Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Two Glasses In (Blogophilia 45.6)






Two glasses in
On the last day of the year.
Listening to my son and his friends
Laughing in the other room.

Echoing back to another day
Another time
When it was me as the entertainer
Or the entertained.

Not that it matters
Doing the same thing over
And expecting a different result
Is still insanity.

The guardian angel aghast
At the proceedings of the night.
Seeing things through the alcohol lens
Instead of as they are or were.

Now, thirty years later
It is my son's turn
To chase illusions
And hope they become real. 

So before the last leaves fall
And the glass ball drops 
I wonder at where I am
And where I will be. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Night in Treme (Blogophilia 44.6)






Dark night in Treme
Joe came into the bar
Black sheep of his family
He'd float down this far.

Voodoo Priestess saw him
Shaggy dog mane came down
Slid down the stool to greet him
And give him the night on the town

Joe did not know what to do
With this tall dark rail.
With eyes widening
He looked for a way to bail

She wasn't having none of that
There was something she needed
With long lost words, whispered slowly
The recalcitrant spirit heeded.

Shooting through the dank Esplanade
Down to Jackson Square
As they hurried forth
Passerby gaped at the mismatched pair.

Soon, a house they came to
Another incantation said
They embraced violently 
And another spell read

When it was done, the Priestess laughed
At the sight she had wrought
Sagittarius in the flesh
And Joe hopelessly caught. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas 1968 (Blogophilia 43.6)





It was an unusually warm Christmas Eve at my Uncle Archie's house.  My family had driven to Savannah from Orlando with a car load of "Santa" gifts. I was 10, and had pretty much figured Santa for a ruse, but I really didn't want to let go of the fantasy.  It took away from my parents fighting again and my Dad had lost his job.  There wasn't a partridge in the pear tree for us, just ravens in the live oaks along the dock.

The launch of Apollo 8 was on the morning we left, so we delayed our start to see it. The cartoons that touted and mocked the inventions of the future were about to come true.  All the scoffing about lunar travel and it’s impossibility silenced for all time.  


Our house was 40 miles west of the launch pad and the schoolyard at the end of the street made viewing launches easy. We could see the glint off the fantastical machine as the craft vectored away from shore.  When the dot made 15 degrees over the horizon, the thunder of the engines reached us.  The ground shook lightly as the sound rolled for what seemed like forever.  For a kid, it was a truly a California Dream to grow and be that guy, the guy with the right stuff.  


And now we were sitting in Archie's den at midnight, watching the flickering black and white images from a fantastical place. The sliver of the Moon framed in the small window of the Command Module.  Fun and games ceased for the moment.  The gifts that were all around the Christmas Tree we ignored.  All we cared about was Walter Cronkite's narration and Frank Borman’s scratchy voice from so far away.  In that moment, it didn't matter that my parents were drunk and were likely to stay that way for the next four days.  I was a time for imagination and flight, and wondering if God himself could see our feeble attempt to touch his face. 

Here we are now 45 years later.  Our imagination seems to be gone.  We don't aspire to the heavens, or even really to this earth.  We seem to be bent on our own appetites and destruction.  Maybe we can change.


Maybe.



Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Not For Love or Money (GBE 132)

So, the challenge from Group Blogging is the Anti Bucket List?  The stuff you wouldn't do for love or money?  That is a challenge.  I have always been one to take a dare and do stuff I normally wouldn't.  but that said there are a few things I just can not see doing.

1) Jumping out of a perfectly good, flying airplane.  Sorry, folks. Unless there is a REALLY ugly Drill Sergeant with an M-4 at my back, I ain't doing it.  You can talk all you want about rushes and how pretty the scenery looks...

2) Likewise, jumping off high fixed objects.  Now, I actually used to jump off cliffs and stuff into a river, but I'm older now.  That sweet zone just doesn't look that big.

3) Drink Gin.  Gasoline tastes better.

4) Ride a motorcycle in traffic. Sorry, too many idiots to ride anywhere within 100 yards of a car.

5) Buy a house larger than 2500 square feet. All I need is a roof over my head, not a monument to my ego. Most of the houses constructed in my neighborhood are rejected designs from LaQunita Inns.

6) Wear jewelry.  Can't stand the stuff.

They are probably others, and I'll come back and add them when I think about it. 

Yeah, another one.

7) Tattoos.  My pasty white skin with freckles is just fine, thank you.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent II (Blogophilia 42.6)

Interesting choice of topic this week.  "From Just Beyond".  At church this week, we did Lessons and Carols.  In the Anglican tradition, the back story of the coming of Chirst is told through Old and New Testament scripture, alternating with appropriate hymms and carols of the season.

Towards the end of the sequence is the story of Mary the Virgin.  There is little information about her lineage, although we know that Joseph was a descendant of the house of David.  We can assume that she was from a more humble clan.  Indeed, scripture indicates she was nothing more than a young woman, probably acting in a servant role in the village. Her marriage was an arraigned affair, to become formalized at the next harvest.

On a dark night in the early spring, Light broke where no sun shone, and an unknown caller came up with the ultimate pick up line: "Greetings, favored one." Yeah. She had her doubts. What would everyone say?  It wouldn't take a genius to know that the betrothal had been broken. And the risk was not insignificant.  At best she would be shunned and at the worst, stoned for the act.  The caller persisted and she acquiesced, taking on a role and a burden that we admire to this day.

So,take a moment a remember.  It all started with a young, powerless woman.  No matter who you are and where your starting point is, there is a role in this world for you.

Merry Christmas.  

Friday, December 6, 2013

Jared Uptown (Blogophilia 41.6)

"Starbucks.  The art of socializing alone." Jared said out loud. Eyes slid his way and then back to what they were doing. He didn't care anymore what these rude people thought.  Shifting in the soft leather chair, he   looked  on the darkening sidewalk.  Was she coming?

The eyes lost some focus.  New York wasn't Birmingham, for sure. He wondered why he'd left it behind. Oh, the job with ad agency was alright and it was kind of cool to have a bunch of stuff in walking distance. But people here were more interested in climbing the ladder and chasing money stacks than socializing. They tended to scatter like rats when the illusion was interrupted. Energy wasted in Jared's opinion.  You can't take it with you.

There few people at the office he felt comfortable with. Melanie was one of them. The thought of her red curls and crinkly eyes make him feel a little warmer. He really didn't know her that well. But she was friendly and that served her well as the receptionist for the office. It helped she was originally from Mississippi, so they had that in common.  An easy camaraderie that included lunch and the occasional after work coffee was launched.

Staring at his Caramel Machiato, he wondered what she was doing.  Only reason he drank these was her pulling him out of his comfort zone. $5.00 for a girly drink sounded stupid to him. All it was was watered down strong coffee with sweeteners to mask the bitterness, like a Sloe Gin Fizz in a bar. But she dared him to try one and now it was the only thing he would order.

She didn't show up at work and no one knew why. That wasn't like her. Setting the cup down on the small square table, he pulled out the phone and paused. Maybe he should try...

What did Yoda used to say? There is no try. Only do or not do. Show some confidence, Boy! So, feeling a little like Luke, he scrolled down the screen and touched her icon.

rrrrrnnnng

rrrrrrrnnng

"Hi, there.  This is Melanie.  Don't leave me a message.  Just text.  It's faster. Except you, Jared.  You're blocked."

Click.

Shocked eyes stared at the screen. Was that a joke? It wasn't like they were a couple or anything, but still.

Well, she did say to text.  Let's see...W...H...Y...?  and send.

"Message Rejected."

Slowly, he put the phone back in its holster, tears coming to the edge of his eyes. No warning, just cut out of her life. She didn't take his breath away, yet she's acting like she has power over him. With a quick swipe across his face, he bolted out the door and began to walk uptown. Jared wasn't sure where he was going. Just that it was sort of in the direction of home. 

Blocks faded with the neon rainbows along Ninth Ave. Thoughts bounced like pinballs between his ears.  Maybe he should find out where she lives and confront her? She said she lived down in the Village somewhere, but never was specific. If there was anyplace to get lost in this town, that was it. And besides, this could just be nothing and showing up unannounced would just make things worse. 

It started to rain, worsening his mood. But he was getting closer to home and he could wash the treacle out with some Patron.  Hell, he might stop and join the worm eaters club.

Passing the adult novelty shop at W 68th St., he saw a possible payback. In the window was a black multiheaded vibrating dildo.Capable of handling several people, the black and gold could be placed on the floor or table. Jared guessed it could be set on the floor so everyone could ride the bull, so to speak.  It was Bluetooth and Wifi enabled and ready to broadcast the festivities to the whole world. That would be interesting.  The revenge gift that kept on giving. 

Wet and getting wetter, he pondered whether he should. A calmness came over him and he smiled. There was no rush. He knew exactly what to do. 




Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Lonely Bird (Blogophilia 40.6)




In a dream I was a bird
A sad, lonely mourning pigeon
On a flowering gargoyle
Fearing beauty 
All was ugliness to me.

Eyes closed to the light
Only grey I see
Rain off the branches
Running down my back
Every day was just black.


Picture: "One Lonely Bird"  (c) 2012 http://widdendream.deviantart.com/.

Joy is Sorrow's negative
Fears go with dreams. 

That is your lesson for the day.  


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tea Time (Blogophilia 39.6 and Group Blogging Experince 130)

Steam whistled brightly from the tea pot next to the window. Just another fine day at home. A wrinkled hand slips over the handle, while it's partner turns off the gas.  Tea and Scones gets made at 3:00pm. The tin is fetched from the ancient F&M hamper someone had given to them at the hospital. No one knew who had left it, but it came home with her. It was a talisman to the time of no wheelchair. Another iteration in the circular dance. Unknowing eyes stare as the ball drops in the pot. The crockery creamer with a carrot motif sits on the tray unused.  Lips more aware than their owner open as the spoon approaches. Her eyes soften and smile while his dart almost imperceptibly.  Nothing is tracked or timed in this waltz. Sip and nibble interrupted by dabs from the napkin. His lips curl into a half smile as she cleans up the dishes. Goodbyes said, he nods and fades away. 










___________________________________________________________________________________

This one is a double dip.  First:

Blogophilia Week 39.6 - Another Fine Day
Bonus Points:
(Hard, 2 pts): include three items you might find in a Fortnum & Mason 1730 Hamper
(Easy, 1 pt):  Mention a root vegetable

Second:

This week, the challenge is to write a ‘conversation’ between a set of characters without using any actual dialogue. This will provide good practice for writing descriptive events and in describing body language and emotions without the aid of the character's vocalizations. 

It was fun. 



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Durante at Cross (Blogophilia 38.3)

This transcript fragment is  from the case of  James F Durante vs. Kidsongs Inc (A Limited Liability Company) in Superior Court in and for the County of Los Angeles, CA., Santa Monica Division. It was supposedly found while doing a routine archive check of the Court's file room in advance of some plumbing renovations. 

In the case files, it is stated Mr. Durante is suing Kidssongs over copyright violations of his signature song "Inka Dinka Do".   The fragment picks up with Mr. Durante, having finished his testimony stating the song "Skidamarink" (A.K.A. Rinka a dink a doo)  borrowed, nay stole the tune from his song and that the lyrics were similar enough to cause confusion.  Greg Bautzer, representing Kidsongs, is beginning his cross examination. 

Mr. Bautzer: "Now, Mr. Durante, you stated you became aware of this supposed infringement in 1956, is that correct?"

Mr. Durante: "Yes, and it was shockin', I tell ya.  I mean, to have da song run down to a nursery rhyme.  Not even dat."

Bautzer: "And your first action was to contact your attorney, Mr. Giesler? (nodding to the Plaiintiff's table)"

Durante; "Yes. Dey thought I was all washed up.  But I needed to prove to myself I wasn't.  So, I pertectin' dis song. You can call it my baby."

Bautzer: : "Mr. Durante, exactly how does my client's work infringe upon yours?"

Durante: "If Your Honor don' mind..."

(A piano is wheeled into the courtroom and Mr. Durante steps down from the stand and seats himself on the bench.) 

Durante:  "Your Honor and Ladies and Gentlemen of the court, when I wrote this song in 1924, I was eating some good Vermont cheddar Cheese. Somethin' with the cheese just made it sweet. When I sang it for Mrs.Calabash,  I had no idea it would be so enduring.  Anyway, mine goes like this:



"A little sophisticated, maybe?  But nothing like this other piece"


"The melody use is obvious." (Mr Durante steps away from the piano and resumes his testimony on the stand)

Bautzer: "Somehow, Sir.  I don't see it. My client's song is strictly a children's nonsense song."

Durante: "And mine is adult nonsense. Same concept. And the melody is almost a copy."

Bautzer: "How can you compare the squeaking of little children to a melody, Sir?  I mean, you have many years experience in entertainment.  These kids are babies..."

Durante: "...whose folks want to take my very livelihood.  I worked hard for it, and I at least want money for it"

Judge: "Mr Bautzer, you are badgering the witness with unfair comparisons. This whole matter is like an Olympic event.

Durante:  "Your Honor, I can blow the Olympic rings with my cigar."

Judge:  "That, too, irrelevant Mr. Durante.  Everybody is wasting my time with this muddle. I am going declare a mistrial with prejudice on this whole matter.  Case dismissed..."

Durante: "Everybody wants ta get into the act."





Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Work rant (Blogophilia 37.6)

I promise I'm not copying Tyler. I was thinking up this post this morning while trying to link my work computer to a new server. Several tries later, I was wishing my coffee was whiskey. But, I persevered and did get up and running. 

As most of you know, I left my old job in State Government a little over a year ago and am now working in private industry.  Specifically, I am on contract with the largest pension services provider working on one of their largest accounts.  This is best described as a cavalcade of folly.  After a parade acquisitions and divestitures, there are 22 separate pension plans with to deal with. The total number of plan permutations that regularly happen is around 5000. Like every good workhorse, there aren't enough chrysanthemums in the world that could make the parade route smell good.  But, mums really don't smell. They just look pretty and propagate like wildflowers in my front flower bed.  Kind of like the pension plans I deal with. I have union plans.  I have non union plans.  I have some that are traditional others that are 401(k).  A three ring circus to be sure.  But don't send flowers,at my age they scare me





____________________________________________________________________________________

This was written for Blogophilia, a gypsy group of writers currently squatting on Facebook.  Come join us. 


Blogophilia Week 37.6 - Cavalcade of Folly
Bonus Points:
(Hard, 2 pts): Include " chrysanthemums " somewhere in your write
(Easy, 1 pt):  Quote a flower (any flower) (Courtesy of George Burns)



Friday, November 1, 2013

The Switch (GBE 128)


Everything around him turned yellow briefly, as if the sun was used as a camera flash. His head hit the floor as his gut rumbled with the sound of the FlashBang. He kept hold of the trigger.  "They really think they have me?" He thought briefly as he backed into the corner opposite the door.

"Just like them to rush in without checking first"

The smoke thinned slightly, as flames licked up from the clothes on the floor.  The SWAT officers were approaching the house with the ram. Come on up a little closer...a little closer...What they were saying was just gibberish to his ringing ears.

BAM!

Do that one more time.

BAM!

Just once more.

BAM!

And Jeremy pushed the switch.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Zygote (Blogophilia 36.6)

Fifteen years.
Five cities.
Five zygotes
Spawned from reflex vibrations
Of two people
Running from demons
Sisters as stair steps
Brothers as afterthoughts
Glued together somehow
In the nomadic quest
Of comfort and security
Trying to assuage thirst
That can't be quenched

The zygotes grew
And rode the breeze
Lives very different
From each other.
Scattered across North America
Offspring scattered further
And yet, still connected
By the familial bond.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Three by Five (sentences) (GBE 2 #127)

Staring at the screen, the writer ponders what to do.  They need three thirty word stories by Thursday. Are they crazy? The espresso cup is picked up. With a sip, he starts.


The harvest moon is setting behind the ridge, larger than when it rose. Billy rises on his elbow and looks down on her profile. Soft bosom rises and falls in anticipation.  Her lips open slightly as they approach. With a sigh, Sarah's life begins.


The paces quickens. What was that noise? Looking back to see, she doesn't see the curb.  The driver doesn't see her. And each other's memories are frozen in time. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Backstreet. (Blogohphilia 35.6)

Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says, "Hey, babe
Take a walk on the wild side"
She said, "Hey, honey
Take a walk on the wild side"  

Lou Reed, 1972


Before I was married, I was club kid.  From the mid 1970's through most of the 1980's, I could be found at various music venues in Atlanta and Athens. 40 Watt, Little Five Points Pub and Agora Ballroom dictated my schedule with both up and coming and national acts. I was always looking for the next best sound.   Because I was also fooling around on College radio, I occasionally got to meet the musicians and get a feel for where they were coming from and where they were going.  

During this time I had a friend, Steven.  A gentle soul, he was the first truly Gay person I spent any significant time with. He was the brother of a girl a bunch of us used to date.  We accepted him for who he was and the fact he could drink most of us under the table. He spent a lot of time taking us walking on the wild side.Usually, this involved getting us into gay clubs where under normal circumstances we would not be welcome, like Backstreet.  



One of the oldest alternate clubs in Atlanta, this place was an odd mix of Disco and Drag Burlesque. It was located down a narrow side street in Midtown. The clientele ranged from professional looking male couples to refugees from motorcycle gangs. I knew a number of women who would go on Monday nights just to dance with partners that treated them like royalty and expected nothing in return. On the other nights, some of the best Drag performers in the world would take the stage to make fun of the world around them. I would go with Steven and his partner Bob.  It was a good excuse to drink myself silly and have a good time.

One Friday night trip, Steven introduced me to a rather tall, thin black man wearing a muscle shirt and leather pants.  He called himself Paul and he had just recently moved to Atlanta from San Diego. We hung around the bar for an hour or so chatting and he mentioned he was one of the performers. I was doing a lot of community theater then, so comparing notes on roles and audiences was kind of fun.  Paul was very soft spoken, so I kind of wondered what his schtick was going to be. He soon excused himself to go get ready and everybody else turned around with our cocktails to watch the show. 

The first act was a Joan Jett parody, complete with Motorcycle jacket and Stratocaster.  Too bad he couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. A chorus of catcalls came raining down.  A couple of patrons in matching dog collars threw dog treats at him.  To the performer's credit, he just ignored everything and finished the set. We just got another round of Martinis and debated whether we should take the bartender's offer of earplugs.

The next act was a takeoff on Roy Rogers.  Entering on a Carousel Horse that had been fitted with casters and a gorgeous pommel saddle, he made a fine profile.  His boots were good cowhide and his Martin guitar was well tuned.  This one could sing.  Texas yodels were mixed with upbeat trail songs and the audience sang along. During the middle of the set, a leather halter was brought out and a lucky audience member was selected to be led around the club like Trigger.  I was drunk enough I thought is was hilarious.  Even Doggy couple seemed to dig it.  As he finished, the audience cheered and the waitstaff hustled to get everyone refilled for the finale.  It dawned on me I hadn't seen Paul yet, so I wondered what I was in for.  

The houselights dimmed and everyone settled in for the main act.  A single, pink filtered spotlight lit the cheap curtain while a snare roll hushed everyone from the room. Voila, out stepped...



...in all of his glory.  Six foot Six in Six inch stilettos and taking charge. The platinum wig clashing with his dark coffee skin, he was a sight to behold.   As he took charge, the 40 minute set seemed to run by in just seconds.  He was better than 90% of the acts I had seen in the last ten years.  When the show was over, our group hung around a little bit to congratulate him on the show.  He stayed in character for the meet and greet and gave me his autograph.  Bob snatched it from me, but I didn't really care.  To me, Celebrities are just people with weird jobs.

Over the years, I have watched Paul as he moved to New York and developed his niche in business.  Out of costume in interviews, he is still the soft spoken fellow I met some thirty years ago. I wish him continued success, even though my tastes have changed.  I still feel privileged to have met him. 


Monday, October 14, 2013

Greenwich on a Sunday Afternoon (Blogophilia 34.6)



Here we are
Alone.
Meeting after so many years
Why so long?
I speak to my friends
In this new-fangled online market,
I have not set foot here in years
It's a lonely, lovely place,
I know.

Children scattered
To the four winds.
Not knowing whether
 they are alive.
Now I come to see you
A Sphinx.
Not sure why.
Maybe to bask in the silence
Of the relatives I never knew,
And the few I did.
 
Austen said
To look upon verdure
was the greatest refreshment.
But the oaks and moss
Only remind me 
Of past time wasted,
Time was supposed to explain.
Ain't no use complainin'
Time to move on.




Friday, October 11, 2013

Respect Yourself (GBE2 125)



Hey, Heidy and Howdy!  It’s your randy, dandy old time D.J. Harry Handy.  I'm looking at all you lovely GILF's populating my dreams. Today’s program is truly special for my geriatric group. I know you’ve been keeping with the Miley Cyrus thing?  Actually, I haven’t.  But whole affair centers around her cavorting nekkid across stages with various props and actors.  Kind of like this.



Actually, the subject is the lack of respect we old people get from the youngsters out in the world.  They say we are out of touch and irrelevant.  WHERE have we heard those words before?  Why out of our own mouths when we were that age and younger.  And we were LOUD!!





And we said the very same things to our parents and grandparents.  Don’t trust anyone over 30.  Give peace a chance! War is wrong! Well that still is the case, but I digress. 

Respect for yourself and others has taken a nosedive in this internet age. Take President Obama, for example.  He is a divisive personality.  You either love him or hate him.  In the old days, say with LBJ, you could call the person everything except a child of God, and the only people that heard you were those within earshot.  Even if you put pen to paper (yes, Kiddies, I still do it), the dirty laundry only went as far as the editor of what ever magazine you wrote to allowed it.



There are no editors anymore.  With a click, the opinion is out there for the world to see, with some anonymity to go with it.  Because we can’t see the person we are flinging our opinions at, there seems to be no consequence to being disrespectful or libelous.  So any Jack or Jill can say whatever about whomever.  They can call Mr. Obama a Communist, A Socialist or a Failed Darwin Experiment and get away with it because the reader can’t see the person posting the comment. And that, friends, is power. 

But you need to wear your asbestos underwear for the backlash that will come from those kind of comments.  You will be called an evil, traitorous scum that likes to watch puppies die, or worse.  Some will invite you to die a horrible death.  Still others will ask for your address.  THIS is when you run away. 

The best way to combat this is to start with yourself.  When you rage and type out a diatribe on the personal hygiene of someone, ask “Is this  worth it?”  It is as simple as that. 

And always, respect yourself. At least better than Miley does. 


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sunny Saturday Morning (Blogophilia 33.6)


The book was on the table, almost even with his eyes. It had an old, cracked binding and no front cover.  Parchment leaves shaded from beige to sienna exposed like he was.   It seemed to shimmer and float, like a magic scroll or talisman. A meaning of a dream, maybe?

Dream?

Yes. Had to be.

Mark tried reach for it, but his arm was pinned under her ribs.  Morning sunilluminated the room, showing their naked forms tossed amongst the sheets. Arms and legs gave like sacks of flour against whatever surface they touched, whether the mattress or each others legs. Not a pretty sight, but who was he to talk? He leaned over and kissed the top of the pale shoulder, drinking in the mix of sweat and Chanel.  It had been so long... 


Red and green neon had always taunted as he walked to home from work Blinking "chicken" in light displays in front of him.  He finally gave in and stepped in the bar.  Inside, it looked like a clubroom. Red leather bar, with brass tacks everywhere ran lengthwise on the right had wall..  The cushioned rail showed the scars of cigarettes forgotten and smelled of last night's drunk.  Only a few people this early.  He found a seat  near the door so that if he felt uncomfortable, escape would be quick and invisible.  A girl with a voice of an angel wailed about loss in the far corner.

Beer was delivered with a shrug and he began to relax.  For it's off putting atmosphere, there was a spirit here. Not any one thing that he could put his finger on, but he knew the evening was turning, performing a plie in front of him.  Mary would have screamed for wasting his money.  "Nothing good ever came of demon liquor" she would say as she sipped her vodka and popped another  Xanax. Yeah, nothing like a hypocrite.  When had they made love last?  That was lost in the haze. It had been over two years since Mary had died and he had not had as much as talked to a woman since. Once you lose someone, the confidence goes away.  Mark  thought maybe forever. But, last night he felt ready to at least be amongst the living, even if he came back alone.  It was Friday and he could sleep in anyway.

"Hey.  You awake?" The high voice rattled him back to the present. The owner was petite and blonde by choice, with enough curves to pique his interest.

"Uh, yeah. Just tired."  Mark stretched. "Long day at work."

"And no one at home to massage it out.  I can tell. The name is Suzanne. Suzanne Maria Kimberley."  She grabbed Mark's hand and shook it. "Most guys make fun of me having three first names, but I think it's kind of cool." 

As she said this, the scent of Chanel No.22 became apparent.  It had been Mary's favorite and a frequent gift in happier times.  Even in the dim light, he could tell she was not a young woman. Laugh lines heightened the hazel eyes.  Her bust drifted against the foundation underneath a saffron blouse.  A teal skirt, pantyhose and slingbacks the same color as the blouse completed the look. Other than the perfume, she was the physical opposite of Mary's slender sternness.   

Small talk and more beer filled the void.  She was also a widow, her man lost in a car accident some years before in another city. The marriage itself had not been good.  Verbal sparring, with the occasional fist fight.  She admitted she thrived on the drama and would pick just to get a rise out of him. There had been no children, which she was thankful for. But when he was gone, so was a lot of her life. Moving from place to place, she could not shake the emptiness. Mark listened sympathetically, but said nothing of his own past except that Mary had died unexpectedly and he was only now feeling like being social. Taking her hand, he aske:.

"Would you like to dance?" 

The jukebox had taken over for Ms. Sadsong, playing a soft country love ballad.  With the floor to themselves, they fit like hand in glove. A single unit gliding and pirouetting across the rough parquet floor.  Nobody else took notice and to them it didn't matter.  A new world enveloped them as the songs and hours ticked away.  Soon enough, the bartender made last call and the new couple made their leave.

A dry, cool evening met them as they walked the few blocks towards Suzanne's apartment.  Snuggling close with his jacket across her shoulders to fend off the cold. They turned the corner toward her door, their words became more intimate.  There was no question on whether Mark would be invited in.  A soft click and the evening began.

No lamp was turned on and no more words were spoken. They became teenagers again. Melding together, pieces of cloth dropped one by one to the floor. He cupped the soft breasts as they were set free, kissing them softly. Sensing more than seeing, each garden, marsh and well was explored and cherished. Fingernails ran up and down his body.  Nothing mattered as they danced to their own music of sighs and whispers, a pas de deux of lust and want. Tomorrow didn't exist as they came home together.  Hunger finally sated, they slept within their embrace.


Here they are, Mark thought, as uncovered as the book on the table. Our pages exposed for the world to see. It was beautiful.

Suzanne stirred. She leaned up one one arm and smiled. Brushing his hair out of his face, she asked. 

"Hey, there, Handsome.  Want some coffee?"

"Sure." He said, as he reached for the book. "You like books?'

"Yep.  Owned a used bookstore before I was married."  She slid out of bed and put a kettle of water on the stove. "That one was from one of my first estate purchases.  It was so damaged, I couldn't sell it. I had loved the poem as a girl so I kept it. Let me see it a sec."

Mark handed her the rough binding as she sat down cross legged in a small, pink chair.  Carefully she opened to a passage she knew and began to read.

"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why
      should you not speak to me?
  And why should I not speak to you?"

"What do you seek so pensive and silent?
  What do you need camerado?
  Dear son do you think it is love?

  Listen dear son--listen America, daughter or son,
  It is a painful thing to love a man or woman to excess, and yet it
      satisfies, it is great,
  But there is something else very great, it makes the whole coincide,
  It, magnificent, beyond materials, with continuous hands sweeps and
      provides for all."

She finished with her voice quivering. He gently lifted her from the chair, kissing her deeply as her feet touched the floor. They waltzed naked in the silence, blind to each others imperfections.  Tears came and  grief left it's cage, replaced a warm glow surrounding them as they became one again. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Innocence Denied (Blogophilia 32.6, Conclusion of 1st 48 parody)



In the Memphis homicide of Ronald Duck, Sullens and Brick are about to interview their primary suspect, Age, also known as Christopher Mitchell, after he was picked up begging on the street.



"Mr. Mitchell?  I'm Sgt Sullens and this is my colleague, Sgt Brick.  How are you today."

"Fine.  You look familiar.  Aren't you on that show...what is it?  First Something?"

"You've heard of us?  Good, then you know what we are about."

"You guys hunt killers.  But, I'm not one of those."

"Really?  Anyway, we are investigating the death of a man on Beale St. yesterday and your name has come up in the investigation.  We'd like to hear what you were doing, say about 8:00PM."

"I'm homeless, so I was just hanging around the Orpheum singing the blues and hustling money."

"I thought you drove a taxi? What happened with that?"

"Got fired from that gig a couple of weeks ago. Boss didn't like me."

Sgt Brick fishes in a folder and takes out a sheet of paper.

"Have you seen this man?" [Brick shows a picture of Duck to him]

"Yeah.  Saw him get tossed out of the theater.  He was loud, saying that the doll he was with was a real girl.  Even a block away I could see the Uncanny Valley.  That wasn't no real girl."

Brick begins to drill into her suspect.  "I understand you have experience with that?"

"Uh... well, yeah.  Been busted with rubber chicks more than once. Never hurt nobody, just like a little...thrill, you know? And they don't smart talk back."

Maryann Brick's eyes widen.  "You have a problem with women talkin'?  If so, you are in the wrong office."


"Hey, don't get all Hamilton Burger on me." Mitchell replies. "You ain't a D.A. You ain't even Lt. Tragg, and I don't have to talk to you."

"What did I do to deserve this?!"  Brick's eyes roll up to the ceiling. 

"Brick, calm down." Sullens stops to light a cigarette.  Blowing a perfect ring into Mitchell's face, he continues the interview.

"We have witnesses who say you were there at the time of the murder. Now, it's time to tell your side of the story.  Let me hear it from the beginning."

"Like I said, I was hustling money from the tourists.  Got enough for some Four Roses, but I decide to hang a bit more.  Anyway, I hear the commotion from across the street.  Security guard actually pushes goofy dude into the street and tells him to get his whore out of there before he puts his ass in County jail.  Dude gets clipped by a car as he started back towards me.  I head up to him to see if he's alright, and he swings the doll around like she's some kind of club.  I catch her by her rubber boobies and pull him off his feet.  He kind of kept going head first into the wall.  It sounded like a egg cracking.  I didn't stick around."

"You left a hurt man on the sidewalk?  Pretty cold, ain't it?" Sullens takes another drag.

"You kiddin'?  Goofy might get up and want use me as his toy.  He looked pretty crazy to me with his red head and webbed feet.  For all I know, he could have been with that Martian and the odd dog he hangs out with. And they've got toys I don't want any part of"

The detectives glance at each other, then let the matter drop. They signal Mitchell rise up and turn around. Sullens clicks the handcuffs and hands him off to the jail officers.  They have closed the case.


In the 1st 48...

  • Memphis Homicide was called out to the scene on Beale St.
  • Misidentified the body as Commander Dannye Kaye
  • Which caused Lt. Marvin Martian to take a leave of absence.
  • The Medical Examiner properly identified the body as Ronald Duck
  • Indentified a subject, A.G.E. and brought him in for questioning
  • And he confessed...

A couple of days later, Lt. Marvin Martian returns to the office.  Brick, Sullens and Farthing welcome him back and bring him up to date on the status of the case.

"Oh, yes... I know that Age character from a ways back.  Quite an imagination.  He thinks my Taser is a Iludium PU-38 space modulator, like in the cartoon.  I got rid of that thing years ago when I joined the 3-D world.  It only works in 2D."

Charges against Christoper "a.g.e." Mitchell for Voluntary Manslaugter were subsequently dropped after further investigation indicated self defense.  No other suspects were ever charged.