Onion layers

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Part of the reason that the best poetry only hints at a message can be attributed to the wisdom of the onion. A long time ago, this root wonder began to reveal itself as it shed its papery skin. One thin, delicate piece that leads to chunky, tear provoking, overwhelming odors. In first approaching the onion, would you be ready for what lies within?

Some say that we find ourselves as we slowly strip back layers of the onion. Therapies are built on this theory. The poet taps into some of that unconscious material and writes about the roots or the leaves that give the onion life. To write about the onion itself is a bit like disclosing the bio of the writer. Interesting, but hardly the point of the exercise.

The revelation could be a bubbling to the surface of something previously repressed or a creative thought in loose form. The moment of expression brings that unnamed, sometimes reviled thing to light. We get our wits about us and write with a layer of protection. This urge to share may be our soul’s effort to raise the collective consciousness. Maybe we need to pass on survival tips for life. This exchange happens without the poet or the audience sensing that the onion was only partially peeled.

Illustration courtesy of Pixabay.

 

Rotary phones at the club

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Yes, phones were at the club back in the 70’s. They were chunky, rotary dialers that sat on the middle of round tables that sat about eight people each. Every table had a number assigned to it that was visible to every other table in the club.

Taking you back to southern New England and a phenomenon known as Dial Tone lounges. Simply put, the set-up eliminated the dread of having to walk to a table and ask someone to dance. A lady could just call up a table and ask to speak to the guy with the long brown hair, moustache and blue shirt.

Typically, the sexes arrived en masse and the women and men would sit at separate tables. The fun would (could) then begin. A young woman would call that cute guy, and hope he would dance when she asked. Or, it could go something like this. “Hey there … look over at table 6. I’d like to know if you would like to dance?”

The guy takes a look at the girl, is underwhelmed, and says, “Hey thanks for asking, but I just got a cold drink and I don’t want it to warm up. My buddy to my right (the sorry looking dude with an overbite) might be interested in dancing!”

“Never mind,” she says and hangs up.

The phone rings at table 6, and the caller is from table 3. The man asks to speak to the tall blond to the right of the one who answered the call. The caller is a former classmate that the blond would rather not be pursued by. She politely says that she can’t combine academics and a personal life, and isn’t quite ready to dance anyway.

By the end of the night, the friends that came with the tall blond have decided to ditch her the next time they go to the club, and the discriminating young men got much less so the more they drank.

The Dial Tone lounge wasn’t much different than the typical disco scene. It just put a lot more emphasis in the early hours on hooking the cute guy or gal than getting an opportunity to shake the bell bottomed hip huggers under the disco ball. What woman would say “no” when a reasonably clean and sober man came over personally to invite her to dance at a typical club? After all, it wasn’t a marriage proposal.

Shortly after 12 pm, the call comes in to the ladies’ table 6. “Hey, anybody at your table want to dance with any of us at table 2?”

Image courtesy Pixabay.

 

 

Cuffs and claustrophobia

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I would prefer this flannel shirt if it didn’t have buttons on the cuffs. Actually, I may start a fashion trend wearing my cuffs unbuttoned and just flapping at the wrists. I have also just rolled the cuffs up once or twice and felt less constricted.

Just like I could wear that dress that doesn’t have a belt around the middle, and the sweater that doesn’t touch my neck. Or the jeans that don’t cramp my ankles. Or panty hose that won’t rip when putting them on. Camisoles that won’t put one in momentary panic when they get stuck on your head as you pull them on. Please give me a zipper on those torture shirts!

Clothing that inhibits movement and breathing are causing me to lose patience rapidly. If I were a fashion designer, I know a few “non-negotiables” I would institute. Alas, I’m not, so I just have to be more careful with my choices, and repurpose things to fit my style.

Photo courtesy Pixabay.

Carousel

The boardwalk by the ocean has both beauty and elegance with an old carousel. I was lucky enough to ride the wooden horses in Asbury Park before they were sold.

The Jersey shore with its carnival allure will always live in my heart. Hot, giant pizza slices and flip flops on the wooden planks are hard to forget. Arcade games, beach braids and custard cones make me nostalgic for my girls to be young again.

The working family’s summer vacation to Seaside Heights, Long Beach Island, Atlantic City or Point Pleasant may beat any trip the wealthy take abroad. Tonight, I am still a Jersey girl.

Silence is golden

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To remain quiet on topics we’d rather not touch is good practice. It may seem ironic that my blog is about being personal. It’s quite consistent, really. I choose the topics and the content for this blog. I’m not responding to interview questions, and I’m not in dialogue with someone.

Poetry and other art forms give us the opportunity to disclose truths about ourselves, but not always. I’ve come to believe that art often allows us to enjoy a superficial level devoid of the messier emotions.

Consider the dreaded conversations with significant others. This culture makes us feel bad if we’re not airing our deepest thoughts and feelings to them. Are they interested? Will it make them feel more connected to us? Perhaps it will drive them to the hills and we’ll never see them again. Better to speak when needed.

“Should we renew our apartment lease?” he says. “Did you find somewhere else for us to live?” I say.

You get the point.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.