Pisan Zapra

It starts with picking just the right one. So many to choose from. Not too green; it shouldn’t be crunchy. Too brown and it’s mushy and hard to swallow. It’s a texture thing. It’s got to be just right.

Then comes the peeling. Start at the stem and work your way down. No need to rush here. Take your time. Relish this common but extraordinary moment. Sometimes it seems like magic. When you’re done with the peel just toss it in the bushes, or place it discretely in somebody’s path for a hilarious display of slapstick.

Now all that is left is the fruit itself, the tender, delicious inside. Isn’t that just like so many things in life? If you can figure out a way past the unsavory outer covering there are precious treasures hidden within. Isn’t it funny where we can find these lessons?

The fruit is delicious yes, but also nutritious. Vitamin C. Potassium. Manganese, Vitamin B6. Enjoy it. Make it last. Give thanks to whatever you choose to thank, for supplying such earthly delights. Giving thanks is an important part of appreciation. Studies have shown that the act of giving thanks helps us truly appreciate things more. Do I even have to remind you to enjoy it?

See, that didn’t take too long, and we aren’t really in a hurry anyway, Maybe there is time to eat another.

Just one more.


Pisan Zapra – Malay (noun) – The time needed to eat a banana.

Number 1 of the Lost in Translation series


Traffic had become unbelievable lately. Daryl would sometimes eat lunch during the commute, to maintain his stamina. He’d even started packing extra food and water, just in case.

Today the traffic was worse than ever. The clock in the truck didn’t work, and the jam stood locked in place so long that Daryl lost all track of time.  Seasons passed. Civilizations had toppled and rebooted. Children had stepped into the shoes of their ancestors. That’s what it felt like to Daryl at least. Forever plus one day. Of course he was overreacting.

It couldn’t have been that long, could it?

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright-Roger Bultot

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright-Roger Bultot

My entry for the Friday Fictioneers 100 Word Story Challenge, based on the photo prompt above.  Curated by the amazing Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.

Click on the link below to check out some of the other entries.

I was too busy to participate last week, and of course with school starting next week my life will basically be over. Or least significantly occupied by tending the childrens and sitting in traffic.

I always pack extra food and water, just in case.

Is it today yet?

Yesterday is uncertain,
distorted by memory and the
unreliability of eyewitness reports.

Tomorrow is unpredictable,
a glittery bauble dangling
like a carrot on a string.

Today is all we are assured,
so pay attention and
make it count for something.

Is it today yet?

…Time… (by ĐāżŦ {mostly absent}) on Flickr – (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Today’s rant was a piece of philosophical nonsense that had snuck its way into a story I was writing. I was about to erase it into the ether of the delete key when I decided that it sounded slightly poetic. Rather than delete I should post it as a sappy poem here instead.  But the question remains.

Is it today yet?

What price will you pay for play?

I made these digital art pieces way back when I was taking Digital Media classes at Cabrillo College. I used to love to play around on photoshop and illustrator, but that was back when I had way more time than money. Now that I am a busyness professional (yes, I get paid to be busy) I barely have time to play around at all anymore. I thought that having a real job that paid all the bills and then some would make me happy, but I find myself looking back on those poor days of studentdom and missing all the free time I had. Which is better, having no time and extra money, or extra time and no money?

How valuable is your time while on your short vacation to this lifetime?

What price will you pay for play?

Posted for the DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

Minute Millionaire

Most people have some sort of strong emotional reaction when they see him. Some are disgusted. Some are angry or feel sorry. They can feel sympathetic, empathetic, or even apathetic. But the covetous emotion of envy is never entertained, even though he possesses the one thing that most of them desire most, the very thing they work for, lust for, count down the hours every Friday for, what their salaries and savings are being squirreled away to enjoy at a later date for.

He is immediately categorized and homogenized. Homeless. Unemployed. Dirty. Pan-Handler. Nuisance. Bum. Menace. Blight. Cancer. Crazy. Dirtbag. Worthless. Surely this man is at depths far below the bottom of any rock. He has nothing of value or consequence. His contribution to society is overdrawn, past due, the cube of a negative number. What is he doing here and what does he want?

He is surrounded by people yet not a part. They avert their eyes and avoid physical contact at any cost. They hold their breath when in proximity to avoid the stench he surely carries. He is not ignored, but the reliability of the senses have been compromised. He remains at least partially invisible to most.

The rush of the business day blurs into a monotonous hum around him, the stressed and busy faces an endless parade. The machine marches on, day after hour after minute. Most are so busy they don’t even realize the very thing they want most is right within their grasp. Time. Free Time. Time to be Free.

When it comes to this, he is a minute millionaire.

Trashcan and a Homeless Man (by St Stev)

When Yesterday’s Gone

A DP Weekly Writing Challenge about Emptiness

repetition into darkness — — — Fort Point Arches (by Cheri Lucas Rowlands)

Yesterday  my mom called me and asked me to buy her cigarettes. I told her no and hung up. Five minutes later she called me back and asked me to buy her cigarettes again. This time I told her that she didn’t need cigarettes because she had quit smoking. This upset her, as if quitting smoking was awful news. She told me that she didn’t believe me. She called me a liar and hung up. It took her ten minutes before she called back again.

Screen shot 2014-02-04 at 8.55.37 PM

“Hello, this is your mom,” she said.

“Hello mom, this is your son.”

“I need you to take me to the store.”

“We went to the store yesterday. What do you need now?”

“Well, your not going to like it.”

“Is it cigarettes?”

There is silence on the end of the line, as she tries to think up something else she needs besides cigarettes. “I got this letter from the DMV,” she tells me. “You know I can’t drive anymore.”

“I know mom. You tell me about it every time you ask for a ride to the store.”

“I just need some things and if you can’t take me I don’t know what I’ll do.”

“You could take the bus.” We’ve been trying to convince her to take the bus for months now. The bus stop is about 20 feet from her front door and the bus comes once an hour. We want her to be able to go to the store by herself, but the bus schedule confuses her, and she says the bus is so bouncy it makes her hip hurt.

Her sigh is so heavy I could feel it through the phone line, a sigh so deep it has transcended time and space and travelled through the wires with the electrons. “So will you take me or not?”

I calculate what will be the least time consuming option, if actually taking an hour or so to drive through traffic and take her to the store would require less time than answering her phone calls as she repeatedly calls up and asks the same question over and over, having forgotten that she just called five minutes before. How distracting will it be to listen to phone ring all day? How upset will she be when I don’t answer?

“Okay mom, I’ll take you to the store. Write it down so you don’t forget.”

“Thank you,” she says.

“Write it down, please.”

“Okay, okay, let me find a pen.”

“Write down that I’m going to take you to the store. Today, in like half an hour.”

“Okay, I got it.”

“Put the note near the phone, and I’ll see you in a little bit.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

We hang up, and I try to finish up my kitchen chores, loading the dishwasher and taking out the compost. After about five minutes the phone rings again.

“Hello, this is your mom. Are you taking me to the store today? I found this note that said Store Today, but I’m not sure when today is. Is it today right now?”

Sometimes her dementia seems so deep and existential, so enlightened. There are heady lessons hidden there. Don’t take today for granted, and remember that it is today right now. Today is a privilege. It is today right now. How unlikely to find such revelations in an existence where time is measured in cigarettes. I try to cherish these small morsels of wisdom buried in such a dark and scary place.

Of course this all happened back when yesterday was still today, and I wonder if the today happening now is at all different than the yesterday I remember.

Is today the tomorrow I expected?