Friday, December 18, 2009

My Baby-The Senior

Dear Friends I present to you my baby, my last child at home, my little boy. These are some of the proofs for his Senior Picture. Just thought I would share.






And to close, me and my baby.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

500 Words-I'm Back!

At Seventeen

Through the rusted bars, tastes, rather than glimpses, were caught of the jumbled neighborhood; and nothing within range, nearer or lower than the summits of the two-great towers of Notre-Dame, had any promise on it of healthy life or wholesome aspirations. Cicely stared intently out the tiny basement window watching the people passing, marching past her window, well their feet anyway. To amuse herself she would make up stories of those who slapped, clapped, skipped and thudded past it, using only their shoes as the catalyst for her imagination. Mr. Brown Oxford’s steps were quick, firm and purposeful, a banker, and father of three, married to a woman whose lips puckered sourly as she sipped her morning tea. Ms. Black and White Sling Backs whose steps were delicate, graceful, almost skimming over the filth on the cobbles on delicate paten leather spikes that were pointed enough to puncture the morning fog; clicking rhythmically past, headed to one of those fancy stores where she waited on the uppity-ups. The twins skipping in step, laced uptight in their Le Loup Blanc’s, held firmly by the hand one on each side of the nanny heading off to school, where they would learn how to be “proper” but when the teacher turned her back would spit balls of paper through the end of a straw and giggle into their sleeves.

Cicely hadn’t paid much attention to the life outside that window as a young girl as much as she did now, it didn’t seem that important then. Sure she had noticed it, the way the room would turn pink as the sun kissed the city bonsoir each evening. Oh, how she longed to be kissed. Blushing even as the thought ran through her mind, her cheeks now the same shade as the evening sun. At seventeen you thought of such things. She noticed how the rain freckled the panes of glass making the floor a maze of poke-a-dots, just like the dress she had seen flit past the window just last week. She could imagine how magical it would it be like to wear such a beautiful dress, watching it swirl around as you glided across the dance floor in the arms of a fine young man. But these days, these days she noticed everything. The brioche vendor pushing his heavy cart each morning, in his old dirty boots with the small hole in the toe, to the corner and sliding it almost effortlessly back again in the evening when its load had been lightened from the sales of the day. That everyday hustle and bustle, the little things that no one ever looked at, the movement of life, it had escaped her then.

Cicely’s mother came in carrying a large sack of groceries. She put them down on the kitchen table and walked over to her daughter, leaned over and kissed the top of her head. “Well, are you ready?” Cicely’s mom asked. “Ready as ever” was her reply. Cicely’s mother pulled back the covers. Cicely turned her head towards the window, a tear steeling it's way down her cheek, as her mom started to unwrap the bandages that covered her newly amputated legs.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When Push Comes To Shove

Denise had been at her job for nearly fifteen years. When she started, it was just herself and the boss’s wife supporting a then half a million-dollar company. Now a decade and a half later, at close to seven million, she managed six others and had seen a lot of changes. She was even introduced to clients as the General Manager a time or two by the owner himself. But as time tells all, when a title is just a title it means little.

Over the years Denise had watched newly hired superstars get cars, expense accounts and perks too numerous to count. Outlay of cash was never in question if it were to ease their efforts; make their divisions more profitable. However, each time she would ask for upgrades in software, a new computer for one that had long ago outlived it’s usefulness it was like pulling teeth. She watched one or two of the other managers get compensated with “at cost” work around their homes. She had the company do work on her new home, that she paid for and after 13 years and 3 different attempts to resolve the issue of her front steps, they continued to pitch and sink and were now unusable. Was it a small thing? Yes, but small things over time add up.

On one occasion she had taken her car to a garage for inspection. The mechanic told her it would not pass. This was broke, that needed to be replaced etc. the entire bill would be around $2,700.00. She hadn’t been having trouble with her car and was suspicious. She brought it home and talked to her husband, who was usually less than supportive but on this occasion said he would take it to his mechanic and see what was going on. The outcome was significantly different. $2.45 for a new bulb and a turn or two of a wrench to tighten up the O2 sensor. She was enraged.

In restaurants it was her husband that was chatted up by the maĆ®tre d’, if she dined alone she was stuck at a table in the corner by the kitchen. Taxi cabs, forget about it. She stood in the rain more times than she could count while the other guy got in the cab sporting a condecending grin.

The ultimate insult was when her husband left her for someone else. During her divorce he had the nerve to ask why she was surprised, afterall the other woman was a huge success in her field and she was no more than a glorified secretary and was obviously, after 15 years was never going really make anything of herself. That was the crushing blow, the catalyst of things to come.

Still groggy from the the anethesia a line from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein came to mind. “When I found so astonishing a power placed within my hands, I hesitated a long time concerning the manner in which I should employ it". Sliding a hand under the hospital sheets for the first time, Dennis touched himself down there and smiled. Now he had his future firmly in his grip. His new job starts on Monday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Comeuppance

At this intelligence, in which he seemingly evinced little interest, Mr. Bloom gazed abstractedly for the space of a half a second or so in the direction of a bucketdredger, rejoicing in the farfamed name of Eblana, moored alongside Customhouse quay and quite possibly out of repair, whereupon he observed evasively: "Everybody gets their own ration of luck, they say."

Four bodies had already been found. Weighted down, wrapped in sheets, their throats garroted by a burgundy ascot and dumped in the harbor. Judging from the condition of the women they had been there for some time. It would take time to identify them but Bloom’s instincts told him they were some of the missing prostitutes.

Across the channel at the end of the pier Mr. Bloom could see his nemesis Horace Blackstone III. Horace had always lived his life to suit himself and his dark pleasures. He had enough money to buy his way out of trouble. Drunk and disorderly, petty larcenies were just a few of the offenses skirted, all bought off with daddy’s money. This time would be no different, Horace thought smugly.

Bloom looked up just as another body was deposited on the pier. Cheryl Morgan, this one was still in good enough shape for him to recognize. She was a pretty girl and much to young to have ended up at the bottom of the harbor. She had no family, no one to morn her death; she was just another prostitute who paid for her sins with her life. When Bloom looked back to where Blackstone had been standing he had evaporated along with the mornings mist.

Mr. Bloom walked into the Haberdashery on Gold Street. He had a hunch. The ascot was of an exceptional quality and fabric. It wasn’t off the rack. Although the ocean water and rotting flesh had degraded the fabric he hoped Mr. Singer could identify it and more to the point who it had been made for. It was mere moments and Mr. Bloom had his answer. Stuffing the soggy ascot in his pocket he walked straight to Blackstone’s Brownstone. The maid informed Bloom that Mr. Blackstone was not in nor did she know when to expect him. Bloom turned away from the door and walked back along the waterfront. Something was off. He scanned the ships in the harbor, not sure what he was looking for. Just then the clipper Lucks Lady sailed out from behind the Eblana. Standing on the bow was Horace, smiling from ear to ear giving Bloom a vigorous wave. Blackstone was getting away with murder. But what he didn’t realize, due to his grandstanding, was that he was only inches away from the bow of the frigate Comeuppance. The jolt sent Blackstone tumbling ass over teakettle, catching him as he tumbled in the bowline. Now it was Blooms turn to grin. Blackstone swung, hung by the neck, bouncing against the sides of the boat. Luck sure is a fickle mistress.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Torcedores

Since the age of eleven Lucho had worked in the factory hauling tobacco leaves off the carts as they pulled up to the dock. Now at seventeen, with his newly discovered talent he had ascended the ranks and had been given the title of Torcedores, expert cigar roller. It was a big deal. Many of his relatives worked there too, his father, two uncles and three brothers, all just laborers. All of them, with the exception of Lucho belonged to the Federacion de Grupos Anarquistas de Cuba and fought against the Caudillo, Gerardo Machado. It wasn’t that Lucho didn’t believe in the cause but he had seen first hand the some of the “accidents” of those who did belong. In his own way he thought of himself as a talisman, being the only one not in the Federacion and being the owners favorite Torcedores, so far his family had escaped any overt retribution and he wanted to keep it that way but he also wanted out. Out of the mediocre existence that his family had lived in for generations but most of all out of Cuba.

Each evening Lucho would walk to meet his best friend outside the gates of his home. They would make their way down to the cantina where they would entertain the rest of the patrons. Lucho played his guitar while his friend would croon for the ladies. There they thrived. He and his friend were complete opposites on the outside. Lucho came from humble factory workers, his best friend the son of the Mayor of Santiago. Lucho was not what some would call attractive but he was no slouch either, he could pass in the daylight. His friend on the other hand always had a bevy of beauties buzzing around him. On the inside though, the playing field was far more level. It was their love of music that erased their socio-economic differences and made them equals. It was also their desire to find a better life that kept then tight. They spent hours talking about the what if's.

Lucho would never forget that morning in June 1934, the day the factory burnt to the ground. An "accident" was the official report. As he walked towards the charred remains the air was thick with smoke; pungent, acrid, it smelled of Machado. At that same time, three blocks away the Caudillo’s men arrested the Mayor, stripped him of his office and stole most of their property. The family it was reported was being deported.

Lucho ran the three blocks to his friend’s home just as the gates swung open. He ran straight into the front end of the Mayors Cadillac V-16, which knocked him on his ass, nearly knocking him out. His friend, his best friend, the one he thought he might never see again, stuck his head around the open back door with a smile a mile wide. Not a word passed between them, just seconds. Lucho scrambled to his feet and jumped in. He would write his folk on the way to Miami.

Pulling his Coconut Fedora lower on his forehead Lucho, Desi and the rest of the band walked onto the stage and the crowd erupted. But with the passage of the years Lucho Abril Marroquin was to tell himself that of all the instructive experiences of that morning the most unforgettable had not been either the first or the second accident but what happened afterwards.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

500 Words#2-A Little Early

I am taking tomorrow off from work. I contacted the all powerful OZ and he said I could have the sentance a bit early (Thanks Dive) as I will have limited access to a comptuer over the weekend. So here is my contribution.

The Stranger

The whistle snuck up on him as he walked down Reflection Street, a tune from his twenties, “We all fall in love, but we disregard the danger, something, something, something, why were you so surprised that you never saw the stranger? Did you ever let your lover see the stranger in yourself” Then, suddenly, with great clarity and precision, he saw Bartleby's window and the blank brick wall before him. The whitewash that obscured the view inside was the glaringly similar to his own outlook, the blankness of the wall, not unlike his heart. Bartleby’s had succumbed to the inevitable and gone out of business. Leaving an empty shell of what had once been thriving, alive and magical. Those similarities to his life pissed in his ear as he wandered home.

She had come into his life unexpectedly, a coworker, no one special. Oh, how wrong he’d been. She shook him up, his insides liquefied. He was no longer in control of himself, no longer solid and no longer blank. She tore away the veil of his run-of-the-mill life and she had seen him for the man he was and as no one else ever had, not even himself. She has awoken the stranger. That year they spent together, the promise they made to each other while coupled on the sofa that Labor Day afternoon were real and deep and at the time, life altering for both of them. She had moved him, touched him, consumed him and oh how she made his teeth rattle!

But his life was set. The job, the one he had been chasing for year was finally his. After all a job is what defines the man; at least that is what his father had always told him. It was at the core of his self-esteem. His family; the status quo. A stay at home wife who no longer acknowledged his needs or most of the time his existence, two great boys, a sprawling house in the ‘Burbs, a couple of dogs and a the brand new sports car. You know, all that things that humans are supposed to accumulate to measure their worth. From the outside it worked. The twelve plus hours a day he spent between work and commuting left little time for a home life, which, since her he had come to realize was exactly why he kept those hours. It all came down to less awake time. Less time to be bored, less time to think about the life he had worked so hard to create and that had turned so unbearably mundane. The house, his stuff, the outward manifestation of his success, he was finally better off than the Jones. For once his dad was proud. But she was always on his mind and just hearing her voice could send shock waves to that place that lay dormant in his everyday life, sending him on a wild ride of heat and heart. To her and only her he’d showed the stranger, with her and only her, he had been alive.

He never intended for it to happen, he never expected he would have to make a choice. In the end, when that choice had to be made, he like Bartleby’s took whitewash to his heart, rebuilt his wall, moved the dog and settled into his recliner, because when all was said and done, for him it was all about the stuff.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

500 Words- Ok really 556

Well, count me in on this one at least. Here goes...

And again next day a thinly populated sky, losing its blue to the heat, would melt overhead, and the car inside would be a furnace when we got in again, and the road shimmered ahead, with a remote car changing its shape mirage-like in the surface glare, and seeming to hang for a moment, old-fashionedly square and high, in the hot haze. As the road crawled away we continued to chase it down. Mile after mile, the air clawing its way down our throats trailing its aridness into our chests and absorbing what moisture remained in our lungs. The confinement of the car was intolerable for Lo. I could see it in her eyes, that is, when she would look my way. The window being her constant companion, she very rarely took her eyes off the brownness that seemed to absorb the life around us, let alone speak. This bareness was taking its toll. The insufferable length of time caged in this heap of rusting metal was seeping into her, seeming to incinerate what was left of her fragile frame. As the cars ahead shifted shape in the burning heat of the day so did Lo.

As we plunged through the cleavage of Twin Mountains just outside of Sapulpa the heaviness that had weighted us down began to lift. Mile after mile of nothingness had crushed itself against our bodies like apples in a press, leaving behind bruised flesh darkened by the blistering sun that spit on our skin as we hung out the windows trying to catch some relief from the furnace in which we rode. Just as the wipers stripped away the murk that collected on the windshield, the gradual greening of the roadsides gave me hope that Lo too would brighten. She never spoke much anyway, but the 200 miles of silence was loud. I knew her well enough that I took no offense, knowing it best to keep my thoughts to myself. Her tongue being pointed, adding the nothingness of our drive would lend a sharpness that I was not likely to recover from. The heat always took its toll on her.

So, I drove and she sat, quietly mulling whatever thoughts tripped around her skull. With her it was impossible to tell exactly what was in there and the fact that when she did open her mouth you were never sure where the conversation would land you, I usually just went along for the ride. Not unlike our trip thus far. Odd comments, disjointed to the moment seemed to be her favorite way to pass the time. Randomness, not unlike the way we had met was the force behind her thoughts. She did it to amuse herself. If my car had not broke down, in that town, on that day, at that hour, just as she was ending her shift at the diner, I would be in LA. Alone. But randomness insinuated itself upon me that day, stripping away what anyone would consider an ordinary life. If anyone had told me six months ago that I would fall this hard, this fast and this deep for a woman I had literally bumped into on the street, in a shit-hole little town on the outskirts of life, I would have thought them mad.

Monday, June 22, 2009

For Dive and Katie

God Bless

Before They Are All Gone

My mother and I spent an enjoyable friday evening with HIM


There is something to be said for singing along with the man who wrote this.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Just Sharing

May 29, 2009 was my parents 50th wedding anniversary. As is customary with a milestone of this magnitude most families would have had a big hurrah for this great event. Most families is not what we are. As most of you know my dad has Alzheimer's as did his dad. We have a photograph of my grand parents on their 50th anniversary and at that time we were just beginning to hear about the difficulties my Noni was having with my Big Pa. Looking at the photograph now, knowing what was brewing you can see the difference in cognition in his eyes. When we, myself and my brothers started discussing what might work, my mother was included as she is really NOT a big fan fare type of person. She simply stated that she didn't want a picture of them like "THAT". No big party, a small cookout with only family would surf ice. So, that is what we did. Three hours of celebrating for 50 years of dedication. Somehow it seems piddly and so very insignificant for the sacrifice and devotion my parents have given not only to their three children but also to their blood and marriage-included grandchildren.
So, I wrote this for them, printed it and had it framed-of course it took three frames.
It made my mom cry in front of people which pissed her off and my dad laugh in a spot or two.
Just thought I would share so you all wouldn't think I have left the planet. Sorry it is long and you all know I have no grammar skills!

Mom and Dad
Five decades now have sang their song
Some years seemed quick and some were long
From a chance meeting one day on the street
Grew a great love, so strong and so sweet
Each year has brought change to both their lives
He her husband and She his wife

Their journey together had just began
When off to Huntsville they both ran
He to serve our great nation
And in those first years came a new “Creation”
They named him Paul, their first born son
From that day on he was the One
A few years there and home they came
They’d make a life where the streets were the same
The same as they ran when first they met
Where their family ties were strong and set.

He worked in a shop to support his new wife
She in the Halls helping bring forth new life
Friends were made and life went fast
In another year, a new chapter cast
A baby girl, they name her Leslie
Her Big Pa John became quite testy
He did not like the name they picked
But she won him over lickity split

They found a new home with room for four
On top of a hill but still close to the shore
Between both of the Grand Parents this little house sat
With them close by, they helped with this and with that
In no time at all that house was a home
They all settled in and the kids could roam

Life had it’s own rhythm, it’s ebb and it’s flow
The kids getting older, teeth now out in a row
The kids went to school, they played down the street
Then came the day a new sibling they’d meet
It was boy, his name was Jason
Now off to the doctor, daddy did hasten.
Three kids is enough the house grew much tighter
So they’d pack off to the Camp where the air was much lighter

They spent summers at camp where the children could play
And a big fuzzy puppy joined the family one day
Sugar, dear Sugar was that sweet puppy’s name
They hugged her and kissed her, they pulled till she came
She followed the kids and kept them from harm
Each night she’d curl up in one of their arms.

Now a family of five with a Nonie and Nanny and Pas Big and Little
This family was growing, busting out in the middle
The City grew scary, no place for the kids
So off to the country they moved, yes they did.

No home for some months and kids starting school
They both wondered if they’d been taken for fools.
The house finally ready with moving day here
Again thoughts of doubt filled their hearts with great fear
It rained and it rained down the living room wall
And the sides of the house were going to fall.

With strength and with courage they worked long and hard
And the kids, they grew taller than the weeds in the yard.
Not just for the country did they all move
You see He had a new job that was set to improve
Improve their lives and their ways to enjoy,
The growing up of their girl and their boys

Years spent working and the land he did tend
Made him quite happy, him and his friend
Together they planted rows of green beans
The corn stalks grew tall, the kids can’t be seen
Turkeys and chickens were also the rage
Many of them often escaping their cage

Years flitted fast and His mind kept on moving
His name will live on in the Hall –Patent Pending
The children now older and heading off in all directions
She grew more restless looking at life’s reflections
To fulfill a deep need, a want, a desire
Magna Cum Laude is to what she'd aspire.
Fulfill it she did with much strength and devotion
What she has learned there could now fill an ocean.

Work for him ended but fiddle he did
Making memories and goodies for each of his kids
Furniture, houses and boxes he built
Never stopping to notice His legacy quilt.
She found her joy, her peace, her desire
For many a year her job was her fire

Marriages, births, divorces and deaths
It happened it seems in just a few breaths
Grand Children are here, now you’re Pa and Granny
Where not long ago there was a Pa and a Nanny

Life moves so quickly, not stopping, not caring
Moving swiftly in swaths of life as it’s tearing
Parents are lost but never forgotten
Children are spoiled, some cute and some rotten
They’ve loved each of them not matter their stage
It just gets a little bit harder with age

Fifty years had gone by in the blink of an eye
Then again it depends what you see, from what side

Monday, April 6, 2009

Euphemism

Each morning as I head to work and each night on my way back home I pass this certain spot. I have been watching with amazement and little girl giddiness as they progress in their effort to build and remodel this and that around their home each day. I muse of their busyness and work weary little hands. They toil relentlessly trying to make sure the each piece of the landscape is just so for themselves and their little ones. They do all this in the middle of the night with only the stars and sometime the moon to illuminate their task. Each morning I see how busy they have been the night before. What perseverance it must take to keep-on-keeping-on! They do, night after night. They must, they are parents, a husband, a wife who have loved ones to provide for and to protect. To give them shelter and sustenance. There is always work to do when you have a family. I try to keep this thought for myself and apply it to my own days and nights. (When the radio in your car doesn’t work you have a lot of time to think! Just try to keep clear of the voices.)


Then one morning you wake up, head out the door like every other morning for the last few months and as you round the corner THIS is what you see....


Maria had left me a comment back in March that she misses my posts…

I am afraid this kind of sums up how the last 4 months of my life has been. So, until I can pull myself out of my funk and things start to turn around I just can’t. Life seems futile at times. This is one of those times and I am having a hard time shaking it.
I do stop by and visit each of you and try to comment when I can. I will continue to do so. I really enjoy being part of this special little group and look forward each day to catching up with all of you.

Pru

Friday, January 16, 2009

Global Warming My ASS

The thermostat in my car that was sitting in the driveway of my home read -28F when I got in to go to work this morning. Looks like a two bottles of wine night.