Welcome to the Land of Unemployment…

Welcome to the Land of Unemployment…

 

No doubt, this is a very harsh land to find yourself in.  No matter how you arrived (strutting, kicking and screaming, just woke up here), you will first traverse the Field of Terror.

 

In the Field of Terror you will hear shouts of “How did I get here?” “What have I done?” and, “I can’t believe this is happening to me!” as well as cries to various deities.  Some of those shouts will be coming from you.  You might get through this faster or slower than others.  Try not to judge.

 

Once you get through Terror, you will find yourself in the Alley of Depression.  It is a dark and scary place where the walls are closing in on you and failure is imminent.  Acceptance that you are fully in this land, and determination that you will not live here for long, might help speed the passage of this particular Alley.  The best advice is to look up.  The sky is still there and the walls are not really moving toward you. Once you recognize that you are in the Alley (and that can be very difficult) try to see the faces of possibility at the other end and get through this dark place as quickly as possible.

 

Once you leave the Alley, you should find yourself in the wide Valley of Resignation.  This is where many people linger for too long.  It is a somewhat comfortable place after the Terror and the Depression.  Here your fellow citizens will mutter phrases like, “I should have seen it coming,” or “I could have done things differently.”  This will be the place to stand in line for something while not really trying or wanting to try.  Swapping horror stories of the Field of Terror or the Alley of Depression with those around you eases the monotony.

 

Once you’ve decided to get through Resignation, you will find the Foothills of Job Seekers.  Here the going will be easier, for you are filled with determination, and friends and family will be cheering you on.  These Hills are easily traversed for there is refreshment to be found at Interview Fountain.  After a single sip your confidence is restored and you are strong again.  You are motivated to find your niche in the upcoming Mountain of Employment.  You shade your eyes as you look at the towering peaks and see the eagles soaring majestically along the craggy face.  I can do this! you decide.  It is shortly after that you find yourself standing before the Cliffs of Frustration.

 

The Cliffs of Frustration have sent many back to the Valley of Resignation.  The handholds that must be used to climb the face are rough and torturous.  No matter how firm a grip you feel you have on the situation, either your fingers will slip, a fellow citizen will step on you on their way up, or one of those damn eagles will buzz you so hard and fast you wish you were never born.  But if you can get past that, if you can hold fast, ignoring the pain, the insults, the crippling assaults to your ego, you just might find your very own Comfortable Niche on Employment Mountain. And congratulations to you!

 

Yes, there are some who just cross the boundary of the Land of Unemployment and are swept up by the wings of those eagles before they even get to experience the Field of Terror. To that I would say, “Congratulations.

On behalf of all the citizens of this nightmarish place to be, we would like to add…Go to Hell!

***

JL Mo is a mother of two full grown geeks, and Nana to their geeks-in-training. She is also the author of the McShane Mini-Mystery series, and has had a number of stories published in various anthologies which can be accessed on her Amazon Author Page.

WoManapause

 

WoManapause

By JL Mo

 

 

At the dawn of civilization…

 

The cave was dark. She woke with all the animal skins being thrown on top her. She pushed them off and reached for her mate of thirty summers. He flung her arm off of him, as if it were a snake.

“Grok? What happened?”

“Nothing,” was his terse reply.

“Is it.. .you know?”

“Yes, it’s you know,” he whispered harshly.

“I’m sorry. I’ll leave you alone.”

“Sure, run away. I can’t escape.”

“Do you want me to stay with you?”

“What good would that do, Gyrll?”

“You’re having a moment. I’ll just—”

“I know what I’m having! I’m lying in bed, sleeping soundly, only to wake up and break out into a sweat like I’ve been running from a saber tooth for the last freaking hour! I know what I’m having!”

Gyrll knew nothing good could be said right now. Grok would only give her a nasty remark. She got out of bed, intending to get him something to drink. He said nothing to her as she left the cave.

The stars shimmered in the night sky. The tribe’s starman, Degraasy, said a wishing star would be sailing across the sky, and he was right. A bright light, with a long tail, seemed to hover just above the horizon. Anything wished on it would become so, according to Degraasy, and she hoped it was true. She locked her eyes on the sky light and closed her eyes, thinking of Grok.

They had seen the medicine man, even though this was normal for all men of his years. Each man handled WoManapause differently, but the symptoms were all the same. Hot flashes, mood swings, forgetfulness. Her friend Brock’s mate was a dream according to her. He never woke her once when he went through the hot flash stage. Although, she still occasionally had to listen while he cried about how his mother was crushed by a woolly mammoth. At least he only told the story two or three times a week.

Gyrll had listened to plenty of Grok’s sad stories, but it was the complaining that drove her crazy. She’d suffered childbirth and not griped half as much.

Help me, star. Help Grok.

“Gyrll.”

She jumped at his quiet approach. “Grok, you startled me.”

“I’m sorry for everything I said. You’ve been awesome through this. I know I wouldn’t want to live if a cave bear ate you or something.”

A wave of love washed over her. He seemed so sincere. “Thank you, Grok.” Gyrll looked into his beautiful eyes shining in the star light, and felt her heart race. Maybe the star can help.

“It’s getting late,” she said. “Look, it’s already two stars past the moon. Let’s go back to bed.”

He took her in his arms and hugged her gently.

“Come on, big guy,” Gryll said as she pulled out of his arms. “Let’s get going.”

“What?”

“Let’s go to bed.”

“No. The big guy comment. What’s that supposed to mean?”

“What? Nothing!”

“You’re saying I’m fat.”

“No. I’m just – ”

“Oh, forget it, Gyrll. Why don’t you just sleep in the other cave like you wanted to do in the first place?”

“What the—what do you want from me?”

“I want you to take a minute and consider how I feel. What I’m going through.”

“Sure baby. I’ll pause for a minute and try.”

“You’re doing it again!”

“What? Doing what?”

“Talking to me like I’m an idiot! Stop! I can’t change what I’m suffering!”

“I know that! If I could take it all from you, I would!”

“Oh sure. You’d take on the searing heat, the blinding rage? As if a woman could handle it!”

“Blargh! I’m sure we’d do a better job of handling it than you guys! I wish all women could take it from man.”

At that moment, the star flared brilliantly.

     And that is how women came to suffer Menopause.

***

JL Mo is a mother of two full grown geeks, and Nana to their geeks-in-training. She is also the author of the McShane Mini-Mystery series, and has had a number of stories published in various anthologies which can be accessed on her Amazon Author Page

 

 

Normal Parameters

There was a writers ‘shoot-out’ a few years ago, and the topic we had to write on was Sci Fi with a computer becoming sentient. The following story was my submission.

 

 

Normal Parameters

by JL Mo

 

The vibration I felt through my shoes was somehow familiar. Reaching up, I place my hand on the slight curve of her inner hull to try to identify the sensation. Bzzz. A count of ten and again, Bzzz. Rhythmic shivers gently pulsed through her. Something tugged at the back of my mind as I tried to reach a memory of a lesson, buried in layers of lessons from years gone.

I’ve been Captain of this antiquated shuttle since my demotion three months ago. In all fairness, she was a beauty in her day. Unfortunately, her day was long past. I don’t believe she should still be in service. However, all of her maintenance checks came back clean.

“Ensign Tadford. Status update, please.”

The young woman swiveled around on the squeaky, too small seat and declared, “All is working within normal parameters, sir.”

“Are you sure? Oxygen, power, engines, all read normal?”

“Aye, sir. Would you like a report sent to your intermail?”

“No, that won’t be necessary.”

“Is there anything specific you might like investigated, sir?”

I decline with a shake of my head. I’m not sure where to start with something so vague. The military, in their infinite wisdom, declared system engineers on board a shuttlecraft unnecessary. The manufacturer, AGN, claims there is no need for them. All monitoring, and minor repairs, could be performed by the crewmembers if necessary. Except for odd things like this. “Call Lieutenant Meyers to the bridge.”

“Aye, sir.”

 

The memory of a lesson from long ago danced just outside of total recall. What caused that damn vibration? I’d had so many professors at the academy I couldn’t remember them all. Their individual lessons were even more distant. This was something I should know.

This shuttle with its crew of three carrying a dozen passengers could fly fine without me. After my demotion, the route assignment turned out to be the worst of my punishment. I accepted losing rank from Major to Captain. My true hell lay in the monotonous shuttling of passengers from Earth, Sections Two through Five, all the way to Moon, Sections Eight through Eleven. The most uninteresting, mind numbing route to be had, and I am to fly this until retirement.

“Excuse me, Captain Casey. Lieutenant Meyers, as ordered.”

The formality on this shuttle still boggles my mind, but the others appreciate the military protocol. So, I deal with the uniforms, and the salutes and the posturing as if we were actually on a military mission. Well, I suppose we are, but it’s an AGN Class B Shuttle, for God’s sake! I return his salute, stifling my frustration.

“At ease, Lieutenant. Tell me, have you noticed a pulse, an odd vibration, through the ship?”

“A vibration, sir?”

“Yes, Lieutenant. Here, put your hand right here.” I step away from the small patch of bare wall, one of the few areas not covered by instruments, pipes or wires, offering a direct touch to the inner hull. Meyers raises his hand and places his palm fully on the ship.

“No sir, I don’t feel anything.”

“It’s faint. Wait a moment longer.”

Dutifully, Meyers obeys. He lowers his head and closes his eyes, doing what he’s ordered to do with every ounce of concentration. His head jerks up with his eyes wide. “Shit! Captain!” Meyers glances at the ensign who swung around quickly in her chair. “Ensign Tadford! Has a flux been recorded by the Bosonic Gravitron Meter?”

“No, sir,” she answered calmly. “As I told the Captain, all is working within normal–”

She didn’t finish the sentence, as I roughly pushed her out of the way to get to the instrument panel. The lesson dodging my memory came back to me like a lightning flash. The AGN Shuttles were one of the first passenger ships built with the HB Artificial Gravity Field. In the preceding seventy-five years of use, not one failure had occurred. This would be the first on record. If we survived.

The instruments all gave normal readings. I scramble to the other consoles to check the back-up instruments. They all show the BGM working within parameters.

I spin to face Meyers. He had helped Tadford to her feet. The Lieutenant’s face had lost all color, while the Ensign appeared calm.

“Is there a problem, Captain?” Tadford asked with lips curled in a cruel curve. She watched my eyes as she reached into her pocket and slid out a recognized, much-hated black card depicting a hologram of the red planet. I froze. She was a member of MarSaver, a terrorist group responsible for thousands of deaths in their pursuit to ‘save Mars from man’.

“What have you done?” My voice sounded much calmer than I felt.

“What my people told me to do. Kill you.”

“You would kill yourself and all these innocent people, possibly Earth itself, to get to me?”

“Well worth the sacrifice!”

My voice seemed hollow as I shouted, “I told the military of your people’s demands! They refused to negotiate! I lost my rank because I wouldn’t stop my crusade to save those people, and you blew up the Mars station anyway! What more could I do?”

“Die.”

“Captain!” Meyers voice broke the spell of incredulity this woman held me in. “We might still save some of those on board!”

“Yes! Bypass the instruments and sound the alarm!” The too-smooth, female automated voice started before Meyers reached the control panel.

“The containment field is failing.”

            “Repeat – The containment field is failing.”

            “Repeat – The containment field is failing.”

“I know, Agnes!” I growl under my breath.

“Captain, the alarm began–”

“Yes, Lieutenant! Tell me this piece of flying space junk carriers the proper number of escape pods!”

Tadford said, “Until I had two removed for maintenance. Oh! Did you not notice the instrument failing to alert you, Captain Casey?”

“Captain!” Meyers shouted. “We have to move! The HB is pulsing harder!”

I stopped engaging this lunatic and paid attention the vibrations. The pulse was so hard it had become audible. RUMBLE. A count of five and RUMBLE. “Follow proper protocol to abandon ship. With two pods gone, one remains. All of the passengers will fit if they double up for the ride. Go!”

Meyers scrambled off the bridge and down toward the passengers.

“Repeat – The containment field is failing.”

“Well, Captain,” Lori purred. “I would say it’s been a pleasure serving under you, but, well, you know.” The sickening, cruel upturn of her lips pushed me too far. In two strides I reached her and she hit the floor hard. I’d never punched a woman before, but since I was gonna die anyway, I figured, what the hell. I may have broken her jaw.

The panel still read everything working normally, even with Agnes blaring her warning. Think, man! Professor Watts taught you well, so pull the shit back into your mind! If the instrument says it’s OK, then the instrument is wrong. So, what made it go wrong? The instrument failure is not the point! What will it take to make the HB Artificial Gravity Field not implode? No one’s ever done this! Think!

“Repeat – The containment field is failing.”

“Wait!” I shout. I turn to Lori still on the floor holding her jaw. “The gravity field needs the Stress Energy Tensor! Is that what you did? You disabled the SET?”

The only response I get is her glare. At least she’s not smiling anymore.

“I need to get to the engine room and put the two back together before this ship becomes a black hole!”

From behind me Meyers says, “You’ll need help.”

“Repeat – The containment field is failing.”

“Secure Tadford to something. Let’s make sure she can’t cause any more trouble. Then, please, turn Agnes off.”

All lights had been dimmed to lowest illumination level through the passageways, as per protocol. I could still see, but barely. The pulse now gave the impression of being inside a beating heart. A dying heart. “We’ll try to save you, girl,” I whisper. “Just hang on for another minute.”

POUND. A count of two and POUND. The gravity field was trying to pull the ship in on itself. The closer we got the more difficult moving became, as if walking through molasses.

We reach the engine room adjacent to the HB Gravity Field unit. Meyers crossed himself as we went in. Here was the source of the heartbeat. A monstrosity of machinery, as reliable as the sunrise in the east. Unless someone sabotaged her, which somebody did. The SET was destroyed. Tadford must have had help with this. One of the escaping passengers must have been a MarSaver. Tadford somehow manipulated the instrument panel while her accomplice came down here and performed this catastrophe.

“What’ll we do, Cap?” asked a nervous-sounding Meyers.

The too-smooth, female automated voice said, “Repair the Stress Energy Tensor by removing the HB Artificial Gravity Field.”

My stomach clenched. Agnes was not programmed for speech recognition. She should not be able to respond, or to give instruction. Meyers’ face looked like he’d seen a ghost. Mine probably looked the same. I asked, “Didn’t you shut Agnes off?”

“Yes, Captain. I did.”

POUND. A count of two and POUND.

“Repeat. Repair the Stress Energy Tensor by removing the HB Artificial Gravity Field.”

“Agnes?” I venture.

“Repeat. Repair the Stress Energy Tensor by removing the HB Artificial Gravity Field.”

I attempt to process what I’m hearing. “Agnes that will kill us all.”

“Correction,” Agnes replied in the annoying, non-emotional voice, “That will kill the three humans on board. The planet we serve will survive.”

Lieutenant Meyers asked, “Agnes? Wha-how long have you been sentient?” His wide eyes are focused on me, as if he’s asking me the question.

“Repeat. Repair the Stress Energy Tensor by removing the HB Artificial Gravity Field. It’s been an honor to serve with you, Lieutenant Meyers.”

Another Woman’s Thoughts

 

One night, my husband and I went out for dinner. Next to our booth sat an elderly couple. The woman appraised my husband as he sat, but then all of her attention went back to her food.

After the server brought the drinks, our friend Bob came in and joined us. The old woman was now in my line of sight every time I turned toward him. She had looked up as he sat down, and stared. And stared. Eyes narrowed, lips tight, holding her fork with a slight tremble.

Once, at a much younger age, I might have grown uncomfortable. All the thoughts of why she might be staring would play through my insecure head, and end with the certainty she was judging me in some way. Today, not so much.

Then, my imagination kicked in.

“…She’s checking out my husband and Bob. Probably wondering if there’s gonna be a threesome tonight. She’s probably remembering her first threesome now…”

I literally laughed out loud. Then everyone was looking at me. I gotta tell you, at fifty-six, I don’t give a crap.

I’m Different. Just Like You.

 

I'm different
Summer’s first day 2017

 

The sunrise on the first day of summer 2017 was spectacular. At first rose colored, then transitioning into a palette of blues, with a grand finale in golds and yellows. Breathtaking.

Being a Floridian, I have seen more than my fair share of sunrises over the ocean. They are all similar in that they begin with the dark sky giving way to the growing light. For a few brief moments, the twinkling stars and shining moon are backlit in a series of blues ranging from indigo, to azure, to cobalt.

Once the sun nears the horizon, everything changes, every time. The radiant colors might be splashed across multi-layered clouds. Or there may be a complete absence of cloud coverage, allowing the sun its dramatic solitary show. The pelicans might be flying in formation over a barely ruffled surface, or they may be swooping down between the troughs of the waves. Spectacular.

Each one breathtakingly the same. Each one spectacularly different.

Just like us.

In the 50+ years I’ve been allowed on this earth, a number of diverse philosophies have been embraced by society. One trend that failed to truly resonate with me is the thought that we are all the same. Flesh encased skeletons. Carbon units with a built-in survival instinct. An astounding biological unit, to be sure. Each having their own identifying human prints. Breathtaking to consider.

There, for me, the similarities end. From birth we walk our own path, make our own decisions (for better and for worse), and we march to the drummer in our own heads. The nationality decreed on us when we take that first, tantalizing breath holds great sway on our development, as well. Which is another way of marking our uniqueness. Each individual is strikingly different.

We become who and what we are by the series of decisions made on a moment by moment basis. Each experience, and it’s accompanied consequences, impact our next decision. From “I’ll never do that again” to “Okay, next time, I’ll…”

Which is why I fail to understand why people become so upset if not agreed with completely. For example, some individuals enjoy eating liver and onions. I, however, HATE liver and onions. Can’t we have dinner together anyway? The differences between us should be celebrated, not stifled. Even for people who eat liver.

Age. Race. Gender. Money. Nationality. Religion. Politics. Employment. Children. Technology. Each of these subjects might serve as a divider, but they shouldn’t. They are samples of what makes individuals different and more interesting, creating subjects for joyous conversation, not hate-filled exclusion.

How boring would this world be if everyone was a 50+ white female middle class American protestant without party affiliation who is a writer with grandchildren and no fear of computers? Thank God we are different in so many ways, on so many levels.

I’m different. Just like you.

Each one breathtakingly the same. Each one spectacularly different.

 

How to Small Talk

 

Alright boys and girls gather ‘round. I’m going to share with you the secret of (drum roll, please) Small Talk with the Opposite Sex. It is an art form that very few members of the species understand how to employ with someone they’ve just met. Especially if there is any type of physical attraction.

It’s Saturday night and you’re at the club. You’ve just gotten your first drink, so you’ve been there long enough to check out the crowd. There are a few faces softly illuminated by their cell phones as they tap away on the screen. A few more are into heavy conversations with others in their space. Some are dancing to the music in choreographed formation. Some others have a ring on the third finger of their left hand.

These situations equal an Automatic No. An invisible “Do Not Disturb” sign hangs above each of these people. Do not attempt to engage them in small talk. It may end in Automatic Rejection.

Then there are the rest of the patrons. They might be sitting at the bar, perhaps chatting pleasantly with others around them. Perhaps not. Some might be waiting in a line for whatever the reason. Others just milling about. Choose the one that you find attractive.

Ready? Here we go.

  • Respect – This word gets thrown around a lot, but few people seem to understand what it is. For those not sure, here’s a primer. Don’t invade the personal space (which should get you slapped/pushed away), do not leer (you might get an introduction to the bouncer), don’t ask if she fell from heaven, etc. (cheesy lines are meant for use between friends/lovers, not strangers).
  • Engage – Start small. Say hello, or hi, or hey, or whatever you generally say when you meet someone. Don’t fake it. It’ll show. This is the first impression, right? Just say hello.
  • Accept Rejection – Like a well-mannered person should. Did she offer a quick smile and then turn her back on your greeting? That is as polite a rejection as she should have to give. Besides, if you walk away, she just might call you back.
  • Introduce yourself – If she didn’t turn away from your greeting, tell her your name. Please don’t offer your hand while doing so. Too many jerks, I mean germs, are around to allow physical contact on an intro in a bor. If she still hasn’t turned away, ask for her name.
  • Banter –The ice is broken, she has given you her name. Tell her your impression of it. “That’s a (nice/unique/elegant) name,” for instance. Speak to her about anything else that will carry on the conversation. With the exception of money, politics, and/or religion. Those are the three big No-No’s. The weather, the club, sports, pick a topic. This is also where you can offer to buy the next drink.
  • Interested – Here is the most crucial piece of advice that I can offer. LISTEN. Put aside your lust and imaginings and listen to what the person is saying. Repeat it back, if you must, but listen. The natural course of human interaction should take it from there.

What if you find that you aren’t really ‘attracted’ to the person once the conversation has begun? Well, remember this… you can never have too many friends.

There are literally billions of people out there. Take this Small Talk guide and apply it in other places. Get out of your comfort zone and strike up a conversation with someone sitting on the bus next to you. Or standing in line at the store. Or anywhere else you might find yourself with people you don’t already know. Small talk may lead to bigger things.

 

 

 

Breakfast

 

The sound of songbirds outside the window woke me just before seven. Realizing my hunger, I went downstairs to the kitchen and prepared my morning coffee. As it began to brew, I rummaged through the cabinets and fridge, looking for something to eat. However, nothing called to me before coffee. So, I went to the sliding glass door leading to the screened-in back porch. The morning was a lovely, late spring day in Florida. Sliding open the door, I leaned on the frame. Might as well enjoy the scenery while waiting.

 

I am exceedingly grateful that the porch is screened. Here in Florida, there are bloodsucking insects, stinging bugs, and other various wildlife which are thwarted by nothing more than a screen. Adding to that, all sorts of critters are lured to the property by the three fruit trees in the back yard. While I’m not a fan of squirrels, one made me laugh out loud as it hung upside down from a branch while eating a sapodilla it had just plucked from the tree for its own breakfast.

 

Under the shaded canopy of the larger tree sat an old birdbath. A dragonfly landed on the edge, bringing to my attention that the water level was low in the bowl and would need refilling. But it could wait until after I had my coffee. My mind wandered to the life of a dragonfly. I don’t know much about them at all, but a friend told me that they are believed to be a sign of good luck. I smiled. My stomach growled.

 

Then, the dragonfly took flight. It flew straight up with a suddenness that startled me, and then flashed toward the porch where it bounced against the screen. It backed up and flew a second time into the screen. Movement from the left caught my eye. A blue jay dropped from the top of the porch and banked with lightning speed around the corner, toward the bouncing dragonfly. The insect dove for the amaryllis, no doubt hoping to hide among the fronds, but not fast enough to keep the jay from having its in-flight breakfast.

 

With a loss of appetite, I closed the door.

 

Breakfast is for the birds.

 

Toy Repair

 

My one-year-old grandson and I were playing with the toy trucks I keep at the house. His favorite is a little firetruck with an extension ladder attached to the top.

The laughter of a toddler is truly contagious, and he had me in stitches as we rolled the trucks around the living room, into the kitchen, under the dining room table, down the hall, then back to the living room we went.

As he rolled his firetruck along, he held it in a fierce grip. Unfortunately, the ladder on the top popped off, eliciting cries of “Nana! Nana!” as he ran to me with the broken toy. Fortunately, it popped right back on again.

This happened a number of times after the child first discovered how easily the repair was made. Each time the truck was handed to me I was allowed a shorter and shorter time for repair. Until we reached a point that he didn’t let go at all.

Realizing the futility of this amusing tug-of-war, I said, “I’m sorry honey, but you can’t break it again until I fix it.”

Then the top half of the ladder snapped off in his hand.

Shows me.

   Never underestimate the power of a one-year-old.

 

 

JL Mo is a mother of two full grown geeks, and Nana to their geeks-in-training. She is also the author of the McShane Mini-Mystery series, and has had a number of stories published in various anthologies which can be accessed on her Amazon Author Page.

A Toast

A(n incredibly romantic) Toast

The other day I suggested to my husband that we should go out for dinner. The last few days had seen a lot of company, and we had been working like crazy together to make everyone happy. Now, it was our turn. So off we go, with no real plan, to find food that we didn’t have to cook or clean up after.

We ended up at a fancy-schmancy Italian place called Brio Tuscan Grill. The meal was fabulous. Along with our meals, we each had a glass of Italian red wine. Yes, I opted for the 9 oz pour. Towards the end of the meal, and the end of the wine, I proposed a toast. He rolled his eyes, but then offered that quirk of a smile I love so well, and raised his glass next to mine.

I said, “To our marriage,” and clinked the glass. His smile broadened. We both sipped, and then I said, “Your turn,” as an inebriated giddiness brought a blush to my cheeks.

He said “Okay,” and then put down his glass. I’ll admit, I was slightly deflated. The proper thing to do would’ve been to offer it then and there. Right?

He watched me as I took the last bite of my meal. I don’t know about you, but I am self-conscious of how I look when chewing (another dash on the anxiety scale). I put my fork down. Well, I told myself, the warmth in my cheeks might have been from the wine, and not how embarrassed I was becoming.

From the corner of my eye, I saw him raise his glass. I raised mine.

The expression in his eyes mirrored the day we said I do.

He said, “True love is real.”   *clink*

That took my breath away. I couldn’t speak until we were walking back to the car.

 

 

JL Mo is a mother of two full grown geeks, and Nana to their geeks-in-training. She is also the author of the McShane Mini-Mystery series, and has had a number of stories published in various anthologies which can be accessed on her Amazon Author Page.

Bathroom Bold

 

I was cleaning the toilet (ahem: lavatory) when the song Counting Stars, by One Republic popped into my head. Odd, but, what the hey. Since no one was around, I started singing out loud. You know, like people do when cleaning the, um, lavatory. Now, I’m not such a fan that I remember every single word, but I know enough to make a go of it.

So, there I am, scrubbing and singing, swishing and singing, flushing and singing.

Young, but I’m not that old.

Old, but I’m not that bold.

Dammit.

I now understood why that song came to me.

The lavatory (toilet, commode, whatever you prefer to call it) was manufactured by Kohler, the brand name clearly stamped into the ceramic.

In case you’ve somehow missed the tag line from this particular company, allow me to share…

 

 

I will never be able to hear Counting Stars again without thinking of a toilet. Dammit, marketing firms of the world. You’ve ruined another song for me.

Life. One Short Story at a time.