“I want it to be bright blue with accents of bright yellow.”
The painter set down two gallons of grey paint on the plastic covered floor. He stood up and gave her a long look. “We agreed on grey,” he finally said.
“I’ll pay for the extra paint,” she said. “I’m sure about this. It will remind me of Greece and sunshine.”
The painter didn’t have time for another delay, another trip to the paint store. This client was making him crazy. He wanted to punch her in the face. He wanted to pour grey paint down her throat. He stepped closer to her and couldn’t help the menace in his voice. “We agreed on grey,” he said again.
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. . . the dolphins led Charlie across the bay toward one of the smaller islands planted there. The locals called it ‘the slot’ because of a narrow fiord hidden from view. The opening into the slot was too small for a fishing boat and Charlie hadn’t been there in years.
He immediately saw a boat anchored near the small half-moon spit of sand that formed a beach. Above it was a cave. There was a big white tent at the cave’s entrance. As Charlie slowed to move onto the sandy landing, he saw a woman. She was blood soaked.
Charlie glanced around for other people as he ran toward the woman. . . .
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The morning chill hung in the air as Charlie’s boots thumped against the weathered wood of the dock. As he approached the boat he saw dolphins. They chittered at him and turned away. Then they came back and did it again.
It looked like they were saying, “Come here. Follow us.”
“What is this,” he muttered, “an episode of Lassie.”
But instead of climbing into his fishing boat he jumped in the small speedboat and slowly moved away from the dock. The dolphins gathered in front of him and darted away. He followed. . . .
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Folks who come by here are mostly regulars. At a time like this with illness taking so many people away each day, it’s a great pleasure to see the regulars come by and say hello. It’s nice to know you’re okay, you’re still kicking, you’re still writing. Keep writing.
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The first election I recall being aware of was Stevenson vs. Eisenhower back in the 1950s when I was in junior high. My parents liked Ike, but my friend Judy was adamant about Stevenson. The interesting thing to me back then was that she cared so much, thought it was so important. Now I realize why – Judy was Jewish and the election mattered to her in ways I didn’t understand then. Since I turned 21, I’ve voted in every election. Have you?
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“What’s that smell?” Dad asked. He dropped his briefcase and car keys.
“Hmm, I don’t know. I burned some pizza in the oven earlier when it dripped.”
“Come on, that isn’t burned anything except maybe pot. Are you smoking weed in my house? That’s grounds for eviction, buddy.”
“Naw, pop, I wouldn’t do that. We have a deal.”
“Okay, then explain the smell, smart boy.”
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Granny said S-H-I-T and spelled it out. She never said the actual word. Grannies were different then. Now they say everything just like the rest of the world, toddlers included. I recall the first time I said ‘shit’ out loud. I was in 7th grade, at the swimming pool. I was walking by myself and uttered the forbidden word to myself. It changed my life, saying that word out loud. Now I say everything just like the grannies and toddlers.
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I wrote just to say thanks for cooling things down a bit. I’m looking forward to what you’re going to do with the aspen trees up on the mountain and the cottonwood trees here in town. With the cool mornings, I want to thank you for bringing a few hot air balloons around. And, autumn, could you please make it safe to be in the world soon? I would be nice to get to hug someone again.
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I learned I could live on a deserted island during this pandemic. Provided I had plenty to eat. And assuming the place wasn’t full of hungry predators who were bigger than I am. Actually, maybe what I really learned is that I can be isolated in my comfy home for months at a time and not go stark raving mad. We writers have an advantage over the rest of the world. We are introverts. Another advantage is that we produce whole worlds in our imagination – so who needs anything outside the house?
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They say an attitude of gratitude makes you a more successful person. That you should count your blessings each night before going to sleep. Right now just being alive and disease free is a blessing. There is so much to worry about – our democracy, our planet, our jobs and livelihoods. It’s hard to remember to be thankful for anything. So lets stay safe, live through this, and bless the world with our wisdom as we recover.
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