Mini Mosques and Mini Mouse

We are now in Terengganu, Malaysia. We have been here for about three days. On our first day, we went up close to the ‘Floating Mosque’, as it is called in Mom’s guide book, but Dad denied Jana her request to dinghy beneath it. I love the metal trees and two meter tall plastic flowers. We haven’t gotten close enough to examine them, but they were something I’ve never seen.

Yesterday, we went to what we expected to be a mosque museum, but turned out to be an amusement park called the ‘Edutainment Park’, and an odd one, I think.[1]

First, we lined up (though it wasn’t much of a line; we were the only ones there), and the woman behind the desk gave us our ‘passports’.[2] Then, we were immediately ushered next to a wall, which Jana stood on as instructed by the ‘photographer’.

Afterwards, we were free to roam as we wished in a world with buggies, tour trains (of which Mom took plenty photographs of her own, patriotic flags and all), and mini-mosques, models of mosques from all over the world. Dad stood in front of every mini-mosque, and Mom took pictures of him.

On one African mosque, Dad was posing with his hand on the wall, and when he removed it, he took with him a chunk of the wall, with an accompanying “Oops”. We have a photograph of him looking saddened, holding the wall of the African mosque in his hand.

Jana put it back, saying, “There! See? I fixed it!”

As soon as she let go, it fell to the ground. Dad perched it precariously on the rest of the wall, no doubt fearing he may get caught, before then exiting that mosque’s area, trudging his way through the garden.

During our journey through the mosque park, Jana had to stop at a bathroom. We sat on a bench outside and waited for her. When she emerged, she requested my hand-sanitizer. I gave it to her, but then we had to wait again, because, of course, she had to then go back to the bathroom and rinse her hands, the clean girl she is.

“She should be a raccoon,” Dad said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because they always clean themselves.”

“No,” I said. “Raccoons also rummage through garbage. She wouldn’t last a day; she’d sooner starve than look through trash for food.”

“You’re probably right,” he said.

[1] I would be an awfully poor judge, for it is the only amusement park I remember going to. I think I went to Disney World as an infant, but that doesn’t count as experience.

[2] Dad lost his along the way, but fortunately he wasn’t denied the freedom to leave the ‘country’.

 

Polite and Rude Gestures

27 July

10:20 am

After staying up past one in the morning last night and not getting any sleep the night before, I am surprised I have gotten up this early. Haven’t brushed my hair, my teeth, or changed out of my pajamas.

Jana and Siobhan are playing outside, making lots of noise as they sing together, their voices out of tune and not very well synchronized.

 

12:37 pm

Jana and Siobhan are inside now. After playing with their new silly putty that ‘makes fart noises!’, as Jana says, they now stand in the kitchen, singing out-of-tune pop songs and making messes, like they seem to do.


28 July

04:34 pm

I just came home after spending fifteen minutes on Totem.

“Why were you gone so long?” Mom asked.

“Behan invited me in, but I think only as a polite gesture,” I said. “I think they were busy. I was trying to find out how to excuse myself.”

Dad said, pointing his finger adamantly as he grinned, “You should say, ‘Fuck your polite gestures, I don’t wanting fuck to do with it. I’m gonna leave and fuck your polite gestures.”

“Bernie!” Mom said as I laughed.

He was laughing too.

“I don’t know why that was funny,” I said, smiling.

“See?” Dad said to Mom. “I’m funny.”

“Yeah. So funny,” Mom said, but she was smiling too.

“I’m fucking funny!”

A couple minutes ago, I walked around to the kitchen. “You are an odd man,” I said.

He looked up at me. “I am. I am and odd, odd man. People are in odd of me.”

Laughing, I sat back down.

“Monkey,” he blurted.

“What the hell was that?” I asked.

He wiggled his eyebrows at me, offering no response.


30 July

10:23 am

Mom and Jana are working on contacting Jana’s teacher so they can Skype.

“I’m gonna call my mother to see if my Skype is working at all,” Mom says. I sit in my room, listening.

I hear the Skype ring tone as Mom calls Cecelia.

“Hello?” Mom asks.

“She hasn’t answered yet!” Jana says.

I start laughing uncontrollably as I come out of my room. “You are such a luddite,” I say.

“Just write hi,” Mom says. Now Jana is trying to email. “Just write hi and leave it at that.”

“Okay. There.” Jana passes the computer to Mom.

“No, you weren’t supposed to just write hi and send it!”

“You said just write hi!”

“Not to send it!”

10:31 am

I just escaped to my room after being climbed on by Jana with her wailing, “Boobies! Boooobies!” From what I can hear, she is still wailing.

Loooolaaaa!” she calls.

Into the fray I go now, yet again.


–Lola Elvy

 

Good Girls

04 July

08:37 am

Jana sits on the couch, playing poker on Dad’s cell phone. She raps— “Guh-guh-guh-guh.”—and from what I can tell she is ‘singing’ the line ‘good girls die young’.


 

05 July

03:38 pm

Jana sits next to me, flipping through the pages of a tourist guide for Singapore. She mutters the captions aloud.

She just put the book away. She looks at what I am writing and makes a sound: “Mmm!” She says, “Lola, please don’t!”

She now begins to tell me what I have written above. It seems to slip her mind that I know what I have written above. It is right in front of me.

I say to her, “This was written at three-thirty-seven am.”

Pm,” she corrects.

“Pm, yes, thank you.”

“Where’s our pet fly?”

I don’t know who she’s talking to.

She sits up. “Mom?”

“I don’t know; he’s gone,” Mom replies absently; she is working.

Jana now has walked into the kitchen, taking out the Sprite, singing, “Good girls die young, bad girls do it all.


 

08 July

09:57 am

We are waiting to cross the equator, for the second time by boat in my life. We assume it will take a couple hours.

“Lola, look at this photo I took,” Jana says, coming over to me, showing me a photo of a flower. “And this one. It looks like an animal.”

“Jana, I can’t.”

“Okay, okay.” She sits back down, humming some pop song to herself.

The wind outside picked up exactly thirteen minutes ago. The sky around us is my favorite color: a beautiful gray that is barely blue. The breeze is blissful and cool, and moist. It reminds me of the breeze when I stood in front of a waterfall in Bali. I love waterfalls. I love the breeze.

Now Jana rap-sings, “Let—me—know—when I can—talk—to you, Lola!

“Alright, Jana, what do you want?” I say.

“Okay. I wasn’t singing just to annoy you; I want to show you this photo. It is an awesome photo. It’s the most awesomest photo ever!”

She shows me the photo.

“Pretty,” I say.

She reaches for my ice tea.

“No.”

She now sits on my lap, putting her hand in front of my eyes, after quite literally shoving the camera in my face. She smacks me on the head repeatedly, her fist pounding on my skull. It is difficult to type.

“Does that hurt yet?” she asks.

“Yes!”

“Wow, I can hear it really loud,” she says thoughtfully.

“I think I can hear it louder,” I say.

She puts the camera in front of me again. “What about this one? Pretty?”

“Yes.”

She moves it away. “Look at it from a distance. Still pretty?”

“Yes.”

“Still pretty?”

“Yes, for God’s sake, my head hurts!”

She sits back down. “You think your head hurts? My head hurts.”

 

Now we have crossed the equator. Jana has made four bottles of Equator Water: three ‘small’, and one ‘big’. I drank the rest of my favored ice tea. The time is 11:13:34, at the coordinates 00.00.


–Lola Elvy

 

Go Go-Pro

03 July

10:22 am

This is our second day at sea. About an hour ago, Jana came inside and informed me that Dad had stuck our Go-Pro, our new camera, up the mast and could not get it down.

Mom just found out now.

“I noticed you did not document this event,” Mom says, sitting in the nav-station, log book open in front of her.

Dad spluttered, “I-I did— I— You’re being really mean to me.”

“I am not! I just think you should document this, in your own humor.”

“Yeah,” Dad murmurs.

Jana changes the subject by saying, “I gave my half-good tortilla to Dad.”

“Half good? What was wrong with it?” Mom asks.

“It was cold, because Dad made me go outside to help him with the Go-Pro.”

“Oh. What kind of cheese did you use?”

“I opened a new one.”

“That’s alright; that’s what they’re for. But what kind of cheese did you use?”

“Cheese,” she informed Mom.

“Oh, fuck,” Dad breathes.

“What?” Mom asks.

“I need to get that thing down,” he laments.

“You’re not going to be able to. You need to live with it, my love.” Mom grins.

“Lola, stop writing things down!” Dad protests.

“No,” I say.

“Did I overhear this this morning?” Mom asks. “Bernie can invent lots of things. I think he should invent a plastic receptacle to send our plastic trash to the top of the mast.”

I think back to the early morning, when Dad tossed a plastic water bottle and Sprite bottle in my bed, so they weren’t ‘in the way’.

Jana now sits down on the couch by Mom, giggling.

Dad closes the door to the bathroom.

“Oh, now we have to wait again,” Mom complains.

“Wa, wa, wa, waaaa!” Jana wails. “Wa, wa, wa, waaa! I—am—totally—lovin’ this,” she raps. “I—am—totally—lovin’ this!” She gets up and walks to the back room. “One thing that I really want to put on your Kindle,” she says to Mom as she rummages now in the bottom of Mom’s bed. “Minecraft—I found Once Upon a Time!” she announces triumphantly as she emerges into the living room.


–Lola Elvy

 

 

To Malaysia

01 July

Four days ago, on Friday, the twenty-seventh of June, we checked out of Indonesia. This included a long list of events to do with Indonesian authorities. To be rather linear and cursory, the three-hour process went like this:

 

The Port Captain was perturbed by the fact that we had not checked in with him when we originally arrived in Bali. Mom went through the same thing our friends on Thor went through—lots of negotiating back and forth in fragmented English. She tried to explain to him that, in fact, she did check in with him, and he protested that she didn’t have a check-in paper. She presented to him everything that she did have, and he agreed to check her in and out on that day.

The Immigration office followed. It was the easiest one, without a doubt. We sat in a room and waited for ten minutes while other people scanned our passports through the system.

 

Then Quarantine. The officer asked Mom why she had not checked in with quarantine.

“But I did,” she argued. “In Tual.”

“But why didn’t you check in here?”

“Because. I went to the Port Captain, Customs, and Immigration.”

 

He jabbered in Indonesian at her, and she vaguely understood that he wanted to come to the boat.

“You want to come to the boat?” Mom asked.

“Yes.”

“Okay, sure.”

“When you leaving?”

“Today.”

“Today? When?”

“Now. Today, now.”

“Oh. Oh, okay. Are you sick?”

“No.” Dad has some sort of lingering stomach bug.

“How many people on the boat?”

“Four.”

“And no one sick? All healthy?”

“No.”

“Any bugs? Rodent?”

“No, no bugs.” We have had cockroaches for months.

He sifted through his papers a moment before stamping them.

“You don’t want come to the boat?”

“No, no.”

Customs was easy. They gave Mom a stamp, and was out immediately.

Navy, however, was another matter. Mom entered the office to find a man dressed casually in a hoodie and jeans. She told him she was here to check out. He told her to sit down on the couch. On the table in front of the couch, there was food. He cleared the food away, offering apologies. Then he sat beside her.

“Where is the navy officer?” she asked.

“Me. I am navy officer,” he said.

At which point, she proceeded to check out with him.

“But why you not check in?” he asked. “Why you not check in with me when you arrive in Bali?”

“No one told me to check in with you.”

“You have agent?”

“Yes, Raymond. Raymond is my agent.”

“Oh, Raymond, yes, yes, I know. But Bali? You have agent for Bali? Who you check in with?”

“Oh, well, there’s someone in the Serangan office. Her name is Ruth. I checked in with her.”

“Ruth?” he asked.

“Yeah, Ruth,” Mom said, relieved he knew her.

“Oh, no, Ruth— Ruth is no good, Ruth is no agent!”

“Oh. She’s not?”

“No, no, Ruth is no good, no good! She is no good. She never tells people to come to me! People must come to me. This is my job, my job. Ruth— Ruth is no agent, Ruth is for making money!”

It was by far the most haphazard experience checking out that I can recall.


 

Today, finally, we are leaving Serangan Harbour and heading to Malaysia. After eight months in Indonesia (spending five of those in Serangan), we are all ready to go. We are expecting a two week passage, with a few stops along the way. Dad is ‘Psyched!’, Mom is ‘Happy!’, and Jana is ‘nervous and happy’. I have already left once, taking a six week vacation to Canada and America, but I am looking forward to leaving.


 

The broken dock that is now meters shorter than when we first arrived:

DSC_3227 DSC_3242 DSC_3247DSC_3234DSC_3235

The goats that stray into the middle of the road:

DSC_3279

The people stacked on mopeds like clowns:

DSC_0035 (640x425)


–Lola Elvy

 

 

Whispers

As the last hints

Of daylight fade

I take in every

Moment

My eyes scan

The pastel skies,

The dispersing sun,

A golden eye of

Fire

 

Its light spreads,

Enveloping

The atmosphere,

Scattering across the

Heavens

 

Hills turn from

Purple to gray

And daisies

Sway softly,

Bowing to

Dusk

 

Birdsong dies

Giving way

To new voices

Filling the air with

Whispers

 

The quiet breeze sweeps

Through grass, sifts

Through leaves

Spreading secrets,

Casting them

Across cavernous

Skies

 

The first star winks

Into view,

Shines electric,

Flickers

Ice

 

The moon crests

The horizon

Then rises,

A pearl in black

Waters

 

The sun’s rays

Retract at last,

Descend as one

Waiting

To rise

Again

 

 

01 March, 2014

10:05 pm


–Lola Elvy

 

Spoons, Kindles, and Miscommunications

09 April

Dad is fixing our broken engine now, and it is in a million pieces. Oil is on the floor, my room is inaccessible, and as such, we are staying in a hotel (a special treat for us). We are now in our third hotel,[1] after spending a rather amusing experience at Hotel Yani. My encounters with the hotel staff have been very enlightening on just how tricky communication can be, on both sides.


 

 

Our first evening in Hotel Yani, we were up late, and didn’t feel like going to the hotel restaurant for dinner. But I was hungry, and decided to have a bowl of cereal. I poured my cereal into a bowl we had brought from home,[2] but I had no spoon.

“Just go to the front desk and ask for a spoon,” Mom said. “They’re really nice there; they’ll help you out.”

So off I went to the front desk.

I walked up to the desk and said politely to the man behind it, “Excuse me, may I please have a spoon?”

He looked at me, and said, “What?”

“A spoon,” I said. Worried I may be mumbling, I repeated it as clearly as I could, “Spoon.”

“Just one moment, I get my friend,” he said, and ran off. [3]

Just one moment later, a different man came in.[4] He sat. “Yes?” he asked.

“May I please have a spoon?” I asked.

“A—A spoon?”

“Yes please,” Then, in a further effort to communicate, “You know, to eat soup: soto.[5] Spoon.”

“Oh, soto!” he exclaimed, sitting back in his chair.

“Yes, to eat soto,” I said, relieved.

He sat forwards. “Ya, you go to restaurant, they give you soto.”

“No, I don’t want soto, I want a spoon.”

“Oh.” He sat back, stumped. Then, his eyes widened with an idea. “Uh, could you write down?” he asked. He turned a piece of paper towards me and held out a pen.

I obliged, and wrote, in my neatest, clearest, all-caps handwriting,

SPOON

        He looked at it, and typed something into the computer. I peered over and saw GOOGLE TRANSLATE on the top of the screen. I rolled my lips in and said nothing as the ellipses on the right-hand side of the screen morphed into the word spoon. I thought perhaps the translation failed, as the Indonesian word appeared the same as the English, but Rian withdrew from the screen, surprised at the discovery of what I was trying to say.

Sponn!” he said.

I smiled. “Yes, sponn. Spoon.”

“Yes, what your room number?”

“One-one-seven,” I said.

“Ya, I call restaurant, and get you sponn and soto.” He went for the phone.

“No, only spoon. Hanya sponn[6],” I said.

“Oh, hanya sponn, hanya sponn,” he said. “Ya, I get for you.” He called the hotel restaurant. For five whole minutes, I sat, listening to him talk in Indonesian to the restaurant. Finally, he put the phone down, looked at me, and said, “I’m sorry, no have.”

“Okay, thank you,” I said, trying not to smile. I left. As soon as I was out of sight, I burst out laughing. It was like something from Fawlty Towers.

When I got back to the room and shared my experience with Mom and Jana, Mom said, “Alright, I’m gonna go straight to the restaurant, and get you a spoon.”

“Thank you,” I said.

 

I wasn’t there for this part, but Mom told me about it when she returned.

Mom got to the restaurant, and there was a man holding a tray. Displayed on the tray were several sets of silverware.

Mom walked up to the man and said, “Can I get a spoon, please?”

“Room one-one-seven?” he asked.

“Yes.”

He held out the tray. “For you.”

In the end, I got my spoon, and had my cereal. I was a very happy person.


 

But my tale of miscommunications is not yet finished.

Before we were in room 117, we were in room 120. We found that the air-conditioning didn’t work, and it was insufferably hot, so we moved to room 117. During the duration of our stay, I could not find my Kindle (e-reader). I thought that when I packed my bags to leave, I would locate it then. But when the day came to depart, I still had not seen it, so I went to the front desk, bringing my sister’s Kindle as an example.

As I opened Jana’s Kindle, I started to tell Rian, “Three days ago, we used to be in room one-two-zero.”

“Yes, room one-two-zero,” he said.

“Now, I think that when we moved to one-one-seven, I left my Kindle—my e-reader—in the room. It looked just like this one.” I pointed at Jana’s Kindle.

“Just one moment.” He typed something into Google Translate. He looked at me. “You left—” he peered at the screen “—beeheend?
“Behind, yes, I left it behind.”

“Oh, yes, I know. Okay, I check with my friend, and hotel team.”

“Yes, okay, thank you,” I said.

He got on the radio with what I assume was the ‘hotel team’.

Five minutes later, a man came into the room.

Rian and the stranger exchanged a few words in Indonesian.

The stranger said, “Room one-two-zero, one-two-zero, I no know.”

Rian sat back down. “Which part lost?” he asked. “Item or cover?”

“Both,” I said.

“Both?” he asked.

“Yes. But the cover was blue.” I pointed to a blue folder on the desk.

“Blue. Okay, I check.” He rummaged through some files. “Room one-two-zero, nothing found. Room one-two-zero, sure?”

At this point, no, I’m not sure. “Well, maybe it was the one next door, one-two-one.”

“One-two-one?” he asked and looked at his friend. They chuckled.

He checked some more files. Then he came back over and sat down. “Why you report?” he asked.

“Because I lost it. I lost my Kindle.”

“But why you report…if you have?”

“I don’t have it,” I said. “I lost it.”

“But you have.” He tapped Jana’s Kindle.

“Oh,” I said, understanding. “Oh, no, this is my sister’s.”

“Yes.”

“This is not my Kindle. My sister’s. I lost mine. My Kindle is lost.”

“Oh, okay,” he said, nodding. “You left it behind.”

“Yes, I left it behind.”

His eyes widened and his mouth dropped as he sat forwards suddenly. “You left it behind?!” he exclaimed, astonished.

“Yes, I left it behind,” I said.

“Okay, okay, okay.” He checked more on his radio, and then sat again.  He leaned forwards with his elbows on the desk, fingers interlocked, and said, quite solemnly and deliberately, “I don’t know…if you leave it in room one-two-zero…room one-one-seven…or in hotel area…I no find.”

“Okay, thank you,” I said, and left, wishing I had had a tape-recorder.

In the end, I found my Kindle in the bottom of my back-pack.


[1] The hotel is in Sanur. It is called Ari Putri.

[2] Luckily I did not pour the milk.

[3] In Indonesia, however, the word ‘friend’ is used loosely to mean something like, ‘someone I know’.

[4] Over our stay at Yani, I had many interactions with this man, and later learned that his name was Rian.

[5] Soto is the Indonesian word for soup.

[6] Hanya means only.


–Lola Elvy

Barbeque Games

24 March

Last night, we went to a barbecue that Deter and John organised. They have not been feeling very social lately, though, really, they are perhaps the most social people in the anchorage. Of course, I call it a ‘barbeque’, but only because I cannot bring myself to say ‘potluck’. Potlucks are events where social Americans glom together, and the very prospect of being involved in anything that involves being ‘social’ petrifies me.

But, perhaps when it comes to a ‘barbeque’, a social American[1] is just what one needs. All we could think to bring, in our un-social way, was hotdogs and half a watermelon. Luckily, we were not alone. Our friends, Ruth and Gillie,[2] had no better ideas. They themselves brought hotdogs and half-baked potatoes.

Ruth and I sat down beside each-other in two of the chairs in the circle. Jana tended the fire gaily.

“Lola,” Ruth said. “I’ve got a lateral-thinking puzzle[3] for you.”

“Okay,” I said. “What is it?”

“There’s a field with nothing in it, except two coals…” She looked up as she remembered. “Yeah, two coals, a carrot, and a twig. What’s happened?”

I thought for a moment, then leaned forwards. “A family of rabbits ate all the carrots, before a fire erupted and chased them away, and then a bird flew overhead, and accidentally dropped a twig.”

As I spoke, Ruth looked amused. “No, not quite so elaborate.”

“Okay…” I thought some more. “Oh, I know! There was a farmer…”

Already Ruth had started laughing contagiously at my answer, causing me to chuckle.

I said between breaths, “He had the fire going…when a hurricane came…and blew his house away…leaving nothing…”

“No, Lola,” Ruth said.

“Okay.” I sat back. “Well, is the answer really simple; just one sentence?”

“Okay, I’ll give you a hint. It was really cold. Really cold.”

“There was an Eskimo with a fire?” I asked.

“No.”

“Alright, what’s the answer?”

“There was a snowman. A snowman that melted.”

“Oh,” I said, drawing out the word.

“Alright, here’s another one: a man is in a telephone booth, the phone is off the receiver, his hands are through the windows, and he’s dead. And he’s by the river. What’s happened?”

“Uh, he was talking on the phone, he received some awful news, and had a stroke.”

“No.”

“Okay, uh, there are no telephone lines by the river, and he had important news to tell his friend, but he couldn’t get a reception, due to the lack of telephone lines, and he was so distraught, his heart stopped.”

“No. Here, I’ll give you a hint: there’s a fishing rod in a fishing boat.”

“Okay. Someone flung the fishing rod, and… No that’s not it.”

“Do you want the answer?”

“Yeah.”

“He was a fisherman.”

“What?”

“Well, when fishermen catch a fish, what do they do? They always say it was this big!” She held her arms out as wide as they could go. “So this guy had rung up his mate, and told him it was this big, and flung his arms threw the windows, slit his wrists, and died.”

“Oh. But then why would you not tell me the fishing boat and rod in the beginning?”

“Because I forgot.”

“Oh.”

“I probably should’ve mentioned there was a lot of blood, too.”

“Yeah, that probably would’ve helped.”

“Yeah.” A moment passed. “Hey, I want to show you something.”

I followed Ruth off the porch and onto the gravel. She walked to the firewood and picked up a two-meter long piece of thing, rectangular wood. She held it out in front of her, and stepped over it. Then, she slid it over her back and down her leg.

“Oh,” she said. She grunted as she tried to then step over it. She lifted her foot from the ground, and the plank sprung away.

“Well,” she said, “I almost did it. You try.”

She gave it to me, and talked me through it as I twisted my body uncomfortably.

I laughed. “I feel like I’m playing Twister,” I said. “Have you played that?”

“Yeah. Now, just step over it.”

I lifted my foot several times before standing up and starting over. This time, when I got to the last step, I tried again and again, was about to give up, when Ruth said, “Lola, keep going. You’ve almost done it.”

I lifted my foot, and began taking small steps, turning in a circle. “Okay.” I stood and started again, this time with the other leg. I was determined to get it right. That time, I succeeded.

“Can I try?” Jana asked.

“Sure,” I said, and gave her the stick.

She picked it up, and having watched Ruth and me, started.

“Underhand, Jana,” Ruth said.

Jana moved her hands.

She tried it, but only got it as far as her back before she let go. She tried again, didn’t let go, but didn’t get any farther. Finally, on maybe her fifth or sixth go, she slid it down her leg, and almost stepped over it.

Then, though, we got Mom to try it. She was nightmarish. It was so hilarious, I was holding my side.

She started out by taking it and saying, “I think I can do this; I’m quite flexible.” About ten seconds in to the challenge, she stopped. “I’m stuck.” Finally, she figured out what we meant by the order, ‘slide it down your leg’. “Oh,” she said. “Slide it down my leg.”

She only got that far.

But, in her need to succeed, she bent the stick, so much so, I heard some fibers crack, laid it on the ground, and shuffled her foot closer and closer, until she was on top of the stick, and then over.

She stood up quickly, flung her arms out wide, so she was holding the stick over her head. “I did it!” she exclaimed proudly.

Ruth and I glanced at each-other. “Well…” we said.

“I did!”

“Not really,” I said.

“Yes I did.”

“You dug a hole,” Ruth said.

Mom tried to glare at Ruth, but glaring is hard if one is laughing. “Shut up,” she said.

Of course, I must give her credit for getting that far, because the next person to try it was our dad. He protested a good deal, and when we finally did get him to take the stick, he stepped over it, but went no further.

“No, I’m gonna break my back,” he said, and passed it back to us.

“But, Dad…” I said.

“No.” He walked away and sat back down, putting an end to the conversation.


[1] Though, to be fair to Americans, almost everyone gloms, regardless of where they come from.

[2] They are my parents’ age. They live together on the boat ‘Tuppeny’. ‘Tuppeny’ is an English ‘slang’ word for ‘two pennies’.

[3] Ruth and I share a fondness of riddles and brain-teasers.


–Lola Elvy

 

Myself, You, She, and I

I sit, listening to the words,

A soft and gentle hum,

Emanating from that room,

And try to think of ways to quell

My boredom.

I dream, but do not move.

 

You recite the words

From that book,

As others hear you read.

Your eyes flit down the pages as

You look,

Hungrily devouring everything they see.

 

She lies beside her mother,

Picturing the scenes

As she drifts off to sleep.

When her eyes close, and darkness

Is seen,

Dragons and fairies walk through her dreams.

 

I sit whispering

This poem.

Whole verses I rearrange,

Until, at last,

I’m free of boredom,

And there is nothing left to change.

 


 

15 August, 2013

08:45 pm


–Lola Elvy