Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Aw Nuts

            Before I fell to sleep last night I had a great idea for a story. It had action, adventure, romance, special effects, monsters, boobs, passion, swashbuckling, violence, cool music and an awesome unexpected twist ending. When I woke up, it was all gone. In retrospect, it probably really didn’t have all the things I described. It was probably another crazy story about some guy standing at a bus stop in the cold wondering why he couldn’t get it on with the ladies even though he was endowed with god-like love making powers. I know how much everyone loves those stories. I enjoy writing them simply because I feel that amid the 7 billion people on Earth, there has to be some truth to it.

             So as I sat this morning in an attempt to salvage my amazing, mind-blowing story, I froze. I sat here at this computer with a blank stare plastered across my face. I had nothing. Everything I wanted to write about was just gone and I found myself terribly distracted by the squirrel on my window ledge shivering from the brutal cold outside. I started to wonder why the squirrel wasn’t hibernating, and then wondered if squirrels hibernated and based on the evidence of the squirrel on my window ledge I had to deduce that they do not. I wouldn’t say that is a productive train of thought and it hardly had anything to do with the amazing story I had planned to compose.

             I then dabbled with a play on the State of the Union, calling it The State of My Union. I wrote eight words into it and realized that the State of My Union was pretty boring since there wasn’t really any Union to describe. It would have been all about the women I desire and the fact that I’m too shy to say anything about it to them.  So I erased it and wondered where the hell that squirrel went. “Maybe I should just write about that squirrel,” I thought. I mean, that squirrel is pretty badass braving the treacherous cold weather in a constant search for nourishment and companionship. I have a feeling that the squirrel, which I will now refer to as Twinkie, has a very adventurous lifestyle.

             Twinkie’s life is one of constant daring and do. He’s climbing buildings like Spider-Man and leaping from ledges to trees like Superman. I don’t know if he is a beacon of justice for other squirrels like Batman, but there is a certain charisma about Twinkie. He’s got something. He’s got that “IT” factor the judges on American Idol Worship would be keen on. I wonder if Twinkie can sing. I sort of want to get him a little cowboy hat and a guitar and see what he could do. Twinkie the singing cowboy squirrel.

             “Froggy went a courtin’, he did ride, crambone,” like Uncle Pecos from Tom & Jerry springs to mind. A rowdy rootin’ tootin’ squirrel by day, avenger of squirrel injustice by night. That’s Twinkie alright. A regular squirrel hero. He’s gone from my window ledge now and I didn’t see where he ran off too. That’s his thing though. He’s mysterious. I bet the lady squirrels love him for that. He’s all about the lady squirrels too I bet; wooing them with adventure and silent unknowns. He drives all the lady squirrels wild.

             I do not envy him though. I’m a human being with all kinds of cool shit and he’s just a squirrel, on my window ledge, freezing, while I’m toasty and warm in my slippers, pajama pants and cardigan sweater.
           Well, maybe I do envy him a little.  

Monday, January 27, 2014


I’m addicted
to beauty
and I see it
all the time
in the faces
and bodies,
and eyes
of all the women
I love.

I’m hooked
on big smiles and
knowing glances.
I’m in awe of
happy laughter
and always want

I’m stuck on subtly
exposed skin,
begging for a slight
welcomed caress.
I’m a sucker for
desire, for want.

I’m all about the
way she moves,
the way she moves
me. The twinkle.
The shimmer.

I’m in the throes of
imagination, wondering
how her hands would
feel, in mine, on me,

I’m addicted to
beauty. To the simple
magic of her hard worked
yet effortless sensuality.
Her carefree yet concerned

I’m a junkie for

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cold Fingers

            “Ugh, what is that noise,” asked Caroline. She frowned and rose from her warm bed and went to the window. Outside in the cold darkness someone was trying to get their car started. They were revving and revving the car’s engine over and over. The car was clearly an older model and too prone to failure in the freezing temperatures outside. Caroline shivered as she felt the wind find every drafty crack in her window frame. She cursed the cold and then cursed the jerk revving their engine at four thirty in the morning. She cursed everything.

            Caroline quickly moved back to her bad and burrowed under her comforter. She found her vacated warm spot and cozied in. She hoped she could get back to sleep. She hoped she could get just two more hours before she really had to get up and head into the office. It was all she really wanted to do. As usual in those situations her body decided not to agree. The body has a funny way of doing that. It almost says, ‘Oh, you’re awake, well then, let’s get that bladder relieved. I don’t care what time it is.”

             Caroline moaned and thought she could just ignore the urination urge and lure her body back to sleep. Her body however was far more persistent. Caroline got out of bed and went to her bathroom. She sat on the toilet and cringed at how chilly the toilet seat was. She wondered why, in this great magnificent future, every toilet seat wasn’t heated. Why were people of the world cursed to sit on cold toilet seats like the people did a hundred years ago? She remembered that there are some people in the world that don’t have toilet seats at all. They just go to the bathroom in a hole in the ground. She thought at least their asses weren’t cold from touching a toilet seat. Maybe they had the right idea. “Although didn’t those people live in jungles and deserts and France,” she thought. She chuckled to herself and reached for the toilet paper and wiped herself. She got up and flushed. She washed her hands as all proper ladies should and hurried back to bed. Her floors were cold on her bare feet.

             She slipped back under her blankets and rested her head on the pillow, moving her hair off her face. She heard the car on the street, revving again. It was a high whine now. She blinked against the darkness and felt hate creeping in.  It was a real hot hatred for this jackass revving his engine. She imagined it was that one neighbor of hers, that Charlie Something. He was the one who would blast the worst 80’s hair metal music at the block party every year, nearly driving everyone away. She hated that he had managed to delude himself for so long into thinking that he was cool. He wasn’t cool. He was tubby and uncouth and had a fish oil smell about him constantly. He always hit on her friends, even the married ones.

             “Get out of their Charlie. Get out of my head and let me sleep,” said Caroline to the empty room. She rolled over on her right side and clenched her eyes shut. She tried to think about the things she had to do at work in a few hours, but that sort of thinking always made her stay awake. She pushed those thoughts back in her mind. She tried to think about something that wouldn’t keep her mind whirring. She tried to remember what she was thinking about when she first fell to sleep at ten thirty. She thought about her older sister’s summer pool party last year and that guy Brian. Yeah, Brian was cute, but married to that bitch Sasha. At least Caroline thought the crazy woman’s name was Sasha. She was some sort of Earth loving hippie type that reeked of hippie oils and flatulence. She couldn’t figure out what Brian, cute, nice, Brian was doing with her. Caroline was even wearing her best bikini and Brian barely gave her more than a nod. But no, that trippy dippy hippie had her crunchy hair and hands all over Brian. Caroline didn’t think that Sasha even shaved her legs.

             “Just stop,” said Caroline. She shook her head against her pillow and flushed the images of married Brian and Sasha away. She needed something less upsetting to think about; or to not think about anything at all. She had so much trouble just turning her brain off once it got going. The car revving had stopped outside and she could hear the wind howling through the cold streets. She felt dread at the idea of having to get up after no sleep and face the bitter winter blowing outside. She felt like there were times when she just couldn’t win. She wondered if she put herself in a position to win. She wondered if winning was what was important.

             “Of course winning was important. You’re a young woman that has to make it in this man’s world,” said Caroline’s mother’s voice in her head, “You have to be beautiful, poised, smart, risky and brave in all things,” continued her mother. Caroline sighed and wished her mother had actually liked to play with dolls and dress-up instead of her ferocious pursuit of success in the world of man. Caroline felt some resentment for her mother. She didn’t want to think about it now. She just wanted to get to sleep.

             The window rattled from the strong wind outside and Caroline pulled the covers up tighter. She swallowed her resentment and started counting sheep. She actually started doing some math involving sheep. Math problems seemed to help her fall to sleep. “One sheep plus two sheep is three sheep. Three sheep plus four sheep is seven sheep,” she thought. Slowly the sheep began to accumulate and she started to wonder where she would keep all these multiplying sheep. Her eyes got heavy and she felt herself slip into that haze of being between two worlds and sleep finally returned to her.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Skin










Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Something Something Nightmares

            I’m finally getting used to using a Kindle to do my reading and I’ve been reading the first book I’ve ever downloaded, Doctor Sleep. It’s a Stephen King book that’s a sequel to The Shining of sorts. There was a part in this newer story that seemed directly ripped from my own life experiences. And it actually gave me a nightmare.

             Mr. King wrote a little bit about the main character waking from a dream only to find himself in bed with a small dead boy. The boy’s head was bashed in and there was a bloody gory mess in the bed. The main character freaked out and leapt from his bed. The main character then woke again from the dream within a dream to find the bed was empty, but knowing somehow that he had been visited by the dead boy. This small part in the story got to me since I actually had a similar experience.

             I’ll preface this bit with a little background. I’m not terribly superstitious by nature. I’m actually a pretty strong skeptic. I firmly believe that most things can be explained logically and reasonably without any link to the supernatural. However, I have seen a few things in my day that defy logical and reasonable explanation. I’ve seen items moving by themselves. I’ve seen people that weren’t there and heard voices that came from no one. I don’t often speak of it because I think it’s crazy. I’ve seen it but I don’t really believe it. I’m more convinced that it was just my eyes or mind just playing a trick on me. My brain trying to process information, to make sense, of something it didn’t understand or see properly.

             Several years ago, I was in my bed trying to get to sleep. I was having a bit of trouble getting to rest. I was worried about work, money, women, all the usual things that keep me up. I was trying very hard to shut my mind off and go to sleep. I had forced myself to close my eyes but sleep just wasn’t coming. I was lying on my left side, my head nestled firmly into my pillow, but I couldn’t get to sleep. I sighed and opened my eyes. When I opened my eyes, facing me in my own bed, was a small Hispanic looking child lying on the pillow next to me. I couldn’t tell if it was a boy of a girl. The child was very young. Dark black hair, a sort of almond color to the skin, dark eyes, and the clear face of a very young child, right down to the baby shaped lips.  It did not make a sound but looked to be breathing and staring right at me. My heart clenched in my chest and I squeezed my eyes back shut. I repeated to myself, “There’s nothing there, there’s nothing there, there’s nothing there,” and I opened my eyes again.

             The child was gone. The bed was empty except for me. I got up and went into my living room and lit a cigarette. I sat on my couch trying to convince myself that I had fallen asleep for a brief moment and the child was just something my flustered brain whipped up. I smoked and felt the horror subsiding in my chest. After I finished my smoke I steeled myself for the next encounter and went back to bed. There was nothing in my bedroom waiting for me. I eventually calmed down enough and finally fell asleep. The next morning though, the thought was still on my mind.

             I told one of my good friends about it, one with whom I had shared some other strange haunting images with and she reminded me that stuff happened to me all the time. Plus if it was just a kind it probably didn’t mean any harm. Regardless, one night, after a long night of drinking, I banished all spirits and visions from my apartment. I told them they were not welcome and they should leave and leave me alone. Since then, I haven’t had any instances of ghostly children in my bed.

            And then I had to read Stephen King last night, wherein as I described, the main character had a similar experience. It got to me. So as I slept last night I was plagued by nightmares of dead children in my bed, ghosts and formless faces hovering over me. So much so that I woke up several times because of the horror beasts of my imagination strangling me or chasing me. In one instance I dreamed that I too leapt from my bed, fell to my butt and then scooted in terror from my bedroom to my hallway as I pled for my measly life. The fear was intense. I was awash in nightmares.

             Eventually, my dreams quieted after I cursed the wonderful Stephen King several times. I fell into a full and deep sleep sometime around four o’clock this morning. Yet, those images from my nightmares persist in my waking thoughts and I only pray they leave me alone tonight.

             It’s a good thing it’s Zulu night at my local pub. That should calm things down.

             Sleep well.

Friday, January 17, 2014

It's Happening

            Robot XKV hovered at the factory windows. It focused its optical sensors toward the green grassy field that sprawled out next door. Robot XK1 rolled toward XKV and nudged him.

             “Return to duty,” said Robot XK1.
            “Error,” said Robot XKV.

            XK1 rotated and activated its diagnostic probe. It waved the device over XKV’s hard metal shell. XK1 scanned for any malfunction.

             “No error detected. Return to duty,” said Robot XK1.
            “Error,” said XKV.

             XK1 held its position next to XKV.

             “Indicate error,” said XK1.
            “Outside,” said XKV.

             XK1 focused its optic sensors and pointed them in the same direction as XKV. They stood together in the factory window, gazing out at the blue sky and the green field. In the field they saw three children lying in the tall grass. They were on their backs gazing up at the wisps of fluffy clouds overhead.

             “I think that one looks like a train engine,” said Harriet.
            “I think it looks like a semi-truck,” said Henry.
            “I think that one, over there, looks like a plate of spaghetti,” said Thomas as he pointed.

             Harriet and Henry turned their heads to see where Thomas was pointing. Harriet shielded her eyes from the sun streaming down.

             “It kinda does look like a plate of spaghetti. Or the face of the devil,” said Henry.
            “Why are you always bringing up the devil,” asked Thomas.
            “I dunno. I think it’s funny, I guess,” said Henry.
            “I don’t think it’s funny at all,” said Harriet.

             Thomas rolled over and looked at Harriet. The sunlight seemed to give her an extra glow. She seemed more pretty than usual. Thomas felt something in his 10 year old chest, something gurgle in his stomach. He had a desire to hold Harriet’s hand. He’d never wanted to hold a girls hand before. Now suddenly, he felt compelled to reach out and grab hers.

             “C’mon, the devil is so funny,” said Henry.
            “You’re so weird,” said Harriet.

             Henry laughed and the three continued to look skyward.

             “That one looks like a butt,” said Henry.

             The three children laughed because the cloud really did look like a butt. A great big cheeky butt. It was like the huge butt of some old great aunt that only came around at Christmas time.

             A shift whistle blew at the factory and the three children sat up and looked toward the building. They looked up and saw the two robots in the window looking out at them.

            “What is their purpose,” said Robot XKV.
            “Unknown,” said Robot XK1.

            The two robots turned from the window and continued sweeping the factory floors.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Through the Window

I am one of those types,
that stands,
holding a coffee cup,
staring out the windows
at the world.

I watch blankly,
awash in memory and
silent contemplation of
the things that pass me by.

The glass is my barrier,
one I like. I stand in the
eyes of my apartment building,
the pupils, scanning the crannies
and nooks of the busy streets.

I’m not there though. I have
no reflection in the windows.
I don’t see me staring back
at me. I’m out above it all.
I’m away.

In the coffee cup,
I have tea,
In the windows,
there’s nothing to see.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


            It’s strange to return home after a week away and see the literal disarray in your own life left out on the dining room table. There it is; all the scattered scraps of paper that make up your current style of living. There’s also that odd smell. Did this place always smell like that? Is that how I smell to others? Is someone in one of the other apartments really cooking their garbage for lunch? How did it get so dusty in here while I was away?

            It isn’t permanent though. It can all be sorted, categorized, cleaned and neatly squirreled away.  It can all be changed. I suppose coming home after being away for a while can lead to some optimism about what can be done. I started organizing things as soon as I walked back through the door. I put laundry away, I dusted. I didn’t turn the TV on right away and start the usual vegetation time. I feel a sense, or need, for organization.

It might also be my desire for structure. I think it’s the strangest aspect of my personality. I crave some disorder, some fly by the handle, opportunity will knock on the door type of life, yet long for a structure for all that to occur within. I like order, controlled chaos. I like knowing yet often am pleased with a surprise or two. Since I’ve been unemployed I’ve been looking for some order amid the chaos of my life. I want something solid to build upon, yet everything seems to be sand. And as we all know, sand isn’t very good to build on. Unless you’re Egyptian.

I like things to be organized. I like for things to be in place. I don’t much care for a lot of Willie-nillieness. I like things to be where they are supposed to be. I get frustrated when the world or other people don’t adhere to that philosophy. When things or people are out of control (or out of my control) I find myself stifled and nearly unable to act. I’m frozen, just trying to figure out what the hell just happened rather than acting on it. That’s not to say that I don’t immediately act at times. Usually that involves me losing my temper and yelling at someone or nearly getting into a fight over something stupid because I acted without thinking.

So the clutter in my apartment upon my return after being away has caused me to focus in a strange way. To focus on the things that need to get done. I have to finish a story or two. I have to send them to the right people to be read. I have to finally achieve something in line with my aspiration of being an actual writer and make a living at it.
           I have to do the dishes. I also have to find out what that smell is. Damn.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Light Snow

            “The snows started again,” said Lars. 
            “I can see that,” said Meg.
            “Do you think it will affect the mission,” asked Lars.
            “Negative. We move forward as planned,” said Meg.

             Lars adjusted the weapon against his chest and tightened his gloves. He looked up at the gray sky and watched the heavy snowflakes falling from above. They flittered down along the light breeze that had started to blow.

             “Move to position seven D grid 2,” said Meg.
            “Yes Ma’am,” said Lars.

             Lars and Meg crouched up from their drop point position and moved toward the field where the alien signal had been detected. Two days earlier something had crashed from the sky in a deserted Nebraskan field. Original reports suggested a meteor, but when it started sending out some sort of beacon or pulse, Lars and Captain Meg’s team from Control were notified and mobilized. Now they were closing in on the object through a thickening snow fall.

             Lars’ boots crunched on the frozen field as he and Captain Meg took up secure positions around the object. It was burned black from its entry into our atmosphere yet there was an audible pulse coming from it. Lars looked over at Captain Meg. She motioned him to move in closer to the object. Lars took a deep breath and started a slow tactical move forward. His weapon was aim squarely at the object as he moved. The snow falling continued to increase, limiting Lars vision. He had left his goggles in the Jeep thinking he wouldn’t need them. Even though it had snowed heavily for the last few days.

             “Captain, I’m in position,” said Lars into his radio.
            “Affirmative,” said Meg.

             She started her move forward toward the object to Lars’ left. As she began to move the snow started swirling in thick torrid clouds, it was milky but still just snow. A beeping, hydraulic sound came from the object and Lars turned his head toward it. He saw a thin slit of bright white light split the charred surface of the object. He was about to radio Captain Meg to halt her forward progress. Before he could get the words out a beam of electric blue shot from the object and hit Captain Meg directly in the head. She froze for a moment before imploding. All of her was sucked into that blue beam in an instant. The moment she was gone the snow died down, returned to something more normal.

            Lars swallowed hard and looked back at the object. The noise had stopped and the slit of white light had gone. The low beeping sound had resumed. Lars started backing away from the object. He was breathing heavy and he could taste something metal in his mouth. The snow swirled and Lars could hear it lightly pelting the ground as it fell. He continued to back away from the object. He was unable to speak. All he could do was keep his eyes on the object and slowly back up. He ignored the visions of Captain Meg getting vaporized  and focused on getting away, getting back to the Jeep.

            The object hummed louder and Lars held his position. The snows started swirling again all around him. He could feel static in the air. He had goose bumps up and down his body. He squinted at the object through the swirling, pelting snow. He heard a drilling noise and some sort of clacking. The object was spinning slowly in the snowy ground, and gaining speed. Lars armed his weapon and took aim at the device through his scope. The scope magnified the object and showed red lights moving across its surface as it spun in place.

             Lars moved his finger from the safety position and to the weapon’s trigger. He tried to calm his breathing. Heavy snowflakes hit Lars’ eyelashes and he had to keep blinking to clear his vision. His radio started to crackle in his ear.

             “Alpha 1-6, Come in, over,” said Control.
            “Alpha 1-6…,” said Lars.
            “Status Alpha 1-6, we have a spike in activity on the main, over,” said Control.
            “Affirmative, activity increased, Captain is…is…is…gone. I repeat, Captain is gone, over,” said Lars.
            “Re-confirm, what is Captain Meg O’Sullivan’s status, over,” asked Control.
            “Deceased. The Captain appears deceased. Request authorization for lethal response, over,” said Lars.
            “Hold your position, over,” said Control.
            “Negative Control, Position no longer manageable, over,” said Lars.

             Lars continued to move back as the object continued to spin and the snow increased.

             “We’re having difficulty centering on your position, weather appears to be interfering, over,” said Control.
            “No crap, Control. It’s snowing like crazy. I think the object is producing the weather, over,” said Lars.

             Lars was met with static in his headset. He attempted continued contact but was unable to get through to Control. He looked back through his scope at the object through the now blinding snow. The object was glowing red and hovering above the ground. Lars decided he’d had enough. He took aim and fired several rounds at the object. The object stopped spinning as each round ricocheted off. The object zoomed forward into Lars’ face. He felt heat spread over his body. He started the scream and fired point blank at the object. The white slit appeared on the objects surface and Lars felt pain in his head, the worst headache he’d ever had didn’t compare. He smelled his own urine and pickled feet. He remembered his mother.
            The object’s slit closed and it resumed spinning. The conquest had started.

Monday, January 13, 2014

It's what I heard

            I heard a comedian the other day explain why he thinks women are baffled by men. Or at least why women can find men to be so frustrating. He said it was because women can’t understand how a man can sit quietly and be happy. Men have the ability to literally slow their bodies down and just sit still. They do not have their minds cluttered with every little detail or thing. They slow down and just sit. It’s almost like a form of quiet meditation. And it makes women crazy.

             It is something that occurred to me when my cousin Tim and I were discussing the details of several Family Guy episodes. We knew the minutia about each episode while my other cousin Colette and my friend Nicole, could hardly believe we could recall such detail. They only had a vague recollection of the show. Nicole asked how we could remember so much and Tim and I didn’t have an answer. It wasn’t until later that I thought of it. We slowed down and sat quietly while watching the show, thus allowing us to absorb the details.  We were able to remember it because we were sitting silently and entered a sort of meditative state.

             It can be argued that women, whom I love deeply, don’t really slow themselves down as men do. They always seem to be interpreting and evaluating and seeing how things make them feel, or how it affects others. It’s their nurturing nature. They are filled with the constant details of their immediate experiences, whereas men, don’t. Men seem to only deal with what they can see. If they can’t see it or don’t have any connection to it, it doesn’t really matter. Women however seem to have their wheels spinning constantly about everything.

             This is not an accusation or a judgment of either gender. There is no malice or ill intent to be taken by either sex. It’s certainly open for debate. I’m sure there are exceptions to this supposition that men can slow themselves down and sit quietly and women don’t. It’s that way with all things, there are no absolutes. It is very likely there are women that can slow themselves down and calm their minds and there are men who are frantic with an overabundance of thought. But that’s not really the point I’m trying to make.

             It’s just what occurred to me when Nicole asked how we and men in general really, could recall such pointless details about a TV show, yet not remember when someone’s birthday was. I think that while men are watching TV or even the flickering flames of a bonfire we’re slowed down and we absorb information due to some evolutionary need; whereas women’s evolution did not design them that way. Women remember birthdays because evolutionary needs decreed their brain be hardwired for those details. Men are wired just so we don’t poop in the fire. So we sit quietly wondering what would happen if we pooped in the fire. But we don’t say that out loud and it drives women nuts that men can sit, be quiet and be happy.

             The other thing that I’ve heard and frankly had enough of is young people, 20 to 23 years old, posting things on Facebook and other social media sites telling us all what life is like, or about, or what it’s supposed to be. I think they should be banned from posting such things until they reach 35 or older. Who are they to tell us what life is like, about or supposed to be?

Anyway, that’s what I heard.

Friday, January 10, 2014


             “Pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me,” said the Dog.

             His tail wagged wildly, to the point that his rear was wiggling. His enthusiasm was uncontained.

             “I just pet you for like, ten minutes straight. How can you need more,” asked the Man.
             “Pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me,” continued the Dog.

             The man sighed and continued to pet the dog. Dog hair flew about as the man did his best to comfort the dog’s desire for attention. He pat the dog on the side as a sort of finishing move and pointed toward the dog’s bed.

             “Go lie down,” said the man.

             The dog just stared at the man. The man stood up and stretched and walked toward the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. The dog ran past him to the back door.

             “No, we’re not going out right now. I need a cup of coffee to wipe the sleep from my eyes,” said the Man.
            “Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk,” asked the Dog.
            “Not right now. I said I needed a coffee first,” said the Man.  

             The dog sat down in front of the door and watched the man as he got his coffee together. The dog followed the man as he got a coffee cup, coffee, cream, sugar, a spoon and placed them out in anticipation. The man turned from the counter and looked back at the dog.

             “You know, we’re not all that dissimilar. I’m a lot like you when it comes to trying get the attention of a pretty woman. In fact, I almost act the same way. I want to be pet and I want her to notice me and hang out with me and cuddle with me,” said the Man.
            “Walk,” asked the dog as he stood.
            “No, not yet,” said the Man with a sigh.

             The coffee cup filled at the single cup coffee maker and the man moved for it. The dog sniffed the man’s legs as he moved back and forth in the kitchen. The dog was almost underfoot as the man moved about. The Man flavored his coffee and moved back toward the living room to sit. The dog followed and plopped himself in front of the man as he sat on the couch.

             “Let me drink my coffee,” said the Man.
            “Pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me, pet me,” said the Dog.
            “Fine,” sighed the Man, “you need a lot of love hm? So do I.”
            The Man smiled.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Loose Screws

            “The arms on my chair are loose,” said Mayor Belkin.
            “I’m so sorry sir. I’ll have that fixed immediately,” said sycophant number one.
            “No, no, that’s okay. I just need a screwdriver and I can fix it myself,” said Mayor Belkin.

The sycophant, Glenn, dropped the small clipboard he was holding. It rattled on the hard marble floor of the Mayor’s office.

“What did you say sir,” asked Glenn.

The Mayor looked up from his wobbly chair arms and saw Glenn’s gasping face.

“I said I’d fix it if I just had a screwdriver. Can you get me a screwdriver, or just show me where the tool room is and I’ll just take care of it,” said the Mayor.
            “Uh, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do here, um…,” stammered Glenn.

The mayor wiggled the loose arms of his new office chair. He reached underneath and found the loose screw. He could easily fix it.

“Sir, um, we can get maintenance to fix the chair. There’s a press conference to attend, then the plans for your charity ball for the children’s hospital, then you have to take your wife to her mother’s, and then review the budget requirements for your new administration,” said Glenn.
             “Sure, sure, we’ll get to all that. I just want to sit in a chair that doesn’t have loose arms,” said the Mayor.

Glenn finally picked up his clipboard and took out his cell phone. He called the maintenance department, was put on hold, got a teenage intern who didn’t know what he wanted, was put back on hold, got the director of maintenance who assured Glenn they would come up with a selection of screwdrivers by 2:00 in the afternoon.

“2:00,” asked the Mayor, “it’s 9:30 in the morning right now. Why the delay?”

Glenn shrugged and tucked his phone back into its holster on his belt. The Mayor sighed and sat down in his wobbly armed office chair. The chair squeaked and groaned.

“My goodness, I’d almost rather a damn folding chair,” said the Mayor.
            “It’s a traditional chair. Every mayor since the great Adulius Tucker has sat in that chair,” said Glenn.
            “Wasn’t Adulius Tucker a three hundred pound plus sized man,” asked the Mayor.
            “He was indeed a man of tremendous girth,” said Glenn.

The mayor looked at the portrait of Adulius Tucker from 1924 hanging across the room over the large classic fireplace. He wondered what kind of liberties the painter took to get the former Mayor Tucker to fit on the canvas, and account for the frame. Mayor Belkin let Glenn place document after document in front of him for his signature. Mayor Belkin barely had a chance to read the document’s content before Glenn scooped it up and tucked it under other papers on his clipboard.

“You gotta slow this whole thing down buddy,” said Mayor Belkin.
            “Yes sir. Sorry Sir,” said Glenn.

Mayor Belkin could tell there was no real apology in Glenn’s young suck-up voice. He sighed and wondered if he could actually fill all the promises he made during the campaign. Glenn placed a sanitation agreement proposal in front of Mayor Belkin and held out a pen. Mayor Belkin looked up at Glenn and felt a strange hopelessness start to creep in.

“Damn it,” said Mayor Belkin.
            “Sir,” asked Glenn.
            “Nothing,” said the Mayor as he put his hands on the arm rests and wiggled them back and forth.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


            James thought if he strained his ears just right he might hear her plane flying above. She’d only left his side a few hours ago but he was already missing her. It was the greatest of delights to have her in his bed for the short while that he did. Now she was off, travelling the world and he was sitting at his window wondering about her plane. He hoped it had taken off on time.  He hoped there wouldn’t be any difficulties as she flew over the ocean.

            She had left her coffee cup on James’ table and he was tempted to drink from it, if just to taste her lips one more time. He picked the cup up and carried it to his kitchen and placed it in the sink. He sighed and leaned his arms forward against the edge of the sink. He stood there for a moment reveling in this long forgotten happiness. He smiled. He had smiled so much through the previous night as she sat next to him. He couldn’t help himself. Now his cheeks seemed sore, but happily so. He hadn’t felt the sensation of being wanted, or told that he had feelings that mattered, that were valid, in such a very long time.

            He could barely remember the last time a woman made him feel like he was worthwhile. He tried to remember the last woman to put a true smile on his face. There was just something about the way she looked at him that made him feel warm, safe, confident, honest and like a man should when loved. She was confidently sexy but not arrogant about it. She responded to James’ touch and he responded to hers. James felt something stir in him as they kissed. Something that had been dormant for so very long and he thought he could feel it from her, through her, as if she had been missing it inside herself too.

             James returned to the window and sat down. He heard cars and trucks rumbling down the street. He heard the horns and sirens, the distant clacking of the train, bells tolling somewhere, but he could not hear any airplanes. He looked up toward the sky, hoping for a glimpse, some twinkling in the sun from that flying aluminum tube. James laughed to himself for being so silly and mushy about it. So what if he could see or hear her plane flying overhead? What would he do about it? He’d just sigh a little deeper and remember his arm around her as they lightly slept in his bed before she left. He’d romanticize the littlest details of their time together and then fret about what she might (or not) be thinking about him.  

             He wondered what effect he’d had on her, did he reach her, and did she know how much she’d done for him just by holding his hand for a short while? She made him remember that he did have value, and that he could be found attractive by an intelligent and sexy woman. He wasn’t an undesirable. She’d helped him remember what it was like to want to take care of someone. She made him feel wanted. He loved her for that.

             A car skidded to a hard stop at the near-by stoplight. Someone tooted a horn. James looked down toward the street to see two red faced men yelling at each other through rolled up car windows. Overhead a plane glinted in the sun.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ice Age - 2014

            The great city of Chicago is under a deep freeze. It’s 10:36 am and it’s -15 degrees outside. Car tires are frozen to the city streets in some places. It is not fit for man nor beast out there. People are wrapped up in as many layers of heavy clothing as they can muster. They toddle along like some strange wardrobe/Michelin Man hybrids over the icy sidewalks. I marvel at their desire to make it to where ever it is they have to go to on such a brutally cold day.
            I don’t enjoy the cold. If fact I mostly hate it. I prefer spring weather above most others. I do enjoy the summer months, but in Chicago, the humidity can be a real downer on actually enjoying any outside activity. It’s no fun to stick to everything while constantly wiping the sweat from dripping into your eyes.  I certainly prefer the spring weather. The high sixties or low seventies is where I’d prefer. I like wearing light jackets or maybe a sweater as I casually stroll the city streets.

             Winter and I used to get along just fine though. I used to march through the snow like Darth Vader on Hoth. I even had Darth’s theme music playing in my head as I did so. I would let my long black overcoat hang open as the wind whipped it around my back like Darth’s cape. I would try to catch my shadow projected on the white snows from the street lights overhead to see how closely my march matched that of Vader’s. My imagination made it seem like it was spot on, but if you looked at me from say, a passing car, you’d chuckle at the child trudging through the snow.

             Winter used to be snowman making, snowball fights, ice skating, skitching (the art of hanging onto the bumper of a moving vehicle as it pulls you along a snowy, icy street or alley. A most dangerous winter activity, but totally fun). We also did some sledding. I think it was the first time I went to a toboggan run that I started to dislike winter and the activities associated with winter. I was wet, cold, sore, bored, wet, and cold. I realized that this isn’t fun. It’s cold, damn it. I don’t like being cold. Cold can go screw itself.

             I’m certainly more of a spring and summer type these days. I prefer shorts over long pants and short sleeves over layers and layers of heavy clothes. I like the sitting al fresco and having a casual drink or cigarette. The winter keeps those things from me. Especially the smoking. Smoking in winter is akin to a Siberian exile. We smokers are forced outside into the blistering cold to fulfill out nicotine needs like Ivan Denisovich is forced to work. But we’re still cool damn it, still c-c-c-c-cool.

             My apartment windows are currently completely covered in frost and I can’t really see outside. The sun is shining but it’s completely ineffectual. It’s not warm enough to melt the frost. I can see a small patch of blue sky, in fact, there doesn’t seem to be a cloud floating above anywhere. It’d be a lovely day, any other day. Instead it’s still well below zero and I can feel the cold nipping through the many drafts in my apartment at my exposed ankles. I have tasks that need completing today so I’m pondering the bundling I’ll have to do to venture out into the snowbound wastelands.

             Two pairs of socks, flannels under my jeans, tee-shirt under a long sleeve under a sweater, scarf, jacket, gloves, hat, ear covers, and something I’m probably forgetting which will cause me to suffer under the brutality of unrelenting cold. I wish I had eye goggles. (I also hope Chicago’s homeless found warm places to hold up during this deep freeze.) Stay warm my fellow Chicagoans. If you’re reading this somewhere warm…  (cough).

Thursday, January 2, 2014


            I’m not sure I actually believe it, but this is my 700th blog posting. That means I have enough blogs written to last a person nearly two years, if they read one every single day. I find that pretty amazing. I cannot say that all of these pieces are winners. A few of the blogs are downright depressing horror shows. A few of them are incomplete stories that beg completion but once they get out of me and onto this page I seem to lose interest in them.

             Writing this seven hundredth blog seems to be a bit of a struggle as well. I’ve approached it several times but I keep getting distracted by the falling snow outside. My thoughts are all scattered like the snowflakes swirling and drifting aimlessly in the wind. The flakes blow up, down, left, and right, mimicking the words fumbling through my brain.

             Snowflakes that read: love, work, trudge, heart, women, rage, shame, booze, lunch, snow, cold, all bounce against each other in the icy wind. I’m finding it terribly hard to pick just the right ones. I just have a heavy shovel full of words tossed in with the other piles of words. The words have been plowed and salted, trampled underfoot and even melted.

            700 blogs, it’s hard to believe. Thank you for all your continued reading dear readers.