Category Archives: Creative Writing

The Vault – Leaving It To The Experts

Note: this is part of a series of posts first written in my previous blog, now shut down.
(Original posting titled “Redefining My Status” – written 8/25/2011)

I did what I did, but would never do it again. This is why sometimes I dread dealing with the humans.

So I am heading to the grocery store one Sunday morning, which used to play 80’s music all the time and now sucks for many reasons (the store, not Sunday mornings), most of which are the fact that they don’t play 80’s music any more. But that helps.

There are a lot of old people around the co-op/apartment complexes I live usually, so an oldster sighting is not not common. There was one in particular shuffling by, but this was different. She was calling out “help! Help! Somebody please help me,” while holding her arms out in front of her as though her cane or walker was missing, and she was a step from falling. So me being part Superman, man of steel (I have some tight glutes) and because that void of the other part of me doesn’t want to be stagmatized with the status of “That dick who walked past an old lady who was crying out for help” by anyone who might be watching from their car or spy satellite, I detour my way to the path she is heading down.

As I caught up to her, I asked if she needed any help. She turned, grabbed my arm, and relayed her situation; she had to get to the building, which was about 30 feet away. Seeing as she was standing out there in the hot sun, I offer to walk her to the front door. She confesses to me that she’s old, and I appreciate the recon info – a passing thought wondered how many Bothans died getting that data. She’s rushing along and I tell her to take her time, and that we would walk up the ramp. She protested this, and proceeded to tell me that no, she needed to go to the corner, to catch a taxi/bus. I have the sudden creeping feeling this is not going to end well, as the bus stop is several blocks away and I pray to Jor-El that she meant an Access a Ride.

As I tell her that no taxi is around and that she would be better going home and calling them again, she gets agitated, refutes my illogical idea, and starts calling out for help again, but with me firmly in grip, making my status “Hoodlum/perhaps geriatric perv who (slowly) kidnaps old ladies”. Considering that people might actually be watching from their windows, which they do a lot of, I’m thinking of what aisle of the store I would be down already, listening to Ke$ha or something equally as dicksandpapering– and speaking of aisles, down this next path are benches! I suggest that we sit on the shaded benches and wait for this taxi, which she swears is here for her (the driver went into the building through the basement somehow and missed her).

She agrees, and my chances of being arrested for grannynapping are slightly reduced. I get her to the benches and reassure her that the taxi will be by soon. She feels better about this and so do I.

So I tell her that I have to go.

“You can’t leave me here! Help Help! Somebody help!”

So now I am “the dick who leaves old ladies on benches on hot days, even though I left her on a shady bench,” or better yet “guys who robs old ladies and then leaves them on a shady bench”. At this point, I’m willing to take that, since it’s at least a step up from “worthless son/daughter who doesn’t ensure that their elderly mother is properly attended, because that would be an expense and really they are just waiting for the parent to die so they can sell their house/condo/co-op”, which are a dime a dozen in this borough believe me. Fuckin’ believe me. Those people are in fact trumped by their very elders who are of the “I know you want the house and money and whatever else you think you deserve so I will stay alive just to spite you, you ungrateful bastard(s)”, which is why I kind of like the elderly around here, and come to their rescue when they stand around screaming for help.

Anyway…

So I look around and there are a few people around, incredibly, they are elderly as well. One of them is someone I recognize; “lady who walks around with an oxygen tank, and whose daughter smokes when taking walks with her mother, which would be really fucked up, except that the mother goes for her evening walks alone sometimes and hides behind parked buses/vans, unhooks the oxygen tank, and lights up a cigarette, so really big fucking deal.” Since I know her by this which practically makes us clan, I ask her in my suave, educated way “‘scuse me, do you know this lady? She needs help…or something.” The lady looks at me, and then to the woman and decides that she knew how to ask the questions, and the old lady seemed more relaxed. It’s a peer thing; maybe only a nurse would be the only type of person to know how to handle it.

So as they talk, the bubble is now around them and I, like a greased up ninja, slink away on my journey to the store.

To say that I would not approach a situation like this, I do not think that it should be criticized. There’s more to any deed than just being a good citizen; it’s about being capable of handling the situation – something I clearly could not do. While calling 911 or flagging down a police car might also seem heavy handed, I also clearly had no idea what the fuck to do with this lady. Being that it was the middle of the day, the bat signal would not have been effective either.

You know what they say – leave it to the superheros. I can imagine only the caped crusaders’ local 321 says that. Well, now I do too.

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Ketchup With Us #36 – Kitchen Up

Ms Mel and ODNT are giving you 10 minutes to write something, anything. Starting…now! Ketchup With Us

We all have talents. Writing, photography, drawing/painting, singing. Do we gravitate to what we are good at by trial and error, or do we go with the first thing that we get a sense of reward for?

One ‘talent’ I think it more of a necessity is cooking. What difference is there really between a gourmet chicken dinner and some spices simply sprinkled on and tossed into the oven? Comfort food is rarely difficult, but has the secret parts of preparation (not love…well ok BESIDES love, geez) that make it just right. Probably the reason why I refuse to eat Italian food at most locations.

My introduction to cooking started very young. I watched my parents cook while sitting in the kitchen area, as I wheeled small metal cars along the round white table. Typical Italian fare of course. As time went on I would be allowed to bread the cutlets, season the meat, I still recall handling the squishy ground beef for meatballs, or prepare the sides (usually instant from a box, or canned. Cranberry sauce a la Bart if you get the reference).

In my teenage years my parents were usually working later hours and so my sister and I were the ones who cooked for ourselves. We took the opportunity to mix and match dishes that only a teenage metabolism can appreciate – frozen pizzas and chicken strips, or everything deep fried at once! My passage into adulthood came when I found out Chef Boyardee was a real person who made more than Beefaroni. The innocence of childhood was gone.

In college I learned two things, first cookies. I gained a quick reputation of always having peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies in my backpack. A close friend advised that every woman’s weakness was peanut butter and chocolate. Back then I needed any edge, I had no swerve.

It was also the time that I would look at the way we had traditionally prepared everything and switched it up. There was resistance at first, but then scalloped potatoes do taste many, many times better when made fresh!

At this point, I rarely if ever buy cookies. I have a seafood bisque that soundly defeats any canned variety, and can make in 20 minutes with prep. In a pinch, a spoonful (or just a pinch) of curry can spice up anything, and a big handful of chocolate chips makes it sweeter.
dblch0ch33r
I admit this took slightly longer than 10 minutes with editing incomplete sentences, and finding that double chocolate & cherry brownie picture. 

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Filed under Cooking, Creative Writing, Food, Ketchup With Us, Life, Writing

Ketchup With Us #35 – Breaking the Bank

Ms Mel and ODNT want to know in 57 words or less, the last time you scored big! Ketchup With Us

Though being the “We have a winner!!!” on Mr G’s Friday Foolishness makes your week complete, and is only slightly edged out by winning the Friday night lottery drawing, I was reminded of this one from a while back…

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At a local fundraiser, there was a table selling pull- tab instant win tickets- ‘scratch offs’ without the scratch. So I buy a couple- in support! – and…jackpot! $50!

However they had just started and didn’t have that much cash yet, so they had to pay me from their own pockets. Only I can completely defeat “fund-raising”. 

 

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Trifextra 101 – Life 101

On to this week’s Trifextra challenge. This week we’re asking for 33 of your own words inspired by the following picture. If you use the picture on your blog, you MUST give proper attribution to the photographer by providing a link to the photo, not just to Trifecta. Failure to comply will eliminate you from the challenge.


Thomas Leuthard / Foter.com / CC BY

She’d watch everyone else come in through the semesters, the black elixir providing energy if not inspiration. Followed their progress, learned their drinks, and they moved on. Now it was her time…

“Break’s over.”

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Ketchup With Us #29 – Acts ‘n’ Dents

Ms Mel and ODNT want to know in 57 words or less, about your wierdestly1 obtained owwie2. Ketchup With Us

Considering I am a homebody nowhere near a daredevil, nothing too bad, although 65% of all injuries occur at home3.


Every time I burn my mouth on fresh, hot pizza.

I have sustained a cracked tooth from Halloween candy – three times.

Neck/ body injuries from concert crowdsurfing – specifically, people landing on me.

Whenever I fell for someone, stumbled over words, moved too fast or slow, dived right in without checking – every time, my heart got broken.


1not a word. Use it anyway!
2No they will not kiss and make it better, especially if you fell on your butt. Or bruised your lip.
3I made up that statistic. 43% of statistics are made up on the spot.

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Trifecta 99 – Babooksha

This week we are giving you a page from the Oxford English Dictionary. The ninety-ninth page, to be exact. (Click to enlarge.) From this page, you can choose any word, any definition, to use in your post. (Please type your chosen word in bold, so we know.) And instead of our typical 33-333 word limit, we are asking for 99 words exactly.
babushka


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When commuting, reading helps avoid eye contact. Though these days, e-books prevent you from seeing what others are reading, I still love paperbacks.

My subway line passes through Brighton Beach, and ‘little Odessa’, so there are usually some babushkas on the crowded trains, sometimes even wearing the namesake scarves. One day, I caught the eye of one, who smiled warmly at me and my copy of “The Brothers Karamazov.” Some weeks later, we ‘met’ again, but my expected approving glance was met with a steely gaze and deeply creased frown. Perhaps they felt no sympathy for ‘Sofia Petrovna’ plight…


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Filed under Books, Creative Writing, Life, Life in NYC, Reading, Trifecta Writing Challenge, Writing Challenges

Ketchup With Us #27 – I Got a Rock

Ms Mel and ODNT want to know in 57 words or less … what for you personally signals the coming of Fall?. Ketchup With Us

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As a kid, crunching every dry brown leaf – nature’s bubble pop.

In my college years, the Fall Classic, (starring the Yankees) from 1996-2001.

Then, spiced lattes, until that fateful unblinking day when they courteously supergraded my order.

Through each phase, one tradition remains – watching a young man pay his annual tribute to sincerity.

Keep the faith, Linus.

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