Day of Hope

It is a holiday.  Today is the annual Day of Hope.   Today is the day that changes the fifty one years worth of bad history. In Cleveland, it’s draft day!

Half the city will spend hours later this evening waiting to see who changes our collective future.  Everyone has an opinion.   Everyone has their “guy”.   We’re all idiots.  No-one has a clue what the team thinks. But that doesn’t matter, because today is draft day.

Now don’t get confused.  “Draft Day” the movie, pure fiction… everything works out for our city.   Fan in Cleveland means leaving mind way behind your heart.   Don’t overthink the game plan.   Our team needs a lot.   So best available players are all we need.   Err don’t think out will happen.

Like every great holiday, there’s planning.  We begin by reading everything written about the top prospects.   These are real experts and sharing great info with us fans.   Or they are filling a page that will change every week as players are getting better without playing.   Other drop as track stars rise to take their place.   Ever see a football player run forty years straight in shorts on Sunday? Neither have I, but it matters today.   Ever read a mock draft? Why do they change every week? My team’s executives most be bipolar.   Or the writer of columns needs to add interest.

The need for anxiety is real.   We haven’t had a winning season in over 12 years.   You can’t get a seat for most games here.   This is our year.  Well with two picks tonite, we become relivent.   That’s a short walk to respectable from there.  Soon we could be good.   Then a playoff team.

So what happens tonite?  Ok everyone wants the team to draft a quarterback.  If we package all out high picks and maybe some for next year, then we might get a guy who could be really good.  Especially if we make the offensive system fit him.   Everyone else will follow his lead. Really this works for others, I think it does, they have all won.   That’s got to be it.

If we don’t get the Mariota kid, then we get a 340 lb nose tackle.  Unless Chicago takes Shelton at 7, but the experts say they want a receiver.   So at 12, we should get him.   But we could get Parker, the wide receiver if he falls.   We could use him too.   But if they are both gone, we could get Durpee to rush on defense or Flowers, a real maulling type offensive lineman.  Fun maybe for one. But if it falls right,  We can get one of these guys.

Welcome to Christmas time for football fans.   Most people couldn’t recognise any of the players. But the names and hopes. …. they will be back next year.   But we’ll be good and draft later then.   I’ve been saying that for years.   Big fan.

life is but a dream

Walking in the house,  I can hear her in kitchen. It’s a curved path through small living and dining rooms to get there.   Looking at her, she’s bathed in sunlight.  Pale skin glows, tiny freckles blend seamlessly into face.  Round green eyes barely separated by a thin nose,  red hair pulled back in ponytail.  She is cutting veggies on a board.  I stare as I move around her.

“Hey you” she sings, not looking up.

My right arm slides around her thin waist. My left hand lands at her hip.  I lean up against her to kiss the place where neck meets the shoulder.  She jumps a little, almost giggles.

“Quit it.  I got a knife buddy. ”

“Hmmmm I Iike dangerous women.” Whispering to her. My hands sliding against her soft warm stomach.  Exploring her, slightly tickling her.  She’s partly submissive, yet still trying to continue with what she was doing.

“Maybe for dessert.”

“Oh, noooooo! Oh, how could you? Why why why why? ” but this is very different woman

Loud screams are filling my bedroom.

I wake up.  Stunned, dazed, slowly aware of my surroundings. My wife is crying. She shakes in bed.   A fifty year old woman wrecked by fear, life being fight for with each breath.

“How could you? It’s her. You and her. I’ve seen it.” She’s hysterical. “It was a dream but I know.  You and her, in my house, our house. .. playing like it’s her place.” Sobbing breaks the words apart.

“Honey,  I don’t know what’s going on.   You had a dream. It’s not real. Please calm down.   What happened?” I try to calm her.

My heart races.   That dream we have as men. The perfect encounter with someone.   It’s the hot wife of a friend, it’s a number of girls you know, wanted to know, thought you knew.   Your mind told you how exciting to do this with her.   My wife is telling me, my deep fantasy, that I never tried with her.  And my god, I would love this one.

“Honey, calm down. There’s nothing to worry about.” I repeat this over a hundred times.  I’m convincing myself not her.  Slowly,  we fade back to sleep.

“I’m just after an appetizer” I continue to whisper in the young woman’s ear.   The dream has come back to me.

Mrs Pauley

Gabriel is sitting on porch, head firmly pinched by hands, held up by arms, that rest on his knees.   His face is blank.   He could be watching a tv show, starting at a video, but it’s the action across the street.

Mrs Pauley is across the street. She’s sitting leaning against the rail.  Her 90 pound frame seems to shake as she talks.  The house behind her is an old chalky white and brick bungalow.

“Mom, are they going to arrest her?  I don’t understand. Isn’t that her house?” He talks to the figure in the door behind him.

“I was over there yesterday.   She was telling me Nate and Allan are coming today to visit her.  They going to take her away.  Can we go visit her?  She told me Mr Pauley was waiting for her.   But he died, didn’t he?”

He sighs.   Mom has no answers.

“Mrs Pauley, I have waited three months for anything from You.”  The voice of strange man finds it’s way across the street. “Your sons will be here soon. ”

“Mom, she’s not even moving. You said she was there forever. Why did she have to go?  She is like grandma.   I hated to tell you about inside the house.  I thought if we cleaned it, everything would be fine.  There were only boxes.   It was just stuff.   They can’t throw you out for stuff!” His words are getting loud and terse.

“When I get older, I’m buying that house.   Mrs Pauley will still be alive, right mom? The police keep going in the house.  They’re going to arrest her aren’t they?  Mom…. They called an ambulance.  See is coming for her.”

Mom breaks her silence.  “Honey, they found Mr Pauley over there.   She’s going to get help, Gabe. ”

“Found”  he doesn’t understand but he slowly realises.  “Did she hide him under all the boxes?’

flash fiction, washed up on shore

Times change.   Even with all technology, travel is controlled by forces greater than us.

The module had begun to lose power.   Several tries to rescue the engines before impact, cone and go.

“No, it’s got to work” the sole person struggles but sees the crash.

A split second away, the engine roars to life.  It doesn’t do anything to help. With contact lost between the others,  the pilot hopes against hope.

His craft splashes into the sea. Demons hissing on outside is all that remains.  Barely conscious he looks up.  Seeing what could be land, hopes rise.

The soft sides roll back in further in tide.

“Does anyone know I’m here”

We have nothing to fear but fear itself. “

We have nothing.  Fear

Don’t leave me alone ever

ONE voice is hollow

Somebody to love me

one companion gets me by

My fear is alone

“We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl.

What have we found.  The same old fears.  Wish you were here. ” Pink Floyd



We have nothing to fear but fear itself. “

We have nothing.  Fear

Don’t leave me alone ever

ONE voice is hollow

Somebody to love me

one companion gets me by

My fear is alone

“We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl.

What have we found.  The same old fears.  Wish you were here. ” Pink Floyd


Lost and found

“Take my soul to the lost and found”.   Line graciously stolen from Billy Squire (She’s a Runner).  The opening of great songs fill you with feelings both good and bad.   It ties down memories and releases  these feelings.   We fill our brains with patches of the past.   Prefectly incomplete in a way that shields us from what should have happened.  In the dark, all those corners of the mind filled with thoughts we wished we never had.   How many lovers we didn’t give as much to?   How many friends that we would rather not do something with today?  What of those things that happened and we don’t know why?  “Don’t you need me?” (Stolen from Mr Squire again ‘In the Dark’)

Neet little bundles of memories.

Purposely lost.   Unconsciously found.

Rough twine holding tight what we don’t want to remember.   Vaguely, legible is the word “why”.  Why – the most hurtful word.

To be free

“Hey people…. come here. ”

“There’s a problem here.   I’m a horse and this stall door is closed.  If you look behind you, you can see what I’m talking about.”  The house moves anxiously bumping the door.

“There grass, it’s so green. And nobody’s eating it!   Just look at it.   That’s new growth out there people.”

What does a horse have to do to get out a little,  thinks the horse.

“I could drink out of pond.  Real water not this bucket stuff.  Yuck, it tastes like plastic.”  Horse sighs.

Looking down at the ground doesn’t help. Mr. Jones,  the striped barn cat walks by.   Mr Jones meigs.

“You people let the cat go free.   Why not the horse? We’re majestic animals.   But stuck in this barn.   I was born to run.  Come on let me out!”

Horse realises the poeple are gone. Didn’t even look at him. That’s what happens when your a horse named Horse.  Everyday you wake up looking to be free.

stream of thought

In effect to keep my brain working, today I decided to put my toes into the stream of consciousness.  On a nice spring day where is a better starting point than outside.

I have my first four leaf clover of the year.  Strange thing, they seem to find me.  Along time ago, my 100% Irish (American born) grandfather got me into finding these things.  One of the uses is sharing luck with someone else by giving them to other people.  Since I have yet to win lottery, this seems like a cheap trick to teach sharing things.  Nonetheless, I habitually pick at these little green mutants.  Is it possible this is just weeding made fun?  I have noticed women like by handed a four leaf clover.  and they are cheaper than roses.

Now where does superstition rest in your world?  It is interesting that rabbit’s feet aren’t as well received.  Do I become a plant hater picking these things?  If plants have feelings, why is meat murder but a salad is just fine? Anyone remember seeing plant auras?  I assure my readers I am an equal opportunity offender.  While choosing not to kill my own food, I tend to eat both plants and animals.

The last idea is one of those eddies in the pool of consciousness that never goes away.  One of the great mysteries of life, how to deal with a vegetarian brought into the family by someone else.  You have any idea how hard it is to find a meatless stuffed pepper receipe?  I’m not sure why but rice, onions, celery need company here.  But mac and cheese don’t sound bad in here, but why people?

So much for the luck part of that clover.  I’m buy a lottery ticket anyway.  And eating suffed peppers with meat.

Willshire Days

Willshire Days was most action small town Ohio could fit in two acres.  While that rarely included more than three rides, everyone in the area came out.  There were games and sales persons.  Farmers, Amish (even though farmers they’re different), a handful of city folk (like me) and relatives.   In  a town of six hundred,  it was a week festival that had to make up for rest of the year.

First it would help to describe the town.  Twist the letter “X” and stretch it out. Make one side truck route and other rural route, now pin it against the state of Indiana. There is a water tower and an “L” shaped downtown with two story buildings. The center is, of course, the fire station and library.   Every small town needs both.

It all started with Friday night flea market.   The main street was lined with card tables, loaded with resale bargains.  Aunt Clara would sell animal magnets made out of shells and pipe cleaners.  They all looked the same, painted different colors but looked like the skunk.   Rugs braided from bread wrappers.  Wooden things that held no interest to a kid.   Everyone knew if you were local or related to someone living here.

Friday night they would open up the rides in the park, two streets away.  This was one ticket for a ride.  Jungle Jim’s, Scrambler, Octopus, maybe the Rotor,  The rides never went more than ten feet off the ground but it didn’t matter.   There would be “barkers” calling you to their game of chance.   The prizes were goldfish, stuffed animals, mirrors with band names on them,  stuff you win, not ever buy.  I got to be a barker one year.   The bottle stand is damn near impossible.  Not saying the games are fixed, but divine intervention maybe required.

For three days and nights,  Willshire was the place to be.  Times change.   Small towns lose the people as jobs move further away.   Young people chase jobs to bigger cities.   Willshire Days withers on the vine.   It’s been gone ten years.  Maybe if you remember, it’s not really gone.  Just a ghost in time.