Super Power

Not too many days ago I published a piece titled, “Manipulating Space” in which I explored the very slight possibility that I might have been endowed with the super power of making myself, and my vehicle, smaller for the purpose of avoiding an accident.

Now no one, including me, took that possibility seriously, but yesterday I had another episode that could’ve been attributed to spatial manipulation, but more likely was the result of my excellent driving skills. I can’t read that last part aloud without Studly Doright convulsing in fits of laughter. He’d sooner believe I had a super power.

Here’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. On the spur of the moment I’d decided to go to a movie in Tallahassee. Studly was out of town, and my evening stretched before me like an endless sea. It was either see a movie or watch television all evening. The movie, Blinded by the Light won.

I had about half an hour to get to the theatre, more if you figure in the twenty minutes of trailers before the film, but I needed to buy my ticket and a snack, so there was no time to waste. I grabbed a wrap and my umbrella and began the drive into town.

Traffic was pretty heavy on the road between Quincy and Midway. I found myself following a pickup truck towing a trailer loaded with a junk car. Just before we reached Midway, the windshield of the junk car blew out onto the road right in front of me.

Did I do the whole space manipulation thing? Nope, I just deftly maneuvered my car around all the debris and emerged unscathed. I’ll save my super powers for real emergencies.

Peace, people.

Manipulating Space

What if I had a super power? Not a grand power, such as flying or being bullet proof or extra strong, but a discrete power. I’m thinking specifically of being able to manipulate space. No, not outer space, but the space immediately surrounding me.

For example, let’s say I’m driving in the third lane of a four lane interstate in Dallas, Texas, when I realize the traffic to my right is being forced to merge into my lane due to road construction. I’m about to be smushed between a car on my left and an 18-wheeler on my right. There are cars directly in front of me and behind me, and I have nowhere to go. I’m talking about an imminent collision.

Mentally, I shrink, both myself and my vehicle. Physically I pull my shoulders in closer to my body and visualize my car doing the same–well, except the car doesn’t have shoulders. Somehow it works. I come out of the situation unscathed, and I go about my day. I drive to my destination and have a nice dinner with my son and his family.

Only after I’m in bed that night do I start shaking. What in hell happened that afternoon? Honestly, I should be in the hospital, heck, maybe in the morgue. My car should be a total wreck. Instead, I get up, pour myself a glass of wine and finally calm down so I can sleep.

Now, what if I told you this happened to me several months ago? Would you think I was crazy? Or, would you think maybe, just maybe, that I have a bit of spatial magic as my super power? Okay, I’m pretty sure there’s a logical explanation for what happened, but it’s kind of fun to imagine me having this one very discrete ability.

Have you ever experienced anything similar? Something that, after it happened you thought, “WTH!?” Discuss. And don’t call the men in white coats to take me away–unless of course they’re employed by an exclusive spa and you’ve booked me a month-long stay.

Searching for the Real Deal

I was perhaps four years old. Surely too young to have this memory of walking from store to store in downtown Lubbock, Texas, on a cold and blustery December day. My hands can still recall the feeling of being snuggled into a white, fake fur muff. Someone, probably my Grandaddy, thought I was special enough to have this beautiful hand warmer. It was a wondrous thing. As soft on the inside as on the outside. I wish I still had it. Of course at my age I’d only be able to fit one hand inside the one I had back then.

(Above, a muff similar to the one I once owned.)

At any rate I recall the vibrancy of this particular day: Happy shoppers clogging the sidewalks in the midst of tall buildings, Christmas music emanating from every store, stopping for hot chocolate with my mommy at a drugstore, and all of a sudden wondering why there were Santas everywhere. How could this be? I was four, but even I knew there was just one Santa Claus. I’d sat in Santa’s lap inside one department store, so how could I be seeing him again in the store next door? I was no mathematical prodigy, but dang, it was pretty obvious that something fishy was going on.

“Mommy?” I asked. “How did Santa get from Hemphill-Wells to Montgomery Ward so fast?”

“He’s magic,” Mom said.

I thought a bit and reckoned that must be so, especially since Santa had a history of popping down chimneys with a sack full of toys he’d carried around with him in a flying sleigh pulled by eight miniature reindeer. Still, by the time we reached the end of one block I’d counted at least five Santas. And, none of them looked the same. A couple of them were skinny and one had an obviously fake beard. I could see the elastic he used to keep it in place.

So, I broached the subject again. “Mommy, why are all the Santas different?”

“Well, you see, Santa has to have helpers. He’s up at the North Pole getting ready for Christmas.”

“So none of these Santas are real?”

“I think maybe Santa does stop by some stores, just to make sure his helpers are doing a good job.”

From then until I learned the truth about Santa Claus I became fairly obsessed with discerning whether the Santa I visited with at Christmas time was indeed the real deal or just a hired hand. It became my quest to find THE Santa. A couple of times I was fairly certain I’d found the one.

After every visit with a department store Santa my brothers and I would debate that one’s credentials. Of course the boys looked to me for wisdom, (I’m pretty sure that’s still the case, they just won’t admit it) so I’d say, “That seemed like the real Santa! Did you see his twinkling eyes?” or “That one was just a helper, I think. I could see his real hair under his hat.” I don’t remember there being much debate; although, my brothers might have different memories.

Wouldn’t it be lovely for just one week to experience the wonder of Santa as a child? Not through the eyes of a child but as one? The wonder and magic, the anticipation! Ah! I wonder if anyone would hire me as a Santa detector? I think I have a knack for it.

(Below is a photo of the old Hemphill Wells store in downtown Lubbock.)

Peace, people.

Kringle Haiku

Kringle, my selfie elf, wanted in on the blogging gig. I told him it pays nothing, but he’s just full of good will and charity. Enjoy:

Every Christmas
Kringle elf patiently waits
For Santa’s signal

Silver bells ringing
Calling across time and space
To all clever elves

“Hurry ho, ho, home!”
Santa cries, “Christmas draws nigh!”
Elves rush north posthaste

Kringle soon will leave
For Santa’s North Pole workshop
Where magic lives still

 Praying for Eyebrowz Copyright 2015 by Leslie Noyes.

Curiosity and the Door

Behind this door lies

Madness, maybe, or magic.

Only time may tell.


Green doorway beckons,

Oft polished tiles pave the way

Stay wary, be wise.

From ether appeared

Long-limbed, staff-carrying Mage.

My breath caught; exhaled.

“Magician, tell me

Secrets from beyond grave’s door.”

“Those must wait,” he said,

“For your own demise,

Your journey beyond life’s pale

Do not hurry there!”

Patience, I have none.

Again I begged the wizard,

“A hint, please of what’s to come!”

Wickedly, he smiled,

“Child, ask me no more!

Twice have I refused your bid

Thrice will serve you not!”

But eager was I 

To know secrets dark and deep

Again I bade him,

“Answer me! ‘Tis truth I seek!”

Rakishly grinned he,

“You should have escaped, my dear,

Now face your nightmare!”

Force flew from his hand,

A blinding light soon followed 

To my knees I fell

Trembling with fear

Awestruck by his power play.

“Enough,” I cried. “Please!”

“Your pleas fail to halt

The mighty powers I have

Set into motion.”

Now in this casket

I am sealed without a hope

Of ever leaving,

Of ever loving,

But at least I still have a

Wicked way with words.


Killed the cat I’ve heard it said.

And it entombed me.

I snapped these photos in Antigua, Guatemala, at la Casa de Santa Domingo, a hotel built around the ruins of an ancient monastery. Sometimes my imagination has its way with me. 

Peace, people!