Warm Milk

When I was little, we always called it “warm milk,” even though it was really hot-chocolate. I don’t know why. Maybe “warm milk” sounds nicer, more wholesome somehow. To this day, though, I still think of it that way.

When I was little, in my grandparents’ home in Los Angeles, I had a cup with a screw-on top. It had handles, and the top was pink. I also had a yellow one, at some point, although I’m not sure which came first. The cup was clear plastic, with little drawing stenciled on it of butterflies and flowers. It was the kind of cup that adults love, because if it falls, very little can spill out of it in the time it takes for the fall to be noticed. It was the kind of cup I loved, too, because it was unique. I was the only one who drank out of it.

The taste of warm milk with chocolate Nesquick mixed into it brings me memories of that house where I used to drink out of that cup. The smell of the wooden floors in the kitchen seem to magically rise into my nostrils, as well as the smell of cleaning supplies that accompanied any late night in that kitchen, seeing as how my grandfather always cleaned the kitchen meticulously after dinner.

It is so strange, somehow, the way memories rise at such trivial moments, such as a regular Friday evening. The taste of warm milk is still in my mouth.

With Eyes Shut

I sit in front of my computer. My screen is showing the “Add New Post” page on my Worpress blog. I have nothing to say. I sit, and I stare, and my fingers ache from keeping the awkward position of just hovering above the keyboard. My mind feels blank.

And yet, I stop thinking for a moment. I stop trying to plan what I want to say. I realize that as I’ve been sitting here, I’ve been feeling a whole range of things quite outside the blank page on my screen and my thoughts on how to fill it. I shut my eyes.

I take a deep breath. My mother is cooking in the kitchen. She’s making a breaded chicken dish, and it smells wonderful. In fact, it smells so strongly that I know the people in the apartments below us can smell it too. I’m sure that they, like me, are salivating, feeling a sudden urge to eat something fried.

I let my breath out, and concentrate on my hearing. I can hear the sound of the sizzling chicken in the pan, and for a moment my sense of smell takes over again. I shift my concentration back to my ears, those oddly shaped things sticking to the sides of my head, and listen. I can hear my mother talking to the cats. I can hear Massive Attack playing on the stereo. Odd music, but beautiful. Part of the sounds of home in a way.

I think of my mouth, my sense of taste, and I realize that the smell in my nostrils is so dominant that I can almost taste the food already. I let it go, knowing that soon enough I will be tasting it in truth.

Finally, I think of my fingers, and the way they feel gliding blindly along the keyboard. They’re on familiar territory, and I feel that they’re hardly in my control because they manage to move so fast, darting from one key to the next and making another sound for my ears to hear – the tick-tack-click-clack of the keys being pushed down hard, each one only for a moment before my fingers jump over to the next key. If I’d look down and see how fast they were moving, or how oddly they looked, I would probably lose my focus entirely and they’d tangle up and make mistakes. Best to let my fingers alone and let them do as they will.

I open my eyes. I see the end result, the thing I was striving for – a full page.

What Happiness Is

Happiness is a feeling of contentment.
Happiness is the smell of a book.
Happiness is a fresh breeze on your face.
Happiness is the first time you see snow.
Happiness is the sound of your favorite band.
Happiness is the taste of that food you loved when you were a kid.
Happiness is interesting conversation with a friend.

Happiness can be faked.
Happiness can be denied.
Happiness can be pushed away.
Happiness can be welcomed.
Happiness can be nurtured.
Happiness can be caressed.

Happiness is the sparkle in the eye of someone who loves you.
Happiness is cuddling all through a cold night with someone who loves.
Happiness is a weekend of pure fun with someone who loves you.
Happiness is knowing you have someone who loves you.

Happiness is unique.
Happiness is individual.
Happiness is knowing all is well right now.

It occurs to me that I have written what might just constitute as cheesy Hallmark-card material. Still, to my mind it’s all true, and I had a good day yesterday and wanted to express it somehow. Even in a Hallmark way.

Joys of the Job

There are times in your life,
When you reflect on your job,
And you check if you like it,
If you grin or you sob.

For although all work pays,
And of course pay it must,
There are always those days,
Where you’d like just to just –

Just to say “screw you, work!”
And to walk out and quit,
With a flurry of spirit
And complete lack of wit.

But even when it’s nice,
When you can stand it and grin,
There are always those dunces
Who must make a din.

For I’m innocently working,
Reassuring the upset,
I’m being so dilligant!
But what do I get?

Music blares out,
And I yell “Turn it off!”
But the answer, of course,
Was a smirk and a scoff.

“I can’t hear the clients!”
I angrily point out,
But my Israeli coworkers,
Hardly notice my pout.

For who cares of the work,
When there’s horrid music to be played?
And who cares if the clients
Are then a bit delayed?

I suppose this must mean
That my job is okay,
For I actually care
About the clients each day.