Saturday, April 28, 2012

100 Odd Words #13 - The Offer


He took another swig of bourbon and banged the glass on the table.  The wooden chair creaked as he leaned back and took a drag on his cigarette.  He breathed the smoke out in a long exhale that resembled a sigh.  He scratched the stubble on his gaunt face for a moment and ran a hand through his greying hair.

“Thing of it is,” he said, “sooner or later I wind up doing something stupid just to keep things interesting.  Might as well do it deliberately for once.  Things are getting dull around here and I’m getting twitchy.  I’m in.”

Saturday, April 21, 2012

100 Odd Words #12 - A Sister's Authority


From age nine through age thirteen, I went to a Catholic school.  I recall Sister Margaret Thomasine (she was known as such to differentiate her from Sister Margaret Mary, the principal) asking the class for examples of words that used the prefix homo- to mean “the same.”  (Homonym being the obvious one, and the point she was trying to illustrate.)  One boy suggested, half-hesitantly, “Homosexual?”  The class laughed but Sister Margaret Thomasine merely nodded and said “That’s right.  Same sex, homosexual, what else?”  Thus I learned that homosexual was not an aberration, not a punchline but merely a descriptive.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

100 Odd Words #11 - Blindsided


How could I not have seen it coming?  I’d noticed the lengthening silences between conversations and the increasing number of sudden cancellations.  When I went out without him, I’d run into mutual acquaintances who would clutch my sleeve and ask if I knew.  I’d change the subject, because I knew that they’d run off and clutch his sleeve if I told them the truth.
When he finally informed me that it was time for us to start seeing other people, I don’t think he was braced for the answer I gave him: “Start?  I didn’t stop, really.  When did you?”

Saturday, April 7, 2012

100 Odd Words #10 - A Parable Reinterpreted


What if the field was not the world, but the heart?
Then the wheat and tares are not souls predestined to a given path, but the seeds planted there from above and from below.
Then the harvest would not be the end of the world, but the season that comes again and again, when what is planted in the heart comes to full fruition and can be seen by clear eyes.
Then the tares would be the weedy and inedible urges that need to be bundled and burned away and the wheat our means to nourish ourselves and the world.