Eleven

Eleven stood up straight. Tall. Proud. Some of his friends were slouchy and slumpy. One legged. But not Eleven. Eleven was perfect, a matched set.

That’s why Eleven grew so jealous over the years. Why teach children to count to Ten? Surely they could see that Eleven was bigger, better. Why, Ten didn’t even have anything in the ones column. A void.

Eleven wanted to talk, to tell everyone about how important he was. But the only people who understood him were CPAs and they were SO boring.

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Let’s Dance

“The whole country is traumatized with grief,” she lamented. “COVID, opioids, gun violence. We should just all take a day to grieve.”

He look at her with a sly smile. Then he put a vinyl record on the phonograph and said, “Let’s dance.”

He forced her into a standing position, took her hand, and twirled her around the kitchen in her house slippers. When the next song began, they continued dancing. When the record was done, they were both smiling.

“Let’s get dressed and go for a walk,” she said.

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Insomnia

I have a cure for insomnia. It’s probably worth millions of dollars but I’m giving it to you free. It isn’t warm milk or chamomile tea. It’s list making. List stuff from your life like all your teachers or all the live music you’ve seen or all the Paul Newman movies you’ve watched.

Okay, it may not put you to sleep, but at least you’ll entertain yourself while you’re awake instead of worrying your way through the night.

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Summer memories

Remember summer when you were a kid? When a day seemed soooo long. Being inside looking at a screen hadn’t been invented yet. That meant being outside watching ants on the sidewalk and taking bike rides to the ice cream shop. That meant afternoons at the swimming pool. It meant helping hang laundry on an actual clothesline. It meant freedom. Things are less work than they used to be, but are they better?

Staying sane

I step outside,
The air is fresh,
There are strawberries for breakfast.

The sky is blue,
The doves offer encores,
It’s a good day to be alive.

Can I hold this moment,
This tiny thread of peace and joy,
In a world gone mad?

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The Best Of

Spring is coming on fast. It’s different everywhere. Here the wisteria and the lilacs and the forsythia all brighten up the place. The roadrunners make an appearance hurrying down the sidewalk. The wind blows so hard even a tiny spark can turn into a raging wildfire. But the best of spring is that it reminds you it’s good to be alive. It’s good to be outside in the sun where the air is fresh and the birds are singing. Wake up, world.

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The Dance

The Good Time Dance Hall had open sides and loud speakers. Very loud speakers. When it was time for a dance party in the village, the speakers attracted more than people to the party. If you were foolish enough to wander into the darkness you could see foxes, antelope, rabbits and maybe even a wolf or two dancing and prancing in a party of their own.

Most people didn’t know about the party crashers, but I did. I took my . . .

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What’s for breakfast?

“What’s for breakfast?” he asked. He strode into the kitchen fully dressed, briefcase in hand. The boys were at the counter eating what they always ate – cereal. Which he’d know if he ever paid the least bit of attention to anyone but himself.

“Belgian waffles with strawberries,” I answered.

“Ah, good,” he said. He grabbed the coffee I’d set out for him, gave me a peck on the cheek. “Have a good one,” he said, and he was gone.

Maybe I should increase the amount of slow acting poison I’m putting in his coffee. Faster is better.

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The Loud Speaker

Why are tiny people such loud speakers? They embarrass you in restaurants with their loud voices. They yell into the phone so you must move it away from your ear. They demand to be seen because they are shorter than all the normal speakers out there. “Hear me now!” they say in loud voices. “Hear me!”

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