Sunday Writing Prompt — The Quiet One

“Aren’t you the quiet one?” he said. It wasn’t a question as much as an observation. “You seem like someone who would be more of the incandescent type, someone who would want to be right in the thick of things, standing in the circle, entertaining the crowd with your storied tales of the realm. But there you sit, with nobody paying any attention to you.”

“I like it this way,” she said.

“I find it hard to believe that an attractive woman like you wants to be sitting alone. Wouldn’t you rather be sharing your time with a handsome, intelligent, interesting guy like me? You need to live the dream.”

She placed her finger to her lips and said, “Shh.”

“Ah, I see what the problem is,” he said. “You are seeking a formal introduction. Fine, my name is Alec. And yours is?”

“Alec,” she said, “you are fleet of tongue and probably full of drink, but I am thoroughly fine on my own.” She stood up, smiled, and said, “I encourage you to try your catfishing in a different lake.

Then she turned around and walked away.

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt. Photo credit: Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (incandescent/nobody), Ragtag Daily Prompt in the circle), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (realm/thorough) nobody), MMA Storytime (dream/catfish), The Daily Spur (introduction/drink), Your Daily Word Prompt (fleet), and catfish

And So It Goes, America

I don’t often do this, but I’m posting the Editor’s Column for the latest issue of The Week magazine. It resonated with me and I think it’s an important message about the state of gun violence in America today. It was written by William Falk, editor-in-chief of the magazine.

A motorcyclist was roaring in and out of highway lanes on I-35 in Fort Worth when he decided that an SUV changed lanes to block him. The enraged biker, 19, raced past other vehicles, stopped the bike to block all lanes of traffic, and approached the SUV with a drawn handgun. The SUV driver jumped out and said he had kids in his vehicle. But when the motorcyclist didn’t lower his gun, he raised his own and fired multiple shots, leaving the biker dying on the road.

This was just one of hundreds of gun deaths last week, as our nation continues to devolve into a heavily armed Wild West. In 2020, with the pandemic, protests, and a divisive election further weakening frayed social bonds, Americans purchased more than 23 million guns—a 66 percent increase over 2019. Up to 40 percent of new gun sales, the firearm industry estimates, went to first-time buyers—with sales jumping 50 percent among Black customers and 47 percent among Hispanics.

Jabril Battle, 28, an African-American account representative in Los Angeles, was one of the first-time buyers. He told The Washington Post he’d always hated “gun nuts” but was deeply unsettled by the pandemic’s apocalyptic, “Mad Max” feeling of anarchy. “I was like, Do I want to be a person who has a gun or doesn’t have a gun?” He bought two.

The fear of being outgunned feeds on itself: Americans now own an estimated 390 million guns—a per capita rate more than double that of any other country. Deadly weapons may make people feel safer, but they also serve as impulse amplifiers, transforming arguments into homicides, gang turf battles into firefights, disaffected young men into mass killers, depression into easy suicide, and police stops into tragic deaths.

As we celebrated our nation’s birth on the Fourth of July weekend, more than 230 Americans died by gun violence and 618 were wounded.

And so it goes.

Who Won the Week? 07/18/2021

FWWTWThe idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

This week I’m going with the heartwarming human interest story of Gwen Goldman. Gwen has been a lifelong New York Yankees fan. As a 10-year-old, Gwen Goldman dreamed of being a bat girl for the New York Yankees, but she was turned down because of her gender.

Goldman wrote a letter to then-Yankees general manager Roy Hamey in 1961 about her dream to be a bat girl. Hamey replied to Gwen’s letter, saying, “While we agree with you that girls are certainly as capable as boys, and no doubt would be an attractive addition on the playing field, I am sure you can understand that in a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout.”

Earlier this year, Goldman’s daughter, Abby McLoughlin, reached out to the Yankees about Hamey’s letter — which Goldman has displayed on her living room wall. It caught the eye of current Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who wrote Goldman a new letter offering her a spot as an honorary bat.

And so sixty years later, Goldman, now 70, finally got her wish.She was an honorary bat girl at a recent Yankees game, where she spent the day with the team, got a full uniform, met players, and even got to throw a ceremonial first pitch on the mound.

Gwen Goldman, you’ve come a long way, baby!

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Song Lyric Sunday — Breaking Up is Hard to Do

For This week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us breakup songs as our theme. And what better breakup song is there besides Neil Sedaka’s….

We interrupt this post to bring you this special message. At the last minute, Fandango has decided to go with Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” a truly heartbreaking song.

“I Can’t Make You Love Me” was written by the Nashville songwriting team of Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin. It was recorded by American singer Bonnie Raitt in 1991 for her eleventh studio album Luck of the Draw and was released as the album’s third single that year. The song became one of Raitt’s most successful singles, reaching the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the top 10 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

“I Can’t Make You Love Me” is about a woman who knows her man has lost interest in her and she just wants to spend one more night with him before moving on with her life. Instead of lying to herself or trying to work things out, she confronts the reality and seeks closure with that final night together. In the morning, she’ll be on her way.

Reid supposedly got the idea for the song from a newspaper article about a guy who got drunk and shot up his girlfriend’s car. When the judge sentenced him and asked him what he had learned, the guy said, “You can’t make a woman love you if she don’t.”

Raitt, who produced the record, said of the song, “It was absolutely one of the most honest and original heartache songs I had ever heard. It was a point of view that I had been on both sides of, and it struck me deeply. I knew immediately I wanted to sing it.” Getting the news that someone doesn’t love you anymore is devastating, but Raitt felt that delivering it is worse.

“I love that song,” Raitt said, “and so does the audience. So it’s almost a sacred moment when you share that, that depth of pain with your audience. Because they get really quiet, and I have to summon … some other place in order to honor that space.”

Here are the lyrics to “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”

Turn down the lights
Turn down the bed
Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me
Tell me no lies
Just hold me close, don’t patronize
Don’t patronize me

‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

I’ll close my eyes, then I won’t see
The love you don’t feel when you’re holding me
Morning will come and I’ll do what’s right
Just give me till then to give up this fight
And I will give up this fight

‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

FOWC with Fandango — Thorough

FOWCWelcome to July 18, 2021 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “thorough.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.