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Collette

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“Excuse me, but do you have any more brochures on prison reform?”

Darren’s head was under the cloth that hung from the table in his booth at the town fair, so he stuck up a hand high enough so the visitor could see it. “Be right with you, okay?” Even to him, his voice sounded muffled.

Having extracted a pile of the brochures he wanted to replenish, he groped rightward to the box in which the prison reform brochures were kept and grabbed a few. Then he stood up and looked straight into the face of the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen.

In fact, she was probably the most beautiful woman in the world. Slim and graceful, she appeared to be just a few inches over five feet. Her dark brown afro hugged her beautifully shaped head. Bright brown eyes, filled with amusement; long, long black eyelashes; smooth café-au-lait skin, and red lips pressed together. She looked as if she would burst out laughing at any moment.

Aware that he looked like the nation’s prize idiot, Darren stammered, “H-how can I help you?”

“Prison reform brochures,” she repeated and could barely conceal a smile as he handed them to her.

“D-do you need anything else?” Wildly, he looked around the booth, hoping to find something that would tempt her to linger, to chat.

“No, thank you,” she said firmly, “I have what I need. Good day.”

She turned and began to walk off. She mustn’t get away! Hardly aware of what he was doing, Darren left the booth and called after her. “Wait!”

She turned. “Yes?” Her tone was cold.

“May I ask you a question?”

She looked bored. “If you must.”

He took a deep breath. “How would you rate my chances of taking you out to dinner next week?”

Her eyes widened. “That’s not at all what I expected!”

“What did you expect?”

“I thought you’d say something like, ‘Have you ever dated a white guy’ or a more vulgar variant thereof.”

Darren’s lips tightened. “I would never say anything vulgar to you or to any woman.”

“Glad to hear it,” she said, and turned to walk away.

“Wait,” he called out. “Is there anything I can do to convince you I’m a nice guy who just wants to know you better?”

She half-turned, appearing to consider this for a moment, then shook her head. “No, not really.”

Chastened, he watched her walk away. He’d never get to know her. She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever met and he’d never get to know what made her tick, what kind of music she liked, whether she enjoyed long walks in the woods.

Please, Goddess, don’t let her go out of my life!

She’d proceeded a few yards when she suddenly paused. Turned. Walked back until she stood just a few feet away.

“You know, I don’t have time for most white guys, but I’m getting a vibe from you that says—well, never mind what it says. So…yes. There is something you could do to prove you’re serious.”

“Anything!”

“Come to dinner at my grandmother’s house on Sunday.”

Despair turned to delight in seconds. “I accept with pleasure!”

She pulled a small notebook from her handbag, wrote something on it, and handed it to him. He scanned it rapidly, noting the address, the phone number, and the date and time he’d be expected. “My name’s Darren Peterson,” he said. “And here’s my number, in case you need it.”

She entered it in her mobile. “Thanks. See you Sunday.”

“Oh, by the way,” Darren called after her as she began to walk away again, “what’s your name?”

She looked back at him over her shoulder. “Collette.”


Spring is in the air …

At the beginning of February, when the earth appears frozen and lifeless, there are stirrings below the surface and above us in the sky. The light is returning; today there is nearly an hour more daylight than there was on the Winter Solstice.

Mid-January through mid-February is when the Great Horned Owls start breeding and nesting. While the rest of us look out at the wintry landscape here in North Central Blogistan and wait for spring, the owls are already beginning their nesting year.

(Don’t forget to hover …)

For my 52nd, seeking donations for 2 causes

This picture is me at last year’s Hill Country Ride for AIDS, with Thor. I’ve done this ride every year it has existed. I love it beyond anything. It is one day of the way you wish the world was. And the cause is very important, there are people I love who are HIV+ and I want them — and people I don’t know, actually especially people I don’t know, taken care of. I want people who don’t have anyone, people who don’t have means — I most especially want those people to have organizations that take care of them. I usually write a post for my birthday asking for donations — and I am, I’d love to get donations of $52 for my 52nd birthday.

Oh Hai, the Returning Light!

The winter solstice “occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. Though the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, the term is also a turning point to midwinter and the first day of winter.”

That moment occurs tonight, December 21st, at 10:49 p.m. Central Time, which is my time zone.

Of course, that is the scientific explanation. We know better!

Twice a year, on the solstice holidays, Basement Cat and Ceiling Cat are locked in mortal combat over the Light. At summer solstice, Basement Cat prevails and the light starts receding … gradually at first and then more quickly until the autumnal equinox, when the light and dark are equal.