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     “Low Budget Day”
 
It was a Saturday
afternoon
and she was
trying to make
a low budget
day off
work out for
her
the best way
she could,
she had a
pitcher of Margaritas
on the rocks
last Sunday’s
LA Times
crossword puzzle
and a couple of
mixed CD’s
that some kid
in the mail room
wanted her to
listen too,
she had seen
him
bobbing his
head
as he was
delivering the
office mail
and when she
asked
what he was
listening too
before she
could react
he had pulled
his earbuds
out
and stuffed one
into her right
ear
he had a
big smile
on his face
as he watched
her reaction
to the fast
paced music
that was playing
in her ear
and after he
finally set her
ear free
from its phonic
prison
“California Punk”
was all he
said
as he dropped
a stack of
mail
on to the
top
of her desk
putting his earbuds
back in their
proper place
and continuing on
pushing his cart
through the maze
of office cubicles
with today’s
mail
piled inside it
the next day
when she got
to work
she found
these two CD’s
that were left
on her desk,
she pulled her
Discman CD-player
out of a junk
drawer
and sticks in
one of the
discs
turns the sound
low
as it starts
to play
then takes a
seat
at her window
three floors up
over looking
Sherman Way
a busy street
that runs through
the heart of
the valley
the street runs
east to west
with the sun
traveling
parallel to it
as it arcs
into the sky
turning Sherman Way
into a giant
sundial,
right now
the sun is at
the very pinnacle
of its climb
hanging over the
valley
creating shadows
from the street
lights
that are long
and thin
stretching up the
side of the
building
as if reaching
up towards her
third story
window,
she pours her
first Margarita
puts on her
sunglasses
as she looks
out
the window
her voyeuristic
view
of the world
which is right
now
framing up
a yellow VW
Rabbit convertible
full of girls
singing as loud
as possible
“I Love LA”
as the traffic
comes to a
stop
below her window
the sun
lighting up their
mobile stage,
she looks down
at her crossword
question
number three
across
while wondering
if the girls
realize
that they’re in
the valley
and not L.A.
unable to
come up with
the answer
to either
question
she reaches
down
and turns up
the music
her ears liking
the catchy rhythm  
and words
of “Bikeage"         
by the Descendents
as the traffic
and the girls
start moving
away from her
window
she focuses her
attention
on an easier
question
from her puzzle
but not before
pouring herself
another Margarita
and pondering
for a moment
whether she
should have salted
the rim
of her glass
coming up with
a No
for an answer,
the balance
it adds to the
taste
isn’t worth the
mess it leaves
behind
always seeming
to find those
oversized
granules of
salt
in the sheets
of her bed,
her eyes
pick up a
couple of
slow moving
male joggers
both wearing
nothing but
running shoes
and orange
neon shorts
and what she’s
guessing to be
red apple watches
but from three
floors up
it’s hard to tell,
their venture
out today
having more
to do with
being seen
then actual
exercise
wanting to
show off
the bodies
they worked
so hard
to get looking
that way,
police sirens
cut through
the fast tempo
of "Lost Again"
by “Suicidal Tendencies”
as two police
cruisers
try and get
by the stopped
cars
in front of
them
the drivers
not pulling over
to the side
of the road
frozen by the
lights
and the high
pitched wail
coming from
behind them,
the two joggers
take this opportunity
to stop and
stretch
as they look
on
able to use
a few of their
more popular
poses
they usually save
for when they
get stopped by
a red traffic
light,
she’s feeling
both loose
and energized
as she lets
the music
take her over
at first just
tapping her pen
against the paper
her eyes looking
through
the empty squares
of her crossword
puzzle
unable to
line up the
right number of
letters
with the right
number of boxes
as her mind
follows the music
and takes her
someplace else,
her shoulders
start to sway
as the words
from the songs
construct themselves
into sentences
right in front
of her
before their impact
is released on
her
in a big way,
she pushes off
her shoes
uses her toes
to pull the
socks
from her feet
and pours her
third
low budget
Saturday afternoon
Margarita
she doesn’t give
the question of
salt
a second thought
as she gives
the glass
a few hungry
swallows
as a new band
Black Flag
follows up
and accentuates
her audio high
making her body
feel light
and wanting to
move
she pops out
of her chair
and does a
double spin
on the sole
of her right
foot
knowing now
she wants to
be
part of the
action outside
not just a
spectator
sitting in the
top row
she wants to
be seen by
others
just like the
two joggers,
she unsnaps her
jeans
and lets them
slide to the
floor
bounces over
to her dresser
and pulls out
one of her
skimpiest
pairs of shorts
she may not
be a ten
or all that
close
to a nine
but she has
an ass
that will get
these shorts
noticed
she trades in
her
loose fitting
top
for a tight
tee shirt
that accents
all the right
places
she’s still moving
around
her apartment
with her sunglasses
already in place
over her eyes
as she takes
her
half pitcher
of Margaritas
to the kitchen
and dumps out
her
Big Gulp soda
from last night’s
dinner
and pours in the
on the rocks
Margaritas
the soda cup
adding a slight
taste of root beer
to her drink
she then
grabs her keys
and that second
Punk mix CD
and decides to
spend
the rest of
her
low budget
day off
turning some
heads
and walking
hand in hand
with the sun,
west
down Sherman Way
boulevard…
 
     Tom Allen…07-06-2018…