Out of Touch

It’s been a while.  Too long in fact. My working title for this entry was Forsaken, but it sounded far too serious and left me with visions of Clint Eastwood’s movie, Unforgiven.  While surfing tunes on YouTube, something lighthearted, corny, yet cool (or as cool as the 80s could be) inspired me otherwise.

In October of 1984, Out of Touch started its climb to become Billboard’s Hot 100 number one song.  MTV and Much Music were still in their infancy, and unlike today, in those days the stations actually played music videos.

This video amplifies the prevalent corniness of the mid 80s.  I love the video’s cigar chomping music executive, the shamelessly (and repeated) advertising plugs for Big Bam Boom (the Duo’s newest album), and Daryl Hall’s animal-print suit and slacks.  Didn’t Amy Grant wear the same leopardskin jacket only one year later on the cover of Unguarded?

Amy_Grant_Unguarded One could say, my blog and I have been “out of touch…not around.”  After nearly a year of neglect… I’m putting thoughts to fingers, and fingers to keys again.

So what’s changed since last July?  More than I like to admit.

While away, my dearly departed mother-in-law had a song written and performed as a tribute to her.

The Trifecta Writing Challenge site, where I labored and toiled over my few feable submissions, closed for good.  There’s no doubt in my mind that I was in way over my head with that crowd of writers, but it was fun to try.

And then one of the nicest folks I’ve read on WordPress, Rarasaur (the same that pointed me to Trifecta’s Writing Challenge), she ended up going to prison in California.  Yikes!  How did that happen?

All of this to say, a whole lot can surely happen in a year.  Looking back over the last 365 days, many personal disappointments lay scattered in my mind.  I’m looking to make the next 365 days different.

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” ~ James 4:13-15 NIV

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Final Departure

hurtling heavenward
armrests clung tight
g-force pins bodies
propulsion burns bright

ignorant Houston
oblivious crew
awestruck observers
all wait for stage two

water had frozen
ring breach failure
exploding disaster
numb, silence, vapor

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This is my response to Trifextra: Week Seventy-Seven where I was given the three words below and asked to give back thirty of my own, making a grand total of thirty-three words.

ring
water
stage

Admittedly, I’m not normally poetic (by any stretch of the imagination, nor by education), but was inspired to make my earlier work in progress into the poem above…

The astronauts hurtled heavenward with armrests gripped and g-force imprisoned bodies.  The crew-members eagerly anticipated stage two.  Oblivious to Houston, Challenger, and observers alike, a ring had failed.  The Challenger disaster was imminent.

Thanks for reading.  Your comments are encouraged!

Trifextra: Week Seventy-Seven
Trifextra: Week Seventy-Seven

Stereotypical

When I first started my job, a local clothier was liquidating his inventory of plaid shirts, and for ridiculous single-digit prices.  Succumbing to momentary insanity, convinced it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I stocked up.

My hasty shopping spree left me relegated to wear oxford-style tartan for years to come.  Workplace associates would later proclaim that plaid became my personal trademark.

The following Halloween, everyone in the office donned plaid shirts to celebrate my limited, and somewhat lacking, fashion sense.Scary_Plaid

As the company I.T. guy, I prided myself  on building rapport and improving morale whenever possible.  Often this meant helping with menial tasks, which many times interrupted my mundane technical responsibilities, but more importantly, provided an excuse to shed my necktie.

The Friday before last, ladies in accounting had requested my assistance with carrying boxed files to the basement storage.Matching_Plaid

With banker boxes heaped five high on the handcart, my free hand fumbled to call the elevator.  The doors parted to expose the empty car. Using the old heave-ho, the cart’s rubber tires protested lethargically, but eventually conceded the threshold from marble tile onto elevator carpet.  With a closing clunk, the car descended.

The lift slowed, stopped, and divided doors on fifteen.  Motion from the lobby was absent.  The symmetrical panels reached to reseal the compartment, until interrupted by an arm adorn with a monogrammed gold cufflink.  The doors recoiled to reveal a polished executive.  He boarded the car.

“Sorry…  I hate to hold up anyone getting paid by the delivery,” said the dapper gentleman.

My eyebrow arched.  A forced smirk failed to conceal my grimace.

“…or do you delivery guys get paid by the hour?”

My mind turned introspective.  My getup looked neither like FedEx, nor UPS, and I hadn’t a clipboard, nor even a courier crest sewn to my chest.  What made me appear to be a delivery guy?  Was it the plaid?

Ideas for a witty rebuttal simply vanished.

Constraining the truth, I muttered, “…something like that.”

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The story mentioned above was inspired by the Trifecta: Week Seventy-Nine writing challenge.  This week’s prompt required me to write a response, 33 to 333 words in length, containing the word APPEAR  (specifically using its third definition).

APPEAR
1a : to be or come in sight <the sun appears on the horizon>
b : to show up <appears promptly at eight each day>
2: to come formally before an authoritative body <must appear in court today>
3: to have an outward aspect : seem <appears happy enough>

First Daze

The last thing I remember was the close up of patient’s eye.  Everything was copacetic right up until the surgical instrument extracted the metal filing.  My blood galloped to meet the floor and my body, the traitor, was helpless but to follow.

I was reawakened as classmates struggled to upright me.  “Are you okay?  You don’t look so good.”

“No, I’m fine.  Eye injuries just make me squeamish.”  The momentary humiliation stung.

“Mr. Dyck.  You’re excused for today.  Tomorrow, we start the real course material.”

How could I protest after being unceremoniously unseated on my first day?

I had been warned about the gory nature of the shop’s safety film and its aim to scare safety mindfulness into freshmen.  Putting forth my bravest face, I had grossly overestimated my ability to muster mind over matter.

I stumbled woozily onto the bus while fumbling to produce my monthly pass.  Defeated, I slumped into the seat and burrowed my head into my jacket.  My eyes stared blankly at the pedantic transit advertisements.

The transit meandered its way to my home with ceaseless stops and starts.

The girl seated in front of me looked around with a gaze that differed than most.  When had she gotten on the bus?   The Camwest Center?

With the most devilish grin from ear-to-ear, the girl turned to face me.

Next Stop

 She clasped something in her left hand.   A similar substance was on her cheek.  At first glance, I guessed chocolate.  The whiff that followed clarified otherwise.  It was a defecating matter!

My stomach contents ejected upward while my hand grasped desperately for the next stop rope.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

With breakfast in my mouth, I rushed the rear door.  The ride stopped.  I exited, expelled, exhaled, and embraced fresh air.  Sweet fresh air!

My composure was nearly regained as the next bus arrived.  Once boarded, seated, and mildly relieved, I couldn’t help but notice the constant trickle of passengers from the earlier bus, all being picked up along the way.

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The above is my response to Trifecta: Week Seventy-Eight where this week’s word is pedantic (adjective)

1 : of, relating to, or being a pedant(see pedant)
2 : narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned
3 : unimaginative, pedestrian

The challenge requires my response to be between 33 and 333 words.  The word must be used once in its third definition.

My response’s story idea stems from a real-life situations experienced by my roommate on either his first or second day at SAIT (over 20 years ago).  Good or bad, it was the first thing that sprung to mind when I looked up pedantic.