If I am repaired, can we meet again for the first time, in all of the places I have feared to go, and then, again, in all of the places I will have forgotten, if I am repaired?



SC



_____________________________






Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I miss your skin...

                                          
                                                               Those long mornings.

                                                                           Those long weekends.

               I know. I know.

                                We have children now...
                               
                                     Complications.


                                    Joyous complications.

                                                                       But I do.
                                                                                    
                                                                                    I do.






Friday, December 26, 2014

Briefly thereafter...



I had the greatest Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, ever. And I want so much to tell you all about it, but I don’t have the time (and who would, really?), to properly expound on the delights of oyster stew in yard-sale dutch ovens, tall, skinny trees and piles of presents, each and every one just perfectly chosen, lox and bagels and Truffulas, both pink and purple, holding hands here and there and everywhere; kids, rambunctious pups, the search for Tina (found where we both thought we looked), and love, love, love, love, until I nearly burst with happiness, and did, slightly, once, because, like I said, it was just that kind of Christmas.

I hope yours was too.  

           

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Twice as Nice


It’s wonderful enough to be put to sleep by the sound of rain and distant thunder percolating from speakers, but doubly wonderful to wake to both the manufactured rain and the patter of the real deal at your windowpanes. 



Monday, December 8, 2014

On Being a Late Night Snack



I think Baker has a girlfriend, or boyfriend, I’m not entirely sure which way he swings. 

          But that’s not my point. My point is that he’s out all night, and he’s white, mostly, an easily spottable tidbit for Wile E. Coyote and friends to devour, and it was pursuing similar amorous adventures that all of my other boy cats exhausted their nine lives. 

          He’s been warned, but such are the ways of young men. 







Saturday, November 29, 2014

On CAPTCHA's and Crock Pots


CAPTCHA’s... 

          Am I the only one who feels as though I’m going through someone’s underwear drawer, or as if I’ve ratted out a best friend to save my own hide, when I key in CAPTHCHA figures that are obviously the photographed address numbers of god knows whose residence?


    If you knew me—and you kind of do, but not this well—you would know that I hate Crock Pot food. Hate. It. And I’m not a picky eater. Well, I wasn’t. I’m not now either, not really, as long as whatever I’m served is whole, minimally processed, with no egg, sugar, oil, or animal involved. That’s not too picky, is it? I do gluten.

          Anyway, I’m guessing you love your Crock Pot. Most do. Thing is, every meal I’ve ever had from one seemed just shy of baby food, mush. Especially meat. I don’t know, maybe mush is the point. I mean, mush would seem easier for the stomach to convert to... well, mush. But I’m a gnawer. I like chewy. I like crunchy. I don't want a meal that comes with the option of being taken intravenously.

         That said, it was nothing short of bewildering for at least one human to learn that I, Hater-of-all-things-Crock Pot, recently purchased a 4-quart slow cooker. No, not like the one in the picture. Please.

          But here was my thinking: Beans. The musical fruit.

        I had planned to cook beans in the Crock Pot. Throw them in. Turn it on. Leave. Come back. Voila! Beans enough for a couple of day’s worth of meals. Minimal effort. No worries. Genius.

          Think again.

          Crock Pot Hints and Tips

         ‘Beans...’

         ‘Dried beans, especially red kidney beans, should be boiled before adding to a recipe.’

          ‘Boiled’. As in: on a stove, where I can forget them and scorch them permanently to the bottom of yet another pan.

          Stupid Crock Pots.        

                              

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Yesterday I drove through a rainbow tunnel. 
          Seriously. A perfect arch over Highway 52. Two lanes and a bit of gravel. That’s it. Just me. Out in the country. A shaft of sunlight hits this patch of fog, and there it is. 
          At first, there was no way I was going to drive through it. Too beautiful. I’d ruin it. Then I’m like, The hell with that. We’re talking once-in-a-lifetime here, with possibility of Unicorns. 
          Woof! I’m in. 
          Woof! I’m out. 
          I look in my rear-view. Nothing but a hole, widening in the pale fog. 
          I look ahead. 
          Far, far ahead. 




              

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 25


My heart is a warm pocket, in which I carry birthday wishes and what remains of a curious old man.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

        
          Of the Buckley’s, I wondered which would better sing Hallelujah,
          Father? Son?
          of the muddied rivers that seized their young throats, I thought,
          of my own dark waters,
          of how, aged, I am beyond the tragedy of such angels
          and, should hope, 
          not to be found snared in the shallows,
          but rather, by tender hands,
          tumbled by luck and longevity, smooth as glass.


            

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I Learned Today...




...that, while not particularly desirable, it is entirely possible to give your sideburns a Moe Cut.






Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Brief Salvation


The baby hare lay on its side, still in the palm of his hand. He looked for cuts, blood, but other than a nick on its foot, it appeared unharmed. The dog was gentle that way. Cupped in his palm, he pressed his finger against its tiny chest, feeling for a heartbeat. Nothing. That didn’t surprise him though, dulled by work, his fingertips  could hardly register his own pulse. He turned the hare over, stroked the tiny white star on its forehead. It nuzzled into the warmth of his palm, alive. He knew better than to get his hopes up. It was too young. A week old, maybe two. Its eyes had yet to open. Put it in a box and it would be cold by morning, dead. Done it dozens of times as a boy. They just don’t survive. But he couldn’t just give it back to the dog. Couldn’t. He covered the little rabbit with his free hand and headed toward the house, the dog following in jumps and circles, anxious to have its find returned. He’d have to get some milk.



                                      

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Size of Boys


I was down at the little store where I get my breakfast from time to time, fourth in line behind three overalled men of such enormity they would be better described as farm implements than farmers. Mini-giants they were. And hairy. Lord! You’ve never seen such hair on creatures that don’t fish with their paws.
        
         Apparently they were born picking eaters, as well. How that works, I couldn’t tell you, but all three had lengthy discussions with the girl taking our orders about how their food, namely pork products, should be prepared. One by one though, they did finish with their instructions, stepped to the right of the counter and stood in front of the glass cooler that held the rounds of bologna and ham and whatnot, to wait.
        
           My order was simple: ‘Sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, please.’
        
          There are usually a few of that particular biscuit made up and waiting in the warmer. Since there was no one behind me, the girl taking orders went ahead and checked. The closest she could find was sausage and egg—no cheese. Easy fix.
        
          The girl taking orders and now walking my cheeseless biscuit from the warmer to the meat cooler where the farmers leaned and the cheese was also kept, isn’t exactly a girl. I’d say she’s in her mid thirties. She’s thick but not fat, has a few tattoos and I wouldn’t doubt has seen the infield at Talladega from an ant’s perspective on more than one occasion. That said, she reaches into the cooler and pulls out this big plastic bag, in which the three giant farmers and I can clearly see there is only one slice of cheese where there could easily be a hundred.
        
         “Oh,” the girl says, in a manner in which would normally preface an immediate need to be excused to the bathroom. “I need to cut some cheese.”
        
           Here, the farmers looked at me, and I at the farmers, and then the four of us together, in a single turning of heads looked at the girl and blinked.

          “I’ll go get my dog out of the truck, dear” the most fatherly looking of the three farmers said, calm as newly quarried stone. “You can blame it on him, if you want to.”






Friday, April 11, 2014

On the Curious Nature of Concerns


“He’s a pretty dog,” she said, reaching with her free hand to scratch my boy behind his ears. Her other hand she held away, behind her, a freshly lit L&M scissored between the fore and middle fingers. “What’s his name?”

     I’d forgotten how much I disliked the smell of cigarettes.

     “Bo,” I replied, trying not to wrinkle my nose as the wind carried the smoke my way.

     “Oh god!” she said, pulling her scratching hand back, revolted.

     Bo looked at me, then back at her, then me again. I knelt beside him and dug my fingers into the nap of his neck. He pressed close.

     “Not my choice,” I explained, having never much cared for the name myself. “It was the name he came with. He was abandoned—kind of a rescued-dog.”  

     “I’d have to change it,” she snapped, taking a long drag from the L&M to calm herself. She exhaled out the side of her mouth. “Sounds too much like Barack Obama.”

     Cancer, it seemed, was the least of her worries. 







Sunday, March 30, 2014

Security


To a thief, the chain would only be a minor inconvenience, easily stepped over or around, hung between its two wooden poles, alone in the great wide open. Nonetheless, he liked having it stretched across the drive. Especially in the day. Though he could easily be seen from the road, working in the yard or in his shop, it was as if drawing the chain closed a great door behind him, walled the whole of his property even, narrowing the thirty-two acres down to that quiet attic space he so liked to write in. He was home, but not, hidden, and could immerse himself in his work without fear of having even to wave at passersby, looking up only to ponder, or glance fondly at that bit of silver thread, spun between those two spindly poles, securing all that he held most dear. 


    

Saturday, March 22, 2014

On Becoming a Lap Cat


Unaccustomed to being loved directly, Baker looked up at the boy suspiciously. Being a cat in a dog-loving house, he was used to getting his affection second-hand, a stray elbow perhaps, brushing his flank as the dog’s belly was being vigorously scratched. Baker had never been lifted into the boy’s lap before, let alone petted, with both hands no less, and narrowed his eyes to better see what trick was about to be played upon him. He was prepared to leap in an instant.

          
          But nothing happened. Only more petting. And now his ears were being rubbed, just the way he had always dreamed. How could it be? All of this affection and with the dog nowhere to be found? It was truly beyond a neglected cat’s comprehension. But it was happening. And when the boy dug his fingers deeper into his winter fur, Baker couldn’t help but let his guard down just a little and arch his back ever so slightly in contentment. He found himself purring. Purring, and  helplessly kneading the boy’s lap, making the bread for which he had been so rightly named.    





           

Saturday, March 1, 2014

On Driving by Something Mysterious


The walker walked with the confidence of a man who knows much and has little to show for it. He wore a heavy black leather jacket, shoulder length hair and a thick beard. Thinness showed in the seat of his jeans and from his left back pocket there hung a red bandanna.
     
     At first glance, Steven figured the walker was probably some mechanic, or machinist, or welder, who, in better or even warmer times, drove a motorcycle to work. The bandanna made sense.

     But as he passed, Steven began to think the bandanna seemed a little too clean, too intentional, flaunted almost. That perhaps it might be part of some secret language: a code meant to notify other bikers that the walker had fallen on to hard times and was in need of a lift.

     He briefly considered turning back; asking. But then again, the bandanna could signify the walker’s status in some murderous gang, or that he was a prostitute of some sort, open for business. God, there was so little he knew and so much he feared to ask.  



       

Friday, February 28, 2014

I hate to post pics like this...



...because I know how you chicks get when you see my logging gear.
But I've successfully tuned my own chainsaw...

   

and I figured you might want to bask in my masculinity with me. 
_______

Too, I've been on this  IPA kick...


...couldn't tell you why.
Might be an age thing.
And reading the hell out of some Barbara Kingsolver, as well.


The bitter and the sweet.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

'A Song I Sing Often and Quietly to Myself', or, 'Lament of an Old White Slave'.

________________________________________________________________________________


Damn my nigger hands
done built a wall round the Promised Land,
I ain't never gonna climb try hard as I can,
Damn my nigger hands
 

                                                  
                      
                              

Sunday, February 23, 2014

After Sitting for a While Sunday Morning


At times, when the words wouldn’t come, he would search images of the great authors, as if, in those dark mannerisms and confident smiles he might find some common thread, a shared squint or folding of the hands, that, with practice, he could master and thus join their ranks.


           

Sunday, February 9, 2014

On the Need for Constants


It was as if the house were melting, the leafless trees, the sky. Everything dripped and trickled. He stood in his pajamas on the back patio with the filter of coffee grounds in his right hand, listening. After weeks in teen and single-digit temperatures, the thaw was a moment to be savored. The thirty-four degrees felt like summer, like T-shirt weather. 

     He chucked the spent grounds out, into the long planter that ran the patio’s edge. In a month, the bare earth there he knew would be green with spears of day lily and tulip. The concerns of winter would be forgotten, long stored away, like his old jacket, in some slip of a closet beneath a narrow well of stairs. The chores will have changed, his clothes, his worries.

     He turned back to the house.  

     'As long as there’s coffee,' he said, raising the emptied filter in part toast, part request, to whatever force had brought him thus far without grave incident, 'We’re good to go.'   





Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Lost Art of Venting


James picked at the splintered wood of the cabinet Steven had beaten to pieces in a fit. He smiled slightly, as if it gave him some small pleasure, knowing now that this normally quiet and patient man had a breaking point. That he was not all together... above. 

     “Did it make you feel any better?” James asked.
         
     Steven expected James was fishing for admission of regrets, an apology of some sort, shame. Because that’s what the World wanted, Wasn't it? When you lost your cool and busted something to pieces—Regrets? Apologies?

       
     Thing was, Steven didn't regret a thing. Not this time. Not the mess, not the questions, not the inconvenience. It was kill or be killed. The cabinet or him. He saw that. Now. Life is not a tangible bully. It pushes and pushes until you break and strike out blindly in self defense. Hit something. Anything. 

     “You know what,” Steven said, “It did feel good. Very good.”

    

     



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

One Million Likes...

  


Back of my family-size box of Cheerios.
That's it...
no ads,
no coupons,
no bullshit...
just happy.
I love this marketing team.
K.I.S.S.







Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy Surprises and Such



In my mailbox, yesterday, between the bills and promises of lower interest rates, I found a golden envelope. Not business-size, or standard-size… No, it was much smaller than that… pocket-size, perfect for keeping close to your heart, if you took the notion.
     The moment I saw the little golden envelope, I knew that it had traveled from a world of castles and topiaries and apartments above bakeries, where one wakes to birdsong and the smell of warm bread every single morning, and that it had come, quite possibly, in the pointed beak of a snowy egret, but more than likely had been passed from hand to hand into an airplane, flown across an ocean and a great deal of a continent, and then driven to my mailbox, in a Jeepish vehicle that magically steers on the right side. (Coincidence? I think not. It was, after all, golden.)
     I opened the envelope right then and there, and found inside two Eskimos, bundled in fur (as it was very cold both here and there), and a wish for a thousand happy surprises in the year to come.
     Seems I have nine hundred and ninety-nine happy surprises left and three hundred, and sixty-five days in which to spend them. Aren't I the lucky boy? 

     Thank you, Stephanie.