Weekend Writing Prompt #122 – Museum

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Thanks to Sammi for giving me a place to air my grievances on the dating world. Lawzy!  Please excuse my foul language. It was only a snippet of what was thrown at me after I declined his advances and then had to block him.

Some guys just can’t take ‘no’ for an answer.  We met, we had coffee, we even kissed good-bye.  I felt nothing. I was disenchanted.

The guy felt we had a connection.  We didn’t.  I didn’t.

After that date, the exchange went something like this:

“I want to see you again.”

“No, I am sorry.  I’m not interested.”

“I felt a spark.”

“There was no spark. It’s in your mind. You’ve created something out of nothing.”

“Give it time. I’ll convince you.

“I don’t need convincing.”

“I’ll turn you on. You won’t be able to say no when my tongue goes exploring your c—”

“Whoa! You did not, nor will ever, earn the right to speak to me that way.”

“You think you’re too precious? You’re like some fucking museum object I can’t touch?”

“Not only can you not touch. You must stay WAY behind the velvet rope.”

 

While She Waited – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday evening, my peeps!  First off, to my Friday Ficioneer Friends, I apologise for not getting to all of you last week.  Was one of those weeks.  I shall strive to do much better this week, I promise!

Our Fabulous Fictioneer Facilitator, Rochelle, has chosen one of my photos.  Hmm… wonder where she “snagged” that one from?  All good.  I did give her the A-OK, of course!

Should this cute decor inspire you to write your own 100- word story, please do and add your link by clicking on the blue frog below.  It’s a fun challenge and really teaches you to cut the fluff!

©Dale Rogerson

 

Get the Frog for your Blog

While She Waited

They had arranged to meet at a bar/restaurant on the happening street of town. For most, it might seem weird to meet close to midnight but when you worked late shifts, this is what you did. No biggie, they were both night owls.

She got there early and waited by the entrance. She’d never noticed the umbrellas before. How cool! She snapped a few pics, shared them on Instagram and waited.

Over half-hour late. Starting to feel uncomfortable, and getting certain looks designed for a “working woman”, she chose to wait in her car.

Her cell pinged: “Where are you?”

 

Ridiculously Optimistic or Foolishly Delusional

“See me for who I am, and then you’ll see the real me.”
Anthony T. Hincks

I have had many adjectives assigned (allotted? thrown?) to/at me over the years.  Most, I believe, are positive:  athletic, strong, caring, generous, beautiful, smart, intelligent, cultured, interesting, resilient (why do I cringe with this one?), open, accepting, helpful, talented, optimistic, realistic, honest, funny.  Some, I know, are negative:  bitchy, cold, heartless, naive, disorganized, lazy, delusional, ridiculous, foolish, sarcastic (on the fence on where this one belongs) – there are surely more but why focus on the negative?  And some fall somewhere in-between; or rather, I know they are not necessarily negative per se, but when they were thrown at me, were not meant to be complimentary:  eccentric, weird, different.  Many, as you can see, are contradictory because perception is, well, what you perceive.

One day I will get to the point in my life where I can say this is my philosophy as well.  I am working on it.  I like to think I’m a good 75% there.

What has this got to do with my title?  Everything.  And nothing, to tell the truth.  I am, and have been, at various times in my life, every single one of the adjectives above – and more.  And will again in the future.  Because that is who I am. What you see, is what you get.  No one is all good, all the time, no matter what people say or think (ridiculously optimistic)?  Nor are they all bad, all the time either (foolishly delusional)?

I’m blathering.

Because I have been thinking lately about friendships and romance.  And won’t lie.  Have been rather frustrated and kinda lonely at times.  Maybe I’ve been thinking too much!

We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.

And, much as I say I have no expectations, it’s really hard not to have at least a little…

Friendships:  We form all sorts of friendships with people.  Some are surface-type and of lesser import and others go much deeper.  With the deeper ones, we like to think (and can’t help but expect) the other feels the same way about us as we do, them.  It is heartbreaking when you realise that no, you are not on the same wavelength at all.  Sometimes the other plays along to your tune to make you happy until they finally admit to themselves that this is not what they wanted in the first place and slowly drift away or immediately cut ties.  You are left standing wondering what the hell you did wrong and why the music stopped.  The truth is, you did nothing wrong.  And neither did they.  The other had different lyrics in mind.  To be fair, it goes both ways.  And to be even more honest, there rarely is malicious intent (this may be naive of me but I’ll keep that trait, thank you very much).  Of course, it would be wonderful if each communicated to the other their desires from the get-go…

“When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as
the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.”
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Romance/Sex/Love:  This one is a hard one.  I can say all sorts of things but losing Mick put me in a position I was frankly not that interested in finding myself.  I remember telling him once that I would prefer to keep the devil I knew then to find myself out there on the “market” again.  Thanks a lot, Mick.  What’s a woman to do? 51, working in her own kitchen, all her friends (mostly) are coupled…  How are you supposed to meet people guys?  So I signed up for a couple dating Apps.  Yes, those ones.  And I won’t lie.  I had a lot of fun.  And a lot of headaches.  I was not looking to become part of a full-time couple – not permanently, anyway and not at that particular time 😉  I wanted to go out, do stuff with someone, date.  Not that I have a problem with taking myself to the movies and such; but let’s face it, it is much more enjoyable à deux.  This dating shit is not for the faint of heart, lemme tell you.  I could write a book.  Point is, I go off and on these stupid sites every time I get fed up of being alone and in the hope of meeting someone who wants to do more than have a one-night-stand.  That old optimism thing.  Which I quit again.  Was exhausting.

“…sometimes I get tired. Sometimes I get bored. And sometimes all I want, more than anything else in the world, is to go on a freaking date.”
Kiersten White, Paranormalcy

I shall call this my little rant.  It shall pass.  It always does.

 

It All Started With a Phone Call

A good while back, I let ya’all know that I would be starting to write my stories.  Well, more like my stories with Mick because, frankly, he was quite the inspiration, my muse, if you will.  The boy just knew how to attract, um, “situations”, yeah, that’s what we’ll call them!  But, before I can get into our (mis)adventures, I have to share just how we met!

Why start today?  Well, today would have been our twentieth anniversary together.  Instead of focusing on sadness and what-could-have-or-might-have-beens, I prefer to remember the good stuff.  The oh-so funny stuff.  Lord knows there are plenty of those!!

As my story was not accepted by Six Hens ~ no, no, say nothing ~ it was my fault.  I did not perfectly respect the guidelines.  I will for the next issue, though!  That said, I can now share with you what I sent them with a few extras thrown in!  So, without further ado…

It All Started With a Phone Call

In my thirtieth year a series of events happened: my marriage of 17 months came to an end, I lost my job and I could have lost the family house ~ the one I had bought from my parents when they split up.  I will forever be grateful to René for continuing to pay his share of the house, even though he had moved out.  He went above and beyond and will always have my respect.  He may not have been the man for me, but he is definitely a good man.

This six months sans job turned out to be a benefit to my sister as she had three babies at home and welcomed the daily help. Truth is, I didn’t mind the forced time off either – it was a fabulous time:  playing in the park, swinging babies, cuddling, sharing with my sister, walks in the snow.  All good.

In March, 2005, I found my dream job.  (If the head office had not moved to Toronto, I think I’d still be there!) Things were looking up.

I started thinking about going out and dating but, ugh! Did I really want to do the bar scene? That whole meeting-your-soul-mate-at-the-grocery-store only happened in movies!  Serendipity?  Well… some work is involved, no?  I had to create the occasions to meet people.  I couldn’t just sit on my butt waiting. What other options did I really have? Almost all of my friends were pretty much coupled and none of them seemed to have any single friends to set me up with.

Well.

A friend of mine, Kathy, who happened to be single at the time also, suggested I sign up with Tele Personals (This was 1995, the Internet was still reserved for computer geeks!)  Really? Do I look that desperate? Had she lost her mind?  Was she nuts?  No. She was none of those!  She convinced me it would be fun and really, what did I have to lose, anyway?  You made the arrangements.  You decided where and when to meet these guys so… don’t be stupid and go to public places!  Go for a coffee (a meal is way too much commitment!) and you can decide when it is worth more time and when it is not!  I thought it over and really, how else are you supposed to meet people if you don’t want to sit alone by a bar looking like some desperado?

So, I sucked it up and signed up ~ it was, after all, free for women. I met some really nice guys, some not-so-nice guys, some desperados and some that just didn’t click. It was funny to listen to guys’ messages: “considered good looking…” (yeah, to your mother!), looking for minimum 5’9”, blond, must be under 125 lbs…. (really? You want a Barbie?), etc.  I dated a few more than once and even ~ gasp! ~ met two in one day!!  What?  It was for coffee!  Kathy was right.  It was a lot of fun.  People in Quebec don’t know how to date anyway.  You meet someone, you date once and all of a sudden and you are “going steady”… Pfft.

And then one day, I heard a nice voice stating he was looking for someone to go biking with, to hang out with, go to movies; he did not describe himself at all and did not have a list of pre-requisites.  I liked his voice and his message, it all rang so sincere to my ears, so I left him a message.

Well, whenever someone leaves you a message, the first thing you do is listen to theirs!  Which is what he did, of course. I had specified in mine that I preferred a non-smoker so he left me a message saying that he would have liked to meet with me be but he was a smoker.  Hmmm. In my suddenly-single state, I had found myself having a teenage-like identity crisis. I was rebelling! Well, no, that is a small exaggeration. But, can you imagine, after eight smokeless years, I stupidly started up again? It was all innocent at first. Apparently pretty much all the guys I met on the system were non-smokers except when they had a social drink. So I’d have one here and there.  I started smoking during the meetings (strangely a lot easier to withstand when you are one of them) at work.  As a result, it didn’t quite matter as much that this nice-voiced guy was a smoker.  I then did something I never did! I gave him MY number! There must have been something in his voice that sounded trustworthy is the only explanation I can give.

So, it’s a Sunday morning, June 25th, and I’m basically lying in bed, listening to potential candidates’ messages when I get a beep stating I have a message in my voicemail. Oh! So, I switch over and get this message: “You obviously don’t have call waiting… so call me at 514…!”  It was Mick.

Well I did. We ended up talking for over two hours! I won serious brownie points when I told him that he was listening to good music as I could hear Genesis’ Cinema Show from Selling England By The Pound in the background.  It turned into a game of  “Guess what song this is?”  I would play something on my CD player and have him guess what I was listening to and vice-versa.  So silly. We decided that we just had to meet that very day. Problem was, he had a dinner at his best friend’s house (André) that night.   He said we could meet after supper as his friend would totally understand if he had to leave earlier than usual. He then suggested we go to the movies. Movies? Now he lost brownie points! How do you get to know someone if you are sitting in silence in a movie theatre?

I agree anyway and we checked the listings. Batman Forever was playing at the Loews, downtown Montreal, at 10:00 pm. We decided to meet there around 9:00 so we would have a chance to chat a bit before.   “I’ll be wearing cut-off jean shorts, a white blouse and red shoes”, I told him. It was not like it was the first time I met up with a blind date and there was something exciting about this one.

Phone Call

I stood by the west-side entrance of the now defunct Loews movie theatre and saw a nice-looking guy walking towards me. I just had a feeling it was him so I stuck out my right foot and wiggled it, showing my red shoes!  With a big smile he walked towards me.   Someone cut in front of him and stopped him.  After talking with her for a few minutes, he motioned me over and introduced me to Samantha, a friend from high school!  He told me later on he was so worried I’d think he was some kind of player!  Too funny.  If you knew Mick, you would know that there is no way in hell he could ever wear that title with comfort.  Sam left and we officially introduced ourselves to each other!  I suggested we go for an ice cream cone as we still had time to spare.  He agreed and we walked around looking for an ice cream parlour.  He first tried to bring me to one in one of the parks off Peel Street but it was closed; we then ended up going to some other little joint ~ the one detail I cannot for the life of me remember. (I found out much later that ice cream was the last thing he wanted to eat as his friend had served him a “Jurassic-Park-sized steak” and he was so stuffed, he could barely breathe!  No wonder it took him so long to eat it that the ice cream was melting faster than he could eat it. Gave me a chance to scope out his hands…

We slowly made our way back to the Loews, watched the movie, and then decided to go have a coffee. We were in no rush as neither one of us was working the following day so we walked towards Dunkin’ Donuts.

We sat on a bench for hours just talking, drinking our coffee.  It gave me the opportunity to see what a generous man he was as he handed out cigarettes and coins to various homeless men. It was almost 4:00 a.m. and I told him it felt like we were teenagers staying up all night at Prom! Then I said, “Hey, if we were at Prom, what would we be doing about now?” “Go up to the Mountain to watch the sunrise!” he exclaimed.  So we did. We walked up Peel Street, through the walkways, where we held hands for the first time. It was so quiet and we were the only ones up top on the Belvédère Kondiaronk, (a wide piece of land annexed to the Mount Royal Chalet) over-looking the City of Montreal. Some view! It was cloudy and muggy with no sun to be seen!  Perfect place to share our very first kiss.

Belvedere Kondiaronk

It must have been around 8:00 am and we were getting hungry. Not only that, our cars were parked on the street and we were in danger of getting parking tickets!  The holiday was officially on the 24th (a Saturday), so companies had the option of giving the Friday or the Monday off.  We both had the Monday. He asked me if he could make me breakfast. I accepted, so down the mountain we went to our respective cars and I followed him to his place. He got busy in the kitchen, making me an omelette, bacon, coffee… It was delicious! This guy was a keeper!

After breakfast he showed me a video of his shark dive in the Bahamas and then, because it was so hot, I asked him if he was shy about meeting my sister. She had a pool….  Well, guess what? He was all gung-ho and off we went to my sister Lisa’s where we splashed around like little kids and laughed and laughed until our bellies ached. I think I was not the only one who considered him a keeper…

He never slept in his apartment again.

It was basically the date that never ended.  All thanks to that first phone call.