Week 34 – Tale #2

Tale of the Wandering Wonderer

He was a wanderer.

And a wonderer.

He would put his ear to the ground and his finger in the air in order to decide which direction to head in next.

He wrote stories in his journal, and when the journal was full, he’d place it on a park bench for someone to find, and perhaps enjoy.

No one knew he was rich.

He’d spend one night a week in a five star hotel, and bask in the luxury, only to hit the road again the next day.

He never grew tired of his wanderlust, but he did miss having friends.

The silence in his head was golden.

Until it got to be too much.

When that happened, he’d find a hot, sweaty bar and buy round for the house, ultimately taking home the best looking waitress after closing time.

It was a strange life, and he embraced it.

Next stop – tomorrow.

Week 34 – Tale #1

Weaver

All his life, Roland had heard the song he was named after.

Warren Zevon was his parents’ favorite musician.

For years, Roland thought he was born to be a Thompson gunner, and to run around in various exotic locations as a mercenary.

It was a cool occupation to think about, but not always a great one to share at school.

The poor kid was often sent to local psychiatrists to make sure his head was on straight.

Oh, it was!

He graduated high school with a 3.75gpa, and immediately signed up to join the U.S. Army.

He wanted to be a ranger.

And that’s how he started his tales, down in the pub.

He brought down the house on open mic nights, spinning stories and humorous anecdotes.

Roland wasn’t only a Thompson gunner.

He was a weaver of stories, told to a lost generation.

Week 33 – Command #2

The Grind

I was frustrated.

In my head, I was banging my noggin on the table.

I couldn’t see the future. I could only see red tape.

Whenever I tried to go around it, I was

Stopped. In. My. Tracks.

Ugh!

Sometimes, I wished I didn’t have to follow the commands handed down to me.

Why do I put up with this shit?

I would pull out some hair except I was already bald, and my fingernails were already chewed to the nubs.

I went outside and took a deep breath.

I envisioned myself in the Swiss Alps, looking up at the sun.

It was a glorious moment.

And all was good.

Week 33 – Command #1

Insanity

It was a simple command:

Do it right.

But no matter how many times I told him, he could not get it right.

Pushed to the brink, I stopped just short of calling him stupid, and gave him one last chance.

Halfway through, I ran across a quote, presumably from Albert Einstein –

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.”

So I did something completely different.

I called him into my office, and instead of micromanaging, I asked:

Is there anything I can do to help you succeed?

Surprisingly – at least to me – he said yes.

I found a different way of doing this, he said, and I would like you to support my trying it out this other way before you fire me.

I was stunned. I had only known me way – my command.

So in the spirit of Albert, I told him to go ahead.

Lo and behold, it was done correctly – ahead of schedule.

And he and I were happy in our own way.

Week 32 – Fellow #2

Beware

It was a friendly hello

From that funky fellow

Who would cry and bellow

Though he swore he was mellow.

It wasn’t every day

When he’d whine and pray

Though he’d get his way

And the longer he’d stay.

I tried to scare him out

But then he’d scream and pout

I began to shout

While he danced about.

This went on for days

He had me in a craze

I found no means or ways

When he sat and met my gaze.

Things then took a turn

My eyes no longer burned

My stomach didn’t churn

And I finally learned.

He wasn’t really there

In my mind I didn’t care

It was simply a pear

At which when stoned I’d stare.

 

 

Week 32 – Fellow #1

The Contest

He stifled a laugh, while I couldn’t help but snort.

The things people do when they don’t realize people are watching!

Obviously, the kid dropped the shoe and ran when he heard my outburst.

It was the sort of day that best friends could hang out and try and out-do each other in practical jokes to others.

Back in ’06, the practical jokes got out of hand, and we agreed it was best to do unto others rather than ourselves.

I gotta admit, I don’t think I ever got over that dead raccoon in my backseat!

The ritual, which happened once a year, the week before the summer solstice, always ended the same way:

Drunk and howling at the moon, we’d sing “For he’s a jolly good fellow”, and toast our friendship, which, so far, has outlasted three marriages, six pets, and a Volkswagen Microbus.

Week 31 – Coast #2

I am the Boom

“The coast is clear,” they said over the headset.

I had positioned myself for the best opportunity, and it was time.

There was no sound, except for the beating of my heart.

A bead of sweat ran down the tip of my nose.

I inhaled deeply. And let the breath slowly out.

The tension in the air was thick.

Smoke and flashing red lights threw the scene into deeper chaos.

“Just like we planned it,” I said to myself as I counted down – the target was just beyond my line of vision.

5…4…3…

I was reminded of the “Space Oddity” countdown, engines on…

The platform rumbled beneath my feet, and I tried to focus my gaze.

“Target at 50 yards,” they assured me.

“It’s go time,” I muttered under my breath.

My stone. Cold. Breath.

There was a flash and more smoke.

Next thing I knew, I was flying.

Ass over tea kettle, I believe they call it.

There was still no sound.

I caught a glimpse of God smiling at me.

There was my mark –

A net to catch me and hug me in its grasp.

Air! Oh! I had forgotten to breathe!

But does a human cannonball really, truly need to breathe?

Week 31 – Coast #1

For Now and Forever

Beside the fire, we warm ourselves,

Listening to the calming waves of the ocean.

We say nothing for extended periods of time,

Silence sketching memories for the future.

I remember the first time we did this…

When we left the city for the coast,

We only left the bedroom to walk the shops, to have a meal, to grab more wine.

Time was endless then, and we didn’t truly appreciate what we had.

But we’ve learned. Boy, we’ve learned!

And so it’s now, that we don’t have to say anything…

A fleeting touch is endless,

A look, a smile, a kiss says everything.

I love you, and I love it here.

For now and forever.

Week 30 – Destroy #2

 

The New Morning

The pre-dawn moon bounces on the ripples of the lake.

The fish are awake, rubbing their open eyes and stretching their gills.

The morning silence is music to my ears, and I hold my breath to make sure it doesn’t taint the exquisite lack of sound.

Looking straight up, I can see the line of deep, dark night and lazy morning blue.

I can feel the humidity in my hair and on my skin.

My senses absorb the calm until I am.

I hear a bird chirp from across the water.

And another responds.

The lazy morning blue sky has taken on a tint of orange.

And here it is – the dawn of a new day

Has defeated the nighttime once again –

The calm destroyed by activity,

The silence, by noise.

Good morning.

Week 30 – Destroy #1

Foul

I awoke in a foul mood.

Maybe I had had a bad dream, or maybe I was still pissed from the night before.

Either way, I had it in my mind that I needed to trash something – to completely and utterly destroy something.

So I grabbed the baseball bat that I kept behind the bedroom door, and walked into the basement.

I collected a few participation trophies I’d “earned” as a kid, and walked out to the backyard, lining them atop the fence.

And I swung that bat like Miguel Cabrera.

I kept swinging and swinging until there was nothing left but glitter on the ground.

The sun peeked around the corner, and cascades of plastic gold winked at me.

The anger out of my system, I smiled.

It was a lovely day.