The Devil Made Me Do It

RDP Sunday: Jocularity

I’m reading the book Marrying Off Mother by Gerald Durrell- just to let you know right off the bat this isn’t a book review. Besides I’m only half way through it.

What I wanted to share was the reaction I had to one of the stories called ” Retirement ”

“Retirement”  is a story about a Ship’s Captain who dies mid journey. Not only does he die mid journey he dies at a party celebrating the ” Crossing of The Line ” in a room full of passengers who have grown very fond of the  Captain.

I did not laugh at that, though I did feel this sort of itch between my shoulder blades that I always get when I know I’m about to laugh at an inappropriate moment. That’s been an issue with me since I was a kid. My Nan told me it was the Devil jabbing me with his Pitch Fork to make me misbehave and she is probably right.

Anyway, it gets worse.

Wanting  to respectfully care for  the Captain ( who I can’t stress enough was a good person in the story and every one really respected and liked him ) he was cleaned up, dressed and left in his cabin.

For a few days. At room temperature.

As nature had begun taking it’s course right after the Captain died, it didn’t take long before a smell began to work it’s way out of his cabin so he was moved to the cargo hold where it was cold.

I’m not sure how it happened, but at some point the Captain’s knees drew  up to his chest and as no one had been checking on him he froze that way. Just before they docked his situation was discovered by a crew member and  they panicked.

You see, they had to get him into a coffin and in that state it was impossible.

So they broke his legs.

I’m not sure how that was done. I can only imagine how they actually straightened the frozen limbs of a corpse but maybe that was a bridge to far for the person telling the story. A Hammer makes for drama, a saw takes the entire story into another territory.

After I read that story I felt that poke between my shoulder blades.

I didn’t know if I should laugh or gasp in horror.

The jab turned into a poke…poke…poke …jab…jab.

I laughed.

I laughed ut loud on  a morning commuter train and when a few of the passengers around me turned around and stared at me with annoyance, that jab turned into a poke and that poke turned into a push and I held my book up and said the first thing that popped into my brain.

” Porn. It’s crazy stuff, am I right? ”

Poca Brisa

RDP Wednesday: Invisible

Photo A.M. Moscoso

This is just a little story about an early Summer day- it was really hot that day-  I remember the sky was blue and the Sun was blazing and me and my dogs and my Sister and her daughter, who was just over a year old were in the backyard eating popsicles.

We were talking about other Summers and other hot days when at one point the wind picked up a little.

It was just a little breeze and it  wasn’t enough to chase the heat away.

Just then my niece, who was in her stroller, looked up into the sky and started to laugh.

She dropped her popsicle, which of course one of my dogs grabbed, and she kept on laughing. She looked up and her little head went from left to right and then she tried to turn around in her stroller  for,  I guessed,  a better view.

But of what?

She started to  kick her feet and she reached up like she was going to catch something and then she laughed some more.

” What’s she looking at? ” I asked my sister. I couldn’t see anything, and I figured it was her baby so maybe she knew.

My sister snuck a peek up into the empty, blue sky and said. ” I don’t see anything. ”

Just then our Mom walked out and handed my niece a little bowl with popsicle bits in it and she said as she walked back into the house ” She’s looking at Sprits.”

There was something so matter of fact in our Mom’s voice that we couldn’t joke or laugh or make light of  what she had just said.

I looked up. My Sister looked up. My niece looked up and laughed.

It was a blazing hot Summer day and the little breeze that picked up and blew over our heads wasn’t enough to chase the heat away.

But there was a chill to the air.



RDP Tuesday: ART


There is art

in ruin.

Silence is a symphony playing endlessly in deserted rooms, echoing  aimlessly through

empty halls.

 Broken glass, shattered stone, rotted wood

created by  merciless time and brutal neglect

then lovingly crafted and given form by an invisible master

a shattered tribute to what once

 lived quietly under the skin.