9:41 AM Onward

Start –

Everybody and their momma’s blogging this: Johnny Ramone but damn, 3 down in 3 years. My brain hurts.

Photoshop class #3 last night. Blending! Belinda the Blender. An interesting lesson and much better than being at work. I came home afterwards and read a bit and hit the sack at 10PM. Slept so sound I didn’t stir a’tall when Sa Rah came home ½ hour later. Woke up at 3AM, noticed the TV was on, thought it was 11PM, suppressed my disorientation, said “Hullo” to me love (watching the TV), had a snack, went back to sleep, woke up at 6:30AM after dreams of NYC, a city that has been on my mind a lot as of late.

I’m excited. Bloom is now available for purchase.

PAUSE

10:03AM

At lunch, I should start transcribing my story-in-progress for Saturday’s CES meeting. I do the vast majority of my non-blog creative writing by hand. I tend to edit less that way and get more out. During transcription is when I edit most. This current story will be a mixed bag in terms of what’s hand-written and typed because I don’t think I’ll have time to finish it (i.e., handwrite it all out) before Saturday and need to get something into the group’s hands before Saturday afternoon, preferably by tonight. If I can finish – most unlikely – all the better.

The Book Peeps are on Walt Bodine, talkin’ ‘bout my good man, Truman Capote.

PAUSE

10:51AM

10 minutes ‘til lunch. Halfway through the day. For some reason I keep thinking this is Friday.

PAUSE

11:54AM

I’m not just now back from lunch. I did go over my allotted 30 minutes – but…that’s between you and me. Here’s what I got transcribed:

The stairwell door loomed green gray. Shari Leadbetter’s groan as she opened the door was nearly as loud as the door’s own ungreased complaint. Stairs if you care, stairs if you care, she silently repeated to herself. More like, stairs if you dare. The east stairwell of One World Consulting, Inc.’s home office discouraged use. One fluorescent bulb lit the bottom two flights. The middle section was marginally better lit – four bulbs that blinked intermittently. Shari never went higher than the eighth floor so she couldn’t tell you whether the top of the stairwell was bathed in pale light like some sterile, heavenly Super Center or showered with shadow like a foreign grocer’s in a strip mall. Shari’s six flights, two dim, four strobed, had been the bane of her existence for the past two weeks. A new diet, a new plan, a new routine, a new habit, a new mantra: Stairs if you care, stairs if you care.

FLIGHT ONE

Park far away to start your day.
Stairs if you care.
Water makes you hotter.
Be petite. Just don’t eat.

The words rolled like a tire in Shari’s head – A spare tire – and they matched a rhythm set by Shari’s feet smacking down on the concrete stairs. She’d borrowed the words from Sven Evensong’s book, Try It Diet. The words are mine. Sven gives them to his customers. Six flights of stairs to the office. Stairs if you care. And Shari did care. She made it to the sixth floor, less out of breath today than yesterday. Her hand on the door’s bar, she was ready to get a cup of coffee and start the day. She paused though and lifted her gaze to the water pipe that ran vertically along the wall, straight through the holes cut in the concrete landings. Is that a –

Snake in the Stairwell

? Well, it certainly looked to Shari like the tail end of a snake, wrapped around the water pipe and dangling loosely from the hole in the seventh floor landing. Shari looked back to her hands on the door’s push bar. She took a deep breath, tucked a few loose strands of thin, brown hair back behind her ear, let go of the door, hiked up her tan slacks, exhaled, and walked up to the seventh floor.

FLIGHT TWO

That is absolutely disgusting. Oh, Jesus, it’s like that snake Teddy bought Rand for his birthday. How the hell did it get in here? Shari, up close and examining the snake’s body. Dark green, right from the jungle, and thick as a manila folder rolled into a wide cylinder. Shari held her breath and reached out to touch the snake. “OH, JESUS!” The snake moved. Shari tilted her head to look up through the hole in the eighth floor landing. The snake wound up and around the water pipe through the eighth floor and – How long is this thing? All the way to twelve? Jesus?

Shari – on the eleventh floor landing. Snake – still constricted around the pipe, one more floor. Shari – out of breath. Up the stairs two at a time. Shari – sweat down her cheeks. Shari – one foot in front of the other, up the stairs. Shari – twelfth floor landing saw the long, too-dark monster wrapped up and around the small section of pipes in the corner. Snake – pretzeled into a knot. Eyes closed. Shari – stepped forward. One snake eye opened in a bemused laze. Other eye opened. Forked tongue flicked. Shari stopped. Snaked watched. Shari – breath, heavy, heavy still, palms clammed and damp.

The snake started to slither, undulate. A languorous ripple of muscle worked itself along the snake’s body like a pulse of energy slow moving through a viscous jelly. The knot loosened as the pulse came upon it. Undone now, the snake adjusted and slithered along the pipe above Shari’s head. The snake lowered itself down toward Shari. She stood still, the left side of her body numb and she couldn’t move. The snake came down to look her in the eyes.

In a drunken weave, the snake’s head bobbed in front of Shari. It moved down to Shari’s right shoulder, draped itself around the back of her neck, and raised its head back up to the left side of her face. The snake hissed secret and rumor into Shari’s ear. She listened. She was lissstening.

Shari lifted the snake from her shoulders and left it dangling from the pipe work as she mounted the final flight of stairs – Rooftop Access. A hint of smoke and exhaust rushed over Shari when she opened the door to the roof. I can see the mall. She turned south outside of the door. And the train station. Shari walked to the lip of the roof and looked over the edge. A few employees were smoking out front. Stairs if you care. Shari raised her right arm out to her side, hand outstretched – palm down. She curled, and then fluttered her fingers. If you try. She raised her left arm and did the same. You can fly.

FLIGHT THREE

And that’s my noontime post, kids.

9:41 AM Onward

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