Confession of a Naked Shoe Thief


I was a typical boring housewife. I worked as a teacher once for a small private preschool, but when the economy turned for the worse in 2008, enrolments dropped and I was let go. My husband felt that teaching was more work than good. I only earned minimum wage, so technically most of my check went towards my wardrobe of khakis and cotton shirts, lunch and gas money.  Jobless, I became a homemaker. I spent my days making organic homemade dinners, cleaning, going to the gym, organizing the home, and spending more time with my family.  Spending time with my family was great but that was the only spending I was doing. Not earning a paycheck anymore meant I was forced to stop spending except on essentials.

Now, two years later unemployed, when I should not be facing drama or stress I found I could no longer sleep. Insomnia sucks!  Typical Saturday night, my husband was fast asleep snoring, and my adolescent child laid tucked in bed with his dog and I was awake laying in bed. Bing! I rolled over to reach for my cell phone. It was a text message. I won the opportunity to test an iPad. Really? At 2am the telemarketers are texting me? WTB (What the Buck not What the F**k). You see, I gave up cussing years ago when my child started picking up words.

I decided to take a Lavender oil bath to put me to sleep.  Sitting in the tub with my eyes wide open I stared down at my cellulite rolls. The daily trips to the gym were not even putting a dent into the four inches around me. I heard my neighbor pull into his driveway. There was loud techno music, the slamming of car doors followed by laughter, lots of laughter. I stood up and gazed out the window watching the bachelor accompanied by two young women that could be models.  Water from my body was dripping on the floor, but I stood there peeking out the blinds thinking about those women in the small skirts with slender legs and small waist wearing beautiful shoes. The kind of shoes one would never wear to church, let alone to teach preschoolers or for housewives to run errands in.

Then one of the beautiful ladies tripped on the stairs leading into the neighbor’s house. She took off her shoes. Then she crawled to the edge of the patio to throw up. The man helped her up and carried her into his house. The shoes were abandoned, left on their sides on the cement steps. I looked around for a towel. Buck! It was laundry day the racks were empty. I looked for my robe but I had left it in the bedroom. My dirty pajamas were soaking with water on the floor where I had stood dripping. I felt my heart race and my loins awakening inside me. I wanted something for the first time in a long time. I wanted those shoes. I feared waking up my family, so if I were to go I would have to go naked. Time was against me. I tiptoed to the door.  I slipped out of the house and I cautiously hunched over with my naked obese body to snatch up those beautiful pink heels. My toes sank into cool thick grass.

Holding my breath, I made it to side of the patio. I reached up for the shoes. Without warning, the sprinklers went on. I jittered, but I withheld any screams.  I embraced the suede leather pink shoes against my sagging naked breast.  The soft leather felt soothing against my skin.  The cold droplets of water from the sprinkler encouraged me to run. I ran with pride clutching to those shoes as my buttocks flopped with each stride. For the first time in my life I felt liberated.  I smiled with joy as I reached my home with my bounty in hand.

Inside, I stood still drenching, but I slipped into those beautiful five-inch heels. My calves tightened, my legs lengthened, my stomach sucked in and buttocks sat perched as I walked around the living room naked in the stole pink leather shoes.  I felt sexy. Yes, I was still forty pounds overweight but the dining room mirror told a different story as I stood there in those fantastic heels. I looked delicious. I was hot and for once in a long time, I felt sexy! The insomnia I had awakened the naked shoe thief inside of me.

Whisper

Whisper lived in the countryside of Oklahoma with her mother. On Sunday afternoon she was helping her mother on the farm. Then her mother called out to her. “Whisper, clean the spider webs off the house.”

“I thought you were going to spray them?”

“I should of, but I forgot.”

Whisper took the broom and swept under the window and door trims around the house. She noticed a very large daddy long leg spider. She didn’t scream, because she knew he would not hurt her. When she finished she went into the house. Her mother was now making dinner. “Whisper, I need you to sweep up the leaves on the porch. Every time the door opens the leaves come in. That Sooner wind.”

“I thought you were going to fix the screen door.”

“Well, I should of, but I forgot.”

“Fine, I got it.”

Whisper went back outside. A huge wind gust came. She turned her back against it. The wind was so forceful that rubber band on her braid came off. When the wind slowed down Whisper’s long red curly hair was in her face. She was so distracted by her hairs flying about she didn’t notice the small black spider that landed on her red locks. When she finished sweeping she went back inside to eat dinner.

“Thanks for doing that. Those leaves are such a mess.”

“It’s fall. They’re supposed to be everywhere. You should of just fixed the screen door.”

“I’ll get to it soon enough. You need to do your homework.”

“I wanted to shower first.”

“Well, you don’t want to be a procrastinator like me.”

Whisper didn’t say anything. She finished her dinner and then went to her bedroom to do her homework. She was sitting at her desk when her head started to itch. She scratched it. She finished her algebra. Her head was starting to hurt, so she rest in bed. Her mother came in the room to check on her. “I thought you were going to take a shower?”

“Yeah, my head hurts. Can you look at it?”

“Later, go shower.”

Whisper took a shower and then went to bed. By now the small black widow spider was safely resting under her pillow from when she had lay down before. Not knowing about the spider Whisper went to sleep for the night. In the morning her scalp warm to the touch. “Mom, look at my head. It really hurts.”

“Ok, ok” She looked closely at her scalp and sure enough she noticed the two small red humps. “I think you got bitten by a mosquito. You’ll be ok.”

“What if I’m not?”

“If it’s not better tomorrow, I’ll call the doctor.”

Whisper went to school. All day she had a throbbing pain on her head. When she came home she did not do her chores and went to sleep instead. Her mother came home. She was upset. “Whisper you need to do your chores.”

“I don’t feel good.”

“You said that this morning. I told you I’ll call the doctor tomorrow.”

Whisper did get up and finish her chores. Then she went to bed without eating. In the morning her head was warm to the touch. Now instead of two bumps she had three. “Mom, I’m really sick. I can’t go to school. Look at my head.”

“I told you I will call the doctor today. Go to school. I’ll get to it.”

Whisper went to school. Her teacher could tell she was ill so she sent her to lie down in the principal’s office. The secretary called her mother, but Whisper’s mother never called back. Whisper went home and lay down in bed. This time her head, neck and back was hurting. She fell asleep in aching pain. When her mother got home she saw her. “Whisper, you look terrible. Are you ok?”

“No” She was too weak to talk or open her eyes.

“I was so busy at work I forgot to call the doctor.” Her mother noticed the bumps on her neck and back, but thought it was more mosquito bites. “I promise tomorrow I’ll call the doctor.”

“Ok mom, love you.” Whisper went to sleep and never woke again.

Wrinkles

Beth finished applying her second coat of mascara. Then she smiled back into the mirror to check her teeth. Her cell phone began to buzz and vibrate along the counter. It was her alarm. The alarm she set to leave the house to pick up Wendy. They had RSVP for the fall trunk show at their favorite boutique. The owner had scheduled a live performance from a new men’s a cappella group. The singing sensations were famous for not only their romantic songs but for the eye-candy of a show with muscle-toned arms, six-pack abs and bulges in all the right places. Beth sprayed one last puff of cheap perfume.

Beth arrived at Wendy’s house. Wendy was home alone. Her husband, Bob, was one of those beef eating animal hunters. Wendy refused him to hang any of his trophies, but that did not stop him from chasing the hunt with his bow and arrow. He just donated his catch to friends and coworkers. Tonight, was the eve of deer season. While Wendy was to be spending money on fashion and enjoying the show, her husband was to be camping with old fraternity brothers.

Beth knocked on the glass door and walked in announcing herself. “Wendy, are you ready? You should see my new mascara. It’s supposed to be thick lash. I had to put two coats on. You would think at thirty-five dollars a tube, it would take less than two coats to give me same effect as the five dollar drug store brand.” Beth stopped in the living room. Wendy was sitting on the ottoman crying. Her makeup was smearing as she wiped off the tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Honey, what’s wrong?”

“That bitch…” Wendy pointed towards her window.

“Your neighbor?”

Wendy nodded in agreement. “That stupid bitch is ruining my life.”

“What happened?”

“The grave, remember the grave for Wrinkles?”

“No, I never knew you had a pet.”

“Well, I did. I loved my Wrinkles. Then that woman comes along to ruin it for us.”

“Shut the front door! You think your neighbor killed your dog.”

“No, not my dog. Wrinkles was my hamster.”

“I didn’t know you had a hamster. I’ve been your friend for last five years and you’ve never told me about a hamster.”

“He was a childhood pet. He died when I was eight. I was like really upset when he died, so my mom let me have him get stuffed. Then I put one of those little voice recorders in it with a recording of him playing in his cage. I could push on his chest to hear the recording. I loved having stuffed Wrinkles. It was like he was still alive without having to feed him or clean his poop.”

“That’s sick Wendy.”

“That’s what Bob said, so when we moved here last year he made me bury it. I went out and buried it. Then I ordered a tombstone for him. It was so beautiful. I held this small private ceremony.”

“Apparently, I wasn’t invited.”

“What does all this have to do with your neighbor?”

“That bitch decided to dig it up.”

“Yuck! Are you kidding me?”

“No, I’m serious. The tombstone is gone. There was a hole in the yard.”

“How dare that woman to dig up your hamster tombstone. Where was it buried?” Beth asked as she looked out the window.

Wendy got up and started to point. “Over there”

“Where?”

“Over there, next to the new patio.”

“Wendy, you don’t have a patio.”

“I know. It’s my neighbors.”

“Wendy, are you telling me that you buried your hamster,Wrinkles, in your neighbor’s yard?”

“Of course, why would I want to bury it in my new yard? Bob pays a lot of money to landscapers to keep our yard amazing. I don’t want to mess our yard up, so I notice that the neighbor never went in her back yard. That’s when I decided to plant my dear sweet Wrinkles there.”

“With a tombstone? How big was it?”

“It was small, like the size of a medium pizza box. Don’t forget I also planted daisies beside it. Before me, that woman had no flowers in her yard. Now, she decides to build a patio right where my Wrinkles was resting.”

“Wendy, that yard belongs to her.  She can dig up any grave you place there. Look at how happy she is sitting there reading a book.”

“I thought you were my friend, not hers.”

“I am. I’m just saying that maybe your neighbor is not such a bitch because she dug up a grave you placed on her property.”

“I guess.”

“Are you ready?  We’re going to be late for the musical performance if we don’t hurry.”

“Sure, but one more thing; when we get back, can you help me dig in her trash to look for Wrinkles?”

Confession of a Naked Shoe Thief


I was a typical boring housewife. I worked as a teacher once for a small private preschool, but when the economy turned for the worse in 2008, enrollments dropped and I was let go. My husband felt that teaching was more work than good. I only earned minimum wage, so technically most of my check went towards my wardrobe of khakis and cotton shirts, lunch and gas money.  Jobless, I became a homemaker. I spent my days making organic homemade dinners, cleaning, going to the gym, organizing the home, and spending more time with my family.  Spending time with my family was great but that was the only spending I was doing. Not earning a paycheck anymore meant I was forced to stop spending except on essentials.

Now, two years later unemployed, when I should not be facing drama or stress I found I could no longer sleep. Insomnia sucks!  Typical Saturday night, my husband was fast asleep snoring, and my adolescent child laid tucked in bed with his dog and I was awake laying in bed. Bing! I rolled over to reach for my cell phone. It was a text message. I won the opportunity to test an iPad. Really? At 2am the telemarketers are texting me? WTB (What the Buck not What the F**k). You see, I gave up cussing years ago when my child started picking up words.

I decided to take a Lavender oil bath to put me to sleep.  Sitting in the tub with my eyes wide open I stared down at my cellulite rolls. The daily trips to the gym were not even putting a dent into the four inches around me. I heard my neighbor pull into his driveway. There was loud techno music, the slamming of car doors followed by laughter, lots of laughter. I stood up and gazed out the window watching the bachelor accompanied by two young women that could be models.  Water from my body was dripping on the floor, but I stood there peeking out the blinds thinking about those women in the small skirts with slender legs and small waist wearing beautiful shoes. The kind of shoes one would never wear to church, let alone to teach preschoolers or for housewives to run errands in.

Then one of the beautiful ladies tripped on the stairs leading into the neighbor’s house. She took off her shoes. Then she crawled to the edge of the patio to throw up. The man helped her up and carried her into his house. The shoes were abandoned, left on their sides on the cement steps. I looked around for a towel. Buck! It was laundry day the racks were empty. I looked for my robe but I had left it in the bedroom. My dirty pajamas were soaking with water on the floor where I had stood dripping. I felt my heart race and my loins awakening inside me. I wanted something for the first time in a long time. I wanted those shoes. I feared waking up my family, so if I were to go I would have to go naked. Time was against me. I tiptoed to the door.  I slipped out of the house and I cautiously hunched over with my naked obese body to snatch up those beautiful pink heels. My toes sank into cool thick grass.

Holding my breath, I made it to side of the patio. I reached up for the shoes. Without warning, the sprinklers went on. I jittered, but I withheld any screams.  I embraced the suede leather pink shoes against my sagging naked breast.  The soft leather felt soothing against my skin.  The cold droplets of water from the sprinkler encouraged me to run. I ran with pride clutching to those shoes as my buttocks flopped with each stride. For the first time in my life I felt liberated.  I smiled with joy as I reached my home with my bounty in hand.

Inside, I stood still drenching, but I slipped into those beautiful five-inch heels. My calves tightened, my legs lengthened, my stomach sucked in and buttocks sat perched as I walked around the living room naked in the stole pink leather shoes.  I felt sexy. Yes, I was still forty pounds overweight but the dining room mirror told a different story as I stood there in those fantastic heels. I looked delicious. I was hot and for once in a long time, I felt sexy! The insomnia I had awakened the naked shoe thief inside of me.

Vern meets Susie

It was Saturday. Vern woke up early. She threw on her sweats and went downstairs. She made breakfast for her father. He sat at the table reading his newspaper eating his eggs. Vern sat down beside him drinking a cup of coffee. “Daddy, after I clean the kitchen, make the beds and vacuum the house I’ll be heading out. I’m meeting Susie for lunch.”

“Who’s Susie?”

“She’s my old college roommate. She got into pharmaceutical sells in the nineties and made a fortune.  She’s in New York this week for her annual visit to corporate. Now do you remember her?”

“Yes, she’s the sexy, skin and bones girl with the red hair.”

“Yep, that’s her.”

“Am I coming with you to lunch?”

“No, no, no of course not, Susie wants to meet up with me for lunch at one of those stuffy restaurants. The kind that makes you wear shoes, shirt, and pants.”

“I wear pants.”

“Yes, sometimes you do. Then there are those times I find you wandering about the VFW in those running shorts that look rather similar to skimpy male swimsuit.”

“Hey, I don’t complain about what you wear.”

“True, but I don’t wear the type of clothing that anyone could complain about, unlike you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Anyways back on topic daddy. I’m just letting you know my plans for the afternoon. I’ll bring you back something to eat.”

“Yes, yes, I got it. You are going to lunch with some yuppie friend of yours from college and you want to gossip about things I don’t give a crap about. Just make sure you bring back a pasta dish, with bread, don’t forget to make sure they put extra sauce on the side and if it’s no trouble get me a dessert. Better yet, you should get two desserts in case I don’t like one.”

“Daddy, I’ve never seen you not like a dessert.”

“There is always a first.”

“Never mind, I need to get busy or I’m going to be late.” Vern went about cleaning up the kitchen. She cleaned the table and put the breakfast dishes in the washer. Then she stripped off the sheets and put clean sheets on the beds. Then she started the laundry. She cleaned the bathrooms. Then she folded the clean linens. She started a new load of clothing in the washer. Afterwards, she vacuumed the house. Over two hours had passed while Vern cleaned the house. The timer went off on the oven.

“Vern! Vern! Vern!” Vern’s father hollered from his chair in front of the television.

“Got it daddy.” She went into the kitchen to turn off the oven cleaner.

“Are you going to town like that?”

“Oh no, I set the timer, so I know it’s time change. I’m going back upstairs now.” Vern hobbled up the stairs.  She got into the shower. She went in her closet and looked around for an outfit. She fumbled around until she found exactly what she was looking for. She got dressed. Then she put her wet hair in a low bun. She slipped on her favorite old pair of tennis shoes. They were those toning shoes that looked super cool with the little bumps on the bottom of the soles, but now, they were old and the shoelace on the right shoe was so frayed that she had to tie it in a knot. She made her way back downstairs. Her father was in the kitchen getting some juice.

“Vern you look like shit.”

“Thanks daddy.”

“No Vern, I’m not kidding. You look worse than you did when you were cleaning the house.”

“I know.”

“Why? Why are you going into to town looking like that?”

“Daddy, Susie has never had children. She got a tummy tuck last year. She just got a facelift this year. Susie has a personal shopper at one of those stores that forbids you and me from entering. She gets her hair done every week; in hence, she’s perfect.”

“You look like you are wearing a garbage bag and those shoes are falling apart. What the hell does that have to do with you wearing that black plastic workout suit?”

“Everything, I can’t compete with Susie. No matter what I do, I will look like trash compared to her.”

“That’s your excuse for dressing like trash?”

“Yep.”

“Vern, just don’t go if she makes you feel that way.”

“I want to. Susie is full of fun stories. I love meeting her and listening to her gossip about her life. I just get tired of trying to compete with her, so I give up.” Vern replied standing at the front door.

“Sweetheart, I will never understand you or any women for that matter.”

“That’s the grace of age, you don’t have too anymore.” Vern was walking out the door.

“Vern, don’t forget to get my food!” shouted her father.

Canary

I apologize for my absence from the world of blogging. 

 Last Friday, my grandmother passed away. 

 I dedicate this short story to my grandmother.

There once was a little girl named Sara.  She lived in an apartment building in Manhattan overlooking Central Park.  Her mother was busy with social engagements while her father worked many hours as a pilot. During the war, Sara’s father flew commercial jets for the military transporting soldiers to the battlefield in the Middle East.

One day two pristine dressed military men arrived at the apartment.  Sara’s mother sat solemnly in the living room talking to the two men decorated with ribbons and medals pinned to their chest. Sara was curious, but she stayed in her room till the men left.

Over the course of the following week Sara attended her father’s funeral, assisted her mother with packing all their belongings and moved from New York City to a small cabin in the Rockie Mountains of Colorado.  The house had no internet, no cable or satellite television and no telephone except for her mother’s cell phone.  It was summer time so Sara spent most of her time coloring or playing with her dolls, but she missed her father, her friends and looking out her old bedroom window watching Central Park.  New York City glistened with lights, sidewalks were full of people and streets are adorned with rows of traffic.  Now, in the mountains Sara was feeling incredibly lonely without her father, the quietness of her mother and her new view from her cabin window.

One day from Sara’s window she watched humming birds dance around the flowers.  Attracted by the small birds Sara went outside to play near the rocks of the Colorado River.  She tossed rocks into the water, chased a frog and watched birds play.   As Sara was getting up to walk back home, something glistening in the grass caught her attention.  She walked over to the object.  It was a very small bird egg.  It was partially covered by broken pieces of what looked like a bird’s nest.  Sara looked around for a mother bird.  There was no sign.  It was getting late so Sara picked up the little bird egg and gently wrapped it in some leaves to carry it home.  She showed the small egg to her mother.  Together they  made a small home for the egg in an old shoe box.  They borrowed a heat lamp from the veterinarian to shine on the small abandoned egg.  Sara and her mother were  now busy taking care of the small egg. One day they noticed the egg beginning to hatch.  The next morning a baby bird was born.  Sara and her mother fed the bird with food drops from the local veterinarian.

Before long the small baby bird began to walk in the box.  Sara and her mother bought an antique bird-cage from the flea market to make as his new home.

“Momma, the bird’s feathers are turning yellow.”

“Let me see.  Hmmm, they do look rather yellow compared to the gray they used to be. I’m still not certain what kind of bird it is, but in time we will know.”

Over the following days the baby bird grew more and more yellow feathers.  “Momma, I think the bird is a Canary.”

“Sara, I don’t think Canaries are native to Colorado.”

“Can I name it?”

“Sure.”

“I’m wanna name it Lemon Drop.”

“That is a very odd name.”

“I know, but It’s yellow feathers remind me of daddy’s favorite candy, lemon drops. Will that make you sad?”

“No honey, I think Lemon Drop will be fine.”

Lemon Drop grew in to a strong beautiful Canary.  Through out the year, Lemon Drop sang songs,  talked, and perched on her Sara’s shoulders.  Lemon Drop brought joy back in to Sara and her mother’s life. The two of them were once again happy.

The following fall, Sara went to bed with the window open.  A rain storm with gusting winds blew into her room chilling Lemon Drop.  The next morning he had a cold. Lemon Drop sat at the bottom of his cage looking ill instead of singing, talking or perching. All day long he did not eat or drink. Sara and her mother took Lemon Drop to the veterinarian.  She prescribed him medicine drops.  The following days Sara and her mother gave the medicine to Lemon Drop, but his health was not improving.

“Momma, is Lemon Drop going to leave us like daddy did?”

“Sara, daddy did not leave us.  He passed away.”

“I don’t want Lemon Drop to pass away. I miss daddy.  I’m going to miss Lemon Drop.”

“Lemon Drop is not going to leave us.”

“Then where is he going?”

“Lemon Drop is going to shed his wings for larger wings. His new wings will be so grand he will fly above the clouds and among the stars and back down to us.”

“But, I won’t get to hear his song.”

“If you listen closely you will hear his song among the whistling winds.”

“But, I won’t get to feel the warmth of him perched on my shoulders and the tickles of his feathers on my neck.”

“If you go outside the rays of the sun is the warm touch of his love.”

“Momma, I’m going to miss Lemon Drop like I miss daddy.”

“Sara, Lemon Drop might be fine.  Give the medicine time to do its work.  Your daddy never left us.  Your daddy like Lemon Drop has grown wings to soar the sky and stars.  His love is in the warm touch of the sun’s rays.  Daddy’s voice is scrambled in the winds.  Daddy never left us, he ascended. He is above us.  Daddy is here and will always be here for you.  Let’s go to bed.  Tomorrow Lemon Drop may feel much better.”

The next morning, Sara woke up to find Lemon Drop perched on his swing singing.

Daddy’s Lips

Vern’ s father looked frantically around the house. He just could not find it. He called Vern at work. “Daddy, this better be important. It January, busy season, I don’t have time for phone calls. There are people staring at me as we speak.”
“Screw them. They can wait. It’s going to take more than a few minutes to lose weight. I’m suffering here. I can’t find the chapped lip stuff.”

“Lip balm?”

“No, the stuff I use on my lips when they are cracked.”

“It’s called lip balm daddy. You probably left it in one of your pockets. The doctor is coming, I’ve got to go.” She hung up the phone.
Vern’s father licked his lips. The dry cracked skin burned from the salt of his saliva. He looked around the house. He tried lotion, but that burned too. Then he used ice but as soon as he removed the ice, his lips burned again. Then the cold from the ice started to make them throb. He went snooping around the bathroom cabinets for anything that could make his lips better and using it.  At last, he found some eucalyptus spearmint lotion. He rubbed a hefty amount on his lips.  At first, his lips tingled then as seconds turned into minutes his lips began to burn even more than before.  He used the sleeve of his robe to wipe it off. Frustrated he called Vern at work again.

“Dr. Slim’s office, how can we help you tone up and slim down?”

“Vern, Vern”

“Daddy, what are you doing? I told you I was slam busy.”

“It’s my lips Vern. They’re killing me.”

“Again, you are calling for the lip balm.  I’ve already told you I don’t know where it is.”

“I give up. I looked everywhere.  Can you come home at lunch time and bring me some?”

“Noooo! The house is almost an hour’s drive.  Are you kidding me?”

“Vern, you’ve got to help me.  I’ve tried ice. I’ve tried butter. I’ve tried conditioner and your eucalyptus lotion.”

“You put all that crap on your lips?”

“Yes, and they still hurt. That smelly lotion makes my lips feel numb and burn at the same time.”

“Daddy, how about you walk to the store and buy some medicated lip balm?”

“I don’t want to. I want you to bring it to me, plus, you know what I need. I’m clueless.”

“Noooo! I’m working. I have to get off this phone before I have another outburst from new clients in the lobby.”

“Fine.” Daddy hung up the phone. He decided to heed Verns advice and walk to the store. The sun was shining. It was fifteen degrees above normal in the small New Jersey town. He walked to the gas station. He felt good from the walk but the wind made his lips burn a little more, so he went to the refrigerators to get a cold soda. He stood there gulping down his 20 ounce when he caught a glimpse of two of his friends from the VFW. They were standing at a counter scratching off lottery tickets. Daddy waved to them.  His lips were so dry that he could feel the skin cracking more when he was talking to Vern, so he did not feel up to talking to his friends. He walked up and down the aisles looking for the lip balm. He did not want to ask the cashier, because he did not want his friends from the VFW to know he wore lip-gloss or whatever Vern had called it. He paid for his soda and left without anything for his lips.

Outside the store, daddy thought about just walking home, but if he didn’t get something to soothe his lips he would not be able to attend tonight’s VFW nacho dinner. It was once a month. It was one of his favorite days of the month. Vern would never approve of him eating a plate full of tortillas piled high with cheese, beef, chicken, jalapeno peppers and lots of salsa. Damn it! I’m going to have to walk on base. It’s my only option to find something to repair my cracked sandpaper lips, or I just won’t get to go to the nacho dinner.

The base store was only a mile from the gas station. He was a little out of breath once he got inside. When he walked into the store, he caught a glimpse of what looked like a medical counter. He could not see well because he forgot to wear his glasses. He found a woman wearing a  white lab coat over a dress. She looked like a pharmacist. He walked up to the counter.  His swollen, cracked, burning lips were throbbing and he did not want to open his mouth full when he talked so he mumbled.

“My lips” He said while pointing to them.

“Excuse me Sir?”

“I need something for my lips.”

“Ok, our lip products are over here?”  She led him to a bar stool at a countertop with mirrors. “Is there any color you are looking for today?”

“No, I need it for the puffiness.”

The woman smiled. She pulled out a small tray of samples. “I know exactly what you need.” The woman put on some lip-gloss on daddy’s lips. He felt an odd sensation, but it was better than it felt before. “Do you like it?”

Daddy shook his head in agreement. Then he took the container to the cash register. The cashier looked at him with surprise.  Daddy shook his head. “My lips…”

The cashier nodded in agreement.  Then she handed him his change. Daddy walked back home. He made himself a sandwich and played video games till Vern got home. Vern came in the door as usual with her hands full of groceries. Daddy continued to play his video game. After Vern sat her bags down in the kitchen, she came into the living room.

“Daddy, I got you some lip balm.”

“You’re too late.”  He looked up at Vern.  She started to laugh.

“What in nation’s name is on your lips?”

“Lip stuff from the store on base.”

“Lipstick?”

“Noooo, I got it at the medicine counter from the nice girl in the white coat.”

“Did you wear your glasses?”

“Nooooo”

“Did you tell the girl you are color blind?”

“Noooo.  Why are you asking me all these questions?”

“Because, you look a little draggy”

“Draggy”

“Yes, like a drag queen. Where’s the tube of lip stuff?”

“In my coat pocket”

Vern went to get the lip product her dad bought from his coat pocket. “Daddy, you bought red raspberry  lip volumizer lip stick.”

“That explains a lot.”

“What do you mean?”

“I thought I heard the girl helping me chuckle. Then the cashier was a bit surprised when she saw me. Then I thought I saw the mailman blow me a kiss.”

“Daddy, the store does not have a medicine counter. It was a makeup counter. I hope you learned your lesson.”

“Yeah, you should stay here and take care of me instead of sending me out into this sick world looking for lip stuff.”

Vern is busy

Vern sat at the kitchen table working on the computer and papers scattered about. Her father was busy watching football in the living room. Vern’s father was beginning to become concerned, because Vern was not her normal compulsive self.  Today she was completely focused on her project.  Most weekends she spent all of her time in the house cleaning, organizing and most of all attending to her father, but not today.

“Vern, can you get me a soda?”

“No Daddy, I’m busy.”

“Ok, I’ll get it.” He sighed, but instead of getting up right away, he waited until the next commercial break. Then he crept into the kitchen to spy on Vern. She was busy looking at something on the internet and drawing a series of lines on paper with colored pencils. He didn’t want to interrupt her, so he went to the refrigerator to grab a 20-ounce bottle of soda.  Then he went back to the sofa to watch the game.

“Vern, I forgot to get a snack. Can you bring me some chips?”

“No Daddy, I’m still busy.”

“Busy doing what?”

“Just busy”

“Fine Vern, I’ll get it.” Vern’s father did not get up to get the chips; instead, he called and ordered a pizza with hot wings. Since the pizzeria was only three miles away the delivery man arrived within fifteen minutes. The doorbell rang.

“Vern, can you get the door.”

“Who is it?”

“The pizza man”

“No, I’m busy.”

“Fine, I’ll get it.” Vern’s father opened the door and signed for the pizza. He went and sat back down at his chair in the living room.

“Vern, I need my table. Can you get it?”

“No, no, no, no Daddy!  I’m busy.”

“What can you be so busy doing while I’m here suffering?”

“I’m mapping.”

“A trip?”

“No”

“Then what can you be busy mapping while I’m not being cared for?”

“Daddy, I’m mapping my veins.”

“Your what?”

“My varicose veins, I’m sick and tired of having these blue and purple lines going down my legs. It is time I plan a course of action.”

“I like your veins. They look cool, especially the one on the back of your knee. It looks like a tattoo of a spider. When you walk, it moves as if it is real. You should stop what you are doing. Come sit with me and watch the game.”

“No way, I’m going to be real busy now.”

“Why?”

“Because, I forgot to map the veins on the backs of my legs. I didn’t even know I had any there.”

“Mapping your veins is not going to help you. You’d benefit more watching the game with me. You can feel good,   making sure I’m comfortable.  Then I won’t have to get up to get everything.”

“No, today you’ ll have to take care of yourself. I have to map my vein,s because the doctor said he would laser treat as many veins he could in thirty minutes. I am creating a map, so the doctor can spend less time talking to me and just follow the map.”

“Good thinking Vern, but can you help me out a little. I’m struggling here.”

“Fine Daddy, I’ll get your table, but then I’m back to mapping.”

“You know what Vern?”

“What?”

“Every time you come in here to bring me soda or stuff I can help you out by pointing out your veins.”

“How thoughtful, you’d do that for me?” Vern asked sarcastically.

“I know. I just want you to know I support you.”

“Yes, you support me like another painful pair of compression hose.”

Fay makes a puffy coat

Fay was sitting in the middle of the living room.  She was surrounded by pillows, trash bags, tape and scissors.  Max walked into the room.  He questionably looked at her.

“Whatcha doing?”

“Nothing”

“What’s up with all this stuff?”

Fay looked at the bags, pillows, polyester fiberfill, tape and scissors. “I’m making something.”

“Can I help?”

“I guess, but you can’t tell anyone about this. Ok?”

“Yeah sure,  whatcha making?”

“My dad’s Christmas present.”

“With this stuff?”

“Yep”

“This is bad.”

“No, it’s good.  It’s going to be a puffy coat.”  Fay started cutting open the pillows. “Pull the fluffy stuff out and hand it to me, so I can tape it inside.”

“Inside what?”

“The trash bags, duh…”

“Puffy coats are not made from trash bags and pillows.  This isn’t going to work.  This is bad.”

“I thought you were helping?  Just do what I say.”  Fay was busy cutting the trash bags and taping them together with tape. “Max, start handing me the puffy stuff.  I’m in a hurry here.”

Max started pulling out the filling and handing it to Fay. “Aren’t we going to get in trouble for this?”

“No! It’s a Christmas gift.”

“I mean for ruining all these pillows.”

“Of course I won’t.  They’re from your house.”

“Fay! Watcha go and do that for?”

“My mother would get mad.  Max, stop talking. Keep passing the white stuff.”  Fay finished tucking the last bit of polyester fiberfill into the coat’s sleeve.  “Come on Max.”

“Where?”

“Outside, I need to make sure it works.  Put it on.”

“It’s itchy.  Ouch!  I think I’ve gotten tape in my hair.”

“Stop complaining! Stand right here.”  Fay said while she pointed to the porch.  Then she threw a pitcher of ice water at Max.  Max ducked and turned his back, but the water still got on his hair and face.

“Fay! Watcha go and do that for?!”

Fay realized Max was upset.  “I’m sorry.  Here let me help you take this off.” Fay sat the wet trash bag coat on the porch and led Max inside.  Then she handed him a towel. “I’m really sorry. I didn’t think I was going to get you in the face. Did anything else get wet?”

“I don’t think so.”

“See, I told you the coat was good.  It kept you from getting wet. My dad is going to love it.” 

“Sure, if you dad likes the scratchy feeling of tape and plastic bags across his skin pulling on his body hairs.”

“Don’t be so negative all the time.” 

The two friends sat in the kitchen while Max dried off.  Then there was a loud noise. Fay went back on the front porch.  She looked around, but the coat was missing.  She screamed.

Max came to the porch. “Watcha screaming for?”

“The trash man took the coat I made for my dad.  All that work was for nothing.”

“That’s ok.”

“How can you say that?”

“Because, it’s the thought that counts”

“How can you say that, Max?”

“You told me to stop being negative.  Imagine if your dad had been wearing it when the trash people came.  They might have taken him with the coat.”

Daddy is nominated as a runner up Santa

Vern got home from a long day at work. Her father was standing in the living room. He was busy doing squats and bending exercises as he played his video game.

“You’re exercising?”

“Sure am”

“That’s nice to see you working out and heeding the advice of your doctors.”

“I have too”

“That’s the spirit, daddy.” Vern went upstairs to change into sweatpants and t-shirt. After changing, she went into the bathroom to wash the makeup off her face. She noticed darks spots on the floor, the bath rug and towel. She gathered up the items to wash them. She went back downstairs to the laundry room. “Daddy, what happened in the bathroom? Did you cut yourself shaving?”

“No” He said panting while trying to do abdominal crunches.

Vern decided that it was not worth fussing over. She began to cook pasta with chicken. The entire time she cooked her father did not stop exercising. He was breathing heavily. Vern caught a glimpse of him running in place.  “Daddy, should you really be working out like this?”

“I know what I’m doing.”

“Ok, dinner is going to be ready in just a few minutes.” Vern fixed the plates of dinner. She put her father’s plate on his TV table in the living room. Then she made a place for herself at the end of the dining table.

“What is this?”

“It’s pasta with baked chicken.”

“I can’t have all these carbs.”

“Daddy you eat carbs all day. Tonight you’re going to complain about eating pasta?”

Vern’s father sat down in his reclining chair. He wiped his face off with the napkin. Then he took off his hat.

“Daddy, what happened to your hair?”

“I colored it.”

“I can see that.”

“Does it look good?”

“No, no you look Goth. Why did you dye your salt and pepper curls black?”

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“Daddy, are exercising and coloring your hair for a girl?”

“Noooo, my looks are hot already for that. It’s something else.”

“What is it? Are you missing mom?”

“No Vern. I mean yes, I do still miss your mom, but this is all about Christmas.  I was nominated as runner-up for Santa Clause at the VFW.”

Vern chuckled. “Daddy, that’s a good thing. Think of all the children you will make happy.”

“No, think of me! I don’t want to be Santa Clause. I’m a war veteran. I can’t do it.”

“So, you thought exercising and dyeing your hair black would take you off the nomination.”

“Yeah, Pete is always Santa. It’s his thing, but if something was to happen to him, I would have to do it.”

“What should we do?”

“I still have a week to lose more weight, shave my head, get violently ill, or leave town.”

“I think you are going too far.”

“But I don’t want to be Santa!”

“Why? The children at the hospital love it when the VFW comes.”

“Yes, I like doing that. It’s just that I’ve always been a helper.  I want to be a helper, not Santa.”

“Daddy you are a warrior. You’re going to have to put that red uniform on, lace up them black boots and spread cheer. Santa is a warrior. Every day of the year, Santa is preparing for his battlefield to bring gifts to the children. Being Santa is an honor.”

“I guess you’re right. I’ve never thought of it that way.” Vern and her father finished eating dinner.  Vern put up the plates then she brought her father a scoop of frozen yogurt.

“Vern, I can’t eat this.”

“It’s good and good for you.”

“No, if I’m going to be a runner up for Santa, I need to eat like Santa. Bring me some cookies with milk!”