Comments Posted By Belinda Roddie

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husband

Her husband had a ponytail and wore mascara occasionally. Because he thought his eyes were too muted. He loved costume design. His hands would be all pricked and red from needles and the chafing of fabric, as well as sticky from hot glue and tape. He made Halloween costumes for all four of their children every year.

“Don’t ever change,” he told her one night, when she dressed as a witch for a costume party. “I’m always happy to have just you once the outfit’s gone.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.30.2011 @ 2:49 pm

sacrifice

There was a sacrifice of the conscience earlier today when a drunken man stumbled his way over to some railroad tracks and decided to sleep there for the night. When he woke up and found that his legs had been removed from the knees down, he sought out the very train that was responsible. His conscience had become comatose the night before, so it was not there to warn him of the consequences of facing down a full-sized Amtrak until he was flying in three pieces across town.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.29.2011 @ 11:13 am

riots

Joe slammed a broken bottle into an old man’s ear and watched the front lobe burst like a bloated bloody balloon. Fragments of tissue and aural percussion stained the shards. He felt sick all of a sudden, surrounded by overturned cars with their dashboards on fire and Coldplay’s “Us Against the World” playing in the background. Painfully tranquil music as people dressed like him and battered like him and unshaven like him danced on top of hydrants screaming, “WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?!”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.28.2011 @ 11:54 am

artistry

The artistry of baking a pie was lost on Ricky, but the taste was something he could respect. Still, his wife liked to call the baking process an art. The way the sugar dusted her apron, the smell of cherries in her hair and face, the criss-cross of the crust and the splash of whipped cream. She was Van Gogh, all right.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.26.2011 @ 11:51 am

shepherd

He shepherded a different kind of flock. The kind of flock with beady eyes and lolling tongues. Who wore headphones and neckties and horn-rimmed glasses. Screaming profanities and homophobic speech. And he smiled the whole time, holding onto his microphone, while the media praised him for his courage and daring tone.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.25.2011 @ 11:13 am

automatic

The automatic assumption of the aviator was rivaled with the recklessness of the radioactive radical. That being said, it was all very silly. A sitcom, really. Something to view with booze and chips very much like football on a weekday after you’ve come home from your mall job where you drive little kids around on a train to show them the movie theater and the Victoria’s Secret. All very charming.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.24.2011 @ 11:40 am

awakening

Awakening from a bad dream, I found myself shut into a small room on the outskirts of town. When I peered out the window, I realized I was thousands of feet up on the air, perhaps on a floating castle or ship. There were no other sounds nearby save for the wind and whistle of sails. Like I was a prisoner on a futuristic pirate ship heading away from civilization.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.23.2011 @ 9:18 pm

comfort

It was a comfort thinking I couldn’t screw up. Ever. But an extra fifty dollars in the cash register when I was done with my shift? That wasn’t right.

Discomfort isn’t necessarily what you feel when you’re guilty. Sometimes the discomfort arrives when you realize you’re innocent, but you’re not in the clear.

That’s how I feel right now. I could protest all I want that someone skimmed the stupid register incorrectly. But that may not change minds.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.22.2011 @ 8:09 pm

radical

Back in the 90s, the word “radical” was thrown around a lot by generic 90s kids and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I know it means something a lot different. Something more intense and extreme. The radical left wing. The radical right wing. Radical Islam and radical Christianity. And yet the first thing I still think of is nunchuck-wielding Michelangelo eating a pizza.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.21.2011 @ 11:31 am

relate

I could relate in more ways than one. Like he always chewed gum with his mouth closed. And he kept his hair up in one or two tufts, never more. He liked to ride his bicycle at night without a light. He wore one contact lens. He preferred cats over dogs. He died each night in bed and had to be revived by the gift of electricity. I could definitely relate.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.20.2011 @ 11:17 am

castle

When the boy built a sand castle on the beach, he also wanted to make a sand king and a sand queen. But the sand queen would be traitorous and unfaithful, attempting to overtake the sand king with a sand army. But the sand king would have the god Poseidon on his sand, who’d send out a flurry of sea monsters in the form of waves to wash away the army. But ultimately, the castle itself would be sacrificed. The boy’s parents always thought he had a beautiful imagination.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.19.2011 @ 12:35 pm

mutual

A mutual break-up requires a complete emptying of the brain, the retrieval of memories before they are tossed into a metal wastebasket and thrown in a dumpster, where it drifts toward the ocean and is soaked with salt. It requires one person smiling while weeping inwardly, no matter how right it was to end it, because a relationship, any relationship, leaves a rather large thumbprint.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.18.2011 @ 1:01 pm

dull

The knife couldn’t cut the bread, so we broke it into pieces and ate it in chunks, thick sourdough soaking in our mouths and sweetening our tongues. We didn’t have butter or anything to top it with, but it tasted so good that it felt like we didn’t need it.

You passed me the bottle of wine we had stolen from Jonathan’s vineyard. I took a long drink. It tasted like your lips.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.17.2011 @ 8:24 pm

warfare

Modern warfare is a battle of words. Slander and rebuke. Humiliation. Paid for by taxes and donations and first-level income across the globe.

There’s a man working in a cubicle for a newspaper. He has to write a vilifying article about a politician who he doesn’t know. The politician likes dogs and donates to Red Cross. The result: “Red Cross scandal regarding the mistreatment of innocent puppies.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.16.2011 @ 8:16 pm

advice

I have plenty of advice. I just choose not to give it to people. Because one way or another, it’s not compatible. I don’t know exactly how Susan’s boyfriend is treating, or why John just can’t make friends. I can try to know, or pretend to know. But a pretender doesn’t really have real advice to give. Just vignettes and hope. One of which could be false.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.15.2011 @ 8:00 pm

scout

The dog’s name was Scout and he was bigger than he should have been. A labrador with a head bigger than my own. Big paws, too. Like whenever he tried to grow into them, they’d just get bigger. He liked to serve as my pillow when I was watching TV, or my tongue towel when I was crying.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.14.2011 @ 4:22 pm

compassion

Compassion. That’s a word I don’t see executed very often these days. You know when you’re in a grocery store, looking at all the different brands of butter, wondering just whether or not you want salted or unsalted? And then this little old lady wobbles by with two gallons of milk in her hands, and they’re like weights holding her? And you decide to take at least one and help her get to the check-out?

It’s that easy.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.13.2011 @ 5:24 pm

spring

There was a subtle spring to Freddy’s step as he traversed the street where the library converged with the small park and playground. It was the playground with the enormous swing set, with an astonishing eight swings available. So Freddy could always use it, even when the day was at his busiest. And as he sang and giggled in glee as he soared into the air, eyes glittering, the people would stop and smile at him.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.12.2011 @ 12:38 pm

conviction

“Five to ten years?”

“Yes. I’m sorry.”

“But your job! And the kids!”

“I know, but we tried. We really tried. It didn’t work.”

“But…how are we going to live?”

“Sarah.”

“How am I going to live?”

“Just like that, hon. Live.”

“But…”

“Live with or without me. Write only if you want to.”

“I’ll write. Always.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.11.2011 @ 2:46 pm

stacks

Stacks of book, paper bound with coffee stains. Coffee stains from a mug with with a picture of London on it. London in the winter was so beautiful. And Dublin. Sweet with frost and cider. Sweet with romance.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.10.2011 @ 9:24 pm

iron

Blood tastes like iron mixed with gravy. I know this because when I was punched in the teeth tonight by a drunk bandit, it was like I was gnawing on a razor sauteed in my grandmother’s Thanksgiving dinner. She made the best mashed potatoes, and my uncle carved the turkey. He carved it so thin that it was like having death lite dancing in your mouth.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.09.2011 @ 9:46 pm

mystery

The mystery of friendship, to you, is stronger than the mystery of life sometimes. After all, one day you’re smiling, hugging a buddy as a digital camera flashes in your faces. The next day, you’re removing cellphone numbers claiming you’ll never trust that person again, as her paranoia creeps in like a parasite and she calls the authorities on any perceived “threat.” No attempt at peace or compromise: You throw her off-kilter, she sends the cops on you. And then they shake their heads in wonder as you tell them the truth, especially about how she hurt you so badly that you put a razor to your arm for the first time in ten years.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.08.2011 @ 1:43 pm

prosperous

Being a writer isn’t prosperous. It’s not meant to be. At least, financially, it’s not meant to be. Creatively, you could have all the money in the world. Only instead of money, you have words. Lots of them. Locked in vaults of gold and carried around in checkbooks. Want to buy a story? I have plenty. That’s my prosperity. My spirit. And no matter how small of a paycheck I may get, I’m happy with my “annual income.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.07.2011 @ 3:35 pm

setting

The setting is simple. One chair, one coffee table, set up by the fireplace. A brick mantel with black and white photographs. In one of the photographs, there’s a fisherman with a long black beard. He doesn’t look too old, but he looks tired even though he holds an enormous seabass. His wife is next to him. She smiles. She completes the simple setting, the comfort of a cottage.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.06.2011 @ 1:10 pm

warned

I warned him not to go back to his mother. She had been collecting things. Sharp things. Like corkscrews and scissors and those little pocket knives you can latch onto a key chain. Even shards of glass.

I fought one piece of a bottle that used to hold 2001 Riesling. At first, I thought the red was alcohol. The smell, however, told me otherwise.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.05.2011 @ 5:36 pm

morality

“Do you think morality’s blank and white?”

John stared at the street below him. He didn’t look behind him to see who was speaking to him. But he recognized the voice.

“No.”

“Why not?”

He took a deep breath. The colors of cars looked so inviting.

“Because I don’t think what I’m doing is wrong.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.04.2011 @ 1:24 pm

suppose

Suppose she found him living in a trash off the corner of Palm and Tustin. He wouldn’t be green or furry, but he certainly could be grouchy.

Suppose he shook her hand with a banana peel on his head. Smelling of coffee grounds and sour milk. The garbage man at his finest.

That’d be something. But suppose they fell in love later and when he washed up, he truly was a gentleman.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.03.2011 @ 1:49 pm

edge

Everyone’s on edge right now. There’s no calm at the table. Not even when the empty pint glasses are cleared and brimming ones replace them. Cider tastes too dry. Beer tastes too better. And I swear, my hands are shaking from nerves.

“Is this ever going to work out,” I hear Lily say, “or are we all just going to keep being awkward about it?”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.02.2011 @ 12:40 pm

braid

He braided her hair for her because her fingers were stumpy and clumsy and she kept them heavily bandaged. His friends would tease him about, saying he was too good at it and that obviously meant he was gay. But the little boy liked working with hair just as much as he liked working with the little girl’s hair.

“You’ll look so pretty,” he told her, his voice shaking. “Like a princess.”

“Like a princess,” she repeated, and the bandages became her jewels.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 10.01.2011 @ 12:38 pm

romantic

Why do they call us hopeless romantics? If anything, there’s nothing hopeless about being romantic. There’s this queer feeling of awkwardness, sure, and the occasional depression – but in the end, everything looks so much more vivid. A coffee holds a secret. A folk song looks bright red with passion. And everything – and everyone – is so beautiful.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.30.2011 @ 6:00 pm

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