Juxtaposing Battles

They start in the corner between the couch and the wall. The little one pins herself into small spaces as though it might give her the advantage. They don’t know how to play quietly. Gurgling at each other more than growling.

What is that word?

My reprimand for quiet only encourages them to come closer — to play beneath the table where I sit, bumping into my chair, jostling my thoughts. I can smell their spit and saliva as they gnarl and nip at each other.

Their noises, that smell, fracture my thinking as I chase a word that won’t come. It isn’t montage or combination. Hodgepodge is a fun word, but not right. I’m sure it starts with a W.

Their smell raises a little nausea; it climbs up my esophagus, or perhaps it is my frustration with this stuck word. The thesaurus is no use. Their gnarling gives way to piercing yips.

OH I YELL! Ah! You’re breaking my brain! I cannot think!

Now I’m snarling and harumphing. This darn word! What is this forsaken WORD!? The thesaurus can’t even find it! Google is no help.

How have I completely lost this word? This cluttered art form that I don’t like, but can be useful when brainstorming. What is this W-Word??????

The dogs have vacated from beneath the table. My screams made them scurry. One to lay on the carpet, the other to ring the bell to go out.





I let big dog out. The wind blows a cool kiss.

My phone stares up at me — displaying montage and many words about it. Somewhere in the middle of all of it all are the seven letters I’ve been chasing — that tricky little word that hid under some synapse in my mind — COLLAGE.

What a relief! Stinkin’ collage.

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