Luci Lane

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TO-DO OR NOT TO-DO

They wake me and stand at the foot of my bed. Sometimes one, sometimes two or four, depending on the day. Lately they’ve been showing up at the same time, like 3:27 a.m. They stare at me waiting to be chosen like a team in P.E. class. They talk amongst themselves, fight for attention, argue, whine, and fidget. A couple of them wander off. These are my relatives, the Worry People. Today must be a convention, the room is crowded and I can’t breathe or hear myself think.

I do a roll call: “Money,” “here,” ”Stomach pain,” “here,”…”Plumbing problem,” “here,”… , “Friend with Cancer,” “here,”…“Overdue bill,” “here,”…Impending death,” “here.” All here, together, like one big happy family. I dread these mornings and these visits, but I realize I need them as much as they need me. Me. The Solitary Creator. A slave to my people.

I try to do the meditation thing, you know, clear mind, let go, watch my thoughts pass like images on clouds, but there aren’t enough clouds to catch them all and they collide into a huge cluster fuck of words that circle back around. It’s only eight a.m. and I’m exhausted, but the day must go on and I set out for the city, just me and my never-ending To-Do list.

Cell phone store doesn’t open ‘til ten. Off to Bed, Bath and Bullshit to buy a new dish drain. That’s all I really need, but I leave with six large bags of crap that I’ll most likely return next week and that will take half a day. Two hours to fix my busted cell phone. Two hours at the Post Office. Seven hours to do three things from the long To-Do list which is somewhere at the bottom of my bag.

Take shower, brush teeth, remove contact lenses, wash dishes, swallow supplements, study a new wrinkle, look for keys and that To-Do list, lights off, doors locked, downward dog, child pose, take throw pillows off bed, lie down next to all of my ex-boyfriends, think about clocks, stare at the meaning of life, count the parking meters before my relatives wake me again.

It could be a dream or am I still on hold with the DMV and Time Warner and T-Mobile and the Alarm company and Blue Cross and my Mechanic and Amazon and my Attorney and my Mother who can’t find a pen and I stand in line and I stand in line and I stand in line and I stand in line.

Luci Lane

© 2013

Luci Lane

yellow brick road photo: yellow brick road yellowbrickroad.jpg

“Yellow Brick Road”

He is flawless and I will possess his heart, but he can’t know the truth, not yet. How I like a cold, fresh stick of butter, no crumbs, no residual jam smeared across the corner. I need my toast crunchy, and if it’s slightly burned, I start over. I like my bathroom sink dry, no splashes of water or toothpaste stains on the mirror. I don’t wear earplugs because I can hear my brain working, the crunch of bones and the echo of my swallow, throat clearing and nose sniffle is deafening, more deafening than the sounds I’m trying to cover up on the outside. When I sleep, the pillow between my lower legs has to fit from just above my knee to just below my ankle. It’s not the chalkboard or the dentist’s drill, but the excruciating sound of a paper napkin or a dry towel rubbing between fingers. My peace of mind comes from an empty trash bin or a sandwich cut evenly, no tomato slipping out the sides. No stains. No blemishes. Put it right. Straighten the stacks and layers. I hear my neighbor flossing his teeth again. He’s not doing it right. There are 59 black gum stains on this stretch of sidewalk. A homeless man is sitting in a pool of his own urine eating a hamburger. Don’t make eye contact. Hold your breath. Knock on wood. Wipe it off with alcohol, All of it. Wash my yellow brick road with Murphy’s Oil Soap all the way to the temple that is mine, where I sit cross-legged, quiet, focused, and perfectly clenched inside. Flawless man takes me in his arms like they do in the pictures and whispers something in my ear in a foreign language I don’t understand. He smells like cotton candy. Suddenly his voice is drowned by a galloping in the distance as he vanishes like they do on the transporters aboard the Starship Enterprise. The big sky opens up (sigh)…not him again. That Knight in unpolished armor keeps showing up. Take a number. Press eight if you’d like to hear more options or remain on hold for the next Unavailable man. Unavailable. Unclean. Unhitched. Seriously, I know he’s out there, but he can’t see me buried under these filthy loads, behind the clutter, over the heaps of things, through a thick coating of muck and 2.6 trillion pounds of waste in a massive landfill.

Luci Lane

© 2013