Tag Archives: love


The last time Rita saw Theo, he was at a red light about to make a right turn onto a busy speedway that led straight into the city.
If it hadn’t been for that damn zigzagging biker, she wouldn’t have honked her horn.
He wouldn’t have turned towards her.
Their eyes wouldn’t have met one last time.
He shrugged and blushed.
She threw her hair back and laughed, shaking her head at him with a twinkle in her eye.
He waved, made the turn, and that was that.
Of course, there’s always that instinct…
That human survival skill that kicks in around your mid-thirties that makes you want to seize whatever opportunity you have left in life because it may not come around a second time.
She fought the urge to follow him.
Besides, she was in the wrong lane.
She drove forward towards her grandparents’ beach ranch.
One intersection.
No U-turn.
Two intersections.
No U-turn.
Three intersections.
She was going for it.
‘It’s now or never,’ she thought.
Never mind the milk in her trunk that would probably spoil.
Never mind her niece she was supposed to pick up from school. She knew the way home. She was old enough to walk.
She would make a U-turn at the next intersection, just past the railroad tracks.
Then she heard the train coming.
She slipped her heel off her right foot and jammed down on the accelerator.
She passed the tracks nice and clear before the rail started to come down.
She made the U-turn and then- No.
It was too late.
The silver late-model railcars reflected the intense summer sun one by one.
Beyond the glare she imagined happy couples falling in love at first sight and dining together for the first time.
By the time they got to their destinations, they would have exchanged addresses and they’d send each other post cards until they were ready to move in together.
50 years from now they’d be celebrating the anniversary of the date they met on this very train.
Rita clenched her teeth and lay her head on the steering wheel.
What was this, the 300th car? 400th? She’d lost count after seven.
Finally, the rail started going up and she didn’t know whether to try to find Theo’s car, who by now was probably a good five minutes ahead of her, or to turn back around and go to the ranch.
“Ah, what the hell,” she said to herself. “What do I have to lose?”
But the rail came back down again.
She rolled her eyes in despair.
Was the train going to go in reverse?
Yes, the train was going to go in reverse and switch tracks.
Ludicrous engineers.
How dare they.
But it was a momentary false alarm, and the train went forward again on its way.
Rita wouldn’t have known that, having made another U-turn and taken a back alley over to the speedway.
She thought Theo would be at his brother’s house and took that exit.
She wove between faster cars down the boulevard, looking for his car, which he would have to have parked out on the street.
She went around the neighborhood three times, unable to recognize the house.
“Perhaps they painted it? Added a second story?”
She hadn’t been there in five years.
Finally, she gave up and pulled over at a gas station.
She thought she saw Theo’s car, but there was a young woman driving it.
Up until then it had never occurred to her that Theo might have moved on.
The notion had been there- the fear– but not the belief.
After all, why should he move on, if here she was daydreaming about him after all these years?
Her imagination had been enough to fuel her affection, so why shouldn’t he feel the same way?
Suddenly, it all made sense.
Why he’d stopped texting her all of a sudden.
Why he’d been so curt every time they happened to run into each other.
Of course.
He’d moved on long ago.
How could she be so dumb?
It was there before her eyes all along.
She didn’t finish filling her tank and went home.
The truth is, it wasn’t Theo’s car at the gas station that day.
Theo had been headed into the city, but after he got on the speedway, he got off at the first exit and came back around toward where he’d seen Rita.
In fact, he would have seen her were it not for a passenger train blocking his view.
When the rail finally lifted, what with the sun in his eyes and the eagerness to pull out of there, he didn’t see Rita turning her car around and Rita sure as hell didn’t see him.
He went to her grandparents’ ranch, didn’t see her car there and waited half an hour for her to show up.
A little girl passed by the gate.
“Is Rita around?”
“Aunt Rita?” said the girl. “She was supposed to pick me up. Something real important musta come up.”
“Will you tell her…”
Theo saw he was making the young girl nervous.
“Never mind. Thanks.”
He drove off back into the city, where he made a decent living and lots of friends over the next couple of decades, letting time roll down his back.
Rita found the strength to move on too.
She married a real nice man whom she gets a real nice alimony check from every month, which kind of sort of makes up a little for his real nice new wife that’s taken her place.
But no one’s taken Theo’s place.
If they’re not so knuckleheaded, perhaps they’ll find that out someday.


Curly Haired vs. Straight Haired

The pros of curly-haired personalities:
-easy to get along with
-independent thinker

We tend to be non-confrontational but at the same time non-conforming.

The pros of straight-haired personalities:
-prettier overall
-more controlling

Straight-haired people are less sensitive to how they affect others’ feelings but tend to be more successful throughout the day.

This is based on my personal observations being a head of curls…*
So please don’t cite me in JAMA.

If you are one or the other (you may also be Wavy or Bald) and the mental picture of the person of your dreams has the opposite of what your partner has…
(i.e.: you wanted a straight black haired wife but your girlfriend is a crazy curly brunette)
You either need to love her for who she is, entirely, curls and all, or do her a favor and break up with her ASAP.
Because if 12 years into your marriage you’re still trying to get her to straighten her hair “to look better,” then you will make her miserable.
She will hate herself and want to die or perhaps want to hurt you back.


daily prompt if i had a hammer

Daily Prompt: A Hammer for Justice

Remember that song by Peter Paul & Mary that they made us learn as kids?
“If I had a hammer…
I’d hammer in the mo-ohr-ning…”
Yes of course you remember; that’s the reason behind the prompt title.
I just like to sing while I write.

At my elementary school they made us sing all the time.
We learned Geography playing Oregon Trail on green-screened Macintoshes.
They’d also make us square dance barefoot in the cafeteria.

But back to the prompt:
Wouldn’t it be great to actually have a hammer that hammers out Justice?
I tried it once for a while; I went around with a giant inflatable hammer and hit people on the head when they’d say something stupid.
It was great.
But it didn’t exactly hammer out justice.

…Whatever happened to that hammer?…

Also the hammer would have to hammer out Danger.
I believe that is a metaphor for…
…Obeying traffic laws.

And most importantly, the hammer would hammer out Love.
Is it just me or does that sound like domestic violence?

I think the hammer in my life represents negotiation skills.
When you are able to discuss something negative and turn it into something positive for those who have interests at stake- That’s a great skill to have.
Also CPR and Heimlich Maneuver. Probably.

To wrap up this topic,  I always hated dancing barefoot.
It felt so dirty.
Why couldn’t we just wear shoes?
What was the logic behind that?

Also, am I the only one that now has the song Hammer-Time stuck in her head?

In response to Daily Prompt: If I Had a Hammer

Shiva's Affair by Ave Valencia

Shiva’s Affair

An hour before Shiva’s wedding, her father had not yet arrived from his trip abroad.

She looked nervously at the clock while her mother tried to console her.

“Your brother can walk you down the aisle.”

Shiva started crying. “My own dad doesn’t love me!”

Her brother, struggling with his tie, replied, “I wouldn’t walk her down the aisle.”

The door opened. It was Kian, their father’s assistant.

“Have Kian walk her. He’s practically family.”

Shiva cried louder. Kian laughed and teased her while unfolding the veil from her eyes. “Crying already! You’ll have enough of that later.”

“Where’s dad?”

“Just got off the plane- he’ll be here in 30 minutes.”

7 Years Later

Shiva dropped off her youngest daughter at day care and headed toward the gym.

Her phone rang.

It was Kian. Ugh. That was the third time he called that day. She had already told him she was busy because her husband and her were traveling to Carmel that weekend. She let the phone ring. “Sure. When I ask for a favor, he sends someone else to do it. But when he needs something it has to be me.”

He texted her. “See you at the gym.”

Shiva pulled the car over and put make-up on. She didn’t know why. He had seen her thousands of times without it. She never wore make-up to the gym. She justified herself. “I’m just covering the bags under my eyes.”

In fact, she did have heavy under-eye circles. She had stayed up arguing with her husband three nights that week alone. He never helped her with the kids. Or the housework. Things hadn’t worked out financially as well as her parents’ lives had. There were all those therapy bills, tuition for gifted-child-schools, mystery phone bills…

She just wanted to escape from it all, so she had planned them a weekend-getaway.

She looked at her husband’s picture on her phone screen and smiled.

When she got to the gym, Kian was already there, shirt off, lifting weights. His toned muscles shimmered in the playful early morning sunlight. He caught her stare. She turned red and looked away.

He greeted her, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but. . .”


“Your husband’s all tied up this weekend. New client set up a last-minute meeting.”

Shiva did a 180° and headed toward the door.



“We can talk about this.”

That weekend Shiva ended up going to Carmel. Coincidentally, so did Kian. Only he told his boss he “had to go see family up north.” After the affair, Shiva felt ten years younger. ‘It was liberating,’ she told herself. ‘Why did I wait so long?’

When she arrived home around 2 AM Monday, her husband was still up. He walked out into the driveway barefoot, in his boxers and opened the car door for her.

“I made your favorite dish for dinner. I kept it warm for you. I haven’t eaten.”

She evaded his kiss.

The following evening he tried to show her photos of their kids playing in the park.

She evaded his eyes.

That night he reached out for her in his sleep.

She crawled out of bed and lied down on the cold granite floor.

“I don’t deserve him,” she whispered over and over. She stayed in this position, hugging her legs, until she thought she heard one of their kids moan. She got up and went to the nursery. The angel-shaped nightlight softly illuminated a photo of their little family, taken the last time her dad had been in the hospital. She recalled how her husband had tended to her father’s every last wish, becoming the new pillar of the household. But the house was starting to crumble. Just then she looked in the mirror.

She gasped horrified. “Who is this?”

Her dark hair seemed to turn white by the second. Her bright eyes swelled like an angry ocean. In an instant she envisioned herself falling from the highest cloud on earth and landing on broken gravel. And then- she plummeted.