Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dear People

Dear People,
do not be people.

Do not admit to being
imperfect, fallible,
or human.

Value each person,
but don’t be one,
because that would
imply imperfection.

We must be above person
or people, beyond reproach,
and incapable of even the
slightest judgment error.

Do not be people.

If people are human,
and humans make mistakes,
and if to err is human, and if
being human is to be people,
then people make mistakes.

But no, do not be people.

Be perfect, never make any
mistakes, never acknowledge any
dalliances of youthful ignorance.
Never be held hostage by
your immature thoughts.  

Never lay in bed at night,
re-living the embarrassments
of your past and shake your head
in shame and disappointment.
That would make you a person.

And you’re not a person.
You’re not people.

Don’t be people.

You’re just an Idea,
someone else had. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Shaky at Best



The cars herked and jerked,
hmm… “herked”, is that even
a word?

It’s not.

“Herky-jerky”, is appropriate to
describe the motion of the cars
in traffic as I was originally
intending.

But “herked” sounded better,
but it’s not real. Something can be
jerked, but not herked.
It really threw me off my poetry
game.  

I’m not even sure anymore
why I was starting a poem
about traffic, seems less
important now.

It probably had something
to do with my love life,
or relationships or some
other metaphor to color
the stop and start nature of
life.

But I wanted it to be “herked”,
but grammar wouldn’t let it be.
So now I’m here, all herky-jerky.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Death on the Moon


To die on the Moon,
that’s what I want.

I want to drink a bottle
of red wine, put on a
spacesuit, spacewalk to
a moon folding chair and
sit, facing the Earth.

And die.

I want to see the planet
I’ve called home in its fullness
and wholeness and try to
work out why it’s so hard to
live there.

From the moon,
where I die.

I want each Spacesuited breath,
to be filled with awe and wonder
as I pass from this life to the
next. I want to watch the world
spin and see it go on without me.

I know that it won’t happen.
I will never set foot on the Moon.
I’ll never go to Space. I’ll never
see the Earth as a whole,
So I guess I can never die.

On the Moon,
like I want. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Just an Idea I Like

Miyamoto Musashi was a Samurai
born around 1584 and was likely
one of the greatest swordsmen that
ever lived.

Before his death in 1645 he wrote
the Dokkodo, or "The Way of Walking Alone",
a book on self-discipline with 21 different
rules to live by.

He made a point in this book that
I think is appropriate regardless
of religious belief and it’s rule
number 19.

He wrote, "Respect Buddha and
the gods without counting on their help,"
which ultimately means, that it's okay to
believe in a God or have faith in one,
but your actions are your own and
should never expect divine intervention.
You should “take care of your own business”, as it were.

It’s an idea that I like very much.

I just thought I’d say so.  

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Monster's Speech


“Rwar, rah, raaarg-ha, graa-org,” shouted
the Monster at the crowd.
They pelted him with rocks and
poked at him with flaming torches
and pitchforks.

“Naarragh, gree praa Haarrgrahag,”
said the monster as he covered his
hideous, malformed face from
the onslaught of projectiles and vicious
slander.

“Kill it, Kill it,” screamed the frothing
crowd as they bore into the monster,
“Smash it’s ugly face,” they yelled and
chanted, stepping ever closer to the
monster’s corner refuge.

“Wha, wharrrgha, kraagahall-gah,” pled
the monster through his scaly lips and
twisted yellow fangs, his forked tongue
frantically whipping about, searching for
a place to breathe.

He tried to climb up the stony walls of the
castle’s exterior, hoping his long lizard/eagle
like talons would help him flee, but they could
find no purchase on the stones due to the rain and
slick stone faces.

“It’s trying to get away,” shouted Reverend Stall,
“don’t let it escape!” He threw a rock that hit
the monster square in the head. The monster was dazed
and stumbled forward and then was spun backwards
by another large rock.

“Narrh, narrrh,” grumbled the monster as he fell to the
cobblestone street.  His arms up in a last effort to protect
himself.  The world aglow from torch light started to
dim and the monster found himself in a long tunnel,
the echoes of the mob growing more faint.

The monster felt himself lifted by many hands
and drift toward the few stars visible in the
night sky. They twinkled in and out of his view
as he seemed to tumble endlessly towards them.
He wanted to reach out, but he could not.

“Eht es arr frar bwhetter rast Eye gho trooo,”
mumbled the monster as he finally vanished into
the darkness.  He was wrapped in burlap, chained,
bound, weighted with cement and dumped into
the Bay.

The townsfolk forgot their own viciousness,
but they stay out of the Bay. It’s become a
dark place, thick with fog all year round,
with the sounds of sobbing floating on
the salty breeze.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Halloween Dance


Edgar Allen Poe and H. P. Lovecraft
were caught smoking in the parlor
and Edgar kept yelling, “Nevermore”
as he was escorted from the floor.

H. P. vanished into thin air,
reciting an incantation from
his pocket Necronomicon,
leaving more smoke on Edgar to blame.

The Chaperones were diligent
in keeping this rowdy bunch
away from the spiked punch,
which of course had a real spike in it.

Mary Shelley was telling tales again
with Bram Stoker  as they danced
in the high school gym.  They swayed
and swooned in a spot light dance of gloom.

Stephen King and Dean Koontz stared
at each other, devising each others
untimely, yet mildly entertaining demise,
through gore and subtle social commentary.

The Proctor separated them to keep
the calm but Neil Gaiman couldn’t resist
poking the bear and arrived with a bucket
of pig’s blood to share.

“Out, out, out! Damn spot”, shouted the
Proctor, “We’ll have none of that Neil!”
A quick fist bump between Stephen and
Neil, before they were shown the exit.

“No Carrie re-enactments, it was posted on the
door,” said the Proctor. “Now outside with you
both, leave poor Dean alone.”
They were hustled out into the night. 

They ran into Edgar, still crying, “Nevermore”,
in the parking lot, on the hood a hearse.
Ann Rice spoke from the car, “He won’t move,
the sad sack, keeps pining for his date, Annabel Lee.”

“This Halloween party blows,” said Edgar,
wiping the snot from his nose,
“Let’s go to my place, Sheridan Le Fanu,
and Daphne du Maurier will be there.”

The band in the gym played a
cover of The Monster Mash
and the writer's agreed, going to Edgar’s
was better than this.

“Where’s your place,” asked Ann
as they drove.
“Sepulchre Drive, there by the sea,” said Edgar.
“Of course it is,” said Stephen, “of course.”

Friday, October 20, 2017

Monster Fight Instructions


Zombie
(Punch)

Frankenstein’s Monster
(Fire)

Vampire
(Punch)

Sparkly Vampire
(Punch & Stake)

Creature from The Black Lagoon
(Fishing Lure & punch)

The Mummy
(Punch)

The Wolfman
(Punch)

Witch
(Punch)

Ghost
(Punch the air)

Skeleton
(Punch)

The Devil
(Punch & Jesus)

Finding a strong, mutually beneficial,
stable relationship with a partner willing
to accept you for who you are and sexual
compatiability
(Um….. punch?)



Thursday, October 19, 2017

New Autumns


Each year of life presents us with
new Autumns.
For every minute we live,
it is inevitable that change will
come, like leaves falling, after their
burst of Fall color and dormancy.

For some, there is only a final
Autumn, a last change into dormancy,
before a revival of color though whichever
faith, culture or belief allows, adheres or
expounds.  In which we find solace until
the Spring.

The mingled Autumns that persist with
the living and paused Autumns of the dead,
rapt in each other in a seasonal cycle,
driven by nature’s desires to replenish, renew,
remake and re-spark. To make a mark in
the mind, in the heart and soul.

Autumns are quickly forgotten in the
brisk Winter winds, the snow drifts up to
your knees, the Spring melt and rains,
and the long hot days of Summer. Fall
is all about  change and we have a hard time
remembering or even liking change.

The steady Summer sun, the refreshing Spring scents,
the dastardly depressions of Winter, burn brightly
in our minds, yet Autumn is glossed over since it
reminds us too much of endings. We don’t want to see
these endings as beginnings of a new stage, a new life.
We don’t like the visual, visceral, passage of time.

Yet, each Autumn comes and it takes from us. It
hides the dead in promises of life renewed, and we,
mistrustful of those promises, we scowl, we cry and
we mourn. We fear the rebirth because of our
pessimisms, and terror of our own final Autumn.
Yet it will come, death and life, budding and blooming. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October Impact


The impact of October
should be chilling, thrilling,
and terrifying.

Reds, yellows, mixed with
graying skies is the backdrop
to a most haunting time of year.  

The October setting sun;
blistering the landscape with
Autumnal hues.

The long, Fall shadows
should give us pause to wonder
what was that noise in the hall.

Was it coming to get me?
How did it get in here?
It’s just a cat. I don’t have a cat.

It’s the toothless murderer,
the one on the news. He broke in here
looking to satisfy his blood lust.

Another creaking floorboard,
I’m doomed. Doomed!
There’s no escape!

The wind rattles the windows,
the house shivers,
and every noise is a death knell.

That’s the impact of October,
the growing abyss of Autumn,
and the powerful fear it stirs.  

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Thanks for Seven Years!






Today marks the Seven Year Anniversary of A Minute With Michael. Thanks to everyone for their support and continued enjoyment of my passion project. I swear there's another book coming out, really. I mean it. Thanks again!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Do I Have to Say It Again?

                                           Dodge City - 1879

                The Wild West wasn’t the Wild West. Most “Wild West” towns had very strict gun laws. So strict, in fact, that you couldn’t even walk into town with a gun on your person.  As such, some of these towns, like Tombstone, Deadwood, and Dodge, had surprisingly low murder rates, two murders a year perhaps. Of course one has to remember that the populations of these towns were fairly small, but the idea of gun control was still heavily enforced.  While people were allowed to have guns at home for self-protection, frontier towns usually barred anyone but law enforcement from carrying guns in public.[1]

                The image of the firearm being the trusty tool of the American west is a false one, created by Hollywood and purveyors of “the image of the Wild West” for profit through tourism and less than creative screen writing.  The lone American Cowboy bravely defending the honor of a fair maiden in the dusty streets is complete bunk and as likely as Knights of old fighting dragons with lances and magic swords. Yet, somehow, this image persists and some Americans believe that carrying a pistol on their hip as they order a chicken sandwich at a fast food restaurant is their “right”.  The pistol, six guns, what have you, was indeed a tool of necessity, but its use and how they were displayed was strictly controlled. Toting a gun around for “safety” is an antiquated, and mostly imagined, notion of a bygone era.

                Responsible gun control is our right, as evidenced by the “wild” West towns that encouraged and mandated strict gun controls. They knew that a civilized society had no need to be armed to the teeth to accomplish their daily tasks. The laws of the Wild West towns showed their practicality and respect for public safety.  It’s amazing to me that those lawmakers of the past had more respect for their constituents than the lawmakers of today.  Really? Go ahead and get a silencer? What…? Who wants that? What segment of the American population was petitioning Congress to loosen silencer restrictions? Or were clamoring to let Mentally Ill persons purchase firearms? Was that a thing I missed?

                The Wild West towns certainly never had access to the fire power we have today; but no one was toting a Gatling gun through the streets, or pulling cannon around in a wagon, it wouldn’t have made any sense to those Old Western folks for a common person to have access to such high powered weapons of warfare.  I don’t believe they would have stood up for that “right” because it’s dumb, and they were far more practical than we seem to be. Somehow, having access to military style weaponry, ammunition and accoutrements today is totally fine and is in the perceived interest of public safety.  

                I’m with the Wild West on this one. You’re a jackass if you think you need an AR-15, M-16, or other high powered weapon for “home protection” or, “hunting”.  The Zombie Apocalypse, yeah, that’s TV and not going to happen. The likelihood of the fabric of society falling apart to such an extent that we’re shooting each other in the streets over water rights is incredibly mind-boggling slim.  Crime is a reality, there’s no denying that, but maybe with some common sense gun controls, like they had in the Wild West, crime can be better handled or contained to create confidence in public safety.

                I’m disgusted by the Americans who trot out the 2nd Amendment to hide behind and say they will not accept any limitations on their “right” to bear arms. If Wyatt Earp was here, he’d tell you to turn those guns in at the Sheriff’s office and then have a good time in town, but if you kept any weapons on your person, he’d bash your damn head in and throw your dumb ass in the town jail. He was interested in the safety of the townspeople in general over your perceived threats to your personal safety.     

                Yet, we as a people have decided imagined threats to our personal safety somehow overrode the general safety of the public. Somehow, an individual’s right to obtain as many high powered military style weapons is totally cool, in case of the Apocalypse of course, or to hunt those vicious, blood thirsty deer with their shoulder mounted .50 caliber machine guns.  We’ve let the “gun nuts” intimidate legislation and the calmer, practical approaches to gun control.  That has to stop.

                I don’t much care for guns. I never really have. I’ve written to my representatives over and over again about common sense gun control. I have watched as efforts to do anything, even talk about gun control, slowly fizzle into the backdrop of “politics as usual” and I’m tired of it. I suggest we as the people follow the example of our “Wild West” forbearers and tell the NRA and whomever they support that we no longer give a shit about their influence nor are we afraid of them or their alleged lobbying power. We don’t want your guns in town.

 If you as a member of Congress have received donations from the NRA or voted to loosen the restrictions on assault weapons, you’re out. We’re done with you because America has no need for your slippery conscience or indiscriminate pandering to a group of gun toting jack holes. The consciences of America will eventually get you. We will no longer tolerate your allegiance to a gun lobby over your constitutional duty to protect the citizenry from public safety threats.

I’m tired of writing the same thing after every tragedy this country has to bear. It’s simply time to have the conversation, to come up with a plan to protect the people from these tragedies. It is the time damn it. Don’t you dare change the subject into hotel safety requirements. That’s cowardice.  Deal with the real issue, gun control.  If it was good enough for Tombstone, it’s good enough for Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and every city in between.  Do the just thing.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Department of Infernal Regions


                The Department of the Apocalypse was bustling with bureaucracy as horned and winged clerks hustled behind giant stone service counters. The room flickered in an out of shadow cast by the torches placed along the red brick walls. Cal tugged at his dirty shirt collar and looked at his next in line number. 1,322,641 read his small ticket. He looked up at the next number to be called sign overhead which read, 3.

Cal looked through the extensive paperwork in his hands as he waited in line. He had his license, social security card, birth certificate, a photo ID, and a cable bill from his apartment, as well as all the forms he had spent completing at the “Comprehensive Customer Care” counter.  He made sure the papers were organized just as the large overhead sign directed those waiting in line to do.  He looked at the long line ahead of him. He’d been in line for three days.

                Cal moved his documents from his right side to his left and pushed the flap of skin from his scalp back to cover the part of his skull that was exposed. He could vaguely remember a large chunk of his apartment building falling toward him and then he was just in line, in this place, following the other herds of mangled people.   The woman in front of him in line was having a hard time with her documents and papers due to her missing fingers on both her hands.  He had tried to offer help but one of the “customer care techs” poked him with a giant pitchfork when he opened his mouth. It stung Cal in the ribs and he nearly collapsed, but he managed to hold onto his paperwork.  He looked back at the green faced “customer care tech” who motioned for silence with a bony finger to its lips.

                The fingerless woman didn’t turn around to see what was happening behind her. No one around Cal seemed to know what to do except make sure nothing happened to their paperwork. Cal wondered how this place had so many of his personal documents on file. When he seemed to arrive he was shuffled quickly to a giant filing room replete with rows of ten story filing cabinets. A zombie muttered at Cal and plopped the contents of Cal’s life in front of him and then pointed to the large sign overhead indicating all the documents needed to be put in chronological order from earliest to last, and to move to the left once that was done, and brains. It took Cal a whole day to put his life in order. Although he wasn’t even sure if it had been a day since there were no clocks and his iPhone was totally not working.

                His files were very thorough and included every moment of his sins. It had the first time he ogled a bare breast to the 4 million times he masturbated. He thought that number seemed a little high, but then he never really kept count. His file had everything in it and Cal was stunned by how accurate the information was. He found it hard to believe that the afterlife was so meticulous. If this was the afterlife.

                Cal shifted his weight and looked at his next in line number again, then looked up at the next number to be called sign, which still showed “3”.  He looked to his right and saw Julia Roberts holding her own head under the crook of her left arm while her right held onto her paperwork. Cal was a little star struck. He loved Julia Roberts and thought she was such a wonderful person. He couldn’t believe she was waiting in line so close to him. He wanted to say something to her but then thought that she probably didn’t want to be bothered. Plus he didn’t want to get poked again.

                A scratching noise emanated from a P.A. System speaker along the cavernous ceiling and the crackling of a record started. Cal ducked instinctively to shield himself from the noise.  Patsy Cline’s, “I Fall to Pieces”, started playing over the speakers. The song was mildly muffled but still recognizable. A subtle but audible groan moved through the long lines of people. The green faced customer care tech seemed to smile, but it was hard to tell due to their misshapen faces.

                Cal was glad there was some other sort of background noise instead of the freight train sounds he had grown accustomed to. He almost started tapping his toes to the beat but then realized that his toes seemed to be gone. He hadn’t actually noticed until that moment that the front edges of his shoes were sheered off along with his toes. Didn’t hurt a bit, he thought.

                Patsy’s song stopped. There was a pause. The needle scratched along the record and then she started singing again, the same song. Cal realized that the song would never end. She’d be falling to pieces for all eternity. Just like all of them in these lines.

                “Ding!” went the overhead number counter and the number 4 appeared. Cal looked back at his number, 1,322,641. He sighed. Julia Roberts’ head rolled in front of him and he looked to his right and saw her headless body fumbling around in the wavering shadows.  He carefully shoved her head with his toe-less foot back toward her flailing body. She didn’t even say thanks.  Cal sighed again. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

It Is Not My Circus


I’m not a magician,
so there’s no magic
happening.

I’m not a mind reader,
so I don’t know what
you’re thinking.

I’m not a juggler,
so I can only take care of
one thing at a time.

I’m not a Ring Master,
so I’ve no control over
what you do or say.

I’m not a lion tamer,
so I can’t tame your wildness
or disobedience with a whip.

I’m no trapeze artist,
so I won’t be walking a
narrow line with you.

I’m not a Calliope player,
so there’s no jaunty song
while you perform.

I’m no elephant,
because, well, I’m
not an elephant.

I am a clown however,
and I’ll make you laugh,
and smash a pie in your face.

Don’t you love the Circus?


Monday, September 25, 2017

As Heavy As Gravity


Are intelligence and love
incompatible?

I wonder because I can
rationalize, intellectualize,
and reason all about the theory
of love; but I don’t seem to know
what it is.

It bothers me, because I’ve broken
hearts, and I feel the guilt; an
obligation of guilt, for the destruction
I have wrought to those few hearts
that dared to love me.

I’ve felt the pain of losing love, of
watching it wither like fruit on the vine,
in the droughts of my affection.
I still can’t seem to know anything
about it though.

I understand human pair bonding,
I understand the brain chemistry,
I understand the social import,
I understand it in the most intellectual way,
but I don’t really know anything.

I believe that I want to be loved,
and that I want to give my love back,
but I’m not sure what that even means,
I don’t emotionally understand how to even begin to
be loved and reciprocate it.

I have a generalized sense of compassion for
people, I am brimming with understanding for
the complex emotional states people find themselves in,
I get that people desire connections,
but I don’t know what it means.

I’m coldly rational about love and I have
a hard time believing in it. Is love a myth?
Is love the story we tell ourselves when we choose
a mate in order to justify our breeding and
evolutionary desire to protect our tribe?

Is love real? Is love made? Is love the word I
use so I don’t have to explain myself further?
Is love an excuse for nature?
Is romantic love even attainable when embroiled
in the vacuum of rationalizing it?

I feel bad when I break a heart, but know
that it’s just an organ designed to pump
blood as part of an ingenious circulatory
system, but I still feel like I’ve damaged
it.

Is romantic love even a knowable thing?
Is it easier for some people than it is for me?
I can’t wrap my head around it and I think it’s
making me mad.  It’s battering me and
humiliating me.

Or am I humiliating myself in this ceaseless
quest for explanation about something so
unique and specific for millions of people and
through centuries of life?  Can I be smart enough
to love?

Or do I have to stop thinking and pretend to start
feeling and hope that if I fake it, I’ll make it?
It seems disingenuous, but do the ends justify
the means? Does anyone really know?
Or does love just happen, like gravity.

At least I sort of understand gravity.  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Metaphor Road


How about we go down that
road; the one that twists and
turns, dips and dives, crests and
drops.

The road near the precipice,
the ledge over the canyon,
the road by the abyss,
the one we never take.

“Shit, I take that road all the time,”
she said. She spit onto the hot
sidewalk and shooed a fly from
her forehead.

“I’m dangerous,” she said. She
tightened the hair bun on her head,
flexing her arms ever so slightly as she did.
“I’m a risk taker,” she said.

“I go off road all the time, dirt bikes,
ATV’s, hiking, paramilitary combat training,
zip-lining and rock climbing. I’m not scared,”
she said.

She had sun ravaged creases on her face,
heavily tanned from her rebellious adventures.
She had a Japanese letter tattooed on her neck,
“It means dragon,” she said.

That road I was referring to, it’s more
metaphorical than literal I explained.
I said it was about love and the perilous
journey it can be.

She spit again, onto the sizzling pavement,
“I don’t do metaphors,” she said.
She put on her leather vest and strolled to her
motorcycle. She started it and rode into the sunset. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

I Won't Forget


Every year, on this day,
I try to write something
I think will be poignant,
honest and help to
honor the heartache
that still lingers for so many.

As time marches on, the
memories of that awful day,
start to get hazy around the
edges. It’s not sepia toned however,
it’s still vibrantly colorful in it’s
horror and sadness.

And I know
I will never forget it.
Even when I’m a toothless old
man.

I’m sure I’ll be able recount every
detail of my 9/11 day, even in the depths of senility.
Seeing the second plane hit the tower
on TV as I ironed my pants for work, the
silence on the train as it pulled into
Union station, the pale faces in my
office, the sad hug I shared with a co-worker
whose birthday is today.

I’ll remember crouching next to
my boss’s desk in her office that
faced the Sears Tower and her telling
me that the office was closing and to
go home.  The fear in the voices
and tears on the cheeks as we watched
the tragedy unfold back in a bar in Union Station.

I remember a guy at the bar telling
me how we were now at war with some
other nation and me telling him that I hoped
to never see him on a battlefield and that this
peaceful meeting in this crowded bar
would be the only time we’d meet.
We shook hands.

I won’t forget the crowds waiting for
the trains, panicking when our train
was moved from one track to another,
and the mass rush to escape Downtown.
I’ll never forget the terrified faces of
the people rushing past me.

I will always remember the old woman,
slowly walking with a cane next to me
along the platform as people bustled around us
in abject fear, and her comment to me that
this was nothing new to her and she’d been
through it before.  I remember taking some
comfort in her dignified and calm demeanor in
the whirlwind of panic.

I remember the well dressed man, in a nice suit,
arm in a sling, crying within the crowd because
someone had bumped into his already injured shoulder
and the disdain I had for his selfish weeping. I looked
at him with such disgust as he cried about his
arm in light of the tragedy unfolding.

I remember boarding the packed train and calming those
around me as rumors of seven other planes allegedly
still in the air, telling them there were no other planes
in the sky. Not a single plane was flying, anywhere.
The nervous chatter of people not sure what to do,
how to act or what to say to each other.

When I got to my train stop, I got off and found my
mother had been on the same train, and we hugged
each other  on the platform and it was the most natural
thing in the world. I heard the passengers that saw us hug
“ooh” and “ahh”, likely hoping they would soon embrace
their loved ones.

We went home, watched buildings fall, saw lives end, all on
TV.  Everything we had become accustomed to stopped that
day. The things that seems so important,
were now terribly mundane.  I still feel the
shock and sadness of it all. It became part of who I
am and how I will forever view the world.

So when you see me, maybe sixty years from now,
when I’m in my hundreds, I’ll tell you all about it.
And I’ll make sure, even when I don’t know where
my shoes or teeth are, that I remember this day.  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Perspectives


“This looks like a pile of junk,” she said.
“What…,” I replied, “what do you mean?”
“Yeah, this is all just garbage, It’s
shoelaces and torn notebook paper,
rocks and bits of glass,” she said.

“Those are the shoelaces I wore when
I was on the track team in grammar school and
I came in third place in the big race. The coach
was so proud of me that he took me to get apple
pie after the meet. Those shoelaces are priceless,” I said.

“Well, they’re just ratty shoelaces to me,” she said.

“C’mon, these torn notebook pages, these are
what’s left of the first love note I ever got from
the girl who would become the role model for
every woman I would ever date and love,” I said.

“Just dirty bits of paper to me,” she said.

“These rocks I found in the summer of 1993
along Lake Geneva, when my friends and I
were the closest we ever were, and we skipped
them along the water, and put them in our pockets
to put on our dressers,” I said.

“Yeah, rocks. Great. Just rocks,” she said.

“What about these pieces of colored glass? Surely
you see their value,” I asked.

“Nope, just broken glass,” she said.

“These pieces of glass are from a stain glass window
and they showed me how beautiful the world could be if
you just looked at it a little differently than the
norm,” I said.

“Well, it doesn’t mean anything to me and
since it doesn’t mean anything to me,
it has no value. It’s petty junk,” she said.  

She left in a huff and I looked at
the items so important to me, and
I knew they meant nothing to her,
but there was still no reason for her
to call it petty junk.

I hope no one ever judges her things,
the things she has carefully saved in the
bubble wrap of memory, petty junk or garbage.
That would be too sad for her.