Hurry past, myopic commuters, ‘cause Hastings is your genuine pit stop - a cracked basin draining soap bubble dreams far too easily. The only dazzle here exists on the end of a spoon.
101 by Alex Fuchs
30 words plus the three prompt words of: myopic, basin and dazzle. Written for this weekend’s Trifexta challenge. I would like to say that much of East Hastings is a vibrant community. But there is a part of the street that remains rough and tumble and painful for its residents. There are many issues in this part of our Vancouver world, most caused by the cycle of poverty.
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When Irving threw up after drinking orange juice from their fridge, Ruth knew it was time to go to the grocery store. She pulled on her best pantsuit, the one that fit so well and perked up her senior’s tush, then headed out the apartment door. She called a goodbye in Irving’s direction, but he was sitting up in bed, watching curling on tv, and didn’t hear her.
The bright morning greeted Ruth and today she found the fresh air refreshing. Over the past seven days she’d been cooped up in stale air with Irving and his hysterical demands. She’d tried opening the window, but even a slight indication of life outside their tiny world of illness proved overwhelming, and she’d resealed it immediately.
Fifteen minutes along, Ruth reached Main Street. As she turned the corner, she made the mistake of looking in the opposite direction to check for the bus. For a terrifying moment, storefronts and signage bucked and pitched. Ruth felt herself falling. Unable to stop the inevitable, she gave in to gravity’s pull.
When she came to, loud voices surrounded her. Willing her eyes open, she discovered she was lying on the pavement. A chubby, red-haired man peered down at Ruth through severe, black glasses. He smiled encouragingly: “Aye, it’s okay, love. You’re okay. Dannae move. We’ve got the ambulance on its way.” Ruth felt he must be the most handsome foreigner she’d ever seen.
A young woman with shiny brown hair was kneeling beside Ruth, patting her veined hand, intoning the same words as the red-haired man: “it’s okay, it’s okay.” Such peaceful words, Ruth thought.
Hot pain seared in Ruth’s legs and shoulder. The rest of her body felt numb. She was embarrassed to discover the familiar smell of sickness coming from both the front and the back of her pantsuit.
Darkness was pulling her under. A calmness settled in. And just as her eyes closed, Ruth wondered if Irving would even notice she hadn’t made his dinner.
333 words for this week’s Trifecta writing challenge. We were asked for 33 to 333 words using the third definition of the word ‘tush’ which is: buttocks (slang).
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Lou said good morning to the milkman when the vicar came for tea
His world’s a topsy-turvy jumble and the dog’s a manatee
Is it just silly me?
Or could it really be?
♣♥♦♠ ♣♥♦♠ ♣♥♦♠
33 word free write – and this is as free as I get – for this weekend’s Trifextra.
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Stepping onto the foot hold of the spade, Paolo uses his full body weight to slice a straight line into the sod. He levers out a section of unruly grass, tidies the garden edging, and stands back to review his efforts.
8 a.m. Breaktime with his thermos of tea. Only then, as Paulo sits on a tree stump, does he look across the park and notice a disheveled gray outline in the autumn garden. He chews the inside of his bottom lip. Three weeks of work, gently urging baby shrubs, and now it seems a hobo has claimed the delicate greenery for a bed.
Walking towards the sun, pushing the wheelbarrow as he crosses the soccer field, his eyes narrow. This eviction is about to throw a day’s schedule right out the window. He drops his spade beside the asters and stands over the sleeping man, prepared to scold with a harsh remark that compares a lack of dignity to communicating with worms. But he stops himself.
He crouches and peers under the hostas that are providing the man shelter. Moving one of the large waxy leaves out of the way to get a better look, rain water funnels and streams onto the man’s ashen face. Paolo humbly realizes there’s no need to search for a pulse.
He removes his cap and scratches his bald spot. In his twenty three years of tending the park’s flora, he’s never dealt with such strange undergrowth. He ponders and puzzles. Then, a thought. Perhaps God chose to take this man’s life, pluck this man’s soul, in this spot, because- ? Yes! This makes sense to Paolo.
His heart calms as his mind races. At length, he makes the necessary adjustments to the daily maintenance schedule and his weekly routine. Then, with everything in order and back where it should be, he reaches for his spade and begins to outline the new garden plot.
< 333 words for this week’s Trifecta writing challenge. We were asked for <333 words using the third definition of the word ‘pluck’ which is: to move, remove or separate forcibly.
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December 1 is World AIDS Day. The red ribbon (the first ribbon, by the way) is a sign of standing in solidarity and community with the over 35 million people in the world living with HIV. Researchers (particularly Dr. Julio Montaner who leads BC’s Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the previous Director of the International AIDS Society – someone whom I admire to the end of the world and back) are now adamant that this World AIDS Day everyone (yes everyone and that means you and me) should take the test.
Because when everyone takes the test, it does two things: it allows us to make good decisions for the future AND it normalizes the idea of taking the test, thereby slowly but surely bringing an end to the stigma.
In a sea of ribbons which highlight various concerns, remember: the red ribbon was a public way of telling others: you are not alone with your disease, you are not alone with your fight, you are not alone.
Please consider wearing a red ribbon and contributing to a local HIV/AIDS organization in your community.
Things have changed, for some in the western world, but the epidemic is not over. I’ve attached the following video because Bruce Springsteen’s words will explain to anyone who doesn’t already know just what the disease is capable of taking from us. Us. Me. You.
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On November 24, 1927, Daisy Teal was born. It was a snowy day in Winnipeg and the joy of a new life was sadly followed by the grief of goodbye. Daisy’s mother (also named Daisy) died several days later because of complications from giving birth.
Paternal grandparents took the train from Vancouver to Winnipeg, as Daisy’s father was grief-striken and now had two daughters under the age of 3. He ended up “giving” the eldest to his deceased wife’s parents to raise and his newborn daughter to his own parents to raise.
They loved her unconditionally and Daisy was a happy and, yes, spoiled little girl. Unfortunately, more sadness was not too far away. Daisy’s grandfather died when she was 9 and her grandmother, whom she loved as if she was her mom, died when Daisy was 16.
All this sadness, all this grief – and yet if you had known Daisy, you would have never known. Daisy was kind, fun, smart, generous with her spirit. She was a wonderful listener, she appreciated all kinds of music, all kinds of people. She never spoke unkindly or spitefully of people, even in her darkest moments. She had an infectious laugh and if you knew her, you were always comfortable in her presence. She was a coffee drinker and yes a smoker. Her favourite thing in the world was talking with friends over coffee. Well, perhaps that was her second favourite thing. Her first favourite thing would have been talking to, about, spending time with her only child: Jo-Anne.
My mom, Daisy, was a gift and I remain amazed at how lucky I was to have her for my mom. She was also the best hugger I’ve ever known. The absolute best – and I have several friends who would totally agree with me :))
She left me too soon. She died the week before her 65th birthday, over 20 years ago now, but luckily she didn’t suffer for too long with her illness. For that I am grateful.
The world was a shinier place when Daisy Teal was in it. And I miss her like crazy, especially on her birthday, and at Christmas, and on Mother’s Day, and at Easter and…
Happy Birthday, Mum.