Speakeasy #162 – Fulfilling Wishes at the End of the World

Fulfilling Wishes at the End of the World

Until the day I die, I’ll never forget those glassy, unblinking eyes. They are frozen in time for all eternity, to replace the face of Michelangelo’s David as it sat carved in my mind. The world had fallen apart in the streets outside that day, as we walked through the museum hand in hand.

It was all we wanted to do.

We had decided to spend the day there, he and I, that morning over coffee. So rarely did we get time to ourselves, having an afternoon together sounded like a tiny slice of heaven. We would play hooky from work and go through the museum like tourists, gawking at the visiting exhibits. Hell, maybe we would even eat at the overpriced cafe. He emailed his boss, I called in. Then, giggling like kids skipping class, we hustled to catch the bus downtown.

Our tickets were stamped 10:45AM. The bombs started falling at 12:23PM. Continue reading

The Speakeasy #161 – Earthquake Weather

Earthquake Weather

When I was growing up, my neighbor always talked about earthquake weather. She was old, her hands as gnarled as the knobs on the oak tree in her front yard. Everyone called her tia; though her relatives had long since moved away she was auntie to everyone. Her family had been in California since before California existed, working at the missions under the Mexican flag long before the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was even considered.

Mija,” she’d say to me, smiling up into the orange tree where I perched, plucking fresh fruit from the high boughs and dropping it to her waiting hands. “This is earthquake weather. The air is still and the clouds are high. Mira.Continue reading

The Speakeasy #160 – Popularity Contest

Popularity Contest

“Tell me if you’re game.”

Cord’s words swirled around my head as we peered into the construction site, our fingers gripping the chain fence that separated it from the rest of the neighborhood. Everyone else had already hopped over; their laughs echoed back to us from around the sleeping machinery. I looked over my shoulder, then back.

“I don’t know.”

Cord huffed, irritated. “Look, Teri. If you’re not game, you’re not game. But I’m not going to sit around and let them drink my beer while you dick around with your feelings.” He didn’t wait for me to answer, scaling the fence with a metallic rattle and disappearing into the shadows. Continue reading

Ambulance Rides

You think about a lot of things when your heart is pounding at 234 beats per minute.

For no reason.

For half an hour straight.

I thought about my daughter. I thought about my husband. I thought about my cats. I thought about my friends.

I was strapped in the back of an ambulance, trying not to absolutely lose my shit as it took three tries toset up an IV, three tries of increasing dosage of Adenosine to slow my pulse to something less deadly.

I wondered if the last thing I would see would be the bags of saline, set up for easy grabbing by the EMTs. Continue reading