Thursday, October 27, 2011

Poetry Woes

I bet you had onions for lunch,

I am not sure, it’s just a hunch.

So I offered you some gum

And now I feel dumb.

There you go, chomping away.

Why is it me that has to pay?

I bite my tongue,

Wish I was numb.

It annoys me a bunch,

How loud that you munch.

You sound like a horse

And I’m filled with remorse.

I gave you my last piece,

If only the flavor would cease.

The incessant noise;

Clearly you have no poise.

And as I sit

Trying not to have a fit,

I grit my teeth.

Never again will I give gum to Keith.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ways to Entertain Yourself When Your Flight is Delayed

1. Stand anxiously near a boarding flight and turn to one of the other passengers and say, "Don't get on the flight," seriously before looking around and walking away nervously.

2. Walk up to a random person and say in a hushed voice, "You will find the package taped under the tank lid of the commode in the 4th stall of the restroom. Be careful, we are not alone."

3. Use bourbon as a cologne and then sit next to someone waiting to board. When the pilot passes to board the plane turn to the man next to you and say, "You're so lucky! You must have the coolest pilot ever! I just spent a few hours chatting him up at [insert name of airport bar/restaurant] and he is just a hoot!"

4. Walk into the smoking lounge and say, "I bet you are all wondering why I have gathered you here," proceed with any announcement you would like.

5. If you have your laptop available, sit next to another passenger that is waiting for a flight and share all the recent crimes reports of the city they are about to go to and/or plane crashes from the company they are about to fly with.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Treasure Awaits

The pile of mail seemed overwhelming as I pulled it out of my little box in the mail room. I set the pile on the counter and double checked to make sure I had not dropped anything. As I started to sift through, tossing the junk mail that I did not need to trudge upstairs, a postmark from Boston caught my eye. I looked at the return address; the last name was my Grandmother’s maiden name and the first name sounded familiar. I racked my brain to try to remember the relation… third cousin, second? I placed the envelope on the top of the pile and headed up the six flights of stairs to my apartment. The high rise had two elevators but I had vowed to make healthier lifestyle choices as my New Year’s resolution and using the stairs was one of my choices. I had inadvertently lost 20lbs over the last eight months and was now smaller than when I had graduated high school eight years ago.

The six flights of stairs barely even winded me these days unless I was carrying up one too many bags of groceries. Tonight I almost went past my floor as I imagined what was inside the letter on top of my pile of mail. I was certain that it must contain bad news or at least a family secret, I honestly could not think of one positive that the envelope could contain. Questions overwhelmed me: Why did he write instead of call or e-mail? How did he get my address? How is he related? Why did my Grandmother, or whoever gave him this address, fail to mention that this estranged relative had asked about my contact information. By the time I got to my door I was no longer as concerned about the letter as I was about how easily this man had found where I live. I burst into the apartment so fast I startled my cockatoo who squawked at me impatiently as I rushed to my computer. I pulled up the internet and typed my name into Google, nothing. I leaned back, slightly relieved. Then the bird squawked again, bringing me out of my trance. I jumped up, mumbling my apologies to Saddie, my cockatoo, as I threw her a treat and retraced my steps to lock my front door and pick up the strange letter. I tore it open and read with apprehension:

Dearest Cousin,

I am sure this letter comes as a surprise, as we have not seen each other in some years. Our grandmothers are sisters but I’m afraid my location has prevented me from attending many of our family events over the years.

It is extremely pertinent that you make your way to Boston, I have enclosed plane tickets for a flight that leaves 72 hours after this arrives. I hope this gives you enough time to notify your employer and make any other necessary arrangements. I am sorry for the haste but the matter is extremely important.

There will be a chauffeur awaiting your arrival at Logan International.

Treasure Awaits,


The letter was handwritten and seemed to be more of a demand than a request. There was no number or contact information other than the tickets that were mentioned. I examined it and realized it was a one-way ticket and it was indeed for a flight that would leave in approximately 72 hours.

As the plane descended in Boston I had trouble coming to terms with the fact that this was real, I was not dreaming. I had taken vacation time and told my boss that it was a family emergency, and it might be. Thankfully a neighbor two floors up was willing to watch Saddie for me. My thoughts were interrupted by the flight attendant announcing our arrival; “Welcome to Boston, where the local time is 5:43 PM and it is currently 56°F,” my own thoughts drowned out the flight attendant as I thought, “and you may find buried treasure.”

Pumpkin Head

“Hey everyone, seeing as we are rarely all together like this I was hoping I could make a quick announcement.” The casual conversation simmers to a lull and all eyes focus on Janey who is wearing an old pair of overalls and a plain black t-shirt. She has a carving knife in one hand and a pumpkin with a very intricate design is set in front of her on the table but she has yet to puncture the surface. Janey turns slightly pale as the room focuses its attention on her and she proceeds with a little less confidence. “Every year we get together to carve pumpkins; some of us come to exercise our creative spirit and some of us come to take our daily frustrations out on inanimate objects, others are just here for the pumpkin ale…” The room laughs politely and eyes start to shift wondering why Janey has suddenly become an amateur comedian and where this announcement is going to lead. My eyes don’t shift away from the man to Janey’s right, Michael. Michael is Janey’s boyfriend of two years and the love of my life.

If you were to ask me a month ago I would have told you that I would never be the other woman and neither would any other self respecting woman; but sometimes life is a lot more complicated than that. Neither of us had planned it, we just both happened to be decompressing at the same bar one night. Nothing had happened and yet everything in my life has changed. Since that night there hasn’t been a day that I have gone without talking to Michael and rarely a moment that I have gone without thinking about him. We had shared intimate details and desires and secrets that we had never told anyone else. I was certain that Michael felt as strongly for me as I did for him but his situation was more complicated. It was not that he no longer cared for Janey, it was that after we had made such a strong and undeniable connection there was no way that what he had with Janey could even compare.

Janey and I could not be more different. You could compare our pumpkins and see that we have nothing in common. She is a free spirit, creative and imaginative and yet shy; I, on the other hand, am a total type A personality. I like to have a plan and I need structure. But at the same time I have honed a very charismatic personality that offsets the strict regime of my everyday life. I never expected that Michael and I would ever have so much in common, judging solely on the fact that he was with a girl like Janey. A month ago I would have told you I don’t believe in soul mates but now I want you to know that you should never stop searching until you find yours because there is no better feeling.

Honestly, when they arrived together I had been quite surprised. We had not discussed it much and I had certainly not asked Michael to leave her but it just seemed like that is where things were headed. I was pretty confused and went to work on my pumpkin right away to try distracting myself. The few times I had glanced at Michael he had seemed to be deep in thought and not aware of his surroundings at all. I hadn’t caught him looking in my direction at all since they arrived; this fact made my stomach churn as if I’d just been asked to deliver a public speech in just my undergarments. I felt like I was 14 again, which is every independent woman’s worst nightmare.

Now that the announcement had started Michael seemed at least slightly more aware of his surroundings. He slowly put his hand on Janey’s free hand that had been fiddling with the stem of the pumpkin in front of her. This gesture hurt me physically so I started to inspect my own pumpkin. I had already finished carving a very simple and traditional pumpkin and I raised it above my head to try to scrape the remaining guts out as Janey continued with her impromptu announcement.

“No matter what brings us back here every year I’m so grateful that we are all here. That we can all indulge our inner child, if only for the night. Michael and I would like to let everyone know that this is the last year that we will be coming…” My ears perked up and I looked at Michael, who was staring intently at the table in front of him with no signs of emotion or even life on his face. “To carve pumpkins alone, next year we will be bringing a brand new baby pumpkin of our own! I’m pregnant!”

As the last words sunk in I coughed and the pumpkin that I was still holding above my head slipped from my grasp and fell straight onto my head. No one noticed as the room converged onto Janey and Michael to express their congratulations. I could see through the mouth I had carved on the pumpkin and I saw that Michael’s grim glance was focused on me for the first time since he had arrived.

When things calmed down everyone realized that my head was in a pumpkin and it quickly became apparent that it was not by choice. A few of the friends that had been carving at my table scuffled back to help me. Some were making jokes about how an adult could get their head stuck in a pumpkin and that it was a good thing that I was not the one with child. And I started to wonder, what if I had let things become physical? What if I were the one with Michael’s child growing inside me? All I knew for sure was that I was glad that there was a pumpkin on my head so no one could read my emotions. And that is how I got my head stuck in a pumpkin.