I am feeling rather indolent today. There really is no other word for it. Well, that’s not true – lackadaisical, torpid, languid, and lethargic also come to mind, but I digress.

“Where can I stick this?” Slipped from a colleague’s tongue. There was a slight pause as the speaker and two others in the conversation realized the verbal misstep and looked to me waiting for me to snark. On any other day I would have pounced on that spewing innuendo. I gave them all a whatever hand gesture – they are still waiting. I’m not angry, sad, tired or even bored, I simply can not be so bothered to be so bothered.

When not on autopilot, I’ve had no discerning thoughts, until I came here to post. For this creative mind that is constantly conjuring snark while running emotional apps, mental programs and existential subroutines, over speculative subroutines, under jokes, and in pure utter randomness, this complete lassitude of thought is unnerving to say the least.

It is just weird, really weird. I’ve shrugged, idly smiled, casually taught by rote all through this morning’s training session weird. Weird as in The Dude I just want to see what condition my condition is in, without being in any condition to condition really weird.

In the world of Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering? Pinky would be the Brain among the two of us right now. You’ll have to think about that, because clearly I’m not in the mood to.



Let’s see how others are thinking it through their day:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 23



My insomnia is catching up to me. I’ve maybe had eight hours of sleep since Sunday morning. After two days of straight out documentation, plus an all day training session today, with another double session to look forward to tomorrow. I’m so knackered I could cry, but that would likely keep me awake. Of course, just as my eyes are actually starting to feel the type of heavy that I may finally get a few good hours in one night, I remember I had yet to post.

So goodnight, sleep tight and pleasant dreams to you, and hopefully me – if I can get this damned Lawrence Welk earworm I just gave myself out of my head.




Let’s see how others are slicing through what’s left of this wide awake Wednesday:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 22

Just Swell

A guy on the train and I are flirting madly. We’re having fun, but I know it’s not going anywhere. As time draws near to when I’m about ready to leave, I let him down slowly with a contrasting statement.

“How is it this not enough, yet too much?’

“Because you can’t do what I do.”

“Like what?”

We’d been conversing for a while; I knew I was deep in his head space. I arch a brow, slowly tilting my head back and to the side, as I even more slowly lick the inside of my lower lip before pursing them and then wait as he watches me. His response is near instantaneous and far too easy.

His pupils dilate and breath catches a little.

A vein near his jaw starts to pulse rapidly.

A hand reaches up to rub the back of his neck in nervous curiosity. He realizes what he is doing and quickly brings his hand down.

I know my smile turns into a slow, but teasing grin. Like I said, too easy.

“How  – I don’t even know what to call it – what is it you do?”

“Apparently manipulate sympathetic divisional responses in your autonomic ganglia.” I grin, mostly to myself, for I absolutely adore the times when I can successfully reel off such information at a moment’s notice as though it were pedestrian conversation filler.

“My what?”

Luckily, the train pulls into my station, so I stand and head to the door.

“Sorry, not telling, a woman has to have her secrets.” I wink exiting. At least I left him with a smile and tumescence.




Let’s see how others are slicing through this Tuesday:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 21

Cold As

Hung out last night for dinner and drinks with friends. On my way home this happened:

Male Friend I ran into on train: Have you been drinking?
Me: Yup.
MF: You’re drunk?
Me: Nope. Inebriated.
MF: What’s the difference?
Me: A) I can still pronounce it easily. B) I can still spell it slowly. C) You’re attractive, but not nearly enough for me to have illicit thoughts. D) I actually thought the words “illicit thoughts”.
MF: Damn. Even inebriated you’re cold.
Me: Yup.

For the record, even when sober, I spell inebriated slowly.




Let’s see how other’s are slicing it up this Saturday:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 11

Careful What You Look For



I am a born and bred New Yorker and a daily mass transit commuter. Part and parcel of this are the mornings when I may encounter a group of police officers performing random searches of bags. This happens at my local station several times a year, while I have witnessed others randomly selected to have their bags searched I myself had not been stopped before. Until the day I really, really should not have been. Oh, the deities do love to laugh at us mortals, no?

When the officer signaled me, my first instinct was to balk. I mean seriously? Of all days to be selected! Please note the situation: me – a fat black woman, clearly dressed for work, carrying a leather cross body bag with embossed skull adornment and a zipped leopard print shopping bag, certainly looks as though I am in possession of potential bomb making materials, to transport via the subway nonetheless- staring down several gun-toting NYPD officers who indeed looked friendly enough, but let’s not get it twisted, I am most certainly offering my bags for inspection. I huffed at the inconvenience of a missed train, but then I remembered exactly what I was carrying.

In my mind I could hear a Greek chorus of certain friends yelling “Rai BEHAVE!”

However, my ever-present demon did Olympic worthy somersaults on my shoulder as I bit down the urge to grin while I handed my bags over and took a step back from the table.

“But of course officers, here you go.”

Oh, this is going to be such FUN! 

A younger friend of mine, slowly coming into her sexuality, wanted to go “toy” shopping. As she was new to this, instead of randomly buying things online, I had suggested we go to a brick and mortar store where she can actually see and touch a few things.  Let’s just say that after an hour or so the end result was my friend, and a couple of others – who overheard me explaining certain things and wound up in our conversation, spent a lovely amount of dollars there and the salesgirls wanted to recruit me. Which was all well and good until I got home I realized I had her purchases with me because in spite of it all she was still too shy to be in the street carrying a bag with the store’s logo emblazoned on the side, announcing to the world where she’d been. We agreed to meet in the morning at a station downtown to drop it off. I placed the items in the leopard print bag to be nice to her. I now watched as an officer slowly unzipped the bag and took a peek inside.

I knew the first thing he saw was the brand spanking new dildo, still in its package sitting at the top. His mouth dropped as he gasped, turned all manner of persimmon and looked up at me.  Of course this got the attention of the three other officers working with him who naturally had to take a look. It seemed as almost one they all slowly looked from the bag to me in expressions ranging from What kind of shit is this? to Oh my God! to Well, hello there!

“That’s not mine. Would you believe, it’s for a friend?” I teased, Maxwell Smart coming to mind as I shrugged a shoulder, knowing damn well what they believed.

It took everything I had to keep a straight face as a different officer took a pen, moved the dildo over to look further into the bag only to remove his hand and look up at me anew. I suspect he saw the – well never mind what he saw.

“Now, that one is mine.” placidity was my name as I arched a brow at him. He grinned. It was lethal. It was beautiful. I reminded him he was married, to the amusement of his comrades as the first officer quickly zipped the leopard print bag and handed both bags back to me.

“Enjoy yourself.” Officer Smiley’s grin was divine as, per protocol, he held the emergency door open for me to go through as I earn a free train ride as payment for the inconvenience of being detained.

“You saw what was in the bag; you know I will.”  I purred as I went through. The officer’s laughter followed me as I went down the escalator.

I was on the train, pulling out my iPod, when it amused me to realize that in the surprise of the toys found in the leopard print bag, none of them actually checked my purse.

To paraphrase a classic: be careful what you seek, you might find something unexpected instead.


10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!DAY 2

The Iron Phoenix

The sky seems more blue, From the bowels of earth

In shades unfathomable, to a world sealed in the night

A fidget enthralled, I’m moved standing still

By this bond twixt light and dark, A phoenix newly rising

In timelessness of twilight, The iron horse travels onward


Over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads, Dreaming with Stacie provided a mini lesson on Poetry, Writing & Metaphor and invites to write a poem based on a specific metaphor.

Many of  my subway travels involve elevated trains (el trains as we like to say), where my train may start at a station below ground, but ends at a station on an elevated platform above the streets.  There is a marked difference in the dark of the tunnels and the dark of night. Even when riding during witching hours, when the train emerges from the tunnel it can feel like a phoenix rising from the ashes, especially in the heat of summer. The duality of the Super Tanka seemed the best form to tell the tale of transition.

Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – on Poetry, Writing & Metaphor  – Dreaming with Stacie

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries – In Lo Places

On the train this morning half not-listening to a subway sermon being held by a middle-aged, whatever that is, gentleman by the door. I generally do not listen to such at all; usually turning up my iPod on it, but apparently the Lord knew the poor soul vying for the stairway to heaven needed a little push in the right direction, even if from a heathen.

The minister* makes an exclamation that sounded strange, but I wasn’t sure and shrugged it off to having an Antoinette moment and misheard him. (Hi Antoinette!) When he repeated it and a couple of teenagers within earshot, clearly as dirty-minded as I, started giggling – it confirmed it for me.

Rai: Uh, excuse me? Sir?

He looks to see who addressed him, so I raised my hand. I think he was about to come over to me and talk shop, but takes one look at my purple hair, decides otherwise and stays by the door. Well, I darn sure was not getting out of my seat. Now, had he any sense, he would have ignored me, at least until I made a bigger pest of myself, but I was counting on his being such a man of God that he could not risk/resist turning his back on a sinner as I in such a public forum as the subway. Alas, I was right as he visibly steeled himself before acknowledging me from the door.

Minister: Yes, my sister? 

So, he wants to have this conversation out loud? Fine. By his tone he clearly expects a problem from me, which of course now made me more than happy to oblige.

Raivenne: 1. I’m not your sister and 2. You’re new at this aren’t you?

M: New?

R: New at subway preaching, or at least nervous, because you’re misquoting a saying and don’t realize it.

His look of incredulous combined with chagrin was well worth the price of admission. I truly wished I had something to drink, so I could take a sip to hide what I knew was a devilish grin starting to spread along my lips. After all how dare a purple-haired wretch such as myself question him?

M: Are you questioning the Word?

R: Never. I am questioning your word as you are misquoting His and a classic exclamation.

M: What do you mean?

R: Yes, the bible uses both lo and behold, but not together as you’re thinking. 

A woman sitting across from me starts nodding. I did not need the confirmation, but it was nice to have.

M: And what do you know of the Word?

R: Enough to know that what you’re saying, though attributed to the bible, is really a secular phrase.  It’s “lo!” as in hello or look and “behold” as in to see. Not twisted around as you’ve said it.

And because I am a person who is in for a penny-in for a pound, when it comes to being an ass, I could not resist adding…

R: Because, I seriously doubt Christ would ever say “Ho and be lowed”. Not even to Mary Magdalena.

Well, that did it!

The minister walks over to me as he flips through his Holy Bible. He flips, stops, looks, flips again – presumably in search of “lo and behold”. His whole body reads Oh, I’m about to shut you the hell up, all the way up to the point that he realized he’s not. He snapped the bible shut and glared at me.

R: Bible got your tongue?

The woman across from me snorted. I did not bother to hide my evil grin as the train pulled into a station and he left.

I did say I was an ass, no?

*I use minister here strictly in the sense of one who ministers the Word to others. I have no idea whether the gentlemen in question was ordained.

As Long As You Believe…

So this happened …

I am sitting on the train on my way to work, listening to my iPod, when a little hand pats me on the arm getting my attention.  I look to the adorable tyke standing in front me. I am bad at children’s ages because they are all so big now, but I was guessing about six years old. Colorful red and white barrettes peeking out from under a snow-white and purple knit hat that coordinated with the purple parka she wore.  The mother, fussing with a little boy in her lap -clearly her son- hadn’t realized her daughter had moved until the child in all her wide, pretty half-moon, long lashed, wonder filled brown eyes looks up at me and asks:

“Hi. Do you know Santa Claus? Is he real?”

I’ll take this moment to explain that, as I do each year the week or so before Christmas, weather permitting, I am wearing my bright red, double-breasted ¾ length wool coat with a wide black leather belt. I’m also wearing an off-white scarf wrapped around my neck and a bright red wool hat, with a nice snowy white fluffy pompom on top.  My nod to the holiday season as it were. Thus why she felt she could come to me with such a question.  The mother smiles apologetically, getting ready to tell her not to bother me, but I speak right over her in that voice we adults reserve for little children as I remove my ear buds.

“What in the candy canes makes you ask a question like that, sweetie?”  I smile.

Hey, dressed as I am, it does kind of require I toe the party line – don’t judge!

“Patty in my class says there’s no Santa Claus.” And I can see the plea in her eyes still wanting to believe.

“Oh honey, Santa Claus is magical. He’s only real to those who really believe he is. Someone mean probably told Patty that Santa isn’t real and she believes them.  And now because she really believes them, there is no Santa Claus for her anymore.  That doesn’t mean Santa won’t be there for you. And what do you believe?”

“I think he’s real, but now I don’t know.”

“Why don’t you know?”

Because we are on the train, I didn’t want her to be in the way as people enter and exit, so I look at the mother and ask if it’s okay, before I pick the child up and put her on my knee.

I know. I know. But really, where else was I going to put her?

“Well, Patty says I don’t have to be good for Santa because there ain’t one…”

“Say there isn’t one, not there ain’t one” I interrupt, correcting her without thinking.

“That’s what Miss Jackson says, too! But I keep forgetting.” She smiles, the veracity of her teacher now confirmed, as she keeps on going. “Patty says there isn’t one.  She says I have to be good and nice only because Mama won’t get me nothing if I don’t.”

I bite my lip, from correcting her again, but she’s a smart little cookie and sees my face.

“Oops! Mama won’t get me anything?”  She corrects herself unsure.  I grin giving her an approving squeeze.

“Well I can’t speak for your Mama. Mamas have their own rules separate from Santa’s that you should to listen to. I will say that you should be good, not just for Christmas or around your birthday, because you think you’re going to get a present.  You should try to be good always because it’s the right thing to do.  It makes everyone around feel nice when you do and don’t you feel nice when you do good things even when you know you’re not going to get a present for it?”


“Well there you go!”

“But even nice to Nicky?” She whines, pointing at her younger brother still squirming in her mother’s lap.  I laugh.

“Nicky is going to get on your nerves a lot while you’re little, and you’re going to get on his. That’s what happens sometimes with siblings. I am sure he won’t seem quite so bad to you when you’re both much older.  Not even Santa expects kids to be perfect all the time. Still, you should do your very best to be good always, and be nice, even to him, okay? ”

“Okay,” She sighs reluctantly, “I’ll try.”

“Claudia, we have to go.” Her mother stands with Nicky, who starts whining loudly.

As she slides from my lap, Claudia looks at me as if to say See?

“I know little brothers can be such doo-doo heads sometimes, right?” I whisper making her giggle in surprise, winking as she returns to her mother.

“Say Merry Christmas to the nice lady, Claudia.” The mother also mouths a grateful thank you to me.

Claudia runs to back to me with her arms open, so I lean forward for the hug.

“Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas, Claudia.”  I give her a quick squeeze and send her to her mother.

Ladies and gentlemen that is my last good deed of this crazy year. I now aim to misbehave and reserve the right to be as much of a pain in the ass as I want to be for these last few days of 2016.

Merry! Happy! Joyous!


Let’s see how others are slicing it up as we race toward Christmas and Hanukkah.


Slice of Life Challenge – Two Writing Teachers


With today being St. Patrick’s Day all seasoned New York evening commuters understand the shenanigans entailed with such. We smile and tolerate the over friendly, over inebriated, but otherwise harmless over-celebrants who cross out paths. Sometimes we may have to cuss out those who are not so friendly drunks. On occasion we may snap a picture of the drooling drunk out cold. We get it. I get it.  But no one deserved to get this…

Rush hour coming home on the subway. It’s a little more crowded than usual, and that is saying something, because it’s Saint Patrick’s Day and remnants of celebrants are loudly finding their way home. I am sharing what is typically considered a four person seat, with another woman and a guy who has chosen to sit akimbo, aka “manspreading” so the seat is only holding three people. The largest space is between the manspreader and I, still it is not a lot a space. Only a child or a someone really slim might be comfortable there.

As I am reading my book and listening to my iPod, I notice a shadow crosses my page. I look up and a man stands there, using hand gestures that he wants to sit. I am already up against the sidebar of the seat nearest the door; there is no place for me to move. I look at the space, I look at the manspreader, I look at this guy who clearly cannot fit in that spot, shrug and go back to my book. A moment later I am suddenly squeezed further into the sidebar, he reeked of alcohol and clearly needed the seat as the man has decided he is going to sit in that space, whether he can actually fit or not. Emphasis is fully on the or not in this case as the manspreader lets out an expletive and readjusts the angle of his spreading by some minuscule amount, but does not get up and neither do I. I do not know how the woman on the other side of the manspeader was faring, but this guy could not possibly have been comfortable so squashed in the space, with his arms overlaying ours, totally invading what little sense of personal space possible in such a setting. Knowing my commute, the odds were that I would be on the train long after he left, so I was all set to stand, well sit, my ground when Manspreader started yelling.

“Oh hell no! You have to get up off of me!” Manspreader exclaimed and pushed the guy’s arm off. I quickly looked at my arm. This guys was sweating so much, that in the less than two minutes in which he sat there, his sweat was dripping unto us.


I had on a jacket so I didn’t feel anything, but I could see it. I pulled a tissue out of my bag and wiped my arm. Yup, there was sweat on the tissue and it was not mine. It was only slightly better than Manspreader who had a clear stain on his shirt sleeve that was going to dry there.

Ewww, gross! 

Okay, it is one thing when on the subway and your arm is raised grabbing a pole and everyone can see the sweat stains through your shirt. It’s not the prettiest thing, but it’s par the oft times odious course of mass transit in summer weather. Still there is an implicit code of keep your sweat to yourself. This guy clearly did not get the memo. Sweaty Guy glanced at Manspreader, his lips pressed together as if to keep from speaking, then he looked at me, his body did a sort of jerk move.  I don’t know why, but I stood.

“Don’t give up your seat to this sweating pig!  Why the hell would you squeeze your ass into a spot you know you can’t fit putting your dripping sweat, directly upon complete strangers?  That’s fucking disgusting!” Manspreader was pissed!  Sweaty guy would not respond and that just ticked Manspreader off more as he continued berating the man.

Now here’s a subway fact: I don’t care how packed as a sardine can a subway car may be, when someone starts yelling the way Manspreader was yelling out Sweaty Guy, it’s a Christmas Miracle how space suddenly opens up around you. I was now standing off to the side, more in front of Manspreader than Sweaty Guy, as the train pulled into a station with a sharp jerk.  I saw the Sweaty Guy’s face and knew.

Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! Noooooo! 

Everything in my body said “MOVE!”  I grabbed Manspreader by the front of his shirt, yanking him out of his seat while trying to shove backwards through the understandably upset crowd.

And there he blows!

I suddenly had no trouble making space as Sweaty Guy started tossing a couple of factories’ worth of cookies. While I just barely saved Manspreader; regrettably the poor woman who had sat on the other side of Manspreader wasn’t so lucky. The momentum of my pulling Manspreader up caused the two of them to lean into each other’s directions. By the time registered what was happening, she could not move out of the way fast enough as he slide sideways on the seat into her.  She started screaming and those of us closest were backing away from the both of them. One would have thought a murder scene was commencing the way people reacted, running out of the line of fire.

Those by the door closest to Sweaty Guy started running off the train itself as the doors opened, plowing into those trying to get on. Some brave souls in the further corners of the subway car away from Sweaty Guy  were going to stick it out and stayed where they were. Other passengers entering the car, seeing, and smelling, the mess then immediately exiting added to the chaos. Were it not so foul, especially for Sweaty Guy, all that missing was the accompaniment of “Yakety Sax“.

The subway car had to empty out once it became evident Sweaty Guy had purged from everywhere possible.  I will spare you further details other than to say it was not pretty. Worse we were at a station without transfer points. That means nothing else was coming up that track  until Sweaty Guy was taken care of.  I’m still a good half hour away from home. What to do:

  • Do I go back downtown to transfer to a train on another line, which would likely add another hour?
  • Do I exit the train and take the bus uptown, which would likely add another hour?
  • Do I take a cab?
  • Do I wait it out?

The poor woman who caught Sweaty Guy’s cookies ran out of the station. Manspreader was standing at the door switching between berating Sweaty Guy or general bitching about the situation. Other passengers who were stuck were either debating their options or complaining about Sweaty Guy with each other or on their cell phones. Because that’s what people do when in such a situation.

Yes, it’s St. Paddy’s day and it’s all part and parcel  of being a mass transit commuter. Still, on any day grown people allowing themselves to get that drunk, and thus that sick, to then get on the sometimes slightly less jostling than bumper cars, that is a ride on a NYC subway is a recipe for disaster guaranteed to generate a less than stellar moment in one’s life and be the cause of the following notification email…

MTA - sick

n/b 2 and 3 trains are running with delays, due to a sick passenger at ——. Allow additional travel time.

…which I received while still standing on the platform waiting for Sweaty Guy to be attended.

Throughout this Sweaty Guy is lying on the floor in his own filth, dry heaving and sobbing.


I actually felt a little sorry for him. But only just a little. As my cousin is wont to say “You brought this on yourself!”

Yeah, I’m done waiting – it’s taxi time.

End scene…



Slice of Life Writing Challenge Day 17 – Two Writing Teachers

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries – As Cute Does

“I bet you think you’re cute.”

This coming from a young woman in her late twenties to me because I, a grown-ass woman almost twice her age, beat her to a seat on the subway.  I’m sure she only said it because she saw I had earbuds on and likely thought I could not hear her. Wrong.

Let’s see…

I.  I’m in a bodycon dress where this body is throwing all kinds of conscious attitude, the boots are cute, the mane with it’s deep purple highlights is shining and glorious, the gold mirrored, clear trim sunglasses are fierce and the face is done.

II. A woman does not step out of her home looking the way I looked  and don’t know she’s got it going on – no apologies or *bleeps*  given.

III. Oh dear Lord, it’s 2016 – catty females still say “she think she cute”? I thought that was as played out as “jive turkey”. So disappointing.

Being called out on cuteness traditionally is supposed to tear a female down. It’s a chastisement. Because heaven forbid she should own her beauty. She should be modest and demur, respond with something along this lines of “Oh no, I don’t think I’m cute”

Pssshht! This is me we’re talking about – addressing someone who is likely ten years the junior of my own children. Modest? Demur? Me?–Never going to happen.

“Let me explain it to you this way – both of my parents brought nothing but beautiful children into this world and I’m an only child.”

She said nothing else to me, but from the murderous look that crossed her face, I think she got the point.

N’est-ce pas?


Let’s see how others are getting through this 10th day  of the challenge:


Slice of Life Writing Challenge – Day 10 – Two Writing Teachers