Oh, to my poet, I hold so dear! Your rhythmic rhyme keeps me in tune. So much as I read it throughout the year During the time of the sun or the moon. Stories of the macabre with ghastly characters all about. They walk among us – some living, yet some dead. Reading each page aloud to keep the words pouring over like a stout. Your colorful, detailed language leaves me nothing to dread. Immersing ourselves in the ratiocination of your detective. Sailing through the sky in a balloon of your science fiction. Descending into the horror of a tell-tale premature burial from a unique perspective. Lending our ear to the poetic death of a beautiful woman, reading between lines for encryption. The life you lived fills me for you with empathy and pain. Why did so many keep you from earning the monetary fame for your craft? For in your forty years, you were not able to earn wages to be stable and to gain. They could not have truly, deeply embraced your works – They must be daft! As each January 19th goes rapping and tapping by, We stop to toast the writer who left a legacy we adore. Ringing in the tintinnabulation of the bells before the midnight cry. Oh, my poet, alas! Once again in your grave as the raven quoths, “Nevermore!”
Source: Creating my version and borrowing some words from Clement Clarke Moore who wrote the original, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" from the 1983 version of The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. 'Twas the night before Poemas, and all through the House of Usher All the creatures were stirring, and even a tell-tale heart to flutter. The black cat was hung by the tree with care In hopes he will come back with anger to bear. The Masquerade guests were settled in their rooms While Prince Prospero had visions of “Red” gloom. Annabel Lee in her sepulchre and I in my neckerchief Will just settle in our kingdom by the sea for a chilling wind to meet our death. When out in the cemetery there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my grave to see what was the matter. Away to the mortuary door I ran. Rousing it open, hoping not to be jammed. Seeing Montresor beaming with a brick in hand Gave me the knowledge Fortunato was left in the catacombs walled up very grand. To what my clouded eye should appear, But a rather large carriage with eight corpses so dear. With a dark somber driver just so, I knew quickly it must be Edgar Allan Poe. More rapid than ravens his corpses they came. He rang the bells, yelled, and called them by name: Now, Morella! Now, Berenice! Now, Helen and Lenore! On Glendinning! On Roderick! On Madeline and M. Valdemar! To the ominous gates! To each gravestone! Let Poe be! Let Poe be! Let Poe be known! As a fog arose in the early morning dew Swarming around them entering the carriage they flew. So up to the drive the horses clopped in tow With the carriage full of books and Edgar Allan Poe. And then, as the moon beamed, I heard on the porch Each step as they climbed not even a lurch. As I pulled away from the window, I turned around Through the front door Poe came in as mysterious as a cat not making a sound. He was dressed all in black from his head to his toe. And his clothes were all dirty as if he was walled up by a foe. A ton of books he flung on his back. He looked like a literary peddler opening his sack. His eyes – how they darkened! His face, how morbid! His eyebrows were winced like he had to tell us something to forbid. His mouth was drawn almost like a frown And his mustache was black serving as his facial crown. The candle he carried cast an amber glow. The ominous light encircled his head’s features to show. His eyes began to brighten, and he nodded his head Allowing me to know I had nothing to dread. He recited a poem as he started to work And filled all the stockings with his books not wanting to linger or lurk. And placing his hand upon his heart He bid me a Dupin “adieu” and walked to the door to part. He jumped on the carriage with his corpses around As he was rapping and tapping on the door to count all eight to be found. As the horses moved the carriage away from the house’s door I heard him exclaim, “Have a Macabre Holiday” with his raven uttering, “Nevermore!”
Rising early on this crisp December morn, I participated in my usual routine before my constitution into town. Leaving, I felt an inkling to turn left instead of right. So, I went. Visited on rare occasions, I was no stranger to the shops I passed. Up to the left was a haberdashery, which I had frequented before. I felt another urge as if to go in. I moved to the corner where I could cross the street.
Entering, I simply looked around, no one to greet me. Fine silk top hats with a few in beaver felt. Fifteen minutes passed with no haberdasher. This was bad form, so I left. Something compelled me to look back at the window display. As I looked in, a man came from the back with a Gibus hat in hand. This could not be. We looked just alike. Startled, I quickly began my journey home in utter confusion.
Upon arrival, sitting down, my thoughts raced through my mind. “Who was he? I felt I could not breath.” I said aloud.
“I must not confront him until I find out who he is. I will wait in secret close to the haberdashery until closing, and follow him home. I will get his address, then inquire around town his name.” Feeling more at ease, I waited by reading the paper laid out on the table and walking around the house, until I knew it was time to leave.
I hid across the street where I could see the entrance. Promptly at five, the haberdasher came out, locked the door, and turned left with the same hat in hand I saw him with earlier. I paused before following with my coat collar turned up hiding my face. His journey was short, and he turned into a dwelling. “Was this his home? Wait…” pausing, watching. It appeared several people were entering the house, so I decided to do the same.
A crowd was in the parlor. It was odd no one greeted me at the door. Perusing the scene, the haberdasher was at the front of the room with a sobbing lady, looking as if he was bent over doing something. As I approached closer, I could see the haberdasher was placing the hat on someone lying down. Seeing the coffin, I moved closer. My doppelganger spoke to the crying lady, “I still cannot believe my brother is gone, but that Gibus hat looks so fine on him for burial. Just to think, he had just finished making it when he was killed by that intruder. My dear, I love you as much as he did. I will assume his engagement and marry you. You will have no worries. We can even live in the flat above the haberdashery.”
As I looked down at the face of the man in the coffin, and heard the haberdasher’s words, my mind went into a tornado of realization. “The haberdasher who was my doppelganger was the so-called intruder, as well as my twin brother! He killed me to be with my fiancé!” I screamed with no one to hear me as I was an apparition. I used every ounce of energy I could muster slamming the coffin shut startling everyone in the room. “Even though I am dead, the haberdasher will not be rid of me. I will make my way back down to the haberdashery and remain there forever, reminding my twin, the haberdasher, every single day I am still lingering in his life.”
Snow and fog seem so eerie on Christmas Eve; however, sitting by your grave is fitting. “I know we argued before the accident, but we were about to commit for the rest of our lives,” I said aloud. I pondered watching the icy air thicken as floating icicles sparkled in the air. “If only…” I paused. I felt a cold, lingering air hover over me and a whisp on the back of the neck like a brush of a hand. I shivered and quickly exited the cemetery. Every week visiting, I never felt like this before. I turned and said softly, “I’ll be back tomorrow.” With no one around, I felt as if I was being watched.
As I drove away, I was remembering the day you died one year ago tomorrow. We were fighting over dumb stuff with wedding planning being the mire of our disagreements. We were getting ready to go to your parents and I needed an ingredient for my pumpkin pie. I cannot believe we argued over who could run to the store. I won, but that victory proved later to be devastating to my soul. When you did not return quickly, I knew something awful happened. I felt it in my bones. After the police and ambulance came and they told me the brakes on my car gave out, I was in dismay. The car was only a year old. How could that be? I miss you so much…
I spent the rest of the evening alone in my thoughts and watching our favorite Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. As I watched the movie, I questioned myself as to whether Jude and I have, or would have had a wonderful life. The lights were down for the movie, but a desk lamp suddenly came on. It was not remote controlled or on a timer. I freaked out, “What?” I jumped, ran to my bedroom, pulled the covers over my head, and eventually fell asleep.
The next morning, the tv remained on, but the lamp was off. “Hmm, must have been a short.” I mused as I got ready to leave for the cemetery. I stopped at my mailbox. I had a forwarded letter, but the original postmark was about eleven months ago. My mechanic sent me a report about my totaled car. “No, this cannot be!” The brake lines had been cut.
The ominous fog still lingered as I arrived at Jude’s grave. Sitting down on the ground, I said, “I love you, but I am questioning why my brake lines were cut. We would be married by now if you were…” Like yesterday, the cold feeling came over my neck, but stronger this time, as I jerked around to nothing. However, I felt my scarf tighten around my neck where I could hardly breathe. No one was there! “Jude, help me!”
Gasping my last breath, a voice sinisterly whispered, “I’ll help finish the job I planned a year ago…”
Arriving home with glee, My husband with a bouquet to greet me. Receiving a kiss upon my cheek, Embracing the flowers, a vase I seek. With water and food poured in, I began unwrapping the package with a grin. As I cut the wrapper Knowing the stems would be dapper, I noticed a second sticker on the plastic. Feeling a dread, I knew something might be drastic. Large and bold DISCOUNT appeared With bright yellow behind like a roadway sign as I feared. Some stems were withered and broken. Disappointment in my eyes must have spoken. I paused a moment, stepped back to think, Leaning down pondering at the sink. Many of the buds were hanging on for life. If I prune and nurture, I can remove the strife. Adding every stem and cleaning up the sagging leaves, Not throwing any of them away, the petals staring at me pleased. I placed each one ornately in the vase With care and encouragement providing a beautiful space. Joking with my husband about the discount flowers he bought, I realized something I originally and knowingly had not thought. This bouquet arrived in my care outside looking shaky, Realizing very quickly the insides were worth saving. Once cleaned up showing all their beauty and grace, I knew never giving up on anything, loving them in their own way was the only case.
In celebration of the glorious fruit of summertime…
The Perfect Tomato
Red, robust, firm fruit
Waiting for the knife to slice.
The cut, juice flows free.
The Perfect BLT
Toasted, grainy white
Leafy green, bacon, mater
One more piece, savor.
Salted so simply sans skin
Sweet, seeds Better Boy.
Starving Tomato Artist Limerick
There was a tomato with a brush
Who wanted to paint his crush.
Running out of red ink,
Not making a stink,
He squashed a cherry tomato into mush.
Oh tomato! We relish in your joy of juicy delight!
How you connect the sandwich and the salad
Of every hungry human creating a meal so valid.
The fruit of the heavens! So luscious and appealing!
A fruit yes! Some say a vegetable too.
Your mouthwatering goodness deserves its own food group.
Traveling by air Or on the ground To several lairs There is Poe to be found. Poe is everywhere. Both obvious and subtle, Pondering with care For the mind to muddle. Living in many cities not far to reach Almost all claim him, though, He left a writing legacy in each, Or his name would not be Poe. The quest to find him links to everywhere. It is a research challenge so grand, In books and screens, we stare. Oh, a deduction for C. Auguste Dupin! Can we find Poe at least one place in each state? With so many Poe connections in history, There are so many things that relate. We will keep looking for Poe until we solve this mystery.
A lab technician just wants to go home from work when he finds himself thrust into an abandoned amusement park where he must find specific documents to save mankind.
“Dana?” I asked as I peered through the open car window to verify the picture of the driver on my rideshare app.
“Yes. Sam?” Dana, the rideshare driver, reciprocated the verification and answered hesitantly.
“Yes,” I responded and stepped into my ride share heading home. I could not wait to get home. I had a long day, turning into night at work, trying to get caught up with all my lab sample processing.
“Nice night,” my driver began conversing as I was distracted by my phone. Looking up, I realized we were not moving in the right direction. “Ah, why have you driven off course?”
Pausing and pumping the gas moving us faster, she responded, “This is the course to your next destination.” I reached for the door handle, the doors locked, the windows blackened, and a screen shot down like a guillotine between front and back seats, trapping me. Stopping seemed inevitable, my blood pressure rising with each turn, looking at my watch, we had only driven fifteen minutes before stopping abruptly.
I sat in anticipation, planning for when the door opened. A slam, pausing silence, then a blinding light shone as my door opened to her silhouette where I found myself being dragged out of the car. “Sam, you must find the hidden box containing documents detrimental for mankind. Here are the supplies you will need. You must go alone. I cannot help you. I will be waiting to pick you up. Any questions?”
“Of course, I have questions! What is this? I’m a lab geek, not a secret agent!” I exclaimed.
“You received an email yesterday. You have the credentials to save mankind once you find the documents. Your work as a lab technician is only a cover for what you can really do. We know about your background in cryptology. You are the decipherer.” Dana instructed.
“Dana, this is a mistake. I did not get any email. You have the wrong man. Some of my education is in cryptology, but this cannot be happening…” I implored.
Dana interrupted, “Sam, you are the only one to save us. You have no choice. We have units watching your father if you refuse. He will not be waiting for you if you walk away. Take this bag, enter the gate, and find those papers in a locked blue case. I’ll be waiting…” Dana responded moving into the car quickly, driving off, and leaving me looking up at the entrance to Hubert’s Hoppy Land, an abandoned amusement park that closed twenty years ago.
I walked through the gate thinking, “How hard can this be to find some case in a defunct park?” I walked past the turn-styles and ticket booth to a large, dust-covered map of the park. Removing twenty years of filth, I studied the map areas and rides: Tree Hollow Lane, Firefly Express, Tadpole Junction, and Lily Pad Kingdom to name a few. Pondering what to do first, I felt a nudge in my brain to look in the bag Dana gave me. It contained a knife, a jar of flies, night goggles, a rope, a park map, a pair of boots with a sticky bottom, and a letter. Unfolding it, the note read:
Find the blue case. Do not assume you are alone. These items will be helpful, but you may only use them once. Upon retrieval, use your cell phone to call this number, only once. Remember, “The prince must kiss several frogs before finding the princess.”
“I guess I’m the prince. How did I end up here? Wait, this must be some type of scavenger hunt game my friends planned! Okay, I guess I’ll play along.” I repacked the bag and moved to a sign pointing in two directions. Logical thinking told me to go left, but I felt a prod to move to the right.
As I arrived at the Firefly Express, a train around the park, the sky went darker. I found an entrance hoping to find a clue in one of the cars. The train moved throwing me back onto a seat. “What the…?!” Quick thinking brought me staggering to my feet moving through the cars looking for an off switch because I noticed the track was out just ahead. Holding onto the seats, swarms of fireflies came through with high beam lights almost blinding me. “Goggles!” I screamed, tearing open my pack and putting them on. I could see! Finding the engineer’s station, I pulled the lever hard to an astounding stop, jerking me back. I ran outside to find myself at the top of the park next to Tree Hollow Lane, a log ride.
From the train, I hopped to one of the logs. Hearing sounds, a giant frog, or costumed man, appeared lunging at me as I began dodging him. He came at me again. I pulled out the knife and stabbed him. He limped away, dragging one webbed-footed leg and me losing the knife. Jumping in the hollowed log, I pushed myself and started gliding down the tube-like path gaining momentum. I looked closer and saw years of debris blocking my way where I would crash. My brain on high alert told me to grab the rope. I launched it around a tree branch, swinging myself to the bank landing with an unharmed thud.
I stood up and saw a pond with tons of lily pads waiting for me to hop from one to the other. The map revealed this was Lily Pad Kingdom. “The sticky-bottomed boots, I must put those on.” Slipping them on quickly and with a running start, landing on the first pad, almost sinking, the boots saving me, I kept on leaping until I found stability seeing the castle in sight. “The case has to be there!”
My hopping seemed endless as dozens of frogs appeared springing toward me. They were covering the lily pads where it would be difficult for me to pass. “Wait, the jar of flies!” I tore open the jar and out they came, frog tongues shooting out like rubber bands catching flies as they sprang off the lily pads chasing them. Leaping to land, I entered the castle to find what appeared as a female frog dressed as a princess sitting on something blue. “I get the message now…kiss her, then I’ll get the case, and probably get the girl. I will still have to decipher the documents. This was tough, but I would save mankind! Who would believe it!” Moving towards her, I puckered my lips, only a whisper between us…dizziness…darkness…
“Oh man, I can’t believe I didn’t see the Frog Wizard giving the princess poisonous breath. Darn it, I was right there about to win! So close! Jeremiah, hit reset,” commanded Tommy.
“Okay, do you think your mom will bring us some more juice boxes?” asked Jeremiah.
A sculptor finds love in a coffee shop but faces a dilemma with the truth about the girl of his dreams. Will his Yesterday become his Future or not?
On a breathtaking day in April, Dom left his apartment to walk down to the coffee shop he frequented. The minute Dom walked in, Truman, a gallery owner, he worked with, ran up to him, firing questions like bullets to find out about the latest client he wrangled for him, “So, what was she like? What is she wanting? How much is she paying?”
Dom gave him a look, which he did often, “Chill man.”
“You met her this morning, right?” Truman asked curiously.
“I met yesterday,” Dom returned with an annoyance in his voice trying to find a table.
“Yesterday? You met Yesterday, and you didn’t call me last night?” Truman exclaimed.
A lovely voice approached them out of nowhere, “Yesterday, I am Yesterday.” Both men puzzled, as Dom turned to see the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. “I was saying to my friend I met yesterday. I’m confused…What do you mean you are yesterday?”
Answering with a soft voice, “Oh, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have butt into your conversation. My name is Yesterday. I thought you meant you met me, and I wanted to see if, indeed, I knew you.”
“It’s nice to meet you Yesterday,” Dom holding his hand out to shake with hers never taking his soulful caramel eyes from her gaze, “Oh, uh, I should…my name is Dom.”
“Nice to meet you Dom. I realize now I haven’t met you. What would you like from me?” Yesterday asked reciprocating the same smoldering between them.
Dom, taken aback, “Uh, what do you mean?”
“I mean, do you want a latte, coffee black, tea,” she responded as Dom was hoping she would say me after tea and then realizing she worked here.
“Oh, sorry, I’m kind of in a haze, probably since I haven’t had my coffee. Coffee black will be great, thank you. Did you just start working here?” Dom responded.
“Yes, actually I started yesterday,” as she turned with a wink and a smile, cute dimples and all, to go retrieve his coffee. Dom sat down with Truman to discuss his new client, but he could not get Yesterday out of his mind. “So, tell me how it went with Mrs. Vanhousen?” Truman asked again anxiously.
“Sorry Truman, it went fine. She wants me to sculpt a nude of her and she wants it by August 26th for her birthday party for a big reveal. She is eccentric, extremely rich, and absolutely everything I do not like in people. However, I did take the job. It pays very well.” Dom stated and showed him his notes with the amount.
“Dom, that is awesome! You need to get over your feelings about the wealthy. You keep going at this rate with your art, you will be in that same club. When do you start working with her?” Truman asked.
“I’m heading over there today to start my sketches. With the deadline only a few months away, I want to get started immediately.” Dom replied distracted by wanting to turn towards the counter where Yesterday was standing.
“Dom? Uh, hello Dom? Don’t waste your time on a coffee waitress. You are heading towards bigger and better things. Focus all your efforts on your work. You don’t need any distractions.” Truman demanded noticing Dom was too focused on Yesterday.
“Truman, I’ll get my work done so you can earn your commission. Stop worrying!!” Dom, tipping his hand in a saluting manner to Truman, stood up to leave, looking one more time at Yesterday, planning to come back the next day to ask her out without the condescending eyes of Truman.
Dom arrived at the Vanhousen manor and was let in by her butler to the conservatory. The room contained a turret structure made of glass panes. It was breathtaking with all the exotic plants and flowers. Right in the middle of the greenery was a chaise lounge with a robed woman, Mrs. Vanhousen. “Hello Mrs. Vanhousen, are you ready to begin?” Dom asked.
“I certainly am, Darling,” she said as she stood up and dropped her robe to reveal a voluptuous woman in her late fifties with a healthy body and graying hair that only added to her refined ways, “the question for you though, are you ready?”
Dom blushing, “Of course, this is what I do.”
“You are such a precious artist. I am so excited for this! My husband is so generous to have this commissioned for me to show the world how beautiful I remain after all these years of exercising and luxurious living, even after having my daughter at such a young age and becoming a widow by my first husband at only thirty years old. I have been through so much,” Mrs. Vanhousen added dramatically.
Dom thinking to himself, how fast can I get these sketches done so I can get out of this place. “I’m sorry for your loss, but that is wonderful you have a daughter from your first marriage. From when we talked yesterday, you seem very happy.”
“Oh Darling, I am. You need to meet my daughter some time. She is the spitting image of me when I was her age. She already shows signs of being just like me as she is planning on owning her own business and living here at the mansion where she can be pampered with no cares in the world,” she continued to go on about her carefree life.
“I am sure I will meet her soon enough. We just need to finish up these sketches today so I can begin my work in my studio. I want you to be happy with my art.” Dom replied rolling his eyes in his mind at thinking of how awful, spoiled, and pretentious her daughter must be.
“Sweet boy, with the model you have to work with, this will probably end up being your la obra maestra. I’m fluent in Spanish. I have ordered your lunch to dine with me on caviar, French cheeses, and a bottle of Merlot from our vineyard we own in Napa.” Mrs. Vanhousen kept on where annoyance spun in Dom’s ears.
“Oh, thank you Mrs. Vanhousen, I actually have a lunch meeting to attend, so I’ll have to pass. Maybe another time.” Dom politely declined and hurried with his drawings so he could get the hell out of there. As he drew, he lingered on Yesterday.
The next morning, Dom stopped at the coffee shop on the way to his studio. Excited to see her, at the counter he found another barista and no Yesterday. Dom asked if she was in the back, but the barista told him it was her day off. Dom paid for his coffee walking out glum. He walked to his studio and began working immediately wrapping himself in his work for hours.
Not realizing how late it was, glancing at the clock seeing seven o’clock and streetlights beaming into his windows. Wow, he could not believe he worked that long, he was deliriously hungry. Nothing was in his pantry, so he stopped at his favorite pizza place, Luigi’s. He moved in line behind three people. Knowing it would take a few minutes, he pulled out his phone checking his email. While he was waiting, he heard a sweet voice ordering, “Yes, that’s right, double pepperoni, red sweet peppers, pineapple, and bacon.” Two odd things occurred to Dom, the voice seemed familiar and this woman was ordering the Dom special.
“Name for the order,” the worker asked.
“Yesterday,” she responded.
Dom felt like he was in a world of surrealism, spontaneously he called out, “Yesterday!”
She turned around to see Dom, smiling, and walked over to him.
“You are Dom, coffee black, from the other day?” Yesterday quizzically remembering so not to seem obvious.
“Yes, how are you?” Dom asked grinning.
“Very well, just getting a pizza on my way home. I can’t believe I lucked out living this close to such a great neighborhood pizza joint. I just live around the corner,” she responded.
Dom surprised, “So do I, in the Shane building. What made you…”
“Wait, I live in the Shane building on the third floor. Sorry I interrupted.” She said coyly.
“No worries. Wow, I live on the first floor. How did you come up with that concoction of a pizza?” Dom asked.
“The first time I moseyed in this place, I couldn’t make up my mind studying the menu like it was a test. One of the workers was taking a pizza order, now my pizza order, over the phone and brought me back to reality and later into pizza heaven. Yum! It sounded so good; I told the worker I wanted my pizza from the phone order too. Once a week for the past six months that has been my order.” Yesterday exclaimed.
“This is going to sound weird, but that was my order. I have lived in the Shane and have been coming to Luigi’s for five years. Early on, Luigi, the owner, was the only one working one night and I told him to make me a pie and surprise me. He came out and said this is the Dom special. I have been eating it ever since.” Dom said enthusiastically.
Yesterday added, “Since you haven’t ordered, why don’t we just eat mine here together. I’ll share. I would have just eaten the rest for leftovers anyway.”
“Sure, sounds nice.” Dom accepted and they found a table in a quiet corner, talking excessively until the pizza came, and then talking even more until the place closed at midnight. Dom walked her to their building and up to the third floor to her door.
“Dom, thank you for a wonderful night. Also, thank you for allowing me to steal the best pizza order of all time. I don’t want to share that pie with anyone else but you.” As Yesterday finished, she leaned into Dom as he grabbed her at the small of her back pulling her closer to him and kissing her with the passion that had been encircling his brain about her for the past two days. They parted lips and looked at each other as Yesterday said, “I can’t wait to see you tomorrow.”
“Funny you should say, my name means tomorrow, but it is past midnight, so today is tomorrow and we had our first date yesterday…” Dom quietly said as he left her slowly backing away, then hearing the lock click on her door as he walked down to his own apartment reeling in her charm and all the coincidences that came with this girl named Yesterday.
As the spring turned into summer, Dom and Yesterday were together every day. They both learned almost everything about each other: both were artists, and all they wanted was to share their art with the world to make it a better place. They both loved the simple life and hated excessive luxury. He told her about his project he was currently working on, but did not share who his client was because he did not want to seem negative about her to Yesterday. He also thought Yesterday might get commissioned work from some of the people in this same jet set crowd and he did not want her to turn anything down because of him.
Dom continued working on his sculpture for Mrs. Vanhousen as he was coming close to his August deadline. Yesterday had gone on a trip, leaving him to focus on finishing, but they talked every night. He couldn’t wait for her to come home so they could celebrate.
August 26th finally arrived with Yesterday coming back from her trip that very day, keeping it a surprise from Dom. She knew she could attend an obligated engagement while he went to his party, and then get home before he did and surprise him.
Dom arrived at the Vanhousen Manor where limo after limo was dropping off local celebrities and the richest families in town. He had taken a ride share and walked in the door to find what looked like the gala of the century with decorations galore and waiters with endless trays of champagne and hors d’ouevres. He was handed a glass while he winded his way through the trail of bow ties and sequins to the conservatory to find Mrs. Vanhousen. “OH Darling! I am so happy to see you! I can’t wait for everyone to see ME unveiled.”
“Happy birthday Mrs. Vanhousen. Glad you like it. I am very proud of my work.” Dom gleamed.
“You should be. Here is your reward,” as she handed him an envelope he tucked away in his sports coat. “As promised, my daughter will be here. I know you fancy me, but you will really like her. It’s like she’s my doppelganger in every way. Luxury suits her well. She has been abroad and has returned to me today.”
“Great, can’t wait…” Dom said trying to keep a straight face. All he could think about was being back with Yesterday.
Everyone gathered around the sculpture as Mr. Vanhousen introduced his wife, then she introduced Dom to drop the cloth. He said a few words, pulled the cloth off, and everyone gasped and applauded in joy at the beautiful work of art. As the cheering went on, in glided the most beautiful creature with silver shoes and a silver off one shoulder glistening gown. Aphrodite could not compare. Dom was electrified as he walked towards her surprised thinking, “How did she know I would be here?”
Mrs. Vanhousen ran towards her, embracing her saying, “Dom, come here, this is my daughter, Yesterday.”
Dom’s jaw dropped. Yesterday was a farce, she played him for a fool. To keep his composure, he greeted her, but she said nothing of even knowing him, let alone dating him to her mother. Once her mother was distracted, Yesterday pulled Dom aside, “Dom, I had no idea you were the sculptor my mother was working with. Your work is amazing. Why didn’t you tell me who your client was?”
“Who my client was? What about who you are? I can’t believe I fell for you with all of your talk about hating the rich and luxury was a disgrace. How could you do this to me?” Dom asked devastated.
“All of that was true, please believe me. How could you think I was lying? You don’t…” Yesterday pleaded.
“I feel like I don’t know you at all. You lied about who you really were. You betrayed my love I have for you.” Dom interrupted. After looking at her with locked eyes and discontent, he dropped her hand walking away leaving Yesterday in disbelief and tears.
Several weeks passed and Dom would not answer Yesterday’s calls. Truman asked him to meet at Luigi’s. Dom arrived as Truman said, “I’ve put your order in.”
Dom replied, “Thanks.”
“Dom, you need to either get over her, or call her.” Truman bluntly stated.
“Give me a little time,” Dom sullenly looked down.
Truman replied, “If you aren’t going to give her time to explain, I won’t give you time to sulk. I have talked to Mrs. Vanhousen and you have Yesterday all wrong. She walked away from her trust to make it on her own. Her mother just knew she would come back to her realizing her mistake. Mrs. Vanhousen has been making up stories about her daughter on an extensive trip traveling the world because it makes her feel like she has not done something wrong by Yesterday. Give Yesterday a chance. Hey, pizza’s here.”
Dom still looking down heard, “One Yesterday special for Dom…”
Dom looked up and saw his order was his special pie, but with one extra ingredient – Yesterday. “Thanks Truman.” Dom shamedly said as Truman left the table grinning.
“Dom, I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you about my family, but I am truly the person you came to know. I never thought to tell you who my mother is because I was so sick of the pretentiousness. My last name is not the same because Mr. Vanhousen is my stepfather. I walked away from all that excessiveness and telling you about my family would have just kept me stewing in my feelings about walking away and being independent…I love you.” Yesterday pleaded.
“I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have rushed to judgment before hearing you out. This is all my fault for not trusting who I have spent all my time with for so many months. I love you more than you know. I was a fool for doubting you. I want every one of my todays and tomorrows to always contain Yesterday.” Dom said pulling Yesterday to him and kissing her like he never had before.
It is not a mile marker; it is a milestone.
It is not a corner to turn; it is a crossroads.
It is not kindergarten, or teen angst, or a driver’s license, or a first vote, or a first drink, or a rental car, or an age of “something.”
It is all those things rolled into one leading up to this point on the path of sidewinding life.
Life renews now for something grander than before.
Growing pains have vanished while the lines of wisdom gain momentum with exuberant beauty.
It is a midpoint in this thing we call life counting high towards 100.
Always reaching! Always thinking positive!
It is Tin, atomically speaking, when in its solidified pure state reflects as a mirror seeing the reflection of yourself as “fifty-fifty.”
It is golden, a jubilee of life shimmering as the sun rises at dawn.
It is a collection of states, United that is, where every experience in your life happens somewhere, and is tied to a unique, specific place nestled in the photo box in your mind.
Vision and hearing seem to begin a slow decline with shiny spectacles and louder volume as accoutrements to enhance the evolved view of the wonderful world mixed with the sagacity and savvy plucked along the way.
Thirty was denial, Forty was scary, Fifty is freedom.