Hunger

I was hungry when I wrote this

Forgive me if it goes astray…

Hungry sounded so much better than angry and I just wanted to mess with your minds.

How this blog has gone on for four years is a mystery to me.

Some have allowed themselves to be controlled by anger.  Because of their subsequent, violent acts, some won’t see the beautiful sunrise this morning.  Eyes of the living will be  blinded by tears of grief.

I will not dignify such events by referring to them as acts of civil disobedience.  There has been no civility.

In these difficult times, it’s been a struggle to maintain a positive outlook.

A modicum of diversion refreshes the mind.  For that reason, a stuck dresser drawer is calling me.  Dremel tool & me to the rescue!

Moral Superiority/Hidden Battles

It was there. Just write it down, said my conscience.

The revelation came on the evening news.  “Poor people were poor because they didn’t save enough money.”

Old, burned out hippies answered phone banks.  Guys named Randy, Scott, or John, their long gray hair pulled back into pony tails–tied with bandanas.  Uniform of the day was themed Hawaiian, from the looks of their rainbow, printed shirts

“Hungry, need food, out of work!”  Signs were on every street corner.  What good were laws prohibiting panhandlers?

Pity those poor Southern Californians with brown or gravelled lawns, Dwight mused, as he applied lawn fertilizer to lush, green grass.  Wouldn’t want to live like that.

What were their names?  Moved out in the middle of the night; too proud to tell anyone their money was gone.  It wasn’t like that when Old Man Burgess lived there.

Just across the street, resided a pretty young blonde woman, her daughter, and boyfriend.  It turned out they were fugitives from the law; wanted for murder in another state.

Ashley and Jade, embarrassed pre-teens, crouched down in the battered, faded blue, family minivan.  If this were living–they’d just as soon be dead.  Their mom, Mary, sat in silence–stifled tears.  Tom, silent patriarch, drove on in darkness.  Destination: Somewhere, where no one knew their names.

James, moved out after losing his job with a well-known delivery service.  In a fit of anger, pulled the siding off the utility shed–formerly his.  His pet cat, left behind, in the melee sat on the front porch.  Kindly neighbors kept the kitty fed.

Compelling monster movies, billowed into things too scary to watch.  Egos, pride, shed instead of blood.  Did families, friends, disavow friendships during hard times?   No, they stood by through inevitable successes or failures.

Hidden battles are fought every day.  I ask for your good thoughts and prayers.  My brother from a different mother, best man at my wedding, continues to battle cancer.  We served together in the Air Force many years ago.

WHO ARE YOU–REALLY?

Are you someone in my neighborhood?  Someone from the area?  From another country?  It doesn’t matter.  You’re just another nameless, faceless, lowlife preying on the unsuspecting.

On an emotional roller coaster for the past few days.  Two letters came in Saturday’s US mail from Social Security.  One was verification of a new on-line account and password.  The other–thanks for your recent change of address request.

I’d requested neither of these things.  “If these requests were made in error, please contact your nearest SSI office.”  Those words cut like cold steel.  Nothing could be done till after the weekend.

As it turned out, someone had, indeed, attempted to hijack my SSI account; gave a fraudulent telephone number–claimed it was mine.  The SSI agent only gave the area code and prefix.  The prefix completely unfamiliar.

I try to be cautious–don’t give out my SSI number.  Will be even more cautious in the future.  There have been several recent episodes of data hacking.  I felt violated–just like once before when my house was burglarized.  Luckily, this infringement was caught in time.  A scare that could have ended much worse.

WHEN THE PAIN CAME

Vengeance
In the name
Of the God
Of Abraham
In one, fatal
Final step

Power seized
For the moment
Pain caused
For someone else
Perceived, as
Less than human

Only mankind
Can be such
A beast–to
Kill, those
Disagreed with

An impossible
Task, tried
Many times
Before, by
Despots, dictators
The desperate

Hard to imagine
It happening
Again, in the
Twenty-first
Century

Seize the
Moment, while
We still can
Because the
Pain kills
More every day

MESSAGE FROM A BOTTLE

mailbox

It was more about frustration, than hate–a desire for perfection.   Impulsive fires of youth no longer raged in Larry’s heart.  Deep down, the embers still smoldered.  Larry and Martha’s dream of semi-blissful existence on the far fringes of suburbia, wasn’t fully realized.

An empty whiskey bottle sailed out the window of a speeding Lincoln Town Car.  Black smoke spewed from the tailpipe.  The bottle landed near Larry’s feet.

“You ignorant son-of-a bitch!”  He yelled.

That was deliberate.  That jackass tried to hit me!

Larry palmed the bottle; pitched a high, hard one at the back window–not enough to shatter glass.  …Just enough to get the driver’s attention.  The bottle glanced off with a loud bang, rolled into the weeds.  Good throw Larry–pat yourself on the back.  

The Lincoln skidded to a stop.  Larry watched from the shadows.  A heavy-set, red-faced man stepped out and looked around.

 Just as I expected–some fat ass, lazy dude.  What do you know–he found the bottle.  I didn’t give him enough credit.  Does he know where it came from?  Did he get my message from a bottle?

lincoln town car

The Lincoln, weaved from side-to-side back down the hill.  Larry’s heart beat fast as the car rolled to a stop.  The enraged driver spotted Larry–wanted his pound of flesh.

“Did you see who threw this bottle at my car?”  The man held the whiskey bottle like a trophy.

“People throw out trash all the time,” Larry answered.

“That wasn’t what I asked–Mister.  Did you see who threw, THIS, bottle?  It scared the bejesus out of me.  I could have been injured or had an accident.”

“Maybe it was from a lawnmower?” Larry offered.

“No, it was thrown too hard–too straight for that.”  Answered the angry man.  “I think you know who did this.  “You’re just not saying.”

“Are you calling me a liar?” Larry asked indignantly.  “Because, if you are, you can get your ass back down the road and off my property.”

“I got no proof–if I did I’d file charges, ” The heavy-set man’s anger turned to frustration.

The heated discussion became less about a whiskey bottle, more about who had the moral high ground.

“What gives you the right to file charges?  You tossed out the bottle in the first place.  The bottle almost hit ME.  “I’M the one that should file charges–against YOU!”

“Larry, Jim’s on the phone, ” Martha called from the house at just the right moment.

“I’ve got to take this call,” Larry explained.

The Lincoln driver left in a hurry–unsatisfied.

“What were you guys talking about?  He seemed angry,” Martha asked.

“Someone threw a whiskey bottle at his car,” Larry answered.

“Who would want to do that?” Martha asked.  She knew Larry had a fiery temper.

Mournful siren sounds wailed in the distance.  Larry looked up at the night sky–clutched his stomach.  Burning, searing pain subsided.  Was this how it felt to die?  The Lincoln’s rectangular headlights slowly disappeared as the car backed down the driveway.

It started with a knock on the door sometime after midnight.  The knocks became louder and more desperate.  “Who could that be?” Larry asked Martha.  “It’s three in the morning.  …A car accident?  I’ll check it out. Call the Sheriff if I’m not back right away.”

“I’m coming–don’t beat the door down.  What are YOU, doing, here?” Larry asked the man from the previous afternoon.  They stood silhouetted in the car’s headlights.  “What do you want?”  Larry asked.

“You know why I’m here,”  The stranger answered.  “What do I want?”  “I want you to admit you pitched this bottle at my car yesterday.  Take the bottle–I’m not joking!”  There was a chrome plated revolver tucked in his waistband.

“All right–I did it!  I threw this bottle at your car!  I didn’t mean anything by it.”  Larry pleaded. “Now, can I go back to bed?”

“No, I’m not done,” The stranger replied.  “You know you really pissed me off!  Was this whiskey bottle worth your life?”

“No,” Larry answered feebly–clutching the bottle tightly against his chest.  Why did he pick my yard?  There were plenty of other yards.

“That’s not the point!  The angry man answered.  “This was just a bottle until you threw it–then it became a weapon.  Never bring a bottle to a gunfight.”

Two gunshots echoed in the night.  Larry crumpled to cold concrete clad only in underwear and robe.  A puddle of blood spread underneath his body.  Nearby was the empty whiskey bottle.

The Lincoln sped away.  Larry couldn’t move–struggled to cry out. Words wouldn’t come.  He awakened, breathless, soaked in cold sweat.  He checked the front door–then ran cold water on his face in the bathroom.  Going back to bed was pointless.

 

HURTFUL EYES


trash

To you, I may be only
A smelly cigar butt
Tossed in the street
With candy wrappers
Miscellaneous detritus
I don’t need your pity
I’d rather be ignored
Than pitied

Don’t offer a helping hand
Draw it away, then sneer
When I stumble and fall
I’ve still got my pride
I’m not here for your
Entertainment
Neither, a jester
Nor, a pawn

For entertainment
Look in the mirror
Outside, you’re a man
But, still a child inside
I pretended to like you
Because, I had to
While deep down
I despised your
Arrogance, and
Disrespect