Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Final Stretch

It has been a long time since I have posted. Hopefully there aren't too many people waiting for the next installment of the "Meeting" story. It is sitting and waiting to be posted...I just haven't had the time.

I am in the final stretch. In five weeks, I will graduate from my master's program and my fiance will be home for good. I can't believe it has almost been a year since he went off to New Mexico. It has been the quickest, yet longest year of my life. Between my social life as a "single woman" and my rigorous school schedule, things have been moving at light speef. However, the waiting for my love to come home has been tremendously tedious. I don't want to have to do this again for a long time.

The completion of my thesis project has been laborious and challenging, but so rewarding. I never knew I could accomplish something that has caught the eye of so many people. I think this might possibly be the first time I am actually impressed with myself. I am really proud of the product that has resulted from this effort. I am planning on entering my project into a contest. My professor is sure I will win the cash prize. I will just be happy if it gets some attention--no need to win the grand prize. The best part of this project is that so many people who are special to me have contributed to its has become a wonderful memento of the people I love. What could be a better way of ending a degree program?

Well, since I am writing my blog from work, I should probably get back to my department budget and abandon my blog. Look for the next part of "Meeting."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Meeting...part 2

She could feel her heart beat pick up its pace. A bead of sweat formed at the hairline just above her brow. She quickly wiped it away with stealth and swift.


The first word didn’t sound as sure as she had hoped. It sounded weak and wanting. Think about being mysterious, she told herself. Remember what you learned in voice over class—lower your voice. She concentrated on the next set of consonants and vowels that come out of her mouth.

"Of course, I came.” Each syllable pronounced and emphasized.

She stepped forward and over the threshold of the hotel room door. He stepped back and out of her way, scooping his arm up and out in the direction of the room’s living room. It was a comfortable elegant room, covered in shades of blue and green. Past the furniture, TV and coffee table hunkered down with an ice bucket and bottle of champagne was a view of the city that she had to soak in. Every pore of her body yearned to move toward the big open window before her.

The hotel was situated on a hill overlooking the city. Every light sparkled in the Valley below like stars in a clear sky. She wanted to reach out and hold them in her hand.

“Great view, huh?”

"Oh, it’s amazing. The room must have cost a fortune.”

“It’s all on the company’s tab. Here, let me take your jacket.”

Electricity traveled down her arms as he placed his hands upon her shoulders, sliding her dark blue coat off and past her wrists. Having his touch so close, let off a small scream of excitement deep inside her brain. No matter how much she liked him being close, she would not anticipate anything later in the evening. This time she would remain in control. After all, she had a great guy in her life. She didn’t need Rory. This visit was just out of curiosity. Plus, they had decided they would remain friends; they were only friends. It was courtesy to see friends when they came into town. A satisfied smile stretched across her face, pleased with the explanation she gave herself.

She stared out the window, trying not to look at his reflection. She closed her eyes, then opened them with resolution, deriving her strength from within. She turned around in time to him walking toward her.

“So, how long did you say you were in town?”

“Only a few days.”

“Is it a convention or something?”

She made her way to couch. Look casual. She sat down, pulled a magazine off the coffee table, crossed her legs and began to flip through the glossy book.

“No. I am here to talk to a couple of companies, looking at their machinery.”

“Interesting.” Turning pages while they talked.

“Not really. But, I got to see you,” he took a deep breath and sat down on the arm of the couch, next to where she sat. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t think you would come.”

“Oh, of course,” she let a light giggle escape, lilted on a bubble of nervousness. “It’s nice to see you too.”

He just gazed at her, contentment on his face. The room was quiet except for the baritone whir of the air conditioner. For the first time she noticed the cool, neutral scent of the hotel room. Why do hotel rooms always smell like nothing?

“Where are we going for dinner?” she killed the silence. Her abruptness surprised her so she switched her attention to the flounce of her skirt, tracing its hem with her fingertip.

“Well, I was thinking we could go to that little Italian restaurant you took me to the first time I came out here to see you.”

“Rosa’s? That sounds nice. I haven’t been there in a long time.”

Rosa’s had the best food, but it also had the most romantic atmosphere. The small climbing-rose covered patio, candles, the sound of the ocean just on the other side of the low patio wall. She lulled into the memory of their last visit to Rosa’s. Long glances at one another as their ruby glasses of wine shimmered in the flickering light. His eyes sparkled at her that night and his lips had pleaded for hers to meet them when he enveloped her hands in his. She hadn’t even taken Cody to Rosa’s yet. In her mind, she had always saved such a place for special occasions. She and Cody hadn’t even been together for a year yet. And, she just couldn’t picture him in such a place.

“So, Beth, what do you think about going out dancing afterwards?”


His question alerted her back to reality and it took her a few moments to get back to her senses.
“I was listing off things we could do after dinner and I thought dancing might be fun. I always enjoy dancing with you. Do you want to do that?”

“That sounds fine.” She started to get up. She wanted to keep her body moving so she could remain aware of his every move. She didn’t want to let her guard down with him. It was too easy for her to give into his charms.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Meeting... part 1

So, I have decided to do something a little different in my blog. I had a fiction story come to me the other day while walking to classs, so I have been compelled to write it. I will be putting installments of the story on my blog every so often, hopefully, to your reading pleasure. Perhaps, the story will seem sappy or sentimental, but I just can't control's just there inside. So, enjoy! Let's begin part one of "Meeting"...

She looked at the piece of paper in her hand again. It was ordinary yellow lined paper. The numbers 242 had been written on a page’s corner and ripped off. The page it was on was probably part of a whole page that contained numbers and figures; part of the pad in his leather portfolio. The leather one that had worn, faded corners. She could see his hand grip the sheet and tear with a quick fluid motion—wrist moving, arm flexing, all in perfection for one moment. Swoosh. The sound cut the air.

She looked up from the paper and stared at the gold plate affixed to the center, just above eye level, of the door. 2-4-2, she read. This was it. She glanced at the paper again, then once more at the door. Her hand formed a fist and began to move it toward the door’s surface. Only a few inches from the woody plane, she looked down at the toe of her black shoe and gulped. She closed her eyes, brought her head up and set her gaze finally on the grainy knot under the gold plate. Knock, knock, knock.

The sound echoed through the carpeted hallway. Time seemed to slow to stop-action speed. She looked to either side of her in slow motion. Frame by frame her hand went to her ear. Her long slender fingers smoothed her silken wheat-colored hair behind her delicate ivory earlobe. She pulled her lips together and then apart. Breathe. Breathe. Her tongue swiped by her bottom teeth, gently. She blinked and as her lashes lifted back up, the door opened.

She took a deep breath. Words could not come to her, she could not escape from the cage of her mouth. She just stood staring at him. There he was, she thought. Isn’t he beautiful? Rory Manning in all his glory.

She took one foot and placed it, ballerina-esque, behind the other. Stay confident, she tells herself. Don’t let him see you may have a weakness for him.

She has zoomed in on his angular chin. She noticed a dimple in the corner of his mouth. He was smiling; brilliant white teeth gleamed at her.

“Hello,” he said. His voice was melodic. It wasn’t low and sultry, but also not fit for making baby goo goo sounds. His voice smoldered up and through every one of her joints and veins. She could feel the hair on the back of her neck prickle. “I’m so glad you came.”

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Rainy Morning Meditation

This morning, I woke up early in order to be downtown at 7 a.m. -- it was still dark outside when I rubbed the crusted sleep out of my eyes. My hair whipped me in the face as I stretched each arm heavenward. I showered and dressed in a hazy half-sleep. I pulled my chin up and pulled my hair back, just before I walked out the door.

As I backed out of the driveway, drops of rain danced upon the hood of the car. Just before backing into the street, I inserted Jack Johnson into my CD player, turned on the headlights and flipped on the windshield wipers. On the freeway, there were only a few cars. The road was shining from all of the water on its surface. A giant black mirror I hoped would tell my fortune or whisper that I was the fairest. The wipers going back and forth, back and forth across the window, created a rythmn that seemed to match that of the mello surf music washing over the interior. I concentrated on the road ahead, searching for my exit.

After exiting the freeway, I made my way along a road that ran parallel to South Mountain. With all of the seasonal rain, South Mountain's rolls were covered with green, wall to wall shag carpeting of grass. A sajauro, here and there along the mountainside, would glimmer in the sun's peeking light. It tried to push through the purple clouds with all its might, but the clouds would not give. The rain remained.

I arrived in a poor area of Phoenix, parked in front of a church. Pulled together buildings attempted to have the semblance of homes. Unmatched sides, tin roofs and multi-colored bricks formed squares with triangular tops. This morning, the church was going to be serving breakfast to its neighbors. My task was to interview the clients being served by the church in order to gather information for a survey on hunger. Another volunteer was to meet me there to assistant in the task. For 45 minutes, I waited in the car as rain baptized my car. I listened to the music...intently, it brought to me the sounds of the ocean and the smell of salt. I missed the ocean this morning. I missed its comfort.

In my waiting time, I read the sweet words of a novel. The languid lines on the page rolled over the palate of my mind and left a luxurious taste in my mouth and through every cell of my body. With the meditation of the falling drops and the whirling, swirling of the music's melody, I became lost in the moment. All time stopped, but at the same time the clock's hands hurried forward without allowing me to catch up. It was almost 8 a.m. when I looked at my watch. No one had yet arrived at the agency.

I was jerked from my literary nirvana. What should I do? I lifted the cell phone to my ear and called the coordinator. "Go home if they aren't there. It's okay. I will contact the agency in the morning." I walked out into the rain. Tat-tat-tat--the water pelted down on my windbreaker. The other volunteer rolled down his window and I told him we could leave. A droplet landed on my eyelash. I let it stay for a while before brushing it off. In my head, I bid the drop adieu while I walked back to my car.

Knowing my route, I made my way back home. The rain kept me in a daze, aware only of the road and the cars around me. As I pulled out onto the freeway, I could almost drive home by braille. I have driven this route so many times. I kept my eyes open wide, looking for breaks in the clouds. None appeared. Jack's voice began to sing "Taylor" to me. The rah-tah-tah-tah-tah of the tune lightly tapped at my temple. This is what morning should be like. This is the kind of glorious meditation that should be saved for Sunday. This is the kind of day, I could be certain was stirred and created by God.

Only He would know how to make a moment, a morning, as perfect as this.

How am I supposed to look forward to a day of thesis work now?