Wayne Might Be a Robot

chaga chunks by Akuokuo Vallis

Customer Service Rep. is typing…

Socks Galore and More strives for excellence.  My name is Wayne.  How may I assist you? 

Akuokuo is typing…

Hi Wayne.  There was a mix up with my order.  I received  Chaga chunks instead of socks. Not sure what Chaga is.  Says it’s from Chaga Alaska.

Customer Service Rep. is typing…

Socks Galore and More strives for excellence.  Apologies for the mix up.  READ THIS  and  WATCH THAT  while I research your order.  

Customer Service Rep. is typing…

Looks like the polka-dotted bunny socks are on back order.  Chaga is a medicinal  mushroom. Very healthy.  Tastes like a combo between tea and coffee– but better for you. Simmer it up (see instructions in bag).  Try it with honey, maple syrup, plain Jane or with your favorite milk.   Might be butchering your name… is it  A-quack-quack?  or A-clock-clock?

Akuokuo is typing…

Whaaat!?  A-clock-clock?  Must be kidding about A-quack-quack!?  Should I send the chaga back…?

Socks Galore and More strives for excellence.  Keep the chaga.  It’s a freebie.  Back to your name…is it  A-koo-koo?

Nope. Wrongo again.

Socks Galore and More strives for excellence.  We want to make you happy… Is it….

Akuokuo is typing…

It’s Ah-Kwo-Kwo (Koko for short)Ghanaian twin name–meaning second born female twin. Thanks for the Chaga.  Please cancel the bunny socks.  Byeee.

Lift Off

koko-and-kookaburra-rock-creek-park-by-akwelle-vallis

The YouTube videos made it look so super easy.  So–of course I thought cutting my own hair would be easy, simple. Plus, my twin sister, Akwelle, cut hers  in 15  minutes. But, by my 15 minute point– I already looked like Edward Scissorhands.

I blame it on Mexico.  Well, not all of Mexico–but definitely thoughts of  nacho chips and that ridiculous wall– and 7th grade Paul Diamond who laughed at me and said I looked like a gorilla when I got bangs for the first time. And those 2 stupid  boys last week who stole a box from the porch.  And my  elderly neighbor who yelled you’ll never catch them as I kept running and running.

Well–I did catch up to them–those 2 stupid boys.  And I got the box back–after they tossed it–over the shoulder– in the alley–noticeably uninterested in a water filter replacement cartridge or Be Here Now the Ram Dass book.

I just called the police on you.  The chubby one– with the nice hair– was in shock.  He stopped breathing even.  The skinny one is bad news.  But he’s way too pretty to make it in prison.  Poor boy.

The timing was perfect.  The pretty, skinny one ignored me–walked right by me–tip tapping to some invisible beat–just as the police turned the corner.  Yeah, you better run.

Then I went to the beauty salon.

 

 

Sunday Kind of Love

jar-of-myrrh-by-akuokuo-vallis

It’s more of  A Sunday Kind of Love  thing for me–meandering slowly through Rock Creek Park–driving the long way home.  My mother prefers the shortcut.  She’s always taken the shortcut.  As a child–she went to summer school just to skip ahead.  She ended up graduating high school at 15.  She even finished college early.

On a day like today–I  was not taking the shortcut.  The air was sprinkled in fairy dust. Everything was sparkling, twinkling, glowing even–like someone had poured rainbows of light into light.  Over the river and through the woods we went.  I had to take the long way home.

Maybe it was the myrrh in my bathwater or the early morning  yoga nidra –colors were brighter–people were friendlier–and there were birthday suit wearing babies–Cherubim–frolicking in the Garden of Eden.  I think I even saw a unicorn.  I know I saw a butterfly–a little yellow one.  And cherry blossoms too!

Totally content in my own world of reverie–I dreamily glanced over at my mother.  With eyes  soft and closed–she was fast asleep–already home.  She had taken the shortcut.

 

 

Ghee Club

 

how-about-some-ghee-by-akuokuo-vallis

 

There’s something magical about ghee— especially when you make it yourself.

I made some last night.

Hypnotized by the bubbling butter–I glimpsed a moment from my past.

 

a-scene-from-macbeth-maybe-by-akuokuo-vallis

 

I do not want to be in MacBeth, I said.

It will be good for you.  You’d never do it if I did not make you, she said.

At first– I thought she–Mrs. Gonzales–my 6th grade teacher –was punishing me.  I was obsessed with glitter markers and puffy stickers.  I mistakenly thought Mrs. Gonzales might appreciate the razzle-dazzle on my homework and quizzes.  I now know she was only trying to cultivate confidence–and pull me out of my shell.

My role in MacBeth was tiny.  I was really just a prop on the stage–in the background, in every scene.

Like a piece of furniture or a rock, she said.

I was way too nervous at the audition–barely there– teeter-tottering on the edge of fainting–sweating, turning red, mumbling.  That’s why Mrs. Gonzales came up with the furniture/rock idea.  My twin sister was a servant.  She even had a line to read.

If I could go back in time–I’d help my younger self.

Stop–take a breath–have faith.

I’d give myself a pat on the back or a nudge or a tickle– then I’d remember–  it’s  all  a game– things will work out– they always do.

 

 

The New Boy

little-boy-laddi-by-akuokuo-vallis

 

Little Laddi (Aladdin) did it deliberately–passionately licking my face–way too close to my mouth–while staring at the big girl Kookaburra.  He wanted a reaction.

 

sad-girl-kookaburra-by-akuokuo-vallis

 

But just like the night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind or another…

All that prancing and dancing, chewing and scratching–they were pesky annoyances–a mosquito buzzing in Kookaburra’s ears.

 

 

Kookaburra’s deep, low growl, exposed teeth and turned  back was enough said.  Laddi was kept at a distance.

By this point– it was obvious–Kookaburra had already stepped into a private boat and waved good-bye and sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day…

She was having a moment.

img_2781

 

Kookaburra was very  sad after she met Laddi.  Too wrapped up in our own grief–we did not even think to tell Kookaburra about Brooke–my older sister’s other dog.

And now suddenly–there’s this playboy who just wants to  love  her!

 

 

Down the Street

a-winter-walk-by-akuokuo-vallis

Nearly halfway between my house and The White House–there’s a Buddhist Monastery. From either direction –it’s really just down the street.  The monks walk every morning.

Their walk has a quiet feel to it.  Like a whisper.

I had this dream (twice) that I was a monk–living in a monastery.  There was this island place we’d go to–but only in our minds.  We used sound to get there.  I can still see the flickering candles on the island from up above.  I will never forget that night sky–so lovely–a squid inky black.

The monks at the monastery–the one just down the street– are usually silent while walking. Occasionally one or two of them will beat a drum.

This morning–one of the monks was sitting on the monastery steps–with a Tibetan Singing Bowl.

The  sound was transporting.

 

 

More Than Just Dirt

 

yesterday-it-rained-by-akuokuo-vallis

There’s no time like the present.  I had that scribbled on a piece of paper– taped to a window that only gets opened on nice days.  I often do that–put little reminder notes here and there–and everywhere.  And today was very warm for January.  There’s no time like the present–a personal meta message to do something unusual.

But–with yesterday’s rain– everything’s all squishy.

So squishy that a bad boy red fox with black eye liner eyes– which made him look more bookish than bandit–was able to squish under a gap in the fence and strut around the back yard like he owned it.

I put my little reminder note in my pocket.  I figured I had all day to get to it–and I would– eventually.  I even knew what I was going to do.  Kookaburra does it all the time.

yawning-by-akwelle-vallis

You should have seen Kookaburra– frantically running around, searching for every  trace of that Don Juan fox with his oh-so-obvious-nightly-howling serenades.  I envy her, though. She has an electricity about her–a particular way of expressing herself with total abandon–no matter who’s watching.

I waited until the  housekeeper across the street went home. She’s always watching.  I even know where her perch is.  Sometimes I’ll wave just to get a reaction.  Then the curtains will move.

koko-and-kookaburra-by-akwelle-vallis

With shoes and socks off–and a towel nearby– and the hose at the ready–I finally found just the right spot– and I plunged my bare feet into that super squishy, cold dirt.

And it was spectacularly exhilarating.