Try a Little Tenderness

I don't understand the Tinder thing, really. In my head, it's spelled with an "E" and everything is soft-focus and sweet and--wait. No. Now I'm hearing Kenny G and a never-ending soft jazz saxophone. Stop.

But it's spelled with an "I", like dry wood, waiting to be lit. Like something you pyramid in a wood stove, begging it to keep you warm without too much trouble. Tinder, like what is fueling the flames that are licking and devouring California.

I met my first husband in a Creative Writing class. He was there to get laid. I was there for the experience. I guess we both got what we were looking for.

That, and the ensuing marriage was Tinder with an "I". I still have the singe marks to prove it. 

Then I cooled way, way down and it was quiet all around and inside me and I didn't know how to do it but I granted myself a little Tenderness with an "E" on Saturday mornings while the sun came in and landed all over my second hand furniture and I had nowhere to go and nowhere to be and I stopped leaving soot everywhere I walked. I started peeling off my layers with kindness.

I didn't come out all sleek and shiny. But I recognized what a difference a vowel can make.


Ashland, VA

Mary Jo McLaughlinComment