Monday, August 31, 2009

Flames and Regrets

Within minutes our home would be gone.

We were evacuated days ago; the flames were close

We scrambled out the door with everything else we could fit in the cars.

Something is still missing. I ducked under the dividing tape to get back to the house.

I fan the flashlight over our wedding photos, eyes puffy from joy.

I pass a picture of me as a child waiting for a baseball to land in my glove, thrown from my father who just like the picture, was always just out of the frame.

What else is there?

I go to the bedroom as I see the flames reach our neighbors house. I rummage around in a drawer.

Too late…

I rush out of the house.

My wife, on our second date made me write a letter to my father forgiving him and asking for an apology.

I never mailed it, much to my wife’s disappointment.

The fire consumes the house.

I drive to my mother in law’s house, on the way I mail the letter. I didn’t fill out the return address, he died in 1998.

I call my wife, “I love you and you were right.”

Friday, August 28, 2009

Life Resumed

After 35 long years, it had finally happened.

She sits at the table like every other morning. The newspaper was read, the coupons clipped. The coffee was gone, another pot was brewing.

Thirty-five years of being tethered to a wheelchair and hospice bed.

Half a dozen times she reached for the phone to call the nursing home. She always had to call to make sure they got him out of the bed otherwise he’d lay all day and get bedsores.

She looks through the mail. A mountain of sympathy cards and final bills from insurances. A large manila envelope held a death certificate.

Her grandson left a brochure for a cruise…

With the Caribbean at his bag, he laughed that great big roar of joy, “Baby, I’m the King of the Ocean, ain’t no place on the water we won’t see.”

The next week he was diagnosed and her life stopped.

Now it can start again, the future was hers.

Seventy-five years old.

She pores another cup of coffee and reaches for the phone…

How to Lift a Curse

Another original

I am cursed, have been since I was a boy.

My dad said it was because he fucked a gypsy in Peoria.

Every time I fell in love with a girl, they moved away.

Every rock star I loved, dead at 27.

Even the food I love will suddenly stop being sold at grocery stores .

Literally, I am a dead end for dreams of fulfillment. If you want to go somewhere in life, don’t let me know about it.

My dad knows all about my curse. Used to beat me every night. He told me it was my fault Twilight Zone got canceled. To hear him, I’m to blame for everything from the cancellation of Star Trek to the Kennedy assassination, both of them.

My penance has been four broken clavicles, a detached retina, internal bleeding, and a few anal fissures.

But,I’ve decided my revenge, every thing I love and idolize dies.

Dad you are my hero…
I want to be just like you…
Everything you do is right…

It’s been ten years of worship.

My wife has a restraining order against me and my son is in traction.