Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Flash Fiction...Birthday or Bust...

Today wasn’t my first day trapped in a womb but the first day I realized I was dying to get out.

Sure, it was warm and cozy and I was getting fed on the regular. I’d floated through the first two trimesters, forming limbs and thoughts, blubbering along as my fingers materialized right before my eyes. Or maybe the eyes came first. Honestly, it was madness. How was I to know?

I just wanted out.

Let me explain. There are two types of babies in this world: those who choose their birthdays and those whose birthdays choose them. And while it had been a nice ride, minus the jalapenos and the fatigue and morning sickness (my sincerest apologies), but I was ready to do my own heavy lifting thank you very much.

Two hundred and seventy-five days, give or take. Enough was enough. I knew there was nothing north but that buttery voice that rocked my world and rocked me to sleep, so I did a flip and headed south.

Yeah, I felt bad. Especially when she “oofed” and things went sideways as we tumbled over. I had no intentions of hurting her, and it set me back a bit with the moaning. But I’d heard time and time again, her bemoaning how I’d wrecked her body. So what did it matter in the end.

I heard another voice nearby. A familiar, oaf-like voice that belonged to an utterly useless lifeform. Honey. Aside from constantly asking if everything was okay, Honey made no major contributions to my well being. In my abundant spare time, I’d made a mental image of Honey with big droopy ears and wide eyes and maybe even thumbs where ears should go. Honestly, I’d be amazed if he could tie his own umbilical cord, so I doubted Honey was ready for what I had to offer.

Okay, things were happening. I got myself right again and plunged ahead. I’ll spare you the details, because I’m not sure you want to know what I had to go through. Let’s just say making a human—a particularly gorgeous one at that—is a lot like making a pie. There’s going to be a big mess left in the kitchen afterwards.

I knew I was getting my point across because it was complete chaos out there. Yelling and tripping and hysterics because the big oaf was being a bonehead. At this point I was of the thinking that if Honey wasn't going to help he could at least get out of the way. He was quite terrified, and I cannot properly convey just how thankful I am that I wasn’t stuck with him for all those months.

Okay, now or never. I hunkered down and got to work. Screams. Shrieks and sheer terror as I plunged ahead. Again, I felt terrible, my gracious host had been nothing but accompanying and maybe one day I’d look back with nostalgia instead of nausea. But this was happening. How long did she plan on hauling me around, anyway? It was checkout time.

Just a we were getting somewhere, new voices emerged. A big commotion. The clatter of utensils. The cord was holding me back, even as I saw daylight. I pushed ahead, surprised that it was now a two way street because my host was pushing too. I won't lie, I was somewhat offended, but there would be plenty of time to voice my concerns later. 

I fought through the goop and the mess and the glint of light got brighter and brighter and…

Oh goodness it was freezing! Go back! Go back! Retreat! What was I thinking? They started yanking at me, tugging on my still soft head and jostling me silly. My fate was sealed as I saw shadows and figures, more lights and then I realized one of the round orbs was that deep voiced oaf. 

They handed me to Honey!

No. I shrieked and went wild. All because I’d left the safety of my burrow to be handled by these cold, oafish hands. What was he doing?


Wait a minute. Oh, that’s nice. I knew that voice. That lovely voice. I looked up, blinking and sniffling as I saw a blur. A sweet, angelic, very exhausted blur. Honey touched me again with his ice hands and I let him have it.

Then I was against her chest. Mom. Sweet mom was here.

And I was warm.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Float the Boat...

The other day we were playing outside when the sky went dark and the rain came pounding. It was a downpour, the kind that’s typical in Virginia after a day of high temps and humidity. Simon and I watched as gushing rapids washed down the curb, carrying leaves and sticks and whatever stood in its way. Suddenly, I had an idea.

I wanted to make a boat.

No, I didn’t want to go build an ark in the backyard. I wanted to take a sheet of paper and fold it into a boat and watch it float down the street. He was all about it. There was just one problem.

I didn’t know how to make a paper boat.

I knew how to make a paper airplane, but boats? Nope. I tried different folds, racing the clock as the sun threatened to return and the rainwater went from gush to trickle. I folded and creased, but all I came up with were wads of nothing. One after another, I hurried through one crumple to the next, using—ahem—an old manuscript I’d been saving to light our next fire pit. 

Nothing. I had nothing. We tried some lopsided catastrophe that turned out to be a much better submarine than boat. Paper submarines. I was great at those. 

The rain let up. Our floodwaters receded. My son lost interest.

Never again. I vowed to be prepared. The next day, on my lunch break. I Youtubed like a mother. I worked out the kinks (folds) and became a master boat builder. Okay, maybe a decent boat builder. Either way, people stopped by my desk to find a man making paper boats like a boss.

That’s right. I spent my lunch break making paper boats.

This may seem like the work of an idle man with plenty of time on his hands. But no, I want my kid to know certain things, Boy Scout stuff. Everything in The Dangerous Book For Boys. Both simple and complicated. Making a paper boat was one of those things.

So now we just need some rain, but in the meantime, we have a bathtub, so…