door to discovery (flash fiction/poem)

It was Saturday, and Fred stood motionless in front of the shopping mall café window. His eyes did not even move, and his breath was held tight. Those passing behind him did not notice, as they were either intent of looking for bargains, or in deep conversations about what would be on TV that night. Fred could see their reflections in the window, but his mind was too fixated on the doughnuts to care. ‘Doughnuts’, what a name he thought, ‘did it imply that nutty people could have money?’

Jokes aside, Fred knew that he should not even walk into the café; the aroma alone would set off his ‘feed me’ alarm. Nevertheless, within his mind, Fred could taste the butterscotch icing! Then, thinking about how tomorrow was still hours away, and discovery makes one’s day sway, he walked through the ‘door of discovery’!

I’ve come to count
on human drama
on stories that unfold
and on ones yet told

How can I do that
people ask in wonder
with looks on their faces
like rolling thunder

And so I reply
it’s quite simple
just look to the sky
and believe pigs can fly
(door to discovery, © Steven S. Walsky, October 2017.)


The Oreo Cookie Pretentiousness Test

I thought about re-posting this as I was eating an Oreo cookie (okay four).


Dave: “I also learned people can try to hide their true personalities, but the oddest things give them away. So it was with the Oreo Cookie Pretentiousness Test. I had once made a comment to Donna concerning the pretentiousness of Mandy; one of many such comments. Anyway, one day while Mandy and I were on our way to eat lunch at a trendy café she liked in the older section of the city, Mandy raved about the desserts the place offered. I asked if they had cheesecake, and Mandy replied: ‘Cheesecake has become so…so passé Dave; no one who is anyone orders cheesecake.’ She might as well tell me the moon is no longer in the sky just for lovers.”

“Mandy, how do you eat an Oreo cookie?”

“An Oreo cookie? You mean the ones with the white stuff?”

“That’s the ones; how do you eat them? Do you pull the two sides apart and eat the cream filling first. Or do you just bite into the cookie. Or maybe pop the entire cookie in your mouth all at once?”

“That’s sick!”

“What’s sick?”

“Stuffing the whole cookie in your mouth.”

“OK, so what technique do you use?”

“I don’t eat Oreo cookies.”

“Why not?”

“They’re…so…so childish. Adults do not eat them.”

“So you’re telling me you never sit on your sofa in front of the TV and eat Oreo cookies?”


“Would you even consider sitting at your breakfast nook table with me and dunking a few Oreos in milk?”

“Dave, this conversation is pointless. I stopped eating those things when I was a kid and even then, I would never dunk a cookie in milk!”

“This is the basis for the Oreo Cookie Pretentiousness Test. If he, or she, thinks dunking Oreo cookies is childish, or does not have the desire to twist the two sides apart and saver the cream filling like it was gold, be forewarned! As for Mandy, I understood her problem, dunking cookies might endanger her jewelry, and definitely her nails.”

(Through a Stranger’s Eyes is a work of fiction copyrighted by Steven S. Walsky, 2005.)

age is a paradox

At 14 years of age, he stood in front of his house waiting for a ride to a club meeting. In addition to the two children of the parent driving, there would be a girl that lived near them. At 16 he knew that every teenage heart throb movie and every love lost song was written about her. Even if he had the courage to ask her out, she lived on the other side of the city. At 18 he saw her for the last time; they were at the same event, and she agreed to sit next to him for a while. Like that day four years prior, he vividly remembers sitting next to her; but not the words they spoke. However, the word ‘love’ never became associated with her presence or memory. Desire for her presence, yes…not ‘I love you.’

In the years that followed the last time he saw her, he would meet girls that he would date, and eventually three that he would fall in love over; one he would marry. Then one day, at age 65, he was pondering why the three women he truly felt the emotion of love for were each physically different and had different personalities. It was then that he realized they had one thing in common, her smile. Strange he thought, why hadn’t he used the term ‘I love her’? The answer he believes is that she was shy and timid around him, and he respected her emotional privacy.

Age is a paradox
it refocuses your eyes
if but only on the memories you hide

Love is a puzzle
it clouds what one feels, sees, and hears
only to be focused by the years

And when you see clearly
when you grasp that which was missed
you think back
and you truly miss a first kiss
(age is a paradox © Steven S. Walsky, September 29, 2017)