage on innocents.

Continue reading “The Lone SUV (part 2)”

The Lone SUV (part 1)

I’m frightened and furious, and it’s only 7:30 on a Tuesday morning.

The white SUV is parked cock-eyed in the far corner of the parking lot when I drive up the hill to work. It’s the only other car in the lot. I pause a moment. No one else should be in the parking lot this early. Anyone working inside the school usually parks by the door; anyone working outside on the grounds generally parks near the storage sheds.

So, what is that white SUV doing all alone over there?

Continue reading “The Lone SUV (part 1)”

Standing Back to Back

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We stand together at the brink of December’s end. The year of 2017 is lurching, exhausted, to a close.  With a mix of relief and of trepidation I prepare to turn the last calendar page of 2017 to uncover January 2018.  I feel more than a bit hesitant to let another year in after the chaos we are preparing to sweep out the door. Continue reading “Standing Back to Back”

Unclean? Most Likely

It came in the mail a few weeks ago, The advertisement from The Cleaning Authority: Clean Homes, Clean Earth.

“Unhappy with your MAID SERVICE?” reads the pamphlet. Yeah, I’m unhappy with my maid service! “Maybe it’s time to clean house!” Yes, my house always needs a good cleaning. It, in no way, resembles anything you’d find in a magazine or home catalog. My domestic help is lacking in both skills and motivation and I open the mailer to see what’s to be done.

The advertisement from The Cleaning Authority includes a list of services these Mighty Angels of Hygiene will perform on a regular and rotating basis. I glance at the list, intending to toss it in the recycle bin with all the other requests for money, but don’t. It’s a gripping read…fascinating and sort of horrifying. I’ve nothing against them….except the damn bar. They’ve raised the bar! I liked the bar.

“Save this chart”, it reads “and next time your cleaning service leaves, take it around and see if they did everything we do.”

These delightful experts will dust ceiling fans, dust lamps shades, clean windowsills, and wipe the fronts of appliances...ON A REGULAR BASIS. These need to be done? On a regular basis? You kidding me? Base boards wiped, kitchen furniture hand wiped, furtiture and upholstery vacuumed. These need to be done, too? The only time my kitchen chairs are hand-wiped is when they are lucky enough to suffer a spill. Shower doors given extra attention. Shower doors? I don’t even have shower doors. Now, I have to get shower doors in order to give them the extra attention they, regularly, need.

What kind of mother am I without sanitized floors and hand-wiped furniture? The crushing inadequacy! I consider hanging it on the fridge to refer to it every so often to check whether I’ve scrubbed my grout and spot cleaned my doors. Maybe, I’ll work my way down the list and start back on the top and I stop. No.

I toss it in the recycling and pour another cup of coffee. There, I cleaned up.

Moth at Midnight

The full moon lit the hallway at midnight. I was still half asleep when I stepped out into the hall and was groggily surprised to meet a man with a sword. He was side-stepping, cautiously toward the bathroom; I was just thirsty.

And there was my son, home for Spring Break, armed, and looming tall in the middle of the night, and laughing quietly.  Of course.

“It’s in there.” He whispers gesturing with, what I see now is, a wooden kitana. The sword, I notice blearily, has been improved with the addition of a metal ruler clamped to the end of the wooden blade.image

“It’s really big and it’s so loud.” He grabbed the flexible ruler and twanged it with a sproing sound. “Aren’t you glad you sent me to college?” He laughed.

Okay, I’m barely awake and not prepared for these kind of deep questions. I just want a drink of water. I kind of don’t want to know what’s loud and threatening in the bathroom at midnight. I don’t know what you plan to do with the sproinging Kitana to subdue the invader.image

I decide I’m not equipped to face the upstairs bathroom and whatever has taken up residence and turn to forage downstairs for a drink. It might or might not be water at this point, it’s too weird upstairs.

But, my son is still laughing quietly when I drift back up the stairs. He is poised outside the bathroom holding his hand-crafted distance weapon. But, in his other hand, I see a glass. “It’s a bug.” He whispers.

He’s planned ahead. One hand defends himself from the creepy, loud bug; the other hand is for mercy. He intends to catch and release the bug, whatever it is, into the night.image

“Aren’t you glad you sent me to college?”, he asks again. Sproinging his terrifying sword. We both laugh in whispers. I take the cup and he covers me, leaning into the doorway above me. I trap the spooky moth and we release it into the moonlight.

One hand for protection, the other for kindness. Aren’t I glad? Yes, yes I am glad.