Map, Ode, Metaphor

I remember when we met at first:
You lay easy on the rack; uncursed
Standing tall, proud, smooth, and glossy
The black wire rack near the self-serve coffee.

Remember when we left that town?
You were flat and smooth, your edges down.
The car was warm, the car was dry
And you and I, we learned to fly.

Your crinkling would break the silence
I’d fold you carefully, never with violence.
My finger traced tracks along your planes
And my love for cartography never wanes.

How far to Milwaukee? I’d ask, and you’d say:
Six hours and a quarter, if we go this way.
But detours were nice in their own sense of being,
I learned miles and the clock weren’t always so agreeing.

I miss you often; I long for you so–
I never imagined how soon you would go.
TomTom and Google, they just aren’t the same
We would travel forever; the road was a game.

An entire generation has grown up this way
Without real maps to guide them on the roads of today
I’m glad that we had an amazing experience
And traveled the highways, nearly no interference.

Sounding Off

And now I’m glad I saved this prompt from The Blog Propellant.

This morning I got to work–let me back up.

Last week, before the manager went on vacation, he asked me to call tech support because the engraver wouldn’t work on 1. I got busy that night and didn’t, so I called Monday. I explained the problem and they said they’d send a new z axis controller and make an appointment for someone to come install it.

Now, it works fine on the other settings, just not 1. Well, almost fine; even after recentering, it’s off half a millimeter.

Anyway, Tuesday I was off. The assistant manager called me to ask what was wrong with the engraver because tech support had called to say they were sending a new machine. I told her it didn’t work on 1–which she should have known had she been doing her engraving properly. I told her what they’d told me, and she expected that they told her that no one was coming they they were sending a new machine. Fine, whatever, I’m just an associate. I don’t care. I show up and I do my job and I go home. I enjoy being out of a management position, because I don’t have to deal with crap like this.

But here’s the 25-year assistant manager treating me like I’m her boss. Look, lady, I didn’t even have to answer my phone–it’s my day off, and I’m not management

I still have no idea what she expected me to do with this information.

Wednesday, late afternoon, she called and texted multiple times while I was taking a nap. The new machine just got here. I don’t know how to set it up. It’s not working right. 

When I woke up, I texted back that I’d been asleep. She never responded. Whatever.

This morning, I delivered my papers and went to work afterwards. The kiosk was a wreck. 

There’s a note up that says April, this is all that’s left to engrave, we didn’t get the machine working until 630.

It’s a wedding set that was ordered on Tuesday, and has to be shipped no later than today. It was ordered on Tuesday. I opened up shop and checked the computer.

The assistant manager didn’t sell a single thing yesterday until 630. She had all day to engrave this. And she didn’t. She only had four sales Tuesday. Five sales in seventeen hours.

While I was looking that up, I also learned that she was also supposed to remove three 5×7 signs, put out twelve 5×7 signs, an 8×10 sign, and change the big ole easel sign to advertise the sale that started Wednesday. She didn’t even print the signs, even though she’d read the four emails detailing the signage and sale instructions. I know she read them, because once you’ve read something in our company email, you can’t change that it’s marked as read. 

I wanted to kick something. Maybe a puppy. Okay, not a puppy.

Now, I’m a reasonable person. If you’re busy all day, I don’t mind picking up the slack the next shift. But if you went eight and a half hours straight without a sale, you can damn well do your fucking job. The emails came at 130. The engraver came at 430–and if you don’t know how to install it, let it sit in the box

This woman is the reason I have personally had to install two of the four new/refurbished printers we’ve gone through this year. The manager did the other two.

I texted the manager, first with an apology to bother him on vacation. I gave him the quick and dirty version of all this, and he told me to get mad when she came in this afternoon, because he wouldn’t see her for over a week; he comes back from vacation and she starts hers. He emphasized really mad. I said that wouldn’t be a problem.

I cleaned up the mess.

At 220, she called to tell me she was stuck in traffic; she was scheduled at 3. I got off the phone as quickly as I could, because just hearing her voice was pissing me off again, and I had a customer.

She lives ten minutes from the mall.

She showed up at 312, and immediately started complaining about installing the new engraver and how the district manager made his surprise visit yesterday.

I pointed out that she didn’t have any sales and she didn’t complete the sign changes. She feigned ignorance.

I pointed out that she read the emails. She claimed they were late.

I pointed out that they came at 130, which is pretty early for signage change emails. She argued with me that they did not.

I left, while she was still talking.

I was too mad to even get into the wedding set left from Tuesday.

I guess there goes my Christmas present from her this year.

Imperfect, Limerick, Enjambment

The woman drove over train tracks
Spilled coffee all over her slacks.
She’s not a bad driver
But her investment advisor
Told her to give road trips the axe.

Musically Challenged

Today’s Daily Prompt:

What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?

My parents didn’t play music when I was growing up. I had a record player:  

But we didn’t have a radio in the house until my mom married my stepdad when I was eleven, and we didn’t have a car with an FM radio until I was twelve. We also didn’t have MTV until I was twelve, but by then, I had a radio in my room and was working on my cassette tape collection, which grew to an umanageable volume by the time I graduated high school and moved out.

It’s hard to say what effect the lack of music at home had on my taste in music, as it’s one of those things that you don’t know you’re missing because you’ve never known it. 

I did eventually notice the lack, when all of my friends’ homes had fancy sound systems. But we had hundreds of books, and no one else had that many. I think that had a bigger effect on me; it’s still hard to trust someone who doesn’t own books. I mean, books.

It may have affected my current appreciation for music; I do love to listen to Pandora while I’m cooking or writing or folding laundry, but mostly EDM or Fleetwood Mac, neither of which were incredibly popular in my teens. 

Skin, Prose Poetry, Internal Rhyme

My skin I feel; it’s so unreal. The lightest brush of feathers, the blood rushing within–this sense of touch that means so much. My skin covers my face and chin; the hairs, they grow up from within. I felt them when I woke today. The blood feeding, the feathers catching–my skin again, my hairy skin. I like the feeling of smooth skin; it’s time to depilate again.

Auntie Em, Auntie Em!

Today’s Daily Prompt:

What are the earliest memories of the place you lived in as a child? Describe your house. What did it look like? How did it smell? What did it sound like? Was it quiet like a library, or full of the noise of life? Tell us all about it, in as much detail as you can recall.

We moved a lot when I was a child; nine times that I remember, and that’s just the places I lived during the school year. My dad moved at least five, and that’s where I lived in the summers.

I have memories specific to each, of course.

The first home I remember was the first house we had in Oklahoma. We were just moving in. It had high ceilings, and the couch wasn’t against a wall, it was placed to divide the room.

The second was also in Oklahoma. I remember walking to school, uphill in the snow. I’m still tickled to have lived the cliche. I had chicken pox there, and an allergic reaction to penicillin. The backyard had a mimosa tree; I still love those, with their feathery leaves and soft, silky pink flowers.

The third house was the last in Oklahoma, and the first as a family of three, my mom and my sister and me. It was an old farmhouse, full of firsts. The first time I was bit by a horsefly. The first time I hosted a Halloween party. The first time I learned to tell my mother I would take my antibiotics, but then pour the dose down the drain because I was so tired of the horrible taste. The first time I saw something dead up close: a mouse in a trap. The first time I saw a tornado: far too close, a few hundred yards away.

How funny that I titled as I did, and ended with a tornado, unintentionally. courtesy of NSSL


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