May Tonic (Cursing-in-Private Edition)

Phoenicopterus Jamesi

Phoenicopterus Jamesi

Trying to use a voucher for 3 free rides to Catalina Island and being told there’s no room on the boat by a severely rude someone you find it extremely difficult to dredge any compassion for simply because of their tone—noticing the pink flamingo under the potato vine tree thingy has tumbled due to the gardener—tsk-tsk-ing at pink wire legs askew in the air and finding out your son is #74 on the waiting list for the precious little charter elementary school you were convinced he would attend this Fall in this massive, eternally heated valley, and the sky stains that worrisome amber as winds roust May fires, the ocean someone else’s dream, the ever-gruesome sound of a maniac taking a mallet to glass jars filled with brains (smash, pound) has you


Sit in the sloppy shade from the potato vine tree thingy. Right the flamingo and pat its pink plastic as you inhale the Spa Land aroma from wildly happy lavender plants surrounding you (mixed with a hint of fire smoke). Think: my life is good, man. Say it out loud: my life is good, man. Say this: my life is like all the smashed brains in the world springing back into proper shape simultaneously, or like seasons sans fire-breathing winds tucked into them, or like gently rolling ocean (cobalt). Quickly: locate that bit of faith that’s bolstered you through those scary times in the last 5 years. There are (good) reasons why you don’t always get what you think you want. There are (even better) reasons why you are sometimes given windfalls you didn’t know you wanted, yet are eternally grateful for. Translation: inside that little faith-nucleus? Happiness. Non-fictionalized. Lavender-wild. Big. Filled with poems. No haiku, but not a problem. Really. And no sestinas or romance novels, but truly, no worries. And, you know, no porn or pantoums (OMG quatrains!). Or Martha Stewart commercials. But ‘old’ black and white movies, horses, little boys with big ideas and a house with a lived-in look (and running water and a dishwasher and laundry room and A GARDENER and—)


Think: F***ing A, man. Now say it out loud. F***ing A. Because sometimes it is cathartic to swear (if no little 5 year old mimics are around).

Do this: swear to remember certain things always worth remembering:

Ahhhhh...And, instantly, feel better.


About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI.
This entry was posted in Adult writing, books, Fiction, Me and Us, ocean related, Poetry, To Explain, Writer's Angst, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to May Tonic (Cursing-in-Private Edition)

  1. Beth Hull says:

    Yup, it did make me feel better! And I just whispered it, even though the one-year-old isn’t repeating things yet (much). Love the flamingos! Where’d you find the photo?

  2. Alan Peevers says:

    That was really awesome, PB! I’m ready to start my week now. ; )
    Much Love to you guys! –Alan

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