Turtlenecks and Pearls


So, I was thinking about the most random thing earlier today. The idea of Hell and what I would consider to be completely miserable consumed a few minutes of my afternoon. You know, classic work thoughts. Turtlenecks quickly came to mind.

When I was younger, I was forced to wear them and I despised them. Still do—but I just don’t wear them! The last time I did try to wear one, I had to go home and change because I couldn’t stop tugging at the collar of that ridiculous, maroon mf’er. Into the trash it went. 

Generally, I am not what one would consider to be claustrophobic; I mostly prefer safe, enclosed environments. The idea of endless space and/or falling into the sky has always been frightening to me. Keep me grounded, please!

Anyway, I came to the conclusion that, if the damned are forced to wear uniforms in Hell, a turtleneck must be a component of the agonizing outfit. My train of thought took me back to a story one of my besties told me years ago…

One day, she decided to wear a string of pearls she had inherited from some family member. She was going out that night and the look just seemed right. The feeling did not last long—she found herself at a social gathering feeling choked by her glistening heirloom. What ensued was a certain sort of struggle.

She tried and tried to properly remove the necklace, but could not seem to subdue the bastard. After giving it her best shot, she finally seized hold of the sinister strangler and ripped it right off. Pearls broke loose and fell to the ground.

From the way she described the experience, I am confident she does not regret breaking the necklace and does not miss it at all. I can empathize—because of the turtlenecks. One person’s accessories and garments can truly be another person’s worst nightmare.

As I am typing, I can almost feel the devil’s hands around my neck.


Z

 

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To not. look. sad.

To not. look. sad.

You are always down
after she leaves
No need to be!
Soon enough, I am sure
you could choose to miss her
once again

She will return—
and then fly away—
again. again. & again.
So, at least, do try your
damnedest, you!
to not. look. sad.


Z

Under the Dust

Moultrie, GA

Under the Dust

We rode through the field
To get to the old barn—
A stack of antique windows
Would soon be ours!
The smile on Pa’s face
Gave us consent to feel free
To take a few pieces of the past
From his tobacco farm

We cautiously climbed over
Unsteady wood—piled high
Evading rusty nails and idle tools
To gather our handsome treasures 
 
A crack of thunder made us rush
To load up the truck 
We closed the barn doors and drove off
Leaving behind—
Just another memory
To settle under the dust


Z

 

 

25

25

Felt so great
To be alive
Dancing on tables
Reckless, but totally fine
Dreams that were planted
Grew strong in bright light
Confidently standing—
I was 25
Survival was pretty
Flowed just like water
Every little thing
Was going to be alright

If I could go back
And speak to me at 25
34 me would say:
Breathe it all in, man
Today is the day
Shake it and take it 
As much as you can
You can do anything
You’re only 25!
Just like I wanted
To say to 19 me—

When I was 25


Z

Google Maps to the Rescue

Somewhere in A’Dam

Earlier this week, I found myself drifting off in space. Just another one of those sudden occasions when I don’t purposely zone out but, rather, catch myself after the fact and wonder precisely how long I was away. Suffice it to say, I was not in the tiny town in which I currently reside during my respite.

Handsome buildings stand tall, lining either side of the streets, in many of my favorite cities. When I came back down to earth, I so yearned for my shoes to be frolicking down the sidewalk in one of these magical places, rather than resting on the dull carpet under my desk. The eye-catching sides of the buildings were calling my name. Louder so than usual. 

I started feeling uncomfortable and wondered how I could shake the feeling. So, I started Google searching (a common habit of mine) ways to stop missing a person, place, or thing. One of the suggestions I found was to not try to squash the feelings and to simply let them stay a while. Playing a certain song or finding the perfect station on Pandora, associated with the memories, was recommended. I took the advice. 

An idea shot in my brain — I can use Google Maps to look up a place where I would like to be and then zoom around from there. Like walking! I went to three locations in my cities. I so enjoyed meandering about, albeit digitally. Although the smells, sounds, and tastes were absent, I had the images right there in front of me. Just a click of the mouse and I was happier. 

The experience felt nice and helped me to be more in-the-moment. The walls of my room didn’t seem as painfully unlike the impressive buildings with the beautiful sides. A sadness lifted a bit. Although I can never be in more than one place at a time, there is comfort in knowing I can type in an address and at least see the places I am missing. Virtual bliss.


Z

By the Creek

By the Creek

Finished circling the drain
He released all his pain
To the ground he’d been seeking
To be horizontal
By the creek

The flowing of the water
Tickled his pointer finger
Thinking
I am not a salamander
It’s no wonder
I’m not squirming
Gonna listen to the sound—
I was here and laughing
Running, flying by
Just like time

A strike of lightning
In a darkened sky
Sudden falling of rain
He found no need for rushing
At the moment
Regardless of weather
Here was the best place
He could ever be

A beetle scurried up
His bare foot—makeshift bridge
Sought the imminent safety
Of the bottom of a rock

Quite a scene to be seen
There spread out
Upon the ground

Soaking wet, simply loving
The reflections on the stream
Head rested upon his shoulder
He lay there
By the creek


Z