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Showing posts from July, 2017


I need a break. From writing.
Everyone needs a break from time to time, I believe, even when it’s from something they love doing, and I do love writing, more than I love, say, calling up a client’s landlord to yell at them or trying to talk some bigshot million-dollar attorney into slumming it with a volunteer case.
I need a break from writing and I know this because these days, it’s all been turning up dark. Perhaps you’ve noticed. You can admit it. Even if you didn’t notice my whole bit about the multiverse-suicide thing or the crying-at-Shane’s-feet-for-all-Eternity thing, then you couldn’t help but have noticed by the time I got around to the one about the homeless drunk woman coughing up blood in my back seat.
That story doesn’t get any brighter, by the way.
I wasn’t going to write about that last one at all because it is so dark and because I’ve been trying to edge my way into some warmer material. Something like maybe Studio Ghibli might do. But then there was an old lady in a …

Gabble, Rabble, & Ross

“It’s story time,” said Gabble, who was ten years old.
“There will be dragons tonight, probably,” said Rabble, who was eight.
“Horses!” said Ross, who was but six.
The children waited for Father to come and Father came. Home at last. Probably they summoned him in one of the old ways of summoning known to children and idiots and some artists but mislaid when thinking comes. I don’t know. It’s not my story, it’s Father’s, and not my father’s, but Gabble’s, Rabble’s, and Ross’s.
Father appeared in his evening jacket – we know the one – with a drink in one hand and he sat in his Father-chair, lighting a pipe. For them this was evening, like all the others, and as for how it had happened, why should they care? It was story time.
Father blew sweet smoke rings. He said, “I am going to tell you a story, children.” The children gathered around, Ross upon Father’s knee, like always. Like before.
“Will there be adventures?” said Gabble. “A hero named Perseus, Brigham, or Liam?”
“And is he handsome a…

The cursed gene

The eyes of my Aunt Nura are wise eyes, whatever that means. Perhaps what it means is I could never lie to those eyes, for they slice right through me. This is true so surely it must be what I mean.
My Aunt Nura has always been perfect in her auntly duties. For all I know she might even be my godmother. She lived on a lake once and there were ducks and she told us stories like about a time she found some duckling orphans and utilized a kiddie pool to teach them how to swim.
The illness came on swiftly, in 2008 or so. We’d be talking with her – perhaps it would be concerning work or city traffic or the price of milk – and all the time expecting stories and long, piercing looks in reply. But no stories and no long, piercing looks would come now.
Instead, my Aunt Nura said, “This is Obama’s fault. Let me tell you what he did to cause your problem…”
I admit it became a bit of a parlor game for us. We’d crowd around the dinner table at Thanksgiving shouting out topics and my Aunt Nura would …

The footbridge

At the northwest corner of the big city of Houston, there exists a bridge. A footbridge. Just a narrow, wooden little thing stretching across a bayou, connecting the middle class neighborhood of Greenwood Forest to the middle class neighborhood of Fountainhead.
It might not be inside Houston proper. It might not be at all today.
It existed, I am certain of it, very nearly thirty years ago, when I went there with Shane, but I don’t know anymore.
I try to not think of it. I try to not think of Shane.
Shane is a wife and mother now and a successful historical romance novelist. “Successful” I guess. It looks that way. When I knew her, we were suburban high school kids. Lovers, too. I was just a little boy. Fifteen. Sixteen. Just a little boy.
Thoughts of Shane, they try and come into my head sometimes. When they come, they come in through the right side, above my ear and towards the front. Leaking in all black and sticky. I never look at them. I look away. Down and to the left. I push off.