Monday May 28th, 2012

The exercise:

Write about: the circle.

For the life of me I cannot remember what inspired that. Oh well.

We now have about two-thirds of a deck. Would have more but I ran out of screws this afternoon and didn't have the time to go to town for more. I'll take care of that tomorrow and then hopefully we'll finish it off in the evening.

Saw a beautiful orange bird by Kat's parents house this afternoon, pretty sure it was an oriole. I think I've found my new hummingbird.


Ryan sat behind the wheel of his rented convertible, drumming his fingers against the steering wheel as he waited for the light to turn green. Across the intersection from him a woman was waiting to turn left in her minivan, a cellphone pressed to her right ear. She vanished and reappeared over and over again as traffic flowed between them.

The radio in the rental was stuck on an oldies station, so it had been turned off shortly after he'd left the lot. Ryan preferred the music in his head, to which he began nodding his head. It was a useful distraction from the task at hand.

From what he could gather, the phone call was not going in the woman's favor. The hand not holding the cell began cutting the air with violent slashes, the distance between her lips grew with every shouted word. Ryan's fingers began to ache from the beating they were giving his steering wheel.

At last the light changed, each direction receiving an advance turn signal. Ryan waited for the minivan to present its passenger side to him and then slammed his foot on the gas pedal. As his front bumper smashed into the woman's vehicle he couldn't help wishing that there was a less messy way to join The Secret Circle.


Greg said...

Whenever I see Oriole in a North American context, I think of Oreos. They seem to be a little different though :(
Sounds like the deck is nearly done then, will be getting the before and after pictures this week?
This Secret Circle is interesting; do they cause accidents to deserving people? I'd definitely like to find out more about this, you should continue it. Secret Circle week? ;-)

The circle
Squircle, verb.
A portmanteau of square and circle, to squircle is to sit around attempting the impossible for hours on end while neglecting important tasks. Mathematicians proved in antiquity that it is impossible to square the circle (i.e. construct a square of the same area as a circle using only straightedge and compass), but this hasn't stopped far too many people since believing that they can do it. Obsessive squircling should be considered a pathology and given its own entry in the DSM V.

Anonymous said...

The Circle

There was a man born to a family, closely bound by a circle of love.
He was kind to his siblings, looking after them when Mother was busy. He was generous. He would give away his share of the Easter eggs they found hiding in strange places each year. 
He grew up, found love, and gave his bride a circular band of gold, a wedding band - symbol of his eternal devotion.
In time they had children, each one a testimony to their shared love. Their family circle grew bigger. When they were old enough, he told them about the circle. “The circle,” he said, “is a bond between us that unites us. It’s a bond of love, of kinship, of compassion. When one is down, may the others help to pick him up.” This was his philosophy; it was a good one.
As each one grew, he taught them to share - they shared their toys, their food and their knowledge. He hoped they they would all grow in wisdom.
When each child married, Mother would say, “It feels different now; are the children leaving us?”
But he reminded her the family circle was merely expanding. “They are family, too,” he replied, and that was that.
When times grew tough, and they did, this man who had done well in his day, thought nothing of sharing what he had with his family. He gave them money. It helped them get a house or whatever was needed. “Think of it as part of your inheritance a little early, when you can use it,” he said, never needing a word of thanks. “It’s all part of the circle.” 
What goes ’round, comes ’round. He believed in paying it forward. As life had fostered good fortune on him, so he gave to others.
All were grateful who had been touched by the fortune and generosity of this one man. When grandchildren arrived, he began the circle with them, too, encouraging them to share as he had done. 
His circle was ever-expanding, and it gave him joy.

One day, there appeared a circle on his face. He ignored it, too busy was he, ensuring that those at the soup kitchen were fed, or that his family was well taken care of.
He was reaching old age. He’d not much left to give and as this circle expanded, it grew deep and threatened to take away his life.
’So be it,’ he thought. ’I have had a good life.’
And so, one day his circle of life closed, but his legacy was an ever-widening circle of love and success as his descendants carried on what he’d begun.

Cathryn Leigh said...

Life's been busy so I haven't been here as religiously as before. But for today I give you:


I circle around and around
My thoughts upon a merry-go-round
Now that it’s been typed
I don’t like the sound....

Last night we went to a Carnival, the first and longest lasting one of the summer season. I so approve of the wrist band approach they have introduced. Now instead of buying 20 tickets and rationing your rides, you a little more for unlimited riding privilege. Brilliant!

Since Adult Rides cost 4 to 5 tickets a piece the wrist band cost was easy to recoup. But we didn’t go there for ourselves. We went for the kids. Their rides were all 3 tickets a pop. No worries about the bands being worth it, they ran through the fun house enough times, plus all the kids rides.

We did buy some tickets for my hubby and I. After riding the little Sizzler, the kids wanted to go on the big one, and we had to be on it with them. (Oh darn!) As soon as we got off that, the Memorial Day fireworks started and we watched them as we waited for our turn on the Ferris Wheel.

It’s amazing how a Carnival can take going around in circles and turn it into fun!

(And yes they had a Merry-go-round) *grins*

Morrigan Aoife said...

A never ending loop,
A gold ring that binds,
Worn by one of the group,
It's playing tricks on their minds.

Aholiab said...

The Circle

It all came down to the ancient question: How many sides does a circle have?

The obvious answer was none. A circle is perfectly smooth with no sides.

Mrs. Jamieson, my 11th grade calculus teacher, would have had us believe that there were an infinite number of sides, but they were each infinitesimally small.

The answer that I was facing was the one that every joker knew: two - an INside and an OUTside. Right now I was on the outside of a circle that I desperately wished I was still inside. It was a grim irony that the men who had trusted me to be in their inner circle now surrounded me in a physical circle, while their faces emphasized my new status as an outcast.

I slowly turned, looking each one in the eye. None flinched, none wavered, none showed any doubt or remorse. There was only a stony acceptance of my fate. I stopped at the last man in the circle, watched my brother raise his pistol, then gazed into the barrel - my final circle of death.

Anonymous said...

aholiab... brilliant!

Marc said...

Greg - yup, definitely before and after pictures... once we get to after.

Squircling seems like a fine way to procrastinate. I think I shall try it out!

Writebite - that sounds like a life well lived. The world could do with a few more of those.

Cathryn - no worries, glad you found the time to drop by :)

Haven't been to one of those in a long time. A deal like that might get me to make the effort though!

Morrigan - hah, you had me leaning one direction with the first two lines, only to leave me quite unbalanced with the final two :D

Aholiab - I'm in agreement with Writebite, that's some excellent work. Really enjoyed the progression from start to finish.

Iron Bess said...

Hmm, posted this yesterday but it looks like it didn't take. I did apologize for it being so long...perhaps it is too long and the comments field won't take it? I will try it in a couple of parts.

I was assigned to Circle House when I got to high school. The other three houses were Triangle, Square, and Rectangle. Yep, the person, or persons, making up those house names were very imaginative. In retrospect it was pretty indicative of the high school as a whole. Boring with a capital B. The only slightly interesting thing about the school was its name, Ashwan High. And the only reason that is slightly interesting is because someone actually took the time to come up with a name which combined the names of the two towns it sat between and serviced, Ashcroft and Wandenville. Middleton High had actually been the second runner up when they had originally built the school, now that would have been the icing on the boring cake.

Ashwan High was not a wealthy school, it didn’t have any high tech equipment, it’s teachers were good but not great. On casual Friday’s the male teachers wore no ties and a sport jacket, the women wore pant suits. Our sports teams did middle of the road, the closest anyone ever came to winning an intermural event was when the badminton team came in second in the county championships in 1957. We didn’t excel in spelling, science projects, math competitions, nor IQ challenges. Like I said, boring.

Ashwan was completely nondescript, right from its faded red brick fa├žade, to the middle of the road marks that it’s students achieved. Actually until last week I would have gone through my entire life believing that I had somehow managed to claw my way to fame and fortune despite the disadvantage of having gone to Ashwan High.

Then last week, on a last minute whim, I had decided to go to my 30th high school reunion. It was the first time I had even considered going to a reunion, typically I avoid boring whenever possible, but I happened to be visiting my elderly grandparents when the invitation somehow found its way into my hands. I wasn’t too surprised to find an envelope marked for me in my grandparent’s mailbox, after all when you are from a small town everyone knows your business, and enough people had seen me in town that week to know where to find me.

So the night of the reunion I put on a pair of black slacks and a white shirt and headed for the school. It hadn’t changed even one iota. I think even the same dandelions were growing beside the front steps. Mandy Marshall and her sidekick, Bethany Bartha, sat at the table outside the old gymnasium with their plastic smiles pasted onto their plastic faces. “Ewwww,” Mandy squealed. “If it isn’t Ms. Nightly Nation News herself.” She handed me a name tag and the program.

“Mandy,” I said. “How are you? It’s been a long, long time? So what have you been up to these days?” I really didn’t care, or want to know, but a person doesn’t need to be rude just because of some unremembered issue from the past.

Mandy smiled her fake plastic smile which did not reach her eyes. Nothing new there, her smiles had always been insincere. “Oh I’m just taking a break from touring,” she said. “You know how exhausting book tours can be.”

“Oh, I didn’t know you were a writer,” I said. “What’s the name of your book? I’ll have to pick it up.” Yeah like that would happen.

“The Marshall Plan,” she said.

I smiled a fake smile in return. Then it hit me. “What? What did you say? Did you say the Marshall Plan? Your M. Marshall? Holy shit I loved that book.” Oh yeah, I was suave and cool. Oh and thunderstruck. Here was my new hero sitting in front of me being all smarmy assed like her old high school self, and I was acting all gobsmacked. Somehow I managed not to make a complete idiot of myself while chatting with her about her book before having to move on because I was holding up a line that was forming behind me.

Iron Bess said...

Circle cont...

Still reeling from the news I walked into the gym looking for the bar, and a stiff rum and coke. I was trying to figure out how to get my grandparents to get me invited over to the Marshall house as soon as possible. If I could get Mandy alone I knew I would be able to secure an exclusive interview with her. That’s when I ran into Brad Abberdale. Damn, I should have thought out the whole clothing issue a little more carefully. Had I known that Brad was going to be here I would have taken some pains with my outfit, and probably bought a package of condoms. “Brad,” I said, my voice going up an octave. “You look great.” Oh yeah, I definitely have that suave thing down pat.

Brad looked me up and down, real slow. It was everything I could do to stop myself from jumping him right there and then. “Zane?” he said. “Wow girl, you look great.”

I actually blushed. What the fuck was wrong with me? Here I am thirty years later and still acting like a nerdy school girl with a big fat crush on the boy next door not like, Zane Day, number one news anchor of the highest rated news network in the world. Except this boy next door was the senator of New Hampshire, and very possibly the candidate for the next presidential election. So acting calm, cool, and collected I giggled. Yeah giggled, like the serious dork I still was. “Brad,” I said, trying to hide another blush. “I didn’t know you were going to be here.”

He pressed one of the two drinks he was carrying into my hand then grabbed the other and led me through the crowd to the Circle House poster on the wall. “See this picture,” he asked while sipping his drink. I was very much aware of the fact that his warm hand was still holding mine. I nodded and took a sip of my drink. Ah, rum and coke, the elixir of the gods. “Do you recognize any of those people?”

Iron Bess said...

Continued even more...see I told you it was long...sorry...sorry...sorry

I looked closely at the poster. “Sure,” I said. “Me, Jamie Berg, Marilyn Aubin, Joan and June Rigby, and Raymond Chase. We were all in the same house for three years. What about them?” I asked before taking another long sip of my drink. Man he was still so good looking, and his hand felt great in mine.

Brad moved his hand up to my elbow and turned to face me. “Well Ms. Hotshot reporter, use your deductive skills and tell me what is unusual about this?” He turned back to peer at the poster.

My insides were doing funny things and I could feel the room starting to heat up. Or was that just me? I was too distracted to play this game but I turned back to the picture and tried to look for something out of the ordinary. Hmm, nothing in the back ground. I had seen this picture almost every single day for the past thirty years seeing as it was hanging on the wall in my office. I was just about to ask him what the hell I should be looking at when it suddenly dawned on me. “Holy fuck,” I said. Yes not only smooth, but articulate as well.

Jamie Berg was a two time Olympic gold champion in the triathlon event. He now did inspirational talking tours all around the country and was paid over 100k for each appearance. I remember doing an interview with him ten years ago. We had gone out for supper and drinks afterward. Marilyn Aubin was the doctor who had discovered the cure for HIV four years before, and had been given the Nobel Prize in medicine for it. Joan Rigby had been a test pilot for N.A.S.A and had flown five missions to the international space station. She had rescued three thousand people during a daring rescue mission. June Rigby, her twin sister, was a four star general and adviser to the incumbent president. Raymond Chase was the dean of Harvard law. I turned around and looked around the room. What I saw was unbelievable, and I was there seeing it, and living it. Supreme Court justices, senators, actors, writers, doctors, sports personalities, and much, much more. Every single person in that room had not only been at the top of his, or her, profession sometime during their lives, but between them all had been on the covers of every single major publication in the world.

“What the fuck.” I said.

Marc said...

Iron Bess - yeah, the comment box can be finicky sometimes. Glad it worked this way though!

Hmm, that's some school. Something in the drinking fountain water, perhaps? Or maybe something a little more... sinister?