Thursday, February 26, 2009

Strange Sound (a story from waking life)

Today I feel like writing about some things that once happened in my real waking life. In between vast swaths of normality, I also have a few interesting memories of weird events. One is from my early childhood.

I remember in the first house I lived in, I would often hear a weird noise as I lay in my bed. The sound reminded me of what it would sound like if large rocks were slowly being tumbled in a dryer, like rocks that would slide along for a bit on metal, then get jumbled up, and then all tumble over the top of each other at once, and then slide along somemore. I often thought the sound came from inside one of the walls of my room, but when I tried to really localize the source of the sound, it always seemed to move and become illusive. I rationalized that the sound must be from pipes or some kind of machinery in the house, but often the sound made me nervous and scared. It was creepy!

When I was about 7 years old, we moved to another house that was nearby. I was surprised to discover the sound was also present in my room at the new house. I noticed it often when it was quiet at night, but not always. Sometimes it would stop and start. Again, is was impossible to really localize the sound but even so, I rationalized that it must come from a hot water heater in a wall adjacent to my room. I told myself probably the previous house also had a hot water heater and that is why both houses had the same noise. Although it confused me that I could also sometimes hear the sound just as loud in the daytime in other areas of the house far from the hotwater heater. I remember sitting in the living room as a child, drawing or playing quietly, and sometimes hearing the sound and wondering about it and trying to localize it but being unable to do so.

In about 3rd grade, I visited a friend some miles away and slept over at her house. That night, I was surprised to start hearing the sound at her house as well. I mentioned the sound to my friend and she became excited, saying she could hear it as well but when she had asked other members of her family, none of them could hear it at all.

That night, we took turns comparing notes about when the sound started and stopped and we always agreed. Whatever it was, we both heard it stop and start at the same times and our descriptions of how it sounded also matched. We also discussed how she could also hear it in other parts of the house but also could not localize it. Indeed on other visits to her house, both sleeping over or visiting in the daytime, I heard the sound on occasion in various areas of her house and also still could not localize its source. The two of us always agreed on the sound and she was very excited that I could hear it as well. She told me that she had made a big point of telling her brother that I could hear it as well, thus proving the sound was real and she was not crazy. She made a point of having me tell this to her brother personally so he would believe her. But her brother seemed unimpressed by this news.

I remember another time later when the hot water heater at our house sprung a leak and a repairman came over to install a new one. I was surprised to see the hot water heater was in a very different part of the wall than where I often felt the sound seemed to come from. This disconcerted me as I now knew the sound could not have come from the heater and I was now old enough to realize that no other pipes or systems existed in that wall. Now the sound was even more creepy. But again, although the sound often seemed to come from that wall, whenever I really tried to localize it, the sound became illusive and seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere at once.

Somewhere in the course of time, I lost touch with that friend and I must have stopped hearing the sound as well, as I do not hear it now, but I don't remember exactly when I stopped hearing it. Often, I did not want to hear it as it was a creepy thing to hear an unexplained sound at night, and somewhere along the line, I must have gotten my wish.

In fact, I had forgotten all about the strange sound until about 6 months ago when the memory suddenly came back to me just as I was falling asleep. I was surprised to realize I could have forgotten such a strange memory for so long. Now I wonder how many other weird memories I have laying half dormant in my mind. And I also really wonder what the heck that sound was!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Eye Candy

I sit alluringly at the top of these stairs, my tight sparkling blue and red dress showing off every curve of my perfect hips and body, and my long shiny black hair pulled into an elaborately loose updo that took hours to achieve. My life is calm and relaxing. My job is only to look beautiful and be gracious.

I have placed myself here in this spot on these stairs so that people can see my beauty as they enter our house. My husband's friends will be visiting soon and he will want them to see me and be jealous of me. He didn't specifically say this to me, but instinctively I know how to best grace this house. These talents have been ingrained in me since my birth. I please men with my beauty and delicacy. I am an exquisite decoration that brings the utmost pride to my household.

My husband is over twice my age and ordinary in appearance, but that's fine with me. He is wealthy and gives me everything I need. As long as I do my job, he is satisfied. In fact, I am reassured to know I am the most valuable thing in this house. Every visitor looks to me with desire and/or jealousy. They all either want me or wish they could be me. But only my husband can have me. I am fully satisfied with my life.

It never once occurs to me that the situation might change when I become older and less attractive. I only live in the now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All My Children

She lays still, a tall thin figure reduced to a diminutive bump under the antique white quilt of the massive dark wood bed. She is rolled onto her side in a fetal position facing away from me towards the nearest wall, her long dark hair in disarray, the covers barely disturbed around her. The lighting is dim and the drapes are pulled tight against the domineering sunshine. The delicate peach pink color of the expensive shag carpet pervades the room, even on the several steps that lead up to the spaceous bathroom. Despite the rich surroundings, a feeling of stagnation and depression fills the air.

The woman thinks to herself, "I am depressed because of All My Children."

At the time, I think she is referring to the soap opera of the same name, but after I wake up, I wonder if she meant something else.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I frantically scribble down food orders on a blue sheet of advertising paper. I can barely read my own writing on that dark paper. The regular ticket book for taking orders was not in my pocket when I reached for it, so now I will have to track it down and rewrite all these orders before I can give them to the kitchen staff. I am getting nervous. People are pouring into the dining room, expecting to be waited on immediately. Everyone is coming in at the same time and the area I'm responsible for looks huge. I have taken only 4 orders so far, but already the orders are becoming confused in my mind. I decide I must get these off to the kitchen so that at least some of my orders will be in at the front of the slam.

I deliver the 4 orders and then literally run back to the dining room, my long legs moving smoothly over the carpet and my blond pony tail bobbing behind me. The booths are almost full of customers now and almost all of them look fidgety. I will start to get complaints soon and my mind races to choose my strategy. I go to the back where the customers look most anxious and whip out my ticket pad, but before I can even say hello, a medium built mousy woman coming from the bathroom area demands my attention.

Her long straight hair is pulled back into a loose pony tail. She is slight of build, atheletic looking, and angry. She directs my attention to where the carpet of the dining room transitions to the tile in the hall to the bathrooms. The carpet there is worn and threadbare and several pieces of silver duct tape have been applied to one edge. The woman tells me that several days ago, one of her daughters tripped on that area of carpet. She starts telling me exactly what happened and her story drags on because she insists on adding every little irrelevant detail, but it's clear that if I don't attend to her concerns diligently, she will go ballistic. She is in a rightous ferver. As she blathers, I am looking at the carpet and trying to figure out how anyone could trip over a few patches of worn carpet the size of silver dollars. I do notice the floor is slightly uneven there, causing a subtle rise in the height of the carpet in one area.

I imagine her two little girls are playing there, teasing each other and not paying attention. They are giggling and one of them is twirling around on one toe and doesn't raise her other foot quite high enough, instead dragging it on part of the carpet. Since she is already off balance, it doesn't take much to cause her to fall down. She flops painfully on her hip and the sudden motion finally catches the inattentive eye of her Mother. The girl cries for a few minutes until the pain subsides.

As the Mother fusses over the sniveling child, deep inside, she feels guilty for not paying attention to her children and allowing them to run wild while she prattled on with her friends. But it's easier on her self esteem to blame it on the carpet and the restaurant. Her guilt is converted outward to an anger that protects her from self examination. In her mind, the carpet has become an imminent danger to children everywhere and a grievous oversight on the part of the restaurant, a problme that in her mind must take precedence over all other activities.

The woman finally pauses in her tirade long enough for me to ask if she wants to speak to the manager. She looks happy at my statement, probably assuming I share her concerns, but really I am only looking for a way to get back to work. I start searching frantically in the big restaurant for the assistant manager who is on duty today, but as usual, he is difficult to find. Eventually, I track him down in the lower offices under the main dining hall. I give him a rough rundown of the problem as he ascends the stairs with me back to the main dining room. His dark grey hair is slicked back in a strange puffy blob away from his calm implacable face and I idly wonder how he gets his hair to stay in place while still looking natural.

Soon we are approaching the dining room and we immediately know something is horribly wrong. There is quiet, nothing but quiet. Normally we would hear the loud buzz of ceaseless chatter and clanking plates, but now there is a somber silence. I see one woman bustling out the front door and I ask her what is going on, but she doesn't want to talk to me. She just keeps trotting away without answering.

We enter the dining room and hear an angry snarling voice. It is the bartender in his little drink alcove. He is wiping out a glass with a rag while simultaneously cursing and snarling loud expletives. The depth of his anger startles me. I can't understand why he hasn't just left if he is that angry.

As I pause in my tracks, I am surprised to see the assistant manager who came in with me is moving steathily behind a wall. I realize he is not going to deal with this issue but instead has chosen to just hide and listen for now. For a moment, I entertain the thought of going up to the bartender and trying to help. We have always had a good rapport. But the intensity of his snarling hatred scares me. He is not now the man I thought I knew. I also slink behind the wall next to the assistant manager.

I feel sorry for the bartender, but my strongest emotion is of relief. Most of our customers have left and it wasn't my fault. I had nothing to do with it. And now I'll easily be able to catch up with my food orders.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Life and 2 Cents

[A dream about a girl]

My life is not worth 2 cents, I know that. I’ve always known it. It’s not something I get emotional about. It’s just a fact. When I was a kid, I used to live with a hunchbacked lady who lived in a big house. The house was not hers. She lived with another family. She spent all her time hunched over in a blue short sleeved shirt and white pants, sitting bent over a sewing machine, her long black hair with grey streaks always pinned in the same messy bun at the back of her head. I don’t remember her doing anything else but that. Thinking about it, maybe she didn’t really have a hunched back, but sitting there like that, she sure looked like she did and that’s how I remember her.

I remember I got my food sitting at the kitchen table with another couple and some of their kids. I guess they were the ones who owned the house but I’m not sure. I know they provided the food, while the other woman with the bun sat hunched over in her room, because sometimes she wouldn’t even come out for food. Other than that, I don’t really remember much about those times. I remember there was lots of fabric around and needles to poke your hand on if you weren’t careful. It wasn’t much fun.

I remember I would run around too much. That’s what they told me. I needed to be more quiet and stop running. Running in the house was bad. Therefore, I was bad. I didn’t know how to contain myself. I kept forgetting, and then I would run.

One time I tripped on the carpet coming down the stairs and ran into someone coming up with a tray of food and drink. Red liquid spilled all over the expensive hall carpet. I knew that was bad, but no one said anything that time. They didn’t bother to tell me I was bad. They didn't even yell. Maybe they thought I already knew it by then.

It was not long afterwards that I was standing outside in the driveway surrounded by three boxes and some small pieces of furniture. A car was coming for me. All my stuff was in those boxes on the pavement, waiting for some guy to come and pick it up. It wasn’t much stuff. After a while, the adults began to get nervous and upset. He was late and they weren’t sure if he was coming, but finally he came. He seemed nice enough. He picked up the stuff and put it in his car and we drove a long way to a big white house.

The columns on this house were huge. When we drove up, that’s all I could think about. Gigantic carved white columns perfectly supported the eaves all the way around the outside of the house. The columns were so white that it looked like they were just painted that morning, not a speck of dirt on them, they were almost shining.

I was afraid of those columns. They were too big for me, too perfect, just like the house. The idea of being there scared me, but I was relieved to find out I would instead live in a tiny house way in the back, far behind some trees. My house had only a small living room, two small bedrooms and one tiny bath. I liked our house much better. I felt comfortable there. It felt natural.

I spent most of my time either in the small house with the man who picked me up or running around outside in the dirt and dust. There's some trees and a small creek way in the back. I liked that, more space to run and nothing important to damage, so I was happier and felt more free than I had ever felt before.

The man was always quiet and calm, didn’t talk much, just enough to say what was necessary. I liked him. He made me feel relaxed. He didn’t talk much, but he never got angry either. Still, he seemed sad most of the time. He always looked bewildered, as if he was lost and couldn’t find himself inside that big cavern inside his head, so instead he would stare out in quiet confusion at the world.

When I turned 12, I finally got this assembly plant job. My job is to pack these projector machines into these boxes. Sometimes, as a break, I also get to sweep the dust off the floor with a broom. I was really lucky to get this important job at such a young age. That’s what everyone keeps telling me and I believe them. If I were to damage this projector right here in this box, I would probably be fired on the spot. Projectors cost money and my life is not worth more than a projector. I have to be really careful and think about what I am doing at all times. I can’t run around all the time without thinking like I used to.

The other day, me and the man were in our living room. He was sitting in the chair reading a newspaper when a lady came in with a message. I think she was one of the other women who work around here. I am sure I saw her before a few times. She poked her head in the door and told the man that some woman had gotten on the train and left for someplace far away and probably would not be coming back. The man seemed more confused than ever by this news. I am not sure, but I think the woman on the train was my mother. At least that’s the impression I got.

After receiving the news, the man got up from his paper and began to do the dishes. In the process, he accidentally tipped over a can of cayenne pepper from off the window sill and it spilled all over the kitchen counter. He kept trying to scoop up the powder with his big hands and pour it back into the container, but the opening to the container was small and his hands were big. And they were quaking. No matter how hard he tried, he could not get the pepper back into the can. Maybe his life is not worth 2 cents either.
A1 Web Links Blog Directory Total Blog Directory Free Advertising

Lowes Coupon
How to Blog

Free Advertising