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Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

  1. The Somebody I Became Wasn’t Me

    October 25, 2013 by Diane

     

    Vector illustration of retro illuminated Movie marquee Blank sign

    I wanted to be somebody. I wanted my name in lights: proof that I was somebody. And I made it. Oh boy did I make it…all the way to the top. But the marquee loomed up and there was something so public about it all. The paparazzi. The audience. The fans. I didn’t want the stares and the cameras and the tabloid photos of an aging woman. I wanted to jump off the edge of my world back into oblivion, because the somebody that everybody knew wasn’t me.

    But first, I needed to find the edge.

    Was it the boundary of Hollywood? The west coast? The east coast? The United States? Where in the world was the edge?

    I asked strangers: Do you know the way to the edge?

    Say, aren’t you…?

    I hid behind sunglasses and newspapers and double cappuccinos. I hid beneath the sheets, in the dimness of the afternoon shades drawn down, down, down—as down as down under, and how far down is that?

    Maybe Australia was the edge.

    I flew across the ocean.

    Hopped from continent to continent.

    Rode the trains, taxis, rickshaws. Sailed back to America.

    Nowhere did I find the edge.

    Columbus was right. There are no edges to the world.

    Except…

    Columbus hadn’t navigated the inner seas.

    It was time to travel inwards.

    I drove to a rocky outcropping along the California coast and dangled my legs over the side. There, among the cypress trees, I closed my eyes and felt myself breathe for the first time in a long time.

    This was home.

    This was me, the somebody that was always there.

    This moment was the edge.


  2. I Wanted to Be Something Grand

    October 21, 2013 by Diane

    beach, wave and footsteps at sunset time

    I could have been something, back in the day. Now I’m retired.

    From what?

    Odd jobs. Handyman.

    Not quite what our forefathers envisioned when they sat around that old nicked table forming plans for our vast country—all that uncharted land, all those unexplored shadows, those oceans wrapping the country in gentle waves.

    I wanted to be something grand, but somewhere along the line I went south instead of north, and then jogged west instead of east and wound up looking at my own reflection in the Pacific. And that’s where I found the bottom of my soul. There along the ocean’s edge. There, I pressed my hand to my heart and vowed that if I had made different choices, I would have had something to offer. But as it was, all I had was myself: my skin and bones and organs and blood and what scattered buckshot thoughts I managed to keep in my skull. Not enough.

    Not enough? Isn’t that what God gave you?

    A gift, all right.

    A gift worth preserving.


  3. Government Shutdown? Santa to the Rescue

    October 4, 2013 by Diane

    Santa Claus On Sledge recycled papercraft

    You better watch out when Santa takes action. And one October night in 2013, that’s exactly what he did.

    Santa was fed up with the politicians and their political bluster, claiming to know what every American citizen wanted. He was fed up with their shenanigans, swinging the country toward the fiscal cliff and then shutting the government down. Santa usually waited until Halloween to fatten himself up, but in 2013 he started early. He shook the moth balls from his red suit and polished his big black boots and practiced his ho ho hos and called the reindeers in from their reindeer games and notified the media, warning them that Christmas was coming early this year, and he asked the FAA to clear the skies, and then, skipping his customary whistle, he shouted “Now Dasher, Now Dancer…” but before he could finish, the reindeer surged upwards because they were fed up too.

    Santa plucked every politician from their beds and tossed them into the sleigh. He even roused Obama, letting him ride shotgun. And he carried them through the skies, the whole lot of them bickering and pushing and shoving and blaming and demanding to be let out. He dropped the Republicans in the blue states, and the Democrats in the red states, and he shoved Obama down Donald Trump’s chimney.

    Then Santa gathered up the homeless and the needy and the hungry senior citizens and all those kids who usually spend their days at Head Start and sent them down the chimneys of the wealthy. And he rounded up everyone who had ever been swindled by the banks too big to fail, and dropped them down the chimneys of the swindlers.

    And finally, he buzzed low over the museums and national parks, so low that his reindeer’s hooves clipped the barricades and knocked them all down. A father and son, camping in a parking lot outside the Grand Canyon instead of embarking on a three-week rafting vacation as planned, watched slack-jawed as Santa tipped a gloved hand in their direction before zooming away. They heard a hearty ho ho ho and then the faint jingle of bells and then nothing but their own astonished breathing.

    The next day the U.S. postal service delivered checks to the mailboxes of every furloughed worker, money that would have paid the salaries of every politican. And by the time those politicians returned to Capitol Hill via bus and taxi and train, some of them thumbing a ride, one of them walking the whole way in shoes that pinched tight, they discovered that their beloved aisle was gone. The chairs in both chambers had been uprooted and rearranged into two giant circles. In the center of one circle was a pile of every can that had been kicked down the road. And in the center of the other: a mound of reindeer droppings.