yesterday i threw a tantrum.

I threw a tantrum yesterday. I knew it was coming, had known it for quite some time in fact. It had been a while since I’d had one, I was about due I noticed. About a week ago when I was picking up my morning bagel at Bageltown it came to me like a word from above. A switch flipped and the currents changed inside of me, warming my nerves and preparing them once more for the inevitable. I looked down at my cinnamon raison bagel with lox cream cheese and asked it, will today be the day, bagel? The bagel said no, so I breathed a sigh of relief before biting into its poor little body.

The next day I inquired of a toasted buttered everything, it too shook its head in reassuring negatives. The next no came from a croissant, and I ate it quickly thereafter because I started to hate it. The next day’s bagel must have sensed my animosity because it remained poised and still in the face of my interrogation, still managing to give off a negative vibe. It wasn’t until yesterday that a saucy looking plain bagel, naked as the day it was born, showed no signs of response and immediately I knew, today is the day. It’s funny I should know without confirmation from my breakfast, but miracles happen every day, you know. I waited for three or four minutes before dressing and devouring my fortune-telling friend, hoping the world would explode in the meantime or I would go into septic shock or have a stroke or a heart attack or something evasive like that.

When the clock struck three minutes I gave in and ate it, hole in the middle and all. After that, I was peaceful. The world brightened, sharpened, touched me all over. My skin tingled. I felt the ghosts of bagels past riding on my shoulders, spectators in the sport they knew I would play in a short time. I smiled to the bagel guy standing behind the counter as I pushed open the door, bells tinkling their goodbyes as the sun shone into my eyes. I squinted. The world focused, I breathed a little.

I turned on my heel, shoved my right hand in my pocket and walked down the far left edge of the sidewalk, dodging oncoming traffic as my left hand slid over storefront windows. I watched my shoelaces to ensure they stayed tied, checking my back left pocket from time to time to confirm the presence of my wallet. The presence of my wallet is always comforting in times such as these.

Finally, after what felt like forty days wandering in the desert of the sidewalks of my city, the sliding doors of the supermarket opened at the touch of my absent-minded left fingers. I stopped. I squinted. I pirouetted and heaved a shallow sigh. The doors slid closed. I tapped my right foot three inches in front of me. The doors slid open. This time I didn’t let them close on me, and I thanked them as I passed.

I followed the familiar lines between the tiled floors with my feet and my eyes, marching my way, head down, to aisle nine. No one stopped me, and if they tried I didn’t notice. I forgot my basket, I murmured as I entered the pasta aisle. I checked my watch, realizing there was no time for my basket anyway. Slowly, almost dreamily, I lifted my eyes to the sight of blue and yellow boxes, filled with who knows how many starchy mini-statues. I stepped closer to the farfalle, my nose grazing the plastic that revealed the bows to my wondering eyes.

And then I was on the floor once more, covered in yellow bows, yellow sticks, yellow tubes, even some red ones, cardboard under my feet, my head, my elbows.

“Clean up on aisle nine!” a voice from heaven called. I started to giggle. I checked for my wallet, still there. My eyes closed as I listened for the old familiar pattering of rubber-clad feet coming for me.

This has been a story brought to you by one of Wesley’s recent free-writing sessions. Just a little peek into what goes on in her mind when she lets it go.

me

instagram stories

This is a story inspired by the Instagram photo above. Enjoy.

Annie just wanted to eat her ice cream. This was a big day for Annie, as one could tell by the colorful toppings adorning her tri-flavored dessert mound. Any day involving ice cream and toppings was a big day for a five year old.

The sun streamed through the back window of her father’s navy blue sedan — she looked for a shadow to protect her precious creation.

“I told you, Alan, it doesn’t matter whether you like Bill, it doesn’t matter whether he’s a prick who brags about his firm, you have to at least be cordial. I don’t see how that’s so difficult for you.”

Annie picked up the cherry from the tip-top of its stem, taking a dollop of whipped cream with it as it neared her mouth.

“I said hello, Beverly, I can’t help it if I don’t have any compliments to give him on his amazing quarterly profit. I listened, didn’t I?”

Pop! The cherry detached from its stem, balancing feebly between her top and bottom teeth. She tipped her head back and let the cherry roll into her mouth, a bit of whipped cream catching on her bottom lip. She licked it.

“You listened alright. I could tell by the timing of your eye rolls that you heard every word he said.”

“He’s such a prick.”

“You know what, Alan, I knew I shouldn’t have brought you.”

“Thank you! Yes, I agree. I missed half the Braves game.”

She examined the stem as she chewed the cherry, savoring the juices. She sniffed it.

“Unbelievable.”

“What.”

“What? What, Alan? Do I have to tell you?”

The stem lingered in front of her moistened lips. She bit the tip of it, hopefully.

“You can’t button up for a five minute conversation with the host of our daughter’s best friend’s birthday party, pretend you are interested for five minutes! It’s unreal. Oh, and the fact that you would rather sleep in front of the TV than spend time with Annie, don’t get me started. Turn here.”

The waxy red twig bent between her teeth, not breaking. She opened her mouth, removing the stem.

“I’ll turn where I want to turn, Bev. Unless you want to drive. Do you want to drive?”

“Unbelievable.”

In a change of strategy, Annie straightened the stem and plunged it into the now half-melted ice cream. She pulled it up slowly, through the vanilla and syrup and sprinkles until it broke free. She returned it to her mouth.

“I just wish you could get it through your head how important it is for us to be friendly to Julie’s parents. They could be friends for a long time. Unless you ruin it.”

“Oh, come off it Beverly.”

A slight taste of chocolate, and half a sprinkle. She tried again.

“Fine Alan, I’ll come off it. I’ll just let you make a fool of yourself in front of our friends, unless you decide to stay home and watch baseball, in which case I’ll explain to the other parents that you love baseball more than your children. I’ll come off it, I will.”

This time, she dug so far in that her fingertips touched the topping. She removed them and the cherry stem and stuck all five fingers in her mouth. She licked everything clean, stem included.

“Mommy?”

“Sweetie, your dad and I are talking. Eat your ice cream.”

“But Mommy?”

“Yes honey? We’ll be home soon, just finish your ice cream and we’ll be home soon.”

“But Mommy?”

“What Annie, I said we are talking!”

“Can I have my spoon?”

Beverly looked down at her hand, startled.

why i’m leaving

I thought I’d share with y’all a little story I wrote during my writing workshop. I read this aloud in our “coffee shop” last night, and people snapped loudly when I was finished. Just kidding. Or am I?

Anyway, it’s called Why I’m Leaving, and it is based on a true story. It’s a bit long, so stay with me.

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. I moved in with some family, which, let’s be honest, could be the end of my story and we’d all be able to fill in the blanks of a pretty interesting ending. But for artistic reasons and the sake of your entertainment and my own catharsis, I’ll expound a bit on my circumstances.

To give you a little back story, I’ve been living with my parents for the last couple of years. Which was fine, as living with parents goes. We lived in a nice house, they took good care of me. My mom could be a bit smothering and my dad could be downright annoying at times, but they fed me breakfast and dinner, and I’ll admit that’s enough to keep me around. We had a dog, which was less than ideal, but for the most part she left me alone, per my own request. I don’t particularly like people, but I particularly don’t like dogs.

My mom and dad usually let me do what I wanted to do, which often involved sleeping while I was at home. They let me go out pretty much whenever I wanted to, but if I was ever gone for too long my mom would call me incessantly until I came home. She was a sucker though, so as long as I showed up reasonably soon after she started calling, she was over the moon at my return. It usually took her a while to leave me alone after those stunts, you know, absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that crap, but I had my ways of getting her to stop hugging me. I wasn’t as appreciative as I could have been, I’ll admit. But I stuck around, because the food was good, and a little bit because I knew my mom loved having me there.

A few weeks ago, however, everything changed. First came the boxes, then the furniture started disappearing, and before I knew it I was in a car with half of my parents’ belongings. Woof. Luckily for me, or so I thought at the time, my car ride was short. I don’t do well in car rides, well, none of us do, so I didn’t care where they were taking me as long as it was somewhere close.

They stopped at my grandmother’s house, stayed a few days to get me settled, and went along their way with little to-do about leaving me. I have to say I was a bit surprised. I mean, I know I’m a little moody, but they’re my parents, you know? I sort of thought they’d never leave me. But that’s not even the worst of it. Let me give you a glimpse into my life at the grandparents’, so you can understand why I’m leaving.

The first couple of days were tough, but I have a hard time adjusting to change, and my parents knew that, so they were sympathetic to my idiosyncrasies as I settled. I slept in the same room as my parents, and to be honest I didn’t come out for the whole first day I was there. I do a lot of sleeping in new surroundings. And this may be too much honesty, but I get a bit of, well, indigestion when I’m nervous, so I wasn’t in the mood to prance around the new digs.

When I did leave the bedroom, I immediately remembered why I previously hadn’t, as I was undoubtedly met by two uber-curious lap dogs who literally followed me everywhere I went. One of them was fine, I guess, she just sniffed at me incessantly and wouldn’t be within more than five feet of my every move. The other one, the smaller, football-sized one, did not like me. I tried to keep my distance, but if he happened to catch a glimpse of me, he would charge me with his anemic bark and do his best to intimidate me. This was not fun. So I stayed upstairs as much as possible. I tried going outside a few times, but I couldn’t for the life of me get anyone to open the door, so I spent a lot of time looking out the window from the dining room table.

Once I was able to go outside (I say able, I snuck out while my grandmother was letting the yappers out), I was faced with a whole new set of challenges. If it wasn’t enough getting used to the new yard, there was, of all things, a CAT living there. I know what you’re thinking, you would expect us to get along, but I can tell you that was not the case. I had seen her a few times inside the house, and she didn’t like me there, and things didn’t change on the outside. So I sat under a bush in the front of the yard while she took the back, and we kept to our well-defined territories.

This went on for a few days, hostility inside and outside the house, and once my parents left I have to tell you I felt pretty alone. I mean, my grandparents were nice and all, but they have their own lives and pets to take care of, so I stayed upstairs and out of their hair when I wasn’t outside.

Things seemed to be settling down a bit, until Saturday. My mom’s sister Callie came over, and she brought, get this, another dog. Now, the other two dogs were annoying, but their territory was downstairs, and luckily for me they let me alone when I was upstairs, for the most part. This dog, no dice, he followed me everywhere. I go to my room, he’s there. I come out of my room, he’s there. I swat him away from me, he comes right back. He would not leave me be.

I couldn’t handle it. I tried. I really did. But this is it. I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t know how to get there, but I’m out of here. Maybe I’ll try to make it back to my parents’ old place. I hear it’s not that hard to find your way back. I’ve become pretty proficient at catching my own meals, so it will be an adjustment, but anything beats this. This is no life for a cat. So I’m out. Wish me luck.

The End.

Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear some feedback. This was written while Itty was on a little vacation from my parents’ house, but I can happily tell you that he returned bright and cheery this morning as if nothing had happened. Cats are silly creatures.

me