Looking Good

Two men and one woman walk up to a building that appears to be a restaurant. They enter the glass doors and approach the Hostess’ podium.

Hostess: Welcome to Decor. Will you be having your dining experience in the Hipster Lounge or the Stuffy Dining Room today?

Guest A: The Lounge, please.

Hostess: Wonderful. May I start you off with a table? Today our specials are hand-hewn wood slab or retro formica.

Literary Alert!

The Spring 2018 issue of the Timberline Review is now available for purchase on their website! www.timberlinereview.com. My essay, “What to Wear on Windy Days” appears in this issue. Although an earlier version of this work appeared on this blog last July, it underwent some major changes after I took my month-long bicycle sojourn across the…

Why I Love the Freeway

“Line up all the cars,” my nephew instructs, as only a four-year-old can. I dutifully place each metallic replica on the colorful plastic racetrack, bumpers touching. Spencer separates them each by a millimeter. 

“Good,” he says, sitting back on his haunches. He loves cars, and he loves things to be ordered. My brother walks by, eating pasta. 

“Too many cars on the road,” he observes. “How are they going to get anywhere?” We ignore him. The track is a loop, anyway. The cars are on it, and they’re exactly where they’re supposed to be. 

By Jessie Eastland (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Emigrant

Looking for long-eared lopers in the hedgerows and wild-rosehip spreckled hillsides around this brown puddle backup to a backup reservoir — well maybe I’ll just admit now, everything easier to see clearly when soon abandoned — that it really is just water for the motorhomes motorboats and motormouths who spend the summers droning while the dog, my sister and I investigate the hardened pathways that lead both away and toward the parking lots.

The True Names of Things

This winter I got lost in a fantasy world through the writings of Ursula K. Le Guin. That woman knew magic. Not the Harry Potter type of magic — all that shouting and running about — but earth magic.

It’s a simple theory, explained in the first book of the Earthsea series, which she penned in 1968: In the true names of things is where power of magic can be found.

Evolution

I
You hear the creak of the metal gate behind you, the echoing clang as it closes, but you don’t look back. The Things have caught up to us, left us drawing erratic breath under a stormy sky, standing at the edge of somewhere we don’t quite recognize.

The dunes. The distinctive smell hits us first, its sharpness invoking the spiky dune grass. We walk between clumps, each point penetrating our jeans, the skin on the back of our hands, demanding attention.

Plastic Woes and Bag Lady Foes

1) During the 2011 International Coastal Cleanup, volunteers collected 120,450 pounds of plastic bags off of beaches in the United States. 

I just need some lentils. Well, and also some oats. I peer around the slow-moving bodies, hopeful for a stack of paper bags tucked between the rice and granola bins. A skinny kid in an apron is checking the steel jugs of vinegar, oil and syrup.