Tempting Fate

I sit at the computer. A dish of cantaloupe is within reach. I’ll be eating cantaloupe for days. Given the Jensen Farms cantaloupe scare, the melons are cheap. In truth, the stores can’t give them away.

the lure of the open road - what lies ahead?

Everyone is wary of Listeria. As of Oct. 7, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists 107 persons as having been infected. Thus far, 21 have died, five in Colorado. I read the precautions. I may not die today: two months can lapse between diagnosis and eating contaminated food. I won’t be off the endangered list until the sixth of December! I eat another piece of cantaloupe.

According to the CDC, the bacterium is commonly found in soil and water. Symptoms include fever, muscle ache, and diarrhea. “Even with prompt treatment with antibiotics, some Listeriosis cases result in death.” I take another bite. The cantaloupe is tasty.

nearly home

The price was right. I bought four cantaloupe thinking that I would give a couple to the neighbors. I went door-to-door. Those who cracked their doors for me and my melons, didn’t actually make the sign of the cross, but you would have thought that I was peddling the plague. I will eat them myself. If I get tired of eating them, I’ve been told that I can freeze the flesh. I eat another wedge and wipe the juice off my chin.

There is a part of me that is always looking for a bit of drama. Listeria! Listeria could be it. I’m not keen to die, but a positive diagnosis and an antibiotic that works could be grounds for a good story.

With me, it is always about the story.


Writers’ Trigger:

  • Do you believe in fate? Does fate come from within or without?
  • Robert Frost‘s poem “The Road Not Taken,” dismisses fate; rather, Frost believes that we make choices.
  •  Review the poem and write a personal essay in which you explore choices that you have made, or…
  • Write a piece in which one of your characters is torn between two choices.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, / And sorry I could not travel both / And be one traveler, long I stood / And looked down one as far as I could / To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, just as fair, / And having perhaps the better claim, / Because it was grassy and wanted wear; / Though as for that the passing there / Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay / In leaves no step had trodden black. / Oh, I kept the first for another day! / Yet knowing how way leads on to way, / I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh / Somewhere ages and ages hence: / Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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5 Responses to Tempting Fate

  1. Hi Doris, I wonder if I am allowed to make a constructive comment (I hope it ist). The last line in your poem does not sing. Could you make it: And that’s made all the difference? If the poem is not by you but by Robert Frost instead I would say to him: the last line in your poem does not sing. – Beautiful photographs again!!! Helga

  2. timeout2 says:

    Dear Helga, I quite enjoyed your writing assignment. As for the Robert Frost poem – I wish I had his skill. No, the last line doesn’t “sing,” but as a plain-speaking, crusty New Englander, Frost wasn’t especially keen on the singing aspect. He had other strengths. Thank you for your comments on the photographs – high praise indeed from an artist.

  3. Lynne Ormandy says:

    Hey, Doris, I recognise the road “almost home” as the last few miles to Westcliffe and the “valley”.
    Right? Envy you the melons — they disappeared from view as soon as the listeria story appeared.
    We “rocked, rattled, and rolled” the 1700+ miles from DesPlaines, IL to Sun City, AZ in 5 days not without happenings too numerous to relate here — I need time and a few columns. I did learn to drive the RV — and lasted about 3 hours on I-40 with a pushy headwind before caving in. I keep waiting for the next shoe to drop — one of them being the imminent passing of Leo (son-in-law) so will be in Minnesota sometime soon to support daughter through the “bottom fell out” feelings sure to follow at some point.
    Many adventures await us all as we go through the next few months — and it will be a wild and interesting time so stay healthy and prepared to ride it out, my friend.
    til next time Lynne

  4. Dong Mcclarnon says:

    Muscle aches can be remedied as fast as possible by taking in OTC pain killers like ibuprofen but be advised that they have some side effects too.;,;,;

    Have a great day! http://www.healthmedicinelab.com/spleen-pain/

    • timeout2 says:

      Wow! You are a spleen guy? How cool is that! You don’t hear alot about spleens but curiously enough, I just read the novel Run by Ann Patchett and one of the characters dies of an injured spleen. Two mentions of “spleen” in one week! Can life get any more exciting? Thanks for writing.

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