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Nick Winkworth and Lisa Eldridge

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Nick Winkworth
“After All These Years”

Created using Lisa Eldridge’s story (below) as inspiration

I Used to Love Him, But Now I Never Did
By Lisa Eldridge

I met my old lover on the street last night. He was wearing a red rubber cell phone costume that covered his entire body and head with just a small slot cut out for his eyes, but I would have known those peepers of his from across the galaxy. I recognized him a split second after he lurched at me and thrust a grubby piece of paper into my hand. It was a coupon for 20%!! Off Bluetooth! Accessory’s!!! with “ANY” Perchase of $75 or more!!!!

I tried to envelop him in my womanly embrace, but he was busy confronting a group of passersby and didn’t see my outstretched arms and sentimental stare.

Before my brain could tell my feet to move my ass out of the flow of perambulators, a co-ed with a basket of fruit on her head rocketed past and slammed her silver rolly-pull cart full of Miller Genuine Draft into my shin, which barked at her. I lost my balance when another individual caromed into me on the other side and stepped sharply on the back of my shoe. I called out a friendly epithet and hopped/skipped/limped to shelter under the awning of the nearest storefront. It was apparently a store that sold cellular phones (and Accessory’s!!!) to interested parties. There were pictures of telephones covering the window next to a sign that read I Heart Anarchy, which at another juncture might have given me pause. But my lover was migrating away from me even as I leaned against the brick wall to pull off my orange Converse tennis shoe. I took the time to pull up my Pokémon socks and empty the glass beads out of my shoe before putting it back on my foot and carefully lacing it up. I kept my head down, sucking on my choppers in search of any strayaways from lunch.

I took a deep mouthful of air and inserted a smile into my face. Striking a pose, I called to my costumed paramour.

“Hey, Gaylord! Helllllllllooooooooooo!”

He was facing the wrong way ‘round, but he cocked his flat square body my way. Still, he didn’t turn to look so I marched over to speak to his red rubber back.

“Gaylord! It’s me! Persephone!”

Finally he turned his face to face my face. He had a funny look on his face, like he was ashamed of his face. Like his face was in a red rubber place. I wondered why he looked so far away as he looked my way. I guessed in my heart that he might be down on his luck. Just because my eyes told me that Gaylord now had a sweet career didn’t mean he might not have been volunteering or doing community service. Perhaps he was on the lam! My mouth filled with sugar as I smiled at my sweet poorheart.

“What are you, deef? It’s me, Persephone! Your long-lost lady love!” I screamed at the top of my spleens.

His eyes were familiar, cold and pure like a basket of fruit on the head of a headmistress hauling a cart of Miller Genuine Draft down a snowy boulevard. He spoke without making a sound. But it had been too long; I had lost the thread of our secret language.

“GAYLORD!” I tried to whisper but my words seemed to fly into the setting sun of the scarlet sky. A herd of dinosours thundered past and drowned out his reply as he backed toward the cellular storage store.

I made a grab for his number 8 and gave it a twist just for auld lang syne, but suddenly he wasn’t the sexually adventurous man-child who had escorted me to the fisting demo. He backed up more against the store of the door on the floor.

“Get the hell away from me, you old crazy bag!” he sang in purple flames of grape-flavored glory. “For I am indeed your long-lost love, Gaylord, even though I’m really not, and I will soon sweep you away on my enchanted steed so together we will never not be apart again in the first place!”

Then he spun away and evaporated across the floor of the bright beautiful store.

So now I await my lover’s return. When he gallops back to find me on his manly mount, I will be hiding in an alcove here hard by. When he is looking the other way, I will jauntily saunter up to his behind and roughly and lovingly shove him to the ground. My Gaylord, in his beautiful red-rubber smart-phone superhero suit, will finally be free! Once again we will be together forever, now and hereafter, never to part, cross my heart.

——————————————————-

Nick Winkworth_INSP

Nick Winkworth
“Chairs”

Inspiration piece provided to Lisa Eldridge

Everybody Has One
By Lisa Eldridge

I’ve done it all. I’ve been self-actualized to within an inch of my life. I chanted, I sat in sweat lodges, I danced in drum circles, I fire-walked, I rope-coursed, I meditated in the desert. I even tried that soul cleansing thing where you sit in the middle of a circle of people and they all spit on you.

I read the books. I took the seminars. I saw the therapists. I dream-journaled and visualized and wrote dozens of letters: to my higher self, to my inner critic, to my absent parent—letters that I never mailed but instead burned, buried, swallowed, or released to the heavens tied to helium balloons.

I tried Dream Interpretation. I tried Anger Management. I tried Comedy Traffic School.

But none of those things seemed able to answer all my questions about my place in the universe. I mean, I got everything. I grokked it. I took it all in. I processed and worked through and identified my racket. I gleaned every last thing there was to glean. I married myself. I got in touch with my shadow. I planned play dates for my inner child.

Don’t get me wrong: I learned plenty of profound lessons along the way. I learned that I create my reality and that nothing can happen to me unless I choose to let it happen. I have to admit it took some time for me to understand why I had chosen to be stabbed four times and left for dead by a coke-crazed pimp I picked up at Hamburger Hamlet during an alcoholic blackout. But finally I understood that I had chosen to be stabbed so the universe could send me a message telling me I needed to learn to set clearer boundaries.

But even though I appreciated the gift of that knowledge, I still felt like something was missing. Obviously I hadn’t yet discovered the One True Path that would lead me to the last piece of the puzzle that was me.

So I continued my search. I have to admit, not everything was a fit. Scientology had too much singing. Raw foods inflamed my diverticulitis. Tarot cards, astrology, scrying, pendulums, runes, biorhythms, I Ching, and feng shui all had their good points, but all those gewgaws took up a lot of space, and I got tired of having to banish the demons that attached themselves to my third eye whenever I used the Ouija board before my morning coffee.

After 15 years and thousands of books, tapes, seminars, retreats, and dollars, I was totally broke. Coincidentally, this was also the day that I achieved total spiritual enlightenment. But for some reason, my spirit guides kept scolding me about all the money I’d spent on life coaches and shamans and enema aficionados. “Follow your bliss,” they whispered. “Give psychic readings! Those guys make bank!”

So I enrolled in the local psychic institute and even signed up for extra sessions with the Clairvoyant Emeritus. But the classes were expensive, and the instructors were jealous of my natural talent. When they refused to let me test out of past-life regression, I quit in a huff. My guides were pissed! But again, that seemingly negative experience presented me with yet another profound life lesson and gave me the idea for this seminar: How to Channel Your Inner Asshole.

Unfortunately, for this first session I didn’t have the money to rent a nice conference room in a swanky hotel. But this hospital basement is pretty quiet, and the janitor said we could use these chairs. You sit there, and I’ll sit here. I will now teach you How to Channel Your Inner Asshole and Get Everything You Want by Crushing Everybody Around You, Because If Other People Are Not as Evolved as You Are, You Will Be Doing Them a Favor by Presenting Them with a Growth Opportunity, and Besides, You Have No Responsibility for Anybody Else Anyway, Because We All Create Our Own Reality.

Genius, isn’t it? And totally in line with the Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs.

I know the cost might seem a little high, at first, but it’s really a bargain, believe me. I’m charging you half of what the Breatharians are charging for their Interdimensional Traveling Salesman Series. Seriously, Inner Asshole Consciousness is going to be the next big thing. I guarantee it will change your life.

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Note: All of the art, writing, and music on this site belongs to the person who created it. Copying or republishing anything you see here without express and written permission from the author or artist is strictly prohibited.

6 comments

  1. […] is the result of my collaboration with Lisa Eldridge: After All These Years (click for […]


  2. “…so together we will never not be apart again in the first place!” Sums up the style of the piece–delightful and a little nutty.


  3. Nick the photos are stunning especially with Lisa’s pieces. I look at these serious pictures that show a stark loneliness and then read Lisa’s topics….I am crying with laughter while reading her descriptions, discoveries, and delusions. But I can also see how you captured her quiet insanity in the photos.

    Great team work!


  4. “Everybody Has One” took all my semi-hippie experiences and classes as an actor and blew them up in my face. I’ve done it all, Ben Hur Done That, and Lisa helped me discover how to laugh at it all. A skill not many writers have. Good experiment between two artists. I used to think I was a jerk now I think I’ve step up to being an asshole.


  5. These are hilarious and display a surreal sense of humor. I’m reminded of the “Shouts and Murmurs” section in the New Yorker, except that these might be just a teeny bit too raunchy.


  6. “How did I get here?” That question runs through my head like a mantra. But the query is not a quiet meditation; it’s an omen of death, shrieking at me because I can’t mollify it’s aching desire for self-fulfillment. I accept the futility of my situation. I desperately hope I have hit bottom. I gaze forward, mesmerized against my will by the stream of consciousness focused by your words against my mind. “My mouth filled with sugar as I smiled at my sweet poorheart.” Such a delicious algorithm of words. Nice. Except that it’s not my mouth that fills with sugar. It’s your mouth. It’s not my sweet poorheart. It’s your sweet poorheart. We swim in the same great ocean of experience: sublime and pulsating with meaning. Yet while you shiver and shake, dive and porpoise, through a landscape adorned by meaning- I am soaking uncomfortably in the comfort of my meaningless existence.

    Thanks Lisa. 🙂 I admire your work. I hope my inadequate but nonetheless sincere attempt to reward your creative weirdness with my own wacky reflection on your artistic flourish signals my genuine appreciation for your efforts. You are the master.

    And Nick! Great work. Love the image of the chairs and the visage you captured (of me) while sitting on the sidewalk. Thanks!



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