Collecting Himself

The shell collector looked around the room. It was an average hotel room: the same mass-produced artwork hanging on the same eggshell walls, the same too-soft pillows sheathed in the same white pillowcases. The same, the same, day in and day out. He had to check the notice on the back of the generic room’s door to remember what city he was in sometimes.

Memory is a fragile thing.

As are the shells he collects.

But their pearlescent beauty brought him comfort that no amount of restless nights in short-sheeted hotel beds ever did. The prides of his collection were the whole, unbroken shells, although the cracked bits and pieces he more often found held their own jagged allure.

He spent so many hours by himself, but the shells helped him feel the opposite of loneliness.

seashell

Inspiration from inspiration: today’s story inspired by Stephanie‘s search for three short story ideas.


One Thousand Radishes

One thousand posts.

What have I to share that I haven’t shared, aside from the stories that I haven’t strung together yet, word by word, like a popcorn and cranberry garland on a quiet Christmas Eve?

***

I have my favorite poem by Leonard Cohen, Owning Everything.

You worry that I will leave you.
I will not leave you.
Only strangers travel.
Owning everything,
I have nowhere to go.

***

I have the story of my ride in a helicopter when I was ten years old.

My best friend Jennifer and I lived next door to each other in the married housing apartments on-campus at Southeastern Louisiana University. One day there was a festival of some sort going on across the highway, where helicopter rides were to be had for ten dollars apiece.

We ran across the hot blacktop in our bare feet to watch the helicopter rise up and down, up and down, lifting and lowering its paying passengers. When we saw a lull in the traffic, we walked up to see if we could catch a glimpse of the mysteries inside. The pilot had seen us watching and waiting, and he ushered us in for a quick up-and-down of our own, no charge. We couldn’t stop smiling.

***

Here’s to a thousand more.


Yea Verily, Sex Toys Mentioned

I am this close to finally putting a pencil and paper in my bedside table.

I have spent the last three days trying my damnedest to remember what the hell I was going to write about. It came to me when I was dozing the other day, and I repeated three words to myself enough that I thought I would be able to remember.

Yeah, I remember the three damn words, alright.

chili cookoff compliment

Those three words have become the bane of my existence. I cannot for the life of me figure out what I had in mind when I chose those to represent the super genius post idea I came up with.

Cannot.

And you know, a friend of ours gave me, in my Christmas gift bag, a whole set of kitty cat covered tiny notepads that would be abso-freaking-lutely perfect to cram into my nightstand drawer next to the vibrators, nail clippers, and wasabi dark chocolate (we’re pretty kinky). But no.

Honestly, I have no idea what happened to the rest of the notepads, aside from the one I put in the purse that I haven’t been carrying since I got a wallet phone case.

chili cookoff compliment

Slow-Cooker-Vegetarian-Chili-Recipe-31.jpg

Their miniature alliteration taunts me day and night.

Last night, while I tried to find a comfortable position to wrap myself around the ball of hatred that is my right kidney, they teased me, just out of reach on the tip of my brain.

Yesterday afternoon, while we wandered the grocery store, loading up on yogurt and buffalo sauce (don’t ask–or do; I made the bomb buffalo chicken mac-n-cheese last night).

Tuesday morning, while I perused Facebook, seeking signs of intelligent life and finding only Trump supporters.

chili cookoff compliment

If I type it enough will it come back to me?

It would not seem to be so.

I wonder if I’ll ever remember what I was talking about.

Probably not. Stupid chili.


Self Righteous

i know it’s coming
by the cock of her head
by the purse of her lips
by the deep inhalation

Well,”

her nose upturns
her head shakes on her neck
like a cat revving up to pounce

I will share this fact with you.
Because I know it
And you do not.
Because I am smart
And you are not.

sometimes it’s right
sometimes it’s wrong
but no one cares
either way

Listen to me.
I am a fount of knowledge
And I will deign to share with you
.”

so wrapped up in herself
that she doesn’t notice
when we leave the room

and she won’t remember
that she’s already told us
when she tells again
tomorrow


The Mystery of the Missing Wishbone

Last night I made a creamy chicken and wild rice soup for dinner. I used a rotisserie chicken for the meat because it’s easy. I’m a huge fan of storebought rotisserie chickens. I used one for the chicken pot pie I made last week.

As I deconstructed the chicken last night, I had an unsettling realization.

I had no idea what happened to the wishbone from the previous chicken.

1639037-chicken-bone-stock-photo-wishbone

I texted Ian.

I put the wishbone somewhere from the last rotisserie chicken I took apart and IDK WHERE

I FORGOT UNTIL I PULLED THIS WISHBONE

No joke, people. I put that wishbone somewhere. I remember doing that, because Ian was at work and I wanted to have it so we could pull it when he got home. I had to have put it somewhere safe, because we have cats.

My heart sank and my gorge rose as I realized that one day soon, we may find that wishbone by smell.

I texted Ian some more.

Did I put it in the microwave and someone threw it away? Idk, maybe

Did I change my mind and throw it away? Idk, maybe

Did I hide it somewhere and it’s now rotting there? Idk, maybe

DID WE BREAK IT? IDK MAYBE

That wishbone is a void in my memory.

In case you didn’t notice, I am highly entertaining via text message. Borderline hysterical. At least, I think so.

And do you know what else? I still have not a clue where that wishbone is.

Last night’s wishbone, however, I do know about. I put it on a bowl in the sink while we went outside, and when I came in, Rillo had stolen it and was trying to eat it. Don’t worry, I got it away from her and put it deep in the trashcan.

BUT WHAT OF THE OTHER?

The world may never know.

I should go eat some almonds. Right, Susie?


Lost Anecdote

While I was at work earlier, I thought of a story to tell you. I kept it in my head until I got home. I kept it a little while longer while planning the logistics of pizza for dinner. 

I picked up the pizza, got home, ate, and…it’s gone. 

I have absolutely no idea what embarrassing story from my past I was going to share. 

I’m sorry. Maybe I’ll remember it tomorrow; maybe I’ll think of another one. 

I guess we’ll have to see. 

My bad.