How high is the fridge

 

I was with my friend, Elaine, this afternoon, when my son rang me to tell me about an achievement. He had some free time on his hands, as his girlfriend, who likes to be called Krusti, (though she’s not crusty) wasn’t around. Mid-sentence, he suddely started making “Ugh! Errr! Yuck! What the…” noises. I asked him what was wrong, and he shouted:

“The cat’s done a crap on the fridge. What’s going on? Why would she do a thing like that? It’s horrible. It’s a classic cat-shit – you know, the kind that can’t be anything but cat shit. I’ve got to go now. I have question her about it. She’s got some explaining to do.” (He has a close relationship with his cat, and thinks he may have been a cat in a previous life, so he was probably serious.)

He came out with a few shock-horror expletives, then tried to excuse her by saying that maybe she’d been unable to get outside in time. He repeated that he was going to find Rusty and interrogate her about it, and put the phone down.

Roaring with laughter, and with tears in my eyes, I told Elaine what had happened. My explanation went something like this:

“(Ho ho hee hee), Rusty (gaffaw), Rusty’s done a (hahahahaha) crap on the fridge, and Paul has gone off to (roar, choke, cough) question her. I expect he’ll try to make her clear it up.”

Elaine looked at me stonily. “I don’t think that’s funny,” she said.

I carried on laughing, at the same time trying to remember Paul’s exact words, so that she’d share the joke. I mentioned that he thought Rusty may not have been able to get outside.

Now she looked puzzled.“Jane. It’s not funny… how high is the fridge?”

I’d never seen Elaine so po-faced. She usually laughs at the things I find funny. Being too slow to come up with “Dunno, but it smells pretty high right now,” I stood up, and held the side of my forefinger against my forehead.

“How did she get up there?” she asked.

I explained. “There’s a window beside the fridge. She’d have jumped onto the sill, and then onto the fridge. She often gets up there.”

“What?” She shook her head as if to loosen the dust of disbelief. “Has she ever done anything like that before?”

I couldn’t understand why she was so upset by my hilarity.

“No, she’s usually very clean, apart from all the hairs on the carpet. She’s long-haired, so it’s a bit of a nightmare hoovering up after her.”

“What?” she said again, but she must have decided to gloss over the hair issue, since she added “Why would Krusti crap on the fridge? Is she mad?”

That finished me. It took a while to splutter out the words “not… Krusti… Rusty…. the cat.”

Finally she saw the funny side, but by then, I almost needed medical attention, and by the time she’d stopped laughing at the misunderstanding, so did she.

You may call me squeamish, but in the interests of good taste, I chose to forego an image for this post. 😉 🙂 😀

©Jane Paterson Basil

Phoenix

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It’s often when the world seems kind, the foe leaps in to steal your mind
of all the hope you’d held intact, and horror robs your brain of fact.
Rotating blades within the gut increase their stretch, til faith is cut.

It aches so much you can’t conceal the pain.
It cuts so deep you can’t conceal the pain.

The steel has reached your pounding heart, and sorrow’s played its bitter part.
Beneath your feet, the faithless floor tips and sways, while you implore
kind entities to feed your soul, yet screaming silence steals your goal…

and echoes that, this day, you’ve gone insane,
and you believe, this day, you’ve gone insane.

Hell’s bells then toll to tell the world the thread of life has been unfurled,
and Satan’s servants draw their claws, as teeth glint green in gnashing jaws.
You smell the sulphur, feel the pulse, as with a shudder, you convulse.

You tell yourself that you can take the strain,
You chant the mantra “I can take the strain.”

The Devil’s terror bends your bones, and you collapse, as he postpones
your future, by the coal-black joke of wrapping round you like a yoke.
Now panic rises; he erases all remaining hope-filled places.

Though bound and blind, you need to break the chain,
to live through this, you need to break the chain.

With drumsticks banging at your heart, with churning stomach ripped apart,
as arid lungs choke ragged breath, you sink towards ignoble death —
’til courage rising from the mire, brings you a hint of lifespring’s fire.

So thus you learn that you will rise again,
and now you know that you will rise again.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Building Stockholm

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“Capture me,” he said. “Make me your slave. Step on my face, take my wages, make me pay to decorate your mansion. Please, make me your slave.”

“Please, make me your slave… please.”

She listened, too mean and greedy to resist. Together they built a Stockholm den. He sweated and whimpered, lifting bricks, slipping in his dripping blood, while she became the cream of screamers, the boss of abuse, and he, the  castrated, slave.  

His bones grew old with her; grew cold beside the witch’s bitter flesh, her skin, thickened by chill trickery, folded into wrinkles. Her manifold control led him to an empty den, where he felt the chill of twenty winters, his distant gaze forever skimming the unreached heat of as many summer seasons.

From his dungeon, he dreamed of plump women primping in flimsy summer silk, stained the colour of dimpled sex – stilettoed angels riding white geldings – and wishes one would save him.

She’d speak soft words of love, and he’d lay roses on a pillow, where golden hair flowed into his eternity. His prison would lie between clean, scented thighs, and he would gleefully serve his time, hearing her whisper:
“Be mine,
forever, be mine.”

His bones grew old with the witch; yet still blood heated the extremities each time he dreamed of sheer summer silk.

A minor mission leads you past his prison, maybe a wish for milk, or a brisk stride. You ride no mutilated horse, wear no silk, own no stilettos, but his eyes strip off your crisp linen, remove your blue denim, dress you in red, give you stick-on angel wings, and sit you on a neutered white equine.

And yet: “Capture me,” he begs you, “make me your slave. Step on my face, take my wages, make me pay to decorate your mansion. Please, make me your slave.”

Through rusting bars he gives gifts of flowers and sweet promises, seeing your key, and thinking you will use it to set him free.

His education doesn’t run to Stockholm syndrome, and you’re not that bothered anyway. Figuring he should find his own way out, you amuse yourself, running a bunch of keys across the rusting rods, as he reaches, hungrily, for you, on lucky days grabbing your hand, or clumsily caressing a strand of hair, but Stockholm syndrome holds him there, between he who he has shaped into an angel, and the witch. After some months have passed in this way, frustration, desperation, love, or lust leads him to bend the thin bars, and – with a guilty glance at his ugly captor – step out of his den.

You shrug. Even if it mattered, it would be too late, and it doesn’t matter anyway. But you have been dragged into the game of three, so you play in some indifferent way, while the witch grinds her teeth, and retreats into the west to plan her strategy.

He looks to the East, where golden hair flows into his obsolete eternity.

“Capture me,” he cries. “Make me your slave. Step on my face, take my wages, make me pay to decorate your mansion. Please, make me your slave.”

The crone’s old-fashioned three-fold plan is drawn; mildly entertained, you fold your false wings and watch the first wet offensive, as raging rhetoric foams and spits from her aging throat, only to be pressed back by his desire for those sweeter meats which have driven Stockholm Syndrome into a deep sleep.

Next, she sets the spoilt daughter on him; wraps her round his neck, but Stockholm Syndrome sleeps on, letting him wriggle free, but she – seeing symptoms of weakening – leaps, feet flying, into her final, foolish strategy.

Crying like a crocodile, she says she’s sorry for the misery she imposed – the daily dose of insults, the criminal damage, the black-and-blue bruising, the theft and the greed. She claims she has seen the light, and promises that from this day on, she will worship at his feet.

Stockholm Syndrome stirs and is woken by pity. He forgets she is a scheming witch, and though he has no wish to be with her, his wilfulness bends to her will.

He finds you on your imposed gelding, and begs to keep your friendship, hints at secret meetings. His body speaks louder than his lips. His tears dampen your wings, loosening them. A weight is lifted from your back as they flutter and fly, to be taken by the wind.

“Capture me,” he murmers. “Make me your slave. Step on my face, take my wages, make me pay to decorate your mansion. Please, make me your slave.”

Yet he seems to think the wings still cling, and to believe he needs to be sweetly enfolded in them, though his deepest wish -hidden only from him – is to be squeezed between them, so tight that he can’t breathe. He can’t perceive his own strange, dank deviance.

You  think of the many symptoms of his extreme idiocy, and you give him a pitiful smile. He is declaring his unending love even as you turn away, refusing to make him your slave.

The witch approaches, and rubs her skin against his. At his first flinch, she knows that her victory is hollow. She has won his company, but lost most of the control he teasingly forced upon her. He loves you, and it shall ever be so, but you wouldn’t make him your slave, so he returned to the only Stockholm he will ever know.

At last they have a couple of things in common. They watch each other from opposite ends of the room, staring, glaring through icy eyes, and they cry, each for their own, lonely loss. They share a supreme, stupendous, mutual stupidity, of which they had both shown strong symptoms from the beginning. He’s afraid to leave, and she refuses to let go.

And what of you? Fortuously stripped of your silly, misfitting wings, you feel whole. You give a wicked grin, you are happy to be free of the idiosy, but you do not forgive rejection. Walking beneath their window, you raise your voice and sing:

You hear the clear, painful clink of twin sets of chains. A naughty giggle escapes your throat, to grow and become an uncontrollable guffaw, as you picture two puppets pulling each other’s strings, and becoming hopelessly entangled, and you know they are both to blame.

An echo fills the air: “Capture me, make me your slave. Step on my face, take my wages, make me pay to decorate your mansion. Please, make me your slave.”

“Please, make me your slave… please.”

 Laughing heartlessly, you step up your pace, and walk jauntily away.

Written for The Daily Post #Symptom

Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. These feelings, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. Generally speaking, Stockholm syndrome consists of “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” – Wikipedia

©Jane Paterson Basil

Tears

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Sometimes when brightest day appears like darkest night,
and though you try, you can’t perceive the brightness of the light;
when rain paints window panes, yet fields and streets are dry,
and grief conceals the kindly shine in every eye,
you may smile to hide the brackish corners of your mind
but truth is there, that all who care for you may find.

Yet still you smile ’til you believe your cheer is real,
in self-deceit your mind will cheat, and not reveal
the hurt you hide behind the thick facade,
as laughing, you wrap blankets round each glassy shard.
And so, from day to day you live your life this way,
to flee the debt of pain you fear you cannot pay.

Your head feels heavy when you wake and rise from bed,
and as you dress, your arms and legs feel numb and dead,
yet still, you laugh as if your heart was light as air,
as if your life was bright with ne’er a care,
and still the ache lies hidden somewhere deep within,
in some secret, unseen place beneath the skin.

Then suddenly, a friend unseen may intuit the key,
and in creative act of generosity,
unlock the door that frees warm healing tears,
releasing all the memories of hurt and fears.
And so you weep, in gratitude and pain,
until it all escapes, and you are real again.

And thus, by meditation’s gentle act,
You flee from fantasy, and turn to fact.
You balance all the good and bad, and weigh it up
in honesty, and find the liquid in your cup
is mixed, ‘twixt sweet relief and  bitter pall;
with seasoned palate, you can sup it all.

No need to hide from daily pain and rising strife –
The beauty of the gifts you’ve gained, sustains your life.

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I haven’t been deeply depressed, as this poem suggests, but I have been submerging emotion. My rhyme was inspired by the thoughtful act of my intuitive FanStory friend, Judester, who yesterday published  a post which  took me for a virtual walk around her estate. The beauty of the surroundings made my spine tingle. I felt as if I was walking through a forest, and it was my home. Everything was designed and built in the way I would have wished, using recycled and freely aquired materials.  When I read the note beneath her post it said “I dedicate this story to Sanejane. Just a happy little story“. Sanejane is my FanStory name, and to me it was far more than just a little story; it was deep meditation.  On reading the dedication, I wept, at last setting free all the unshed tears for the attack on my daughter.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Hypocrisy

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We define ourselves with labels,
it makes us feel secure.
The wealthy say they’re middling,
and the middling say they’re poor.
The mean say they are thrifty,
as they push you out the door,
while some of the ‘hardworking’
are lazing on the floor.

The grasping speak of charity,
as they buy another slave.
The callous say they’re caring,
as they step upon your grave.
The greedy say they’re hungry,
as a seventh course they crave.

Let’s remove the labels
we’ve pasted on our heads.
Let’s nail them to our walls,
and live by them instead.

The Daily Post #Label

© Jane Paterson Basil

Lonely City

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The barman polishes glasses in the old hotel
where love does not go,
watching lost causes dragging their woe.

He notices Luke lolling on a lounger
lisping lonesome odes to a lewd idol,
wishing Lady luck would bring a lusty, busty thing
to bellow his burning inferno.

He watches as Lizzie spies a luscious bulge of taut muscle.
A pheromonic tang
~ a sly, anarchic, chemical bomb of sex ~
floats across the space between them,
slipping beneath her skin,
jingling in deep, secret flesh,
to tinkle within.

She longs to lock her legs around his thighs.
Licking her swelling lips, she thinks of reddened kisses,
of teasing touch that slithers,
of silver rubbed into burnished bronze tickle,
of tangled, sticky limbs slapping,
of ripples that build into crashing waves which break
bringing grand, bruised release.

Lizzie lets the seconds tick
as she plans a chance meeting with this winsome man.
She notices his Guiness,
and brashly thinks to buy him a drink.

Luke lazily raises his load, loathe to leave,
still wishing Lady Luck would bring a lusty, busty thing
to bellow his burning inferno.
He sees a lovely woman, leaning at the bar,
and risks a step in her direction,
but she is lifting two drinks,
and one of them is Guiness,
so he thinks she has male company.
The barman looks on.

Lizzie swizzles, sees Luke leaving the hotel lounge,
head down, heading for the City,
deaf to the bell of the rumpy-pumpy bus.

She swallows her wine,
follows it with the pointlessly bought pint,
and wallows in lustful self-pity, while the barman looks on.

Luke listens to the low lullaby of Lonely City
where love does not go,
intuits the ugly grumble of unsated lust,
and he wishes,
that just for once,
Lady luck
would bring
a lusty, busty thing
to bellow
his burning inferno.

Lizzie buys a bottle from the bar.
She goes home alone.

The barman looks on,
longing for her unlikely love,
but knowing that Lizzie is a lustful child of Lonely City,
where love does not go.
Tomorrow, or next week, he will leave.

<> <> <>

This odd little dirge wafted by, so I caught it and wrote it down for The Daily Post #Luck.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Subtle signs

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It may be a prehistoric memory —
preserved out of everyday reach, to be revealed when needed,
or it it could be something you construe as an aura.

It may come as a subtle sign —
a glint in the eye, a tiny twitch,
an invisible odour, sweet, savoury or sour,
unacknowledged, but wafting from friend, stranger or foe;
a hint that the logical mind cannot find reason for
and lips cannot explain,
caught quickly by a primitive box in the brain,
and transferred to a tray marked “consciousness”,
to be dealt with this instant, if urgent,
or to be left, and looked at later,
to weigh with or against the body of solid evidence,
or the strength of our desire.

We call it instinct,
but each day our brains become more muddied
by the weight of technology, intellect, faulty information,
and greedy wants, which we perceive as needs.
We lack the means to see inside our heads
and find the birth-place of each idea.

The ability to distinguish
between instinct and invention
slips slowly from our range of abilities,
and sometimes we ignore true warning,
while at others we may act rashly,
when the flashing signs are false.

Written for The Daily Post #Instinct

©Jane Paterson Basil