1,000 Waves-poem

1,000 Waves

by Autumn Komzik

 

1,000 waves across the sea

1,000 memories made up you and me.

 

Your eyes crinkled at the corners when you smiled

How the books around you, piled.

How you cut the edges off your toast,

How you liked Rock and Roll the most.

 

The waves spread across the sea,

Turning from one into an infinity.

 

The way we jumped in the leaves in the fall,

How you were so tall, and I was so small.

How you kissed me on a football field,

How in a debate about skim milk, you would never yield.

 

Our memories spread across time

Turning from one, to this entire life of mine.

 

You held me when I left my coat,

If I tickled you, you’d give up the remote.

Your eyes were blue like the ocean,

And changed color with every emotion.

 

One day the 1,000 waves hit the land,

Breaking one by one against the sand.

And like the sand,

We slipped–beautiful crystals through our hands.

1,000 “I love you’s” ended in goodbye,

A final hug, tears in our eyes.

 

How do you forget 1,000 things?

How do you let go of 1,000 dreams?

 

It’s been twenty years and 1,000 things–

Jobs, friends, lovers, wedding rings.

 

But when I visit the ocean, look out across the water

I still see

1,000 waves, you and me.

Never Underestimate the power of info-commercials

Never Underestimate the power of info-commercials.

Info-commercials. Those LONG, and I mean LONG commercials, featuring some rather outlandish gadget full of promise and sometimes the potential to change your life, a narrator which is on the verge of yelling due to feigned excitement, and a cluttering of the following phrases: BUT WAIT! There’s MORE!, TWO HUNDRED easy payments of $19.95, CALL NOW TO RECEIVE A SECOND…blah, blah.

info

You are probably thinking you are immune. Info-commercials have nothing on you. I mean the Snuggie, come on!?

Others of you who may know what I am talking about are probably nodding your heads, filling with regret at the memory.

I once thought I was immune. I once thought info-commercials had no power over me. But then…one day…

A short story of my personal experience of underestimating the power of the info-commercials:

It was late, and I had taken my little sister to the emergency room. We sat there in the hospital waiting area for…you know how it goes…forever. After picking through almost an entire stack of magazines, we were running out of ways to entertain ourselves.

Then it happens. A voice fills the air. A voice filled with excitement, so unlike all of us members of the waiting room who are in desperate need of sleep, medication, or coffee. The voice is coming from each of the four TVs placed at each corner of the room. Half of the people in the room all are suddenly drawn to the bright lights, the annoyingly energetic narrator, and the product that will revolutionize our lives.

The Brazilian Butt Lift. A workout promising a gorgeous, sculpted body– which with this convenient DVD pack could be achieved in a matter of 60 days. A workout specially and scientifically designed to maximize calorie burning, target “trouble areas” and designed….FOR YOU. BUT WAIT! (Oh, the magical words) this workout is FUN!

but-wait

I listened, at first just out of shear boredom, but then…I started to sit up straighter, my eyes began to focus again. At the time I was about 20-25 lbs. overweight. After dutifully running for miles and miles and hardly losing an ounce, I was frustrated. Suddenly a light seemed to come down, shining like a spot light on the TV and the words, “Brazilian Butt Lift”. 01-spotlight

THIS IS THE ANSWER, AUTUMN. THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. Something inside of me whispered. Then came the testimonies of people who had lost 50, 60, 100, 200 lbs. from The Brazilian Butt Lift workout. The commercial went on and on at least for 30 minutes, featuring snippets of the workout and testimonials, deals and prices. Meanwhile my sister finally got called into the doctor’s office. So I was left there in the waiting room, vulnerable and alone…

As the rather hefty price for a set of DVDs played out again on the commercial, I fought with myself. Autumn, you can just go running, more running…you love running (NOT!).  Then another testimonial played, “I had 20 stubborn pounds I just could not lose, but after trying the Brazilian Butt Lift, the pounds melted off!”

THIS IS THE ANSWER, AUTUMN. THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.

I grabbed my phone and dialed the number.

Several days later, The Brazilian Butt Lift arrived.

To this day I have probably used it about 5 times. (And I just want to say, it wasn’t a bad workout and not saying that it couldn’t work, it…just…I don’t know-not for me! I ended up losing the weight from a strict diet and playing Ultimate Frisbee everyday! Ultimate Frisbee was actually, truthfully fun, which is why I was able to do it every single day!)

Never Underestimate the power of the info-commercial. No one is safe.

I would love to hear your stories of items you’ve bought online or through the TV in a moment of weakness? What did you think of them?

Disapearances, socks and other mysteries of the universe

The universe contains many mysteries…

One show that scared the living daylights out of me when I was little was Unsolved Mysteries.

Apparently his name is Robert Stack

Apparently his name is Robert Stack

For those of you who ever watched this show, do you remember THAT MAN, the host? He was a rather frightening individual. I call him THAT MAN because I don’t know his name or anything about him. All I know is his voice had a way of sending chills down my spine, his face haunted my sleep, and he had a way of making the unsolved mysteries forever seem unsolvable.

1958, Northern Wisconsin

Norma Jean is thrilled about her brand new laundry machine. Her dear husband who bought it for her, has been away on a business trip in Chicago and will be arriving in just a few hours. The children were packed away a hours before and are spending the weekend with Grandma. Norma Jean is all alone in their neat little house on the end of the street. The laundry is washed and dried, all that is left to do is fold it. She sits in front of the television, and folds.

The house is quiet.

Too quiet.

And dark.

Too dark.

Norma can’t help but notice how her heart seems to be beating much to quickly and her arms dot with goose bumps at every creak and groan the house makes. She turns on the television, to drown out the silence. I Love Lucy. Norma groans, Lucy has always reminded her of that little tart of a secretary at her husband’s firm. The girl wears nothing but skin-tight red skirts and blouses, and spends her day giggling at Mr. Jean while blowing kisses with her red lips, tapping her red nails, and puffing her red hair. Norma’s cheeks flood with heat at just the thought of the little hussy. At least her mind has moved on from the strange creaks throughout the house.

Lassie, the collie has growled twice now. Every time she walks past the laundry room, she whines. Norma’s hands shake and she folds faster and faster. She tries to focus on the annoying little giggle the secretary makes each time Mr. Jean smiles at her. Speaking of Mr. Jean, where is he? She glances at the clock on the wall. He was late, half an hour late.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. The incessant clock’s ticking has seemed to become louder and louder, barreling in through Ricky Ricardo’s smooth Cuban accent. Lassie stands outside of the laundry room door, looking like a soldier on duty. She is stiff, ears twitching, listening.

Bark! Growl! Bark! Lassie’s bark is so loud, Norma jumps. Lassie sniffs at the air then sniffs her way out to Norma Jean and the basket of laundry sitting in front of her. Norma tells Lassie to pipe down and turns the television up higher.  She folds and folds, casting a glance towards the laundry room every now and again. Her fingers have hit the bottom of the laundry basket to find the only thing left to fold are her husband and children’s socks.

I sock, 2 socks…bundle. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle. She pairs together the socks, one after another. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle.

The light above her flickers. At the same instance the house groans, the floor boards from upstairs creak. Norma freezes. She stares at the laundry room. “It’s just the wind,” she whispers to herself and Lassie. She can’t help but feel something is wrong– something horrible is about to happen.

She resumes folding, her fingers trembling. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle. 1 sock, 2 socks…bundle. 1 sock….

Norma Jean’s scream pierces the air. She stares at the object in her hand, her entire body is shaking. “NO!” She screams. She bolts up and dashes to the laundry room, throws open the lid to the washing machine and looks in. She screams again, sending little echoes throughout the room.

Vanished. The word forms in her brain and lodges it’s way into her throat, refusing to come out. Vanished.

Right from in front of her.

Never to be found.

A sock’s soul mate was stolen in the night, never again to return.

The Vanishing Sock has never since been found…and remains an unsolved mystery to this day. Still one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in the world, hundreds of people have attempted to come up with products to ensure the protection and survival of socks, to little avail. Disappearance of socks with little or next to no explanation has become a global matter, and haunts each and every sock on laundry day. Not one sock is safe. The journey through the wash cycle is a dangerous one for socks, there are no guarantees and there have been no recoveries.

To the lost socks of the universe, we have not forgotten you.

This story is a contributor to the thousands, millions of case files trying to solve the age-old mystery of the disappearance of socks–a mystery which has gone quite cold  and may remain forever in that old storage room filled with mysteries of the universe.   Missing

Bathrooms, wall to wall carpet and other mysteries of the universe

The universe has many mysteries.

One such mystery is why…oh why, did people ever decide wall to wall carpeting in the bathroom was a good idea?

bathroom-carpet

I suppose this mystery isn’t completely unsolved to the masses of the world. You may be one of those individuals who put carpet in your bathroom. WHY???

I am bringing up this topic today because I am one of those people who own (I guess I should say rent? but that sounds strange!) a bathroom in which the entire floor is blanketed in carpet. I should note that I DID NOT put the carpet there. I’m pretty sure it’s been there for nearly 50 years. (Along with all the appliances in the house! The house is like a well preserved view of life and interior designing in the 1960s.) At one point I think the carpet was pink, matching the tiles on the wall and shower; slowly it has faded into a dull, liver and pink colored monstrosity.

You ask: Autumn, why not just rip the carpet out and tile the floor? Stop fussing!

My answer: I rent.

The people I rent from are ever so nice! They are literally the nicest of the nice. But they like the carpet in there. I cannot bring myself to ask why. It might change my opinion of them. I’M KIDDING! They like it because tiles are cold and hard and carpet is a softer, warmer option. All I can think is: True…but what if the toilet over flows? What if you spill your hair gel on it? And again…what if the toilet over flows???

Another reason I am bringing up this topic today is because over the weekend an incident occurred involving the said carpet.

It all started on Friday.

As I was getting ready to head out to work, I run into my bathroom and do a final “did I unplug the curling iron & straightener check.”

Whoops! I didn’t! Glad I checked. The cords are ripped from the wall and I am whirling around to turn off the light and leave.

But then…

Huh? Is it just me, or does it look like a section of the carpet is extra dark– more liver colored than the rest?

Perhaps it is just the lighting. I inch closer. Strange. Then I remember the time. Got to go! I will investigate later.

Later…

I return from work, walk into the bathroom and jump back.

Yeah…that’s not discoloration. Or the lighting.

It’s Lake Eyrie.

A sopping, puddle of what I imagine probably emerged from the toilet has taken over more than half of the bathroom.

The only thing one can do in this situation is scream in horror.

Toilet water. It may be clean looking, but we all know the word clean should never be used to describe toilet water. Oh! And how the carpet loves it. It is drinking it right up.

I have no idea how the water has escaped its ceramic prison, as no one used the toilet at all that day, but the fact of the matter is… it has.

I am an adult. And being an adult means you have to do things you don’t want to do. You have to pay for things you don’t want to pay for. I had to clean this mess up. After soaking up the water the best I could and pouring sterilization cleaners on the carpet I realized…how can it ever possibly get truly clean? Carpet has so many nooks and crannies, twists and turns.

Light bulb!

I could burn it. I could burn the blasted carpet and be rid of it FOREVER and the bathroom would be clean once again.

It is too bad burning it was out of the question. But I think I just might have the winning argument for ripping the carpet out and tiling. Cross your fingers!

I’ll end my story now, and put it in that lovely storage room of case files filled with the mysteries of the universe. With a big permanent marker I’ll write across the top, “This file contains information to solving the mystery as to why people carpet their bathrooms wall to wall…and evidence on how this practice SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!” Lengthy, but necessary.

Dogs, mailmen and mysteries of the universe

The universe contains many mysteries.

One such mystery is the hatred dogs have for mailmen. It’s not all dogs of course, for instance I imagine a mailman’s dog doesn’t hold these prejudices. But the undeniable fact is that there are a good number of dogs who turn practically werewolf at the sight of a mail delivering vehicle. And it’s not just the US Post Office anymore… it’s FedEx…it’s UPS…it’s any form of parcel delivery.

When I was a child I witnessed this…this fury first hand. One of my Mom’s best friends had a German shepherd who probably held meetings with the local neighborhood dogs on how to rid the world of mailmen. I remember watching this German shepherd one particular day barrel through the front door….leap over the fence…and chase down the mail truck as if the entire future of the world depended on this one moment. The spit was flying. Her legs were flying. Her fangs gleamed in the sunlight. Thank goodness those Postal cars have a little more power in it than appears. (They remind me of a carton of milk. Doesn’t exactly scream speed demon.) The point is…the mailman got away…unscathed. The dog, however…got in a lot of trouble.

usps

For many years, the attacks on mailmen ceased (in my part of the world). The world was at last at peace.

Until…

I was at my parent’s house. Alone. Well, not exactly alone. They have four dogs.

There is one little Rat Terrier, Joey. Two words to describe Joey: boundless energy. He doesn’t even drink coffee…fancy that.

Then there’s Ginger. She’s a Jack Russel lab mix. Ginger knows one word in the English Language: BALL. At 12 years old, she’s a lot slower and more rickety, but say the word “ball” and a newer, younger dog emerges.

Cooper. Cooper is my baby. He is a fluffy husky mix, with a curly tail and the sweetest eyes you ever saw. Cooper has moments of insecurity (also known as keep away from small children).

And lastly, there is Hachi. Hachi is just…the PERFECT dog. Some things he does seem slightly human….weirdly human. He LIVES for making friends with all people and dogs alike.

All in all they are a good pack of dogs. Who have no issues or hold no grievances against the postman.

DING-DONG!

The ring from the doorbell echoes throughout the house. And so ensues barking from all corners…

I notice the barking isn’t just “there’s someone here” barking. It’s wild…uncontrolled. Hmmmm….

Then comes the growling.

GULP. Who is at the door? Images flood my mind. Darn you Criminal Minds! I tell myself I am never watching that show again as I head towards the door where all four dogs have formed a group– barking wildly, snarling at the unknown object on the other side of the door.

Should I have grabbed the baseball bat?

I tip toe towards the door, I can still pull off the there’s no one home trick if necessary. I clutch the handle and hesitate. The dogs are geared up, ready to pounce–ready to lunge and devour whatever is on the other side of the door.

Then it hits me. Autumn…it’s in the middle of the day; it’s probably just the postman or FedEx guy or something. I beg the dogs to calm down and squeeze in between them, opening the door just a crack. Just as I suspected there is a box lying on the porch. I sigh and relax my grip on the door.

BIG MISTAKE. Had I not noticed the dogs were still on the verge of transforming into werewolves? Had I not felt them pressing against the door…trying at anything to burst outside? APPARENTLY NOT.

Just as I notice the departing image of man in a brown uniform, I am thrown forward….and the door flown wide open.

Out burst four dogs…fangs ready.

“NOOOOO!”

I reach out and manage to grab Hachi’s tail but it’s no use. The next thing I see is the UPS guy’s face fill with shock and horror as the beasts are closing in on him. It looked like one of those National Geographic Documentaries where the lions close in on a gazelle. “And so the lionesses’ hunting ends in a smaller meal, but they are grateful. It is enough to keep the pack alive during this retched drought,” -said in a British Man Voice.

cheeta

The UPS man wasn’t ready to give up. He must have grown wings and flew–somehow…he escaped. He leaped into his truck….cursing up a storm. Not that I blame him. He almost became a chew toy.

At this point I managed to pick myself up and chase after the dogs. “Get over hear now! Stop it! Stop it!” Of course, it was all futile.

The dogs were now circling the UPS truck. They looked like vultures. It was ridiculous.

How I wrangled all of the dogs together…I don’t know. But what I did know was that the UPS guy was FURIOUS. Once again…not that I blame him.

Through the swirl of curses he hurled out at me, I made out three words…wait, four. “Control your dogs, lady!”

YES SIR. I’M SO SORRY SIR.

Please, God let me never see that man again.

Life is always full of surprises.

And months and months later, I DID see the UPS guy again. He of course never came back to our house, he appeared elsewhere. Yes, at my work.

I worked as a teller at a bank. And guess who our UPS delivery guy was? That’s right! The UPS guy…the very one. I remember walking to the front and freezing when I saw him. (And the color draining from my face.)

Please, God let him not remember me…or my dogs.

He walked up to the counter, eyeing me.

I plastered on a smile and said, “Hello!” Gosh! It was a bit too cheerful sounding.

He grinned, but was still studying me. “You look so familiar. Like I swear I’ve seen you before.”

You have….just as you saw your life flashing before your eyes. “Oh, I get that a lot. Apparently I just have one of those faces.” Please don’t remember!

He just stared.

Oh no!

Then he shrugged his shoulders and grinned once again. “I-guess you do!”

Whew!

He ended up being the nicest UPS guy ever but I could never ever confess to him the truth. And so this story is just another case file put in storage under the unsolved mysteries of the universe: Why Dogs Hate Mailmen.

Does anyone out there have a theory to why dogs hate mailmen? Or do you have a story on what your dog has done to a mailman?

The Shot

He lived for a sound. The sound of a leather ball dropping through a net.

Swoosh. 

It was the sound of perfection.

Johnny practiced every day, every chance he got. Black cracked asphalt, a ratty torn net, a backboard with chipping paint and splintering wood were his home, his safe place. He was the master here. When everything in his life was spinning, here it was still. He was in charge of that 10 foot basket, he controlled that ball.

Swoosh. 

The three point shot was his box of gold, his fountain of youth, his trophy, his blue ribbon. He had one focus, one goal. Swoosh. And he never missed.

2.34 seconds. The numbers glowed in the clock, a silent challenge; they were daring him. All he needed was one shot, one basket and he would bring the team to victory. All he needed to do was make the shot he never missed. He was the golden boy. Practically invincible on the courts. He stood waiting, ready for his teammates to get him the ball. He was in charge of that 10 foot basket, he controlled that ball.

The timer rang out, splitting the hot air. In a flash, the ball was in his hands. He aimed, time seemed to freeze. The basket suddenly looked unfamiliar, far away. It was no longer a 10 foot challenge, it had grown 20 feet, 30 feet over his head. The roar of the crowds sounded in his ears.

“Boo!” Someone screamed. “You’re not gonna make it!”

The basket now stood 50 feet over his head. The other team rushed towards him like a tidal wave, ready to consume him. Boom, boom–it was the sound of his heart pounding against his rib cage. Sweat dripped down the sides of his face. The ball suddenly felt foreign, as if he had just felt a basketball for the first time. The clock on the wall was merciless. He had to shoot.

The ball left his hands. The entire room held their breath as the it sailed through the air.

But he never heard that swoosh.

Johnny, the golden boy, had missed.

Back in the locker room Johnny confessed to his coach how in those last 2.34 seconds of the game the basket had grown taller and taller right before his eyes. How suddenly a ball that he knew like his own hand felt like nothing he had ever touched before.

“Why did I miss, Coach, why?” It was a feeling he’d never felt, It was a feeling he didn’t understand.

His coach gripped his shoulder and said, “Son, you didn’t see the basket anymore…you saw everything standing in the way.”

Do you have a dream? That one goal you’re determined to reach? You started off strong, believing you could reach your dream, nothing could stand in your way. And then something happened…you saw all of the obstacles. They were menacing beasts, telling you your dream was too far, too hard, unreachable….they told you were going to fail. And you believed them. Slowly, your dreams drifted farther and farther out of reach.

But, you know what…they weren’t actually out of reach…you just thought they were.

“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, You do not change your decision to get there.” -Zig Ziglar 

Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Keep your eyes on the prize…not on everything standing in your way.

First page of my book!

The first page of my book!!!

Just A Dream, pg. 1

by Autumn Komzik

Charleston, SC 1925

   He had always hated hospitals. The blindingly white wall, the burning smell of sterilization, the strange silver instruments, the soft whispery voices of the nurses—it was all a cover for the death and disease which seemed to ooze out of every crack and crevice. Hospitals were a place where the haunted memories of his Mother’s life slipping away from the Spanish Influenza filled his mind. They were a place where nightmares came true and where people discovered their mortality.

Kale Desmin sat in a flimsy metal chair feeling exhaustion start to set in. His honey colored hair, which was normally held neatly back with promenade, was ruffled and his eyes burned. He had been awake all night. But no matter how badly he longed to leave, he wouldn’t–he couldn’t.

His gaze fixed on the girl that lay in the bed directly in front of him, a girl that had been so full of life only hours ago. Purple bruises and scrapes speckled across the left side of her face, her blond hair was matted with blood, and her skin was pasty white. Other than the sound of her slow, methodical breaths, the hospital was quiet and strangely peaceful.

Kale hesitantly touched her limp hand and whispered the words he never could say when she was awake, “I love you, you have to wake up. Please, Angel, I need you.”

The quiet of the morning in was broken by desperate wails echoing down the hallway. Kale snapped his head up and stared at the closed door to the room. The wails became louder and louder. He could hear heavy footsteps pounding against the floor coming closer and closer, making the metal rails of the bed tremble and squeak. He realized it was a name that was being called; the wailing was the constant agonized repeat of a name. His heart felt a sudden swell of sorrow for the person, the owner of the name. It was clear the news they were about to receive would alter their life in some painful and dreadful way.

Kale felt his stomach fill with a hollow pit; his breath caught in his throat. The name that was being called was his.

*

Perfect days come around like the Halley’s Comet. You might have one truly perfect day in your life and once it’s gone, you never see it again. At least that’s what Mammy Potts always told me.

I could at least boast this day was close to perfect. My hair had not yet succumbed to the humidity– the waves which had taken an hour to put in were smooth and sleek; I managed to pluck the sweetest peach in existence from one of our trees; and I was about to spend the entire evening with him. As I walked towards the docks to meet him, my pace picking up with every step, my palms began to sweat. The one way to make this day absolutely Halley’s Comet kind of perfect, would be a kiss.