Our Only Constant is Change

I attended a training session on how to make myself marketable for a new job venture at the university that I’ve worked at for the last 25 years. Basically, the ‘instructor’ wanted me to market myself as a product. Like a gym shoe made by Nike. A car for Motor Company. Or  a new formula type of soda made by Coca Cola. I was shocked. Here I am, a human, being told to liken myself to an object. As you all know, that’s not me. I am very flawed individual. I’ve  shared that fact with all of you on many, many occasions.

One of the things they told us to do was change our privacy settings on Facebook. Basically hide who and what we really are. In my mind, I stomped my feet like the insolent child I am, and adamantly opposed doing so. It didn’t matter that no one in the room knew of my rebellion. I did, and that was all that mattered. I’m an author, and I have to write. I want my words read. And felt. And shared. So the setting stayed public.

At our break, I met a fellow employee that I had corresponded with over email and the phone. We hugged and laughed. And talked way too loud. We were then shushed by the ‘instructor’. I nearly lost my ever loving mind. I wanted to say ‘fuck you’, I’m talking to a human being and I don’t have to take your shit. My colleague and I stared at each other in disbelief. She shrugged her shoulders. Everything was changing around us. How we ‘marketed’ ourselves. Our jobs. Our lives. Even the interview process was going to be sterilized for us.

In retaliation to the shushing, I hugged my colleague again. Once seated, I jokingly told the ‘instructor’ we were colleagues that had never met. She looked at me coolly and said, ‘isn’t that nice.’ No smile. No warmth. Barely an acknowledgement that we were all going through incredible changes. She was a consultant and clearly didn’t give a shit. All she was focused on was getting through the workbook that we were working on.

I sat through the rest of the ‘workshop’. At the end, I silently left the conference room. Never looked up at the ‘instructor. I just kept my head down and walked out. And vowed that I would not attend another ‘class’. I did jump through the hoops of the resume and interview process. I waited patiently to find out if I’d been promoted. I guess 25 years of experience and supervising employees for 15 years results in a lateral move. I wouldn’t be supervising anyone. I couldn’t believe it! After a week of knowing my fate, I’m still struggling with the decision they made.

Now, I’m on extended sick leave until at least the middle of June. A major car accident and lengthy recovery reminded me that impulsiveness is a very, very bad thing. I know I have a job when I return. I’ll be back at my beloved faculty and staff at the SSW. For how long, I’m unsure. I’ve rediscovered yet again, that change is the only constant in our lives.

If I have to move to a new location that’s fine. It’s closer to where I live. I’ll walk to work.  I can’t wait to see my colleague from the ‘workshop’ we attended. I’ll give her tons of hugs, and talk too loud. You see, these folks at my new place of employment have no idea what they’re in for when I finally settle in. No idea at all. I’m a leader, not a follower. I have big plans, and they don’t include sitting in a cubicle till I retire. I’ll do it, for the pay.

But my heart, ah yes, my heart, it will be living for another place altogether. It will be in the country on a blanket spread out in the backyard. French Bulldog lying in my lap. Pen and notebook in my hand. Flowers in my hair. And dirty bare feet. Yep, that’s where my heart will be….

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Friday Fictioneers-The Solo Trip

Copyright-D LoveringNot all who wander are lost.-J.R.R. Tolkein

Miranda had been promising herself a solo trip. Her mother worried she’d get lonely, or worse, mugged. What mother failed to realize was Miranda savored her time alone.

Wandering the winding streets of cobblestone, she found a coffee shop and purchased a cup. Greeted with sounds of the village coming alive, she continued her stroll.

It took forever to get here. A debilitating accident. A slow recovery. Now there was chronic pain.

In the village square she was surrounded by tinsel glimmering in the sun. It lit her blonde hair and warmed her skin.

Finally, she was a soul at peace.

100 words/Genre: general fiction

Thank you  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers. It is an honor and a privilege to have Ms. Rochelle critique my work. Please be sure to go to her page and read their stories too. We are a rather eclectic group and the genres run the gamut.

I welcome kudos and criticism. Happy reading.

100 Word Song-I’m Shaking

This is my first attempt at the 100 Word Song prompt sponsored by My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog. I’m not sure how well I did, but what came out of me was pretty damn hot. Damon and Rhiannon are recurring characters that I write about. If you ever wondered why they love each other so much, I guess now their secret is revealed. There will still be stories of romance. Maybe there will be a continuation of this storyline. But probably not. I don’t want to reveal too much about them. These characters in some way, shape and form are real. And they’re all mine.

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Damon placed the rope around Rhiannon’s wrists gently and tied her down. He never wanted to restrain her legs. Placing his hand under her chin, he kissed her. Her lips quivered as she begged for more. The sadist in him pulled away, delighting in her torment. There she lay naked, ready for him to do what he wanted. His heart softened with his love for her, as his cock became more turgid.

As he began to take her he whispered, ‘I love you Rhiannon.’

Shaking with desire and the hope of satiation she replied, ‘Daddy, make me your good girl.’

 

 

Robot-Badge

 

Convergence

Star Friends

 

They converged on my humble abode with dark roast coffee laced with cream, two packets of Sweet and Low and birthday wishes. There was birthday cake, candles and paper plates bearing the face of a goofy faced Easter Bunny. After all it is that time of the year.  That of renewal, and the promise of springtime. One of them apologized for the plates, but I told her they were perfect. One of them brought her children. Two little people that we placed all of our focus on and laughed uproariously at.

I talked to the littles about my broken ankle that had been rebuilt by surgeons and even showed them the secret window that had been sawed into my cast. The youngest one touched my skin and asked, ‘can you feel that?” I stated, “yes I can, and I can even wiggle my toes.” He giggled from the bottom of his toes, which made me do the same. My sweet friends sang to me and fed me chocolate cake drizzled with caramel (my very favorite by the way).

My five friends did their best to take care of me. Whether it was with cake, coffee, pulling laundry from the dryer, sweeping my kitchen floor or getting me a glass of water. After they left I raised my voice to God, telling Him how blessed I know my life is. I felt joy. Not only for them, but for my children and an ex-husband that I will always have a connection with. For my mother, my sister, my brother in law, my friends and all of the ‘other’ children I’ve come to love in the last 46 years of my life.

Life is good when you realize that we must strive for joy, not happiness. Happiness is fleeting. Only joy stays with us forever. A semi-famous writer told me that, and I do believe he is right.

46 years on this planet and I pray for 46 more. As long as I’m not peeing in plants. If I start doing that, take me in the backyard behind the garage and put me down.

Thank you to my five friends and the two littles. You all made my birthday.

The Bloody Shoe

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Maya Angelou

 

I arrived home to my little apartment in the college town that I live in. The air was sweet with the scent of mud and springtime. I opened my sliding glass door to welcome the gentle breeze that would send those wonderful scents inside, allowing the smell of kitty urine to dissipate. For a short time, till I could get on the floor and scrub away the anger that Cinders felt because I left her for three weeks.

My ex-husband continuing to be the good man that he is, brought me home from the rehabilitation center that I’d been residing in for the last 17 days. I was recuperating from a major auto accident that left my ankle shattered but my resolve steely. On March 12, I decided to go buy gas before I went to bed. Knowing the temperature was going to drop, I headed into the night. I didn’t realize that it would be a fateful decision, one that I will grapple with understanding for the rest of my life. It changed everything. Everything.

I scooted around in my new friend, a kick ass wheelchair. I figured I better get used to it since I was going to be using it for at least the next three months or more. I’m recovering from a shattered ankle and reconstructive surgery along with two bone grafts thrown in. When I do it, I do it up good! Cue more rolling around on carpet and trying to get re-acclimated to my domicile. Cinders, the devil kitty mewed like she was in heat. I guess she missed me, but when I rolled up to her, she backed away and showed me her ass.

Roger helped me start putting things away, all the while admonishing me not to do too much. He was my partner for almost 25 years, and he knows me all too well. He went to grocery shop, and I set my sights on emptying bags. And putting things back where they belong. Wiping down kitchen counters with bleach and going through mail. Cinders kept observing me from afar but her curiosity got the best of her and she sidled up against my leg. The one with the cast, because, well, I needed cat hair to adhere to it.

Laura buzzed my door and I popped up to press the button to let her in. Chalk one up for old one leg, I could buzz people in through the apartment security door. Woohoo! She was so excited to be my first visitor. We hugged and chatted, both of us fucking around with our phones and catching the score of the Tigers game. That’s one of my goals this season is to watch the Tigers and enjoy doing so. It’s easy to do when they have a pitcher as hot as Verlander. Damn!

Roger returned from grocery shopping and we put things away, together. I’m determined to live independently and that means putting away groceries. After that task was done, I started emptying the box of shit from my car. Gloves, umbrellas, hats, and other odds and ends were put away in the coat closet. There are no immediate plans to buy a new car. I can’t drive for at least three months anyway.

Then I found the bloody shoe. It was the one I was wearing when I collided with a bus on a slippery surface street at a railroad track. There was a bloody sock too, but it didn’t effect me quite the way that damn shoe did. My blood was soaked into it, along with other flecks of gore. I was mesmerized by it. I contemplated saving it. I had just bought them, for 25 % off no less. Roger and Laura with all of the their R.N. empathy told me to get over it and throw the damn thing out. I laughed with them, but decided to keep it. For now, anyway.

I wanted to keep it to remind me that life can turn on a dime. An impulse. Or even a decision to go buy gas on a night when there’s been a blizzard, because OMFG I need gas right now. I’ll throw it away eventually. Probably when the cast comes off for good. Or, worst case scenario, when the doctor tells me that I’m going to have my ankle fused after my fourth invasive surgery. I pray for the former, but I’m trying to prepare for the latter.

That bloody shoe reminds me to be less impulsive. It also reminds me that it could have been worse. Much, much worse.

Friday Fictioneers-Freedom in the Forest

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACopyright-John Dixon

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.-John Burroughs

‘There is freedom in the forest, not afforded in any city.’ Damon had told her that, but Rhiannon didn’t believe it. Until she slept next to him under the stars last night, a bonfire warming their bones.

She requested a vacation together. The Caribbean Sea and a hotel on the beach. He asked for something simpler, purer. With some trepidation she consented.

Now here she was, seated before a fire she’d made, sipping coffee. The sun rose through the trees, painting Damon’s sleeping face with the colors of morning. Heart brimming with love, she went to him.

100 words/Genre: romance and nature (I guess)

Thank you  Rochelle Wisoff-Fieldsfor hosting Friday Fictioneers. It is an honor and a privilege to have Ms. Rochelle critique my work. Please be sure to go to her page and read their stories too. We are a rather eclectic group and the genres run the gamut.

I welcome kudos and criticism. Happy reading.

The Woman in the Room (Inspired by Stephen King)

“You want to remember that while you’re judging the book, the book is also judging you.”
Stephen King, Night Shift

She sleeps a mere ten feet away from me, in a rehabilitation center set atop a little bluff in a busy college town. The walls of our room are painted a celery green. They’re not unpleasant looking, but they don’t wow me much either. The color of the walls are muted, but the drapes are another story. Though washed in earth tones, the design ‘pops’. Little circles of brown connect large dots of sage and spinach. I can’t say I’d have them hanging in my house but I’m sure the designer was going for neutrality and comfort when they designed the place.

I lie in bed, my foot propped up on a cushion. I’ll be this way for at least twelve weeks, then with a little luck and a lot of prayers, I’ll go back to a semi-normal life, though I may never run or dance again. That’s a story for another day though. Today it’s about her, my roommate. An elderly woman, hard of hearing and dealing with dementia.

While I recover, I keep reverting to the short story by Stephen King, The Woman in the Room. It’s an agonizing story about a mother with terminal cancer and the son that takes care of her. The decisions that she and her son come to throughout will make you question your morals and ethics. I surmise that it’s because I’m the youngest person here, single and due to a serious injury unable to care of myself completely yet.

Thick white hair adorns her head and covers her shoulders. She has a smile that must have charmed a few men when she was in her prime. Her hands are gnarled, yet dainty.

“Hi there,” I called out brightly from my adjustable bed, our first morning together.

“Hey,” she yelled. “I’m E, and I broke my back.”

“Oh my Dear, I broke my ankle and had it reconstructed,”  I announced.

This little woman yelled back, loud enough to drone out the throbbing sound of a diesel truck, “I’m hard of hearing and I can’t hear a word you say!”

With effort and my walker I hopped over to her and repeated what I said. She smiled and shook her head, but I know she still didn’t comprehend one word. Right before me she transformed into my Grandmas N, H, G and B. Four fine women that were more than wives, mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers. They were women once. The kind that charmed. The kind that felt fear. The kind that felt everything we women have felt throughout our lives. Sexy, desirable, exhausted, even dead inside.

My Grandmas all battled growing older, while I battled my emotions watching them deteriorate and eventually surrender. They died at different stages in my life. A young adolescent girl, a teenager, a young wife and mother, and a wife and mother of teenage children. Each of their deaths effected me differently. At my youngest, it was barely a blip on my radar, at my oldest, gut wrenching.

Miss Cotton Hair had to be assisted with all aspects of self-care. Teeth brushing, toileting, washing, and dressing. Those are things we take for granted, and here I am doing them on one leg. The staff here are sweet but not too sugary. They do their job with tender loving care. We shared breakfast on that first day. I tried to chat, but she could not hear for shit. We communicated with smiles, and she ate everything on her plate.

Throughout the day she carried on conversations with herself. Sometimes with her children who weren’t there. She moaned and cried out because of her injury. She did physical therapy like a trooper, yet after she had her clothes changed she was convinced her son was coming to pick her up. To take her home. He wasn’t. He did come and visit that evening.  His conversation skimmed the surface. He didn’t ask much about her care. Or how she felt. It unnerved me. That woman bore him, the least he could do is ask her how she was being treated.

Don’t get me wrong, not all humans should be parents. There are some kids that have had enough, dealing with the neuroses and self-destruction of their parents. They must preserve their own hearts and sanity. They must put up barriers to protect themselves. I don’t believe that’s the case with sweet and confused Miss Cotton Hair. I’m guessing that the son only sees her in one role, that of mother.

He read her the paper. Talked about his life. The kids and wife. She’d respond, but he didn’t acknowledge the weight of her replies. Didn’t ask her about any of her life stories that will die when she does. Stories of how she danced all night and drank champagne with a young soldier on New Years Eve. The first time she fell in love. What her 13th summer was like. How it felt to kiss her husband at their wedding. What it was like the first time she had sex. What her biggest fear is.

Inside the shell of the old woman beats the heart of a girl. One that used to giggle and flirt. Or sipped soda from a straw in a small town soda fountain. That collected lightning bugs in jars and danced in the grass on a sultry summer night amid sheets still damp from the humidity.

Remember, we will all be there one day. We’ll be old. If we get lucky that is. Stay strong and healthy but have fun. Share your stories with your kids whether they want to hear them or not. Listen to your parent’s stories too. LISTEN! Even if they’ve never left their home town, they have lived. We need to know more. We need to know that they are a man or woman. That they are a dignified, passionate, strong and weak human.

Lucy, You Got Some ‘Splaining to Do

Lucille Ball

“I’m not funny. What I am is brave.”-Lucille Ball

**Special thanks to Adam at TheChowderHead.com for the sexy-ass banner design. I don’t know how he did it, but he captured my personality perfectly. You can see every aspect of my life and desires in that banner. How he did so without us meeting face to face, I’ll never know. Sure, he’s a funny one, but I’m beginning to see he’s a dude with depth.

So yeah, about giving up the blog thing, I lied. I don’t know if it was indeed a lie. I think I was just, tired. And pretty fucking uninspired. 

I found my ‘fire’ as my brother in arms, Rory puts it, at The Bus Stop.

And from a little book by John Green titled, “Looking for Alaska.” As I was reading the inner monologue of the main character Pudge, I realized that though the verbiage was simple, the story was complex. I came to the realization that even I could write a book like this. Hell I’ve written stories like it, why not go for it all??!! But that’s when the fear comes in. That tickle of doubt that slides across your heart. Making it cold, and thrum against your ribs. Then the voices begin. You know the ones. Those that have told you your whole life that you’re not good enough.

You must understand that I’m terribly afraid that once I get started writing a book, I won’t stop. That I will forget to eat, sleep, bathe, or even breathe….. I do tend to get a tad, shall we say, passionate. I have a day job. I gotta work, because I’m taking care of myself now. I’m all I’ve got.

My erotic writing will continue under a pen name. No, I won’t tell you what it is. If you find her and read her work, I don’t want you to know it’s me. I need the freedom to write as I wish. My muse is wild, free, and very sexual. Yet broken. Even more broken than I will ever admit on my Rendezvous page.

Romance belongs here. Stories of inspiration belong here. Flash fiction too. Observational stories about fellow humans belong here. Comedy, sarcasm and the word fuck belong here. With romance, comes depictions of want. I’m good with that, because I’m no one trick pony when it comes to writing. I believe all stories, no matter the genre are about that word-want.

I’m a word whore, and this is what I was born to do. It’s who I am. It’s time for this word whore to make a plan. To quit flying by the seat of her pants. Time for me to write my Looking for Alaska.

Love,

A silly and hopeful, and ultimately brave Rendezvous Girl

When We Were Young

When we were young.

We thought we knew so much didn’t we?

Our young brains could only comprehended the present.

We never thought of the future and what we’d be like when we were middle aged.

Now, we are no longer children, yet our hearts are childlike.

We are less stodgy than our parents were at this time in their lives.

At least we hope we are.

We think about the future.

About our children all grown up and moved away.

Living lives we’ll know only a smidgen of.

We think about retirement.

Maybe, we’ll live somewhere warm in the winter months.

Yet we live with that niggling fear that we’ll miss out on being groovy grandparents.

We’re no longer young, and that’s okay.

I’ve the feeling that what’s around the bend is going to be so much better than we anticipated.

*Special thanks to my friend Stephen Uelk for inspiring this little verse.*

The Bus Stop

The Bus Stop

I see her every morning at the bus stop. She is dark haired and tall. Statuesque I’d guess you’d say. Her long dark hair is always piled high atop her head and her brown eyes are framed by little square glasses. They are also black. Usually she is bundled up and covered to the point where all I can see are her dark eyes and the warm breath escaping from the break in the scarf that covers her mouth.

Today, it was 19 degrees and with her face uncovered, she ventured to light a cigarette in the otherwise bitter winter we’ve been having. I could tell she was a polite smoker, keeping the lit end held close to the ground and away from the man that was standing at the bus stop with her. He seemed indignant as she exhaled a plume of smoke into the air, away from him. He sauntered from where his feet are usually planted while he waits to climb aboard the warm bus that will take him to I’ve no idea where.

I watched this young woman that I assumed would throw her middle fingers up at the rest of the world, drop the freshly lit cigarette into the snow. She mashed it out with her toad stompin’ boots (a description coined by my brother-in-law for the choice of boots I often wear), then turn to the man that stood next to her. She didn’t say anything to him, but I think she was trying to send him some kind of signal that she understood his disdain for her dirty habit.

My light turned green, I let my foot up on the brake and pressed the gas pedal. In my rear view mirror, I saw the man move back to his usual spot next to the dark haired woman. She turned her body away from him, finding comfort in their closeness, but not really.

I thought about other situations that we humans find ourselves in that may deem uncomfortable. Elevators, stadium or theater seats and conference rooms. They raise our anxiety, cause heart palpitations, and other forms of stress. The beautiful woman at the bus stop today gave the non-descriptive man that she usually stands with some comfort. Probably without even knowing it.

Isn’t that something we should all be doing, giving comfort? Or finding ways to of making things better for others? Such are the thoughts that fall out of my blond brain on my way to work on a Wednesday morning.

Love,

Renee

(I’m not sure how much I will be posting here. I’ve missed writing and sharing my thoughts with you all. Thank you for reading.)