Cheers to Mr. & Mrs. Nails

Sep 29, 2014

shortbreadBleakness took its final breaths. Bowed gracefully from my life as
you stepped smiling in. Your lack of punctuation meant something, and
I finally understood the significance of rosy-cheeked. It is the glow and
healthy circulation of one who is well and thoroughly loved. 

The broken elevator faced us. We wondered for a while together. Puddle 
hopped the niceties required of new acquaintances despite standing in 
the former glory of Mr. B. Black’s estate. Decades drug grandeur to shabby 
yet fashionable fringe; however, the marble ran out after only the first
flight of stairs. I couldn’t help but appreciate the attempt at dignity.
Apparently the money fled his pockets before the gentry flocked to the 

Anyway, we climbed the stairs. Passed the liquor glittered alcoves, the
pay phone, the chipping paint, the artfully spray-painted stencils, the
Dodger cap, and arrived breathless and curious. I had shopped for a 
venue to delightfully exploit myself and had found this place with these
people. My expectations were nothing short of great.

Mrs. Nails stood and spoke of the deliciously wet bites one takes from
fertile deltas and peat fires that burn deep, deep, deep, deep in the 
earth. Mr. Nails spoke on alien encounters, the former First Lady, and
extra-marital affairs…not at all his, of course. Mrs. Nails is as essential
as salt as as sweet as honey. He lives for her benefit.

I was their first house guest. They insisted enthusiastically and fed me
rosemary chocolate chip shortbread biscuits and ridiculous instructions
about mirrors and makeup applications and the way one combs one’s
hair. He relayed me the tale of his Lincoln Continental sitting in forlorn
Sacramento storage. Let me crack open his soul like a Christmas chestnut
and shed light upon the wealth of calorie-rich, golden oil trickling down
Interstate 5.

I dreamt of London. About princes and attending physicians. I dreamt of
robots and astronauts and tabloid news. Then, I opened my eyes to shelves
of books, freezers of cakes, polished wardrobes crowned with mandolins. I
saw walnut floors and modern table lamps, and I felt the importance of

A toast to the happy couple! Cheers to long lives overflowing with shortbread
biscuits, performances, poetry, space aliens, and classic American automobiles.
Cheers to taking strangers in off the streets. Cheers to cigarettes on fire escapes.
Cheers to rosy cheeks. Cheers to love. Cheers to marriage. Cheers to you, Mr. &
Mrs. Nails. 




Copyright © 2014 Ashley Karr



Ashley Karr


I am a native Californian – born in Hollywood of all places. Writing is one of my great loves, and I have written and published many pieces over the course of my life – mostly academic. Here is proof that I am addicted to education: I have my B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA; studied Spanish language, culture, and history a la Universidad de Granada; studied finance at Emory University, and have my M.S. in Human Factors and Systems Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. You can read more about my engineering and design work at DesignThinkingBoutique. You may also peruse my blog at

Here are a few other tidbits about me. I graduated high school early and moved to Manhattan to model. I was with Wilhelmina NY and LA. I have taught statistics at the university level and Yoga and Pilates since my late teens. My favorite drink is Paris Tea by Harney and Sons. I am claustrophobic and have a very hard time spending extended periods of time indoors, especially when I cannot even open a window. I hate advice.




Editor’s Note: Ashley attended and read one of her original poems at the Whisky & Poetry Salon organized by Hometown Pasadena contributor Kim Ohanneson. Ashley’s parents grew up in Pasadena and she works here periodically in her professional capacity.



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