We Need a Balloon

~’We know you have balloons.’~ Lavendar said.

My brain skipped over the implausibility of the conversation I was having with a pixie that had just crawled out of a heating vent near my recliner and latched onto the practical nature of a flying pixie needing a balloon.  Why does God need a starship? “Why do you want a balloon?  Can’t you fly?”

Lemon pounded a small grape Nerd on the hearth trying to crack pixie-bites free of the main Nerd.  She had a pretty good pile going so far.

~’Dumbass.  Why do you want a truck?  Can’t you walk?’~  He stopped on the hill of my guts.

“OK.  What’s it for?  What are you trying to accomplish.”  People asking for help often focus on what they think they need rather than what they are trying to do.

~’We need to get home.’~

“Maybe I could just drive you?”

Lemon made a sound like my watch when I set the time but throatier.  I think Nerds came out of her nose.  Mint was doubled over on my keyboard laughing like a mouse.  Lemon recovered with a pipping cough, ~’Warn a girl next time.’~

“What?  Wouldn’t it be easier to drive you home than to hop on a balloon and hope the wind takes you there?”

The three looked at me like I’d just said the sky was red and the grass was blue.

~’We,’~ Lavendar flitted a circle that included Lemon and Mint, ~’can get home just fine on our own.’~  Then he made a gesture which included me and said, ~’We.  Need a balloon.’~

In Less Than a Day’s Time

Four boys glow on the porch of the mountain cabin. The morning sun tints them in orange. Their denimed legs create infinite shadows down the rippling floorboards. The dew-soaked, bark-stripped, rough-hewed, corner-post Ponderosa steams from the warmth. The west side of the cabin and the unkempt meadow grasses shiver in the shade and the frost. Someone’s written their name with a hot-from-a-pocket index finger in the slick-soft white stuff: “KARL”—with a ‘k’.

All four matriculated from High School. Probably all four in college back home. One of the two in the middle is old enough to drink. Every one of them thinks himself a full-grown man.

Before the day is done they’ll saddle up and kick their heels into Rounder, Rust Bucket, Taint, and Taylor’s Rod. Before the day is done they’ll round up a remuda of nearly a hundred horses and head to the higher Spring pasture. Before the day is done the youngest will be dead and the other three wishing it weren’t so.

When the sun is gone another one will be dead and the other two pleased.

Well, that went dark on me fast. Nice that I don’t make it hard on myself to write. Shouldn’t be too challenging to kill two of them off and leave the other two happy about it in less than a day’s time.

Day 278

Thinking of Gwenyth

I watched Iron Man again yesterday. Alone because friends were unavailable and I refused to wait—plus, you only have some many opportunities in this household to ditch the kids and go out at all. I’m not a reader of the comic surprisingly, so I know nothing of the canon. While the X-men which I’ve read heavily run into Tony Stark as Iron Man occasionally, the Pepper Pots’ character remains unfamiliar.

On the drive home I began to fictionalize a conversation that might have occurred between an actress similar to Gwenyth Paltrow and her assistant or agent or whomever in deciding to take the roll. Lines and reactions sprang into my head faster then I could store them for later transcription. It felt strangely like I recalled a movie or dreamt while awake.

I doubt I could now string it together coherently, but I’ll try to arrange the exchanges (mostly couplets) in a likely order. Remember I fictionalized, so don’t picture Ms. Paltrow when you read the following—except when it makes sense too.

“Well?”
“It’s an arm-candy.” Karen Person tosses a script over the cream leather couch to the glass coffee table in the center of the room. The slap echoes quickly in the featureless room.
“When did an arm-candy get thirty pages?”
“Still.” Karen flips her fingers through her beaded dreads like she’s biting her thumb in a Shakespeare play. “When did arm-candy look like this?”
“Exotic arm-candy then.”
“They won’t give it to me. I’ll have to audition like everyone else.”

“Thirty pages isn’t enough to get me over the title.”
“Sweetie, no one’s getting over the title on this not even Charlie. We can probably get you a ‘with’ or maybe an ‘and’.
“‘With’?”
“Yeah, they pulled one of the Graingers out of mothballs to play the baddy.”
“John or Robert? Has to be John.” Karen walks to the window overlooking everything. “I can see that.”
“Really?”

“I won’t get paid full. Hell, I might not even get the bling.”
“It’s not that much work to get paid that much for. I’ve seen the shooting schedule and most of your stuff’s done in a month. Right here in LA. In and out.”
“‘The Unbelievably Good Kisser’ and ‘Trance’. That’s why I won’t even break two figures.”

“We’re shooting this all in the States? That’s where the money’s going.”
“Charlie’s in it.”
“He loves Canada. Didn’t he buy a place there back before?”
Rita gives Karen a blank stare then raises an eyebrow like a question. When Karen still doesn’t flip she leads her. “Before….”
“Oh shit that’s right. He can’t even go to Canada?”
“He can’t leave the country at all.”
“I know it’s not our country Rita. But still, Canada?”

“It’s an arm-candy.”
“Arm-candy for Charlie Cross. Richard Paquin on as director.”
“Summer, Thanksgiving, or Christmas?”
“Summer I bet. I think they’re looking to spill Trey’s juice.”
“Mmm, Trey. Why can’t I be in a movie with him?”
“You were already.”

Anyhow, that’s all I’m going to bother to transcribe. You get the gist. I don’t know that there is as much characterization in there as there is info-dumping. But I guess sometimes you have to do that too.

Word count: 541
Day 236

Day 135: Too Much Time on My Hands

Originally here.

I’m really in my office. Thirty-four floors above the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver, Colorado. I feel as if I am in a Polaroid from the 70’s. The blues faded, the reds indistinct, and the blacks turned a sickly green. The “Welcome Back Kotter” t-shirt I’m wearing is an iron-on and the collar isn’t the same color as the shirt. I have on that first round of Nikes: blue with a yellow trademark. For some reason I am on a wall. I’m twelve, but the look on my face is veteran. I’ve been effected by what I’m seeing, but I don’t care.

There is no such photograph.

In the memory that follows I don’t wear those clothes but pretend I do because they are the only ones I can recall from that era.

[a whole buncha stuff here]

From that summer there is a single recording of me. Its corners rounded in the style of the day; it’s format clearly 110. I’m on the back of a motorcycle, t-shirt, shorts, flip-flops, and a helmet–“Gotta protect your head.”

My boredom drove me to the most dangerous spot I could find. The made-to-look-like-adobe cinder block wall I am sitting atop is too tall to have climbed directly. At first I’d expected my Uncle to return quickly so I just sat on the tailgate and swung my legs. Later I decided he’d be longer. I hopped from the bed of the pick-up to the wall and walked it like a tightrope to the end. Sword-leafed yuccas and some taller but equally daunting plants lined the outside of the wall. If I missed them when I fell, I’d still get a mouthful of sand and a couple of scrapes from something. You can’t fall here in the High Desert and not get at least that.

Probably the adult look on my face comes from staring out at the desert wondering how these people determine which parts are good for putting a house on and which parts aren’t or discerning where the highway we rode in on disappears into the hills and where it goes after that. Puzzles a kid won’t solve quickly. I’m sure my thoughts devolved to something that happened the Saturday before. I awoke early to find my Aunt and Uncle up already–him still up from the night before? His animated conversation and smokey clothes didn’t distract me from the bag of doughnuts nor the pile of unorganized cash on the kitchen counter. He pulled more out of his front pockets while I stood there and added it to the wad of treasure. It was just ones and few quarters.

Here on the wall Tuesday drifts to a close. Maybe Wednesday drifts–in Summer, who knows.

Word count: 286

Day 134: Paradise Theatre Overhaul

I’m really in my office. Thirty-four floors above the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver, Colorado. I feel as if I am in a Polaroid from the 70’s. The blues faded, the reds indistinct, and the blacks turned a sickly green. The “Welcome Back Kotter” t-shirt I’m wearing is an iron-on and the collar isn’t the same color as the shirt. I have on that first round of Nikes: blue with a yellow trademark. I’m twelve, but the look on my face is veteran. I’ve been effected by what I’m seeing, but I don’t care.

There is no such photograph.

In the memory that follows I don’t wear those clothes but pretend I do because they are the only ones I can recall from that era.

[a whole buncha stuff here]

From that summer there is a single recording of me. Its corners rounded in the style of the day; it’s format clearly 110. I’m on the back of a motorcycle, t-shirt, shorts, flip-flops, and a helmet–“Gotta protect your head.”

Word count: 187 

Day 92: The Man Comes Around

“The whirlwind is in the thorn trees.  It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  Till Armageddon no salaam, no shalom.”

Johnny Cash provides musical accompaniment to my morning writing.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Buchard Frels walked in the morning.  From a distance Buchard looked like he might entertain as a clown at children’s parties.  His hair was quite white and had a tufted quality that might need trimming in a week or so.

One did not need to get too much closer to discover that this man was not entertaining–at parties or otherwise.  Profoundly set lines pointed to the center of his face.  He looked as though he’d been plowing into the setting sun and angry about it his whole life.  His short white eyebrows angled downward and unhappily along with the balance of his countenance. Though they argued equally well that it would be hard to take this short German Texan seriously.  Buchard looked like someone you’d call a zealot, except he wasn’t Jewish.  He most certainly wasn’t Jewish.

Buchard was raised in Schulenberg though he’d been born in New Braunfels.  His father had been born in New Braunfels, but moved east when San Antonio encroached on the immigrant town.  Burchard moved east toward Houston of all places when his son graduated from the University of Texas and got a job with Schlumberger.  His son, who now went by Mark, lived out in Katy, but worked in the city.

Buchard had spent much of his life on a farm or near the earth.  His tan Carhart pants testified to that.  His shirt was crisp and as white as his hair.  His boots were black.  He was dressed more to emphasize a religious gradient from sin to purity than for a walk.  Buchard only ever had one thing on his mind at a time–it was more practical that way.  Currently his thoughts focused on walking.

Mrs. Frels a step behind Buchard wore a blue kerchief.  She had other things on her mind.

Word count: 329

Day 90: Waking Up with Hiccups

I have a feeling that both the physiological and the metaphorical hiccups will plague me today.  As a side note, I also went to sleep hiccupping.  What follows is not intentionally an extension of yesterday’s Five Times with Water.  Also, nothing to do with hiccups.

To the inexperienced, the uneducated, the mundane it might just be mist–or fog.  That’s all it would have been to Eric a fortnight ago.  Now it was more like a humor.  A seeping vapor of Melancholic rising off the foreign landscape becoming Sanguine.  But maybe that’s just Eric.  Maybe that’s just new-Eric.

Eric traveled with his girlfriend Jill to the [something Chinese] province of China to do some guided backpacking.  They spent two-weeks traipsing the backwaters of the nation discovering [this], [that], and [some other things].  Mostly they discovered that she was pregnant.  And didn’t want to be.

There was a fight in which the phrases, "This isn’t the 50’s.  You don’t have to do the right thing because you knocked me up." and "When did you become such a God damned Feminist?" were exchanged.

Eric brooded on the Feminist thing.  He didn’t really know what it was supposed to mean.  As far as he could recall Feminists were pretty laid back these days and Jill had never claimed to be one nor had she really become a ‘God damned’ one either.  But it did have a rhythm on the tongue as he’d said screamed it.  He’d long ago learned never to use the word cunt unless you were ready to proceed directly to the nearest exit, so he restrained himself–somewhat.  He wasn’t ready to end it.

Word count: 294