Airport Sanctuary

Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Quite often, the overhead sprinklers covered the floor of the D gates in a smooth sheet of water. No one knew why. Some suspected it was the amphibians.

The hot, dry weather drove them in. They made a steady pilgrimage through the walls and into the ceiling, working their way to the electrical box. Once there, they chewed through the wires like squirrels, sparking a conflagration.

When air travel was no longer sustainable, management turned the airport into a habitat for desert denizens. No more newts blowing across the desert, looking as desiccated as kale chips fresh from the oven.

What Price Honesty

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

Marleybones had loved Lambykins since second grade. Never married, never asked, she’d persevered through his other women and ego-filled outbursts.

Geminis are mercurial, he’d explained.

It all changed with a Tarot reading. The significator, an upside-down heart pierced by three swords, foretold sorrow. But the outside formation moved from karma through completion. Luck was with her. Her boss was like a father to her. Her new ad campaign had won awards. She’d met someone else, just friends, but someone who liked her. She ghosted Lambykins. When he called, she was firm. She was free. Aquarians are not afraid of change.

Turkey

Photo by ASHISH SHARMA on Pexels.com

At Grandma’s Thanksgiving, a mash-up of turkey, cranberries, second wave feminism, and Madman era misogyny collide. After a luscious dinner, you and your London chum play at Cockney rhyming slang in the library. Uncle Uncle fumbles, mumbles, tumbles, never suspecting that your friend, whose ass he pinches, is an expert kick boxer.

What did he expect? A docile blush? You show him a shot of his pained face on Snapchat. It’s captioned, “Stand back, the fourth wave is here.” He retreats to a corner, nursing his ‘Enry ‘Alls*, chugging highballs. Rules change. Change rules. You have exceeded his expectations.

* Rhyming slang for balls (rhymes with Halls.) See the entry from Wikipedia for Rhyming Slang. 

ScareCity

Photo by Peter Kessler

Applauding a soprano note, the musician’s circle welcomed Katie. A yellow school bus served as the troupe’s rolling home. The air burned her lungs, but it was better than staying at ScareCity with Affluenza three times her age.

“No mask?”

“State of the art filters there.” She pointed to the building edging the lot.

While the flutist gave her a brownie baked on charcoal, the viola player found a mask. They tuned up. When Katie sang, the timbre of her voice was untouched by the scourge of wildfire smoke. In the morning, she left with them to see the world.

How to Achieve Serenity in Downward Facing Dog

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Breathe in. Bend forward. Anchor the palms of your hands to the floor. Step back. Stretch. Hips high, breathe out. 

Do not imagine goat yoga. Thinking of hard hooves climbing up your legs and down your back will cause you to laugh. Sheep playing “London Bridge” under the arc of your belly will induce yawning, maybe sleep. You groan. Six o’clock is awfully early to be awake.

Pay attention. Vinyasa to your stomach. 

The cat will stretch over, her raspy tongue licking your face, asking to play. Roll over. Rub her tummy. She’ll settle warm and purring. Close your eyes.

Celebration

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A flash of snow arcs, flying straight to heaven. It floats at eye level, then drifts to ground. The curve of your butt segues left, then right. Love catches my throat.

“That’s how you do it, girl. Like taking a corner on a bike. It’s in the leaning.”

We reach the end of the course, your dark hair flying behind you. A bobbing pink pompom perches on the cap I knitted you last Christmas. Slowing in tandem, we find glasses, pop a cork, and toast an anniversary we never imagined would happen. The frosty air warms to our strong embrace.

County Fair

Photo by Adrian Gabriel on Pexels.com

That summer Gene, eyes longing, looked at Billie Jo like she was a county fair roller coaster. She got dizzy thinking about that look. Sitting in a lawn chair, sipping iced tea, and reading starlet magazines, Billie Jo thrilled to stories about Hollywood. She and Gene would play opposite each other as romantic leads. She was sure they’d have fantastic careers in show business.

Come the fall chill, Gene never looked at her that way. It was always some other way and she didn’t always like to admit it, but she should have known things would turn out less exciting.