Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

Trendy, old and creepy

Soooo, ahhhh, yeah.

Working at work, minding my own business when this old lady comes up. Now I shouldn't say old. She was like later sixty-ish old. Old enough (TO KNOW BETTER). Errr, yeah. She had on this yellow beret and this outfit that old ladies buy when they have too much money and way too much time.
I didn't expect much out of her. She wanted me to a put a hold on “Healthy Aging”. Ok, ok. I remember that book from working at B&N (it's by this stocky old guy with a beard) so I'm typing in all the information and she's standing on the other side of the counter giving off rich old lady vibes. Kinda crackly. Yes, crackly. Like paper that is being scrunched.

Well, for some reason, I can't hold the book for her. Odd, I think and I take a moment to go ask someone why that is. Oh! It's because she's not a St. Charles patron (she's from Elburn and her library card says Elburn) and only St. Charles patrons get first dibs on new books. “Healthy Aging” is a new book. I tell her this in my distorted way. I don't communicate the best when people are crackling like paper in front of me.
She scowls. She crackles. And she says, “You're discriminating against me.” For a moment, I didn't think she was serious and I just Smiled. I mean Smiled. I thought she was kidding around. And in the second I smiled, I realized she was Not kidding. She was deadly serious. I wiped the smile off my face in that next split second but alas, she caught it. I'm not sure how she took it because the next thing she said was, “Yes, that's right. That's how it is.”

Anyway, blah blah blah, I wouldn't (and couldn't) hold it for and said she could speak to my supervisor, which she said would be useless (which was true). And woah. Woah. I wish I could have died laughing. I'm glad I smiled. It wasn't a pretty smile. It was a mocking smile. Yeah. Old white ladies get descriminated against. You know how it is, folks.

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A Tale of Two Worlds

I walk past a window on my way to get a glass of water and note the snow falling outside.  As I fill my glass at the sink, my thoughts have already turned back to my work on the computer. I’m wrestling with the household budget, when I’ll fit some reading in, how to get on with my writing work, when I’ll exercise, when I’ll catch up with email correspondence and the list goes on and on.

Anytime I stop my work and look up, past the chatter in my mind, the snow catches me off guard as if it’s the first time I’m seeing it. I debate whether I can put off the grocery store to avoid driving in the snow.

This is the world of the everyday. It’s full of a thousand petty cares, some essential to living, others not as much but all in a lump group, tugging us along.

But there are times my mind needs something more refreshing, and it’s time to take a break. And that’s where music comes in—as powerful as Circe creating a circle of magic with her staff. I pick out music without words (or words I don’t understand). Today is Rimsky-Korsakov, tomorrow might be the film Phantom Thread’s soundtrack, or a piece of jazz played by Lucky Thompson.

As Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden starts, the circle opens. I come out of the everyday world and enter somewhere extraordinary, where beauty converges with life and cares and worries exit for a time. And all it takes is a little music, a little snow, and entering the moment that is now.

I watch the snow falling, noting the wind direction as the snow blows southeast and then drops and then exhales again southwards. I note the density of the snow, how it’s light and sparkling and then downy, heavy, and wet.  My thoughts finally still and I turn off the music. A heavy relief passes over my body and mind and I am still, watching the beauty of the world.

The Fog Rises Up and We Come Down to Meet It

This winter has frozen and thawed. And then frozen and thawed once again. With the most recent exhale of cold, fog rises up from the melting ground and wraps my town in a trance.

It softens the ragged tops of trees and transforms the dead yellowed grass into a carpet spreading out into unseen lands.  With foggy foreshortened vision, the world becomes finite and in the smallness, my wonder grows.  Trees become gloomy gods, bushes hunch over like mysterious beings with secrets hidden in twiggy souls. The sky blurs out and the land rises up to meet it and everything is reformed or brought down to its most basic form. It is easy to become lost and confused.

I walk the perimeter of my neighborhood park. We become redone together.  The playground becomes enchanted, strangely unknowable as the slides and swings soften and distort.

The ballpark’s high chain link fence however, becomes more sure.  The metal darkens and braces and holds against the diffused white light.  I stare at it through my camera lens, delighted by its ferocity while everything else around it wavers and melts.

A train passes over the hill and I can see nothing, it has been whitened out, but I can hear the busy clack of the iron wheels running on steel rails.

Geese fly overhead for a minute and then vanish.

I press on and the mist parts as I walk and so we walk together, softened, softening with the night closing in behind our steps.  The night takes everything behind us, rebuilds it like it wishes and then I step into my home and close the door.

Rain falls a few hours later and the fog mounts up, gently pressing at the windows but by morning, it is all gone and only little bits of ice remain on the walkway.