Sighing, she dropped the laundry basket next to the ironing board then filled the iron’s reservoir with distilled water and plugged it in. The kettle’s shrill whistle reminded her she intended to relax with a cup of tea and a nice buttered english muffin before starting the ironing. She truly hated to iron. Am I the only woman in America who still irons tee shirts?
Almost as if he heard her thoughts, he bounded down the stairs. “Didja iron my shirt yet, ma?”
“Waitin’ for the steam. Have some tea and an english with me in the meantime.”
Sitting silently together, they ate their meal. She cleared the table and started the ironing while he lost himself in a video game on his phone. On the third shirt he looked up to check her progress.
“Didja finish my shirt yet, ma?”
“Three so far. Take your pick.”
“Don’t need any of them. Need my Dunkin’. Can ya hurry it up, ma? The T ain’t gonna wait for me, and Joe says I’m fired if I’m late one more time.”
Should’ve taught the boy to iron his own shirts. She quickly ran the iron over the orange and pink tee.
Grabbing the still-warm shirt, he gave her a quick kiss before slipping it over his head. “Thanks, ma, you’re the best! Gotta run. See ya at supper.”
This re-post from July 28, 2018, was originally written in response to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Tweaked a little today.
“O” is for “orange” and also for “honor” and other words that begin with a silent “h”. I say “honor” is included because I intend to honor my commitment to myself and the blog community to publish daily, except Sunday, focusing on the letter of the day. Equally important, I’m honoring my commitment to myself to write something daily, published or not.
What came first, the color orange or the fruit orange? Ordinarily, I’d research that question but not today. Today I plan to write in stream of consciousness style in “homage” (French pronunciation) to Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS) challenge. On the other hand, I’ll be snubbing my nose at #SoCS because I’m writing about “O” and not about her prompt “mash.” On a third hand, though, SoC is essentially a mish-mash of thought trails, so I’m also following the prompt. I didn’t say this post would be interesting, just committed.
But I digress. Today is not the day to discover what came first, orange fruit or orange color. My guess is the color came first. So many other edibles are orange but aren’t named orange: nectarines, carrots, pumpkins, some squashes, nasturtiums. Nasturtiums are little orange flowers that add a zing to salads. Quite tasty.
Again on another hand, orangutans (NOT edible) are orange and have the color in their name. Right off the bat, I can’t think of any other orange animals. Oh…foxes! Clearly not called “orange.”
Oddly, another prompt I’ve been looking at, Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt #272, can fit into the subject of “orange.” The photo shows a carnival ride called, I think, a “whirligig.” It looks like a big canopy with colored bucket seats suspended from it. People strap themselves into the seats, and the whirligig whirls around, the acceleration giving the riders the rides of their lives. Or getting them sick. In this particular photo, the two most prominent seats are, respectively, yellow and red. Combined, yellow and red make orange. The canopy colors include mustardy yellow, red, blue, and blue-green. I imagine those colors mashing together into an orange haze if the ride spins fast enough. (Rebel that I am, I’m opting out of writing an actual three line tale.)
I can’t think of orange without thinking of an “orangy sky” at sunset or in the lyrics of The Cars’ “Bye Bye Love.”
“O” is also for “Okay,” as in “okay, I’ve had enough of this, haven’t you?” This stream of consciousness is boring me. No wonder I’ve never been able to read James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” (I stuck to stream of consciousness and didn’t research, only enough to satisfy my nerd by including citations.)
Time was, magic was feared as the embodiment of evil. Feared, that is, until conventional wisdom somehow downgraded it to frivolity, all card tricks and smoke and mirrors. Either way, no self-respecting person would admit to seriously believing. So, what changed? Magic has been pushing itself into the zeitgeist for a few years now, at least since 1997 when Harry Potter burst onto millions of pages and, subsequently, movie screens. If Harry Potter is responsible for the resurgence of magic, that’s more a testament to the magic of J. K. Rowling’s pen than to the perceived power of magical incantations.
I’ve always considered myself to be a non-believer. Haven’t even read Harry Potter. Of course, I would have to have been living under a rock not to have Harry Potter and his magic somewhere near the forefront of my consciousness. I mean, four years ago, I even named my new kitten “Potter”! That doesn’t necessarily make me a believer in magic. Admittedly, I do love fantasy, however. Stories full of dragons, fairies, and elves have long been my secret pleasure. Part of it is a deep, wistful longing that magic in a supernatural sense actually exists. That longing spars with the comparably deep certainty that it doesn’t.
If it’s not real, then WHY is magic everywhere? Not abracadabra, hocus pocus, rabbits pulled out of hats, illusionary magic. I mean literally the word “magic.” Has it always been there? As I’ve said, magic has been growing in popular culture for a while. Years. But just over the past few months I’ve been seeing the word “magic” increasingly often. I’m not looking for it, but the universe seems to be sending it.
You might think I’m crazy (superfluous Cars reference), but, like many other people, I believe the universe (or loved ones in the afterlife or God, if you prefer) sends messages. My sister-in-law, for instance, often finds heart-shaped stones and beach glass that she believes are messages from my late niece. Other people see butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds, rainbows, or some other sign that their loved-one’s spirit still lingers. I, myself, see multiple 11s everywhere that I don’t remember seeing until after my husband passed away over five years ago.
When I first began pondering the apparent resurgence of magic as a concept, I came to realize magic has been a background thread in my life since at least high school, when my boyfriend and I considered Jay and the Americans’ “This Magic Moment” to be our song. But I’ve only started seeing “magic” multiple times per day fairly recently. And not just in logical contexts, like when I’m listening to The Cars and their song “Magic” comes up on my playlist. No, I mean out of the blue references, like when I’m researching treason and stumble upon a book called “Magic as a Political Crime.” Or when I get an emailed ad from a tee shirt store, and the ad features a shirt saying “Black Moms are Magical.” Or when researching morticians for a possible upcoming blog post, Parke’s Magic Valley Funeral Home pops up.
Why is this happening? What message, exactly, is the universe sending?
Although I’ve been trying capture my thoughts about magic for weeks now, the impetus to finish this draft comes from Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt “-ic or -ical.” So, giving credit where credit due, even if my technique isn’t on point.
As a bonus, here’s Jay and the Americans’ “This Magic Moment” (from WABCRADIO77’s You Tube account because that’s what we were listening to at the time):
For the better part of today, my brain has been working in the background, mulling over Stream of Consciousness Saturday’s prompt “bodily function.” To be honest, I guess I must be sort of prudish, because all I could think of was bodily functions that are usually not discussed in polite company. (Thank you, Emily Post. You probably don’t remember her. She was the original etiquette queen. Waaaay before Miss Manners came along. But I digress.) Despite my prudishness, my biggest laugh today was reading Fandango’s take on the subject on his This, That, & the Other blog. He chose farts. You’re laughing now, too, I bet. Go read it; you’ll laugh even harder.
Anyhooo, part of my mulling was about autonomous bodily functions, those you really have no control over. (That does NOT include farting, because, as everyone knows, you can hold that in, for quite a while with practice. Again, digressing.) I mean something like blinking. Since this is SoC, I think it’d be cheating to leave now and do a little research, but I think the main reason for blinking is to keep your eyeballs hydrated. Every blink spreads a layer of useful tears.
Did you ever have a blinking contest when you were a kid? Or when an adult with a kid? Or when a drunk adult? Like farts, you can control blinking for quite a while (not as long as farts). Sooner or later, however, you lose control and blink. In my experience it’s sooner rather than later. I think it’s partly because my eyes need a LOT of hydrating but also because once I start thinking I can’t do something, if it’s a rule or a law, I can’t stop thinking about doing it. Like telling someone not to think about elephants. (Try THAT.) My will power tends to break down pretty quickly. Plus, it’s just my nature to buck authority.
The blinking game ends when the first person blinks. That person lost the game. Although the game is usually for fun, sometimes the stakes are high. For instance, first person to blink has to run around the block, or load the dishwasher for a week, or become a hostile foreign leader’s lap dog/puppet/patsy.
Photo credit “The Staring Contest” by Anthony Letmon; found on Wikimedia Commons
Sighing, she dropped the laundry basket next to the ironing board. She filled the iron’s reservoir with distilled water and plugged it in. The shrill whistle from the kettle reminded her that she intended to relax with a cup of tea and a nice buttered english muffin before starting the ironing. She truly hated to iron. Am I the only woman in America who still irons tee shirts, she wondered? Almost as if he heard her thoughts, he bounded down the stairs.
“Didja iron my shirt yet, ma?”
“I’m waitin’ for the steam. Have some tea and an english muffin with me in the meantime.”
Sitting silently together, they ate their meal. She cleared the table and started the ironing while he lost himself in a video game on his phone. She was working on the third shirt when he looked up to find out her progress.
“Didja finish my shirt yet, ma?”
“Three so far. Take your pick.”
“Don’t need any of those. I need my Dunkin’ shirt for work. Can ya hurry it up, ma? The T ain’t gonna wait for me.”
Muttering to herself, “should have taught the boy to iron his own shirts,” she quickly ran the iron over the orange and pink tee. Grabbing the shirt, he gave her a quick kiss. “Thanks, ma, you’re the best! Gotta run. See ya at supper.”