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Friday, April 1, 2011

You Should Know by Now that I Could Never Leave...

It's not often that I write a love story, but when I do, I gravitate toward the events that keep us separated -- and pull us back together.

So quickly! The iPod! The diviner of our future. Set on "shuffle" and played during my morning commute, it tells us what the weekend holds, a little game I play with myself that I will continue to do until forcibly restrained...

Why Don't We Do It In the Road by The Beatles
In The Meantime In Pernambuco by Gogol Bordello
Rich Kid Blues by The Raconteurs
We Are the Ones by The Coup
Supermassive Black Hole by Muse
Crying Lightning by Arctic Monkeys
Walk Away by Dropkick Murphys

And now, on to my love story.


Temperatures Rise Above Freezing, Area Resident Discovers Reason to Go On

The mood has gone Scandinavian in the tail-end of this Minnesota winter. Not the pretty, blue-eyed, let’s-take-our-clothes-off-and-sit-in-the-sauna type of Scandinavian, either, but the dark, brooding type, sitting on an isolated farm off amongst the fjords, perhaps, throwing knives into the floorboards and whistling eerie, minor-chorded dirges.

Why go on? The world is gray, cold and lifeless, covered with snow and salt-rimmed automobiles. A short-sleeved shirt is now tantamount to flashing one’s bare breasts: shocking, familiar yet painfully naked; and the populace is now down to shaving their legs once a month – whether it’s need it or not.

The locals are considering competitive drinking as a means of escape.

It is our good fortune, however, that contrary to how anyone feels at any given moment, there is always hope; and this time, hope comes in the form of a single, knitted glove.

Two months ago, a pair of favorite gloves went missing. Rightie and Stinky, they were called.

Stinky, by the way, didn’t deserve his lot in life but by default became the glove with which its owner picked up litter. Winter litter doesn’t literally stink, of course, as it tends to be frozen, but “Stinky” became his name, primarily because “Garbage Glove” seemed disrespectful.

“Stinky” just seemed kind of home-y.

But whatever the gloves were named, they had vanished; and while the owner stopped short of posting “Have You Seen These Accessories?” fliers, the disappearance of Rightie and Stinky left a glove-shaped hole in her winter-y heart.

Let us fast-forward then, from that terrible morning when it was realized that they were gone, to just two months ago, because there, in a filthy snow-plowed ridge of snow, its once five-foot mass reduced by the slowly increasing temperatures to a glacier-like solemnity, its stratified ice-snow-salt-dirt tale of the season glittering in the sun, one, lone, outstretched finger of a left glove rose silently: one brown, frozen, defiant finger aimed squarely at the elements.

Was it the index finger, pointing toward the sky? Was it the middle finger, taunting and insolent, a wintry "up yours"? Was it perhaps, even, the thumb, a cosmic "everything's OK"?

Is it important?

The other glove has yet to be found; but now there is hope, and you should know.

Stinky the Glove is home.

Long live Stinky!



Rightie Speaks; or Beyond the Pair: The Lost Glove Story

In a move that has stunned Minneapolis neighborhoods, area gloves have congregated together in what many perceive to be the first indication of spring.

The gathering of lost gloves began as a way of reconnecting but has, if you'll excuse the expression, snowballed.

“It was sad, really,” mumbled an un-named ski glove. “Here we’d been instrumental in keeping a hand warm and suddenly we’re on the streets, being pushed around by snow plows.”

Many of the gloves tell the same story: forgotten on laps and dumped upon standing, left behind at bus stops, fallen from overstuffed bags, they are forced to live on the streets, turning to each other for structure, some resorting to anonymous, one-off hand jobs to provide the protection against the cold that they were designed to supply.

“I spent three days with a homeless man before he, too, lost me,” shudders a cashmere driving glove who refuses to give her name. “All I wanted was to do what I was manufactured to do. Is that so wrong? Is it wrong to give warmth? Is it?” It is here that the glove turns away, sobbing.

“I’d lost hope,” opined a glove identified only as “Rightie”. “One minute I’m part of a team, the next minute my mate and I are casually removed so our owner can go digging through her purse. She didn't see us fall to the curb. You can imagine my dismay when she got on the bus without us. I was lost! Lost!”

But now those fearful, single days are over, thanks to two gloves with a dream.

That dream? To be reunited with their mates.

“We’re going to stand up!” shouts a leather working glove. “Do we not have fingers? Are we not counted upon? We’re saying "no more"! Glove! Glove! Glove!

The crowd of lost gloves roars its approval. “Glove! Glove! Glove!”




In other news, large gatherings of cigarette butts and discarded candy wrappers have gathered just outside of the circle of streetlamp light on the corner of Broadway and Buchanan.

Their spokesman, an empty Yoohoo bottle, hints at big things come the true thaw.




Good Night, My Glove, Sleep Tight

The culminating frustration of the last few months met half way up and half way down the staircase last evening in an emotional hand-clasp that made the pictures on the wall shudder with its intensity.

Rightie and Stinky: the best of gloves, the most poignant of glove stories.

Kept apart by the complex bus-riding patterns of the homeless, an unrelenting cold front and the inability to ambulate on their own, the two gloves suffered separately but never wavered in their desire to be reunited.

Rightie, trembling, is the first to speak.

“I – I – Oh, Stinky. You don’t know what I’ve been through.”

“We’re together again. That’s all that matters.”

Rightie’s fingertips fall forward dejectedly. “Stinky, you need to know. I’ve been in situations – ”

Stinky shakes slightly from side to side, raises his index finger. “It doesn’t matter. We all did what we had to do.”

“You don’t know…”

“I don’t need to know. Nothing will ever change the love I have for you.”

Rightie’s fingertips assume an air of hope. “Then we still have time?”

Stinky pauses, runs his thumb up the inside of Rightie’s palm. Again, he shakes slightly from side to side. “It’s too late, my love. Word on the staircase is that we’re to be washed, pressed flat, placed in a reasonably airtight container, and stored in the basement until next October.”

Rightie closes her eyes and exhales slowly. She opens them, takes a deep breath. She smiles ruefully and sighs. “A six-month nap.”

Stinky reaches out, his fingers extended, “And we’re together.” Rightie, smiling shyly, leans forward –

Suddenly, there is the sound of a door opening; and with that the gloves fall, limply, to the floor.

The woman sweeps into the stairway down to the first floor, grabbing, in her wake, her gloves, the scarf Mary had given her, and a number of the thinner jackets she used to supplement her coat on the coldest of days.

“Longest winter in human memory,” she mumbles.

She runs up the stairs, the laundry basket bouncing off her hip.

And from within the dark, tumbled world of the laundry basket, Rightie and Stinky drift off to sleep, side by side.

There will be other winters.

47 comments:

vanilla said...

Be still, My Heart!

Pearl said...

vanilla, I hope you liked it. I'm experimenting...

Irisheyes said...

What is this wet material streaming from my eyes? Am I crying? I am always a sucker for a good glove story. This brings me back to my younger days when I was in glove for the first time. Aww...memories.

ThreeOldKeys said...

I wonder if Fabio is too old to pose for the book cover ... barehanded and sweaty ...


(or as an acquaintance used to call him, NOT being funny ... Farbio ...)

Pearl said...

Irisheyes, would you believe I choked mySELF up writing the ending? I did! I kill me sometimes...

ThreeOldKeys, I can see it!

Cake Betch said...

STINKY IS HOME! Yay! Where was she?? Where was she found?

Simply Suthern said...

Experimenting? I thought we did that in the 70's. You see clothing moving and talking by itself too huh? And beds that spin. You gotta stop smokin that stuff.

BTW that was good.

Happy Frog and I said...

A love story to gloves was exactly what I wanted to read on my Friday afternoon though I did not know it till I stopped by here. Absolutely loved this and also the photo of the gloves with their placard. Good to know you like Muse, they are one of my favourite bands.

Pat said...

All together now:

What the world needs now,
Is Glove sweet Glove,
That's the only thing,
That there''s just too little of!

I love the pervading, Nordic gloom of the story.

Pearl said...

Cake Betch, Stinky spent a lot of time frozen in a snowplowed-induced glacier. He tries not to remember those times...

Simply, I thought I recognized you! You were the guy with the truck and the cooler in the back, right?! MAN those were some good times... :-) (And thank you.)

Happy Frog and I, that's a lovely thing you just said. Thank you. :-) Sometimes, I make things up and I don't know WHAT people are going to think...

Pearl said...

Pat, thank you, and welcome to Minnesota, where we fight the Noridc gloom seven months out of twelve...

Deborah said...

I think I said this last time, but you really do write brilliantly! :o)

vanilla said...

Yes. Yes, I like your "experiment." Keep up the good work. btw, I was in early on "Raised to Be a Lert. In fact, it arrived just as we were pulling away, headed to the South. It provided me with joy and laughter as I lolled in the sunshine. Thanks!

Symdaddy said...

Oh, am I pleased I found time in my busy schedule to pop in!

Well done Pearlchen!

You brightened my day.

In a rush now ... you've made me late for work!

Ponita in Real Life said...

Ah, ya gotta love a happy ending!

A six month nap would be the perfect way to pass the winter, wouldn't it, Pearl?? ;-)

Camille said...

I'm ferklempt...only you could choke me up with a glove story Pearl. Nicely done.

Pearl said...

Deborah, that feels so good, hearing that. :-) Thank you so much.

vanilla, really?! That's great. I've only heard back from a handful of people about the book so I'm very glad to hear that you enjoyed it (even in the sunshine, while I suffered...) :-)

Sym, I'm glad. Not that you're late, but that you made time for it. :-)

Ponita, I think it would be lovely to take a six-month winter nap with the one you love.

Belle said...

Great story! I love the photo of the gloves all raising their hands, "Yes".

Leenie said...

I'm still kinda stuck on the ribaldry of the IPod shuffle. Whew! Sounds like a weekend hot enough to melt those glaciers full of gloves, paper cups and soda cans. Hoping for sun for Minnesota. We have a little here, but it's so bright we're thinking about hibernating with our warm Griz friends for a few more weeks.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

A sweet glove story. And I'm glad those gloves will band together.

light208 said...

This is the first blog I read having just officially started my holiday. And what a start to it. So pleased to hear Stinky and Rightie ended up together. Loved the image.

You've made my day :)

jenny_o said...

Awww...*sniff*

Well done, when you can make the eyes tear up over a love story between gloves.

Now this is why I find it so hard to throw away inanimate objects!!!

jabblog said...

A glovely romance!

HumorSmith said...

"One-off hand jobs". You're killing me! You are very inventive and very funny. I think I shall go erase all my posts and close down my blog now, for what's the point of other humor blogs when there is you?

And really, all you need is glove, glove is all you need.

Crystal Pistol said...

My fave line here: "a short sleeved shirt is tantamount to flashing one's bare breasts"

Hilarious and helps me to understand the severity of the cold intimately. ;)

oh how I DO enjoy a good romance. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Bossy Betty said...

I am ready for the movie. Who will play Rightie?

lifeshighway said...

Be still my heart, how I also love a good romance. I am pretty sure I felt my bosom heave. I happy ending to a timeless love story.

Bravo, storyteller. I want to run home and hug my gloves.

Douglas said...

Alas, I live a gloveless life... unless you count the several golf gloves I keep stuck to the carpet in the trunk of my car. They're all lefties, though, and can't be trusted.

Eva Gallant said...

Ah, the possibilities! I'm gonna glove you like no one has gloved you.... Once I had a secret glove.... Glove is a many splendored thing.... Bye, bye, glove....

Sausage Fingers said...

Speaking of "Salt-rimmed" and "Competative drinking" don't forget that Florida is still open for business, we are now accepting all frostbitten northerners as well as Canadians.
Gentlemen - please no speedo's
Ladies - speedo's welcome
get your ass down south and park it on a beach!
Cheers, Sausage.

ThreeOldKeys said...

Been thinkin about this romance while I walked up and down the supermarket aisles. I had to come back to say how glad I am there's a happy ending. I was afraid Stinky had joined the other team and run off with a mitten.

my name is Ian said...

who doesn't love a happy ending?

becca said...

as always you held me captive from first word till last

Everyday Goddess said...

I think I glove you too.

a Broad said...

Brava, that was the best glove story I have read in years .. or ... ever !

Antares Cryptos said...

PEARL! Keep experimenting. This is really good. Well done.

Gigi said...

Loved it Pearl! (And didn't I tell you how much I enjoyed the book? I loved it too!)

The comments here today (and everyday - but especially today) are PRICELESS!

*sigh* so happy that Rightie and Stinky found their way back together again. It soothes my sole (get it?).

Mamma has spoken said...

I didn't get this until my week in Alaska during the big thaw. After a week of warm weather, where there had been snow and ice there is a matress, door, bike, and other odds and ends that were there before the snow.

Brian Miller said...

it is always good to wear gloves when experimenting...tale nicely told pearl...

Cheeseboy said...

As always, loved the story. The glove drama is the best.

I love Arctic Monkeys and Raconteurs, but not a big fan of Dropkick Murphys. The Decemberists are about as Irish as I can get.

Pearl said...

Loving the comments!

And Cheeseboy, I'm not a huge fan of the Dropkick Murphys, either. It's actually the only song of theirs on the iPod. Now The Pogues -- there's a band you can sink your teeth into. (Honestly, I had no idea that the Decemberists were Irish! For some reason, I had assumed they were from Wisconsin, but that might just be me and the relationship I've got going with the Season That Refused to Leave...

Joanna Jenkins said...

That was awesome!!!! You may be experimenting but I say you nailed this one. It's a glove story to love.
xo jj

Jhon Baker said...

Beautiful resolve for this, I found myself thinking about these gloves some nights wondering... After I got over feeling strange about that I came to realize that it is just a wonderful story -

injaynesworld said...

Okay, this is just damn genius. I would give you the Mark Twain and Erma Bombeck awards on this. So charming, funny and poignant. You're just ridiculously talented. I bow to your awesomeness, my friend.

Daisy said...

Heart, or hand, warming story Pearl. Now, I wonder where my garden gloves are???

Kal said...

I am not crying over that beautiful tale. That is just dust in my eyes.

John McElveen said...

Michael Jackson had one glove. He was AWESOME!

J