Comments Posted By Belinda Roddie

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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

half

Half a minute later, half his glass was empty, the warm beer dribbling out of the corner of his mouth and creating a thick stain on his white shirt. He stared at the fuzzy screen – where Alex Trebek was chastising a contestant for an incorrect answer for a geography question – but didn’t make a sound.

I tried to look at him head-on, but I just couldn’t. His eyes wept too much. And I didn’t want to add to the crying.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.29.2011 @ 7:38 pm

dense

“What are you, dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the Hell do you think I am? I’m the goddamn Bat – ”

“Shawn.”

“Sorry, sorry.”

Shawn turned back to his X-Box 360 while Leslie focused on the computer screen in front of her. The garish Batman picture hovered on her desktop, before she keyed in a name in the search engine.

“Ricky Ferraro. Now there’s a good artist.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.28.2011 @ 6:53 pm

playground

On the playground, there were two men. They sat on the swings without saying a word to each other, their fingers wrapped around the chains, their feet dangling in the wind. One child complained to his mother that the swings were taken, but she scolded him for his harsh words.

“Let them sit there,” she said. “It’s been a long day for them both.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.27.2011 @ 1:20 pm

evidence

There was enough evidence to lead me to the basement of the broken down house, after seeing the shovels outside. My hands gripped the stair railings so tightly that I almost ripped them out of the way, and I groped for a light switch as I entered the space. The smells of dust and memories came before the sights. And then I exhaled.

“Good God.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.26.2011 @ 1:25 pm

pressed

His hand felt greasy against my chest, his teeth bared. He pressed hard into my ribs, and my arteries shuddered from the tension. I did not speak. I simply stared at him and made a rather casual remark.

“Look, Ben, I know you’re turning into a werewolf again…but could you ease off for tonight? Otherwise, I’m getting the silver bullets.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.25.2011 @ 2:18 pm

preoccupied

So I have to write this piece about – what? No, I gotta work on dinner first. That mushroom and shrimp risotto isn’t going to make itself. And then I – no, first I need to walk the dog before I can go out and get milk. Milk, that’s right – that’s what I need for breakfast cereal tomorrow. And then – wait, what was I writing about again?

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.24.2011 @ 12:18 pm

convinced

A convict was convinced that the crook in a cell close by was not criminal. He coughed out a column of complaints to a colonel coming by to visit. That column was copied for the common crowd, and they all came to the conclusion that the convict was correctly convinced.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.23.2011 @ 3:10 pm

port

“What year is this?”

He looked down at the glass in his hand, the port staring back at him with a muddled reflection. He frowned.

“Um, last year, I think.”

“It’s good,” said his date for the night, and she sipped her glass delicately. “Mah-velous. You have good tastes.”

He didn’t really try to have good tastes. But then again, he always seemed to pick up snooty girls.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.22.2011 @ 2:50 pm

couch

That was Grandpa’s couch, from years ago. It used to be bright red, but it later took on a shade of burgundy. Plush burgundy. Like Grandma’s jacket.

I sat on it for a while and stared at the indent where the TV used to be. I had a kitten on my lap. He purred softly so that my knees noticeably vibrated on the cushions.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.21.2011 @ 2:21 pm

crouch

I didn’t see anything at first as I crouched by the small basement and peered out. Then I saw feet. Lots of them. Many of them were sheltered by low-top converses, mostly purples and blacks and blues.

I had to get out there somehow, so I tapped feverishly on the pane and hoped someone would notice. The door was glued shut nearby. Ultimately I saw a face instead of a foot soon enough.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.20.2011 @ 2:26 pm

celebrate

“So you’re twenty-two now?”

“Twenty-three.”

He passed me another bottle of Full Moon. We sat alone together on the blunter edge of a fence overlooking the lot. The grocery store sat empty on our left. The Jack in the Box was on our right.

“You could’ve gone out with other people, you know,” he said to me.

“I know,” I replied, taking a sip of beer. “I didn’t want to.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.19.2011 @ 11:18 am

concern

There was a lot of time for me to think in my last year of university. Everything became an anxiety during those months, when textbooks grew heavier on my shoulders and essays grew longer. I began to wonder about things…strange things. Like whether or not I’d grow horns from my head. Or if the Soviet Union would return. I’ve heard from my grandfather, when he’s drunk, that that’s the beginning signs that you’re a conspiracy theorist.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.18.2011 @ 1:06 pm

shootout

How many were dead? I didn’t know. They all seemed to become one mass on the television screen. The way the camera hovered over them was like the cameraman was expecting someone to jump up and go, “KIDDING!” But no one did. It wasn’t a game show. It wasn’t a reality show. This was real. And we were watching it like a poor kid’s entertainment while the gunman laughed his ass off.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.17.2011 @ 11:34 am

pouch

“A satchel?”

“Yeah?”

“That’s what you call it? A satchel.”

He wrinkled his nose. “Well, it’s not a purse.”

“I know it’s not. It’s a pouch.”

“A pouch? That’s what kangaroos have.”

“That’s right…and you’ve got one, too,” I said before teasingly adding, “Mister Kangaroo.”

That was enough to get his eyes narrowed into javelins of green.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.16.2011 @ 1:33 pm

average

She had average looks, average hair, average build, average height, average everything except the skin. Her skin was tattooed with gold. Real gold. No joke. Yellow gold and tawny gold and blond gold and the kind of gold that’s nearly tinted orange on the bars you see in cinema.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.15.2011 @ 1:21 pm

account

He wanted my story. My account of the whole ordeal. But two swollen black eyes gave me very little to visually reminisce. And my tongue was so dry, I thought I’d swallow it like a large vitamin served to me at breakfast.

“Well?”

I had nothing except the touch, the feel of it. The spherical knuckles orbiting my eyebrows. The feel of water on my cheeks. The spittle of rage on my chin.

“I can’t tell this story. Not now, anyway.”

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 09.14.2011 @ 5:06 pm

chalkboard

The teacher had been divorced for two years now, and the chalkboard had become scratched with her feverish drawings and equations. The principal called her in and told her that she would have a whiteboard from then on. She hated the smell of the pens. She shook her head.

“Leave me the chalkboard,” she begged. “It’s the last remnant I’ve got from the life I no longer have.”

So much for poetics. It didn’t mean anything to him.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 06.04.2011 @ 11:31 am

backpack

Peters View Canyon lay open like a gaping jaw as I hoisted the burden onto my shoulders. A burden of scattered trail mix and bottled water. One hand held the strap. The other held your free hand.

Walking, stomping, scuttling. A fat black beetle wavered in the corner of my eye. It had to be bigger than my thumb.

It was beautiful by the lake.

» Posted By Belinda Roddie On 06.02.2011 @ 12:36 am

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