Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Shirley (not her real name) Writes A Manifesto - Part 1

RubberMoon stamp image, one of mine.
We reach at point, most of us, when it just won't do.  Sometimes none of it, sometimes very little.  Shirley (not her real name) had already rolled at least two county lines past that point.  She sat with her unstockinged legs and bare feet out the driver's side of the still-sweet, almost-impossibly vintage Cadillac Coupe de  Ville and started to write in her green steno notebook.  The angle of the sun caused her to squint but she needed the good light to see by.  Nobody here is getting any younger, she said.  She talked to the sky or herself regularly.  Both were good listeners.

"MANIFESTO," she printed at the top of the page.  She'd chosen a fresh pen so it would be less likely to skip.  God, she hated a skipping pen.  "Whenever possible, choose not to be an asshole."  In front of the statement she printed a Roman numeral I.  Something much more Biblical or academic about Roman numerals, she thought, more adamant.  Like those (shudder) term papers.  She had only tried to bluff her way through one once, disastrously.  In her mind's vision, though, she could still see a format, indent, indent, indent.  Not likely, she thought.  Flush left all the way.

"II. Be grateful.  Period.  You don't need to say for what.  Just say thank you a lot.  You won't go wrong."

"III. You'll survive being a fool, if you don't do it too often." 

"IV.  If love wants to make you stupid, let it.  We're going to be stupid anyway so we might as well have some fun."

"V.  Say yes to any opportunity that requires fancy dress.  Be in a play or a talent show.  Go to a costume party.  Carry props with you.  At any moment, someone might need a fairy godmother.  The pros are always prepared."

"VI.  It is rude not to dance with someone who asks you.  The same is not true for proposals of marriage."

"VII.  Let it go.  Doesn't matter what it is, let it go.   Let.  It.  Go."

-to be continued


Melissa Green said...

Oh, my goodness, Marylinn. Where did this come from? Did you know this was coming when we talked? Do you envision another new world and cast of characters and chapters? How fun! The cigar box full of pens must have had a magic one in among the other fine points!! xoxo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Melissa - No, I had no idea. Shirley and the manifesto arrived this morning, just as the title and some thoughts. I finally got to it when I should have been napping. Thank you. It IS fun. xo

Claire Beynon said...

Bless Shirley for turning up as and when she has and you, Marylinn, for 'getting to it' when you 'should have been napping'! Roman numerals to add emphasis to her statements of insight, her wisdom - yes. This Manifesto might want stitching into a long scroll perpetually rolled open. . . Looking forward to seeing what the two of you will deliver next. Thank you xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - Thank you. I agree, she turned up at just the right moment and it was exactly like that. One second she didn't exist and in the next she, her name (or is it?) and the word Manifesto were right there tugging on my arms. And yes, I think it will continue to unscroll. A bonus that occurred to me this morning: some of the statements could make interesting rubber stamps. Products! Yay, products! xo

Claire Beynon said...

Indeed they could, Marylinn - yay! Looking forward to seeing what you, Shirley and Rubbermoon offer up in the coming weeks and months. We welcome your combined wisdom! xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - Thank you. Combined wisdom, ah, any girl's dream. Any wisdom. xo

rebeccalyr said...

This is wonderful: If love wants to make you stupid, let it.

Marylinn Kelly said...

rebeccalyr - Thank you. Shirley (not her real name) speaks from experience. xo