Monday October 16th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about something that is: unreliable.

Kat was at her Penticton office today so I took the boys with me to drop off my work keys at Public Works this morning. I'd wanted to relabel them as the ones I'd originally put on were pretty well worn off and I only knew which was which out of habit.

I took them around the yard to show them all the trucks and equipment (Miles' fav was the 'dumper truck', though he seemed to think all the trucks were dump trucks by the end) before coming back home.

And now I'm fully finished with the job, for reals.

Heading up to Penticton tomorrow to get a few things done. On my own, even. Should be good.

Mine:

"Will you be there?"

"Of course."

Why did I even ask? Worse, why did I bother believing?

"Okay, see you at nine. We'll be counting on you."

"Wouldn't miss it for the world."

No one is ever going to offer you the world in return for missing anything. And yet you're never there when we need you. For what, then? What are you exchanging for your presence by your family's side? What is the price?

Tell me, I beg of you. I will pay it gladly.

"All right. We'll save you a seat. Love you."

"I love you too."

Sure, throw that lie on top of the heap as well. It acts as a fine blanket.

Sunday October 15th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: catching up.

All caught up on comments again.

But there is more catching up to be done...

Mine:

When I started my contract with the town back in April it quickly became apparent that we would need a second vehicle sooner than later. I was starting my shifts too early for Kat to drop me off and ending them too late for her to pick me up. That meant for the four days I worked in a row, she was basically stuck at home with the boys.

That... didn't seem sustainable for the next six months.

So we started looking pretty much right away. And found what we were looking for before I'd even received my first paycheque. We wanted a larger vehicle to hold all four of us and all the stuff we'd be hauling around, especially on road trips that involve overnight stays.

We bought this Pontiac Montana during the first week of May (I honestly don't remember the exact date):


It's looking rather dusty there but I swear it's clean on the inside.

Why didn't I mention this purchase at the time? A couple reasons. The big one being that life was very, very busy. I didn't even have a decent picture of it to share (I actually took the above today in preparation for this post).

The other major factor in the delayed reveal? I was not super thrilled with purchasing a minivan. It fits our needs and whatever blah blah blah, but it's not exactly a vehicle I'd aspired to owning. In fact, I still insist on calling it our van, not our minivan.

As though the distinction makes any sort of difference.

Anyway. I think that gets me almost completely caught up. Just one more thing coming and I should be getting to that this week sometime.

Oooh, mysterious.

Saturday October 14th, 2017

The exercise:

Write a four line poem about: the last day.

And another chapter comes to an end. I didn't exactly cruise over the finish line, as I hustled around town giving all the washrooms a final clean. I haven't even tried to do all the washrooms in one day since my first four day shift back in April (when I didn't know any better).

Got 'em done though, with enough time left at the end of the day to clean out the truck and organize supplies a little bit.

With it being a bit of a special day, I'm ignoring my own four line limitation. I hope you'll forgive me.

Mine:

My final day began beneath the stars.
There were no bikes on the road,
No vans, no trucks, no cars.

The cold was bitter and fierce
And continually pierced
My shirt, my sweater, my jacket -
I was shivering so hard
My teeth were making a racket.

My hands are blocks of ice,
My fingers can take
No more, so here I am
Texting silly poems to my love
On my coffee break.

The sun never shined,
Clouds permanently lined
The sky from north to south
And east to west.
But at the end of it all
I completed my quest:
The bathrooms, all clean.

Now the job has ended
So it is time
To end scene.

Friday October 13th, 2017

The exercise:

Write four lines of prose about: the after party.

Hard to believe tomorrow will be my last day on the job. Six months went by pretty dang quickly.

With all of my office cleanings behind me, I'll be spending the day giving the washrooms one last clean before all but three of them are locked up for the winter tomorrow night. It's past time, really, as all but a couple of them have hardly seen any use in the last couple of weeks.

Anyway. One final early morning wake up to go.

Good night!

Mine:

"Where are you off to?"

"Uh, the after party?"

"Our daughter just had her second birthday celebration - there is no after party."

"... I guess you didn't get the invite then."

Thursday October 12th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the trophy.

Fairly quiet day at work. Ending with a little something different for the office clean once again: they've started renovating the Public Works building, beginning with the break room. So they've shifted the crew to another room (a reasonably spacious storage room that at least has room for the tables, chairs, fridge, microwaves, and coffee maker).

So I cleaned the office and washroom as usual, skipped the under construction area, and did what I could with the temporary break room.

All the while wondering why everything is happening during my final four days...

Oh well, just two to go now!

Mine:

"Here, darling, I've bought you a new dress."

"Oh, thank you Charles! It's very... bright. And sparkly."

"And gold!"

"Yes, Charles, that too."

"Don't you like it darling? It matches the shoes I bought for you yesterday!"

"Of course I do, Charles. You know I like everything you buy me."

"Oh, good."

"It's just..."

"Yes, darling?"

"It's just that I'm beginning to worry that you might be taking this whole trophy wife thing a little too literally."

"Oh, come now darling! I treat you with the utmost respect and dignity. I listen when you're yammering on about whatever it is you're always yammering on about. We even do things together that you like to do, on occasion."

"Yes, I suppose that's true, Charles. And it's not like you're asking me to carry around a bowling ball now, is it?"

"Oh! That reminds me! The rest of your gift..."

Wednesday October 11th, 2017

The exercise:

Write about: the devil's noose.

This afternoon I was asked to clean a room at Destination Osoyoos that I'd not previously had access to. After I was done they wanted me to close the blinds, which didn't seem like much of a request.

By the time I'd finished fighting with the cord I thought otherwise.

I usually have a shower after I get home from work, which gives me some quiet time to process my day. Tonight while I was in there I started thinking about those blinds and how much I hated the person who tied up the cord, whose tie job I casually referred to as 'the devil's noose'. I liked it so much that I had to make a prompt out of it.

So here we are.

Three days to go!

Mine:

The rope around my neck is impossibly hot. It should be on fire, the way it's burning me. I can almost hear the skin crackling like a steak on a frying pan doused with too much oil. The smell is... I don't want to think about the smell.

I twist this way and that, use my fingers to try to force a gap that can be used to loosen its grip on me. But there is no relief. There is no escape.

The devil's noose has a hold on me and it isn't letting go.

"Are you... comfortable?" a deep, rumbling voice asks. I can feel the echoes reverberating in my chest.

"No!" My voice is hoarse, rasping. My mouth is drier than grains of sand on a midday beach. The pain is... exquisite.

"Exquisite?" His laughter is a monstrous thing. "You flatter me."

"Get out of my head."

"Make me."

The challenge forces my eyes open for the first time. My regret is immediate and immense. Everything is on fire. I try not to look at anything too closely but I still see tormented faces and blackened bones.

I am surrounded by misery.

"Surrounded," he says. "And very much a part of it as well."

The noose tightens and I fall to my knees, clutching at the burning rope with both hands. I can feel the skin on my palms blistering and peeling away. Escape is hopeless but I will not stop fighting. I cannot stop. I must not.

"Oh, you will," he says with that terrible laugh. "You will."

Tuesday October 10th, 2017

The exercise:

Write two haiku about: the beginning of the end.

Parents managed to leave this morning without too many tears being shed. Took the boys to StrongStart shortly afterward to keep them distracted. Seemed to work out okay.

Beginning my final four day stretch with Public Works tomorrow. It's going to be a chilly week, but at least the end is very much in sight.

Mine:

This may not be the
end, but I can certainly
see it from here... *yay*

*     *     *

I said I love you
and you just sort of smiled and
didn't say it back