Friday, January 29, 2016

Week in Seven Words #276

They tell him not to take a swig from the hot sauce bottle. But how will he know what it's like for his tongue to catch fire? He compromises and shakes just a few drops into his mouth. Then buries his face in a pillow on the couch.

We're going to have an intense, pleasing conversation across a table covered in desserts. And afterwards, we won't bother keeping in touch.

Three winter-blasted souls. They're perched on a sofa, their eyes sharp and cold. When I nod 'hello,' they don't reply.

I'm like a suitcase. She drags me over to the window where I'll be out of the way.

The young child insists that the elevator's '5' button is really a 'B.' He points out curves and lines to support his argument.

Brown grass and bracken in the clean air of the hills.

After oral surgery, he tries a full sentence. All we hear is a groan that ends on a whine. There's probably a question mark at the end of the sentence.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Four Short Stories Featuring Trees

Title: Joshua Tree
Author: Emma Bull
Where I Read It: The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest

"My point is, sometimes truly crappy experiences have a crowbar effect on the rest of your life. Everything shakes loose. Then you can let it go back to the way it was, or you can step in and make something happen, something that might be permanent."
Tabetha Sikorsky is a teenager growing up in a desert town attached to a military base. It's a dead town, full of dead-end jobs and people who feel their lives have gone nowhere. Tabetha knows she might become one of them. Then a new girl shows up, and some interesting possibilities open up for Tabetha.

One night she's lost in the desert and in danger of dying. However, the night also becomes an opportunity for her to rediscover the weight and meaning of her life.
"But sometimes I can still have these moments of total happiness. And I feel as if every time I pretend to be happy, I'm scaring that real happiness off."
I like how she finds new vitality, taps into the wellspring of life, in a desert. And specifically, among the spiny, twisty, miraculous Joshua Trees.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Week in Seven Words #275

We don't know the stories of these rocks and trees. Pacts broken, glaciers retreating, branches stripped and gathered for firewood on desolate nights.

I walk from one bus stop to another. The bus never comes, so I keep walking.

Still feel the tingle of that cappuccino foam on my tongue. The most memorable cappuccino ever. I doubt I'll find coffee like it in local shops.

A clearing covered in short straggly grass. No trees grow there, because a few feet under the soil there's a building, ruined.

Statues on horseback among budding trees.

The cab driver trades complaints on speaker phone: siblings, girlfriends, friends, the physical pains of aging. At a red light, the man on the other end hangs up. The driver tips his head back against the seat and closes his eyes.

People get wheeled out to the crowd of tulips. Red, yellow, purple and white - so alive in their plot by the hospital.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Why Watch Seconds (1966)?

Title: Seconds
Director: John Frankenheimer
Language: English
Rating: R

With the help of a mysterious company, a middle-aged man fakes his own death and restarts his life elsewhere under a new identity. The company has provided him with a new home, a new profession, and even a younger-looking body (a result of plastic surgery and a regimen of exercise). They seem to be offering him everything he's ever wanted. But when he still can't find the happiness he thought he'd enjoy, he wants to start all over again. Poor fool.

Seconds poster.jpg
"Seconds poster". Via Wikipedia.

Why watch it?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week in Seven Words #274

The town is most memorable in its shades of blue: on walls, on signs, on balconies painted midnight. Also in the way its art galleries are strung together along narrow stone paths. Sculptures flow like melting wax. Painted bodies have been broken into basic geometric shapes, each a different color, some in shades of blue.

Every day she acts out painful, unexamined feelings from her childhood. Her behavior stirs up frustration and anger in other people, and in herself. Maybe these familiar emotions are comforting; they generate a lot of surface churn, deflecting attention from the deeper damage.

A peaceful stroll around a lake. The grass is riddled with abstract sculptures. Strange birds peck at the soil and slip into the water.

The coast changes its character along the way: golden sand and columns, a harbor shimmering in the heat, porous rocks pounded by the surf.

Bins brimming with nuts and candies, the air rich and sweet.

The apartment complex is like a small, intricate city. Perched on a hill overlooking empty fields, it's full of winding lanes, narrow doors, and rough stone walls that open onto hidden courtyards.

You get acquainted with their distinct personalities. There's the server who's everyone's favorite long lost son; he doles out soup with a smile and a self-deprecating joke. Another server makes motherly noises at you and gives you meatless bones that she claims are pieces of chicken. The cook is begrudgingly kind and clearly wishes she were elsewhere, maybe getting a pedicure or at home reading magazines and eating pickles.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week in Seven Words #273

Gray and pink light in the early morning. The trees stirring, birds in song.

Shades of cedar in the desert, umber and hickory. Cliffs the color of roasted sesame seeds.

The dark pink flowers form an arc from the wall to the cars parked on the curb.

He tries to tell a story, but his sentences wind up chasing words he can't remember.

People turning pink in the sun, their bodies stung with salt water. A burning cut on my leg. Cacti springing out of the salty dirt like coils of hair.

The song reminds her of her parents. She gives me the words to tuck into the back of my book and take with me home.

A woman rolls down her stockings and washes her feet in a reeking rest stop.