Election Blues

“Why is it so damn cold?” I hear myself muttering.  The morning cold feels like it has inserted itself into my bones.  I chose high heels to make myself appear taller, thinner and more in charge.  Already my shoes are exacting revenge on my protesting toes.  My campaign manager, Alden Ritter and aide, Rachel Posen hold blue signs pleading “Re-elect Lyris Fein.”  We target sleep-–deprived commuters.

They flow down the platform demonstrating little interest in us.   I am just another candidate in a forest. I bestow my practiced smile on them.  Alden or Rachel thrust a glossy flyer in their hands, the one with a family photo and my bio.  Some brush past but most accept it without looking directly at me.  A few shake my benumbed hand.  After giving the flyer a cursory look, many then deftly dispose of it in the trash bin.  I know that before the last train car exits the station, Rachel will be bin diving to the retrieve any spared the soil of a splashed coffee.  We do recycle.  It is part of our ritual.  Well, the 8:11 has come and gone.  The three of us rush back to the hulking Ford Expedition rented for the duration.

For Love of Elvis

It was a glorious morning after two days of rain. The sun’s rays flowed through the small bay window bathed the thriving basil and thyme and continued on to the terra cotta tile. At this hour the rays were more warm than hot.

Al took no notice as he sat at the small mosaic-topped bistro table. He read the headline several times. Tree Falls on House. He didn’t feel compelled to read further, to learn what the story was. It wasn’t that he didn’t care about a neighbor’s misfortune; he just could not concentrate, not even after a second coffee.

As usual in the morning, Pam was busy washing their few dishes, leaning into the sink, the faucet running hard. Looking over at her, Al could not understand why a couple of dishes demand so much effort.