July 15, 2017: Moxie
Red had the moxie. You can feel it all around. Look into Red’s eyes, and you get some kind of shiver. Green had the mojo. One look at green and your limbic system is sure to overdrive. Yellow, though, was able to slip right through the facade. She looked back at Red and Green, who were fading away from times gone by.
July 14, 2017: Tailor
“It’s a head spinner alright, but it doesn’t fit you,” Mr. Miago blurted out as he read that morning’s The Local Daily. I was standing on the opposite end of the small room, close by the front entrance and right in front of the three-fold mirror. Measuring tape was hanging from the panel edges, long ones, wide ones and narrow ones. Tape that had sized up strangers, travelers, young children, bachelors and bachelorettes, family, friends, and neighbors. I turned towards Mr. Miago while turning my head to the mirror to check out my side view. Then I spun around to check out my opposite side view. It fit so well! I thought. She would be so impressed, I just knew it. Swept off her feet, I tell you! “But Mr. Miago, it fits like a glove!” Mr. Miago’s head was still buried in his paper. “She definitely won’t say no, this time,” I said. Mr. Miago finally looked up from his morning reading, set the paper down, slowly got up and started walking towards me. “Come, take another look. Your head’s been buried in the Daily all morning, you haven’t even checked me out!”
Mr. Miago stood just a few inches from me and looked right into my eyes as he said, “Kiddo, I know the dimensions, but that doesn’t mean it fits you. I see it in your eyes. She doesn’t care about a dashing sear-sucker suit if the body in it is a sucker! Show her the good man that you really are, and nothing could fit better.”
July 13, 2017: Bumble
It was 8:00pm in October when Seya walked out of her SoHo home. Her mind was stuck on what happened an hour ago. It was not easy to make sense of what had transpired. For the first time in too long, Seya sensed that her dream was within reach, but for what reason? She didn’t know. She worked hard, but not hard enough, she thought. Seya began to take longer and faster slides. She was in no hurry to get anywhere in particular, but she was in a hurry. Step by step her heart beat faster. The light at the end of the tunnel grew brighter in Seya’s mind, yet she turned her attention left, right, up and down to meet the darkness of the tunnel walls. Her long strides lost their rhythm and she bumbled down the block. By that time it was 8:20pm and the dark night began to supplant the setting sun.
July 7, 2017: Quill
My seatbelt was fastened and, this time, my nausea under control. Something about the pressure of the cabin and the stale smell of the air blasting from the fans to mimic a natural environment usually makes my head spin and stomach churn. This time, I was spared. It doesn’t have much to do with any fear of flying. Quite the opposite, I love flying. It’s one of the greatest miracles of humanity, if you ask me. But what do I know, I’m a dreamer. But hey, I’m not the only one. Thanks, John Lennon. Anyway, I had a window seat this time on the row right above the airplane’s wings. I stared out the window, at the wings, for the whole flight (it’s only 45 minutes between Washington DC and New York). I started dreaming again, this time of a bird and its wings, how being suspended in the air, among the clouds — where most people think their dreams come from — is what they know better anyone or anything. Quills, not steel. Natural winds, not stale, nauseating cabin pressure. I wonder if they dream too, the birds. If so, they’re not the only ones.
July 5, 2017: Pluck
All corners were closing in faster than a blink of an eye. Ironically, it is in those moments that life slows down, like watching a mosquito buzz right into your eye. I screamed upon what I thought was the moment of impact, but my senses caught up to reality when nothing happened. I looked around me in a horrified yet relieved state. I could see doctors with their mouths covered looking down on me, studying my face. I could hear a rhythmic beeping sound coming from a machine nearby. Nurses were rushing in and out in a flurry of activity. Balloons hovered near the ceiling. My left hand was held tight, embraced in hers. Tears flowed. I looked back up at the doctors, who were still studying my face. I was on the edge of the precipice, and they plucked me back to my unfinished business.
July 4, 2017: Sail
The years faded the colors almost entirely away. I noticed spots of rust around the edges, sparking memories of the humid, salty shores. I closed my eyes and took a deep breathe as I pictured myself back on my uncle’s small boat, trying to make myself useful by staying out of his way, watching him raise the sail. “Watch and learn, kiddo. The sail is our best friend. If it weren’t for the sail, we’d have no way to escape and no way to return.” Once ready to do its work, the sail would expand with the wind and carry us away. It was a colorful sail, adding a bit of noise to the desolate sea.
It’s been years, now. Just a few, probably, but it feels like too many. I have the sail stored in a big box in the attic, next to old photos of my uncle and I out in the open sea. Maybe one day I’ll use it to escape again, but it would be hard to return without him. A tear escaped as I spread my hand along the once colorful sail.
July 3, 2017: Dash
I was surrounded by the only thing that I knew: my own kind. Up, down and all around. We were all the exact same, give or take some microscopic differences in our proportions. There were so many of us that nobody ever tried to guess the right number because the effort to find out was too painstaking. Most settled with “a gazillion”, and they were probably right.
We were discovered a few thousand years ago and have been of great interest since. If it wasn’t for us, who knew if humanity could have exploded from a few thousand to more than a few billion so quickly.
Since my own inception – if I can even call it that – my fate was determined. With such an important purpose to human life, and with the enormous volume of us all around the world, it never really mattered what I wanted. How could something as insignificant as myself ever stand out from the gargantuan crowd? My only hope was to separate into just a dash of us (which translates into at least a few hundred, maybe a few thousand), to be sprinkled over a fine meal that can make one person’s day at least marginally better, if only for a brief moment.
June 30, 2017: Snack
Fancy mixed nuts, pita bread and hummus, yogurt and fruit, apple slices or celery with peanut butter, trail mix, salted popcorn, crackers and cheese, tortilla chips and guacamole, fig bars, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, soft pretzel and cheese dip, fruits on fruits.
June 29, 2017: Magnet
The siren song lured him North. The crashing waves along the sunlit coast pulled him West. A curious eye gazed at him and back into the fog from atop the pyramid in the East. Murmurs and chatter sifted through barrels of gold down South. He stood there, rotating in place, looking up to the blue sky, back down to the cool fertile soil underneath his bare feet, then back up at the night stars.
February 27, 2017: Center
A perimeter makes a center. Jehan and Jane scanned the empty space as they gently walked in. The dome ceiling was so high that at least one giraffe standing on top another could fit with some room to spare. The walls were all glass of the modern kind, where they could see the beautiful, lush green forest outside from within, but only a reflection of the exotic bushels and trees could be seen from the outside looking in. The peculiar abode stood discretely in the center of the naturally calm wilderness which extended for a few kilometers in every direction, just large enough to shelter an ecosystem of bugs and beetles, plants and timber, birds and bees, even small monkeys and chimps. Surrounding the habitat in all directions was the hustle and bustle of civilization – steam engines powering railroads, donkeys pulling carts, women effortlessly balancing buckets of water on top of their heads, men carrying axes and children carrying books. The ringing buzz of the market and the singing chatter of leisure bounce from the surrounding high mountains and crash back onto the land. The wild trees of the wilderness within absorb the noise like sunlight. Within the glass walls of the empty abode, Jehan and Jane look at each other and recognize the bewilderment in each others eyes. A strange energy has occupied them both, an energy of a thousand sounds and a million sights that beamed onto them from the center of the abode’s domed ceiling. They looked out from within, from the center of all worlds, and from the center of themselves.