Ideally this post would flog Properly Stirred, the 2013 Slow Boat Media short-story compilation. The three interludes feature Paul Knox, a man who enjoyed his pleasures (okay, more than his fair share of pleasures), yielded to the demands of age and status, believed himself to have contentment, then got bushwhacked.
Better than a redo, Knox reverts throughout Properly Stirred. While not indulging in irresponsibility, he must no longer conform. Paul Knox has achieved an enviable state. He’s been released. And he returns to situations and conditions which had earlier occupied him to happy ends.
Continue reading Down Time
Mother died in January 2013. Since it was winter, I didn’t pull a Meursault. Even if I had random murderous urges and revolver handy, I couldn’t. What two strangers would be strolling on a North Atlantic beach in winter? One? Okay. But two? Please. Continue reading Cool Tours into Evening
Sometimes simplicity is the best provocation.
This season means card exchange. Or should mean it. Email and the erosion of cursive script are turning paper Christmas cards into museum pieces.
Old-fashioned and time consuming as more and more of us regard them, Christmas cards are always welcome at this address. Their reception indicates a thought and care an e-card blast will never convey. Continue reading The Paper Madeleine
Any opportunity to slag ungrateful former employers should be exploited. What follows is one such instance. Continue reading Vacant Copy Desk
My new gig drags me by plenty of evocative sites. On one hand, these cameos across former stages dent the job’s drudgery. On the other, being an older and worldlier actor permits clearer vision and better excavation of how certain scenes skewed wrong.
Nothing like going past a boyhood marker and confirming that age’s innocence to have been blessed ignorance. Knowledge, truly a two-edged sword for adults.
In the setting and people behind this post I merely occupied the periphery. Events unfolded outside my modest Quarropas neighborhood. All this occurred before money became an even greater determinant. Was ours the last generation in which affluence remained understated and character a worthier gauge? Continue reading Elsewhere on Earth
Herewith a routine enough American story.
The police are alerted and respond to a call. What ensues is someone shot dead. An incident, at best run-of-the-mill, balloons into a life and death cycle. And as is common in these United States, the Reaper scythes another citizen inadvertently caught up in procedure gone awry.
If the public is lucky any subsequent anger is brief, intense, then interrupted, curtailed and supplanted by another urgency elsewhere. Should bad luck befall the police, that being focus of the short-attention span society remaining fixed, questions get more pointed while demurrals harder.
The latter befell the Quarropas police department. In a strange way. The initial furor subsided, almost as if it entered winter hibernation. However, on the cusp of spring it all burst stronger. Continue reading Let Us Escalate
Several years ago, a friend did something way beyond me. After 30-plus years of being apart from him she married her high school sweetheart.
Admittedly the romantic aspect is hard to deny. All those years of having her heart fixed on one beloved then taking advantage of circumstances allowing her a return to square one validates true love.
The interrupted romance started abruptly enough. Back in the early 80s he noticed her, but she made the first moves. From there it got hot and heavy fast.
Up to and past the point where teen girls mistake sex for love. Continue reading Broken Valentine
One of those hoary proverbs came alive for me recently. “If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy float by.”
Alibi wasn’t an enemy. Just a mean piece of man.
A lifetime ago we’d known each other. Or to be apt circled one another. Among the few things we shared was mutual wariness. As well as his sister Kari.
Since our last brush Alibi’s condition had deteriorated severely. Good. We crossed paths inside the same rehabilitation center where mother underwent physical therapy. One cannot thwart old age. We may only develop methods to temporarily blunt its more debilitating effects. Continue reading Merciless