First day back

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You know it’s the first day of school…

 

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When the middle of the campus has been overtaken by the band and cheerleaders…

 

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That includes male baton twirlers and flag wavers…

 

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With an over zealous tuba squad that makes rude noises any time the chubbiest cheerleader flipped….

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After a confetti cannon the freshman and several undergrad hangers on eagerly made a beeline across campus for the President’s barbecue with a live band. 

 

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Meanwhile, kids kept mistaking me for a sorority that was recruiting naive freshmen simply because I happened to wear my signature color.  Once they found out I was not in a sorority, they determined I was the prime source to learn where the barbecue was.  I should have borrowed a flag from the band geeks.

My first class was Literature for Children, where we’ll be studying eight children’s books along with a textbook.  My job for our group journals is illustrator, which means I have to draw pictures and write a synopsis to go along with the discussions for each chapter, along with keeping our own personal journals and writing synopsis’ of professional literary articles.  Tonight, it’s poetry for my creative writing graduate certificate.  Tuesday, educational psychology.  Monday, art classes.  

 

Is it nerdy to admit I’m excited?

 

Stay tuned, Invisible Friends!  A new fun story tomorrow! 

 

 

 

Thirty things I want to do for my 30th

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Image found here. 

 

 

Since I turn 30 Sept. 21, there’s lots of things I want to do to celebrate:

 

1) Take a new art class

2) Go dancing

3) Buy a new swimsuit.

4) Have an adventure: zip lining, perhaps?

5) Buy a new grill

6) Cook lots of things on the new grill and invite people over.

7) Paint my toenails.

8) You’d be surprised the last time I painted my toenails.

9) Be generous to a friend.

10) Go see my friend Angela! 

11) Finish this stupid book.

12) Go on a fancy dinner date a random weeknight.

13) Go to Guadalupe State Park.

14) Eat breakfast tacos.

15) Go to a writing conference.

16) Go see old friends.

17) Bake a pie.

18) Smoke a brisket.

 

To be continued….

Free

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The little blond girl wasn’t sure what to do.

 

Classes were over.  There were no papers, no tests.  For two weeks, she was free.

 

Everyone knew what she should do.

 

“Get your license renewed,” her husband said.  “Take your dog to the vet.  Stay home and wait for the dishwasher repair man.”

 

As tired as she was of washing dishes, that did not sound appealing.

 

“Let’s go shopping for unmentionables,” her mother said.  “We can go to a movie,  go shopping.”

 

That simply sounded terrifying and unpleasant.

 

“Let’s work on this article,” her professor said.  “I have lots of research I need help with.”

 

“Maybe later,” the blond girl stammered, backing away slowly.  This professor was a notorious vacuum of free time without giving credit in return.

 

“Let’s go on walks,” her dogs barked, nudging her for more chicken and bacon treats.  “You can pick up our poop and pet us and rub our paws!  How does that sound?”

 

That sounded like every day, actually.  The blond girl was a bit down.  Two whole weeks of freedom filled with errands and wiping dog tails?  That sounded worse than a paper.

 

Then, oh then, and old friend called.

 

“How would you like to paint?” she said.  “We’ll take a long walk and chat, and paint the night away.”

 

The blond girl grinned.  “Oh yes, oh yes,” she said.

 

For that was what she had dreamed of during those long nights writing papers and gazing out classroom windows.

 

The errands would have to wait.

 

It was time to paint.

 

Stay tuned, Invisible Friends! 

Sorry

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Image found here.

 

I never wanted you to join this club,

never wanted you to feel this pain.

In my most bitter moment,

Tinged with envy,

this was a wish I never made.

 

I wish I could say it’ll get better,

I wish I could say it won’t hurt.

But those wiser than me still remember,

Like a broken leg on rainy days,

the pain never really goes away.

 

I never wanted you to feel this way,

Never wanted you to cry these tears.

I’d do it for you if I could,

A hundred times over,

But sometimes we fall on the sword.

 

I wish I could say that you’ll be fine,

I wish I could say it’s a fluke and a folly.

But those wiser than me know that things don’t always work out,

Our endings aren’t always happy,

No matter how much we erase and rewrite again.

 

I never wanted you to feel this pain,

Never wanted you to hurt this way.

I know it won’t make it better,

I know it won’t make it right.

But if you let me, I’ll come over tonight.

 

I wish I could bring you joy,

I wish I could bring you sunshine,

But I know in the grey of sorrow,

Sometimes all you need,

Is another thought to ease the pain,

A distraction for another day.

 

So I’ll bring you cheesecake,

Some flowers too,

Keep you laughing until you’re no longer blue.

I never wanted you to feel this pain,

I never wanted you to join this club.

At least I can give you, all I can give you,

Is my love.

 

Stay tuned, Invisible Friends!  It’s been a bad week, but one paper down, one half down, and two finals to go!

Just Running

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Image found here.

“What are you doing?”

It was my turn to ask the question.  Propping my feet on the porch, I watched the butterfly jog mid-air, long spindly black legs peddling to nowhere.

Running.  On my new air treadmill.”  He smirked at me.  In the bright afternoon light, I could see his antennae glisten.  “Did you see how skinny those Daddy Long Legs have gotten?” he continued, not breaking stride for a single word.  “I can’t compete with that.  Even the hummingbirds are looking leaner than usual.  I have to keep up.”

I watched a few deer creep into the yard, making a dash for the big metal bucket filled with water for them.  “Why do I feel like you’re trying to build up a big metaphor?”

“All I’m doing is working out,” the butterfly panted, flapping his wings faster than a blink.  “Getting healthy.”

“Oh, go eat a aphid.”  Tapping one toe against the railing, I continued, “I know what you’re trying to do.  You’re trying to show me how I need to relax.  Or you’re trying to encourage me to keep going– only two days and one week of school left.”

“That’s not true,” the butterfly wheezed.  “With your degree and graduate certificate, there’s 54.  You’ll only have 18 hours.  You still have nine hours in the fall, and spring, and the summer, and the next fall after that…”

I chewed on the tip of my tongue, considering.  “Perhaps you’re trying to tell me that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and I have to focus on the end goal.  Instead of stopping to watch everyone else and compare myself, I just need to keep my sights on the horizon.  Like the Little Engine that Could, you know?  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….”

The butterfly fluttered to the nearest flower, the only one the deer hadn’t munched to a stub, and collapsed.  “You know,” he gasped.  “I think exercise is overrated.  That’s excruciating.  Terrible.  The most misery I’ve experienced since that bumble bee sucked all the pollen out of my favorite flower.”

“Because that’s what it’s about, isn’t it?’ I continued, ignoring his limp wings struggling to open and close, his antennae drooping with exhaustion.  “The road goes on forever, and the party never ends.  You just keep running because if you don’t, what are you going to do?”

“Forest Gump went home,” the butterfly observed wryly.

“Exactly!  So as tired as I am, I’ve just got to keep going, because there’s so much more to see, to do, places to get to, things to do…”  Above my head, the Daddy Long Legs trembled in the corner.  The butterfly drank from the flower, the flutter of his wings growing quicker and stronger with every sip.

“You know, you keep running,” the butterfly said, returning for another sip.  “I’m going to just sit here and relax, drink a little pollen, eat some aphids.  Moderation in everything, you know.”

I laughed.  “You’re a wimp, you know?”

“I’m not a wimp, I’m a butterfly.”  The butterfly sniffed.  “I’m to be admired, not to run marathons.  We all do what we’re good at.”

“You are quite pretty,” I teased.

“Don’t I know it?” he tossed back.

So we sat there, me and him, watching the Daddy Long Legs shiver, the deer munch their corn and Mitzie the squirrel chatter from the trees.

The road goes on forever, and the party never ends.

Stay tuned, Invisible Friends!  A new fun tale awaits!

Cry

Why did you have to tell me,

Today of all days,

With two papers due and an article,

Waiting for me?

 

Why did you have to tell me,

Today of all days,

When I couldn’t curl in a ball and cry,

Or wallow in my own sorrow?

 

Why did you have to tell me,

With a smile on your face,

Full of joy,

Your arms wrapped around the new life, the spark of promise underneath?

 

Why did you have to tell me,

So I could only smile,

“Congratulations,”

Please don’t ask me to stay,

Or look me in the eye,

For it’s all I can do,

Not to cry.

 

Why did you have to tell me,

What I already knew,

What I sensed from your smile,

Guilt curling in my belly from my own jealousy,

While my own hope died.

 

Why did you have to tell me,

Today of all days,

But I’ll ponder another day.

I have papers to write,

Things to do,

I’ll have to cry another day.

 

Stay tuned, Invisible Friends!  A new butterfly story tomorrow! 

Jingle

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Image found here.

“You know, there’s a snake up there,” the hiker warned, sliding past Lorelei on her way up, his way down.

“A snake?”  Lorelei didn’t like snakes.  She didn’t particularly like hiking either, but she could tolerate physical activity.  She could not tolerate reptiles.

“A big one,” his friend confirmed, his picket fence teeth poking through his wide smile.  Lorelei did not smile back.  “A rattler, maybe, or a copperhead.”

“Nah, it was a grass snake,” the first man contradicted.

“Was not!” his friend argued, and they bickered down the trail.  Lorelei looked at her friend Jenna, the evil friend who had dragged her out here in the first place on a Sunday morning.  Jenna held up her hands.  “Look, there’s never been a snake before.  I’ve been hiking here every weekend for three years and never seen a snake.”

“That’s just because it hasn’t bit you yet.”  Lorelei slipped her keys out of her pocket and shook them.

“What are you doing?” Jenna laughed.  “Trying to scare snakes off?”

“Exactly.”  Lorelei stomped up the rocky path, jingling even harder.

“Snakes don’t have ears.”

Lorelei wriggled her wrist even harder, the keys a terrible symphony of metal and aluminum trinkets.  “Sure they do.”

“No, they don’t.”  Jenna stepped up a steep jagged rock cutting out of the edge of the cliff and turned, pointing.  “Look at that view!”

Lorelei didn’t bother to turn, keeping her eyes glued to the path in front of her.  “Let’s just get out of here.  It’s hot and I’m tired.”  She switched jingling hands.

“You’re such a whiner,” Jenna grumbled, but she turned and followed her friend up through the thick cluster of oak trees.  “I’m telling you, snakes can’t hear you.”

“Can too.”

“Can not.”

The girls continued their bickering up the path, until their argument and the incessant clanging of keys faded away.  As soon as they were gone, two snakes slid out, one from the left side of the path and one from the right.

“I’m so glad they’re gone,” the first snake hissed.

“Those keys were quite atrocious,” the second snake agreed, scraping his scaly head across a rock as if to erase the noise from his memory.

“Not worth biting,” the first snake declared.

“Not at all,” the second snake agreed.  “We should have gone for those two men who smelled like rats.”

“No, they were too fat,” the first snake argued.  “They would have fallen down and flopped around here for ages.  Totally annoying.”

“True,” the second snake agreed.  “Perhaps we should try level five of the trail.  All those obnoxious health nuts.”

The rattler’s tail quivered with anticipation.  “Yes.   Lets.”

Together, they slithered up the trail in the other direction, far from the jingle of keys.

For although snakes don’t have ears, they can hear, after all.

Stay tuned, Invisible Friends!  More stories to come!