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Brown Eyed Girl

Brown Eyed Girl
Bel Air, Maryland, USA
August 27
Writer, Educator, former police officer, never been to Spain. Published my first book in September--"Toepicks, Cadaver Dogs, and Sports With No Balls". I like to believe that you really can't reflect on life until you can find the humor that is hidden away in some little secret pocket or slit in the fabric. This, of course, is different from a hole.


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FEBRUARY 14, 2010 9:48PM

My Bologna Has A Middle Name And It's 'Oxymoron'

Rate: 36 Flag


            There is a perfect storm brewing in my heart on this day of the examination of all feelings intense or otherwise, or better known as February 14th . 


It is the day we reflect on what is most beloved in our lives.


            And upon reflection I have decided my life is built on a series of foundation blocks made of oxymorons. 


            I am at the perfect age for the perfect storm powered by the great nor’easter of reflection.  I am accepting of the term “middle aged” somewhat, and more so when applying the formula that fifty is then new forty.  Since I won’t be retiring before the new sixty, I’ll have plenty of time to get used to it.


            I have been married so long that we have gone through all the known anniversaries—oh I don’t mean paper, wood, metal (silver or gold—please!), I mean the ones where you envision your spouse being injured in some fiery crash and you cry all the way home from the grocery store, to the ones where you envision your spouse injured in a fiery crash and you plan what you will pack for your Tahitian vacation.  But seriously, you do go to the outlier of extremes over the long course of marriage.  The first year is about sex, being together, touching and holding. And about the tenth year, give or take a few years depending on variations involving children or in-laws, complexities of annoying habits modeled by your spouse, you really don’t think you can stomach looking at the face of the person you married the decade before.  And then, magically or miraculously, you wake up one day, older, wiser, and that face is again dear to you.  You still wince at the cutting of toenails at bedtime, the whistling of “Old Man River,” the proud wearing of a twenty year-old pair of jeans where said spouse repaired a blown-out knee with the rear pocket of another pair—as if a patella wallet will soon come in fashion.  But it is a face you want to see until the end of time.


            The storm brewing is from the fact that I have been a very active participant in life and now my cards have been shuffled, and although not a bad hand, it is a different hand, as if there has been a blending of two decks, and the feel and the size are a bit off.   


            I was a police officer, a sergeant, undercover for fifteen years.  We were movers and shakers, and it was a bit of living on the edge.  I retired earlier than expected, an injury when the definition and delineation between good guys and bad guys got blurry, and I settled in to family life at about the same time I couldn’t stand the way my spouse slept on his pillow at night.    

            This may or may not have been about the time I stopped sleeping at night,  when I went back to school for something more marketable than a criminal justice decree, and got an MFA in creative nonfiction.

            I created a bit Victor Frankensteinish my best work at 2 in the morning.


            My husband slept, pillow askew, undisturbed.


            My children thought we had bright nightlights.


I returned to the working world as an English Teacher.  I evolved to Administration.  I told my husband I hated whistling more than Do-Wop songs, canned spaghetti, and people who name their dogs “Duke”.


And now, as Journey told Steve Perry, my former colleagues, also now retired, have called to say, “We’re putting the Band back together.”


“Shroyer, Jimmy three-fingers, you and me.”  My former partner told me.  “A package consultant group—surveillance, technical, analytical, and field work.  We have a battle brewing ‘in country’“.


I don’t have an answer for him.  I need to think about it.  I’m feeling a bit….


“What?” he asks.  “You’re feeling a bit soft sitting in an office all day”?


“I hardly sit.  I am running from one end of the school to the other.”


“Oh.  Excuse me.  You have to take Kleenex to wipe some noses, or have some detention notices to hand out.”


“It is hardly like that.  That sounds like what I’m doing doesn’t make a difference.”


There is silence on the phone line.


“This isn’t Peter Pan,” I tell him, “Sometimes we have to grow up and move on.”


The silence seems to have white noise.  Are you there I ask.


“I am.  But I’m wondering if you are signing us up for AARP.  Are you saying we’re getting too old for this?”


I don’t answer.  I could tell him my knee makes a funny noise when I walk up the steps, that I drink tea every night, that I went to my first professional ballet last Friday night, that I like not having a mark where my 9mm rubbed my hip.


Instead I tell him, “I like knowing that basically the people I work for are all the good guys.  I mean, they can make stupid decisions, but at the end of the day people don’t die.

I hear him move the phone away from his mouth.  I ‘ve seen him pull it closer  a hundred times when he wants to say something, but he has learned a thing called “diplomacy” or so he says.


“Most people would feel we represent the good guys.”  I don’t answer and I know he didn’t expect me too.  We never talk about it; we don’t mention names.


 “But you’ll be available if we need back-up.”  It is a statement and not a question.


“I’ve got your back.”  I answer


“And I’ve got yours”.   


It is our version of Sonny and Cher. 


I close my eyes and tell myself Sonny and Cher never made it to the year where they started liking each other again.  And then Sonny hit a tree. 


There is a perfect storm brewing near my heart tonight, a sure connection to a chocolate valentine and cupids arrow.



Brown-eyed girl






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Like the dialogue. Also, I am a huge fan of pickled ring bologna, if you want to consider working any pickled bologna into future stories. One fact I heard in the lab where I work (it is a social science research lab, not a hard science research lab): if you REALLY want revenge on an old boyfriend and want the paint to come off his car, don't use eggs, throw some pickled bologna on it. Guess it does nasty things to paint in the heat of the summer. I might use this myself, actually.... hmmmm.... maybe there should be an OS bologna-theme short story contest? Who's in? I will if 12 people sign on....
I told my husband I hated whistling more than Do-Wop songs, canned spaghetti, and people who name their dogs “Duke”. Now, that grabbed my attention. Fine writing -Brown-eyed girl- Van would be proud. You can really play with the language and I admire that about your work here.
"There is a perfect storm brewing near my heart tonight, a sure connection to a chocolate valentine and cupids arrow." That is pure poetry, my friend. Loved this.
Ah, the major oxymoron -- the strands of love noted by the Sonny and Cher reference.
Great writing.
This is well written and interesting, and it contains some spot-on observations about marriage and relationships. Patella wallet cracked me up. It would be hard to pass up the opportunity to work with someone named Jimmy Three Fingers, but don't accept any jobs that will interfere with your writing!
Really nice writing. Reading along smiling, laughing, not then at the end left wondering.. Very well done..
Gotta love a night owl with creative blood! :-)
the pieces of this flow so seamlessly together, and it floats from job to marriage to new?job to writing and back again without every seeming like there's too much. this is so good, browneyes. sonny and cher, great, but the journey "putting the band back together" is perfect. A++
This one took intersting twists as you spun your way along, but, as always, the ride was delightful. Your touch is superb. Whatever you do, don't stop writing.
You had me laughing at the title. Fifty is not so bad. I am 53 years young and feel like I was when I was 18. I let my hair grow long and have become a hippy chick of sorts. Sounds like someone needs some attention and some romance of sorts. Tee Hee! Npw you have to come up with a plan. Best wishes - Jali.
As I have told you before, you are amazing. Capital A, with lots and lots of Zing.
I read and then, if I'm lucky, I think. Some writers just entertain or give you pleasure in the reading but I like the ones who make me think. About life and love and growing up...
“This isn’t Peter Pan,” I tell him, “Sometimes we have to grow up and move on.”
Sometimes we do and yet for some of us there'll always be that "little boy" fighting with pirates and believing in fairies.
I like you.
I loved this, especially "I couldn’t stand the way my spouse slept on his pillow at night." It encapsulates that period when you think it should be mandatory for marriages to dissolve at year seven or so. It's little annoyances your spouse actually does, but also just the way things are. How he sleeps on the pillow, the way he turned the coffee cup handle when he put it in the dishwasher, the noise of him chewing. Such an interesting life, as well!
I love this. You described marriage so well. Especially the fiery crash scenarios and back again. _r
Very poetic nostalgia ... Thanks for sharing.
Well written, and interesting, love the way that you write about the changes in a relationship over time but be aware that it can be different, in my case, second marriage, now deep into the second decade.

I don't care if I see anyone else most days, and due to my work at home life that is often the case, and we still can't get enough of each other. I don't know how it works and really don't give a damn.

I only give a damn about hungry kids, poor people with no chance and reading and writing.

Interestingly I have been to Spain and not many other places, lived there for two years in my 20's.
I loved this! Very well written, insightful with intriguing details that made me want to read more.
Outstanding work. Just outstanding.
god, i loved your dialogue and i cannot believe there is someone else that knows about pickled bologna. you must be from michigan like me. it's one of the things i miss (on a saltine cracker) since being a vegetarian for awhile now. this was a very poignant, lovely post. rated.
Reads like a well-crafted crime story, with just the right amount of humor and depth. You've got chops, Brown Eyed Girl, and it sounds like you have plenty to write about. Now if you could get hubby to sing Old Man Ribber, you might find it more palatable than whistling, huh? (r)
This read beautifully. Intriguing!
Enjoyed the holiday piece but, for me, it is humans named or entitled, Duke that I have an aversion to.
Ah the tug of the old when the new becomes old. Interesting.
Damn! This is outstanding writing. Absolutely blew me away. I've got to go back and read earlier posts!
Brilliant. Sounds like you already are doing "surveillance, technical, analytical, and field work." as a school administrator! I guess there are no 9mm involved least not from your end. Hmm, maybe that's reason enough to consider his offer.
Ah yes, a perfect storm that brews so near to my heart as well. And yet, here we live....a decade away from each other, and it seems like only moments separate us. And as Baseballtattoo said, "maybe you should consider his offer"........or not! -A
I really liked this and think you have a clear way of expressing yourself. I am looking forward to reading more and will come back later and treat myself to more!
Wow! I'm sorry I arrived late....but I'm sure glad I got here. (I don't read as much as I should.) You've done so much. I would love to know how old you are. What an inspiration! I'm sending you a pm.
That was fiction?? It kicked ass.You can write girl!!! Thanks enjoyed it all.rated