Monday, July 30, 2007

The Window Whisperer

"Why are you whispering?" He said, leaning in. I tossed my head back and laughed from the throat, not from the belly, not from that place where he learned to live again. He smiled. It didn't take him long at all to learn to read my lips when mid-syllable the husky, raspy, cigarette lined words disappeared and no sound at all came out. Silence can be very, very loud when you're listening carefully. He listened very carefully.

I perch backwards,balancing on bare feet, on the porch bench. Stare through the wide open walls at the wind sneaking between the houses, at the squirrels changing lanes in 5:00 traffic on the broken fence top. "You're a bird, balancing on a wooden wire" he mumbles. The time has come. He knows it. I smile.

I reach over and push him out. It isn't me that's been caged. Caught in a wire meshed pre-fabricated world. His wings are working now. They were never broken, just taped together, leaving him motionless, toddling in circles, at the bottom of a wallpapered world. He turns and pleads with me, but I nudge him further...down the drive-way, the highway, into the very sunset we fingerpainted in the sky.

"Be free" I whisper. "That's what they made windows for".....

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Empty Closet

It was lousy Chinese take-out food, the noodles old and dry, but I was famished, hungry from accidentally fasting.....I twirled the lo mein with the plastic spork, and made little piles of soy stained snakes on my plate. The fortune cookie lay in it's plastic bubble, all perfect, and most probably stale, but keeping it's secret until dessert. I don't eat fortune cookies.

But I like the sound of snapping them open. One second in the life of a giant Rice Krispie. And I like the way the words fall out, perfectly printed in blue ink, and randomly selected from a box of a 1000 other fortunes, to land in my world. "The night life is yours".....

45 minutes later I was piled in the back of an SUV, heading for the double doors. It's homecoming night, every night, their faces smiling, up and down. "Glad to see you, Nice to meet you, How's about a beer, dear?" Friends. Lined up in a lazy circle around the bar. We play musical chairs. Where you are when the music stops, nobody knows. Telephone Tag. Stories passing between us like a party reefer, eyes growing bigger each time it's told until the truth is just a glowing ember in a pile of ashes. And we all know it. Throw our heads back and laugh. We'll fix it next time the story comes along....

"The night life is yours".....
Here in this windowless Friday night world, we leave our 9 to 5's, our coats, and our ghosts at the door. And for just a few hours...

we're free.....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

At the barre......

I wanted to be a ballerina. I really did. "Seeesopewfect!" Mrs. DiMarco swooned, cigarette breath on red lips, into my face. My face started to blotch, to swell. I knew I was going to be tortured, jabbed with those long pointy fingernails, suffocated slowly. It was so hot in here. And my skint knee was bleeding through my pink tights, an abstract orange blossum spreading there. Why did I use all the bandaids to make book-binding for my soon to be best seller: "The Mystery of The Moving Pictures".......

I was five.

I wasn't the oldest and I wasn't the youngest. I was next to the thinnest. "It's never too late to start, dahling, you have the body of the swan at night......" she purred as she wrapped the sepia colored measuring tape around my neck, my chest, my 18 year old waist, my thighs, my shins, my ankles. Her teeth showed a little as I climbed up on the scales. Her teeth showed a lot three months later. And she hissed. And pounded that damn stick on the floor "One and two and one and two and one and two and three"......"Tuck your buttocks in, and suck your stomach in and point those damn toes!" I couldn't even pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time........

I was not quite 19.

There is safety in numbers. Three tuition bills. Three checks on the first of the month. Three late bloomers at the barre. They took our money. Kimbies was just there for the sport. She couldn't be bothered to be fitted for shoes, and wore pink Isotoner slippers instead. They let her. I hung from the barre. Stretched. Flew through the air. After class, we would stop in at the Oyster Bar next door, for raw ones on the half shells and a few cold brews, all balletesque in our leotards and cut-offs. It was wonderful. And then we got the bright idea, to meet at the Oyster Bar first. Before class. To loosen up. That was wonderful ,too. In our world.

We got kicked out.

I was 26.

He held me at the waist for just a moment. And twirled me around and around and around. A pretty plastic toy on the top of a blue velvet jewelry box. The band was banging out a remix of "Oh Suzie Q, I like the way you walk, I like the way you talk, I like the things you do"..... His eyes traveled back in time, to that year, to another girl, to another world. And I dreamed of being free.

It was just another Friday night at the bar. And he felt like he was 21 again.....

And I wanted to be a ballerina......

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Visiting hours......

They beckoned my down the hallway. Into that room. There she lay, belly up on the cold stainless steel table. Exposed. Parts and life-wires everywhere. "She can still breathe?" I ask. "We're doing all we can".....sympathy smile spreading on his teenage face. "We'll call you in the morning...."

Miss you guys, here's to hoping the little computer can come home again.....Gotta love modern technology.....

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Struck by Lightening.......

Boom! And it was gone! See you guys when they get done tallyin' up the damage and I figure out how to pay the bill! Peace~love~my monitor went up in smoke!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Upside down and backwards.....

I don't believe in clocks.

I mean I have them, and they work. They tick. But they're all set on different times. The bedroom clock is on Saturday time. One hour and forty minutes faster than the DJ on the radio says it is....That's because, Monday through Friday, I want dozens of opportunities to hit the snooze button and not be interrupted by that bolting, panicked fear, that I actually have overslept. And when I finally roll over, crawl across the sheets, and swat it for the last time, I want enough time left over to drink two cups of coffee, stare out into space, color on the porch if I'm so inclined, and wait until the very, very last moment to get in the shower and fly out the door. On the week-ends I want to wake up to the sun beating through the windows, and at least "think" I slept in.

The kitchen clock is one hour fast. Just because. I don't believe in giving away hours or getting them free. I've never understood daylight savings time, and I sure as hell don't want to give it back. The clock on the microwave is right. He set it that way. I don't cook. So I never look at it. The digital baby in the car has been resetting itself back to midnight since the beach. I get in the car at midnight every morning. It ticks right along throughout the day and then jumps back to midnight every evening. Of course, I'm sure that "means something"......

Anyhow, really short story getting long, I had one of those mornings, when I really didn't care to guess what time it was, and I rolled out of the drive-way at midnight, nonetheless. The traffic was glorious. No bumping and beeping, no arms flailing out of dirty windows. Everyone just meandering down the road, listening to the Rolling Stones concert drifting from my windows.

Of course, I was really, really late for work. And all day I was off. I dropped things and smiled. I caught a mirror once and saw the reflection of Rod Stewart's earlier days in my bangs. I smiled and said "Good afternoon" all morning, and when I finally got it right, the sun was starting to tilt. I forgot to get gas. The car gurgled, but I didn't hear it.... Rolling Stones and all.....

I finally made it home.....
And no-one, not the first patient, not Chey, not the good Doctor himself had said a word to me all day. Not about my scrubs.....

The tags....

Inside out and backwards.....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I bought this book at the library sale, not because I wanted to read it so much as I was drawn to this first yellowed page.....

and neatly
the librarian stamped
the word
under the title....

placed there with great care,
or caution,
or trepidation.

I can't help, but wonder, what thoughts passed, when this jacket was opened....
The words, "LOVE is the drug"
hanging there,
an empty prescription bottle on
a dusty bathroom shelf......

And how hard it was, for even the slightest addict, to reach up and touch it, pull it down from it's ageless safe place,
and finally
throw it out.....

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Tomorrow I will paint my face. I will put on "erase" to white-out the black martini moon under my right eye. And "blush" to blend it all together. I'll be glad that I haven't trimmed my bangs in forever, and they hang in my face and I have to go "poof" to see out through them.

Tomorrow, I will wear a mask.

Probably, by Tuesday, I'll bore of it
and just be another
hippie chic
a black eye....

and love beads.....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

You don't have to keep hittin' me in the head!

I slept in....
the first time in forever that I've wallowed in the sheets, soaking up 8 hours of almost dreamless sleep. It's a lazy, lazy world today.....

I sipped my coffee strong and slow, and filled the cup again. Watched the smoke patterns dancing from my cigarette, sky-writing in the space above the ashtray. I stretched. "What sweet diversion shall I come up with today?"......

And so, unshowered, and bed-headed I found my way to my favorite morning place, the painted porch. Parked my little buns down on the floor, indian style, amongst the sea of colored markers and pencils....and started to color.....

"Peace....", I smiled at the black and white lady on paper.....

That was right before the perfectly good bike flew off the perfectly sound wall and cold-cocked me in the face. Right before the collision sent my cup of iced tea flying across my lap, spray painting my drawing with caffiene and lining my cut-offs with ice cubes. Right before I saw stars...... Right before my neighbor pulled the bike off of me and slung it out the door like a rabid rattlesnake.....

That was one minute before my nose started bleeding. Five minutes before the fuscia eggs started growing on my forehead, one hour before the black-eye started staring back at me in the bathroom mirror.

I guess I won't be going out tonight....

And as for the bad, bad bike, well, Take that! My friend! You better hope it doesn't rain!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

13 all over again....

She's....... back!
Friday the 13th!
Yeah baby!

You don't scare me spooky little day. With all your hype and legendary Hollywood hoo-hah! I don't have Triskaidekaphobia, or paraskavedekatriphobia, or friggatriskaidekaphobia! Hell I don't even have Friday-what-if-I-don't-get-paidaphobia!

So in honor of this horrid little day, when the perfect thing to do would be to pile into a really big Belair and head to the drive-ins with a cooler of beer, and watch B-rated flicks, but we can't....because they closed them all down and turned them into creepy little Walmarts.....

I say, let's just party!

Oh yeah, and remember the ghost of Friday the 13th past.....
May she rest in peace, that wild-headed child!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The crash

She knows. I’m floating, dreaming, basking in the quiet. I forget that lawn mowers, power drills, kid’s riding three-wheelers up plywood ramps, are screaming into my quiet. I block them out. In my world, I hear the fat-bellied-bumble bee at the all-you-can-eat, slurping down the jasmine….the moth in her nightgown taking out the trash….the wind... talking sign language.... hands moving furiously through the trees…..

But, Georgia hears them.

From miles and miles away.

Hears them put on their suits and load their gear. Climb into the truck, Flip the switch.

And she bellows, the most pathetic heart wrenching howl.

She crouches on the deck and cries, neck stretched mannequin-tight to the sky, and belts out…..
The saddest opera.

And then I know.

It’s bad.

It’s not a ticket-taker chasing a 16 year old taking the car to the store for bread.

It’s bad.

My heart stops.
My child, it could be my child.

I crank my car everyday.
I never hear it turn over, lunge with life.
I hear the Rolling Stones.
Or Led.
Or Janis.
Or whoever will get me through the day.
But I can’t hear that,
The siren song.

I drive on…..

I crossed the bridge today. The very bridge I’ve dreamed about tearing down. Swimming under. Climbing over. The very bridge I pass everyday, music blasting, barely rolling. Parked in the early morning traffic, I was at the top of the ferris wheel and could see it all. The end of the world.

Thank God, the music was blaring…..
Or I might have bellowed….
Neck stretched mannequin-tight to the sky……

and howled...

Pray, people, pray….

Monday, July 09, 2007

The accidental wave.....

I am enchanted with water. Crystal glass-eyed blue water, thick murky lake water, green river water with swirling paisley oil slicks. Cold and hard from the outside faucet. Bee-sting sharp, stabbing my back and temples from the broken shower head. An ice cold beer bath from the thick and foamy tides.

I love the sounds water makes. Every drop of crème- rinsed rain racing, gurgling, slurping down the bathtub drain. Invisible spray paint pssssshhhing from the sprinkler. The lions roar on an empty beach…her yawning, stretching lazy growl heard a million miles away…..endless. Saturday afternoon skies, dripping off my leaning roof. Running down the back door. Falling from my face.

It’s delicious” I said…..goose bumps spreading like a rampant rash down my arms and legs.
“Ha!” “I don’t believe you”
“It looks …………….cold”, smiling a little, but afraid to smile too much, certain I would pull him in.

And in the deep, deep water
Might just drown…..

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Plowing for Peace

There was only a tad bit of gas left in the lawnmower, and half of it was spent on cranking. I took a deep breathe and had to make a decision, the neighbors, I know, so wanting me to do this. O-kay, do I mow the property lines, the sidewalk side, around my wilting flower beds? Do I start diagonally, vertically, or horizontally? Do I start in the middle and work my way out or make a big loop around the perfect square and scooch my way in?

I drag the mower out into the street, precious fuel burning to the wind; and smile.

The white mustang slowed down.
As a giant crop duster circle is born….

And I’m smiling bigger……
Feet flying out from behind the self propelled grass grafittier…

The engine dies,
A giant peace sign perfectly scorched into the summer rye!

I flip him two fingers and he shifts into first.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Three Hundred and Sixty Five

What happens when three skinny hippies....
a poet, a philosopher and a painter,
camp out
on the
friday night
drinking beer
7 and 7
barefoot through
each other's world?

They do this........

One scribbles with crayons,
One colors with words,
And one ties it all together....
butterfly effect.....

Three Hundred and Sixty Five....
Eric Bachman 2007

every string of hats from dead cowboys
each face painted with a new life;
Some found that old Boot Hill
was all of the
three hundred and sixty five
one night stands...
Every dead cowboy met his match
on that one night
he stood up to you;
my stranger

how many hats
do you own? do you wear?
how many six shooters?
three hundred sixty five
this year to the day

you shoot straight,
somewhere between the eyes
or in the the knees
sparing the heart
or at least sparing the hat--
but always the hat,
so you can paint
it shades of your lifeblood mosaic
and all the many broken but useable
that you learned to sing
when we were all too young
to know where dead cowboys
hang their hats
when its time to say goodnight
with a hope that they've found a home
for one last night

Clink! To peace, love , and porch parties!

Friday, July 06, 2007

99 Bottles of Beer on the wall.....

And what to do with all those caps?

Take one down,
throw 'em around.....

And glue them back
on the walls, of course!

It's Friday,
bring on

Feel the love!

Pass the beer, please!

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Emporer's New Clothes....

"Levi's are fine
with holes in their knees,

Faded old fannies
with no zipper keys.
When the Emperor got dressed
in the Emperor's new clothes...

He probably had on Levi's
and was wearing the holes....."

My daughter's favorite nursey rhyme.... Yeah, I wasn't exactly Mother Goose.....

My life story, told in blue....
I was wearing the peaknuckle pair when we went to The Tampa Fest and ended up on the 11:00 news, 16 and dancing in the broken water main.....
Gary Long's 501 blues when I hitchhiked to Peace Creek...
The no-name-brand with the silver belt and the rhinestone butterfly at the David Bowie concert....
His new pair the morning of the hurricane...
The ones I have on for the last three lives....
And then you wear them for years and years....
They're supposed to hang around. Until they're tattered and torn, with holes in the knees, until the legs fall off, too tired to keep going, until they accidently become cut-offs with holes in the rumps. Then you scribble on the pockets, patch the seams, trim the fringe from the bottoms....
until they disappear in the washing machine, nothing left but the tags.....

We're desperate. I'm down to one pair of "I can wear these out in public" cut-offs. And this is Florida. Skinny's still running around in a pair Kimbies bought in high school, held together with an embroidered guitar strap. She's wearing a ghost of threads.

So here's the deal, guys. Dig through your closets, empty your stash. If you've got jeans you're not wearing, send them south.
These girls gotta have cut-offs!

Singleton and Skinny
c/o Justgivemepeace
269 Market Place Boulevard
Cartersville, GA 30121
We'll even trade ya. Painted beer bottle caps or something!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

At the ballet....

"Hush, hush, sweet" butterfly,
Butterfly "don't you cry"....

I watched her today, dancing in the heat of an arrogant sun, crickets screeching at her quietness, a never ending siren of background static. They make a lousy orchestra. Their music tragic. She doesn't care.... She tip-toes across the fence line, a yellow ballerina with transluscent wings, eyes heavy with mascara, flitting from stage to stage.....

Never caged.

I splash. Just a little. Paint ripples with my fingertips. Plunk! A whisper in the water. I'm being very careful. Very still. Floating. Watching the subtle changes in the deep, deep water. I don't want to change the butterfly effect.

Hopefully she doesn't notice, and keeps on dancing.