freeze frame

Two people.

A man.
And a woman.
Driving along.
In a racing green Jaguar.
A convertible.

He with his hair pulled back in a ponytail.
Loose strands whipping his face.

She with a brimmed red hat.
Tied under her chin.
Shading her porcelain skin.
Complementing her blue eyes.

The sun is shining.
A breeze is blowing.
As they drive along.
Down the wide open road.

Both laughing.

That image.
Is a memory.
I hold within my thoughts.

Of two people.

My dad.
And my mom.

Long ago.

Reality Bites Another Day, S1 E2

Today’s post is the flip side of yesterday’s post Reality Bites.

remote control

Anne, once again, plopped herself down on the overstuffed couch, tossed off her shoes, and turned on the TV. Another afternoon of Reality Bites to fulfill her guilty pleasure. That is, watch the five clueless (about the fact their lives are being recorded second by second, day after day) young college students talk about private matters and, hopefully, do yet another jaw dropping activity. Another day for Anne to lose herself into their world, escaping from her own.

As Anne watched the TV screen, the character named Carrie sat in a quiet corner talking on the phone with her boyfriend. Telling him things Anne was pretty sure Carrie wouldn’t be saying if she knew the world was listening in. As she was talking to him, Carrie was also holding a framed photo of her boyfriend. Admiring his shirtless torso.

What Carrie didn’t know was that a teeny tiny camera had been installed into the frame so that the TV audience was seeing a close-up of her dreamy face as she spoke to her lover.

Suddenly, Carrie pulled the frame away, then brought it right back, close to her face, making her features look magnified. “Whoa. That’s strange,” she began, speaking to her beau, and anyone watching the show, “but I have a freaky feeling that I’m being watched.”

She felt shaken. Odd. Like something was a bit off. Yet, she had no explanation as to why.

“Well,” her boyfriend laughed, “I hope not. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want anyone hearing what you plan on doing to me. Not that I’d mind!” He laughed, loud.

Anne was starring into Carrie’s eyes. All she could do was push her body further back into the couch, tensing all her muscles. She let out a deep, unexpected gasp.

Random Sleep


My eyes feel heavy, overworked, unable to function. They seem to be working overtime trying to stay open. My body tells me to give it up, lie down lady, lie down now. Close your tired eyes and rest.

Ah, yes. Rest.

My day is done. The hours of nurturing are over. It’s time to sleep.

My shoulders slump. I fall onto the bed. Onto my side. My head lands softly on the pillow. Blankets are gathered around, cocooning, warming me.

I sleep. For a moment. An hour. Half the night. Sometimes all night. I sleep enough, or not much at all, depending on how many night-noises invade my stupor.

The Best Thing I Learned From My Mom


One afternoon, not long after Rudy and I first met, we drove out to Los Angeles, to an old-fashioned house complete with antique furniture, old-time dishware, and original wooden floors. To the house where my mom was living, where she was caring for her aunt. Rudy remembers being very nervous about meeting my sweet mom for the first time, not sure what to expect. Not sure how his broken English would sound. After introductions, and an offering of cookies and coffee, my mom carefully began asking Rudy questions. Questions about his life growing up in Honduras and about why he came to the United States, by himself, at the tender age of nineteen. Rudy seemed to have forgotten that his speech sounded very foreign, as both he and my mom laughed throughout their gleeful conversation.

I watched with interest as my mom would look Rudy in the eye and ask a nonthreatening question, naturally providing a level of comfort for Rudy, who not too long before had been wringing his hands, feeling anxious. Rather, he felt comfortable, knowing my mom truly was interested in what he had to say, resulting in his talking much more than he expected. His fear had disappeared, replaced by animated stories. Simple everyday, growing-up stories. Question after question, and not once did Rudy feel that my mom was being nosy or overbearing. Like the way any mom might be when questioning the boy who is dating her daughter. She was simply interested in what he had to share.

I looked at my mom. Stared at her, a gentle smile on my face. It was then I realized that that’s how I am with people. I ask questions because I care, and I listen because I’m interested in what they have to say. The best thing I learned from my mom that day was how easy it is to communicate with others. To feel engaged, without being overbearing. I learned that if you show even a bit of interest in someone, look them in the eyes, truly listen to their words, and ask questions to allow them to expand on their previous response(s), people will talk.

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