Cultured

BrockaHealth & Wellness, TravelsLeave a Comment

After work, she picks up her daughter from the daycare. There’s never a dinner plan. If one comes together, it’s usually closer to nine. It’s never a good idea to grocery shop when hungry; too expensive. So the mother and daughter always beeline for the deli counter upon entering. The order rarely varies: thinly shaved roasted turkey and some slices of muenster cheese. They snack through the store on these provisions. This always elicits double-takes from other shoppers, as if the two are solely there to graze for free. When they make it to the checkout counter with almost empty baggies, clerks always smile, knowing the cost marked on the deli baggies is more than the weightless ones handed over. The … Read More

BrockaCultured

Locked In

BrockaArt, Health & Wellness1 Comment

Blazing hot summers can warp the mind. Anyone is forgiven for holing up inside all day to hide from the heat; lying down directly in line with a window unit set to 69*. But the mind can start spinning like the ceiling fan. Spinning away the doldrums. She preferred the sound of the a/c to television on in the background. Something about daytime tv made her feel depressed. Watching tv all day was wasting away, frankly. She resented the tv; she resented people who watched tv.  This tiny, six hundred-square foot duplex could get really brutal in the summer. All of the heat would gather itself into a fireball in the kitchen. The clothes washer and dryer shared space with … Read More

BrockaLocked In

The Fragile Ones

BrockaHealth & WellnessLeave a Comment

A carpeted hallway runs down the center of the house. Its walls are collaged with family photos in various frames. Shadow boxes take up most of one wall. On their misaligned shelves, a hodgepodge of miniature things rests. The only prerequisite is that they are precious, adorable, or even moribund: the skull of a baby squirrel or the perfectly shed skin of a grass snake.   On one of these lower shelves, in a clear, thumb-size vial rest a glob of liquid mercury. Yes, the kind found in old, glass thermometers. Perhaps the mercury had been collected by intentionally breaking a bundle of thermometers.   Obviously, a curious five-year-old child sees all of these tiny things as toys. There are lots of ‘No, no, no!’ … Read More

BrockaThe Fragile Ones

A Manner of Things

BrockaHealth & Wellness, RelationshipsLeave a Comment

I am so grateful my worries are few, comparatively. What worries people about the future is so often out of our control. Many variables can interject to create an entirely new version of the future, it seems wasteful. You can control leaving early enough to not worry about missing the flight, but you couldn’t have known or controlled for the plane having a mechanical function preventing its timed departure. You did your part. I used to say, ‘everything always works out how it’s supposed to,’ with some air of optimism or Law of Attraction pseudo-belief. Now I say, ‘Everything will work out as it will.’ It will, one way or another. We adapt accordingly.  ~~~ The recent Buffalo shooting. I … Read More

BrockaA Manner of Things

Anticipation

BrockaHealth & Wellness, Work1 Comment

Amy is leaning into the kitchen counter hand washing dishes in too tepid water. The hot water must be rationed as she has to wash her hair later; every single day, otherwise she looks slick and grimy. Both her hair and her broken out face are too greasy; teenage hormones. Two other siblings compete for hot showers in this one-bathroom home. The discord around showers is constant.  When all the dishes are balanced on the drying rack and the sink is wiped down, she turns herself into the corner nook and leans back into the counter. She has taken a cleaned paring knife and sliced open an avocado. Cupping half of it in one hand, she lightly seasons it with lemon pepper, then eats it with a spoon. … Read More

BrockaAnticipation