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.