So…why do I write? For myself. And for anyone who is kind enough to visit this blog. Somehow it’s always been about words. No matter what I do in life, I come back to words. I went to college thinking I’d be an English major because I loved words, but I came out of college with a music degree. Then I somehow got into flying. I love those things, but I always come back to words.
It’s another reason I study French. The WORDS. They are fascinating! The differences and the similarities between French and English, the roots of words…my favorite class in college might well have been “History of the English Language.” It was taught by one of my favorite teachers. I was absolutely fascinated by the words, and their origins. I fell in love with the Oxford English Dictionary. Yes, very geeky indeed. I loved studying the roots of words, and it even affected my leisure time! You see, there were a bunch of us who used to get together and play games on the weekends, sometimes D&D (wow, did I just admit that in public?!?!) but sometimes board games. I remember playing “Balderdash” with these people, and one of them was in that class with me. In this game, you’re given an obscure word, and each person makes up a definition for it. Then one person reads all of the “definitions” plus the real definition. Everyone votes for the one they think is correct. You get a point if you vote for the correct definition, and a point for each person who votes for the one you made up. It was maddening, because the two of us figured out the root of the word and used that, then during voting, we figured that the other definition that was based on that root must be the actual definition…so we voted for it, and ended up choosing each other’s. Grrf. Anyway, I still think about this class (and that game) quite often, especially now that I’m finally studying another language (why did it take me so long??) There are so many words in English that have their roots in the French. Absolutely fascinating. It’s truly a door to another dimension of color to be learning it.
As for what I hope to do with writing, I hope to just find an outlet for these words. Take, for example, the photo I put on this post. When I see things like this, I imagine little stories, or poems, or I just wonder what happened that this single sock ended up in a parking lot. Before starting this blog, I would just pass them by and wonder, then forget. But I think I may just take some time to capture them once in a while. Here are three thoughts I had about the lost sock. The first is a haiku, the second a poor attempt at a short short story, the third just my random idea of how this happened. Thoughts? Critiques? Be gentle, I’m a newbie, but do tell me because I love learning, and I can take anything constructive 🙂 If you read on beware it could get a bit long…
The Sock – I
Small pebbles grating
A blister is forming there.
On my sock-less toe.
The Sock – II
“Tell me exactly what happened. From the beginning.”
“I’m so tired…I really just want to go to sleep now…”
“I’m sorry ma’am, but we really need you to tell us, so we can start looking for the guy.”
“Ok.” she rubbed her bare right foot absently, noticing that she had a huge blister on her big toe. It had torn open and a piece of skin was barely hanging on. Beneath that, her toe was angry red, streaked with black bits of dirt and small sharp rocks from the parking lot.
“I got off the plane, went to baggage claim, waited for a good 20 minutes before they brought the bags down,and I saw what I thought was my bag come out on the carousel, so I grabbed it and started walking.”
“Did you see the guy at the carousel?”
“No, not that I recall. But there were a lot of people there, all crowded up to the front. I’m sure he was there.”
“Did he say anything to you when you took the bag?”
“No, I don’t think he realized I had it until after all the bags came out, but I had started walking to my car by then. “
“So when did you realize you had the wrong bag?”
“Not until I was in the parking lot…this guy came out of nowhere and attacked me!” I was approaching my car and all of a sudden I was on the ground because he knocked me down from behind. He was screaming all kinds of obscenities…” she took a deep breath so she wouldn’t start crying again.
“Ok, ok. Did you see him clearly?”
“No, not really. He was big, maybe 6 feet tall, and he had on a black down coat with a hood. He stank like cigarette smoke. I do know he was wearing big brown work boots.”
“You saw the shoes?”
“Yes. when he knocked me down, as you can see, I hurt my knee and couldn’t get up right away…I was screaming for help, and I finally was able to get up, but before that, he stepped on my foot, trying to keep me from getting away, yelling at me that I wasn’t going to get away with stealing his bag. I lost my right shoe and sock when he did that, but I got up and I ran the best I could with my knee like this.”
“Did he say anything else?”
“Yes, like I said, he was maniacal about this bag…He kept saying that I wouldn’t get away with it, that George would come after me too, and that this ‘George’ would kill me just for knowing about it. His voice was strange, he had an accent, but I couldn’t place it. “
“Did you ever open the bag?”
“Heavens, no! I thought it was mine. I didn’t need to look inside. I remember thinking it was heavier than I remembered, but other than that, I didn’t notice anything unusual.”
“Well, Ms. Smith, as you can imagine, it’s a very big deal if somebody had something suspicious in a bag that cleared security. Is there anything else you can tell us? Then I promise you can go home, right after Sandy here finishes bandaging you up.”
“No…well, maybe. When he ran off, right as you were running over to me, I saw his face briefly in the streetlight. I could have sworn that he had three eyes! But maybe I hit my head on the pavement…I don’t know.” An airport worker walked up just then.
“Here’s your bag, miss. So sorry this happened to you. But it’s really important to check your tag before you leave the bag claim, y’know? Not that you deserve…this…but still…”
“Thanks for the advice! Just what I need to hear. Yeah, it’s my fault. Good job!” She started crying again, and rummaged around her bag for a new pair of socks. She looked up just in time to see the security guard rearrange his hat. A third eye blinked once at her just before the hat settled back down over it.
The sock – III
Zip. Zip. Zip. Zip. Haley knows how to work the zipper. It’s fun! She knows how to work lots of stuff. Watch this. Bzzzzzz.
“Haley! Stop playing with the windows! Put your hands in your lap, please.”
Mommy sure gets uptight about stuff sometimes. Zip. Zip. Zip. What does she have in this bag anyway? Hand goes in the bag…and…ta-da! Look! Mommy’s sock! Bzzzzzz. Whooosh!!! Oops! There goes Mommy’s sock. “Bye-Bye!”
“Haley! What on earth are you doing? Please stop playing with the windows. Put your hands in your lap so I don’t have to stop the car. For heaven’s sake!”
Her kits are waiting for her in the den. She mustn’t stay away too long, but she needs food, and it’s good to run! The fox sniffs the air, alert to her surroundings. It will be mostly garbage bins for now as she stays close to her den, but it’s ok. She runs along the side of the road, heading for the alley behind the pizza place. They typically throw out a lot right before closing, like now. She’s hungry, but anxious to return to her kits. As she runs, something catches on her hind leg. She’s scared at first, thinking she’s been attacked, and runs faster. Faster, shaking her leg, she turns on the attacker, and finds…a sock. It flies from her paw, and she slows. She catches her breath and continues on her urban hunt.
The two teens walk quietly in the field behind the strip mall, heading for “their” tree. It’s beginning to get dark, but that’s ok. Ellie throws her backpack on the ground and pulls out a blanket. She spreads it out under the tree. She falls down on it, laughing, and pulls Steve down with her. They kiss. A lot. But that’s all she’s going to allow. He knows it, and he respects her all the more for it. He pulls out a sketch book and does a quick drawing of her leaning against the tree in the fading light. She looks at her watch all of a sudden and gasps. “I’ve got to go, Steve. My dad’s going to kill me!” She stuffs the blanket into her pack, and dashes back across the grass to the parking lot. She blows him a kiss as she gets in her car. The wind picks up, and plucks the sock from the bottom of her bag and tosses it in the corner of the parking lot.