A Great Quote

“Happiness consists in realizing it is all a great strange dream”
― Jack Kerouac

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Short Fiction

The Conclusion

I stay small in the shadows, I don’t want you to see me this way, I don’t want to be here.

The creeping ends and begins with momma.

She was hanging in the tree, her dress was flowing and the sun made bright red, orange and purple streaks behind her head deep into the sky. She’d swung there for a long time. I sat and watched from below until they came had to take me away from the tree, had to drag me by my arms and legs. The moonlight shone on them in a single beam. I watched them from the window, pull her down. They yanked her by her foot until she swung hard and fell. I heard the cracking and saw her head turned around, something I tried to do but couldn’t. I had only seen it on TV, a head turned like that. Her feet were black and her eyes bulged more than usual. The moonlight faded.

“Get away from that winda, ya hear.” Grandma yelled, and whipped the broom upside my head. Grandma couldn’t take care of us, so this lady came to take me to a new home. I had six new homes before I was able to be alone.

The first home was OK. It was full of kids like me. Three to a room, bunkbeds and a single twin. No dressers, just a closet.

The house mother would say, “This is short-term, lil’ girl. No long stays.”

The second house was an old couple. Their house smelled like chicken soup, all the time, and they had three cats and a goat. They were nice people. Nothing weird or special, just liked to get the paychecks. The goat stayed outside in the front yard. Old Man said it was for keeping the lawn trimmed, he was too old to mow the yard. When the goat died, he got a hand push mower, and gave it me. I had fun with it, I made circles and patches all over the place. Old Man didn’t think it was so funny.

The next house was alright too.

It was the last house… it was the bad one.

It was really bad, I don’t talk about it. Don’t like to think about it, but it was the first time I killed a man. He was coming into the room, and the lock wouldn’t stop him, he reach for me and I bit him. He smacked me hard to the ground. Everything around me went black, and my ears rang. I could feel his hand pull up on my thighs. I felt the ground around me. The pen cradled itself into my fingers. I stabbed his eyes out and kicked his nose in with the ball of my heel.

House number five, I had seven brothers. Fighting them off me had it’s rewards.

I went for an evaluation, before trial. I guess they haven’t had any conclusions, because, I’m still here. I don’t know how long, but I seen the snow now a couple of times. I think about being able to go out in the snow, walk under it, open my mouth and let it hit my tongue. Feel it melt on my cheeks. I want to lay and make snow angels, feel the cold against my ears, numb out the noise.

They got into a circle around me once, and they sang to me. The lady in the white coat told me to make a wish and blew out the flame rising from a frosted single cake, wrapped in colored paper. Chocolate. My favorite. I wished for a black and shiny handled rod. The little red light is on and when it turns green, it’s ready. The cord coming from it tangles in circles and loops into knots.

I ripped apart the pretty paper around the box. Pencils in a package, all different colors. I took one from the cellophane, turned to the lady in the coat. She smiled at me and asked if I wanted to draw. I lurched the pencil forward and drove it through soft white of her eyeball. After the party they moved me into a different room. I have not eaten frosted cake since then.

Maybe that made the conclusion come, and it said that I shall remain in the white room, with the white bed, with the white sheets—stained with red dots.

I finally got a visitor; the sister I had at the last house, the bad house. She was there when I killed that man. Her dad. She watched. They took her to a hospital when they found us. The neighbor had heard the bad man screaming and called the authorities.

I asked her to come back, she did. I asked her to bring me what I had wished for. When the nurses found me I had 29 burns—under my arms, around my breasts, and inside my thighs.

I no longer lay alone. The little one-eye box sees me everyday, red blinking light. Blinking, blinking, doesn’t stop. Fixed above the barred window.
The nurse comes to give me the pills now. Now, Now, I look past her. Now I fall. I can see my escape right beyond my reach.

Can the moon shine bright in the alleyway behind the zig-zag stairs, will it shine a path for me to walk on, will it wind around the trees in the park and ask for a coat when it snows. Do the zig-zag stairs come down and let the little lady go. On the way will I pass a face that I will recognize? In the twisting of my interior course, will the wind blow, will the wind blow?

Vinyasa Flow

I’m 40 years old — I don’t look it or act it, or feel it mentally but my body on the other hand can feel the physical decline. I keep saying that I am not going to grow old gracefully, but I’m not even sure if I know what that means.

Growing up I heard “… Just wait until you’re older.” Well I’m older now and understand that tag line better than ever. I’ll go hiking for an hour and have to soak my feet, or my whole body in hot water. In my twenties I could wake up and go. Now each morning I get a little more stiff and have to stretch my muscles first thing out of bed before I can move properly.

I have taken on yoga as my guide, my personal trainer as a segue into senior-ship. I figure I better start now so I’m not a train wreck at 50. I began practicing yoga in studio classes through the college. After graduation I bought a DVD, Tara Styles, and continued my yoga practice in the living room — I still do this 10 years later.

At first I wasn’t very regular. According to Natasha at yogajournal.com, constancy in this practice is more productive and easier on one’s body. She explains to a reader, “My experience is that the more consistent the practice, the more quickly one moves through the creaky period at the beginning. This is true mentally as well as physically. When we are in a consistent rhythm with our practice, we are more likely to understand its ebb and flow.” But no one is perfect. And in today’s economy, unless you’re an instructor, time is high in demand making it more difficult to always be rigid about a workout.

One thing I have learned over the years of exercise is that it’s OK to take some time off as long as I come back to it. Seems the more I practice this way of thinking, the less I drift from timeouts.

I mainly exercise for health and muscle tone. I do the yoga to connect my mind and body to relieve stress and stimulate oxygen flow — which helps my creative endeavors. Yoga will relax and revive my system at the same time. I am able to be present in my head, heart and soul. My emotions and psyche are at ease, and will stay at ease. Yoga helps me to take on the hardest story to write or the easiest shopping day.

But I don’t forget that yoga can be used for low and high impact workouts making this practice an all-in-one exercise regimen. Yogajournal.com is a great resource for all stages of yogi’s.

“Earth, Wind and Fire”, written by Niika Quistgard, explains State of Balance, the way through which you achieve total spiritual, mental and physical balance.

Yoga can be frustrating though, any exercise can be frustrating if it’s mechanics are mis-understood. Taking the time to receive it as it comes to me will reward my body with inner strengths. Living a healthy lifestyle starts with a conscious choice; healthy living is a balance of diet, oxygen, and exercise. Yogi living is healthy living.

Short Fiction

I’m Your Bad Neighbor

by

Corrie Dibble

The night air is always cooler, two sweaters are usually necessary. I tug the white one on last, it reflects better in the light. I yawn and stretch my arms above my head and sway side to side. Stretching always make me feel good, sends energy up my spine and down my legs. Especially when my eyes feel heavy, and my feet feel like they are glued to the floor—each step in slow motion.

The dog sits silently waiting for me. Her sweet eyes drooping down and watching my every move. Knowing that she’s there brings a feeling of relief, steady calm. Her breath soft on my arm as I wrap her collar around her neck.

You know what they say about your dog being your best friend, well I guess I have two. Two besties, not two dogs. My dog is the brain between the two of us, she is the one who keeps me on my toes, who has the last say.

Our walks are our time to reflect—she sniffs and I think. I think about the conversation I had with my mother on the phone about her gallery, or the day at the office, the man I saw in the line at the grocery store. Sometimes I hope, instead of think. I hope about what the future brings—a better job, or a boyfriend. I dream too. I dream about the time I will win an award for being fabulous, at something. I dream about all sorts of things as I reflect. I will think about the paper I wrote for a class I finished two years prior, and then dream about going back and being able to redo it—both the class and the paper, or, I reflect on the boy I met and then dream about the house and the car and the size of family we will have; then I dream about the same boy without kids and living free, off the grid and traveling to parts of the world I have never heard of.

We walk the same route every night. We go late, so we’re alone. It’s better that way. No one to bother us. The dog likes to sniff the garbage cans, the plants in the neighbors’ yards, the concrete in the road, anything really. I wonder sometimes if she knows what she is smelling, can she identify with it? I watch my shadow grow as we get farther from the street light. The grooves in the sidewalk fade away to dirt and the weeds grow along the edges. When the dog stops, I stop and stare at the ground—looking for the grooves worn down into the pavement. I can see them glistening, almost sparkling from hidden diamonds.

I try to identify with everything and everyone, at least something. I want to connect, be there in the moment and take away an idea, a new perspective, friends, lovers…I often wish I could ask for a repeat of time. But who do I ask?

The dog’s poop is large, larger than most dogs, and sometimes larger than my own. It is a technique, poop picking, making sure that you get it all, don’t miss the drips. I always pick up the poop with a baggie, earth friendly. I make sure I drop the bag in the neighbor lady’s garbage bin, even better when I can get the dog to shit in her driveway. “I’m your bad neighbor,” I say under my breath—even though no one’s around to see or hear me.

That is usually the case, and this is usually why. She yelled at me once, for no reason. She doesn’t like dogs or people. Her face scowls like an old man, I hope it stays that way.