haiku for the day: stories

Every car has a story. Or maybe many stories. There’s the story of the car itself. How the car came to be in the possession of the driver. Then there’s the story of the driver and what the heck are they doing next to you in traffic. If there’s passengers, there are more stories.

Perhaps the driver turns to the passenger next to him and says, “So, you’re not going to marry me?” She might say, “You bet your sweet booty I won’t marry you.” “Then why are we still dating?” “I thought you might win the lottery.” The car is thinking, “Ha. Him win the lottery. He’s got worse luck than Louis XVI.” In case, you didn’t know. Louis XVI was Marie Antoinette’s cake-eating husband.

man in the next car
stopped at an intersection
it’s his turn to go

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The Woman in the Park

From her bench in the park, the woman looked into the camera. It was not a stare, just a look. History stamped her face with all its sorrows and its joys.

Her hair now turned grey and thinned was once a full and a solid auburn. In those days, it hung down to her waist. Her forehead wrinkled, her skin now tough from all those days she spent in the sun. Her temple carried a large splotch of yellow. Her eyelashes had thinned like her hair. Only her left ear heard the sounds of the world around her. Both her eyes were a deep blue and she was blind in the right one.

A mole rested just above her lips. Her nose slightly bent from a break in her youth. Her left nostril was slightly bigger than her right one. Her chin was small but so was her mouth. She reached up and stroked her jaw as if she were remembering some long-ago boyfriend who kissed her cheek, then that small Southern mouth. She had been loved once. And that was all that matter to her. Her name was Sara and she had once been happy.

She smiled at the photographer. He snapped her picture, thanked her and walked away. They were two strangers who had encountered each on a Saturday afternoon in the park.

He went off to photograph others. Sometime later he decided he wanted to tell her something. Sara was gone from the bench.

The next morning Sara’s daughter, Margaret, found her mother dead in her bed, a peace on her face, a smile on her lips. That last photograph had been the gravy on the mashed potatoes. Somewhere someone would see the picture, maybe hundreds of someones, and they would love that face as the photographer had.

To all my followers out there…

In the next several days, we Floridians will be experiencing some rough weather. Hurricane Irma is headed our way. We will survive. We’ve been through hurricanes before. But this one does look different. Keep us in  your thoughts and prayers.

Just so you know I have scheduled posts through the next several weeks as I always do. On the other side of Irma, I will do a post about my experience with this hurricane.

I love you guys. Thank you for sticking with me. You are the best.

Here’s a waiting-for-the-storm haiku:

I am a manly
man who can withstand all things.
‘Cept hurricanes. Help!

Uncle Bardie.

Picture-taking

The woman sat on a bench in the park. She worked on her journal.

Just behind and above her was a statue of a man, lauding the benefits of birding. His feet rested on her shoulders. His hands held a pair of binoculars to his eyes. Several birds rested on his bronze shoulders.

The woman glanced up. A photographer pointed his camera at her. She went back to jotting in her journal. “He’s taking my picture again. This is the third time.”

Tom was not a professional photographer. He liked snapping pictures as he roamed the city on his day off. “Why doesn’t she move out of the way so I can get a clear shot of the statue?” He moved a little to his left.

She continued her journal entry: “He must think I’d make a good model. I think so too.”

To avoid her, Tom moved around to the side of the statue. She stood up and moved back into his lens vision. He moved again. She moved too. This happened several times. Every time Tom changed his lens viewpoint, the woman changed her location. “Get the hell out of the way,” he thought. There was anger in his thoughts. Then, in resignation, he dropped the camera to his chest and walked away.

Journal entry: “I don’t want to be pushy but I just have to know. Does he plan on publishing my photograph?”

The woman went after Tom. Tom knew he was being followed, so he turned the corner and hurried into a hotel and hid behind the curtains. As she walked through the door, he noticed how interesting her face looked. Hmmm. He snapped several pictures. Then she was out the door. He rushed after her and out the hotel door. She was gone.

The Uglies

Let’s face it. We all have a bit of the Uglies in us. When I say Uglies, I mean Ug-a-lug-lies.

From time to time, those Uglies have to burst loose. There’s no two ways about it. Oh, sure. Later we’ll do a Flip Wilson and say, “The devil made me do it.” That’s ‘cause we’re embarrassed we let our dumbass show.

When we see others do the Uglies, we don’t let them off the hook that easy. We want them to get their just desserts. Either that or some of that instant karma John Lennon sang about.

This goes even more so for fairy tales. We want the Wicked Witch of the West to melt. We want the mirror to shatter on the Wicked Queen. She wanted Mr. Mirror to give her the fake news that she was the fairest in the land. We want He-who-must-not-be-named to have his name stamped on his rear-end. And not just stamped. Branded. Ouch! That’s got to hurt.

Nowhere along the way do we consider that they may not be villains and that they might have a bad case of the Uglies themselves. If we give them a chance, those Uglies might wear off and these folks might turn out to be decent human beings. Who is to say that Harry Potter didn’t have a very good press agent. Once Voldemort was branded with that He-who-must-not-named label, there was no getting off scot free for him.

It may be that Humpty Dumpty woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Or that the king had the Uglies and pushed Humpty off the wall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put the Dump back into Humpty Dumpty. At least, that’s what the king told the press. And we know the reason the Chicken crossed the road. She was run out of Dodge with her own set of Uglies.

Consider the Cinderella story. We want Cinderella’s wicked step mom to lose. And not just loose, but loose big time. After all, her daughters are real works of art. They’re haughty and persnickety. In fact, that’s their names, Haughty and Persnickety. And Step Mom is not interested in love. She’s only interested in the cash. Bet you’d kick the romantic out of your head if you were as poor as a dormouse and had four mouths to feed.

Let’s just consider Step Mom’s side of things. She marries a guy because he’s got a steady job. Her first husband ran off with the Spoon. He left her with two daughters who were always crying, “Feed me.” She met Cyndi’s dad at the local Parents Without Partners. They hit it off. Before you can say Abracadabra, they did a Vegas and wallah! Problem solved. Then Dad had to go and get himself hit by a truck. Of course, he didn’t have any life insurance. The only income Step Mom had coming in was the alimony payments from her first husband.

Since the girls were about to turn eighteen, Step Mom had to find a new source of income. She got herself a real estate agent certification and started flipping houses. Six months later, the floor fell out of the housing market. About that time, both of her daughters needed glasses.

On top of everything else, Cyndi was a handful with her “just wait till I tell my uncle” attitude. What was a mother to do? This was reason enough for Step Mom to let her Uglies burst lose. There was a ball and she was darned sure that one of her daughters was going to hook up with the prince. Come hell or highwater. And under no condition was she going to allow Cyndi to take their shine away.

For every nickel with a heads, there’s a tails to be considered. After all, it was a rich man who said, “Money can’t buy happiness.” The same fellow who said, “In God we trust. All others pay cash.”

If it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it still may not be a duck. It may be an actor who takes his role as a duck seriously. What else can you expect from a method actor? You never know what a person is going through when they are acting out their Uglies.

And, for God’s sake, do not, under any condition, allow your Uglies to burst through the dam. Best thing is to get ready to duck. That guy, who passed you three seconds ago, may have stolen a leprechaun’s pot of gold. The lep is trying to run him down. If you chase him, you may regret it. He could burst your windshield or run you down.

Either that or he has a gub. “A gub?” you ask. “What’s a gub?” That is a whole ‘nother story.