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Take control.

20 Sep


Try a cocktail.

19 Sep

Stay cool.

18 Sep

Sonia’s mum never missed a comp. She was always there in the same hot-pink coat. Usually she was hand-stitching the trim on a new costume, or repairing an old one. When Sonia was announced over the loudspeaker, her mum put the sewing down and paid attention.

Later in the car, she would set the air-conditioning on CHILL, and tilt the vent to her face. Winter or summer…she’d do the same thing.

It took Sonia nearly forty years to figure out why. You’d think she’d be quicker, seeing show good she was at figuring.


17 Sep

She liked to dry the dishes twice, once straight out of the dishwater, and again before putting them away. She was polishing really, not just drying them. There was something steady and reassuring about doing it that way.

After breakfast Andy liked to watch her from the table, while he smoked. Sometimes he asked her, “What are you thinking about?”

“Oh, this and that” she would say, without turning. To be truthful she wasn’t thinking about anything at all. Neither this nor that.



16 Sep

He expected he would soon be reunited with Bubbe and Zayde, his sister Hanni, and big Sam and Sara. What a party they’d have…the food..the dancing!”. He would borrow some nice clothes from his cousin, his old ones would be too large for him now.

He was in essence, an optimist. The world was a good place, and the people in it were kind. All would be well..and the family would be safe.

Hold your breath.

15 Sep

She never gave up. When her head slipped below the surface, she reached…and  a strong hand gripped her wrist.

When waiting for salvation, try to remain calm.

Stay home.

14 Sep

The hotel was lovely, but there was still something about the ceiling height that made her uneasy. Even in the luxury suite she felt the lowness of them. The ever-so-slight money saving, space cramping meanness of them.

If she sat very still, and focused very hard she could see her house. Her home with its comfortable sofas, windows that opened to the jasmine outside, and generous, lofty ceilings.


Never look back.

13 Sep

Sea baths. More like shock therapy than a bath…nothing warm or bath-like about it. It did the trick though, in the early morning . The only good thing about it was the double-shot macchiato afterwards in the car. Now that he wasn’t dropping the kids at school he could drive straight to work in peace, no chat. He wondered how they were coping without him.

This living like a batchelor caper sure wasn’t what it was cracked up to be.

Eat lunch.

12 Sep

How would he tell the head of orchestra? Leaving the school tuba on the tram was pretty easy really, as easy as leaving his laptop.

Yesterday he’d left late, he was hungry and just wanted to get home to eat. He didn’t even notice the tuba was gone until this morning before school. Probably not a good idea to mention his blazer was gone too. It may still turn up and there was no point in stressing mum.

Take your time.

11 Sep

There was always a moment in mid-dive when she hung motionless over the water. She had time to look closely at the slab of blue jelly spread out beneath her, each undulation with its own glassy reflection of the lights above. She had time to check if her feet were together, her hands in place…just so.

When she’d made her checks, she could compose herself and continue the dive. Perfect re-entry, resurface for applause.