Monday March 31st, 2014

The exercise:

Write about something or someone that is: temperamental.

Apparently I fell asleep with my hand on the space bar. Let's just say it was easier to delete the original post and start again than trying to fix the formatting issues that created.

Anyway. I was able to leave work an hour early this evening in order to give Kat a little birthday surprise. They had called someone in to cover the gym while I presided over the league in the alley, and she was happy to close up for me so that I could leave as soon as things were finished down there.

Kat had no idea what I was up to until I sent her a text from our driveway - I figured it was best to give her a touch of warning, rather than just walk through the door and have her be in the bathroom or in the bedroom dealing with Max. I didn't want to give her a heart attack.

It was a beautiful, sunny day here. I'd say that's the least the weather could do for my wife's birthday.


"So, when you said the ignition in your truck was a little temperamental..."

"Boy, is she ever!"

"What you actually meant was that sometimes it starts the engine..."

"Yup. At least seven out of ten tries. Maybe even eight, if the weather is nice!"

"And sometimes it shocks you so bad that you lose all feeling in your right arm for five hours."

"Usually it's more like six. Though there was that one time it lasted for a full twenty-four hours."

"A full...?"

"So you should consider yourself lucky, if you think about it!"


Anonymous said...

An angry kettle blowing steam,
With its top rattling
Fiercer than a rattlesnake
Underfoot, is no
Match for me.
I might appear as
Fresh as a spring flower,
My eyes wide with excitement,
Still new to the world when
Compared with the ancient
Elements but this assumption
Proves more false than a
A street peddler.
I would recommend
Dear Sir that you refrain
From setting Aries alight in
My eyes, for not even the Earth’s
Warrior—fire—would be worthy
Of besting me.

David said...

Chapter 2

Emily Jackson started her Tuesday like she had started her Monday. And the Friday before. And the Wednesday before that. The schedule was regimented. Her husband Rick begrudgingly rose from bed at 5:45am. Sometimes to go to the gym, other times to rush to the office, to do all those important things he did in his office. His rising would wake Emily. Which meant Emily would not get back to sleep. She would lie in bed for a few minutes. Attempt to go back to sleep. Curse Rick. Check her iphone. Stare at her calendar. Curse herself for overscheduling. Close her eyes and attempt to breathe deeply. For a minute or two. She never made it to five.

“Te amo”

Words to start her day. Michael, her youngest, would stalk into the room, slamming his door before he entered his parents’ room.

“Te amo, amigo”

“Mom, is it a school day?”



Michael was a yay kind of kid. Until he was not. Which Emily knew would happen later. But, for now she would enjoy him. Enjoy that he still wanted to climb into bed with her.

“Will you always want to cuddle with me?”


“Are you sure? Even when you are fourteen?”


God love a four year old, Emily thought to herself. Another door would slam down the hall. The temperamental one. Her already fourteen year old son, Miles. It was Tuesday, so he would come into the bedroom and say hello. If it had been a Saturday, Miles would have gone into the basement to play Xbox.

Emily and Rick had married young. College friends that blossomed into a college hook up that matured into intense sexual exploration and an inevitable unplanned pregnancy. Fourteen plus years later and it was nothing but marital bliss and two kids (the second of which may or may not have been planned).

“What’s for breakfast?” Miles asked appearing like a shadow on a cloudy day.

“What do you want?”

“What do we have?”

“Same as always”

Miles left without finishing his thought. She could not blame him. Same as always was not the answer she wanted to hear either. But that is what he gets. That is what she gets. The regimen continued. Maybe she would shower. Most days she would throw on workout clothes and plan to go to the gym.

“Michael, go to the bathroom”

He would refuse. He always refused until he would ultimately run. Barely making it. Some days he would not make it and Emily would need to clean up a mess. Those were rare days. Today was a normal day.

Greg said...

Heh, I am impressed that you managed not to then slump down with your face on the keyboard! Still, you must be tired to produce all of those spaces :)
I'm not sure it's a good idea to ask, though I suppose it may always inspire a prompt: what's the most the weather could do for Kat's birthday then?
I like your truck! Even the six hour shock treatment ;-)

Temperamental, n. Japano-Latin: tempura meaning battered and mentis meaning mind.
This unusual word comes to us from the kitchens of the Witch-Lord (Witch-Lords did so exist) of Nagasaki during the time of the Hot Rains. Kitchen staff then were expected to work under hellish conditions producing dishes of excellence and exquisite taste and composition, so the rather unstable frame of mind that they developed needed a name: temperamental.
It transpired that one of the Witch-Lord's innovations was to punish failure so severely that it could not be contemplated again (see modern Bank hiring practices), and this was done by pushing the face (not needed for cooking) of the wayward cook into the tempura batter and then into the boiling fat in the wok. The batter partially protected the face from the fat, but the pain from the hot batter, as it cooked, was almost as exquisite as the food served at the Witch-Lord's banquets.
The outburst-prone, anger-driven, pain-fuelled state of mind that these cooks came to possess was therefore referred to as temperamental.

Marc said...

Ivybennet - love the imagery and word choice in your poem. I can really feel the passion.

David - ah, I have missed seeing your writing around these parts. Such great characterization, so many excellent details to carry the scene along.

Greg - hmm, that could certainly be a prompt...

Good lord I do love your definitions. I would so buy your dictionary :D