Caught in the Act

She took off her wedding ring. She had had enough of Robert’s deceit and lies so she decided that she could no longer take it anymore. She grabbed a flashlight and went out looking for her husband in the neighbor’s house. She lived in the woods so she had to walk a couple of miles before she got there but she didn’t care. There was fury in her eyes, a determination of catching him in the act, confirming that all her suspicions were true.
She had been living a lie, decorating her bed with flowers and rose petals, trying to reignite their passion but he kept coming home later and later each night, sometimes not at all. She tried to look for his cell phone and find out if there were any texts or incriminating evidence but he always kept his cell phone close to him, practically under lock and key, inaccessible to her.
Working late, traveling for business, having dinner with his coworkers or the neighbors. She didn’t believe any of it. These lies hurt like a bee stinging her heart.
She almost lost it earlier and cursed at him over the phone but decided that her sweetest revenge would be to catch him in the act. It was like rolling of the dice that she was willing to take. She walked through the path, straighter than an arrow, with such determination that she hardly knew where it came from.
She spotted the road sign with the arrow pointing uphill, where the Fosters live, and walked cautiously to see if Robert was here. She noticed the bedroom light was on so she proceeded to sneak up and peek inside. There they were, naked bodies twisted, kissing passionately but it wasn’t her husband and Linda. She gasped when she realized that it was Robert and Michael who were twisted there as two pretzels. She wanted to scream but didn’t. Her feelings had been confirmed, her worst fear had become true. Deep inside she was glad that she’d found out and now she knew how she would handle the situation. Her walk back home seemed long this time but gave her time to reflect on it all.
That night she treated herself to a bath with rose petals and candles. And she put back her wedding ring.

Smoking Area

WRITING PROMPT: (Pick a place and describe it)

I have been sitting in the smoking area at work for about 15 minutes now. I thought I should have picked a different spot to talk about, like my beautiful garden in my backyard, with birds singing and snails crawling all around, nature at its best. Or I thought that I would describe my cubicle at work: cold, gray, three walls cornering me in, I filled it up with pictures of my trip to Macchu Picchu or the pictures that I hanged of my father since I printed after Father’s Day, a reminder that I need to work on my relationship with him.

Sitting here, in the smoking area, is the only area where I can breathe fresh air. It’s kind of peaceful, actually. I’m writing here while I hear the forklifts backing up, picking up and dropping crates inside a truck waiting to be loaded. Right across where I’m sitting there’s a lumberyard with piles of lumber toasting in the sun. No clouds in the sky today yet it’s still breezy and nice where I’m sitting, under the shade of this concrete hut.

I don’t smoke for 17 years now, give or take. Yet I don’t mind if people come and decide to puff some smoke next to me. There was 50 year old bald guy who came smoking and singing but, upon seeing me, decided to stay off the smoking area and smoke his cigarette away from the designated smoking zone. He probably felt that he was invading my space. I was going to say something but decided not to. I honestly don’t feel like talking today.
A nice breeze is coming through the open space, there’s 6 concrete columns around me supporting a white wooden ceiling, inside there’s a concrete bench that has been nicely painted brown on the table and the seat with a dark gray at the foot. There’s also a big trash can with a plastic bag holding any trash people throw at it, a big ashtray and a metal container nailed to one wall where cigarette butts can be inserted in small holes, probably empty since people don’t seem to notice it much.

There’s quite a lot of movements of vehicles around me, men hustling and working, probably wishing they were watching the soccer match instead. And I, for one, wish I was just here, enjoying my salad and my solitude. Smoking my minutes away.

This Is Home

There’s so much that I’m thankful for, Heavenly Father. You have carefully chosen the right people in my life, given me a home, given me my love, protected me from harm. Yesterday was amazing, being at San Julian Park with the homeless was eye opening and made me realize how lucky I am to have a home. Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I gave thanks that I was fortunate enough to have a roof over my head where I could easily be homeless and in the same situation that these brothers and sisters were in. I have to count my blessings on the daily, never forget how fortunate I am and how God always protects me and my family. I’ll forever be grateful for the gifts He’s given me.

Vegan or Carnivore?

Story cubes: bee, credit card, foot, turtle, clock, flashlight, teepee, cell phone, fish

I’m not sure what got into me that Sunday morning but I decided that I was going vegan from then on. I decided it’s time that I stopped living my life as a hypocrite where I would be an animal lover one day and have a rib eye steak for lunch. It never made sense to me how could I think that killing an animal for my pleasure was OK. As I sipped on my green tea with honey, I stumbled upon a pamphlet about veganism and listed some of the things I should not have: dairy products, eggs, flesh (including fish), honey and other animal ingredients. Oops, I already made my first mistake as a vegan and had honey. I didn’t mean to harm any bees in the process, I swear!
I opened the fridge and realize that everything I had there was in the list of items that a vegan could not have and so I needed to shake my carnivorous self out of the apartment, grabbed my credit card and my wallet and decided that I would go walking by foot to Trader Joe’s to see what my food option were going to be for the rest of my life.
As I walked around the beautiful Toluca Lake homes, I remembered Life of Pi. The movie revolves a young Indian man named Pi Patel who gets stranded at sea in a small lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. They must learn to survive the elements and Pi, a vegan, has to “convert” to a carnivore and begins fishing for food in order to survive. His diet consists mainly of fish and turtles, I still try to picture how can a vegan have the will power to kill in order to survive. He had no clock or watch as guidance and could not have foreseen spending 227 days and nights along with a giant tiger in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I try to picture myself being stranded in a moonless, dark night without a flashlight or moonlight to see where is my destination, floating over shark infested waters.
I snap back to reality and focus on the beautiful mansions, the gardens, swings from the trees, some have tree houses and I see some kids playing on their front lawn. Some of them are shooting up the sky as cowboys while the others hide inside the security of their teepee. They’re playing Cowboys & Indians. I can’t believe what a stereotypical game that is, how children are influenced by their parents to think that this game is OK to play, that there’s nothing wrong with this picture. Just like how they teach us how is OK to eat red meat, pork, chicken and other animals just because.
Looking at my cell phone I noticed that I was late so I pick up the pace and head out to the store. Thinking of all the food that I can’t have is making me nauseous. All I can thinking about is food. I think of steak and eggs, bacon and sausage, fish and seafood of all kinds. This vegan trip that I’m on is going to be challenging. I can’t live life thinking of what food I can and cannot have. What if the only thing around to eat is chicken or ham or cheese or bacon? Just thinking about this is making me more hungry. I need to stop thinking of food and focus on something else. I can do this. I really can do this. I can, I can, I can… Can I?

Mr. Sandman

🎶 Mr. Sandman
Bring me a dream
In the shape-of an angel
That I’ve never seen
Angel that always protects me
from the nightmare of the world
Escape reality even for a moment
Enter your kingdom, Mr. Sandman
That’s what I ask of you.

Sands of time
Sands of wisdom
Infinite wisdom
Riding through the
dunes of my subconscious
That’s where you live.

🎶 Come to me, Mr. Sandman
Would you hurry please
I can’t stand being here
a prison is this cubicle
nowhere to go,
a monitor, a keyboard and a telephone.
I’d rather have a pen and pencil as my working tool,
I want to one day be able to write what I want to write.
I don’t want to do any more damn reports.
What a waste of my energy and precious time!
I could be creating alternate universes instead of doing reports.
If I died today, Mr. Sandman, someone else can do my reports. Anyone.
But nobody can come up with these sand castles in the sky, nobody can come up with sea serpents and winged dragons taking over Hong Kong,
nobody can come up with the Circus Freaks, or Diary Dearest, or Year of the Dragon or Usual Suspects or so many stories floating ’round in my head, waiting their turn,
sometimes patiently but some other times VERY impatiently.
So the question is not what, is when Mr. Sandman, when will you make my dream come true for me?

©2014 Victor Sotomayor

The 2014 Pasadena Chalk Art Festival

Wow. Just. Wow!

Michael Ray De Los Angeles

Live ArtMichael Ray De Los Angeles @ The Pasadena Chalk Art Festival (2010)

For over 20 years now the Pasadena Chalk Art festival has been adding color to concrete walkways of Pasadena. This year marked the 22nd year of the festival and my 4th year as 21a participating artist–wow, times flies. Back in 2010 the festival was awarded the Guinness World Record for largest chalk-art festival in the world; that year, team Quezada (lead by Peter Quezada, and made up of family and friends) worked on three individual chalk art murals.

Each year, as a family and team, we select a topical artistry piece, something that reflects the current social climate– in the past we highlighted the British Petroleum Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This year we chose to honor the Granite Mountain Hotshots from Prescott Arizona. The memorial included a crying bald eagle, and a “Precious Moments” inspired firefighter…

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