A Walk Down Memory Layne



“Go to the Crush much?” “Much” came out “mush,” because her mouth felt like cotton. Tessa’s attempt to bolster her impression rapidly declined. She had already fallen flat, literally, and flatter still.

“Uh, no,” Layne said. He didn’t seem deterred; a smile still lingered on his face. He looked more puzzled than anything. His manicured fingers cupped his chin, displaying smoothness and good hygiene. Even his eyebrows were expertly shaped. On closer inspection, he appeared to have shaved and applied a generous splash of aftershave. Was it for her, she wondered. Tessa hoped it would at least mask her organic scent of mud and sweat.

“So, what, uh…In a hurry this morning, I guess.” Tessa sighed, audibly. Her head spun as she rose from the floor, and focused on a black dot that said “Sexy Hair.” Was any of this really happening to her? She walked unevenly, attempting to regain composure. The harder she concentrated, the more she wobbled with each step.

“Yeah, I usually am,” Layne followed close alongside her.

“Coffee would have been nice,” Tessa said. “I see you had some.”

“I can’t live without my coffee,” he said, looking a bit puzzled. He took a few steps in front of her to face her, and held her at her waist, stopping her. “Look, we can do coffee some other time. But right now–”

“That was pretty rude, you know. And then I had no way to get back. How could you just leave me out there in the middle of nowhere?” Tessa rattled off everything except the one thing that gnawed at her. She was hard-pressed to say it aloud even though the words drummed inside her head all morning. Did we have sex? Did we do it? She only whispered, “Did we, you know, did we–”

A lady in a cotton-candy pink sweater with graying hair walked by, her shade of lipstick a perfect match to her ensemble. The elder woman limped along, hanging on to their every word.

“I almost don’t recognize you,” he stared at her lips, seeming genuinely concerned. “What is it? It’s something with the–” and he gestured with his long fingers in a circular motion across his face. “I, I don’t…you look…your face. I don’t know if you realize this. It’s a bit smeared–”

“It’s a before and after. One side has makeup and the other, without. Which do you like better?” Tessa’s pre-work makeup preparation blurred into a hodgepodge of creamy reds and runny blacks. “No, on second thought, don’t answer that.” She looked at him head on now, even though she felt like a freak show no one wanted to see. “Oh, my God. You don’t know, do you?” she whispered.

“Uh…it’s hard to say,” he squinted his eyes at her, his smile slowly fading.

“What do you mean? Don’t guys know these things?” Tessa tidied up shelves by pushing all products to the front and then to the back again.

“Look you have something of mine…from last night.” He got quiet and a look of determination settled on his face. He crossed his arms, and took a stance as if he’d wait until the sun went down.

Tessa’s mind was too muddled to focus, wanting only an answer to her question. He took the trouble to find her, certainly he could manage a “yes” or “no.”

“It’s pink, but darker than hers.” Layne gestured toward the gray-haired lady walking towards him, making no effort to hide her eavesdropping. The old woman stopped flat and stared until Tessa frowned at her. Layne scanned the store, with a concentration on the exits.

“What? I need an answer.” Tessa said, raising her voice. Bianca and Joelle held a steady gaze from the front of the store, their heads still.

“Keep your voice down please,” Layne said.

“Are you embarrassed?” Tessa dragged him into an aisle.  “Why don’t you just tell me what happened already?” She waved her finger in front of his face and he grabbed her hand, pulling her to his chest and dropping below eye level like a sunken ship onto the floor.

“Shhh. Calm down,” he whispered.

“What are you doing? It’s not like no one sees us. Huh?” Mostly no one was there. He held her hand to the floor, pressing it. “I just wanted to know if we…Did we have sex or not?”

A laugh escaped his lips. “Oh,” and he shook his head. “You’re a little confused.”

“Oh, you don’t know, do you? You have no idea.” Tessa scowled.

“I’m not your boyfriend. Look, I don’t have time for this,” although sitting on the floor, he appeared to have all the time in the world. “I need it back.” He rose and straightened his pant legs.

“Need what?” Tessa asked. “It might help if you told me, don’t you think?”

“Shh.” He turned on his heel. “I’ll be in touch.”

He made his way to the front of the store, returning his shades to his face, and walked out the door before Tessa resurfaced from hiding.

Joelle ran to her side, “Girl, what is it with you on the floor this morning?” She dusted Tessa off and embraced her. “Well? What did he say?”

“He said he’ll be in touch,” Tessa said, putting her head on Joelle’s shoulder.

“Oh good. We get to see him again.”

“I don’t care if I ever see him ever again,” Tessa said. “He says I have something of his.”

“And?” Joelle pursed her lips. She just loved juicy gossip.

“I have no idea what he’s talking about,” Tessa held back tears.

“Could it be this?” Joelle revealed a smart phone. “I was gonna give it to you, and then I forgot. Mr. Hotshot was kind of a…a distraction. Well here. Maybe it’s his.”

The android phone was black with not a hint of pink in sight. “Well, it’s the wrong color. But let’s have a look.” She clicked on the button to find it was password protected. “Damn. No dice.”

“Found it at the Crush,” Joelle said, rubbing shoulder to shoulder with Tessa. “I saw it on the bar and put it in my purse. I wasn’t really thinking. I guess I just thought it was yours.” Joelle raised her eyebrows. “We could return it.”

“Or,” Tessa gave Joelle a few slow nobs. “Or–”

“Awww. Or…we could ask James to look at it.” Their neighbor and resident hacker enjoyed pitching in when he could, although it might cost them a pizza and his favorite beer.

“Just a little peek,” she said. “Maybe there’s a pink picture in here.” Whatever it was, she really hadn’t the foggiest idea as she stared at the walls of Sultrix and all its glimmering products.

Pink was everywhere.

photo credit: Plonq via photopin cc


Olympics, I’ve Gone Color-Blind

I’ve tolerated the pink wash of the gymnastics arena. I’ll admit in the heat of the women’s competition the other night, I was revved up by all the pink. I could barely make out the gymnasts in their red, or was it pink, leotards. That’s okay, too. I’m good at squinting. But when they were on the podium accepting their gold medals, after their tear-jerking, emotionally driven reality-tv aired footage…more on this in a minute…what do I see the American gymnasts wearing on the podium but gray, yellow, and purple.

Huh? I’ll admit their attire is snazzy in a Star Trek, futuristic, Kingdom of Oz kind of way. I understand Ralph Lauren designed their outfits. Or, was it Nike?The tops expose sleek lines, showing off the athletes’ well-defined musculature. And, the hoods are quite fetching.  I supposed we had to brighten the gray with yellow sneakers. Clever. Purple? I’m not even sure where that came in. Maybe they were holding purple flowers or was it the ribbon medal? I can’t even remember. But who I am to dispute this tasteful choice of clothing?

It’s simply that I’m accustomed to certain colors. For example, we say a red glass of wine is red, not green. And, green grass, well, it’s green…not orange. Or, wait a minute. Is this one of those things where we’ve been conditioned to accept that the sky is blue, not yellow. Like that? It could be yellow, but we know it as blue. Is it simply a trend? Next Olympics will the athletes will be wearing a whole plethora of wildflower colors. The Olympic rings are colorful, are they not?

One venue that has been absent of an array of colors is the pool, at least on TV. With the pool we have blue. Nice calm, pool blue. You’ll notice that the sidings are blue, like the pool. It’s as if the organizers said, “No, we’re not having any of that pink here. ” Perhaps, a portion of the lane lines are pink, or it could be my TV. Or, maybe my brain has now rewired the colors. The colors that should be red, white, and blue, now grey, yellow, and purple. Got it?

The pool….yes.  On to other more important topics. How about that Michael Phelps achieving his 19th Olympic medal? History was made, and I’m touched that he could share this moment with his teammates defending the Men’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay title. I was on the edge of my seat, cheering. Yes, I get emotional. I have to hide my face and pretend I’m not shedding tears. Oh, just coming down with a cold is all.

I remember witnessing another historic moment in gymnastics when Nadia scored her perfect 10, and it showed up as 1.0, confusing the hell out of all of us. I, too, was a gymnast at that point in my life.  It had stirred up a wistful hope that I, too, could be an Olympian like Nadia. Little did I know that I would quit the sport only a couple of years later. Still, I remember that time of my life fondly when the Olympic dream was alive inside of me, even if only fleetingly.

I suppose this is why I get so emotional when I watch the Olympics. I could never be the parent caught on camera when her child has completed the event or when the results are in. It would not be pretty. I would have to wear a bag over my head. I would be a blubbering mess, tears streaming. Folks at home would say, “Oh, look at her. Hold it together, lady.” But perhaps, these parents are seasoned as they have seen their child compete countless times in their quest for Olympic gold.

But not everyone gets gold, of course. Most go home empty-handed. But just to be at the Olympics is a dream so few experience. The emotions run high, especially when the expectations carry such weight. Such a tremendous weight, in fact, I’m surprised the Russian gymnasts could even get off the ground. The pressure bearing down on them, and the outpouring of emotions when they didn’t quite get it.

It all came down to a tumbling pass…

Wait  a second….I mean two tumbling passes actually. But NBC decided to air only one of them, toying with our emotions so that our TV watching experience could be what, more exciting? Evoke more tears? NBC, are you making a joke out of my tears? This decision was quite deliberate it would seem. Since the Russians did not fulfill two tumbling passes adequately, the Americans clinched the gold before they even began their floor routines.

Did they think we weren’t going to find out? Are they mocking my emotions and my intelligence? These gymnasts on the podium stand with integrity and deserve to be there. I hold this broadcaster to the same standard. Now act like it. Shame, shame. The Olympics is not reality television. People want the actual real thing. The athletes, dedicating years and years to their sport, deserve to have their events documented and aired as truthfully as possible.

Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos.net

Olympics: Pink is Your Color

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Pink, pink. What’s wrong with pink? Sounds like you got a pink kink in your think.

– The Great American Jackalope in Boundin, a Pixar Short

This quote came to mind while watching the Olympics today. While pink is the predominant color, purple and orange also serve as highlights. I understand the organizers have planted orange, yellow, and pink flowers for the cyclists along their race. I came across this when I googled “why pink at Olympics.” I see others were curious about this when they came across my previous post.

So, I thought I should find out for myself. Besides the hot pink gymnastics arena, you will also get hits about the Queen looking pretty in pink, Pink Floyd at the opening ceremonies, and last by not least, athletes peeing in pink on account of beetroot juice, bicarbonate of soda, and caffeine.

All that aside, in my research I learned that pink is the it color because pink is vibrant, and about excitement, and getting the blood pressure up. But unlike red, in a non-offensive way.

If you look, you will see pink everywhere. It’s on the rowers’ oars and even on the water polo ball. Pink is said to promote friendship, is a sign of hope, and the color for breast cancer awareness.

It will help all athletes get in touch with their feminine side. Just what we need at the Olympics. It’s also the color of flamingos, Easter eggs, and I’m sure you can come up with a few other things…

It is perhaps, a little jarring, but nonetheless…Pink. Pink. What’s wrong with pink? It’s growing on me. It’s, uh, memorable.

I didn’t want to search too much as I did come across more results. Argh!

It’s impossible to keep up with all the Olympics. I’m not even going to try. That said, I’ve watched more TV in the past day and a half than I have for the last six months. I’m even enjoying the athletic commercials and think they’re even better than the Superbowl.

I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give my rundown, lest you missed it.

Upon watching the women’s gymnastics, I learned that the Australians are going for a 6th place overall, just like in the last Olympic games. This is what I love about the Olympics. For them, that would be their gold medal and they’re pulling as a team to get it. I enjoyed watching the Australians along with the Italians, two countries I rarely see perform.

“Was that a step or a stick?”

“Oh, definitely, a step,” announces the commentator.

On the technical side, I learned that if a step is less than shoulder width apart it’s a tenth deduction. If it’s more than shoulder width, that’s three tenths deduction.

But, what’s with this scoring anyway? Where’s the perfect 10? It’s hard to get excited when I have absolutely no inkling as to what this scoring means, except that ….

Just had to turn the news reporting Olympics results.

Where was I?….Oh yes, this scoring. All I know, is that not all apparatus is scored evenly. And, you can get more points for degrees of difficulty. I miss the perfect 10, I do. But, I understand the sport has changed since the perfect 10, so the scoring must follow.  I know this scoring isn’t new. I didn’t get it last time either. Or, maybe each apparatus is scored evenly. If someone, please tell me.

In Men’s Water Polo, the US played Montenegro. I didn’t know that many of the Americans actually play professional water polo in Europe and that most took a year off to train for the Olympics. Likewise, the Montenegran coach once played water polo for California State Long Beach.

I’m guessing many of these guys know each other pretty well, although you wouldn’t think that when you watched them. It’s quite an aggressive sport, and we only see half of it as we have no idea what shenanigans go on beneath.

On top, it’s a bit distracting watching all the chiseled bodies and their different colored caps. I’m doing my best. That, and the little white robes they wear to keep warm.  It’s especially pleasant when they all stand together and cheer. Oh, dear, I guess I’m getting distracted.

Back to the game. It was a one-goal game with two minutes remaining, score 7  (USA) to 6  (Montenegro). With 57 seconds left, the US scores. Then at the 46 second mark, it’s Montenegro with a score. The score is now 8-7 and Montenegro calls a time out with 17 seconds to go. No score. Win goes to the US.

Next water polo game is US-Hungry or is it Romania. I’m not sure. And, I’m not checking either. I can’t risk the possibility of any more spoilers.

Signing out Pacific Standard Time.