Summers, like thick and lemony-sweet layers of cake, were slowly melting into each other. Being pushed down into remembrances somewhere southwest in her mind. He was the summer before – no, the one before that. The middle layer. This past one was the lightest and perhaps most delicious of all. But every new one does have its own flavor, a new reason_enough to like it best. The saccharine-sweet, sunny time from May to late September, unfinished until it snowed again. Sometime before Christmas it would be complete – a whole season added to the memory cake, snowed-over and frosted white. Even the top was covered and sealed, so it became a seemingly-finished confection. Not a work-in-progress, but a done deal. There. How nice. All relationships sealed-up and frosted-over on a plate together. Whole men, trapped into the layers of a lemony cake, somewhere in the southwest corner of her past.
I can’t listen to Cake, parts of Royksopp and Kings of Convenience, Damien Rice, Red House Painters, parts of Bright Eyes, Wolf Parade, Sagor & Swing, Unwed Sailor, and even a few songs from Regina Spektor without being reminded of things that make me melty and itchy and carbonated. There are more songs that I can’t listen to without feeling the tingliness, but I won’t know them until they come.
Songs are like smells, and some songs even smell.
Even if you’ve never heard a song before, it can match the sound of your magical childhood rituals and epiphanies without even trying. Sometimes this happens.
And sometimes you just go through a day, listening to whatever comes on the radio. Those days are different. Those days have round, plastic edges so you don’t hurt yourself. They are like other people.
The State News Article here.
How to Make a Delicious Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
*Assignment: Choose one of 3 topics, to be completed as soon as possible. I was in Cary, NC for a week of job interviews and essay-writing. It was fun.
Before you even reach for the peanut butter, you should stop the car. Pull over to the side of the road while you make your sandwich. There’s no point in dying behind the wheel for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The papers would read, “Found at the bottom of a ravine near Highway 77, the victim was found inside her car, covered in peanut butter and jelly. Officials concluded that there was no foul play, however, a knife covered in peanut butter was found near the scene of the accident.”
Under optimum conditions, you should be in the middle of a very long road trip to best enjoy your sandwich. If this is not possible, you may simply eat the sandwich in your parked car while pretending to be on a very long road trip.
Make yourself as hungry as possible by the time you finally eat your sandwich. That way, the peanut butter and jelly will taste as delicious as possible. Once the sandwich is made, you may want to place it on the dashboard of your vehicle for safekeeping as you merge back into traffic.
You may eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as often as necessary throughout your road trip. However, it is important to note that the first sandwich will always be the most delicious. Each consecutive sandwich becomes less satisfying. You should limit yourself to enjoying no more than two sandwiches per day, avoiding the risk of causing irreparable damage to your appetite for this delicious entrée.
Soft curls waved, floated over her face. She leaned in the open doorway, one leg resting behind the other, sweetly perched and framed. Embraced by the warmth of the inner chamber at her back, her senses begged at the vast, cool openness before her. Her eyes opened against a cool wind, singing quickly past her, smart and salty of the ocean. She drew on a thin cigarette, and streams of silk trailed from her lips to twist and mingle with determined breezes.
From a statically mellow record player, saxophones wept contentedly to soft bed sheets behind her. Sequined evening gowns lay sleepily over an elegant armchair, exhausted with pride.
A smile crossed her face, and her mind floated to the night’s extravagances. Men, parades of aristocratic specimens, had saturated her evening with long glances of adoration from within distant, staid conversations. She dismissed them with a flick of her cigarette.
It twirled and fell onto filthy concrete. Smoke rose silently from where it lay. She slowly lifted her eyes to focus on a paint-chipped cement wall, as the mechanical growl of a standard space heater came to life behind her. She turned around, and a small laptop from which a thin saxophone was humming glowing humbly. Turning the volume up, she closed the scratched, metal door to her parking booth. Looking ahead to see no cars approaching, she turned to her keyboard and occupied herself calmly to the listless, soft saxophone until her shift was finished.
Lake (click to download)
*Assignment: Write a 100-word story beginning with, “It was not the eggplant that started the fight, but rather, the wildebeest.”
It was not the eggplant that started the fight, but rather, the wildebeest. For a second, in remembering, she’d wonder whether starting the same argument every night was worth it. But, it always was.
He’d sit there, at the far end of a long dinner table, grinning almost sheepishly into his wildebeest. He’d have two sides of liverwurst, and tenderloins for dessert. Across the table, she’d glare incredulously between mouthfuls of broccoli and cabbage.
The eggplant would meet the side of his head with a heavy, purple thud. She snorted with laughter into every night’s plate of green peas.
If you are in Lansing tomorrow, November 4, 2007, there are many fun adventures you can have!
But you say, “No! I just want to wear my new fall jacket and my old warm scarf, and drink hot chocolate and eat gooseberries and fall foods! And I don’t want to deal with rules or laws or spending long autumn hours at a typewriter, for no reason. No! It’s Sunday and I want to have a SUNDAY. With leaves and woodland creatures and parcels wrapped in wool and twine, I want to eat squirrel casserole. I crave it! And a warm livingroom of blankets and hunting caps on the heads of warm friends, in from the fields of Lansing and beyond… I want to hear music!”
From the wildfires of Lansing, a bloody trumpet sounds this message…