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Archive for the ‘Manic Mondays’ Category

Ripping through the wrapping paper on the large square box. Corina found tissue paper inside of the package. She pulled the tissue paper out, patiently, carefully. Her father was watching. She hadn’t expected anything from him but now that she was finding only tissue paper, she had to wonder if he was getting back at her for not having invited him until the last minute. It hadn’t been her fault, though. Her mother had said that if Corina invited her father, she wouldn’t go so she had not invited him. Then five days before graduation, Corina’s mother called her to tell her that her father was very hurt to not have gotten an invitation and that Corina should invite him. If only she had not listened to her mother, she would not have ripped her father’s heart with the hurt of exclusion. Luckily, she had been able to find someone with an extra ticket for graduation and her father had been included.

Finally, Corina got through the tissue paper to find a pile of two dollar bills. When she was done counting them, there were fifty of them. Her father had managed to give her one hundred dollars for graduation and he had gone through the trouble of going to the bank to get crisp, new bills. She was glad she had been able to include him and not just because of the gift he had brought, but because he was her father and although their family had been ripped apart for years, she still loved him.

[This is a Manic Monday post; today’s word was RIP.]

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It was a Saturday night in December. I was about four years old. I wasn’t in kindergarten yet so I know I was no older than four. All of us, my brothers and sisters and parents, were sitting in the living room watching Godzilla. The lights were off in the room and we were scared. Godzilla was walking through the streets of Tokyo, destroying everything in sight. On TV, the ground was shaking. People were screaming.

Then, I realized that everything was shaking in our house. I looked up above onto the ceiling and realized that the light fixture was swinging from side to side. Just then, my mother realized it too and she screamed for us to go outside. We were having an earthquake!

Growing up in California, I grew up used to earthquakes. We have them all the time. After some time, you get to the point where you know the difference between a 3.0 and a 4.0 and if you really have one, you know when something is over 5.0. When we had the Whittier Narrows earthquake in southern California, I knew it had to be at least a 5.8 but bet it had been over 6.0. When all was said and done, it was reported as a 6.0 and eventually downgraded to a 5.9.

Then came the fateful morning of January 17, 1994. We were all awakened at 4:30 in the morning by the 6.7 magnitude earthquake. No one slept through that. At the time, I lived about 25 miles from the epicenter. That was the scariest natural disaster moment I have been through, even for a California girl, used to earthquakes. When all was said and done, over 50 people had died as a result of the earthquake and over 1200 were injured. Freeways and overpasses were damaged and closed to traffic until they could be repaired. In some instances, that took months.

Some of us are used to the quakes and have learned to live with them. They are not predictable, as are some storms. They just hit when they do. The best we can do is to have our supplies in order and be as prepared as we possibly can.

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Ordinary Things

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This week’s Manic Monday prompt word is WANT.  I offer you a poem…

 

Things I want
to do
with you

look at photo albums
walk in the night
share a meal
hold hands

Ordinary things
watch a movie
discuss the weather
take a trip to the store
share a lazy afternoon

Ordinary things
that we will

never  do

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Explosions

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How had it happened? Everything had been wonderful.  Or so it had seemed.  They had been together for several years.  Barbara avoided confrontations with Chuck; avoided contradicting him because she had once caught just a tiny glimpse of his temper and had not wanted to incur his wrath.

Barbara was fine with it.  She liked having him in her life.  She liked being seen with Chuck.  Barbara knew that her friends envied her.  So she was fine walking on tiptoes around him.  Until that day when it all fell apart.

They were in the car with Kerry and Bob, Chuck’s friends. They often went out together.  Chuck was driving and talking.  He took the wrong turn and didn’t realize it right away.  They were going to be late for their reservation and Barbara knew all four of them were really hungry so she told Chuck he had taken the wrong turn and he argued with her.  Barbara explained to him where the turn had been and what he’d done wrong.  That’s when he showed his explosive temper.  He called her a fuckin’ bitch.  Chuck blamed her for not having told him and for their lateness.  He blamed her for it all.  Barbara couldn’t believe it.  She tried to apologize but the words caught in her throat.  From the back seat, Kerry said it was okay, she and Bob weren’t that hungry.  They could go some place else.  But Chuck roared on and drove erratically.  He yelled at Barbara for crying and called her a big cry baby.  Then he turned to Kerry and told her it was probably because Barbara was on a diet and that she didn’t care if anyone else ate.   Chuck said Barbara was a fat cow and that’s why she had to diet.

When the car came to the next stop light, Barbara’s tears exploded and she threw the car door open, running out of the car and away from it, behind it so he couldn’t come after her without hitting the car behind him.  Barbara ran as fast as she could then ducked into a coffee shop where she asked the waitress if she could sit in the darkened room in the back.  The room that sat empty and unused.  Seeing Barbara’s state, the waitress agreed and pointed the way.  So Barbara sat back there sipping her coffee and thinking.  Thinking and admitting finally, that she was better off without Chuck.  She sat in the dark for a long, long time.

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