Spot 028: Dropping a Dime

 

Dropping a Dime
by Amy Hale Auker

I know there are miracles happening all around and that questions rock and answers are suspect : I knew it when I rode out on the dawn.
I know that I am a writer, even when there are days when the ink dries in the nib.
I know that I would dry up like a morel in August if I had to live in the city, and I would have to find a small piece of nature to soak in so as not to lose my flavor: I knew it in San Antonio in 2004.
I know that wrong turns happen, that early mornings warm and mid-afternoons cool, that daylight fades and it is better if you can be out of doors when it does, that the ground is hard and forests are messy.
I know that love is the thing : I knew it when you showed me.
I know several poems by heart, how to make you weak with kissing, how to make good bread, and that I am one of those people who has to let idea-mud squish up between her toes.
I know how to skinny dip and go barefoot during a full moon.
I learned most of this the first time I squeezed lemon over a platter of raw oysters. I was drinking cold beer.
I know that I must show up at the page and wet the ink with my tongue and hope it dribbles onto the page before it comes in a flood.

See Authors page for Amy’s bio.

 


 

The Epistemology of Smart
by Bill Lapham

In the town of Saffron a man named Smart claimed to know nothing but that one thing.

When appearing lost one day, the town constable asked Smart where he lived and how to get there. Smart said he didn’t know. The constable took him into protective custody. Unable to hold Smart against his will for more than a day, the constable hauled him before the judge on charges of vagrancy so he could hold him until the authorities could locate his home and return him safely to it. The judge ordered it so and the constable escorted the ‘prisoner’ back to jail.

Smart was quiet and content in his new surroundings: he was dry, had a bed, and three meals a day. As time passed, the jailers forgot about him and the constable retired without ever finding the Smart residence.

One day a lawyer was visiting his client in the slammer when he noticed Smart, by then an old man, sitting quietly in the corner of the common area looking at a book. The lawyer went over to him and asked what he was reading.

Smart looked up and said, “Oh, I don’t know.”

“Can I see the book?” the lawyer asked. Smart handed it over.

The attorney read the title: What You Never Knew You Didn’t Know.

“What have you learned?” asked the lawyer.

“Oh, well,” Smart said, clearing his throat. “I don’t know—”

“Really?” the lawyer interrupted, “nothing, ever?”

“Just that one thing, I guess,” Smart said.

See Authors page for Bill’s bio.

 


 

So ‘Fifties
by Michael D. Brown

“I thought I was getting away with something, but that jimope dropped a dime on me, and now they wanna bring me up on charges of embezzlement.”
“How can you watch that show? It’s so ‘fifties.”
“So am I. Did you ask German about the rice paper lampshade?”
“I’m reluctant. He’s likely to be protective of his family, and his son-in-law’s the most likely suspect.”
“So you think he took it without intent, or damaged it and got rid of the evidence?”
“Something like that. It’s just a mystery how it completely disappeared from the house.”
“I always thought he was a bit sinister. Perhaps he’s a kleptomaniac.
“…keys were in the sugarbowl. They couldn’t have known that. Unless they think like me.”
“That may be, but I don’t like unexplained disappearances, especially with something so obvious. I mean as soon as you walk into the kitchen, you notice it’s gone.”
“…with Ol’ Blue Eyes playing on the hi-fi night and day, it’s easy to see where your head is at.”
“Will you turn off that freakin’ TV and pay attention?”
“Sorry. My, but we’re touchy today.”
“I thought we left all that behind on Fourteenth Street. I never expected things to go missing in this place.”
“And you never counted on simple-minded workers, or their thieving ways. German did a great job on the patio, but I never trusted the son-in-law.”
” You never really liked that lampshade either, did you?”
“Are you tryna pin this rap on me?”

See Authors page for Michael’s bio.

 


 

A Ramble, Not a Justification
by Sandra Davies

Dropping a dime: when did I know it? This phrase? Never before today, but having Googled it, the quick and easy, and over-glib reply is ’just now’, the use of ‘dime’ pointing up its non-Britishness.

And in Britain, not telling on someone is ingrained from childhood – all those repetitions of ‘tell-tale tit, your tongue will split’ made sure of that.

I didn’t tell tales when for weeks Hazel persecuted me, made my life a misery with constantly poking me, hard-fingered, into my back from the desk behind, (not until I put her into a novel that is, describing her ‘boot-button black with anger’ eyes, her skin ‘so densely freckled as to suggest that she’d been liberally sprinkled with grated nutshells’ and making sure she was rejected by the hero.)

Instead I ran away from school, put the headmaster into a state of apoplexy, so that he came after me, and shouted and banged on the windows of my house until I emerged, scared and crying. I still didn’t tell on her so he put the entire school into ten minutes silence, hands on heads – including me – and was bad-tempered for the rest of the day.

I DID go and knock on the village constable’s door once, specifically to tell tales on someone, but I can’t remember who, what or why, only that he later came round to our house to commend me.

See Authors page for Sandra’s bio.

 


 

Superman
by Paul de Denus

I knew I was in trouble when Grandma called me upstairs to her room tucked neatly at the end of the hall. Damn, it was only a couple of nickels and quarters! Well maybe more like fifteen but who was counting?

She had a little jar on top of her bureau; it was half full with loose change. She never used it as far as I could see. It was spare change I reasoned, dreading each step as I ascended up the stairway.

She sat on the side of the bed and motioned me in. There was a cross with an impaled Jesus hanging over her thin bed. She didn’t yell, only said she knew I’d taken the money. I asked how she knew. “My house has sensitive eyes,” she said. Her house was creepy, old and spacious with a basement I never went near. “We see many things and you need to also.”

I found out later it was my sister Kath who’d squealed, dropped the dime while I was out spending the money on a new Superman comic I’d wanted, the one featuring Super Girl. Kath was mad because I kept insinuating she was adopted from the asylum on the edge of town. Geez, I was just kidding!

She was in her room goofing with her dolls. She was getting too old for that. I didn’t say anything about Grandma. Casually I skirted her bed and dropped the comic next to her. “It’s cool,” I said.

See Authors page for Paul’s bio.

 


 

If there are any illustrations for Spot 028, they have not arrived yet.


 

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3 Comments to “Spot 028: Dropping a Dime”

  1. Amy: glad you know what you know, it’s so poetically told
    Bill: what you never knew you didn’t know I now know and am better for it.
    Mike: drop a dime to the son-in-law to thank for taking that lampshade:)

  2. I can think of no better way to spend a late Saturday night than reading my friends’ words. Bravo and Brava

  3. ‘I knew it when I rode out on the dawn’ – what simple but effective poetry from Cita, and despite Bill’s ‘What You Never Knew You Didn’t Know’ I am still a bit in the dark about this phrase (but twice came across since writing my piece in a James Lee Burke novel I am currently reading). Michael’ deeply’ dove-tailed conversations are hugely impressive, and I remember all too well the brother/sister antagonism Paul describes. Great reading, one and all.

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