5:49 AM, Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri


Tink tink tink


Tink tink tink

Small, yet clear, delicate noise. Eyes open. Think yesterday’s occupants had set the alarm next to me.

Rise up and unplug the clock—no, the lamp.

Tink tink tink

Unplug the clock. Lie down. Close eyes.

Tink tink tink

Husband says, “Must be the phone, sound’s coming from over here.”

Rise up. Go around the bed. Unplug the phone. Lie down.

Tink tink tink

Rise up. Go around the bed. Unhook the phone receiver. Lie down.

Tink tink tink

“Must be the neighbors ignoring their alarm,” says the Husband, “’cuz I checked my phone already…I’ll check it again…”

Pause, light from the phone shines into my eyes.

“Oops! It’s me! Low battery alarm! Sorry, Sweetie!”

“Dog!” I mutter at 5:55 on a Saturday morning in St. Louis



The Sound was Real

Driving through Kingman, Kansas

eerie alien scary movie music

suddenly radiated, slow to loud,

from my friend’s purse

I stared at it, a bit freaked out,

and she said,

“It’s nothing, just my doctor calling!”

Laughing, I now know

what she thinks about her doctor,

applying that sound to his number!


Hidden Greeters



Startled, I answered, “Hello!” as I walked by the stalls in the convenience store ladies’ restroom.

I paused for a second, looking around for the greeter, then continued to the last stall, feeling sheepish. Somebody in a stall must have just answered her cell phone.

Sure enough, I heard her start to chat by herself. So, I worried. The caller shouldn’t know where his or her conversation was taking place. Fortunately, the phone talker flushed first and finished the conversation at the sink.

Now, I’ll always wonder where someone is when I call, and I’m determined that I, myself, will never become a hidden greeter in the loo.