Sjoe’s!

I can’t believe it! They fired me!.

“Well, not fired. Retrenched,” someone said.

“The difference is?” She asked with tears, snot and sound effects.

Mr Frans was not available for comment. His elderly doberman-fierce secretary’s spectacles glazed into ice rinks. One had to be slick-sharp to get through the icey security beams extending from her glare on a good day.

Damn it to hell, she thought, as she headed for the train.

Caroline wore high heels. She mastered the art of walking like a cat on the sidewalk as if it were a six-foot wall, out of reach of the dogs, stepped to, and sometimes hummed, “Fur Elise” by Beethoven.

“Not ‘Bait hoven’! It is Bea-t-hove-n!” Her proper English mentor-friend corrected her. She smiled remembering how Joy, the Germaine Monteil Cosmetic consultant, (yes, her name was Joy) had this passionate fight about classical music with the manager of the music department about the importance of melody. Joy, a true connoisseur, became most agitated. Caroline agreed with Joy over tea in their break, but she knew nothing about the science of sound.

She was, however, still a hopeless romantic who believed in fairies, according to some, and who stepped out in fine imported fabric dresses made for models, donated by fashion factories because they were “too small for anyone else, “alive,” apparently, to a love song written in 1810 by Bea-t-hove-n.

But, that was then. She did not dance that day. Being model sized thin, wearing the finest fabrics did not matter. It was a drudging-in-boots day, through thick mud, in Siberia, with iced rain blowing from the front, cutting lines into her face, with precision, to Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’ album.

“It’s going to get harder…”

She thought she would die of heartbreak. This loss was what Ayn Rand called, grey and ugly.

She no longer went on cat walks. What for? Who for, was the more appropriate question. She had been dumbfounded by love lost and then, more devastated than by divorce, she discovered, a job lost. And it wasn’t even about the money. She shrugged her twenty-something skinny shoulders.

Years later she was in the secret service, still in high heels and, according to Garp, hadn’t aged a day. Caroline became more like a busy, almost late for class, nun; her bangles rattled about as much as rosary beads, a comforting throwback from her school days. Jingling bangles comforted her as much as chocolate.

I march, she thought. That was it. No more cat walks, though her brown, curled hair still fell well below her shoulders. Her dresses were longer, a bit more flouncy, hardly secret service material, although black enough. The fabric was fine, soft and pliable, falling about her frame, which was no longer stick insect thin. Protests were sometimes put forward about her casual attire, but she was quite unaware of her impact on others.

“She’s our Mary Poppins. Let her be,” the grey-haired man, the division head, said, dismissing the drooling league, achingly like the characters in Anthem, with a sequence of numbers for names.

Alberto Bruno West had hired Caroline Brusky on a blue-sky day. She was not vaguely interested in his opinion of her experience, which was zero. She stared out of the window of his high rise office at the city. An innocent, he thought. She had walked off the street and asked if he could use her at all.

“I am without encumbrances and almost invisible already. I was thinking I could be good for something in the secret service. I need a job too, but more than that, if you know what I mean. I want to be paid fairly well – I will earn it – and I want to do something that matters. I don’t see the point in charity work. I have expensive tastes too. I have taken to food a little more of late.”

“What did you take to before?”

“Books,”she said.

“Want to learn to shoot?” He asked her.

“I already learned to shoot. I need to learn to hit something,” she said.

“We can teach you that here,” he said smiling. “You do realise that if you fail at your job here, you die. Well, most of the time you die. Sometimes you get caught and tortured and then you die,” he said expecting some sort of reaction.

“Of course. Best I learn to hit something soonest then, Sir.”

He didn’t exactly know whether she would or could do the job, he just liked the look of her. Besides her direct honesty was so rare it melted his innards. He felt it go, like warm honey runs off toast down one”s fingers. She didn’t seem to change over the years. She still came to his office and stared out at the city with the same intensity seeming to fill her very being with effervescent light

Caroline had no idea she had an ally or even antagonists. Her work was small in the grand scheme of things. She felt fortunate. She really didn’t care what it demanded of her. At least she had her own office and it wasn’t glass. It was stuck in a corner out of everyone’s way. It had a small window that looked onto the building next door, into an apartment where there was a man and a woman. Mostly a woman.

She was given crazy jobs watching dangerous people, and she did it well. She was a tad older, wore wedding rings, read books in all sorts of places, some of which were dangerous places, drank gin and smoked cigarettes too much, but there wasn’t much to preserve herself for. She didn’t mind dying on the job. She didn’t know enough to be tortured for anything, so, she thought, how hard could it be?

Her latest target was a rogue who wore soft cotton shirts that ballooned at the back from the belted waist of his suit pants. He always wore a suit. He had an ample body, not fat, just sufficient. Not hard, but upright.

“His face, she said, pausing while recording, “What’s to say? Smouldering with anonymity, sexual danger and a glint of evil dabbed on high cheekbones like powder. Light flicks on and off his one time broken nose, which only adds to the mystery of his past, unknown to most, and on his lips, which always seem to be just finished or about to begin a smile. And, as if one needs more, he wears a pleasant aftershave that leaves a faint trace on the palms of those who shake his hand. I shook his hand at a wine tasting after it became apparent he left a smell on the hands he shook. It was a hot day. I wore a hat and sunglasses. I wore a beige suit.” she paused again and then added, ” I bet he refreshes his perfumed hands every now and again.”

“Target is violent, but subtle about it. Like a cat that keeps the mouse alive, enjoying its attempts to escape, even though there are deep bleeding holes in its tiny body and its light wanes. The mouse is obliged to fight for its life. The mouse, however, is not confused. The cat is trying to kill it.

“The human being, on the other hand, is somehow easily confused by his enemies. He can’t seem to stand the idea, in the face of evidence, hard evidence, that the man is likely to murder him.”

“The target makes contact with his marks (men and women) and seduces them with dinners and long meaningful (on the surface) conversations over drinks in the bar. He has cultivated and mastered the voice of what we all imagine is a good, kind man. Once they all but love him, he ignores them.

It should be noted that the target does not actually speak much. He is an able listener and mostly asks questions that require long answers. Ignoring his new mark/s only make them more interested in him. No matter how rude he may be to them, they will hear nothing bad said about him. Although these traits are for personal use and for no apparent gain, the ability to foster loyalty in spite of obvious unpleasantness benefits the target in supplying illegal weapons to various groups with nefarious ambitions.”

She concluded the initial report with her signature. “Request a meeting to discuss further.”

Alberto dictated a time and date. He smiled a little. His Mary Poppins had done her job, again, as promised, without detection. He did not ask how.

One of Caroline’s skills was to befriend a person closest to the target. It so happened that from her office she could observe this person closely from behind her desk. It did not take too long to figure out her routine and her inclinations. Once they became coffee shop friends, she discovered a rare being that the rogue could not at once figure out.

His long deliberate absences aimed at isolating her did not work. She busied herself. She believed that she could prove him wrong about joy and love, by loving him, and giving evidence for joy.

“He keeps saying, “You are just like everyone else,” Miranda told her. “I said that I had, at our first meeting, conceded that. I am quite ordinary,” she said and then sipped her hot coffee as if she had said nothing out of the ordinary. There was no opposition. Not a shred of vanity to attack. She did not realise how that kept her safe, so far.

The rogue never hides his goal or his distorted view of man. He believes that man is incapable of true love, that all fail and deserve to be punished for their lie, for pretending to love him. The victim usually protests. Miranda was no different.

“It will never be like that!”

In this she was strong. She knew she could love him forever and that she would, if he allowed her, change his mind.

“Prove it!” He demanded.

Trying to prove one loves a rogue is futile, but it successfully halts escape.

“Okay,” Miranda said before putting some medium rare fillet into her mouth and chewing with smiling eyes.

She could not have foreseen the arrival of a dashing friend from school and her hometown who happened to be a male and who happened to want to spend time with her.

“I have a boyfriend, but he is always working. He’s very busy,” she said clearing that up at once.

She could not know that the rogue had her watched and that the hugs and cheek kisses were reported back to the boss of things.

One Saturday night she accepted a dinner date with the dashing Douglas. They went to a place on the beach front, talked all night, it seemed, drank too much and walked back to her apartment in the early hours of the morning. Miranda did not give it a thought. The man had told her he would be home, probably, just before dawn. There was nothing unusual in that.

It became unusual when they arrived in the lobby. He sat on the couch, waiting for her, with a thunderous frown and thin lips.

“Hi! This is my school friend, Douglas,” Miranda said.

“I’m sure,” he said.

If Miranda didn’t get it, Douglass did.

“Well I will say goodnight then,” Douglas said. “Thanks, Miranda. It was great catching up.”

Caroline was already up to speed. She raced to her office to see them enter Miranda’s apartment and witness the accusations and defences.

He destructed her sparkle with insane accusations, at first, then as the nights rolled on, he delivered the odd crack to her face. After some months he used his fist. Miranda refused to react. She took the blows like a fellow combatant.

“What happened to your face?” Caroline asked

“Ag, a huge misunderstanding I can’t seem to straighten out. It’s nothing,” she said.

It is always “nothing” until it becomes something. One night he hit her hard enough to make her scream.

“I can’t stand it anymore,” Miranda said and began to cry in the coffee shop the next evening. Caroline hugged her. “Come home with me,” she said. “Take a little time out.”

Miranda was exhausted. She obeyed and fell asleep on Caroline’s couch very quickly. Caroline slipped out quietly. It took very little time to position herself at the window of her office.

She had learned to shoot and hit something. When he moved into her sights, his attention captured by Miranda’s briefcase left on her desk, Caroline aimed and then squeezed the trigger. The glass gave way, the bullet entered his heart, he dropped like a fly, still smelling of fine after shave lotion.

Had her heart not been filled with light, the light of the Divine, even though she would never have thought that it was, at the time, Miranda would not have begun to walk slowly and quietly back into her life.

Peace took back the building like a tree unchecked will grow in the middle of the room, through concrete foundations, because it is a tree’s natural inclination to grow up and out of darkness, emerging as a tender soft thing.

She got life. Hard time. Time.

“The debt must paid!” The antagonists bayed.

Miranda was safe. The target was terminated and she didn’t much care about doing time for that. But, just like in the movies, once the noise died down she was driven out of the prison yard in a black secret service vehicle with a new identity.

Thanks, Sir,” she said. Her long hair was short, a different colour and she wore the standard secret service trousers and jacket.

“Bruce, try not to shoot anyone from this building,” Alberto said.

“I do believe I will be working in another building from now on. Media is my brief,” she said.

“I am sure you will do fine, Bruce,” Alberto said savouring her new name.

“Will certainly do fine, Sir.”

She stared out at the buildings. Alberto saw again the effect, fleeting but intense, of light that comes of seeing great and marvellous things. He could hardly believe how she transformed herself.

“Did you always have short hair?” He asked.

“Sjoes! I’d never cut my hair, Sir?” She answered.

“Hold your fucking head up.” GFDA

The mirror cracks looked like a close up of a dragonfly’s wing. Almost pretty, except beneath her freshly washed hair a cut had stopped bleeding. On close inspection strands of her hair hung in the cracks, and that corner bit that went brown, was her blood. But, no one looked closer.

Her experience with men was sketchy at best. She was too young to connect dots. Her head hurt and she couldn’t make sense of things.

The attack had come unexpectedly. She loved him so much… Anyway! Got to go and earn that yanky dollar, she said locking the front door.

She kept her head down and hid behind her long hair as she typed words, which meant nothing to her, in poorly constructed sentences. On a good day they irked her. This was not one of those. She could only replay each scene like a movie editor checking for the flaw. Even in slow motion she missed it.

“Are you done with that report,” he asked. Tone of voice mister burk, she thought. no capitals intended.

“Yes. Just need to print.”

Burk lingered in the doorway between his and her office without purpose. She would normally look up and say something to dismiss him, but she was too darned tired. She pulled the last sheet out of her typewriter and left with the report to the copy room without looking at him.

She placed a copy of the report in front of each seat in the conference room. The seats were still empty. No need to hide her sad face or the tears that streamed non-stop as if she had a plumbing issue.

Mostly she wore a confused face. They thought she was a bit dim. The kind ones spoke gently and slowly. The unaware did not. Then the men … they had various opinions added to dim. Dim people must really love sex she had concluded. That was then.

Who are you guys? She thought. They are an insult to your smart chairs and glossy table. They will smudge their sweaty fingerprints all over you, leave you worse for wear, covered in wayward cigarette ash and littered with abandoned sheets of paper, the report. And! And snot on your underside. And you, Your Majesty” she said pointing to the huge, wall sized lion painting, “close your eyes!”

Men in grey trousers and grubby white shirts filed in like tatty school boys for detention, their ties hanging loose and rolled up sleeves with cigarettes hanging from wet lips no one should trust. Don’t know where those suckers have been up to.

With her back to them she wiped her cheeks with her palms and then gingerly passed through them, trying desperately to escape touching shoulders with anyone.

And upon this lot the fate of the world depends, Bess would have said. She walked down the passages back to her office listening to her high heels tapping on the hard floor. It calmed her down.

She knew nothing about stimming. Tapping heels on hard floors, if anyone knew about autism then, would have been a dead give away. But no one did.

She did not think what she would do afterwards, after each battle, after every wound that left blood in her mouth. She was in the wars as Bess called life. Life was a bloody business and she got that she was hopeless at it.

“You know, Bess, I am smart enough to do whatever my job throws at me, what the shits-for-brains come up with, but I can’t figure out what I do wrong in my relationships.”

“You better figure it out, Pip. I want to be at your wedding,” Bess said.

“Are you going somewhere?”

“Not today!” Bess said brightly. “Let’s have tea.”

She put three spoons of sugar in her tea and sighed. You could have told me, Bess. You should have told me. She laughed softly. Not that it mattered. She still wasn’t married. No prospects either.

I live alone, Bess. It’s safer. Pip had not worked out why yet. She was used to sitting in cafes drinking tea alone. She did movies alone. Walked the streets at night alone and drank whiskey at the bar alone. She was a feature in the small town. Noticed and ignored. A peculiarity she sometimes pondered, but there was no accounting for the mind of man.

Pip was grateful for her private office. Burk was self obsessed. He didn’t bother her much. She liked working for him. He never said one personal thing, good or bad, in all of the two years she occupied her office. Must be a good guy. Dim, but good. There were good days when she could smile and listen to conversations as if she could hear them. She couldn’t. Their mouths moved. There was sound. She nodded. But if they asked her what she thought, she’d laugh.

“What do I know?”

The bad days were her own. She didn’t leave her office. She didn’t smile or nod. It was her own discomfort. She would not allow scrutiny. Burk saw it, but he ignored it with great efficacy. Gratitude. Much gratitude.

It was workable. No need to run. Until the mirror cracked. She moved with speed and stealth. New town. New job. New home. She took her clothes and her books.

“I have to tell Burk. Where is he?”

It didn’t take long before she had him on the phone.

“Okay, I’ll meet you there,” he said.

She parked. Waited. Saw him. Got out. Locked the car.

“Sorry about this…” she said.

“Let’s go and have something to eat; put some meat on those bones. There’s a place up the road. Get in,” he said.

They ordered. She had whyskey, he had a beer.

“I took a job at head office,” she said. “I wanted to explain.”

“Did you think I didn’t know? I had to give permission for you to go.”

“Oh … of course. Then why …?”

“I have a great room. View of the ocean. You can come and be with me while I am at the conference,” he said as if that was the normal progression of things.

“No. I can’t do that,” she said. Disappointment burned her face red.

“You will like it,” he continued.

“Can you take me back to my car now?”

“Yes,” he said, misperceiving, and out they walked. He closed her door and then drove in the opposite direction.

“Stop the car,” she said. He stopped the car. She got out and started walking back to her car. High heels were not great in that moment. “Don’t be silly,” he shouted after her. She kept walking. He turned his car about and drove next to her.

“Get in. I will take you back,” he said. She believed him. He just turned and went back the other way. She slipped her shoes off and opened the door. “Stop the car!” He believed she’d jump so he turned the car around and took her back to her car.

“Just tell me why you won’t come with me,” he pleaded.

You are married. You are still my boss. You could have been honest about this job business. You are just like every other school boy in detention now. I thought you were a good guy!

“I am not in the least bit attracted to you,” she said instead. Everything else was obvious and he would join the ranks of liars, each imagining he was the only one she rejected.

“I never treated you badly, even when you wore those white shirts of yours,” he said in his defence. “What have my shirts got to do with this?”

“You drove me nuts! And I never said a word about it!”

“I am sorry. I didn’t know.” She really sorry she dudn’t know that he even noticed her let alone what she wore.

She got out of his car. Walked to hers bare foot and sank into the seat with relief. I don’t get it. What is so great about my white shirts? They will have to go. She started the car, let it idle some, “Did not see that coming,” she said to the dark. She fell into bed. “Tomorrow cometh,”

When she finally got married, Bess had died and her expectations of men reached the lowest of the low, just as Bess’s had. “I get it now,” she said putting flowers on her grave. No one knew anything about autism yet. Who knew? “But, I hold my fucking head up, just like you said.”

ONE ENDS.

Carlos Hof’s Piano

I don’t listen to music. Songs make me sad when the words come from grandmas kitchen and smell of home made bread. New songs have negative words.

Most of my music is Joshua Aaron’s, when I remember.

I found Carlos Hof’s piano by accident. Spotify offered mediation music. I don’t meditate. I can’t. My busy head leads me on word association trips.

Carlos Hof came up. Hooked! No words. No familiar tunes. A gentle hand. No mad plonking. I can take in one note at a time.

It is music for a kite flying over harvest-ready fields, up green mountains, floating, quiet. No flapping in mad wind.

I can do foreign songs.

I like Chinese music. No idea what the songs are about. I decided I need to walk. (Not today. My eye hurts). I’m getting too stiff just knitting. I found a Chinese music playlist to walk by. Motivation to walk. Will exercise my right to walk about. Soonish.

I woke up late and the sun is taking a day. No wind. Birds say,”Phew!” Or “Pew! Pew!” Are they relieved or playing cow boys and crooks. Maybe urging churches to open so we can bow before the King. Please, God.

It’s a call to gratitude. While birds sing, the world is as it must be.

I found the oomph to go to the shops. The cashiers see me. They are friends. It’s all in the tone of voice. The slight nod of acknowledgement. We struggle together. We see each other. It only happens in Africa. That’s the heart of us. That’s what brings us home.

While others move on – no judgement – I determine to remain. Not fleeing. I have a mountain right here. One day soon I am going to walk up to the top. I will take pictures. Proof of effort to pray on the Mountain.

And if there is a Turk out there, and surely there is, you know what is required. All these letters I write… get over yourself.

LOVE AND LIGHT. GRACE AND GOODNESS.

Fistie Cuffs

It’s a bit late in my life to be attracted to martial arts. Now that I have the time. My bones are on nerves’ edge and can break easy as peanut brittle.

If I had taken to martial arts I may have punched a few people in the face. I absorbed condemnation instead, without breaking noses, or my bones. And gave it all up in a confessional. My dearest priest put a “full stop on the past because you are different now.”

I found an app to learn Hebrew. It might work. I am rubbish at languages. It is like Elevate. It pushes your reluctance under the pillow and gives you hearts if you keep at it.

I have only scant news. Missy and the Lad have gone back to Mom. But! Things are falling from the sky in greater numbers according to MARFOOGLE reports. They found a table of reports going back a while. ( YouTube. )

I have an upside today! My baby girl is excited about singing again! On my broken phone were many songs she sang. Can’t find one here now. You will have to make do with me.

A while back. Still, same hairstyle. My nails are red and I gave my rings away. And today that closed eye is also closed. Got a fluff of wool in it. Mohair.

Hear O Israel, the Lord is One.

LOVE AND LIGHT.

Ataraxis ~ Nefelibata

My work for heaven seems to be of the practical kind. “Show, don’t tell,” being the constant instruction.

I haven’t blistering hot results. My efforts alone are lost on my audience. I have faith in mustard seeds.

I am reminded that women are not ordained to become preachers. (John MacArthur will expound if required).

We may be the first (aid) responders, directors of traffic and hospitable hosts. We may feed and sustain weary and lost travellers.

Travellers come for a while and then leave. Some remember to write. Most disappear into the ethers. Only in God’s books is there a record. To Him be glory forever and ever.

“Hear O Isreal, the Lord is thy God, the Lord is one.”

In Deuteronomy and in Mark. Yeshua said this was the most important commandment in Mark’s gospel.

So, Missy tazered me with an emoji. “This as a granny’s face!” She said devoid of judgement. It was a sad face. Mouth turned down. ☹ 😟 😦 🙁 I am stunned. This face of mine!

See? My mouth turns down. Ataraxis. Mostly ‘cos I am old and my lips have lost plump, giving generous helpings to my stomach.

But, of course, I am sad!

Times are tough. People die. Integrity’s almost extinct. Those with knowledge of it, demand it; they don’t want lies even though disception is their currency.

Upside! The commandment came to me on my journey homeward today. Then again in Alistair Begg’s teaching. It has been with me a while since I watched Resurrection Ertugrul. I wanted words to recite if someone comes to kill/murder me. (It is not impossible.) Please, God, I remember to say them

Yeshua is the Nefelibata ~ the cloud walker. Nice word.

BLESSINGS OF THE BEST KIND.

Love and Light

Images

American women in movies … Do American women like their stories?

The guys, in tatters, begging forgiveness before their women who seem to have such clear minds and an aversion to lies or half truths you’d think they had a staunch pastor advising them.

They come across feirce and without compassion as opposed to uncompromising. In general. It irks me enough to mention it. The whole female protest irks me. I wonder how men feel. Do they even care? “Not that it matters.” *

I wouldn’t like it. It’s somehow offensive, if only because it does not make sense. Fiction is supposed to make sense. It’s a rule.

“You are never here; even when you are here!” She says to the guy providing the house, private school, car and and and.

“You could die!” She says to the cop.

So, no. Not making sense.

We all no longer make sense. If we support one sinful trait then we may as well support it all. You can’t support abortion and then be offended at child pornography. Both kill small children.

We may be in serious trouble if we don’t get our values sorted.

Bed and books for me.

* from Never ending story.

LOVE AND LIGHT