Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #110

As he tossed and turned, covered in a light sweat, the writer had a fever dream wherein, late one dark and stormy night, certain correspondents knocked on the door at Bonnywood Manor, demanding entry and entertainment and booze. The writer sighed (inwardly), smiled graciously (outwardly), and turned to lead his guests (Sacagaweadly) to the Patsy Cline Parlor in the south wing. Along the way, he punched (discreetly) a cleverly-hidden button that alerted critical staff that somebody better unlock one of the wine cellars and somebody else better get one of their asses into one of the kitchens and slap together some cucumber sandwiches and shrimp dip.

 Two hours later, the wine cellar was empty, the crystal bowls had been licked clean of the tiniest trace of shrimp dip, and there wasn’t a single unsliced cucumber left in the entire county. Lips were loose and gossip was gushing and unfiltered rambling was rampant. Let’s eavesdrop on their conversation, shall we? Left to right…

Christi: “Hey, what happened to the rest of my hair? It was all there when I left Arizona this morning. It really annoys me when things get out of my control. Say, maybe those shrimp were bad. I’m a world-famous cook, you see, people come from miles around to sample my wares, and I’m fully aware of what tainted crustaceans can do to your beauty regimen. I once lugged a salmon roll to church and everyone loved it, but then the next Sunday everybody in the choir was bald. They had to get hair transplants and they sent me a bill in the offering plate. It was a dark day. But I know how to make this day a bright one. I can belt out some showtunes that I learned on my recent trip to New York City. Anybody have any requests?”

Embeecee: “I think I speak for all of us when I say that that is not going to happen. Life is too short, although I’m sure you have a lovely singing voice that somebody back in Arizona can appreciate. But since you brought up the trials and intricate tribulations of church politics, perhaps I should point out that I’m an equality-supporting, free-thinking Mormon who lives in Utah. Let that sink in a minute. I face challenges on a daily basis that would completely untether the minds of most people. Speaking of challenges, why the hell aren’t there any barstools in this Patsy Cline Parlor? This is fun and all, but my butt could sure use a cushion right about now.”

Mary: “How lovely that both of you are able to blather on so about things that are not really important to anyone else. And I say that with complete admiration. We’re all bloggers here, in case that wasn’t apparent to some innocent victim who clicked on this link in an ill-prepared manner. The primary goal of a blog is the ability to bang on the keyboard in just the right way that your worlds become shareable, no matter how distant and far and quirky those worlds might be. With the right imagination, like finds like, and we all move forward. Of course, the secondary goal of a blog is to get The Cheeto out of office, because his imagination stopped growing the very second he discovered he had a penis.”

Writer/Brian: “My primary reaction is that I should just keep shaking this shaker until everyone passes out. But my secondary reaction is that I might have erred a bit in making a post so specific to certain beloved followers that other folks will run for the hills and never come back. Then there’s a third, more important reaction. Sometimes you just have to stop and take the time to thank the people who have brightened your life, even if it means you don’t have a storyline big enough to thank all of them. I don’t think there is a big enough story to encompass everyone who inspires me to keep pecking away into the wee hours.”

Margo: “Oh, let that thought go. I’m old enough to know that you can’t please everyone, no matter how much you might want to do so. You do what you can, you smile when you should, you love with conviction, and you write the stories that mix all of that together. And the right people will one day stumble across your tiny posts and remember and smile. Now, spontaneous poetry aside, how is it that you have inspired so many women across the country to knock on your door in the midnight hour? I only ask because I’m working on a travel app that will eventually allow me to earn frequent flier miles so I can go back to San Miguel de Allende in Mexico whenever I want.”

Claudette, whispering to her neighbor who had not yet spoken: “Mexico is the furthest these people have been? I probably shouldn’t mention that I’m from Australia. It took me three days to get here, what with that awkward moment when I was detained in Bolivia because apparently art supplies can be mistaken as terrorist implements. After I sketched a stunning portrait of the customs officer, he handed me a handsome tip and let me go.”

Osyth, the now-speaking neighbor: “Oh, don’t worry about it. I’ve traveled the world as well, living in fascinating places in full support of the bohemian concept that the more you expose yourself to others, the more you learn about yourself. At the moment, I live in France, next to some sour-faced and disapproving neighbors who clearly haven’t read enough of the right books. Still, in order to preserve the charming, alcohol-based camaraderie evident in this room, we should perhaps not mention that we have seen more of the world than the other four contestants. Discretion is often key.”

Peggy, last in the chatty line, did not say anything, knowing full well that she had outtraveled everyone else in the room by a factor that was exponential. Why go there? So, she simply remained mum and took another swig of her delicious vino, not mentioning that she had actually been to the vineyard in Tibet where this wine was produced by intrepid monks who were still theoretical virgins. Unfortunately, the swigging caused Peggy to lose her balance and she toppled off the bar, landing on a covfefe behind said bar. Luckily, her cushioned tumbling did not cause any serious harm, and she was still able to click “like” on this post….


Previously published several years ago, modified a tiny bit. This was intended as a round-about but heartfelt tribute to some of the lovely ladies who lunched at Bonnywood during that time. It thrills me that most of them are still with me, still warming my heart. And I will always have delicious appetizers on hand should they knock on the door on a dark and stormy night…


25 replies »

  1. Ah, your appetizers are always appealing, as if yourself. Much love to you. P.S lucky that Bolivian Customs Officer was into abstract portraiture, otherwise i would still be explaining why i needed a heatgun, scalpel, tweezers and bucket of rubber silicone for!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. About the picture: I thought they may be celebrating the signing of a contract that requires all the signatories to cross their legs, don bad suits with foolish-looking ties and have their hair styled by a cosmetology drop-out. Did they just join a cult?

    About the text: a lovely tribute to these lovely ladies, some of whom I “know.” Well said, Brian. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s America, so the cult-joining aspect is always a factor, as so many of the citizens have been home-schooled in the art of letting others decide their own opinions. This is how Trump yanni-grabbed his way to the presidency.

      But yes, you do, indeed, know some of these lovely ladies. And we’re both richer for it… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I like the Lloyd reference. In fact, I sometimes relish his ephemeral position, being able to dispense cryptic advice in a time-space that no longer exists but might actually still…


  3. I am deeply honored to be among the ladies ON the bar (at least there’s no dancing up there, or I’d have fallen on …what the hell? I KNEW ‘covfefe’ had been in my universal sphere recently (blatant plug for Word of the Day Challenge) Uh. I did NOT know it was associated with a certain orange loser of elections whose recent photos make him look even more like a frustrated two year old with constipation. Dang. I’ve got to start checking my facts more rigorously! Poor Peggy. To land on that…. *smh* She needs more wine. Pronto.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, we could still arrange for some dancing on the bar. It might get a little tricky and I’m not sure my insurance coverage is healthy enough to fully cover the potential damages, but it’s still an option.

      Wait, I just noticed that your character in the photo has a lovely fluffy collar, and you are the only one sporting a chapeau, a rather smart one at that. Hmm. My writerly senses are vibrating. I might have to reengineer this one with a different plot line…

      Liked by 1 person

      • The collar and the lovely chapeau missed my ‘eagle’ eye too O_o (only if the eagle is blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other…) I suppose it got a bit chilly up on that bar, what with the wind whistling up one’s avenue without leave, a kiss or even a howdy m’am.. And couture HAUTE contour is never out of place…

        Liked by 1 person

    • To be fair, I often surprise myself with where the conversation wanders. Sometimes I have a vague idea of what the end goal might be, though I just as often miss that goal and find another one along the way…

      Selecting the photos is mostly instinctual. I really can’t define what I’m looking for, but I usually know right away if a photo is going to work. I may not have any conception of a story, initially, but I can sense that something in the photo will trigger me at some point and into the “inspiration” folder it goes…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes I write with a firm outline, knowing where I’m going. Sometimes I start with an inspiration and let the characters carry me alone. One time in particular the characters took over, changed themselves, changed the situation, and told me I wasn’t done when I thought I was done. It’s always a roll of the dice. J.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This was posted before? Hmm. I have no memory of it or the party, meaning I either A) drank much more than you realize, B) You slipped something in my fifth glass of vino, or C) I have a crap memory.
    Regardless of whether I remember it or not, let me just say that I was thrilled to attend and had the time of my life, even if the shrimp were a little sketchy. Kisses to all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If memory serves, the whole point of the meeting was to discuss the intricacies of preparing a proper cucumber sandwich. But “somebody” misplaced the detailed agenda and, whilst we were waiting for said agenda to be located by an underling named Bruno, somebody else suggested that we have an aperitif or two to calm our nerves during the dark and stormy night. Things went a bit awry after that…

      Still doesn’t sound familiar? Hmm. Don’t worry, at least we have the party pics, some of which have been sealed by the magistrate investigating a certain thing that happened the next morning…


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