One woman, lots of paint and hundreds of tiles. If you're here because you found a painted tile, it's yours to keep.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Poppy's Magical Hot Spells

Since that downer of a day when all the heat began emanating straight out of Poppy's head, she just wasn't feeling quite herself. Suddenly, she was having little hissy fits over minor things, crying at the drop of a hat. She couldn't even decide which clothes to wear, let alone which of her tasks to complete first. She was completely out of sorts.

Tired of frazzled nerves, sudden feverish sweats and a not-so-funny hairdresser who took to calling her Hotflash, Poppy decided to make the big M work for her. Now she imagines that these little hot spells are magical and that each will enhance her ability to paint, draw, write garden, sculpt and create music. So far, it's working. She also discovered that she could use her hotflashes as an excuse for expressing random bursts of pure honesty among total strangers.

Just this morning, for example, Poppy watched some woman who was on a cell phone and had one of those little froo-froo dogs in her purse sneak past a man who was in the line but was too busy gazing longingly at the apple fritters to notice the woman who butted in front of him. She gave Poppy one of those little looks that said "Hahaha, just between us," as if Poppy would think what she was doing was OK or somehow approve of her rude behavior. Poppy hated what froo-froo dog lady did and really hated that she would have the audacity to drag her into it. Poppy typically would just roll her eyes at such behavior, but today, she was having one of her little spells and feeling a little hot around the collar, so she just let her have it ... well, in her own Poppy way.

She interrupted froo-froo dog lady's phone conversation and said "Excuse me, but I think I speak for everyone in this line (even though it was her just her and jelly donut man) when I say that your inflated sense of self-importance is something we could all live without. I realize you're very busy, what with your silly phone conversation and your little purse dog ... and I know you think your time crunch is somehow more urgent than ours, but we won't tolerate your behavior and if you don't go to the back of the line like everyone else, well, you should be utterly ashamed of yourself.

When Poppy arrived at the counter, the cashiers who knew her so well and had never before seen her act this way, asked if she was OK. Poppy pulled out that little fold-up fan she now keeps in her purse and began waving it back and forth and said that she was fine, just fine, and that she'd like a small vanilla latte and a couple of those little munchkins.

Dotty, who looked like she had had some experience with hot spells, laughed and gave a her a big giant vanilla latte and a whole box of munchkins, and told her it was on the house. She said to come on back tomorrow, as they could use a little entertainment in the mornings.

Poppy is in the ladies' room at Starbucks near Southport Shopping Center, 17th Street Causeway, Fort Lauderdale.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Bonnie of the Patties

You’d never know Bonnie is 49 years old. She’s always stayed young-looking by doing every new thing that comes down the pike -- eye jobs, lifts, tucks, whatever it takes. She runs out to the mall after work, not to go clothes shopping but to get liposuction, because you can do that in her fancy schmantzy plastic little town.

But eventually some of the procedures that had served her well for so long began to take a turn for the worse. She thought, for instance, that her eye job was a success, but then her right eye began drooping in a way her left did not. She knew it was only a matter of time before her boob job did something similar. Despite all the pain and money, and all the fat she’d had sucked out of her at the mall, she still found herself craving those little peppermint patties she adored. She swore she wouldn’t have anymore after getting liposuction at the mall … but afterwards she went home and dropped into bed, and no sooner did her head hit the pillow than she was dreaming of peppermint patties galore raining down from the sky.

She awoke with an overwhelming urge to get the cool sensation. So, looking all tired and still wearing her blue jammies with the cows all over them, she drove down to the 24-hour grocery store, grabbed the biggest bag of Peppermint Patties she could find and a small carton of milk and got in line.

A sweet redhead named Roxy asked her what she was doing out in her jammies so late at night, and whether her work was keeping her up that late. Bonnie told her she didn’t have a job, and Roxy commented that she understood how that feels and how hard life can be at times. She was the nicest cashier ever, yet Bonnie was annoyed after realizing that Roxy only charged her for only the milk and not the patties. She had the feeling that Roxy thought she was poor or that she lost her job, when the truth is that she just didn’t need one, what with the trust find and all that.

Bonnie didn’t like being thought of as poor, and yet in this moment, as her well-intended efforts to look younger were backfiring on her, she too felt very sorry for herself, hence the undeniable middle-of-the-night craving for peppermint patties, which were sometimes the only way she could fill that big void in her life.

Roxy, of course, understood all that because Roxy is Roxy. She insists that it’s possible to be poor, worn out and abused by the system and this entire screwed-up society, and still have a wallet fat enough to buy plastic surgery and new parts that don’t always work out. “Those people might be financially rich,” she was always saying. “But that doesn’t mean they’re better off then the rest of us. Sometimes they need kindness too, and free stuff, even if it is just peppermint patties.”

Bonnie wasn't accustomed to people being kind to her, because she wasn’t all that kind to people, mostly because she didn’t really care about them. This whole cashier encounter irritated her, but then on her way home it also kinda made her cry because that cashier didn’t even know her and her niceness was probably the closet thing Bonnie had felt to unconditional love since her mom died when she was little.

So there she was in the middle of the night, driving down the road in her blue cow jammies, stuffing mini peppermint patties into her mouth, and crying, but just from the one eye, ‘cause the other one is all screwed up from her eye job. Sometimes Bonnie wished she never got all that surgery. Maybe she shoulda just tried to cut back on the peppermint patties and late-night ice cream, and tried harder not to get all bent out of shape about a few wrinkles.

Bonnie is in an Auto Guide box near the mailbox at Southland Shopping Center on State Road 84 in Fort Lauderdale. It's blue, like her jammies.