Reluctance to Grasp

Reluctance to Grasp
Image provided by Nicolas Raymond

In October of last year, 2015, I wrote a post that discussed the topic, Reciprocating Follows. However, I neglected to include any details as to why I pass by some of the blogs of my followers at WordPress.Com. I remember I considered a paragraph or two on these particulars, but decided it may appear a little callous. I let my inner coward get the best of me.

Has my spine become more durable within these last few months? Maybe, although I think it’s more a case of telling the truth as it stands. People are bound to find out the truth anyway, so those “little white lies” are a waste of time, as well as possibly chafing someone’s feelings to the point where a friendship is lost. Truthfulness with tact and as much compassion that can be mustered up will usually kept the rapport in good shape and bypass lies that are always impossible to remember or feel good about.

With this stipulated, why have I subscribed to blogs, in the past, that I haven’t had any interest in? I did it because those bloggers decided to subscribe to my blog. I skipped right over their notifications of posts sent to my email box, marking them as read and deleting them even though I barely scanned the first paragraph of the blogger’s entry. I agreed to follow their blogs as a kind gestured response to their decision to follow mine.

When considered with a realistic and forthright attitude, this behavior is absurd. I doubt most seriously I have any subscribers who are children, so they should be able to handle the concept of different preferences, even when they’re not included, right? Yes, there are those few who cannot get out of the mentality of “the even stevens” that may have been in place when they were young. I grew up with that philosophy too, but shed the material aspect of it and just kept the meaning in abstract. I do not expect all bloggers I have a subscription with to follow my blog.

The choices I make are what shape who I am. They make me an individual. I have some precise druthers when it comes to the subjects in the area of the arts as a whole. I find nothing exceptional about traditional paintings, unless it’s a Monet. My true choice is the works that are abstracts. Although I can listen to almost any type of music, except for rap, my love is with contemporary jazz. As with music, I can read almost any book, except in the area of hard science, but my favorites are in thriller and literary fiction. (Yes, they aren’t even close to each other, are they?)

As follows, I have my preferences in the blogs I read too. I want the posts that help me improve my writing, as long as the posts don’t get too repetitive in topic. I enjoy reading about the lives of writers; their hassles are often different from others experience. I appreciate some of the blogs that spill out opinions too. Despite this selection, I don’t enjoy poems usually, even though it most assuredly is in the realm of writing. If the blog, though is written by a lover of the writing craft, is all or even mostly poems, I’ll be passing it by, even with owning the book, Leaves of Grass. If the blog is all about being funny, with my general attitude being quite serious, the posts are wasted on me. Smut and questionable language in a blog never reached my hip-parade even for a glance.


Sometimes I wish I was more unbiased with my choices. I’m sure I would be better read and cultured if I could broaden my scope a bit. Maybe little by little I can reach out more, but for the time being, I’ll continue to be reluctant to get a grasp on anything much past my comfort zone.

“No one should part with their individuality and become that of another.” — William Channing


Picasso Bottoms Up – part four

If you haven’t read the previous posts in this series, here are the links.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

This last part is almost twice as long as any of the previous ones. But I said this would be the last installment, so it is. I hope you like it.

Picasso Bottoms Up
Image provided by
Wikipedia @

An officer was put on duty inside the gallery from regular closing time to when it would normally open in the morning. The patrol car for the detail was eliminated. Although Ms. Strong would have rather had both, the cop walking the halls of the art work was an improvement.

That second night after the Melancoly Woman had been found turned upside down was quiet except for the clicking of the officer’s shoes on the polished floors. Bernard sat on one of the many crates in the basement biting his fingernails. When he heard the clicking fade away, he made his way upstairs and peeked out the door into the hall. The shoes were still clicking away but obviously not close to the hall where the basement stairs were. He crept against the wall toward the Picasso exhibit. Crawling under the yellow tape that barred the entrance, he sprinted to the dark corner of the wall that was shared by the outer corridor. He sat all folded up on the floor muttering to himself.

The cop came back through the hall leading to the basement stairs. He began to sing softly to himself keeping the beat with his footsteps. Bernard covered his mouth in fear and huddled closer to the corner. The cop stopped at the yellow tape and shined his flashlight into the Picasso hall, paying special attention to the paintings on the walls. When his light got the closer edges of the wall on the left, he couldn’t get the beam past the sculptor.

He ducked underneath the tape and strolled to that side of the large room. His light caught the cafe painting hanging on that wall shared by the outer hall. He moved the beam to the left where the small curb of the wall met the entrance. Then he swung it around to the other corner. The beam shined two feet up from Bernard’s bended form. The cop was about ready to leave when Bernard involuntarily jerked. The officer shined his beam on the homeless man’s body.

“Hey you. Get up.”

Bernard obeyed hugging his corduroy jacket around him and looking down at the floor.

The officer pulled out his cell phone and made his call to the station, keeping the light shining on the vagrant. “Yes, he’s harmless, sir.” A couple of minutes of silence passed. “Sir, are you sure she’s willing to come down here?” During the brief silence that followed, red crept up to the cop’s face. “Yes. sir.”

Ms. Strong got to the gallery just after Lt. Nice arrived. Striding down the outer hall, Ms. Strong asked questions. Nice wasn’t too happy about answering them.

“Lieutenant, where was he hiding? How did he get in?”

“I’m not clear on that yet, Ms. Strong. Let’s see what the officer can tell us.”

“But you have a forensic team here. Why didn’t they find anything leading to this person?”

“Ma’am, let’s just wait and see what has happened here, okay?” Nice was having a struggle keeping his anger in check.

Bernard was sitting on one of the benches in the middle of the room. He was, as usual, muttering to himself. The officer was standing next to him. Nice broke the tape and let Ms. Strong enter the exhibit first. She couldn’t help but smile when she saw the man sitting there looking intently at the Melancoly Woman.

“Can I talk to him?” she asked.

Nice shrugged. “Sure, why not.”

“What’s his name?”

Picasso Bottoms Up - part 4
Image provided by
Orin Zebest @

The officer answered, “He says his name is Bernard and his friend’s name is Pablo.” He shook his head in disbelieve.

“Bernard, why did you turn the paintings upside down?”

“No one come to see Pablo’s work except for that one lady.”

“That’s Ruth probably. Yes, she likes Pablo Picasso’s art. So you thought if you changed things, maybe more people would come to this room?”

“It worked, didn’t it?” Bernard looked up at Ms. Strong and gave her a toothless grin.

“Bernard, I need you to stop doing this.” Bernard started mumbling. “Bernard, do you hear me?”

“Yeah. But Pablo doesn’t like it.”

“Doesn’t like what?”

“No one seeing his work.”

“What if I put ads in the newspaper? Would that make him happy?”

Bernard sat there a few seconds and then replied, “Yeah, that’ll be okay.”

“Bernard, how are you getting in?” Ms. Strong asked as she sat down beside him.

“The glass is out of one of your windows downstairs. I pull the screen back and hop in. No one else knows. Pablo and I don’t like visitors.”

Ms. Strong laughed, making Bernard’s face crinkle in puzzlement.

Ms. Strong stood and looked at Nice. “I don’t want to press charges.”

“Ma’am, he broke into your gallery. He’s a criminal.”

“I’m not going to argue with you. I am not pressing charges. He’s a patron of the arts.”

She then turned, facing Bernard. “You aren’t going to turn anything else around, right?”

“No ma’am.” He hung his head in shame.

“I guess it’s time for you to go fill out your reports. Have a nice night, you two.” She walked to the entrance of the outer hall, turned, gestured with her arm that told them to leave.

The End

Picasso Bottoms Up – part three

Did you miss the other two posts telling this story?: Part One, Part Two

Picasso Bottoms Up - part three
Image provided by
Wikipedia @

The gallery was quiet. The curator had gone home after learning that nothing more could be done about the break-in until the next day. The shadows from the dimmed lights appeared to dance on the floor and walls. A cop car drove by at a snail’s pace, shining the floodlight through the front windows.

He held back in the gloom of the corner where the second corridor veered to the right. After the floodlight left, he headed to the hall of Picasso. He sat on a bench in the middle of the hall and admired his handy work with Melancoly Woman.

“These people are so narrow in their perception of life. I’m just trying to open up their minds a little,” he said to the photo of the great artist. “What’s so remarkable is that none of them know how I’m getting in here when the place is closed.” He giggled as if he was sharing a joke with the photo.

Bernard, forty-seven years old, had been a homeless soul for over twenty-five years. His parents had stopped looking for him before his thirtieth birthday. It didn’t seem to be of any importance to Bernard. He could be seen talking to someone imaginary named Pablo. He’d chatter away about the different galleries throughout the city. Bernard visited Pablo’s work in the various galleries on a regular basis, blubbering to the air around him about the painting being the work of his fictitious friend.

Tonight’s chore was to turn the painting, The Old Guitarist upside down. He took off the dirty corduroy jacket and the green sweater under it. He folded his outer clothing, laid them neatly on the bench, rubbed his palms against his shirt, and walked over to his intended canvas.

Once he was done with his task, he put the sweater and jacket back on and strolled down the main hall to the door that lead to the basement.

The next morning the forensic team knocked at the door. Ms. Strong gave them her professional smile as she greeted them. They wasted no time in getting to the Picasso hall. Ms. Strong tagged behind them.

As the team set up, she looked around haphazardly. It was during the second look around when she yelled in horror. The Old Guitarist, hanging on the wall opposite of the Melancoly Woman, was topsy-turvy.

“Who is doing this? Where were you guys last night? Drinking beers someplace when you should have been here?” There wasn’t any doubt that she was furious.

“Ma’am, we had patrol cars circling the building all night.”

“How about having an officer inside? Sounds like a great idea to me.” The plain-clothed men frowned as Ms. Strong set her tone at the sarcastic level.

The taller of the three men pushed buttons on his cell phone as he walked to the outer hall. The other two started brushing for prints, basically ignoring the woman in her plight.

I think one more post will wrap up this story. Four parts isn’t bad, is it?


Picasso Bottoms Up – part one

This post is from a writing prompt I found at Writing.Com. I’m not sure how long this story is going to be yet. Obviously more than one post’s worth though. 😛

Picasso Bottoms Up
Image provided by
Wikipedia @

Ruth opened the glass door of the gallery and walked in. Once on the welcome rug, she stomped her feet in an attempt to rid her shoes of the packed snow that was clinging to the soles. She didn’t really care if it was bleak outside. She loved this art gallery and nothing short of work or time of day would realistically stop her from visiting the masterpieces.

Her trip always took the same path. First, she would look at some of the sculptures, her favorites being done by Barye, Epstein, Rodin and Dalou. As sculptures go, she had particular tastes so that even with this group of artists, there’d only be one or two works of a sculptor she’d like. Still, what she liked she wanted to gaze upon. Second, she’d go through the hall with the Monet paintings on the wall and on easels. She adored his impressionistic watercolors. Ruth could sit for hours looking at The Studio Boat. Her third stop would be with Picasso.

As she strolled along the wall of paintings, Ruth stopped at the ones she cherished most, studying the composition, color, and brush strokes. It thrilled her to daydream about where the painter might have been when he worked on Absinthe Drinker or Boy with a Pipe.

Picasso Bottoms Up
Image provided by
Wikipedia @

When she got to his painting, Melancoly Woman, she gasped in horror. Someone had hung the painting upside down. “Oh, my God!” She hurried to the office of the curator.

When she knocked on the office door, she heard a woman answer, “One moment, please.”

She finally opened the door and came out into the hall. “May I help you?”

Noticing the name tag on the woman’s teal-colored blazer, Ruth replied, “Ms. Strong, I think someone is unlawfully moving some paintings — at least one of them.”

Ms. Strong stared at Ruth as if she might have two head. “What are you talking about?”

“Let me show you,” she said as she hurried along down the hall in front of the curator.

Once they were in the corridor of the Picasso exhibit, Ruth pointed to the Melancoly Woman painting. Ms. Strong, uncontrollably put her hands to her mouth in astonishment.

“Oh my God!” She ventured closed to the masterpiece.

“Yep, that’s exactly what I said,” Ruth replied.

“Why would anyone do this?” Ms. Strong said to no one in particular. She peeked behind the painting. Whoever had turned it upside down somehow switched the wires that held up the canvas as well.

You can read part two here. Part three is here. 🙂

She poured herself a cup of coffee…

At the present time, I’m working on five different stories. Do other writers work on this many? I get the funny feeling that I’m spreading myself a little too thin here. Yet, I can’t help it. I’m afraid to leave a story idea as just that, an idea. I’m afraid I’ll lose my train of thought on what I believe will be a good tale to tell.

In all of my stories, there’s a protagonist (main character) who drinks coffee. This is THE reason why I picked this prompt at Writing.Com.

She poured herself a cup of coffee...
Image provided by
James Cridland @

Diane drew the shade up to see what type of day it was going to be. She had learned long ago not to trust the weatherman on TV, or what the forecasts were in the newspaper or on the Internet. The only way to have any inkling of what type of weather was going to occur was to just look out the window and gaze into the western sky. According to what she saw this time, the day looked as though it might bring some moisture. Because it was autumn, that could mean either rain or snow. One thing seemed to be certain — a day for long sleeves.

After wriggling into her robe and scuffs, she moseyed to the kitchen, rubbing the sleepy out of her eyes as she went. Her routine was always the same — set up the coffee maker to start dripping the Java into the glass pot, make a quick trip outside to retrieve the morning paper and check her answering machine for messages.

Seeing that the phone had been silent during the previous evening and night, she turned her attention to the front page of the paper. Her little town currently suffered from vandalism. If it had been something like tearing down mailboxes, Diane wouldn’t think of it as a big deal, but the criminals were pulling apart power lines, putting sections of town in a frenzy because of not having electricity or natural gas. What was they’re purpose in this, she wondered.

She laid the paper on the kitchen table and got a mug out of the cupboard. She poured herself a cup of coffee, pulled out a chair and laid the newspaper out so that she could read the whole article. Sitting down, she continued to read. The delinquents seemed to be targeting only within the city limits. She took a sip of coffee and sighed. There is something good to be said about living beyond the city limits in the wilds of the county, knock on wood.

She turned her chair as she fixed her mind to what was going outside in her backyard. There were three bunnies scurrying around in the dry grass, stopping once in a while to nibble on some of the longer blades. The mother sat at the edge of the thicket beyond Diane’s property, keeping a watchful eye on her babies. A crow flew overhead. The mother rabbit stomped her back foot and her children went scampering toward her.

As she sipped her hot coffee, she contemplated what she wanted to get done today. There was the laundry, bills to paid and get into the mail, and that copy write assignment she needed to complete. There wasn’t a lot on her agenda, just enough to keep her busy.

That was enough of the lollygagging around. It was time to get to the business of the day.