Oddments

In search of story


13 Comments

December 8.20: Coping

Yesterday my phone quit. Disheveled, wild-eyed, I scrapped my to-do list and headed for the phone store, where I took my place on the proper social-distance marker. It appeared a long wait was ahead; I was right. A cool-headed young man, the lone employee, was trying valiantly to take care of two accounts with a small masked throng gathering.

In all, I stood for about an hour, enjoying my steady intake of carbon dioxide.  At one point, the cool-headed employee offered snacks; this was not encouraging: do people wait so long there that they have to be fed?

My hips aching, my face steamed, my spirit sagging from the pure misery of being stuck in a world of gizmos, I was dimly aware that more customers had come in behind me. And suddenly everything changed. “Put your mask on!” “Shut up!” This began a shouted rage among three customers.

The anger was intense on both sides. It was impossible not to notice how close to the surface this anger was. The flare-up was too loud, too quick, too easy. The furious unmasked stormed out.

Finally someone looked at my poor phone and said I needed a new one. I drove across the street to Target and bought some Christmas M&Ms instead. Mint M&Ms.

The vicious rumor that my phone dates from the rule of Charlemagne notwithstanding, I am not adjusting well to this. I don’t want a phone. I want some peace. And reason. While my hat’s off to the cool employee who responded so professionally to the outburst, even the powers of Christmas M&Ms couldn’t undo its effects.

In this past year, I have seen much kindness and patience among strangers. It is, I fear, wearing thin.


6 Comments

Connections: March 15.18

Wait

is a four-letter word

shameless, brazen, uncouth

the dig of a bully’s elbow

 the gnaw of a blunted tooth

it stops the clock on the wall

and renders good company mute

makes us ponder our hangnails

and feel like slow-rotting fruit

impolite, crass and unseemly

intrusive, indifferent to plan

from childhood to dotage it stalks us

intractable bogeyman.

 

 

Thanks yet again to the S.W. Berg Photo Archives and the ever-ready camera of the curator thereof.

Connections

 


Leave a comment

Connections: July 6.17

Begins the concert

before the music

in reverent wait.

Hear we in quiet

what we

anticipate.

Write we silent prelude

discarding daily

 freight.

Still we the world

rushed

and inchoate.

 

 

 

 

Thanks again to the S.W. Berg Photo Archives.

Connections

 


2 Comments

Connections: May 4

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThe waiting chair

where time stops

where machines and tubes

beepings, flashing numbers

measure life

in lifeless pulse.

My chair once

sometimes my younger son’s

as we

waited

for one fading generation

now my firstborn’s

as he waits

for me.

Connections