Friday, October 12, 2007

What we don't see...

People are so strange. I worked a booth for my job tonight at a trade show. I love people watching. Across the aisle from me was a guy selling aluminum cookware. He had the whole package. Wireless microphone, rows of seating, two stages with all of his gadgets set up and signs, signs, signs. This guy had charisma like I've never seen. I mean he went on and on about American made products, sealing the vitamins in vegetables, lifetime warranty, diabetes, and a one time only promotional. He asked everyone's names at the beginning and addressed all of them personally through his "show." I wasn't surprised to see older women in the audience, nodding their heads, tasting his chicken-n-herbs. I was very surprised, however, to see three guys, probably very early twenties, dirty baseball caps, sleeves cut out of their shirts and rolling toothpicks from one corner of their mouth to the other, completely mesmerized for the entire forty-five minute presentation. In the end, they were holding clipboards and trying to decide which package to buy. None of them looked like they even knew how to use a stove.

This guy is a bonafied salesman.

His wife helped by handling out samples, smiling at people and anything else he assistant. But towards the end of the night, I noticed movement behind the curtain. They had built a little room behind the stage and as the curtain blew open slightly in the breeze, I saw his wife. She was sitting in a chair with her arms wrapped tightly around her. Her eyes were closed and she was rocking back and forth. At her feet was a child's quilt with smiling Elmos.

I wonder what her story is?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Scavenger Hunt Tuesday

Yesterday, I was in a nostalgic, generous mood, thinking about my friends and what they mean to me and why I love them so much. And, as sometimes happens in my world, one thought leads to another which leads to another which reminds me of a particular item and before you know it, I've spent hours of the day not working but on a mad scavenger hunt to find that item. On the way, I find various other items that need to be remembered and 'ooed' and 'awwed' over, which is why I lose a whole day.

So...while I was writing my blog yesterday, I became obsessed with finding a volume of poetry that Dino had given me years ago with an inscription in the front about how one day I would publish my own volume of poetry. I was going to take a picture of it and use it in the blog, and thus the search began. I looked everywhere. The downstairs bookshelf in the living room, in the hutch that i use as another bookshelf, only displaying my most valued and beloved books, on the bay windowsill in the dining room, on the floor next to the bookshelf in the living room, lovingly lining the wall beneath a window, on my dresser where another collection is held together by an old wine bottle from my honeymoon and a cool, iron lamp...and various other places where I can sneak in a few books. I'm like a child who spreads his food around on his plate so his parents won't notice he hasn't eaten anything...maybe my husband won't notice how many books that I haven't eaten.

I became increasingly irritated when I couldn't find it because I had just seen the book about a month ago, so I began to do what everyone does when they can't find something...I kept looking in all the same places muttering under my breath damn it, i know it's here somewhere, thinking that maybe by the fourth or fifth time I looked on that same bookshelf that it would be suddenly be there. Finally, I gave up and decided to finish the blog without the picture and returned to my desk, where I began to stare out the window at my favorite squirrel who loves to play on the roof of my neighbors house...hours of fun. I noticed a small stack of books in the windowsill, with a candle sitting on top, one of which was the volume of poetry I had been searching for all morning. These are how I spend most of my days. Futile.

Finding the book lead me to thinking about how I haven't written a new poem in quite a few years, which lead me to the attic to search for a box of my work, which lead me down another memory lane when I found two notebooks that belonged to my first husband with various songs and poems he had written (I'll have to save this for another blog) which lead me to folders and folders of old work from my creative writing classes.

I began to realize that I haven't written anything remotely close to those angst ridden poems and short stories in such a long time. What happened? Kids, school, work, financial burdens, divorce...just life in general. Which made me think that I have tons, and I mean tons, of stuff to write about besides my day to day bullshit.

I found one particularly interesting and flattering critique of one of my poems entitled "What it's about" which reads as follows:

Melinda, You absolutely MUST apply for the 400 course w/rabbit. I'm not a great poet, but I do recognize it when I read it. You've got that talent most of us must learn. The ability to import emotion into an unrelative reader. I actually felt this!! You're gonna publish someday, and I'll love to write the forward. There was no distance here - I liked that. I also liked how you didn't feel you had to elaborate on everything. You stayed w/why you write. Leave the details for other poems. ~ MG

Who is MG? I don't remember. I don't remember a lot of things from that particular time in my life. But whoever you are, thank you for that. Because what you didn't know was that 12 years later, I would pick this up and remember, and become inspired to write my poetry again.

Hopefully, I will publish and make enough money to support my family after I get fired from my job for spending my days searching for inspiration.

The saga continues...