Backseat Jostling

thais-ribeiro-rgrfJPE6Yjo-unsplash

Photo: Thais Ribeiro on Unsplash

 

“Mama, he’s touching me!”

She tightened her grip on the steering wheel.

“Mama, he’s breathing on me!”

She inhaled.

“How come he always gets the window?”

She sighed.

“I don’t have room!”

She braked.

“Stop this or you can all walk home!”

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Jostle in 42 words

 

 

The Misanthrope

sarah-kilian--Xh68QBar8I-unsplash

Photo: Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

 

There is nothing anyone could say to change his mind.

Or his attitude.

Or his demeanor.

One could hardly expect him to respect those who practically asked to be demeaned, who did not try to rise above their lassitude, who did not take the opportunity when it presented.

So what if his wealth was carved out of others’ misery?

Someone had to do it. Someone had to step up to the plate and be the boss.

What did they expect him to be? A sniveling, prattling sissy like the ones who follow him?! They are lucky to have him.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Misanthrope in 99 words

Disclaimer: No offense intended to any amphibians. I know they are better than that. Image presented for illustration purposes only….

 

Cavalier

maria-teneva-vf4O1OwtPnk-unsplash

Photo: Maria Teneva on Unsplash

 

He thinks himself a cavalier:

Aristocratic,

Well revered.

In fact he is

Just cavalier:

Disdainful

Petty

Quick to smear.

 

He thinks himself

A cavalier:

A man whose word all

Must adhere.

In truth he is

Just cavalier:

Dismissive

Hurtful

Full of sneer.

 

He thinks himself

A cavalier:

Someone for everyone

To cheer.

Yet he is

A racketeer,

And they want him

Out of here.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Cavalier in 64 words

 

 

Their Own Continuity

yunming-wang-jp-ytrLzadE-unsplash

Photo: Yunming Wang on Unsplash

 

 

He said the world’s come to an end.

“Not quite,” she noted,

“For it keeps revolving.”

Her hand stayed warm

On his chest.

“Uninterrupted sun and set,

The dawn and birth,

Are their own continuity.”

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Continuity in 35 words

 

 

Aftereffect

arnaud-jaegers-IBWJsMObnnU-unsplash

Photo: Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

 

It does not do to elect

Only those who self-select.

Because it is best to object

To any who hold no respect

For others’ ability to reflect

On the facts in each subject.

For if we fail now to protect

The need of everyone to connect

And the necessity to detect

Those who humanity eject,

We might injustice reinfect

And cement moral defect

As the greedy now expect

Blind loyalty by genuflect.

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS writing prompt: “ect”

 

 

As They Say …

 

Oy vey, Oy vey

Or, as they say.

Bless their hearts,

Now we best pray.

For this pack,

Who clear as day

Have evidently

Lost their way.

 

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt: (un)pack

 

 

 

 

His Complex

N.juncifolius CarlosClusius250 1576

N. juncifolius, Carolus Clusius Rariorum stirpium 1576

 

He has a bit of complex,

Or lots more than

A bit.

A tremendous,

Big

Complex.

One that logic

He won’t allow

Beat.

Some believe

It’s destructively

Unique,

But in truth

It is just

Textbook

Case

Of the morbidly

Unfit.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Challenge: Complex in 41 words

 

 

On Thresholds

https://offmetro.com/ny/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Broadway-Under-the-Stars_The-Shops-at-Columbus-Circle-8-e1541423872470.jpg

Photo: Offmetro.com

 

A few hours ago I stood at the first floor indoor balcony of “The Shops” at the Time Warner complex, “Jingle Bells” playing softly in the background, and stared at the commotion on the street below. The traffic circle and the whole street was awash in red, white, and blue. Not of flags, but in emergency vehicles.

Behind me the shopping center continued its pre-holiday buzz, filled with the distinct hubbub of people at the ceremony of gawk and point, browse and purchase. The mall was festive. Large ornamental decorations hung from the ceiling, and the balcony’s railing attracted a steady stream of visitors keen to capture a photo for immediate uploading into social media. It was a lovely spot to take a photo in, and yet it surprised me how many of the people who approached the banister seemed not to register the events that were taking place right outside the very windows that framed their shot.

It was impossible to miss.

Or was it?

Perhaps the tourists, energetically set to mingle with the locals, assumed that a constant whine of fire-engines, ambulances, and NYPD in a mass of first responders’ flicker is part of everyday in New York City. And perhaps in many ways it indeed is … and I am the one inured to an ongoing level of it. Perhaps where the quantity outside had, for me, somehow shifted qualitatively from the mundane to the attention-getting … the flickering outside had long surpassed the visitors’ threshold and had moved them beyond a place of response …

I considered how this was representative of the way in which, in general, once a “Too-Much” level for something is reached, a further increase in magnitude of too-muchness can paradoxically fade into the woodwork, swallowed by saturation.

A gaggle of teens passed by me, loudly debating the level of celebrity of some pop artist and the likelihood of her responding to a social media message. I found myself thinking of how an aspiring celebrity’s fan mail may be eagerly read when it first comes, every letter representing an individual … but might turn into a mass measured by boxes or at most a quick count of envelopes by the time fan mail becomes too numerous to actually read. One would have to pull out a single letter from the avalanche in order to rediscover the real person who’d placed a bit of themselves into the message. Otherwise, the very same person’s letter would remain as unseen as the rest.

It was the way so many other things — or at the very least the individuality of them — became meaningless when turned to be too many to count or attend to.

A stubborn blare of a siren jarred me out of my reverie and I returned my eyes to the scene outside the window. A ladder was raised to a high floor on one of the ornamental buildings on the exclusive street ahead. As far as the eye could see, Central Park South was brighter and more colorful than the lights around a tree.

Smoke billowed. It was a different kind of column than the one exuded by steam vents in the streets or steam stacks in the roofs of buildings. Fire.

Someone’s home. Someone’s belongings. Someone’s person could be at the mercy of the flames, tittering between existing and being devoured. The safety of the emergency personnel, too.

In this city of millions, it was all of it real. It was all individually significant in its own way.

“Keep safe,” I breathed. “May whatever this is, not completely mar your day.”

 

 

[Click for a Citizen App video of today at that time. Thankfully, all are safe.]

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt: ‘ingle’

 

 

Reconsidered Romance

Photo prompt: © Dale Rogerson

 

It was better in the movie.

She’d slipped on the snow and had a wet imprint of her behind on her dress and a freezing spot in her lower back. His shoes got drenched when he’d stepped in a slush puddle, and generated awful squeaky sounds in every step. The benches needed deicing or they risked breaking their necks if they as much as tried to climb them, let alone jump around.

“I am sixteen, going on seventeen, and I’m going back inside,” she declared, teeth chattering.

“I am seventeen going on eighteen, and I’ll beat you to the house…”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

On Hands

cristian-newman-CeZypKDceQc-unsplash

Photo: Cristian Newman on Unsplash

 

To hug or to press

To hold and caress

To dismiss and impress,

To allow or forbid

To prevent or insist

To farewell and to greet,

To disrupt or respect

To allow or reject

To indulge or inspect,

To stop or invite

To instruct and ignite

To appease or incite,

To disarm and to heal

To pray and reveal:

Hands speak truth

Or conceal.

 

 

Inspired in part by Steve McMurry’s: Silent Language of Hands