Monday, May 16, 2011

Shiver Me Timbers!!

His fingertips walked the dotted line the stitches made on the brim of his hat. The palm of his hand slid up over the dome of the garment, feeling the soft and subtle imperfections in the leather. The mad man's thin pink lips started to curl into a smile and gradually grew into a full teethy grin.

Hatter had bought a new Hat.

The eight-teenth century brown leather tricorn was a stunning accessory but of course it needed an equally impressive outfit for it to compliment. Of course we wouldn't put it past Hatter to strut about the house wearing just the headgear, his hands firmly planted on his bare hips standing tall and proud, but those who know him best know his fondness of costumes.
Two of Hearts and I sat on the couch talking about something not worth mentioning as I can not recall what it was when the silliness began. Out of the back of the house Hatter emerged wearing his tricorn over a powdered wig, a puffy white shirt, and a pirate captain's coat. He had taken his corporate salve uniform khaki's and tucked the ends of them into white stockings at his knees. To finish of his already ridiculous costume he wore black dress shoes with skeleton feet painted on top. Sometimes I wonder if he does these things just to see my head cock to one side and my eyes cross in confusion.

We shared in a laugh and some jestful pirate talk when a distant and faint sound managed to find our ears and silence the room instantly. We all stood still as if frozen in motion and strained to hear the cheerful musical tones that were slowly growing louder and louder. Eyes darted. Hatter met eyes with mine, Two of Hearts met Hatters, Then mine met Two of Hearts as we all stood silent recognizing that we all knew that tune pulling out buried memories: The ice cream truck was coming!

"Quick," Two of Hearts yelled excitedly, "Give him two dollars!" Before he could finish the order I had already produced a ten dollar bill and put it in Hatter's hand with haste.

We took our party outside at just the right moment. The conveyor of frozen confections approached the T intersection we lived on. The Piratey Hatter approached. The playful bounce in his step synced with the music as he reached the truck window.

The bewildered gentleman inside looked like he better fit in at a Greatful Dead tribute show than an ice cream truck but everyone has to make a living, I suppose. His mouth sat slightly open as he waited to find out what was about to happen with this peculiar client.

"Arr, One Ice cream sandwich," Hatter exclaimed in the best pirate voice he could manage while giggling. When the man did not respond and just went to fetch the sweet treat Hatter continued, "Say, you got change for a ten, me matey?"

The man, without cracking a smile responded, "Yes, sir."

Hatter giggled but swallowed down the laughter after a moment to correct the vendor, "That be capt'n' to yous!" The unamused merchant playacted to his apparently bilharzia buyer by offering a slight smile with his change. Scooping up his ice cream sandwich and his change Hatter turned to walk away.

"Have a nice day, Land Lubber!" He called back to the dead head ice cream truck driver. He then turned to me and we shared in a bit of laughter. Without his laughter pausing or changing tone to acknowledge a new thought had crossed his mind Hatter pulled his arm back and brought it hurling forward. It wasn't until I saw his hand release the sugary sweet that I stopped laughing realizing that...

I just got pegged in the face with an ice cream sandwich.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Sky is Falling

Just when you think you have this place figured out, you are reminded that Wonderland can not be pigeon held into any kind of structure and that includes it's climate. For decades there seemed to be some kind of predictability when wintertime approached. The cold, sometimes wet air would last a few short months and about every third year there would be enough snow to dust the ground and bring with it a kind of insanity that causes every citizen to drive as recklessly as possible. This year, though, Wonderland decided to play a cruel joke.
Maybe it wasn't a joke, maybe it was some kind of weather Alzheimer's but it snowed four times starting as early as October. The combination of Mother Natures deteriorating memory and the wishful thoughts of many people romanticizing snow for the Christmas holiday caused the worst snow if the year to start Christmas evening.
Do you know those blissful few moments between sleeping and waking? The moment where you are acutely aware of the softness of your pillow and the sweet clean smell of your sheets but not yet awake enough to believe it is not a cloud you are resting upon? I rarely get to remember those moments now that I live with Hatter. I was awoken that morning the loud slam my door made as it hit the wall and Hatter came screaming into my room. My eyes still refusing to open I sat up quickly, trying to comprehend whatever it was Hatter was blabbering about at the top of his lungs at nine o' clock in the morning and at the same time try to figure out how it could possibly be more important than a pleasant Nathan Fillion dream I was having. Speaking faster than light moves for what seemed like an eternity Hatter finally stopped to catch his breath and then spoke the only sentence I could make out which was,

"I made you waffles!"

My tired read eyes opened and looked down at the plate of hot waffles, smothered in maple syrup and sprinkled with walnuts that he placed in my lap before skipping out of the room.

Setting the plate neatly aside I started to get dressed and my mind took a long loud yawn as it said goodbye to the dreaming world. I knew my bedroom was abnormally bright for the time of day but it wasn't until I ate my hearty breakfast and came down stairs that I realized just how much snow had fallen while I slept.

Reaching the bottom of the stairs I was met by Alice. A child like grin plastered across her pink snow nipped face reluctantly waited for my eyes to acknowledge her presence. Her whole person seemed to vibrate with excitement when she asked,

"We are going to go play in the snow, Wanna come play with us?"

I am usually a Scrooge about snow. I find it cold, wet, and pointless. When people make the argument that it is "pretty" I am quick to remind them it is only pretty in those first few hours before anyone walks in it or drives in it. In that moment of Alice starring up at me, though, I broke. Maybe it was the residual feeling of happiness Christmas has on me carrying over from the night before or maybe it was the mixture of warm waffles and crunchy walnuts swimming around in my stomach but I caught the snow disease from Alice and enthusiastically agreed to help build a snow fort.

I bundled up and made a leap out the back door into the knee deep snow hiding the deck. Around the corner I could hear the giggles of Alice, Hatter, and Caterpillar. Walking through the snow was near impossible. To get from one end of the deck to the other was more like wading through a thick liquid and took the whole body pushing forward to go a few steps. Nearing the yard I caught a glimpse of motion out of the corner of my eye. I paused and stared at the indention in the snow a couple steps in front of me where the motion had been. After a moment a small dog head popped out over the pile of snow and excitedly looked at me with her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth. The little jack russel acknowledge the same impossibility to walk in the stuff that I had and instead developed a hopping method of getting around. Moving more like an awkward kangaroo than a dog she followed me over to the group.

didn't need a ridiculous yellow hat for me to identify him as the foreman of this construction site. He had appointed Caterpillar the official and prestigious roll of "Shoveler" and Alice the more labor intensive but equally impressive roll of "Packer". I assisted Alice for a while on the construction of the already impressively tall wall. Even wearing boots, two pairs of pants, a sweater, hoodie, jacket, scarf and gloves the snows most evil quality was able to seep in. The cold wet water saturated my socks after a few hours and I could no longer ignore my icicle toes. I admitted defeat to the snow.

It wasn't long after that Hatter, Alice, and Caterpillar roofed their fort with a patio umbrella and set out to defend our Wonderland from the diabolical Jack Russel and Pug puppies.